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Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s Hardball, made a casual observation about Texas Senator Ted Cruz that’s sure to get him into hot water with his bosses, as well as the senator’s campaign.

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Matthews was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday discussing the results of the New Hampshire primaries. Host Joe Scarborough asked Matthews who he believes would be Trump’s biggest challenger. At first, Matthews said “no one,” but then continued:

“The thing about…” Matthews paused for a second perhaps taking a moment to reconsider his next series of statements, although the pause did not seem to temper his words. Then this exchange took place between Matthews and Scarborough.

“There’s a troll-like quality to Cruz,” Matthews explained to co-host Joe Scarborough. “He operates below the level of human life.”

“That’s a little tough!” Scarborough interrupted. “You have not gotten sleep. We’re going to try that again.”

“Can I not have an opinion?” Matthews shot back.

“Not that opinion,” Scarborough insisted.

“I think he appeals to people’s negativity rather than their joy,” Matthews observed. “I don’t think people feel good about voting for Cruz.”

“What is he? A theocrat? Maybe he is,” the Hardball host continued. “There’s something about that guy who has always reminded me of Joe McCarthy, and there’s something about him that’s negative and menacing.”

“When I say below the level of human life, I mean the good nature of human life, not just being a person.”

During the segment, to Matthew’s amazement, others — including Scarborough — tried to come to Cruz’s defense. Matthews said to Scarborough:

“I’m surprised you would defend someone like Ted Cruz, I am amazed.”

Matthews expressed what many progressives have felt about Cruz for many years. Cruz’s smarmy, self-righteous, condescending attitude coupled with his shameless, naked ambitions creates a level of disgust and discomfort that no other candidate has managed to emulate. For Cruz to have any position of power within the next administration would be a nightmare, and for him to win the presidency would be a national disaster.

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