Chris Matthews, perhaps most famous for his statement that he got a “thrill up his leg” watching Barack Obama, really pulled out a doozy in tonight’s episode of Hardball. In a segment featuring Susan Page of USA Today and Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post, Matthews accused presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of trying to run a campaign focused solely on hiding who Romney himself is and attacking President Obama as unacceptable.

“It seems like all he wants us to do is look at the GDP, it’s not growing fast enough, put in the relief pitcher, don’t even ask who the relief pitcher is. Don’t think about it – by the way, Santorum’s no good, Newt’s no good, don’t look at me, they’re no good, so you gotta take me,” Matthews screeched. “It’s all about a process of elimination, and he’s the last man standing, but don’t look at him! So when we get him as President some day, all of a sudden we’ve got to look at him, ‘my God, we made him President, because he was the only alternative, and wow, do we really want this?’”

Of course, Matthews’ description of Romney’s supposed strategy could just as easily have been the playbook for President Obama, whose entire campaign strategy in 2008 effectively boiled down to saying he was the only alternative to four more years of Bush-style governance.

Of course, the Tea Party’s response was exactly what Matthews predicted: “My God, we made him President, because he was the only alternative, and wow, do we really want this?”