MSNBC's Chris Matthews rarely has kind words or praise for Republicans, but when he does, he gushes. During an interview with GOP presidential contender Jon Huntsman, the Hardball host disparaged the rest of the "crazy" Republican field while asserting the Utah Governor is the only one with his "feet on the ground."
Matthews, who thinks Huntsman is "surrounded by loony tune arguments," told the Utah governor:
"I mean, Michele Bachmann said we shouldn't pay any taxes. How can you sit next to a person who says there shouldn't be any taxes and have a reasonable conversation with her?"
Huntsman responded that, since it's the primary phase of this campaign, "all voices ought to be heard."
The "primitive phase" quipped Matthews.
Matthews then thanked Huntsman profusely for his service as both a "great" governor and "fabulous" U.S. ambassador to China -- and for being the "sane man in the Republican party." He oozed:
"You know what I want to say to you? Thank you for your service. Thank you for your service, for being the sane man in the Republican Party. It reminds us there's actually someone who has their feet on the ground."
"Thank you. Very impressive, governor. I'm very familiar with Utah politics. You were a great governor, and enormously popular out there. I think you did a fabulous job as a United States ambassador to China. Thank you for your service."
But that wasn't enough. Matthews heaped even more praise on Huntsman, adding:
"We all think we like you. We won't destroy you by saying you're doing well, because that'll probably kill you. Tell your friends to come over. We'd like to see some of them, too."