Outgoing Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Thursday that he would punch President Trump if he ever tried to “get in my space.”
During an interview Thursday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews asked the Virginia Democrat how he would react if Mr. Trump leaned over him during a debate, as he did with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. (Mrs. Clinton later said that the then-presidential candidate used his size to intimidate her.)
“What would you do in a debate with him if he tried that?” Mr. Matthews asked. “If he came over and leaned over back of you, what would you do?”
“You’d have to pick him up off the floor,” Mr. McAuliffe replied.
“OK,” the host said, laughing. “You mean you’d deck him?”
“Listen, this guy got in my space,” Mr. McAuliffe responded. “You want to get in my space? I’ve always said, Chris, ‘You punch me, I’m going to punch you back twice as hard.’ And it wouldn’t be hard to do it.
“This guy thinks he can intimidate everybody. It’s disgraceful. It’s embarrassing,” he added. “But if he ever came over and leaned on me and got in my space, that would be the last time Donald Trump ever did that, I promise you that.”
“You sound like an Irish-American politician,” Mr. Matthews said gleefully, adding that Mr. McAuliffe’s comments would undoubtedly “go viral.”
Mr. McAuliffe’s term as governor ends Saturday, when he will be succeeded by Democratic Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.