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In a Thursday appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, said that President Donald Trump would have to be picked up “off the floor” if Trump tried to intimidate him during a debate.

After claiming that Trump leaned over Hillary Clinton during their 2016 town hall presidential debate in a “Godzilla kind of way,” Matthews asked McAuliffe what he would do if Trump attempted to similarly intimidate him.

“What would you do in a debate with him if he tried that? Matthews asked. “If he came over and leaned over back of you, what would you do?”

“You would have to pick him up off the floor,” McAuliffe claimed.

Following an outburst of laughter, Matthews said, “OK, you mean, you’d deck him?”

“Listen, this guy got in my space, you want to get in my space, I’ve always said, Chris, you punch me, I’m gonna punch you back twice as hard, and it wouldn’t be hard to do it,” McAuliffe asserted. “This guy thinks he can intimidate everybody. It’s disgraceful. It’s embarrassing. But I tell you, when we take him on, back in his face with the facts, don’t take anything from him and hit him back as hard as you possibly can.”

“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,” McAuliffe added.

“You sound like an Irish-American politician,” Matthews quipped, then┬ácongratulated McAuliffe, saying, “What a performance … That will go viral, sir. I can tell you.”

It has been widely speculated that McAuliffe, who is about to leave office, is considering a presidential run in 2020.

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