During what he billed as an "official exit interview" for retiring Rep. Barney Frank, Hardball host Chris Matthews asked the Massachusetts Democrat if he believes in good and evil and moreover, does he believe that "there's some people like Newt Gingrich that personify one side of this Manichean struggle in our life."
Frank, no fan of Gingrich, seemed taken aback by how strident Matthews feels about the former Republican Speaker of the House (video follows page break; MP3 audio here):
Well, I, let me say I really dislike Gingrich and disapprove of him and I think he's been a terrible influence. I wouldn't call him evil.... Hitler was evil, Saddam Hussein was evil, Stalin and many of his successors. Mugabe. I, I, I would put evil on people who do serious physical harm to their fellow human beings. Beyond that, yeah, we all are a mix of good and bad.
Matthews has repeatedly groused about the "Mephistophelian" nature of Gingrich, but maybe he's actually starting to believe the melodramatic prattle he's been spewing.