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Chris Matthews’ Pre-Debate Advice, Citing History: ‘Kick Him In The Balls!’

Minutes before last night’s presidential debate began, MSNBC host Chris Matthews offered some historical advice for President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney: “Kick him in the balls!”

Debate coverage anchor Rachel Maddow asked Matthews what sort of psychological preparations the candidates are likely going through.

He cited an anecdote about the 1960 presidential debate, before which Robert F. Kennedy told his brother John F. Kennedy to be aggressive with Republican opponent Richard Nixon.

“Bobby Kennedy said to Jack Kennedy on the way out the door to debate Dick Nixon: ‘Kick him in the balls,’” Matthews recalled. “You know? Sometimes it’s just something like that, something like that.”

“That’s history, not me talking,” he clarified as Maddow laughed.

“Nixon’s guy, on the other hand, said to him, ‘Erase the assassin’s image.’ Well, that was a real picker-upper for Nixon. Don’t look like the five-o’clock shadow bad guy. Well he didn’t — he just lost. I like the way Bobby handled it better,” concluded Matthews.

This pre-debate advice stands in stark contrast to Matthews’ angered post-debate reaction. During his “epic meltdown” of disappointment in President Obama’s performance, Matthews repeatedly cited the Kennedy anecdote — at one point, lamenting that “certainly there was no Bobby Kennedy in the green room before Obama came out tonight.”

Perhaps he actually wanted Obama to kick Romney in the privates?

Watch below, via MSNBC:

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