War of words gets ‘loony’ between Chris Matthews, Rep. Kelly

A batty battle is brewing between MSNBC host Chris Matthews and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) — and it involves who’s living in loony land.

It started on Tuesday’s episode of “Hardball” during an exchange about the debt ceiling with White House press secretary Jay Carney.

Matthews, a Philadelphia native, said “that guy up in Scranton, that new Tea Party guy, Kelly, sounds like he’s in loony land. Got a bill passed. That’s all they have to do. The ‘cut, cap and balance’ is good enough for them. They all go home now. They’re living on their own planet.” Matthews is a former Democratic aide on Capitol Hill and seriously considered running for the Senate from Pennsylvania last year. 

But in a statement to ITK, Kelly made one thing clear — he doesn’t live in loony land, he only has an office there: “I may work in loony land, but I live in Northwestern Pennsylvania, not Scranton, and I’m proud to represent some of the hardest-working, most sensible people in the country.” 

Kelly, who’s pushing for substantial spending cuts and comprehensive budget reform, added, “It’s easy for Mr. Matthews to criticize the play on the field when he’s sitting 50 rows above the action. If he’s not comfortable with what’s going on in the field, he needs to enter the arena, tighten his chin strap, and get in the game.”

A real-life wrestling match between a TV host and a congressman — now that would be a totally loony ratings winner. 

ITK asked Matthews about the congressman’s swipe and he changed the subject from political combat to show business, saying, “Maybe we can agree on Grace Kelly. She’s from Philadelphia.”