On Thursday night, speaking with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s "Hardball,” Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe boasted that if he ever debated President Trump, and Trump leaned over him the way he did with Hillary Clinton in a presidential debate, McAuliffe would deck him, and someone would have to “pick him up off the floor.”

The exchange went like this:

Matthews: Back to Trump, what he does is he seems to have an ability to intimidate his opponents. He takes people who are levelheaded like Jeb Bush and makes them look weak. He says, “low-energy Jeb,” and it works. He refers to somebody as “Little Marco” because he’s not as tall as he is, he finds anybody’s weakness and turns it into something is that destroys his opponent. I know Hillary’s a friend of yours and she’s a strong person, but he did that thing of leaning over her, in that weird, weird, kind of I don’t know what, Godzilla way during the debate. What would you do in a debate with him if he tried that? If he’d come over and leaned over in back into you. What would you do?

McAuliffe: You would have to pick him up off the floor.

Matthews: Okay. Okay, you mean, you’d deck him?

McAuliffe: Listen, this guy got in my space, 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; its 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.

Matthews: You sound like an Irish-American politician. Terry McAuliffe, thank you for coming on “Hardball” tonight. What a performance. That will go down — that will go viral, sir, I can tell you.

Of course McAuliffe feels free to say he’d deck Trump; he’s not worried about going to jail, since he’s such a zealous believer in giving felons the right to vote.