Chris Matthews Denies Calling Clinton a 'She-Devil'

Hardball's Matthews is fighting back against the claim.

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Did he or didn't he? Technically, Hardball host Chris Matthews did say "she-devil" when talking about Sen. Hillary Clinton during the primaries. But now he's fighting back over how it's being interpreted. "I never called her a she-devil," Matthews says of the phrase that has been dogging him as he considers a run for the Senate in 2010. Here's what happened: Matthews opened a November 2007 show that explored GOP attacks on Clinton, who at the time was the Democratic front-runner. "She-devil? Republicans are absolutely demonizing Hillary Clinton," he barked before the screen displayed Clinton with horns. "You can see it is where we introduce the topics to the show," he argues. Matthews says his critics at Media Matters took the two words out of context as they built a website around the host's sometimes outrageous comments. "This stuff has been cooked up," he says, "to build a case." Media Matters isn't backing down. Spokesman J. Jioni Palmer says the TV star has a pattern of "sexist comments," adding, "Chris Matthews speaks for himself."