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Caught on a hot mic, Clinton speculates about Chris Christie’s support for Trump

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s microphone caught her chatting with host Chris Matthews about Chris Christie’s support for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. (Video: The Washington Post)

CHARLOTTE — It isn't often that Hillary Clinton lets her guard down about what she really thinks about the Republican presidential race.

But during a commercial break while taping an MSNBC town hall on Monday, Clinton and host Chris Matthews chatted it up about the state of the race.

Clinton scolded the media for its constant coverage of the GOP front-runner Donald Trump, speculated about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political future and  his motivations for endorsing Donald Trump.

"You guys can’t stop covering him," Clinton told Matthews. "He is a dangerous presence."

"It’s just like candy by the bushel."

Matthews followed up by acknowledging that his network has a "progressive audience, obviously."

"But nobody can tell what people want to watch," he said. 

"People must think they want to watch him," Clinton replied.

"They laugh at him," said Matthews.

The subject quickly turned to Christie, and Clinton wondered: "Why did he support him?"

Matthews explained that Christie and others who support Trump "want a future" politically.

"Did he have a debt?" Clinton mused.

Matthews added that New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat, "isn't going anywhere," which leaves Christie "nowhere" to go in New Jersey politics.

"I don’t think he would win right now," Clinton chimed in. 

"I don’t think he can win as a Senate candidate either," Matthews agreed.

The two chatted and chuckled about "Tommy Smothers" and "Ed Sullivan" for a minute more.

The audio cut out just before Clinton could answer Matthews's final question: "Did you watch the end of Downton Abbey?"

Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail

CLEVELAND, OH - On the third day of a bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio, Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton along with running mate Senator Tim Kaine, and Anne Holton, aboard the campaign bus in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday July 31, 2016. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)