Matthews told The Hill in a phone interview that after he left the restaurant, he heard a group of guys “heckling” and “hooting and hollering” at him.
He headed back into the restaurant to mix it up with them. “I wanted to confront them,” Matthews said, describing his exchange with the men as “towel-snapping” among guys.
Matthews said he told the rowdy group, “What’s this, a douchebag convention?”
The Republicans became angry and retorted back.
“I told him that’s next week," said New York delegate Anthony Nunziato, referring to the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., that will start on Tuesday.
The event comes on the heels of Matthews' combative interview with RNC chairman Reince Priebus, wherein he alleged Mitt Romney's criticism of President Obama was racially charged and pandering to the "Birther" movement. GOP spokesmen such as Herman Cain canceled appearances on MSNBC in protest of that exchange.