Matthews was booed and sworn at as he was leaving the Tinatapas restaurant, which is near the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Matthews turned back and confronted the taunting GOP officials. The Hill witnessed the exchange and interviewed Republican delegates after the confrontation
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.