"What about the black mamba?" Chris Matthews asked on Hardball Thursday, making a snake mouth with his hand and jabbing it in Newt Gingrich's direction as he asked which snakes he liked best. "Probably a python," Gingrich said.

But what about the black mamba? "They attack like this," the MSNBC interviewer explained. Gingrich, the former presidential candidate known for his love of zoos, responded, "They attack your nervous system."

Nice dodge, Newt. But you can't change the fact that you obviously hate snakes, despite indicating otherwise. Late into his interview with Gingrich, Matthews began a hard-hitting series of questions: "Do you like the reptile house?" Gingrich indicated that he did. "Favorite snake? You like the boa constrictor aspect of it?" Ever the politician, Gingrich didn't reveal his true, impolitic feelings on the matter. But as the 1995 photo above reveals, Gingrich doesn't like snakes. That day Jack Hanna visited with a whole bunch of animals, and Newt was happy to be pictured with all of them, see photo at left. Except the snake. Compare that to the photo below: