TAMPA, Fla. — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus hurled insults at MSNBC on Monday, calling Chris Matthews, one of the network’s hosts, “the biggest jerk in the room.”

“This is the Barack Obama surrogate of 2012,” Priebus said of the television network at the Tampa Convention Center, site of the Republican National Convention. “This is what they are all about: They are going to be about division; they are going to be about distraction.”

Priebus went after Matthews and MSNBC after Matthews accused Republicans of “playing the race card” during a live television appearance with Priebus earlier in the day.

“It’s an embarrassment to your party to play that card,” Matthews told Priebus on the “Morning Joe” show.

Priebus said MSNBC network officials have since tried to reach him to “make amends” for Matthews’ accusation. Priebus said he's ignoring them but knows the “Morning Joe” hosts, Mika Brzezinksi and Joe Scarborough, were unhappy with Matthews’ remarks.

Asked whether he would ever appear on MSNBC again, Priebus said he would.

“I don’t really care — I mean it doesn’t matter,” Priebus said. “If more than 10 people actually watched [Chris Matthews'] show I would actually care but they don’t so whatever.”