updated 6/27/2007 11:45:25 AM ET 2007-06-27T15:45:25

Guests: Ann Coulter

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Ann Coulter, author of “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” plays HARDBALL.  Let‘s play with her!

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews.  Welcome to HARDBALL.  Tonight, from our HARDBALL plaza, just steps away from the U.S. Capitol, we have a hot summer show for you with special guest agent provocateur Ann Coulter, author, as I said, of the new book—or actually, the paperback version of “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.”

And we have lots of news to report tonight and to talk about.  New signs today that President Bush may be losing some of his party‘s supporters on Capitol Hill, a few blocks from here.  The war in Iraq is hurting him with his leadership.  Republican senator Dick Lugar, one of the top Republicans, says we need a new course in the war.  Ohio senator George Voinovich today sent a letter to the president saying that the U.S. must begin to develop a plan for withdrawing from Iraq.

Ann Coulter, what‘s happening?  Is the ice cracking around the president‘s support for the war?

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, “GODLESS”:  Was Voinovich crying?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Why do you ask?

COULTER:  He sometimes cries on the floor.

MATTHEWS:  What about Dick Lugar?  Is he a crybaby, as well?

COULTER:  No, but I think they‘re wrong not only on this but on immigration.  Both of them voted for amnesty today, too.

MATTHEWS:  So what do you make of the war, where the president‘s talking—Tony Snow, the president‘s spokesman, is talking a long-term commitment beyond September, people talking about a Korean-style commitment of a half a century.  Is that bad PR?

COULTER:  I don‘t know.  I mean, I‘m not very savvy about PR.  What I do know is that it would be a disaster if we pulled out.  And maybe we could fight the war a little harder and not keep responding to Amnesty International...

MATTHEWS:  More troops?

COULTER:  I don‘t think we even need more troops.  I think we need to be less worried about civilian casualties.

I mean, are the terrorists—are Islamic terrorists a more frightening enemy than the Nazis war machine?  I don‘t think so.  Fanatics can be stopped.  Japanese kamikaze bombers—you can stop them by bombing their society.  We killed more people in two nights over Hamburg than we have in the entire course of the Iraq war.

MATTHEWS:  Who should we bomb in Iraq?

COULTER:  The insurgent forces.  I mean, we did in Afghanistan last week hit Taliban.  And what do we hear in “The New York Times”?  Amnesty is crying because some civilians were hit.  Well, that happens in a war, and I‘d rather have their civilians die than our civilians die!

MATTHEWS:  Do you believe that we win the war on terrorism by killing lots of Arabs on international television?  Do you think it helps the case?

COULTER:  I don‘t know if it needs to be on international television.

MATTHEWS:  Well, it is.

COULTER:  I don‘t think it makes a difference.  Look, I thought you were saying that was, like, one of the advantages.  I don‘t think it needs to be on international television.  But yes, you can destroy the fighting spirit of fanatics.  We‘ve done it before.  We know how to do it.

MATTHEWS:  How do we...

COULTER:  And it‘s not by fighting a clean little hygienic war.

MATTHEWS:  What do we do with teenagers now, who are, say, 15 years old now, who want to grow up to be terrorists?  How do we stop them from growing up to be terrorists?  How do we win the war against terrorism, in other words?

COULTER:  I think I‘ve just said it.  You cannot fight a clean, hygienic work.   I mean, I think we either have to get rid of this secular religion of FDR, or we have to get rid of the idea of a hygienic war because that was not a clean, hygienic war, World War Two.  We killed a lot of civilians, and we crushed the Nazi war machine.  And the idea that Nazism, which was tied to a civilized culture, was less of a threat than the Koran, tied to a Stone Age culture, I think is preposterous!  If we want to win this war, we absolutely could.  And I think we‘ve been too nice so far.

MATTHEWS:  Well, the Nazis—we defeated them rather well by going into Berlin, and certainly, the U.S. Army and the Soviet army did that job.  Right now, we face an Islamic world of about a billion people.  We face an Arab world of over 300 million people.  We don‘t just face on country, we face a people.  How do we convince them, the people who are open-minded about it, not to join the terrorists?  How we do it?

COULTER:  You destroy the will of fanatics.  And it doesn‘t matter how broad it is, it can be destroyed.  And yes, this is a trickier war because it‘s spread out.  It‘s not just one country...

MATTHEWS:  Right.

COULTER:  ... we need to attack.  But a lot of the things that we need to do, such as listening to terrorists in this country with—you know, on al Zarqawi‘s speed dial, we have liberals in this country screaming bloody murder about how we treat terrorists captured who are at Guantanamo, whether—whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is being water-boarded?

MATTHEWS:  Yes.

COULTER:  If this is a country that is worried about that—and I don‘t think it is—then we may as well give up right now.

MATTHEWS:  Do you worry that killing civilians, even accidentally as

part of collateral damage or by the way things happen in war, friendly fire

that that‘s going to encourage more young people to become...

COULTER:  No.

MATTHEWS:  ... enemies of the United States?

COULTER:  No, no, no, no, no!

MATTHEWS:  Why not?

COULTER:  No!  No.  Because you are destroying the society that has produced these monsters.  And you win by killing the other side and not allowing your side to be killed.  Withdrawal would be the worst thing we could do.  We could definitely fight it a little bit harder.  I mean, I understand why Rumsfeld wanted to have a small footprint.  It is a little bit different since it wasn‘t a country attacking us, it is this ideology that has spread throughout the Middle East.  Yes, that makes it a lot trickier.  But the small footprint didn‘t really work.  Americans are getting fed up.  Democracies don‘t like to go to war, so we‘re going to have to wrap it up quickly and destroy the fighting spirit of the fanatics.

MATTHEWS:  We‘ve been in this war, as you know, since ‘03.  How many years do you think this president or any president can prosecute a war of this kind with the American people‘s support?

COULTER:  Well, I mean, what‘s the alternative?

MATTHEWS:  I‘m just asking a political question.  How long can he stay in the field with this war?  How long can he keep it up?

COULTER:  I think—I don‘t—I do not get the sense that—your question—a long time because I do not think the country is burning with anti-war fervor.  Except on your show, every night we hear about Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton.

MATTHEWS:  Well...

COULTER:  If the country were so worried...

MATTHEWS:  You are the first person to mention...

COULTER:  ... about this war...

MATTHEWS:  ... those names on my show.

COULTER:  I‘m sorry...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  You‘ve just ended our virginity on those topics.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  And I don‘t think you for bringing those names into my world.

COULTER:  Well, I‘m making a point, which is this is big news in the rest of America.  I do not believe Americans...

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Let me ask you...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... news of the day...

COULTER:  ... frivolous if they were burning with...

MATTHEWS:  Ann, you‘ve got an IQ...

COULTER:  ... rage over Iraq.

MATTHEWS:  ... of a high number.  I want to ask you a high number IQ question.  What does it mean—now, you‘ve said that George Voinovich is a crybaby.  Dick Lugar is I don‘t know what.  Somebody...

COULTER:  Well, that was just a fact.  He did cry on the Senate floor.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Do you believe...

COULTER:  Over something frivolous, too.

MATTHEWS:  Are you concerned that come September, when we have this report from General Petraeus out of the field in Iraq on how we‘re doing, that if it‘s not a conclusively positive report, that a lot of people like Susan Collins and Olympia Snow and John Sununu, Eastern Republicans, are going to split from the president?  Are you concerned?

COULTER:  I‘m not really one to add up votes or figure out who‘s going where or who‘s going to be voted out of office and become a former senator.  I know Bush is going to become a former president.  There‘s going to be a shakeup, and I hope it doesn‘t take another terrorist attack for Americans to realize the war on terrorism isn‘t going away just by saying, Oh, it‘s just a bumper sticker.  They‘re still coming at us!

MATTHEWS:  Right.  Let‘s take a look—let‘s take a call right now.  This is a video call.  We‘re going to hear the person.  People at home will actually see this person.  It‘s Ben Marble from Long Beach, Mississippi.  Let‘s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN MARBLE, LONG BEACH, MISSISSIPPI:  Hello.  My name is Ben Marble.  I live in Long Beach, Mississippi.  I would like to ask Ms. Coulter, how does she justify George W. Bush‘s continued refusal to secure our borders?  And does she support his illegal alien amnesty bill?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Wow.

COULTER:  Well, you‘re obviously not a reader of Anncoulter.com!

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER:  I think in my life, I‘ve only written three columns on the same subject in a row, and that has been attacking President Bush over his amnesty bill.  As he admitted today, it is an amnesty bill.  I can‘t imagine...

MATTHEWS:  He said that?

COULTER:  Today he did.

MATTHEWS:  He said amnesty?

COULTER:  Today he did.

MATTHEWS:  Wow.  Why did he do that?

COULTER:  Because, you know, there is this liberal impulse to ban certain words, to control the language, to control us.

MATTHEWS:  OK.

COULTER:  They‘ve tried to ban the words “illegal alien.”

MATTHEWS:  I know.  I know.

COULTER:  They‘ve tried to ban the word amnesty.  It doesn‘t work. 

It‘s still in our (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS:  And I agree with you on that.  You can‘t change the language and solve your problem.  Apparently, Tony Snow corrected after the president and said he didn‘t mean to say amnesty, but you caught him, didn‘t you.

Let me ask—here‘s another question.  Here‘s from a guy named Thomas

Nass.  He writes from Sacramento, California.  And he‘s a man who served in

World War II in the 5th Marine Division.  Quote, “If, as General Petraeus”

was that funny?  Jesus!

Anyway, “If, as General Petraeus and the administration have argued, that an Iraq pullback would increase the violence there, could this possibly mean that our troops are getting killed and maimed just to keep Iraqis from killing each other?”  That‘s his question.

COULTER:  I don‘t know what Petraeus meant.

MATTHEWS:  Here‘s another one.  Here‘s a question e-mailed to us from James Campbell from Fort Story, Virginia.  “Why do you and many other conservatives preach and demand that we stay in Iraq as long as it takes?  Why not lead by example and go to your local recruiting office or perhaps send one of your loved ones as a good sergeant?  P.S., in case you didn‘t  know, the Army has increased the enlistment age”—this guy‘s cruel—“to 42.”

COULTER:  For one thing, I would like our troops to win, so no, I don‘t think me being over there holding a tiny little gun is going to help.

MATTHEWS:  You‘re not Private Benjamin, eh?

COULTER:  And point two, I mean, all of this taunting about, Oh, why don‘t you sign up—I don‘t think Democrats want to go down that line.  Overwhelmingly, the troops are right-wingers who support the views of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, and that goes for military veterans, as well, even the older ones, who tend to get more liberal as they head towards Social Security.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about Fred Thompson, who‘s doing so well in the polls right now.  He is just for some reason scooting up almost to the top in many of the polls.

COULTER:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  So what do you make of Fred Thompson?  Is your idea of a conservative?

COULTER:  I think he was great in “The Hunt for Red October.”

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER:  And I think he‘s kind of our Obama.  We‘re not happy with our top candidates, and so somebody else throws his hat in the ring and everybody latches onto the new guy.

MATTHEWS:  Well, do you like his hat?

COULTER:  I like his hat.

MATTHEWS:  Do you like him?  I‘m trying to get a reading here.  It‘s very important to hear from (INAUDIBLE)

COULTER:  No, I mean, I like Duncan Hunter.  And other than that, I think...

MATTHEWS:  What kind of a cage (ph) is that?  What are you up to with Duncan Hunter here?  What is this about?

COULTER:  No, I mean, I—I don‘t have to pick who the winner‘s going to be.  I can say...

MATTHEWS:  Obviously.

COULTER:  ... who I think the best candidate is.  I think...

MATTHEWS:  OK, let me—let me...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about public opinion now.  And I‘m worried about whether the public knows anything about some of these issues.  We‘ve got a “Newsweek” poll that just came out.  Now, maybe you agree with these percentages.  Twenty percent of the American people now believe that when we went into Iraq, we did find weapons of mass destruction.  We found...

COULTER:  We did!  We didn‘t find stockpiles.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  What do you mean by we found them but we didn‘t find stockpiles?

COULTER:  We found all sorts of ricin—I mean, there are long lists of it.  We didn‘t—we expected to find huge stockpiles.  We didn‘t find nukes, if that‘s what you‘re asking...

MATTHEWS:  No, no, it was chemical and biological.

COULTER:  ... for, but we found lots of—yes, we found plenty of—of...

MATTHEWS:  And you believe that that would...

COULTER:  No, it‘s a fact!

MATTHEWS:  So we‘ve met the standard that we set for going in, then. 

We were right.

COULTER:  That wasn‘t my standard.  That was your standard.

MATTHEWS:  No, it was the president‘s standard.  It‘s the selling...

COULTER:  Absolutely not!  Absolutely not!  This is one of the biggest lies perpetrated by liberals, and that is that the only reason we went in...

MATTHEWS:  I didn‘t say the only reason!

COULTER:  ... was for weapons of mass destruction.

MATTHEWS:  It was one of the—it was the selling point...

COULTER:  No, no, no!  The selling point was Saddam is a bad guy.  He has the rape rooms.  Fifteen minutes before we went in...

MATTHEWS:  OK.

COULTER:  ... Bush gave a speech saying...

MATTHEWS:  OK.

COULTER:  ... Iraqis, your day of liberation is near!

MATTHEWS:  Let me—let me just remind you...

COULTER:  No, we had a lot of reasons to go in.

MATTHEWS:  But...

COULTER:  You guys kept saying...

MATTHEWS:  No, no.  Let me just tell you something...

COULTER:  ... the only reason to go in...

MATTHEWS:  You can say “you guys” all you want...

COULTER:  ... is weapons of mass destruction!

MATTHEWS:  The American people...

COULTER:  And that‘s why...

MATTHEWS:  ... went to war because they were afraid that Saddam...

COULTER:  No, no.

MATTHEWS:  ... posed a threat to America...

COULTER:  And he did!

MATTHEWS:  ... and his threat was through weaponry...

COULTER:  He did.

MATTHEWS:  ... and that‘s why we went in, not for all these geopolitical reasons.

COULTER:  He did!  He did!  He did!

MATTHEWS:  OK, that‘s your point.  That‘s my point.

COULTER:  Let me finish!

MATTHEWS:  Keep going.

COULTER:  It was important to your side to say the only one reason we were going in was...

MATTHEWS:  I never said that.  Let me—let me ask you this...

COULTER:  ... for weapons of mass destruction—well, Kerry did.

MATTHEWS:  Let me...

COULTER:  Your presidential candidate did!

MATTHEWS:  You can clap (ph) until you die, but that doesn‘t help the truth here.

COULTER:  Madeleine Albright...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go to this point here...

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  Forty-one percent of Iraq say—forty-one percent of the people say that Iraq attacked us on 9/11.  Is that true?

COULTER:  And the reason you said that was...

MATTHEWS:  No, I don‘t say it, “Newsweek” has just reported this poll result.

COULTER:  So that you could say, Oh, just...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  I‘m finishing my last point, which you wouldn‘t let me!  U.N. weapons inspectors, U.N. weapons inspector, U.N. weapons inspectors—they inspect weapons, they don‘t dismantle rape rooms!  You guys said weapons of mass destruction.  We said there are a lot of reasons...

MATTHEWS:  No, you‘re...

COULTER:  ... to take him out and none to keep him.

MATTHEWS:  You misheard me.  The two reasons...

COULTER:  No, now I‘ll go to your next question!

MATTHEWS:  Let me just go to the two polls.  What do you make of the fact that one in five people still believe we found weapons of mass destruction?

COULTER:  We did!

MATTHEWS:  You say we did.  What do you make of the fact that two out of five people believe that Iraq attacked us on 9/11?

COULTER:  Wait!  does that mean 80 percent think we didn‘t?

MATTHEWS:  Well, I‘m asking you about the 20 percent.

COULTER:  Wait.  What was the number on...

MATTHEWS:  Forty-one percent think Iraq attacked us on 9/11.

COULTER:  OK, so 60 percent are wrong.

MATTHEWS:  Iraq did attack us?

COULTER:  Oh, no.  That first question I was asking for the numbers on.

MATTHEWS:  No, but 40 percent of Americans believe that it was Iraq, Saddam Hussein, who attacked us on 9/11.  Does that concern you, that people are misinformed?

COULTER:  No, but I think what—well...

MATTHEWS:  It doesn‘t bother you?

COULTER:  But...

MATTHEWS:  That would explain why people supported...

COULTER:  You do know...

MATTHEWS:  ... the war.

COULTER:  Look, I don‘t think that‘s a particularly good question.  We also do know...

MATTHEWS:  It‘s the answer I‘m asking if you‘re concerned about.

COULTER:  ... that Saddam—right.  Well, this is why it‘s not a good question because we do know Saddam was working with al Qaeda‘s top agents...

MATTHEWS:  OK, then...

COULTER:  ... that his intelligence agents...

MATTHEWS:  ... you‘re right.  Then the war...

COULTER:  ... were working with them.

MATTHEWS:  ... was well-founded because the war was based on WMD, on a threat from Iraq to us, and also posed (ph) on the idea that the terrorists or the people who attacked us on 9/11, and those are the people we attacked when we went to Iraq.

COULTER:  We know...

MATTHEWS:  Then we‘re right in going to war.

COULTER:  We know no single country attacked us because it was individual terrorists.  And by the way, your team claims...

MATTHEWS:  What team?

COULTER:  ... to support the war in Afghanistan...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I‘m just going by these poll questions.

COULTER:  ... and Afghanistan didn‘t attack us on 9/11, either, Chris!

MATTHEWS:  What—but bin Laden did.

COULTER:  Well, OK.  He‘s not...

MATTHEWS:  And bin Laden was...

COULTER:  ... even a citizen of Afghanistan!

MATTHEWS:  ... working with the Taliban and was protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

COULTER:  And al Qaeda was working with Saddam!

MATTHEWS:  And that‘s why the American people supported the troops going into Afghanistan, and that‘s why, apparently...

COULTER:  And we supported going into Iraq!

MATTHEWS:  ... a good portion of the American people are still misinformed about why we went into Iraq.

COULTER:  No!  You‘re misinformed, including on the war you claim to support!  Afghanistan did not attack us on 9/11!  They were working with al Qaeda!

MATTHEWS:  No, you...

COULTER:  OK.  Saddam was working with al Qaeda, too!

MATTHEWS:  He was?

COULTER:  Yes!

MATTHEWS:  Well, then, these people are right.

COULTER:  If you did not know that Saddam...

MATTHEWS:  No, this is great.

COULTER:  ... had sent his top agents...

MATTHEWS:  This is what I want to hear.

COULTER:  ... to work with...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  We‘ll be back with Ann Coulter.  Thank you (INAUDIBLE)

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  We‘re back at the HARDBALL plaza with the inimitable Ann Coulter.

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  And what deeply concerns me, more than the very existence of Ann Coulter, is the presence of many like-minded people here.

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  My God, is this “Deliverance”?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Anyway, let‘s go to Paul Mains of Saratoga, New York.  He‘s e-mailed this question to Ann Coulter.  “Do you believe that there are any true conservative presidential candidates that actually have a chance of winning the nomination?”  That‘s an interesting question.

COULTER:  I don‘t really know who has a chance of winning the nomination.  When you look back at this time before other presidential elections, the leading contender one year was Liddy Dole, one year it was Phil Gramm.  So I think the fact that some of them have high name recognition doesn‘t mean they‘re likely to win.

MATTHEWS:  What about the volatility -- (INAUDIBLE) what about the volatility of these polls?  They jump on—I mean, one day...

COULTER:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... you never heard of Thompson.  Next day...

COULTER:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... Tommy Thompson?  No, Fred Thompson.

COULTER:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  Right at the top of the list.  What‘s going on?

COULTER:  People aren‘t paying attention...

MATTHEWS:  He retired from the Senate without notice...

COULTER:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... and now he‘s back as—as—as Prometheus.

COULTER:  They liked him on...

MATTHEWS:  I mean, how did this happen?

COULTER:  They liked him on “Law and Order.”  And that we don‘t like the top candidates, I guess.

MATTHEWS:  Is it “none of the above” stuff?

COULTER:  I think so.

MATTHEWS:  Well, where are you on this?  You‘re not a “none of he above” person.  You are an opinionated person.  Don‘t you have an opinion?

COULTER:  Yes, I gave it to you.

MATTHEWS:  Who do you like?

COULTER:  Duncan Hunter.

MATTHEWS:  OK, Duncan Hunter.  Let‘s try some of the other guys who are a bit higher in the polls, OK?  Rudy Giuliani.  What do you think of him?  Could you vote for him in a general election against a Democrat like Hillary Clinton?

COULTER:  Right now, I—I would say no.  I think...

MATTHEWS:  Could you vote for Bloomberg?

COULTER:  No!

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  OK.  What would you do, not vote?

COULTER:  But—if I could finish what I was saying...

MATTHEWS:  You know, if you‘re going to do this in “dot, dot, dots”...

COULTER:  ... I know...

MATTHEWS:  ... I can‘t let you finish.  So you got to sort of let me know...

COULTER:  ... that in the end, I‘m going to vote...

MATTHEWS:  ... when the sentence ends.

COULTER:  ... for...

MATTHEWS:  OK?

COULTER:  ... whatever nincompoop we end up running.

MATTHEWS:  OK, so you‘ll vote for anybody that runs.

COULTER:  But I think it would be—I think a lot of Christians would not vote for a pro-abortion presidential candidate, so I think we might well lose.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.

COULTER:  It‘s hard to imagine any candidate losing to Hillary Clinton, who I think is your nominee, other than Rudy Giuliani.

MATTHEWS:  You mean a Democratic nominee.

COULTER:  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  I‘ve been accused of being pro-Rudy and pro-everybody, but

I like Rudy in a lot of ways because I think he‘s tough.

COULTER:  Oh, he has a lot of wonderful...

MATTHEWS:  I think he‘s tough.

COULTER:  Yes, as you know from “Godless,” I have a love letter to him in that book...

MATTHEWS:  I think he‘s tough.

COULTER:  ... how he turns New York around.

MATTHEWS:  You think—you think Duncan Hunter‘s tougher than Rudy?

COULTER:  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  How do?

COULTER:  He can stand up to the mainstream media.

MATTHEWS:  Huh.  Well, Rudy wasn‘t too popular until he—until 9/11 with the mainstream media.

COULTER:  I don‘t—well, I don‘t think he was ever popular with the mainstream media. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

COULTER:  Maybe for a week during 9/11.

MATTHEWS:  What happened—what happened—I‘m sorry to keep you moving, but I have got to get them all in. 

What about John McCain?  What happened to that guy?  He‘s a war hero.  Everybody looked up to him.  And he just keep—he is down below Huckabee in Iowa now.  He‘s down to six points.  Is that—that, to me, is tragic personally for him.  What happened?

COULTER:  The Democrats were not able to pawn him off on us.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  So, he‘s the...

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  So, you believe...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Way to go, Ann. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  I‘m more frightened than ever with these people back here.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  But—I‘m just kidding.  You have a much...

COULTER:  They are beautiful. 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

MATTHEWS:  No, no.  You have as much right to vote as anybody.

COULTER:  They are beautiful.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask—no, no.

(BOOING)

MATTHEWS:  It just scares me a little bit.  That‘s all.  I can get through the night.  I will sleep tonight.  But I‘m a little concerned. 

No, you think that McCain is a creation of the Democratic Party and the media? 

COULTER:  Especially you. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes, because he is a war hero.  I did look up to him.  I don‘t mind denying that.

COULTER:  Duncan Hunter is a war hero. 

MATTHEWS:  How so?

COULTER:  He fought in Vietnam.  He won a Bronze Star.  I think he has one son, he was an Army Ranger.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... good military guy.

COULTER:  And he does not talk about it. 

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

COULTER:  Like the Democrats.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about—let‘s go back to Mitt Romney.  You were, I think, associated with Mitt, and now not. 

How do you—how does that work?  Tell me what I‘m missing here.

COULTER:  No.  It was only, every time I was asked to name my favorite of the top three, yes, I would prefer him to McCain or Giuliani. 

MATTHEWS:  Where you think he stands on the issue you mention of life?

Where is he on that?  Where do you really think he is on life?

COULTER:  I think he is probably pro-life.  I mean, that is one of the things I like about Mitt Romney, that he...

MATTHEWS:  Since when?

COULTER:  Well, look, if he had knocked out Teddy Kennedy, that would have been one of the greatest events in the history of the world.  I don‘t care...

MATTHEWS:  What, and you‘re—so, you are saying that was subterfuge?

COULTER:  I don‘t care what he says to knock out Teddy Kennedy.

MATTHEWS:  You‘re saying that he said he was pro-choice to win.  OK.

But what about 1990 -- what about when he still was saying—in 2005 in May, he was still saying he was leaving Roe v. Wade alone.  And it‘s only very recently he‘s come out and said, oh, I had a revelation before that which led me to believe that the pro-life position was the best position. 

COULTER:  Yes, I can‘t really follow the details of this, but the point is, a governor can‘t do anything about Roe v. Wade anyway, which is why you will note I just said...

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

COULTER:  ... I wouldn‘t vote for a president who is pro-abortion.  I would vote for a governor who was pro-abortion.  Nothing he can do.

MATTHEWS:  Do you believe that his conversion to the pro-life cause, which you would admire and obviously support, and have a right to, clearly, do you think that is legitimate?  Do you think it‘s genuine?  He is truly on your side now? 

COULTER:  Well, I can‘t read his mind, but I would rather have somebody claiming he‘s on my side than claiming he‘s not on my side. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  God, you guys are getting very flexible.

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  We will be right back with Ann Coulter on HARDBALL Plaza.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

We‘re back at the Plaza here.  I think I‘m...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I think—enough of that.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  I think I am back with Zell Miller at Herald Square.  You know, “The Miracle on 34th Street” has become the nightmare on 34th Street here.

Here is a picture from “The Washington Post” last week, Ann.  I want you to comment on this.  I find this politically dramatic, a candidate allowing all her women staffers to appear together, as if some kind of phalanx politically.  What do you make of that decision to let them all pose like that, all the women, no men? 

COULTER:  Um...

MATTHEWS:  Does it bother you as a woman, or does it excite you?

COULTER:  No, it could be that—I mean, the recent polls indicate that—that college-educated women do not like Hillary...

MATTHEWS:  That‘s right. 

COULTER:  ... which doesn‘t surprise me. 

MATTHEWS:  They‘re about half and half with Obama, yes.

COULTER:  That certainly...

MATTHEWS:  But women with needs...

COULTER:  Right.  Right.  Right.  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  ... like Hillary.  Don‘t you people have needs? 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Is this such an elite Republican crowd that people with needs is a joke line? 

Jesus.  Unbelievable.

COULTER:  Yes, it is. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes, I‘m sorry.  I‘m sorry.  Go ahead.  Go ahead.

COULTER:  It doesn‘t surprise me, because that has been my experience with college-educated women in a place like Manhattan.

MATTHEWS:  I think I‘m at a...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... convention here.

Go ahead.

COULTER:  They have worked hard to get where they are.

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

COULTER:  They didn‘t get ahead by whom they are married to.

MATTHEWS:  And that‘s—in other words, the smarter you are, the less Hillary you are?

COULTER:  That has been my impression among women, certainly.  I mean, the feminists do not like her as much as I expected. 

MATTHEWS:  Because?  Your assessment of that?

COULTER:  I just—you weren‘t listening.

MATTHEWS:  No, I know, but they have worked hard to get where they are, and, therefore...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  And she didn‘t.

MATTHEWS:  You have turned this into a meritocratic thing.  The better people don‘t like Hillary, is what you‘re saying. 

COULTER:  No.  What I‘m saying is, she is where she is because of the guy she married.

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

COULTER:  That‘s not what feminists told us we‘re supposed to do, marry your way to power. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

Let‘s take a look at what is running on the John Edwards Web site right now.  It has to do with what you said yesterday in the morning on a morning TV show.

COULTER:  Oh, good.  I love to be reminded.

MATTHEWS:  Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COULTER:  So, I have learned my lesson.  If I‘m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I will just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  How do we read that?

COULTER:  Well, that is a very weird quote to run, since the prior sentence...

MATTHEWS:  They ran it.  They‘re running it right now.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  You‘re a poster girl for the Edwards campaign now.  They‘re raising money on you. 

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  Well, I‘m raising money on him.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER:  And, from what I have read, I am raising more money than he is. 

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER:  I am. 

MATTHEWS:  How so?

COULTER:  He only raised like $100,000, $200,000.  I made more money off of that than he did. 

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, you do.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  I was talking about, in the prior sentence—so, you don‘t have to search through the transcript of that.  The prior sentence is, at the same time, Bill Maher was saying...

MATTHEWS:  Yes, I know.

COULTER:  ... that he wished... 

MATTHEWS:  But they didn‘t put the prior sentence in.  They just put your sentence in.

COULTER:  Oh, so you know.  OK.

MATTHEWS:  So, I know all this stuff.  I‘m just wondering what your reaction is to having people gas you, basically, politically to raise money. 

COULTER:  Oh.  No.  It doesn‘t really make a difference.  It raises more money for me. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Let‘s go right now to a—here‘s a question from—an e-mail question from Nicky Marcello, who writes: “Have you ever said or done”—it‘s along these lines—“Have you ever said or done anything in your public commentary of which you are ashamed or which you regret?” 

Anything ever, ever, ever?

COULTER:  Yes. 

This week, based on the amnesty bill, I am sorry about anything nice I ever said about George Bush. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Oh, my God.  So, you are not going to go the other way, to say anything bad you ever said about anybody?  You are not ashamed of anything bad you have ever said about anybody? 

COULTER:  No, but my praise for—for the president, who is now trying to wreck the country with amnesty for illegals, I think may have been misguided. 

MATTHEWS:  Why is he—but you think he is genuinely a leader on the war in Iraq?

COULTER:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, how could he be so right, in your light, by your lights, on that war, which was a very unusual decision—most presidents wouldn‘t have made that gutsy decision to go into...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  Right.  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  And, yet, he is so totally wrong, as you dismiss him as a bad guy, on immigration? 

COULTER:  Right.               

MATTHEWS:  How did he get it wrong this time and right the other time?

COULTER:  Well, as I said on that same program we just saw a clip from, I think he is like FDR that way.  I mean, it really is this amazing dichotomy.  On foreign policy, he‘s been—Bush was magnificent, and, certainly, FDR was.  He crushed the Nazi war machine, but, domestically, he nearly wrecked the country. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

COULTER:  It is exactly the same with George Bush. 

MATTHEWS:  Really?

COULTER:  Magnificent in the war on terrorism, and...

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

COULTER:  ... nearly everything he has done domestically is a disaster. 

MATTHEWS:  I thought FDR was good at fighting Nazis and the empire of Japan, but not so good at seeing the evils of communism.  That was my distinction.

COULTER:  And not seeing the evils of socialism in this country.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  Well, that‘s where we disagree.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  We‘re still paying for the New Deal and Social Security. 

MATTHEWS:  You know who is on the line?  Somebody to respond to what you said about Edwards yesterday morning.  Elizabeth Edwards.  She wanted to call in today.  We said she could.

Elizabeth Edwards, go on the line.  You‘re on the line with Ann Coulter.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, WIFE OF JOHN EDWARDS:  Hello, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you want to say something directly to the person who is with me? 

EDWARDS:  I‘m calling—you know, in the South, we—when someone does something that displeases us, we want to ask them politely to stop doing it. 

I would like to ask Ann Coulter to—if she wants to debate on issues, on positions, we certainly disagree with nearly everything she said on your show today.  But—but it is quite another matter to—for these personal attacks. 

That‘s—the things that she has said over the years, not just about John, but about other candidates, is—lowers our—our political dialogue precisely at the time that we need to raise it. 

So, I—I want to use the opportunity, which I don‘t get much, because Ann and I don‘t hang out with the same people—to ask...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  ... have enough money.

EDWARDS:  .... her politely to stop the personal attacks. 

COULTER:  OK.  So, I made a joke, let‘s see, six months ago. 

And, as you point out, they have been raising money off of it for six months, since then. 

MATTHEWS:  But this is yesterday morning, what you said about him.

COULTER:  I didn‘t say anything about him, actually, either time. 

EDWARDS:  Ann knows—you know that‘s not true.

And, what‘s more, this has been going on for some time.

COULTER:  And I don‘t mind you trying to raise money.  I mean, it‘s better this than giving $50,000 speeches to the poor...

EDWARDS:  I‘m asking you—I‘m asking you politely...

COULTER:  ... just to use my name on the Web pages.

But, as for a debate with me, yes, sure. 

EDWARDS:  I‘m asking you politely...

COULTER:  Yes, we will have a debate. 

EDWARDS:  ... to stop—to stop personal attacks.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  How about you stop raising money on your Web page, then?

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  No, you don‘t have to, because I don‘t mind.

(CROSSTALK)

EDWARDS:  It did not start with that.  You had a column a number of years ago...

COULTER:  Great.  OK. 

EDWARDS:  ... where you suggested that...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  The wife of a presidential candidate is calling in, asking me to stop speaking?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let her finish the point.  Let her finish the point. 

COULTER:  You‘re asking me to stop speaking?  Stop writing your columns.  Stop writing your books.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Ann, please.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER:  OK.

EDWARDS:  You had a column a couple of years ago which—which made fun of the moment of Charlie Dean‘s death, and suggested that my husband had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that said, “Ask me about my dead son.”

COULTER:  That‘s now three years ago.

EDWARDS:  This is not legitimate political dialogue.  It debases political dialogue.  It drives people away from the process.  We can‘t have a debate about issues if you‘re using this kind of language. 

COULTER:  Yes, why isn‘t John Edwards making this call? 

MATTHEWS:  Well, do you want to respond?  We will end this conversation.

EDWARDS:  I have not talked to John about this call. 

COULTER:  I think this is just another attempt for...

EDWARDS:  I‘m making this call as a mother.  I‘m the mother of that boy who died.  My children participate.  These young people behind you are the age of my children.  You‘re asking them to participate in a dialogue that is based on hatefulness and ugliness, instead of on the issues.

And I don‘t—I don‘t think that is serving them or this country very well. 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)  

MATTHEWS:  Thank you very much, Elizabeth Edwards.

Do you want to—you have all the time in the world to respond to that. 

COULTER:  I think we heard all we need to hear.  The wife of a presidential candidate is asking me to stop speaking. 

No.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  No, she said you should stop being so negative to people individually. 

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  Right, as opposed to bankrupting doctors by giving a shyster Las Vegas routine in front of juries, based on science...

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

COULTER:  Wait.  You said I would have as long as I would have.

MATTHEWS:  Go ahead.  Go ahead.  Go ahead.

COULTER:  And you instantly interrupt me.

MATTHEWS:  Go ahead.  Go ahead. 

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER:  As I was saying, doing these psychic routines in front of illiterate juries to bankrupt doctors, who now can‘t deliver babies, and to charge a poverty group $50,000 for a speech.  Don‘t talk to me about how to use language.

MATTHEWS:  Elizabeth.

EDWARDS:  ... language of hate.  And I am going to ask you again to politely stop using personal attacks as part of your dialogue. 

COULTER:  OK, I will stop writing books. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Why do you talk about...

(CROSSTALK)

EDWARDS:  If you can‘t write them without them, then that is fine. 

MATTHEWS:  Why do you talk about Hillary‘s chubby legs in your book?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Why do you—I mean, that might fall into the category of personal attacks.  I don‘t know.  But why do you do that?  Why do you talk about Monica Lewinsky‘s chubbiness?  If she were skinny, would it have been OK? 

COULTER:  I don‘t know.  Read the sentence.

MATTHEWS:  I read the whole sentence.  I couldn‘t feel the context.

COULTER:  Well, you have to give it to me, and I could explain.

MATTHEWS:  Why do you bring up the word chubby?  Why do you make fun of Hillary‘s chubby legs? 

COULTER:  I don‘t know what—you‘re going to have to give me the sentence.  And I think...

MATTHEWS:  It‘s in the afterword of your book.  I just read it this morning. 

COULTER:  Well, read the sentence. 

MATTHEWS:  We will be—we will be back and read the entire sentence.

We‘re coming back.  I don‘t know why we‘re reading—the full intellectual context will be coming in just a moment. 

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER:  Thank you. 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARGARET BRENNAN, CNBC CORRESPONDENT:  I am Margaret Brennan with your CNBC “Market Wrap.”

Stocks ended another erratic session lower on the day, ahead of tomorrow‘s start of a two-day Fed meeting on interest rates.  The Dow Jones industrial average erased a triple-digit gain and finished the day down 14 points.  The S&P 500 fell almost five.  The Nasdaq lost almost three points on the day. 

After the closing bell, software-maker Oracle reported quarterly profits rose 23 percent and earnings beat analyst estimates.  But, in after-hours trading, Oracle shares are down more than 1 percent. 

Sales of new homes fell 1.6 percent in May, the fourth drop in five months.  The median price of homes sold also fell nearly 1 percent from a year ago. 

And fans are already lining up for Apple‘s new iPhone, which comes out on Friday.  The cost was moved to $599, with service plans costing up to $100 a month.  Those plan prices were set by AT&T, which will be the only telecom carrier for the Apple iPhone.

That‘s it from CNBC, America‘s business channel—now back to

HARDBALL. 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)  

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  We‘re outside of HARDBALL Plaza with author and agent provocateur Ann Coulter. 

The book is called “Godless.” 

What‘s the rest of it, the long title?

COULTER: “The Church of Liberalism,” out in paperback today. 

MATTHEWS: “The Church of”—and it‘s out in paperback today.  And we are selling books. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  No, it‘s good.  It is good to sell books. 

Let me ask you this.  You know, we can stipulate, as Arlen Specter would say, the fact that you do refer to certain women as chubby in your book. 

COULTER:  Right.  But, if you‘re going to ask me why I do it, I want to see what you‘re referring to.

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  So, you‘re going to flash it up now, and I can see what it is.

MATTHEWS:  No.  Well, no.  I will read the whole chapter.  I have the whole chapter, if you would like. 

COULTER:  And, by the way, this is from the all-new afterward. 

MATTHEWS:  See, I know.  That‘s why I wanted to help you with this.

COULTER:  Thank you. 

MATTHEWS:  We will stipulate that you did say Monica was chubby.  But I can‘t even find that in here.  But it is somewhere in here. 

No, this is what—“Hillary Clinton was especially testy about my comments about the Jersey girls, which led to another uplifting discovery.  In addition to the consensus position that liberals are godless, apparently, we have all agreed that Bill Clinton is a rapist.  No one made a peep about that swipe I took at Hillary, proposing that she have a chat with her husband before accusing others of being mean to women, in light of Juanita Broderick‘s claim that Bill Clinton raped her.  Hillary beat a hasty retreat on her chubby little legs and hid behind Rahm Emanuel for the rest of my book tour.” 

So the context frees you up to say what?

COULTER:  So beautiful.  Could you keep reading? 

MATTHEWS:  I think it is Emersonian even, or Fitzgerald.  Why do you refer to people‘s physical characteristics to make a point?

COULTER:  For a word picture, I am supposed to say she beat a retreat on her legs and hid behind Rahm Emanuel? 

MATTHEWS:  So you deny the charge made by Elizabeth Edwards on this program just a minute ago that you engage in personal acrimony and personal shots when you should be arguing politics. 

COULTER:  I‘m not stealing doctor‘s money.  I‘m not engaging in junk science, phony routines before juries to take a third recovery.  I am not refusing to take cases of dead babies, but taking the cases of babies with Cerebral Palsy, because they plays better before a jury.  No, I do not think I need to be told to writing or by Elizabeth Edwards.  Thank you.

MATTHEWS:  OK, let‘s go to a couple things about the immigration bill, because it is the hot bill on the floor.  People tell me that the real test vote is coming Thursday when we are really going to find out if this bill passes.  Are we better off, by your likes, not having this bill? 

COULTER:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  How so, explain. 

COULTER:  Yes, because I think it is not a good idea to give amnesty to law breakers, and if that is what the policy is going to be, then I would like to get 12 million of my fellow Americans to join me in not paying taxes, because, you know, what are you going to do, round them all up? 

MATTHEWS:  What do you think we should do? 

COULTER:  What I think we should do is, for example, when we catch illegal aliens running across the border with illegal drugs, drug smuggling, I think we should arrest them and prosecute them, not prosecute the Mexican American border patrol guards who shot the guy. 

MATTHEWS:  What do we about the larger question of immigration.

COULTER:  That‘s a big answer.

MATTHEWS:  But what do we do with the illegal immigration problem?  Tonight, NBC News cameras will catch people coming across the border.  I personally believe that nothing in this bill will stop that.  I do not believe in this bill because I do not think it is going to work.  The number one goal should be to enforce the law.  And then we‘ll do all the other good things.

I would like to see an ID card for people coming in the country.  I would like these drivers licenses we get to mean you are who you say you are.  I think there‘s a lot of things we could be doing, but what is your solution? 

COULTER:  This president won‘t enforce the laws we have right now. 

MATTHEWS:  Why?  Is it business?  Is it Latino groups?  Why is he buckling in a way you don‘t usually like to see him buckle?  Why is not the leader you want? 

COULTER:  I have no idea, but I have a sneaking suspicion.  It has something to do with this bad image of the Republican party as a party that is wedded to corporate America.  We are not.  They do not support us. 

MATTHEWS:  Big business wants cheap labor.

COULTER:  This is the first time I have seen the Republican party giving in—flacking for corporations in a way that hurts America.  It is appalling.  If that is what the Republican party is, I wouldn‘t be a Republican. 

MATTHEWS:  That‘s what Pat Buchanan believes.  He believes this is not for the Latino groups.  This is for big business to get cheap labor and to legalize illegal immigration. 

COULTER:  Yes, and for the very elites in this country, it doesn‘t really—Citizenship is not as important.  For someone like me, I get my rights from being an American citizen.  To them, they are citizens of the world.  They are going to be cool in any world.  Citizenship is valuable to most Americans.  It is not to the elite. 

MATTHEWS:  So you are kind of giving a kind of—I hate to use the expression in this case, a kind of left-wing interpretation of history, which is this president is moved by economics, not by beliefs.  He is moved, as a Marxist would say, as all leaders are, by economic imperatives.  In other words, he‘s doing this for big corporations.

COULTER:  It seems to be the case.  And its the first example I have seen of it about the Republican party in my lifetime.  Generally, the Republican party is the party that stands for the little guy, the humble class, middle-class American, contrary to the stereotype.  Here, in this one instance, Bush is fulfilling the stereotype, as are—well, Democrats have a lot to answer for too.  They pretend to care for low wage workers, the poor.  Who gets hurt the most by this?  Low-wage workers. 

MATTHEWS:  I can‘t believe gambling is going on here, Rick.  Anyway, we‘ll be right back with a stunned Ann Coulter.  She is so disillusioned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK):

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back.  We‘re back with Ann Coulter.  We‘re taking e-mail questions.  Let‘s take another one.  Here‘s a question emailed to us by David Reinstein (ph) of Buffalo Grove, Illinois; Should Dick Cheney‘s office have to follow government policies with respect to classified documents? 

COULTER:  I gather that is a rhetorical question. 

MATTHEWS:  Not in his case.  He thinks not, but what do you think?

COULTER:  Should Dick Cheney have to follow government policy? 

MATTHEWS:  Right, in other words is he exempt from the executive branch?  Is he, as his lawyers contend, not a member of the executive branch? 

COULTER:  That‘s a different question.

MATTHEWS:  Well, it is his defense. 

COULTER:  Is a clever legal position or argument to make.  It is an unusual position, the vice-president, because his only job under the constitution happens when the president dies.  And when I was at Michigan law school, we had a law review article with a law professor suggesting that the president should says this is the guy who is going to take over if I die. 

MATTHEWS:  Does the constitution need to be amended to apply to reality, which is vice-president are not just presiders of the Senate.  They‘re not just presidents of the Senate, a legislative job.  They‘re not just replacements for the president under the 23rd amendment, or the fact that the president dies.  They are, in fact, in effect, a deputy president these days.  Should that be in the constitution, and written, so that the vice president would, in fact, be eligible and susceptible to the usual kind of accountability? 

(CROSS TALK)

COULTER:  No, because the one thing that I think the constitution has to keep clear is that all executive branch authority is vested in one man.  There are a lot of people who work for the president.  The vice president, does he have more executive branch authority than the attorney general? 

MATTHEWS:  But cabinet secretaries can be called down to the Hill here to testify, that is the difference. 

COULTER:  That‘s the difference.  And the vice president presides over the Senate.  That is another difference. 

MATTHEWS:  Then, as an attorney—You went to Michigan law.  You attest that he has a good case in saying that he is a legislative officer and not susceptible to executive branch accountability. 

COULTER:  He has a case.  It is not a frivolous argument.  It is a very clever argument. 

MATTHEWS:  Are you with him? 

COULTER:  I do not know.  These are serious legal arguments.  They‘re not decided on TV.  This is why they are decided in courts.  I‘m not surprised that, you know, we now have—

MATTHEWS:  -- easy question, which is not a legal question.  Should Scooter Libby be pardoned? 

COULTER:  Yes, yes, absolutely. 

MATTHEWS:  Was he guilty of perjury and obstruction?

COULTER:  I think he probably is not. 

MATTHEWS:  But he was found guilty by a jury. 

COULTER:  OK, you ask me what I thought.  I think the jury was wrong.  And the reason I think the jury was wrong is manifestly lots of people testified.  They had different recollections about who told them what, when, and that particular type of question is the sort of question that I think is very easy to confuse in your mind.  There are a million times I‘ve told people, you told me this? 

MATTHEWS:  He can‘t just ignore a jury‘s decision.  Can you?

COULTER:  I think this case has gone much further than it should have. 

I think that probably started with—I don‘t know if it was Ashcroft—

MATTHEWS:  Do think Bill Clinton should have been removed from office?  I know this came up recently, because you said you were concerned, in fact, not happy with the fact Fred Thompson voted for acquittal on the issue of perjury.  Do think a president should have been removed from office for perjury and obstruction of justice, but Scooter Libby should be pardoned?  I‘m trying to find consistency here.

COULTER:  I think it is extremely different to say I did not remember having a chubby intern under the desk giving the oral sex, then to say, I am not sure which person told me this first.  One is believable, one is not even close to believable. 

MATTHEWS:  So Monica Lewinsky is unforgettable and Tim Russert is forgettable. 

COULTER:  Who told you something first is forgettable.  Even if chubby Jewish girls aren‘t your type, I don‘t think oral sex under the desk is forgettable.   

MATTHEWS:  Here we go again with the ad hominem.  Monica, are you watching?  Anyway, we‘ll be right back with a skinny WASP.  We‘ll back.  You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Thank you.  We are out here at the United States Capital is right over there.  But it is still safe for the people here.  Let me read something from Christopher Hitchens, who‘s is going to be on this spot in two days—and I don‘t need to excite you further or excite those who you drive crazy. 

But here‘s although.  Christopher Hitches in a book called “God is not Great.”—those are not my words, “as I write these words and as you read them, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all of the hard won human attainments that I have touched upon.  Religion poisons everything.”

Ann Coulter?   

COULTER:  We are not plotting his destruction, but the creator is. 

And that makes me laugh. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, question for Ann.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Tom Coltair (ph) with Young America‘s Foundation. 

It‘s great to see you.  You look great.

COULTER:  Excellent. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, Democrat obviously, has said the war is lost.  He bragged about killing the Patriot Act.  I didn‘t hear a peep out of him when we killed Zarqawi.  Why aren‘t more Republicans calling the Democrats out on their apparent enthusiasm to lose the war? 

COULTER:  They count on me for that to call them traitors.  And I am happy to do it. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, next up.  Come on, buddy.  Move it up.  Move it up. 

Let‘s go.  Don‘t get chicken.  Take a run.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, Miss Coulter, how are you doing?

MATTHEWS:  Miss Coulter, that‘s not an ad hominem.  OK, go ahead, I‘m serious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  John Thompson, just a big Republican.  If you could send one crazy liberal celebrity to Guantanamo Bay, who would it be? 

COULTER:  Right now I am warming up to Chris Matthews as my -- 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You know, I have to tell you—let‘s go over here to the Young Americans for Freedom and the John Birch Society.  Just teasing.  You have a question, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  My name is Laura, with the Claire Booth Policy Institute.  And I want to know what you would do to reform Social Security if you had the chance? 

COULTER:  Well, OK, I will give Bush credit for that.  After attacking him on amnesty, he did try to reform it by privatizing it.  I mean, it just has to be destroyed root and branch.  You are going to be paying for it.  Your children are going to be paying for it.  Your grandchildren are going to be paying for it.  I think it probably didn‘t go through because we happen to be in the lull of the stock market. 

But it‘s a big problem, and at least Bush tried to do something about it. 

MATTHEWS:  A question from you, young lady?  Ann Coulter, you‘ve been cheering her like mad, give her a question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  -- with Heritage Foundation, and I understand that we can now say President Bush, what is up with amnesty?  But it‘s not time to start not supporting him.  He is almost done.  You cannot sit here and say I hate Bush now, but he‘s still our president right?

MATTHEWS:  You are talking about immigration, right? 

COULTER:  Well, for one thing, he is not running again.  And frankly, I think he is going to be an anvil around the neck of any Republican running with this bill.  I have really noticed that the country is coming together.  I will say something nice about him.  In addition to Social Security, he is a uniter, not a divider. 

We are all just waiting for this guy to leave. 

MATTHEWS:  How would you describe yourself, Ann Coulter, a uniter or a divider?  That‘s a rhetorical question. 

COULTER:  Thank you.   

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s get some more questions.  I want to stay out of the way here.  Jump in here. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Ann, what would you suggest we do with the illegal immigration problem? 

COULTER:  Doing nothing is better than what they are planning up on the Hill right now.  I don‘t think we should be rewarding people who break the law, and completely transforming the nation, without giving Americans a vote.  If the punishment is they live in the shadows, OK, let them live in the shadows.  That‘s better than giving them amnesty. 

MATTHEWS:  Next question. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My candidate, Barack Obama; he is a church goer.  He is reaching out to the religious part of the country.  And he wants to turn the page and he wants to be friends.  How can you call him godless? 

COULTER:  Well, he goes to kind of a crazy church where the minister praises Gadhafi and says we deserved 9/11.  So, there are churches and churches.  And he just gave this speech on evangelicals hijacking America.  I mean, it just seems to me you have to give up on abortion so the country will be united.  OK, well how about you guys give up on abortion. 

MATTHEWS:  Ann Coulter, the name of the book is “Godless.”  We have sold a lot of her books tonight.  I don‘t know if I can go to confession fast enough.  We will be right back tomorrow night with more HARDBALL.  Thank you. 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2007 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com) ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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