updated 11/6/2007 11:23:07 AM ET 2007-11-06T16:23:07

Guests: Duncan Hunter, Jessy Tolkan, Chris Cillizza, Jill Zuckman, Jennifer Donahue

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  “Power Rankings”—who‘s in the strongest position to become our next president?  Tonight at 7:00 PM Eastern, we begin the HARDBALL “Power Rankings,” saying which Democrat we think is the best bet to win the nomination.

Let‘s play HARDBALL.

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews.  Welcome to HARDBALL.  Tonight, chaos in Pakistan.  Thousands of lawyers hit the streets of Islamabad, protesting President Musharraf‘s decision to impose emergency rule and suspend the constitution.  Police tear gassed and beat the attorneys.  Opposition groups say 3,500 protesters were arrested.  Today President Bush made his first public comments about the crisis in Pakistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We expect there to be elections as soon as possible and that the president should remove his military uniform.  Previous to his decision, we‘ve made it clear that, you know, these emergency measures were—you know, would undermine democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  We‘ll talk about this dangerous situation—remember, by the way, Pakistan has nuclear weapons—with Republican presidential (SIC) Duncan Hunter.  He‘s coming here in just a moment.

Plus: What are the differences in the two political parties one year from the 2008 elections?  Are Republicans looking for a leader?  Are Democrats looking for a uniter?  We‘ll ask Tim Russert, NBC‘s Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press.”

And the politics of green make some see red.  That‘s our debate tonight on HARDBALL.  Plus: It‘s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive.  Make sure you tune into HARDBALL live tonight at 7:00 for our inaugural broadcast of the HARDBALL “Power Rankings.”

But we begin with the combustible situation in Pakistan and U.S.  Congressman Duncan Hunter, who‘s the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee and a candidate for president.  Congressman, let me ask you that when you first heard that Musharraf declared emergency rule, what did you think?

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, I—the first thing I thought about, Chris, was the fact that Pakistan has some nuclear devices.  They have developed that program.  And the stewardship of those devices in any transition is a paramount issue and concern for the United States.

But I also thought about Iran because I remembered that, you know, when the shah of Iran became weakened, there were lots of voices in the United States to push him out, but we didn‘t look over the horizon.  We didn‘t see the Khomeini coming.  And it was short-sightedness of the Americans back in the 1970s that to some degree produced a legacy of difficulties that we have Iran today, with that company walking down the—that country walking down the path to build nuclear weapons.

So let‘s be careful about this.  Let‘s support—I think we need to support Musharraf.  We need to purpose him into Democratic reforms, bring those dissidents out of prison and have elections, but let‘s not pull the rug out from under him.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s talk about a technical matter, nuclear weapons.  You know, of course, being ranking on Armed Services, that the president of the United States has the football he walks around with, the nuclear football, where he is always within a short distance, maybe 100 feet, of the ability to apply those codes to use nuclear weapons.  Is there a system in Pakistan, in Islamabad, whereby there‘s some control over those nuclear weapons, or can one of those generals over there in the military establishment launch a weapon?

HUNTER:  Here‘s what I can tell you.  Without going classified, I‘ve had—we‘ve all had conversations with our military leadership there.  Admiral Fallon just had a meeting with Mr. Musharraf.  The new chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, feels that we have a stable and secure situation with respect to the stewardship of nuclear devices in Pakistan.

But if you get—if you have a transition, a transition of government, and that means that the civilian rule in government direct, the civilian leaders in government, direct the military, there is no guarantee that you‘re going to have the same stewardship of those systems and that it‘s going to maintain stability.  So this is a problem.  And all these transitions have seams in them.  And so right now, our main concern—I think our main concern should be the military leadership that actually has stewardship and control of nuclear devices in Pakistan.

MATTHEWS:  Are you saying that we should not allow civilian rule in Pakistan?

HUNTER:  No.

MATTHEWS:  We believe in civilian rule.

HUNTER:  No, I...

MATTHEWS:  What happens if Benazir Bhutto wins the next election?  Do you think she or the military should have custody of the nuclear weapons?

HUNTER:  No, I think that we‘ve—I think that we‘ve analyzed Ms.

Bhutto.  And in fact, the return of Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan was, I

think, largely a result of American discussions with Musharraf.  And that -

and she does—she does provide a bright—a brighter future for Pakistan than a number of other leaders might, should they take the reins from Musharraf.

So no, we go along with the idea that the—that the civilian

leadership of Pakistan will have the direction and the control over the

military that maintains those weapons.  The key is who is controlling, and

what type of government are you going to have?  And that‘s why whatever

transition we have with Musharraf—and I suspect the transition is coming

we should not pull the rug out from under him...

MATTHEWS:  Right.

HUNTER:  ... we shouldn‘t do anything that would result in chaos and perhaps a destabilizing of that system that controls their nuclear devices.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s take a look at what one of your colleagues, Senator Joe Biden, said last week at the Democratic debate in Philadelphia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Sen. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We have know driven

underground every moderate in Pakistan and in Afghanistan.  This literally

literally puts Karzai, as well as Musharraf, in jeopardy.  The notion here is it plays into this whole urban legend that America‘s on a crusade against Islam.  This was bad.  If nothing else happens, not another single thing, this was bad policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Were we right to give so much of our weight to Musharraf and not to the opposition over there?  You seem to be suggesting that we‘re in a position of fluidity, that we can move our support to someone like Benazir Bhutto, if that‘s the will of the people over there.

HUNTER:  Well, that‘s true.  But you know, that was—we‘ve had discussions—and I think Secretary Rice obviously knows this much better than I, but I think that the return of Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan was something that was a result of discussions with Musharraf and with Bhutto.  So this is a person who we think is a—is a reasonable person for a transition.  But that doesn‘t mean that you have a chaotic transition.  And right now, Musharraf appears to have taken a huge step in jailing dissidents and in taking supreme court members out of their positions.  He‘s—he has gone to martial law and...

MATTHEWS:  Is that the right thing?  Did he do the right thing or the wrong thing?

HUNTER:  Well, I think he‘s overstepped.  I think he‘s gone too far, personally.  But the point is, here‘s a guy who‘s been—who‘s had a number of assassination attempts.  He‘s a guy who views his ability to push back against al Qaeda and against the Taliban.  And remember, you‘ve had a number of suicide bombings in recent weeks.

Now, I don‘t necessarily buy Musharraf‘s comparison to himself and Abraham Lincoln...

MATTHEWS:  Right.

HUNTER:  ... when Lincoln declared martial law.  But I think that we do need to approach this to a different way than we approached the shah of Iran, where we basically helped him out the door.  We didn‘t look beyond him to see who the new leader would be, and we bought an era of difficulty with Iran as a result of that.  So let‘s continue to support Musharraf, push him toward democracy.  I think the president‘s right to request that he brings about elections and releases the prisoners that he‘s accumulated over the last couple of days.  Let‘s keep stability in Pakistan.

MATTHEWS:  OK.

HUNTER:  Last thing, Chris.  We‘ve got Americans in Afghanistan working side by side with his people on the border, about 100,000 troops and Frontier Corps.  We can‘t pull the rug out from under that operation, also.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you very much, Duncan Hunter, candidate for president, U.S. congressman from California.

Coming up tonight and all this week at 7:00 PM Easter on HARDBALL, the HARDBALL “Power Rankings.”  We‘re starting that tonight.

HARDBALL‘s David Shuster‘s here with a preview.  David, tonight we‘re going to pick the number one Democratic bet.  You and I have been talking about this, trying to work it up.  It‘s not just looking at the numbers, is it.

DAVID SHUSTER, HARDBALL CORRESPONDENT:  No, Chris.  And this comes a crucial time.  We‘ve got one year until the general election, less than 60 days until the primary and caucus voting begins.

And as you know, the presidential campaign is fluid right now.  There are a lot of moving parts.  There are polls.  There‘s organization.  There‘s money.  There‘s strategy.  There are intangibles.  And what we are doing for first time is we‘re putting all of this together and saying, OK, tonight, who‘s the best Democratic chance to get the nomination?  Tomorrow night, who is the best Republican chance?  It‘s live at 7:00 o‘clock Eastern.  Whether you know a lot about politics or don‘t know anything about politics, there will be background for you and there‘ll be a discussion of what are these issues, why do we decide that this particular candidate is number one and number one now?  That starts tonight at 7:00 o‘clock.

Just like you have the Associated Press college football rankings, just like you have the “Forbes” 400, the J.D. Power and Associates listing, now you have the HARDBALL political “Power Rankings” for people to determine, starting tonight, who has the best chance to first win the nomination, and then of course, starting with the winner, who has the best chance to win the presidency.

MATTHEWS:  I‘m looking at, as you say, the intangibles—let me give more tangibility to that.  I‘m looking at—and we worked on these things together, and I hope we agree throughout the week because tomorrow night, we‘re going to pick the top—the best Republican bets.  Wednesday, we‘re going to look at who‘s the toughest competitive, second and third place, and the same with the Republican side, and at the end of the week, put it all together.

I‘m looking at who can take a loss or two, who can come back after a very difficult start, who has to win up front, who has the most pressure on them, who has the—what we call the legs to keep going in this race if they lose a few at the beginning.  That‘s primarily what I‘m looking at.

SHUSTER:  Here‘s why tonight is so interesting because we‘re taking into account everything that happened last week, the latest ads, the Democratic debate—you just played a clip there.  Hillary took shots like she hasn‘t taken before in this campaign.  How did John Edwards do?  What does it mean for Barack Obama?  We take all of that into account, as well as all the latest information, and based on that, tonight, who do we think has the best chance to get the Democratic nomination, 7:00 o‘clock Eastern tonight (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS:  The one thing I‘m concerned about is new things keep happening.  And no matter what we say about projecting who‘s going to win this, who is the best bet, we have events that occur.  Before the 2004 presidential election, we got a note—a video from bin Laden that many believe turned a couple of points at the last minute.  Things like that happen.  We have an economy right now—based upon what‘s happening at Citigroup and places like that, we don‘t know what‘s going to happen in terms of a recession.  Things will happen over the next year, which—it‘s not like a golf course, where you can look at the lay of the land and figure out which way the ball‘s going to go.  We‘re in a multi-dimensional event here that has many variables.

SHUSTER:  And part of that, Chris, is we know which candidates have the ability to withstand events that are beyond their control and which ones have sort of a tenuous grasp on their support right now.  And that‘s part of it, is which campaigns can deal with these outside events, rebound from it and have the right strategy to rebound and move in the direction they need to go.

MATTHEWS:  Thank you, David.  We‘ll be here at 7:00 o‘clock tonight with the first winner.  It‘s going to be our projected strongest Democrat to win the nomination come next summer in Denver.  Anyway, that‘s going to quite exciting for us.  We put a lot of thought into this.  And by the way, you can watch this thing and react as you will.  Some people have very strong reactions to this.  It‘s all this week at 7:00 PM on our second edition of HARDBALL each night.

Up next: One year from the election, where do things stand right now?  We‘re going to talk to NBC News Washington bureau chief and “Meet the Press” moderator and debate moderator Tim Russert.

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  We‘ve been talking about how this race for the White House is going to play out.  We‘re giving the “Power Rankings,” as we‘ve just done tonight.  We‘re going to be giving them later tonight.  We‘re also one year from this election.  So where do things stand right now?

Tim Russert‘s NBC News Washington bureau chief, and of course, moderator of “Meet the Press,” and very much, of course, moderator of all these debates.  Tim, thank you for joining us.

TIM RUSSERT, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”:  A pleasure, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s talk about—we‘ve been talking about—and we‘re going to talk about later tonight—about this—about the rankings down the road.  But right now, Hillary Clinton coming out of these debates, this debate last week—are you looking for something in the NBC poll that comes out mid-week?  Do you expect something to—I saw that Obama picked up 6 points in one of the polls, in a poll taken during the course of those days last week when we had the debate.

RUSSERT:  Yes, and there‘s other polls which indicate it‘s still very much a status quo race.  Iowa is what it‘s all about, and those are the—that‘s the place we want the see the polls.

I think if anything emerged from the debate, it was that John Edwards and Barack Obama and Chris Dodd demonstrated that they‘re willing to fight for the nomination by separating themselves on issues from Senator Clinton, who‘s the frontrunner then and the frontrunner now.  But there are differences of opinion on Iran, on Social Security, on a whole variety of issues.  And I think we‘re going to see those played out in Iowa, and as goes Iowa, I think may go the Democratic nomination.

MATTHEWS:  Are you getting a sense from the Clinton campaign where they‘re willing to hold tight and basically tough it out without taking these tough positions?  In other words, rather than take the heat for not taking a strong stand on Social Security reform, on what to do in Iran, what to do in Iraq, are they willing to just take the heat and say, Look, we‘re not going to give those answers.  Our opponents want those answers.  We‘re going to stay where we are.

RUSSERT:  Senator Clinton said she‘s comfortable with the answers that she‘s given.  She did say she could have done better on the immigration questions, for illegal immigrants‘ driver‘s licenses.  But my sense is the next debate they have is only going to be heightened in terms of people scrutinizing, saying, Where do you stand?  What do you believe?  Not only for Senator Clinton but for all of them.

MATTHEWS:  You know what it reminds me of?  Remember in biology class in high school, where you had the starfish trying to open up the clam?  These guys are trying to keep open up the clam, and she‘s going to stay clammed up.  She doesn‘t have anything (INAUDIBLE)  If you think about it, what does she gain if she says, Let‘s raise taxes for Social Security, let‘s raise the retirement age, let‘s raise whatever, let‘s reduce the benefits?  What they want her to do is show some pain (ph) to the public, and she doesn‘t want to do it.

RUSSERT:  Well, Senator Obama had said that he had—would have everything on the table for Social Security, and now he‘s limited that, as well.  So all of them can be scrutinized.  But I think, Chris, the important thing for voters who are watching this, it‘s more than just a game of primary versus the general election.  They‘re waiting for leadership.

MATTHEWS:  OK.

RUSSERT:  And if you‘re going to make tough decisions as a president, you have to answer tough questions.  What are you going to do?  Show us how you‘re going the lead us.  Everyone knows Social Security, as it‘s constructed, is not going to be in the same place it‘s going to be for the next generation, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives.

MATTHEWS:  It‘s a bad Ponzi scheme, at this point.

RUSSERT:  Yes.

RUSSERT:  And everyone knows Iraq is going to take some tough choices.  Everyone knows Iran is a complicated and difficult issue.  And I think what voters want—Show the way—show us your intellectual journey.  Show us what you‘re thinking about.  Don‘t just simply say, You know what?  I don‘t know what the situation is going to be.  That‘s hypothetical.  I can‘t answer.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about Obama‘s unique kind of campaigning.  He has foresworn pugilistic campaigning, in-your-face campaigning.  But he seems like he‘s wrestling to find a way to draw differences, tough differences between him and Hillary in a way that looks like nicer.  Is he going to be able to do it, or do you eventually have to look tough?

RUSSERT:  That‘s exactly right.  You put your finger on it.  He said the other day, I don‘t do nasty.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.

RUSSERT:  And he‘s trying to find a way that continues to maintain his dedication to, quote, “the politics of hope,” that doesn‘t make him look like a political combatant.

MATTHEWS:  A pol.  But let‘s take a look at him on “Saturday Night Live.”  This was an interesting point in the campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Nice to see you, Barack.  So you‘re dressed as yourself?

Sen. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, you know, Hillary, I have nothing to hide.  I enjoy being myself.  I‘m not going to change who I am just because it‘s Halloween.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, that‘s—that‘s great.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA:  And may I say, you make a lovely bride.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She‘s a witch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Bill!

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Please excuse my husband, Barack.  Now, were you saying something?

OBAMA:  Yes.  I just wanted to let the American people know that live from New York, it‘s Saturday night!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Well, I sense he‘s got a little bit of a rise coming out of this debate last week.  Let me ask you this.  If he goes into Iowa with this relatively velvet-glove approach to Hillary—it‘s strong in the sense he‘s making his points, but he‘s being very courteous about it—is that the kind of thing that lights up the charts in Iowa particularly?  Do they like that kind of politics?

RUSSERT:  They like nice.  We saw in 2004, Chris—you were out there when Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean went at each other hammer and tong.  And on the sidelines, John Kerry and John Edwards benefited and finished one-two.

What we may see is that John Edwards now is going to be the trial lawyer, those 30-second staccato attacks against Hillary Clinton. 

MATTHEWS:  We are going to look at one in the next segment, that one where he uses the...

(CROSSTALK)

RUSSERT:  Obama is more on the ropes, taking some jabs, saying, you know, I—I—I like you, I respect you, but—and that may suit the personalities of Iowa—Iowans even more. 

But, don‘t forget, Hillary Clinton, ahead in the national polls, was still ahead in the latest Iowa polls. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

RUSSERT:  Very close to Barack Obama, a point or two.  It is very fluid and wide open.  It‘s—it‘s kind of interesting that, here we are, less than 60 days, and we still don‘t know. 

MATTHEWS:  Have you ever figured out December in Iowa?  What happens out there?  Something happens.  It happened last time.  It happens a lot where something—let‘s talk about the Republicans for a second. 

RUSSERT:  There‘s a collective judgment that‘s made. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

RUSSERT:  And it seems to happen all at once.  People move, collectively, saying...

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

RUSSERT:  ... you know what?  We have decided that, in ‘04, Howard Dean would not be the best nominee for the party. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

RUSSERT:  We want John Kerry. 

I don‘t know what they‘re going to decide this year.  I do know it‘s fluid. 

MATTHEWS:  Can Rudy survive a bad showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, and move on and do well in South Carolina and win on the big states—in the big states? 

RUSSERT:  If Romney has a clean sweep, big win in Iowa, big win in New Hampshire, he then gets stronger, very strong, and when he goes down South.  If in fact Huckabee does well in Iowa, and that becomes the big story...

MATTHEWS:  Like a second?

RUSSERT:  Well, and a strong second, then what happens in New Hampshire?

Also, it—I think what happens on the Democratic side in Iowa is important, Chris, because, in New Hampshire, if they perceive the race is over, what do the independents do?  Do they opt to vote in the Republican primary?  And what does that mean for Rudy? 

I think it helps him, as opposed to—as opposed to Romney.  On the other hand, if the Democrats don‘t resolve their situation in Iowa, do the independents in—in New Hampshire want to play in the Democratic side? 

It‘s fluid, fluid, fluid.  No one should think that, well, I saw this national poll here, I saw this national poll, it‘s Hillary vs. Rudy, race is over. 

It may end up that way, but I wouldn‘t take it to the bank. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, I think it‘s interesting to see which of the candidates, the three-time married Italian-American Catholic, or the Mormon, who does better among Bible Belt, really religious people?  Who do they find least offensive?

Or do they go to a Huckabee or to a Thompson and say, we‘re not going to go to either one of those guys?  But one of those two guys, it seems to me, would do better than the other guy, and that guy may well get it. 

But do you think there‘s a chance of a Republican Convention where they actually go to the convention where nobody has a majority, and we see, the first time since 1952, Taft vs. Eisenhower?

RUSSERT:  You...

MATTHEWS:  I am waiting for this one. 

RUSSERT:  You have a twinkle in your eye.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I am thrilled...

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  ... because the idea of going—going to Minneapolis, to Saint Paul in September of next year, after almost a year from now, and actually having one of these old, you know, best man conventions out of the movies, where they actually have to make room—decisions in the back room, trading off the vice presidency...

(CROSSTALK)

RUSSERT:  Long shot, unlikely, but you never know. 

I mean, if—if Iowa is muddled, Romney wins New Hampshire, Thompson pulls a surprise in South Carolina, Rudy bounces back in Florida...

MATTHEWS:  You got it.  That‘s what I‘m thinking.  Chaos. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Thank you very much, Tim Russert. 

Up next:  As Barack Obama keeps up the heat on Hillary, so does Rudy Giuliani.  Here he is imitating Senator Clinton. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDOLPH GIULIANI ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Oh, gee, I can‘t figure out what to think.  Let me see.

(LAUGHTER)

GIULIANI:  Um, um, let me see.  Oh, wait, wait, wait.  First, first...

(LAUGHTER)

GIULIANI:  ... don‘t pick on me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Ridicule works.  We will tell you what else is new in politics when we come back. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”)   

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s nice to see you, Barack.  So, you‘re dressed as yourself? 

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, you know, Hillary, I have nothing to hide.  I enjoy being myself. 

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA:  I‘m not going to change who I am just because it‘s Halloween. 

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, that‘s—that‘s great. 

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA:  And may I say, you make a lovely bride?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She‘s a witch. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Bill.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Please, excuse my husband, Barack.  Now, were you saying something? 

OBAMA:  Yes.  I just wanted to let the American people know that, live from New York, it‘s Saturday night!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

That was, of course, Barack Obama himself on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.  Get the message?  Hillary is a political animal, willing to do anything to win.  That‘s his message. 

Here is Obama bamming it home in South Carolina, as he attacks Clinton-style politics. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  As we saw...

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA:  As we saw in the debate last week, it encourages vague, calculated answers to suit the politics of the moment, instead of clear, consistent principles about how you would lead America.  It teaches you that you can promise progress for everyday people, while striking a bargain with the very special interests who crowd them out. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Edwards is hitting the same point in this brilliant ad with his wonderful waltz music. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, EDWARDS CAMPAIGN AD)

RUSSERT:  Why do you have one public position and one private position?

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I stand for ending the war in Iraq, bringing our troops home. 

We‘re going to have troops remaining there, guarding our embassy.  We may have a continuing training mission, and we may have a mission against al Qaeda in Iraq. 

But, on specific issues, I have come out with very specific plans. 

With respect to Social Security, I do have a plan. 

But personally, I am not going to be advocating any specific fix until I am seriously approaching fiscal responsibility.

RUSSERT:  Do you, the New York senator, Hillary Clinton, support the New York governor‘s plan to give illegal immigrants a driver‘s license?

CLINTON:  I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do...

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  No, no, no. 

You said—you said yes...

CLINTON:  No.

DODD:  ... you thought it made sense to do it.

CLINTON:  No, I didn‘t, Chris. 

It makes a lot of sense.  What is the governor supposed to do? 

Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do?  No. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Well, that‘s the best one this year. 

Anyway, it seems to be helping one of the two contenders.  Mark on this your calendar, today, November 5, 2007.  Obama is up six points in “The Washington Post” poll that was taken in the midst of that MSNBC debate last week in Philadelphia. 

Anyway, Hillary continues to play up her gender.  It began after that Philly debate, when the Clinton campaign said that the guys were ganging up on the girl.  Now Hillary is telling a story about wanting to clean up the White House.  And a woman in the crowd who yelled, “That‘s what women are good at, cleaning up the mess.”

Hillary then said—quote—“Bring your vacuum cleaners.  Bring your brushes.  Bring your brooms.  Bring your mops.”

Rudy Giuliani loves this gender thing.  Here he is doing impressions of his own out on the campaign trail.  Here he is imitating Hillary Clinton, to the crowd‘s delight. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI:  Give me a break.  If you can‘t—if you cannot—if you think a question about driver‘s licenses is a tough question, a gotcha question, you‘re not ready for Ahmadinejad. 

Oh, gee, I can‘t figure out what to think.  Let me see.

(LAUGHTER)

GIULIANI:  Um, um, let me see.  Oh, wait, wait, wait.  First, first...

(LAUGHTER)

GIULIANI:  ... don‘t pick on me by asking that question.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

GIULIANI:  That‘s a gotcha question. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Well, up next:  It‘s green all week here on MSNBC.  And, today, thousands of protesters marched at the U.S. Capitol in support of new laws to slow down global warming.  Should Congress force industry to change?  That debate—coming up next. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATT NESTO, CNBC CORRESPONDENT:  I‘m Matt Nesto with your CNBC “Market Wrap.”

Stocks feel, as Citigroup‘s problems mounted and fears spread that the credit crunch will worsen.  The Dow Jones industrials dropped more than 51 points, S&P down seven, the Nasdaq also down about 15 points. 

Well, a day after the chairman resigned, Citigroup warned of $11 billion in additional subprime mortgage losses.  That‘s on top of $6 billion it‘s already written off.  The largest bank in the nation reported those in October. 

Now, Citigroup‘s almost pristine credit rating was also downgraded today, the stock down 5 percent to a 4.5-year low. 

Google up 2 percent, though, touching $730 a share briefly, on confirmation it is working on a software package for cell phones it is calling Android.  It announced it is working with 30 different companies, including Motorola and Samsung and T-Mobile.

And oil prices retreated, down $1.95, closing at $93.98 a barrel in New York trading. 

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

HARDBALL. 

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

Today, thousands—I think 6,000 young adults—went up to Washington here to Capitol.  There they are, going—marching on Washington, basically, on the issue of global warming.  And some students actually testified at a congressional hearing by the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, demanding more green jobs, more renewable energy, and higher fuel-economy standards.

Jessy Tolkan is executive director of this whole thing.  She made it happen.  She‘s a leader of the Energy Action Coalition.  She helped organize today‘s youth rally.  And Pat Buchanan is, of course, the voice of the past.  He‘s here to talk of what he thinks of this whole thing. 

You know, Jessy, how many kids were up there today, how many young people? 

JESSY TOLKAN, NATIONAL YOUTH SUMMIT ON CLIMATE CHANGE:  We had 6,000 people here this weekend, and thousands on the Hill. 

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

At the end of this, when the smoke clear, literally, when this thing is over and everybody is going home, what‘s going to change? 

TOLKAN:  A lot.

MATTHEWS:  Are we going to have less global warming and less climate change?  Are we going to have lower CO2 emissions, more—less greenhouse gases, or not? 

TOLKAN:  We absolutely are. 

We took 6,000 people.  We trained them.  They‘re going back to be an army of political power across this country.  And they demanded really bold things, but those bold things are possible.  We may have left D.C., but we‘re not leaving the political pressure behind that we‘re putting on these political candidates. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you believe that, a year from now—it‘s November—a year from now, before the election, we will have a federal cap, a government, signed-by-the-president cap on CO2 emissions? 

TOLKAN:  Whether or not this president will sign it is—is a question that I can‘t answer.  But whether or not I believe the Congress can pass that cap, absolutely. 

And we‘re going to provide the political pressure to make that happen.  We‘re going to make the first down payment by passing a strong energy bill in this Congress as well. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  You can put me down as a skeptic, because I‘m looking at people like John Dingell of Michigan, who defends the auto industry.  He represents them in Congress.  He will say, oh, of course you can do that, but then you have got to go to nuclear, or that‘s going to hurt the coal industry. 

And all those people have power. 

Pat Buchanan, your witness. 

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, they not only have power.

I think, Chris, they‘re paying lip service to global warming.  I don‘t think—and there‘s no doubt they all say this is one of the great crises we‘re facing.  Who do you see talking about it out there in the real election, real world on the Republican side?  Nobody. 

Everybody on the Democratic side pays lip service to it.  They are not going to do serious damage to this economy by imposing something on it for something in which, down deep, I don‘t think they really believe.  I think many of them believe...

MATTHEWS:  You don‘t believe in global warming? 

BUCHANAN:  I think there‘s global warming going on.  I don‘t think it is going to reach intolerable levels.  I don‘t think it is very high.  I don‘t know that human beings are wholly responsible. 

And, if it happens, I don‘t think it‘s going to be all that bad.  And so do a lot of people.  And that‘s the way they behave, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  They act on that knowledge. 

MATTHEWS:  Give Jessy a point. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Counter that argument, that there‘s no danger here.

TOLKAN:  With all due respect, I think you‘re living in the past. 

BUCHANAN:  Mm-hmm. 

TOLKAN:  I think you really disagree with where most of Americans and most citizens of the world are at. 

Twenty-five hundred peer-reviewed scientists agree that global warming is happening faster than we ever believed it would.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  OK.

TOLKAN:  And Republicans are talking about it...

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

TOLKAN:  ... the governor of Florida, the governor of California...

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

(CROSSTALK) 

TOLKAN:  ... and young Republicans, young Christians, young evangelicals.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  OK.  What is happening in Pat‘s lifetime, my lifetime? 

What going to go wrong in the next 25 years? 

(CROSSTALK) 

TOLKAN:  The sea level rise that we‘re going to see as a result of global warming is going to be catastrophic... 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  When is that going to be, roughly? 

(CROSSTALK)

TOLKAN:  ... coastal regions.

MATTHEWS:  Give us an...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Well, let me ask you something.

(CROSSTALK)

TOLKAN:  In my lifetime.  That‘s why I‘m here fighting. 

BUCHANAN:  Let me ask you, if people believe that, why is no one acting?  Why are China and India outside of the Kyoto protocol?  Why did Europe ignore Kyoto protocol?  Why did the Americans ignore it, and nothing happens?

Down deep, look, they—they say to you, you‘re—you‘re right, and then they‘re doing nothing, because, down deep, they don‘t believe it. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.

Why is there inaction? 

TOLKAN:  There‘s inaction because we haven‘t had the political will we need. 

And I‘m telling you that I‘m here to represent a movement of young people, like the movements of the past, that are about to change that.  Six thousand young people descending on our nation‘s Capitol, that‘s more than we have seen in generations.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Can you defeat a...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  ... tell you something.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, Jessy.

I have got to ask Jessy this question.

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

MATTHEWS:  We‘re here about what‘s going to happen.

TOLKAN:  Yes.   

MATTHEWS:  We‘re not into the B.S. theory. 

TOLKAN:  Absolutely. 

MATTHEWS:  Can you defeat a U.S. congressperson who fails to act on global warming? 

TOLKAN:  I believe we absolutely...

MATTHEWS:  Can you take somebody out of office? 

TOLKAN:  Absolutely.

MATTHEWS:  Because, until you can do that, I don‘t think you have got the clout. 

TOLKAN:  I believe we can. 

In 2004, we saw an 11 percent increase in youth voter turnout.  We saw it again in 2006.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

BUCHANAN:  Hey, listen, let me ask you this.

TOLKAN:  Voter registration at an all-time high.  

BUCHANAN:  All right.  I will—I will concede you got 6,000. 

You know, when I was in Nixon‘s White House, they got 500,000 outside the White House one month, and then 350,000 the next month.  That‘s when people wanted to get out of Vietnam.  They were serious. 

You don‘t see anybody on the campaign trail.  Everybody says, nice going, because they don‘t believe it internally.  They give Gore a lot of these little badges and awards.  They don‘t believe this stuff. 

MATTHEWS:  You mean the Nobel Peace Prize?

BUCHANAN:  Oh, for heaven‘s sake.  Who hasn‘t gotten that?

TOLKAN:  With all due respect, you‘re absolutely in the minority of Americans in this country.  And this is only the beginning.  The young people—

MATTHEWS:  Pat, you know you‘re in the minority, don‘t you?   

BUCHANAN:  When it comes to action—

MATTHEWS:  You know that Jesse speaks for more people than you. 

BUCHANAN:  Everyone will say we‘re concerned about global warming.  But Chris, look, if we knew a meteor was going to hit the Earth, we‘d all be acting. 

MATTHEWS:  Doesn‘t it bother you that we live on the East Coast here.  Doesn‘t it scare you a bit that the ocean is going to start rising around us because of global warming? 

BUCHANAN:  I think it could go up a foot, and I don‘t believe anything else.  I don‘t believe it‘s a real problem.  I go to the beach all the time.  I don‘t talk to anybody who is concerned. 

TOLKAN:  Pat is living in the past, and I‘m here to represent the future.  The future movement that is—

MATTHEWS:  When will we have the first hard evidence that even Luddites and troglodytes like him will understand?  I hate to say this; when will it be so horrible you can‘t deny it, global warming? 

TOLKAN:  It‘s so horrible you can‘t deny it right now. 

BUCHANAN:  Here you go.

(CROSS TALK)  

TOLKAN:  Wild fires, droughts. 

BUCHANAN:  Come on!

(CROSS TALK)  

MATTHEWS:  You have used class politics against everybody you know. 

Not me.  Last point; why do we have to do something on global warming? 

TOLKAN:  It‘s an essential problem.  It is my future.  Millions of people‘s lives are at risk.  This is not a matter of if.  It‘s a matter of having to do it right now, with out a doubt.  I have to say, it‘s going to be good for the American economy.  We have the opportunity to create millions of new green jobs. 

MATTHEWS:  I don‘t have Pat‘s expertise here.  Nancy Pelosi or John Dingell of Michigan; who is going to win the fight over CO2 emissions?  When you really get down to it, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, who is going to win this fight? 

TOLKAN:  Nancy Pelosi is going to win this fight.  She‘s absolutely going to.  Nancy Pelosi came to hear the young people.  She spoke to the young people on Saturday night.  She recognizes the power of the youth vote in this country.  And if you‘re a politician and you‘re not paying attention to the youth vote, you may wake up to a scary situation next November. 

MATTHEWS:  You‘re betting on Nancy to do this next year, right? 

TOLKAN:  I‘m betting on her. 

BUCHANAN:  Pay attention to the youth and get us out of Iraq?

MATTHEWS:  If it happens, you‘re back as a star here.  You‘ve got to kiss her on the forehead. 

Thank you, Jesse.  Congratulations on getting so many people involved.  You get 6,000 kids to do anything today.  It‘s fabulous.  Get them to vote too.  Anyway, thank you Jesse Tolkan and Pat Buchanan, for the past. 

Up next, Hillary Clinton fights back after taking a beating from her rivals.  The round table is coming up next.  This is HARDBALL, only on MSNBC. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I don‘t think they piled on me the other night because I‘m a woman.  I think they piled on because I‘m winning and that‘s what happens. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL and to our round table.  Jennifer Donahue of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics; Chris Cillizza of theWashingtonPost.com; and Jill Zuckman of the “Chicago Tribune.” 

Let me start with Jill.  You know, I was home this weekend in Philadelphia.  I must say, I have never seen so many nasty negative attack ads in my life, people like superior court judges running for reelection blasting their opponents as crooks.  Is this going to—is it that bad in Chicago?  Is everywhere like this in these local races? 

JILL ZUCKMAN, “THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE”:  I think everybody has learned the lesson that if you want to win, you have to tear down your opponent.  I think that‘s—

MATTHEWS:  Is that where we‘re going, Cillizza?  Are we going to more and more last night, Halloween eve, right before the election, blast them out of the saddle politics? 

CHRIS CILLIZZA, “THE WASHINGTON POST”:  Yes, I mean look, Chris.  The reality is, as much as the voters say—and they do always say this—and I can see people rolling their eyes as we talk about this, you know, us hardened Washington types—the reality of the negative or comparative—call it what you want—ads are that they work.  When you do not respond to them or you stay solely positive, you wind up losing a heck of a lot more than you wind up winning.  Look forward to the nine-month general election for president next year. 

MATTHEWS:  Jennifer, you‘re shaking your head positively.  My brother is running for re-election as county commissioner.  I‘ve got to tell you; when it hits your own family, these negative ads, it has a different impact than just looking at it from afar.  Anyway, my brother, Jim, has been taking some incoming in this department.  Jennifer, is this going to smell like that up in New Hampshire? 

JENNIFER DONAHUE, NH INSTITUTE OF POLITICS”:  Well, it is funny because what you just said is so true.  When you see it and you have a relationship with the candidate or you start to feel for a candidate, they hurt, those ads hurt.  But it does sway the public and it sways them up here, where we are seeing a lot of interesting ads, including the Edwards parsing Youtube video, which hits Clinton where she‘s most vulnerable, showing her flip-flopping, showing double talk, as he calls it.

MATTHEWS:  I can‘t resist; Jennifer, you have done it.  You have cued this one more time.  I have to tell you, this is the funniest ad.  It‘s Johann Strauss, the Blue Danube.  Here is Hillary Clinton caught in the act. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR:  Why do you have one public position and one private position? 

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes. 

CLINTON:  I stand for ending the war in Iraq, bringing our troops home. 

We‘re going to have troops remaining there, guarding our embassy.  We may have a continuing training mission, and we may have a mission against al Qaeda in Iraq. 

But on specific issues I have come out with very specific plans.  With respect to Social Security, I do have plan. 

But personally, I am not going to be advocating any specific fix until I am seriously approaching fiscal responsibility. 

RUSSERT:  Do you, the New York senator, Hillary Clinton, support the New York governor‘s plan to give illegal immigrants a driver‘s license? 

CLINTON:  I did not say that it should be done.  But I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it. 

SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  No, no, no, you said yes, you thought it made sense to do it. 

CLINTON:  No, I didn‘t, Chris.  It makes a lot of sense.  What is the governor supposed to do?  Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do?  No. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Well, that certainly is hitting all the zones, isn‘t it?  I thought the person who put that together, went to every possible area where she double talked—or whatever you want to say she did—offered two different perspective in the matter of one debate.  As someone pointed out, she is wearing the same clothes in each one.  So it was clearly the same night. 

ZUCKMAN:  And the Edwards campaign, of course, didn‘t have to pay any television station to run that as an advertisement.  They have just put it together, put it on the web.  And here we are watching it over and over again. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask Jennifer, is that a negative or a fun ad? 

Depending on who looks at it, I suppose. 

DONAHUE:  I think it‘s hilarious and I think it‘s actually that middle road that doesn‘t really turn people off, but actually points out her vulnerabilities with humor.  It is hitting her where it hurts her the most, because Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton—if there‘s one thing that she‘s going to be vulnerable on, it‘s parsing; it‘s dishonesty; it‘s double talk. 

He is taking the gloves off and it‘s helping Obama too. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, Chris, about this whole question.  Right now, as you look at the results of last week‘s debate that MSNBC hosted, Tim and Brian moderated—let me ask you about that.  Is there a bit—I have noticed a pick up in the “Washington Post” paper, your paper, 6 points, from 20 to 26 for Obama.  Put it together with his “Saturday Night Live” participation; is he on a little bit of an incline now?  Is he starting to move up to catch her? 

CILLIZZA:  You know, Chris, I don‘t know, because I don‘t want to base it—as good as I know our poll and our pollsters are, I don‘t want to base it on one survey.  I think you have to look at it over a longer period of time.  The reality of this race is the Clinton campaign would like you to believe they expected it close.  Obama and Edwards will argue it‘s always been close, that people have looked at these national polls and said, oh, she‘s up 20; she‘s up 30.  But the truth of the matter—and this is borne out in the polling—is that in Iowa, which I think is going to matter more this time, with the compression in the calendar, than it has in the past, it‘s always been a three-way race between Clinton, Obama and Edwards. 

And I still think that if someone not named Clinton wins in Iowa, we‘re seeing a whole different race after January 3rd.  If Clinton wins in Iowa, the race is probably over.  But if not, I think this whole race drastically changes.

MATTHEWS:  Let me come back on that very point, go back to Jennifer when we get a chance to come back to that, because my question is; if Obama pulls a victory, a substantial victory in Iowa, which is possible right now, based on how close it is and the fact he might be moving and people have already decided they like Hillary or not, he seems to be the one with a little speed right now—if he beats her convincingly by ten points, can he win the New Hampshire primary and then go on to greatness? 

We‘ll be right back.  I‘m going to start with Jennifer when we come back, who is up in New Hampshire.  You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Back with the round table.  Jennifer, that‘s the question; if Barack Obama does manage to pull an upset in Iowa and win a substantial victory there, can he win in New Hampshire, a state that the Clintons have always owned? 

DONAHUE:  He can most definitely win in New Hampshire.  We have the story line going a year ago.  He was ahead of Hillary Clinton in the polls.  He raised more money than Hillary Clinton.  Remember he raised 31 million dollars to her 28 in quarter one.  Look, he‘s got grass roots.  He turns out thousands and thousands of people. 

He dropped, she took advantage and gained.  His base is still there.  He does very well in head to heads against Republicans.  Make no mistake about it, Hillary Clinton is a candidate of convenience for the Democrats.  If she looks weak, they will flee to whoever they think can beat a Republican. 

ZUCKMAN:  I think the only way that Obama can win New Hampshire is if he wins Iowa decisively, because a lot of people in New Hampshire have looked at him and decided, maybe not ready, and they‘re looking away. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, Chris, it could be that we‘re all wrong.  I‘ve been saying for months now he‘s got to get tough with Hillary.  Maybe he‘s found a velvet glove way of distinguishing himself from her in a way that looks prettier than I would have suggested.  And he is right in peaking later, rather than peaking this summer.  I was hoping that—actually, I thought we‘d have race by last May.  Hillary ran away with it.  We didn‘t have a race, she was so far ahead. 

Will we have race in December? 

CILLIZZA:  Chris, two points; first of all, in New Hampshire specifically, don‘t forget independents make up a huge amount of that vote and they can vote in either primary.  That‘s what led to John McCain wallop George Bush in 2000.  Does Obama‘s message resonate with those people, number one?

Number two, I actually think that John Edwards is doing Barack Obama a big favor.  John Edwards—I thought this for a while—is better articulating I think the anti-Clinton message than Barack Obama is.  But because of the financial, the organizational advantages that Obama and Clinton have, it may wind up accruing to Obama‘s benefit anyway, is that Edwards is taking all these shots at her, scoring all these punches.  But in the end it weakens her so that Obama can beat her, not Edwards.  It‘s an interesting sort of three way dynamic.

MATTHEWS:  So he will be what Dick Gephardt was last time?  Edwards will play Gephardt this time.  Obama will be Kerry. 

CILLIZZA:  But who is Dean?

MATTHEWS:  Dean is Hillary.

ZUCKMAN:  The other problem is, it could backfire on both Obama and Edwards. 

MATTHEWS:  You think so?

ZUCKMAN:  I do think so. 

MATTHEWS:  You know what stopped me last time—you Jill first, then Jennifer, then Chris, the two women first.  I was stunned by the amount of negativity toward Hillary last week.  When she got hit or tagged a few times last week with indecisiveness, especially on the driver‘s license thing, I was stunned by how many people came out and hurt her.  They went out and really said she blew it.  I thought she did not great, but she wasn‘t a fool out there.  People treat her like she had this big stumble.  That tells me there‘s a lot of antagonism towards her that I didn‘t know about. 

ZUCKMAN:  I think that‘s a very inside the beltway, media elite kind of view.  I just spent a week in New Hampshire.  I heard so many voters talking about the Red Sox victory.  They weren‘t even watching that debate. 

MATTHEWS:  You don‘t think there was a lot of negativity towards her?

ZUCKMAN:  There was absolutely negativity towards her.  But I‘m saying, I‘m not sure that it is dropping down to the average voter. 

MATTHEWS:  What do you think, Jennifer, was there a negative response to Hillary‘s claiming, I‘m a girl; they were the guys coming after me. 

DONAHUE:  I think there was a negative response to that.  I think it‘s going to have a tail for her.  Obama has managed to let Edwards be his ringer, and not go negative.  He only goes so far as to call her disingenuous in “Newsweek.”  And he‘s slowly but surely creating the case that Iran is like Iraq, that she‘s weak on foreign policy, her main credential against her rivals.  So I think that Obama is actually positioned to retake his initial lead. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you very much.  It‘s always great to have you on, Jennifer Donahue from New Hampshire, Chris Cillizza from the “Washington Post,” and Jill Zuckman from that Chicago newspaper.  Coming up in one hour at 7:00 Eastern for a live edition of HARDBALL and the HARDBALL power rankings tonight.  Right now it‘s time for “TUCKER.”

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

END   

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