Guests: Joe Sestak, Jim Matthews, Ed Rendell, Bob Brady, Marjorie
Margolies-Mezvinsky, Susan Page
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: From Temple University in Philadelphia, let‘s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I‘m Christ Matthews at Temple University in the great city of Philadelphia.
Leading off tonight: Once again, it‘s the Keystone state. The Senate race here in Pennsylvania is one of the tightest in the country and most important. The Democratic candidate, the former Navy admiral Joe Sestak, has caught the Republican candidate, the Club for Growth Republican Pat Toomey, in the latest polls. We‘ve got Joe Sestak here and ready to go.
Plus, is it really that hard for a Republican candidate to name a single senator that she‘d work with across the aisle? Well, for Republican Christine O‘Donnell, it was. We‘ll get to that in our look at the race for the Senate.
And President Obama and former president Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail to excite the Democratic base. Can they keep Congress in Democratic hands? That‘s ahead.
Here we are, by the way, bringing a national television show to Temple University in north Philadelphia—
C. MATTHEWS: -- to meet the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate right here in Pennsylvania, Congressman Joe Sestak.
Congressman Sestak, sometimes an opponent sticks his chin and all you have to do the punch it. Here‘s Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth proving how much he believes in the private market and doesn‘t believe in government action. Here he is on “MORNING JOE” with “The New York Times‘s” Kurt Anderson (ph) saying that he would do nothing to save the steel industry of Pennsylvania. Let‘s listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURT ANDERSON, “NEW YORK TIMES”: So it was right for the steel industry in Pennsylvania to go away. We let it happen.
REP. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA), SENATE CANDIDATE: The steel industry had a
lot of problems, some of which were self-inflicted, some of which came from
from, you know, excessively generous labor contracts. I mean, there was a rationalization (ph) that had to occur. Now, it‘s painful when that happens, but if we try to prop up failing business models, we end up losing prosperity because you misallocate capital to areas that—where it shouldn‘t be spent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
C. MATTHEWS: So steel in Pennsylvania is a bad business model. We shouldn‘t be making steel. Your witness. Pat Toomey.
REP. JOE SESTAK (D-PA), SENATE CANDIDATE: It‘s interesting. In 1999, he didn‘t mind bailing out the Long—I think it was called Long Term Investment Corporation that was going under on Wall Street, from which he came. My gosh, manufacturing prowess is what made Pennsylvania and this country great. And yet Congressman Toomey has actually said that buying American is an unfortunate tendency.
C. MATTHEWS: Yes.
SESTAK: You open up his book, man, that‘s pretty scary. You know, remember when he was a lobbyist for Club for Growth?
C. MATTHEWS: Remind me!
SESTAK: Probably should be called Club for Shrinking because he actually tried to kick out of the Republican Party—
C. MATTHEWS: OK.
SESTAK: At that time, if I—you know, he actually circulated a petition, a petition for senators to sign up to oppose tariffs against Chinese illegally dumping cheap goods into America. Whose side are we on?
C. MATTHEWS: Well, I just want to know this—I grew up in north Philly, up along Huntington Park—
C. MATTHEWS: -- Hunting (ph) Park. We call it Huntington Park. It‘s says Hunniger (ph) Park on the signs. There used to be jobs. My grandpa was the Democratic committeeman. He used to get on the subway, walk—take two stops on the subway and have a factory job and come home with a good income. There are no manufacturing jobs around north Philly anymore. You have to have a service job or go into crime or something like that.
When are you going to bring back real manufacturing industry jobs to Philadelphia? How do you do it?
C. MATTHEWS: That‘s my question.
SESTAK: You‘re just—my grandfather—Lukens (ph) Steel, just up the road in Coatesville (ph), half empty right now. Look, we have to stop those corporation tax cuts that Congressman Toomey voted for. You know a company today—it can close town a factory in America right here in Philadelphia, if there were one left, and then it can fire its employees, go to China, actually invest in a Chinese factory, have cheap labor, sell it back here to America. And you know what? Their profits in that factory aren‘t even taxed.
C. MATTHEWS: OK. OK—
C. MATTHEWS: You‘re an activist Democrat against a laissez-faire Republican. Let‘s listen to your opponent. Then you react to it. Here he is. We couldn‘t get him here today. We invited him. Anytime you want to come, Pat Toomey, come here. You can‘t come to Temple, though. You missed your chance.
Here‘s George Stephanopoulos asking Toomey about Palin—that‘s Governor Palin, former governor Palin‘s—by the way, she‘s endorsed Toomey. You worried? Here she is. Let‘s listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”: What do you make of her role in this campaign? And do you think she‘s qualified to be president?
TOOMEY: Well, George, you know, I‘m very grateful for the support that I have from people all across the political spectrum—Republicans, independents, Democrats. I welcome the endorsements that I‘ve had from high-profile candidates and political figures and ordinary folks that I meet every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
C. MATTHEWS: What a BS answer! What kind of an answer was that?
C. MATTHEWS: I mean, he said, Do you think she‘s—George asked him a good question. Do you think she‘s qualified to be president, Sarah Palin? I‘m going to ask you the same question. Is Sarah Palin qualified to be president of the United States?
C. MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you.
SESTAK: And notice he didn‘t even mention her name. And remember that he once called her a spectacular governor, and she‘s funded his campaign, and won‘t even mention her name. Pretty extreme. I know she is, but so is Congressman Toomey.
C. MATTHEWS: Well, it looked like he‘s running away from her like a rabbit. Let‘s take a look here at Matt Lauer asking Toomey about the Tea Party this morning, another big question to your opponent. We couldn‘t get him here. I‘ve to use surrogates. Here he is answering.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, “TODAY”: You have a good deal of backing from the Tea Party. Dick Armey, who‘s one of the organizers of that party, has told the story. He says that when George W. Bush backed Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican, over you, back in 2004, you being a fiscal conservative, that the Tea Party was born. Are you happy with that description?
TOOMEY: Well, I think, you know, Dick Armey is entitled to his opinion about that. Here‘s the—here‘s what‘s really going on, right? The Tea Party movement is a group of ordinary Americans who are very worried about this country‘s future. They see too much growth in government, too much spending, a staggering amount of debt and they‘re worried about the future of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
C. MATTHEWS: Well, you‘re running against a guy who says, “Well” every time you ask him a question, “well”!
SESTAK: Yes. You know, I‘m really most—here‘s what I‘m most concerned about. It‘s those extreme candidates like Christine O‘Donnell in Delaware, Congressman Toomey—
C. MATTHEWS: What do you think of O‘Donnell?
SESTAK: -- that represent them—
C. MATTHEWS: Should she be in the Senate?
SESTAK: No. Absolutely not. How could someone—
C. MATTHEWS: Do you think she‘s a witch?
SESTAK: -- who wants to do away with the 14th amendment—
C. MATTHEWS: Is she still a witch or just once a witch?
SESTAK: Look, here‘s what I say. Congressman Toomey—
C. MATTHEWS: Here she is. Here‘s Christine O‘Donnell last night, in last night‘s debate. Let‘s listen to her. She‘s from Delaware, right nearby here. I‘m sorry, this is—well, let‘s talk about this one. Here‘s you bringing up Christine O‘Donnell last night. Let‘s listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESTAK: There are those that are running with Congressman Toomey, Ms. O‘Donnell next door, for example, that want to do away with the 14th Amendment, that actually thinks there can be a state-established religion. Palin, Toomey, O‘Donnell—they all would like to overturn Roe versus Wade. I don‘t think our law enforcement officers should have to go up against what we in the military had to, as the Army and the Marine Corps did in Iraq. I think those views with O‘Donnell and others are too extreme for (INAUDIBLE) Pennsylvania.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
C. MATTHEWS: What did you mean by, Our law enforcement officials shouldn‘t have to go up against what we‘re facing in Iraq?
SESTAK: Well, Congressman Toomey once said that his idea of gun control is a steady aim. And he‘s opposed to an assault weapons ban for military weapons.
C. MATTHEWS: I see.
SESTAK: My gosh, when we did away with those weapons, 20 percent less law enforcement officers were murdered by them. But here‘s the zaniest idea of all. Congressman Toomey actually wants to do away with all taxes on corporations. Zero. None for AIG, none for PP (ph) or anything. And that is really where we have (INAUDIBLE)
C. MATTHEWS: This new Republican Party—I grew up with a moderate
Republican Party, people like Hugh Scott and Bill Scranton and Rockefeller
C. MATTHEWS: -- Javitts. Look at these people. They want to get rid of—the 1st Amendment she doesn‘t recognize. She doesn‘t know there‘s no establishment clause.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
C. MATTHEWS: Well, that‘s true!
SESTAK: We recognize him!
C. MATTHEWS: They want to change the 14th Amendment. They want to change the 16th amendment. They want to get rid of the 17th amendment.
C. MATTHEWS: They love the Constitution, except any particular provision in it. What are they up to in the Republican Party?
SESTAK: I don‘t know. And I—
C. MATTHEWS: Are they going far right?
SESTAK: They are going outside the Republican Party we once knew. And that‘s why Dick Armey called Congressman Toomey the “father.” Again, when he was head of Club for Growth, as “The Philadelphia Inquirer,” right here in this city, said, his number one job was to purge, kick out of the Republican Party any moderates. If you can‘t work with someone in your own party because you‘re so extreme, how are you ever going to work with the rest of us? And if the Senate needs anybody, it‘s how to get down there and work together to solve our problems.
C. MATTHEWS: Let‘s talk about you.
C. MATTHEWS: All right? You ready?
C. MATTHEWS: OK, Joe Sestak wasn‘t supposed to beat Arlen Specter. You beat him. Specter was unbeatable. Everybody told me that. You can‘t beat Arlen Specter. You can‘t beat him in the primary. You can‘t beat him in the general. He‘s been around for 100 years. Nobody beats Arlen Specter. You beat him.
You‘re now coming on against Toomey in the worst year for Democrats in
what, forever. You‘re running even with a Republican in a big state. What
how do you run? You‘re not an establishment guy. You‘re not part of the regular Democratic organization. You‘re not especially popular among these guys. You‘re on your own.
C. MATTHEWS: You‘re laughing, and you know it‘s true. You‘re a loner politically. How can a loner win in this kind of environment if he‘s a Democrat?
SESTAK: By exactly running as I have. That young man right there said it all. Joe, was the first guy—you were the first guy I ever voted for, right there.
SESTAK: Why—in the military—in the military, you go on aircraft carrier, you know what their average age is, those 5,000 sailors, Chris? Nineteen-and-a-half. They want to believe that somebody‘s in it not to be a politician but to be a public servant. And that‘s the man—and that Pennsylvanian I want to serve. And they want someone to be independent, standing up to the party, or definitely—willing to work with the other side, but making sure that by leadership, you can change that darn Senate that‘s just not working.
C. MATTHEWS: OK, let me ask you about what kind of Democrat you are. Back years ago, the great governor, Casey, of this state got elected by what, a million votes last time he ran. Casey said that Pennsylvania‘s a tough state.
C. MATTHEWS: It‘s not a Jane Fonda state, it‘s a John Wayne state.
You got it?
SESTAK: I understand well.
C. MATTHEWS: It‘s a tough state. What kind of a Democrat are you, a Jane Fonda Democrat or a John Wayne Democrat, if there‘s such a thing as a John Wayne Democrat?
SESTAK: Well, you know, Bob Casey, Jr.—
C. MATTHEWS: Yes.
SESTAK: I went to see him right afterwards, and he said, Joe, you‘re the only guy who‘s ever run statewide from the southeast that won in the T and won across all the state. Why? They respect veterans, but they also respect what we stand for. We swept all that state. And you know where I did best? Allegheny County.
C. MATTHEWS: Yes, Pittsburgh.
SESTAK: Yes, Slovaks—Sestak. No, more than that. They actually do respect hard work and—
C. MATTHEWS: What kind of name is Sestak?
SESTAK: -- perseverance—Slovak. My father was an immigrant. Best man I ever met.
C. MATTHEWS: How many Slovaks we got here?
C. MATTHEWS: I doubt it! Anyway, thank you. Good luck in the race.
SESTAK: Thanks for being here.
C. MATTHEWS: You got a lot of cojones.
SESTAK: And thanks—
C. MATTHEWS: -- Spanish here?
C. MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you. We‘re coming back (INAUDIBLE) Pennsylvania. We‘ve got some big news in some other big (INAUDIBLE) around the country (INAUDIBLE) new poll numbers in the HARDBALL “Scoreboard.” That‘s all ahead here.
You‘re watching the HARDBALL college tour from Temple University in Philadelphia, only on MSNBC.
C. MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) HARDBALL, the college tour. Time for the HARDBALL “Scoreboard.” Let‘s check the latest polls in the tight races around the country. Let‘s start with Kentucky, where Republican Rand Paul‘s lead over Jack Conway—it‘s getting smaller. Conway‘s within 5 points now in the new Mason-Dixon poll.
Up in Connecticut, it‘s Democrat Dick Blumenthal out with a big lead over pro wrestling executive Linda McMahon. Look at this number, 57 to 39 for Blumenthal. Out in California—I love these races—Senator Barbara Boxer has a 5-point lead over Carly Fiorina in the new Public Policy Institute poll out of California. The same poll has Jerry Brown pulling out a big lead in that governor‘s race. He‘s up by 8 points over Meg Whitman, even though she spent 140 million bucks in that race.
We‘ll continue to check the HARDBALL “Scoreboard” on all the big races each night leading up to November 2nd.
Right now, let‘s take a look at some of the hot races around the country with our experts, NBC News political director and White House correspondent Chuck Todd and MSNBC‘s political analyst, Chris Cillizza, who‘s with “The Washington Post.”
Chuck, let me ask you about Pennsylvania. We just had Sestak here. We‘re trying to get Toomey at some point on the show. What‘s that race look like? I am so impressed that Sestak is in this race in a very tough year.
CHUCK TODD, NBC POLITICAL DIR./WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, first of all, it‘s a couple of reminders. Number one, Pennsylvania is still a state that wants—that is in the Democratic column that it takes a way for a Republican to win. And I think we‘re seeing that this year. That‘s why some of the closing, number one. That doesn‘t mean Toomey‘s still not the slight favorite here, but there‘s clearly some closing.
The second is, Pennsylvania—and you know this better than anybody, Chris—it really is sort of—it‘s got a ton of the constituencies that when you‘re the Democrats, you can—you can micro-target, whether it‘s union members, African-Americans, older senior women, for instance. And so a lot of that money—it‘s just a well organized state inside within the Democratic coalition, and a lot of those efforts are starting to pay dividends.
C. MATTHEWS: Let‘s take a look now at Christine O‘Donnell‘s latest gaffe, if you will. She‘s amazing. Here she was in a debate last night. Let‘s listen to Christine O‘Donnell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED : Give me a name, Christine, of someone in the U.S.
Senate across the aisle that you‘re comfortable working with.
CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL (R-DE), SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, she‘s not a senator anymore, but I would definitely have to say Hillary Clinton. I use her name a lot on the campaign.
CHRIS COONS (D-DE), SENATE CANDIDATE: One of the real risks as we forward is that if we elect someone who literally cannot name a single currently serving senator in my party with whom she would work, we‘re advancing someone who really has—
O‘DONNELL: Senator Lieberman.
COONS: -- no experience—
O‘DONNELL: I mean, there‘s—
COONS: -- someone who has no experience in crossing the bipartisan divide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
C. MATTHEWS: Well, O‘Donnell‘s also saying now that her witch ad was a mistake. Big surprise there. She said she never intended to run it. Well, she did run it. What does it mean, she never intended to run it? She did. I don‘t know what that means, never intended, and you did. It means nothing to me, Chris Cillizza. What does it mean to say you didn‘t intend to run an ad but you did? Did it run by accident?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, WASHINGTON POST,” MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Chris, can I first say, “Go Owls.” Mark Macon (ph) was a hero of mine when I was growing up, in college basketball.
Second of all, quickly switching to Delaware—cheap applause line! Quickly switching to Delaware, Look, I think that Christine O‘Donnell—look, this just gets curiouser and curiouser and curiouser by the day. The fact that she couldn‘t name a Democratic senator is only, in my mind, topped by the fact that she went with Hillary Clinton as someone that she could work across the aisle with, not exactly, you know, for most Republicans, the image of a bipartisan senator. Then she chose Joe Lieberman.
But you know, we talk about this race—she is a compelling and interesting and charismatic in her own way figure. That said, she is someone who is—has roughly the equivalent, if you believe polling, as Joe DioGuardi in New York of beating Kirsten Gillibrand and a guy named Jim Huffman (ph), who‘s a Republican, against Senator Ron Wyden in Oregon.
She is not going to win this race. You know, whether she made any inane comments or not, she‘s not going to win the race.
C. MATTHEWS: Well, you know, Chuck, I think, and Chris, she‘s making an impact here in Pennsylvania. You know, Delaware‘s almost a suburb of Philly, basically. It‘s in the media market. It‘s one of the largest—
C. MATTHEWS: -- media markets, as you know, Channel 10 here especially, and Dennis Bianci‘s (ph) here today representing them. You know, she‘s part of the region here. And everybody knows about Christine O‘Donnell and how wacky some of the things she‘s said have been. That‘s hurting, I think, Toomey. He‘s in the same crowd with her, and every time you hear her say something wacky, I think it hurts the Republican Party in this area. That‘s what I think.
TODD: Well, I think—
C. MATTHEWS: Your thoughts.
TODD: That‘s what—that‘s what Democrats are trying to do. I mean, I think they do believe that the focus on Angle and—you‘ve localized it there with O‘Donnell and Toomey—that somehow, this will—this will help them make their case against Republicans nationally. But what I just don‘t—to me, the biggest head-scratcher on Christine O‘Donnell with that answer—Tom Carper‘s the answer!
TODD: Tom Carper!
TODD: -- Democratic senator in Delaware. You know, I mean—
C. MATTHEWS: Did she know who he is?
TODD: That‘s—that, to me—right—what if she didn‘t know who he was?
CILLIZZA: You know, Chris, just really quickly—
CILLIZZA: Chris, can I—just very quickly, I think your point on the cross-pollination of the media market is important.
I don‘t think it changes a race. Toomey or Sestak doesn‘t win because of it. But to the extent Christine O‘Donnell has an impact, look, she‘s going to cost Republicans a seat they were going to win.
TODD: That‘s right.
CILLIZZA: If Mike Castle is the nominee, they win that seat. It‘s going to cost that seat.
The question is, does it—at the margins—this is going to be a close race in Pennsylvania. Does it allow Democrats to cast Toomey as out of step, as extreme, in a way that I don‘t it works in let‘s say Nevada, Colorado? They don‘t probably know who Christine O‘Donnell is. They‘re not seeing Christine O‘Donnell ads.
C. MATTHEWS: Yes, I think it‘s working up here. Everybody knows about the witch ad. Everybody knows that she‘s been accused of being a witch, that she‘s foregone all that.
And now she‘s saying, I didn‘t want to run the ad. Well, why did you run it? You have got to wonder about the normalness of some people.
Out in Nevada, Harry Reid seems to have a hard time beating Angle out there. He‘s trying to tie Angle to O‘Donnell out there on the issue of separation of church and state, because O‘Donnell didn‘t recognize the establishment clause in the First Amendment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Sharron Angle said something worse two months ago. She said—get this—there‘s no such thing in the separation of—there‘s no such thing in the Constitution as separation of church and state.
Try the First Amendment.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
REID: If my opponent wants to run as a constitutional expert, she should at least know what‘s in it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
C. MATTHEWS: OK. This is argumentative.
Chris, you first.
C. MATTHEWS: It is argumentative.
But the conservatives are saying that they‘re the constitutionalists. They‘re the ones who believe in original intent as written, the Constitution. And yet all they want to do is get rid of it. They want to get rid of the amendment that allows direct election of senators. They want to change the 14th Amendment. They don‘t recognize the First Amendment. They want to get rid of the one on income tax, the 17th.
It seems like they‘re going through the list of amendments, original parts of the Constitution and later parts, and saying, I would like to change that. But what does it mean to say you‘re a constitutional conservative if all you want to do is change the Constitution, except for the Second Amendment? They‘re sticking with that one.
TODD: And 10.
CILLIZZA: Right, and 10. Ten‘s very important. Ask Rick Perry.
C. MATTHEWS: They like 10.
CILLIZZA: Look, Chris, I think Angle, O‘Donnell, when you talk about the Constitution, you‘re going to get questions about the Constitution. You‘re going to get questions about what‘s in it and what‘s not.
And I think some Republicans say, this is just gotcha. If you picked the random person on the street, they wouldn‘t know this. But these are people who are putting it at the center of their campaigns. And so there is I think an expectation they‘re going to know things.
One other really quick thing, I don‘t think Sharron Angle wins or loses this race based on the separation of church and state. I think she wins or loses this race based on people want to fire Harry Reid. Is she broadly and just enough acceptable? And I think that‘s kind of this intangible debate we‘re having, not about what is in the Constitution and what is not.
C. MATTHEWS: What do you make of the fact they‘re nailing Harry Reid for living at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, when Carly Fiorina and her husband have a room at the same building? Does that cause some consternation about hypocrisy or what, Chuck?
TODD: Well, look, Carly Fiorina is not running in Nevada.
And the thing that that ad does, it reminded me—remember John Thune‘s final ad basically against Tom Daschle? Tom Daschle, there was this piece of C-SPAN video. Tom Daschle was being questioned about whether he could appeal to African-American voters in a Democratic primary for president. And during the answer, Daschle says, well, I‘m a D.C. resident, basically saying, look, I lived in—just because there aren‘t any African-Americans in South Dakota doesn‘t mean I don‘t understand the politics of the African-American community.
Well, they just took that I‘m a D.C. resident, and it was able to, at the end of that race, sort of hammer home that, guess what, he lost touch with South Dakota.
That‘s what this Ritz-Carlton ad could do for Republicans, is that it cements the narrative that the Republicans have been trying to make is that Harry Reid‘s not the guy from Searchlight, Nevada, anymore. He may like to say it. Do you realize he lives in the Ritz-Carlton?
And I can tell you this, Chris. I remember, when he moved into the Ritz-Carlton, it was a little bit of a story out in Nevada. And I remember a lot of Democrats privately grumbling, well, that‘s stupid. Why did he do that? Why didn‘t he just go find some generic brownstone to live in?
CILLIZZA: Chris, can I just—I just want to second Chuck and go back to that 2004 race to add onto Chuck‘s point.
John Thune ran an ad showing Tom Daschle‘s house and saying, this house cost $1.9 million, and it‘s in Washington, D.C. So, this is something that is—John Raese, the West Virginia businessman, Democrats are running ads saying he‘s got this 700,000-square-foot house.
This—it‘s not by accident. This works. That attack has a tendency to work. I don‘t know if it will work in Nevada, but it can work.
C. MATTHEWS: I know what it‘s about. It‘s about getting too big for your britches.
Thank you very much, Chuck Todd.
Thank you, Chris Cillizza, for the expertise.
Up next: What are the big issues facing voters right now?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: We‘re going to talk to two local guys—
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: -- county commissioner in the suburbs here and radio talk show host Michael Smerconish. They‘re both local.
You‘re watching HARDBALL, the “College Tour” from Temple University in Philly, only on MSNBC.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL, the “College Tour,” from Temple University in Philadelphia.
I‘m joined right now by my brother Jim, who is Montgomery County
commissioner, a big Republican out here, and the syndicated radio talk show
Michael Smerconish, who is an MSNBC political analyst.
You know, Jim, before you were born, we lived up the street here, you know.
JIM MATTHEWS, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, COMMISSIONER: Right up
there, I know.
C. MATTHEWS: Right up on North Broad here.
C. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Michael Smerconish, what do you think about a candidate like this guy out in Illinois, this guy Mark Kirk? They‘re running my ad. They‘re putting me in one of their ads, even though I‘m just quoting from “The Chicago Tribune.”
I say, “According to ‘The Chicago Tribune.‘” They cut that part out. Then they use my face and my voice to say that I‘m trashing their candidate.
Do you think that‘s fair? Our lawyers hate this.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: -- your credits. How many movies have you be in now?
SMERCONISH: You can add this to all your—
C. MATTHEWS: -- dodging this. You think it‘s all right for a candidate to use a broadcaster, like yourself, in an ad, even though you didn‘t take a position on the candidacy?
SMERCONISH: If they do it accurately and truthfully, I think it‘s fine.
C. MATTHEWS: That‘s not the case here.
SMERCONISH: OK. Then it‘s improper. But what‘s the difference if they take something out of your program like they use editorials at this time of year?
C. MATTHEWS: Fine. What I don‘t like is when they take something out that you didn‘t say, like, I said, “According to ‘The Chicago Tribune.‘” They took that out.
SMERCONISH: Yes. Welcome to politics.
C. MATTHEWS: Take your fight to “The Chicago Tribune,” buddy. That‘s my thought.
C. MATTHEWS: What do you think of this, Jim?
J. MATTHEWS: Don‘t read the blogs, Chris.
C. MATTHEWS: Just the ads.
No, my brother Jim here represents a big part of this state out in the western part—the eastern part of the state, the more well-off part of the—would you say the more well-off, tax-sensitive part of this area?
What are the issues that affect the voter in your county?
J. MATTHEWS: Well, the big issue of course is the national race. And that is the national circumstance right now, the fear.
C. MATTHEWS: Fear?
J. MATTHEWS: Well, the anger and confusion, as it‘s been put by the White House. There‘s a lot of anger. There‘s not a lot of confusion.
C. MATTHEWS: What is the fear that voters have, Republican voters like yourself?
J. MATTHEWS: A lot of it is, I think—I was looking at the students out here right now, a lot of them going to work next year, and they will, because they went to Temple.
When they get jobs and they get out there and they open that paycheck every two weeks, they have to understand that, every two weeks, when they‘re getting their pay, the Chinese are getting a billion dollars in interest on just their share of what we‘re borrowing from them right now.
C. MATTHEWS: Right.
J. MATTHEWS: We‘re heading to $13 billion, Chris. There‘s got to be a stop.
C. MATTHEWS: Yes. The only problem is that this administration came into office facing that hell.
SMERCONISH: Angst. In a word, I think it‘s angst.
I hear it from callers every single day.
C. MATTHEWS: Voters are worried.
SMERCONISH: Voters are worried. They‘re concerned, Chris, because I think, up until now, there‘s been this belief that you‘re going to do better than your folks were able to do, and your children will then surpass whatever you were able to attain.
And, for the first time, I think many people are now concerned about their children‘s ability to keep doing that.
C. MATTHEWS: Well, I‘m worried about—when we grew up—even younger than you—way early, back in the ‘50s, this whole area had manufacturing jobs up in North Philadelphia. There were all these factories all around, Connie Mack Stadium, of course, here too.
But you had all these factories along the river, along 95 now. All of those places, those factories, were actually active factories, building things. People could go to work up here, get a real factory job, make a good living. One person working for the house, the whole family did well.
Is there any way to bring that back, Michael Smerconish?
SMERCONISH: No. I don‘t think—I don‘t think that‘s where our future lies.
C. MATTHEWS: Where does it lie?
SMERCONISH: I look at my kids‘ toys, they are all made in China. And it‘s been that way since—
C. MATTHEWS: Well, what are we going to do about it?
SMERCONISH: It‘s got to be a service or a high-tech economy. And I don‘t know that the government‘s job is to create those positions, but rather to create an environment where those businesses can succeed.
C. MATTHEWS: All I know is that Eisenhower built the international rail—the intercontinental rail system right in the middle of the ‘50s. And Lincoln, in the middle of the Civil War, built the railroads.
Why don‘t we build anything anymore? That‘s my question. We don‘t build highways. We don‘t build subways. We don‘t build trains. Why don‘t we build anything anymore?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: Build stuff! Why don‘t we build stuff?
SMERCONISH: Hey, I‘m all for building the infrastructure.
C. MATTHEWS: Nobody builds anything anymore.
SMERCONISH: And I think that‘s what this administration is now trying to do with some of the stimulus money.
C. MATTHEWS: We get on Amtrak. Europe goes 300 miles an hour. China goes 300 miles an hour. We get on that rickety Amtrak and it‘s like a buckboard, you know?
J. MATTHEWS: Chris, it‘s the insatiable answer on taxes, taxes, taxes for human services.
C. MATTHEWS: It‘s not taxes.
J. MATTHEWS: Look, you‘re talking about the early days. How about back in 1910, I noticed, the biggest manufacturer in the world was the United States, England, Germany, and then Pennsylvania.
And Eddie will back me up on that, too, when he—
C. MATTHEWS: OK. Well, I think that‘s the issue of jobs.
Let me ask you about the Phillies. They‘re down 3-1. Halladay is pitching tonight, the greatest pitcher in baseball—the greatest pitcher in baseball.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: Will he win tonight, and what will be the score?
J. MATTHEWS: Halladay is going to give up two runs, but we‘re going to get six.
C. MATTHEWS: Phillies got to get six -- 6-2.
J. MATTHEWS: Halladay is going to give up two. We will get six.
SMERCONISH: Philly‘s bats are about to explode -- 7-1 victory.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: OK. Great. I like the sound of that.
J. MATTHEWS: Best thing I have said so far, right?
C. MATTHEWS: Thank you, the nonpartisan Michael Smerconish, the Republican brother of mine. Thank you, both.
Jim Matthews, county commissioner of Montgomery County, a great public servant.
Up next—I am allowed to say that—next: Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, another great public servant of the other political party. We have got them all here today, and Bob Brady—he runs this town. He‘s coming here, the United States Congressman Bob Brady.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: You‘re watching the HARDBALL “College Tour” from Temple in Philly, only on MSNBC.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
HAMPTON PEARSON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I‘m Hampton Pearson with your CNBC “Market Wrap.”
Stocks seesawing to a higher close, a 38-point gain for the Dow, the S&P and the Nasdaq adding two points each. The dollar was all over the place, pushing and pulling on stocks throughout the day. Materials were weak, but consumer discretionary stocks showed some strength, boosted by solid earnings from McDonald‘s. Caterpillar shares skidded, despite better-than-expected earnings. And Amazon and American Express both reporting after the close, both topping estimates on profits and sales—now back to HARDBALL.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: Welcome back to the HARDBALL “College Tour” from Temple University, my hometown of Philadelphia.
Joining me now, the great former Mayor, current Governor Ed Rendell, and U.S. Congressman Bob Brady, who is also chairman of the Democratic Party. We call it City Committee here.
You know, gentlemen, you had a lot to do with bringing this city‘s morale back when you were mayor. I have always loved you for that, because this city, the morale you‘re seeing here in North Philly was the morale you really brought back to this city back when you were mayor.
And look at these kids. They‘re are all hopeful. They have got to face a—you know what Whoopi Goldberg called a poo storm of a job market out there. It‘s going to be tough to find jobs.
But look at them. They‘re up. They‘re happy. They‘re Americans.
And here you are.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. MATTHEWS: Ed Rendell.
Tell them what to look forward to. What‘s this election about? Get them to vote maybe.
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, this election is about the future.
You know, the stimulus plan has gotten beat up. But I don‘t know how many of you had a chance to read that “TIME” magazine article. What the Obama administration did in stimulus that nobody is capturing, it‘s—stimulus is being used to reshape the American economy, to make it an energy economy, to create—
C. MATTHEWS: Are you seeing any of these jobs in Pennsylvania?
RENDELL: Oh, there‘s no question. We just released our jobs report for the month. Stimulus-funded jobs only, 22,000 this month are working. Stimulus funded 100 percent.
C. MATTHEWS: So, it‘s working.
You agree with that, Congressman?
REP. ROBERT BRADY (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Absolutely. I agree with that.
C. MATTHEWS: You putting people to work here?
BRADY: And I also appreciate the health care. Every one of these kids here right now today have health care. Every single one of them have health care right now.
C. MATTHEWS: Really?
C. MATTHEWS: So, why doesn‘t the president sell it with gusto?
BRADY: He should.
C. MATTHEWS: Why isn‘t he happy?
BRADY: That‘s what we‘re doing. We will sell it with gusto.
BRADY: We will do it.
C. MATTHEWS: Well, it seems to me that he has a huge health care program, a huge economic development program. He‘s done everything that every top economist would say to do, and yet he has taken nothing but heat.
RENDELL: Well, the communication strategy hasn‘t been good.
And Bob is right. Six things have come on online—
C. MATTHEWS: Has he explained this economy?
RENDELL: No. And he hasn‘t explained health care.
Six things came online in the last four months, Chris, the people love, each and every one of them. You‘re 25 years of age or younger, you cannot be denied coverage for a preexisting illness, seniors getting $250 checks to plug that doughnut hole on prescription drugs, high-risk pool—
C. MATTHEWS: Yes.
RENDELL: -- small businesses, 35 percent federal tax credit.
Each and every one of those things people love we don‘t talk about.
MATTHEWS: OK. You got a lot congressmen up for reelection. Pat Murphy of Bucks County, Kanjorski up in Wilkes-Barre.
You‘ve got—you‘ve got tough races out there. Carney is facing a tough race. Dahlkemper out in near Erie. You‘ve got Altmire out in the west.
You‘re facing a lot of storming out there. Why are people going to vote Republican in those areas?
BRADY: They‘re not. They‘re going to vote Democrat. We‘re a little lazy. We‘ll come out in the last two weeks. It‘s all going to roll around.
In the city of Philadelphia, you know, when got candidates for governor and United States Senate, Joe Sestak and Dan Onorato, if they‘re 20 points down, we don‘t count. Five points, we‘re the only game in town. We‘re the only game in town in the city of Philadelphia. We‘ll turn that vote and get them turned out.
And all the polls are shifting toward us. Every one closing up.
Patrick might be up a point or two. Kanjorski tells me he‘s doing fine.
Altmire is doing fine. They tell me Carney is doing fine.
RENDELL: (INAUDIBLE) within the major of error.
MATTHEWS: So, you think this is a last couple of weeks this is getting tighter for the Dems?
BRADY: That‘s what happens. (INAUDIBLE) as people get to know there‘s election out there, and again, we‘re the only game in town within a five-point margin.
RENDELL: And interestingly, Chris and interestingly
MATTHEWS: How many people here are going to vote?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: OK. OK.
MATTHEWS: I love it. I love it.
RENDELL: Bob is absolutely. (INAUDIBLE) is coming our way. Joe Sestak was 11 points down 10 days ago. He‘s now even or ahead. It‘s a Silky Sullivan—
MATTHEWS: Look at this. Silky Sullivan.
RENDELL: It‘s a Silky Sullivan politics.
MATTHEWS: How do you remember Silky Sullivan? You must be Methuselah.
Let me ask you this: you know what I‘m proud of, we‘re coming out here and meeting young people and getting them to vote. We encourage them to get involved. The college tour brings the election to the kids.
MATTHEWS: How many here are not going to vote?
RENDELL: No. Quiet.
MATTHEWS: I love to hear that.
Let me—so the issue—the next election, who are the Republicans going to run against Obama?
RENDELL: I think in the end, it will be Mitt Romney.
MATTHEWS: Mitt Romney. What do you think?
BRADY: I hope it‘s Mitt Romney.
MATTHEWS: What about Sarah Palin? Why is the Republican Party—which we all grew up with as East Coast Party. It was the Rockefeller party, a Scranton party, a reasonable party, with Hugh Scott and Schweiger (ph). I saw Schweiger today here.
What happened to that party? Got blown out of the water by these Tea Party types and Toomey. Toomey never (INAUDIBLE) that party.
BRADY: Not a chance. But he tries to take the best of both worlds and he can‘t do it.
MATTHEWS: Who, Toomey?
BRADY: Try to take the Tea Party and Republican Party, you got to separate it. You can‘t get it done.
RENDELL: And I give Pat Toomey some credit. He‘s run a clever campaign, sort of disguising himself as a moderate. But the Sestak campaign had a great clip of him saying that corporation should pay no taxes.
MATTHEWS: OK. I want to know. Would you become chief of staff if the president will ask you to run the White House? Would you run the president‘s—run the whole administration for him?
RENDELL: I would do it. But I said, Chris, that if I were president, the last person I‘d pick is Ed Rendell.
MATTHEWS: Got it. But would he be a good chief of staff of the president?
BRADY: Absolutely, a good chief of staff.
MATTHEWS: I think he‘d be a good treasury secretary.
MATTHEWS: If you got offer in baseball, would you take?
RENDELL: Oh, yes.
MATTHEWS: Five seconds.
MATTHEWS: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Phillies tonight by—
MATTHEWS: The average far is four to one.
Thank you, Governor Ed Rendell, Congressman Bob Brady. Also, the Phillies tonight over the Giants. Times are tough.
Up next: President Obama and former President Clinton both doing their parts (INAUDIBLE). Do they get the vote out for the party?
You‘re watching HARDBALL from Philadelphia, Temple University, the college tour, only on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: It‘s like being in college type of rally out here.
Welcome back to the HARDBALL College Tour from Temple University up in Philadelphia.
Well, the president this morning held a backyard event out in Seattle that focused on women‘s issues especially, and released a report that showed how women benefit from his policies. Well, big question: are women the key to saving the Democrats this year? They‘re (ph) more Democrat than men.
Joining me us now to talk about is former Pennsylvania Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky. And Susan Page is the Washington bureau chief of “The USA Today.”
I want to start with Susan on the numbers here. What are the numbers right now about women and this election?
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: Well, if you look at the “USA Today”/Gallup poll, we find that Republicans are actually leading narrowly among women. That‘s a big change from this point four years ago in the midterm election when women were by 23 points likely to favor Democrats.
And if you look at where Democrats—when Democrats do well in presidential elections or congressional elections, it‘s when they have a big lead, a double-digit lead perhaps among women. They certainly don‘t have that at this point.
MATTHEWS: What‘s pushing them—what‘s pushing women to the right?
PAGE: I think it‘s concern about the economy. You know, women are breadwinners for about half of American families. They‘ve been hit hard by this recession.
They worry, many women, about whether the administration understood—
Obama administration understands what they‘re going through. They see bailouts for banks and other big interests and they wonder where the bailout is for them and their families.
I think that has really hurt Democrats this year.
MATTHEWS: Well, that‘s the question, Marjorie, and that‘s the question I got to you. It‘s a tough one for Democrats. When you start to lose women, you lose a big election.
MARJORIE MARGOLIES-MEZVINSKY (D), FMR. U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN: Oh, absolutely. It‘s what happened in ‘94. In ‘94, women just didn‘t come out in the numbers that they did in ‘92. ‘92 was the year of the women for 365 days say amen. And in ‘94, the depressed vote came from women.
But also, think of it. Your two last guests, bless their hearts, I love them. I mean—but that‘s what the body looks like. The carbon-based homosapien is a white male representative, the outsiders are women.
Usually, the outsiders are Democrats. This time, the outsiders are running as Republican and that‘s where I think—
MATTHEWS: Why do you think there have been so many—and I mean this in many ways very attractive candidates. They have a lot of flash and excitement around them, charismatic people. Even Christine O‘Donnell, with all her limitations, is exciting. I mean, she‘s getting attention.
MARGOLIES-MEZVINSKY: Christine O‘Donnell makes Sarah Palin look like a Rhodes Scholar.
And then you got Nikki Hailey, who‘s probably the next governor of South Carolina. You got Michele Bachmann raising tons of money all around the country.
And you got Sharron Angle, maybe beating the majority leader.
You‘ve got Meg Whitman, maybe the next governor of California. Carly Fiorina, maybe the next senator from California. All Republicans, all conservatives.
MARGOLIES-MEZVINSKY: Absolutely. And I think what the Sarah Palins of the world are doing are talking to a group of women in particular who feel very marginalized, who feel spoken down to.
MATTHEWS: Are they the Hillary voters?
MARGOLIES-MEZVINSKY: Some of them are. But I think and we can‘t write them off. The other thing that happens with these voters is they‘re very passionate and they will come out in numbers that are extraordinary.
What‘s happening to the—what we considered the more open-minded liberal people, when you see all this negativity on television, they say, “Wait a minute, this is ridiculous.” Both of the sides, you know—
MARGOLIES-MEZVINSKY: (INAUDIBLE) both to your house.
MATTHEWS: Let me go back to Susan Page, you‘re an expert on this. Why are the Republican Party finally now appealing so many attractive, exciting, in some case, charismatic conservative women candidates?
PAGE: I think Sarah Palin has really changed the face of the Republican Party. We‘ve seen how women running in these—some of these very high-profile contests. Some of them are going to win. She herself has gone and endorsed women candidates, the Republican conservatives she calls “mama grizzlies.”
And this hasn‘t affected, you know, you see a woman like Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, the Republican nominee for the Senate. She‘s doing very well among women voters. So, I think this is truly a Sarah Palin effect beyond some of the—you know, beyond the caricature of Sarah Palin. She‘s had an effect on the candidates the Republicans are putting forward.
MATTHEWS: Susan, what‘s mama grizzly mean to you? Used to mean women in tennis sneakers was Patty Murray and you had the soccer moms, these images. I‘m sure they‘re somewhat stereotypical. But what is a—well, obviously, what is a grizzly mom?
PAGE: I think a mama grizzly would eat the mom in tennis shoes, you know? It‘s a tough conservative woman who‘s not afraid to be an outsider and to deliver a tough message. And we‘ve seen that in several of these big races this year.
MARGOLIES-MEZVINSKY: But you notice that when Sarah Palin went to out Sanchez‘s district last week, neither one of the top ticket female candidates in California came. They were not mentioned. Nobody—they don‘t want—
MATTHEWS: Yes. I know. Well, none of these guys like Toomey want to have anything to do with this. Even Joe Miller doesn‘t want to have anything to do with them. They want the endorsement of these people in the fringe, but they don‘t want to be tagged to them.
MARGOLIES-MEZVINSKY: That‘s right.
MATTHEWS: So, I think you‘re the best.
By the way, congratulations on your wedding. Your son married Chelsea Clinton. I won‘t ask you any details on the television but I am fascinated. Congratulations on that. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, a professor at a nearby university.
And Susan Page, thanks for joining us, from “USA Today.”
When we return, we‘re going to hear from the crowd here at Temple.
I‘ll be out with the kids.
HARDBALL, the college tour, from Philadelphia, only on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: We‘re back from Temple University in north Philadelphia, one of the great universities to the northeast and the students all around here.
Now, I wanted to get a sense from them having listened to all of these politicians what they‘d like to think about, what they are thinking about as a lot of them are going to hit the job market here in Philly and the rest of the country and what your thoughts are.
What do you think of these politicians coming here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it‘s great that they came here and talked to the students. A lot of people aren‘t as informed I think as they should be and they really need to be. Since we are headed out onto the job market, we need to know what it‘s like out there and what we‘re getting ourselves into.
MATTHEWS: What do you think of all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that it‘s pretty good that they actually came by and stopped to talk to us. I mean, a lot of people, as she said, are uninformed and if you actually get to talk to them, and actually one on one with the actual politician, you‘ll get on see—
MATTHEWS: Keep the pressure on them.
MATTHEWS: We‘ve got to keep the pressure on them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we have to know what they say, we need to know how—they need to know how we feel.
MATTHEWS: So feel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they need to know how we—
MATTHEWS: Tell them! Tell them!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because if they don‘t know—
MATTHEWS: Tell them how you feel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they don‘t—
MATTHEWS: Tell them how you feel!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoa! I feel that we need to help everyone in the job market and also college students here to pay for school. Right?
MATTHEWS: You‘re a senior?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I‘m a senior.
MATTHEWS: So what‘s the job market look like out there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It‘s not looking too good, and all of the money that all of the liberals in Congress are spending.
MATTHEWS: I know who you‘re going to vote for for senator.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pat Toomey!
MATTHEWS: OK, why is he wrong?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is he wrong? Well, of course, we need to create jobs right now in this country. The best way to do that is what Joe Sestak wants to do. He wants to cut—he wants to cut taxes for small businesses which will help create jobs and that‘s—I think that‘s a better plan than Toomey has, which is nothing.
MATTHEWS: What‘s the job market looks like? What your year you‘re in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m a law student. So—
MATTHEWS: So, lawyers always have jobs, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s not true. It‘s not good but it‘s getting better. I think that what we need is people who care about students and care about cutting our loans and the cost of schools, that once we get out of school, we don‘t spend our entire life paying down our debt.
MATTHEWS: OK. Your thoughts about this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel that right now it‘s really hard. You know, we‘re going out for interviews, and most employers aren‘t hiring. And it‘s really frustrating going out for a job interview. I have a college degree, I paid for it and now, I can‘t find a job. It‘s frustrating.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it‘s frustrating. I‘m a history major and I was thinking maybe going teaching because I‘m not even sure now because—
I mean, like certainly fractions have vilified the teachers.
MATTHEWS: What about teach for America?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don‘t know. I mean, it‘s one of those things I guess I‘d have to think about. But I‘m—right now, I volunteered down at independent (INAUDIBLE) to spend some time because the job market is hard so that‘s where I spend my time.
MATTHEWS: Well, good for you. Good for you.
What do you about this, these politicians here? What do you think of Ed Rendell? He was here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love Ed Rendell, a personal supporter. I think that we should actually start focusing on ending the relationships between the Republicans and Wall Street. Focus on education. It‘s a prime factor.
MATTHEWS: So, you sound like a Democrat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a Democrat.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you, everybody, for being here. Thank you all!
This is the end of the College Tour edition. We hope to do it forever. We love the College Tour. We‘ll see you tomorrow night on HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
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