updated 6/14/2012 1:07:56 PM ET 2012-06-14T17:07:56

Guests: Elizabeth Warren, Maggie Haberman, Andy Cohen, Buzz Bissinger

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: So what`s this fight all about?

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

"Let Me Start" tonight with this. What`s the difference between a
Democrat and a Republican? When it comes to economics, what do Democrats
want done and what do Republicans want done?

Who wants to help our -- keep a handle on Wall Street? And who wants
to keep the big boys up there, let them do whatever they want? Who wants a
fair tax system in this country and who wants the top to get all the tax
breaks so they`ll invest more? And who wants a health care system for this
country and who does not?

Let`s start with the best fight in America right now. It`s up in
Massachusetts between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Scott Brown
for the United States Senate.

Ms. Warren, thank you so much for joining us from Boston...


MATTHEWS: Bahstahn -- I know how to say it! Boston, Massachusetts.


WARREN: You do.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you this. The most fundamental question --
people are voting right now, this fall in Massachusetts. They`re listening
to you now. What is the fundamental difference between a Democrat and a
Republican in 2012?

WARREN: I think it`s about whose side you stand on. You know, I`ve
been out there fighting for working families on credit cards, on mortgages,
on payday loans, standing up to Wall Street, saying there have got to be
some rules.

And working families get that. They understand that right now, the
Republicans are not working for them. They`re working the other side of
the street. They`re working for Wall Street, for the big multi-national
companies. They`re trying to figure out how those who`ve already made it
can hang onto even more of it. In other words...

MATTHEWS: OK, well, here`s...

WARREN: ... I think they understand the game is rigged.

MATTHEWS: OK, here`s the problem I have with that.


MATTHEWS: And agree with you sentimentally, but here`s the numbers
problem I have. Every poll we see between you and Scott Brown is about
even. You know that.


MATTHEWS: And it`s -- and it`s only 1 percent against you, if it`s
only the rich, the top 1 percent are the people with the real money in this
country against you.

How come they got, basically, about 40-some percent, just like you do?
So where`s the other 40-some percent coming from. People who don`t have
lots of money are voting for the other guy, or saying they will. Why?

WARREN: Well, right now, we`ve still got five months to go in this
race. And so what I think this is about is about getting out there and
talking to people all across the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Every time I do that, I talk to people who get it right here in their
hearts. I talk to people who are looking out and saying, I don`t see how
I`m ever going to retire. I talk to people who have kids who went off to
college, did all the right things and now have a mountain of debt and can`t
get a job.

I talk to seniors who say, you know, I saved, we saved all our lives,
and then that financial crisis just turned our pension upside-down.

They get that the game is rigged. They`re ready for somebody to get
out there and talk with them about it.

MATTHEWS: Why are the polls close? Why are the polls even between
and you Scott Brown, a guy who drives around in a truck, good PR, wears a
barn coat like John Kerry, very clever, acts like he`s not one of the wine
and cheese Ivy Leaguers, fine, but he votes with the Republicans, with the
Wall Street guys.

You vote and you`ve got a record as being a person who cares about
policing Wall Street. You should be miles ahead of him.

What`s going on out there? Are people voting for him who like his
style over his politics? What`s going on?

WARREN: Well, let`s be clear. The election is not for another five
months, and this is what we are going to talk about over the five months.
Just last week, "The Boston Globe" came out with a story about how Scott
Brown is running these advertisements saying he was tough on Wall Street,
and then it turns out he was doing secret negotiations to try to weaken all
the rules over Wall Street.

That`s what we`re going to talk about, person by person by person
across this commonwealth.

MATTHEWS: Let me help you on this...


WARREN: ... getting it out there. OK.

MATTHEWS: I, as a journalist, can help you. We have a new figure
that just came out, and this shows the American people -- and people in
Massachusetts, as well as everywhere else -- how they got screwed under the
W. administration.


MATTHEWS: Look at this number. Politico reported today just how much
Wall Street has turned against Obama. Well, I want to put that number up
for a minute. Here`s a number I`m interested in, real-life people like
you, we`re talking -- $126,000 was the amount of money that the average
family in America was able to accrue over a lifetime.


MATTHEWS: That`s how much money they had in their house, in their


MATTHEWS: ... maybe whatever else, some money in the bank, maybe
something like that. That`s down -- by 2010 -- by 2010 -- basically, a
year or so after Obama got into office, it was down to $77,000.

WARREN: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: A dramatic decline in the prospects, the kitty people

WARREN: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: ... the kitty they used to buy a condo once so they can
retire. Look how...

WARREN: What they use to send kids to college.

MATTHEWS: ... it`s diminished. Why`d that happened? Why did people
get screwed that way, the average family?

WARREN: This you lay right at the feet of what the financial industry
did on Wall Street. They blew up a big bubble. They took on the risks.
They sucked out the profits. And then when the whole thing came crashing
down, it was American families right there who took it right on the chin.


WARREN: Then that same group on Wall Street fought against any kind
of financial reform. When they lost that barely by a hair, they started a
guerrilla war to make sure that no serious rules would be put in place.
This is the fight right now for the heart and soul of our country.

MATTHEWS: JPMorgan -- I don`t think much about them. I don`t want to
think much about them, but I got to think about big financial houses like
that when they screw up. They lost $2 billion of their investors` money in
one little deal recently. How`s that happen?

WARREN: You know, it happened because it`s still business as usual.
JPMorgan thinks that they ought to be able to run their own show.

You know, from the Great Depression to the 1980s, we had serious
regulations in place. Then along came the folks who sold deregulation.
And the JPMorgans of the world said, Hey, this is great. We will load up
on risk and suck out those profits. That`s what they did.

And when it nearly brought this entire economy down, when the American
people, American taxpayers ended up bailing them out, did it fundamentally
change anything?

Well, Jamie Dimon testified today and basically kept saying, No, no,
no, we`ll take care of this ourselves. We don`t need any additional


WARREN: He`s wrong.

MATTHEWS: Let`s go to the money. Let`s follow the money, like they
said in Watergate. Let`s take a look at this. Politico -- look at this.
They reported today just how much Wall Street has turned against President
Obama and the Democrats. Look at these numbers. Anybody can understand

So far, people from the financial sector -- that`s a nice way to put
Wall Street -- have given the Romney campaign and the super-PAC supporting
him $37 million. That`s $37 million so far this campaign. And look what
they`ve done for Obama, $5 million.


MATTHEWS: Under $5 million.

WARREN: Yes. Well...

MATTHEWS: Why are they -- why are they bank-robbing -- "bank-
robbing"! There`s a good phrase. Why are they bank-rolling Romney? Why
are they bank-rolling your opponent? What are they getting from these
guys? What`s the deal on the other side?

WARREN: The video clips tell it all with Romney. He has said, on his
first day, if he gets elected, he will repeal all of the financial reforms.
He`s saying, Guys, you can do whatever you want.

And my opponent, Scott Brown, who has been named one of Wall Street`s
favorite senators, has been out there negotiating in secret to try to
weaken the rules, to try to delay the rules, to try to create loopholes in
the rules.

In other words, those guys have made it clear to Wall Street, if
you`ll elect them, they promise they will stand with Wall Street all the
way. And Wall Street`s willing to make an investment in them. They
understand there`ll be a great return on Wall Street`s money if they can
get Scott Brown and Mitt Romney elected.

MATTHEWS: Let`s talk turkey now. In economic terms, I can`t argue
with a single thing you`ve said, I understand it completely. You`re the
populist. You`re the Democrat. He`s the Republican. He`s there with the
elite. He`s getting money from them, you`re not. The president`s not.
Romney`s not -- Romney is, I should say.

Now, here`s what I think is something you`ve got to cut through
between now and November. There are a lot of regular people out there, Red
Sox fans, regular people who have been Democrats in the past -- Irish,
Italian, Armenian, Jewish, whatever, a lot of people. They have voted
Democrat. They voted for the Kennedys all those years.

But lately, they got a sense that some of the Democrats a little too
wine-and-cheesy, a little too Ivy League, a little too thinking they`re
better than us. Now, some of that came through with Dukakis. Some of that
came through with the last candidate for the Senate against this guy Brown.
And they don`t like the looks of it.

Talk to those people. Why should they vote for you, even if that
stuff bothers them, that cultural wine-and-cheese elitism that Howie Carr
likes to bash into all the time up there? Go ahead.

WARREN: You know, I think...

MATTHEWS: How do you get through that?

WARREN: I think that this election is going to be from the heart.
I`m out there talking to people every day, and they fundamentally do get
it. They understand that they`re getting the short end of the stick and
that what`s going on in Washington is a game that`s rigged against them.
It`s a game that pays off for the folks that can hire all of the lobbyists
and have all the money.

People are living this one right on the ground day by day by day. And
they understand that they don`t have anybody who`s arguing for them when
they`ve got Scott Brown as their senator. And that`s what I`m doing. I`m
just getting out there and talking with folks.

They know I`m a fighter. They`ve watched me fight.


WARREN: They`ve watched me stand up. And I think that`s what this
election is going to be about. It`s not going to be about numbers, it`s
really going to be about the heart.

MATTHEWS: Well, I agree with you if you win, but there is that --
that hesitation that I`d like you to address. What is this elitism problem
the Democrats have picked up lately?

WARREN: I don`t know about Democrats generally. All I know...

MATTHEWS: Well, why not? Why don`t you know?

WARREN: Because all I know -- because what I know about is myself.
My dad sold painting, sold fencing. He was a maintenance man. My mom
worked the telephones at Sears. My three brothers all served in the

You know, I worked all my life. I started baby-sitting at 9 and
waiting tables at 13. I`ve been in public schools, public universities. I
managed to go to law school with one baby and another one on the way. I
understand what it`s like to get out there and work hard and play by the

The difference is, I grew up in an America that was still expanding
opportunity. And that`s what I really care about. I worry that what`s
happened in Washington means that we`re shrinking opportunities now. We`re
not making those investments in ourselves, in our kids and in our kids`

This election is really going to be about what kind of a people we are
and what kind of a country we`re going to build. The Republicans want to
make it, I got mine, the rest of you are on your own.

I think our job is to say we can do better than that. We can make
investments together, and we can build a future for ourselves and for our
kids. That`s why I`m in this race.

I`m not a politician. I`m in this race because I believe our country
is on the line here.

MATTHEWS: OK, great. Thank you so much for coming on. I agree with
everything you said. I think you got to take a couple of whacks at the
cultural elite once in a while, but that`s just me. Maybe I`ll do it
instead of you.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, you`re a nice lady, and I think you know what
you`re talking about in this particular race. Good luck against that very
well-turned-out Republican opponent of yours. Thank you so much.

WARREN: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Coming up -- Elizabeth Warren, Democrat candidate --
Democratic candidate for senator from Massachusetts.

Coming up: The brilliant Buzz Bissinger joins us on the latest
developments in that Sandusky-Penn State -- I was going to say race. It`s
a horrible courtroom scene. We`re going to get all the details. Why do
revered institutions like Penn State care more about protecting their
reputations than the children they`ve promised us they`ll protect? That`s
the question in this case.

Plus, is it time for the Obama team to sharpen their arguments, teach
us the stakes, and yes, raise their game?

And Bravo`s Andy Cohen`s coming here to play HARDBALL on politics, pop
culture and President Obama. That`s Andy Cohen from Bravo.

"Let Me Finish" tonight with the Sandusky trial. It`s about time we
know what these guys are doing to our kids.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Wow. John Edwards is free and clear. The government today
asked to dismiss the remaining five counts against the former senator and
presidential candidate. Those are the charges on which the jury could not
reach a verdict last month. And that means Edwards won`t be retried, and
his legal troubles are over. That`s where he (ph) should have been when it

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Three more alleged victims came
forward and testified today in the trial of former Penn State coach Jerry
Sandusky, who says he`s innocent of more than 50 criminal counts of sexual
abuse that he currently faces.

Let me warn our audience now that the content of this case is graphic,
as you know, and sexual in nature, also as you know, and perhaps not
suitable for young viewers.

Well, one of the alleged victims, known as Victim 10, told the jury
that no one -- on one instance, rather, after the coach performed oral sex
on him, Sandusky then threatened the boy, telling him he wouldn`t see his
family ever again if the boy spoke of what had happened. Well, the alleged
victim said Sandusky later apologized and told him he loved him.

Well, Buzz Bissinger is the best-selling brilliant author of "Friday
Night Lights." His most recent book, also wonderful, is "Father`s Day."
There`s a book to get for this Father`s Day. And Kendall Coffey`s former
U.S. attorney, as well as an MSNBC legal analyst.

Kendall, tell me about this case legally. I just wonder why anybody
would take the defense case here. What possible defense, without judging -
- well, I guess I am judging this case. There`s so much evidence, so much
sound, it seems, testimony, in its -- detail, you wonder how you knock down
all these details.

overwhelming case. And you`re exactly right. The 10 different victims in
a sense being presented through the testimony -- that means the defense has
to come up with reasonable doubt 10 different times. And so far, it
doesn`t seem that they`ve barely even dented some of the prosecution`s

Why is this case even going to trial? I suspect that there was simply
no plea deal offered that would have allowed Jerry Sandusky to walk out of
jail alive.

The prosecution thinks this is horrible. The victims are finally
dealing with it and want to see justice. And so this is a case that the
defense simply has no choice. But let`s...


MATTHEWS: Could they have gone and said, Look, we know this guy`s
going away forever. He`s probably factually guilty. But we`re going to
try to keep him from Leavenworth or some maximum security place where he`ll
be killed. We want him to go to a place where they play tennis and lift
weights, like maybe Allenwood or Lewisburg. Could they have cut a deal
like that?

COFFEY: Probably not. It`s very difficult to get prosecutors to
figure out where an inmate might be located.

And remember, we have a presumption of innocence, hard as it is to
talk about that so far. The defense is going to present a very different
portrait of Jerry Sandusky. He`s going to be coming across as a guy with
lots and lots of good deeds, a lot of people and testimonials that may seem
more positive.

And so the jury may, at the end of the day, look at two different
portraits of a man that couldn`t be more dramatically different. Hard to
see an acquittal here. But once in a while, you do get a single hold-out
juror and a mistrial. That`s the best the defense can hope for.

MATTHEWS: I see what you mean. Let me go to my friend, Buzz. Thank
you so much. Good luck with that book. I`ll say it again, it is an
incredible -- your book and -- about your son in and that incredible road
trip, where you really worked like hell as a father to connect to a son who
has problems. And boy, did you do a masterful job of presenting that

Let me ask you about this far different story of an adult and
children. What does this tell you, as an American watching this case? I
mean, I`m a Catholic. You know that. And I`ve been through that, watching
our church go through this. In Philadelphia now, we got that case with the

We are only now learning these details. We had to issue a warning a
few minutes ago about our viewers because we`re only now, after all these
years, saying something beyond "fondle" or "molest" or something that
sounds bad but not horrendous, the way we`re now learning what really
happened here, what was alleged to have happened.

mean, you know, Sandusky`s conduct -- obviously, we`re hearing the
testimony now. It`s despicable. He was a sexual predator, sexual animal.
He will go away for life. Amendola, the defense attorney, isn`t even
bothering, really, to cross-examine.

But this goes to the heart of the culture of football and sports and
Penn State. I refuse to believe that Mike McQueary was the only person who
saw Jerry Sandusky use those Penn State locker rooms to shower with these


BISSINGER: These are -- you know, these are only 10 victims. We
don`t know how many more are out there.

I refuse to believe that coaches didn`t put it together. He is taking
a kid to the Outback Bowl? He`s taking a kid to a bowl game? They knew.
They knew something was going on. But it is the culture of winning at all
costs. And it is killing us as a society -- society.

We have gone sports-mad. And Penn State is the worst example of it.

MATTHEWS: Well, it looks like it.

Let me go back to Kendall.

And you would say that the defense will point out that he has done
good things. Well, what does that mean? I mean, crimes are crimes. They
stand by themselves. You can be exemplary in everything you do. If you
kill somebody or commit one of these horrendous crimes against a kid who is
11 or 12 years old -- and I have looked up the law -- what relevance is it
that you don`t miss mass or that you -- you cut your lawn every five days?
What relevance is that?

COFFEY: Well, it has no relevance, if in fact, he committed the
crimes that he is accused of.

But, Chris, the defense has got to come up with something. It is
almost impossible to convince a jury that every single one of these
accusers that`s coming forward convincingly in heartbreaking, dramatic
detail is a liar who is doing it for some speculative theory of trying to
get money somehow.

So, they have got to do something. And the best that they can do is
try to humanize someone...


COFFEY: ... who is being demonized every single minute in that

MATTHEWS: What`s the story? They are going to put his wife on. Now,
it seems to me, if they put the wife on as some sort of fallback position,
as a smart move, she was upstairs while he was down in the basement doing
this stuff allegedly with these 12-year-olds and 11-year-olds.

How is she going to be a character witness when she looks like she was
part of the scenery here?

COFFEY: Well, there`s no easy moves for the defense. But if they can
put her on, she can be a surrogate that can tell the Jerry Sandusky story
without having to put him on. And in a sense, she could be the ultimate
character witness, an eyewitness to 46 years of his life.


COFFEY: If somebody on the jury connects with her, finds her more
sympathetic than pathetic, maybe thinks that she is a good woman, incapable
of living with a man who is capable of such despicable things, then maybe
there is a reasonable doubt at least with one of the jurors, and maybe
there is a mistrial, which is the best, I think, Jerry Sandusky`s lawyers
can hope for.

MATTHEWS: You know, the thing is, Buzz and Kendall, I`m in the
business of watching wife after wife come on television, whether it is a
Vitter down in Louisiana or it`s Ensign out in California or it`s the
governor of New Jersey, McGreevey, or it`s the governor of New York`s wife,
coming on and standing next to their man.

Buzz, this is the new story of our life, the wife that stands by the
man as if they were Pat Nixon standing up there putting up with the
ignominy that their husband is 100 percent responsible for, and yet being

BISSINGER: You know, I -- if she takes the stand, she takes the
stand. Apparently, there`s testimony that she walked into a hotel room
where he was committing a sexual act with one of victims. So she is going
to be asked about that.


BISSINGER: You know...

MATTHEWS: Well, she will after you said just that. That`s for sure.

BISSINGER: It is going to be a -- you know, she can try to be a
surrogate for him. And she will have no shot.

And the one thing I want, I want this to stay and be a stain on Penn
State and a lesson to all colleges and universities.

MATTHEWS: OK. Why is it -- what will it do -- what will it do over
the next five years at Penn State if this goes down and ends up being a
series of convictions on this guy that really are proven?

BISSINGER: Well, I think what it does is, I mean, it is a more than a
cautionary tale. It is a horrible tale. And I think Penn State will not
be able to forget it.

And then you`re going to have the report that`s going to come out,
and, you know, the rumors that it goes hall the way up to Spanier and that
Jerry Sandusky should have been treated humanely. What about the victims?


BISSINGER: That`s the problem. That`s the problem. They all turned
their backs. They cared more about Sandusky than the victims.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let me go back to -- let me go back to Kendall.

Here`s my suspicion here, that -- like "Rashomon," every time somebody
said, did you see what happened in the shower, did you hear what McQueary
said he saw happen in the shower, did you hear what McQueary told somebody
up -- and then it finally gets to Joe Paterno.

Now, I have to admit I love Joe Paterno, so I`m going to be defending
here. But I don`t know. What finally got to Paterno? Did he hear fondle,
molest, something vague, something he shouldn`t have been doing, something
inappropriate? Did he get the full, graphic treatment that we have been
getting as to what was going on in that shower, those locker rooms and all
this spate of misbehaviors alleged here? Did he know the words? Was he
given the picture, Kendall?

COFFEY: Well, we are never going to know.

And I want to think, like you, that he didn`t have the specificity
that could have -- would have caused most anyone else to act much more


COFFEY: The one thing I do know is that when the jurors walk out of
this courtroom, whatever they have to say about Jerry Sandusky, I think we
have a good idea what that is going to be, they are all going to have
questions about why didn`t others at Penn State, with everything they are
going to see, just as Buzz mentioned...

MATTHEWS: Yes, good point.

COFFEY: ... Outback Bowl, a lot of obvious activity, it would seem.
The jurors themselves are going to walk out of there, and raise questions
when they are interviewed, how could others have not known? How come Penn
State didn`t do something long ago?


MATTHEWS: And, clinically, why did the non-sick people -- non-sick
people cover up for the sick guy?

Buzz, your thoughts? Do you think it went all the way -- have you
been able to find out whether it went all the way in graphic detail to

BISSINGER: The only thing I have read is the grand jury testimony of
McQueary. And he went into fairly graphic detail. And Joe`s response was,
I don`t understand these things. I don`t know what you are talking about,
which, frankly, I don`t believe.


BISSINGER: He is a good Catholic. The Catholic Church scandal was
going on.

I just -- I feel, God rest his soul, but when he should have done the
most, he did the least.

MATTHEWS: And, boy, that`s what`s true apparently of so many
monsignors and bishops. They looked out for their own. They felt sympathy
for the predator, instead of the preyed. It took us all a long time to
figure the hell of this thing out.

Anyway, thank you, Buzz. It is always great having you. Again, your
book, "Father`s Day," what a great book to get for Father`s Day.

BISSINGER: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: I want to push it again because it is worthy of a story for
any father out there, especially you, buddy.

Anyway, Kendall Coffey, thank you, sir, for your expertise.

Up next: Mitt Romney`s regular guy act may be getting a little more
difficult to pull off, as it should be. Stick around for the "Sideshow,"
where he`s found his way in.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL and time for the "Sideshow."

Mitt Romney likes to rave about how he took charge of the 2002 Winter
Olympics out in Utah. But there is a more current Olympic story that he
might not be too eager to flaunt. As it turns out, Ann Romney`s horse is
in the running to head to the London Olympics, after making the top three
in a recent qualifying event.

Stephen Colbert weighed in last night.


go to the Olympics.


COLBERT: Though, one would imagine it is going to be a long drive to
London on top of their station wagon.


COLBERT: This is exactly what Mitt needs. He`s had a little trouble
relating to Joe Six-Pack.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I met a guy yesterday, seven
feet tall. I figured he had to be in sport, but he wasn`t in sport.

COLBERT: The tall man was not in sport...


COLBERT: ... neither bounce ball, nor oblong leather zeppelin toss.


COLBERT: Now Mitt is just your average blue-collar fan of dressage.
Of course, that word may sound highfalutin, but don`t worry. It also goes
by the street name horse ballet.


COLBERT: Jim, show us Rafalca at sport.

Rafalca, number one! Rafalca, number one!


MATTHEWS: Well, having a horse headed to the Olympics might not be
campaign gold for Romney.

Next, who is the real Joe Walsh? Is it this guy, the Illinois
Republican congressman who blamed this outburst to constituents back in
November on a caffeine overload?


REP. JOE WALSH (R), ILLINOIS: All the marketplace does is respond to
what the government does. The government sets the rules. Don`t blame
banks and don`t blame the marketplace for the mess we are in right now. I
am tired of hearing that crap. You know what? This pisses me off. Too
many people don`t listen.

You wanted more -- more regulation? That`s what you got. John, do
you want more regulation? Is that what you want? Do you want Dodd-Frank?
Is that what you want? I need more coffee.



MATTHEWS: Well, if you ask Tammy Duckworth, Walsh`s challenger, it is
the other Joe Walsh, the rock star guitarist for the Eagles, we should
listen to. The six-time Grammy winner is set to perform at a fund-raiser
for Duckworth this summer and released this statement -- quote -- "I`m the
real Joe Walsh and I`m proud to back a real American success story, Tammy

As for the other Joe Walsh, my question, are you sure you are Irish?

Finally, some people still can`t get enough of this "Call Me Maybe"
mash-up that went viral last week featuring President Obama.


this is crazy, but here`s my number, so call me, maybe.


MATTHEWS: Well, did you think that was the closest we would get to a
political figure belting out that song?

It was, until CBS posted this video of what happened this morning
during a commercial break.


met you, and this is crazy, but here`s my number, so call me maybe.


POWELL: It was a lock. It was a lock.





MATTHEWS: I think Charlie had the best line there, "I didn`t stop

Anyway, maybe he didn`t know any more lyrics.

Anyway, up next: Does the Obama campaign need to sharpen their
arguments, teach us the stakes and raise their game? As Sarah Palin would
say, you betcha.

And that`s ahead. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


SUE HERERA, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Sue Herera with your CNBC "Market

The Dow skids 77 points. The S&P fell nine and the Nasdaq lost 24.
J.P. Morgan shares ended more than 1 percent higher following CEO Jamie
Dimon`s appearance before lawmakers. However, they are off nearly 15
percent since the firm`s $2 billion trading loss was first disclosed.
Retail sales fell 0.2 percent in May due to falling prices at the pump.
And producer prices dropped 1 percent last month courtesy of falling energy

That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide -- and now back to
HARDBALL and Chris.


OBAMA: I love listening to these guys give us lectures about debt and


OBAMA: I inherited a trillion-dollar deficit. It is like somebody
goes to a restaurant, orders a big steak dinner, martini, all that stuff,
and then, just as you are sitting down, they leave....



OBAMA: ... and accuse you of running up the tab.



MATTHEWS: Well, at a fund-raiser up in Baltimore, President Obama
used yet another analogy to describe the economic mess Republicans left him
and their refusal to accept blame.

But is this the way to win? Some Democrats are dubious and are going
public with their doubts.

Howard Fineman is an NBC political analyst and editorial director at
Huffington Post. His new article on Karl Rove appears in the premier issue
of the iPad-only news magazine called "Huffington."


MATTHEWS: Man, I had to say it right. It is a great magazine. And
it is online.

Maggie Haberman is of course senior writer for Politico.

You don`t have an iPad -- an i-magazine yet.

one. They don`t need one.

MATTHEWS: I`m just kidding. They don`t have one.



MATTHEWS: I`m sure, Howard, you are a key to the premier issue.


MATTHEWS: OK, state to play. The producers and I spent about an hour
today, a lot of time, just trying to figure out, if we were Obama, where
would they be going right now?


MATTHEWS: What are they doing? What are they confronting? It`s what
everybody says. We are in a period of drop in terms of, we know the
polling is going to go down for this guy the next couple of months. We can
see it heading there. With nothing good in sight, what`s he doing about
that, that you can tell, Howard?

FINEMAN: Well, let me say that, first of all, he has got a situation
where Karl Rove, who I did write about in that premier issue of the iPad


FINEMAN: Karl Rove`s attacking. There are new ads now out from
American Crossroads going after Democratic Senate candidates, talking about
the dismal state of the economy, talking about jobs, talking about taxes
are too high, talking about government is too big, the whole panoply.

And Barack Obama and the president and his allies are in the situation
here where they have to say, look, we are trying to help the middle class,
number one. And, number two, we have to save the things that are good
about the role of government from being taken over by and dismantled by the
regime that Mitt Romney would bring back in.


FINEMAN: So the problem is they have an essentially defensive
message, Chris.

Even as they look forward to the future and what he wants to do in a
second term, it`s mostly to protect the existing structure of government,
to save Social Security, to save Medicare, to save education loans for
students, the kinds of programs that the Democrats have lived on for two

Barack Obama, even though he was a change agent when he first got
elected, is essentially in a defensive posture that is very hard for him to
do. But that`s what they are saying. That`s what -- that`s his pitch.

MATTHEWS: Yes, he`s become Walter Mondale in this situation.



MATTHEWS: Let`s take a look at Democratic strategist James Carville,
who is a smart guy. He says the Obama campaign`s message is off-track.

Let`s listen to James.


JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I`m worried that when the White
House or the campaign talks about the being made, people take that as a
signal things are fine. And people feel that or believe that.


MATTHEWS: New strategy member from Carville`s group, Democracy
Corps, emphasizes people aren`t buying it, the Obama message right now. It
reads in part, "They know we are in a new normal -- a new normal -- where
life is a struggle. And convincing them things are good enough for those
who have found jobs is a fool`s errand."

Maggie, your turn now. It seems to me -- none of us have the job of
campaign manager or theme director for Obama. But it is a quizzical
question. What do you do when you are basically confounded by bad economic
news and people are screaming, they`re ready to just pounce on you and say,
are you better off than you were four years ago, just hoping they will hurt
the president?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, POLITICO: I think that Howard is right. I think
that this is why we are actually not going to see a dramatic shift in the
way that the Obama campaign is doing things. First of all, they don`t
think that they are doing anything wrong. They`re actually very happy with
the message. They don`t appreciate some of this free advice.

There are a lot of Democrats and not just people who are associated
with the Clinton world or Clinton himself who basically articulated the
same message that James Carville did, who think this does need to be about
policy. That the president does need to be talking about preserving middle
class, vision for the future.

But I think that they feel that they are articulating that well
enough and they think that Mitt Romney is doing worse. He is about to go
into summer month which is have never really been very kind for President
Obama. There is not much indication this summer is going to be much
better. But they think that there are going to be enough of -- you know,
outside events and things going to intervene they don`t need to sell their
message differently than they are.

MATTHEWS: OK. That`s an argument can be made, Howard, that summer
is not the time to bring out a product, because a lot of people are on
vacation. I understand it.


MATTHEWS: Here is my question which we got to an hour of discussion
with the producers today. If you are Obama, and you have to sell the
people things are going to get better next four years, it`s going to be
better than this four, you still have your track record. And you have to
say, look how much I have done, I`m going to -- more next four years.

Does he have enough wind at his back in terms of what he accomplished
in terms of the economy? I have street cred. I`m going to be better next

FINEMAN: Well, I think he had more than he has had -- few months ago
than he has right now, Chris.


FINEMAN: Part of the problem is the numbers have turned bad in the
last month or two. And fatefully perhaps for him a lot of analysts think
that the second quarter of the presidential year is the one most affects
the standing of an incumbent president. Real income growth.

And in April, May, and June, the quarter we are in, numbers are not
good. It hurts his ability to make that sale and I think James Carville is
right about that.

I went over their questions and -- that produced that survey they
discussed. And they are -- the most popular messages, according to their
own survey, are the ones that Obama is out there trying to get across.
Namely, that they want to protect -- that he, Obama, want to protect the
middle class values and programs and the Republicans kind of want to text -
- complete detoxification of America and dismantle Social Security and
Medicare, student loans, you name it. That`s the theme of -- comparative
theme that the Obama campaign is going to pursue and there -- as Maggie
says, they are sticking with it.

And also, what new gigantic program is he going to propose? We have
to be very careful to tread on your credibility there if you are going to
propose some new thing. And Ryan Lizza of the "New Yorker," did a whole
piece about what Obama might want to do in his second term. Obama was
talking about -- or his aides were talking about climate change and nuclear

I mean, forget it. The big argument at the end of this year and the
new Congress is going to be about taxes to pay for government programs.
That`s where we`re at.

MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you, Howard Fineman. What a good show it is.
The name of the magazine is -- Huffington.

FINEMAN: Very clever name. Very clever.

MATTHEWS: Well, stay with the basics. Anyway, stay with what works.

Maggie Haberman, thank you. More time for you next time when Howard
doesn`t have a new product to explain.

FINEMAN: I`m sorry.

MATTHEWS: I know. He`s earned it to do it.

Up next, Bravo`s Andy Cohen joins -- people love this guy. He`s
going to talk politics, pop culture and, of course, President Obama. Andy
Cohen for those fans of his, he`s coming right here in a minute.

The place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Democrats picked up a win last night in a special election
to fill the House seat vacated by the great Gabby Giffords. Democrat Ron
Barber, former Giffords aide, beat Republican Jesse Kelly who narrowly lost
to Giffords herself in 2010. Giffords campaigned with Barber and was with
him last might at his victory celebration.

Barber will serve out the rest of her term and both he and Kelly,
Republican, promised to run again this November.

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: As I said, we are back and in the 24-hour news cycle
politics and pop culture often cross paths. And no one knows pop culture
better than Bravo Network`s Andy Cohen. He is host of the late night talk
show "Watch What Happens Live." He is the author, however, of a new book
"Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture."

Some of his biggest fans, I have to point out, since it`s in the
teleprompter right now are producers of HARDBALL.


MATTHEWS: Yes, sir. By the way, both in New York where you are and
down here in Washington, everybody seems to absolutely love you.


MATTHEWS: Let me start with some -- you spent ten years producer for
CBS interviewing some of the smartest people in the world. Two weeks ago,
you asked the Miss USA contestants to name the name of something really
obscure -- the vice president of the United States.

Let`s watch the answers.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s awesome.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s his name? This is so bad. I just read
an article of "The New York Times."




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know anything about politics. I don`t




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. I`m blanking.




MATTHEWS: You know what I was thinking --

COHEN: At least they`re not running for vice president.

MATTHEWS: Don`t ask me about hockey, for example. But a lot of
things I didn`t know about. I didn`t know who Versace was when he died, a
lot of things happened, you know. But the vice president of the United
States --

COHEN: That was pretty shocking.

MATTHEWS: I heard the name Nixon growing up. I knew the name. It`s
in the environment.

COHEN: That was shocking to me. And the other crazy thing was that
on the Miss USA pageant which I hosted, one of the questions to one of the
five finalists was that many of you don`t know the name of the vice
president. And it was asked of I think Miss Nevada. He said how do you
explain this?

And she said, oh, well it was late at night when we were asked the
question. We were tired. I mean, it was a punt.

So, yes, no. It was not their finest moment of those contestants.
By the way, Miss Rhode Island who won actually, I think, has a good head on
her shoulders.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I judged the miss America contest a couple years ago.
I found a variety of abilities. Some people are really smart, I must say,
in the crowd.

Let me ask you about the glitch in this election. Let`s talk --
here`s something here. You`ve got a fund raiser coming up here now. And
it`s tomorrow night. All right?

Let`s look at the SOT that talks about that.



ANNA WINTOUR: Hi, I`m Anna Wintour. I`m so lucky in my work I`m
able to meet some of the most incredible woman in the world. Women like
Sarah Jessica Parker and Michelle Obama. These two wonderful women and I
are hosting a dinner, along with the president, in New York City, to
benefit the Obama campaign on June 14th. It will be a fantastic evening
and you can join us. We`re saving the two best seats in the house for you,
but you have to enter to win.


MATTHEWS: Well, President Obama`s critics pounced on this web ad
from "Vogue" magazine editor Anna Wintour.

You know, "Devil Wears Prada" was a heck of a movie. I wonder if
this is going to be a heck of a campaign ad.

I was talking to Elizabeth Warren, who`s very impressive. She`s got
a great warrior the abuses of Wall Street. She`s got a really tough
campaign up there.

I said, doesn`t the Republican Party have a problem with this wine
and cheese, elite cultural image that doesn`t square with their regular
person`s economics.

COHEN: Right.

MATTHEWS: Now I`m asking you that question.

COHEN: I hadn`t seen that ad. I saw one that Sarah Jessica did that
I thought was great. She`s a very approachable person and very likable.
When I saw that ad, I thought, oh, that`s great.

I understand how this ad that you just showed might seem a little,
you know, a little non-accessible. But I think that the idea that they`re
allowing two people to go to this dinner tomorrow night that just by, you
know, joining a raffle or whatever or giving any amount of money is cool.
I think that was the message they were trying to convey.


COHEN: I had only seen the one Sarah Jessica taped. I`m going to
that, by the way. I`ll let you know how it is.

MATTHEWS: Well, good. You can be my reporter.

But let me ask you about something that I -- here`s a tough question.
This will be my who`s the vice president question. Why would a gay man
join the Log Cabin? I`ve spoken to them. I like the guys in it. But I
have to tell you I don`t know why a gay person today would be a Republican,
would raise money for that party. They`ve been so clear they think there`s
money to be made, votes to be made in basically gay-bashing.

COHEN: Right. It`s something I`ve never understood. It`s a topic
that I`m fascinated. I was an executive producer of a documentary years
ago called "Gay Republicans," because I`m interested in why someone would
support a party that doesn`t necessarily support equality for that person.

And I can only assume it`s about the wallet. It`s about I`m a fiscal
Republican. But for me -- and it`s funny. I`m not political on my show at
all, but gay issues are something that not only are of a great concern to
me but just as a human being, I feel so obviously passionate about being
treated equally to everyone else that it is the one thing that I really
speak up about on my show.

MATTHEWS: Fair enough.

COHEN: So I can`t -- I can`t understand, Chris, the idea of saying
oh well they`re going to put more money in my bank account. Who cares if
they don`t believe I can get married. I don`t get it.

MATTHEWS: Yes. I think it`s worse than that but you`re kind to put
it that way. I know why everybody likes you now. Andy Cohen from Bravo`s
"Watch What Happens Live." And by the way, the name of your book again,
"Most Talkative."

COHEN: Thanks, Chris.

MATTHEWS: When we return, let me finish to Sandusky on that matter.
It`s about time we know what these guys have been doing or alleged to have
been doing, some cases really have been doing to our kids. We`re talking
about 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with the Sandusky case, this whole
Penn State mess. It`s interesting, don`t you think, that this is the first
such case that we`ve finally covered on television. It`s the first time
we`ve heard the graphic details of what goes on in these cases. We`re
learning what the charges are, what the conduct that`s being alleged really
was. We`re getting the skin-crawling truth. And it`s about time.

Journalism has to be respectful, I understand that, but for years
these cases of adult sexual abuse of children has been soft peddled in the
media. We got used to words like molested without any idea of what`s being
described. There`s been too much avoidance of what should have been
described clearly. The result has been an unintentional downplaying of the

Perhaps, just perhaps, this has helped the perpetrators and those
covering up for them escape the full public outrage and with it rebuke that
finally occurred but didn`t so long in such cases.

I`m referring to my church here. Like so many millions of others, I
never got the picture in the early going. I never understood what was
going on in these cases of priests abusing altar boys. I never couldn`t
get my head around it because the hesitant manner they were reported. This
case in Pennsylvania, up in Centre County, is teaching us all what crime
looks like. Serious crime. There will be no more averting our glance
after this. No more of that, thank God. From here on in, the people are
going to know, the criminals are going to pay.

And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.


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