April 3, 2013
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Guest: Dana Milbank, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rick Tyler, Lizz Winstead
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: 2nd Amendment remedies.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
"Let Me Start" tonight with this, where we are in this country with guns,
guns and the law. Three years ago, a Republican candidate for the Senate
out in Nevada said, We may need to resort to our 2nd Amendment remedies if
we can`t get public officials to do what we want -- "2nd Amendment
remedies" meaning use our guns guarded by the 2nd Amendment to deal with
people in government we don`t like.
If that was (SIC) frightening enough for you, how about what`s happening in
Colorado and Texas? In Colorado, a top prison official was gunned down in
his home. In Texas, two prosecutors were killed, a third has now pulled
out of a case against the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas for, quote, "security
reasons." So we have people using guns to settle their disputes with
public officials, using their 2nd Amendment remedies.
Don`t like the sound of this? Think it`s an overstatement? Well, there
come times when overstatement becomes the truth out there. We`ve got a
Texas senator, Ted Cruz, who won`t let the Senate hold a democratic vote on
gun safety, so no democracy. We`ve got people out there using guns to get
even with public officials, intimidating those they don`t kill.
This is where we are with guns in this country, "2nd Amendment remedies"
being executed on public officials, refusal by some elected officials to
let us have a democratic vote on what to do about it. And this is where we
live in April 2013.
In a moment, we`ll be joined by Democratic congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of
New York. And with me now is Dana Milbank, a columnist with "The
Dana, your column today was frightening, frightening. I`m not going to
make 2nd World War references, but I`m stunned when I hear about a bunch of
guys showing up at the National Press Club, which I would think would be
1st Amendment territory, showing up with all their guns in their pockets,
with earphones, taking over the place, basically.
DANA MILBANK, "WASHINGTON POST": When you`re with the NRA, nothing trumps
the 2nd Amendment, even the 1st Amendment. So yes, I showed up for their
news conference yesterday. They took over the place with 20 armed men,
some in uniform, some with the bulges in their jackets, rope lines --
MATTHEWS: When are they going to do this to the Senate?
MILBANK: -- searching people`s bags. Well, they attempted to do it when
their officials came up to the Senate, too. The Capitol police said, You
know what? We make the rules around here.
MATTHEWS: Good for them.
MILBANK: But it`s almost like might makes right in this, and
unfortunately, that`s exactly how the debate (INAUDIBLE)
MATTHEWS: What right does a bunch of private people, who are just working
for some organization, the NP -- National Public Radio -- National Public
MATTHEWS: I don`t think it`s NPR.
MILBANK: (INAUDIBLE) armed.
MATTHEWS: What right do they got to take over a space like the National
Press Club, just take it over and start bossing people around with their
MILBANK: I think that has been the idea of the NRA from the very beginning
of this fight. It`s like, We have the firepower. We make the rules.
Whoever has the guns, makes the rules.
Unfortunately, that`s exactly how the Congress has been responding to them.
We made a lot of complaints. I said, You can`t kick us out of the hallway
of the National Press Club. We`re the press. So I walked right through.
I said, What are they going to do, shoot me? But I guess --
MATTHEWS: -- old Agatha Christie play where they go to a house somewhere,
and everybody keeps disappearing. It started with the idea we`re going to
do something about assault rifles. Nobody even thinks they can even think
about that. Can`t touch that. We were going to do the 30-round magazines.
Can`t even think about that. Then we thought the bleakest possible, maybe
we could do something about background checks because this was person who
was obviously disturbed who shot all those kids up in Connecticut. Now
that`s apparently disappearing from the screen.
We`re reaching the point where they`re not going to do -- even have vote in
the U.S. Senate.
MILBANK: It`s worse than that. The NRA is now trying to gut the provision
that makes gun trafficking a federal offense.
MATTHEWS: Which was the softy. Which was the easiest ones to get passed.
MILBANK: Explicitly protecting criminals` rights to use guns while
committing their crimes. I mean, how much more extreme could we get?
MATTHEWS: So we`re down now -- we`re going to have Carolyn Maloney join
us, who`s had threats, death threats against her. I want to get her
(INAUDIBLE) for that witness.
But this idea of no vote, how does that stand? They`re not going to bring
it up because there`s a bunch of filibusters out there saying, We don`t
want to have to have a vote.
MILBANK: Well, look, I mean, a lot of it is also on the Democratic side.
Harry Reid said he doesn`t even want to bring up assault guns because he
knows he doesn`t have the votes here.
MATTHEWS: Forty votes or less.
MILBANK: Sure. It looks like it`s going to be defeated one way or the
other. So in a sense, it doesn`t matter if Ted Cruz and others are
blocking it from coming to a vote. They can kill it in the House. They
can kill it in any number of ways. The point is, the NRA, the gun lobby --
MATTHEWS: OK, why don`t they want a vote?
MILBANK: (INAUDIBLE) hold all the cards (INAUDIBLE)
MATTHEWS: Why don`t they want a vote?
MILBANK: Well, because 90 percent of the country, by numerous polls, is
supporting the idea of near universal background checks. It doesn`t make a
whole lot of sense to oppose it. The NRA used to support it and --
MATTHEWS: Yes, but they think they -- you say they could win. If they
could win, why don`t they want to have the vote? Then they can -- then
they can screw the other guys and women who vote against.
Let`s go to Carolyn Maloney of New York, a much respected congresswoman
from New York City. Thank you for joining us, Congresswoman.
REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK CITY: Well, thank you for having me.
MATTHEWS: You know, I don`t like to talk about this, but you`ve been
MALONEY: That`s true. That shows you how deep and intense this gun safety
debate is in the country.
MATTHEWS: Well, what`s going on? What`s happened to you in your office?
What has been the threat, the nature of the threat? Because we`ve got
public officials down in the Southwest, two prosecutors killed, another one
pulling out of a case against the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas for security
reasons. We`ve got a prison official (INAUDIBLE) gunned down in Colorado.
This 2nd Amendment remedy is no longer the crazy talk of a -- of
(INAUDIBLE) odd duck Senate candidate out in Nevada. 2nd Amendment
remedies are what you do when you don`t like public officials, you shoot
them. And that`s what`s going on now!
MALONEY: And you have the remedy that law enforcement has been calling
for, to pass sensible gun safety legislation that would have reasonable
penalties for straw purchasers and make trafficking in guns, illegal guns,
a felony. They`re begging for this law.
MATTHEWS: Well, why would anybody --
MALONEY: We should pass it and give them the tools to do their job.
MATTHEWS: -- oppose that one? Why would anybody oppose that? We`ve
already said we`re not going to do assault weapons. We`re not going to do
magazines. We`re not going to do background checks. Why would anybody
oppose this secondhand buying, when you buy a gun for a crook totally
dishonestly and illegally, and that should be illegal in itself -- why
would anybody oppose the enforcement of, basically, that kind of a law.
MALONEY: People are astounded when they hear that. They think it should
be illegal already. But we need to pass this bill. And of course, the
good old NRA and others are trying to stop it. Law enforcement -- we have
over 20 different law enforcement agencies that have endorsed my bill, that
are calling for its passage. And at the very least, we should pass that.
But I can tell you, Chris, as long as Americans are dying, I`m going to
keep on trying to pass these bills.
MATTHEWS: Right. Good for you.
MALONEY: I think just put them out on the floor and have a vote. The
American people, as Dana said, support a vote. They want a vote. They
want gun safety. The president is in Colorado trying to build support. We
should give him at least a vote on these measures in the House of
Representatives and in the Senate.
MATTHEWS: I`m with you. Let`s take a look at the other point of view on
this, the hard-right point of view. And it`s voiced very well, I think, by
Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle, where she talked about
the right of people -- not just the right, but they ought to use it, the
right, which she called "2nd Amendment remedies," meaning use firepower
against public officials you don`t like.
Let`s listen to how she put it. Make your own judgment.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SHARRON ANGLE (R), NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, our founding
fathers, they put that 2nd Amendment in there for a good reason. And that
was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government.
In fact, you know, Thomas Jefferson said it`s good for a country to have a
revolution every 20 years.
I hope that`s not where we`re going. But you know, if this Congress keeps
going the way it is, people are really looking toward those 2nd Amendment
remedies. They`re saying, My goodness, what can we do to turn this country
around? I`ll tell you, the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: If this Congress keeps going in that direction, people are
looking toward their 2nd Amendment remedies. Well, that`s what you`re
being threatened with. They don`t like the way you`re going, so they`re
threatening you with that 2nd Amendment remedy, which is gunplay.
MALONEY: Well --
MATTHEWS: This is verbatim here! This isn`t arguable. This is the way
these right-wingers talk now, and I think other people are beginning to act
that way. We haven`t had these cases closed out West.
MALONEY: Well --
MATTHEWS: But you`ve got a prosecutor who`s pulling herself out of a case
against the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, and you can bet none of those
characters ever voted for Obama. You`ve got people on the hard right out
So what are we doing now? How far do we have to go with this before you
people in the Congress say to the people like Boehner, You guys cannot hold
office if you don`t let people vote?
MALONEY: We will be saying that. But fortunately, we have a revolution
every two years. We can shoot at the ballot box and elect people that are
going to support gun safety and reasonable gun safety measures.
I support the 2nd Amendment. None of the bills before Congress in any way
hinder the 2nd Amendment or the right of law-abiding people to own guns.
It`s going after criminals. It`s going after traffickers. It`s going
after those who want to purchase assault weapons that aren`t used to kill
animals, they`re just used to mow down people.
But her language is not helpful. It`s extreme. And fortunately, she
MATTHEWS: Let`s look at the polls now because it is a democracy. It`s not
perfect. But let me show you some of the poll numbers from "MORNING JOE,"
just did a poll with the Marist group today. Sixty percent of all
registered voters believe laws covering firearm sales should be stricter,
whereas 50-50 of the gun owners want the laws kept as they are. But that`s
not so bad, 50-50 on the gun owners.
On the issue of background checks for private and gun shows, 87 percent, 9
out of 10, registered voters support those background checks. Even 83
percent of gun owners agree on those background checks.
So let me ask you, Dana. You cover this. I don`t know many bills to get 4
out of 5.
MATTHEWS: I don`t know many that get 9 out of 10. We`re talking big-time
support. We`re talking apple pie here. And yet we can`t even get a vote
in the United States Senate. And therefore, we probably won`t get one in
MILBANK: Well, of course. One follows the other. Let`s be fair about
this. What Sharron Angle said about 2nd Amendment remedies is -- is
something that comes from the very extreme of our culture. She lost that
MATTHEWS: Pretty close.
MILBANK: She lost the race in part because of that. Well, she said many
other crazy things, too.
MATTHEWS: Because we raised hell about it!
MILBANK: Right. Exactly.
MATTHEWS: People said, Wait a minute. What are you actually saying here?
MILBANK: Exactly. And I think we can say there are very few if, any
people, in the Congress right now who would dare say something about using
MATTHEWS: Using a gun against somebody you don`t like.
MILBANK: But what they`re not doing is going out and standing up against
this. And they`re enabling that sort of thing, the threats being made
against the congresswoman.
Now, in terms of the polls, if they were voting the polls, of course we
would have reasonable gun control in this country. The problem is, based
on the gerrymandering in the House and in the way the Senate is structured,
they`re not responsive to public opinion. They`re responsive to
disproportionate slices within their own districts and these rural
MATTHEWS: Let me go back to Carolyn Maloney. Congresswoman, I`ve
respected you for a long time. And I just think you have to think -- it`s
not just the schools, these horrendous, horrible situations like we had up
in Newtown, Connecticut. They come just often enough to remind us that
they can happen. But there`s gun deaths on the street. There are people
committing suicide because they happen to have a gun around. There`s
husbands and wives shooting at each other when they get upset about
something because they happen to have a gun around.
Too many guns! People do things with guns they wouldn`t do without the
gun. This is the -- we are a violent society maybe already, but certainly,
the presence of so many -- so much firepower --
MALONEY: I agree, Chris --
MATTHEWS: Is it ever going to stop? Are we just going to keep arming
MALONEY: If guns made us safer, we`d be the safest country on earth.
MALONEY: We are the most heavily armed country on earth. And one bill
that I introduced would require liability when you purchase a gun. So
often, the -- the onus or the responsibility is put on the victim and on
society at large to cover the gun violence --
MALONEY: -- and the terrible pain and suffering. If someone buys a gun,
they are responsible for that gun. They are responsible for gun safety.
That would help. We require that when you purchase a car that you have
liability insurance. Let`s do the same with guns. That`s another step in
the right direction.
But what gets me is these drive-by killings of young people, particularly
in New York and LA, innocently sitting in their cars, and they are shot and
killed. In Brewster, New York, just 10 days after Sandy Hook, our fire
officers and firefighters and police officers were mowed down by a deranged
MATTHEWS: It`s good you remind us of that.
MALONEY: -- gun trafficker. So it`s happening all over the place.
MATTHEWS: I know. It`s not the exotic --
MALONEY: -- and if don`t take steps --
MATTHEWS: -- horror.
MALONEY: -- to stop it, it`s going to keep on happening. And that`s why
we need to pass --
MATTHEWS: Carolyn --
MALONEY: -- these sensible gun safety laws.
MATTHEWS: Congresswoman, take care of yourself. It`s great to have you on
MALONEY: Thank you, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I`m terrorized myself --
MALONEY: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: -- by this whole stuff, that people threatening people. There
are so many members of Congress that are trying to do the right thing.
Dana Milbank, great story about the thuggery by the National Rifle
Association, showing up heavily armed at a 1st Amendment cathedral, the
National Press building.
Coming up: It felt an awful lot like 2016 here in Washington, D.C., last
night. There were two big names in the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton
and Joe Biden, going at it, making speeches and generating lots of I think
happy speculation on the center and center-left. They got a new poll out
that`s going to tell us all about 2016.
Also, why Mark Sanford could be the only Republican capable of losing South
Carolina`s open House seat to Elizabeth Colbert Busch -- that`s Steve
Colbert`s sister -- and why Colbert Busch might not hold that seat for very
long, of course.
And this just in from Quinnipiac, 20 percent of Republicans now believe
President Obama is the anti-Christ. That puts things in perspective,
doesn`t it. Thirty-three percent believe Saddam Hussein actually hit us on
9/11. And 53 percent of Republicans say global warming is a hoax. Not
just wrong, but a hoax.
But before you get too smug, Democrats believe some weird stuff, too.
We`ll get to that. The truthers are out there, too.
Finally, yesterday it was a radio talk show host who found a way to link
gay marriage and trouble in Korea. Well, today we bring you the Texas
congressman, the great Louie Gohmert -- I`m being sarcastic -- who manages
to connect the unconnectable dots between -- catch this -- gay marriage and
limiting magazine capacity in guns. Now, you figure that one out. Mr.
Gohmert, you are our "Sideshow."
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, the man who gave us that term for appearing on all five
Sunday morning talk shows the same day has died. William Ginsburg was
Monica Lewinsky`s lawyer. On February 1st, 1998, he appeared on all five
of the major talk shows, "MEET THE PRESS," "Face the Nation," "This Week,"
"Fox News Sunday," "Late Edition," a feat forevermore known as "the full
Ginsburg." Well, since then, there have been 12 full Ginsburgs. The most
recent was Jeb Bush last month promoting his new book. We lost him,
William Ginsburg gone at 70 years of age.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Last night was the Hillary and Joe
show, some say. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vice
President Joe Biden shared the stage at an event for the global women`s
organization Hillary Clinton herself founded when she was first lady back
in `97. The appearance of the two Democratic heavyweights at the Vital
Voices awards ceremony is fueling speculation about 2016, obviously, and
they each had some kind words to say about one another. This is a little
love here, if you like it. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: Vice President Biden and I
have worked together on so many important issues. And I know what a
personal victory it was for him to see the Violence Against Women Act
reauthorized last month.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s no woman like
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BIDEN: -- Hillary Clinton -- that`s a fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: And while many may think this was Hillary`s coming-out party for
2016, it was Biden who may have stolen the show, many say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: The ultimate abuse of power, as my sister Valerie (ph), who`s with
me here tonight, often heard my father say -- the ultimate abuse of power
was for a man to raise his hand to a woman or a child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: With me now is NBC`s Andrea Mitchell, the great Andrea Mitchell,
by the way, the host of "ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS" on MSNBC, and Howard
Fineman, the also great editorial director of the HuffingtonPost Media
Group. That`s right (INAUDIBLE) MSNBC (INAUDIBLE) You guys are great
friends of mine! I have to say, Andrea, I`ve watched you since you were on
radio in Philly and I`ve watched your career. You are a great role model.
You are --
ANDREA MITCHELL, HOST, "ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS": Thank you.
MATTHEWS: -- without saying it, one of the great feminists of our time.
You don`t push it, but that`s what you are because you represent fighting
for a great job and doing a great job. You got to do both, right? You got
to fight for it, and then you`ve got to do it. So it`s not so easy.
Hillary Clinton, I thought, should just take a breather. No more awards,
no more ceremonies, go to the Canyon Ranch, someplace, and just do what
we`d all like to do -- we`d all like to do -- and we could all use, just
get the wrinkles out, relax, stop worrying, stop sweating --
MITCHELL: What`s a breather?
MATTHEWS: What`s a breather? So you are the -- you are the classic --
type A`s don`t do that, do they.
MITCHELL: If you`re Hillary Clinton -- first of all, she is motivated by
her passion for service. There`s no question about that. This is not
power with her, this is accomplishment. It`s policy-related. And that`s
why Vital Voices, the organization she was at last night, is so part of her
MATTHEWS: You were there, right?
MITCHELL: I was there.
MATTHEWS: My wife was there. She`s (INAUDIBLE)
MITCHELL: I mean, and -- you know, and I know your wife --
MATTHEWS: You were there.
MATTHEWS: And Amy (ph) was there.
MITCHELL: I mean, you go back to the Peace Corps days, you and your wife.
That is exactly what motivates Hillary Clinton.
MATTHEWS: Yes. But -- remember the great line in "Downton Abbey," "What`s
MATTHEWS: Can`t she take a couple weeks off?
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:
Well, Chris --
MATTHEWS: Anyway, I just think she`s starting already. I think she`s
FINEMAN: Well, I agree -- I agree with what Andrea says. It is service.
And this is her organization.
FINEMAN: And Hillary was there giving an award to Melanne Verveer, who has
been her helpmate --
MATTHEWS: I know.
FINEMAN: -- for 30 years. And so in that sense, it was not political.
And by the way, the women that they honor there every year are always so
inspiring. Their stories are amazing. I think it`s the best event in
Washington every year. It`s the most inspiring event.
FINEMAN: But there`s the service part of it, but there`s inexorably the
political part of it. And what I thought sitting there --
MATTHEWS: I don`t think I have heard that word before on this show.
FINEMAN: Sitting there --
MATTHEWS: Inexorably. I love that word.
FINEMAN: Well, I used to work in a news magazine.
FINEMAN: But we got paid by the fancy word.
But sitting there in the audience, listening to the story of this
organization and these women and how they learned to assert themselves and
tap into power in the world, you had to say to yourself when you`re
watching Hillary Clinton, there`s no way she won`t run, and there`s no way
she isn`t running, because she owes it to the vision of this organization,
of these people.
MATTHEWS: Without endorsing her, you`re a straight news person. But the
thing is, there`s something that`s discernible out there this time. We saw
last time the first African-American president.
A lot of us were thrilled by that prospect, knowing this country`s history.
It`s about time we did something right we had done so many hundreds of
years wrong. With women, it`s just to me -- it`s about time. It`s not
correcting anything. It`s just about time, because Hillary Clinton is the
best bet of all women in this country to be the next president. If she
doesn`t do it next time, she won`t do it ever.
MITCHELL: Well --
MATTHEWS: So is it -- how do you say that? Inexorable.
MATTHEWS: Inexorable. Is it inevitable?
MITCHELL: I was interviewing Ed Rendell, our friend, our colleague.
MATTHEWS: He`s the biggest guy on the planet.
MITCHELL: The biggest Hillaryite, as he described himself to me yesterday.
And he said it`s time. And it`s historic. And it`s the moment. I can
reflect the passion and this isn`t politics. this is just my family. My
95-year-old mother, she will be 95 next week.
MATTHEWS: Wants to see this.
MITCHELL: She wants to see this.
MITCHELL: And she`s waiting for Hillary. There are a lot of women of her
generation as well as younger generation.
MATTHEWS: Our generation, my generation.
MITCHELL: But the important thing to reflect here is also Joe Biden has
street cred with these women. And he walked into her home court advantage
and got cheers for his passionate speech about protecting women and girls.
MATTHEWS: Is that close to the bone, the idea of wife beating some old --
MITCHELL: Well, that was part of it.
MATTHEWS: Yes. But is that something that women really worry about?
MATTHEWS: Men being brutal?
MITCHELL: The Violence Against Women Act.
MATTHEWS: In the home, in the home?
MITCHELL: Yes, domestic violence. And he was honoring three Indian men who
have fought brothers who have been -- who were honored by Vital Voices last
night for protecting women and girls in India, where rape is endemic. This
was a big deal. And Biden had them.
MATTHEWS: You`re watching this like I`m watching this, as a male. And
we`re both students of politics. There is something going on here. This
is not going to be a regular election.
Remember Teddy ran in `79 and `80 and he didn`t quite make it because of
the Chappaquiddick and things like that. Chappaquiddick was enough and
Carter was president. And we had Obama who was coming along who was a big
phenomenon in himself, obviously. But this time, this is even bigger than
both those occasions, because it`s more -- most Democrats are women.
MATTHEWS: It`s overwhelming in some states, like California.
MATTHEWS: So, just if women just vote and men just vote gender, it`s over.
FINEMAN: Well, in addition --
MATTHEWS: Not that they will.
FINEMAN: The other thing that I was looking at as a student of politics
was the crowd. And there were a lot of young women there. There are a lot
of young activist women.
MATTHEWS: Last night at the Kennedy Center?
FINEMAN: At the Kennedy Center who are interested in electoral politics,
in movement politics, in nongovernmental -- you know, nonprofit
organizations for women`s empowerment around the world, well-educated,
sharp, eager to get involved in a crusade.
And Hillary`s opportunity, and I think maybe to some extent her challenge,
is to be as inspiring to those young women -- I`m talking about women under
30 who were there -- and there were many of them -- to be as inspiring to
MATTHEWS: Tell them.
FINEMAN: Don`t just be an icon of the past. She`s got to --
MATTHEWS: Yes. They don`t know what the fight over choice was.
FINEMAN: They don`t know about those old arguments.
FINEMAN: She`s got to be able to connect with them and say I still have
fights to carry out for you.
MATTHEWS: I want you to report on what you see here.
Although Hillary Clinton praised Joe Biden and the first ambassador of
global women`s rights, Melanne Verveer, she made sure everyone`s aware of
her legacy as secretary of state. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We have shared
struggles and successes, and even some foxholes over the years.
It`s a little bit like a family reunion. Our unwavering faith in the
potential, the untapped potential, of women and girls is at the heart of
the work we have done together.
When I became secretary of state, I was determined to weave this
perspective into the fabric of American foreign policies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: It`s so interesting.
And this is a genderless or gender-free comment. So often, it`s almost
like the -- the Super Bowl. You have to run once to win the second time.
Bush Sr. lost.
MATTHEWS: Eight years later, he`s back in. Reagan lost twice, `76 and
`68. He lost twice.
Hillary Clinton has lost once. She`s eight years older. Now, some people
get better with age. Nixon I think got better in certain ways and worse in
other ways between `60 and -- he got embittered. What do you think Hillary
Clinton now is different than when you saw her and covered her running the
first time? How is she different?
MITCHELL: Well, she`s seasoned in a good way and experienced.
She -- look, she deferred to Barack Obama for four years on policy
differences. And you never heard a leak out of the State Department until
she was out the door that there were differences over Syria.
MATTHEWS: Well, I have never heard them.
MITCHELL: After she left, it was revealed in various testimonies that there
were differences over Syria. But you didn`t hear that then.
MITCHELL: She was very conscious that she had to try to avoid that kind of
infighting to get along.
But there were policy differences. I think she`s learned better how to run
an organization, a big organization. But that doesn`t mean to say that she
will be better organized or more effective in a primary battle than she was
last time. She had those huge advantages going in.
MATTHEWS: Yes, there`s something unique about primaries.
I hope she doesn`t have to get negative ever, because I think it would be
nice to have a totally positive campaign. But it never seems to end up
Howard, can she run a totally positive campaign, just I have done this, I`m
ready, I got the resume, I should be president?
No. If she learned anything four years ago, it was that she needed to get
off the pedestal and fight from the very start.
MATTHEWS: So, we will see that again?
FINEMAN: You`re not going to see her greeting everybody in a sunny sunroom
in her house to start her campaign.
MATTHEWS: Yes. But I always tell people, if you meet her alone like you
have met her many times, she`s wonderful as a person.
MITCHELL: She`s a great --
MATTHEWS: She`s fun. She has a great sense of humor.
MATTHEWS: It doesn`t always come across on the stage. She`s got it.
Anyway, Andrea Mitchell, great person.
MITCHELL: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Howard Fineman, a fine man. I wish I could be as fine
sometimes. Sometimes, I --
MATTHEWS: Up next, our pal Louie Gohmert, this is always fun. This guy is
this crazy guy from Texas. Of course, he`s a birther. Of course, he
starts with that. He wants to restrict the size of gun -- he doesn`t want
to restrict the size of gun magazines because he says it`s like legalizing
marriage for two people of the same sex. If you can make the connection
that this crazy guy has made, you`re better than me. And he`s a U.S.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL. Now to the "Sideshow." And what a
First, we welcome back Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert. Have you noticed
that opponents of gay marriage keep referring to traditional marriage as
between one man and one woman? Well, I have. Well, a newly released audio
from a February conference call of Gohmert, the congressman describes a
link between that one man, one woman stuff and gun restrictions.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: I had this discussion for some wonderful,
caring Democrats earlier this week on the issue of, well -- well, they said
surely you could agree to limit the number of rounds in a magazine,
couldn`t you? I mean, what -- how would that be problematic?
Well, and I pointed out, well, once you make it 10, then why would you draw
the line at 10? What`s wrong with nine or 11? It`s kind of like marriage.
When you say it`s not a man and a woman anymore, then why not have three
men and one woman or four women and one man? And -- or why not, you know,
if somebody has a love for an animal. There is no clear place to draw the
line once you eliminate the traditional marriage.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, he hit it all, didn`t he? Bestiality, polygamy, the
magazine rounds all rolled into one topic. Thanks to tying it all together
for us, Congressman.
Also, did we really arrive at this serious point of debate over same-sex
marriage thanks to a popular TV show? Well, some on the right seem to
think so. Trouble is they can`t decide which TV show. "The Atlantic"`s
politics blog picked up on the trend.
First, Rick Santorum says, "Will & Grace" is the culprit. At an event
during this year`s CPAC, Conservative Political Action Conference, Santorum
said: "Attitudes on marriage, it`s basically safe to say for 30 years after
the sexual revolution didn`t change, until one program on television
started changing it. And that was `Will & Grace.`"
Next, the group One Million Moms says it`s NBC`s "The New Normal," which
features a gay couple -- quote -- "`The New Normal` is attempting to
desensitize America and our children. It`s the opposite of how families
are designed and created."
Next, the Parents Television Council called out "The Simpsons" for a 2005
episode where Marge`s sister reveals she`s gay -- quote -- "At a time when
the public mood is overwhelmingly against gay marriage, any show that
promotes gay marriage is deliberately bucking the public mood."
Finally, Bristol Palin went on -- went to "Glee." She says "Glee" is the
fault. When President Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage,
Bristol wrote, "It wouldn`t have been nice -- it would`ve been nice if the
president would have been an actual leader, instead of merely reflecting
what many teenagers think about one too many episodes of `Glee.`"
Finally, back in November, televangelist Pat Robertson surprised all of us
by suggesting that the religious right had gone too far when it comes to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE 700 CLUB WITH PAT ROBERTSON")
PAT ROBERTSON, HOST, "THE 700 CLUB": You go back in time, you have got
radio carbon dating. You have got all these things. And you have got the
-- the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas.
There was a time that these giant reptiles were on the Earth. And it was
before the time of the Bible. So don`t try to cover it up and make like
everything was 6,000 years. If you fight revealed science, you`re going to
lose your children. And I believe in telling them the way it was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: That was November.
Earlier this week, Robertson described the side effect of learning about
evolution. A viewer asked why miracles seem to happen overseas, but not
here in the United States.
Well, here`s the reaction from Robertson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE 700 CLUB WITH PAT ROBERTSON")
ROBERTSON: People overseas didn`t go to Ivy League schools.
ROBERTSON: We are so sophisticated. We think we have got everything
figured out. We know about evolution. We know about Darwin. We know
about all these things that says God isn`t real.
We have been inundated with skepticism and secularism. And, overseas,
they`re simple. You say, God will do miracles and they say, OK, we believe
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: What`s all this about Ivy League schools? Robertson got a
degree in history at Washington and Lee University, then went on and
graduated from Yale Law School. What`s his problem?
Anyway, he begs the question here, by the way, of who`s right. Are these
events miracles or are they explainable by science? He doesn`t say, did
Anyway, up next, Mark Sanford wins his runoff. But could he be -- couldn`t
he be the only Republican who could actually lose the open seat down in
South Carolina? Could Sanford be the only losing Republican down there?
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
BRIAN SHACTMAN, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Brian Shactman with your CNBC
Stocks tumbling amid worries about North Korea and the labor market, the
Dow falling 111 points, the S&P 500 shedding 16, and the Nasdaq ending off
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he sees a -- quote -- "real and clear
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to Guam to counter recent threats from the North.
And payroll firm ADP says employers added 158,000 jobs in March. That was
below estimates, for a gain of 200,000.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide -- now back to HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
When it comes to must-see political contests, they don`t get much better or
hotter than the special election May 7. That`s coming up for South
Carolina`s 1st Congressional District. On one side, you have the political
newbie, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who happens to be the sister of Comedy
Central star Steve Colbert.
On the other side, you have an infamous former -- well, infamous former
governor trying to make one of the most dramatic political comebacks in
history. For many, Mark Sanford`s legacy will forever be tied to his press
conference when he confessed that he had been hiking in the Appalachian
Trail, but rather having -- rather was having an affair down in Argentina
with a woman down there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK SANFORD (R), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: I would also apologize to
my staff, because as much as I did talk about going to the Appalachian
Trail, that was one of the original scenarios that I had thrown out to Mary
Neal (ph), that isn`t where I ended up.
The bottom line is this. I -- I have been unfaithful to my wife. I
developed a relationship with a -- what started as a dear, dear friend from
Argentina. It began very innocently, as I suspect many of these things do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, last night, Sanford clinched the Republican nomination in
the runoff down there. He thanked God for giving him and others second
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANFORD: I want to thank my God.
You know, I used to cringe when somebody would say, OK, I want to thank my
God. It was at that point, OK, this is getting uncomfortable. But once
you`ve really received God`s grace and seen it reflected in others, you
cannot stop and stop for a moment and publicly acknowledge that grace and
that difference he has made in my life and he`s making in so many lives
across this state, across this nation, and certainly in this campaign.
And while God may be a God of second chances, at times, voters are a little
bit less forgiving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Will he win his comeback victory? Will he go all the way with
his comeback journey?
Eugene Robinson hails from South Carolina. He`s a colleague (ph), I
supposed, of course, and a favorite son of the great state of South
Rick Tyler is Republican strategist, former spokesman for the man who
actually won the Republican primary in South Carolina last time. Just a
year ago, actually, Newt Gingrich. How time flies.
Let me go with this right now, because you`re both local to this situation.
Let me ask you, Rick.
RICK TYLER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes.
MATTHEWS: I think this district is Republican.
TYLER: It is.
MATTHEWS: It`s become Republican. And I think it`s very hard for them to
vote for Steve Colbert`s sister just because they got a problem with this
guy. The only question is going to be turnout, then. Who shows?
TYLER: That`s the whole thing. That`s why, normally, if this were a
general election, there would be no question. No one would be paying
attention to it.
MATTHEWS: Because the Republicans would win.
TYLER: The fact that you have a quasi-celebrity and the fact that she`s
Colbert-Busch, sister of Stephen Colbert who`s famous, well-respected, and
people like, and then you have Mark Sanford, who -- didn`t the Appalachian
Trail go down to Argentina?
EUGENE ROBINSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: No. It stops. It doesn`t go all
way. It doesn`t go that far.
MATTHEWS: Gene, I don`t like to overcomplicate politics. Some people like
jargon and long words. I come back to the word "like."
MATTHEWS: If you like Bill Clinton, you forgive him. If you don`t --
MATTHEWS: If you like somebody, you make that decision after you see him a
few times, you know, he`s me. In some way, he`s me and I get it and I`m
MATTHEWS: I think a lot of people made that decision about Sanford. I`m
with him. I may be wrong.
ROBINSON: Well, I`m not sure.
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s your views.
ROBINSON: There wasn`t a lot of turnout in the special -- in the primary
or in the runoff. I`m not sure if people are that enthusiastic about
voting for him. I think a lot of Republicans believe he let them down. He
kind of abandoned the state while he was governor and he was off, you know,
it was his not a family values kind of situation. I -- and she`s foreign.
You know, she`s from Argentina.
MATTHEWS: Nobody is -- he`s marrying her. He`s getting married.
This isn`t some roll in the hay if you will to use an old phrase. He`s
fallen in love. He didn`t use the phrase but he`s fallen in love. She`s
his fiancee now.
They`re going to get -- here she is right there off to the right there. I
mean, obviously attractive. Don`t have to be complicated about that.
He`s in love with her, he`s going to marry her. Does that solve the
TYLER: Well, it`s complicated. It`s like you say, if people like Mark
Sanford -- Mark Sanford has two problems. I mean, his greatest asset is
people know Mark Sanford. His greatest liability is people know Mark
TYLER: Her greatest asset is people don`t know who she is. And if you go
on her Web site, she seems like a reasoned, moderate, centrist. She`s
carved out this space for herself.
MATTHEWS: But doesn`t she --
MATTHEWS: Doesn`t she to at some point come on television, start doing
interview programs and introduce herself? She`s apparently been hesitant
to do that.
TYLER: This is going to be about execution. Mark Sanford is a pro.
MATTHEWS: He`s on TV. He`s everywhere.
TYLER: He`s done this before. It is going to be about getting voters out
to the polls. If the Sanford team can do that because I wouldn`t rely on a
national committee to do it --
TYLER: -- versus whether her team can get her --
MATTHEWS: Is this going to soften, just going to have a little rebound or
ricochet effect? If the Republican Party brings back Mark Sanford, puts
him back to the United States Congress, they`re basically giving us one
more bit of information. One more bit of information that Bill Clinton is
home free now. That we`re not going to hold these things against people
for very long.
ROBINSON: Well, yes, I suppose so.
MATTHEWS: They can hardly come out and scourge Bill Clinton all over again
in a couple years.
ROBINSON: Sure they will.
MATTHEWS: They will?
ROBINSON: They`ve been scourging Bill Clinton --
TYLER: There`s a little bit of difference.
MATTHEWS: There`s always a difference.
TYLER: Viva la difference. There`s a difference between Colbert and
MATTHEWS: Wouldn`t you say infidelity is an evil.
TYLER: Bill Clinton went on television and denied the affair. He did not.
He came right out. And Bill Clinton didn`t do something that Mark Sanford
MATTHEWS: This guy didn`t have Ken Starr chasing him either.
TYLER: Well, Sanford actually went away. Remember? He actually left.
TYLER: And then, now, he`s come back. Bill Clinton never went away.
ROBINSON: He did go away. He did come back. I -- there was I think a
distinct lack of enthusiasm for the guy, though.
ROBINSON: In the primary most people voted against him. In the runoff --
MATTHEWS: OK, let`s more of this. His one-time mistress is now his
fiancee, as I said last night, she stood behind him as he gave her a
special thanks. This is interesting. He didn`t know she was going to be
there, he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANFORD: I thank you. I guess to my fiancee, Belen, who`s right here
behind me, for her long suffering as she put up with me being on the road
for more than just a few months, and I thank you for that as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I bet a lot of wives out there aren`t thinking of long
ROBINSON: Exactly. Look, this is a district that`s along the coast. It`s
a very sophisticated part of the state. Still that`s not going to go over
You might disagree. But I don`t think --
TYLER: Let`s -- I think it was smart for her to be there, because it was a
staged surprise. I don`t think --
MATTHEWS: I`ve got my vote. I`ve got my vote figured out. Who`s going to
ROBINSON: Who`s going to win? Oh, I bet a nickel on -- I`m going to bet a
nickel on Colbert-Busch.
TYLER: I`m going to say Mark Sanford`s going to win.
MATTHEWS: I`m with you. Sanford`s going to win. Thank you.
I`m almost always right.
Thank you, Eugene Robinson. Thank you, Rick Tyler.
MATTHEWS: Up next, one in five Republicans think President Obama is the
antichrist. That`s in Revelations. Are we becoming a country of complete
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: President Obama is out in Colorado today, pushing efforts to
strengthen gun safety laws. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There doesn`t have to be a
conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second
Amendment rights. I`ve got stacks of letters in my office from proud gun
owners, whether they`re for sport or protection or collection, who tell me
how deeply they cherish their rights, don`t want them infringed upon, but
they still want us to do something to stop the epidemic of gun violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the president will keep the push going when he travels to
Connecticut this Monday.
And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We are back.
How crazy are we as a country?
Just when you think the birther has quieted down for a while, we get new
numbers from Public Policy Polling showing some Americans are keen to
believe conspiracy theories that are ripped from a supermarket tabloid and,
not surprisingly, Republicans are keen to believe anything that makes
President Obama look bad. Anti-Christ, anyone?
Here to have some with the data are Lizz Winstead, creator of "The Daily
Show", and "Mother Jones`" D.C. bureau chief, David Corn, who`s also an
MSNBC political analyst.
Thank you both.
Let`s start with the wild one. Do you believe President Obama is the
antichrist? Let me just give you a refresher, so we all know exactly what
that means. Webster defines antichrist as, quote, "One who denies or
opposes Christ, specifically as a great antagonist expected to fill the
world with wickedness but to be conquered forever by Christ in his second
Well, 13 percent of Americans, one in six, and 22 percent of Romney voters
believe Obama is the antichrist. Incredible. Another 13 percent can`t
make up their minds.
Lizz, 26 percent believe that he might be antichrist. What kind of a loony
bin are we living with?
LIZZ WINSTEAD, CO-CREATOR, "THE DAILY SHOW": I don`t even know what to say
except for this should sort of a poster for what happens when people have
idle time to while away their little brains.
WINSTEAD: We need jobs and we need education, because if people are just
led to believe things that they read in "Newsmax" or on "World Net Daily,"
I mean, the fact that that many people find this information out, where
would they think that up or learn that? Where are they getting it?
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: The thing also is that I think this measures
what people want to believe. So, one out of six or one out of seven
Americans, whatever it is, want to believe that he`s the antichrist, when -
- and --
MATTHEWS: Well, a lot of people are looking for it.
CORN: That`s what I mean. And if only 4 percent of Americans believe
we`re ruled by lizard people.
CORN: So, three times as many people believe that Obama is the antichrist
than they believe in lizard people.
MATTHEWS: Here`s another gem here. Eleven percent say that the government
knew about and let the 9/11 attack happened. The same amount, by the way,
aren`t sure whether the government, did or didn`t try to stop it.
So, this is -- Lizz, this is the problem. Truthers, birthers, they are all
over the wall here. I`ll tell you, the truthers believe that George W. had
a plunger and blew not just the World Trade Center, but blew up his own
Pentagon. I mean, why -- what`s the purpose here? To get us into Iraq War
he was already us into, he would have talked us into this anyway. Your
WINSTEAD: Well, I think --
MATTHEWS: Not me.
WINSTEAD: I feel like, do these people just need an ulcer in their lives?
Because if there`s so much to worry about as it is, just being a regular
person who thinks sanely, then when you have to pile on insanity, I don`t
know how you get through the day.
CORN: Well, what I don`t understand is why does everyone believe that he
would have -- he and Dick Cheney would have the guts to do that? Imagine -
MATTHEWS: Well, I can`t resist doing this. If President Obama gets 50-
some percent to get reelected, he gets a majority, that means he had to get
50 percent out of 100 percent that already had about 20 or 30 percent taken
away by the crazy people.
MATTHEWS: So, he had to get 70 percent out of the sane people to vote for
him to win the presidency.
Anyway, who could forget that night in May 2011 when the president
announced Osama bin Laden had been killed by a team of elite Navy SEALs
over in Pakistan? Well, apparently, 6 percent of the country didn`t
believe that it ever happened. They believe the whole thing was faked and
11 percent aren`t sure. All these people that say I`m not sure --
CORN: They are hedging their bets. Maybe, maybe not.
WINSTEAD: Can I be honest? When I was sitting there watching that
announcement, the first thing that went through my shallow brain was, oh my
God, can we travel with big shampoo again? Like I didn`t think anything
crazy, like I`m sure he`s not dead, even though there`s people who can say
it and prove it and now there`s a movie.
I mean, whey -- I just don`t understand why people are invested in crazy
MATTHEWS: Well, they are. Finally, the climate change, the theory
conservatives love to hate. Do you believe global warming is a hoax? Not
that it`s in dispute scientifically.
Is it a hoax perpetrated by the environmentalists? Thirty-seven percent of
the voters say yes. In fact, the majority of Romney voters, 61 percent,
three out of five of Romney voters believe it was a hoax perpetrated by
people, made up, cooked up, to fight industry.
CORN: I mean, this is one of the worst pieces of data here.
MATTHEWS: Because it matters.
CORN: Because it matters a lot. You also had 28 percent believing Saddam
Hussein was behind 9/11. That matters, too.
CORN: All this happens because people are being, in this instance, being
given the wrong information, and they`re buying it.
MATTHEWS: This is -- Lizz, this is the peanut gallery for Glenn Beck and
company. They were playing to people who are so paranoid, so crazy, they
think the whole world is cooking up things against them.
WINSTEAD: Well, it goes, though, it goes much deeper and scarier, like I
was looking for a yoga tape to bring on the road with me and I Googled yoga
tape. And Yoga and the devil, it was synonymous. Like you got the whole
Google search about how Yoga is of Satan. So, it`s just going --
MATTHEWS: I`m with you, Lizz. We`re both together on this.
Anyway, thank you, David Corn. Thank you, Lizz Winstead.
We`ll be right back after this.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this:
Three-quarters of this country doesn`t believe the president is an
antichrist. Three quarters doesn`t believe it. That`s a start.
A bit more but not too many more don`t believe that the United States
government, perhaps George W. Bush himself, allowed 9/11 to happen. That`s
four of five who aren`t truthers. Well, that`s more good news.
But here comes the bad news: only about half of us are ready to deny that
climate change is a hoax. Just about half are ready to say that not that
it`s subject to a dispute but that it`s not an outright concoction dreamed
up by the environmentalist. And this is where we live right now, no wonder
it`s hard to get people excited to demonstrate for gun safety.
By the time we exclude the people out there on Obama being an antichrist,
by the time we get to the people who believe the U.S. itself had a role in
bombing the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, yes, the Pentagon, by the
time you get past the half of the country who believe climate change to be
an outright hoax, how do you round up 50 percent of the whole country to do
a rational thing about something like gun safety? And that`s our problem.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.
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