June 20, 2013
Guests: Paul Farhi, James Lipton, John Hoeven, Jeff Daniels
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Tony.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews down in Washington.
"Let Me Start" tonight with this. They are the American icons. We see in
them something of ourselves, our times, our struggles, even our dreams. In
the aftermath of World War II, it was all about aspiration, of new doors
opening, but also of old traditions being honored. Our American icons then
were Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.
Then things began to get a little looser, a lot wilder, and along came
Elvis Presley, the king of rock-and-roll. And in the 1960s, our eyes
looked to the stars, to the stuff our dreams were made of, of the very
notion of Jackie Kennedy.
In the 1970s, it was a time of agitating the old, of testing the new, of
Archie Bunker and also coming in, Michael Jackson. And as the century
moved to its conclusion with the economy booming, it was Madonna, the
"material girl," and then Bruce Springsteen.
And in the early 21st century, this century of ours, in the aftermath of
9/11, it was all about trying to hold things together, especially our
families, and our American icon became husband, a father, a guy from
Jersey, a crime boss. His name, Tony Soprano.
James Lipton is the host of Bravo`s "Inside the Actors Studio" and Paul
Farhi is with "The Washington Post."
Paul, I want to start with you about Tony Soprano and James Gandolfini`s
portrayal -- and James Gandolfini`s, that (ph) we lost him last night. In
his portrayal of Tony Soprano, there was one bedrock truth that crossed
everything he did. He was just a guy trying to hold a family together.
In an early first season episode, he was on a car trip to visit prospective
colleges with his daughter, Meadow. Well, Soprano confronts him about his
line of work. Listen here. She does.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you in the mafia?
JAMES GANDOLFINI, "THE SOPRANOS": Am I in the what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whatever you want to call it, organized crime.
GANDOLFINI: That`s total crap. Who told you that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dad, I`ve lived in the house all my life. I`ve seen
police come with warrants. I`ve seen you going out at 3:00 in the morning.
GANDOLFINI: So? You never seen Doc Cuzamatto (ph) go out at 3:00 in the
morning on a call?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the Cuzamatto kids ever find $50,000 in
Kruggerands and a .45 automatic while they were hunting for Easter eggs?
GANDOLFINI: I`m in the waste management business. Everybody immediately
assumes you`re mobbed up. It`s a stereotype and it`s offensive. And
you`re the last person I would want to perpetuate it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: And Tony Soprano is trying to hold his marriage together.
Certainly, this clip shows Tony and his wife, Carmela, on the way home from
their first marriage therapy session. Let`s listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GANDOLFINI: What? Right. And I`m the one that doesn`t (EXPLETIVE
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to know what`s wrong? After 19 years of
marriage, I find it very sad that we have to pay someone to teach us how to
GANDOLFINI: You were all in favor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Wow. Even Tony Soprano`s relationship with his mother is always
threatening to get out of control. At least in this scene, he confronts
her on a hospital gurney for trying to have him whacked -- the mother
trying to have the son killed. Let`s listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GANDOLFINI: I have the tapes, Ma, the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) tapes. Don`t
tell me I don`t know what I`m talking about. George Clooney (EXPLETIVE
GANDOLFINI: Uncle June (ph) is in jail now, and I got one more little
nasty (ph) deal (ph) I got to take care of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Soprano!
GANDOLFINI: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Ma. I`m going to live a nice long, happy
life, which is more than I can say for you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, that`s enough!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keep her moving! Keep moving!
GANDOLFINI: I try to do the right thing by you! You try to have me
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: That is so unbelievable, his mother, Nancy Marchand there, being
rolled away in the gurney, had tried to get him killed, and he says, OK,
George Clooney, which is an old Italian street thing of calling everybody a
big shot, like every (INAUDIBLE) Queen Latifah or something. That is so
PAUL FARHI, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, that`s why we loved the guy,
because he seemed so able to relate to all of the problems that we all
have. We`re trying to keep our family together. We`re trying to keep our
business together. We`re trying to succeed with all these pressures coming
after us, including our mother issues, including our work issues, and all
the family problems we have.
It was weird to be able to put together this sociopath with all of things
that we relate to as regular people.
MATTHEWS: James Lipton, you know James Farantino -- James Farantino! --
James Gandolfini. I know James Farantino, too. But James Gandolfini --
this guy died young the other day over in Italy at the age of 51 of a heart
attack. Must have been a terrible heart attack. He didn`t make it. He
was alive getting to the hospital, but he didn`t make it there.
This character he was able to create for all of us and for all time, how
could he be a guy we loved but a guy that was a killer?
JAMES LIPTON, "INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO": Because he was such a wonderful
actor. That was the secret of that role. He played in two families. In
one family, he was the victim, always the victim. And he was always on the
defensive, and we felt sorry for him. We began to root for him the way
used to root for W.C. Fields when kids would throw bricks at him.
And then the other family, he was the killer. And that was the miracle
that David Chase made and that was the miracle that Gandolfini was able to
bring to life for him. He was able to live both sides of that wall, and
they were not -- they were not antipodal. They -- he turned them into one
human being whom we understood, no matter what he was doing, killing or
MATTHEWS: You know, they say, you know, critics like the -- you`re a
critic and James is a theater expert, but I don`t think people came out of
that watching Tony Soprano saying, I want to be a gangster.
MATTHEWS: They came out of it saying, I want to be a better dad. I want
to be a better person. I want to get through it, but -- yes, Paul.
FARHI: Yes, well, I mean, it was in some ways the American dream. We all
want to be achieving. We all want to be striving. We all want to have the
things that Tony Soprano was trying to get. And yet by our character, by
our flaws, we are held back, and that was the kind of message...
MATTHEWS: But he didn`t -- he didn`t live like some big shot. He lived
better off than most people. That was a nice house they lived in. The
wife was well taken care of. The kids were well schooled. But he wasn`t
sitting around like some big shot.
It`s interesting, these mob characters, like the Meyer Lansky character in
"The Godfather," sitting around in some little house in Florida with
linoleum on the floor, eating tuna fish sandwiches and watching the ball
game. What is this about mobsters where they don`t really live like pooh-
FARHI: Well, you know, the thing about him is he was so troubled and he
had so many issues and so many things (INAUDIBLE) that his success was
never really realized or achieved. He always had this sense that he was
going to be a tragic hero, or you know, a hero or an anti-hero who would
never get where he was going.
MATTHEWS: And powerless at home.
FARHI: Absolutely. And as powerful as he was in his work life, in the mob
life, he had to deal with the same things that everybody has to deal with,
the wife, the children`s troubles, et cetera.
MATTHEWS: James, I love the scene when the daughter, Meadow -- he`s in the
kitchen. The daughter comes in and walks past him like he`s not even
there, like -- the kids are quite good at that when they want to do that.
You aren`t there. And he couldn`t do a thing about it.
LIPTON: Remember something about this show. I think one of the master
strokes of "The Sopranos" was that he went into analysis. What did the
analysis do? It is the precise equivalent of the Shakespearean soliloquy.
It allows us to listen to his thoughts. That, I thought, was the most
brilliant thing of all the brilliant things that David Chase did. When he
sat down in front of his analyst and began to talk, we were literally
listening to the equivalent of a Shakespearean soliloquy.
MATTHEWS: Was it all -- was it all Chase who came up with this, the idea
of a neurotic guy who knew he needed therapy, but a guy who was willing to
kill people with his bare hands?
FARHI: Well, and chase comes out of New Jersey, comes out of an Italian
background. In some ways, and he has said this before, it was
autobiographical, not obviously the mafia aspects of it, but the family
dynamics and the cultural references and the struggles that Tony Soprano
had every time.
MATTHEWS: So I wonder -- I wonder, James -- theater is your business and
politics is my obsession, I guess. But you know, if we had politicians
that could evoke this kind of personality, obviously without being
criminals, I think we`d have a lot more popular politicians.
MATTHEWS: I think Clinton had a piece of this. I think we always knew
Clinton`s problems. He was the most transparent guy ever to be president.
All his problems were human problems, and we knew what they were no matter
what he said. And yet people today really look back on him with tremendous
LIPTON: Hey, we like a little evil in people. It`s one of the most...
LIPTON: It`s true! It`s one of the most attractive qualities that a
person can have. We like to know that someone is vulnerable, that someone
is evil. Why? Because we`re vulnerable and evil.
LIPTON: So we like to know that these people are like us...
MATTHEWS: Well, here`s...
LIPTON: ... and Tony Soprano was like us.
MATTHEWS: Well, here`s some reaction to this. He died -- you know, when
you get older, you realize how young 51 is. Here`s the reaction from the
New Jersey political community.
First of all, Governor Christie said in his statement, "James Gandolfini:
was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. I was a huge fan
of his and the character he played so authentically, Tony Soprano. I`ve
gotten to know Jimmy and many of the other actors in the `Sopranos` cast,
and I can say that each of them are an individual New Jersey treasure.
And Newark mayor Cory Booker, who`s running for the Senate now, tweeted,
"My condolences to the family and all those who loved James Gandolfini, a
true NJ great and an NJ original. RIP."
You know, what`s interesting how we`ve been through this with the concern
that Italians are portrayed, well, certainly, unfairly as all crooks, you
know, but certainly, you have -- you have the mafia as a reality, and it`s
accepted as a reality, even though it`s obviously a minuscule subset of
people of that background.
And yet there was a lot of concern about this. I think Rudy got upset
about this in the beginning, and I don`t know whether it was the Anti-
Defamation League or the Italian thing and all that. But for some reason,
this thing hasn`t caused a stirring opposition by any community, especially
the Italian-American community.
LIPTON: Well, let me compare it to a very unlike show, which is "Jersey
LIPTON: ... which perpetrated every stereotype about Italian-Americans,
and the criticism was unrelenting of that show. The reason why "The
Sopranos" didn`t get the same kind of criticism is because that wasn`t the
only thing you saw. You saw so much more. You saw the humanity...
MATTHEWS: The good wife.
LIPTON: The good wife, the family dynamics, the cultural aspects of it
that made it so much more than just a stereotype.
MATTHEWS: This is a clip here of James Gandolfini`s appearance on "Inside
the Actors Studio," with James. It shows his answer to the program`s
signature question. Let`s listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIPTON: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you
arrive at the pearly gates?
GANDOLFINI: Take over for a while, I`ll be right back.
GANDOLFINI: No, no. No, no, no!
LIPTON: That`s it!
GANDOLFINI: No, no, no!
LIPTON: You dare not change it. It`s too good. It`s too good.
GANDOLFINI: Think of the possibilities!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: James, every time I meet an actor that I`m in love with and
think is great, and you meet them and you realize -- somebody once said
this of Cary Grant -- you met Cary Grant and you wish you hadn`t met him
because he isn`t Cary Grant. Nobody could be Cary Grant in real life
because you need a line, you need a great moment, you need a scene, you
need the camera.
What was he like as opposed to his character?
LIPTON: You`re talking about Cary Grant or James Gandolfini?
MATTHEWS: No, well, let`s start with -- let`s go with the more immediate
question here, James Gandolfini.
LIPTON: He was absolutely what you see on the screen there. He was
himself. He was never anything but himself.
MATTHEWS: You mean in your show, on your show.
LIPTON: That`s correct. Remember that my show is a master class and a
master degree program at the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University.
He was there to teach, and he taught our students -- we`ve been on 19
years. We just did our 250th episode. And rarely in the 19 years has
anybody brought as much technique and craft to our stage as that man did.
He was trained for two years by Sanford Meisner`s (ph) people. And he gave
our students a lesson in acting that was -- Olivier couldn`t have done
better. Pacino didn`t do better. DeNiro didn`t do better. Gandolfini was
right up there with them. He had -- those two things were combined in him,
technique and talent.
MATTHEWS: Well, he`s going to be missed, and I can`t wait to read about
you -- read you tomorrow, Paul Farhi, and hear from you more about this,
James Lipton. I think everybody was shocked by this, taken away from us
too early, way too early. What a great, and I mean it, icon. We don`t
have many icons in this country. They come along once or twice a decade.
Tony Soprano, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, was our guy.
Anyway thank you. Coming up -- thank you, Paul, and thank you, James.
LIPTON: I hope he does take over up there. Wouldn`t that be nice.
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s consider that in another program.
Anyway, how far off the rails are the NRA right now? They`re attacking
West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, a real gun-toting guy with a bill --
they went after him. Well, what do they want? They helped write the bill
he came up with, which was on background checks to keep the people who
should never have a gun from getting one, and then they jumped him. He`s
talking back to them tonight. We`re going to get real tough tonight with
him, with Joe Manchin.
Plus, call it the border surge, like in the military down in Afghanistan,
Senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven of North Dakota in that case have a
plan to toughen up border security and win over more of their GOP
colleagues. But it turns out that the first casualty of this war might be
one of their colleagues. Marco Rubio might be getting hurt by this support
for immigration reform.
And here`s a character for your political pantheon, Bishop E.W. Jackson, a
Republican running for lieutenant governor down in Virginia. He strikes
again. He says that while slavery was bad for the African-American family,
Lyndon Johnson`s Great Society was worse. Talk about hyperbole.
And "Let Me Finish" tonight with the goal of an honest -- please God, an
honest immigration law, one we can be proud to enforce.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: You`re going to love this. Barack Obama famously said there
aren`t red states or blue states in this country, just the United States.
But as president, he hasn`t quite lived up to that hopeful rhetoric.
Take a look at this map. This map shows the six states -- there they are -
- that the president has never set foot in, never set foot in while
president. No surprise they`re all deep red states. And here`s another
seven the president`s only visited once in all the time he`s been president
in five years, the green ones there.
By contrast, President Obama`s visited the swing state of Colorado -- guess
what? -- 19 times. He`s been to Florida 30 times. He`s traveled to Ohio
39 times. And he won all three of those states in both of his elections.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, one week ago today, the
National Rifle Association turned on one of its own, an A-rated lawmaker
out there, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, with this tough ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember his TV ad?
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: I`m Joe Manchin. I approved this ad
because I will always defend West Virginia. As your senator, I`ll protect
our 2nd Amendment rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was Joe Manchin`s commitment, but now Manchin is
working with President Obama and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Concerned? You should be. Tell Senator Manchin to honor his commitment to
the 2nd Amendment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Senator Manchin did not leave that challenge unanswered,
and today he fired back with an ad of his own.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANCHIN: I`m Joe Manchin, and I approved this message to bring common
sense to Washington. I am a lifetime NRA member, but I don`t walk in
lockstep with the NRA`s Washington leadership, this administration, or any
special interest group.
West Virginia, you know me. I haven`t changed, and you know I have always
fought for our gun rights. I believe we can protect the 2nd Amendment and
make our community safer. I think most law-abiding gun owners agree with
me. Call the NRA and tell them to support criminal background checks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, as you see, Manchin`s there fighting back, which is the
only way to compete with the NRA`s Washington lobby. And perhaps without
even realizing it, he followed advice put forth -- I`m just kidding here --
in a 1988 book about how politics is really played. Chapter seven of
"HARDBALL" is entitled "Leave no shot unanswered."
Well, Senator Joe Manchin, welcome (ph) for joining us. I think what
you`re doing here is so important to people in life. It`s about character.
It`s about personal reputation. And a man or woman must defend their
When some people out there from Washington, paid lobbyists, go out after
you because you dared to be independent and to develop what I think is a
very centrist position on gun safety, they couldn`t stand it that you
looked good. So here they are throwing mud at you after the fight`s at
least initial battle is over.
Why do you think they decided to go after you, after the skirmish, after
they won on that vote on the background check I think they shouldn`t have
won, but after they -- why did they come back at you, and why do you think
they did that?
MANCHIN: Chris, I think they`re afraid that this is not going away. And
they`re correct, it`s not going away. It makes so much sense. Law-abiding
gun owners like myself basically have the premise that we`re not going to
sell to a stranger. We`re not going to give it to someone who`s mentally
deranged. And we`re not going to give it and sell it to a family member
who`s not responsible.
So, it only makes sense that if you go to a gun show, commercial, or go
online, since I`m that law-abiding gun owner, I don`t want someone to get
the gun I don`t know who they are. That makes sense, and they knew sooner
or later that they couldn`t continue to keep telling the law-abiding NRA
members like me that what they were saying weren`t true.
And that`s what it`s coming down to.
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about the road forward.
I think you have shown you have your dukes up and everybody now knows
you`re a rifleman and you know how to clean a gun, you know how to get the
bullet out of there and everything. You were shooting that shell out of
there. I was impressed with that.
Let`s talk about the future. It seems to me it`s hard -- now, you tell me
if I`m wrong.
MATTHEWS: You have got four Democrats and all the Republicans voting the
other way. They didn`t want gun safety on this issue. They didn`t even
want background checks on people that go to gun shows.
Crazy people could show up at a gun show. Now, let`s talk about what
worked. It`s very hard to get people to change their minds, those four
people, and any other Republicans. Is there another route there where you
could go for the -- what they tried to do that also didn`t pass, the gun
trafficking effort that got up to 58 votes? Is there another way to sort
of outflank the NRA and win a big one, or not?
MANCHIN: Well, the thing -- where we are, Chris, right now, there`s 45 --
45 senators that did not vote for this, for whatever reason. And, you
know, I`m talking and still working and all that, and I want to make sure
that any concerns they might have, clarifications that are needed will be
The biggest help that we can do and the biggest help I can have right now
is for all groups to be able to just go into these states where we have
senators that did not vote for it and try to educate the populace there,
If we have gun owners, law-abiding gun owners that know that not only did
we not try to infringe on their rights, we improved, we protected and
improved their Second Amendment rights, but with a law-abiding gun owner,
we have responsibilities, too, and that is to make sure that the wrong
people don`t get guns.
MANCHIN: If you`re crazy, if you`re a criminal, and if you`re a terrorist,
we don`t want you to have them.
MATTHEWS: Did you -- have you come across -- you don`t have to tell me the
names, but have you come across any senators on the Republican side or the
four Democrats that have said to you, if you had only done this thing, I
could have been with you? And what is that thing they wanted changed?
MANCHIN: Well, you know, we have -- there`s a lot of talk going on.
There`s an awful lot of people that know -- on both sides that voted
against that know this makes common sense, but are they -- have they been
pushed into a position where they can`t retreat?
And you know the dynamics of politics better than most. With that being
said, Chris, there`s an awful lot of people that haven`t said much at all,
a lot of people you haven`t heard from that haven`t been identified. And
if their constituents have comfort, have an understanding that this bill
not only preserves, but it protects and it enhances their rights, and all
they`re asked to do is that make sure when you go to a gun show, you know
who you`re selling your gun to, if someone calls you or identifies you
online, you know who they are, that`s not too much to ask.
And law-biding gun owners, NRA members like me, there`s four million-plus
NRA members, and I will guarantee you most of them feel like I do. The
leadership here in Washington has left them.
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s talk about that.
This is so important. I have watched your arguments on this on television.
And I have seen it in the ad again today. Wayne LaPierre, he`s a famous
guy, we all know who he is. He`s a tough gun guy.
MATTHEWS: I think he`s moved further to the right than he ever was before.
But how does that distinguish him -- there he is in the ad there, the
How does that compare to the guys you meet and the women you meet in your
state of West Virginia who are gun owners and members of the NRA? Do they
see him as a distinctive figure out there on his own or do they see him as
their leader? What is it?
MANCHIN: The people in West Virginia, the NRA members and the people in
West Virginia, they are just pure, pure, sincere, law-abiding gun owners.
They don`t have a commercial interest. They don`t have a $1 million
salary. They don`t have all of the fringes that come with the trappings of
With that being said, what they`re trying to do is basically look at this
and make sense. When they start seeing what we have done to the bill, you
know what they said? And you mean the NRA in Washington is against this?
We have been fighting for some of these provisions for the last decade or
And I said, all we have done -- and I said, guess what? In 1999, the NRA
leadership in Washington , pretty much the same people intact, were for
this. I haven`t changed. They changed, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Congratulations, Senator.
You`re doing something I believe people have to do in politics or down the
street from somebody who is bad-mouthing them.
MATTHEWS: If somebody is bad-mouthing you, you have got to straighten that
story out to so that your friends will know you`re right, they will
understand where you`re coming from, and they won`t believe the B.S. being
thrown at them.
MANCHIN: I have got nothing to hide, Chris.
MATTHEWS: And I wish Obama would watch what -- I wish Mr. Obama, the
president, who I really like and support, would do more of this when it
came to things like IRS.
Anyway, thank you so much, Senator Joe Manchin...
MANCHIN: Thank you for having me.
MATTHEWS: ... who has -- who has responded to the bad stories.
Up next, Virginia`s Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, this guy,
what a character, he strikes again. Will this guy cost his party the
election down there in the Old Dominion?
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL and now to the "Sideshow."
First, as the G8 summit in Germany comes to a close, David Letterman took a
look back at some memorable speeches from U.S. presidents in that country
and then some.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": We have put
together a collection of memorable presidential speeches that took place in
Germany at the Brandenburg Gate, and we`re going to show them to you. And
I think this will bring back quite a few memories.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: June 26, 1963.
JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As a free man, I take
pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: June 12, 1987.
RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: July 31, 2006.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last night, Jeb and I had
BUSH: ... with members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
BUSH: Dan Marino and his really dynamic wife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, in fairness to W., that last one was obviously not made in
Next, Bishop E.W. Jackson strikes again. Virginia`s Republican candidate
for lieutenant governor has been snatching up headlines in recent weeks for
his long history of controversial comments. Among other things, he`s
compared Planned Parenthood to the KKK and suggested that yoga could lead
people at risk of being possessed by Satan. Hey, why not?
Well, here is Jackson speaking about government welfare programs at an
event just yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BISHOP E.W. JACKSON (R), LIEUTENANT GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I`m telling
you that slavery did not destroy the black family, even though it certainly
was an attack on the black family. It made it difficult. But I will tell
you that the programs that began in the `60s, the programs that began to
tell women you don`t need a man in the home, the government will take care
of you, that began to tell men, you don`t need to be in the home, the
government will take care of this woman and take care of these children,
that`s when the black family began to deteriorate.
By now, by this time, we have only 20 percent of black children being
raised in two-parent monogamous families with a married man and woman
raising those children. It wasn`t slavery that did that. It was
government that did that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: OK. Why didn`t he just say that welfare does run the danger of
possibly killing self-reliance? That`s an argument that some people can
make. Why muck it up, as he did, by comparing it to slavery?
Anyway, by the way, Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor
down in Virginia, would not weigh in on Jackson`s remarks when asked about
them today. Well, obviously, he doesn`t wanted to be touched by them.
Next, here is a question. What`s one of the worst possible places to
launch and carry out a congressional campaign? Well, ask Steven Nodine, a
former Alabama county commissioner who is considering a run for the United
States Congress. He happens to be serving out right now a two-year prison
sentence on charges of perjury and harassment. That`s not stopping him.
In an e-mail about his plans to run for Congress, Nodine said: "I know some
will be skeptical of my interest in this congressional race after
wrongfully being accused of crimes, drug abuse and personal mistakes. I
have the determination, the experience, and fortitude to serve as your U.S.
congressman for the 1st Congressional District."
Well, since he wouldn`t be able to hold any in-person campaign events,
Nodine says he would focus on social media, of course. Well, the race will
be a special election to fill the seat of Republican Jo Bonner, who plans
to resign in August. An election date has not yet been set.
Finally, the latest from our "Sideshow" regular, the inimitable Republican
Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas. Well, this time, it`s nothing to do
with President Obama`s birth certificate or the Muslim Brotherhood
infiltrating the administration.
Yesterday, a reporter with ThinkProgress asked the congressman for his
opinion on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prevent
employers from firing someone simply because they`re gay. Here is
Gohmert`s reaction -- quote -- "Who wants to go talking about sexual
orientation when they`re working? Good grief."
Apparently, he`s only talking there about gay people, because I put this to
you. What straight person fails to mention occasionally his or her spouse
at work? Nobody.
Coming up, will Republicans go along with immigration reform if border
security is actually strengthened and will Marco Rubio`s presidential
ambitions survive that fight over immigration reform?
That`s coming up next. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
AMANDA DRURY, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Mandy Drury with your CNBC "Market
Well, stocks endured a second day of big sell-offs after Fed Chairman Ben
Bernanke said yesterday the Fed would slow its bond-buying stimulus program
later on this year. As you can see, the Dow plunged 353 points. The S&P
tanked by 40. And the Nasdaq lost 78.
Gold also plummeted to its lowest point in two-and-a-half years, down more
than 6 percent to settle under $1,300 a troy ounce. Existing home sales,
however, increased by 4.2 percent in May, which is good news, the number of
workers applying for jobless benefits, however, up by 18,000 last week.
And that`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide -- now it`s back over
to HARDBALL and Chris Matthews.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Of course, border surge, that`s what the senators are calling a new border
security plan authorized by Republicans Bob Corker of Tennessee and John
Hoeven of North Dakota. It`s being hailed as the grand bargain, the big
compromise just agreed to -- or almost anyway. It`s already being blessed
by the gang of eight and it`s attracting conservative voices on the issue,
like Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois who was considered one
of the bill`s biggest critics.
So, what`s in the surge? Let`s take a look right now. It would double the
size of the Border Patrol along the Mexican/American border, adding 20,000
new agents, 350 miles of new fencing in addition to 350 already there and
already covered by the fence. It would strengthen the E-Verify system for
employers to make sure their workers are legal.
We should note those would all need to be set up before anyone could get a
green card. And it would require a 90 percent removal rate for immigrants
who overstay their visas.
Senator Corker spoke about the plan earlier today on MSNBC.
Let`s listen to Senator Corker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: For people who are concerned about border
security, once they see what is in this bill, it`s almost overkill, Peter.
I think if that`s the issue that people have, I think everyone working
together has come up -- have come up with a way to deal with that issue.
So I do hope that we can send it over to the House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Senator Lindsey Graham, a key architect of the bill in
this Senate, has voiced his support as well for this new amendment, saying
it`s -- quote -- "an overwhelming effort to secure our border, short of
shooting anybody who comes across."
Well, that`s strong language.
Joining us right now is the author -- the co-author, I should say, of the
border surge, Senator John Hoeven, Republican from North Dakota.
Senator, thank you so much.
You were a governor, so I have great confidence in you as an executive.
And, sometimes, I think that legislators don`t know what they`re talking
about. They pass bills. They don`t become effective. They don`t have any
teeth. They don`t work. And we call them reform bills, and, 20 years
later, we`re passing another reform bill because the first one was a joke.
On immigration reform, you know what went wrong on the 1986 bill. It never
got enforced. We got amnesty without any border control, no employer
sanctions. Why should a skeptic believe that this time the Congress, with
the support of Hispanic groups, with the support of liberals and moderates,
is willing to get tough and really pass a law we`re proud to enforce?
SEN. JOHN HOEVEN (R), NORTH DAKOTA: Chris, good to be with you.
And you were out in North Dakota when I was governor, and got a chance to
visit with you then. And, look, this bill focuses on making sure we secure
the border first. That`s what it`s all about. You mentioned a lot of the
things that are in the bill.
What we provide is that we secure the border, so we`re not back in this
situation where we have millions of illegal immigrants in this country 10
years down the road. That`s what it`s all about. That`s why it
strengthens this comprehensive immigration reform effort.
MATTHEWS: Some people are skeptical of this bill because of the people
You keep hearing from, for example, the organized Hispanic community. And
fair enough. They`re concerned about people here illegally, and they`re
trying to get them on a path to legality. And that`s a wonderfully
But are they also supportive, as you see it -- or is the bill supportive of
the other side of the equation, stopping the problem from getting worse?
We put a $3.2 billion high-tech strategic plan right in the legislation.
That must be deployed. That must be operational on the border, in addition
to 20,000 additional border patrol agents, 700 miles of fencing, and E-
Verify system and an entry/exit system at all of our international airports
and seaports before anyone could get a green card.
And so, this is about border security first, which is why it should bring
people together to -- it`s what the American people want, and we should get
a bipartisan vote to pass the legislation.
MATTHEWS: So you`re running a construction company perhaps up in North
Dakota, perhaps down near the border around Arizona. You have 25 people
you have working for you, and a new guy comes looking for a job and you
suspect he`s probably from across the border or he comes from a background
you think might be a problem. You don`t know. So you want to make sure
you haven`t hired somebody illegally.
How under this system can you be sure you`re not breaking the law and be
sure you have a good person here a good authorized person to be in the
country and you`re solid on the law.
How do you be sure of that under your bill?
HOEVEN: Because employers are required to use the E-Verify system. You`re
on the right subject. It`s not just about securing the border. It`s also
about taking away the incentive to come here illegally. Do you that with
E-Verify and a proper guest worker program so the people that come don`t
want to come because they can`t get a job because we`ll catch them with E-
Verify if they can get across our secure border which they won`t be able
to, and you have a guest worker program so they can come legally and go
MATTHEWS: You sound like a great man, senator, governor, as good a title
But, Senator John Hoeven, thank you from North Dakota. I hope you follow
with that consistency right through the conference.
HOEVEN: Thanks, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Because I don`t want to see any hanky-panky in the conference,
where it`s watered down and jammed through to the house. This has got to
be a bill we`re proud to enforce for the next 50 years.
Anyway, thank you so much for joining us and good luck with it.
Joining us now is MSNBC political analyst Ed Rendell, former governor of
Governor, it sounds like he`s on the right track. It sounds like a tough
proposal. I`m wondering whether the liberal side of this equation will
accept what looks to be a darn tough approach to enforcement.
ED RENDELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think we will, Chris, for two
reasons. Number one, because it took away the requirement that we reach 90
percent apprehension of anybody who comes -- tries to get across the
border. It turns that into a goal. That`s very important because the 90
percent figure was in some ways particularly early on unattainable or
So I think that would have -- that was in the Cornyn amendment and that was
a poison pill. You took away that.
This is almost overkill. Senator Corker said that himself. But Senator
Corker is a good man and I know John Hoeven from the time that we served as
governors together. He`s a very good man.
RENDELL: I think this bill is necessary. We want the path to citizenship.
The only way realistically we`re going to get the path to citizenship is to
agree to a tough border enforcement bill that`s practical and workable, and
I think we`ve got it.
And listen, when it goes, we need to get at least 75 votes I think in the
Senate. So when it goes over to the House, two things have been stripped
away. Number one, an incredibly tough border security provision. And,
number two, the CBO`s recent report, Chris --
MATTHEWS: I know.
RENDELL: -- that says this isn`t going to cost us money. It`s actually
going to help reduce the federal deficit, this bill. Those two things
strip away any excuse any of the conservatives --
MATTHEWS: I think it neutralizes that.
MATTHEWS: Put on your political analysis hat. Marco Rubio looked to be a
guy trying to walk right across the line, in fact, along the firing line
like in World War I. They`re shooting at him from both sides. Is he
caught in the cross fire here by trying to be the dealmaker in his way?
Politically, is this going to kill him for the nomination for next time?
RENDELL: No, other than the 11 million undocumenteds who win by the fact
we`re going to have a path to citizenship. Marco Rubio is the next big
winner because this is a bill, because it`s now so tough on border security
and because the CBO has said it won`t cost us money, it will reduce the
deficit, this is a bill that Marco Rubio can support, take pride in, and he
can take that to 95 percent of the Republican electorate.
MATTHEWS: As always, smart.
RENDELL: I think it`s a big win, a big win.
MATTHEWS: If it`s a bill that works and we`re proud of it a couple years
Anyway, thank you. Thank you, Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.
Make sure, by the way, to check out our Web site for much more on this
tropic, including a look at what concessions Democrats may be forced to
make if they want a bill that`s really going to get there, I mean, become
law. Just go to TV.MSNBC.com and click on HARDBALL.
Up next, an actor with a personal perspective on James Gandolfini, Jeff
Daniels. Of course, he`s star of "Newsroom." He also started at Broadway
with Gandolfini, they worked together every night. He`s going to tell us
what this guy we just lost is like as a person, as well as an actor, as
well as an icon.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back with more coming up here on the death of the "Sopranos"
star James Gandolfini. Actor Jeff Daniels worked with Gandolfini on
Broadway. He`s going to join us on HARDBALL in just a minute.
MATTHEWS: We`re back.
Of course, you know James Gandolfini for his iconic role as mob boss Tony
Soprano, but his talent wasn`t confined to the TV screen, not by a long
Back in 2009 four years ago, James starred in the highly acclaimed Broadway
show "God of Carnage," you see a picture of it. It was an intimate cast
only four actors, all four of them nominated for Tony Awards.
Jeff Daniels, one of his co-stars of that show, reacted to today`s news
about Gandolfini saying, "If Broadway has a vision of a guy you want in
your foxhole, James Gandolfini was mine. During our time together in `The
God of Carnage`, we played 320 performances together. He didn`t miss one.
Sadly, I now miss him like a brother."
Jeff Daniels joins us now from New York. He is a legend in the business
himself and star of HBO`s "The Newsroom", which has its season premier on
Sunday, July 14th.
So, talk about -- I`m always fascinated when I meet people like you. I`ve
watched, been charmed by you on the screen and in theater. And you meet
the person and you go what`s he like? Because we never get to meet them
JEFF DANIELS, ACTOR, "THE NEWSROOM": You know, we live in world where what
is the bad stuff, what is the negative that sells papers and tabloids and
things like that. Jim, Jim had a generosity that was as big as New Jersey.
He -- there are countless stories, whether it`s on "The Sopranos" or
whether it`s "God of Carnage" that he would do stuff for us.
I remember when we extended, and Jim got the play done. That`s the only
reason we were on Broadway. And when we extended, Jim`s first thing was
everybody gets paid the same or I don`t do it.
DANIELS: He did things like that constantly.
It was so brave of him to come to Broadway. That`s the proving ground. A
lot of film actors can`t do it. It`s eight times a week. It`s tough to
make it look like it`s happening for the first time month after month after
month. I think there was part of Jim that looked at "Sopranos" as this
kind of -- I don`t want to be a one-hit wonder. And I`m a big star, but am
I good actor.
And he bravely came to Broadway with "God of Carnage" to prove to himself
that he was a good actor. And it was a joy for the four of us, for Marcia,
Hope, and myself in particular to kind of watch him feel good about what he
did as an actor.
And I know by the end of it, we walked off stage. And I said you did it.
And you could see in his eyes that, yes, I did. I did it. And that -- now
he wasn`t just a star. Now he was a good actor in his own mind.
And that was one of the many things I`ll remember about him.
MATTHEWS: Wow. I`m always amazed at you guys when you do Broadway.
Friday nights, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night and then Sunday.
DANIELS: Don`t forget Tuesday, Wednesday, Wednesday and Thursday either.
MATTHEWS: It`s just work.
DANIELS: It`s brutal, it`s brutal.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about what you`re doing with "Newsroom." my son
has a part on that show. Not as large as years, of course. You`re the man
on the show.
You play a guy, sort of like Keith Olbermann, maybe little like me, maybe
like a little bit some other people in news business. But what is
"Newsroom" going to be like coming out starting this Sunday? Because we --
it`s the most organic show I`ve ever watched. It seems to come out of
itself every week.
It seems to grow like a human being. And that makes it so unpredictable
and fascinating to people.
DANIELS: I think one of the things that is unfair to us is that -- or any
TV series in particular -- is that when you come in with season one, for
all of us, Aaron, me, every actor, every designer, director, it`s a first
draft. We`re guessing out there Aaron doesn`t know me. He doesn`t know
the characters as well as he will later on. Will this work? Will the
story work? Can I even do Will?
All that stuff kind of happens in the first season. We guessed right more
than we guessed wrong, I think. But I know shooting the second season,
which we just finished, it felt like our third or fourth. It was as if
Aaron and all of us walked on to the set at season two and said we got
this. We know what this is now. Thank you for allowing us the time to
kind of find it.
And we will continue to do that, like any show would. But with someone who
is as masterful at the art of storytelling as Sorkin is, it`s a joy to get
there every day, because you never know what the next episode. You never
know where he is going to take that story. And that`s the mark of a good
MATTHEWS: I can`t wait to see you and Emily Mortimer and, of course, Sam
Waterston and Jane Fonda. What a cast. And I want to know what you end up
saying about our business, because every one of your shows is a statement
about what you ought to be doing in this business, right?
DANIELS: Well, yes -- or the struggle that you guys face every day of do I
-- you know, do we for number`s sakes stay with Casey Anthony? Do we stay
with Jodi Arias? Or do we go after the stories that aren`t going to pull
the ratings, but they`re better stories and they`re more information and
that`s what we should be talking about? You guys fight that every day.
And I think the show focuses more on that, and frankly, we`re not sitting
on the set going what can -- we can say that MSNBC or FOX is doing wrong
today. We`re going, let`s show the struggle. And especially in season
two, the struggle is ours. It`s Will and company, not yours.
MATTHEWS: OK. It`s my big belief about programs like this. It`s the
company you keep. Are you good company? Are you honest with people? And
you give them something to take away. Those are the keys to the shows.
Honesty and give people substance to take away? And I think just said
Jeff Daniels, star of "Newsroom", coming back Sunday night on HBO.
And we`ll be right back after this.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this.
We`ve got 11 million people living in this country illegally. They`re here
as a result of a failed immigration reform bill that earlier reform bill
that passed in 1986.
It failed because it gave amnesty to millions of people in this country
already and promised to stop the flow of millions more. It broke that
promise, of course, or rather the Congress that passed that first
immigration bill refused to enforce it. Rather, it refused to make it
enforceable. It had no teeth. It gave American employers no way of being
sure a person looking for a job was the person he or she said they were.
Well, that immigration reform bill was, in other words, a joke. You can
build all the fences you want, by the way. You can put guards every 10
feet, and people will get into this country if there is a job waiting for
them. I would, wouldn`t you?
My question about this bill, will it stop illegal immigration into our
country? Will it deal with the problem we have? The reason we have 11
million people living in this country illegally.
They get quiet and seem to have so few words to say when that matter comes
I`m suspicious about people stopping illegal immigration because I suspect
this has become a CYA operation politically. Parties trying to protect
themselves politically, not protect the country legally. It`s businesses
trying to keep the door open for cheap labor. It`s every push in the
country, every pressure group in the country.
I don`t hear one person say with conviction that he or she is for reform is
he wants the problem solved, the problem of illegal immigration. And that
is the reason we`re talking about this thing right now.
I want Congress to pass an immigration bill that they will be proud to
fully and effectively enforce. If not, why are they wasting our times
passing another joke like they did back in 1986.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.
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