updated 10/2/2014 10:39:19 AM ET 2014-10-02T14:39:19

September 30, 2014

Guest: Joanne Kenen, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Jeanne Cummings, Noah Bierman,
Jeanne Cummings


And this is HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

One of the world`s most terrifying diseases has reached U.S. shores.
The CDC has confirmed the first ever case of Ebola diagnosed here in the
United States. I`ve got some questions I`d like answered tonight,
especially after the president said this just two weeks ago.


people to know that our experts here at the CDC and across our government
agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are
extremely low. In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach
our shores, we`ve taken new measures so that we`re prepared here at home.


MATTHEWS: Well, we`ve reached that unlikely event as of today.
Here`s what we know. An individual traveling from Liberia to the United
States was tested positive for the disease. They`re currently in strict
isolation at a hospital down in Dallas. The patient, an adult male,
arrived in the U.S. on September 20th. About a week ago, he began
developing symptoms, and on Sunday, he was admitted to the hospital.

President Obama has been briefed by the CDC, which held a press
conference late today to publicly disclose the case. The CDC`s doctor, Dr.
Thomas Frieden, said that health officials were taking swift action to
prevent the spread of the disease. Already, he says, they`ve identified
everyone that the patient may have come in contact with while infectious,
and they were confident that this would not lead to an outbreak here in the


DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: The bottom line here is that I have
no doubt that we will control this importation or this case of Ebola so
that it does not spread widely in this country. It is certainly possible
that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member or other
individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks. But there`s no doubt
in my mind that we will stop it here.


MATTHEWS: Well, Charles Hadlock`s a reporter with NBC News. He joins
us on the phone from Dallas. Dr. Zeke Emanuel`s a former White House
health care adviser and fellow at the Center for American Progress. And
Joanne Kenen the health care editor for Politico.

I want to start with Zeke. Dr. Emanuel, how did this guy who`s here -
- he`s apparently from Liberia. He`s a Liberian national, apparently --
we`re not sure, but he`s certainly not an American. He`s visiting here.
How did he get Ebola? And if he got it or got exposed to it, why wasn`t
that information picked up at the airport? Can he -- apparently, he had
his temperature taken on takeoff. Well, why would he have his temperature
taken on takeoff? Did he know that he was exposed to it and did he know he
might have it and somehow get through the United States immigration, and
everything else, and just walk into the country like this? How`d it

thing. You get exposed, and then there`s a latent period where you`re
unaware that you have the disease, and you`re also not infectious at that
period. And that`s obviously what happened. And once he got to the United
States, once that incubation period is up, he began to feel symptoms and
went to the hospital. And I think, you know, that...

MATTHEWS: Why do we let somebody in the country during their
incubation period?

EMANUEL: ... that`s exactly what happened...

MATTHEWS: Why would we let somebody in if they had been exposed to
whatever secretions, whatever the contact was with the victim before him --
why do we let the person in until it`s clear that the symptoms are not
going to turn up, which you say has an incubation period?

EMANUEL: We -- first of all, it`s -- we don`t have enough information
to know whether he knew he had contact with someone who had Ebola and was
coming to the States because he had it.

MATTHEWS: Is that reasonable, that a person wouldn`t know that? Is
it reasonable?

EMANUEL: Well, it is reasonable because lots of people can touch
other people who could be infected but not infectious, but not actually
having severe symptoms. So I think it`s actually quite reasonable.

His temperature was normal. He got on the plane, and he came to the
United States. And I think they -- you know, in Texas, they were clearly
prepared, and I think they -- it sounds like they`ve done a very good job.
And I think what Tom Frieden said was absolutely right. You do contact
tracing for everyone he`s contacted, then make sure that they don`t have

And it`s quite easily contained in the United States. We know that,
Chris, because in Nigeria, they`ve been able to contain it, and their
health system is better than Liberia and Sierra Leone, but nowhere near the
United States. So the idea that...

MATTHEWS: I`m just trying to follow the logic here -- the logic here.
Everybody`s being told, Don`t worry, unless they have the infectious
symptoms and you can see them, that you don`t have to worry about catching
them. Yet this guy picked up the disease, apparently, from somebody who
did not have the infectious symptoms.

EMANUEL: Again, don`t hypothesize because we just don`t know. We
have no idea what he did or didn`t do and how he got it. I`m sure that`s
going to be vital information to try to understand the transmission. But
the idea that there`s going to be a widespread outbreak here, I think is
just -- again, it`s a bit of fear-mongering. We have a single case. This
is not a big, widespread...

MATTHEWS: Yes, yes. But I`m just going back to the president`s
statement, Doctor, and that is that the president said it would be unlikely
if we had a case in this country, unlikely to have even one case. Want to
go back and see the tape again?

EMANUEL: He said there wouldn`t be an Ebola outbreak, and I think
that`s accurate...

MATTHEWS: No, and in the second part of his sentence, he said in the
unlikely case someone brings it here.


MATTHEWS: In the unlikely case somebody brings it here. Well,
they`ve done it. We`re living in the world of the unlikely already.
That`s all I`m saying. I`m not fear-mongering. I`m stating the facts, and
I wonder if everybody else is.

EMANUEL: Well, Chris, you`re right, it is an unlikely case, but it`s
not -- again, we need to put it in perspective. This isn`t easily
transmitted. It`s not like the flu. It`s not like measles or chickenpox.
You need bodily -- you need contact with bodily fluids. And we have a
health system that`s much better prepared to prevent that from happening
once the person is in the health system.

Now, as you point out, before you get into the health system, there
are chances where you`re feeling sick, it`s non-specific, it`s a fever,
it`s muscle aches, where you could be infectious. And for those things, we
need good contact tracing. And that`s why we have the CDC and we have good
public health measures.


EMANUEL: I would emphasize, Chris, this -- if any Americans thought
whatever happens over there, it`s irrelevant to us, we don`t have to really
care what happens in West Africa -- this shows you that`s simply a false
statement. While we`re not at severe risk of having an Ebola outbreak
here, what happens over there does matter to us for our health, but it also
matters to us in terms of failed states, bad problems in other countries
that could affect us.

And we really do need to be much more engaged in other countries and
making sure their health systems can work and can solve these kind of

MATTHEWS: Let me go right now to Joanne Kenen of Politico. Joanne,
this whole thing about the president having said it`s unlikely, just two
week ago, that it would reach these shores -- well, it has reached these
shores. Talk about the problem (INAUDIBLE) my problem is if this fellow,
apparently a male, an adult male -- we`re told that -- caught the disease
and didn`t know it and came here and only discovered when he got here that
he had it, but didn`t -- must have realized he came in contact with
somebody because -- because he got it.

Maybe I`m getting tautological here, but the fact is, he has the
disease. He`s not -- it was unlikely he would be here with it, but he`s
here, and he got it from someone who apparently didn`t have the symptoms,
but he was able to get it from them. And that`s why people are worried
that you could get it from this guy on the airplane who doesn`t have the
apparent symptoms but is in the incubation period still. What do we know?

JOANNE KENEN, POLITICO: The CDC was very, very explicit that they did
not believe that there was any threat to the people on the plane that he
traveled in. At this point, they haven`t even said what plane it was or
when he came. That was something at the press conference they said.
They`re not worried about that.

It`s that early stage, when he began to get sick, when he was in the
United States, before he -- by the time -- between the time he started
feeling sick and he ended up in the hospital -- that`s the interval they`re
worried about, and that`s where they`re doing the contact tracing,
including the family and whoever else he came in contact with.

We don`t know that he knew he was exposed. We don`t know that he knew
he was sick. That`s not anything that we can say happened with certainty.
We have not sealed off Liberia. Planes and people are coming back and

The issue now is containment. (INAUDIBLE) two issues for public
health, right? Find out who he was in touch with, find out who had close
contact, find out who may be a threat, make sure that they`re taken care
of, and make sure they don`t infect anybody else if they get sick.

The other thing (INAUDIBLE) the public panic. I mean, it is a scary
disease. It`s not a disease anyone wants to have here. But it is not --
as Zeke said, it`s not like -- it`s not like you sneeze and you`re across
the room and somebody drops dead.



MATTHEWS: ... the contradiction that`s being sold out there, which is
you can`t get it except from somebody who has the obvious symptoms. Then
we`re told this guy may not know he has it because he didn`t know he caught
it, when, in fact, we`re being told...

KENEN: No, he didn`t know...

MATTHEWS: ... you only catch it if you`re with somebody who has
obvious symptoms! Well, there`s a contradiction there.

EMANUEL: Chris, Chris, wait. Wait. Wait a second. The symptom --
you can have non-specific symptoms, high fever, muscle aches that are
similar to the flu, similar to lots of other viruses. And that is...

MATTHEWS: In Monrovia?

EMANUEL: ... a situation where you can be infectious.

MATTHEWS: Yes, but you wouldn`t think that would be a suspicion on
his part, if he`s in Monrovia, Liberia, and has the symptoms of Ebola and
doesn`t think he has Ebola? That would be kind of a strange...

EMANUEL: No, no. He didn`t have symptoms -- he didn`t have symptoms
when he boarded the plane. That`s pretty clear now...

MATTHEWS: Right. No, the person...

EMANUEL: ... from what we`ve been told...

MATTHEWS: ... he had contact with did.


MATTHEWS: You`re not following my logic train.

EMANUEL: And he developed symptoms four days after being in the
United States.

MATTHEWS: OK. He`s in contact with somebody he got the -- he got
Ebola from. That`s all I`m going back to. How did he get it without
knowing he was getting it, if you only can get it from someone with obvious
symptoms? That`s my question.

EMANUEL: Chris, have you ever gotten a cold in the office when
someone else was around, and you know, they sneezed once and they might
have had a fever, but you know, it didn`t seem like it was that serious? I
think -- you know, this isn`t that kind of situation, but people can have
symptoms without you knowing it. And that`s the worry.

What we -- the reason we can be assured here that this isn`t going to
be a major outbreak is we have a CDC that can do very good contact tracing.
We have a very good health system that takes universal precautions on all
patients, with the gloves. And you`re not regularly in contact with
people`s bodily fluids, the way it is much more common in Liberia.


EMANUEL: And I think those things distinguish it. And I don`t think
we should get into a panic by saying, you know, We were reassured it would
never be in the United States. I don`t think anyone...

MATTHEWS: No, the president said it was unlikely...

EMANUEL: ... said that.

MATTHEWS: ... two weeks ago. Well, it`s not only the unlikely has
come to a -- it has happened -- it is here.

Anyway, here`s more from CDC director -- Centers for Disease Control,
obviously -- Dr. Thomas Frieden, who has addressed the media just an hour
ago. Here he is.


FRIEDEN: Ebola is a scary disease because of the severity of illness
it causes. And we`re really hoping for the recovery of this individual.
At the same time, we`re stopping it in its tracks in this country. We can
do that because of two things, strong health care infection control that
stops the spread of Ebola, and strong core public health functions that
trace contacts, track contacts, isolate them if they have any symptoms, and
stop the chain of transmission. We`re stopping this in its tracks.


MATTHEWS: We have Charles Hadlock joining us from NBC News. What are
we missing in this discussion so far, Charles?

CHARLES HADLOCK, NBC CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, the Dallas
County Health Department began even before the CDC made the announcements -
- when the hospital announced that it may have an Ebola patient in Dallas,
the county immediately began preparations for this. The good news is that
the doctors in charge of this investigation here say that this is not
Africa, that we have a great infrastructure and an ability to deal with
this outbreak.

He`s in a hospital now, in strict isolation. It`s a modern facility.
The doctors know what they`re doing, according to the experts here, and we
just have to wait and see how this -- how this patient plays out.

But you ask a very good question. What about this man? What was he
doing in Liberia in the days before he left? Was he exposed to it and not
know it? Did he have a family member that perhaps died of Ebola and knew
it and maybe tried to get to this country for treatment? Those are
questions we don`t know. These are questions we want to know. And it`ll
come out in time, we hope, but those are very good questions you`re asking.

MATTHEWS: And I think Dr. Zeke Emanuel made the point that what
happens in Africa doesn`t stay in Africa, as they say about Las Vegas in a
much less serious fashion. Anyway, thank you, Charles Hadlock of NBC.
Thank you, Zeke Emanuel, and -- Dr. Zeke Emanuel, and of course, Joanne
Kenen for joining us from Politico.

Coming up next: The Secret Service director was pummeled today by
members of Congress, who want answers about the safety of our president and
his family. And it was a bipartisan pummeling, I must say.

Then the HARDBALL roundtable tonight digs into both the Ebola threat
and into the stunning missteps -- and they keep coming, they keep being
divulged -- by the Secret Service that left the president vulnerable.

Also, Mitt Romney goes on record that he is eyeing, believe it or not,
another run for the White House. And it might be because the Republican
field right now doesn`t look like much. At this point, Romney could be the
party`s best hope at taking down Hillary Clinton in 2016, and he seems to
know it.

And "Let Me Finish" tonight with the high value of a Republican
nomination against Hillary Clinton. It could be worth something, like 50-

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Well, the choice has been made for you, when it comes to
paper or plastic out in California. Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed
into law the country`s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.
There they are. The legislation prohibits grocery stores and pharmacies
from using single-use plastic bags after July of 2015. That`s next July.
The following year, liquor stores and convenience stores in California will
be required to follow suit. No more plastic bags out there. Anyway, the
governor said even though his state is the first to take this step, he`s
sure it won`t be the last.

And we`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. And get this, and don`t ever
forget it. This is a dangerous country, especially for presidents. Teddy
Roosevelt was shot in the chest. Franklin Roosevelt was shot at in the
Orange Bowl, the bullet killing the mayor of Chicago, who was in a seat
next to him. Harry Truman was the target of a shooting by two Puerto Rican
nationalists at Blair House. Gerald Ford was shot at twice in one month,
first at the California state Capitol and then just a few weeks later in
San Francisco. Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr., just outside
of the Washington Hilton and barely survived. Abraham Lincoln, James
Garfield, William McKinley, and of course, John F. Kennedy did not survive.

The cold fact is, an American president stands in the line of fire.
He will either be protected well in that line, or he will die. Either the
Secret Service is both effective and lucky, or the president and the
country will suffer the consequences. Those are the historic facts.

So the question of why we can`t get straight answers from the head of
the Secret Service is a serious one. So was the bizarre ability of a
deranged man to racing into and through the White House. So is the even
more bizarre news that a man could fire his rifle from his car into a White
House window multiple times and not have that fact even recorded.

And late today, news of another Secret Service incident. Carol
Loennig of "The Washington Post" reports that an armed contractor with a
criminal record was on an elevator with President Obama during a trip to
the CDC in Atlanta on September 16th. That`s this month.

I`m joined by Virginia congressman Gerry Connolly, who is on the
Oversight Committee that led today`s hearing questioning the Secret Service
director. And we also have NBC News White House correspondent Kristen
Welker joining us.

Congressman, thank for joining us.

REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Great to be here.

MATTHEWS: What are we missing? You were there, all through the
hearings. This thing seems bizarrely broken.

CONNOLLY: It`s actually jaw-dropping. I mean, if you put this in a
bad story, it would make for a bad novel in Washington. And yet it really

MATTHEWS: Do you know how that guy, Omar...

CONNOLLY: Gonzalez.

MATTHEWS: ... Gonzalez -- how he got across the lawn? That`s a lot
of space that, and all the way to the East Room, way in the back of the
White House?

CONNOLLY: It was a series of failures that led to, frankly, a
comprehensive failure. I mean, he wasn`t detained before he got over the
fence. He wasn`t detained on the lawn. He wasn`t detained getting into
the White House. The door was unlocked and unguarded. And he roamed
around the White House for some period of time before being tackled. It`s
a massive failure on the part of...

MATTHEWS: Well, the Secret Service`s September 20th statement clearly
left the impression that the fence jumper had been apprehended quickly,
like right inside the door, something we now know was untrue. The
agency`s statement said, Mr. Gonzalez, quote, "was physically apprehended
after entering the White House North Portico doors."

Well, that description leaves the impression to anybody listening now
that he was tackled just steps after he opened the door and walked through.

Well, today, Kristen Welker challenged Secret Service Director Julia
Pierson about this. Let`s listen.


KRISTEN WELKER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Were you lying to the American

having an open discussion with the committee today. Thank you.

WELKER: Were you lying to the American people, or were you misled by
your own agents about where the intruder was tackled?

PIERSON: The Secret Service is conducting an ongoing investigation.


MATTHEWS: Well, Kristen, that was robo-talk you got from the director
there. That wasn`t too useful.

WELKER: Right. And she wasn`t directly answering my questions. And
I think a lot of lawmakers today felt as though she was deflecting the
questions that they had, particularly about that discrepancy, why the
initial report that he was tackled right inside the door, why initially did
we think that he was unarmed, and then these revelations that he, in fact,
did have a three-and-a-half-inch knife with him.

Of course, as we know now, he ran the entire length of the East Room
and he wasn`t tackled until he got to the end of it by guard who was
standing near the Green Room door. And, by the way, Chris, we`re learning
tonight that that guard there had just gotten off duty. He was heading
home for the night. And I think that`s a key point here.

You had shift changes going on. The president had just left. And
essentially -- you talked about those series of security failures. It
seems as though they happened because the Secret Service on that particular
night, at that particular moment, just blinked, after President Obama had
left for Camp David for the weekend.

MATTHEWS: Well, today, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, who
talked there in that hallway, took a bipartisan grilling on the agency`s
security fumbles. Let`s listen.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: The White House is supposed to be
the most guarded house in the world. And for anybody to even get into the
premises is something that I just find unacceptable, totally.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: If a would-be intruder can`t be
stopped by a dog or intercepted by a person, perhaps more lethal force is

And I want those Secret Service agents and officers to know at least
this member of Congress has their back. Don`t let somebody get close to
the president. Don`t let somebody get close to his family. Don`t let them
get in the White House ever. And if they have to take action that is
lethal, I will have their back.


MATTHEWS: Well, Secret Service Director Pierson had this response.
Let`s listen.


PIERSON: It`s clear that our security plan was not properly executed.
This is unacceptable, and I take full responsibility, and I will make sure
that it does not happen again.


MATTHEWS: What do you make of this Secret Service agent who saw the
evidence that bullets had been fired into the White House near the Truman
Balcony, saw all the evidence, saw the plaster and everything on the
ground, and decided not to report that out of fear that they would be
criticized for doing that?

What kind of culture is that, where you can`t report shootings into
the White House to your superiors?

CONNOLLY: It`s a culture that puts the safety and security of the
first family in danger, because we have to have a completely transparent
and open communication culture in the Secret Service. Otherwise, this just
doesn`t work.

And something can and will go wrong, as it just did. We`re lucky that
the president and the first family were not there.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, the culture of the Secret Service came under
scrutiny in today`s hearing. It was spurred by this anecdote from Carol
Leonnig`s original report for "The Washington Post."

It reads: "Officer Carrie Johnson, who has heard -- had heard debris
fall from the Truman Balcony the night before, listened during the roll
call before her shift Saturday afternoon as superiors explained that the
gunshots were really from people in two cars shooting at each other.
Johnson had told several senior officers Friday night that she thought the
house had actually been hit, the White House. But on Saturday, she did not
challenge her superiors" -- quote -- as I said a moment ago -- "for fear of
being criticized" -- close quote, she later told investigators. That`s
what she told.

What do you make of that, Kristen? Are we into a situation now where
there`s sort of a, don`t-ask-questions situation, because you can`t -- you
want bad P.R.? Is that what it`s about, making the White House look more
vulnerable than they want it to look?

WELKER: Well, I think that that is one of the big concerns.

And I can tell you that there was a robust exchange about that very
point that you just mentioned, Chris. Congressman Cummings really asked
her a series of tough questions about that, about the culture, about why
that Secret Service agent that night didn`t feel as though she could say, I
did hear gunshots fired. Instead, that agent felt as though she had to
leak it.

He said it was a breakdown in the culture, and the director
essentially agreed. She said, look, it is troublesome. She acknowledged
that and she said in the wake of the "Washington Post" report, she`s now
looking into why that specific agent felt that way.

But the problem is, it`s coming out through leaks, Chris. It`s not
being determined by the agency itself. And I think that that`s where the
big concern here comes. And I would just note that Julia Pierson was
appointed last year by President Obama to reform the culture within the
Secret Service.

Remember, she was appointed right after that scandal with prostitutes
in Cartagena, Colombia. She was tasked with reforming the culture, and so
it`s significant that she`s now asking questions about the fact that it
doesn`t seem as though the culture has been reformed significantly enough
where agents feel comfortable coming forward and saying what they really
heard, what they really saw -- Chris.

MATTHEWS: You know, we saw with the attempts on Ronald Reagan`s life
fantastic work by Jerry Parr, who got him to the hospital in three minutes,
saved his life, when half his blood -- while internally bleeding. He had
those guys take bullets for them. These guys are amazing.


And I think it`s really important, despite this latest misstep, not to
forget that, that the men and women of the Secret Service are willing to
actually put their lives on the line, instead of somebody else. And that`s
a pretty sacred contract for America.

And that`s why this is so disturbing.

MATTHEWS: I think we need better management.


MATTHEWS: I think there`s going to have to be a change. I think the
ax is going to fall, and not on the president, thank God.

Thank you, U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly.

CONNOLLY: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: And Kristen Welker, as always, my colleague at the White

Up next in the "Sideshow": A new Clinton, well, we know who that is,
the granddaughter, dominates late night. That`s Charlotte.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL. Time for the "Sideshow" tonight.

The birth of Bill and Hillary Clinton`s first grandchild on Friday of
the a hot topic for late-might comedians, of course.

But while most celebrated the arrival of Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky,
Stephen Colbert was more conspiracy-minded about the news.


flip-flop. Four days ago, she wasn`t a grandmother. Now she claims she


COLBERT: Charlotte. Kind of suspicious she was named after the
largest city in a major swing state.


COLBERT: And I got to talk about the elephant in the room here, by
which I mean all the elephants in the room.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The baby reportedly has an elephant-themed

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nursery will be decorated with elephants, of
course, the mascot of the Republican Party.

COLBERT: Yes, a nursery decorated with adorable Republican elephants.


COLBERT: They borrowed the design from Paul Ryan`s bedroom.




MATTHEWS: And "The Tonight Show"`s Jimmy Fallon also marked the
occasion by reading some of the congratulatory letters sent to welcome the
Clintons` new arrival.


people have sent their congrats to the family, but what you may not know is
that a lot of other famous babies have sent messages to baby Charlotte as


FALLON: Check out what I mean.

Jay-Z and Beyonce`s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, wrote: "Charlotte`s a
weird name, but people can get past that."


FALLON: "Text me, and we will do lunch, from Blue Ivy, daughter of
Beyonce and Jay-Z."


FALLON: Prince George wrote: "Pretty great that my great-grandma is
queen of England and that your grandma wants to be the queen of America."


FALLON: "Let`s get some milk sometime. Are you on Napchat?"

I never...


FALLON: I never heard of Napchat.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never heard of Napchat.


FALLON: My daughter, Winnie Fallon, wrote: "Hey, Char, let`s do a
play date soon. I promise I won`t bring my dad #nerd."




MATTHEWS: Up next: the HARDBALL roundtable on the Secret Service
meltdown and the Ebola diagnosis down in Texas. It`s all real, plus the
2016 talent vacuum on the Republican side that has Mitt Romney really
thinking third try. He`s coming back.

And in Massachusetts, the candidates vying for governor up there held
their first televised debate last night, with Democrat Martha Coakley and
Republican Charlie Baker, both running neck and neck right now, trading
barbs last night.


the things I said I want to do as governor is sit down with the mayor of
every city in Massachusetts, and it would be Mayor Sarno here, and say,
what are the three or four things we really need to get done in your
community over the course of the next four years?

have to spend my first year meeting with mayors around Massachusetts. I
have been doing that during this campaign.



Here`s what`s happening.

U.S. warplanes continued their assault on ISIS position in Iraq and
Syria. Eleven airstrikes were carried out in each country.

British forces launched their first airstrikes on ISIS militants in
Iraq, hitting a weapons post and an armed vehicle.

Pro-democracy protesters remain on the streets of Hong Kong. So far,
though, top officials have refused to meet with them.

And police searching for alleged cop killer Eric Frein have found two
pipe bombs in the woods of Pennsylvania. Frein has evaded authorities
since September 12 -- back to HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS: We`re back.

And the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States this
evening comes to many as a surprise, or even a shock, especially after
President Obama assured the country, the American people, that it was
unlikely that a case of Ebola would even reach this country.

Let`s listen again to what the president said in his address to the
Centers for Disease Control when he was down in Atlanta just two weeks ago.


people to know that our experts here at the CDC and across our government
agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are
extremely low. In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach
our shores, we have taken new measures so that we`re prepared here at home.


MATTHEWS: Well, we`re in that unlikely event right now, because one
has reached here.

And it was at that time that the president announced the deployment of
3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to try to contain the spread
of the virus.

Yet, according to "The Wall Street Journal," that effort is off to a
slow start while the epidemic is spreading even faster.

Joining me right now is MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Capehart of
"The Washington Post," Jeanne Cummings, deputy managing editor for
Bloomberg News, and Noah Bierman, reporter for "The Boston Globe."

Thank you all for joining us.

This is -- when you think you`re focused on one big news item, like
the White House insecurity, and then you realize we have another insecurity
situation, everybody in this government, from the CDC upwards, is trying to
play down the danger here. However, we were assured no one would get here.
They are here. We`re now in that unlikely situation, Jeanne Cummings.



MATTHEWS: Because I know the American people. They`re not going to
be confident about this until they`re really sure it`s safe.

J. CUMMINGS: Absolutely.

And there`s a lot we still don`t know about what happened in this
case. For instance, the president assured us that there have been checks
and balances put in place. We know that this man had his temperature
tested before he got on the flight and was coming to the U.S.?

MATTHEWS: Why did he have it tested?

J. CUMMINGS: It would seem to me that`s one of the checks and
balances, right, that anybody from that region, they`re probably taking
their temperature.

Questions I have that I don`t have answers to yet, once he landed,
were they still monitoring him? Or was it strictly on his own volition
that he went into the hospital?


J. CUMMINGS: We don`t know the answer to that. We know there`s an
incubation period. So he could have been here for -- like, did they -- did
they monitor him for 21 days after he arrived? That would be perhaps a
reasonable thing to do. We don`t know. We don`t know. There are a lot of

MATTHEWS: Well, even that, even that, we`re all used to answering
these questions. Have you been near agricultural products? Have you been
near livestock?

How about asking, have you been in direct contact with an Ebola
victim? Because, according to the doctors who we`re all talking to this
evening, you can`t catch it except from someone in their infectious


MATTHEWS: ... which is apparent.


MATTHEWS: So he would have known or suspected that he was dealing
with somebody who might well have Ebola. And yet that question doesn`t
seem to get asked at the airport, Jon.


Look, I think Jeanne raises all of the questions that I have and I
think that the American people have, in that we won`t know until the CDC or
this person recovers and we get the answers to those questions.


CAPEHART: Otherwise, my fear is that, you know, the fear of this one
case will lead to some sort of hysteria because of the information...


MATTHEWS: Which state would that take? And why would that be

CAPEHART: Oh, people being hysterical about an epidemic that`s not
actually -- that`s not actually here, even though one person who has it is
here, that`s the danger here, that people will lose their minds over
something that they don`t have to lose their minds over, at least not yet.

MATTHEWS: Yes. You think like a "War of the Worlds" situation.

CAPEHART: Oh, absolutely. I have seen all those -- "28 Days Later."



MATTHEWS: I know. No, I think that we haven`t quite -- we needed
protocols, the word we keep using now, for the White House security. We
will get to that.

Protocols that are fair and nondiscriminatory, but, obviously, the
gentleman apparently is from Liberia, one of the areas that`s caught up
here. And I think it gets back to the president`s seriousness when he
said, we`re sending 3,000 G.I.s over there.

I mean, we have an interest. It`s not just there. It`s here.


And I think what Jonathan was saying about the fear of people getting
worried, people not knowing what`s going on -- and I remember back in
Florida, covering anthrax, where I was working and the outbreak -- well, it
wasn`t an outbreak, but the limited outbreak, the attacks started there and
that`s where people died, and there was mass hysteria.

MATTHEWS: Tom Daschle, Tom Brokaw, all these well-known names were
getting anthrax danger facing them.

BIERMAN: And, you know, it wasn`t just having, you know, an
outsourced person open your mail. It was people fighting each other for a
prescription of Cipro drugs that they probably didn`t even need. Some of
them getting violently ill because of those drugs, the side effects there.

So, you know, I think everybody has to worry about that kind of

MATTHEWS: Well, the White House is clearly trying to contain fears
about this minutes ago, after the news broke. Dan Pfeiffer said this on


this possibility for a long time. America has the best doctors and public
health infrastructure in the world. And so, we`re ready to deal with it.


MATTHEWS: Let`s turn to that other big issue, of course, is the White
House security problem. And that`s lawmakers have some choice words today
for the secret -- head of the Secret Service. Julia Pierson, who may not
be head of it for a while anyway in the government oversight hearing today.

Here`s Congressman Steve Lynch of Southie. He`s from Massachusetts,
in Boston, suggesting the Secret Service is trying to protect their rear
end. Watch how tough he is here.


REP. STEPHEN F. LYNCH (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I know you`ve got a lot of
wonderful people over there, but this is not their best work. This is
disgraceful. This is absolutely disgraceful that this has happened.

And I`m not even going to mention the fact that it took us four days
to figure out that somebody had shot seven rounds into the White House.
This is beyond the pale. And I`ve listened to your testimony very
deliberately here this morning. And I wish to God you protected the White
House like you`re protecting your reputation here today.


MATTHEWS: You know, every Irishman has a little bit of cop in him.


MATTHEWS: That`s from Southie. He was tough. You guard your rear
end, your reputation, more than you guard the White House. That`s pretty

BIERMAN: And as a "Boston Globe" reporter, you will not normally see
Congressman Lynch get that animated over something, which I think shows you
the bipartisan concern about this as --

MATTHEWS: He`s a pro-life, very cautious guy. Yes, I know, he`s not
an ideologue in any means.

Why do you think they all agree on this? Just easy pickings, right?


MATTHEWS: Fish in the barrel?

CUMMINGS: Absolutely. And for Republicans, it`s particularly nice,
because they don`t look partisan, and yet they`re attacking the
administration for incompetence. Beauty. It`s a twofer.

So, yes, it`s easy. It`s also very serious. This could be any
president --

MATTHEWS: Did you hear my list of presidents who have been shot at
and barely survived? It`s an amazing -- we talk about banana republics and
third-world countries. No country has had a record like this, going back
certainly to Lincoln and Garfield. It`s almost every 20 years. For a
while there, it was every 20 years.

CUMMINGS: I think what`s really scaring me on this one, he went right
past the steps to the residence, and there are children in the house.

MATTHEWS: There`s no guards upstairs.

CUMMINGS: And the children in the house.

MATTHEWS: Do you think there might be some suspicions? Not that
we`re looking for conspiracies, but I noticed among one of my colleagues
tonight, this sense that maybe the White House Secret Service, you know the
old conspiracies about Kennedy, they really didn`t like him, he was against
the war, which I knew was non-sense. They loved the guy. And all the
people in the White House were for Kennedy, loyal people, loyal Americans.

But this idea that somehow Obama is being exposed to more danger
because somebody doesn`t like him?

Twitter feed. There are people asking questions each passing day since
Carol Leonnig story first hit on Saturday night at 5:00, Sunday at 5:00,
yesterday at 5:00, today at 5:00, there are all these new stories where it
looks like, you know, why all of a sudden are we seeing these huge dangers?

MATTHEWS: Like they`re playing down on the job because they don`t
like him?



CAPEHART: No, no. But that`s what`s coming across on my Twitter

MATTHEWS: These are conspiracy theories, obviously.

CUMMINGS: But it`s also a matter of perspective, because he`s had,
what? Three times as many threats on his life as prior presidents.

MATTHEWS: Apparently that`s settled down. But in the beginning, that
was true.

CUMMINGS: The Secret Service had a big load right now in terms of
protecting him.

MATTHEWS: At least I`m on the record with the Secret Service, I`ll
say it again, these guys put themselves in front of the bullet. They take
the bullet and Jerry Parr saved Ronald Reagan`s life in three minutes, by
getting to G.W. Hospital.

Anyway, we`ll be right back with more from the roundtable. Let`s have
a little lightheartedness. We`ll talk about Mitt Romney, another
Massachusetts guy. He`s actually moved to Utah. I think Romney is really
on the edge of seeing a wide open opportunity to win that nomination.

We`ll be right back with some politics.


MATTHEWS: Well, it looks like the rich just keep getting richer.
What do you think here? "Forbes" magazine released its list of the 400
wealthiest Americans. The top five shouldn`t surprise you. Tied at number
four, the Koch brothers, Charles and David. Sweethearts, of course, each
worth $42 billion. Ahead of them is former CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison,
worth $50 billion. Big one.

Coming in at runner-up this year, with a net worth of $67 billion is
Warren Buffett.

And the wealthiest man in America is once again, Microsoft founder
Bill Gates who is worth a staggering $81 billion -- you don`t have to say
staggering -- just $81 billion.

And we`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

With a more crowded field of potential candidates than we`ve seen in
years. The Republican nomination in 2016 seems truly up for grabs. But
with Hillary Clinton as the potentially front-runner for the Democratic
nomination in 2016, the challenge for the GOP is to pick a candidate who`s
centrist enough to beat her in the middle where she can be strong. In
other words, it`s all about electability.

And a piece today entitled "Mitt Isn`t Ready to Call it Quits", Mark
Leibovich of "The New York Times" magazine notes that the former Republican
nominee is leaving the door open for 2016 and writes that a confluence of
political realities has created a genuine opening for a Romney third act.
As Obama struggles to a difficult final term, there`s a lack a clear
Republican heir apparent.

Presumptive early front-runners like Chris Christie or Jeb Bush have
shown themselves to be flawed or reluctant or both. A splintering of
possible movement candidates, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, could beget -- I love
that word -- a need for a default consensus choice. This, of course, comes
after a July CNN/ORC poll found that voters might have what`s called Romney

When asked who they would vote for in a head-to-head presidential
match-up right now, Romney wins 53-44.

Joining me now is MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Capehart of "The
Washington Post", Jeanne Cummings, deputy managing editor for "Bloomberg
News", and Noah Bierman, who`s reporter for "The Boston Globe".

I got to go to Noah on this.

Romney, your guy.

BIERMAN: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: I think he has to run again. I don`t know how he can walk
away from it. It just sits there, because there`s nobody really, a
centrist-type Republican governor who looks like they`re going to get in
the field. Christie has got problems. Jeb has got reluctance. Mitt
Romney knows he came close.

What do you think?

BIERMAN: If people like you keep saying it, I -- you know, he might
think about it more.

MATTHEWS: What do you think my motives are?




MATTHEWS: I want a race!

BIERMAN: I`m going to go see him tomorrow in Kentucky with Mitch
McConnell. He`s having a good time, being out there on the --

MATTHEWS: He`s probably going with the winner there.

BIERMAN: You know, I mean, what`s interesting, I think probably Chris
Christie backers, potential Jeb Bush backers, they don`t like to see
stories like this.

CUMMINGS: Well, but there are others. I mean, Scott Walker`s got a
win. He`s got a win in Wisconsin --

MATTHEWS: He`d be very brave because that`s not a cinch.

CUMMINGS: No, it`s not a cinch. So, he`s got to focus on that right
now. If he wins, then he`s in.

John Kasich may get in. Not sure, because Portman, Senator Portman
from Ohio is definitely considering getting in. And if he gets in, that`s
where the Jeb people go. That`s where the money goes. See, he`s one of
the Bush clan.

So, there are other players --

MATTHEWS: Wait a minute, Portman goes in, Jeb doesn`t go in?

CUMMINGS: Probably not.

MATTHEWS: So, Portman is Mr. Excitement now? A guy that nobody has
ever thought about.

CUMMINGS: No, he`s not Mr. Excitement.

MATTHEWS: Kasich`s got a personality at least.

CUMMINGS: He would be the Bush family representative.


CUMMINGS: But anyway, other players could --


CUMMINGS: Rubio --

MATTHEWS: You`re a great sports hyper. You`re telling me this game
ain`t over yet.

CUMMINGS: I`m asking you this, what is his home state going to be?
Utah? He`s going to run from Utah?

MATTHEWS: It could be.

Let me tell you what I think is the opportunity, I`d just make it
quickly. I think Hillary Clinton is a strong candidate. She runs a great
race, she can`t be beaten. If she runs an average race, she can`t be

And the only person that can beat her is somebody from the center
right, somebody who looks like an executive, looks like they`re not going
to polarize the country. So, no right wingers. The country will not elect
a right-wing president. You know, Reagan was as close as we ever got and
he turned out to be much more moderate.

So, your thoughts?

CAPEHART: OK. Can we just talk about this Leibovich piece? I loved
it because it gave --

MATTHEWS: He is your competition, of course.

CAPEHART: Of course. But he`s also -- he`s a good reporter.

And so, here, he gives us an insight --


CAPEHART: Well, of course, not. That he gives us an insight into
Mitt Romney. There`s this key line in there that leapt out at me. Mitt
Romney saw what happened to his father, George, after he ran for president
and no one would return his phone calls and how Mitt Romney is desperate to
not let that happen to him. So, in this new media age, he can be in
everyone`s faces all of the time to maintain --

MATTHEWS: But that`s Leibovich`s style to deflate the person`s
importance. That`s the way of his -- that`s his ultimate put-down.


CAPEHART: Wait, if he`s deflating the person`s importance, but why
are we talking about Mitt Romney?

MATTHEWS: Because he wants it both ways. He wants it both ways. He
wants to build up Romney as a prospect, so the piece will sell. But he
also wants to put the guy down, personally, what that does.

If you`re saying he`s worried about a lonely retirement so he runs for
president of the United States, that`s absurd.

CAPEHART: That`s what leapt out of me --


MATTHEWS: Because I don`t think Leibovich likes politicians. Is that
a possibility? He doesn`t like politicians.

CAPEHART: But the subject here is Mitt Romney. He`s run three times


MATTHEWS: Maybe because I`ve met him a few times and you guys have
met him.

He`s so much better than the candidate. If he ran as a moderate
Republican, he would be very presentable to half the country.

CUMMINGS: And that`s who he is.

BIERMAN: This story does a very good job of the same thing that the
documentary did, which is humanizing him, showing you -- wow, you know,
this is a guy I could like, which he had a difficult time presenting, as he

But one of the more interesting things about the article is some of
the quotes from Romney where he`s speaking almost in the future tense, it
looks to me, about a run.

MATTHEWS: I think it`s in his head. Don`t you think it`s in his

CUMMINGS: I mean, I think everybody puts it in his head. Why
shouldn`t he consider it? The people closest to him are taking jobs
elsewhere. I think there are other players who are coming into the game.
I do think he wants to influence the future of the party.

He jumped in the primaries this year with the Tea Party establishment
fights. He put skin in the game in some of those races and he won.


MATTHEWS: You could say let them eat cake in French, posters in Iowa.
I said, can you say let them eat cake in French? He said, I can, but I

That`s Mitt Romney.

Anyway, thank you for the roundtable, guys.

Jonathan, I love your skepticism and your pugnacious attitude towards
fellow reporters.

Jeanne Cummings and, of course, Noah Bierman, welcome to the show.

And we`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this thought about who runs
against Hillary Clinton.

Start with the fact that she will be the favorite and for three key

One, who she is. Talk about a resume -- can`t think of an American
presidential candidate who we`ve known longer, seen in action longer.

Two, who her husband is. Bill Clinton is the most popular politician
in the country.

And three, yes, the fact that she is a she. Women, especially those
my age and older, have been waiting a long time and through some less than
stellar presidents to get their rightful turn.

All that said, she could turn out to be more than beatable. And that
means the Republican nomination will be, as they say in politics, worth
something. It could put one nominated within the coin toss to the

Why? Because the economy still isn`t so great out there, obviously.
Two, because this war president, Obama -- this war President Obama has
launched against ISIS will still be being waged over there and very likely
without the prospect of any near-term victory for us.

And here`s the big one: the American people have a habit, hard to
shake, of rotating the political parties in the White House. Every eight
years, they find themselves with a deep appetite for change. They want the
ins out. And that means the outs in.

So, anyone who can`t win the Republican nomination can also find
themselves within a 50/50 shot of walking into the White House and they
won`t even have to hop the fence.

That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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