Date: October 2, 2014
Guest: Rep. Karen Bass, Dianna Russini, Brent Schrotenboer, Darrell
Hammond, Jack Kingston
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Fear factor.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in New York.
You know, people only truly believe what they discover for themselves.
They don`t believe what they`re told, they believe what they see, what
becomes obvious to them. And right now, it`s obvious that Ebola is not
being kept from this country. It`s here, and it`s here despite the
promises we keep getting.
How did that man from Liberia get into the plane heading for Dulles
Airport here in Washington, in the United States? And why was he sent away
from the hospital in Dallas when he came in saying he was here from West
Africa, where we know there`s an epidemic of Ebola? And this fellow just
walked in carrying some of the symptoms.
Who and what are we to believe right now, the claim there was a solid
screening system in place over there at the airport in Monrovia, that
statement by President Obama just two weeks ago that it was unlikely an
Ebola victim would enter our country?
Well, Liberian airport officials now say that Texas Ebola patient
Thomas Eric Duncan lied about his exposure so he could get into the U.S.
Is that true? What good is a screening system if it`s so easily evaded?
Our American health system`s response was also failing. Health
officials are right now trying to find up to 100 people, including five
school children, who may have been exposed to the Ebola-carrying Duncan
while he was contagious. The CDC and Texas Health Department are
mobilizing what they call war rooms in the Dallas area right now, this as
we learn the startling news that Duncan walked into a Dallas hospital, as I
said, with symptoms a week ago and was sent home, even after he told them
he had just come from the Ebola hot zone in West Africa.
For three days, he roamed free in the Dallas area. His nephew finally
called the CDC himself as Duncan got worse. By that point, he was fatally
(sic) ill and highly infectious. What assurances do we have that others
won`t get in and that they`ll be -- the right things will be done when they
If people don`t like hearing these questions, I promise you there`s
going to be a lot more if the assurances we keep getting don`t match the
realities we keep facing.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman is NBC News chief medical editor. She joins us on
the phone from Monrovia, Liberia. Nancy, Dr. Snyderman, thank you for
joining us. I`ve been waiting to get to you, and I -- and I just wonder
how we account for a couple things. How did this guy get here, when we
were told by our president it would be unlikely that anybody would come
here from the Ebola area in West Africa?
DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN, NBC CHIEF MEDICAL EDITOR (via telephone): Well,
Chris, I think doctors have been saying for quite some time that they
expected a case of Ebola to pop up in the United States, and that`s because
our world is smaller than ever and you can get anywhere within 12 hours on
Interestingly, we know how this man was exposed. We tracked his path
today in Monrovia. And he was exposed to the virus about four days before
he left the country. Unfortunately, it can take eight to ten days before
any symptoms show, temperature and nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. So when he
left Monrovia, Liberia, his temperature was taken by the authorities, and
it was normal or he would not have been allowed to leave the country. So
when he arrived in the United States, he probably still didn`t have a
The real error was made when he first went to the Texas emergency room
with symptoms, high fever and a history of coming from West Africa, and he
was inappropriately given antibiotics and sent home. A travel history is
as important as any other part of the history in a physical today. And
anyone coming through or from West Africa, has to be asked the question,
How do you feel?
MATTHEWS: Did he get a questionnaire in the Liberian airport when he
-- when he took for Belgium, as you show in the travel map there? Was he
asked whether he had been in an area where he could have been exposed to
Ebola? Was he asked? They claim at the airport now -- sources there say
he lied and said he wasn`t anywhere near any victim he could have been --
he could have picked it up from.
SNYDERMAN: Well, this is a real loophole that we`ve been trying to
track all day. We know that he was in contact with a pregnant woman who
died of Ebola before his departure. I can tell you that all over Monrovia,
there are billboards, messages blasting from television and radio.
Everyone here is hyperalert and hyperaware about Ebola.
So I don`t know what this man knew. We do know that he came in
contact with a young woman who died before his departure from this country.
And it`s hard to imagine that he didn`t know that he was in proximity with
someone who was ill because we tracked the taxi he was in, the exposure
that people -- he was exposed to, and several of the people he was exposed
to have now died.
MATTHEWS: Do we know if he came here to get treatment, that he knew
he might have been exposed or he knew he was exposed and may have come here
-- we`ve heard stories of the family members raising money for him to come.
Was there some urgency on his part, do we know, to get here? Did he buy a
ticket with cash or something like that?
SNYDERMAN: I honestly don`t have a clue, Chris. I don`t know. We do
know he applied for a visa on September 2nd...
MATTHEWS: Oh, OK.
SNYDERMAN: ... and quit his job and saved up money...
MATTHEWS: I see, so he had planned to come here.
SNYDERMAN: ... to the United States for a graduation.
MATTHEWS: I see. Well, that answers the question. He planned to
come here before he was exposed. So that wasn`t his motive, necessarily.
Thank you very much, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who`s on the case over there in
SNYDERMAN: Any time, Chris.
MATTHEWS: This opens up a larger question, actually a problem
authority and trust in this country. And right now, it`s getting a bit
dicey, don`t you think? Congresswoman Karen Bass is a Democrat from
California, also a nurse practitioner herself. And Michael Steele was
chairman of the RNC and lieutenant governor of Maryland.
Congresswoman, let me ask you about this thing here.
REP. KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Sure.
MATTHEWS: The president -- I don`t know why he said it, but he did
say it, that it was unlikely, two weeks ago, that we`d have an AIDS person
-- or an Ebola person coming here from West Africa. Why do you think he
said that? Who told him it was safe to say it`s unlikely?
MATTHEWS: And in fact, it`s not great to be -- to be, you know,
knocked down in your claims by reality.
MATTHEWS: It`s not a good thing.
BASS: Well, I certainly don`t know who told him, but what I do think
he might have been trying to do was to just reassure the U.S. population
that we don`t have to worry about a massive outbreak. Now, looking back at
it, maybe he shouldn`t have said that, but I do think that probably was the
motivation because there`s so much information that the U.S. public needs
to know and understand about this disease.
MATTHEWS: Why -- why would he warn us about something, though? What
would be the -- tell me the obvious. I don`t know what it is. Why would
we (ph) be afraid of people being afraid of Ebola? Isn`t that a smart
thing, to be afraid of Ebola and the way it`s handled through the airports
and through our transportation system?
BASS: Well, I think...
MATTHEWS: TSA and otherwise.
BASS: I think part of that is correct. But if I remember correctly,
he responded that way after the two doctors came to the United States, the
ones that were infected and we brought back here, and he was assuring
But I do think that it`s important that people be aware. But I also
think it`s really important that people not be so paranoid to the point
where, you know, people really don`t understand what`s going on. You know,
we are dealing with our own epidemic here, the enterovirus, which we`ve had
over 500 cases in 42 states. So we have additional concerns that we need
to be worried about. We`ve also had four deaths from that virus in young
MATTHEWS: Let me go to Michael Steele. I`m a huge believer in --
actually, I`m a huge opponent of rolling disclosure. I think it`s so vital
that politicians be the first...
MATTHEWS: ... like in the "Godfather," Michael...
MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
MATTHEWS: ... that they tell you that -- as the Godfather said -- I
think it was his lawyer that said -- Tom Hagen said, My lawyer always
insists on getting bad news fast.
STEELE: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: He wants the bad news -- and I`m sure the congresswoman
agrees. You want the staffer to come racing into the office...
MATTHEWS: ... and not sit on it for three days.
MATTHEWS: And here we have a couple of situations -- the JV team over
in Iraq and Syria that`s now becoming a global threat, supposedly. So is
ISIS a JV team, or what is it? And I`m just wondering about this effort to
try to downplay concerns at the expense of being a truth-teller. It is a
problem. I`m sorry. Go ahead.
STEELE: No, and I was going to say I would agree with that. It is a
problem to the extent that the administration, particularly the president,
is getting advice from individuals who aren`t telling him the whole story
or laying out some of the ramifications. And all you have to do is look at
the most recent episode with the Secret Service. You know -- you know, you
have the director briefing the president, but fails to tell him, Oh, by the
way, you were in an elevator with someone who had a gun.
So you know...
MATTHEWS: That`s a relevant fact, I think!"
STEELE: It`s a relevant fact. So I think -- and I think the
congresswoman would really appreciate, Please, give us the relevant facts
so that we, in turn, in answering calls from our constituents...
STEELE: ... can inform them what the relevant facts are.
MATTHEWS: Here`s an example of a guy doing it. President Obama was
out there pushing the economy today. He gave a passing mention to Ebola
and ISIS in the context of American leadership. Let`s take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When alarms go off
somewhere in the world, whether it`s a disaster that is natural or man-
made, when there`s an idea or an invention that can make a difference, this
is where things start. This who the world calls, America. They don`t call
Moscow. They don`t call Beijing. They call us. And we welcome that
responsibility of leadership because that`s who we are. That`s what we
expect of ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: And with that responsibility comes responsibility.
Anyway, this is a great example. Here I want to show you of (ph) how
you do share information as you get it. Right after 9/11, there was a big
anthrax scare up in New York, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani kept people informed
and shared information as he got it. And this is just a short clip from
one of his press conferences.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: There was a skin test, a
biopsy that was done. And that came back positive early this morning. CDC
notified us early this morning. So the test of the powder was negative to
anthrax. The skin test was positive to anthrax.
But since, if it is the powder, the powder goes back to September 25,
and you don`t have any additional numbers of people reporting symptoms, the
chance is that this is contained, according to the CDC. And we just
finished a long conference call with them. The chances that this is
contained are very good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Congresswoman, that`s what I like, a very calm disposition
of how things stand and how you know it and telling the public everything
you know as you know it.
MATTHEWS: That`s better than putting out words like, Be calm, and
don`t worry, and it`s unlikely. That stuff doesn`t work. People are
really smart, and they`re watching TV or listening to the radio or reading
the paper (INAUDIBLE) going on line. They go, what did he say exactly?
OK, now I can work with that. I can`t do something with this general
advice to be calm. But I can do something when I see the mayor of my city
going through, granularly, the information as he gets it.
BASS: Absolutely. And I agree with both of you. I want to hear the
bad news first, too. Cut to the chase, let me know what`s going on. But
you know, I think, in addition to that, giving education. So providing
education to people about what this disease is, what the symptoms are, what
you should look for, I think is very important, as well.
MATTHEWS: Michael, do you have any assurance that we won`t get a
couple more guys jumping on the plane in Monrovia? I have no evidence
whatever they have a tough screening system...
STEELE: No. No.
MATTHEWS: ... because it`s a 2 to 21 days incubation period. If the
person is not sweating like mad or showing obvious systems, convulsing...
MATTHEWS: ... they say, Well, he`s clean because, well, it takes 21
days to show those symptoms. Your thoughts. It`s not working!
STEELE: Yes, no, I agree with that absolutely. And I think it`s
something that everybody should really be concerned about who are at those
entry points and make sure there are the appropriate checks, if you will,
if you -- put in place.
The other thing, though, I think is very important -- and the
congresswoman touched on something that`s important -- is the education.
And so there are two parts to that. The first is that we the people are
informed as to what this disease is, what its symptoms are...
STEELE: ... and that we know how to deal with it. But more
importantly, as we saw with Texas Presbyterian, that the information from
CDC trickles all the way down, so that in that emergency room, even if you
have one of the list of symptoms, there`s a sense of, We need to check
this. But then when you`re told, Oh, I just came from Liberia or Sierra
Leone, then that raises it even further, so that...
MATTHEWS: And this is...
MATTHEWS: ... shouldn`t be laughing.
STEELE: ... education is important.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, Congresswoman, I just want to say thank you. I
love the fact you`re a nurse practitioner...
BASS: ... because that means...
MATTHEWS: ... in addition to your legislative success, you have
executive ability, which is a great thing.
MATTHEWS: I look so much up to nurses, especially nurse
practitioners, who can do the doctor work 90 percent of the time even
BASS: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass of
California, and my friend, Michael Steele.
Coming up: The embarrassments get even worse for NFL commissioner
Roger Goodell. It`s not just Ray Rice. "USA Today" documents today 50
cases of domestic violence in the league under Goodell and found out
players received very lenient discipline in nearly all the situations.
Plus, you`ll want to stick around for this. "SNL`s" Darrell Hammond
will join us. He`s the master of political impressions, from Bill Clinton
to Al Gore to Dick Cheney, and of course, he does a pretty good Chris
Matthews. Darrell`s making his return to "Saturday Night Live" this season
as its new announcer after the death of the great Don Pardo.
The Kasie Hunt, U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston and Perry Bacon make up
tonight`s roundtable. We`re going to talk about the fear of Ebola, the
Clinton political brand of Hillary 2015 versus Bill 1991, and a new report
that the Secret Service leaked President Obama`s schedule to the Mitt
And "Let Me Finish" tonight with a man who just turned 90, former
president Jimmy Carter.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, President George Herbert Walker Bush is getting the
John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. Forty-one was presented with the
award by President Kennedy`s grandson, Jack Schlossberg, on Monday. The
award recognizes Bush`s backing of a deficit reduction deal back in 1990
that included an increase in taxes. In addition to the award, Kennedy also
brought along a pair of gray socks with JFK`s face on them for the sock-
loving former president.
And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, the problem of domestic
violence in the NFL is far bigger than just Ray Rice. As "USA Today"
reported today in the paper, the past eight years, there have been 50 cases
against NFL players -- 50. And most of those players received little or no
penalty from the league.
Here`s a sampling. New York Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas was accused
of purchasing his wife in the stomach and pushing her with a chair. The
result, he finished out the season, then retired. Miami Dolphins defensive
end Philip Merling was charged with felony battery on his girlfriend, who
was two months pregnant. He continued playing the rest of the season.
Then there`s Seattle Hawks defensive tackle Rocky Bernard. According
to police, he was in a nightclub where he punched the mother of his child
with a closed fist, striking her forehead, causing her forehead to hit a
glass divider. His punishment from the league, suspension for a game --
In fact, over the least eight years, according to "USA Today," about
14 domestic violence cases ended up with players being suspended. But in
all but one case, it was for two games or less -- two games or less. In 16
cases, there were no suspensions whatever. In 15 cases, players were
released from their contracts or didn`t re-sign. The paper notes those
cases often involved players with marginal talent. So they were going to
So what does all this say about NFL culture? Brent Schrotenboer -- he
wrote the story for "USA Today, and Dianna Russini`s a sports reporter for
NBC-4 where we work in Washington. Brent, thanks for joining us.
BRENT SCHROTENBOER, "USA TODAY": Thanks for having me.
MATTHEWS: When you did this reporting -- and I want to stick to the
reporting here because I think it`s news to a lot of people. These cases
involved real violence, real violence, not shoving, but fists and injuries
and what you`d normally call as -- well, call in the courts assault and
battery. And yet whether (ph) they`re considered felonies outside of the
league, in the terms of the league`s own discipline, they`re a game
suspension or two-game suspension.
What do you make of all that?
SCHROTENBOER: Well, a lot of them are misdemeanor battery cases. And
you know, you could certainly say that the NFL has been lenient on this
issue for many years, going back to 2000. There`s been 50 since 2006 and
90 since the year 2000.
What`s changed is the outrage that`s happened over the release of the
video. There was never the public outrage that there was until people saw
what it looked like on camera.
But the league certainly, a one or two-game suspension is usually how
they handled it, and that certainly is lenient, considering some of these
allegations. But I think also, they`re a reflection of society, that these
cases are hard to prosecute in the courts and by district attorneys. They
have a hard enough time prosecuting these cases, and I think the NFL has
tried to follow the lead of law enforcement authorities when they try to
punish these players, and it`s not always easy.
MATTHEWS: But how do you get the evidence of what actually happened,
but can`t make the case? Will the spouse or the girlfriend not testify?
Is that the problem?
SCHROTENBOER: Yes, that`s generally the problem.
In almost half the cases, the alleged victim doesn`t want to cooperate
with authorities. That`s quite common in domestic violence cases. They
don`t want to jeopardize their family. They don`t want to jeopardize their
security. And so that shows up in NFL cases...
MATTHEWS: Why doesn`t a policeman -- why doesn`t a policeman, who is
studying the -- following the case, because I know these cases are problems
of women of course being afraid of men, afraid they will hit them again,
or, worse, kill them, so they`re not going to go to court. But I thought
the police officer is supposed to intervene and bring the charge himself or
SCHROTENBOER: They are supposed to, but it can be difficult when the
victim does not want to cooperate.
They`re supposed to look at the evidence. And when that evidence is
usually he said, she said, then it`s kind of hard to prosecute and bring
charges. But sometimes there are physical injuries that the police
officers make note of, of course. But, usually, for first-time offenders
in a lot of states, this is how these cases get resolved. They enter a
diversion program, where the offender has to complete some kind of
counseling, anger counseling, domestic violence counseling, and probation,
maybe some community service.
SCHROTENBOER: And then in exchange for that, the charge is dropped.
And that`s happened in quite a few NFL cases too. And I think the league
has looked at that as sort of, OK, the charges are getting dropped. It`s a
diversion program. Let`s maybe suspend him a game or two, depending on
what the evidence was.
MATTHEWS: Let`s -- I want to go back -- and I want to get to Dianna
Dianna, I want you to respond to this. There are more cases in
article of domestic violence, in that piece today. Green Bay Packers
linebacker Erik Walden was charged with felony battery against his
girlfriend. But the girlfriend later changed her story to say she started
the fight. He was suspended for a game.
There`s Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka, and the
police said he threw his wife down the stairs and out of the house and said
she started the fight by stabbing him with a pen. The NFL suspended him
for a game. Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Cornell Green, police said he
slammed the mother of his children into a wall and hit her arm with an
aluminum mop handle. He played in 12 games later that year, only missing
four because of an injury.
What do you make of this? You work around the field. You see
practices. You see these guys meeting up with their spouses or girlfriends
on the way out. Did you see this kind of violent attitude towards women?
DIANNA RUSSINI, NBC REPORTER: No. No. I do not see this sort of
violent attitude towards women.
This isn`t just a problem in the NFL. This is in corporate America.
MATTHEWS: It is?
RUSSINI: It is -- I think it`s everywhere.
I think, right now, it`s just that the light is being shined on the
NFL. And the way the NFL works, they don`t pay attention until there is
public outcry. There`s a sense around the NFL. This has been going on for
years. It`s just now getting a lot of attention.
And these problems aren`t just happening in the National Football
League. This isn`t the only sport and this isn`t the only place in America
where we`re seeing domestic abuse. And in terms of the NFL paying
attention to it now, it`s really because the public is finally paying
You were -- that the report was able to cite all these different
reports of NFL players involved in domestic violence. No one really paid
attention to it in the past, but now they are. And Roger Goodell...
MATTHEWS: OK. You guys are -- you guys are both speaking the same
language here, which I want to go back over.
I want to go back to Brent here.
First of all, we`re not talking about a screaming match. We`re not
talking about somebody throwing a dish at somebody or come -- a slapping
match or anything like -- we`re talking about throwing a woman down the
stairs. We`re talking about punching a pregnant woman in the stomach.
We`re talking about decking a woman in an elevator.
Is this -- you`re telling me this is American life. Is this your
argument, both of you, this is the world we live in? This is just another
slice of life?
SCHROTENBOER: It`s not American life for most people, but, I mean, it
MATTHEWS: Well, what category of people? Jocks, big-time, highly
MATTHEWS: What -- give me the subculture or subset of America this
reflects. I know a lot of guys are coddled on campus. I went to school
Holy Cross had its jocks with their special meals and special
everything. But the fact of the matter, in places like Alabama, they`re
treated like kings. And they can swagger around campus and be big shots
physically and intimidate people. But this is a step beyond that. Your
RUSSINI: But you can`t just say this is just in the sports world.
You can`t just -- this isn`t just in the sports world. You can`t say that.
MATTHEWS: What is it then? Help me out, Dianna. Help me out. What
RUSSINI: It is our society. It is our society.
But the thing that no one`s paying attention to is, the NFL is
bringing attention to domestic abuse. But what are we doing with this now?
What are we doing for prevention, education? How are we fixing this
problem, not just in the NFL, but across the country?
What is our society doing to fix this? Because if you`re going to say
that these problems only exist in the NFL, then your eyes are shut, because
these are happening in our towns, in our communities, everywhere, in D.C.,
all across the country.
MATTHEWS: So let it go? So let it go?
RUSSINI: No, no, don`t let it go. Use these football players, use
the National Football League as an example to teach, to prevent. That`s
the only way we are going to see change.
MATTHEWS: Well, I saw the full-page treatment in the "USA Today."
And I thought it was a news story, Brent.
Are you saying it`s not news, it`s to be expected that jocks beat up
their women? Is that what you`re saying?
SCHROTENBOER: No, it`s definitely -- it`s definitely news because the
NFL has such a high place in American culture, their huge viewership on
television and the media.
They`re -- they have never been more popular than they are now. And
so these guys make a lot of the money. They get paid a lot of the money.
When they get their name in the newspaper for scoring a touchdown, they are
going to get their name in the newspaper for getting arrested for domestic
MATTHEWS: And what`s the GM, the general manager`s -- arrest them --
do the next morning? They pick up the paper, they see their guy was
involved in something like this 2:00 in the morning at some nightclub, what
do they say? They have a little meeting and say, give him a -- scratch him
from next week`s game, and that`s what they decide to do?
RUSSINI: No, Chris, what they`re going to do with that is they`re
going to wait it out. They`re going to see what happens legally, because
for them, this is a business. The NFL is a business.
MATTHEWS: I see. It`s a P.R. issue, P.R.
RUSSINI: It`s not a P.R. -- it`s not even P.R. It`s a business.
They need to get those players on the field. They need to make that
money. And that`s how -- that`s the why the reason why Roger Goodell has
had such a difficult time handling this, because his bosses, the owners in
the NFL, are the ones he has to answer to. It`s a billion-dollar industry
and those players need to be on the field.
MATTHEWS: Well, I just want to say this.
Brent Schrotenboer, I want to thank you, and Dianna Russini, who I
I want to say the players who are the problem are going to love this,
because they`re going to hear, is, hey, we`re just like everybody else.
We`re not worse than anybody else. We`re just like everybody else. When
we swat somebody, that`s what the other guys do. Is that what we want to
say to them?
MATTHEWS: Dianna, what do you want -- what do you want to say them?
RUSSINI: To the players that are involved in this?
MATTHEWS: To the offenders, the offenders, the guys on the rap sheet
we just gave you.
RUSSINI: Get help. Fix the problem. There`s a lot of eyes on you, a
lot of young kids watching you. Be better.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, thanks for the report, Brent. Great reporting,
great work in "USA Today," a great newspaper.
SCHROTENBOER: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Up next, the one and only Darrell Hammond joins us. He`s
returned already now to "SNL" this season, as the show`s announcer,
following the legendary Don Pardo.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL.
"Saturday Night Live" kicked off its 40th season last week, and with a
show that also debuted Darrell Hammond, a veteran "SNL" cast member, as the
new announcer. Hammond, who appeared on the show for a record 14 seasons,
takes the place of the late Don Pardo, whose voice over the years became
synonymous with the show`s iconic opening.
Needless to say, I`m thrilled that he`s returned. How can I not thank
him for doing me all the years?
Here`s one of Darrell Hammond`s sketches from back in 2007, just
before Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
DARRELL HAMMOND, ACTOR: Now, in order to book you I had to agree some
ground rules which, I will be honest, I`m not totally crazy about. But, as
we say in the business, you`re a tough cat, and you`re great.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Again, Chris, you`re too kind.
HAMMOND: No, no, you`re too kind. And as I have mentioned already,
you`re also great. But this is HARDBALL, I have got to ask you some
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Uh-oh.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Here it comes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: It`s now my pleasure to say, from New York, it`s Darrell
MATTHEWS: Darrell, I love you. God, you`re going to be now a part of
that cast now forever. You`re going to be institutionalized with "Saturday
HAMMOND: Thanks, Chris. You`re great.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you...
MATTHEWS: Let me -- let me get ready for this.
MATTHEWS: You`re going to do Darrell -- You`re going to do Darrell
Hammond, but you are going to be playing in the foot steps of the legendary
Don Pardo. What -- how much of him are you going to be?
HAMMOND: Just enough to, you know, sort of tip your hat to him,
because he`s really not replaceable in any way.
I`m not even an announcer. I wouldn`t ever try to replace him. But
the idea was that we would sort of tip our hat to him. And I guess we -- I
think we picked like five vowels, spend about two weeks picking five vowels
to be done on -- and we`re trying our best.
MATTHEWS: You`re picking up some sound from Don Pardo.
HAMMOND: You`re picking up sound?
MATTHEWS: No, you`re picking up sound. You`re going to replace some
of the sound that he makes.
HAMMOND: Well, yes.
You know, like, you can`t just go -- you can`t do him, and yet you
can`t not do him. So the idea was, do Don Pardo, but it`s not Don Pardo.
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s take a look at what you did, when I used to say
to you, and I meant it, that you could capture the soul of Bill Clinton.
And what an interesting soul to catch.
Here you are playing former President Bill Clinton and you just paid a
visit to Obama`s bedroom in the White House. You`re kind of a ghost of the
past. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
HAMMOND: We heard you were tossing and turning over whether to push
for federal regulations, so we`re here to give you some advice.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You two are the ones who stripped out all the
regulations. Why would I want advice from you?
HAMMOND: Dude, it was the `90s. People did all kinds of crazy
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Crazy things.
So are you -- it`s hard for me to believe you`re going to be there
making the announcements and somewhere along the line when Bill Clinton
comes back into action again, when he`s really back in action, and his
spouse of all these wonderful years is actually going to be president of
the United States, will somebody say, we need Bill, we need Darrell
HAMMOND: Well, you know, it`s kind of a place where almost anything
can happen and usually does.
There`s really -- I mean, you know, it`s about the most unusual place
in the world. It could happen, but we haven`t discussed it yet.
MATTHEWS: Well, you have done everybody. I love your Dick Cheney. I
once said -- I watched you at the cold open as "Saturday Night Live" was
And you were walking around the set of the Oval Office, and it was
Dick Cheney with the snarl.
MATTHEWS: You were into him before we even saw you on TV.
MATTHEWS: And you captured Cheney better than anybody.
And let me ask you about this. We had you on in 2012 as our expert at
the Democratic Convention.
MATTHEWS: And when the next Democratic Convention rolls around in
2016, will you promise to come back and help us?
HAMMOND: If you`re taking me out for onion rings.
MATTHEWS: We`re going to the weirdest, most rural diner in the world,
like we did last time.
MATTHEWS: Darrell Hammond, it`s wonderful to have you on. You`re a
HAMMOND: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Thanks. Thanks for being on the show. And good luck, as
the announcer forever now.
HAMMOND: Thank you, sir.
MATTHEWS: I think it`s called announcer for life perhaps.
HAMMOND: That`s fine.
MATTHEWS: And next up, anyway, we got the roundtable. It`s going to
dig into Bill Clinton, actually Barack Obama and Ebola and how he handles
it. It could affect how Democrats look at him in November and how people
show up this election. Plus, the NFL`s history of going easy on domestic
abuse cases and the evolution, as I said, of the Clinton brand. How does
Hillary Clinton this year or next year compare to what Bill Clinton was
like before he ran? So many interesting differences, but Hillary does have
some real advantages over the first Bill Clinton when he came to national
Anyway, we`re going to talk about that.
Plus, let`s get out on the campaign trail with a look at last night`s
Minnesota Senate debate between Senator Al Franken -- we all know him from
"Saturday Night Live" -- and his challenger, businessman Mike McFadden.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE MCFADDEN (R), MINNESOTA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Have you done a
town hall meeting since elected? I believe President Obama has done more
town halls than you have in this state.
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: I have done so many public meetings
in which people have the chance to ask questions. I have -- I have a
Minnesota breakfast in Washington every Wednesday that your son came to.
MCFADDEN: He`s the most partisan senator in the Democratic Party.
That`s a fact, not my opinion. Al Franken is the Ted Cruz of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRANCES RIVERA, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I`m Frances Rivera. Here`s
Wicked weather has been punishing the Dallas-Forth Worth area. High
winds have torn off roofs and overturned cars. More than 100,000 power
outages have been reported.
Health officials say Enterovirus D68 is now confirmed in 43 states.
So far, there have been more than 500 cases of the respiratory illness,
mainly in children. It`s blamed for four deaths.
And Hong Kong`s top official says a representative will meet with pro-
democracy protesters. Protests began there late last month -- now we take
you back to HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Ebola and politics. How could the president`s handling of the Ebola
situation affect Democrats` chances this November? Plus, the dramatic
evolution of the Clinton brand from Bill Clinton`s 1992 run to Hillary
Rodham Clinton`s presumed 2016 campaign.
We`re going to get into all of that with the roundtable.
Joining me right now, U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia, MSNBC
political reporter Kasie Hunt, and NBC News senior political reporter Perry
This is what President Obama said about Ebola two weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want the American
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Congressman Kingston, we are now in the unlikely event. We
are living in the unlikely event. What does that do to the president and
government`s credibility in saying there`s nothing to fear?
REP. JACK KINGSTON (R), GEORGIA: I think it hurts them. I think the
American people are tender in terms of what this government does and it
says is sometimes very different. I believe that ultimately what the
president needs to do, Chris, is have some high figure profile person, you
know, like George Mitchell with the Middle East back in the day, or the
Irish situation, where he can say, I`m going to cut all the red tape.
The CDC and the DOD and BARDA, an all these government acronyms, they
need to be on the same page with the World Health Organization. We`re
going to get this things solved. And right now, what I`m seeing on Capitol
Hill, too many agencies going in too many different directions and here`s
the case of a hospital that did not follow obvious, very obvious protocol
and should have been able to prevent this.
MATTHEWS: Down in Dallas where they sent the guy home. It took his
nephew to come back and beg for admission.
Perry, what do you think about that? I mean, this thing -- this is a
tricky time. We got Senate races coming up. The congressman was involved
in one. We have Senate races coming up right now that could tip -- 10
seats could go Republicans because of uneasiness. Just sort of a sense of
we don`t like the feeling in this country right now.
PERRY BACON, JR., NBC NEWS SR. POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, I think the
Ebola situation is dangerous. Also focus on the Secret Service as well.
There`s a sense right now that a lot of things in Washington are going
wrong, and the president is not -- ISIS, add that to it as well. A lot of
things that Washington not going very well. A lot of Republicans focused
on the president`s challenges and failures. And therefore, that overall
poll could affect the races, and particularly since Democrats are already
at a disadvantage in the first place, because the states are so
conservative, looking at Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, states won in
the first place.
Well, we`re going to get to Kasie on this question. But, first, I
want to put my thought in here. I really do believe we have second term-
itis going on right now. You bring in the second team, you get second-term
Presidents when they get elected realize, my God, this is the biggest
challenge of my life, I`m going to bring in the best team I can find.
Every I don`t care never met the person before, we`re bringing in the best,
powerful team I could -- I want everybody in the room to be smarter than
me. That`s the standard they set, the smart president, whether it`s
Reagan, or FDR, or Kennedy, everybody in the room, smarter than I am.
This administration is not that way anymore. There`s too many
staffers that are "yes" people and not enough inclusion of new people. It
hasn`t grown. We should have Michael Bloomberg, the secretary of the
treasury. This thing should have grown. We should have a Rahm Emanuel
replacement, instead of staffers of staffers of staffers. That`s my
argument I`ll keep making.
Anyway, as Hillary Clinton readies her presidential run, and she
surely is already, the Clinton brand today differs sharply from Clinton
brand in 1992. Maggie Haberman, a great writer, and John Harris also,
wrote on today`s "Politico", "The Clinton brand is of 2014 is missing three
key elements that vaulted Bill Clinton to power in `92. First was new
ideas, second, was an authentic populist connection. Third was the idea of
Let me go back to Kasie on this one -- Kasie, you study this stuff, I
think -- well, I want to hear what you think. Hillary has advantages, but
not some of the advantages that Bill had?
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. I was with Bill
and Hillary in Iowa at that steak fry. And just like everyone else who`s
covered the Clintons for a longtime. It`s so obvious that he loves this
stuff. And she`s still trying to figure out how to put her toes in the
water. She`s not as comfortable as he is, in sitting around and talking
about the basics of politics.
You know, he was up -- he was talking to reporters. He was spending
extra time with voters. She was quick in her interactions. She was, you
know, friendly and warm, but not relishing that kind of thing.
I think that they do have a point in saying that she would be the
first woman president. And I do think that sometimes we underestimate
that, as far as how -- especially women voters would feel about putting,
you know, a woman in the White House. She might not be a new generation,
but that would be a really significant step.
MATTHEWS: Perry, there`s another plus she has we often overlook.
She`s a worldwide celebrity. Everybody in the world who reads a newspaper
anywhere knows who Hillary Clinton is. Bill Clinton was just a governor
from a small state when he ran.
BACON: Exactly, Chris.
I would rather be Hillary Clinton in 2015 than Bill Clinton in 1991,
for two reasons. The first, the celebrity factor. But then two,
particularly for Democrats, they view Bill Clinton as a successful
president and Hillary Clinton was beside him at the time. So, she gets a
lot of it to start out with.
It will be a challenge. I think there`s a challenge of what are her
ideas? How is she different from Bill Clinton or Barack Obama?
And two, there is that populism question. People -- there`s an
Elizabeth Warren faction of the party. She`s going to figure out how does
she meet that -- how does she meet that demand, how does she appeal to
That said, she`s got a great start. She`s way ahead of anybody else
for the Democratic nomination.
So, I think these three problems are small challenges I would say.
MATTHEWS: There was one advantage, Congressman, that Bill Clinton had
that we all forget. He was a Southerner. And he and Al Gore run together
as that -- I remember down in Waco, Texas, the young clerk in the one of
two-star hotel I walked into when I was covering Clinton, he said I kind of
thing those two boys are going to win.
There was a sense of regional pride in these two young well-educated
guys running in their 40s. Bill Clinton carried Georgia, I believe in `92,
lost in `96. Can Hillary Clinton have a shot in a place like Georgia?
KINGSTON: No, I don`t think she can. And, by the way, James Carville
was also Governor Zell Miller`s consultant when he was running.
But, you know, I think we also have to remember that Bill Clinton was
running after 12 years of Republican rule and with a very bad economy. Now
the economy is not so great, but it`s not the Republicans` fault. I think
that`s going to hurt her.
But getting back to Bill Clinton`s Southern charm, if you will, I`ve
met him many times. He`s a likable guy. He`s an approachable guy. He can
talk to the heads of state. He can talk to the gas station attendant.
Hillary Clinton does not have that skill, and she can`t fake it.
MATTHEWS: Do you ever talk to her on that one to one basis? Because
I`ve done it and it`s a different Hillary when you meet her. But you`re --
I think she`s very easy to get along with when you meet her, if she`s not
afraid of you that day, which she should be afraid of people like me,
occasionally. But maybe she`s afraid of you, Congressman. You`re on the
other side of the aisle. What do you think?
When you`re with her personally, do you find her off-putting or cold?
What would be your definition?
KINGSTON: No. But I don`t find her warm and friendly and charming.
What I do sense with Bill Clinton is a guy who is genuinely interested in
me. When he`s talking to me, that`s his focus, and he likes to know how
the clock works in terms of the human personality.
He wants to know, you know, tell me about your job, tell me about what
you`re from, and he can connect with you. But Hillary`s little more stand-
offish, a little more academic, if you will.
MATTHEWS: You`ve given me something for my next book. That`s great.
He likes to know how the clock works.
Casey, do you know -- I want to be back -- we got to come back with
all three of you folks. Thank you. We`ll be right back.
Let`s talk about the Secret Service scandal, this latest one, about
this guy getting a little tipsy and spreading the word about the
president`s travel schedule. That can be dangerous to be doing that in the
middle of the night.
Anyway, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Last night, I was a guest at the historic Al Smith Dinner,
which honors the great New York Governor and the 1928 presidential
candidate. Smith was a real man of the people, a real side walks of New
York kind of guy.
The dinner offers a platform where every four years for the two
presidential candidates to go head to head. And every year, it raises
money for the poor kids of New York, kids of all religions who are raised
in tough circumstances. If you want to help the Al Smith cause, go to the
Web site www.alsmithfoundation.org, alsmithfoundation.org. Or if you want
to send a check, it should go to the Al Smith Memorial Foundation, 1011
First Avenue, New York, New York City, 10022.
Anyway, it`s a great cause named after a great public servant, who
would have been a much better president than the man who beat him, Herbert
Anyway, we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We`re back.
Just when you thought it couldn`t get any worse for United States
Secret Service, another scandal hits. Let`s get back to our roundtable
with U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia, Kasie Hunt and Perry Bacon.
A former aid on Mitt Romney`s presidential campaign is saying that his
Secret Service campaign leaked President Obama`s private schedule to
Romney`s staffers back in 2012, during the campaign. Sean McCoy published
the details on his Web site, "Inside Sources".
He writes, "In the Closing Weeks of the 2012 campaign, a Secret
Service agent was on the ground in a key swing state to coordinate security
ahead of several campaign stops by the president. In one particular
incident, at a bar in late October 2012, the Secret Service agent who had a
number of drinks during the meeting unprompted and in an apparent attempt
to impress one of the staffers began providing details of President Obama`s
schedule. The information included times and locations of the president`s
events in the final days of the election. The president`s campaign would
not release these details of the president`s schedule publicly until
several days later."
Congressman, we all know if you`ve got a guy scheduling, you`ve got
his whole plan figured out. It`s also a security issue. We`re not
supposed to know where the president is going any sooner than they want us
to know for obvious reasons, so people don`t plan bad things. What do you
think of a Secret Service agent getting a little tipsy or even drunk and
using this as a way to get in with some girl, which is apparently what`s
going on that night?
KINGSTON: I think it`s absolutely outrageous. I mean, what was he
doing at a bar? What was he doing drinking to begin with, much less
running his mouth?
But I think this underscores why Speaker Boehner and Chairman McCaul
are right in calling for blue ribbon committee to review the entire Secret
Service culture, if you will, because that kind of incident, we don`t hear
about it. It`s just like the elevator ride with the president recently.
It was reported through back channels. It was never, the president was not
told about it.
So, I think what Chairman McCaul is find out more about this and find
out how pervasive it is.
MATTHEWS: Perry, I think this is an example where agencies that have
tremendous track records, like sports team, have to be revealed every
season, you got to rebuild the spree, the standards. You can`t assume that
the great team will always win. You can assume that the Secret Service
will always be as wonderful as it was when they saved Reagan`s life back in
his first year.
BACON: These stories are really troubling and they`re kind of scary,
particularly like the congressman said. The notion that someone can get on
the elevator with the president and have a gun, (a), and then, (b), have
the president not learn about it, until a few minutes for "The Washington
Post" to publish it on their Web site, that story particularly was very
MATTHEWS: You know what`s worse? You know what`s worse? He had a
criminal record. You know what else is worse? He had a cell phone on
taking pictures of the president. When the Secret Service agents say stop
doing this guy, with all his balls, right at his face, he`s taking the
president -- imagine doing that to the president close range?
HUNT: The one thing I will say here is, you know, and I covered
Romney`s campaign. I was on the plane. I got to know many of the Secret
Service agents who protected Romney pretty well. And, you know what? Most
of the people who are in Secret Service agents are in it for the right
reason. They care a lot about the people they`re trying to protect. They
care a lot about the country.
That said, you know, in some ways, this is probably only the tip of
the iceberg. I mean, we`ve forgotten there was an incident on the Romney
campaign that was reported at the time where one of the Secret Service
agents actually left a gun in the restroom of the plane and didn`t
immediately report it to superior. And, you know, that was something that
cause -- you know, as it should have, caused an uproar.
So I think for every instance that we`re starting to hear about now,
there`s probably two or three that we`re unaware of. And I think at this
point, as Perry and the congressman were saying, really a management
question because, you know, that`s the kind of thing where, you know, the
culture from the top is at the end of the day what matters the most.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I think leadership is key.
Anyway, thank you so much. Great roundtable.
U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston, come back whenever you want, sir. We
like having you on.
Kasie Hunt, Perry Bacon -- we`ll be right back.
HUNT: Thanks, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with a man who just turned 90, former
President Jimmy Carter. I was and am a Carter loyalist. I know all the
knocks who are made against him back in 1980. But I also know the great
goals, which he set for this country.
He is worried about the spread of nuclear arms around the world, but
nobody else, including Ronald Reagan was. He was concerned about our
energy dependence in the Middle East, and worked to reduce this country`s
dependence. And he, alone, remember this -- forged the enduring peace
between Israel and its number one regional rival back then, Egypt.
Jimmy Carter was an honest man. I mean, he was ready and willing to
tell the American people the truth even when it didn`t exactly make the
people happy to hear it. I will always be proud of working for him,
rooting for him, wanting him to make it politically.
Losing was bad for him. Not telling the truth, which he refused to do
even though it cost him politically would have been bad for the country.
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being here.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
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