Date: October 31, 2014
Guest: Paul Singer, Carol Robidoux, Bob Ehrlich, Jeremy Peters, Rick
Tyler, Michelle Bernard
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: I`m in New Hampshire with the hot question of
the Senate campaign. Can a Massachusetts guy get elected here?
MATTHEWS: Is Scott Brown a carpetbagger?
SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Listen, anybody can move here
and run for office.
MATTHEWS: Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Manchester, New Hampshire, at the
Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College.
Last night at a debate here at St. Anselm, the issue of the campaign -
- the hot issue of the campaign hit a high point. A debate panelist
corrected Scott Brown on his state geography.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you see going right in the economy in
Sullivan County, and what`s going wrong? And please be specific.
SCOTT BROWN (R), FMR. MASS. SENATOR, NH SENATE CANDIDATE: Well,
you`re absolutely right. Geography plays a role. Along the southern
border, we have more jobs, we have more opportunity. Infrastructure and
other opportunities up north are difficult. And one of the biggest
opportunities is tourism and one of the biggest opportunities are ski areas
and -- and trails for snowmobiles. I support these efforts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we`re talking about Sullivan County.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think you were talking about the north
country? So what do you see is going well in Sullivan County or not?
BROWN: I`m talking about any place past Concord, actually, and the
challenges of -- of our state. So I`m referring to the challenges,
including the high corporate tax rate, "Obama care" coming in after the
election. We also have the challenges of high electric costs. If you go
to any business in any county in our state, those are the very real
challenges. One of...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sullivan County is west of Concord, it`s not north
of Concord, Senator Brown. So what do you see going well and what`s not
going well there?
BROWN: With respect, I`ve answered the question. The challenges are
the same in every county in our state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the panelist later apologized for the correction,
saying there at that time that the -- Sullivan County was to the west and
not to the worth, and he said that Brown was wrong in that -- during that
debate. Later on, he said in a television news report at 11:00 o`clock
last night here, he said that Brown was right. Let`s watch him now correct
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were talking about the location of Sullivan
County. I said that Sullivan County was west of Concord, not north of
Concord. The truth is, it`s both. So on this point, Scott Brown was
right. I was wrong, and I apologize to Scott Brown and to both campaigns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the question between now and the election on Tuesday
is whether Brown or his rival, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Democrat, will
benefit from the incident. Brown may come off the winner of the debate on
whether he was off-base on geography or not, but the skirmish does raise
the very issue Shaheen herself wants in voters` minds when they go to vote,
whether Scott Brown from Massachusetts has the background to represent the
counties and people of New Hampshire.
As an aide to Shaheen told me today, the issue of where Sullivan
County is re-localized the election. It made it about New Hampshire.
However, the senator was more delicate on the subject herself. Here was my
conversation with Senator Shaheen earlier this afternoon.
MATTHEWS: There`s an old expression, if it talks like a duck, walks
like a duck and looks like a duck, it`s a duck. Is Scott Brown a
SHAHEEN: Listen, anybody can move here and run for office, and it`s
up to the voters to decide. But the question is, who`s going to put New
Hampshire first? Who understands what we need to do to grow our small
businesses and create jobs? Who`s going to support the families of New
Hampshire and who`s been working -- I`ve been working as governor and the
United States Senate to support our small businesses, to support our
families, so they have a fair shot at success.
And my opponent, when he was in Washington for Massachusetts,
represented the big guys, the corporate interests, the oil companies, the
Wall Street banks, the companies that want to outsource our jobs. That`s
what this election is all about.
MATTHEWS: But the audacity of somebody to cross the border for
national political ambitions -- what does that say about New Hampshire even
listening to the guy? Why would they even give him a shot?
SHAHEEN: Well, our voters are fair-minded, and hopefully, they`re
going to decide on Tuesday that they want somebody who`s going to put New
Hampshire first, not the corporate special interests.
MATTHEWS: I was impressed today watching your get-out-the-vote
campaign. Tell us, to people watching around the country, how important
that part of the campaign that they don`t see on television.
SHAHEEN: It`s critical. You know, this race now is about who turns
out to vote on Tuesday. And if we get our supporters out to vote, we win.
If we don`t do that, then we don`t win. And so this is all about
contacting, you know, all of those people who have been talked to over
months about making sure they vote on election day, going to the doors and
pulling people to the polls, doing rides to the polls, identifying who
still needs to go out and making sure they get there.
MATTHEWS: Last question. After last night`s debate, why are you
going to Sullivan County today, this afternoon?
MATTHEWS: Is that to bring out the fact that he wasn`t quite clear or
SHAHEEN: Well, it`s always fun to be in Sullivan County. I`ve done a
lot of work with people in the county, and with Claremont, which is the
biggest city there, helping them with supporting their small businesses to
create jobs, rebuilding their -- helping them rebuild their downtown. They
have great old mills there. It`s a historic city.
MATTHEWS: You really know that place.
SHAHEEN: You know, I`ve been around New Hampshire for a long time.
But what I`m really going there to point out is that this is not about
geography. This is about who`s going to work for New Hampshire. It`s
about who`s going to support communities like Claremont, our small
businesses, to make sure that they can continue to grow and create jobs.
My opponent has not been there for small businesses.
MATTHEWS: So he is a carpetbagger.
SHAHEEN: You can call him what you want.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you very much, Senator.
SHAHEEN: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Thanks a lot.
MATTHEWS: "You can call him what you want." That was nice of her.
Anyway, Paul Singer`s with "USA Today" and Carol Robidoux is with "The
Boston Globe." Let me start with Carol about this. You represent "The
Globe," which is a big newspaper all over New England, of course, but this
ability to hop, skip and a jump across the state border, and within a year
be elected United States senator in a neighboring state, when you`ve
already been a senator from the other state -- this will be a remarkable
achievement if this -- he pulls this thing off next Tuesday.
CAROL ROBIDOUX, "BOSTON GLOBE": Yes, I think a year ago, nobody would
have said this would happen. But the fact that it`s happening right now
kind of shifts everybody`s thinking about what`s at stake here, what`s
driving this election. What`s going to drive voters to the polls? What
are the issues that really matter?
I was thinking, when you were talking to Jeanne, that statistically,
here in New Hampshire, you know, we`ve changed a lot, too. We have a lot
of people here that used to be there in Massachusetts. So there could be
that factor, too. People who have lived in Massachusetts and are now New
Hampshire voters, they might embrace Scott Brown and that may be part of
the Scott Brown factor.
MATTHEWS: Yes, Paul, another thought here is if he does win -- I
think he`s still a little bit of an underdog, but if -- based on the latest
poll, he is. But if he does win, doesn`t that make a statement that this
will probably be a sweep election, but also that this was a national
election, that he didn`t win because he was a good New Hampshirite, he won
because he was a conservative Republican running against the president`s
PAUL SINGER, "USA TODAY": Right. A lot of this is about Obama. We
had a poll in the paper today that people are really concerned about
everything. They feel -- I think the quote was "a cornucopia of icky" from
a voter who just feels like there`s no reason to go out and vote and
they`re not excited about the opportunities to vote, and they`re not really
having a whole lot of hope for the next Congress anyway. If Scott Brown is
able to win in New Hampshire, which will be an earlier close than some of
the other races we`re watching, that`s going to be a sign that we could
have a Republican wave coming.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me go back to Carol on this. What do you think
about the debate last night? It seemed to me that maybe Jeanne Shaheen,
the incumbent senator, was really sharp in not jumping on what looked to be
his mistake last night because it wasn`t actually a mistake. He said that
Sullivan County was to the west -- or rather, to the north. It is sort of
a bit northwest. It`s mainly to the west. But it wasn`t an actual error
on his part. I guess that explains why she didn`t actually jump on him as
hard as the moderator did.
ROBIDOUX: Well, I think -- I think one of the finer points for people
who live here is understanding that most people know to get there from
here, you have to go south first, and then west...
ROBIDOUX: ... in most cases, to get to Sullivan County. So nobody
thinks of it as a sort of a northward journey, and I think that`s where
James Pindle (ph) was going with that, is that we have a distinct idea of
what the north country is here in New Hampshire, and it`s not Sullivan
MATTHEWS: Well, he got off the hook anyway. May have been wrong, but
he got off the hook last night.
Anyway, the Shaheen campaign has what looks to be a strong get-out-
the-vote campaign out there. Young volunteers are doing follow-up calls on
Democrats and independents who tend to vote in presidential campaigns but
not in midterm elections. These are the people the Shaheen campaign
believes will be the deciders on Tuesday. They want them out there voting.
And two prized categories are women and Hispanic voters, believed to be the
most likely people to vote for the Democrat, Shaheen.
Let me go back to Carol Robidoux on that: What do you sense about the
get-out-the-vote campaign, the ground campaign, as we call it? Is it
clearly -- it seemed to me clear. They certainly bragged to this point,
that Shaheen has got it all over Scott Brown`s operation in terms of get
out the vote.
ROBIDOUX: Yes, that might be -- that might be one way of looking at
it, depending on your perspective. I actually spoke today to the New
Hampshire party chair, Jennifer Horn (ph), who said that this is
historically their largest ground campaign ever in any midterm election.
They`re pulling out all the stops, and they believe that things are going
to go their way as long as they can keep pulling undecided voters in their
It`s really -- it`s really a fight to the finish here. I think both
campaigns are coming on as strong as they ever have.
MATTHEWS: Paul, how do you see it ending up with the ground campaign
against the -- sort of the media presence of Scott Brown?
SINGER: Well, it was interesting. Yesterday, there was a news
roundtable with the head of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee and
the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. And the Republican was more
optimistic, actually. He said that he felt that Scott Brown had done a
really good job of introducing himself to the voters in New Hampshire. And
the Democratic -- the head of the Democratic campaign committee said, Well,
we think that Shaheen`s going to win, but New Hampshire voters are
I don`t know what to make of that. I mean, certainly, this race is
closer than we expected it to be. That in and of itself is good news for
MATTHEWS: Well, I think you`re right. Paul Singer, thank you, and
Carol Robidoux. I think my view of this has been, if you`re watching us on
election night this coming Tuesday, and I hope you are, around 8:00
o`clock, if we say it`s too close to call in New Hampshire, look out for a
sweep because that`s not good news for the Democrats. They should win in
New Hampshire. This would be, like, the 10th win for the night if they win
up in New Hampshire here today.
Anyway, coming up: Chris Christie says he has no regrets -- would he?
-- about his angry outburst the other day. In fact, he`s basking in it.
He says it was just another day in a place he calls "Rancho Christie." I
think he`s the Cisco Kid. I don`t know.
But how`s his short-fuse tough guy act going to play when he hits the
campaign trail for president of the United States? We`ve mashed up some of
Christie`s worst hits, you might say.
That`s all ahead here on HARDBALL. This is it, the place for
MATTHEWS: heading into the final weekend of campaigning, let`s get
the latest polling on key races around the country. And for that, we check
the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."
First to Iowa, and the Senate race there is tied, according to a new
Reuters Ipsos poll. It`s Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley
at 45 all. wow.
Next to Georgia, where a new Landmark poll has that race all tied up,
as well. It`s Michelle Nunn, the Democrat, 47, Republican David Perdue 47.
Next to Kentucky, where a new Bluegrass poll from "The Louisville Courier-
Journal" has Mitch McConnell up 5 over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
It`s McConnell 48, Grimes 43. In Colorado, the latest "Denver Post" poll
has Republican Cory Gardner leading Senator Mark Udall by just 2. It`s
Gardner 46, Udall 44.
And we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I`ve been here when the cameras
aren`t here, buddy, and done the work! I`ve been here when the cameras
weren`t here and did the work! Turn around, get your 15 minutes of fame,
and then maybe take your jacket off, roll up your sleeves and do something
for the people of this state!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
CHRISTIE: So listen, if you want to have the conversation later, I`m
happy to have it, buddy. But until that time, sit down and shut up!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Chris Christie is making no
apologies for that display of rage the other day. Instead, he`s making it
the centerpiece of his tough-guy tour across the country. He`ll fight
anyone, whether it`s a nurse, a random guy at a press conference, or we`ll
see now, the president of the United States.
Yesterday, Governor Christie said that Wednesday`s ugly incident with
that protester was, quote, "just another day at Rancho Christie." That
interesting place we haven`t been to. And last night, he told MSNBC`s
Kasie Hunt that had no regrets about that spectacle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: You give it, you`re getting it back. If you give respect,
you get that back. If you don`t give respect, then I`m going to take you
out on it. And that`s just the way it goes. I don`t calculate these
things politically. This is who I am, and I think most people understand
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: And do you have any regrets about
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: "That`s just the way it goes." Interesting commentary
there by the governor. Anyway, that schoolyard bully attitude there, that
performance, that lack of respect is how Christie is framing his fight with
President Obama. At that same event, Christie told reporters that
President Obama should, quote, "get out of his way" on Ebola. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: Governors are having to do more because the president has
shown a complete lack of leadership. Bad advice (INAUDIBLE) confusing
advice from the CDC, (INAUDIBLE) from him on the South Lawn of the White
House telling us what we should think. Mr. President, you know, we`ll
concede you`re the smartest person in (INAUDIBLE) OK? But get out of the
way and let people make decisions. That`s what governors are doing. And I
wish the president was doing that, but he`s not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Bob Ehrlich was governor of Maryland, and David
Axelrod was senior adviser to President Obama.
Gentlemen, I want your views on this. First Governor Ehrlich, this
tough guy on the street corner -- well, I don`t know what you call it,
BOB EHRLICH (R), FMR. MARYLAND GOVERNOR: Chris, it`s not an act!
MATTHEWS: Is this going to work? It`s not an act.
EHRLICH: Chris, you know what? It`s not an act. And you know him
and I know him well. He`s a friend of mine. No neutral opinion here.
This is Chris, and that`s his personality. That`s his demeanor. It`s very
popular in New Jersey. It`s generally popular in the Northeast.
The issue is going to be whether that particular personality -- and by
the way, it`s cathartic for those of us who`ve been public office because
sometimes, those of us who have been on the short end of a guy giving you a
hard time or heckling you really appreciate what Chris is doing.
But this is Chris. It`s unvarnished. It is what it is. He`s going
to take this national, and we`ll see how it plays outside the Northeast.
But it is no act. It is not scripted by any means.
MATTHEWS: What do you think people who have had to put up with
bullies like him in school, in college in high school and the neighborhood,
will think of him? When they say...
EHRLICH: Well, Chris...
MATTHEWS: ... Wait a minute, I knew that guy in my neighborhood, and
I didn`t like him. Are they going to like this guy on television or
running for president, the same personality type?
EHRLICH: Let me -- let me challenge your definition. A bully is
someone who starts the fight. When you see Chris react, when you see him
get back in someone`s face, when you see the aggressiveness, it`s typically
not Chris who started it. It`s someone who is acting out and Chris
responding. So it`s not a bully. It`s certainly in your face. It`s
aggressive. It is what it is. But it`s his persona. It`s his
personality. It`s unvarnished, and for a lot of people, it`s refreshing.
MATTHEWS: Well, who threw that nurse coming back from West Africa
into that tent in the middle of a hospital? And all she wanted to do was
get out of the tent. Was she the aggressor, or is the guy who put her in
the tent the aggressor? Define terms.
EHRLICH: Well, yes, well, now it`s a different issue, obviously. Now
it`s -- it`s...
MATTHEWS: No, no, no. This is what...
EHRLICH: Oh, yes!
MATTHEWS: ... we`re talking about because this is how this thing
started, with him dealing with that nurse, who said, Let me out of my tent
you put me in here. And he says, she`s got the best take-out from the best
restaurants in Newark. That was his response to her. Was he the
aggressor, or was she the aggressor?
EHRLICH: This goes to his job, number one, which is protection of the
general public. So you can actually characterize him as -- I don`t know
whether he was the aggressor, but he certainly was aggressive in his
response. But it`s -- look, job one -- it`s government job one, it`s
governor`s job one. President`s not doing his job -- southern border,
Ebola, you name it.
EHRLICH: I`m going to do it.
EHRLICH: It`s a take-charge guy.
MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) back to you because I see -- I know your point
of view here, Governor, and I appreciate you coming on.
MATTHEWS: Let me go back to David -- David Axelrod.
This guy is singing the song, Aretha Franklin, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, whether
it`s Sicilian or it`s African-American, whatever the cultural sense of,
you`re jumping on me, I`m going to jump back at you. Fine. I understand
But this guy is now attacking the president. Talking about him, we
just saw the quote about some guy giving lectures on the South Lawn. That
doesn`t sound very respectful of the elected president of the United
States. My sense.
What do you think, David?
DAVID AXELROD, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, obviously not.
But let me correct one thing the governor said. He said that it`s
very popular in Jersey. The last numbers I saw of Governor Christie was,
he was underwater in Jersey. And people have gotten tired of that routine.
And as far as his comments about the president, I assume that he`s
just trying to expiate the sins that the base of the Republican Party feel
he committed by praising the president`s leadership in Hurricane Sandy. So
he`s trying to get a few brownie points with the right wing that he may
need if he runs for president.
I personally don`t think you can run for president if -- it doesn`t
matter whether you started it or not. When you run for president, there
are provocations every single day. And if this is the way you`re going to
react to them, you`re not going to get very far.
People don`t want an angry president. People don`t want a president
who`s going to fly into a rage at every irritating moment. That`s not very
comforting to the American people.
MATTHEWS: Do you want something really scary? Here`s just a sampling
of Christie`s dark side. Call it, well, his monster mash.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Did I stay on topic? Are you
stupid? On topic, on topic. Next question. Good. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you all very much. And I`m sorry for the idiot over there.
After you graduate from Wall Street, you conduct yourself like that in
a courtroom, your rear end is going to get thrown in jail, idiot.
Damn, man, I`m governor. Could you just shut up for a second? You
And you know what, and you know what, and you know what? Let me tell
-- and let me tell you this. You know what? It`s people who raise their
voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country. We`re
here to bring this country together, not divide it.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CHRISTIE: What`s her name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s her name, guys? Real quick. The governor
CHRISTIE: What is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gail. Talk to Gail.
CHRISTIE: Hey, Gail, you know what? First off, it`s none of your
business. I don`t ask you where you send your kids to school. Don`t
bother me about where I send mine
Unbeknownst to everybody, I was actually the guy out there. I was in
overalls and a hat, so it wasn`t -- so I actually was the guy working the
cones out there. You really are not serious with that question.
But I understand for, someone like you, it`s never enough. It`s never
If what you want to do is put on a show and giggle every time I talk,
well, then I have no interest in answering your question.
You know, Tom, you must be the thinnest-skinned guy in America. If
she wants to get on a plane and come here to New Jersey and ask me if she
wants to examine me, review my medical history, I will have a conversation
with her about that. Until that time, she should shut up.
So, listen, you want to have the conversation later, I`m happy to have
it, buddy. But until that time, sit down and shut up.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Bob Ehrlich, I want you to respond to the following words.
Idiot, stupid, idiot, shut up. Gail, none of your business. Shut up, Ann.
Are you serious? You think this is going to play in Peoria? Are you
EHRLICH: I`ll tell you, the guy is comfortable in his own skin, you
have to admit that.
And I will just say this. Look, this is really aggressive. It`s
Chris, again, unvarnished. After six and now it will be eight years of a
guy voting present in the Illinois legislature and being unable to make up
his mind, I think people are going to be looking for someone who has an
opinion, who is up front, who is aggressive.
And, look, it may not work, who knows? But it`s not a ploy. People
are tired of scripted. They`re tired of phony. There`s nothing phony
about this guy. It is what it is. I know him. He`s the same way in
person. And, by the way, if he`s so unpopular, he`s won in a pretty blue
state a couple of times. So we will see how it goes as he goes national.
But one thing he will not be called is phony.
MATTHEWS: I never called him phony. I have just called him Chris
David Axelrod, will this play in Peoria? You know the Middle West,
AXELROD: Yes. No, plainly not.
I will agree with Governor Ehrlich. This is him. I don`t think he`s
not faking it. I think this is the way he is. But I don`t think people
want "Sopranos" politics in the presidency. They want somebody who is
going to be thoughtful.
I would just refer the governor to all the kind things that Governor
Christie said about President Obama`s leadership in his state`s time of
need, when Hurricane Sandy hit, and I will leave it at that.
EHRLICH: And you know what?
EHRLICH: That`s fine.
MATTHEWS: I think he`s the kind of person who would say, tell that
mayor of Fort Lee he can forget his bridge. And tell that mayor of Hoboken
she can forget that federal money if she doesn`t back my waterfront
It sounds just like the guy described in all these accounts.
Anyway, thank you, Bob Ehrlich, Governor. Thanks for coming on.
David, as always. I respect you a lot.
MATTHEWS: Up next, so what if Michael Jordan doesn`t think much of
President Obama`s golf game? Wait until you see. The president has got a
much bigger defender out there on the links, the great Tiger Woods.
Interesting debate here.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Time now for the "Sideshow."
It`s Halloween, of course, and Republicans are getting into the spirit
of the holiday by jabbing at President Obama.
RNC communications director Sean Spicer tweeted out this photo of his
team dressed as Democrats running away from President Obama. Isn`t that
special? I especially like how the man portraying Florida`s Charlie Crist
brought his fan along.
Well, clearly, the president is no stranger to criticism. But this
next item has it coming from one of the greatest basketball players of all
time. But even Michael Jordan is now focused on golf these days. He sat
down with Ahmad Rashad of Back9Network to talk about who he would put on
his dream team. Listen to his answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JORDAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I have never played with Obama,
but I would. But, no, that`s OK. I take him out. He`s a hack. Man, it
would be all day playing with him.
AHMAD RASHAD, BACK9NETWORK: Do you really want to say that about the
president of the United States?
JORDAN: Yes. Don`t worry about it. I never said he wasn`t a great
politician. I`m just saying he`s just a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) golfer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: He took a shot at the president of the United States and
his golf game? Well, that`s bold enough.
And that`s something the most famous golfer in the world certainly
disagrees with. Here`s what Tiger Woods has said about the president`s
skills on the links.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: He hit the ball well and got an
amazing touch. He can -- he can certainly chip and putt. If he ever spent
-- after these four years, if he spends more time playing the game of golf,
I`m sure he can actually get to where he`s a pretty good stick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, when it comes to golf, most would value Tiger Woods`
opinion over Jordan`s any day of the week, don`t you think?
Finally, Jon Stewart taped "The Daily Show" this week from Austin,
Texas. He ended his visit saying that the odds of Texas ever becoming a
swing state are pretty slim. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART")
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I actually thought Texas
was going to be blue in 2012.
JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": Really?
STEWART: Texas is going blue.
Listen to me. Texas has been a conservative state since dinosaurs
roamed it 6,000 years ago.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
STEWART: At least, that date is according to the Texas State high
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: There`s a knock.
Anyway, up next, Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana ignited a hot
fight when she said the South hasn`t always been the friendliest place for
African-Americans. And she was talking about President Obama himself.
Anyway, the roundtable is next on that topic.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger.
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pilot. Virgin Galactic released a statement saying the rocket anomaly
which resulted in the crash. The NTSB and FAA are both investigating.
Virgin founder Richard Branson said via Twitter that he`s heading to
the site to be with his team. The test flight was part of a program to
bring passengers on trips to the edge of outer space -- back to HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu said something I think will go down as
one of the most important quotes of this campaign, certainly one of the
most memorable. My colleague Chuck Todd asked Senator Landrieu why
President Obama has had such a hard time in Louisiana. Landrieu said one
of the main reasons was his energy policy, but that was not the only
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: To be very, very honest with you,
the South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.
It`s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a
very positive light as a leader. It`s not always been a good place for
women to be able to present ourselves. It`s more of a conservative place.
So, we have had to work a little bit harder on that. But -- you know,
but the people trust me, I believe, really, they do, to trust me to do the
right thing for the state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Republicans pounced on that.
Here`s Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on FOX News late today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "YOUR WORLD WITH NEIL CAVUTO")
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: I thought Mary`s comments, our
senator`s comments were ridiculous and offensive. She is basically calling
the people of Louisiana, she`s calling all of us in the South racists. She
owes us an apology.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the Louisiana Republican Party chair said Landrieu`s
remarks were -- quote -- "insulting to me and to every other Louisianian,"
And Landrieu`s opponent, Bill Cassidy, is also -- he went on FOX News
to criticize Landrieu`s comments, concluding -- quote -- "We`re not racist.
We just have common sense."
Well, joining me right now, the roundtable for tonight, Jeremy
President of from "The New York Times," Michelle Bernard, president of the
Bernard Center for Women, and Rick Tyler, who was Republican strategist for
the Newt campaign -- Newt Gingrich campaign back in 2012.
Let me go -- let me go to Jeremy Peters on this to start with.
It seems to me an unexceptional comment historically. I mean, if you
just look at the whole Jim Crow period all the way from the 1860s to the
1960s, you had Jim Crow. You had segregation down there. Of course that
was not friendly to African-Americans, by definition.
It took until the 1960s for Charlie Scott to be the first basketball
player in the ACC who was African-American. I don`t know how long it took
-- well, certainly the SEC must have been slower, but we had NBA players
who were playing in the `50s before they ever played in those schools in
the South part oft United States.
How can someone deny that there wasn`t unfriendliness historically to
African-Americans? It, to me, is definitional. Your thoughts.
JEREMY PETERS, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": To me, it sounded reminiscent of
John Roberts` defense in the voting rights case a couple years ago, when he
said -- he seemed to suggest that racism had been fixed.
And I think that there`s absolutely no denying the strong feelings in
these communities of color when they look to incidents like Michael Brown
being shot in Ferguson, when they look to what state legislatures are doing
to curtail voting rights. They feel under siege.
MICHELLE BERNARD, FOUNDER, BERNARD CENTER FOR WOMEN, POLITICS AND
POLICY: Well, I mean, I was going to say, it`s not that people feel under
siege. I would venture to guess that many members -- many members of the
African-American community, myself included, will argue that it doesn`t
feel we`re under siege. We are under siege.
Honestly, if you pick up any American history book, from slavery until
any of the events that Jeremy was just talking about recently, it`s very
evident and quite obvious as a very basic history lesson, they should pick
up the CliffsNotes on this, that African-Americans have not been treated
well in the South.
I was actually pretty stunned to see Bobby Jindal and others being so
horrified by the statement that Senator Landrieu made, because it`s
factually correct. There`s -- there`s -- there`s nothing that they can say
to rebut anything on a factual basis that she said.
MATTHEWS: Rick, the quote was -- just so we know the quote before
everybody jumped on it -- "The South has not always been the friendliest
place for African-Americans." That`s Mary Landrieu.
BERNARD: Yes, absolutely.
And you can imagine as a -- as what I call a -- quote, unquote --
"sister of the South," I would imagine that Mary Landrieu has been in
social settings, political settings, professional settings where she might
be the only white person in the room in a Southern atmosphere, in a
southern climate, where people have probably made very inappropriate
comments about the president, about African-Americans.
I don`t think she would make this kind of statement if she didn`t have
reason to believe it to be completely factual.
MATTHEWS: Never thought of that.
Rick Tyler, your view?
RICK TYLER, FORMER NEWT GINGRICH AIDE: Well, that`s not what she
What she forgot to mention was, yes, blacks have been historically
mistreated in the South, but it was by the Democratic Party. In fact, the
Republican Party was started in Louisiana; 109 African-Americans were
elected to the state legislature after Reconstruction.
It was the white Democratic Party who came in and wiped them all out,
causing a massacre right there in the capitol floor. So, yes, it`s true,
but she doesn`t ascribe it to the -- where it belongs. It belongs to the
Democratic Party. It was the Republican Party that was the party of
The Democratic Party, all the way up until Jim Crow, which were
authored by Democrats, the -- Orval Faubus stood in the door. He was a
Democrat. It was Eisenhower, a Republican, who sent in the 101st Airborne
to let those black children attend school.
So, if you look at it historically, it was the Democratic Party who
mistreated blacks, not -- not Republicans. But I would like...
BERNARD: But it was a very different Democratic Party.
MATTHEWS: Those Dixiecrats became Republicans.
TYLER: Only one did.
MATTTHEWS: The same people went to the Republican --
TYLER: None of those governors became Democrats. I just think it`s a
BERNARD: Look, I have always said, if you say Michelle, who is your
favorite Republican, I would say to you, Frederick Douglass was my favorite
BERNARD: This is not -- today`s Republican Party is not the
Republican Party of Frederick Douglass, or of Abraham Lincoln. It wasn`t
for a long time.
And blacks after Reconstruction, all the gains that were made by
blacks during reconstruction, were systematically taken away from them
right after that period.
TYLER: But Democrats, right up until Great Society, which was another
failure by Democrats.
BERNARD: But today`s Democratic Party is not the same as the
Dixiecrats for this period of time.
TYLER: No, it is not. The Democrats today are not intimidating
people from voting. They`re intimidating people to vote because of the
great lie of the Great Society.
BERNARD: And Southern Democrats came up with what they call the
Southern strategy, and they all left the Democratic Party and joined the
Republican Party and they did it for a reason.
MATTHEWS: Let me go to Jeremy. Jeremy, can you tell me anything
about expectations? Is there any way to measure this? Will African
Americans go out to vote? Because of a number of reasons, one there`s
still an African American president. Number two, there is a concern, I
think justified, that the Republicans are doing voter suppression against
the black community and young people.
And also, this whole issue of Ferguson and all the rest of it. Will
there be a black turn-out consistent with presidential campaigns, or more
like the usual turn-out, which is much lower in a midterm? What do we know
JEREMY PETERS, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I`ve been looking at the numbers
as they`ve come in from early voting in a lot of these states. And they
will not match what happened in 2012. They are exceeding what happened in
2010, and that`s a bright spot for Democrats.
But, you know, you can`t be sure that that`s going to balance out the
strong antipathy for the president among white voters, white men
especially, in these states. And in the end, that may just overwhelm
however many blacks turn out.
MATTHEWS: I`m going to ask my friend, Michelle.
Do you think the hatred of Obama down South and in a lot of parts of
the country, by white people, if you will, will drown out the love of
Obama, which may be fading for Obama amongst blacks and liberals, and
liberal blacks, of course?
BERNARD: I think it is possible. I would be very interested to see
what happens in states like North Carolina and Arkansas and Georgia, where,
you know, Jeremy wrote a great piece for "New York Times" earlier this
week, where there are pointed ads that are well needed. Explaining what`s
at stake to African Americans in our communities.
And if people go out and vote in good numbers, it doesn`t have to be
the numbers I believe that we saw in 2008 or 2012, about you if people go
out and they understand what is at stake, I think there`s a very good
chance that African-Americans will make sure that Democrats hold the
MATTHEWS: Down in Georgia, the state Democratic Party is appealing to
voters to rally behind the only black man elected to president with a flyer
that says, quote, "It`s up to us to protect the legacy of the first African
Rick Tyler, do you think that`s fair game to do that?
TYLER: What legacy? What has Barack Obama delivered for the black
community -- the conservative black community, the liberal black community,
the moderate black community? What he`s delivered is high unemployment,
more poverty, more people on food stamps, less opportunity and less jobs.
I don`t see how the case can be made to black -- to African-Americans that
we need to preserve this president`s legacy.
You`ll notice Mary Landrieu didn`t cite all the things I cited, that
says we need to elect Barack Obama because he`s made more jobs for the
Africa-American community, got people off welfare, got them opportunity,
got them in the right -- she didn`t say anything of those.
She said, they don`t like Barack Obama because they`re racists.
That`s what she said.
BERNARD: You know, I mean, I got to say, if we`re going to talk at
least from a perspective of an African-American and also from a woman`s
perspective, we want to honor -- there are people who want to honor the
president`s legacy. Number one, just being the first elected African-
American president in United States history. We know that slavery was the
original sin of this country and just what he does, just as a role model
for young black boys alone, makes you want to honor his legacy.
BERNARD: And it could be argued by many that but for the
intransigence of the Republican House of Representatives, the president
would have done a lot more over the last six years --
TYLER: Chris, I would argue the opposite.
BERNARD: -- than he has been able to do so, because he`s been working
with a Congress that --
TYLER: I agree with the sense of what Michelle said, but this
president has a wonderful opportunity to heal race relations, it`s gotten
worse. It had a wonderful opportunity to do positive things to black
community. It`s gotten worse. Not better.
MATTHEWS: You know, it`s interesting, guys, with the reaction to what
Mary Landrieu said about the South not being hospitable to blacks, African
Americans. She also said they`ve been tough on women`s rights. And there
hasn`t been a single retort to that, to putting women in their place down
South. Nobody said, oh, we don`t keep women in their place, Michelle.
They just said, I guess that makes sense.
Anyway, thank you, everybody. The roundtable is staying with us.
And up next, that`s something for the Michelle Center for Women.
Anyway, it`s Halloween and the Republicans are the ones yelling boo. A lot
of fear out there, a lot of fear factor in this election hitting the
voters. That`s coming up next.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: It`s one of the biggest issues voters care about as we head
into the final weekend of campaigning before Tuesday`s midterms. Well,
according to a new "Associated Press" poll, the economy dominates -- 91
percent of likely voters say the economy is extremely or very important to
Next was health care, believe it or not -- 78 percent of likely voters
called that issue extremely or very important.
Followed by terrorism, Ebola, ISIS, the U.S. role in world affairs,
and finally, immigration, which is pretty far down. Lower down the
"A.P.`s": list were social issues like marriage equality.
We`ll be right back from New Hampshire after this.
MATTHEWS: We`re back with our roundtable.
Jeremy Peters of "The New York Times", Michelle Bernard, and Rick
Tyler. What`s the state of mind of the American public just days before
Well, according to a new "USA Today" poll, quote, "As election day
nears, America is the land of the fearful. Voters are rattled by the Ebola
virus. Braced for years of conflict against the terrorist group -- Islamic
group ISIS and still worried about jobs."
Well, the poll found that two thirds of Americans believe the problems
of the country they`re facing right now are more challenging than usual.
Also, 21 percent of Americans said their number one priority for
Congress right now is to deal with national security and terrorism. That`s
second only to jobs. It`s a huge jump from two years ago when only 2
percent listed national security as the top priority.
Clearly, ISIS and Ebola are on their minds. Six in 10 Americans say
they expect America to be dealing with the threat from ISIS past the time
President Obama`s second term goes to an end. And four in 10 Americans say
a major outbreak of Ebola in the United States is very or somewhat likely.
Let me go to Jeremy and then Michelle and then Rick in that order.
What do you make of the fact people are so concerned about Ebola with
only really two infections that occurred here in the States and yet are
thinking about a pandemic in many cases? It seems out of proportion, but
why do you think, Jeremy?
PETERS: I think it points to a broader unease about everyday life in
general. That explains a lot of what you`re seeing in Republican messaging
right now and why they appear to have the advantage going into election
What was so interesting about what happened with the border crisis
first over the summer and then ISIS, and then Ebola was that it gave
Republicans a fresh way to make the same attacks they had been making
against the president, and what they said was his ineffective leadership.
So, they had been making those arguments with Obamacare and the V.A.
and a couple other problems, but when all of this stuff blew up the last
few months, they had a brand new way to make an argument that Americans
were kind of tired of hearing.
MATTHEWS: Michelle, I think that`s an objective reality, and I think
there`s a fearfulness out there that, explain it, why are people so afraid
of tomorrow morning? They`re afraid of tonight, afraid of the dark. I
mean, there`s a jitteriness I think out there now.
BERNARD: Well, I think, I mean, I think it`s two things. I think,
number one, just something that is very palpable. Unemployment is down but
it doesn`t feel like it`s down. People don`t know how they`re going to
make ends meet. People are still very worried about jobs and quite
frankly, you turn on the news, you listen to the radio, you read your
newspaper and we have a government that doesn`t seem like it functions.
You know, I would venture to guess there are many Americans who look
at what has happened with Ebola and, true, it`s two cases in the United
States, but we went through a period when we didn`t know who was in charge.
Ron Klain is the Ebola czar, but we haven`t seen much of him. We don`t
know what`s happening with jobs. Congress doesn`t pass laws.
And so, you sit down and say to yourself whether you`re a Democrat or
a Republican, is there anyone in the nation that is at the helm that can
take care of us in a time of need? And then, when you add ISIS to that
equation, it makes for very, very jittery feelings for the populous.
MATTHEWS: Try to outdo that, Rick.
TYLER: I`m going to agree with a lot of what Michelle said.
BERNARD: Oh, how nice.
TYLER: She hits on something that is important and central to the
Democratic message. That is big bureaucracies don`t work. They were
invented in the 1890s, they were codified in law in 1930s. They`re
completely inappropriate for the information age.
We have seen that with the V.A. We`ve seen with the IRS. And now,
lately, we`ve seen it with the CDC.
The other part is truthfulness. If you can`t tell the truth day in
and day out, and you send your mouthpiece out there every day to lie to the
American people, why would people not be confused and afraid of a deadly
disease when the CDC can`t keep its story straight about how you get it --
MATTHEWS: Who is the mouthpiece? Rick, who is the mouthpiece?
TYLER: The contradiction in terms, Josh Earnest.
But look, I think when the CDC goes out, Obama goes out and says you
can`t get it on a bus, and the CDC says you can get it within three feet of
people, as early as today, the CDC was saying if you sneeze, you`ll get it,
and now, they have taken it down and say, no -- so who knows?
Look, it`s a deadly disease, and yet, we don`t know from this
administration from one day to the next how to catch it.
MATTHEWS: Those are tough commentaries. I let them go because
they`re all true. It`s a tough time, a tough time to seek re-election in
I do not like anybody who will criticize people like Tony Fauci,
though, because they are public servants. And I don`t mind people calling
people flacks if they are flacks, but I`m glad Ricky didn`t do that,
because there`s a difference between people in the administration who are
political and people who have spent 50 years that were fighting infectious
diseases like Tony Fauci.
Anyway, we`ll be right back after this.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this: Franklin Roosevelt, the
greatest president of the past century, told us we had nothing to fear but
fear itself. Well, that was quite a line.
Maybe now all these decades later, we should take a listen to just
what he meant. Fear, I should say, could be a good thing. It`s what warns
us of true dangers -- the unexplained sound in the night, the sound of a
car horn behind us, the sound of a child coughing.
And then there is the nameless fear -- the fear of the unknown, the
fear of the dark.
I don`t know if the Republicans out there are selling this kind of
fear, this nameless kind, know more about Ebola and the clinical basis for
concern about it spreading or more about the dangers of ISIS coming here to
commit terrorist acts in the United States.
But there is one area in which writers of the right are on sound
ground -- historic ground. They know how fear works in American politics.
How it worked in the bank runs of the Great Depression, for example.
Get people scared enough and you can close a bank. Get people
believing the worst is coming and they give up hope in every leader, in
every institution. All they do is run, hoping they at least can put off
So, here we are in 2014, about to have an election. One party is
trying to deal with the basis of fear, containing Ebola as best it can by
getting to its source in West Africa, trying to ally Arab and other
countries in the war to contain the ISIS terrorists.
The other party -- well, it`s got a simple plan of action. Just get
people scared which will get them angry, which will get them to vote
against the president and his party. It could work, but does anyone out
there think it will accomplish anything for the country, anything good?
Does anyone think that?
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
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