Date: November 14, 2014
Guest: Robert Costa, Michelle Bernard, Rep. Jack Kingston>
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Eyeball to eyeball.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
In the city where American government is supposed to function, the laws are
to be written or instructions are to be given on their enforcement, but all
the evidence shows we are heading toward a moment in American history when
a new national policy on which non-citizens are permitted to live and work
in this country is about to effectively be set by the president of the
Again, by all the evidence, this action by the president is expected to
detonate a national explosion. As I said, President Obama is poised to
single-handedly overhaul the nation`s immigration system by legalizing
millions of illegal immigrants.
The Republican Party pitchforks are out. As the minority party, they shut
down the government and nearly sent the economy into a tailspin the last
time they got really worked up. Now they`ve picked up the majority and
they`re telling the president, You ain`t seen nothing yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: It`s like waving a red flag
in front of a bull to say, If you guys don`t do what I want, I`m going to
do it on my own.
REP. HAL RODGERS (R), KENTUCKY: Surely, the president understands the kind
of explosion that would occur up here if he takes that unilateral action.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We`re going to fight the
president tooth and nail if he continues down this path. All options are
on the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, tonight, President Obama responded to those threats. His
message to Republicans -- Bring it on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have the ability to fix
the system. What they don`t have the ability to do is to expect me to
stand by with a broken system in perpetuity. And I would advise that if,
in fact, they want to take a different approach, rather than devote a lot
of time trying to constrain my lawful actions as the chief executive of the
U.S. government in charge of enforcing our immigration laws, that they
spend some time passing a bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the roundtable tonight, Robert Costa, national political
reporter for "The Washington Post," and Michelle Bernard, CEO of the
Bernard Center for Women, and Republican U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston of
I want to start with you, Robert. And give me the straight skinny on this
before we get into points of view. The president has pretty much said he`s
going to do this. Is that the thinking, that within the next week or so,
he`s going to pull the plug and do it?
ROBERT COSTA, "WASHINGTON POST": He may wait until December. It`s a
question of timing now, not if he`s going to do it. That`s what we`re
hearing from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from Democrats in the White
This is going to cause, as Hal Rodgers said, an explosion among
Republicans. They wanted to try to fund the government into late next
year, to the end of the fiscal year. Now they`re not so sure if that`s
going to be possible. Can Republicans rally around government funding if
this is lingering out there on immigration?
MATTHEWS: So what`s it bring, a shutdown in the short run, a cut-off of
funding for immigration?
COSTA: My prediction, from what I`m hearing from today on Capitol Hill is
it`s going to lead to short-term spending bills. The leadership,
McConnell, Boehner, they don`t want to shut down the government. But at
the same time, they need to show the right that they`re being aggressive on
immigration. So to do that, they`ll fund the government perhaps into early
next year, try to fight the battle thing.
MATTHEWS: Congressman, what do you see coming?
REP. JACK KINGSTON (R), GEORGIA: Well, I...
MATTHEWS: Assuming the president acts.
KINGSTON: I think what we will do when -- on December 11th, when the
continuing resolution runs out, we will probably do short-term for those
portions of the law that affect immigration -- Homeland Security, Judiciary
and everything. But the rest of it, we will do a long-term omnibus on.
But Republicans are ready to fight because probably every Republican
candidate except for a few -- everyone made a promise, No amnesty. This is
an amnesty bill and it is an amnesty bill that would be done without the
legislative branch, and I think so the process is as offensive as the whole
MATTHEWS: So there we have it, Michelle. The process and the policy are
both anathema to the right, and sometimes to the center right.
MICHELLE BERNARD, BERNARD CENTER FOR WOMEN: Well, I -- you know, and
sometimes you have to sort of question the anger and all of the
consternation that we`re seeing by people on the right over the president -
- possibility that the president is actually going to do his job. He has
every single right to act by executive action. Hew has been saying to
members of Congress, both on the right and the left, for the last year, I`m
going to give you a year to do something, and if you don`t do it, I`m going
There many Americans who are -- you know, who showed us a few weeks ago
that it was sort of a pox on both of -- both houses of Congress, which
Republicans ultimately ended up -- ending up as the winner...
MATTHEWS: Explain to me how the president, with his executive authority,
can issue a green card to millions of people.
BERNARD: Well, he`s not -- he`s not going to issue a green card to
millions of people, but the president has the ability to issue an executive
order that deals with what he calls, quote, unquote, "deportation relief."
But my understanding is that -- that this executive order...
MATTHEWS: Well, I think there`s more than that, Michelle.
BERNARD: Well, no, I was going to say my -- my understanding is that there
is not just -- there`s more than deportation relief. He`s -- allegedly,
there will be some -- something in executive action that deals with
borders, that deals with pay raises for the people that are dealing with --
with all of these issues on the border...
MATTHEWS: Well, what about...
BERNARD: ... the dreamers.
MATTHEWS: Have you heard, Congressman? Have you heard, Robert? I
understand it`s going to basically say people can work here. They`re
allowed to work here.
KINGSTON: It gives them legal status, and I think -- I think, you know, in
terms of beefing up the border, beefing up pay, nobody`s going to argue
about that. I think there could even be wiggle room on the Dream Act. But
it`s the parents of these children who were brought in when they were small
that he wants to give legal status to. And that`s where the problem is
because we don`t know even what that number is. You know, you hear four
million, you hear four-and-a-half. I heard today six million. Six million
is the size of metropolitan Atlanta.
We don`t need to do that by executive fiat. We need to pass it through the
legislative branch, have a lot of people look at it, have oversight, have
hearings and have compromise. And that`s what the...
MATTHEWS: So how hot will the Republicans get, you guys?
KINGSTON: Very hot.
MATTHEWS: Will they go to -- will they go to shutdown?
COSTA: There are going to be some voices who push for a shutdown. I
MATTHEWS: A permanent shutdown, all the way until he says uncle -- I mean,
one of these real Indian wrestles, where you go, You`re going to give up
COSTA: There`s going to be a wing of the party that wants that. But do
the leadership -- is the leadership going to support that? I don`t think
COSTA: (INAUDIBLE) speak to their supporters. They want to try to do
something like tax reform, trade agreements in the new year, but they know
that this could consume the new Republican Congress. So this is the
biggest test yet for Boehner and McConnell. How do they handle their new
COSTA: Can they move forward?
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk the way it normally works, Congressman. You`re a
regular conservative. What happens when Ted Cruz walks across the aisle,
has one of those late night dinners with some of the redhots and says, It`s
KINGSTON: I think, as Bob`s saying there is that temptation of some to
say, Just shut it down. But the reality is, the president, I think is at
fault here. This is something that requires leadership, and leadership at
this point -- people aren`t angry. Bring McConnell, bring Boehner, bring
some of the freshmen to the White House, have some steak dinners, have some
fellowship, and say, Look, guys, we`ve got to get this done, and start
picking off some of the Republicans. For example, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,
Lincoln Diaz -- I mean, Mario Diaz-Balart -- you know, they`re a little
more open on this than some of the...
COSTA: Republicans are banking on a backlash, too. I mean, that`s what I
just kept hearing today at the Capitol. They`re banking that the
president`s approval ratings will sink, that there will be a backlash, even
though he will get support from a lot of people for giving deportation
relief, that there`s going to be a consequence for Democrats.
MATTHEWS: The public does say in the latest Gallup poll, after the
election -- did everybody see this Gallup poll? -- overwhelmingly, the
public wants the Republican Congress to take the lead, not the president,
on policy making. These are the facts! This election mattered! I keep
telling people, Vote! It matters!
Anyway, conservative columnist Robert -- or Charles Krauthammer is taking
up the nuclear option, if you will. Let`s watch him talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I believe it is an impeachable
offense. The whole American system is designed that it has to be a
collaboration between the Congress and the president. Congress has to pass
it, he has to sign it. That`s the way the damn thing works.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: "Damn." I haven`t heard him say that one yet. "That`s the way
the damn thing works" -- Charles Krauthammer. He is not a wingnut. He is
a hawk, certainly a hawk. But on this issue, he is being very hawkish,
unusually (ph). What do you make of it, Congressman?
KINGSTON: Well, you know, I think...
MATTHEWS: He`s saying it`s impeachment stuff.
KINGSTON: You know, I think the president`s spoiling for this fight. This
fight gets him relevancy. When President Clinton lost the House and the
Senate, the best thing that happened to him politically was the government
shutdown because he became the margin in between the extreme Republicans
and the constituency. And that`s how he got to be relevant again.
The president has taken a page off the Clinton book and saying, Fight --
come up with the biggest fight you can. Just go ahead and start it, and
that way, you`re relevant. And I think that`s what this is all about.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me try another historic reference by you (ph), then
you jump in here. Roosevelt`s court packing -- you know? He won big in
`38 -- you know, he won big in `38, he came back and said, OK, I`m going to
get -- you know, or (INAUDIBLE) I won big in `36 (INAUDIBLE) `37. I think
I`ll enlarge the court so I have enough liberals on the court. Didn`t
KINGSTON: No, it didn`t. And can you imagine on that -- because it was
the Democrats, I think, the Southern Democrats that helped defeat that.
But think about right now -- I think there are 50 ambassadorships that have
been waiting for Senate approval, and most of these ambassadorships are
plum political patronage-type jobs. They`re not really in strategic
places. How`s the president going to come back a month from...
MATTHEWS: You mean like Barbados?
KINGSTON: Well, you know, I think that...
MATTHEWS: Don`t you wish that your party was in power right now,
KINGSTON: You know...
MATTHEWS: It would be very nice...
KINGSTON: I`m looking for work.
KINGSTON: But I just think -- I think the president is squandering so much
potential good will where he should go ahead and get some of his nominees
through, get some things in order. Try with the Dream Act only. I think
he could -- he could possibly get some of that...
MATTHEWS: Senator Jeff -- your turn.
BERNARD: Well, I just -- I -- I wish that everyone that the president had
to deal with on the right was as reasonable as you are. But there is
another vantage point to this. And I hate to put everything in terms of
race, but this is one of those issues where I see it.
I don`t think the president is itching for a fight. I think, from my
perspective and from the perspective of a lot of African-Americans, what we
see is that the president -- since the day he was elected, it always feels
and looks as if there are members of the Republican Party who are saying,
We are going to put you in your place. You are going to kowtow to us. You
are going to do what you -- we`re going to...
BERNARD: ... and on this issue, there is no reason for the president not
to back down. (sic) He has been saying for the last year, Do anything...
MATTHEWS: Let me -- let me ask you -- who`s going to call the shots for
the Republican side? Will it be the Ted Cruz people, the Geronimo guys,
who say, Let`s go get him, or is it going to be Mitch McConnell-type
people, and Boehner?
COSTA: I think McConnell`s going to ultimately call the shots. There`s
going to be a lot of noise, but McConnell has the gavel now. He`s running
MATTHEWS: And so when they say, Let`s go, and the crowds begin -- we don`t
know what it`s going to be like, first of all. You never know the future.
It could be the president does this and something else happens, Ebola or
something else knocks it out of the news.
My hunch is it`s a grass roots issue. There`s two things -- you`re the
expert -- two things that drove the Tea Party. One is they sense the
government`s just peeing away the money. There`s no control on money
spending, and they just sense is going to the unions, the poor people,
foreign aid, whatever. It`s just wasting their money.
The other is nobody`s looking out for who this country is anymore. There`s
not even a sense of saying who we are anymore! And that`s one of the
essential responsibilities of any government, to say what the border is,
who gets to come in or not, not to discriminate among people, but how do
you set the controls?
BERNARD: But are you...
MATTHEWS: And we don`t have any sense that we`re doing that right now.
BERNARD: But are you actually taking care of the people if you shut the
government down, too, because you`re angry that...
MATTHEWS: I know.
BERNARD: ... in a system of three branches -- coequal branches of
government, the president has said, I`m going to act by executive authority
because they`re not passing any laws?
MATTHEWS: Look at the numbers. They think it`s so screwed up here in
Washington, they can`t screw it up...
BERNARD: Oh, I agree. It is.
MATTHEWS: Anyway (INAUDIBLE) the roundtable`s coming back on that happy
Coming up: Money talks. The big story in Politico today, the newspaper
(ph), is that some of Wall Street`s big donors up there see Chris Christie
as too risky, too uneven an investment in 2016. Can a run for a campaign -
- can he run for a slogan of "Sit down and shut up"? Well, not to Wall
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, the House voted to approved the Keystone pipeline today
for the ninth time by a vote of 252 to 161. The measure was pushed by
Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu this week, who is facing a runoff for her
Senate seat on December 6th. And while the bill has been supported in the
past by the Republican-controlled House, it had trouble passing the Senate,
which is expected to vote on the measure -- Keystone -- next Tuesday.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, today we got three pieces of
news about likely 2016 contenders for president, all of which go the heart
of what may be their biggest vulnerabilities.
First, Chris Christie. The bully is not wearing well with the donor class,
apparently. That`s the rich people. Christie could not have been pleased
with this headline, "Chris Christie`s temperament spooks Wall Street: Top
GOP donors see the New Jersey governor as a risky investment." I love that
Then the family issue for Rand Paul. Playbook`s Mike Allen reported on a
big dinner here in D.C. Wednesday night where Rand Paul`s aides, advisers
and supporters talked 2016. Allen reports, quote, "The campaign to be
combines family loyalists who served Rand`s father, former representative
Ron Paul, plus new talent. But will Paul family loyalists who carried the
libertarian flame for Ron Paul in many Republicans primaries mix with the
Then there`s Hillary Clinton and her friends. That`s Hillary-land. ABC
News has published mildly embarrassing e-mails from a listserv of about 150
campaign veterans, many of whom, ABC reports, could likely (ph) populate a
2016 Democratic presidential campaign for her. The leak was obviously
designed to embarrass the two people who run the private e-mail list and
are often mentioned as possible Hillary Clinton campaign managers.
But the real problem is this. That the e-mails are emerging publicly
reflects the ferocious intra-battle (ph) to populate the top positions of
an expected Clinton campaign. After a 2008 campaign team that famously
imploded over turf wars, personality clashes and backbiting, this is not
the kind of support Hillary Clinton needs if she runs in 2016.
Anyway, the roundtable`s back, Robert Costa of "The Washington Post,"
Michelle Bernard and U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia.
Let`s start with Christie. First of all, a little taste test here. Will
this big guy from Jersey, Congressman, sell in Georgia?
KINGSTON: He will if he keeps talking like this.
KINGSTON: Yes. When you have Wall Street -- and they`re always tipping
(ph), and you know, their money is like the weather. It goes where they
think it needs to be. I mean, they`re not really strong early risky
supporters of anybody. For example, Goldman Sachs was I think President
Obama`s second largest contributor. So I just -- I wouldn`t worry about
I`m worried about more of those folks in South Carolina and Iowa that he
has to appeal to early on. He`s going to do fine in New Hampshire anyhow.
So I think the tough talk is going to help him.
MATTHEWS: Well, a Republican donor who`s raised hundreds of thousands of
dollars for Republican candidates, and could do the same for Christie, says
there`s a sense he could melt down at any time, and Christie has provided
plenty of evidence to fuel that concern. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Did I say on topic? Are you stupid?
On topic. On topic. Next question. Good. Thank you all very much, and
I`m sorry for the idiot over there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s her name, guys, real quick, because the
governor`s talking. What is it? 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.
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!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: So one more time, that sells in Georgia?
KINGSTON: You know, he needs a pickup truck and to go out on a coon hunt
with us and have a good time at a deer stand. Seriously, that`s what so
much of our base right now wants. It`s really not that he`s being rude or
obnoxious, it`s that he`s a straight shooter.
KINGSTON: And we all feel that way sometimes. You know, we...
MATTHEWS: I thought -- I thought that only worked where I grew up in
Philadelphia, south Jersey.
MATTHEWS: Do you think it works in the world?
BERNARD: You know what? I -- I -- I have been a fan of Chris Christie`s
until this last implosion he had. And I thought, OK, that might be OK with
MATTHEWS: With the big tall guy in the back?
BERNARD: Yes. Exactly. You know, might be OK with Vladimir Putin, but
you know, for somebody who`s -- who`s worried about national security and
foreign policy issues in particular, I don`t know if this is the person I
feel comfortable with dealing with anyone in the Middle East, dealing with
problems in Israel, dealing with Ebola, for that matter. He`s -- it`s --
it`s -- it`s -- he is more than indelicate.
MATTHEWS: Well, he will be -- if he -- he could really fit into the Middle
East, though, because...
MATTHEWS: ... some days, they say, death to all your children and fathers
and may 1,000 curses reach you.
MATTHEWS: I mean, you never know what you are going to get sometimes, you
BERNARD: Yes, well, but except for we can control what happens within our
borders. We can`t control what happens elsewhere.
And I don`t want him irritating the wrong person.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Yes.
COSTA: Where else is the establishment going to go? I`m sure these
reservations are real, but if Jeb doesn`t run, if Mitt doesn`t run, you`re
left with a field that doesn`t have a lot of establishment favorites.
And I think Christie`s whole game plan right now is to recover. Yes, he
has some extemporaneous remarks that turn people off, but he thinks he can
still be the Wall Street candidate.
MATTHEWS: OK. That`s well said.
Let`s go to Rand Paul, the other side of the dream here. As I said, Rand
Paul`s campaign is waiting right now. But it will combine family loyalists
with new talent. His father, Ron Paul, of course was a lightning rod in
the 2008 presidential campaign debates for his non-interventionist views.
Let`s watch that old scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON PAUL (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: We need to look at what we do from
the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?
PAUL: I`m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the
reason they did it.
And they are delighted that we`re over there, because Osama bin Laden has
said, I am glad you are over on our sand because we can target you so much
easier. They have already now, since that time, have killed 3,400 of our
men, and I don`t think it was necessary.
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: May I make a comment on that?
That`s really an extraordinary statement.
That`s an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack
of September 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq.
I don`t think I have ever heard that before, and I have heard some pretty
absurd explanations for September 11.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: What about the danger of that, Michelle?
BERNARD: Well, I think that Rand Paul is doing a good job of showing that
like not only does he believe that there is a big tent in the Republican
Party, but that there will be a big tent in terms of who supports him.
And, quite frankly, the people who liked his father, they know the
differences between the two of them.
MATTHEWS: Oh, yes? What`s the big difference. Because I haven`t seen it
BERNARD: Well, he doesn`t seem to be as -- how should I say this nicely,
as different as his father is.
MATTHEWS: Well, I would say one thing, that the times have changed. I
think that was right after 9/11 and the fact that is everyone is worried
about having another 9/11. Now we`re worried about having another Iraq.
BERNARD: Exactly. Exactly.
MATTHEWS: Different situation.
KINGSTON: But I think that`s where he did distinguish himself, because he
voted most recently for the bombing of ISIS.
And so -- and his dad would not have done that. His dad really was an
extreme isolationist. Rand is showing he has a willingness to engage. I
think he gets best of the Paul last name, but I think he also has the
option of saying I don`t agree with dad on this one. And he can do it in
an affectionate way without offending...
MATTHEWS: But a lot of the big givers in the Republican Party are hawks.
They`re hawks, and not just Adelson. A lot of the East Coast guys.
BERNARD: And he is not isolationist like his father. And I think that`s
to his credit.
COSTA: But there is a different -- different kind of politician. When you
see his father up there almost leaning on the podium like a college
professor, lecturing, Rand Paul has a persona that is more hawkish, but
it`s also more assertive and he`s more comfortable and he seems more
mainstream in his presentation. That matters to the donors and it matters
to the voters.
MATTHEWS: Well, earlier, I mentioned the e-mail leak that reveals discord
among some of the Democratic operatives that could populate the Hillary
Clinton 2016 campaign.
The reason this matters is because Clinton`s 2008 campaign team was such a
fractious mess. After Clinton dropped out of the race, "The Atlantic"
published a blistering account of the Clinton campaign dysfunction. The
headline, the front-runners fall with the subheadline, Hillary campaign --
Hillary Clinton`s campaign was undone by a clash of personalities more
toxic than anyone imagined. E-mails and memos published here for the first
time reveal the backstabbing and conflicting strategies that produced an
Robert, were you covering that campaign in 2008? Where were you then?
COSTA: I was still at Notre Dame.
MATTHEWS: Oh, you were still at Notre Dame. Well, that`s a good start.
MATTHEWS: Congressman, let me go back to you. You have run campaigns.
The Hillary campaign had a problem. Mark Penn, everybody blamed him for
that. I think there was just a whole bad strategy of getting delegates.
They got if they got the big states -- and they got them all, except for
Illinois -- they would have it. They didn`t go back into South Dakota and
Montana and North Dakota and those states, and Wyoming, the states that
never go Democrat in the general, but have a lot of college professors of
political science about my age who are still `60s guys. And they are the
one that go to caucuses.
KINGSTON: I think one of the problems is that she doesn`t have
competition. I really think that`s going to cause even more infighting as
people try to get a bigger piece of her action, if you will.
If you look at the Republican primary and all the earned and unearned media
that these candidates are going to get from Huckabee to Ben Carson to Rob
Portman and then Chris Christie and Rand Paul, a very, very long list. I
think all the attention is going to be on the Republican candidates.
And Hillary`s big problem is going to be not just the unity within her own
party, but keeping her own party excited, because whoever doesn`t get the
business, the order, if you will, they are going to be mad and pouting and
going elsewhere. They will vote for her, but they`re not going to be
I think that was one of the big differences in this recent election, is the
enthusiasm was on the winning side.
MATTHEWS: Go ahead.
BERNARD: Also, just, number one, being right now the leading and the sole
Democratic contender, being the only woman right now that we`re talking
about in the headlines that is running, this is a problem not just because
of the infighting, but she has to also -- she is going to be faced with
fighting whatever stereotypes we usually see about women in politics.
And one of those questions is going to be, can she manage a campaign, can
she manage the people that work with her? And if any of these numbskulls
that are leaking e-mails to ABC are going to end up in the White House, the
American public, Democrats included, are going to think, do we really want
have to deal with that? We don`t want -- we don`t want Clinton era number
MATTHEWS: There is a Clinton backstory. It`s not just a great economy and
a popular president, because he always was popular. There was always this
BERNARD: There was always something going on.
MATTHEWS: Whether it`s Motel 6 or whatever it was.
COSTA: But, look, I think all this chatter about staffers misses the real
problem for Secretary Clinton. Can she really appeal to the progressive
left that looks to Bernie Sanders, that sees Senator Warren?
MATTHEWS: Well, wait a minute. How can she appeal to them and go to the
center at the same time?
COSTA: That`s an open question. But I think, in Washington, D.C., we are
consumed by this talk of who is going to staff Hillary`s campaign. The
real question is, can she balance her appeal to the center with the appeal
to the left that seems to be pining for someone else?
BERNARD: And following up on what you say, coming off of her book tour, he
has got an excellent point, because one of the things you ask yourself now
is, what does she stand for? What does Hillary Clinton stand for and can
she recover from a lot of the gaffes that were made during the book tour?
MATTHEWS: A lot is professionalism and being able to be -- the congressman
knows this -- you can always get good at the question you were ask
yesterday, because you work on it. You think about it. You go to bed at
night and it`s on your pillow. The next morning, you`re thinking about it.
But you don`t know what the question is tomorrow.
MATTHEWS: And when you get good at the question that is coming tomorrow,
then you are a pro. Bill is always good at that.
Anyway, the roundtable is coming back. Up next, Rand Paul talked for
nearly 13 hours during his famous drone filibuster. Ted Cruz`s talkathon
against Obamacare lasted 21 hours. Well, that`s nothing compared to the
feat Al Roker has pulled. He just set the world record for the longest
weather report, 34 hours. That`s next coming up in the "Sideshow."
This is HARDBALL. What a good guy he is. The place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL and time for the "Sideshow."
Just a week after securing the majority in Congress, the Republicans are
already making plans to thwart the president`s agenda, starting with
Well, Stephen Colbert had this to say about that new strategy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE COLBERT REPORT")
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Luckily, the Republicans are
empowered now and they`re going to do something about it by undoing
something about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans dominate state governments this time
around, also eager to fix Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are some changes to Obamacare that I think both
parties can agree to.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to have to
show that we have ideas, that we also are going to pass legislation to try
and fix Obamacare.
COLBERT: Yes. After more than 50 votes against Obamacare, the Republican
majority is now promising to fix the law. Just like when you tried to
murder someone 50 times and it doesn`t work, so you buy them a gym
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, when it comes to health care, it looks like the
Republicans will try anything once.
Anyway, next up, nobody does fast-talking drama better than Aaron Sorkin,
who was on the show earlier this week. Well, Seth Meyers took a stab at
replicating Sorkin`s the trademark style. Let`s watch him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS")
SETH MEYERS, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": Every comedy show has
already parodied every Aaron Sorkin trope, the walking and talking and the
random handing off a piece of paper from one individual to another. A
quick glance at that piece of paper, handing off of that piece of paper to
somebody else, up to and including the ping-pong dialogue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ping-pong dialogue?
MEYERS: The ping-pong dialogue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ping-pong dialogue?
MEYERS: The ping-pong dialogue.
What the hell was that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we haven`t done the thing where two co-workers
who are clearly in love argue with each other as a form of flirting.
MEYERS: Well, we should do that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re doing it right now.
MEYERS: Well, thank you for getting it out of the way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re welcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Ping-pong dialogue. Now I know what it is.
Wouldn`t it be great if going to work was that exciting every day?
Finally, Al Roker ended, as I said, his record-breaking 34-hour weather
report on NBC this morning with a congratulatory call from, guess who, the
guy he races after in the big parades, Joe Biden. Here is the vice
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I tell you one thing.
You should have spoken to me earlier about live mikes, though.
AL ROKER, NBC METEOROLOGIST: I`m thinking of maybe running for Senate and
do a filibuster.
BIDEN: Look, man, I will support you.
ROKER: I will be the first contributor.
Jim Eastland, the old segregationist from Mississippi, said to me, I will
campaign for you or against you, whichever will help you the most.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Up next, a new report paints a damning picture of what happened
at the White House the night a fence jumper was able to make it into the
building. One Secret Service officer was not even listening to his radio
and was taking a personal call. In other words, it was even worse than we
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
FRANCES RIVERA, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I`m Frances Rivera. Here`s
President Obama is in Brisbane, Australia, the final stop on his trip to
Asia. He`s there along with world leaders for the G20 summit.
The Ebola patient expected to arrive in the U.S. this weekend is identified
as Dr. Martin Salia, a surgeon working in Sierra Leone. His family is
making arrangements to travel to Nebraska, where he`s due to arrive for
More than 2,000 Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers are being
mobilized to support the U.S. military`s Ebola operation in West Africa.
They will be headed to Senegal and Liberal.
Jesse Matthew, the man accused of kidnapping UVA student Hannah Graham in
September, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in connection with
another case dating to 2005. Authorities have said DNA links him to the
2005 case and the 2009 disappearance of a Virginia Tech student.
The arctic blast that sent much of the U.S. into a deep freeze has buried
parts of the Midwest in snow, including Wisconsin, which got four feet in
some places -- now we take you back to HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
We`re back with our roundtable, of course, Robert Costa, Michelle Bernard
and Jack Kingston, the congressman from Georgia.
Anyway, the internal review of the Secret Service has revealed details
about the White House country breach in September. Remember that one?
After intruder Omar Gonzalez jumped the fence, he was able to make it
across the White House lawn unimpeded because a canine was distracted, it
turns out, by a personal phone call on his cell phone.
Other agents determined -- I loved this -- the Gonzalez posed no threat and
didn`t shoot, though he was armed with a knife. An officer on the North
Portico there then allowed the intruder to pass because he assumed the
front of the White House was locked. That`s my favorite. But it wasn`t.
Once Gonzalez entered the White House itself, he knocked a Secret Service
officer to the ground and then proceeded to walk by her. According to a
report, the agent mistakenly pulled out her flashlight instead of her gun
by accident. Then ignoring demands to stop, Gonzalez walked left into the
East Room, there it is, turning back around. He was eventually tackled by
another officer outside the room in the center hallway there.
Those failures were compounded by the fact that radio communication was
compromised and the alarm was deactivated and the assault team, well,
hesitated to enter the building because they were unfamiliar with the
inside of the White House.
Michelle, you are the attorney here. Explain this...
BERNARD: I can`t even laugh because I can`t fathom how this could possibly
MATTHEWS: Suppose he had a gun.
BERNARD: Exactly. Exactly.
MATTHEWS: Supposed he went up the stairs. He went right past the stairs.
He could have gone up right up to the house.
BERNARD: This is the leader of the free world, this is our nation`s first
African-American president, which makes me think that they would be even
MATTHEWS: Let`s go to your other side, where you would probably think, are
they slacking off because he is black?
BERNARD: No, I don`t think that.
MATTHEWS: OK, because I have that little rumor du jour.
BERNARD: No, no, no, no, I don`t think that. I just think they were
slacking off and that because -- I would think that if it were my job, I
would be even more diligent because of the history of the person that we --
they you are -- that they are allegedly sworn to protect.
MATTHEWS: And he has good relations with them, right, Robert?
COSTA: He does. It seems like the president has good relationships with
the Secret Service.
Just a failure to respond to a situation. And the episode has really
reflected poorly on the entire organization.
MATTHEWS: What did you make -- what did you make, Congressman? My
favorite was when the guy said, according to testimony, I`m sure it was
under oath, that he didn`t mind the guy running to the front door, because
he knew he had gotten to the front door -- and he`s going right to the
He said, I just let it go because I knew the door was locked. But what did
you want him to do, just mingle around the front door...
MATTHEWS: ... loiter there for a while?
KINGSTON: I just can`t imagine what they were thinking, because,, you
know, you -- being a watch person is a boring job so much of the time. And
then you got that chance for excitement. The one I wonder about is, what
was the phone call about that the guy went in his van? And where was the
dog? At least leave the dog outside. You pay $20,000 to have this dog
trained, come on, I got to talk about the grocery list. You know, leave
the dog outside.
MATTHEWS: Why wasn`t rover barking?
BERNARD: And how does he get down to the East Room and how you do mistake
a flashlight for the gun? Why is the guy not either dead or maimed?
MATTHEWS: Well, apparently, the guard, the woman in this case, fell down
on her back and was reaching around to get her night stick and instead of
that, she first got her flashlight. Then she got something else, but she
didn`t get what she wanted. She didn`t get her gun.
BERNARD: Yes, exactly. That`s a problem. I don`t get it. The man should
have been shot.
MATTHEWS: Well, anyway, there is more investigation that the Secret
Service may now be coming. Yesterday, chairman of the House Homeland
Security Committee Representative Michael McCaul of Texas call for an
external advisory board to review the agency`s leadership, budget, culture,
security, training and more. McCaul said the panel would have the
authority to hold hearings, issue subpoenas and request administrative
items, and be required to file an interim report in nine months to make a
final report to Congress within 18.
This is what I don`t get, Congressman. Why aren`t they shorter strings in
these babies? Why 18 months to find out what happened in five minutes?
BRENNAN: So, the next president is safe.
KINGSTON: They will come back and say we need more money regardless. But,
really, what they need to do is fire people. They all ought to be fired
and make sure people know that they were fired. And then I think there is
a real serious question about the database, because there were things known
about Gonzalez. He had been found with the hatchet. He`d been found with
MATTHEWS: And a map of the White House.
KINGSTON: And a map of the White House and Washington.
So, I mean, there were reasons to say, we got to get that information to
the folks on the frontline at the White House, but they had committee of
jurisdiction, standing committees that can handle this Homeland Security,
the Judiciary Committee, Appropriations. I don`t think you need an 18-
month investigation over incompetence.
MATTHEWS: I was surprised that you`re shoot-on-sight order there,
BRENNAN: Oh, I feel strongly about it.
MATTHEWS: -- had been killed. You think that would have been appropriate.
I mean, killed?
BRENNAN: I would rather him be killed than President Obama. Absolutely,
no doubt about it. And I`ll tell you another thing, is metropolitan, D.C.
Metropolitan police have taken been handling this, we would be singing a
very different tone today. They would have taken care of this and nobody
would have gotten into the White House. That I believe.
MATTHEWS: The D.C. government getting that salute.
BRENNAN: I live in Maryland.
KINGSTON: But it would have sent a signal. You come in to the leader of
the free world, it`s a serious offense and we are going shoot you.
MATTHEWS: I want to know where the SAM missiles. Do you know where they
are? I always want to know where they are. Do you know where they are?
Can you tell us now that you`re leaving --
KINGSTON: They`re not in this town.
MATTHEWS: I think there is a missile launcher on that that would hit the
plane near the White House. I`m sure we can`t discuss it.
ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: We are not law enforcement officers, so
I`m not going to endorse sending any kind of signal by shooting someone to
kill them. I think the Secret Service probably has a procedure and a
process for intruders and I would respect that process.
BRENNAN: If the process works.
MATTHEWS: I did learn one rule and I will tell you about it off the air.
MATTHEWS: They recently disclosed a third of his players developed long-
term brain damage. Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell calls the sport a
moral abomination. Is America`s sport too violent? Maybe the violence is
part of the reason to watch it.
Anyway, this is HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Get ready for a British invasion. The duke and duchess of
Cambridge, better known as Will and Kate, are planning a visit to the U.S.
on December 7th of this year. So far, their itinerary includes a visit to
New York`s 9/11 Memorial and the New World Trade Center.
Prince William is also expected to spend a day in Washington here. He will
attend the conference off the World Bank. This will be the royal couple
has visited the U.S. since 2011.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We`re back.
Is football just too violent? NFL documents released in federal court
recently showed that the league expected nearly a third of retired players,
that`s all the players, a third of them, to develop a long-term brain
Author and social critic Malcolm Gladwell told Bloomberg News just
yesterday the sport was a moral abomination. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM GLADWELL, THE NEW YORKER/AUTHOR: So, basically, when you watch
football on Sunday, a third of the players you`re watching are in the
course of playing a game incurring an injury, which will significantly
impact their life. Can you point to another industry in America which in
the course of doing business maims a third of its employees, right? This
is untenable. We are not talking about people limping at the age of 50.
We are talking about brain injuries that are causing horrible protracted
premature death. The idea that we are paying people to engage in a sport
for our own entertainment that causes irreparable damage to themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, earlier this weekend, NBA legend LeBron James surprised
some people when he told ESPN that he won`t let his young sons even play a
sport. Quote, "We don`t want them to play in our household right now until
they understand how physical and how demanding the game is. They play
basketball. They play soccer, they play everything else, but football and
hockey is a safety thing. As a parent, you protect your kids as much as
And there from a guy who has to work under the basket which is somewhat
muscle-related. What do you think, Robert? I think there`s a lot of
muscles in getting your position in NBA basketball.
COSTA: It`s a really tragic story when you learn more about these injuries
for the players. But I don`t see football suddenly disappearing from the
American scene beyond --
MATTHEWS: Did you know that it was causing brain damage at the rate of one
of every three players?
COSTA: No, makes you rethink the whole sport.
MATTHEWS: But think about the guys who don`t even get near the acts, like
the kickers? They aren`t getting hurt, most of them, right? Sometimes
they got sacked, but, you know, I mean, there`s parts the team. The
offensive lineman just to pound all the day long, the crack of the two
helmets, boom, boom all day. What do you think is going to happen?
BRENNAN: Look, tiger mom here. My son is never going to play football.
He even mentioned it. I would laugh at him. And, you know, I agree with
Gladwell in a sentence it`s it is a moral abomination for more than one
reason. These players, you know, they knowingly go out on the field. They
know what might happen to them. So, there`s no rule in government here to
do anything about this.
But people should turn off their TV sets and figure out how we deal with
the fact that when you look at it on the field, the field, you see
predominantly African-American men with no ownership in the team --
COSTA: Teddy Roosevelt tried to save football when he was president. He
is concerned about football safety back in early --
BRENNAN: What I`m saying, this is just more than football safety. We have
a moral question that we need to deal with as a nation which is that we
should have ownership in these teams, as well as playing the field and,
also, now that people are actually talking about the safety issues and are
actually paying attention to them, you know what will happen next is people
that are wealthy and whose children have the option of opting out of
football and doing other sports --
MATTHEWS: I agree. That`s always --
BRENNAN: And it will be just like the army.
MATTHEWS: Don King touts a fight is safer?
BRENNAN: No, absolutely not.
MATTHEWS: Black ownerships is not going to do any good.
BRENNAN: And I`m not watching boxing, either.
KINGSTON: There`s an assumption risk here. Remember, there`s 32 NFL teams
all worth about a billion each. Think about all the multiplier effect.
Everybody is making a lot of money. So, there`s assumption of risk.
But I want to say this -- it`s safer than it used to be. In the 1890s, a
University of Georgia player was killed. His name was Carl Von Gammon
(ph). The state legislature in Georgia outlawed football. Governor
Terrell (ph) vetoed. That went on in a number of different states because
a lot of college players were getting killed.
But what happened is they came up with all of the rules. They standardized
the rules. And right now, we`re seeing that same thing. Chips and
helmets, (INAUDIBLE) on knees. Things like that that are making it a
little bit safer. And enforcement of rules --
MATTHEWS: One offside to that is the amount of strength training these
guys do now, the amount of power, I don`t know, the physics. I assume what
hits you if you`re a lineman is a lot more force than back in the `20s with
that leather helmets. I mean, the guys train all day long to hit really
BRENNAN: Yes, especially -- there is no amount of money in my opinion to
make the risk worth it. But people assume the risk. That`s their
business. It is not the role of government to get involved. I want to see
it to be safe, but I also want to make sure that we don`t see what Gladwell
has called the ghettoization of football either. It should not just be
people who have no ownership to play football.
MATTHEWS: As long as you`re the best, it`s going to be -- you know,
Muhammad Ali is probably the most popular figure of the 20th century. Look
what happened to him.
Anyway, according to ESPN, the NFL acknowledged for the first time early
this year, the risk to its players, the admission came in court followed by
a league as part of a lawsuit brought by players, according to ESPN.
Quote, "Former players between 50 and 59 years old develop Alzheimer`s
disease and dementia in rates 14 and 23 percent times higher than the
general population of the same age range according to the documents. And
the rates for players between 60 and 64, as much as 38 times the rate of
the general population. That`s pretty amazing.
BRENNAN: Yes, it is. And when you read the statistics --
MATTHEWS: So, what do we do? We talked about it.
BRENNAN: But who do you think is going to continue to play?
MATTHEWS: OK, you`re very impressive, very influential person, you`re on
national television. I`m being sarcastic. This is all true. What do we
do? What do we do?
BRENNAN: Well, thank you.
Look, I think -- there`s nothing that we really can do. It`s -- I mean,
are we going to do it with cigarettes and say you can`t play unless you`re
a certain age?
KINGSTON: But, if you think from the evolution of the leather helmet to
now, this hard, plastic helmet now putting a microchip in it, which a lot
of colleges are actually requiring, and they`re requiring knee braces, the
new rule that runner cannot lower his helmet and torpedo somebody. That`s
being more enforced that ever before, I think the players` union is going
to draw this. They don`t want this reputation of being self-destructive.
BRENNAN: And I think what will happen, what you asked, is what do we do?
Number one, if you can, you just don`t play. You opt out. Number 2, if
we`re going to -- we have to educate kids so that they know what they`re
going into, and why don`t we start paying college athletes who play
football and make millions of dollars for their school.
MATTHEWS: OK, well, all things considered, Michelle, you`re so passionate
about this because you`re a mommy. But let me tell you something, if
you`re a kid right now, any kid watching now between the age of 8 and 80,
wouldn`t you have liked to have been the college quarterback?
BRENNAN: No --
MATTHEWS: Yes, kid, boys. Any boy.
BRENNAN: Track and field, soccer --
MATTHEWS: You went to Notre Dame. Would you like to quarterback for Notre
COSTA: It`s a great American game.
MATTHEWS: Look at all the dates they get. Just think about that.
Thank you, Robert Costa, Michelle Bernard and Congressman Jack Kingston.
When I return, some wonderful news from my family to your family. As you
may know, Kathleen and I are fortunate to be grandparents. We have a
beautiful, young 2-year-old granddaughter, Julia Staveley Matthews. And
we`ve been waiting some big news from out West. Earlier today, we got it
from Los Angeles.
I`ll be right back with that.
MATTHEWS: Let finish tonight with someone who`s just begun. This morning
in Los Angeles, a young lad named Brendan Staveley Matthews was born. It
was 5:25 Pacific Standard Time.
The mother, Sarah, is fine. The father, Mike, is happy. The grandparents,
Kathleen and I, included, are thrilled. Brendan, for those who know such
thing is the patron saint of sailors, which is why my mother considered
giving me the name. Brendan Matthews now marches forth to the 21st century
arm-in-arm with his older sister Julia, continuing the family line, giving
us all a shared joy in life and happiness and the wonder that touches us
even well into life.
So, for Brendan I say hip, hip hooray and Godspeed to all of us.
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
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