updated 5/12/2015 11:05:27 AM ET 2015-05-12T15:05:27

Show: HARDBALL
Date: May 11, 2015
Guest: Ben Volin, Mercedes Schlapp, Jarrett Bell, John Feehery, Paul
Singer

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: For Brady, it`s fourth and long.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Too cute. The way Tom Brady and the Patriots have handled this whole
thing has been just too cute. He didn`t actually deny it. He`s been too
cute for that, too smirky and playing too hard to get. It was if he were
saying, Are you kidding? Do you expect me to cop to this?

It was like Chris Christie saying in his full Jersey accent, yes, I
was the guy that put the traffic cones out there. Tom Brady was cuter than
that, even. He kept going on and on about the process the game footballs
go through before kickoff, whatever it is they do that makes them perfect
for him.

It was all too cute, especially when he went up there to Salem State
University for that homer he got from the Patriots fans, that lovefest he
showered in when that reporter was trying to get some truth out of the
local hero.

Anyway, it came late this afternoon, some of that truth Tom Brady and
his people couldn`t handle -- sacked, with four suspended games this fall -
- not pre-season games, real ones. NBC`s Peter Alexander reports Brady
plans to appeal, but just to make it clear who the league thinks was behind
all this, they threw the Patriot organization itself for a big loss, a
first round draft pick and a fourth round draft pick the year later, plus a
million-dollar fine.

So guess what? As the man said, don`t do the crime if you can`t do
the time.

I`m joined by "The Boston Globe`s" Ben Volin and "USA Today`s" Jarrett
Bell and Rob Simmelkjaer, host of "SPORTS MATTERS" on MSNBC.com`s "Shift."

Let me ask you all, gentlemen, for your view of how they come about
such a -- such a punishment. It`s complicated, how they get to these
numbers, but number are everything in sports.

Ben, you first. Why the number four? Why the number $1 million? Why
the two draft picks, one a first round, and a fourth round a year later?
How do they come up with these numbers? What an array.

BEN VOLIN, "BOSTON GLOBE": Well, the NFL clearly wanted to hit both
Tom Brady and the organization very significantly. Tom Brady, the four-
game suspension -- this is the first time in NFL history we`ve seen a
player taken off the field for something of this nature. And then $1
million fine is the highest team fine in NFL history, as well -- first
round draft pick. These are significant penalties.

The Patriots -- the act itself of trying to skirt the rules -- the
Patriots did not fully cooperate in the investigation -- you know, it just
-- it all kind of added up for the Patriots. And this wasn`t the first
time they got in trouble, either. They had the "spy-gate" in 2007.

MATTHEWS: Yes, not a first offense. And Jarrett, what do you make of
the attitude they showed and the way that Tom Brady and the owners played
the last week or so, the way they played this -- I say too cute. I say
they weren`t even giving it the deference it deserved as a serious charge.
They were smiling their way through it. Your thoughts.

JARRETT BELL, "USA TODAY": Yes. I guess there will be no apology for
Bob Kraft. Remember when he arrived in Phoenix at the Super Bowl and made
his statement to start the week, he said he expected an apology from the
NFL if the Patriots were cleared, which he figured would happen. And of
course, it has not happened.

But just to get back to what you`re saying, Chris, yes, the Patriots`
attitude no doubt drove up the price. And Ben touched on it. You talk
about the cooperation or lack of cooperation with the investigation.

One of the things that was really significant in that Wells report was
the revelation that the investigators tried to get back at Jim McNally for
a follow-up interview after they had conducted several interviews. He was
interviewed early in the process.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

BELL: They wanted to come back to him, and the Patriots would not
make him available. I mean, that`s a very serious allegation on top of
everything else that`s involved in this.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

BELL: And then with Tom Brady, you know, it`s kind of sad that he had
the press conference when they first surface in January, and maybe felt
like he did not cheat to the level that he`s being punished for now, but he
could have definitely given us a little more insight at that time into his
role in those footballs because I don`t know if Tom Brady told the
equipment people to deflate them to the point that they were illegal, maybe
deflate them to the point where it`s comfortable for him. And that`s some
gray area in all of this.

So -- but the Patriots are definitely getting the message now from the
NFL that the NFL means business. It`s a new day in the NFL after going so
soft on some of these other violations, which, by the way, have nothing to
do with the integrity of the game when you talk about some of the personal
conduct situations that the league got hammered for publicly. So they
wanted to make sure...

MATTHEWS: Well, McNally...

(CROSSTALK)

BELL: ... that no one was going to say they came soft this time.

MATTHEWS: Well, let -- let me go to -- you keep going to this "soft
word." I keep thinking about the football. I keep thinking about the 10.5
PSI.

Hey, Rob, it looks like the guy in the locker room who carried the 24
footballs into that little men`s room and locked the door, in this little
one-toilet bathroom -- what a weird scene that must have been -- he`s
getting jammed out of a job, it looks like, and they got -- he`s got to get
-- he can only come back to work with league approval.

ROB SIMMELKJAER, NBC SPORTS RADIO NETWORK: Which is not going to
happen. There`s not going to be any league approval.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... like, the little guy gets screwed. You know, the
Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern of this play, if you will, going back to
Shakespeare, that they get -- he`s the kind of guy that gets hurt. And the
other guy in the locker room, the trainer -- and then you have the
quarterback losing four games with money, but he`s going to be just as rich
as he`s ever been eventually. He`ll be healthier for four more games.
Your thoughts.

SIMMELKJAER: Yes. I mean, listen, you got a lot of people here who
it`s tough to hurt. But I think, you know, hurting Tom Brady with a four-
game suspension, which could be appealed down to three or two games -- it
wouldn`t surprise me -- certainly hurts his legacy. There`s no question
about that. This is going to be something that will be in his, you know,
biography for the rest of his career and beyond. And that`s got to be
something that...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... the asterisk? Is it better than an asterisk? Does
this punishment sort of in the rule books because you take away four games
of the next season out of 16 season games -- does this take away the
asterisk?

BELL: Well...

MATTHEWS: Just this four-game suspension.

BELL: Yes, I mean...

MATTHEWS: That`s better than an asterisk.

BELL: ... there isn`t really an asterisk to take away because it`s
not like we were going to take away all of his career accomplishments...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

BELL: ... his Super Bowls, the yards he`s thrown for. There was
never any talk about that. But this is certainly something that will be in
the conversation when you just talk about Brady and his career. He`ll
still be seen as a great quarterback, Chris, but a guy who, you know, broke
the rules, as his coach did in the past with the "spy-gate" scandal.

And let`s not forget this hurts the team and the franchise, as well,
because they`re losing a first round draft pick in next year`s draft, which
is no small thing.

MATTHEWS: Yes, well, and leveling a four-game suspension against
Brady himself. NFL executive vice president of operations Troy Vincent
(ph) said, quote, "Your actions as set forth in the report clearly
constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity and public confidence in
the game of professional football. The integrity of the game is of
paramount importance to everyone in our league and requires unshakable
commitment to fairness and compliance with the playing rules. Each player,
no matter how accomplished and otherwise respect, has an obligation to
comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when
those rules are violated and the public`s confidence in the game is called
into question."

Let me go back to Ben. Ben, this question of the -- of the -- you`re
at "The Globe, so you know all about this attitude thing. What did you
make of what seemed to be the strategy of the Patriots, including Brady, in
sort of smirking it off, smirking it off, laughing the thing off, being
sort of charming about it, as if, I know you little people have your little
worries and all, but I`m a big super-jock, and you know, I`m above all
this.

I wonder if that didn`t just tick off Goodell and the rest of those
guys.

VOLIN: I don`t think there`s any question that the Patriots` own
behavior brought a lot of this on themselves. From the beginning, their
arrogance and defiance in admitting any sort of wrongdoing whatsoever,
frankly, brought on the Ted Wells investigation. Had they maybe owned up
to it and said, Look, we`re sorry. This was a couple lower-level employees
who got out of control and took things out of hand. We apologize. We
didn`t mean to do it. Maybe Ted Wells never even gets involved, and we`re
not sitting here today with Tom Brady suspended for four games and the
Patriots not having a first round pick.

But they were defiant. They ignored Roger Goodell`s orders in being
fully compliant with Ted Wells. Tom Brady wouldn`t hand over his cell
phone. They wouldn`t make Jim McNally available for another follow-up
interview after they discovered some text messages that they had questions
about.

So they didn`t give full cooperation. Robert Kraft has been wagging
his finger at the commissioner throughout the entire time, saying, you
know, If we`re proven innocent, we want an apology. He said there wasn`t
going to be a smoking gun.

His statement last week after the report was released, it looked like
him kicking and screaming a little bit, talking about, Well, the Colts had
deflated balls, too. They never owned up to it. They never admitted
anything, and that`s why the NFL had to come down so hard on all the
parties.

MATTHEWS: Well, last word from Jarrett and Rob. I want to know what
good this is for America.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Give me a big picture view of this because I want to know
what the person out there who`s not a jock-o-phile, not a regular --
everybody is a Super Bowl fan, but who doesn`t follow the little -- who
can`t tell me like guys on ESPN -- I turn it on in the middle of the night
(INAUDIBLE) you know, Jimmy Raman (ph) shouldn`t get a three-year. He
should get a five-year or a five -- people know so much about sports that
it maddens me!

What does this mean to the country as a whole, that a big, good-
looking guy like this, married to a model, has everything handed to him, or
earned everything, but he`s got everything, turns out to be a guy who`s a
cheat?

BELL: Yes, a couple things. Number one, we have some finality, or at
least until we have a resolution with the appeals process. But we`re one
step closer to some finality in this case.

But I think, to the larger degree -- you just touched on it with Tom
Brady -- if Tom Brady can be caught cheating, you add him to the list of so
many others who have fallen from grace, and I think this really makes you
wonder.

Remember, all of this came about for one situation in one game, a very
big game, the AFC championship game, but it makes you wonder how much
cheating has been going on, how much they`ve crossed the line, pushed the
envelope, straddled the fence, however you want to, you know, describe it
in...

MATTHEWS: I think...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Yes.

BELL: It just raises questions.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Jarrett, thank you. Let me go to (INAUDIBLE) go to Jarrett
on this -- I mean, to Rob on this.

SIMMELKJAER: Chris, what I`ll say is, you know, listen, you guys talk
a lot on this show about income inequality in this country, about seeming
that we`ve got two different sets of rules for people in this country, the
1 percent and everybody else.

Well, Tom Brady is clearly the 1 percent, and he`s obviously being
held to the same rules as everybody else. And one other thing I`ll say
here, Chris. We could be set for a great night of drama this fall. If
Brady serves all four games of this suspension, his first game back will be
against, guess who, the Indianapolis Colts, the same team that he defeated
in the AFC championship game. So that certainly would set up for a
dramatic day of football if that, in fact, happens.

MATTHEWS: I love that!

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I want to know who is the "All About Eve." Who`s going to
the one that gets the Cinderella opportunity for those games because...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... might win all four. Anyway, thank you so much, Ben.
Thank you, Jarrett. Thank you, Rob. It`s been an interesting night.

Coming up -- well, who is Jeb Bush? Is he a thoughtful statesman like
his dad or is he like a hawk like his brother? Well, tonight, it`s
becoming very clear. When it comes to war, he`s W`s double.

President Obama did it here, by the way, on HARDBALL, and he`s doing
it again. He says Elizabeth Warren is wrong on trade. he says she`s just
a politician, basically. It`s a real fight among Democrats right now, and
the big vote could be tomorrow. And the result is not in any way clear.
It`s on trade.

Plus, crowding into the clown car. I love this! Mike Huckabee, Carly
Fiorina now and Dr. Ben Carson all took to the Sunday shows on this
weekend, and things didn`t go so well for the three newbie presidential
candidates.

Finally, "Let Me Finish" with the strange, weird, desperate behavior
of one Jeb Bush.

This is HARDBALL, place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, last week, the Republicans were ahead of Hillary
Clinton in a WMUR poll (INAUDIBLE) New Hampshire. Well, that one today
says Hillary`s on top in a new Bloomberg/St. Anselm College poll. Let`s
check out -- the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."

Jeb Bush now trails Hillary Clinton by 2 points. It`s Hillary Clinton
44, Jeb Bush 42. Against Marco Rubio, the exact same count, Hillary up by
2, 44-42.

Hillary Clinton, by the way, is running ahead of Rand Paul in New
Hampshire by 3 points, 46-43. And against Scott Walker, who`s got some
name ID to make up, Hillary`s up by 6 points, 46-40. It just shows New
Hampshire`s a typical purple state. This is going to be one close election
next year.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, at the outset of the 2016
presidential campaign, Jeb Bush said that he would -- he should not be
defined by the policies of his brother, former president George W. Bush.
Interesting point to make.

But now he`s openly embracing the most controversial part of his
brother`s legacy. In an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, Jeb Bush
said that knowing what we now know -- what we now know -- he still would
have authorized the invasion of Iraq. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Knowing what we know now, would you have
authorized the invasion?

JEB BUSH (R), FMR. FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I would have. And so would have
Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody, and so would have almost
everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.

KELLY: You don`t think it was a mistake.

BUSH: In retrospect, the intelligence that everybody saw, that the
world saw, not just the United States, was faulty. And in retrospect, once
we -- once we invaded and took out Saddam Hussein, we didn`t focus on
security first. And the Iraqis in this incredibly insecure environment
turned on the United States military because there was no security for
themselves and their families. By the way, guess who thinks that those
mistakes took place, as well? George W. Bush.

KELLY: Your brother.

BUSH: Yes. I mean, so just for the, you know, news flash to the
world, if they`re trying to find places where there`s big space between me
and my brother, this might not be one of those.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: OK. According to a CBS News/"Times" poll conducted last
year, 75 percent of Americans -- that`s three quarters of us -- say the
Iraq war was not worth it. And this latest bombshell comes just after Jeb
named his brother as a top adviser on foreign policy when it comes to
Israel.

I`m joined right now by Republican strategist Mercedes Schlapp, a
former Bush spokesman -- W. Bush spokesman -- as well as MSNBC political
analyst David Corn of "Mother Jones."

I want to go to you, David, because you and I have been watching this
war from the beginning. And I never thought it was about WMD. I always
thought that was what they said at the time, a sales point to get the
Europeans to join us. And it didn`t really work with many, except our
"coalition of the willing."

But it was never the reason we went to Iraq. The reason we went after
Iraq had to do with this whole neocon theory about the road to Jerusalem
runs through Baghdad and all this freedom agenda thing that Cheney was in
on from the beginning, that Wolfowitz was in on the beginning. So they
used (INAUDIBLE) to sell it, but it seems like now, W and Bush are locked
together permanently on saying that they would have done it anyway in the
regards of the sales pitch.

DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let me say
I feel Jeb Bush`s pain because there`s nobody -- very few people now who
would say they would go into war based on false -- not faulty but false
intelligence. Hillary Clinton has said that she was sorry to give Bush the
authority to make the decision...

MATTHEWS: Plain and simple, by the way. She didn`t say...

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: She said, I was wrong. So what Jeb Bush says there about her
is wrong. But also...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Repeat that. He gave a dishonest account of what Hillary
Clinton`s position...

CORN: Current position. He said that she would do this. She says
she wouldn`t.

But the big myth here that they keep trying to hang their hat on is
that, We all saw false intelligence, we were all misled.

The book I did with Mike Isikoff, which you`ve been very kind to talk
about on the air before, shows again and again and again, people inside the
government, at very high levels in the White House, where you used to be...

MATTHEWS: OK...

CORN: ... knew that the intelligence was shaky, but they chose to use
what they thought was...

MATTHEWS: OK...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... Mercedes, because then you can account for this. To
win support for the Iraq war, the Bush-Cheney forces warned that Saddam
Hussein had nuclear weapons -- had nuclear weapons. Either we invade that
country, they said, or we get attacked by one of Saddam`s nuclear bombs
ourselves. Watch. This is what...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We know he`s been
absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he
has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Facing clear evidence
of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could
come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten
America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and
atomic weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: You see, it wasn`t just the intelligence reports. They
went beyond them. Cheney when beyond them and said, they have the weapon.
They have a way of delivering it to us.

SCHLAPP: They were wrong.

MATTHEWS: Well, why did they say it?

SCHLAPP: Well, it`s...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Why did they do it?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: No, no, no, no, no.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: It was never in the intelligence reports that they had
weapon.

CORN: No.

SCHLAPP: But, again, they were wrong. They had faulty intelligence.

CORN: No.

MATTHEWS: No, they didn`t.

CORN: They were mischaracterizing bad intelligence and making it
sound firmer and even more threatening than it actually was.

That`s the core of the issue here. They knew that the aluminum tubes
issue, for instance, was iffy. There was a debate about it, but Cheney
went on air and said, because of the aluminum tubes, we have...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLAPP: ... basically said that he was sickened by the fact that
there was no WMDs. I think...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Don`t use the word WMD. Say nuclear weapons.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLAPP: I don`t know if he was surprised or not.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Just on the nuclear weapons, did you believe they had a
nuclear weapon?

SCHLAPP: I did not believe that they had a nuclear weapon.

MATTHEWS: Why -- who did in the White House? Who believed it in the
White House?

SCHLAPP: I can`t speak on who believed it or who did not.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I know one thing. He wanted people to believe they did. I
know that Dick Cheney said it there. I will read it. I can play it.
Thank God for videotape. He didn`t say maybe. He said they had them.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLAPP: So go interview Dick Cheney on it. But here`s what we have
got.

MATTHEWS: Well, who was president?

SCHLAPP: President Bush.

MATTHEWS: Was he?

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLAPP: Let me tell you something.

MATTHEWS: On this issue?

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLAPP: We can go back and talk about the Iraq War. And the case
here, what we`re talking about, is on Jeb Bush.

MATTHEWS: No, your guy, Jeb Bush, is talking about it.

SCHLAPP: Right. But on the Jeb Bush part, when he was talking about
it was specifically on the fact that it was faulty information that they
received, the fact that they needed to create -- to have security there for
Iraq going in there.

I think for President Bush -- and it said it clearly in the book --
was an opportunity to have democracy in Iraq and get rid of a dictator as
well.

MATTHEWS: Oh, that was the goal?

SCHLAPP: Did it work? Was it effective? No. Now we have a vacuum.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Did he tell the American people, we`re going in there to
get rid of a dictator?

SCHLAPP: He told the American people that, again, that there was WMDs
that was based on the intelligence that he received.

MATTHEWS: No, nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons.

SCHLAPP: Well, Chris, we can go back and talk about the Iraq War
years ago.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: On, I`ll tell you, the American people would never have
gone to fight a war in some place in the Middle East to change over a
dictator to some other dictator. Here`s my concern. Jeb Bush says that,
knowing what we know now, so all this talk about...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLAPP: I will tell you, he did not process that question correctly.

MATTHEWS: Well, interpret it.

SCHLAPP: And I think it`s problematic for the campaign.

MATTHEWS: Well, reinterpret it.

SCHLAPP: I think you`re going to see that there`s going to be a
clarification that is going to end up having to come out on this.

MATTHEWS: So, you think he just stumbled?

SCHLAPP: I think that he answered the question based on basically
saying, I would have authorized a war based on the intelligence that was
given to us at that time.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I think Megyn did a good job, Megyn Kelly.

SCHLAPP: I think Megyn did a good job in asking the questions.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Very simple question. Knowing what we know now, would you
have authorized the invasion? Could it be more simply put?

SCHLAPP: Right.

MATTHEWS: And you say he couldn`t handle that.

SCHLAPP: And I still believe that he did not process that question.
I think there was for him a misunderstanding of the question.

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: Well, this is what I don`t understand. He knew this question
was coming, if not in this interview, at some interview and before he
starts running. I`m sure there was at least one meeting. Maybe people
were there who said, OK, guys, what do I say about my brother George and
the Iraq War? I`m going to be asked this question, that question and this
question. How do I handle this?

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLAPP: The way he answered it was the same way he answered it when
he talked about -- his foreign policy speech in Chicago.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Mercedes, can I just say something to you?

SCHLAPP: Go ahead, Chris.

MATTHEWS: I liked having you on this show, and I think this
conversation is, for David and I, shooting fish in a barrel. And it has
been your job to ride the fish. And I`m sorry you had that job.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLAPP: It`s OK. I enjoyed the challenge.

MATTHEWS: Mercedes Schlapp, thank you. It was a challenge. Talk
about fourth and -- fourth and nothing, fourth and 100.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, David Corn.

Coming up, what a fight. It`s the president against Elizabeth Warren.
This is getting personal. The president`s signature trade deal hangs in
the balance. Actually, who wins hangs in the balance, Elizabeth Warren or
President Obama.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

It`s a shoot-out on the left between President Obama and Senator
Elizabeth Warren. And it`s personal. The stakes are massive in economic
terms. This is a fight over the president`s second term big goal, the
enormous 12-nation trade deal walled the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In political terms, of course, this is also a war over party rule.
Who is calling the shots? Senator Warren wants to derail the president`s
trade agenda. She has made this issue her cause celebre.

And here they go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I love Elizabeth.
We`re allies on a whole host of issues. But she`s wrong on this. When you
hear folks make a lot of the suggestions about how bad this trade deal is,
when you dig into the facts, they are wrong.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The president says that he
wants the American people to judge this deal based on the facts. But, to
do that, he has got to make the deal public. Otherwise, the American
people can`t judge it on the facts. He won`t put the facts out there.

My views is, when the process is rigged, then the outcome is likely to
be rigged.

OBAMA: They`re making this up. This is just not true.

WARREN: After fighting hard to protect Dodd-Frank for years,
Democrats in the next few weeks could give Republicans the very tool they
need to dismantled Dodd-Frank.

OBAMA: Think about the knowledge logic of that, right? The notion
that I had this massive fight with Wall Street to make sure that we don`t
repeat what happened in 2007 and 2008, and then I sign a provision that
would unravel it? I would have to be pretty stupid. And it doesn`t make
any sense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, this isn`t just a fight over a trade deal, of course.
It is getting personal now. This fight could very well come to a head this
week. The Senate has scheduled its first big vote, perhaps a test vote of
the deal, tomorrow.

So it is a good night to have Howard on. Howard Fineman is global
editorial director of The Huffington Post, of course. And Perry Bacon is
an NBC News senior political reporter. In fact, he is the senior reporter.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Let -- gentlemen, you only have a little time here, but I`m
fascinated.

HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Usually, in politics, we`re all taught, don`t mention the
opponent`s name. The president has been naming her.

FINEMAN: Well, not only that. He`s violated another one of your
rules, which is don`t punch down.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

FINEMAN: Which is what he`s doing.

MATTHEWS: Yes. He`s president. He`s a senator.

FINEMAN: He`s president. She is a senator, and not...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: A freshman.

FINEMAN: A freshman senator. So I think it is personal and I think
the president is irritated that he is going to have to use a lot of
political capital, and he doesn`t have that much, to try to squeeze this
thing through.

The beginning of determining how much he`s going to have to pay will
be tomorrow in the Senate, when they have a test -- a cloture test vote.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

FINEMAN: They will probably lost that. The president will lose that.
Then they will have to figure who they have to buy with what. And the
president doesn`t have a lot to sell at this point.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

PERRY BACON, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I disagree with
Howard on one point.

Is the president punching down? Who is the leader of the Democratic
Party right now? The activists, you ask them, who do they think, who do
they trust the most, who do they really believe in, it`s Elizabeth Warren.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: The activists. But what percentage of the party is
activists?

BACON: But the president wants -- exactly. He wants -- he doesn`t
want to be called not left enough by people who have supported him for a
long time.

MATTHEWS: Oh, I see.

BACON: He does care about the left`s view on this.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: President Obama called Elizabeth Warren just another
politician.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let`s watch that shot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The truth of the matter is, is that Elizabeth is a politician
like everybody else. And she has got a voice that she wants to get out
there. And I understand that.

And, on most issues, she and I deeply agree. On this one, though, her
arguments don`t stand the test of fact and scrutiny.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, I don`t like gun references, but he`s like Matt
Dillon. Dodge City is his. In comes -- the Long Branch Saloon comes this
new gunslinger who wants to make a reputation. I think that is what it`s
about. It is a cowboy movie.

(CROSSTALK)

FINEMAN: I think the translation of that is, I will take care of the
holier than thou. OK? That`s my job. That`s not your job.

MATTHEWS: She`s too pure?

(CROSSTALK)

FINEMAN: Yes. How dare she claim to assert his role of being the guy
-- person...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: OK. How do we score this one, Perry? If he gets this
through with, say, a dozen Democrats, he squeaks it through both houses, he
gets through this huge trade deal, does she look bad or weak? Or does she
want to bring him down? Is that the only way she wins is to kill this
deal?

BACON: I don`t think so at all. I think she`s already like -- she`s
already -- she has won too, I would say. She has won. She has made
herself even more the face of...

MATTHEWS: But if she fails, doesn`t that make her Bernie Sanders,
just another liberal?

(CROSSTALK)

BACON: She`s not Bernie Sanders. She`s got a voice. She`s moved
this issue. The president has had to spend time calling Democrats every
day, begging them.

MATTHEWS: But he seems to be gaining support.

BACON: Not among Democrats. Most Democrats are going to vote against
this deal.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Yes, but long before she showed up...

(CROSSTALK)

BACON: No, no, but she`s moved this party to the left on a lot of
issues.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Have you fallen in love?

BACON: Have I fallen in love? I`m just saying, she is a powerful
figure.

FINEMAN: The other interesting thing is that it`s sort of allowed --
I might ask, where is Hillary in all of this?

MATTHEWS: Well, she`s smart.

FINEMAN: But she`s very smart. She is letting Elizabeth Warren
handle it. And actually Hillary is going to owe Elizabeth Warren a little
for taking the heat on all of this.

MATTHEWS: Well, look at this. Here`s something that came in on the
president`s side.

The cavalry has arrived. It`s the economy. Under President Obama
,the jobs market is rebounding lustily. The unemployment rate has dropped
to 5.4, which is the lowest since 2008, before the crash. The economy
added more than 200,000, well over 200,000 jobs last month. And 12 million
jobs have been created during this recovery. And the stock market is
booming. The Dow, the Nasdaq, the S&P have all hit high levels.

So, it`s not just the rich. It`s the jobs that are being created. I
think that gives him an argument. I`m surprised he doesn`t go on prime-
time TV and say, trust me. I haven`t let you down there. I have been
bringing this economy back since I got into office in the spring of 2009.
I have delivered. Don`t let this woman, this person distract you.

FINEMAN: What he doesn`t want to say is that the role of the labor
unions politically, in a way, even though they have a lot of money, it has
been widely reduced.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

FINEMAN: The fact that we`re more partisan than we were sort of gives
the unions one last shot at holding on here. But the fact is...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Like you said, the activists.

FINEMAN: Yes, the fact is the game is over in terms of that kind of
cheap manufacturing in the United States. It just is. It just is.

BACON: Wages are still stuck. You had Chuck Schumer on your show a
few weeks ago. He was making the same point, which is, until the middle
class see wages go up in a real way, sure...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: What is Chuck up too?

BACON: Well, he`s moved. The party is -- he`s up to something...

(CROSSTALK)

BACON: The party is moving.

MATTHEWS: I think he`s the Senate leader of the Democratic Party,
which is now centered in the Rust Belt, that whole part of the middle.
They have lost the South, they have lost the Rockies. That`s where the
party comes from.

FINEMAN: Yes, but you know what? He has got to use his economic
clout that he has now because of his credibility to push for an increase in
the minimum wage.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: He also represents Upstate New York, all those places in
the Rust Belt, Rochester -- pronounced Rochester, by the way.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Batavia -- Batavia, Buffalo, Tim Russert country, he has
got to represent them too.

Thank you, Howard Fineman and Perry Bacon.

It`s fun to watch a good fight.

Up next, it didn`t go so well for Mike Huckabee. By the way, he is
something of a huckster, isn`t he, with all these diabetes things he`s
selling? Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson -- it`s going to be reverse
mortgages for him when this is over.

We will be right back with the clown car.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAGE HOPKINS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Page Hopkins. And here`s
what`s happening.

The threat of severe weather is moving north and east, with parts of
Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio under a tornado watch at this hour.
Now, this was the scene earlier in Cambridge City, Indiana, where high
winds sent semitrucks toppling over on Interstate 70. And in hard-hit Van,
Texas, two people are dead, three people still unaccounted for after a
powerful tornado struck last night. Forecasters say it was an EF-3. That
packs winds of 135 to 140 miles an hour -- and now we are going to take you
back to HARDBALL.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS")

CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": Why did the H.P. board fire
you? And why, on the day that you did, the stock went up nearly 7 percent?

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was fired in a boardroom
brawl. We had board members who were leaking information out of the
boardroom.

The truth is this. It is a leader`s job to challenge the status quo.
And when do, you make enemies. I understand that well. But the track
record of the people of Hewlett-Packard and I over an almost six-year
period is crystal-clear. The stock has gone down during my tenure, as did
every other single technology company.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, the stock went down and you were fired. That`s a
tough record.

Anyway, welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard
CEO Carly Fiorina defending her record in the private sector yesterday On
"Meet the Press."

Fiorina, along with retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and former
Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, the Huckster, all announced their
campaigns for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Why not? And all
three were put on defense on the Sunday morning talk circuit yesterday.

Huckabee defended his appearances in infomercials promoting a dietary
supplement that treats diabetes. And he was on "MEET" -- he was actually
on with Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation." Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FACE THE NATION")

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I don`t have to
defend everything that I have ever done. I am not doing those infomercials
obviously now as a candidate for president.

But if that`s the worst thing somebody can say to me is that I
advocated for people who have diabetes to do something to reverse it and
stop the incredible pain of that, then I am going to be a heck of a good
president.

BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST, "FACE THE NATION": Well, Governor, I have
diabetes. And I agree with you, and most doctors will tell you, you have
to lose weight, you have to have a nutritious diet. But you also were
selling pills of some sort, were you not?

HUCKABEE: No, no. There was not -- that is a misnomer.

If we approach this as I have suggested, which is looking for cures,
rather than just treatment, we then not only save lives. We start saving
serious money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, I don`t know what he was doing talking about there.
But I think he was explaining somehow in a way that probably Tom Brady
explains things that I sold stuff.

Anyway, Carson, Dr. Carson defended his belief that the president can
ignore decisions of the Supreme Court. Catch this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: But does the president have to carry out a
Supreme Court ruling?

DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The laws of the land are
not provided by the judiciary branch.

WALLACE: But, sir, since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, we have lived
under the principle of judicial review, which says that if the Supreme
Court says this is the law, this is constitutional, the rest -- the
executive has to observe that.

CARSON: And I have said this is an area that we need to discuss. We
need to get into a discussion of this, because it has changed from the
original intent. And --

WALLACE: So, you`re saying this is an open question as far as you`re
concerned.

CARSON: It is an open question. It needs to be discussed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s start with you, Paul, on the guy riding around in
a medicine wagon who now wants to be president.

I mean, the guy`s next stop is going to be reverse mortgages, but he
was selling pills and these pills have no value. I have diabetes. You
talk on your doctor. You throw them out. They have no value or they would
be prescription.

PAUL SINGER, USA TODAY: And there`s a challenge for these guys who go
from politics into the private sector for a while and they become the
commentators for a living. And then they attach their name to just about
everything, and any kind of product you attach your name to, if you are
going to run for office --

MATTHEWS: How can he get away from that comment? When he said, I
can`t be -- I`m not going on defend everything --

SINGER: Everything I`ve ever done.

MATTHEWS: That`s what politicians do.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let`s go to the lawyer in our group here.

What do you make of this guy just erasing Marbury versus Madison 1803?

MICHELLE BERNARD, BERNARD CENTER FOR WOMEN: It was so incredibly
painful to watch this. There is a reason why he was a brilliant
neurosurgeon and should probably stick to neurosurgery.

He was a specialist and the most gifted that we`ve ever seen and he
should stick to neurosurgery and stay out of politics, particularly, you
know, he`s going to have problems with the part of the Republican base that
loves him, because if you listen to what he said, he also talked about, you
know, that it goes against the original intent. Times have changed. You
know, they`re going to ask, do you believe in the Constitution or not? He
basically just said, the Constitution is not the law of the land.

MATTHEWS: John, I have to ask about Carly Fiorina, because she get
fired. It doesn`t look good to be fired. It just doesn`t. And then she
gets beaten at that Senate race out there, right? And now, she`s running
for president of the United States. Tell me the theory here.

(LAUGHTER)

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think she is very
accomplished.

MATTHEWS: Of course. But don`t you need someone sort of up the
ladder. She is going down the ladder.

FEEHERY: I think Ben Carson is very accomplished. He`s not going to
be president. I don`t think Carly Fiorina is going to be president. But,
you know, why not? Why not run for president? Because there is very
little risk to it and it probably comes with --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: So your debates will be very frolicsome. They`re all going
to be there.

FEEHERY: I think the debates are going to be better than they were
the last time around. You don`t have Michelle Bachmann. You don`t have --

(CROSSTALK)

BERNARD: You don`t have Sarah Palin. Her first story in running is
she is not Sarah Palin.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Will Trump run?

FEEHERY: I don`t think Trump will run. I think this is all a
marketing strategy from him because he`s a brilliant marketer. But you
know what? The more, the merrier. We will get to some good candidates.

I think John Kasich is a good candidate. I think Jeb Bush is a very
good candidate. I think Scott Walker --

MATTHEWS: Look around your crowd. You said it doesn`t hurt. Well,
speaking of the clown car, I think I invented that term and I will hold on
to it. The latest Bloomberg and St. Anselm College poll of likely New
Hampshire primary voters, likely voters, has Donald Trump at 8 percent
behind Paul, Walker, Bush and Rubio. But get this, ahead of a lot of
experience Republican senators and governors.

On Saturday, in South Carolina, Trump was feeding the red meat to the
Republican base, going after his favorite punching bag, President Obama, on
the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: We`re dealing with babies. And I
call our president the 5-1 president. We got Bergdahl, they get five
leaders, killers that want to kill us all. And they`re all back on the
battlefield, by the way. And we got this piece of garbage named Bergdahl
who years ago --

(APPLAUSE)

Who years ago we would have shot for treason and now they`re saying,
well, you know -- he doesn`t feel good, he had a hard life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: You know, I don`t know. You don`t call people human
garbage when you run for president of all the people, good, bad and
indifferent. You don`t call people garbage.

SINGER: Well, when they`re still looking for him, they wouldn`t
phrase it that way.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

SINGER: But I mean, look, ignore these polls.

MATTHEWS: That`s like Michael Savage talking or somebody.

BRENNAN: I mean, the poll tells us exactly what we know, which is
that in the early states, you have to go to the far right as possible.
You`ve got to be conservative. If you`re Republican on national security,
on the economy, and on sort of societal, individual liberty issues, and
that`s all he`s -- that`s pandering --

FEEHERY: Also I remember is when Rudy Giuliani was the candidate, he
was killing everybody, everybody loved him. And then he imploded. We are
so early in this thing, and Donald Trump is playing all of us, he`s playing
all of us, and we should stop covering him.

MATTHEWS: Which guys should we cover?

FEEHERY: People who have a chance of winning.

MATTHEWS: Name the three.

FEEHERY: Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and John Kasich.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Who are the three real guys? We don`t see the clown cars -
-

BERNARD: Carly Fiorina got bumped out. He got fired from HP, but I
still say don`t count her out. The Republican party has a huge female
woman problem.

It`s not just that she`s the only one. She is not Sarah Palin. She`s
not Michele Bachmann. If you go and if you listen to her speak, she can be
very, very impressive on many issues --

MATTHEWS: So, those weren`t tough acts to follow?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: I think you`re right. I`m not sure she is charming enough
to be a politician. But you know what? She is hard and tough and maybe
that`s what the party -- is that still your party, by the way?

BERNARD: I am independent with a capital I.

MATTHEWS: Did you vote for Obama?

BERNARD: Of course.

MATTHEWS: OK.

SINGER: But these polls don`t matter, right? I mean, what matters
is, can you raise $10 million for the next month, and can show you have an
organization around the country that can propel her candidacy? Jeb Bush
probably, Rand Paul probably can. Marco Rubio might be able to. I`m not
sure about the rest of these guys.

MATTHEWS: OK. The roundtable is sticking with us. We`re going to be
back, by the way, in just a moment after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, no surprise here. Tom Brady`s attorney says the star
Patriots quarterback will appeal the punishment the NFL issued late today.
Brady was suspended for the first four games of the regular season coming
up. And just moments ago, Attorney Donald Yee, issued a statement that
said the discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my
opinion, this outcome was predetermined. There was no fairness in the
Wells investigation whatsoever.

Anyway, I`m a big fan of Ted Wells. The report that came out last
week found that the Patriots likely deflated footballs to gain an advantage
and that Brady likely was aware.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God does make any mistakes. He was a hero. He
backed up his partner.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Wow. That was the sister of Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Officer Liquori Tate. Tate was killed Saturday night, gunned down in the
street, along with Officer Benjamin Deen, during a routine traffic stop.
Four suspects are now in custody.

And today, there are new sobering numbers, by the way, of police and
what a frightening job it can be.

The FBI announced there can be a dramatic rise in the number of
officers killed in the line of duty. In 2014, for example, 51 were killed
in this country. In 2013, 27 officers were killed while doing their jobs.

Anyway, we`re back right now with a round table. John Feehery,
Michelle Bernard, and Paul Singer.

We`ll start with Michelle, my friend, because even at a time we`re
worried and concerned -- we talked during the break about bad cases, bad
police behavior, which is in some cases criminal. It is still one
terrifying job to go out at night. When you have a tough neighborhood,
with a high crime rate and you try to figure out who is a danger to me
personally and you`ve got to use your calculation and your humanity and
also your street smarts to deal with this every night.

BERNARD: It is -- every child when they grow up, you say what do you
want to be and most kids will either say a policeman or a fireman. It is
an honorable, honorable job. It is a difficult job.

It`s National Police Week. If you take a look at their Web site and
look at the names of every single person that lost their life, in the last
year, it is a horrible reminder of just how difficult the work is that they
have to do. And even despite the fact that we see -- we have seen so many
cases in the last few years that were horrific and horrible shootings
against unarmed African-American men, there is no excuse for any policeman
to ever be killed, particularly what we have seen over the last weekend.

MATTHEWS: I think there`s some motives to become as a police -- as
you know, being a fellow Irishman, there is a lot of tradition in this, of
course, like firemen, firefighters. I remember (INAUDIBLE) said you want
to be the one on the scene who can take care of things, like a doctor. The
one who can handle a very difficult -- you want to be there when they look,
hey, he`s the guy who can help this thing -- situation get better.

FEEHERY: Yes, I have cops in my family. I know you have cops -- you
were a cop at one point in time.

This is a very tough job. And I think in this era of social media and
sensationalism and click bait, we get these stories where there is a rush
to judgment. And it really increases tensions. And there are some bad
actors in the cop world. We all know that.

MATTHEWS: Some bullies.

FEEHERY: There are some bullies, we understand that. But most of
these guys are trying to do the best they can. And when things get so raw
and there`s so many sensationalism and there`s such a rush to judgment,
that`s when we have these problems.

MATTHEWS: Paul, two kinds of people have to deal with the situations
in our society, teachers and police. You take all the inequality -- it`s
not inequality on purpose, but it is that way. People are poor. People
have no educations. They have no father figures. They have nothing going
for them. And you`ve got to be the wall that stops them from hurting
anybody.

SINGER: Right.

MATTHEWS: And you`re not going to make their lives any better
necessarily, but you`ve got to be the wall or the teacher who has to deal
with the kid who is malnourished, ticked off, parents are fighting, there`s
noise all night, can`t study, because of the craziness in the hallway. And
you`ve got to be the teacher that brings sanity to that kid`s life at 8:30
in the morning. And the cops have the same kind of job.

SINGER: And you`re going into environments that are -- that begin
with people not at their best, right. When you`re going to a domestic
disturbance, it is people not at their best.

MATTHEWS: Nobody wants to walk into that.

SINGER: When you walk -- when you`re a police officer walking into
any of these environments, you start with the fact that people are not
their best. They`re frequently intoxicated. If you go into a bar, you
know -- so all kinds --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: How would you like to stop a speeder at night, not knowing
whether he`s armed, drunk, dangerous or hates you?

FEEHERY: Can I make one quick point? And that is 27 was a low
number. The average is in the 60s.

MATTHEWS: Yes, that was an off year. It used to be 60 or so.

FEEHERY: Twenty-seven is disturbing and terrible. But -- and should
be stopped. But, you know what, it wasn`t --

SINGER: It`s not a huge problem.

FEEHERY: We don`t want to make a big deal.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: By the way, that was an off year. That was an off year. I
checked out the averages. I got the running averages, over 60.

Thank you.

BERNARD: As a nation, I think we have a moral obligation to fix all
of the structural inequalities that put policemen in these positions.

MATTHEWS: You`ve got time. No, really. These are wonderful goals.

BERNARD: What we saw in Baltimore shows us, that this is not a matter
of race. It is a matter of inequality and a horrible system that
perpetuates --

MATTHEWS: Summer jobs. Start with that.

Thank you, John Feehery. I think you agree with that. Michelle,
thank you, and Paul Singer.

Give the kids something to do this summer.

We`ll be right back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this strange, weird, desperate
behavior of Jeb Bush.

Look, the reason people initially took him seriously as a candidate,
the reason people have looked him over the years as a future hope is the
assumption he`s smarter than his brother. He`s a lot more like his father.

Now, just to kill all that, Jeb is saying that things are less than
insurance than a warning. He`s saying that he`s like his brother on
Mideast policy generally and specifically like him on the Iraq war. He`s
saying that even given we all know now, he would have invaded that country,
bringing our country into a bloody war of conquest, a dozen years of
disgusting, unsuccessful occupation, and only adding to a legacy of death
and hatred between us and the Arab world. He would do it all over again.

Why did he do it? Why did he say he would do it over again? This
Iraq war, three quarters of which the American people say was not worth it,
they`re against it. That`s putting it lightly.

Five prospects: one, he made a mistake. Two, he wanted to make sure
there is not a sliver of distance between him and his brother. Three, he
wants to line up with all the other Republican hawks now in the field, all
except Rand Paul.

Four, he wants to make up for being for immigration reform, and Common
Core education standards. Or five, he wants the money -- the huge money
out there awaiting sitting there for any Republican presidential candidate
who will pledge his soul to right wing Mideast policies.

Whatever motive Jeb had for offering up his political soul to the
right wingers and hawks of his party, it certainly doesn`t set him apart.
And setting himself apart is the one way most of us can imagine or could
have imagined Jeb Bush winning this thing.

And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>