updated 9/21/2015 8:18:49 AM ET 2015-09-21T12:18:49

Show: HARDBALL
Date: September 17, 2015
Guest: Susan Milligan, Jason Johnson, Ron Reagan, Ryan Grim

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Has Trump peaked?

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews, still out in Los Angeles. Well,
the party`s over, the beer bottles are all over the living room, people are
having a hard time getting their heads together, certainly not clear-headed
yet.

And yet, I think something did happen last night, something valuable
for the country. Did you see that big Air force One sitting behind those
candidates last night? Do you think it might have meant something to the
millions actually watching it, especially those who care about how this
country is going to be run?

Do you think people may have even subliminally realized that we are in
the process of picking someone to fly in that plane, to decide the big
questions of peace and war, to championing an American economy, to look out
the general welfare and to make the middle of the tonight decisions that
are never easy but very often crucial.

And I`d like to think that the sight of Air Force One sitting there,
the kind of that brought Jack Kennedy`s body back to Washington, had at
least a little sobering effect on the laugh fest that`s been serving as the
Republican nominating process, don`t you?

Well, right now, Hillary Clinton`s about to hold a town hall meeting
out in Concord, New Hampshire. Jeb Bush is holding a rally in Las Vegas.
And we are awaiting Donald Trump in a town hall meeting in Arizona --
actually, of his own in Rochester, New Hampshire.

NBC`s Hallie Jackson`s at the Trump event and joins us now. Hallie is
this an attempt to get back to the base, the people that cheer him, and
away from the expensive donors sitting in the Reagan library, 11 out of 12
of them -- or 10 out of 11 of them all for the other candidates?

HALLIE JACKSON, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Right, not Donald Trump`s crowd
last night.

A very different story here, Chris, as folks are still filing in. We
know Donald Trump is already inside this rec center here in Rochester. And
they`re looking at a crowd of about 3,000 people. When Trump walked in, he
was, as usual, mobbed, shouts of, Hey, Mr. President, and, I think you did
a great job last night.

We`ve spoken to some of these supporters, some of these voters,
potential voters, out here in New Hampshire, and they support Trump, but a
couple of them -- several of them, actually -- said some interesting
things.

They said they wanted to see more specifics from Trump, especially
when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to issues like gun control,
national security. These are the topics they want to hear a little more
substance on.

But a lot of them also said they liked his style last night. They
acknowledged that he appeared to have toned it down. But I had one woman
say to me, Hey, every time he opens his mouth, he gets into trouble, so
that`s sort of a given when it comes to his candidacy for now.

MATTHEWS: I`m surprised. Well, did you ever get a sense of them --
it`s always hard to get a sense from the advocates, the cheerleaders, that
their guy didn`t have a good night. Any sense they didn`t think he had a
good night last night? I didn`t think he had a good night.

JACKSON: Well, here`s the one indication, Chris, you might mention.
We were inside before Donald Trump came in. And one of the -- one of the
folks who`s sort of rallying up the crowd, Said, Hey, who -- raise your
hand if you thought Donald Trump won the debate last night? And I`ll be
honest, it was not a resounding roar. In fact, the guy asked it again to
try to get sort of a bigger reaction from the crowd.

So that may be because we`re in New Hampshire, but at the same time,
you wonder if that`s maybe something where folks here are saying Hey, you
know, we want to see a little bit more substance. We want to see a little
bit more policy from our guy.

MATTHEWS: OK. He`s walking out right now. We`re going to -- I think
we`re going to have some kind of a speech coming out right now. We would
hope to get a press avail. Looks like he`s going to talk right to his
people. And here he is. I see his head moving over to the center there,
above the person waving that placard. Here we go. Donald Trump, that`s
him.

I think he`s going to try to make up for last night, rather than to
climb on any victory statement. There he is behind that pole -- bad camera
angle here.

Let`s catch the -- well, what`s going to happen here? This is a very
magisterial entrance here.

Let`s see. He`s wearing a -- what we used to call a power tie.

Hallie, this crowd here, did they have this planned before last night?
I guess they did.

JACKSON: Yes, they did. Worth noting, too, Chris, Trump already has
said he won the debate. He believes...

MATTHEWS: Oh, here he is.

JACKSON: ... he`s the guy that came out on top.

MATTHEWS: Here`s Donald Trump, I think trying to make up for last
night. Here he is.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sit down, relax, we`ll be
here for a while.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: You know, I said today that we just got back -- as you know,
we came from Mobile, Alabama, two weeks ago. We had 31,000 people --
31,000!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Then we just left Dallas, where we were in the great Mavericks
-- as you know, the Mavericks building, the basketball team, a great team,
a wonderful team. And Mark Cuban was so nice. He called -- we know Mark,
right? Good guy.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And what happened is he said, What about using the arena? I
said, Well, how much do we have? How long do we have? And how many seats?
It`s 20,000 seats. They filled it up in two days. Is that good?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I then flew from Dallas, always making speeches. I then --
because we have to make our country great again, right?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I then flew -- and this was sort of fun. We flew to a very
nice place, Los Angeles, right? And we went to the USS Iowa, and we were
honored for a great vets group which gave me an endorsement. They endorsed
me. The vets like me. And I love the vets! We have a lot of vets here
tonight.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We have a lot of vets. But the vets on the USS Iowa -- that
is some ship, by the way. They don`t build them like that anymore. But
they endorsed me. And then I flew -- as you know, last night, we had a
little thing called a debate at the Reagan library. And it was -- it was
sort of an amazing thing. We had an incredible time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Trump!

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Thank you. That was some evening. Now, I`ll tell you the
problem with the evening. It did so well that CNN said, Let`s make it an
hour longer. Can you believe this? That debate was three hours. It felt
like more than that.

Now, why did they do that? For the young children here, because we
have to teach them to be entrepreneurs, they did it because they wanted
more revenue coming from the commercials, right? Isn`t that terrible?
Terrible. I think it`s terrible.

And the money should have gone to the vets, right? Right?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS: The money should have gone -- they made a lot of money!
They made a lot of money.

But in the end, it was an incredible time. We had an incredible time.
And I got such great remarks. Look at this. We just wrote this down.
"Time" magazine -- they did votes as to who won the debate last night,
right? So "Time" magazine, 114,000 votes as of 6:00 PM, Trump, 56...

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Carly Fiorina 19, Rubio 7, Ben Carson 4, the rest not doing
too good.

Then Drudge -- we love Drudge. We love Drudge -- Donald Trump, 51
percent. We had a total of 668,000 voters cast, Trump 668,000. Think of
it, 51 percent. Second, Fiorina, much less, like, much. Then Rubio, then
Cruz, then -- oh, I`m not going to mention the next (INAUDIBLE) because I
don`t like him (ph) very much. Then Newsmax, way up ahead, Newsmax. You
like Newsmax. I like it, too. The great Chris Ruddy -- I like it, too --
Donald Trump, first place by a lot. The Street -- The Street, Donald
Trump, 52 percent. That`s a lot when you have all of these guys. That`s a
lot. You know, it`s not against two people. It`s not against two people.
It`s against -- 52 percent, first place. Then you had Slate. And that`s
also Donald Trump.

So we had a great time. Now, you don`t read about that so much in
television because coming out, boy, Fox treated me shabbily. They treated
me shabbily. But that`s OK. CNN, a little bit better. They treated me a
little bit better.

But the end result is, people know what happened. It was an
incredible time. And we are going to do something very special. There`s a
great movement going on, and it`s a special movement. It`s a movement
where people want to see our country be great again. They want to see
things happen. They want to see the right things happen. They want
everybody to get together, work, work.

You know, the people of New Hampshire, you love to work, don`t you.
Don`t you love to work? Huh?

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And you know -- so I had a little news yesterday because he`s
a great person and he`s a great winner. I love winners. We love winners,
right?

(CHEERS)

TRUMP: So a great winner, Tom Brady. Tom Brady.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Right? So Tom is this incredible guy, total champion. And
didn`t even want to tell me about it. He endorsed me yesterday, right?
Everybody up here knows that.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: That`s good. When you get Tom -- when you get Tom, you`re
getting a champ, and he`s a great champ. And we have some others, I won`t
mention them now, but I want to tell you we have so many people that are
endorsing and so many really -- you know, it`s very interesting. Coach
Ditka in Chicago and people that I don`t even know are just coming out in
favor of Trump because they want to see the right thing happen.

When CNN did its poll recently, they had a couple of different
categories. One was leadership. In leadership, I win, like, forget it,
not even a contest, so much higher than everybody else, like two or three,
I don`t know. (INAUDIBLE) got all these cameras going, they can tell you.
But leadership, way through.

The other one is a little thing called the economy and jobs. Nobody -
- nobody close. The only thing they didn`t love was my personality, can
you believe it? And I actually...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: No, it`s one -- it`s the only thing. So here`s what happened.
So we went to Dallas. We went to Mobile, Alabama. We went to the USS
Iowa. I`m making speeches all over the place. Then we had the debate last
night, which was exciting. And I said, You know what we`re going to do
tonight? No speech. Let`s do question and answer. Do you want?

So I want to just say I`m going to say a few words, and then we`re
going to do question and answer. And you can make them vicious, vile,
horrible questions. Even though you`re sort of probably on live -- how
many cameras are lit? Yes, there`s a lot of them.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Every time I speak now, it`s on live television. You know
why? It`s a very simple business. Ratings. If I didn`t get ratings,
those cameras would not be on, OK? They would not be on.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So when you ask your question, remember you`re on live
television. So here`s what we`re going to do. We`re going to talk for
just a couple of minutes -- military -- we`re going to make it so strong,
so great, so powerful. And I always say we`ll probably say we never have
to use it. Who wants to use it? Got to have it because right now, what`s
happening in the world, we need that military and we need the protection,
and we`re going to have it if Trump is elected president. That I can tell
you!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: That I can tell you!

As part of that, because I consider it part, but as part of that,
we`re taking care of our vets, OK? And the vets are going to be so happy.
But they love me anyway. I don`t have to do this. I`m just telling you --
and I`ve been up here many times. Where`s my man? Stand up. Have I been
up here many times? With my guy, and we`re going to take scare of things.

And so many vets in New Hampshire, and they`re not treated right.
They`re not treated right. But they`re not treated right anywhere. You
know, two weeks ago on Wednesday, they had the longest wait in a waiting
room that anybody can remember. OK, Think of it, the longest -- where
they`d wait three days, four days, five days.

Not going to happen anymore, folks. Not going to happen anymore. Not
going to happen.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we`re going to come out with a plan, but one of the things
we`re going to do -- when you`re going to have to wait that kind of time,
you`re going to go to private practice. You`re going to go to private
hospitals. You`re going to go to -- even if it`s public. We`ll take care
of costs. And believe me, it`ll be less expensive and you get much better
service.

But you`re not going to be waiting in rooms for five and six and seven
days to take care of a condition that can be done immediately. It`s not
going to happen!

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: It`s not going to happen. It`s not going to happen.

The other thing I want to just dwell on for two seconds, and we --
probably you`ve heard, but we`re going to build a wall at the border.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We`re going to build a wall.

People are going to come into this country, but they`re going to come
legally. They`re going to be legal. They`re going to come in legally into
our country.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So when I announced, as you know, a couple of months -- can
you believe it? I`ve been a politician for almost three months. Can you
believe this? I never thought in a million years I`d be a politician. Oy!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: I know, I know, I know. That`s the hard part. That`s true.
But we`re running this time, and this time is going to be incredible.

And by the way, you look not just at the New Hampshire poll that I
told you about, 40 percent, but you look at all the polls. It`s absolutely
credible what we`re doing, and what we`re doing really together.

So immigration -- and I`ve been saying it, and the politicians all
talk, no action, how -- although we have a lot of -- how many politicians
are in this room, raise your hand? Because these guys are great, fabulous
people. These are fabulous people, right here -- stand up! It`s my guy.
He`s been with me from the beginning, right? So he`s...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: How about elected officials? How many elected officials,
stand up? These are all fabulous people, especially you.

So we are going to do something, and when the wall gets built, I`ve
been saying Mexico is going to pay for it. Now, I love Mexico and I love
the Mexican people. I have people -- I do business with Mexico. I do
business with Mexican people and entrepreneurs. I have many, many people
from -- Hispanics working for me, many, many, many Hispanics.

But you know what? The problem is, whether it`s China or Japan or
Mexico, they`re outsmarting our leaders. And we`re not going to let it
happen anymore. We`re not going to let it happen, OK? And we`re not going
to let it happen.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I asked -- I asked -- about a week ago, I said, You know, I
want to know, what is the trade deficit, United States trade deficit. What
is it with China? It`s almost $400 billion a year. We`re talking about a
year. In other words, we`re losing almost $400 billion. That`s only
China. In Japan, it`s about close to $75 billion every year. And it`s
been pretty steady. It`s gone up, of course, because of course, why
wouldn`t it? They get smarter and smarter. We get dumber, dumber. So
it`s getting worse.

So then we get to Mexico. And you know, with Mexico, it`s about $45
billion. It could even be now more than that. So everybody said -- and I
watch these politicians. I see even the people I`m competing against, the
so-called candidates. You saw them last night. Some are very nice, by the
way.

But you look at it, and you say -- and they say to me, You can`t
really do that. Why would Mexico pay? They won`t pay. They`ll never pay.
Then I say, Why wouldn`t they pay? They owe us -- and just think of it.
We send hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into Mexico. You have
a huge problem at the border, where tremendous -- the cartels, the drug
cartels pour in with drugs, pour out with money.

So they`re coming -- not a good deal. We`re not making a good deal
there. But they are coming in with hundreds of -- you have to see this,
the numbers. They`re staggering. Get shipped all over the United States.
And then people say, Oh, the wall doesn`t work.

You ask Israel whether or not a wall works. Believe me, a wall
properly done, a Trump wall -- a Trump wall works. That I can tell you!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: That I can tell you!

But you know, these guys, the politicians -- and they`re politicians,
so I understand. I understand where they`re coming from. My whole life,
I`ve dealt with politicians. They`ll say, You can`t get Mexico to pay for
the wall. It`ll never work. And I say, Why? Well, it just doesn`t work.
Why would they do that? I say, Why would they do it? Because we`re losing
almost $50 billion -- think of it, $50 billion a year on trade! Why
wouldn`t they do it? It`s peanuts!

You know, they say it`s going to cause 10 or 12. But that`s for
people that never built anything. These are people that have no idea.
You`ll do it for much less. The difference is it`ll be bigger and better
and stronger. And people aren`t going to Home Depot and buying a ladder
and walking right over -- not this wall. Not this wall.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And by the way -- and by the way, this wall is going to have a
big, beautiful open gate. We`re going to have a nice opening. And when
people want to come into this country legally and they want to go through
the process and -- it`s going to -- we all welcome them. Is that a correct
statement? I mean, we welcome.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And when someone goes to Harvard and they`re number one in
their class, or Stanford or the Wharton School of Finance or Yale or any of
them, and they do great, and then we throw them right out and they go back
to a country, and they try and compete and they do very successfully. We
want to keep those people. We want to keep people of talent. We want
people of great talent.

So we`ve got a plan in terms of illegal immigration. And remember
this. When I first announced -- and this was an incredible two weeks,
believe me. Rush Limbaugh said, I have never seen anybody receive more
incoming -- a word I never heard before -- "incoming" means really bad
press. I mean, it was incoming.

But he said, I`ve never seen something like it, and then he doubled
down. I doubled down, and it`s true. And he said nobody would have done
that because I knew the problem. I knew what was happening. And we have
tremendous crime, whether it`s Kate in San Francisco, whether it`s Jameel
(ph) in Los Angeles, whether it`s the woman two weeks ago who was killed in
California, a 66-year-old veteran who was raped and sodomized and killed --
unbelievable -- by an illegal immigrant.

And it`s just not going to happen anymore, folks. You know, it`s not
going to happen anymore. We`re going to have a border...

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we`re going to get the gang members out of here fast! You
got a lot of gang members that are illegal immigrants. You go to Chicago
and different places, you got a lot of these tough -- these are tough
dudes. We`re going to get them out of here so fast, your head will spin,
all right? Your head will spin.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So I`m really honored by the crowd, and we`re going to have
some fun now because instead of making a speech, which I`ve been doing and
over and over, I want to take questions. Don`t we like that, right?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: OK. All right, let`s start with this group right over here.
Come on. OK, this man. I like this guy.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) from White Plains. Hey, man.

OK. We have a problem in this country. It`s called Muslims. We know
our current president is one. You know he`s not even an American.

TRUMP: We need this question, this first question.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, anyway, we have training camps growing where
they want to kill us. That`s my question. When can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We`re going to be looking at a lot of different things.

And a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying
that bad things are happening out there. We`re going to be looking at that
and a lot of other things.

OK, go ahead, yes, ma`am.

Go ahead. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I definitely got to ask you a good
veteran question. Welcome, first of all, to New Hampshire.

Donald, last night was a disgrace. CNN did not touch on any of the
issues that are going on with veterans health care.

TRUMP: True.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women veterans health care.

TRUMP: That`s true. I actually asked them about that. There wasn`t
one question relating to the veterans. That`s true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anyone even ask them why? I know that`s the
Clinton news network. Is it that they don`t like veterans or...

TRUMP: You know what? There was not one question relating to that,
and not too much on the military, by the way, but nothing relating to the
veterans.

Those days, believe me, are over. OK.

Yes, ma`am, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Mr. Trump. Thanks for being here.

TRUMP: Hi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The economy and job market is a big issue. I
just finished my master`s degree, and now during my job search, I`m told
that I`m either overly or underly qualified.

I believe the unemployment rate is skewed. What can you do to improve
the job market for people like me, qualified, talented, educated U.S.
citizens?

TRUMP: You know, it`s such a question. I get it all the time.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: It`s an amazing question.

One of the things we will be doing, we will be taking our jobs back
from China, and Japan and all of these other places that have been ripping
us for years. They have been -- I have been talking about this for 10
years, 15 years.

No politician sees it. We`re bringing our jobs back here. We`re
bringing our manufacturing back here. One of the things -- and I will tell
you, it`s probably -- maybe the question, other than the vets, maybe it`s
the question I get asked the most. OK?

And that`s people, young, beautiful, great people, they go to college,
in many cases borrow a lot of money to get through college. They are so
proud of themselves. They do well. They are good students. They work
hard. They get out, they can`t get a job.

With Trump, you know, there`s an expression. I will be the greatest
jobs president that God ever created, I tell you that. That`s what you
need.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you hire me, please?

TRUMP: Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Then we`re going to right around here. We will go around. Don`t
worry about it, a lot of people with hands up. OK. Let`s go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, I was wondering when we can get
together and work on the unsafe conditions at the Seabrook plant. It`s
been a month since I gave you that information.

TRUMP: I remember that. I remember you gave it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think you cannot -- you and I should have a
press conference, because both governors in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
aren`t protecting the first-responders. And I would like to work with you
on it.

TRUMP: OK. We will take a look at it. We are going to look at it.

Go ahead. Next, back here. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States doesn`t have that good of a
record there.

TRUMP: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So, I have a question about the Trump wall.

TRUMP: Right, Trump wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it comes to paying off debt.

TRUMP: The Trump wall?

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Because, see, that`s what`s going to happen. That`s why I`m
going to make this wall so beautiful, because, when I`m gone, they are
going to probably change the name to the Trump wall. I have got to make it
beautiful. I have got to make it big, big, and powerful and beautiful.

Go ahead. Tell me -- by the way, he said Trump wall. I didn`t.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On that point, so, the United States, we don`t
have such a good record when it comes to paying off debt. Right?

TRUMP: Not such a good one, no. We owe $19 trillion. I would say
we`re not doing too well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. So, how is it that we`re going to expect
Mexico to repay their debt?

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Because they make a fortune off us. They make a fortune.
They make so much money. They`re taking our business. You know,
Nabisco...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... also borrow a lot, and don`t pay it off.

TRUMP: Do you like Oreos? They`re cookies. Right?

I`m not eating Oreos anymore. Nabisco is closing their plant, a big
plant in Chicago and they`re moving it to Mexico. Ford is building a $2.5
billion plant in Mexico. Mexico is doing very well. We love Mexico, but
they`re doing very well.

We need leaders that can deal with them and deal with all the other
countries, and not just the three I named. We need leaders that are smart
and tough and cunning.

I have Carl Icahn lined up. I have some of the greatest business
leaders in the country lined up, really tough, smart people. And they`re
going to help us and they`re going to go and negotiate and we`re going to
make great deals and we`re going to bring jobs back, so that you can get a
job. OK? You like that? OK.

Come on over here. Question. Yes, sir, go ahead, with the hat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome -- welcome back to New Hampshire.

TRUMP: Thank you. Do you think it`s hot enough in this place? Man.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: This -- last night was pretty hot. This blows it away.

Go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I applaud the gentleman who brought up the Muslim
training camps here in the USA. The FBI knows all about that.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But America has also guns pointed at ordinary
citizens here. One of the...

TRUMP: Don`t get nervous. You`re on about seven television networks.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Don`t get nervous. Don`t choke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the bureaus is the Bureau of Land
Management...

TRUMP: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and the Agriculture. They`re going into
different ranches, shutting them down.

TRUMP: Right. That`s right.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... regulation. But they seem to be pointing a
gun to make sure they get their fees. This is our own government putting
us at siege. How can we get in there and stop this...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, so many things are going to change. These are
regulations, and they`re so -- but so many things. That`s one.

You know, one of the things, being in real estate, we have Army bases,
Navy bases. So many are for sale. And so many have been sold over the
last short period of time. And you say, how many can we sell? I see it
all the time. They come across my desk, so many.

Things are going to change.

OK. Go ahead. You had a question over there? Go ahead. Go ahead,
you, young handsome guy. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This gentleman, Daniel Tabus (ph), was a friend...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Daniel Tabus (ph) was a great man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s also...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Yes, my friend. He was my friend. He passed away. He was my
friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s one of America`s rags-to-riches stories.

TRUMP: It`s true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that America has kind of lost that
American dream. What can Donald Trump do to bring that back?

TRUMP: So, Dan Tabus (ph) is from Philadelphia, became a big banker,
but a really good banker, a real banker.

And he was a friend of mine. He passed away a few years ago. And he
was a very, very successful guy and a great guy. And you`re right about
it.

Look, we will bring the American dream back. That, I can tell you.
We are bringing it back. OK? And I understand what you`re saying.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And I get that -- I get that from so many people. Is the
American dream dead? They`re asking me the question, is the American dream
dead?

And the American dream is in trouble. That, I can tell you, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s on life support.

TRUMP: He said, it`s on life support. It`s in trouble.

But we`re going to get it back, and we`re going to do some real job.

How about the man with that beautiful red hat? Stand up. Stand up.
What a hat. What does that say on it? Wow. "Make America great again."
That`s beautiful, beautiful.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, can you please explain your position on
the Second Amendment?

TRUMP: On -- say what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the Second Amendment.

TRUMP: Second Amendment, all for it. You need the protection.

You know, we had an incident in New York which was very interesting,
the two prisoners six months ago, seven months ago that escaped from a
maximum security prison, a real beauty in New York. They escaped. And
they went up, and people were really scared.

These were killers and tough cookies. And a man and a wife were in
their home, and the wife was totally anti-gun. She hated that the husband
had guns. And the guy was pro. He was a big Second Amendment guy. He was
pro.

And, all of a sudden, they`re waiting and these two tough cookies,
tough guys, bad guys are somewhere around their home within a little bit.
And she all of a sudden now is totally pro, because she felt -- she was so
happy that her husband had guns. And they had the gun on the table and the
gun they were carrying. And you know what? They never had to use it.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: They never had to use it, because, remember, only the bad guys
use it. But they were secure.

And now she`s bigger than the husband in terms of wanting that. So I
think that`s pretty much what you want to hear. No, 100 percent pro-Second
Amendment.

Yes, sir, go ahead. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, I`m a veteran of both Iraq and
Afghanistan. And I have seen...

TRUMP: Good. Wow.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Good shape. Were you hurt at all? Were you wounded ever?
Were you ever wounded? You look good.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An IED blast and a couple of ground incidents.

TRUMP: Well, you look great. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

I have seen a lot of human suffering both on the Iraqi side and the
Afghani side. What, if anything, should the U.S. be doing for the
humanitarian crisis that`s happening in Syria right now?

Well, look, you have a crisis that`s massive. And I`m getting that
question a lot as of about two weeks ago, where you have hundreds of
thousands of people. But, you know, there comes a point -- and we all have
to have heart. And I think I have as big a heart as anybody.

But there comes a point where this country has to say, we have to get
our own act together. We have to do it.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: The other thing is, when you`re looking at ISIS and all of the
problems that are being caused over there, you say to yourself, well, what
happens if a lot of these people are al Qaeda ISIS? You could have -- you
could have 15 different things occur.

You don`t know. They don`t anything about them. Now, with all of
that being said, Europe, they have got to help themselves. Every once in a
while, they`re going to have to. It can`t always be the United States. We
have our bridges, our roads, our tunnels.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We have problems here. We owe so much money. You know, we
owe Japan $1.4 trillion. Think of it. They sell cars by the thousands.
They come off -- I saw boats two weeks ago in Los Angeles, thousands of
cars all over the place.

We owe them money. How do you do that? They`re selling to us. We
owe them money. Very simple. We have people that aren`t very smart.
China, we owe them the same amount of money, 1.4 -- now it`s up, $1.4
trillion.

We have got to straighten out our own country. With that being said,
you have the Gulf states, very rich, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain. They
take nobody. They don`t want to have anybody. OK? They don`t want to
have anybody, all right, nobody.

You have Europe. You have all these places. They have got to help.

Now, what I do like is a safe zone. You know, got a lot of sand, a
lot of sand in Syria, right? I do like the concept of a safe zone, where
you put them there, you build it out, you have security, you create a
little bit of an environment maybe, until they can ultimately go back to
their homes, which most of them really want to do. They`re great people.

I mean, they`re caught in this horrible conflict. But the concept of
safe zone is something that really makes sense. Probably, they even like
it better. They stay. And we help them. And we help. But we have to
help Europe. And the Gulf states have to contribute. Saudi Arabia, before
the oil price -- but, in all fairness, so now it`s a little bit less --
Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia was making so much money, beyond anything and
beyond anybody`s comprehension.

All of these countries have to get together and they have to fund it.
We have -- we can do something. But we have to get other people to help
us. We can`t be the patsy. Every time there`s a problem and, in the
meantime, in the meantime, our airports are Third World, our bridges are
falling down.

You see the safety record on our bridges? Like, 62 percent are in
danger. Our roads are collapsing all over the country. We are a mess.
So, we want to build our country and we want to help people on a
humanitarian basis, but we have to do some things to help ourselves. And
it`s time maybe for us to help ourselves.

OK, in the back, go ahead. In the back, let`s go. Then I`m going to
these...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s Donald Trump taking questions at a town hall
meeting up in New Hampshire tonight.

I`m joined right now by "Washington Post" reporter Robert Costa, who
has been covering him. April Ryan, of course, is Washington bureau chief
for the American Urban Radio Networks, and, in Seattle, MSNBC contributor
Ron Reagan.

All of you, I want first reactions, but first reactions to what I just
saw there. That first person who spoke came up and talked about, we have
got a problem in this country. We got Muslims, as if people with that
religion.

Let`s take a look at it. Here was Trump taking that question from the
audience, and here`s his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a problem in this country. It`s called
Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he`s not even an
American.

TRUMP: We need this question, this first question.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, anyway, we have training camps growing where
they want to kill us. That`s my question. When can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We`re going to be looking at a lot of different things.

And a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying
that bad things are happening out there. We`re going to be looking at that
and a lot of other things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Ron Reagan, the question to the candidate for president
was, when are we going to deal with these, get rid of these people, get rid
of Muslims in this country, millions of them? The president is one of
them. He`s not an American.

He had a full opportunity there to correct that guy. Donald Trump is
still a birther, clearly so. Your thoughts?

RON REAGAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, clearly so.

You saw two problems for Donald Trump right there. One was Donald
Trump, the fact that he went through -- we watched, I don`t know, 20
minutes, a half-an-hour of Donald Trump, and he said virtually nothing that
made any sense or had any substance to it.

But then you got a glimpse of his supporters there. Who is it that`s
actually buying the B.S. here that Donald Trump is peddling? And it`s guys
like this, who think that the big problem is that we have Muslims in
America, or the person who thinks that the Bureau of Land Management is
taking people`s ranches away at gunpoint or something like that.

These are some -- these are some disturbed people out there that
support Donald Trump. And Donald Trump, as you said, of course he is not
going to correct this guy. This is his base. He`s just going to go along
with it and repeat the same blather.

MATTHEWS: April, this is racist crap, of course. And it`s to me the
big original sin of Donald Trump. Before he went after Mexican -- people
from Mexico as immigrants and as rapists, which was outrageous, long before
that, he said, our president was an illegal immigrant.

He played that card. And he`s still playing it. Apparently, our
numbers show us that two-thirds of the people who like this guy -- and I
like to let him talk himself to death, to be honest about it. I think he
should build his own grave, instead of people saying, don`t show him in
action. I`m glad as hell we show this in action.

Your thoughts? Show him as he is.

APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: As a journalist, yes, we
need to see who he is.

His comments are divisive. And we saw that first questioner. And
President Obama had to deal with this birther issue with Donald Trump
several years ago. And this was his first issue with Donald Trump, the
racist issue. This election cycle, we`re talking about this wall and
Mexicans. But, yes, that first issue was against this president.

And you know? What if he happens to be a Muslim? But he is not.
He`s a Bible-beating Christian. And I know that for a fact. And you can
go to any church and see him. He is -- he calls on Jesus.

But one -- and it doesn`t matter whether he called on Jesus or if he
was a Muslim. It would not matter in this country. But the issue right
now is, there`s a division in this country. And it`s been perpetuated over
the last couple of election cycles. We heard it with McCain and Palin, you
know, take back our country. Those are code words. Take back our country.

Then we heard the percentage numbers for Mitt Romney last presidential
election cycle. Now we have Donald Trump in full -- full -- his full glory
talking racial divisiveness.

And, Chris, the interesting thing, tomorrow at the Congressional Black
Caucus annual legislative week, I am hosting a panel discussion on race
solutions 2015. And I`m quite sure Donald Trump will be coming up and some
of these racial undertones that he`s bringing.

MATTHEWS: Right.

OK. Let me go back to -- let me go to Robert Costa.

You have been covering this guy. You know, I`m not a hater. A couple
of people really get to me, though, like Cheney does, of course. And I try
to understand Trump for what show he`s putting on. But the original sin of
Trump -- and I have said it to him personally -- is this birther thing.

John McCain, I think, had a profile in courage a couple of years back,
when a woman said the same thing at a town hall meeting just like this,
when she said he`s an Arab or something like that. And he said, no, he`s
not. He`s a good American. We just happen to disagree.

Donald Trump had that same opportunity. He had it tonight on live TV.
We gave it to him, to show us his character, and he showed us something
else. He showed us a willingness to go with the tide. And that`s not
leadership, to go with the tide. Your thoughts? Is this going to be a
part of his ongoing road show to play to the people who think we`re being
overrun by Muslims in this country, and one of the Muslims in chief is the
president?

ROBERT COSTA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": This is the major leagues.

Every moment in a presidential campaign is a test. And one of the
things that`s propelled Trump to the front of the pack is his instincts,
his instincts with the conservative base.

At the same time, because he`s not a practiced politician like McCain,
when he hears someone like this in the crowd, he chuckled along. And
that`s a telling moment, whether you`re a supporter of him or not. It
tells you a lot about how Trump is, how he`s adjusting to this race, trying
to be more disciplined in the debate last night, but still, in moments like
these, not acting like a senator would, like McCain did in 2008.

MATTHEWS: Let`s take a look. Let`s watch him again. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a problem in this country. It`s called
Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he`s not even an
American.

TRUMP: We need this question, this first question.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, anyway, we have training camps growing where
they want to kill us. That`s my question. When can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We`re going to be looking at a lot of different things.

And a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying
that bad things are happening out there. We`re going to be looking at that
and a lot of other things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: There`s a lot of detail there, Ron. The president is not
an American. He showed us a birth certificate.

And, there, the candidate for president there, the leading Republican
candidate there, said right, sarcastically, like he doesn`t believe the
birth certificate either.

He is still on this campaign trail. I think it`s going to limit his
base. I think it`s already -- people who are willing to buy that malarkey
have a really bad attitude about things, because whatever else you say
about Barack Obama, you can disagree with him completely, he`s an American
success story.

He said, only in this country is my story possible. He -- you know,
he sold American exceptionalism better than anybody in this world, that you
can come to this country with a name like Barack Hussein Obama and get
elected president...

RYAN: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: ... because the people said, you know, he`s the best guy
running.

He`s not my favorite, but he`s -- well, he was for me, but, for a lot
of people who say, you know, he`s the best guy running. He`s educated.
He`s smart. He`s got a good temperament. And he will make smart
judgments. He will look out for us. And we may disagree the whole time
he`s president, but he`s an American.

Why is it in Donald Trump`s interest to say -- a real simple question.
Why is it in his interest to keep saying Barack Obama is an illegal alien?
Why does he keep saying that?

REAGAN: Because the people who support him believe that.

MATTHEWS: Do they really actually buy it?

REAGAN: Yes, these people really do believe that stuff. The guy who
stood up in the audience there, he really believes that Barack Obama is a
Kenyan Muslim who`s come here as a Manchurian candidate to tear down the
United States from within. These people really do believe it. It`s not
the majority of the country by any stretch of the imagination that buys
this stuff, but it`s a good sizable chunk of the Republican Party, and
that`s the chunk of the Republican Party that Donald Trump is playing to.
It`s what`s got him to his 25, 30 percent of the electorate in the
Republican primaries here. And he doesn`t want to let that go.

MATTHEWS: You`re so right on the facts there. Let me go to Joan.
Joan, thank you for joining us tonight from Slate. I think there`s a
larger subset of Americans that say -- that have been betrayed by the
leadership class of both parties. The jobs are a problem, the real jobs,
unemployment rate isn`t real. They do think that trade problem is real.
They do have a problem with that, and they do worry about the Iranian
thing. Who wouldn`t worry about Iran? Who wouldn`t be upset about the
splurge of illegal immigrants, because no one seems to have a reasonable,
fair plan to deal with it. The Democrats I think do but they can`t seem to
sell it to Republicans.

I understand why there`s dissatisfaction with our leadership class.

JOAN WALSH: We seem stuck.

MATTHEWS: But there is a core here that seems to hate the demographic
change in this country, which is part of our history. We`ve always had
black people in this country long before you and I ever got here, there
have been African-Americans and Native Americans and Hispanic Americans. I
thought it was great the other night when someone said, Hispanics are
Americans, that was kind of a wonderful moment. But here he is, going back
to the base of racism. Trump, who does not need it, at least you would
think he does not need it, still thinks he needs a guy who says we are
being overrun by Muslims, the president is one of them, he`s not an
American, and he showed us a phony document so he could stay in the White
House, and then he says, "right." What?

WALSH: Chris, I think we really have to visit this question of
whether he doesn`t need it. Maybe he does need it. Maybe his appeal is
based, if not entirely, because there are these other things, but his base
is really heavily in this group of people who will never accept that this
president is a legitimate president. And you`re right, when I was
listening to this with one of our great camera people here, the two of us
were like wait, what? What did that guy say? And what did he say? And
you`ve done such a wonderful job breaking it down. So you captured him
saying right when the guy says that our president is a Muslim. And then he
says we needed that question. What does he mean by that? We needed what
question, we needed someone to say he`s a Muslim? And then to assert
without any evidence that we have Muslim training camps in this country.
That what? Our president is running them? It`s so sick. Then someone
comes up and complains about the BLM taking our land at gunpoint. And
that`s a big problem, too. I mean, what--

MATTHEWS: That`s something else. I want to go back to Robert. And
then we`ll come right back to you, Joan. It`s a great cast of people we
have to talk about this. Robert, we have three candidates now who are all
competing for the role of anti-government candidates. We have Fiorina join
the team last night, sort of the three musketeers out there now, each with
their different appeals.

Fiorina had a good show last night because she had a very succinct, I
thought stunning response, every woman in America knows what it`s like to
be made fun of for her looks and having that be made that judgment on her
first appearance, so I don`t like (inaudible) Miss America or something.
She nailed that. And then it comes out that her testimony regarding
Planned Parenthood was like Ronald Reagan saying that he had visited the
death camps. Well, she didn`t see this on television. She didn`t see this
picture. Okay, Fiorina. Let`s take a look at that. What do you think of
that, Robert? She has a flaw right up front with her failed testimony
here. The Wall Street Journal has just come out tonight saying she`s
wrong. She never saw any tape like that. Your thoughts?

COSTA: She was making an overt appeal to anti-abortion conservative
women. I think that was actually the most telling moment of the debate,
rather than her exchanges with Trump. You see Fiorina sees a lane on the
far right. She sees herself as an outsider, could compete with Carson and
Trump. She also has a staccato tone, in how she describes her policies.
She has a corporate sheen in a sense, a professionalism that I think
appeals to many Republicans. That`s different than Trump`s presentation.

MATTHEWS: Let`s watch a bit of that. Here is Fiorina, she was the
big winner in all the polling, I thought. She scored some huge applause
lines like this one about Planned Parenthood. Then I want Joan to respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIORINA: In regards to Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched
this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes.
Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs
kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.
This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up and
force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Did Fiorina get her facts straight? Well, this morning,
ABC`s George Stephanopoulos strongly challenged Fiorina`s comments. Let`s
watch him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC: Sarah Cliff (ph) in writing in Vox, she
watched all 12 hours, and she concluded either Fiorina hasn`t watched the
Planned Parenthood videos, or she`s knowingly misrepresenting the footage.
Because what she says happens in the Planned Parenthood videos simply does
not exist.

FIORINA: Rest assured I have seen the images that I talked about last
night. Rest assured that human lives are being aborted, fully formed, in
order to harvest body parts. Rest assured that this erodes at the
character of our nation. And once again, I will say I dare Mrs. Clinton
and President Obama, two defenders of Planned Parenthood, to watch these
videotapes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Joan, this is all about one question in a larger
videotape. Obviously we`re going to argue abortion rights forever. But
this particular question, should Planned Parenthood be the reason for
shutting the government down? She says she has seen images of what we`re
talking about here.

WALSH: Something horrible, horrible.

MATTHEWS: And, in fact, there were no such images on the screen in
the video. The Wall Street Journal says that tonight, reporting that
tonight. It reminded me of Ronald Reagan saying he had been over there in
the death camps. And it turned out he had seen some footage on the screen.

She didn`t even see some footage. I don`t know what she`s talking
about.

WALSH: What Ronald Reagan talked about actually had happened in
history. What she`s talking about, I mean, I want to talk about character
here, she`s talking about character, this raises questions about her
character. She`s either a liar or she is delusional. She remembers
something that didn`t happen. But everyone who has looked at these, the
long, long tapes. We tried to see -- we hope we`re seeing what`s unedited,
but we still don`t know. The tapes they say that are completely unedited
were still edited. However, no one, even strong anti-abortion people who
have looked at these tapes have seen anything like that, Chris. So it`s a
moment, when you play it again and you see how excited she gets, and the
passion in her voice, it`s a little bit crazy, I mean, she didn`t see this.
Where did this come from?

MATTHEWS: (inaudible) Hillary Clinton, lies, lies, lies. She did it
again last night, that`s her favorite. Ron Reagan, just the last thought
here. This is, I don`t know, we had this before. It seems like she really
had her big night, and in a sense built a time bomb around her credibility
at the same time.

WALSH: Right.

REAGAN: Indeed. I`m so glad you brought this up. Because I`m so
tired of having discussions in the media about these Planned Parenthood
videos when all of us who have seen these videos know that they indicate
nothing about Planned Parenthood selling body parts for medical
experimentation. That simply does not appear on the videos, which have
been deceptively edited and distorted in various other ways. There have
been technical investigations of this that have proven that. So there`s no
evidence of wrongdoing on Planned Parenthood`s part at all, and this
incident she describes, it`s less like my father and it`s a little bit more
like, I don`t know, Brian Williams or somebody describing something he saw
in Tahrir Square.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I`ve got to go to April, my friend on this. It looks like
all three of these, I call them the three musketeers, Dr. Carson, I`ll say
a good man, but he`s also appealing to this hard right, viciously unhappy
crowd of people. She`s doing it too. She is not special here. The three
of them are all going for that kernel within the kernel of the angry, to
the really ferociously angry right wing, 25 to 30 percent of the Republican
Party. Maybe it`s more, maybe it`s 50 percent, what do you think?

RYAN: I think it`s actually more, Chris. I believe that there are a
lot of people out here who are tired of the status quo and really feel
certain things they are saying. They`re touching something in these people
to make them fired up and go to these events like the Trump event and say
the things they`re saying. There are people out there who feel this. But
we are in 2015. We are a nation that was built upon bring me your tired,
your poor, your hungry. You just heard Donald Trump say we need to take
care of our own and basically let Europe take care of its own problems. He
doesn`t want the refugees here, the 10,000 the U.N. could be allowing to
come here to seek shelter and care for a moment. And then he doesn`t want
the Mexicans. Who else? The list is going to keep growing. We`ll see
what happens. We`ll see.

MATTHEWS: Thank you so much. Robert Costa, it was great tonight,
thank you for joining us. Of course April Ryan as always, my friend Ron
Reagan, Joan Walsh. I`m great to have all my pals on early tonight. It`s
a turning point. I think it`s a point of inflection. If you`re still with
Trump after what he plays here, you`ve got to really examine your
conscience right now. Much more on what we heard from Donald Trump tonight
and also from Carly Fiorina last night. This is HARDBALL, the place for
politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. I am joined right now by the
roundtable tonight, a new roundtable, Ryan Grim is the Washington bureau
chief for the Huffington Post. Susan Milligan is a political writer with
U.S. News and World Report, of course, and Jason Johnson is a Sirius XM
Radio host and contributor to NBCBLK. Let`s listen again. We picked up
this pearl tonight, what Donald Trump said to a questioner. His first
question, which he said he glad he got that question in his town hall up in
New Hampshire. Let`s watch Trump. I`m so glad we went live with him,
because you saw him live. And everybody else is now going to get it picked
up a little late. But we got it live. Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A big problem in this country, it`s called
Muslims. We know our current president is one.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know he`s not even an American.

TRUMP: We need this question. This is the (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But anyway, we have training camps growing where
they want to kill us. That`s my question. When can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We`re going to be looking at a lot of different things. And a
lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad
things are happening out there. We`re going to be looking at that and
plenty of other things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: So, you know, I want to start with Susan on this. The
number of statements made by this guy up front is unbelievable. He calls
President Obama our current president, as if he`s really not legitimate,
then he calls him a Muslim, then he says he`s not even an American, and
then he says we have to get rid of these Muslims. Like an ethnic group
we`ve got to get rid of. So that is the core, I would argue, he doesn`t
want to mess with. And I`ll call it again, it`s when we first heard of
Donald Trump politically, his talk of this birtherism crap of his. Here he
is, buying into it again, when he could have said, you know, like John
McCain said, he`s an American like me. We disagree. Your thoughts.
Everybody on this, but first, Susan.

SUSAN MILLIGAN, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: Yes, that`s exactly what
I thought is how differently John McCain handled this in 2008, and the
honor in Senator McCain for saying that. But you know, look, a lot of us
have been sitting around saying how did this guy get to 30 some odd percent
in the polls? This is how. That element of the Republican primary
electorate that is so angry, that`s so frustrated, that feels like the
country is being taken over by immigrants and minorities, whatever, that`s
the element that is supporting Donald Trump, and it was exemplified
perfectly in that man`s question. The fact that Donald Trump did not
challenge any of it was stunning to me.

MATTHEWS: We`ve always had racial prejudices in this country, to some
degree. We`ve had ethnic rivalries, clannishness, whatever you want to
call it. This guy is talking about truth. He`s playing with the belief, I
would argue, some would argue, that this guy is some sort of interloper.
He somehow snuck him. Remember, they used to say, nobody knew him in high
school, like the Manchurian candidate. He wasn`t really in those high
schools, like those records weren`t really his. He was somehow snuck
through, created a false biography, and somehow got to the White House.
This is really conspiracy nut case stuff, and there he is perpetrating it.
Saluting it.

JASON JOHNSON, SIRIUS XM: I`m not surprised, though. The sort of
Scooby Doo logic of birthers that somehow they figured out that Barack
Obama snuck in but no one else has, that`s been the thing he`s been playing
for years.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Can you repeat that for me, Jason? I couldn`t hear it.

JOHNSON: I was just saying, the sort of Scooby Doo logic of birthers
that they somehow figured out that Barack Obama snuck into the country, but
no one else has been able to figure it out before them, has always been a
core of this Republican Party ever since Obama announced in 2006. So I`m
not surprised Trump is playing to that.

MATTHEWS: Jason, give me a percentage that believe, actually believe
under sodium pentathal, put him in a box, put him in a lie detector.
Really, just throw that term out, what percentage would pass a lie detector
saying this guy is from Borneo or Kenya, whatever, Indonesia. How many
would buy he`s an illegal immigrant? Sneaking into the country?

JOHNSON: By the Pew survey, it says about 60 percent of Trump
supporters believe it. It seems like a safe number.

MATTHEWS: That`s 60 of 27.

JOHNSON: Right.

MATTHEWS: Right. That`s 60 of 27. But Ryan, let`s not call the
whole country whacky. I love that word, element. There`s a word that is
always used for people you don`t like, an element. Anyway, let`s watch
this. Just to set you up here, Ryan. Here is McCain answering a very
similar situation. And he was in trouble at this time. He wasn`t leading
Obama at that time. He was fighting for his life. Here is how he
responded quite differently than Trump did tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t trust Obama. I have read about him and
he`s not -- he`s an Arab. He`s not -- no?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: No, ma`am. No, ma`am. He`s a decent
family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on
fundamental issues. That`s what this campaign is all about. He`s not.
Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Ryan, it makes you proud.

RYAN GRIM, HUFFINGTON POST: It does.

MATTHEWS: It makes you proud, it`s a very American answer. Maybe we
shouldn`t be saluting it, but it made me proud at the time, and it makes me
more proud now.

GRIM: Especially after watching Trump`s performance right there.
Because not only did he have one opportunity to knock that down. Let`s
say, you know, any crowd can have one nut. A few questioners after him
said, boy, am I glad that you took that question from that guy about the
Muslim training camps. Because we really do need to do something about the
Muslim training camps. Trump engaged in this joking back and forth saying
don`t get nervous, you`re on national TV. Then the guy proceed to stumble
through a question about how the Bureau of Land Management is pointing its
weapons at farmers to extract fees from them.

There`s a kind of a belief among Democrats that bringing this out in
the open ends up helping them in the long run, because it exposes a crazy
element. I wonder how dangerous that is in the long-term. Because in a
way you start normalizing this. If we keep seeing this kind of language
accepted as part of the conversation, I`m not -- I don`t know where this is
headed. I think it`s uncharted territory.

MATTHEWS: It`s been charted to some extent. A lot of the people in
the suburbs of the United States, people who are moderate Republicans,
don`t want to be thought of -- they may have moved away from the city out
of what, racing away from downtown, to get away from black people, whatever
they did, 20, 30 years ago, they are not proud of the fact that they`re
perceived as anti-black. They don`t like it. They don`t like being known
that way. And they don`t want -- women especially don`t want to be known
that way.

GRIM: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: So I think Trump will have a big problem going beyond 25 or
27 percent. We`ll see. As someone said earlier, I think it was the great
(inaudible), you don`t know how far this crap goes. Thank you guys for
sticking around tonight. Ryan Grim, Susan Milligan, Jason Johnson, it`s
HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us tonight. We caught a big one
tonight. "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

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