updated 10/28/2015 10:31:11 AM ET 2015-10-28T14:31:11

Show: HARDBALL
Date: October 27, 2015
Guest: Paul Singer, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Nicholas Confessore, Heidi
Przybyla, Michelle Bernard, Liz Mair, Jonathan Capehart

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Carson passes Trump in first national poll.
Hell`s a-poppin`!

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews out in Los Angeles.

Well, the Republican dance of defiance continues, with angry voters,
at least for a time, changing partners. The people out in the country, the
right-wing people, still don`t like the established GOP, all struggling
down in the single digits.

Well, the vital question is which of the two champions of attack,
Donald Trump or Dr. Ben Carson, has the heart to fight it out when it gets
close and nasty down the line. Well, right now, many on the right are
using Carson as a place to rest, watch and think. They want to say
something powerful about change, but are not that sure of Trump.

What they`re not ready to take are the names listed for months, years
in the case of Jeb Bush, on that sad menu of hopefuls in the undercard of
the establishment.

Here`s what I think`s going on right now. I think Donald Trump,
whatever the wavering in the polls this week, is the one candidate who
could promise real success on the economy, if the economy is the key issue.
And it promises to be the topic of tomorrow night`s CNBC debate. Trump has
a record to sell.

Dr. Carson doesn`t have the prescription. Cruz is simply angry.
Rubio hasn`t been around a single term yet. And Bush looks -- bushed.

So let`s get ready for the battle at the top, Trump versus Carson in
tomorrow night`s roller-derby. When the jostling and the body slamming and
the trash talk is over, who will still be on track?

David Corn is the Washington bureau chief of "Mother Jones" and Paul
Singer is Washington correspondent with "USA Today. Let`s look at this,
gentlemen. In today`s CBS/"New York Times" poll, Dr. Carson has quadrupled
his support since August and now leads Trump by 4 points nationally. It`s
Carson 46 (sic), Trump 22, Rubio 8, Fiorina 7, Bush 7, and everyone else
fighting for scraps, usually about 4 points scraps.

Carson`s rise comes amid of a flurry of wild statements by him.
Republican voters love it, however, especially in Iowa, which has fueled
Carson`s range (ph). A recent "Des Moines Register" poll asks likely
Republican caucusgoers -- that`s where people go to the caucus -- their
thoughts about some of Carson`s statements on the campaign trail.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is astounding. Eighty-one percent, four
out of five, said they like Carson`s statement that "Obama care" is the
worst thing since slavery. Seventy-seven percent, about the same, say they
like his comments that Hitler would have been stopped if the people were
armed. And 73 percent said they liked his comments that the U.S. shouldn`t
elect a Muslim president.

David Corn, I guess I found the link-up. They like him because he
says the crazy stuff they actually mouth. Whether they actually believe it
or not, they mouth it, you know? That the Wehrmacht and the third reich
and the SS could all have been stopped if we had an NRA in Germany. I
mean, that`s a nice -- well, it`s a crazy thought, but it goes with their
thinking. Your thoughts.

DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Dr. Carson
has a very mild disposition, but his views are very, very extreme and his
rhetoric is very in excess, and he also doesn`t know a lot about policy.
He couldn`t describe what the debt ceiling was recently.

But yet he does mouth the sentiments that Donald Trump does and that
other Republicans and social conservatives do, but in a much more
appealing, less crude manner. And I do think -- you know, his story is one
of personal transformation, salvation, it appeals a lot to the religious
right.

And they -- you know, as you`ve said for months now, Chris, they don`t
want someone with a resume. In fact, Dr. Carson sent out e-mail today, a
fund-raiser, in which he says he believes political experience is not
necessary. What you need to have is faith, honesty and character. That`s
what you need to be president. You don`t need to know much.

And a lot of people out there say, That`s right, we want an outsider.
They don`t care about what his past has been in terms of policy issues, but
he is talking in very extreme cultural terms, but without yelling, and they
love him for that.

MATTHEWS: This is like a rural medicine show, with a guy in a
medicine wagon sitting out front, selling his latest nostrums. I mean,
Paul, let`s get through a couple of these.

First of all, the Hitler one is so absurd on its face, let`s move on.
The Muslim thing, having a religious test for president -- - well, that`s
interesting. And to have an African-American guy like he is, a respected
surgeon, a respected citizen, after saying that the health care program,
which we`ve been fighting for to try to get for years to try to refine what
Americans will like and accept -- to compare it to slavery -- chains,
whips, no marriages (INAUDIBLE) no children, no education, living in
servitude from birth to death?

PAUL SINGER, "USA TODAY": Yes, but Chris...

MATTHEWS: He`s comparing "Obama care" to that, with that smiling
face?

SINGER: You`re reading it wrong. You`re reading it wrong because
you`re trying to parse the words, which is exactly what Carson voters, and
Trump voters for that matter, hate. They hate people like us saying,
Here`s what so-and-so said or said wrong.

The strength of these candidates is their ability to say almost
anything, and as long as it seems like it`s sincere and from the heart,
their voters, the base voters they`re going for, say, You know what?
That`s right. We`re tired of the political correctness. We`re tired of
you guys telling us we can`t say "slavery" or "Hitler." Gosh darn it, this
is the right guy. They don`t mind it.

MATTHEWS: We can also say -- well, we can say "wacko-birds." Anyway
-- as John McCain once coined that phrase.

SINGER: RIght.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Dr. Carson`s surge has stumped rival candidate
Lindsey -- I understand why he`s stumped. Here`s what Lindsey had to say
yesterday on "MORNING JOE" about Trump and Carson`s one-two punch in the
polls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: On our side,
you`ve got the number two guy, tried to kill somebody at 14, and the number
one guy is high-energy and crazy as hell. How am I losing to these people?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s desperate talk. Senator Graham`s referring to
Carson`s own account of a remarkable episode in his life that he says took
place when he was 14 years old. Carson has spoken openly about that
incident. Here he is on NBC`s "MEET THE PRESS" this past Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There was a time when I
was, you know, very volatile as a teenager. I would go after people with
rocks and bricks and baseball bats and hammers. And of course, many people
know the story, when I was 14 and I tried to stab someone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: They don`t know, of course. And here`s Carson with a more
vivid account of the incident at a presidential forum last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARSON: I would go after people with baseball bats and rocks and
bricks and hammers. But when I was 14, another teenager angered me and I
took a large camping knife and I tried to stab him in the abdomen.

And fortunately, under his clothing, he had on a large metal belt
buckle, and the knife blade struck with such force that it broke and he
fled in terror. But I was more horrified than he, recognizing that I was
trying to kill somebody over nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: David, I guess it`s better when a doctor, instead of saying
"stomach," says "abdomen."

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: But I`ve never heard of an assailant using the term
"abdomen" when talking about trying to put a knife in somebody`s gut. It
is a weird story. He obviously believes that it`s part of his revival of
spirit, I guess.

CORN: Well, the full story here, which social conservatives have been
hearing from him from years and reading in the many books he`s written
about his own life and over again, is that he basically transformed himself
by becoming a devout believer. And you know, his religion is 7th Day
Adventism. But he talks about turning to God and realizing there is
something bigger than himself, and that took care of his anger problem.
And this just strikes a chord with social conservatives who like that sort
of rags to riches through God story.

Now, he is running on the basis in some -- you know, that he has
faith. And I think it`s going to open, you know, a big can here because,
you know, he does come from a church that believes in end times,
prophesies, and he`s said he believes in the church`s teachings.

And so I think if he`s running, as faith as a qualification, which he
is, then there should be, you know, sensitively, some questions put to him
about what that means and what he takes from the church.

And you know, we haven`t -- you know, Donald Trump has crudely tried
to raise this as an issue, as Trump is wont to do with most things, but I
do think there are serious issues here about his faith and how he tends to
apply it, should he win control of the federal government.

MATTHEWS: Well, tomorrow night`s CNBC debate I bet doesn`t get to the
end of times. It probably deals with economy, knowing John Harwood and the
rest of them. Mr. Trump sees Carson, obviously, as vulnerable on the
hugely important issue of the economy, which will be a key focus of
tomorrow night`s debate.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted, "Ben Carson has never created a job in his
life. Well, maybe a nurse. I have created tens of thousands of jobs.
It`s what I do." Then he dismissed Carson`s tax plan, which Carson models
on the Christian practice of tithing, as a total nightmare, he called it.
And he`s now attacking Carson on the issue of trade every chance he gets.
Here he goes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump losing in polls to
Carson! Carson? I don`t think Carson`s going to negotiate really well
with China, folks, in all fairness, OK? I don`t think so. And I like him.
I don`t think so.

I think the big thing, also, is he`s just not going to be able to do
with deals with China, to do deals with Japan. These companies are all
ripping us like nobody has ever ripped us before!

I will make some of the great trade deals. I will bring -- I will
bring our jobs back. I`ll bring our money back. I`ll bring our
manufacturing back. Ben cannot do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: You know, I wondered, Paul, whether people who are voting
in these primary polls are really voting November-ish. Even with Bernie
Sanders, I would say, You really want Bernie Sanders, who was CO in the
Vietnam war, to be head of our armed forces, head of our CIA? Is that what
you really want?

Are you really thinking about that job description that you`re trying
to fill, or are you trying to send a message of populist politics and
progressive politics, which would be a fair excuse for why you`re doing it.
But you picking a president?

Is Dr. Carson an actual candidate for president of our armed forces,
to govern -- to deal with the Fed, to deal with the budget, to deal with
everything in terms of the macroeconomics of this country coming out of
neurosurgery?

SINGER: Well...

MATTHEWS: I mean, where are people thinking his ability would come
from, would spring from in that regard?

SINGER: Well -- but Donald Trump...

MATTHEWS: What are they thinking?

SINGER: ... has some of the same problems. Donald Trump has some of
the same problems of being somebody who you`re not sure he really has
policies on a lot of these things, other than, I will be Donald Trump...

MATTHEWS: Yes, but...

SINGER: ... and that will be a winning kind of policy.

MATTHEWS: ... at least he knows how to make money. It is somewhat
related.

SINGER: Yes. True.

MATTHEWS: I know there`s a difference between micro and macro, but
when a guy`s made $11 billion, he`s worth at least listening to. Go ahead.

SINGER: And started with a million-dollar loan from his father. But
yes, I mean, I think part of it is this whole -- you know, we used to joke
(INAUDIBLE) Dean (ph) married Kerry, right? I mean, every campaign, we see
this. Early in the season, voters flirt with these candidates who are a
little bit off the mainstream because they like the idea, and it`s kind of
fun. And then sooner or later, they sort of settle back into a candidate
who they think can actually be president of the United States.

But at the moment, there`s certainly nothing to lose, if you are a
conservative voter, from spending time with, you know, Donald Trump or Ben
Carson as your favorite...

MATTHEWS: I think you`re right.

SINGER: ... and endorsing them and...

(CROSSTALK)

SINGER: ... play out.

MATTHEWS: You think they`re both parking places, both of them.

SINGER: Yes, well, maybe they are parking places, and they`re also...

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: I think -- I think it represents a really pretty profound
alienation of a large portion of the Republican base from the rest of the
Republican Party, and to some degree from reality. They look at the Obama
years as actually an abomination, and they want hell to pay and they want
someone who`s going to go to Washington and blow things up.

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: ... they think Carson can do it in a different fashion.

MATTHEWS: I agree...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: The polling shows that people are much more committed to
Trump than they are to Carson at this point. The ones who are for Trump
are for Trump.

Anyway, late today, Ohio governor and presidential candidate John
Kasich told (INAUDIBLE) he has had enough -- he`s had enough -- whatever
that means, of Trump and Carson. Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to let y`all
know -- do you know how crazy this election is?

(LAUGHTER)

KASICH: Let me tell you something. I`ve about had it with these
people. What has happened to our party? What has happened to the
conservative movement?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Quick, David -- we`ve had three serious people now, Lindsey
Graham, he, and of course, Jeb Bush, all in the last 24 hours saying
they`ve had it. What does that mean? Does it mean -- is that the
voters...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... going to say, yes, I`ve had it, too?

CORN: I think what happens here, the GOP has sort of exploited this
resentment out there and with the Tea Party and such, and now the Tea Party
is demanding payback, and the Republican establishment is saying, Whoa, now
we`re not that crazy about you guys.

You notice when Kasich said that, there wasn`t a rousing cheer, there
was nervous giggling in that crowd.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

CORN: I think that tells you a lot.

MATTHEWS: I think despair isn`t very chuckle-worthy. Anyway, thank
you, David Corn, and thank you, Paul Singer.

And a reminder I`ll be in Boulder, Colorado, tomorrow night for the
big Republican debate. Join me at 7:00 Eastern for all the pre-game action
on HARDBALL, and then come back and watch it at 10:00 Eastern for two hours
of post-game, well, reaction and analysis, and a little knocking.

Coming up -- it`s not just the two Republicans making news here. We
got big, hard evidence now that Hillary Clinton`s good run over the last
week or so is paying off at the polls. Wait`ll you see her numbers. She`s
huge right now in Iowa, and the party seems to be coming together around
her.

I`m going to talk to Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who`s just
endorsed her today over Bernie Sanders.

Plus, John Boehner cut that budget deal to keep the government running
in part to help out his successor, Paul Ryan. So why is Ryan trashing the
whole thing?

And it`s Tuesday, which means it`s clown car day here at HARDBALL.
And this week, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and of course, good old Mike
Huckabee are doing the driving.

Finally, the HARDBALL roundtable tells us something even I don`t know.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: President Obama was renominated there (ph) in 2012, but
Mitt Romney went on to win the state. Let`s see who`s on top of either
side in North Carolina. Time for the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is leading the field. He`s at 31
percent, according to a PPP poll. Ben Carson is at 23 percent. Marco
Rubio rounds out the top three at just 11.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is way up. She`s got 61
percent. Bernie Sanders has just 24 percent, Martin O`Malley, a distant
third at just 5.

And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Two new polls out just today
paint the same picture of the Democratic race out in Iowa. Hillary Clinton
has a commanding lead now. Clinton is 38 points ahead of her closest
rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, according to the latest Loras College poll.
She does even better in a new Monmouth University poll, beating Sanders by
41 points, 65 to 24. Wow.

As Sanders falls further behind, however, he`s unleashing his
strongest attacks yet on Clinton, challenging her shifting views on trade,
gay marriage, the Iraq war and other issues.

Here he was on the "TODAY" show just this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have from
almost day one in the Congress known that our trade policies have been a
disaster for American workers. We have lost millions of decent-paying
jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the subtext is, is that Hillary Clinton
hasn`t picked up that fight, where you have.

SANDERS: Well, let me just say this. Let me -- let me put it in this
way. I am delighted that in the last couple of months, Hillary Clinton has
come on board positions that I have held for many, many years on trade, on
the Keystone pipeline. If you`re serious about climate change, you never
support the transportation of some of the dirtiest fuel on earth. So I`m
glad that Hillary Clinton is moving in my direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, meanwhile, Hillary Clinton got an important
endorsement today. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, one of the most
prominent progressives in the U.S. Senate -- he announced he was backing
her. Senator Brown joins us now.

Thank you so much for joining us on this big news day.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Good to be with you. Thank you.

MATTHEWS: What do you -- what was in your thinking in making this
decision between -- I mean, you`re -- you`re somewhere -- well, I don`t
know if you`re in the middle of these two, but you`re pretty close to
probably Senator Sanders, but also, you`re a pretty regular Democrat, too,
so -- and he`s not a Democrat. He`s a socialist.

So how`d your thinking come to be today in this endorsement?

BROWN: Well, first, I`ve been really pleased, as I think progressives
has been and Democrats are, and I think that the country is in many ways,
to contrast the Democratic debates with the Republican debates in the year.
Particularly, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, when they sometimes
disagree -- and they don`t often, but when they`ve disagreed, they`ve done
it respectfully and they`ve done it with showing respect to the voters.

You look at the Republican debates, and they border sometimes on
discussions of race and xenophobia and no respect for voters in the end.
It`s made me proud that -- to watch the two of them on these debates as I
look forward to the next in the same way.

I`ve had long conversations with Secretary Clinton, with her staff
people, and I have -- I`m pleased with what she`s talking about. I have
total confidence that, in this campaign, once she`s elected, she will --
she will fight for growing the middle class from the in -- from the middle
out, that she will pay great attention to working-class voters in giving
them opportunity in joining the middle class.

She will have a focus particularly on low-income children on
everything from lead-based paints. "The Cleveland Plain Dealer" had a
terrific piece last week on that challenge in cities around the country.
And she`s had such a long history with fighting for children and
particularly children with less privilege.

And so I`m very confident that we`re going to see the kind of
presidency that I think will make progressives proud.

MATTHEWS: We don`t have a strong socialist party in this country,
like you do in Europe, or a lot of these advanced countries, social
democratic party like you have in most of the advanced countries.

What does it mean to you? Bernie sounds to me like a liberal Democrat
in all of the positions he`s taken, someone -- we could say on the labor
left or whatever, but basically like a social Democratic -- a member of the
Democratic Party.

Why do you think he keeps saying he`s a socialist and hasn`t ran on
the Democratic line before? I mean, he`s not the only one moving around
politically. He seems to have moved to the center. Hillary, people say,
has moved over to him. Who`s doing the most movement here?

BROWN: Well, don`t know who moves. I think that`s a discussion for
the panel after we talk or for the pundits.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: No, it`s for the voter.

BROWN: Well, yes, but I know that both Hillary and Bernie have been -
- what they`re talking about, trade agreements, what they`re talking about,
Wall Street reform, what they`re talking about, minimum wage, building and
creating jobs and increasing wages, appeal -- it`s mainstream America, not
mainstream Democrats. It`s mainstream America.

And 70, 80 percent of Americans think that Congress should concentrate
on creating jobs, think that Congress should concentrate on increasing
wages, pay, as this Labor Department is doing now in the Obama
administration, making supervisory people making $30,000, $40,000 a year
should be eligible for overtime.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

BROWN: All those issues are such a part of mainstream Democratic
politics, and, frankly, mainstream America. And I don`t see that much
difference between the two of them, regardless of what Bernie has called
himself over the years or what Hillary has called herself.

I think they both have -- speak to the great American tradition of
Democrat -- solid Democratic policies of creating a middle class and
lifting up working people. That`s what I`m all about with this endorsement
and what is all -- what drives me in politics, from the day I started
hanging out at the steelworkers hall in Mansfield, Ohio.

MATTHEWS: Yes. It sounds like you and it sounds like you`re right.

Thank you so much, Senator Sherrod Brown, who has endorsed Hillary
Clinton today.

BROWN: Sure. Good to be with you.

MATTHEWS: Well, Hillary Clinton took issue with something Bernie
Sanders said at the last Democratic debate. Sanders was responding to
criticism by Clinton over his record on guns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As a senator from
a rural state, what I can tell Secretary Clinton, that all the shouting in
the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want, and that is
keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end
this horrible violence that we are seeing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, over the weekend, Secretary Clinton slammed his use,
that`s Bernie`s use, of the word "shouting."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have been told
to stop, and I quote, "shouting about gun violence."

Well, first of all, I`m not shouting.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: It`s just, when women talk, some people think we`re
shouting.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: I have been told to stop shouting about ending gun violence.
Well, I haven`t been shouting, but, sometimes, when a woman speaks out,
some people think it`s shouting.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: But I won`t be silenced, and I hope you won`t be either.
How many more people have to die before we take action?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Senator Sanders responded to that on CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER")

SANDERS: What I was talking about, very clearly, is that, all across
this country, we have got people shouting at each other.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Right. But she`s -- she`s suggesting that
you`re saying...

SANDERS: Well, she is...

TAPPER: ... that she`s shouting and that -- and that you, when you
when you hear a woman talking, you think that they`re shouting.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: Well, what can I say? That`s just not the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Nicholas Confessore is a political reporter for "The
New York Times." And Heidi Przybyla is a political reporter for "USA
Today."

Heidi, your thoughts on this. Is this a real foul or a fake foul?
Where would you put it?

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, "USA TODAY": This is exhibit A, Chris, I would call
of the dangers of not adjusting your talking points, because it is true
that Bernie Sanders has used these same remarks in the past to talk about
gun control.

But it`s also true that he said it -- he addressed it to Clinton. And
if you remember in the post-debate analysis was that Secretary Clinton kind
of pulled back a little bit after that and maybe was a little bit more
aware and hesitant of how she was coming across.

And is this good politics? I can say definitively to that, yes,
because I was at the rally when she made those comments and there was a
group of Democratic woman voters in front of me, and they all looked at
each other and nodded, uh-huh, because you know what? There`s not a woman
out there, Republican or Democrat, who hasn`t in the professional world
experienced different standards for decorum, whether it`s in a meeting or
in an office setting.

And so women can kind of relate to that. At the same time, I can say
that this has been a staple of Bernie`s stump speech. I think he was a
little bit taken off-guard that she would come back and attack him on that.
He just didn`t think about adjusting it for the circumstances.

MATTHEWS: Well, Sanders` chief strategist, Tad Devine, told Politico
yesterday that the Clinton criticism of his language, his candidate`s
language, was totally out of line.

Devine said, "If they`re going to have an attacks Bernie on gun safety
and implies he engages in sexism, that`s unacceptable. We`re not going to
stand for that. We`re not going to sit here and let her attack him. We
are going to have to talk about other things if they do that."

Well, Nick, what is that? What are these other things they have been
holding in their quiver for further use?

NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, so far, it`s been
this kind of magical campaign of unicorns without real attacks from either
camp, right?

So what we`re going to see now is Bernie Sanders perhaps draw some
real contrast with Hillary Clinton on record, and, more importantly,
consistency. The magic of Bernie Sanders for his supporters is that here
is a guy who has believed the same things for a long time and his views are
finally in vogue.

He is going to attack her and say, look, on Keystone, on trade
agreements, on Wall Street, that I was there first and she was not.

MATTHEWS: Well, what is this yelling and shouting thing? First of
all, Bernie yells all the time, Nick. Let`s look at it from two guys`
point of view. And I do think there`s a real issue here, because I think
that Heidi is right, because just as a reporter, I have observed it.

But I have also observed that Hillary Clinton is going to be a genius
at what you might called political SDI, strategic defense.

CONFESSORE: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Anything that could be an attack along gender lines will be
thrown back at the opponent, to his or her unhappiness, right?

CONFESSORE: Yes, look, it was a bit of a cheap shot on her part.

MATTHEWS: I mean, Reagan was good at this, too. "There you go
again." Some of the best lines in politics are retorts.

They are pretending or acting as if you`re the one playing defense
against someone you can portray as playing offense. This often puts you in
a very popular position, as, I think Heidi is right, she`s in right now,
playing defense on this thing.

CONFESSORE: And, look, she knows and he knows that it wasn`t a remark
about gender, so it was kind of a cheap shot.

On the other hand, it`s politics. Politics is full of cheap shots.
What`s interesting is that Bernie Sanders does not seem really prepared for
that kind of a knife fight, right? His campaign all along has been about
him and his message and not about other candidates.

What we`re seeing now is, can he continue to hold that idea of being a
candidate about himself and his message if he has to also be in a knife
fight in politics?

MATTHEWS: Heidi, here`s a question for Bernie Sanders, in his 70s,
has to now adjust to a battle between the sexes, if you will, that becomes
cartoonish, perhaps.

He is going to have come out and learn how he says words he`s always
said in a way that doesn`t carry that extra angle of gender.

PRZYBYLA: That`s right, because -- and I think we see this across
issues, Chris.

I was at the DNC event in the morning, where Clinton first made her
remarks, and he spoke before her, and I was kind of struck by the fact that
he didn`t adjust his talking points, his stump speech at all. I mean, he
had a couple of issues sprinkled in there, for example, on abortion and
health care, but I think that goes across all of the issues for Bernie
Sanders.

So I think it`s just something not just for women, but for gays and
for anything pretty much that`s not -- that`s outside of his economic
populist bailiwick.

MATTHEWS: And I think women are becoming enormously influential in
the Democratic Party. I just think it is. And I think it`s..

(CROSSTALK)

PRZYBYLA: Well...

MATTHEWS: Go ahead, Heidi.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Really, in the group that show up for things.

PRZYBYLA: They are a higher percentage of the voting population,
period, full stop. Anyone who gets a higher percentage of the women`s vote
wins. We all know that, she knows that.

And might I also add that, today, this is all coinciding with a new ad
campaign that she is launching in Iowa and New Hampshire. So it`s all kind
of rolled into one bundle.

MATTHEWS: I think it`s time that politicians recognize that the
majority voter is a woman.

Thank you so much, Heidi Przybyla -- Przybyla -- and Nick Confessore.

Coming up, can`t they just get along? After bipartisan arguments
bring about an agreement on a budget, believe it or not, the complaining
has begun, even from Paul Ryan, the future king. Anyway, the HARDBALL
roundtable is next.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You know, you got a
bipartisan agreement in a town that isn`t known for a lot of
bipartisanship, you`re going to see bricks flying from those that don`t
like the fact that there`s a bipartisan agreement.

It`s a solid agreement. And I told my colleagues, there isn`t any
reason why any member should vote against it. I made it clear a month ago
when I announced that I was leaving that I wanted to do my best to clean
the barn. And I didn`t want him to walk into a dirty barn full of you know
what. So I have done my best to try to clean it up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was the outgoing Speaker John Boehner saying he cleaned up the
barn before Paul Ryan takes over as speaker in a few days. Boehner was
praising the bipartisan budget deal brokered late last night. The
agreement avoids a default on our nation`s debt and reduces the chances of
a government shutdown.

But while some view the accord as a gift to Paul Ryan, Ryan himself
was less gracious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: I haven`t even seen this agreement, so
I`m going to reserve judgment until I can actually see something on paper.

If you want to ask me what I think about this process, I think this
process stinks. Under new management, we are not going to run the House
this way. We should have been discussing this months ago as members, so we
would have a more coherent strategy. So, in the future, we need a better
process than the one that`s working if we want to do the people`s business
the right way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, here`s how John Boehner reacted to Ryan`s remarks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: This is not the way to run a railroad. Certainly, it`s not
the process I would want. Remember what the alternative was. The
alternative was a clean debt ceiling or a default on our debt. And it also
means that we got to December 11, we could be facing another government
shutdown.

And so when you look at the alternative, it starts to look a whole lot
better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, the conservative group Heritage Action called Boehner
a rogue agent.

Its president, Michael Needham, told "The New York Times," "In
Washington, cleaning the barn is apparently synonymous with shoveling
manure on the American people."

I think this metaphor has gone far enough.

Anyway, the question now is whether conservatives in Congress will
support this deal or sabotage Boehner`s final act as speaker.

I`m joined right now by the HARDBALL roundtable. Michelle Bernard is
president of the Bernard Center. Jonathan Capehart is the opinion writer
with "The Washington Post" and Liz Mair is a Republican strategist.

Jonathan, how does it look? This thing going to hold together when
they vote tomorrow?

JONATHAN CAPEHART, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, here`s the thing.

Until they vote, you will never know. We have seen time and time
again Speaker Boehner come up with -- come up with grand plans, or put
bills on the floor to go for a vote, only to have to pull them back for a
lack of support.

So, as much as I would like to be hopeful about this budget deal and
hope that it goes through, until that bill gets to the floor and they start
voting, I`m unwilling to say whether this thing will actually pass.

MATTHEWS: Liz Mair, I`m amazed at the fact that we`re talking about a
deal that looks like it`s going to be sold and delivered and packaged in
the end by Democrats, because there`s no guarantee the Republican -- vast
majority of Republican members, who are the 247 members of the 435 in the
House, are going to go along with this. It`s going to depend on Pelosi
again to hold it together.

LIZ MAIR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, that may possibly be true.

And I think that when you have a package that you put together that
hikes spending by $80 billion, that is one of the reasons why some
Democrats may get more comfortable with it than some Republicans. At the
end of the day, I think that there are a lot of Republicans who, like Ryan,
are going to be going away and taking a very close look at this, because if
you look at the comment that came from Senator Rob Portman today, his point
is that it`s not a great deal and it looks like it doesn`t deal with some
of the fundamental issues that we`re talking about when we`re talking about
continued deficit spending and a continued high national debt.

I think the only way that you get around that, there are going to be
some people who do want the debt ceiling raised without having a big fight
about it, and I think that there are some potentially significant reforms
to Social Security, Medicare, and I would say, from my perspective, most
importantly, the crop insurance program.

So I think if you have fiscal conservatives go away and look at those
things and decide that they are meritorious, that may be the thing that
drags it over the line. But, fundamentally, there are a lot of fiscal
conservatives that are looking at this and saying, hey, this thing does
spend $80 billion more. This isn`t really fiscally conservative. It`s not
really what we were sent here to do.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

You know, Michelle, it`s the same old thing to me, although with a new
twist. To get Republicans to back more spending, throw in a lot of defense
spending. Their hawkish impulses are aroused. And they say they don`t
like government spending, except on defense, on the Pentagon.

And so isn`t this the same old smarmy deal, more spending for the
right wing, more spending for the left wing, covered up by some gimmick
that you say raises revenues through so-called reform gadgetry, and in the
end, down the road, it never actually happens? You`re raising -- you`re
shaking your head, Liz, because you have been there too.

MAIR: I totally agree with you.

MATTHEWS: Is this something good or just the same old deal? Your
thoughts, Michelle?

MICHELLE BERNARD, FOUNDER, BERNARD CENTER FOR WOMEN, POLITICS AND
POLICY: Well, I think, obviously, that is clearly one way of looking at
it.

When you talk to others -- and I have talked to people who are working
late at night on the Hill on this last night, and the way that they`re
looking at it is this is really -- as a win-win for both Democrats and for
both Republicans.

Obviously, people who are big into defense, who are hawks like the
fact that there`s going to be increased spending for defense, but there`s
also going to be increased spending for lots of programs that Democrats
care about on the domestic front.

And another way to look at this, quite frankly, is it shows that
although they probably will not get a large majority of the Republicans to
vote for this, bipartisanship can happen on the Hill. This is -- this
demonstrates to the American public that if they really want to do
something, they can put their heads to do it and they can get it done and
can get it done in a bipartisan fashion.

MATTHEWS: Warning to Democratic members of Congress. If the word
Social Security shows up anywhere in this deal, beware. Beware of voting
aye on anything that changes the Social Security benefit system.

Anyway, the roundtable is sticking with me.

Up next, if it`s Tuesday, it`s time for the clown car, driven first
tonight by Mr. Donald Trump, not surprisingly.

And you`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`re back with the roundtable. Michelle, Jonathan, and
Liz.

It`s clown car Tuesday, of course, and leading off tonight is Donald
Trump. While speaking about the futility of exporting Western values to
the Middle East yesterday, Mr. Trump said it`s easier for Islamic women to
wear a veil, a burqa, because it means they don`t have to out on makeup.

Here`s the expert, Mr. Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Then I saw women
interviewed. They say, we want to wear them. We`ve worn them for a
thousand years. Why would anybody tell us not to -- they want to! What
the hell are we getting involved for?

The fact is, it`s easier. You don`t have to put on makeup. Look how
beautiful everyone looks. Wouldn`t it be easier? Right? Wouldn`t that be
easy?

I`ll tell you, if I was a woman, I wouldn`t want -- I`m ready,
darling, let`s go. True.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Michelle, you start with this baby. First of all, I`ll
give him one bit of credibility. Only in this regard, I think this is just
one of his anecdotal ways, perhaps bizarre ways of arguing, stay out of the
Middle East. I`m not one of these Republican neocon hawks who can`t wait
to overthrow another Baathist government, if there`s any left. My basic
deal is let them be them.

Your thoughts?

MICHELLE BERNARD, BERNARD CENTER FOR WOMEN: You know, I think -- you
know, I wouldn`t give him that much credit. I would say that he deserves a
little bit of credit for seemingly trying to make the argument that, you
know, maybe these women are religious or for whatever reasons, it is not
our job as Americans to put our religious values on others. And if women
feel comfortable wearing a burqa, if they feel comfortable wearing a hijab,
then we should stay out of it and allow them to do it. Basically, we
shouldn`t be going in and saying, we know what`s best for you.

Now, on the other hand, I really wish that Donald Trump would actually
go to the Middle East and speak to women who are on the forefront for
fighting for women`s human rights in these countries. And they will tell
you that they wear the burqa. But if you look under the burqa, they are
well-dressed and they wear makeup.

This is not something to wear makeup or not wear makeup. It is about
how do we get an education, how to protect ourselves from being slain or
stoned to death, because some would say, if we have done something that is
against, you know, Islam. That`s a problem.

MATTHEWS: Let`s keep reminding ourselves of the life and death aspect
here.

BERNARD: Exactly. And he made a joke of it and it`s terrible.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: And you know what, Chris? This
is sort of in keeping, you know, Donald Trump and what he has said about
women over the last six months or so. He`s been running for president.
Given what he`s said about Rosie O`Donnell, Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina,
he`s sort of old school sexist in that woman is only as good as she looks.

And so, I give, you know, Michelle great credit for finding a higher
meaning in what he`s saying about the burqa and women, but I just think it
all goes back to, what does she look like, and that determines her value
and her worth.

MATTHEWS: That`s pretty clear.

LIZ MAIR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Donald Trump does seem -- he does
rather seem to be running to become like secretary of women`s faces or
something like that. I -- personally, when I heard it, I was like, oh,
hey, there`s Donald Trump giving voice to pretty much every straight male`s
concern in life, like, I want to go some place and I`m going to have to
wait 30 minutes for her to get her act together and fix her hair and do her
makeup.

So, that probably appeals very strongly to his crowd for a reason
that`s quite apart from what it may sound like on the surface.

MATTHEWS: Next, Ben Carson, who last week said he`d use the
Department of Education to crack down on political bias in schools across
the country. Here he was with Glenn Beck.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE : I actually have something
I would use the Department of Education to do.

GLENN BECK, THE BLAZE: Would it be pack boxes for the State
Department?

(LAUGHTER)

BECK: The IRS?

CARSON: No, it would be to monitor our institutions of higher
education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.

BECK: I like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Michele Bachmann is back. Carson was asked about the
constitutionality of his proposal on "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Here`s
what he said then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: How is what you`re advocating not a
violation of the First Amendment?

CARSON: It`s not because all I`m saying is taxpayer funding should
not be used for propaganda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Let`s get this straight, Jonathan, you`re sitting at the
University of Michigan or one of our better schools, University of
Wisconsin, Chapel Hill, Berkeley, all of them, New Hampshire, all of them,
and you`re up there and you`re teaching political science, which always has
a political angle, let`s be honest. We`ve never have a political science
teacher who doesn`t have a point of view. And you see the kid down there
tweeting around the fifth row back tweeting because you`re afraid you just
said something that might be considered a point of view.

CAPEHART: Right.

MATTHEWS: What a world -- this -- we talk about Nazi references.
This might actually be appropriate. This might be an appropriate example.

CAPEHART: Well, yes, there`s that. Like, who`s going to determine
what`s propaganda and what`s not? I mean, that`s what the --

MATTHEWS: The Department of Education.

CAPEHART: Right.

MATTHEWS: With its billion members of bureaucrats. A billion
bureaucrats.

CAPEHART: So, Chris, what you`ve got is a candidate in a party that
hates big government and wants to slash big government, is talking about
using big government to clamp down on free speech. So, yes, it harkens to
Nazism.

You know, preparing for this, it made me think of slavery. You`re
going to make people slaves to something that the government may or may not
want you to believe.

MAIR: You and Ben Carson with the slavery references.

CAPEHART: Please don`t --

MATTHEWS: He stumbled in there too. We all stumble.

Finally, Michael Huckabee -- I don`t think he`s Michael -- Mike
Huckabee dipped further into the well of conspiracy theory, Benghazi
theories here on FOX on Friday, suggesting that Hillary Clinton could have
averted the Benghazi tragedy. Listen to the words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was just fascinating
that Sidney Blumenthal had a lot more communication with Hillary Clinton as
secretary of state than her ambassador to Libya. And you have to wonder,
if she had been as willing to cooperate and communicate with Chris Stevens
as she was Sidney Blumenthal, and had she been as honest with the American
people as she was with her own daughter and the Egyptian government, would
four Americans be alive today?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: You know what, guys? I am not the anti-Semitic police, but
I want to try this by all three of you. If this guy was Joe McGee or Jimmy
Brown or any kind of regular guy, or seemed to be Jewish, would we be
hearing these names thrown around? The other day, I heard Saul Alinsky
thrown in with Lenin and Marx, Saul Alinsky included.

What is it about these names that the Republicans, especially the
hicks, love to use and throw around? It`s a tricky question, but I`m
sorry, I`ve heard it from too many friends of mine who are Jewish who are
sick of this. Why Sidney Blumenthal has become this name of evil?

Your thoughts, Michelle?

BERNARD: Well, you know what, I don`t really want to --

MATTHEWS: It`s relentless.

BERNARD: I don`t really want to say what I actually, actually
believe, but, I mean, Sidney Blumenthal, we keep hearing it over and over
and over again. And when you think about the farthest, most right, most
extreme people that make up the base of the Republican Party, they are
anti-women, anti-black, anti-many things, including on some occasions,
anti-Jewish, and maybe that is why Mike Huckabee is saying what he`s
saying.

He needs something to grab attention, to get people to talk about him,
because evangelicals have spoken. Right now, their man is Ben Carson, not
Mike Huckabee.

MATTHEWS: OK. Thanks so much.

The roundtable is going to stick with us a bit more. Up next -- all
three will tell me something I don`t know.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Join me tomorrow when I`ll be live in boulder, Colorado,
for the CNBC presidential debate, one of the full coverage at 7:00 p.m. for
HARDBALL, plus, a two-hour post debate show with tonight`s best moments. I
guess you could call them that, starting at 10:00 p.m. eastern.

And we`ll be right back tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`re back.

Michelle, tell me something I don`t know.

BERNARD: So, Chris, 2011, Kelley Williams Bolar. Remember that name.
She`s an African-American woman from Akron, Ohio. She was investigated,
arrested and incarcerated in the state of Ohio for, quote/unquote,
"stealing a free public education".

Her crime: using her father`s address just a few miles away from where
she lived in order to get her daughters into safe higher achieving public
schools.

MATTHEWS: Right.

BERNARD: Ohio didn`t like it. They locked her up. They threw her in
prison.

John Kasich comes to the rescue and he pardons Kelley Williams Bolar.
There was a lot of talk about this in the state of Ohio, and it`s actually
happening in states all across the country. And we are seeing a great
black/white racial divide with many whites saying stay in your bad
neighborhoods and keep your kids out of our neighborhoods.

And people said, Kasich only pardoned her because he`s sucking up to
the African-Americans in Akron, Ohio, because at that point in time, he did
not have any African-Americans in his cabinet. But what I am told from
many African-Americans in Ohio is they like Kasich and he pardoned her
because he did the right thing.

MATTHEWS: I like Kasich.

Anyway, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: So, Chris, on my way back from New York this morning, I was
sitting in the Acela lounge waiting to board the train. A man was on the
phone talking how he was going to South Carolina this weekend, and that his
union was going to endorse Hillary Clinton. A couple hours ago, it was
announced the International Longshoreman`s Association is going to endorse
Hillary Clinton this Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina.

MATTHEWS: They`re all getting a board.

Anyway, Liz?

MAIR: My tidbit is this -- in North Carolina, PPP has done that
polling that I think you reference earlier. It shows that Jim Webb as an
independent will get 8 percent and that he pulls more from Donald Trump in
a match-up against Hillary Clinton than vice versa. The interesting
footnote there is that when they did a similar poll back in I believe it
was August, Deez Nuts were getting 9 percent as independents.

MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you. I don`t know --

MAIR: Critical information.

MATTHEWS: Some people don`t merit the vote I guess. Thank you,
Michelle Bernard. Thank you, Jonathan Capehart. And, Liz Mair, thank you.

We`ll be right back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Tomorrow, I`ll be in Boulder, Colorado, for the Republican
presidential debate. Join me for HARDBALL at 7:00 Eastern. And then,
after the debate, we`ll have two hours of reaction and hard analysis.

"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.
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