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Monday, April 26, 2010

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Alfredo Gutierrez, John Huppenthal, Susan Page, James Cameron, Mark

Halperin, Tim Kaine.

HOST:  Bordering on trouble.

Let‘s play HARDBALL.

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews in Washington.  Leading off tonight:

Border wars.  Call it battle no one wanted to fight, immigration reform. 

Democrats in swing districts worry about facing a tough vote.  Republicans

worry about facing a future without Hispanic support.  But two things, the

new Arizona law and Harry Reid‘s need to galvanize Hispanic voters in his

own reelection bid, are forcing the issue—tonight.

Plus: The “heads I win and tails you lose” battle the Democrats are

only too delighted to fight is Wall Street reform.  Either they get a bill,

or the Republicans filibuster and look like tools of Wall Street.  Senators

are gathering right now to vote on whether to bring the bill to the Senate

floor.  We‘ll bring you the results and figure out the politics later in

the show.

Also, the man behind the highest-grossing film of all time, “Avatar,”

writer/director James Cameron, is sounding an urgent call to take care of

this planet, and he‘ll be here tonight.

And if Democrats are going to avoid huge losses in the fall, they‘re

going to have to mobilize those surge voters who put Barack Obama in the

White House, the kind of people who generally stay home for mid-term

elections, young, minorities, and first-time voters.  The effort to capture

the magic starts today.

And I‘ll finish tonight with some thoughts on how views of the United

States around the world, which have improved so much, are very important to

what we can get done.

Let‘s start with the fight for immigration reform.  Democrat Alfredo

Gutierrez is the former Arizona state senator—leader, actually, and he‘s

the Republican state senator John Huppenthal is also with us.  He co-

sponsored the bill that everybody‘s fighting about right now.

I want to bring up Senator Gutierrez...


MATTHEWS:  ... right off the bat.  And the question I have for Senator

Gutierrez is—the people who put this law into effect, which is causing

so much alarm, argue that they had to do it because the federal government

the feds, as we call them—refuse to enforce any kind of border

control, refuse to enforce immigration law, so somebody at the state level

on the border, like Arizona, had to do it.  Your response?


has absolutely nothing to do with the border.  It has nothing to do with

border walls, border security, border enforcement.  This bill simply is

about racial profiling.  It is about focusing on Hispanics in the state of

Arizona.  It‘s a civil libertarian‘s nightmare, and it balkanizes—

literally balkanizes immigration policy in the United States.

So their arguments are false at best.  They are full of deception. 

But they don‘t focus on the issue that we have, frankly, before us.  We all

support immigration reform.  We support border enforcement.  We recognize

that we have to get control of the borders.  We‘re not blind.  We realize

what‘s going on in Mexico.  But that was exploited—particularly the

murder of a rancher...


GUTIERREZ:  ... exploited by the proponents.

MATTHEWS:  There‘s a half million people in the state of Arizona who

are there illegally, in this country illegally.  You deny the connection

between that and the immigration issue?

GUTIERREZ:  No, not at all.  Look, one third of Arizona is Hispanic. 

There‘s 30 million of us in this country.  Most of us are U.S. citizens. 

Most of us are residents.  This bill puts us all in jeopardy...


GUTIERREZ:  ... and that‘s the issue.  It‘s a deceptive piece of


MATTHEWS:  OK.  Let me go to Senator Huppenthal.  Your thoughts, sir? 

The question that comes about, which has been raised by your colleague

there, is that once you have a law like this in effect, in effect, the

police will be likely to suspect of illegal immigration in that part of the

country people who are darker skinned, who have Latin American accents, if

you will, Mexican or Colombian accents, and those are the people that they

will be going after.  They won‘t be going after Heidi Klum or somebody from

Europe who came here illegally.  They‘ll be going after people from a

particular part of our continent, isn‘t that right?  And therefore, for a

particular profile.

HUPPENTHAL:  Well, low-income Hispanics have been overwhelmingly the

victims of crime associated with illegal immigration, crime and violence. 

And it‘s been like a tidal wave here in Arizona.  Since we‘ve started

getting illegal immigration under control, we‘ve seen the murder rate in

Phoenix drop from 250 down to 125.  That effort right there, low-income

Hispanics have been the huge beneficiary of that, not just murder but also

automobile theft, rape, crime of all sorts was visited upon low-income

Hispanic by illegal immigrants into this country.

We‘re getting that under control.  This is a part of it, making sure

that our local police officers have the power, if they so desire, to

enforce all laws, not just the laws that they‘re talking about, about

crime, but also the federal law that makes it a crime to be in this country


MATTHEWS:  Are they going to be able to throw people out of the

country, local police?

HUPPENTHAL:  The—the—right here, they‘re going to be able to get

under control, help them get under control the crime and violence

associated with illegal immigration.  I just mentioned we had 250 murders

in Phoenix in 2006.  Since we‘ve begun to work to get this situation under

control, that‘s dropped to 125.  Low-income Hispanics have been

overwhelmingly the beneficiaries...


HUPPENTHAL:  ... of that effort.  This is another step...

MATTHEWS:  Help me out here.  How does...

HUPPENTHAL:  ... in that effort.

MATTHEWS:  How does giving a police officer the right to pick up

somebody they think is here illegally reduce crime?  How does that work?

HUPPENTHAL:  Well, what we‘ve seen, and to an extent that‘s not been

acknowledged by the people doing research in this area—we‘ve seen a huge

association between violent crime and all manners of crime with illegal

immigration.  I have mentioned before, we had 250 murders in the city of


MATTHEWS:  Yes, you said that.  But how does that...

HUPPENTHAL:  ... in 2006.

MATTHEWS:  Tell me how it works?

HUPPENTHAL:  That‘s now down to 125.

MATTHEWS:  How does—how does stopping a person because you think

they‘re here illegally stop crime?  How does it work?

HUPPENTHAL:  Well, I‘ll repeat it again.  As we...

MATTHEWS:  Well, you‘re repeating it, but you‘re not helping me.  I

don‘t see how you stop a guy from murdering somebody or stop a guy from

robbing a house or robbing somebody on the street by throwing people out of

the country here illegally.  Is there—explain the mechanics to how that

works.  You pick up people.  Are you intimidating people, is that what

you‘re doing?

HUPPENTHAL:  You arrest somebody for a burglary, and you do an

immigration check.  You find out they‘re here illegal.  You do.  You start

the deportation process.  You get that going.


HUPPENTHAL:  So it‘s the association between crime and illegal

immigration.  That is the nexus.  That‘s what we‘re trying to tackle with

this.  And what we had is we had law enforcement officers who in the past,

they had seen law enforcement officers who had been falsely accused of

racial profiling...


HUPPENTHAL:  ... have their careers destroyed.  And what we want to do

is make it clear that you, as a police officer, you have all of the tools. 

When you arrest someone for burglary...


HUPPENTHAL:  ... and when you arrest someone for rape, when you arrest

somebody for some other crime, often committed against low-income

Hispanics, you have more tools at your disposal now.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Let me ask Senator Gutierrez, do you believe that what

you just heard was racist, or was it simply about self-protection and a

security concern?  Do you believe that he‘s really talking about too—is

he really talking about too many Mexican-Americans, or is he saying, I got

a real crime problem?  What do you hear when he talks?

GUTIERREZ:  It‘s scandalous nonsense, is what it is, talking about

murder and rape and the undocumented in one phrase.  It‘s scandalous

nonsense.  The fact of the matter is, the federal government has for years,

not just recently, indicated that those states and those cities with higher

immigration have lower crime rates.

Let me repeat that for Senator Huppenthal because, apparently, he

can‘t hear that fact.  The fact of the matter is—the fact of the matter

is, this bill is about intimidation and harassment.  Now, what is the

public purpose of stopping someone and asking everyone in the car for their

papers when they‘re on the way to the synagogue, they‘re on the way to

church, they‘re on the way to their Mormon state?


GUTIERREZ:  Is there a public good served by that?

MATTHEWS:  OK, let me answer the question.  What‘s the advantage in

stopping a car—let‘s stick on the same conversation here.  If a police

officer suspects a car with people in it are here illegally, can he stop

them under this new law?  Can he do it?  Can he say, I don‘t like the looks

of this car?  They look like they‘re illegal.  Can he stop the car and say,

Let‘s see your papers?  Can he do that?

HUPPENTHAL:  The—you know, the racial profiling was illegal before

this bill.  It‘s illegal after it.  The bill itself makes it illegal.  But

the good senator, former senator, is—he‘s come to the nexus of the

question, the association of violence and crime with illegal immigration.

What we have said here in Arizona is that association is obvious. 

It‘s pervasive.  And other people, the federal government, have denied it. 

But you—there‘s no other theory that can explain the dramatic change in

Arizona from 250 murders to 125 as we have gotten our illegal immigration

problem under control.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  OK.  I want to get back to this—can a police

officer—sir, you‘re the lawmaker down there.  You passed the law.  Under

the law you passed and was signed by the governor this week, can a police

officer who spots a car with five or six people in it, who he thinks

because of instinct, experience, whatever, evidence, whatever you use—

can he stop that car and say, I think these people are here illegally, I‘m

going to stop and check them?  Can he under the law do that, without any

crime involved?  Can he do that?

HUPPENTHAL:  No, he cannot.  That would be—that would just simply

be racial profiling, and that would not be permitted under the law.  Now,

if he stopped them for speeding or something like that, he can inquire of

the driver at that point if they were an illegal immigrant.  But you‘re not

going to find that kind of activity.  That kind of kind of activity is not

going to be—that‘s not going to be a part of training.  What is going to

be a part of training, I arrest somebody for burglary, I arrest them for

DUI, I arrest them after they‘ve maimed somebody...


HUPPENTHAL:  ... in a DUI, then we‘re going to—then that is the

focus here, violence and crime and illegal immigration...

MATTHEWS:  Well, what‘s wrong with that...

HUPPENTHAL:  ... getting that under control.

MATTHEWS:  ... Senator Gutierrez?

GUTIERREZ:  It‘s not true!

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s stay on the same sentence here.  What‘s wrong with

once a guy...

GUTIERREZ:  What‘s wrong with that is...

MATTHEWS:  If you arrest a guy for—I mean, if you stop a guy for

breaking a law, and in the process of doing your law enforcement, you check

and see if they‘re in the country illegally, why is that offensive?

GUTIERREZ:  That‘s the current law, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  Once the person‘s broken...

GUTIERREZ:  That‘s the current law.  Obviously, the senator hasn‘t

read his own bill.  What this bill does is, it says that any police officer

can stop anyone who appears to them to be reasonably suspicious of being an

undocumented person.  And I‘m going tell you something, if you and I are

walking down the street, you‘re not going to be the subject...


GUTIERREZ:  ... of reasonable suspicion.  He is simply wrong about his

own bill.  I suggest he read it.

MATTHEWS:  Well, we‘re going to get the facts on this.

HUPPENTHAL:  I don‘t—no—the—I don‘t—that‘s—I don‘t

believe that‘s—that‘s correct.  I‘ve read through the bill carefully. 

And what it says is that racial profiling was illegal before this bill.


HUPPENTHAL:  The bill doubles up on that.

MATTHEWS:  Gentlemen, we‘re going to keep working on this bill until

we get the truth.  Thank you very much, Senator Gutierrez and Senator


GUTIERREZ:  Thank you.

MATTHEWS:  Thank you, gentlemen.  I think we gave you equal time.

Coming up: Republicans and Democrats are voting right now whether to

start debate, whether to start -- (INAUDIBLE) get 60 votes, that‘s how it‘s

done—on Wall Street reform.  Will the Republicans succeed in


But first, during the commercials: Is Congress seeking to deny itself

a raise?  We‘ll tell you in a minute.

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Congress has begun its annual debate over whether to give

itself a raise.  On Thursday, the Senate passed a bill to stop the 2011 pay

raise, and now House members are already lining up behind a nearly

identical bill to freeze members‘ pay this year.  Usually, members get a

raise about 2 to 3 percent.  In the House—if the House passes a bill,

lawmakers will face the third consecutive year with the same salary. 

Members now get a salary in both houses of $174,000 a year.  We‘ll be right



MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  The Senate‘s voting tonight on

whether to move forward on the Wall Street reform bill.  Is it a win-win

for President Obama and the Democrats, no matter what happens?

“Washington Post” columnist Eugene Robinson‘s an MSNBC political

analyst, and Susan Page is the Washington bureau chief for “USA Today.”

Gene, I read your column, and it seems to me that you‘re right, that

they—the Democrats just—if this takes a year, if this takes a month,

the longer they—I think it was Machiavelli who said, If you‘re going to

inflict pleasure, do it slowly...


MATTHEWS:  ... pain, do it quickly.  This is pleasurable for


ROBINSON:  Right.  Oh, absolutely.  The longer they can portray as

Republicans as—portray Republicans as being on the side of Wall Street,

on the side of all these...

MATTHEWS:  But aren‘t they?

ROBINSON:  ... on the side—well...

MATTHEWS:  It‘s not a false portrayal, is it?  Well, let me go to

Susan.  Is that a false portrait...


MATTHEWS:  ... that the Republicans are more pro-business, that

they‘re looking out for these guys?

PAGE:  Yes, they would say that.  I mean, they wouldn‘t say the words

“Wall Street,” which have become like four-letter words, right?  The Gallup

poll last week, when the included the word “Wall Street” and “regulation,”

it got higher support than if you just called them big...

MATTHEWS:  If we whack Wall Street.

PAGE:  ... financial institutions.  If you just used the word “Wall

Street,” it made people more supportive of this legislation in the Gallup


MATTHEWS:  Well, because the income levels that we‘re reading about in

the papers, your papers, a billion dollars a year not just to do nothing

but making billions of dollars a year by betting against somebody else

doing anything—you‘re betting on failure.

ROBINSON:  Betting on failure.  I think people understand that.  I

think people understand, too, that all this betting—people ask the

question, Well, how is this helping the economy?  How does this...


ROBINSON:  ... channel capital in the most efficient way...


ROBINSON:  ... and the economy the way...

MATTHEWS:  Haven‘t you noticed...

ROBINSON:  ... textbooks told us...

MATTHEWS:  Haven‘t you noticed...

ROBINSON:  ... was supposed to happen.

MATTHEWS:  ... that people who big build things, like Donald Trump

even, big developers, or Steven Spielberg, who makes movies, at least—

people like those people.  But people that make money, like Joe Kennedy in

the old days, remember, that didn‘t—they made their money without really

making anything.

PAGE:  Or these people...

MATTHEWS:  ... are never the most popular guys.

PAGE:  People at Goldman Sachs cheering because they made a killing

when the housing market collapsed.

MATTHEWS:  Cheering.

PAGE:  You know, you know how many people got hurt by the housing

market.  There‘s nothing illegal about betting that the housing market‘s

going to go down, but it doesn‘t leave with you a warm political feeling.

ROBINSON:  No.  No.  Doesn‘t.

MATTHEWS:  Yes, more people own houses than own these securities. 

Let‘s take a look.  The New York—the new “Washington Post”/ABC News poll

finds the country supports stricter regulations by 2 to 1.  This is where

people want big government, if you will -- 66 to 31, they want government

on their side against the money boys.

The poll also finds that the country trusts President Obama more than

it trusts Republicans.  Here he is on that unusual high ground, 52-35,

Susan.  He would—if I were him, I‘d dance up there.  I‘d stand on the

high ground.


MATTHEWS:  I‘d never—I wouldn‘t go to immigration.  I wouldn‘t go

to energy.  I‘d stay right on this front.

PAGE:  And look at the difference with the health care bill, which

never got majority support, even though they managed to pass it.  Here‘s a

bill that the White House is very happy, as you said, to go on and on and

on debating on the Hill.

MATTHEWS:  Well, what is it about the two parties that they are fairly

predictable, Gene?  I mean, you write your column.  I read it twice...


MATTHEWS:  ... a week now.  And I have to tell you—even before you

got your Pulitzer Prize, I read it—this idea that the party—it‘s sort

of like people don‘t change.  The Democrats aren‘t so great on some issues. 

I mean, they have to defend things like card check that nobody believes in. 

They got to defend sometimes illegal immigration.  They have to do things

that they don‘t like to do—politically, they do.

But it seems like on this issue, the Republicans are almost cornered. 

Why is...

ROBINSON:  Parties...

MATTHEWS:  Why is Shelby, Richard Shelby, sticking to his guns on

this?  Why is Corker sticking to his guns?  Why are all these members of

Congress from middle-of-the-road states like Indiana defending Wall Street?

PAGE:  Parties have DNA, and it‘s—the DNA strands are made of

history, of special interest support, of campaign contributions.

MATTHEWS:  Well...

ROBINSON:  And of course, Wall Street gives to both sides, but—but

MATTHEWS:  But I used an infelicitous reference on Friday to explain

the fact that they both benefit from taking money from Wall Street, the

mother‘s milk of politics, all that money.  They both take money from Wall

Street.  Why do the Republicans deliver?


ROBINSON:  Well, you know, and the thing is, Wall Street knows that. 

Wall Street knows that the Republicans will basically deliver and the

Democrats basically won‘t.  But they‘ve got to hedge their bets.  They

hedged their bets on the housing market, they got to hedge their bets on

politics, too.

MATTHEWS:  Did you see the numbers these guys are collecting on the

Hill?  I watching it over the weekend with David Gregory.  Amazing amount

of money going into the hands of the political parties...

PAGE:  Well, because, of course...

MATTHEWS:  ... including the ranking members on Banking...


MATTHEWS:  ... like Dodd and Shelby.  They‘re all taking the money in,

and their only defense is what?  A Democrat says, Well, of course, I‘m for

public funding.  That‘s the old dodge, but...

PAGE:  Well, they go to these institutions for money because that‘s

where the money is, right?  That‘s where you can get a lot of money.  But

you know, Republicans can make the argument that—and do make the

argument that they—their approach is more—is better for the free

market economy than...


PAGE:  ... the increased regulations...

MATTHEWS:  OK.  OK.  Here‘s the smoking gun.  And I‘m trying to figure

this out. 

These are the—the documents which have leaked from Goldman Sachs. 

Here‘s one internal Goldman Sachs e-mail.  It came out of CEO Lloyd

Blankfein—he‘s new head of Goldman—wrote—quote—“Of course, we

didn‘t dodge the mortgage mess.  We lost money, then made more than we lost

because of shorts,” short selling.”

Here‘s another e-mail by a bond trader named Fabrice Tourre.


MATTHEWS:  I love this guy.

He wrote—quote—“Anyway, not feeling too guilty about this.  The

real purpose of my job is to make capital markets more efficient and

ultimately provide the U.S. consumer with more efficient ways to leverage

and finance himself.  So, there is a humble, noble and ethical reason for

my job.  Amazing how good I am at convincing myself.”

Complete cynic.


Now, he refers...

MATTHEWS:  But he‘s laughing.

ROBINSON:  ... to himself in other e-mails as Fabulous Fab, OK?



ROBINSON:  So, there‘s not a whole lot of humility.

MATTHEWS:  Well, this guy is now famous, or infamous, as being the guy

who concocted—I have to be careful with what law is here—somebody

concocted the idea you can make a billion dollars by getting people to

invest a billion dollars in a bad deal. 

PAGE:  Right, that you could bundle some subprime mortgages, sell them

to investors, but then bet against that loan, so that you make money either

way, yes.

MATTHEWS:  Do you realize that the I.Q. that has gone into those guys

to think up these scams or schemes or plans, had it gone into like solving


ROBINSON:  Well, it used to when finance was a much smaller percentage

of our GDP. 


MATTHEWS:  Isn‘t that in your column today that said it was once 16

percent of the American economy, finance, and now 40 percent of the profits

made in the American economy are in finance, in other words, money made on

money, not money made on things or production or services. 


MATTHEWS:  Susan, isn‘t that a problem?  Kids today say, where should

I go to make money coming out of business school?  They go, well, let‘s see

where the money is.  It‘s not in steel.  It‘s not in coal.  It‘s in money. 


PAGE:  Yes.  And it‘s—he called it noble.  It‘s not really what

Americans, I think, think of as noble. 

As you say, building a hospital, endowing a university...


ROBINSON:  What no one is talking about, with the possible exception

of Paul Volcker, who I think gets this, is really scaling this back to

where finance was. 



MATTHEWS:  Either party is willing—neither party is willing to let

a big company go down, because the economy would collapse, probably.

But here‘s the question.  Does Barack Obama intend to fight this

slowly or quickly?  Would he rather have a summer of war with the

Republicans on this issue or a quick win in the next two weeks?  What would

he rather have?

ROBINSON:  Oh, I think he would rather fight this for a while. 

MATTHEWS:  All summer.


PAGE:  I disagree.  Quick win.  He‘s got a supreme Court nomination

coming up.  They want to do an energy bill.  Maybe Harry Reid wants to do

an immigration bill. 


MATTHEWS:  So, take it while you can?  So, take it while you can? 

PAGE:  They don‘t mind a couple days of debate, but I think a quick

victory and then go onto some other things he wants to do. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  That‘s what like, a good dispute here.


MATTHEWS:  Thank you, Eugene Robinson.  Thank you, Susan Page. 

Up next:  Guess whose new memoir is coming out soon entitled “Decision

Points”?  That‘s in the “Sideshow.”  It was written by a man known as the

decider.  I think you can figure out who it is. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  

The question is, who actually wrote it?


MATTHEWS:  Back to HARDBALL.  Now for the “Sideshow.” 

Extra, extra, read.  Regular watchers of this show know that I love

newspapers, the big broadsheets that you page through with a morning

appetite over a bowl of Cheerios and a big black cup of French roast.

That‘s why I‘m happy to see “The Wall Street Journal” launch today an

additional section for papers sold in the New York City area, a metro

section dedicated to covering local news, politics and sports. 

It‘s the first time “The Journal,” the number-one paper in circulation

nationally, has rolled out a local edition.  Owner Rupert Murdoch means for

it to challenge “The New York Times” for readership and city reporting.  I

say more the national media organizations devoted resources to covering

local issues, the better. 

Now let‘s get the trend going in other cities other than New York, and

let‘s hope—this is big-time—that the editorial pages of “The Wall

Street Journal” stay exactly where they are, apart from the news.  I‘m

getting to like the Saturday “Journal,” not just because of Peggy Noonan,

but also the cultural stuff.  Let‘s keep that part of the paper clear of

the porcine attitudes that run rampant on the editorial pages. 

Next: the decider on the record.  We just got our first look at

President Bush‘s memoirs.  “Decision Points,” that‘s the name, a book his

publisher says will center around 14 key decisions that Bush made over his


His publisher also says that, since leaving office, the former—

quote—“has spent almost every day”—close quote—“writing the book.” 

Whoa.  Writing?  Actually putting words down?  Writing paragraphs? 

Organizing chapters?  OK, I know he‘s the decider, but let‘s not overdo

this claim.  Let‘s just say he approved the book.  It comes out this

November 9.  We invite the president to come on HARDBALL and flog the hell

out of it. 

Finally, a primer on what not to say if you‘re running for office. 

This comes from Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer during South Carolina‘s

first Republican gubernatorial debate.  So, who does Bauer blame for

illegal immigration issues?  What he calls the flat-out lazy people of his

own state of South Carolina.  Let‘s watch. 


LT. GOV. ANDRE BAUER (D), SOUTH CAROLINA:  South Carolina passed one

of the toughest immigration laws in the United States.  However, we aren‘t

addressing the real problem. 

The real problem is, is the work force.  And if you don‘t have a work

force, people that are peach farmers, people that are in the hotel

business, people that are in the construction business, they Gates go

somewhere to find people to find someone to fill those jobs. 

Why do we have so many vacancies?  The problem is, we have a giveaway

system in this country and in this state that is strong that people would

rather sit home and do nothing than do these jobs.  There are a lot of

people that are flat-out lazy, and they‘re using up the goods and services

we have in this state. 


MATTHEWS:  Wow.  Interesting analysis.  Let‘s see how it plays on the

home front. 

Now for tonight‘s sports-meet-politics “Big Number.”

You can see President Obama there welcoming the 2009 world champion

New York Yankees to the White House this afternoon.  It‘s actually the

first time the Yankees have won the title since 2000, when President

Clinton was in office. 

But catch this little sugarplum.  How many times straight now has a

Democrat been in the White House when Yankees have won the series?  Nine

times in a row.  Is there a connection here?  Perhaps.  We have had a

Democratic president the last nine times the Yankees of New York have won

the World Series—tonight‘s food for thought “Big Number.” 

Up next:  “Avatar” director James Cameron will be here, right here at

this desk, to tell us how to better take care of our planet and fight the

fight for energy. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  



“Market Wrap.”

Stocks ending mostly lower, despite some solid corporate earnings and

an upbeat report on the jobs front, the Dow Jones industrials squeezing out

fractional gain, the S&P 500 sliding five points, and the Nasdaq falling

seven points.

A new survey of business owners shows 37 percent plan to hire new

workers this year.  That‘s up from 29 percent in January. 

In earnings news, Caterpillar leading the Dow today after beating

expectations and raising its full-year profit outlook by 75 cents a share.

And Whirlpool appliance shares surging nearly 10 percent after topping

forecasts and raising its outlook as well. 

The financials and health care stocks turning negative today. 

Citigroup slid more than 5 percent after the government said it‘s selling

1.5 billion shares of the bailed-out bank.

And Humana, WellPoint, and UnitedHealth all losing between 2 percent

and 4 percent on worries new Medicare restrictions could lead to cuts in


That‘s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide—now back to


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

Chances are, if you have been to a movie in the past 20 years, it was

the work of James Cameron, just to name a few, “The Terminator,” “The

Abyss,” “True Lies,” “Titanic,” and now “Avatar.”  “Avatar” is now the

highest grossing movie of all time, earning more than $2.7 billion

worldwide.  And it‘s now out on DVD and Blu-ray, where it has also just

come out and also broken all the world‘s records. 

James Cameron is concerned about protecting the environment, which is

such a big part of that movie, as evidenced in that film, and it‘s also

echoes in his life.  Yesterday, he spoke at the Earth Day rally here in

Washington on the National Mall. 

And I managed to catch up with him and hook him for the show. 

James Cameron...

JAMES CAMERON, “AVATAR” DIRECTOR:  Reporting for duty, sir. 

MATTHEWS:  ... you know—no, no, I think what struck me about

“Avatar,” which everybody who is watching has probably saw, was that there

is a stake.  At some point, the piggishness on this planet, the use of our

resources just gets to the point where you have got to go out and get

something else and go out and colonize some other world. 


MATTHEWS:  Now, maybe it‘s imagined in your movie...


MATTHEWS:  ... but your feelings about that—that reality?

CAMERON:  Well, it‘s a fantasy.  I mean, the film is a fantasy.  But

it‘s about a very real reality, which is our relationship with nature and

how we have this kind of attitude of entitlement, that we can take what we


Historically, in the colonial period, in North and South America, we

took what we needed, or we took Australia, or we took what we needed from

Africa, speaking, again, kind of as the way the European community just

kind of spread out. 


CAMERON:  And we have never really backed off that model.  We take the

resources we needed—need.  We take everything, and we don‘t give enough


And we‘re crossing over a threshold where the earth is not going to be

able to sustain us. 

MATTHEWS:  Why do you think business fights concerns about climate,

about energy depletion, about the need to find renewables?  Why do they

fight it, these people from the oil patch, from Oklahoma especially,

constantly carping and denying...


MATTHEWS:  ... people like Glenn Beck...


MATTHEWS:  ... making a living by—by not telling the truth?

CAMERON:  If you make your living in oil, and the answer is a

different answer, a different solution—and renewable energy, like wind

or solar or something like that—you are going to deny that answer

exists, or, more probably, you‘re going to deny that the problem exists.

And that‘s what these kind of professional deniers and skeptics are

doing.  They are swaying the public dialogue away from this major crisis

that‘s looming. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, the first person I ever heard who I think has an

I.Q., like Glenn Beck—and he‘s obviously smart enough—I heard him on

radio a couple of years just denying that there‘s climate...


MATTHEWS:  What do you make of that, just saying it‘s not true?

CAMERON:  Well, look, I think that people are—well, people are just

in denial in general.  The public are in denial.  And it‘s getting worse. 

And a recession economy makes that denial worse.  Two years ago,

according to polls, 50 percent of people believed in climate change and it

being caused by human activity.  Now we‘re down to 34 percent.  So, we have

gone from half to a third.  We‘re going the wrong direction. 


CAMERON:  We should be raising awareness and consciousness on this and

really, you know, believing that there‘s a clear and present danger to our

nation, to our children.


CAMERON:  And we‘re moving the wrong direction. 

MATTHEWS:  What do you make of the decision a couple days ago to just

dump—just dump it, just shelve it, by people like the Democratic

leadership of the Senate?  We were going towards an energy—combination

energy, combination climate change bill.  Just say, oh, we will put it

aside; we‘re going to do something else, immigration?

CAMERON:  You know, there‘s always going to be something.  It‘s going

to be health care.  It‘s going to be immigration.  It‘s going to be

financial reform.  There‘s always going to be something right in front of

us that‘s more important. 

But, in reality, if we don‘t solve this problem, all of that stuff

isn‘t going to make any difference.  Health care is not going to help us in

a fundamentally unhealthy planet.  Financial reform is not going to help us

in a planet where we can‘t afford to live in a healthy way, or even in a

non-chaotic way. 

MATTHEWS:  I have got to get to something that‘s fascinating.  I read

that Stephen Hawking, obviously one of the smartest people in history, he

was talking about alien life...


MATTHEWS:  ... meaning not aliens like we‘re fighting about with

border fights here in America...


CAMERON:  Right.  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  ... but about real aliens over from another planet—quote

“We have only—we only have to look at ourselves to see how

intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn‘t want to meet.  I

imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources

from their own planet.  If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would

be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn‘t

turn out very well for the Native Americans.”


What do you make of that horrific notion that—that aliens coming

here, if we ever meet them there, will be like the ones in your movie,

avaricious and frightening?

CAMERON:  Well, I didn‘t know Stephen Hawking did—did science

fiction, but I think he‘s right on the money. 

The history of the human race has been that any technologically

superior nation, when it met a technologically inferior, kind of guns

against bows and arrows, they always took over.  They took what they

needed.  They—it was either genocide or the population was displaced or

was assimilated in some kind of paternalistic manner. 


CAMERON:  They were converted to Christianity, or whatever it was. 

And this has been our history. 

So, why would we expect aliens to be any different? 

MATTHEWS:  Well, he puts us with the bow and arrows and the aliens

with the machine guns.

CAMERON:  That‘s right.  That‘s right. 


CAMERON:  Exactly. 

MATTHEWS:  But you in your movie, in “Avatar,” at least put us on the

side of the advanced weaponry, but we end up losing the war anyway. 

CAMERON:  We were the bad aliens in “Avatar.” 

I was turning it around.  You have seen all these movies where the

super-advanced aliens come to Earth and they try to be like us and...


CAMERON:  ... they can take over. 

MATTHEWS:  The Orson Welles guys, yes.

CAMERON:  Yes.  Well, “Avatar” was just that story turned around.  Our

main character is trying to blend in and be one of the aliens on their

planet.  So, it‘s same story...


MATTHEWS:  So, putting it all together—you have to go—putting it

all together, the idea that this country is leading the world in depletion

of resources of the world—we use more—we are the most porcine of any

people on the planet.  We use up more gas, more everything compared to our


If the world keeps going in this direction, heating up the planet,

using up our resources, are we going to end up on those spaceships? 


It‘s not just us.  It‘s China.  It‘s India.  It‘s the places where the

middle class is exploding.  Everybody is sucking up more power, populations

continuing to grow.  You know, we‘re going to have to do something about

it.  The planet just can‘t sustain...


MATTHEWS:  Do you have your faith—do you have faith in any—I

want to let you leave on this.  Do you have faith in any political leader

who will take the noise and the heat and perhaps the political defeat that

will come from a person who really stands up and defends this planet? 

CAMERON:  Lisa Jackson at the EPA is standing up.  You know, she‘s

using the Clean Air Act to actually go after polluters. 

But the reality is that the leadership in the House and the Senate

doesn‘t have a strong public mandate right now because the public isn‘t

aware enough of the problem.  They have to start critically thinking,

denying the deniers, doing their own research, not going with the rhetoric,

not going with the talk radio, actually learning issues, and believing what

the science community is trying to warn us about.  Then there will be a

public mandate for our leaders to do something.

You know on the Hill, they don‘t do anything unless we tell them. 

MATTHEWS:  I know.  I‘m worried about the media, though, because now

we have a right wing media available that if you feel like—if you‘re a

business guy, for example, or a business woman, and you want to have a good

excuse, a good dodge not to do anything, you listen to someone on the right

like Beck, who comes in saying you don‘t have to do anything; these guys

are a bunch of tree huggers.  Forget about it.

What do you think of Beck‘s power in that direction to give people a

big excuse slip not to do anything? 

CAMERON:  Guys like Beck and the others—

MATTHEWS:  Are they dangerous?

CAMERON:  I think they‘re very dangerous to this country.  I think

that some day they‘re going to have to answer to my children and to your

children and their children for the world that they‘re helping to create

right now. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you very much, James Cameron.  Congratulations. 

I‘ve never seen anything like this in the movies.  I‘ve never seen anything

like it.  You are winning all the awards and you‘re getting everything. 

Thank you for coming on, the maker of “Avatar,” which has broken all the

records again on DVD. 

Up next, President Obama is trying the troops ahead of the 2010

midterms.  We‘re talking the political troops, the young people.  Can he

stir up some excitement? 

But first, during the commercials, we may be closer now to the truth

about former presidential candidate John Edwards and his relationship with

his mistress—isn‘t that the right word—Rielle Hunter.  That‘s in one

minute.  This is HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Former presidential candidate John Edwards has a date with

destiny.  He will testify under oath on May 13th about his relationship

with mistress Rielle Hunter, facing questions about whether he spent

federal campaign funds to hide that relationship.  A federal grand jury has

reportedly been looking into Edwards‘ campaign spending habits for some

time now, though the former North Carolina senator has denied any

inappropriately.  HARDBALL will be right back.




of you to make sure that the young people, African-americans, Latinos and

women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again.  If you

help us make sure that first-time voters in 2008 make their voices heard

again in November, then together we will deliver on the promise of change

and hope and prosperity for generations to come. 


MATTHEWS:  We‘re back.  This is going to be exciting.  That was

President Obama in a web video message for the Democrat National Committee

that they hope will rally supporters to bring in 50 million dollars in the

plan they‘re going to spend to get out the vote in November.  How are they

going to do it, spend 50 million to get the young people to vote? 

Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is chairman of the Democratic

National Committee and “Time Magazine‘s” Mark Halperin is co-author of the

best-selling book “Game Change.”  His latest column is about President

Obama and the 2010 election.

Gentlemen, thank you for joining us.  Governor, it‘s very important to

have you.  I want you to respond to this statement made by Rush Limbaugh

today.  It‘s—what Rush was doing was responding to what we just saw,

President Obama calling for the young people, minorities and women

especially, to get out and vote this year.  Here‘s Rush.  Let‘s listen. 


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: We have to reconnect young

people, African-Americans, Latinos, women for 2010, in a video put out by

the DNC over the weekend.  This is the regime at its racist best.  What‘s

the regime doing?  Asking blacks and Latinos to join him in a fight.  What

is a campaign if not a fight? 

He‘s asking young people, African-americans, Latinos and women to

reconnect.  To fight who?  Who‘s this fight against? 


MATTHEWS:  There you have it.  The tribalism has been encouraged there

by Rush.  And what do you make of it, governor?  He says the president is a

racist for asking young people and minorities to vote.

TIM KAINE, DNC CHAIR:  I think, first, he didn‘t listen to the video. 

I don‘t think anybody takes Rush Limbaugh seriously on stuff like this. 

The guy is an entertainer.  He‘s trying to get a headline. 

MATTHEWS:  Keep dreaming, governor.  He‘s the leader of the Republican

party.  He‘s your opposite number.  You ought to get used to it.  I hate to

be disrespectful.  But if you guys in the Democratic party think Rush

Limbaugh isn‘t calling the shots, you are deaf and blind.  Just go on. 

KAINE:  Leader/entertainer.  You have to at least give him both.  That

kind of comment about the president is not to be taken seriously.  What the

president said in the video is our plan in the midterm.  We have to

energize voters across the spectrum.  But we‘re focused heavily on the

first-time voters from 2008.  And we just know who they are.  There was

about 15 million people that registered—and we were part of registering

them—for the first time in 2008.  And it‘s an electorate in that group

of 15 million that are heavily young, heavily new Americans and minority

voters and women.  That‘s just who they are. 

This is a group that would normally participate pretty heavily in a

presidential year, but then the turnout would fall off in a non-

presidential year.  So our goal is to make sure that their participation in

the midterm election does not fall off so dramatically and, instead, stays

high in support of candidates who are supporting the president‘s agenda. 

MATTHEWS:  Mark, you are an expert on this.  Can this happen?  Can

they win at this cause of getting people who normally—you know how hard

it is.  I don‘t know if you have young kids.  But it‘s hard to get young

people to focus on a presidential campaign, normally.  This last time was

an exception.  This coming November won‘t be an exception.  How do you get

young people to vote? 

MARK HALPERIN, “TIME MAGAZINE”:  Chris, this plan, as it is designed,

and as they plan to execute it, including deploying the president, is no

crazier than the motion that you can bring tens of thousands of new voters

out to the Iowa caucuses in 2008.  A lot of people were skeptical of that. 

I think you have to give this operation at least some benefit of the doubt

that they now how to energize these people, even in an off year, employing,

most importantly, the president.  He has a personal connection. 

MATTHEWS:  You believe he can replicate what happened in 2008? 

HALPERIN:  I‘ m just m not instantly skeptical of it, because these

are smart people.  They understand how to target.  And that intimate

communication that they do through the web video we saw today—there will

be e-mails from the president, I‘m sure.  There will be voice mail

messages.  They know how to use this group‘s connection to the president. 

They don‘t care much about politics.  I think they let them rest

somewhat in the intervening months.  But they starting before Labor Day to

begin that conversation.  Again, it‘s up hill.  But they did it once

before, and they‘re using the same techniques, and, again, that same

centerpiece of Barack Obama himself.

MATTHEWS:  Governor, I want you to check—governor, I have something

to show you that should scare the daylights out of you.  This is a new

Republican ad, put out by the Republican Governors Association.  It reminds

me of something of Bruce Hearst did back about the Czechoslovakian invasion

by the Soviet Union.  It starts out with a lot of nice mood music and

classical forum, and then it shows this horrific picture of the arrival of

President Obama and his administration.  I‘ll give you some of the picture

you‘re missing.  The words will help you guide it.  Here it is, the RGA ad. 

Let‘s listen. 


OBAMA: Yes, we can. 

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER:  The bill is passed. 

OBAMA:  Yes, we can. 

REP. ALCEE HASTINGS (D), FLORIDA:  There ain‘t no rule around here. 

We make them up as we go along. 

PELOSI:  We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in



overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama. 

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), MINORITY LEADER:  Certainly our government

can‘t continue to spend money that we don‘t have. 

OBAMA:  Yes, we can. 


MATTHEWS:  It comes off as the invasion of a foreign hostile army. 

The voices you hear are those from Alcee Hastings and Reverend Sharpton

admitting or actually bragging that this is a socialist victory.  Alcee

Hastings saying there‘s no rules to the government of the Obama

administration.  It‘s pretty electric stuff.  What do you make of it,


KAINE:  Chris, these guys are just scared out of their wits.  Here‘s

what they see happening: if you look at the stock market or jobs or GDP

growth in the last 18 months of the Bush administration, when they were

running things, it was in a free fall and they weren‘t even willing to pull

the rip cord on the parachute.  If you look at it since Inauguration Day,

it‘s climbing dramatically. 

They see the trends, the sharp V, with the economy turning around at

the time this president came in.  Lord knows, we‘ve got a lot more work to

do.  But the passage of health care, arresting key Taliban leadership, the

economy coming around, these guys are running out of any argument they can

use to win seats in November.  So they‘re going to try to come up with

every bogeyman they can think of. 

I think the American people know what‘s science fiction and knows

what‘s fact.  I say that with all respect to James Cameron. 


HALPERIN:  I think there‘s two—I think there‘s two interesting

things in that video.  One is the Republicans do have an argument—and

governor knows it.  Their argument is big government, that Obama has come

to Washington and exploded the size of government.  That‘s going to be an

effective argument for them all the way through the election. 

The other thing is John McCain stayed away from using race in the last

election.  That video suggests that at least some Republicans are open to

the idea of not doing what McCain did, which is bend open backwards to not

open themselves up to charges of using race to try to damage the president. 

MATTHEWS:  What do you think of that, governor?  I think it is tribal. 

I think Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican party.  My proof of

that is—governor, you‘re a smart guy.  You‘re an elected official.  Can

you name a single Republican in this country who‘s ever stood up to the

leadership of Rush Limbaugh?  Has ever—when they make a faux pas that

sounds like it might be offensive to Rush, they apologize on their knees

within 24 hours.  He‘s the leader of the party.  It‘s tribal, and he‘s


KAINE:  Well, no, I think that he‘s trying to stoke that up.  And if

you just ask anybody who stood up to Rush, I had 15 names but then, you‘re

right, they all caved within five minutes after they did. 

MATTHEWS:  Right, because he‘s the boss. 

KAINE:  Trying to whip up this kind of feeling.  I think Mark is

right.  Mark has assessed this correctly. 

MATTHEWS:  Are they using race?  Are they using race? 

KAINE:  They are using a lot of emotions, and there are a lot of

emotions out there.  But here‘s the good news: Americans are not

fundamentally negative, angry people.  Even in a time of anxiety, with

concerns, they want results.  They want can-do people.  Again, the results

of whether it‘s health care, economic turnaround, arresting Taliban

leadership, getting Iraq under control they‘re going to reward the results


MATTHEWS:  You‘re up against a ferocious team.  Thank you, governor. 

Thank you, Mark Halperin. 

MATTHEWS:  When we return, I‘m going to have some thoughts about

America‘s image in the world, which is getting better all the time.  You‘re

watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Let me finish tonight with a good news.  There‘s a new poll

floating around that asks 30,000 people around the world what they think of

our country.  The good news is we won.  After a bad spell and based on this

pretty good sample, we‘re riding much higher of late.  The bottom line? 

For the first time, this poll, which has been taken for the past five

years, has people saying America‘s influence on the world is more positive

than negative.  The global standing of America is, in the words of the

polling company‘s chairman, clearly on the rise. 

Obviously it‘s the Obama effect.  People like our president.  In fact,

he‘s the most popular leader in the world.  So what are we going to do with

this renewed world leadership?  One thing we should do is lead.  Tonight,

we had James Cameron on the show.  He gave us “Avatar,” the most successful

movie in history, which tells what happens when the people of this planet

exploited it so badly, abused natural resources to the breaking point, and

then head to others worlds to find the mean of sustaining life. 

It‘s what happens when mankind abuses the habitat in which he was

born.  A half century ago, an American statesman addressed this very issue. 

Quote, “we travel together, passengers on little space ship dependent on

its vulnerable reserves of air and soil, all committed for our safety to

its security and peace.  Preserve the from annihilation only by the care,

the work, and I will say, the love we give our fragile craft.” 

That was Adlai Stevenson, the American ambassador to the United

Nations speaking in Geneva, a week before he died 45 years ago.  Is our

country doing what it can to avoid the desperate future we so in “Avatar?” 

Are we leading the world in dealing with climate change and resource

exhaustion?  Are we the people that the other people of the world can look

to for Earthly salvation? 

Second immigration.  If we‘re regaining our prestige in the world, how

are we dealing with the desperate people who want to come here and work

here?  Are we dealing with them in a just and fair manner, using honest

rule of law?  Are we exploiting the most recent, most desperate arrivals to

gain the cheapest possible source of labor? 

My thoughts tonight or these, one, lead the world in dealing with the

real prospect of climate change and get serious about renewable energy. 

Two, show how a just and clean government handles the challenge of

immigration.  Begin honest documentation of incoming workers, begin fair,

open and transparent treatment of people who come here to work, and stop

the scandal of under the table employment practices.  Let‘s call it what it

is, the exploitation of the desperate.

That‘s HARDBALL for now.




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