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'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Friday, May 21st 2010

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Guests: Jonathan Martin, Clarence Page, Benjamin Jealous, Wayne Slater,

Melinda Henneberger, Chris Cillizza


Let‘s play HARDBALL.

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

tonight, tea and sympathy.  As one observer put it, there‘s a difference

between campaigning as an outsider and really being one.  Well, Rand

Paul really is an outsider, and no matter how much he tries to talk his

way out of his Civil Rights ditch he‘s in or blame Rachel Maddow for

asking the question, he, the Republicans and the tea party itself have a

very big problem.

Paul made things stickier for himself today in answering a question

about the minimum wage.  Paul didn‘t help himself, either, when he said

President Obama‘s sharp criticism of BP sounds, quote, “really un-

American.”  Is this an ideologue‘s obsession with defending big business

above all else, especially in the wake of what may become one of the

worst environmental disasters ever?

Plus, if you want conservatives in Texas to prescribe what your

children read, today‘s your day.  The Texas state board of education

votes on changes to textbooks, and since what happens in Texas doesn‘t

stay in Texas, it‘s a national story.

And Republican congressman Mark Souder resigned today after

admitting to, or confessing to, an extramarital affair with a staffer. 

Souder was part of the “Republican revolution,” the great class of 1994,

which got us to thinking about how many other ‘94 classmates have found

themselves in similar fixes.  We‘re going to break that down for you.

Finally, I had a little fun with comedienne Chelsea Handler (ph)

last night on Leno, and we‘ll bring you that on the “Sideshow.”

We start with Rand Paul and the tea party.  Joining me are the

“Chicago Tribune‘s” Clarence Page and “The Politico‘s” Jonathan Martin. 

Gentlemen, let‘s take a look at “GMA” this morning.  There he is.  He‘s

all over the place, Dr. Paul, Rand Paul.  Let‘s listen to what he said

today.  He got into a bit more trouble, I think.



period start?  I had a big victory.  I thought I got a honeymoon period

from you guys in the media.  What I say is that I am against repealing

the Civil Rights Act.  I‘m against repealing the Fair Housing Act.  I‘ve

never campaigned on that.  It‘s not part of our platform.

And so what these are, are red herrings that people are trying to

bring up because the Democrats are way behind in Kentucky and are going

to have a tough time beating us down here.

Where do your talking points come from?  The Democrat National

Committee.  They also come from Rachel Maddow and MSNBC.  You know, I‘ve

just been trashed up and down, and they have been saying things that are

untrue.  And when they say I‘m for repealing the Civil Rights Act, it‘s

absolutely false.


MATTHEWS:  You know, I have to wonder about strategy.  I want to

start with you, Jonathan.  I think you know the history of this, the

prominence of this thing.  It started on this program a couple nights

ago, where his opponent, his Democratic opponent, who just won the

nomination the same day he did, came out and said he had called for

repeal of the Civil Rights act.  Not true.  He had raised real questions

about it.  All the intimations he was giving certainly led us to believe

he wouldn‘t have supported it at the time, had he been in there.

And then now he‘s blaming it on Rachel for asking some very good

questions.  I was—not proud of her, I was envious of the great work

she did the other night in pinning him down and getting him to really

refuse to answer.

Why is he blaming MS?  Why is he blaming Rachel?  Why isn‘t he

blaming his opponent for making what, in his case, was a false charge

that he was for repeal?

JONATHAN MARTIN, POLITICO.COM:  Well, look, he‘s in a tough spot

politically.  He‘s a politician.  This is what they do when they‘re

trying to sort of get their way out of a jam, they try and sort of

change the issue, reframe the issue.

Paul‘s problem, though, is this, is that he isn‘t necessarily

saying that he wants to overturn the Civil Rights act.  The problem he

has, as Rich Lowry, a conservative, wrote today in his column, Paul is

finding out that he is not taking part in an Ayn Rand lecture series. 

He‘s running for the U.S. Senate.  There‘s a difference between a sort

of—a lecture, sort of seminar-type environment, and real politics. 

It‘s hardball, Chris...

MATTHEWS:  I agree with that...

MARTIN:  ... as you would say.

MATTHEWS:  I agree completely.  And by the way, I think—we‘ll

get to it later, but Senator Kyl out in Arizona raised it very well, I

think, Clarence, the other day, when he said this is the kind of thing

you talk about 2:00 o‘clock in the dorms.  By the way, you talk about it

in the early ‘60s, you don‘t talk about it not now.

Let me ask you, why do you think he turned his heat on Rachel and

us, I guess, generally speaking, rather than turning it on his opponent,

who‘s very slick, I think, and very smart as an opponent, maybe too

tough.  Why doesn‘t he just blame Conway?

CLARENCE PAGE, “CHICAGO TRIBUNE”:  Well, it‘s a political reflex

and especially for the tea party movement that when all else fails...


PAGE:  Blame the media, right.  And this—this works.  But you

know, I was watching him and I was reminded of really a male Sarah

Palin, if you will, someone who built up tea party hopes initially,

comes with a good-looking resume...

MARTIN:  On paper, yes.

PAGE:  ... but then when they‘ve got to face the media and get out

in the arena, you see they aren‘t ready for primetime.  He‘s making all

the wrong moves this week and...

MATTHEWS:  I think he‘s a lot heavier in terms of ideology than

some of the other tea party people.  I think he has real beliefs.  They

just don‘t pass muster in an environment which we are very concerned

about Civil Rights not as a debating point but as a horror of recent

past, the denial of them.

Here‘s Rachel Maddow, by the way, on Wednesday.  Let‘s listen.  I

think she did an incredible job of exposing this fellow‘s ideology. 

Here she is.


RACHEL MADDOW, HOST, “RACHEL MADDOW”:  And should Woolworth lunch

counter should have been allowed to stay segregated?  Sir, just yes or


PAUL:  What I think would happen—what I‘m saying is, is that I

don‘t believe in any discrimination.  I don‘t believe that any private

property should discriminate either, and I wouldn‘t attend, wouldn‘t

support, wouldn‘t go to.  But what you have to answer when you answer

this point of view, which is an abstract, obscure conversation from 1964

that you want to bring up, but if you want to answer it, you have to say

then that you decide the rules for all restaurants.  And then do you

decide that you want to allow them to carry weapons into restaurants?


MATTHEWS:  You know, Jonathan, Rachel‘s doing what I love to do. 

She does it better than I do, I have to tell you.  That instant, that

was brilliant.  She kept asking him a good question.


MATTHEWS:  What about the bad recent past, when restaurants and

lunch counters said no blacks allowed, when bathrooms along the highways

wouldn‘t let blacks use the restroom?  What about real cases?

MARTIN:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  Fundamentalism, when it comes up against facts, doesn‘t

do so well sometimes.  Your thoughts.

MARTIN:  Well, look, Chris, I think you touched on it in your

phrase “real cases,” and that‘s problem that Paul has here, is that it‘s

one thing—look, nobody‘s saying he‘s a racist necessarily because he

has problems philosophically with the Civil Rights Act...

MATTHEWS:  Nobody‘s saying it, first of all.

MARTIN:  The problem—the probably, Chris, is in application...

MATTHEWS:  By the way, not necessarily.  No one‘s saying it that

I‘ve heard.  Go ahead.

MARTIN:  Let me just finish, though, real fast.  And it‘s not just

the Civil Rights act.  It‘s the fact that the Civil Rights Act, the

minimum wage, overtime, regulations of, say, coal mines, regulation of

the workplace in general is pretty much settled in this country.  It‘s

pretty much accepted across the political spectrum.

He has political views that would question those things, and that

is inherently his challenge here.  He‘s got views that are pure



MARTIN:  ... that are going to be tough for him to reconcile during

the course of a general election campaign.

MATTHEWS:  Well, let‘s talk about—this is a great one.  Here‘s

George Stephanopoulos, another great interview, asking him about where

he stands on the whole idea of having minimum wage laws.  He chooses not

to talk about what they should be, whether it‘s $7 an hour, $8 an hour,

$10, but whether they should be.  He gets to that, which is the heart of

the ideology.  Let‘s listen.



government be able to set a minimum wage?

PAUL:  Well, it‘s not a question of whether they can or cannot.  I

think that‘s decided.  I think the question you have to ask is whether

or not, when you set the minimum wage, it may cause unemployment.  And

I‘m not sure the government‘s always really the smartest in the world as

far as economic decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But you wouldn‘t repeal it?

PAUL:  Repeal the minimum wage?  No, I think the vote comes up a

lot of times on whether to raise it or not, and I think that what you

have to ask yourself is, Do you create unemployment by raising the

minimum wage too high?


MARTIN:  He‘s a Paul!  He‘s a Paul.


MATTHEWS:  The people—yes, he‘s a Paul.  He‘s trying to become a

Paul.  He‘s trying to learn now what you have to do in politics, which


PAGE:  It‘s not comfortable (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS:  ... don‘t answer the philosophical question.

PAGE:  It‘s painful to watch.  You know, he‘s (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS:  You know why?  Because we‘ve got so many compromise

politicians who every day of their lives make compromises, and here‘s a

guy who‘s a philosopher...

MARTIN:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... who‘s stuck.  He‘s on the horns of his own dilemma.

MARTIN:  Exactly.  Right.

MATTHEWS:  He has strong absolutist beliefs...

MARTIN:  Right.

PAGE:  That‘s what I mean...

MATTHEWS:  ... against federal power.

PAGE:  That‘s what I mean about not being ready for primetime.  You

know, this is where the rubber meets the road for the tea party

movement.  They have been born and grown on two words, “big government.”


PAGE:  They‘ve turned “big government” into this really nasty, ugly

term.  And now Ron Paul is reminding—excuse me...

MARTIN:  Rand Paul.

PAGE:  ... Rand Paul is reminding people of some of the things big

government does that people like.

MATTHEWS:  OK, as we end this segment, I think it‘s vital that you

both make the point I think you‘re making now.  Let‘s clear it up here. 

The difference between a person holding a placard against federal power,

Jonathan, and the wonders of the 10th Amendment, which is all powers

reside in the states...

MARTIN:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... not given to the federal government, which is a

great idea, it‘s the principle of subsidiarity, which a lot of us were

taught was a good thing.  If you can do it locally, do it locally.  If

the individual...

MARTIN:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... should do it, let the individual do it.  That

principle is very American.

MARTIN:  Jeffersonian, yes.

MATTHEWS:  But the practicality of giving the federal government

responsibility in areas where the localities blew it, like in Jim Crow

South, is the past and accepted, and this guy is weaving his way back

into it—Jonathan.

MARTIN:  Well, sure, and it‘s not just—it‘s not just Jim Crow. 

It‘s housing issues.  It‘s questions of the workplace, of labor laws. 

So I mean, obviously, it‘s settled that there is a place for the federal

government in those things.

What‘s fascinating to me, Chris—and you touched on this—Rand

Paul is plainly torn between his sort of dad‘s purist Libertarian views,

which I think he probably shares, and also the sort of pragmatic urge to

win statewide here, to win a U.S. Senate seat.  And those are two

conflicting things, and they‘re right now very much in tension, and

we‘re seeing it play out in realtime.  It‘s just fascinating.

MATTHEWS:  Clarence?

PAGE:  Very true, and I think this is where, as I mentioned, rubber

meets the road with the tea party movement, and that‘s going to make a

difference in November.  Is Rand Paul going to be another Barry

Goldwater, who can only get...

MARTIN:  Right.

PAGE:  ... what was it, six states...


PAGE:  ... because he was a purist in his ideas, and those were

ideas that Rand Paul is really regurgitating.  And I remember those days

when we...


MATTHEWS:  I remember.  You and I are the same age.  You know what? 

Jon, I have to ask you the final question.  What do voters detest more,

a man of principle who has to compromise them, like Rand Paul, or

someone like Arlen Specter, who was basically available for compromise

from day one?

MARTIN:  Well, here‘s the good news for Rand Paul, is that this

year, and especially in the conservative state of Kentucky, I think a

principled candidate may do better.  Let‘s not forget, we talk a lot

about Rand Paul and his problems right now, this is still a pretty

conservative state.  His Democratic opponent‘s got a lot of

vulnerabilities, too.


MARTIN:  It‘s a long ways off until November.  Let‘s not count out

Rand Paul by any means here.

MATTHEWS:  Who‘s winning out there right now in the polling?

MARTIN:  Oh, Paul certainly is winning right now.  Absolutely.

MATTHEWS:  That‘s your view?

PAGE:  I predict Rand Paul is going to win, but I think it‘s going

to have a negative impact on the rest of the country, though, as far as

the other tea party movements around the country.

MATTHEWS:  Yes, I just hope he watches the media and the way

they‘re covering this because I think a lot of us are trying to do it

straight and recognize him where he comes from and recognize the

predicament he‘s in.  It‘s not gotcha.  And by the way, I don‘t think

Rachel was engaging in gotcha journalism.

PAGE:  No, she wasn‘t.

MATTHEWS:  I think she was first rate, and I‘m so glad to be

associated with her.  Thank you.  And congratulations again.  I think

that interview‘s going to be quoted again and again throughout the year,

Rachel.  Congratulations.  By the way, you guys, a great conversation


MARTIN:  Thank you.

MATTHEWS:  I think we‘re on target here.  Clarence, thank you so

much, and Jonathan, so much.  Be sure to catch “THE CHRIS MATTHEWS SHOW”

this weekend.  We‘re going to talk about some of this, by the way.  This

Rand Paul story is a big weekend story.  And of course, “MEET THE PRESS”

this weekend . Rand Paul is David Gregory‘s guest—he‘s got the big

get this weekend—along with Joe Sestak.  Can‘t do better than that.

Coming up: Rand Paul also said President Obama‘s tough criticism of

BP following the horrific oil spill down there, which is still spilling

here‘s where I can‘t go along with the guy—is un-American.  Why

are so many people on the right ignoring our responsibility as people,

forget business, to protect our environment—it‘s not the company‘s

environment, it‘s not BP‘s Gulf of Mexico—and defend big business to

the hilt like they‘re doing?  We‘re going to get to that next.  Back to

ideology in a minute.

You‘re watching HARDBALL on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Chuck Todd and the NBC News political unit have updated

their list of the top 10 Senate takeovers.  At number 10, Kentucky. 

Will general election voters go for Rand Paul‘s Libertarian view of

things like the Civil Rights Act?  Number nine, Connecticut.  This seat

was once safely Democratic, but not anymore after Richard Blumenthal

lied about serving in Vietnam.  He didn‘t.

Number eight is Ohio, George Voinovich‘s seat, and another possible

Democratic pickup.  Number seven, Pennsylvania, Sestak versus Toomey for

the seat of Arlen Specter.  That may be a pick, that one.  November—

number six is Illinois, where the Democratic candidate could be in real


We‘re going to have the top five Senate takeovers later in the hour

possible takeovers.  We‘ll be right back.



PAUL:  What I don‘t like from the president‘s administration is

this sort of, you know, I‘ll put my bootheel on the throat of BP.  I

think that sounds really un-American, and his criticism of business.


MATTHEWS:  Wow.  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  That was Rand Paul

today calling President Obama‘s criticism of BP “un-American.”  Reverend

Jim Wallis disagrees with that characterization.  He‘s become a

lightning rod for the right because of his vocal support of the church‘s

involvement in social justice issues.  Reverend Jim Wallis founded

Sojourners and served on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based

and Neighborhood Partnerships.

What administration were you with?


MATTHEWS:  Which presidency?  This one.

WALLIS:  This council, yes.

MATTHEWS:  OK, let me ask you...

WALLIS:  President Obama.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about this thing.  If you destroy the

habitat in which man was born, is that a moral issue?

WALLIS:  We call it stewardship of God‘s creation.  This is a

mainstream issue for evangelicals, Catholics (INAUDIBLE) all of us. 

Protecting God‘s creation is part of our responsibility to be good

stewards of what God has made.

MATTHEWS:  And what‘s going on?  Look at these pictures.  I mean,

Ed Markey was on, the chairman of the energy committee -- 40,000 to

50,000 barrels a day coming out of that hole in the ground, which was

created by man, not by nature.  That‘s a pipe that brings that from way

down below the surface to there, and we‘re watching it right now.  I

think we‘ve been watching live streamings of this.  But go ahead.

WALLIS:  These things feel almost apocalyptic.  I think it‘s a sign

of our oil addiction.  And Chris, as you know, we know addictions make

your life not work.  So this oil spill is showing how our oil addiction

is making our lives not work, so we have to deal with this.  And so for

people of faith, this is a moral issue, it‘s a religious issue.  It‘s

not just a political issue here.

MATTHEWS:  Do you think the president has been morally correct in

letting BP take the lead in stopping that hell we‘re looking at right


WALLIS:  Well...

MATTHEWS:  He says—he stands by and hectors them, but they‘re

the ones responsible for fixing—I don‘t know why all the submarines

in our fleet aren‘t down there.  It would seem to me that Captain Nemo

back in the 19th century in fiction would have been able to get down

there and fix it with soldering irons and blow torches and filling up

that pipe, or with cement or gravel or whatever it takes to put on top

of that, just start dumping it there with our big tankers.  I don‘t know

why we‘re not doing it.  We‘re counting on one company, a British

company, to solve a problem that‘s been created in our back yard, and I

don‘t quite get it.

WALLIS:  BP has to be held accountable to the common good.  Any

good Catholic would say that.  And so what‘s happening here—that‘s

why the Glenn Beck comments were so foolish...

MATTHEWS:  Quote them.

WALLIS:  Well, he‘s saying that Christians talking about climate

change as a moral issue is implementing some kind of government

socialist agenda.  It‘s stewardship, not socialism.  This is holding BP

accountable to the...

MATTHEWS:  He‘s always been wrong about climate change anyway.

WALLIS:  Well—well...

MATTHEWS:  He‘s been wrong about...


MATTHEWS:  I heard him in my car one day when he was on the radio. 

He‘s been wrong.  He‘s been saying there‘s no issue of climate change.

WALLIS:  Well...

MATTHEWS:  He completely denies it.


MATTHEWS:  He‘s a flack for the industry.

WALLIS:  The government shouldn‘t regulate BP?

MATTHEWS:  That‘s what they want to hear!

WALLIS:  Government inspectors should inspect (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS:  That‘s what these companies want to hear.

WALLIS:  ... that they shouldn‘t let miners not get beer from

liquor stores.  I‘m not sure what they‘re saying here.  The common good

is a good religious principle, and governments should hold companies

accountable to the common good.  And you get faith groups saying that

across the political spectrum here.

This is a—this oil spill is really apocalyptic.


WALLIS:  It mirrors our oil addiction.  We have to do something

about it right now, and that‘s what the church is saying.  And that‘s

just our responsibility to say this is for us protecting God‘s creation.

MATTHEWS:  Well, one thing I agree—in fact, I might even trump

you on, is I believe that mankind‘s interests are superior to those of

the marketplace.  I believe the marketplace is not the deity, that the

belief in unbridled capitalism, whether it‘s Wall Street and assuming

that they will do the right thing up there or assuming that oil

companies will do the right thing when they‘re following the market is -

the people on the right treat that as godly...

WALLIS:  The market‘s become God.

MATTHEWS:  That‘s right.  I don‘t...

WALLIS:  All knowing...

MATTHEWS:  ... accept that.

WALLIS:  ... all powerful, omnipresent...

MATTHEWS:  Man must be responsible for his society.

WALLIS:  The market‘s the means, and not the end.  It‘s become the


MATTHEWS:  Right. 

WALLIS:  We have lost our—our way.  That‘s why...

MATTHEWS:  And that‘s where we‘re at in this argument. 

WALLIS:  Yes.  We have got a...

MATTHEWS:  And some Americans believe, even though they go to

church and believe in God and believe in righteousness, have accepted

the power and the trumping authority of the oil companies, of the

investment houses in New York, of anybody who‘s out to make money is

somehow superior morally to anybody who might put a constraint on it,

who might come along and say clean up after have been at your camping

site, clean up when you have gone to a wilderness area, clean up after

your pipe mess. 

That‘s in the interests of society. 


MATTHEWS:  Is that—where does that come from, this idea that if

you try to regulate bad behavior and punishment sometimes is somehow un-

Christian?  Where did that philosophy come from?  Who taught them that

Ayn Rand was God? 


WALLIS:  Well, we have got now the gospel of Glenn and Rush and

Sean and Bill, and I want to get back to the Gospel of Matthew, Mark,

Luke and John. 

So, how do you bring the market back into its boundaries?  It has

exceeded those boundaries.  So, we have to rediscover values on Wall

Street, Main Street and our street.  That‘s what I have been writing


MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about this—this debate as it goes on

forward.  What scares me is that we are going to have—I keep watching

these pictures.  I find them ghastly, and you can‘t look away. 

What‘s going on right now is—at 40,000, 50,000 barrels a day

into the Gulf of Mexico, which is just now going around, apparently,

around the tip of Florida.  It‘s heading up to Cape Hatteras.  We are

going to find ourselves with so much bad environment, it‘s not going to

go away.

And, now, by the way, I wonder when the president or BP is ever

going to stop this.  I have no evidence to believe that they‘re going to

stop it in the near future.  Do you? 


WALLIS:  Well, they say BP‘s lying.  I think it‘s deeper.  I think

what BP stands for is a lie, the idea that we can keep doing what we‘re

doing without these consequences. 

We have to be converted to a different energy future.  That means

rewiring the grid, but it also means rewiring ourselves, our demands,

our assumptions, our requirements.  We have to go a change—undergo a

change in our habits of the heart here.  That‘s why this is a moral

issue and not just a political one. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, you know, you may be getting further and deeper

than I usually get here, but when I get up Saturday morning, I look out

the window over to Connecticut Avenue, and I see people driving.  They

get up Saturday morning, and they drive.  It‘s not just going to work. 

People are always driving. 

And every time you turn on the commercial, you watch a car

advertisement or a gasoline advertisement.  It‘s about hitting the road. 

We are constantly driving cars and using up gas, OK?  That‘s what we do

in America.  And that‘s why we go offshore and that‘s why we have to dig

deeper and deeper and further from shore, because we need more oil. 

You‘re saying that‘s a moral issue. 


WALLIS:  Could something like this energy spill, could the picture

of it happening every day, as you‘re—you‘re right.  How much water

will this destroy?  How much of the ocean will it kill? 

MATTHEWS:  I think...

WALLIS:  Every day we watch that, could it make us look in the

mirror and say, do we want to keep living this way?  Our addiction isn‘t

working here. 

MATTHEWS:  We need a teacher.  And it can‘t be you.  It needs to be


WALLIS:  We need to convert our...


MATTHEWS:  We need secular leaders to teach us a little morality on

this, I think. 

WALLIS:  That‘s why the churches are saying to the government, hold

us responsible here. 

MATTHEWS:  And I don‘t think Glenn Beck has the Godly truth. 


MATTHEWS:  Anyway, thank you, Reverend Jim Wallis.

WALLIS:  Thank you, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  By the way, your book is called “Rediscovering Values.” 

Thank you. 

We—we should tell you that Rand Paul, who was supposed to be

David Gregory‘s guest on “Meet the Press” this weekend, has canceled—

well, that‘s just brand—news—citing exhaustion.  It‘s usually—

it‘s highly unusual for a major guest to cancel “Meet the Press,” but he

has, and it‘s his right. 

Up next, on the “Sideshow,” a very funny thing happened to me the

other night on—I just came back on an airplane, by the way—I

didn‘t get to sleep last night—on the “Leno” show night, me with

Chelsea—with Chelsea Handler.  She‘s funny.  We had some fun there

last night.

Let‘s stick around and watch it—well, if you want to.

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  


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

In case you went to bed early last night, I was on Jay Leno‘s

“Tonight Show” with comedian Chelsea Handler, who I discover—or

discovered last night is quite rambunctious. 



MATTHEWS:  I did an investigative piece on the oil industry for

“The Washington Post” back 37 years ago, and I found out there were

220,000 miles of oil pipeline in this country.  They got one federal guy

looking out for this.  It‘s a joke.  They do not regulate the oil



CHELSEA HANDLER, HOST, “CHELSEA LATELY”:  Could you talk faster? 

MATTHEWS:  The oil industry is completely...


MATTHEWS:  You know, my dear, you‘re beautiful, but if you

concentrate, you can keep up. 





LENO:  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!


LENO:  Thank you.



LENO:  I should have done that five years ago.


LENO:  Yes!  Thank you, Chris. 


LENO:  Thank you.  I‘m not taking it anymore from her.


LENO:  Thank you, Chris.

HANDLER:  I gave him that—I gave him that line backstage, by the


LENO:  Yes. 



MATTHEWS:  Well, that was fun. 

Anyway, next up: the know-nothings. 

Over in Idaho‘s 1st District, Republican House candidates Vaughn

Ward  and Raul Labrador held a primary debate on Wednesday night that

ended up in an argument about, of all things, the status of Puerto Rico. 

The question, whether the candidates support statehood for the

American territory. 

Labrador, the candidate you will see on the left, was born in

Puerto Rico, and said he does not support statehood.  Ward agreed, but

took an entirely different tone.  Watch his answer. 



state it is or what country that wants to become part of America.  It‘s

not time.  It‘s not going to be time.  Let‘s focus on us first. 


correct.  Puerto Rico is not a country.  Puerto Rico‘s a territory of

the United States.  It‘s about time that we took some civics lesson, and

we learned what Puerto Rico is. 

WARD:  I really don‘t care what it is.  I mean, it doesn‘t matter. 



MATTHEWS: “I don‘t care what it is”?  Vaughn Ward doesn‘t know and

he doesn‘t care to know what it is.  By the way, he‘s running for the

United States House of Representatives. 

Sarah Palin, by the way, is campaigning for Ward in Idaho—you

might have guessed that—the candidate who thinks Puerto Rico is its

own country.  Too bad none of them studied geography. 

Time now for tonight‘s “Big Number.”

Tomorrow, Hawaii holds a special election to replace Democratic

Congressman Neil Abercrombie out there.  He‘s running for governor.  It

is a race that Republican Charles Djou is expected to win handily, given

a much-needed boost to the GOP.  After all, how many straight House

congressional elections, special elections, have Republicans lost in a

row?  Seven. 

Seven straight special election losses for the Republicans the last

couple years, a streak they expect to break tomorrow—tonight‘s “Big

Number,” seven. 

Up next:  Conservatives in Texas are voting today to edit their new

school textbooks, and those books will be the templates of textbooks

used across the country.  So, what gets written in Texas for those

schoolkids doesn‘t stay in Texas. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC. 



CNBC “Market Wrap.”

Another volatile day on Wall Street, with stocks yo-yoing

throughout the day, the Dow Jones industrials finishing 125 points

higher, after being in negative territory just 20 minutes before the

close, the S&P 500 adding 16 points, the Nasdaq climbing 25 points. 

Investors looking to reclaim some of the babies thrown out with the

bathwater in Thursday‘s massive sell-off.  Financials bounced back

nicely, with Bank of America and J.P. Morgan leading the Dow. 

Commodity prices continued to slide, with oil settling around $70 a

barrel, off nearly 20 percent from the beginning of the month. 

And gold prices falling $12 today to finish at $1,175 an ounce. 

Some encouraging news from the Labor Department:  Jobless rates

fell in 34 states and the District of Columbia in April.  And Chrysler

announced plans to add about 1,100 workers to help build a new Jeep

Grand Cherokee in Detroit. 

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



There‘s a fight in Texas right now about how history will be

taught, and, as you can see from these protesters, people are angry

about it. 

Here‘s what happened at last night‘s hearing down there.  It‘s

about an amendment to the eighth grade social studies curriculum.  Let‘s

listen to the debate. 



of the U.S. is a very important issue.  There‘s efforts to try to put us

under world court, other U.N. bodies.  We had testimony yesterday by

several people supporting this amendment.  To me, this is a standard for

the children to be able to evaluate the efforts by these organizations

to undermine U.S. sovereignty.  To me, it‘s—it‘s an accurate term. 


where the teachers would really find information that would support

this, since our sovereignty hasn‘t been undermined. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, those are good debating points. 

That amendment passed, and now Texas students‘ social studies

curriculum will include evaluating—quote—“efforts by global

organizations to undermine U.S. sovereignty through use of treaties.”

Is this right?  Wayne Slater is a senior political writer at “The

Dallas Morning News,” and Benjamin Jealous is, of course, president of

the NAACP. 

I want to start with Wayne on the ground out there. 

This debate looked like a familiar one.  Do the teachers out there

believe that they‘re educating kids or recruiting them for a political

cause to become, well, I could say this, conservatives, to put it

lightly, to be fighting any effort by the United States to join the

U.N., to join the IMF, to join the World Bank, to join the international

courts, the Law of the Seas?  It sounds like it‘s arming them to be in a

struggle, rather than educate them—my thoughts. 



less about education, these kind of amendments, than it is about

politics and really the culture wars. 

There is no effort to undermine, no serious effort, I think most

people would recognize, to undermine the sovereignty of the United

States.  I think McLeroy, Mr. McLeroy, a board member who submitted

this, is worried, among other things, about a United Nations

international gun ban. 

Well, let me tell you, there‘s nobody in Texas who‘s going to fall

under a United Nations gun ban or anything else that would restrict our

sovereignty.  But it is part of that larger concern of many social

conservatives—and that‘s that there‘s a one-world government under

way, and this reflects that. 

MATTHEWS:  Ben, what is your worries about this?  Do you have

concerns that kids are being schooled this way into this kind of,

perhaps overzealous fear that the United States is losing its country to

overseas organizations? 


they want the Tea Party to teach our kids.  This is about five million

kids in Texas and kids in 20 more states.

And it‘s going to be a bunch of half-truths if this vote goes

through.  You know, we will fight them.  We‘re fighting them in

California right now.  And we have had some success.  We‘re—we will

fight them across the street at the state capitol, where they want to

spend $1 billion buying books for the half-truths that teach our kids to


MATTHEWS:  Wayne, let me ask you this.  Is it only about this black

helicopter stuff, that black helicopter stuff meaning, of course,

referring to the fear that these people are going to be coming from the

U.N., they‘re coming in to take over your town from overseas, speaking

foreign languages from Europe, probably, ready to take over your

country, almost like the way European countries were taken over by

Hitler, that fear being inculcated in textbooks? 

Fine.  What other fears do people have who are in the center or on

the left down there? 

SLATER:  Well, there is a fear of—a concern by some folks that

American exceptionalism, that we‘re different, is not being properly


And more fundamental than that is really the debate over the

separation of church and state.  These people, many members, social

conservatives, believe that there effectively is no separation between

church and state; the founding fathers didn‘t mean that. 

And, so, there are efforts throughout the curriculum changes to

introduce religion, religious faith and religious Christian influences

specifically, all around, because the fear is that secular government,

that secularism, that atheism has taken over our schools. 

In an odd way, this debate is the kind of thing that we saw in the

‘50s, where, when—in the early ‘60s, when the prayer issue, taking

school prayer out of schools, became a rallying cry, except that this is



JEALOUS:  And it‘s much more insidious.  I mean, they want Phyllis

Schlafly to be on the same short list of great heroes as Thurgood

Marshall.  I mean, it‘s just—again, they just want to lift up people

who hate and they want to, you know, not even teach kids that the civil

rights struggle was a struggle. 

They—they want to teach them that, one day, people just woke up

and gave the—my—my—you know, and just gave us our rights.  I

mean, it‘s—it‘s—you know, they don‘t even want to teach that

slavery was a reason for Texas to join the South, you know, and fight

the Civil War.  So, kids will learn that there was a Civil War, and they

won‘t learn what it was about. 

MATTHEWS:  What was that true—I heard that they—they got rid

of the word slave trade, that phrase, which we all grew up with and

learned about it, and replaced it by that sort of commercial term, the

triangle trade, which, of course, had to do with molasses, and, you

know, the slave trade. 

JEALOUS:  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, we were taught how it was done, that sort of

three-way trade that went on between—among Europe, Africa, West

Africa, and the States. 

Why would they get the word slave out of there?  I mean, that‘s a

big part of our history, to understand that. 

JEALOUS:  Oh, again, you know, when you see it—when you kind of

add it all up, you know, they want to change the name to the Triangle

Trade.  So, all of a sudden, like rum and cash and sugar cane are part

of the same plain as people, you know.  When they don‘t want to teach

you that slavery was a cause for the Civil War, then what you end up

with is just sort of a much prettier bucolic view of history, that‘s

also dead wrong. 

I mean, they also want to defend Joe McCarthy.  These people really

can‘t tell the difference between fact and just opinion.  They think

every fact has a counter fact, like every opinion has a counter-opinion. 

No, it‘s just a fact.  It was the slave trade.  It‘s just a fact that

Joe McCarthy was wrong.  There‘s no counter opinion to that.  No counter


MATTHEWS:  Let‘s talk about that issue, because a lot of us grew up

in the aftermath of that, in the late ‘50s.  Wayne, are they saying Joe

McCarthy, who—I mean, he was drunk most of the time—were they

saying that he was right about something?  I thought he never actually

caught a real-live Communist.  I‘m not saying there weren‘t some buried

in the bowels of some bureaucracy.  Certainly Alger Hiss was one,

Elizabeth Bentley, a few others.

But certainly he got the proportions out of whack, and he was going

after dentists and military people in the Army, and the secretary of the

Army, and he had guys working for him and their crazy relationships and

their draft deferments and everything, special assignments.  It got

completely crazy.  Are they saying in these textbooks that Joe McCarthy

had it right, that he was a straight shooter? 

SLATER:  In effect, that is what they‘re saying.  The specific

provision regarding McCarthyism talks about students understanding and

learning about the infiltration of Communists in the government during

the Cold War.  So, it really is an effort to redeem McCarthy, who has

been much maligned in the eyes of many social conservatives. 

JEALOUS:  Simply because he was wrong.  He was just wrong.  We need

to teach our kids that he was wrong, you know.  That‘s a fact and that‘s

the part that drives you crazy, you know?  There was the guy who‘s

leading the fight on the school board is a dentist.  There was a big

sign down there that said “Pull Teeth, Not Facts,” and you know, that‘s,

you know—

MATTHEWS:  Gentlemen, thanks for being on.  I hope we keep this

straight.  The left has been guilty of some of this in the past, too, of

using history to turn it into a preaching operation, a recruitment of a

point of view.  I think history ought to be pretty square.  IT ought to

have the bad and the good. 

JEALOUS:  That‘s right. 

MATTHEWS:  One thing great about American history is we, at our

best, will teach the facts, and that we are getting to be a better

country than we were; and to deny that is to deny the better part of

this country.  We do try to get better.  Slavery was back there and it

was an original sin. 

Anyway, thank you, Wayne Slater.  Thank you, Ben Jealous. 

McCarthy, by the way, when he had that list of names, he didn‘t know

anything.  He was drunk.  He didn‘t know any of those names.  Nixon got

one guy right, Alger Hiss.  The rest of the McCarthy stuff was nonsense

and drunken foolery. 

Up next, Republican Congressman Mark Souder resigned this week

after confessing to an affair with a staffer.  Boy, is this the same old

story of hypocrisy or human weakness, whatever you want to call it. 

He‘s the latest member of the Republican class of ‘94 -- this is

interesting—sort of like the Carter exhibition that went to King

Tut‘s tomb, that class has had a few problems.  At the top, Newt. 

That‘s ahead.  This is HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Wow.  Time now for First Read‘s top five Senate possible

takeovers this fall, and all five are Democratic seats the Republicans

have a good chance to pick up.  Number five, Indiana, where right now

republican Dan Coats is ahead for Evan Bayh‘s seat. 

Number four, Nevada.  Harry Reid‘s in trouble, but there‘s a fight

among three Republicans to see who takes him on.  Number three‘s

Arkansas.  Democrat Blanche Lincoln‘s in a runoff and the Republican

candidate looks strong. 

Number two, Delaware.  Republican Mike Castle‘s the big favorite

for Joe Biden‘s old seat. 

And number one—this is an easy one for them—North Dakota. 

This one‘s pretty much in the books for the GOP.   HARDBALL will be

right back.



MARK SOUDER, FORMER CONGRESSMAN:  To serve has been a blessing and

a responsibility given from God.  I wish I could have been a better

example.  I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual

relationship with a part-time member of my staff. 


MATTHEWS:  We‘re back.  That‘s former Congressman Mark Souder of

Indiana on Tuesday talking about a full-time relationship with a part-

time staffer or something like that.  He was a member, by the way, of

the much-talked about Republican class of ‘94.  Remember them?  They

stormed into Washington to battle Bill Clinton and take over Congress

for the first time in decades.  Republicans hope 2010 will give them the

same big result, come in with a big majority. 

Whatever happened to that class of ‘94?  We thought it would be

interesting to look back on them, or to them.  Melinda Henneberger is

the editor in chief of, and the “Washington Post‘s”

Chris Cillizza—boy are you hot these days—is the managing editor

of  You are.  I read you relentlessly. 

Here‘s the class.  Just for fun—that‘s right, you don‘t get much

from me.  Here‘s the ‘94 class.  It‘s interesting, 75 new Republicans

came to the House that year.  Let‘s start with the base, 75 guys and

women came in loaded for bear.  Seven of them made it to the United

States Senate and are still there.  That‘s interesting.  Just 16 of them

are still in the House.  That‘s a total of 23 still out there kicking. 

But after the upcoming election, a maximum of 11 will be in the

House.  That‘s the fascinating part in terms of numbers, 75 down to 11

in the House.  But here‘s the interesting look.  Look at the big guys of

that class.  Newt Gingrich, of course, was leader then.  He had to

resign.  He had a girlfriend situation at the same time he was leading

the impeachment against Bill Clinton and his girlfriend. 

Dick Armey, he retired.  He is now a big shot in the Tea Party,

Freedom Works.  There he is with the cowboy hat on.  He‘s going—well,

going rogue, I guess, as we say these days. 

And Tom Delay, Mr. Delay has become—well, there you see.  He‘s

interesting.  These spin offs, how they‘re going their different ways. 

Melinda, I don‘t know—ha!  I just love it, the tango.  This guy‘s in

a bit of a tangle with ethics, but—we‘ve got Newt Gingrich, who is

now back again being Mr. Moral leader, Dick Armey, who‘s grown up to be

a real cowboy, which is fine with me.  I sort of like that part.  Tom

Delay, you know, rangy guy from down there in Texas, ticked off, leaves

the House under pressure. 


the same time these guys did, to cover them was my job.  And so, I

remember doing one of my first stories was on the frugal Mark Sanford. 

What a guy who slept on a futon in his office.  Remember that story?

MATTHEWS:  A futon is one of those blown up mattress, right?  No,

it‘s not.  It‘s actually a cushy—it‘s made of foam, right? 

HENNEBERGER:  They would meet to keep each other Christian in their

marriages.  The real thing was, as the lead-in said, the hypocrisy of

the thing, that these guys were going to clean up Washington.  They were

going to be the moral fiber the Capitol was lacking. 

MATTHEWS:  You have to wonder, Chris.  Nobody asked about your

marriage.  Why are you talking about it all the time?  Here he is Mark

Souder.  Let get through the list for your personal enjoyment, Chris. 

Mark Souder resigned after this affair.  Mark Foley resigned after

trying to get a date at the page dorm with boys there.  Anyway, we know

Mark Sanford‘s story, which is actually the most romantic of them all. 

We know John Ensign‘s story.  He‘s still hanging in there after his

affair with wife of one of his campaign staffer.  Of course, there‘s all

questions of money involved in that.  Of course, Ohio Congressman Bob

Ney, he got 17 months in prison after being involved with the Jack

Abramoff situation. 

Is that an unpretty picture or is that typical for politics in

America, would you say, Chris Cillizza? 

CHRIS CILLIZZA, “THE WASHINGTON POST”:  Golly, on this I‘m really

cynical and say it‘s typical for politics in America.  Here‘s what I

think happened, Chris, is you had a big—as you mentioned --  you

mentioned this at the top.  You had a big class of people.  Republicans

took over the House majority for the first time in 40 years.  They

picked up 53 seats.  As a result, some of the people who got into office

probably wouldn‘t have gotten there if it hadn‘t been the best

Republican election in 40 years, quite literally. 

So I think you saw some people swept into office maybe not so much

on their merits as much as just not being the other guy, and the other

guy or gal in this case usually was a Democrat.  I think it‘s probably a

little higher in terms of the quotient of people who have flamed out in

one way, shape or form since 1994, because that class was so big. 

But, look, there are plenty of other examples.  John Edwards got

elected to the Senate in 1998.  There are plenty of other examples where

you could go through of people who finished in an ignominious political

end, regardless of when they got elected. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, is that it?  Is it just another—you just dip

into the water of American population and come out with a—you know, a

cup of water and it‘s just like any other cup?  The usual number of sex

scandals.  You have about four or five here.  You have about five or six

actually in this crowd, counting Newt Gingrich and the other guys at the

top.  Is this normal?  Did you find in studying this class that it had

the unique propensity for problems? 

HENNEBERGER:  One of the biggest scandals of this class was Mike

Forbes.  He became a Democrat.  He, to his classmates, was the worst of

them all.  But I don‘t know if they‘re really so much worse.  The one

thing they didn‘t do that they said they were going to do was they all

ran on term limits that year and they all stayed and stayed for terms. 

MATTHEWS:  We got 11 of them still around.  How do you think Joe

Scarborough turned out, Chris? 

CILLIZZA:  I was going to say, I thought that—from my

perspective, the two success stories are Tom Delay, because he got on

“Dancing With the stars,” which is my wife‘s show—I would be a huge

success if I could get on there—and Scarborough, who, you know—

look it, I thought Scarborough wanted to be in the Senate.  Little did I

know he wanted to be a successful morning show host.  He got pretty well

for himself. 

MATTHEWS:  I think he‘s a star, and I think he‘s great.  I always

respect anybody who creates a world for themselves as Joe and Micah

have.  They‘ve created a whole world in the morning for three hours that

really didn‘t exist in cable before.  So I salute like heck to them.  I

also, of course—I feel like I‘m acting like I‘m giving out the

Academy Awards tonight.  I think Rachel‘s performance this week as a

real journalist was tough.  She‘s a person of opinion, obviously, but

she really did the journalist job this week. 

HENNEBERGER:  One of my favorites in that class was Steve Largent. 

MATTHEWS:  Oklahoma football star. 

HENNEBERGER:  -- who was going to have the biggest political

career, it would have been Steve Largent.  He‘s now one of the—

MATTHEWS:  Dare I say because he looked like a movie star? 

HENNEBERGER:  No, he was a really talented guy. 


CILLIZZA:  The fascinating thing about Largent was he—I think

Melinda‘s 100 percent right about Largent.  He was supposed to be

elected governor of Oklahoma in 2002.  Everything was lined up

perfectly.  He was hunting during the September 11th, 2001, terrorist

attack, came back, didn‘t know anything about it, looked totally out of

touch and the campaign imploded from there.  It shows you how, you know,

a few actions here and there.  That guy had star written all over him,

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver. 

MATTHEWS:  Another big star is Ray Lahood, a really good guy,

really bipartisan guy, who‘s now in the cabinet right now.  Ray Lahood

is a good guy that came out of that class.  We have a couple heroes, Joe



MATTHEWS:  Fair enough.  Melinda Henneberger looking for stars in

that class.  She‘s still covering them.  And Chris Cillizza, who is very

hot these days. 

When we return, I‘m going to have some thoughts about how words can

come back and haunt you in the age of video.  Nothing goes away anymore. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Let me finish tonight with the power of video.  The days

are over, gone, kaput, when you can say something and hope people will

forget about it.  You say Macaca at a picnic somewhere and you‘re

finished politically.  That tape of yours never dies.  It lives on and

on and on, even until the end of time.  Ask George Allen, the former

senator of Virginia. 

You say, as Arlen Specter did, that you changed parties to save

your seat in the Senate, and those witnessed words endure even as your

Senate career begins to fizzle. 

You‘re Richard Blumenthal and you say you went to Vietnam and you

never did, and that tape never dies. 

Rand Paul, you can blame the interviewer, but it‘s your words I

witnessed on tape that haunt you.  That tape of you talking to the

“Louisville Courier Journal” editorial board, that tape of you not

coming across with Rachel Maddow.  Those tapes are going to survive. 

You‘re buckling the political practicality.  Your opponent is going to

throw them back at you without pity. 

No, they‘re not all lethal.  Rand Paul can prevail if he accepts

the historic merit of the Civil Rights bill.  Arlen Specter might have

prevailed if he had presented the voters with some compelling reason

Pennsylvania had for giving him another term. 

But sometimes you say something and the only way to get past it is

to admit something really bad about yourself, something that most voters

might never accept.  That Macaca line is one.  It‘s a term used to mock

black people, reduce them to something less than human.  That bogus

claim of having fought in Vietnam, that is another one. 

What‘s changed is this new man-made custody in which I can now

place myself.  When I speak in public, because of video, we‘re now the

prisoners forever of the public moment we enter.  It‘s not a place where

you should expose yourself unless you‘re truly ready to be a person of

your word, because your word, once spoken, may raise you up or it may

take you down.  But now you can never escape it. 

That‘s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  Right now,

it‘s time for “THE ED SHOW” with Ed Schultz. 




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