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'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Guests: Eugene Robinson, Ed Rendell, Michelle Bernard, Michael Smerconish, Amanda Drury, Jim Matthews, Patrick Murphy, Michael Nutter, Lisa Nutter


Let‘s play HARDBALL.

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews, back home in Philadelphia. 

Our big story of the day couldn‘t be bigger, a very explicit photo of Congressman Anthony Weiner—use your worst imagination—has emerged.  It‘s the photo that conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart said he had no immediate plans to release.  But now three Democratic members of Congress, including the top recruiter for 2012 candidates, are calling for the congressman to resign.  And after you see this picture, you‘ll know why.

We‘re here in Philadelphia today for “Education Nation“—different subject—our NBC News initiative about the state of education in America.  Behind me, of course, is one of the greatest iconic structures in the world, Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776.  That‘s for you, Sarah Palin.  And on the other side—


C. MATTHEWS:  (INAUDIBLE) here in Philadelphia, this (ph) old city (INAUDIBLE) National Constitution Center, a great place to learn all about our country‘s Constitution.  And that‘s also where our “Education Nation“ pavilion is based.  We‘re going to get to all of that later in the show.

But first, new calls for Congressman Weiner to resign.  Ed Rendell, the most popular mayor in the history of this city and governor of Pennsylvania, fairly popular guy, chairman of the Democratic National Committee—had all these jobs—he‘s now an MSNBC political analyst.  Eugene Robinson, the only one here with a Pulitzer Prize.  He won it as a columnist for “The Washington Post.“  He‘s also an MSNBC political analyst.

Gentlemen, I have two heavyweights, two mature men, to talk about this crazy story.  Allyson Schwartz—well, let‘s go through this list—

Senator Mark Pryor, U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz of the Philadelphia area, Congressman Michael Michaud, have all said Weiner should resign.

Mr. Mayor, Governor, former chairman of the DNC, is there any way that Weiner can survive as a public official with this picture out of him?  It‘s of his—let‘s talk about it like in clinical terms—his private parts.  It‘s out there.  He put it out there.  Use your worst imagination about what the picture looks like.  He put it out on purpose to a total stranger (INAUDIBLE) perhaps many of them, and lets them know he‘s a U.S.  Congressman.  And he puts this out on line.  Is this the behavior of a person who‘s got his head screwed on?

ED RENDELL (D-PA), FMR. GOV., MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  You know, Chris, yesterday on “Dylan Ratigan,“ I defended Anthony Weiner and said I wanted him to stay.  I wanted him to ride this out because he is one of the only voices who unabashedly speaks out for education, for the poor people in this country, for protecting the most vulnerable citizens, for the America that we would like to see.  And if he goes, we‘re losing a very important voice.  And yesterday, I said he hadn‘t done anything to hurt anybody but himself and perhaps his terrific wife.

But I think this picture puts it over the limit.  I think he‘s got no choice now but to resign.

C. MATTHEWS:  Gene Robinson, you write a column for “The Washington Post.“  You cover the way the federal government works.  Is there any future for a guy in the current position he‘s in, with this picture out there now to anybody who‘s interested in going on line and looking at it?

EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  No, there‘s no future today.  I don‘t think there was a future yesterday, actually.  I think as soon as this started coming out last week, my first thought was that this is not going to end well for him.  This is a compulsion, apparently, that he has.  And you know—

C. MATTHEWS:  Why does he want to—this—why does he—well, it seems to me it‘s about a person—nobody understands another person‘s psychology perfectly.  But it seems like a person who‘s not just a risk-taker, but is compelled to almost put his career at risk.  These people he was—without getting into the oddity of it, he‘s sending out damaging material to people he doesn‘t even know and has never met and doesn‘t intend to meet.  They have no bond with him.  And this material, if it‘s distributed to anyone else, would kill his career.  What do we make of a person who does—is it—is it—I‘m not a clinician, but is this suicidal?

ROBINSON:  I‘m not a psychologist, either.  But it—but it‘s, you know, a cry for help.  He wants to get caught.  You know, whatever—


ROBINSON: -- whatever sort of pop psychology cliche you want to use, it‘s valid here.  It‘s applicable.  It—it—it—clearly, l—this—again, it was some sort of compulsion.  And my initial reaction after his press conference was—he talked to six women—compulsions usually don‘t stop at six.  They‘re usually—they go beyond that.  So I feared all along that there‘s more and more and more that will be (INAUDIBLE)

C. MATTHEWS:  OK, let‘s take a look at these front page newspapers in

New York.  “The New York Post” cover says “Fall on your sword, Weiner,“

“Why he must quit now.“  This was before this picture came out today.  The

“New York“ cover says “Stick a fork in him,“ and it‘s got picture of him

as a hot dog.  “The New York Daily News,” which is, I guess—used to be

the Irish newspaper.  I guess it‘s the—it‘s Democratic paper now,

“Putz‘s porn star,“ with a nice yiddishism in there.  It says, “Weiner

coached her to lie about sexts.“

I mean, it just gets worse—look at this.  The New York City people, however, have a different sensibility -- 51 percent say he shouldn‘t resign.  Is that New Yorkers looking out for themselves, or their own—their own?

RENDELL:  No, I think that probably—poll was probably taken before this most recent—

C. MATTHEWS:  Before—it was.  It was taken on Monday, sir.

RENDELL:  Right.  And look, Chris, I think Gene is absolutely right.  Anthony Weiner, a brilliant guy, a dedicated guy, obviously has some form of emotional or mental illness.  What I think Anthony Weiner should do—he still has a lot to offer.  I think he should resign.  He should get treatment, and I mean real treatment, maybe in-patient treatment.  And if he can rehabilitate himself, can he someday down the road in New York run for office some day?  Maybe.  Maybe.  But he‘s got resign.  He owes it to the party.  He owes it to the Congress.  And he owes it to the issue that he fought for because—

C. MATTHEWS:  Are you saying that as a Democrat?

RENDELL:  I‘m saying it as an American, as someone who likes Anthony Weiner and admired what he did.

ROBINSON:  But just as a person, imagine going—if he stays and he goes through an Ethics Committee investigation, would you like to have the Ethics Committee, you know, inside your—

C. MATTHEWS:  Well, I think that is—

ROBINSON: -- your deepest sexual fantasies?

C. MATTHEWS: -- a thing that gets to his family, his marriage—

ROBINSON:  His family, to the women—

C. MATTHEWS:  Does he want to have that done?

ROBINSON: -- he was in touch with.  All that comes into—

C. MATTHEWS:  OK, let me ask this audience here—Thank you for coming out on this sticky day.


C. MATTHEWS:  Today we‘re going to get to a more elevated discussion at some point.  But at this point now, as American citizens and only citizens, please—I‘m just kidding.  Everybody can vote here—


C. MATTHEWS: -- and as Democrats, Republicans or independents, how many think that he should stick it out, remain a member of Congress?  OK, how many think his goose is cooked?


C. MATTHEWS:  OK.  I want only the Democrats to speak now.  How many think he‘s good for the party if he sticks it out?  How many think he should quit for the good of the party?


C. MATTHEWS:  Well, I think we‘re hearing now, Allyson Schwartz, who‘s a very respected member of Congress—her job is to go around the country to places like Utah, where it‘s hard to find Democrats, Wyoming, Kansas—she‘s got to get them to join this party, and she is basically charged with finding winning members of Congress for the next election so they can win back the House.

Gene, as an observer, is this a killer issue for her?  That‘s why she put her hand up and said he‘s got to go.

ROBINSON:  It makes her job harder.  And look, you know, the Republicans had a kind of similar thing, frankly, not as bad, with Chris Lee in—in New York—

C. MATTHEWS:  Well, he quit that day.

ROBINSON:  He quit in four hours and—

C. MATTHEWS:  There‘s a difference, though.  I mean, let‘s do the fine cutting here.  He was apparently soliciting.

ROBINSON:  Well, yes, OK.  OK.


C. MATTHEWS:  He was one of these guys who went out there—


ROBINSON:  But there are other ways you can draw distinctions between the two!

C. MATTHEWS:  No, but that‘s different.  I mean, it‘s different.

ROBINSON:  Yes.  Well—

C. MATTHEWS:  I find this—I think it goes more to your case.  This isn‘t for sexual—whatever it was, it was a weird kind of virtual reality this guy was operating in.  It wasn‘t for meeting people, at least in a normal way.

RENDELL:  It wasn‘t cheating on his wife (INAUDIBLE)

C. MATTHEWS:  It wasn‘t.  It was a strange, strange thing.  Let me ask you this.  Does this compound the case, that he knew he was under surveillance by the right wing, that they were calling up these women that he was connecting with on the Internet and using them to basically sting him, and he still kept at it because he was—what do you call it, befriend or defriend some of these people?


C. MATTHEWS:  So he knew he was being surveyed upon, and he stuck at it.  What‘s that tell you?

ROBINSON:  Well, again, it tells me that it was a compulsion.  It tells me that he wasn‘t fully in control.  He certainly wasn‘t acting in his own best self-interest.  So on some level, he knew this would happen.  He had to know this would happen.

RENDELL:  He‘s very similar to a very smart, bright person who‘s addicted to crack cocaine.  Each time they take some crack cocaine, they know they‘re hurting themselves.  They know it‘s bad for them, and yet they can‘t stop.  And that‘s what this is.  And can you get treatment?  Yes, crack cocaine addicts get off of it, and I think maybe down the road, Anthony can rehabilitate himself.

C. MATTHEWS:  OK, we‘re going to come back more and talk more about this.  I‘m sure this topic will come later today.

We‘ll be back.  More from Philadelphia in just a moment.


C. MATTHEWS:  Well, it‘s always sunny in Philadelphia.  And of course, today it‘s about 100 in Philadelphia today, my favorite city.  What Michele Bachmann says, by the way—changing subjects for only a second.  We‘ll be back to the other topic, Weiner, in a second.  But he (ph) sure has a funny way of showing it with her new top strategist, Ed Rollins—this is Ed Rollins.  He‘s the top strategist for Michele Bachmann—going after Palin.  Let‘s listen.


ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Sarah is—has not been serious over the last couple years, and she‘s—you know, she got the thing—the vice presidential thing handed to her.  She didn‘t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance.  She gave up her governorship.


C. MATTHEWS:  So we have two women on the Christian right, or the far right, Tea Party right, apparently contesting the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.  And the first thing Michele Bachmann did on the week she‘s entering the race, apparently, she‘s picked Ed Rollins to be her tough guy.  He immediately went after Sarah Palin.

Now, here‘s Sarah Palin‘s tough guy responding.  This is the chief of staff to Palin‘s political action committee.  Quote, “Beltway political strategist Ed Rollins has a long, long track record of taking high-profile jobs and promptly sticking his foot in his mouth.  To no one‘s surprise, he has done it again while also fuelling a contrived narrative about the presidential race by the mainstream media.  One would expect that his woodshed moment is coming and that a retraction will be issued soon.”

For more on this war of words, let‘s turn to MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard.  (INAUDIBLE) reading what I don‘t have to read—

Michelle Bernard.


C. MATTHEWS:  And thank you, Michael Smerconish.  Thank you so much.  Michael, you‘re local here.  Let me ask you this question.  First of all, Weiner—is he done?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  It depends what happens, I think, with an ethics investigation.  I think he can survive this.  I really do, and—

C. MATTHEWS:  This picture out today he can survive?

SMERCONISH:  Had he come clean 10 days ago, stood up and told us what we all know now, I believe he would have survived this.  The underlying conduct was not as bad to me as the cover-up and the lying.

C. MATTHEWS:  Releasing that picture of his private parts—

SMERCONISH:  Well, he didn‘t release it.  He went on a radio show, and Opie and Anthony, I think, took a picture of it and they released it.

XX:  What?



C. MATTHEWS:  What are you talking about?  Never mind.  Do you think -

do you think Michael Smerconish has his head screwed on tonight?


C. MATTHEWS:  No, he‘s fine.  No, he‘s fine.  Michelle Bernard, is he finished?

MICHELLE BERNARD, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  If any of the women that he e-mailed these pictures to are under 18, he‘s finished.


BERNARD:  Absolutely.

C. MATTHEWS:  I‘ve never heard so many ifs, ands and buts.  Anyway, I think he is.  But anyway, let‘s talk about this interesting fight now.  We all know Ed Rollins.  He‘s been a top pick (ph) for a lot of candidates, including Ronald Reagan.  He‘s been hired to be a top strategist for Michele Bachmann, who‘s apparently going to enter the race and be in the first debate next week.

Immediately goes after—he shows his teeth.  He bites into the ankle of Sarah Palin and says she has no substance, she‘s not serious—by the way, a pretty strong charge, and it looks to me a pretty accurate one.  Her guy reacts and comes back and says, This guy has screwed up campaigns before.

Do you think that Sarah Palin secretly wants to have a big fight now with Michele Bachmann?  Because if she didn‘t, all she had to do was call her up today and say, Get your guy off me.  Get your dogs off my ankle.  Let‘s not do it this way.  She didn‘t do it.  She unleashed her dog.

BERNARD:  Look, I think Ed Rollins‘s statement—number one, most people would argue that it was a completely factual statement.  I think it was a completely—

C. MATTHEWS:  That she‘s without substance and seriousness.

BERNARD:  That she is without substance.  You know, she‘s done her reality television show.  Everything that she‘s done has not given people enough reason to believe that she‘s a very serious presidential candidate.

That being said, what he said was a complete gift to her.  It keeps her relevant.  We‘re not talking about Mitt Romney.  We‘re not talking about Tim Pawlenty.  We‘re talking Michele Bachmann versus Sarah Palin.  This is the most relevant thing Sarah Palin has done since the 2008 campaign.

C. MATTHEWS:  OK, first thing they do when they get in the race is unleash the dogs.  Isn‘t it amazing?  I‘ve never seen a campaign start this fast.

BERNARD:  And the male dogs.

SMERCONISH:  The tent‘s not big enough for both of them.  They both appeal to the same type of a voter, and I think this was Rollins serving notice to Palin, maybe in an effort to try and keep her out of the race, letting her know this thing‘s going to get ugly in a hurry if the two of them are in together.

BERNARD:  See, here what I think is interesting—remember during 2008, we—everybody talked about Hillary Clinton.  It was Snow White and the seven dwarfs.  So right now, it‘s, like, who‘s going to be the fairest lady of them all on the Republican side?  And what‘s fascinating is you‘ve got the two men kind of going after—going at the candidates.  And I think some people are sort of taken aback because it‘s two female candidates that have these guys fighting it out for them.

C. MATTHEWS:  Yes, but it‘s not like the press has cooked up this fight.

BERNARD:  No.  No.  Ed Rollins cooked up the fight, and I think—

C. MATTHEWS:  I think it‘s—


C. MATTHEWS:  By the way, check out what Ed Rollins said about Sarah Palin last night on HARDBALL, right here.  Let‘s listen.


C. MATTHEWS:  If she doesn‘t run, she doesn‘t matter.


C. MATTHEWS:  She doesn‘t matter if she doesn‘t run.

ROLLINS:  No, she doesn‘t matter if she doesn‘t (ph) run.


C. MATTHEWS:  Boy, there‘s a statement for the record.  Let‘s tell everybody about that one!


C. MATTHEWS:  Ed Rollins says she doesn‘t matter if she doesn‘t run. 

Well, he also told Politico, the Politico newspaper, that Bachmann would be

so much more substantive and said people are going to say, “I got to make a

choice and go with the intelligent woman who is every bit as attractive.“

What do you make of that?  Does that cross some line?


BERNARD:  That crossed a lot of lines for me!



C. MATTHEWS:  You know, isn‘t “attractive“ one of those sort of general words that you can use these days, or not?

BERNARD:  It‘s—I mean, it‘s a general word that you can use, but why use it at all?  Nobody—when with the male candidate is running, no one talks about the comb over or the tummy that hangs over the belt or who‘s attractive or who‘s unattractive.


SMERCONISH:  But it‘s on everybody‘s mind.  I think—

BERNARD:  It‘s on your mind, but—


BERNARD: -- why say it?

C. MATTHEWS:  How many times you heard (ph) say that Mr. Romney looks just perfect?  His hair never blows in the wind.  He‘s just—they do the same cosmetic number on him.


C. MATTHEWS:  I‘m not like that.


SMERCONISH: -- the way they went after Chris Christie because of his girth.  Same kind of issue.  Jon Corzine made that an issue.

C. MATTHEWS:  What‘s wrong with—now that you brought it up, what‘s wrong with Chris Christie‘s girth?

SMERCONISH:  Nothing‘s wrong with it.  As a matter of fact, I think—

C. MATTHEWS:  Well, how would you describe his girth?

BERNARD:  Angelic!

SMERCONISH:  Larger than ours.


C. MATTHEWS:  About right, huh?



BERNARD:  Angelic.


C. MATTHEWS:  What?  Angelic?

BERNARD:  Angelic.

C. MATTHEWS:  Oh, my God.  Anyway—


C. MATTHEWS: -- a Bachmann ally told Politico this about Palin.  “The

view in Iowa is that she‘s unstable.“  There‘s a good line.  “When she

resigned her position as governor, the whole event seemed odd, and people

in Iowa saw that.“

I think the word “unstable“ is one of those words like, don‘t get so defensive.  They immediately get defensive.

SMERCONISH:  If I‘m Mitt Romney, I‘m loving it.

C. MATTHEWS:  If somebody called you unstable, what would you be saying?

SMERCONISH:  They do and—


SMERCONISH:  Listen, I—if I‘m Mitt Romney, I‘m loving it.  The more the merrier to the right.  Doesn‘t matter if they‘re attractive, unattractive.  They‘re all fighting for that same piece of the pie.  And to the extent there are any moderates left in the GOP, he will grasp all of them.  And that‘s how he wins the nomination.

C. MATTHEWS:  OK, let‘s go to another example of dishonest polling,

OK?  First of all, here‘s one.  This is about the Mormon faith.  And it

asks you, “Are you comfortable with somebody being a Mormon?“  I guess—

it doesn‘t even say “run for office,“ just says views on Mormon president

oh, running as president.  Sixty percent of all voters say they‘re comfortable with it, sixty-eight percent of GOP voters.

And I keep asking myself, when they ask these questions, do they expect people to be honest?

SMERCONISH:  Well, it‘s underreported.  Whatever the number is of folks who say that they‘re not comfortable—

C. MATTHEWS:  Yes, 36 percent—

SMERCONISH: -- it‘s higher than that.

C. MATTHEWS:  OK, let‘s go—

SMERCONISH:  That‘s scary.

C. MATTHEWS:  Let‘s put the projection on this.  Thirty-six percent of all voters say they‘re uncomfortable with it.  What would you add to that?

SMERCONISH:  I would say that it‘s probably 5 or 10 points higher.  And Chris, who they are is important because those folks tend to be evangelical Christians.  And if—

C. MATTHEWS:  Who don‘t like Mormons.

SMERCONISH:  And in a state like South Carolina, they hold the cards in the nomination process.  That‘s why it‘s a big problem for Romney.

C. MATTHEWS:  Do you think there might be a lot of people say, I don‘t like Romney, because they think he‘s boring when they really have a problem with him because he‘s Mormon? 

BERNARD:  I think so, and I—

C. MATTHEWS:  People say different things about people that isn‘t the way they‘re thinking.  It‘s the way they want to be—have an impact.

BERNARD:  Well, I think it‘s a problem.  The other problem that Romney‘s going to have is if you look at that Quinnipiac poll, if you look at just—if you segregate African-Americans and women, the number of people in those two demographics that are uncomfortable with him being a Mormon—it‘s skyrocketing, and—

C. MATTHEWS:  Why, because of the African-American—explain the history of African-Americans—

BERNARD:  Well, in the—you know, African-Americans were shunned by

the Church of Latter Day Saints.  And the whole polygamy thing with women -


C. MATTHEWS:  You couldn‘t be a bishop, yes.


BERNARD:  Yes.  The polygamy thing with—with Mormons—


C. MATTHEWS:  Well, that‘s—that hasn‘t been the case since they—


BERNARD:  It has been—it has been—it has not been the case for a long time, but there are a lot of people who believe that that is why so many women have a problem with Mormonism. 

My—my only point is, for Romney, he is the most quite—right now, the most normal, centrist Republican candidate running.  If he makes it past a primary and gets to the general, he‘s got—he is going to have to do something to reach out to African-Americans and to women. 


C. MATTHEWS:  Do you think the performance of Anthony Weiner on one end of the cultural scale has made the idea of a straight-arrow president pretty attractive?  


BERNARD:  No pun intended? 

C. MATTHEWS:  He is so boring.  He is so boring. 

SMERCONISH:  I‘m not sure I would say straight arrow, by the way. 

C. MATTHEWS:  About—about—about Romney? 

SMERCONISH:  Not that there‘s anything wrong with—no, about Romney, about Weiner.  I thought we were talking about Weiner.  I believe Romney is a straight arrow.  I look at some of those photos—

C. MATTHEWS:  I think—I think we have just conducted a Rorschach test.  And you have lost.


C. MATTHEWS:  Anyway, Romney tried to justify his flip-flopping on abortion.  Let‘s listen to this flip-flop. 


MITT ROMNEY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Ronald Reagan was also pro-choice and then became pro-life.  And George Herbert Walker Bush was pro-choice and became pro-life.  And they became pro-life as they took the responsibility of leading. 

PIERS MORGAN, HOST, “PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT”:  On how many issues can you do it before you lose credibility? 

ROMNEY:  Well, the issue of great significance that everybody tells me I should just change my mind on and do the politically expedient thing, which is to say that my health care plan was a terrible mistake, I‘m not willing to do. 


C. MATTHEWS:  So, what do you make of him?  Do you think he‘s—do you think Romney is one of those guys who if they—like they pull their skin down, they‘re going to be something, another form of life, that they are not really completely what they seem? 

SMERCONISH:  I think the Mitt Romney who was a governor—

C. MATTHEWS:  Somebody once said that of Gephardt, I mean, where they perform so constantly, you wonder, if there someone—like, I said to Michele Bachmann one night, are you hypnotized here? 

I mean, do you think he is for real when he talks, or is he like Mr.

Wizard used to be on television? 

SMERCONISH:  I think the Mitt Romney who governed Massachusetts is a very formidable opponent for Barack Obama. 

C. MATTHEWS:  That guy? 

SMERCONISH:  That guy is a very—but the more of that guy—

C. MATTHEWS:  He‘s denied him.

SMERCONISH:  But the guy you just showed us, the more that he tacks to the right to appease South Carolina evangelical Christians, the more he is sealing his fate in a general election, if he survives. 

C. MATTHEWS:  You know, I wonder whether people have a real problem with politician these days, just guessing.

BERNARD:  Absolutely. 

C. MATTHEWS:  They say—they deny, deny, deny, and then they come out crying, saying, everything you thought about me is true.  They say they are pro-choice, pro-choice, pro-choice to get elected in Massachusetts.  And the minute they go West to get elected, they‘re pro-life, pro-life, pro-life, and it‘s same exact person. 


C. MATTHEWS:  I mean, Kennedy used to say this about Nixon:  I feel sorry for him, because he doesn‘t know which Nixon to be on any day. 


C. MATTHEWS:  I wonder what suit they put on.  Do they put it on like a different tie?  Which tie today do I wear? 

BERNARD:  Look, I think if we were to take a poll of everybody here and say, do you want to get rid of everybody, they would say yes. 

Look at these signs back here behind you.  We want nonviolent schools, prisons growing, while schools are closing.  That is important, instead of, you know, where we have got politicians that change their mind depending on what state they are in.  It is a horrible state of affairs for the entire country. 

C. MATTHEWS:  Well, I think they would like HARDBALL. 


C. MATTHEWS:  Anyway, thank you, Michelle Bernard.

Thank you, Michael Smerconish. 

Thank you very much for joining us.


C. MATTHEWS:  Up next: Sarah Palin‘s version of history, at least according to Conan O‘Brien.  That‘s next in the “Sideshow.” 

You are watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC. 



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

We are living a sideshow.


C. MATTHEWS:  Anyway, first tonight: Jon Stewart‘s mea culpa, sort of.  Last night, he held his own press conference to apologize for going easy on his good friend Congressman Anthony Weiner.  



JON STEWART, HOST, “THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART”:  Congressman Weiner confessed that the penis in question was, in fact, his own.


STEWART:  He did so—he did so at a press conference at 4:30 in the afternoon.  We tape our program at 6:00 p.m.  I made the decision—


STEWART: -- to do a couple of Weiner jokes, mention the press conference, but to mostly stick to the script that we had already written.  This was my decision—


STEWART: -- my decision alone. 


STEWART:  I recognize how wrong I was. 


STEWART:  Unlike the congressman, I have decided to step down.  I will turn the program over now to someone whose accent falsely makes you believe you can trust him, John Oliver—John.


JOHN OLIVER, “THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART”:  You had a chance to dry your eyes, turn off your soul, and give this audience the prepubescent (EXPLETIVE DELETED) jokes they waited outside in 90-degree temperatures for, and you failed, Jon. 


OLIVER:  Well, no more.  No more, Jon.  No longer. 


OLIVER:  Strap yourself down.  Clear eyes.  (INAUDIBLE)



C. MATTHEWS:  I think what Stewart did with the drinking water really captured it.  I guess he is making up for lost time. 

Next up: the Sarah Palin history channel.  My God, Conan O‘Brien used the Palin method—


C. MATTHEWS: -- to come up with his retelling of what happened in the building right behind, Independence Hall, back in 1776.  God help us, here it is. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The Sarah Page History Channel. 

Tonight: the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people—

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS:  And then George Jefferson read this wonderful little piece of paper about how we can have our own guns and such. 

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  Oh, come on, that‘s not in here. 

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS:  And that‘s when Paul Revere and FDR—


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: -- rode right in—rode right into that office and delivered the hog‘s blood and the feathers, so everyone could put down their Herbie Hancock.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS:  They celebrated by shooting and hollering. 

And, gosh, it‘s good thing they had those weapons, because Hitler didn‘t want that document signed at all. 


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS:  But Hitler didn‘t know our boys had been working hard in a lab to come up with a secret weapon.  




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The Sarah Palin History Channel. 



C. MATTHEWS:  Well, let‘s face it.  It‘s impossible to lampoon Sarah Palin.  She beats you to it. 

Coming up:  President Obama needs to do well in that Scranton-to-Oshkosh corridor if he wants to win reelection.  With the economy on edge, how can he turn things around in those manufacturing states from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin?


C. MATTHEWS:  We‘re coming back with HARDBALL from Philadelphia for “Education Nation.”


AMANDA DRURY, CNBC CORRESPONDENT:  I‘m Amanda Drury with your CNBC “Market Wrap.”

Stocks headed lower for a sixth straight session, the longest losing streak since 2009, the Dow Jones industrials giving up 21 points.  The S&P 500 dropped five, and the Nasdaq tumbled by 26. 

A cloud of pessimism hanging over Wall Street today.  Stocks moved lower, despite a not-so-glum Beige Book report from the Federal Reserve and dividend bumps for Target and Caterpillar.  The Fed reported slower economic growth in some regions, but many held steady, and the Dallas region actually picked up the pace. 

Oil prices, meantime, they rallied after OPEC surprised analysts by leaving production levels unchanged and a weekly report showed a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. inventories. 

Elsewhere, credit card companies were under pressure after Congress voted to let the Fed set limits on fees stores—that—that stores pay to banks for debit card sales. 

And home builder Hovnanian tumbled 11.5 percent after doubling its losses and selling fewer homes. 

And that is it from CNBC.  We are first in business worldwide—now it‘s back to HARDBALL. 

C. MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL with “Education Nation.”

With “Education Nation,” here we are in Philadelphia celebrating it right at Independence Hall.


C. MATTHEWS:  Let‘s bring in Iraq war veteran and former Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy of the northern part of Philadelphia, around northeast, and also in Bucks County.  He is running for attorney general of Pennsylvania this time -- 


C. MATTHEWS: -- with the support of all—all here. 

My brother Jim is a Republican.  He is chairman of the Montgomery County Commissioners.  There he is. 

You‘re allowed to applaud my frigging brother, you know.  It‘s all right. 


C. MATTHEWS:  You know, it‘s permitted. 



I‘m from Philadelphia, too, all right? 

C. MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you. 

We‘re going to talk about what the president is trying to do to bring down unemployment.  It‘s a huge issue in this country in every part of the country, but especially, I think, when I call from Scranton to Oshkosh, the industrial states, where we have long had this great tradition of employment, big jobs, real jobs, well-paying job, where a young married person can support a family, even if only one person was working, in the old days. 

Those days aren‘t here anymore, how to replace them. 

I first have to ask you about the hot story of the day, which is this embarrassing development with regards to the United States Congress, one of the most well-known members of Congress, who is on television constantly, Anthony Weiner.

It now comes out today that he put out on one of these Twitters or whatever, his accounts, put out a picture of his private parts in strangest, most grotesque way.  And God knows why he did it.  And it‘s just part of this unfolding story.  Does he have to leave the Congress, or are the Democrats going to have to carry him like a dead weight? 

PATRICK MURPHY (D), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN:  I think he has to leave, Chris.  And this is why people hate politicians.  They say one thing and do another. 

And he lied.  And my heart goes out to his wife and his family, but the bottom line is, is that he should exit gracefully. 

C. MATTHEWS:  You know, Jim, I just got word “The New York Times” is reporting for tomorrow‘s papers that Huma, the wife of Anthony Weiner, is now pregnant.  So, that is another fact of life.  It shows the human quality of this story.  It affects real people.  And there they are. 


C. MATTHEWS:  Should he get out?


J. MATTHEWS:  It‘s painful because so many people liked his credentials.  Somebody like—he‘s an adversary for me, obviously.

But I‘m a “MORNING JOE” person.  I‘m a HARDBALL person.  I like listening to his adversarial position.  He made a lot of sense half the time.  He was cutting, he was acerbic.  But, boy, it‘s brutal when it goes the other way. 

C. MATTHEWS:  Should he leave?

J. MATTHEWS:  I‘m with Harry Reid.  I have never agreed with Harry Reid about anything, except for this, when he said, what would you do if he called you and ask you for advice, he said I would call—tell him to call somebody else. 

And that‘s the way I feel about it.


J. MATTHEWS:  Harry Reid was right on. 

C. MATTHEWS:  OK, more news coming out today.

Let‘s talk about the really serious problem.  I believe the American voter, with all the prejudices voters always have—a lot have more than others on both sides—Barack Obama‘s fate depends on the economics of this state and the other parts of the country. 

What‘s your view about what he should be doing about training?  He is out there.  Every time I—I watch the news at night, he‘s been out at some factory, some startup.  He is trying to identify with training.  He is trying to identify with enterprise, with the sunrise industries, the new industries.

Is that enough, or does he need to have a new policy to create jobs and training and the whole works to get people back competing with the Chinese and everybody else?

MURPHY:  Well, I think he would be the first to tell you that he is doing everything he can, and that he‘s not happy, and that he—we need to do all we can as a country to come together as Republicans and Democrats to get people back to work.  And I will tell you, Chris—


C. MATTHEWS:  Can he get reelected if the unemployment rate is 9 percent?  It‘s 9.1 percent now. 

MURPHY:  Listen, I think the economy is going to be hurtful to both parties.  Every incumbent that is up, it‘s going to hurt them. 

C. MATTHEWS:  Well, what about the president?  He‘s the only incumbent president who is up. 

MURPHY:  Well, and I think people see that he is doing his best and that—and he is working it. 

C. MATTHEWS:  So, you‘re not willing to say a number is important to him?


C. MATTHEWS:  Jim, what about a number?  Is there a number that he has to reach?  If it‘s 8 percent unemployment next year or lower, can he get credit for bringing it down from double digit?  Can he get—


J. MATTHEWS:  Not necessarily, but what he does need is something he approached today.  He went after the middle class today.  That was not a partisan speech. 

He mentioned the middle class four times today, three times preserving the middle class, saving the middle class, and something I have never heard a president say, moving up into the middle class, to those who have that opportunity, and using a tremendous vehicle for it, community colleges, and what they offer right now, and the whole idea of changing that dynamic.

And that is the idea that college is telling you what your skill sets are going to be.  No, it is going to manufacturers, getting those skill sets and putting them into the curriculum, and also making ruthless decisions, in his own words today, on getting rid of those curricula that don‘t work, that don‘t get people to jobs or don‘t get people to better jobs.

C. MATTHEWS:  So, you‘re telling the kid who lives in North Philly, who may have all kinds of bad opportunities around him, the drug business, all horrible things around him, kids who are dropping out and saying, no, if you stink at school, there is something on your horizon you can get involved with, right?

MURPHY:  That‘s right, Chris. 

C. MATTHEWS:  Not in 20 years, not as a college professor, but something that is real that makes you a decent income and makes you a proud person. 

MURPHY:  That‘s right.  It‘s about winning the future and the jobs of the future, not the jobs of the past.

And that was why today was remarkable.  At that community college in Northern Virginia, he talked about this public/private partnership, making sure that getting private industry—and he listened to them to say, what do you need to get these folks, these young Americans engaged to get them back in the work force?

And he answered the call today at about a half-a-million jobs just in the manufacturing sector, which is important. 


C. MATTHEWS:  Well, let‘s take a look at—good point, Congressman. 

Let take a look at the president today making the very points you two are making.  Here he is in Northern Virginia—NOVA, called, Northern Virginia College.  Here he is.  Let‘s listen. 


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We are in a tough fight.  We‘ve been in a tough fight over the last two-and-a-half years to get past a crippling recession, but also to deal with the problems that happened before this recession, the fact that manufacturing had weakened, the middle class was treading water. 

I don‘t think the answer is for us to turn back.  I think the answer is to stand up for what this country is capable of achieving.


C. MATTHEWS:  How many people here think the government, both parties, are doing enough to create jobs?


C. MATTHEWS:  How many people think it‘s the number one issue?



J. MATTHEWS:  Chris, the part about that speech today, it brought in occupational credentials, not just traditional educational, postgraduate degrees, et cetera.  It was occupational credentials, giving that traction, which is what the country has to do because we‘re not going to have a full recovery without occupational recovery as well.

C. MATTHEWS:  Is this a federal responsibility or local?

J. MATTHEWS:  No, I‘ve been doing it locally for several years in our community college, kind of community college.

C. MATTHEWS:  You and Jill Biden by there, Dr. Biden.

J. MATTHEWS:  Dr. Biden was there.  I was speaking to her my right shoulder last week and I think the president was speaking over his left shoulder today at northern Virginia.  I‘m not sure.

MURPHY:  And I know the president was Bucks County six weeks ago, talking about the green jobs academy, again this is a private venture, working with academia to make sure that we are training the students of the future.  It‘s about winning the future and getting people back to work, period.

C. MATTHEWS:  I want to thank both of you for your service, Jim was a naval officer, you were a United States -- 

MURPHY:  Army versus Navy.

MATTHEWS:  Army versus Navy.  And I want to thank you.  I don‘t know what Jim‘s stance on this, but I want to thank you for what you did to get rid of “don‘t ask, don‘t tell.”


C. MATTHEWS:  Open service is a great thing.  People should be allowed to serve their country if they are capable of performing the service of a soldier.  I was there with you that night, I think that‘s going to be a big part of your career.  Anyway, thank you.

J. MATTHEWS:  I‘m with Barry Goldwater, shoot straight.  That‘s all I care about.

MURPHY:  That‘s right.

C. MATTHEWS:  Thank you, Patrick Murphy.  Thank you, my brother, my beloved brother, Jim Matthews, Republican.  See, I‘m well-rounded.

Up next, let‘s talk to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and his wife about how they are turning around city school (INAUDIBLE).


C. MATTHEWS:  On the road in Philly.  It‘s always sunny in Philadelphia, “Education Nation” on MSNBC.



MATTHEWS:  We‘re back in Philadelphia for “Education Nation.”  By the way, right behind me is one of the great spots in the world, Independence Hall, where this whole country started.

We are here with two great people, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.


MATTHEWS:  And the equally important and significant on this program, Lisa Nutter.

Thank you so much for joining, Lisa.


MATTHEWS:  You know, both of you are involved very much in this city and we all know this is a great old city of the country.  This is where it all began.  It‘s where we learned civics and where civics began.  I want Lisa to start.


MATTHEWS:  Young kids and how do you get a community to care about what everybody knows is important, is educating kids to compete in the world.

LISA NUTTER, PRES. OF PHILADELPHIA ACADEMIES:  Well, I think what we‘ve learn and the organization I run, Philadelphia Academies, is that there‘s really three things kids talk about very important to them: the fact that adults need to have high expectations for them, because they will meet us at those high expectations; the fact that they need to have real-life and relevant experiences, even though they are in school, that they need to learn in some context.  And finally, that they thrive when they are around positive adults and that these relationships are really critical.

And so, I think that, you know, these aren‘t things that are necessarily academic in nature, this is about how community organizers are around kids.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s talk about businesses in this city.  You got a Chamber of Commerce here.  You got business.  I know it‘s challenging.  It doesn‘t have those old industrial jobs when I was growing up.

How do you get—business people are listening right now, Democrats, Republican, how do get them to say, if you don‘t create an environment for some of these kids growing up in the row houses here in north and west Philly, they will look other on opportunities.  What do you do?  Who do you want to -- 

L. NUTTER:  I‘ll start.  You want to finish?  It‘s the way it happens at home.


L.            NUTTER:  So, you know, the way we talk about it because we actually do use a lot of volunteers from the corporate sector, is this is an investment and they‘re very clear that it‘s an investment.  For them, they need us to produce an 18-year-old that‘s career ready or ready for postsecondary education.  It‘s sort of no option for them.


And so, I think they get that it has a financial impact for them and they come to the table because of that.

MATTHEWS:  So, when can a kid go to work here?  When I was growing up, you know, I talked many times about you could get a job out of Bud, Father Judge (ph), you come out of high school here, you can go work for Father Judge, for Boeing, coming out of Bonner, I‘m talking with the Catholic schools here, same with public schools, St. Joe‘s.

M.            NUTTER:  Or you come out of Prep.


MATTHEWS:  Or you come out of Prep, one of the more elite schools.

But in those days, could you go provide for a family in a real semiskilled job.  They are not here, are they?

M.            NUTTER:  Well, a lot of the industrial economy has gone away but, now, increasingly being replaced here in Philadelphia by the green economy.  There are new job opportunities in this green economy that you can go and get a job.


MATTHEWS:  Give me some examples.

M.            NUTTER:  But what we‘re trying to do—well, we are trying to, first, take out the language K through 12.  We need to talk about education in a K through 16 context.  You have to go to college for some postsecondary educational opportunities.


So, you can then go into weatherization.  You can go into sustainability.  You can go work into a place that is now making solar panels or be on the other side -- 

MATTHEWS:  Give me an example of a Philadelphia academic or school institution where you know right now there are young men and women in their later teens moving up to having real careers.

M.            NUTTER:  You can go to Maxwell Education Group.  I have been at the front end, where young people came in.  Eight weeks later, they are graduating.  All of them then had jobs the moment they came out of that institution, because there‘s so much demand, again, over in the green economy and sustainability space.  And Philadelphia is increasingly becoming known as the clean tech and green economy sector in the United States of America.


Our Philadelphia Navy yard once, you know, part of the workshop to the world, now, there are 10,000 people—nearly 10,000 people working at the Navy yard, 110 businesses with a very different economic outlook right here in state of Philadelphia.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s talk about parents—our hero in this town, Bill Cosby talk.  I mean, he can be very tough about parental responsibility—the need to get married, basics, raise the kids, take responsibility for being a father.  He is very good at this.  Talk about that in general terms.

L. NUTTER:  Well, I mean, in general terms, of course.  I mean, it‘s a no-brainer.  You know, parents need to be engage.

But we do have circumstances were parents aren‘t.  So, what do we do?  We don‘t say there‘s no way to support these young people.  So, I mean, I think this is back to the community issue, right?

So, if—so if you don‘t have a parent that can play the role that a parent needs to play, you know, what‘s the safety net?  And a safety net is us. 

And so I think that it‘s not an—it‘s not an—it just can‘t be an excuse for the community to do nothing.

MATTHEWS:  Give me an example of a single parent family where you can help.

L. NUTTER:  A single—where you can help?

MATTHEWS:  You‘re helping.

L. NUTTER:  There‘s plenty of examples of that.  But do you want to make a point on that?

M.            NUTTER:  On the city government‘s side, the mayor‘s office of education, we created something called graduation coaches which Lisa‘s organization is involved with as well.  Graduation coach is that person who‘s going to work with that young person up through middle school, up through high school and on to college.


It goes back to something that was said earlier.  When young people know that there is an adult who cares about them, and whether it‘s an elected official, a businessperson, when we invest in these young people—we have a great discussion going on right now all across this country about funding.  We have to invest in our young people.

L. NUTTER:  Right.

M.            NUTTER:  Just like you would invest in a young business, that‘s why you need to have kindergarten.  That‘s why you need to have smaller class size.  That‘s why you need to make sure that those who have edged out or dropped out have a place to come back to, like a re-engagement center or accelerated schools.


That‘s what works.  That‘s we know works.  We need to invest in that.


MATTHEWS:  I want to give you a chance to brag a bit.  We were talking about lunchtime today about the scores, how are the scores.  Everybody wants to know—how‘s Philly doing in scores?

M.            NUTTER:  Eight straight years of test score gains, 50 percent-plus proficient in advanced reading and math, first time in the city‘s history.  There‘s no other big city school system that has made the kind of gains that Philadelphia‘s made, and there‘s no other state that‘s had some of those gains.  And I know you had on earlier, the—when he was in office, the education governor of the United States of America, Ed Rendell.


This is very simple, very direct.  When you invest in young people, set high standards, they will meet that challenge each and every time.

Public school is free for young people.  Adults have to pay for it, and we need to make those decisions.

MATTHEWS:  I want to ask about a math question.  What Major League Baseball team right now has the most wins and fewest losses?


MATTHEWS:  I‘m just wondering, Lisa, if you want—what team in all the divisions, American and National League, expansion teams who I don‘t like.  Personally, I like real baseball teams, I don‘t like Tampa Bay.  I only like cities I‘ve heard of when I was growing up.

What‘s the team with the best win record right now?

L. NUTTER:  I hope it‘s the Phillies.

M.            NUTTER:  It is the Phillies.


MATTHEWS:  Well, it‘s correct, the Phillies.  And this year, the Phillies have to win the championship.  They‘ve got to go all the way.  They got that little guy, the catcher, that they‘re working this year in San Francisco.


MATTHEWS:  We‘re going to go all the way.

M.            NUTTER:  Here‘s the deal, Chris, we want not only the Phillies to win the World Series, but we want to be the education World Series winner right here in Philadelphia.



MATTHEWS:  I have one last question.  Why are Philadelphia sports fans without doubt the most charming sports fans in the world?  I am just kidding.

L. NUTTER:  I‘ll take this, because we‘re well-educated.


MATTHEWS:  OK.  It doesn‘t show.  Anyway, thank you.  Thank you very much, Lisa.  Thank you, Mr. Mayor.  Great mayor, Michael Nutter, and Lisa Nutter—thank you both.

When we return, I‘m going to talk to these people in Philadelphia accent.  I got the right attitude.

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.



MATTHEWS:  We‘re back with HARDBALL.

We‘re here at 100 degrees, and it‘s not in the shade.  It‘s about 100 degrees here in Philadelphia.  And when Philadelphia gets hot, it gets sticky, the high humidity.

By the way, right over there behind me is the Liberty Bell, one of the great realities of American life, and Independence Hall, which I always love walking by.

I want to ask some questions of these people and they‘re going to tell me what they think.

Our theme here is education.  What do you think is important?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think that education was the direct effect of

unemployment rate has to do with education.  And—

MATTHEWS:  How so?  What‘s the connection?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think the fact that nobody has a great education is why unemployment is so high.  And we represent some of the most powerful students of our city and of our nation, and if we took a look and actually decided to invest in education, I feel like unemployment and all the other dire situations of our country would not be as serious as they are.

MATTHEWS:  What‘s going on with violence in schools?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I have an answer to that.  I go to West Philadelphia High School.  My name is Zuhur (ph).  I‘m a senior at West.  And at West Philadelphia High School, violence that‘s drastically decreased through the implementation of restorative justice and counselors.  And my question—

MATTHEWS:  What‘s restorative justice?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Restorative justice is practices that are used, instead of pushing students out into the criminal justice system where they‘re not educated, it‘s challenging students to take a look at the situations that occur—the situations that are occurred in the schools.

MATTHEWS:  Well, it seems like it‘s working.

Let me go over here.  Sir, what do you think about this scandal that‘s going on right now that we‘re talking about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It‘s crazy.  If Anthony Weiner cannot earn the trust of his own wife, he cannot represent his own people.  I mean, the guy should resign.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you.  What do you think about the education or the education of Anthony Weiner?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think moving forward from Anthony Weiner, I think it‘s important that we mobilize a youth vote between 18 and 35.

MATTHEWS:  Last night in Pennsylvania, you had 4 million people vote here in 2010, the Democrats got creamed.  Not that I‘m partisan on this one, but in 2008, it was 6 million voters.  Obama can‘t win, by the way.  The Democrats aren‘t going to win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That‘s why we need to rally the 18 to 35 because when they come out, Democrats win.  And then we need to put elected officials in there who will invest in education and not build more prisons.


MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you.

Your next, you can either pick, Anthony Weiner or something, high tone about education, whatever you want to talk about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You know, I think students are constantly left out of the discussion when it comes to education.  In Harrisburg, everyone‘s talking about salaries, but they‘re not talking about students.  And, in fact, students—

MATTHEWS:  What do you want to say?  You‘re student, go for it—now that you have a chance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Temple University‘s tuition cannot go up by $4,000.  Temple University is Philadelphia‘s university, and it does not make it possible for Philadelphia students if tuition is increased.


MATTHEWS:  I was there in the commencement, it‘s a great university. 

I hope it‘s affordable.

Your thoughts?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I just want to say that I‘m first generation Nigerian for my family.

MATTHEWS:  Welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And both my parents came here to be educated.

MATTHEWS:  From Lagos.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You already know.

MATTHEWS:  I do know.  Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And they came here to get an education.

MATTHEWS:  You‘ve got a total American accent, do you know that?


MATTHEWS:  Yes.  Thank you very much for coming aboard.  Thank you very much.

It‘s been great to be here.  It‘s always sunny in Philadelphia.  And today, it‘s 100 degrees in Philly.  We‘re here for education.

See you tomorrow back in Washington.  This is HARDBALL.





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