IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

October 1, 2013

Guest: Rep. Peter King, Rep. Charlie Dent, Kathleen Matthews


Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in New York.

"Let Me Start" tonight with what`s not going to start tonight, the United
States government. If you want to know why this is happening since last
night, the answer comes in two words -- Ted Cruz.

Cruz set this up beautifully. First he prevented the House and Senate
Budget Committees from meeting to agree on what government should be
spending. This stopped the appropriations process in its tracks. As of
last night, not a single appropriations bill has been passed and signed by
the president. Result? The government could be shut down by the simple
act of preventing a single bill, the continuing resolution, from getting

This is the brilliance of Ted Cruz. Because no spending bills have been
passed, shutting down the U.S. government could be complete. It wouldn`t
be some departments or agencies that were shut down, but the whole shebang.
As I said, brilliant.

So with the deliberation of a burglar cracking a safe, the freshman senator
from Texas has brought the American political process to total dysfunction,
the American government to a shutdown.

His plan now, quite bluntly, is to turn the United States into a deadbeat
nation. By the end of this month, should Senator Cruz still be in control,
the paperboy who bought a savings bond and the Chinese billionaire who went
into T-bonds will be in the same boat. They won`t get a nickel in

And what will that do? Well, suppose you saw an airline advertise that it
had a 95 percent safety record. What would you do to that? What would
that do to you? Wouldn`t you look around for one with a 100 percent
record? Well, that`s exactly what the investors of the world have been
doing for a century. That country with 100 percent safety record for
paying interest on its bonds has been the United States of America.

Mr. Cruz`s plan, which is what along (ph) with, is to kill that 100 percent
record. That`s what he`s up to. And if he doesn`t get his way, that`s
what he`ll do. Got it?

Joining me right now is Republican Congressman Peter King of New York and
Charles Dent of Pennsylvania, both of whom have challenged their party on
the government shutdown.

Gentlemen, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Americans do not agree with the
strategy of shutting down the government to block implementation of the
health care law by a huge vote, 72 percent to 22 percent.

But when you look among Republicans, there`s actually some support or
majority support for a federal government shutdown. Republicans favor the
shutdown by a narrow 49 percent to 44 percent. So it`s Republicans in
favor and Democrats and independents opposed. But I know these numbers
will change over the next several days.

Congressman Peter King, my friend, I want to ask you -- I`m not putting any
words -- because I`m not sure where you`re at politically right now or
where you`re at with your party or the country. So I`m going to give you
full time without interruption to explain Peter King`s position on this
situation where we have a shutdown U.S. government.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Chris, there`s absolutely no reason for the
government to be shut down. This was a fool`s errand that was started by
Ted Cruz. But we can`t just blame him. We have to also blame his acolytes
in the Republican conference, who -- 30 or 40 of them who stood with him,
who were willing to undo what John Boehner wanted to do, which was to pass
the CR, move this along -- a continuing resolution, move it along.

They insisted on going this route of attempting to defund Obamacare and
threatening to shut down the government if it wasn`t done. We got locked
into this.

Let me just say we are where we are, and I blame Ted Cruz and his
supporters for doing that. I also feel, Chris, very strongly that it`s
time for the president of the United States to get involved. He can blame
us. He can blame the Republicans. All that`s fair comment. But he is the
president. This is his government. These are his people--

MATTHEWS: OK, while you`re at it--

KING: -- that are being furloughed.

MATTHEWS: You`re an excellent legislator. You were friends with Bill

KING: Right.

MATTHEWS: You do things that surprise a lot of people. How does the
president -- I believe he can`t give up the baby. That`s his health care

KING: Right.

MATTHEWS: Is there anything else he can use to compromise with the hard
right here? What would work?

KING: I think -- I don`t know if you can compromise with them at all. But
I think if he can come up with a reasonable proposal that a majority of
Republicans would support, then we should go with that. We can`t allow
ourselves to be bound by this hard right of the party.

I consider myself conservative, but I see the Ted Cruz wing, these people
have no interest at all in keeping the government going. I think they can
be very damaging to us.

If the president can come up with a reasonable proposal which shows
meaningful cuts or meaningful reductions in spending or whatever, something
to put on the table that John Boehner can show that he achieved something
by this, then we should go with it.

And we can`t allow Ted Cruz to have a veto power over what we do, over what
the president does, over what the country does. We have to get the best
arrangement we can, the best deal we can. As -- you know, the term that
Tip O`Neill loved, get a deal. Get a deal that works--

MATTHEWS: Well, let`s talk about that. Let`s--

KING: -- for both sides.

MATTHEWS: -- try and do some nonpartisan bipartisan good -- Mr. Dent, just
a minute here. I know Peter well. I don`t know you yet.

Let me ask you about a possible deal. Suppose the president went on
television tomorrow morning and said, You know what? This is hurting the
country, but what`s going to hurt the country more is if we have to default
come the end of the month. So here`s what I propose. I will give up a
portion of the Affordable Care Act. I will give up this medical devices
tax, which is about $30 billion. I`ll give that up, but I need a deal on
the debt ceiling, as well. Would you go along with that three-part deal,
this for both the debt ceiling and the -- and the continuing?

KING: Chris, if we can put them all together, yes. Now, whether that
particular or not -- get it on the table. If we can wrap everything up at
one time, yes. Now, would the medical device be enough? I don`t know.
I`m not the guy--

MATTHEWS: But for you it`s enough.

KING: -- doing any negotiating -- for me, it`s enough, sure. Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let me go to Mr. Dent. Same -- well, let me ask you just
generally where you stand and then where would you like to see this thing
reach some kind of closure so we don`t have a default, which nobody with a
brain or a heart or a conscience about this country wants to see happen.

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, look, I agree with what Peter
said. There`s absolutely -- there`s no reason for a government shutdown.
And I certainly would, under any circumstances oppose, this country
defaulting on its obligations.

The deal that you just mentioned, Chris, is one that I can warm up to. I
have been one of the key proponents of repealing the medical device tax.
I`ve been working in a bipartisan manner with some of my Democratic friends
and colleagues in the House who also want to repeal that device tax. They
just want to pay for it. I think we could find an agreement on that issue

MATTHEWS: Would it get--

DENT: -- part of the debt ceiling.

MATTHEWS: -- half your caucus? Would it get you the Hastert rule? Would
you get half your caucus? Would it work?

DENT: I don`t know, but it would certainly get a number of folks. In
states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Minnesota, this device tax is a very
big deal -- Massachusetts. But I believe a large number of our members
would vote for it.

Now, you`re not going to get the two or three dozen members who have a hard
time voting yes for anything, but we have 180 to 200 members of the House
Republican conference who do have a serious sense of governance and do
believe we have an affirmative obligation to govern. And I believe that
most of those folks would be very amenable to that kind of arrangement.

MATTHEWS: When you go home -- look, I will now urge you. You`ve had your
free opportunities. I`m going to now give you some leading questions here.

I`ve had some wild people on this show the last couple weeks. I`ve had
members -- they know who they are -- who say, I really can`t say with my
lips that this man, Barack Obama, was legitimately elected president. They
choke on that.

How many are there in the Congress on your side that represent that sort of
rejectionist front? We don`t like this guy, we don`t like anything with
his name on it, we want him to get out of here, we want to erase his record
as if he were never here.

Congressman King, how many people are like that?

KING: I would say there`s--

MATTHEWS: They want to put the Barry Bonds asterisk next to this guy. He
didn`t really hit these home runs. He had a problem. We wish he had never

KING: I would say there`s probably 30 or 40 like that, as there were a
number of Democrats who felt that way about George Bush, and going back to
when you and I first met, Republicans who felt that way about Bill Clinton.


KING: This is a dangerous aspect of our government.

MATTHEWS: What is?

KING: The fact that we have people who are willing to demonize the
president of the United States because he`s in a different party. When I
got elected in `92, I had Republicans elected with me who said they would
never enter the White House for even social events so long as Bill Clinton
was president.

And when George Bush was there, you had Democrats who had this Bush
obsession. And now, obviously, with President Obama, it`s definitely
there. There`s no doubt about it.

MATTHEWS: Well, they missed some good times with Bill, didn`t they.

KING: That`s right.


MATTHEWS: Mr. Dent, your district, I don`t know it as well. I come from
the Philadelphia area. You`re one of the areas up by Lehigh Valley, which
has always been the swing part of the state, working people, factory
people, hard-working people, not suburbanite types really, but
Pennsylvanians to the core.

How is your district reacting to this kerfuffle, these things going on
right now, this government shutdown with a possible default?

DENT: Well, look, most of my constituents who are philosophically
conservative believe in order and stability. They don`t like uncertainty.
They don`t like chaos. They don`t like instability.

You`d be surprised. Most of my constituents want to make sure the
government is operating. They do not want us to default on our
obligations. Many of them certainly do want to see changes to this health
care law. There`s real concern. I`m not going to kid you here, Chris.
There`s a lot of concern about that law.

But at the same time, they don`t want me to shut the government down
because of that -- because of the health care law. So I would say that
most of my constituents are fairly pragmatic. They`re very concerned about
what they`re seeing here in Washington, and they think we`ve all lost our
minds. And they expect us to behave like adults and get to a reasonable
resolution in a bipartisan manner.

MATTHEWS: Do they -- do they grasp it the way you grasp it? Do they see
it as a set of -- I look at things like the inability of Congress to get
the appropriations process complete in time, the inability of the two
Budget Committees to even meet.

Let me go back to Mr. King. I mean, I worked on the Senate Budget
Committee under Senator Muskie, a real conscientious Democrat who worked
with Henry Belman (ph), the Republican, and they had the same budget. They
would really work things out.

Today, we can`t even meet the deadline of the two Budget Committees meeting
to agree on the appropriations and really set a budget framework. Things
are backed up so far, it`s easy for somebody like Ted Cruz to come in and
put a detonator through the whole system and blow it up easily with one

Your thoughts, Mr. King.

KING: Yes, Chris, I agree. And you know, my district -- Ronald Reagan I
think carried Long Island by more votes than any other area in the country
-- a lot of Reagan Democrats, a lot of blue-collar conservative-oriented
people. They would be against what`s called Obamacare. But they think
we`re crazy for even thinking of shutting down the government.

They want to get results. They want to get things done. And they --
again, the art of making the deal. If I can get them 60 to 70 percent of
what they want, I`m doing the job. Nobody expects 100 percent. We`re
realists. We`re pragmatic. Basic conservative values, but get the deal
done. Move the government forward. Keep it running, and make sure we get
the job done. That`s a basic issue.

MATTHEWS: You know who those people are (INAUDIBLE) they`re the subway
alumni of Notre Dame--

KING: That`s right.


MATTHEWS: -- the people that didn`t go to college maybe, but get up in the
morning on Sunday morning to see if Notre Dame won.

KING: Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: That`s our people. Anyway, thank you, U.S. Congressman Peter
King of New York--

KING: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: -- and Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania.

KING: Thank you, Charlie.

MATTHEWS: Coming up, Democrats are united, Republicans are divided, to
some extent, and people are blaming the GOP, according to polls. Is there
any way out for the Republicans to get out of the box they`re in -- they
put themselves there, thanks to Cruz? Can President Obama help them get
out of the Cruz box?

Also, this fight`s all about erasing from history, I believe, Obama`s
history achievement, the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, if you will. And
that`s why he`ll never agree to one-year delays or whatever because delay
will be destruction here, and he knows it.

Plus, it wasn`t always this way. My new book, "Tip and the Gipper," came
out today officially. Will (ph) politics work (ph) this out? And it`s all
about the time when Democrats and Republicans actually worked to resolve
their differences. They fought, they showed their fists, they waved their
fists, and then eventually, they shook hands.

And no surprise here, but government shutdown was pure gold for late night
comedians last night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which plan do you support, Obamacare or the Affordable
Care Act?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what is it about Obamacare that you do not like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think that there`s a lot of holes in it and it
needs to be revamped.


MATTHEWS: Well, the Affordable Care Act is the Obamacare! Anyway, I`m
sorry, don`t make fun of people, but this is a problem out there. They
don`t like the word "Obama."

Anyway, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: More now from that Quinnipiac poll out today on the government
shutdown. We showed you how voters are strongly opposed to the Republican
strategy, and they may pay for it, the Republicans, in next year`s mid-
terms. Democrats now lead on the generic congressional ballot in that poll
by 9 points, 43 percent to 34 percent. That`s the widest margin for 2014
the poll has found so far.

According to David Wasserman (ph) at "The Cook Political Report," the
Democrats would need to win nationally by nearly 7 points to take back the
House, and that`s because of gerrymandering.

We`ll be right back.



party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of their agenda,
but that apparently is what it is. And of course, what`s stranger still is
that shutting down our government doesn`t accomplish their stated goal.

The Affordable Care Act is a law that passed the House. It passed the
Senate. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. It was a central issue
in last year`s election. It is settled and it is here to stay.


MATTHEWS: Here to stay. Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was President
Obama being very strong earlier today, telling Republicans in no uncertain
terms that the Affordable Care Act will not be held hostage. It is -- and
everyone knows this -- the law of the land.

President Obama also reiterated that he`d be willing to talk with
Republicans over common sense fiscal issues, but not under the threat of a
blowing up of the government, the health care law or the economy in the

But let`s be clear here. For the radical faction of Republicans in control
of that party for whatever reason, this has never been about real
compromise. Their goal has always been, I believe, a kill shot directly at
the heart of the president`s standing, agenda and legacy.

The GOP crusade to delegitimize the president was on full display earlier
today when Newt Gingrich, the Republican speaker under Clinton, appeared on
Pat Robertson`s "700 Club."


big problem is that President Obama refuses to behave like an American
president. He refuses to deal with the Congress as his equal, which it is
in the Constitution.


MATTHEWS: Michael Steele is the former chair of the RNC and Ed Rendell is
the former governor of Pennsylvania. Both are MSNBC political analysts.

Michael Steele, I don`t know what mood you`re in, but if you heard it the
way I heard it, there`s the guy who always accused the president, our
president, of having an anti-British colonial attitude, born in him from
Kenya. He has pushed that line. Now he constantly challenges the guy`s
authenticity in subtle ways. Why can`t he act like an American president?

What is this? You can say that`s nuance, if you want. I hear it. I hear
Newt -- I`ve heard him in the past -- delegitimize his presidency,
delegitimize his number one achievement, which is health care reform. And
you`ve won the board, you`ve taken this guy off the historic board. He
never was really president. And that`s what these characters seem to want.

think that is -- that is the fog of this particular war that has put the
Republicans in the space that they`re in right now.

This argument has never, in my estimation, been about the legitimacy of the
president. He was elected once -- oh, let me get (ph) this -- twice by the
American people. The American people spoke as to who they want as their
leadership. So the party has an obligation to deal with that.

Part of the problem we have now is that a lot of this has become so
personal and so ingrained that the idea of even having a conversation with
this White House -- and look, I can go all day long about problems I have
with the administration not coming to the table clean or correct. That`s
not the point. The point here at this point, at this stage, is the
government is not functioning.

The House has put some things on the table, I think somewhat legitimately
in terms of concern about Obamacare. But we`ve linked two things that
shouldn`t be linked right now in our going after Obamacare, where it`s not
about Obamacare, it`s about Obama.

MATTHEWS: Let me go to Governor Rendell. I know, as a Democratic governor
from Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, you had a fight with a legislature that
was not easy to deal with. And you had to negotiate with these guys in
sometimes a rough, difficult manner.

Is this a legitimate negotiating position for the Rs, in this case, the
right wing Rs, to say, Just give up the thing you did, give up your baby?

Chris. And Michael`s right. The American people are smart enough to
discern that these two things don`t go together. They may not like
Obamacare, but they don`t want an extraneous issue fouling up the budget.

I think the Republicans have made a huge strategic mistake. I would have
gone ahead and done a clean CR and then fought over raising the debt
ceiling because the polls on the debt ceiling show that 61 percent of the
American people don`t want the debt ceiling raised until there`s further
debt reduction. So they were on much sounder grounds because those two
things are consistent.


RENDELL: They could have fought there. But you`re right -- I think Chris
is right, Michael, I have to say it. The hatred for the president is
warping their judgment. They don`t want to make real progress. They don`t
want real compromise. They just want to destroy, and they can`t destroy.
They`re not--

MATTHEWS: They`re destroying the speakership. I think they`re destroying
the speakership, too, Governor.

RENDELL: I agree.

MATTHEWS: And I want to ask you, Michael, because I know we have similar
attitudes, but on this point -- Reince Priebus, the leader of the
Republican Party -- he beat you in that race.

STEELE: Right.

MATTHEWS: I don`t think he`s the true leader of anything. He has sided
with Ted Cruz against the speaker, it seems. And to take sides against the
elected leader of the House, who holds a constitutional position, is to
undermine him in his own caucus. And I think that`s part of this problem.

Why is Priebus one of the lemmings running towards a freshman senator who`s
only been in Congress a half a year?

STEELE: And I can`t speak to the rationale behind it, other than the idea
of fund-raising, that -- you know, that part of the base that is ginned up
and engaged in this--

MATTHEWS: Koch brothers.

STEELE: -- are going to -- are going to write a check. And so I think,
as I said at the time, that was not a playing field for the party to
present itself in terms of taking sides.

The majority leader, the speaker have carved out the pathway. The party
has to rally behind that. And part of Boehner`s problem right now is that
he`s in a corner and he`s not in a face-off with Obama. He`s in a face-off
with his own people.


STEELE: And so how does he now turn that face around to confront in a
unified fashion the administration?

And I think, to the governor`s point, the battle is not about Obamacare.
There are ways we could have dealt with Obamacare without going -- coming
to this point.

C. MATTHEWS: Yes, could have beaten it.

STEELE: The real test is going to be the debt ceiling. That`s where the
nub of the argument is for the American people.

C. MATTHEWS: The way to get rid of Obamacare is constitutional, the way
that it was enacted. You get elected enough to control both houses and you
get a president to sign the bill or you override the president with a veto

These are -- we know -- since the time of grade school, we have been taught
this stuff. Anyway, this is an interesting fact here for the Northeast
here. Republicans are radically more isolated and insulated compared to 17
years ago, the last time of the government shutdown. Take a look at these

When the government shut down in `95 and `96 under Clinton and Gingrich, a
third of the Republicans in the House of Representatives represented
moderate districts that had voted for Bill Clinton, in other words, what we
call blue districts, in `92. Today, only 7 percent of House Republicans
represent districts that voted for Obama in 2012.

Bottom line, thanks to gerrymandering and other reasons, GOP districts are
getting whiter, less diverse, and more conservative.

Governor, the problem, I think for this thing ever coming to equilibrium,
to some kind of a deal is that these Republicans know they can`t get beaten
at home because their districts are so conservative.

RENDELL: Yes, the majority of them can`t, Chris.

But the Republican margin, the way they control the House is because there
are still about 40 moderates out there. And they have got to worry about
those moderates, because since yesterday Charlie Dent`s OK. Charlie Dent`s
being praised at home, but Fitzpatrick, Meehan, and Gerlach, the three
suburban Philadelphia Republican congressmen, all who claim to be
moderates, they all voted with the Tea Party.

And they are getting pounded by Democrats. they are getting pounded by
Democrats by editorial boards.


C. MATTHEWS: You have just booked three people on our show if they are
willing to show up, Governor.

I now offer, anybody from those offices, please come in. Gerlach, or
Fitzpatrick or of course Meehan.

RENDELL: Meehan.

C. MATTHEWS: Any one of those three offices are welcome on this show.

I know Pat Meehan. He wants to go statewide at some point. This is the
time to be opportunistic and go with the moderates. Anyway, I`m giving
political advice here.



RENDELL: But that`s the problem, Chris. That`s the problem. If those
guys lose, the Republicans lose control of the House.

And we have now got an argument that those guys are Tea Party supporters,
they`re bringing progress down in Washington. They`re the guys that better
fold quickly.

C. MATTHEWS: I`m waiting. I`m waiting for the Rendell slate to be lined
up against those three guys.


C. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much. He`s very popular in Philadelphia, the
governor. And any one of those districts, he could win in.

Michael, last word quickly.

STEELE: I was going to say, Chris, real quick on that point, going into
next year, you now have immigration, you have the Voting Rights Act, you
have how women perceive the party, and now you have got this economic piece
with the debt ceiling and how we`re handling Obamacare. It`s becoming a
royal mess for the party going into next year.


I guess they`re celebrating this negatively in the emergency rooms of
America, where they`re going to be stuck forever if this crowd controls

Thank you, Michael Steele and Ed Rendell.

Up next, Jimmy Kimmel discovers that people may not like Obamacare, but
they do like the Affordable Care Act. That`s ahead in the "Sideshow."

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.



REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R), CALIFORNIA: They have refused to even consider
the compromise that we have offered.

AMY KREMER, CHAIR, TEA PARTY EXPRESS: They won`t even negotiate with us on

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: What have the Democrats compromised on?

REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: Harry Reid will not negotiate with John
Boehner. The president will not meet with John Boehner.

REP. JOHN DUNCAN (R), TENNESSEE: The president refuses to compromise on

REP. SEAN DUFFY (R), WISCONSIN: You don`t get resolution unless people sit
at the table, work together and try to bridge these divides.

no divide. It`s a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) law. I don`t understand this.



C. MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Time now for the "Sideshow."

Last night, Jon Stewart captured the absurdity of the Republicans` demands.


STEWART: Did you see the Giants game on Sunday?

OK, they lost 31-7.


STEWART: And you know what the Giants didn`t say after that game? If you
don`t give us 25 more points by midnight on Monday, we will shut down the


STEWART: They didn`t say that. This is not a game of chicken. This is
when someone is driving to work and there`s a car coming directly at them
in their lane. That`s not a game of chicken. That`s an (EXPLETIVE
DELETED) causing a head-on collision.


STEWART: Let me see if I can put this in another way for House

GENE WILDER, ACTOR: You get nothing! You lose!


WILDER: Good day, sir!




C. MATTHEWS: Gene Wilder.

And what`s in a name? When it comes to Obamacare vs. the Affordable Care
Act, a lot. We have already seen polls that show more people support the
law when it`s referred to as the Affordable Care Act and not Obamacare.

Yesterday, Jimmy Kimmel demonstrated that phenomenon entertainingly on the
streets of L.A.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which plan do you support, Obamacare or the Affordable
Care Act?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what is it about Obamacare that you do not like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think that there`s a lot of holes in it, and
it needs to be revamped. I think it hasn`t been thought out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you think the Affordable -- you think the
Affordable Care Act is a better plan than Obamacare?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Better, but I`m not happy with that either.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What plan do you support, Obamacare or the Affordable
Care Act?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why do you support that over Obamacare?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not like Obamacare. I don`t like anything that
has to be forced for everybody to buy. It`s just not good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Obamacare is socialist?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the Affordable Care Act is socialist?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that Obamacare will eventually lead to gun


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know that Obama and the Affordable Care Act are
the same thing?




C. MATTHEWS: Finally, just for the record, "The New York Daily News" wins
for the grossest morning afternoon headline, summing it up, well, in their
own way. I guess you can beat that, but it`s hard to be grosser.

Anyway, up next: a reminder that politics hasn`t always been this way.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.



The House is voting on three bills to restore funding to the national
parks, veterans services and the District of Columbia. However, even if
the bills pass, Senate Democrats say they will reject them.

Crews recovered the body of a five family members killed by a rock slide in
Colorado. A 13-year-old managed to survive.

And Pope Francis met with a group of cardinals to begin reforming the
Catholic Church. In an interview, the pope said the Vatican has been too
focused on its own interests -- back to HARDBALL.

C. MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

As the government shuts down and barrels towards a possible default, it`s
no secret that Americans are fed up with Washington. And these days, it
seems less and less likely that our politicians can win back the faith,
faith that government can actually work the way it`s supposed to.

In my new book out today -- it`s the publication day --
"Tip and the Gipper" tells the story of two extraordinary politicians who
did just that, House Speaker Tip O`Neill, a liberal, and President Ronald
Reagan, a conservative. They managed to make politics work, despite their
big philosophical differences. And, believe me, they were different.

Considering all the dysfunction in Washington lately, it`s my hope that
this book will remind people that it doesn`t have to be this way. And
here`s a glimpse into that story.


TIP O`NEILL (D), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Gentlemen, we will drink a
toast to the president of the United States.

C. MATTHEWS (voice-over): Washington was different back then. They were
different. Ronald Reagan came to the presidency in 1980 with a mission.
He wanted to get things done, cut the size of government, cut taxes, end
the Cold War.

reading for Tip O`Neill.

C. MATTHEWS: Tip O`Neill was the speaker of the House, but the liberal
Democrat understood that voters wanted something new. He promised that
there would be no foot-dragging in Congress. If Reagan had the votes, he
would have his way.

O`NEILL: I enjoy his company when I go over there. Philosophically, we`re
completely different. Do I agree with his politics? Absolutely no.

C. MATTHEWS: Government worked back then because politicians actually
talked to each other. I know because I was there behind the scenes. In
those days, I was a top aide to the speaker. That`s me there checking to
see how things are going.

It was the toughest job I ever had, but it was a front-row seat to history.

REAGAN: Here a box of golf balls with my name on them.



O`NEILL: You mean I can take my vent out by swinging at Ronald Reagan?


C. MATTHEWS: I remember when I first met President Reagan myself in Tip`s
office. "Welcome to the room where we plot against you," I said to break
the ice. In turn, Reagan reminded me it`s after 6:00. The speaker says
that, in Washington, we`re all friends after 6:00.

It was that spirit that made their historic compromises possible.

REAGAN: Like a second Tip O`Neill, I will stoop to the occasion.


C. MATTHEWS: And the record of their dual or sometimes dueling
achievements stands the test of time. First, there was the 1982 revenue
bill that cut the deficit, then the bipartisan reform of Social Security.

And then they worked together for a major overhaul of the tax system. But
the best example was when Tip helped the Gipper cross the biggest goal line
of his presidency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this hour, a 13-member U.S. congressional delegation
is meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It has been learned that
the leader of that delegation, House Speaker Tip O`Neill, is delivering a
personal letter to Gorbachev from President Reagan.

C. MATTHEWS: It marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War, Reagan`s
greatest legacy. Through all those years, the key to their relationship
was their ability to keep the lines of communication open. The great
advantage of their socializing was that they were always able to talk.


C. MATTHEWS: That`s very moving.

Anyway, joining me right now is the woman who was there the whole time
through those years and many since, fortunately for me, my wife, Kathleen

And we`re going to do something you rarely see here on HARDBALL. I`m going
to turn the reins, if you will, over to her.


C. MATTHEWS: She gets to interview me because she was there with me
helping me write this book and, more importantly, being there working for
Tip -- Kathleen.

hard to believe that that was more than 30 years ago. It feels very fresh
in my mine, certainly.

C. MATTHEWS: Oh, really, positively or negatively?

K. MATTHEWS: But amazing how relevant it feels today, even though it`s
three decades ago.

And I think that`s what you have been talking about as you have been
promoting this book.

But, for me, you know, reading that book was like getting insights back
into sort of the formation of your political mind. I thought it was so
amazing. You kept a diary.

And Chris has this incredible ledger diary, which he was able to draw upon.
Let`s see if we can take a picture of that -- draw upon when he was writing
this book.

C. MATTHEWS: Yes. So why`d I do that?

K. MATTHEWS: Do you remember why you kept a diary, what made you think to
do that then?


C. MATTHEWS: Some of it was for strategy. I wanted to get -- every week
or every couple days, especially on Mondays, I would sit down and figure
out, what are we supposed to be doing this week and what can I advise the
speaker to be doing? What`s the strategy here?

I was working for him. I was his consigliere in many ways, along with Kirk
O`Donnell and Ari Weiss. He asked us when he came in every morning, where
are we going? What are we doing? Where are we at? Tell me something I
don`t know, basically.

And I had to come up with it. And we all had our best ideas. So, I would
write it down, and then I would go in there and pitch it to him. Or I was
having a fight with him over something and I would go in and sort of
console myself by writing about what happened that day. So it`s very
personal, like I put in the book. These were tense times, and working for
the toughest guy in the world, Tip O`Neill, against his biggest challenge
of his life, was taking on that conservative Reagan, who he disagreed with
profoundly, and trying to win as many fights as we could.

K. MATTHEWS: So, very much a high-wire act, as we see in Washington today.


K. MATTHEWS: Although we looked at a picture just a second of you sitting
at your desk right outside the speaker`s formal office--

C. MATTHEWS: Yes. I liked that office.


K. MATTHEWS: -- where you had the chance to greet -- to greet Ronald
Reagan when he came up for the State of the Union and other things.

C. MATTHEWS: Yes. Well--

K. MATTHEWS: But that was also a time in our family when we were just
getting married.

C. MATTHEWS: There it is.

K. MATTHEWS: And we had our first two children.

C. MATTHEWS: Can we talk about that picture?

K. MATTHEWS: This is a picture in the speaker`s ceremonial office.

And at the time, I was just starting a career as a television news
reporter. Chris oftentimes would have daddy duty. And that`s our son
Michael, who`s now 31 years old entertaining himself watching television
while you were meeting with the speaker.


K. MATTHEWS: Here we are with our second son, Thomas. So, you see Michael
and Thomas.


C. MATTHEWS: He liked Thomas. I think we -- he thought we named him after
him, I think, which is fine.


K. MATTHEWS: Well, it was good that -- good to lead him to believe that.


K. MATTHEWS: But for all sort of the happiness in those photos, what made
it so tense? Was it the fact that you had these two diametrically opposed
ideological leaders of the country?


K. MATTHEWS: And what do you think was different than the now?

C. MATTHEWS: I think the good thing -- and this is a pro-older person
argument -- that when you`re in your late 60s, early 70s, and you`re still
working, you know you`re in your final act. It`s got to work.

When President Reagan knew he`d only be president once, and he had to get
some things done, not just put up signs or give speeches -- he had to get
things done to put the government in shape for the way he wanted it to be.
And then O`Neill knew this was his last great chance to be a liberal and to
fight for what he believed in.

And the beauty of it is -- and I`m not being romantic here -- is, he took
Reagan from being a radical president and made him a conservative
president. And Reagan gave Tip O`Neill something to do in his final days
of public life, which is to fight this guy. And he did fight him back from
the fact that he moved him very close to the middle.

And he also helped him with the Cold War. Whenever Reagan met with
Gorbachev, he made sure the left of the party quieted down and caused no
trouble in terms of the defense spending or anything like that. He went to
guys like our friend Eddie Markey and said to him, no, cool it right now.
Ron Dellums, don`t push the freeze movement right now. He`s meeting with

Same thing with defense spending. He would say, I want Reagan to be able
to pick up the check over there in Geneva and not be screwed around by us
at home. He was very patriotic and also a human being. When Reagan was
shot, he went in there and prayed together with him, these two old guys.


K. MATTHEWS: You describe a tug of war. And in tug of war, each side is
pulling the other towards the center.


C. MATTHEWS: At its best.

K. MATTHEWS: Is that how politics should work? And how did your
experience then sort of shape how you view the current landscape?


C. MATTHEWS: You have got the truth.

I think what just the goal of every left and every right is to pull away
from the other side and hopefully end up where the American people are.
And what`s happened -- and keep the other side honest. If there`s a
crooked guy in there, like Nixon, catch him and get him out of there, like
Tip did.

And if -- now, it`s more like each side prevents the other side. They
sabotage each other in a way that doesn`t work for anybody. This debt
ceiling fight is sabotage.

And I think it`s not good for the country. Nothing good`s going to come of
it. You`ve got to play by the rules. These two guys played by the rules.
Tip knew Reagan was going to beat him, in `81, he didn`t pull any games or
filibusters or nonsense like that. He let them fight.

And when Tip won the battle over Social Security, Reagan fixed it a
democratic way. So they both knew how to keep score. You`re taught when
you`re five years old, when you play tag, you`re it. You got to say "I`m
it" or else it doesn`t work.

And these guys like Cruz do not accept the basic human behavior of playing
by rules. They wait until the last minute the game`s over and they say,
oh, no, that doesn`t count. Can`t do it that way.

KATHLEEN MATTHEWS: This book also reminded me of the education of Henry
Adams -- sort of the making of someone. How much is your current
philosophy shaped by those eras? How much of the Chris that we hear on TV
is the Chris that was kind of shaped by those experiences in the 1980s with
those two great historic political figures?

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, my feelings really come about from the `60s, the
Vietnam War which went way too long after we knew it wasn`t going to work.
We should have decided in `68, this isn`t working. This is just killing
Americans and killing Vietnamese.

And the other thing was civil rights which I still think is -- when I watch
voter suppression and games being played to screw people out of their
votes, that gets to me. So, my values came to the `60s.

But the one thing I learned from Tip was, he wasn`t some interest group
liberal that`s doing this for the votes. He really did care about the old
person and really did care about the kid who couldn`t afford to go to
college. It was real with him.

And it wasn`t phony baloney liberal. It was real, good, human liberalism.
I learned that from him.

Convictions help you. They don`t hold you back. They separate the winner
from the quitter and both these guys, even the conservative Ronald Reagan,
were not quitters.

KATHLEEN MATTHEWS: There`s a temptation to sort of say what`s the how-to
lesson in a book like this? You resisted this of a how-to.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I don`t want to turn it into a mechanics book. But I`ll
tell you one thing, if you respect the voter, Obama won two elections.
Respect that. He passed a health care bill. Respect that. And he is
president of the United States. He`s not some guy from Kenya. Stop that
birtherism, that undercurrent of crapola (ph) the right wing is pushing,
whatever. Crapola is not a word.

KATHLEEN MATTHEWS: That is how he talks at the dinner table.


KATHLEEN MATTHEWS: That kind of colorful language.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Kathleen, thank you. President Reagan was as tough in his

Anyway, up next --



Up next, some say delay of the Affordable Care Act, does that mean kill it?
I think so. Delay is defeat.

Anyway, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: If you wonder why Republicans don`t seem to remember how bad the
government shutdowns worked out for them 17 years ago, consider this --
only 37 House Republicans were around for the shutdown back in the 1990s.
That`s just 16 percent of the Republican Caucus today.

By contrast, nearly half of all House Republicans got to Capitol Hill after
George Bush had left office. So, besides being far to the right of their
predecessors, there`s no institutional memory among this Republican crowd

And we`ll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your Web site says that, quote, "The Affordable Care
Act has been deemed unconstitutional for its mandates requiring individuals
to purchase health insurance."

Now, that`s actually the opposite of the truth. The Supreme Court upheld
the mandate as a tax that does fall within Congress` power to lay and
collect taxes. So, why does your Web site suggests otherwise?

REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: It must be an error on my Web site. I`m
not aware of that particular.


MATTHEWS: Well -- anyway, we`re back.

That was Republican Congressman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas admitting on MSNBC
that his Web site had it wrong when it called the Affordable Care Act

As everyone knows, the Supreme Court ruled last June that the health care
law is, in fact, constitutional. President Obama`s signature achievement,
the Affordable Care Act, has been under assault by the right wing ever
since it was first drafted back in 2009. Now, it`s the law of the land.
It continues to be the subject of attacks from Republicans who have
manufactured myths about it in the hopes of killing it.

Joining me now is one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, Dr.
Ezekiel Emanuel, and "Salon" editor, Joan Walsh, who`s an MSNBC political

And, by the way, let me just go to the thing that I`m suspicious of. Tell
me if I`m right or wrong, Zeke, is this plan, the so-called "delay the
bill" or delay the individual mandate, a flesh wound or a shot to kill the
bill, the act?

politics, you know as well as I do that any time anyone says, oh, we should
delay it, we should spend time talking about it, we need to do more
thinking, it`s an attempt to kill it.

Lyndon Johnson knew very, very well that the moment you get something out
of committee, you just push it forward. The moment it gets passed, you
push it forward to implementation because delay allows the opponents to
rally around and try to get boost their voice and try to kill something.

So, you`re absolutely right. You`re calling it exactly as it is. This
call for delay is an attempt to defeat.

MATTHEWS: And, Joan, before LBJ was our Machiavellian hero, there was
Machiavelli himself who 500 years ago said when you have a new order of
things, the guy who was a real opportunist out there will come in and kill
it because he knows that the people who like the old system don`t like it,
the insurance companies of old. And the people who were new to benefit
from it don`t have any experience or confidence in it yet. That is the
perfect time to kill it.


MATTHEWS: And so, guys like Cruz himself is out there killing it because
he must have read the prints, this is the time to go after something new.

WALSH: Absolutely.

Chris, today was such a bittersweet day because I think as Democrats, many
of us would have been celebrating. You know, I went and I looked at the
health exchanges, I looked at New York State of Health. The diversity --
one of the big myths about this is that it`s a government takeover of
health care. The diversity of insurance companies, private insurance
companies, that are participating in these exchanges is really mind blowing
for me.

I was somebody who really favored a public option, I admit it.


WALSH: But they really have managed to get an amazing amount of
competition. The notion people are be given something -- most people are
paying something for it. But because they`ve got more people in these
pools, and, you know, some accounts, some of the Web sites can`t handle all
the traffic, because they`ve got more people in the polls and they have the
individual mandate, which is crucial, the costs are coming down.

And so that`s what they`re afraid of. They are afraid that people are
going to try it, they`re going to use it. They`re going to like it.

MATTHEWS: Well, speaking of those myths, Joan, here are some of the myths
that the Republicans perpetuate out there, perpetuating, in fact.

Myth one, premium prices will increase due to health care law.

Myth number two, the Affordable Care Act includes death panels, did I say
it, right?

Myth three, the Affordable Care Act is a job killer.

You know, let me go to Zeke -- because you really know the policy. I`m not
a policy guy. Tell me -- knock those babies down, if you can.

EMANUEL: Well, so, let`s take at last one. There`s been a lot of talk
recently that employers are going to take 40-hour-a-week workers and put
them down to 30 to avoid the mandate. The San Francisco Fed looked at
this, the Federal Reserve there studied it and said, yes, part time
employees are a little up compare to historical averages, but that`s
because of the Great Recession, not because of Obamacare. And, in fact,
they could find no evidence that any employers were shifting.

And when I asked Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, to produce
for me a list of 10 employers that have done that, I`ve got no answer.

They had -- you know, you would think if it`s really common, they should
have hundreds if not thousands of employers. Not true.

The myth about big, expense of health insurance plans, well, for some
people who had very skimpy plans who didn`t cover things like preventive
services with no co-pays or didn`t allow certain diseases or maternity
care, yes, they may see an increase in premiums because they will be
getting more health care. But many, many other people are not going to.

So, I talked to a gardener out in Los Angeles about his situation and
before Obamacare, he was being offered insurance for his workers at about
$500 per worker per month. And with Obamacare, it looks like they`ll be
able to afford it about $50 with the subsidies. So, it depends who you are
but most people who are uninsured or self-insured are probably going to see
a very good deal here.

MATTHEWS: But one of the people who thinks this is going to be a deal is
Ted Cruz. Here he is speaking in January. Let`s watch him because he
sounds like the biggest cheerleader for this program except he sees the
opportunity to kill it.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: On January 1, the exchanges kick in and the
subsidies kick in. Once those kick in, it`s going to prove almost
impossible to undo Obamacare. The administration`s plan is very simple:
get everyone addicted to the sugar so that Obamacare remains a permanent
feature of our society.


MATTHEWS: Well, you got to say there he made the best case for it. People
are going to like it like they like the prescription drug deal that Bush
put in. They`re not going to get rid of that. It`s so amazing as recently
as January, Mr. Cruz, the guy with the killer bullet, is willing to say,
you know what, this thing wants to live and people are going to like it.

WALSH: It is amazing.


WALSH: But, you know, they will say anything, Chris. And this notion that
people are -- people who are poor already get Medicare. So, the idea --

MATTHEWS: Medicaid.

WALSH: Getting Medicaid, excuse me.

EMANUEL: Medicaid.

WALSH: And the elderly get Medicare.

So, we`re talking about the working poor --

MATTHEWS: The people that show up in the morning.

WALSH: About people who show up in the morning, they work every day, they
take the early bus as Jesse Jackson always said. And they have needed this
for a long time.

So, it`s not like it`s a big giveaway. As I said before, most people will
at least pay something for it. There will be subsidies for some people.

But the notion that this is some kind of -- this is more government
dependency is ridiculous. This let`s people support their families, get
out into the workforce and work.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know, what`s going on here --

EMANUEL: And it also makes sure --


MATTHEWS: -- kill the baby in the crib because the baby`s vulnerable.

Your -- last thought, Zeke.

EMANUEL: Yes. I mean, I think the other thing that the president has made
clear is we cannot delay the individual mandate because the individual
mandate is critical to being able to guarantee people who have preexisting
conditions like cancer, or heart disease or diabetes, that they will get
insurance at an affordable price.

If you believe in that principle, and the overwhelming proportion of
Americans believe in that principle, you have to agree to the individual


MATTHEWS: It`s shared risk and it`s also self reliance.

WALSH: And it`s a Republican principle.

MATTHEWS: It comes from the Heritage Foundation.

Thank you, Heritage -- thank you, Jim DeMint.

WALSH: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: And, Dr. Zeke Emanuel, thank you. And thank you, Joan Walsh.

And we`ll be right back after this.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this:

Tonight, I`m speaking at Cooper Union up here in New York where Abraham
Lincoln spoke in 1860.

It`s my honor, of course, to appear at the same historic address as our
greatest president. It`s my honor to be addressing what I believe is a
topic Lincoln himself would recognize and hold dear -- the future of this
last best hope for mankind.

The whole premise of our self-representing democracy, which is really our
greatest treasure, is that our representatives will come to agreement,
either one party will hold a majority or if the government is divided,
there would be some form of compromise.

Well, today, there are those who refuse to respect the normal way our
government works. They mock those who go along to get along or get along
to go long, as if any reasonable accommodation to others` views is a sign
of weakness. They deride the word "compromise" as if it were a statement
of treason.

Obama won the game on health care. His opponents lost. Now, some of those
who lost are acting the party of the little rich kid who says, after he
loses, I`m taking my ball and going home. I don`t think John Boehner is
such a man. I await the proof he isn`t.

Someone has to say -- we made our point, we don`t like the new health care
law, we predicted it will fail but we respect the way the system works.

The reason I wrote this new book that came out today, "Tip and The Gipper",
is to show our system can work. I was there right in the middle of it when
it did.

And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.



Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>