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'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

October 22, 2013
Guest: Eric Stern, Patrick Kennedy


Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Philadelphia.

"Let Me Start" tonight with this. I will always tell people that you only
get one reputation in life. Someone should have told the Republicans that.
Today, their name is mud. Actually, it`s worse. It`s Ted Cruz.

Today and in the future, Cruz will be remembered as the one who ignited the
fire of government shutdown and general political mayhem. He`ll go down in
history as the Mrs. O`Leary`s cow of the 2013, disaster, the one guilty of
kicking over the ladder that caused all the damage, who single-handedly, or
single-footedly turned the Grand Old Party into the "burn down the house"
party, leveling it down to the lowest level of public approval in its
history. Just got that figure today.

Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania and an MSNBC -- actually,
an NBC political analyst, and Jonathan Capehart is an opinion writer for
"The Washington Post" and an MSNBC contributor, as well.

There was more bad news for the Republican Party today, as I said, with new
polls showing just how lousily they are viewed after this shutdown. As Dan
Balz wrote about it, in the new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll, "There is
little in the findings in this poll for the GOP to feel good about."

You think? Just 32 percent of the public, about less than a third, has a
favorable view of the Republican Party. That`s an all-time low in that
poll. Fifty-three percent say Republicans in Congress were chiefly
responsible for the shutdown.

Governor, thank you for joining us tonight, from here in Philadelphia --
you`re at a different location. Thank you for letting me be here. My
question -- you know, we`ve had a lot of hell with the country over the
years. We`ve had Watergate, we`ve had Vietnam, we`ve had the Iraq war

What do you think was it that registered with the middle of most voters,
except for that hard 30-some percent on the hard right -- what do you think
said to people the Republicans are wrong?

were very destructive. And I think people down deep, Chris, want
government to work. And they saw an attempt to destroy the fabric of the
government, to do things that had no connection.

Had the Republicans made the stand based on debt, about raising the debt
limit, that would have been more understandable to the public. But they
didn`t like this political blackmail, political extortion. And they
thought it was just symptomatic of the total breakdown in Washington, and
they focused blame on the Republicans. so I think it was the destructive
nature of what they tried to do.

MATTHEWS: Jonathan, it seems to me that`s a great question. And the
person of this political thuggery, I call it, because it really is
extortion and, We`re going to bring down the government if you don`t do
things our way, and we`re going to kill your baby "Obama care," unless you
give us the government, basically.

My question is to Ted Cruz. His personality, his mien, the way he speaks
on television -- I think it`s pretty frightening to people because it has
that evangelical edge of fire and brimstone -- I`ll bring down this temple
if I have to, but I`m getting my way. Your thoughts.

mean, and he`s able to do this for two reasons. One, he`s got the moxie to
go out there and throw bombs, throw grenades that get people like us
talking about him and talking about things that his supporters and the
Republican Party base care about and want to hear more about. And also,
stomping all over leaders within the party and within his own conference.

Remember when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was announcing the
deal that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, at the
same time, Ted Cruz was talking to reporters about what went wrong.

And the other thing about Ted Cruz and why I think -- and you`ve been
saying this for a while now -- that Senator Cruz is the leader of the
Republican Party. It`s because the real leaders of the party haven`t seen
fit to smack him down, to make him understand that he`s a first-term
senator and that there are ways of doing things within the Senate and
within Congress, ways of governing, of legislating that he needs to learn.

No one`s willing to do it. People are afraid of him. And until someone
stands up to him of any stature, he`ll keep going.

MATTHEWS: I have a theory about this, Governor. Going back -- the last
time a political party showed its face so dramatically that the public
said, We`d rather have what we have now rather than that -- usually, when
you pick somebody out of power, party that`s out of government, you say,
Well, we`ll try somebody else.

But in this case, the somebody else, the Republican right wing, has said,
Here`s what we look like. It does remind me of the old sort of Lou
Schwartz (ph) commercial about Barry Goldwater, the notion of this guy
being a mad bomber, My hunch is that for the first time since `64, a
political party out of power has showed its face and the people have pulled
back and said, Not that.

RENDELL: And there`s no question you`re right. The only question is, will
this feeling that the nation has, because they`ve showed their true colors
-- will this feeling persist until a year from now, when we`re about (ph)
2014 elections. That is a lot of time. You know, a year in politics is
eons of time, Chris.

MATTHEWS: I agree. I know. Well, let`s take a look at the Republican
Party continuing to wage its own internal civil war. Last night, Cruz
continued to mock the party elders, as someone just said, saying he doesn`t
answer to them. Let`s watch him in action. Here`s Cruz.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Some folks, some of our friends in the media,
they say, Well, gosh, there are a few people in Washington saying some mean
things. Who cares?


CRUZ: Because at the end of the day, I don`t work for the party bosses in



MATTHEWS: Well, let me -- let me -- first of all, they`re elected -- the
elected leaders of the Senate and the House are elected. We have a
democracy, Mr. Cruz.

And the other thing is, how do you play victim when you`re the one trying
to bring down the U.S. government? How does he -- most demagogues use
righteous indignation. I`ll give you the list, but it`ll just get me in
trouble because they`re all the same. It`s always righteous indignation.
It`s, Woe is us little people. They`re all coming to beat us up. The
whole world`s coming to beat us up.

And they all play that game, whether it`s Huey Long or some of the bigger
names in world history, especially the 20th Century. Jonathan Capehart,
have you noticed that little cry for help there, the little -- They`re
calling me names, and a little call for sympathy from his troops?

CAPEHART: Right. Right. And --

MATTHEWS: Your thoughts.

CAPEHART: -- you know, his -- his -- his troops are folks who feel very,
very aggrieved about what`s happening to the country, where they think the
country is going, and how the country is escaping them.

MATTHEWS: What is their grief? What is their grievance?


MATTHEWS: Spell it.

CAPEHART: Honestly, I can`t -- I can`t tell you what -- what problems they
have in terms of, you know, people trying to -- you know, the president
pushing to get access to health care for millions of Americans who don`t
have it. And --

MATTHEWS: Oh, that`s not it.


MATTHEWS: Come on. You`re being very clinical here.


MATTHEWS: Do you think his beef with Obama is health care?


MATTHEWS: You really think that`s what he -- go ahead.

CAPEHART: No, no, no, no, no. Senator Cruz`s beef is not -- is not with
the president solely on health care. It`s a whole lot of things that when
you ask folks in the far right for specifics, they can`t really get into

They just don`t like this president. And they don`t like what he
represents and they don`t like the direction they think he`s pushing the
country in, and they think it`s the wrong direction. And Ted Cruz taps
into that anger.

But you know, that anger is wasted energy if the folks they send to
Congress don`t do anything with it, if they continue on these misguided
strategies that lead to nowhere, except for filling the campaign coffers of
the demagogues.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, you`re a gentleman too often sometimes, Jonathan.


MATTHEWS: But here`s what -- here`s former vice president Dick Cheney.
He`s just hitched his ride to the right-wing clown car. In an interview on
Fox -- we know why he`s doing it. He`s got a daughter running out there as
a Tea Partier. I understand this. But he said it wasn`t the Tea Party
members who were extremists, it`s the president. Here`s Dick Cheney in his
new mode as anti-establishment Dick Cheney.


out there is very, very high. And so I -- you know, when I see people
talking about the Tea Party, I don`t think the Tea Party as extremists the
way some of the folks in Washington (INAUDIBLE) The extremist in
Washington is Barack Obama. He`s the guy that wants to fundamentally
transform our health care system. He`s the guy who`s done enormous damage
to America`s standing in the world. To the extent there`s an extremist or
a radical political (ph) beyond (ph) Washington these days, I believe it`s
the president of the United States.


MATTHEWS: OK. So he -- Governor, he had the advantage there of sticking
it into a political opponent and looking out for his daughter. That`s a
nice position to be in.

But I don`t believe a word he says. He`s the most hawkish spy (ph), and
all those Tea Party people are anti-hawkish. He`s a big government guy.
He`s establishment. He`s been in leadership his whole life. And now he`s
portraying himself as some soddy-buster from out in Wyoming with a

I think it`s to get his daughter elected to the Senate. And there`s
nothing wrong with that sentiment, by the way, but I don`t want to listen
to this nonsense. Your thoughts.

RENDELL: Well, the problem is that even when they make their arguments,
they lie. And they say that he`s an extremist on health care. They want
to take over government-run health care. This is anything but government-
run health care. We keep the insurance companies. We keep the basic
system of health care, where you can choose your own doctor, your own
insurance company. If there was a government takeover, we would have done

And the president rejected single-payer. He rejected the public option as
an alternative. So the president was very conservative in his approach to
health care reform. And they`re lying to people when they try to say this
is a government takeover. It`s anything but a government takeover.

MATTHEWS: Do you think that the Heritage Foundation, who came up with the
idea of the individual mandate --



MATTHEWS: -- you think they have an operator`s manual they could lend
the president to show us how to do this, because they believed in the
concept. Why aren`t they helping him with the implementation if they
believe in the concept? Of course, we know they`re political.


MATTHEWS: Governor?

RENDELL: I think --

MATTHEWS: Oh, I`m sorry. Jonathan.

RENDELL: Well, go ahead, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: I was going to say you hit the nail on the head, Chris. This is
a Republican idea, a conservative idea. And it leads to a whole bunch of
other things that Republicans and conservatives used to believe in, but
don`t believe in anymore simply because President Obama either adopted
them, put his arms around them, or asked them, Hey, I like that idea, come
work with me, and they refused to do it.

MATTHEWS: What`s the latest Heritage Foundation health care plan? I`m
being sarcastic. There ain`t one, is there.


MATTHEWS: They don`t have -- anyway, the new "USA Today"/Princeton Survey
Research poll asked what the reaction would be if most of the current
members of Congress were replaced. About half said it would change
Congress for the better.

Governor, do you believe that people, when it comes to next year, will do
what they say they would like to do, throw the people out? I don`t know
how you do it in our gerrymandered districts. I don`t know how you throw
out a -- you know, when you vote for a Republican in west Philly or north
Philly just to get even with the current guy? Probably not. Maybe the
burbs will switch. Where do they switch?

RENDELL: Well, I think the -- that`s the answer. I think where the
Republicans are vulnerable is the Republican moderates because the argument
we now make, the Democrats, is, Look, you may like your congressman, he may
be a nice guy, he may be moderate, but as long as he`s there, the Tea Party
is going to be able to extort the government because the Republicans will
control and they won`t bring progressive bills to the floor.

So even if you like your congressman, you`ve got to vote him out of office.
That`s a very good argument.

MATTHEWS: Jonathan, your thoughts. Can moderate Democrats replace
moderate Republicans so they can get more votes for Pelosi and fewer for

CAPEHART: Well, you know, I think the governor raises a good point and a
good strategy. It`s just a matter of whether you can get enough Democrats
out there to vote out the moderates and bring in the Democrats.

This is going to be actually, Chris, a very big test for the Democratic
Party. It`s the first -- it`ll be the first election that the president is
not on the ballot. And mid-term elections, as we know, you know, fewer
voters come out to vote. Fewer Democrats come out to vote. The electorate
is older and whiter.

But if Democrats want anything to get done in Congress, want the
president`s agenda to move forward, they`re going to have to come out in
the numbers that they did in 2012 to send a clear message that they like
the direction the country is going in, they want the president to succeed
and to push forward on their agenda, and they want Congress to work again.

RENDELL: There`s one person, Chris, who can drive that turnout, and that`s
the campaigner-in-chief, Barack Obama.

MATTHEWS: You got it. Also, the other campaigner-in-chief, your friend.

RENDELL: Bill Clinton.

MATTHEWS: Bill Clinton.


MATTHEWS: He can do it, too. Anyway, Bill Clinton is the best there is.
Anyway, thank you, Ed Rendell. Thank you, Jonathan Capehart.

Coming up, the Republican alternative universe -- and you don`t know what
color the sky is here -- where the shutdown was good politics, a default
would have been better and the whole train wreck was a huge success.
Wait`ll you hear how these people are talking!

Also, the haters of President Obama are making up stories about Affordable
Care. Tonight, what happened when someone actually went out there and
checked with people who said their lives had been ruined by "Obama care,"
and we find out they weren`t quite telling the whole story?

The rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act didn`t escape, however, the
attention of Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." That`s in the "Sideshow,"

And "Let Me Finish" tonight with my hopes for serious budget negotiations
between the parties this December.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Thanks to the shutdown, we`re getting September`s unemployment
report a couple of weeks late. The economy created 148,000 jobs last
month, and the unemployment rate ticked down again to 7.2 percent, a new

Those numbers don`t reflect the impact, of course, of the shutdown and the
brinksmanship by Republicans over the default. We`ll have to find out what
that effect was on the job market in next month`s report.

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Many conservatives are trying to
rewrite the last few weeks, but there are a couple of inconvenient truths -
- i.e. facts -- that keep getting in the way. Americans disapproved of
their tactics, blamed them for the mess we got in, and don`t want to see it
happen again. And yet ignoring every significant poll in the past week,
some on the wild right argue the shutdown was, in fact, a huge success.

Here was the inimitable Ann Coulter yesterday on Fox.


ANN COULTER, AUTHOR: This is why I think the shutdown was so magnificent,
run beautifully. I`m so proud of these Republicans. And that is because
they have branded the Republican Party as the anti-"Obama care" party.
They accomplished a lot. They showed -- and it was brilliant how they
played it! Funding 80 percent of the government, starting with defund all
the government except "Obama care," then fund all of government but "Obama
care," but we delay it for a year.

I think Republicans played this beautifully, but there was no point to
carrying it on any longer. The lesson that needs to be learned is --

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": On that note --

COULTER: -- we need to elect Republicans!


MATTHEWS: Some day, somebody`s going to do a psychological study of why
that act works. Anyway, she`s not alone. Matt Kibbe, the CEO of the Tea
Party group FreedomWorks, tweeted this week, quote, "The government
shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis were brilliant Republican strategy."

And last week, the other inimitable person, Michele Bachmann, answered the
question of whether the shutdown was worth it by saying, quote,
"Absolutely. I think it`s worth it. It`s been worth it because what we
did is we fought the right fight."

Well, as I showed you in the last segment, the shutdown has caused the
Republican favorability to drop to an all-time low. Eight of ten Americans
disapprove of the shutdown, of course, and they blame the Republicans for

Joan Walsh is editor-at-large of Salon and an MSNBC political analyst, and
Ron Reagan is MSNBC contributor.

Both of you, I want you to each take your turns. First of all, explain the
phenomenon of Ann Coulter. My theory is that she`s able to say anything
that comes to mind, and she`s brilliant at the provocations she starts,
because she doesn`t work for anybody. Nobody can fire her, which is
probably a great career move for her.

But this almost orgiastic notion that somehow, this has been a swell,
exciting period of their lives, that this has really worked out for them --
it`s amazing how they can ape reality.

Go ahead, your thoughts, Joan.

Chris, she`s playing to the most paranoid, extremist fringe of the party,
and she`s telling them what they want to hear. You know, that`s been her
act all along. People -- I know people who like her and say she doesn`t
mean it. That makes it worse to me, if she doesn`t mean it. I happen to
think she means it. But this is how they get rich and --

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s an interesting question.

WALSH: It is an interesting question.

MATTHEWS: Do you really think that she might -- might be -- I have a
theory that the kind of dorky guys on Wall Street walk down the street
carrying one of her books like they`ve got a machine gun or a Sten gun. It
makes them seem sort of dangerous --

WALSH: Yes --

MATTHEWS: -- in a dorky world that they`ve got Ann Coulter`s book in
hand. Your thoughts.

WALSH: And Ann Coulter is on their side and attacking those awful godless
liberals. You know, we`re the problem. No, it`s really quite cynical.
It`s quite corrupt.

And beyond Ann Coulter, I think it`s also just this strategy of never tell
the truth, always lie, and always say that you`re winning and always
convince the media. And to some extent -- it doesn`t quite work, but to
some extent, sometimes it carries the day, that they never have to admit
that they`ve completely bollocksed everything.

MATTHEWS: Do you think she`s ever going to put out the secret code ring
that says, This is all nonsense, you imbeciles? I didn`t mean this!

WALSH: Maybe -- maybe on her death bed with Lee Atwater. You know, I
think a lot of people are going to be telling the truth --

MATTHEWS: Oh, well --

WALSH: -- like he did when -- you know, at the very end.

MATTHEWS: Well, maybe. Let`s not say bad of the dead. Anyway --


MATTHEWS: Anyway, let me ask you, Ron Reagan.

WALSH: We`re all going -- hey, we`re all going there. You know, it`s --
I`m not wishing it on her.


MATTHEWS: Slow down on both counts, the commentary on the dead and the
being dead. I don`t want to be there either.



MATTHEWS: Let`s talk to Ron Reagan here.


Sir, what do you think of this sort of alternative universe? I feel like
saying what color is the sky in your world when I hear people talking like
Michele Bachmann saying how -- a beautiful week we had. Look at the polls.
Your party`s back to pre-Lincoln numbers.


REAGAN: Yes. Well, it`s true.

I mean, I suppose this was a good strategy if your aim was to have your
party be about as popular as hepatitis B.


REAGAN: I mean, that`s where they are at this point.

But it has been part of the mythology of the far right forever, really,
that they really aren`t a minority, that they really are the majority of
the country, and somehow if they lose elections -- and even though they
take the House of Representatives, they did so with a million fewer votes
than Democratic candidates.

But, despite all that, despite all those inconvenient facts that you allude
to, somehow, they are the majority of the country.


REAGAN: Somehow, they really are winning. And if everything was really
fair , to their mind, they would win all the elections.

It`s nonsense, of course, but these people are magical thinkers.

WALSH: Right.

REAGAN: They believe all sorts of things that just aren`t true.


MATTHEWS: How the antebellum math, Ron, where you give black Americans
three-fifths of a vote? Then you do the mathematics. And I haven`t done
it lately to figure out what that would mean. But it might mean a right-
wing plurality in the country of all black voters out there who tend to be
Democrats, a lot of people are.

Maybe you only give them three-fifths of a vote when you do your math.
Maybe that explains it.

REAGAN: Listen, one of the best things that could happen from this whole
business is that the Republican Party indeed split into at least two


REAGAN: One, the Tea Party, and then the old Republican white shoe,
country club, bankers and insurance company, kind of corporate type
Republicans. Let them do their thing. Let the Tea Party do their thing,
but in an isolated fashion.

And then we will see how many Americans really believe in death panels and
birtherism and all the rest of that nonsense. It may be as much as 25


REAGAN: But at least they`d have their own party, and they`d be isolated.
And that would be a better thing for everybody.


Well, let me go back to this. The polls do show the Republican Party`s in
trouble because of tactics championed by Ted Cruz like -- like the
government shutdown. Cruz of course throws out his own idea of who`s
responsible for the Republican death march.

Let`s listen to the leader here.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The single most damaging thing that has happened
to Republicans for 2014 is all of the Senate Republicans coming out
attacking the House Republicans, attacking those pushing the effort to
defund Obamacare, and lining themselves up opposite the American people.



Anyway, former Congressman Tom DeLay, he told a right-wing radio show that
if only Republicans had held out longer, they would have won this fight.
Instead, he said they lost because President Obama stood firm and they


TRENT LOTT (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: He held firm and he wins.


LOTT: That ought to be the lesson here that people understand. If the
Republicans had -- who knows what would have happened. I think the
Republicans would have won.

What I was noticing sitting out here in reality land was that it was
starting to have an effect.


LOTT: The poll numbers for Obama, as well as the Democrats, were going
down. The people were starting to understand that Obama and the Democrats
wouldn`t negotiate.


MATTHEWS: You know, it`s funny. It`s not funny. It`s ludicrous, Ron, but
does he expect that people have already forgotten last week, that the day
after the Republicans threw in the towel the government was about to

It wasn`t like they had a lot of wiggle room.


MATTHEWS: He says if they`d only held out. Does he think -- maybe he`s
forgotten a week ago. How can history be so distant when it`s only a week
ago? If they`d gone another day, we don`t know what would have happened to
the world economics and where the United States would be.

I think Boehner at the last second, at the very last second, got a vote out
of his majority and got a -- actually got a vote out of the Democratic
majority, 100 percent by Nancy Pelosi. And if he hadn`t done it then, I
don`t know what would have happened. Now here the guy comes along out of
retirement and says all you had to do was keep it up. Keep -- run right
off the cliff.

WALSH: He`s delusional.


REAGAN: This is bubbles within bubbles within bubbles, the political
bubble, the social bubble, and finally you get down to the fact that
they`re really the religious right, that bubble that they live in.

But they don`t see the world the way we do. They don`t look at the facts
the way we do. They only listen to their own friends. They only listen to
their own media, tweet with their own Twitter friends or whatever.


REAGAN: And they think -- some of them do -- they think that their
universe is the universe, when, of course, sadly for them, it`s not.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, I hope Tom DeLay runs for Congress again.

And do you worst, Congressman. Come back in. You will get a daily
newspaper subscription out of it and you will be able to keep up.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, Joan Walsh.

Thank you, Ron Reagan.


MATTHEWS: I hope that gets a Twitter out of you.

Anyway, up next, what happened when "The Daily Show" decided to figure out
what`s wrong with and how it`s working, that Web site?

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.



JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": They`re saying that if you are in
need of health care, you have two choices. You can wait for them to get
the site fixed or you can enroll in medical school, graduate, and then just
take care of yourself --


KIMMEL: -- which would probably be faster.




I.T. talent in the entire country join the team. And we`re well into a
tech surge to fix the problem.



STEWART: Your Web site is so (EXPLETIVE DELETED) we have to use the same
strategy we used to salvage the Iraq war?



MATTHEWS: Time now for the "Sideshow."

That was Jimmy Kimmel, of course, and Jon Stewart last night on the rocky
rollout of But The Daily Show went further and sent
correspondent John Oliver to take a closer look at the Web site`s glitches.
Unfortunately for Oliver, he got trapped inside. And here`s what happened


STEWART: Listen, have you tried just hitting escape?


That was the first thing I tried.


OLIVER: That was the first thing.

STEWART: All right.


OLIVER: No, Jon, my best hope is that they`re going to begin to fix in
some way -- oh, no. No, Jon, I have got to get out of here.

STEWART: What is that -- is that what I think it is?

OLIVER: How old is this software, Jon?


STEWART: No. Wow! That was unbelievable.

Well, the Web site is very busy, so I can`t get you help right now.

OLIVER: No, oh, please, quickly. He`s coming back, Jon.






MATTHEWS: Next up, here`s some new evidence that the Tea Party wing of the
GOP is alienating moderates in its own party. Carlo Key was a Republican
judge from San Antonio, Texas, but today announced that he will seek
reelection as a Democrat.

And judging by his video, it`s pretty here that he blames fellow Texan Ted
Cruz for taking the GOP in the wrong direction.


JUDGE CARLO KEY, BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS: I believe that justice demands
fairness and it requires careful and intelligence probing of evidence.

And, above all else, justice can only be served without prejudice towards
race, color, creed, or whom we choose to love. That is why I can no longer
be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party
has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to
ideological character assassination.

Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry.
Make no mistake. I have not left the Republican Party. It left me.


MATTHEWS: Finally, Conan O`Brien is apparently a big cable news viewer,
because last night he put together this tribute video which includes some
of my colleagues and a catchy theme song.


CONAN O`BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": With the latest government crisis, all the
pundits and talking heads on cable news channels have had so much to work
with, so much to talk about.

But, remember, they don`t just do a lot of talking on cable news. They
also do a lot of listening. So, here, ladies and gentlemen, is our tribute
to those unsung heroes, the listeners on cable news.



MATTHEWS: Up next: The haters are so bent on destroying the Affordable
Care Act that they`re now making up stories about it.

When we return, someone who actually spoke with people who said Obamacare
was ruining their lives, even though the truth was very different.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.



The IRS is delaying the start of next year`s tax season by up to two weeks
because of the government shutdown. The agency says it needs more time to
update their computers.

A pilot and two hospital workers were killed when a medical helicopter
crashed in Tennessee. It was on its way to pick up a patient at a
children`s hospital.

And crews in Australia are using fire to stop out-of-control wildfires from
spreading. Higher temperatures and strong winds are fueling those flames -
- back to HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

The problems with the health care rollout have been well-documented. But
President Obama`s signature achievement has been under assault from the
right wing since the legislation was first drafted back in 2009. And even
though it was passed by both houses of Congress, upheld by the U.S. Supreme
Court, and debated in the 2012 election, again, the law remains a target of
Republicans who have shown they have no bigger priority than to bring down
the law and the president with it.

To this end, the right has manufactured myths and misinformation about the
law. They include so-called victims of a law that hasn`t even taken effect

With me now is Eric Stern, a former adviser to Montana Governor Brian
Schweitzer, who investigated suspect actually horror stories told by three
couples on TV. Let`s watch the first.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just got our letter from our insurance carrier
that our policy is going to be terminated and we`re going to be
transitioned to an ACA-compliant policy because it has to include essential
health care benefits.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we don`t even have insurance for our daughter,
who has a preexisting condition. So we`re looking at probably $20,000 in
premiums next year.


MATTHEWS: Eric, as Paul Harvey would say, let`s hear the rest of this
story. What`s the truth there?


truth is that they -- they are paying a lot for insurance. But they hadn`t
checked the exchange. And, in fairness, the exchange was down.

But, you know, the Kaiser Family Foundation has had the exchange prices
available on the Internet for two or three months. Why the White House had
-- didn`t talk about that, I don`t know.

But there was ample opportunity for her to check the exchange. And, in
fact, she would have done well. She would have paid about half of what
she`s paying now.

MATTHEWS: So what`s the problem? Whose problem was it? Was it FOX TV`s
presentation of it? Was it that person`s failure to present their entire
personal story, or what?

STERN: Remember, these are six people who are big FOX News fans. It`s how
they got on the show to begin with. They are conservatives. They were
asked during that -- that segment if any of them voted for Obama, and all
of them shook their heads.

And so, basically, whose fault is it? It`s Sean Hannity`s fault for
presenting them as evidence of an Obamacare problem. There is no doubt
that there will be glitches and problems with Obamacare.


MATTHEWS: Well, wait. Let`s not -- they`re not -- but they`re not robots.

Why did they participate? You mean political animosity toward the
president? Is that what we`re watching here?

STERN: Perhaps. Perhaps.

One of the couples I talked to said they don`t like this Obamacare.
They`re not going to go on the exchange because they don`t -- they don`t
like Obama, they don`t like Obamacare. And they`re not visiting -- they`re
not going anywhere near the exchange, so not exactly open-minded. So,
basically, you know, it was just kind of a setup. It was Sean Hannity
creating his own little Potemkin village.

MATTHEWS: OK. Well, I`m not so sure it`s all his fault.

Here`s someone else who says they have been a victim of the Affordable Care
Act. Let`s listen to them. You tell me about this case.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We received a letter from our insurance company
stating that we would no longer be able to have our existing health plan,
despite the president`s promise that we would be able to keep that existing

As a business, we are jumping through more hoops, more regulation, more
paperwork. And we have also cut back on hiring full-time employees because
of the health care cost, even though we`d love to do that.


MATTHEWS: OK. What`s the truth there and what is the untruth, Eric?

STERN: That woman`s husband -- I think -- was that Mrs. Cox? Was that
Michelle Cox?

MATTHEWS: Yes, Cox, Michelle Cox.

STERN: I think that her husband, Paul Cox, I spoke to him briefly --

And after she spoke, he talked about how he has to cut back on his work
force and he can`t hire full-time workers. He has to keep them all at
part-time because he can`t afford it because of Obamacare.

So, I called him. And I said, Paul, I just watched you on FOX News. I
just have a few questions. And one of the questions I asked him is, how
many employees do you have? He said four. Now, Obamacare doesn`t apply to
small businesses with -- with -- the employer mandate doesn`t apply to
small businesses with under 50 employees. So that speaks for itself.

MATTHEWS: Well, what did he mean? He can`t hire 47 more employees? Is
that what it means? It`s ludicrous.


MATTHEWS: He was willing to jump from four to 47 more, which would have
made him 51.

I mean, I`m serious here. You`re laughing, but this is serious business.
I know it may be sarcastic to you, but these people are either misleading
FOX -- it looks to me like they have not told even Sean their right story.
They`re not puppet toons.

Why are they saying this stuff?

ERIC STERN, SALON.COM: It`s possible they didn`t tell Sean the right
story. Or it`s possible Sean has never heard of the Socratic method. I
don`t know.

But you know, the reason I perked up, I was in my kitchen and I heard Sean
Hannity talking about his upcoming segment and I decided to watch because
I`ve been listening and hearing for a year now people like Ted Cruz has
been talking about Obamacare is destroying America. He never gives an


STERN: So I thought this is a real opportunity for me to --

MATTHEWS: I agree with you. I like what you`re doing here. Here`s
another case you point out of people here who say the Affordable Care Act
is causing their financial pain. Let`s listen to this couple.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our new policy, anything similar with rise between like
50 percent to 72 percent and will have things in it like we have no choice,
like we`ll have to have maternity benefits. We`re not planning on having
any more kids, and going to have to have pediatric eye care and things like
that. Our kids are all away from home.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: So it`s not a plan that you need.


MATTHEWS: Eric, your thoughts. What do you know from following up with
that case?

STERN: That was Robby and Tina Robeson (ph). Nice folks. They pay $850 a
month, $875 a month. They got a letter like many Americans saying that
their plan was being altered to become ACA-compliant and there might be a
rate change. And their belief is that the rates will increase and that
therefore, that represents something that -- an untruth that Obama told
when he said that Americans will be able to keep their health plans,
they`re adjusting health plans.

Now, Tina and Robby said they have no interest in looking at the exchange
because they are philosophically opposed to Obamacare.

STERN: You know, a bronze plan on the exchange in their zip code costs --
you know, it would be a significant savings to them. As would other plans.
And there are plans on the exchange where they might not save that much.
But there is at least the opportunity for them to go on and shop. And they
didn`t even want to do it. So what they were -- they were using the letter
they got as evidence of sort of an Obamacare failure. And that`s it.

MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you so much for this. I love this reporting. Thank
you, Eric Stern. Checking up on what other people are saying.

Coming up, Patrick Kennedy on mental health and stopping gun violence on
people who shouldn`t have guns because they`ve got mental problems.

We`ll be right back after this.


MATTHEWS: Two weeks to go in the marquee matchup of this year`s elections.
The race for governor of Virginia.

This weekend, Hillary Clinton campaigned alongside Terry McAuliffe. It was
her first campaign event in nearly five years. And Bill Clinton will spend
three days on the stump for his old friend starting this Sunday.

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg is pouring more than a million dollars into
the race on McAuliffe`s behalf.

And one of the state`s biggest newspapers, "The Richmond Times-Dispatch", a
paper that usually endorses Republicans chose not to endorse anyone for
governor rather than back Ken Cuccinelli. That`s bad news for the

And we`ll be right back.



that`s killed like my uncles. It`s the whole family. So my father
survived, but I can tell you, he had post-traumatic stress, and that
communicated itself to me. He was in mourning the rest of his life. He
suffered tremendously.

And all of my cousins who grew up without a father were also victims.
That`s what we lose sight of. It`s not just the kids that are killed up in
Newtown or in Colorado. It`s all their families.


MATTHEWS: We`re back.

Fifty years ago this month, President John F. Kennedy signed the Community
Mental Health Act, which laid the groundwork for today`s mental health

Now, former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy is following in his
uncle`s footsteps to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and advance
the cause President Kennedy started way back in `63.

Well, the mental health issue has taken on a critical urgency in light of
recent mass shootings. The parents of Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner
told deputies that he did not get a mental health evaluation even after
community college officials recommended it when expelling him. Loughner
killed six people at an event held by then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle
Giffords, who was the primary target of the attack but survived. After his
arrest, two medical evaluations diagnose d him as paranoid schizophrenic.

Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes met with not one but at least three
mental health professionals at the University of Colorado prior to the
movie theater massacre. But he was never placed in institutional care.

The Sandy Hook mass murderer Adam Lanza was diagnosed with sensory
integration disorder that may have led to anger and anxiety issues or forms
of mental illness on his part.

Before Aaron Alexis killed 12 people in a Navy Yard shooting recently, he
complained of insomnia and said he heard voices.

Well, now, Patrick Kennedy is honoring John Kennedy`s legacy to achieve
equality and improve care for those suffering from mental illness by
launching the Kennedy Forum to united the mental health community in one
common purpose.

By the way, I`m honored personally to be the emcee at their first event
taking place tomorrow night at the Kennedy Presidential Library up in

Patrick Kennedy joins me now.

Patrick, it`s certainly strange, but one thing that has united this country
on the concern you`ve been involved with for long time, mental health, and
your uncle, the president, wants (ph) mental health. But now, even the far
right, who are very concerned about gun rights, are saying, wait a minute,
let`s look at mental health rather than look at gun ownership.

Your thoughts about that strange connection now between the right and your
position dealing with mental health finally.

KENNEDY: I don`t think it`s strange, Chris. Obviously, they`re more
interested in their NRA report cards than they are about making sure we
actually solve the problem.

And solving the problem is twofold. We need to address the access to guns
in our society. But we also need to improve the system of care for brain

So, by the way, I suffer from brain illnesses. I have mental health
problems, if you will. I know that`s filled with connotations and I want
to say it because the only way we`re going to change attitudes is for those
of us who are in recovery to talk about the fact that we all have a brain
and we always will face situations where our brain, like any other organ in
our body will not work optimally.

And so, we need a health care system, Chris, that reimburses for the kinds
of checkups from the neck up, just like we get checkups for your blood
pressure, your cholesterol, you know, all the other health issues, we need
a medical system that also pays for this mental health, because, Chris,
what happened in all those cases you identified in the top of your
introduction is that we knew they were suffering, but we did nothing about

Because mental health in our country is treated differently than if those
people would suffering from a heart attack or a stroke, we would have
rushed to take care of them, Chris. But because their illness was an
illness of their brain, we looked at it as a criminal justice issue, Chris,
rather than as a medical issue.

MATTHEWS: Well, tell me, Patrick, you`ve studied this and you`re becoming
an expert on this, what ties together the dangerous person with a mental
problems, the guy or woman you see on the corner who`s schizoid, they`re
talking to nobody. You know that. That`s a pretty common to see in big
bus terminals and place where people congregate, they feel free to come to
those places -- and the person who`s got an addiction problem. Because
every family, I tell you, I don`t know which one doesn`t, has somebody in
the family with an addiction problem. But I have never heard it
categorized, as you just did, as a mental illness problem.

KENNEDY: Well, we all have a brain in common, so whether you have an
intellectual disability, an addiction problem or a mental illness, it`s a
brain function issue.

And so, that`s why we need a unifier effort. So, John Kennedy talked about
this and he didn`t segregate people with intellectual disabilities from
those with serious mental illness. He said what we`re going that is going
to help both communities because they both share common sets of needs.

So, Chris, what we need to do now that we have health care reform is
articulate what is useful to someone not only with a mental illness,
bipolar, schizophrenia, but also someone with an addiction, or any kind of
addiction, substance abuse disorder, and someone else who might have an
intellectual disability. We all need to be part of a community. We all
need to be connected with friends and family.

Our veterans, Chris, are the most dramatic example of what we`re not doing
right. So here they come home, we call their wounds invisible wounds.
There`s nothing invisible about their traumatic brain injury and the stress
that they experience which literally changes the neurophysiology in their
brain. And yet our country stills calls these invisible wounds.

Then, we don`t give them a Purple Heart. Then we tell them, because most
of them are not, frankly in the V.A., they`re in the private insurance
market, and we tell them, go fight for your care.

Now, I just think, Chris, if they had been suffering from Agent Orange or
cancer, I mean, we know how to deal with medical issues, but we don`t know
how to look at the brain as a medical issue. And that`s what we need to

MATTHEWS: Thank you for your passion and thank you for telling us what`s
going on. I`ll see you tomorrow night, Patrick Kennedy, waging the fight
to put focus.

By the way, I think you`ve got a new ally, Eric Cantor, because when they
had the shutdown at the NIH, he started making some noise, which I thought
was fascinating for Republicans, especially him, which is pretty
sophisticated, to finally admit that the fact that the NIH does some good

When we return, let me finish with my hopes with some serious talks between
Democrats and Republicans on this budget thing. I think they can get
something done this December. Call me an optimist.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with hope.

I`m in Philadelphia tonight, ready to address the National Constitution
Center. I was reading last night by the way about the day-to-day
negotiations here in this city in 1787 that led to the adoption of the U.S.
Constitution. Think about the struggles then over the role of the federal
government, about the challenges these folks faced in forging this country
of ours in the first place. Well, today, the chairs and members of the
congressional budget committees are working to forge a budget compromise
that will pass muster with the Democratic Senate and a Republican-led
House. They will need to fight for what they need, yield on what they can,
build from both a consensus on the road ahead.

If there`s one thing we can do as citizens, it`s to encourage Senator Patty
Murray of Washington and Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to find areas
in which to compromise. We don`t need anymore fiscal train wrecks.

As I said tonight, I`ll be at the National Constitution Center, right next
to Independence Hall, where it all begun, talking about my book, "Tip and
The Gipper: When Politics Worked". It`s my love letter if you will to
American politics and what free people, especially true believers of
conviction can achieve.

That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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