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'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Wednesday, September 24th 2014

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

September 24, 2014

Guest: Ron Fournier, Paul Singer, Susan Milligan, Steve McMahon

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Targeting evil.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Another beheading, this time a French citizen by an ISIS ally in
Algeria. The killers called it retribution for France joining the U.S. in
air strikes over Iraq. This come the day President Obama calls on the
world for action against ISIS, demanding that countries stop giving their
money and stop spewing the hate-filled ideology that fuels the terrorist

Obama used all of his skills or oratory and argument at the U.N.
today. His goal was to recruit a global posse capable of degrading and
eventually destroying ISIS. He made clear today he wants countries to
takes concrete steps and will be keeping tabs on whether they deliver or
not. He sounded like he meant business.

And tonight we look at why the Congress, Democrats and Republicans,
are shirking a vote on the Obama-led air strikes. Our HARDBALL roundtable
of Steve McMahon, Perry Bacon and Susan Milligan (ph) will look at these
questions and look at the way some on the right are using the ISIS threat
to heat up the immigration fight and deal with those growing concerns out
there that not even the White House is safe.

But we began -- or begin tonight with the breaking news in Syria. The
U.S. military and Arab partners carried another round of air strikes
against ISIS targets late today.

Jim Miklaszewski joins us from the Pentagon for an update. Jim, Mik,
what did we do today? Who did we hit?

today`s target was to hit ISIS where it hurts, in the pocketbook. There
were 13 strikes with U.S. military and our Arab allies against 12 modular
oil refineries. Now, these are refineries which are easily disassembled,
put on skids and transported somewhere else, but they produce up to 500
barrels a day. And just these 12 refineries alone would have provided as
much as $250,000 in income a day. It`s believed that ISIS collects about
$1 to $2 billion (sic) per day in their black market oil sales.

Now, this was a much smaller strike than the first strike on Monday,
which was about 20 targets and aircraft and cruise missiles. So this was a
more compact strike. But again, U.S. officials think this is going to
begin to hit ISIS where it hurts.

But the big concern is, though, so far, we haven`t seen any kind of
reaction or retaliation from ISIS, either against our allies in the region
or elsewhere. And -- and one -- one of the credos among U.S. military is
"The enemy always has a vote." So everybody`s sitting back and waiting for
ISIS to respond.

MATTHEWS: Did we do all the bombing today, or were we joined by real
allies in the air?

MIKLASZEWSKI: We were joined in the air by allies, both the -- Saudi
Arabia and United Arab Emirates. And in the strikes on Monday, four out of
five of our allies -- Arab allies actually dropped weapons. Qatar was the
only one on the periphery, you know, and -- and you know the problem with
Qatar and their support of -- sometimes, allegedly, even indirectly, Sunni
extremists in the region. So -- but Qatar, in fact, was participating.

And what`s interesting about this is even if none of them dropped a
single weapon, the fact that they`re flying is rarely -- is very
significant because in past operations, those countries have not even
expressed support for U.S. military operations. So this was a huge step
forward that was engineered not only by President Obama and John Kerry, but
Senator Floyd -- I mean, General Floyd (sic) Austin, the CENTCOM commander
down there in Tampa.

MATTHEWS: Thanks for that great report, Jim Miklaszewski at the


MATTHEWS: Today, an Algerian terror group, as I said, released video
showing the beheading a French tourist in retaliation for his country`s air
strikes against ISIS in Iraq. At the U.N. General Assembly today, French
president Francois Hollande called it a cowardly assassination and said
France wouldn`t give in to blackmail by these barbaric acts, he called

Joining me right now is "The National Journal`s" Ron Fournier and the
"Washington Post" columnist Eugene Robinson, also an MSNBC political

Ron, thank you for joining us. It seems to me we`re up against guys
who are willing to keep beheading.


MATTHEWS: And they`re going to keep doing it. This is going to be
what we`re going to watch.

FOURNIER: This is -- we`re -- it`s probably going to be with us for a
lifetime. That`s what the president was steeling the country for today.

I was struck by what I think was one of his best speeches of his

MATTHEWS: I agree.

FOURNIER: ... because it wasn`t poetic. It was pragmatic. It wasn`t
soaring. It was searing. And he put this conflict in a historical context
that explained not only why he`s made the evolution from an anti-war
candidate to a commander-in-chief, from a hawk to a -- from a dove to a --
practically a hawk and how we have to think differently about the country -
- about the whole world.

MATTHEWS: What do you make of the zombie-like look of the U.N.
representatives when we look out there? I mean, I -- it reminds me of what
a priest must put up with some Sundays with people just showing up.


MATTHEWS: Gene, what do you make of those faces...


MATTHEWS: ... the vagueness of the faces. Were they not allowed to
express yes on the face?

these are professional diplomats, and so they`re trained in this, right?
And they`re not giving reactions that might give offense or might show
support or opposition or whatever.

You know, what I found really interesting about the speech -- when
President Obama came into office, one of the things he wanted to do was to
effect some sort of if not rapprochement, some sort of change in this
conflicted relationship between Islam and the West.


ROBINSON: And today, he sort of changed the conditions of that. He
said, We must do that, but you guys got to help.

MATTHEWS: Like here he is...

ROBINSON: And he points at Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the Persian
Gulf states...

MATTHEWS: He took a little shot at Netanyahu...


MATTHEWS: He took a shot at Netanyahu, but he also took a shot at the
fat cat potentates over there who spew this Wahhabism...

ROBINSON: Well, exactly.

MATTHEWS: ... and support the -- supports the terrorist creed...


ROBINSON: ... you`ve got to cut that out.

MATTHEWS: Here he is. He says -- here`s the shot he took, not just
at the money they`re giving to these terrorists, some of the fat cats over
there, but some of the leaders over there who spew this religious extremism
which undermines or under -- under -- actually, it underwrites the
arguments of the terrorists themselves. Let`s take a look at that.


tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents
because they`re Jewish or because they`re Christian or because they`re

It is time for a new compact among civilized peoples of this world to
eradicate war at its most fundamental source, and that is the corruption of
young minds by violent ideology. That means cutting off the funding that
fuels this hate. It`s time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate
wealth through the global economy and then siphon funds to those who teach
children to tear it down.

Their propaganda has coerced young people to travel abroad to fight
their wars and turn students, young people full of potential, into suicide
bombers. We must offer an alternative vision.


MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) Prince Bandar on here years ago, and I said to
him the word we have is that guys will push your students, you young people
to blow up the world outside of Saudi Arabia under the deal you don`t do it
inside. And he said that was bullshit. That`s what he said to me. That
was his term, not mine.


MATTHEWS: And I got to tell you, this is -- isn`t it what they`re
doing, though?

FOURNIER: Yes, and...

MATTHEWS: This is what those countries do.

FOURNIER: That`s what they`ve been doing, and I think they`re
realizing it`s about to backfire.

And the president did something here I thought was pretty remarkable,
that we rarely see. Normally, they`re speaking -- when the president come
to the U.N., they`re speaking to Americans. And the folks out there are
just props.


FOURNIER: Like you said, Eugene, he was speaking directly to the
leaders. He was calling them out unlike any president has since George
Bush shortly after 9/11.

MATTHEWS: So what`s it going to mean in terms of dollars and cents,
arms sales, the kind of deals we cut with Saudi, with the Emirates? Do you
think that they`re really going to -- he says, I`m going to be keeping tabs
on you guys.


MATTHEWS: I want concrete steps to stop this.

ROBINSON: Well, we`ll have to see. And he didn`t specify, right,
because this is a complicated relationship with Saudi Arabia, obviously.
Now -- now, in terms of the oil, right, we got a lot of oil now, and that`s
a -- that`s a card that previous presidents haven`t had to play, and it`s
something that the Saudis really worry about, that the world`s dependence
on Saudi oil is...


ROBINSON: ... is going to wane, and therefore, people are going to be
less tolerant of that kind of behavior.

FOURNIER: You can use that card against Russia, as well.

ROBINSON: Well, exactly.

MATTHEWS: OK, here`s two things that might be working. Nobody wants
to hear about the Mideast peace process again because it never seems to go
anywhere. But couldn`t there be something going on here because the
targets of these caliphate-makers is ultimately to overthrow the government
of Jordan, over throw the government in Saudi Arabia, it`s not to overthrow
government in Texas. (INAUDIBLE) talk that line and they can spook us a
little bit, but that`s not what they`re going to get done in their

In their lifetimes, they get a shot at knocking off these governments.
They`re getting the message, these governments! Wait a minute, this isn`t
about liking the United States, it`s about the United States being the
lawman here we`re willing to support because it`s our neck.

FOURNIER: Yes, these -- these folks are in the business of self-
preservation. And the reason why the president has a chance to really
start rewriting the rules of the globe for the next century is these folks
now, as you`re saying, get the message. The president hasn`t changed

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s talk about Europe and the French and the fact
they -- their little skedaddle down there in Australia the other day,
they`re talking about, they tried to behead somebody down there. And
they`re going to try to get out there -- the Diaspora of beheadings could
well be coming our way here. They can grab somebody in Oregon somewhere --
not to mention Oregon for a reason, but any state, and in some little
midnight necklace party, cut the guy`s head off!

ROBINSON: Well, sure, that could -- that could happen. I mean, it`s
-- you know, one suspects that the beheadings of Americans that we saw
leading up to this, the only logic is that they were designed to do what
they did, which is...

MATTHEWS: Get us in!

ROBINSON: ... to bring the United States in, figuring we would get
bogged down, that we would eventually tire and that in the end, they


MATTHEWS: ... and you know and I know -- you know -- they think in
hundreds and thousands of year! You know, We`ll get them eventually. The
crusaders were there for 128 years, the papal states, right? They were
there, and they probably thought they won 100 of those years...


MATTHEWS: ... crusaders won.

FOURNIER: And they...

MATTHEWS: But they didn`t win because the Arabs were waiting for

FOURNIER: Right. And they see what`s happened the last 12 years.

ROBINSON: Well, exactly. What could be different this time is the
participation of the Arab states surrounding ISIL...


MATTHEWS: Weren`t you glad to hear Mik say that they`re bombing, too,
it`s not just us?

ROBINSON: And that is different. Mik is right.


FOURNIER: ... boots on the ground. The bombings are going to work
long-term unless we get boots on the ground, and they need to be those Arab
states to be on the ground.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s take a look at the president. It was a very
impressive speech. He warned today at the U.N. that the world must come
together to confront ISIS. Let`s listen.


OBAMA: There can be no reasoning, no negotiation with this brand of
evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of
force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to
dismantle this network of death.

Today I ask the world to join in this effort. Those who have joined
ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can. Those who continue to
fight for a hateful cause will find they are increasingly alone for we will
not succumb to threats and we will demonstrate that the future belongs to
those who build, not those who destroy.


MATTHEWS: So we`re going to kill. We`re going to kill as many Arabs
who`ve joined ISIS as we can. We`ve warned them right there, Get out.

FOURNIER: That`s our Nobel Peace Prize winner...

MATTHEWS: That`s...


MATTHEWS: ... in the world.


MATTHEWS: How many -- how many countries now have we bombed that are
Arab and Muslim since the beginning of this century? We just keep bombing

FOURNIER: But -- but what is our alternative?


FOURNIER: What is our alternative.

MATTHEWS: It is our problem.

FOURNIER: The question now is whether this president can hold the
country together, build a coalition, hold that coalition together, and we
can roll these folks back. If...

MATTHEWS: So for the next several months...


MATTHEWS: ... guys, we`re going to watch bombings...


MATTHEWS: ... hopefully, multilateral with other countries
(INAUDIBLE) and we`re going to watch beheadings.

ROBINSON: And the other thing -- and we don`t know, and you mentioned
it, Ron -- is are we going to watch -- are we going to see boots on the
ground that are not American, but that come from elsewhere, that come from
perhaps the other -- the Arab countries in the coalition? We don`t...

MATTHEWS: You think they -- that`s an alternative to waiting for this
one-year training program, which is going to ideally produce 8,000 Free
Syrian Army recruits that will then turn their attention to fighting ISIS,
not Assad.

ROBINSON: Yes, well...

FOURNIER: I think the president was right when he said that was a


MATTHEWS: ... hard part. I think that`s why...


MATTHEWS: ... like we do all the time. Thank you, Gene, as always.
Thanks so much for coming, Eugene.

Coming up: If there`s one thing this Congress agrees on, it`s this.
They do not want to take a war vote. Do you believe it? Lawmakers are all
too happy to skip town, as they just did, avoid a tough vote that could
jeopardize their reelection. Who`s the most scared, Democrats or
Republicans, to have a vote?

Then our roundtable tonight digs into the politics of war. Republican
candidates wasted no time creating anti-terrorism ads out there that slam
both the president and their respective opponents. You won`t believe it,
of course (INAUDIBLE) see this ad from New Hampshire Senate Candidate Scott
Brown. Take a look.


the TV these days knows we face challenges to our way of life. Radical
Islamic terrorists are threatening to cause the collapse of our country.
President Obama and Senator Shaheen seem confused about the nature of the
threat. Not me. I want to secure the border, keep out the people who
would do us harm and restore America`s leadership in the world.


MATTHEWS: Well, that was a cheap scare tactic obviously aimed at
convincing people that ISIS is going to overrun the United States, which it
is not going to do. And you know it, Scott Brown.

And yesterday, Bill Clinton seemed relieved yesterday, at least, to
avoid the question of whether the United States should be arming those
Syrian rebels. Here he is.


above my pay grade. The more I tell you about that, the more likely I am
to cause trouble for the decision makers.


MATTHEWS: Well, that can`t be true because he`s making more now than
he was making as president. It`s not above his pay grade. But today,
former president Clinton said he supports the air strikes. Hillary Clinton
also said she supports the president right now.

And "Let Me Finish" tonight with this failure of politicians to simply
vote on war or peace.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: We`ve got some new polling in those gubernatorial races to
watch across the country. Let`s check the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."

In Florida, the latest numbers from Quinnipiac among likely voters has
Governor Rick Scott, who I don`t like, with an edge over his Democrat
challenger Charlie Crist, just 42 -- actually, 46-44.

It`s a tighter race in Georgia, according to Survey USA. Former
president Jimmy Carter`s grandson, Jason, who served in the Peace Corps,
has a 1-point lead on Governor Nathan Deal. It`s Carter 45-44. That`s an
amazingly great race.

Martha Coakley has a wide lead now, according to the latest polling.
According to a WBUR poll among likely voters, she`s 10 points ahead of
Republican Charlie Baker, 46-36. And he`s not a bad candidate.

And we`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Degrade, destroy, crush, follow
them to the gates of hell -- well, this is wartime rhetoric from the White
House right now because it is a war. We`ve sent soldiers into combat zones
to help arm and train Syrian fighters. American fighter jets are leading a
massive air campaign right now as we speak, along with five other Arab
nations. And we`re dropping bombs on the enemy in two countries right now,
Iraq and in Syria.

So where`s the U.S. Congress? Did they vote to approve the use of
military force? After signing off on a measure to train Syrian rebels,
Congress left town last week until after the November election. Harry Reid
and Mitch McConnell are rarely on the same page, but they don`t show any
inkling of wanting to come back and vote, and the White House seem happy to
have them gone.

Why? Isn`t this why we have a Congress, to advise, to consent, to
take hard votes like whether or not to authorize a war? The BBC reports
that the British parliament is set to be recalled to vote on its role in
the conflict. President Obama led a vote in the U.N. Security Council
today to combat ISIS. Will our own Congress come back to vote? Will
President Obama call Congress back?

Well, this is also rhetoric on my part because, obviously, they`re not
coming back!

David Corn is the Washington bureau chief of "Mother Jones," and of
course, Paul Singer`s politics editor at "USA Today."

Paul, since you`re new here, let`s talk it over.


MATTHEWS: You know, Harry Reid has gotten in trouble for fighting too
much with Mitch McConnell, and the other way around, obviously. Nobody
really likes Mitch McConnell much, even in Kentucky. But I discovered
there`s something worse than them not getting along with each other. It`s
getting along with each other!

SINGER: When they agree...

MATTHEWS: When they sit down and say, Let`s protect all the
incumbents in the interests of protecting incumbents!

SINGER: Right. They`re not going to vote on this. They don`t want
to vote on this before the election. They don`t want to come back and call
people back for a big staged vote because they don`t really have a whole
lot to say.

MATTHEWS: I would call it more than a staged vote. I would call it

SINGER: But they don`t have a whole lot to say. I mean, all they
would be doing is authorizing the bombing that is already taking place,
right? They could possibly say, Well, we`ll authorize the bombing...

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s consistent with the War Powers Act, to get in
there a little late.

SINGER: Yes, and later and later now. By the time they get back and
have a vote, (INAUDIBLE) going on.


MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s -- let`s segment it. Let`s go with the usual.
Let`s go left, right, and center.

Speaking for the left, why would a left-wing member, whether he`s a
minority from a big city, a liberal from the Bay Area, in New York, or
Chicago, why would a person in a deep blue congressional district or state
give a damn about voting for this? They are not going to get defeated in
the general.

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it is progressives and a
few Republicans who probably want the vote the most, because they do
believe in the War Powers Act and bringing that...


MATTHEWS: But how will they vote?

CORN: Well, I think a lot of them would vote against it. I think one
reason you don`t want...

MATTHEWS: Well, there`s a point.

CORN: One reason you don`t want this on either side, one reason why
Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner don`t want it is
because it divides Democrats and Democrats and Republicans and Republicans.


MATTHEWS: Give me the division. Where would Rand Paul...

CORN: Well, Rand Paul would vote against it.



CORN: Marco Rubio would vote in favor of it. And Ted Cruz would
probably be against it.


MATTHEWS: And John McCain.

CORN: And John McCain.


CORN: And it would be lot of posturing. And it would be lot of
posturing on the Republican side about the 2016 race too.

On the Democratic side, Nancy Pelosi will support Barack Obama.

MATTHEWS: Because?

CORN: She supports the president.


CORN: And these are hard calls. But there will be progressives who
already said they don`t like this plan. They don`t want the U.S. on the
ground. And there are some conservatives.


MATTHEWS: But isn`t that why we have a Congress, to see how people

CORN: Exactly. But the problem is, there is no pay -- there`s no --
there`s no -- you don`t pay for not voting against this, right? If you
don`t have a vote, no one is going to say...


MATTHEWS: But you don`t usually do the side of the fat -- of the pol
who just wants to hold on to his job. You`re not morally justifying this?

CORN: No, I`m not -- I`m explaining it. It is wrong. I think there
should be a debate. There should be a vote. But there`s no way it`s going
to happen.


What I noticed, Paul, was the interesting thing the other day, when we
voted on -- we didn`t -- the Congress voted on whether to arm this Free
Syrian Army, an easier vote, let`s face it, that the Northeast liberals,
people like Gillibrand, Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, of
course, that sort of segment of the Northeast, which I like sort of
generally, they all said they didn`t want to vote even for that, which
tells you which way they are going to vote on an airstrike.


SINGER: That`s right.

And they don`t want to vote for it in part because they don`t want to
get us into another war. They also have been anti-war on Iraq. This seems
like a contradiction. And, by the way, they are going to have to have that
vote again anyhow.


MATTHEWS: There they are, by the way, the people.

SINGER: The vote to arm and train the Syrians is something they will
still have to come back and vote on again. Ultimately, they are also going
to have to vote to fund this war. Remember, sooner or later, Obama is
going to have say, you know what, we need a couple billion dollars to pay
for this.

MATTHEWS: OK. Three months from now, both of you guys, three months
from now, when they have to start writing the checks, the Congress, not
their checks, our checks, they start running up the debt to pay for this
war, how is going to get -- deal with that?

SINGER: He is going to get a majority of Republicans and probably a
significant portion of Democrats to agree to continue to pursue this war
because ISIS is going to keep beheading people.


MATTHEWS: So he`s not going to dance with the ones that brung him.
He`s not going to be -- it is going to be a war fought by Republican
majorities with a Democratic president.


CORN: There will be a solid Republican minority that will complain
about it and be against it.

Already out there today, you have the conservative thought leaders. I
hate to call them that, but Rush Limbaugh and others who are coming up with
all sorts of conspiracy theories that Obama really didn`t do anything by
hitting Khorasan. This is all about midterm politics.

MATTHEWS: How so? How does it help him?

CORN: What?

MATTHEWS: How does Rush Limbaugh figure this out?

CORN: You want me to explain Rush Limbaugh`s logic?




CORN: But, no, it is just because Obama is doing it that it`s bad and
it has to be something -- there has to be some hidden motive here.

So there will be Tea Party Republicans in the House, there will be
Rand Paul Republicans in the Senate and in the House who will vote against
any of this. It is going to be this -- it is going to be a very messy


CORN: And it is going to cause problems for the 2016 presidential
race on the Republican side, maybe even on the Democratic side.

MATTHEWS: Well, the Constitution of course grants the president the
authority to call Congress back into session. And he says he may under
extraordinary circumstances convene both houses. That`s under rule.

This is a great moment. Harry Truman famously demanded that Congress
return to Washington during his 1940 convention speech when he gave at 2:00
in the morning in a sweltering Philadelphia convention hall with no air
conditioning. It was a moment which won him election.

Let`s watch how a president who really has the cojones. Watch him do
this. He just says, they`re all coming back. Here he is. Here he is.


requires that I use every means within my power to get the laws the people
need on matters of such importance and urgency. I am therefore calling
this Congress back into session on the 26th of July.



MATTHEWS: Now that`s political leadership.


MATTHEWS: The reason why every Republican`s favorite Democrat is
Harry Truman, because he had the stuff, the stones to just say, OK, I`m
going on lose this election? No, I`m not. I`m going to win this election.


SINGER: At a political convention. At a political convention, he
made a foreign policy...


MATTHEWS: You know what he said to the Republicans? I have read
their platform. I invite them back to Washington. In fact, I demand they
come back to Washington and pass their platform, which they didn`t do and
they lost.

CORN: But Americans wouldn`t want to see this Congress come back to
do anything. They`re unpopular.


MATTHEWS: Why are you so down?


CORN: That was a brilliant move.


MATTHEWS: Suppose Obama did that tonight.

CORN: But Obama doesn`t want a dysfunctional Congress looking over
his shoulder. He is exploiting the fact that they can`t get their act
together, that they are abandoning their constitutional prerogatives so
that he can do this war without having to bother with the obstructionism
that he`s had for the last six years.

MATTHEWS: So, there`s a coincidence of purpose here.

CORN: Of course, yes.

SINGER: Well, and he tried to get -- he tried to get a Syria vote a
year ago, and he couldn`t get Congress to actually vote on it.

MATTHEWS: Yes, but that was fighting Assad. That was never an
American passion.


MATTHEWS: Once these beheadings occurred, excuse me. This was an as
you know -- he could have called Congress in and the next day and passed
anything he wanted that 24 hours, instead of playing golf. He could have
done it right then.

SINGER: Maybe. I don`t think he could have gotten them even on


MATTHEWS: There was a lot of heat out there.

SINGER: It would have taken a month to argue it through.

MATTHEWS: Oh. Call the vote. Call the vote. Let`s go.


CORN: Well, listen, I do think he should have them in every day, the
leaders of the Congress.


MATTHEWS: OK. We got to change the rules and start voting when it

Anyway, thank you, not when it cools off, like the NFL. Let`s have a
commission and wait for three or four months. Then we will talk about it,
when my job is secure.

Anyway, thank you. In fact, Roger Goodell and these congresspeople
have a lot in common.

CORN: They do. Duck and cover.


MATTHEWS: They like their jobs.

Anyway, thank you, David Corn. Paul Singer, good to have you.

MATTHEWS: Up next, the Brad Pitt of the Republican Party. What a
stretch that is. You heard that. His hairstyle, and wealth, and -- are
custom-made for a devastating attack ad by the Dems. You don`t want to
miss this. This ain`t serious, but it is sort of ludicrous.

Anyway, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.



have never bombed before, which means I get to put a whole new hole in my
frequent Mideast bombing card.


COLBERT: There you go. We have already bombed Afghanistan, Iraq,
Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.


COLBERT: All we need to do -- all we need to do is bomb Oman and I
get a free falafel.



MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL and time for the "Sideshow."

Anyway, the Democratic Congressional Campaigning Committee is running
attack ads against Minnesota Republican congressional candidate Stewart
Mills. This spring, the 42-year-old candidate was touted as the new face
of the GOP. He was called, as you can see, the Brad Pitt of the Republican
Party because of his hairstyle.

And as Politico pointed out, Mills, for his part -- his part, doesn`t
reject the comparison. Then came this.


NARRATOR: It costs a lot to get this look. Lucky for Stewart Mills
III he inherited millions and a job with a six-figure salary. But that`s
not enough for Mills. So he is running for Congress.


MATTHEWS: And now they`re going after his wealth directly in what
resembles an edition of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Take a look.


NARRATOR: Stewart Mills III caught a big inheritance and a job at the
family business that pays half-a-million a year. But in Congress, Mills
will leave you on the hook for higher taxes because Mills opposed tax cuts
for the middle class, even as he wants to give another huge tax break to
millionaires like himself.

With Stewart Mills, there`s always a catch.


MATTHEWS: Well, finally tonight, the Secret Service announced that
they are now locking the front door of the White House, what a move, after
the security breach Friday night. Here was David Letterman`s take on that


bad enough when you`re president, but now there`s guys hopping the fence.
Did you hear about this?



LETTERMAN: The guy -- and they have beefed up security at the White

Thank God security is in place at Joe Biden`s residence and there has
been no security breaches at the Joe Biden house.


LETTERMAN: Here -- here is his place. Take a look at that.

That`s Joe right there.


LETTERMAN: Everything is fine.




MATTHEWS: Up next -- I guess he likes to meet people.

Up next, the HARDBALL roundtable on the politics of war. You won`t
believe it or maybe you will. How some Republicans are actually stoking
fear of ISIS to win votes.

And we have another race to watch. Governor Tom Corbett is fighting
for his job against Tom Wolf up in Pennsylvania. The two faced off for the
first time Monday night this week in a televised debate. Let`s look.


GOV. TOM CORBETT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Everybody makes mistakes. OK?

Have I communicated the best? Probably not. We`re in a much better
position than we were when I took office.

talk about specific things you`re proud of. But, overall, how are things
working out for us? What we`re doing here isn`t working.

Listen, I am an unconventional candidate. I don`t look like
candidates you have probably seen before. But I think these are
unconventional times for our commonwealth.



FRANCES RIVERA, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Frances Rivera with breaking

Authorities have arrested Jesse Matthew, the suspect wanted in the
disappearance of Hannah Graham. Police say his extradition is under way.
On Tuesday, Matthew was charged with abduction with attempt to defile and a
warrant for his arrest -- was issued for his arrest. Police say he has had
no other run-ins with law enforcement. They believe he is the last person
to have seen her. Graham, who is 18 years old, disappeared September 13 --
now back to HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

The GOP, that`s the Grand Old Party, is taking advantage of the
world`s threat from the radical Islamist group ISIS by attacking President
Obama, of course, and, by extension, Democratic candidates as being soft on
national security. Big news. Republicans say Democrats aren`t up to the
challenge of fighting ISIS.

Well, here`s Republican Senate hopeful Scott Brown, now of New
Hampshire, and his latest ad attacking New Hampshire Democratic Senator
Jeanne Shaheen.


SCOTT BROWN (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Anyone who turns on the TV
these days knows we face challenges to our way of life.

Radical Islamist terrorists are threatening to cause the collapse of
our country. President Obama and Senator Shaheen seemed confused about the
nature of the threat. Not me. I want to secure the border, keep out the
people who would do us harm and restore America`s leadership in the world.

I`m Scott Brown, and I approved this message because protecting the
homeland is the first step to America strong again.


MATTHEWS: And down in Georgia, the Republican candidate David Perdue
-- he`s running for the Senate -- says his Democratic opponent, Michelle
Nunn, favors amnesty and warns that ISIS could cross the border from
Mexico. Let`s watch.


NARRATOR: She`s from amnesty while terrorism experts say our border
breakdown could provide an entry for groups like ISIS.

protect its borders, what can it protect? To me, the answer is crystal
clear. Actually secure our borders. Enforce our existing laws. And once
and for all, forget amnesty.


MATTHEWS: Joining me now is our HARDBALL roundtable tonight. Susan
Milligan is contributing editor at "U.S. News & World Report." Steve
McMahon is a Democratic strategist. And Perry Bacon, senior political
reporter with NBC News.

Let me start with Susan. It seems to me the Republicans are turning
this whole into an ethnic thing.


MATTHEWS: Here`s our way of bashing Hispanics, by saying we`re afraid
of ISIS.

MILLIGAN: Right. Right.

Well, yes, because they can`t really go after the president very much
on bombing Syria because they don`t disagree with that. They have been
urging him to do something like that for some time. So, they`re trying to
take this issue and kind of finesse it into an immigration issue, which
they think might work better for that, that they, whoever they are, is
somehow going to come over the border.

I think what he has to worry about here, particularly that Scott Brown
ad, is that he is trying to use fear to get votes. But what he doesn`t
understand is that people don`t just fear ISIS. They also fear getting
involved in another long, protracted, costly war.


STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: He is doing a little bit more
nefarious than that. Using fear to get votes is something that politicians
have done forever. He`s actually trying to lump Hispanics and ISIS
together, which is just absolutely reprehensible.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I think the idea of hordes, too. Like, New Hampshire,
which is this little state, mostly white people, not a lot of immigrants
around, being overrun by guys with guns and knives and bombs and basically
ending its existence. That`s the way he`s selling it.

news has taken away and changed the subject from immigration, which is an
issue the Republicans were very excited about when Obama was talking about
the executive order plans. So, getting this issue...


MATTHEWS: You mean amnesty.

BACON: The amnesty issue, they can talk about it much as possible.
They`re excited to use that word whenever they can.


MCMAHON: But they`re shoehorning it in.

BACON: Yes. Exactly.

MCMAHON: It`s like, OK, we want to talk about ISIS. We know people
are concerned about that. We have got this issue that has been polled --
we have been polling for eight months. Let`s just jam it and put them


MATTHEWS: By the way, whenever they say secure the border, I know
they`re not telling the truth, because the biggest magnet for people coming
here is not to sloth around on welfare. It`s to get a job.


MATTHEWS: The minute they stop the illegal hiring, which he this
never mention, ever, it would stop the mass of immigration.

Anyway, let`s take a look at this ad. This is the old thing they did
back a couple of elections ago, about six years ago. Here`s the kind of ad
they ran back in 2002. This is further back. This is when Saxby
Chambliss, who I don`t despite, but I do despise this ad when he took Max

Let`s watch this about (INAUDIBLE), this is a guy who lost three limbs
in the war. Let`s take a look.


AD NARRATOR: As America faces terrorists and extremist dictators, Max
Cleland runs television ads claiming he has the courage to leave. He says
he supports President Bush at every opportunity. But that`s not the truth.
Since July, Max Cleland has voted against the president`s vital homeland
security efforts 11 times. Max Cleland says he has the courage to lead,
but the record proves Max Cleland is just misleading.


MATTHEWS: Here`s a guy that lost three limbs in Vietnam and they`re
attacking him for being not a patriot.

MCMAHON: That ad is infamous for this reason. Somebody in a
wheelchair serving his country every single day as a senator --

MATTHEWS: And that is a veterans guy.

MCMAHON: -- some kind of a coward. It was -- it was outrageous. It
is being played to this day as an example of bad advertising.

MILLIGAN: Except, it worked.

MCMAHON: Well, I mean, something worked. The fact that it`s a red
state had more to do with it than ad. But ad probably contributed to Max
Cleland`s defeat.

MATTHEWS: Does anything --

PERRY BACON, JR., NBC NEWS: These are dangerous in part because ISIS
is not in Mexico. They`re not going to cross the border. So they`re very
misleading in a sense. We don`t want to scare Americans if ISIS is coming

Our intelligence does not suggest that they are going to attack on the
U.S. soil. It`s also like it`s a fear-mongering that`s also unhelpful to
people right now.

MATTHEWS: You know, I get on these things like the word homeland, I
never liked it. It`s sort of Eastern European, homeland, fatherland,


MATTHEWS: We don`t talk -- we call it the United States. They`re
coming to America. They`re coming here. Civil defense.

You don`t need a new word. The word homeland is essentially ominous.
They`re going to hit the homeland.

MILLIGAN: Well, for Scott Brown to talk about, people are coming in
and they`re going to take your jobs. They`re going to cause the collapse
of the United States. That`s the most apocalyptic language I think I`ve
heard from a Senate candidate this cycle.

MATTHEWS: Is he desperate?

MILLIGAN: Yes. He`s -- that`s a tough race for him all the way
around I think. And then to come in as an outsider and do the sort of
Senate seat --

MATTHEWS: So, where does he go next? If he loses in Massachusetts,
right, to Elizabeth Warren, then he goes out there and loses to Jeanne
Shaheen, what`s his next step?


MATTHEWS: No, it`s too liberal. I think Maine. He`s going to move -


MILLIGAN: He`s not going to go over in Maine. They`re so sensible.

MCMAHON: It`s really cold there, too. I mean --


MATTHEWS: It`s cold in Massachusetts. I went to school there.

So, this fight with ISIS, we were talking about it before. Why don`t
they want to vote on it? Let me ask you the first question, because if I
were a member of Congress, I would say the reason I want to be a
congressman or a senator is to get to vote on the big stuff, not on some
appropriations, water project, but the big stuff -- the stuff in the books,
the movies, advise and consent. Don`t you want to vote on war and peace?

BACON: They`re scared of being wrong. Hillary Clinton is at a
foundation and not in the Oval Office for a vote in 2002 about the war. I
think that`s why you see, it`s not just one part.

MATTHEWS: No, because she voted wrong.

BACON: She voted wrong.

MATTHEWS: Not because she voted.


BACON: They`re worried about voting wrong. I mean, that`s the thing.


MCMAHON: It`s the Howard Dean effect. I mean, the Democratic Party,
it`s the Howard Dean effect.

MATTHEWS: What`s that? He was your guy. What?

MCMAHON: In 2003, Howard Dean opposed the war when everybody else
supported it.

MATTHEWS: He was right.

MCMAHON: And he was right. And he ran against every Democratic
candidate in the primary field against the war and it worked for him and
then for Obama against Hillary Clinton.

MILLIGAN: The Republicans don`t want to vote on it. A lot of them
don`t because they don`t because they don`t want to have to align
themselves with the president of the United States. They want to attack
the way Scott Brown is.

And there are some people who I think are genuinely concerned about
the vote in the sense, they don`t know whether they`re looking at Iraq 2.0
or whether they`re looking at al Qaeda 2.0. And it is a difficult thing.

But what`s sort of irritating is that I`ve been listening to these
guys so long saying, he is cutting us out of the process. He is not asking
for our input and then they won`t vote.

MATTHEWS: I get the feeling we`re getting attacked by aliens from
another planet. These gigantic people killing us all by the thousands.
They`d say, you know, I`m not sure where he was born.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, we`ll be right back with HARDBALL roundtable in a

Up next, as Hillary Clinton readies for a presidential run, she makes
her first public comments supporting the Syrian airstrikes. (INAUDIBLE)
dismissing past policy differences with the president. She reminded us of

And the latest Quinnipiac polling has Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
over Democratic Jack Hatch. Here are the two of them in their latest


to the problems that this governor has had over the past four years. It is
the most scandal-ridden administration in the history of the state.

GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R), IOWA: Well, Iowans know me. They know that
I go to every county every year. I have a press conference every week.
They know I`m honest, I`m straightforward, I`m transparent. I released all
my taxes.

They know these attacks are false. They are not correct. And the
people of Iowa know that.



MATTHEWS: Well, Hillary Clinton has the edge over some potential
Republican challengers running for the White House in 2016.

Here we go -- according to a poll from Roanoke College among likely
voters in Virginia. The challenger comes closer to Clinton is New Jersey
Governor Chris Christie who only trails by 10 points. That`s until we hear
from the prosecutors.

Paul Ryan is next in line with a 13-point deficit. While he falls
short of Clinton by 16-point, 51 to 35. Hillary is well ahead of the only
guy that might be able to catch her if he doesn`t get into big trouble.
We`ll see.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Well, today, Hillary Rodham Clinton gave her first public support of
the Syria airstrikes. She told CNN, quote, "The situation now is demanding
a response and we are seeing a very robust response. It is something that
I think the president is right to bring the world attention to."

And Clinton addressed policy differences she had with the president
over Syria saying, "Whatever the debates might have been before, this is a
threat to the region and beyond. I can`t sit here today and tell you that
if we had done what I had recommended, we would be in a very different
position today. I just can`t.

You can`t go and prove a negative. I think you can always go back and
forth, certainly when I was in the administration we had some very good
discussion, debates even on what to do and how to do it starting in Syria.
I was on one side of the debate. Others were on the other side."

Anyway, the roundtable is back. Susan Milligan, Steve McMahon and
Perry Bacon.

This is so fascinating. What I found is being fascinating is the new
Dennis Thatcher role of Bill Clinton. The other day, yesterday, he was
asked whether he supports the president`s strikes, he said that`s above my
pay grade. That thing he does. So, it was above my paygrade.

He was waiting I think for Hillary Clinton to make a statement so he`d
be in sync with her.

MILLIGAN: Yes, and I think that she was -- look, she was burned by
this issue once before. She voted one way. Obama who didn`t have to make
a vote said he was opposed to the war and that`s part of the --

MATTHEWS: On Iraq, yes.

MILLIGAN: On Iraq, so she doesn`t want to make that mistake again.
On the other hand, now, she`s in the position of not having to actually
make a decision but to sort of support or not support it. But bringing
that up, well, if we had done what I suggested who knows if it would be
different. She`s got to be -- it looks sort of presidential and it looks
sort of gracious, and she looks like, you know?

MATTHEWS: Who brought it up that they disagreed before? The

MILLIGAN: I think so. I think so.

MATTHEWS: It was, that`s all right.

MILLIGAN: The thing is it`s a very legitimate concerns about arming
people we don`t really know who`s on what side.

MATTHEWS: We still don`t know if we have somebody to arm.


MATTHEWS: Go for it.

BACON: She`s damned if she does and if she doesn`t in the fact that
we`re all obsessed about, does she dislike Obama, does she agree with him,
does she not --


MATTHEWS: Did somebody say something negative about Hillary Clinton
that you had to defend?


BACON: We`re parsing everything she says.

MATTHEWS: Well, we will.

MILLIGAN: That`s what they get.


BACON: I think that`s probably good.

MCMAHON: Who parses?

BACON: I parse. That`s my job.

MATTHEWS: Let`s get back to what you said in the last segment.
Hillary Clinton back when they voted on the war in Iraq decided that the
cautious probably smart vote was to vote to authorize. Now she can say I
authorize not for the war but she voted to let the war go.

And now, what`s the smart move? What`s the smart vote, for or against
the president?

MILLIGAN: I think probably the smart vote is for right now especially
with this other terrorist group cropping up, people are worried this the
incarnation of al Qaeda. But in terms of we should have armed them a year
ago when we still don`t know who they are. And if things go badly and they
end up using weapons that we gave them against us --

MATTHEWS: What`s the smart vote, politically, for a Democrat?

MCMAHON: If you`re running for president, the smart thing to do is
oppose it, because you`ll be running in a very liberal Democratic primary,
it`s generally an anti-war primary. You got Martin O`Malley who`s sitting
out there who hasn`t said anything, by the way. This is how Howard Dean
created an opening in 2003. He let everybody take the smart vote and then
he went the other way.

MATTHEWS: So, Hillary`s weak side is the left?

BACON: Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: You agree?

BACON: Of course, of course.

And if Hillary doesn`t run, Gillibrand and Warren probably will run
and they voted against last week. So, that tells you they thought about
this, the vote --

MATTHEWS: Why is the smart vote politically back in the Iraq war to
vote for the war and smart now to vote against it?

BACON: Democrats were seen as being too weak and not strong on
defense as it was then. Now that we`ve know the country is so anti-war in
general, the policy is much different.

MCMAHON: But there`s also, there`s a smart vote for a candidate, like
a Senate candidate running in purple --

MATTHEWS: But they`re beheading our people every couple weeks over
there. How does that work?

MCMAHON: In a state like Arkansas or a purple state that`s
competitive, the smart vote is to be tough on everything. In a Democratic
presidential primary, the smart vote is to be a pacifist against the war.

MATTHEWS: Even with the beheadings? Doesn`t that change the gut


MILLIGAN: I agree. I think it depends how this goes. I mean, again,
it`s not like -- again, is this Iraq or is this al Qaeda?

BACON: We don`t know.

MILLIGAN: We just don`t know. So --

MCMAHON: You don`t know. That`s the problem.

By the way, I, you know, I think that you can make the case that she
did what she had to do, but --

MATTHEWS: Secretary Clinton.

MCMAHON: Yes, but that doesn`t mean she didn`t create an opportunity
for somebody on the left. The person on the left may not be successful but
there`s an opportunity on the left for somebody that says, we don`t know
where this is going, we don`t know how it`s going to escalate, we don`t
know how much the cost --

MATTHEWS: Do you think somebody could actually beat her on the left?

MCMAHON: Somebody did before, Barack Obama.

MILLIGAN: She`s a better candidate now.

MCMAHON: She is, but by the way, I don`t think anyone will beat her.
Could somebody beat her? Absolutely.


MATTHEWS: Bernie Sanders and Martin O`Malley, somebody she could
knock off.

MCMAHON: Nobody running right now.

MATTHEWS: If she can knock them off, shows positioned herself in the
general, because, you know, it could be a weird general if Rand Paul is
running to her left on foreign policy. It`s really weird.

Anyway, thank for our roundtable tonight. Susan Milligan, my buddy
forever, and Steve McMahon, and Perry Bacon, all my friends.

And we`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this failure to vote.

Politicians regularly tell us to vote, so why don`t they? They tell
us it`s important that we vote because it decides major issues. So, why
don`t they decide?

The United States is at war today. Our president is asking the world
to join us. He made this decision on his own.

Is this the way it`s supposed to work in our form of government? One
person deciding whether our armed forces go into battle or not? What if
the president decided not to go to war against ISIS, would that have been
rightfully his decision, his decision alone?

How much power do we give our presidents these days? Can they get up
one morning and go to war or get up the other day and decide not to?
Doesn`t this strike you as strange, as undemocratic, as more befitting an
ancient monarchy where one king goes to war with another and the people
honor their wishes? How is this different?

And what purpose exactly does it serve that the Congress abdicates its
congressional power to represent the people in matters of war? I`ll give
you a motive. It makes it easier for them in both parties to get re-

I`ve heard it said that Senate leaders Harry Reid, the Democrat, and
Mitch McConnell, the Republican, don`t get along. What`s worse, they`re
not getting along or they`re in a quiet mutual agreement right now not to
utter those two words, "Let`s vote", that would make this government seem
more like the constitutional republic it was designed to be.

That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. For those
honoring Rosh Hashanah, shana tova!

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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