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'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Read the transcript to the Friday show

January 23, 2015

Guest: Susan Milligan, Robert Costa, Edwina Sandys, Duncan Sandys

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: YouTube president.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Wild! Obama -- President Obama will not settle for things as they
used to be, nor will he settle for Americans of any age not getting
involved with their country. He`s out there doing interviews on YouTube.

And what`s with Bill Clinton and Martin Scorsese? Why are they
shelving that documentary of theirs? Is there something we really don`t
know? Really?

And why, oh, why, are the Republicans who want to run against Hillary
Clinton out there kissing up to Steven King? You know, the scary Steven
King, not the one who wrote "Pet Sematary"...


MATTHEWS: No, the one in the clown car talking about "deportables."
And let`s not forget the political football of the week. Dare we call it
softball? And how`s that one flying?

Our roundtable, MSNBC political analyst David Corn of "Mother Jones,"
Susan Milligan of "U.S. News and World Report" and Jonathan Capehart of
"The Washington Post."

The video clip that went hugely viral was from President Obama`s
interview with YouTube star GloZell Green.


GLOZELL GREEN, YOUTUBE STAR: My mama said whenever you go to
somebody`s house, you have to give them something.


GREEN: Don`t come empty-handed.

OBAMA: All right.

GREEN: So I have green lipsticks, one for your first wife -- I

OBAMA: My first wife?

GREEN: I mean -- I mean...

OBAMA: Do you know something I don`t?

GREEN: Oh! Oh! For the first lady.

OBAMA: One for the first lady.

GREEN: And the first children.

OBAMA: And the first -- oh (INAUDIBLE)


GREEN: All right. I`m just going to put these...

OBAMA: OK. Let me just take a look at these, though. They are

GREEN: They`re green.

OBAMA: Yes, I mean, it is impressive stuff. I`m going to see how it
looks. I`m going to ask Michelle to try it on maybe tonight.



MATTHEWS: OK. Perhaps the most unusual video that comes from the
White House. They haven`t had videos that many years to start with, but
that`s up there right at the top. The green lipstick probably grabbed a
lot of people`s attention. Explain, Lucy. What`s going on here.

SUSAN MILLIGAN, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": I don`t wear green
lipstick. I don`t know.

MATTHEWS: First wife club.


MILLIGAN: Yes, that was a good line. That was a good line. Look, I
mean, we started out with Richard Nixon on "Laugh-In." We moved on to Bill
Clinton playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show. And now we`re at a
point now where if the president wants to reach a certain segment of the
electorate, and not even just those who are, like, 18 to -- you know, to 21
years old, they`re going to have to go on YouTube and they`re going to have
to do stuff like that.

MATTHEWS: And go where the people are.


MATTHEWS: Yes, Jonathan, you`re at "The Post," of course. You know
these numbers for the State of the Union weren`t that great overall. So
the president obviously had to go out and get some people that weren`t

"Between Two Ferns" strategy. When the president wanted to get young
people to sign up for health care, and everyone was saying young people
aren`t going to sign up for health care, he did "Between Two Ferns."
People questioned whether this was respectable, whether he should do this.
It was hugely successful. It was a riot. I watched it at least 15


MATTHEWS: Well, Zach Galifianakis has got a manner...


CAPEHART: And then what ended up happening, youth numbers spiked
after that, at least people going to the site...


MATTHEWS: So it worked.

CAPEHART: The president is going where the -- where the...

MATTHEWS: Well, going back even further, Jimmy Carter did his
interview with "Playboy" magazine, which caused a few cringes, but people
all know about it. Nobody`s ever forgotten he did the interview.

guys together, the YouTube interviewers, have, like, you know, what, 13
million fans, viewers who watch them. That`s about or more than a third of
the entire TV audience...

CAPEHART: Exactly.

CORN: ... that watched the State of the Union.

CAPEHART: Exactly.

CORN: And as you know, people under the age of 30, 35, 40, or
certainly in their 20s, don`t sit in front of TV any more. They share
clips. They watch things that go viral. That clip with GloZell and the
green lipstick probably, you know, went beyond...

MATTHEWS: You mean Huntley-Brinkley`s not on anymore?


CORN: Maybe in your household, it is, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, the YouTube -- the YouTube -- the YouTube stars,
none of whom are actually called journalists, asked some good questions.
Let`s listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I watched the State of the Union, a lot of really
interesting ideas there. I`m not the only person who said this -- a little
worried that none of them are at all politically feasible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last April, Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of
school girls.

OBAMA: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And just last month, this actually happened
again, and a lot of them are still missing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what do you think we can do to raise
awareness about this issue?


MATTHEWS: Pretty incisive stuff, despite the fact it`s new, because
Barack Obama didn`t talk about Boko Haram. It wasn`t in any -- there was
certainly a lot of conversation from things he wanted to get done that
probably will never get done. They were great questions.

CAPEHART: Right, they were great questions. And what we saw here --
I mean, these are three people none of us had probably hadn`t heard of
before. A lot of -- I`m sure some American people knew who they were. But
they`re not journalists. But what they showed was that the American people
are much more interesting and a whole lot less superficial than journalists
and professional folks like us think they are. Of course, they ask
questions like that. They`re curious.


CAPEHART: ... chance to talk to their president.

CORN: One of the best questions actually came at the end of Hank
Green`s 15 minutes, when he told the president that he has some medical
condition in which he used to have to pay $1,100 a month for medicine, but
after "Obama care," it`s $5 a month. That was, like, the best commercial
for "Obama care." And Obama didn`t even talk much about "Obama care" at
the State of the Union.


CORN: That exchange showed a lot. And how many people saw that?
Millions more than who watched all the political infighting over "Obama

MATTHEWS: And did you like the way the president -- his retort, by
the way, the thing about the first wife thing was really funny.


MATTHEWS: And the other thing he said to that young guy, he said,
Look, you have a chronic condition, $1,100 a month you have to pay for the
prescriptions yourself. But he said a lot of young-- he turns to the
camera and he says, A lot of young people are out there are young and
lucky, and they`re fearless. They don`t have any problems, so they don`t
need health insurance (INAUDIBLE) But then you get hit with that problem
and you got to be ready for it. I thought it was a good pitch.

Anyway, turn to another topic, a little more frishone (ph) here, a
little more conflict coming here -- "New York Times" reports that Martin
Scorsese -- that documentary on Bill Clinton which they were working on,
has been shelved over disagreement on control, key phrase there, a key word
there. The film carried the risk, they write in "The Times," of an
unflattering camera angle -- I don`t know about that -- unwelcome question
or even an obvious omission by Mr. Scorsese would become a blemish to Mr.
Clinton`s legacy or to provide fodder for Clinton critics as the 2016
campaign approaches. Apparently, to avoid such problems, people close to
Mr. Clinton sought to approve questions he would be asked in the film and
went so far as to demand final cut, a privilege generally reserved for
directors of Mr. Scorsese`s stature. Mr. Scorsese rejected those
suggestions, and the project was shelved.

Anyway, here`s my theory. President, former president, who is very
smart but very audacious sometimes -- he was afraid of screwing up in a way
that might hurt his wife`s campaign. It`s about that. That`s his
sensitivity, not his reputation. Everybody knows about Monica and all that
stuff and Gennifer and all that. That`s history. But the future is what
he`s got to be sensitive to. That`s my thinking.

MILLIGAN: Well, I think so, as well. I mean, look, we already know
more about this president than anyone -- anyone who read the Starr report
or -- I -- does more -- I don`t...

MATTHEWS: The footnotes are pretty...


MILLIGAN: ... really don`t need to know. And frankly, I think we
know pretty much all everybody needs to know about Hillary Clinton, as
well. I don`t think you`re going to change a lot of minds there. I don`t


MATTHEWS: Well, what`s the fight about then?


MILLIGAN: If you`re used to being this leader of the free world and
you`re used to having...


CORN: It may not have been as much from him as from her or her camp.
I`m not saying that she told him what to do. But if you`re the Hillary
Clinton camp and you`re getting everything together for a 2012 campaign,
which is going to cost about a half billion to a billion dollars, do you
want this great film director out there doing something about the Clintons
that you have no control over it? It could just be a bad camera angle.
Doesn`t have to be a new scandal.


MATTHEWS: ... but also, Scorsese has the pressure on him. By the
way, documentary is something we`ve all come to understand what it means.
It doesn`t mean an infomercial. It means something fairly tough. You
know, it has to be really -- it has to be comprehensive. It can`t just be
something that floats around and looks good for the person.

CAPEHART: Right. No, I mean, we`re talking Scorsese, who -- I don`t
know what his politics are, but if the Clintons were working with him,
maybe the hope was that it would be something maybe favorable. But look,
the problem...

MATTHEWS: They were working with him.

CAPEHART: Right. The problem...

MATTHEWS: But not anymore.

CAPEHART: Right. The problem for Hillary Clinton, though, is, would
you want a documentary about the 42nd president, where you`ll have everyone
looking back, no matter how good those times were -- looking back when
you`re running to be president number 45 and you want to take the American
people forward and you want them to focus on you, not him?

MATTHEWS: OK. I think we found the right word, "control."


MATTHEWS: And what all modern politics is about today is diminish the
number of free media. Don`t depend on the press. Don`t let people control
your lives by asking odd (ph) questions. The Republicans wouldn`t even let
journalists involved in their debates, basically, now. They want to run
them themselves. And put most of what you do on paid TV commercials.

CORN: This was too much of a gamble.

MATTHEWS: Too much -- they don`t want anybody controlling anything,
but -- and I think Hillary`s particularly this way, but maybe it was Bill
this time.

The roundtable is coming back. Up next, Republican presidential
hopefuls descend on Iowa to play homage to the clown car veteran,
Congressman Steve King. Democrats couldn`t be happier to see the likes of
Chris Christie and Scott Walker cozy up to the guy who compares Hispanics
to drug mules with calves the size of cantaloupes. He calls them
"deportables." That`s not exactly a wonderful way to get somebody to vote
for you.

Jeb Bush, by the way, unveils a fund-raising blitz to pummel rivals
like Mitt Romney into submission. Bush`s team is calling it -- I can`t
believe this, no joke -- "shock and awe." Please don`t remind us!

Plus, One of New York`s most powerful politicians is rung up on
corruption charges. Sheldon Silver, once thought to be invincible to the
feds -- he now faces up to 20 years in prison. Could be a problem up

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Well, the dates for next year`s Democratic national
convention have now been announced. U.S. Congresswoman and DNC chair
Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the convention -- the Democratic convention
will take place on July 25th to the 28th in the year 2016.

The location, by the way, still up in the air as the committee`s
deciding on a host city, but the list has been narrowed down to three --
Columbus, Ohio, New York, and the one they should put the convention at,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


MATTHEWS: The DNC says it expects to make the decision on a location
in the coming weeks.

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. The really scary Steven King --
there`s a cattle call of Republican presidential hopefuls headed to Iowa
this weekend all to pay homage, or homage, to that true madman in the
party, the immigration lightning rod known as Congressman Steven King.

The attendees at King`s Iowa "freedom summit," he calls it, include
Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, who
today officially threw her hat in the ring during an interview at a soup
kitchen with ABC News.


quo. Status quo lately (INAUDIBLE) Latin for (INAUDIBLE) get screwed


PALIN: Of course.


PALIN: I mean, of course. When you have...


MATTHEWS: "Of course!"


MATTHEWS: As Politico reports, Democrats are looking to turn the King
event into a spectacle that sets the GOP further back with Latinos. King
is hosting the summit, and his record with Hispanics is, shall we say,
frighteningly bad.

"The Washington Post`s" Robert Costa is in Iowa for the King summit.
Robert, is there any squeamishness out there about getting too close to
King? I mean, he is scarier than the guy who wrote "Pet Sematary."

ROBERT COSTA, "WASHINGTON POST": Jeb Bush isn`t here. Mitt Romney
isn`t here. They`ve chosen not to attend this event. And so it`s opened
up the field for a lot of people on the right. You have Chris Christie
trying to have an early test, see if he can win over conservatives,
Huckabee, Santorum, a lot of the faces from the past.

MATTHEWS: But in big states, you have big numbers of Hispanic voters,
and 90 percent of them like the president`s position with the executive
orders. I just don`t understand. If you`re running in an Electoral
College competition next year, where you have to carry 270 electoral votes,
how can a Republican win that way with a strategy of alienating Hispanics?
They`re voters!

COSTA: It`s all about getting the nomination. I mean, Steve King is
a power in western Iowa. He is a political king maker. And if you need
Iowa to get that jump in the 2016 race, you have to appeal to that hard
right of the party that really embraces his immigration position.

MATTHEWS: So are you hearing out there whether they`re aping his
commentary about Hispanics, or are they just showing up and using his good
offices? In other words, are they sharing his point of view or just his
space out in western Iowa?

COSTA: I think they`re sharing his space more than his view. Anyone
who`s approaching 2016, when you talk to their strategists, they know that
you can`t have Steve King at your side. But it`s something Democrats are
going to keep bringing up because Republicans seem to want the best of both
worlds. They want King`s political sway, but they don`t really want to
associate too closely with his views.

MATTHEWS: That`s smart. Anyway, thank you, Robert Costa. He`s been
doing great reporting.

As I mentioned, Congressman King has an awful track record with
Hispanic voters. This is King in his own words on what he thinks about
immigrants crossing the border from the south.


REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: They aren`t all valedictorians. They
weren`t all brought in by their parents. For every one who`s a
valedictorian, there`s another 100 out there that -- they weigh 130 pounds
and they`ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they`re hauling 75
pounds of marijuana across the desert.


MATTHEWS: Well, that was concise. Then there`s this confrontation
with a young Latina activist at a rally. Let`s watch.


KING: Please.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was raised in the United States.

KING: Right, so you can understand the English language. Don`t
pretend you can`t speak English.


MATTHEWS: "Don`t pretend you can`t speak English." Anyway, this is
something else. And this is what King thinks about immigrants who want to
gain citizenship by enlisting into the U.S. Army. Quote, "We`re not going
to take your oath into the military, but we`re going take your deposition,
and we have a bus for you to Tijuana."

That`s him. What open arms that guy -- isn`t he -- he should be on
the Statue of Liberty, that guy.


MATTHEWS: And finally, this week, he called one of Michelle Obama`s
guests at the State of the Union a "deportable." That`s something like a
collectible, but the opposite, obviously.

I`m rejoined by our roundtable, David, Susan and Jonathan. Jonathan,
that`s a kind of ethnic prejudice, and I guess that`s all it is.

CAPEHART: It`s disgusting.

MATTHEWS: It`s not about policy, it`s about not liking a group of

CAPEHART: Right. It`s disgusting, is what it is, Chris. I mean, the
idea that people would go there, maybe keep their -- be there with him, but
keep their distance from his policies -- I`m sorry. You cannot...

MATTHEWS: But it looks like a kissing booth, no matter what they do.


CAPEHART: Wait a minute. Wait. It`s great that Governor Bush and
Governor Romney are not there. It`s great that they`re not there. But the
folks who...


CAPEHART: Right. But the folks who are there...

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) Rubio couldn`t get in.



CAPEHART: But I wonder if any of those people would allow themselves
to have a Sister Souljah moment, where they go to the belly of the beast
and they say, You know what? Steve King is wrong, the position on
immigration is wrong. The person who could do it is Chris Christie. I
wonder -- I wonder -- if he has the guts to go there and...


MATTHEWS: But isn`t it -- you know, both parties have their sort of
litmus tests, like it seems like all Republicans running for 2016, with the
exception of Rand Paul, are hawkish and pro-Likud, right wing as you could
possibly be. It`s just -- it`s just their way of appealing to the
Christian right and whatever -- Jewish community and everybody else. But
they`re playing this card.

Are there other rules, like you have to be anti-immigration? I think
you`re right. I think you have to be anti-immigrant.

CORN: Yes, but the thing is, it`s disgusting. Jonathan`s right. It
also doesn`t work. Since Steve King`s become a king maker in Iowa, what`s

MATTHEWS: When did that start, by the way?

CORN: In the early 2000s. And what happened -- in 2008, who won the
Iowa caucus?

MATTHEWS: Santorum.

CORN: No, that was Huckabee. And in 2012, it was Santorum.


CORN: So he`s getting the small number of caucus-goers -- it`s about
70 percent...

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) surfing? Isn`t he just riding that right-


CORN: Yes. And he`s getting them to get behind social conservatives
who pull the party to the right.

MATTHEWS: He`s doing that?

CORN: Mitt Romney goes out there...


MATTHEWS: Excuse me, expert, but Pat Robertson did this years ago.

CORN: Yes.

MATTHEWS: He went out there -- I don`t mean to be sarcastic,
"expert," but the fact...



CORN: You can be sarcastic.

MATTHEWS: But the fact is, he didn`t invent...


MATTHEWS: He didn`t -- he didn`t invent...

CORN: No, he didn`t...

MATTHEWS: ... the right-wing cultural point of view in Iowa.

CORN: But he has institutionalized it. And since he`s been in charge
of sort of the Republican Party in Iowa, it has only produced these social
conservatives and it has drawn people like Mitt Romney further to the
right, and it hurts them...


MILLIGAN: But David, it`s not like Huckabee ended up getting the

CORN: That`s exactly right! That`s my point.

MILLIGAN: So I don`t -- you don`t have to kiss Steve King`s ring to
get anything, OK?

CORN: No. I know.

MILLIGAN: But the problem...

MATTHEWS: Why are they doing it?

MILLIGAN: The problem -- because it`s Iowa, and you`re kind of like
at this point...


MATTHEWS: But this is perfect for the Democrats.

MILLIGAN: But it`s perfect for the Democrats because it`s not just
Steve King.

It`s the idea that you`re going into 2016 not talking about
immigration in this hypothetical way about what kind of an immigration bill
we do, but you have to actively say, I want to separate families.


MATTHEWS: I want to suggest one thing about this and everybody --
African-Americans have put up with this for 500 years in this country.

It`s not policy, because if you can delineate and say there`s a policy
difference about different laws, it`s different. It`s about who do you
like and dislike.

CORN: This is cultural.

MATTHEWS: And I think the fact that 90 percent of Latinos in this
country, in fact, 90 percent support Obama on what he did with the
executive orders, to me, that isn`t a nuanced thing. It`s more of a
statement of, we like this guy because he`s looking out for us.

CORN: Right.

MATTHEWS: And I that is -- and the other side is not.

CAPEHART: And you know what? Here`s the thing that all those people
going to Steve King are missing.

Every month for the next 20 years, 50,000 Latinos will turn 18; 18 is
the voting age. You turn off those votes...

MATTHEWS: They`re citizens.

CAPEHART: Yes. And you are damning yourself not to national stature,
but to regional, reactionary stature.

MATTHEWS: And my question is, why don`t the Republicans do some
building for the future?

Like, there`s no reason for me to believe that Hispanics aren`t as
entrepreneurial as anybody else. They come from in many cases lousy


CORN: They often are socially conservative.


MATTHEWS: They often are socially conservative and economically

CORN: But the thing -- this is a fight within the party. The
establishment wants to do something, but the Tea Party really doesn`t.

MATTHEWS: Well, our roundtable is sticking with us and they`re wise


MATTHEWS: Up next, we honor Winston Churchill on the 50th anniversary
of his death.

And later on the show, we play softball, if you will, about the latest
on the NFL`s investigation into that soft ball, that deflated ball
controversy. Even the White House is taking shots at Tom Brady and the New
England Patriots.

Whoa. Let`s watch this.


that there was no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady`s job as
quarterback for the New England Patriots.

But I can tell you that, as of today, it`s pretty clear that there`s
no risk of him taking my job either.


EARNEST: But, that said...


EARNEST: That was kind of fun, right?



EARNEST: No, actually, that was -- I came up with that on my own.





they think we are? Is it possible they do not realize that we shall never
cease to persevere against them, until they have been taught a lesson which
they and the world will never forget?




That was British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in his rousing
speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress shortly after the attack on
Pearl Harbor.

Our victory in that war was thanks in large part to that special
relationship between the U.S. and Britain, a relationship forged by
Churchill`s persistence against the tide of American isolationism.

His courage and optimism was on full display until the very end of his
life. You can see actually during his last public appearance on his 90th
birthday as he looked from the window to greet the well-wishers that had
gathered in Hyde Park.

Well, tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of his death, but
Churchill`s legacy and of course the inspiration he provided to so many
remains to this day.

Joining me is Edwina, Edwina Sandys, who is granddaughter to Winston
Churchill, as well as Duncan Sandys, who is Churchill`s great-grandson.
Both will be attending a service of remembrance at Westminster College`s
National Churchill Museum to honor Churchill tomorrow.

Edwina, I met you out there I guess about eight years ago, when I gave
that little address out there in honor of your grandfather.

So what is it -- you must have thought about this many times. What is
it that seems to get Americans, and I mean, left, right and center, so
actually in love with the legacy of Winston Churchill?

CHURCHILL: Well, I think it`s partly because of his courage.

Americans, as a whole, are a courageous country. And I think they
really admire somebody who speaks his mind and sticks to his beliefs. I
think that they also like it that he had a sense of humor and that he was a
very human person, and not stuck up, as I think a lot of Americans think
English people are very, very stuck up.

So I think they like it. And also, don`t forget, he was half
American, which gave him a very good half of his heritage, and not just
that, but he was -- he became an honorary American citizen. I think they
love his courage and they love his humanity.

MATTHEWS: You know, Duncan, my hunch is that they love a guy who --
or a person who can stand alone against everyone around them, that when
everyone else is wrong and they say, well, damn it, I`m right, and they`re
willing not to buckle to that, because we live I think in a society where
everybody wants to be popular and get along with everybody and they`re
willing to say anything if they think it`s consistent with the person
sitting next to them.

And I always sensed that your great-grandfather was quite willing to
walk alone, if it had to be that way.

CHURCHILL: I think that`s absolutely true.

And I think it`s to do with the fact that he had had -- had had a long
career. He had had a lot of experiences. He`s had a lot of failure, a lot
of knocks along the way that shaped him. It gave him the creativity, it
gave him the innovation, so that when he was ready for the big trial in
1940, he felt that he had all the tools in the box to be able to do the

MATTHEWS: Yes, I love the fact that you mentioned that he lost all
those elections.

He lost the first time he ran. He lost when he went into the
government, the liberal government, and then he lost three times in the
`20s. And, of course, the one we can never quite figure out in America is,
why did he lose in `45 after winning the war? And then he came back in `51
and got the premiership back again. That`s not quitting, is it?

D. SANDYS: It`s not quitting at all.

And I think that he was a man who was -- he was shaped by all those
failures. And I think that`s why people admire him in the way that they
do, because he had the courage to try those transformational decisions. He
had the courage to pick himself up and dust himself down and move on to the
next one when it failed.

MATTHEWS: Tell me, Edwina, what`s going to happen at Westminster
College, where he gave the Iron Curtain speech back in `46? What`s
happening this weekend there?

E. SANDYS: Well, it`s going to be very exciting because it`s 50 years
since my grandfather died.

And we have the British ambassador coming and various people. And
we`re going to really see why my grandfather`s relevant today. My opinion
is that one of the reasons he`s relevant is because, apart from all the
other things he did, he knew his history. And he also knew his geography.

And people don`t really all understand that today, that they go
together. And I think that he also made history here right in Fulton,
where he made the famous Iron Curtain speech, warning the world of the
danger of communism.

And we thought that all this was just dusty old history 50 years ago
and 25 years ago, when the Cold War -- when the Berlin Wall fell down. We
thought it was just over. But, unfortunately, things that grandpapa
believed in -- and some of this is coming back again and we`re getting a --
it`s not quite a cold war. We`re getting a little coolness.

MATTHEWS: I know. I worry too.

Thank you so much, Edwina.

Thank you, Duncan Sandys.

I love the Churchill family. And you have been so good at carrying
the torch all these years for the great man himself.

Up next, with just nine days to go until the Super Bowl, the
Deflategate controversy is what everyone is talking about. And late-night
comedians are no exception.

Take a listen to this.


England Patriots were accused of deflating their balls...


FALLON: ... during games this week. Well, the scandal has gotten so
bad that head coach Bill Belichick had to hold a press conference about it.
Well, here`s what he -- here`s what he had to say.

practice with are as bad as they can be, wet, sticky, cold, slippery.



FALLON: That`s also the most popular line from the "Fifty Shades of
Grey" movie that`s coming out, the same line.


FALLON: Well, let`s hear what Tom Brady had to say about it.

TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: When I felt them, they were perfect.
I mean, they -- I wouldn`t want anyone touching those. I would zip those
things up and lock them away until I got out on the field and had the
opportunity to play with them. And that`s what I -- I was doing.


FALLON: Zip it up. Zip it up. Don`t let anyone else touch them.



Here`s what`s happening.

The Supreme Court says it will take up Oklahoma`s legal injection
protocols. Three death row inmates say the drug combination used by the
state is unconstitutional. The case will likely be argued before the court
in April, with a decision expected in late June.

A federal judge in Alabama has struck down the state`s ban on same-sex
marriage. No hold was put on the ruling, though the state`s attorney
general says he will seek one.

And a winter storm is taking aim at the East Coast, with severe
weather from West Virginia to New England -- now back to HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

We have got a big show coming up Monday on HARDBALL. We`re one year
out actually from the New Hampshire primary up there for both parties. And
I will be hosting a 2016 primary special with the state`s top political
kingmakers, and at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday, this one coming up.

Now, from HARDBALL to a case of soft ball? Yesterday, New England
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady denied any knowledge that football -- that
footballs had been tampered with last week when the Patriots defeated the
Indianapolis Colts for the AFC Championship. Here he is.


QUESTION: Are you comfortable within yourself that nobody on Sunday
on the Patriots side did anything wrong?

BRADY: I have no knowledge of anything. I have no knowledge of any


QUESTION: Are you comfortable that nobody did anything wrong?

BRADY: Yes, I`m very comfortable saying that. I`m very comfortable
saying that nobody did it, as far as I know. I don`t know anything. I
also understand that I was in the locker room preparing for a game. I
don`t know what happened over the course of the process with the footballs.
I was preparing for my own job and doing what I needed to do.


MATTHEWS: The key word there is process. What is this process?

Anyway, Patriots coach Bill Belichick also denied using any footballs
that were low on air pressure. But some say he threw his star quarterback
under the bus by shifting the attention to Brady.


BELICHICK: Tom`s personal preferences on his ball -- footballs are
something he that can take about in much better detail and information than
I could possibly -- than I could possibly provide.

I can tell you that, in my entire coaching career, I have never talked
to any player, staff member about football air pressure. That is not a
subject that I have ever brought up.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, the ball remains in the NFL`s court as they
continue to investigate the alleged cheating.

Today, the league announced that they have hired Ted Wells, the
prominent attorney who defended Scooter Libby in the CIA leak

Anyway, their statement read: "Mr. Wells and his firm bring additional
expertise and a valuable independent perspective. The investigation began
promptly on Sunday night. And over the past several days, nearly 40
interviews have been conducted, including of Patriots personnel, game
officials and third parties with relevant information and expertise."

But according to Tom Brady, they have yet to speak to the quarterback
himself, which I think is a little odd. It is in fact Friday now.

I`m back with David, Susan and Jonathan.

I don`t understand. What -- what they always do in these so-called
internal investigations is, they have got to go buy some computer time, get
some office space, go out and source it out to some people.


MATTHEWS: Anything to kill time, you know? And then they want it`s
because everybody gets paid to do this stuff. Let`s stretch this baby out.

We -- I think we`re going to have the Super Bowl next week. I think
that`s going to happen.


MATTHEWS: And months from now, when nobody`s watching on a Friday
night, they will do a dump. And that`s when we will find out there`s some
sort of accident.


MILLIGAN: rMD+IT_rMD-IT_I think it -- well, there was no accident.

Claude Rains saying he`s shocked to find out there`s gambling going
on, on the premises is more credible than either one of them said, I think,
in their press conferences. I don`t for a minute believe that neither one
of them knew about this, when 11 of these 12 balls were deflated.


MATTHEWS: But he never complained because he got the ball the way he
liked it.

MILLIGAN: rMD+IT_rMD-IT_Right, exactly the way he likes it. He says
he likes them a little bit more deflated.

Look, they want this -- the NFL is a profit-making venture. They want
the Super Bowl to go on. They want people to be excited about it. They
don`t want this cloud hanging over it.


MATTHEWS: This cloud is going to increase...


CORN: The 37 Americans who don`t turn on the Super Bowl are now going
to turn on the Super Bowl.


CAPEHART: I`m one of those 37, and I`m going to watch.


MATTHEWS: For forensic reasons.



MATTHEWS: You are going to find out what information we get for the
case. Is this exculpatory or is this probative, this kind of stuff?


CORN: It was interesting when Pete Alexander at the press conference
asked Tom Brady, "Are you a cheater?"

And he said, "I don`t believe so."

Now, why don`t you just say no? I mean, it just...


CORN: And the fact that the NFL has not talked to him yet, I mean,
it`s almost as if they`re trying to keep this story alive because...


MATTHEWS: Who is that sergeant in...

CORN: I know nothing?

MATTHEWS: I know nothing.


MILLIGAN: rMD+IT_rMD-IT_Sergeant Schultz, right.

MATTHEWS: I know nothing.


CORN: Yes.



CORN: I know. No one knows anything. They`re going to find some
ball boy somewhere who is going to be the big whistle-blower.

MATTHEWS: Why don`t they put out their equipment managers and put
them on television and interview them? Why don`t you

CORN: Well, apparently, Scooter Libby`s lawyers are doing it now.


MILLIGAN: So petty, the idea they were only going to win by four
touchdowns over the Colts.

MATTHEWS: Well, let`s go back to this, you know, when you lose the
game, you want to make sure everybody is playing with the same deal here.
I think they have a rule if they don`t believe.

I mean, I didn`t know two hours before every game, Jonathan, you`re
getting in here, two hours before every game, this is a rule. So, if you
think it`s not important, why does the NFL go in there and check the balls
to make sure they`re 12 point, whatever, 13 point.

They make a point of this. It`s a rule. And they take it seriously.
It`s like a weigh-in for a boxing match. We can`t just say this isn`t

as you said, there`s a 2 1/2-hour gap there. They checked the balls, then
they disappeared. Plenty of time to do whatever they want to do.

MATTHEWS: That`s what I like in the process.

CORN: It`s the honor system.

MATTHEWS: I love the word "process "county. Brady used it over
again. Is the process scuffing up the balls in a way that might cause some
air to come out of the ball? Really scuffing up? I don`t know. The
spiking, he liked the spiking because that meant if the running back jams
it into the ground, it really reduces the air and makes it easier to pass.
It`s harder to get distance, it seems to me with less air in the ball.

So, obviously, you think the kickoff team, the safeties would say,
wait a minute, this isn`t what we like.

CORN: But like the movies about the mob. It`s like there are natural
causes and unnatural causes, and it seems to me we`ve heard about some
quarterbacks going out on the field with a needle, you know, inflatable
needle in their sock, so if they do it like that, that`s wrong. If you
throw the ball so damn hard that air comes out of it --

MATTHEWS: Anyway, and speaking of alleged cheaters, yesterday, one of
New York state`s top people, the assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who
we`ve heard about all our lives was arrested by federal officials and
charged with multiple counts of corruption. Prosecutors say Silver made
nearly $4 million off of bribes and kickbacks.

Here`s U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.


PREET BHARARA, U.S. ATTORNEY: For many years, New Yorkers have asked
the question, how could Speaker Silver, one of the most powerful men in all
of New York, earn millions of dollars in outside income without deeply
compromising his ability to honestly serve his constituents? Today, we
provide the answer. He didn`t.


MATTHEWS: Well, that`s a pretty strong indictment.

Silver made a statement following his release on $200,000 bond. Here
he is.


coming to be aired in the legal process, and I`m confident that when all
the issues are aired, I will be vindicated.


MATTHEWS: You know, I don`t know who writes those scripts, but that`s
fairly that sounds familiar. I don`t know if he`s guilty or not, but "The
New York Times" went wild today. Your opposition paper at "The Post."
Full inside page stuff.

They got the word a week ago, I mean, the enterprise, "The Times"
thinks he`s guilty obviously.

CAPEHART: Clearly they do. But Sheldon Silver, Speaker Silver has
made it easy. Remember, in New York state, there`s the legislature, but
there are only three people who run that government. It`s the governor,
the assembly speaker and the Senate majority leader.

Sheldon Silver is the one who has been there for two decades.

MATTHEWS: So, if you want to get to him and get a law passed in your
favor if you`re a business, you would give money to him in his law practice
for services rendered wouldn`t be legal practices, they would be


CORN: But this is the issue you have in New York and other states.
They consider them part-time legislators and they`re allowed to have
outside jobs. One of the oldest serving -- longest serving members of the
Texas state Senate is a lobbyist. So, when he`s not legislating, he is
lobbying. And Sheldon --

MATTHEWS: That was the old way in Congress.

CORN: Sheldon could have gotten away with this if he`d done a minimum
amount of work for these law firms.

MATTHEWS: Well, sometimes they take -- anyway, remember Emmanuel
Seller (ph) from Brooklyn? He was the chairman of the House Judiciary
Committee. There were two doors to his office. One of the office said
U.S. Congressman Emmanuel Seller, the other said Emmanuel Seller Esquire.
So -- he didn`t have a district office, because he didn`t want a district
office. He wanted a law office. So, if you came to him for services, you
would go to his law office. And in that way, that was a nice peddle.

Anyway, "The New York Times" also reported today that before Mr.
Cuomo, the governor, of course, disbanded the anti-corruption panel that
sought to investigate the outside income of lawmakers, legislators,
leaders, including Mr. Silver sued to block that inquiry. The sudden
closing led to a criminal investigation and the circumstances of the
shutdown by Mr. Bharara`s office which took over the commission`s cases and
promised to continue its worth. The case against Mr. Silver began in June
of 2013 and was aided by the Moreland Commission`s work.

So, we have that whole wrinkle there, the shot at the governor.

CORN: This is marvelous because Sheldon Silver and the other leaders
of the legislature wanted this commission shut down. Why?


CORN: Because it was looking at this very issue of outside income.
Why did Cuomo shut it down? So, he could cut a deal with him to get help
on his legislative proposals.

MATTHEWS: That was good government.

CORN: Maybe good government, but he went ahead and shut down this
corruption deal and now the U.S. attorney --


CORN: It`s bad for Cuomo.

MATTHEWS: I have one theory about politicians. It`s always worse
than it looks, because if it`s better, they`ll tell you.

The roundtable is staying with us. We`re going to wrap up with the
winners and losers on this wild week in America.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: We`re only 23 days into this new year and already, the U.S.
Senate has considered more amendments on the floor than they did in the
entire year 2014. Last year, the Senate under Democratic majority rule
only voted on 15 total amendments to a variety of bills. Well, this month,
this January, the Senate has considered 25 total amendments, 24 of those
applying to the bill to approve the Keystone pipeline. What a difference a
year makes.

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: We`re back.

It has been quite a week, an eventful week. The president made his
State of the Union, of course, and the United States Senate delegation to
Cuba for the first time, the Republican Party`s abortion bill backfired and
the New England Patriots are in the spotlight over deflated balls and,
that`s just the tip of the whole thing.

I`m joined again by our roundtable, David, Jonathan, Susan, to talk
about this week`s winners and losers.

And for illustrative purposes, tell us what you know about these
events. First of all, winners and losers, David.

CORN: Winner I would say Jeb Bush. It`s good for him if Mitt Romney
runs and it`s good for him if Mitt Romney doesn`t run. He either gets into
this establishment battle that keeps him out of the Tea Party line up
attack with Mitt Romney in, which he`ll win, and if Mitt Romney doesn`t
run, he has that space all to himself. I don`t think Chris Christie is
going to be a big threat.

Loser of the week, Bibi Netanyahu.

MATTHEWS: It shocks me.

CORN: Bibi Netanyahu, he is by accepting John Boehner`s nearly
traitorous invitation to speak --

MATTHEWS: You mean, there was a Logan Act violation.

CORN: I think there was. Listen, you don`t go after the king unless
you can kill the king. Barack Obama is still president of the United
States. He has a lot of discretion in matters that will be very important
to Netanyahu that will play out behind the scenes. There is no reason for
him to tick the president off and be so much in his face and side with the
crazy Republicans.

MATTHEWS: Jonathan?

CAPEHART: Winner of the week, President Obama. His State of the
Union speech reminded Democrats why they fell in love with him, reminded a
lot of people in the country why they fell in love with him in `04 and `08.
And as Larry Wilmore said in his show, "The Nightly Snow", he says, "Oh, I
know why he is doing this, President Obama doesn`t give a blank."

The president was confident --

MATTHEWS: He acted like he won the election in November.

CAPEHART: Yes, exactly. He was free, absolutely free.

I have two losers of the week. I would say Governor Cuomo of New York
is a loser of the week because this arrest of Speaker Sheldon Silver casts
a shadow over his governorship. It hasn`t touched him, it hasn`t reached
him, not yet. And the fact that we have been talking about it in the last
segment and we`re going to be talking about it for a few weeks now I think
it is a problem for him.

The other loser is the GOP leadership. Congressman Charlie Dent,
Republican of Pennsylvania had it right when he gave that great quote that
said the first week, we had the speaker problem, the second week we had
this --

MATTHEWS: Twenty-five Republicans voted against the speaker which is
unheard of.

CAPEHART: Right. Last week, they had another -- they had another
issue and now, here we are pulling an abortion, but we`re talking about

MATTHEWS: And rape.

CAPEHART: And rape. This is supposed be the time when the Republican
Party was supposed to show the nation that we`ve got the Congress, we`re
ready to govern, we`re ready to show the American people we know how to
better than the guy in the White House at the other end of Pennsylvania
Avenue, and week after week after week, they`re showing the opposite.

MATTHEWS: Yes, and all of this gamesmanship with Netanyahu. It`s a
stick in their eye.


MILLIGAN: I have a different take on both of those and say the winner
of the week are the Republican House women because they forced --

MATTHEWS: Explain that story.

MILLIGAN: Because the House Republicans were going to have a bill
that was going to outlaw abortion after 20 weeks with no exception for rape
or incest and the Republican women said, you can`t do this.

MATTHEWS: Not only rape, but rape brought to the attention of


MATTHEWS: In other words, once again, in the case of legitimate rape,
they were questioning the women`s case.

MILLIGAN: Right, that you had to have gone to the authorities, which
for a lot of reasons, a lot of legitimate reasons, a lot of women don`t
want to do because of the way the victims are treated. The Republican
women said, you can`t do this, it looks awful, it`s not going to be
popular, and they forced them to water down the bill, which is meaningless
anyway from a legislative standpoint. The Senate is going to filibuster
it. President Obama would never sign it and it might not --

MATTHEWS: Can I ask you an obvious question?


MATTHEWS: I think it tells you why, why would the Republican women
think that the Republican men were off base on abortion rights? Just
explain that, because I think people need to hear it. It`s not that
they`re different politics. They have the same exact politics. So, what`s

MILLIGAN: I think the whole issue with abortion and the rape
exception and so forth is this idea that somehow you could only have an
abortion if you were victimized in some way and you didn`t really want to
have sex. And so, the Republican women know that if a woman is raped, even
the women are anti-abortion, that if a woman is rape, there will always be
a question about whether she really was sort of asking for it, or had
buyers remorse, or just, you know, was saying the guy raped her. So,
that`s why the men are still thinking of the women as being good girls who
don`t have sex, or bad girls that have sex.

MATTHEWS: Or they can`t be relied on to tell the truth.


CORN: But the Republican women still want to outlaw rape, they just
want to bill that will get more people upset about it.

MILLIGAN: Outlaw abortion.

CORN: Sorry, they just --


MATTHEWS: You get later into the reproductive cycle, you have people
much more pro life. I know what the politics of this thing are, not just
the philosophy issue. Who is your hero for the week --


MILLIGAN: My loser of the week would actually be the State Department
and basically anybody else who wants to keep Iran from developing a nuclear
bomb, because this move that the Republicans have made in inviting
Netanyahu, you know, I get what their trying to do, they`re trying to say
to the president, oh, you think you can do things on your own? Watch us we
can do the same thing. This is -- we`re talking about global security.
They`re talking about upsetting their --


MATTHEWS: I think they don`t care if the talks completely break down
and that puts us in a position of developing a weapon, which is a worse
case scenario because then we`re face with two terrible options, the one I
know the one we`re going to have to do, which is blow them up.


MATTHEWS: And that means a war. And we`ll have to do it at some
point, if we let them, if we go that course, because no president could not
get reelected in this country who doesn`t have deal with a nuclear weapon
in the hands of Iranian.

CAPEHART: And if that happens, and the American people need to
understand who`s responsible for the president, no matter who it is in the
next go around is responsible for having to make that decision.

MATTHEWS: I know, and Hezbollah unleashed.

Anyway, thank you, David Corn, way to speak about Hezbollah the last
day of the week.

Anyway, Susan Milligan, thank you, and Jonathan Capehart.

And we`ll be right back after this.


MATTHEWS: Well, that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
Don`t miss our big show coming up on Monday. I`ll be hosting that 2016 New
Hampshire primary special. That`s 7:00 p.m. Eastern this coming Monday.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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