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'Hardball' with Chris Matthews for Oct. 7

Read the transcript to the 10 p.m. show

Guest: Harold Ford


CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews.  And welcome to our second hour of special live coverage from the campus of Washington University in Saint Louis, where tomorrow night President Bush and Senator John Kerry will face off in close quarters in their second debate of the election campaign.  And it comes at a time when the race has tightened dramatically. 

My panel tonight, from NBC News, Andrea Mitchell, Ron Reagan, MSNBC political analyst, Republican election attorney, until recently, Ben Ginsberg, and MSNBC political contributor Patrick Buchanan. 

Well, they have certainly got a lots of interesting points of view out here on this campus.  It‘s obviously a very educational, a very academic campus. 

Who raised the issue a minute ago?  You seemed to be prepared for it.  Are people really focusing on things like John Kerry‘s wife‘s former company and where it does business?  Has this gotten this exotic?

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT:  Oh, In fact, the Heinz company has had to put out a lot of statements, a lot of advertising to try to disassociate itself from Teresa Heinz Kerry, because they don‘t want to be associated with one side or the other.

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

MITCHELL:  And they‘re getting some hits.

MATTHEWS:  Are they afraid people will reach for another bottle of ketchup?

MITCHELL:  Sure.  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  I don‘t want the Heinz.  Give me the other one.


MITCHELL:  She has knowing to do with managing that company.  I mean, she inherited money and it‘s in trusts for her kids.

MATTHEWS:  But she still makes the money.

MITCHELL:  She makes money off of the company, but she is not involved in managing that money. 

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  A key thing here, though, is what Altman missed, is, look, 2.7 million manufacturing jobs have disappeared in four years. 

Outsourcing of jobs, exporting your industrial base, this is the key initial Ohio.  And if you can say, and as they do, I agree with you, somewhat unfair, that, look, Mrs. Heinz has got $500 million or $1 billion in a company that has put 100 factories overseas rather than in the United States, it makes a compelling point.  And that‘s why the Bush folks are doing it. 

MATTHEWS:  But I ask the question to Roger Altman, who is a great economist.


MATTHEWS:  I thought it was a good question.  What are you going to do about this outsourcing?  Why do we have to call around the world to get a computer fixed? 


BUCHANAN:  I‘ll tell you why you do this, Chris.

Look, there were 25,000 tax returns done this year by accountants in India who make $300 to $400 a month.  And next year, there are going to be 300,000, because American accountants make $300,000 to $400,000 a month.  You can‘t compete with that.

MATTHEWS:  What do you do about it?

BUCHANAN:  On manufacturing, you go back—everybody denounces protectionism.

Alexander Hamilton built the economy that made us the industrial indeed power that won both world war on both sides of the world with one hand tied behind our back.  You can do it with economic nationalism.  The trouble is, the Chinese practice it and we are practicing global free trade, which to me is economic treason against the American worker.


MATTHEWS:  The big economic question doesn‘t get asked because I don‘t think Democratic care much about it.  Republicans used to.  Who is financing our huge federal deficit every year?  Who is lending the money to the United States to float a half-trillion dollars in deficit every year? 

BUCHANAN:  The Chinese and the Japanese and Southeast Asia are funding your trade deficit, which is now running to 6 or 7 percent of your gross national product.


MATTHEWS:  But what about the fiscal deficit?

BUCHANAN:  Fifty percent of federal bonds and T-bills are being bought by foreigners.  They are buying them, Chris, and holding on to them.  And one day, when the dollar starts down, they are going to cash them in.

MATTHEWS:  And what happens to us, then? 

BUCHANAN:  Then your dollar goes peso wise, just like the peso, friend.

RON REAGAN, NBC CONTRIBUTOR:  And how does if affect our foreign policy now? 


REAGAN:  What leverage do these countries have over us?

BEN GINSBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Is or is that part of the global test John Kerry is talking about? 

REAGAN:  Oh, you.


MATTHEWS:  Well, apparently, we‘re financing the global test right now. 


MATTHEWS:  In the first presidential debate—go ahead, Andrea.

MITCHELL:  No, I was just going say, if the Democrats were being

honest, they would tell you that a lot of these manufacturing jobs are not

going to come back and in fact that people have to be


MATTHEWS:  You don‘t get that honest answer from anybody running for a president, do you? 


MATTHEWS:  No.  They won‘t admit it, that those towns where they‘re rusting up right now, those small towns in the old Midwestern industrial center are dying.


MITCHELL:  The battleground states.

MATTHEWS:  Or not dying there, but they are basically not producing anything like they used to. 

MITCHELL:  And in fact John Kerry is a free trader.  Now, he adjusted somewhat and a little bit closer to the John Edwards philosophy during the primaries after he got into some difficulty and was trying to win in Iowa.  But the fact is that the unions are not going to be revived by either of these two candidates. 

MATTHEWS:  This is the issue that has got to be raised tomorrow night.

I have to assume that on this campus, the people that come here tomorrow night to ask questions of the president and his challenger have got ask those Midwestern questions about the economy.  And it can‘t be this macroeconomic, sophisticated discussion about the unemployment rate.  It seems to me, Pat, it should be along the lines of your concerns you have been raising for years now. 


MATTHEWS:  The pitchfork brigade, when they come to up me, the guys

who like you politically, come up to me and say somebody has got to protect

those working guys‘


BUCHANAN:  The problem is that both Kerry and Edwards—well, not Edwards, but Kerry and Bush are free traders.  They are NAFTA, GATT, WTO. 

You have got a big battle coming right now, Airbus vs. Boeing, our last producer of commercial aircraft.  We have let two of them go under.  These are the key issues out there, more this year than even in ‘92. 


MATTHEWS:  In the first presidential debate, Senator Kerry applied an enemy combatant term, outsourcing, to the hunt for Osama bin Laden.  Let‘s take a look. 


SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Osama bin Laden, unfortunately, he escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora.  We had him surrounded.  But we didn‘t use American forces, the best trained in the world, to go kill him.  The president relied on Afghan warlords that he outsourced that job to.


MATTHEWS:  Andrea, is that kind of attack on the president‘s foreign policy and military policy working?  Is it sort of like I‘ll be a better hawk than he is? 

MITCHELL:  Well, it‘s, I‘ll be a better hawk and I will use the buzz

word of outsourcing, which is really


MITCHELL:  It‘s cheap politics, because John Kerry knows better.  In fact, there are studies—Now, Pat and I would get into an argument about this, but there are studies that show that there is a net gain from NAFTA and from these other free trade, other global trade group agreements, bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, that there‘s a net plus.

But the real issue that they should be discussing is not just jobs, but education.  And how are we going to re-educate our population?  Why is it that our kids are competitive up until fourth grade and after fourth grade, all the studies show, all the data show that then they start falling behind foreign kids, because we are not educating children as they go through elementary school and then they can‘t compete well for jobs. 

And unless we have a trained work force, we‘re not going to be able to compete with the people in India. 


MATTHEWS:  Are we saying that people living on the other side of the world can speak better American English than our people can? 

MITCHELL:  Yes.  Yes. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, look, Chris, take manufacturing.  A Chinese manufacturing worker gets $2,000 a year and an American manufacturing worker with pay and benefits averages $53,000. 

You can get 26 Chinese manufacturing workers who will work hard as an American worker for the price of one American manufacturer worker.  You have got to deal with this problem.  And neither party is dealing with it and it‘s going to kill one of the two parties one of these days. 

REAGAN:  Is that a case for protectionism or is it a case for a global living wage? 


MATTHEWS:  You can‘t enforce that, can you? 

REAGAN:  Well, no, you can‘t.  I‘m not saying you can do it.  I‘m just saying...


MITCHELL:  It could be a case for neither. 

REAGAN:  Yes. 

GINSBERG:  The larger problem is that none of these issues really can be put into focus in the way modern American presidential campaigns are run. 

MATTHEWS:  That‘s the problem. 

Let me ask you this.  I raised the issue of labor unions, because we all grew up in a country where there was actually labor fighting and George Meany would come to Capitol Hill for a Senate hearing and even the Republicans would rush over to light his cigar.  Now you can‘t smoke on Capitol Hill, but there‘s no big labor guys coming to represent the little guy anymore.

And the question you have to ask is, who is championing those people out there who have lost their jobs?  If the Democrats feel a little bit uppity and go, oh, I don‘t want to be caught being for protectionism and I really don‘t want to be caught identifying with unions, if they‘re too high-hat for that crowd, who in the presidential debate is going to look out for him, except him?

GINSBERG:  Well, Pat is going to tell you that‘s why there is an opportunity for a third-party movement at some point in this country. 

MATTHEWS:  We‘re going to have a debate tomorrow.  Will somebody, Pat

·         make a bet—will somebody stand up in the auditorium near here tomorrow night and say what about the job my father had and I want to have?  I want to have the job where I can provide for a family by going to work for eight or nine hours a day, come home tired, and maybe play baseball with the kid.  Can I have that world back? 


BUCHANAN:  Get somebody to stand up say, look, why did they export my dad‘s job to China or why did he have to go to Mexico and train the guy that replaced him, who is making $2 an hour?  They ought to ask that question. 

I don‘t think Bush—Kerry will go into his, we‘re going to—these little tax things.  But Bush doesn‘t talk about it.  These are minuscule things.  This is a huge, huge national problem.  As for outsourcing white-collar jobs, that is a much tougher job than industrial jobs.  You can bring the industrial jobs back. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, when the president says, try harder, it‘s a great American ethic and we all like people to try harder.  But when a guy is making one job that is paying about 30 and he‘s out looking for the second job where they are offering him seven bucks an hour to stay up all night, he is exhausted. 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  And he doesn‘t see these guys coming to his aid, does he?

BUCHANAN:  Education. 

Look, you mention education.  You get something like half the African-American kids and half the Hispanic-American kids and lots of rural kids aren‘t even finishing high school.  Now, there is no way the jobs they could get, they used to be able to get, they would be able to buy a home when they are 25 years old and start a family.  Those are the jobs we‘re shipping overseas. 

MATTHEWS:  The opening job


REAGAN:  And it all dovetails.

MATTHEWS:  And, by the way, in our era, growing up in the ‘50s...

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  The kids would drop out of school.  Maybe their girlfriend got pregnant.  They get married at 17 and it‘s—you‘re laughing.  You grew up in a sophisticated environment. 


MATTHEWS:  Regular America


MATTHEWS:  That‘s what happened in northeast Philly, where I grew up.  And you know about it.  And they would get married at 17 or 18.  They would have a house, a car, and they have would a night out to go bowling or you go play golf once a while. 


MATTHEWS:  These guys led regular lives, yet they were working in factories. 


BUCHANAN:  And one job could provide a family income.

MITCHELL:  You know, Bill Clinton was really right in 1992.


MATTHEWS:  Are we ever going back there?  Do we agree we‘re never going back there?


BUCHANAN:  You can go back and you better go back.  Otherwise, you‘re going to have—you are going to have two Americas. 

MATTHEWS:  I wish we had debates like this between the presidentials.

MITCHELL:  Well, when Bill Clinton was campaigning and we were out on those bus trips and he was telling people, you are going to have seven or eight jobs in your lifetime, things have changed, he was really right about that. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes, but each one pays less than the one before, he was not talking about.



MATTHEWS:  Coming up, Democratic—maybe he was—Democratic Congressman Harold Ford of Tennessee.  Here‘s a comer.  We‘re going to see the future tonight.  He is going to join us and talk about some of these state polls. 

By the way, Tennessee, which Al Gore lost, is now in play.

You‘re watching HARDBALL live from Washington University here in Saint Louis.



KERRY:  This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgment. 

BUSH:  He voted to authorize the use of force and now says it‘s the wrong war at the wrong time at the wrong place. 



MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL‘s live coverage on the eve of the second presidential debate, which is tomorrow night.

Congressman Harold Ford Jr., he‘s a Democrat from Tennessee.  He joins us from Washington, where they‘re voting on bills tonight dealing with the economy and with intelligence.

Congressman Ford, thank you for joining us. 

The latest Zogby poll has your state almost dead even.  Is it possible that John Kerry from Massachusetts can carry a state that a man from Tennessee, Al Gore, could not just four years ago? 

REP. HAROLD FORD (D), TENNESSEE:  I think it is. 

I feel very close to Al Gore, and this is no slight or disrespect to him.  But I think voters today are as concerned about the war and the economy all across this nation.  Tennessee is not immune to it.  And if John Kerry can convince voters in Tennessee that he won‘t take our guns, he will do even better than the numbers suggest right now.  We have 20 or so days, 25, 26 days to do that.  And we feel good about where we are.  But we feel even better about his performance last week and what that means going forward. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, I see the candidate often walking around carrying a broken shotgun.  He‘s got it open.  Is that a way of his displaying his comfort with firearms? 

FORD:  Well, not only is he comfortable as a sportsman, as a huntsman

·         or as a hunter—but he is someone who has picked up one of those things to go fight for this country. 

So I think, as more Americans learn about him and we put him in more settings where he not only feels comfortable, but even creates a greater comfort level amongst Americans, he will do even better.  And tomorrow night will be a great test for John Kerry.  He performed well last week.  And I think, tomorrow night, we will see another example of that. 

MATTHEWS:  You mention the economy and the war as two top issues. 

Let‘s talk about both of them.  Let‘s start with the economy.

We had a little inside argument here which I think is relevant as hell for this country.  We often hear about people, maybe friends of ours or people we meet at work, who are killing themselves to provide for families.  They may be working, but their primary job doesn‘t pay much.  They have to get a second job and oftentimes they‘re forced to work for very, very low hourly wages, maybe $7, just to keep some food coming in for the table and to meet family expenses. 

Is there anything in this debate between the two guys tomorrow night that is relevant to that person‘s concern? 

FORD:  I don‘t think there is any doubt. 

That situation you described unfortunately is more common for Americans all across the nation.  We in the South, in Tennessee, having lost some 70,000 jobs during this Bush presidency, we want to hear from both candidates.  And I think John Kerry‘s message of cutting taxes, what John Edwards emphasized the other night in Cleveland, cutting taxes for middle-class families and providing tax cuts for companies who create jobs here in America and even greater tax benefits for small business owners who provide health insurance, those are the kinds of answers that I think we in Tennessee will be interested in hearing tomorrow and interested in hearing the candidates elaborate on.

And we can‘t ignore the recent report demonstrating that, even before we invaded Iraq, the White House, President Bush, Condoleezza Rice and the rest of the team were fully aware, based on their own reports, their intelligence reports, that Iraq did not possess the stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that the president so proudly boasted about before taking the country to war.  We are past that moment.

But I think the real issue, as you look back, is, how come we have not held anyone accountable for those bad decisions and that bad intelligence?  President Bush will constantly point to John Kerry having seen the same intelligence as he did, but what he neglects to mention is, that was his intelligence.  And no one who produced that or worked on that has been held accountable for the poor intelligence and for the decisions that that intelligence led us to make as a nation. 

MATTHEWS:  Do the people of Tennessee think we should not have gone to war with Iraq, with all the information we have gotten about WMD, about no connection to 9/11, about the failure of the Iraqi people to embrace us when we got there, and the failure of the Iraqi people to pay for this war with their oil?  All those conditions were set up positively before the war  Now they‘re all negative.  Has that changed the fervor of the people of Tennessee for the war?

FORD:  I think it has hurt the president‘s credibility and confidence that people have in him. 

People in my state support the troops.  And although the decisions that this White House made based on the faulty in hindsight looks faulty, looks flawed and looks incorrect, we support our troops.  And we want a president who will shoot straight with us, develop a plan to get our troops home and help plant the seeds for democracy in Iraq.  I don‘t believe that George Bush has that plan.  And I think tomorrow night, we‘ll see another demonstration of why John Kerry not only possesses the skills and qualities to be a good leader in war, but why he can create jobs and improve our education system and even expand health care for the 40 million workers or more in this country who are without it. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you very much, U.S. Congressman Harold Ford.

Up next, HARDBALL‘s David Shuster with the latest advertisements on television from both sides. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, live from Washington University in Saint Louis on MSNBC.




MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL‘s live coverage on the eve of the second presidential debate. 

We‘re here in Saint Louis on the campus of Washington University, which is going to be, I must say, an amazingly welcoming campus for this big second debate tomorrow night, which is going to be a town hall-style campus. 


MATTHEWS:  This is an amazing school.  This is one of the top 10 or so schools in the country, according to the “U.S. News & World Report.”


MATTHEWS:  And they are very proud of that here.

And I want to ask everybody.  Now, really try to be reasonable here, no booing, OK?  This is a classy school.  How many here are for Cheney and Bush, I mean Bush and Cheney? 



MATTHEWS:  That‘s Bush-Cheney, I can see by your signs and your noise. 

How many here are for Kerry and Edwards? 


MATTHEWS:  How many people are...

CROWD:  Kerry!  Kerry!  Kerry!    

MATTHEWS:  OK, OK, OK, OK.  This isn‘t “The Jerry Springer Show,” OK? 


MATTHEWS:  I thought I was hearing “Jerry” from the crowd, the mob on that show.

How many of you folks are not going to vote November 2?



MATTHEWS:  Security.  Security. 


MATTHEWS:  Security!


MATTHEWS:  How many of you are going to vote? 


MATTHEWS:  Well, that‘s a great tribute to our country, if everybody this age is going to vote. 

Let‘s go right now to David Shuster. 

DAVID SHUSTER, NBC ELECTION CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Chris, we are focusing on the ad watch here in Washington.  Both campaigns in their latest television commercials are focused on medical policy issues.  Strategists say it‘s an issue that could make a difference with undecideds or independents, unlike some of those people in the crowd there at Wash U.

But, again, undecideds down the stretch, strategists say it could make a difference.  For the Kerry campaign, the issue is stem cell research and the president‘s opposition to government funding for that research.  The latest Kerry ad features the actor Michael J. Fox, who is suffering from Parkinson‘s disease.


MICHAEL J. FOX, ACTOR:  Stem cell research could help millions of Americans whose lives have been touched by devastating illnesses.  George says we can wait.  I say lives are at stake and it‘s time for leadership.  That‘s why I support John Kerry for president. 


SHUSTER:  Now, as far as the fact-check, the ad is fairly straightforward, although some might argue with the idea that the president says that research can wait.

He has said that federal research must wait, although scientists would argue that, when you stop federal research, it essentially has a chilling effect across the board. 

As for the Bush campaign, their latest ad, which is state-specific, attacks John Kerry, links him to trial lawyers and to problems with medical care. 



NARRATOR:  For Pennsylvania women, it‘s now on emergency, our hospitals closing maternity wards, OB-GYNs forced out, three-month waits for mammograms.  The reason?  Frivolous lawsuits from out-of-control personal injury trial lawyers.  And John Kerry and the liberals in Congress stand with those trial lawyers. 


SHUSTER:  The fact-check problem with this ad is that John Edwards in the vice presidential debate stated the Kerry position.  And that is that they would support some changes, some medical malpractice reform.

But even if you don‘t believe that, Democrats point out and a lot of observers would point out, look, the Republicans have had control of the White House and Congress.  Four years ago—this is a similar ad to what President Bush ran four years ago and nothing has been done about medical liability reform. 

In any case, Chris, there are also some independent organizations that are now changing their ads, running some down the stretch.  MoveOn PAC, which is the most powerful Democratic independent group, they have bought $1 million worth of television time to run an ad that was released a couple of weeks ago by four families who lost soldiers in Iraq. 



CINDY SHEEHAN, MOTHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER:  I imagined, it would hurt if one of my kids was killed, but I never thought it would hurt this bad.  How do you think we felt when we heard the Senate reports that said there was no link between Iraq and 9/11?


SHUSTER:  It is a very powerful ad and one that is going to be running in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico. 

And, Chris, what makes this so interesting right now is, both campaigns, the independent organizations, at this point, they are trying to figure out what is the message that they want to bet on down the stretch?  What is the message that is going to resonate here in the last three weeks?  At least for the most powerful Democratic group,, they are betting on Iraq and on the image of a mother weeping about the loss of her son—Chris.

MATTHEWS:  It‘s pretty raw stuff.  Thank you very much, David Shuster, back in Washington. 

We‘re heading right now back down to talk to our great crowd here at Washington University. 


MATTHEWS:  HARDBALL‘s coverage on the eve of the second presidential debate continues live from Saint Louis on MSNBC. 





KERRY:  This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgment.

BUSH:  We fight the terrorists around the world, so we do not have to face them here at home.

KERRY:  He misled the American people when he said we would go to war as a last resort.  We did not go as a last resort. 

BUSH:  The only thing consistent about my opponent‘s position is that he‘s been inconsistent. 



MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL‘s live coverage here at Washington University in Saint Louis.  We‘re here with the crowd. 

And you know what?  Nobody asks young people what they care about in this election.  They are going to be voting, by the way.  It only takes 18.  Back in my day, you had to be 21 -- 18 to vote.

So everybody here is going to vote, right? 


MATTHEWS:  So I‘m going to ask now in a very simple TV manner, like—remember how John Kerry had to learn to talk fast, one word?

One word.  What‘s the most important issue to you? 



MATTHEWS:  For or against?





MATTHEWS:  Medicare.




MATTHEWS:  For or against? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Internal national security. 



MATTHEWS:  What, airplanes, trains or buses? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The fact that most of the cargo coming in by our planes...

MATTHEWS:  Cargo.  Good point. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  College tuition. 

MATTHEWS:  You think that John Kerry can reduce your tuition? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think that the college tuition has gone up 35

percent since Bush has been


MATTHEWS:  Well, how do you stop that? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Get Bush out of office. 


MATTHEWS:  Will the professors take a salary cut? 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Supreme Court appointments. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think a lot of key issues could be overturned. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think that the Republican Party would ever appoint sufficient numbers of associate chief judges—or associate judges—to overturn Roe V. Wade, that they would actually do it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I don‘t want to take the chance. 

MATTHEWS:  You don‘t want to take the chance.  OK.


MATTHEWS:  Education.  What part of education.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No Child Left Behind, I think it‘s a horrible, horrible law. 

MATTHEWS:  For primary or secondary?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Crisis in Sudan in Africa. 

MATTHEWS:  Sudan, the genocide there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Repealing the Patriot Act. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Because I think it‘s an abomination and


MATTHEWS:  What particularly cuts against your values?  What don‘t you like about it? 


MATTHEWS:  You don‘t look like a suspect to me.


MATTHEWS:  ... in trouble, but...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I don‘t like that they can like—that they can look at your e-mails and they can look at your phone records.  They can look at your library account.  I just think that it goes against everything that our country stands for.

MATTHEWS:  What do you got in there? 



MATTHEWS:  I understand.  I understand.  There are a lot of people worried about it. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Jobs.  We‘ve lost 30,000 jobs here in Missouri in the last two months alone.  I mean...

MATTHEWS:  What do you think Kerry would do if he came in?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think Kerry is going to stop the outsourcing of jobs and create more jobs here at home.

MATTHEWS:  How can he do that in a free economy?  If a company wants to save money—we were talking about it earlier—they want to cut costs by sending the jobs to a country in South Asia somewhere, where you can work a—get a lot out of a person for less money—or Mexico—how do you stop them from doing that if you want them to produce cheap goods?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He can do a better job than Bush.  We lost 120,000 jobs in Missouri in the last three years.

MATTHEWS:  Well, you‘re arguing anybody can do better than that. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  More incentives.



MATTHEWS:  In other words, you have sort of a blind hope.  Tell me what you think he would do, actually do to stop outsourcing.


MATTHEWS:  What would John Kerry actually do to protect U.S. jobs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Cut corporate taxes. 



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I agree with that. 

MATTHEWS:  What would you like to do—jobs? 


MATTHEWS:  Is your concern when you get out of here getting a job? 


MATTHEWS:  What do you want to do?  What do you want to find?  What kind of a job are you looking for?


MATTHEWS:  Do you think there‘s a hard time—isn‘t getting a teacher


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, but they don‘t get paid enough. 

MATTHEWS:  Oh, you want wages. 



MATTHEWS:  Oh, so you want a high-paying teacher‘s job. 


MATTHEWS:  Does anybody think there‘s such a thing?  Is there such a thing?

Let‘s go back over here a little more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Foreign policy. 


MATTHEWS:  There should be.  You‘re right. 

Foreign policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Civil liberties. 


MATTHEWS:  What about Head Start? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  More support for it.  The fact that


MATTHEWS:  The Bush family has been historically, starting with Barbara Bush, very good on Head Start. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, in my mom‘s opinion—she is an early childhood educator—she is really displeased with the facts—with the progress, or the anti-progress. 


MATTHEWS:  What does Head Start do? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Head Start makes children‘s first years before school and gets them ready for school with health care and early education.  It‘s really important.  

MATTHEWS:  It helps less-advantaged kids catch up with other kids. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Exactly.  Exactly.   

MATTHEWS:  Right.  I understand it completely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Foreign policy. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  So when you say a general term like foreign policy, what is it that bothers you enough to vote one way or another? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The fact that Bush labels Kerry a flip-flopper when all he is after is the truth.  I don‘t think that is nearly a legitimate enough of a political argument. 


MATTHEWS:  Is John Kerry for or against the war in Iraq? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Depending on the facts.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Listen.  No, listen, listen, listen, listen.

MATTHEWS:  Because this is the problem.


MATTHEWS:  I said one-word answers.  You‘re dying here. 




MATTHEWS:  I will listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The facts—all right, because the reason is constant.  But when he finds out facts based on these new reports that come out, like, stuff changes. 

And, you know, he realizes that


MATTHEWS:  When you are solving a problem in schoolroom, in a test, and as you go down all the facts as you try to solve the problem, as new facts are presented, you adjust your answer to reconcile those facts to a correct solution, right?



MATTHEWS:  As John Kerry has learned there was no WMD, as we learned again today, yesterday, as we‘ve learned there is no connection between Iraq and 9/11, what happened to us at the World Trade Center, why hasn‘t John Kerry accumulated that new information to say, you know what, considering it all right now, we should not have given the president the authority to go to war?  Why doesn‘t he just say that? 


MATTHEWS:  Why doesn‘t he just say that? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think he should, because I think


MATTHEWS:  You are with me, buddy.  I think that‘s right.

Who thinks—is there any Republicans here? 



MATTHEWS:  I‘m sorry.  We‘ve got to get over here.

Miss, are you a Republican? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I am a Republican. 


MATTHEWS:  W.  What does W. stand for?


MATTHEWS:  What‘s the name?  No, what does W. stand for?


MATTHEWS:  Very good.  Walker. 

What‘s ‘04 stand for? 



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Two thousand four.

MATTHEWS:  The reason I‘m asking you all these questions...


MATTHEWS:  You‘re cute and I want to keep asking you questions.



MATTHEWS:  What do you think is the biggest issue? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not having to pass a global test to protect our national security. 

MATTHEWS:  What did that word—what did the phrase global test, used by John Kerry in the first debate, do that bothered you? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It made me think that we have to have the

permission of France and Germany to protect our


MATTHEWS:  Well, that‘s a worst-case negotiation.  Try to be a little more generous.  What do you think he meant by that? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think he meant that he is going to try and seek permission from other countries to protect our own national security.

MATTHEWS:  Does it bother you that, if you go out into the world, people who have historically been our friends in the world—I don‘t mean the governments—I mean the people—really think we shouldn‘t have gone to Iraq?  That doesn‘t bother you?  Or does it?  Tell me what you feel about that or think about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think we should take into account how they feel



MATTHEWS:  How about the world opinion you don‘t think is bigger than...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think world opinion is important, but I don‘t think it should precede our own national security. 

MATTHEWS:  Why do you think Iraq posed more of a threat to us than all the other countries in the world that don‘t seem to think it posed a threat to them?  In other words, why do you think the French weren‘t afraid of what Saddam Hussein might do and they wanted to go—why do think we chose to go to war when all these other—no, I mean, Australia.  I mean New Zealand.  I mean most of the countries of Europe and Asia and Africa and Latin America did not support the war.  Why do you think they did not support a war? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In terms of, like, France and Germany...

MATTHEWS:  No, no, don‘t back go back to France and Germany.  They are easy.  Why do you think most of the countries—we‘re the odd man out in this, you know?  France and Germany are not unpopular in their view. 

Why do you think we—why do you think no other country in the world or so few seem to fear Iraq like we do in this administration? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, I don‘t—I don‘t—I mean, we have plenty of countries that are in there with us.  We have Great Britain.  We have Poland. 



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We have Australia, Great Britain.  We have an alliance.

MATTHEWS:  But why are we taking—of the coalition partners from outside the country, why are we taking 90 percent of the casualties?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, if you listened into the vice presidential speech on Tuesday, we‘re not taking 90 percent of the casualties, actually.

MATTHEWS:  No, 90 percent of the countries that have gone into Iraq to get involved in that country, we‘re taking 90 percent of the casualties. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What about the Iraqis, though?  I mean, they‘re...

MATTHEWS:  You can point that out.  Sure, they are getting killed in the war that we started by going in there. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.  And I think that, like I said, we shouldn‘t have to pass a global test from all these countries. 

MATTHEWS:  I just want to know, why do you think so many of the other countries in the world are not in Iraq and we are? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Because they don‘t see the same vision we have and they weren‘t attacked on 9/11. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, we weren‘t attacked by Iraq either. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, but now we know that we need to go act preemptively before we are struck.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  All right.  It‘s a tough one.  Thank you for your opinion. 


MATTHEWS:  What do you think?  What‘s the biggest issue for you?




MATTHEWS:  Terrorism, No. 1 for a lot of people.

When we come back, we‘ll check in with our panel and hear their final thoughts heading into tomorrow night‘s debate. 

Here we are on the campus where the debate is going to be tomorrow night.  And a lot of people think this second debate, when the president and his challenger get up close and personal with the American people, is going to make a big difference in this election.



MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL‘s live coverage from Washington University here in Saint Louis.  We‘re back with our panel. 

And as we finish up tonight—we only have a couple of minutes—I want to ask the experts—the students have been great here, by the way. 

Great students.  Great. 


MATTHEWS:  We have people from everywhere


MATTHEWS:  ... highly select in letting these kids in.  It‘s hard to get in here.  It‘s a big time school and one of the top 10 schools in the country.  Well, who is counting?  Top 11 schools in the country, at least.

Let‘s go right now...


MATTHEWS:  No, you‘ll be 10.  You‘ll be 10 soon.

Let me go to Andrea first. 

The best thing—what the president has to do tomorrow night and the challenger, John Kerry, what do they got to do tomorrow night to win to knock it out of the ballpark?

MITCHELL:  George Bush has to explain what he is going to do about education, health care, jobs, domestic issues and also defend the war, even though he still has the stature of commander in chief and John Kerry has only narrowed that somewhat in the first debate.  He has got to defend the war and explain why we went to war and why we went to war without the evidence. 

John Kerry has to be personable.  He has got to warm it up.  He really does. 

MATTHEWS:  Can he do it? 

MITCHELL:  I don‘t know.  I don‘t know.  It‘s a tough


MATTHEWS:  Try to change your very—your very nature.

Ron Reagan, what do they both have to do? 

REAGAN:  Well, I think Andrea is right.  Kerry does have to be a warm guy.  But so does Bush, of course.  And this is the perfect opportunity with the town hall format.

Kerry found a groove in the first debate, and he has got to stay in the groove.

MATTHEWS:  This does sound like “The Wizard of Oz.”  One guy has to get a heart. 


MATTHEWS:  We‘re trying to fill in the blanks.

REAGAN:  If I only had a brain.


REAGAN:  Bush has to find a groove.  And that‘s much harder.  He‘s got to find that grove.

Now, I would say to both of them, connect, connect, connect.  Ask questions.  You are going to be asked questions from the audience.  Ask them a few questions back. 


REAGAN:  And Clinton was very good at this, yes. 


GINSBERG:  The president has to be able to show the contrasts that are there between him and John Kerry.  He has got to make it clear that a 90-minute Kerry debate performance can‘t erase a 30-year record of being wrong on defense, of being a tax-and-spend liberal.  And he has got to draw those contrasts.

Kerry indeed has to show that he really does have a heart.  And he‘s got to show that not only can he be likable, but he has got to be able to sort of deal with the people as he takes tough questions. 

MATTHEWS:  When they are sitting together, it‘s just—the height difference is rather dramatic.  We saw it after the debates, about five inches or something.  It really is dramatic when they get together.  When they are sitting next to each other talking to people, will that be more pronounced and will it help or hurt either guy?  I‘m not sure it helps the taller guy anymore.

MITCHELL:  They are not going to be sitting together. 


MATTHEWS:  Really?

MITCHELL:  I looked at the stage today. 

MATTHEWS:  Are they far apart?

MITCHELL:  They are really far apart. 


MATTHEWS:  So you won‘t be able to tell.

MITCHELL:  It will be noticeable when they walk out.

GINSBERG:  And there‘s tape right down the middle, so they don‘t stray.


MATTHEWS:  And they are not allowed to go out and meet people like John and other guys, John Edwards would have liked to have done. 

GINSBERG:  Right.  Correct.

MATTHEWS:  No more interaction.

BUCHANAN:  Well, I think that—I think Kerry‘s persona is his problem. 

He is very good behind a podium speaking and making his points, the college debater.  And he would win on that.  But I think where the president has got to win here is, he has got to show not only that he is presidential, but he has a persona like Ron‘s dad, quite frankly, that he showed in the second debate after he did badly in the first. 

And I think the president has got to engage with these folks and explain in his own words.  I hope they don‘t fill him up with a lot of facts and figures:  You got to answer this.


BUCHANAN:  You just got to engage with these young people and say, I‘m your president.  Here‘s why I did what I did.  Let me explain it in my own words.

And if he does that, I think he can go back up that


MATTHEWS:  Are they going to be sitting on those old Carol Burnett stools?

REAGAN:  Yes. 

MITCHELL:  They are.


MATTHEWS:  It just seems so undignified for the president to come out

and sit in front of the American people and sit


REAGAN:  It‘s tough to sit on a stool and look graceful.


REAGAN:  He might be able to pull it off. 


BUCHANAN:  Didn‘t George Bush Sr. sit there at one point with Perot? 

Wasn‘t he on there? 

MITCHELL:  It was in Richmond, Virginia.


BUCHANAN:  The least comfortable guy you have ever seen there. 


GINSBERG:  ... afraid one of them is going to start singing “Feelings” or something.

MITCHELL:  That‘s the debate when he looked at the watch. 

BUCHANAN:  Exactly.  He looked at the watch.  Get me out of here.


MITCHELL:  And George Bush also has to have enough to say.  He really appeared the other night, for whatever reason, as though he didn‘t know how to fill up his time. 


GINSBERG:  While being concise.


MATTHEWS:  Yes, but the people are going to be so helpful to the president.



MATTHEWS:  They‘re going to be contributing ideas.  And that will spark interesting responses.  Charlie Gibson is a real charmer.  He‘ll keep it going.  I think it is going to be a kind of a mellow evening.  It may be too Vic Damone , too much of the schmoozing the dark nightclub kind of thing.

REAGAN:  You know, one advantage Kerry may have, he has been doing some of these town hall things kinds of things, too, but he actually takes questions from the audience.  And they are not prescreened. 

Bush has been doing a lot of town halls, but they have to submit the questions to the White House first, who edits them and then gives them back.


MATTHEWS:  Is this going to be one of those infomercials, like Victoria Jackson used to do, where she asked the person who was on her side?  In other words, can the person—can you rig this, where all the questions come from the Kerry people for Kerry or all the people from the Bush—come for Bush?


GINSBERG:  Under the agreement, both campaigns are prohibited from talking to any of the people in the audience. 


MATTHEWS:  No, but can the people who selected


MATTHEWS:  Soft Bushies are being put in this thing and soft Kerry people.  Can they ask softball questions?


GINSBERG:  I think it‘s impossible to do the way they‘ve done it.

BUCHANAN:  And, Chris, Charlie Gibson will not allow one-sided questions all the way down from one side of the aisle. 


MATTHEWS:  I wish our buddy Charlie Gibson does well tomorrow night. 

He is a great guy. 

Anyway, thank you, Andrea Mitchell, Ron Reagan, Ben Ginsberg, Patrick Buchanan.  We‘ll see you all tomorrow night for the big night.  This could be it.

We‘re going to come back.  We‘re going to have some more with the students here at Wash U, as they call it, Washington University.

HARDBALL‘s live coverage continues after this.



BUSH:  The only thing consistent about my opponent‘s position is that he‘s been inconsistent. 

KERRY:  He misled the American people when he said we would go to war as a last resort.  We did not go as a last resort. 


CROWD:  Wash U!  Wash U!  Wash U!  Wash U!  Wash U!  Wash U!  Wash U! 

Wash U!  Wash U!  Wash U!  Wash U!  Wash U! 

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 



MATTHEWS:  What you missed watching us on television is what my executive producer, Tammy Haddad, was doing up on the stage to create that incredible rally. 

Let‘s have a hand for Tammy. 


MATTHEWS:  Let me end the evening by asking some of our political experts here, some of whom major in political science, to give some advice to their favorite candidate. 

We‘re going to start with you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Basically, for John Kerry, keep the momentum going and stay consistent and he has got it. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, bring up the judicial appointments as an important issue for this election. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, bring it up if you‘re Kerry. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Three things. 

MATTHEWS:  For who? 


MATTHEWS:  Right. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Don‘t do this. 


MATTHEWS:  Do that again for the camera. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Use the facts, and don‘t stutter. 

MATTHEWS:  Don‘t stutter. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And he‘ll be fine.

MATTHEWS:  God, you are tough.  You‘re like a speech coach. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  For Kerry, we are looking for a leader.  We want to see you strong.  We want to see you passionate.  You have one more month to show us that. 

MATTHEWS:  John Kerry passionate.  Is that an oxymoron? 


MATTHEWS:  Just asking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I don‘t believe so. 

MATTHEWS:  He‘s not exactly the count of Monte Cristo. 

Let‘s go right here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  For Bush, just keep being a Southern gentleman. 

MATTHEWS:  Oh, my God.


MATTHEWS:  Are you Scarlett O‘Hara or what? 


MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Come out swinging on Friday. 

MATTHEWS:  Who are you talking to? 


MATTHEWS:  Come out swinging. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I want him to come out a little harder on Kerry.


MATTHEWS:  ... Zell Miller, maybe. 


MATTHEWS:  George Bush, keep reminding the American people that you can‘t win war on terror by appeasing the terrorists. 



MATTHEWS:  Tough. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  For Bush, going into Iraq was right, even though we didn‘t find weapons of mass destruction.  If he had said that ahead of time, then maybe he would have had the support of more Americans in doing just that. 

MATTHEWS:  Advice for your candidate. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  For Bush to keep up the hard work.  I think he‘s going to win.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Bush just has to relax and shoot from the hip.  That‘s what got him to the White House.  And that‘s what‘s going to get him four more years. 



MATTHEWS:  That‘s true, probably, yes. 

What do you think?


MATTHEWS:  Well, no, for Kerry, whoever you like.  I think you like Kerry. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, what should Kerry do?  What should John Kerry do to win tomorrow night? 


MATTHEWS:  What should he do, your candidate, to win? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m sorry.  I can‘t hear you.

MATTHEWS:  What would your candidate do tomorrow night to be most effective? 




MATTHEWS:  Think about it. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Kerry needs to remind America that not only is Bush the wrong candidate, but Kerry is the right candidate. 



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think that‘s absolutely right.  I think Kerry needs to convince people that he is the one that wants to be president and not just that Bush is the wrong man. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  He has to give a reason. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think so.  I think he needs to look strong and he needs to look like somebody people can be comfortable with. 

MATTHEWS:  Does everybody have a deep sense of why John Kerry wants to be president or not? 


MATTHEWS:  That‘s a problem. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He needs to tell us that.  He needs to tell us why.  And he needs to tell us what he is going to do. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He needs to tell us why and he needs to tell what he is going to do. 

MATTHEWS:  What do you think? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think that Bush should stay where he is going, and the only place flip-flops belong are on our feet. 

MATTHEWS:  Oh, God. 



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think Bush needs to take his strengths, which are showing the American people that he knows how to lead his country.  And in order to do that, he needs to just shut down Kerry in the debate tomorrow. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  You work for MSNBC? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.  I got the hat today. 

MATTHEWS:  And you‘re for who? 


MATTHEWS:  You‘re not allowed to take sides if you work for MSNBC. 

Just kidding. 


MATTHEWS:  Anyway, I want to thank Washington University students and the campus and the wonderful leadership of the chancellor, Mr. Wrightman—

Wrighton, rather—for the great crowds we have had tonight, Mark Wrighton and his wife, Resa (ph).

We‘ll be right back here in Saint Louis tomorrow. 



MATTHEWS:  Our live coverage begins at 7:00 Eastern.  That‘s 6:00 here.  The debate begins at 9:00 Eastern.  That‘s 8:00 here.  And we‘ll be on the air until midnight, another all-nighter for the HARDBALL show, and lots more after that when “AFTER HOURS” replaces us at midnight, East Coast time.

We‘ll be right back tomorrow night.  What a night it‘s going to be. 




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