Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 06/11/15
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Still trying to catch them.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in Philadelphia.
Well, a dog smells one of these guys. Does that mean they`re close?
Are they in that wooded area? It`s day six of the manhunt for two killers
who escaped from that maximum security prison in Dannemora, New York.
And sources familiar with the investigation tell NBC News that a
prison employee, Joyce Mitchell, was going to be the getaway driver for the
escapees, Richard Matt and David Sweat, until she got cold feet. These
sources said Mitchell helped the pair escape because Richard Matt had
charmed her and she thought it was love. Well, two sources said Mitchell
will be charged for her role in the prison escape, but for now,
investigators are continuing to talk to her.
Anyway, the massive search effort continued today and remains under
way at this hour in a heavily wooded perimeter not far from the
correctional facility where the fugitives escaped. Sources familiar with
the investigation also told NBC News that search team are following up on a
lead that was developed late last night from an AK-9 – a K-9 unit or a
bloodhound who picked up the scent of one or both of the fugitives.
The search involves more than 500 law enforcement personnel right now,
along with dog-sniffing and helicopter units. Schools were closed today,
and residents in the surrounding communities urged to stay in their houses.
NBC`s John Yang is in Morrisonville, New York. John, thank you for
joining us. Why do they think they`re still pretty close to the prison?
JOHN YANG, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, part of it, Chris, that people
familiar with the investigation tell us that Joyce Mitchell, this prison
worker, the female prison worker, told investigators that she was supposed
to be the getaway driver. She was supposed to provide the ride when these
two guys popped up out of the manhole cover.
But she got cold feet. She – and her – and what the investigators`
words are to us, “chickened out” – and checked herself into the hospital
with a panic attack.
So they think they didn`t get very far. They had to go on foot. Then
last night, a tip about the area, which is a few miles behind me, and they
get there with K-9 units, with bloodhounds. They get a sense, they get a
hit on the scent of one or maybe both of them. And that`s why they`re
focusing on that area.
They`ve been in there doing a close grid search since sunrise. That`s
several hours now, obviously, and so far, nothing – Chris.
MATTHEWS: What about this wooded area? They have a perimeter marked
off now. It`s a wooded area. Boy, you hear that phrase a lot in these
crime cases because they can`t see who`s in there. Does that seem to be
limited to that? Are they really putting all their focus in that very
limited area, in the forested area?
YANG: Well, we know that`s where they are now, but we also know that
the helicopters – and both the – you know, we`ve got state, federal
Customs and Border Patrol helicopters up in the air. They`re not only sort
of strafing the search area, they`re going back over other areas where they
searched before. So they`re not focusing entirely on this area, but
they`re still doing a general search of the surrounding areas, as well.
But the ground search, the grid search, where they go, you know, sort
of at arm`s length through these areas, through these fields, through these
woods, that`s in a fairly focused area right now.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the public reaction. We reported a
few minutes ago that people were being told to stay in their houses. Are
people actually locking their doors for fear that one of these two
murderers might show up at their door or window?
YANG: Well, we`ve been talking to people on the phone who live this
area, and they say they are. They`re staying inside the house. School was
canceled. As a matter of fact, one family said they got the call, the
reverse 911 call, this morning saying school was canceled.
He looks out his window and he sees his house surrounded by cars and
people. You know, he goes out there, talks to a guy who turns out to be
from the FBI, and he says he`s been outside his house since midnight.
YANG: When we asked him how he`s getting along, he says he`s doing
his best, the family is doing its best not to get on each other`s nerves.
But they talked about where the safest place to be was, whether they should
leave, try to get to a hotel. They decided to stay put – Chris.
MATTHEWS: What about that wisp of a news bit we had today that there
was somebody who spotted one of these two guys in Philadelphia, where I am
right now. Anything to that?
YANG: No, Charles Ramsey, the police chief, came out, said that they
have no reason to believe that that`s true. They think it`s unfounded.
There are all sort things, problems with that thing that – it was a cab
driver who picked them up, took them to the 30th Street station, but then
picked up two other fares and took them to their destinations before he
called 911. They had problems with it, and Charles Ramsey says it`s
MATTHEWS: OK, great reporting. Thanks, NBC`s John Yang up in
Dannemora, New York.
NBC News caught up with Joyce Mitchell`s ex-husband, by the way.
Tobey Premo and Joyce Mitchell were actually divorced years ago. But
here`s what he said he would say to her now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOBEY PREMO, JOYCE MITCHELL`S EX-HUSBAND: You have a nice son. You
screwed up everything. You had a nice house and everything. It looked
like you had a nice job. Looked like your life was all being taken care
of, and you just screwed it all up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, joining me right now is Jesse McKinley, a reporter
with “The New York Times,” and Jonathan Gilliam, who`s a former special
agent with the FBI.
Let me start with Jesse and this question of grooming. What have you
been able to find out the pattern in which prisoners try ingratiate
themselves, especially long-term prisoners, lifers, with guards so they can
get special things out of them, in this case, an escape route?
JESSE MCKINLEY, “NEW YORK TIMES”: Well, it was interesting in this
case. Yesterday, Joe D`Amico (ph), who`s the top cop in the state of New
York, basically said that these two guys were model prisoners to a large
extent and they`ve been housed in what`s known as the honor wing of that
Now, that requires to you behave. It requires you to follow the
rules, listen to the COs (ph) at all times. But with that comes certain
perks and benefits. And in this case, it appears that Mr. Matt and Mr.
Sweat took advantage of it.
MATTHEWS: Are those perks that they get – are they, like, being able
to wear regular street clothes and not a prison uniform, that kind of
thing? Or what do we know they are, those perks?
MCKINLEY: My understanding of it is it`s stuff like being able to
watch television. It`s being able to have a little bit of extra time in
the commissary to pick things out. They actually have to go through a
process there, as well as – street clothes are actually allowed in certain
parts of the prison and not allowed in other parts.
But in this case, these two guys were considered to be reputable
prisoners, if you can say it that – that much. But they did take
advantage of it. And in talking to sources that I`ve been in touch with,
they basically managed to ingratiate themselves with this woman, Joyce
Mitchell, and then use that relationship in ways that we`re not entirely
clear about right now, but at least to gain some sort of favor and use that
to get through the prison wall.
MATTHEWS: I`m hearing dogs bark. How much evidence are we getting
from the dog sniffers on these two guys that have escaped?
MCKINLEY: Well, the critical tip that set off today`s search came
from a K-9 unit about five miles to my west here. The K-9 units have been
out in force. I`ve seen several searches today that have involved K-9s in
other locations, away from the prison, including one down by the Saranac
River. They`re using these dogs a lot.
One problem that they are running into, however, the weather`s been
inclement. There have been a lot of thunderstorms moving through. That
tends to make that job a little bit more difficult for the animals.
MATTHEWS: Let me go to Jonathan Gilliam. Jonathan, can you tell us
about – first of all, about the way in which a prisoner, a lifer, would be
able to ingratiate himself with a person of the opposite sex, maybe
important here, whatever, establishing something like a romantic
relationship even. Whatever it was, it seemed to have gotten what they
wanted, the promise, at least, of a car – a getaway car.
JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER FBI AGENT: So your question is how. It`s
remarkable. Let`s start with that. And the fact is, I think, you know,
Chris, if we – if we just look at the color of the uniforms that these
prisoners are wearing, green. And they`re surrounded by woods. So
obviously, somebody in this prison system is not thinking things through.
And I don`t want to slam anybody, or you know, throw anybody under the
bus, but I think we can start there and really start go get an idea for the
fact that it appears to me – we start at uniforms, we looked at this
relationship that was allowed to develop, the fact that these guys were
able to get tools and get out of this thing – there`s something broken
inside that prison that is allowing these things to go on.
MATTHEWS: Do you know much about this term called “grooming,” whereby
prisoners, hardened prisoners are able to develop relationships
systematically with their guards?
GILLIAM: Well, sure. I mean…
MATTHEWS: To their advantage.
GILLIAM: You got to remember, Chris, these are – these are two
murderers, OK? So they`re predators. And predators will do what they have
to do. A lot of people of this caliber are psychopaths, and they will do
what they have to do in order facilitate a better life or their chances of
And you know, being a model citizen, getting to wear civilian clothes,
getting close to people that aren`t just prison guards, but in this case, a
prison worker, which means she doesn`t have the mindset of a prison guard
per se. She has a civilian mindset that just happens to be working in that
MATTHEWS: And let me – let me follow now on the question of pursuit.
What do we have here to catch these guys, these sort of the age-old
bloodhound technique? I mean, it seems to ancient. But is this the
technique we have to rely on, the dog sniffing their clothing or whatever,
their personal objects connected with them, their scent, and relying on
those dogs to pick up that scent perhaps miles away from the prison?
GILLIAM: You would be amazed at these dogs. Some of the guys that
I`ve talked to have said that they`re invaluable. That`s the word that
they use. Their noses are so incredibly strong and efficient at getting
scents that, you know, listen, we – until we develop a better technology,
dog sniffing – it`s one of the best that we have.
And you know, that plus teamwork. It`s funny because technology is
doing less in this search than anything else. We have great teamwork
amongst the FBI, the local and state law enforcement and even the
Department Corrections, their SWAT type groups that are out there. And
then you have these dogs.
I mean, it really comes down to the grid searches, having a large grid
and then a smaller grid when they get certain, you know, hits on scents or
certain types of input from locals.
And then also, what I`ve seen, which I have to hand it to them – I
think they`re doing a really good job – is they`re not letting go of the
of the fact that they could have traveled to Vermont or other locations.
You know, there`s – I think the Canadians are involved in this search.
GILLIAM: So they`re really – they`re really remembering that it
could possibly be that they went further.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I wonder if they got a break and went out and
hitchhiked, even. You never know. People still hitchhike. You know, I
used to do it. I don`t know if these guys could pull it off, but if they
separated and hitchhiked up the Canadian border, they could have been there
in a couple hours. Anyway, thank you, Jonathan Gilliam and Jesse McKinley.
Coming up – of “The New York Times,” thank you. Hillary Clinton may
have found an issue to run on that fires up the left and the center. She`s
making student loan reform the core of her campaign. It`s another big move
perhaps to the left for Hillary Clinton. She`s working on an issue, by the
way, which is important here that Elizabeth Warren has been championing and
pioneering all along.
Plus, Jeb Bush has struggled to take off, and he`s facing questions
about a 2001 Florida law when he was governor which required unwed mothers
– catch this – to publish their sexual history in a local newspaper when
putting a child up for adoption. Doesn`t seem like a good idea. Governor
Jeb Bush should have vetoed that bill, many people believed, and he did
Also, the new movie about Brian Wilson, the Mentally ill musical
genius of the Beach Boys. The film`s called “Love and Mercy.” Director
Bill Pohlad is with us tonight.
Finally, “Let Me Finish” with this student loan issue myself. It cuts
close to home for many people.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: In a dramatic vote, the North Carolina statehouse today
overrode the governor`s veto of a measure that allows state officials to
refuse to perform same-sex marriages if those marriages violate their own
The law means magistrates and register of deeds workers in the Tarheel
State can refuse to perform marriages if they have a sincerely held
The state`s governor, Republican Pat McCrory, vetoed the law last
month, saying no one who takes a government oath should be allowed to avoid
performing duties required by that oath. And he was overridden.
And we`ll be back after this.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. We`re getting a first look right
now at the next major phase of Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign.
According to a campaign official tonight, Clinton will outline four key
elements of her big speech this Saturday on Roosevelt Island in New York
She`ll lean heavily on her mother`s experience of being abandoned as a
child. Her message will be focused on family. She will say, It is your
time. She`ll double down on her rollout message that the deck is stacked
in favor of those at the top, by saying that wealth isn`t just for CEOs and
hedge fund managers. According to a campaign official tonight, the big
goal here is to frame this election as a choice between her economic
policies and those of the Republican Party.
Stephanie Schriock, of course, is president of Emily`s List, which has
endorsed Hillary Clinton`s presidential bid. And John Feehery`s a
Stephanie, thanks for coming on tonight. What do you – how do you
sense this? Has Hillary found the sweet spot here of moving a bit to the
more populist side of politics over there, perhaps edging over towards
Bernie Sanders and the others, and Martin O`Malley, by talking about big
changes in the economy?
STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK, EMILY`S LIST PRESIDENT: Well, let`s remember that
Hillary Clinton has spent her entire career working for women and families,
starting at the Children`s Defense Fund. A lot of what you`re going to
hear this weekend is her deep history as being a progressive.
And yes, we`ve already seen in the first two months of the soft launch
that she`s really focusing on everyday Americans and the economic policies
to move the country forward. It`s a real contrast with the Republicans.
MATTHEWS: Well, what do you make of her reference to hedge fund
managers and CEOs? Because she has talked about the – the income gap
between CEOs and regular people, everybody people, as she calls them. But
now she`s going after hedge fund managers, who as we all know, are big
contributors to the Democratic Party, as well as the Republicans.
Is this going to be an issue now where she`s going after people who
contribute to the campaign but yet she`s drawing an ideological wedge
between her and them? This – isn`t this going to get real now?
SCHRIOCK: Well, she`s made it very clear that this campaign is about
everyday Americans. This is about the voters. These are about folks who
are looking for economic opportunity and just a fair shot. And we`ve seen
that in the policies that she`s already begun to roll out, whether it`s
equal pay for equal work, immigration reform. We`re now starting to talk
about debt-free college.
This is a focus of where we need to go moving this country forward.
And we can`t focus on fund-raising. We`ve got to focus on what`s best for
the country, and that`s precisely what Hillary Clinton`s doing.
MATTHEWS: So you mean she`s willing to make the choice for the
voters, rather than the funders, the contributors.
SCHRIOCK: You know, she is going to have the support she needs from
millions and millions of Americans, and she`s going to really focus on
moving this economy forward so everyday people have a fair shot here.
MATTHEWS: OK. Well, let`s take a look at John Feehery. John how do
you respond to this? Because she`s not going over there into the real
leftward area that Bernie Sanders is operating in, and Martin O`Malley to
some extent, which is basically talking about structural change to the
economy, really big-time reintroduction of wealth.
She`s talking there about trying help the people in the middle, or the
lower level of economic life in this country, catch up a bit. She`s not
saying, I`m going to cut and screw the carried interest benefits of the
hedge fund operators and the CEOs. She`s not going that far. She`s
talking about how not just those people should be doing well. Its a little
bit of a hedge.
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: A little bit. Listen, I think
that Hillary Clinton`s going to have some of the – the same messages that
Republicans are going to have, which is they`re going to be fighting for
the middle class, just like Hillary Clinton, because that`s where the votes
And I think that for someone like Hillary Clinton – you know, she`s
got to play this game because, you know, one of the biggest funders of the
Democratic Party is George Soros. And guess what? He`s a hedge fund
manager. There`s plenty of hedge fund managers who fund the Democratic
So I think that for her, she`s got to make sure she doesn`t be seen as
a hypocrite by, you know, attacking the same people that are – or biting
the hand that feeds her in many ways.
MATTHEWS: Are you guys going to do something about that on the
Republican side? Are you going to go after the tax advantages that the
people at the top, the hedge fund manages, get? They get to count what
most people consider regular income as capital gains. It`s called carried
Are you going go after that on your side, if she doesn`t?
FEEHERY: I doubt it. I think what Republicans…
MATTHEWS: See, well, then…
FEEHERY: I think what Republicans will do is talk about how the free
market outside of – without too much government interference, can lift the
FEEHERY: … kind of like a John F. Kennedy message. I know how much
you like John F. Kennedy.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you this now that you`re giving me some
Let me ask you this. What is the free market doing for students and
parents trying to afford higher education today? Apparently, it`s leaving
them socked with six-figure loans coming out of college and grad school,
over $100,000, $150,000 debts people are carrying. What is your party
going to do about that?
FEEHERY: Well, that`s a good question. I was talking to a colleague
of mine who has over $200,000 worth of student loans.
And that`s just too much. And I think that Republicans do have to
come up with a message on this, because a lot of families are facing the
same thing. College is too expensive. And the value proposition just is
not there for a lot of folks. So, we do have to come up with a solution to
I don`t think that having the government, which currently controls all
the student loans, is the best place to get more student loans, to be
honest with you.
MATTHEWS: Well, try to get a market rate one.
Anyway, this is the big news today on Clinton`s plan. She has got a
plan coming up this week apparently pretty soon to overhaul student loan
debt. And if you`re one of the 40 million Americans saddled with what is
now over a trillion dollars all together in student loan debt, this could
be a grabber politically obviously.
Politico reports today that this plan could be Clinton`s signature
domestic policy issue, with a big announcement coming in July. The details
haven`t been finalized. But the emerging Clinton plan may include covering
tuition itself, pending loan rates to income levels, in other words, a
lower rate for people at the bottom.
It could include refi-ing, refinancing your rates, by getting a lower
rate because the current market rates are lower right now than the ones you
got when you did it. Also, it`s talking about Hillary Clinton may be
talking about punishing the schools that default on – their students
default on loans.
Anyway, according to Politico, Clinton`s campaign has sought out
policy experts with close ties to Senate Elizabeth Warren.
What do you make of that, Stephanie, that Hillary Clinton is looking
at the same experts that have been serving the policy interests and
developments of Senator Warren? What do you make of that?
SCHRIOCK: Well, I think Hillary is very wise to be talking to as many
good smart policy people and economists as we can.
This issue of college student debt is immense. It is weighing down an
entire generation and really becoming generations of Americans. And with
the goal, with Hillary`s goal of debt-free college, there, I think we`re
going to see some policies that get us to that goal. It is something we
absolutely have to do.
And John just talked about the Republicans needing a message. And I
couldn`t agree more. But we haven`t seen any rollout of any policies that
are dealing with economic opportunity. And when there are such issues like
college debt that we have to deal with, I really see Hillary`s leadership
and the Democrats` leadership on these issues moving forward.
MATTHEWS: OK. Well, we have a big basketball game tonight in
Cleveland. So, I`m going to ask to you – throw a jump ball out there
You first, John, and then Stephanie.
Give me one idea for reducing the debt load for students coming out of
college. One idea.
FEEHERY: Well, I kind of like the idea of, if you work for the
government or work for a nonprofit or work in service to the country, you
should like expand the G.I. Bill. You should get some help with your
debts. I think that that actually is good for taxpayers and good for
MATTHEWS: OK, public service benefit there.
What do you think, Stephanie? Any thoughts?
SCHRIOCK: Well, we have to get around – able to refinance the debts
that so many people have now. We have got an entire generation of
graduates who can`t even think about buying a home because they have so
much debt. We have to get our arms around that too.
MATTHEWS: I know. OK. If we get it – they`re talking now, by the
way, Stephanie and John – there is talk about getting it down.
If you can refi, like you can take with a house today, you can take it
from 6.7 or 7 down to 3, which I figured out the math on that. If you owe
about $100,000, it would be cutting it down from $500 a month you got to
pay to $250 a month. That`s a lot of difference for a person trying to
make up a family, a young family.
SCHRIOCK: Well, and what that would do to the economy – what that
would do for the economy, that much more money to be able to – us to
spend, to think about expanding into growing a family, to buying a house,
so just spending. It would completely change our economic situation.
FEEHERY: But the problem is, is that the government right now
controls all of the student loans.
And so this is a problem with the government. It is not a problem for
the private sector. So, this is an issue and it has got to be fixed. But
more government doesn`t necessarily help that.
MATTHEWS: I know. I know. The reason is government is in it, by the
way, is the private sector can`t handle it. You know that. So, don`t be
knocking government. They`re not great, but there was not anything else
there helping before they came along, by the way.
Anyway, I`m going to talk about this at the end of the show.
Stephanie Schriock, thank you so much for coming on.
My friend John Feehery, thanks for coming on.
And up next, the hot new movie about the Beach Boy Brian Wilson. It
is called “Love & Mercy.” And director Bill Pohlad joins us now.
If you think “The Jersey Boys”` backstory was about crime and
corruption and the mob, this one is about a genius who also had serious
lifetime mental illness, Brian Wilson. What a genius.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
The movie is called “Love & Mercy.” It tells the story of the
tortured genius of legendary Beach Boys front man Brian Wilson. He is the
creative force behind some of the most iconic music we know of the 20th
century, including, catch these hits, “California Girls,” “God Only Knows,”
“Good Vibrations,” “Wouldn`t It Be Nice.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “LOVE & MERCY”)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Brian?
PAUL DANO, ACTOR: Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: I think you might have screwed up here.
DANO: Really? Let me see.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Well, you have got Lyle playing in D and then
the rest of us are in A major.
DANO: Yes, that`s right.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: How does that work? Two baselines in two
DANO: Well, it works in my head. It`s in my head, the orchestration.
I think it is going to work. Let`s try it.
Here`s how I want you do it. So it`s the first beat on the last bar
of the intro. Two, three, four.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Isn`t creation something to watch? That`s Paul Dano
playing Wilson at the height of the Beach Boys` creativity.
But the film also tells story of Wilson later in life, when he is
isolated, struggling with mental illness and effectively the prisoner of
his own psychologist, who controls every aspect of his life.
John Cusack plays Wilson in that period.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “LOVE & MERCY”)
PAUL GIAMATTI, ACTOR: Do you know who this man is? Brian Wilson.
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
ELIZABETH BANKS, ACTRESS: Oh. You didn`t mention that.
JOHN CUSACK, ACTOR: Well, but that stuff doesn`t matter. That`s ego
stuff, you know?
BANKS: Are you kidding me? I love your music. I grew up on it.
CUSACK: That makes me feel really good, Melinda Ledbetter.
Right? It`s a nice night. Why don`t you get started on the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by the film`s director and producer,
Bill, thank you so much for that.
I had never seen in a long time a bad guy in a movie ad bad as Paul
Giamatti. Was that really that bad, that this psychologist, this shrink
was able to physically capture and control a genius like Brian Wilson every
moment of his life?
BILL POHLAD, DIRECTOR, “LOVE & MERCY”: Yes, it really is accurate.
We talked to Brian. Brian was involved in the film throughout the process,
so we could easily check to see whether we were kind of going off the rails
or kind of exaggerating.
I mean, actually, Brian has said a couple times that it was actually
worse than the way we portrayed it. So, he was a pretty divisive guy, Dr.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you how – what you learned about creativity.
I`m always stunned in movies when they try to capture what it`s like,
whether it`s Richard Rogers or it`s Brian Wilson, the creative process,
where somebody gets in their head, whether they dream it or whatever, a
And then they develop it and they orchestrate it and they arrange it.
What is that like? And how does that genius work? Because it is entirely
POHLAD: Yes. I mean, that was part of what we wanted to explore in
I mean, obviously, Brian, as you said, had kind of come up with the
most iconic music of our generation, for sure. And how he does it is a bit
of a mystery. Certainly, he has suffered from and continues to suffer from
a form of schizophrenia – it is called schizoaffective disorder, a form of
POHLAD: But – and so he hears things in his head. He hears very
complex orchestrations, melodies and harmonies that are so complex that
most people can`t really understand them until they`re executed.
But he also – there is a dark side. Basically, he can`t turn them
off either. So, it is part of his genius and part of I guess the madness
MATTHEWS: Well, these songs are in our heads all the time, our whole
life growing up. Every summer in Ocean City, New Jersey, we would have a
new Beach Boys song on the boardwalk and then we would have a Four Seasons
songs to go with it, against it, competing with it. And they are the songs
of my youth anyway.
Here`s another scene from the movie. Wilson creates a melody out of
nowhere for his girlfriend. Let`s watch him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “LOVE & MERCY”)
BANKS: That was so beautiful.
BANKS: What is it?
CUSACK: Oh, that`s just something that I came up – when I saw you.
BANKS: What are you going to do with it?
CUSACK: Nothing. It`s gone. That was just for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: How did you decide to do these two – it isn`t a biopic.
It`s not the guy`s whole life. You took periods of his life when he was
zooming with creativity and seemingly functional. And then you show him
where is not functional, where he`s so much a prisoner of this bad shrink
played by Paul Giamatti. You really feel like he is completely lost.
No, I mean, again, for me, sometimes, a biopic, where you`re forced to
hit all the beats of a character`s life, sometimes it doesn`t allow you to
get really intimate with the person. I really thought it would be more
interesting to get into Brian`s head and really feel what he feels.
So, we – as you mentioned, we took these two different eras in his
life and intertwined them, hoping that by whatever – that kind of harmony,
if you will, it will paint the portrait of Brian a little more deeply, the
good side and the bad side of everything that he dealt with.
MATTHEWS: Well, I saw the movie this weekend in Washington at the
Avalon. I`ll tell you, I really liked it.
Here`s another clip from the film that shows just how controlled
Wilson`s life became because of that shrink played in the movie by the
great Paul Giamatti. Wilson here is going on a date with a some he met at
a Cadillac dealership. She was selling cars. She is played beautifully by
Elizabeth Banks. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “LOVE & MERCY”)
CUSACK: How are you?
BANKS: I`m great.
CUSACK: You look really great.
BANKS: Thank you.
CUSACK: You want to go?
BANKS: Oh, did you – yes.
CUSACK: I forgot your apartment number.
BANKS: Ah. (INAUDIBLE)
BANKS: Ah. Why does it feel like the prom all of a sudden?
CUSACK: I`m not sure.
BANKS: Thank you.
GIAMATTI: Hey, Melinda.
GIAMATTI: You look great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Did you make Cusack look shorter in that movie? He`s a
very tall guy? I have met him. And I just wondered is that really – was
there some camera trick there to make him look like more of an average size
POHLAD: No, no, that was actually true. I mean, Elizabeth is not
short in any way. I think they matched up pretty well. No, we didn`t have
to do anything like that.
MATTHEWS: Because usually you make the movie stars look taller.
Anyway, I thought you made him look shorter.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, in the movie, he`s great. I have always been a
Cusack fan, especially since seeing “High Fidelity” years ago.
Anyway, the movie is called “Love & Mercy.” It`s about the greatest
group, one of the greatest groups ever, the Beach Boys.
Thank you, Bill Pohlad, for joining us tonight.
Up next: Jeb Bush faces questioning about a Florida law that made
women write publicly, catch this, of their sexual history . Isn`t that
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger with
A Cleveland judge says there`s probable cause to charge police
officers in the fatal November shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Rice
was playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center when he was shot.
The judge issued the ruling after activists asked him to order the arrest
of those officers. However, the opinion is largely advisory. The
investigation into Rice`s death remains in the hands of prosecutors, who
will task a grand jury with deciding whether the officers will face
charges. Rice`s family has filed a wrongful death suit against the
officers in that case – back to HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
An excerpt from Jeb Bush`s 1995 book “Profiles in Character” is
getting renewed attention today. First dug up by Laura Bassett of The
Huffington Post this week, Bush decries the loss of shame in the book in
And this is a chapter entitled “The Restoration of Shame.” Here`s Jeb
Bush – quote – “One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out
of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal
obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior,
no reason to feel shame. There was a time when neighbors and communities
would frown on out-of-wedlock births when public condemnation was enough of
a stimulus for one to be careful. And famous – infamous shotgun weddings
and Nathaniel Hawthorne`s `Scarlet Letter` are reminders that public
condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots.”
Well, that excerpt about public shaming has been associated by critics
with a 2001 bill down in Florida altering the adoption regulations in that
state which then Governor Jeb Bush did not veto, allowing to it become law,
if provided that if a mother wanted to put her child up for adoption but
could not confirm the identity of the father, she could be compelled by the
law, by the state, to publish the private details of her sexual history in
a public notice, in a local newspaper.
Governor Bush modified the law two years later, but only after a state
court found it unconstitutional. Here`s how “The New York Times”
summarized the law back in 2003. “It required women to run ments,
disclosing their names, ages, height, hair and eye color, race and weight
as well as the child`s name and birth place and a description of the
possible father. It also required the women to provide details of the
dates and places of sexual encountered that might have produced the child.
Women were required to run the ments once a week for a month in
the community where the child may have been conceived.”
I`m joined right now by Sam Stein of “The Huffington Post, April Ryan
with the National Urban Radio Networks, and Sahil Kapur with “The Bloomberg
I want you all to give me your take on this. Why it`s important, do
you think, what we know about Jeb Bush?
I want Sam to start.
SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Well, I mean, we`re talking about two
things, right? The first is the book, which is talking about women having
sexual partners out of wedlock and the whole concept of shaming as a public
policy. And the second is the law, which deals more with adoptive
services. But there`s one common thread that makes them all important,
which is this notion that you could use shame as a tool of public policy,
which I think – you know, if you look back at today seems incredibly
antiquated and a little over the line.
He was in trouble with conservatives for not vetoing the legislation.
I imagine that it would be even more difficult to defend in this day and
age when people really do care about privacy rights, about individual
responsibility and individual choice. So, in that sense, I do think it
matters for his candidacy.
SAHIL KAPUR, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: And, Chris, I would just add that in
the wake of, you know, when we look at this now it seems very antiquated.
It`s hardly – the `90s was hardly the “Mad Men” era but it didn`t seem too
out of place at the time given that we were kind of a moral majority era,
you know, where social conservatism was still on the rise.
APRIL RYAN, NATIONAL URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: But, you know, Chris, I`m
trying to drill down a little bit on this because as a woman, this just
screams at me in so many different ways and so many different levels
because it`s just wrong. Not just privacy. But to shame a woman – I
mean, whose business is it how many partner partners you had? Whether you
had one, none, or 20, or even more? But the issue, I talked with the
Florida State Senate Democratic leader, Arthenia Joyner, who told me, who
gave me some really good information. She said during that time she was
there and she voted no for the bill.
But also, she said – and this is something really interesting – that
Debby Wasserman Schultz was a Florida senator at the time. And she was the
only Democrat to vote no. You heard many of the leaders in Florida say
they wanted to push this. To get this adoption bill pushed through so fast
that they really didn`t read all the information about the bill, to include
the fact that you had, what is it, minority children who could have been
outed in this.
You had, excuse me, not minority – underage children. And then you
had people who were raped, who had to give their information.
So, this bill screams in a lot of ways and it`s just wrong, privacy
and otherwise. It`s just bad.
MATTHEWS: So, you all believe, starting with April, you all believe
that there was an intention by the state legislature with Bush going along
with it to shame women. It wasn`t to find the father`s identity. You
believe the purpose of the bill was to hurt women`s reputation by forcing
them to put out their sexual history. You believe that was the purpose of
RYAN: Well, Chris, Arthenia Joyner –
MATTHEWS: April, do you think that?
RYAN: Going back to Arthenia Joyner, what she told me today, she said
that Jeb Bush passed this bill. He signed it into law, knowing that he
wasn`t going to veto it as long as they could change it down the road.
Now, this is what she told me, and she remembers back –
MATTHEWS: But he didn`t sign it.
RYAN: He didn`t veto – he signed it but he didn`t veto it.
MATTHEWS: He didn`t sign it.
STEIN: He did not sign it.
To answer your question, I think there are two purposes. One was to
discourage mothers at the point of decision from offering up their children
for adoptive services. The idea was to have kids, stay with the paternal
parents, don`t put them up for adoption, try to create that traditional
The second was essentially to – if you were going to put them up for
adoption – give the father a notice that the child was being put up for
adoption. But I think you could have good intentions but bad means of
getting there. I think what happened here was they rushed through the bill
as April noted. It passed with very, very large majority in both chambers
of the Florida state and House – Senate and House.
But also, it kind of screwed with the adoption process in the state,
as one anecdote said. There was a woman who wanted to give up her child to
the paternal father. But to do so, she actually had to publish all her
sexual encounters in the past however many year history. So, it didn`t
actually facilitate easy adoptions. It actually complicated it.
KAPUR: I should add, Chris, that I think part of the reason this is
going to be a problem for Jeb Bush, including in the primary, certainly,
the general election if he`s up on stage with Hillary Clinton, is that if
you`re a Republican woman, you`re coming from a party that says abortion is
wrong and illegal.
But for someone who has a child, for a woman who has the child and who
does the responsible thing putting it up for adoption, when you can`t take
care of it, the law says you`re going to be humiliated and shamed for it.
So, I think that`s going to involve (ph) a lot of women –
MATTHEWS: Sahil, I`m so with you. I grew up Catholic. I am a
Catholic. I have to tell you, adoption is one of the most beautiful things
in the world. It`s where a person who can`t provide for a child offers
that child to someone who can. It`s a wonderful thing. Why anyone would
want to make that onerous or embarrassing or shameful, I don`t get it.
Anyway, here`s Jeb Bush had to say about that `95 book excerpt about
shaming of unwed mothers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: As it relates to the book, the
book was written in 1995. My views have evolved over time. But my views
about the importance of dads being involved in the lives of children hasn`t
changed at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I`m not sure how his views have evolved about shaming. But
here`s a report said, he remembered about the 2001 which was six years
after that article he wrote in that book.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I don`t remember what the purpose, what the repeal was. I can
remember what the purpose of the law was to enhance the ability to collect
child support because men have the responsibility of taking care of their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, any way, the roundtable is staying with us.
And up next, a little less serious. Is that a pack of cigarettes in
President Obama`s hands there? Take a keen look and we`ll talk about it.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. And cigarettes apparently.
MATTHEWS: Well, the mounting criticism about which presidential
candidates would be excluded from the first Republican debate has triggered
a slight change of plans. Rather than leaving as many as eight candidates
out in the cold, FOX News which is airing the August 6 debate now says it
will hold a forum earlier on the same day for the candidates who failed to
qualify for the evening debate.
And yesterday, before that, a group of influential Republicans from
New Hampshire had sent a letter to FOX and RNC chairman Reince Priebus
urging participation of the full field of candidates, and not just the top
10 candidates, according to the poll. Well, I guess it worked.
And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We`re back.
Well, President Obama was in Germany at the G7 summit earlier this
week and a picture on social media sparked suspicions by some that perhaps
the president is lighting up again.
April Ryan pressed White House spokesman Josh Earnest for details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: Does he have a pack of cigarettes in his hand?
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He does not.
RYAN: What was it?
EARNEST: I don`t know, April. I wasn`t there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Josh Earnest said he hadn`t asked the president about
the story, but an insistent reporter, that`s April Ryan, continued the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: Well, the president, as you acknowledged, reads media reports
and everywhere, this picture with him holding –
EARNEST: I`m not sure that`s the way I`d describe it.
RYAN: It is everywhere. Check it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Joining me right now at the roundtable, rejoining is that
insistent reporter, April Ryan, along with Sam Stein and Sahil Kapur.
April, first of all, if you had to bet 100 bucks one way or the other
if this thing gets resolved at some point, would you bet he had a pack of
cigarettes in his hand or he didn`t? What would your bet be?
RYAN: That`s $100 I can keep in my pocket no matter what, I`m not
going to bet. But –
MATTHEWS: If you were asked the question, you must have thought it
RYAN: I made my mind. That`s asking the question, it has nothing to
do with the bet. Anything and everything that the president does is
presidential. It wasn`t meant to be anything hard or soft. It was just,
we saw a picture and I wanted an answer. The president had said something
about he tried when he came into the White House, he was trying the kick
the habit of cigarettes. So we see something in a picture, and the box
looks about the size, and the fingers are going like, you know – so I
didn`t know, and I asked the question. I asked if he`s –
MATTHEWS: OK. I want to – I want to be fair and square here. I`ll
put the $100 for any of you that want to bet it was cigarettes. You, Sam,
first. If we get this resolved, will you put $100 that it was cigarettes?
STEIN: So you think it was not cigarettes? So, I can put $100 –
MATTHEWS: I`m just asking you, will you make the bet? We`re talking
about this crap. I want to know if you think it`s true one way or the
other. If we don`t know what we`re talking about, we shouldn`t be talking
about it. Your thoughts?
STEIN: It`s your show. You set the agenda here.
MATTHEWS: Take your bet?
STEIN: I happen to think it was cigarettes but I have no proof.
MATTHEWS: OK, 100 bucks, want to do it?
MATTHEWS: Why not, you don`t even – your words and thought process
is not worth 100 bucks?
STEIN: No, it`s definitely not. Not even close.
MATTHEWS: I`m going to close the betting window in about three
STEIN: Is it the better question, would you give him the benefit of
the doubt to have a cigarette? He has the most stressful job in the world.
RYAN: Exactly, exactly.
MATTHEWS: No, I just want to get our facts first then we get to our
Let me go to Sahil, do you have thought about whether he was carrying
cigarettes or not?
KAPUR: Firstly, Chris, I wouldn`t take that bet. Whatever he was
holding, he was holding like it could be cigarettes. There`s that element.
RYAN: That`s right.
STEIN: We`re just playing it straight.
RYAN: That`s right.
KAPUR: I wouldn`t judge him. I don`t think it`s an impeachable
RYAN: I`ve got to go back to the White House.
MATTHEWS: So nobody has any guts to say he was smoking. Why do you
think – why do you think this is important? I give you April last shot at
it, because you did have the guts to ask the question. Why do you think
it`s important enough to ask the question of the president`s spokesperson?
RYAN: Because one, he is the president of the United States. Some
people say health reasons, you know, you shouldn`t be smoking. But you
have a president who says he was trying to quit. We see him chewing the
Nicorette gum, I mean, showing so hard that people make comments about it,
because he`s really trying to kick the habit.
But at the same time, if he is smoking, and I will say this, I
wouldn`t blame him. He literally has the world on his shoulders.
He is great. I mean, when he first came into office, he looked like a
teenager. Now he`s aging gracefully. His hair is white. There is
pressure and there is tension in that job.
I mean, I would not blame him if he did taste a cigarette or two, and
I don`t smoke. So –
KAPUR: And nor does it impact his ability to do the job, I think,
it`s also worth mentioning.
KAPUR: It`s a fair question.
MATTHEWS: The willingness to make $100 bet isn`t necessary for your
guys` jobs either.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, Sam Stein. Thank you, April Ryan.
Thank you, Sahil Kapur.
When we return, let me finish this student loan issue, which is a good
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: I`m here in Philadelphia tonight to give the commencement
address at Peirce College, so let me finish tonight with the student loan
This one has the authenticity of real-life people, everyday people as
Hillary Clinton calls them. Like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a solid
cause if there ever was one, it has the quality of real life experience.
Parents who see their children headed off into the world packed down with
oftentimes six figures of student loan debt, which shouldn`t have to be
And the trick here is to find a way to reduce that debt. I left
college owing $2,800. That`s $2,800, not thousand dollars. One hope might
be to cut the interest rates. That would be good. I paid 3 percent.
Young adults are paying twice that amount on principals, of course, as I
said, over hundred thousands dollars.
What we need to find I think is a way to deal not just with the
interest rate, by refinancing, by refis, but the principal. How do we free
young couples from the prospect of having this big debt still lingering
when they approach their 40s or even 50s. That`s the reality for people
Senator Marco Rubio reported that he only recently paid off his
student loans and he`s running for president. Bottom line: it`s a real
problem, a genuine issue, something we should put our heads together over,
not whether the president grabbed a smoke over in Germany. Don`t you
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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