Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 1/21/2016

Guests:
Tad Devine, John Stanton, Francesca Chambers, Sabrina Siddiqui, Gavin Schmidt, Chris Mooney
Transcript:

Show: HARDBALL
Date: January 21, 2016
Guest: Tad Devine, John Stanton, Francesca Chambers, Sabrina Siddiqui,
Gavin Schmidt, Chris Mooney

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Big numbers in Iowa.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

O, Canada – welcome home up there to Ted Cruz. A new poll out of Iowa
shows that Donald Trump has gotten his message across about where Ted Cruz
is coming from. The new CNN/ORC poll has the Calvary-born Cruz tobogganing
a halt in Iowa, down at 26 percent, with Trump pulling ahead to 37 percent,
an 11-point double-digit jump on the one-time Canadian.

Even bigger news tonight on the Democratic side of Iowa. Senator Bernie
Sanders suddenly looks headed for daily double in American politics in Iowa
and New Hampshire. Way up in New Hampshire already, the CNN/ORC poll out
tonight has him, Sanders, at an outstanding 51 percent in Iowa to Hillary
Clinton`s 43 percent – 50 percent usually means gold in politics. We`ll
get to Bernie and Hillary next and dig deep on that one.

But first, this wild situation where Trump is standing for many reasonable
establishment Republicans as the last stand against the menacing Cruz.
Reason – there`s an old expression in Washington politics. It`s about how
you treat people and how you get treated by people because of it. What
goes around comes around.

Ted Cruz is now getting his own treatment by other Republicans, some he`s
called liars, people like John McCain, who won`t even give Cruz the minimum
regard of being constitutionally eligible to run for president. They just
don`t like Cruz.

Bob Dole told “The New York Times” the party would suffer “cataclysmic” and
“wholesale” losses if Mr. Cruz were the party nominee for president and
that Donald Trump would fare better. Nobody likes Cruz, Dole said.

And here`s what Dole told my colleague, Andrea Mitchell, last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Could you support Ted Cruz if he ends
up with the nomination?

BOB DOLE (R-KS), FMR. SENATOR, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, I would –
I might oversleep that day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: “I might oversleep that day.” Iowa governor Terry Branstad is
attacking Cruz by taking a page from Trump`s playbook that Cruz is a
mouthpiece for the Texas oil industry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R), IOWA What we`re doing is we`re trying to educate
the people of Iowa he is the biggest opponent of renewable fuels. He is
heavily financed by big oil. He hasn`t supported renewable fuels, and I
believe it would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, according to “The Atlantic`s” Molly Ball, former Senate
majority leader Trent Lott now says he`d take Trump over Cruz. Robert
Murdoch of FOX News is backing Trump over Cruz. He tweets, “Cruz bets
uniting white conservatives and evangelicals is enough to win. Meanwhile,
Trump is appealing across party lines, surely the winning strategy.”

Anyway, “The Wall Street Journal” ran a scathing editorial recently against
Cruz by calling him a phony for his “New York values” attack on Trump.
Quote, “Mr. Trump is a better politician than we ever imagined and he`s
becoming a better candidate. If Ted Cruz is an everyman from the
provinces, Hillary Clinton is Mother Teresa.”

NBC`s Katy Tur is with the Trump campaign in Las Vegas. NBC`s Hallie
Jackson is with the Cruz campaign out in New Hampshire. And Robert Costa
is national political reporter with “The Washington Post.”

We want to hear from all three of you in order. First of all, Katy Tur,
what do you make of these numbers that show Trump rather dramatically ahead
in Iowa?

KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Couple things. One of them is that that
CNN/ORC poll is talking about first-time or caucus goers, not likely caucus
goers, new caucus goers. And that`s what we`ve been seeing all along,
people that maybe have not caucused in the past. If they come out, they
are going to be generally supporting Donald Trump, and that`s going to put
him over the edge with Ted Cruz.

If we see people who have caucused in the past come out, that`s where Ted
Cruz`s numbers do a little bit better than Donald Trump. So it all depends
on whether or not he`s able to get these first-time caucus goers out.

And I think that the likely answer is yes. When we go to these rallies in
Iowa, sometimes these people are waiting for hours out in the very bitter
cold, negative temperatures at some point, waiting to get into these Donald
Trump rallies.

So the idea that they won`t necessarily line up or show up at a caucus
venue seems a little bit absurd to me on the face of it. But we`re going
to have to wait and see how it goes out (ph).

Second thing, Donald Trump says that he is leading because, essentially,
he`s the better candidate. What he`s been trying to do is cast doubt, when
it comes to Ted Cruz for the past few weeks, cast doubt on his eligibility,
cast doubt about those loans from Goldman Sachs and CitiBank, saying
tonight that he talks like a debater. He doesn`t talk like a regular
person. He`s trying to question – make voters question Ted Cruz. And so
far, it seems to be working, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, here`s a Trump – here`s Trump himself at a rally today
in Las Vegas basking in these rising poll numbers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Cruz is going down! He`s going
down.

(CHEERS)

TRUMP: No, he`s having a hard time. He looks like a nervous wreck. He`s
going down. He had his moment. He had his moment. He had his moment, and
he blew it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, there is a salesman. Let`s go to Hallie Jackson on how`s
Cruz taking these numbers. What is he doing to undermine the credibility
of these numbers?

HALLIE JACKSON, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far, I think the Cruz campaign
would be pointing to the organization that they have on the ground in Iowa,
touting its strength, touting the fact that they`ve been there in Iowa for
a very long time and are trying to put boots on the ground where they need
them.

The other thing that Ted Cruz is trying to do is undermine Donald Trump,
right, Chris? He`s trying to paint Trump as this establishment guy.

You ask what`s the reaction of people who may or may not support Cruz or
Trump. I got to tell you, just talking with some folks anecdotally here in
Manchester at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, where we were
tonight – a couple of students said, yes, it`s a little bit of a stretch
to paint Donald Trump as establishment, although that doesn`t mean it`s not
going to work for Cruz in the long run potentially.

That said, you got to point out everybody that`s gone after Trump so far
hasn`t really done, hasn`t improved much in the polls at all. So we`ll see
if this strategy works for Ted Cruz.

MATTHEWS: Well, as you said, Hallie, Cruz is hanging a lantern (ph) on his
bum (ph) by trying to tar Trump with the label of establishment candidate.
Actually, it`s more like 10,000-watt bulb emblazoned with the word
“establishment.”

Here`s Cruz during just one event in New Hampshire yesterday. Watch how
many times he says that word.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Washington establishment
is rushing over to support Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump is welcoming the support of the Washington establishment.

Mr. Trump`s pitch to the Washington establishment is he`s a deal maker.
He`ll go and cut a deal with Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

The Washington establishment knows who`s willing to keep the gravy train
going.

Let me encourage other members of the establishment to keep supporting
Donald Trump.

(INAUDIBLE) Washington establishment. More and more, the establishment
calling out their support for Donald Trump.

He said he was the establishment.

The establishment.

He`s attracted to Donald Trump. You can understand why the establishment
(INAUDIBLE) is unifying behind him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Robert Costa, that was “The Barber of Seville” we played there
by Rossini, I`ve been told. I do like it. It`s very familiar to all of
us.

What do you make of this, like, a Woody Allen movie, the keyword here is
“establishment”? I don`t know how many times he said it, but is he – he`s
treating his audience like they`re idiots. How many times do you have to
say something to make a point?

And what is the point? Does anybody think Donald Trump is part of
Washington? He`s not part of the establishment. He`s never held office.
He`s never been part of any party organization. He`s never been a delegate
to a convention, as I know of. How does he figure as an establishment
figure? I don`t get it. Your thoughts, your coverage.

ROBERT COSTA, “WASHINGTON POST,” MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Senator Cruz is
using the label, Chris, because he needs Trump to be seen as establishment,
especially after Governor Palin has endorsed Trump this week, and you see
some elements of the right coming toward Trump. Cruz is trying to push
back and say, I`m the lone conservative in the race.

The other thing he`s battling right now is this is deeply personal. It`s
not just political. The establishment figures in the Republican Party have
a distaste for Cruz going back to 2013 and the government shutdown, the way
he handled primaries in 2014. And this is revenge for them. The knives
are after Cruz, and he`s battling from all sides.

MATTHEWS: Let me go back to my argument that what goes around comes
around. I`ve heard that from lobbyists, I`ve heard that from politicians,
the old pros – I was going to say “old farts (ph),” but the guys who`ve
been around politics forever. They always say that in the cloakroom.
Every time a guy gets in trouble or gets bashed or a woman gets in trouble,
they go, What goes around comes around. In other words the way you behave
day to day ends up in your scorecard.

Does he – well, let me go – I should go to Hallie on this. Does he know
what`s happened to him? Does he know that this has come home to roost,
calling people liars, trashing people? Does he know this is what`s being
paid back to him today?

JACKSON: I don`t see – I mean, how do you – how do you not, right? I
mean, how do you not see that?

What Ted Cruz would say and what he has said to me and to others in the
past is sort of massaging this, that – you mentioned the “liars” comment,
saying, Well, what I said was – you know, when it goes back to this idea
of Mitch McConnell saying one thing behind closed doors, et cetera – he
pushes back a little on some of that, but he has worn this establishment
hate like a blanket, especially in this election season, when it does him a
lot of good to be the outsider.

You know, you got to look at what Senator Lindsey Graham said today over on
Capitol Hill. He was talking about Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. He said,
Hey, it`s like get shot or get poisoned. It`s pretty much death either
way. And I`m paraphrasing there, but there is no love lost between Senator
Cruz and his congressional colleagues.

And I`ll tell you, Donald Trump is using that. At Donald Trump`s rally
today…

MATTHEWS: Yes.

JACKSON: … he says, Hey, these guys in D.C. like me, he said, because I
can cut deals. I can`t do everything by executive action, Donald Trump
says, so I am able to go to Washington and get the support that Ted Cruz
cannot.

MATTHEWS: I think it`s interesting. E.J. Dionne, who was on last night,
the great columnist, said in the paper today in his column, syndicated
column, that it could be the greatest irony of all times if the
establishment begins to come out, as some of them are, for Trump.

Anyway, Ted Cruz has an ability to tick off pretty much everyone. Here`s
what he said about the late President Kennedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: JFK would be a Republican today.

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ: He stood for religious liberty, and he would be tarred and feathered
by the modern Democratic Party. You know, look, as JFK said, some men see
things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why
not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: You know, it`s impossible to come up with a list of how many
things Cruz has been wrong on, but I`ll give you one more. Jack Kennedy
never said that. That was Bobby Kennedy`s line from George Bernard Shaw,
and everybody who covers any history knows that. That`s the line he used
to cue the press who were covering him it was time to run for the buses.
It was very well known, if anybody pays attention to history. Obviously,
Ted Cruz pays no attention to history or he wouldn`t be out there imitating
Joe McCarthy so often.

Anyway, Kennedy`s grandson responded in an op-ed in Politico, the magazine,
today, writing, “I find this notion and the suggestion that Ted Cruz is
somehow taking up my grandfather`s mantle absurd. Were my grandfather
alive today, he`d be excited about how far we have come as a nation since
1963. He would feel a sense of urgency about the challenges that lie
ahead. And he most certainly would not be a Republican.”

Anyway, the op-ed was eerily reminiscent of this famous moment in the 1988
vice presidential debate between Dan Quayle, such as he was, and Lloyd
Bentsen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DAN QUAYLE (R-IN), VP NOMINEE: I have as much experience in the
Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency.

SEN. LLOYD BENTSEN (D-TX), VP NOMINEE: Senator, I served with Jack
Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine.
Senator, you`re no Jack Kennedy.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Robert Costa, why would a senator, who everybody tells me went
to Princeton and Harvard law school and is very smart, be such a dingbat
about history? And that`s the right word for it. Your thoughts.

COSTA: I`m a reporter, Chris, and my sense is with Cruz, there`s a
confidence there that has propelled his candidacy, but it also rubs a lot
of people in Congress and in the Republican Party the wrong way. They see
a swagger. They see a flare for the dramatic that has made his own party
his foil and his target, and they don`t like it.

MATTHEWS: Doesn`t anybody who works with him know what Jack Kennedy said
and what Bobby Kennedy said and when he does this little imitation of one,
he gets the guy wrong? You know, I don`t know – he`s swinging for the
fences with, I don`t know, a roll of toilet paper.

Anyway, thank you, Katy Tur, and thank you, Hallie Jackson, and thank you,
Robert Costa.

Coming up warning signs. I think Hillary Clinton and the Democratic
establishment getting a little nervous about Bernie Sanders. Wait until
they all see these numbers tonight. Sanders`s rise in the polls has
coincided with a more forceful warning call from big-name Democrats,
including Hillary herself. I`m going to speak with a top Bernie adviser
tonight. He`s coming right here.

Plus, Sarah Palin`s facing backlash for her comments that seemed to blame
President Obama for her son`s misbehavior. Veterans` groups are not
pleased with the former governor`s comments – I should say former half-
governor`s comments – in the wake of her son`s – Track`s, that`s her
son`s name – domestic violence arrest the other day.

And hottest year ever – 2015 – that`s last year – goes down in the
history books as the world`s warmest in record. Has the time come for
science deniers to face the facts?

Finally, the HARDBALL roundtable will tell us something I don`t know.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, Donald Trump has certainly made the Republican primaries
more interesting. But could another New Yorker shake up the general
election? A new on-line poll from The Morning Consult shows if Michael
Bloomberg were to jump in as an independent and face Trump and Hillary
Clinton, things could get tricky. In that scenario, Trump gets 37 percent,
Clinton gets 36, Bloomberg 13. The poll shows Clinton is knocked out of
her front-runner position by a Bloomberg entry.

And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That`s
why I am proud to be a Democrat running for the presidency.

(CHEERS)

CLINTON: I`m going to remind, starting here in Iowa and moving across
America, people of the fact that the economy does a whole lot better when
we have a Democrat in the White House!

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was Hillary Clinton, of course,
in Iowa earlier today, driving home the biggest difference between herself
and her rival, Bernie Sanders, that she is a Democrat and he is not.

But Clinton didn`t stop there. She took direct aim at Sanders by making
the argument that she`s a more electable choice and best suited to work
within the system to get things done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I`m not interested in ideas that sound good on paper but will
never make it in the real world. And that gets us to the choice that you
have to make in this caucus. Now, Senator Sanders and I share many of the
same goals, but we have different records and different ideas about how to
drive progress.

In theory, there`s a lot to like about some of his ideas, but “in theory”
isn`t enough. A president has to deliver in reality.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Boy, she`s working hard. And with less than two weeks to go
until the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton is feeling the squeeze. You can
feel it there. As I mentioned, a new CNN Opinion Research poll shows
Bernie Sanders now having pulled ahead of Clinton by 8 points. He`s at 51
– now, that`s an impressive number in any poll – to her 43. 43 would
normally be an impressive number.

Sanders now has strong leads in both Iowa, and of course, in New Hampshire,
where he`s been leading, which must be making Clinton`s team very nervous
at this hour, professionally nervous.

Joining me right now is Senator Sanders`s campaign strategist, Tad Devine,
and Sabrina Siddiqui. She`s political reporter with “The Guardian.”

Now, I want to ask you both – obviously, you`re in and you`re watching, so
I`m going to start with you on this thing. What is your big break in Iowa?
What`s going on? “Socialist” is not a bad word. We`ve seen the numbers,
43 percent of caucus goers say, yes, no problem, it`s not a bad word. In
fact, they call themselves socialists.

So what`s changed in the ideological spectrum that puts Bernie Sanders in a
real potential to win that thing out there?

TAD DEVINE, SANDERS CAMPAIGN SR. ADVISER: I don`t think anything`s changed
in the ideological spectrum. I think Bernie Sanders has a message that`s
connecting with voters. So he understands the economy of this country is
rigged. He understands it`s sending all the wealth to the top. And he
understands the corrupt system of campaign finance is holding it in place.
And that message is the reason he`s (INAUDIBLE) running.

MATTHEWS: If you had one issue to run on, would it be Citizens United?
It`s the non-democratization of American politics, where it`s run with
money, where big money doesn`t just sit there and somebody`s having a nice
vacation in Hawaii, but they`re using it to affect our political system. I
think that`s when (ph) you put it together.

DEVINE: I agree – you know…

MATTHEWS: They`re rigging the political process.

DEVINE: You know, Chris, when I worked for Al Gore, I argued with him that
he shouldn`t talk about campaign finance. We should talk about other
issues.

And I want to tell you something. This country has changed so
fundamentally in the last 16 years. And people understand that this
corrupt system of campaign finance is holding a rigged economy in place.

MATTHEWS: Meaning by corrupt?

(CROSSTALK)

DEVINE: Yes, here is what it means, that when we have super PACs who take
unlimited amounts of money from corporations and individuals and then use
that money to distort the political process and buy elections, OK, that is
what is destroying American democracy today.

He recognizes that. He says no super PACs. I`m going to rely on small
contributions. People are relating to it. And they think he can fix a
rigged economy.

MATTHEWS: How does Hillary Clinton, having done three speeches for Goldman
Sachs for $600,000, fit into that, because you guys hit that again and
again the other night?

DEVINE: We did. I think it hurts, because I think people understand if
you are going to be beholden to these banks, whether it`s the financing of
your campaign or the money you take directly from them, you are not going
to be able to fix the economic problem in America today.

MATTHEWS: Is she on the take?

DEVINE: Listen…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: No, because you`re saying – but you won`t put it into words.

(CROSSTALK)

DEVINE: Has she done something illegal? No.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You`re saying she took money from Goldman Sachs. Why is it
relevant?

DEVINE: Has she done something illegal? No, she has not. And that`s the
problem.

MATTHEWS: Is she beholden to Goldman Sachs?

DEVINE: I think she is, yes, absolutely. She`s beholden not just to them,
but to these interests that are funding her campaigns, funding her super
PACs and preventing her from doing what we need.

MATTHEWS: Did they buy her?

DEVINE: I`m not saying they bought her.

MATTHEWS: I`m trying to say the words you will accept, because you are
making the same point.

DEVINE: Well, I just told you what words I would accept. OK? Listen, the
system is corrupt. She is part of the system.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: But Bernie is not part of the system. So, you can`t blame the
system. He didn`t do it.

DEVINE: Bernie has rejected that system. He could have had a super PAC.
He said no. He could have taken money from big…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: He doesn`t do honoraria for big corporations?

DEVINE: No, are you kidding? Never. He wrote a book and gave the money
to food kitchens in Vermont. OK. No, he doesn`t.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let`s go back to super – this is a tough one for Secretary
Clinton because once the sand starts going through the hourglass, once the
slippage – I think it is somewhat ideological.

I don`t think socialist is the bad word it was. I think a lot of things
are different. I think anger against the rich, the very rich, the
exponentially rich, the billionaires, as your guy likes to say,
billionaires and millionaires, is different than it used to be.

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, “THE GUARDIAN”: Absolutely.

And I think that is why you have seen the urgency with which she sharpened
her attacks against Senator Sanders in recent weeks and really honed in on
the electability argument to kind of make an appeal to voters that anger
alone is not enough. You have to have a candidate who is pragmatic, who
would actually know how to channel that anger into realistic proposals.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I think she probably has the track record to be a better
claimant for the center. Just a fact. She will go to the center better
than Sanders will.

But you look at these matchups, it`s not there. Hillary is not beating the
bejesus out of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Those numbers are very close for
her and Sanders.

SIDDIQUI: They are close, although there is an extent to which she comes
with a lot more baggage. I think the amount of attention focused on
Hillary Clinton in terms of attacks from Republicans, in terms of…

MATTHEWS: Oh, you mean Sanders would be better in a matchup?

SIDDIQUI: I think that when faced against a Republican where you actually
have the contrast, then there is that indication that you could put too
much stock into these early poll numbers.

MATTHEWS: OK. What does your guy say if I walk up to him and say, look,
Hillary Clinton is part of the Clinton foundation, the family foundation,
the history? Everybody knows they are center-left.

They`re not hard left. Your guy is hard left and says so. He`s a
socialist, Democratic socialist. How does he move to the center for the
general to get that suburban moderate Republican voter or moderate
independent? How does he get that vote?

DEVINE: We are not going there, OK, because our theory of the case…

MATTHEWS: You are not going there in November?

DEVINE: No, we`re not.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, how are you going to win in November?

DEVINE: You want to know why. Because it is not 1968 anymore.

Let me tell you, America is a very different place than it was when I
worked for Walter Mondale and 89 percent of the vote was white.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: But there is no socialist in Senate except one. You`re saying
it`s a different place, but you have people like Toomey as senator from
Pennsylvania.

DEVINE: Sure. There are two theories of how to win this election, go to
the middle, which I think is the Clinton theory, expand the electorate,
which is the Sanders theory.

OK, we`re going to bring new people in the process, we`re going to get
people excited, we`re going to have young people participate like they did
in 2008.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: If Senator Sanders manages to win this series of primaries, wins
the most delegates, goes to the convention in Philadelphia, wins the
nomination, he is not going to turn to the center?

DEVINE: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: He is not going to pick a running mate to the center?

DEVINE: I have no idea who he would pick as a running mate, but I do know
this, that our strategy – that, I can talk about.

Our strategy to win the election is to expand the American electorate, to
bring young people in, to bring disaffected people in, to give people hope
who don`t participate in the process. And we will expand it to such an
extent, that we will – he will elect Democrats up and down the ballot.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You don`t see another McGovern here?

DEVINE: No. I see a Johnson landslide if Bernie is the president. That
is what I see, against a guy who is totally out of the mainstream on the
other side. That`s what I see.

MATTHEWS: How does the Kool-Aid taste?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Tad Devine. I know you are a smart guy,
but, boy, you have this religion I have never heard before, because you
were with Al Gore. You were different.

DEVINE: Well, that`s right.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You believed in these things differently.

DEVINE: I believe in it now, I`ll tell you that.

MATTHEWS: Don`t go to the center. This is a hell of a statement tonight.

Tad Devine, spokesman, said it tonight.

Sabrina, do you believe it? He is not going to the center in the general.

DEVINE: No.

SIDDIQUI: I will have to believe it when I see it.

MATTHEWS: OK, believe it when you see it. we all will.

Thank you.

The HARDBALL roundtable will be here next to break down the latest numbers
on both sides. These are huge numbers for Bernie Sanders and for Donald
Trump today coming out of Iowa. Anyway, we are going to talk both races, R
and D`s together.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

The new CNN/ORC poll out of Iowa today shows the presidential race is
shifting on both sides, Democrat and Republican. Among likely Democratic
caucus-goers, Bernie Sanders has opened up an eight-point lead. Look at
him, 51 percent. Now, that`s impressive to Hillary`s impressive 43
percent.

And among the Republicans, Donald Trump – I should say between them,
Donald Trump has reclaimed his spot at the top of the lead, leading now
over Ted Cruz by 11 points 37-26. A large portion of respondents in this
poll did not turn out to caucus in previous years, so keep in mind the data
assumes that there will be a significant larger turnout in 2016, which I
did assume.

I am joined right now by the HARDBALL roundtable, Jonathan Capehart, MSNBC
political analyst and opinion writer for “The Washington Post,” and
Francesca Chambers is White House correspondent for “The Guardian.” And
John Stanton is Washington bureau chief for BuzzFeed.

In reverse order, does Hillary Clinton have a way of turning this around in
the next week-and-a-half?

JOHN STANTON, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, BUZZFEED: Oh, I think so.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: In a week-and-a-half?

STANTON: In a week-and-a-half, I think she can. I think it is going to be
difficult. It`s going to be much tighter than they want it to be.

But she still is sort of the front-running candidate in the party. I think
in Iowa there is still a lot of support for her. I don`t think you are
going to see as big a shift in terms of the amount of people who are going
to turn out on the Democratic side as you are on the Republican side

I think Trump is going to drive a lot more folks that don`t normally
caucus.

MATTHEWS: More than Bernie?

STANTON: But I think more than Bernie.

MATTHEWS: Francesca, I am looking at the college towns out there. And I
just wonder, with Grinnell and Iowa State and University of Iowa, Drake,
that I`m going to be looking caucus night at those areas and see if they do
again what they did with President Obama.

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, “THE GUARDIAN”: On the Republican side, Donald Trump
actually just…

MATTHEWS: Let`s stay on the Democratic side.

CHAMBERS: OK.

MATTHEWS: Hillary Clinton, what does she do to stop the sand from coming
through the hourglass?

CHAMBERS: So, on the Democratic side, she is having a rally with Demi
Lovato.

MATTHEWS: Who is Demi Lovato?

CHAMBERS: Demi Lovato. For the youth. It`s for the youth, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Answer the question. Who is she?

CHAMBERS: She is a very popular pop singer. She`s a pop singer who is
very popular with young people. She has had a star of “Scandal” out there.
She`s had Lena Dunham.

She is clearly trying to reach out to the younger people who would be
interested in that sort of a thing.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Does she remind you of Hillary Clinton?

CHAMBERS: Who?

MATTHEWS: This singer you are talking about?

CHAMBERS: I don`t know that she necessarily reminds me of Hillary Clinton,
per se, but she…

MATTHEWS: Does she evoke Hillary Clinton in any way?

CHAMBERS: But she is definitely a very good singer. I think a lot of
young people really like her songs.

MATTHEWS: And they will be moved to vote for Hillary Clinton, rather than
somebody else who excites them like Bernie Sanders?

CHAMBERS: They would be moved to come to an event and hear about Hillary
Clinton as a result of that.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: John, break the tie here. My belief is you get somebody – if
you want Bruce Springsteen because you want the working-class white guys,
whatever you want, certain kinds of people you go through. And you have to
connect with them somewhat when you bring in the person.

Bring in Carole King, that suggests a traditional liberal, that kind of
thing, right, progressive. But what do you do here? Hillary is trying to
get this young singer in who I never heard of, which I appreciate you`re
right, I`m wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

CHAMBERS: You have heard of Katy Perry, right?

MATTHEWS: I`m out of it. I`m out of it.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I don`t know hockey. I don`t know hockey. I don`t know modern
music. OK. I know Tony Bennett.

Go ahead.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: If you talk to people on both
campaigns, this poll that is out – and you put that caveat in there –
they are taking it with a grain of salt. They know that the numbers are a
lot closer than the polls would suggest.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: OK, Jack Germond. I didn`t bring you on here so you can
buzzkill here.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I know an old rule of politics. Act on numbers. If numbers
start shifting, you got to act.

CAPEHART: Yes, there is something going on. Look, Hillary Clinton lost
Iowa in 2008. And so it`s imperative…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Why did she lose then? Maybe she will lose now.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Hip young people that know who this singer friend of yours is.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: … Hillary, like me, never heard of her either.

CAPEHART: Chris, but in order for Iowa 2016 to be like Iowa 2008 for
Bernie Sanders, he has to pull people out in the way that Barack Obama did.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: How old do you have to be, quickly, to vote in Iowa in the
caucuses?

(CROSSTALK)

CHAMBERS: Seventeen.

CAPEHART: Twenty-one.

MATTHEWS: Seventeen.

CHAMBERS: Seventeen. You just have to be eligible to vote by the…

MATTHEWS: Seventeen. So, that is the kind of thing you learn here on
HARDBALL, 17. All you have to do is be 18 by the time of the general
election. Seventeen is fine. So, you`re going to get all the college
campuses from freshman to senior to go.

CHAMBERS: Correct.

STANTON: She is splitting that youth vote a little bit. But the Demi
Lovato voter is not a Bernie Sanders voter. That is a girl that is like a
sorority girl.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: So, now that you didn`t know that people could vote at 17, you
are telling me how they are going to vote.

STANTON: Well, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: The HARDBALL roundtable – John, we`re helping you here.

The HARDBALL roundtable is staying with us.

And up next, Sarah Palin blames her son`s PTSD on President Obama, of
course, on the president, much to the dismay of veterans groups.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.

Appearing at a joint rally with Donald Trump yesterday, Sarah Palin opened
up about her son Track Palin, an Iraqi War veteran, who was arrested in
Wasilla on Monday night.

As NBC News reported, Mr. Palin was – quote – “charged with interfering
with the report of domestic violence, possession of a firearm while
intoxicated, and assault on his girlfriend.” The girlfriend told police
Track Palin punched her in the face, kicked her in the knee, and threatened
suicide with an AR-15 assault rifle.

At the rally yesterday, Palin said she could relate to families of veterans
with PTSD, but also suggested President Obama is to blame. Here she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Our vets and you deserve a
commander in chief who will respect what it is that our forces go through.

I can talk personally about this. I guess it is kind of an elephant in the
room, because my own family going through what we are going through today
with my son, a combat vet having served in a Stryker brigade, fighting for
you all America, in the war zone.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PALIN: My son, like so many others, they come back a bit different. They
come back hardened. They come back wondering if there`s that respect.

It starts from the top. The question, though, that comes from our own
president, where they have to look at him and wonder, do you know what we
go through? Do you know what we are trying to do to secure America?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Anyway, now veterans groups are pushing back against Palin,
saying the president isn`t to blame for her son`s behavior.

Paul Rieckhoff, the director of the nonpartisan organization Iraq and
Afghanistan Veterans of America, told NBC News: “It`s not President Obama`s
fault that Sarah Palin`s son has PTSD. PTSD is a very serious problem, a
complicated mental health injury. And I would be extremely reluctant to
blame any one person in particular. I hope this doesn`t become a portable
chew toy in a political campaign.”

Wow.

Track Palin, by the way, enlisted in the Army in 20 – actually 2007 and
spent a year in Iraq in 2008, while George W. Bush was president.

Anyway, what do you make of this, John? She is trying to deal with the
fact of a problem in the family. And every politician practically seems to
have a problem in the family from Billy Carter on to Sam Houston, Johnson,
the brother of Lyndon Johnson, to Bill Clinton had some half-brother show
up. There are relatives out there.

STANTON: Look, the Palin family has had a lot of run-ins with the police.
They have had a lot of this kind of drama.

And instead of having the story become about that, she was able to
immediately frame it as how she wanted, how best to handle it, which is
this is a story about President Obama being bad to vets.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, do Iowa homeschoolers and related evangelicals buy it?

STANTON: Sure, because I think that they already are – they are
predisposed to buy anything she says anyway.

MATTHEWS: Well, under the Obama – Jon, under the rubric of it`s always
Obama`s fault.

CAPEHART: Right, Obama derangement syndrome.

Politically speaking, it was from their point of view, that campaign`s
perspective, it was brilliant, what she did. But it was also despicable,
absolutely despicable, what she did. And to try to pin it directly on the
president the problems of her son is just wrong.

And, also, I think just sort of, in doing that, belittling the real issue
here of PTSD, it is a very serious – and she could have talked about her
son.

MATTHEWS: It`s not a chew toy.

CAPEHART: Yes, exactly. She could have talked about her son and PTSD in a
way that didn`t overly politicize…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, let`s take a look here.

Donald Trump was asked about Palin`s remarks yesterday, telling CNN that he
suggested that she talk about her son.

Let`s watch that part.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): I said it would
be appropriate. There was tremendous press, and I think it`s something
that`s very important to discuss, not even for her son but for so many
other sons and daughters coming back from the Middle East where they have,
you know, traumatic problems. They have tremendous problems, and I told
her. I actually suggested it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, he suggested that she`d bring it up, because she can`t
hide a story that big, that close to your involvement. But I wonder if he
told her to bring it up as a “blame the president” thing.

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, THE DAILY MAIL: Well, it didn`t sound like it from
that interview. But I could see how he would want her to address it at the
rally because the rumors are circling. She missed an event earlier that
morning. I was at that event when she was a no show and then, of course,
tried to say that`s how the media is putting a spin on it. But the
campaign had said she would be at that event that day. She did not show
up.

So, the point when they got to Tulsa, she had to say something to explain
her absence maybe or address what was going on because it was overshadowing
her endorsement of Donald Trump at that point.

MATTHEWS: You know, it takes – in normal American politics, say five, ten
years ago, this would be a big problem for a candidate or a big problem for
a surrogate. The son shows up in the police books. He gets booked for
interfering with the police activity basically, punching his girlfriend in
the face, being drunk by using a fire arm or having a firearm. I mean,
that ends up –

CHAMBERS: And she didn`t deny that those things happen, by the way.

CAPEHART: Here is the thing. This isn`t the first time. This is not the
first time that you eluded to it earlier, that Track or someone in the
family has been involved in a police incident. So, you know –

JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED: I think, under normal circumstances the family
didn`t have the problems they wouldn`t have to do this. People understand
PTSD is a serious issue.

MATTHEWS: This is the night (INAUDIBLE) aspect of Sarah Palin. She is a
fantastic representative to a certain part of the country that feels
disrespected, country whites, if you will, just people of out of the
country. They don`t have a lot of advances or obvious advantages, I should
say. They don`t like the way they are treated by us, by the media. They
think we`re snobbish, about to look down on them. This kind of thing is
unfortunately part of the epidemics, this heroin thing, they`re all part of
that world. They are not great.

But she is not a person who could be president of the United States, that`s
why he is going after somebody last night said, do you think he should be
president or, like Omarosa, or do you just think she is a good class
representative? I think she`s a great class representative. I don`t think
she`s really up for the presidency or vice presidency or it seemed as even
governor of Alaska. She didn`t like that job.

Anyway, the round table is staying with us. And up next, these people are
going to tell me something I don`t know, something (INAUDIBLE) I know a
lot. I don`t know anything about popular music, obviously.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, catch this: a Pittsburgh`s man obituary weighed into 2016
politics this week with a unique, beyond the grave request. Jeffrey Cohen
died this week at the age of 70 and is survived by his wife, sons and
grandchildren. His “Post Gazette” obituary describes the chiropractor as a
voracious joke teller and goes on to say, quote, “Jeffrey would ask that in
lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Donald Trump.”

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We are back again with the HARDBALL roundtable.

Jonathan, tell me something I don`t know.

CAPEHART: So, today, Chris, the mother of Eric Garner, the man who was
killed by police in Staten Island, she endorsed Hillary Clinton today for
president. Now, this is significant because she now joins the mothers of
Trayvon Martin and the mother of Jordan Davis, the kid who was killed over
loud music, as people who have endorsed Hillary Clinton – people, African-
American mothers who lost kids to police brutality.

And the key thing in the Eric Garner mom`s endorsement is that Hillary
Clinton is talking about how we can be strategic into trying to solve the
problem. It crystallizes right there the distinction that Hillary Clinton.

MATTHEWS: And eight years ago, the African-American Democratic vote was
her challenge. This year, it`s her money in the bank. Isn`t it
interesting?

CAPEHART: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Francesca?

CHAMBERS: Well, the other way she`s been trying to distinguish herself
from Bernie Sanders is by going off and hitting that health care plan that
he released right before the debate the other night. She says she wants to
tear it up, rip Obamacare up and start over.

Well, even her supporters don`t necessarily believe that is what Senator
Sanders wants to do. I polled a bunch of them and they were just not
buying that, also saying, though, that they wouldn`t necessarily want to
see their taxes raised to pay for such a health care plan.

MATTHEWS: Whoa, but they want to be a socialist but they don`t want to pay
for it?

CHAMBERS: This was the Hillary Clinton rally.

MATTHEWS: That was a hell of a big deal.

CHAMBERS: This was a Clinton rally, not a Sanders rally.

MATTHEWS: I see. All right.

STANTON: I`m going to define the word Bama for you right now. It`s a D.C.
slang term being defined by our mayor, Mayor Bowser, and her handling of
the snow problem that you saw on Wednesday night. We got –

MATTHEWS: Half inch of snow and five hour delay.

STANTON: Crippled the city, she lied to her people in saying that they put
out trucks when in fact they didn`t put them out.

MATTHEWS: Did she lie? Is that the right word?

STANTON: Oh, they lied. She said they put out salt trucks and there were
no salt trucks until 9:30 at night. They don`t have enough salt trucks to
salt the streets anyway. They are using beet juice as chemical treater,
pre-treater. We have a huge snow storm coming. And that is –

MATTHEWS: Busses were now having go down Nebraska Avenue out there. They
had to stop because they were afraid they couldn`t stop it Wisconsin, is
that scary? That is a half inch of snow.

Somebody said something brilliant today, John, everybody, they said D.C. is
the most northern/southern city and still it acts like a southern town.

Thank you so much for that.

Thank you to my, remember when Kennedy once said, the efficiency of the
South and charm of the North.

Anyway, roundtable, John Stanton, Francesca Chambers, and Jonathan
Capehart.

Up next, 2015 breaks a record for the world`s hottest year ever. Why isn`t
climate change accepted as reality?

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Even as millions along the East Coast now are preparing for a monumental
blizzard, scientists from NASA and NOAA, the country`s top experts at the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have established this
fact: 2015, the year just passed, was the hottest year in history. It
smashed 2014`s global temperature record, and it wasn`t even close.

But according to “The Washington Post”, the new figures, quote, “could fuel
debate over climate change in an election year in which the two main
political parties remain divided over what to do about global warming and
indeed whether it exists or not.”

Here`s some reaction from the right politically after President Obama spoke
about making climate change a priority.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, THE GLENN BECK PROGRAM: Mr. President, I say this with as much
respect as you deserve. Screw global warming. What the hell is wrong with
you?

If you actually believe that global warming is the biggest problem we face,
with terror all around the world and $18 trillion debt, $9 trillion of
which is yours, no real allies left that trust us, riots in our streets,
riots in our university campuses, race relations worse than I`ve seen since
the 1960s, and a distrust of our fellow Americans unlike anything I`ve ever
seen, you, sir, are either delusional or you`re the dumbest son of a
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) on the planet.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I won so many environmental
awards. Shock shockingly. No, it`s true. I want really immaculate air.
I want clean crystal water. I want a lot of things.

It is a disgrace what`s going on. And to have this man embarrass us by
standing up and saying that global warming is our biggest threat, we`ve got
to get him out so fast and thank goodness we only have a year left.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s pandering of the worst kind.

Joining me right now is the director of NASA`s Goddard Center Institute of
Space Studies, Gavin Schmidt.

Thank you, Gavin. Thank you for joining us about this.

Now, NOAA, who`s been keeping the numbers since 1880 on the temperature of
our planet?

GAVIN SCHMIDT, NASA`S GODDARD INSTITUTE OF SPACE STUDIES: So these are
station that`s have been kept by national weather services all across the
world. The U.K. office, the National Weather Service in the U.S., the
Canadians, the Brazilians. It`s a network of stations that goes back to
the 19th century.

NASA and NOAA, we both independently collate these information, combine it
with ship measurements from the oceans, buoy measurements from the oceans,
and come up with an analysis of the global mean temperature normally every
year. And this year, as you already reported, was a scorcher.

MATTHEWS: What has caused the scorch year?

SCHMIDT: So the long-term trends, that`s really what`s most important.
This record would not have happened without those long-term trends.
They`re being driven mainly by the increase in greenhouse gases. And
that`s dominated by carbon dioxide, which comes from the burning of fossil
fuels, oil, gas, and the like.

MATTHEWS: So, the heat`s being captured within the atmosphere. Is it a
trend or is it a cycle? Some people say we`re just going through a cycle.
I`m giving you the devil`s advocate role here.

SCHMIDT: No. It`s a trend. We look at all the things that could be
changing climate. We look at internal oscillations. We look at natural
cycles. We look at volcanoes, the sun, deforestation, air pollution.

All of those things have distinct fingerprints for how they change the
climate. And when we look at what`s actually going on, the heat in the
ocean, the heat in the atmosphere, there`s only one thing that really fits
and that`s the increase of greenhouse gases. Those are totally
attributable to most of the trend that you`ve seen over the last 40 years.

MATTHEWS: And last question, what`s the danger here, say, over the next –
if these projections continue, if this trend continues?

SCHMIDT: We`re already seeing the impacts. We`re seeing the impacts with
heat waves. We`re seeing the impacts with intense precipitation. We`re
seeing the impacts on sea level rise, changes in the Arctic Sea ice. Like
there are many, many changes that we`re already seeing. And that`s just
going to get worse. And that`s only with one degree C above the 19th
century.

MATTHEWS: OK, thanks so much, Gavin Schmidt, for joining us tonight with
the science.

Joining me right now is a guy who writes about science, Chris Mooney of
“The Washington Post”, who wrote that great piece on 2015 being the hottest
year on record. He wrote it today.

Let`s take a look at what Ted Cruz said yesterday about the scientific
measurement of climate change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The computer models
predicted that the earth would warm dramatically. There`s one little
problem. The satellites that actually measure the temperature that we`ve
launched into the air and they measure the temperature, they have recorded
no significant warming whatsoever for the last 18 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Chris Mooney joins us right now from “The Washington Post.”

I know you`re an objective reporter. You don`t want to get into this back
and forth. But the science here, let`s talk about some things. We have
some pictures here. Let`s talk about – look at these pictures of glaciers
up in Alaska. That`s part of the United States.

Look at the before and after. You look at this picture on the left, which
is a glacier. You look on the right. It`s a sea coast. And there`s
another picture just like it up there. There`s another one there. There`s
another picture. This is a dramatic difference in reality.

We have photography here. It`s not trick. It`s not photoshopping. This
is real.

CHRIS MOONEY, THE WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely. Climate scientists have
been pretty clear and they have been increasingly certain that humans are
driving climate change just as you heard from Gavin Schmidt. I mean, the
degree of certainty that they ascribe to that conclusion has just gone up
and up and up and now, it`s very high.

MATTHEWS: What did you make of what Ted Cruz, the senator said? What is
he talking about when he says satellite readings aren`t proving it?

MOONEY: Well, I think the first thing you need to know is again when NASA
and NOAA announced this temperature record, that record is not based upon
the satellite record that Ted Cruz is talking about. It`s based upon
measurements of the planet`s surface from thermometers, weather stations –

MATTHEWS: Yes, regular readings from the 1880s.

MOONEY: Right, right. And that`s what NASA and NOAA use, and you say why
do they use that? They`re very confident in that data.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I think this is one of the cases where I really have to
detest the arguments made by Glenn Beck and others. Years ago when I heard
him deny this, why are you doing it?

Is anything important – as important as trying to save this planet? I
don`t know what people think about. It`s not a game. And it is our
biggest long-term concern.

Obviously, terrorism is right now. But in the long term, saving the only
place we have to live is fairly important if you think about it. That
takes effort, though, Glenn.

Anyway, thank you, Chris Mooney of “The Washington Post.”

And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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