Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 2/2/2016
Date: February 2, 2016
Guest: Carol Lee, Paul Singer, Robert Costa, Scot Lehigh, Hillary Clinton
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We just did a recent filing, and
I would be probably having spent now maybe $14 million, $15 million.
But I`m self-funding. And I must tell you, I don`t know that enough people
appreciate – I`m self-funding any way, whether they appreciate it or not.
So I won`t be influenced by the lobbies, and you know, et cetera, et
But I don`t know – I was talking to Scott about this before. I don`t know
that it`s appreciated really by the voters. I`m the only one on both sides
that`s self-funding. I`m putting up my own money.
And I don`t know that the voters appreciate it. When they go in to vote, I
don`t think they say, you know, I`m going to vote for Trump because he`s
self-funding and he`s not going to be influenced by lobbies and special
interests, et cetera.
QUESTION: Are you going to do more to tell them?
TRUMP: I`m going to tell them, but I tell them, and sometimes they like
it, but I don`t think it`s something they vote for, which is a shame
because it`s actually a very big thing. You understand that. It`s a very
big thing. It`s a very big element. If you can have somebody that can
actually self-fund and not be influenced by bad decisions, by people that
are looking for themselves or looking for the company or country they
represent that`s a real positive.
QUESTION: You talk about…
TRUMP: I just – but I just don`t know – I just don`t know whether or not
the voters appreciate it.
QUESTION: You talk about self-funding, but you`ve received…
QUESTION: This is the first time that you`ve run. What did you learn in
Iowa that you`re going to try and apply down the line?
TRUMP: I`ve learned that they`re great people. I really – I thought the
people in Iowa were fantastic. I think they`re just great people.
And you know, obviously, I was second. I had the largest vote-getting in
the history of a Republican primary except for one, and I brought many of
those extra people in. And they also had, as you know, the largest turnout
in the history of Republican primaries in terms of Iowa by far. Not even
close. I think it was, like, 50,000 or 60,000 more than they`ve ever had
So you know, I just – I learned that they are terrific people in Iowa.
QUESTION: Mr. Trump, do you worry…
TRUMP: Yes, I look forward to that, yes.
QUESTION: Mr. Trump, you talk about self…
QUESTION: … going after Marco Rubio. And also…
TRUMP: Who? Am I going after who?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) spend more time going after Rubio?
TRUMP: Who said that?
QUESTION: No, I said, Do you?
TRUMP: Oh. No, I don`t think so. No, I have a very good relationship
with Marco. I like him. I don`t see that necessarily. I mean…
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) exit polling shows that (INAUDIBLE) who decided
early tended to go with you. But for folks who decided later in the
TRUMP: You`re talking about in Iowa?
TRUMP: Well, that could have been with the debate. I think it could have
been the debate. I think some people were disappointed that I didn`t go in
If I had it to do it again, I would have done the exact same thing. And
the reason is, you know why? Because I raised $6 million for the vets in
one hour. So if I took a second place instead of a first place and could
give the vets $6 million, I`ll do that all day long.
QUESTION: Mr. Trump, do you worry that you banked too…
QUESTION: But do you worry that you – do you worry that you banked too
TRUMP: Excuse me. Behind?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) spending more on ads than on the ground game?
TRUMP: On what?
QUESTION: On the ground…
TRUMP: Well, we`re going to be spending money. We`re going to be spending
a lot of money. We`ll be spending money on ads and we`ll be spending money
on the ground game. Yes?
QUESTION: Do you worry that you banked too much on your own celebrity and
the crowds in a place like Iowa? And (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: I can`t help it. Whether I`m celebrity – I mean, this is me.
QUESTION: But too much focus on the celebrity and not enough focus on the
TRUMP: Look, I think most people say I did a great job in Iowa. I came in
second. I spent far less than anybody else. And had I known I was going
to be liked as much as I am in Iowa – and people did like me, you will
understand that – I would have maybe spent a little bit more and I would
have been there a little bit more and maybe I would have won it.
But you know, I`m very happy with it. I have seven delegates, right, you
know, at the top. You look at other people, in all fairness, senators,
governors – they`re – you know, they`re way down. When I have 25 percent
or 26 percent, and they have 1 percent, hey – and but you people don`t
QUESTION: Is it time for someone to drop out?
TRUMP: But the one thing is you people don`t mention them.
QUESTION: But is it time…
TRUMP: You don`t mention all of the other names. Now, you mentioned the
person, Marco, good guy. But he came in third. And they make it sound
like he had a victory but I didn`t. But I came in second.
QUESTION: Mr. Trump…
TRUMP: And I was – excuse me . I was – I started off on 17th. I was
17th. When I first started, I had nothing. And then I inched my way up,
went pretty rapidly, actually, and now I`m leading everything, and I did OK
in Iowa, pretty good in Iowa. Yes?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) what your campaign is doing. You`re not going to
change a thing. Is that right?
TRUMP: Well, I think we`re going to have great success here. I think it`s
a very much different kind of a process. This isn`t a caucusing process.
This is much different. This is a normal voting process. The – Iowa is,
you know, a much different kind of a thing. Yes/
QUESTION: Mr. Trump (INAUDIBLE) attack your character, citing the way
you`ve treated people. He said – he spoke personally that one day you
were his friend, and the next day, you were insulting him. What do you say
TRUMP: Well, he insulted me. I mean, he started with the insults and –
as you know. And he insulted Ben Carson by doing what he did to Ben
Carson. That was a disgrace. And he insulted the people of Iowa by doing
a “voter violation” form that nobody`s even seen before, which was
disgraceful. So no, no. He`s – he`s a man of himself.
TRUMP: No, I`m going. I have thousands of people going. No, but we don`t
have that in mind.
TRUMP: I like – I like Mike Huckabee, but no, I don`t think he`s even
going to be there.
TRUMP: I did. I did. No, I like him. Well, he`s left the race. I mean,
so you know, I feel pretty good about that. He`s a good man. Yes?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) in Exeter? And do you plan to change that at all,
seeing as the people of New Hampshire (INAUDIBLE) your competitors are
holding one or two a day?
TRUMP: Well, we`re adding some and we`re adding them pretty rapidly.
QUESTION: Two questions. One, who do you see now in the wake of Iowa as
your competitors for the nomination?
TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) Mark, you never know. I mean, they`re talking about
some people that are down at 2 and 3 and they could emerge. I don`t think
they will, but people in your world are saying they possibly could. So I
don`t really see one or two. I see – you know, there could be a number.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) comfortable as you seem to be finishing second in
Iowa, finishing second here?
TRUMP: I`d love to finish first. You know, again, it would still not be
horrible because you`re competing against a lot of very talented people
that have been politicians all their lives. I`ve been a politician for six
months. But no, I`d love to finish first.
TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) horrible. But you know, it wouldn`t be the worst thing
in the world. I can think of worse things, but I`d like to finish first.
I think we will finish first. I would like to finish first.
QUESTION: Mr. Trump, you talk about self-funding your campaign…
QUESTION: … but you`ve received…
TRUMP: Only – only – just so you understand. I`m totally self-funding
my campaign, other than small donations because people send in small
donations for $10, $10, $20…
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) $6.5 million in small donations, right?
TRUMP: Well, no, that – that`s merchandise sales. That`s a lot of…
QUESTION: No, no. I believe – as far as the donations that you`ve
received to your campaign that aren`t from the loans you`ve made to the
TRUMP: It`s a small amount of money compared to what I`ve put in.
QUESTION: It`s a third of what…
TRUMP: It`s very hard, when somebody sends in a check for $17.50 and $9
and $200 – very hard to send that money back.
QUESTION: But what does that say to those people who are sending you their
hard-earned money when you say, I`m a self-funding my campaign…
TRUMP: … and I always make the preference. I always make a reference to
that, and I do it every time. OK. Yes?
QUESTION: Mr. Trump…
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) Senator Brown (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Well, he`s somebody that I respect and I`ve always liked. And he`s
very, very respected throughout the country, but he`s very respected here.
And everybody wanted his endorsement, and I`m very honored that he`s giving
it to me, and he`s going to give it to me on the stage.
QUESTION: … are slightly more moderate than yours. He`s for abortion
rights. He – as you know, Senator Brown, for a ban on assault weapons.
You`re very much not for those things, and you`ve been vocal about that.
Do you think that…
TRUMP: That happens with endorsements. No, that happens with
endorsements. That`s pretty common with endorsements.
QUESTION: Mr. Trump, a lot of your supporters here said they were not
QUESTION: Can you tell us (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Well, I probably had a tinge because a poll came out, you know, a
few days before, that said I was about 5 points up. So maybe there was a
And again, it may have been the debate, which would have set records if I
did it. So I would have liked that. But the fact is, it could have been
the debate. Maybe it is, maybe it isn`t. But I would have done it exactly
the same way because I raised – Scott, we raised – in one hour, I raised
$6 million for the vets, and I would never, ever give that up to go between
first and second in Iowa. It wouldn`t be worth it. So thank you.
QUESTION: Mr. Trump, can you give us your take on the state of the
Democratic race and Secretary Clinton`s e-mail situation.
TRUMP: I think her e-mail situation is very serious. I have a feeling
she`s being protected by the Democrats because it just looks to be more
serious than anybody that I`ve seen, including General Petraeus. If you
watch and study and read about various lawyers that really – you know,
that`s what they do, they really feel that she`s in grave danger and what
she`s done is against the law – not just against rules, it`s against the
I just don`t know what`s going to happen because I don`t know whether or
not the Democrats, Bob, are going to protect her.
TRUMP: Is that OK?
QUESTION: Any thoughts on the Democratic race or the tight race in Iowa?
TRUMP: I never saw a race where they`re flipping coins.
TRUMP: I mean, they`re flipping coins. What kind of a race is that? It`s
ridiculous. I thought – I thought it was terrible. I mean, you call it a
tie, but to flip coins and say, OK, you`re going to get this district,
we`re going to flip a coin?
QUESTION: Is Senator Cruz running a dirty campaign?
TRUMP: I don`t know. I can`t tell you yet. I think he certainly was
dirty. What he did to Ben Carson was terrible. I think what he did, the
“voter violation” form – I thought that was terrible, actually. I thought
it was terrible.
And you know, when they said that Ben Carson is out of the race and come
vote for him, I thought that was terrible.
OK? Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you.
TRUMP: It`s a long ways away. We`ll see.
QUESTION: What`s the closing argument (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: You watch.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: That`s Donald Trump up in Milford, New Hampshire,
today in his first appearance since last night`s second place finish in
Well, good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
All the action tonight is up in the “Live free or die” state, now the
center of the political universe. Bernie Sanders is holding a rally in
Claremont. Marco Rubio`s in Exeter tonight after his third place showing
in Iowa. Bill Clinton is in Laconia. Jeb Bush is holding a town hall in
Hanover. Donald Trump is about to hold a rally in Milford. And Hillary
Clinton is holding an event on the New Hampshire seacoast out at Hampton.
We begin tonight with my interview with Secretary Hillary Clinton. I spoke
to the Democratic front-runner earlier today from Nashua after she eked out
that dramatic victory in Iowa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Madam Secretary, thank you for joining us. It was quite a night
HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:
MATTHEWS: … and I was taken with your moment of candor there before the
cameras when you said – you had a sigh of relief. Tell us about that sigh
CLINTON: Right. Right.
MATTHEWS: … and what it meant to you.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, Chris, it meant the world
to me. As we all remember, I was not successful in Iowa last time, and I
know how hard that caucus process is. I`m so proud of our organization,
our volunteers, all my supporters.
Everybody said if there were a big turnout, that would advantage Senator
Sanders. There was a big turnout, and we won. And now I`m in New
Hampshire, looking forward to the primary next Tuesday, and you know,
continuing to make my case in this contest of ideas between me and the
MATTHEWS: Well, you know, “The New York Times” ran this story this morning
that you were disappointed, and I think it`s possible to be both
disappointed and relieved. You could have been disappointed at 9:00
o`clock but very relieved at 11:00 o`clock. I mean, the times change
during the course as the results coming in.
Are both those possible, you thought you could have done better with your
field operation, but you`re also glad you came out ahead?
CLINTON: Look, Chris, I really believe that during the last few weeks
leading up to the caucus, I could feel the energy building. You know, it`s
a tough process, and what I was seeing on the ground as people were telling
me they were changing their minds, that they were supporting me, what my
organizers were reporting was all consistent that it was going to be close,
but if we did our work – and we did, – we would win.
So I was thrilled by winning and getting that boost out of Iowa here in New
Hampshire, where I am in Senator Sanders`s back yard. As you know…
MATTHEWS: I know.
CLINTON: … as a political expert of your many years, that New Hampshire
votes for neighbors. And so I have to really get out there, make my case,
which I intend to do this week.
MATTHEWS: I just love the way you snuck that in. It`s his back yard.
Therefore, he has an advantage geographically, and we shouldn`t put too
much stock into it.
But let me ask you about this, because I`m looking at these polls. There`s
a range in the polling over the last couple weeks in New Hampshire – and
it is his back yard. Look at the map. It`s Vermont and New Hampshire
right next to each other, twin there.
Between 6 and 33 points, he`s got a lead on you up there, and I wonder how
much ground you can make in a week because we only got a week now.
CLINTON: I feel really good about my campaign in New Hampshire. And I
remember getting off the plane in New Hampshire after the Iowa caucuses
last time, where I did not win, and I was way behind going into what was
then just five days before the primary.
And the work that was done on my behalf, the people who came out to support
me, the incredible excitement – I saw that today in Nashua. I got here,
it was amazing, Chris, the level of enthusiasm, people who were with me
before, people who were with President Obama in `08, everybody working so
hard to support me to get to that primary, to do everything we possibly
We`re not leaving anything on the ground. We`re moving forward. And I
think we`ll do well.
MATTHEWS: You know, I think everybody should have been impressed – maybe
I wasn`t as impressed as I should have been, but everybody should have been
about the way you handled New Hampshire last time around. You came off the
loss in Iowa.
You went out there, and you would stand there – it was like Bill Clinton
staying there until the last dog died. You were out there on that arena.
I remember you standing in a – I think it was a fieldhouse, and you went
on and on and on. It went on for five hours. It was incredible. It was a
marathon, answering every single question of everyone in that room. It
really was a physical – a marathon.
CLINTON: It was.
MATTHEWS: Are you going to try to match that performance this time, that
kind of “I can do this” thing?
CLINTON: I`m going to do everything I can to get out there, to meet with
folks here, to answer their questions. I`m really happy we`ve got a forum
on CNN tomorrow night. We`ve got your MSNBC debate on Thursday night,
which will give us a chance to reach a larger audience.
But I`m going to be there day after day between now and Tuesday. I respect
this primary process. I know how seriously people take it. And I just
want them to understand what I`m offering, what I believe we can do.
You know, ideas that sound good on paper but can`t create results for
people are just that, good ideas on paper. I have a track record of
producing results. I know how to do all parts of this job. Because we`re
going to be voting for both a president and a commander-in-chief.
And in New Hampshire, those two sides of this incredibly difficult job are
really joined together. And I feel good about the opportunity I`ll have to
get out, meet with Granite Staters, make my case, and you know, I`m going
to do everything possible to get them to support me next Tuesday.
MATTHEWS: I know you`ve been saying nice things about your only opponent
now. It`s really a battle – since Martin O`Malley, Governor O`Malley has
withdrawn, it`s a two-person race.
MATTHEWS: The only person – and I`m going to say this bluntly. The only
person between a confirmed socialist who`s calling for political revolution
in this country winning the nomination of the Democratic Party, which has
always been more moderate than that, is you.
So when you saw that rally last night, the young people all around Senator
Sanders, when he yelled “revolution” out there, and they all applauded like
mad, do you think that`s something that is going to help in a general
election, or are we looking at what we used to call in the `60s an NDC
campaign, “November doesn`t count”? We just want to win the party, we
don`t care about the general.
You seem to be focused on the general. How do you beat a person who`s
coming along in the primaries, however, who`s saying, I`m going to give you
all the things you want, free tuition, more Social Security benefits
without an increase in your taxes, health care from birth to death, all
government paid. How do you compete with a revolution of promises, really?
CLINTON: Well, firs, let me say I am thrilled, too, that we`ve got young
people getting active in the campaign on the Democratic side. I was very
proud of the many, many young people working for me, volunteering for me,
voting, caucusing for me in Iowa. And the ones I have here in New
Hampshire, I`m just so impressed with. So that`s a net good, no matter
I do think that we have an obligation to keep people focused on what`s at
stake in this election. And you got close to saying it, Chris. We can`t
let the Republicans rip away the progress we`ve made. We can`t let them go
back to trickle-down economics, repeal the Affordable Care Act. We can`t
let them stack the Supreme Court for another generation against common
sense kind of changes that we need.
We`ve got to get back to the middle. We`ve got to get back to the big
center. We`ve got to get back to solving problems. That`s how we make
progress in America.
I am proud to be in a line of Democratic presidents who just got in there
and fought it out, who got civil rights, who got an economy producing high
incomes, who got, finally, the Affordable Care Act, something we`ve been
fighting for since Harry Truman.
I know how hard this is. And I totally appreciate how exciting it can be
to be involved in a campaign that really just puts out these great big
ideas. But I want folks to stop and think, no matter what age you are, OK,
we agree on getting the economy going. We agree on raising incomes. We
agree on combating climate change. We agree on universal coverage.
Who has the track record? Who`s gotten the results? Who can actually
produce the kind of change you want for yourself and your family and for
So I`m very energized about this because I like a contest of ideas. That`s
what politics should be about. We`re going to be talking about and arguing
about issues on our side. They`re going to keep insulting each other on
the Republican side. But the goal for any sensible American has to be, do
not turn the White House over to the Republicans in November. Do not turn
the Supreme Court further over to their nominees. We can`t let that
MATTHEWS: Well, of course, I think you`re offering a lesson in civics, and
I wonder if we can do that in a couple weeks now. Look, the history of the
Democratic Party, your party, not Bernie Sanders`s – he`s not a Democratic
Party member. Your party has produced the New Deal. It produced – the
progressive income tax came from the Democrats, from Wilson. Social
Security, the greatest anti-poverty program ever, came from Roosevelt. And
Harry Truman started the fight for health care and civil rights and all
these good things that led to the Affordable Care Act.
But in every case, you had to battle Republicans who voted against it to
the last person. And it`s always been a tough fight. And you need 60
votes in the Senate. You need 200 – what is it, 218 in the House. You
need these votes.
CLINTON: Right. Right.
MATTHEWS: And if you don`t have them, nothing gets done.
CLINTON: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: Do the Bernie people need to be taught – not him, he won`t be
taught. Can the kids behind him need to be told, This is how it works in
our system? You can call for revolution, but it ain`t going to happen.
There isn`t going to be a revolution. There`s going to be an election, an
inauguration, and then there`s going to be a Congress sitting with you
you`ve got to do business with, no matter who gets elected.
MATTHEWS: Revolution sounds like a pass, like you don`t have to worry
about logic anymore. Just, I`m going to have a revolution and pay for
CLINTON: Well, you know, where I come out on this is, I don`t think our
country or the American people can wait.
I don`t think they can wait for better jobs with rising incomes, getting
prescription drug costs down. I think people want to vote for somebody who
is going to get in there on the first day, knows how to do the job, is
prepared to do the job and gets to work.
And I will give everything I have got to make sure that we preserve the
progress we have made, because you`re right. It is hard-fought. Our
system is set up to make it difficult, you know, checks and balances,
separation of powers.
You know, our founders knew that, if we were going to survive as the great
democracy that they were creating, we had to have a system that kept the
passions at bay. We had to have people who were willing to roll up their
sleeves and compromise. We couldn`t have ideologues who were just hurling
their rhetoric back and forth.
We had to actually produce results. That hasn`t changed since George
Washington. We have got to produce results now, because a democracy is a
fragile organism, Chris. People have to believe they have a stake in it,
that their voices count, that their votes count.
But then they have got to see results from their investment in our
democracy. Our democracy has to work better. Our economy has to work
better. Our politics has to work better. That`s what I know how to do,
and that`s what we have to get done in this election.
MATTHEWS: Madam Secretary, unofficially, not on behalf of MSNBC or NBC,
congratulations on last night and your much-deserved relief.
CLINTON: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: And break a leg on Thursday night, even if you`re the only one
in the chair.
MATTHEWS: Thank you for joining us today.
CLINTON: I`m going to be there.
MATTHEWS: You said it. I believe you.
CLINTON: Thanks, Chris. Thanks a lot. Take care.
MATTHEWS: Thank you. Thank you.
CLINTON: I`ll be there. Bye-bye.
MATTHEWS: Well, coming up, we`re waiting for Donald Trump to take the
stage at a rally in Milford, New Hampshire. It comes after his surprising
second-place visit – finish out in Iowa. What`s he going to say and do
tonight to get back in the saddle? He is, after all, the man on horseback.
We are going to find out any minute now.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: I`ll be hitting the road and heading to New Hampshire pretty
soon, like tomorrow morning. I will be anchoring the 3:00 p.m. Eastern
hour tomorrow here on MSNBC, as well as a special edition of HARDBALL live
from the live free or die state tomorrow night, 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
Join me as we count down the final days to the New Hampshire primary.
And I`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
We continue to watch for Donald Trump to take the stage at that rally up in
New Hampshire. In a New York minute, his momentum has been broken,
however. He built his campaign on winning. That`s the word, an
unstoppable power in the polls. Well, last night, he lost. The polls were
wrong. They said he would win. He didn`t.
Iowa winner Ted Cruz should get strength heading into New Hampshire based
on that victory out there. And Marco Rubio may be the establishment`s only
hope coming here in New Hampshire next Tuesday.
But he has got a phalanx of establishment politicians, Republicans, to face
in New Hampshire, including Chris Christie, who has still got his ego up
there. Jeb Bush is hanging in there. And, of course, John Kasich, who has
been living in New Hampshire for weeks now.
NBC`s Katy Tur is at the Trump event in Milford, New Hampshire.
Katy, that was a different Donald Trump, and you should know. How did you
describe – how would you describe that somewhat humbled figure we just
KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the press conference just now,
what we saw is Donald Trump really doing his best to spin the headlines
that he is a loser and also tamp down the expectation that he should have
I think we have seen him make giant strides as a candidate over this past
seven months. Where we would have seen him get angry, today, he was
gracious in the loss. He thanked the people of Iowa again. He didn`t take
the opportunity to attack Marco Rubio.
We saw him grow. We saw him admit that he maybe should have been at that
debate last week, but instead of saying he would have done it differently,
he stood by his guns. He said he wouldn`t have changed a thing, and he was
happy that he raised $6 million for vets.
So, I think this is a very different candidate. I think this is a
candidate that realizes that that loss hurt him, but he`s not one that is
ready to get out of this race. I think what we saw here tonight is
somebody who is determined to keep going for as long as he can.
MATTHEWS: Well, I think it`s fair, without putting too much pressure on
the guy, that he has to win in New Hampshire. I mean, he`s been up by 20-
some points. He may not be up that much by now, but if he loses New
Hampshire after losing Iowa, I don`t see the glow of victory coming.
TUR: I think you`re absolutely right. I think he`s up 18 points in New
Hampshire right now. I think he`s been doing really well here. I think he
has banked a lot on this state.
He seems to have support here that runs deep. His crowds here are larger
than anywhere else. The lines are longer. The people seem to like him
more. It`s more in line with his personality than Iowa was. This is where
Donald Trump needs to make a stand.
And if he does not, it could be essentially his Waterloo. It could be his
undoing, because going down to South Carolina, where the evangelical
support runs deep, that`s a place that Ted Cruz could really do well again,
as he did in Iowa.
Donald Trump, of course, is leading there, but now we have to question a
lot of this polling, as we saw in Iowa, because he was leading in the last
few minutes, as to how reliable it can be. But I think New Hampshire is a
place where they do hope that they`re going to do well.
I asked them if there was anything they want to change after Iowa, any
mistakes that they made after Iowa. He said that there were no mistakes.
I asked about any retail politicking to do here, meeting with voters one-
on-one, instead of these big rallies. He said there would be, but we don`t
have anything on the schedule for that right now.
It doesn`t seem like they have a change of strategy for this state. They
certainly are banking on this cult of personality, this ability for him to
draw these crowds. But we are seeing more volunteers here tonight. We`re
seeing more volunteers than we saw in Iowa. We`re seeing larger crowds.
And I will say that when I have talked to supporters here in New Hampshire
over the past seven months now, Chris, they seem to have a stronger feeling
for Donald Trump than we were getting in Iowa. Same thing in South
TUR: His support out there seems to run pretty deep as well. But I think
you`re right. I think New Hampshire is a place where he has no choice but
to do well. If he doesn`t do well here, I`m not sure what the path out of
here could be for him.
I think the South is for him at the moment, but it certainly could go very
easily to someone like Ted Cruz.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I would think make America great again is going to sell
very well in the live free or die state of New Hampshire.
Thank you very much, Katy Tur.
Trump is trying to reset expectations, of course, as Katy said, as he hits
the live free or die state. He tweeted today: “The media has not covered
my long-shot great finish in Iowa fairly. Brought in record numbers,
record voters and got second highest vote total in history.”
Well, Trump has been his own worst enemy in that regard when it comes to
setting expectations. Social media was buzzing last night over a Trump
tweet from three years ago which read, “No one remembers who came in
second.” That`s from Trump.
Trump has been out there for months now promising wins everywhere,
especially in Iowa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will have so much winning if
I get elected, that you may get bored with winning.
We have to win in Iowa. A lot of people say, Donald, just say do well in
Iowa. I say I can`t do that.
Sixteen years, and you haven`t picked a winner. Please pick a winner this
time. OK? I`m going to win.
I think I`m going to win Iowa. A lot of people said, it was so foolish
that he said he thinks he`s going to win. They would like me to say I will
do well. That way, if I don`t win – you sort of got – I don`t care.
Unless I win, I would consider a big, fat, beautiful, and, by the way, very
expensive waste of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Trump is now on stage at that event up in Milford, New
Hampshire, but with me now are “Boston Globe” columnist Scot Lehigh, and
“Washington Post” national political reporter Robert Costa.
We will probably dip into that a bit there.
But, Robert, I wanted to have your thinking. Does – outwardly, does
Donald Trump have the heart, the character, to take that loss last night
and come on and win and show he still has got character inside to face –
I`m not talking about moral character. I`m talking about political
character. Does he have it? Can you tell?
ROBERT COSTA, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: We`re watching it in real time.
Chris, I was on the tarmac here in Manchester when his Boeing 757 landed
tonight. He came out of his plane with his daughter Ivanka. He said to
his entourage, let`s go. They went to a stop at his campaign headquarters,
did a surprise stop to greet his volunteers, told them to keep making
calls, to not get distracted.
He`s making a play for New Hampshire. He`s trying to brush aside what
happened in Iowa, move forward. He is showing some heart by going to his
grassroots volunteers tonight, not going to any kind of big donor or
Republican elites. He`s going to his grassroots people, and bringing on
like someone like Scott Brown to say, I know the terrain here.
MATTHEWS: Let me go to Scot Lehigh.
Scot, thanks for coming on the show now from “The Globe.”
Let me ask you about the voters in New Hampshire. To me, there`s two kinds
of voters in New Hampshire, the old dying Yankee type, who is in the
minority on the Republican side. He used to be up there in big numbers.
And the Irish-Italian guy that moved up there because he didn`t like
Massachusetts. He didn`t like big taxes, didn`t like Dukakis and the whole
Tell me your notion of the character of the voter, of the electorate of
Republican New Hampshirites.
SCOT LEHIGH, “THE BOSTON GLOBE”: I think a lot of people here are looking
for an alternative to the front-runners from Iowa. They`re looking to say,
hey, this is a whole different state. We decide a different way. And
we`re not really interested in a Ted Cruz. He`s not – this is not a
People don`t look to God to decide how to vote. I don`t think they`re
frankly – Marco Rubio seems a little light. I think every time you watch
him, he runs instantly for the rhetorical refuge of his stump speech and
starts repeating practiced lines. He`s not really a New Hampshire type.
I think there are a lot of voters here who are saying we want someone who
we think is reasonable, economically and fiscally, has some experience,
isn`t such a programmed candidate. Honestly, I think John Kasich is an
overlooked story. I think you are going to see this guy do much better
than the national media is giving him credit for, because they have been
focused on Iowa and he`s been focused on New Hampshire.
But look at the polls. He`s in second. He`s got the certifier. He has
got John Sununu. He`s got former Senator Humphrey, picked up Charlie Bass,
congressman, today. He has got – he has the run the table of the
newspaper endorsements. The only one he hasn`t gotten, the only
significant paper, is “The Union Leader.”
But he has got the Portsmouth paper, “The Telegraph,” the Keene paper, “The
Valley News,” “The Concord Monitor.” I think that`s still worth something,
MATTHEWS: I love this.
Scot, I think you talk my language. I think I`m hearing my soul talk when
you talk, because I agree with you completely about the evangelical vote in
New Hampshire. I don`t think it very much exists, where your religion
drives you to church, and then on the way to the polling place. I think
there is a big separation of church and state up there, and proud of it.
The other thing is, I think a lot of people are struck by how Marco Rubio
seems to be reading speech parts he has memorized. Every time somebody
asks him a question, you hear a speech part. It`s beautifully rhythmic.
LEHIGH: It is ridiculous.
MATTHEWS: It doesn`t sound look a human being talking.
LEHIGH: No, he sounds like a poorly programmed robot.
And, actually, if you watch him – when you see him once, and you say wow,
this is a smart guy, very articulate. You see him twice, and you say, is
this all he has to say? And you see him three times, and you realize he`s
just doing that.
He`s saying, oh, that`s a good question. Let me go to part A-2 of my
speech. That`s a good question. Let me go to part D-1 of my speech. It`s
just – it`s not the New Hampshire way. He`s not engaged.
But Donald Trump isn`t either. Donald Trump isn`t doing town meetings,
which is what people do here, taking questions. Donald Trump is doing a
nightclub act. And that`s why I think he fades as well.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s get back. Hang in there, Scot.
Let`s go to Donald Trump on the stage.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
TRUMP: When you think, the amazing thing is, the press – not all of
them. Some were great. Some were saying, you know, he came in second. He
started off in 10th and he came in second.
But, with me, they don`t like to hear second. I don`t like to hear second
that much either, to be totally honest.
TRUMP: But one poll came out that said I was leading five or points, and I
guess come in second, and the headlines were Trump comes in second. He`s
There were 17 people when we started. Now you have 11. I come in second.
I`m not humiliated. You know, you have – think of it.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: These people are the most dishonest people ever, OK, ever.
So, Marco is a nice guy. Marco Rubio, nice guy, and he comes in third,
right? And all of a sudden, he comes in third. He`s a senator, does this
stuff for a living, he`s a professional politician, he comes in third. I
come in second. Trump, no good. Rubio, unbelievable night, unbelievable
TRUMP: Unbelievable. Think of it. You got to think of this.
And then they said he`s very, very close. He`s very close. Oh, he could
maybe surpass – I think it`s about a difference of almost 3,000 votes.
That`s a lot. That`s a lot of votes.
But, you know, for Iowa, that`s a lot of votes, let me tell you. But I
think it was 2,500, 2,600, some large amount of votes. It wasn`t really
close. But he came in second. The headline is, winner of the night, Marco
Rubio, Trump humiliated. No, they didn`t really use that word. They used
like, didn`t do that well.
And I`m saying, how come the guy that comes in third, and he`s a
professional politician, and I beat him by, you know, a lot, how come the
guy that comes in third – isn`t this typical reporter, the media? The
worst people ever, the worst. The worst. The worst.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: Well, there he is.
Let`s go back to Robert Costa, who is a real student of this guy.
I say to the guy, it`s an old Irish term, he listens with his tongue.
There you saw a great example. When he said humiliated, and then he
waited. Sometimes, Hillary Clinton, in fact, a lot of regular politicians
do this. They fight the applause. They fight it. And their voice rises
as they sort of surf on that.
What he does is, he says something, and he listens, and he waits for the
applause to build, and he basks in it. He seems to know how to modulate
back and forth. Tell me about that, Robert, because he is – that is
classic Trump we saw right there. He is back on his game here.
COSTA: People forget he`s been on the public stage for four decades. He
knows how to be a showman.
And when it is time to make his closing argument right now, it`s partly
political. You see echoes of Spiro Agnew. You see echoes of Pat Buchanan,
that immigration hard-line message. At the same time, you`re seeing a
billionaire who knows how to work the stage, how to work a crowd and who
understands the press.
And he needs to drive a news cycle right now. And he says he`s going to
attend the next debate and he`s going to continue to attack his opponents,
but his favorite right now is the press.
MATTHEWS: Yes. And I think he enjoys that, even though, individually,
he`s not exactly – you notice how he was pretty nice to the press tonight
in that press conference. It`s showbiz. We all know that.
Anyway, thank you, Scot Lehigh. It was great having you on. I think you
talk the way I think, anyway, the way I analyze these things. And I think
you got the voter up there, my hunch, and you know that voter.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Robert Costa, as always.
Up next, NBC`s Jacob Soboroff, well, he went inside a caucus last night, a
little bit of last night now, some of the theater for some of the most
fascinating voter-to-voter political debate we have seen. These are voters
arguing with each other, some of them misinformed. But you know what?
They were getting to the voter right before they voted, so it counts. He
is coming here, Jacob is.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
From Sioux City to Des Moines, it was a wild ride in Iowa last night as the
battle between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton came down to a photo
finish. Democrats caucusing in churches and gyms made their stands and
rally for their candidates. There was a lot of back and forth last night.
MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff navigated the action in Iowa City,
that`s in Johnson County, at the University of Iowa field house.
Let`s take a look at the highlights visually.
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brian, so by the looks of things
in here, right now, you wouldn`t know this is about to be one of the most
important nights in American politics. We`ve got a lot of cheerleading
going on. A little basketball game over here, on this side, we have a
And over here, on the far corner of the field house, built in 1927, is
Carla Smith. She`s the caucus chairperson for precinct number three in
Iowa City. She`s the one who`s going to run the whole show there starting
in 7:00 p.m. when the doors close. The doors were supposed to close at
But have you been able to close them yet?
UNIDSENTIFIED FEMALE: They are, they are close, as far as people, but
they`re still people in line. If they were in line at 7:00, they could
come through the doors. And there`s too many people in line to get them
off of the doors.
Carla has an incredible job on her hands. Running around back and forth.
Here she comes again. Carla – there goes Carla.
This is a Hillary Clinton group. They`ve already gone over to the
undecided group to recruit voters from the undecided group. But when you
swing around here, Bernie Sanders, maybe two, three, three times as large
as the Hillary Clinton group. And again, this group, they`re counting them
all at the same time, because they literally ran out of cards.
In all fairness, we should show the Martin O`Malley group, too, come this
way. These guys in the corner over here, as the seas part, are the Martin
O`Malley group. So, they`re certainly not viable yet and they`re going to
get pitched to join either Hillary or Bernie –
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Wait, wait, Jacob, I can`t see them. They`re
invisible. Who are the Martin O`Malley people?
SOBOROFF: You are here for Martin O`Malley.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are.
SOBOROFF: You don`t look viable yet? What are you guys going to do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re looking at the undecided vote right over there.
I think they`re really key in the political party system. So, we`ll see
what they had to say.
SOBOROFF: And who are you thinking about realigning to right now? Hi.
What`s your name? What is your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shana (ph).
SOBOROFF: Who are you going to realign to?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably Bernie Sanders.
SOBOROFF: Bernie Sanders. How about yourself?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sanders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I`m holding out for O`Malley.
SOBOROFF: Holding out, all right. Looks like a heavy lift. Going to be
here for a while, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SOBOROFF: Right now, we`re seeing a little democracy in action.
Recruiting session going on right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie is going to do. Bernie is trying to lower, or
is trying to equal them, so the upper class are not paying the same amount
of taxes as the middle and lower. Bernie is trying to equal the playing
fields. Do you understand?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still feel like paying the same amount of taxes
whereas people who make more income would be paying even more taxes because
they can afford it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, OK, so the percentage that you pay is going to
be equal no matter how much income you have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what Bernie`s stance is, he`s trying to level
SOBOROFF: Rachel, Brian, this is how it goes.
Are you concerned that your not able to get them out because of the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes, yes.
SOBOROFF: And is that something that you guys have talked about in
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, yes, but there a number I can call and use
somebody else to call them any think.
SOBOROFF: All right. So, we`re going to let you do that and you can do
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.
SOBOROFF: Again, guys, that is Carla Smith, the caucus chair for Iowa city
precinct number three at the field house at the University of Iowa.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Help her out by loaning her a charger, that
would be really cool of you.
MATTHEWS: Jacob, the thank you so much, great reporting last night. As I
said last night, it was a wow of photographic excellence last night. I`ve
never seen that display of the different factions and how people have lined
up. There`s some wonderful interplay there. In fact, that young kid was
dead wrong. Of course, Bernie Sanders is not for the flat tax. Somebody
should tell him that he would be the last guy, Jacob, for the flat tax.
SOBOROFF: I would have done it, Chris, there were so many things going on.
We really appreciate your kind words on the air last night.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me tell you about, because playing in the pocket, the
fact that you could move around a lot. I wouldn`t do an all reporting, but
the fact that you could move around that room with that wonderful style of
yours to keep the camera on you and actually teach us something, that you
could only do visually. You could sit in a booth and talk about caucus,
but you showed us what it looked like.
When we hear about Iowa, oh, yeah, I remember that gym in Iowa City, the
University of Iowa, I remember that place.
SOBOROFF: The field house – yes, it`s the field house, Chris. When
you`re in that place, it felt remarkable. It`s really the only way I can
describe it. When you look at ultimately the final results, and you look
at the bird`s eye camera that we`re able to set up last night when we`re
looking at it right here, look how close it was, right?
So, Hillary Clinton walked away ultimately with one precinct level delegate
from that location, and it makes you think that little clump of people that
you`re seeing on the screen, that had to make a difference.
MATTHEWS: Yes, she got something to get into the game with. By the way,
not under your purview, but the wonderful pictures, did you see them last
night of Bernie Sanders in his hotel room. These were historic pictures of
a guy watching television, watching his political fate unfold.
It was great. As I said last night to Brian and Rachel, it`s the kind of
picture you wouldn`t get until a week or two until “Time Magazine”, it was
photo play, and then you get a sense of the history – or at the end of the
year in fact.
SOBOROFF: Real time stuff. And you know, he`s sitting there watching the
television, so he`s in real time watching this group of voters, I would
assume, I would hope, watching MSNBC, seeing them in a field house right
there, all assembled. I mean, what is going through his head at that
moment is what I was wondering?
MATTHEWS: I don`t know how it happened, but everything we did last night
was great reporting last night was the way I wanted us to do, and we did
it. It was great coverage of reporting of the events last night.
Thank you, Jacob Soboroff. We`ll be seeing you on HARDBALL a lot more
Up next, wheels up. Just one week after the New Hampshire primary, who can
seize the momentum off the Iowa caucuses and leave the “Live Free or Die”
state a winner next Tuesday night?
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
I`m joined right now with the HARDBALL roundtable tonight, “The Huffington
Post”, Howard Fineman, “The Wall Street Journal`s” Carol Lee, and “USA
Today`s” Paul Singer.
I guess the top question on left, center-left Democratic politics is,
Hillary Clinton won a photo finish last night. And now, she has to go to
New Hampshire where she faces an uphill road. She`s down by double digits.
Can she walk away the way Bill Clinton did in 1992, and say it was a
comeback if she gets closer? Can she pull that off? You first.
HOWARD FINEMAN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: That`s the strategy. Talking to her
people in New Hampshire today where I`m headed tomorrow, as are you,
they`ve got a tremendous infrastructure there from last time around. And
women, especially, are a terrifically important in New Hampshire Democratic
Party politics. They essentially run the Democratic Party in the state.
MATTHEWS: We can see it. The senators.
FINEMAN: You can see it. You can see the senator, the governor, et
cetera. It`s all hands on deck for those people. In Iowa, there are a lot
of celebrity drop-ins who are canvassing. Maybe they will show up in New
Hampshire. But what matter s the local women. That`s going to be what
saves Hillary if something does.
MATTHEWS: Organizational question. Back in `08, when Hillary had her
great comeback out there, and we watched – you and I watched those – I
talked about her interview. Hours of standing out in the field house just
talking it through and answering every question like Bill used to do back
You had Tommy Menino`s troops up there in Boston. Well, remember the
MATTHEWS: Will she have Marty Walsh? Will the mayor now be able to
deliver those? Because all of a sudden, (INAUDIBLE) shapes up, all of a
sudden, in New Hampshire, you see a lot of Boston civil servants showing
FINEMAN: I think the back signal has gone out. OK.
FINEMAN: Every party person in the Northeast taken up there for Hillary
because they`re theory is that`s the only way to win the White House.
That`s they`re theory. Not Bernie`s.
MATTHEWS: She will get second there`s two candidates.
FINEMAN: How close she can get?
MATTHEWS: You want to make a call, Carol? How close does she have to get,
the chorus of the comeback girl, or the comeback kid?
CAROL LEE, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: She needs to get pretty close. You
heard her in her interview. She was lowering expectations, saying this is
Bernie`s backyard. And your neighbors vote for your neighbors, you know?
MATTHEWS: I called her on that.
MATTHEWS: Paul, how close, come on, three points?
PAUL SINGER, USA TODAY: I think if she`s within five points she can claim
victory. I mean, Donald Trump wasn`t declaring victory with his second
I think if Hillary Clinton can say, hey, we came within five points, we
were down 20 points last week. Look at our momentum. We`re going to South
Carolina. We`re going to win there. She can claim that she won one, came
MATTHEWS: A big question for the big thinker. I`m not being sarcastic.
You know I`m not.
Is Hillary Clinton still the favorite to win the nomination even after the
FINEMAN: Well, I guess but by a coin flip, if I can use the pun. The fact
is Bernie Sanders is a weaponized version of every progressive/liberal
you`ve seen in the past.
FINEMAN: It`s usually the mainstream person that wins. This is not a
mainstream political year. Bernie Sanders has three and a half million
donors. He`s got small donations from everywhere. She`s got a very
sophisticated crew behind him.
And this thing is going to go all the way down to June. It`s going to go
all the way to June.
MATTHEWS: Without me talking about it because I work with MSNBC, at NBC, s
that what this debate is about? That he wants to have a string of debates
right there? He wants to keep the fight going.
FINEMAN: Here`s why I think, because Hillary thinks she can knock him
around in this next debate because she seized on a good argument about
preserving Obamacare. But then, if it`s a whole series of debates that
gets into every issue, then that gets back into Bernie`s yard.
MATTHEWS: Oh, it does.
FINEMAN: I think so, yes.
MATTHEWS: Who wins a bunch of debates?
SINGER: I think Bernie wins. He has only has one point.
MATTHEWS: This is not clear.
Anyway, the roundtable is sticking with us. And this is HARDBALL, the
place for politics.
MATTHEWS: The king of the weekly magazine writers, yourself here Howard,
will lead the band here. Give me who`s going to be the big surprise, beat
the spreader in New Hampshire, Republican side. Who`s going to go way
ahead of anybody thought he was?
FINEMAN: I think it`s going to be John Kasich because the people in New
Hampshire say we don`t care who Iowa sent. We want our own guy.
MATTHEWS: I got it. They`re live or free die. Screw you.
LEE: I think it`s going to be Rubio coming off of his momentum.
MATTHEWS: You`re killing me. Did you hear what that guy said?
FINEMAN: She`s allowed to have it.
SINGER: Counter-culture here, I`m going to say it`s Jeb Bush, because if
he doesn`t, he`s done.
MATTHEWS: OK then. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Howard Fineman, Carol Lee, and Paul Singer –
MATTHEWS: He`s a tough cookie, too.
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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