Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 4/14/2016
Date: April 14, 2016
Guest: Robert Costa, Howard Fineman, Heidi Przybyla, Jeff Weaver, Debbie
Wasserman Schultz, Francesca Chambers, Ken Vogel, Jane Newton-Small
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Our live coverage continues next with a
special edition of HARDBALL with Chris Matthews with analysis of tonight`s
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Judgment night. Let`s play HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews back in Washington with a
special edition of HARDBALL.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were face to face tonight in their last
scheduled debate of the Democratic Primaries. Let`s get right to one of
the big moments of the night.
Clinton was quick to bring up Sanders` interview with the New York Daily
News last week provoking this fight about which has the judgment to be
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you go and read, which I
hope all of you will before Tuesday, Senator Sanders` long interview with
the New York Daily News talk about judgment and talk about the kinds of
problems he had answering questions about even his core issue, breaking up
the banks. When asked he could not explain -
CLINTON: - how that would be done.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let`s talk
about judgment. Let`s talk about Super PACs and 501(c)(4)s, money which is
completely undisclosed. Where does the money come from? Do we really feel
confident about a candidate saying that she`s going to bring change in
America, when she is so dependent on big-money interest? I don`t think so.
CLINTON: This is not just an attack on me. It`s an attack on President
Obama. President Obama, you know, let me tell you why. You may not like
the answer, but I`ll tell you why. President Obama had a Super PAC when he
ran. President Obama took tens of millions of dollars from contributors,
and President Obama was not at all influenced when he made the decision to
pass and sign Dodd-Frank, the toughest regulations on Wall Street in many a
year. So this is- this is a phony attack that is designed to raise
questions when there is no evidence or support to undergird the insinuation
that he is putting forward in these attacks.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Well, Hillary Clinton was also challenged about assertion this
week that Vermont supplies the most guns connected to crimes, violent
crimes, in New York. Let`s watch that exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Are you seriously blaming Vermont and implicitly Senator Sanders
for New York`s gun violence?
CLINTON: No, of course not. Of course not. This is a serious difference
CLINTON: And I want to start by saying, it`s not a laughing matter.
Ninety people on average a day are killed or commit suicide or die of
accidents from guns. Thirty-three thousand people a year. I take it
really seriously because I have spent more time than I care to remember
being with people who have lost their loved ones.
So yes, we have a problem in America. We need a president who will stand
up against the gun lobby. We hear a lot from Senator Sanders about the
greed and recklessness of Wall Street, and I agree. We`ve got to hold Wall
BLITZER: Thank you.
CLINTON: Well, what about the greed and recklessness of the gun
manufacturers and dealers in America.
SANDERS: Well, she didn`t answer your question.
SANDERS: You asked her whether she thought that Vermont was responsible for
a lot of gun violence, and you made the point that what she said was
totally absurd, totally.
BLITZER: I asked her are you seriously blaming Vermont and then implicitly
Senator Sanders for New York`s gun violence. She said, no. But go ahead.
SANDERS: Well, why did she put out that statement?
CLINTON: I put it out -
SANDERS: A statement she - excuse me. I think I`m responding now.
BLITZER: You are. Go ahead, sir.
SANDERS: A statement that was refuted by the governor of the state of
Vermont who was a supporter of hers who said, “Oh yeah, in campaigns people
tend to exaggerate.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: With me now from the site of tonight`s debate in Brooklyn, NBC`s
Kristen Welker who covers the Clinton campaign and NBC`s Kasie Hunt who
covers the Sanders campaign.
First, Kristen are we getting the word right now of how they`re spinning
this? Who says - let`s start with your campaign that you`re covering,
Hillary Clinton. Did they say they won tonight?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, yeah, they say that they
think they have a strong night, Chris, and we`re still waiting for them to
actually come out to the spin room so we can get them to flesh that out a
little bit more. But here is what they are touting. They think one of the
strong moments was when Senator Sanders seemed to not be able to point to a
specific instance of when her accepting money of her paid speeches from
Wall Street corporations actually translated into her lack of action in
terms of taking action against Wall Street.
WELKER: He sort of gave a broader answer. And she retorted by saying,
Look, you can`t point to an answer. She got a lot of cheers there. And
then you saw part of that exchange that you played over guns - this is one
of her signature issues. As you know she has been campaigning with some of
the mothers that lost sons to gun violence. And Senator Sanders was asked
does he owe the Sandy Hook victims and apology for essentially saying that
he doesn`t agree with that legislation that they have pursued essentially
which would hold manufacturers accountable for gun violence. He said, no,
I don`t owe them an apology. They think that that was a strong exchange
for Secretary Clinton as well. They think that she held her ground. But
look there were some stuff moments for her. There`s no doubt about that in
this debate as well particular over the transcripts. She was pressed
repeatedly on why she hasn`t released those transcripts yet of the paid
speeches that she received. I can tell you the Clinton campaign actually
divided about this strategy of not releasing paid speeches. So they think
all in all this was a strong night for Secretary Clinton. But look, Chris,
there is no doubt what we saw tonight are these two candidates who are
locked in the fierce fight right now for New York which could determine
this race moving forward. Chris.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you, Kristen Welker in Brooklyn.
Let`s go to Kasie Hunt in the same burrow of New York. How are they
pushed? Bernie was as very – Bernie Sanders looked to me like tonight was
his last best night to win this thing. He was red faced, overheated, smart
as hell. Hitting every point he could. I think it was his real attempt to
put her away tonight. I don`t know if he did or not. What are they
KASIE HUNT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, I think that what you saw was
exactly what the Sanders campaign telegraphed was going to happen which was
he came out on that stage determined not to let her land a punch on him
without making sure that he was hitting back as hard as he could. They
were dispensing with this concern that we`ve heard about over the course of
the past couple of months that maybe he would have a Rick-Lazio-style
moment where he would go inappropriately after a female candidate on stage
and come out looking the worse for wear on the other side. He clearly came
into this ready to go back and forth with her and he went right into it,
and I think you`re right that, you know, they view this - I wouldn`t go so
far as to say that it`s a last stand, but there is a recognition that this
is really proving ground in many ways that is going to determine how the
last month or so of this campaign goes. While he did push back on her, and
Kristen mentioned those transcripts as a tough moment for Hillary Clinton,
I think that`s right but Bernie Sanders also didn`t necessarily prosecute
that case against her and in fact he got a little bit tripped up when she
turned and started focusing on his tax returns, him saying that he`s going
to release a year of those tax returns on Friday.
MATTHEWS: Yeah, what is his excuse. I mean the taxes were turned in more
than a year ago, and he says Jane`s still working on them. I mean it`s one
thing to say, well, it`s April 15th tomorrow. A lot of people are rushed
to the deadline right now. What is that big deal? Well, what about the
`14, the `13, the `12? Those were all done years ago. And he says, my
little wife here. My Jane is working on them. Excuse me. That`s passing
the buck. It was like he was going to call her up say, By the way, where
are those tax returns. I thought it was ridiculous. I`m sorry. Hillary
should have gone for the jugular on that baby, or maybe she`s still worried
about the 625,000 she got from Goldman Sachs. Anyway, Kasey Hunt, great
We got to go to the people on the set right now. The Washington Post,
Robert Costa; USA Today, Heidi Przybyla, and the Huffington Post, Howard
I`ve watched this and I think I did Tweet something like this is a boxing
match. Not a heavy weight. It`s a middle weight so they`re better boxing
Bernie is like the guy who sees the cut on the eye and he keeps hitting it,
and he`s a rack and he says that with joy. He says I showed her rack. I
got you in the 625,000 bucks you took from those great speeches you gave.
He just nails her on that stuff and he won`t quit on them.
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: No, because that`s his whole campaign and
the main cut that he thinks he has, the main place he thinks he has Hillary
bleeding if we`re in the Madison Square Garden of politics.
MATTHEWS: That`s what it was like tonight.
FINEMAN: Is on money in politics.
FINEMAN: It`s all about the corrupting influences and money.
MATTHEWS: Where`s the transcripts?
FINEMAN: Yeah. It` all about the –
MATTHEWS: (Inaudible) (Multiple speakers)
FINEMAN: Everything that Bernie does funnel into that one question –
MATTHEWS: Yeah, money.
FINEMAN: - corrupting influence of money. It`s preventing us from getting
national health care. It`s preventing college education. It`s broadening
the gap been the rich and the rest. And he pounding. Now if there were a
boxing match, I think he did cut her. I think she did bleed, but she`s the
champ. You got to knock out the champ or get a TKO. Now I`m getting
technical. I don`t think he did quite either although I thought he was very
MATTHEWS: He was swinging.
FINEMAN: And I thought she was a little too legalistic here at protecting
MATTHEWS: Yeah. I thought she was – I think if he had a silent look at
this TV show, it was a TV show. Two hours. You would see one older guy
flailing away red-faced, literally red-faced - literally red faced
demanding time every second he wasn`t talking he was going like this, I
want it back, I want it back, I want it back. Hillary there smiling away
looking somewhat debonair.
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, USA TODAY: She was smiling with one, you know, look and she
was pounding him with the other.
MATTHEWS: No, it was the dearest –
PRZYBYLA: I mean she was pounding pretty hard too. She was pounding away
pretty good too, Chris.
MATTHEWS: - the dearest was confidence of the front runner.
MATTHEWS: She`s way ahead.
PRZYBYLA: Here goal - think about where we were in 2008, at this point
where the race was arguably much more contested in terms of the delegates
and Obama started to pull back a little bit as the front-runner and hold
his punches. She went in for the kill especially on the guns.
MATTHEWS: That`s where he made his mistake by likeable enough is what hurt
PRZYBYLA: Yeah. She said things that I hadn`t heard her go that far before
saying he is like one of the most reliable voters in terms of the NRA.
PRZYBYLA: And she`s been kind of-
MATTHEWS: That was his wound to curtail.
PRZYBYLA: Yeah. And if the main issue really is Wall Street and the
corrupting influence, you know, the subtext all along has been that somehow
Hillary Clinton`s campaign contributions have affected the way that she`s
voted in Congress, and this is the first time she had an opportunity to
kind of put that to rest and to call Sanders out on that and say, well,
what are the examples of her-
MATTHEWS: Well, he`s going to go looking for them now. It`s a little late,
but he`s going to find something.
PRZYBYLA: It`s a little late.
MATTHEWS: By the way, I thought there was a woman`s moment there tonight.
Of course Hillary Clinton`s a woman. But I thought there was a moment
there with the majority voter which are women was a tag opportunity. When
he started to laugh about the gun violence, and she said it`s not a
laughing matter, I think a lot of people who were lost up in the mumble
jumble of how to deal with big banks and Dodd Frank, whatever that is to
most people, they weren`t following that. But they were following guns
because everybody walks the streets afraid of getting knocked off. Let`s
face it. There`s still a lot of violence in the streets, even in New York
which is pretty safe. And when she went through the number of people
killed by guns or suicides or murder, and she went through all that and
then he tried that chuckle, aggressive chuckle like she does, and I think
he got caught off base for that. Don`t laugh about gun violence.
PRZYBYLA: He doesn`t have a good answer, that`s why. He wants to stand by
his vote in terms of the immunity, you know, vote that he took. This is
the - exactly the wrong time that you want to be doing that when this
lawsuit up in Connecticut that the Sandy Hook families are pursuing has
just now you know the Judge has just now decided that this should go
forward and he is days before on the record saying that he doesn`t support
exactly that type of legal case.
MATTHEWS: I want to get to Robert here. I think it was Bernie`s – I don`t
want to say this because I think he`s raised some great issues in this
campaign. I think he behaved this last time like this is his last big
shot. Big audience tonight. I bet. A big audience.
ROBERT COSTA, WASHINGTON POST: Big audience and he - a fundamental issue of
his campaign, money in politics, he`s going back to the heart and soul and
trying to revive those disengaged Democrats and bring them to the floor and
say, I`m here for you. I`m a different kind of candidate. I`m an
outsider. But he still has to come in his eye of his candidacy when it
comes to guns. And she had the poise of as you said of a front runner.
She kept her cool and you see the secretary right now poised as you around
FINEMAN: I`m struck by both the use of language Bernie that`s a lot like
Donald Trump although with different issues but the same direct no nonsense
group brutal talk by him, by Bernie, and the fact that he and Donald Trump
overlap on a number of things especially in foreign policy. And again,
this time, though, Bernie is the guy on the outside looking in. Right now
at any rate Trump is on the inside.
MATTHEWS: He hit her on her foreign policy. I mean if there`s ever an easy
way to pick out people with a score card, he`s the dub. She`s the hawk. I
mean on every issue taking his side basic on Israel policy and
disproportionate and all that. But of course saying she supported the Iraq
war. She supports going into - she supported going into Libya against
Gaddafi. She supports a no-fly zone in Syria.
FINEMAN: By the way.
MATTHEWS: On every point she was to his right.
PRZYBYLA: I think we`re looking also forward a little bit to the general
election here, Chris, because if you listen to her answer on Libya, she
doesn`t have a great answer as to why the administration did not have a
better plan for the after effects and she wound up at the end of the day
putting it on President Obama. Well, that`s that not going to be good
MATTHEWS: Well that wasn`t nice.
MATTHEWS: Most of the time –
PRZYBYLA: She has to come up with a better answer.
COSTA: Most of the time she was wrapping herself with Obama.
COSTA: Except when it came to Libya. Where was his -
MATTHEWS: What was worse, her putting it on Obama or him putting it on
COSTA: Great summary. If Jane was just a taxes god.
PRZYBYLA: I kind of believe it for a second. She has exchanged his taxes
FINEMAN: Can I say one other thing, Chris, very quickly. I have not heard
a discussion at this level of a presidential campaign about Israel and
Palestine like heard Bernie Sander`s extended soliloquy on this tonight in
Brooklyn, in New York State. It was gutsy, but it also means he knows
he`s not going to win New York State.
FINEMAN: He`s not going to win New York State, and he`d rather have his
credibility intact. He`s not close enough to win. I hate to be so
MATTHEWS: No, I think that he`s –
FINEMAN: He`s not close enough to win and that`s going to be part of his
explanation for why he didn`t win because he had the guts to go on
MATTHEWS: I`m going to think more about that.
FINEMAN: Think about it.
MATTHEWS: That is really discerning because I think it is an easy
competition to get into. I`m more pro but look hood than you are, but it`s
FINEMAN: But in New York it always happens. This was historic. In a way
this was historic. This was not happening.
MATTHEWS: It was pointed out that when he went after Secretary Clinton.
FINEMAN: He`s not Ron Paul. He`s not Ron Paul.
MATTHEWS: Let me declare one point though on the facts. He said Secretary
Clinton didn`t - never mentioned the plight of the Palestinians when
talking about APEC which is a conservative pro-Israeli group, but he never
went to APEC.
FINEMAN: He never went.
MATTHEWS: So that`s a point too. But if you`re sticking with us tonight,
this is great stuff. Still ahead to hear from the top officials of the
Sanders and Clinton campaigns. They`re coming here. Governor Cuomo is
coming here. This is special edition HARDBALL, the place to talk politics.
Tonight`s live from tonight`s Democratic Debate 5 – 4, tonight`s
Democratic Debate. I don`t why I can`t seem to get that straight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I love being in Brooklyn. This is great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN BLACKWELL: You called out President Clinton for defending Secretary
Clinton`s use of the term super predator back in the 90`s when she
supported the crime bill. Why did you call him that?
SANDERS: Because it was a racist term and everything knew it was a racist
SANDERS: But where we are today is we have a broken criminal justice
system. We have more people in jail than in any other country on earth,
and in my view what we have got to do is rethink the system from the bottom
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Going back to our live coverage of the Democratic Debate tonight
in Brooklyn. That was a big moment for Bernie Sanders tonight. The
Vermont senator has won eight of the last nine Democratic contests if you
count Democrats a board as one of those, but he`s facing an uphill climb in
New York State of course with just five days to go. He`s way behind in New
I`m joined right now by the senator`s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver.
Jeff, I get the feeling watching your guy tonight that this was the last
round of a fight and he was going to go for the knock out. What do you
JEFF WEAVER, BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, I think you know the
Clinton campaign used it as a slur earlier in the New York process here and
said that Bernie Sanders was going to campaign like a brook fight and I
think tonight that he did, that he came out strong. I think he was there
to debate and I think he did and I think he won the debate quite handily.
MATTHEWS: You think this thing is wearing out or has jumped a shark, the
money that Hillary Clinton got in three speech speaking fees, the quarter
of a million a piece for three times speeches. You think that`s something
that`s still got some legs on it?
WEAVER: Well, legs. Look, people want to know. What was in those
speeches? Why did they pay you all that money behind closed doors for
those speeches? In fact in some of these speeches she spoke for 20
minutes. She made more in one minute than a minimum wage worker makes in a
year. So she supports $200,000 or 225 per an hour for herself, but not
$15 an hour for a minimum wage workers? I think has a lot of legs.
MATTHEWS: What do you think is in there?
WEAVER: Let`s find out. Who knows what. The more she wants to hide that-
MATTHEWS: Come on. Come on, Fred. What are you guys angling for? What do
you think`s in there? You must think there`s something worth looking at in
there. Did she sell out to these guys?
WEAVER: The more she wants to hide it, the more we want to see it. What`s
MATTHEWS: Did she sell out?
WEAVER: I don`t think we know what she – I think we know what she said,
but if she doesn`t want to show us that leads one to believe that there`s
something in there that they don`t want people to hear. Don`t you think
MATTHEWS: See, here`s the question - now, Jeff, I think it`s always
interesting to find out what goes on behind closed doors because let`s face
it, that`s why we use the phrase “behind closed doors,” to get people
interested in what happens on the other side.
MATTHEWS: But your guy wasn`t able to land one punch when Hillary Clinton
said name one place where I sold out because of those speeches.
WEAVER: It`s not about - it`s not a question of sold out. I think the
question was about the campaign contributions, But look she supports
corporate agenda. She supports these trade agreements.
MATTHEWS: Well, yeah. So where did - so how come your guy wasn`t pressed?
How come he couldn`t name one time where Hillary made a deal and paid it
WEAVER: She`s supports these trade agreements. She supported the Wall
Street bailout. She supports a corporate agenda. Come on, Chris. You
know how it works. You were there.
MATTHEWS: Well, no, I don`t think it`s that way. I think people will
actually believe certain things. I think there are people who are free
traders and people who are not, and Bernie Sanders is just like a free
trader. He`s going to go against all the trade deals. Hillary stood for
most of them. Those are differences of position.
MATTHEWS: Doesn`t that sound like somebody`s got a hooker or a prostitute
because they support one of those positions.
WEAVER: Oh, come on. Come on. That`s condemnatory, that kind of
language. Come on. Don`t put those words out there.
MATTHEWS: No, you were saying – no, you just said they do it because
they`re paid to do it.
WEAVER: No, no. That`s not what I said. I said they -
MATTHEWS: Yes, you did.
WEAVER: I said they are supported by corporate interests because they
support the corporate agenda.
MATTHEWS: I asked you give me an example where Hillary Clinton paid back
for something you got from some wealthy Wall Street person, and you gave me
the example the trade deals was your example.
WEAVER: No, you got it wrong, Chris. It`s not - they don`t give her money
so that she changes her position. They give her money because they like
MATTHEWS: Oh, OK. That`s different. That`s much benign.
WEAVER: Yes, that is different.
MATTHEWS: Than accusing somebody of doing something for the money.
WEAVER: Well, I don`t think that that`s so benign. Why is it that the
corporations think that she`s on their side?
MATTHEWS: Well, it sure beats being on the take.
WEAVER: We think a president - I think we need a president who people know
is on a working people`s side. That`s what we need.
MATTHEWS: Ok. Well, let me ask you a question and get back to that
question about Hillary Clinton. You believe that she`s been bought by the
money she`s gotten in campaign contributions or in speaking fees.
WEAVER: No, no.
MATTHEWS: She`s been bought. Yes or no?
WEAVER: No, that`s not - that`s not what we`re saying.
MATTHEWS: What about your line the other night that she`s sold her soul to
the devil? You said she sold her soul to the devil.
WEAVER: I said she made a deal with the devil. It`s a metaphor, Chris.
MATTHEWS: What`s the difference?
WEAVER: It`s a metaphor.
MATTHEWS: For what? What`s the metaphor for?
WEAVER: What the deal is when you take money from large special interests
you can`t expect that you`re going to be able to regulate them effectively.
That`s just the way it works. And you know, you talked about this when you
interviewed me last time when you talked to the next guest you said, yeah,
we know how it works. You go soft on them. You`re not as hard on them as
you would otherwise be. Yes, they have more access. I mean that`s the way
Washington works. These people are not giving money to candidates for no
reason. They`re not stupid.
MATTHEWS: What you said was, Jeff, to clear the record and I think you`d
agree on this, the danger of taking money from any interests that you`re
not so aggressive in going after them. Let`s face it. That`s the real
problem. I think we can agree on that.
WEAVER: That is a problem.
WEAVER: Yeah, of course.
MATTHEWS: I agree with you. So stop talking. Jeff Weaver, thank you.
You`re right on that point. Thanks for coming on. He`s only going to get
it again and again.
Anyway, gun control is loomed large as an issue in New York of course.
Let`s take a look at how Secretary Clinton attacks Sanders over his
association with the NRA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: In 1988 as we`ve heard on every debate occasion, Senator Sanders
did run for the Congress and he lost. He came back in 1990 and he won.
And during that campaign a commitment to the NRA that he would be against
waiting periods. And in fact, in his own book 1990 campaign and here`s
what he said. He clearly was helped by the NRA because they ran ads against
his opponent. So then he went to the Congress where he has been a largely
very reliable supporter of the NRA voting - he kept his word to the NRA.
He voted against the Brady Bill five times.
(VIDEO CLIP ENDS)
MATTHEWS: Wow. We`re bringing back our panel. Of course, Robert, Heidi
and Howard. And this sort of, Robert, Heidi and Howard, you know, I think
- what was it really about tonight? Who`s been bought? Who`s been owned?
Who`s in bed with the NRA? Who`s been bought off by, you know, basically
been bought off, tanked, as they say on the hill when they see somebody is
tanked. Not drinking too much. They`re getting a tank for somebody. This
is serious stuff they`re charging here.
COSTA: It`s very serious stuff. And it`s not just personal between Clinton
and Sanders. I think what you saw tonight was a referendum of the
Democratic Party over the past 20, 25 years. What kind of party is it?
What kind of party is it going to be? Sanders is raising these fundamental
questions, is it too close to corporate interest; is it too interested in
MATTHEWS: Well, somebody said the other day a pretty bad word describing
COSTA: The Sanders campaign has to -
MATTHEWS: It`s prostituting yourself for money.
COSTA: That notion is the cloud that hovers over Sanders` argument about
the Clinton candidacy, and I think Clinton with all of her deep roots in
the party keeps coming back to the case that she`s ready for a general
election, but these lingering questions on the left about Clinton still
MATTHEWS: I wanted to - OK. Good. Heidi, quickly.
PRZYBYLA: Well, I think the one thing we have to point out about today was
there was a theme that Clinton came into this campaign or this debate with
and she kept hitting it over and over again which is - it`s good to
diagnose something, Bernie, but you got to get into the details. You got
to offer details. And she hit him on that, on a number of issues where he
was supposed to be hitting her, like cracking. And if you want to talk
about issues that play in New York State, that was supposed to be one of
his trump cards up in upstate and he should have hit on the bank issue.
MATTHEWS: I think she was pretty good on his turf which is the banking, big
banks. I think he wins the argument because people don`t like big banks.
They don`t like that kind of power on Wall Street. But, you know, she was
duking it out with him there.
FINEMAN: Chris, her old - first of all, she clobbered him on the - what we
just showed there on guns. I mean she really had him.
MATTHEWS: That was a winner.
FINEMAN: She stunned him on that one. And I think more generally her
argument is look, Bernie, I agree with you on the diagnoses you say are the
problems, but I can get us half a loaf here. You`re talking a pie in the
sky that we`re never going to have. I`m going to give us substinance. I`m
going to get us down the road.
FINEMAN: In this environment in this year it`s a really tough argument to
And Robert`s also right. I think what`s on trial here. What`s on the dock
with Sanders is Clintonism. What I call Clintonism, which was Bill Clinton
back joining up with Wall Street with the Democratic Leadership Council in
the 80`s and 90`s. Bill Clinton was saying, huh-uh, we`re not going to go,
you know, with the unions down the line. It`s not going to be which side
are you on, boys. It`s going to be we`re going to get together with big
business. That worked for a time, and that`s what Hillary said. She said
look at the 90`s, 23 million jobs. It`s hard to sell that in this
environment. Very hard.
MATTHEWS: It`s like the old left of the Democratic Labor Party is Tony
Blair has mentioned. That`s the old left trying to win back with what
Blair tried to create. He was trying to move to a third way. They said
no, let`s go back to the old way. We`re going back left again.
Anyway, thank you Robert Costa. Thank you, Howard Fineman. Thank you,
Coming up much more from tonight`s debate. There`s a lot in there tonight
and whether it could tip the scales toward a head. I don`t think it will.
You know what, I just don`t think it will. I think people are going to
stay where they started tonight. People are going to stay in their corner
tonight. We`re going to here however from a Hillary guy. The biggest one
in New York. The governor of New York, Andrew COIN is going to be here in
a minute. This is a special edition of HARDBALL, a place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We worked hard to really keep New York values at the center of who
we are and what we do together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Secretary Clinton called them out. Oh my goodness. They must
have really been crushed by this.
SANDERS: And was that before or after you received huge sums of money by
giving speaking engagements behind them? They must have been very, very
upset by what you did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was Bernie Sanders mocking
Hillary Clinton over her position on the financial industry. Clinton hit
back at a Sanders on protecting the gun manufacturing industry. Here she
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I believe that the law that Senator Sanders voted for that I
voted against giving this special protection to gun manufactures and to
dealers is an absolute advocation of responsibility on the part of those
who voted for it.
SANDERS: Just to reiterate so there is no confusion, that caves a go.
Before it was popular, in a rural state with no gun control, Bernie Sanders
said let`s ban assault weapons, not see them distributed in the United
WOLF BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is a Clinton supporter.
Governor, thank you for coming on tonight. This was winners and lose
losers tonight. Hillary Clinton, your candidate was very strong in going
after Senator Sanders, Vermont, for his lassitude I suppose you might call
it in fighting guns or fighting for gun control. Can you tell us what
impact guns from Vermont have had in violence in the streets of New York?
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Yeah. Well, first, Chris, thank you.
Good to be with you.
Don`t underestimate the gun issue in the state of New York. It`s a very
big deal. Sandy Hook was in Connecticut. It`s just a few miles from New
York. It`s resonated. And this is a big issue. I passed the Safe Act in
New York which was very controversial, but I believe the smartest Gun
Control Law in the country right after Sandy Hook happened. And look,
Senator Clinton knows the politics of New York also. We also have is rural
parts of New York State, and I passed the Gun Control Law and I took a
political beating for it from upstate New York rural communities. So we
understand the politics here. But the immunity law for gun manufactures is
an outrage. The only industry in the United States, Chris, that has
immunity by law is the gun manufactures. And remember what happened at the
time Gore was running against Bush. Smith and Wesson had signed a Safe Gun
Agreement to do away with the lawsuits. The Safe Gun Agreement would have
changed the way guns were manufactured, designed and distributed. Bush
said, “Don`t sign it because if I win, I`ll get the gun manufacturers
immunity,” and that`s what he did and that`s the Bill we`re talking about.
So this to me is the most salience issue that is germane in this entire
debate. And it matters in New York and it`s going to matter in a lot of
other states too.
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about Wall Street. You know the U.S. Congress for
years now, almost 20 or 30 years now, is unable - members are not able to
take honorarium. They can`t take money for speeches. Nobody`s allowed to
do it because it looks like it creates a conflict of interest with lobbyist
and people want something from them. In our industry, if somebody where I
work, you know, they give a speech for money, even for charity you can`t do
it anymore. And so everybody knows you take money from somebody it`s going
to look like some kind of deal under the table.
Hillary Clinton has taken over $600,000 from Goldman Sachs. Isn`t that
going to be a problem explaining that this is not a quid pro quo there,
that she wasn`t bought. Because these people, you just heard them tonight,
Jeff Weaver, they`re not giving in on this baby. They`re going to keep
hitting her on it.
CUOMO: Yeah. No, I- Chris I hear you and I understand the implication. But
look, welcome to our campaign finance system, right. That`s why I advocate
MATTHEWS: No personal money. No, she took the money for personal use.
These were speeches for her own personal income.
CUOMO: I understand. But I think the basic point is if someone gives you a
lot money, can you be independent, right.
MATTHEWS: That`s right.
CUOMO: That`s basically Senator Sander`s point over and over again. The
implication is you take money from someone, you`re going to be influenced.
And they do that all across the board. It`s not just on the federal level.
I hear it. Local people hear it. My answer is if you are a person who can
be influenced by a contribution, you`re the wrong person to be in elected
office because there`s going to be a lot of temptations. And if you can be
corrupted, you will be corrupted. So you`re the wrong person for the
But even on the big banks, I think what you hear over and over, the more
they debate, they agree on the what needs to be done. Where they disagree
is on the how do you do it. And I think Senator Clinton is more
prescriptive in the factual realities of making change. With Senator
Sanders uses a broader brush. And as people who have worked in government
who actually accomplished things, I understand what Senator Clinton is
saying. You have to get a piece of legislation passed. Unless you think
both houses go Democratic, it means you`re going to have to appeal to the
Republicans. To appeal to the Republican, you`re going to have to
compromise, etcetera. So she tends to have a more granular analysis of how
you get it done.
But they are both saying they want to get to the same goal except for guns
in my opinion.
MATTHEWS: Who`s going to win next week and by how much?
CUOMO: Hillary`s going to win. I don`t want to do the points, but I think
she`s going to win. Look, I don`t play the expectation game. It was her
home state. She has to win by X. I think that`s just setting a bar. But
I believe she`s going to win. I believe it`s going to be by a healthy
But look, Senator Sanders, God bless him. He`s run a good campaign. He
has a strong message. It`s simple. It resonates with young people. He`s
getting big numbers of young people out in the crowds. So this is a real
race, Chris, you know.
CUOMO: And I think the race he`s running has to be respected too.
MATTHEWS: What do you think- I got to get this last - what do you think of
that sweetheart Ted Cruz referring to you as being representative of New
CUOMO: Yeah. I think he - look, I hear it as a complement.
MATTHEWS: I thought you might.
CUOMO: Yeah. After what he said, I`m surprised he had the hutzpah to come
to New York. And tell him to look up hutzpah, Chris, and if he doesn`t
understand what it means tell him to call me and I`ll explain it to him.
MATTHEWS: Okay. Thank you so much, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York
Up next I`ll speak with the Democratic National Committee chair,
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz . She`ll be here. You`re watching
HARDBALL, A Place for Politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: If you go and read, which I hope all of you will before Tuesday,
Senator Sanders` long interview with the New York Daily News talking about
judgment and talk about the kinds of problems he had answering questions
about even his core issue, breaking up the banks. When asked, he could not
explain how that would be done.
SANDERS: Let`s talk about judgment.
SANDERS: And let us talk about the worst foreign policy blunder in the
modern history of this country.
SANDERS: I lead the opposition to that loss. Secretary Clinton voted for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to our special edition of HARDBALL tonight. I think
the two candidates questioned each other`s judgment tonight although that
was a nice word to use. It was much tougher than that. What`s the battle
doing to the Democratic party`s hopes of winning in November however.
I`m joined now by someone who cares a lot, the chair of the Democratic
National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
You know I just was thinking, first of all, a matter of technical fact
here. Was this the last debate there`s going to be between these two
candidates? Is this it?
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE CHAIR: Well, the
candidates previously agreed as you know, Chris, to an additional four
debates for a total of ten. And we`ve been taking since we added those
four debate, we`ve been taking each debate as it comes, and we after the
debate tonight will go back to the negotiating table between the two
campaigns and the DNC and, you know, the proposed networks that want to put
on the debate and we`ll take on the next one you know over the next two
weeks. They originally said that they wanted to do that debate in May.
MATTHEWS: Don`t forget us. Don`t forget us, Madam Chairman. Don`t forget
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the question. Do you think this one was a
tough debate? They used civilized language, civil language like judgment.
But these are almost questions of character here, going after somebody for
taking money from Goldman Sachs and still maintain their independence, you
know, going to war. These are really tough questions that it was a very
tough debate tonight even if the language was civil.
SCHULTZ: You know I think both candidates exercised muscle for sure, and
they demonstrated by pointedly differing with one another, not on the
goals, but on how to achieve them, that either one of them would be a
tremendous fighter on behalf of the American people and will be able to go
toe to toe with the misogynistic bigoted extremist that are running on the
other side of the aisle, if we can even get them to talk about the issues
that are important to the American people and stop whining and complaining
about the system being rigged and you know being vulgar every other minute.
MATTHEWS: Yeah. Thank you so much, Democratic chair, U.S. Congresswoman
Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Much more on tonight`s debate when we return. And this is
HARDBALL, A Place for Politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: If I hear you correctly, Madam Secretary, you are now coming out
finally in favor of lifting the cap on taxable income and extending and
expanding Social Security. If that is the case, welcome aboard. I`m glad
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: We`re back with this Special Edition of HARDBALL. Tonight I`m
joined by Francesca Chambers. She`s up in Brooklyn where the debate was
held tonight. Ken Vogel, chief investigative reporter at POLITICO, and
Jane Newton-Small who`s correspondent with Time Magazine.
Let me go to Francesca up there. What did we see on television, Francesca?
What was only visible and knowable by someone there?
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, DAILY MAIL, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think
that one thing that we`ve all observed, Chris, is that the night attacks
between the candidates were sharper than in some of the past debates. We
saw a different side of Bernie Sanders show up here tonight. Was really
willing to engage in attacks with Secretary Clinton and not willing to back
down from a fight.
MATTHEWS: Well, what do you think he was up to because he was really
pushing the what I always call sort of the moods on the face of Hillary
Clinton? He kept punching the Iraq war. He said that two or three times.
He went after her on the taking of money for speaking fees from Goldman
Sachs. He kept hitting that wound. He seemed to really want to bring her
down by hitting her really vulnerable points and like hurting her. You
know what I mean, politically. He was out to win this fight. He wasn`t
here just protesting Democratic centuryism. He was trying to knock her
down, knock her out.
CHAMBERS: Well, it`s clear, Chris, that the Sanders campaign understands at
this point that they have to do something dramatic to be able to win not
just in New York on Tuesday, but to win this election. And the kind of
fight that they were fighting before is just not going to cut it at this
point. He has to differentiate himself from Secretary Clinton on the
issues that you just stated, and the way that he`s been approaching it in
the past few days frankly wasn`t working.
MATTHEWS: Thank you so much for joining us from up there, Francesca.
Let`s go to Ken Vogel. Ken, you first, then Jane. The differential
between previous fights and tonight, clearly he was trying to hit the sore
points again and again like in a boxing match. I used the reference
because it really felt watching it, I tweeted that this feels like a boxing
match bag, bag, bag, punch, punch, punch.
KEN VOGEL, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, POLITICO: Yeah, and you know a lot
of it is stuff that they have litigated in the past. They`re clearly going
after the - it`s sort of like a choreographed fight and it`s the same, the
same jabs that we`re seeing over and over again. What you can see that
really stuck out to me was just how much on their - on each other`s last
nerve they are. When Bernie Sanders would start to go into one of his sort
of candid attacks on Hillary, she would laugh at him this sort of bitter
laugh, and then he laughed at her when he started to go - when she started
to raise the point about guns and then saying that there`s a -
MATTHEWS: And she tagged him.
VOGEL: And she really went after him. But it just goes to show you that
this is a long campaign. We`re winding to the end. Everyone else kind of
sees how it`s - how it`s playing out, that Bernie Sanders is not going to
win, and this was sort of his last chance I think to really make a
statement before a big primary and I don`t know that he really did frankly.
MATTHEWS: You know what he kept doing? Like his favorite punch was he`s
saying, Oh, you called them out on Wall Street. Oh, that must have really
hurt them. Was that before or after you took their money? I mean money
that she`s been bought, that she`s working for them. She`s on the take. It
isn`t just the ideological difference. He said she`s made bad decisions in
her personal life basic taking the money.
JANE NEWTON-SMALL, TIME MAGAZINE: And he still is you know is portraying
himself as the dreamer, the big visionary, the big picture guy who can sort
of you know and then when asked like why haven`t you raised money for the
Democratic Party, and he was like well, I`ll raise money for them the same
way I raised money which is by just getting millions and millions of people
brought into the system, right.
MATTHEWS: Yeah, in other words I`m not going to do it.
NEWTON-SMALL: And she can - and she continues, the wife is like no,
Bernie, we can`t afford this jet-ski. We need to pay for college. We need
to like get this done. And she`s always the pragmatist. She`s always the
devil is in the details and you can`t do this. It`s not going to work.
MATTHEWS: Is that how it works, the wife is the reasonable one?
MATTHEWS: I doubt it. I think it works both ways.
VOGEL: Chris, I think that the attacks over being bought and sold, you
know, it`s like a broken record. We`ve played it so many times.
MATTHEWS: How do you make up for this when you go to shake hands out in
Philadelphia, oh, yeah, by the way all during the campaign I accused her of
selling herself, selling herself, her soul to the devil, blah, blah, blah.
Jeff Weaver is saying the thing over and over again and he won`t pull back.
And then it`s oh, by the way, she`s my best bet for president now.
MATTHEWS: Or does she say at least she`s better than Donald Trump.
VOGEL: That`s the point.
NEWTON-SMALL: And that`s why he looked so uncomfortable when she was
saying, I`ve done this before. I stood there with Barack Obama when I lost
to him in 2008, and we unified the party, and she`s saying Bernie needs to
unify the party, and he`s looking like -
MATTHEWS: Yeah, but Obama never called her - Obama never said she was on
the take anyway.
VOGEL: And it`s also an attack that could really hurt her running against
Donald Trump whose whole candidacy is about the fact that politicians are
all on the take and he`s not. It really plays into his hands.
MATTHEWS: We`ll save the tape anyway. Ken and Jay will be with me for
final thoughts on tonight`s debate in this presidential debate that
continues. Apparently this will not be the last debate although it looked
like it tonight. We`ll be right back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: If we approach this arrow as if we were literally in a war, you
know. In 1941 under Franklin Delano Roosevelt we moved within three years.
It took three more years to rebuild our economy to defeat Nazism and
Japanese Imperialism. That is exactly the kind of approach we need now.
BLITZER: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: We`re back right now with Ken Vogel and Jay Newton-Small.
Jay, let`s start with the headlines tonight, you know. What`s the headline
for tomorrow`s papers and big magazines coming up?
NEWTON-SMALL: Like Time Magazine. I think the headline is Hillary was
laying the ground for the general election. So you saw her with Ted Cruz
talk about New York values. You saw her with Donald Trump talking about
women and misogyny.
MATTHEWS: And abortion.
NEWTON-SMALL: And Abortion. And then also global warming. So the issue is
talking about being the great unifier and that was her ending comments.
And then really with Bernie I think it was laying the ground for why he
lost, you know. At every turn it was saying, well, I`m telling truths to
power on global warming and I`m telling truths to power on Palestinians.
MATTHEWS: That`s how he started the race. I don`t think he thought he was
going to these - he`s come incredibly far. I mean standing up to Hillary
it`s like the Democrat, you know. Maybe that`s what he`s going to end up
being, the guy who ran on the issues.
VOGEL: Yeah, I think that`s right.
VOGEL: And I think this is a little bit like a legacy debate for him
particularly on the question of the Middle East and Israel versus the
Palestinians. He laid out a very robust and unapologetic defense of the
Palestinians. I haven`t heard him go that far on that issue.
MATTHEWS: No, that was like the Cairo speech from Obama.
VOGEL: But so striking particularly in New York where it`s such a powerful
MATTHEWS: I know. I know.
VOGEL: It`s like why are you doing this. Did you think this is the way?
MATTHEWS: Well, maybe like you said, legacy thinking.
Thank you, Ken Vogel. Thank you, Jay Newton-Small.
I`ll be back tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Eastern for more HARDBALL. Much more
ahead on this presidential race here on MSNBC next.
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