Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 4/25/2016

Guests:
Rick Wiley, Charlie Black, Julian Castro, Jennifer Jacobs, Tom Davis, Susan Page, Ron Kessler
Transcript:

Show: HARDBALL
Date: April 25, 2016
Guest: Rick Wiley, Charlie Black, Julian Castro, Jennifer Jacobs, Tom
Davis, Susan Page, Ron Kessler

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Well, the big news today in the Republican race is the new John Kasich-Ted
Cruz alliance to deny Trump the nomination. But there are already
questions about whether it can last. In back-to-back press releases last
night, Cruz`s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, and Kasich`s chief Strategist,
John Weave, said the goal was to have an open convention. According to
Roe, quote, “Our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana, and
in turn, clear the path for Governor Kasich to compete in Oregon and New
Mexico.”

Well, a few minutes later, Weaver wrote, “We are very comfortable with our
delegate position in Indiana already, and given the current dynamics of the
primary there, we will shift our campaign`s resources west and give Cruz –
the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana.”

Well, Kasich seemed to undermine the agreement a bit today, insisting he
wasn`t telling supporters to vote for Cruz, only that he would not campaign
in Indiana. So the voters have to figure this one out.

Trump labeled the agreement “collusion” and said it was a horrible act of
desperation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Did you see the news today? Did
you see where they band together, where they collude? You know, it`s
collusion.

AUDIENCE: (BOOS)

TRUMP: You know, if you collude in business – if you collude in business
or if you collude in the stock market, they put you in jail. But in
politics, because it`s a rigged system, because it`s a corrupt enterprise -
- in politics, you`re allowed to collude. So they colluded.

And actually, I was happy because it shows how weak they are. It shows how
pathetic they are.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, we`re waiting right now for live campaign events from both
Cruz and Trump we expect any minute now.

But now a quick personal note. Tomorrow, I will be off from my usual role
anchoring election night coverage along with Brian and Rachel. As you
know, my wife, Kathleen – or may know – is a candidate for U.S. Congress,
and tomorrow is the primary election, so naturally, I`ll be with her and
our family on her big night.

Well, now for today`s big story, as I said, the alliance of Kasich and
Cruz. Ted Cruz was asked this morning about the deal with Kasich and he
said it made sense to both campaigns. Let`s watch the senator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had conversations, and
both campaigns agreed to focus our energies. We`re focusing our energy on
the state of Indiana and Governor Kasich is focusing his energies
elsewhere. I think that is a decision, an allocation of resources that
makes a lot of sense, and it`s devoted to the principle of beating Hillary
Clinton in November and turning this country around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, John Kasich meanwhile insists that he wasn`t telling
supporters not to vote for him. Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My team met with the Cruz
people and they made a recommendation. Yes, I said I it`s fair because,
you know, in some places, we haven`t spent a lot of resources. I don`t see
this as any big deal other than the fact that I`m not going to spend
resources in Indiana. He`s not going to spend them in other places. So
what? What`s the big deal?

QUESTION: So who should your supporters vote for in Indiana?

KASICH: Well, they – I – I`ve never told them not to vote for me. They
ought to vote for me. But I`m not over there campaigning and spending
resources. We have limited resources.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s honest. We have limited resources, we`re running
out of money and we don`t have a lot.

Anyway, Charlie Black`s an adviser to John Kasich. He`s right here. And
Rick Wiley`s national political director for the Trump campaign. It`s an
honor to have you guys on.

The Blues Brothers are back, Charlie.

(LAUGHTER)

CHARLIE BLACK, KASICH CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Right. That`s right.

MATTHEWS: You guys are always running the show! Let me ask you about
Kasich. You know, I keep hearing Cruz-Kasich. Is this Kasich-Cruz or
Cruz-Kasich? Who`s on top of this duo?

BLACK: Well…

MATTHEWS: Who`s the boss?

BLACK: Listen, speaking for John Kasich, he will not be vice president for
anyone. He says he has a better job than that now as governor of Ohio, and
he does, but he plans to be president. So listen, this is nothing unusual.

MATTHEWS: Who do you want – OK…

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK: Mr. Trump acts like he just discovered there`s gambling in
Casablanca.

MATTHEWS: I know. (INAUDIBLE) collusion?

BLACK: You know, campaigns in multi-candidate races frequently cooperate
ad hoc on a temporary basis. I can even give you an instance, but I won`t
violate confidences of where in a state or two the Trump people and the
Kasich people…

MATTHEWS: Well, maybe you`ll forced to because this is HARDBALL. Mr.
Wiley, what do you make – what`s your candidate – what do you think of
this…

RICK WILEY, TRUMP NATIONAL POLITICAL ADVISER: It`s…

MATTHEWS: … this double-teaming – this double-teaming of Trump as he`s
about to win, it looks like, five states tomorrow.

WILEY: We`re going to…

MATTHEWS: And my hunch is this thing isn`t going to work. He`s going to
win in Indiana, as well, and knock the – knock the opponents right out of
the game (ph).

WILEY: Well, Indiana is certainly Ted Cruz`s to lose. I mean, he said
weeks ago that he was going to win Indiana. So we`re going to…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: … low-balling it?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You going to try that here?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: … because Trump is ahead in the polling out there. Go ahead.

WILEY: I look at this and say it`s already falling apart. You know, there
was a month ago…

MATTHEWS: Why did you say just that it`s Cruz to lose when it`s Trump now
41 to 33 out there…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted Cruz said he was going to win it weeks ago. Polls.

MATTHEWS: When you start to smile…

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only poll that counts.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Never smile on HARDBALL, Rick. Never – some advice to a
newcomer. When you smile, I know you`re bs-ing. Go ahead.

WILEY: Stay tuned. I know about a recent poll that has Cruz in the margin
of error with Donald. So it`s not impossible for Cruz to win. But listen,
it doesn`t matter…

MATTHEWS: Yes, but your voters are going to vote for Kasich. You can`t go
to a voter who likes a moderate or traditional Republican, relatively
conservative, like John Kasich, and say, Oh, by the way, vote for the most
right-wing guy running, Cruz.

How do you get a voter to do that?

BLACK: Right, but the point is that we have a relatively low vote total
right now, something around 20 percent. If we don`t campaign or advertise
in Indiana over the next week, it just opens the field for Cruz to
(INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: OK, you`re talking right now, Charlie. What do you tell the
voter who`s an Indiana Republican, a Hoosier Republican, and he`s a
moderate or reasonable centrist Republican? You tell him to vote for Cruz
right now. Go ahead and do it.

BLACK: I didn`t – we`re not asking…

MATTHEWS: Well, go do it.

BLACK: … the 20 percent that are for Kasich, that are dedicated to
Kasich, to vote for Cruz. We`re leaving the field open for the undecideds
and for the people who might have reservations about Trump to go to Cruz.

MATTHEWS: So you want them still to vote for your guy in Indiana.

BLACK: I think if they`re for him, they should vote for him. But the
point is you know what happens in the last week of a primary…

MATTHEWS: So how`s this deal work?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: This is where I`m getting confused.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Do you want the Kasich voter to vote for Kasich or not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do, but it`s – the question is…

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The governor does, as well. He said that today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The arrangement is who`s going to do advertising and
campaigning in the different states at the different times. That`s all it
is.

MATTHEWS: Do you want the Cruz voters to vote for Cruz in New Mexico and
Oregon?

BLACK: Sure. If somebody`s already for Cruz, you`re not going to change
their mind…

WILEY: (INAUDIBLE) fall apart.

BLACK: … anyhow.

WILEY: You know what I found interesting, though, is Governor Kasich…

MATTHEWS: That`s a hell of a deal.

WILEY: There – Indiana, their money`s good because he stayed back and did
a fund-raiser in Indianapolis today, but he doesn`t want – he doesn`t want
their vote, or maybe he does want their vote. I don`t think anyone really
knows.

But I think this deal is falling apart already, and you know, at the end of
the day, you`re going to see – you know, Donald Trump has a movement going
on. There are – just today 8 million more people have voted at this point
already in…

MATTHEWS: You got 40 states already done, too.

WILEY: Well, at this point in the math…

MATTHEWS: 40 out of 50 are done.

WILEY: … 60 percent higher turnout. I mean, this is a movement out
there, so…

MATTHEWS: What do you think…

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK: You got 38 percent of all those votes. That`s really a crowning…

MATTHEWS: What`s the Kasich game?

BLACK: The Kasich game is to get to the convention where Donald Trump does
not get 1,237 on the first ballot, and everybody knows, including Rick,
that he`ll lose votes on the second ballot and the third ballot because a
lot of people that are sitting in the seats are not for him after they`re
no longer bound.

And at that point, you have an open convention. Kasich, in addition to
what he comes into the convention with, will pick up a lot of those party
regulars.

MATTHEWS: And you expect Trump to take his loss?

BLACK: Take his loss?

MATTHEWS: Take the loss and walk out of Cleveland a loser, a loser?

BLACK: I do expect him to lose. I think there`s some…

MATTHEWS: Do you expect him to accept that.

BLACK: Rick will tell you they`re going to get 1,237…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: … your candidate walk away as a wounded dog if he lost the
convention? Well, I guess…

(CROSSTALK)

WILEY: Multiple paths to 1,237. We`re going to get there after – after
California…

MATTHEWS: OK. I`m wondering about what will happen if he doesn`t get to
1,237.

BLACK: We`re not going to see that.

MATTHEWS: OK, Trump had some strong…

WILEY: Kasich`ll be the nominee, that`s what.

MATTHEWS: … well, had some strong attacks on both Kasich and Cruz today.
Let`s watch him in action. I think he loves this stuff, attack from a
defensive position. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I was called, and they said, Sir, Kasich – we call him 1 for 41.
He`s won 1 race in 41 states, one! OK? States and islands. So I call him
now – I have a new nickname for him, 1 for 41.

He`s just a stubborn guy. That`s all he is. He`s a stubborn guy. He`s,
like, if you have a child who just says, I want it, Mommy! I don`t care,
Mommy!

He`s eating today, stuffing his – I never saw bites this big! He`s
pushing it in with his – I never saw a guy eat like this!

I watched Cruz this morning and he`s all mixed-up because he`s losing so
badly, and when he`s under pressure, he`s like a basket case. He was a
failed senator. He couldn`t get anything passed, nothing. All he is, is a
guy that will go down and stand and filibuster for a day or two, and the
other senators all look, When`s he getting off the floor, Jim? Guy`s a
pain in the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) When he`s getting off the floor?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Does he rehearse this stuff, Rick?

WILEY: I think he – I think he…

MATTHEWS: Where does it come from, this whole shtick about – he had a
nickname, little Marco, lyin` Ted…

WILEY: They stick, too, don`t they.

MATTHEWS: … and it`s now 41 and 1.

WILEY: They seem to stick. I mean, look, he has the – he has his finger
on the pulse of the American electorate right now. I`ve never seen
anything like it, and that`s why you`re seeing record crowds. You`re
seeing record voter turnout. And that`s why you`re going to see us get to
1,237 before Cleveland.

BLACK: And so the American people, the Republican primary voters, like
trash talk, name-calling…

MATTHEWS: Do they?

BLACK: Now here`s Donald Trump as Miss Manners? Give me a break.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACK: You know, look…

MATTHEWS: But all the guys that I thought would like you – all the
candidates like I know you like, reasonable Republicans, Jeb and Walker and
all, all got blown away by the Republican voter. What happened?

BLACK: They got blown away because there`s a populist movement in both
parties, Sanders and Trump. But he`s gotten 38 percent of the vote, not a
majority. He`s not going to get a majority of the delegates. There`s only
one vote that counts. It`s who on however many ballots it takes gets 1,237
delegates. That`ll be John Kasich.

There`s a lid on Cruz, how many delegates he can eventually get. Everybody
knows that on the second and third ballots, Trump loses a lot of votes
because they`re not for him. They`re bound by state law to be for him.
And by the third ballot, this`ll be…

MATTHEWS: How are you going to keep the 200 or so delegates that are
available, that are unbound, to go to Trump?

BLACK: Because they don`t like Trump. They want a winner. That`s why –
John Kasich`s the only guy who can win general election against Hillary
Clinton. And delegates care about electability.

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s go to – Kasie Hunt, you`re out there covering this
thing. Give us a sense of what`s happening out there.

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Chris, I think the question right now is
what are these outside groups going to do as this starts to unfold, and do
they have enough money? I mean, this is, you know, in many ways, this kind
of desperation ploy born of the fact that there are all of these multiple
paths, you know, for Trump that Rick Wiley was just talking about to get to
1,237.

The needle is much smaller. You know, they really have to thread the
needle if they`re going to stop him and actually get to this open
convention. And I have to tell you, Chris, I talked to John Kasich today
at his event up in Rockville, not that far from here, and you know, those
of us who`ve covered him for a long time know him to be kind of this happy
warrior, this guy who, you know, always sort of has a smile and a joke, and
he was not that way at all today with me. It was the opposite.

It was clear that – it almost seemed as though he was being dragged into
something here. You know, I asked him a little bit about Donald Trump and
what you just played, where he`s making fun of his eating habits, and you
know, there was no crack to the facade. He said, You know what? No
comment. I just – I don`t want to talk about it.

The only time I got him to crack a bit was when we talked a little bit
about California, which I think is starting to emerge as really the Alamo
for this and the real test of whether or not this alliance can possibly
hold. And I think there is a lot of skepticism because there isn`t a deep
well of trust here, right? If anything, neither one of these camps – you
know, they have the opposite set of feelings. It`s not like it`s built on
a strong foundation here. And so I think the question is going to be how
do they split up California.

MATTHEWS: Kasie, thanks for that.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let me check with your guy. Is your guy happy with this new
side deal with Cruz?

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK: … a temporary ad hoc thing that a lot of candidates…

MATTHEWS: He looks miserable.

BLACK: A lot of campaigns do this all the time.

MATTHEWS: Well, why do you do it? Why do you do it?

BLACK: You do it because you have limited resources, and rather than
spread them thin and fight over all the states, you go ahead and make a
deal. Now, this is only a deal over three states. It`s not – you know,
may last, may not, but…

MATTHEWS: Were you part of it?

BLACK: No, I wasn`t, but I`m happy to hear about it. And let me tell you
something. At all state conventions, these kind of coalitions take place.
I remember going back to `76 in Arkansas, Reagan, Howard Baker and George
Bush ganged up on John Connally and denied him all but one delegate. Two
weeks later, when we go to Maine (ph), and Connally, Baker and Reagan
ganged up on Bush and denied him all but four delegates. It happens all
the time.

MATTHEWS: Not on television.

BLACK: Well, listen…

MATTHEWS: This is all happening on television! We`re talking about it!

BLACK: Here`s the difference, Chris. In the era of super-PACs, if you
make an arrangement like this, you have to put out a press release because
the super-PACs won`t know what to do. You know, you can`t talk to them.
It`s a crazy system. I know the Supreme Court has spoken, but listen.
Kasich – I was with him two days last week. He`s in a good mood. But
that was before anybody questioned his table manners. I don`t blame him
for being upset.

MATTHEWS: Why?

BLACK: Just kidding.

MATTHEWS: It`s personal. Just kidding. Rick, why is your guy going after
people`s table manners…

WILEY: These campaigns…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: No, really, criticizes…

WILEY: These campaigns are playing to lose.

MATTHEWS: … sweating abilities and stuff like that. What are they…

WILEY: These campaigns are playing to lose. We`re playing to win. And
that`s the bottom line.

MATTHEWS: You`re enjoying this, aren`t you, Rick.

WILEY: Yes. How can I not enjoy this? Come on, Chris.

MATTHEWS: It`s high school, anyway, some of this stuff, going after his
eating habits?

WILEY: Look, you know, I don`t have anything to say about eating habits.
I just know that we`re playing to win, and we`re going to get to 1,237.

MATTHEWS: OK.

BLACK: We demand that Donald eat in public for the next week, and we`ll
see what people think.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: It`s always hard to get your picture taken when eating. Anyway,
thank you, Rick Wiley. It`s good to have you on the show. You seem to
enjoy this. Charlie Black, you`re not enjoying it as much as you usually
are.

We`re waiting right now…

WILEY: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: … for Donald Trump to take the stage at a campaign rally in
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He`ll be real up there. (ph) He`s called the
alliance between Ted Cruz and John Kasich “collusion.” I`m calling it
Thelma and Louise. We`re going to hear more from Trump in just a minute.

And later this hour, we`re going to talk to someone who could well be
Hillary Clinton`s short list – on the list should she win the nomination,
HUD secretary Julian Castro. He is on the list. He`s really there.

And coming up at the top of the hour, it`s our – well, our two-hour town
hall double-header. Tonight at 8:00 PM, Chris Hayes sits down with Bernie
Sanders. Then at 9:00 Eastern, Rachel Maddow interviews Hillary Clinton.
We got them all tonight on the Democratic side. We`re talking about
Republicans mainly.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But Donald continued. He
said, Ted, when it comes to the Supreme Court, when it comes to religious
liberty, he said learn, Ted, you got to learn to compromise.

(BOOS)

CRUZ: You got to learn to cut deals with the Democrats and to go along to
get along. Well, let me be very, very clear to the men and women of
Indiana. I will not compromise away your religious liberty!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That`s, of course, Ted Cruz just
moments ago at a campaign rally in Indiana. That`s next week`s fight. The
alliance between Cruz and Kasich is proof that politics can make strange
bedfellows, as the old (ph) (INAUDIBLE) says.

Now the Koch brothers, who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to
help elect conservative candidates are signaling they`re not happy with the
2016 Republican options. In an interview with ABC yesterday, Charles Koch
called the leading Republican candidates bad role models and said that he`s
open to supporting Hillary Clinton. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES KOCH, BILLIONAIRE: You`re role models and you`re terrible role
models. So how – I don`t know how we could support him.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: So is it possible another Clinton could be better
than another Republican this time around?

KOCH: It`s possible. It`s possible.

KARL: You couldn`t see yourself supporting Hillary Clinton, could you?

KOCH: Well, her – we would have to believe her actions would be quite
different than her rhetoric, let me put it that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, the Clinton campaign was quick to decline Koch`s support,
saying that the candidate`s not interested in endorsements from people who
deny climate science and try to make it harder for people to vote.

Well, they turned down some votes. This comes as “The Wall Street Journal”
reports that corporate CEOs also have concerns about the tone of the
campaign. Quote, “Executives worry that for now, the rhetoric of the
election discussion could weigh on consumer confidence, thwart any
immigration overhaul and derail a sweeping 12-nation trade pact, the Trans
Pacific Partnership, that the United States struck last year and that many
businesses support.”

So they`re worried about the money. Taken together, it`s the latest
indication that members of the establishment wing of the Republican Party
are not ready to fall in line behind Donald Trump, not yet.

I`m joined right now by author Ron Kessler, who`s a Trump supporter, Susan
Page, who`s the Washington bureau chief for “USA Today” and MSNBC political
analyst Eugene Robinson, who`s a columnist with “The Washington Post.”

So, what do you make of this, Gene? Because it looks like we`re at the
short hairs, if you will. We`re right down to the reality here of this
election.

EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And it looks like this is one of those final moments, Last
Chance Saloon you see on the Republican side with this odd teaming up of
Cruz and Kasich. You see the business leaders saying, hell, we might go
with Hillary.

ROBINSON: Well, look, I see this not so much as an 11th-hour move as a
13th-hour move.

I think the window for this sort of thing has closed, frankly.

MATTHEWS: After tomorrow night, very closed.

ROBINSON: Exactly. Exactly. Two days from now, we will probably be
talking about how Donald Trump swept five states and is that much closer to
the 1,237.

And, you know, let`s not pretend that that doesn`t potentially have an
impact on what happens in Indiana and down the line.

MATTHEWS: It`s serial, isn`t it? It`s serial.

ROBINSON: Well, it does build. Momentum still does count, I think. Of
course, who knows what counts this year, but I think it does.

MATTHEWS: There`s a lot at stake.

But, Susan, five states tomorrow, they are not – they are regular states.
I keeps – I`m an Easterner, so I say regular states. Maryland, where I
live, is regular, Pennsylvania is very regular. Rhode Island is a little
bit different up there and Connecticut is wealthier. Delaware is pretty
good bellwether of the country.

These are pretty good states to judge the mood of the country and they`re
all going to go for Trump.

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, “USA TODAY”: And they come on the
heels of a big victory in New York and he`s in fact got a lead in
delegates.

Whatever the Republican establishment thinks, whatever CEOs think, people
are actually going and voting for Donald Trump and giving him delegates,
and that`s what made him a front-runner. You see these Republicans, I
think, coming to either think it`s not only possible that Trump could be
the nominee, it`s likely that Trump will be the nominee, and what does that
mean for me?

Maybe it means I support Hillary. I don`t think that. Maybe it means they
start to focus on Senate…

MATTHEWS: No, they think she might be more hawkish for them.

Ron Kessler, you can define the Capitol of the United States. It`s simple.
There`s 100 senators on one side. There`s 435 representatives. Define the
establishment, which includes “The Wall Street Journal” readers, the
editors of “The Wall Street Journal.”

That world of the Koch brothers, that world of those people, what is that
world and why are they all against Trump?

RONALD KESSLER, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: First of all, in any family, you
have different factions.

MATTHEWS: But what is the establishment faction?

KESSLER: The establishment is the dinosaurs. They have conventional
wisdom. They don`t understand that Donald is a totally different
phenomenon.

I look at Donald as a reporter. I first got to know him two decades ago,
when I did a book on Palm Beach. I called it my midlife crisis. I had to
drink more champagne and go to more parties. We went down on this plane
with my wife, Pam, and he was imitating the nasal constructed tones of the
old-guard blue bloods condemning his club Mar-a-Lago because it admits
blacks and Jews.

So I couldn`t be a member. My friend Juan Williams couldn`t be a member.
And this is the real Donald.

MATTHEWS: But he opened the door to everybody.

KESSLER: He – whereas some clubs in Palm Beach to this day do not admit
blacks or Jews. So, this is the real Donald that I know. And I
interviewed Norma Foerderer, who was his top aide.

MATTHEWS: So, he`s sort of a Frank Sinatra type, high-living, but very
open-minded. Right? He`s not a prejudiced guy.

KESSLER: Oh, yes. But also he creates this caricature of himself on TV to
get attention. He did it for his brand, Trump brand. Now he`s doing it
for his campaign. But the real Donald that I know behind the scenes is
this very savvy, confident businessman who built this empire.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about the first…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: For nine or 10 years now, like Ronald Reagan, he portrayed a
guy. But Reagan played the guys like Ronald Reagan, regular guy, likable.

Trump for all those years on “The Apprentice” played this tough judge. You
know, you`re fired. Right? Now he`s playing this sort of shticky, shticky
stand-up guy, right? How many personas does this guy have? And which one
reflects the one that is going to take the oath of the presidency?

PAGE: Well, that`s a question, although if you ask which one is the real
Donald Trump, don`t you think the Trump we see, it`s pretty consistent?

Every once in a while, you will have like last Tuesday night, when he tones
it down and seems to be reading from a script. But by and large, Trump has
been a very consistent persona through the past year.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Explain it to an Italian right now. Somebody from another
country, some other country, explain this guy.

PAGE: He`s a flamboyant, self-confident guy who speaks off the cuff and is
not bound by ideology or anything in particular. He`s just himself.

MATTHEWS: Gene, the establishment fears him. I`m just trying to get to
the heart with Ron. Why do they instinctively say – because he isn`t a
member of the club, because he didn`t ask for membership.

ROBINSON: He`s not a member of the club. He`s speaking for a lot of
people who are part of the Republican base that don`t necessarily believe
in Republican dogma on a number of issues like free trade, like
entitlements, like a lot of other things, and because he – the person I
think he has established during this campaign is the anti-politician.

And he resists doing anything…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: He did it again today.

ROBINSON: … that smacks of regular politics, because he knows that
plays. He knows that people are sick of politics and politicians.

MATTHEWS: And us. They`re stick of us.

ROBINSON: And he`s running against the establishment. I think the
establishment is worried about it.

MATTHEWS: Well, today, Trump said that if the RNC, the Republican National
Committee, allowed Cruz or Kasich to win the nomination, there would be a
revolt. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How do you vote for a guy who
has lost by four or five million votes, who is hundreds and hundreds of
delegates down, who has lost – let`s say I will have 40 states, 32 states,
35, and they will have like 13, 14, and now we`re going to pick the guy?
So we`re going to pick a guy that over a year got creamed, right, got
creamed, and we`re going to let him, because – so you explain how that`s
done. You would have a revolt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Ron Kessler, that`s your argument, isn`t it? Is Trump willing
to walk? I always think that is interesting, because if I were thinking
about Trump, I would think one thing I want to make sure they know in the
establishment, I`m not to be played with.

If it looks like I`m within a gimme, 100 votes or so, and they still find a
way of keeping me from getting that 100, I will have a meeting of all the
delegates of mine across the street, my 1,000 delegates, and I will say,
you all go home now. We`re bringing this place down if they don`t let me
win the nomination. He can do anything he wants.

KESSLER: I think almost everyone gets it, except for these dinosaurs.

MATTHEWS: Why do you think they can keep those delegates working for them?

KESSLER: They are stupid. They are just stupid, as Donald would say.

MATTHEWS: You`re learning his vocabulary.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Stupid.

KESSLER: What people don`t understand is he`s going to change as he gets
into the general election. He`s going to start…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: OK. We`re going to watch him now. We`re going to watch the
current Trump. Let`s take a look at him for a while.

Watch. Let`s watch some of shtick and see if he makes some news tonight.
We are going to hold with him as long as he is making news. He is Wilkes-
Barre, Pennsylvania, a regular, I must say, a regular part of the country.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

TRUMP: Do we love our country? Do we love our country? This is amazing.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we love Wilkes-Barre. Is that right? We love Wilkes-Barre.
We love this area.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we love the state of Pennsylvania and we`re bringing it back.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We`re bringing it back. Thank you, everybody. Wow, what a
turnout.

And they have 6,000 people outside that can`t get in. This place is
unbelievable. Hello up there. Unbelievable.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So, we have a lot to talk about. This is my last stop. Tomorrow
is so important. You`re going to go out and vote. Who is going to vote
for Trump?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We`re going to make that the best vote you ever have cast, I
promise you, I promise you, believe me. America first, folks. Make
America great again, but America first. OK? Remember that.

So, just a couple things. And my son Eric is here. You know Eric? He`s
great, good boy.

And this area, he said, dad, make sure you mention natural gas, that we`re
100 percent behind it. And we are, 100 – natural gas, and coal, and coal.
We`re 100 percent. We`re going to bring things back and we`re going to
bring them back like they have never been before. We are going to take our
jobs back. We`re bringing our manufacturing back.

We`re going to take it from all of these countries that for years have been
ripping us off because we have politicians that don`t know what they are
doing. So we`re going to take it back.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So, you know, the whole deal, you know, this whole thing is crazy.

We`re leading by millions of votes. We`re leading by hundreds of
delegates, and it`s a rigged system.

But I said, you know, let it be rigged. I talk about the boxers. I have a
boxer. He`s fantastic. A friend of mine, he is a world champion. And he
goes into a very unfriendly territory. I said, what are you doing? If you
have a good match, you are going to end up losing on a decision with bad
judges.

He said, Mr. Trump, the only way I have to do it, I have to knock this guy
out. I have to knock him on his ass.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And he did. And he picked up a big paycheck.

So what we`re doing is, we`re going to win on the first ballot. We only
care about the first ballot. And it`s sort of interesting, because if you
look at these two guys, one is one for 41. I won many, many states.

Millions of votes ahead, many states, many delegates. The other one, he`s
like a total disaster. He goes to New York last week, he doesn`t even
register, he`s so low. He got no delegates. Folks, they ought to both
drop out of the race, so we ought to unify the Republican Party.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And a great poll just came out. You saw it on the top of Drudge, a
great poll that has me even with Hillary Clinton. That`s nothing. I
haven`t started with crooked Hillary yet. We haven`t even started.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Amazing. Amazing.

Ah, that crooked Hillary, the same old stuff, years and years of watching
it. It`s always the same. But she`s not bringing back jobs. She doesn`t
know the first thing about it. She`s going to open up the borders.

And I don`t know if you saw reports today. More people are pouring across
our southern border than practically ever before. It`s out of control.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: It`s out of control.

We don`t know who these people are. We don`t know where the hell they come
from. And they`re pouring across. And the Border Patrol, who are amazing
people, just so you know, last week, the Border Patrol endorsed Donald
Trump, 16,500 people. They have never done it before.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Never done it before. Amazing. They are amazing people. They are
amazing people. And Sheriff Joe endorsed. You know Sheriff Joe from
Arizona.

So, no, we`re going to do a great job. But they are setting records.
People are coming across. We don`t know where they are. And then you have
coming from the migration thousands and thousands of people, and they are
coming here. Nobody even knows where they are going. They put them all
over the country. Nobody knows. Are they ISIS? It could be the great
Trojan horse. Nobody knows.

We will build a wall. Don`t worry about it, man. We will build a wall.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: That wall is going to get built.

AUDIENCE: Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the
wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: This place is unbelievable. This place is unbelievable.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: All right. So, look, so I go to the…

MATTHEWS: Susan, we`re back there. He is going to back to shtick now.

But he did make news there with this – I use the words I would normally
say on a street corner, but I can`t say it, the gutsy, ballsy, if you will,
statement, they ought to both drop out. He`s now saying for the – and
unify the party, so I can go on. I can already take on Hillary. I`m
already running even with her, but to have them both drop out and unify the
party under me.

PAGE: And we`re going to hear that Tuesday night, tomorrow night,
Wednesday morning, if, as we assume he will, have big victories in all five
of the Northeastern states that are voting tomorrow.

MATTHEWS: You guys, scram.

PAGE: He is going to say, I`m the consensus winner. I have got the most
delegates. I`m on a path to 1,237. It`s time for you guys to consider…

MATTHEWS: And why do they keep saying – I know how the media can
manipulate it – this idea that somehow Indiana is the most important state
in the union? Have you seen that? How did that get started? I hear it
now for weeks now. Indiana is going to change everything.

ROBINSON: These are goalposts that keep moving, right, because, remember,
a couple weeks ago, they were going to stop him in Pennsylvania.

Well, that`s not working out too well. So, now they are all – they`re
going to stop him in Indiana. After Indiana, I don`t know, it will be
Nebraska or South Dakota or…

PAGE: California.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: Or California.

MATTHEWS: You remind me of the stories of the Alamo.

ROBINSON: He`s how many points up in California? I mean, way up.

PAGE: But California is such a big prize that you can – Cruz could hold
onto California, saying it`s not over until it`s over, and Trump will not
be over the numerical – he won`t have clinched it before California. Even
the Trump…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: It reminds me of the Alamo stories, where they get to last
redoubt. I love that word, redoubt, the last little corner of the mission
they could control before the Mexicans overran them.

It is like that. You`re right. They could keep moving…

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: No, and now they talk about Indiana, because they`re going to
lose tomorrow. Right?

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: Nobody wants us to talk about that.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I think five tomorrow and one the next week. They lose Indiana,
because the voters out there don`t like being manipulated.

If you`re a Kasich voter and you`re told, oh, vote for Cruz, what? He`s
the opposite of what I want. I want a moderate, centrist Republican.

(CROSSTALK)

KESSLER: They`re not puppets.

MATTHEWS: They`re not puppets.

KESSLER: No.

He cited polls showing that he`s even with Hillary. Well, when he starts
being the more moderate Donald and…

MATTHEWS: What do you expect this…

(CROSSTALK)

KESSLER: As soon as the primary is over or finished.

MATTHEWS: I used a biblical term.

KESSLER: As one example, the…

MATTHEWS: What makes you confident, Ron? You`re here…

KESSLER: I have known him for two decades.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: When does he go into his presidential mode? When does he become
presidential?

(CROSSTALK)

KESSLER: June 7, he`s going to start.

MATTHEWS: Have you ever seen him presidential?

KESSLER: I see him every – every time I see him, he`s like that, because
that is the real Donald, the confident, savvy businessman.

And all his employees know that. Anybody who deals with him behind the
scenes knows that. For example, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce called
for a boycott of all his properties last summer. Remember?

A few months later, the CEO of the Chamber met with him for over an hour,
and he emerged and he told CNN, wow, he`s totally different.

MATTHEWS: Did they agree to stop the…

KESSLER: Yes, I don`t know about that, but he said, you know, he listened,
he was thoughtful. There weren`t all these bombastic…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I agree with that. I agree. I agree he can be calm. I have
seen him. He is personable, too. But I don`t want to say too many good
things about him, because people think I`m for him.

But you are for him?

KESSLER: I think you`re farsighted.

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: Chris, I would just like to say I`m pretty sure people don`t think
you`re for Donald Trump, just if you`re worried about that.

ROBINSON: Check Twitter. You would be surprised at what people about –
no, about anybody.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I know. I know.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: Anybody who says anything other than he`s a pox on the earth at
any given moment is seen to be for Trump.

MATTHEWS: Yes. I think I didn`t come up with this list of candidates.
They have come to us and we have to deal with them.

They are the food that has been put on the table here, and one of them is
called Trump.

Anyway, Ron Kessler, thank you. Good guest. Thanks for coming on.

Susan, as always. Gene, as always.

Up next, as Hillary Clinton weighs her options for the potential running
mates – she`s already doing that. She said to be considering our next
guest. This is going to be a fascinating interview because this guy could
be the V.P. in about a year. There he is, Julian Castro, who doesn`t like
me saying that, of Texas. He`s secretary of HUD. And he joins us in about
a moment.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Has your campaign considered who to pick for V.P.?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m just working hard to win
on Tuesday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was, of course, Secretary Clinton dodging a question about what –
whether her campaign begun the search for a V.P. running mate.

Well, “The New York Times” reported over the weekend that her team has
started those discussions and one question under consideration is whether
her choice for V.P. will be able to handle working the White House in which
former President Bill Clinton wielded significant influence on policy-
making.

Well, Secretary Clinton herself is weighing in according to the report,
which said she cares less about ideological and personal compatibility than
about picking a winner, someone who can dominate the V.P. debate, and also,
she wants someone who could be an effective attack dog against either
candidate. It`s also said that Hillary Clinton does not feel pressure to
enthrall, it`s a great word, the supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders.

Lots in there. Among the things mentioned, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine,
former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Labor Secretary Tom Perez,
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Massachusetts
Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Housing Secretary Julian Castro.

Secretary Castro joins us now from Philadelphia where he`s been campaigning
for Hillary Clinton ahead of tomorrow`s primary.

Mr. Secretary, I really do think that`s a pretty good list. Actually, I
think they are all good candidates including you. What do you make about
the fact that Hillary Clinton may be looking for someone who can win that
first debate? I thought that was interesting because one thing you have do
is help win the election.

Are you a good debater?

JULIAN CASTRO, HOUSING SECRETARY: Well –

MATTHEWS: I know you`re great on TV but –

CASTRO: No doubt that – you know, first I would say I think that Hillary
said it very well that first she needs to win tomorrow here in Pennsylvania
and in the other states and get the nomination. And so, it is very
premature to talk about vice presidential selection.

I have no doubt that whoever is picked as the vice president is going to be
somebody that is of great ability and going to be great for the ticket and
most importantly is going to be well-qualified for the position as
president. I have said myself for a long time that I fully expect to be
back in Texas next year.

So, I`m just happy to support Secretary Clinton. I know, just like she`s
made a lot of great decisions throughout her career and this campaign, with
this very important decision, I`m sure that she`s going to select somebody
who`s going to be a fantastic vice president.

MATTHEWS: Well, let me go back and let me use your historic sense. We`ve
had a couple of Democratic V.P. candidates who have been horrendous in
debate against Dick Cheney, especially. We had Joe Lieberman, who thought
he was joining a club, and that she would decide whether they get in or
not, there wasn`t much of a debate. You`re trying to please the guy.
Edwards was like a puppy dog compared to Cheney.

Don`t we need strong candidates for V.P. who are one to knock off the head
of the Republican candidate for vice president instead of sitting there
mealy mouth? Just a thought. Isn`t that a wonderful standard?

CASTRO: Well, you need –

MATTHEWS: Yes?

CASTRO: I think that you need someone who is effective. How that person
is effective really depends on the personality and posture of what they`re
up against. So, we don`t know who`s going to be on the other side of that
ticket. In fact, one of the oddities of this year is that we may not know
until just three or four days before the Democratic convention starts.

And so, you know, the traditional notion is that somebody has to be a
strong attack dog. Usually, that`s true. But it`s also true that the
person has to be nimble enough to handle whoever is on the other side. But
aside from all that, the most important thing is that person who`s chosen
needs to be somebody that could do a great job if God forbid it were
actually ever necessary for them to step in as president.

MATTHEWS: How are you in that?

CASTRO: Well, as I`ve said, it`s not going to happen for me. I`m gearing
back to Texas –

MATTHEWS: But how do you feel about that question? You must have given it
some thought that, if you know, if Jerry Ford was president of the United
States, he never expected it happen, through a series of constitutional
realities and he is president of the United States and he is president.
Harry Truman ended up president.

When Roosevelt died, he didn`t imagine that would happen I don`t think.
Maybe did. But do you ever think about it being president?

CASTRO: Well, you know, I do not. I have not looked in the mirror –

MATTHEWS: You never thought about being president?

CASTRO: I have not looked in the mirror every day and said, you know, I
want to be president.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You have accepted a cabinet position in this administration.
You know, you`ve been elected on your own, you accept a point of position
without any thought you may rise to the top job.

CASTRO: Chris, you know, I`m 12th in line in succession. So if they ever
get to me, something is really wrong. So –

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I think you`re a great guy so let me change the subject. OK.
I`ll get you off the hook.

Let me ask you about a real challenge –

CASTRO: I`m just happy to support Secretary Clinton and I have zero doubt
that she`s going to make a very good decision for her vice president and
that that person is going to do a fantastic job on the campaign trail and
be very well-qualified if he or she was needed to step in, God forbid.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s talk tough, let`s talk HARDBALL. There is somebody
in that campaign told Paul Healy, what`s his name, I`ll think of it in a
minute. Healy of “The New York Times”, that Hillary Clinton doesn`t care
if the candidate she picks for V.P., enthralls was the word, the Bernie
people?

Do you think that`s a good attitude? Or should they pick somebody –
should they pick somebody that they like over there on the left?

CASTRO: Well, I think what you want do is select somebody who is going to
compliment her well and also be able to help go out there and get support
from the left and the center. Somebody that has credibility. And then
again, the most important thing is somebody that can actually step in and
do the job if called upon to do it.

MATTHEWS: Should she appease the Bernie people as part of this deal making
and putting together a ticket?

CASTRO: I mean, that verb you`re using “appease” I think is not the right

MATTHEWS: Enthrall, embrace?

(LAUGHTER)

CASTRO: I think if you remember, you know, 2008, 2008 was in some ways an
even more heated, even more heated race than this one. And at the end of
the day, Secretary Clinton was fantastic about trying to unify the party.

MATTHEWS: Sure was.

CASTRO: So was President Obama.

I`m very confident that headed toward November when Democrats realize that
we have a choice to make between somebody like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz and
someone who is progressive who can get things done and would be a solid
president, a great president like Hillary Clinton that Democrats will
support Hillary Clinton and also, I think independents are going to
overwhelmingly support her, whether Cruz or Trump.

MATTHEWS: Thanks so much. You`re a great guest.

And I do think you think about the White House and, well, you should.

Anyway, thank you, Secretary Julian Castro of HUD.

CASTRO: Good to be with you.

MATTHEWS: It`s good to have you on HARDBALL.

Up next, let`s make a deal. Ted Cruz and John Kasich join forces to stop
Donald Trump and Trump calls it collusion. He wants them both to quit the
race.

The HARDBALL round table is coming here next to talk about it. You`re
watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One is one for 41. You know, I
won many, many states. Millions of votes ahead. Many states, many
delegates.

The other one is he`s like a total disaster. He goes to New York last
week. He doesn`t even register he`s so low. He got no delegates.

Folks, they ought to both drop out of the race, so we ought to unify the
Republican Party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that was the most egotistic think we`ve heard for a long
time. Everybody else should quit the race. That`s Donald Trump just
moments ago at a rally up in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.

Joining me right now is the HARDBALL round table, Jonathan Capehart,
Washington Post” opinion writer and MSNBC contributor. Jennifer Jacobs is
a political reporter for “The Bloomberg Politics”, and former Virginia U.S.
Congressman Tom Davis. He`s a John Kasich supporter.

OK, John Kasich supporter, you only got like two minutes a piece here.
What do we do here if you`re you? What do you do when Trump just said,
clear the field, get out of the way?

TOM DAVIS (R-PA), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: We`re staying in for day one.
You go into Oregon, you go to New Mexico, you go to California, you win
delegates, and you go to conventions. He`s the only person that can win a
general.

MATTHEWS: Jennifer, he`s just declared – get out of here, scat.

JENNIFER JACOBS, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: I think he was clearly irritated
today. I mean, if you`re going to unleash the pancake attack into the 2016
race –

MATTHEWS: What`s the pancake attack? Quickly.

JACOBS: He was saying that he doesn`t like the way John Kasich eats, which
all of us who have covered John Kasich knows he is – we know that he is a
very voracious eater.

MATTHEWS: Does he eat pancakes one at a time?

JACOBS: Apparently, Trump thinks he shovels food into his mouth. And so,
he had a new nickname. He had pancake attack.

MATTHEWS: Is nothing sacred?

JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: No.

(LAUGHTER)

CAPEHART: No. As long as Donald Trump is in the race, nothing is sacred.
But the thing I`m wondering is, what took Cruz and Kasich so long to do
this deal that we`re talking about?

MATTHEWS: What kind of strange bedfellows are. The one is sort of
centrist Republican. You can`t even use that term without sounding
derogatory. Regular Republican, now the guy is a hard right guy. In the
middle is Trump. How can they marry against him?

JACOBS: T Trump guys told me today they think this tarnishes Cruz`s brand
to be aligning himself with the most liberal candidate in the race.

MATTHEWS: I think it rubs off the sharpness.

DAVIS: Well, you got to stop the front runner, and the only way you`re
going to stop the frontrunner is not divide your forces in a state like
Indiana which is basically winner-take-all.

CAPEHART: But the problem with what they are doing is – what you`re
saying is absolutely right, but it plays perfectly into Donald Trump`s
overall argument about –

MATTHEWS: Because – rigging.

CAPEHART: Yes, the system is rigged, corrupt. They`re colluding. They`re
bribing people. All of that and they`re trying to steal the nomination
from us.

MATTHEWS: Kelly O`Donnell said something earlier. She said, how can you
ask voters to be part of a back room deal? Because you`re asking the
Kasich people to vote for Cruz in Indiana. How do you vote to play the
game?

JACOBS: I don`t think – I talked to a GOP official in Oregon this morning
and he said he doesn`t think it`s going to change the outcome of the vote
in Oregon. People are still going to vote the way they want.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, I think Indiana goes for Trump. Anyway, Jonathan
Capehart, thank you. Jennifer Jacobs and Tom – Tom Cruz – no, Tom Davis.

CRUZ: Almost.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: When we return, left me finish with this new Republican ploy to
stop Donald Trump. I have some thoughts on this I`ve been holding.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this new Republican ploy to stop
Donald Trump. Don`t count on it.

As Richard Nixon, a student of the political dark arts once observed to Pat
Buchanan, whenever you hear of a stop X movement, bet on X. Why? Because,
inevitably, the movement to stop a particular candidate is, A, too late
and, B, too divided. By the time the others realize the only hope lies in
combining forces, the leading candidate, the one they want to stop is so
far ahead the only plan that offers hope at all.

Also, none of the candidates joined together to stop the front runner have
any interest in seeing any of the other challenges pick up the pieces.
They all want to free the front runner. They all want to end up the front
runners themselves.

And one other reason, why would any voter want to vote for the candidate to
stop movement clears the field for? If you`re a Cruz voter, why would you
vote for Kasich or the other way around?

So, here we stand before five Republican primaries, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island, Trump could win all, he could win
all five. And amidst of this big news for Trump, his rivals decide it`s
time to bunch together to try to stop him.

Here is betting that the Nixon Rule applies, when the only way his rivals
see stopping him is a stop Trump movement, bet on Trump. If I were Hillary
Clinton or an optimistic Bernie Sanders, I`d be thinking about this and
readying for battle, because the real stop Trump movement needs to get
going after the conventions.

That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. I`ll see you on
Wednesday night.

Stay tuned for two MSNBC town halls tonight – they`ll be great ones –
with the Democratic presidential candidates themselves starting now with my
colleague Chris Hayes and Senator Bernie Sanders.

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

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