Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 5/26/2016

John Stanton, Heidi Przybyla, Ruth Marcus, Nina Turner, Steve McMahon, John Brabender, Margaret Carlson, Cornell Belcher, Nayyera Haq, Marc Ginsberg


Date: May 26, 2016

Guest: John Stanton, Heidi Przybyla, Ruth Marcus, Nina Turner, Steve 

McMahon, John Brabender, Margaret Carlson, Cornell Belcher, Nayyera Haq, 

Marc Ginsberg

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Trump`s over the top. 

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening.  I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Well, the big news today, Donald Trump has earned enough delegates to win 

the Republican nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland.  He is over the 

top.  It was unbound delegates from Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Colorado 

that did it. 

Trump did a victory lap at a press conference today, tossing out red meat 

attacks against popular conservative targets like President Obama, Hillary 

Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren.  His goal seemed to be to consolidate 

the Republican Party around him, make it us, meaning Republicans, against 

them, meaning Democrats.

Let`s watch.



done a horrible job.  Everybody understands that.  Hillary Clinton – she`s 

worse than Obama.  She wants to – I mean, she actually openly said, I want 

to put the coal miners out of business.  I want to put the coal mines out 

of business.  Essentially, she`s saying, I want to put the steel mills out 

of business.

QUESTION:  (INAUDIBLE) Warren.  She seems to have made it her job…

TRUMP:  Who, Pocahontas?


TRUMP:  Well…


TRUMP:  Oh, I`m sorry about that.  Pocahontas?  Is that what you said?


TRUMP:  Elizabeth?  Elizabeth Warren?  I think she`s as native American as 

I am, OK?  That I will tell you.  But she`s a woman that`s been very 

ineffective, other than she`s got a big mouth.


MATTHEWS:  That was rough. 

Anyway, meanwhile, one Trump adviser is saying his boss plans to soften his 

most controversial proposal, that ban on all foreign Muslims coming to the 

U.S.  And Trump toyed with a potential television bonanza, if you will, a 

debate with Senator Bernie Sanders.  He said if they can raise $10 million 

to $15 million for charity, it`ll be a night of him versus the self-

described democratic socialist. 

But even with the magic number of delegates now in hand, one major 

Republican still isn`t in the bandwagon.  That`s Speaker Paul Ryan.  He was 

asked about a phone call he had last night with Trump.  Here`s what he had 

to say.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  It was a productive phone 

call.  Like I said, we`ve had these conversations.  Our staffs have been 

meeting.  And we had a very good and very productive phone call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did it get you closer to yes?

RYAN:  We had a productive phone call.  I`ll leave it at that.


MATTHEWS:  Overseas, President Obama attacked Trump for his, quote, 

“ignorance of world affairs.” Back home, Hillary Clinton also took a shot 

at Trump, the potential commander-in-chief.



today, it was reported that Donald Trump has clinched the number of 

delegates he needs to be the Republican nominee.  That means an 

unqualified, loose cannon is within reach of the most powerful job in the 



MATTHEWS:  Well, Donald Trump`s (sic) Washington bureau chief for “Mother 

Jones” and an MSNBC political analyst, and Heidi Przybyla`s senior 

political reporter for “USA Today,” John Stanton`s Washington bureau chief 

for Buzzfeed.

John, let me look at this thing, and everybody has a point of view here 

except Heidi has no point of view, which is great.  You…

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, “USA TODAY”:  I`m right down the middle.

MATTHEWS:  Right down the middle!



MATTHEWS:  … where we all come together in a gigantic Niagara of opinion 

here on this show.  Trump was Trump today.  This idea that he`s somehow 

going to become presidential – he`s out there with the Pocahontas line, 

which I think is wearing thin, taking shots a the president.  I don`t know 

– this was his day to jump over the net, shake hands with the other said 

and say, I won.  He didn`t act like that.

JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED:  No, that`s not his – that`s not his MO, right?  

His shtick is to – is to just take the racket and beat you with it until 

you say, OK, I give in.  And I think that`s kind of what he`s doing, right?  

I mean, he`s beating on Democrats, but he`s beating – still beating on 

Republicans that aren`t falling in line.  And he`s making a point, I think, 

to everybody around him that if you don`t fall in line, I`m just going to 

bring this kind of crazy scorn, and like, abuse – and bring it to bear on 

you until you finally acquiesce.

MATTHEWS:  I`m going to get to you in a minute, but first you.


right.  I mean, he…

MATTHEWS:  Was there logic to what he did today?  Because I think it was.  

But your thoughts.

CORN:  Well, I think the logic is he`s going to go with what got him to 

this point.  And if he turns more on the Democrats than on some of the 

Republicans that he has taken shots at, he`s getting the Republican Party 

behind him now.  You know, months ago, Mitt Romney and others were saying, 

you`ll never get us behind you, sir!  And yet nine out of ten Republicans 

in the latest polling say that they will support Trump…

MATTHEWS:  Because?


CORN:  Because he`s not Hillary.  He`s not Hillary (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS:  That`s what he did today!  It seems to me…


CORN:  … keep doing that.  And then he`s going to – I don`t know if 

there`s ever a point where he`ll try to be more presidential.  But this is 

a base election.  He`s not trying to get independents.

MATTHEWS:  I think he`s trying to get 45 to 48 percent, trying to get up in 

the high 40s.  And he`s going to cost him with women.  This Pocahontas 

thing ain`t going to help him with minorities, certainly, with anybody 

(INAUDIBLE) kind of a cheap shot, and going after the president the way 

he`s going – but then again, the president took shots at him today.  I 

think it`s about coalescing the Republicans around him.  He`ll get to the 

other people later.

PRZYBYLA:  If you`re looking at just what he did today, you could certainly 

think that is kind of the road map that he`s following, Chris.  But you 

have to – you have to ask the question of whether he can stick to that.  

And you look at what he did yesterday.  Look at what he did with Susana 


There was absolutely zero political calculation that would have told him 

that that was a good idea.  When you`re…

MATTHEWS:  Why is there…


MATTHEWS:  That`s a great point.

PRZYBYLA:  You`re having a problem with Latinos, you`re having a problem 

with women, so you go to a blue state and attack the most prominent Latina 

female in your party.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Well, even as Trump clinches the nomination, he continues 

to slam such Republican critics as Republican Susana Martinez of New 


Let`s watch.


TRUMP:  We have to get your governor to get going!  She`s got to do a 

better job, OK?


TRUMP:  Your governor has got to do a better job.  She`s not doing the job. 

Poor Mitt Romney.  Poor Mitt.  I mean, I have a sore (ph) that`s worth more 

money than he is!  He choked like a dog.  You ever see him in athletics?  

He`s a choker.  And he walks like a penguin onto the stage.  You ever see -

- like a penguin!

Many of the people I competed against have now endorsed me.  And most 

importantly – no, Jeb hasn`t done it yet.  He will get a burst of energy 

and he will do it, believe me!  I`m telling you.   He needs a little more 



MATTHEWS:  So that shtick of making fun of people – I have to go – I have 

to tell you, next time I watch Mitt Romney walk, I`ll (INAUDIBLE) the 

penguin (INAUDIBLE)


MATTHEWS:  I can`t resist it now.  But what`s that do for you politically?

STANTON:  Well, politically, it`s what he`s always done, right?  It`s 

bullying.  I mean, he`s going out and he`s bullying people that are 

examples.  He doesn`t care about Martinez or Bush or Romney, right?  Those 

people – he doesn`t need them, as far as he`s concerned. 

He uses them as whipping boys to prove to all the other members of Congress 

and the senators and the state party chairmen and the influential voices in 

states that he`s going to need them, If you don`t do what I say, I`m going 

to beat on you in public like this, and you are going to be very unhappy 

with it and it`s going to make you look bad and you might lose your next 


And I think that`s – he`s done that to great effect so far.

MATTHEWS:  And why does he do it, again?


STANTON:  For a party that has sort of defined itself as being this 

hawkish, like, tough guy party, like Republicans have, they fall in line 

real quick when he starts…

MATTHEWS:  Well, strength is an appealing feature of a person, is strength.


MATTHEWS:  … a lot of Democrats have suffered from not having that.

CORN:  Yes, but he also had an act, a shtick.  He`s the Don Rickles of the 

Republican Party.

MATTHEWS:  (INAUDIBLE) that piece about Rickles today?

CORN:  He`s great…

MATTHEWS:  He`s 90, and he`s still great.

CORN:  And he just can`t give up because he doesn`t have policy.  He 

doesn`t have anything reasonable to say.  This is what got him to this 

point and…

MATTHEWS:  Well, is strength itself…


CORN:  Strength is his attitude.


CORN:  People want a guy who`s putting down others and he`s just kicking…


CORN:  … butt.  That`s what they want, and he`s going to do that again 

and again with Republicans, Democrats and with the media and anyone…


PRZYBYLA:  I think we`re reading a little bit too much into this.  

Basically, she angered him.  She didn`t come to his rally.  She was 

critical of him. 

And what this shows is that he didn`t have kind of the self-control to 

think about that political calculation and think about whether this makes 

any sense on any level to attack her.  And he just – he just…


PRZYBYLA:  He`s angry.  She got under his skin.

MATTHEWS:  Heidi, you got the mike here.  I`ll give you all the time you 

need because I wonder – half the people who watch this show are women, I`m 

sure, right now.  I know they are.

And I`m wondering about a couple things.  Some things he does do not 

advance his cause, but he does them anyway.  Why did he pick a fight with 

Carly Fiorina?  I can understand the fight with Megyn Kelly.  She was going 

at him, and that was a back-and-forth.  But he would say, I don`t like the 

way – you`re interrupting.  And she wasn`t interrupting.  And he – is 

that a thing here?  Do you think it`s a gender thing?

PRZYBYLA:  Well, it`s a question.  I don`t know what`s in his heart, but 

it`s something that women will look at that and ask the question, is that 

sexism or is that something else?  Why was he more irritated by her and 

view her as interrupting him?  Why was that in his head when, in fact, she 

was behaving like any other candidate on the stage. 

But I`ll tell you how women are looking at this, too, Chris, like the 

Pocahontas thing that – you know, calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas 

today.  The guys who were – you would just look over his shoulder to see 

how women are reacting.  The guys started laughing.  The more he said it, 

the woman standing behind him, who is a Republican delegated started biting 

her lip.

MATTHEWS:  It hurt her.

PRZYBYLA:  I think that`s how – I think that`s a lot of moderate 

Republican women are looking at some of these things that he says, even 

about women that maybe they don`t like, like Hillary Clinton, they take it 

– it`s a little bit more personal.


MATTHEWS:  … by the way.  That`s pretty much – Native Americans are in 

North Dakota.  It`s not like they`re…


MATTHEWS:  … cartoon figures out there.

CORN:  It wasn`t just that he called her Pocahontas.  He said that she was 

ineffective and that all she had was a big mouth.


CORN:  This is a woman who got her federal agency created.  And you can 

like – not like her…

MATTHEWS:  A big mouth is really gross.

CORN:  … but big mouth…

MATTHEWS:  Anyway, last night, Donald Trump seemed to accept an invitation 

from Senator Bernie Sanders to debate in California.  And today, he said he 

would do it if the event could raise – now figure this one out – $10 

million to $15 million for charity. 

Let`s watch the counter offer here.


TRUMP:  I think it would get very high ratings.  It should be in a big 

arena somewhere.  And we could have a lot of fun with it.  I`d love to 

debate Bernie, actually.  I mean, the problem with debating Bernie, he`s 

going to lose.  But I`d debate him anyway if they wanted to put up money 

for charity.  So we`ll see.  We`ve actually had a couple of calls from 

networks already.

QUESTION:  Raise $10 million, you`ll get on a debate stage with Bernie 


TRUMP:  I would love to, yes.  I would love to.


MATTHEWS:  I think he`s crazy.  I can write the headlines now, “Bernie 

Sanders beats him in debate.”  You can just tell that`s the way it`s going 

to go…


MATTHEWS:  … because the media would be rooting for Bernie, the older 

guy.  They`ll be rooting for him, the true believe.  I just can see it 

coming.  Why would he want to walk into a situation where they`re not going 

to say he beat Bernie Sanders?  It`s never going to be a headline like 


PRZYBYLA:  I don`t think he`ll do it, Chris, and I mean…


PRZYBYLA:  Bernie would love to do this.


STANTON:  Of course.

PRZYBYLA:  I don`t think…

MATTHEWS:  How could Bernie lose the debate?

PRZYBYLA:  Right now, he`s got about 10 percent, Trump does, of – of 

Bernie`s voters.  Who know what they`ll day on election, but Bernie`s 

voters who might potentially vote for him.  Once you put those two on a 

stage, it`s going to become abundantly clear to Bernie`s voters that Trump 

is not somebody that their candidate would ever want them to support.  And 

there`s no way – plus, like, the age-old rule of not engaging candidates 

who are, you know, below you.  Like, that`s why Hillary didn`t want to 

debate, right?  She thought she was the presumptive…

CORN:  He`s not going to do it, and he – you know, he screwed up already 

with the Vietnam…

MATTHEWS:  Who`s going to come up with the $10 million?

CORN:  No, that`s the whole thing, if they do it.  It`s not him.  He wants 

the networks to pay him to do this and he`ll give the money to charity, 

just like he did with the vets.

PRZYBYLA:  (INAUDIBLE) give it to women`s health (INAUDIBLE)

CORN:  Yes, I know, women`s health. 


MATTHEWS:  Somebody today said that`s one of the best bank shots they`ve 

ever heard, I`m doing it all for women.


STANTON:  I wonder if he`ll give it to Planned Parenthood again.


MATTHEWS:  … a debate between those two would feature (ph) – what`s 

something in Shakespeare where the guy gives the long speech?

CORN:  A monologue, a soliloquy.

MATTHEWS:  Soliloquy.  And at some point during a (INAUDIBLE), Bernie will 

give a wonderful soliloquy abut people in need, young people or old people 

or something, about health care, and everybody`s going to cheer, and 

there`ll be no such Trump moment.  And I just think he`ll lose. 

Anyway, thank you, David Corn.  And this isn`t going to happen, but we had 

to talk about it.  Heidi Przybyla…


MATTHEWS:  Amazing.  You`re getting so smart here.  And I do think 

everything you say is right.  Anyway, John Stanton, thank you.

Coming up, good news and bad news for Hillary Clinton.  The bad news is 

she`s leading Bernie Sanders now with just 2 points.  This thing is – 

look, this is going to be tricky out there in California.  This could be 

his last hurrah out there, but he could win that one. 

Anyway, the good news for Hillary, she`s beating Donald Trump among middle 

income voters in the Rust Belt states, voters Trump needs to win the White 

House, of course.  Well, as questions linger about her e-mail use, can 

Clinton fight her two-front war against Trump and Sanders both at the same 

time and win at both?  And that`s ahead.

Plus, President Obama says world leaders are rattled – that`s his word – 

by Donald Trump.  Trump`s response – Good, they should be.  But is this 

smart politics for the president to engage like this with the Republican 

nominee?  It`s dangerous to fight down, I would argue.  Don`t fight with a 

guy coming at you. 

And much more from the Trump archives, more of my old interviews with Trump 

that show earlier signs of what he`s selling now.  You`re going to find 

this fascinating, a deep (INAUDIBLE) but who`s – the numbers – we`re 

going to show you that, what he said in 1999 to me.  And it`s so 

interesting about how it fits with today.  Anyway (INAUDIBLE) close to home 

for us.  Anyway, I`m talking about Philly tonight, too, where the Democrats 

are going, where I grew up.

Anyway, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS:  Well, following a campaign stop in southern California„ Donald 

Trump made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night, and he was 

asked to explain past praise for his likely opponent, Hillary Clinton.  

Let`s watch.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST:  In 2008 – I want to get this right – you said you 

thought Hillary would make an excellent president.  As recently as 2012, 

you said you thought she was terrific.  What did she do?  What happened?


TRUMP:  Well, let me just explain to you.  I will – I will tell you.  When 

I`m a businessman – I had a beautiful story recently where they said Trump 

is a world class businessman.  All over the world, we`re doing jobs.  I 

speak well of everybody.  If people ask me about politicians, I speak well.  

So when they asked me about Hillary, she`s wonderful, the – everybody`s 



CORN:  And that`s the way it is, and including contributions.  They ask me 

for contributions, I give contributions.

KIMMEL:  So you were full of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) when you said that.



MATTHEWS:  How can you talk like that? 

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  Hillary Clinton is pushing forward 

despite that State Department audit that says she violated the federal 

record-keeping rules when she was secretary of state.  And even when one of 

her closest aides, Huma Abedin, recommended Clinton begin to use an 

official State Department e-mail address, Clinton said, quote – this is an 

important quote – “Let`s get separate address or device, but I don`t want 

any risk of the personal being accessible,” close quote.

Well, the investigation did not find any evidence that Clinton received a 

new device or address after that discussion.

The Clinton campaign has been downplaying the inspector general`s report 

since it came out yesterday.  Here`s Clinton, Secretary Clinton, reacting 

to the report herself earlier today.



report makes clear that personal e-mail use was the practice for other 

secretaries of state.  And I know that because it is well known.  It`s 

pointed out in the report.  But it was still a mistake.  And as I`ve said 

many times, if I could go back, I would do it differently.

I know people have concerns about this.  I understand that.  But I think 

voters are going to be looking at the full picture of what I have to offer, 

my life and my service, and the full threat that Donald Trump offers our 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is your interview with the FBI scheduled yet?

CLINTON:  No, it`s not.  But I have offered since last August, and I am 

looking forward to seeing this matter wrapped up.


MATTHEWS:  Well, Steve McMahon`s a Democratic strategist.  Nina Turn`s a 

former Ohio state senator who supports Bernie Sanders.  And Ruth Marcus is 

“Washington Post” deputy editorial page editor.

Ruth, this – I know we were talking before.  This is a tough one to try to 

get through because it`s murky.  No one ever told Secretary Clinton when 

she was secretary, Don`t use the private e-mail server.  Nobody ever told 

her.  Whose fault is that?  That`s what I`d like to get to.  Why – 

usually, when you go to school, they say use eight-and-a-half-by-ten paper, 

whatever.  Use a pencil.  And there`s instructions to every part of our 


But there was no, like, literal, clear instructions to her, Don`t do that, 

do this.

RUTH MARCUS, WASHINGTON POST”:  I think that there`s two levels of fault.  

I think there was a culture of enabling around her.  That`s true of a lot 

of politicians.  You are the important person.  You`re the principal.  

Everybody wants to make you happy and satisfied.

Your role as the principal is to have people around you who feel empowered 

to stand up to you.  And Hillary Clinton made a mistake, but her staff also 

and the people who were working for her failed her by not telling her that 

this was a truly bad idea.


STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, I mean, I think Ruth`s right, 

they did fail her.  And you know, I actually also think that there were 

some – you know, I`m a big defender of Hillary Clinton, and I`m going to 

support the nominee but I think, you know, she made a mistake here.  The 

White House put out some guidelines, which she didn`t follow.

But they also probably knew she wasn`t using the right e-mail server and 

probably somebody at the White House should have said something.

So, I think there`s plenty of enabling going on.  There`s plenty of fault 

to go around.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  It continues, though, unfortunately.

Nina, one of the problems is that she said just recently, like yesterday, 

I`m the only secretary of state who put out all their e-mails.  Well, she 

didn`t.  She had 31,000 she kept and said they were private; 31,000 is not 

all when you say that`s – you`re not putting 31,000 out.

NINA TURNER (D), FORMER OHIO STATE SENATOR:  Right.  You got to just come -

- just come totally clean.  

MATTHEWS:  Can she?  

TURNER:  But this is the problem.  She keep saying that she did what other 

secretaries of states have done.  

And I know growing up a child, my mother would – when she would chastise 

me about doing something that my friends had done.  


MATTHEWS:  Thomas Jefferson didn`t use e-mail.

TURNER:  But, Chris, this is the point.  She would say, if they jumped off 

the bridge, are you going to jump off the bridge too?

This is the point.  It`s just don`t totally dismiss it.  You have to 



MATTHEWS:  Let`s do a little gravity test here, starting with you.

Nina, do you – Senator, do you think this will matter?  I always like to 

ask about when I have a problem.  I go, is this going to matter a month 

from now?  Is this going to matter a month from now?  

TURNER:  It may or may not.  It depends on the voters.

But I tell you this.  If the secretary is the nominee, Mr. Trump is going 

to make sure that the voters never, never forget it.  

MATTHEWS:  Does he know what to say about it?  I see he says it.  It`s one 

of those things he spews out.  But does he know what was wrong with what 

she did?  


TURNER:  He`s not expressed that.  


MATTHEWS:  Your colleague got it right.  Can you explain to somebody from 

Pluto what exactly matters here?  Why does it matter?  

MARCUS:  Well, there`s two – first of all, it`s important to understand 

this inspector general is the J.V. compared to the real ball game, the 

Super Bowl, which is what does the FBI, what does the Justice Department 


On that one, that would matter a lot.  It has to do with classified 

information.  I doubt that Hillary Clinton is going to be indicted, because 

the criminal law is very strict here.  But why this matters has to do with 

attitudes toward transparency and disclosure and the need for government 

disclosure and the sense that some people believe that the Clintons don`t 

think the regular rules apply to them.  That`s why it matters.  


MCMAHON:  And that`s a perfectly fair thing for some people to think.  But 

guess what?  The regular rules haven`t applied to them so far.  There`s 

been always a higher standard.  

And I actually Hillary Clinton should have said at the beginning, look, I 

was married to a president.  I ran for president.  I have been in the 

Senate.  And I don`t want to be doing anything illegal on the political 

side, because I communicate with my – with people who I have raised money 

with and with people I have supported politically.  


MATTHEWS:  I`m a true believer in that.  

By the way…


MATTHEWS:  It seems to me, it would be better off for everybody, as Hillary 

Clinton has said, if she had used two iPhones, or would do you call them, 

e-mail systems.

And if she just said, OK, is it government business?  OK, I will do that.  

OK.  I got to get some kid into Stanford because they gave me money in the 

campaign?  That`s a different phone call that she should be allowed to keep 

to herself.  That`s something she does on her own.

MARCUS:  Right.  

And let me express some sympathy for Hillary Clinton.  Right?  When she 

says I don`t want the personal to come out, that`s the result of years of 

having everything in her life excavated.  We understand why she says this.

MATTHEWS:  We will be reading your column tomorrow morning or the next day 

in “The Washington Post.”


MATTHEWS:  Anyway, Secretary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are virtually tied 

in the state of California.  That`s the big political news tonight, where 

voters head to the polls on June 7, a couple weeks from now.

Clinton has said a two-point edge.  She`s got a two-point edge in the 

latest poll out of that state.  That ain`t much, Nina.

TURNER:  No, not at all.  

And considering the fact that Senator Sanders was way behind before in 

other polls…


MATTHEWS:  Who`s going to spend the big money out there and win this thing?  

TURNER:  Certainly, Senator Sanders is spending big time out there.  


MATTHEWS:  He`s got $5 million left, right?


TURNER:  Because he`s out there.  He`s been holding large rallies.  He`s 

pressing the flesh.  He`s out there among the people.

MATTHEWS:  I have got a guy here who really like Hillary Clinton.

What happens if that Tuesday night…


MCMAHON:  I like them both.  I am an admirer of both.


Two weeks from yesterday, at 8:00 Eastern time, we`re going to know that 

Hillary Clinton has enough delegates to win this thing.  It`s over, 

counting the superdelegates and everything.  What`s that do to Bernie?  

Does that snuff out his victory that night at 11:00 that night Eastern 


MCMAHON:  This is bad for the Clinton campaign for the following reason.  

MATTHEWS:  Oh, bad for the Clintons, even though they win the nomination 

that night?


MCMAHON:  No, no, this poll is bad, because a week ago she was ahead by 16 

points.  Polls are a snapshot in time.  If Bernie Sanders is within two 

points, he`s still moving.  He`s moving like this.  They have got to do 

something to stop that movement.  

It`s one thing if he wins by a little bit, but if he keeps going, it could 



TURNER:  I hate when you count the superdelegates.  

MATTHEWS:  I know you do.  That`s life.  That`s life.  


MCMAHON:  Those are the rules.


TURNER:  They don`t count until the day of the convention.  


MATTHEWS:  OK, Frank Sinatra, OK, look, but that`s life.  

Let me go to the new thing, because you broke this story.  Many believe the 

2016 contest for president will be fought and won in the Midwest industrial 

states.  I do, including Pennsylvania, broadly speaking, the new big 10, 

where working class voters could swing the contest to Trump or Clinton if 

she`s the nominee in the general election.  

According to a Bloomberg Politics-Purple Slice poll, Clinton leads Donald 

Trump by seven points among middle-class middle-income voters in the Rust 

Belt, which includes the states of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania and 


This is your poll.

MCMAHON:  It`s our poll.  We did it with Bloomberg.


MATTHEWS:  Tell me about your definition of working middle class.


MCMAHON:  Working middle class…

MATTHEWS:  How much a year?

MCMAHON:  Well, $30,000 to $75,000 a year.  

MATTHEWS:  Fair enough.  Fair enough.  

MCMAHON:  And these are the people that most people believe will – if 

Trump has chance in these Upper Midwestern states, these are the people 

that will need to go there, Reagan Democrats, if you will.

MATTHEWS:  What`s the normal spread in a normal presidential election?  Is 

it mostly Democrat?


MCMAHON:  The group has gone for the winning presidential candidate in six 

out of last six presidential campaigns.  It`s been by different margins.  

But this is a significant lead.


MATTHEWS:  You think this is good news for Hillary?  

MCMAHON:  It`s very good news for Hillary.  And I think it sort of closes 

the door on the strategy.  


MATTHEWS:  No, it`s not going to close the door, because we have how many 

months left?  It`s the only door he`s got to go through.  


MARCUS:  That`s exactly right.  It`s his only door.  

MCMAHON:  It`s one of the doors.  

He has to actually go back to a Romney sort of strategy where he is 

focusing on the purple states, the purple states that Republicans 

traditionally win.  He`s not going to flip these states.  


MATTHEWS:  Well, here is the question.  If the Republicans win the Deep 

South, which they will win – they will win the Rocky Mountains and they 

will win the Plains states.  

And Democrats will win the all bicoastal, California, Seattle.  They will 

win that on the left coast, we say.  They`re going to win the East Coast.  

The battleground has to be the middle.  

MCMAHON:  No, no, no.  The battleground is – it`s New Hampshire, it`s 

North Carolina, it`s Florida, it`s Ohio, it`s Virginia.  It`s not Michigan 

and Pennsylvania.  

TURNER:  Yes, it`s always Ohio.

MCMAHON:  Yes, it`s always Ohio.

TURNER:  It`s always Ohio.

 MCMAHON:  But Democrats have been winning those pretty consistently.  


MATTHEWS:  Who`s here from Ohio?  

TURNER:  I am.  

MATTHEWS:  Just kidding.  Thank you.  

It is Ohio.  It always is Ohio.  And if the Republicans don`t win Ohio, 

they do not win, historically.

Anyway, thank you, Steve McMahon, Senator Turner, Ruth Marcus, who is 

granulating this column.

Up next, rattled, that`s how world leaders are feeling about Donald Trump.  

I have mixed views about world leaders and what they think.  But according 

to a warning from President Obama this morning, you can see the president 

take on the Republican nominee a much more aggressive way.  I don`t like 

arguing American politics overseas, by the way.  Let`s agree on that one.  

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.  


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

President Obama of course is in Japan right now, where tomorrow he will 

become the first sitting president to visit the Hiroshima – or Hiroshima 

Peace Park Memorial.  Today at the G7 Summit, the focus quickly shifted to 

the U.S. presidential race.  

At a press conference, President Obama said world leaders are rattled – 

that`s his word – by Republican nominee Donald trump.  



attention to this election.  I think it`s fair to say that they are 

surprised by the Republican nominee.  They are not sure how seriously to 

take some of his pronouncements, but they are rattled by it, and for good 



MATTHEWS:  But this news hasn`t shaken Trump himself.  Here is what he had 

to say in response to what the president said in Japan.  


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  When you rattle someone, that`s 

good, because many of the world – as you know, many of our – the 

countries in our world, our beautiful world, have been absolutely abusing 

us and taking advantage of us.  So, if they`re rattled in a friendly way, 

we are going to have great relationships with these countries.  

But if they`re rattled in a friendly way, that`s a good thing, John, not a 

bad thing.  


MATTHEWS:  Rattled in a friendly way is an interesting twist of words.  

Anyway, joining me now for more is Nayyera Haq, a former spokesperson for 

the State Department.  Marc Ginsberg, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, 

I have known him a long time.

Nayyera, let`s talk about this thing here.  Is this the kind of 

conversation presidents should even get involved in talking about domestic 

U.S. politics with foreign leaders, who are not Americans, do not have the 

same stake in this country that we do?  And I think should we even listen 

to what they have to say?  Your thoughts on the whole thing.  


a president has is defending American policy and explaining American values 


And it`s actually very difficult even as an average citizen with friends or 

business overseas.  It`s the first question people ask.  What is going on 

with Donald Trump?  

MATTHEWS:  I know.

HAQ:  He`s actually responding to direct questions from world leaders, 

direct questions from press conferences.

And I think it was actually a very polite way of, rather than going into 

all the dirty details of what is going on in American politics – but it`s 

impossible now to separate conversations overseas from conversations that 

happen domestically.  It`s just the nature of the world we live in that 

everything Trump says at an Arizona rally or somewhere in North Carolina is 

going to resonate overseas.  

And people pay a lot of attention to what the United States political 

machine is going to look like.  

MATTHEWS:  This president was strong today, though.  He said say they`re 

rattled and should be.  


This is a guy who is issuing verbal hand grenades.  This is a developer who 

thinks that because he slaps his name on a building, he can do brain 

surgery.  The phony foreign policy where he is saddling up to the likes of 

the head of North Korea, to Putin, and all of the oligarchs that ultimately 




MATTHEWS:  You think he says they are good leaders or what?  

GINSBERG:  Oh, yes.  I have the quotes all…

MATTHEWS:  Good leaders or strong?  

GINSBERG:  They`re strong leaders.  

Look, he wanted to meet with the heed of North Korea.  Why?  His quote was, 

he knows how to take care of his opponents.  OK?

So, let me ask you something, Chris.  How could leaders who are democrats 

around the world not be concerned about a guy who believes that he`s the 

next caudillo.  You don`t remember what the caudillo is?  Francisco Franco 

was a caudillo.  All the Latin American strong men in Spanish are known as 



GINSBERG:  Trumpismo, they refer to it in Mexico.

MATTHEWS:  I know.  I know.

It explains a lot of militaries taking over.  Anyway, why might world 

leaders be concerned about Trump?  Well, let`s take a listen.  


TRUMP:  Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of 

Muslims entering the United States.  

I will tell you about NATO.  It`s obsolete.  And we`re paying too much 


QUESTION:  If you`re president and he`s the British prime minister?

TRUMP:  It looks like we`re not going to have a very good relationship.  

I don`t want Japan to arm, but it`s possible that if they don`t pay up, 

they are going to have to arm, folks.  OK?  They are going to have to arm, 

so that when North Korea acts up, let them worry about North Korea, instead 

of us worrying about North Korea.  

I will build a great, great wall on our southern border.  And I will have 

Mexico pay.  

Saudi Arabia, making a billion dollars a day before the oil went down.  A 

billion dollars day.  They`re still making a fortune.  We defend them.  How 

stupid are we?

MATTHEWS:  Can you tell the Middle East we`re not using a nuclear weapon on 


TRUMP:  I would never say that.  I would never take any of my cards off the 


MATTHEWS:  How about Europe?  We don`t won`t use them in Europe? 

TRUMP:  I`m not going to take it off the table for anybody. 

MATTHEWS:  You`re going to use it in Europe? 

TRUMP:  No!  I don`t think so.  But…


MATTHEWS:  Well, just say it.  I will never use a nuclear weapon in Europe.

MATTHEWS:  I`m not taking cards off the table.  


MATTHEWS:  That crowd, by the way, that day we had the interview with – – 

I had the interview with Trump, they were actually laughing at the prospect 

of anybody seriously saying we might under any circumstances drop a nuclear 

bomb, an atomic bomb in Europe.  


   MATTHEWS:  You can take that off the table.  If I were there, I would 

say I will take that off the table.  

GINSBERG:  Chris, when you look at the fact that this is a guy who went to 

military school for high school and we`re going to put him in as commander 

in chief and he`s encouraging the spread of nukes around the world, and 

he`s totally counterintuitive about defending our alliances, and at the 

same time saying, you know what, we should step back and let everybody go 

fight their own wars.  

MATTHEWS:  I know.  That`s what he is saying.

GINSBERG:  Underneath his picture should be most likely to start a war.  


A new global poll out today conducted by YouGov sheds more insight into 

what the world thinks of Donald Trump.  The online poll surveyed citizens 

of six countries, France, Germany, the U.K. and then Mexico and Canada and 

Japan.  It was all thrown together.

Among the findings, 78 percent, nearly eight in 10, say Trump`s political 

views make the world less safe.  Nearly three-quarters, 74 percent, think 

his politics have worsened their view of America and 71 percent think 

Trump`s positions are bad for the global economy.  

Nayyera, your thoughts about those numbers?  

HAQ:  Well, and it makes perfect sense to me, given the fact that anything 

he says is what feels right at the moment and it could change the next day.  

We have all seen some of the flip-flopping and role reversals.  Part of the 

challenge is that no one can figure out overseas what is the underlying 

theory or if there is any underlying theory.  

MATTHEWS:  It`s nationalism.  I`ll tell you that right now.  It`s 

nationalism, us against them.


HAQ:  It`s us against them at any cost.  And that`s frankly not a sign of 


And it doesn`t give our allies, who, frankly, are dealing with challenges 

on their doorsteps of terrorism – we have a benefit in the U.S. of being 

relatively isolated, but our allies are looking to address these problems 

in their country next door, and all we can say is that we`re happy to 

rattle them and be inconsistent.  

This is not the steady hands at the wheel that people, I think even the 

American public, are looking for from a commander in chief.  

MATTHEWS:  Just think about the leaders we have seen in the world starting 

with Fidel Castro and everybody else we have ever met.  The best way to 

unify the people at home and to get them excited is to have a foreign 

person we can all dislike.  Right?  


GINSBERG:  Sure.  Sure.  Yes.    

MATTHEWS:  We have been pushed around.  We`re getting pushed around.  Let`s 

push back.  That`s Trump.

GINSBERG:  Look, the fact of the matter is that he has his targets.  He`s 

going to pony up to all the authoritarians in the world.

We have seen this in history before.  

MATTHEWS:  You make it sound like he wants to ally with them.  I think he 

likes their toughness.

GINSBERG:  I think he likes their toughness.  But he also is an 

isolationist.  Herbert Hoover is his model.  OK?  He doesn`t want to be 

engaged abroad.


MATTHEWS:  Why doesn`t he?  

GINSBERG:  Well, because he thinks that everyone else should do it.  


HAQ:  I don`t think that that jibes.  I don`t know that it jibes with 

making America great again.  Right?  

GINSBERG:  He also thinks that in the end, everybody has not done their 

fair share and that it`s up to the United States to step back.  

He`s going to make America great again by disengaging and breaking all of 

our alliances.  

MATTHEWS:  He should stick to NATO.  

Anyway, thank you, Nayyera Haq.  Thank you, Ambassador Marc Ginsberg.  

Thank you.  

Up next, we open the HARDBALL vault for a new look at the old Trump.  I`m 

looking back.  He looks younger there, but some of these views are very 

telling about what he`s saying now.  The revealing comments by the 

Republican nominee made over the past two decades, we`re going back – this 

is like the way-back machine – 1999, we`re going back to it.  

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.  



DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN:  I have to work very hard.  I`d have to be doing 

shows like this all the time and lots more.  And I think I could do it.  


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Seventeen years ago.  That was 17 years ago.

Welcome back to HARDBALL.  

That was Donald Trump saying 17 years ago that if he were to run for 

president, which he has, he`d have to rely a lot on free media, TV 

appearances on shows like this, even before there were shows like “MORNING 

JOE.”  That`s exactly what he`s done throughout this campaign, free media, 

entertainment and campaigning on shows and not paying a nickel.

Any way, back in 1999, Trump was considering a White House bid on what was 

called the Reform Party ticket.  In my HARDBALL college tour interview, 

Trump told me his campaign would be about restoring the spirit of this 

country.  You know, make America great again.  Let`s watch.  


MATTHEWS:  How comfortable are you, Donald Trump, becoming the symbol of 

American life?  

TRUMP:  Well, I think the problem that this country really has is there`s a 

lack of spirit right now, and everything I`ve done in business and in my 

life, I`ve created this spirit.  I have a lot of good friends, a lot of 

good everything.  But I have a lot of spirit in my business.  My business 

does great.  I`m the biggest developer by far in New York.  And we can say, 

oh, he`s a development, he`s a business guy.  He`s made a lot of money.  

But, you know, I look at other candidates and say what gives them the 

right?  They haven`t done a thing.  And I said, what gives them the right 

to really go out and run for office?  


MATTHEWS:  Wow.  I`m joined right now by the roundtable.  John Brabender is 

a Republican strategist, Margaret Carlson is a columnist with “Bloomberg”, 

and Cornell Belcher is a Democratic pollster.  

Cornell, I think this guy has been thinking about running for president a 

long time.  Thinking about how he`s going to get the free media, how he`s 

going to push the idea of spirit and morale, he`s going to sell that, as 

his main selling point.

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER:  The free media thing is amazing, 

because, you know, you literally couldn`t buy the media he`s gotten.  Once 

upon a time in air and communication, there`s this ideal of oversaturation.  

Trump has blown that out of water, that he is all the time ready to talk to 

reporters.  You still have a lot of politicians now.  

MATTHEWS:  You see him today.  He took every single question and wouldn`t 

get off that stage.  

BELCHER:  Which goes against everything they teach you in basic 

communications.  He`s taking all the questions.  He`s oversaturated it.  

And it`s worked for him because he hasn`t had to spend nearly as much as 

other candidates.

MATTHEWS:  You`re so right. 

Margaret, movie stars like Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, for years, have 

very much limited their exposure to shows like the talk shows at night 

because they want to stay magical, you know?  They want to be rare.  And 

Trump is not rare.  

MARGARET CARLSON, BLOOMBERG:  No, no, he`s blanketed the zone.  But the 

word spirit struck me as wrong, because a more corporal person you couldn`t 

find.  I mean, it`s all Trump all the time.  He`s his own advisor.  He 

doesn`t need people like you because he`s making it up himself.  

When Rick Wiley was fired yesterday, I was thinking he will rent an aide 

that has experience.  He gets rid of them because he`s so convinced that 

his way is right and so far it has been.  

MATTHEWS:  Anyway, Trump also, and I also discussed how politics requires 

chutzpah when it comes to raising money.  Here is an interesting 

observation from Trump way back then 17 years ago.  


MATTHEWS:  The cost of running, one of them you wrote in “The Art of the 

Deal”, I think I talked to you about it one time.  You said, Jimmy Carter, 

the former president, who I think is great, came into your office one time 

and asked you for 5 million bucks for his library.  You said at that moment 

you know how he got elected, chutzpah.  

TRUMP:  That`s true.  

MATTHEWS:  Would you have the chutzpah to take the tin cup around and ask 

your business competitors to help contribute to your campaign?  

TRUMP:  Well, I think they probably would.  I mean, why not?  I`m in a 

unique position because I can take a lot of money as much as I need and run 

for president and not have to ask anybody.  But I would never look a gift 

horse in the mouth.  If these folks want to contribute to my campaign, I`ll 

take your money.  


MATTHEWS:  Ha!  You know what, John, you worked with candidates, who have 

to go out and put the tin cup out there.  They`ve got eight hours a day on 

the phone.  Trump`s never done that.  Why not?  

JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, first of all, that`s all 

going to change.  He is putting the tin cup out.  They need to raise a 

billion dollars.  And so, what he did to win a primary among 17 people is a 

lot different than going out to win a general.  

What I`m actually struck at in looking at the tapes is how likable he`s 

coming across.  I have to be honest with you, I`d rather see more of that 

Donald Trump than the Donald Trump that we`re seeing in some of these 

speeches now.  

MATTHEWS:  I thought this through many times.  I go into so many pages.  

And here he is, Trump said in our interview that rich people don`t like 

them.  But he`s viewed more favorably by blue collar workers.  Watch this.  


TRUMP:  I think the kind of person, that the people that support me or the 

workers, the construction workers, the taxi cab driver, rich people don`t 

like me.  And by the way, after my new tax plan, they like me a lot less.  

I can tell you that.

MATTHEWS:  Right.  Why do they like you?  Why is the working stiff like 


TRUMP:  I build buildings.  

MATTHEWS:  You build things.

TRUMP:  I think I`m the largest employer in the state of New Jersey.  We`re 

not so far away from New Jersey.  I build things.  I`m not paper guy.  I`m 

not shifting paper and making money that way.  I build buildings.  I build 

great buildings.  


MATTHEWS:  Here is the great question of our time, Cornell.  He does have 

an appeal to the average guy, because he acts like to me the rich guy, that 

regular would act like, one act like.  He doesn`t hide his money, has good 

looking wife, everything about him is cartoonishly rich.  

The working guys look up to him because he`s been builder.  But all the 

stuff he fed the guy, the white guy since, the birther thing, the president 

is some kind of an illegal immigrant, all this stuff about Mexico and the 

wall and Muslims, has he – did he get the love or support of the working 

guy.  I think I can build on this, and all this ethnic stuff.  

But you`re right, John.  It was not that ethnic stuff in the old 

interviews.  All the stuff people find offensive now wasn`t there.  

BELCHER:  But I also think he`s crazy like a fox.  He`s reading the tea 

lives.  There was a niche for that in the Republican primary.  It`s basic 

branding.  Find your niche and dominate that niche.  

When he laid out the argument about Mexicans being rapist and building a 

wall, all that racial aversion landed on him and he built upon it.  It was 


MATTHEWS:  But he had it back then without that, way back then he thought 

the working guy liked him.  

BELCHER:  I don`t think and I`ll say, I don`t think without the racial 

aversion, without the attacks on the Mexicans and Muslims he gets through 

the primary.  He has the pull of that white working class who has been hurt 

and has been undermined.  He gets those voters as strongly as he`s gotten.  

It`s a horrible thing to say but I don`t think he does.  

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Anyway, the roundtable is sticking – in other words, you 

have to do bad to get –  

BLECHER:  He had to do bad to get them.  

MATTHEWS:  The end doesn`t justify the means but sometimes he gets there.  

The roundtable is sticking with us.  And up next, these three will tell me 

something I don`t know.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS:  Play HARDBALL with us even when we`re not on air.  You can like 

the show on Facebook and follow us @hardball on Twitter and Instagram.  

You`ll get an all access pass including reporting and exclusive videos and 

behind-the-scenes photos as HARDBALL covers this 2016 presidential 


And we`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS:  We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.  

Cornell, tell me something I don`t know.  

BELCHER:  There`s a lot of talk lately with Howard Dean lately with the 

rift that`s on the left.  There`s two people who have bona fides, as 

Elizabeth Warren and Howard Dean, there`s a lot of conversation about what 

capacity to bring back Howard Dean.  Elizabeth Warren has got a full-time 

job.  Howard Dean, he`s looking for something.  


CARLSON:  So, Chris, the damn e-mails are back.  

MATTHEWS:  Sure, despite Bernie.  

CARLSON:  All right.  

MATTHEWS:  He said that, enough about the damn e-mails.  

CARLSON:  It`s all about the damn e-mail.  

But the excuse that comes out every time there`s a new report – well, 

Colin Powell did it.  You know, there`s been two independent fact-checking 

with “PolitiFact”, finding that his use of email was a handful from his 

BlackBerry where she has an elaborate server set up which was by that time 


MATTHEWS:  Sixty-one e-mails.  

CARLSON:  Yes, only 30,000 of which we have and –  


MATTEHWS:  You know why she says him, because he`s god.  I mean, he`s 


CARLSON:  He`s a god-like creature.  So, if he did it, that`s okay if I did 



MATTHEWS:  You can`t go back too far.  

CARLSON:  Right.  Right.  You can only go back to Madeleine Albright when 

it was first invented.  

MATTHEWS:  Quickly.  

BRABENDER:  The list he put out last week, Trump, of the conservatives he`s 

going to put on the Supreme Court, it changed everything.  Rick Santorum 

endorsed because this week, a bunch of other conservatives – 

MATTHEWS:  Who put the list together?  

BRABENDER:  They talked to – and Santorum put name out.  

MATTHEWS:  Because all the left jumped on it.  But I think it helped where 

he was going.

Anyway, thank you, John Brabender, I like to have you on the show.  

Margaret Carlson and Cornell Belcher, we have a very interesting panel.  

When we return, let me finish with something close to home.  Philly, 

Philly, Philly, Bogoly.  

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS:  Let me finish tonight with something close to home.  Lin-Manuel 

Miranda, of course, the creator and star of the smash Broadway musical 

Hamilton gave this year`s commencement address at the University of 

Pennsylvania.  He talked about the decision of the Founding Fathers to move 

the nation`s capital from Philadelphia to Washington.  Here he goes.  


LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA:  Who really won that deal in the end?  Look at D.C., 

it`s synonymous with institutional dysfunction, partisan infighting and 

political gridlock.  You are known as the birthplace of Louisa May Alcott, 

Rocky Balboa, Boyz II Men, Betsy Ross, Will Smith, Isaac Asimov, Tina Fey, 

cheesesteaks, and you can have scrapple, soft pretzels and Wawa hoagies 

whenever you want.  You win, Philly, you win every time.  


MATTHEWS:  You win Philly.

Well, this is the kind of thing I grew up.  Back then, New York was the 

dreaded rival of Philly.  I remember the high-ranking official of the 

Philadelphia fire department who came to school and told us not to feel too 

bad because even though New York had all those high-rise building and 

skyscrapers, we had the first free library, the first zoo and the first 

fire department.  

But for purposes of coming to Philly this July with the Democrats, let me 

add these to the bragging list.  Ben Franklin.  Talk about a renaissance 

man.  Big five basketball, La Salle, St. Joes, Temple, Penn, and national 

champion Villanova.  Kevin Bacon, Patti Labelle, Kobe Bryant, Bradley 

Cooper, Wilt Chamberlain and my favorite, the local Irish girl who behavior 

a movie queen and a European princess to boot, her serene highness Grace 


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

“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.  




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