Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 5/31/2016

John Feehery, Jay Newton-Small, Barbara Boxer, Michelle Bernard


Date: May 31, 2016

Guest: John Feehery, Jay Newton-Small, Barbara Boxer, Michelle Bernard

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Trump on a tear. 

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening.  I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Call him the fighter.  Today, a combative Donald Trump mocked, demeaned and 

jabbed at a long list of enemies.  Among them, Mitt Romney, Governor Susana 

Martinez, neocon Bill Kristol and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 

his new running mate, William Weld.

Trump`s number one target was the media.  Today`s press conference was 

called so that Trump could detail which veterans` groups were receiving 

donations from a January fund-raiser he held.  Here`s some of the action 

today in Trump Tower.



ashamed of themselves.  I have never received such bad publicity for doing 

such a good job.

QUESTION:  … keep calling us the dishonest press, the disgusting press…

TRUMP:  Well, generally speaking, that`s 100 percent true.

QUESTION:  Seems as though you`re resistant to scrutiny, the kind of 

scrutiny that comes with running for president of the United States.  

You`re saying…


QUESTION:  You`re raising money for veterans…

TRUMP:  Excuse me.  I`ve watched you on television.  You`re a real beauty.  

I`m not looking for credit.  But what I don`t want is when I raise millions 

of dollars, have people say, like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC 

– he`s a sleaze in my book.  You`re a sleaze because you know the facts 

and you know the facts well.

QUESTION:  I think you`ve set a new bar today for being contentious with 

the press corps, kind of calling us losers to our faces and all that.

TRUMP:  Not all of you, just many of you.

QUESTION:  Is this what it`s going to be like covering you if you`re 



TRUMP:  OK, yes, it is going to be like this, David.


MATTHEWS:  Wow.  “It is going to be like this.”

NBC`s Hallie Jackson is on the front line – I saw you there today – joins 

us now.  Let`s talk about this a little bit.  Is there any discrimination 

in the way he goes after the press?  Does he really single out people that 

he honestly – well, that`s not the right word – he thinks have been 

unfair to him?  Is there any logic to this, or is it a general, I know the 

best way to become popular in America is to trash the press?

HALLIE JACKSON, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  I think you nailed it, Chris.  Listen, 

Donald Trump is an equal opportunity insulter, you could say, particularly 

when it comes to the press because that is a low-risk strategy for him. 

Republicans who support him, many conservatives, believe that the press is 

biased.  And so when Donald Trump attacks the media – you saw it from his 

Republican rivals again and again and again – it`s kind of a win-win for 

him.  There`s really nothing to lose.

That said, there was that question raised, as you noted, about how Trump 

would act if he were the president and that goes to the broader question 

about Trump`s temperament, Trump`s tone, with our polling showing that just 

about 1 in 10 Americans believe that he does have the right temperament to 

be the commander-in-chief.

But as you heard from him today, Trump says he`s simply not going to 

change.  This is how he is.

MATTHEWS:  Does he go after the conservative press, the right – wing 

press, such as it is?

JACKSON:  You know, at times.  I think that you got to sort of see who he`s 

talking to when he`s talking to folks today.  In there today, we were sort 

of lined up in the front row, most of the big broadcast networks, the 

bigger newspapers, et cetera, and Trump kind of selected a few to hammer 

today.  But as you know, that is a strategy that he has used for the past 

what, nearly a year now.

MATTHEWS:  But the press, I think, are seen as liberal.  And I think, of 

course, Fox is not.  I`m just wondering – you`re sitting there right next 

to Major Garrett.  Were you guys immune to his assault today?

JACKSON:  Well, I don`t know if we were immune to his assault, if that`s 

how you want to phrase it, Chris.  I think that there are certain questions 

that Trump would prefer not to answer, and I think that some of those 

questions revolve around the issue of, as we talk about, accountability.  

You saw him through (ph) become angry about these questions over these 

charitable donations, Trump feeling like if he says he`s going to donate, 

then that should be generally…

MATTHEWS:  Fair enough.

JACKSON:  … good enough.  You heard him sort of complaining there or 

upset that he has donated money to veterans` groups and he feels like he is 

not getting the credit he should be receiving for making those donations. 

MATTHEWS:  I got it.

JACKSON:  On the other side of it, the question should (INAUDIBLE) held a 

public rally in a very public way on the night of a debate that he did not 

attend because it was potentially moderated by Fox News host Megyn Kelly.  

Trump (INAUDIBLE) end up holding a veterans` fund-raiser instead.  It was a 

public raising of money, and so some argue that there should be then a 

public accountability for where that money went.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  Well, we`ll talk.  I want to find out at some point where 

the press is – I wonder what the mood is in that first rank you were in.  

I`m not there.  I also wonder what the attitude is in that first rank, if 

you can even read it.  So we`ll talk later.  I always like to figure out…


MATTHEWS:  Your thoughts, if you got them.  Has he got any case here 

against the press?  Has he got any case?

JACKSON:  You know, I think that Donald – that`s an interesting question, 

Chris.  I think that what you see – you asked about sort of the 

conservative media versus other members of the media.  I will say that, you 

know, one person he often calls out are some of the Fox News reporters that 

are at these events – I was at rally last week – here today, sort of 

praising the Fox News reporters, Trump often appearing on that network.  He 

also, as you know, has had a relationship or at least has touted, for 

example, Drudge headlines, the conservative outlet there.

So he does have a different relationship, depending on the outlet he`s 

talking to.  But remember that this is a candidate who – he will draw 

contrast with Hillary Clinton saying that he`s the one who`s calling in to 

networks, he`s calling in to MSNBC or CNN or any of these other networks 


MATTHEWS:  Yes.  Yes, well, remember, I dug up the old archives where he 

said if he ever ran for president, he would be using shows like ours, like 

MSNBC shows.  They didn`t even exist, in fact, like this when he first 

started running for president.  There wasn`t any “MORNING JOE.”  There 

wasn`t O`Reilly.  There weren`t shows like this, or you know, Sean – there 

wasn`t shows like us, but now he seems to have foreseen the existence of 

them when he started running for president. 

Anyway, thank you, Hallie Jackson, for the front-line reporting.

Today, Trump also went after third and possibly fourth party challengers to 

him.  Neoconservative Bill Kristol, one of the loudest anti-Trump voices on 

the right, tweeted this weekend, “There will be an independent candidate, 

an impressive one with a strong team and a real chance.” 

Well, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported today that Kristol was 

referring to a conservative author and lawyer named David French.  He`s an 

Iraq war veteran.

Well, earlier today, Trump fired back at Kristol and others backing a third 

or fourth party option.  Let`s watch.


TRUMP:  Kristol`s the one that`s – he`s the last one.  Don`t forget, he 

said Trump will never run.  The guy is not a smart person. 

I actually blame you.  Why do you put this guy on television?  I see him on 

the different shows.  He`s got no credibility. 

It sounds like he`s going to put somebody up.  Even I thought it.  I 

thought, Oh, they`re going to find some indy. 

These people are losers.  He`s trying to make you – trying to make you – 

he`s trying drive you guys a little bit nuts.  If they do an indy, assuming 

it`s decent – which I don`t think anybody with a reputation would do it 

because they`d look like fools.  But what you`re going to do is you lose 

the election for the Republicans, and therefore you lose the Supreme Court.


MATTHEWS:  Michael Steele the former chair of the Republican National 

Committee, of course, and MSNBC political analyst, and Michelle Bernard`s a 

columnist with “Roll Call,” and Howard Fineman`s global political (sic) 

director for the HuffingtonPost, MSNBC analyst.

You remember the year of the replacements for the NFL?  I be thinking – I 

was thinking – “I be thinking”…


MATTHEWS:  I`m thinking that when they come up with this guy David French, 

who none of us have ever heard of, who writes occasionally for “The 

National Review,” a conservative magazine – Howard, he`s their candidate 

now!  That`s the fourth party candidate because the third party candidate`s 

already the guy runs all the time, Gary Johnson.  Now he`s got Bill Weld, 

who`s already being a target practice for Trump.  He`s (INAUDIBLE) with him 

personally now.


ANALYST:  OK, but did you see what Trump did there?  On the one hand, he`s 

always running against his own party.  He`s at war with his friends, with 

people who should be his friends, like Susana Martinez in New Mexico, Mitt 

Romney, and so on and so forth…

MATTHEWS:  Yes, but the so-called…

FINEMAN:  OK, wait a minute.

MATTHEWS:  … Republican establishment is running people against the 

Republican candidate!

FINEMAN:  Yes, I know.  But on the one hand, he`s saying, Hey, I`m a brand 

above the Republicans, and if they don`t come with me – he`s not a 

politician, in his mind.  He`s a conqueror in his mind.


FINEMAN:  He`s like, you know…


FINEMAN:  But on the one hand, he said, I`m not part of the party, but the 

argument he just made there was, Hey, if you run an independent candidate, 

you`re going to hurt the Republican Party.


FINEMAN:  Which is a strong argument.


MATTHEWS:  What value is a third party candidate or a fourth party except 

to destroy the chances of somebody else?  I mean, Ross Perot ran to destroy 

George, Senior, right?  Ralph Nader destroyed – whether he wanted to or 

not, he destroyed a more centrist candidate, Al Gore.  It`s what happens!

And all these people say, Don`t blame me, I voted for John Anderson.  You 

do deserve blame!  Your thoughts.

MICHELLE BERNARD, “THE HILL” COLUMNIST:  So the strategy seems to be for a 

Mike Murphy to a, you know, Erick Erickson at RedState, if you introduced a 

third party candidate who is popular enough to give Republicans who are on 

the anti-Trump and the anti-Clinton bandwagon somebody to vote for.  

Thereby, you deny both of them an electoral advantage and throw the race to 

the House of Representatives…


BERNARD:  I`m not saying that it`s going to work, but I`m saying…


MATTHEWS:  It`s the least democratic way to pick a president!

BERNARD:  It is, but – 


or not, it`d be helpful to have someone that somebody knows.



STEELE:  Start with that.

MATTHEWS:  Do you know David French?

STEELE:  I mean, I know who he is.  But I`m almost certain that rank-and-

file Republicans around the country have no clue who this brother is.  And 

we wanted to talk about it…


BERNARD:  People are saying that this would be an honorable mission, that 

they need somebody with courage and heft.



MATTHEWS:  Libertarians are saying that, too.  Look at this.  Over the 

weekend, the Libertarian Party chose what many consider its strongest 

ticket to date, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, and then former 

Massachusetts governor Bill Weld.

“The Wall Street Journal” editorial board today wrote, “Mr. Johnson isn`t 

likely to win a state, but he can still play a useful role by reminding the 

major party candidates that they aren`t the only choices.  Mr. Trump seems 

to think he can say whatever he wants because millions of voters are 

repelled by Mr. Clinton.  The Libertarians give these voters an honorable 

alternative if Mr. Trump makes himself unacceptable.”

Anyway, Johnson wasted little time slamming Trump as a racist.  Let`s 




incendiary to 50 percent of the population of New Mexico that he`s talking 

about, Hispanics, Mexicans, in this way when the absolute opposite is true!  

It`s just racist!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you ready for Donald Trump, once you`re in this 

thing and he recognizes you, to give you a big punch in the nose for 

calling him a racist?

JOHNSON:  I think that they`ve already started coming.  So you know, 



MATTHEWS:  Well, Trump hit back today.


TRUMP:  Gary Johnson got 1 percent of the vote last time.  I watched that 

whole situation.  It was really pretty disgraceful.  I think it`s safe, 

total fringe deal.  I he`s a fringe candidate, you want to know the truth.


MATTHEWS:  Anyway, Trump also took a shot at Johnson`s running mate, Bill 

Weld, through a spokesperson.  He told “The New York Times” this weekend, 

“I don`t talk about his alcoholism.”

Well, a recent Fox poll that included Johnson showed him getting 10 percent 

of the vote nationally. 

How, it`s for real.  If these guys get in the race – Gary Johnson`s in it 

– if somebody else, an undisclosed name is probably going to be a bigger 

name than David French at some point gets in as a neocon candidate, it does 

wear down the center right and the right.

FINEMAN:  No, I think it does.  I think the Libertarian thing is much more 

serious and worthy of attention because they`re going to be on the ballot 

in all 50 states. 


FINEMAN:  And they have their ticket, and Gary…

MATTHEWS:  (INAUDIBLE) 15 percent…


FINEMAN:  I don`t know about that.  Gary Johnson is known.  Bill Weld is 

known.  And Bill Weld is a smart guy.  And both of these guys are fearless, 

I think.  Gary Johnson and Bill Weld have been through the wars of politics 

for 30 years, both of them.  They`re not going to be scared by Donald 

Trump.  They`ve got nothing to lose.



MATTHEWS:  They`re not going to win electoral votes, so why are they 



STEELE:  … underestimating a little bit about their appeal.  If they`re 

sitting at 10 percent right now and they have not been profiled or 

recognized nationally, the chance to get to 15 percent is very good, number 

one.  Number two, I think…

MATTHEWS:  Can they win states?

STEELE:  I don`t know if they can win states, but that`s really not, at 

this point, the objective, OK?  The objective here is to get to 15 percent.  

This is a step-by-step process for them…


MATTHEWS:  Do we think a country to be governed by somebody who loses a 

three-way race?


MATTHEWS:  Is it good for the country to be governed by somebody who loses 

a three-way race?  What happens, Ralph Nader gets 92,000 votes in Florida.  

Al Gore loses Florida.

FINEMAN:  That`s not what this is about.

BERNARD:  This is anti-Trump, anti-Hillary Clinton.  But you know, even as 

the – first of all, I don`t think the country is ready for the Libertarian 

Party.  And if the country begins to sort of look at Libertarians, if 

they`re going to try to reach out to the, quote, unquote, “Obama coalition” 

and go after women and African-Americans, people are going to – are going 

to start asking questions, like, for example, when – when Johnson over the 

weekend said he would have voted for…


MATTHEWS:  The real choice is between the top two.

BERNARD:  Exactly.

MATTHEWS:  So one of them will be president.  The question is, don`t we 

want honest voting?  You vote for the person you want, against the other 

person.  You start voting for third or fourth party candidates, you are not 



STEELE:  … at some point, a third or fourth party candidacy has to being 

to take hold.  This is the perfect cycle for that to happen if it`s going 

to happen.


FINEMAN:  However, the Libertarians are not going to appeal primarily to 

disgruntled Democrats, OK?  Those are not Bernie Sanders voters who will be 

voting Libertarian.  So the point of the Libertarian campaign is going to 

be to prevent Donald Trump from being president.

BERNARD:  And Hillary Clinton.

FINEMAN:  That`s what he`s – no, come on.  They – they don`t have the – 

most of the votes of the Libertarians are going to come out of – of the 



MATTHEWS:  … reminds me of siphoning gas out of somebody`s car.  It just 

seems like they`re taking the power out of some one of the two – if you 

don`t like Trump, vote for Hillary.

Anyway, also at the press conference today, Trump defended his knocks on 

Mitt Romney and Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico.  Let`s watch him.


QUESTION:  In the last week, you`ve said that the Republican nominee walks 

like a penguin.  You`ve criticize Susana Martinez…

TRUMP:  I`m not a fan of Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney lost an election that 

should have won, and if you read the front page of “The Wall Street 

Journal” about Mitt Romney, he looks like a fool.

QUESTION:  You said you`re committed to party unity.

QUESTION:  What about Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico?  What 

about her?  Why take that fight on?

TRUMP:  She was not nice.  And I was fine, just a little bit of a jab.  But 

she wasn`t nice.  And you think I`m going to change?  I`m not changing, 

including with her.


MATTHEWS:  Howard, it was great because he took those two reporters 

seriously.  I don`t know if it`s great or not, but it`s interesting.  Some 

reporters, he just trashes to their face, saying, Losers, sleazeball.  

Those two reporters, he`s up there (ph) serious arguments and argued with 


FINEMAN:  Yes.  Well, I would go back to my Calici (ph) analogy from “Game 

of Thrones.”  Donald Trump is a conqueror by mentality, not a politician.  

Therefore, anybody in his own tribe who is not being loyal, he`s going to 

trash.  He`s going to try to make Susana Martinez come to him.


FINEMAN:  He`s going to try to make Mitt Romney come to him.  He`s going to 

try to make them submit.  That is his mentality.  It`s a mentality that`s 

foreign to American politics.


MATTHEWS:  I have to push this a little further.

FINEMAN:  It`s what he`s pursuing.  Most people, when they get a job, they 

sort of make themselves at home.  They say hello to everybody, try to make 

some friends, go to lunch or something.  This guy gets the job.  He`s the 

nominee of the Republican Party.  What`s he do?  Who can I find with around 



MATTHEWS:  (INAUDIBLE) astounding counterintuitive…


STEELE:  It is, and…

MATTHEWS:  Why is he doing it?

STEELE:  Because what he`s doing is he`s bringing his style into a very 

staid political process which has a formality…

MATTHEWS:  Which you know well.

STEELE:  Which I know very well, which is the part of Donald Trump I do 

like, is that he does upset that applecart.  The question now becomes in 

the elongation of this program for the presidency, Can you dial it back?  

And to your point, Howard, I don`t think that`s his temperament, to dial it 

back.  It is a siege mentality.  It is a…


MATTHEWS:  … he loses the crowd the more he stops (INAUDIBLE) Anyway, 

Michael Steele, thank you for that, as an expert on the side of the culture 

of – this stuff – stuffed shirt culture, I think you called it.


MATTHEWS:  Anyway, thank you, Michelle Bernard.  I did.  Howard Fineman, 

thank you.

Coming up – Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a hot fight 

for California.  It looks like it really is going to be hot.  But Clinton 

could win the nomination that night before California`s results even come 

in.  still, Clinton may need a victory in the Golden state to help nudge, 

or noodge, Sanders out of the race and begin to unite the Democratic Party.

Also tonight, we`re going to get Senator Barbara Boxer`s take on the 

Democratic race in her home state and the looming battle between Hillary 

Clinton and Donald Trump. 

And we`ll get back, by the way, to the vault for more vintage Donald Trump 

stuff tonight, some surprising things he`s told me in my interviews with 

him over the years, including naming Oprah Winfrey as a potential running 

mate.  Pretty good choice, actually.

Finally, “Let Me Finish” with the hard to believe shooting ability of Steph 

Curry (ph) and Clay Thompson (ph) last night. 

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS:  Our new NBC News survey shows Americans believe both parties 

have some repair work to do when it comes to unity.  Just 9 percent polled 

said the Republican Party`s united right now, 34 percent say it`s divided 

now but will unite by November.  But a majority, 55 percent, say the GOP 

will still be divided come November. 

It`s slightly better for the Democrats – 60 percent say they are united, 

43 percent see division now but predict unity by November, and 38 percent 

think the Dems will still be divided come the election.

And we`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

California Governor Jerry Brown, a one-time rival to Bill Clinton, today 

endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, citing the threat that Donald 

Trump poses to this country should he become president.

In a statement, Brown said: “I have decided to cast my vote for Hillary 

Clinton because I believe this is the only path forward to win the 

presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump.  This is no 

time for Democrats to keep fighting each other.  The general election has 

already begun.”

Well, this comes as a Golden State by YouGov and the Hoover Institution 

shows Clinton leading Sanders by 13 percentage points 51-38.  But the 

results are at odds with another recent poll, more recent, completed later 

at the Public Policy Institute of California which puts Clinton narrowly 

ahead, look at this, 46-44, margin of error stuff.

With her share of delegates won in the primaries, along with support from 

superdelegates, Clinton is now just 71 delegates shy of the magic she needs 

to win the nomination.  And she`s likely to reach that number with the 

results from New Jersey next Tuesday night.  And that`s of course much 

earlier than the California results.

That means that Clinton could clinch the nomination before the polls even 

close in California.  Nevertheless, Sanders suggested yesterday that he 

would continue to try and persuade the superdelegates to switch their 

allegiance to him through the convention this summer.  Here he goes.  



discussion that some of the media is going to say the campaign is over, she 

is the nominee on Tuesday night after the votes come in from November.  

That`s not accurate.  I don`t think the DNC thinks that`s accurate.  

Superdelegates don`t vote until they`re on the floor of the Democratic 

Convention.  Their most important responsibility is to make certain that 

the Democratic Party has the strongest candidate possible to defeat Donald 



MATTHEWS:  Well, I`m joined right now by MSNBC political analyst and former 

Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, who supports Clinton, as well as Jay 

Newton-Small, special correspondent for “TIME” magazine. 

Governor, it seems to me that two people are arguing two different things.  

The facts are that the delegates, the superdelegates who have expressed a 

loyalty, have expressed it for Hillary Clinton, those who have done that, 

add those numbers of delegates, superdelegates up with the delegates 

Hillary has won for the primaries and caucuses, and she will in all 

likelihood win the requisite number of votes to win the nomination, a 

majority, by next Tuesday night around 8:00 Eastern after Jersey comes in.  

What Bernie is talking about, what Senator Sanders is talking about is, 

well, that shouldn`t be official and it shouldn`t be treated as official.  

I guess that`s just an argument.  How do you see it?  

ED RENDELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, it brings back memories of 

2008, when Hillary Clinton won eight out of the last 11 primaries, 

including all the big states.  

We made the argument, Clinton delegates and supporters, we made the 

argument she`s obviously the strongest candidate, look at how she`s 

finishing.  The superdelegates should vote for us.

Didn`t happen.  The superdelegates voted for the person who got the most 

elected delegates.  That`s the democratic way.  And, by the way, Chris, I 

think Hillary Clinton is going to do very well in the Virgin Islands caucus 

on Saturday and very well in Puerto Rico`s primary on Sunday.  

So, she will come into New Jersey very close to the nomination right then 

and there.  Jersey will put her over the top.  But Bernie`s point is 

correct.  Superdelegates don`t vote until the actual roll call comes and 

whoever is in charge of the delegation takes the count.  That`s when we 

cast our vote.  And I am a superdelegate.  He`s right.  

And could he continue to try to persuade us?  Sure.  But he`s going against 

his own theme.  His own theme is the thing is rigged and it should be most 

democratic process available.  Hillary Clinton will have won the most 

popular votes by over three million.  She will have won all the majority of 

the elected delegates.  That`s the person the superdelegates have to vote 

for.  Otherwise, it would be an undemocratic process.

MATTHEWS:  I think that`s the question, Jay, at the end of all this 

rigmarole.  This is going to go on for a while, obviously, maybe to the 


Bernie Sanders` big choice is whether he said this was rigged or she won 

fair and square.  And he can say that based upon delegates won in the 

primaries and caucuses.  If she wins the most delegates in the primaries 

and caucuses, it seems to me he can say – that`s my thinking here – she 

won fair and square, not through this sort of Third World thing of every 

you lose it was fixed.  


I don`t think he has to say it right now.  He has to say, we`re not over as 

of next Tuesday.  We`re going to continue to…


MATTHEWS:  He has to say what, that it`s still a fight?

NEWTON-SMALL:  He has to say he`s still going to fight, because if he said, 

as of next Tuesday, even if I lose, then I`m going to drop out, then nobody 

is going to vote for him.  



Look at how tough he`s playing it, Governor.  The Sanders campaign is also 

trying to remove former Congressman Barney Franks from the Democratic rules 

committee and Connecticut Governor rMDNM_Dannel Malloy as the chairman of 

the platform committee.  

In a challenge filed this Friday, a few days ago, the campaign writes: 

“Governor Malloy and Mr. Frank have both been aggressive attack surrogates 

for the Clinton campaign.  The chairs therefore cannot be relied upon to 

perform their convention duties fairly and capably while laboring under 

such deeply held bias.”

Congressman Frank today responded to the Sanders challenge with Kate Snow 

on MSNBC.  Let`s watch Barney Frank.  



disappointed that he hasn`t won.  He`s losing.  He`s losing not because 

anything was rigged or because of any trickery.  He`s losing because 

Hillary Clinton has gotten more votes.  

One of the things that Senator Sanders didn`t pay attention to is that 

black votes matter.  There`s been a very large African-American vote for 

Hillary Clinton, as well as some others.  As a result, she has more votes.  


MATTHEWS:  It`s amazing, Governor.  Everybody now has gotten a chance now 

to take shots.  Barney Frank, he has got an I.Q. about 180.  He seems the 

opportunity to shoot at Sanders for not being attentive to getting African-

American votes, totally irrespective of what the conversation is about.

And of course Sanders takes these shots that Barney Frank can`t be trusted, 

Governor Malloy can`t be trusted, nobody can be trusted.  It is getting 

pretty ragged out there right now, I think.  

RENDELL:  Well, in fairness to Senator Sanders, I read that letter closely.

MATTHEWS:  Why are you being so nice to Senator Sanders tonight?  You`re 

being very nice today.  You`re for Hillary, remember?

RENDELL:  Because I like Bernie.  


RENDELL:  Bernie is a nice guy.

MATTHEWS:  Yes, but you are loving the guy to death.  I know that trick.


RENDELL:  In fairness to Senator Sanders, he said that they would accept 

the other four co-chairmen of the – the six co-chairmen of the three basic 

committees.  They were all Hillary Clinton supporters as well.

He feels that Governor Malloy – and I think what Governor Malloy said was 

right on – and Congressman Frank said things that were – went beyond the 

pale, were very aggressively anti-Sanders.  And he feels they wouldn`t be 

the best choice.

MATTHEWS:  Do you agree with him?  

RENDELL:  But he did say he would stick with the other four.

Do I agree with him?  No.  I think, first of all, Governor Malloy is the 

chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.  Good lord, he certainly 

should be in one of those positions.

And Barney, Barney Frank, is probably the most progressive congressman we 

have had over the last three decades and someone who is really thought 

highly of by the progressive community.  I think they would be fair.  I can 

understand Senator Sanders` point.  I do.  But I think that Barney Frank 

and Dan Malloy would be fair.  

So, I don`t think this is challenge that will amount to anything.  And one 

thing that Bernie Sanders said is they will take issues to the floor.  

Well, that`s happened a lot of times in Democratic Conventions.  I 

remember, when I was a Kennedy delegate, Chris, we just… 


RENDELL:  … platform issues to the floor.

MATTHEWS:  I remember when you were.  Do you know I never forgot that?  But 

I do remember that.  I remember that fight.

Let me – in 1980, wonderful convention.  The guy who gives the best 

speeches at Democratic Conventions is never the nominee, by the way, Ted 

Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Mario Cuomo.  

RENDELL:  Mario Cuomo.

MATTHEWS:  You always know who is going to lose, the guy who gives the best 


Let ask you one last question, Jay.  I don`t know if the governor wants to 

answer this.  Do you think one of the things that Senator Sanders is 

thinking about is, why should I get out of this race now?  As much as I 

like to say in good sportsmanship, I don`t care about the e-mails, the e-

mails thing sits there.  

Who knows what the FBI is going to do?  Who knows what Loretta lunch is 

going to do?  Why does he not want to be out there on the balloting a live 

candidate, instead of – he pulls out, something happens to Hillary, Joe 

Biden would get it or John Kerry would get.  He has got to be in the fight 

if that thing blows.  

NEWTON-SMALL:  No, absolutely.

He has got this sort of throw spaghetti at the wall strategy, where he`s 

looking for any life raft, anything that is going to keep him alive and 

keep his campaign going just a little while longer, just in case something 

like that might happen.  And that`s really what he`s doing, is kind of day 

by day just eking it out.

MATTHEWS:  Do you think that`s possible, Governor, that that`s what he`s 

hoping for, something breaks his way, something outside if politics?  

RENDELL:  I`m still trying to digest the throw spaghetti on the wall 

comment.  That`s a pretty good analogy.  


MATTHEWS:  It`s the lifeboat and the spaghetti.  You have got to put it all 



MATTHEWS:  Do you think Senator Sanders is waiting for some odd thing to 

happen like an FBI report?  

RENDELL:  No.  No, because if that happened before the convention, even if 

he suspended his campaign – and that`s what Hillary Clinton did.  She 

suspended her campaign after the South Dakota primary in `08.

Even if he suspended his campaign, there`s nothing to stop Sanders` 

delegates from placing his name in nomination if something were to happen, 

absolutely nothing, nor would there be anything to stop someone from 

placing Joe Biden`s name in nomination.  

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you, Governor Rendell, head of the host committee.  

Right behind him, we see city hall.

Thank you, Governor Rendell and Jay Newton-Small.

Coming up, California dreaming?  U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer has been a 

member of Congress since 1983.  We are going to get to take her take – or 

get it from her – on the 2016 race out there and the newly important 

California primary.  

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.



SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA:  Some doctors say that this procedure 

is absolutely necessary to save a woman`s life and protect her health.  

Others say no.  What if the ones who say it`s necessary are right?


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  

That was Senator Barbara Boxer, but back in 1995.  She`s been a longtime 

proponent of women`s rights and progressive politics.  Everybody knows 

that.  Beginning her Senate career in 1993, she`s been reelected four times 

by the state of California, has been a member of Congress through five 

presidencies spanning from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.

And today Senator Boxer is out with a new book today titled “The Art of 

Tough.”  That`s a great title, “The Art of Tough: Fearlessly Facing 

Politics and Life.”  

Thank you so much, Senator.

You look great, by the way, if I`m allowed to say that.  Unbelievable.  

Four terms.  

BOXER:  Yes.  

MATTHEWS:  And you`re a liberal.  And you haven`t buckled.  You haven`t 

become a middle-of-the-roader.  You have been an advocate.  I think of you 

as an advocacy politician, not so much a constituency one.  You have 

issues, you care about them, and you fight for them.

BOXER:  I do.

MATTHEWS:  And you have done it successfully politically.

Would you tell other progressives how to win four straight elections in the 

largest state?  

BOXER:  Well, be sincere.  Care deeply and show that you care.  And don`t 

say one thing to one group and one thing to another.  

And the reason we chose the title “The Art of Tough” is sometimes it is 

tough.  And I open the book up with all the things that a lot of the right-

wing folks have said about me.  Pretty bad.  


BOXER:  But you learn not to take it personally.  And at the end of the 

day, people respect that, Chris.  

MATTHEWS:  You said, Barbara Boxer – here, you`re quoting some right-wing 

blogger or whatever.  “Barbara Boxer is quite possibly the biggest doofus 

ever to enter the Senate chambers, including janitorial staff, pizza 

delivery kids and carpenter ants.”

Well, first of all, they`re making fun of working people, as well as ants 

there.  That was a giveaway.

Let me ask you about this book.  What do you tell us in this book based 

upon a quarter-century really in the Senate, and more if you count the 

House years, that we wouldn`t know watching from outside?

BOXER:  What I really tried to get across is that who`s in the room really 


And, Chris, you know that so well from your days as working with one of the 

great speakers of all times, Tip O`Neill.  Who`s in the room matters.  So, 

if there`s all white men in a room, you are going to come out with a policy 

that doesn`t reflect the nation.  

So, we needy diversity in the room and we need people in that room when 

you`re discussing all these issues, from economics to foreign policy, who 

reflect the diversity of this greatest nation in the world.  And sometimes 

it`s tough and you have to be willing in those settings to stand up for 

what you think is right, and even if it doesn`t make you popular at the 


So, I really want to engage people to understand they should never, ever 

say it doesn`t matter who I vote for, it doesn`t make a difference.  It 

makes an enormous difference, Chris.  

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you the difference.  I don`t even know where you 

stand on this.  You have got two progressives running.  Hillary is more of 

a centrist, but he`s a progressive, against Bernie Sanders, in California 

next Tuesday.

What do you think is going into the thinking of the people you have 

represented for a long tine now, decades?  What is going into that?  

Because I think this race could be close.  I don`t know right now.  What`s 

going on in their thinking?  


BOXER:  I think everybody does think that, despite the great poll that 

Hillary had.

And you know I`m supporting Hillary very strongly.  But the fact is, I 

think it will be close, because independents are voting, as well as 

Democrats.  But I think she will win.  And I think what is going to go into 

that thinking is, this is a serious time in history.  

It`s a serious time in the world.  The last thing we need is an insulter in 

chief, which is Donald Trump, is a divider this chief, which is Donald 

Trump, someone who`s a bully and at the same time in many ways a coward.  

We don`t need that.  And who is going to be the one who is going to unite 

this country?  And I think that`s Hillary.  And I think that`s why she will 

take California, although I know it`s going to be tough and tight.  And I 

think for sure she will win this nomination.  She will win the most votes.  

MATTHEWS:  Let many ask you about the life of a senator.  A lot of people 

grow up with the idea that`s the greatest job in the world, just a United 

States senator.  It has such dignity to it, such history to it, going all 

the way back to the beginning of our country.

And yet you have had to travel back and forth across this continent of 

ours, from east to west, almost like every week or so.  What`s that like to 

represent the biggest state in the union and also having to work in 

Washington, D.C., on the opposite part of the continent?  What is that 

like, physically?  

BOXER:  It`s hard on your body.  

But I have to say, look, I knew what I was getting into.  And I`m not going 

to complain.  It has been an enormous honor.  I used to say I`m so – I`m 

only 5 feet tall, as you know, in heels maybe 5`3“.  I used to complain 

about it.  How can I capture – have the gravitas?

But in those airplane seats, it`s good, Chris.  I can cuddle up.  

MATTHEWS:  A plus.

BOXER:  And I have come to a point where I make the most of it.  

I wrote this book “The Art of Tough” in the airplane.  


BOXER:  I would just have a pen and pad.  Then I would get home and I would 

put – thank you.


BOXER:  I would put it into my computer.  

It took three years.  But I wanted to write all the stories, the amazing 

stories of what it has been like to serve with five presidents.  And I also 

want to empower, not only women, men and women, especially young ones, to 

understand that they shouldn`t be intimidated.  

And when all the people start going against you – and I have all these 

people who troll every time I say a word – they write these horrible 

things anonymously – you have got to take it as a compliment.  I must be 

doing something that`s changing the world if they`re coming after me.  

So, I want it to be both a story of history from eyes and my experience, 

plus an empowering book for people who feel like, gee, maybe I should just 

pull the covers over my head, things are so awful.


Well, I have known you more than 30 years, and I have to tell you, the 

great thing about you is when you look at Barbara Boxer right now on the 

television set – and you do look great.  I must say that.

BOXER:  Thank you.  

MATTHEWS:  I don`t know why I say that, but I will say that, because you 


But I do think people ought to know that you are who you look like.  You 

are the person – you are the person that was just talking.  There`s no 

different person that you meet privately.  


MATTHEWS:  You are Barbara Boxer, which is a great thing to say about 

anybody in public life.  They are authentic.  And you are a real liberal.

Thank you so much, Barbara Boxer.

BOXER:  Thanks.  

MATTHEWS:  The book is called “The Art of Tough.”

Thank you for bringing it to us first.

Coming up, we`re going to dial the clock backwards about 17 years and look 

at a vintage Donald Trump and hear what he had to say long before his 

political emergence.  The HARDBALL roundtable is coming here.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. 




DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN:  It`s totally unscripted and it just works.  You 

can`t hide – when you do that much television, you can`t hide from the 

public.  They really get to understand you as we all understand you, Chris.  



That was Donald Trump 12 years ago saying you can`t hide from the public 

when you`re on TV as much as he is.  Well, at the time, he was describing 

his new reality show, “The Apprentice.”  But it`s also a fitting 

description how he`s running for the presidential campaign in 2016. 

Back in 1999, in fact, when Trump was considering a run for president, he 

was asked on our HARDBALL College Tour if he would ever consider choosing a 

woman as his running mate.  Here is who he suggested.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Would you consider a woman for your running mate?  

And if so, who?  

TRUMP:  Well, I would consider and as Chris can tell you, I threw out the 

name of a friend of mine, who I think the world of.  She`s great.  And some 

people thought it was an incredible idea, some people didn`t.  But Oprah.  

I said Oprah Winfrey who is really great.  And I think we would be a very 

formidable team.  


MATTHEWS:  Well, for more on our look back at vintage Trump, let`s bring in 

the HARDBALL round table.  Jonathan Capehart to my left, an opinion writer 

with “The Washington Post”, Maria Teresa Kumar is president of Voto Latino 

and an MSNBC contributor, and John Feehery is Republican strategist.

Jonathan, what did you make of that?  Who would you rather see president, 

him or Oprah?  


JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST:  Well, no contest, Oprah.  The idea 

that Oprah Winfrey, today, would even consider being the running mate of 

Donald Trump is just laughable.  I mean, remember, Oprah Winfrey is really 

good friends with the current president and first lady of the president of 

the United States.  

MATTHEWS:  Well, he was good friends with the current president of the 

United States.  


mean, I did like to show what a chameleon he was.  This as the same time 

that Pat Buchanan was about to throw his hat into the right.  And Pat 

Buchanan was basically every – the antithesis – 

MATTHEWS:  He was so tough on Buchanan.  Maybe appropriately.  But he stuck 



KUMAR:  So tough.  But remember, that almost, he has done a complete 180.  

Back then, the Buchanan piece was basically he was an isolationist, anti-

NAFTA, pro-lifer and he was also anti-war.  Who is Donald Trump today?  

Exactly that, right?  

MATTHEWS:  Back in 2004, Trump told me that the swift boat attacks on John 

Kerry`s war record was the greatest spin he`d ever seen, let`s watch.


TRUMP:  But maybe the greatest spin I`ve ever seen on anything is it`s 

almost coming out that Bush is war hero and Kerry`s not.  I think that 

could be the greatest spin I`ve ever seen.  

MATTHEWS:  Because?  

TRUMP:  Well, you know, the whole thing with the swift boat group, which 

obviously is being done by Bush and Bush`s people happened to be brilliant.  

They have taken all of that war hero thing away from Kerry and they`ve 

almost given it to Bush.  Bush, frankly, was not serving.  That we know.


MATTHEWS:  So, there he is giving credit to the sleaziest campaign ever, 

which took John Kerry`s opposition of the Vietnam War after he left the war 

and turned it into an attack on the war itself and saying, good politics.  

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, he obviously is a political 

strategist.  And even back then, he knew he had to be on offense.  He 

learned a lot from John Kerry, which was Kerry didn`t respond.  And, you 

know, Trump understood and stands that.  He responds to everything and he 

responds quickly and he was able to beat 16 other candidates to the top –  

MATTHEWS:  Well, in 1999, Trump talked to me about his plans for the 

economy which included taxing people of considerable wealth on their net 

worth.  This is not an income tax.  This is a wealth tax.  Let`s watch from 



TRUMP:  I would tax people of wealth, of great wealth.  People over $10 

million by 14.25 percent.  This tax would raise approximately $5.7 

trillion, which happens to be our national debt.  The economy would boom.  

We`d have no debt.  

Hey, I know about debt, probably as much as anybody.  I`ve had too much and 

I`ve had too little.  And you know what, too little is much better, believe 



MATTHEWS:  Well, there he is, the ultimate populist.  I`ve never seen this 

is not even George McGovern.  This isn`t anything –  


MATTHEWS:  He wouldn`t say get every billionaire and take the money.  I 

mean, this is basically, take your money and the government grabs it, 15 

percent of it.  

CAPEHART:  That was Donald Trump 1999.  

MATTHEWS:  Why did you think he said that back then?  Why was he a populist 


CAPEHART:  Because maybe that was the thing to be back then.  And today – 

MATTHEWS:  It still is, come on.  


CAPEHART:  Why isn`t he still running that way?  


KUMAR:  He said he found a different undercurrent this time of something 

that the media wasn`t tapping into.  

MATTHEWS:  What did he tell a bunch of guys, women, who want to be business 

geniuses, I want to take your money once you earn it?


KUMAR:  Do you know Chris?  

FEEHERY:  That`s part of that group of wealthy people.  They all think, 

hey, you know what, I can pay some more taxes.  

MATTHEWS:  Fourteen to fifteen percent of what you own is interesting.  

Anyway, the roundtable is sticking is sticking with us as we try to figure 

out Trump.

Up next, these three will tell me something I don`t know.  And this 

HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaking out about what 

he likes about Donald Trump`s candidacy, and what he`d like to see from the 

presumptive nominee.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER:  What I`d like to see is a 

more studious approach.  I think that winning the White House is about more 

than just entertaining a large audience.  He`s very good at that.  He 

proved that.  

I think the American people also would like to see him fill in the blanks.  

He`s appealed to a lot of voters.  He`s going to be the nominee.  And I for 

one don`t have any trouble supporting him because he`s going to pick the 

next Supreme Court justice.  But I don`t think the Republican Party 

fundamentally is going to change.  What he is helping us do is reach out to 

voters that are not likely to vote for Republicans.  


MATTHEWS:  Well, Mitch McConnell there saying he doesn`t think the GOP will 

fundamentally change.  

And we`ll be right back.  


MATTHEWS:  We`re back and back with the HARDBALL roundtable.  

John, tell me something I don`t know.  

FEEHERY:  So, the first fund-raiser between the RNC and Donald Trump raised 

$6.5 million.  The RNC has raised $144 million this year.  All of which is 

going to pay for data which Donald Trump says he doesn`t need.  

MATTHEWS:  Whose idea was that?  

FEEHERY:  Reince Priebus, my friend.  


MATTHEWS:  Don`t share.  


KUMAR:  California is a semi-open primary.  What that means is that in 

order for independents, who Bernie Sanders needs, in order for them to vote 

on June 7th, they had to reregister as no party preference.  As no party 

preference, they also need to ask for an actual ballot for a Democrat, 

Republican, or independent.  Otherwise if they get the regular no party 

preference ballot, there`s no presidential candidates on that.  

MATTHEWS:  Oh, do they know that?  Until they just heard it?

KUMAR:  Until – well, hopefully.  

MATTHEWS:  Jonathan?  

CAPEHART:  Well, Chris – 

MATTHEWS:  You`re smiling.  

CAPEHART:  First day back after ten days` vacation, the first –  

MATTHEWS:  In Italy.

CAPEHART:  – vacation in Italy, the next morning of being there, I 

proposed to my long-term boyfriend of five and a half years, Nick.  

MATTHEWS:  I`m hearing it.  

CAPEHART:  There it is.  

KUMAR:  Congratulations.  

CAPEHART:  He said yes.  And so, we each – 

MATTHEWS:  Is that your art there?  

CAPEHART:  No, no, that`s the art of my friend Paul Chamberlain.  


MATTHEWS:  Congratulations, sir.  

CAPEHART:  Thank you very much.  

MATTHEWS:  Best wishes.  We have the mandolin ready in the other room.  Jon 

Capehart being serenaded now.  

Maria Teresa Kumar and John Feehery.

When we return, let me finish with the wonders I saw on television last 

night on this Memorial Day weekend.  What television I saw this weekend, it 

was in the sporting world as John Kerry – no as Mitt Romney would say.  

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS:  Let me finish tonight with last night`s finish of the Golden 

State/OKC battle.  

Look, basketball is my favorite sport.  It`s entirely American, of course, 

invented right here.  More important, it`s the fastest, most exciting of 

all the big three sports.  Nine of out of ten times, it`s not about the 

lead, it`s about who`s hot.  

I agree with Charles Barkley.  Last Saturday`s game between Golden State 

Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder was the greatest game we can remember.  

Klay Thompson had 11 three-pointers, 11, Saturday night.  

Last night, Steph Curry was the guy from behind the arc.  I don`t know how 

someone can do what we saw him do last night.  He`s out there, 30 feet from 

the basket, covered by a 7-foot defender, the guy`s got hand in his face, 

he`s barely had a second to stop, and throws up a shot like I don`t know 

what.  It`s a swish, way down in the net.

Tell me how he and a good number of the players on the Golden State and 

Thunder teams can hit from that range, can do it in a split second, they 

get open, or not open, or right from the dribble, tell me how they do it.  

Look, baseball today, except for the strength of the players, is not that 

all different from the 1920s.  That`s a fan`s guess.  Running backs in the 

NFL are a lot faster than they were when I first started paying attention, 

yes, that`s all true.  But there`s no way in the world any of this compares 

to the exciting wild talent in today`s NBA.  

So, again, I`m with the impressive Charles Barkley, one heck of a shooter 

in his day.  We have never seen anything like what we saw this weekend in 

American professional basketball.  We invented this sport.  Players like 

Westbrook, Durant, Thompson, and Curry are reinventing it again today.  


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

“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.




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