Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript, 6/30/2016
Date: June 30, 2016
Guest: Richard Trumka, Peter Navarro, Jamal Simmons, Laura Bassett, David
Catanese, Kellyanne Conway, David Weigel, Gregory Angelo, Blake Dremann
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: It`s an angry country, but who does it trust?
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
Well, the faces are angry out there. You ask people what they think of the
way the country`s going, you ask them what they think of politicians, of
the Congress, and you get answered with a snarl.
You look at Trump, the guy out there challenging the system, and all you
see are the people hitting back at him, big business, the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, and now organized labor, too.
The big question is jobs, why we`re losing the good ones, the jobs that let
a father raise a family, get his kids into school, get a decent, even if a
short one, a vacation come summer. Trump says we`re getting hammered by
China and everyone else because of stinking trade deals, because we`ve got
weaker, stupid or whatever people making them.
He promises to change all this, to start kicking some butt and start
shoving back. Let`s watch him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: America`s lost nearly
one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997. This is America we`re
talking about – since 1997 – driven by these two. Hillary Clinton
understood and backed and Bill Clinton certainly as the president
initiatives. They are a disaster.
And now they want to go into TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership. That will
make NAFTA, in my opinion, look like a baby. Now, we don`t play the game
the way they play the game. They play the game to win. We play the game
in this country to survive. We`re going to start playing the game to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the two most pressing concerns for many Americans right
now are terror, of course, and the economy. Donald Trump says he has
answers to both. He`s going to renegotiate trade deals and get tough with
China and he`s going to take the gloves off against ISIS. He says the
country`s falling apart, that we have even worse to fear from Hillary
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Trans Pacific Partnership is another disaster, done and pushed
by special interests who want to rape our country, just the continuing rape
of our country.
Hillary Clinton unleashed a trade war against the American worker when she
supported one terrible deal after another.
And you will be hurt worse than ever before if she becomes president.
ISIS was created during the Hillary Clinton regime. If she gets in, it`ll
be massive and we wouldn`t even have a country anymore. We`re going to be
afraid to walk outside.
They`re letting tens of thousands of people come in from Syria, and nobody
knows who these people are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, but we went through that already.
TRUMP: And a lot of those people are ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: NBC`s Hallie Jackson`s up in Manchester, New Hampshire, tonight.
Hallie, this message – is Trump back on beam, back on some sort of message
that`s consistent economic nationalism? Is he back on that?
HALLIE JACKSON, NBC CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think he is, Chris, when
you look at where he has been in his speeches and his remarks all week long
about this, starting at the beginning of the week when he went to
Pennsylvania, Western P.A., and delivered that forceful trade speech in
which he outlined his trade policies, in many respects a split from some
from in his party when it comes to, for example, TPP and NAFTA, he`s got
into that war of words with the Chamber of Commerce.
He kept up at it again in Maine, listing sort of the action steps he wants
to take if he were to become president. And we heard it again from him
here today here in Manchester, focusing on trade, focusing on the economy,
and really taking swipes at Hillary Clinton.
He at one point, Chris, said that it was him – he took credit for Hillary
Clinton`s reversal when it came to TPP, saying that she heard a speech of
his and then changed her mind after that. I think the Clinton team would
push back on that. Clinton herself has said that learning more about the
trade agreement is what caused her role reversal or here shift in position.
But this is something that Trump has been hitting hard every single day
this week, just about. He`s even said there`s nothing closer to his heart
than trade right now.
MATTHEWS: So no more craziness this week? Can you say that? He isn`t
talking about Mexican…
JACKSON: Well, no. No. I…
MATTHEWS: … Mexican judge?
JACKSON: That wasn`t your question. The question was, has he kept up his
focus on trade and the economy, which he has.
But then look at some of the other comments he`s made. So number one, even
here just in Manchester, he made a joke that kind of raised some eyebrows.
A plane flew overhead and he said, Oh, it`s a Mexican plane, they`re coming
to attack us. He was clearly kidding, but it was still a moment that
raised a few eyebrows here, at least.
And then he talks about Elizabeth Warren repeatedly, again and again. He
has doubled down on his attacks against her for claims she exaggerated her
native American heritage, including just this morning, when he told an
interviewer that he believes – and he was again joking here – but saying
that he has more native American blood than Elizabeth Warren does.
So he hasn`t totally backed away from some of his most controversial
comments, and that`s why you`re seeing some concern still in the GOP from
people like Mike Lee, from people like Mitt Romney.
MATTHEWS: Wow. Anyway, thank you, Hallie Jackson.
Donald Trump talks tough on trade importantly there and outsourcing jobs,
talks about that all the time. But “The New York Times” reports, quote,
“Such declarations are at odds with Mr. Trump`s long history as a
businessman, in which he has been heavily and proudly reliant on foreign
labor in the name of putting profits, rather than America, first. From
cheap neckties to television sets, Mr. Trump has benefited from some of the
trade practices he now scorns.”
Well, the AFL-CIO has a new video pounding Trump on exactly that theme.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are the shirts made? Bangladesh. (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: I`m going to instruct the U.S. trade representative to bring trade
cases against China!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ties? Where are the ties made? These are
TRUMP: They are great ties.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ties are made in where, China? Ties are made in China.
TRUMP: In, in, in the United States!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Richard Trumka, of course, is president of the AFL-CIO, joins
us. So that`s a pretty snappy ad there.
So let`s talk about this. You guys are – you don`t like TPP. Hillary now
doesn`t like it. Bernie Sanders doesn`t like it. Trump doesn`t like it.
Distinguish your opposition. You guys are tough on trade. I mean, I`ve
worked with labor Democrats all my life, and I know the attitude about the
Kennedy round ever since then. It`s been, This trade stuff is screwing us,
RICHARD TRUMKA, AFL-CIO PRESIDENT: Right. And it has.
TRUMKA: There`s a reason for that. We`ve lost jobs. We`ve lost ground
with every trade agreement…
MATTHEWS: So trump`s right.
TRUMKA: – he`s right on that, but he`s a fraud.
MATTHEWS: OK, talk about it.
TRUMKA: Well, Trump was the chief cheerleader and beneficiary of the trade
policies until he discovered that out in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania
and Ohio, this is a powerful, powerful issue.
So then he flips over and now he is against trade. He`s got the right
position right now, but nobody believes him because look what he does. I
mean, you saw those products, shirts made in Bangladesh, ties made in
China, television sets made overseas.
And then he has – he taught a course at his university, defunct
university, and said outsourcing is great, outsourcing creates jobs.
So he will say or do anything that needs to be said or done to help
MATTHEWS: Let`s look at this. In the latest NBC News/”Wall Street
Journal” poll, the one we use here, Donald Trump had a big lead among white
voters without a college degree. He best Clinton among that group 54 to 31
And how`s Trump doing among union workers? Dennis Williams (ph), the
president of the United Auto Workers, told me in May that an internal poll
of his members showed Trump getting 28 percent support from the rank and
file there. That`s not a huge number.
What do you – what do you think it is?
MATTHEWS: Trump – among you guys, a big – a huge international union and
all the internationals – - you`re laughing, but what is Trump doing, a
third, a quarter?
TRUMKA: It would be less than that. He`s absolutely tapped into the
frustration and anger that`s out there. And it`s justifiable frustration
and anger. But he`s a fraud because he says one thing…
MATTHEWS: Well, how about Hillary?
TRUMKA: … and benefits…
MATTHEWS: Look, Hillary is a great candidate, of course, in many respects,
but on the trade issue – a year ago – I mean, Bill Clinton – I saw him
over in Japan supporting the TPP. Hillary Clinton – we got the – look at
this! There he goes!
Earlier this week, the Republican National Committee blasted out this 2012
video of Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, praising the TPP, a deal
she now says she`s against. But watch her in Australia. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: This TPP sets the gold standard in
trade agreements, to open, free, transparent fair trade, the kind of
environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Gold standard. Now it`s not the gold standard. What happened?
You trust her?
TRUMKA: We said the same thing. We said the same thing about TPP. We
hope it sets the gold standard…
MATTHEWS: … is the gold standard.
TRUMKA: We hope TPP or TTIP does the same thing. But when you look at the
details, when they come back, it wasn`t a gold standard. It was more like
a lead standard that would sink every one of us. And so she did the right
thing. She said this agreement…
MATTHEWS: You think she didn`t change her mind.
TRUMKA: Well, of course she did. But here`s the smart thing. You have a
trade agreement that doesn`t work. It`s going to hurt people. It`s going
to lose jobs. So what she said is, This doesn`t work. Trump was a
cheerleader for that same trade. You`re not accusing him of changing his
MATTHEWS: OK. I – I – I`m trying to think out this Democratic ticket,
you know, and Kaine`s had some bad press the last few hours. He may get by
it. He may well get by it.
But I`m looking at Sherrod Brown, and I think he`s a perfect running mate
(INAUDIBLE) I`ve been saying it for a year, Ohio, has kind of a tough guy
atmosphere about him, he`s an Ivy Leaguer but he doesn`t play it up too
big, luckily for him. He seems like a regular labor guy. He`s one of your
TRUMKA: He`s a great guy.
MATTHEWS: Isn`t he a great running mate?
TRUMKA: He`s a champion of working people and…
MATTHEWS: Wouldn`t he be a great running mate for Hillary?
TRUMKA: A great running mate.
TRUMKA: There`s one down side to it. If he left, you have a Republican
governor that would…
MATTHEWS: You got to think big.
TRUMKA: … replace him with a Republican.
MATTHEWS: Richard Trumka, you got to this big here. You got to go for the
mandate. You got to go for the mandate, not squeak it out one vote at a
time. Anyway, I agree with you about that, but I think he would make a
TRUMKA: So do I.
MATTHEWS: And I think Hillary needs a great ticket, not just her. You got
to put that thing together.
MATTHEWS: … like Biden. Wasn`t Biden great? Think about it. he is.
It`s chilling (ph) how good he`s been as a VP. And a totally loyal guy.
Anyway – a lot of people would like to see him as president. Anyway,
Richard Trumka, thank you.
TRUMKA: Thanks for having me, Chris.
MATTHEWS: You get me in a good mood when you come on the show. I like
this labor feel around here.
President Obama has been making it clear he`s not going to let Donald Trump
claim the mantle of populist champion without a fight. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Somebody else who has never
shown any regard for workers, in fact, has worked against economic
opportunity for workers and ordinary people. They don`t suddenly become a
populist because they say something controversial in order to win votes.
That`s nativism, or xenophobia.
Mr. Trump embodies (INAUDIBLE) elites (ph) and has taken full advantage of
it his entire life, and so he`s hardly a spokesperson for – a legitimate
spokesperson for a populist surge from working class people on either side
of the Atlantic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Peter Navarro is a professor at the University of
California Irvine and an economics adviser to Donald Trump. Let me ask you
about this, Professor. When did – when did Donald Trump become a trade –
an anti-trade warrior? When did he decide that we got to fight these trade
deals? Do you know?
PETER NAVARRO, TRUMP ECONOMICS ADVISER: Go back to the clip on “Oprah.”
It`s a classic. And Chris, you (INAUDIBLE) to be having, like, a flashback
here with – it`s a page right out of your book, tipping the Gipper. I
mean, you remember early `80s, we cut this trade deal with Japan, and all
they did was cheat on it. And the next thing you know, Tip and the
Democratic Congress is pushing on Reagan, pushing, Let`s have some tariffs.
And you know what? Reagan imposed tariffs on Japan. He was a free trader
like Trump is, but Reagan also understood that fair trade was more
important, and we got a good result there. And that`s – that`s where –
where Donald Trump is, and I`ll tell you what…
MATTHEWS: Yes, Reagan also got 2 million bucks…
NAVARRO: He`s going to run the table…
MATTHEWS: … the minute he left office from the Japanese.
NAVARRO: He is going to run the…
MATTHEWS: Remember that? $2 million in speaking fees for one trip right
after coming out of office.
NAVARRO: Donald Trump – Donald Trump is going to run the table with
organized labor and with non-union labor. Think about this. AFL-CIO…
MATTHEWS: How about in his private business? Has he been…
MATTHEWS: Has he been consistent?
NAVARRO: AFL-CIO opposed the World Trade Organization entry. AFL-CIO
opposed the South Korea trade deal. Hillary Clinton supported all those.
Her husband signed China in. And that`s why there`s this disconnect.
I have the greatest admiration for Richard Trumka, Chris, but his rank and
file – they`re going to go in droves. It`s going to be Reagan Democrats
all over again. It`s going to be over half of organized labor voting for
Donald Trump because they understand this billionaire…
NAVARRO: … has their interests at heart.
MATTHEWS: So every time somebody wants the working guy to vote for him,
they drop their “Gs,” is that how we do it? They`re not going to be votin`
for him, not voting for him? I mean, you`re a professor!
NAVARRO: We can go to Cleveland or New Jersey or New York, and we all
speak funny, Chris. You know, it`s not the king`s English…
MATTHEWS: I don`t have a Trump here, but I have a Trumka here, Mr. Trumka.
Do you want to respond to this? This guy basically says he agrees with you
on trade policy but he doesn`t agree with your candidate.
TRUMKA: You know, if you actually believe that our members are going to
vote in overwhelming numbers for Trump, I have a U.S.-made Trump tie that
I`ll sell you cheap.
NAVARRO: Hey, I`ll take that, Richard! I mean, here`s the thing, Richard.
I understand your decision was tough. I have the greatest regard for Leo
Girardi (ph) of the Steelworkers. You guys had a choice to make. But
Donald Trump has a platform that you guys are dreaming about. He is taking
TRUMKA: He`s a fraud.
NAVARRO: … that the AFL-CIO has ever recommended…
TRUMKA: He`s a fraud.
NAVARRO: … the president to take. And you are – well, that may be, but
we`re going to find out. And your workers…
NAVARRO: Your workers don`t believe he`s a fraud.
MATTHEWS: It may be that your guy…
MATTHEWS: I`m trying to follow your thinking here, sir.
NAVARRO: Donald Trump`s a guy that`s going to actually follow through.
He`s not beholden to special interests, like Hillary Clinton. He is…
TRUMKA: Oh, I`m sure he`s going to follow through.
MATTHEWS: I don`t want to take (ph) you, Professor, but if you were one of
my students, I`d say you just said it may be that he`s a fraud. What do
MATTHEWS: You just said it may be that Trump`s a fraud. What did you mean
NAVARRO: I`m just saying – well, here`s what I mean. Trumka says he`s a
fraud. I said, Well, we`re going to find out. My view is, your workers
don`t think he`s a fraud. I don`t think he`s a fraud, which is why I`m
supporting him. And here`s the thing. He`s different from any politician
that we`ve ever had running for president in the last 50 years. He can
fund his own campaign. He`s not beholden to…
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you…
NAVARRO: … the multi-national corporations that Richard Trumka always
MATTHEWS: Let`s get back to…
NAVARRO: … Boeing takes away.
MATTHEWS: I know – let me ask you this. How`s the market doing now?
We`ve got numbers that look OK. The market`s about where it`s been. It
hasn`t jumped too much because of Brexit. We got a 4.7 percent
unemployment rate, technically. What do you think in this country right
now? What grade would you give us right now economically? How`re we
TRUMKA: … where you`re at. If you are in Donald Trump`s shoes, you are
getting A-plus. The economy`s great for him. If you`re a worker, those
he`s trying to woo and trying to give these fraudulent products to, you get
about C or C-minus. We have flat wages for over four decades. He thinks
our wages are too high.
TRUMKA: He says he wants…
NAVARRO: Richard Trumka right now – Richard Trumka right now is giving
Donald Trump`s speech. If you look at the speech today in New Hampshire…
MATTHEWS: Oh, I know.
NAVARRO: … that`s exactly what Donald Trump said.
NAVARRO: … no growth in wages, no growth in the economy and we got
people sitting on the sideline, 20 million people want a job at a decent
wage. Donald Trump is the guy who`s going to bring prosperity and wealth
back to America…
MATTHEWS: I`ve learned one thing…
NAVARRO: … by cracking down on the trade cheaters. What more could the
AFL-CIO ask for, really?
NAVARRO: It`s really right in the center…
NAVARRO: … of what the workers in this country need.
MATTHEWS: You know, it`s interesting, gentlemen, no one`s defending the
way things are in this country. That`s probably a healthy situation. Both
candidates are promising…
NAVARRO: It`s a terrible situation, Chris!
MATTHEWS: … to make some changes.
MATTHEWS: Professor Peter Navarro, thank you, sir, for joining us from out
west. And thank you, Richard, Trumka, old friend.
Coming up, new polling shows Trump losing ground among some Republicans,
not (ph) all Republicans. He`s picking fights with his former rivals, the
guys that ran against him. And now Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a close ally
of Ted Cruz, is going off on an epic attack against his party`s pick for
president. That would be Donald Trump. With the Republican convention
less than three weeks away, can Trump reunite his fractured party? Doesn`t
look like it.
Plus, some big developments as Clinton and Trump look for running mates.
For the Democrats, does Tim Kaine`s disclosure he accepted gifts make him
too much of a liability for Secretary Clinton?
For the Republicans, could Trump be zeroing in on – here it comes – Chris
Christie? Can he cross that bridge? Lots of news on that front ahead in
this show tonight.
And the HARDBALL roundtable is here, of course, tonight. They`re going to
tell me something I don`t know about this presidential race.
Finally, “Let Me Finish” with this vice presidential hunting season we`re
in. It is something. And it`s all going to happen this month.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, Donald Trump campaigned today in New Hampshire, a
traditional swing state. But yesterday, he was up in Maine, which hasn`t
voted for a Republican since 1988. Well, one reason Trump went to Maine is
because it`s one of only two states in the country that split their
electoral votes by congressional district, meaning Trump could lose the
state but still pick up an electoral vote there.
The other state that does that, Nebraska. And coincidentally, the Clinton
campaign went up with ads in Omaha today, hoping to snag that electoral
vote in an otherwise red state.
And we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: My hope is that he`s
beginning to pivot and become what I would call a more serious and credible
candidate for the highest office in the land.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday expressing his
reservations about Donald Trump.
Well, less than three weeks until the convention for the Republicans, his
comments reflect the concerns of his fellow lawmakers, many of whom are
still hesitant, that`s putting it lightly, to lend their full support to
their party`s nominee.
As Senator Dean Heller of Nevada told Politico today: “I`m opposed to this
campaign. He did a lot of damage. It`s very difficult for him, as far as
I`m concerned, to recover from his previous comments. I will give him a
chance, but at this point I have no intentions of voting for him.”
That`s a Republican senator saying he won`t vote for the Republican nominee
Well, a new FOX poll out today reveals that those concerns are also shared
by a majority of Republican voters as well; 51 percent, a majority of
Republican voters, say they would prefer someone else, brand X, as their
nominee, instead of Donald Trump. That`s pretty powerful stuff at this
It also shows Hillary Clinton with a national lead of six points, 44
percent to 38 percent. Yesterday, Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah went
further than many of his colleagues in explaining why he wasn`t ready to
endorse Trump. Here`s what Lee said in an interview with Newsmax.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: Hey, look, Steve, I get it. You want me to
QUESTION: Well, I don`t understand why you`re not, really.
LEE: … really well.
LEE: Well, we can get into that if you want. We can get into the fact
that he accused my best friend`s father of conspiring to kill JFK.
We can go through the fact that he`s made some statements that some have
identified correctly as religiously intolerant. We can get into the fact
he`s wildly unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of
people who are members of a religious minority church, people who were
ordered exterminated by the governor of Missouri in 1938.
And statements like that make them nervous.
QUESTION: Fair enough.
LEE: I`d like some assurances that he`s going to be a vigorous defender
for the U.S. Constitution, that he`s not going to be an autocrat, that he`s
not going to be an authoritarian, that he`s not somebody who is going to
abuse a document to which I`ve sworn an oath to uphold and protect and
I`m sorry, sir. But that is not an unreasonable demand.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I`m joined now by Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway, as
well as political reporter Dave Weigel of “Washington Post.”
Kellyanne, you get the first shot here.
Let`s talk about the situation with Trump a couple weeks out from the
convention in Cleveland. You know, I was wondering. And you are the
expert on this. Do you think if he had tried to woo the Republican
establishment, the big shots in the Senate, the governors, if he went out
and gave them a wet kiss and everything else, threw kisses at them,
whatever phrase you want to use, would they have come running to him?
In other words, did he really have an option in the way he`s approached
KELLYANNE CONWAY, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE POLLING COMPANY: Possibly.
But he also may alienate the millions of voters who have supported him and
who will support him, Chris. Part of his entire campaign has been built on
not needing the donor class, not needing the consultant class, running
against Washington, not wanting to be part of Washington.
And that`s not going to change. The one thing that`s not going to change
between now and November is that who is the Washington candidate, who`s the
outsider, who is the insider, who is the insurgent? (AUDIO GAP) I think he
should welcome (AUDIO GAP) elected officials at any level who want to
But I would rather be him, who can`t get a handful of senators to say nice
things about him, than to be her, who has got 58 percent in that FOX poll
saying she`s corrupt, two-thirds of the voters in this country saying they
don`t trust her, they think she`s dishonest.
And in the FOX poll you mentioned, Trump, for all of this – for all this
trash talk about him, Trump is winning independents, he`s winning white
voters by 14 points, he`s winning men by double digits, he`s winning
middle-income voters, he`s winning middle-aged voters.
So, with all – with Hillary having all the king`s horses, all the king`s
men and Donald Trump – quote – “not being able to unify his party” –
quote, unquote – because some officials who represent the same political
class he`s running against won`t support him, why in the world isn`t this
woman at 70 percent?
Well, let me go to this with David here.
It seems to me – and Kellyanne is a friend of mine and I like the way she
did this, because you got to bring up Hillary Clinton if you want to unite
Republicans. And it does unite Republicans. Fair enough. It`s your
default position. Say Hillary Clinton.
(AUDIO GAP) scarecrows against each other. Don`t go in that (AUDIO GAP)
There`s a scarecrow (AUDIO GAP) vote Republican. There`s a scarecrow
there. They are running negative.
But there`s an outlet pass here, to use a football term. These guys are
saying, OK, I`m a Republican. I`m Senator from Utah Mike Lee, a totally
Republican state, and I`m not going to be a Republican booster of this
candidate. They are opting out to some third world out there.
The Romney crowd, the Bush crowd, they are all saying, I`m not voting for
Hillary. I may vote for Johnson, Gary Johnson or somebody, or sit home.
They seem to – it isn`t – it works with voters, this, you got to vote
against Hillary, but it doesn`t work with Republican leaders.
DAVID WEIGEL, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: I think, so far, it`s not actually
devastating the Republican Party.
First of all, Mike Lee is not in danger this year. Second, he`s on the
Rules Committee, the Republican Rules Committee. He didn`t say there and
he hasn`t said that he would vote to remove Trump from the nomination. So,
I think he`s one of these Republicans who is willing to play an outside-
inside game, where he criticizes Trump, makes sure his brand is not totally
tied to him, but doesn`t try to elect Clinton.
MATTHEWS: Why does it work in Utah? Why does he want to be the outlier in
WEIGEL: Well, Trump is incredibly unpopular in Utah, for the reasons he
brought up. And that state is not quite an outlier. Trump is doing a
little bit worse…
MATTHEWS: Do the LDS people out there really fear that they will be
threatened by this guy as president?
WEIGEL: Oh, yes, for the reason he said. If you are a religious minority,
you hear what he said about Muslims, and you can cast that on to yourself.
I think that`s very true.
There are places where that doesn`t matter for Trump. Utah is a place
where it does matter.
MATTHEWS: I sense that among Jewish people, too. I think any small
religion in terms of numbers is worried about Trump.
Do you think that`s true, Kellyanne, that people are afraid of…
CONWAY: No, I don`t think that`s true.
MATTHEWS: Well, you don`t think that is true. Why do I sense it?
CONWAY: I think it`s an overgeneralization, Chris. And I would – I just
would point out…
MATTHEWS: I can only go by my experience, Kellyanne. And I`m sorry if it
seems like a generalization, but go ahead.
CONWAY: No, I still – look, I still think people`s partisan affiliations
are very important to them.
And those who practice their religion and believe that their religion – we
test in polls, Chris – they believe that their religion is important to
their political decisions, that those people, regardless of their
denomination, they could be Muslim, they could be Jewish, they could be
Christian, they could be agnostic, frankly, they could be evangelical, they
could be Catholic, and they say, look, my religion is important to me when
But, look, I believe Mike Lee in that interview, the most important thing
to him – and he`s like an amazing senator, I think he`s fabulous – the
most important thing in that interview were the words Ted Cruz. He`s
defending his friend.
And I worked – I ran Ted Cruz`s super PAC. I think that`s a great defense
of a friend and a friend`s father.
MATTHEWS: Explain that story. Tell that story about the father.
CONWAY: Well, really, the last day or – I think the last day of the
Indiana primary, Donald Trump said that – insinuated there – said that
there were reports that perhaps Rafael Cruz was involved in the JFK
assassination. I – look…
MATTHEWS: And what was his source for saying that?
CONWAY: I have no idea. You would have to…
MATTHEWS: “The National Enquirer.” “The National Enquirer.” Donald Trump
was saying “The National Enquirer” says this guy`s involved with killing
Jack Kennedy. I can understand why Mike Lee`s upset.
CONWAY: I didn`t like that. But let me just say this to you.
I can understand why Ted Cruz, Heidi Cruz, Mike Lee, people feel a personal
slight if you have said something about somebody`s father, somebody`s
family. Nobody likes that.
MATTHEWS: How would you handle it? How do you handle it?
CONWAY: But I think that the most important part of Mike Lee`s interview
was that he`s defending his friend.
MATTHEWS: How do you handle the fact you got – you supported Ted Cruz.
How do you handle the fact that Donald Trump said that Cruz`s father had
something to do with Dallas?
CONWAY: Oh, I didn`t like it. I said so publicly at the time. But I
support Donald Trump, and I will do what I can to help him be elected
His – you may think it`s just a parlor game to mention Hillary Clinton`s
name, but those are the two people running for president.
MATTHEWS: I agree. I supported your decision to do that, Kellyanne.
CONWAY: It is a choice. It is a choice.
MATTHEWS: I supported your right to point to the binary nature of
presidential politics. I accept that.
But you don`t believe that Ted Cruz`s father helped kill Kennedy, do you?
CONWAY: No, of course not. I don`t believe that at all.
MATTHEWS: Well, why would Trump say that?
CONWAY: You would have to ask him. I think he`s explained it since. You
would have to ask him.
But I also don`t think it`s a useful conversation going into the
conventions. I think we should be focused on who they are selecting as
MATTHEWS: Oh, it`s not useful. OK. It`s not useful.
CONWAY: Wait. Why did Elizabeth Warren criticize Hillary Clinton as
beholden to the banks and now she is her BFF?
MATTHEWS: You know who brought this up? Mike Lee, the guy you just paid
tribute to. He is the one that brought up the fact that Trump had accused
his best friend`s father of being some kind of assassin.
Anyway, let`s go to Dave.
CONWAY: And that that`s why he couldn`t support him.
WEIGEL: It`s telling, because what Republicans want to hear from Trump is
be on message, use a teleprompter, but, also, if you are going to attack
people and insult people and get the media chasing stuff, do it to Hillary.
And he said he would during the campaign. He promised these voters, hey, I
haven`t even started on Hillary yet. That`s what irritates them. They
just – he can be as wild as he`s being, as long as it`s about Hillary
They think – we saw that with McConnell, other Republicans trying to push
him in that direction. OK, if you are going to swing wildly and make the
media report on this goofy stuff in “The National Enquirer,” at least do it
MATTHEWS: I see – agree with you. I so agree.
There`s no such thing as bad manners if you`re a Republican.
MATTHEWS: It`s going to be pretty rough.
Anyway, thank you, Kellyanne Conway.
MATTHEWS: And when I try to support, you even fight that. Anyway, thank
you, David Weigel.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, up next: a new era in the American military, how the
Pentagon became more inclusive to the LGBT community, and they did it
today. These are astounding developments in my lifetime, and coming
quickly – well, quickly, in the sense of day-to-day. All of a sudden,
wow, another change.
HARDBALL is back after this.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger. Here`s
Thirteen people have been arrested in more than a dozen terrorism raids
following the attack at Istanbul`s airport. Four of those detained are
foreigners; 44 people were killed in Tuesday`s attack. More than 200
others were wounded.
And airport closed-circuit TV image reportedly shows the terror suspects
entering the airport and later unleashing violence. NBC News has not
verified these images. According to a source, one of the suspected
attackers arrived in Turkey from the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, a
And president Obama has signed legislation to address Puerto Rico`s
financial crisis. It creates a board to oversee its finances and debt
restructuring – back to HARDBALL.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHTON CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Our mission is to defend this
country, and we don`t want barriers unrelated to a person`s qualification
to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor,
airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission. The reality is that
we have transgender service members serving in uniform today. And I have a
responsibility to them and to their commanders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announcing the historic end today
to the ban on open service by transgender Americans. The decision to lift
the ban is effective immediately. And this comes at the tail end of a
year-long review process.
Opponents expressed concern that this could harm readiness and
effectiveness in combat.
But for more on the impact of this decision, I`m joined by Navy Lieutenant
and member of SPARTA, a military LGBT advocacy group, Blake Dremann, and
Gregory Angelo, who is of course president of the Log Cabin Republicans.
Gregory, you and I have been talking about this stuff for years, which is
just development of…
GREGORY ANGELO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS: Yes.
MATTHEWS: How does this fit in the history of liberation, of recognition,
of, if not celebration, certainly respect?
ANGELO: Well, yes, this goes back to integration of African-Americans into
our nation`s military. This goes to integration of women into our nation`s
As you know, as your viewers know, Log Cabin Republicans spent years
fighting don`t ask, don`t tell to allow open service for gay and lesbian
service members in the military. And now we are able to welcome our
transgender brothers and sisters to serve in the military.
They enlisted in military because they love this country, they want to
protect our freedoms. They should be allowed to serve openly without fear
of being discharged because of who they are.
MATTHEWS: Lieutenant, thank you for joining us.
My dad was in the Navy in World War II. And my two brothers were Naval
officers. And my dad said years ago – and he was no liberal. OK? He was
no liberal. But he said there are a lot of gays in the military. That`s
the way it is.
LT. rMD+BO_BLAKE DREMANN,rMD-BO_ U.S. NAVY: Yes, sir.
MATTHEWS: And he said it was almost like, that`s the way it is. What does
your experience tell you? Tell us about your experience.
DREMANN: So, I have been in the Navy 10 years, commissioned out of OCS in
2006, deployed all over the world.
MATTHEWS: You came in, and your identity was what?
DREMANN: I have deployed all over the world.
I have done 11 operational deployments throughout my 10 years of service.
MATTHEWS: How did it go personally?
DREMANN: It`s been – personally, it`s been great.
I did the – actually, I did the integration of women on submarines in
2011. I was one of the first female-bodied individuals to serve on
MATTHEWS: And how did that go? Because that`s often pointed to by people
who haven`t been in the services. It`s very confined. It`s claustrophobic
to most of us who won`t – don`t want to get in one of those things that go
underwater for miles and miles. What was it like in those close
DREMANN: It was perfectly fine. We adapted to managing our own privacy.
And, in fact, we had a…
MATTHEWS: You state “we.” Were there other people?
DREMANN: I mean the crew.
DREMANN: And we had three females on the boat, and we had to manage our
own privacy with each other.
MATTHEWS: I got you.
DREMANN: In fact, we had a flip sign for the restroom for male and female
for the officer restroom.
And that only lasted a little bit of time, before we moved that flip sign
from the outside door, because there were two doors, from the outside door
to the inside door, where it was on the shower door, so that we could all
share the restroom without interfering with the privacy of somebody taking
So, we adapt to the different privacy situations.
MATTHEWS: Well, what do you make of this thing? We had a mention of –
well, you have to go first because you`re in the military – about this
causing problems with readiness. These terms like readiness come up. What
does that mean? Ineffectiveness, what does that mean to critics?
DREMANN: They are afraid that transgender people are going to not be
deployable, when, in fact, that`s just not true. We have…
MATTHEWS: How would that physically be a case? What would stop somebody
like yourself from doing the job?
DREMANN: There`s nothing that stops me from doing the job.
MATTHEWS: What do they say, the critics?
DREMANN: They are worried about surgeries and things like that.
But we deploy – DOD deploys transgender civilians. The State Department
employs transgender civilians to remote locations. So, the fact that we
would be non-deployable is a moot point.
ANGELO: Chris, the same boogeymen that you heard brought up when Log Cabin
Republicans was fighting for open service for gays and lesbians in the
military, oh, this is social experimentation in the military, or, oh, my
goodness, we are going to have to worry about showers, whatever will our
military do, look at Lieutenant Dremann here.
ANGELO: This is someone who served his country, continues to serve his
country. And the military isn`t the one that has a problem with the
implementation of this stuff. It`s the politicians that politicize…
MATTHEWS: So, military – just to get the sense quickly, people identify -
- how they identify in terms of gender is not as important as the duty you
have. And people do identify. They know they are not at a club somewhere.
They know they are on military time, right?
MATTHEWS: People adjust to the circumstances.
DREMANN: They adjust to the circumstances, absolutely.
MATTHEWS: I think that`s what happens.
Thanks for your service.
DREMANN: Yes, sir. Thank you.
MATTHEWS: I have seen “Das Boot.” That`s the only thing I know about
military – submarine life. It`s hell of a movie about the Germans,
remember, in World War II.
ANGELO: Oh, yes, famous movie.
MATTHEWS: They got the fruit hanging – not the fruit – the meat hanging.
Everything`s hanging. It`s like you`re living in a – everything is close
together in those places.
DREMANN: It sure is.
MATTHEWS: It`s close together.
Anyway, thank you, Lieutenant Blake Dremann and Gregory Angelo, as always,
with all the – keep coming in with the progress.
Up next, veepstakes. Chris Christie. Do you believe it? Chris Christie`s
on the list. And Tim Kaine are in the headlines as possible number two.
But are these the best running mates for Trump and Clinton? Now, that`s a
pretty good question – 330 million people, and Chris Christie`s at the top
of the list?
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
The presidential veepstakes are gearing up and today, two prospective
running mates are making some news. Not all of it good.
On the Democratic side, “Politico” reported today that Virginia Senator Tim
Kaine, a leading contender to become Hillary Clinton`s running mate, quote,
“reported more than $160,000 in gifts from 2001 to 2009, mostly for travel
to and from political events and conferences, according to disclosures
compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.”
Anyway, the givers include political supporters, a drug company that soon
after bought a facility in Virginia, and Dominion, the state`s largest
provider of electricity. While according to this report, Senator Kaine
also received an $18,000 Caribbean vacation, $5,500 in clothes, and a trip
to watch George Mason University play in the NCAA basketball final four.”
All the gifts were legal under Virginia law. Unlike his successor, former
Governor Bob McDonnell, all the gifts that came were properly disclosed
publicly on paper.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, “The New York Times” reports that New
Jersey governor Chris Christie quote, “is among those being vetted as Mr.
Trump`s possible running mate, according to people briefed on the process.
Mr. Trump has said in interviews Mr. Christie would have a prominent place
in a Trump White House.”
Let`s bring in the HARDBALL roundtable today. Jamal Simmons is Democratic
strategist, Laura Bassett covers politics for “The Huffington Post”, and
David Catanese is senior politics writer for “U.S. News and World Report.”
Jamal, you first. I think I`ve laid it out. This guy has taken a lot of
gifts, it seems to have a certain scent to it because we had this big
Supreme Court case about his successor – rather his predecessor down
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. Apparently, according to
“Politico”, he took gifts, he went to a donor`s house in the Caribbean,
went to a basketball game, some other things, but in Virginia, these things
MATTHEWS: Explain the clothes thing. How does somebody give you clothes?
MATTHEWS: Hey, anybody, want some clothes? I got clothes for you. It
seems like an odd gift. A steak dinner, that`s one thing.
Hey, come on, I`ll buy you some clothes. It seems strange, Laura Bassett.
LAURA BASSETT, POLITICO: He over-reported the gifts.
MATTHEWS: Does it smell?
BASSETT: I don`t think it smells. He stayed at a friend`s house in the
Caribbean, paid his own expenses. He overreported everything. He didn`t
do anything illegal. It`s all within the bounds of –
MATTHEWS: So, he`s still in the running? Still in the running?
SIMMONS: I think he`s still in the running but he`s not the best choice.
DAVID CATANESE, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: He is the best choice. And
he`s still in the running. And he can overcome this.
MATTHEWS: Has anyone ever given you clothes?
CATANESE: But look, I think he can overcome this if he`s conciliatory,
talks about reform.
MATTHEWS: Does he have to say it was wrong, what he did?
CATANESE: No. He should stress that it was completely legal in Virginia.
Look, Donald just –
SIMMONS: My theory is Democrats leaked this story, perhaps even Tim Kaine.
They`ve got to inoculate him if they are going to appoint him to be vice
MATTHEWS: OK, I don`t think so.
Anyway, Kaine`s spokesperson tells HARDBALL, quote, “During his eight years
as lieutenant governor and governor, Senator Kaine went beyond the
requirements of Virginia law, even publicly disclosing gifts of value
beneath the reporting threshold. He`s confident he met both the letter and
spirit of Virginia`s ethical standards.”
Are Virginia`s ethical standards good enough?
MATTHEWS: OK, good.
Let`s talk about Christie. Christie`s involved with the bridge scandal.
We beat the hell out of it here. Everybody on this network and everyone
else beat the hell out of the story. It`s a hell of a story. The cones
did make sense, and he started off by saying, “Oh, yeah, I`m the guy that
went out and put the cones out to stop the traffic.”
But it`s a fact, they stopped traffic to make some kind of political
message to somebody they didn`t like or tried to squeeze some mayor in Fort
Is he still the credible candidate for vice president?
CATANESE: I recently spoke to a Trump aide who is urging against a
Christie appointment. But told me that Christie`s in the mix because
Christie is in Trump`s ear and frankly, Christie wants it. So, a lot of
people don`t want it.
MATTHEWS: There are time relapse pills coming down the road here. All the
people who will testify in these cases against them, a lot of people have
to squeal here. They might point to him.
BASSETT: It`s certainly bad timing with the trial coming up in September.
I also think Christie`s a really dumb choice for Trump, because it`s
basically Trump choosing his mirror image.
MATTHEWS: How so?
BASSETT: Christie`s a bombastic blowhard, he`s from New Jersey, and –
CATANESE: Nothing wrong with that.
BASSETT: He doesn`t help Trump pick up constituents Trump didn`t already
MATTHEWS: Why it`s going to be from Jersey?
BASSETT: Because Trump is from New York. Trump already had a –
MATTHEWS: Double-downing on what, Jamal?
SIMMONS: Well, he`s double-downing on attitude.
MATTHEWS: Perfect Philadelphia accent and one of the words I looked for
SIMMONS: Trump/Christie versus Clinton/Warren is quite a choice for the
MATTHEWS: Wait a minute, do you think it`s Warren?
SIMMONS: I do think it`s Warren.
MATTHEWS: Want to bet?
SIMMONS: You got to get the Bernie voters on her side.
MATTHEWS: Want to bet me?
SIMMONS: I`ll bet you.
MATTHEWS: It screws up my commentary.
BASSETT: What`s the question?
MATTHEWS: Let`s get back to square one.
BASSETT: I think it`s going to be Tim Kaine.
CATANESE: I think it`s going to be Tim Kaine. I think Corker, Jeff
Sessions or a general for Trump. Trump has said he wants someone that can
help him in Washington, right? Do something with Congress. Christie
doesn`t have any Washington experience.
MATTHEWS: What do you think? You have a thought?
BASSETT: I think Corker is a good choice for Trump, probably the best
SIMMONS: Jeff Sessions. Let`s just have Alabama all the way in it.
MATTHEWS: You have attitude. I know what you`re doing. You`re trying to
screw these guys.
Anyway, the roundtable is sticking with us. And up next, these three will
tell me again something I don`t know.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: We are going to have a really special show coming up on Monday,
July 11th. Bill Maher is going to join us for the whole HARDALL that
night. He`s always outspoken and he`ll have plenty to say heading into the
Republican convention in Cleveland.
So, mark your calendar and join me with Bill Maher, as he plays HARDBALL
next Monday, July 11th.
And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Back with the HARDBALL roundtable.
Jamal, tell me something I don`t know.
SIMMONS: You know, I`m working with a group called Democracy and Color.
They have Senate rankings for all five Senate candidates in the NDCC on
diversity, and they`re ranking them and a lot of donors are starting to pay
attention to whether or not these rankings on diversity and how their
outreach to the older Obama coalition are going to stack up.
MATTHEWS: How do you measure it? Staff?
SIMMONS: They`re looking in terms of staff, consultants, how much money
they`re spending in field campaigns. They`ve got five different measures
and donors are asking questions of politicians about how they`re
MATTHEWS: OK, great.
BASSETT: The National Republican Congressional Committee has this program
called Young Guns. It looks at up and coming people in the Republican
Party. The average age of the Young Guns this year is 49. And it includes
MATTHEWS: You find that ludicrous?
BASSETT: And it includes a 74-year-old woman who worked in the Reagan
administration. So, they`re clearly having trouble with young –
MATTHEWS: No spring chicken there, eh. Anyway, why they always use the
words guns? I think we don`t use that anymore, guns.
CATANESE: Keeping in the themes of veepstakes, I`m told that John Kasich
was on Trump`s veep list initially about a month ago. Then, he went out
publicly and said he wasn`t interested, and he started trashing Trump,
saying he wouldn`t endorse him. So, Trump removed him from the list.
MATTHEWS: Where`s the surprise in that? If the guy starts dumping on you
CATANESE: Well, the surprise is that he was initially on the list and now,
he`s not – now there`s backchannels between the two because they want his
endorsement for the convention in Cleveland, because it`s a big black eye
if you don`t have a sitting governor`s endorsement.
MATTHEWS: Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, as Tim Russert would say. Ohio is so
important to both parties. Republicans can`t win without it. Democrats
can cut their heart if they grab it.
That`s why Sherrod Brown makes sense.
Anyway, Jamal Simmons, Laura Bassett, and David Catanese.
When we return, let me finish with this vice presidential hunting season.
I have some thoughts on this matter.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this.
We are in the vice presidential hunting season. July, which starts
tomorrow, will be the month that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton decide
who they wanted as their running mates, who they want should they win the
presidency, working two doors down from them in the West Wing. The veep`s
job is not what it used to be. Abraham Lincoln`s V.P. went home to live in
Up until the Nixon presidency, vice presidents spent their days up on
Capitol Hill, doing their one constitutional job, presiding over the United
If they were to meet with the president, they had to get on a horse, or in
a carriage, or in a limo, and ride down from the hill to see him. Well,
starting with Nixon`s presidency, the veep got an office in the old
executive office building across the West Wing Avenue from the West Wing.
Starting with Jimmy Carter, the V.P. got an office in the West Wing itself,
as I said, two doors from the Oval Office. So, it`s a real close in
position these days and in Washington, position is everything.
The question presidential candidates now have to ask themselves is, who do
they want living and working and holding a position in such close
proximity? They certainly don`t someone who repels them, someone who they
can`t stand for some reason or can`t take, and they certainly don`t want
someone they don`t trust being so close that they can learn their secrets,
someone poking his or her nose into their business and dine out on it,
write books about it, or drop a dime on them.
You want someone this close to be a secret keeper. There`s something else,
you don`t want a lightweight. You don`t want someone on the ticket with
you that isn`t capable of thinking like a president and have the beginnings
of the ability to act like one.
We`ve had some real beauties of late, Dan Quayle, John Edwards, Sarah
Palin. Call them boutique vice presidential nominees, because of a
consultant`s theory they would appeal to this or that group, country folk,
young women, or whatever.
One thing we don`t need in 2016 is for Trump or Clinton to pick a V.P.
running mate based on an appeal to this or that group, someone whose best
selling point is not who they are, but some demographic they`re supposed to
arouse, for two reasons – it`s an insult to the voter and an insult to the
office. The one great way to tell a serious president is to see if he or
she makes a serious pick of V.P.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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