Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript 10/24/2016

Guests:
Yamiche Alcindor, Tad Devine, Judith Browne-Dianis, Heather McGhee, Ryan Williams, Guy Cecil
Transcript:

Show: HARDBALL
Date: October 24, 2016
Guest: Yamiche Alcindor, Tad Devine, Judith Browne-Dianis, Heather McGhee,
Ryan Williams, Guy Cecil

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Is Donald Trump the new Baghdad Bob?

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews out in Pittsburgh, where tomorrow, I`ll
be interviewing Vice President Joe Biden, who`s out on the campaign trail.

With just two weeks to go in the race and polls showing a lead for Hillary
Clinton, there`s at least one person who thinks Donald Trump is winning –
Donald Trump. According to Trump, the polls are phony and the Democrats
are trying to discourage his supporters. Here was Trump earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There`s some great polls have just
come out. I believe we`re actually winning. If you read “The New York
Times” interview (ph) and some of these phony papers – these are phony,
disgusting, dishonest papers. But if you read this stuff, it`s, like, What
are we doing? What are we wasting time for?

The truth is, I think we`re winning. What they do is they show these phony
polls, where they – you know, where they look at Democrats, and it`s
heavily weighted with Democrats. And then they`ll put on a poll where
we`re not winning, and everybody says, Oh, they`re not winning. What they
do is they try and suppress the vote. This way, people don`t go out and
vote. But we`re winning this race. I really believe we`re winning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, later in the day, Trump said the polls show he`s down, but
said his voters have greater enthusiasm than Clinton`s voters. Let`s
listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think we`re going to have a Brexit situation. You know, that one
was behind in the polls, And I guess I`m somewhat behind in the polls, but
not by much. I mean, in your state, I`m 1 point, 2 points, and even in
three polls – 1 point, 2 points, and even. And I think we have a much
greater – a tremendous enthusiasm, much greater enthusiasm than she has.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, yesterday, Trump`s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway,
acknowledged they were the underdogs. Let`s watch her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you see this race right now? Do you
acknowledge that you`re behind?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We are behind. She has some
advantages, like $66 million in ad buys just in the month of September.
Our advantage going in – we were behind 1, 3, 4 points in some of these
swing states that Mitt Romney lost to President Obama, Chuck.

Our advantage is that Donald Trump is just going to continue to take the
case directly to the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Meanwhile, Karl Rove, who spent election night 2012 arguing with
the Fox News decision desk over the results, is throwing in the towel for
his party`s candidate. Let`s watch him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL ROVE, FMR. BUSH SR. ADVISER, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: If he plays an inside
straight, he could get it, but I doubt that he`s going to going to be able
to play it. He has 186 electoral votes in states that he either leads
outside of the margin of error that`s – or is thought comfortably put
away. That compares to Romney`s 206.

He would have to not only win two states where he is either only slightly
ahead or behind by 4, but he would have to pick up states where he is
behind by, at, or above the national average. I don`t see it happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: On the latest ABC News tracking poll, Clinton has a 12-point
lead over Trump, 50 to 38. That`s nationally. Well, today Trump called it
a totally phony poll, that one. Anyway, a CNN Opinion Research poll just
out today shows a closer race, with Clinton leading by just 5 points, 49 to
44.

I`m joined right now by “The New York Times`s” Yamiche Alcindor, Hugh
Hewitt, host of “The Hugh Hewitt Show” on the Salem Radio Network, and
Democratic strategist Tad Devine – he`s back. He was former senior
adviser to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Good to have him back.

Let`s go to Yamiche and let`s go in this order. What is the strategy of
Trump saying he`s not behind? Because just the other day, he was saying
the election is fixed and he can`t possibly win. I thought one was to
encourage his voters. I`m not even sure – what is his strategy, saying
he`s going to win and the polls are wrong, or saying he`s going to get
screwed and the polls are right? I mean, which is his strategy here,
Yamiche?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, “NEW YORK TIMES”: I mean, we`re seeing two things happen
here. Donald Trump I think is in one way trying to tell people that he`s
realizing that he`s behind and that he wants to kind of rile up his base
and wants to tell people, Hey, there`s still time, we need to get this
together.

But there`s also this other part of Donald Trump that I think where he
really is in denial in some ways. He sees these polls, the same polls that
he would be talking about if he was winning and he says now they`re rigged.
And it goes to this idea of making the case that the election is rigged and
really wants his supporters to feel like, If I lose, it`s not because of
anything that I did, but really, it`s because of the media and the people
who are rigging this election.

MATTHEWS: Yes, Hugh, he`s really trying to be scientific about her,
clinical. He`s saying, Let me tell you how they rig it. They give more
weighting to the Democrats when they`re polled than they give to the
potential Republican voters. He`s really getting into the science of
polling and showing how it`s being, according to him, rigged. At the same
time – well, I`m not sure what at the same time is, except it`s rigged.
The polls are rigged. The elections are going to be rigged.

Is that the theme to get his people out?

ALCINDOR: I think it`s the theme to get his people out. But I should say
I think it`s also part of this – him being angry at the system. Yes, he
wants to get his voters out. And they are enthusiastic. I think I would
say that he is…

MATTHEWS: I would say.

ALCINDOR: … right with that, that he`s – that his supporters are very
enthusiastic. So there`s a little bit of that going on.

But I think some of this is the fact that he is – he`s really kind of
departing from the message of his campaign. Kellyanne Conway is really
trying to tweet out and really trying to do interviews where she says, We
understand we`re behind, because she wants people to understand that they
are serious, that they`re presidential candidates, that they understand
what the numbers are saying to them. But Donald Trump is kind of really
doing what he wants to do in this case.

MATTHEWS: Hugh, can you understand his strategy, his public strategy?

HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, not
really. I think it`s important for him to focus on the “Obama care”
meltdown, to focus on issues at this point and leave the pollsters to their
polling. If he wants to point to anything, you point to Tom Cotton winning
by 17 percent two years ago in Arkansas and Mitch McConnell winning by 15
percent, neither of which were predicted anything close to that kind of a
landslide.

But you don`t unskew polls. It`s a bad move. I`ve fallen into that trap
myself.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

HEWITT: I learned trust the RealClearPolitics average and campaign on the
issues.

MATTHEWS: What do you think was – I hate to take you down a rabbit hole
you don`t want to go down, but why was the Cotton race underpolled? Why
was Mitch McConnell underpolled?

HEWITT: I do think that state polling is much more difficult than national
polling. I`ve tried to figure it out with people like Sean Trende at
RealClearPolitics. The bigger your sample, the easier it is to model a
turnout. The smaller your experience, and a Senate race in every six years
on an off year was a real bust.

But I think Cotton won by 17 points. Brad Dayspring (ph) of Politico
pointed out to me that the last poll showed him winning by 8 to 10. But
about three weeks out, they thought that Prior-Cotton race was a dead heat,
and Cotton wins by 17 points. It does give you pause when you come to some
polls.

MATTHEWS: Let me go to Tad, who`s a political strategist, not a pollster.
Tad, I don`t understand. When you got two weeks to go in the polls, why
doesn`t Trump say the following. If you like the way things are going,
vote for the usual candidate, Hillary Clinton. If you like the way we`re
losing jobs in the manufacturing part of this country, getting killed on
that front, vote for what we have. If you like the way we have
uncontrolled immigration, vote for that. If you like these stupid wars,
vote for that. Vote yes for Hillary.

Why doesn`t he set it up as a zero-sum game, If you vote for Hillary
Clinton, you`re voting for the way things are, and really set it up smartly
instead of arguing about polling and crap like that? Your thoughts.

TAD DEVINE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: My thoughts are because he`s not a
disciplined candidate, because he doesn`t really care about the mechanics
of campaigns, because he doesn`t stick to a message. You know, this is a
guy who will say whatever he wants to say if he thinks it serves his
purposes at that momentum. It`s a Twitter kind of form of communication.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

DEVINE: So you know, I think he`s trying to offer reassurance to his
supporters that he`s not out of it. But the truth is, he`s fallen far
behind, and there`s very few, if any, paths for him to win the election.

MATTHEWS: What you think`s happened to him? Is it the tape from 2005?
What is it that broke his chance?

DEVINE: Well, I think a combination of, number one, the debates, where
Hillary Clinton performed like a president. She demonstrated presidential
capacity. She dealt with him very effectively.

Number two, I think that tape that was released of him on the bus confirmed
all the suspicions that people had about him, particularly with women.
That`s why he`s trailing. He`s 20 points down in the ABC poll with women
right now. So I think it`s a combination of those events.

MATTHEWS: Well, Trump went after the media today again, saying he was
looking out for working Americans. I wish he would say – not that I want
him to do it, but the smart thing – and I like politics – is to do it the
right way. Let`s watch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The media isn`t just against me, they`re against all of you.
That`s really what they`re against. They`re not against me, they`re
against what we represent. The media is entitled, condescending and even
contemptuous of the people who don`t share their elitist views. And this
is all for money. This is for money, largely, money and power. I see you
and I hear you. I am your voice!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Let me go to Hugh on that. What do you make of that argument,
that he represents the regular folks out there and the media represents the
elite? And why would the media, except a lot of us are – a lot of media
people are Ivy Leaguers and they are, you might say, the intellectual
elite, although I don`t think that`s what I brag about, but they are, some
of them – why is the media pro-elite, according to him? Give me the
motivation because you`re on that side of thinking and I want to hear the
smart way of saying it.

HEWITT: Thank you. To quote Kissinger, it has the additional benefit of
being true. Ninety-percent plus of Manhattan Beltway media elites will
vote for Hillary Clinton and will applaud her election. That seeps into
coverage. It`s what Dan Rather said. News is where you look. Those
elites look for news in places other than, for example, the “Obama care”
premium hikes or the problems at the FBI.

These are stories where if Donald Trump were making a comprehensive case –
it goes back to Nixon and Agnew. You know this, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

HEWITT: This is an old saw and it`s a true saw in the Republican cannon
that you don`t get a fair shake. But you`ve got to deal with it by
focusing on issues, not on the problem of bias.

(CROSSTALK)

ALCINDOR: … really quickly?

MATTHEWS: Yamiche, do you think that`s true? Do you think that`s true? I
mean, I look at Joe Biden. He`s not elite. I look at Bobby Casey of
Pennsylvania. I don`t think he`s elite. I look at Toomey, who`s not
elite. Who are these – name me the elite in the media. Give me the
names.

ALCINDOR: Well, this is the thing. If we ask people like Donald Trump, or
if you ask people like Bernie Sanders, they were both going after some of
the same people. They were talking about “The New York Times.” They were
talking about “The Washington Post.”

And really, this is something I think that is kind of an effective argument
because people really do feel like when they go and get the news that
they`re really getting it from these people who have some sort of plan to
rig this election or rig the economy or don`t want to cover the real
issues, when, you know, obviously, the media is in some ways covering the
news of the day and covering things that we think are important. But there
are people making value judgments. But I should add that I talked to…

MATTHEWS: Do you know anybody, Yamiche, at “The New York Times” who`s pro-
life?

ALCINDOR: That`s not a question I`m going to answer. I have no idea.

MATTHEWS: Do you know anybody?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: You don`t have to name names. Do you know anybody at “The
Times” who`s pro-life?

ALCINDOR: I have not asked my co-workers that question, I should say.

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s cute.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: … making your point. That`s the way you make your point.
Anyway, go ahead. Go ahead, Yamiche.

ALCINDOR: But I really wanted – this idea of – I was talking to a Trump
supporter today, and he said that he felt that Donald Trump was what he
called a blue collar billionaire. It`s the first time I had heard that
term. But this is the that people are really believing that he`s a voice
for them.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I think so.

ALCINDOR: And I think that that`s something that`s really powerful, and
that could be an issue that he could continue to talk about if he wasn`t
talking about suing his sexual assault accusers.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I think – I think people – I want to go back to Hugh –
let me go back to Tad on that. I think people look at Trump, who like him,
those who like him, as sort of a Sinatra kind of guy. Yes, he has a lot of
money, but he acts like a little guy who got to be a big guy. He doesn`t
look like he was born to it. He doesn`t look like that. Your thoughts.

DEVINE: Well, I think he doesn`t sound like that, you know, the language
that he uses. But you know, listen, that clip you just played of Trump, he
was taking it directly off the teleprompter. It was very effective. It
was a powerful message. Trump`s problem is he stops going off the
teleprompter. He goes to Gettysburg to make this big address and he says
he`s going to sue the women who are making charges against him…

MATTHEWS: Great headline.

DEVINE: … and that`s the news! Yes, it`s ridiculous. And it`s stupid
and it`s selfish and it`s a big reason he`s going to lose.

MATTHEWS: Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton said she won`t respond to
Trump anymore. That`s smart. Today on the trail, however, she had strong
words for him, taking him to task for what he tweeted about the invasion of
Mosul. Boy, this is getting interesting. Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Just last night, he tweeted
that the new effort under way to push the terrorists out of the key city of
Mosul is already, and I quote, “a total disaster.”

He`s basically declaring defeat before the battle has even started. He`s
proving to the world what it means to have an unqualified commander-in-
chief.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Clinton was joined at the rally by Senator Elizabeth
Warren of Massachusetts, who attacked Trump for labeling Clinton a “nasty
woman” at last week`s debate. By the way, Senator Warren knows exactly how
to fight with Trump. Let`s watch her here again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: He thinks that because he has
money that he can call women “fat pigs” and “bimbos.” He thinks that
because he has a mouth full of Tic Tacs that he can force himself on any
woman within groping distance!

(BOOS)

WARREN: Well, I got news for you, Donald Trump! Women have had it with
guys like you!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

WARREN: And nasty women have really had it with guys like you!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

WARREN: Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough. Nasty women are smart.
And nasty women vote!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: I have to go to – I have to go to Tad because you`ve had to
deal with clients. How do you find somebody so perfectly designed as
Elizabeth Warren to go after Trump? She has no fear of him. She`s
unassailable at home. She can`t be defeated. She seems to have a way of
getting beyond tough. He`s tough on Hillary. He`s tough on everybody.
She`s tougher than him.

DEVINE: Yes, listen, she`s connecting, OK? That`s what it`s all about in
politics. I mean, Bernie Sanders connected with voters. That`s why he had
the campaign that he ran in the primary process. Elizabeth Warren connects
very powerfully. She uses plain language. She goes right at it. She`s
pushing back on a bully. And you know, I think that – you know, she`s
just killing him out there.

And I – listen, this is one of Hillary`s great advantages, that it`s not
just Hillary that`s fighting this fight. The Obamas, they`re incredible,
the vice president, Bernie`s been great, Elizabeth Warren today – I mean,
this is a murderers` row of surrogates that`s being thrown at Trump right
now, and he`s paying the price for it.

MATTHEWS: You`re talking about the Yankees of old, of the `20s. Anyway,
thank you – the murderers` row. Thank you, Yamiche Alcindor of “The New
York Times,” Hugh Hewitt of Salem and Tad Devine of the Democratic Party.

Coming up – Democrats are pushing hard to win control of the U.S. Senate.
They got a good shot. One of the states they hope to flip from red to blue
is Pennsylvania. Looks like they got a good shot, but it`s going to be
close.

Hillary Clinton was there in Pittsburgh this weekend – right here, in fact
– blasting Republican senator Pat Toomey for supporting Donald Trump.
He`s not actually supporting Donald Trump. It`s very hard to figure out
what he is regarding Trump. He`s playing it very cute. We`re going to
take a closer look at the Keystone State in a minute as part of our “Battle
for the Senate” series, which we`ve just really started.

Plus, with all Trump`s talk of a rigged election, here`s a real-world
concern come election day. The Justice Department will be sharply
restricted in how it monitors voting sites this time. We`ll have far fewer
election watchdogs this year than at any time since the days of poll taxes
and literacy texts.

And Barack Obama`s flying high with an approval rating in the mid to high
50s now. Now he`s using his popularity not just to help Hillary Clinton,
but to punish Republicans up and down the ballot for supporting Donald
Trump. I love the way he`s going after Darrell Issa of California. He
wants to put the – well, he wants to put the nails in that guy`s political
coffin.

Finally, my “election diary” for tonight, October 24th, with just 15 days,
two weeks and a day – can you believe it? – two weeks and a day and we`re
going to have this election.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, the great comedian Bill Murray – and who doesn`t like him
– has been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American humor. It happened
last night. Murray, whose 40-year film career includes starring roles in
classics like “Ghostbusters,” “Groundhog Day,” “Caddieshack,” was honored
at the Kennedy Center in Washington last night by fellow comedians Dan
Aykroyd, David Letterman and cast members from “SNL.”

And after the event, Murray, who grew up in Chicago, paid tribute to his
beloved World Series-bound Chicago Cubs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MURRAY, COMEDIAN: It`s exciting. You know, if you don`t know what
it`s like to wait your whole life for the team you root for to win, you
can`t explain it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: We`ll be right back. By the way, I saw Bill Murray at the
airport recently. He`s a nice guy.

Back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. One contest that could decide control
over the U.S. Senate is the race in my home state of Pennsylvania, the most
expensive campaign in the country for that office.

Anyway, in the RealClearPolitics average, incumbent Republican senator Pat
Toomey holds a 2-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Katie McGinty.

Anyway, Pennsylvania has trended Democratic in recent elections, but one
thing Toomey has going for him in history, Pennsylvania voters have split
their tickets three times since 1992, when the state reelected Senator
Arlen Specter back then and voted in Democratic presidential candidate Bill
Clinton.

They did it again in 2000, when Pennsylvania reelected Rick Santorum to the
Senate, but also supported Democrat Al Gore for president, again in 2004,
reelected Specter at that time, by throwing their votes to Democrat John
Kerry for president.

But things have changed. In 2000, Democrats held only a 500,000-vote
advantage in registration over Republicans. Today, Democrats have roughly
a million-voter advantage in registration.

Toomey also has to contend with the coattails of Hillary Clinton, who leads
in the state by an average of six points, and with the challenges facing
his party`s nominee, Donald Trump.

Over the weekend, Clinton took on actually the incumbent senator directly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Send Katie McGinty on
behalf of Pennsylvania to the United States Senate.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: She`s running against someone who refuses to stand up to Donald
Trump. How much does he have to hear or to see?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And in their first debate on television, Toomey, who has yet to
say who he will vote for, whether he will vote for Trump or not, was
repeatedly pressed by the moderator on that point, and McGinty, to disclose
his choice. Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: As a leader in your party, yes or no, do you support, as in will
you vote for and encourage others to vote for, your party`s presidential
nominee?

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: And because Katie is so extremely
partisan, she can`t grasp the idea that somebody might have trouble with a
candidate in their own party. But I do. On the other hand, I also know
that, if he were president, he would probably sign legislation that would
be constructive.

KATIE MCGINTY (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I will tell you,
waiting to be persuaded is political-speak for waiting for the next poll.

But, again, the senator is the only person in the United States of America
who has not leveled with his constituents on this simple question. Are you
voting for Donald Trump? I will yield the balance of my time back to the
senator, so that he can now answer that question.

QUESTION: We`re going to move on.

But, Senator, just one last go at this. Will you disclose to your
constituents and to other voters how you`re going to vote before Election
Day?

TOOMEY: You know, at some point, I probably will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: That moderator sounds like me.

Anyway, a few days later, Toomey acknowledged he`s in a tough spot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOOMEY: I`m still in the same mode I was Monday night, which is feeling
stuck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: “Feeling stuck.” Politicians don`t usually say that.

Anyway, Guy Cecil is a Democratic strategist, of course, and head of the
pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA. Ryan Williams is a Republican
strategist.

So, Ryan, give us an account of what – I mean, we know what the
predicament is. There`s two kinds of voters who could vote for Toomey,
those who are for Trump and Republicans who are not for Trump. That`s two
groups of voters. You knock one group, the other group may not like you
and reverse the same thing. It`s hard to keep both of those Republican
groups happy.

RYAN WILLIAMS, REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN CONSULTANT: Well, politically, it`s a
tough spot. There`s no question about that.

And I think for someone like Pat Toomey, who`s been a good senator who has
been focused on policy, he`s torn between Hillary Clinton, who he hates,
doesn`t think she is – would be a good president, and Trump, who he also
doesn`t like. He`s been very up front about his opposition to Trump`s
outrageous statements and his policies he disagrees with.

So he`s in a tough spot, but thankfully Pat Toomey has a good record in the
Senate. It`s a record a party of bipartisan achievement on gun control and
other things. And I think that`s why he`s leading in the polls now,
despite the distractions the top of the ticket is throwing at him.

MATTHEWS: Last question on that very front. Then I will get to Guy.

Do Pennsylvania voters in the main, do they still believe there`s such a
thing as an East Coast Republican, a Hugh Scott Republican, a Scranton
Republican, a Jack Heinz Republican? Do they really think there are
Republicans who are not right-wingers that they would feel comfortable
voting for, especially in the burbs?

WILLIAMS: I think so. And I think that`s Pat Toomey.

He`s someone who has worked across the aisle, rated one of the most
bipartisan senators in the United States Senate, someone who worked –
whether your agree with him or not, with Senator Joe Manchin of West
Virginia on a commonsense solution to background checks, someone who has
worked to keep child sex predators out of school.

He`s worked to clear up the backlog at the VA. He`s someone who has a
record of achievement. And that`s why he`s leading right now in a
challenging year overall for Republicans.

MATTHEWS: Well, Guy, Democrats have told me, Pennsylvania Democrats at the
very top level have told me that Toomey`s been very shrewd in coming out
for background checks along with his partner Joe Manchin of West Virginia,
a Democrat, that he`s done just enough to look like a moderate on guns,
and, at the same time, not to offend the NRA, and therefore can win in the
burbs. What do you think?

GUY CECIL, PRIORITIES USA ACTION: Well, I actually they you illustrated it
perfectly, that not only when it comes to Trump, but when it comes to gun,
he`s trying to have it both ways.

I think the Democrats have done a reasonably good job of pushing back on
that narrative, in part by using Pat Toomey`s own words about being a
friend and a reliable vote for the NRA. But I would also point to the
fact…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: How is he different than Casey, the Democratic senator from
Pennsylvania, on guns?

CECIL: On guns?

MATTHEWS: Yes. How`s he different?

CECIL: Sure.

Well, I think there`s a couple of things. If you look at assault weapons,
we have seen that there`s still differences there in terms of him
disclosing what he believes. He also says, according to the NRA, that he
opposes certain Supreme Court justices in part because of their view of the
Second Amendment. And he also supports Donald Trump.

And that, I think, is the heart of the argument, especially in the
Philadelphia suburbs.

MATTHEWS: But on the issue of guns, he`s different – just to delineate,
he`s different than the popular incumbent Democratic senator on guns?
You`re saying that?

(CROSSTALK)

CECIL: On background checks, I think they share the same point…

MATTHEWS: I think they`re both for background checks.

CECIL: Right. But, on assault weapons bans, on limits on ammunition, on
their vote for the Supreme Court justice based on the Second Amendment,
which, by the way, the NRA scores, which is why most Democrats always get
an F with the NRA even if they`re mildly supportive, and also in terms of
their support of Donald Trump.

MATTHEWS: Well, anyway, your group, the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities
USA, is getting into this Pennsylvania fight and running this TV ad against
Toomey. Let`s watch that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Pat Toomey and Donald Trump, they`re just wrong for the women of
Pennsylvania.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New fallout for Donald Trump.

MATTHEWS: Should a woman be punished for having an abortion?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There has to be some form of
punishment.

MATTHEWS: For the woman?

TRUMP: Yes, there has to be some form.

TOOMEY: I would support legislation in Pennsylvania that would ban
abortion. And I would suggest that we have penalties for doctors who
perform them.

NARRATOR: Pat Toomey and Donald Trump, they`re not for you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Is that a fair ad, Ryan?

WILLIAMS: No, I don`t think so.

Look, you obviously were there. You asked the question of Donald Trump.
It was about penalizing women for abortions. That`s not Pat Toomey`s
position, never has been. They`re conflating two things.

And, look, I think they`re trying to tie him to Trump. It`s obviously a
strategy Democrats are using al across the country. They have tried it
with Toomey for a while now. But he`s holding his own. He`s a good
senator.

And, look, Katie McGinty is not a good candidate for the Democrats. She`s
very wooden. She`s not very likable. She gave a terrible speech at the
DNC that was widely panned. I think one reporter said it was like an “SNL”
sketch of someone trying to impersonate a politician, it was so bad.

She`s not a great candidate. She`s weak. She`s nothing but really
standard Democratic talking points. Pat Toomey has a record of
accomplishment and it`s what he`s running on. That`s why he`s leading in
the polls right now.

MATTHEWS: Guy, are you running that across the state or just in the
Philadelphia market, which is more pro-choice?

CECIL: We`re running it in the Philadelphia market, in the Philadelphia
market.

MATTHEWS: Why aren`t you running it across the state, which is more pro-
life?

CECIL: Well, in part because we`re still running ads in the rest of the
state specifically focused for Trump for Hillary`s own election, which is
Priorities` primary function in the election.

MATTHEWS: Yes, but why are you just running it in Philadelphia, where you
know that people are more pro-choice?

Is that fair statewide to suggest that you`re just going to go out and
you`re going to basically pick up the pro-choice votes around the
Philadelphia suburbs, but not advertise to the rest of the state, which is
much more culturally conservative, your candidate`s position on abortion
rights? Is that fair?

CECIL: Right.

Well, like I said, our first priority is to focus on Hillary. And we think
that, in Scranton, in Harrisburg, and in Pittsburgh, where we`re still
advertising for Donald Trump, there are actually still votes to gain for
Hillary. And so we`re focused on Donald Trump in those particular markets.

And in the Philly suburbs, we think we`re pretty close to maxing out
Hillary`s vote in that respect.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Would you run those ads – would you run that ad we just saw up
in Scranton if it were run for free? If somebody paid you to run it, would
you run it?

CECIL: An ad that says Donald Trump believes that women should…

MATTHEWS: No, just that, that ad, no, that ad.

CECIL: Yes, an ad that says that…

MATTHEWS: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

CECIL: Yes, I`m answering your question, if you will give me one second.

Would I run an ad in Scranton that says that Donald Trump believes women
should be put in jail if they have an abortion? Yes.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

CECIL: Would I run an ad that says Pat Toomey believes doctors should be
put in jail if they have an abortion? Yes.

MATTHEWS: But you didn`t.

CECIL: And I also just want to point out that if the number one complaint
Republicans have about Katie McGinty is that she`s not likable, which is,
by the way, what they say about every strong women running for office these
days, she`s going to win the election.

MATTHEWS: OK. Now I have got to give Ryan a response.

Go ahead, rMDNM_Ryan. Your thoughts about that? Is likability a factor
here?

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: She`s not been a strong candidate. She`s someone who got caught
lying about being the first member of her family to go to college. She`s
someone who`s been part of this revolving door culture in government, where
she was in government, steered money to corporations as a state regulator.

Then, when she left, she sent and worked for those corporations. Voters
don`t like that. This is a year of populism on both sides. You have got
the rise of Bernie Sanders and Trump. They don`t like people using the
system for their own gain, like Hillary Clinton and like Katie McGinty in
Pennsylvania. It`s not what voters want this year.

MATTHEWS: OK, Guy Cecil, and thank you, Ryan Williams, both.

Up next, this year, for the first time since the 1960s, the Justice
Department will be sharply limited in sending its watchdogs to polling
places to protect people`s right to vote. And that`s a big concern,
especially considering Donald Trump is pushing his supporters to monitor
what he`s calling a rigged election.

That`s ahead. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger. Here`s
what`s happening.

California Highway Patrol says a tour bus may have not braked before
crashing into a big rig, killing 13 people near Palm Springs.

Pennsylvania`s former Attorney General Kathleen Kane was sentenced today to
10 to 23 months in jail. She was convicted of disclosing details from a
grand jury investigation and lying about it.

The White House says it`s up to regulators to decide whether to review
AT&T`s plan to buy Time Warner. Critics say the $85 billion deal could
lead to fewer choices for consumers – back to HARDBALL.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They even want to try and rig the election at the polling booths,
where so many cities are corrupt. And you see that. And voter fraud is
all too common. If nothing else, people are going to be watching on
November 8.

Watch Philadelphia. Watch Saint Louis. Watch Chicago. Go around and look
and watch other polling places and make sure that it`s 100 percent fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

For months now, Donald Trump has called on his supporters to watch polling
elections for what he alleges could be widespread voter fraud in the big
cities. Now civil rights advocates say they`re worried that voter
intimidation spurred by Trump`s claims the election is rigged could be on
the rise this November.

This comes in the wake of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that cut portions
of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which were aimed at preventing discrimination
at the ballot box.

As “The New York Times” notes: “For the first time since the days of poll
taxes and literacy tests a half-century ago, the Justice Department will be
sharply restricted at how it can deploy some of its most powerful weapons
to deter voter intimidation in the presidential election.”

That means fewer voter election observers can be deployed to monitor
polling locations. At same time, Trump is stoking fears of a rigged
election, but he said actually on Saturday that voter fraud could actually
help him if fraudulent ballots are cast for him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There are 2.8 million people that are registered in more than one
state. So, we will vote here, let`s ride down the road, let`s vote next
door. Maybe they will vote for Trump. I don`t know. Maybe I shouldn`t be
saying this.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I may be hurting myself. You`re right. You`re right. Maybe
they`re going to vote for Trump. All right. Let`s forget that. It`s OK
for them to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, I`m joined right now by Judith Browne-Dianis of The
Advancement Project and Heather McGhee of Demos.

Let me ask you, Judith, first of all, let`s talk specifically about what
Trump is saying. He is basically saying, keep an eye out for the big
cities, urban cities, with large minority populations, and if you`re from
somewhere else, basically, get in your car on Election Day, as a private
citizen, drive into some neighborhood where you think there might be, might
be voting cheating of some kind, impersonation, whatever, and blow the
whistle on it.

Is that feasible? Can we imagine that actually happening? And if so, what
would be the impact, if, say, somebody from a suburb goes into a black
community, a minority community and starts blowing the whistle? Because,
in Philadelphia, there were 59 voting divisions where you didn`t get a
single vote for Mitt Romney. And I believe it`s because nobody voted for
Mitt Romney, but they may have different suspicions. Your thoughts?

JUDITH BROWNE-DIANIS, CO-DIRECTOR, ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Well, first, let`s
be clear about this, Chris. There`s clearly racism behind this, from,
first of all, saying that there`s the boogeyman of voter fraud, and, by the
way, my supporters, that bogeyman are – those are black and Latino people
in the inner cities, and then dispatching people and telling supporters to
go to those areas and watch what they are doing.

First, we should know that intimidation is against the law, under the
Voting Rights Act. So getting in the way of anyone exercising that right
to vote is illegal. Two is that, in most places, in most states, there`s
actually laws about who can go into the polling places.

MATTHEWS: OK.

BROWNE-DIANIS: And it`s exactly why the Department of Justice is not going
to have observers inside, because…

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s talk about the Trump people. I`m sorry to interrupt.

BROWNE-DIANIS: Sure.

MATTHEWS: But I really want to get the focus on where Trump has to show
where it`s possible, even relevant to the universe we live in.

Some guy or woman comes in from the burbs, for example, a Republican comes
in or a pro-Trumpy comes in and shows up in an inner-city voting area.
They walk up. They got their head over the shoulder. They`re looking at
the voting list, decides to stick their face into it, and they say, that`s
not Mary McGee. That`s not her. That`s not that person.

Now, is that what they`re talking about, stopping in person? I`m just
trying to figure out, physically, what do Trump people – what`s Trump
talking about?

BROWNE-DIANIS: What he`s really talking about is intimidating them just by
showing up.

MATTHEWS: Do you think that would intimidate somebody in a tough downtown
district where people all know each other, they know the community, they
use the term community, they knows who`s in it and who isn`t in it?

And somebody who shows up who`s not in the community and starts giving
orders, do you think that would intimidate anybody? I think that person
would be shouted down probably.

BROWNE-DIANIS: No, I do think that they would be shouted down. And I
don`t think they actually will be able to challenge a voter.

But what I do think it is that, you know, you have some of his supporters
who have said, we`re going to racially profile. There was a guy who said,
we`re going to racially profile, make them a little nervous.

And so you do…

MATTHEWS: How do you do that?

BROWNE-DIANIS: Well, I mean, I think it`s by some people who are going to
show up and hope that they can intimidate people just by their very –
their very existence at a polling place.

I actually don`t think that voters are going to be intimidated. People
want to cast a ballot.

MATTHEWS: That`s what I think.

BROWNE-DIANIS: I think that those – these folks are going to be shut down
at the polling place and that there will be observers who will be there to
challenge those challengers.

HEATHER MCGHEE, DEMOS: But here`s what they can do.

MATTHEWS: Go ahead, Heather.

MCGHEE: Here`s what they can do, is actually they can slow things down. I
mean, we saw this a few elections ago in Pennsylvania.

MATTHEWS: Tell me how that works.

MCGHEE: Because the laws about whether or not a non-official, non-
registered person can go up to someone in line and, say, challenge their
validity, and then have the onus be on the voter to provide I.D., to
provide an affidavit from someone in the community who knows them, it`s
really actually a patchwork of laws, as is the case across our country.

And in some places like Pennsylvania, the laws are really, really weak.
And so what you can get there is that people – and this is not new to
Donald Trump. There`s an organization called True the Vote that did this
in 2012 and have been training sort of vigilante poll watchers.

And what it can do is slow it down, so that you have those lines, because
what they`re doing is making someone then prove more than they would have
had to do otherwise. And that`s part of the problem.

BROWNE-DIANIS: But then it`s…

MATTHEWS: Judith?

BROWNE-DIANIS: But, in states like Pennsylvania, you – you have to –
first of all, you have to register to be an observer to go into the polling
place.

And you have to either be with a party or be with a candidate. So, it`s
not going to be as easy as he`s making it out to be to go into a polling
place and challenge


>

JUDITH BROWNE DIANIS, THE ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: – you have to register to
be an observer, to go into the polling place. And you have to either be
with a party or be with a candidate. So, it`s not going to be as easy as
he`s making it out to be to go into a polling place and challenge voters.
And in most places, you also have to have some evidence.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: We have to tell everybody voting, if you`re
an honest voter, and you are, vote. Don`t let anybody get in the way. But
I don`t think these vigilantes from the `burbs are going to be any problem
to anybody who wants to vote in their community.

So, I just really believe those people will be tough enough, they`ve fought
for enough of their lives and their parents have, to get the vote. They`re
not going to let somebody come in and say, excuse me, and get in their
face. I don`t think so.

Your thoughts? You`re the experts?

HEATHER MCGHEE, DEMOS: I was just going say, the real problem here is that
this is not just an outlier candidate like Donald Trump who has gone beyond
the bounds of so many of our norms. But this is actually a pattern of
voter intimidation and suppression that takes a lot of different forms.
Demos just won a lawsuit where we sued the state of Ohio for kicking
registered eligible voters off the voter rolls, because they hadn`t voted
recently, right?

So, these are the kinds of things. Obviously, we know about the North
Carolina lawsuit that won triumphantly, saying that legislators there had
gone with surgical precision to find out what types of voting laws African-
American used and tried to cut those out.

MATTHEWS: I remember.

MCGHEE: This is everyone. And this is part of an ethos that says that –

MATTHEWS: I know.

MCGHEE: – we`re not all equal citizens.

MATTHEWS: And we`re going to keep reporting on that, because Souls to the
Polls is a legitimate way to vote, it`s a nice way to vote, it`s godly.
Let`s keep it up.

In any way, Judith Browne Dianis and Heather McGhee, thank you for doing
the good work you`re doing.

Up next, if you want to know how much this election matters to President
Obama, just look at his campaign schedule coming up. It`s unprecedented
for a retiring president. He`s out there not just pushing Hillary, but
Democrats up and down the ballot. He`s blasting away at the Republican
opponents personally. And that`s ahead.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

With nearly two weeks to go, actually, two weeks and a day left in the
presidential campaign, Democrats are setting their sights on a lot more
than the presidency. With a sizable war chest now and a comfortable
advantage in the polls, Secretary Clinton`s boosting her party`s down-
ballot candidates. Let`s watch it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And Maggie is going to be a
great United States senator for New Hampshire.

I want to thank Governor Ted Strickland, our candidate for the United
States Senate.

Send Deborah Ross to the United States Senate!

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

MATTHEWS: Well, “The New York Times” reporting that Hillary Clinton is,
quote, “asking voters to strengthen her hand in Congress and repudiate not
just Mr. Trump, but also Republicans who have accommodated or endorsed
Trump.

And she`s enlisted a bevy of surrogates from Vice President Joe Biden, who
will be on HARDBALL tomorrow. Let`s watch

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What frustrates me
about this election, and I couldn`t quite figure it out, as I was on my way
up to campaign in New Hampshire, day before yesterday for Hillary, and I
realized it. Trump has so dumbed down this election – no, he really has!
Think about it! That the press, they`re decent people, all these folks out
there, what are you going to cover?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And then there`s the president. According to “Politico”, he
will back nearly 150 candidates across 20 states in an attempt to rebuild
the party from the bottom up. That would be the Democratic Party.

For more, I`m joined by our roundtable. Tim Alberta is chief political
correspondent with “The National Review”, Jay Newton-Small, contributor
with the “Time” magazine, and Ken Vogel, chief investigative reporter with
“Politico”.

From the top, and take over here, guys, this is a roundtable. I want you
to explain to me kind of campaigning in plain sight. Hillary Clinton`s not
doing a lot of hard-nosed interviews right now. She doesn`t need to risk
anything with that. And she`s campaigning for other candidates than
herself. I think it`s a strategy to get the focus off her in the last two
weeks and keep it on Trump.

Tim?

TIM ALBERTA, NATIONAL REVIEW: Yes, I think that`s right. Look, if you`re
Hillary Clinton right now, you`re up six points on average in Pennsylvania.
You`re up eight points in New Hampshire. You`re up, you know, eight points
in Colorado. You`re up four points in North Carolina. You look around and
there`s not a down-ballot race in Colorado.

But in those other three states, for instance, at this point, why not help
the down-ballot candidates? Why not try to strengthen your hand when
you`re inaugurated in next January? It has sort of a dual effect of not
only helping your down-ballot candidates, Chris, but also, it is sort of a
prevent-defense strategy. It`s sort of a place it safe, let`s not do
anything to possibly hand ammunition to the Trump campaign less than two
weeks out, at this point, or 15 days out at this point.

It just makes sense from a tactical standpoint, makes sense from a money
standpoint. Democrats are now sort of starting to spread the wealth around
down-ballot, as we`ve seen over the last week or two.

JAY NEWTON-SMALL, TIME MAGAZINE: And, Chris, if I can add to that, studies
show that women are actually always more popular, when they`re already in
office or when they`re campaigning for somebody else or working for
somebody else. And so, in this case, Hillary Clinton is generally more
popular when she`s out there doing something for somebody else than when
she`s actually talking about herself.

And so, I think this is actually just a play to sort of keep her head down,
keep her head in the sand, let everything happen with Donald Trump like go
past her and really just focus on helping others on the ticket, and getting
them across the finish line as well, but it also helps her, too.

MATTHEWS: Ken?

KEN VOGEL, POLITICO: Yes, and I think there`s also – it`s not just that
she`s hiding in plain sight. I mean, her schedule is actually relatively
sparse for the final two-week stretch of election. She did two events
Saturday, but they`re not expecting like a very vigorous schedule down the
stretch.

And I think part of that is, they are legitimately concerned that if she
gets out there and does a lot of events, there is the potential for an
unforced error. People around her believe that if she`s keeping a really
intense schedule, she gets a little tired, as anyone would, and that the
chances for that go up, everything is going so well for her right now,
they`re trying to look for that sort of path of least resistance –

MATTHEWS: Over the weekend –

VOGEL: – and give momentum to the candidates down-ballot.

MATTHEWS: Well, there`s one guy swinging pretty loosely. Over the
weekend, during a fundraising swing out west in California, President Obama
blasted U.S. Congressman Darrel Issa, he called him shameless. The
Republican member of Congress in a tough reelection out there in San Diego
County, a former Republican stronghold.

Well, during a closed-door event, President Obama accused Issa of being
someone who, quote, “spent all his time simply trying to obstruct, to feed
the same sentiments that resulted in Donald Trump becoming their nominee,”
closed quote.

Well, the commander in chief – campaigner in chief, has had a few words
for a number of Republican candidates. Let`s watch him in action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, I understand Joe Heck
now wishes he never said those things about Donald Trump, but they`re on
tape. They`re on the record. And now that Trump`s poll numbers are
cratering, suddenly, he says, oh, I – now, I don`t – I don`t – I`m not
supporting him. Too late.

Why does Marco Rubio still plan to vote for Donald Trump? There has to be
a point where you stand for something more than just party or more for than
just your own career.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: He`s going to be a little careful. He is flying high out there.

Anyway, the roundtable is staying with us.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: A big reminder, tomorrow. I sit down with Vice President Joe
Biden out here in Pittsburgh. On Friday, he said he`d like to take Donald
Trump behind the high school gym. Vintage Biden.

You don`t want to miss him as he says tomorrow in our interview. He`s
going to talk all about it. We`re going to talk about that boxing thing
with him.

And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL round table.

Tim, tell me something I don`t know.

ALBERTA: Chris, we are hearing a lot about immigration and Arizona being
back in play and how Hillary Clinton would like to try to pursue
immigration reform in the first 100 days of her presidency. Keep in mind,
in Arizona, 200,000 new Hispanic voters since 2010 eligible on the rolls.
Mitt Romney only won 22 percent of Hispanics in Arizona four years ago. If
Trump is at that number or even lower, that state goes blue in a couple of
weeks.

MATTHEWS: Wow. What a prediction.

Jay?

NEWTON-SMALL: Well, in the race in Louisiana to replace David Vitter in
his Senate seat, you have David Duke, who`s a former white supremacist and
he actually just qualified for a debate in that state and that debate is
going to be held at an historically black college, which will make for a
very interesting debate.

MATTHEWS: Geez. That`s strange.

Ken?

VOGEL: The Clinton campaign officials tell me they have not asked to
review nor have they actually reviewed the John Podesta`s personal e-mails
from his Gmail account. These are the ones that WikiLeaks has tens and has
tens of thousands that they have jet to release so there could be some
surprises in there not just for us or the media, our voters, but also even
for the Clinton campaign. You`ve got to wonder, either they have total
confidence in John Podesta and his discretion or that`s almost like
political malpractice.

MATTHEWS: Wow.

Anyway, Tim Alberta, thank you so much for joining us. And, Jay Newton-
Small, as always. Ken Vogel, as always.

Back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Election Diary Monday, October 24th, 2016.

Something`s changed. This campaign feels very different than it did a week
or two ago. Now, there`s this feeling that the battle between Donald Trump
and Hillary Clinton is over. Hillary`s going to win.

Will the former secretary of state be joined in the morning after headlines
with a Senate takeover as well? Will there be a big number up there on the
front page telling how many seats in the House of Representatives the
Democrats gained and the Republicans lost?

You can see it in President Obama`s taunting of California Congressman
Darrel Issa. He of the perpetual investigation and enduring probe of
Democrats. You see it in the president`s big push for Senate candidates
wherever he goes. He doesn`t just want a mandate for Hillary, he wants
whopper.

And then there`s Baghdad Bob, saying none of this is true, that the
Republican president for president is well in the fight. You remember
Baghdad Bob? He was the guy broadcasting from the Iraqi capital as the
U.S. troops arrived to take over the city.

Today, the die-hard voice coming from the presidential campaign is that of
the candidates himself. Baghdad Bob, meet Donald Trump.

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

“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.


END


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