Jay Inslee interview. TRANSCRIPT: 8/7/19, Hardball w/ Chris Matthews.

Guests:
: Jay Inslee, David Frum, Donna Edwards, Charlie Sykes; Jill Colvin; Victoria DeFrancesco Soto; Cesar Blanco; William Weld; Adam Serwer
Transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Bully pulpit.  Let`s play HARDBALL.

 

Good evening.  I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

 

President Trump is still on the ground in El Paso, Texas right now, the

second leg of his trip to console and memorialize the victims of this

weekend`s mass shootings.

 

Trump`s visits came against the backdrop of public anger over his racially

divisive language and inaction on guns.  We saw that in the protests that

greeted him today.

 

But Trump doubled down again against his critics this morning, telling

reporters that his rhetoric unifies people.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  What do you say to your critics that believe that your rhetoric

that is emboldening white nationalists and inspiring this anger?

 

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT:  Well, my critics are political people. 

They`re trying to make points.  In many cases, they`re running for

president and they`re very low in the polls, a couple of them in particular

very low in the polls.

 

I think my rhetoric is a very – it brings people together.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  As the president met along with the victims in Dayton, Ohio and

in El Paso, Texas, demonstrators in both cities made clear they viewed

Trump as part of the problem.  Actually, Trump made their point for them.

 

On a day meant for mourning, the president spent much of his time airing

political grievances and taking cheap shots at his political enemies.  In

between Dayton and El Paso, for example, Trump Tweeted, watching sleepy Joe

Biden making a speech.  So boring.  Our country will do poorly with him. 

He wishes.  It certainly wasn`t sleepy Joe we saw today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Trump

readily, eagerly attacks Islamic terrorism, but can barely bring himself to

use the words, white supremacy. 

And even when he says it, he doesn`t appear to believe it.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, Trump also complained early today that The New York Times

didn`t give him enough credit for his response to the mass shootings, an

attack and coverage he received this afternoon even from Fox News.

 

He also went after El Paso`s Beto O`Rourke, saying O`Rourke shouldn`t speak

out about the 22 largely Hispanic people massacred in his hometown.  Beto,

this is Trump talking, phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage, that`s

Trump Tweeting.  O`Rourke should respect the victims and law enforcement

and be quiet.  Well, see what I said about cheap shots?  He can`t stop. 

All of this from a president supposedly have to bind the wounds of the

country in the wake of two tragedies.

 

I`m joined by Jill Colvin, White House Reporter for the Associated Press,

Victoria DeFrancesca Soto, Professor of the University of Texas, Charlie

Sykes is Editor-in-Chief of the Bulwark.

 

Charlie, why can`t he control his tongue on a day that is for mourning and

consolation?  He spends his time spit-balling his opponents.

 

CHARLIE SYKES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE BULWARK:  Yes, because this is a moment

that required presidential largeness.  And instead, we got his littleness

and his pettiness, because this is who he is.  You know, as Jonathan last

wrote in The Bulwark the other day, he`s an arsonist who wants us to think

he is the fireman.

 

But, look, Donald Trump is never going to heal this nation.  Number one,

because he`s incapable of it.  Number two, because he is not interested in

it, because he is much more comfortable with the invective, with the

insults, with the petty jibe, because he thinks that`s why he became

president, that that is his super power.  So, you know, what we are seeing

is exactly what Donald Trump has always been, somebody who is never going

to grow into this office.

 

But the fact on this day of national mourning, he is Tweeting out.  Some of

those Tweets sound like they were written by a semi-literate nine-year-old. 

I mean, it is the smallest and the pettiness of the man at a moment that

really required presidential leadership.

 

MATTHEWS:  Jill, what`s his story on this?  Can he stay on – he can`t stay

on one – the tune today was grief, sorrow, consolation.  His tune, as I,

again, like Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman, jumping in, jumping in

with these cheap shots against Beto, against Biden.  He just can`t stop.

 

JILL COLVIN, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS:  Yes.  We`ve got two

Trumps here.  You know, you`ve got the Trump, that`s the one that you see

in his offhand remarks, that you see in his Tweets.  And then you`ve got

the president trying to play the role of presidential comforter.

 

MATTHEWS:  Who told him to get down to El Paso and go out to Dayton?  Who

told him?  Because it doesn`t seem like it`s in his conscience to do it.

 

COLVIN:  This is something that his aides have been discussing for a couple

of days.  It`s something he`s done before.  This is the fifth and sixth

time that he`s gone to sites of these shootings.  And, actually, when he is

one-on-one with these individuals, he actually is quite good at sort of

that role of comforting to them, of talking one-on-one.

 

The public doesn`t really see much of that.  You know, he was in Dayton

today, and there wasn`t a single viewing of the president by the press

corps the entire time he was there.

 

MATTHEWS:  Who called that shot?  Who said no cameras?

 

COLVIN:  That was the decision of the White House.  They said that they

wanted to watch out for the families.  They didn`t want to overwhelm them. 

But as a result, all we got were some government images of the president. 

And then we have images of the protests outside the hospital where he was

visiting with victims and his Tweets.

 

MATTHEWS:  Victoria, this is reminding me a little bit of LBJ in the old

days in the Vietnam War.  He couldn`t really meet the public.  He had to

hide in the White House, Victoria.  Now, how did he deal with the Hispanic

community, the Latino community down there?  How does he relate to people,

look at them in the face after he has been trashing the community now for a

year-and-a-half?

 

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LBJ SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

PROFESSOR:  Well, the Latino community, especially the Democratic Latino

community and the independent Latino community is enraged, is frustrated,

is angry, is raw.  A lot of what we see Beto doing and saying is a

reflection of that and other Latino leaders as well.

 

But I think what`s also interesting, Chris is what Trump has done to Latino

Republicans because outside of Florida, Texas had the second largest and

strongest Latino GOP base.  But since Trump came to office, he has done

away with the decades` worth of work that the Bush family had done in

establishing a good relationship with Latino Republicans.

 

George w. Bush was re-elected as Governor with 49 percent of the Latino

vote.  Now, we see some very pronounced Latino GOPers saying, you know what

I`m out.  I can`t be out of this party because of Trump.  So Trump has

eroded Latino support in his own party, and he has energized the Democratic

base here in turning Texas from a deep, deep red to a light red.

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, just to enlarge on your point, and you know it better than

I, but I`m studying the numbers today late this afternoon.  I noticed when

he ran for re-election as president, and he was a controversial president

after the Iraq War.  We all know that.  He got 40 percent of the Latino

community nationwide.  So that`s not just Cuban-Americans.  That`s a lot of

Mexican-Americans and other people who have come here, their families who

come from other countries.

 

Is that now demolished by Trump?

 

SOTO:  I mean, President Trump has really strained the relationship.  The

GOP lost when it comes to the Latino vote?  I`m not going to say entirely,

but at least in the Trump GOP era, yes.  There is going to have to be a

very different turn for the party.  But for right now, I think you`re going

to see the teens, you know, the GOP percentage in the 18 to 19 percent rate

as a ceiling.

 

MATTHEWS:  Charlie, what struck me again, and this is the weird dyspepsia

of this president, the bad mood of the guy, really, why was he in such a

bad mood?  Sherrod Brown was pretty nice to him today and certainly the

mayor was out there in Dayton.  Why did he take this crap shot, or I should

say just, a crappy shot at him after him being out there telling the

people, you know, the president was pretty good with these people today?

 

SYKES:  That`s an interesting question.  And I never try to speculate what

goes on inside the president`s mind because that`s a scary place, but it`s

an indication of just how thin-skinned he is that he was just simply

assuming that Sherrod Brown would have said something negative about him or

that they were going to take.  So he anticipated that when, in fact, it

didn`t happen at all.

 

Look, there is enough things that are being said about him that are rather

harsh from Joe Biden and Beto O`Rourke.  But it was odd.  It was an

indication of his lack of mental discipline.  He couldn`t even focus on

what he ought to be addressing, what he ought to be doing, what the moment

required of him.

 

MATTHEWS:  And what the moment required of Sherrod Brown, the senator,

Democratic liberal senator from Ohio.

 

SYKES:  Who did the right thing.

 

MATTHEWS:  Jill, he did what people are supposed to do.  The president of

the United States comes, no matter what his politics, no matter what you

think of the guy or deserve to think of him, you come to visit, your people

are victims, they treat him with respect.

 

COLVIN:  Yes, and that`s actually what he said.

 

MATTHEWS:  And Trump couldn`t imagine that.

 

COLVIN:  Yes, that`s actually what he said, was that people had come and

they respected the office, even if they were in opposition to the

president`s views, they still gave him the respect.  And both him and the

mayor were quite complimentary, saying that people there appreciated it,

that the president did what he should have done, that Melania Trump, the

first lady, did what she should have done in that room.

 

To be fair though, I mean, they also then continued calling on him to be

more aggressive and push reform and legislation, and also continued saying

that they were worried that his rhetoric has contributed to this climate of

violence in the country.

 

But also remember that the president is watching this news on Air Force

One, where he is probably watching it on Fox and seeing the coverage

through or seeing the news through their days.

 

MATTHEWS:  It`s a bad day, I tell you.

 

Let me go back to Victoria on this thing.  Because it seems to me when you

talk about a president, you know, Bill Clinton was good at this, whatever

else he was good at or bad at.  He was bad at a few things.  He was very

good when he had to play president, be president.  He just seemed to know

that was the job.

Maybe from being the son of a fatherless home, he knew how to play the

older brother, you know what I mean, Victoria?  He knew how to be the older

brother in a troubled family.  He knew that role.

 

SOTO:  We`re not seeing consolation from this president.  And in scratching

my head why don`t we see this, I don`t think Trump feels he needs to do

this.  He is relying on a base to get re-elected and he is feeding that

base, and he is checking the box of going to El Paso and going to Dayton

and saying some platitudes about unification.  And that checks the box for

moderate Republicans, fiscal Republicans who want to hold their nose and

vote for him.

 

But, ultimately, he knows who he is speaking to.  And he knows what he

needs to do to keep his base happy and to keep the other more moderate

folks at least content enough to come out in November 2020.

 

MATTHEWS:  Yes, I think he is feeding talking points to his peeps.  That`s

what I think he is doing.  And I don`t know how much more.  But, you know,

I don`t know about these private conversations.  Maybe they are authentic. 

I`ll give more of the credit of the doubt or whatever you say, anyway, the

doubt I give him.  I`ll give him the benefit of the doubt because he won`t

give to it Sherrod Brown and the mayor.

 

Anyway, thank you, Jill Colvin.  Victoria, it`s great having you on. 

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, thank you for coming on, from the University of

Texas.  It looks great behind you there.  And thank you, Charlie Sykes, as

always.

 

I`m right now joined by Texas State Representative Cesar Blanco, whose

district includes El Paso.  Representative, thank you, sir, and I just want

your take on the whole thing, the horror, the reaction, the president`s

role in all of it.  What does all add up to you?

 

STATE REP. CESAR BLANCO (R-EL PASO, TX):  Well, Chris, it`s a tragic time

here in El Paso.  I represent this district where this massacre occurred by

this white supremacist.  And we are all saddened.  We are shocked.  We`re

in disbelief.  We need time to heal.  And, unfortunately, this president`s

visit does not allow for that.  And we are all disappointed.

 

MATTHEWS:  Do you wish he hadn`t come?

 

BLANCO:  That`s right.  You know, several elected officials from our region

have let President Trump know that we are not ready for his visit. 

However, unfortunately, he decided to come anyway.

 

You know, yesterday, we heard from him and Vice President Pence words of

unity, et cetera.  But then last night, he went on to attack former

Congressman Beto O`Rourke, who was our congressman, and back to the old

games.

 

So, you know, this president is not consistent.  He continues to say words

of division, and it`s unfortunate that he`s our president.

 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think he wants the votes of Latinos in the next election?

 

BLANCO:  I really don`t think he cares.  You know, since he started his

campaign, he has called Latinos and immigrants rapists, he says that we

bring crime, he says that we bring drugs, he`s called immigrants rapists.

 

But I tell you what, Chris.  I grew up in this community.  Many of us are

proud of our Latino culture, but at the same time, we`re proud Americans. 

I served active duty in the military over six years, as did my father and

my uncles and many cousins.  And we`re proud of that.  We`re proud of our

country.  We love this country.  And it`s unfortunate that he attacks our

community and Latinos around the country and it`s just couldn`t be further

from the truth of what he says.

 

MATTHEWS:  Sir, you speak from the heart.  I`m so glad you came on the show

tonight in this terrible time.  At least we had your heart on this show. 

Thank you, Texas State Representative Cesar Blanco.

 

Coming up, the president uses racist language to fire up his base while a

Fox News host calls the problem, catch this, the very problem of white

supremacy he calls a hoax, like the Russian involvement in our election

last year, last time, a hoax.  How long can Republican politicians and

their spokespeople get away with giving the president a free pass on all

his issues?

 

Democrats, on the other hand, see this as a moment to define who Trump is. 

He surely is.

 

Much more ahead.  Stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

 

In the wake of the weekend massacres in El Paso and in Dayton, Republican

members of Congress have condemned a lot of things.  The top Republican in

the house, for example, blamed video games.  Others pointed the finger at

mental health, and a host of others condemned white supremacy, but in broad

terms.  But most have remained silent on any response on the part of Donald

Trump and his fanning of the flames of hate in this country.

 

But a lone Republican challenging the president, former Massachusetts

Governor Bill Weld didn`t hold back, writing on Twitter, what will it take

to stop the hate speech, stop the racist rants from the White House and

stop accepting the unacceptable?

 

For more I`m joined by him, Bill Weld, and Adam Serwer, Senior Editor at

The Atlantic.

 

Governor, what is this about?  The Republican Party has had a record on

race.  It certainly started pretty well with Lincoln.  It was pretty good

with W, who was very good on getting Hispanic voters to vote for him, up to

40 percent, 44 down there in Texas.

 

Let`s just talk about this president and Latinos.  He doesn`t seem to want

them in his brood, in his party.

 

FMR. GOV. WILLIAM WELD (R-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Yes, Chris, I think

that`s absolutely right.  And there is no longer any doubt that the

president has blood on his hands.  You could draw a direct line from that

manifesto of the shooter in El Paso to the Trump handbook.

 

Every week, it seems the president gets a bit more unhinged.  He reminds me

of Alex Jones, the right wing conspiracy theorist, who says that Sandy Hook

never happened.

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, what do you make of him?  He`s got the support of your

party up there.  Nine out of ten people support this guy no matter what he

does or says, ergo, people like Mitch McConnell do what he wants, which is

nothing really except cut taxes and put right wingers on the Supreme Court.

 

WELD:  Sure.  I think it`s fairly easy to see what`s going to happen.  If

the president continues in the direction he is going, more and more

unhinged, he is going to go down big time in 2020.  And I say this with

mixed feelings at best, but he`s going to take a lot of the Republican

Party in Washington with him, not at the state level, but the people in

Washington who are sticking up for him.  They`re going to suffer massive

losses.

 

MATTHEWS:  Adam, you`re thinking about the president and the way he`s

behaved and has spoken.  It has really gone off the normal guardrails of

American conversation, especially in the matters of ethnicity and race.

 

ADAM SERWER, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC:  Yes.  Well, typically, American

presidents make gestures towards pluralism and – I mean, depending on the

president, they seem more or less sincere.  But this president talks about

immigrants as an invasion, as an infestation.  He talks about black

neighborhoods as places unfit for – for humans to live.  He tells nonwhite

representatives to go back where they came from. 

 

He`s a departure from what American presidents have typically been like

during most of the 20th century.  But, unfortunately, he reflects a long

tradition of racism among Republican presidents from Andrew Johnson to

Woodrow Wilson. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, look we have a conversation that goes on not from just

officials, Governor, but media people, Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, a lot of

conservative or even right-wing radio hosts around the country. 

 

They`re all listening to each other.  They all know what each other is

saying.  And by – at least by omission, they go – last night, for

example, on FOX, Tucker Carlson argued that it wasn`t necessary to condemn

white racism right now because it`s not a real problem. 

 

Let`s listen to Tucker. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FOX NEWS CHANNEL)

 

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS:  If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of

concerns, of problems this country faces, where would white supremacy be on

the list?  Right up there with Russia, probably.  It`s actually not a real

problem in America. 

 

White supremacy, that`s the problem.  This is a hoax, just like the Russia

hoax.  It`s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold

on power.  That`s exactly what`s going on. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  So, Governor, 22 people are dead because of a hoax? 

 

WELD:  So, that reminded me of the president saying the opposite of what is

true. 

 

And I think, you know, the president can`t deny that, in the 2016 election,

he beamed out images of George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the

American Nazi Party.  Most people didn`t know who that was.  But those

skinheads, those white supremacists, those neo-Nazis, they knew damn well

who it was, and they took it as the dog whistle to them that it was. 

 

And he`s never stopped.  He`s never stopped. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think he – I assume this happens on the far left too. 

There are certain candidates and politicians who don`t want to give away

one vote, no matter how far it goes in their direction. 

 

In other words, they`re conservative, but they don`t want to kiss off real

right-wingers, real scary types.  It seems like Trump, what do you think,

doesn`t want to defend the most farthest right hater, because he may need

that hater`s vote in a close election. 

 

That`s what I think he is up to here. 

 

WELD:  I don`t think that`s it.  I think he and Steve Bannon decided a long

time ago that their playbook is to divide the American people and get

everybody all upset, set everyone`s teeth on edge, and it will be easier

for them to make their autocratic play, and say, here is our man on

horseback cog to rescue all of us, because everything is just in such

terrible shape. 

 

He reminds me of Big Brother in “1984,” two minutes of hate every afternoon

to make people more malleable.  And that`s, at the end of the day, what

Trump is trying to do.  And I think it`s beneath notice, it`s so

despicable, frankly. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Adam, your thinking about this Tucker Carlson thing, denying

that it`s a concern, white supremacy?

 

SERWER:  Right. 

 

Well, FOX News airs segments on how white supremacy doesn`t exist in

between segments on the Hispanic invasion and the gypsy menace.  So other

than the white supremacists who praise this guy to the sky, I`m not sure

why anybody should be taking his perspective on this particular matter very

seriously. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, who is he talking to?  Somebody.  His ratings are high. 

People are listening. 

 

SERWER:  Well, that`s right.  FOX News` rating strategy is making white

people scared and angry.  The Republican Party`s political strategy is

making white people scared and angry. 

 

The president`s reelection strategy is making white people scared and

angry, which is why all these condemnations of white supremacy are

basically meaningless, because that`s the strategy that they`re going to

continue to pursue, no matter what. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Governor, I want you to respond about, how is the political

outlook for you in this race?  You`re running for president in the

Republican primaries.  How does it look to beat Trump? 

 

WELD:  You know, I`m hearing things on the ground that nobody else is

hearing or talking about. 

 

I say to Democrats and independents, because I want to enlarge the

electorate in the Republican primary, I say, if you don`t like Mr. Trump,

come out and vote against him twice.  Vote for me, Bill Weld, in the

Republican primary. 

 

You can be sure that vote comes directly out of Donald Trump`s hide, and

then go back to being an independent or a Democrat and vote whoever you

want in the final election.  I assume you`re going to vote against Trump

again. 

 

I`m getting real traction with that in New Hampshire and elsewhere.  It`s

not showing up in the polls, because no one`s going to poll the Democrats

to say, how are you going to vote in the Republican primary?

 

But my strategy in New Hampshire and elsewhere is to enlarge that

electorate in the Republican Party – in the Republican primary, and have

it not just be the party bosses and the party leaders in each state party,

who were installed there by Trump, by definition. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Sure. 

 

WELD:  So I think people are looking at the wrong target. 

 

MATTHEWS:  When do you think he is going to get nasty with you with the

nicknames and the rest of it? 

 

WELD:  I don`t know.  I assume people are sitting on him pretty good.  By I

sure wouldn`t mind him taking a swing, I tell you what. 

 

MATTHEWS:  You want to rough it up with him a little. 

 

You think you can win New Hampshire, having been up there as governor, two

terms up in Massachusetts?  Do you think you – is that a sweet spot for

you, New Hampshire? 

 

WELD:  Oh, I think I can win New Hampshire.  That`s a manageable size

state.  I was on Boston TV for 20 years, which reaches through Manchester. 

That`s about 70 percent of the population of the state. 

 

And beyond that, I have been there a lot and I`m going to be there, be able

to be there more than other candidates, because of proximity.  And the New

Hampshire primary, voters like to shake the candidate`s hand three times

before they feel like they have met him. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

 

WELD:  It`s not like campaigning at a state like California. 

 

So, yes, no, that`s – New Hampshire and New England, Vermont,

Massachusetts, all six New England states, that`s part of the strategies,

as is California and the more liberal states, Oregon, Washington in the

West, and then on to the Mid-Atlantic states. 

 

So there is definitely a strategy here.  I`m going to be – I have been in

California last week.  I`m going to Miami for the National Association of

Black Journalists tomorrow.  I did well at the NAACP Convention with nine

named Democrats, three named Democrats tomorrow. 

 

So I`m starting to be able to hold my own on the platform with at least the

Democratic candidates, even if the Republican candidate doesn`t want to

play. 

 

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you, Bill Weld.  It looks like you have got a plan. 

 

Thank you, Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, a very popular guy

up there for two terms. 

 

And, Adam Serwer, thank you, sir, for joining us with your journalism. 

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS:  Up next:  The president says he sees no political appetite for

banning assault rifles.  So, what about background checks? 

 

By the way, he is totally off – totally off the wall on this one.  There

is tremendous support for getting rid of assault weapons.  Wait until you

see what the polls we`re going to show you.

 

You`re watching HARD – new polls. 

 

You`re watching HARDBALL. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We met with also the

doctors, the nurses, the medical staff. 

 

And they have done an incredible job, both places, just incredible. 

 

And the enthusiasm, the love, the respect, and also the – telling them,

let`s see if we can get something done.  And Republicans want to do it and

Democrats want to do it. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

 

Everybody wants to do it. 

 

That was President Trump moments ago talking about gun reform while in El

Paso, Texas. 

 

Well, earlier today, before leaving the White House, the president said he

supported the – catch this – idea of stronger background checks for gun

purchase.  Here he goes. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

QUESTION:  The background check bill has already passed the House. 

 

TRUMP:  Well, I`m looking to do background checks.  I think background

checks, they`re important. 

 

There is a great appetite – and I mean a very strong appetite – for

background checks.  And I think we can bring up background checks like we

have never had before. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, it`s something he`s supported in the past, like after last

year`s massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School down in Parkland, Florida. 

 

Here he was then:

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  The background checks are so important.  People are afraid to do

background checks, because you`re afraid of somebody.  And you know what? 

You`re going to be more popular if you do back – if you have a strong,

good back – I don`t care who`s endorsing you or not endorsing.

 

You`re going to be more popular, if that`s what you`re into.  I`m not into

popularity.  I`m into getting something done that`s good. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, of course, comprehensive background checks were not passed

then.  And it`s highly questionable whether they will be going anywhere,

even to a vote in the Senate now. 

 

However, there are some Republicans who are calling for even bigger reforms

in light of this week`s shootings. 

 

Ohio Congressman Mike Turner, for example, whose congressional district

includes Dayton, released a statement announcing his support for

restricting the sale of military-style weapons to civilians, a magazine

limit, and red flag legislation. 

 

He joins fellow Republican Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who called for

universal background checks, raising the age for gun purchaseship to 21,

and banning some high-capacity magazines, like the one used in Dayton. 

 

And for more, I`m joined by former Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland

and David Frum, senior editor at “The Atlantic” and former George W. Bush

speechwriter.

 

I want to start with the politics of this. 

 

You worked with a Republican president, who looks better all the time,

given this character.  But why does – this guy seems to play this

wonderful game.  He teases the public with the idea, when the issue is hot,

after a mass killing, and then he goes, yes, we will – but we will do

that. 

 

He concedes the principle, because he knows, in two weeks, the moderates

and the liberals will be thinking about something else.  The gun owners

will still be thinking about this, the Second Amendment types.  He can play

that game.  He does it every time. 

 

DAVID FRUM, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:  Look,

the…

 

MATTHEWS:  Why does he get away with it? 

 

FRUM:  Well, he gets away with it because we get distracted, and then

because he does something else terrible three days later, and so you forget

about the last terrible thing you did – he did. 

 

But the politics of this for him are pretty apparent.  What happened in

2018 was, the Republicans did a tremendous mobilization.  Republicans got

more votes in 2018 in the House, as you know well, than they did even in

2010. 

 

Democrats outmobilized them.  But the key to survival for President Trump

is – and for the Republicans in the Senate is to keep Republican

mobilization up.  And if – because they know they`re facing a Democratic

tidal wave.  If they do anything to discourage any part of that coalition -

- and the gun owner is an important part – they face not just the prospect

of a close race, but the risk of a blowout. 

 

MATTHEWS:  That`s what I was saying to Governor Weld.  They want to get the

farthest out right-wing gun nut, because they need that vote. 

 

DONNA EDWARDS (D), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN:  Well, I think that`s true,

except that, on things like background checks, limiting high-capacity

magazines, you know, some of the other restrictions, these are actually

universally supported among Democrats and Republicans. 

 

And so, for political sense, it really doesn`t make sense.  When you have

something that has 90 percent support, like background checks do, it`s a

no-brainer to do that. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Yes, but you`re rational. 

 

What about the slippery slope argument, the people that, if you do

anything, the NRA says, this is a slippery slope, we`re going all the way,

they`re going to confiscate our guns?

 

EDWARDS:  Well, it turns out, the NRA says that, but people don`t actually

believe it. 

 

They – these sort of commonsense things – and I`m not – and even an

assault rifle – weapons ban, totally… 

 

MATTHEWS:  I got a brother that believes it, I got to tell you.  I`m sorry. 

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

EDWARDS:  Totally supported by the people.

 

MATTHEWS:  I know people.  I know people, Donna.  I know people. 

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

MATTHEWS:  Anyway, on that point, President Trump made it clear today in

Pennsylvania, by the way, that Republicans are not interested in an assault

weapons ban, like that – what was enacted during the Clinton

administration during in  the early `90s. 

 

Let`s watch. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  Well, I can tell you that there is no political appetite for that

at this moment, if you look at – you can speak.  You can do your own

polling.  And there`s no political appetite from it, from the standpoint of

legislation. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  But – he says no political appetite. 

 

A new Morning Consult/Politico poll right out today shows that seven in 10

registered voters – and these are the real voters – including 54 percent

of Republicans, support a ban on the assault weapons side.

 

You make your point.  I guess we`re arguing apples and oranges, apples

being voters, oranges being the politicians like Mitch McConnell. 

 

EDWARDS:  Well, these are the voters in those polls. 

 

And I think what you`re going to see – I always say after these things,

maybe this is the thing that changes.  I`m not terribly confident, to be

honest with you. 

 

Look, we saw Gabby Giffords, Pulse nightclub, Newtown.  The list goes on

and on. 

 

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

FRUM:  I think we are going to see…

 

MATTHEWS:  David, David, we have had presidents after presidents, starting

with, God, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman – Kennedy was shot

and killed.  Reagan was – Ford shot at twice.  Ronald Reagan, almost – if

it wasn`t for the Secret Service, would have been dead. 

 

We live in this world of violence. 

 

I wrote my congressman after Bobby Kennedy.  You know, even Bobby Kennedy,

nothing happens.  People just say, yes, but the NRA is the boss. 

 

FRUM:  I think we – when this breaks – and I believe it will break – it

will break in a very sudden and dramatic way, because gun ownership is

increasingly a generational issue of the baby boom generation. 

 

It`s like motorcycles.  You never see anyone under 50 on a motorcycle.  And

gun ownership is concentrated in a generation that has…

 

MATTHEWS:  You mean young people aren`t riding motorcycles anymore? 

 

FRUM:  Take a look when you`re on the highway.  Do you ever see a

motorcyclist…

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS:  You mean the guys with the long ponytails?

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

EDWARDS:  Well, we live in a different place, because young people are

driving motorcycles. 

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, I bet they got e-bikes now. 

 

FRUM:  But gun ownership is part of the very abrupt turn to the right that

the baby boom generation executed about 2008. 

 

They are more radical than they were back in the 1990s.  When this change

comes, it`s going to come not from law, but from a change in cultural

consciousness, like what happened with drunk driving in the 1980s.  It is

going to happen at the states. 

 

MATTHEWS:  There you had a constituent, women against drunk driving,

Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

 

FRUM:  Well, you have got incredible women`s groups now led by someone who

has been a guest, I believe, on your show, Shannon Watts, and others like

that, where the toll is not just these massacres.

 

It`s the toll of suicides and accidents.  And I have to say, as terrible as

these massacres are – and I`m a consumer of every day of these stories of

a 7-year-old shooting a 9-year-old. 

 

  (CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS:  Are you talking about New York City?  Are you talking about

California? 

 

Yes, there`s – in Connecticut.  There are states like Connecticut,

California, New York, which are very pro-gun control. 

 

You go to my home state of Pennsylvania, you try to put that flag up that

you`re for gun control, you`re gone.

 

FRUM:  Pennsylvania will not be a leader, but Florida maybe, and Texas may

yet surprise you. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Really?

 

EDWARDS:  I do think that there is something about the generations, though,

because we also have a generation that really has grown up practicing how

to be safe in their schools from gun violence. 

 

And that`s really different from previous generations.  It`s sort of my

generation diving up under the desk. 

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS:  Let`s talk about somebody you know about because you are in

Congress. 

 

Mitch McConnell says no.  He says he wants to – he says no to Democratic

nominations for the Supreme Court.  Merrick Garland, go away.  He just does

it.  A flick of the hand, like this.

 

He says, you say do gun control?  He says no.  He must have the Republican

Party behind him.  He has his voters behind him.  Explain, because you

can`t move him, you can`t move the country.  He`s the leader of the Senate. 

 

EDWARDS:  Well, and there`s where the president says, well, the country

doesn`t have an appetite for it. 

 

Well, the fact is that the president has to be the one to tell Mitch

McConnell that we have an appetite for it. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Is he going to do it? 

 

EDWARDS:  Of course he`s not going to do it.  He passes this every time.

 

MATTHEWS:  Is he? 

 

FRUM:  No, of course he is not going to do it, as the congresswoman said. 

 

The – he – Trump`s job is to make sure that the most committed parts of

the Republican Party stay united.  If there is a crack in Republican unity,

what otherwise right now is looking like a tough enough election for him,

that can turn into a debacle. 

 

You could have a landslide.

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  When we knock off – when we defeat, the country defeats

the first pro-gun person for being pro-gun, I will believe you.  I haven`t

seen that yet. 

 

You have got to start defeating people who are pro-gun. 

 

EDWARDS:  Well, we have seen…

 

MATTHEWS:  And everybody – a little silence, crickets there, because it`s

very hard to…

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

EDWARDS:  Well, but we have seen victories of people who are for sensible

gun regulation.  We saw it down in Georgia, and we saw it in this last… 

 

 (CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS:  Two-thirds are for gun reform.  But two-thirds of people changed

their mind to talk about other things.  The one-third that is against doing

anything never changes. 

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

FRUM:  Newt Gingrich`s former district is held by a woman whose son was

slaughtered, and who – that – she ran – I think that was like one of her

number one or two issues. 

 

EDWARDS:  She – it was.  She ran on that, because her son was gunned down. 

 

And so we`re going to see those kind of changes…. 

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  I hope you`re all right. 

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

FRUM:  Eric Cantor`s former district. 

 

MATTHEWS:  I hope you`re right.  I hope you`re right.

 

EDWARDS:  We want to be right, Chris. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Donna Edwards.  Should be right.  David Frum, thank you. 

 

Up next:  Democratic presidential (AUDIO GAP) these deadly shootings.  They

at least are speaking out. 

 

Just listen to Joe Biden today in a very strong speech out in Iowa. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  How far is it from Trump saying

this is an invasion to the shooter in El Paso declaring, quote, this attack

is a response to Hispanic invasion of Texas?  How far apart? 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  Not very.  More on how the candidates are responding to these

tragic events, straight ahead on HARDBALL.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

 

While President Trump was visiting El Paso and Dayton today, Democrats

criticize him for his divisive rhetoric. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The act of anti-Latino,

anti-immigrant hatred we witnessed this past weekend did not start with the

hand that pulled the trigger.  It was sown from the highest office in our

land where we see in tweets and rhetoric hateful words that ultimately

endanger the lives of people in our country. 

 

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD):  Those in highest levels of the government

must stop invoking fear, using racist language, and encouraging

reprehensible behavior. 

 

BETO O`ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The president is part of the

problem.  All that fear, that anger, that hatred, that willingness to

dehumanize our fellow human beings found a home in the killer and found an

expression in that violence that we saw Saturday.  He is in large part to

blame for what has taken place. 

 

BIDEN:  Is both clear language and in code.  This president has fanned the

flames of white supremacy in this nation.  We have a problem with this

rising tied of supremacy, white supremacy in America, and we have a

president who encourages and emboldens it.  Our president has more in

common with George Wallace than he does with George Washington. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, in the spin room of last week`s Democratic presidential

debate, I interviewed one candidate who out and out called Trump a white

nationalist during the debate.  Well, that candidate joins us next on

HARDBALL.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  You said we have a white nationalist in the White House.  A

white nationalist. 

 

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Yes.  This is a president

who has built his political fortunes on white nationalism.  Now that is a

strong statement, and I make it advisedly. 

 

This is a guy who has done this every single day of his career.  So, there

is no other conclusion you can make.  I have to tell you, what I`m really

disappointed about is all those Republicans who look themselves in the

mirror and haven`t called out Donald Trump.  That`s disgusting. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

 

That was Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee on his decision to

call President Trump a white nationalist during last week`s Democratic

debate before the El Paso shooting.  Early this week, Inslee released a

plan that he describes as a cohesive approach to address the interrelated

epidemics of white nationalism and gun violence. 

 

It includes directing resources towards tracking and confronting white

supremacy as well as gun control measures such as an assault weapons ban

and red flag laws. 

 

I`m joined right now by Washington governor and presidential candidate, Jay

Inslee. 

 

So, last week we didn`t know about the hard coming this past weekend.  Your

sense of how that buttressed your views of last week, about white

nationalism on the part of the president. 

 

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, you hate to be

right, and this is one of those circumstances.  A week ago I correctly

identified him as a white nationalist and said that white nationalism does

not belong in the White House.  Three days later, we had this horrendous

violence. 

 

And the reason that`s so painful is that we know that the product of racist

rhetoric is racist violence.  And as you had in the top of the show, he

built his career lying about our first black president being born in Kenya. 

In the middle of his career, he condoned, in a sense, white nationalism in

Charlottesville, and now most recently he`s asked members of the U.S.

Congress who are people of color to go back where they came from.  And that

rhetoric is almost word for word repeated in the violence in El Paso. 

 

So, we need a full-throated national comprehensive attack on white

nationalism.  And I propose a ten-point plan to do that.  And the Congress

ought to come through.  But we got make sure people understand this is a

public health crisis, not just a public relations crisis for the Republican

Party.  We got to have real action, not soft soap here in the next few

days. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Trump is relentless.  He is relentless on his nationalism, his

white nationalism.  As you say – pointed, he began his campaign calling

Barack Obama basically an illegal immigrant from Africa.  He has called

people rapists who have come across the border for economic purposes

obviously to get jobs here.  He has made them the worst people in the world

just because they want a better life for their families. 

 

He has done this over and over again.  He has talked about African

countries being you-know-what holes.  He makes it very clear where he

stands ethnically and racially. 

 

My question, do you think the Democrats will keep the focus on this in a

couple of weeks?  Because the Democrats are off talking about health care

plans and education plans and all this social things they`d like to do as

president, and yet Trump sticks to his game plan, which is ethnicity.  How

do you fight him? 

 

INSLEE:  Well, we need to stick to the American game plan of removing a

racist from the White House, making him a blip in history.  It`s important

– it`s important that we confront him. 

 

Look, I confronted him on gun violence a year ago in the White House.  I

went to the White House for a national governor`s meeting, and all these

other governors were toadying up to him.  You know, his plan was to arm

first grade teachers.  I told him that was a ridiculous idea.

 

MATTHEWS:  Yes.

 

INSLEE:  And kind of scolded him and told him look, you got to quit

tweeting and start listening to educators.  Now we need people to stand up

again and pass a real assault weapons ban.  I voted for that in 1994.  I

lost my seat over that, but it was the right vote then and it is the right

vote now. 

 

And I want to make the point, it is not enough just to defeat Donald Trump. 

We have to defeat those who are sycophant Republicans who are afraid to

stand up to him and speak.  It is just disgusting to me that Republicans

are allowing him to do this. 

 

And we also need to take away the filibuster from Mitch McConnell who is

going to use this to pass real gun safety legislation.  We need those

running for presidency to join me in this call.  So far, only a couple of

them have.  We need a full-throated action here. 

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, former Vice President Joe Biden today said that Trump had

no moral leadership.  Let`s listen to him. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BIDEN:  Trump offers no moral leadership.  Seems to have no interest in

unifying this nation.  No evidence that the presidency has awakened his

conscience in the least.  We have a president with a toxic tongue who was

publicly and unapologetically embraced the political strategy of hate,

racism, and division. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  Is this in Trump`s political wheel house or his gut, all this

division, this racial stuff? 

 

INSLEE:  I don`t think it`s relevant.  We`re known by our acts, and his

acts have been continually racist from day one of his entire political

career.  And I`m glad that the vice president used the language he did. 

 

I do want to point out, though, an important I think distinction between

the way the vice president looks at this problem and the way I do.  He

basically has said that the NRA is not the enemy.  They are the enemy.  And

he has said once Trump is gone, we`ll be able to sit down with Mitch

McConnell and work this out. 

 

I do not believe that is the nature of the threat we face. 

 

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

 

INSLEE:  Mitch McConnell will remain a threat.  We have to take away the

filibuster.  I disagree with the vice president who wants to continue to

give Mitch McConnell this ability to stop. 

 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  We got to go.  Thank you, Governor. 

 

INSLEE:  Thank you. 

 

MATTHEWS:  It`s great to have you on any time.  Jay Inslee of Washington

state. 

 

Republican office holders are marching in lockstep as he said with

President Trump and his white nationalism, whether they want to admit it or

not. 

 

You`re watching HARDBALL.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MATTHEWS:  Donald Trump has taken over the Republican Party with such

unchallenged power that it can no longer consider itself the party of

George W. Bush, much less that of Teddy Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln.  The

Grand Old Party of George W. Bush, the most recent Republican president won

40 percent of Latino votes in 2004.  In the battle for voter support, the

GOP back then refused to accept the outright defeat it had suffered in

seeking African American votes. 

 

Well, today, Donald Trump is leading the Republicans of 2019 in a way that

forfeits the votes of Hispanic Americans.  It`s become a party of, by, and

for white Americans. 

 

This is not what Republicans who won the civil war and passed the 15th

Amendment had in mind.  They didn`t fight for the right of freed slaves to

vote so that African Americans and other minorities would vote for the

Democrats.  But isn`t this the statement President Trump is making day in

and day out, that he wants white votes and intends to win with white votes? 

 

And this is something that Republican senators and other office holders

should think about.  In their lemming-like way of following Trump, they`re

identifying their Grand Old party as new party of Trump-style white

nationalism.  This isn`t going to go away, even if Trump gets beaten like a

drum next year. 

 

Kirsten Gillibrand said the first thing she`d do if elected president is

Clorox the White House.  Well, what will Republicans do to cleanse their

party of the racial divisiveness that Donald Trump has stamped so boldly

into the GOP legacy? 

 

And that`s HARDBALL for now. 

 

“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now. 

 

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

BE UPDATED.

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