Jay Inslee interview. TRANSCRIPT: 8/7/19, Hardball w/ Chris Matthews.
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
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
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
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
Democrats, on the other hand, see this as a moment to define who Trump is.
He surely is.
Much more ahead. Stay with us.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
MATTHEWS: Adam, your thinking about this Tucker Carlson thing, denying
that it`s a concern, white supremacy?
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
(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
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
EDWARDS: Totally supported by the people.
MATTHEWS: I know people. I know people, Donna. I know people.
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.
(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
(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
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
MATTHEWS: You mean the guys with the long ponytails?
EDWARDS: Well, we live in a different place, because young people are
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.
MATTHEWS: Are you talking about New York City? Are you talking about
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.
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.
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about somebody you know about because you are in
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.
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…
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…
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.
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….
MATTHEWS: OK. I hope you`re all right.
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.
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
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
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: You said we have a white nationalist in the White House. A
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Republican office holders are marching in lockstep as he said with
President Trump and his white nationalism, whether they want to admit it or
You`re watching HARDBALL.
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.
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the