IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 02/27/15

Guests: Tom Ridge, Michael Kay, Andrew Liepman, Michael Weiss, AndrewLiepman, Dan Malloy, Michael Tomasky, Emily Schultheis

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Crazy time. Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in New York. As Congressman Peter King put it, we are living in the world of the crazy people. This new Republican-controlled Congress has erupted into hot-headed chaos over a vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security, and the money runs out midnight tonight. The drama is turning into a major disaster for the Republican leadership up there, this from the party that prides itself on strong national security. Well, late today, the House voted to kill an initial vote on a bill to fund the department for a mere three weeks. Let me say that again. Just for three weeks, they wouldn`t do it. Speaker Boehner made a bet that he could pass the measure, if he had to, with only Republican votes to do it and he was torpedoed by more than 50 Republicans of his own caucus who are hell-bent on undoing the president`s actions on immigration. Democrats would not help bail him out. What now tonight? I`m joined by the moderator of "MEET THE PRESS," Chuck Todd. Chuck, you know, the Republicans took over both houses. There was a notion a afoot that they would be unanimous in getting along with each other, they would actually move together as a buffer to the president, a challenge to the president. Now they`re a challenge to each other. CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": Well, they are in this case, that`s for sure. Look, there seems to be three options here, one of which I don`t think Boehner`s going the take tonight. Option one is to put the same three-week extension back on the floor right close to midnight and see if you can -- if he can beg Nancy Pelosi, beg the White House to go find me 25 Democrats, live to fight another day. Option two is simply a seven-day extension, and I hear they`re looking at that. Not sure he`d get any Democratic support on that, but maybe he thinks he can find 218 Republicans. Option three, of course, is to take the Senate bill which fully funds. Boehner`s problem is he -- if he caves, he can`t cave quickly and he can`t cave tonight. The atmospherics will be terrible for him, and that`s why he`s been trying to walk this line. He`s got his own politics worrying about conservatives just suddenly gunning for his job.   So I think the question is, do they go the three-week at midnight or do they try to seven-day-game it? MATTHEWS: So if he goes along and votes the Senate bill, which he can pass with Democratic votes, that would be a full extension of Homeland Security without any of this Mickey Mouse about immigration, he would be accused of backing amnesty, basically. He would be dead. TODD: Well, especially if he did it now before you find out whether the courts are going to allow the president to begin implementing his executive order on immigration. And so -- the whole reason why Boehner went with this temporary extension is he`s trying to find out, what are the courts going to say. Are the courts going to tell the president, You can`t start this until the legal questions are cleared up by the Supreme Court? If they do that, then Boehner`s job is easy. Then he`ll do a clean bill and it`s done. That`s what Boehner`s trying to do. He just is looking for breathing room until we find out what the fifth circuit`s going to say about the president`s executive order. MATTHEWS: And he`s got a 5-4 Republican control of the U.S. Supreme Court. So if it does get that far, he`s got a better than even chance of getting an agreement that this was beyond the bounds of presidential authority, I think. What do you think? TODD: I don`t think it`s -- well, I mean, it depends on the lawyer (INAUDIBLE) I don`t think -- you know, forget you do have John Roberts, who has believed in expansive executive power. So I don`t think that`s the slam dunk that -- but look, I think it`s an open question. And the most important thing as far as John Boehner`s concerned is this would be an open -- this would be moot, the executive action, for at least a year. So that`s the -- that`s why Boehner wants this short-term extension, to see if he can get the court -- hope the courts go his way, and then doesn`t -- he can -- doesn`t look like he`s capitulating. MATTHEWS: Last question. How much bad news is this for the Republicans if they can`t get this done by midnight and they go into overtime? TODD: You know, it`s -- it`s bad, but you know, this is not -- it`s not news, Chris. I mean, I guess it`s the same problem that John Boehner`s had. He does not have control of just enough of the conservative wing of his party. They don`t fear him, and he can`t just sort of run the House. Now, I know the House isn`t what it was, but he can`t do it, and... MATTHEWS: OK. Thanks so much. TODD: You know, same story.   MATTHEWS: I think -- I think it`s news for the night, but you may be right it`s not new news. Anyway, thank you, Chuck Todd, Moderator of "MEET THE PRESS." We`ll watch it on Sunday. For more on this drama tonight, let`s go to Capitol Hill itself and NBC News reporter Frank Thorp. Frank, thanks for joining us. I`ve been talking to you. It looks like, from what you`ve said, that this thing isn`t anywhere near solved. He needs at least 14 more Democrats, 14 more Republicans or a mix of the two to get this through, this short-term thing. FRANK THORP, NBC PRODUCER: Yes, and Republican leadership is meeting right now. They`re trying to figure out a way forward. And as Chuck had mentioned, there is talk of the idea of a seven-day CR. But the problem with that is that Democrats have said, Democratic leadership aides have said that Democrats wouldn`t vote against -- or wouldn`t for that, the same as they wouldn`t vote for the three-week CR that just failed. So they`re kind of in a little bit of a pickle. I mean, you know, we`re going to look back at this as another one of those shining examples of the Republican conference having a hard time passing bills that a lot of us thought were actually just going to go ahead and pass. MATTHEWS: OK, what is a -- what is a Democratic member of the Congress say to his constituents -- say he has a moderate district back home, if there are any left -- to why he wouldn`t or she wouldn`t vote for at least a three-week continuation of Homeland Security? If they believe in government, believe in national security, Homeland Security, why wouldn`t they vote for at least a short-term extension? What would be the argument at home? THORP: Well, Democrats are arguing that if you go with the CR, that there are still a lot of different grants that would not be able to go forward, a lot of funding that would actually go -- that would be included within the full appropriations bill that is not included in the CR. So their argument is that the clean bill that the Senate passed is actually more of a full funding bill than the CR. Not to mention the fact that -- I mean if you -- if they -- their argument is that if they pass this seven-day CR, if they pass this three- week CR, they`re going to be back in the same place seven days from now, three weeks from now. It`s going to be the same fight. So I mean, it`s more of just kind of a stand of, OK, well, we`re going to do this now or we`re going to do this in three weeks. MATTHEWS: Do you hear the speaker -- is he going around tonight with his supporters, going around with Scalise, and of course, with McCarthy -- they going around asking for things or asking to offer things to get those -- all they need is 14 votes from their own caucus to get this thing through. THORP: Well, I mean, they`re meeting in -- they`re meeting in Boehner`s office right now. They`ve been in there for over an hour, I mean, up to two hours. And you`ve seen members walking in and out of there mostly from the whip team. But you know, you have -- there`s not very much that they have to offer to conservatives. Conservative have a hard line here. They want to be able to... MATTHEWS: OK. So the little bags of peanuts aren`t going to do it for the elephants. THORP: Right. Yes, I mean, for the conservatives, I mean, they don`t see this as a winning strategy. They didn`t see the cromnibus strategy as a winning strategy.   MATTHEWS: OK. THORP: They don`t see the idea of doing a three-week CR as a winning strategy because they see that as temporarily funding... MATTHEWS: OK... THORP: ... President Obama`s executive actions. MATTHEWS: Well, this is going to look boneheaded for the Republicans tonight. And too bad for Speaker Boehner. He can`t control his own team. Thank you so much, NBC`s Frank Thorp. Tom Ridge, by the way -- he`s coming on right now -- he`s the much respected first secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. He wrote an op-ed in today`s "U.S. News & World Report" titled, "Protecting our nation is not a sport. The GOP can`t right President Obama`s immigration wrong on the backs of Homeland Security patriots." I spoke with Governor Ridge late today. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MATTHEWS: Governor Ridge, thanks for joining us on this strange Friday night. The Republican Party seems to have walked out too far on the ice on this one. They may have wanted to play the game, but now they`re stuck with the finish. The government`s perhaps going to shut down tonight. They`re caught out there really endangering homeland security, an issue I thought Republican were good on. You were the first secretary of Homeland Security. Your party created it. And now it`s being endangered.   TOM RIDGE, FMR. HHS SECRETARY: Chris, there are many dimensions to this inside-the-Beltway game. One, I believe, as my Republican colleagues do, that the president has really overstepped his constitutional limits on his authority with the executive order. But I distinguish that wrong from the means by which they are going to try to redress what they perceive to be as an accepted use of constitutional authority -- unconstitutional authority. So what I`d like to do is get my Republican friends to continue the battle on immigration in a more appropriate way, but to continue to fund the Department of Homeland Security. And it`s all tied up in this inside-the-Beltway game. The only thing I know, Chris, is the men and women outside the Beltway -- they worry about going to their jobs. They want their kids to go to school (INAUDIBLE) save a few bucks to go out for dinner. They know the Republicans won the House and the Senate, so you can have this vote or that vote, but if we don`t fund completely Homeland Security, not only do you jeopardize the work that they`re doing, but the grants that they gave to the state and locals, emergency professionals out there who are also responsible for safety and security, but I also think it`s -- it`s bad policy but it`s also political folly. MATTHEWS: You know, I think there`s a difference between the Senate, which has gone along with not getting these two entangled with each other, at least as of a couple days ago, and the House. And I think it has to do with demographics. Every senator represents a whole state, as we know, and that includes a number of Hispanic people, Latino people, and those who are rooting for them in terms of becoming Americans. Many, many, many -- in fact, I would bet a majority of Republican congressional districts don`t have very many Hispanics in them. They don`t fear this issue. It seems like this anti illegal immunity, whatever you want to call it, the xenophobia, is very strong in your party, and they don`t want to do anything that makes them sound like they`re for amnesty. RIDGE: Well, I think -- unfortunately, I think they`re mixing apples and oranges. I think you can express your disagreement with the president and his abuse of executive authority in many, many different ways. I, for one, would recommend a bill or a series of bills to challenge the president in a way that he`s historically been challenged. Send him a bill on immigration and let him veto it. But Chris, you know, it`s -- somebody -- and I said this the other day, and I apologize for repeating myself. I kind of take this personal. You know, these men and women go to work every single day. They have a sense of mission about them. They have spouses that have to pay bills. They have kids they want to get to school, et cetera, et cetera. And the whole notion that because they have a legitimate -- and I think they have a legitimate grievance with the president`s use of his authority in this issue -- you don`t redress that problem on the backs of people who are part of this massive effort to keep America safer and secure. It is flawed policy. It`s wrong-headed. And hopefully, between now and midnight, somebody just brings a clean bill to the floor. Let`s give them the funding for the balance of the year, and then let`s do mano a mano. Let`s take this immigration debate on head on, rather than playing inside-the-Beltway games. (END VIDEOTAPE)   MATTHEWS: A rare voice of sanity there from Governor Tom Ridge, formerly of Pennsylvania. Coming up, the face of evil. Yesterday, we learned what Jihadi John`s name was. Now we see his face. My question -- now that we know who he is, does it make it any easier to get the guy? Plus, the governor who`s emerging as the point man for the Democrats. Connecticut`s Dan Malloy`s out there. He`s coming here tonight. And he`s taking it to Chris Christie, to Scott Walker and the rest of the Republican tough guys. And the demolition derby over there at the clown car convention this week. There`s no love over at CPAC for Jeb Bush. You can tell that. To the redhots on the right, Jeb`s going the way of the Whigs. Remember that old party? Doesn`t agree anymore -- doesn`t exist anymore. Finally, good-bye Mr. Spock. Tonight, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, check out Senator James Inhofe. He`s the chairman of the Senate Environmental Committee. And in his never-ending quest to prove that climate change is a hoax, he showed up on the Senate floor with a snowball. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: I ask the chair, do you know what this is? It`s a snowball and that -- just from outside here. So it`s very, very cold out, very unseasonal. So there, Mr. President, catch this. (END VIDEO CLIP)   MATTHEWS: I`ll bet the senator really does know that climate and weather are not the same thing. According to NASA, global temperatures in 2014 were the warmest on record. And January, this January, was the second warmest on record, too, even with all the heavy snow in the Northeastern United States. And we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back. Now the face of evil. Yesterday, we learned his name, today we have a face. It`s Mohammed Emwazi, Jihadi John, who has terrorized us from behind a mask. He was identified yesterday in the press as a middle class college graduate from London. Well, today we`re learning more about him. When he was 10, as pictured in these photographs, he listened to pop music and watched "The Simpsons." He said he wanted to be a soccer player when he grew up. In this photo of Emwazi, published by England`s Sky News, he`s a university student wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap. A few years later, the world would come to know him for his role in the beheadings of American, British and Japanese journalists and aid workers. Well, today the questions. How was he radicalized? And what does his exposure now mean for our efforts to confront ISIS? And that`s where we begin tonight with NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel in Istanbul. Richard, now that we know who he is, we have his name, will it be easier to find this guy? RICHARD ENGEL, NBC CORRESPONDENT: In practical terms, no, probably not. It`s not like the U.S. counterterrorism forces weren`t already looking for him. Now they know his name. His name was already known to many law enforcement agencies. The only difference now is it`s been reported in the media, and now we have pictures of him, as well. The one thing that it might do is it might demystify him. When you see a murderer who`s making these statements and he`s trying to present himself like he has the power of God to choose if one of the people he`s holding will live or die and he`s wearing a mask, he could be perceived as being more powerful, more mysterious. Now that you see his pictures, you see his childhood photos, he`s less mysterious. He`s just another kid from London from a middle class background who went down this path and is now in Syria with ISIS or in Iraq with ISIS, killing hostages. MATTHEWS: Well said. That`s Richard Engel over in Istanbul.   I`m joined right now by Michael Kay, a former senior British army officer, Andrew Liepman, who`s former deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and Michael Weiss, who`s co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terrorists." In order, gentlemen, it seems to me every time we catch somebody, realize who they are, one of these killers, one of these terrorists, we realize that the authorities had been -- sort of had a bead on the guy, had been watching him. And then in this case, we find out they knew about him before they told us about him. This rolling disclosure, this knowledge about a person before even they convict their -- commit their crimes is a little disturbing because we how come why we couldn`t stop them. Michael Kay, you first. Why can`t we stop these guys -- if we`re watching them, we got a bead on them, we know who they are, and we don`t strike until they strike. Isn`t there any way of knowing who`s going to strike? Maybe that`s infantile as a question, but it`s one we`re all going to keep asking. MICHAEL KAY, FMR. BRITISH OFFICER: Well, let me start in 2009, Chris. What I find at the moment is, is why MI-5 and MI-6 were interested in this guy in the first place. We know that they spoke to the Tanzanian authorities and prevented him from going into Tanzania. He then had to go back to the U.K. via Amsterdam. He was interrogated there. He then had to get the ferry back across the English Channel. He was interrogated at Dover. So there`s a little piece of the jigsaw missing for me in terms of why there was interest in him in the first place and what had he done to garner that interest. We know that Emwazi doesn`t fit the normal template in terms of he came from a middle class, well-to-do background. He was well educated. He`d just gone to the University of Westminster to study a computing degree. And now, all of a sudden, we find -- we find out that he`s tipped (ph) in some way. So I think the interesting bit about this guy is, in order to become susceptible or craving this ideology -- and let`s be in no mistake here, it`s the ideology which tips them to being radical. What has marginalized him, what has made him feel excluded, what makes him feel animosity towards to society where he wants to go and seek out this jihadist movement? That`s the bit that I`m trying to understand at the moment. MATTHEWS: Andrew, let me follow -- have you follow up on this question. It seems to me -- I`ve never bought the argument that hard cases make terrorists. It seems to be more that if you look at the history of revolutions, they`re all run by Fidel Castros, middle class people. The French revolution, of course, the Russian revolution, all the revolutionaries seem to be middle class people with decent education who just develop an ideology. It isn`t about poverty leads to terror. It isn`t that neat, nor is that even predictable. Your thoughts? ANDREW LIEPMAN, FORMER U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: No, I think that`s right. And, in fact, I think what makes this business so difficult is that there really is no template. Every individual is indeed an individual. This Jihadi John seems to have come from a middle-class background. He seemed to have been relatively normal. He went to college. In other cases, you could have identified traumatic events or reasons, motivations why they went bad. But I think what -- the mistake here is that we`re looking at this guy under a microscope. We now know a great deal about him. So we can dissect where he should have been caught and why mistakes were made. But what we`re not looking at are the thousands of other cases like Jihad John, the thousands of cases who are being sort of surveilled, who have been stopped. The job here is massive. And just because one guy got through does not mean that the system has failed.   MATTHEWS: Michael Weiss, your view, because this is going to be problematic as we go on and, with expertise, developing it and catching people ahead of time, knowing where the trouble is. But yet if the pool was a thousand guys or women, including women, and one of them turns out to be a terrorist, you can`t harass 999 without creating a good number of other terrorists, probably. MICHAEL WEISS, rMD-BO_"THE INTERPRETER": Well, you know, to disagree slightly with your other guests, I do think that this does fit a bit of an archetype, especially coming from the U.K. I lived in London for three years. I have seen innumerable examples of people just like this, second-generation, first-generation Muslims who were radicalized whilst living in British society, attending good universities, getting degrees, advanced degrees in some cases. I remember the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underpants bomber who tried to blow up an airliner above the skies of Detroit many Christmases ago. This guy was attending University College London. He was the president of the Islamic Society, whilst president of that society was celebrating the attacks on 9/11, attending sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda cleric based in Yemen. His father was a Nigerian government minister who actually blew the whistle on his own son and said, I think my son is going down this dark path. British authorities had been alerted. They did nothing. In this case, what disturbs me most is, look, let`s assume that the presentation of this organization, which is deeply controversial, by the way, Chris, CAGE, is correct that this guy was -- attempted to be -- he is recruited by MI5 or he was stopped in Tanzania. This means the British security services knew his identity. He was also allowed to return to U.K., and then leave the U.K., go to Kuwait, come back to the U.K., and then leave the U.K. again in 2012 to go to Syria. I`m sorry, but this does to me bespeak a failure on the intelligence services, or at least on border control. I mean, to enter and leave the British Isles, I have done it as an American. I find it quite, you know... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: OK. You solved the chicken and egg problem. He said, at least in the reporting yesterday, one of the reasons he radicalized or became radicalized, he was being harassed each time he crossed.   WEISS: Yes, but, Chris, look... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I don`t buy that, by the way. WEISS: No. And, also, let me just tell you a bit about this organization CAGE. It used to be known as Caged Prisoners. The guy who is making all of these elaborate claims he was such a sweet and soft-spoken and gentle boy, Mr. Qureshi... MATTHEWS: Yes. WEISS: ... in 2006, this man, Qureshi, stood in front of the U.S. Embassy in London and praised jihadists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya. He endorsed the acts of Hezbollah against Israel. CAGE has defended any number of al Qaeda suspects. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: So, he`s lying, basically. WEISS: Actually, al Qaeda, people who have been found guilty of terrorist offenses, including one woman who is serving 86 years in prison for attempted murder against U.S. officials in Afghanistan. This is a propagandistic organization. It`s not a human rights group. It`s not a civil rights group. I studied them very closely when I lived in London.   MATTHEWS: I`m glad to hear that, because that was my sense of smell when I first heard it. But, Michael, let`s go back to you. We talked before the show tonight about trying to find a template. Tell about us how far you have gotten with that, being able to predict -- a predictive model for who will break bad, if you will. KAY: Well, I think -- I think there are a number of causal factors. In fact, there are a myriad of causal factors and a number of combinations. And you can look across racial profiling, religious profiling, criminal profiling. You can look at high unemployment. You can look at, you know, low job availability. There are a myriad of factors, but it all boils down to, what gets that person to the point where they are susceptible or craving the idea of the ideology? Do they become marginalized? Do they because -- do they develop animosity towards society? Do they become excluded? How does that actually happen? And I think it`s fascinating, because you have to have the ideology in order to catalyze someone to become radicalized. And then they can either become a lone wolf and stay in the same country or join a terror cell and stay in the same country or they can travel to Syria. I think there also needs to be the demand aspect. ISIS are left alone at the moment to create this demand. And they`re doing it through this ideology, through social media. And I think the context of globalization here is absolutely fundamental, the ability to use the Internet, the ability to travel across the world, the ability to push propaganda out on YouTube, on Twitter, the ability to galvanize Western media. These are all components that all come in to the whole process of being radicalized. I think what I do know is, it doesn`t happen overnight. It is a process that happens over months, if not years. MATTHEWS: OK. I want to thank you all, Michael Kay. Michael -- Michael Weiss, thank you so much for disabusing us of that nonsense about what a sweetheart this guy was, because I`m so tired of hearing about a cold-blooded killer who was such a quiet, good neighbor. But, in this case, it looks like pure propaganda from somebody with a point of view that was not helpful to the truth.   Thank you, Andrew Liepman, as well, sir. Up next: a new point man for the Democrats. Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy is taking the fight to the Republicans. He`s coming here next. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. He`s not taking over as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association until next year, but Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut is already on the offensive. In an interview with "TIME" magazine last week, Malloy took on the role of Democratic Geronimo, if you will, calling out Chris Christie on the issue of public pensions and New Jersey`s budget shortfall -- quote -- "He`s in the process of destroying public pensions, which, by the way, comes out of the Republican playbook. He hasn`t told the truth about what he`s doing, but that`s what he`s doing. I think the state`s bond rating will pay, perhaps not a permanent price, but a long-term price. He will saddle that problem to some unfortunate Democrat who is going to have to come in and do the right thing. And that`s the hard part about being a Democrat. You have to clean up after the Republicans." Well, New Jersey`s credit rating has been downgraded seven times since Chris Christie took office, seven times. I`m joined right now by Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy. Governor Malloy, I have to tell you, the Republicans seem to have a new pattern. It`s called disruption. Disrupt pension plans, disrupt Homeland Security. They`re like Sampson in the temple. Bring down temple. Bring up chaos. (LAUGHTER)   MATTHEWS: And somehow you will be picked as the new leader. GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, don`t hold back now, Chris. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: No, that`s what I think is going on. You have been pretty tough. MALLOY: Well, I am. I think you have to call them as you see them. And I`m going to do that. I`m going to do it. I have accepted this role as chair-elect of the DGA. I think we have great some Democratic governors. I think, as Democrat, however, we look at elections as cycles. And those days have to be over. If you look at Republican talking points, they`re the same week after week, month after month. An election never, never stops. And what we have to do as Democrats is make sure that we`re actually telling the truth, which we do, and we`re repeating the truth and we`re talking about things that are really important to people. Their security is important to them. Republicans are misreading this situation, in part because they have backed themselves or painted themselves into a corner. Listen, I think every Republican congressman thinks that some day they are going to run for president, so they have to be tough on immigration. That`s why I don`t think you can ever get an immigration bill out of the Congress with a Republican president or not. MATTHEWS: Yes. MALLOY: The only way that we`re ever going to change immigration in this country is when Democrats take the Congress back. And that`s a -- that may be a ways away, but it is going to happen and we`re going to eventually solve this problem.   If Republicans want to keep giving this issue to us, I`m happy to take it. MATTHEWS: Well, Governor Christie was asked about New Jersey`s fiscal problems at CPAC yesterday. Here was his response. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The fact is that what we will do is do what I have done before, where we -- we`re spending $2.3 billion less in discretionary spending today than we spent in fiscal year 2008. We are cutting the budget. We have 8,500 fewer employees than we had on the day I walked in as governor in 2010. That`s being fiscally responsible and we will cut spending if we have to. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: You know, Governor, I`m looking at the new Republican scorecard. And it seems to me how much trouble he can cause. There`s Scott Walker, who beat Ed Schultz in the battle over his recall. He got reelected again. Good for him. I like success. But here he is punching the state university system in the gut. Let`s face it. Wisconsin is one of the states, like Michigan, has one of these fabulous state university systems, because, you know, the reason they didn`t have Eastern universities like Yale in those days, and they built these great state universities. And now he`s going to war with them. Why is that pay dirt for Republicans to attack the one great thing you have in Wisconsin, which is the University of Wisconsin? MALLOY: Hey, listen, times are tough. Revenue is growing slower than expenses. But to go after the university to the tune of $300 million is unbelievable. I want to go back to this Christie question. I mean, this is a guy who has purposefully defunded the pension system. He wants to destroy it. He`s taking -- he`s taking orders from the Kochs and others. He wants to destroy that system. If he can do it, he is going to do it.   You look at what has happened in Wisconsin, what Christie is doing on the pension side in New Jersey is no different than what Walker has done to unions. The unions, give them some credit. They helped build the middle class in this country. He wants to dissect them. He wants to destroy the systems that support working-class families in Wisconsin, but that`s also what New Jersey`s doing right now under Christie. MATTHEWS: Well, unlike Christie, Governor Scott Walker is getting a lot of political mileage, as I said, out of his past showdown with teachers unions in the state of Wisconsin. It was a big applause line, by the way, at CPAC yesterday. Here he is giving them red meat. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: We returned the power back into the hands of the hardworking taxpayers. They didn`t like that. They tried to recall me. They made me their number one target. But, in the end, we showed that we can fight and win for the hardworking taxpayers. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) WALKER: Because of that, in our states, we don`t have seniority or tenure any more. We can hire and fire based on merit. We can pay based on performance. We can put the best and the brightest in our classrooms and we can keep them there. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Governor, I don`t run states or do anything big like that. All I do is try to figure out what`s going on. And I do think the Republican sweet spot, if they are going to challenge Hillary Clinton in a close election next November, is to run an executive. So, going after the governors, as you are, you`re really going after their sweet spot. I don`t think they can run just a talker against Hillary. They have got to run somebody who has done something, run something big like you have. And is that why you`re going after the Democratic governors -- I mean, Republican governors?   MALLOY: Well... MATTHEWS: Because are going to be, to me, the happy hunting ground for the Republicans in looking for a candidate. MALLOY: Yes, but every one of these guys has got to hide what they have actually done. You know, he talks about being able to hire and fire at will. You know, we have a progressive movement in the United States that`s over a hundred years old, was supported by Republicans and Democrats. Nobody believes that teachers should be -- good hardworking teachers should be able to be thrown out of the classroom because the governor`s office changes or the mayor`s office changes or there`s a new separate superintendent of schools. They`re rolling back things that are really vitally important to how our democracy works. Why shouldn`t somebody be able to negotiate their contract, to file a grievance, to work for a real wage? We, as Democrats, have to be very clear. We support no one having to go to work sick. I did that in my state in 2011, said that no one should be forced to go to work if they`re sick. If they`re hourly wage earner, they should be able to earn paid sick leave. You know what? It hasn`t changed our economy, but it`s changed individuals` lives. We need to raise the minimum wage. So there has to be pressure on the bottom to raise these wages. No one in America should work 35 or 40 hours a week and live in poverty. It makes no sense. But that`s what Republicans stand for. In state after state after state, they have failed to raise the minimum wage. They have been on the wrong side of it. And, quite frankly, they`re on the wrong side of these issues in Wisconsin. Let`s be honest. And Christie will rise and fall by what he`s done. I think what he`s done to New Jersey, in seven downgrades, more to come, by the way, and in defunding the pension, is going to catch up with him. I think he`s a nonfactor in this election cycle. MATTHEWS: OK. MALLOY: You know, there will be other people who will rise and fall, and we will point out their weaknesses as they rise and they then fall. MATTHEWS: We will cross that bridge when we get to it.   Thank you very much, Governor Malloy. MALLOY: Yes. MATTHEWS: And, by the way, if you need a platform for that message, which sounds good to me, it`s right here on HARDBALL. Thank you so much, Governor Malloy of Connecticut. Up next: Twice elected, Jeb Bush didn`t exactly get a warm reception today from the CPAC crowd. Did you think he would? They`re pretty right of him. Jeb might be hard to beat in the general election, but will the red hots on the right give him a chance to even get there? It didn`t look good today for Jeb. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger. Here`s what`s happening. Eight people are dead following a shooting rampage in Missouri. A gunman shot seven people, including four family members, before turning the gun on himself. President Obama called Attorney General Eric Holder a great friend and great public servant at an event marking his anticipated departure from the Justice Department. And, in Russia, a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin and the country`s Ukraine policy has been fatally shot. Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down on a bridge near the Kremlin -- back to HARDBALL.   (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": By the way, Jeb Bush, any supporters? (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) (BOOING) (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Perceived 2016 GOP front-runner Jeb Bush faced a tough audience, as you saw there, at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference down in Washington yesterday and again today. Conservatives took some indirect and also direct shots at the former Florida governor. Many of the right wing think Jeb is too moderate to be their standard bearer. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LAURA INGRAHAM, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Why don`t we just -- why don`t we just call it quits and Jeb and Hillary can run on the same ticket? I mean, go through the list of things they agree on. Common Core, amnesty, giving Obama fast track trade authority. A lot of new trade deals with China. The surveillance culture. So, I`m designing the bumper sticker. It could be Clush 2016. What difference does it make? GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: It`s the elites in Washington who make backroom deals decide who the president is going to be, then he`s definitely the front-runner.   DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: Jeb Bush, he`s in favor -- he`s in favor of Common Core, he`s weak on immigration, now think of it for a second. In favor of Common Core, he`s weak on immigration. You remember a statement with they come over for love? That was his stance on immigration. I don`t see him winning. I don`t see there`s any way. You people are going to have to make your own choice. Who knows? (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, that was the clown car in action. Joining me, the roundtable tonight, Michael Tomasky is a columnist for "The Daily Beast", Michelle Bernard is the president of the Bernard Center for Women, and Emily Schultheis is political reporter with "The National Journal". Emily, first question, objective reporter`s question. Is CPAC the Republican Party or is it some side wing of the party that`s far more right wing and angry and resentful of the establishment? EMILY SCHULTHEIS, NATIONAL JOURNAL: I mean, look, CPAC does have -- CPAC certainly has influence. The people who come to CPAC have influence, which is why in the past, you know, you`ve seen Mitt Romney move to the right on some issues. It`s a group that does have significant sway in the party but they didn`t love Mitt Romney and he ended up being the nominee in 2012. So, they`re not the be all and end all of the GOP primary. MATTHEWS: Michelle, I don`t know where you fit on this thing. I don`t think you`re part of this crowd, but is this the loudest, strongest voice of the Republican Party? Is this the lion`s share? Are they in the majority and the establishment moderate people for the Northeast out of it? MICHELLE BERNARD, BERNARD CTR. FOR WOMEN, POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY: No, this is definitely not -- well, let me say they are the loudest voices in the Republican Party, but I don`t think that they`re the mainstay of the Republican Party. If you listen to all of the things that they complained about, Common Core, immigration, things that most Americans will look at from a very common sense perspective, most people will be saying to themselves, are we really going to be against a candidate who someone is saying that voluntary guidelines that say that we want our kids to learn certain subjects K through 12 is so horrible that we should not elect them as our next president of the United States is going to be kind of silly. This is a small group of the Republican Party that Jeb Bush, for example, was never going to win over. Ands he`s just got to keep moving forward. He has to talk to them but he has to keep moving forward. MATTHEWS: Michael Tomasky, when I hear at that convention is resentment, almost hate, hatred of illegal immigrants, never wanting to give them citizenship under any situation, any comprehensive deal, no matter how tough the government gets on immigration. They seem to hate the Common Core like anything that`s what at all objective, they want to home school everybody. They seem to resent 2015, the year we live in. That seems to be what they`re running against.   MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, they do. And the common core is also the big jackboot of the federal government and all that kind of stuff. But, you know, CPAC I think, Chris, is maybe not representative of the Republican Party in toto. But it is probably pretty representative of the primary electorate of the Republican Party. And that`s, you know, obviously where Bush is going to have his trouble, getting through a primary with his position on immigration. Now, historically, you can say that Republican primary voters, as right wing as they are, they do tend to elect the chalk horse, as it were, the establishment candidate. They went with McCain, they went with Romney. But they end up voting for that person only after dragging him really far to the right, so far to the right that he has to try to rush back in the fall of election year like Romney tried to but it was too little too late in his case. And so, Bush is going to have to negotiate that same dance. MATTHEWS: Well, here he is trying to do it. Jeb had his chance, as you say, to dance to address the conservative audience earlier today and argue the GOP needs to find something it stands for. Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I think the conservatives in Washington have been principled enough in opposing the overreach. And they`ve actually done a pretty good job. Over time we have to start being for things again. It`s good to oppose the bad things, but we need to start being for things. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: You know, Emily, he seems like he`s teaching, not preaching, but teaching but also making the case for Hispanics being part of our culture now. They are historically. They`re a chunk of the country. His wife is from Mexico. His kids, you could argue they`re ethnically Hispanic because of the marriage. I mean, he`s Roman Catholic now, his wife`s religion. He`s accepted, embraced the assimilation. That party doesn`t seem to want to do that.   SCHULTHEIS: Right. That`s something and I do think it`s significant that getting up there on stage that he didn`t change his tune on this stuff. This is -- Bush was saying the same things -- MATTHEWS: Where is gong to sell, Emily, where is that line in the Republican -- it`s not going to sell in Iowa. Aren`t those -- as Michael said, aren`t those caucus goers out in Iowa just the same way as that CPAC crowd, just as right wing and angry? SCHULTHEIS: On immigration, absolutely. So, that`s something that won`t sell to these voters. You heard the boos in the crowd. That said, when it comes time, Jeb said he`d be willing to lose the primary to win the general. If he can get through the primary with some of these moderate voters, he won`t have to deal with the same problems Romney did in the general election. MATTHEWS: What would they have done, Michelle, if -- I mean, you`re a person of color, I would assume he has sensitivity about this, why wouldn`t anybody who comes to that. I mean, supposed he brought his Mexican wife to that group today, would they have booed her? I mean, God, it`s pretty rough out there today, pretty rough ethnically, I would think. BERNARD: I think it`s absolutely a travesty the way we saw people behaving at CPAC today behave on a regular basis and talk about immigration and people of color in the country. Now what I will say is that their sort of ignorance about the way America was started and the way that our country is moving forward in terms of becoming a place where people of color are actually the majority might actually inure to the benefit of candidates like Jeb Bush and to candidates like Chris Christie. The primary`s going to be very difficult for either one of them as a candidate but there are people that we sometimes refer to as Reagan Democrats, Republicans who are moderate, people who self-identify as independents that have -- that will be receptive to the messages of a Bush and a Chris Christie. They are for something, as Bush said. They`re for education reform, which is particularly important in the African- American community. MATTHEWS: They`re not very loud, Michelle. They don`t make much noise, do they? BERNARD: They`re doing their best. MATTHEWS: They`re very quiet. They have their hands folded on their desk like Catholic school kids. They`re doing what they are supposed to do but they`re watching the wild people make all the noise today. We`ll be right back with our roundtable. Up next, the big question everyone is trying to answer, blue and black or white and gold. I can`t believe I`m doing this, but it`s happening everywhere. By the tens of millions people are talking about it today.   This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: There`s a movement in Congress right now to award the Medal of Honor posthumously to Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Texas Congressman Roger Williams introduced a bill this week that would authorize and request the president to do just that. Kyle, of course, is the basis of the Hollywood blockbuster "American Sniper." He served four tours in Iraq and was murdered in February of 2013. Kyle`s killer was convicted earlier this week and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back with our roundtable, of course, Michael, Michelle, and Emily. And now, we go to the most talked about story of today, Friday -- the dress that blew up on the Internet overnight. There`s been a heated debate today over the color of the dress in this photograph which has been viewed by millions of people over the last 24 hours. Some see it as white and gold, others see it as blue and black. So, which is it for you? And why do we all see it differently, I think? Michael Tomasky, what color do you see on that dress? TOMASKY: I saw white and gold when I first saw it. I was wrong and it is -- people say it`s silly, I think it is one of the most astonishing things that I`ve discovered -- MATTHEWS: What do you see now, when you`re looking at it now? TOMASKY: Now, I see black and blue, yes.   MATTHEWS: Wow, it`s changing for you? Michelle, what`s your experience with this dress. BERNARD: Same thing. When I looked at it this morning white and gold, I`m seeing it as different colors right now. MATTHEWS: What do you see right now? Locked in here, what do you see right now? BERNARD: I see blue and black. MATTHEWS: OK, Emily Schultheis, your attempt at greatness here. (LAUGHTER) SCHULTHEIS: I still see white and gold. So, I don`t know if that`s greatness or not. But -- MATTHEWS: A constant. Well, let me tell you, guys, I`m the opposite of Michelle and Michael, because when I looked at it a long time today, I saw on the -- I had three versions of it was clearly black and blue and it was beautiful actually, a little more faded in the middle, and still more faded to the right, and I never saw gold. On this I see blue, vaguer blue, and then white. Michael, you first, what do you see right now looking at the three of them? SCHULTHEIS: OK. From left to right on the monitor, I see white and gold, and in the middle a light blue, a tar heel blue and sort of charcoal, and on the right royal blue and black.   MATTHEWS: Exactly what I see. Michelle, what do you see right now? BERNARD: That`s exactly what I see too. MATTHEWS: Emily, what do you see? SCHULTHEIS: It still looks white and gold but in a shadow. MATTHEWS: Wow, what is going on in this. We will never get immigration, taxes, or war. We can`t agree on color. Thank you so much, Michael Tomasky, Michelle Bernard, and Emily Schultheis. Work on these this weekend. When we return, let me finish with thoughts about Leonard Nemoy, Mr. Spock, the great trekker and actor. He died today. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Spock is dead.   Let me finish tonight with that, with the news that the earthly Spock, Leonard Nimoy, died this morning in a very terrestrial place, a beautiful one at that, Bel-Air, California. He lived, of course, in our minds and don`t try to hide it, our hearts, as Mr. Spock, the half Vulcan, half human thinking force on the starship Enterprise. How many times do we remember Captain Kirk getting carried away with human emotion, only to get a course correction from the elusive, enigmatic Spock, who would lay out for Kirk and for us the error of our thinking, the excessive reliance we had place on the limited reliability of human sentiment. And how many times did Captain Kirk try to countermand Spock with the OK smolchy (ph) invocation of the human factor, how we had to take into consideration the caring, the thinking, the stakes, and the calculation. Yes, this was a buddy story, the endless interplay of two guys, the one who cares deeply and the pal who thinks hard and like in all such relationships hopes dearly there is love here, not just the understood human love of Kirk for his brainy partner, but Spock in return at least the most love of which finding necessary half alien is capable. The fact, this is precisely what this saga is about, the infinite struggle to find human in life`s adventure, that as many miles as we travel, we hope to have human love along for the ride, especially when so much of life is traveling in alien territory, the new, the strange, the occasionally ghastly. It is defined a marriage of the mind and heart, and enriching, saving bond of science with human sentiment. "Star Trek" is supposed to take place in the 23rd century, even as it was born in the wildly changing, wildly stirring 1960s. It holds on to us because we want to hold on to it. And if we people that we recognize as us are still around in the 23rd century, it`s because we will, as we did in ending the Cold War and the nuclear annihilation that threatens, show ourselves capable, not just late Mr. Spock`s science, but of Captain Kirk`s humanity. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "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. END Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. 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 CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>