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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 03/20/15

Guests: Jessica Bennett, Michelle Goldberg, Lynn Sweet, Ken Vogel, RadhikaJones, Sabrina Siddiqui

JONATHAN CAPEHART, GUEST HOST: Monica Lewinsky takes on the culture of hate. Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Jonathan Capehart, in for Chris Matthews. "Let Me Start" tonight with the return of Monica Lewinsky. It`s been 17 years since she became the face of the biggest scandal in the world. Today, she`s 41 and speaking out about what she calls a culture of abuse and humiliation on line. In a Ted talk yesterday, she described what happened to her as an early example of this new kind of abuse. Quote, "Overnight, I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one worldwide. I was patient zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously. I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo, and of course, `that woman.` I was known by many but actually known by few. I get it. It was easy to forget `that woman` was dimensional and had a soul." She told the crowd, "A marketplace has emerged with public humiliation is a commodity and shame is an industry. How is the money made? Clicks. The more shame, the more clicks. The more clicks, the more advertising dollars. Public humiliation as a blood sport has to stop. We need to return to a long held value of compassion and empathy." And she delivered this hopeful message. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MONICA LEWINSKY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN: Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know one thing. You can survive it. I know it`s hard. It may not be painless, quick or easy, but you can insist on a different ending to your story.   (END VIDEO CLIP) CAPEHART: I`m joined now by reporter Jessica Bennett, who spent the last month shadowing Lewinsky for a profile in "The New York Times," and Michelle Goldberg, senior contributing writer for "The Nation." Jessica, I have to say I`m very impressed by the moves being made by Monica Lewinsky of late. And as I said in the intro, you shadowed her for a month. Why is she compelled to publicly talk about all this now? JESSICA BENNETT, "NEW YORK TIMES": Well, you know, that`s sort of the question mark in the air. She declined to comment about the Clintons at all for this piece, but she has said publicly that it just felt like it was the right time. You know, she`s been in hiding, virtually, for the past decade, and she wanted to come forward. She didn`t want to hide her past any more. And as far as current events are concerned, it`s actually pretty good timing. You know, there`s a lot of discussion about cyber-bullying right now. CAPEHART: A lot of discussion. You know, she talks a lot about the marketplace for public humiliation and shame. What`s causing that? I mean, I know she said it`s about clicks and advertising, but is there more to it than that? BENNETT: Well, you know, she has a story that everyone wants to know about. And I actually think she did a pretty brilliant job of combining her personal story with some of the juicy details that everyone still wants to hear with this larger narrative. I think some of this has to do with just the proliferation of social media. It`s easier to shame and harass people on line these days. But at the same time, had her story unfolded today, I think what we would have seen would have been different. I think there would have been a way to push back against this echo chamber and have room for different voices and maybe voices of defense. CAPEHART: You know, I want to go to something Ashley Judd said earlier this week. She was on MSNBC talking to Thomas Roberts, and she was talking about the abuse she received on line after posting a tweet about a college basketball game. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ASHLEY JUDD, ACTOR: The way things happen on social media is so abusive, and everyone needs to take personal responsibility...   THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC HOST: Sure. JUDD: ... for what they write and not allowing this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media to persist. And by the way, I`m pressing charges. (END VIDEO CLIP) CAPEHART: You know, Ashley Judd there, Michelle, speaking out about this -- how has it gotten -- how bad has it really gotten here? MICHELLE GOLDBERG, "THE NATION": Well, I mean, I think that, you know, getting death threats, getting rape threats is part of the price of admission for being on Twitter, particularly if you`re a woman. You know, it`s overwhelming for a lot of people. I had a piece in "The Washington Post" a couple of weeks ago talking to many women writers who were thinking about quitting because they find it so demoralizing, and you know, sometimes so frightening. And there`s actually -- it`s only very, very recently that we`ve seen anyone in law enforcement, you know, take these threats -- you know, threats that would be clearly actionable if they were made by phone or by mail -- take them seriously when they`re made on line. CAPEHART: And speaking of the piece you wrote for "The Washington Post," you wrote, "Feminists of the past faced angry critics, letters to the editor and even protests. But the incessant violent sneering sexualized hatred their successors absorb is harder to escape." What`s -- why -- I mean, women are thinking about not going into writing because of all this. How can they combat this? GOLDBERG: You know, I`m not sure that anybody can or should be expected to combat it on their own, right? Often you`ll hear, Well, grow a thicker skin, or just, Don`t let it get to you. But that`s kind of (ph) not how human psychology works, right? Very few people can disregard the insults and messages that they`re bombarded with all day, every day. We kind of know who we are in the world by the way other people react to us, in many cases. And so the people who can begin to address this are the platforms, right? I mean, this is -- you know, Twitter is not natural. It`s a technology, and there are technological decisions that -- that make the -- that make hate spread faster. We know from studies that anger is the emotion that ricochets around the network the fastest. And there are some technological fixes, if the network is willing to institute them. CAPEHART: You know, yesterday in her Ted talk, Lewinsky said one story in particular motivated her, and that was the 2010 suicide of a gay Rutgers student after his roommate set up a Webcam and shared a video of him with another man. That student, Tyler Clementi, jumped from the George Washington Bridge days later.   And according to Lewinsky, "Tyler`s tragic, senseless death was a turning point for me. It served to recontextualize my experiences. I began to look at the world of humiliation and bullying around me and see something different. Every day on line, people, especially young people who are not developmentally equipped to handle this, are so abused and humiliated that they can`t imagine living to the next day." Jessica, I mean, it`s very powerful, what she -- what Monica Lewinsky is saying there. What -- what is motivating her to focus on this issue? I mean, It`s Tyler Clementi, but there`s more to it than that. BENNETT: Right. Well, she has a really riveting story about how, when this happened to Tyler Clementi in 2010, she was talking with her mother. And her mothers was just gutted and devastated about this death, and it was sad and it was tragic, but Monica couldn`t quite figure out why she was so upset. And she realized that her mom was actually sort of replacing her with Tyler. This is what she thought might have happened to her daughter. And she talks about how during that era, you know, her mother made her shower with the door open. She sat by her bed every night as she was getting ready to go to sleep. You know, she did consider suicide at times. And so I think by trying to broaden this to the larger landscape, what she hopes is that she can tell her story and show that she did, indeed, survive and maybe serve as inspiration for other people who are facing this. CAPEHART: I want to close out with this and ask you both this question. If Monica were to happen today, how would the coverage be different? Start with you, Michelle. GOLDBERG: Well, I think that on the one hand, she would probably face even more abuse, in that her past would be excavated. You know, everything she`d ever written on line or off line would probably be up for grabs. But at the same time, I think, as Jessica said earlier, there would be more pushback. There`s a lot more awareness of slut-shaming. You know, some of the things that people in the mainstream media -- I`m thinking particularly of Maureen Dowd, you know, or "The New York Post" -- I just don`t think you could get away with some of that today. CAPEHART: And Jessica? BENNETT: You know, we didn`t even have a language to talk about this back then. CAPEHART: Right. That`s true. BENNETT: The term "slut-shaming" didn`t even come to the fore until around 1999. So I think that, in a lot of ways, we`re more sophisticated now. And you see this new generation of young women who are journalists covering this issue and bloggers who are talking about it in a way that I think is just a lot more enlightened than we were back then. Some of this just progress in a lot of realms.   CAPEHART: Absolutely, progress in a whole lot of realms. Thank you very much, Jessica Bennett and Michelle Goldberg. Coming up -- President Obama is pushing hard for that nuclear deal with Iran, and he`s appealing directly to Iranians to get it done despite loud opposition from the right both here and in Israel. Plus, now that Congressman Aaron Schock is resigning, the Ethics Committee can`t investigate whether his lavish spending broke the law, but the feds can. And we learned today they`re looking into the case. And it`s not just the candidates running for president who need to watch what they say. With the rise of social media, candidates are now catching heat for things their staffers say. Rick Perry`s the latest after he hired a guy who said it isn`t God`s will to have a female president. Finally, is a woman`s place on the 20? There`s a growing movement to replace Andrew Jackson`s face on the $20 bill with a woman. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAPEHART: The select committee investigating Benghazi today formally asked Hillary Clinton to turn over her private e-mail server. The committee`s chairman, South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, is asking the former secretary of state to turn that server over to the State Department`s inspector general or a neutral third party. In a letter, Gowdy wrote, "Though Secretary Clinton alone is responsible for causing this issue, she alone does not get to determine its outcome. We have no interest in Secretary Clinton`s personal e-mails, but the American people have a clear right to the public records from her time as secretary of state." Clinton has pledged that all her work-related e-mail will be made public but says she deleted thousands of messages related to personal matters and has said her e-mail -- private e-mail server will remain private. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)   CAPEHART: Welcome back to HARDBALL. It`s crunch time for a nuclear deal with Iran. The deadline for reaching a framework agreement is the end of March. Negotiators are set to resume talks next week. But according to "The Wall Street Journal," diplomats say there are still a lot of issues that haven`t been resolved, including when and how to lift international sanctions. Yesterday, President Obama posted a message to YouTube celebrating the Persian new year, and he spoke directly to the Iranian people, urging them to support a deal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The days and weeks ahead will be critical. Our negotiations have made progress, but gaps remains. And there are people in both our countries and beyond who oppose a diplomatic resolution. My message to you, the people of Iran, is that together, we have to speak up for the future we seek. Iran`s leaders have a choice between two paths. If they cannot agree to a reasonable deal, they will keep Iran on the path it`s on today, a path that has isolated Iran and the Iranian people from so much of the world. On the other hand, if Iran`s leaders can agree to a reasonable deal, it can lead to a better path, the path of greater opportunities for the Iranian people. And this moment may not come again soon. I believe that our nations have a historic opportunity to resolve this issue peacefully, an opportunity we should not miss. (END VIDEO CLIP) CAPEHART: Howard Fineman is global editorial director for the HuffingtonPost and David Corn is Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones." Both are MSNBC political analysts. All right, guys, it`s crunch time, as we know, for an Iran deal. What`s at stake, Howard? HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what`s at stake is some measure of good news out of the Middle East at a time when the rest of it is being torn apart by sectarian violence, by problems in Israel and -- with the Palestinians. This would be some measure of advance toward some form of piece and lessening the possibility of Iran becoming a nuclear power.   It`s very, very important the president is right. He`s right to be pursuing an agreement, but the details are what matter. And my understanding is the big problem now is over, as you said, when and how and under what conditions to start lifting some of those sanctions. I think the big purpose of Bibi Netanyahu`s speech here the other day substantively was to say, Look, don`t lift those sanctions right away. If nothing else, keep all of the sanctions on until the very end. That`s not going to happen, but the question is what will. CAPEHART: How does -- how does Prime Minister Netanyahu`s reelection complicate things or change the terrain in terms of the negotiations, considering he`s so dead set against them? DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I was reading "The Tehran Times" the other day, not something I usually do... (LAUGHTER) FINEMAN: Name dropper. CORN: ... but I was looking at -- but -- you know, and it`s actually affiliated with the government there, no big mystery about that. And they were -- you know, the commentary, the lead commentary in it was that Netanyahu`s speech and his reelection, you know, may make it easier for the United States and Iran (INAUDIBLE) not just the United States, the United States and the other nations and Iran... CAPEHART: Right. CORN: ... to cut a deal. I think it`s because, like, they both are pissed off by Netanyahu, that he`s -- you know, he has really sort of, you know, driven, you know, his enemies in some ways, or people he disagrees with, in the case of the United States, together, made them more committed so that, you know, no one wants him to take credit for blowing up this deal. And so far, you know, it`s pretty amazing what`s been accomplished to date. On some of the key issues, there`s already been pretty good settlement. The Iraq (sic) plutonium production, the Friedel (ph) uranium gas issue and on the centrifuges at the Natanz site -- all this stuff has been worked out. And Iran so far has agreed to very strenuous inspection regimes that go far beyond anything that was ever done with North Korea... CAPEHART: Right.   CORN: ... or with Russia in terms of nuclear weapons. CAPEHART: Right. CORN: So we`re down to this, you know, issue on how to lift the sanctions, and it`s tough because France and the United States now have an internal disagreement about what to do over that. And that has to be worked out before... CAPEHART: Right. CORN: ... the negotiations -- the negotiations... CAPEHART: Before the... CORN: ... proceed. CAPEHART: Well, right. At the end of March. But you know, Prime Minister Netanyahu isn`t the only one who`s against a deal. On Wednesday, Congressman Louie Gohmert articulated the alternative to a deal. And according to Gohmert, it`s time to stop talking and start bombing. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: We need to encourage this administration to go take out Iran`s nuclear capability. I don`t think that we ought to put Israel in the position of having to save both themselves and the United States. I think it`s time to bomb Iran. (END AUDIO CLIP)   CAPEHART: You know, some other conservatives have been a little more subtle when talking about the need for a credible threat of military force. Here`s what Senator Tom Cotton said last week on "MORNING JOE." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: Israel struck Iraq`s nuclear program in 1981, and they didn`t reconstitute it. Israel struck Syria`s nuclear reactor in 2007. They haven`t yet reconstituted it. Rogue regimes have a way of getting the picture when there`s a credible threat of military force on the table that we will not allow the world`s worst regimes to get the world`s worst weapons. (END VIDEO CLIP) CAPEHART: So David and Howard, how -- how much is this Republican right opposition here in the United States going to be a factor there in those negotiations? CORN: I don`t think they`re a factor in what`s going to come out between the talks on Iran and the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain. There may be a fight afterwards. This is not a treaty. It`s not even an agreement. There`ll be some sort of memo of understanding that the president is fully authorized to do without congressional approval. So I think you`ll see a fight here, though, with Congress trying to find a way to intervene. But I think, right now, both sides are kind of ignoring, to certain extents, the bombast and rhetoric coming from Bibi Netanyahu and his pals in the Republican, you know, caucus of Congress here and just working on the really hard substance of getting this deal put together. CAPEHART: Right. Now, Howard, let me ask you, after Bibi Netanyahu`s win this week, the Israeli leader was celebrated as a real leader by many on the right here. Implicit in that was criticism of our own leader. Congressman Gohmert had this to say about President Obama. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) GOHMERT: Maybe he`ll start being more helpful to Israel instead of slapping them around as an unwelcome visitor and start treating them like a friend. (END AUDIO CLIP)   CAPEHART: Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee accused President Obama of having disdain for Israel. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: This administration in general and this president in particular has an extraordinary disdain for Israel in general and Benjamin Netanyahu in particular, and it`s just inexplicable. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why does Obama have the extraordinary disdain for Israel in general? Why? HUCKABEE: It`s hard for me to understand that. The only thing I can fathom is that he has such an extraordinary sense of identity with, sympathy for many of the other Middle Eastern nations. I think he resents the strength of Israel. I think he resents very much the strength of Benjamin Netanyahu. (END VIDEO CLIP) CAPEHART: So, Howard, clearly, Mike Huckabee is on that Dinesh D`Souza train. (LAUGHTER) CAPEHART: Does it seem to you like that folks on the right here in the United States wish Bibi Netanyahu was their leader? FINEMAN: Well, I think the problem that Netanyahu has politically in the United States and around the world is this. I don`t think anybody would begrudge Israelis their sense of concern about the rhetoric coming out of Iran, about Iran`s talk of wanting to destroy Israel. The Israelis have every right to be skeptical, and so do we. But Netanyahu has undercut his broad bipartisan appeal by, number one, making common cause with the hard right of the Republican Party, by turning himself into a wedge issue here in the United States to attempt to divide the Democratic Party, and by saying in the last couple of days of the election that he would reject the idea of a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, and also raising alarms about the number of Arab -- Israeli Arab voters who were going to take part in the election.   Those kinds of things get in the way of the Israelis being heard seriously for their objections about any possible deal with Iran. So, what Netanyahu has done politically in the United States and I think around the world is to undercut his own political legitimacy in making those arguments. And the people who are for the deal are perfectly willing to confuse the two. They`re really somewhat separate issues about what you do with the Palestinians and what you do in internal Israeli politics and what you do about Iran. CAPEHART: Right. FINEMAN: But Netanyahu has hopelessly, and to Israel`s detriment, confused the two. CORN: And the interesting thing, Jonathan, is this whole talking that comes out about Obama disdaining Israel at large and Mike Huckabee essentially accusing him of being a secret Muslim is sort of distanced from reality. If you go to Israel itself, Netanyahu only got a quarter of the vote. There`s a lot of people there who hold him, his government and his view on these issues in disdain as well. So to equate President Obama`s opposition to Netanyahu`s approach to the peace process, to Netanyahu`s obvious attempts to sabotage the Iranian talks, at least politically here, with disdain for all of Israel is really perfidious. And it shows that once again they`re trying to make Obama seem not American. CAPEHART: Right. CORN: The other, something else. CAPEHART: The other. (CROSSTALK)   CORN: And that`s not the case. CAPEHART: And if anything, the disdain is between the two leaders, not between the two countries. But, anyway, "The New York Times" wrote today that Bibi`s win this week creates a real complication for, guess who, Hillary Clinton. (LAUGHTER) CAPEHART: According to "The Times," "Clinton is now likely to be under increased pressure from her own party to speak up against a government that is openly hostile to Mr. Obama, but if she criticizes Israel, she risks prompting an influential segment of more conservative Jewish Democrats to withhold their support from her presidential campaign or even to defect to a Republican candidate in 2016." Do you guys buy this? FINEMAN: Well, yes, this is exactly -- yes. And I think it`s exactly -- that`s what a wedge issue is. It`s something you use to divide the other party. And the Republican conservative strategists, in which I include the U.S. -- the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, a very shrewd guy and a very hardball politician trained in America, they`re using this idea of undying and narrow support for Israel as a way to divide the Democratic Party, if they can, not only get Jewish voters in the Republican column, but to divide the Democrats. And I think it`s going to have an effect and it`s something Hillary in fact is going to have to deal with. CORN: At the same time, though, this is also causing problems within the Jewish community regarding its relationship to Netanyahu and Israel. So there are wedges and wedges. CAPEHART: A lot of wedges. Thank you, Howard Fineman and David Corn. Thanks very much.   FINEMAN: Thank you. CORN: Thanks, Jonathan. CAPEHART: Up next: new information tonight about the investigation into Aaron Schock of Illinois. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAPEHART: Welcome back to HARDBALL. It`s been a tough week for Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock. The 33- year-old rising star in the Republican Party announced on Tuesday in a surprising twist of events that he would resign from Congress on March 31 over his questionable spending, from office decor, mileage reimbursements and airplane flights. But Schock`s legal troubles appear to be just beginning. NBC News confirmed earlier today that federal law enforcement officials are investigating the four-term congressman over campaign finance and tax issues. The IRS and federal prosecutors are all looking into the allegations that Schock improperly accounted for travel expenses and contributions from political donors. Now, the congressman`s father, Dr. Richard Schock, spoke candidly to reporters outside his home in Illinois on Wednesday about his son`s growing problems. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICHARD SCHOCK, FATHER OF CONGRESSMAN AARON SCHOCK: I know it`s a law. So, yes, he`s broke the law. If they`re going to convict him on paperwork, they`re going to convict him. And that`s their privilege.   It`s -- if it`s the law and he broke the law and they want to convict him on that, fine. But he has done a lot of good in his life. Ten years from now, whatever he`s doing, he will be successful at. I will promise you that. Two years from now, he will be successful, because -- if he`s not in jail. (END VIDEO CLIP) CAPEHART: Oh, boy. For more on this story, I`m joined by Lynn Sweet of "The Chicago Sun- Times," who has been breaking news on this story. And Ken Vogel is chief investigative reporter for Politico. So, Lynn, what do you think about the details of a federal investigation? Do you see jail time? LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": Well, I think that`s getting ahead of ourselves as to speculate about prison or not. I think that what he has is some very serious potential criminal charges potentially looming. And when you talk about, you know, what the sanction is on all this, a lot depends if there`s a plea agreement or not, or if there`s a trial. But I don`t want to get ahead of ourselves, because I think he`s in enough trouble right now as is without figuring out what the sanction`s going to be, Jonathan. And this is a very serious inquiry. Subpoenas have been delivered to a lot of people who are familiar with his campaign and official spending. FBI agents who are based in Springfield, Illinois, have been in Washington this week. They have been wanting to talk to people. So I think he has an enormous legal problem right now, and there will be a grand jury in Springfield and very soon they will start hearing testimony. CAPEHART: Right. Well, you know, Ken, one of the reasons why I guess we`re talking about jail time is because his own father brought it up. (LAUGHTER)   KENNETH VOGEL, POLITICO: Thanks, dad. CAPEHART: Yes, thanks, dad, in that doorstep interview. What do you make of those comments from his father? VOGEL: Yes, a little bizarre. Certainly not helpful for the son if he`s potentially mounting a defense here if charges are brought. But you know what? There`s something to it, this idea that like either he`s going be in jail or he`s going to be successful. This is a really hard-charging dude. He was working with a ticket brokerage when he was in middle school. He was elected to the school board when he was 19. He was doing real estate deals when he was in college. He was elected to Congress at a young age. So he really pushed the envelope. He pushed the envelope on his spending when he was in office in an effort to sort of build himself up as a personality and as a fund- raiser. And it stands to reason that this is sort of inherent to some extent in his personality and that whatever he does do next, he will sort of charge at it in the same way that we have seen throughout his life. CAPEHART: Well, when you look at the stories about the spending and the mileage and the airplanes and everything, and we now know that all these things ran against rules and laws, it makes you wonder, who was minding the store? Why wasn`t anyone minding the store, Lynn? SWEET: Well, in this case, he had a very weak staff. And, oftentimes, it is a chief of staff who will go to a member and say, you can`t do this. That`s part of the brief of being a chief of staff, is to be able to make sure things are reported correctly and help make sure that everybody on the staff knows about the ethics rules. There`s supposed to be ethics training. Not everybody may have been in compliance. We know that there was sloppy paperwork in how he reported things on the campaign side. And I guess so people who are listening know, there`s allegations concerning how he misused taxpayer money and campaign money. Far more serious is any allegation dealing with taxpayer money, because that has to do with conversion of taxpayer money to public use. I think a lot of the campaign laws, as Ken knows and has done so much reporting on, they`re a little looser. But on some of these things, when it comes time, if federal prosecutors want to have a long list of particulars against you, everything can be counted up. (CROSSTALK) VOGEL: You know, Lynn and Jonathan, it is that the campaign laws sort of allow to have some ambiguity as to how you can spend this stuff, but even as some of my colleagues reported in a story about the mileage reimbursements, there`s not a whole lot of backstop on any of this stuff.   And so while there may be record-keeping problems and there may be laxness in some of the enforcement, what we discovered is that, particularly on the mileage thing, no one is really watching this stuff. So unless you go through the particularly involved process of filing a Freedom of Information Act request to a DMV in a state to check how many miles were on the odometer of a car, you`re not going to be able to compare these to things. And no one is really doing it. So there is -- I think it highlights the degree to which some of this stuff is self-enforcing. (CROSSTALK) CAPEHART: Lynn, yes. SWEET: Well, and also -- and, again, we have the same information and filed a Freedom of Information Act, too. But, even without that, what this episode shows is that each member gets a little more than a million dollars to run his or her office. And, basically, there`s no audit. There`s very little compliance. If you put in -- most of us, if we have expense accounts, there might be some oversight. You have a supervisor sign off on it. In the end, Aaron Schock put in for expenses for which only he, as the boss -- there is no one over him. I`m not saying there has to be, but Jonathan, when you asked about staffing before, usually, with a strong, experienced chief of staff, they can help enforce doing the right thing within. But the system is set up in a way that is unlike anything that really exists in the private world. CAPEHART: And so, as a result, a great fund-raiser and a political talent, former rising star in the GOP, he`s now resigned his seat. Thank you, Lynn Sweet and Ken Vogel. SWEET: Hey, thank you so much.   VOGEL: Thanks, Jonathan. CAPEHART: Up next: What happens when campaign staffers say the stupidest things? You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger. Here`s what`s happening. Four suicide attackers hit two mosques in Yemen`s capital city of Sanaa, killing 137 people and wounding more than 350 others. A Yemeni affiliate of ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombings. The White House has condemned the attacks. Britain`s Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, are in Kentucky, where they`re spending their final day of their U.S. tour. It is a snowy first day of spring in the Northeast, where winter weather has made travel difficult. More than 1,000 flights have been canceled or delayed across the region. And an experimental Alzheimer`s drug from biotech firm Biogen Idec has performed well in an early study, raising hopes for a treatment. The medication slowed cognitive decline more aggressively than expected -- back to HARDBALL. CAPEHART: Welcome back to HARDBALL. As the 2016 campaign heats up, it`s not just candidates who have targets on their backs. Campaign staffers are now finding that the things they say can and will be used against them and the candidates they work for.   Politico writes today: "The crosshairs are no longer trained solely on the candidates themselves. Staffers are now also considered fair game for opposition research hits. And campaigns are struggling to react to a world in which the candidate isn`t always the focal point for attacks." There have been several casualties of this new form of campaign warfare. Just this week, Republican strategist Liz Mair resigned her post 48 hours after starting her job leading social media and online communications for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker`s political action committee after old tweets she wrote resurfaced and offended some Iowa GOP officials. Mair tweeted in January, "The sooner remove Iowa`s front- running status, the better off American politics and policy will be." Last month, Jeb Bush`s new chief technology officer Ethan Czahor resigned under similar circumstances when it was discovered he was deleting old tweets he had written referring to women as, quote, "sluts". And late last night, Texas Governor Rick Perry disavowed comments made about women four years ago by a news staffer Perry hired just 24 hours earlier. The aide, Jamie Johnson, questioned whether a woman should be president in a 2011 e-mail leaked to the "Des Moines Register," saying, quote, "Is it God`s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, to have a woman ruled the institutions of the family, the church and the state?" With attack politics bound to only get worse, are political aides fair game, too? Joining the roundtable tonight, Radhika Jones of "Time Magazine", Josh Barro of "The New York Times", and Sabrina Siddiqui is with "The Guardian". So, Sabrina, I`m going to start with you. Are political staffers fair game? SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: I think whether people believe that they should be fair game or not, the reality is that they are. And there needs to be a more thorough vetting process on the part of these campaigns because it`s really easy to unearth some of these tweets. Liz Mair`s tweet was in January. It was just two months ago. So, it wouldn`t have taken much more than five or ten minutes possibly to uncover that. And some of these posts that are coming on Facebook and what are, quote/unquote, "private social media accounts", at the end of the day, if you`re going to work for a high profile candidate nothing is private and those views will probably be ascribed to your boss. CAPEHART: Should they be fair game, Josh? JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it depends what the staffers do. I mean, I think Liz Mair`s tweets should have fallen into the "reasonable people can disagree" box.   CAPEHART: Right. That`s what I was thinking. BARRO: And, you know, Scott Walker can say, well, you know, I think the Iowa caucus is wonderful because he`s someone trying to win the Iowa caucus. But it depends on what the staffer did and what they said. If you had, say, a white supremacist staffer, you wouldn`t go out and say, well, I`m not a white supremacist, my policy is anti-supremacist, then I expect my staffer to fall in line. The question is, there`s this -- if we have the spectrum that goes from like what order the nominating process ought to go in to white supremacy, and then you have things in the middle, you want to figure out, you know, what are the things where the candidate can say, I disagree with my staffer, but that`s just a reasonable disagreement. CAPEHART: Radhika, are candidates guilty by association? Is that fair? RADHIKA JONES, TIME MAGAZINE: I don`t know if they should be guilty by association. But I think that in advance, when they`re doing the hiring, they have to figure out am I willing to stand by this person and as Sabrina says, like in the case of Liz Mair, those tweets are easily findable. There`s not a lot of really private material online. And so, I think if a candidate is hiring a staffer who is going to be public facing in particular, but who also is going to be with them for a long period of time, it`s up to the candidate to decide, can I stand by this person and this person`s views? CAPEHART: I mean, I just have to say Liz Mair, I mean, like you said, we`re just talking politics. SIDDIQUI: That to me seemed to be more like an orchestrated attack that was personal probably on the part of an opposing Republican campaign even though she suggested that it might have been Democrats. I also think people want to start thinking about the implications if you do find material that`s unflattering because it`s a distraction from the actual campaign that you`re running. That`s why it`s important to not have unnecessary headlines about allegedly racist or sexist staffers when you`re trying to pitch a message. BARRO: But the thing, though, is that, you know, people have much bigger digital foot prints than they used to. And if we keep the same standards about what`s disqualifying, more and more people are going to get disqualified because everybody has said something publicly that somebody can complain about. So, yes -- CAPEHART: True. BARRO: -- there are still things that staffers can say that ought to be disqualifying, but we really need to think about how stringent do we want those standards to be? And I think Jeb Bush has shown that you can have staffers that people complain about and say, OK, well, you don`t like this staffer, he has Jim Baker advising him. A lot of Republicans think that Jim Baker is not hawkish enough on various aspects of foreign policy, he has an openly gay communications director, or likely will if he launches his campaign. CAPEHART: You mean Jeb Bush, not Jim Baker.   BARRO: Jeb Bush, right. And so, he will take some flack for that but that`s something he`s decided he`s going to do. Not everything that a staffer does that somebody complains about is necessarily a reason that you have to fire that staffer. I think Scott Walker made an error by overreacting here. And I think that -- you know, I think Jeb is hopefully trying to chart that course where you can say well reasonable people will disagree. CAPEHART: Well, speaking of the rules of the game, both Democratic and Republican operatives agree that the rules of campaign warfare have changed. Democratic strategist Tad Divine told "Politico", "There`s more awareness of the fact that if you`re going to hire somebody on the payroll of a campaign, that person needs to be subjected to some kind of scrutiny." And Republican strategist Ron Kaufman said, people are getting caught saying things in the past in their lives when maybe the rules were a little bit different. That`s just the way it is." That`s just the way it is. JONES: This is going to look very different a generation from now when most campaign hires are digital natives who have lived their entire lives online. CAPEHART: Uh-huh. Well, speaking of 25 years from now, I`m just trying to wrap my head around this Meerkat thing. JONES: Oh, gosh. CAPEHART: Where you can live do whatever to Twitter and then it disappears? BARRO: Yes. SIDDIQUI: That`s sort of like a Snapchat for Twitter. Based on my limited understanding, I`m having trouble. And I have grown up in the digital world, keeping up with every new tool. But there are politicians are using more of these innovative technologies. CAPEHART: Is this going to make campaigning -- I focus on Meerkat because I`m sort of irritated by it. But is it going to make politics that much uglier, that much more unwieldy? BARRO: So this has non-pornographic users? People do this with their --   (LAUGHTER) BARRO: I don`t know. I mean, we`ve already got politicians using Vine and we had -- which House committee was it put out the memes today about how mad they are about the president`s executive action on immigration. They had all the GIFs acting surprised that the president went around Congress. CAPEHART: Right. BARRO: I don`t know. I mean -- I don`t know how much this stuff matters. CAPEHART: Well, Sabrina, I got to stop you there. But we`re coming back. The roundtable is staying with us. And up next, the growing movement to put a woman`s face on the $20 bill. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAPEHART: As we mentioned earlier this week, Chris has been in Japan as a guest of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation for an international symposium honoring President Kennedy. Chris joined President Bill Clinton, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and others at the Waseda University in Tokyo to celebrate President Kennedy`s accomplishments and his commitment to public service, global citizenship and diplomacy. Chris will be here, right back here next week. And we`ll be right back after this.   (COMERCIAL BREAK) CAPEHART: We`re back with our roundtable. So, when it comes to cash money, it may be all about the Benjamins. But take a look inside your wallet. And if you actually do have paper money in there, what`s missing? A woman. The group Women on the 20 wants to lose Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and put one of 15 notable American women by 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a women`s right to vote. So, let`s have our own straw poll here and ask Radhika, Josh and Sabrina, which women they would pick to replace Old Hickory. Who would you get, who would get your vote, Radhika? JONES: First, I just want to say in honor of Andrew Jackson, that he has great presidential hair, we`re learning at it on the $20. However, I love this idea and I will vote for Harriet Tubman, hero of the abolitionist movement, born a slave, rescued more than 300 people from the south during the civil war, became a union spy, and a scout, and she retired unbelievably with a pension of $20 a month. So, it`s perfect. CAPEHART: Oh, wow. That`s great. Josh, who replaces Andrew Jackson on your $20 bill? BARRO: Well, from the list that we were given, I pick Rosa Parks who I think had out of this list of 15 women, probably the biggest impact on the direction of American history. But I would note that from -- when you look at who`s on money now, there is a strong bias toward figures from government in politics, and I would love to see more people, men and women, who make contributions in business or in the arts. I think we could put Georgia O`Keeffe. CAPEHART: We`re getting there. We`re going to open it up, and I know your other one, which I think is fantastic. BARRO: Yes.   CAPEHART: But let`s go to you, Sabrina. Who do you want to put on the $20 bill? SIDDIQUI: Well, now, we have a tie because I also picked Rosa Parks. I just think we were having this discussion right now at this moment about civil rights, especially with the Supreme Court`s ruling on the voting rights act last year, and anniversary for Selma, and I think that, you know, having a civil rights icon like Rosa Parks, it sends a strong message and we have honored her in so many other different ways Presidential Medal of Freedom, congressional gold medal. There`s a statue now in Cngress. I feel like this is the obvious next step that could be taken. CAPEHART: Well, let`s put that $20 bill back up because I also said Rosa Parks for all of the reasons you both articulate. Now, let`s open it up to other people. You said before I cut you off, Georgia O`Keeffe. BARRO: Georgia O`Keeffe. CAPEHART: Who else? BARRO: My other nominee was Estee Lauder, which probably sounds like a strange option. But she`s one of the great American entrepreneurs of the 20th century. And, you know, so much of what makes America great is great business ideas that come from this country. So, I think it would be really cool idea. I also like, people assume from that name she was French. She was just pretending to be French, and I don`t think there`s anything more American. CAPEHART: I was going to say, the very American thing. BARRO: Yes. SIDDIQUI: Well, rather than open up, I just want to make a point that it seems like this is a long, delayed move. Actually, the president could be within his own authority, and, you know, it is such a strong message I think to children when we teach them about money, hand them their allowance, all of the examples that they have are just men. And it`s so -- I feel like this is one very subtle way to honor the contributions that women have made to this country. And it is sending a message to kids who are, you know, getting their pocket money, their allowances, that there`s no woman for them to look up to who`s been significant enough in our history.   CAPEHART: Yes, I had two women in my list who were from culture. Marian Anderson, the opera singer who was denied entry to the DAR, to Constitution Hall. So, Eleanor Roosevelt said, well, I`m going to -- why don`t you sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial. And another opera singer, Jesse Norman, who is sort of our modern day sort of operative treasure. But those are my two. Wouldn`t you have any of the air, off the air? JONES: Yes, Maya Angelo, great American voice, poet, writer, dancer, incredibly inspiring figure to millions of people around the world. CAPEHART: So, we`re having this discussion about putting a woman on American money, on the $20 bill, but who carries cash anymore? Are we a little late? A little late on this? SIDDIQUI: You`d be surprised the number of cash only places I have encountered here in New York. But it`s not just about how many people are carrying cash, but the message you`re sending, which is the need to acknowledge all of the contributions that would have made to this country and this very, you know (INAUDIBLE) BARRO: Is there a way to put a woman on Bitcoin? (CROSSTALK) BARRO: It does seem kind of funny that we`re putting woman on currency at the time like people are giving currency. JONES: But it`s symbolic and as Sabrina says, symbols matter. CAPEHART: OK. But we have -- it`s not like we haven`t had women on money. We have Susan B. Anthony dollar, it`s a coin. Sacagawea is a coin. Is it maybe --   BARRO: All these dollar coins we couldn`t get any -- (CROSSTALK) CAPEHART: Was it because they`re coins and not the actual paper? BARRO: Well, the other thing is, when I think about a woman on money, it`s the queen. CAPEHART: Right, Queen Elizabeth. BARRO: You know, English or Canadian currency. And that`s what I most associate with money. But I think it would be pretty anti-American to put the queen of England on our money. CAPEHART: I think it -- SIDDIQUI: To say the least. CAPEHART: Thank you, Sabrina Siddiqui, Josh Barro, and Radhika Jones. We`ll be back after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)   CAPEHART: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. Chris Matthews will be back on Monday. "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. 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