CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Big Bill. Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington. Well, you know it, it would be a lot less fun on this planet if we didn`t share it with William Jefferson Clinton. The man is, besides being smart as hell, besides being, all things considered, one lucky son of a gun, besides having done some great work for this country, one of a kind, one of the best shows in American history. People are downright fascinated by the guy. Just talking about him seems to animate people. He`s the best human-sized buzz I can think of, maybe not just human-sized but as a global -- as global a personality as that foundation of his that`s all over the world. So question mark. How does his wife tame or use or exploit -- you pick the word -- find a way to harness the good in Bill to the unpredictable in Bill, the political genius of the guy, without getting him too much in the act, too much in the issue, too much in the show? Is this going to be like trying to get a drink from a fire hydrant without getting your clothes wet? Well, this was the big front-page story in "The New York Times" yesterday. "Hillary Rodham Clinton`s advisers are once again grappling with how to deploy" -- I love that word, "deploy," like he`s a blimp -- "Mr. Clinton, a strategic imperative that was executed so poorly in 2008 that it resulted in some of the worst moments of her campaign." That`s "The New York Times" front page yesterday. Howard Fineman`s the global -- he is the global editorial director of the HuffingtonPost. Ruth Marcus is a columnist with "The Washington Post." And Perry Bacon is NBC News senior political reporter. Perry, I want to start with you about that question. They put it that on the front page yesterday. I didn`t think it was a worry anymore. Somebody in "The New York Times" figured, Healy and the rest of them, that -- Joziak (ph) -- that this is a big worry in the Hillary Clinton-land about how they use Bill or don`t use him. PERRY BACON, NBC SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: It`s got to be a big worry. I mean, he`s been a great campaigner for Obama and for other politicians, but when Hillary Clinton ran, he made a lot of mistakes, the big one, of course, being when he compared Obama`s victory in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson`s, offended a lot of African-Americans. And even before that, he made a lot of gaffes-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- swallowed that. Offended a lot of -- why did it offend them? BACON: Because he seemed to demean the victory, as if the victory wasn`t really -- didn`t really mean anything. He basically said only black people voted for Obama, that`s how he won South -- that`s what he was -- and that bothered a lot of people. And I think it goes to the point that-- MATTHEWS: And he also yelled out, it`s a fantasy. BACON: It`s a fantasy. He said a lot of things (INAUDIBLE) HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: (INAUDIBLE) foreign policy (INAUDIBLE) BACON: He`s otherwise -- yeah. In terms of campaigning for his wife, he was very defensive and very angry at times. MATTHEWS: Well, is this just human nature, that you -- closer to home, the more you complain? The more you go-- RUTH MARCUS, "WASHINGTON POST": The spouse always is more aggrieved than the principal, in my experience. But when the spouse is Bill Clinton, and particularly when the spouse is the president of the United States in general, but Bill Clinton in particular, that`s a spouse that bears some watching. I agree with Perry that he has the potential to cause problems for Hillary Clinton`s campaign, but I would also remind people -- Look at the way he explained Barack Obama`s health care plan at the convention. MATTHEWS: He`s the explainer-in-chief. MARCUS: He is the explainer-in-chief. He is the best politician, bar none, in the Democratic Party today. So he`s-- MATTHEWS: So what`s the problem? MARCUS: -- a potential-- MATTHEWS: There-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: You`re giving me all the goo-goo here. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: There seems to be a problem here. MARCUS: There`s a big risk in him exploding. We were talking earlier about how he becomes literally red in the face. There`s just always a risk when you`re dealing with-- MATTHEWS: Well, let`s talk about-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: There was two cases we`ve been through. We`re all -- except for you. You`re the kid here. But most of the thing we`ve noticed is when he does that sort of phony, You can say anything you want about me, but you can`t -- you shouldn`t be on the same stage as my wife. Remember that back with Jerry Brown in `92? That was a little bit theater, to say lightly (ph). But when people went after her in -- in -- when she was running herself, that was different. FINEMAN: Yes. And that`s -- and that`s when he gets red-faced, when he gets defensive, when he makes the big mistakes. I think the best thing for Hillary to do would be to give him something to talk about. In other words, her campaign -- the big danger her campaign has is not Bill Clinton alone, it`s Bill Clinton without a script. MATTHEWS: Yes. FINEMAN: She has to say what she`s for. She has to lay out a program. And then let Bill Clinton explain it. Let him do on the campaign trail what he did so brilliantly at the Democratic convention in Charlotte. That`s the up side. The down side is Bill Clinton has -- you can`t keep him away from the press. I don`t care what they do-- MATTHEWS: What about when they disagree? (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- reality here. He was a pro-free trade president. He got some trouble with the construction unions, other unions. But he said, Damn it, I`m for NAFTA. We`re going to try this thing out. Free trade`s what we learn in grad school. I`m going to use my education. And he`s for the -- the TPP, too. And Hillary -- I don`t know where he is. But what happens if they really disagree-- (CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: That`s not going to happen. MATTHEWS: That`s not going to happen? FINEMAN: That`s not -- that`s not going to be the problem-- MATTHEWS: But what about the real disagreement? They have real disagreements, don`t they? FINEMAN: Well, I think they do. Those they`ll hash out behind closed doors. The big problem is the freelancing Big Dog, OK? That`s what we all call him, the Big Dog. It`s when he freelances and when he wants to show everybody that he knows more about their line of work than they do. MARCUS: Which may be true. FINEMAN: Which is probably true. MARCUS: But when he goes -- but when you -- when you have somebody that powerful who goes off script, who is going to command an enormous amount of attention, that`s the risk. MATTHEWS: Well, here`s the big story right now because beyond "The New York Times" front story about the Clintons -- and they are going to be the biggest story in this country in about a few weeks, right? They`re about to run. He`s about to -- she`s about to run. Hillary Clinton`s lawyers are now saying that her private e-mail server has been wiped clean at her orders. Quote, "No e-mails reside on the server or any backup systems associated with the server." So that announcement was prompted something -- has prompted something of a stir, at least, at the Benghazi Select Committee and the Republican national-- (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Here`s the inimitable Reince Priebus with Fox`s Steve Doocy -- now, there`s a pair! -- earlier today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: Even Nixon didn`t destroy the tapes. There are thousands and thousands of e-mails that are missing. If it was wiped clean, I guess the next question would be whether there`s criminal conduct involved in wiping a server clean. This is intentional behavior, which in many cases, Steve, is criminal in nature. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Criminal? What law is he citing? It`s her property. She did it. What crime is he talking about? MARCUS: Well, I -- I am not endorsing that this is a crime because I know Hillary Clinton and I know her lawyers, and I guarantee you that no one is going to jail about this. But you could concoct an argument about obstruction of justice or-- MATTHEWS: This hasn`t been subpoenaed. MARCUS: -- potential destruction of government property, if you destroy it, knowing that it`s going to be subpoenaed, ya-da-da-da-da. Don`t worry about criminal stuff. Brace yourself, in my view -- brace yourself, though, for hearing the phrase, "even Nixon," for quite a bit of time because that was clear from the moment they decided to wipe the servers clean. MATTHEWS: And they knew this was coming. MARCUS: Well, you know, it kind of -- it`s a really interesting question about when they made this decision. Did they make this decision before all the brouhaha about-- MATTHEWS: They said they did it last fall. MATTHEWS: -- about e-mails blew up? So last fall, before we knew about all this. Maybe they didn`t realize it was going to be that big a deal, but they probably-- MATTHEWS: So let me-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- a little more hardball there-- MARCUS: They knew the Benghazi committee was looking at it. MATTHEWS: If she had to choose between wiping it clean so it can`t be forensically discovered again or whatever, or having it available for subpoena, what would be the smart move, Ruth? What was the smart move here? MARCUS: Wipe. MATTHEWS: Yes! Why do you want to have it there? They continually pound -- release the tapes, release the e-mail. And they do this from now until next November. Who wants to be in that position? FINEMAN: Well, part of the problem that the Republicans have is there is no suggestion of criminality on anything that`s discussed on whatever those personal e-mails were. And at the time, she could have had a separate phone to separate what was public and what was private. But I`ll say once again, Hillary`s big problem in this case, as with Bill Clinton, is that she isn`t saying anything. There`s no substance to her campaign yet. She better get some soon. She better get some stuff to talk about because that will help push this onto the back pages. BACON: On this issue, I would argue she has said some things, and they were not terribly convincing. She gave a press conference. She said, you know, basically, I deleted my e-mails for privacy reasons. I don`t want people (INAUDIBLE) yoga (INAUDIBLE) and my mom`s -- and my mom`s funeral, and so on. Her excuse was not good. She shouldn`t have deleted the e-mails. But you know, now it`s kind of a trust situation, where she deleted the e-mails, she said that there`s nothing nefarious in there. Reince Priebus is going to say what he`s going to say. But we`re kind of in a place where the voters -- I don`t think voters rally care that much about this issue, and that`s-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: It all depends. I mean, you`re right, once she`s out there moving among the people -- but there has to be a press avail and all that. It can`t just be moving from person to person and no commenting to the press. FINEMAN: Well, they`re going to say -- they`re going to say what David Kendall, her attorney, said, which is that they were within the letter of the regulations of the National Archives, and that`s what they`re going to say. MATTHEWS: Let`s get to the hottest stuff, Ruth. This is something that I want you to start with because this is a wildfire, potentially. A group of Hillary Clinton supporters, not associated with her, calling itself the HRC Supervolunteers, is out with a list of 13 words -- reminds me of David Carlin -- George Carlin -- and phrases that they say are sexist if anyone uses them to describe Hillary Clinton. Now, these are the list. I want you to jump on these. I want to take each one at a time. Is the word "polarizing" sexist? MARCUS: No. MATTHEWS: OK. And by the way, jump in here-- MARCUS: I like being the ruler here. MATTHEWS: Well, I`ve only got one woman here. FINEMAN: Go ahead. MATTHEWS: Calculating. MARCUS: No. MATTHEWS: Disingenuous. MARCUS: No. MATTHEWS: Insincere? MARCUS: No. MATTHEWS: Ready for this one? Ambitious. MARCUS: Ha, ha, ha. Ted Cruz is ambitious. Every politician-- MATTHEWS: You don`t think that term is just reserved often for -- never said a politician is ambitious, but just saying Hillary is ambitious is negative (INAUDIBLE) MARCUS: No. MATTHEWS: OK. Inevitable? MARCUS: No. Inevitable is positive! MATTHEWS: OK. Entitled? MARCUS: True. MATTHEWS: Overconfident? MARCUS: Possibly. MATTHEWS: Possibly what? MARCUS: Possibly she is overconfident. MATTHEWS: But is it sexist? MARCUS: It has nothing to do with gender. MATTHEWS: None of these sexist so far. Secretive? MARCUS: True, and not gender-related. MATTHEWS: OK. Will do anything to win? MARCUS: Yes, not gender-related. MATTHEWS: Represents the past. MARCUS: Not gender-related. MATTHEWS: Out of touch? MARCUS: Not gender-related. MATTHEWS: Tone deaf. MARCUS: Not gender-related. MATTHEWS: OK, give me some that are. MARCUS: OK, when-- MATTHEWS: That you`re listening for. And guys can jump in here-- (CROSSTALK) BACON: "Shrill" I would say-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Anything to do with tonal. MARCUS: Hysterical. Anything to do with looks. FINEMAN: Rhymes with "rich" or whatever Barbara Bush said. MARCUS: Rhymes with "witch." You know, when -- when you -- there`s all sorts of ways, some them are conscious and some of them are unconscious-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Well, help us to be conscious now. Here`s your chance. MARCUS: For example, the other day, some female elected official was complaining to me about the use of the word "gushing" in an editorial that was describing her. MATTHEWS: She gushed with-- MARCUS: And you know what? (CROSSTALK) MARCUS: I could sort of understand if it makes you look like you`re more childish or something than the normal person. There might be subtle ways. But I`d like to say two things. I think it`s really important for us to be conscious of language and conscious of sexism, and I just bristle. And I don`t think that`s a sexist term, either. I just bristle when people outside try to give me lists of approved language. MATTHEWS: Yes. MARCUS: I would like to write a column using every darn one of those 13 words! (CROSSTALK) (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Is there going to be some watchwords that men, especially, are going to have to watch as they cover who looks to be -- the person who looks to be the Democratic nominee for president next time? BACON: I think "shrill" is one I used earlier. I think -- I used the term "feisty" to describe her press conference. I don`t think I would have called Obama feisty. I think that`s probably a term I wouldn`t have used. There are words out there. I think that -- I think we should be on guard for the-- (CROSSTALK) BACON: I don`t think (INAUDIBLE) call Hillary Clinton that. But I think, in general, in `08, we wrote too much about her hair and her clothing and things like that that we write about women more than men. The same way that I hate when Obama is called "articulate" because we only refer to African-Americans that way, and Hispanics. Rubio`s now being called "articulate"-- (CROSSTALK) BACON: Clean and articulate -- those are bad terms. Joe Manchin referred to Obama recently as that, in fact -- well, you know, used the term "articulate." So I think there is something-- MATTHEWS: I think-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- of course, he`s articulate. What`s the story here? (LAUGHTER) MARCUS: Remember in 2008, when John Edwards was asked about something that he liked about Hillary Clinton and he said, Well, I like this, but I`m not sure about that jacket. Bad idea to talk about women`s clothes. MATTHEWS: A little too metro. MARCUS: OK? MATTHEWS: A little too metro. MARCUS: Yes. MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you. BACON: If she has a pantsuit, we`ll make fun of that, though. MATTHEWS: Don`t talk clothing, fashion. Anyway, Howard Fineman, you don`t do that -- oh, you are well turned out, though. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Ruth Marcus, you, as well. (CROSSTALK) MARCUS: Thank you very much. How do you feel about my jacket? (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- even-steven here. I think this is fascinating, this stuff. And I think we`ve all learned as we get older. Anyway, coming up, there`s a fierce backlash over that new law in Indiana - - this isn`t an accident -- that some say could be used to discriminate against gays. Tonight, we`re going to hear from both sides. Plus, President Obama and Vice President Biden and even John McCain team up to pay tribute to the man considered among the greatest senators of all- time, Edward Kennedy. And as the nuclear talks with Iran hit crunch time, Republicans in this country continue to hammer away at the charge -- I don`t believe it -- that Obama hates Israel. Finally, let me finish with the man who loved the Senate as much anyone in history. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: It`s shaping up to be a busy April in presidential politics. We learned today that Florida senator Marco Rubio will enter the race on Monday, April 13th. That`s six days after Kentucky senator Rand Paul plans to enter the contest. And we`re also expecting Hillary Clinton to make her move at some point next month. That`s April, as well. And we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC "THIS WEEK": Was it a mistake to sign this law? GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: Absolutely not. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was, of course, Indiana governor Mike Pence doubling down, tripling down, quadrupling down on his decision to sign a new religious freedom law last week. And yesterday, in an interview with ABC`s George Stephanopoulos, Pence repeatedly refused to answer whether or not the law discriminates against gay people. Instead, he blamed the media for what he called misinformation about the law. Here it goes. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEPHANOPOULOS: So this is a yes or no question. Is Advance America right when they say a florist in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment? PENCE: This is not about discrimination. This is about empowering people- - STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, let me try to pin you down-- PENCE: -- from government overreach. (CROSSTALK) STEPHANOPOULOS: -- because your supporters say it would. So yes or no. If a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana? PENCE: George, this is -- this is where this debate has gone with -- with misinformation, and frankly-- STEPHANOPOULOS: It`s just a question, sir. Yes or no? PENCE: Well -- well, there`s -- there`s been shameless rhetoric about my state and about this law and about its intention all over the Internet. STEPHANOPOULOS: That was one of your supporters who was talking about the bill right there. It said it would protect a Christian florist who -- against any kind of punishment. Is that true or not? PENCE: George, look, the issue here is, you know, is tolerance a two-way street or not? STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no. Should it be legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians? PENCE: George, you`re -- you`re following the mantra of the last week on line, and you`re trying to make this issue about something else. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: God, George Stephanopoulos was like an iguana on the guy`s leg there. He wouldn`t let go of him, and shouldn`t have. Since Pence, the governor, signed the law, he`s faced a fierce backlash from the business community of Indiana. Among the many businesses who are opposing Pence on this is Apple`s CEO Tim Cook, who voiced his opposition in a "Washington Post" op-ed calling the law dangerous. Angie`s List announced over the weekend that it was pulling out of a deal with the state of Indiana to expand its headquarters there. This is big stuff. And bigger yet, the NCAA, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, and also where the final four championship is being held this week, released a statement opposing the law, saying, "We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student athletes and employees. We will work diligently to assure student athletes competing in and visitors attending next week`s men`s final four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill." Joshua Driver is founder of Openforservice.org, a campaign to celebrate businesses that oppose discrimination, and Russell Moore is the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Let`s see if we have a disagreement here. Joshua, what do you think the bill portends? What is it going to do to gay couples, for example, trying to check into a motel, trying to buy gas at a gas station, trying to plan a wedding. What influence will it have in real terms on real people`s lives? JOSHUA DRIVER, OPENFORSERVICE.ORG FOUNDER: Well, hopefully, nothing. I think it`s more -- it`s less about what the bill says, it`s more about what the bill means. And I`m very concerned about the ramifications, and my goal is to focus on the majority of businesses that will not discriminate people as they open -- as they walk through the front door. MATTHEWS: Well, what are those ramifications? Nail them. DRIVER: I -- you know, people getting turned away, not being -- from anything. You know, and it`s more than just the LGBT community. People could use religion as a potential explanation for anybody. And I don`t think people should ever be turned away. As an entrepreneur, myself, I would never decline revenue from somebody just because we are different. MATTHEWS: We have a -- we have policy in this country, Russell, of public accommodations being respectful to people regardless of whatever. Orientation, sexual identity is not covered by that. But what do you think should be the case? Should a person who opens a shop for business, whether it`s a wedding planner or it`s a gas station, or it`s a motel, hotel, whatever it is, restaurant, should they have the right to say, you guys seem gay to me, you`re not getting in here? Should that be all right? RUSSELL MOORE, PRESIDENT, ETHICS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION, SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION: Well, I don`t think anyone is calling for that kind of discrimination, and this law doesn`t address that at all. This law simply says-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Well, wait a minute. The governor had all day yesterday to say that, and he didn`t. George Stephanopoulos kept asking him, is this-- MOORE: That`s because the law is not -- the law is not making anything legal or illegal. It`s simply saying what is allowed to come into court. Does the government need to prove that it has a compelling interest when it paves over someone`s religious liberty issues? That`s what the law is all about. MATTHEWS: What religious issues would you have that would go into court that would justify discrimination of this kind? MOORE: Well, there are all sorts of issues that are going to come into play-- MATTHEWS: Give me some. MOORE: -- in the public square when it comes to someone using his or her creative gifts or gifts of expression. I don`t want a politician to force a Jewish musician to have to sing "Stand Up for Jesus" at my revival meeting just because she`s in the public marketplace. And so we have to have a balancing act when it comes to respecting conscience and respecting religious convictions, along with other issues of the common good. And this bill is not the sort of radical move that some people are acting like. This is -- this bill is-- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Why were all those people surrounding the governor and why was the governor doing that signing ceremony in private? What is the purpose of this, really? You say some Jewish fellow that doesn`t want to sing, you know, "Ave Maria," if there is such a guy -- I think that everybody wants to sing "Ave Maria," by the way. But -- it`s a beautiful song. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: But my question is, are these the most esoteric -- you passed a state law with the most esoteric purpose. You`re saying it doesn`t have a broad implication to people, it couldn`t be used by -- can it be used -- let me ask you cases. Suppose a hotel doesn`t want to serve gay couples. MOORE: Again-- MATTHEWS: For religious reasons. MOORE: This bill does not make-- MATTHEWS: No. MOORE: -- anything legal or illegal that wasn`t legal or illegal before the law was passed. MATTHEWS: But it would be a challenge in court, you say. MOORE: Not necessarily, no. This does not mean that someone has a golden ticket to get out of the dispute. It simply means that the government has to prove why there`s a compelling interest. And in most of these cases-- MATTHEWS: OK, how about a compelling -- look, the United States people -- the people of this country long ago decided back in the `60s that we have a compelling interest, when a store opens its door, it`s open to everybody. Do you accept that? Open to everybody? A door opens, you have to let people in. You can`t say, oh, you`re black or you`re gay. You can`t do that. Do you accept that right for walking in the door? MOORE: In most cases. In most cases. MATTHEWS: In most. When don`t you accept it? MOORE: Well, when you would, for instance, have someone who`s using his or her creative gifts or expressive gifts for a viewpoint that that person by conscience can`t agree with. And that would go in every direction, not just for people who agree with me on those issues. MATTHEWS: OK. Let me go back -- I think this is absurd. Joshua, I don`t know anybody that would go to some Jewish guy and say, would you sing at my Catholic wedding? You would pick someone who wanted to do it, because, otherwise, they would do a lousy job. This is just common marketplace sense. You wouldn`t ask somebody to do a gay wedding who is anti-gay. You might, but it would be a stupid thing to do. You would want a wedding planner that would give you the best wedding you have ever had, who wanted to. DRIVER: Yes, I would agree. My goal is for every business that says no, I want to be able to 10 to 25 that will say yes. And I think people want to know they should take their business and hopefully avoid the awkward position of being turned away. MATTHEWS: What do you make, Russell, of the idea of the NCAA, which is, you know, a lot of basketball players, white and black, the most talented basketball players in the country, don`t want to go to Indiana now? They`re talking about this. MOORE: Well, I think it`s really unfortunate. I think it`s a confluence of sexual libertarianism and crony capitalism in a way that is trying to bully the state of Indiana into backing down from protecting basic religious liberties, the same way the federal government does and the same way 19 other states do. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: What`s sexual libertarianism? What is sexual libertarianism? MOORE: Well, the idea that sexual freedom trumps everything else and that it ought to be able to pave over the consciences of anyone else. That`s what we`re seeing all over the country right now. That`s the reason why we have these numerous disputes and debates in which religious liberty that once was an issue we could all pretty much agree on in American life has become a culture war issue, in ways that I think are going to be damaging for everyone. MATTHEWS: OK. A hotel is owned by a Baptist fellow, a fundamental person, fundamentalist, believer in opposition, only supports traditional marriage, should that person be allowed to keep a gay couple from staying in his lodgings? Yes or no? Under your thinking, should he have a case in court that he can do that? MOORE: I don`t think that anyone who has a hotel or a lodge should spend time wondering about what anyone is doing in that. But that`s not where most of our-- MATTHEWS: But if they did wonder? MOORE: That`s not where most of our disputes are happening. MATTHEWS: But if they did wonder? MOORE: That`s not where most of our disputes are happening. MATTHEWS: Where are the disputes? It`s not about the Jewish guy that won`t sing at the Catholic wedding. (CROSSTALK) MOORE: But it is. But it is. We have religious minorities all over this country that are being discriminated against, questions of Muslim employees who are being told that they can`t wear a hijab because hats aren`t allowed. And we have to have a way in order to say, this is a matter of religious expression and religious conscience. MATTHEWS: I think you gave away your argument with that religious -- or that sexual libertarianism. Anyway, thank you, Josh Driver. And thank you, Russell Moore, for joining us in this very interesting debate. Up next: a big day in Boston today, as the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate officially opened its doors. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who served with Ted Kennedy all those years, will be here. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate officially opened its doors today after a dedication ceremony recognizing the late senator`s commitment to public service. Ted Kennedy was just 30 years old when he won his brother`s seat in the U.S. Senate, two years after Jack Kennedy was elected president himself, serving there for almost half-a-century. Kennedy became known as the lion of the Senate, fighting for the ideals he held so deeply and earning the respect of colleagues from obviously both sides of the aisle. In honor of his legacy, the Boston-based institute is dedicated to teaching the value of government to inspire a new generation of Americans to engage in civic life. Among the highlights of the museum is a recreation of Ted Kennedy`s Senate office just as he left it, complete with family mementos and photographs, as well as a full-scale replica of the United States Senate, full-scale, where visiting students can participate in mock floor debates with their peers. In his keynote speech today, President Obama said he hoped the institute would restore confidence in government, echoing many familiar themes from Ted Kennedy and his Kennedy family. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: May we all remember the times this American family has challenged us to ask what we can do, to dream and say, why not, to seek a cause that endures, and sail against the wind in its pursuit, and live our lives with that heightened sense of purpose. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: I`m joined now by Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. Senator, let me ask you about what it meant to you personally. You served with Ted Kennedy all those years. How did you feel walking into that replica of the United States Senate, into his office, that replica? SEN. EDWARD MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, what John F. Kennedy meant to the presidency of the United States, to an entire generation, that`s what Ted Kennedy meant to the United States Senate. He made impossible dreams come true, because he was the greatest senator of all time. He kept crossing the aisle over to Trent Lott, to John McCain, to Orrin Hatch, to Nancy Kassebaum, to find a way to make the Senate work, to make a way for the country to work. And that Senate that has been recreated down to the finest detail at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute is going to be a place where young people all across our country can visit and to have the debates in a civil way that can show them the pathway to making our country work. MATTHEWS: I will get back to you, Senator, on that one. But let`s look now. Here`s Republican Senator John McCain. He was there today. He made the ceremony a big bipartisan event. Here`s what John McCain said about his former colleague Ted Kennedy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: He loved a good fight. He had a real zest for political argument. And the harder you went at it, the more he enjoyed it, and the harder he laughed about it when you next encountered him. I miss fighting with him, to be honest. It`s gotten harder to find people who enjoy a good fight as much as Ted did. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, McCain loves a good fight, Senator, as you know. One of the stories you always hear about Ted Kennedy is that, after hours, when the Senate was out of session, he`d be hanging around in some room in the Capitol with a bunch of Southern conservative Democrats in the old days, and they were friends. Is that still possible in the U.S. Senate? MARKEY: It`s less the way the Senate was back then, but it`s the only way in which it`s going to work. If we`re going to break down the gridlock, if we`re going to make this country a place where people can dream of a future that is better than today, it has to happen. And that`s why I think so many people long for the Ted Kennedy era, that crossing of the aisle, the hard fight, but with a big laugh at the end of it, so that it wasn`t personal. It was just a dispute over an issue. We need to get back to that day. We need to get back to a day where people can work together. Ted Kennedy was an idealist without illusions. He knew that you had to fight hard for the causes, the principles that you believed in, but he also had no illusions about how difficult it was and how you had to cross over the aisle to work with Republicans to finally get a good result. And I think many, many people want to see that day return to the United States Senate. MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Edward Markey of Massachusetts. Anyway, the Kennedys were known for their soaring rhetoric. And let`s take a look now at the best speech anybody ever gave, I think, at a Democratic Convention. Here`s Ted Kennedy at the 1980 Democratic Convention. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RICHARD LUI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I`m Richard Lui in the MSNBC Newsroom. German officials are saying the co-pilot blamed for crashing a plane last week, killing 150 people, was treated for being suicidal. Authorities say this was before he was given his pilot`s license. But follow-up doctors appointments showed he should not fly. Two people in a stolen car tried to ram an NSA gate at Fort Meade, police killing one of them. The FBI does not believe terrorism is involved. The government rested its case in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Prosecutors want the death penalty -- we take you now back to HARDBALL. MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. As a deal with Iran comes down to the wire, conservatives here in America and right-wingers generally have been going after the president. They`re making clear that they want to stop it at all costs right now. And that assault on the diplomatic efforts has caused some tension between the White House, of course, and the Israeli leader, Bibi Netanyahu, something the right has certainly been willing to explain for political advantage. Here was Speaker of the House John Boehner, at his worst yesterday, putting the blame for the strained relationship squarely on the president. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think the animosity exhibited by our administration toward the prime minister of Israel is reprehensible. And I think that the pressure that they have put on him over the last four or five years have, frankly, pushed him to the point where he had to speak up. I don`t blame him at all for speaking up. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Victimhood, right. Anyway, those strong words hit a -- hit -- fit a growing chorus from the right: President Obama has caused the breakdown. In fact, many go much further. Not only is he antagonistic toward Bibi Netanyahu and his policies. He`s also antagonistic to the state of Israel itself, they argue. Here it goes. (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. REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: Maybe he will start being more helpful to Israel, instead of slapping them around as an unwelcome visitor. SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: This administration has been the most antagonistic administration to Israel in the history of this country. REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Here is what I don`t understand. I don`t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second-- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. KING: -- and support Israel along the line of just following their president. NARRATOR: President Obama is holding secret talks with Iran, even as Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The Israeli prime minister is coming to Washington, but Obama won`t talk to him. MARK LEVIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Barack Obama, as a result of this and the other things he`s doing, is the greatest threat the Jews face, not in this country, but in Israel since the 1930s. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: There we go. I`m joined right now by tonight`s roundtable: David Corn is Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones" and MSNBC political analyst; Kasie Hunt is political reporter for MSNBC and very busy these days; and Lauren Burke, managing editor of "Politics365." You know, this troupe, this meme, this argument that if you disagree with Bibi Netanyahu, and I say as a person who`s not Jewish, I`ve been there many, many times to Israel. The great thing about that country, you can debate policy. You can be Yussi Balon (ph), you can be Tzipi Livni, and nobody accused you of anti-Semitic. You can go in there -- or anti-Israel. You are allowed to have differing opinions. It`s a talking country, where everybody, as (ph) prime minister, has an opinion. You have an opinion that disagrees with Bibi Netanyahu who`s on the far right of Israel politics, and you`re considered an enemy of Israel by the right wing. I think they`re just in the league with them politically. What do you think? DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Well, as a guy who as a kid gave quarters to plant trees in Israel, all I can say about this is oy, because you`re right. There`s more debate in Israel about the Iranian deal, about peace with the -- MATTHEWS: Seventy percent of people didn`t vote for Netanyahu. What are we getting our heads around here? CORN: They`re equating Barack Obama with being anti-Israel because he`s anti-Bibi. You know, but this comes after calling him anti-American, comes after calling him anti-Christian. MATTHEWS: Non-American. CORN: Finally getting -- MATTHEWS: Opinion. CORN: They`re finally getting to anti -- anti-Israel. It`s taken a while to do this. MATTHEWS: Don`t you know, he`s under communist influence according to Ted Cruz. CORN: Well, communist, socialist, secret Muslim, and he also doesn`t like Israel. Why would a Jewish-American voter put up with this? This is really quite -- MATTHEWS: This sounds like Ed Koch. Remember that? What he did with Jesse Jackson? No Jew should ever vote for Jesse Jackson. Remember that stuff? You`re getting lively here, Laura. Lauren. LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, POLITIC367: It`s zero-sum, two-party politics. You either agree all the way or not. You can 90 percent agree with Bibi Netanyahu, but if you don`t do the 10 percent, you`re 100 percent against. It`s the politics of our age. MATTHEWS: It`s two ways to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. You can bomb them. That will keep them from getting one for two or three yeas. They`ll be back at it again with united front this time, the secular people, the Rouhanis, they`ll all be for it then, and we`ll never stop them. Or you can try this 10-year thing, they`re always putting it off. BURKE: But they have no plan. Tom Cotton has not plan. They don`t have a plan. MATTHEWS: Your thoughts? Containment or war with Iran is still the issue. I don`t think war works, but, what`s the argument? KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: I think from playing off of what you were just saying, I think that this is broader than that and has become a real litmus test for the Republican party, in a way that it hasn`t been even in previous years. I was talking to David off the set. He mentioned the fact that a lot of people in George H.W. Bush`s administration struggled with his issue of Israel. I think you`re seeing that come up now with James Baker and the problems that Jeb Bush is having because Baker gave a speech that was seen as identical to exactly what we`re talking about, where -- MATTHEWS: Who said? HUNT: I`m sorry? MATTHEWS: Who said he`s anti-Israel? HUNT: James Baker`s speech at J Street drew a lot of criticism, and he is -- MATTHEWS: From whom? BURKE: From the right. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: J Street is a Jewish organization. It`s ridiculous. CORN: It`s a Jewish organization with a liberal, maybe peace now perspective. But back in the first Bush administration, they were tougher on Israel, you know, Scowcroft, Bush, himself, and Baker. That caused a whole bunch of problems for Republicans who were trying to get through this. Now the Republican Party is totally on the side of the most hawkish elements in Israel, and defining this in the most extreme way possible. MATTHEWS: It ain`t complicated. I watched this as I grew up. The Democratic Party was very tied into Israel politics when it was labor party politics. It was Ben Gurion and people like that, and Golda Meir. Of course they were, they were soul brothers politically. These guys belong with the right wing anywhere in the world. Your thoughts? BURKE: To me, I don`t think it`s really about Israel so much as it is the two personalities, President Obama and Bibi Netanyahu. I think if this was another leader, we wouldn`t have this. People have expanded it out to a bigger thing, but it`s really between those two guys and the inability -- (CROSSTALK) CORN: They see Bibi Netanyahu as a club to use against Barack Obama. MATTHEWS: The Republicans, I don`t even know what they`re playing for. They`re playing for the evangelical vote. Anyway, Speaker -- CORN: And war. MATTHEWS: Who? CORN: And war. MATTHEWS: They`re the hawk party. Speaker Boehner also joined the hawks in his party when questioning the wisdom of signing any deal at all with Iran. Watch the know-nothingism coming from this guy. I don`t think Boehner believes a word he says anymore. Let`s watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We`ve got a regime who`s never kept their word about anything. I just don`t understand why we`d sign an agreement with a group of people who, in my opinion, have no intention of keeping their word. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Orange man. "Saturday Night Live." Meanwhile, the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell made a surprise trip to Israel this weekend where he appeared beside Netanyahu in a video and backed the Israeli leader`s skepticism of the deal. Here`s the prime minister and the majority leader. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: Will this increase or decrease Iran`s aggression? Will the fact that Iran will have now, while it`s still having sanctions, doesn`t yet have an easy path to the bomb. It is conquering the Middle East in ways that are unprecedented. Will this make their move forward, more moderate or make it more extreme? I think it`s a no-brainer. SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: The group who are here share your concerns about this potential agreement, and there are options that the United States has. The option, if there`s an agreement, is a bill that we intend to vote on, that enjoys bipartisan support, to require that agreement come to Congress for approval. There`s no deal, then the view of this group, similar to your own, is that ratcheting up sanctions might be the best direction to take in the wake of a deal that does not come together. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: You know, I think the Republicans have boxed the president into a deal, their situation may not be bad for all of us. The only way he can prove he was really honest in negotiating with the Iranians is not agree to them. CORN: Right. MATTHEWS: The only way he can agree that he was doing a forthright effort to protect Israel from being attacked is to not make the deal, because when he makes the deal, they`ll be jumping on him saying he`s sold out. CORN: Well, they already say they can`t accept any deal. MATTHEWS: Any deal. CORN: Netanyahu basically said that in his speech, they`ve rallied behind him. And it`s as if Netanyahu ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, I think he`d win at this stage. They`re so tied to him it doesn`t matter what the policy is. MATTHEWS: I have so many thoughts I dare not say. Anyway, the roundtable is stay with us. We`ll be right back with a lot more fun that this topic. Those 13 words a group says you can no longer say about Hillary Clinton. We`re going do go after each one of the 13 words and see if they`re deadly or sexist or whatever. This is HARDBALL -- and it`s going to be fun -- the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, Democrat, of course, are hoping to win back control of the Senate come 2016. It`s a presidential year, so they like their chances. And one race where they have a shot of a pickup is Illinois. Today, Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth announced she`ll challenge incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk. Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both legs when an Army helicopter she was piloting got hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, has been in the house since 2013. Kirk won the house in 2010 two years after Barack Obama became president. And we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back with our round table, David, Casey, and Lauren. A small group, by the way, of avid Hillary Clinton supporters is taking on the media. Already, they`re emailing and tweeting warnings to reporters to be careful what words they use to describe Secretary Clinton because of possible sexist tones. Here are their words. I want the two women here to describe what they think of them, they`re warning against. Here are the words you`re not supposed to use. Start with you, Kasie -- polarizing, is that sexist? HUNT: No. MATTHEWS: OK, Lauren, calculating? BURKE: No, close though. MATTHEWS: Kasie, disingenuous. HUNT: I think that one probably can be, because of the way people interpret it, yes. MATTHEWS: How about insincere, Lauren? BURKE: Insincere, no, because that would be Ted Cruz -- MATTHEWS: Ha! This one is tricky because it gets contextual, Kasie, ambitious. Hillary is ambitious. HUNT: It is -- do you think well of an ambitious woman? Do you think better of an ambitious man? That`s the question. If Hillary Clinton is being labeled ambitious, that is different in many ways from Jeb Bush being labeled ambitious. MATTHEWS: Excellent illustration of a word that must be watched carefully. Anyway, inevitable, Lauren? BURKE: Inevitable? No. MATTHEWS: Entitled, Kasie? HUNT: I don`t think so. MATTHEWS: These were getting soft here. Overconfident, Lauren? BURKE: I don`t think a man would be described as overconfident. CORN: Some people thought that Mitt Romney was. MATTHEWS: Secretive? HUNT: Secretive, that`s a tricky one, but I think it could be applied equally to -- MATTHEWS: But if somebody who are male said that about a woman -- HUNT: I mean, look, Romney -- MATTHEWS: Contextual again. HUNT: Yes, it can be contextual. But I think that Romney was hit sometimes in the press for being secretive. MATTHEWS: Did the e-mail story get bigger because she was a woman? If a guy did it, would it be a big issue? CORN: Guy did do it. BURKE: Guys did do it. HUNT: Yes. (CROSSTALK) CORN: Jeb Bush kind of did it. MATTHEWS: Yes, but it didn`t get to make my point, it didn`t get the focus. Anyway, will do anything to win, Kasie? HUNT: Well, do you again think differently for a woman who is willing to do anything to win versus a man who -- MATTHEWS: It depends of who is running against her. Represents the past, Lauren? This is ridiculous. BURKE: You know what, see, that happened with Nancy Pelosi as well. She was asked why -- MATTHEWS: Is that a way of saying old? Is that saying old? BURKE: Yes. MATTHEWS: OK. How about, two more left. Kasie, out of touch? HUNT: I think you should ask Mitt Romney whether being out of touch is gender specific. MATTHEWS: I think that`s -- how about tone deaf? BURKE: Tone deaf, no. MATTHEWS: OK, what`s really troubling, you`re both reporters, you work on our network here, what are the words that mentioned avoid using in terms of Hillary Clinton, since she`s going to be the most talked about candidate by everybody in the next couple of years. HUNT: The potential landmines are everywhere. Words like shrill, you remember the moment where the president, now president, said, you`re likable enough, Hillary. BURKE: Right. HUNT: Using that word likable, using her first name. I mean, they were -- MATTHEWS: I think that contest the words, but -- (CROSSTALK) BURKE: There was a lot of stuff about her reminding people of their ex- wife, do you remember that? The cleavage fiasco that happened in 2008, she worn something, that was -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: OK. Remember George Bush Sr. was accused of being someone`s first husband, was that? (LAUGHTER) BURKE: There was a lot of references in 2008 that would not have been made toward a male candidate, her being a first. CORN: Talking about her dress, as well, how she`s dressing, her hairstyle, with somebody that they -- MATTHEWS: I wonder if some of it is getting even for school teachers you had in the past. Thank you for playing this game. It`s a tricky dangerous game. Thank you, David Corn, even though you were very silent. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Anyway, David Corn, Kasie Hunt, Lauren Victoria Burke, thank you all. When we return, let me finish with the man who loved the Senate as much as anyone in history. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with Ted Kennedy. How can this country not love the fact that this new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate? As of today, there is a place where Americans can see and experience the role of a U.S. senator. They can walk into the Senate chamber, actually an exact full-scale replica of it, they can exercise their right to vote as a member of what`s being called the world`s greatest deliberative body. And for a few moments, they can imagine themselves, a real "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", standing out, they`re all alone, for the principles they hold dear. I love the fact that Vicky Kennedy, the senator`s widow, was such a driving force behind this institute, knowing as she does the love her husband had for it, and for the body it honors. Back in the early 1950s, a young senator from Massachusetts with an historic bend was asked by his colleagues to select the greatest senators in history. As I said before, he could only look backwards. Had he been only looked forward, he would have included his youngest brother. Ted Kennedy who loved the Senate more than anyone in history, who served as much as anyone in history, now has a place of honor for it in his beloved Massachusetts. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now. END 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.>
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