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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 04/22/15

Guests: Sen. Chuck Schumer, Susan Page, Ron Fournier, Bob Inglis, JoeConason, Michelle Goldberg

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Obama drama. Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in New York. The debate is on. Are Democrats for expanding U.S. trade with the world and perhaps creating new jobs, or are they out to protect existing U.S. jobs? Last night, we broadcast President Obama`s challenge to the man soon to be the Senate`s top Democrat, New York`s Charles Schumer. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MATTHEWS: Why are some people like Chuck Schumer, who`s probably going to be leader of the Senate -- why is he switching from a big city financial center pro-trader to being an anti-trader? Is that because of upstate New York? What`s going on? I can`t figure this out. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think you got to talk to Chuck. (END VIDEOTAPE) MATTHEWS: Well, President Obama also said that Senator Elizabeth Warren is wrong in her opposition to trade expansion. Rachel Maddow has her on tonight at 9:00 Eastern.   But let`s get to Senator Schumer. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MATTHEWS: Senator Schumer, thanks for coming on tonight. We had the president on yesterday, as you know. And he said he wanted me to go to you. He said, I can`t explain Chuck Schumer`s position on this. Ask him. And I was saying that you`ve always represented a financial center of New York, which is generally pro-trade, but you also have to worry about upstate New York, which is an old industrial area. What it is in your constituency that you`re particularly concerned about with regard to the Pacific trade deal? SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Well, it goes way beyond my constituency, Chris. As you know, I`ve said this on your show, the greatest problem America faces is the decline of middle class incomes. And to me, trade agreements, while they may increase corporate profits, and they may even increase GDP, (INAUDIBLE) help middle class incomes decline. (ph) And it`s obvious why. The studies have shown it. It`s obvious why because of these trade agreements, our (ph) labor moves. The companies move labor to the lowest-cost markets. And so I don`t -- I used to support these agreements. In the Congress, I lost the AFL-CIO endorsement a few years because I supported them. But when middle class incomes are declining, these agreements don`t work well for America. Now, one other point I`d make here, Chris. The number one thing I feel is that China is the most rapacious trading partner we have. They manipulate their currency, number one. Number two, they steal our intellectual property. And worst of all, they don`t let our companies in when they do good things. They`ve already accomplished that in low-labor industries -- you know, furniture, toys, clothes. But now they`re doing it in the high end. And if you talk privately to our tech companies, our pharmaceutical companies, our high-end manufacturing companies, the high end of America, where the good-paying jobs are, China is not letting them in unless China gets to steal their intellectual property in a company that`s 51 percent owned by the Chinese. So what I told the administration, if they would even -- I wouldn`t even entertain supporting this agreement unless we had a currency bill that went after China. And that is consistent with their view that you need TPP to bring these nations away from China. So far, they`ve said no. And I feel very strongly that we need to change the way we do trade because it has been one of the major factors that lead to decline of middle class incomes. I know you`ve said we`ve created 30 million jobs since NAFTA. Since NAFTA, middle class incomes have declined.   MATTHEWS: He argues, the president... SCHUMER: You know, you`re trading... MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you about... SCHUMER: You`re trading high-end -- you`re trading high-end manufacturing and service jobs for hamburger flippers. MATTHEWS: But our... SCHUMER: It`s more jobs. It`s less money. MATTHEWS: The export market is based, the president argued yesterday, on high-paying jobs. I`ve seen statistics that show that people make over 88 a year generally benefit from this because these are export jobs. You don`t agree with that. SCHUMER: I basically believe that until they stop stealing our intellectual property, and until they stop keeping our companies out that do good things, the amount we will gain from export jobs is minimized, and the amount we lose in middle class incomes is maximized. The currency bill we have would finally do something for China`s rapacious policies. And so far, the administration -- they`ve talked to me, but they refuse to do it. And everyone -- you know, you talk to corporate CEOs, Chris, the people who are for these bills, they say on China, Chuck, you keep doing what you`re doing. We can`t say anything because China retaliates against us, but you keep it up. MATTHEWS: What about a deal? Can there be a provision in this before it`s finished that does have something on -- that stops these companies from deflating their currency and playing these manipulation games?   SCHUMER: Yes. MATTHEWS: How do you do it? SCHUMER: That`s what I proposed to the administration. MATTHEWS: Without affecting our own Fed and our own ability deal with our own -- does this... SCHUMER: Our -- our proposal... MATTHEWS: Does it interfere with our abilities? SCHUMER: Chris, our proposal, which is bipartisan, does not affect QE2 or anything we do for monetary policy. It simply affects currency that`s being manipulated for trade. MATTHEWS: Are you still in this deal? In other words, if they do the right thing by you, could you still be supportive of this by the time it goes to a vote, up or down? SCHUMER: Look, I am deeply skeptical of trade deals in general for the reasons I`ve outlined. But the only way they can get a number of Democrats is by doing a strong real currency bill that goes after the worst of the trading partners, the one that`s stealing our high-end jobs... MATTHEWS: Right. SCHUMER: ... our high-end industries, China. So far, this administration, the Bush administration have done nothing. And as China has manipulated its currency, we`ve lost trillions of dollars of wealth and millions of good-paying jobs.   MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the politics. Last question, Senator. Thanks for coming on tonight, especially tonight. What about the Clintons? Bill Clinton is for this. He was for NAFTA. I heard him over in Tokyo when I was over there for the -- for the -- St. Patrick`s day, it was. He came out all (ph) said it was a great bill. Secretary Clinton was for it. She called it the gold standard when she was secretary of state. Isn`t this a big political fight for the Democrats? SCHUMER: Well, look, I think the Clintons are going to make their decision based on the merits. And their focus, like mine, is on middle class jobs. And so we`ll see where they come out. We`re in a different world than 1994. The China we dealt with in 1994 is a lot different than the China today. You talk to... MATTHEWS: Well, but Bill Clinton is for this now. SCHUMER: You talk to our best companies, our Googles, our Apples, our Microsofts. They will say nothing. But when you talk to some of these companies -- I`m not saying these three. I don`t want -- but our best companies will tell you China steals their property and keeps them out and then manufactures it -- they manufacture it themselves, and then they send it here using currency manipulation to get an artificially low price. MATTHEWS: Well, last word from the president, just repealing (ph) what he said last night. He said if we get out of this business of trade expansion, we turn it over to the Chinese. This brings us into partnership with 11 other Pacific Rim countries. SCHUMER: You know what? MATTHEWS: And we could go to war with China more effectively. Your thoughts. SCHUMER: Chris, if we don`t do currency, we`re turning over our economy to the Chinese. The way we`ve turned over the low-end stuff, we will turn over the high-end stuff. And I feel a passion about this. It`s not political for me. It`s substantive. I truly believe that America`s greatness and billions and billions of dollars of our wealth flows away because China doesn`t treat us fairly. And we can do something about it, and this is the best time to do something. That`s why I`m pushing my currency bill as part of this program.   MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you so much, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. SCHUMER: Thanks, Chris. MATTHEWS: Thanks for coming on, Senator. SCHUMER: Bye-bye. (END VIDEOTAPE) MATTHEWS: On our interview yesterday, President Obama attacked critics in his party who are opposing trade expansion. He called them out, including Senator Elizabeth Warren. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) OBAMA: I love Elizabeth. We`re allies on a whole host of issues, but she`s wrong on this. Look, Chris, think about it. I`ve spent the last six-and-a-half years yanking this economy out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Every single thing I`ve done, from the Affordable Care Act to pushing to raise the minimum wage, to making sure that young people are able to go to college and get good job training, to what we`re pushing now in terms of sick paid leave -- everything I do has been focused on how do we make sure the middle class is getting a fair deal? Now, I would not be doing this trade deal if I did not think it was good... MATTHEWS: Right.   OBAMA: ... for the middle class. And when you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad this trade deal is, when you dig into the facts, they are wrong. (END VIDEOTAPE) MATTHEWS: And today, Senator Warren responded to President Obama. In a post on her campaign Web site, she writes, quote, "The administration says I`m wrong, that there`s nothing to worry about. They say the deal is nearly done, and they are making a lot of promises about how the deal will affect workers, the environment and human rights -- promises. But people like you can`t see the actual deal." Well, Senator Warren will be on "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" tonight at 9:00 Eastern. I`m joined right now by "USA Today" Washington bureau chief Susan Page and NBC News senior political reporter Perry Bacon. Perry, I don`t understand this one charge. I mean, this thing gets pretty complicated, and there are both sides to the argument. But they keep saying how secret it is. Any U.S. senator any time they want, at 3:00 o`clock in the morning, any time they want, they can go look at the exact language of the trade deal as it`s being negotiated right now. There`s going to be 60 days for public review of it. There`s going to be 90 days altogether on notification. This thing could ask -- could last 180 days, lots of exposure. Why are they pushing this argument that it`s being done in secret? And is it honest? Is it an honest argument? PERRY BACON, NBC SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I`m confused by it, too, Chris. I don`t get that (INAUDIBLE) I think is stronger is the one Senator Schumer made when he was talking just now. The argument`s basically that China manipulates its currency, one. And two, that since NAFTA, there`s has been a greater growth in income inequality. Middle class wages have been stagnant. Those, I think, are hard arguments to argue against, and those are going to be the arguments going forward, I think. Those are really strong cases. And I think a lot of Democrats are going to be hard -- have a hard time supporting a trade agreement that Senator Schumer and Senator Warren both oppose this strongly. MATTHEWS: Why is China a key factor in the 12 nation and Pacific Rim issue? I mean, they`re not even in on this deal, are they? BACON: They`re not, but I think that...   MATTHEWS: Well, then, why do we talking about them? This deal`s against them. This brings us into a better trading partnership with people who would like to trade with China or us. Doesn`t this help us compete? I don`t get the continual focus on trade -- or currency manipulation. By the way, Jack Lew, the secretary of the treasury, who I respect a lot, says you put that in, it`s a poison pill. There`ll be no deal. BACON: I think the polarality (ph) is that -- you know, Senator Schumer and a lot of other Republicans and Democrats have been concerned (ph) with the China (ph) issue for a long time. And I think you`re right. Even though this issue is not directly related, they know this is a great vehicle to, like, really take it on for the first time and push the president on the issue. So I think they are trying to add on an issue that may be unnecessary to this deal. But this is the right time politically to do that. And that`s the tactic here. MATTHEWS: Let me go to the politics, pure politics with you, Susan, front page Susan Page. Let me ask you this. Hillary Clinton -- she has been careful in this, like her husband, Bill Clinton, was careful back in `92. He finessed it. She seems to be finessing it. This gets more difficult because Bill Clinton`s come out for this. I heard him in my own -- standing in the room with him over in Tokyo a month ago. He was for this thing. She has come out for it as secretary of state. She said it was a gold -- the gold standard. How can she pull away with the finesse that Bill could pull away from, for a time at least, NAFTA, and then came out when it mattered? Your thoughts. SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": You know, I think it`s very difficult for Hillary Clinton to come out against this deal because of her work on it when she was secretary of state and because of what she said about it when she was secretary of state. Now, she doesn`t need to be the leading Democrat advocate for the bill, and that`s where I think the finesse may come in, that she doesn`t -- that she expresses some concerns, that she acknowledges some of the points that Elizabeth Warren and others are making. But I think it would be really difficult -- it would be a clear flip- flop if Hillary Clinton said this is a deal that shouldn`t go through. MATTHEWS: Well, let me be tough here. Shouldn`t leaders lead? And here she`s sitting there -- I know that`s optimistic and idealistic. But shouldn`t leaders come out and say, You know what? I`m hearing a lot of blasting of this deal. We can argue back and forth on this deal, but stop attacking it as if it`s evil. This is a mixed bag. There`s always going to be pluses and minuses. Some jobs will -- you know this, Perry. You`ll (ph) on this. Some jobs will be created. The high-tech areas (ph) will do better. The high- paying jobs will do better. Some of the older industries will continue to suffer. But talk about it that way instead of this, This is awful. This is whup-ass against this, this crazy language that people are using. Your thoughts.   BACON: I would argue that Senator Warren and Senator Schumer and President Obama are leading. They`re articulating their positions. Those are fine. I think you`re right, Chris, that Senator Clinton could lead more, could give a position (ph) on this issue. But this is an American political campaign. We`re used to this, politicians kind of being vague, not saying what they think. I do think down the line, as this deal gets closer, she`s got to be for it or she`s got to be against it. And I think Susan is right for two reasons. First that she was so involved... MATTHEWS: Well, Susan said she can`t oppose it. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Susan was clear on this. It wasn`t either way with Susan. Susan`s not like other -- like politicians. She`s a journalist. And she said it`s very hard for her to oppose it, given her history. BACON: And she`ll end up supporting it, I suspect. Also because if she deposed (ph) it, you know, we`d have (INAUDIBLE) headlines saying this is a stunning rebuke of the Obama administration. I think she probably wants to avoid that (ph) at this stage. But this is a tough issue for her because a lot of the people in the Democratic Party are looking at her and saying, Why are you not more like Elizabeth Warren? And if she comes out for this trade deal, there will be even more complaints that she`s too centrist at the same time she`s (INAUDIBLE) MATTHEWS: By the way -- back to Susan. If she comes out against it, we`re going to have Mary Matalin going against James Carville. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: I mean, Bill Clinton is for this. He`s always been a free trader, and here he is again on this one. PAGE: You know, I...   MATTHEWS: Isn`t that going to be embarrassing to fighting with -- inside the family on this very hot issue? PAGE: Yes. And you know -- you know, there`s another thing. I -- it`s one thing for Hillary Clinton to adopt some anti-Wall Street language to try to appeal to progressives. It would be another thing entirely for her to come (ph) against this deal in terms of some of her base of support... MATTHEWS: Yes. PAGE: ... which is in Wall Street, which is with big corporations. I mean, they`ll grant her a little room when it comes to rhetoric, but this would actually be a serious policy matter. And that`s where I think it`s just hard for me to imagine that she does not support it, although perhaps not in a really full-throated way. MATTHEWS: Very discerning. Thanks so much, both of you. Thank you, Susan -- no, I mean it. I mean it. I don`t use sarcasm here. Thank you, Susan Page... (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Because that`s exactly I think, the way it has to be cut. Perry Bacon, thank you, sir -- both. Coming up, can Rand Paul win in the war party? He`s going after the war hawk in his own party, people like John McCain and Lindsey Graham. He`s making a big bet that everyday Republican voters are as sick and tired of war as everyday Democrats. Plus, that trade fight that we`ve been talking about is putting the squeeze on Hillary Clinton. She`s caught between big labor and big Bill. He`s a free trader, and so is the president she served as secretary of state. And today is Earth Day. Tonight, the Republican former congressman who took on the climate change deniers in his party. Finally, let me finish with that very hot trade issue.   This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: The penalty phase continues for the convicted Boston Marathon bomber. Prosecutors are trying to portray Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as having no remorse. And they showed the jury this photo of him giving this sign of contempt to a security camera in his jail cell three months after the bombing. Well, today the defense tried to blunt the impact of that photo by releasing video of that event. The jury is deciding whether Tsarnaev gets life in prison without parole or the death penalty. But during jury selection, every juror had signaled their willingness to support the death penalty. A new Suffolk University poll, by the way, of Massachusetts voters out today found that 58 percent thought Tsarnaev should get life in prison without parole, while 33 percent favored giving him the death penalty. And we`ll be right back after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) OBAMA: My goal is not to resolve conflicts and tensions in the region through more war. My goal is to make sure that, you know, we are able to negotiate a deal that we can verify. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was, of course, more from my interview with President Obama yesterday, who talked about the need to avoid war by partnering with other countries to resolve tensions and conflicts.   Republican presidential contender Rand Paul has echoed the need to avoid unnecessary entanglements abroad. But as the 2016 race heats up, Paul is getting hammered by hawks in his party who always seem to want war, like South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham yesterday on "MORNING JOE." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Rand`s a libertarian. He has a view of the world that I don`t share. He said that we shouldn`t have any troops in Iraq. He agreed with Obama that was a disaster. When there was a chance to do something constructive about Syria with a no-fly zone, he said we don`t need one. Generally speaking, he`s been more wrong than right. He has an isolationist view of the world that I don`t share. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: And Senator Paul hit back shortly thereafter. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This comes from a group of people who`ve been wrong about every foreign policy issue over the last two decades. They supported Hillary Clinton`s war in Libya. They supported President Obama`s bombing of Assad. I`m really the one standing up to President Obama, and these people are essentially the lapdogs for President Obama, and I think they`re sensitive about that. Their foreign policy is so disjointed, confusing, and chaotic that, really, people need to reexamine those who want to be involved in every war. (END VIDEO CLIP)   MATTHEWS: Well, as the war continues among the GOP`s 2016 contenders, is there a disconnect between Republican hawks in Washington and everyday Republicans out there who vote? Howard Fineman is a global editorial director -- the global editorial director of The Huffington Post. And Ron Fournier is national correspondent and editorial director of "The National Journal." I was struck, guys, as I have said to Howard before, Ron, that I was struck by that poll that came out of Quinnipiac in Pennsylvania that basically showed Rand Paul beating Hillary Clinton. Now, Hillary Clinton does very well in Pennsylvania generally. I think she connects with the working white people and all kinds of people that normally would have a problem with the modern Democratic Party. But I`m impressed that people out there, deer hunter country, have had it with these stupid wars, that they don`t go along with the neocon theology, they don`t go along with the big money people or the evangelicals that always seem to want to fight, especially in the Middle East. I don`t think they connect with the hawkishness of the people like Lindsey Graham and John -- even though they respect John McCain, him included. Your thoughts. RON FOURNIER, "THE NATIONAL JOURNAL": Well, I will tell you about another poll. CBS News did a poll in March that I thought was pretty revealing. It shows that about 45 percent of Republicans think we need to take military action now against Iran. But 41 percent, which is statistically almost a tie, of Republicans think containment is what we should do, that we can contain Iran. So the Republican Party is divided amongst itself. And I think you`re right. I think in places like Pennsylvania, there`s folks who want our next president to talk like a hawk, but fly like a dove. MATTHEWS: Well said. FOURNIER: Be tough, hold a tough line, but don`t be running off into another war, especially since even if you support our troops and you want to have a robust foreign policy, you recognize that we have -- we have been overdeploying our men and women, and we have been spilling our blood and treasure, and we need to be more careful. MATTHEWS: And we have a volunteer army, Howard, just to continue this discussion.   HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. MATTHEWS: That means that the guys and women who signed up to serve their country get sent back again, once again, again and again into the breach, the same people. (CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: Yes, that`s true. And it`s a tremendous burden that is hidden for most of the American people and in most of the coverage, frankly, nationally, but is very well-known at the grassroots level in places where people join the volunteer army. You mention deer hunting -- deer hunter country in Central Pennsylvania. That`s part of it. And I think also people in states like Pennsylvania know that a lot of money and effort and time needs to be spent on knitting America back together, on the bridges and the roads and the infrastructure and the education. MATTHEWS: Yes. FINEMAN: They want the focus -- people in a state like Pennsylvania, especially in the middle of the state, as you say, want the focus on repairing the state. Pennsylvania is a mess in terms of infrastructure. They don`t want to blow up bridges over there. They want to build them here. MATTHEWS: Every time I see we have a construction project somewhere over there, I go, wait a minute, we could use that baby. Anyway, "MORNING JOE" this morning, Joe Scarborough, had this to say on the very topic about the Republican Party and war. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I do still think there is a big disconnect between Republicans in Washington, D.C., and Republicans everywhere I go. When you start talking about, you know, foreign entanglements, they just don`t want any part of it.   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Ron, let`s talk about the shape of the field. The old rule in Massachusetts politics is shape of the field determines the winner. If you have got a whole bunch of hawks, all the way from Huckabee all the way across to Christie, that covers the spectrum on every other issue, all hawks, all hawks, and one guy out there saying, not me, Jimmy Carter won that way back in `76. I know it`s 1,000 years ago. But he did win by being the only moderate to conservative candidate among about seven or eight liberals. Can Rand Paul win against a crowd of people that disagree with him? (CROSSTALK) FOURNIER: He could possibly. Just look at that one poll. If you have 45 percent of Republicans who want war now, well, that vote is going to be divided up between the eight or nine candidates. Right? MATTHEWS: Right. FOURNIER: And if you have 41 percent, almost as many, who, like most of America, want us to try to do everything we can to try to contain Iran, who basically might not even agree with what the president is doing exactly, but agree with the idea that we need to try to contain this country, that all goes to Rand Paul in a Republican nomination, conceivably, if this was the only issue on the table. So I think what he is doing is interesting. And it could pay off for him. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Here is the shots going, Howard, against him.   FINEMAN: Yes. MATTHEWS: Watch this. This is -- they don`t want to be the only man out there who disagrees with him. They are trying to hit him hard. Lindsey Graham also said he is closer to President Obama and Hillary Clinton than he is to Rand Paul on foreign policy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I`m closer to anybody who believes that we should lead not from behind, but from the front. Rand Paul is one step behind, leading from behind. So, yes, even Obama is more aggressive. Obama believes you can kill Anwar al-Awlaki without getting a court order. Obama believes you can hold enemy combatants, unlawful enemy combatants at Gitmo without a criminal trial because this is law of war detention. So, Rand Paul is behind Obama, not just Hillary Clinton. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Howard, what is with this macho that we get from Lindsey Graham? I`m sorry. It`s just over the top. It`s protesting too much. I mean, it`s, I`m going to bomb everybody, put everybody in Gitmo, blah, blah, blah. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: You know, who is he, the Lone Ranger? When is this -- is there any limit to the overkill here from the right, the hawkish Southern right, but not only Southern right, because, as I said, Chris Christie is out there with them? FINEMAN: No, there is no limit. And if they`re not careful, not only are the numbers against them, as Ron was explaining, but the sentiment could go against them if Rand Paul is able to take advantage of two other things, Chris.   One of them is a desire for change of the system in the country, a sort of let`s disrupt things. Let`s turn things upside down. We have had too much of the Clintons, too much of the establishment, too much of Bushes. We have had too much of the old names and the old theories. It`s time for a new theory. So that can be on his side, and if he is able to capture also a generational change. MATTHEWS: Yes. FINEMAN: I mean, if it`s him against John McCain, even if it`s not about the specifics of how many ships you send to the Persian Gulf, he can say look, John, we honor you for the past, but you`re in the past. It`s time to think anew and act anew. You remember that phrase, Chris. MATTHEWS: Right. FINEMAN: And that -- that -- if Rand Paul is going to go anywhere, he is going to have to expand it beyond merely this argument about where we put troops and don`t put troops and make it both a generational argument and a change argument. And he`s got a chance to do that. MATTHEWS: I`m so with you, Howard, on this generational thing. Unless you`re 65 and have a really good argument that your experience has added up to an advanced knowledge, that you`re smarter and wiser than the younger guy, you have to make the case now. Being a little older is not going to win this election. Being a little younger might, especially if the older candidates, Hillary Clinton included, can`t make the case that they have learned something that the younger crowd doesn`t know. Tell us what you learned that we don`t know, because when I hear Rand Paul, who is much younger, saying these wars are verkakte, I agree with him. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, Howard Fineman. That`s my word. Ron Fournier, sir. Up next, talk about a profile in courage. We have got the Republican former congressman who stood up to his party on climate change.   And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOB INGLIS (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Many conservatives, I think, see action on climate change as really an attack on a way of life. That`s really a hard pill to swallow, that the whole way that I have created my life is wrong, you`re saying, that I shouldn`t have this house in the suburb, I shouldn`t be driving this car. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis, featured in the film "Merchants of Doubt." Inglis is receiving now the 2015 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award that is coming next month. Back in 2004, at the urging of his children and scientists, Inglis reversed his long-held position that climate change wasn`t real. He ultimately proposed a carbon tax in the U.S. Congress. In 2010, his Republican primary opponent, Trey Gowdy, attacked Inglis on the climate, and he lost the seat he had held for 12 years representing a conservative South Carolina district. In announcing the award, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation noted that Inglis -- quote -- "displayed the courage to keep an open mind and uphold his responsibilities as a leader and citizen, at the expense of his own political career." Well, joining me right now is the man himself from Washington on this Earth Day, is former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis.   Congressman, thank you for joining us. What do you -- do you think it`s -- what is it? Is this about -- is it being troglodytes? Is it -- what makes people not want to see what they see about science and climate change? INGLIS: Well, it really is sort of an indication that we have got to change, you know? And change is hard, unless you`re in control of the change. And that`s really what we have got to prove to conservatives, is that there is a solution that fits with their values that they can control, and that therefore works for them. And that`s been hard so far, but I think we`re getting there some -- and making progress on this front. MATTHEWS: I have -- I`m not a scientist, of course. But I have to tell you, I have never seen wackier weather in my life than just the last six months. It`s not that it`s gotten hotter and obviously so. It`s just that it`s not seasonal, like it used to be. Is that an evidence to you of climate change, or is that just weather? INGLIS: Well, I think we`re all experiencing climate change. You know, and experience is an effective teacher. It`s sometimes a very harsh teacher. So we will be taught about climate change. And it`s just that sometimes we want to discount the information because we don`t want it to be so. It would be a lot more convenient if it weren`t so. But, on the other hand, what we need to sell, and really convince people of, is this idea that, really, good things can come out of addressing climate change, that we can create more energy, more mobility, more freedom around the world. And it really can be, yes, a danger, but also an opportunity. MATTHEWS: Well, let`s look at this. All four Republican gubernatorial candidates in Kentucky actually deny that climate change is caused by man. Here is a former Kentucky Supreme Court justice in a televised debate this week. Let`s listen to the judge. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)   WILL T. SCOTT, KENTUCKY GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: We have had five ice ages. Scientists all agree, five ice ages, complete ice ages, and five meltdowns, and we didn`t even get here until the tail end of the last one. We didn`t even have fire then. So how did we cause it? (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: How did we cause it? I mean, talk about -- it`s almost like a debate against nature. Is like the Monkey trial again, the Scopes trial? Is this a battle against science? INGLIS: Yes, to some extent. There is a sense among people of faith that perhaps this is an attack on faith. Of course, I don`t see it that way. I see it that the science affirms my faith. You know, the apostle Paul in Romans I says that what may be known about God is clear from the creation itself. So, I don`t think it has to be an attack on faith. In fact, it can be a called to stewardship... MATTHEWS: Yes. INGLIS: ... for preserving this part of Eden that is left. MATTHEWS: You know, every time you go camping as a kid and as a grownup, you`re told leave the site better than you found it. And I think we should say that about our planet too. Thank you, Bob Inglis. And congratulations on getting this wonderful award from the John F. Kennedy Foundation. Up next: Hillary Clinton is caught in the middle, and not just on trade, but on a bunch of issues. She is trying to strike the right balance between the progressive wing in her party and the mainstream. But doesn`t she need to go center-left for a big win next November?   You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger. Here`s what`s happening. The Senate will take up Loretta Lynch`s confirmation vote tomorrow. She was nominated to be attorney general back in November. The man who shot President Reagan back in 1981 is seeking full-time release with conditions from a Washington mental hospital. John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in that shooting. And the obstruction of justice conviction of baseball player Barry Bonds has been thrown out. In 2011, Bonds was sentenced to 30 days home confinement, probation and community service in that case -- back to HARDBALL. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have pulled together 11 countries to come up with a high-standard, enforceable trade provision that has unprecedented labor standards, unprecedented environmental standards, fixes a lot of the problems that you had in things like NAFTA. And, ultimately, I would not be putting this forward if I was not absolutely certain that this was going to be good for American workers. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.   That was, of course, President Obama defending the proposed Trans- Pacific Partnership, or TPP trade bill, in my interview with him yesterday. Now, as Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton decides whether to support the deal or not, she is caught in the middle of a divided party. On one side, there is a Democratic president and the pro-trade legacy of her husband. And on the other side, there are the labor unions and many progressives. She is certain -- she has yet to clearly position herself on either side, of course. But she did speak about the deal in New Hampshire yesterday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security. And we have to do our part in making sure we have the capabilities and the skills to be competitive. We have to get back to a much more focused effort, in my opinion, to try to produce those capacities here at home, so that we can be competitive in a global economy. (END VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: It does appear, however, that Senator Clinton is more wary of a deal now than she was in 2011 when she was serving as secretary of state. Here is what she said in support of the TPP bill back then. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: There is new momentum in our trade agenda with the recent passage of the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, and our ongoing work on a binding, high quality Trans-Pacific Partnership, the so-called TPP. The TPP will bring together economies from across the Pacific, developed and developing alike, into a single 21st century trading community. (END VIDEO CLIP)   MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by the roundtable: MSNBC`s Joy Reid, editor in chief of "The National Memo", Joe Conason, and Michelle Goldberg of "The Nation". I`m treating Joy with the joy of explaining what Hillary Clinton just said. Is she for it or against it? JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, I think everything we know about Hillary Clinton is she is a free trader, she is a globalist. That is who she is. But -- MATTHEWS: Are you? REID: Myself personally? MATTHEWS: Yes. REID: You know what? I`m sort of two minds. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: The most educated people I`ve been taught from the time we were in grade school, (INAUDIBLE) was bad, putting up big, closing the door doesn`t work. Were you, with that setup? REID: With that setup, I think the concept sounds so good on paper. But I definitely am sympathetic to the motion that NAFTA did hurt American workers in sense that since American wages are so much higher, the leveling of wages that brings up the countries we trade with, which I think is important. We have to bring up the wages of the people around the world, outside the U.S. -- the only places for American wages to go in that equation is down. So, I definitely think there was a downside to NAFTA. So I`m really sympathetic with that argument. At the same time, the world is the world. You can`t close yourself off from it. The United States has to either compete or not survive, right?   I am very torn on the notion of free trade. But I think Hillary is not. I think she is for it. MATTHEWS: But, politically, she`s careful. REID: Politically, her whole campaign that she is running right is I am run to be the champion of the average American worker. MATTHEWS: Yes. REID: So she can`t come out and fully embrace it. She`s got to say I`ve got caveats and things I`m going to need to see first. MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NATION: You know, we`re not talking about free trade as a concept. We`re talking about a specific agreement with specific problems. Even the free traders, libertarians, the Cato Institute have come out against this thing because of some of the very specific advantages it gives to corporations over the national sovereignty of the United States. MATTHEWS: They`re sovereignty people. GOLDBERG: But, well, not -- but there are a whole host of problems that you can have with this agreement that don`t necessarily mean that you`re against free trade in principle. You know, it`s like when Obama said I`m not against all war, I`m against dumb wars, right? You don`t have to be against all free trade agreements to be against free trade agreements that significantly weaken environmental protection or all sorts of other regulations. MATTHEWS: Joe? JOE CONASON, THE NATIONAL MEMO: Well, I mean, I think what Joy said is true. We do have to engage with the world. And, you know, as one of the authors of pivot to Asia early in the administration, she has some skin in the game with the deal with, you know, the specific deal. The question that she is going to confront is this a good deal, as Michelle said, or is there something about it that she needs to push back on in order to represent the labor constituent circumstances which is a big part of the Democratic base?   And that I think is why she was talking about currency manipulation, for instance, which is a big issue for the unions. What does China do about its currency, and is that going to be addressed in this agreement? MATTHEWS: Well, in 2012, Secretary Clinton also said that TPP sets the gold standard on trade agreements. Now, Republican candidate Jeb Bush calling her out, saying, "Hillary Clinton`s TPP flip-flop is wrong. It should move forward." Here is the statement he released today. This is Jeb Bush. "Last week, less than four days after she announce herd bid for the presidency, she cooled her enthusiasm considerably. Secretary Clinton`s campaign said the trade agreements have to pass fresh tests and even greater scrutiny. And among the issues she raised were elements like currency manipulation that the Obama administration have said were poison pills that would kill the negotiations. So much for the gold standard." Jack Lew, the secretary of treasury, has said if you put it in like this, we`re not going to talk about currency manipulation. We all know what you did to deflate your economy and make your goods cheaper. It makes it tougher on your tourists, but a lot better for your manufacturers. My question is this -- we had Sherrod Brown, who`s a classic Ohio Democrat. I`m not going to knock him. I actually like the guy and I think he would be great on the ticket with Hillary. But he basically takes the old position we have in Western Pennsylvania, trade deals have been screwing the working man and woman year after year after year, going back to the Kennedy round. We`re not going to do it, and certainly back to NAFTA. And my question is this, if you listen to that argument all the way through, and most people who are not protectionists, that would mean we`d still be buying 1957 Fords, or Chevys, which are actually pretty good. But you`d be getting planned obsolescence, cars that would last two or three years. Thanks to international trade, you can`t put out a junker anymore. You can deal with Honda. Toyota has changed the standard. Cars must last almost forever, and they do. And our cars are Fords, our Chevys, our GM cars, our Chryslers, they`re really good cars today because of international competition. You can`t tell a worker in Ohio, here is my speech, you can`t buy a foreign car, because he knows, she knows, if you can`t buy a foreign car, you can`t buy a good American car. REID: Nobody is saying you can`t buy a foreign car. MATTHEWS: Look, I`ve been through this. Hartke-Burke, the labor unions back in the `70s, were trying to stop all trade. (CROSSTALK)   MATTHEWS: That has been their historic position. Their historic position is protectionists. GOLDBERG: But it`s not just protectionists who have raised real problems with this bill. MATTHEWS: I know that. Should we listen to pure protectionists in this argument? GOLDBERG: How about listen to Paul Krugman? CONASON: The reasonable -- GOLDBERG: Go on. CONASON: Well, I would say the reasonable position is that you want the Chinese to be able to buy more stuff, right? MATTHEWS: Yes, how do you do it? CONASON: Well, the currency issue is part of it. MATTHEWS: You can get them to do it through what? CONASON: Well, if their currency was worth more, they could actually buy more things.   MATTHEWS: I know. How do you do that? CONASON: It`s part of the negotiation. You have to have something that China wants. MATTHEWS: They`re not in the negotiation deal. CONASON: Yes, I understand that but it`s part of a whole gestalt as we would say of how do you get other nations to consume more and consume more American products. REID: And I think the average voter, if you talk about just the states you mentioned, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, the average voters in the Rust Belt are not going to get that deep about it. They`re going to say to themselves there`s is this specter of what China has done in terms of flooding our country with cheap products, Walmart`s shelves are stocked with cheap goods. Meanwhile -- MATTHEWS: Communities. REID: Exactly. And Detroit, and Flint, Michigan. When you think about it that way, I think that Hillary Clinton`s political argument she`s making that we have to fight for the American job and bring back American manufacturing is politically potent, TPP gets into some weeds that are less politically salient. Jeb Bush can say whatever he wants. But currency manipulation is not going to be the field on which the campaign is going to be fought. MATTHEWS: I know, a lot of people are looking for hook to get out of it. By the way, I`m a (INAUDIBLE), all right? My job to stir this thing up. None of this thing that shuts the door in the debate. Anyway, the roundtable is staying with us. And up next, President Obama`s commitment to Africa. It shows his vision for America`s role in the world. He is out there doing it as of last night, I can tell you.   This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Coming up, tonight at 10:00 eastern, watch MSNBC`s newest documentary, "Just Eat It." It`s about the staggering amount of food, good food that is thrown away in our country. Forty percent of all edible food is tossed out. And this documentary tracks two food lovers who vow to stop grocery shopping and survive only on food that would otherwise be thrown away. It`s called "Just Eat It". It`s on tonight at 10:00 Eastern here on NBC. And we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back with a roundtable, Joy, Joe, and Michelle. In my interview with President Obama yesterday, I asked him about a pair of recent tragedies in Africa. The massacre at that college in northern Kenya by al Shabaab that killed nearly 150 young people, and the drowning deaths of almost a thousand migrants in the Mediterranean after their boat capsized the other day. What I got was a strong hint into how his views on how the world and America`s role in Africa have continued. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: You know the area I know you care about is Africa. And your feelings about watching those refugees, 950 people drowning, just trying to find a life. And also Kenya, a country we all care about. Very moderate country, proof h western, getting terrorized, those college kids, who were the hope of their families, getting killed because they`re Christians. Are you going to still go to Kenya? BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am going to still go to Kenya. Look, it`s a heartbreaking situation. There`s a lot of tumult and chaos around the world right now. And part of our goal as the world`s leading superpower is to work with partner countries to try to resolve conflicts, to be ruthless in going after terrorism. But we`re not going to do that by ourselves and do it just by deploying more marines in every country that has these problems. We`ve got to build up their capacity in these areas so that they`re not recruiting centers and safe havens for terrorist activity.   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Joy, that really came through to me, that he knows that we can`t be a military state. But we have to be involved in the world. REID: Yes, absolutely. And I think because Barack Obama lived overseas, because he has international -- because his father was from Kenya and he has that international perspective on the U.S., he knows that the problem with the idea of always sending in the U.S. military to solve these problems, the first week we`re there, we`re heroes and everyone`s so happy to see us. MATTHEWS: Somalia. REID: After a month -- MATTHEWS: Mogadishu, look at what happened there. REID: Exactly. And after a month, we are the enemy. And, you know, organizations like al Shabaab terrorist groups, they would love to have us there. It gives them a focus outside of themselves and the governments have become too dependent on American power. But I will say that I am glad to hear he`s going to go to Kenya. I tell people the story, that my father who was the Democratic Republic of Congo, who lives in Kinshasa, with whom I have very little relationship, was the first person to call me on the night that Barack Obama was elected in 2008, called me crying. You know, Africa writ large -- MATTHEWS: What relationship was he to you? REID: My father. MATTHES: Wow.   REID: And Africa writ large had a great deal of hope in Barack Obama. They see him as a son of Africa, although obviously he`s an American, and I think he needs to have that moment in Kenya, because I think the continent does need to spiritual uplift. But the governments need to be accountable to their own people. MATTHEWS: That`s enough. Sorry guys, she was too good. Thank you. I didn`t know you had that kind of history, anyway, family history. Joy Reid, great to have you, especially tonight. Joe Conason, my friend, we`ll have you back. Michelle Goldberg as well. When we return, let me finish with this hot issue of trade, which is a real debate. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this trade issue. I think it`s important that the Democrats take a hard look at any trade deal for the impact it`s likely to have on jobs and economic development in this country. It`s important that the country and the party look at how the specific trade deal affects us overall. Will it help us compete in the world? Will it help us create jobs for the future? Will it give the U.S. worker the best possible shot at these jobs? We all grew up hearing the calls against trade, we got before the Great Depression -- calls that led to the Smoot-Hawley tariffs, which many believed were a direct cause from the Great Depression. And, yes, we`ve heard the calls from presidents, Democratic presidents, including Jack Kennedy, and Bill Clinton, arguing the advantages of trade expansion. And yes, there are going to be trade-offs. That`s why it`s called a deal, the challenge of our leaders to decide if it all adds up to a net plus or a net minus. Do most people generally believe we`d be better off if we cut off imports from Japan and Germany and Korea in the auto industry? Do we want to go back to the days of the U.S. monopoly on cars, before they lasted about two or three years before serious breakdowns, the days of planned obsolescence?   I believe, like everyone listening, that we have done better with our auto production, because of the competition from foreign producers. That our customers -- our consumers rather have benefited from having a wide variety of choice from the best products in the world that`s how I look at it. I look at the clothes you can buy today, the quality and variety and price, you know you`re getting a lot better than you would have done without the foreign market place. All this should be up for debate. We should look for the culture, by the way, as well as the economic impact of lost jobs, especially in the old neighborhoods where I came from. People matter most, and it`s up to the Democrats in this hot debate to look out for them, using all their knowledge, all their experience, and not just let this become a battle to see who can best shut down the other side`s argument. Let`s hear the best thinking in this argument, and that means both sides of the argument. And we`re going to give it to you here. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. 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