Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 05/18/15

Guests: Anne Gearan, David Brooks, Rich Sommer, Bryan Batt, Ted Johnson,Autumn Brewington

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Will Iraq kill Jeb Bush? Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington. Fighting over the weekend has put Iraq back on the front pages. Special forces killed a top ISIS figure, while ISIS forces took back Ramadi. Meanwhile, back here in the States, the presidential candidates toss and turn. Will someone tell them why we fought that war? Will someone tell us? And will the voters ever like someone who wants to double down on a terrible bet to begin with? Elsewhere in home front politics, Hillary Clinton heads left. Is this the smart move? Is it smart to leave the center open to the Republicans? Or could she be right that the Republicans are too far right themselves to grab the center? Later in the show, David Brooks of "The New York Times" will talk about character, and a great Hollywood roundtable will join us here to talk about the last seconds of "Mad Men." First, I`m joined by MSNBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann. After weeks of fighting, as I said, the Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to ISIS militants yesterday, causing 100,000 Iraqis to flee for their very lives. Ramadi is 60 miles west of Baghdad. There it is on the map. It served as the headquarters for the Iraqi military in Anbar province. Also this weekend, U.S. special forces pulled off a daring raid into Syria, killing a high-value ISIS leader and taking his wife into custody after an intense firefight. There were no American casualties. The target of that operation was Abu Sayyaf, the terrorist operative who helped manage the illicit sale of oil and gas for the terror group ISIS.   The success of the raid came as welcome news to many in this country. Jeb Bush used it as an opportunity to slam President Obama. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), FMR. FLORIDA GOVERNOR: It`s encouraging that one of the senior ISIS leaders has been killed, if it`s been confirmed, and kudos to the special forces, the best in the world. Having said that, this administration created the void that created this emerging caliphate that is far bigger than anything that`s existed, before, and there is no long-term strategy on how to deal with it. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Evan Kohlmann joins us right now. Even why -- is it smart or is it even true? EVAN KOHLMANN, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, look -- MATTHEWS: I should start with, is it true to say that the reason we have trouble with ISIS is that we didn`t fight Iraq war long enough? KOHLMANN: I mean, it`s chutzpah. It`s chutzpah in a way I can`t even begin to describe Look, there are plenty of legitimate criticisms you can make of President Obama`s strategy in Iraq, particularly now in the wake of the fall of Ramadi. But let`s not be -- let`s not make a make here. Let`s be very clear. There is no doubt whatsoever what created the void and the power vacuum that led to the creation of ISIS, which, by the way, happened back in 2006 when President George W. Bush was in power. And that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq under false pretenses. And again, the invasion of Iraq was not merely a failure of intelligence. In fact, that`s only really a small part of it. It was a failure of leadership. Anyone who does not recognize that, you have to wonder whether or not someone like that would make a good leader for the United States.   But more importantly, how could the brother of George W. Bush say that, when it`s quite clear the power vacuum was the invasion of Iraq and it was the terrible de-baathification campaign that was sponsored and pushed by the president, by Dick Cheney and by others? So you know, especially right now, if you`re out there and you`re telling people here in the United States that the U.S. needs to get reengaged in Iraq, and you can`t recognize that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was one of the single greatest foreign policy, strategic, military blunders of American history, you do not deserve to be president. And that`s it. Period! MATTHEWS: Can`t ask you any more than that. Evan Kohlmann, thank you for joining us. Joining us right now, of course, we have Ron Christie is coming here now. He worked for Vice President Dick Cheney, and of course, we`ve got David Corn. Thank you (INAUDIBLE) to have you. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: I`m jumping ahead because I want to -- because I thought he said everything he had to say and I didn`t want to keep going and very -- let me go to you, Ron Christie. Should we have stayed in Iraq longer? That seems to be the Bush argument. We came out too soon. We let ISIS be created. It seems to me the American people hate the idea of a ground war in Iraq again. RON CHRISTIE, FMR. DICK CHENEY ADVISER: I think there are two different issues here, Chris. One, I think in 2009, the Bush administration had laid the framework, the ground work of working with al Maliki. It was safe in Tikrit, relatively stable. It was safe in Ramadi, relatively safe there. And If you look at what happened in the vacuum of removing our U.S. forces from Iraq that was undertaken not by the 43rd president, by the 44th president, I think you saw a lot more chaos. So no. Do we want to have another ground war? No. But I think the status of forces agreement -- MATTHEWS: Well, wait a minute. What were our soldiers supposed to stay there for, if not to fight? CHRISTIE: Our soldiers should have stayed there -- MATTHEWS: To fight.   CHRISTIE: No, they should have stayed there -- MATTHEWS: Oh. CHRISTIE: -- to provide assistance, to provide intelligence -- MATTHEWS: OK. CHRISTIE: -- and also -- MATTHEWS: I think you`re trying to get it both ways. CHRISTIE: No, I`m not trying to get it both ways. MATTHEWS: You`re saying they should have been there as soldiers -- (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: Wait a second, David. Let`s see. What happened in Korea? Did we immediately leave Korea? No. DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You`re missing --   CHRISTIE: Did we immediately leave after World War II? No. CORN: -- the big picture here -- (CROSSTALK) CORN: The Iraq government, in essence, asked us to leave when Bush and Cheney were in control of the government and the U.S. military forces. They did not negotiate a status of forces agreement, which would be necessary to keep our troops there. They couldn`t do it. They kicked the can down the road, and Obama came in and he couldn`t do it, either. And they turn around and say, Ah-ha! The problem is that you didn`t keep troops in. I mean, Evan had it exactly right. You know, people today, Why should we relitigate what went on in 2003? Because it was the most consequential foreign policy decision of the past 12 if not 24 years. And so it`s -- Fox News, Megyn Kelly, was the one who asked Jeb about this. I mean, I hate to say this. Life`s not fair. But when your last name is Bush and you want to be president, this is a question you have ask -- have to be asked, and you have to answer it. He couldn`t answer the question. And now he`s coming up with a completely made-up version of history that everything was fine until January 20th, 2009. You know, before the war, people said -- a lot of people said, Listen, you go in there, you`re going to create chaos. There will be sectarian violence. MATTHEWS: OK -- CORN: Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld Cheney all said, Nothing we have to worry about. It`s going to take care of itself. CHRISTIE: Facts matter, my friend. CORN: They do matter.   CHRISTIE: And the fact of the matter is that when the Bush administration left -- you can relitigate the war all you want, but it was relatively calm in Iraq. They did have a democratically elected -- (CROSSTALK) CORN: -- 200,000 civilians had been killed in the five years up to that point! CHRISTIE: Well, you`re just talking about -- (CROSSTALK) CORN: I mean, that was sectarian violence -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: How do you deal with the fact that most of the leadership of ISIS today are people that were thrown out of the Iraqi military by U.S. policy? How do you live with that? CHRISTIE: I don`t have to live with that. I think that you have to do -- MATTHEWS: How do you accept that fact? CHRISTIE: I don`t accept that fact! I think --   CORN: Well, who`s -- MATTHEWS: Who`s to blame for that fact? CHRISTIE: Hold on, guys. MATTHEWS: Who`s to blame for that? CHRISTIE: I think the fact of the matter is -- who`s to blame for that? MATTHEWS: Yes. CHRISTIE: I think the fact that you`re going to blame the people, A, in Iraqi government who allowed them to come into power. And B -- (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: I`m going on blame this administration, Chris. I am going to blame this administration -- MATTHEWS: Wait a minute. De-baathification was the policy of the Bush administration. CHRISTIE: Correct. You asked me --   MATTHEWS: I asked you -- CHRISTIE: You asked me what I thought led to the rise of ISIS. MATTHEWS: Who leads ISIS? CHRISTIE: What led to the rise of ISIS -- MATTHEWS: Who leads it? The military guys who were thrown out of the Iraqi government! CHRISTIE: A bunch of terrorists is -- MATTHEWS: No, no. That`s -- (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: They`re actually not terrorists, Chris. They`re not terrorists. MATTHEWS: Who are they? CHRISTIE: ISIS? The most brutal --   MATTHEWS: I said they`re being led by the generals of the army that were thrown out of -- (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: And I`m saying that they`re terrorists that are terrorizing the -- MATTHEWS: Why are you challenging a fact? CHRISTIE: But Chris, it`s a fact -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Whose policy was it to throw these people out of the Iraqi government? Who`s -- CHRISTIE: Well, you could -- MATTHEWS: Just answer one question, and we`ll move on. CORN: In 2003. MATTHEWS: Whose policy was to it get rid of all the Sunnis in the government, throw all the people out of the government and send them out into the countryside to join ISIS? Who did that?   CHRISTIE: The coalition of nearly 39 countries around the world -- CORN: No, it was Paul Bremer. CHRISTIE: -- including the United States. CORN: It was the neocon -- (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: You guys want to rewrite your own facts. CORN: No, it`s -- these are not -- (CROSSTALK) CORN: Wait a second! CHRISTIE: How can you -- CORN: De-baathification was ordered --   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- Jeb Bush`s multiple choice responses on the Iraq war. That`s all you can call them. They seem to have jarred everybody in the 2016 field. Today, "New York Times" columnist Paul Krugman said that the 2003 invasion was not a failure of intelligence, as many Republican candidates have been saying, but a failure of leadership. Quote, "The Iraq war wasn`t an innocent mistake, a venture undertaken on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be wrong. America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into the war." In the column, Krugman cites how the term WMDs was used to conflate chemical weapons with nuclear weapons, how the Bush administration insinuated that Iraq was somehow behind the 9/11 attacks, and how intelligence agencies were pressurized to justify the war. It seems to me that`s a pretty tough column. CHRISTIE: I think it is a tough column. MATTHEWS: And? CHRISTIE: And I don`t agree with it. I don`t think you can say that the Bush administration lied their way to get into a war, not when you have people of the likes of Senator Clinton, who voted for the use of military force. Was she lying then? I mean, why don`t we ask the question -- (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: -- and she was looking at the intelligence -- (CROSSTALK)   MATTHEWS: Do you believe that the reason we went to Iraq was the claim of a nuclear war -- weapons? Do you think that was the reason we went in there, that we thought they had nuclear weapons? CHRISTIE: I think -- MATTHEWS: Do you think -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Answer one straight question! CHRISTIE: I can answer the question. I think President Bush believed that there were -- MATTHEWS: That`s not an answer -- CHRISTIE: -- weapons of mass destruction. MATTHEWS: No, did he believe there were nuclear weapons in that country? CHRISTIE: You`d have to ask him. CORN: Chris --   MATTHEWS: No! Wait a minute, you`re a guy at Vice President Cheney`s -- (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: I also worked for George Bush -- MATTHEWS: No, but Dick Cheney said -- CHRISTIE: -- and I can`t say to you whether or not he -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: So you don`t know whether Cheney was telling the truth. No, he said they`ve reconstituted their -- their -- their nuclear weapons. CORN: Let me -- let me -- CHRISTIE: You asked me whether I thought George Bush took the country to war on nuclear weapons, and I said you`d have to ask him. CORN: Let me simplify this because -- MATTHEWS: I don`t know what that means.   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: He said that`s why we went to war. (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: -- your question! (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Was he telling the truth? CHRISTIE: Of course he was telling the truth! CORN: No, he wasn`t. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Let`s look now. Let`s look now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons. We`re concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States.   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: So he has the weapons and he has the delivery system. You`re saying he didn`t think that was the truth? (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: Of course he -- MATTHEWS: Why`d he say it? CORN: But wait a second -- CHRISTIE: Of course he believed that`s the truth. That`s why he went to the United Nations and -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Was it the truth? CHRISTIE: Oh, was it the truth? That`s what he believed to be true. (CROSSTALK)   CORN: This is not about what George W. Bush believed. Dick Cheney and others, including the president, got out time and time again, they made statements that were not based on failed intelligence, they were based on nothing. A good example is when Dick Cheney got out there and said Iraq has aluminum tubes that they can use for a nuclear weapon program. That wasn`t bad intelligence. All the experts inside the U.S. government said that those tubes were not being used for this, but yet Cheney went out there and made the case. And so he was not telling the truth. He had reason to believe that that was not good intelligence. He came out and said again and again that Mohammed Atta had had a meeting in Prague with Iraq intelligence, even though the CIA and the FBI said that wasn`t true! MATTHEWS: OK, here`s -- CORN: I can give you -- MATTHEWS: Here`s more of this. CORN: -- many examples of -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- being skeptical here about what the leaders -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- Cheney and Bush believed. Let`s hear some more of what Cheney believed, or said he believe. In March of 2003, right before Vice President Dick Cheney said that Saddam Hussein had reconstituted its nuclear weapons.   (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we know he`s been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Has re -- has, in fact, re -- so this claim that they had nuclear arms doesn`t show up anywhere in the intelligence. Where did you find it? CHRISTIE: I didn`t find it. MATTHEWS: Well, who did find it? CHRISTIE: I`m a domestic policy adviser -- (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: -- not a national security adviser. CORN: Well, why didn`t he -- (CROSSTALK)   MATTHEWS: Why didn`t he just say something? CHRISTIE: The whole point is that we have to trust that our leaders and our government -- MATTHEWS: OK -- CHRISTIE: -- are trying to do the best they can to protect America. And I believe George Bush and Dick Cheney did. I don`t believe they lied -- CORN: Why did they say things -- (CROSSTALK) CORN: Why did they say things that were false again and again and again? It wasn`t they were reading bad intelligence given to them, they were ignoring intelligence given to them -- (CROSSTALK) CORN: -- no basis in the intelligence! CHRISTIE: That`s -- that`s your belief. CORN: No, that`s not my belief! That is a fact!   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- some of your candidates here -- let`s take a look at Marco Rubio today in his discussions with Chris Wallace. Let`s take a look at Marco Rubio -- we don`t have that. We`re going to get that. My concern is that the same mentality that got us into the Iraq war is still out there now, the people that don`t want to have negotiations with Iran. Here it is right now. Here`s Marco Rubio, the latest Republican to talk about -- to show how difficult it is to deal with these past statements on Iraq, saying on Fox News yesterday that the invasion of Iraq was not a mistake. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The world is a better place because Saddam Hussein is not there. (CROSSTALK) RUBIO: But I don`t understand the question you`re asking because -- CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": I`m asking you, knowing as we do - - RUBIO: No. WALLACE: -- as we sit here in 2015 --   RUBIO: But that`s not the way -- presidents don`t -- a president cannot make a decision on what someone might know in the future. WALLACE: I understand. And that`s what I`m asking you. Was it a mistake? RUBIO: It was not a mistake for the president to go into Iraq based on the information he was provided as president. Today, we know -- if we -- if the president had known that there were no weapons of mass destruction at the time, you still would have had to deal with Saddam Hussein, but the process would have been different. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Why were the people in the administration like Wolfowitz and the others talking about going into Iraq from the very beginning of when they got in the White House, long before there was a 9/11, long before they started talking about WMD? Why did they want to go to Iraq? CHRISTIE: You`d have to ask -- MATTHEWS: It seems like it was a deeper reason -- CHRISTIE: You`d have -- you`d have to ask them. You can`t properly ask me that. I can`t get in their minds and tell you what -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I`ve always thought WDM was a cover story. CORN: I can explain that. For years, Paul Wolfowitz and other members of the neocon movement had talked about getting rid of Iraq, that there`d be democracy throughout the region that would help Israel.   And they came to believe, actually, a very bizarre conspiracy theory that al Qaeda didn`t matter, that actually, Saddam Hussein was behind all the acts of violence, the `93 World Trade Center bombings, the bombing of the USS Cole in 1999. And they came in the -- they came into the White House with that perspective. So when people like Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism adviser, said, Listen, we got to do something about al Qaeda, Wolfowitz really said bin Laden doesn`t matter. They wanted all focus on Iraq up until 9/11. And then they saw that as their opportunity to bounce (ph), even though Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. MATTHEWS: I know. And you know what -- (INAUDIBLE) reason I care about this issue, why I keep going back to the strain of how we got into this, because there`s a consistent pattern. And the people that wanted that war in the worst way, the neocons, so-called, Wolfowitz, certainly Cheney and certainly all the people that write op-ed pieces seemed to say we had to go into that war, and they came up with reasons why we had to fight it. It`s the same crowd of people that wanted us to go overthrow Bashar Assad and go into Syria and fight that war. They`re the same people who don`t want to negotiate at all with the Iranians, don`t want any kind of rapprochement with the Iranians. They want to fight that war. They`re willing to (INAUDIBLE) go in there and bomb. They have a consistent impulsive desire and to make war on Arab and Islamic state in a never- ending campaign, almost like an Orwellian campaign they will never outlive. That`s why I got a problem with that thinking, that you say you don`t get to the bottom of. We got to get to the bottom. Why did they take to us Iraq? Because that`s the same reason they want to take us into Damascus and why they want to have permanent war with Iran. My concern continues. Ron Christie, David Corn, thank you both. Coming up -- as the Republicans shift right, especially in foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is tacking left except on foreign policy Is the right wing out there stirring trouble, by the way, among the Democrats, trying to bait progressives like Elizabeth Warren against Hillary Clinton? (INAUDIBLE) troublemaking going on over there. That`s coming up right away. Plus, character. Who`s got it in politics today? Best-selling author and "New York Times" columnist David Brooks is going to be with us tonight. And everyone`s got something to say about the last night`s last seconds of the finale of "Mad Men." We`ll get to that big-time with a Hollywood roundtable, including a couple of stars from the show. That`s going to be great. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)   MATTHEWS: Well, Jeb Bush is looking out for his right flank. This weekend, he said he doesn`t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. And Bush told the Christian Broadcasting Network that marriage between a man and a woman is a sacrament, and regardless of how the Supreme Court rules next month, he will be a stalwart supporter of traditional marriage. Bush said it`s hard to fathom why thousands of years of culture and history are being changed at, quote, "time warp speed." We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker -- there is something wrong when a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes. It is time to end the era of mass incarceration. We can`t wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship. ROBBY MOOK, HILLARY FOR AMERICA: What voters are looking for is someone who is going to be a champion for everyday people. And for young people, that`s debt-free college. That is finding that job after you graduate. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: I don`t know who came up with that. Hillary Clinton looked great in those. We know where she stands. But whoever came one that phrase everyday people should think of something else to do for a living. Anyway, that was Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, Bobby Mook, throwing a little red meat to the Democratic base, and I think effectively. And since her announcement to run for president last month, in fact, the campaign has gone to the left. Think about it, bashing Wall Street pay, rallying African-Americans on prison reform, rallying Hispanics on immigration, going all the way on immigration and citizenship, hinting at a major progressive overhaul of student debt, which is very popular with millennials. And today she hit the stump in Iowa, where she renewed her attack on Wall Street.   (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: The deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. We know that. The top 25 hedge fund managers together made more money than all the kindergarten teachers in America. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, this is all big news, of course. Front page of today`s "Washington Post" is all about Secretary Clinton`s -- quote -- "tack to the left," that Clinton is running as the most liberal Democratic presidential front-runner in decades. How far is too far? Well, the front page of "The New York Times" over the weekend reported that Republicans are trying to bait the progressive wing against Hillary Clinton in an effort to push her further left. Why is she doing this? Is Hillary Clinton a lefty, or isn`t she? Howard Fineman is the global director, editorial director of The Huffington Post, and Anne Gearan reported that front-page story in "The Washington Post." Anne, this is a tough one. I`m going to ask to you get into this, to penetrate it. I have found Hillary Clinton to be a moderate Democrat. I know that is not a popular term. In other words, people who work hard and play by the rules, make abortion right -- abortion safe, legal and rare. Always appealing to the people on the center-left and slightly closer to the center and even to appealing to people in the very center. Why -- is she not there anymore? Was she not there? What she really? ANNE GEARAN, "THE WASHINGTON POST": She is really constitutionally a pragmatist. And that actually means -- MATTHEWS: A political pragmatist or policy pragmatist?   GEARAN: Both. But, for the most part, that does mean that you end up in the middle of things, right, because you are going to try to compromise and figure out what deal might actually be done. And usually that deal ends up being in the middle. However, on foreign policy, her reputation for being hawkish is -- makes it seem, I think, on some of the liberal issues -- I mean, excuse me -- on some of the social issues that she seems more liberal even than she might seem in other respects, because people are sort of automatically in their heads comparing to it, hey, wait a minute, she voted for the Iraq War. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Yes. How is she not, Howard, a traditional Democrat we grew up with like Hubert Humphrey, guns and butter, liberal on all social issues, liberal on civil rights issues, any kind of social issue, very liberal on spending and things like that and government role activism, and hawkish on foreign policy? That`s the person we grew up -- Scoop Jackson, Henry Jackson, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale. That was hitting all the points in the party. But where is the profile in courage there? Where`s the gutsy statement, you know what, I`m not with the crowd on this one, I`m not with the movement here, I`m on my own here, like Bill Clinton did with Sister Souljah or he did with NAFTA. Bill always singled himself out and said, yes, I`m with you with most stuff, on this baby, I`m different. She hasn`t done that. HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hillary is not that kind of politician, I don`t think. MATTHEWS: Right. FINEMAN: My sense of it is, from hearing John Podesta, the campaign chairman, kind of sketch this out, is that they`re main -- MATTHEWS: You talked to him?   FINEMAN: Yes. Their main tactical concern, I think, correct me if I`m wrong, Anne, is trying to create passion, especially among young voters, whose passion really drove Barack Obama`s campaigns, especially in -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: But that was about him. FINEMAN: Just wait a minute. But they`re looking at issues and ways to do that. And I think, on social issues, they`re going to go way left in traditional terms, as Anne was saying, whether it is gay marriage or immigration, in fact, social issues broadly defined, gay marriage, immigration, incarceration, punishment, militarization of the local police, that whole range of social issues. Hillary is going to go way left. I think she is going to be somewhat more cautious on economic issues. Yes, the rhetoric about -- but, on foreign policy, she is going to stay cautious, stay cautious. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s go with that. Suppose she says road to citizenship, a path to citizenship. Bottom line, you`re going to here, you`re going to legal. Not only that. You are going to be a first-class citizen. You`re going to a real American if you follow the rules. OK? GEARAN: Right. MATTHEWS: Then you go about incarceration. The trouble with incarceration is, you get into the justice system. If a young man breaks the law, what do you do? You don`t just say we are going to give you a pass because it is a first offense. That`s been tried. You got to come up with something more sophisticated that works, because if he is back on the streets, commits the crime again, you haven`t solved any problem at all. You have just created one more crime situation.   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Isn`t there a price to pay if you`re Big Bird, if you`re Mayor de Blasio in New York, and you`re running in Colorado, you`re running in Nevada, you`re running in Ohio? Does that sell? Does this very liberal position sell? (CROSSTALK) GEARAN: They`re betting that it sells for long enough, that during the -- MATTHEWS: Through November 16. GEARAN: Well, during the primary period here. MATTHEWS: She has got the primary. GEARAN: She`s got to -- she can`t look like she`s taking that for granted. She got -- from their perspective, she`s got -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Oh, that`s interesting. You think she has to tack left, tactically, to catch up to Elizabeth Warren. GEARAN: Certainly, Elizabeth Warren is in their rear-view mirror.   MATTHEWS: And people are going to buy an Elizabeth in a second? They`re going to buy somebody who is patently imitating the other person? They`re going to buy that on the left? (CROSSTALK) GEARAN: No. I actually really don`t think Elizabeth Warren is going to run. MATTHEWS: OK. GEARAN: And I think that -- but I also think that for right now, there`s a passion and a sentiment that she represents, which to an extent Bernie Sanders is now inheriting. And that`s a no-vote to Hillary Clinton. And that`s bad for her. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: OK. If she runs against Bernie Sanders and Webb and Martin O`Malley, you think it is very important for her to go left. GEARAN: It is important for that -- (CROSSTALK) GEARAN: And it`s also important because she has got to piece together some version of the Obama coalition. FINEMAN: Exactly.   GEARAN: And each one of these issues speaks to some different part of that coalition. FINEMAN: And I think, as Anne reported, and as John Podesta said they have got to get the millennials excited. Social issues, climate change, that kind of thing, and they will tack left on the theory that it`s not going to kill them in the general election. On that issue, it won`t kill them in the general election. MATTHEWS: There`s one thing missing in this thinking. And it may be because of who she is as a person. The key was Obama coalition was opposition to the Iraq War. Hillary Clinton is not credible on that. She voted for it and she still comes across as a hawk. FINEMAN: That is not the number one issue, Chris. (CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: The young people, first of all, the youngest of the millennials, if you believe the polls, foreign policy isn`t even on their radar screen right now. They don`t feel threatened. Paradoxically, they don`t feel threatened. That`s not the number one issue with them. It`s not. GEARAN: And there is no other external issue that is a driver. (CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: Climate change -- by the way, climate change is a lot bigger deal for the youngest millennials than terrorism is. MATTHEWS: Can I break it to you? It is with me. FINEMAN: I know.   MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Thank you, Howard Fineman. I can talk softly with my friend. Howard Fineman, Anne Gearan, great front-page story. Stirs a lot of conversation. Up next, character, which of the 2016 presidential candidates have it -- has it and which ones don`t? David Brooks of "The New York Times" joins us on his great new book, "The Road to Character." And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. It is currently a "New York Times" bestseller, "The Road to Character," by "New York Times" columnist David Brooks. In it, he says the big me generation needs more honesty and humility. Brooks explores the lives of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, social activist Dorothy Day and Five-Star General and Secretary of State George C. Marshall, and how life`s stumbles can ultimately be the building blocks of personal success. David Brooks joins us now from Los Angeles. David, I was especially taken by Ike. And, in fact, what I always like about Ike -- and I want to know if this is what you think of it his character, from reading the book. Character is constancy and sticking to what you really believe no matter how much the wind blows against you. And Ike didn`t take us into Indochina in `54. He didn`t take us into Suez in `56. And he didn`t go along with the clamor for more weaponry in the late `50s. He fought against the industrial -- military industrial complex being pushed by Kennedy, Jack Kennedy, and Rockefeller.   He was constant in his character. Tell me about your views as you have shaped the book. DAVID BROOKS, AUTHOR, "THE ROAD TO CHARACTER": Yes, well, I would say that that constancy started from the fact that he had an inner core that was even below politics. He had a problem with -- we think of him as this garrulous country club guy. But at night during the war when he was president, he was up nights, anxiety attacks, blood pressure spiking. He was a hater. He was filled with anger and anxiety. But he knew he couldn`t rule from a position of anger and anxiety. He had to project cheerful confidence to do the job. And so he defeated himself; he defeated his own anger; he defeated his own passion. And he created a persona which was steady and constant. And that inner constancy led to a policy which was balanced and moderate and not dangerous. MATTHEWS: You write in your book about how Dwight Eisenhower`s mother, Ida, taught him to tame his feelings. You write in that Eisenhower chapter -- quote -- "Individuals are strong, but they`re not self-sufficient. To defeat sin, you need help from the outside." So let me ask you about Marshall, because you know, the guys who got credit for winning the war against the Nazis, of course Ike got it in Europe, and of course Zhukov on the other side, the Red Army side. But Marshall was this guy who was held back in Washington by FDR and he did the staff work and he made it all work. BROOKS: Yes. He was the organizer of victory, as they called him. And he decided that he was ambitious, but he was going to combat that ambitiousness by never putting himself above the cause of the Army. So in 1943 or so, Roosevelt says would you like to run Operation Overlord, the D- Day invasion? And Marshall would have loved to have done it. It would have been a great command. But, instead, he had this code for himself. And the code was, I will never put myself above. And so he said my own personal ambitions should have no bearing on your decision. You do what`s best for you, what is best for the country. Roosevelt asked him four times. Four times, Marshall says, it is not about me. It`s about you. And Roosevelt obviously took the chance to give the job to Eisenhower. But that`s what made Marshall who he was. He was probably the most admired person, not only people who didn`t know him far away, but people who knew him up close. (CROSSTALK)   BROOKS: There`s a great scene where he is dying, he`s in his 80s. Churchill comes to see him. He sees Marshall shrunk down. And Churchill is the hospital door just weeping, because this great big powerful man has been shrunk down. But that`s the reverence people had for him. MATTHEWS: Good for you to write that. Last week, you said this about Jeb Bush, by the way, and his dizzying stumbling over the Iraq War. Here`s your -- what you said -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "PBS NEWSHOUR") BROOKS: Well, I sort admire him personally, a little fraternal loyalty there. And I`m sure he was torn on that. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: So what`s character when you`re a brother of a president and you`re a son of a president and people have a hunch about you? My hunch about Jeb was always he was more his father`s son than his brother`s brother. But apparently the way he`s been sort of walking this out, his view of the Iraq War experience, that he`s much more close to his sibling. How do you do that? How do you look at a character there, not just political positioning, and how those go together, those two? BROOKS: I think what you have to do, and what we look for in politicians, is there something they won`t sacrifice for their career? I have a friend who hires a lot of people. And one of the things he asked in every job interview is, name a time you told the truth and it hurt you. MATTHEWS: Yes.   BROOKS: And he wants to see they can put their character above their professionalism. And that`s something frankly I look for in politicians. Chris, you and I, look, talk to a lot of politicians. The problem is, they get so into the public and the public campaign, every meeting is about them, they`re the product they`re selling, they get hollowed out inside. And if we have our next president someone who is hollowed out inside, they will just tack with the wind, they will do whatever seems convenient at the moment. And the long commitments will just vanish away. And so that`s the thing I look for over this campaign. MATTHEWS: Yes, I love that scene in "Man for All Seasons" where Thomas More said to his buddy who wasn`t sticking with him, where is the you in you? Where is the part that doesn`t go with the wind, the part that -- (CROSSTALK) BROOKS: Yes. One of my favorite characters is Frances Perkins, who was secretary of labor under Roosevelt. MATTHEWS: Right. BROOKS: She saw a fire, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. MATTHEWS: Sure. BROOKS: She watched hundreds of people die. And she spent the next 50 years of her life with a long obedience to the same director, worker safety, worker safety. She organized The New Deal. And she did that. And she could have lost everything, she was not going to compromise on the core conviction. MATTHEWS: Well, we need those profiles in courage. Thanks so much.   "The Road to Character," it always sells. Your books always do well. This one is doing great, well, as it should. David Brooks, thanks for joining us. BROOKS: Thanks, Chris. MATTHEWS: Up next, after that famously controversial "Sopranos" ending, of course, the hottest show today, "Mad Men," goes out on top. It really was on top last night. Everyone has an opinion on what happened last night, especially in the last few seconds. The roundtable, a Hollywood roundtable joins us next. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RICHARD LUI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I`m Richard Lui in the MSNBC newsroom. Authorities found no evidence of gunshot damage to the train that derailed near Philadelphia, but they have not ruled out an object hitting that train; 170 people remain in custody in Waco, Texas, following a brawl between biker gangs that left nine people dead. Bond is set at $1 million each. President Obama traveled to Camden, New Jersey, and praised its community policing. He announced a ban on transferring certain military equipment to police, saying it can -- quote -- "alienate and intimidate residents" -- now back to HARDBALL. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MAD MEN") ELISABETH MOSS, ACTRESS: Don, listen to me. What did you ever do that was so bad?   JON HAMM, ACTOR: I broke all my vows. I scandalized my child. Took another man`s name and made nothing of it. (END VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was Don Draper confessing his sins in last night`s series finale of "Mad Men." The episode is actually stirring a lot of conversation everywhere today. "Mad Men" offered a kaleidoscopic finale. Let`s watch a bit of it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New day. New ideas. A new you. Oohm! CROWD: Oohm! CROWD (singing): I would like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love, grow apple trees and honey bees and snow white turtle doves, I`d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I`d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company -- (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: So, did Don Draper lose everything only to discover his gift? And one of the greatest bits of advertising genius of the 20th century? Richard Sommer played Harry Crane on "Mad Men." He`s here. It`s great to see you.   Bryan Batt played Sal Romano. Sal, we love you, buddy. Ted Johnson, editor of "Variety," and Autumn Brewington is the editor at "The Wall Street Journal." OK. I`m Catholic. What I found in the movie was a period of confession to Peggy, the one person he really had a commitment to. He valued. Looked up to him and he offered up his sins for the first time in the show. He messed around on his wife. Ruined relationships, covered up who he was, hadn`t made much of himself morally in his life. He made a confession, out of that came this absolution, and to me his recovery and a comical sense, he went back to commercializing even the crazy thing going on the left coast in those days. AUTUMN BREWINGTON, WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITOR: I think "Mad Men" talked to us about things that were material and things that are meaningful. And ultimately, what we see from Don is that what is material is meaningful. MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, that`s a thought. Let me go -- let me got to Brian on that. Brian, my friend, you disappeared in a phone booth down in the Village somewhere. We were all worried about you. What`s happened to Sal, the poor guy? BRYAN BATT, ACTOR, "MAD MEN": Who knows? I would like to think Sal doing OK down in the Village. MATTHEWS: So, what do you think about this -- my Catholic theory on this whole thing that this confession, and there`s kind of an absolution, and there`s sort of commercialized the whole damn thing and makes some money off of it? BATT: I think you might have a point. I saw the episode. I`m filming a new series, "Scream." I was rushing from the set to watch the finale else and I was really taken back because I was expecting something completely different. So, in "Mad Men" was so dark and this had so much hope in it. I love when Don had the great scene when he was hugging that man that was breaking down. You could see he was really empathizing with him. But then last twist. Somehow, because Peggy gives that little germ, don`t you want to work on Coca-Cola? Then the next thing, that impish grin, that knowing grin that only Don can do.   MATTHEWS: Yes. BATT: Then you that song. Oh, he`s back. That`s what I felt. That`s what I felt. You know, so brilliantly matches and manipulates his audience. And what you think is going to happen doesn`t happen. I just loved it. MATTHEWS: Well, Rich, here`s a scene from your character. Harry Crane. Here he is, plus the final scene between Pete and Peggy. Let`s watch it together. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICH SOMMER, ACTOR: Let`s go. I`m starving. VINCENT KARTHEISER, ACTOR: She`s not coming. She has work to do. SOMMER: Don`t do that. Do you know who I was supposed to have lunch with? ELISABETH MOSS, ACTRES: Someone important. SOMMER: Doesn`t mean anything mean anything to you? KARTHEISER: Here. This will hold you over. I`ll meet you by the elevator.   MOSS: He acts like we`re the three musketeers. We`ve never had lunch. I just wanted to say that I`m very happy for you. And everyone will miss you who doesn`t hate you for getting that big job. KARTHEISER: You`re doing fine. Keep it up. You`ll be a creative director by 1980. MOSS: God, that sounds like a long time. KARTHEISER: I`m telling you. It will happen. They have to get used to the idea. Someday people will brag that they worked with you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Unbelievable. There are moments like that, where I just I`m overwhelmed where I say how can this guy who has been such a dink all through it for six years come through as the wonderful comment he can give to somebody. Someday, people are going to talk about having worked with you, to a woman who had always been insecure about her creative ability. RICH SOMMER, ACTOR, "MAD MEN": You know, I think often about the opposite trajectories that Harry and Pete had. Harry started as this nice sort of relatable guy and ended where he ended in that quote that whack and mild cigarillo, and Pete starting as the villain and ending as the most magnanimous guy perhaps in the finale at all. And I think it was -- it was just fun to watch that journey. That Vincent created with Matt on Pete. MATTHEWS: Yes, how about your guy? Because you were Mr. Television, you were like Fred Friendly. You`re introducing everybody. You`re saying I bring in half the money in this company. Why don`t I get any respect? You`re the new guy. The new talent really. SOMMER: Well, he was the new guy but he was the only one who knew anybody else. He knew that he could let it swing in that office because they couldn`t get rid of him. He was the guy with the contacts. MATTHEWS: Yes. I thought you`re also the guy with the computer, the big computer that you brought in.   Let me to go Ted Johnson before I wrap this up. Ted, some people find happiness in work. I certainly do when I come to work every morning. I`m very lucky to have this position in life. And I think Don gets happiness in work, Peggy gets happiness in work, Joan found happiness in work. And others, Betty was never into work really outside the home. And then Roger ends up having fun in fun. His happiness is in happiness in a French restaurant with an older woman his age. It`s so interesting. Some people need work and love it. Some people need something else. I love that. TED JOHNSON, VARIETY: I think that`s one of the gifts of this show. Is that you had this fun loving atmosphere on top of some serious life issues that it dealt with week after week. And I think that is what really drew people to it. It was the interweaving of these characters in their lives. Their work lives and their personal lives. But at its heart, as we saw with the finale, this show was a show about advertising. And it ends with that Coke ad. I just thought it was kind of genius because here you had Don Draper, you had the hope of a new and improved Don Draper. But in the end, he proved to be at his heart a huckster, who was not above taking part of a new age movement and use it against to market the soda pop. MATTHEWS: You know, when I was in the Peace Corps, we listened to Coke ads. And one of them was in Zulu. So, (INAUDIBLE). So, it went al around the world. Things get better with Coke if you don`t know Zulu. Anyway, the roundtable is sticking with us. And up next, what did "Mad Men" say about our time? We`ll talk about gender issues. You`re going to have to carry the (INAUDIBLE) This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Chris Christie is out there. He`s still pushing the possibility of running for president. He`s up in New Hampshire today where he gave a speech about foreign policy and questioned President Obama`s leadership on global issues like the rise of ISIS, Russia`s belligerence and what he called the Iranian menace.   Here`s Christie. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: All these things are happening because American power is in retreat and we backed away from the principles that made us the source of strength and stability. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, Christie also broke with Rand Paul, calling for a full extension of the Patriot Act. He said, when it comes to fighting terrorism, our government is not the enemy. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back. Let`s talk about these characters on "Mad Men," because it seems like Joan and Peggy, the two great women. Tell me about Joan because she never until the end used her last name until she had her own company it seemed. BREWINGTON: That`s true. She was a very smart woman who felt all along. She had to use every asset to her disposal. And, you know, by the end of the show, we saw her realizing that she was happy working. She could have retired. She could have gone off -- MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) in those days. That`s part of her deal.   BREWINGTON: Yes. And she had a man. And she realized that -- MATTHEWS: What about Peggy? Peggy seemed like somebody, no matter how confident, and actually brilliant she is portrayed to be as a copywriter, she wanted approval of men still. BREWINGTON: She did. She grew up on the show and she was very smart and she was hardworking. But ultimately, she needed a relationship to be satisfied in life. MATTHEWS: Rich, tell me about dealing with women on the show. When you`re playing this part, you were playing it in the last `60s, early `70s. You`re rougher than a guy would be today I would think, in dealing with relationships in an office place. You`re thinking? SOMMER: Well, I hope so, for sure. I know times I was most accosted on the streets. People had a lot to say about them all the time on the street. But the most accosted I never got was when Harry didn`t hire Joan back in season two or so when he first started the TV department. And Joan read scripts for him and she was smart, and she had good ideas, and he said, wow, you`re right. I do need someone to help me in this and then he hired a man and -- MATTHEWS: Just because it had to be a man? SOMMER: Yes. MATTHEWS: Just because it had to be a man. Sal, my friend, in the age when nobody was out. Nobody was out. You had to play a sort of macho Sinatra type character, for all those episodes, over the top, heterosexual enthusiasm at every -- like you`re saying, va va voom, every time you saw a woman. What was it like to play that character, that a gay guy has had to play back then apparently in the `60s? BATT: You know, everybody at some point in their life has to pretend to fit in in some way, shape or form. And he had to do it to survive. So, yes, when guys were making jokes about gals and all that stuff, he had to play along in a big way to keep his job. Back then, you can be fired for being gay and guess what, you still can be. So, we have a long way -- we`ve come a long way but we have a long way to go for equality in this country.   MATTHEWS: How about Don who was with you in the sense he helped you keep your private life to yourself after the fire in the hotel. And next, just when you think he`s going to be a good guy. Don does it again. He comes out -- he accuses you, assumes you`re promiscuous. BATT: Yes, but it was also in conjunction with a client. So, his hands were kind of tied. It wasn`t all on Don. I`m going to pass on that one. MATTHEWS: OK. BATT: But, you know, that`s how things would have happened back then. And, unfortunately, like I said, they can still happen that way now. That`s what I love about the show. It held a mirror up to the country and said look how far we have to come and have to go. MATTHEWS: OK. Ted, back to you -- one of the heroes of the show is young Sally Draper. I mean, of all the characters that come out that just blow you away. This young girl still in prep school, boarding school. Looks like she`s going to be the rock of her family, with her mother dying of cancer. And it`s not like a soup, it`s real. Her beautiful mother with all her vanity is trying to hang in there. And daughter comes in and takes over -- JOHNSON: I think what`s amazing is the transformation of Sally Draper and how she adopts to a very tough domestic life. I think it`s a testament the actress who plays here. I mean, it`s not an easy role. She grew up on this show. I think that is -- she`s a stand-out performance. I think we have to watch her in the future definitely. But also, I love how this final episode ended, because it was on this hopeful note that Sally Draper, her two brothers were going to make sure things were OK for them. MATTHEWS: What a night for all of us. Thank you, Rich Sommer. Thank you, Bryan Batt, for being part of this wonderful American event. Ted Johnson and Autumn Brewington, thank you as well. We`ll be right back after this.   (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>