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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 06/09/15

Guests: Ron Fournier, Patrick Healy, Betsy Woodruff, Carol Marin, AndrewCohen

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Hard to starboard, the offshore warning for Secretary Hillary Clinton. Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington. The battle for Hillary Clinton`s heart and mind is on. Bernie Sanders threatens from the left. If she doesn`t move her 2016 course to port, she should fear getting stuck on the sandbar of centrism. Now comes the warnings from the right and right of center. If Hillary Clinton doesn`t bolt to starboard, she risks heading over the abyss, they say. Which way should she turn, left, right or all-ahead full? Ron Fournier is editorial director of "The National Journal," Betsy Woodruff is a political reporter for the DailyBeast, and Patrick Healy is a "New York Times" reporter. Anyway, according to Politico, Hillary Clinton`s supporters on Wall Street worry she might start sounding a lot more like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. A CEO of one large Wall Street firm told Politico, quote, "My fear is that she is just going to get pulled too far left by people who want her to just hammer the banks and stand in opposition to all these things she`s against." Politico also reports, quote, "Clinton aides and outside advisers alike acknowledge that the candidate is in a box, as one donor put it, when it comes to financial reform. If she goes at it too hard, she could scare away donors. If she goes too soft, she risks alienating the left in potentially damaging ways for a campaign that is relying on the left- leaning Obama coalition to win. So here we have Ron Fournier. I think I know where you`re coming from because I`ve read your stuff. You think Hillary makes a mistake going left with Bernie Sanders and those people. RON FOURNIER, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": No.   MATTHEWS: You don`t? FOURNIER: Most of this country right now is populist, on the far right and the far left. I think a populist message could be successful. Her problem is -- you just pointed out her problem. Nobody knows what her position is, and nobody trusts her to come forward with an authentic message. She should decide where she stands on these issues and frame it and run on it, instead of trying to figure out, Am I right, am I left, am I starboard, am I... MATTHEWS: But don`t all politicians position themselves according to what they think will work in the near term? FOURNIER: No! Why don`t we have a... MATTHEWS: Don`t they? FOURNIER: It`d be nice if politicians would position themselves where they are and convince the American public that this is the best place to be, especially if you do happen to be somebody right now who`s going to take on the banks and is going to take on Wall Street. That`s a position that you can get a lot of Americans behind on the right and the left. If that`s where she is in her heart, she should argue it. MATTHEWS: Yes. FOURNIER: If she`s more centrist, argue the centrist message. But who is she? MATTHEWS: I don`t think -- I think politicians try to figure out which way the wind`s blowing when they get in their boat and figure out which way to tack. I do think...   FOURNIER: And that`s a problem, especially in this day and age... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: But who doesn`t do that? FOURNIER: A successful politician doesn`t do that. A real leader doesn`t do that. BETSY WOODRUFF, DAILYBEAST: Hillary`s problem also is not messaging. She can say whatever she wants. She can use whatever rhetorical strategies she likes. That`s not the issue. The issue is she hasn`t said what specific policy changes she would push for if she were president, particularly on Keystone XL, on trade, especially on the Wall Street... MATTHEWS: You think Hillary Clinton might support Keystone? Really? WOODRUFF: She hasn`t said. She`s been very coy about it, which in and of itself is weird. Activists are more savvy than ever. They`re more interested than ever in specific policy proposals. (INAUDIBLE) on the right. And we also see this on the left with Elizabeth Warren. Rhetoric... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Let me go to Patrick Healy. I haven`t talked to you, Buddy, in a long time. I think Hillary Clinton`s being a politician. I wonder if there`s a new standard here because I don`t think she`s clearly a lefty. I don`t think that`s fair. I think she`s mainly a centrist, but I do think the Democratic Party, which she hopes to lead, is definitely moving left. Your thoughts. PATRICK HEALY, "NEW YORK TIMES": No question. No question. I mean, she`s going to have to go before the Wall Street crowd at some point. and what I`ve heard is what they`re going to be listening for are words like "regulation" and "redistribution." And she has to sort of thread a needle where she`s going to be appealing to those thousand people who are coming out for Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire last weekend, you know, where she`s able to tap into at least some of that fire, without scaring off a lot of these donors, some of whom who I`ve talked to have said, you know, We can be with her, but right now, maybe we can be with Jeb. And maybe that is possible.   You know, she needs to -- the question I think is what Ron got at, which is, you know, what`s really in her heart and is she willing to sort of bet the White House on sticking to what she believes in or is she just going to kind of reinforce these questions about her authenticity in terms of what -- you know, what she`s really going to do when she gets to the White House. MATTHEWS: Well, haven`t -- I mean, you`re up there, Patrick. You know the crowds up there. Haven`t those people who are liberals on Wall Street who make a ton of money -- don`t they always vote liberal and make money like conservatives? I mean, they`ve lived that kind of weird bifurcated existence for an awful long time. You know what I mean? HEALY: Sure, but they also... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: ... liberals. HEALY: Absolutely. Right. No, they -- right. They go both ways. But the question becomes is when she`s -- when they have to talk to their people within the banking industry, when they`re trying to reach out to people who might be, you know, more on the fence... MATTHEWS: I see. HEALY: ... you know, what they`re wondering is, Well, how tough is she going to be? I mean, how much is she going to get into the -- you know, the Warren rhetoric but also kind of the Warren policy? You know, what sort of president would she be? And I think some of her own people who are those -- you know, who are those sort of billionaires, multi-millionaires who are definitely going to vote liberal, they don`t really know what to say to their -- you know, to their friends or their colleagues. MATTHEWS: I see. She needs to give them talking points as they go out and bundle for her. Anyway, driving her further left, Secretary Clinton, is in the wing of the Democratic Party that`s growing louder. It is well represented by some of her opponents in the race, as well as influential people like Senator Elizabeth Warren. Let`s watch.   (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To the billionaire class, I say that your greed has got to end! It is time to break up the largest financial institutions in this country! Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself! MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), FMR. MARYLAND GOVERNOR: Tell me how it is that not a single Wall Street CEO was convicted of a crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Too many of the people in Washington do not represent the folks who elected them. They represent the rich and the powerful, who don`t want their taxes raised, who don`t want to see any change. The only way we get change is when enough people in this country say, I`m mad as hell and I`m fed up, and I`m not going to do this anymore! (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Wow. Betsy, you think Hillary Clinton, who`s a skilled performer in public and certainly knows how to do that -- would she want to talk like that, as somebody who wants to bring down the towers of wealth, break up the banks, arrest the rich people on Wall Street whom she has met on Martha`s Vineyard? Arrest those people! I mean, Martin O`Malley can talk like that. Can Hillary actually want to talk like that? WOODRUFF: Absolutely not! These are her buddies! These are her people. She`s been making millions giving speeches to these guys. She can`t turn around and say they should go to jail. The reason is because not only would she lose her friends on Wall Street, lose some very lucrative relationships... MATTHEWS: So she can`t go left. WOODRUFF: ... she`d also lose the base. They`re not going to believe... MATTHEWS: What`s she going to say on Saturday? Is she going to say something... HEALY: It`s also -- Chris, it`s also...   MATTHEWS: Go ahead, Patrick. HEALY: Chris, it`s also not her -- it`s also not her style to use words like, you know, "fat cats" and sort of throw around that kind of rhetoric. I mean, it`s just -- it`s just not going to play, you know, sort of authentically, and... MATTHEWS: OK, let`s get to the particulars. Will she come out for breaking up the banks? Will she be -- get rid of carried interest, which is a way that the people in the investment banking industry can make a lot -- the hedge fund people can make a lot of money getting capital gains treatment, very lower rates for income, than you would have to pay income tax on if it was earned income? Is she going to take away the benefits of working on Wall Street? Will she do that? This is real stuff. Patrick? HEALY: Yes, no, right. I mean, I think... MATTHEWS: Will she? HEALY: ... that she`s going to come -- I don`t -- I don`t think she`s going to come out with exactly the Chris Matthews agenda. You know, I mean, she`s going to sort of do what she wants (INAUDIBLE) but she`s going to -- she`s going to talk about overseas profits. She`s going to talk about tax reform. MATTHEWS: Well, that`s easy. HEALY: But I don`t -- you know, but I don`t think she`s going to be pressing red buttons that are going to make, you know, Wall Street, the financial community panic, no. MATTHEWS: Well, let me go back to you because you`re a tough guy, Ron. You`re very tough. FOURNIER: I`m a softy.   MATTHEWS: How in the world can she -- you say you don`t know what she is. We`ve watched her in public life since he was first lady of Arkansas. We know what she is. She`s a lawyer. She`s a smart person. She knows how to win elections. She can adjust -- she stopped wearing the Coke-bottle glasses. She changed her name to Clinton. She makes adjustments, which they all do in politics. Everybody makes the adjustments. Shouldn`t she make adjustments to win? She`s always had to do it. FOURNIER: Yes, I agree with you. She`s an incredibly capable person. I think she... MATTHEWS: No, but she`s a politician. FOURNIER: ... is qualified to be president of the United States. But here`s what she should do. She should decide what she wants to do on these issues, what she thinks is best for the country, and she should have all these high-paid consultants that she has help her message and explain that to the public, instead of having the consultants come to her and say, Here`s what you should do. We have this... MATTHEWS: Should she come out for the trade bill? FOURNIER: Personally? I think she should be consistent with what her position has been... MATTHEWS: Well, isn`t she for it? FOURNIER: Yes. So she should stick with it. MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) for it. FOURNIER: Yes. And these consultants that she has, explain -- use the consultants to explain...   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: So if you were Hillary Clinton, you would basically declare war on the labor movement. That would be your advice to her. FOURNIER: Well, how did you get to that? MATTHEWS: Because every single labor union right now is pushing opposition to the trade bill. FOURNIER: I think what I would do is I would explain my position. And if labor wanted to come to war with me, I`d let them, but I`m not going to war against labor. I`m making a... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: You don`t think that would be a declaration of war. FOURNIER: No. MATTHEWS: Coming out for the trade bill right now. FOURNIER: No. You know what would be a declaration of capitulation is to cave on a position that she`s had all this time. You got to be true to who you are and have the consultants explain it. HEALY: Chris, you know how, you know, Hillary Clinton operates. She`s not going to go out and start vilifying large groups of people like labor. She`s going to take her yellow legal pad. You know, she`s going to use her rhetoric about how the deck is stacked against everyday Americans, and then she`s going to write out ideas for specific policies that you can tweak, that you can adjust.   MATTHEWS: Right. HEALY: You know, it won`t be quite -- it won`t be "Hillary-care" with a, you know, thousand-page book of policy, but she`ll be looking at ways to sort of, like, refine and work toward the middle. MATTHEWS: Anyway, let`s look at this question. Is the Democratic Party moving left? Is the country -- is Hillary Clinton keeping up with the country? On the one hand, when asked -- this is the public in the polling -- if you were -- if they`re conservative or liberal on these issues, now, only 19 percent of Americans say they`re liberal. They don`t like that word, according to a new Gallup poll -- 39 percent say liberal. But when asked about individual issues separately, a new "New York Times"/CBS poll shows the country does lean left, particularly -- catch this -- 66 percent -- that`s two thirds -- say wealth should be more evenly distributed in the country. Well, that`s pretty dramatic. Fifty-seven percent say the government should do more to reduce the income gap. That`s pretty liberal. Sixty-eight percent in favor of raising taxes on people making more than a million a year. That`s pretty liberal. And 63 percent say trade must be restricted to protect domestic industries. Ron... FOURNIER: I disagree. Those aren`t liberal issues. Those are populist issues. You can find people... MATTHEWS: Well, what`s the difference? FOURNIER: ... on the right... MATTHEWS: What`s the difference? FOURNIER: There`s a lot of people on the right who are populists and who are tired of the establishment... MATTHEWS: So basically, you don`t think... (CROSSTALK)   FOURNIER: ... tired of Wall Street -- MATTHEWS: You don`t think it`s a liberal position to try to redistribute the wealth downward. FOURNIER: I think it`s a populist position. MATTHEWS: OK, these are terms. Go ahead. FOURNIER: Yes, well, it`s important to know that -- and it`s actually interesting (INAUDIBLE) MATTHEWS: I know they`re popular. Using the word "populist" is a soft way of saying liberal. Yes. FOURNIER: No, no, no, no! (CROSSTALK) FOURNIER: There are hard-core conservatives who would have nothing else in common with you... MATTHEWS: Who like to see the taxes raised on the rich to reduce the income gap? FOURNIER: Who would love to see Wall Street taken to the mat.   MATTHEWS: No, no. You said redistribute the income. FOURNIER: I`m talking about all those issues. MATTHEWS: Close the gap. FOURNIER: All those issues... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Would they do that? How would they do it? FOURNIER: How would... MATTHEWS: How would a conservative reduce the income gap? WOODRUFF: Conservatives can argue... MATTHEWS: No, really. I want to stay with you. How would a conservative do that? Because I`m curious as hell. FOURNIER: How would a populist conservative...   MATTHEWS: How would a conservative reduce the gap of income in this country? FOURNIER: I don`t think they have any trouble... MATTHEWS: How would they do it? FOURNIER: The stuff on Wall Street, on... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: How would they -- how would the -- no, we`ve had people in this country making exponential wealth and other people just scrambling to stay alive. How would they end that... (CROSSTALK) FOURNIER: Who are we talking about? Are we talking about -- I`m talking about... MATTHEWS: You say conservatives are populist on this issue. FOURNIER: I`m talking about the most populist of the conservatives... MATTHEWS: Who?   FOURNIER: ... the Rand Paul type of conservatives... MATTHEWS: What would they do about the income gap? FOURNIER: ... who have no problem with cracking down on Wall Street. MATTHEWS: What would they do about the income gap? You said that that`s not a conservative -- a liberal position. I think it is. FOURNIER: It is a liberal position, but it`s also a populist very conservative position. MATTHEWS: Well, just give me one example of where the conservatives will do something about the income inequality in this country. FOURNIER: Well, of the two or three issues that you ticked off, on taking on Wall Street, you could find a lot of conservatives (INAUDIBLE) MATTHEWS: What would that be? Give me an example. FOURNIER: Well, you talked earlier about the -- the -- taking away the incentives that they have now. MATTHEWS: You think the conservative would do that, they`d go after Wall Street and cut down those tax advantages. FOURNIER: Yes because there are populists on both sides.   MATTHEWS: When hell freezes over, they`ll do that. WOODRUFF: It won`t happen. One specific thing Republicans can argue for when they talk about income inequality is making it easier for people to open businesses. Rather than talking about going after wealthy people, Republicans will talk about making... MATTHEWS: That`s now what people -- look, the public is very -- when Hillary Clinton`s talking about it -- you pick up on this, Pat -- when Hillary Clinton`s talking about it, which I think is rather modified, or modest, is she talks about the fact that CEOs make 300 times what the average guy works in the factory is making. HEALY: Right. MATTHEWS: I don`t know how you regulate that. I don`t know how you use the tax structure to do it, if you even can. That`s what she`s willing to talk about. I don`t know if she`s going after people with exponential wealth, though, entrepreneurs who make billions of dollars. I don`t know how you bring the guy making billions somewhere close to the guy making $50,000 a year. I don`t know how you bring that together. I`d like to know. And I don`t think conservatives want to do it. HEALY: Well, look, this is -- but this is the important thing about Hillary Clinton. The moment that you know that she has really crossed over the authenticity line into, you know, leftist, just give the people what they want, is when she starts proposing things like Bernie Sanders proposes that never will have a chance of getting through a divided Congress... MATTHEWS: Right. FOURNIER: ... you know, when she starts throwing out sort of, like, big red meat ideas, because here`s the thing. It`s easy to do, but it goes against the -- you know, I think, a real core of Hillary Clinton, which is that she believes in living in the real world. She believes in pragmatism. She believes in trying at least to work across the aisle on some things, and she doesn`t believe in just sort of throwing out ideas that will... MATTHEWS: Yes, but she has made mistakes. HEALY: ... satisfy some liberal anger... MATTHEWS: Thank you, Ron Fournier, Betsy Woodruff and Patrick Healy.   And we`ll have more about Hillary Clinton and her shift to the left later with the roundtable. Coming up -- former House speaker Dennis Hastert, at one point the most powerful Republican in Washington, pleads not guilty to charges he lied to the FBI and tried to skirt banking laws. So Hastert`s fighting the charges. Let`s come back and find out what his strategy might be. Plus -- President Obama tries to save the signature achievement of his presidency, "Obama care." The Supreme Court could decide this month to gut it. And right now, neither President Obama nor the Republicans has a backup plan. And two days in June of 1963 that might have changed the course of history. On those two days, JFK made two huge speeches that tackled the big issues of the day, nuclear weapons and civil rights, the stuff of greatness. Finally, "Let Me Finish" with the likelihood that Donald Trump will actually run for president this time. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Tense moments today at the White House press briefing. A bomb scare phoned in to Washington police forced the Secret Service to evacuate the room right in the middle of a live televised briefing. Reporters were cleared from the room, but the Secret Service says no bomb was found. President Obama, the first family and other officials remained at the White House during the evacuation. And we`ll be right back after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Former Republican House speaker Dennis Hastert today pled not guilty in an arraignment hearing in federal court in Chicago, where he`s fighting one charge of lying to the FBI and another charge of evading bank regulations.   Facing a crush of media outside the courthouse in his first public appearance since the indictment, the former speaker remained silent as reporters bombarded him with questions. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) QUESTION: Mr. Hastert, did you have a sexual relationship with a student of yours? QUESTION: What do you have to say to the people... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey, careful! (CROSSTALK) QUESTION: ... constituents? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Wow. The charges against Hastert are connected to a series of hush money payouts to an unidentified individual which were, according to a federal official, intended to conceal a past relationship of a sexual nature. Well, this comes a day after Hastert hired top white-collar crime defense attorney Thomas Green, whose experience defending public officials includes high-profile cases like the Watergate, Iran-contra and Whitewater investigations.   For the latest, I`m joined right now by Carol Marine. She`s political reporter -- editor, in fact -- at WMAQ out in Chicago. Carol, thank you very much for joining us. Give us a sense of everything today, the tick- tock, the color, what Hastert looked like, everything. CAROL MARIN, WMAQ: You know, Denny Hastert, as you know, Chris, is a big, hulking guy, but he walked in a thinner, more stooped man. He kept his eyes down even in the courtroom. He was quiet. He was, as you would expect with these charges, somber. But it was someone who looked a bit more bent and a bit more broken. MATTHEWS: What about the media scrum out there? This was -- I never saw so many people. I guess I have, but for basically a case like this, to see this many reporters and cameras, and they -- it was almost like running the gauntlet there. They weren`t letting that guy through. MARIN: This -- Chris, you have to remember, this is Illinois, this is Chicago. The last time we saw that kind of scrum, it was for the two different trials of Governor Rod Blagojevich, before that, the trial of Governor George Ryan. And so we have seen mighty and powerful politicians walk through the lobby of this federal courthouse. And, in Chicago, that`s a story that`s heavily covered. In the country, it is. There were national reporters here as well. MATTHEWS: What do you make of the fact that the judge in this case has apparently admitted -- that`s all public record -- that he`s made a couple of political contributions to Hastert? Now, if neither the prosecution nor the defense asks him to recuse himself, this could be a basis for an appeal later, it seems to me. So maybe the defendants want him there. I mean the prosecution. I don`t know. What would be the strategy of letting a judge who has made political contributions to the defendant continue as trial judge? MARIN: Well, there`s more context to that than this. And both sides, I`m guessing, want Thomas Durkin to stay as the judge. Thomas Durkin is an A-1 prosecutor who went after public corruption in Illinois and put judges and lawmakers in jail. He was the supervisor in the federal office of the U.S. attorney for these two prosecutors at one point and the defense attorney John Gallo, who now is representing Hastert with Thomas Green. Durkin also worked in Mayer Brown, a big law firm in Chicago, worked with Ethan Hastert. Both sides know Thomas Durkin. And anybody who knows him also knows he`s a pretty by-the-book, straight-and-narrow judge. I`m guessing neither side is going to ask for Durkin to leave this case.   MATTHEWS: OK, thanks so much, Carol Marin, out there at WMAQ, a great station. I`m joined right now by MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele, former chairman of the RNC. Michael, thank you so much for joining us. MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Nice to see you. MATTHEWS: I mean, it`s probably out of order right now to show any -- too much sympathy for this guy. STEELE: Yes. MATTHEWS: Because, if he did abuse those kids, it was totally -- not reprehensible. It was evil. Well, so what do you look at -- you look at the situation so many years later. It`s like a war criminal being hauled back years after the incidents. STEELE: Part of the problem is, that`s not what he`s being charged with. You got what he did with the cash, that he was paying this individual or other individuals, and then you have the separate piece which deals with his personal behavior. That, of course, is the most damaging part about this. And I think the problem that Denny Hastert has is further revelations, if there are other students who come forward. And apparently there are those that are waiting in the wings, as some have reported. So this story is going to be, at first, about the trial for misappropriation of funds, et cetera, but the bigger story and the bigger narrative of course is going to be the sexual abuse portion of this and that history there. And given that you`re not going to go back and prosecute for that, it is going to be frustrating for a lot of people. (CROSSTALK)   MATTHEWS: It`s like -- it was like the Lewinsky thing and all. They talked about it being perjury, but it was really about Monica Lewinsky. Let`s face it. STEELE: Yes. MATTHEWS: It was about that relationship. Anyway, in an earlier statement, a self-help group called the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests called for anyone involved in possible misdeeds by Hastert to come forward, stating: "We urge those who may have been -- have seen, suspected or suffered abuse by Hastert to speak up now." Well, that`s a pretty dramatic call. And today that group is also urging lawmakers to reform the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. Anyway, as "The Washington Post" reports, "Each time a name is added to the list of once well-regarded, seemingly wholesome and in some cases self-appointed arbiters of sexual morality, the details of state and federal laws that limit or prevent potential punishment also get pushed into the spotlight." I was asking around. Our producer dug up the fact that the reason we have statutes of limitations is because people`s memories fade, and the idea of having a fair trial about something 30 or 40 years ago. But out in Chicago and Illinois, the law is 20 years after the age of 18. So, if these crimes were committed against a victim, say, a 12-year- old kid, so that`s six plus 26, that`s still a pretty lengthy statute of limitations, but not enough for this case. (CROSSTALK) STEELE: Not enough for this case, number one. And, number two, I think there should be some look-back at these statutes and how they`re applied, particularly for younger kids, minors up to the age of 13, 14 years old especially, because the trauma of that and reliving that experience, it does come back, having talked with sexual abuse victims in the past. In their 20s and their 30s, it does manifest itself.   MATTHEWS: It flash -- they have memories. STEELE: Yes, they do. They really do. And for a lot of these stories, the trauma and the fear is what grips these young people in the early going. And it`s not until they have gone through psychological counseling, they have gone through a lot of that trauma that they then decide it`s time to do something. MATTHEWS: It`s horrible. You and I probably drive up Massachusetts Avenue past the vice president`s house, right? And on the other side is the Papal Nunciature. STEELE: That`s right. MATTHEWS: That`s the ambassador of the Vatican. And there`s a guy standing out there in a big -- holding a big sign. STEELE: Yes. MATTHEWS: He was apparently abused 30, 40 years -- he`s a middle-aged guy, even older, and he`s been abused. He look -- has a look on his face of victimhood. STEELE: Yes. And...   MATTHEWS: And that guy says, when are they going to do something about this? STEELE: And that -- whether it`s the church or an individual, the society wants those folks to be made whole. MATTHEWS: OK. I hope people do come out. I agree with those victims of the priests. Get out there and get your message out. Don`t let it happen again. There may be stuff going on like this somewhere right now, somewhere in this world, where somebody has authority over someone else. It`s good to get the word out. Blow the whistle now. Anyway, thank you, Michael Steele. STEELE: Thank you. MATTHEWS: Up next: two days of John F. Kennedy`s presidency and two speeches which we who lived through it all remember. They changed the course of history. One was on nuclear war and the chance to stop the nuclear testing. And the other was on civil rights, probably the most important president -- presidential speech of modern times, when Jack Kennedy came out and said this country has to have civil rights. "Two Days in June," the author is coming here in just a minute. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fires of frustration and discord are burning in every city. Where legal remedies are not at hand, redress is sought in the streets, in demonstrations, parades and protests, which create tensions and threaten violence.   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was, of course, Jack Kennedy, President Kennedy, addressing the nation on June 11, 1963. The streets then seethed with riots and protests by African-Americans wanting a seat at the lunch counter and in university classrooms. And, today, the quest for civil rights continues, as African- Americans need to fight back against attempts to restrict their vote, and a new generation takes to the streets spurred by racial tensions. We have seen all that this year. President Kennedy also spoke that same week on another front. He gave a major address on nuclear arms control, on a test ban treaty with the Russians. It was a critical effort to reduce the dangers, the chances of nuclear annihilation at that point. And here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KENNEDY: It would place the nuclear powers in a position to deal more effectively with one of the greatest hazards which man faces in 1963, the further spread of nuclear arms. It would increase our security. It would decrease the prospects of war. Surely, this goal is sufficiently important to require our steady pursuit. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: And just like President Kennedy, President Obama has to get Congress and the American people behind a nuclear agreement with Iran right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These are matters of war and peace, and they should be evaluated based on the facts and what is ultimately best for the American people and for our national security, for this is not simply a deal between my administration and Iran.   This is a deal between Iran, the United States of America and the major powers in the world. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Joining me right now is Andrew Cohen, a syndicated columnist and author of "Two Days in June." Congratulations on this great book, because I think June 1963 was an amazing period in history for presidential leadership. Let`s talk, right, about civil rights. When Jack Kennedy went on television, prime-time TV, everybody in the country, black -- but especially black -- it was white and black -- black people for the first time heard a white guy, as Martin Luther King mentioned in your book, that quote from Walter -- Walter... ANDREW COHEN, AUTHOR, "TWO DAYS IN JUNE": Fauntroy. MATTHEWS: ... Fauntroy -- you never heard anything like that. COHEN: "That white man just stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park," said Martin Luther King that night of Jack Kennedy. MATTHEWS: And what made Jack Kennedy, who was very cautious politically, and especially on civil rights, come forward with that dramatic statement that civil rights are as old as the Scriptures and as American as the Constitution and as clear as the Constitution? COHEN: Well, it was an extraordinary journey for Jack Kennedy. He was a white Irishman, as you well know. He was of Bronxville, New York, and Brookline, Massachusetts, and the Choate school and Harvard, and the all-white Navy and the all-white Congress, and suddenly he`s asking Americans to imagine, white Americans, what it`s like to be a black American. And he goes through it statistically in that speech. He has about seven or eight numbers, one-third as much chance of going to college, half as much chance of...   MATTHEWS: It was very logical. COHEN: Absolutely logical. And Ted Sorensen has had less than two hours to write that speech. And he`s bringing stuff back from University of Nebraska in 1948 of what it was like then to be black in America. And it hadn`t changed that much. MATTHEWS: It gave logic on top of this hell we`re looking at. So, the emotions were there, the need to do something. And then here the president very coldly and analytically says we have got to do something. And here, by the way, JFK`s brother, of course Robert Kennedy was attorney general. He played a critical role elevating civil rights as a priority in the administration. Here`s Bob Kennedy advising John Doar of the Justice Department on how to handle Alabama Governor George Wallace. Wallace was opposed to the registration of two African- American students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, at the University of Alabama in June of `63. Here he is, Bob Kennedy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT KENNEDY, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I would take it to -- almost dismiss him as being a second-rate figure. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Amazing thing to have a brother who is willing to be your enforcer. COHEN: That`s what Bobby did. And there he is.   And they`re bothered. They`re -- Wallace is driving them crazy. He won`t take their calls. He won`t meet Bobby Kennedy. And there he is down in Alabama standing at the door of the University of Alabama against Nick Katzenbach, who is representing the Department of Justice, the two students you have just referred to in the car unable to register. And they say, why do we have to deal with this guy? He`s on the wrong side of history. We know he is. But he has to have his show. They will face him down later on in the afternoon. JFK will issue an executive order. They will call the National Guard, they will move him out of there, and they won`t waste a crisis, which is why he will go on the air that night and announce in that extraordinary speech, which is really all about morality, the Civil Rights Act... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: It was great to have an aggressive federal government that knows what it`s doing. Anyway, right out of the gate this year, Hillary Clinton is calling out her Republican opponents for their attempts to restrict access to the ballot box by African-Americans. Here she is in Houston last week. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting. What part of democracy are they afraid of? I believe every citizen has the right to vote. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Good for her. Let me ask you about nuclear disarmament, because back then, I was growing up, and I got to tell you, we thought we`d eventually have a Third World War. Everybody thought it was just a matter of time, because the Soviets and us had so many weapons poised at each other.   And then along comes Kennedy and Khrushchev. Some, in `63, after the Cuban Missile -- these two leaders somehow find their way to making a deal on the test ban treaty of atmospheric test ban on the -- testing nuclear weapons. And it began with this speech right across the street here at American University. COHEN: It`s called the Peace Speech. It was Kennedy`s -- I think Kennedy`s greatest speech. Both Khrushchev and Kennedy realized that only eight months earlier they had nearly blown up the world. And opening back channels, Jack Kennedy and Khrushchev, through the pope, Kennedy realizes there`s a chance that they might make some progress on a limited nuclear test ban treaty. He wanted a comprehensive ban. MATTHEWS: Yes. COHEN: That`s what he wanted. He couldn`t get it. But, nonetheless, when he steps up to that microphone at American University just very near here at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June the 10th, he`s going to speak about the Russians in a way no American president has. MATTHEWS: It`s the first time a president has ever come out and said to the Soviet people, in the great patriotic war, you defeated the Nazis, you took the loss. COHEN: He humanizes them. MATTHEWS: Yes. COHEN: And it`s not just...   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: That`s what Obama`s trying to deal with the Iranian people right now. I know it sounds romantic, but he`s trying to reach the people over there. And he knows, once we bomb them, if we bomb their facilities, we will never be able to get alone or have the hopes of the secular people over there. Anyway, the book, you`re called -- great book. Couldn`t be more timely on the two issues we talk about all the time around here, how to avoid a war, another war in the Middle East over nuclear weapons and how to guarantee the rights of African-Americans to be full Americans. That`s what we try to do here anyway. Have to write that book someday. The book is called here "Two Days in June." Thank you, Andrew Cohen. Thank you. Congratulations on this great book. COHEN: Thank you. MATTHEWS: Up next: Hillary Clinton`s swing to the left, is it a reflection of the country`s shift as a whole? Is it? Is she in gear? That`s coming up next with the roundtable. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RICHARD LUI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I`m Richard Lui in the MSNBC newsroom.   Law enforcement officers searching for two murderers who escaped from a New York prison have descended on the town of Willsboro after a tip from a driver who saw two people walking along a road, then duck into the woods. Police are questioning a woman named Joyce Mitchell who worked at that prison. The woman`s son tells NBC News his mother would not risk her life or other people`s lives to help the two escape. And, in Texas, the police officer who pulled his gun on a group of teens at a pool party has resigned. Video of the incident sparked outrage on social media -- now back to HARDBALL. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people and young people from one end of our country to the other. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Hillary`s leftward approach is coming under fire right now. She`s positioning herself away from the middle and steering to the left on issues like immigration, and gay marriage and attacking the Republicans on voting rights. Hillary`s latest moves are a part of her effort to energize President Obama`s successful 2008 and 2012 coalition of young people, minorities and women into 2016. Will it work? The roundtable tonight, for this hot one: Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer with "The Washington Post", Cherylyn Harley Lebon is a conservative commentator and was senior counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Ryan Grim is the Washington bureau chief with "The Huffington Post". I want to start with you, Ryan. I`ll start with you. Is Hillary on course to win this election and to be a great president? Is she making the right moves? RYAM GRIM, THE HUFFINGTON POST: I think she`s actually quite beatable. But if she does go left and get into the White House, I don`t think the pitfalls that were described earlier in the show are there for her. For one, the well is already poisoned. You know, they tried to impeach her husband. So, if she tries to drink from that well, she`s a sucker.   But two -- MATTHEWS: You mean, if she tries to be a moderate? GRIM: Right, yes, you know, Obama tried it. In 2009, when he kind of rallied his base, that`s when got everything done. He got stimulus, he got Obamacare, he got Wall Street reform done. He then tried to go to the center. And for four years or so, he governed nil, nothing, got nothing done. He now is kind of going back to the base and all of a sudden, he`s able to govern again even though -- MATTHEWS: So, you argue we`re a divided country, get used to it? GRIM: That`s right. MATTHEWS: Cherylyn? CHERYLYN HARLEY LEBON, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Well, I find it interesting because to run to the left, everything that we`ve seen in terms of what the foundation is doing, her -- the money that they have, it`s so inconsistent with the left`s narrative. How will she relate to someone who makes $10 an hour? And if, in fact, she -- MATTHEWS: How does the foundation not square with helping people that are needed? That`s what they do in the foundation. LEBON: But here -- but the point is where they`re getting their money from. There`s been a lot of controversy about that. Almost everybody, you can see a story about the money coming from Saudi Arabia. Let me give you another example --   MATTHEWS: What`s wrong with robbing the rich and giving to the poor? LEBON: But the point is if you, in fact, are arguing and saying that you are for the rights of women and girls, yet you`re taking money from countries that in no way are supporting the rights of women and girls. MATTHEWS: Give me a list of things that the Republican presidents of recent history have done against -- for the rights of women in Saudi Arabia. LEBON: But we`re talking about Hillary Clinton running to the left. MATTHEWS: No, no, give me an example. No, this is hypocrisy here. This conservative concern about women in Saudi Arabia is fairly new like last week. When has your party ever voiced a concern about women in third world countries? LEBON: But, Chris -- MATTHEWS: I`m just asking because you`re bringing it up here against Hillary. LEBON: I bring it up here because it`s important. If she`s running to the left she has to answer for the type of money she`s taken in. Why shouldn`t she? JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: Then people should give up their iPhones and their iPads because there are stores in Middle Eastern countries that don`t, you know, treat women equally. (CROSSTALK) CAPEHART: Look, I think that that argument is immaterial to the American voting public. If you pay attention to what Secretary Clinton has been saying in her speeches over the last couple of months, last week was voting rights. She`s done the speech on pay equity. She`s done a speech of criminal justice reform.   And if you look at them and pay attention to what she`s saying, she`s talking about issues that everyday people care about and want something done by the president of the United States. And so, if that means to us it looks like she`s running to the left, she`s running to the left to -- yes, to energize the base, but the country`s there, too. MATTHEWS: Can she do it without -- guys, can she do it without rocking the boat, going after Wall Street? Can she do it without saying, I`m getting rid of carried interests, I`m going to break up the banks, can she do it without talking like even Martin O`Malley? CAPEHART: She -- MATTHEWS: In other words, can you bring the people to the voting booth to vote for something that you think -- that they think is good for themselves, self-interest for everyday people without creating havoc with her donor base? GRIM: She probably can. I mean, Democrats have been pulling this off for, you know, a century or so, where they talk tough in the campaign. MATTHEWS: But they have to deliver. GRIM: Why do they have to deliver? MATTHEWS: There are certain things you have to deliver. GRIM: They can just say, look, the jackboots are coming. And, you know, don`t -- MATTHEWS: You`re cynical. Obama did bring us back from the abyss of the worst recession of the `30s. He did it against the policies of the Republican Party. It actually worked. We`ve got an unemployment situation that we never thought we`d be near at this point in history. He really did create ACA, the health care thing, it may not survive under the control rulings, but he`s done he`s best. It`s not like he`s played the game of pretending he`s going to do something.   GRIM: Sure, but the Bush tax cuts got pushed mostly forward. You know, they got -- MATTHEWS: Because the Republicans and the Congress wouldn`t let him change them. GRIM: And that`s fine. I`m just saying he didn`t have to deliver. The interest is still taxed at the same rate it was 10 years ago, and chances are, 10 years from now, it still will. MATTHEWS: Well, let`s go to low hanging fruit, Cherylyn. What about raise the minimum wage. I don`t know how Hillary Clinton can lose on that? Because more people get wages than give them. There`s a hell of a lot more employees than there are employers. So, if you come out for minimum wage, that`s a winning ticket. And the Republican Party for some reason is opposing it. Aren`t they? LEBON: Well, here`s the answer (INAUDIBLE). She`s going to continue to talk, but when is she going to engage people? These are all, you know, everything that she discusses is very controlled and, Jonathan talked about -- yes, she`s proposing lots of things, but she doesn`t want to engage with the media. MATTHEWS: I agree -- LEBON: She doesn`t want to engage with people, and when are people going to find what she`s really like. MATTHEWS: We`ll get to that. It`s now June in the year before the election. (LAUGHTER) CAPEHART: Yes, June to the next election. But she`ll start talking June 13th this Saturday and she`ll start talking to the press. LEBON: Can`t wait to hear it.   CAPEHART: We`ve got a year. LEBON: Yes, and it will be a long year. MATTHEWS: I think there`s a lot of territory on the center left you can move over to the left without getting into Elizabeth Warren country and certainly not with Bernie Sanders. There`s a lot of room over there. Anyway, the roundtable is staying with us. And up next, this is hot. President Obama`s attempt to save Obamacare. This is on the line with the Supreme Court. It could come down to Anthony Kennedy. One vote could decide whether the whole thing`s gutted or not. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, four years ago, Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses but times have changed for Rick. Yesterday, on the campaign trail in Hamlin, Iowa, Santorum held an event that was attended initially by a single person, and she was the chairperson of the county Republican Party. Eventually a number of people swelled to four people in attendance. To his credit Santorum put a good spin on the low turnout, telling to "Des Moines Register", "It`s not glamorous and you`re not out there raising money, but you`re doing what the money is ultimately supposed to do, getting votes. This is a lot more fun than being on the phone raising money." We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back with the roundtable: Jonathan, Cherylyn and Ryan.   President Obama is fighting a war right now that could very well define his legacy. The president`s signature achievement, of course, the Affordable Care Act, health care, could be gutted by the Supreme Court this month if it rules to nullify subsidies for millions of people. The president says he has no plan B if the court rules against him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not going to go into a long speculation, anticipating disaster. REPORTER: But you`re a plan-ahead kind of guy. Why not have a plan B? OBAMA: If somebody does something that doesn`t make any sense then it`s hard to fix. And -- this would be hard to fix. Fortunately, there is no reason to have to do it. It doesn`t need fixing. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: I love the argument that people have, they don`t like Obamacare, but they don`t want those subsidies stopped. They want to keep the money coming for health care. Here is the question: why does the president say he doesn`t have a plan if the court rules out the paying of those subsidies, that kills the whole Obamacare? GRIM: It raises the stakes. You know, if the stakes -- MATTHEWS: Squeeze Kennedy and Roberts on the court and say, if you blow it up, it can`t get fixed. GRIM: Right, they have to be willing to -- you know, for this calamity to unfold, as a result of their decision, and if they`re still willing to pull the trigger, so be it is what that president is saying.   LEBON: You know, Chris -- MATTHEWS: Cherylyn? LEBON: -- the interesting thing, the poll that came out that everybody is talking about. It said Democrats like the law and like the subsidies. The Republicans and independents that were polled say they don`t like the law. But they don`t want to take away the subsidies. MATTHEWS: That`s what I said. LEBON: And see, that is interesting because -- MATTHEWS: What does it tell you? LEBON: -- I think Republicans are being you know, painted -- they don`t like the poor. But the thing is, they don`t like the law. But they want some sort of subsidy for low to moderate income people so that we don`t have everybody using the ER as health care. MATTHEWS: Yes. LEBON: So the question is, how can we keep this subsidy and what can we do to keep the parts of the law that we do like? CAPEHART: Chris, what it tells -- the poll that you just cited, what it tells you is, if the Supreme Court invalidates the subsidies, invalidates -- what`s the word I`m looking for? MATTHEWS: The exchange.   CAPEHART: The exchanges. MATTHEWS: The federal exchange. CAPEHART: Right, it invalidates the exchanges. That means that the Republicans on Capitol Hill will feel the heat. Yes, the American people are going to be angry and upset and probably angry at the president. But ultimately the plan B has to come from Congress. LEBON: Absolutely. CAPEHART: And they have had five years. MATTHEWS: Well, what if their plan as a fix, Ryan, is we get rid of the individual mandate. We kill the deal some -- we kill Obamacare some other way. GRIM: I think that they`ll try to do something. MATTHEWS: They are trying to -- (CROSSTALK) GRIM: But they`re going to run against real public opinion, think bank a year and a half ago when a couple of thousand people`s you know, high deductible plans were cancelled, and they had access to the exchanges, so they could buy probably better plans at a lower rate, but just the shock of getting that letter, saying your plan is cancelled led to weeks of spasms in the media, and people trying to take action.   So, you`re trying to tell me that millions are going to be thrown out of the insurance and Republicans are going to be able stand -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: By the way, the Senate and House case workers who work up on Capitol Hill, they deal with these problems every day. And this will explode. Anyway, thank you, Jonathan Capehart, Cherylyn Harley Lebon, and Ryan Grim. And when we return, let me finish with the likelihood now that Donald Trump will in fact, now, run for president. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with the likelihood that Donald Trump will run for president. Now, this will be a game-changer for the Republican debates which commence in August, just two months from now. Donald Trump is, apart from his business acumen, a showman of the first order. P.T. Barnum has got nothing on this guy. Barnum said if you want a crowd, start a fight. Donald Trump is a fight. Everything about him breeds contests -- me against you, me better than you, me trumps you. So, fasten your seat belts, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio, you`re in for a bumpy ride, Trump will go after you, knock you heard and see if you go down. Will you attack him back? Will you?   Well, that`s the question now looming over the Republican fight for president in 2016. If Trump does get in the ring, will anyone else get out alive? And this is not, let`s remind ourselves about a distraction. Trump, if he goes in will not be going in to show off. He will be going in to win the nomination. And that means trouble for the other candidates. Can they take a punch? Can they? Can they stand there on that debate stage of laugh of or direct shot from Donald Trump? Can they act as if the man has not just attacked their character, their dignity, their rationale for being there in the first place? So, all bets are off. Trump inside the ring means trouble for everyone else. The only question is whether he can take a showman`s performance in the debates and convert it into victory in the caucuses and primaries. But those are months from now. What happens if the big name, the big noise coming out of debates this summer, which begins this August, by the way, politically, is one Donald Trump? Will there be any life in other Republican candidates once he`s done his number on them? Well, it should be interesting. Then again, Trump often is, even when he is being irresponsible which, when it comes to politics, he often is. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>