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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 07/06/15

Guests: Kathleen Parker, Rick Santorum, Kevin Sullivan, Jennice Fuentes,Jonathan Allen

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Trump means war. Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington. There`s nothing I love as much, the great FDR, said as a good fight. Well, now we`ve got one. Donald Trump is not backing down on illegal immigration. He`s daring the Republicans to go take the liberal side of the issue. He put out a tweet with a message from someone this week, and it said Jeb Bush is soft on illegal immigration because his wife is Mexican. Yes, it`s getting personal. The party that likes to pick its candidate on whose turn it is is now in a street fight. Howard Fineman`s the global editorial director for the HuffingtonPost, Kathleen Parker`s a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with "The Washington Post," Jonathan Capehart`s an opinion writer also with "The Washington Post." This weekend, Donald Trump went after Jeb Bush`s family. Trump circulated a tweet, as I said, to his three million followers deriding Bush`s Mexican wife, Columba. He read, quote, "Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife," close quote. Well, Trump has subsequently taken that message down after he got it across, of course. Trump`s attack came just hours after Jeb Bush ripped into Trump for his ugly rhetoric about immigrants. Here it is. At a July 4th event, "The New York Times" reported that Jeb was asked if he took Trump`s remarks about immigrants personally, given his family. Quote, "Mr. Bush became a little cross. `yes, of course,` also, `absolutely,` he said." Anyway, Bush then went on the attack. Let`s watch him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R-FL), FMR. GOV., PRES. CANDIDATE: His views are way out of the mainstream of what Republicans think. No one suggests that we shouldn`t control our borders. I mean, everybody has a belief that we should control our borders. But to make these extraordinarily ugly kind of comments is not reflective of the Republican Party. Trump is wrong on this. He`s just -- he`s doing this -- and he`s not a stupid guy, so I don`t assume he`s, like -- he thinks that every Mexican crossing the border`s a rapist. I mean, so he`s doing this to inflame and to incite and to get -- to draw attention, which is -- seems to be his organizing principle of his campaign. Politically, we`re going to win when we`re hopeful and optimistic and big and broad, rather than, you know, Rrrr, rrrr, just angry all the time. and this is an exaggerated form of that, and there is no tolerance for it. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: "Rrrr!" Anyway, Trump responded with this statement. Quote, "This is a very important issue which all the other candidates would have ignored had I not started this important discussion. Today, Jeb Bush one again proves that he is out of touch with the American people. In fact, he believes illegal immigrants who break our laws when they cross our border come out of love." In fact, that was his line. So Howard, this is getting nasty, and I`m sort of enjoying it. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: But the thing is -- the thing is, I`m enjoying it also because I think it`s going to force the Republican Party to take a position. If they really wanted to deal with immigration issue, the House of Representatives would have gotten off their butt and signed onto the Senate bill and dealt with this issue. As long as the American leaders, the elite, don`t deal with this issue, there`s an opportunity for guys like this to demagogue it. HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST GLOBAL EDITORIAL DIR., MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I that`s right, Chris. I think... MATTHEWS: They don`t want to deal with it.

FINEMAN: I think the fact that the Republicans shied away from it, even some other Republican presidential candidates like Marco Rubio, who started out trying to be for reform, backed away... MATTHEWS: Yes. FINEMAN: ... created an opportunity for Trump. Now, I just spent the July 4th weekend in New Hampshire, and looking at it through the eyes of conservative Republicans that I talked to there, they don`t think that Donald Trump can win the nomination. They know there`s a ceiling on Donald Trump, but they don`t dismiss him. And the reason they don`t... MATTHEWS: Are these people pros or regular people? FINEMAN: No, no, both pros and regular people. But the pros, interestingly enough, don`t view him as a clown. They view him as a force. And because of his message on immigration, which has a sort of "us against the world" tinge to it, it plays in New Hampshire. Don`t forget, in the Republican primary in 1996, Pat Buchanan... MATTHEWS: Oh, yes! (CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: ... a similar theme of "keep the people out" won that primary, and Donald Trump is going straight after those people... MATTHEWS: Pitchfork. Pitchfork people. FINEMAN: ... and he`s going straight at the pitchfork people on immigration.

MATTHEWS: I was up there, too, Kathleen, and I saw Pat Buchanan. There is a right up there. In the case of Pat, it was (INAUDIBLE) pro-life people. But this attitude of, We`re not Yankees, we`re not old, wonderful moderate Republicans, we`re tough-assed people that moved up here to get away from Massachusetts and taxes, and they`re angry -- will it work? KATHLEEN PARKER, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, look, I don`t think Donald Trump speaks for the Republican Party. I think he... MATTHEWS: How about on immigration? PARKER: I think he speaks for Donald Trump. I think what his appeal is thus far is that he said something -- they like his brashness. They like the fact that somebody`s at least saying something about this problem that we have. And it is a problem. I mean... MATTHEWS: Does anybody trust Jeb Bush is going to get tough on illegal immigration? Just a simple question. Does anybody think Jeb Bush will get tough on illegal immigration? PARKER: I think Jeb Bush will come up with a conversation that... (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: That`s my point. That`s my point. PARKER: (INAUDIBLE) going to put drones in... MATTHEWS: No, no, stop the illegal hiring, which is in the bill. PARKER: Well...

MATTHEWS: Pass the bill the Senate passed. Pass the bill (INAUDIBLE) stops illegal hiring. PARKER: Well, I can`t answer that question. I don`t know. MATTHEWS: That`s what my question is. That`s my question. And until the Republican establishment, in the face of Jeb Bush -- forget the fact his wife`s Mexican, all that -- the face -- he is the establishment. Until the establishment Republican Party walks forward and says -- and John Boehner has to do this -- We are serious about stopping illegal immigration and regulating it in a progressive fashion, but it`s not going to helter- skelter, who wants to get across the border anymore. PARKER: Nobody wants to take this on. You know, it was the midterms, and then it was -- and now it`s the national election. Nobody`s going to do anything now. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Well, Lindsey Graham is, of all people. JONATHAN CAPEHART, "WASHINGTON POST," MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I have not been to New Hampshire. I have not spoken to anyone, but I am here to declare that Donald Trump is a clown. Everything he is saying runs counter to what this country is all about. MATTHEWS: How about the Republican right? CAPEHART: Well, the Republican right, sure. I mean... MATTHEWS: Well, they are part of the country. CAPEHART: Well, they are part of the country. You talked about Pat Buchanan. Yes, he did very well in New Hampshire...

(CROSSTALK) CAPEHART: But we`re not talking about President Buchanan and we`re not going to be talking about President Trump. MATTHEWS: How do you know? CAPEHART: How do I know? MATTHEWS: Yes. CAPEHART: Look, if the United States -- well, look, if the Republican Party wants to nominate Donald Trump, go right ahead. Please do it. PARKER: They`re not going to do that. CAPEHART: If the American people see fit to elect someone as native as Donald Trump... MATTHEWS: OK, here... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Ted Cruz already has already sided up with him. He`s standing up with Trump. Here`s Cruz on "MEET THE PRESS" yesterday. You have spoken here. Now here`s Cruz.

PARKER: My turn. CAPEHART: OK. (LAUGHTER) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I salute Donald Trump for focussing on the need to address illegal immigration. The Washington cartel doesn`t want to address that. The Washington cartel doesn`t believe we need to secure the borders. The Washington cartel supports amnesty. And I think amnesty is wrong, and I salute Donald Trump for focusing on it. He has a colorful way of speaking. It`s not the way I speak. But I`m not going to engage in the media`s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans. I`m just not going to do it! (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, he has been attacking Republicans most of his Senate career. But that`s all right. FINEMAN: Christie called him -- Chris Christie called him on that. PARKER: Yes. FINEMAN: And I think Ted Cruz is hoping that he avoids the gaze -- he avoids the gaze of the terminator here, and you know, the clown terminator in Donald Trump because...

(LAUGHTER) (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Don`t let them look at you! (CROSSTALK) (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Don`t let them look at you. FINEMAN: I`m OK with you. I`m OK with you, Donald. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: A month from now -- Kathleen, a month from how, we have a debate. Fox News is having it. It`s going to be a debate with 10 people... PARKER: Well... MATTHEWS: ... and Donald Trump is going to be one of them. What`s it going to be like on this issue of immigration?

CAPEHART: Oh, my God. PARKER: Well, he`s just going to -- you know, he`s going to force everybody to make some kind of statement. But the fact is he`s done all this in order to get attention drawn to himself so that he can be on that stage. That`s what is so enraging. By the way, the Republican Party is not going to nominate Donald Trump. And let`s just be clear -- I mean... MATTHEWS: Who`s going to be leading in the polls the week after the debate? (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: The week after the debate, in mid-August, who`s going to be leading the Republican polling? You say it`s never going to happen. OK. Fine. Let`s talk about this year. PARKER: It`s not going to happen. Look, the future for the Republican Party... MATTHEWS: Kathleen... PARKER: ... is in reaching out to Hispanics and... (CROSSTALK) PARKER: By the way, the largest growth in the evangelical church is among Hispanics.

MATTHEWS: I know. PARKER: And the largest... (CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: He kills the party in the general election. He kills the party in the general reelection in the fantastical chance that he would become the nominee. MATTHEWS: OK. Well, he`s still... FINEMAN: However, he`s going to be a force in the primaries for a whole lot of different reasons -- the plain speaking, the immigration, the entrepreneur... (CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: He`s the revenge of the party on itself. MATTHEWS: I think he`s a factor... (CROSSTALK) PARKER: That`s true.

MATTHEWS: You know why? Because it`s so weak at the top. FINEMAN: Right. Exactly. MATTHEWS: Anyway, Rick Perry is leading the charge against Trump. Here`s Perry on yesterday`s "This Week." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK PERRY (R-TX), FMR. GOV., PRES. CANDIDATE: Donald Trump does not represent the Republican Party. I was offended by his remarks. He`s going to have to defend those remarks. I never will. And I will stand up and say that those are offensive, which they were. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, Trump responded by tweeting, "Rick Perry failed at the border. Now he is critical of me. He needs a new pair of glasses to see the crimes committed by illegal immigrants." (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) this is high school! PARKER: Now, the fighting... (CROSSTALK)

PARKER: ... the tweeting arena just... (CROSSTALK) CAPEHART: I mean, this is classic Donald Trump, whether you`re -- whether you`re -- what`s her -- Rosie O`Donnell or some other person on Twitter, he just -- he takes the flamethrower and he cooks you with his criticism. And that`s great on Twitter, and I guess it might work when you`re going up against fellow Republicans for the nomination, but eventually, I hope that the Republican primary voters, as this goes along, will, you know, take the sleep out of their eyes and realize this guy, as Kathleen said, is only out for Donald Trump. FINEMAN: Can I tell you something else? Up in New Hampshire, he has worked the phones up there. He`s had dinner a couple times with the editor of the "Manchester Union Leader," one of the most powerful Republicans... MATTHEWS: I know. FINEMAN: ... he`s donated to the family of James Foley, the journalist who was killed... MATTHEWS: Well, that`s a good thing to do. CAPEHART: Yes, it`s a good thing to do. And he`s let the word out he`s done that quietly. You know... MATTHEWS: Well, he got the word out! (CROSSTALK)

FINEMAN: He didn`t -- what I`m saying is he didn`t send out a tweet about it, OK? He`s operating on several levels. PARKER: I think Trump would fizzle of his power... MATTHEWS: OK... PARKER: ... if we were not so attentive to him because the only people that the Republican base would dislike more than someone like Trump, who says these awful things is this crowd. MATTHEWS: OK... PARKER: And as long as we`re on... MATTHEWS: Anyway, moments ago... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Thank you for that scurrilous (ph) comment. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Anyway, moments ago, Donald Trump spoke to NBC`s Katy Tur, who asked him about his attack on Jeb Bush. Let`s watch. This is up to date.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Can you clarify (INAUDIBLE) can you clarify it on camera? DONALD TRUMP (R-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the polls are testament. You see what`s happening. And now they say I`m going even higher. So I think the polls -- the country is fed up with what`s going on. You know, in the old days, they used the term "silent majority." We have the silent majority back, folks. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, you know, if you look at all the polls in Iowa (INAUDIBLE) New Hampshire, the polls in Iowa suggest a very tough attitude among Republican primary voters about illegal immigration. Basically, their policy is "go home," you know, self-deport, leave. We don`t want to make you American. It`s much tougher than most people, but it is that view out there. CAPEHART: No, yes, it is that view out there. And it`s disheartening because this being a nation of immigrants, a lot of whom were illegal, a lot of whom came here not under their own volition. And so now you`ve got these people want to kick everybody out and keep everybody else out. That`s not how this country grows, and that`s not what this country is about. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Anyway, nationwide, 62 percent of Republican primary -- nationwide say they`re opposed to a candidate who supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In New Hampshire, a plurality of 41 say they specifically will not support Bush because he supports allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the country. Only 26 percent say Bush`s views are not a problem for them. In Iowa, 46 percent of caucus goers say that illegal immigrants should leave the United States, as I said, compared to 34 percent who say they should be allowed to apply for citizen -- compare that to a supermajority of Tea Party Republicans who say they need to leave. Only 19 percent of them say they should be allowed to apply for citizenship. PARKER: Go where? MATTHEWS: It`s a very -- Mexico.

FINEMAN: The Tea Party -- having covered the rise of the Tea Party, I can tell you, scrape away the stuff about "Obama care" and everything else. At the core of the Tea Party is the immigration... MATTHEWS: That`s what I think. FINEMAN: ... immigration issue. That`s what I saw when I was among those crowds, and that`s exactly who Trump is appealing to. He did it on the birther issue... MATTHEWS: Yes. FINEMAN: ... and he`s doing it on this. And you know, we can laugh about it, but as we said last week, there`s also a dangerous element to it because he`s deliberately poking the bear. He`s deliberately... MATTHEWS: I know. FINEMAN: ... trading in the most... CAPEHART: Ugly. FINEMAN: ... ugly stuff that`s going on in the heart of American politics. But you`re right, since the Republicans were too chicken to deal with the issue... MATTHEWS: As long as you know the door`s open... FINEMAN: ... he will...

(CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Nobody`s moderating who comes in or checking on it, nobody`s making people... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: If that`s the case, they`re going to say... (CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: And by the way, John Kasich, the governor of Ohio... MATTHEWS: Yes. FINEMAN: ... he`s not announcing until the 21st. He`s probably not even going to be in the debate in Ohio. I mean, that thing on August 6th is in Cleveland. PARKER: Yes, Trump`s going to take his spot. FINEMAN: Trump will take his spot. MATTHEWS: Well, it`ll be interesting to see if anybody takes Jonathan`s position in that debate, really challenges heart to heart and says, This is un-American. We`ll see.

CAPEHART: I hope someone does. PARKER: Well, it`s not un-American... (CROSSTALK) PARKER: ... to be in favor of laws that are enforced. That`s not un- American and... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Maybe the Republicans are. Maybe this`ll gin them back into taking it seriously and stop playing this ethnic game. FINEMAN: Let`s give Jeb a little bit of credit. MATTHEWS: I`ll give him a little bit of credit. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Thank you, Howard Fineman, Kathleen Parker -- but he`s on the defensive -- Jonathan Capehart, who showing enormous passion here, which we always like to see. It`s probably well-founded even. Anyway, coming up -- four years ago, former senator -- former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses. Now he`s struggling to make the cut, believe it or not, for the first debate next month. He`s coming to HARDBALL to tell us how he plans to turn things around. That`s coming up next.

And the far right is bracing for the American invasion of -- catch this, didn`t you know it`s coming? -- of Texas! Conspiracy theorists out there are warning us again of a secret Pentagon operation which starts next week and some fear it`s an invasion of Texas. By the way, Ted Cruz called the Pentagon. They said it isn`t, so he`s OK on it. Is it time for Hillary Clinton to start taking Bernie Sanders seriously? The Vermont senator is drawing the crowds, of course, and doing well in Iowa and New Hampshire, but we`ll see. We`ll see. Anyway, finally, "Let Me Finish" with a very important speech over the weekend in Hanoi, Vietnam, Bill Clinton`s wow of a speech over there. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, here`s a good sign for Democrats heading into next year`s elections. According to the Gallup polling, Democrats have regained their edge in party affiliation. Forty-six percent of Americans identify as Democrats now, or Democrat-leaning independents. And 41 percent identify as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents. The two parties were neck and neck for much of the past year, including the 2014 midterm elections, when Republicans had a slight advantage. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, made a strong showing when he ran for the Republican nomination in 2012. He outlasted everyone except Mitt Romney. He won 11 states, including a win in the Iowa caucuses. Polls showed he had the strong support in that campaign of conservative. And yet four year later, he`s struggling to crack the pivotal top 10 in a crowded GOP field. According to the average of the five most recent national polls, the criterion Fox News is using for that first debate in August, Santorum ranks just shy of the cut-off point. But is Rick Santorum being underestimated?

I`m joined right now by the former senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum. Senator, thank you for joining us. Boy, you got a tan! So let me ask... RICK SANTORUM (R-PA), FMR. SEN., PRES. CANDIDATE: You bet, Chris. Good to be with you. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you this. Are you going to take the little kids` table? You going to go to that he forum that Fox has offered the people that don`t make the top 10, sometime in the afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00? SANTORUM: Yes, I`m really not going to worry about that, Chris. I mean, I`m going to... MATTHEWS: Well, are you going to do it? SANTORUM: ... work hard, have been working hard. I`ll take every opportunity, like coming onto HARDBAR (sic) for example. I`ll come on... MATTHEWS: Well, that`s a good attitude. SANTORUM: ... every place to get our message out there and to try to win, you know, voters over. That`s what we did last time. You know, it`s a marathon, not a sprint. And we`re building a good solid team across -- I`m here in South Carolina. We got a great team down here. We`ve had some great events since I`ve been here. and we`ll just keep doing it the grass roots way. National polls, as you know, Chris -- when I ran and won the Iowa caucuses four years ago, I was at 4 percent in the national polls and I won the caucus. So I don`t really pay much attention to those. MATTHEWS: Well, let`s talk about your bracket. You represent the cultural conservative aspect of the Republican Party`s traditional values. Where do you stand on the issue of same-sex? It looks like -- I mean, I look at the party platform. It was pretty strong last time around, when you were running again -- constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. If that goes, do you go? SANTORUM: Well, I don`t think it`s going to go. I think we`re going to -- we`re going to make sure that that stays in. I don`t know of a single Republican running who is going to run against that -- that platform of traditional marriage. So I don`t anticipate that going.

And I think there`s a strong case to be made that the court decision, you know, was really bad on a lot of fronts. Number one, whether you`re a Democrat or Republican, set aside the issue, for example, of gay marriage, and look at the fact that the United States Supreme Court just basically, as Justice Roberts said, out of nowhere, out of -- completely without constitutional basis, created another right, is that really the role of the court? Have they taken over from, as Justice Scalia said, to -- we have -- we gotten rid of our democracy when nine people can decide what the rights are in this country, instead of the collective will of the American people. And so you have got a real issue there of the role of the judiciary, whether you`re a Democrat or Republican. And you have a real serious First Amendment issue here, Chris. The fact that the justices said you`re allowed to teach what we in the Catholic Church -- you`re a Catholic, as I am -- they`re saying to you and me, Chris, you`re allowed to teach what you want, but they didn`t say you could practice what you want. I mean, that`s a very clear sign that the court is open to having churches being told how to practice their faith. This is really serious... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Do you think that`s coming? Do you think they would -- then, do you think the court would ever take the overreach of saying, you have to have gay marriage in the Catholic Church? How would they do that? How would that ever actually happen? SANTORUM: I think, if you would have said 10 years ago, would we -- well, 15 years ago, maybe -- that we would be in this position, most people would have said, you`re crazy. In fact, when I offered the constitutional amendment on marriage back in 2004, everyone said, oh, this is premature. This will never happen. There is no reason for us to be concerned about this. So, I would just say that you don`t know what is going to happen until you look at the tea leaves. MATTHEWS: Well, OK.

SANTORUM: And you look at the tea leaves in this decision, they left it very wide open for, for example, the government to say that if you`re a church that doesn`t allow this kind of marriage, we`re not going to give you your 501(c)(3) status, which is your nonprofit status. And even the solicitor general of the United States said that that`s an open question. So, yes, I think they could be bullied into doing something that they don`t want to do. MATTHEWS: Well, that could mean they could force the Catholic Church into having female priests, too. I don`t think they can go that far. I just don`t think they can. Anyway... SANTORUM: Well, I don`t think that`s the -- I don`t think that`s the same issue. I think this is a very different issue. MATTHEWS: Anyway, this weekend, Jeb Bush responded to comments that Donald Trump made about Mexican immigrants in this country being rapists and bringing drugs and crime and all that. We know that quote. Let`s watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His views are way out of the mainstream of what Republicans think. No one suggests that we shouldn`t control our borders. I mean, everybody has a belief that we should control our borders. But to make these extraordinary ugly kind of comments is not reflective of the Republican Party. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Who wins this argument within your caucus, within the Republican Party? SANTORUM: I mean, does anybody really think that Donald Trump isn`t going to say some outrageous things? I mean, that`s what Donald Trump does. I mean, the idea that we`re now going to police Donald Trump`s speech is almost ridiculous on its face. You know, he`s a flamboyant guy who says things that are edgy and marginal. MATTHEWS: Yes? SANTORUM: And you know what? As you know, Chris, everybody has the right to say those things. I think we have got a lot of speech police that are going around saying, oh, you can`t say this, you can`t say that. Do I agree with everything that Donald Trump says? Of course not. I wouldn`t be running for president if I agreed with everything that everybody said and wanted to do. But Donald Trump brings up a very important issue, which is the issue of immigration. And if you look at... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I agree. I wish your party had dealt with it. Why didn`t your party deal with it in the House of Representatives and get it behind us, put in teeth in terms of illegal hiring and that kind of thing, move ahead, instead of just letting it sit there for a guy like him to exploit? Isn`t that the problem; the House hasn`t acted? SANTORUM: Well, I agree with you that -- well, I always go back to the president, when he had two years of a Democratic Congress, and could have done anything he wanted, and never even introduced an immigration bill. So, to point to the Republican Congress, when the president had 60 votes in the Senate, was able to pass a health care bill, but he didn`t even propose an immigration bill...

MATTHEWS: OK. SANTORUM: ... and to blame Republicans on that, I think, is just a little bit disingenuous. The bottom line is, though, you`re right. We do need to do something on immigration. And if you look at my position on immigration, it says that we do need to use E-Verify and we do need to eliminate folks... MATTHEWS: I`m with you. SANTORUM: ... who are working here illegally. And we have to enforce the law when it comes to the border. I mean, these are just sort of basic things that enforcing the law and protecting American workers -- and that`s where I come from, that we have -- we have seen wages flatline for the last 20 years for most workers in this country. And we have seen a record number of immigrants come into the country. And it`s not a coincidence that the two are tied together. MATTHEWS: Let me think. You`re thinking aloud and smart on this. Let me ask you a couple questions on the Supreme Court. You have questioned it. I think what you said about the Supreme Court coming up with rights that were not written in the Constitution is fair, except the Supreme Court in the Brown case back in `54 said there was something essentially unequal about separate but equal. They found that there was, you know -- in Roe v. Wade, they found a penumbra of privacy. This isn`t the first time the Supreme Court has found something in the Constitution that they say is inherent in our rights, in our Bill of Rights that, they could then illustrate or bring to life. But what are you going to do about it?

SANTORUM: Well... MATTHEWS: I mean, Trump is out there -- I`m sorry. Rick -- Ted Cruz, who is a lawyer, went to Harvard, whatever law school, and he`s coming out saying retention elections. I mean, damn it, these elections are now costing presidential candidates $1 billion a year, and you`re talking about judges running for reelection? I think -- well, I`m going to have him on Wednesday. I think it`s ludicrous. How can we have judges run around the country running for reelection on the Supreme Court? What a hoot. Your thoughts? SANTORUM: Yes, I don`t support what Ted has proposed. But the bottom line is, the first time this substantive due process argument was used, as you know, Chris, because Justice Roberts talked about it at length in his dissent, was during the Dred Scott case. So this is -- the court can do things that you like using these kinds of unconstitutional creation of ideas of what -- what -- these penumbra of rights, this sort of mystical clause that Justice Kennedy likes to use. MATTHEWS: I know. SANTORUM: They can do things you like, and they can do things you don`t like. The point is, they shouldn`t be doing either. That should be up to the American public to make this decision. And whether you`re a liberal or a conservative, don`t you want the republic, the democratic process of this country to make these kinds of decisions? And when we have seen the court step in and short-circuit the debate, it doesn`t end up well. And you can talk about Roe.

MATTHEWS: OK. SANTORUM: But Roe still is a very divisive issue in this country 40 years later. The court didn`t settle it. And I don`t think they are going to settle it here either. MATTHEWS: You`re right. They didn`t settle it. And Ruth Ginsburg and some other people agree on the liberal side of things. Let me ask you about that flag flying down there still. You say you`re not a South Carolinian and you don`t want to get involved. But, as a flag, what does it say to you, as an American? What does that stars and bars say to you? SANTORUM: Well, you know, I was in Charleston at the time this all came down. In fact, I sat in Mother Emanuel Church on the Sunday following the shooting. And what I saw was something incredible, remarkable, which was a healing process going on, where faith and the people... MATTHEWS: Yes. SANTORUM: These people of faith reached out and used reconciliation and forgiveness to bring a community together. And everybody wants to talk about what is going on two hours away in Columbia, instead of what went on that really did bring this country together and bring this community together. I have been in Charleston a lot since then. And the sense and the feeling in this community is stronger than it`s ever been, unified. And I -- I don`t know. I guess I`m a little bit discouraged that the media wants to focus on a flag, instead of the tremendous reconciliation that`s occurred here in the city of Charleston. MATTHEWS: But if they keep that flag up, you won`t get reconciliation, will you?

SANTORUM: I don`t know. I mean, what I have said, I think... MATTHEWS: I think you will have more trouble. (CROSSTALK) SANTORUM: ... the people of South Carolina -- I think the people of South Carolina will make the right decision and, you know, they will go on from there. I`m not concerned at all about what happened in Charleston having a positive effect, not just in South Carolina, but throughout the country. MATTHEWS: OK. Yes, well, I think that flag is coming down this week. Anyway, Rick Santorum, thank you so much for coming on. You`re always welcome here, sir... SANTORUM: Thank you. MATTHEWS: ... even if you`re not welcome over at that other place, when they`re just limiting it to 10 guys. (LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: You know, we -- we have more room over here. SANTORUM: I will be happy to come back, Chris. (LAUGHTER) SANTORUM: Thank you. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Rick Santorum. SANTORUM: All right. MATTHEWS: Up next: Some on the far right are bracing for the U.S. invasion down there of Texas, Texas. The military training exercise starts next week. Even down there -- there`s the nut balls down there thinking they`re going to be invaded. And so what does Ted Cruz, the U.S. senator, does? He calls up the Pentagon and asks, are we going to be invaded down here, or is this a training exercise? And they assure him that it is just a training exercise. Why would you make a call like that? If it was a push or some kind of invasion, they wouldn`t tell you. Anyway, it`s bringing out the very worst of the anti-Obama conspiracy crowd. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. When the U.S. military announced a routine training special operations mission last March, they sent right-wing conspiracy theorists into a frenzy. It began when the U.S. military released this map showing the area of operations for the exercise in the Southwest United States, labeling the state of Texas and other areas hostile territory. While the map depicts a fictional scenario, some Texans believed it foretold a military takeover of their state led by President Obama. At a public hearing in April, the military sent a spokesperson to Bastrop County to quell fears about the exercise. Here`s what happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LT. COL. MARK LASTORIA, U.S. ARMY: First and foremost, we`re truly invested in everybody`s personal rights and their privacy. That`s what we live for. We live to support the Constitution of the United States. And that`s what everybody wants to live by. And that`s what we`re here to do. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would the court be offended if I told the colonel that I didn`t believe a single word that he just said? (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we have a federal government that cannot tell the truth, how do we know that what you`re saying is true? (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) LASTORIA: You may have issues with the administration. So be it. OK? But this institution right here has been with you for over 240 years, period. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a preparation for martial law.

LASTORIA: That`s because it is not a preparation for martial law, sir. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what you say. (END VIDEO CLIP) (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: "That`s what you say." Anyway, the military training exercise is set to begin next Wednesday. I`m joined right now by Kevin Sullivan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at "The Washington Post" who broke this story. I guess I don`t know where to begin. Is this Texas, or is this any part of the United States, or is this some Texas thing in the water where they think the U.S. government is coming down to -- not just to annex Texas, which has been done, but to take it over as a military operation? KEVIN SULLIVAN, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I don`t know. I had e-mails from people in Tennessee today saying that they have had people there thinking the same thing. So, you just don`t know. We went to Texas to find out how we got to a point in this country where people so distrust the president that they could actually believe that he would send the United States military in to take them over. And as you saw from that clip, this isn`t just a -- it`s very easy to dismiss this as a handful of nuts and wackos. But this runs fairly deep. There are people there who, for a long time -- Texas has a long tradition of distrusting the federal government, as we know, but it`s really crescendoed now. And people think that he`s actually capable of sending in the military to establish martial law. They think that he might even try to...

MATTHEWS: So it`s he? SULLIVAN: Well, it is -- it is... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: It`s about Barack Obama. SULLIVAN: Because they`re saying that one of the things that he wants to do with this is to cancel the 2016 election and to end-run the Constitution and give himself another term. MATTHEWS: Oh. Why only a term? (LAUGHTER) (CROSSTALK) SULLIVAN: Well, who knows? Maybe he will get a lot more out of it. MATTHEWS: Anyway, you spoke -- Kevin, you spoke to the former Mayor of Bastrop, Texas, Terry Orr. And here`s what he said -- quote -- "The truth is, this stems a fair amount from the fact that we have a black president. People think the government is just not on the side of the white guy."

SULLIVAN: Yes. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Did they actually speak that language to you, racial language? SULLIVAN: Yes, he did. And I should say, in fairness to Mayor Orr, he was trying to -- he doesn`t believe this stuff himself. MATTHEWS: Oh, no, I could tell that. SULLIVAN: He was explaining this, this situation there. But he said, yes, this -- they -- people are upset that we have a black president. There is kind of smoldering embers of racism in that part of the country anyway. And you throw in a recession, people are having a hard time getting jobs, and now you have a black president. And people there kept telling me, we have a guy who only cares about blacks and minorities and, as they say, illegal aliens. MATTHEWS: Yes. SULLIVAN: They`re very concerned about Mexicans coming across the border. MATTHEWS: Well, I understand that.

(CROSSTALK) SULLIVAN: But he doesn`t care about the white guy. That`s what they say. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I know. Well, back in May, Senator Ted Cruz, who we`re going to have on this week, said the Pentagon assured him that the operation was in fact a training mission, but he appeared sympathetic to those who remain skeptical. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I understand the concern that`s been raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm. It`s a question I`m getting a lot. And I think part of the reason is, we have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens. My office, we have reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise. We`re assured that it is a military training exercise. And I have no reason to doubt those assurances. But I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because, when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many of the citizens don`t trust what it`s saying. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, there is a lot of pandering in that, obviously.

Why did Senator Cruz, who is a smart guy, why did he say, I checked with the Pentagon, they are not invading? First of all, if they were invading, they wouldn`t say so. SULLIVAN: Right. MATTHEWS: And why did he have to go through the pander of saying, you know, I took seriously your concern, so I called the Pentagon and they said this is not a push or an invasion of any kind? It`s mindless. But do people believe that stuff from him? SULLIVAN: Well, I have no idea why he did it. But I will tell you -- I will tell you... MATTHEWS: You know why he did it. He did it to pander. SULLIVAN: I will tell you that, in Texas, people hear a dog whistle. They hear him kind of appealing to a constituency, trying to say the right thing, but just leaving the door open just wide enough so that people can think, see, Senator Cruz... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Well, they got Louie Gohmert down there. He`s a birther, and a couple birthers down there in that state. SULLIVAN: Well, there`s another example. Governor Abbott, he has asked the State Guard, the Texas State Guard to monitor this operation.

MATTHEWS: Monitor? SULLIVAN: So you are going to have Texas State Guard monitoring a U.S. military operation. MATTHEWS: Watching the guys in fatigues. SULLIVAN: And as Governor Abbott says, this is simply to make sure that everyone`s property rights and every other kind of rights are protected. But, again, it`s the dog whistle issue. People -- some people hear that as, as one former Republican state senator said, pandering to idiots. MATTHEWS: Well said, whoever said that. Anyway, thank you, Kevin Sullivan. Up next: Chris Christie is trying to shake the George Washington Bridge scandal that engulfed his administration. He wants the media to apologize. That`s ahead with the roundtable. You`re watching it, HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (NEWSBREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. I forgot to mention that Kevin Sullivan, who`s just on, is the author of "Hope: A Memoir of Survival", in Cleveland, with his wife, Mary Joy. You ought to take a look at that. Anyway, you got a lot to be -- I`m reading the prompter here. There`s a lot going on in the Republican field that`s getting louder right now and here comes Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor is trying to break from the pack or the back by blasting the press and going after his opponents. Earlier today on "MORNING JOE", Christie made a defiant return to show in 18 months, said he wants an apology from critics in the coverage of bridgegate -- the political payback scheme on George Washington Bridge that`s led to criminal charges against three of Christie`s top people. Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, how about nightly specials on this network for five months, you know, calling me Attila the Hun, how about, you know, relentless attacks from "The New York Times" and media. Remember, in the beginning, it was he did this. He directed it. He`s this kind of guy. Then, all of a sudden, you`re not and then say, OK, now what do we do? So, instead of just standing up and saying, what they should say was just, we`re sorry, Governor, for having jumped to conclusion, we`re sorry for having prejudged this, we`re sorry for not only having accused you but convicted you, they say, all right, now it`s a culture. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: OK. The roundtable tonight, David Corn is the Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones" and MSNBC political analyst, Jennice Fuentes is a Democratic strategist, and Jonathan Allen is the chief political correspondent from Vox. You know, I don`t know. I don`t know. I thought he was rather prosecutorial when it came to the fact he fired and indicted basically bridge and Kelly on television. He basically wasn`t exactly being nice.

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: This thing is not over with -- MATTHEWS: Her trial is in November and I can`t wait. CORN: Right. And there are other investigates still on going. The guy whose most famous phrase is "sit down and shut up" has now gone on and saying, boo-ho-ho, I need an apology. I think it only plays because the one thing that the conservative Republicans like above anything else is when you go after the media. And so, he wants to make -- he was never a favorite of the conservatives and his numbers went up when he started being attacked by the media. So, going out there and playing the media victim may get up him to 5 percent in the polls. MATHEWS: You know what? I don`t know. Jennice? JENNICE FUENTES, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I`d say, the last time I checked, anyone who needs an apology is somebody that`s a victim and I find it very hard to believe that he`ll be a victim in anyone`s eyes. I think that for him to say that this is in the past when there`s somebody who`s been actually, you know, admitted guilt and two who are under nine count of criminal indictment, this is not in the past only. This is the past, present and future, and it will get vigorous. You`re right. We`re looking forward to that. MATTHEWS: The trial is up and coming, he says he`s clean. JONATHAN ALLEN, VOX: The people that need an apology are the people in Fort Lee, New Jersey, stuck in the traffic, not Chris Christie. But the problem for Chris Christie with bridgegate is not the scandal itself, but what reminds everybody of, which is exactly what David said, the "sit down, shut up", bully governor of New Jersey. I mean, this is a guy who was all about him, all about his own political advancement and his aides obviously thought that it was all right to hurt constituents in service of his political goals. MATTHEWS: Who here hasn`t covered politician, look at politicians, you`ve been one. Here is the story -- does anyone think that the fish doesn`t rot from the head, as Dukakis used to say. If all the people in your office seemed to think the job here is to intimidate, punish, whatever, Democratic mayors, if they don`t play ball, where does that come from?

Bridget Kelly worked right across the hall from the governor. They weren`t 60,000 employees out there. CORN: There are no e-mails here that have come out yet that say we better not tell the governor about this because we know he`ll be really upset. That hasn`t been part of the story yet. MATTHEWS: What I`m seeing in politics is you end up looking like the boss. You don`t end up wearing. You dress like him. Kennedys had narrow ties. You know, I don`t think you act like these people come along and got the idea I was a tough customer and I was bully and I should bully these mayors who are doing stuff by cutting off their traffic. Where would you get that idea except for the boss? FUENTES: And to think that you can actually carry. I think it`s hilarious that he says that he`s not really responsible but he`s actually, that`s a war of words. And, really, you`re right, either he is in charge or he`s not in charge. And he wants to be in charge of this country, it gives me no, I have no -- MATTHEWS: That`s an old game in politics. I accept no responsibility except specific responsibility. FUENTES: Exactly. It was not my fault. MATTHEWS: By the way, the worst thing he said was 60,000 employees because everyone knows he`s not talking about people collecting tolls out in Ocean City, or Summer`s Point, you know, cut off there, he`s talking about people working in his office, all the people in that crowd that got indicted. They`re all his appointees. ALLEN: They are very, very close. I mean, the idea he`s got some distance from this, I mean, it`s a finger`s worth a distance. MATTHEWS: Well, we`re going to come right back and talk about something more interesting and I can`t figure out what it is here. CORN: Bernie Sanders.

MATTHEWS: Bernie Sanders is all over this network. So, we`ve got to get Bernie. ALLEN: Feel the Bern. MATTHEWS: No, we`re going to do Bernie because everyone is doing it. The roundtable is staying with us. Can Bernie beat Hillary or is it just "Weekend with Bernie"? We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: HARDBALL is the place for politics, of course, in the 2016 presidential election. On Wednesday this week, Ted Cruz is coming here. The Texas senator is among the most outspoken in the presidential field. And you don`t want to miss my interview with Senator Ted Cruz coming up this Wednesday. That`s Wednesday here on HARDBALL. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back with a roundtable, David, Jennice and Jonathan.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders considered himself to be a freelance journalist back in the 1960s and `70s, writing mostly for a publication called "The Vermont Freeman", often linking topics like sexual oppression, cancer, fluoridated water and public education in his writing. In a 1969 article for "The Freeman" called "Cancer, Disease and Society", Sanders writes "The manner which you bring up your daughter with regard to sexual attitudes may very well determine whether or not she will develop breast cancer, among other things." In the same essay, he writes he writes with regard to the schools that you send your kids to school, are you concerned many institutions serve no other function than to squash the life, joy and curiosity out of kids. Sanders is now United States senator and, of course, a candidate for president. He`s holding his own against Hillary Clinton in the polls. According to the latest CNN/WMUR poll in New Hampshire, Sanders trails Clinton by just eight points. He also drew huge crowds last week to rallies in Denver and in Madison. Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri responded to the Sanders boomlet this morning on "MORNING JOE." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does your campaign worry about Bernie Sanders? Will you begin to acknowledge and attack Bernie Sanders in this campaign? JEN PALMIERI, CLINTON CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: So, we`re worried about him, sure. He`s a force. He`ll be a serious force for the campaign. I think we don`t need to attack each other. We all -- he`ll run his campaign, we`ll run ours. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not worried about Bernie Sanders right now? PALMIERI: Of course, we are worried about him. This is an election and he is doing well. And we`ll have to -- you know, she`ll have to make her case. But we knew this was going to happen. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: So, is it time to take Sanders seriously? And I want go through everybody on that because, what does that mean to take him seriously by the press? We`re covering him. He`s getting a lot of ink, especially in this network. So, people are taking him seriously.

But is it serious enough to go back into this oppo research on the guy and what he wrote 40 years ago? CORN: Well, we put out the story -- MATTHEWS: It`s your story. CORN: -- that revealed some of that, as did "The New York Times." And I have to say, I think it`s fair game. Everybody`s history who`s running for president, whether it`s Hillary, or Ted Cruz, or Bernie Sanders. And the media did a remarkable thing. If you go back and read his history, he started out as a radical journalist and activist who then came to believe that the way to get change is to run for local office. He ran for mayor and he ran for Congress, and he ran a lot of times before he ran. This shows this guy has a lot of grit, a lot of determination and is committed to finding the best effective way for social change. So, it`s all piece of that. I do think that his message is powerful. MATTHEWS: Who`s putting the story out? How did this story get out? CORN: People say this is oppo research, is it from Hillary Clinton? No, we decided to do this ourselves. MATTHEWS: It`s interesting. Does it matter that a guy wrote about how if women have more sex basically, they`re less likely to get cancer. Does that bother people? FUENTES: I think it will bother people for 24 hours or 48 hours. I think at the end of the day, he brings in this economic equality conversation and if you have a 73-year-old blunt-speaking non-Democrat doing better and better on the polls, bringing bigger and bigger crowds and raising more and more money you have to pay attention. MATTHEWS: Lightning question: can he win New Hampshire?

ALLEN: He could win New Hampshire. MATTHEWS: I think so, too. Thank you very much, David Corn, Jennice Fuentes and Jonathan Allen. When we return, let me finish with what Bill Clinton said over the July 4th weekend about the big changes between the United States and the government of Vietnam. This is an amazing little bit here. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with something former President Bill Clinton said over the weekend in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. He spoke about our country`s relationship with Vietnam, a country we were at war with all those years. He said, "There is no American my age who didn`t know at least someone who was killed here." He spoke of the raging debate over that war, how both sides arguing the Vietnam War thought so little of the other and how the two governments actually fighting that war -- Vietnam`s and America`s - - 20 years ago accepted each other and were set free by that decision. Clinton called that one of the most important achievements of his life, how it, as he said, helped to heal the wounds of war, to bill bonds of genuine friendship and provide proof in an increasingly divided world that cooperation was far better than conflict. The former president described how Vietnam has gone from being a country where people made barely a dollar a day 20 years ago when he normalized relationships with them and has seen explosive economic growth and how its children are among the highest in the world at basic math, science and literature. That`s Vietnam. Finally, he spoke of how President Obama is trying to add to this record of economic cooperation with the TPP negotiation. He said he hoped more than anything else that there will be as much bipartisan support for it as there was 20 years ago for the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam.

He said, "If our country can get good labor, human rights and environmental standards, the TPP will command the support of a broad swath of the American people." What a difference a generation makes, a country we fought and bled for is an economic and diplomatic partner and Bill Clinton had a lot to do with it. 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.>