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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 11/03/15

Guests: Deana Bass, Tad Devine, Jeanne Shaheen, Martin O`Malley, RobertCosta, Heidi Przybyla, Ramesh Ponnuru, Robert Costa, Heidi Przybyla

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: "Lord of the Flies." Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington. Remember that book we read in high school, "Lord of the Flies," about the group of British kids marooned on an island who create their own terrible world, a world of bullying and chaos, where everyone fights desperately to call the shots, if only to survive themselves? Well, this is the Republican Party today, with each candidate making more desperate claims against the way things are. The trouble is, the country as a whole believes what they`re saying, how bad things are. They just don`t quite believe in the Republican candidates who are saying how bad things are. Anyway, last night, President Obama took a shot at the Republican field. Let`s listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every one of these candidates say, you know, Obama`s weak. He`s -- you know, people -- Putin`s kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin... (LAUGHTER) Advertise OBAMA: ... he`s going to straighten out. (LAUGHTER) OBAMA: ... just looking at him, I mean, he`s going to be... (LAUGHTER) OBAMA: And then it turns out, they can`t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at a debate! (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) OBAMA: If you can`t handle those guys, you know, then I don`t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, meanwhile, we`ve got a new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll showing how the top Republican candidates match up against Hillary Clinton. Clinton beats Donald Trump by 8 points, beats Jeb Bush by 4 points, Marco Rubio by just 3. But take a look at a matchup between Clinton and Dr. Ben Carson, the quiet guy, tied, 47 to 47, 47-all for Carson versus Clinton. Anyway, NBC`s Chris Jansing is down in Florida following the Florida campaign of Reverend (sic) Carson. Have you figured it out yet, as a reporter, This star power of the quiet guy who speaks about 33.3 -- I`m at 78 all the time, he`s at 33.3, and yet he`s connecting with a lot of voters out there, evangelicals, other voters, conservative voters, quieter voters. Advertise What`s going on on the campaign trail with him? Can you see it? CHRIS JANSING, NBC CORRESPONDENT: We`re not even on the campaign trail. That`s the crazy part. We`re on the book tour. This is the second event I`ve gone to today, thousands of people, some of them who have waited in line four, five, six hours, even more. He gets kind of a rock star reception as he quietly gets off the bus and waves. I mean, when you talk to them, there are a couple things going on. And it`s backed up by our poll. First of all, it`s the whole anti- Washington thing. We`ve talked a lot about that. But it`s about his personality, as well. They trust him, believe in him. They think he`s honest. Contrast that, for example, with Hillary Clinton. The most troublesome number for her in this poll is only 27 percent give her high marks for honesty. The other thing, when you delve into that poll that is really interesting, is that he has a 13-point advantage in independents. You mentioned the people we think he would do well with -- you know, the conservatives, the evangelicals, some of the young families. What`s really been interesting to me, Chris, as I`ve talked to people, both on the campaign trail and on the book tour, is how diverse they are, diverse in terms of age, in terms of race, socioeconomically. A lot of -- and I think this is a story that`s going to be told a lot more coming up -- a lot of them doctors, nurses, medical professionals, people who were inspired to become that profession because they read his book. And also patients. He did 15,000 surgeries. I just met a young man who he removed half of his brain when he was 2 years old, and now he has a job. He rides horses. You know, how is that guy not going to go out and... MATTHEWS: Sure. JANSING: ... you know, try to get Ben Carson elected president? So you know, I think there is a big part of it that started with the malaise or the anger that people feel against Washington, D.C. This is unlike anything we`ve ever seen before, anything I`ve ever seen before. I covered my first presidential election in 1980. It really is unique to this moment, that someone like him can be where he is. Now, I`ll say this real quickly. His folks know he`s going to have to address the experience issue. He has a line that he uses... Advertise MATTHEWS: Sure. JANSING: ... on the campaign trail that gets a big laugh, which is, you know, it was professionals built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark. So they know that that`s... MATTHEWS: OK... JANSING: ... a great line on the trail. They`re going to have to work to keep this momentum going. That`s the big question, Chris. MATTHEWS: Yes, and amateurs built a lot of ships that have sunk, too, I`m sure. Anyway, thank you, Chris Jansing. It was a great report. JANSING: Thank you. MATTHEWS: At a press conference this morning for the launch of his new book -- his new book -- Donald Trump slammed many of his Republican opponents, with a special focus on the guy I think he`s worried about down the road, Marco Rubio. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You look at Marco Rubio, very, very weak on illegal immigration. I think that, really Marco, is overrated. And frankly, had Bush been a better messenger, he has the better message. Marco doesn`t show up to the United States Senate. He has a very bad record of finances, if you look at what happened with his houses -- with his -- you know, he certainly lives above his means, there`s no question about that. Advertise My Jeb impression? No, I don`t want to do that. I don`t like showing a person sleeping at a podium. Do I think it`s time to have some of the other Republican candidates drop out? Yes! There are too many people! If a person`s been campaigning for four or five months, and they`re at zero or 1 or 2 percent, they should get out. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: NBC`s Katy Tur was at that press conference, and she joins us now. You know, I do laugh because I guess it`s like the kid cutting up in school. You know, we`ve all got our hands folded. We`re supposed to behave in school, in Catholic school, especially. And there`s this kid back in the fifth row, cutting up! It is cutting up, making fun of the other guys -- basically, making fun of their IQs. Your thoughts. KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: I mean... MATTHEWS: Is that what it`s like every moment of this campaign? TUR: It is. It really is. He is entertaining. He gets the crowds going. When he`s out doing rallies, it`s almost like it`s a stand-up routine with Donald Trump. People are laughing hysterically. The question is, is that going to translate down the line? I think we saw him leading in every poll for a long time, but now he is starting to slip and I think that part of the reason is when you talk to people on the road and in the field, what they think of Donald Trump, they like his bombast, they like that he`s out there, they like that he`s speaking is mind, but they want to hear more from him. They also don`t want to hear these personal attacks. They`ve heard them all before. So now what you`re seeing, even with what that montage -- that very entertaining montage we just showed, it wasn`t very personal, other than Jeb Bush, who he said, you know, sleeping at the podium. He likes to get Jeb Bush. He likes to hit him below the belt, if you will. But the others, he`s moved on to substance. Marco Rubio, he`s not calling sweaty. Remember, he famously sent him those water bottles, like, a month-and-a-half ago. He hasn`t done anything like that lately. He`s not calling him a kid, not calling him a baby. Advertise MATTHEWS: Well, let me slow down here... TUR: Instead, he`s hitting him on his Senate voting record and talking about his finances. He has matured as a candidate. He`s moved on to insults -- or not insults, attacks that are more substantial than just the personal attacks. And I think that`s because people are getting tired of that. MATTHEWS: Well, he`s not Don Rickles as much anymore, OK. But I`ve looked at the latest polling, as you`ve done, Katy, and what keeps me interested in the guy is he`s still leading by a large swathe right now on who`s better dealing with the economy, who`s better dealing with the adversarial countries around the world. On the stuff that really matters, the economy and world affairs, he`s doing really well. TUR: And I think he`s trying to underline that. That`s how I think he`s trying to differentiate himself from Ben Carson, saying Ben Carson doesn`t have the demeanor to be in office. He doesn`t have the experience. He can`t get in there and make good deals and be the leader on trade for this country, create jobs. MATTHEWS: Yes. TUR: And I think that`s what he`s really trying to focus on right now because that is what he believes he`s doing well with the voting bloc that he`s after. Will it be enough to sway those voters away from Ben Carson? I`m not sure. It was remarkable how few people were locked into Donald Trump in our recent NBC poll and how many were just completely locked into Ben Carson. When you talk to people about Ben Carson versus Donald Trump, they get wide-eyed. They really, really like Ben Carson, especially in Iowa. They really like Donald Trump, as well. But do they think that he has the temperament to be in office? That remains to be seen. I`m not sure that Iowa is going to be the place where Donald Trump should focus his energy. New Hampshire might be better suited to him. It`s more moderate. It`s got a lot more independents that could, day of, change parties or decide to vote Republicans for the primary... MATTHEWS: I agree with you. TUR: ... and go for Donald Trump... Advertise MATTHEWS: I think New Hampshire`s more his crowd out there. Anyway, it`s also more sort of individualistic out there. They like characters, I think, a little more than... TUR: Absolutely. MATTHEWS: ... the evangelical people do. Anyway, Katy Tur, thanks for that report. Another target for Trump this morning, Dr. Ben Carson, the man who`s beating him in several recent national polls. According to Trump, Carson doesn`t have what it takes. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I think that Ben just doesn`t have the experience. Look, you know, I`m going to make the greatest deals you`ve ever seen on trade. We`re going to run the military properly. I`m going to take care of the vets. Ben can`t do those things. Ben cannot deal on trade. Ben cannot... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not? TRUMP: It`s not his thing, George. You know, you`re born with it. It`s not his thing. He hasn`t got the temperament for it. It`s not the right thing for him. And there are right things for him, but when you see China, these are fierce people in terms of negotiation. They want to take your throat out. They want to cut you apart. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Anyway, Deana Bass is press secretary for Dr. Carson`s campaign and Michael Steele, of course, is former chair of the RNC and an MSNBC political analyst . Well, Deana, respond to that. He is sharpening his knife for your guy. He`s focusing on Ben Carson. Advertise DEANA BASS, CARSON NATIONAL PRESS CONFERENCE: Well, he may be focusing on Dr. Carson, but Dr. Carson is focusing on the American public. And everything that he`s been doing -- the reason he`s rising in the polls is because he`s out on the trail. You know, we see Chris on the trail. He`s out on the trail, and people love him. There is a movement afoot, and I think that the D.C. political class can`t explain it. Sometimes we can`t explain it, but... MATTHEWS: Well, I agree. I can`t explain it. But how is he -- is he really running as a protest candidate or as somebody who`s really running to become commander-in-chief of all U.S. military forces, head of the CIA, all those responsibilities... BASS: Absolutely. MATTHEWS: ... which come with being president? BASS: Absolutely. He`s running to become president of the United States. And there was a groundswell of people who encouraged him to run. He always says that he was ready to retire, ready to, you know, play golf. But the American people in a groundswell wanted him to run. And he recognized that he`s fit to do this, and he`s doing it. And we see -- every day, we see people who are -- who have never been engaged in the political process, who`ve never voted, who`ve never been interested in politics, but because of Dr. Carson`s enthusiasm -- people love this man... MATTHEWS: OK. Michael Steele, you`re a pro. What do you make of this? MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, it is quite a phenomenon, when you think about someone coming completely out of left field with -- with... MATTHEWS: Right field (INAUDIBLE) STEELE: Or right field, in this case, with no political portfolio -- same with Donald Trump -- falling into this breach and filling it the way both of them have. I think the test for both of these men, to be honest, in the longer run-up to the vote, is showing substantively the capacity to govern... Advertise MATTHEWS: Yes. STEELE: ... the capacity to lead. That is something that both of these candidates have not encountered in a primary process. Voters right now are voting how they feel, what they like, what they think. Voters, whether they go to that booth or they go to that caucus is a very different mindset. MATTHEWS: Yes. STEELE: And so the transition for Carson and Trump will be, How do I get that to stick? You like me now, you`ll like me later, but now I need you to like me later with the substance of knowing, to Deana`s point, that I can be commander-in-chief. MATTHEWS: How much of it is they just like the guy? And how much of it is they think, as the doctor`s code is, Do no harm? He will do no harm. But what about the aggressive role a presidential has to play in our society, getting into the Middle East, dealing with these dictators, dealing with people who are an enemy, like ISIS. I haven`t heard from him how he`s going to deal with ISIS, how he`s going to deal with these incredibly difficult foreign policy people. BASS: You know, I think that people recognize that Dr. Carson is wise. And he has a degree of wisdom, and his temperament is certainly something that people really like. And it`s this wisdom that has allowed him for the better part of three decades to bring complex communities together to solve the most complex... (CROSSTALK) STEELE: ... a complex community with ISIS killing Americans on one soil, Putin grabbing land in Eastern Europe. That`s a very different -- I mean, I get that... BASS: I think it`s -- no, it... STEELE: ... scenario, but... Advertise BASS: I think it`s a different -- it`s a... STEELE: He has not shown that capacity yet. MATTHEWS: Where`s his experience in that area? BASS: I think that what Dr. Carson brings is he`s never -- he`s not a politician. He will say that openly. He`s not a politician. We believe that he`s a statesmen, and his wisdom will allow him to bring the kinds of people together to lead. And that`s what America is looking for right now. We`re not looking for -- I love politicians, but we`re not looking for career politicians with the same old answers. Dr. Carson -- he also recognizes that he may not -- he may not have ever done this before, but there are a lot of things, as we know, that he has never done. And -- but people -- but what you see out on the trail every day is people... MATTHEWS: How does he get -- now does -- you say with pride he`s not a politician, but we`ve had people who have been failed politicians who don`t know how to be a politician. But my experience is you end up -- after all the talk, need 218 votes in U.S. House of Representatives and you need 60 votes in the Senate, or all they`re doing is talking. Nothing is happening. We`ve got immigration challenges. We got budget problems. We got border problems. We got all these problems. You know why they don`t get done? Because nobody can get 218 and nobody can get 60 in the Senate... BASS: Dr.... MATTHEWS: ... so nothing gets done. How is he going to do it? BASS: I think that Americans -- Americans see that Dr. Carson is a unifier. He`s able to bring -- even on -- even on our -- on the trail, from millennials to, you know, the Baby Boomers... Advertise MATTHEWS: Yes. How do you unify Paul Ryan, who says, I won`t even talk to the president about immigration with the president? How you going to unify those two guys? BASS: Well, that may not be an area where we need unification. You know, so -- so he definitely knows which -- which battles to pick. MATTHEWS: OK. Well, we`ll see. You`re a good advocate. I`m skeptical still. BASS: Well, he`s a good man. MATTHEWS: Well, I can tell you believe that. Good men can also be terrible presidents. BASS: Well, we think he`s going to be... MATTHEWS: We`ve had a few of them. BASS: ... a great president. MATTHEWS: We`ve also had some bad men who`ve been all right presidents. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you (INAUDIBLE) Deana, thank you (INAUDIBLE) Advertise BASS: Thank you so much. MATTHEWS: Please come back. Michael, as always... STEELE: Yes. MATTHEWS: ... being the man of maturity and wisdom. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Coming up -- the state of play in the Democratic race. Hillary Clinton is back on the top, by the way, of Bernie Sanders up in New Hampshire. She`s flipped those numbers up there just the other day. We`re going to talk to a key Clinton surrogate, a top Sanders adviser and former mayor of Maryland Governor Marty O`Malley, who`s hoping he can break through and make this a three-person fight. Plus, new poll numbers on the mood of American voters. With one year before the election exactly, voters are mad as hell and they`re not going to take it anymore. I`m amazed at the negativity of the -- well, the bad mood of the country. And don`t look now, but Donald Trump`s actually helping Hillary Clinton. Trump`s rhetoric about illegal immigrants is fuelling a huge mobilization. Guess what, by Latino voters, voters who will likely be with Clinton come November. And finally, "Let Me Finish" with this intriguing duet of numbers in the new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll. Wait until you see the numbers we cooked (ph) up for you tonight, and they`re all real. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Advertise MATTHEWS: Well, this time eight years ago, Hillary Clinton was the Democrats` top choice for the 2008 presidential nomination. In November 2007, she led the field with 47 percent. Then Senator Barack Obama was second with just 25 percent. Former senator John Edwards was down at 11. Bill Richardson, Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich rounded out the top six. And we`ll be right back with much more on the current Democratic field for 2016. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, we turn now to look at the Democrats on super Tuesday. By the way, it`s a year from election tonight. In a poll out today, Hillary Clinton has taken the lead again in the important early voting state of New Hampshire. According to the Monmouth poll, Clinton is now at 48 percent, Bernie Sanders is at 45. Obviously very close. That`s a flip technically from September, when Sanders led Clinton by 8 points. So it`s still close there. Joining me right now from Coralville, Iowa, is NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker. Secretary Clinton now took questions at a town hall earlier today. Good evening, Kristen. Tell me about what Hillary Clinton`s saying. How is she differentiating herself from Bernie Sanders, or is she? KRISTEN WELKER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, look, to some extent, she`s trying to go after some of those Bernie Sanders voters here in a place like Coralville, by the way, where there are a lot of young voters. This is a big university town. One of the ways that she`s going after some of his supporters, she`s talking about the issue of gun violence. She is saying -- calling for stiffer gun laws. This is a place that is no stranger to the heartache of that. Just over the summer, there was a terrible shooting here at a local mall that claimed one woman`s life. She`s trying to distinguish herself with Bernie Sanders in that way. Interestingly, today, she reiterated her call for a $12 minimum wage. Bernie Sanders, of course, has called for the minimum wage to be increased to $15. So those are just a few points. Look, I have been talking to Clinton campaign officials who say they of course like these new poll numbers. It`s an indication, they think, that she`s really started to resonate, particularly in the wake of that strong first debate performance. At the same time, they say they`re not taking any votes for granted. As you say, Chris, she is running very close to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, and, of course, Iowa is a place that haunts her. She came in third here back in 2008. So she`s reminded of that all the time. And there are some warning signs, by the way, in our latest NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll. She`s tied with Dr. Ben Carson in a general election matchup. They both get 47 percent and then take a look at this poll. This has to do with how voters perceive her honesty; 53 percent of the registered voters give her poor marks for being honest and straightforward. Only 27 percent give her high marks, Chris. Advertise MATTHEWS: Thank you. WELKER: So, the campaign looking at these figures and knowing that they still have quite a bit of work to do moving forward -- Chris. MATTHEWS: Thank you so much. And, by the way, Iowa looks cold already out there. I can`t -- well, I can wait for February, when it`s even a meat locker sometimes out there. Thank you, NBC`s Kristen Welker with the Clinton campaign. Joining me right now is the senior adviser to the Sanders campaign, Tad Devine. You know, when I look at the number for Hillary, a vulnerability, the fact is 27 percent is not a great number of trust. TAD DEVINE, SENIOR BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Right. MATTHEWS: Why didn`t your guy jump on the e-mail thing? And let me put it this way. Why did he give it away? Why didn`t he just say, you know what, I`m not -- I`m tired of hearing about the damned thing? Why didn`t he just let it lie there, let the Republicans and the FBI do their thing? Why did he pull it back out of action and give her a break on that? DEVINE: Because -- well, I don`t know if he gave her a break. MATTHEWS: Well, sure he did. Advertise DEVINE: Well, listen look what the Republicans did in Benghazi, OK? They gave her a lift. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I know. You didn`t have to -- no, you`re making a -- don`t fight me on something I didn`t say. DEVINE: Yes. MATTHEWS: I wouldn`t say shove it down her throat. I would say, let her deal with the problem of e-mails. It`s not his problem. DEVINE: Sure. I`ll tell you why. Because Bernie Sanders is convinced that if we have a real debate on issues that voters care about, he`s going to win this election. That`s why. And if we have debates about other issues that they don`t care as much about, his chances of winning are diminished. MATTHEWS: OK. You`re still not making the point. Let the other people attack her on that. You attack her on the ideological stuff he wants to hit her on. DEVINE: Well, he wants to talk -- he wants to debate real issues. Listen, they have big differences on how do we -- college education. He thinks it should be universal. We shouldn`t stop at high school. We should go through college. She has another plan. Let`s debate it. (CROSSTALK) Advertise MATTHEWS: How about guns? DEVINE: On guns, listen, Bernie Sanders... MATTHEWS: He`s not as strong as she is on guns right now, is he? DEVINE: He earned his D-minus lifetime rating from the NRA. He`s opposed assault weapons since he lost his first election over that issue in 1988. He called for a close in the gun show loophole. He thinks we should have a limit on the size of cartridges. Everything in her ad today, he supports. OK? So, listen, she wants to have a debate about that. He wants to have a debate about this, why America has a rigged economy that`s held in place by a corrupt system of campaign finance. OK? And we`re happy to... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Do you accept -- did you see the new poll out that most people now believe that Congress -- that most members -- look at this -- 52 percent of Americans say most members of Congress are corrupt. Is that thing something Bernie believes, corrupt members of Congress, a majority? DEVINE: He believes that our system right now of campaign finance is corrupt. OK? And it`s the centerpiece of his campaign right now, talking about how he would -- and, by the way, that`s why he`s not participating in super PACs. MATTHEWS: Is Hillary corrupt for taking super PAC money? DEVINE: No. (CROSSTALK) Advertise MATTHEWS: Well, she`s taken super PAC -- not taking it, but it`s helping her. DEVINE: He has denounced a corrupt system. And super PACs are a big part of it. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Are candidates who rely on super PACs corrupt? DEVINE: He`s not going to call her corrupt and he`s not going to call... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Are candidates who rely on super PAC help corrupt? Because he`s not accepting it. DEVINE: No, he -- listen, Bernie is not going to engage in a campaign of name-calling. What he will do is call out a system which is broken, totally broken down. And it`s -- and that system is held in place -- holding in place a rigged economy that`s sending all the wealth to the top. That`s what his campaign is about. And I think he`s going to gut through. And, listen, Hillary is doing better in New Hampshire. I will stipulate to that. I will also say she has had three months of unanswered television. OK? And we`re going to start tomorrow with our message. MATTHEWS: You just put up -- you put up the $2 million bucks up there. Advertise (CROSSTALK) DEVINE: Yes. We are going to start tomorrow in Iowa and New Hampshire. And I think when people get to know Bernie Sanders` story, it`s a powerful story. It`s something that is going to resonate. It`s an American story, OK, that begins at the Statue of Liberty. And I think when people hear it and they understand his accomplishments as mayor, as congressman, and senator, they are going to understand. And, by the way, that`s why in your own poll that came out today, he`s doing better against Rubio, he`s doing better against Trump than Hillary Clinton is. MATTHEWS: If he gets the nomination for the Democratic Party for president, will he become a Democrat? DEVINE: He is a -- he`s running as a Democrat right now. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: No, is he a Democrat? Is he a member of the Democratic Party? DEVINE: Yes, he is. Well, he can`t be technically a member of the party, because there`s no party registration in Vermont. MATTHEWS: Is he a Democrat? DEVINE: Yes. He`s running as a Democrat. Advertise MATTHEWS: I thought he was a socialist. Which is it? DEVINE: Well, his philosophy is Democratic socialism. MATTHEWS: Oh, I thought his title was socialist, because he`s an independent in the caucus. He`s an independent member of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate, but he`s not a Democratic member of the caucus. (CROSSTALK) DEVINE: He`s a member of the Democratic Caucus. He`s always caucused with Democrats. MATTHEWS: But he`s not a Democrat. DEVINE: He`s running as a Democrat for the president of the United States. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: So, he`s a Democrat. DEVINE: He signed an affidavit with the Federal Election Commission that says... MATTHEWS: That`s the first I heard that. Don`t argue with me. It`s a weird situation. He`s now a Democrat, because, in the past, he`s ran against Democrats for the Senate, ran against Democrats for mayor, ran against Democrats for Congress. Advertise DEVINE: Yes. In this campaign, he decided to run for the Democratic Party nomination and he is running as a Democrat. MATTHEWS: He is a Democrat? DEVINE: Yes. MATTHEWS: OK. DEVINE: I`m glad we resolved that. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Well, I didn`t know he changed parties. DEVINE: He didn`t change parties. There` no -- if he could register, he would. But he can`t. OK? MATTHEWS: I think that`s a technical point. I`ll take him as his word he`s a socialist, which is fine with me. DEVINE: He`s a Democratic socialist. OK? (CROSSTALK) Advertise MATTHEWS: Well, that`s better. Let`s go with that one. That`s a nice mixture. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Thank you, Tad Devine, keeper of the keys. Joining me right now is New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a major supporter of Hillary Clinton for president. Thank you so much, Senator, for joining us. SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Nice to be with you. MATTHEWS: Let`s go back to this thing about guns in New England. I always thought guns were a real challenge for Democrats in Pennsylvania, for example, where there are so many gun owners, where I grew up. So many defeated moderate -- even a great old liberal senator, Joe Clark, on that issue was defeated. Tom Foley, I think, got beaten on the issue. Is it an issue that can hurt a Democrat if Hillary stays strong on it? Can it hurt her up there? SHAHEEN: Listen, New Hampshire strongly believes in the Second Amendment, but I think people are also concerned about gun violence and they believe in commonsense reforms. And so I voted for the Manchin-Toomey bill that would have provided background checks for guns. I got a lot of support in New Hampshire for doing that. And I think that`s what people want to see. They want to see support for the Second Amendment, for responsible gun ownership, but they believe that there are things we can do to address gun violence. MATTHEWS: What about the -- what is the difference between New Hampshire and Iowa? New Hampshire strikes me more that it goes to the gritty sort of maverick type. Advertise SHAHEEN: We would rather live in New Hampshire. MATTHEWS: You what? SHAHEEN: We`d rather live in New Hampshire. You know, our weather is perfect all the time there. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Well, tell me about the culture politically. It seems like you go for mavericks. You went for -- tell me about that -- what is it about -- let me just put it positively. What do New Hampshire voters tend to look for in a candidate for president that`s unique? SHAHEEN: You know, I think, in this election cycle, as in most, people are looking at what candidates have to say about kitchen table issues. What are -- what is somebody running for president going to do that`s going to address my problems with my family? So, are they going to be promoting policies that allow for better job growth, for good jobs for people, to help families put their kids through college in a way that gives them opportunities for the next generation? What are they saying about retirement and about access to health care? That`s what people are concerned about. And I think Hillary is addressing those issues and she`s doing it a voter at a time. She`s working hard. She`s not taking anything for granted and she understands that this is going to be a tough election and she has got to talk about the future of this country and what we`re going to do to create opportunities for Americans. MATTHEWS: Well, if anybody knows how to run in New Hampshire, it`s you, Senator. I watched your campaign on the ground up there last year and I was so wonderfully impressed by those young kids working the phones for you, especially... SHAHEEN: Me too. MATTHEWS: ... the ones with the deely-boppers having fun doing it. Advertise SHAHEEN: Yes. MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Senator Jeanne Shaheen. SHAHEEN: Thank you. MATTHEWS: Former Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley is competing against a surging Hillary Clinton and a surprisingly popular Bernie Sanders. You can see the challenges he`s facing in the latest NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll. O`Malley`s battle cry is for tougher gun control laws. Here he was making his pitch recently in Colorado. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Once Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders get done bickering about shouting and who`s sexist and who`s not, I hope they will come back in the main issue here, which is that we need commonsense gun safety legislation in our country. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, it`s an uphill climb for O`Malley, who joins me now from Manchester, New Hampshire, as we mark the one-year countdown until the 2016 presidential election. Governor, let`s talk about the issue of gun safety. And for Democrats, it`s always been a little tricky. They have been afraid of losing states, Western states especially. Why now? You out there in Colorado, that shows a lot of, I think, courage. O`MALLEY: Well, Colorado, before it was the host of the latest Republican debate, Chris, was also the place where the massacre happened at Columbine, where the massacre happened at that theater in Aurora. Advertise I think growing numbers of us as Americans are realizing that we have a problem, the likes of which no other developed nation on the planet has. I mean, the numbers of people that we bury, the number of Americans that we bury because of guns and gun violence is appalling. I mean, there`s not another developed nation on the planet that has this problem. In our own state of Maryland, we passed comprehensive gun safety legislation. It had universal background checks, the requirement of licensing for new purchases. And it also banned the sale of combat assault weapons. And yet we managed to preserve all of the fine hunting traditions of our rural areas. So, look, this is not a matter of either/or. We can make sure that we actually have commonsense gun safety legislations, reduce the carnage without impeding people`s abilities to hunt and enjoy their sporting rights and traditions, and I think we can do both. MATTHEWS: Well, let`s talk about the campaign for president. Where would you -- to somebody coming new to the campaign, and everybody, as you know, is not paying attention yet, you have got Bernie Sanders, who`s a lifelong socialist and says he`s a socialist, Hillary Clinton, who had been identified with her husband, with the sort of DLC, the moderate Democrats, where are you in that spectrum, if you don`t mind, somewhere -- where are you, between Bernie and Hillary? Are you between them? Are you around them? O`MALLEY: I think I`m forward of them. I`m forward of both of them. I represent a different generation of leadership and a newer generation of leadership, Chris. That means I oftentimes arrive at issues before they do. And it means on issues of -- like immigration or whether it`s gun safety, I find myself much more further in front of them than they are on these things. I mean, listening to Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton talk about immigration, it`s like the greatest hits of the `80s and `90s. If you talk to young people in our country, they think we have all bumped our heads, that we don`t have the ability for people that have been living here for years, whose only country they know of is the United States, for them not to be able to gain full citizenship rights and play by the rules and be a part of this open economy. Also, on other issues like climate change, this isn`t a matter of following polls. It`s a matter of following principles in the best interests of our nation and the needs of this planet for a clean, 100 percent green electric energy future. These are the ideas I`m going to continue to talk to. And I feel like the Democratic race really only just began with that very first debate. And immediately on its heels, two of the contenders dropped out, and Vice President Biden, for whom I have a tremendous amount of affection, decided not to enter this race. So, in the next debate, there`ll be three of us. And I`m the only candidate on that stage who can point to 15 years of leading with principle, accomplishing progressive things, and bringing people together to get things done. That`s what you learn to do as an executive. And that`s something neither of them has -- can point to. Advertise MATTHEWS: Well, you will be on this Friday night with Rachel here on MSNBC, on her candidates night. And I hope to have you back again soon. O`MALLEY: Yes, looking forward to it. MATTHEWS: And I agree with you. For most Americans, they`re just getting into this thing, Martin O`Malley, governor of Maryland for years. O`MALLEY: Thank you, Chris. MATTHEWS: And coming up, is this the mad as hell election? What polls reveal about just how angry the American electorate is heading into 2016. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAGE HOPKINS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Page Hopkins. And here`s what`s happening. The leaders of China and Taiwan will meet this weekend for the first time since 1949. The meeting is set for Saturday in Singapore. The E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon has grown. There are now 37 people sick. That`s up from 22 on Monday. And fans jammed the streets of Kansas City by the tens of thousands, look at that, for a parade celebrating the World Series-winning Royals. The last time they won a World Series was 30 years ago -- and now we`re going to take you back to HARDBALL. Advertise (MUSIC) MATTHEWS: Well, that`s a succinct statement of the mood out there. Welcome back to HARDBALL. And exactly one year from tonight, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president. Right now, the country`s not in a great mood. And it`s likely to stay that way for a while. According to new polling out just today from NBC News, two-thirds of voters say the country is on the wrong track, two-thirds. Other polls paint a similar picture. The mood of America is glum, no matter how you slice it; 57 percent say the economy is headed down. The majority of the country says the economic and political system is stacked against them. There`s a strong populist feeling; 52 percent of the country describe most members of Congress as corrupt. Isn`t that something? A majority of the country thinks the people they elected -- they elected are crooks. Anyway, I`m joined right now by the roundtable, Robert Costa, national political reporter with "The Washington Post." Heidi Przybyla is senior political reporter with "USA Today." And Ramesh Ponnuru is the senior editor for "The National Review." OK. I want you to all talk about. And start with that, Robert. I respect you guys. You`re all covering the people out the there and the politicians. Is that all you have to do is bang the clanger and say things suck and people will trust you now? Say things are good, people don`t trust you? ROBERT COSTA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I have been struck this year in my reporting, whether I`m at a Senator Sanders rally or I`m a Donald Trump rally, you sense the same frustrations towards the banks, about the economy, about stagnant wages. To me, that`s the defining issue, a frustration and anger that`s boiling up on both sides. MATTHEWS: Is there a sense, when people read about the proliferation of billionaires, because we never heard of them growing up, lots of billionaires, that somebody`s skimming the cream off our economic productivity, that the worker bee still goes to work in the morning, does his 50-some hours a week, comes home sweaty, beat, and has a beer and he realizes, hey, I`m not making anymore money, but I`m reading about billionaires who don`t seem to be building anything? Advertise Billionaires are out there like Henry Ford. There`s no Lee Iacocca. they make money off money. People are just getting richer and richer off of money and I`m still working. And I`m not making any money. Is that it? HEIDI PRZYBYLA, "USA TODAY": Well, Robert`s exactly right. It`s the anger vote. MATTHEWS: Or am I right? PRZYBYLA: You`re right. You`re both right. MATTHEWS: I`m just asking about the notion, people reading a lot about billionaires, the word. (CROSSTALK) PRZYBYLA: It`s not just billionaires, though, Chris. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Sanders says billionaires, billionaires, billionaires. It`s a favorite -- and it always gets a big crowd applause. PRZYBYLA: It`s the contrast. Advertise It`s not just the billionaires. It`s the contrast with what`s happening in Middle America with the stagnant wages. Like you said, you can tick off any number of economic indicators that show unemployment`s down, the stock market`s up, but if people aren`t feeling that, then they`re going to be angry, especially when they see what`s happening at the very top. MATTHEWS: They have been passed over. PRZYBYLA: That`s exactly right. RAMESH PONNURU, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE NATIONAL REVIEW": And even if they do feel that things have worked out for them over the last few years, which, of course, a lot of people don`t feel that way, but even if they do feel that way, they don`t trust this economy. They don`t think this is going to last. They fear that the country has seen its best days. MATTHEWS: That`s what I fear. I am fearing -- I fear, like most people, that the big number they call -- what is the biggest concern? The economy, not just inequality, not just wages, not trade, but the economy. I think people are afraid we may run out the string. They have stimulated the economy with the stimulus bill. They have done everything to get it juiced up, but it still isn`t really lifting, and, at some point, it is going to drop, and we won`t have anything to do about it. PONNURU: And they feel they have to work harder to stay in the middle class. They feel it`s easier for their kids to fall out of the middle class. And in that sense, the American dream is in jeopardy. MATTHEWS: I tell you, people, a little younger than you guys, in fact, you`re probably still carrying debt. When we went to college, we carried debt at three or four years at 3 percent. A few thousands bucks, you paid it off. Your first job, you paid it you have. Now, people are like, I talked to a dentist today, he said, some people are coming out of dental school owing $400,000. And then they got to buy a practice. And they got a residency that pays $30,000 a year. They never catch up. HEIDI PRZYBYLA, USA TODAY: The other problem is, with all due respect to both parties, neither one is coming out with big, bold ideas -- Advertise MATTHEWS: It`s tough to have an idea -- PRZYBYLA: -- about wages and jobs. MATTHEWS: What is a good idea? It`s tough to have a good idea. But it`s a tough situation. PRZYBYLA: Well, it`s not raising the minimum wage and it`s not just deregulating everything. It`s something bigger than that. ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: One thing I`ve been struck by, Donald Trump has not advocated for reforming Medicare and Social Security. That was the key Republican issue in 2012. I sat down with Trump recently and said, why aren`t you pushing for the same thing Paul Ryan is pushing for? He said, the country`s not at that moment anymore. Something`s changed -- MATTHEWS: He doesn`t want to give away anything that it has, because they`re so scared. The people have so minimal benefits. You`re 65 years old, or you`re approaching 65. You get your health care, you want to give that away? You want to give away your Social Security benefits? No, that`s all I have! PONNURU: And in return for nothing. MATTHEWS: Huh? PONNURU: In return for nothing. No positive side, either. MATTHEWS: We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Advertise (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I predict that I`m going to win the Hispanic vote. I think I`m going to win the Hispanic vote. I predict, yes, I think I`m going to get the nomination and I will win the White House. I think beating Hillary Clinton is going to be easy, because her record is so bad. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was, of course, the inimitable Donald Trump today saying he`ll win the Hispanic vote and defeat Hillary Clinton in November next year. But according to the latest NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, only 11 percent, one in nine, of Hispanic voters across the country have a positive view of Trump, while 72 percent don`t like the guy much. That`s a net negative of 61 percent, taking the negatives from the positive, making Donald Trump far more toxic, if you will, to Hispanic voters than any of the other top Republican candidates. In contrast, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio fare the best. As Heidi Przybyla reports in "USA Today," Donald Trump is the primary force driving Latino registration efforts right now and that`s likely to benefit Hillary Clinton in the long run. We`re back, by the way, with the roundtable, with Robert, Ramesh, and Heidi herself. So, I saw the front page story, make it quick. Is Trump basically the kind of guy that`s going to get Hispanics to vote Democrat, because they can`t stand what he said about them? PRZYBYLA: Well, as you know, the most powerful movements are the movements that are organic. And what we`re seeing is not the Clinton campaign going out and whipping up Hispanics, although that will eventually happen. What we`re seeing is a grassroots movement that, you know, last week 2,200 Hispanics gather outside a Republican debate. That`s not pro- Hillary, that`s anti-Trump. And what were they doing there? They were registering to organize to vote. Secondly, we`re seeing two ad campaigns right now based off of Trump specifically appealing to Hispanics. So, he`s providing them with the fodder to basically brand the entire party, which is what the Democrats plan to do. Advertise MATTHEWS: OK. Robert, what are you seeing out there? COSTA: When I was in Mobile, Alabama, or a New Hampshire Trump rally, I`ve seen Hispanic voters, not many. But I go up to them and say, why are you here? They say, one, they oppose illegal immigration. They came here legally. Two, they think he`s a cowboy. They like his swagger. So, will Trump`s hard line immigration views have consequences if he`s the nominee? Of course. But are there some Hispanics out there who may be inclined to eventually support him? That`s also possible. MATTHEWS: Ramesh, will they like his pro-capitalism view? PONNURU: I think a lot of them will. I think that, you know, look 11 percent of Hispanics is an awful lot of people who like Donald Trump, but it`s even lower than what Mitt Romney got in 2012, which was a pretty low point for Republicans with Hispanics. Any Republican is going to have trouble with Hispanic voters. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: But, by the way, it`s harder than it looks. If you say Cuban-Americans tend to be Republicans, you know, that could be the 11 percent. In other words, it may be -- PONNURU: Not necessarily -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- everybody who`s not Cuban maybe -- Mexican Americans as a group I think are in play, usually. Look how well George W. did with them. Advertise PRZYBYLA: The comparison is even more stark, Chris, when you look at the numbers that they would need going forward, given the growth in this demographic. They actually, to win back states like Ohio, the prediction is that all things holding constant, they would need even more -- MATTHEWS: Republicans need Mexican-American votes. They can live without Puerto Ricans, because they live without them for a hundred years, they can live without Dominicans and Haitians, Hispanic minorities, but they`re going to have their chunk of the Mexican-American vote. PONNURU: And they need to keep their Cuban numbers high. They have been slipping. COSTA: Maybe Susana Martinez for VP. MATTHEWS: I think we`re going to see a Hispanic on either one of the tickets, maybe on both. PRZYBYLA: Maybe on both. MATTHEWS: Maybe on both. The roundtable is staying with us. And up next, these three top reporters, and that`s what they are, will tell me something I don`t know. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, earlier, we told you who was leading the Democratic field in those eight years ago. Now, let`s take a look at the past Republican polling for president. Eight years ago in November 2007, it was Rudy Giuliani leading the pack. He had 33 percent followed by John McCain and the late Fred Thompson who just died. Advertise Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul trailed behind them. Four years later in November of 2011, Mitt Romney was on top with a one-point lead over Herman Kaine. Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann rounded out the top six. Things happen. And we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Ramesh, tell me something I don`t know. PONNURU: There is a new interesting survey out of Pew Forum -- this is about the public`s religious mood. It shows that people who don`t have religious affiliation. MATTHEWS: Nones. PONNURU: The nones. You know what? They`ve really risen during the years of the great recession. MATTHEWS: Is that going to help the left? PONNURU: I think it will. But what`s interesting, because we have to remember how complex people are. They`re nones, but 61 percent of the nones believe in God, 20 percent of them pray daily. Let`s not oversimplify. MATTHEWS: They`re spiritual. PONNURU: They`re spiritual. That`s right. Advertise MATTHEWS: That`s nice. PONNURU: They just don`t belong to a religious body. MATTHEWS: Interesting. Another anti-institutional argument in the country. We don`t trust churches. We don`t trust politicians. PRZYBYLA: Chris, if Hillary Clinton is elected in 2016, I`m going to predict that she`s probably going to reverse her opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership, that controversial trade deal. That`s not just me saying that, that`s Bill Daley the former commerce secretary who told a bunch of us at a breakfast last week that, you know what, she can renegotiate it and it`s her deal and she can sign it. MATTHEWS: I think that`s fascinating. I don`t think it says a lot about her stated positions. Your thoughts? COSTA: Behind the bravado of the Trump campaign, it could sometimes seem like a black box politically. But Mike Glassner, a long time aide to Bob dole at his side in the `96 campaign, a Republican veteran, he`s been the political director for Trump for months working to build a grassroots network in Iowa and across the country. If Trump really gets close to that nomination, it`s because after his campaign manager Lewandowski, but also Glassner, a Bob Dole guy. MATTHEWS: Will he spend the money when he thinks he can win? COSTA: If he thinks he can wait. He`s going to wait to the last minute to go on the air. He doesn`t want to spend any money unless he has to, according to people close to him. MATTHEWS: Well, he`s going to have to win. COSTA: If he gets -- but he doesn`t want to spend until January or February. Advertise MATTHEWS: I hope he blows every dollar he`s got. That would be a fascinating campaign. Spend $11 billion, Donald. Then we can all be happy. Thank you, Robert Costa, for that, Heidi Przybyla and Ramesh Ponnuru. When we return, let me finish with this intriguing duet of numbers in a new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll. They are fascinating. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this intriguing set of numbers in the new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll. Question, do you want a Republican or a Democrat in the White House? Answer, 44 percent Republican, 43 percent Democrat. So, after all this sound and fury, it looks like come next November, it will come down to an even split, with us up on election night trying to see how states like Florida, Colorado and Virginia are going to end up. The same states you can count on every time as the final deciders. And the fact is the country is divided. You see it in so many numbers. Even if there`s an advantage to a Democrat in one match-up, a Republican in another, the closer the question approaches which party you want controlling things, the more the pendulum tends to swing back toward the middle. The country tends to balance out right and left. So, I`ll stick with my prediction. Even if it`s Hillary, it`s going to be one close election which means what happens in the final week is going to matter. Which candidate gives the best promise for the future is going to matter even more. And this is not a contented country right now. And that`s why. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now. Advertise 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.>