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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 11/30/15

Guests: Fergus Cullen, Laura Bassett, Bob Cusack

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Does it matter what he says? Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews back in Washington. Does the Trump voter out there care if he`s telling the truth or is it the attitude that he`s selling? When the billionaire says, for example, that President Obama is a foreigner and therefore constitutionally banned from the presidency, does the Trump supporter believe that, or does he simply hate Obama enough to ditto the dishonesty? When Trump says he saw people in New Jersey cheering the fall of the trade towers, does the Trump supporter think he`s solid or does he simply like the guy`s "screw you" attitude to people who try to keep honest track of such things? And does the very fact that reporters say one thing and Trump another, that his followers double down in his defense, that media criticism actually verifies what Trump`s just said? And what if he makes fun of the reporter`s physical handicap? Is that every bit as OK as making fun of a female candidate`s face? Are people so committed to Trump`s nationalist message, they don`t -- or they can`t -- they don`t care what he says as long as he snarls at the big shots while he says it? Katy Tur covers the Trump campaign for NBC News. Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party and author of "Granite Steps," a new history of the New Hampshire primary -- I got to read that one -- Howard Fineman -- Howard will read it, too -- Howard Fineman`s global editorial director of the HuffingtonPost and an MSNBC political analyst . On "MEET THE PRESS" yesterday, Trump refused to take back his statement that he saw thousands -- I love the way he said that, thousands - - of Muslims in New Jersey cheering the attacks of 9/11. Let`s listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)   CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": Where did you see this? DONALD TRUMP: Chuck, I saw it on television. So did many other people. And many... CHUCK TODD: In Jersey City... DONALD TRUMP: ... many people -- I`ve had hundreds. CHUCK TODD: You saw Jersey City... In the area. I`ve also heard Paterson (ph). Excuse me. TODD: OK. TRUMP: I`ve heard Jersey City. I`ve heard Paterson. It was 14 years ago. But I saw it on television. I saw clips. And so did many other people. Now, "The Washington Post" also wrote about tailgate parties! We`re looking for other articles and we`re looking for other clips. And I wouldn`t be surprised if we found them, Chuck. But for some reason, they`re not that easy to come by. I saw it. So many people saw it, Chuck. And so why would I take it back? I`m not going to take it back. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, as "The Washington Post" fact checker reported this week, or last week, there was video taken overseas, of course, showing Palestinians on the West Bank celebrating the attacks. While Trump may have confused that footage in his memory, no video has emerged showing what Trump (INAUDIBLE) Trump described as happening in New Jersey.   And today, New Jersey governor Chris Christie also told reporters that it never happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was there on September 11. I wasn`t across the river in New York City. I was there. And not only myself but the state attorney general at the time, John Farmer (ph), good, smart, you know, Republican, has said the same thing that I`ve said, that it didn`t happen. And you know, the worst part of his claim is that he says he saw it on television. Well, no one has been able to unearth any video of any such thing happening. If it was widely enough shown on network television in New York City, you can usually find that video fairly quickly. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) back. Let me go right now to Katy Tur on this because you follow the guy. And I know this is -- you don`t like to go beyond reporting to interpretation. But when you report and you see people out there whose mouths are open as they listen to this stuff he puts out, do they, first of all -- let`s start with something, the original sin of the guy. Do they believe that President Obama is a usurper who snuck into this country illegally from overseas, is not a legal citizen, was born to somewhere else, to foreign parents, I suppose, and that he somehow snuck the American presidency away from us? Do they believe that when they say it to pollsters? Because they do say it to pollsters. KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: A number of them do believe that. I wouldn`t say all of them believe that. But I think a lot of them do not like this president, do not feel that they`ve been representing -- or he`s been representing their views. MATTHEWS: Yes, that`s different -- I`m talking about a fact question. Do they believe he`s a foreign usurper who snuck into the country... TUR: Some of them do.   MATTHEWS: ... illegally and somehow became president? TUR: Some of them do. Some of them do. Not all of them, but some of them do express that and some of them do believe that. I wouldn`t go so far to say that all of them at Trump rallies believe Obama was born overseas and that he`s a Muslim and that he`s not out (ph) here (ph) or he somehow usurped the presidency, as you said. Some of them believe that, but not all of them do, but I do think most of them, the vast majority of them, don`t think that he is the president that they voted for and they don`t think that... MATTHEWS: Well, of course not. Well, they didn`t vote for him, first of all. TUR: Well, they didn`t vote for him. They don`t think he`s representing their values. And I think... (CROSSTALK) TUR: ... Donald Trump is going to push back against that. MATTHEWS: So it`s -- so you think I`m right when I say it`s the attitude they like, his attitude of complete contempt for the liberal establishment. TUR: It is. And I think it is -- I think it doesn`t really matter what he says, as you`ve been talking about. I think it`s an unconditional love they have for him. I think regardless of what Trump says, they`re going to keep continuing -- they`re going to continue to support him. Even though the pastors that I spoke with today, some of the pastors, said it doesn`t matter what he says about Black Lives Matters (sic), protesters, doesn`t matter what he tweets about crime stats... MATTHEWS: Yes.   TUR: ... that may be bogus. They like him, no matter what, because they think he`s going to create jobs in this country and they think he`s going to be a strong leader. MATTHEWS: OK. Well... TUR: It`s unconditional love. It`s the kind of thing that you hope to find in your life, and Donald Trump found it with throngs of supporters across the country! (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Anyway, by the way, just to check our own facts, in the September CNN/Opinion Research poll, 43 percent of Republicans -- not just Obama -- Trump people, 43 percent of Republicans say they believe President Obama is a Muslim, just to get that fact, as they (INAUDIBLE) Howard, it sounds like Erich Siegel (ph) here, "Love means never having to say you`re sorry." (LAUGHTER) HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST GLOBAL EDITORIAL DIR., MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well... MATTHEWS: We grew up with that! FINEMAN: I covered a Trump rally in South Carolina with Katy, as a matter of fact, and I think she would agree with me that to some extent, that rally and all Trump rallies are a little bit like -- they`re a little bit like rock concerts and they`re a little bit like revival meetings. They`re secular political revival meetings, where it`s about belief and it`s about faith that because Donald Trump is willing to say anything, no matter how obnoxious -- the more obnoxious and the more accusatory it is, the more they believe in him because they feel culturally shackled. They feel like they`re in chains. MATTHEWS: I`m with you. I`m with you.   FINEMAN: And he is the guy who can by the sheer force of will, saying the most politically incorrect things, saying the most unsupportable things... MATTHEWS: Prove something. FINEMAN: He is such an outsider that he`s in a different reality. MATTHEWS: OK, let me go to Fergus... FINEMAN: He`s in a different reality. MATTHEWS: I take New Hampshire seriously. Maybe not necessarily the newspaper that just made the endorsement of Chris Christie, but I do take the state very seriously. It`s of sound mind and body, as far as I can tell. Will they be put off by a guy making fun of another guy`s physical handicap? FERGUS CULLEN, FMR. CHAIR, N.H. GOP: Sure. Two thirds of the Republican Party does. And I hope people aren`t under the misimpression that Donald Trump`s views are shared broadly within the Republican Party. Look, there`s about a third of the voters who either support him or are at least entertained by him and think that this is harmless fun. But two thirds of the party recognizes this is not harmless fun. It`s doing terrible damage to the Republican Party brand, and they`re not going to support him in the end. You know, I`m reminded a lot of... MATTHEWS: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I want to call you on the numbers... CULLEN: ... the 1996 race...   MATTHEWS: I like your speech. I like the attitude, but just the attitude because the numbers aren`t right because Trump is now leading by 2 to 1 over Rubio, who`s in second place in New Hampshire. So you say they don`t like him. Yes, you`re right. Technically, 26 percent is only one quarter, but he`s the leader. How do you explain it in New Hampshire? CULLEN: Well, you know, back in 1996, Pat Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary but with 28 percent of the vote because the mainstream Republican vote was hopelessly fractured between Bob Dole, Lamar Alexander, and Steve Forbes coming in fourth that year. But as soon as -- the day after the primary, Bob Dole came downstairs, reframed the race as a contest between the mainstream and the extreme, started beating Pat Buchanan 2 to 1 in primary after primary and had the nomination sewed up. It took Pat Buchanan winning to unite the Republican Party in favor of Bob Dole at that time. MATTHEWS: So we got to wait next year or this -- it is next year, technically -- for Wednesday to know what happened on Tuesday. We can`t go by election results Tuesday night as to who actually won? I mean, if Trump wins... CULLEN: Well, it`s going to take more than one... MATTHEWS: ... the New Hampshire primary, are you going to give that same speech? CULLEN: It`s going to take more than one caucus and more than one primary to nominate a candidate this cycle. And people in New Hampshire... MATTHEWS: You`re not selling that primary... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Sir, you are not selling the Republican primary in New Hampshire if you say it doesn`t matter. CULLEN: No, it`s going to winnow the field...   MATTHEWS: And that`s what you`re saying. CULLEN: ... considerably. MATTHEWS: Oh. CULLEN: There are going to be good candidates who are going to finish fifth or sixth... MATTHEWS: OK. CULLEN: ... and they`re going to be out of the race after that. MATTHEWS: OK. CULLEN: But more than one or two candidates is going to survive New Hampshire this year, and that`s OK. MATTHEWS: You must have loved it when Bill Clinton claimed victory up there and called himself the comeback kid when he came in 8 points behind Paul Tsongas. Anyway, in defending his remarks about New Jersey Muslims -- I don`t know if he ever saw one -- Trump has cited a 2001 article in "The Washington Post" that stated that law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks. Those allegations were later debunked, and the author of the piece, Serge Kovaleski, has since said he does not remember any celebrations actually taking place. And now Trump has been under fire for appearing -- well, that`s being put it nice (sic) -- to mock Kovaleski`s physical disability, a condition that limits the movement of his arms.   Here`s what -- here`s that clip of Trump last Tuesday night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Now, the poor guy -- you got to see this guy. Oh! I don`t know what I said! Oh! I don`t remember! He`s going, I don`t remember! Oh, maybe that`s what I said! (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, in response, Kovaleski told "The Washington Post," "The sad part about it is, it didn`t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent," what a great phrase, "given his track record." And "The New York Times" where Kovaleski now works, they issued this statement. "We`re outraged that he would ridicule the physical appearance of one of our reporters." Trump on Saturday said he does not know Kovaleski, even though Kovaleski covered Trump in the `80s and `90s, and he asked "The New York Times" for an apology. Trump did. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: The person has a disability. And the person said, I know him, I know him, but you know -- and I said, When? In the 1980s. The 1980s. That`s a long time -- 30, 35 years? That`s a long time ago. But I don`t -- believe me, I don`t know. Now he`s going, Well, he knew me and we were on first name -- give me a break. Give me a break. And the problem is, he`s using what he`s got to such a horrible degree. I think it`s disgraceful, the way -- and I think "The New York Times," frankly, should give me an apology. I do. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) TRUMP: I think they should give me -- and I`d love to have the apology before they go out of business. I would love that.   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: OK. OK. There we have some kind of proof there. Katy, you`ve watched those arm gestures of Donald Trump all the time. I know that they`re expansive. They`re reaching out in both direction. They`re sort of like Bernie Sanders. They both do the same thing -- What am I? Am I serious? (INAUDIBLE) with me or with me not? He`s doing it all the time. In this case, he does this thing. You know, he`s doing this thing about a guy whose arms are constrained in that way. What`s the general assessment? Was he making fun of that reporter or not? TUR: I don`t think anybody in the crowd in South Carolina got that he could have been making fun of Serge Kovaleski. I think that that was something that those who knew, who know Serge Kovaleski, saw. And it wouldn`t be -- if it is true, it wouldn`t be the first time that he`s been at least accused of mocking somebody`s disability. Back in the interview I did with him in July, he said that Charles Krauthammer can`t even buy himself a pair of pants. And this is after Krauthammer called him a rodeo clown. And Krauthammer is in a wheelchair. MATTHEWS: I know. TUR: So he was accused of it back then. So it does say something that he keeps getting accused of this stuff. At that same rally, he did an impression of the CNN reporter. So Donald Trump might not want to say that he`s doing impressions... MATTHEWS: OK... TUR: ... of reporters and might not want to say that he remembers Serge Kovaleski, but I think circumstances point in a different direction, frankly. MATTHEWS: Let me go to Fergus real fast. Do you think Republicans are any different than Democrats in feeling a little sympathy for people with handicaps, or are they less sympathetic? CULLEN: Oh, I think...   MATTHEWS: As a party. CULLEN: ... absolutely, they are. I mean, Trump`s behavior is indefensible. It`s outrageous. It`s offensive to lots of people. I think a lot of responsible, reasonable Republicans are going to start calling him out publicly on these kinds of things, saying this kind of behavior is not acceptable. We wouldn`t accept it in an elementary school... MATTHEWS: OK, Fergus... CULLEN: ... and we`re not going to accept it in a presidential candidate, either. MATTHEWS: Fergus, I really like your wing of the Republican Party. And Howard, I hope it still exists. Anyway, Howard? FINEMAN: Just very quickly -- Chris Christie was endorsed by Joe McQuaid in "The Manchester Union Leader." I know Joe very well. I know the power of that paper that still remains. Basically, Christie has been hired by "The Union Leader" as the prosecutor to try to destroy Donald Trump in New Hampshire. And Christie will be covered to a fair-thee-well if he does it, if he`s willing to take on that role. That`s the role he`s been asked to play by "The Union Leader." MATTHEWS: This is interpretation or is this... FINEMAN: This is my interpretation, knowing Joe and having talked to him about... MATTHEWS: Joe will not... FINEMAN: ... who he picked.   MATTHEWS: He will not do what he often does in continuing to endorse him day after day after day unless he does that job. FINEMAN: I think the more coverage -- Christie will get the full backing and full coverage to the extent he`s willing to do... MATTHEWS: If he whacks. FINEMAN: ... what he was picked to do... MATTHEWS: He has to whack Trump. FINEMAN: ... because I know that McQuaid doesn`t like Trump, doesn`t trust Trump... MATTHEWS: OK... FINEMAN: ... and thinks he`s a phony. MATTHEWS: Howard Fineman, this is a contract. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, Katy Tur. This is -- God, there`s a bit of news. Whack the guy, or you will lose all your coverage! Anyway, Katy Tur, love your coverage. Fergus, nice to meet you. I do with that party that you talk about exists. I hope it does. Anyway, Howard Fineman...   CULLEN: It does. MATTHEWS: Coming up -- the politics of Planned Parenthood. This is getting nasty. Did the heated anti-abortion rhetoric on the right contribute to the deadly shooting at a Colorado clinic? Did it? And if so, what should we do about it? And that`s ahead. Plus, 13 of 14 Democratic female senators, women, are standing alongside Hillary Clinton tonight to show their support for her presidential bid -- 13 out of 14. Guess who was the holdout? Guess. Guess. Elizabeth Warren. And on the Republican side, Chris Christie`s gaining steam up in New Hampshire -- I guess. He`s still in seventh place. And now Donald Trump has taken notice. Could Christie be the establishment favorite, as Howard just said, to beat back Trump, Cruz and the rest of the wild bunch? And finally, "Let Me Finish" tonight with the stuff dreams are made of, a 21st century train ride across our country. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, President Obama, of course, is in Paris this week along with nearly 150 other world leaders with talks under way already to find a global agreement on climate change. He held meetings with the prime minister of India and the president of China. In a speech this morning, the president urged global leaders to get together as an act of defiance in the wake of those Paris attacks. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We salute the people of Paris for insisting this crucial conference go on, an act of defiance that proves nothing will deter us from building the future we want for our children. What greater rejection for those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it?   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, President Obama also met with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The two discussed the situation in Syria, as well as relations with Turkey just days after that country shot down a Russian fighter jet. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, there`s been potent political rhetoric leveled at Planned Parenthood, of course, for months. In the aftermath of the killing of three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday, some question whether words can do more than just hurt. The man accused of conducting the rampage -- there he is -- Robert Lewis Dear, appeared in court this afternoon. His motive is still not clear, but two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the case told NBC News that the suspect rambled out -- rambled on about President Obama, politics and abortion saying, No more baby parts, when he was taken into custody after the standoff with police. Here are several GOP presidential candidates` reactions to those who question whether tough talk on Planned Parenthood might have been related to the Colorado killings. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD PRES.: I`ve never seen the kind of rhetoric that we are seeing from presidential candidates that are demeaning not only Planned Parenthood but woman who go to Planned Parenthood, doctors at Planned Parenthood, even the fact that there is safe and legal abortion in America. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, the president of Planned Parenthood feels her organization remains a target and wants the talk tamped down. We just saw her there. That was Cecile Richards.   Anyway, joining me right now are two Pulitzer Prize-winning columnists from "The Washington Post" -- both of them, in fact -- Kathleen Parker and Eugene Robinson, who`s also an MSNBC political analyst. Let`s talk about this -- first a woman. We`re talking abortion rights. We`re talking a tragedy that took place at Planned Parenthood. It seems to me the two things we know, this assailant, killer, went to Planned Parenthood. He knew where he was going. He went to a particular place. Most men wouldn`t know where a Planned Parenthood is, unless they looked it up in the phone book, even if they did that. KATHLEEN PARKER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I wouldn`t know. MATTHEWS: And, secondly -- and, secondly, they wouldn`t have been focusing on no more baby parts without some mentally connecting that to what they just did, kill three people. Your thoughts. PARKER: All right, look, Chris, I think he obviously made a connection and went there to kill people, because, obviously... MATTHEWS: Why? PARKER: Well, I don`t know why. And you don`t either. MATTHEWS: Well, why did he say baby parts? PARKER: Because he`s been hearing about these videos which showed that they were harvesting certain parts that would be used for fetal research, tissues to be used for research. MATTHEWS: No, they were to be put on sale. That is what the video showed.   PARKER: That`s what the first couple of videos indicated when they talked about, how much can you get for this piece of flesh or how much can you get for this... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: He could have gotten the idea as a reasonable viewer that Planned Parenthood is in the business of selling... (CROSSTALK) PARKER: He`s not a reasonable person. He`s deranged. MATTHEWS: But a reasonable person could have gotten that idea from that video. PARKER: Absolutely. But most people don`t go out and shoot people because of it. And, also, by the way, if we are going to go that route, then we have to also concede that violent movies make people commit violence at higher rates, that pornography results in higher rape statistics. MATTHEWS: Does it? PARKER: Well, beats me. But we have never done a cause and effect with those things. We decline to do that because we don`t think things are quite that simple, that there are a multitude of factors. (CROSSTALK)   MATTHEWS: Because nobody ever rapes somebody because somebody just saw a movie. (CROSSTALK) PARKER: I know you want to blame the Republicans for this. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I`m asking about what facts we know. (CROSSTALK) PARKER: All we know is that he did go into the Planned Parenthood with intent and he did kill people. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: And he said afterwards, no more baby parts. PARKER: Well, we heard that. Did we hear anything else he said? I`m not defending this guy. Please do not put me in the position of defending him or any of the rhetoric I think is overheated.   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: You say it`s wrong to assume causality. PARKER: I don`t think you can assume -- well, we don`t assume anything, because we are journalists and we don`t do that. But you cannot say because of A, then B. There is more to the equation. MATTHEWS: OK. Gene, your thoughts? EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I actually agree with Kathleen... PARKER: Thank you. MATTHEWS: Be careful here. ROBINSON: ... in that we cannot... PARKER: Another rational person. ROBINSON: We know four words of what apparently was a much longer soliloquy he gave to the police, if indeed he was ranting about abortion and he was ranting about President Obama and whatever, as there was some indication. Then we still can`t draw a straight line, but maybe a crooked line. Maybe certainly there was influence there. One thing we do know is, he had a gun. We know that this guy seems to be wacko and he had a gun.   And it does, I think, implicate once again gun laws and gun policy in this country. PARKER: Well, if we want to talk about toning down the rhetoric across the board, then we absolutely have an argument to make on that count, but across the board, when it comes to immigrants and refugees and every -- a number of subjects that have suddenly become Kryptonite for the political arena. It`s -- there is a definite case to be made for that. But I think, Chris, you have to be very careful, because the next cause and effect is the Republicans caused this man to be crazy and to go kill people. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Well, that is a partisan argument. I think when people would walk away with is -- just a few years ago in this city, we saw the Holocaust Memorial attacked by a guy who shot the guard on his way in, killed him. We can assume that guy had an attitude about Jews. PARKER: Totally. MATTHEWS: See, you can make that assumption. PARKER: Right. MATTHEWS: When you go after a Planned Parenthood facility, a clinic, you can assume he had a certain attitude about Planned Parenthood. PARKER: Oh, I think that`s unquestionable.   MATTHEWS: And you can assume he had certain information, accurate or not, about what they do there. And his information, which he spilled out right there on the scene apparently after he was picked up, was that they sell baby parts. This is to me not causality, but clear, obviously, connection, whatever you want to call it. ROBINSON: Yes, you can call it a connection. You can now -- was rhetoric a part of his motivation? Was it just seeing the videos? Was it his anti-abortion views or was he a person who was allowed.... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: If I were a prosecutor in this case, I would bring up those words in court. ROBINSON: Of course you would. PARKER: Of course you would. (CROSSTALK) ROBINSON: Of course you would. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: This is court. Anyway, here`s some -- I`m sorry, Gene.   ROBINSON: No, no, no, I was going to make a further connection on the gun issue, which again we kind of just skip past. But the gun issue is there. And then we can get into rhetoric. For example, we can get into the position that Second Amendment absolutists would have, apparently, now that everybody ought to be armed and that`s how you stop a guy with a gun, right? So, are they now going to argue that abortionists should all have guns? (CROSSTALK) PARKER: No, for the record, I want to say I agree with Gene here, too. But, listen, we have to keep guns out of the hands of deranged people. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: It`s hard to pick them out when they live in mountain hideouts. PARKER: Well, you can certainly do background checks. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: This guy lived pretty much on his lone -- anyway, here are some of the Republican presidential candidates. They are quite not as pleasant as these two people. (LAUGHTER)   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I don`t get this. It must be a "Washington Post" quest here -- anyway, that the rhetoric against Planned Parenthood might have been connected to the Colorado killings. Let`s watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think any hateful rhetoric districted at anyone from any source is too much. It`s something that we need to get away from. We have to stop allowing ourselves to be pushed into different corners and then throwing hateful barbs at each other. CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing the messenger because they don`t agree with the message. The vast majority of Americans agree what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong. SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will say it`s unfortunate to see so many folks in the press bending over backwards to try to use this horrible crime to advance a political agenda. This man is a despicable murderer and he should be punished to the full extent of the law. But none of that changes the reality that Planned Parenthood is in the business of buying and selling the body parts of unborn children. None of that changes the reality that Planned Parenthood was caught on video apparently committing a pattern of felonies. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Anyway, I want to get to Cruz there before I do anything else. Cruz says they`re in the business of selling and buying -- buying and selling body parts. (CROSSTALK)   PARKER: Yes. Well, that is completely false. MATTHEWS: You think that might encourage somebody, some guy out in the hills right now who thinks like this guy to do something, or not? PARKER: I think that somebody who is inclined to do that sort of thing might say, well, look, he`s a smart guy, he`s running for president, he`s justifying it. MATTHEWS: Why is he saying it? Why did Cruz just say that? PARKER: I don`t know. I can`t even really fathom. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Does he believe it? Buying and selling. (CROSSTALK) ROBINSON: Buying and selling. Buying and selling. PARKER: I think he`s smarter than that. Surely he Googles and he would have to find out that that is a falsehood. And, of course, Carly Fiorina did that sort of exaggerated description during one of the debates. It was just too horrible. I didn`t even want to -- I don`t even really want to repeat it.   ROBINSON: And then Ben Carson, of course, who is against all harsh rhetoric, referred to Syrian refugees as rabid dogs. (CROSSTALK) PARKER: It was an analogy, I think. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I got to make this point. What is great about this country is that even people, the most pro- life people in the world -- and really think there is a difference, essential difference between abortion and gunning people down, essential difference. PARKER: Of course. MATTHEWS: And they do believe it. And, therefore, they all see this as a tragedy. PARKER: Of course. MATTHEWS: But some people`s words are encouraging this kind of behavior. And I`m sorry that -- I heard it in the guy`s voice. I`m not as kind as you, Gene. I heard him say no more baby parts. To me, that was motive. And if I went into court, I would nail this guy -- anyway, thank -- on hate crimes. Anyway, well, it`s already murder. What do you need a hate crime for this case?   (CROSSTALK) PARKER: Well, we are not in court. I thought we were talking politic. And politics is taking us into a realm that I think is off limits. MATTHEWS: I think this thing -- the people who are pro-life in this case jumped too quickly in attacking what they thought the liberal media was going to do. Let the liberal media blame the bad guy and the enemies of Planned Parenthood first and then attack. Don`t go first, because when you go first, you make people think, like this guy, you`re enjoying it, like Carly Fiorina seems to be. Thank you, Kathleen, for coming on. PARKER: Thank you, Chris. MATTHEWS: And, Gene, I don`t have to thank you. You`re always here. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Thank you. (CROSSTALK) PARKER: That`s right. You don`t pay me.   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Oh, here it is. Ladies and gentlemen, has everybody at MSNBC heard what she is complaining about? (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Coming up... PARKER: When you work for free, they have to say thank you. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Coming up, every single Democratic female senator endorsed Hillary Clinton but one, but one. Her name is Elizabeth Warren. She did not endorse Hillary today. It means something. What does it mean? This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. At this hour, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is winning the endorsement of 13 out of the 14 female Democratic U.S. senators. The one Democrat who is holding out, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. There she is.   Warren has so far declined to officially support Clinton`s run for the White House. Well, the Massachusetts Democrat was also absent from Hillary`s rally in her hometown of Boston yesterday, where Clinton received the all-out endorsement of the city`s mayor, Marty Walsh, who revved up students and labor unions alike. Let`s watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARTY WALSH (D), MAYOR OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: In 2016, it`s time we stop talking about having a woman as president. It`s time we go out and make it a reality. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) WALSH: Get your sledge hammers ready, because we have got a glass ceiling to demolish. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) WALSH: Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, I`m proud to introduce my friend and yours, a champion for America and the next president of the United States of America, Hillary Clinton! (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: That`s pure Boston.   Anyway, Laura Bassett is a political reporter for The Huffington Post. And Bob Cusack is editor in chief of "The Hill" newspaper. The two of you know your stuff. You know what is amazing? When I asked for the numbers today, you know, Clinton, Secretary Clinton, is killing Bernie Sanders in Massachusetts 54-29. Why doesn`t Elizabeth Warren, the senior senator, pop up and say, yes, I`m with Hillary? She`s going to be the nominee probably. What does she got to loose? LAURA BASSETT, THE HUFFINGTON POST: I think it`s about leverage. I think that Elizabeth Warren`s power is her ability to bring the Democratic candidates to the left, especially Hillary. And I think, if she comes out and endorses Hillary, then it gives Hillary the freedom to sort of drift back over to the center, where I think she is more comfortable being. And this way, she is still beholden to what Elizabeth Warren wants. MATTHEWS: Well, if Bernie can`t do it, why can Elizabeth do it, because Bernie is not pulling her over that far to the left, occasionally, but not -- everybody still thinks of her as a centrist. Maybe -- I don`t want to get Hillary Clinton in trouble, a moderate, a center-left -- what can we say anymore? You tell me. What is acceptable now in the face of Elizabeth Warren? If she is not going to support you, do you try to get her support, or do you say, I`m sorry, I will live without you? BOB CUSACK, "THE HILL": I think, Chris, she is going to support Hillary Clinton, but not for months. She wants to push Clinton on policy, on expanding Social Security, on banking policy, banking law that President Clinton eradicated. She wants to put it back in. She wants to push Hillary to the left. And Elizabeth Warren is a force in the Democratic Party. She has a huge following.   MATTHEWS: OK. Back in 1960, Rockefeller, the moderate Republican, governor of New York, he called Nixon up to Fifth Avenue or where it was, to their apartment -- his apartment, one of his many places he could live if he felt like it, and dictated terms to Nixon. CUSACK: Right. MATTHEWS: If you want my endorsement, you got to do this thing. Is she going to be that dramatic? CUSACK: I think she will. I think they`re going to get a room at one point and she is going to say, this is what I want. MATTHEWS: And they will come out with a... (CROSSTALK) CUSACK: And she will have a great speaking slot at the convention. The party will unite. And the party is mostly united. I mean, Hillary Clinton has 132 endorsements already. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: ... formal communique, like a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Erdogan. Is it going to be like that, where she says, OK, I will back her now? She says she is going to do something about breaking up the banks, she`s going to do some things about Glass-Steagall or whatever? BASSETT: I think Hillary already said she wasn`t going to renew Glass-Steagall. So, that`s kind of a lost fight on Elizabeth Warren`s part.   But I do think Elizabeth is going to wait until the last minute, maybe when she can maximize her impact of her endorsement, the night before the New Hampshire primaries, for instance, and then come out and make a difference. MATTHEWS: Well, in 2013, all the Senate`s Democratic women signed a letter encouraging Hillary Clinton to actually run for president, including Elizabeth Warren. So, she wanted her to run. Is this like Nancy and Charlie Brown? I really will hold up the football? Anyway, when -- Lucy, rather. When ABC`s George Stephanopoulos asked Warren of -- Hillary was her candidate -- was her candidate a few months later, Warren praised her. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: All of the women, Democratic women, I should say, of the Senate urged Hillary Clinton to run. And I hope she does. GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: You hope she does. And if she does, she is your candidate? You endorse her? (CROSSTALK) WARREN: Hillary is terrific. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: "Hillary is terrific."   But in February of `15, that`s this year, Warren told MSNBC that she wanted to wait and see what Hillary wanted to run on. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WARREN: I want to hear what she wants to run on, and what she says she wants to do. That`s what campaigns are supposed to be about. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: OK. What`s happening with the Democratic Party right now? Is it a united party? The Republican Party seems to be all over the place right now with the renegades running against what is left of the establishment. Is Hillary basically the face of the Democratic Party right now? Women made it clear today, 13 out of 14, she`s it. BASSETT: And 13 out of 14, yes, three-fourths of the Senate Democrats, two-thirds of the House Democrats. It`s really clear that Hillary Clinton is the establishment candidate. She still needs to woo young voters. She still needs to woo the grassroots supporters that Elizabeth Warren has. But in terms of being the establishment candidate, absolutely. And she is... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: You think young women are as aware of how important it is - - I`m putting a judgment on this -- that we have a woman president finally? Are they as into it as the people who fought through the ERA battles and all the other battles? BASSETT: Absolutely.   I think, with Planned Parenthood under attack right now, I think feminism is absolutely having a moment. And I think young women are extremely excited about the idea of a female president. MATTHEWS: What do you think? CUSACK: Oh, listen, demographics favor the Democrats. Hillary Clinton, a lot of Democrats say privately they are not that excited about Hillary Clinton, but, overall, they think she can win, especially when you look at the Republican field, which is not united. MATTHEWS: I think she is being helped by what`s happening on the crazy side. No, it has been crazy. I mean Trump. We will talk more about Trump. We must. Anyway, Laura Bassett, it`s great to have you on. Thank you, Bob Cusack. Up next -- I do read your papers. Up next, Chris Christie earns a key endorsement up in New Hampshire. But is the New Jersey governor angry enough to capture Trump`s voter base or is he just too liberal? You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)   (NEWSBREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. It`s been a year of the nonpolitician in the Republican presidential contest so far. Will it be a primary sweep this winter by them? Right now, just two months from the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, the hell raisers are running high in Iowa. Trump leads the polling averages by seven points over Ben Carson, who is fading. Ted Cruz is now within striking distance. If these guys sweep the Iowa caucuses in the first primary in New Hampshire, that meaning Cruz in Iowa, Trump in New Hampshire, it could be the death knell for the Republican establishment, don`t you think? Trump holds a double-digit lead in New Hampshire polling averages right now. Rubio is rising. New Hampshire`s biggest paper right now has endorsed Chris Christie of New Jersey. Is New Hampshire the Republican Party`s Alamo, the last chance to stop, dare I say get them a real candidate? Anyway, I`m joined right now by people who are going to tell me that. The HARDBALL round table tonight, Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher, the "Time Magazine`s" Jay Newton-Small, and American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp. You`re the expert, Matt. It seems New Hampshire always played a role. Sure, Iowa is a little bit religious, evangelical, even a bit home schooling in its attitude towards government, very much against it. New Hampshire is the rock, ribbed Republican type. Conservative, lean to the right, but not over the fence, not over the wall. MATT SCHLAPP, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: Small government people. MATTHEWS: But is it going to play that role this time and slow down the move to the hard right? SCHLAPP: I think it plays a huge role this time, because I think your premise is right that if Donald Trump or Ben Carson grab these first two states or someone else like Ted Cruz grabs Iowa, the insiders, as I like to call `em, are going to be worried about that result. New Hampshire is really their place to prove it. MATTHEWS: Because if you don`t win New Hampshire, you skip over to South Carolina in the south where the hard right, religious conservatives, libertarians, whatever you call them this week, who don`t like government win.   JAY NEWTON-SMALL, TIME MAGAZINE: Yours -- I mean, you have three legs of the Republican school. And that`s what the three primaries are. And it`s social conservatives in Iowa, it`s fiscal conservatives in New Hampshire and it`s defense hawks in South Carolina. SCHLAPP: I agree with you. NEWTON-SMALL: But what New Hampshire has given us the last two cycles is, they picked pretty out there candidate. In the Iowa caucuses, you got Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee in `08 and `12. Then they`ve given us Mitt Romney and John McCain. They`ve actually picked the nominee, both times in New Hampshire. This time around, the field is so muddied on both sides, you know, it`s like two separate primaries. MATTHEWS: The worry was, Ron Brownstein wrote this in "The L.A. Times," I was just other there, that the worry by the centrist Republicans, the non-far right Republicans, we all call them, was that they would divide up their vote. Jeb Bush would get some votes because of family history, Chris Christie would get some because he`s the big east candidate, he`s the East Coast guy, and Kasich would get votes because he`ll be up there every minute between now and February. Now, they worry. So, now, the newspaper endorsed Chris Christie with the hope getting at least one guy coming out, a contestant from New Hampshire who is not a right winger. CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, "Union Leaders" has done such a great job predicting in the past. I think two of -- (CROSSTALK) SCHLAPP: Two of eight. Two of eight. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: Two of nine actually.   (CROSSTALK) BELCHER: But I think also these endorsements -- MATTHEWS: Newt Gingrich didn`t win. BELCHER: Some of these endorsements aren`t necessarily helpful, particularly when you look at what`s -- MATTHEWS: Is it like chicken soup, it can`t hurt? BELCHER: It can`t hurt, but it doesn`t necessarily help. Quite frankly, if I`m Donald Trump, I don`t want union endorsement because that`s part of the establishment. If I`m running as an outsider, the last thing I want is one of these establishment conservative sort of newspapers, you know, endorse me because I`m the outsider, it goes against it. I`m going to differ a little bit with my friends here on the panel. I think Donald Trump is going to turn South. You look at his numbers in South Carolina, he is running further ahead in South Carolina. I think he`s going to do really well in South Carolina, because when you also talk about the South, you`re also talking about a part of the country where xenophobia and racial division has been -- MATTHEWS: So, his anti-Muslim commentary about the New Jersey Muslims who rooted for 9/11, he is making fun of a best east New Yorker -- BELCHER: With a lie, it`s a just a flat out lie. MATTHEWS: -- this big New York reporter, he can make fun of him physically because he`s from "The New York Times", claiming Obama, the first black president, is actually a foreigner, that`s going to help him down South. BLECHER: That doesn`t hurt him down South. Absolutely, it`s going to help him down South. And if you look at his numbers in South Carolina --   MATTHEWS: Fact checks don`t mean anything. Fact checks inside the newspaper don`t seem to bother anybody, do they? NEWTON-SMALL: No, I mean, it`s more like the anti-immigrant, I think Cornell is absolutely right here, the anti-immigrant, the anti-Hispanic stuff is really going to -- I mean, that plays amazingly well, bizarrely in South Carolina, where it`s a right to work state, and a lot of people feel very conscious about their jobs and there`s a lot of like job security problems. And look at Jim DeMint in South Carolina. He`s like he was basically, you know, re-elected his entire second campaign on like an anti-immigration position. MATTHEWS: But Lindsey is pretty good on it. Lindsey is very good. He voted for the Senate bill. NEWTON-SMALL: Yes. No, Lindsey is -- MATTHEWS: He voted for the whole schmiel. He wanted it to go together. He backed comprehensive immigration reform. He had a lot of guts to do that, I thought. NEWTON-SMALL: Absolutely, but he`s also like the rare bird, right? He`s the -- SCHLAPP: I don`t think it`s that rare. NEWTON-SMALL: No, there are sections in South Carolina party -- (CROSSTALK) SCHLAPP: I worked for George W. Bush. If you look at what Donald Trump is saying, he`s saying everybody has to go home and the good ones could come back. Under George W. Bush, we called it a touchback. Everybody had to go home and file their paperwork. And the ones that were, you know, at the benefits to society, and work and everything else were expedited. It`s really not that difficult.   BELCHER: Here`s a problem. George W. Bush, God bless him, he couldn`t win the Republican primary today. SCHLAPP: OK, we`ll stop. BELCHER: What he said about immigration, how is he going to win the Republican primary? George Bush made the same statement -- (CROSSTALK) SCHLAPP: You didn`t listen to what I said. There is more the same what these candidates are saying. People like Donald Trump is -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Let me tell you, we can agree that George W. Bush couldn`t win after taking us down that rabbit hole in Iraq. (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: The roundtable is staying with us. Up next, these three tell me something I don`t know. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.   (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 12th, it`s not that far off, in 2016. That`s coming, too. President Obama will give his final State of the Union Address that night. That`s the 12th of January. And I`ll be back -- by the way, it will be before the Iowa caucuses held on February 1st. It`s the earliest date since 1977, an address by the president. That was President Ford back then who also spoke on January 12th. It`s a very early State of the Union. I guess Obama wants to have the full year ahead of him, his last. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK0 MATTHEWS: We are back with the HARDBALL round table. I love to be back here. Cornell, tell me something I don`t know. BELCHER: I think early on there was a lot of hand wringing about the Obama coalition and a lot of conventional Democrats went in saying, you know what, we`re not going to need, you know, 95 percent of that coalition because Hillary`s going to do so much better with white votes, particularly white women. If you look at the Kaiser poll that recently came out on race relations, it`s clear, we are not becoming less racially polarized as a country. I think there`s going to be a lot of rethinking among conventional Democrats about quite frankly we`re not going to necessarily do better among whites than what Kerry (ph) and Obama did -- MATTHEWS: So Hillary won`t get that Appalachian white woman, southwestern Pennsylvania? She won`t get her? (CROSSTALK)   BELCHER: She won`t do remarkably better among white women. If you look at sort of how the polarization is, it`s kind of hard to make an argument she`s going to do markedly better among white voters. MATTHEWS: I think some of those people identify with the old Hillary from Arkansas. Maybe they identify now. I don`t know. NEWTON-SMALL: So, in 2011, I did a profile of Paul Ryan for "Time Magazine", and I went with him to the Racine County Fair where he competed in a goat milking contest, which he does every year at the Racine County Fair. He always loses to the milk maids and the beauty queens who are very good at milking goats. But he`s really competitive. And so every year, he really works on his strategy and how to best milk a goat. And I was chatting with him on Friday, and he was really excited to tell me that this year, he actually won his goat-milking contest. MATTHEWS: Is it that goat smell on him afterward? The smelly goat smell? NEWTON-SMALL: But it`s important because it`s a swing seat, right? All politics is local. MATTHEWS: OK, 30 seconds. SCHLAPP: Chris Christie`s on a roll. He had his best three weeks of online small dollar donors, a lot of money coming in. And the phones are off the hook because "The Union Leader" endorsement has got a lot more elected officials coming his way. MATTHEWS: What`s with the white shirts? SCHLAPP: You`ve got to talk to him about his fashion. MATTHEWS: Why is he always wearing white shirts?   Anyway, thank you, Cornell Belcher. Thank you, Jay Newton-Small. And thank you for the goat news, and, Matt Schlapp. When we return -- I didn`t know that -- let me finish with the stuff dreams are made of. A 21st century train ride across the U.S. of A. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with the stuff that dreams are made of. It`s of an America where you and I can get on a train and ride across our beautiful country, seeing the rivers and prairies, the mountains and wide open plains, the small towns where the school buses stop at the tracks. And you can go downtown right from your train car, where you see people`s faces and enjoy the shared sight and sound and look of being an American. Well, last week I did something I thought of doing for a long time -- cutting across the United States by train. I wanted to see if you could still do it the way you used to in the days before jet airliners, before the North American continent itself became flyover country between Gotham and Tinseltown. Well, starting the Sunday before Thanksgiving, eight days ago, my hardy son Thomas and I headed off to join Kathleen and Caroline for a family get-together out West with our other son Michael, his wife Sarah, Julia, and Brendan. And we went by Amtrak. It was great. I want to share with you now what we saw out the window. First the stunning sunsets along the Hudson as we headed north to Albany -- the amazing colors looking west from the Empire State. Then, those snowy scenes from Ohio as we headed to Chicago following the old route of the glamorous 20th century line that used to take movie stars and other VIPs from their first leg from Broadway to Hollywood. I love the scene of the local school bus -- there it is -- waiting at the rail crossing in South Bend, Indiana, home of Notre Dame.   Coming out of Chicago Monday morning, we boarded the Southwest Chief to Los Angeles beginning with a great close-up look of the city`s western suburbs. We woke up Tuesday morning -- there it is -- to the golden glow of New Mexico and wide vistas of the American West, including a climb to 7,000 feet and a stop at a classic town at the foot of the mountain. Well, someday I want this trip throughout the heart of America to be there for all of us on a train that goes as fast as those in Europe and Asia, as fast as our pioneer ancestors would have loved to go and would if they could have combined their gumption and aspirations with what we in the early 21st century have in know-how. I`ve spoken a great deal about how I would love our country to reunite itself by rail to bring back the rail heads of St. Louis and Kansas City and Albuquerque and all those great towns in between. We`re too much a bicoastal country today, too much the liberal country on the coasts, the conservative country in the middle. We`re not talking to each other. We`re not living in the same country. You don`t have a great conversation when one guy`s sitting on a tractor and you`re watching a movie at 39,000 feet. On a train, on today`s Amtrak, you at least get to see out the window the real faces and real lives as you go from New York to Los Angeles and the folks boarding or getting off at the next stop can tell you what life`s really like out there. Lincoln did it during the civil war. Can`t we do it better a century and a half later? 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.>