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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 4/6/2016

Guests: Chris Murphy, April Ryan, Megan Murphy, Andrew Sullivan, Jay Newton-Small

Show: HARDBALL Date: April 6, 2016 Guest: Chris Murphy, April Ryan, Megan Murphy, Andrew Sullivan, Jay Newton-Small

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: The battle of New York.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews back in Washington.

In a few minutes, Donald Trump will speak for the first time since his double-digit trouncing out in Wisconsin last night. Can he still present himself as a winner in November after such a beating in April? Can he convince the big shots in his party that it`s better to live with him as the presidential nominee than to die in the explosion should they reject him in Cleveland?

Well, the polls light up the situation faced by Republican leaders. A Monmouth poll shows him, Trump, dominant in New York heading into April 19th. A McClatchy/Marist poll shows that the same majority, 52 percent, however, of Republicans across the country believe that if Trump has the most delegates heading into the convention, simply put, he should be the nominee. In other words, a completion rejection of the "Stop Trump" argument that the New York businessman must reach the requisite 1,237 majority or walk away a loser.

I`m joined right now by "New York" magazine contributing editor -- a new title for our man -- Andrew Sullivan, "Time" magazine Washington correspondent Jay Newton-Small, and "Washington Post" columnist Eugene Robinson. He`s also an MSNBC political analyst .

Gene, I want to start with you because I think know where you`re coming from. If Trump in two weeks wins loses New York -- he`ll probably win New York...

EUGENE ROBINSON, "WASHINGTON POST," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: He`ll probably win.

MATTHEWS: If he wins New York, he looks like he`ll get close to 1,237, and they deny him the nomination because he`s 1,158 for something like that, what happens?

ROBINSON: I don`t see that happening. I don`t them denying him the nomination if he`s that close. I really don`t. I think -- you know, first of all, there are some sort of uncommitted, unpledged delegates out there, Republican delegates, about 100 of them. He`s obviously going to be working on them.

But look, you`re a Republican power broker and you`re trying to make this decision, right, are you going to essentially give a middle finger to your base...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

ROBINSON: ... to your most energized, activist base? And I think the answer is you`re probably not going to. I just don`t see them...

MATTHEWS: What would be the appropriate...

ROBINSON: ... having the fortitude to do it.

MATTHEWS: ... gesture if you said to women of the Republican Party, Jay Newton-Small, that you`re picking a guy who said these things, has taken these positions he has? What would be the appropriate...

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: What are you saying to those women when you pick Trump? I`m just asking...

JAY NEWTON-SMALL, "TIME" MAGAZINE: I know it!

MATTHEWS: ... because the numbers he gets among women are terrible.

NEWTON-SMALL: They`re unbelievable. And you saw even this past week, you know, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and a lot of the House Republican women coming out against Trump, basically saying he`s not of our party, we don`t believe in this, and then a lot of things that he said.

So look, there has not been a Republican who`s won the women`s vote since George H.W. -- George H.W. Bush. And in fact, you can`t win the presidency unless you mitigate the loss of the women`s votes to a Democratic to less than 5 percentage points.

And you`re looking at Donald Trump here is, like, underwater by 73 percentage points. I mean, how do you even win that general election, which is why, you know, all of this week, I`ve been talking to a lot of Republicans on the Hill, and whether it`s Trump or Cruz, you know, which to them, it`s sort of the devil you know versus the devil you don`t, and that`s the debate they`re having right now. But either way, they`re assuming they`re going to lose this race. I mean...

MATTHEWS: And Cruz has lousy votes among women, too.

NEWTON-SMALL: Yes, he`s down by 30 points amongst women. So either way...

MATTHEWS: How`d they get her?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Well, most of the Republicans who voted yesterday in Wisconsin were men. That explains some of it.

ANDREW SULLIVAN, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: There wasn`t much of a gender gap.

MATTHEWS: Mr. Sullivan!

SULLIVAN: Hello, Mr. Matthews.

MATTHEWS: I`d like to have you speak now.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Because I missed you in the reportorial world and...

SULLIVAN: Oh, thank you.

MATTHEWS: ... and the commentariat world. But thank you for coming on. This is your return from where?

SULLIVAN: A sabbatical, really, three years.

MATTHEWS: Yes. OK. Well, OK, let`s talk about this thing you`ve rejoined. I understand you`ve come back into journalism because you find this race involving Trump bracing.

SULLIVAN: I think he`s -- and this -- this is the argument the NeverTrump people are going to have to say. This man is not like another candidate with a different set of views. He is actually a threat to our entire political system.

What he represents is a kind of real -- a real, you know, powerful force from below that wishes to abrogate almost all the basic rules of American politics, to destroy our foreign policy, to destroy our alliances, to rev up and global religious war, which he delights in, rather than tamp it down, to expose and actually make civil unrest racially and culturally in this country a very live possibility.

He would be a president that would do anything but calm things down. And so when you have such a figure, such a terrifying figure in -- in the -- in the race, you have to begin to say no.

MATTHEWS: Well, why are the...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Then you have this massive conflict, which is going to be addressed in New York to some extent, of a Republican Party which says, basically, We`ve got to give to him if he has the most delegates, even though what you said about the Islamic -- the ban on Islamic member (ph) coming into the country, the wall, all these things...

SULLIVAN: The Republicans who care about their own country, who care about the decency of this country and its constitutional stability -- because if he were to become president, we`ll be in the middle of a constitutional crisis almost immediately.

(CROSSTALK)

NEWTON-SMALL: It`s a short-term -- it`s a short-term bad versus a long- term bad, right? So if you pick Donald Trump as your nominee, you avoid the wrenching, huge, party breaking apart...

MATTHEWS: In Cleveland.

NEWTON-SMALL: ... and probably riots in Cleveland, and that`s the short- term sort of peace. But in long term, are you alienating women to such a degree that you won`t win the White House for another 20 years or...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... the first bitter sip. It`s almost like, Take this, if you accept him as your nominee -- it`s very Churchillian -- there`ll be more. There`ll be more. You`ll be asked to do this again and again.

ROBINSON: I`ve heard the argument -- I`ve spoken to prominent Republicans who`ve said, Look, we -- we as convention delegates will have a fiduciary duty, right, to nominate someone who actually can serve -- we believe is qualified to serve as president.

However, I just don`t see them doing it! I have a hard time seeing them, if he`s 20 delegates short, if he`s 40 delegates short, 50 delegates short, whatever, telling the base of the party, Thank you very much for your input.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBINSON: We realize, you know, but...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: We`re going in a different direction.

SULLIVAN: It`s not entirely...

ROBINSON: Very different.

SULLIVAN: It`s not entirely the base. These are new people who`ve come into this party.

ROBINSON: Well, no...

SULLIVAN: New people inspired by a neo-fascist agenda.

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s look at this. After losing last night, Donald Trump`s press secretary, Hope Hicks, issued a scathing statement. Quote -- this is her words or his words -- "Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet. He`s a Trojan horse being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump."

"Steal the nomination from Mr. Trump." He`s already got the language down. If he doesn`t win, it`s been stolen.

SULLIVAN: Yes.

ROBINSON: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And this does sound a lot like a third world country. When you lose an election, you always blame the corruption of the existing government, and everybody`s miserable.

SULLIVAN: Not only that, he`s running to prosecute his opponent, Hillary Clinton. He`s said, I want to become president so I can get Hillary in jail...

MATTHEWS: And put her in jail.

SULLIVAN: ... for...

MATTHEWS: That is third world.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... incarcerate the person...

(CROSSTALK)

SULLIVAN: He`s absolutely -- if there was any person and any candidacy you would say, I don`t care if we lose this election, it`s our patriotic duty to stop this maniac from becoming president of the United States!

MATTHEWS: Who stops him, though? Give me the name of the person because Cruz has as many problems with women, believe it or not, just because of his ideology. And you have -- and Paul Ryan comes in Deus ex Machina from out of the wings somewhere, like in Shakespeare, he comes from nowhere -- where do you get this...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... is not working.

SULLIVAN: It has to be Cruz. That`s the only option (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: Would you ever vote for Cruz?

SULLIVAN: No, but...

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

SULLIVAN: I`ll tell you one thing about Cruz, is he understands the Constitution. He is a capable, intelligent human being. He would not destroy and threaten our entire political system in the way that this neo- fascist would.

NEWTON-SMALL: And at least with Cruz, you get a sort of party reset, right? You get the sort of Barry Goldwater moment where you ran the guy and...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... sure loser.

NEWTON-SMALL: You can bring the Tea Party back in -- yes, but so is Donald Trump.

SULLIVAN: No one is a sure loser against Hillary Clinton.

(CROSSTALK)

SULLIVAN: Hold on a minute!

MATTHEWS: I`ll listen.

SULLIVAN: It`s a real -- this is why I`m really worried. If we didn`t have the weakest Democratic candidates since Dukakis, we could easily rest easy and think, Oh, Trump can`t...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: OK, so you think Hillary Clinton could lose to Cruz.

SULLIVAN: I don`t think she`s ever won a competitive election and won`t now.

MATTHEWS: OK, I disagree, but go ahead.

ROBINSON: Well, no, I mean, you could make an argument -- and I`ve heard Republicans make the argument -- that if they`re going -- if they`re going to take the leap and deny Cruz -- Trump the nomination, then they might as well go with somebody who they think can protect the down-ticket candidates, the down-ticket Republicans.

MATTHEWS: Who would that be?

ROBINSON: Paul Ryan, maybe somebody like that. Now, Paul Ryan, you know - - unfortunately, he can`t just skip the convention, right, because he`s going to be chairman of the convention, so he`s got to be there.

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s...

ROBINSON: If I were he, I would...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: We`re live tonight and we have...

ROBINSON: ... I would have an urgent appointment in Australia or something like that.

MATTHEWS: ... to be able to cover events behind this table actually right now. We`re waiting right now for Donald Trump at that rally in Bethpage, New York. That`s on Long Island.

NBC`s Jacob Rascon is outside the Trump event right now, where protesters have already gathered.

Jacob, give me a -- who are the protesters?

JACOB RASCON, NBC CORRESPONDENT: What we`re looking at here is you have Trump supporters who weren`t able to make it in because the event is at capacity, more than 10,000 people, and they`ve gathered across the way from these protesters who have been here for many hours, chanting, a few hundred of them.

And just in the last 15 minutes or so, they clashed because the people who couldn`t get into the rally came out, and then they started yelling at the protesters. And so quickly, within a few minutes, police, who`ve also been here for a few hours, who have been preparing for this for a week, set up these gates that you see here so that they didn`t actually engage each other physically.

So for the past 10 or 15 minutes, they`ve simply been yelling chants back and forth, USA, USA, to Black Lives Matter, et cetera. And again, this is only been going on for 15 minutes or so.

But it`s getting kind of heated, but as you can tell, the police in the middle -- they don`t want anything else to happen, nothing physical, and it doesn`t look like it will -- Chris.

MATTHEWS: Well, is this a -- is this a racial conflict? What`s the makeup of the crowd on both sides?

RASCON: So if you look at this side, you`re going to see a more diverse crowd. But as I did mention, they did yell at one point, Black Lives Matter. That hasn`t been the focus of this. "No more hate" they`re now chanting. They`re mostly chanting USA, They`re saying "Dump Trump," and you can see their signs, "Stop Islamophobia," "Immigrants make America great," "Dump Trump." So no, the answer to your question is it hasn`t been...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: It`s not like Chicago.

RASCON: ... racial issue. No, it would be a less (INAUDIBLE) no, not like Chicago.

MATTHEWS: OK. Jacob, we`ll be back to you later, Jacob Rascon. There`s a developing situation there, Gene, and it looks like a -- it looks like a potpourri of anti-Trumpers.

ROBINSON: Yes, right, and I assume the -- look, we`re going into New York, right? And so a lot of people in New York. There are a lot of people who really oppose Donald Trump in New York. I assume there are going to be big crowds of protesters at every big rally. He`s going to be doing huge rallies. It`s, you know...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let me get back to your point and then back to Jay. It looks to me like Trump is a lucky man because (INAUDIBLE) because Trump has picked an opponent he can beat in New York and probably beat in Pennsylvania and probably in Maryland and the rest of the Northeast.

Cruz is essentially a rural guy. His appeal is essentially to evangelicals and the people who don`t like the big city, where a phrase like "New York values" would work. He`s now running in New York, where New York values are sort of like the way things are, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: It was the first state to be pro-choice, I believe. Maybe California was. I think it was New York -- a state that has accepted live and let live. And every New Yorker I know takes tremendous pride in living on a street that`s busy with diversity. They love the fact they`ve got different orientations, different ethnic groups. It`s busy as hell. You go to a restaurant, a different restaurant, ethnic group every night, if you`re lucky. They love that stuff!

And here comes a guy, Simon Pure, right-winger, coming into New York, saying, I`m going to clean up the New York values things you got going here. It`s perfect for Trump. It`s (INAUDIBLE)

SULLIVAN: It is perfect. But I`m troubled by these scenes. I`m troubled by what happened in Chicago.

MATTHEWS: What happened (ph) in Chicago?

SULLIVAN: When you have -- when you have candidate in Trump who supports violence, condones violence...

MATTHEWS: How so?

SULLIVAN: ... and will encourage violence...

MATTHEWS: Explain that.

SULLIVAN: Because every time there`s been violence, he`s defended the person inflicting violence, because his own campaign manager uses battery as a weapon against the press.

This is a man who believes in violence. Why else would this man favor torture if he didn`t see that as the ultimate form of power that he seeks? He`s a thug. And this will lead to civil unrest in this country. There is going to be serious civil unrest.

If we`re lucky, we`ll get through the civil unrest without him being president. But if he becomes president, God knows what will happen in this country.

MATTHEWS: What do you think stirred the black/white aspect out in Chicago, which was scary? What do you think stirred that? Was it the combination of Black Lives Matter, the organization...

SULLIVAN: Yes. The left has gone so far to the left, it`s now basically a Marxist -- especially on the questions of race...

MATTHEWS: How -- who do you like?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: You`re broad-brushing. Hillary`s a loser. She`s a Dukakis. The Democratic Party has swept all the way to the left.

SULLIVAN: Well, not the whole Democratic Party, but...

MATTHEWS: Well, you said that.

SULLIVAN: No, I didn`t. I said Black Lives Matter. I mean, the race -- the left on the race question is now near Marxist in a way it hasn`t been at all in the past.

MATTHEWS: Neo-Marxist?

SULLIVAN: Yes! It believes that race is a structurally, economic and socially, imponderable and completely unmovable force. I mean, I`ve read Ta-Nehisi Coates. That`s what it is, it`s Marxism...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: Oh, that`s not quite what Ta-Nehisi says! He doesn`t quite say it`s unmovable. He says it`s big.

SULLIVAN: He does! No, he says it cannot be changed at all. The oppression is permanent because the structure is permanent. And there is no hope, only despair. He said that to his own son!

You can`t get anything more despairing than that about race in America. You have those attitudes on one side, and Trump`s white nationalism on another, you have a recipe for serious unrest in this country! And I think we`re underestimating it by keeping him as a regular candidate, by thinking about him in terms of demographics.

MATTHEWS: You know what? I agree. I agree on this polarization because, Gene, I made this point late last night. You may have taken a powder by then.

ROBINSON: Oh, I might.

MATTHEWS: This was very late. I think this is -- you -- no, I think you were there. Basically, it`s all right if we polarize and we have a liberal party and we have a conservative party, like most of Europe, and people join the party of their ideology. That`s not the way we`ve been, but that`s the way it is.

That works in a parliamentary system, when you have rotating governments, where the liberals take over for three or four years, they mess up, the conservatives come in, they mess up, you go back and forth. It works.

But if you have a system which is presidential and the only you get anything through is the party of one, party of the president, gets 60 votes in the Senate and 218 in the House or nothing gets done! We are creating a polarized parliamentary system with an American Constitution it doesn`t fit with, and that means nothing`s going to get done like`s been going on for 20 years now...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: Well...

NEWTON-SMALL: Unless -- unless you create a third party, unless you -- unless you...

MATTHEWS: How does that work? That`s even less possible.

(CROSSTALK)

NEWTON-SMALL: You could see it happening this cycle. I mean, if Trump...

MATTHEWS: But that`s even more dysfunctional!

NEWTON-SMALL: ... is denied the nomination, he leaves the party, then you get a three-party system. You begin to have...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... Bernie, like everybody else, he has an appeal. But I said to Senator Sanders -- you know, he says I live inside the Beltway. I said, Wait a minute. Inside the Beltway is where they pass all the laws. And you`ve got a situation where if you get elected as an exciting candidate of the young and the idealistic, it`s great. But the minute you get there, you`re going to face Mitch McConnell and those leaders, and Grassley, and all those other people are going to say no. And then where are we at?

SULLIVAN: This is Trump`s appeal. Trump`s basic appeal is the government in Washington is paralyzed, can`t do anything. I am the leader who will decide everything. I will get a mass movement to force change in this country.

MATTHEWS: That has worked in the past.

SULLIVAN: And that is working -- has worked in the past and it`s working now.

MATTHEWS: That`s where you had...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: That`s where we had military coups all over Latin America because the Congress -- the parliament becomes dysfunctional. It`s not just Weimar, it`s everywhere. When nothing works, you bring in the man on the horse. Gene?

ROBINSON: Yes, well, I lived in Argentina for four years, right after -- you know, after Argentina had returned to democracy from years of military rule in which tens of thousands of people were disappeared and killed.

We`re not there, OK? We`re not there. And it -- but you could argue...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: One could argue that Donald Trump is a step in that direction, that he destabilizes our political system in some way. But we are bigger than Donald Trump and...

MATTHEWS: I like that.

ROBINSON: We are.

MATTHEWS: We. We are the world. Please come back, Andrew.

SULLIVAN: I will.

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) welcome back.

SULLIVAN: Cheers.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back, Kotter. Anyway...

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: What a connection there (INAUDIBLE) kid in the class! Anyway, Jay Newton-Small, as always, Eugene Robinson for sobriety. He gave us that.

We continue to wait for Donald Trump to take the stage in Bethpage, New York. That`s out on the island. It`s Trump`s first public event since his double-digit defeat last night -- 14-point deficit last night. He got hammered last night in Wisconsin. We`re going to hear what he has to say about what has happened to him and where he`s going now.

Also coming up, the escalating battle for New York between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, by the way, a battle that could go either way. Clinton is now questioning Sanders`s credentials as a Democrat. She`s getting personal here even as "The New York Daily News" skewers Sanders over his position on guns. Look at that. The battle of New York is on for the Democrats, as well.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, we`re waiting right now for Donald Trump to take the stage in Long Island in his first public appearance since his double-digit loss last night out in Wisconsin. We`re going to see and hear his reaction to that big defeat.

And here he is, Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Unbelievable! Unbelievable!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

TRUMP: Thank you so much.

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

TRUMP: Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.

First of all, it`s great to be home. This is home. It`s great to be home.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We love New York. We love New York. And we are, all together, going to make America great again, folks.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So, I was driving over from Manhattan, and I passed Queens. I love Queens. Do we have a lot of Queens? I love -- I grew up in Queens. I grew up in Queens.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And I used to play -- you know, I used to get here at like 2:00 in the morning to play a round of golf at Bethpage. You all know what I mean, right? But I love this city. And I love this country.

And we are going to start winning again with our country, because we don`t win, we never win, we never, ever win anymore. We don`t win with our military. We don`t win on trade. We don`t win on health care. We don`t win on anything. We are going to start winning again, folks.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So, in coming up, I said to myself and I said to some of the people, when we were in the car, I said, you know, I`m self-funding my campaign. I`m putting my own money in, right?

And all of these people that are running for office, they`re like off the trough. They take money in from all the special interests, where they can`t make proper transactions for you.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: And that`s going to stop. It`s going to stop.

You look, you look, you look at what is happening -- I love you too.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: I love -- I love these people. These are my people.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Man!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I have got so many family members here today. Look at that. Boy, oh, boy, my sons and my daughter. Did Ivanka do a good job?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: You know, she had a baby like five days ago. So, she did a good job. So, I should not say, Ivanka, you`re fired, right?

AUDIENCE: No!

TRUMP: I promise. I promise. I promise.

So, I love this. Somebody else would say, that`s a tough crowd. It is for the heart. We love this crowd. We love you people. We love you people. We love.

So here is what we`re doing. On June 16, I came out and I said -- and it`s not easy to do. It takes guts. I came down the escalator with Melania. I said, come on. Let`s go. I took a deep breath. And it was all about trade, it was all about borders, it was all about all sorts of things. And, today, it`s that. But it`s also about our military.

We can`t beat ISIS. We`re going to knock the hell out of ISIS, believe me.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Can you imagine what our great generals, General George Patton, General Douglas MacArthur, can you imagine what they would be saying if they saw what`s going on with what we`re doing and the way we fight?

We don`t fight like people from Long Island. We don`t fight like people from New York. So we`re going to rebuild our military. It`s totally depleted. You know it. We know it. They don`t like talking about it. We are going to rebuild our military. It`s going to be bigger and better and stronger than ever before. And nobody is going to mess with us, nobody.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And very, very important, we`re going to take care of our vets. Our vets are not taken care of.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So, our country owes now $19 trillion.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: We owe trillions to China. We owe trillions to Japan. The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous. It`s going to change around. It`s going to change quickly.

We`re going to renegotiate our trade deals in China, the case of China, $500 billion trade deficit every single year. It`s going to end.

Mexico, I love the Mexican people. I love Hispanics. I love Hispanics. They`re unbelievable people. We have now $58 billion trade deficit with Mexico. And our businesses, sadly, are leaving our country, going to other countries. They`re leaving our jobs.

In Long Island, you know it better than almost anybody. Our companies are being uprooted, taken out. They`re moving to Mexico. They`re moving to other countries. Everybody is looking for jobs, and you know what? We`re going to end the practice. We`re going to keep our companies here and we`re bringing companies back to the United States.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall!

TRUMP: We are going to have a strong border. We are going to build the wall. It will be a real wall. A real wall.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Who is going to pay for the wall?

AUDIENCE: Mexico!

TRUMP: Who?

AUDIENCE: Mexico!

TRUMP: By the way, 100 percent. When these politicians come up, they say you can`t really get Mexico to pay. I just put out a plan three days ago. So easy. When we`re losing $58 billion a year in trade deficits, and a wall is going to cost $10 billion, folks, how easy is that?

It`s going to happen, OK? It`s going to happen, 100 percent. It`s going to happen.

AUDIENCE: Build the wall! Build the wall!

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Go ahead.

AUDIENCE: Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall!

TRUMP: It never changes. Hey, New York is called New York. But it never, ever will change.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So, what has happened, and very strongly what has happened, we are going to have those strong borders, just as you saw last week. The Border Patrol, 16,500 people in the Border Patrol endorsed -- and I didn`t even ask -- endorsed Donald Trump for president.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: The first time they have ever done it. They have never endorsed anybody for president. But they want to have strong borders.

And you know what? I thought to myself, has anybody heard the snake? Has anyone heard of it? Have you heard? Should we do it? Should we do it? All right.

The main thing, can you hear me all the way in the back? Can you hear me? Can anybody not hear me clearly? All right.

I want to thank my brother, my cousins, my nephews, my beautiful daughter- in-laws, my son, wonderful Ivanka. As you know, they all came to see this. I mean, they can`t even believe it.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: You know, you know, lyin` Ted Cruz came today. He couldn`t draw 100 people, 100 people.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: He couldn`t -- I`m telling you. In fact, it was a big headline today in "The New York Post." He couldn`t draw 100 people.

Now, do you remember -- do you remember -- do you remember during the debate, when he started lecturing me on New York values, like we`re no good, like we`re no good/

(BOOING)

TRUMP: And I started talking to him about the World Trade Center, the bravery, the incredible bravery of everybody, our police, our firemen, our everybody.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Better believe it. Better believe it.

So, I looked at him and started talking about our incredible police, our incredible firefighters, our incredible people, our unbelievable construction workers. Who could have done that? Who could have rebuilt that hole? There was never anything like it in this country, the worst attack in the history of the United States.

The bravery that was shown was incredible. We all lived through it. We all know people that died. And I have got this guy standing over there looking at me, talking about New York values with scorn in his face, with hatred, with hatred of New York.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: So, folks, I think you can forget about him. You can forget about him.

AUDIENCE: Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted! Lyin` Ted!

TRUMP: He is lyin` Ted. You know, I came up with the idea. But you have to spell it right. It`s L-Y-I-N`, lyin` Ted.

The Bible held high, he put it down, and then he lies. You know the wonderful thing? He lies like crazy. But most of the time, I win the evangelical vote. The evangelicals, the Christians like Donald Trump. I am a straight shooter. I shoot straight, like New Yorkers. We shoot straight.

You have another one running, he was in favor of NAFTA. Do you remember that? Kasich. Kasich.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: He is now -- he is now zero for 32, except he won his state. So, he`s like one for 33. And he just -- he won`t leave. And that`s OK. You know what? He is a nice guy. Let him keep going. It`s OK. It`s all right. It`s all right.

But both of them -- and this is so serious. Both of them, we have a deal under negotiation, being negotiated by President Obama, which you immediately know it`s going to be a bad deal.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: A bad deal. Don`t forget, Obama negotiated the Iran deal, one of the worst deals ever, ever, ever negotiated.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: So what we have -- what -- thank you, darling. I love -- screaming "Love. I love you Trump, I love you, Trump."

Thank you. Thank you. I love you. I love you. I do. I do.

So, both of them want TPP, which is Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is a disastrous deal. It is going to suck the blood out of New York. It is going to suck the blood out of our country. Both of them want it to happen. I`m going to fight it and we`re going to stop it. We`re not going to let it happen. We have enough bad deals.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: This deal would be catastrophic.

So, look, let me just tell you a couple of things. So we have to bring our jobs back to this country. We have to stop making horrible trade deals. We have the greatest businesspeople in the world in the United States. I know many of them. I know the good ones, the bad ones. The overrated ones, I know, and the underrated ones, people you have never heard of, who are phenomenal.

MATTHEWS: Well, there`s Donald Trump, who has obviously had a good night`s sleep after yesterday`s lambasting out in Wisconsin.

He is acting as if he didn`t lose anything, certainly didn`t have any problems in the week before with the comments he has made about different topics, and clearly acting like he had been through a very happy time the last couple of days, when, in fact, he just got drubbed out there in Wisconsin.

But it was a great statement about his -- what we call his advance operation. He was able to fill a room with more than 10,000 people with people who are not only were with him, but they were chanting ahead of him, with "Build the wall," and, of course, "Lyin` Ted" and all that other stuff that he sells.

So, we`re going to come back in a moment and clean our -- we`re going to have a palate cleaner and come back and talk about the Democrats in what promises to be a much closer fight in New York on the 19th, just up in two weeks from now, less than two weeks.

Hillary Clinton is really getting threatened. She is in jeopardy with Bernie Sanders. This is going to be one heck of a battle to see who wins in New York. And of course that would really put Hillary in trouble.

So, we`re going to be right back and talk with really smart people about New York look for the Democrats, right back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: So, let`s talk Democrats and progressives.

After a big win -- Donald Trump, by the way, is on the stage there talking about Hillary Clinton right now. But after a big win for Bernie Sanders last night and his crowd in Wisconsin, the fight for the Democratic fight in New York has moved to New York, of course, in two weeks now.

Hillary Clinton maintains a 12-point lead in New York there, according to a Quinnipiac poll from last week. But Sanders leads Clinton by two points nationally right now, according to new numbers out today from McClatchy, Sanders leading nationally. What an amazing turnaround.

Last night`s results in Wisconsin and what looks like to be a grudge match coming up in New York has that state`s former Senator Hillary Clinton swinging away at her rival for the Democratic nomination. Today, she questioned whether Bernie Sanders is even a Democrat. Watch Hillary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN THRUSH, POLITICO: When he puts his head on a pillow at night, do you think he goes to sleep a Democrat?

(LAUGHTER)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I can`t answer that, Glenn, because he is a relatively new Democrat. And, in fact, I`m not even sure he is one. He is running as one.

So, I don`t know quite how to characterize him. I will leave that to him.

I have been campaigning for Democrats, fund-raising for Democrats, recruiting Democrats to run and win for a really long time, I think about 40 years. And Senator Sanders, by his own admission, has never even been a Democrat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And in a recent New York editorial board interview -- "New York Daily News" interview -- Bernie Sanders was asked whether family members of the Sandy Hook victims should be allowed to sue gun manufacturers.

Here was Senator Sanders` response.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DAILY NEWS: There`s a case currently waiting to be ruled on in Connecticut, the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre are looking to have the right to sue for damages the manufacturers of the weapons. Do you think that`s something that should be expanded?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do I think the victims of a crime with a gun should be able to sue the manufacturer, is that your question?

DAILY NEWS: Correct.

SANDERS: No, I don`t.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: No, I don`t. Well, Clinton said she was appalled at Sanders` remarks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was appalled that Senator Sanders didn`t see any reason for the parents of children massacred at Sandy Hook and Connecticut to be able to try to sue the gun makers. I just absolutely disagree.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is here right now. He`s a Democrat from Connecticut. And Jonathan Capehart is an opinion writer with "The Washington Post."

You know, the issues are the issues. Hillary Clinton now, after all these months of campaigning against Bernie Sanders, with soft gloves on, big 16- ounce gloves, she is taking them off and she`s hitting them personal about whether he is a Democratic, whether he`s right on guns or not, whether he knows anything about breaking down the big -- breaking apart the big banks. She is worried.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, you know, it`s unclear to me why Bernie can`t come out and be clear about what his position on guns is. I mean, the fact is --

MATTHEWS: Well, it is. He says I`m not for suing manufacturers.

MURPHY: I mean, listen, he right now, right, is standing in clear opposition to the families of Sandy Hook who simply want to be able to contest their case in court. And what he`s essentially saying is that they should be barred from making that case.

Now, the Connecticut primary is not far after the New York primary. And you are not going to win Connecticut if you are not 100 percent in on the fight against the gun lobby. I don`t think you`re going to win a primary in New York if you`re not 100 percent in.

And I think this is an increasingly important distinction between the two, because Bernie is intentionally not trying to close that gap.

MATTHEWS: Why is he pro gun?

MURPHY: I assume --

MATTHEWS: Is it Vermont, local politics.

MURPHY: I assume it`s where he is from. But, you know, frankly, 80 percent of Vermonters are going to be for the kind of things that we`re for -- background checks, bans on assault weapons. This actually doesn`t divide folks in New England.

I think it`s curious as to why he continues to feel the need to defend the gun industry`s immunity in our legal system. It just is beyond me.

MATTHEWS: Let`s take another point. Hillary Clinton has never tried to right Bernie out of the party like she does now. Right now, she`s decided after all these months, that being a socialist isn`t good enough, being a Democratic socialist is not good enough, being a Democratic socialist who works in the Democratic caucus is not good enough.

This guy is not enough. All of a sudden, she is afraid.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, all of a sudden, because everything is on the line on April 19th, in the New York primary. She has to win New York. It`s her home state. She was elected senator twice in that state.

And, you know, the other reason why she is hammering away on this is because the upcoming primaries, New York, Pennsylvania and others, are closed primaries. Only Democrats can vote in those primaries. So, she wants to remind Democrats that yes, Bernie Sanders caucuses with the Democrats, even though --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: But they don`t care. I`ve talked to millions of people -- I`ve talked to everybody I bump into. Nobody cares whether Bernie Sanders is a Democratic socialist in the Democratic Party. They just don`t care.

CAPEHART: I don`t think it`s fair to say that nobody cares. I do think that there are people who care.

MATTHEWS: They think he is progressive -- more progressive than her. In other words, better than her. A lot of people do. Look at these numbers now all of a sudden.

CAPEHART: Sure, look at the numbers. It is a harsh critique on Senator Sanders. And, you know, he is out there already saying that, well, you know, one of the reasons I ran as a Democratic and not as an independent for president is because I`d get more media attention.

So, I mean, you can question whether it`s the right thing or --

MATTHEWS: That sounds pretty crass, by the way. The only way I`m using this party is for a vehicle.

CAPEHART: Well, yes.

MATTHEWS: I`m using it as -- I don`t want to be a Democrat. I just want to use the party.

CAPEHART: Well, yes, and then want to use the party. And look at it this way, Chris. We`re looking at a senator who signed an agreement with the Democratic National Committee to do fund-raisers for the national party, for money that it will need to help the down ballot races he has not raised a dime. Meanwhile, he is running away every speech hammering away at her for this big money, big money fundraisers --

MATTHEWS: You know, when you start talking like you`re talking, and I talk this way too, you sound like you`re 80 years old. Anyway, CBS News`s Nancy Cordes tweeted that, quote, "Asked Bernie Sanders about calls for him to apologize to Sandy Hook victims," up in Connecticut. "He said maybe Hillary Clinton should apologize to Iraq war victims."

This is getting rough.

MURPHY: Yes, I think this is a horrible mistake --

MATTHEWS: By him?

MURPHY: Yes, to try to play off the Sandy Hook victims against the victims of the Iraq war, right? Sandy Hook families are not a political play, a political pawn to be thrown around in this kind of casual way, and I just don`t think it`s smart for him to double down on his opposition to the Sandy Hook families` ability to contest a case in court. Not that there`s no way that they`re getting succeed, but being on the opposite side of those families as they try to be made whole by gun manufacturers and then trying to throw around casual references to the comparisons, I mean, those families --

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: Not smart.

MATTHEWS: OK, Senator, you worked with Bernie Sanders, so here is your chance to tell us something we don`t know.

The question is, does he know what he is talking about when he says, I`m going to get rid of big banks, I`m going to break up the big banks. He`s asked by "The New York Daily News" editorial board, how are you going to do it. He made this vague reference to Dodd-Frank, the bill that was passed years ago to reform Wall Street, but he didn`t seem to have thought through, to use his hand gestures, he didn`t seem to have thought through how to do the one thing that most young people especially like the sound of, which is getting the big banks down to size.

Does he know what he is talking about legislatively? Has he impressed you with his knowledge of system?

MURPHY: I`ll put it this way, you know, he`s had the last decade to propose a piece of legislation that would do exactly what he is proposing to be done. He hasn`t done it. So, you can just simply look at his time in the Senate and suggest that there`s a disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality. You don`t have to get an insider`s take to understand that there doesn`t to be actually any plan on the table.

MATTHEWS: See, we`re all this, we`re all gesturing now, insider`s take.

He said, "I was inside the belt way." Everybody is learning Bernie`s gestures.

The question is, you know, like Trump or anybody else, Trump is not a politician, Bernie is. At some point, you`ve got to ask the guy, have you thought through what you`re promising?

CAPEHART: Well, that`s what my former colleagues on the editorial board were trying to get at. It`s like you`ve been running this for about two years. This is the whole basis of your campaign. And if you cannot explain it to us in clear, simple language, crisply --

MATTHEWS: You know why? Because people at rallies don`t ask politicians to explain anything. They yell, "build the wall", Lyin` Ted, they don`t say, explain, Mr. Trump, how are you going to do this. Because a rally is not about ideas, it`s about applause lines.

Anyway, Senator Chris Murphy, a great guy, thank you for joining us.

And thank you, Jonathan, as always.

Up next, back to our top story of the night. Can Donald Trump rebound from his bruising Wisconsin loss? He went down by 14 points last night and he acts like nothing happened. He is like Monty Python. The night, he never acts like she was shot and carved up.

We`re going to see whether the results here and whether they`re headed towards a contested convention in Cleveland, looks like it`s heading our way. A real, old time convention where you don`t know who`s going to win when you go into it.

Anyway, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve got this guy standing over there, looking at me, talking about New York values, with hatred of New York. So, folks, I think you can forget about him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was Donald Trump just a few minutes ago, talking about Ted Cruz at a rally from New York out on Long Island.

Trump`s 13-point loss to Cruz in Wisconsin last night may prove to be a crucial setback on his path to the nomination, however. A new Monmouth poll in the Empire State, that`s New York, shows Trump leading with 52 percent right now. John Kasich has now polled into second with 25 percent. Cruz is down at 17 percent. The guy he`s mashing there.

Cruz disparaged Trump two months ago for having -- well, this is a killer - - New York values, is now fighting an uphill battle on his opponent`s turf.

Here`s how Cruz answered for his attack on New York culture earlier today with NBC`s Hallie Jackson. By the way, this is really going to be really lame to listen to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HALLIE JACKSON, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Two and a half months ago, you railed against New York values. How do you expect to do well in this state or to win if that`s your goal?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, the interesting thing about polling is it can change and it can change quickly. And let`s be clear -- the people of New York know exactly what those values are. They`re the values of liberal Democratic politicians like Andrew Cuomo, like Anthony Weiner, like Eliot Spitzer, like Charlie Rangel, all of whom Donald Trump has supported, given tens of thousands of dollars throughout the years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by our round table, April Ryan, who is White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, MSNBC political analyst David Corn is Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones" and Megan Murphy is Washington bureau chief for "Bloomberg News".

All of you -- well, you two definitely have a New York connection. I`m not sure about you.

APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: I have a New York connection. Family --

MATTHEWS: Oh, good work.

Let`s go with Corn on this one. This New York values thing was not hyphenated or contextualized. He took a shot at a guy from New York because to him, New York`s bad news and now he`s trying to say, I only meant Anthony Weiner?

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Yes, no, no, no. We knew -- we in New York, people from New York knew what he was meant. When he was campaigning for social conservative voters, evangelical voters and he was trying to take --

MATTHEWS: It has an ethnic aspect to it, by the way. Let`s not kid ourselves.

CORN: Yes. And a religious aspect, too. Let`s not kid ourselves.

So, you can hear whatever you want to hear or not which is why it works so well for him. But now, the question is, I think as we come to New York, this is not a referendum on Cruz. This is a referendum on Donald Trump. He`s turned this race into what he doesn`t want that is --

MATTHEWS: Yes. If he wins New York, and he wins Connecticut, wins Pennsylvania, he`s back in the saddle.

CORN: Well, he will probably end up with the plurality of delegates. The question is how close will he get to 1, 237? Probably --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Does this change the basic question? Will the big shots and other delegates deny him a victory if he`s short of the cup, if he`s 100 votes short, 50 votes, whatever the gimme is, they`re going to say, sorry, you got to get in the cup, you`re going to finish. Or are they going to say let`s be reasonable, you`re so far ahead of Cruz, we can`t deny it to you.

MEGAN MURPHY, BLOOMBERG NEWS: I think it`s going to be how close that cup is. If it`s 50, that`s one thing. If it`s 200, that`s a whole different story. And a lot of senior Republicans are saying the number is 1,237.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Has that number changed what they`ll give them? The other stuff he said the last couple weeks, I just wonder whether that`s made that less likely to give him a gimme and more likely to say tough, no cigar?

MURPHY: Well, one thing I will say about, what David said is, I don`t buy that this is now a referendum on Trump. It`s always been a referendum on Trump.

CORN: Not when there were 17 people in the race.

MURPHY: The issue is now that people aren`t buying what he was saying. When he was a picture of strength, when he was a picture of security, when he was a picture of anything but the White House, anything but establishment Washington. What happened was his missteps over the past two weeks have really hurt him? People are now looking and saying, does what he says make sense? That`s actually what`s happening. It`s a referendum that he`s now losing and that`s -- whether he can come back --

MATTHEWS: April?

RYAN: He`s had missteps even before the last two weeks. Let`s go back to Barack Obama. I mean, Barack Obama is a black man. And people don`t like to deal with the racial aspect.

And then let`s go to John McCain. John McCain, a prisoner of war, a veteran. I was shocked that the veterans did not, you know, get up in arms with Trump.

And then let`s talk about Megyn Kelly. Blood coming out of wherever. Let`s talk about so many things. A reporter, the reporter had a pen. You know, if really to be honest with you, the person who pulled the reporter should have actually stepped down from the job so it wouldn`t take away from Donald Trump.

Now, also, what`s all this other stuff? And then, the racial aspect. And then, today, I mean, just listening to Donald Trump talk about Ted Cruz cannot rebuild this hole. That`s more than a hole. That`s for people who lost family members there, and for many in this nation, that is sacred ground. You can`t just call it a hole.

Donald Trump is an accident waiting to happen.

MATTHEWS: What`s the hole? I`m sorry.

RYAN: The 9/11 Memorial, the World Trade Center. So, he just said that a moment ago.

MATTHEWS: Why are they cheering?

RYAN: Donald Trump?

MATTHEWS: Yes, I`m watching them cheer. Throwing lines like build the wall, Lyin` Ted, what`s that all about?

RYAN: Politics is personal and many people in different segments of society feel disenfranchised. And he`s speaking their language, the people in there and some around the country. But they are --

MATTHEWS: Do you think there are working class guys out there on Long Island? I think they`re pretty much middle class out there.

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: New York has a lot of suburban Republican voters who don`t like Cruz and they`re not going to like Donald Trump. It`s not -- I think it`s different than the suburbs of Milwaukee which are probably more conservative. Westchester County where I came from, all the Republicans I know there, they may even turn to Kasich. In fact, you know, Kasich staying in the race, you know, could help, you know, Trump in a way.

MATTHEWS: What about all the conservative areas around the boroughs?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: They call them the -- you know, they always put it down, the peripheral ethnic neighborhoods, usually Italian-Irish, Irish-Italian. I grew up with a lot of those people.

MURPHY: Megan Murphy --

MATTHEWS: Yes, they`re all there, and they always -- they never quite make it with "The New York Times" crowd, but they`re there. They`re conservative party people, they`re Republicans.

CORN: Archie Bunker.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You just put them down.

CORN: No, no.

MATTHEWS: Archie Bunker? Come on.

CORN: Queens, all the working guys in Queens.

MATTHEWS: They just love when you do that, Corn. I`m from Westchester --

(CROSSTALK)

RYAN: This is where Kasich comes in because Kasich is from a state that`s a manufacturing state and has a lot of problems --

MURPHY: It`s the only state he`s won. It`s the only state he`s won.

RYAN: But wait a minute. But New York, Texas, and California are manufacturing states and this is where Kasich can make a good point.

MATTHEWS: I think Kasich is the VP for Trump. Anyway, we`ll be right back.

CORN: Ooh!

MATTHEWS: You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

RYAN: Trump vice president.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Megan Murphy, tell me what Trump`s saying today. What`s he saying to you?

MURPHY: He`s saying to me, I`m getting back, I`m blowing by what happened here, I`m going with my core message, I`m reorganizing about what made me get here, which is make America great again, which is delivering with my core demographic, which is working class voters who feel separated from what`s going on in --

MATTHEWS: And Wisconsin wasn`t my Waterloo.

Anyway, thank you, April Ryan, David Corn, and Megan Murphy. We have a couple Murphys here tonight.

That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES," another Chris, starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END