Show: HARDBALL Date: June 3, 2016 Guest: Carla Marinucci, Hendrik Hertzberg, Dana Milbank, Clara Bingham, Ben Schreckinger, Molly Ball, Jamal Simmons, Deana Bass
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Hillary leads attack on Trump.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
Tensions are boiling as the candidates` rhetoric escalates. This week, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump`s ideas dangerously incoherent. Trump responded by saying Clinton belongs in jail. Trump ended the week with a rally in Redding, California, this afternoon where he again went after Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Hillary Clinton is a weak person. Hillary Clinton is totally scripted. Hillary Clinton a thief. And Hillary Clinton should be in jail for what she did to our national security!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, yesterday, there were more scenes of violence outside a Trump rally, this time in San Jose. Trump supporters were mobbed, shoved and hit by protesters. One woman wearing a Trump jersey was spat on and pelted with eggs and other food. "Make America great" hats were grabbed and set on fire. And in one video shot by Buzzfeed`s John Stanton, an American flag was being held up on fire.
Well, today, Trump had words for the protesters who confronted his supporters outside yesterday`s rally. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They walk out and they get accosted by a bunch of thugs burning the American flag.
TRUMP: Burning the American flag. And you know what they are? they`re thugs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, NBC`s Jacob Rascon and Katy Tur are in Redding, California, tonight. I want to start with Katy. You have been on a trip for a long time with Trump. What do you make of the turn this week, his performance, Hillary`s performance, his reaction to Hillary`s performance and the ugly performance by some people in the crowd? Go ahead. Put it all together.
KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: This is about as bad of a week that I`ve seen Donald Trump have, and it just didn`t get better even today. First, we had that vets press conference that was supposed to be about how much money he raised for vets. Instead, it turned out to be a fight with the press corps.
Then there was the Hillary Clinton speech, which just hammered Trump. But instead of having a cohesive and coherent operation to counteract that, the Trump campaign barely responded to it that day, not until that night and not very forcefully. Instead of coming out with his own talking points on foreign policy, maybe bringing out the foreign policy speech he gave a couple months ago to outline what he believes in comparison Hillary Clinton, that didn`t happen. Instead, he was just personally insulting her.
Then there was the Trump University document dump. We couldn`t get a response from the Trump campaign about that for many hours during the day. And then there`s the ongoing attacks with Judge Curiel, today escalating them again, saying on camera that he believes that Judge Curiel cannot be - - basically, that he`s biased, that he needs to recuse himself because he is of Mexican heritage.
This is a judge that was born in Indiana. It`s a judge that fought Mexican cartels, fought to put drug lords behind bars, was under protection at one point for him. This is the same thing that Donald Trump is talking about when he`s on the campaign trail, the drugs that are coming over the border, and this judge was righting that. Regardless, he`s going up against this judge.
And Chris, I`ve been talking to aides, and there are some aides within the Trump campaign that think that this attack against the judge is just a really bad idea, and they`re at their wit`s end when it comes to their candidate going on the attack in this way. They say that these are the sort of things that will defeat them...
TUR: ... because they don`t have a way to counteract it. They don`t have a communications team in place. They literally have one person in the campaign, at this point, running their communications team.
So when Hillary Clinton sees Donald Trump say something that her campaign disagrees with, we get bombarded with messages from them and the DNC to counteract Donald Trump`s message and to spin it. And when Hillary Clinton says something, all we have -- the only oppo all that Donald -- not "we," Donald Trump`s team has to give the press is Donald Trump himself standing on stage or tweeting his counterattack.
MATTHEWS: Yes. What`s this word "thief" about? I mean, I try to keep count of these attacks one way or the other. What does he mean when he calls her a thief? I don`t know that one.
TUR: I`m not sure what he means when he calls her a thief. I think he could potentially -- you know, Chris, I don`t know. That`s not one that...
MATTHEWS: I don`t know, either!
TUR: ... I`m familiar with at this point.
MATTHEWS: It`s a stray bullet. It`s so strange.
MATTHEWS: ... lighten up the conversation, to try to make us all good about one thing this week besides Hillary`s very impressive speech -- is that a snow-capped mountain behind you?
TUR: That is a snow-capped mountain, and you know...
MATTHEWS: It`s really impressive.
TUR: ... if we could turn the camera, which we can`t...
MATTHEWS: There it is.
TUR: ... because we have other live shots, but there`s Mount Shasta over there. And it`s gorgeous. But this -- which mountain is this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
TUR: Lassen, Mt. Lassen. We are in Redding, California.
MATTHEWS: I`m impressed. I love that.
TUR: It`s 101 degrees. And I wish that I was on that snow-capped mountain.
MATTHEWS: I`d rather talk about that snow-capped mountain than lot of this stuff. Anyway, thank you, Katy.
As you mentioned, Donald Trump told "The Wall Street Journal" yesterday that the judge in the civil case brought by some former students of Trump University had, quote, "an absolute conflict, given that he was of Mexican heritage" -- these are Trump`s words -- "and a member of a Latino lawyers` group."
Well, in an interview with CNN this afternoon, Trump doubled down. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have had horrible rulings. I`ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I`m building a wall, OK? I`m building a wall. I am going to do very well with the Hispanics, the Mexicans and...
JAKE TAPPER, CNN: So no Mexican judge could ever be involved in case that involves you?
TRUMP: Well -- no, he`s a member of a society where -- you know, very pro- Mexico, and that`s fine. It`s all fine. But...
TAPPER: Except that you`re calling out...
TRUMP: I think he should recuse himself.
TAPPER: You`re invoking his race when talking about whether or not he can do his job.
TRUMP: Jake, I`m building a wall, OK? I`m building a wall. I`m trying to keep business out of Mexico. Mexico`s fine. There`s nothing...
TAPPER: But he`s American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Hillary Clinton called Trump`s position outrageous on this, and Speaker Paul Ryan, who just yesterday threw his backing behind Trump, also criticized his candidate. I like to say it that way. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Look, the comment about the judge the other day just was out of left field, from my mind. It`s reasoning I don`t relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that. And so he clearly says and does things I don`t agree with. And I`ve had to speak up on time to time when that has occurred, and I`ll continue to do that if that`s necessary. I hope it`s not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Katy, what`s going -- what -- do you have any sense -- I guess it`s dangerous to speculate on psychological conditioning here, but what`s Trump`s (INAUDIBLE) because it`s -- it`s doubly bad because Hillary had her best week. We`ll talk about that later in the show, a very well produced speech, very well delivered, everything about it very well received. Everything about it -- it`s like she changed the direction of her own campaign style to a controlling campaign, rather than a reactive campaign.
Meanwhile, Trump was entirely reactive, entirely reactive to the judge, to his ethnicity. He just doesn`t look like a guy or a person in control of their own way doing things.
TUR: I think that that is exactly right. And the problem that they`re having behind this (INAUDIBLE) from the campaign, from the sources that I`m talking to, is that there`s infighting. There`s not a cohesive message because the campaign itself is not cohesive.
TUR: They still have this battle line drawn between Paul Manafort -- I know this is a bit inside baseball for our viewers, but Paul Manafort, who was brought in to run the convention and is now head of strategic operations, and Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager. Manafort stays behind. He`s in D.C. He`s in New York. He`s trying to come up with a strategy for the campaign. Corey Lewandowski travels with Donald Trump.
TUR: He`s constantly with him. He`s a firewall, essentially, between strategy and his candidate. So when Manafort sends over, you know, ideas and press releases and, Hey, we have these endorsements from vets, we have these endorsements from female CEOs, we have endorsements from Latino farmers, they`re not getting to the candidate, I`m told, because Corey Lewandowski is trying to control the message. That is the problem right now.
And Chris, you know, it`s remarkable for Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, to take 30 days to endorse his candidate, and then to come out the very next day afterwards and have to distance himself from yet another comment...
TUR: ... that his candidate has made.
MATTHEWS: OK. Great. Thank you. Great reporting, as always, Katy.
Let me go right now to Jacob Rascon. Jacob, are you out there available to talk about this from another perspective? What`s your perspective watching this, anything different?
JACOB RASCON, NBC CORRESPONDENT: So what I would say, Chris, is that these comments, for example, about the judge, what he talks about, when he talks about anything really Mexican-related, Hispanic-related, what I`m seeing is that I`ve paid a lot of attention to outside the rallies, how the protesters respond.
And over the last week, for example, we`ve seen at four different rallies in Albuquerque and San Diego, also in Anaheim and then yesterday in San Jose, that the overwhelming majority of the protesters appear to be Latinos, Hispanics. I`ve talked to a lot of them. A lot of them have Mexican flags, for example. They chant in Spanish, and their chief anger with Donald Trump is about these comments.
And they`ve gotten very out of hand recently, especially last night. Last night, what we`ve seen -- and we`ve seen this many times, as you know, the protests getting out of hand -- but last night, they went after Trump supporters in a way that I`ve never seen.
Right after the rally was finished, when usually things get out of hand, the protesters got away from the officers and were targeting Trump supporters, and not just taunting them, but they actually went and started beating them up. And we saw this more than a dozen times.
I think you mentioned this in your open, but there was one woman with a Trump jersey on who was cornered here next to this hotel and taunted. And she would just sit there, turn around, show her jersey. Eventually, they started throwing food and even eggs, and they hit her in face. And it was a pretty ugly scene.
And after that, it really just got worse because they actually started beating people up. Some Trump supporters were bloodied. And the officers kept their distance for almost two hours it took them to declare an unlawful assembly and go after the protesters. And that news is sort of overshadowed by some of what he`s saying, but behind the scenes, this is getting more intense by the day.
RASCON: Every time -- and of course, after next Tuesday, we`ll take a little break from the rallies. But at the rallies across the country, I wouldn`t expect any of this to slow down, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Jacob, let me ask you about that -- the police behavior or police strategy. You know, all the events we`ve been covering live show the police trying to separate the protesters against Trump from the Trump people. Why do you think they failed to do that in this case yesterday?
RASCON: You know, sometimes, the police departments have heavy barricades between the two groups. And they watch them until everybody`s gone. But for the most part, even those most prepared police departments -- and yesterday, there were barricades -- after the rally is finished and the Trump supporters are leaving from some other areas, the protesters simply leave their designated area, their gated area, and start going into other streets.
And in this case, more than any other case I`ve seen, there were so few officers to deal with the protesters.
RASCON: It just -- at one point, there was a line of them, for example, that got in front of the protesters and they just ignored them and walked around them. There were just several hundred protesters, compared to a couple dozen officers (INAUDIBLE) trying to get in front.
RASCON: But we`ve seen this over and over, that the police don`t have full control. Sometimes, they sort of let some of it happen...
MATTHEWS: Yes, and the people themselves...
MATTHEWS: I`m not defending any behavior by people, but there is such a thing as a mob psychology, and it`s not good to look at it. Everybody doesn`t operate as they normally would as individuals when they get into a sort of a shared psychology, the shared anger. It`s -- it`s pretty bad. Anyway, thank you, Jacob. Great reporting, as always. And thank you, Katy Tur, again. I do like that mountaintop behind you. I need some happiness.
Anyway, Donald Trump is facing more criticism for something he said at today`s rally, where he singled out an African-American supporter. Here goes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We had a case where we had an African-American guy who is a fan of mine, great fan, great guy! In fact, I want to find out what`s going on with him. You know what I`m -- oh, look at my African-American over here! Look at him!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Anyway, David Corn`s Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones" and an MSNBC political analyst, and Carla Marinucci -- I haven`t see you, Carla, in a long time...
CARLA MARINUCCI, POLITICO: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: ... California "Playbook" reporter from Politico. You used to be one of my co-reporters.
Carla, you`re out there. I`ve got to go to you firsthand. You`ve been watching a lot of this. What have you experienced firsthand out there?
MARINUCCI: Well, you know, I was in San Jose last night, Chris, and I think -- you know, the scene was ugly. There`s no question about it. But I think there was a lot of head scratching about the choice of location for that Trump rally. Not to excuse any of the ugliness that went on, or the violence, but I got to tell you, San Jose is a heavily Democratic city, a heavily Latino city, and this rally was held within two blocks of a major university, San Jose State.
I mean, you may -- I don`t know if it goes to the Trump organization or its lack of organization on the campaign, but you had to wonder. I mean, they were almost asking for trouble by having it in San Jose, and we saw it last night.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Do they like this -- you know, this is hard for a reporter to determine, but do you think the Trump strategists, such as they exist, like the sign of those Mexican flags, which obviously have an impact on a lot of Americans looking at that, and they, What`s this about? Why are people waving flags from another country (INAUDIBLE) bordering country?
MARINUCCI: Yes, you know, I...
MATTHEWS: Do you think they want to see those flags?
MARINUCCI: I did see the flags. And I have to tell you that, you know, having talked to a lot of young Latinos here, for a lot of them, they said it`s an issue of ethnic pride, just as, you know, St. Patrick`s Day, look...
MATTHEWS: I agree.
MARINUCCI: ... we see plenty of Irish flags. Nobody gives -- gives anybody a hassle on that.
MATTHEWS: No, but when they`re tied together with protesting with police and everything, it is a different mix.
MARINUCCI: Absolutely right. I think it`s a volatile mix that I saw last night when you`ve got people wearing "Build the wall" shirts pouring out of that Trump rally right into the heart of a Latino city with -- where there`s a lot of young people congregating.
MARINUCCI: I mean, it was just extremely...
MATTHEWS: ... look of it. I agree with Carla. I agree with you, this idea of having -- constantly having, you know, rallies on the border, basically, one after another. He seems like he knows where he`s doing. By the way, (INAUDIBLE) Chicago downtown (INAUDIBLE) big city school there, with a lot of minority members of that student body, and he held a rally right next to it. Maybe that`s...
MATTHEWS: ... maybe it`s inadvertent. I mean...
DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: He`s running still what seems to me to be a primary campaign aimed at his base, core supporters, who -- and if they see these scenes, they may feel even more loyal Donald Trump, that he`s standing up to those Mexicans...
MATTHEWS: I get it.
MATTHEWS: You`re not old enough to remember that, but that`s what Nixon and Agnew did.
CORN: Yes, it`s a version of sort of racial animus politics. But the thing is, you can`t win a general election that way.
MATTHEWS: Explain why not.
CORN: Because I don`t think there are enough haters or people who feel that...
MATTHEWS: And there are people who don`t like to see trouble.
CORN: And they don`t like to see trouble.
CORN: And listen, you`ve got to -- this week, when the jobs numbers were not so good and Trump could have made hay out of that, he`s now defending comments that...
MATTHEWS: ... jobs numbers are pretty good. Come on. Obama is doing well.
CORN: No, overall, but (INAUDIBLE) the Republicans got some ammunition...
MATTHEWS: Go ahead.
CORN: ... because he`s making outright racist statements that he can`t even defend when he goes on TV. So we have a birther...
MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) explain the (INAUDIBLE) just so we don`t (INAUDIBLE)
MATTHEWS: When he`s talking about the judge in the case involving Trump University because he has a Spanish name to start with -- which is all that Trump knew.
MATTHEWS: Then he found out (INAUDIBLE) Mexican heritage. OK. He`s saying that that is prima facie evidence of bias.
CORN: Well, first he calls him a Mexican.
CORN: He`s not Mexican. He`s American. Should we call Trump a German? Should Jewish voters say, I`m not going to vote for Trump because of his heritage? So he calls him a Mexican over and over again. And then he starts saying it`s his Mexican heritage. And today when he was on a competing network, they said, Listen, you`re saying he can`t do his job because of his Mexican background. Isn`t that racist? And he goes, No, I don`t think so.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I watched that, with Jake Tapper
CORN: Yes. And so...
MATTHEWS: Let me try something by Carla. If you look at this, the way that Trump emerged as a national political figure, way more recently than the other stuff, within the last eight years -- first of all, it was the birther thing, accusing him, basically, of being from Kenya, I think. That would be a simple way of describing what he`s saying. He`s not really an American, he`s a Kenyan -- and then going after legal immigration. Fair enough. It`s an issue. But he went at it in a certain way, the wall -- we`re going to put the wall up -- and then going after Muslims coming in the country.
I mean, you`re just adding up the ethnicity pile here. You know (INAUDIBLE)
MARINUCCI: No -- yes, and...
MATTHEWS: ... until you reach a lot of the zones of anger out there in the country, and out of it has come 20 percent of the country, say, for bitherism, another 20 percent on illegal immigration from the south of the border. And then you throw in the Muslim thing because of terrorism and other attitudes, and you build up something close to 50 percent of a coalition. And I think you`re right. He still stoking that.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, Carla?
MARINUCCI: Yes. You know, I have to say, Chris, you`re exactly right. And when you`re talking about how many hyphenated Americans are out there - - how does this play? Not just in a state like California, which is majority-minority, how does it play in the rest of the heartland?
I just think that this whole strategy is going to be interesting to watch, and whether it wears on people. This issue with Gonzalo Curiel out in here in California, I got to tell you, this is a hot issue. You`re talking about a judge who is highly respected, who was a prosecutor who went after the Tijuana drug cartels, who was appointed to the superior court here by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
MARINUCCI: And so the criticism of this judge here is not playing well, and not just with Democrats.
MATTHEWS: Yes. It`s so -- you know, I`m just overwhelmed on this Friday night to watch this ugly politics going on here and the protests.
CORN: Well, everything -- every...
MATTHEWS: And all this going on against this incredibly beautiful backdrop of the most beautiful state in the world, practically, California. I`m watching the snow-capped mountains. I`m watching the Golden -- or the Bay Bridge, the beautiful San Francisco Bay. And here we are messing the whole thing up with this kind of politics.
CORN: Everything Trump is doing is extreme, whether it`s calling Hillary a thief and saying...
MATTHEWS: Where did that come from?
CORN: I don`t know. He`s making it up! Chris, I think we spend too much time trying to figure out why he does things...
MATTHEWS: We have to!
CORN: No! He`s...
MATTHEWS: I have to find out where the words come from.
CORN: He`s pushing buttons of hatred.
MATTHEWS: I know. OK.
CORN: That`s what he`s doing. We`ve seen that for a long time now.
MATTHEWS: Fair enough. I never challenge you, David Corn.
MATTHEWS: Carla Marinucci, thank you for coming on. It`s great reporting.
MARINUCCI: Thanks for having me.
MATTHEWS: Great to have you on.
Coming up -- turning point. Voters in this presidential contest have been strongly anti-establishment, but now Hillary Clinton is trying to change the focus, and I think effectively yesterday, of the race. Can she make the 2016 presidential election about whether Donald Trump is fit for office? And is that a winner issue for her in November -- not how do you feel about things and how things are going in the world, how do you think he would do as president? That`s what she`s doing, and she started yesterday.
Plus, with him or against him? Paul Ryan finally came out and backed Trump, only to slam Trump a day later for his comments on the judge. This comes as many Republicans are struggling with whether to back the Republicans` presumptive nominee. We`ve got much more on the tightrope -- tightrope the GOP is walking on right now.
Plus, this Friday night, the HARDBALL roundtable is coming here to tell me, and you perhaps, something you don`t know.
And finally, "Let Me Finish" tonight with a thought on Hillary`s campaign upgrade. It was dramatic. It was yesterday. We can still feel it. She`s getting really good at this campaign thing this week.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
When delivering her opening salvo of the general election campaign yesterday, Hillary Clinton changed the focus, I believe, of the 2016 election from the sort of hostile atmosphere out there toward the establishment, which is easy to run on, to a question of Donald Trump`s actual personal fitness for president of the United States.
Well, throughout Hillary Clinton`s speech, she taunted Trump relentlessly, mocking his policies and using his own words to cut him down at every turn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump doesn`t know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program. Ask him. It will become very clear very quickly.
CLINTON: You know, there`s no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf course deal.
CLINTON: He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe Pageant in Russia.
CLINTON: He also said, "I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me."
You know what? I don`t believe him.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: We all know the tools Donald Trump brings to the table, bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets. I`m willing to bet he`s writing a few right now.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the headlines across various media outlets say much about how that speech went over.
Politico reads, "Hillary Goes Nuclear on Trump." Reuters says, "Clinton Mocks Trump as Dangerously Incoherent." And the conservative blow Townhall writes, "Hillary Savages Trump as Clueless and Unstable in Cutting Speech."
And late today, "The Los Angeles Times," the biggest newspaper in California, of course, endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, saying she`s the better candidate to take on Donald Trump.
I`m joined right now by MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt from Clinton`s rally in California.
Kasie, this is a bad week for Trump, because I think he was reactive the whole week, as I was saying. Hillary Clinton got out of her rut of reactiveness, somehow put together a production number, a brilliant speech which they misadvertised as a boring foreign policy speech, turned out to be fabulously witty and colorful and really enjoyable to listen to.
And she delivered it with aplomb and obvious comfort and practice.
This whole thing seemed -- first time they have seen to have gotten the whole -- look at how happy she is coming out there. You knew she had a home run and she knew it, Kasie.
KASIE HUNT, NBC CORRESPONDENT: When I walked into that speech yesterday, Chris, I was expecting exactly that, the fancy gold chairs that you might set up for a wedding, 19 flags on the stage.
And what we got was really one of her strongest performances, I think, many Democrats believe, throughout this entire campaign and potentially a turning point for her. And you could really tell today on the stump that this is candidate who is in general election mode.
And her aides have reminded me -- think about this -- Hillary Clinton, the candidate that we know, the one people have been so critical of, has always been a primary candidate. She`s never been a general election candidate before.
And running in a primary...
MATTHEWS: Right. Well, in New York state, she was.
HUNT: ... is in many ways like dancing on the head of a pin.
The distinctions are there -- well, sure, sure. But, as a presidential candidate on this kind of a stage...
MATTHEWS: Yes. You`re right.
HUNT: ... this is the first time she is really going to be experiencing that.
And she really came into that, I think, on that stage yesterday. And you saw flashes of it again today at this rally here in Westminster, California. I had not seen a candidate who was so willing to kind of joke around. Her microphone went out at one point, and she started joking about how she knows that she shouldn`t shout. She was even having a little fun with -- she was hitting Trump over Trump University.
And when she pronounced it, it sounded like a little bit like a swear word that starts with F. She laughed about that.
MATTHEWS: Well, Kasie, you`re setting it up well. You`re setting it up.
HUNT: Definitely a different Hillary Clinton on the stage.
MATTHEWS: You set it up well.
Let`s take a look at that moment you just mentioned. Here is Clinton earlier talking about Trump University.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: It`s been a con game this has benefited Donald Trump, but hurt so many people, including those who couldn`t afford it, who were urged to max out their credit cards, spend down their retirement accounts, so they could go to this Trump U. and...
CLINTON: That does -- that does sound appropriate, doesn`t it?
CLINTON: I`m going to have to use that more often.
CLINTON: Because if he gets anywhere near the White House, you know what he`s going to do. He`s going to Trump you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Wow. She`s loaded for this one.
Anyway, thank you, Kasie. We have never seen her so up in this political world yet. Thanks for the great reporting.
I`m joined right now by Dana Milbank, op-ed columnist for "The Washington Post" who is funny all the time, as well as Rick Hertzberg, writer for "The New Yorker" and a former speechwriter for President Carter.
Rick, you used to be my boss, so tell me about this, what you think. The whole production of the speech yesterday, the way it was set up, the way it was misadvertised as a groggy foreign relations council speech, and turns out to be witty, powerful, colorful, and actually enjoyable to watch for a half-hour or so.
What do you think about how this happened out of nowhere, this great piece of politics?
HENDRIK HERTZBERG, "THE NEW YORKER": She`s wising up.
And she`s finally fighting on -- not on his level, but in his sort of general area of humanness. In other words, she -- he`s always fought on the level of character, in a sense of personality, force of personality.
And she`s fought on the grounds of rationality. And she put these two together in that speech by contrasting his ignorance and cluelessness with her knowledge. She didn`t actually say much about her knowledge. It`s enough just to point out to people what Trump has said over and over again and keeps on saying, to everybody`s astonishment, that he keeps on doing it at a moment when he`s supposed to be a disciplined candidate.
Rick and I know -- we were speechwriters -- that the greatest speech ever given was a putdown of Tom Dewey by Franklin Roosevelt. He simply repeated his crazy challenges to him about his dog, and he made him look like an idiot.
DANA MILBANK, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Right.
People are talking about how tough and nasty that Hillary Clinton was finally being. She was just using his own words against him, and thank goodness and finally. And what she needs to do now is do some variation of what she did yesterday over and over and over again for the next five months.
MATTHEWS: But let`s talk about how that is done.
She`s never going to be a shtick artist, a stand-up comic like Trump is, because he`s got that wise guy thing in his very being.
I thought, Rick, that what happened yesterday, as I said, that she took some time out. She rehearsed it. She owned that speech. She didn`t have to worry about the prompter or anything. She was breezy with it. She was smiling like heck coming out of the -- to give the speech. You knew she had a home run.
It reminded me of Barack Obama back in 2004 when she was running around telling everybody, I got a winner here. And she seemed to know it. And I think that was somebody in the campaign, maybe her, said, let`s stop for a minute, catch our breath. No more reaction to Trump. Let`s take over this thing.
HERTZBERG: Yes, and she can do it. She can do it quietly, conversationally. She doesn`t have to raise her voice.
She can deliver this over and over again. This is a much better style for her.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I do agree.
HERTZBERG: And with a little bit of a sense of humor, clearly enjoying herself with enormous confidence.
It was an impressive performance. And it`s something that she should continue to do. She should make her stump speech sound that way.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I think people are looking for a president.
MATTHEWS: You know what I`m saying, Dana?
MATTHEWS: They`re looking for -- they want her to be successful at this.
MILBANK: Well, this is a turning point.
And I think it`s very important for a variety of reasons. But she`s finally -- she`s not defending. She`s on the offensive now. She needs to stay there and put Trump back on his heels repeatedly.
The environment is conducive for that now, because you also see the press being more aggressive toward Trump. And you`re also putting the Republican establishment on the spot, because, yes, they have kind of sort of endorsed him, but as you have seen with Paul Ryan, they don`t want to go out and defend the guy.
So, the combination of those things has really changed the dynamic. And that`s why she needs to keep hammering away at some variation.
MATTHEWS: I think it`s good to see a candidate confident of their words before they speak them. They know they have the right brief and they`re going to deliver it.
Rick, it`s great to see you tonight, as always.
HERTZBERG: You, too, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Dana, thank you, as always.
MILBANK: Thanks, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Up next: Donald Trump has shown little love for the media, of course, this week. And he was really nasty on the media this -- and now some reporters are being thrown out of his events that they are supposed to cover professionally.
I`m going to speak to one of those reporters coming up next.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger. Here`s what`s happening.
A well-informed source tells NBC News that boxing champion Muhammad Ali is in grave condition. He was hospitalized yesterday for treatment of a respiratory issue.
Searchers are still combing a flooded area of Fort Hood for four missing soldiers whose truck was swept away on Thursday. Five others are confirmed dead.
And a train hauling crude oil derailed earlier in Oregon`s Columbia River Gorge. At least one of the cars caught fire, sending flames and dark smoke into the air -- back to HARDBALL.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The press should be ashamed of themselves. Excuse me. I have watched you on television. You`re a real beauty.
You`re a sleaze, because you know the facts and you know the facts well.
QUESTION: Is this what it`s going to be like covering you if you`re president?
TRUMP: Yes, it is. Yes, it is.
Let me tell you something. I`m a person -- OK, yes, it is going to be like this, David.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: He called him my name at least.
That was the climate on Tuesday, when Donald Trump addressed journalists after weeks of scrutiny about donations he promised to veterans groups. And now more signs of growing antagonism between the presumptive Republican nominee and the media.
Last night, a Politico reporter was kicked out of a Trump rally in San Jose. In a tweet, Ben Schreckinger said: "I was removed from Donald Trump`s rally tonight for practicing journalism without the campaign`s permission."
Well, in response to the event, a Trump spokeswoman told Politico: "The campaign is not aware of the incident or any details pertaining to it and therefore cannot comment." She added the campaign is looking into it.
Excuse me for burping here.
So, for concerns with the press to chaos to protesters, we`re watching that now, is the fallout we have seen this election reflective of what we saw in the `60s even?
Our next guest says the 2016 populist energy could perhaps fulfill some of the unfinished business of the `60s.
Clara Barton (sic) is the author of "Witness to the Revolution." That`s book. Also joining me is the reporter who was kicked out that Trump rally last night, Politico reporter benefits.
Ben, give us a lively account, if you will, or at least a true one, of what happened to you.
BEN SCHRECKINGER, POLITICO: Sure. I will try to do both.
I came into this rally on a general admission ticket. Recently, the campaign has been denying me credentials. They sometimes go back and forth on this . I sat down next to wall behind one of the press pens in a general admission area, took out my laptop, started typing away.
And within a few minutes, a staffer came up to me, asked me if I had credentials. I said I didn`t, explained that I cover the campaign regularly and have for months. He took my name, consulted with his superiors, came back with a security guard. And they sent me on my merry way, despite a few protests that I lodged on my way out.
MATTHEWS: Well, you look in good shape now. Keep it up. Anyway, you got to get in when you got to get in.
Clara, I have known you a long time, Clara Bingham.
This idea of a book you have written about the `69-`70 period, when the -- I would say the anti-war move turned pretty ugly sometimes. It got very rough. What about now? How does it compare, this book of yours?
CLARA BINGHAM, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, looking at that rally yesterday and the fights that broke out really did remind me of a lot of the protests that happened in the `69-`70 late period of the anti-war movement, when it really turned violent.
And the rhetoric of Trump, which is so xenophobic and is inciting a lot of racist tension, I think, is responsible for what`s happening now. But the country is divided. It was even more divided in the late `60s. But it`s haunted by the `60s right now.
MATTHEWS: What`s the anger about?
BINGHAM: Well, I think, right now, the answer is about xenophobia and racism.
The wall is now our Vietnam light.
BINGHAM: It is -- he`s going right to the belly of beast in San Jose, California, where he knows people are going to be furious with his attitude.
MATTHEWS: Ben, your reporting on that, when you go out there and read the crowds, what are you reading?
SCHRECKINGER: There`s obviously anger in these crowds, although there also can be a jovial atmosphere. Trump likes to make jokes. The mood can turn quickly. When protesters are discovered in the crowd, things get ugly pretty clearly.
When protesters are discovered in the crowd, things get ugly pretty quickly. And when Trump incites his crowds against the press, things can also get pretty ugly.
MATTHEWS: Like throwing people out of events, throwing out the protesters, what is that about? It`s almost like a medieval public execution, almost. Lighter, but real.
Your thoughts? Get `em out of here! That kind of thing.
SCHRECKINGER: Yes, absolutely. I mean, absolutely. There`s a spectacle to it, a sense of sort of public justice. Obviously, the most concerning episodes are when Trump says he would like to see these people punched in the face. At least one of them was punched in the face a few months back by a Trump supporter. So, yes, these things are raucous and often teeter on the edge of violence.
MATTHEWS: I have to give that woman credit who was getting pelted with eggs and food. She never stopped smiling. I don`t know you, madam, but I think that was a very gracious way of dealing with what could be a very scary situation.
Ben Schreckinger, thanks so much for joining us. Good luck getting into events you have to cover.
And, Clara Bingham -- I don`t know where Barton came from -- I`ve known you forever, I thought it was a new name.
Anyway, Clara`s book is called "Witness to the Revolution", it`s a great -- but this is the `60s. If you`re young and you wonder what it was like, my kids love finding this stuff.
Anyway, up next, who`s in and who`s out? Big name Republicans take sides now as the GOP grapples with the Trump candidacy in 2016.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Let`s bring in the HARDBALL roundtable.
Molly Ball is with "The Atlantic", Jamal Simmons is a Democratic strategist, and Deana Bass is a former spokesperson for Dr. Ben Carson.
Let me start with you, Deana, what is going on in the Republican Party? We had this sort of slow, I wouldn`t say whimpering, simpering, but a very slow late endorsement by the speaker.
DEANA BASS, FORMER CARSON CAMPAIGN PRESS SECY.: You know, I don`t think it was actually a late endorsement.
MATTHEWS: Twenty-nine days.
BASS: Well, I think, he endorsed him before the convention, which is obviously the important thing. And it doesn`t matter who you are, Republican or Democrat, people really respect Paul Ryan and they knew that he is not Donald Trump in temperament. So he did have to take time to think about it. And I think that people will respect the fact that he took time and recognizes that Trump is the party candidate and he is going to be behind him.
MATTHEWS: So you speak for everyone now? Everybody respects? I don`t know anybody in politics that everybody respects, first of all.
BASS: I think Paul Ryan is someone who most people in politics, inside of the beltway and outside of the beltway, really respect him. Whether they agree with him or not?
MATTHEWS: Do you think?
JAMMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think so. I mean, I actually have a fair amount of Paul Ryan.
MATTHEWS: Do you know him?
SIMMONS: I don`t know him at all. Never met him.
MATTHEWS: Ever sit down with him?
SIMMONS: No, but on television, like I know have these people. He seems like --
MATTHEWS: I find him opaque and hard to read. I would like to sit down with him.
SIMMONS: Midwesterner, about the same age. He just reminds me of a lot of people I grew up.
MATTHEWS: Are you pious and clear on your philosophy like he is?
SIMMONS: I`m clear on my philosophy, but it`s completely opposite of his.
MOLLY BALL, THE ATLANTIC: I think what people respect about Paul Ryan, even people with completely opposite philosophies is they see him as an earnest person.
BALL: And that`s the problem with this endorsement. He`s not the kind of person who`s good at faking it and I think this was legitimately hard for him to come around to this decision, because Trump was not his first choice.
MATTHEWS: Personality-wise, he`s a more careful person than Trump.
BASS: Ryan is definitely more deliberative and thoughtful than Trump. But that doesn`t mean they can`t unify and come together on important issues and take back the White House.
MATTHEWS: He`s almost like a theologian of the right, in the sense that I get the feeling, I`m not knocking theologians, because I get the feeling that he is the book you want to read. That`s why I`d like to meet him.
In other words, his belief about choice and all these issues, abortion rights and immigration, I would think he`s probably a good read on what the classic or the true conservative philosophy is today. In other words, he`s not an erratic guy with weird off-based positions on things. He`s probably pretty much a statement of where most Republicans of the House stand.
SIMMONS: That could be true, but the question is, what choice does he have? I mean, he`s the leader of the Republican Party. He`s the highest ranking Republican official. He has all these members of Congress who are running underneath the banner who will be on the same ballot as this guy. And if you trash Donald Trump, you need him to at least hold the floor up, so your candidates have a chance.
MATTHEWS: You have a beautiful voice, sir. You know that?
SIMMONS: Maybe I should do radio.
MATTHEWS: Well, you don`t have to do radio. It`s all right to speak well on television, too.
Go ahead, Molly. This is a night of observation for me.
SIMMONS: The mountains.
MATTHEWS: The mountains, the beautiful voice, go ahead. This is Friday night.
BALL: There are two warring parts of Paul Ryan, right? There`s the part of him that does believe deeply in conservative ideas and there`s a part of him that`s fundamentally a team player, and those came crashing into one another with the Trump thing.
Well, for the past year, if not the past four years, if not his full career, Ryan has been trying to lay out an agenda for the Republican Party that he sees as constructive and as universal -- one that could appeal to everybody and bring everybody into the party. It`s about ideas and it`s also about all Americans.
MATTHEWS: -- Bonaparte here, but his personality is everything.
SIMMONS: But, Chris, they will all get scarred with the Donald Trump mania that`s taking place. And all of them who have signed on to this will have to live with this for the rest of their --
BASS: But I think that --
MATTHEWS: Jamal, we`ll see. How`s that for a response?
Anyway, thank you, the roundtable -- we`ll get back to you, right. Quickly.
BASS: Well, I think that Ryan has demonstrated today that you don`t have to agree with everything Donald Trump says to support Donald Trump. And throughout the campaign cycle, we`ll have Republicans who will disagree with Donald Trump, but they will still support this candidate.
MATTHEWS: So you can be a cafeteria Trumpeter.
BASS: Your words.
MATTHEWS: The roundtable is sticking with us.
And up next, these people will tell me something I don`t know.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.
Molly is going to tell us something none of us know.
BALL: Yes, I am.
This coming week in Utah, Mitt Romney is having his annual summit where he brings together a bunch of big wigs and donors and so on.
MATTHEWS: Park City?
BALL: He`s still doing -- I believe it`s Deer Valley. He`s still doing it this year. Paul Ryan is going to be there, I`ve confirmed. Romney says he will never support Trump. Ryan has now endorsed Trump. Bunch of big wigs in the room, could be some fireworks.
MATTHEWS: No booze will be served. This will be dry.
Go ahead, Jamal.
SIMMONS: We`ve spent a lot of time in this campaign looking at race and gender, but age is also going to matter. And when Barack Obama won the presidency both in 2008 and in 2012, millennial voters were about 20 percent of the electorate. In 2010 to 2014, they were under 15 percent of the electorate.
Bernie Sanders is winning 70 to 30 against Hillary Clinton with younger millennial voters.
MATTHEWS: Where they going?
SIMMONS: She`s going to have to get them back and get them --
MATTHEWS: That`s why she`s been so dainty in not attacking Senator Sanders, I think.
BASS: I think we have a very similar something that you didn`t know. Seventy-five percent of millennials have a concern for America`s moral future and I believe that is why they are polling with Bernie Sanders, because they feel like he has more integrity than Hillary Clinton. If they feel like the election is being stolen or this primary is being stolen from Bernie Sanders, they will stay at home and that will --
MATTHEWS: Are you encouraging that belief?
BASS: I am not encouraging anyone -- I don`t want anyone to stay at home.
MATTHEWS: You want the left to go crazy.
Anyway, thank you, Molly Ball. Thank you, Jamal Simmons and Deana Bass, who is up to something there.
We`ll be right back after this.
MATTHEWS: When we return, let me finish tonight with a thought on Hillary Clinton`s campaign upgrade. Something good happened to her this week. She did it.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with a thought on this presidential election. Campaigns for office take turns.
And this week, Hillary Clinton looked like the winner. Someone, it might have been the candidate herself, decided to get out of the rut of reacting each day to what Donald Trump said the day before. Someone said about producing and that`s the word for it, what we witnessed yesterday from California. Someone dictated that there would be a major speech written, that it would go after Trump personally, dealing with his fitness to deal with foreign affairs, but really his fitness, his lack of it, for the job of president.
It worked. They did the buildup, they had the right speech, they got Hillary Clinton to sit down with it, approve it, tweak it, get herself comfortable with it, her head around it, and most importantly, fully and confidently aware she had a home run in her hands. That this was going to be a really good one, really well-received by everyone, lethal, of course, to Mr. Trump.
I`ve seen this happen before. George Herbert Walker Bush was languishing in the 1989 presidential race and then someone sat down and got Peggy Noonan to write his acceptance speech and all of a sudden, in one moment, things changed for Bush. People began to appreciate him as a future president.
Well, this week, we`ve seen the process again, the alchemy of turning a reactive, weakened, unsteady candidate into a winning candidate. It takes someone to get the harried candidate to settle down, take the time required to sit down and read, sit there and think, get their head around the topics, the angle and the tone he or she is going to take and do what`s necessary to promote and deliver.
It`s always impressive to see a candidate and a candidate`s team shake themselves out of their zone and grab their place in reality, grab the reins of the galloping horse of history and get command of things. And this is exactly what Hillary Clinton did this week, and it will show in the coming polls. You just watch.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
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