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Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript, 6/8/2016

Guests: Pilar Marrero, Bill Carrick, Denis O`Hare, Matt Schlapp, Colleen McCain Nelson, Amy Klobuchar, Chris Jansing, Carla Marinucci, Kurtis Lee, Lester Holt

Show: HARDBALL Date: June 8, 2016 Guest: Pilar Marrero, Bill Carrick, Denis O`Hare, Matt Schlapp, Colleen McCain Nelson, Amy Klobuchar, Chris Jansing, Carla Marinucci, Kurtis Lee, Lester Holt

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Hillary on top.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Los Angeles.

Hillary Clinton pulled off a monumental win in this state last night. It`s the cap of her historic achievement. She has now clinched her place in the history books as the first woman to become a presidential candidate for a major political party.

Her challenge today -- unify the party and bring Bernie Sanders supporters aboard the anti-Trump express. Senator Sanders`s campaign plane has just landed in Burlington, Vermont, where he will soon speak to supporters and reporters, we`re told.

Well, last night, Sanders again promised to fight on to the Philadelphia convention, however. And that said, at least he didn`t take any digs at Hillary Clinton personally last night.

Well, tomorrow, Sanders will meet privately with President Obama at the White House, also with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. And several of his top backers today talked about -- great phrase here -- party unity for the first time and offered praise for Secretary Clinton.

This all comes as many Republican leaders are in open revolt against their nominee, Donald Trump.

Earlier today, Clinton spoke to NBC`s Lester Holt about how she will run against Trump. Let`s watch.


HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It may be hard to see tonight, but we are all standing under a glass ceiling right now.


CLINTON: Thanks to you, we`ve reached a milestone, the first time...


CLINTON: ... the first time in our nation`s history that a woman will be a major party`s nominee.


CLINTON: Yes, there are still ceilings to break for women and men, for all of us, but don`t let anyone tell you that great things can`t happen in America. Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win.

LESTER HOLT, ANCHOR, "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS": Is this going to be the nastiest campaign ever? Will you respond insult to insult?

CLINTON: No, absolutely not. He can run a campaign of insults. I`m running a campaign of issues that are going to produce results for American people. I`m going to talk about why he`s unqualified to be president, based on his own words and his deeds, and I`m going to continue to make the case he is temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief.


MATTHEWS: So not a campaign of insults. He`s temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief and he`s unfit for the office.

Anyway, Senator Amy Klobuchar`s from Minnesota. She`s a Clinton supporter. Kurtis Lee`s a political reporter for "The Los Angeles Times" and Carla Marinucci is California "Playbook" reporter for Politico. Thank you all for joining us.

Senator Klobuchar, I guess -- Hillary Clinton has been laying down a sort of a template, saying, you know, I had to accept defeat eight years ago to Barack Obama. I lived with it. But there are differences. That was a personal defeat. Bernie`s running a movement. Bernie`s almost 75 years old. There`s no second chance next time around for him. (INAUDIBLE) other difference. He doesn`t have any campaign debt to worry about, and he doesn`t want a job like secretary of state.

How does Secretary Clinton deal with a guy who doesn`t want anything?

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: Well, I start with Senator Sanders himself. I came into the Senate with Senator Sanders. We`re friends. We`ve visited them in Burlington. And I think he`s a good person.

And I think, first of all, you take him at his word, Chris. He said that he would support our nominee. He has said that for months. He has said that he does not want Donald Trump to be president and he will do everything to ensure that he`s not president. To me, that means that he supports our nominee.

I think -- I`m not as worried about the timing here and when he does things. I`m more focused on what he says. He clearly has built a movement of supporters. He cares a lot about what`s in the Democratic platform and the kinds of policies that are being pushed for.


KLOBUCHAR: And I think that`s why discussions with the president and Hillary Clinton are key.

MATTHEWS: Well, maybe they are. Let`s go. We`re going to -- stay with us, Senator, if you can. We just watched Senator Sanders drive away. NBC`s Chris Jansing was on the plane with Senator Sanders. She joins us now from the airport.

What`s going on? I thought he was going to speak with the press, give some statement. Now he`s in his car driving away. What happened?

CHRIS JANSING, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we`re stunned here, to tell you the truth. It`s very rare for him, who`s been around these parts for decades, to walk away from the Burlington press corps, forget the people who were with him on the plane. I think it tells you a little bit about the mood of this campaign and the fact that they are incredibly undecided, Chris, in conversations I`ve had with senior aides and people close to Bernie Sanders over the last 24 hours, what the path is going forward.

We are in what the senator himself has called the assessment period. He said after California, they were going to have to look at everything. That process started, but I think the way it`s been going tells you a lot.

This morning at the hotel, before we got on that plane, one aide told me they spent a lot of time going over last night`s numbers from California, talking with people who are looking at the ballots that have yet to come in. And when I asked, Would that really make any difference if it`s a closer race and he still doesn`t win? There really wasn`t a good answer for that.

So tomorrow is going to be critical. There`s no doubt about that. Tomorrow morning, he goes into the Oval Office. It`s supposed to be a one- on-one meeting with the president, the same way it was the last time that Bernie Sanders was in the Oval.

And we believe that the president is going to talk about a couple of things. One is the delegate math. The second is about how to move forward to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States. That`s something they share.

Then in the afternoon, he`s going to meet with Harry Reid. Don`t underestimate the importance of that meeting. In spite of the brouhaha that happened over the Nevada convention and the back-and-forth, they are very close. And in fact, one aide told me today, he says every other week, I really love Harry Reid. And in fact, they have been in touch throughout the course of this campaign. So that`s going to be very important.


JANSING: But ultimately, it`s going to be those conversations he has with his wife and his close advisers. Let me just tell you, on board that five- hour plane ride, there was a lot of activity. His wife, Jane, was talking to people. They were looking on laptops. They were looking at information that was on sheets of paper. So was Jeff Weaver, the head of the campaign, his senior strategist, Tad Devine.

But according to a person I talked to who was up front where we were not allowed to go, Bernie Sanders was mostly engaged with his grandchildren and talking over the last 24 hours to three people close to him. And I would say that all of them had a very somber mood. They say they`ve having a very difficult time getting a read on where his head is, Chris...


JANSING: ... from what we thought would be a presser.

MATTHEWS: Yes, we`re watching all those microphones being taken off the stand there. We`re also watching him in this B-roll here, of him putting his arm around Tad Devine, his communications (sic) director, who has a great personality, by the way. Tad`s easy to deal with. He`s kind of a smiler.

Now he`s got his arms around another guy in the campaign. I guess this is sentimental. I mean, Bernie can be a tough guy, but I wonder if there`s a sentiment involved here. This is hard to say good-bye to. And I mean it!

I mean, at the age he`s at, for the first time in his life to have crowds roaring in adulation of this fellow, who`s been in sort of, you know, pokey Pete (ph) politics for years, not exactly the most exciting main stage of his life. And now he`s there with all this excitement about him and to walk away from and say, I give up -- I wonder if he`s still not ready to do that.

Chris, Jansing, you should -- you`re as closer -- close to him than I am. Do you think he`s ready to say good-bye to all this?

JANSING: I don`t think he`s ready to wrap his head around that yet. And Chris, remember, it took a couple of days for Hillary Clinton to do that. But she was on a very different stage. You`re absolutely right, this is somebody who for 30 years or more has been talking about the same things but never had millions of people paying attention to him.

I`ve also compared being at these rallies -- and I`ve gone to 30, 40 of them over the last month -- to being with Paul McCartney in 1964. I mean, I`ve seen young women, college age, who looked frankly like they were going to cry or faint when they met Bernie Sanders. The screams last night were deafening. Everybody knew it was -- what the trajectory was in San Francisco, and yet 10,000 people came out to see him.

And I think there is another piece of this. I mean, there is an ego part of it, but there`s also that very solid piece of things that he cares about, whether it`s the $15 minimum wage or free college or changing health care, fracking, a lot of issues that he`s talked about on this campaign trail that have really motivated a lot of his supporters that he really has to come to grips with what`s the best way to see that he`s able to move that agenda forward of what he calls "the movement," Chris. But this is an incredibly emotional time...

MATTHEWS: It sure is.

JANSING: ... for everybody involved.

MATTHEWS: And you`re the best, Chris. Thanks so much. I think it`s great that you`ve been talking.

JANSING: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) don`t know about the great quality of the pictures we`ve been watching.

Let me go back to Senator Amy Klobuchar, and then to the reporters. Senator, you`ve been in political life. And I mean, I don`t think anybody`s see the kind of rapture that this fellow has seen. It is like Tony Bennett. It`s almost like one of these guys who has a whole career, and then all of a sudden, at the end, this crescendo of adulation. I just wonder how he can walk away from it and just become a dutiful Democrat.


KLOBUCHAR: OK. First of all, I was thinking the Paul McCartney analogy. Paul McCartney just came to the Twin Cities and had huge crowds just last year. And I think Bernie will continue to get huge crowds wherever he goes, whether he is campaigning, if he chooses to do so, for Secretary Clinton, whether he`s helping our Senate candidates. He`s always been a big draw. He`s always been popular on social media and he`s always been a great legislator.


KLOBUCHAR: You look at what he did with the veterans bill with John McCain, the work that he did when he got all that money, billions of dollars for community health care in the Affordable Care Act. And he`s been practical about that.

And I think that`s something that Harry Reid understands is that Bernie cares about the people he represents, and now, in a way because of his movement, he represents the whole country. And there will be a role for him to continue to do that. But again, that is for him to decide when he`s going to make that decision.

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) you`re hearing -- you`re hearing what is the process. I mean, from Senator Klobuchar, who`s an excellent exponent of a point of view, which is be nice to him, give him his time, respect him, point out what he`s done as a legislator and sort of win him -- woo him back into the fold.


KLOBUCHAR: ... Chris, say that in a condescending way because Bernie has always been a strong person...


KLOBUCHAR: ... and he will continue to be that...


MATTHEWS: ... a loving way, a loving way. You`re being very loving, Senator. I`m not used to that politics, so I`m sorry if I got the tone wrong.

But what`s going on here is a love match (ph) to try to bring him back into the party and not let him feel that he`s being dissed in any way.


MATTHEWS: But we keep hearing there`s a fight.

LEE: Well...

MATTHEWS: In Politico`s report the other day, that Tad Devine out there, you know, somebody`s been blaming Bernie for all the missteps of the campaign. First of all, that`s already begun. The knives are out. And there`s also apparently a conflict between the regular Democrats in this group and the true independents, you know, Jeff Weaver. I don`t know what they want. They may want this to go into that convention like an army marching into that convention!

LEE: Absolutely. And my colleague and I, Evan Halper, have a story for "The Times" that looks at, I mean, this kind of split between -- between -- inside the campaign with Tad Devine and Jeff Weaver, that they`re two different individuals. I mean...

MATTHEWS: Explain the difference.


LEE: ... certainly been out there and he`s really, you know, kind of this bull in a china shop for the Sanders campaign, where Devine is much more political, much more pragmatic. And so, I mean, he`s listening to both of them right now, you know, as he heads to Washington.

MATTHEWS: OK, let me go to Carla Marinucci (INAUDIBLE) Tell me about this from a California perspective. Senator Sanders put his heart into this state. I mean, you know, a couple of weeks, three weeks almost, of just being out here, trying to win the biggie. He lost it badly by double digits. It doesn`t work. He doesn`t get the cherry on the top of the Sundae. He doesn`t end the campaign the way he really wanted to end it with firepower and brilliance of winning.

Now he has to go back to Vermont and do what? I mean, it seems to me he either brings his army to the support of Hillary Clinton, or he folds his army into the Hillary Clinton campaign. I think he`s going to try to keep himself and his movement distinctive as an independent. Your thinking and your reporting?

CARLA MARINUCCI, POLITICO: You know, I`m hearing out here, Chris -- I mean, Bernie Sanders has got to deal with his supporters. I just talked to RoseAnn DeMoro, head of the National Nurses United. It`s the group that gave...


MARINUCCI: ... that put in more than $4 million, campaigned for him coast to coast. They don`t want him to give up the fight. RoseAnn DeMoro told me she was with Bernie Sanders when he got the news about the AP announcement regarding Hillary`s nomination. She said it was like a punch in the gut to him when he was in San Francisco.

They`re angry. They feel that the election was stolen -- that`s the way she put it -- that this was a collaboration between the party and the corporate media. And they don`t want Bernie Sanders to go away. In fact, she said they`ll -- Bernie Sanders supporters plan a meeting, a rally in Chicago on June 17th and 18th. They`ve invited him to be there. They don`t know if he`s going to be there.

But they are convinced that this is a movement that goes forward. They said they`ll respect whatever he wants to do, but they don`t want him to forget the issues, whether it`s single payer, campaign finance reform and all the other things that they`ve been working for for months with him.

MATTHEWS: Carla, how do they explain the fact that the objective numbers now, as of last night, Steve -- you know, Steve Kornacki pointed out and did on the big board, and everybody`s doing it, that shows that the delegates elected by primaries and caucuses, the actual democratically elected delegates for Hillary Clinton now outnumber the delegates elected for Senator Sanders? I mean, how can they complain about the arithmetic on that matter? Forget the superdelegates.

MARINUCCI: Yes, you know, I heard one Hillary supporter say Bernie Sanders complaining about this who issue of delegates and superdelegates is like Lebron James complaining about the 3-point line in the Warriors NBA final. Hey, you know, Steph Curry (INAUDIBLE) 3-point line. You have to play with rules of the game as it is.

The fact is, though, that Bernie Sanders people think, you know, the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- that they are still very angry at her and they want some kind of action on that. And they still think that this AP announcement had a real effect on suppressing the Sanders vote in California.

I don`t think that they can make that claim, really, when you talk about the mail-in vote here. Hillary Clinton had that going away. Those are typically older, more reliable, educated white voters, and she got a 10- point lead with them from the start. And it was hard for Bernie Sanders to make that up, no matter how much he campaigned here.

MATTHEWS: You know, it`s always been hard to swish a ball from 30 feet away. It`s always been hard. But now there are better players. I got to keep in mind (INAUDIBLE) they didn`t change anything in the rule book. These guys are fabulous -- anyway, especially Curry and Thompson.

Anyway, thank you. Thank you, Amy Klobuchar.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Senator, thank you for hanging in thee. And you are a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton. We will see (ph). And I do think you were - - you were expressing the point of view of the Hillary people. Make it a soft landing for everybody. And thank you, Kurtis Lee of "The LA Times." Thank you, Carla Marinucci of the "Playbook."

Anyway, coming up, we`re going to hear from Hillary Clinton, presumptive Democratic, nominee sat down with our colleague, Lester Holt, of course, of NBC. We`ll have that in a minute. Hillary is going to talk about this.

Plus, as the Democrats begin to come together -- and they are, I think, coming -- I`m not sure it`s going to happen until Philly -- the Republicans are coming apart. This is such an interesting meltdown going on on the R side of the world.

The pressure is building on Donald Trump to start acting like a political leader. Yes, we know that. Already, one Republican senator has taken back his endorsement of Trump. And now there`s open talk that if Trump doesn`t get his act together, the party may start to look for someone else to top the ticket in November. I don`t think that`s going to happen. It`s too hard to do. Ben Ginsburg even explained that last night. Anyway, that`s ahead.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back the HARDBALL. Well, now that Hillary Clinton has become the presumptive -- I never heard that word before -- presumptive Democratic nominee for president -- in other words, she`s got it locked -- she sat down for an interview late today with our NBC News colleague, of course, Lester Holt, the anchor of the evening news. And here`s that interview.


LESTER HOLT, ANCHOR, "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS": Secretary Clinton, first of all, congratulations.

HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you so much, Lester. It was quite -- quite an evening last night.

HOLT: Well, we`ve heard a little bit about your phone call with Senator Sanders. He described it in glowing terms. How would you describe it?

CLINTON: I was very happy that we connected. I called him to really congratulate him on the extraordinary campaign he`s run. I really appreciate all that he`s contributed to the Democratic Party and our country and the issues that we`re going to be focused on in the general election. And I look forward to working with him to unify our party and to come out of our convention ready to defeat Donald Trump in November.

HOLT: You gave him kudos in your speech last night for igniting a part of the party, a part of the electorate out there. What ideas -- can you name one idea that he`s put forward that you want to embrace, that he has really changed your position on?

CLINTON: Well, it`s not that so much as the passion that he brought to the goals that his campaign set. I share the goals. We had different approaches about how to get there, but we are going to get to universal health care coverage. We are going to raise the national minimum wage. We are going to make college affordable. And we`re going to crack down on abuses in the financial markets that might harm Main Street again.

So his passionate advocacy for a litany of important goals for our country I think has really ignited a lot of people, particularly young people. And we share so much more in common than we certainly have at all with Donald Trump. So I think it`s going to be an exciting time to, you know, bring our supporters together to, you know, make a commitment to defeating Donald Trump.

HOLT: At the same time, he is officially, at least from his viewpoint, still a candidate in this race going forward. Did you talk about how much space, how much -- at what point that you would want him and expect his support?

CLINTON: No. We didn`t talk in those specifics.

HOLT: Well, what would you like him...

CLINTON: Look, I know how hard -- well, but Lester, I know how hard this is. I understand what it feels like to put your whole body and soul into a campaign, your staff, your supporters. People are 100 percent invested. And when it doesn`t work out, I know that feeling. It`s a hard one. And it takes time to, you know, really work through it.

And so we are reaching out through our campaigns to his campaign. We`re going to continue to have conversations, and I`ve made it clear that I`m going to do everything I can to make it possible for him to be a good partner in our joint efforts to, you know, pursue these goals that I mentioned and to defeat Donald Trump.

HOLT: Well, let`s talk about Donald Trump.

One by one, he picked off all the Republican challengers. What did you learn from his primary race as you go forward and face him one-on-one?

CLINTON: Well, I think that there are several lessons from his primary race.

Number one, a lot of his primary opponents never took him on over issues, because they were somewhat close to what he was saying. They were not ready to embrace comprehensive immigration reform, even those who had in the past.

They were not ready to take him on, on the economy and his absurd ideas about what he would do for billionaires, while leaving everybody else behind, because they want to cut taxes on the wealthy too.

And you can go down the issues that Trump has been trumpeting, and the Republicans really couldn`t figure out how to contest him on those. And when it came to the personal attacks, because they didn`t have any strong issue position to contrast with him, they really couldn`t come back on the personal side either, because, in so many instances, he was insulting them. He was insulting their families.

They got caught up in that because there was no larger -- there was no larger message that they were promoting. And I think that in many ways made it possible for him to succeed.

HOLT: You have been on the receiving end already of some of those more personal attacks. Is this going to be the nastiest campaign ever? Will you respond insult to insult?

CLINTON: No, absolutely not.

He can run a campaign of insults. I`m running a campaign of issues that are going to produce results for the American people. I`m going to talk about why he`s unqualified to be president based on his own words and his deeds.

And I`m going to continue to make the case he`s temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief. We need to unify our country. He`s determined, apparently, to continue to divide Americans between and among ourselves. And that`s just not tolerable.

Look what he`s done attacking this judge who is overseeing the case against Trump University, claiming he cannot be impartial because of his Mexican heritage.

The man was born in Indiana. He`s as much an American as I am or as Donald Trump is. That kind of racist attack has no place in presidential politics. And I think you have seen a lot of Republicans who just can no longer sit by and tolerate what he`s doing to their party speak out against him.

HOLT: He has of course shown his hand also on your issues regarding e- mail. Are you vulnerable there going forward?

CLINTON: No, I`m not.

And, again, he is saying whatever he chooses, regardless of the facts. And that`s his prerogative. But we`re going to stay focused on what really matters to the American people. And I think that`s a winning strategy.

HOLT: Madam Secretary, we thank you so much for your time. It`s good talking to you.

CLINTON: Good to talk to you, Lester. Thank you.


MATTHEWS: Well, that`s Hillary Clinton with NBC`s Lester Holt.

HARDBALL back after this, as Republicans continue to criticize Trump.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

With Donald Trump expected to instill unity in the ranks of his party as the presumptive Republican nominee, his attacks on Judge Curiel have instead provoked an open mutiny. That`s a pretty good word for it.

Some critics, like Speaker Paul Ryan, have harshly criticized Trump`s remarks as -- this is his word -- racist, but still intend to support him.

However, Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois yesterday, by the way, an endangered species of Republican, by the way, became the first Republican lawmaker to rescind his support.

Here`s what Senator Kirk told NBC`s Hallie Jackson.


SEN. MARK KIRK (R), ILLINOIS: I cannot support him because of the what he said about the judge. That was too racist and bigoted for me.

HALLIE JACKSON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That was the final straw for you?

KIRK: It was a big straw for me.

JACKSON: Do you hope that other members of your party do what you`re doing now?

KIRK: I do.


MATTHEWS: Throwing cargo from the plane there.

Trump has moderated his tone since Bloomberg reported that he had personally instructed his campaign surrogates to follow his lead in attacking Judge Curiel. But he hasn`t apologized, of course. We saw that yesterday.

Instead, the Trump campaign issued a statement yesterday saying: "It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage."

"The Wall Street Journal" today issued this warning, in a strikingly blunt editorial: "If Mr. Trump doesn`t start to act like a political leader and his poll numbers collapse between now and the November" -- or, actually, "the July convention, he may start to hear rumblings that delegates are looking for someone else to nominate."

Of course, "The Wall Street Journal" editorial page never wanted Trump.

I`m joined right now by Republican strategist Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, as well as MSNBC political analyst David Corn of "Mother Jones," and Colleen McCain Nelson, White House correspondent for "The Wall Street Journal."

First of all, Matt, I know you`re going to enjoy this. Lester Holt asked Hillary Clinton, what kind of a campaign are you going to run? Is it going to be a campaign of matching insults? She said no insults, just the issues, the two issues being -- quote -- "The fact that he`s -- that Donald Trump is unqualified to be president of the United States and he`s temperamentally unfit."

These are the issues. But she`s not talking insults.

Matt, I get a feeling this is going to be so`s your old man all the way to November. So`s your old man is going to be the theme of this campaign on both sides.


I think that everybody knows going into this that when you have candidates with these astronomically high negatives that each candidate will only win if they can make the other person unacceptable. And I think Hillary Clinton did that. I actually think she performed well last night.

But her whole campaign is really not so much about her as it is about the fact that Donald Trump is someone who is inconsistent with kind of the American ideal, and people should not support him.

MATTHEWS: Let me go to David on this.

I remember Saul Alinsky`s advice to all of us as young people was, I know some sides are complicated. In fact, both sides are complicated of any fight. No side is pure, simon-pure.

But when you go into a fight, you have got to act as if your side is simon- pure and the other side is no damn good, OK? But I`m going to try to keep my head clear in this campaign. And my head clear will be clear with regard to Hillary Clinton. We have watched her for 40 years. We know her. We know her foibles, her inadequacies, her lack of sort of confidence in just saying out there what is going on.

Trump, we`re going to have that pretty easy, I think, keeping clear his foibles. The Republican Party is now going to name somebody for their nomination who they know for sure has real problems. This may be the first time this has happened, when they know crystal clear the guy has got some serious ethnic problems, the way he talks about people.

Whatever his heart is saying to him, it comes off bad. And I think it is complicated sometimes. But here we`re going to know this guy`s problems from day one.

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Trump`s making it very uncomplicated.


CORN: He doesn`t talk about policy. He doesn`t issue policy statements. And he does traffic mainly in insults and passions and anger.

And I think it`s not just that my pal Matt saying that he`s inconsistent with the American ideal. I think Hillary Clinton is making a case that a lot of Republicans agree with now and a lot of conservatives agree with, that Donald Trump can`t handle the job, that he just -- he lies beyond the norm of politicians.

I`m not saying that Hillary Clinton always tells the truth. He`s erratic and he`s a bigot. And he makes racist remarks. What else do you want to disqualify a guy? And I`m sorry. I say this to all my Republican pals out there. I have a few, that this has been going on for years now with Donald Trump. You let him in the tent. You embraced him.

Mitt Romney embraced him in 2012. And you basically said to your base, here is what you really want. And now you`re having buyer`s remorse? It`s way too late. He`s going to drive apart the party. And he`s going to make life I think a lot easier for Hillary.

He`s giving her and the Democrats a very strong and clear organizing principle. Keep this guy away from the nuclear button.

MATTHEWS: You know, the United States doesn`t have clean hands when it comes to racial problems or racial attitudes or racism himself, we know. When you have slavery for 250 years, that`s racism. It just is.

CORN: Yes.

MATTHEWS: It`s domination by white people of another group.

Anyway, Trump on Friday referred to an African-American audience member in a possessive form, the genitive, calling him "my African-American." Let`s see that again, because it gets worse.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to find out what`s going on with him. Do you know what I`m -- oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?



MATTHEWS: Well, the greatest after calling him "my."

Anyway, last night, he again referred to African-Americans in the possessive tense -- form, this time calling them our African-American people.

Let`s watch.


TRUMP: We`re going to rebuild our inner cities, which are absolutely a shame and so sad. We`re going to take care of our African-American people that have been mistreated for so long.


MATTHEWS: "Our African-American people."

OK, you read that yourself. You listen to that and see how it sounds to you.

Anyway, here is Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona took issue with Trump`s choice of words and what he said today about Trump.


SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: The reference to "our African-Americans," it`s just -- you got to think that people bristle at that.

QUESTION: Do you bristle at that?

FLAKE: Yes, I do. I do. And I can`t imagine what it would be like for African-Americans. I want to see a Republican in the White House. But I can tell you, given the positions that Mr. Trump has taken so far, he`s not going to get there.


MATTHEWS: A tad -- let`s put a light touch on it, because I don`t jump on people like this all the time -- but paternalistic, I would say, something like that, you might say, Matt, paternalistic. Our? Our?

Your thoughts? Are we reaching for something here, or is this a bad way he talks?

SCHLAPP: Is that aimed at me, Chris?

MATTHEWS: Yes, sure. It`s got to go to you. You`re the home team.


SCHLAPP: OK, great. I understand.


MATTHEWS: You`re the home team. Explain.

SCHLAPP: Look, this is incredibly inartfully worded.

But when he turned to that...


SCHLAPP: ... this African-American, he called him "my African-American." If he had ended that sentence in my African-American supporter, I still think it`s inartful and not a good way to word it. I think this is a little bit of a cheap shot.

I think he`s using words that...

MATTHEWS: Wait a minute. Cheap shot by whom? By people who have called attention? Jeff Flake, Jeff Flake, fellow Republican, a senator from Arizona, is picking a point here, or does hear something that he knows is problematic to African-Americans?

We will get some more guests on tomorrow to talk about it, a more diverse group than this group, as we should. But you don`t think it`s a problem in itself? It`s just something that somebody is picking on?

SCHLAPP: I think the fact that -- if the result from these two statements about referring to African-Americans in the audience or referring to African-Americans is somehow like he is racist against African-Americans, I think, is too far.

I think that the wording that he chose can allow people to mock him, and in conjunction to what he said about this judge, which was also a disparaging comment that I think a lot of people have been offended by and was a terrible comment. I think they`re trying to push this all together and say, look, this guy is unacceptable on racial terms.

And I think Hillary Clinton will do the same. I think that that`s unfair.

MATTHEWS: OK. Go ahead.

Let me go to Colleen. Take some time. Tell me what you think of this, because I do think it`s all contextual. If Trump had never said what he said about Mexicans being rapists coming across the border, if he had never talked disparagingly, as he has, about Muslim people, and a lot of this background noise that all have in our head right now, I`m not sure people would be jumping on him for the use of certain terms like our, or even the way he went a judge who he thinks got riled up against him because he`s been attacking the man`s people from his heritage, going after Mexicans, calling them rapists.

And then the guy is a Mexican-American. You go, oh, my God, he might be mad at me. But you can`t -- people are not giving Trump the benefit of the doubt on that because they heard everything he said. And it`s so ethnic. It`s hard to get through the thicket of it and say maybe he does have a good heart. Your thoughts, Colleen. Take some time.



Well, so, if he had just said something like this once, and you could say that was a verbal hiccup. He didn`t mean it. Everyone misspeaks. But as he continues to say these things, it starts to edge closer to being a pattern.

And you note that it kind of compounds on all these other things that we know about him. We know about the charges of racism against the judge. And you can`t separate out that context. And I think that what really makes Republicans nervous is that Donald Trump has really shown an unwillingness to learn from his mistakes, to ever admit that he misspoke or to take it back.

And he just keeps saying the same things over and over again. And so if he says this once, he very possibly could say this a hundred more times. And he just seems to struggle to describe ethnic groups in just kind of normal terms.

He always says the Hispanics, instead of just saying Hispanics.


SCHLAPP: Chris, can I...

MATTHEWS: Yes, somebody.


SCHLAPP: Can I jump in here real fast?

MATTHEWS: Quickly, both of you guys, quickly.


SCHLAPP: I do think that Donald Trump realized he made a mistake.

I think that`s why he read off teleprompters last night. I think that he`s realized that he`s been way off message. Talking about this case in California is a big mistake. So, I actually think it`s wrong to think that he somehow doesn`t see this as a problem. I think he saw it as a problem.

He`s trying to self-correct.

CORN: But he won`t call it a mistake.

And I have to say, all these things he`s done, from the birther movement, on to all the misogynistic remarks he`s not, it`s not a bug in the system. This is a feature of the system. People -- his supporters get out there and they say, we support him on this.


CORN: We support him when he goes after the -- 60 percent of Republicans say they don`t believe what he said about calling an American a Mexican was racist; 60 percent of Republicans back him up on this.

MATTHEWS: OK. We got to close shop here.

Let me go back to Colleen.

I know you work on one side of the firewall, the reporting side of "The Wall Street Journal."


MATTHEWS: Not the editorial side.

But I know the editorial side has been pounding this guy. Is there a chance that the establishment wing of the Republican Party and the neocons and all the other people that can`t stand Trump, I mean, everybody`s out there against him now, it seems -- can they knock him out of the nomination at this point or is it over?

MCCAIN NELSON: It`s pretty much over, because you would go back to the same question that we have had again and again. If not Trump, then what?

And Republicans haven`t been able to settle on anyone else. They haven`t been able to come up with a viable plan. And even when there was time to do this and it was reasonable to try to execute it, Republicans couldn`t agree on someone else.

They couldn`t figure out how to go about this. And so six weeks away from the convention, when he`s already secured all the delegates he needs, I don`t know how you wrest that away from him and say, we`re going to start over.

MATTHEWS: I think you`re right.

Anyway, thank you, Matt Schlapp, David Corn and Colleen McCain Nelson.

Up next, here comes the general. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prepare for battle. Could we be on our way to the nastiest election in recent memory? I think so.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Joining me now is the HARDBALL roundtable, Bill Carrick, a brilliant guy, a Democratic strategist down here, Pilar Marrero -- what a great name -- a senior political reporter for impreMedia.


And Jacob Soboroff is a correspondent here, the roving correspondent. He walks backwards.

JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m walking forward today. I`m not walking today.

MATTHEWS: Let me start with you, guys. A real simple, free fall, actually it`s a jump ball.

You first, Pilar. How do the Hillary people woe, or seduce might be the right word, bring the Bernie people in? There`s a lot of nasty around the edges of that organization. They`re not all sweethearts. There`s some very angry people going after people like Barbara Boxer. It`s an angry crowd on the hard side.

How do they bring them in?

PILAR MARRERO, IMPREMEDIA: I think some of them are not going to be coming in. They possibly wouldn`t have voted Democrat if he wasn`t in the race. Others, I think, progressives, who really don`t want Trump in the White House. So, I think they`re going to look to her for guidance on, you know, what she`s going to do that`s better than Trump and D.C., I mean --

MATTHEWS: So, basically it`s hers, she has to make the statement, the outreach?

MARRERO: I think she does. I think otherwise, the party is somewhat divided right now. I know Bernie people are angry especially after the "A.P." announcement the other night.

MATTHEWS: So, do they think that was cheating?

MARRERO: They think that was cheating, and also, there were lots of problems with the polls here in California yesterday. So, I`ve seen a lot of things about conspiracy theories and things like that, and, you know, the election was stolen from him. There`s a lot of anger going on.

MATTHEWS: Well, I think there wasn`t cheating if you will. I thought having debate Saturday night around midnight, Sunday morning around 4:00 in the morning. I thought they were trying to keep Bernie out of the limelight. I think they had a case on that. But I`ve never heard make a political accusation about "The Associated Press".


MATTHEWS: Your thoughts? I think these guys get together. How do you woe them -- is this a marriage that can work, the left and the center left and the left, if you will?

BILL CARRICK, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, I think it can work. I think Vice President Biden had it right today. It takes grace and patience. It`s got to come from the Clinton people, because we`re dealing with a lot of newcomers. These are not Kennedy-Carter, what, too grizzled armies of veterans.

This is -- there`s a lot of newcomers here. It`s going to be hard to get them to understand how the process works and reconcile to the reality it`s really over.

MATTHEWS: Let`s assume something magical happen in this life. After years of toying as a sort of a leftie up there in Vermont, you know, a `60s guy, or old whatever, socialist, he finally found himself like Tony Bennett must have found himself 20 years ago. My God, the kids love me. Adulation.

And to walk away from that, how hard it must be.

SOBOROFF: I think what Hillary is going to do, she just said to Lester on the clip that you played, she`s not going to focus on the particulars of the policies necessarily because I don`t think that they can find a middle ground in that.

MATTHEWS: She`s going to trash him.

SOBOROFF: She`s going to say, you know what, I remember what happened that night at the Iowa field house where we were and we saw Bernie Sanders incredible support. All she`s going to have to do is say how incredible was this, and look at the movement, look how big it was, look how many people there were and hope that that`s enough. I mean, I think she assumes these people will not go to Donald Trump and that they`re going to come home.

MATTHEWS: Will they come to her or stay with Bernie as a separate army? That`s my question. Will he keep his army together and bring it to bear for Hillary but keep that army together. He`s got five more years of political life. He`ll be 80 something.

But the guy doesn`t look like he`s quitting any day soon. He may want to just keep that army behind him. He`s got the names, he`s got the contributor list, the volunteer list. He`s got everything, on his email, he could move that army with him.

MARRERO: Yes. He might be looking at electing people to Congress or keeping the movement on in some other way, maybe local races, or state races. Definitely, I think if you put together something like he did, now the question is will the young people are going to stay engaged in the political system because --

MATTHEWS: Can he? Well, you know, you guys reported -- can he keep kids, young people in their 20s, excited about fight in the Senate Finance Committee about a free state university tuition?

MARRERO: That is the big question, I think.

CARRICK: Well, I think the big thing that is very hard to do this thing post-candidacy, to keep it alive. As we saw our friend Howard Dean tried to do it after 2004. It`s very hard to keep it alive because these same newcomers, they`re going to go off and fight another war with probably another general in the next presidential campaign and the one after that. It`s hard to keep them together.

MATTHEWS: I mean, I thought Dean was great, you know? It was about, yes, you can, the great campaign and it was exciting.

Bernie has so many things pushing for him, but mainly it`s him. These people like what they see up there, what they hear.

CARRICK: Yes, the bluntness. The candor. The, you know, the frills Bernie Sanders is -- really plays very well.

MATTHEWS: I just don`t know how it works. She can`t offer him the presidency. He`s too independent, right? He`s not going to take orders.

SOBOROFF: He is. He is too independent. I don`t think she will offer him the vice presidency, although honestly, I have no idea. I`m the guy that stands out there with the voters. What I can tell you is, she`s going to make an appeal though --


SOBOROFF: Thank you very much.

What she will do though I think is going -- I`ve told you many times. I`ve seen so many people Trump/Bernie on the fence people. And I think what she does --

MATTHEWS: Yes, you talked about that up there. You found those voters that could go like Bobby Kennedy versus George Wallace, we used to talk about.

SOBOROFF: That`s where I think in terms of the Bernie supporters, she has to focus her energy, particularly in places like Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, like the former steel towns, where people are saying, I will never vote for Hillary. I`d go for Donald Trump.

She`s got to look at those people and bring them over from the Bernie side. Same thing like the I-80 corridor that runs through Ohio. These are the places.

MATTHEWS: You are smart, by the way. Don`t be so humble, because as Pennsylvania goes, as goes Pennsylvania, so goes the Union. This is going to be the state to watch.

SOBOROFF: I agree.

MATTHEWS: Thank you so much. Thank you. I just agreed with you.

The roundtable, Bill Carrick, what a great guy. Thank you, Pilar Marrero, thank you. Than you, Jacob Soboroff.

Coming up, you know him from "The Good Wife" and the American horror story. There he is. He`s the judge in "Good Wife".

Anyway, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t allow people who practice bestiality to teach our children, and -- excuse me? And the reason we don`t is because it`s illegal. It`s not illegal to be a homosexual in California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your law goes even further. It`s any school employee who supports a gay person can be fired.


MATTHEWS: That`s up there north of San Francisco, isn`t it? I know that Walnut, that`s route 24 up there. I know that place.

I love you on television.

DENIS O`HARE, ACTOR: Thank you, sir.

MATTHEWS: But Dennis O`Hare, actor, thank you for joining us.

Anyway, you starred in the movie "Milk", of course, about San Francisco politics. You played John Briggs (ph), a conservative state legislature who proposed a statewide ban of gays and lesbians teaching in school. You want to just erase them as teacher. It was this initiative that propelled the great Harvey Milk into the national spotlight, spending almost four decades.

Actor Denis O`Hare is no stranger to politics, playing a string of politically charged roles from "Charlie Wilson`s War" to the "Dallas Fires Club". Most recently, we`ve seen him in a "Good Wife" as liberal judge Charles Abernathy, a judge who sets aside personal belief in the name of impartiality and the role of law.

Here he is.


O`HARE: I`m appalled by the escalation of gun violence in the city and I agree that the PLCAA is too far reaching. If I were a senator or a congressman, I would strive repeal it. But I am a judge and it is my job to rule according to the laws we have, not the laws I wish we had.


MATTHEWS: One of the great shows ever on television.

O`HARE: I love that show.

MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by Tony Award-winning actor Dennis O`Hare. He`s supporting Hillary Clinton.

OK. I`m going to close the show tonight. But you can leave me off. With all the talk about last night, I think there was little attention paid to Hillary Clinton`s rise in politics starting in 1970s when she went down to Arkansas, an Ivy League grad, married this guy, fell in love with him. Bill got used to the culture down there. Got contact lenses, had the certain hair style. Did everything to adapt and call herself her husband`s name.

And that cultural thing she got, too. And then she came to the White House, two for the price of one. The health care bill getting through the embarrassment of the `98 problem we all know about and then, Hillary having the guts to run for the Senate for New York. The guts when people would have laughed at going on to become a hell of a senator from New York and totally accepted and secretary of state with no problems at all, a success there, and then running again a second time.

I mean, that`s a hell of a political history.

O`HARE: Yes. She`s an amazing candidate and she`s an amazing woman and she`s an amazing success story. She`s smart. She`s passionate. She`s determined and she actually achieves the things she sets out to achieve.

I mean, I find it so sort of galling to have anyone lecture her on health care. I`m like, you guys, do you remember she spent how many years of her life as the first lady working on health care. She knows this inside and out. The fact that they can try to second guess her on foreign policy.

She spent all those years as a secretary of state. She is one of the most qualified candidate ever had in terms of the amount of experience she`s had in different realms.

MATTHEWS: And yet, Bernie won all those 20-some states. What do you think that was about? Just that he was more left than her? I mean, what was his appeal over her and all those states?

O`HARE: You know, the thing is she won for votes. More people voted for her.

So, we keep saying that Bernie -- she won more votes. She`s more popular than he is. He`s so popular. She`s more popular.

MATTHEWS: In Hollywood land, when you`re out here, and you take the position of being pro-Hillary, is that okay, professionally?

O`HARE: You know, I had to come out of the closet as a gay man, I had to come out of the closet as an atheist, I know I can`t say that on the air --

MATTHEWS: You`re related to (INAUDIBLE)

O`HARE: I`m not. She spells the name wrong.

But, you know, coming out of the closet as a Hillary supporter is harder.

MATTHEWS: So Bernie is bigger here.

O`HARE: Well, it`s not that his bigger, is that his supporters and God love Bernie, I am not against Bernie, I love some of the things he says, but his supporters are passionate to the point of -- I don`t know --


O`HARE: No, you have to be careful how you approach them.


O`HARE: Even my friends I have to kind of say I love Bernie, I`m not picking a fight with Bernie. But I voted for Hillary.

MATTHEWS: I have kids too and they`re with Bernie. I mean, that`s a fact.

O`HARE: You know, I`m a socialist at heart. We`re all socialist at heart.

MATTHEWS: OK, great. Denis O`Hare, socialist, actor, atheist, Hillary guy.

Anyway, HARDBALL will be back after this.


MATTHEWS: When we return, let me finish with something that never got said last night, the night history was made.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with something that never got said last night, the night history was made.

What was missing was a recognition and salute of what Secretary Clinton herself accomplished in this historic struggle. Look at her life and career and you see those achievements, those tests she faced, test she chose and tests she passed. She went to Arkansas and became the first lady down there, learn the politics of that southern state, left to be the first lady of the United States.

And for many women, women we look up to, that alone would have made her a figure of history, a figure of great and worldwide admiration. And then, she pushed heard for health care reform and then she withstood the terrors and personal anguish of her husband`s troubles of 1998. And then she had the raw courage to run for Senate from New York, knowing full well there were millions of her critics out there waiting to enjoy, even relish her defeat. She ran, she had the courage to run, and won.

And then she served with great success as senator from New York, and was reelected to a second term, ran for president the first time, almost won and grandly accepted defeat. She did it with class. She did it in a way that advanced her party, its presidential candidate, Barack Obama, and finally, her own legacy.

Appointed secretary of state, she did the job impressively. She then threw herself into the breach running for the Democratic nomination for president a second time, defeating a strong challenge from Senator Bernie Sanders.

So, let`s not forget any of this. From the time she was a senior at Wellesley, Hillary Rodham now Hillary Clinton has been a leader with guts and energy and purpose and incredible resilience, and she didn`t get to where she is right now by any other way.

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

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.