IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript, 7/12/2016

Guests: Nina Turner, Stephanie Schriock, Cornell Belcher, Susan Page, Megan Murphy

Show: HARDBALL Date: July 12, 2016 Guest: Nina Turner, Stephanie Schriock, Cornell Belcher, Susan Page, Megan Murphy


Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

We`re covering a big day in politics across the country, and what a day it has been. President Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden and former president George W. Bush at the memorial service for the five Dallas police officers killed by an assassin last Thursday night. And I`d say in all seriousness it was President Obama`s finest hour.

Let`s watch a bit.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I understand how Americans are feeling. But Dallas, I`m here to say we must reject such despair. I`m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem.


MATTHEWS: There`s so much good in what he said today.

Also today, Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, ending his long quest for the office.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process.


SANDERS: And I congratulate her for that. She will be the Democratic nominee for president...


SANDERS: ... and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.



MATTHEWS: Meanwhile, expected Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump campaigns with front-running VP candidate Mike Pence of Indiana tonight. We`re awaiting Trump`s remarks in Westfield, Indiana, tonight. Governor Mike Pence will also speak.

We begin with the news that Bernie Sanders, who had called for a political revolution, is now backing Hillary Clinton. He follows President Obama, Vice President Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren in throwing his support behind the nominee-to-be. And it comes after backers of Sanders and Clinton put together a 2016 platform that Sanders called -- Sanders called! -- the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.

Anyway, the two spoke about their shared commitments today.


SANDERS: I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president.

HILLARY CLINTON, PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This is one of the most important elections in our lifetimes, so I`m asking you to stand with us. And then I`m asking you to keep working in the weeks, months, and yes, years ahead. You will always have a seat at the table when I am in the White House.

So I need your help. Please join this campaign. Make it your own. We accept $27 donations, too, you know.


MATTHEWS: Wow. Well, Nina Turner, by the way, is the former state senator of Ohio and a Sanders supporter, of course. Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania and an MSNBC political analyst. He`s a Clinton supporter. and Stephanie Schriock is the president of Emily`s List, also a Clinton supporter.

So it`s two to one, Senator. I want to give you a chance to start, however. Are you holding out, or are you joining Sanders in endorsing Clinton tonight?

NINA TURNER (D), FMR. OHIO STATE SENATOR: Well, Chris, I know people want to talk a lot about endorsements, but this is not just about endorsements. This is about endurance. You know, we put it into words. Now it`s on paper via the Democratic platform. And now it`s about implementation.

And so I certainly plan to go all the way to the Democratic convention and beyond to make sure that what we put in that platform is actually executed.

MATTHEWS: When are you going to endorse?

TURNER: Well, Chris, this is not about my endorsement. This is really about...


MATTHEWS: Well, I`m asking you. I`m curious. When are you going to do it?

TURNER: Well, I -- I got you, Chris, but that -- that`s not -- you know, this has to be processed. I mean, those of us who support Senator Bernie Sanders -- this has not been necessarily an easy day for us. We were hoping that this day never happened because we wanted to see him become the Democratic nominee.

And so again, the endurance, what it`s going to take to hold the status quo accountable is what happened in that platform committee fight in Orlando and beyond in making sure that if the president is Secretary Hillary Clinton that we uphold all of those values that were written on that piece of paper.

MATTHEWS: Fair enough. That`s your right to negotiate. But let me ask, do you think Secretary Clinton won fair and square?

TURNER: Well, Chris, obviously, she got the most votes, and Senator Sanders was very clear about that.

MATTHEWS: Fair and square. Fair and square.

TURNER: She got -- Chris, she got the most votes, and Senator Sanders was clear about that. I mean, this is really about how we take this country to the next level and to make sure that we take care of the folks, the middle class folks, the working class folks in this country who deserve that type of leadership.

But Chris, also, we cannot forget that Senator Sanders supporters, many of them who have reached out to me, many of them who have been on social media, they are hurting right now. And I`m not going to ignore the pain that they are feeling today.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Do you believe that 78 percent, and according to the latest polling, of Sanders folks like yourself are supporting Hillary Clinton, 78 percent, about four out of five? Do you believe that number?

TURNER: Well, I don`t know what measures they use. I mean, polls are snapshots in time. But I will tell you this. It is not just about the polls, but it is how we get people out to go vote. So that is the most important thing. And as Democrats, we`re going to have to work very hard to do that. As we know, polling came out today that shows that the millennials, the 18 to 35-year-olds, still have a strong distrust of the secretary. So we have to work. Those...


TURNER: ... votes have to be earned.

MATTHEWS: Last question.

TURNER: Those votes have to be earned.

MATTHEWS: Do you? Do you have a distrust of her?

TURNER: Well, I`m not taking away from anything that the secretary has worked so hard for. This is not about me as the individual, but it really is about the movement. And I want to see this political movement continue because it is bigger than just who`s in the White House. It is going to take teamwork to make the dream work.


TURNER: And we`re going to have to keep pushing to make sure that that happens.

MATTHEWS: Well, we`ll keep listening to you. Stay on the program. (INAUDIBLE) I think you`re going to be a voice right through this process.

Anyway, Senator Sanders did not suspend his campaign today. That`s important, I think. A spokesman for his campaign told NBC he plans to go to Philadelphia and have his name placed in nomination. So someone`s going to give a nominating speech for him.

Governor Rendell, how do you see this thing turning our because you hear a very strong voice there from Senator Turner, which obviously represents at least a portion of the Sanders voters who are holding fast to the policies he ran on and hoping to get them through. Even if it`s through Hillary, they want the policies through.

But what do you make about almost four out of five are coming around? I think that`s impressive that four out of five have come around to Hillary Clinton already.

ED RENDELL (D), FMR. PA GOV., MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that`s a good fast turnaround. But I think Senator Turner hit it right on the nose. The key here is to implement the things that Senator Sanders and Senator Turner and all of their supporters worked so hard to put forward before the American people.

And the message has got to be clear. The only chance to make real progress towards the implementation of those goals is with the election of Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump. You can`t vote for the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein -- lovely person, lovely values, but she`s not going to win. You`ve got to make sure someone wins who will implement the things that Senator Sanders worked so hard for.

And in terms of him placing his name in nomination, he has every right to do that, Chris. Secretary Clinton did it in 2008 at the convention in Denver. And then, as you recall, the roll call went down to New York, and then when it reached New York, Secretary -- then Senator Clinton stepped up and moved to make it unanimous. And none of us alphabetically behind New York could vote. So we were a little ticked off in Pennsylvania we couldn`t cast our votes.

If Senator Sanders does that, Vermont`s near the bottom, and only Virginia, Washington and Wyoming can`t cast their vote at that point. He has every right to do that and he should do that. His supporters are going to like casting that vote for him.

MATTHEWS: I understand completely, Stephanie, the kumbaya spirit here. It`s not completely shared by Senator Turner because she`s holding out for her positions all the way.

Hillary Clinton has always struck me as a moderate politically. On foreign policy, she`s too hawkish for me. On some issues like trade, she`s become more anti-trade than she was. Maybe there`s a nuanced difference, but it`s to the left of where she was.

I think that`s also clear in the platform. Somebody was holding out for free trade. Somebody was holding out for TPP, you noticed. The anti-TPP forces did not win in the platform fight. So there is a push-me, pull-me thing going on in the Democratic Party between center, center left and left, right? And we`re hearing it tonight. It`s not over.


MATTHEWS: Is it over?

SCHRIOCK: I think that this primary process has really allowed for a significant discussion about where we are as a party. I think the platform over the weekend really reflects a party that is a progressive party not just on economic issues but on women`s health issues, which we week -- you know, we don`t talk about nearly enough. But Hillary Clinton really pushed people to the left on women`s health care, repealing the Hyde amendment, never been the platform before, and expanding funding for Planned Parenthood.

MATTHEWS: So they`re talking about federal funding now, for abortion rights.


MATTHEWS: Well, that`s new.

Anyway, today Secretary Clinton made a concerted effort to reach out to Sanders supporters. Let`s watch that.


CLINTON: We need an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, not just the millionaires and billionaires, but everybody.

Both Senator Sanders and I believe anyone who is willing to work hard should be able to find a job that pays well enough to support a family. And Bernie is right, $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage!


CLINTON: As Bernie and his supporters have argued so eloquently, we won`t get anywhere unless we overhaul our campaign finance system.

We will do everything we can to overturn Citizens United.

So Senator Sanders and I will be working to get unaccountable money out of politics and the voices of everyday Americans back in.


MATTHEWS: Well, earlier today, Donald Trump tweeted, quote, "Bernie Sanders, who has lost most of his leverage, has totally sold out to crooked Hillary Clinton. He will endorse her today. Fans angry."

And in a statement, his senior policy adviser wrote, in part, "The candidate who ran against special interests is endorsing the candidate who embodies special interests. Bernie`s endorsement becomes exhibit A in our rigged system. The Democrat Party is disenfranchising its voters to benefit the select and privileged few."

Senator Turner, what do you make of that? Trump`s going over there trying to poke some Bernie voters. According to the latest poll I did mention, Trump`s getting about one in 10 of the Bernie people.

TURNER: Well, certainly, Mr. Trump is shrewd in trying to get Senator Sanders`s voters, but let me be clear. Senator Sanders has said from the beginning that he would do everything in his power to defeat Mr. Trump. So there is no secret, no news flash there. But politically, it is smart for Mr. Trump to try to get some of Senator Sanders`s voters.

MATTHEWS: What do you think is the ideological difference between Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders? Because you`ve been through this campaign from the beginning, and you`ve been quite serious about it. There are differences. What are the differences?


TURNER: Well, Senator Sanders made it clear not just in his words but in his deeds, Chris, that we need to get big money, millionaires and billionaires, special interests, out of campaign finance. And he mirrored that. A senator from Vermont actualized that through his campaign process...


TURNER: ... with $27. He affirmed from the beginning that people deserve to have a living wage, $15 an hour. He didn`t capitulate on that. He didn`t have to be pushed that way. And when you want to talk about the fight of the TPP, I was there in Orlando with others, and we fought very hard -- Senator Sanders`s platform members fought very hard to get the Democratic Party to affirm...

MATTHEWS: What stopped you?

TURNER: ... that TPP is wrong. And it was stopped by the platform committee members who support Secretary Clinton and those on the DNC.

So again, as you clearly saw, there is still some tension there. There`s still more work to be done.

Now, I will say to the positive that we have gained lots of ground and all of the things that you heard the secretary talk about today would not have been talked about but for Senator Bernie Sanders and his 13 million voters...


TURNER: ... pushing the Democratic Party (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: I got a HARDBALL question for you and the others, quickly. Who`s your favorite candidate for VP for Hillary Clinton?

TURNER: Oh, God. I don`t know. That`s her choice.

MATTHEWS: Well, you`ve been thinking about it. You`ve been thinking about it. Come on. Give me somebody.

TURNER: It`s her choice. You know, I mean, I wish she would have selected my senator, Senator Sanders, but he wasn`t even vetted. So that`s my choice.

MATTHEWS: OK. Governor, you have a candidate for VP?

RENDELL: Well, I`d like to see Tom Vilsak or Deval Patrick. Either one would be a great president if the occasion called for it.

MATTHEWS: Wow! Deval Patrick -- now, there`s a one that makes sense.

RENDELL: Of course, he`s working for Bain right now, so that probably...


MATTHEWS: I`m sure he`ll thank you for dropping that sugar plum on his lap!

Stephanie, do you have a candidate? I know it`s a woman. That`s fair enough. Is it a woman?

SCHRIOCK: We are so happy to have Hillary Clinton on the top of the ticket for the first time in history, a woman, we`re going to stand by this ticket no matter who she chooses.


SCHRIOCK: And here`s the thing about Hillary. She will choose someone who can do the job, who she can work with. This isn`t about politics for Her. It is about doing the right thing for the country and...

MATTHEWS: Well, there`s no better guy...


MATTHEWS: By the way, there`s no better guy than Tom Vilsak. There`s no better guy.

Anyway, thank you, Governor, for that. I think that`s great, though. Anyway -- that Deval Patrick is with Bain!


MATTHEWS: Anyway, Nina Turner, thank you so much, Senator. Thank you, Governor Rendell and Stephanie Schriock, thank you, from Emily`s list.

We`re now just minutes away from Donald Trump taking the stage in Indiana with Governor Mike Pence, who looks like to me the front-runner to be his vice presidential running mate. He`s apparently going to announce that this week, on Friday, we`re hearing right now. Anyway, he`s coming in -- maybe he`ll hit it tonight That`s coming up tonight, Pence and Trump.

Plus, an emotional day in Dallas today as President Obama paid tribute to five police officers gunned down last week. It`s the 11th time that the president had to memorialize victims of mass gun violence. And this time, I think he`s presenting a wonderful united front alongside former president George W. Bush, and Texas senator Ted Cruz, who was there.

All that`s ahead. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: We`re waiting for Donald Trump to take the stage at a rally outside of Indianapolis. He`ll be there with Indiana governor Mike Pence, who may well end up as Trump`s presidential running mate.

And as we wait for Trump and Pence, we`ve got new polling from two key battleground states. For that, we check the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."

First, Nevada, where according to a new poll from Monmouth University, Hillary Clinton has a 4-point lead over Trump. It`s Clinton 45, Trump 41.

But look at this in Iowa. Another new Monmouth poll shows Trump with the lead in Iowa by 2 points over Clinton. It`s Trump 44, Clinton 42.

We`ll be right back.



GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those of us who love Dallas and call it home have had five deaths in the family. Your loss is unfair. We cannot explain it. We can stand beside you.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`ve been to too many of these things. I`ve seen too many families go through this. But then I am reminded of what the Lord tells Ezekiel. I will give you a new heart, the Lord says, and put a new spirit in you!


OBAMA: I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. That`s what we must pray for, each of us, a new heart, because with an open heart, we can learn to stand in each other`s shoes.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. So interesting watching that officer group of people there, most of them police officers. Some were with him from the beginning, some got with him later on and some didn`t get with him.

That was former president George Bush initially there, and of course, President Obama today speaking at the memorial service honoring the five officers, police officers, killed in Dallas last week, also to their families. Well, five empty seats were reserved -- there they are up front there -- for the officers who gave their lives and whose bravery was remembered here in Dallas today.

Anyway, President Obama consoled the grieving families and colleagues of the officers, but he also expressed -- he expressed -- he discussed the tensions between law enforcement people and minority communities and addressed reasons for the growing violence and divisions. It was so honest. Here he is.


OBAMA: We wonder if an African-American community that feels unfairly targeted by police and police departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs can ever understand each other`s experience.

As a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester, so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment.


OBAMA: We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs.


OBAMA: We flood communities with so many guns, that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.


And then we tell the police, you`re a social worker, you`re the parent, you`re the teacher, you`re the drug counselor. We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs, and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience.

Don`t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind. And then we feign surprise when, periodically, the tensions boil over.


MATTHEWS: That police corps there was a focus group. I watched the whole thing.

Cornell Belcher is a Democratic pollster. He knows the business. And Perry Bacon Sr., reporter for NBC News.

Gentlemen, Perry first.

what did you think of that speech?


He -- I thought President Bush going in the first place and then President Obama being there, too, great to see them both there at the same time.

I really thought he tried to thread -- it`s a hard needle to say I`m pro- police, but I`m also pro-Black Lives Matter. I understand both communities.


MATTHEWS: Did you get him? Do you think he made the point?

BACON: I do think he made that point.

You could tell in the audience at times people were -- a lot of times, you saw everybody applauding in the room. And I think it`s a hard point to make. But I thought -- and he also made a big, great point, which I think he said -- he said that basically we are making advances on racial issues. We are much better than 1960s.

I think he`s a racial optimist.


MATTHEWS: We are better than we seem.

BACON: Better than we seem, he said. I think that was...


MATTHEWS: That`s apparently going to be the AP lead. That`s going to be the lead coming out of this.

CORNELL BELCHER, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN POLLSTER: Chris, there`s not a lot of leaders that we have had over the last decade who could have made that speech, because Perry is right.

He threaded the needle. It was quintessential Obama, because he lays out sort of a critique of both sides. And it was quintessential Obama because...


MATTHEWS: Tell me how you heard it.

BELCHER: Even going back to his race speech, he lays out sort of this is what white America sees, this is what African-Americans see, but this is who we need to come together.

And he critiques both side. And that is what he did here in the speech with both sides, and calling -- and Republicans are always attacking him for not being American exceptionalism, but the answer is our exceptionalism. So, he falls back on our American exceptionalism. We can come together and we can solve that.

There`s not a presidents we have seen...


MATTHEWS: What do you mean by in this context American exceptionalism?

BELCHER: That we are better than this. That we are Americans and we solve big problems. And we need to come together to solve this one.

MATTHEWS: He continued to say that both sides -- I guess he means the community, African-American community, and the police force, the men in blue and women in blue, need to be honest with each other.

Here he is.


OBAMA: We know those things to be true. They`ve been true for a long time. We know it. Police, you know it. Protesters, you know it. You know how dangerous some of the communities where these police officers serve are, and you pretend as if there`s no context. These things we know to be true.

And if we cannot even talk about these things -- if we cannot talk honestly and openly, not just in the comfort of our own circles, but with those who look different than us or bring a different perspective, then we will never break this dangerous cycle.


MATTHEWS: Well, I thought that was something, Perry.

BACON: It was.

He really was basically saying we need to have a conversation, but not with each other, but with people of different races and different feelings. I think he was -- he`s been reluctant throughout his presidency to say -- he`s always of the view that usually policy matters and us talking is not going to solve anything.

But, today, he really basically said we need to talk to each other more and talk to each other better, particularly the Rudy Giulianis need to talk to DeRays.


BACON: That may not happen.

MATTHEWS: They`re selling division, some guys.

BACON: But I think it`s important for him to say that, even if it`s not going to happen.

MATTHEWS: OK. How do you get to the truth in the midst of this spectrum of what a militant guy may say they are out assassinating young black people; these cops go out in the street, everyone, for eight-hour shifts to assassinate people?

And another group will say, maybe the white community, if there`s such a thing, will say, you know what? These guys are scared to death when they go out on their beats. They are afraid to approach a car with a bad taillight because they don`t know if the guy inside has got a gun and an attitude and everything else. They`re scared of getting killed before they get home that night.

It`s somewhere in between you have got to find, no, a professional cop should be able to take some heat. He ought to be able to take some fear and walk into it and say this is the job I accepted, right, and I`m not going to shoot first and ask questions later, and I`m not going to operate trigger -- what do they call it, itchy trigger finger. I`m not going to do that.

And some of these black-white cases, where the cop shoots somebody, it looks like the guy`s shot before thinking or when he had plenty of opportunity to protect himself and that person.

BELCHER: But that`s why this conversation is important. And that`s what the president is trying to lay out.

But, also, kudos to President Bush, who was also fantastic today, and so kudos to him. But laying out sort of a positive perspective now what comes next, police training -- and let`s not pretend that there`s not bias. And that`s what the president talked about. We have to act upon this bias and understand this.


MATTHEWS: How do you tell a cop who works in a tough, high-crime-rate area where a lot of crime is committed by the community and he says, and you get that -- somebody said -- Bill Maher says it. I had an interview with him the other day. It`s going to show tomorrow night.

He said, whatever community you police, you end up not liking, because you are constantly going up against them. And what do you do about that?

BACON: We hope that`s not true, because most people in every community are not committing crimes. I want to be very clear about that in the first place.

And I think Cornell is right, is, there are some policies. Some officers support body cameras, same as the protesters do. The idea of implicit bias training, you are going to hear about that coming up. I don`t think that has to be necessarily controversial.

I actually do think, on this set of issues, there`s a way for the two communities, the police and African-Americans, to come together. I`m not sure they are going to agree on every part of the agenda, but I do think there is some possibility here. I think in two years, we could have fewer -- the goal is to have no police shooting of African-Americans.


BACON: It`s going to be hard to do that.

MATTHEWS: This is a tricky question. I`m just taking a chance here.

How do you get a cop who`s had a lot of experience in the black community, in an African-American community, he`s arrested a lot of people, he has had -- he has been scared a lot of times and he`s taken steps to put him in situations that are rough, and then he sees a guy, a black guy, driving a car and he says I got to erase that history that I been through the last couple months, and open my mind to the idea I have no idea what this young man is like? I have no reason to believe he`s scaring me, right?

How do you keep that open mind in a scary job? They do it every day. Is it doable?


BELCHER: No, that`s the quintessential question for all of us Americans, because we -- this country doesn`t work unless we start to try to figure that out, not just for the police officers, but for the schoolteacher, for the doctor.

MATTHEWS: Who makes a prejudicial decision.

BELCHER: How do we have these conversations in a growing, diverse America about we are all Americans, we are all one America?


MATTHEWS: How do you keep people open-minded? How do you keep people from making, what do you call, profiling decisions?

BACON: We hope that everybody thinks of each person as an individual entity.

How do we get there? I think that`s training. I think that`s -- look, we have a society where a lot of movies and so on are based on the idea that black equals not as good, equals criminal and so on. So, I think part of it is an education process. Part of it is we have this African-American president who gave a very eloquent speech today.

I hope that moves things along. I think we`re -- I`m with Obama a little bit. I feel like we are making progress, and I think people are aware of it. There`s a lot of polling data now showing a lot of the videos are proving to people, oh, black people were not making it up.


MATTHEWS: Do you think they work?

BACON: I think that they prove -- they tell people it`s not in our heads. It`s like, there is some police problem. And people are getting it.

BELCHER: No. Well, yes and no, Perry, because, at the same time, you could have all these shootings on video, and no cops have been convicted.

BACON: The law is the problem right there.

BELCHER: No cops have been convicted.

MATTHEWS: What are you saying? They have some on video and what happens?

BELCHER: Well, we have all this stuff caught on video now, but no cops have been convicted for these shootings that we have seen. But I think...

MATTHEWS: But the videos almost always show misconduct, don`t they?

BELCHER: Yes, but there`s not misconduct -- you shouldn`t die for selling C.D.s. You shouldn`t die for selling...


MATTHEWS: No, I meant misconduct by the officers, by the police.



MATTHEWS: When you see a guy running across the field, he`s not threatening you. He`s running away.

BELCHER: That`s my point. But there`s not been any conviction.


BELCHER: So, the bias is still there.

But this is how I think part of the problem starts to be fixed. And this is what happened in Dallas, when you had a Black Lives Matter group protest, and you had a white lives matter progress, and then the leaders came together and said, we are going to work on this together. And the groups came together in Dallas and they hugged each other. That`s America at its best.

MATTHEWS: I thought the president`s speech was powerful today.

BELCHER: And George Bush`s, too, Chris.


MATTHEWS: I didn`t see -- I tuned in when the president came on. I think it was unbelievable.

I will go watch Bush tonight.

Thank you, Cornell Belcher. And thank you, Perry Bacon.

BELCHER: Thank you.

BACON: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: We continue to await Donald Trump tonight to take his stage, the stage he`s taking in Westfield, Indiana, tonight, alongside the guy I think is going to be his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. He`s very religious, very conservative, traditionally conservative, not the most happy-go-lucky guy in the world, anyway, as his running mate.

That`s ahead.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


GIGI STONE WOODS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Gigi Stone Woods. Here`s what`s happening at this hour.

Authorities say guns stolen over the weekend in Baton Rouge are linked to credible threats against police officers. Three people are under arrest. One person remains at large. Six of the eight weapons taken have been recovered.

And it was an historic day for stocks. The Dow rose 120 points to hit a record high. The S&P added 15, pushing further into record territory. The Nasdaq moved back into positive territory for the year.

Those are the headlines -- now back to HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

We continue to wait for Donald Trump tonight and Indiana Governor Mike Pence. It`s a rally outside Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, earlier today, Governor Pence was asked why he`s open to being Trump`s running mate, after so many others have declined to be considered. Here he is.


QUESTION: There are a lot of Republicans in office and former officeholders who say that they just are not interested in being Donald Trump`s running mate. Why are you different?

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: Well, I`m very humble. My whole family is very humble and very honored to be considered for this position. What I can tell you is that I think this is no ordinary time in the life of this nation.

And I`m very confident that Republicans are going to come together, that we`re going to have a great convention next week. Regardless of who Donald Trump picks to be his running mate, he`s going to assemble a great team around him, have a great message, and his message, I believe, is going to continue to resonate with millions of Americans who are frustrated with the erosion of American strength at home and abroad.


MATTHEWS: How loud can you yell, choose me?

Anyway, Politico reports say, though, that Pence insiders in Indianapolis and in Washington are laying out a detailed case for why Pence is a no- brainer for Trump.

And as one Indiana strategist told RealClearPolitics -- quote -- "Everyone here is operating as if this is happening."

But a decision could come this week, because Pence only has until Friday to withdraw his name from the ballot for reelection as governor, according to Indiana state law.

I`m joined right now by three experts who know much.

Susan Page is the Washington bureau chief for "USA Today" and traveling around a bit, I must say. You are on everybody`s doorstep if you`re at a hotel. Political analyst Michael Steel of course is the former RNC chair. And Megan Murphy is Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg News.

Thank you in order of that.

Here`s what I think. I think it`s Pence. I think Pence is almost horny for the job.


MATTHEWS: It`s clear that he wants it. It`s clear that he thinks it`s his.

He`s talking about it`s all -- this is a special moment, no ordinary time. Who is he, Doris Kearns Goodwin? All of a sudden, it`s no ordinary time. You have to step up. And if I step up, I`m better than anybody else, because, if I step up, I`m better than all these ne`er-do-wells like Mitt Romney and the Bush family who are hiding in the bushes. But I`m willing to step forward, so I would be the perfect candidate in 2020.

I think Pence is making his move for 2020 by going on the ticket.

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "USA TODAY": I think Pence wants to go on the ticket, but...

MATTHEWS: Is that all true?

PAGE: That is all true, but that doesn`t mean...

MATTHEWS: All true? Thank you.

PAGE: That doesn`t mean that Trump is going to choose him, because it`s all up to Trump.


MATTHEWS: Will he choose somebody who wants him?

PAGE: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Or it`s like Groucho Marx? I wouldn`t accept a V.P. who would accept the job.

PAGE: That`s right. He`s not going to coax somebody into doing this. But Christie wants it too. And I think Christie is a guy...

MATTHEWS: Is Bridgegate over?

PAGE: Well, is Bridgegate over for Trump? Yes.


MATTHEWS: ... clean?


PAGE: Don`t you think that`s over?

And who would you have more fun with on a campaign trail if you`re Donald Trump, Chris Christie or Mike Pence?


PAGE: Pence makes more sense politically. Christie would be a lot more fun in a debate.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Michael.

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think she`s on the key part.

MATTHEWS: Well, let`s answer the fun factor. I didn`t know that would come up. Is Christie more fun than Mike Pence?


MATTHEWS: I think that`s...


STEELE: Yes, by far, in so many ways.

And I think that personality, that cult of personality that exists between the two of them is very special for them. Also, with Newt, he has a very deep-seated relationship with Newt, who has been in his ear for...

MATTHEWS: The six wives club. The six wives club. How can you do it?

STEELE: Henry had six. It works. This is how it plays out.

But, no, that personal piece is an important part for Donald Trump.

MATTHEWS: I agree completely.

Well, I didn`t know it would be as important as it would be for Hillary Clinton, because Hillary Clinton I think expects to win now. And she is really picking a guy -- probably a guy -- to be two doors from her for maybe eight years, a partner like Joe Biden is to President Obama, somebody who is a close partner.

MURPHY: Eight years is a very long time. I think she is going to be looking at the first four in particular.


MATTHEWS: That`s what my father said...


MATTHEWS: ... my brother said. He was getting married. He said, it`s a long time. Eight years is a long time.

MURPHY: But returning to Trump and Pence vs. Christie, I think the issue is as well, when you ask, is Bridgegate over, it`s not like Mike Pence walks into this with no baggage under his car as well.

MATTHEWS: What`s his bad baggage?

MURPHY: We look at Indiana, we look at what happened there with so many corporations revolting over what was perceived as an anti-LGBT bill, and that we saw a huge movement. We had very prominent...


MATTHEWS: And what did the bill do?

MURPHY: The bill would have sort of -- what was the guise of religious freedom, but...


MATTHEWS: So if you run a candy door and somebody ask you, can we have some candy for the wedding, you say, wait a minute, who`s getting married, right?

MURPHY: Flowers for a gay wedding, for example, is the famous example.


MURPHY: But I think that`s the most interesting thing too about this Christie-Pence comparison, is people talk about Bridgegate.

And, of course, Chris Christie brings baggage, but that baggage is very known. And I`m not sure the American people really care about it.

MATTHEWS: OK, common sense here, a point of clear sanity. Trump said, I`m looking for somebody who is not an outsider, troublemaker like me, basically, some words to that effect. I need somebody on the inside that can sort of give me an anchor on the inside, somebody who works with the establishment, fits with them.

That would be Pence. Is Chris Christie an insider?

PAGE: Yes. Well, I think so. Christie at least has some experience. He`s been elected to office. That would be one criteria.

MATTHEWS: He`s running about 26 percent in...

PAGE: Well, he`s not so popular in New Jersey at the moment.


MATTHEWS: Where is his inside? Where is he on the inside where people like him?

PAGE: There`s not very much a vice president does for you, right? Maybe a little bit. And so, therefore, the...


MATTHEWS: I`m not sure that`s true. LBJ brought Kennedy home.


STEELE: But that was the last time.


MATTHEWS: Well, Clinton.

STEELE: Bill Clinton and Gore. OK, Clinton and Gore was really the last time where you had that.

But even in that instance, you had two people regionally from the same place.


STEELE: So, it was really about how the personalities sort of forced the argument.

The vice presidential role doesn`t really take shape until you win. And then you begin to define the job in terms of the White House. I think, for the rest of this campaign, Trump, as well as Hillary, are going to be asking themselves, can I hang with this person for the next three months?


PAGE: That`s why the event tonight is really important.


MATTHEWS: Or the next eight years.

STEELE: Or the next eight years.

PAGE: The event tonight is important, it seems to me.


PAGE: Does Pence pull it off? Does he come across as a big character with some personality when he does this rally with Trump? I think it actually matters.

MATTHEWS: Does he have a big -- I never thought of him that way.

PAGE: Well, I haven`t thought of him that way either. This is his chance to show us that we`re wrong.

MURPHY: But the thing that Christie really brings you as well is the ultimate attack dog over the next three months. Look, this is a guy who...

MATTHEWS: You are a Northeasterner.


MURPHY: I`m from Chicago. I`m from Chicago.


MATTHEWS: This would be the most Northeast ticket in the history of either party.

MURPHY: If I was going up -- Hillary Clinton, and I had Chris Christie as a possible -- this is the guy single-handedly took Marco Rubio out of the race pretty much. And you go head to head.

And he will destroy her every single day, and he will hit her at the points that they think is weakest. And that`s what he brings him in...


MATTHEWS: Who will do that?

MURPHY: Chris Christie.

STEELE: Christie.

MATTHEWS: Yes. He will prosecute her.

STEELE: And, believe it not, well, that`s one of those ironic moments where Trump gets to stay above it all.

MURPHY: Exactly. It makes him look more presidential.

STEELE: And let Christie go down into the weeds and just start tearing those weeds up on Hillary.

So, it`s a very -- that dynamic works very nicely for him. But I still get back to the question that I think Trump is ultimately musing on. And that is, who do I want in my ear? Who do I respect enough to tell me how and why and when and where in this job as president?

Because he`s coming to this completely blind with no political experience and now has control over this mega-government. Someone with that kind of understanding of Capitol Hill, someone with that kind of understanding of how the states work in relationship to the federal government.

MATTHEWS: Of course, that`s what Dick Cheney did to Bush.

STEELE: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: And ruined him.

STEELE: Well, he didn`t ruin him.

MATTHEWS: He did ruin him.


MATTHEWS: Thank you, Susan Page. Thank you, Michael Steele and Megan Murphy.

You`re all staying with us as we wait for Donald Trump and Mike Pence, to see how they get along -- you know, it`s like what is it? Just lunch?

Anyway, we`re going to have a great hour coming up tomorrow on HARDBALL. The one and only Bill Maher is going to join me with just days to go before the Republican convention in Cleveland. Maher has plenty to say about this race and of course, Donald Trump. Here he is, a bit.


MATTHEWS: What are the odds on him right now, do you think?

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: Look, I want to scare people into coming out to vote.

MATTHEWS: How many out of ten? What are the odds? Two out of ten? Five out of ten?

MAHER: People say this to me all the time. Can he win? Yes, he can win. I want people to be very scared until November 8th. Don`t get complacent.

Anything can happen in this country. People have dumb ideas about what makes a president. They say things like -- well, we need to run the country like a business, he`s a businessman. As long as they believe that, anything is possible.

And again, a terrorist attack could help him and they don`t like Hillary either. So, it`s always possible.

So, be scared. Be very scared. The zombies are in the maul. Go out and vote. Don`t think this is in the bag. It`s not two out of ten. Say five out of ten.

MATTHEWS: Wow, 50/50.

MAHER: I don`t really believe that but I want to tell people that because I want them to be scared, Chris. They need to stay scared

MATTHEWS: And what do you really think?


MATTHEWS: It`s bracing to listen to Bill.

Anyway, look for my interview with Bill Maher tomorrow night here at HARDBALL at a usual time. We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: We continue to wait for Donald Trump to take the stage with the man who could be his vice presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

NBC`s Katy Tur is inside the arena in Westfield, Indiana, and joins us now.

Katy, you have got the greatest job in the world following Trump around. So, here is the HARDBALL question. Is it Pence or is it Christie? Or is it somebody else?

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I don`t know. I can tell you that sources around Donald Trump say that Pence is the likely pick. I have heard quote, "Newt is not our guy, it`s going to be Pence."

But this is Donald Trump we`re talking about. Ultimately, it`s up to him. I don`t think anybody knows what is in his head unless it`s Donald Trump himself.


TUR: People can make predictions, they can make advisements, they can tell him what they think he should do but ultimately, he`s going to go with his gut. As for Pence, he makes a lot of sense. But is he somebody that`s going to get along with Trump, are they going to click.

MATTHEWS: Is he warm enough?

TUR: Yes, exactly. They`re worried that even though Pence is a good option, they likes him, the ones that favor him are worried Donald Trump will not necessarily click with him and he`s going to want to go for somebody more like Chris Christie. That being said, I can`t imagine Donald Trump will want to pick somebody who might outshine him or upstage him. And someone like Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich potentially could.


TUR: Pure speculation on my part right now. They are still -- Donald Trump is still at a fund-raiser in downtown Indianapolis which could mean one of two things. It could mean that he`s getting a lot of good advice about Mike Pence and is considering him more deeply or it could mean he`s actually just having fun. He enjoys making us wait. One of those two things.

But, ultimately, I don`t think anyone will have an idea until they know. The campaign is saying, sources from the campaign are saying that we`re going to know by Friday, but Newt Gingrich went on TV today and said it could come out as early as tomorrow. The only thing you can predict is that it`s completely unpredictable.

MATTHEWS: OK, back to one point, though, because we were laughing when we came back from break. Is Donald Trump interested in having a buddy, someone who`s going to make him feel warm and call him at midnight and say great job today, great job today, Donald, you really hit it out of the ballpark.

Does he want that kind of familiarity or does he -- can he put up with a churchy guy like Pence? Pence is so churchy. Only thing about Donald Trump, he can say all he wants about religion, he ain`t churchy. That`s one thing he`s not.

TUR: And Pence is very earnest. He`s completely unlike Donald Trump. We spoke to him today.

MATTHEWS: That`s his face right there.

TUR: We asked him you disagree with Trump on a number of issues, can you run with him. He gave a very stock, very practiced and a very controlled answer over and over and over again. He`s not loose in the way that Donald Trump is.

But when I speak to people that are close to the candidate, they say that maybe he would want somebody like Ed McMahon to his Johnny Carson, somebody who will say, yes, Donald, you`re doing a good job, somebody who will go to the funerals, do the ceremonial stuff that he may not be interested in doing rather than somebody like Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich who he might have fun with, might have a good time talking with, but who will know how to legislate more than he does, who will know Washington more than he does, who will maybe potentially outshine him when it comes to being a legislator.

Is Donald Trump going to want that? I`m not so sure. But I don`t know. I`m not in his head. I can`t predict this.

MATTHEWS: You`re great. You`re great, though, Katy Tur. Thank you.

By the way, if he picks Pence, he`s getting the Da Vinci code. This guy is serious.

Anyway, back at the roundtable -- you know what I mean, Michael.


MATTHEWS: "USA Today" Susan Page, and he looks like one of the super numeroids (ph), anyway, political analyst Michael Steele is back, and also, Bloomberg`s Megan Kelly and, of course, Susan Page, who is actually the dean of all journalism these days. You`ve replaced (INAUDIBLE)

Okay. Now, you have. it`s a fact, just live with it.

OK. Now, here`s the question. Was Ruth Bader Ginsburg out of line, in line, out of her lane when she took those shots at Trump? She`s an associate justice of the Supreme Court and has to rule objectively and blindly on the law.

SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: I think she was out of line. I think she doesn`t care.


PAGE: I think it was inappropriate.

MATTHEWS: You can`t play Ann Richards if you`re in the extreme --

PAGE: Right. It says to me she thinks this is a really serious election and that she plans to retire soon afterwards because --

MATTHEWS: It may be too late, if Trump wins.

PAGE: Well, yes, if Trump wins, she`s in some trouble.

MATTHEWS: Bad life planning. Bad retirement planning if you turn over your seat to Donald Trump after saying that stuff.

PAGE: I don`t think it`s known this would be seen as inappropriate. She did it in three different interviews. She had an interview with "The A.P." She did with "The New York Times" and at CNN.

So, I think she was prepared to take the lumps she knew was going to come.

STEELE: Yes, I thought it was out of line and we were talking before, that if Justice Thomas had said something like that about Hillary Clinton, you know, it would have been on fire.

MATTHEWS: The liberal media will kill him.

STEELE: So, yes, it`s out of line. She doesn`t care. I think she sees the exit door at this point and is moving in that direction.

MATTHEWS: OK. We`ve got to go. The roundtable is staying with us.

By the way, it`s a nice word for mortality now, the exit door. I like that.

Up next, these three will tell me something I don`t know. Be right back.


MATTHEWS: We got some last-minute news tonight. Donald Trump, according to the "Wall Street Journal" just reporting now, he wants an attack dog as his running mate. "I`m getting kicked around, attacked on all sides." He wants somebody else to do the dirty work.

That`s interesting. It may mean Chris Christie.

Anyway, Susan Page, Michael Steele, Megan Murphy, thanks for joining us.

When we return, let me finish with what the president did and said today down in Dallas.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with what the president did and said today. I believe what he chose to do today may be his finest hour, because what he said at the memorial for the five Dallas police officers was so finely balanced, such an exquisite, eloquent statement about the social and warm predicament of today`s policemen and women. He said, we send them into dangerous areas undercut by poverty, bad schools, lack of drug treatment, and too many guns, and we ask them to hold the line for us, keep the problems and dangers that rise up in such areas from getting nearer to us.

We ask policemen to do all this, without ever sharing in the tensions these conditions breed, without ever making a mistake on their part. He did something else, the president. He talked to the critics of police who act as if they`re not dealing in dangerous communities, who refuse to admit the context in which jobs have to do their work and simply get home that night. Survive.

I`ve had great hopes for President Obama over the years and I`ve been proud of many things he`s done as president. And as a man who is serving as our president, well, today was a high point, again. It may have been his finest hour. Quote, "I`m here to insist we are not as divided as we seem. I know that because I know America." That`s the president.

And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.