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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 9/28/2016

Guests: Gary Johnson, William Weld

Show: HARDBALL Date: September 28, 2016 Guest: Gary Johnson, William Weld

ANNOUNCER: Gary Johnson...

GARY JOHNSON (NM-L), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`ve got issues, but we`re going to deal with these issues.

ANNOUNCER: ... and Bill Weld.

WILLIAM WELD (MA-L), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People think this is a horror movie and they can`t change the channel.

ANNOUNCER: The Libertarian ticket that could tip the scales in the election.

JOHNSON: Trump, Clinton -- they want to kill each other! Does anybody believe that that`s going to get any better?

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, just two nights after the most watched debate in history, they`ll sit down and make their case to Chris Matthews.


ANNOUNCER: It`s the HARDBALL "College Tour." Live from the University of New Hampshire, the Gary Johnson Town Hall.

Here now Chris Matthews.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews here at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.


MATTHEWS: There was a big presidential debate Monday night. Eighty- four million people watched. And tonight, we`re here to bring two additional voices into the debate.

Let`s welcome the Libertarian candidates for president and vice president of the United States, former governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico and former governor Bill Weld of Massachusetts.


MATTHEWS: Well, today, President Obama responded to something that happened at Monday night`s debate. And here`s the president.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You had somebody who basically insulted women and then doubled down, I think, this morning, in terms of how he talks about them and talks about their weight and talks about, you know, how they look instead of the content of their character and their capabilities, which is not something that I want -- not somebody I want in the Oval Office that my daughters are listening to and that sons are listening to.


MATTHEWS: You know what he was talking about. He was talking about something Hillary Clinton brought up in the first debate last night. Let`s listen to what Secretary Clinton said and how Donald Trump responded.


HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman "Miss Piggy." Then he called her "Miss Housekeeping" because she was Latina.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: She was the winner, and you know, she gained a massive amount of weight. And it was a problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude. And we had a real problem with her.

So Hillary went back into the years and she found this girl. This was many years ago. And she found the girl and talked about her like she was Mother Teresa. And it wasn`t quite that way, but that`s OK.


MATTHEWS: Governors, half the electorate are women. And here we have one of the candidates for president engaging in a weigh-in of some kind. What do you make of this kind of conversation from one of your opponents, Donald Trump?

JOHNSON: Well, horrible. And I was actually reading about it in "The Times" today, where he accompanied her to the gym...

MATTHEWS: With a camera.

JOHNSON: ... where he subjected her to exercising in front of the camera. I guess that was his role in the Miss Universe contest. Look, how does it get any worse?

MATTHEWS: She was 18 at the time. She was an immigrant from Venezuela trying to make it in this country. And what does it tell you about Mr. Trump? Governor Weld?

WELD: You know, it`s bad. But take a number. You know, a lot of things are bad in his approach to things and the way he talks about people, tries to set group against groups, stir up envy and resentment, even hatred. It`s the opposite of how I think a presidential campaign should be approached.

MATTHEWS: Were you surprised when I interviewed him earlier this year and I asked him about his position, which is now pro-life -- that`s the position he`s taking -- and I asked him, Well, what should the government do when they find out there was an abortion? He said, Well, there should be some kind of punishment for a woman. That`s what he told me. What do you make of that...

JOHNSON: I was shocked by that.

MATTHEWS: You`re Libertarian. So explain how a Libertarian looks at the issue of choice.

JOHNSON: Well, that -- how can there be a more difficult issue than anyone is going to face -- and by anyone, the woman involved -- and that that should be the woman involved`s choice, period.

MATTHEWS: Governor?

WELD: Well, you don`t know what you`re going to get when you ask Mr. Trump a question. The previous year, he was asked, What`s your position on abortion and said, I`m pro-choice, of course. I`m from New York. You know, it`s just random. It`s like a broken clock. He`s right twice a day.



JOHNSON: When you asked him that question, thought, at that point in the campaign, maybe he had said, in my opinion, 50 things that would have disqualified anyone else from being president. Now that number, I think, is somewhere closer to 150.

MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about the other candidate, the other major party candidate who`s running against you. That`s Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, former senator from New York, former first lady, of course, a hell of a resume.

But she also has a resume with regarding wars. And she supported regime change with regard to the Iraq war, supported W., President Bush. She supported getting involved militarily to knock off Gadhafi in Libya. She now today, I believe, still supports some sort of no-fly military role in Syria. She seems to like U.S. military involvement.

Where do you guys stand on those questions? Should we be a country that gets involved in regular -- so regularly in regime change in the Middle East?

JOHNSON: We should not be involved in regime change. And something I would like to point is there have been three polls now conducted among active military personnel, and I`ve been on top of those three polls. So I would like to think it`s based on what I am saying regarding this.

We`re putting our military in a terrible situation. Look, we maintain that if we`re attacked, we`re going on attack back, that we should have an invincible national defense. But when we do involve ourselves in regime change, we literally get ourselves on both sides of the issue.

In Syria, for example, you just can`t make up what has happened. And I don`t think it was intentional on her part, or Obama`s part, certainly not on Bush`s part. But this is what happens when we get involved in regime change.

WELD: And you know, Governor Johnson likes to point out that wars have unintended consequences, both economic and military and moral. You know, I spent a lot of time abroad after the Iraq invasion of 2003. Nobody can tell me that we didn`t have a -- pay a moral penalty for that in the world at large. And militarily, all the weapons that we armed the rebels with in Syria and Libya wind up in the hands of ISIS. That`s militarily unintended.

MATTHEWS: When we go to war, nobody talks about what the calamities are going to be. The old Europeans, they`ve been through 2,000 years of war over religion, usually, and they know what a war is. Both sides lose eventually.

You know, I`ve spent some time recently with military guys coming home, mostly men, who come home with arms missing, legs missing, disfigured, blind, deaf. In one case, I met a guy with both.

Does anybody think about that when they submit -- put guys into combat, you know, a war that has questionable value?

JOHNSON: So here`s what I`m getting really emotional over. And by the way, I blew this Aleppo question, OK? I want to take full responsibility for that. But...

MATTHEWS: What have you done to correct the fact you didn`t know what Aleppo was...


MATTHEWS: ... or what it was?

JOHNSON: Well, forget about -- forget about Aleppo...

MATTHEWS: I can`t!

JOHNSON: ... completely.


JOHNSON: Forget about Aleppo completely and get to the root of what it`s all about...

MATTHEWS: OK, what was it that you didn`t appreciate and that you now appreciate?

JOHNSON: I appreciated it from the very beginning that because a politician can dot the I`s and cross the T`s on some geographic location or the name of some foreign dictator, that in that context, now we should believe them when it comes to these interventions.

And as a result of that -- those interventions, our men and service women are getting killed. They`re getting maimed. They`re getting injured for the rest of their lives. And in this case, hundreds of thousands of innocents in these countries that get caught in the crossfire of these civil wars!

MATTHEWS: Is your point that a resume doesn`t give you discernment?

JOHNSON: Well, a...

MATTHEWS: Is that your point?

JOHNSON: My point...

MATTHEWS: Hillary Clinton`s resume didn`t prepare her for the right decision?

JOHNSON: Well, in this case, politicians that beat their chest over the fact they`ve got a microphone that gets stuck in their face -- What are you going to do about these atrocities? You know what? The atrocities are real. But what`s not being realized is that when we go in to support regime change, to address those atrocities, the situation ends up to be the same or worse in many situations.

MATTHEWS: OK, what is your ticket now on the question of U.S. involvement where it`s hot right now, Syria?

JOHNSON: Well...

MATTHEWS: Should we be involved with military, troops on the ground?

JOHNSON: No, we should not. And what I`ve been saying now for seven weeks is, is that we need to involve Russia in this to come to a diplomatic solution to this. Of course, this ceasefire that was negotiated here a week ago, it was wrought with problems from the very beginning because we are supporting the Free Syrian Army, but they`re arm in arm with the Islamists. Well, we`re not arm in American with the Islamists. You got Raqqa. You got ISIS. We`re supporting the Kurds, but the Kurds are sideways with Turkey who -- who are our ally, but...


JOHNSON: ... not as good an ally as they once were because of Iraq...

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) except for the question of Vladimir Putin. Can we trust or rely upon him as a partner in this kind of peace effort, if there is going to be one?

WELD: Well, you know, I think Gary predicted that the only way out was going to be a ceasefire involving Russia to some extent. And that`s what`s happened and it`s blown up. I mean, it didn`t help that we killed 60 Syrian soldiers.

It doesn`t help that you`ve got all these different rebel groups over there. You`ve got the original rebels. You`ve got ISIS. You`ve got Nusra. You`ve got Jabhat, everyone waiting to be the next al Qaeda. And it`s a complete mess.

And today`s news about, you know, the rocket that shot down the passenger plane in Ukraine in 2014 came in by truck from Russia, boom, downed the passenger plane, goes out at night, that same night so no one can tell (ph) it came from Russia. Of course, Putin knew all about it. And that`s not even taking responsibility for what you do. That makes you less inclined to say, Russia...


WELD: ... Let`s work together.

MATTHEWS: Let`s get with the major thrust here. If you tend to be dovish -- I tend to be dovish -- should somebody like me vote for you guys or Hillary Clinton?

JOHNSON: Well, in the regard of...

MATTHEWS: Dovish versus hawkish. Simple question.

JOHNSON: Yes. Yes. You should.

MATTHEWS: You`re more dovish.

JOHNSON: You should. Yes.


JOHNSON: Well, by dovish...

MATTHEWS: Are you in on this?


WELD: I`m with him. I`m all in...



MATTHEWS: All right, let`s -- we`re going to get back to this, I`m sure, with the questions as we get there.

Let`s look at this exchange from Monday`s debate with 84 million people watching when Donald Trump defended his birther crusade, where he said that, basically, the president of the United States is an illegal immigrant who snuck in the country, went to college, got into the Harvard Law Review, got everything somehow through secretive sort of "Manchurian Candidate"-style secretive conspiracy theory stuff.

Anyway, here he is explaining and defending.


LESTER HOLD, NBC, MODERATOR: We`re talking about racial healing in this segment. What do you say to Americans...

TRUMP: Well, it was very...


TRUMP: I say nothing. I say nothing because I was able to get him to produce it. He should have produced it a long time before. I say nothing. And I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country but even for the president in getting him to produce his birth certificate.


MATTHEWS: So Donald Trump was doing a favor to the president of the United States by saying, Show me your driver`s license, basically, since you`re the first African-American president. That`s what he was doing.

Anyway, Michelle Obama, the first lady, spoke out on the birther issue conspiracy theory today. Let`s hear her point of view.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: There are those who questioned and continue to question for the past eight years whether my husband was even born in this country.


M. OBAMA: And let me say, hurtful, deceitful questions deliberately designed to undermine his presidency, questions that cannot be blamed on others or swept under the rug by an insincere sentence uttered at a press conference.


MATTHEWS: Trump has said that Hillary Clinton`s people started this. What do you make of that, Governor?

JOHNSON: Well, based on my following the story -- and I`m not a rock thrower. I`ve never, ever said a word about this. I just always thought it was BS from the very beginning, and it just continues to be BS.

WELD: No, but that`s the biggest granddaddy of a whopper of all, him saying, Oh, Hillary Clinton started this. I`m ending it. I mean, that`s pathetic, it`s so palpably a lie!

MATTHEWS: Why do people -- why would he do it? Who is he winning with that?

WELD: I don`t think -- I don`t think the Donald knows when the curtain is down and when the curtain is up.


WELD: I mean, I think he`s a loose man with the truth. He has a tenuous -- sometimes, he seems to have a tenuous hold on reality. This is a guy we`re going on give the football to? I mean, please!

MATTHEWS: Explain the football.

WELD: The nuclear codes.

MATTHEWS: Yes, the nuclear codes.

WELD: And he wants to arm, you know, Japan and South Korea with nuclear weapons so he can have more nations with nuclear weapons, rather than fewer.

MATTHEWS: "60 Minutes" the other night showed that the president of the United States, whoever it is, has 10 minutes if there`s an alert that comes up, if it looks like something`s coming at us (INAUDIBLE) to decide which of the thousands of weapons we`re going to fire. In that 10 minutes, has to decide that! He gets some advice from a general. He can ask a few questions. But in 10 minutes, he`s got to decide what part of the world we`re going to blow up.

Who do you -- which of these two candidates would you trust with that assignment, if you don`t win.

JOHNSON: Me. No, no...


JOHNSON: ... would be me.


MATTHEWS: Second choice?

JOHNSON: When you weight...

MATTHEWS: You think Trump and Hillary are equally qualified to be commander-in-chief in a nuclear age?


JOHNSON: When it -- when it...

MATTHEWS: No, OK, what...


MATTHEWS: I want some answers here. This is HARDBALL.

WELD: I don`t know that Gary and I are totally...

MATTHEWS: I like it when you disagree!


MATTHEWS: Let`s disagree here.

WELD: But no, Hillary Clinton is clearly qualified to be commander- in-chief and president of the United States. Donald Trump...

MATTHEWS: How about the other guy?

WELD: ... is clearly not qualified. And I`ve encouraged him almost with affection to think some of other job or profession he`d like to...


WELD: And I`ve suggested the laundry business. He could do great in the laundry business!


WELD: He`s got business smarts. But president of the United States is just the wrong tree to be barking up for him.

JOHNSON: I think -- I think she`s going to -- I think she`s going to press the button.


JOHNSON: I -- I -- well, confronted with that 10 minutes, she`s going to be hawkish. She`s going to be more hawkish in that role.

MATTHEWS: You think she`s got a happy trigger.

JOHNSON: I think that she is not going to err on the side of not being the aggressor.

MATTHEWS: OK. Well, let`s talk about something else that we probably are going to have to face more immediately than nuclear war decisions, which is climate. And look at this audience, average age 20, 23 -- maybe at the most 23 right now. I think we`re above the average, by the way.

And they`re going to live in this climate. And we have one of the candidates saying there is no climate threat, even though anybody who lives in Massachusetts sees the water level coming up here. It`s coming up everywhere. The ice, the snows of Kilimanjaro have long gone.

JOHNSON: I`ve been to Kilimanjaro. They`re still a long ways from...

MATTHEWS: Well, OK. All right. So...


MATTHEWS: OK, so you`ve been up there.


JOHNSON: I`ve been up there...


MATTHEWS: My wife`s been there (INAUDIBLE) Let`s talk about your firsthand report on the top of Kilimanjaro. Do you think climate change is real because one of the candidates challenging you guys, Hillary Clinton, believes it`s very real, the other says it`s a hoax cooked up in China.

JOHNSON: No, I think it`s real. I think that it`s real and that we as human beings are demanding less carbon emission. That`s a good thing. And we`re getting it. We`re 16 percent of the world`s carbon load. So let`s not...

MATTHEWS: OK, you`re a Libertarian. How does a Libertarian avoid overregulation because if we do think fossil fuel use is dangerous to the environment, something has got to stop that use. How do we do it with the Libertarian environment?

JOHNSON: Well, in this case, the free market has dealt with coal. The free market has...


JOHNSON: ... well, has bankrupted, marginalized coal. Thirty-six percent of the load remains coal. But if you are an electrical -- if you supply the electrical grid, which is currently 36 percent coal, you`re not going to replace it with coal because...

MATTHEWS: So you wouldn`t...

JOHNSON: ... because natural gas is still lower in price. So free market. Natural -- everything is being...


MATTHEWS: You wouldn`t put federal controls on emissions?

JOHNSON: No. I think the federal government has a role to protect us against harm. I put pollution in that category. So federal government setting standards, setting scientific standards regarding harm...

MATTHEWS: Emission.

JOHNSON: Yes. Yes. You bet.

MATTHEWS: Because of the smell or what, bad air, but not on the...


JOHNSON: ... we`re going to breathe it. We`re going to breathe it. We`re going to inhale it.


MATTHEWS: You don`t have a problem with the government action to deal with climate. You don`t have a problem with that generally.

JOHNSON: Well, I think that free market does a better job of it, Chris. And I`ll cite...

MATTHEWS: Do you agree with that?

JOHNSON: ... for you right as an example...


WELD: Environmental regulation is an exception to my general Libertarianism...


WELD: ... because the economies of scale are so great, you can`t rely on the market or a business or an individual to stop environmental degradation, which as Gary points out, arms all of us, and avoiding harm to our fellow man is...


JOHNSON: I support the Environmental Protection Agency. I think it comes under the heading...


JOHNSON: ... of doing us harm, and but for the Environmental Protection Agency, there would continue to be pollution.

MATTHEWS: One thing I like about Libertarians is that vice presidents can disagree with presidents.



JOHNSON: I hope we established that here tonight!

MATTHEWS: I`m seeing it.

Let me get a question from -- go ahead, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. My name is Brendan Luke (ph). I`m from Westchester, New York. And my question for Governor Johnson is, what do you have to say to people that think a vote for you is a waste of a vote?

JOHNSON: Well, that a wasted vote is voting for somebody you don`t believe in. That`s a wasted vote.


JOHNSON: And right now, we`ve come up among young people to be tied with Hillary among young people. We`re leading among independents. So what I say is offering the two of us -- offering a first vote to people -- that`s something that we`re very proud of.

MATTHEWS: Well, let`s get to some of the thing -- because everybody sees this happening in the Democratic Party. They know you guys are doing well among younger voters, millennials.

Look at this. This was in "The Hill" newspaper today on Capitol Hill. "Democrats panicked by third party candidates drawing support away from Hillary Clinton are ramping up their attacks against Gary Johnson and warning that a vote for a third party is a vote for Donald Trump.

And now listen to President Obama today on that very point. Here`s President Obama warning about you guys.


OBAMA: If there`s one message I want to deliver to everybody -- if you don`t vote, that`s a vote for Trump. If you don`t vote, that`s a vote for Trump. If you vote for a third party candidate who`s got no chance to win, that`s a vote for Trump.


MATTHEWS: What do you make of that? He`s talking about you guys.

JOHNSON: Let me -- let me tell you the way (ph) I make that for young people...

MATTHEWS: So you disagree with the president, obviously.


JOHNSON: Well, yes! Neither -- neither -- neither Trump nor Clinton is going to do anything regarding for Medicaid and Medicare! So I`m going to get my health care. I`m going to get my retirement, but you all are going to foot that bill and you`re not going to get anything? Yes, I think there`s a reason why young people are supporting us!

MATTHEWS: So they`re not going to -- neither guy`s going to reform the situation.

JOHNSON: Nobody`s going to reform the situation! I mean, we`re headed to bankruptcy with regard to the size and scope of government!

WELD: You know, Chris...

MATTHEWS: The government`s too big, you argue.

WELD: What`s going on this year is that both the parties, both the establishment parties in Washington are trying to scare everybody, brainwash them into thinking you have got to vote for an R or you have got to vote for an D because we have a monopoly on power in Washington, and we would like to keep the monopoly.

I would suggest they haven`t done a great job in Washington in the last 15 years getting the people`s business done, because they so obviously want to kill each other, just like the campaigns want to kill each other.

MATTHEWS: We`re going to talk a lot about that, Governor Weld and Governor Johnson. We`re going to get some more questions from the audience here when we get back.

It`s at the University of New Hampshire.




MATTHEWS: This is great.

We`re back at the University of New Hampshire, a beautiful campus up here.

And we have got Governor Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, the Libertarian ticket. You know, I grew up like you guys, argued Libertarianism. And it always looked good when you`re younger. I mean great.

Let`s talk about the basics of Libertarianism. I guess one of the ways it began to develop as an argument is, why should a young guy or woman who want a ride a motorbike, a motorcycle, a big one, a big hog if they want to ride one, why should the government tell them to wear a helmet?

Why should somebody in New York like Bloomberg tell us we can`t buy a Coke bigger than 16 ounces? Why can`t we buy a big Coke? Why can`t we get on a motorcycle if we want to and not put a helmet on? The nanny state, it`s called.

What is Libertarianism about in that regard? I guess it`s against all that.

JOHNSON: Well, no, no.


JOHNSON: Well, in this case, I...

MATTHEWS: Are you for helmets?

JOHNSON: I wear a helmet.

MATTHEWS: But do you want to be told to wear a helmet by the government?

JOHNSON: No, I don`t want to be told to wear a helmet.


JOHNSON: And there`s an organ donor shortage out there, so there`s unintended consequences regarding everything, Chris, Chris.


MATTHEWS: You`re making the news. Did you mean that? Did you mean that?


JOHNSON: Well, how about somebody with a sense of humor as president of the United States?

MATTHEWS: OK. Great. That`s a sense -- that`s great. All right.


MATTHEWS: That`s why I asked you. Do you know why I asked you? Because, the way print journalism works is, it just types the words down. It doesn`t say made funny joke here for emphasis.

Things like the 16-ounce thing and all the stuff that left will argue, the progressives will say, hey, if we have to pay for hospital care for diabetes, if we have to pay for the crash site, and get the guy who is on a motorbike to the hospital, put him under a nice -- take care of the surgery, take care of him, get him back to health, if society has to pay those costs, can`t society say wear a helmet?

JOHNSON: So, in the case of -- let me use Bloomberg as an example.


JOHNSON: I think he took a real leadership role. He`s doing that in...

MATTHEWS: On cigarettes or on sodas?

JOHNSON: Sodas. He takes a leadership role. He`s a mayor of a town. He wants to implement this.

I don`t want to implement this in the state. I don`t want to implement this in the federal government. But you know what? I think, as a result of what he said, I think we now have the eight-ounce can of Coke. I think we have come to a better awareness nationwide because of what Bloomberg did in New York.

MATTHEWS: But it was a law. Are you against -- aren`t you against laws?

JOHNSON: I am. But his action, his leadership in this area -- Michelle Obama, when she talks about nutrition, that is leadership.

Do we legislate that? No, because then we end up -- because then it is so successful, the reduction in the size of sodas, that I guess, at some point, we will criminalize to it make sure that everybody complies with it.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s talk about dope. OK?


MATTHEWS: Why do they call it dope?

JOHNSON: Why do they call it dope?

MATTHEWS: Yes, marijuana, why do they call it dope?

JOHNSON: I don`t know why that came about.

And I will just tell you, based on my having done it for the first time, which probably a few of the kids in here in this room have maybe had the same experience, why do they call it dope?

MATTHEWS: You`re looking at me. Is this funny?


MATTHEWS: You`re giving me the look. Am I supposed to respond to that? What do you want me to think here? You don`t think it`s dope.

JOHNSON: Well, it is the safest -- it is so much safer than everything else that is out there, starting with alcohol.

MATTHEWS: Well, let me read you something from your platform, because I know you know this.

Basically, this is -- we -- this is the Libertarian platform. You guys have read it, right?

WELD: I have read it.

MATTHEWS: OK. I just want to make sure.

JOHNSON: You don`t have to agree with every word of it.

MATTHEWS: OK. Well, here are some words you might have some interesting comments on.

"We favor the repeal of all laws creating crimes" -- that`s in quotes -- "without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes."

That`s pretty clear.

Now, marijuana, OK, that`s legal in Colorado. It`s got different degrees of legality or non-criminality in different states. But what about we move it a little further? Recreational drugs. Some people might say cocaine is recreational. Some might say crack cocaine. Some might say meth. They might say heroin.

Where do you draw the line in terms of Libertarianism on drugs?

JOHNSON: Well, so, we are the Libertarian nominees.

And as a governor of New Mexico, I was the highest elected official in 1999 to call...

MATTHEWS: Did you mean that literally?



JOHNSON: I`m the highest elected official to call...


JOHNSON: I will use it again.


JOHNSON: All right?

Governor of New Mexico, called for the legalization of marijuana in `99. I`m saying the same things today that I`m saying -- that I was saying then. I only favor the legalization of marijuana. But I believe we are going to do that.


MATTHEWS: It doesn`t say that here in your platform. It says recreational drugs.

JOHNSON: No. But platform is one thing. And, by the way, we can extend that to Republicans. We can extend that Democrats.

MATTHEWS: I understand they`re not serious sometimes. I agree with that.

So, in this case, it`s not a serious statement, recreational drugs?

JOHNSON: No, but let me extend, too, that, when we legalize marijuana -- and I have said this since `99. I believe we are going to come to a quantum leap when it comes to the understanding of the drug issue.

And it is going to start with recognizing drugs first as a health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue.

MATTHEWS: Let`s get to the crowd. Let`s get to the students.


MATTHEWS: First question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Hannah Matthew (ph). I`m from Hebron, Maine, and I`m a student here at University of New Hampshire.

And this is a question for Governor Johnson.

What are your thoughts on combating climate change, as well as potentially moving towards a more self-sufficient country in the future?

JOHNSON: Well, climate change, that it is man-caused, that we should reduce carbon emission, that it is happening.

We`re 16 percent of the world`s carbon emission load. I don`t want to put us out front to the point that we lose jobs over this. But I do believe that we`re demanding less carbon emission. And, as an example, coal, marginal coal assets have been bankrupted right now.

Why would you build a coal plant when, as depressed the price of coal is at this moment, you can build a gas-fired plant for less?

MATTHEWS: How many here are concerned about climate change? Put your hands up.

Pretty strong, pretty much unanimous, pretty much, except the guy with the beard. You don`t -- no, that`s all right. No, that`s fair.


MATTHEWS: Odd man out is the good man sometimes.

Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (OFF-MIKE) from Plymouth, New Hampshire.

And my question is for Governor Johnson.

How would you make college more accessible to students of lower socioeconomic conditions?

MATTHEWS: Bernie Sanders was here today. He was very powerful over a couple blocks from here, about four or five blocks on campus.

He is still for free tuition. The tuition here for in-state tuition is $29,000 a year. That covers being here, board and everything. But it`s $29,000. Bernie says he is going to make it free for state college tuition. Where are you on that? That`s not a Libertarian solution, I don`t think.

JOHNSON: Well, I would just like the point out the reason for the high cost of college tuition in the first place.

And the reason for high college tuition in the first place is guaranteed government student loans. If guaranteed government student loans were to have never existed, I`m going to guess that the cost of college tuition today would be half of what it is, because there is a skewed supply and demand. And government has interjected itself in that.

I think students have been sold a bill of goods. They`re graduating from college today with a home mortgage without the home. I would certainly be open to legislation that -- similar to the bailout of Wall Street, that somehow gets kids locked into much lower interest rates when it comes to student loans.

But if you`re going to offer free college tuition for public institutions, what you`re going to do is, you are going to bankrupt the entire private university system. And the model of the future, I think, is free education. It`s the Khan Academy. It`s a kindergarten through doctoral degree in any subject whatsoever.

MATTHEWS: Where does that money come from?

JOHNSON: In the case of the Khan Academy?

MATTHEWS: Yes. You`re talking about free -- well, if you don`t to have pay tuition, who pays the professor?

JOHNSON: Well, that we have become locked in this model that we have now.

Libertarians are all about competition. Libertarians are all about free market bringing competition, the notion of better products, better services.

MATTHEWS: Well, what about -- how many are here at UNH only because they are able to get a loan? How many? How many paid the tuition full bill, the full bill? Well, how did the other guys get here? Are you all on scholarship?

Anyway, I got a -- I went to Holy Cross on student loans. So, you`re making a hard argument to somebody like me.

JOHNSON: No, what I`m saying is, if student loans didn`t exist, you would have -- you would have -- you wouldn`t -- you would have paid half of what you paid.

MATTHEWS: I wouldn`t have gotten in. I wouldn`t have been able to go.

JOHNSON: Well, of you would have been able to pay half of it.

And for a lot of kids, they wouldn`t have gone to school. But, believe me, if everybody boycotted college next year because of the high cost of college, guess what? Tuition is going to drop significantly.


MATTHEWS: OK, before we go to break, I just want to say, I`m being told through mechanical information, electronic information, that there is a lot of excitement out there, Twitter excitement, right now because of what you said about Hillary Clinton and the nuclear button.

You believe it would be a precarious situation if she had commander in chief responsibilities over nuclear war?

JOHNSON: I think she`s going to shoot. I think she`s going to shoot. She is not going to be herself. She is not going to be perceived as weak. She`s going to shoot.


MATTHEWS: We will be back with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

You`re watching HARDBALL at the University of New Hampshire.




MATTHEWS: Welcome back to this beautiful room here, Huddleston Hall, at the University of New Hampshire, which is celebrating its 150th year in existence. We`re back now with the Libertarian ticket, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

We got a bunch of people, three people lined up.

But I got actually a little lightning round here. This is where we have fun and maybe make some news.

Who is your favorite foreign leader?

JOHNSON: Who is my favorite...

MATTHEWS: Any -- just name anywhere in the country -- any one of the continents, any country. Name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to, anybody.

JOHNSON: Shimon Peres. MATTHEWS: No, no, OK. I`m talking about living. Go ahead.


MATTHEWS: You have got to do this. Anywhere. Any continent, Canada, Mexico, Europe over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect.

JOHNSON: I guess I`m having an Aleppo moment, in the former -- former president of Mexico...

MATTHEWS: But I`m giving you the whole world.

JOHNSON: I know, I know, I know, I know.

MATTHEWS: Anybody in the world you like, anybody. Pick any leader.

JOHNSON: The former president of Mexico.

MATTHEWS: No. Which one?

JOHNSON: I`m having a brain -- I`m having a brain...

MATTHEWS: Well, name anybody.


WELD: Fox.



MATTHEWS: OK. Who is your favorite foreign leader? Get him off the hook. Name a foreign leader you respect.


JOHNSON: Fox. He`s terrific.

MATTHEWS: Any foreign leader.

WELD: Merkel.

MATTHEWS: OK, Merkel. OK, fine. Saved yourself. Can`t argue with that.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, let`s go.

Who is your favorite president in history, favorite president, most Libertarian?

JOHNSON: Jefferson. Jefferson, first Libertarian.

MATTHEWS: So, what do you think the Democrats getting rid of their Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner because they didn`t like Jefferson because he had, well, slaves? JOHNSON: Well, the Constitution did have flaws, in that it was signed by a bunch of...


MATTHEWS: So, you wouldn`t get rid of the J-J Dinners if you`re a Democrat, would you?.

JOHNSON: I wouldn`t.

MATTHEWS: OK, what about... WELD: We`re Jeffersonian liberals. We love Jefferson.


Who is your favorite Supreme Court justice? There are eight of them.

WELD: Current.

MATTHEWS: Yes, right now in 2016, favorite judge, favorite justice.

WELD: I would say maybe Kennedy.

MATTHEWS: Anthony Kennedy.


JOHNSON: Kennedy.


JOHNSON: Ah, yes.


Let`s bring up the next question, next question.

Bill Weld is your lifeline.

Anyway, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. I`m for Gary Johnson.

JOHNSON: Awesome. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Justin Meirs (ph). I`m from Long Island, New York.

I have a question regarding, what do you plan on doing to combat the misconduct against African-Americans and police?

JOHNSON: You know, I do believe black lives matter, the movement matters.

There is...


JOHNSON: There is discrimination that exists. Blacks are being shot at a much higher rate than whites, being arrested and actually ending up going to jail.

I think, as president of the United States, with the Department of Justice, that we could find the common threads where least amount discrimination exists, best incidence of violence exists, as opposed to worst threads of discrimination, worst threads of violence, and could drive a real education from the federal standpoint.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: OK. Do you think there`s bias? I mean, bias -- purposeful bias?

JOHNSON: I won`t call it purposeful but it is real. It is real. It does exist. I`d recommend everybody watch the O.J. Simpson documentary that for me, I felt like I was informed but when I --

MATTHEWS: Did he do it?

JOHNSON: Did he do it?


JOHNSON: Yes. He did it. But why did the verdict turn out as did it? Well, it was based on everything that transpired prior to that verdict, where atrocious actions on the part of police were not prosecuted.

BILL WELD, LIBERTARIAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Can I add one thing? I think from police we need intensive training to get over this prejudice against blacks. And I`ve seen intensive training work. When I came into office in Massachusetts, we had a big epidemic of battered women, black and blue every Sunday morning.

And the judges didn`t get it. They would ask, what did you do sweetheart to irritate your boyfriend or your husband last night? So, we had the police come in and train all of our judges. And, you know, I`ve backed them up. I was a former federal prosecutor. It had to be delicious for the police training judges, right? But it really worked.

MATTHEWS: Because they knew what was going on --

WELD: They knew what was going on, and the judges were clueless and they got it after a while.

MATTHEWS: Because the cops are called in again and again for domestic violence and they got the picture.

WELD: Yes. And the judges were just out of it. They were too old school, but it absolutely work and we turned it around and, I commuted the sentences of some women who`ve been convicted of manslaughter for trying to defend themselves with a curling iron when their husbands and boyfriends were trying to beat them to death.

MATTHEWS: OK. We`re going to come right back with more. Hang in there.

We`ll be right back with more questions from University of New Hampshire for our college tour.




MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL and our college tour.

The libertarian ticket for president and vice president, Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

Our next student questioner -- go ahead.

STUDENT QUESTIONER: Hi. My name is Kate. I`m San Francisco, California. I`m a student here at the University of New Hampshire.

My question is for you, Gary Johnson.

A lot of candidates recently throughout the campaign have been talking about cutting Planned Parenthood. I want to know what your opinion is on it. Whether you would cut it or what is your stance on Planned Parenthood?

JOHNSON: Bill Weld and I are pledging that we`re going to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the first 100 days. That would be a 20 percent reduction in all of federal spending. We would plan on cutting Planned Parenthood 20 percent along everything with else.

But what we would do as president and vice president is we would stand up to Republicans that would say, look, balancing the federal budget is not eliminating Planned Parenthood. Give us a break.

MATTHEWS: OK. Next question?

STUDENT QUESTIONER: My name is Colin Noel (ph). I`m from Strafford, New Hampshire. I`m a student here in UNH. This question is for Governor Johnson.

With less than two months left in the election season, how do you plan to gain a competitive edge against Hillary and Trump?

JOHNSON: This has to do it right here. This right here.

So, thank you, Chris Matthews. Thank you, MSNBC.


No, look, look.

We keep plugging away and by our analytics, we keep rising. So, hopefully, we will be in the second and third debates. In my opinion, the only chance we have of winning is to be in these presidential debates. I do think that this could bounce --

MATTHEWS: Governor, where are you strongest in terms of the 15 percent? Where do you exceeded in the country? What are your big states?

JOHNSON: Big states would be New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, the Dakotas.


JOHNSON: Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire. I think we have a pretty good showing. I mean, we`re at 17 percent plus in 15 states. So --


STUDENT QUESTIONER: Hi. My name is Molly. I`m from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

This question is for both of you. I`m a student here at UNH and I was wondering how your campaign plans to address the rampant sexual assault that`s happening on college campuses, and as well as what your thoughts are on the Campus Save Act, which only really supplies victims with second class treatment?

JOHNSON: Being aware of it for starters. It is something that exists and when you recognize that the preponderance, for to you claim that you have been sexually assaulted, the odds are against you from the very beginning to the point that you just don`t do it. So, recognizing it. Recognizing that it is rampant and that the deck is stacked against you, as the woman.

MATTHEWS: How many women here, or men, everybody, how many believe it is a problem here as well as elsewhere?

JOHNSON: Yes, yes.

MATTHEWS: Boy. That`s a bad showing right there. Thank you so much.

WELD: It`s like the battered women`s situation I was talking about. You`ve got to take it seriously and change the culture. And that involves, you know, aerating it and making sure these things become public and they`re aerated in public. And then the culture of silence and culture of wink, wink, is going to go away.

MATTHEWS: Next question.

WELD: Thank you.

STUDENT QUESTIONER: My name is Stephanie. I`m a student at the University of New Hampshire as well.

Money and politics has been a huge issue throughout this election. I was wondering how your campaign is funded and how that affects your ideals.

JOHNSON: Well, interestingly right now, apparently, Hillary is spending more money than we have trying to discredit us at the moment. So, we don`t have a lot of money. So --


But in the context of money, I think that there should be unlimited campaign contributions, but that there should be 100 percent transparency - - something that doesn`t exist today.

Something that is misunderstood is when you limit campaign contribution, basically, that`s incumbency protection. Nothing changes if you limit campaign contribution. It goes to those people that have a name and that things stay very status quo.

I`ve always been also supportive of candidates wearing NASCAR jackets with patches commensurate with the size of donations --

MATTHEWS: How do you approach that? How do you say Koch brothers on your uniform?

JOHNSON: Well --

MATTHEWS: How do you make something for the Koch brothers --

JOHNSON: That there would be 100 percent transparency.

MATTHEWS: How about -- yes?

JOHNSON: So, that, yes, you`d be able -- as a fact checker, you`d be able to make sure that the Koch brothers --

MATTHEWS: Do you think that`s a libertarian idea to make people wear, costuming, to show where their money come from?

JOHNSON: Very libertarian. I think so. I think it`s very libertarian myself. But I do get cross ways with the Libertarian Party once in a while. But, you know, it`s an open debate and discussion --


MATTHEWS: You can`t say one person one vote when somebody is spending $20 million on a campaign --

JOHNSON: Yes, when one person spends $20 million on a campaign and publicly acknowledges that, then that`s up front and center and that person for $20 million may be able to support --

MATTHEWS: You can`t turn on the television without listening to their advertising. It`s like big brother. It`s relentless. That does affect voting, doesn`t it?

JOHNSON: Well, if it`s coupled, for example, if you have a billionaire that gave half a billion dollars to Bill and I and gets us elected, that`s going to be for the benefit of the country, Chris. And currently, you can`t do that. Currently, you can`t do that.


MATTHEWS: I`ve been seeing faces turning in both directions saying they don`t agree with you.

We`ve got more questions from the audience when we return from the University of New Hampshire.




MATTHEWS: We`re back at the University of New Hampshire.

What a crowd here with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, the candidates of the Libertarian Party.

We`ve got a little time left. Let`s get some questions about libertarianism from one of the students. Go ahead.

STUDENT QUESTIONER: Hi. My name`s Elizabeth Gerard (ph). I`m from Marblehead, Massachusetts.

And my question is for Governor Johnson.

I am very worried about my future opportunities. How would you reshape a government for the benefit of my generation?

JOHNSON: So, I think what government can achieve and I did achieve as governor of New Mexico is this notion of equal opportunity. The government can provide equal opportunity for everybody. So, that`s entrepreneurs.

And crony capitalism -- look, it`s alive and well. Government does pick winners and losers, but it doesn`t have to. So as governor of New Mexico, I just put an end to it, period, right from the very start.

Equal opportunity for everybody -- in that context, I had the best record on jobs at least in the 2012 presidential cycle.

MATTHEWS: Next, please? Thank you, sir.

STUDENT QUESTIONER: My name is Matt. I`m Rhode Island. My question is for you, Governor Johnson. You said that you the support the Trans Pacific Partnership in its current form would pass it.

Given that it was passed in secrecy without the scrutiny of the public, would you consider postponing your support for it and passing it when you`re elected president?

JOHNSON: No, I think that -- and here`s a pledge that the two of us have made also is that we`re going to support anything that makes things better, and we do believe that it makes things better. And free trade in our opinion is all about more U.S. jobs, not fewer U.S. jobs. So, this eliminates a whole lot of tariffs.

May there be issues with TPP? Certainly. But I think that it reduces crony capitalism as opposed to promotes it and it excludes China. But I think Bill has some things to say.

MATTHEWS: OK, I want to use this time --


WELD: From a geopolitical point of view it gives us a beachhead in Asia not including China.

MATTHEWS: Take a couple of minute. Explain -- you first -- libertarianism, what does it mean to young people here who have to make big lifetime choices about the world they`re going to face?

WELD: Well, what we bring to the table is we`re fiscally responsible, so we`re not going to bankrupt the system. We`re going to balance the budget. We`re going to cut down on the national debt, so that there may be some money left over for you all.

And if we, you know, tinker with Social Security, it`s not to kill Social Security, it`s so the system will still be there for you all when you come of that age. Anything we do with Medicaid and Medicare, same purpose.

The two establishment party candidates have said we`re not going to touch the entitlements. It just shows they`re not serious about balancing the budget. It`s a political statement so they don`t take any heat.

We`re willing to take heat, but we`re doing it with you all in mind.

JOHNSON: Socially inclusive. Always coming down on the --

MATTHEWS: Pro-choice, pro-gay rights.

JOHNSON: Pro-gay rights.

MATTHEWS: Equality of marriage?

JOHNSON: Yes, legalized marijuana. Look, we`ll always come down on the side -- always come down on the side of you and I being able to make choices in our lives, period.

MATTHEWS: Live free or die.

JOHNSON: As long as those choices --

MATTHEWS: Live free or die!


JOHNSON: As long as those choices don`t put others in harm`s way. We are against military intervention, against regime change, and we`re for free trade -- believing that ultimately free trade leads to more U.S. jobs.

MATTHEWS: Edward Snowden is a legal case. But, philosophically, where do you stand on what he did?

JOHNSON: Based on what I know about the Edward Snowden case, I would pardon Edward Snowden.


MATTHEWS: So, we know where you stand. This hour, we`ve learned that your more dovish than Hillary Clinton. You do, personally, wonder what she`ll do if she has the nuclear trigger in her hands, right?


MATTHEWS: You said it twice. I gave you two opportunities to say she wasn`t trigger happy. And you said she was.

JOHNSON: She`s going to be more hawkish. She`s going to be the most hawkish of the --

MATTHEWS: Governor Weld, I`ve known you a good time. You`ve been a great public servant. What`s the worst thing you can say about Donald Trump?

WELD: No, I think he`s delusional. He doesn`t study up on foreign policy. He has no understanding of the international economy. He wants to impose tariffs. He`d take us back to the horse and buggy era.


WELD: Oh, in personal terms, he`s capable of generosity. He`s not a bad guy. I know him a little bit socially in New York. He`s a good family man. He`s got good personals. That`s why he could do very well if he`d just let go of this obsession with being president of the United States.


MATTHEWS: Thank you.

We`re at the University of New Hampshire celebrating its 150th anniversary. It`s a beautiful campus and a great school. They couldn`t have been nicer to us.

Thank you, gentlemen, for making this occasion happens. Governor Gary Johnson and Governor Bill Weld.

Thank you to our hosts. We`re at the University of New Hampshire.

That does it for the HARDBALL College Tour here tonight.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.