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Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript 10/11/2016

Guests: Jay Newton-Small, Jeremy Peters, Stephanie Schriock, Sam Stein, Jamal Simmons, Victoria McGrane

Show: HARDBALL Date: October 11, 2016 Guest: Jay Newton-Small, Jeremy Peters, Stephanie Schriock, Sam Stein, Jamal Simmons, Victoria McGrane

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: The party`s over.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Four weeks to go until election day, and the Republican presidential nominee has declared war on the Republican Party. That`s tonight`s headline. Donald Trump went on a rampage today against the leaders of the GOP, especially Paul Ryan, who yesterday said he would henceforth refuse to either defend Trump or even allow himself to be seen with him.

Trump didn`t like it one bit. Quote, "Despite winning the second debate in a landslide, it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support." That`s Trump. He added, "Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty."

Well, Trump also went after the Republican Party itself. Quote, "With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nomination," he tweeted, "the Democrats have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans." And, "Disloyal Republicans are far more difficult than crooked Hillary," he said. "They come at you from all sides. They don`t know how to win. I will teach them." That`s Trump.

And Trump is signaling he`s done feigning restraint. That`s been restrained. Anyway, "It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me," he said today, "and I can now fight for America the way I want." In other words, the next four weeks could be the wildest close to a presidential race in modern times.

NBC`s Hallie Jackson joins us now from Panama City, Florida, where Trump will speak later tonight. Hallie, I want you to listen to this. This is Trump, Donald Trump himself, the real guy, back in 1998. And when you listen to this, think to yourself, Didn`t he know his past would trail him? Watch this.


MATTHEWS: Did you ever have a flicker when you were taking a shower or walking to work or waking up in the morning where you said, Donald Trump, you`ve won every battle you`ve ever fought. Why didn`t you run for governor? Why don`t you run for president? Did you ever think about that?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: People want me to all the time.

MATTHEWS: What about you?

TRUMP: I don`t like it.


TRUMP: Can you imagine how controversial I`d be? You think about him with the women, how about me with the women? Can you imagine...


MATTHEWS: "Can you imagine?" He knew! He knew his rep! He knew his past. He knew what he`d done, what he`d bragged about. And yet he put his head into the oven of this presidential campaign, knowing that in the end, he would be followed by that, stalked by his own reality of the past.


MATTHEWS: What do you think? You know the guy. You cover him.

JACKSON: Well, yes, yes. He`s run this entire campaign on he is who he is, let Trump be Trump. That is exactly what he has done for the last 15 months. And so I think, if I had to guess, there was a sense of, Hey, I am who I am, I was who I was, and this is who I am now.

He has flip-flopped. People don`t care. The supporters that rally around him don`t. You know, love him or hate him, and people do both, that has been one of the constants in this campaign, is Trump`s going to Trump.

MATTHEWS: You know, I don`t know. Maybe he`s right about something - - I heard Ken Langone, who was a very smart Republican business guy, say even if he loses 59 to 41, which is possible, that still says that 41 percent of this country, more than two in five, voted for Trump.

So maybe he does have a sense -- let me ask you about this fight. In taking on -- it`s such a barroom brawl now. He goes -- you know, Paul Ryan -- I`m not a big fan of Paul Ryan. He comes out and says, I`m not going to be seen with the guy again. And then he says, OK, buster, we`re going to fight, and I`m going to win this without you and I`m going to make you look stupid. You know, the same thing with John McCain. Here`s the guy who ran for vice president last time, the guy who ran for president time before, going into a boxing match in a back room with these guys.

JACKSON: Well, listen, I talked to a top adviser to Donald Trump within the last maybe 30 minutes here, Chris, about that very issue. Why pick these fights? Why do this? And the strategy, part of it, is, Hey, it fits with his message of going after Washington and going after the establishment. Rather than do it rhetorically, Donald Trump -- and I`m paraphrasing here, but Donald Trump`s going to do it on Twitter.

Yes, he`s going to continue to go after Hillary Clinton in ways that you have seen develop over the last maybe several days, starting with that debate on Sunday night, and even over the weekend a little bit. We expect to see more of that tonight here in Panama City.

But this is something that Trump wants to do. It`s why he got on Twitter and decided this was the message that he wanted to send. He`s going to fight D.C.

MATTHEWS: But how does that get him to the White House?

JACKSON: Presumably, the strategy seems to be, if you do that, you will rally the people around you that have supported you through this primary and potentially, pick up more support. I mean, that`s the big question mark, Chris. It`s not enough to just go for the floor that he`s had. He`s had a floor of what, 40 -- 40 percent, you know, when you look at the numbers and you look at what strategists say. That is obviously not enough for him to take the White House come November. He`s got to expand his appeal.

You saw him try to do that a little bit after the convention, when you saw kind of Prompter Trump, if you will, and sort of a more straight-laced, if we can call it that, somebody who`s shifting in that direction. The question now is, will Trump unleashed or unshackled, or what he wants to call it, is that going to help him win more people over?

MATTHEWS: I don`t think it will work. Anyway, thank you, Hallie Jackson. I know that`s the strategy.

Anyway, during the debate last night, or last night, Donald -- Senator John McCain of Arizona said he wouldn`t vote for his party`s nominee. Here he is, John McCain.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It`s not pleasant for me to renounce the nominee of my party. He won the nomination fair and square. But this is -- I have daughters. I have friends. I have so many wonderful people on my staff. They cannot be degraded and demeaned in that fashion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So who are you going to vote for?

MCCAIN: I think I might write in Lindsey Graham. He`s an old, good friend of mine, and a lot of people like him. The fact is, I can`t -- seriously, I cannot vote for either one.


MATTHEWS: Well, today, Donald Trump responded via Twitter to what you just heard. It doesn`t get any worse. No, it does get worse and worse. "The very foul-mouthed Senator John McCain begged for my support during his primary. I gave, he won, then he dropped me over locker room remarks." It`s going to get worse.

Anyway, I`m joined right now by Hugh Hewitt. He`s the host of "The Hugh Hewitt Show" on the Salem Radio Network, and Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee. Both are MSNBC analysts.

Michael, I don`t know whether Reince Priebus has the capability to hold this party together. It`s not staying together. This is a battle between all the brand names. The bold-faced names of the Republican Party are now in a back room or a barroom fight now, throwing stuff at them about they`re foul-mouthed and -- it`s totally raw.

This isn`t -- you know, this isn`t what we think of as a presidential election.


MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) in my lifetime.

STEELE: No, it isn`t. And it`s really kind of the trifecta, if you`re kind of looking at this. You got a base that is ticked off beyond measure and means, hurling every possible piece of ammo they have at the party as a whole, and principally, at its leadership.

You have the political leadership, as well as the executive and congressional leadership, that`s, you know, disarray, have no idea which way to turn to support, not support, to move towards or away from. And then you have Donald Trump, the nominee of the party, who really doesn`t care. That`s how this...

MATTHEWS: You know, I`m thinking in the Bible...

STEELE: That`s how this thing plays out.

MATTHEWS: You and I are the same religion. (INAUDIBLE) a lot of people know this biblical story, of every -- of Abrahamic background, but let`s go with it. Samson and the temple -- they blind -- they cut off his hair and they blind him, whatever, and he just brings down the temple.


MATTHEWS: You know? You know, what do you make of it? It just seems like Samson, like, you know...

STEELE: Well, he finds the strength to do that. And that`s where Donald Trump -- that`s what one of those tweets was, I will show you how to win. I have the wherewithal within me to do this. I don`t need you to do this. And the party just doesn`t know how to respond to that at this point.

You`ve got the chairman, Reince Priebus, who`s sort of standing there, like almost Samson between the pillars, stretched out, but doesn`t have the strength to kind of pull all of these disparate pieces or ends to the point where they can move forward together.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I just don`t see victory here. Hugh, you are -- I don`t know if you`re really a political type, but you certainly know it. And I don`t know if you`ve ever been in the dirty trenches of politics, but I don`t see the strategy here. What is the Trump strategy?

HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HOST, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It`s based on bad information because Paul Ryan was part of a ticket that got 60 million votes. He is the unequivocal leader of the Republican Party. The caucus is not deeply divided. There`s some bad information there. I know Dana Rohrabacher very well. He`s an old friend. There may be five people who are afraid of getting primaried. Dana`s going to get primaried by a guy named Scott Bond...

MATTHEWS: For what, for being too close to Trump?

HEWITT: ... in 2018. No, he`s just going to get primaried because he`s out of -- he`s not in step with the caucus. And Huelskamp didn`t lose because...

MATTHEWS: But he`s pretty far right.

HEWITT: He`s very far right, but he`s going to get primaried because people want him gone because he`s ineffective. And so he`s mad at Paul Ryan. There are a few other people who are loud in the caucus, but Paul Ryan has the caucus behind him. McConnell has the Senate behind him. John Thune came out against him.

I would urge Mr. Trump to recalibrate and treat this as a potentially temporary separation, not a deeply divisive and irreparable divorce.

MATTHEWS: Who`s head of the Republican Party right now?

HEWITT: Paul Ryan.

MATTHEWS: Is he really?


MATTHEWS: And if you had a vote in this country among all Republican voters...

HEWITT: Paul Ryan.

MATTHEWS: Republican voters.

HEWITT: Paul Ryan.

MATTHEWS: Michael, do you buy that? I don`t know if his name ID is that high. Do you think that guy we`re looking at right now is the head of the national Republican Party rank and file?

STEELE: Yes, he is. Yes, he is.

MATTHEWS: How do they even know about him? How`d they get to know him that well?

STEELE: Well, thy -- I assure you rank and file Republicans across the nation know who Paul Ryan is. They`ve followed his career. They know the work that he`s done. They know the proposals that he`s put out, the battles that he`s fought...

MATTHEWS: Could he have beaten Trump if he`d have gotten in?

STEELE: What was that?

MATTHEWS: Could he have beaten Trump for the nomination?

STEELE: You know, that`s a very interesting question. I think he would have been...

MATTHEWS: Well, it`s the question I just put to you guys. Who`s the leader? That`s the guy who wins.

STEELE: I know, but this is my point. Given that Paul Ryan was the nominee before, I think he would have had a great deal more cachet than the others on that stage. Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: But would he have responded to the national mood on the right and center-right against the establishment? Would he have carried the flag for this sort of Brexit-type anger that people have over trade, immigration and stupid wars? Would he have been that leader that Trump was so effectively in the primaries?

STEELE: Actually, I think he would have been because I think he fundamentally understands that -- he saw what happened to his friend, Eric Cantor.


STEELE: He`s seen what happened to other Republicans in their districts. So yes, I think he has -- I think he has a good sense of...


HEWITT: Donald Trump has a lot of very passionate, earnest, wonderful people supporting him. Paul Ryan has millions supporting him. Again, 60 million people voted for Romney/Ryan. If right now you`re in a tight congressional race anywhere in the United States, you have to raise money and raise a crowd, you have to make a choice between asking Donald Trump or Paul Ryan to call, you call Paul Ryan.


MATTHEWS: Well, in an event today with Donald Trump`s running mate, Mike Pence -- another running mate -- one Trump supporter said she was, quote, "ready for a revolution" if Clinton becomes president. Let`s watch the interaction here, especially from Mr. Pence, Governor Pence.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And one of the biggest things I can tell you that a lot of us are scared of is this voter fraud. Our lives depend on this election. Our kids` futures depend on this election!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I will tell you, just for me, and I don`t want this to happen, but I will tell you, for me personally, if Hillary Clinton gets in, I, myself, I`m ready for a revolution because we can`t have her in...

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRES. NOMINEE: Yes, you don`t -- don`t say that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I`m just saying it! No, you know, I`m like Trump. You know, I might (INAUDIBLE) speak for people here. (INAUDIBLE) Am I not saying the truth here, guys? Come on!

PENCE: Yes. There`s a revolution coming on November the 8th, I promise you.


MATTHEWS: Well, there he is showing some restraint, Michael. I thought it was impressive. He didn`t join the demagoguery the woman was pushing for. What do you mean, revolution? You know, armed conflict against the government? What are we talking about here? This sounds like 2nd Amendment stuff again, and he said, No. We`re not going to -- I`m not going to be -- that was a John McCain moment.

STEELE: Right.

MATTHEWS: I`m not going to go along with crazy talk.

STEELE: Right.

MATTHEWS: You win or lose an election -- by the way, I want to ask you about Trump. Do you think he`s supporting -- is he supporting our democracy when he says, If I lose, it was rigged, if I win, I`m going to put her in jail? I mean, what is it? That is third world stuff that I grew up, phony governments that call themselves democracies, and it`s always a strong man that runs them. It`s never another election. Nobody ever gets taken out of office by election. But they call themselves democracies, people`s republics and all that nonsense...

STEELE: Right.

MATTHEWS: ... because they don`t really have a democracy. And here`s Trump saying, If I lose, it was stolen. If I win, I`m going to prosecute her. That sounds like, you know, Pakistan. Ali Bhutto gets hanged because he lost an election...

STEELE: But a lot of that...

MATTHEWS: ... or some of that Indian politician -- the same thing in Latin America. You lose, you go to jail. Go ahead.

STEELE: Yes, I get that, Chris, and a lot of that is just hot rhetoric.

MATTHEWS: Was Trump pushing that? Why is he doing it?

STEELE: Well, because it works -- he`s got to get his base. He`s got to get that -- he`s got to get his folks...

MATTHEWS: Does that help American democracy?

STEELE: I understand that. But you have to look at it from the politics as he sees it.


MATTHEWS: Oh, the end justifies the means.

HEWITT: I want to defend him. I want to defend him.

MATTHEWS: Sacrifice the country for Trump`s success. Go ahead.

HEWITT: Look, I want to defend him. Mr. Trump is -- is -- I`ve asked him to withdraw because I think Mike Pence could win. However, when he gets angry, he`s angry at a media double standard...

STEELE: Right.

HEWITT: ... that digs up stuff about him and does not dig up stuff -- and we`ve talked about this. We`ve seen this show a lot...

MATTHEWS: We`ve lived with the Clinton mess! I covered the Clinton piece (ph) for years!

HEWITT: I know, but I`m talking about in the end of a -- in the end of a campaign, tapes arrive, tax returns display. The Podesta e-mails are not getting the coverage...

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) "Access Hollywood" went after Donald Trump.

HEWITT: No, somebody on that team, some liberal on that production team, found, hid, and then selectively released a tape in order to maximum (ph) -- and Ted Cruz (ph) say (ph) -- why did this not come out in May? Moreover, bad on the oppo teams, the Howard Stern tapes come out. The tax returns get leaked. We saw this with George Bush`s DU...

MATTHEWS: The tax returns have not been released.

HEWITT: No, they got leaked, the one that got leaked and the last...

MATTHEWS: So what`s your point here?

HEWITT: My point is he is angry about the rigged nature of the media throwing in 100 percent...

MATTHEWS: Is it rigged? Where`s the rigging going on?

HEWITT: The rig is that 95 percent of American media will vote for Hillary Clinton, want her to win, and they`re working for it.

MATTHEWS: They rig the election because of their political point of view?

HEWITT: They rig the election because of the way that the media...

MATTHEWS: OK, let me explain...

HEWITT: ... works.

MATTHEWS: Listen...


MATTHEWS: How does the media works? I`m only thinking of one close election since Nixon`s where Nixon -- well, I`ll talk about it at the end show, when Nixon gave it up in `60. In 2000, when the Supreme Court intervened in our electoral process and gave it to W....

HEWITT: Strike that.

MATTHEWS: ... gave it to W...

STEELE: No (INAUDIBLE) strike. When Dan Rather made a call in Florida that kept the panhandle voters from coming out and delivering Florida to Gore.

MATTHEWS: OK, so you`re telling me that the media roared at that and stopped that process, that they somehow influenced that election for Al Gore.

HEWITT: Yes. Absolutely!


HEWITT: Dan Rather...

MATTHEWS: He lost!

HEWITT: Dan Rather -- they closed...

MATTHEWS: He lost!

HEWITT: Who lost? Oh, in the end, but it led to an delegitimization of the Bush presidency and to endless rancor when it did not have to happen.

MATTHEWS: OK. Fine, I don`t think so. Al Gore gave a dramatic concession speech, gave it to him. It was the best since the Lincoln...

HEWITT: Should have given it to him on the night of the November election, as Nixon did to Kennedy in 1960.

MATTHEWS: Because it wasn`t decided yet! We didn`t have the count in. Don`t you remember?

HEWITT: It was decided, and it was decided when the recount was run by...


HEWITT: ... eight different ways to Sunday.

MATTHEWS: It`s not true. It`s just not true. And I`m not an Al Gore fan, either.

Thank you, Michael Steele. Thank you, Hugh Hewitt. But I don`t think you`re right.


MATTHEWS: ... I tell you, this idea the media gave it to W., the media gave it to Reagan, the media gave it to George Bush, Sr. -- you`re talking about a pretty weak media if it`s got this power.

Anyway, coming up, when Donald Trump threatened to put Hillary Clinton in jail, it smacked of something a dictator would say, or certainly a dictator would relish. And now one of Trump`s biggest supporters says he needs to be more authoritarian. Wow.

After calling the Clinton the devil, claiming the election`s rigged and saying he`ll jail his opponent, the real loser in this election may well be the rule of law. Well, I don`t think so, but certainly reputation.

Plus, Hillary Clinton continues to be bolstered by big leads in the polls, and now she`s got a big new super-surrogate by her side. The aforementioned Al Gore returns to Florida, where he lost it all in 2000, to warn millennials not to throw away their vote on a third party candidate -- the right message from the right guy.

And the HARDBALL roundtable is coming here this Tuesday night. They`ll tell me three things you ought to know about this race that I don`t know.

Finally, my "election diary" for tonight, pretty hard-hitting for October the 11th, this Tuesday night, just four weeks exactly left in this campaign.

This is HARDBALL, place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Well, this is new and it`s news. Our new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll now includes responses from voters after Sunday night`s debate. The result, Hillary Clinton is maintaining her lead, but there are small signs of life for the Trump campaign.

In a four-way matchup, as of yesterday, Clinton`s lead over Trump is now 9 points. It had been 11, so Mr. Trump`s picked up a couple points, thanks to that debate. The release of the "Access Hollywood" tape also was included, but the debates helped move it toward Trump. Apparently, he only had a 7-point deficit after the -- in that one day that we could vote in this poll on that power of the debate itself.

Anyway, that suggests Trump supporters were enthused by what they saw Sunday night. The overall Clinton lead may be prohibitively wide. You know, 9`s pretty long (ph).

Anyway, we`ll be right back.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Crooked Hillary Clinton, oh, she`s crooked, folks. She`s crooked as a $3 bill.


TRUMP: OK. Here`s one. Just came out.

Lock her up is right. No.



MATTHEWS: That`s Donald Trump last night.

Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was him calling for Hillary Clinton to be locked up, provoking a chorus of chants that have become increasingly familiar at his campaign rallies, "Lock her up."

And maybe they should say, "Locker room him up."

Anyway, it comes after Trump said at the debate on Sunday that he would direct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton, and that, if he had his way, she`d be in jail. Let`s watch.


TRUMP: I didn`t think I would say this, but I`m going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we`re going to have a special prosecutor.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, it is - - it`s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

TRUMP: Because you`d be in jail.



MATTHEWS: Anyway, but, as a legal specialist told "The New York Times," Trump`s pledge represents a threat to the rule of law.

Quote: "He was suggesting that he would strip power from the institutions that normally enforce the law, investing instead in himself, a move that could, would chip away at the things that make America`s democracy so resilient."

Michael Chertoff, the former secretary of homeland security under President Bush, said: "It smacks about what we read about in tin-pot dictators in other parts of the world, where, when they win an election, their first move is to imprison opponents." Don`t we know that so well? And former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey also told NPR it would -- quote -- "make us look like a banana republic."

Well, this also comes after Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of our democratic process himself, suggesting multiple times on the campaign trail that the election will be rigged against him. That`s, of course, if he loses.

I`m joined now by "TIME" contributor Jay Newton-Small -- that`s the magazine -- and Jeremy Peters, reporter with "The New York Times."

Both, well, this is -- I want to start with you, Jeremy. And this kind of crackpot kind of politics, where, if I win, I will jail her, if I lose, it was rigged, well, that sort of makes everything sort of identical.


MATTHEWS: I mean, every -- there`s no more arguments. It`s, if I lose, that`s because it was rigged. If I win, she goes to jail because she deserves to go to jail.

PETERS: Right.

MATTHEWS: In other words, the elections decide not just who is the president, but they decide everything.

PETERS: What the law is, right.


PETERS: Well, that`s the thing.

And this is so much deeper than just a misunderstanding of the law and American legal tradition, right? This is Trump`s impulse to not just defeat his opponents, but humiliate them and belittle them. Like, it`s not just enough that Hillary Clinton be defeated. No, he`s going to go after it and he`s going to throw her in jail.

But, I mean, this is totally consistent with his other assertions that he would abuse the law, whether it`s opening up libel law, which a president has no authority to do, or whether it was his attacks on this judge who he falsely called a Mexican.

I mean, but he has a history here of doing things that totally cross the boundary when it comes to the American legal system and precedent.

MATTHEWS: What strikes me is the way he relished the idea of putting her in jail.


MATTHEWS: If you listen to what he is saying, it`s not like, I`m going to do this. I would love to be a dictator, because then I could throw you in jail.

I mean, that`s an amazing statement. We have gotten used to just about -- we`re like the frog in the pot that keeps getting hotter, and he keeps getting worse, and we keep listening to it. And we go, oh, that`s not -- that`s just a little worse than what he said yesterday, two days ago.

JAY NEWTON-SMALL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "TIME": But it`s this impossibility of what Republicans keep promising their angry electorate, right? They have this whole sector of the electorate that`s super angry. And they keep saying, we`re going to repeal Obamacare. And 64 tries in the House later, they have never managed to repeal Obamacare. And that`s because the government was built by the founding fathers to be a very deliberative process. It was built with the idea that rapid change was akin to tyranny. And so you couldn`t have rapid change.

And so...

MATTHEWS: But what is Trump? What is Trump to you? What kind of a candidate is he?


MATTHEWS: What is -- no, what is he offering here?


MATTHEWS: This is an analytic question.

NEWTON-SMALL: He`s offer himself as a tyrant, essentially, saying, I`m going to have this instant change. I`m going to produce all of this massive, rapid change, and I`m going to jail my opponents, and I`m going to do all these things that`s just, like I`m going to -- and he can`t. We won`t be able to do anything, because our government is not built that way.

PETERS: It`s almost Nixonian, but it`s...

MATTHEWS: Oh, it`s worse.

PETERS: It`s cruel...


MATTHEWS: Look, I will defend Nixon on this one.

PETERS: No, it`s cruel Nixonianism, right?


PETERS: Because there`s just -- there`s an edge of bitterness here, and a desire not to just defeat, but to crush and humiliate.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, while critics say Trump threatens to erode rule of law, Trump defender Maine Governor Paul LePage told a local radio station today that this country needs someone a little more authoritarian like Trump to enforce rule of law.


GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Sometimes, I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken, but it needs to -- we need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law, because we have had eight years of a president that just -- he is an autocrat.

He just does it on his own. He ignores Congress. And we`re slipping. Every single day, we`re slipping into anarchy.


MATTHEWS: Well, Nixon infamously said -- and Nixon was, I still argue, somewhat of a mixed bag. Obviously, in the end, he deserved to be kicked out, but he did some good things.

But Nixon said, "When a president does it, it`s legal." Remember that great line?

PETERS: That`s exactly right.

MATTHEWS: I am, by definition, the law.


And that`s exactly what Donald Trump would do. He decides the laws. He just -- he doesn`t have the traditional constitutional executive authority to enforce the law. He decides what they are and when they get opened up, right, and revisited and revised.

And what Paul LePage was saying there was so striking, because it`s this double standard that a lot of conservatives have. It`s OK for Donald Trump to enhance the power of the executive branch and enforce and imply laws as he sees fit, but it`s not OK for Barack Obama to do it.

MATTHEWS: Yes, he`s not Charles de Gaulle either. There`s no national acclaim.

But you know what? Ken Langone was on FOX. I very impressive with what he said. He`s a conservative Republican business guy in New York, a very successful guy with Home Depot and everything. And he said, you know, even if Trump loses 59-41, which might happen, maybe, that means 41 percent of the country, more than two in five, supported all of this. They bought everything he said.

They bought the need for this. They believe -- and they will believe the election was rigged. And they will believe Hillary should have gone to jail. And that`s a lot of people.

NEWTON-SMALL: I mean, 52 percent of Republicans already believe that the election will be rigged, right? He doesn`t need to say it over and over again. It`s already there. And that is, again, a racial sort of dog whisper in this case, like, people said that somehow African-Americans stole the election from Mitt Romney because there were precincts in Pennsylvania that voted 100 percent for Barack Obama. And they are like, that`s impossible, it`s just not possible, and so, therefore, the election was stolen.

PETERS: And that fits exactly what we were just talking about with Trump`s undermining of the legal system, right? He`s undermining the American electoral system.

MATTHEWS: I do know some people on the left, people I know well, who believe that Ohio was stolen from John Kerry. Anyway, thank you, Jay Newton-Small.

You know the election machines out there? Anyway -- Diebold or whatever it`s called?

Anyway, thank you, Jeremy Peters.

Up next: Al Gore hits the campaign trail for the first time for Hillary Clinton. He was very good today, Al Gore. He has put on a little weight, as you noticed, but -- looks a little older.


MATTHEWS: But -- well, is that funny? Am I allowed to say that? When you see him for the first time and haven`t seen him for years, it does grab you.

Anyway, he`s telling young people what he taught to tell them, because after Ralph Nader got 92,000 votes in Florida and threw that election down there to W., there should be a lesson there that older people should remind younger people about: Don`t throw your vote away for somebody like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein if you really care who wins the election. It`s not just a protest opportunity. It`s the election of a president, and elections have consequences.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was President Barack Obama tonight making a powerful pitch for Hillary Clinton. As the Republican Party continues to engage in all-out civil war, the Democratic Party is presenting, how`s this, a united front, no longer that headline, Democrats in disarray, that old favorite.

Anyway, Hillary Clinton enlisted her heaviest hitters today and hit two battleground states. Bill Clinton made two stops in Florida. Anyway, he tried to -- and also, I get -- boy, somebody`s done something with the prompter here -- wrapped up an event in North Carolina.

And former Vice President Al Gore, the last-minute closer just called up from the bullpen, headlined an event in Miami, Florida, a place that has particular significance for Al Gore, because he lost the election there by less than 600 votes.

Anyway, here`s Gore.


AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Your vote really, really, really counts a lot.


GORE: You can consider me as an exhibit A of that proof.


GORE: Elections have consequences. Your vote counts. Your vote has consequences.



MATTHEWS: Well, it`s been 16 years, believe it or not, since we have seen the Gore name on a ballot, but the Clinton campaign hopes his appearance, Al Gore`s appearance today in Florida will remind millennials that every vote matters, something Secretary Clinton reminded Miami radio listeners this morning.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Florida is the key. If we win Florida, there is no way my opponent can win. That`s why he`s going to be in Florida today. He knows that.

And despite all of the terrible things he has said and done, he is still trying to win this election. And we cannot be complacent. We cannot rest. Do not grow weary while doing good.


MATTHEWS: Well, I`m joined right now by The Huffington Post`s Sam Stein, and Stephanie Schriock, who is of course president of EMILY`S List.

Oh, God, where do we start?


MATTHEWS: I think a couple things, too.

I mean, George Foreman -- my daughter, who is very sophisticated -- she is a grad student in business now -- she said she thinks of George Foreman as the guy selling that hot plate, you know, the grill.


MATTHEWS: She doesn`t remember the Rumble in the Jungle and all that stuff, like we all grew -- I grew up with. And to me, George Foreman is this frightening foe of Muhammad Ali, the guy that could beat up anybody.

SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: But it is a great grill.



MATTHEWS: So, to young people, I`m told.

Older -- older millennials know about what happened in Florida in 2000, the disputed election, how the Supreme Court came in and gave it to W., and all that, and how Gore just took it like a man, I would argue, just took it. He had to do it for the country, just said, OK, you won, I lost, even though I think I won.

And then there`s the later Al Gore of the "Inconvenient Truth," which was a hell of a documentary about the danger of climate change.

SCHRIOCK: Yes. MATTHEWS: And a lot of younger millennials know it that way.

In both cases, how did Hillary Clinton use him today?

SCHRIOCK: Well, he was great because he talked about, every vote matters. This was the last day you could register in Florida. So, they were doing a big voter registration push. That`s why you saw so many folks in Florida today. And so it`s, every vote matters, gives that -- reminds the millennials...


MATTHEWS: Also what Ralph Nader did down there, getting 92,000 votes.

SCHRIOCK: Yes, I think that`s part of -- exactly.

And we have just got to make sure that everybody`s in that. The climate change, I sort of asked about this, because my first response is, are we sure that millennials remember Al Gore was my question. And it`s the "Inconvenient Truth." Like, so many of these younger millennials have watched it. They have seen it.

MATTHEWS: They`re going to be there.


MATTHEWS: Because they`re going to be there. They`re going to be around in 70 years.

SCHRIOCK: Yes, right. And one of their top issues is climate change, of course.

MATTHEWS: And do you know why Florida matters on both coasts? Because the water level is going to make Miami into Venice unless something stops.

SCHRIOCK: That`s right.


SCHRIOCK: And it`s so great to see, they`re there, they`re talking about the issues that matter to the state, that matter to the voters. And I think it was a really great day for them.


STEIN: No, just I thought it was a doubly symbolic stop, obviously, because Florida was ground zero for the 2000 election. And, then, of course, it`s the state that`s getting hit hardest by climate change.

And he resonates in both those cases. But, in the end, I don`t think she`s going to lose this election because Jill Stein siphons off votes. I think what will end up happening...

MATTHEWS: You`re saying Jill Stein would get -- she`s only getting 2 percent in our latest poll today.

STEIN: I don`t think Jill Stein is going to cause this election to go -- I think what Hillary should do...


MATTHEWS: So, you`re not related to her? You`re not?

STEIN: My great aunt Jill? No.


STEIN: I think what`s going to end up happening is, she needs to find a way to the motivate her base. And what you`re seeing now in some of these polls is that millennial support is, in fact, moving to Hillary.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, here`s President Obama tonight speaking to college students in North Carolina about a vision of America that Hillary Clinton shares with him. Watch this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I see young people all across this country of every color and every background and every faith who are full of energy and ideas, and are not going to be held back by what is, because they want to seize what could be, what ought to be.


OBAMA: And I see Americans of every background and every faith who believe that we are stronger together, young, old, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, folks with disabilities, men and women all pledging allegiance to that same proud flag.


OBAMA: That`s the America I know. And there`s only one candidate in this race who shares those beliefs and who`s devoted her life to it.


MATTHEWS: You know, there`s a little MLK there, just a little, don`t you think, Stephanie? I mean, there`s something in that Bible...

SCHRIOCK: He`s extraordinary.

MATTHEWS: ... Bible cadence that`s just overpowering, great stuff.

SCHRIOCK: Well, and, in North Carolina, a critical battleground state.

I mean, and this is a race, keep in mind, you have got a -- you know, this is a race -- or a state that Barack Obama actually lost in 2012, won in `8, lost in `12. Here in North Carolina, the Democratic governor candidate is in the lead, our candidates.

But it`s like it`s good energy there.

STEIN: You have got to say this. He has benefited more than anyone else from this campaign. You have two people who are just going at each it day.

MATTHEWS: So has Joe. So has Joe Biden.

STEIN: And Joe Biden, too.

MATTHEWS: If you`re not running for president -- remember Hillary when she was secretary of state? Numbers through the roof, through the roof.


STEIN: But keep in mind, he has said, because of that, because of that, he can be an effective surrogate for her.

MATTHEWS: If I was Donald Trump, I would be scared of that man we just saw, because he`s coming into Philly in the suburbs in the next couple weeks. And he`s going to have crowds like you have never seen, not just minority crowds, everybody; 85 percent of Philly is going to vote Democrat.

And the burbs, this time around, are going to vote for a Democratic candidate.

STEIN: Because it`s his closing tour, too.

MATTHEWS: Because I think the women in the suburbs and their husbands are going to be listening to the women, and there`s great be a lot of influence coming from that direction in this election.

STEIN: I agree.

SCHRIOCK: Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: From your crowd, EMILY`S List.

SCHRIOCK: You bet.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Stephanie Schriock and Sam Stein -- no relation.


MATTHEWS: Up next -- like I wasn`t related to that hurricane either.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, up next: Trump`s argument that Bill Clinton`s transgressions -- I love that word -- are worse, will that actually work? Well, we have got tape from an interview I did with Trump. I showed you a bit before. Trump knew he had this problem, and he still ran.

Anyway, we will be right back.



In 1998, that`s 18 years ago, I sat down with Donald Trump and asked him about his political ambitions. Now, Trump predicted at that time that he would be too controversial to run for even governor, because of his history with women, which he`d brought up and he compared it to Bill Clinton, unfavorably, I think he said.


MATTHEWS: Did you ever have a flicker, when you were taking a shower or walking to work or waking up in the morning when you said, Donald Trump, you`ve won every battle you`ve ever fought, why don`t you run for governor? Why don`t you run for president? Did you ever think about that?

DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: People want me to all the time.

MATTHEWS: What about you?

TRUMP: I don`t like it.


TRUMP: Can you imagine how controversial I`d be? You think about him with the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine?



Well, let`s bring in the HARDBALL roundtable. Jamal Simmons is a Democratic strategist, Victoria McGrane is a political reporter with the great "Boston Globe", covers the hub of the universe, and Rick Tyler is a Republican strategist.

Let`s talk about that, Rick and you start because you`ve been in this battle with Ted Cruz. Why are we seeing numbers that say that even though we know all about Donald Trump, because he`s told us about his life, on that tape, why are they sticking with him, the evangelicals in the Republican Party?

RICK TYLER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it`s their hatred of Hillary Clinton. I don`t think there`s any doubt about it. It`s a visceral reaction that -- it`s dynamic. It`s not that they`re supporting Trump -- some are, many are, but a lot of them are saying, that`s the argument.

Their central argument is, we can`t have Hillary because we can`t lose to the Supreme Court, we can`t afford to continue the policies of the Barack Obama administration.

MATTHEWS: Yes. And I understand by the way what Hillary Clinton said about the Supreme Court the other day, if I were a conservative on these issues, I wouldn`t want her on there either because she didn`t say anything about the Constitution. She just went through her issues on the progressive side of things and said, I want a Supreme Court justice who does what I want him or her to do in those areas. So, she basically laid down the fight. This is going to be about policy and philosophy.

VICTORIA MCGRANE, THE BOSTON GLOBE: That`s what I thought was so striking about --

MATTHEWS: Not about who`s the best judge.

MCGRANE: That`s what was so the striking about that clip you just played is that Donald Trump knows he has this history, and yet they still seem caught so flat-footed on how to deal with this that he has still not given a sincere apology. American voters love to forgive. But, during that debate, it was still locker room banter. And --

MATTHEWS: What does that mean?

MCGRANE: It`s dismissing it. I mean, I have spoken to some conservative women, women who consider themselves, you know, stalwart Republicans, this was all over social media this weekend as well, who say they`re done with the Republican Party. I don`t know what that means, but they are viscerally angry about both the Trump dismissing these predatory comments he made, but also --

MATTHEWS: It wasn`t -- I love this word -- lewd language. Of course, it`s different than it would be in a crowd, or a mixed crowd, used to say mixed company in the old day. Of course, it`s different in some cases, but predatory. That`s what it sounds like. That was different than just bad words.

MCGRANE: So, you have the message and the messenger. So, you know, Trump has this baggage, he should have known and been prepared how to deal with it. But also, his message on how to once it came to light.

MATTHEWS: A friend of mine, a well-known musician. But I don`t quote him. He e-mailed me the other day and said, it was just words, it wasn`t not actions. He said he tried to pick up a married woman and pressured her to have sex with him. That`s not words.

MCGRANE: Furniture shopping.

MATTHEWS: That wasn`t locker room talk with the boys, that was going after a married woman and bragging about it.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. And there`s two things, Chris. One, if you want to run for president, it takes you a while to figure it out. Just waking up one morning and deciding to do it is always --

MATTHEWS: But he spent years thinking about doing it and he said, yes.

SIMMONS: That leads to point number two, which is the people who are really good at politics surround themselves with people who tell you what your real problems are, not the ones who are yes people, right? So, nobody around him --

MATTHEWS: So, how`d you learn that? How`d you figure that out?

SIMMONS: I`ve been around people who weren`t that way. That`s how you learn it.

MATTHEWS: Yes men, what you want is somebody to say, you know, I know why you want to do that, but if you do that, you`re going to go to jail. How`s that for a start?

SIMMONS: That`s right, like, this is bad news for you. And I think he surrounded himself by people who didn`t tell him no and didn`t deal with his real weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

MATTHEWS: Do you buy the argument? Rick, you know politicians. Sometimes they are not calculating. They just are angry.

Do you think that scene at the White House correspondents when President Obama just humiliated, he just kill holed (ph) Trump, do you think he decide to run that moment? Some people say in that big documentary, in the "Frontline" documentary, PBS, they say that was the moment he said, I`m going to take this guy on. And that would explain why he doesn`t care about his past, because he wasn`t thinking about his past.

RICK TYLER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It could have been, but instead of laughing a about it, he seemed to be pretty upset about it. He protects himself, he doesn`t like to be made fun of.

But one thing -- Donald Trump has spent a lot of time with his brand, the Trump brand. People know his hotels and it seems like he put a lot of thought into it. But in terms of politics, it doesn`t seem like he puts a lot of thought. It`s almost like he`s an addict, he`s looking for the next fix, the next adrenaline rush.

That`s why you get 3:00 a.m. tweets, why he`s making news all the time.

MATTHEWS: What`s why he`s good on the stump, too, because --


TYLER: Getting feedback from the audience.

MATTHEWS: He`s working with the crowd and he`s getting direction from the crowd and he throws -- like he said, "you`d be in jail," was that considered? Was that what he meant? He said, I`m going to say she belongs in jail.

MCGRANE: Now, they`re putting out web ads and sending out e-mails that say. It wasn`t just a heat of the moment quip, he`s doubling down on it.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, here`s Maggie Hassan, who has a very good chance to be the next senator for New Hampshire, she`s a governor now. She`s challenging Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, who`s a very strong figure up there, who shouldn`t be in this kind of trouble. Anyway, she launched a TV ad today as per mention here, hitting ad for calling Trump a role model. Brutal stuff here.


MODERATOR: Would you tell a child to aspire to be like Donald Trump? Would you point to him as a role model?

SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Absolutely, I would do that.

TRUMP: I would look her right in her fat ugly face. I moved on her like a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don`t even wait.

And when you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you treat women with respect?

TRUMP: I can`t say that either.


MODERATOR: Would you point to him as a role model?

AYOTTE: Absolutely, I would do that.


MATTHEWS: Well, in fairness to Senator Ayotte, who I have nothing against, it took her to get to absolutely -- she said, well, if he becomes president, then, you know, I have to respect that.

Go ahead. I don`t want to defend --


MATTHEWS: But that editing was brutal.

TYLER: And she`s withdrawn the statement.

MCGRANE: Sure. She put out -- immediately afterwards, she put out a statement saying that she misspoke. But it does sort of encapsulates, it just encapsulates the bind that Donald Trump put Republicans --

MATTHEWS: They`re in a bind.

MCGRANE: In tough races --

MATTHEWS: The roundtable is staying with us. And up next, these three will tell me something I don`t know.

Be right back.


MATTHEWS: For our brand-new NBC News online poll shows most viewers of Sunday night`s debate say that Hillary Clinton won. The poll finds 44 percent for Hillary, 34 percent for Trump, and one in five say neither one. Well, that`s a bit of an improvement for Trump over his performance if the first debate.

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL round table.

Jamal, tell me something I don`t know.

SIMMONS: Well, last week, the Generation Forward, Gen Forward poll came out of Chicago and looks at millennials, but it highlights black and Latino millennials. And it found a big difference between the way black and Latino millennials look at third party candidates other than white millennials. So, we look at the support for Gary Johnson.

MATTHEWS: More or less? Are they more favorable --

SIMMONS: Much more for Gary Johnson out of white millennials, about 15 percent, about black and Latinos, 4 and 8 percent.

MATTHEWS: Explain.

SIMMONS: So, that`s --

MATTHEWS: What`s your analysis of that?

SIMMONS: The analysis is that white millennials are -- they`re a little more conservative. They`re also more enamored, even the liberals, with Gary Johnson. Black millennials are sticking with Hillary by much greater margin.


MCGRANE: So, mine is also on millennials. I spent a week in Raleigh, North Carolina. This was, of course, before Donald Trump`s Hollywood access video. But what I was struck by is these millennials hated both candidates. They hate Clinton, they hate Trump. Some of them weren`t even that excited about the third party.

MATTHEWS: What`s the Hillary problem?

MCGRANE: They don`t trust her. She`s not authentic. Most of them were excited about Bernie in a way that young people were excited about Obama in `08.

MATTHEWS: How of this --

MCGRANE: But they are all going to vote and most of them are going to vote for Clinton. They hate her, they say. But they`re still going to vote for her.

MATTHEWS: Why? What is it -- do they have a name for that?

MCGRANE: Inauthentic, that they don`t trust her. They were bothered by the e-mails. I think, you know, the Bernie Sanders arguments during the primary --


MCGRANE: -- stuck.

TYLER: I don`t know if you know this. It`s more than a prediction, but the -- I think the Trump campaign realizes they`re going to lose. It`s all scorched earth tactics to take Hillary down which won`t work, but the people surrounding Trump will form the most robust anti-Clinton lucrative organization post election and they`ll also work with the takeover of the Republican Party, blaming the Republicans and blaming the establishment for what happened.

MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you, Jamal Simmons. Thank you, Victoria McGrane and Rick Tyler.

When we return, my election diary for tonight, October 11th, which is four weeks to go exactly before the election.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Election Diary Tuesday October 11th, 2016.

It`s no surprise to any one of you that I love American politics. It`s not just the competition and the stakes for the candidates. It`s for the power of our democracy itself. It`s for what it is. How it`s made this country great.

We Americans don`t look at the presidency on the basis of policy alone or even philosophies. It`s the person we get excited about, the person who attracts us. And when we look at our presidents in modern times, there`s FDR, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. They`re the leaders our children and grandchildren and generations to come will write about, wonder about, and, yes, argue about.

There`s one ingredient we`d like to believe all of these presidents have shared, a respect for the country, the office, the Constitution, our democratic system, and where they have failed we`ve kept notice of that, too. But they have loved our democracy itself. That`s for sure.

Donald Trump is making clear he does not. He relishes the notion of being a dictator, being able to throw his opponent, as he put it on Sunday night`s debate in jail. What he says is actually worse. If he wins, he promises to prosecute his opponent. If he loses, he promised to say the election was rigged.

This kind of talk, threatening to jail his political rival, threatening to say the election was rigged isn`t the talk of the locker room. It`s the talk of third world dictators. You talk of hearing with the word Democratic in those countries that shows up in the country`s name, there`s no democracy and reality in those countries. They`re run by strongmen in the interest of strongmen. In other words, bullies.

Look, Al Gore accepted is defeat in the year 2000 even though he believed people voted for him -- more people in Florida, even though we new he had 600,000 more popular votes nationwide than his rival. He did it because in addition to believing in climate change, he believes in America.

Does anyone listening to Donald Trump in the last several months, especially the last couple of days think he would do what Al Gore did? That he would honor the institutions of our country even if it cost him closing this deal?

Even Richard Nixon who came within a single vote per precinct back in 1960 refused to challenge the election results because of what the resulting division would do to our country. Does anyone believe Donald Trump would make a similar choice? And if not, why would you even think of investing in him the moral authority the American presidency?

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

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC`S "ALL IN" HOST (voice-over): Tonight on "ALL IN" --

TRUMP: I mean, congressmen, who likes congressmen?

HAYES: Donald Trump declares war.

TRUMP: Is it really sad that we don`t have stronger leadership on both sides?

HAYES: Twenty-eight days out, the Republican nominee turns on Republican.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it`s important that we let Trump be Trump.

HAYES: Tonight, new poll numbers.