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Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript 11/1/2016

Guests: Ruth Marcus; Simon Marks, April Ryan, Sam Stein, Al Cardenas, Jamal Simmons, Gerald Daugherty, Charlyn Daugherty

Show: HARDBALL Date: November 1, 2016 Guest: Ruth Marcus; Simon Marks, April Ryan, Sam Stein, Al Cardenas, Jamal Simmons, Gerald Daugherty, Charlyn Daugherty

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Mutual destruction?

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

"Morning in America" this is not. With a week to go and national polls tightening, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are unloading on each other. The latest "Washington Post"/ABC News poll released today shows Trump at 46 percent, Hillary Clinton at 45 percent. Trump`s gained 2 points this last week in this poll, while Clinton has lost 3 points. Several other recent polls show Clinton ahead.

Both candidates have problems with enthusiasm right now. 53 percent of Trump voters are very enthusiastic about voting for him. Just 43 percent of Clinton voters say the same about her. Four years ago, President Obama and Mitt Romney were both at 60 percent in voter enthusiasm.

In the final stretch of the campaign, both Clinton and Trump are trying to drive up each other`s negatives. In other words, this is what scorched earth looks like. Today, Trump tweeted, "Look at the way crooked Hillary is handling the e-mail case and the total mess she is in. She`s unfit to be president. Bad judgment."

Over the past few days, Trump has knocked her as a liar, a threat to our democracy, even a threat to world peace. Let`s watch him.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: She is a terrible example for my son and for the children in this country! Hillary Clinton is a dishonest person!

I will continue to address and expose the criminal corruption of Hillary Clinton and its threat to the survival of our democracy.

This is the biggest scandal since Watergate. The investigation will last for years. The trial will probably start. Nothing will get done.

Her election would mire our government and our country in a constitutional crisis that we cannot afford.

Putin can`t stand her, doesn`t respect her. It`s a nuclear country. We`ll end up in World War III over Syria with her, believe me!


MATTHEWS: For her part, Clinton has also gone after Trump as a threat to world peace, as well as calling him Putin`s puppet. Today, she called Trump a bully who picks on women and doesn`t see them as a full human being. Let`s watch.


HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: He sure has spent a lot of time demeaning, degrading, insulting and assaulting women. He calls women ugly, disgusting, nasty all the time.


CLINTON: He calls women pigs, rates bodies on a scale from 1 to 10 -- grabbing women, mistreating women. And I have to tell you, since that tape came out, 12 women have come forward to say, What he said on that tape is what he did to me.

I guess the bottom line is he thinks belittling women makes him a bigger man, and I don`t think there`s a woman anywhere who doesn`t know what that feels like. He doesn`t see us as full human beings.


MATTHEWS: Well, joining me right now is Ruth Marcus, "Washington Post" columnist and deputy editorial page editor, Hugh Hewitt, who`s the host of "The Hugh Hewitt Show" on the Salem Radio Network and an MSNBC political analyst, and Perry Bacon, senior political reporter for NBC News.

I have to talk -- I have to start with Ruth because -- why is Hillary back down to that again? It`s a little bit old. But is this just the nature of the last week, it`s going to be scorched earth? I`m going to throw the dirtiest stuff that I`ve got against you, and you`re going to throw the dirtiest stuff you`ve got against me. And they both claiming the other`s going to start World War III.

RUTH MARCUS, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, first of all, thank you for seeing me as a full woman.


MARCUS: Look, of course, women make up 53 percent of the electorate in the last election. The gender gap with Trump is huge. He`s given her this amazing opening in all of the things he`s said in the past, in this tape, in the way he`s responded to it. And of course she is going to prosecute that case against him.

It`s the thing that makes most sense, and especially as things get tighter, what`s she -- I mean, as Trump might say about African-Americans, what`s she got to lose at this point?

MATTHEWS: Yes. Even though she said, When they go low, we go high.

MARCUS: You know...

MATTHEWS: They`re both going low.

MARCUS: Right now, when they go low, they -- when one campaign goes low, the other campaign goes to wherever it thinks it needs to go to win.

MATTHEWS: It seems now that they`re all pushing the pressure points. They`re choking each other. They`re saying, You -- the other side is incapable of being a decent president.

HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I don`t remember anything like this. It`s the equivalent...

MATTHEWS: Both World War IIIs.

HEWITT: Yes, it`s the Boston big dig. Remember that? That`s a tunnel that we`re in right now, and I don`t know how lower you can go...

MATTHEWS: It`s a good tunnel. The Tip O`Neill part`s very good.

HEWITT: It`s very good, but it was very messy...


MATTHEWS: OK, go back to your metaphor.

HEWITT: Lower and lower and lower, adventure in the saddle. What the FBI does or does not do. If they find a smoking gun, I think they ought to bring it out. I don`t think it`s possible, actually, to exonerate...

MATTHEWS: How about if they don`t?

HEWITT: I don`t think it`s possible to get through the classified nature of this.

MATTHEWS: Can they say Thursday or Friday night, We`ve gone through almost all the material and found nothing criminal?

HEWITT: No. They cannot. You cannot...

MATTHEWS: Why can`t they do that?

HEWITT: Because Comey did that once, and now he`s going to be gunshy against that. Bill Barr had a great op-ed in "The Washington Post" today, the attorney general from H.W., saying, Look, what he did was what he was supposed to do, but you can`t exonerate with classified material. He had to inform Congress. But if they find a June 23rd smoking gun -- you remember the smoking gun, Haldeman and Nixon -- if they find that, I think they have to bring that out. I don`t know if you folks agree with me on that, but if they find a smoking gun...

MATTHEWS: But you don`t think they can clear her?

HEWITT: No. I don`t think it`s possible, actually, to get the information declassified.

MATTHEWS: I think they can. I think they owe it to us to contain the suppositions, the guesswork. I think all this guesswork that was provoked on Friday has to be restrained at some point to what they actually know because Trump`s -- I`ll make the argument to you. Trump`s out there saying she`s guilty of an egregious crime, worse than Watergate, based on the FBI report on Friday.

PERRY BACON, NBC SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I think (INAUDIBLE) the FBI has said, We`re doing some kind of investigation looking into it. I do expect if Comey can say something conclusive that he will do so. I don`t know whether he can. There`s a lot of e-mails here, so it`s not clear...

MATTHEWS: If there`s 500 e-mails that say, Would you remember to pick up bread on the way home?

BACON: Or if...

MATTHEWS: I mean, wouldn`t it be nice to say that`s all it is?

BACON: Or if they`re all duplicates of e-mails that have already been obtained in the investigation, I think he can probably say, These e-mails - - there`s not any new messages here.

I do think, interestingly, today -- for right now, at least, Hillary -- it seems like the FBI story -- she`s not talking about it anymore. It looks like the Democrats` sort of brushback against Comey did work to some extent. I think it has sort of silenced (INAUDIBLE) sort of moved the issues along where Hillary`s back on "Trump is unqualified," as opposed to...


MATTHEWS: Let`s take a look at her because I think -- as I was discussing with Ruth at the beginning, I think Hillary`s decided this last week is for women voters. Here she is. She brought out Alicia Machado, of course.

Anyway, Donald Trump -- let`s start with him. He warned that electing Hillary Clinton would lead to World War III. Clinton says that about Trump`s temperament. But she also attacked him, too, for his comments about Putin. Let`s watch.


CLINTON: We`ve seen in this campaign that Donald Trump loses his cool at the slightest provocation. Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. Imagine his advisers afraid to tell him what he doesn`t want to hear, racing against his legendarily short attention span to lay out life- and-death choices too complex to be reduced to a single tweet.

Imagine him plunging us into a war because somebody got under his very thin skin. Michael Morell, who ran the CIA and grew up just a few miles from here, has said that Putin is manipulating Donald. He knows he can use flattery to get into Donald`s head to make Donald the Kremlin`s puppet, and it seems to be working.


MATTHEWS: Well, it`s hard to keep track of the innuendo here. One is he`s a puppet, and the other ones, he`s going to war with Putin. (INAUDIBLE) going to start a nuclear war with a guy that he`s in love with!

MARCUS: Or he`ll...

MATTHEWS: Which is it, love or hatred?


MARCUS: ... help start with a nuclear war with somebody. I have to...

MATTHEWS: Well, who would we fight a nuclear war with except the Russians?

MARCUS: You could imagine all sorts of people.

MATTHEWS: No, I can`t. I can`t. I honestly can`t.

MARCUS: But let`s -- I think one thing that`s really important to say tonight is the kind of allegations that Donald Trump...

MATTHEWS: We shouldn`t fight a war with anybody, nuclear least of all.

MARCUS: Indeed. But he does have a legendarily thin skin. And the kinds of allegations that he`s making against Secretary Clinton, that you know, she`s the most corrupt, that this is like Watergate, that it`s absolutely certain that she`ll be -- spend her presidency on trial -- it`s just not at all support -- I`m looking at Hugh because I know he`s going to jump in and...

MATTHEWS: Well, he knows the trials are coming.

MARCUS: It`s not supported by the evidence.

HEWITT: The Devlin Barrett (ph) piece in "The Wall Street Journal" quotes Deputy Director McCabe as blowing back at Department of Justice official trying to shut down the Clinton Foundation investigation by saying, Are you telling me to shut down a validly predicated investigation?

We haven`t seen language like that, confrontations like that, since Watergate. I do believe it is a death spiral for the campaign that will bring this very close. But Today, Donald Trump talked about "Obama care" in Pennsylvania, which was an enormous relief to Republicans everywhere.

MATTHEWS: Why`d he do it?

HEWITT: Because it`s hitting people right where they live...

MATTHEWS: I agree.

HEWITT: ... in their pocketbook, 145 percent increase...


HEWITT: ... in Phoenix.

MATTHEWS: Is this battle, Perry -- and then we`ll go back across the room here. I have a sense that although it`s hard for us to believe, there are people that haven`t made up their mind.

BACON: I think that`s true.

MATTHEWS: And that they may be 7 to 10 percent. Some of them may be voting for third or fourth (INAUDIBLE) and they may be soft on Hillary or soft on Trump.

So they`re trying to reach that person with gut stuff, as you say, I mean, stuff that affects a person who doesn`t watch programs like this, who doesn`t watch "MEET THE PRESS," but they have a job, they`ve got kids, they got bills to play. So you hit them on health care, which is something that affects you as you get older when you vote a lot, OK? All old people vote. And that`s one (ph) of the way (ph) to get to them.

And also, some of this stuff -- Hillary`s talking to the woman out there who`s working hard with two jobs, kids at home. She doesn`t have time to watch this kind of programming. She cares about how women are treated in the workplace. So...


MATTHEWS: ... gut issues that aren`t political issues.

BACON: ... the other person will be a terrible president and a is a terrible person. I think those are the -- they`re making very good arguments. The other person is evil, essentially. Hillary`s saying Donald Trump is corrupt and terrible and treats women badly. Trump is saying Hillary is a liar and a cheater. I think those are the -- cheats in terms of politics.

MATTHEWS: Does that reach the undecided voter?

BACON: I think -- I don`t -- the undecided voter? I don`t know if it reaches -- but I...


BACON: They`re also after making sure, like the data shows right now, African-American turnout not strong in Florida. They also want to turn out the base.

MATTHEWS: Oh, OK. I got you.

BACON: I think there is a little bit of -- for Hillary, particularly, make sure the base, women, Latinos, African-Americans are -- or really realize that Donald Trump is what she`s been saying he is.

MATTHEWS: OK, we`re -- introducing Hillary Clinton today to make your point, Perry, in Florida, was Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe who Trump knocked after gaining weight after she had the crown. Let`s watch what she had to say today.


ALICIA MACHADO, FORMER MISS UNIVERSE: He made fun of me, and I didn`t know how to respond. He told me that I looked ugly and I was massive (ph). He even called me names. He said to me, Miss piggy, Miss Housekeeping, Miss Eating Machine. Soon, it became a joke. Alicia Machado was a fat Miss Universe. It was really painful for me. He was cruel. It`s clear, it`s really clear, that he does not respect woman!


MATTHEWS: Well, just to get it straight, she`s Miss Venezuela. She`s not from here, and so she`s speaking in a second language. And she`s -- I mean, I`m not as good...

MARCUS: She`s a citizen now.

MATTHEWS: ... at a second language, in any other language. No, but the fact is that that`s interesting. Her passion is clear, though.

MARCUS: Her passion is clear, and for the Clinton campaign, she`s a two- fer. She`s speaking to all women, you know, every woman who`s ever felt a little overweight and felt dissed by a man, and she`s speaking to Hispanic voters. That is a powerful message.

HEWITT: It`s also a trap...

MATTHEWS: This is not new stuff. This is a story that broke...

HEWITT: It`s a trap for Donald Trump.

MATTHEWS: ... what, how many weeks ago? How many weeks ago did we start talking about this?

HEWITT: Four weeks ago, first debate. It is a trap for Donald Trump. They want him to go all Yosemite Sam, so they put -- it worked the first time in the debate. He did go all Yosemite Sam for three days. I can`t believe he will fall into the same trap (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: And attack her, you mean.

HEWITT: And attack her. I can`t believe he`ll do that.

MATTHEWS: Yosemite Sam is known for what in the cartoons?

HEWITT: Shooting up the whole room and going off -- going after Bugs.


MARCUS: You can`t believe that...


MATTHEWS: So you think this is Hillary pulling his chain?

HEWITT: Absolutely! And to try and change the subject from the e-mails.


MATTHEWS: That`s smart.

BACON: Trump`s numbers have been the lowest when the allegations about women and groping have been in the news.

MATTHEWS: Oh, yes. This is...


MATTHEWS: All right, let`s have fun. You`re all pros. Perry, if you`re a Clinton-ite, you`re Secretary Clinton, what would you like to be the topic of the last week? You don`t want it to be e-mails.

BACON: If you can make it Donald Trump groping, that would (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: OK, what do you want it to be if you`re (INAUDIBLE)

HEWITT: Nuclear war.

MATTHEWS: But they`re both using nuclear war!

HEWITT: Yes, but it doesn`t work with Hillary. No one thinks that Hillary is going to start a nuclear war and...

MATTHEWS: Oh, you don`t think...


MATTHEWS: ... because you don`t mind her going into Syria.

HEWITT: No, but I mean, nuclear war...

MATTHEWS: You don`t mind her starting a war with Assad...


HEWITT: She brought up the four-minute response in the last debate. You only have four minutes from push the button to irretrievable warhead.


HEWITT: That is what she wants to sell at the end of this. Barry Goldwater, 1964, Daisy.

BACON: That`s true, as well, yes, the Donald Trump (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: You know, we once had a charming candidate named Barry Goldwater that Hillary and I both liked, a libertarian who everybody liked. He was a little unsteady about that issue, but people liked the guy. Today, we don`t have candidates -- the likability factor is definitely in trouble right now.

MARCUS: Here`s my worry. What is the -- remember that documentary about nuclear war and it was called "The Day After," I think.

MATTHEWS: Oh, yes.

MARCUS: What is the landscape of America going to look like the day after, after a campaign where we can`t decide whether the ending...

MATTHEWS: You want to know?

MARCUS: ... is going to be nuclear war or groping women?

MATTHEWS: Watch the end of the show tonight. I`ve got a whole thing on that. And by the way, it was Jason Robards.

MARCUS: I`ve teed it up for you.

MATTHEWS: Jason Robards, "The Morning (sic) After." Any way, thank you, Ruth. I know movies. Maybe I miss life sometimes, but know movies!


MATTHEWS: Ruth Marcus, Hugh Hewitt, and Perry -- by the way (INAUDIBLE) the final -- what do you want the topic to be if you`re for Clinton?

MARCUS: You know, I`m not sure people are going to be totally convinced by additional women, so I think you`ve got to go for war.

MATTHEWS: War. OK. I think they`re both accusing each other of blowing up the universe, which is an amazing -- how do you go beyond that?

Anyway, coming up, the state of the race with one week to go, polls are tightening and nerves are fraying, as we`ve been saying. What do both sides see tonight when they look at the map? We`ve got a fascinating look at our country and all the different little pockets of it and how you can sort of figure how this race is going to evolve the last week.

Plus, is Russia interfering with our presidential election? I think they say "Da" over there in Russia? Anyway, and if so, what`s Putin trying to get out of it? What`s he up to? We`ve got some new reporting on what Russia`s up to, and it`s troubling stuff.

And some comic relief in what has otherwise been a dark campaign. Take a look at this clever new advertisement on television for a county commissioner down in Texas, Travis County, whose wife wants him reelected so he`ll get out of the house.


GERALD DAUGHERTY, COUNTY COMMISSIONER: We`ve got room to put 2,700 people in our jail, and it costs us about $103 a day.

CHARLYN DAUGHERTY, WIFE: Gerald really doesn`t have any hobbies.

G. DAUGHERTY: Last year`s tax rate was .4169...

CHARLYN DAUGHERTY: Please reelect Gerald. Please.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, the candidate and his wife are both going to be with us live. We`ll also take a look at the commercial.

Finally, my "election diary" for tonight, November 1st, with one week to go.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: New battleground polling out right now as we head into the home stretch. Let`s check the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."

Starting in Pennsylvania, where a new poll from Franklin & Marshall College has Hillary up 11 points. I`ve said it`s the firewall. It`s Clinton 49, Trump 38. Clinton led by 9 in that poll a month ago. She`s gaining. I`ve long called Pennsylvania the Hillary firewall

Next in North Carolina, where a new Elon poll has the race tied. It`s Clinton 44, Trump 44. The RealClear average on North Carolina, however, has Clinton up by 2. North Carolina is getting close.

Now to Virginia, where Clinton leads in two new polls. An Emerson College poll gives Clinton a 4-point lead over Trump, 49-45, and a "Washington Post" poll shows Clinton up by 6, 48 to 42. The RealClear average in Virginia has Clinton leading by about 5. She`s got to win that state, and she will.

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, the country may be politically divided right now, but if you look at a map of where Democrats and Republicans turn out to vote, like this "New York Times" map of the 2012 results -- look at that by zip code -- the country looks strikingly red. Look, the country, geographically right across it is red. That`s because you`ll find a lot of blue on the coasts, near the water, where counties are made up of big population centers, big cities.

Geographically, the country, however, as I said, is more red than blue. It doesn`t tell the real political picture, however, for 2016. Both Clinton and Trump see opportunities in places that traditionally trend in the opposite direction, however, than their party in their route to 270 electoral votes.

Both Clinton and Trump see opportunities in places that traditionally trend in the opposite direction, however, than their party, in their route to 270 electoral votes. The first two battleground states to close next Tuesday night will be North Carolina and Ohio. That`s at 7:30 Eastern time.

So, let`s take a look at this.

Al, what we`re looking at is, the interesting thing is, in North Carolina, where I went to grad school, Hillary Clinton has the chance to expand on Barack Obama`s 2012 losing performance, in places like the Research Triangle, the suburbs of Raleigh, where there`s a large concentration of college-educated voters.

But in places like Youngstown, Ohio, where there`s a large portion of Reagan Democrats, Trump thinks he can win there.

Robert Costa is a political correspondent with "The Washington Post." Al Cardenas is a Republican strategist. And Jamal Simmons is a Democratic strategist.

Let`s start with Robert.

Robert, what can you tell from Trump`s battle positions to next week, where he`s headed, where he thinks he needs to win to get to 270?

ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Chris, I`m here in Milwaukee tonight. Trump`s up in the northwest corner of Wisconsin, because he`s playing in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, because the pathway to victory to 270 may be more difficult in states like Ohio, North Carolina, in Pennsylvania, the traditional battlegrounds.

So he has to expand the map, has to try for the blue.

MATTHEWS: Well, does he count on winning anywhere yet? I mean, to get to 270, I would argue he has to win Ohio first, Iowa first -- Iowa, Ohio, Florida, then begin to build moving north through North Carolina. How do you see it? How does he begin to build that 270?

COSTA: It`s a tricky equation.

And if you talked to the Trump campaign last week, a blue state seemed out of reach. What they`re banking on -- and it`s a shaky bet, perhaps -- is that this FBI news for Secretary Clinton could generate record turnout or at least strong turnout in traditional Republican areas, areas Trump has been struggling in.

And their gamble is, if Trump could get the traditional GOP turnout, plus some unusual blue-collar support from working-class areas, maybe he could patch together a coalition. It`s a stretch, but that`s how they see it.

MATTHEWS: OK, so Wisconsin or Michigan in exchange for not winning Pennsylvania, is that the thinking?

COSTA: That`s partly the thinking, but they have got a lot of other vulnerabilities on this map. They could lose Utah to independent candidate Evan McMullin, and so they are going to have to pick up a Wisconsin or a New Mexico. Forget about Pennsylvania.

That`s going to be very tough on its own because of Philadelphia.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know. Well, if they lose Utah, who knows what`s going on. Anyway, that`s too strange.

Anyway, thank you, Robert Costa, out there with the Trump campaign.

I want to ask you guys.

Al, when you look at this map, there are interesting places to focus on early in the evening next Tuesday night. One is the Research Triangle of Chapel Hill and Durham -- Durham, as they say down there -- and Raleigh. That part could maybe shift this to Hillary, North Carolina.

AL CARDENAS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, they`re working on both things, right, turnout and location. And they`re trying to get very specific regarding location and turnout.

You know, you could see Trump getting Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and getting to about 230, 240. The problem is, once you get into states with more than 15 percent minority voting population, like Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia to some extent, then that`s a challenge.

And so he`s better off sometimes thinking about, as you said, Michigan, Wisconsin, than he is Colorado or New Mexico, because the states with heavy minority populations are harder to move the numbers. Dealing with...

MATTHEWS: I agree completely.

CARDENAS: Dealing with blue-collar white disenfranchised workers, that`s a better bet for him at this point in time, and that`s what he got to hit now.

MATTHEWS: So he`s going after Ohio in Youngstown, where you have a lot of people that have lost factory jobs, the Reagan Democrats. And also -- it`s so interesting.

How do you see this whole thing, in terms of spotlighting where you have to go? It`s a geographic fight.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, here`s the problem. The problem is, Trump is running out of places to compete and win.

Pennsylvania is moving away from him, as we just saw in that last poll. Places like North Carolina are starting to move. You know, Virginia`s really kind of off the map.

MATTHEWS: We never thought he would get Virginia.

SIMMONS: Yes, so he`s got...

MATTHEWS: But he`s going around to the North, to the North, to the Midwest, where he`s looking at Wisconsin and Michigan.

SIMMONS: Yes. Look, I`m from Michigan. There`s no way he`s going to win Michigan. Michigan is...

MATTHEWS: So you think he`s hopeless?

SIMMONS: Michigan is a blue state.

MATTHEWS: So, you think he`s hopeless?


MATTHEWS: You think he`s hopeless?

SIMMONS: I do think -- I think the avenues are shutting down.

And you have got so many early votes. You were talking about North Carolina a minute ago; 1.6 million people have already voted in North Carolina. He`s got a tough road ahead of him.

MATTHEWS: All right, well, let`s talk about what he can do, because everything can happen in a week. Things can change.

SIMMONS: Although, if you have got a million votes already in the bag that have already been cast...

MATTHEWS: Things can happen. They keep happening.

Anyway, at 8:00 Eastern next Tuesday night, when the polls close, we will have the battleground states of Florida and Pennsylvania. Trump`s focusing on Central Florida, one of the fastest growing communities in the country there, specifically the Villages, a retirement community where Trump is polling particularly well.

And in my home state of Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton is targeting the suburbs of Philly, of course, Chester County, which has the highest concentration of college-educated voters in the state. Clinton says she will outperform Obama`s 2012 result in that region, which would ensure her a victory night.

Let`s just talk about Philly. I know it well.

In the last election, 2012, Barack Obama got 60 percent in Delaware and in Montgomery. He got 54 percent in the other two counties. The numbers are huge already. That`s Obama. Hillary will do at least as well.

CARDENAS: Well, the challenge with Pennsylvania is that urban Pennsylvania is growing so much larger. And rural Pennsylvania is getting to be a smaller part of the equation.

And, frankly, in suburban Philadelphia, where Republicans have always had a shot, that`s not -- that`s not the deal for Trump. Those are educated white women who are more going to Hillary. His challenge in Pennsylvania, it`s just how that map looks there. That`s why I`m telling you he`s better off in some other Midwestern states.

He`s doing well in Iowa, but he`s got to pick that, he`s got to pick a couple other states. Pennsylvania`s a little bit too far.

MATTHEWS: We used to call them Eisenhower Republicans, moderate Republicans in Pennsylvania.

CARDENAS: Yes. Yes. Yes.

MATTHEWS: They knew what they are. Pat Toomey could still win. But they don`t like Trump. I`m not sure.

Your thoughts?

SIMMONS: They don`t like Trump. And then, if you look at states like Indiana, where they have still got Evan Bayh, who`s competitive...


MATTHEWS: You think Bayh can win?

SIMMONS: Oh, I think Democrats are playing to win in Indiana. And he has a chance to win in Indiana.

MATTHEWS: The trend has been terrible.

SIMMONS: The trend has not been great. But he has a chance to win.


MATTHEWS: Can you see things honestly? Or do you have to give me the point of view?


SIMMONS: No, no, no.

MATTHEWS: Because don`t you think that he`s been going from a 30-point lead to like a nothing lead?

SIMMONS: Yes, but it`s a big -- listen, it`s a Republican state, but he`s a Democrat who`s won in a Republican state. At least Democrats are playing there.


SIMMONS: But you showed that map earlier. Look at those big red swatches.

The truth is, there`s nobody living in those states. I mean, Wyoming has got -- 586,000 people in Wyoming. Milwaukee is bigger than Wyoming.


MATTHEWS: Name me a Democrat that`s going to lose a close race for the Senate.

SIMMONS: A Democrat that is going to lose...

MATTHEWS: A close race for the Senate.

SIMMONS: Nevada`s going to be tough. Nevada`s going to be tough.

MATTHEWS: That`s not a pickup state.

SIMMONS: That`s not a pickup, but that`s Harry Reid`s seat. That`s tough for us.

MATTHEWS: OK. Great. No other Democrat is going to lose in a close race?

I`m just busting your chops.


MATTHEWS: OK, thank you, Robert Costa. Thank you, Al Cardenas. And, thank you, Jamal Simmons.

SIMMONS: Great. Yes.

MATTHEWS: Up next: new reporting on Russia, the FBI and the presidential election. Is Moscow meddling in our elections purposefully, and for what? What are they up to, just to cause trouble or to get Donald Trump elected? What is the mission for Moscow?

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

The FBI`s investigation into Russia`s involvement in our election continues, according to law enforcement officials who spoke with "The New York Times." But they also said that the bureau has not found a clear link between Donald Trump and the Kremlin itself to date.

Quote: "No evidence has emerged that would link him or anyone else in his business or political circle directly to Russia`s election operations."

They also report that intelligence officials say the FBI believes Russia`s hacking was -- quote -- "aimed at disrupting the presidential election, rather than electing Mr. Trump."

To that point, Russia`s meddling is consistent with their bigger goal of discrediting our democratic system in order to diminish the honor and prestige of what America stands for. That`s what I believe.

Jackson Diehl of "The Washington Post" was on to something, I believe, when he wrote last week that Putin is motivated by an obsession with the so- called color revolutions in the former Soviet republics along Russia`s border, revolutions that he believes were instigated by us, the United States.

Quote: "Putin is trying to deliver to the American political elite what he believes is a dose of its own medicine. He`s attempting to ignite, with the help, unwitting or otherwise, of Donald Trump a U.S. color revolution," in other words, cause trouble here, even if Trump loses.

I`m joined right now by NBC senior investigative correspondent Cynthia McFadden.

Thank you, Cynthia.

Russia, what are they doing in our election?

CYNTHIA MCFADDEN, NBC NEWS SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that the reporting you just cited is very much on par with what we know from senior current U.S. intelligence officials who tell us the same thing.

You have to go back a little bit here and understand that, before Donald Trump was even the nominee, once Hillary Clinton announced, intelligence sources tell us, Putin decided that he was going to try to mess with the U.S. election. Why?

Because, back in September of 2011, when his party took power again and he became president, he felt that Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration dissed him. And he wanted to get even in some way, so he decided that he would mess with this election.

MATTHEWS: What about the brain soup of a guy who drives -- who rides around on a horse with his shirt off? There`s something about the guy that says, I`m macho man, and I have to pick fights. I have to be somehow the guy who takes on the other country because I`m from a lesser country. That`s a bigger country. I have got to fight with them. And, by the way, they have a reputation for having democracy, the country that really started democracy in the world. I`m going to rip that apart.

Is that the way you see it, too, or not?


Well, let`s always remember that Putin is a former KGB agent. He views the world as a zero sum game. What`s good for Russia is bad for the U.S. What`s bad for the U.S. is good for Russia. So, I think that`s part of the manipulation that`s going on here.

MATTHEWS: Great to have you on. Please come back again, Cynthia McFadden, with that reporting.

MCFADDEN: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by our roundtable.

Simon Marks is chief correspondent for Feature Story News. April Ryan, of course, I missed her for a while there, White House correspondent with American Urban Radio Networks. And Sam Stein is political reporter and editor with The Huffington Post.

Sam, I want you to start here.


Just try to put it together for a person that I don`t think we all know, but what`s Putin up to?

STEIN: I don`t think we all know. I don`t think we all know.


MATTHEWS: He`s up to something in our election, though.

STEIN: There are certain things that we, I think, can...

MATTHEWS: WikiLeaks.

STEIN: ... say confidently, which is that Russian actors have hacked the DNC. They have...


MATTHEWS: Why not the RNC?

STEIN: They have clearly gotten access to the Podesta e-mails.

The theory I have heard as to why not the RNC is twofold. One is that they prefer Trump because he is more favorably predisposed to Putin. The other one is -- and this is a more complex theory -- is that if you want to disrupt American democracy, it doesn`t make sense to hack both sides, because you engender anger back at Russia.

But if you can go at one side, and then pit two sides against each other, then you start undermining the basic core functions of democracy. You start undermining trust in the system. You actually -- and you have seen it in public polls -- you can engender some sympathy within a political party towards Russia, which you have seen after all that`s happened.

Republicans have sort of come around a little bit more predisposed favorably towards Putin. So that`s the more complex theory. But it`s very evident that they have only gone after one side in this election, and that`s the Democrats.

MATTHEWS: You know what`s interesting? We are a very nationalistic country. I love it. It`s a bad word. Let`s say patriotic country.


MATTHEWS: We don`t like people messing with our rhubarb, if you will, to use a line from the movies.



MATTHEWS: Don`t mess with us.

And yet the conservatives who back Trump don`t seem to mind the Russians getting their nose in this thing, for some reason. That`s unusual.

RYAN: Well, no, what it is, is the fact that they are minding the fact that they`re getting involved, but they like the fact that Donald Trump could be winning. That`s what they like.


RYAN: OK, that`s what they like.

But you have to remember, not only is Donald Trump possibly winning. Vladimir Putin is winning as well, because the mind-set -- it`s about the mind-set in the WikiLeaks. It`s about the mind-set. We are keeping Russia on the forefront here in this country. So, therefore, he`s winning.

But when it comes to the actual election and the election process itself, he`s not able to go into the polls and change things. I mean, every state, everybody locale might be different. I mean, like for -- take an example in Maryland. We had the paper ballots. I voted Sunday.

And in other states, they have different things. So, he`s not able to necessarily go into each state and do something.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I voted with a paper ballot Sunday in Maryland, too.

RYAN: Yes.

MATTHEWS: So we`re together.

Let me ask you something about this -- the whole thing of Russia, and getting involved, and do they have something left? They have got a week to go. They seem to know what they`re escalating. You know, this thing, they just seem to be knowing, we will drop a little here, dribble a little there. But then they -- it seems to me they know they`re digging like a fireworks display. We will save the big one at the end.

Do you think they`re smart enough to do that?

SIMON MARKS, FEATURE STORY NEWS: They may well have a choreographed display for the finish. It`s perfectly possible.

I think this goes all the way back to the year 2000, hanging chads, Florida, Bush/Gore. And Vladimir Putin was personally fascinated by that.

MATTHEWS: He liked that five-week screw-up.

MARKS: He found that...


MARKS: ... an extraordinary display on the part of a country that professed to export its version of democracy, not just worldwide, but specifically to Russia.

And from that point on, this has been part of Vladimir Putin`s playbook, not just in terms of discrediting American democracy in the minds of Americans, but discrediting American democracy in the minds of Russians and saying, these people think they`re a world power. I`m trying to rebuild Moscow as a major focus.


MATTHEWS: Is this a way to justify tyranny, that he wins every time? Because he said, look, you think they`re better than us. They`re no better than us. Everything over there is crooked, screwed up, mishegas, insanity. And, by the way, don`t blame me. In other words, I`m not leaving this job. I`m going to be here for 50 years. So don`t talk democracy to me.

That could be Putin`s plan. Like Netanyahu, he ain`t never leaving. So, these guys say, don`t tell me how much better it is in more democratic countries, because we`re -- they`re just as bad as we are.

STEIN: I suppose so. I don`t know if I could put it any better than that. But, yes...

MATTHEWS: Well, if you had an English accent.



MATTHEWS: They`re all smarter than us.

STEIN: I think there are -- I do think there are broad geopolitical ramifications for this.

You can`t go into Ukraine and say, you know, you need to be democratic. Well, you can, but it hurts the case when you say, you need to adopt democratic systems of governance, and then, on the flip side, you yourself can`t...


MATTHEWS: Could somebody beat Putin in an election?

MARKS: Not now.


MATTHEWS: That is what I wonder.

Anyway, despite the consensus of the U.S. intelligence community, Trump has gone out of his way to deny Russia`s involvement in the cyber-attacks. It was the subject of a heated exchange with Hillary Clinton in the third debate. Let`s watch that.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

CHRIS WALLACE, MODERATOR: Secretary Clinton...

CLINTON: And I think it`s time you take a stand...

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She has no idea whether it`s Russia, China, or anybody else.

CLINTON: I am not quoting myself.

TRUMP: She has no idea.

CLINTON: I am quoting 17...

TRUMP: Hillary, you have no idea.

CLINTON: ... 17 intelligence -- do you doubt 17 military and civilian...

TRUMP: Our -- our country has no idea.

CLINTON: ... agencies.

TRUMP: Yes, I doubt it. I doubt it.

CLINTON: Well, he`d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us.


MATTHEWS: Well, H.L. Mencken, late of Baltimore, Charm City, once said, never argue with someone whose job depends on not being convinced.

If Donald Trump admitted that all this stuff was coming from Russia, he would be admitting that Russia was on his side.

STEIN: His side.

MATTHEWS: And he can`t admit that.

MARKS: But his own running mate, Mike Pence, takes a much tougher view of this.


MATTHEWS: What`s he say? Does he admit the Russians are helping them?

MARKS: In the vice presidential debate, he was much tougher on Russian, both in terms of...


MATTHEWS: Did he say they were helping?

MARKS: He has certainly not denied that they were helping at any point, almost Reaganesque in his approach. So -- and that sows more confusion certainly in the minds...

MATTHEWS: What do you mean Reaganesque?

MARKS: Reaganesque in terms of returning to much more of a tough stance.

MATTHEWS: Oh, yes.

STEIN: I thought the most interesting statement out of all of this was actually Marco Rubio, where he said he wasn`t going to talk about the WikiLeaks disclosures because he felt like it was an intrusion by a foreign power. And he said, keep in mind, the shoe could be on the other foot.

RYAN: Yes, that`s true.

STEIN: I do think we need to step back here, though, which is, it`s very clear that Russia is intervening and that they are helping Donald Trump, that they are coming down on one side.


STEIN: Whether they`re doing it deliberately to help him or to screw with democracy is another question.

RYAN: And this kind of leads into, if Donald Trump were president, what would happen? How would the relationship between Putin and Donald Trump work for the world body, as well as here?

And I`m going to say this. He`s going to try -- Donald Trump, if he is elected president, will try to pick up where George Bush left off with Putin. And George Bush wound up being disillusioned as well.

MATTHEWS: Well, he`s going to try to deal with him in Syria, for sure.

RYAN: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are holding dueling rallies right now. There you see right now, Hillary Clinton on the left. She`s in Sanford, Florida, while Trump is in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Eau Claire. Like the eclair.

Anyway, the roundtable is staying with us and up next, they`ll tell me something I don`t know. Look at this together. Eau Claire.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a message for any Democratic voter who have already cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton and who are having a bad case of buyer`s remorse. In other words, you want to change your vote.

Wisconsin is one of several states where you can change your early ballot if you think you`ve made a mistake. So, if you live here or in Michigan or Pennsylvania or Minnesota, those four places, you can change your vote to Donald Trump, we`ll make America great again, OK?


MATTHEWS: Well, that`s telling me something I didn`t know, out in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. You can change your vote in those states.

We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.

Sam, tell me something I don`t know.

STEIN: Speaking of Wisconsin, it`s a critical state that is going underappreciated. It is one of the key pathways to victory for Donald Trump. Tomorrow, the gold standard poll in the state, Marquette Law School, not Marquette University, Marquette Law School will come out and tell us some interesting numbers.

Last time they polled, this is what you didn`t know, they showed Clinton up 7, but that poll dropped right during the Billy Bush tape. The first night of that polling, they had Trump up one, but then the bottom fell out. I`m very curious to see what that poll with Trump.

MATTHEWS: How long does that tape endure?


RYAN: A little history leading into today. Leading up to 2000, Al Gore used to call himself the underdog when he was going up against George W. Bush, around Halloween, at the Halloween Party that he had.

MATTHEWS: I remember that.

RYAN: Yes, he wore the underdog costume. Well, today, this morning, I talked to Tim Kaine, Democratic vice presidential candidate, and he said the word "underdog" for the Clinton/Kaine ticket.



RYAN: It might be. It might be good spin, though!

MATTHEWS: Go ahead.

MARKS: If you are an international reporter based in one of the world`s great capitals, you usually can beg and cajole the State Department to give you an interview with an American ambassador and they won`t do it. Today, the most dangerous place in Europe or Asian capitals is between an American ambassador and an open microphone. They are all falling over themselves to get on the air --


MARKS: -- and try to allay concerns about what`s going to happen as a result of the outcome of the election and what the impact of this election may be on international policy on --

MATTHEWS: They`re calming the people in their countries, right?

MARKS: Every day.

MATTHEWS: So fascinating. And that`s official policy?

MARKS: I don`t know if it`s official policy, but I can tell you it`s happening in lots of places.

MATTHEWS: And they`re allowed to.

Anyway, thank you, Simon Marks, David Corn, April Ryan, good to have you --

STEIN: David Corn? I`m Sam Stein.

MATTHEWS: Why did I say that? I`m sorry, but you`re not David Corn.

RYAN: Trick or treat!

STEIN: I was a little insulted by that.

MATTHEWS: Don`t blame me. I do rely on the prompter. His name is Sam Stein. He the bears no resemblance to David Corn.

Coming up, it`s called the best campaign out of the year. You`re watching a wife urging voters to re-elect her husband just to get him out of the house. This is getting close to home. There they are. They`re live and they`ll explain this ad to us. They`re coming here.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: With just a week to go now before the election, be sure to follow HARDBALL online. Follow the show on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook. You`ll get direct access to interviews, videos, and behind the scenes photos as we cover the final days of this presidential campaign. I`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Ready for a treat? We`re back.

In a year filled with stark partisan divide and bitter political bickering, there have been just a few moments of levity. And here`s one from Texas Republican Gerald Daugherty and his wife Charlyn.



CHARLYN DAUGHERTY, WIFE OF TRAVIS COUNTY (TX), COMMISSIONER: Gerald really doesn`t have any hobbies.

G. DAUGHERTY: Last year`s tax rate was 4.169.

C. DAUGHERTY: All he wants to do is fix things.

G. DAUGHERTY: We`ve got this 18-wheeler parked in this neighborhood, fumes all over the place.

But quite frankly, it`s not a code violation. You know, I think I like helping around the house here.

C. DAUGHERTY: Please re-elect Gerald. Please.


MATTHEWS: Well, the Daughertys` ad is going viral, of course, with more than 3 million views on YouTube alone. Mr. Daugherty is up for election as county commissioner of Travis County, a typically Democratic county that includes the liberal city of Austin.

Joining me right now for more are the stars of the ad, Charlyn and Gerald Daugherty.

Thank you, Charlyn.


MATTHEWS: So, you know what? I have to tell you, I think you`re too evocative of what goes on in American married life after a certain time. You`ve heard all the stories. My wife says, will you please put down the book so I don`t have to hear that again. But all these statistics coming from your husband -- does he really talk like that at home?

C. DAUGHERTY: He does. That was slightly exaggerated, but not much.


C. DAUGHERTY: He`s got all those facts and figures.

MATTHEWS: Gerald, are you that bad? Are you that bad a wonk where you actually do go into these numbers?

By the way, I think I disagree with you. This is HARDBALL. Let`s have a fight. I like the idea of mass transportation. I love the idea of rapid rail. And you`ve reduced it to per seat, per dollar and you say the business -- what do you call it, the cost-benefit doesn`t work out for you when it comes to mass transit.

Your thinking on that?

G. DAUGHERTY: Well, I mean, the math just doesn`t work, Chris. I mean, unless you have super high densities in areas, and we don`t have a lot of high density in the South.

MATTHEWS: You don`t have a lot of smog? You don`t have smog and dirty air because of too many cars on the street and too much traffic? You don`t have that problem down there?

G. DAUGHERTY: You don`t have near as much smog as you had because the automobile is so much cleaner today. But, you know, it`s a different subject. I mean, if you really want to talk about is mass transit cost effective, especially if you`re talking about rail, just doesn`t compute.


So back to you, Charlyn. Why do you want to get your husband re-elected, you want him out of the house? I do understand this. Is he really that boring? You want him to go to work in the morning, come back at 6:00 or 7:00?

C. DAUGHERTY: No, he`s not boring at all. But he loves what he does. And I really do not consider him a politician.

I consider him a public servant. He cares about the people in this community, and he wants to do the right thing. So, I want him to have the opportunity to continue to be commissioner.

MATTHEWS: Gerald, what`s the trick or being a moderate, maybe an Eisenhower Republican, he carried Texas, in a district that`s technically Democrat?

G. DAUGHERTY: Yes, I think, Chris, what you have to have is the likability factor. I think you have to show people that most of the things a county commissioner does are really not partisan. What people in this community, across this country want is for people to work together.

MATTHEWS: How are you with Trump?

G. DAUGHERTY: How am I with Trump?

MATTHEWS: Yes. Are you going to you vote for him?

G. DAUGHERTY: Well, I haven`t voted yet and I will tell you --

MATTHEWS: Will you?

G. DAUGHERTY: Will I? I`ll let you know next Tuesday because I`m going to wait until next Tuesday to vote. Hey, this is a tough election.

MATTHEWS: You`re an undecided voter. You telling me as an elected official you`re an undecided voter?

G. DAUGHERTY: Yes, I`m an undecided voter right now.

MATTHEWS: Charlyn, are you undecided?

C. DAUGHERTY: Well, I think -- this is my honest opinion. I don`t think either of our choices bode well for all of the people in this nation. I think the negativity, the negative rhetoric for this campaign has been really --


C. DAUGHERTY: -- disheartening and I think that`s one reason this ad caught on because it was positive and uplifting.

MATTHEWS: Well, I`m going to let you off the hook because you`re not running for office but I do hold your husband Gerald Daugherty, a nice Irish name, still undecided a week out from the election. Thank you, sir, for coming on. You`re both a delight.

When we return my election diary for tonight, November 1st.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Election Diary Tuesday, November 1st.

The U.S. presidential election now demolishing its way through one last week has assumed the look of a war-torn city. Buildings smashed, whole floors of rooms exposed, whole blocks waiting only for the next rocket to hit, only for more of its walls to fall, for more rubble to fall and choke the streets.

Think of the demolition of this country so far, how much so much of what was solid and standing is now shaken and broken. Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue has become a wartime bunker, Hillary`s headquarters in Brooklyn, another one. The media since under a mushroom cloud. The Clinton Foundation is a night and day bombing target. Now the FBI has come before the firing squad.

The battle over who will rule this graveyard is far from over. We`ve got another week for the payloads to drop, the bombshells of bad news, the screech of incoming to land on just about everything in what`s become a war of mutual destruction that`s yielded a pair of candidates united by the height of their public disapproval rating, 59 percent, both of them, and climbing.

And so, we end this Tuesday before Election Day with Hillary Clinton warning us that Trump has just the temperament to blow the world sky high and Trump saying that Hillary will start World War III over in Syria. When they go low, we go high. Not exactly.

But Trump proved verily his willingness to fill the air with vile, if when the smoke clears, he`s the one still standing. But sadly, it`s come with this week to go up two candidates yelling bombs away, knowing we all have to live in a country that looks so much better before this started.

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

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.