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Suspect arrested in mass mail bomb. TRANSCRIPT: 10/26/2018, Hardball w Chris Matthews.

Guests: Catherine Cortez Masto, Sahil Kapur, Jacky Rosen, Jon Ralston, Yvonne Gonzalez, Jonathan Capehart, Michael Steel

Show: HARDBALL Date: October 26, 2018 Guest: Catherine Cortez Masto, Sahil Kapur, Jacky Rosen, Jon Ralston, Yvonne Gonzalez, Jonathan Capehart, Michael Steel

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Got him. Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews on the strip in Las Vegas, the site of perhaps the most (INAUDIBLE) HARDBALL fan U.S. Senate race this year. For the Democrats take back the U.S. Senate they have got to win this state. A lot more on that coming up including an interview with the Democratic candidate out to win the seat.

We begin with the breaking news tonight. Federal authorities have made an arrest in the case of those mail bombs sent out to prominent critics of President Trump. Jeff Sessions announced the charges against Cesar Sayoc earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: He has been charged today with five federal crimes including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former Presidents and certain other persons, threatening interstate communications and assaulting current and former federal officers. For these charges the defendant faces up to 58 years in prison.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Sayoc is set to make his first court appearance in Miami on Monday.

Law enforcement officials said that he has denied the charges. Federal authorities seized a white van covered in pro-Trump and pro-Republican messages earlier in the day. A closer look at that van shows stickers that say CNN sucks and a decal with Hillary Clinton`s face with target over it.

Meanwhile, four more devices were discovered today making total of 14 packages mailed in all. The latest devices were addressed to Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Senator Kamala Harris of California. Former director of national intelligence, James Clapper and Democratic fund-raiser Tom Steyer.

Prior to the arrest President Trump weighed on the bomb scare via twitter at 3:00 in the morning. Later he re-tweeted, Republicans are doing so well in early voting and at the polls and now this bomb stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows. News not taking politics. Not talking politics. Very unfortunate. What is going on? Republicans go out and vote.

But Trump put the word bomb in quotation marks which might have been a nod to some of his supporters who have argued the bomb scare was a hoax.

FBI director Christopher Wray addressed that allegation directly today. Let`s watch him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: We can confirm that 13 IEDs were sent to various individuals across the country. Though we are still analyzing the devices in our laboratory, these are not hoax devices.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: On his way to a campaign event today, President Trump again said he lamented the coverage of the bombs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. I don`t think so. I think that we are running a great campaign. People love what we are doing. They love what we are saying. The Republicans had tremendous momentum and then of course this happened where all that you people talk about was that and rightfully so. It was a big thing. Rightfully so. But now we have to start the momentum again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: There`s also asked the President if he had reached out to President Obama or any of the other targets of the bombs. Listen to what he had to say on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If they wanted me to but I think we will probably pass.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by Nevada Democratic senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, she`s with me. Glenn Kirschner, former federal prosecutor, and Nick Rasmussen, NBC News national security and intelligence analyst, and also a former director of the national counterterrorism center.

Senator, thank you.

What do you make of this? Take a shot at this -- the president calls it this bomb stuff and says basically it`s interfering with his campaign message.

SEN. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO (D), NEVADA: Well, first of all, it`s outrageous. Let me just say this, you know, as attorney general here, the great state that you are in right now, I work with the FBI. I work with local law enforcement and state and federal law enforcement. They did an incredible job. Postal workers have done an incredible job to protect this country and do it every single day.

So, I want to make sure we do a shout-out to them and thank them for everything they have done. And this just shows you words matter. The political rhetoric in this country has gotten out of hand and words matter and it starts with the person who is sitting in the White House right now. We need to tone it down and we need to work together. It is not okay and I condemn that we take any kind of action and harm others because we disagree with them. That`s outrageous, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Are you surprised the president hasn`t toned it down?

CORTEZ MASTO: Well, you know, I was encouraged when he first came out and he put his statement out, but then I saw the rally. I`m concerned. I think many others are.

It is time for our country to be united. We are being torn apart. We have seen right now that the rhetoric, and the political rhetoric in this country needs to be condemned by every one. And I go back to what we learned when we were younger. Words matter and our kids are watching. And people are paying attention to what is happening in this country right now.

MATTHEWS: Glenn Kirschner, start on the way you look at this race. I`ve always been impressed by FBI in cases like bank robberies, anything that involves a national hunt. They seem to really been on the job in finding this guy.

How did they find him so fast? This guy down in Florida?

GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes, Chris, you know, the FBI, the ATF, the Postal Service police, you know, they really do remarkable work these days in sort of teasing out every bit of evidence from this kind of scenario. And when you have DNA evidence that is likely going to be found on envelopes, it will be found on the seal of the envelope if the bad guy licked the envelope to seal it. They can actually run forensic text on the pre-printed labels of Debbie Wasserman Schultz`s return address, for example. They found, you know, these misspellings that are not a coincidence between what was on the envelopes and what was apparently in the social media of Sayoc.

They really did this at light speed. It certainly helped that Sayoc`s DNA apparently was in a DNA database down in Florida and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is featured prominently in the charging document. So, it was the DNA match, it was a partial fingerprint match and I suspect we have only seen the tip of the iceberg of the evidence that`s going to connect Sayoc to these horrific sort of bombing episodes.

MATTHEWS: Well, two hours before another campaign rally in North Carolina, President Trump was asked if he should tone down his rhetoric. Here is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think I`ve been toned down, you want to know the truth. I could really tone it up, because, as you know, the media has been extremely unfair to me and the Republican Party. I think the media has been very, very unfair in terms of the Republican Party and the way it`s been covered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Nick, let`s get back to the reality. The president is not talking reality there, I don`t think, because everybody knows his rhetoric is in sync with everything plastered on the van of that suspect. But why do you think that suspect performed -- I mean, he`s driving around in a van advertising his extreme politics, with all the targets that the bombs were set for on the side of his truck. It wasn`t like he was hiding. What do you make of a character like this?

NICHOLAS RASMUSSEN, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: Well, I think, Chris, one of the takeaways from the Justice Department press conference early today when Chris Wray, the FBI director, was speaking is that we are still very much in the early stages of an investigation. And there`s still a lot to be learned about this individual Cesar Sayoc`s mindset, what exactly was motivating him, whether there was any collaboration or cooperation or enabling performed by other individuals.

So, I think we`ll know more in coming days about what exactly this individual was thinking, intending or trying to do. But, obviously, as you point out this person was advertising what their political views were and certainly in the current toxic political climate that we`re living in, it`s not a stretch for an individual to take the heated political rhetoric and turn it into something that may lead to violence. And I think that`s what we`ve seen here.

MATTHEWS: Let`s get back to the president. I`ve been through a lot in this life. When Kennedy was killed, when Jack was killed, when Bobby was killed, when Dr. King was killed, there was a national silence like there was after 9/11. People pulled back and they just felt the need for some kind of reverence for the lesson we learn. You can`t go too far in your politics.

I don`t see the president pulling back.

CORTEZ MASTO: No, not at all. And I think you`re absolutely right. It is okay to disagree with somebody. That doesn`t mean that turns into some sort of political discourse that should tear this country apart or engage somebody to go out and harm someone.

You know, our tradition has been political discourse or we debate it, right? We disagree with somebody. We debate it or we go to the ballot box and we vote them out of office or we vote them into office.

But at the end of the day, it is toning down that political rhetoric. And, yes, we can disagree but that doesn`t mean we dislike or want to harm one another.

MATTHEWS: The president knows how to turn the heat. He`s turned it on this so called caravan, he calls it, these migrants coming up from Central America. They`re not the usual person coming up from Mexico, for example, out of economic need. These people have political cases.

What do you make of his constant focus on it? He believes it`s his baby politically.

CORTEZ MASTO: Well, and you just said, because it`s his dog whistle to his base, it`s to try to motivate his base to come out to vote. But you talk about it, these people are leaving their country, their home because of poverty or crime or gangs, and they`re making a decision to trek miles upon miles.

These are mothers. They are children. And they are coming here because for a better life. So, that`s, to me, that`s where this starts.

And then we have in this country, laws to decide whether or not they can stay here or whether or not they should be deported at the end of the day, but we have asylum laws that I should respect and we should all be respecting. But these aren`t terrorists. These aren`t people coming to this country to harm anyone.

MATTHEWS: I think they are like my grandparents who came here for the same exact reason, economic opportunity.

CORTEZ MASTO: I came from Mexico --

MATTHEWS: And a society that`s more democratic than where they`re coming from.

CORTEZ MASTO: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, former President Barack Obama, target of one of the bombs as we all know, was in Wisconsin today for campaign event. He took a veiled shot at Republicans for their newfound interest in civility. Let`s listen to the former president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: I`m hoping you think it`s wrong to hear people spend years, months, vilifying people, questioning their patriotism, calling them enemies of the people and then suddenly, you`re concerned about civility. Please. By the way, please? And by the way, we don`t need more mealy mouth elected officials who claimed they`re disappointed by this bad behavior, but then don`t do anything about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, his vice president, Joe Biden, also, has been a target and this bombing stuff as the president calls it. Here is what Joe Biden said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I hope and pray that our leaders are going to work to lower the temperature.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Let me go back to Glenn and then I want to go to Nick.

You`re the experts. What role can you objectively say public discourse plays in arousing people who may have mental problems, they may have whatever psychological conditions that takes their politics into a violent area? Your thought, first, Glenn?

KIRSCHNER: You know, Chris, one of the most difficult things for prosecutors to prove in a criminal case is motive because motive actually requires that we look into the mind of perpetrator to try to determine what is it that motivated him to commit a crime. I have to tell you, in this case, the motive screams from the stickers that are on this man`s van that he is a political ideological extremist and you just have to look at the pictures of targets over the face of Hillary Clinton, for example.

And I think it`s -- anybody would be hard pressed to suggest that the rhetoric coming from the president that incites people to violence whether it`s urging him to punch a protester and he`ll pay the legal fees of the offender or conjuring up the Second Amendment and what might be done to Hillary Clinton if things don`t fall his way. I don`t know how anybody can say that that kind of overheated rhetoric doesn`t incite and inspire what we just saw Sayoc do here.

MATTHEWS: Senator, one thing strikes me, you live in a political world. You`re an elected official from Nevada. I talk and think about it all the time. This person, this suspect, based upon the names on his target list, based on the faces that he`s targeted on his van was up to the minute on politics.

He knows that Tom Steyer has been involved. He knows it`s Soros. He knows the most sophisticated stuff. He knows Kamala may run for president, your colleague, Kamala Harris.

CORTEZ MASTO: Yes.

MATTHEWS: He knows Cory Booker may run for president. They`re the ones who were most vocal in the Kavanaugh hearings. He watches cable or something every minute of his life. He knows the whole shebang. I don`t think you can deny that he`s politically inspired in what he did.

What do you make of it?

CORTEZ MASTO: Well, I think you`re right. And just look at the targets from my perspective, and I think from everybody else. The concern is those people that he targeted are the very people that have stood up to this administration and called this administration out, rightfully so, when they needed to. And I think that`s the challenge we have now.

And I`ve seen it in Washington. I`ve been there two years now. It is time for us to start coming together to work together to solve the problems for this country. Not to attack one another. If we disagree, it doesn`t mean I dislike you or I want you to be harmed or I`m going to call you a name or bully you. That`s got to stop.

I think that`s the discourse that I see in Washington right now. That`s what everybody is seeing. That`s why when I come home to my state, people are frustrated about what is going on there. It`s time to work together and it`s time to solve the problems and still be respectful with one another.

MATTHEWS: It`s an honor to meet you out here. Thank you, to be in your terrain. Everybody here is having a good time.

CORTEZ MASTO: They are. It`s Vegas.

MATTHEWS: It`s a happy city and a state. Thank you, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.

Glenn Kirschner, thank you. Nick, thank you for your expertise as well.

So much more to come on today`s live show here in Las Vegas, Nevada including President Trump lamenting this is what he calls this bomb stuff is getting in the way of his Republican momentum going into the midterms.

And Nevada congresswoman Jackie Rosen joins us live to talk about her senate race here in Nevada.

And this is HARDBALL, where the action is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: A quick programming note right now. I will heading to Texas next week for a HARDBALL college tour with Beto O`Rourke on Tuesday, October 30th. Just one week before the midterm election. I will sit down with the Democratic senate nominee at the Collin performance hall at the University of Houston. Live in 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC. It is going to be a great show with Beto O`Rourke. You don`t want to miss it.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

With 11 days to go until the midterms, President Trump is back on the campaign trail, back in is saddle, if you will, tonight as federal authorities continue to investigate the man charged in connection with mail bombs that were sent to prominent critics of the President.

Well, Trump spoke to reporters before leaving the White House blaming the whole situation with negatively affecting Republicans momentum heading into November. He totally partisan on this. He reiterated his tweet from this morning in the middle of the night that Republicans are doing so well in early voting and at the polls and now this bomb stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows.

News not talking politics. Very unfortunate. What is going on? Republicans, go out and vote.

This is the president of the United States in the middle of the night.

I`m right now, Sahil Kapur, national political reporter for Bloomberg Politics, and David Corn, of course, Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones."

Both of you guys.

Start with you.

The president seems to be unaware he`s head of state, that he`s the head of this government, head of his country, the personification of this country in a way. Like it or not, he is us. And we have a national tragedy of this proportion, which could have horrific, if these bombs had all gone off, one of the blackest days in our history.

And he acts like, ooh, somebody`s got me off course on my message. They`re screwing up my plans.

SAHIL KAPUR, BLOOMBERG: Well, he`s saying, I think, what strategists are privately thinking.

But he is the president of the United States, with the responsibility to lead the nation in this crisis. I think he has a tendency sometimes to talk about his own presidency as if he`s a casual observer, rather than the man at the top making the executive decisions.

He attacks the Justice Department. He attacks the Fed. These are supposed to be independent entities. And he`s expressing his own frustrations, which he has a tendency to do, rather than speaking on behalf of the government.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, doesn`t it screw him up to see the amazingly successful effort by the FBI and the ATF and everybody else to find this bad guy lickety-split?

I found, giving that speech -- I want to go to David on this.

Wasn`t it amazing to see the president reading the teleprompter, talking about how great the FBI is, after months and a couple of years now, practically, of trashing the deep state, the federal government?

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It`s like he`s drinking castor oil.

And I have to say, I mean, Sahil was very polite, but what we have with the president here is a guy who just doesn`t care. He doesn`t care about the rest of the country. He doesn`t care about bringing people together. He cares primarily about himself, and, therefore, he cares about people who support him.

And he will keep doing this thing. He did it this afternoon. He did this morning. He winks at his supporters, the paranoid conspiracy theory -- theory people. He reads a speech. And then he says "bomb" in quotation marks, as he did this morning, because they...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: OK, explain that, David. You know this stuff.

CORN: They then say, we know, when he`s reading a speech, that`s not what he really means. He`s still on our side.

So he`s playing footsie with this stuff through this tragedy.

MATTHEWS: Sahil, as if the bomb stuff is an interruption in the script he had for a reality show. My reality show dictates we talk about the caravan. OK, but that`s his -- that`s his show.

Somebody interrupted that. It`s like this bomb stuff, like somebody walked onto the set and started screwing with the script. It`s not like that`s reality, that the bombs are real. They were triggered to go off by this guy who agrees with his politics. Oh, this is getting in the way of my script.

What is reality to Trump?

KAPUR: Twitter Trump today was different than speech Trump today.

Twitter Trump was, he had "bomb" in scare quotes. He said, what is going on, as David kind of suggested, maybe playing footsie or sending a signal that conspiracy theorists will look at and perceive in their own way, even if he`s not specifically saying it was a false flag.

There will be people who look at tweets like that and think that`s what it is. But, in his speech, he talked about unity, he talked about peace and harmony. There was just a real disconnect there. And you wonder what he is really thinking.

MATTHEWS: Yes, these people that think that we didn`t go to the moon, Neil Armstrong never went, it was in some West Hollywood studio they hooked this thing up, the real nut jobs.

Anyway, a new "USA Today"/Suffolk University poll found that 43 percent of registered voters approve of the president`s job performance, 54 percent disapprove, no surprise. That`s within the zone.

But when you look at the intensity of voters` feelings, it goes against Trump nearly 2-1; 44 percent of all voters say they strongly disapprove of Trump; 24 percent strongly approve.

David, I think that`s fascinating, because strongly means you`re going to show up. Your thoughts?

CORN: Well, it does.

And I think that`s what Republicans are worried about. And I think what this episode shows is that the people who strongly disapprove of Trump do so because of the way he behaves, his divisiveness, his hateful rhetoric.

And this whole week, he -- despite those few speeches he gets -- he reads when he gets it right, he is still out there being Trump and dividing and conquer -- trying to divide and conquer. He will do that before the election occurs.

So I think this event only plays to his worst instincts, not his best, and will only fuel those poll numbers that you just cited.

MATTHEWS: He had a group of young African-Americans today at the White House. And I`m all for that. I`m for any outreach effort by any politician on any circumstance. Don`t just play to your crowd.

But does anybody believe that?

CORN: Well, they brought conservatives.

MATTHEWS: But does anybody believe that is representative?

KAPUR: He`s certainly playing to his crowd.

But, look, Chris, the million-dollar question is that -- those numbers you just cited, those strong disapproval numbers, is that going to translate to votes? Because if it does, Democrats have a shot at winning this state, Nevada, in the Senate race. They have a shot at winning Arizona in the Senate race.

They have to have strong turnout among people who don`t traditionally voted.

MATTHEWS: Well, there he is. Excuse me.

President Trump is speaking right now in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he`s addressing today`s news. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to briefly address the packages and devices that have been mailed to a number of high-profile individuals.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: As you know, the suspect has been captured. Great job.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And is now in federal custody.

These terrorist actions must be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. We all know that.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And I want to applaud the FBI, the Secret Service, and all state, local, federal officials for their incredible work in this investigation.

I mean, they did an incredible job.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: There he is, Sahil, bragging on the federal agencies that he dumps on all the time.

They are real. Like, I worked in Washington. I have worked in white almost a half-century. There are real people that go to work every day who just want to do a good job. They`re not -- there may be a secret lefty out of every 5,000, but they`re all basically public servants. And everybody knows them.

They work at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the FBI. I have a relative from the FBI. Why doesn`t he -- why does he keep dumping on people that are doing their job actually better than most people in the country do? They really do perform.

KAPUR: He has a -- he has a long tendency, as we said, to attack these institutions, to attack parts of his government.

MATTHEWS: Why?

KAPUR: I think that`s -- I think that`s just his way of doing things. I think that`s just who he is.

He doesn`t see himself primarily as someone who is overseeing this entire government. If he`s -- if he thinks something about it, he will just say it.

MATTHEWS: David, somebody once said people don`t do their best work when they`re being peed on.

This guy does that to public employees all the time. All he does is dump on federal employees, FBI, everybody as if they`re the enemy of the people, like us.

Why does he do it?

CORN: Well, sees them as the enemy of Trump, the enemy of oversight.

I mean, that`s what he doesn`t like. He doesn`t like this accountability or oversight. He doesn`t want to be questioned. He does believe that his election was tainted by Russian intervention. He doesn`t want a clear accounting of that.

And so it`s not about what they do. It`s about what they mean to him. And they are potential enemies.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know.

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: And that`s why he dumps on them. And that`s why he doesn`t take responsibility for his own rhetoric. He still hasn`t said that he has done anything wrong in this regard or ever.

MATTHEWS: Well, I have no reason to believe that the FBI is a left-wing outfit. It never seemed that way to me.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, Sahil Kapur. And thank you, David Corn.

Up next: With 11 days to go, as I said, until the midterms, we`re going to talk about the hot race, really the crucial race out here in Nevada for the U.S. Senate. It`s number one on the list of the HARDBALL 10.

And this is HARDBALL. That`s why we`re here.

By the way, we`re at Beer Park in Las Vegas.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Eleven days to go until the midterms, and one of the most competitive races in the country is for the Senate out here, the U.S. Senate in Nevada.

Republican Dean Heller is defending his seat against first-term U.S. Congresswoman Jacky Rosen in a state Hillary Clinton won by two points in 2016. If Democrats hope to win back the Senate, they got to win here.

And joining me right now is the Democratic Senate candidate, U.S. Congresswoman Jacky Rosen.

Here we are.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS: I always say to my wife, who never did this, you can always tell the person who`s waited tables, as opposed to who hasn`t.

Being a waitperson, a waitress, a waiter, you learn about human nature. You were a waitress at Caesars Palace. What did you learn about people being a waitress?

REP. JACKY ROSEN (D), NEVADA: Well, I will tell, you really learn how to listen, and you learn how to make sure that they have the best experience.

So, in the same way that you do with politics, you meet people where they are. And you try to make sure that they enjoy what they`re doing.

MATTHEWS: So, you look forward to the job of a United States senator, where every time somebody calls you up, the local -- any mayor, any chief engineer, says, Senator, we need to get some work on this, I`m coming to Washington, I will spend the whole week with you, we will have dinner, we`re going to able to work together, and you`re up for that kind of job?

ROSEN: Absolutely.

You know what? The best way to start is having a meal, absolutely. That`s...

MATTHEWS: OK.

Let me ask you about this preexisting condition. I`m diabetic. I care about this stuff. And here`s the question.

The Republicans say they got a preexisting condition provision. They don`t even have a bill. They don`t even have a program. How can they have a preexisting -- there`s no Republican health care plan. What -- how do they get away with this?

ROSEN: There`s absolutely no plan.

And Senator Heller, who is my opponent, he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, slashing protections for preexisting conditions, put his name on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill. And now he`s signed up for these junk plans, which say maybe you can go to the doctor, but they can tell you what`s wrong with you, but you`re not going to be covered for your lifesaving treatment or your medication.

They have shown these plans to be junk, to be a sham, and they`re pressing forward on it anyway.

MATTHEWS: Speaking of safety, on this Strip, a year ago, 50 people were killed, 500 were injured by a guy using -- up in one of these high windows here from a hotel, shooting down with a bump stock.

Where is -- where are you and your opponent on gun safety?

ROSEN: Well, I can tell you, we couldn`t be further apart, because everyone here in Las Vegas, throughout the state of Nevada, understands fully that you can protect your Second Amendment rights and have commonsense gun safety.

There were 20,000 -- over 20,000 people out there on a warm summer -- look how beautiful -- warm summer night...

MATTHEWS: I love it here.

ROSEN: ... just like this, at a concert, innocent, somebody up there with a bump stock that should be illegal shooting at them like they`re just fish in a barrel.

That should never happen. And people really understand that we can protect your Second Amendment rights and protect public health and safety.

MATTHEWS: President Trump is putting all his marbles in this election against you and everybody who is a Democrat on the argument that he`s going to put the Army down there on the border. He`s going to seal off the border with the Army.

Now, everybody knows the Army can`t do anything like that. They don`t have the legitimacy to shoot some -- and, by the way, his -- one of his agency people said, well, we won`t shoot them right now.

What do you make of this sort of militarization of our border situation?

ROSEN: Because President Trump, if he were a real leader, and if Dean Heller were able to stand up to him, what he would want to do is bring people to the table to have comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform, one that uses smart security to protect our borders.

We don`t want criminals coming here. We don`t want drug traffickers, human trafficking. But we need to have an immigration policy that protects our dreamers, allows people to come here and work, and has a pathway to citizenship.

If he were a real leader, that`s what he would be doing.

MATTHEWS: What do you make of -- well, here`s your shot. What do you make of our Heller as a senator?

If we get six more years of him here, what will it be?

ROSEN: Disappointment, absolutely.

I will tell you, as I travel around the state, the number one thing I hear about Dean Heller is: disappointing. He`s been in public life. He is a career politician. He`s been here 30 years in public life. And he was 99 percent against Trump. Now he`s 110 percent for Trump.

He thinks his entire job is praising and pleasing the president, voting 96 percent of the time with him. So people who know him in Nevada, they feel disappointed by his lack of leadership, his lack of independence for the Battle Born State. It`s Nevada -- you`re here on Nevada Day.

And we want people to stand up.

MATTHEWS: Speaking of Nevada...

ROSEN: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: ... let`s -- my friends and I are always using "Godfather" language, because there`s always a line in "The Godfather."

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: And one of them is about Fredo. He`s weak. He`s my brother, but he`s weak.

Is Heller weak?

ROSEN: Heller is absolutely weak, because he won`t stand up for himself.

Who he was...

MATTHEWS: I thought he hated Trump.

ROSEN: Well, that`s what he used to say. It`s not what he says now.

Last week, when we started early voting, he had a rally with President Trump and said, of course, President Trump, everything you touch turns to gold.

He thinks his entire job is pleasing the president, so he won`t get his ire.

MATTHEWS: What is it about Vegas where any Republican who has a problem with Trump comes out here, and then they bow down and genuflect to him?

You remember Mitt Romney? He was out of here bowing and scraping to the guy. And now you got Heller doing the same.

Is it -- is it the casino business? What is it in the water that makes people so pathetic?

ROSEN: You know, I`m not sure if it`s Las Vegas.

But I can tell you this. It is absolutely fear. The fear of losing their seat is greater than their desire to do the right thing.

MATTHEWS: Speaking of which, you have got the guts to come out and run for the United States Senate when you have a safe House seat.

ROSEN: Well, I don`t have a safe House seat. I have a 50/50 district.

MATTHEWS: Well, you gave it up.

ROSEN: So, it`s always a fight.

MATTHEWS: Why do you give up a House to get a Senate seat, when it`s always a bigger risk?

ROSEN: Because you know what? The dignity and decency of our democracy is at stake.

And, as I go around the state, and I realize, as I listened to story after story from women in the MeToo movement, from our LGBTQ community, from people with children with preexisting conditions or themselves with preexisting conditions, as I hear those stories, I know every single day who I`m fighting for and what I`m fighting for.

And as they tell me those stories, they say, don`t forget us.

MATTHEWS: Congresswoman Jacky Rosen.

ROSEN: Thank you.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS: Thank you so much.

Up next: harnessing the power of the Latino vote here in Nevada. What`s working to turn out voters?

You`re watching HARDBALL.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

For the Democrats to have a big chance of taking back the Senate, they have got a win here in Nevada.

The race is between Congresswoman Jacky Rosen -- you just heard her here, who I just spoke to -- and the Republican incumbent, Dean Heller.

It`s a race that The Cook Political Report has labeled a tossup, a real one.

Let`s bring in tonight`s HARDBALL Roundtable.

Yvonne Gonzalez is state politics reporter for "The Las Vegas Sun." I love newspaper people. Jon Ralston is the editor "The Nevada Independent." Jonathan Capehart is an opinion writer for the great "Washington Post" back in D.C. And Michael Steel is the former spokesman for the Republican speaker of late, John Boehner.

Thank you.

Let me start with the Nevada issue with Yvonne.

How is the -- I have been lucky at the numbers. The Hispanic vote is pretty strong for a Republican out, by national standards, at 38 percent. How do you see that?

YVONNE GONZALEZ, "THE LAS VEGAS SUN": Well, I think it will be interesting.

I think that the president of the Hispanics in Politics group out here, which has been active for a while, pointed out that a lot of their membership -- or some of their membership is starting to shift from what was a 15 percent conservative bent toward more of a 20 percent conservative bent, and more than that.

And, obviously, Nevada has some notable Republican Hispanics, Governor Brian Sandoval being one of the -- one of the biggest ones. So it`s not...

MATTHEWS: Mostly here, their legacy is Mexican-American?

GONZALEZ: It`s actually -- the Basque culture. It is Spanish sheep herding. And, actually, Brian Sandoval kind of has some roots in that.

And so -- but you have a lot of Cuban Americans here as well. And Cuban Americans tend to trend conservative.

MATTHEWS: Republican.

GONZALEZ: Republican, because of their experience in the culinary industry. They have had more access to some of those higher-paying gaming jobs like they had in Cuba.

MATTHEWS: How many people of Latino heritage go all the way back before the Mexican Cession? They go all the way back to the Spanish days?

GONZALEZ: I mean, it`s a deep...

MATTHEWS: I`m just curious. I`m so curious about that.

GONZALEZ: It`s a deep history here in Nevada, obviously. The history of the territory was fraught. There were a lot of different people trying to gain access to Nevada.

So it`s a long history. And the Hispanic history is a long one here as well. Harnessing that growth in population from about 2 percent in the `80s has been a challenge.

MATTHEWS: Tell me about this race. Let`s give it the tout.

JON RALSTON, "THE NEVADA INDEPENDENT": It`s as close as any Senate race I have covered, Chris. It`s going to be closer probably than the Harry Reid- Sharron Angle race, which everyone was going to be close.

We go far back enough. Remember when Harry Reid ran against John Ensign, only won by about 400 votes? All the data out there shows that it`s close.

And the vote that you`re talking about, the Hispanic vote, it`s going to be very, very important. Heller has showed up at like 38 percent in some of these polls. I don`t believe it for a second.

You had Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate, on. She ran against Joe Heck, who was a congressman at the time, too. Heck did very well in his congressional district with Hispanics, but then it completely dropped off when he ran against Catherine Cortez Masto.

That was a presidential cycle, though, Chris. This is a midterm. The Democrats are very, very worried about Latino turnout in a midterm.

MATTHEWS: Well, at a rally in North Carolina tonight, President Trump once again called for an end to political violence and singled out, of course, the media. Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Political violence must never, ever be allowed in America. And I will do everything in my power to stop it.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: In recent days, we have had a broader conversation about the tone and civility of our national dialogue.

Everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We must unify as a nation in peace, love, and in harmony.

The media has a major role to play, whether they want to or not.

(BOOING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Jonathan, he can`t resist the effort to what turn to the audience in front of him against the people covering the event.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, "THE WASHINGTON POST": No, he can`t.

And sort of the hypocrisy level is through the roof. The idea that this president of the United States is calling -- saying -- calling for civility and talking about how the national political discourse has gotten too mean, this is the same person who stands at rallies and calls Congresswoman Maxine Waters low I.Q., or who, at the very mention of Hillary Clinton`s name, the chant "Lock her up" erupts, and he doesn`t stop them.

Or, more recently, during the Kavanaugh hearings, when he mentioned Senator Dianne Feinstein`s name, "Lock her up" was chanted.

So if the president truly does believe that the national political discourse has gotten too coarse and needs to -- and needs to be tamped down, he should look in the mirror and start with himself.

We used to look at presidents of the United States as moral exemplars, and he doesn`t quite seem to get that or doesn`t understand that or doesn`t care that that is his role as president of the United States.

MATTHEWS: Michael, your thoughts on this? MICHAEL STEEL, FORMER JEB BUSH CAMPAIGN ADVISER: I think what we look -- what is so disappointing here is, we look to the president in these times of national crisis for three things.

We look for strength, for empathy, for consistency. And while there are times that the president will read the right words off the teleprompter that show strength and empathy, he lacks the consistency. He doesn`t stick with it.

And that`s especially terrifying because this was in some ways a near-miss. There will be a time where he has to bring the country together, God forbid, when the bombs actually go off, when we`re dealing with a national crisis that requires presidential leadership.

And this is not the way to prepare for that.

MATTHEWS: Well, Trump did back off in blaming the media for creating divisions -- he did not back off, rather.

Let`s listen the president in Charlotte again tonight down in North Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We all say this in all sincerity, but the media`s constant unfair coverage, deep hostility...

(BOOING)

TRUMP: ... and negative attacks -- you know that -- only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: For example, we have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the sinister actions of one individual to score political points against me and the Republican Party.

(BOOING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Jon, if you want a rebuttal of what the president said, just look at the side of that van, with all the political messages on it, with a bullseye around Hillary Clinton, about Michael Moore.

All the people on center-left politics in this country, he has singled them out. It`s off the Trump playlist.

CAPEHART: Yes.

Look, the idea that the president is trying to, like, absolve himself of any role in this -- no one is saying that he mailed the pipe bombs. But that man clearly was inspired by the president and his rhetoric. And the president can`t -- just cannot get away -- get away from that.

Look, a normal president, to Michael`s point, would have picked up the phone and called every single one of those people who had been targeted for assassination and told them that -- ask them, what do you need? Are you OK? The federal government is here to -- is there for you.

None of those calls were made. And a source tells me -- everyone`s been focused on the fact that he hasn`t called neither -- he`s called neither President Clinton, nor President Obama. Sources tell me that no one has even called former Attorney General Eric Holder.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know, Jon, that`s a great point, Jon Ralston.

He was asked whether he was -- he thought he should make a call to these victims, if you will. And he enjoyed saying, no, I will let that go. Either.

He wanted to -- he wanted to show his attitude.

RALSTON: Well, we probably could do that, but I think we will pass.

He said something...

MATTHEWS: I will pass, yes.

RALSTON: Yes, I think I will pass.

But the thing about Trump, Chris, is that there was dysfunction, there was nastiness in Congress before Trump came along. You can imagine him looking at this before he ran and said, I can do it better than those guys can. I can be a bigger jerk than they are. Watch me do it.

And that`s how he behaves.

And for this guy to be supposedly the great uniter during times of this, Lyin` Ted, Lil` Marco, and all the -- the politics of personal destruction.

MATTHEWS: The low I.Q.

RALSTON: Yes, low I.Q. Maxine Waters. It`s nonsense.

MATTHEWS: Let`s get an African-American woman and attack her brains.

I mean, this guy knows exactly the nerve center that drives this country to the hell we have been through for 200 or 300 years.

Your thoughts? Are the voters going to vote for or against Trump? Is that the battle?

GONZALEZ: I think it`ll come down to turnout.

I think what`s interesting is that, like, Senator Lindsey Graham was here, and he made a comment offhand just that he hopes that the Kavanaugh opposition blows up in Democrats` faces.

And it was just a poor choice of words. And he clarified later that meant politically and this and that.

But you have to wonder, are voters hearing terms like this and finally saying, you know what, this is actually manifesting itself into something, and maybe we want to vote against the administration that is pushing that forward?

MATTHEWS: Thank you so much.

Thank you, Jonathan Capehart back East. Thank you, Michael Steel.

HARDBALL back in a minute, live from Beer Park in Las Vegas.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Coming up, my Nevada guests sitting right here are going to Tell Me Something I Don`t Know.

You`re watching HARDBALL, live from Las Vegas, on the Strip.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL Roundtable.

Yvonne, Tell Me Something I Don`t Know.

GONZALEZ: Well, one sports betting Web site says that about $650,000 has been bet on the midterms so far.

And I guess betters are waging on Heller to narrowly keep his seat over Rosen. And that`s in line with a "New York Times" poll that recently came out. So, if the bets are right, then Heller wins.

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

Jon.

RALSTON: Fifty years ago, Chris, when you were in a different life and I was just a child, Paul Laxalt was the governor of Nevada.

Fifty years later, his grandson, Adam Laxalt, is on the cusp of becoming governor. Doesn`t talk much to the media, avoided debates, and he has a very good chance to win that race.

MATTHEWS: Magic name.

Thank you, Yvonne Gonzalez and Jon Ralston.

You`re watching HARDBALL.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Trump Watch, Friday, October 26, 2018.

I wonder what the president really thinks of the guy suspected of sending those bombs.

In today`s "USA Today," which went to press before the bomb suspect was arrested, there was a poll showing the portion of American voters who strongly approve of this president.

It appears that the bomb suspect, based on his alleged targets, all Trump predicts, lies in the strongly approve category. So, what does the president think of this guy? Because if you watch Trump at his rallies, he seems to light up at the displays of the truly gung-ho Trumpites and the chants of "Lock her up."

So, again, what does Donald Trump think about the man arrested today for terrorizing the same list of enemies that come nastily dripping from his own lips?

That`s HARDBALL for now.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END

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