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updated 5/25/2011 1:31:56 PM ET 2011-05-25T17:31:56

Guests: Howard Fineman, Susan Page, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Ron Reagan, Rev. Al Sharpton

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Dying for Jeb.

Let‘s play HARDBALL.

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews in Washington.  Leading off tonight:

Burning for Bush.  The Republican Party is dying with unfulfillment.  Rich Lowry of “The National Review” just wrote, quote, “With Governor Daniels deciding over the weekend not to run, it is slowly dawning on the Republican mind that the party‘s choice may effectively come down to Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty.  That prospect produces a range of emotions from disappointment to panic.”

Mitt Romney‘s got money, poll numbers, presidential looks.  What he ain‘t got are people excited about him being president.  So tonight, we go with the big “Why.”  Why didn‘t John McCain put him on the ticket last time?  Why does Mike Huckabee say Romney‘s got no soul.  Why the big push now for Jeb Bush?

Plus: Is tonight the first election result of 2012?  If Republicans lose tonight‘s congressional race in western New York, are they heading downward?  Could the Republican plan to destroy Medicare now be proven to be the sword of Damocles?  If the D‘s can make it up there in western New York, they think they can make it just about anywhere in 2012.

Plus: Why is Professor Cornel West of Princeton saying such nasty things about President Obama?  We‘ll get into that fight and cover it well.

And talk about an ad that‘s over the edge, literally.  A liberal group has produced—catch—oh, there you see it—not holding back on that one!  They‘re throwing grandma—that‘s Paul Ryan—I think it‘s supposed to be Paul Ryan pushing that wheelchair with grandma right over the edge.  That‘s in the “Sideshow.”  We‘ll show you the full ad.

Finally, “Let Me Finish” with the reason Republicans are dying to get another Bush to run.

We start with the 2012 Republican field and Jeb Bush.  There we have

it.  Howard Fineman‘s an MSNBC political analyst and The Huffington Post

Media Group—he‘s head of the whole thing, he‘s the media director—and

certainly on politics—and Susan Page is Washington bureau chief for “USA Today.”  Thank you—two pros.

And here we are talking about another pro, a family that can‘t give enough to the country.  Why—why—well, let‘s take a look.

Ed Gillespie is out there trying to make the case in Politico today that “It‘s possible someone may get in this later,” he says, “but Republican activists, officials and donors”—for whom he speaks—“are going to begin picking a horse from the current field,” he says.  Quote, “We have a field that will produce a nominee capable of beating Obama next November.”

Now, that‘s a weak endorsement!

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  We are going to come up with somebody in this field of Pawlenty or Romney.  But generally, is there fulfillment in knowing that going up against President Obama coming for a second term, with the economy getting moderately better, with him having caught bin Laden, with a clean record so far—can they beat him with one of these two horses?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Do they really believe that?

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  You neglected his Irish roots, which is...

MATTHEWS:  It‘s certainly an extra for me, but...

FINEMAN:  Yes, I mean, their—the sense is pervasive—outside of the camps of the candidates that are in the race, OK?  Now, if you talk to Romney people or Pawlenty people or Huntsman people or even Newt Gingrich...

MATTHEWS:  The very thought of Pawlenty people excites me!

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  I hear the hoofbeats!

FINEMAN:  ... even the Newt Gingrich people, and there are...

MATTHEWS:  There are none!

FINEMAN:  Yes, there...

MATTHEWS:  There are none.

FINEMAN:  Oh, they work for him.

MATTHEWS:  Have you met one?

FINEMAN:  Yes.  I talked to one of them...

MATTHEWS:  An unpaid supporter?

FINEMAN:  An unpaid—as I said, they work for him.

MATTHEWS:  OK!

FINEMAN:  Anyway, no.  The rest of the country, among Republicans, they‘re saying, You got to be kidding me.  This is the 3.2 beer of American politics.  It‘s...

MATTHEWS:  That‘s a good line!

FINEMAN:  Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

FINEMAN:  It‘s weak stuff.

MATTHEWS:  Yes, it‘s...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  We got weak beer.  Does that mean—do you agree with that, first of all?  As a straight reporter for the front page of “USA Today,” which we read—in every hotel I‘ve ever stayed at, it‘s sitting at my door!

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Do you think that this is true, that there just—this is just like Mikey doesn‘t like it, the kid with the cereal, he doesn‘t like it?

SUSAN PAGE, “USA TODAY”:  I think it‘s early and I think the field...

MATTHEWS:  By what standard?

PAGE:  The field often looks weak until it starts and somebody starts to win, and then they start to look a little better.  I mean, I agree Romney is the frontrunner, but he‘s a vulnerable frontrunner.  And Pawlenty problem maybe catching fire so far.  And Governor Huntsman, people don‘t know him yet.  Maybe he‘ll turn out to be a strong contender.  I just think it‘s a little...

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE:  Tell me where the economy is because...

MATTHEWS:  OK, I agree with that!

PAGE:  ... how vulnerable...

MATTHEWS:  Do the Republican experts, the boys‘ club, whatever you want to call it, the governor types, when they sit around their—they‘re smoking their pipes, whatever people do these days—are they happy with this list of candidates they got?

PAGE:  No.  Clearly not.  And clearly, the Bush family in itself, been such power in American politics, is clearly scouting around, trying to get (INAUDIBLE)

FINEMAN:  Also—there‘s also not been—at least on the Republican side, there hasn‘t been the start of a race where the frontrunner has the kind of low numbers that Mitt Romney does.

MATTHEWS:  Oh, yes.

PAGE:  You know, that‘s...

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE:  The frontrunner last time was Giuliani, who didn‘t get the nomination...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  By the way, he‘s got his nose back in this race.

PAGE:  He does.

MATTHEWS:  He‘s playing in the tent here.

Let‘s take a look at the post-Daniels—this is Sunday talk show talk.  We showed a bit of this yesterday.  This is basically the kind of buzz that‘s going on right now in the Republican Party we‘ve been trying to describe right now.  Let‘s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is going to be pushed to reconsider this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And I think there‘s only one last Hamlet question, which is Chris Christie of New Jersey, who‘s a big Republican star.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But I think this is going to open up it up for Chris Christie of New Jersey.  This is going to open it up for Paul Ryan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I was just saying this morning maybe it‘s time it start drafting Paul Ryan.

REP. PAUL RYAN ® WISCONSIN:  I‘m not going to get into all those hypotheticals.  I am not running for president.  I‘m not planning on running for president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I actually think that Governor Perry in Texas is probably going to reconsider.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And then the third person I would say you have to think about now is Jeb Bush.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Well, CNN‘s got a new poll of New Hampshire Republicans, and Romney does lead up there, but that‘s his home ground up there.  He‘s got 33 up there against a weak field.  Thirteen percent up there have no opinion, 7 say anybody else or someone else.  So that‘s a combined 20 percent who don‘t like any of the names on that list.

I‘m seeing this, by the way—look at these.  All—everybody else is single digits.  Howard, I‘m looking at more and more polls where the numbers of supporting people—percentages don‘t add up to more than, like, 60 percent.

FINEMAN:  Everybody else...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... blocks of people that don‘t like anybody.  And my question is, has it got to the point where they‘re already looking past people like Governor Christie?  They see his declining poll numbers in New Jersey, and they say, wait a minute.  In other words, they‘re looking into the—they‘re looking for mirages, past mirages to other mirages.

FINEMAN:  Well, I like that Matthew Dowd (ph), who‘s—who worked for George Bush, said he actually thinks that Rick Perry may get in the race.

MATTHEWS:  Right.

FINEMAN:  So he‘s willing himself into thinking it...

MATTHEWS:  He‘s the guy...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  He‘s the guy that wears that very fancy blazer all the time.

FINEMAN:  No, no.  That‘s a different—that‘s a different guy.

MATTHEWS:  I‘m talking about Rick Perry, by the way.

FINEMAN:  Oh, Rick Perry, yes.  Yes.  So—but I—but I agree with Susan to the extent that, number one, I think this is basically the field.  I agree with that.  I don‘t want to undermine the premise here...

MATTHEWS:  Remember the Israeli worm they did to destroy the reactor over in Iran...

FINEMAN:  That‘s how you‘re thinking of me right now?

MATTHEWS:  No, I‘m thinking that‘s what the Democrats have dome. 

Somewhere in the brilliant mind of the Obama crowd...

FINEMAN:  This is the field.

MATTHEWS:  ... they‘ve invented some sort of monkey—some sort of monkeywrench...

FINEMAN:  This is the field except for...

(CROSSTALK)

FINEMAN:  Except for Michele Bachmann, this probably is the field.  Now, between Pawlenty and Huntsman and Romney, that‘s three guys who, you know, you could make the mistake...

MATTHEWS:  OK, let‘s talk about...

FINEMAN:  ... one for the other...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s talk about the man who runs the other major network we often compete with and fought around the world.  Let‘s take a look. 

Chris Christie—“New York” magazine reports a few months ago, Roger Ailes

called the governor of New Jersey up and encouraged him to run, get in this

race.  Last summer, in fact, he invited up to his—dinner at his upstate

Roger has a compound?  I got to get invited up there—along with Rush Limbaugh.  Now, there is a mighty meeting!  And like much of the GOP establishment, he fell hard—that‘s Roger Ailes for Christie—who nevertheless politely turned down Ailes‘s calls to run.

Now, Susan, a major media baron, I guess we have to call him, Roger Ailes, saying, You ought to run—I don‘t know what Murdoch, what his thinking is on this.  But is that at all significant?

PAGE:  You know, I think you hear Republicans talking about what a great field they‘re going to have in 2016 when Christie has been governor for a while—you know, he‘s only been governor for a year—and when you‘ve got Marco Rubio running and maybe Jeb Bush looks more (INAUDIBLE) at it.  So that‘s...

MATTHEWS:  Bobby Jindal!

PAGE:  That is maybe not the best...

MATTHEWS:  Nikki Haley!

PAGE:  Maybe that‘s not the best thing for the GOP to be talking about

Just give us six years...

(CROSSTALK)

FINEMAN:  ... like the general manager of a basketball team talking about who they‘re going to draft...

MATTHEWS:  OK, before we talk...

FINEMAN:  ... next year.

MATTHEWS:  Before we talk about how popular these guys are all going to be—because there is a theory in life that the longer you‘re in politics, the less popular you are.  Here‘s Governor Christie experiencing that phenomenon.  The latest poll of New Jersey voters, the latest numbers show he‘s 40 percent favorable, but 45 percent unfavorable.  So your theory that you advance that he might be more popular in four years...

PAGE:  Yes, he might be.  Or well, except he‘s—obviously, he‘s has done some big things that have angered some New Jersey voters, including a lot of Democrats and union members, who probably wouldn‘t be for him, but it‘s built up his credentials in the Republican Party, and that‘s one reason people are talking about him now.

FINEMAN:  He was in a tough situation because if he—he‘d only recently been elected governor.  He really hadn‘t done anything.  If he immediately turned around and started running for president, he would have been open to attack for doing it.  But now he‘s going to serve a whole term as governor and he‘s going to be damaged goods by the time he gets around to running, if the economy doesn‘t turn around...

MATTHEWS:  You know...

FINEMAN:  ... and if he doesn‘t achieve what he‘s trying to achieve in New Jersey.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Let‘s go to the real kernel reality here.  The reason Republicans are not satisfied with the field they have right now is that it‘s being led by somebody who doesn‘t satisfy them.  There‘s something wrong with Mitt Romney.  When you show a picture of the guy, he has that old-time traditional look of a president.  Thank God we‘re widening our notion of what a president ought to look like with this current president and building a much broader idea.

But traditionally, he could be the perfectly turned-out Ivy League prep school guy who‘s got the perfect elocution and everything.  He‘s always well mannered.  He‘s probably never had a hangover.  He‘s probably never broken the law.  And he‘s very good at business, people tell us.

But he ain‘t doing it.  The people see him, they meet him, they hear his speeches, they‘re not excited by his chances.

FINEMAN:  Well...

MATTHEWS:  They don‘t like him.

FINEMAN:  Both of us have covered him, and I know him pretty well, as I‘m sure Susan does.  The people who used to work with him at Bain Capital, regardless of the deals Bain Capital did—that‘s a whole other question.  But the people who worked with him in the office thought he was a swell guy.  Same with the Olympic Committee.  But he just has a hard time connecting on the campaign trail, even leaving aside...

MATTHEWS:  But that‘s the business he‘s chosen!

FINEMAN:  OK.  Even leaving aside the questions about how he was pro-choice once upon a time...

MATTHEWS:  Right.  OK.

FINEMAN:  ... and the fact that...

MATTHEWS:  Well, look...

FINEMAN:  ... “Romney care” in Massachusetts...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  To me, he looks like he belongs in the Hall of the Presidents.

FINEMAN:  It‘s just...

MATTHEWS:  You know?

FINEMAN:  Hue just—he just doesn‘t connect very well.

MATTHEWS:  Well, let me tell you...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  That‘s the job of a politician.  I look at him, I see him,

perfectly formed words, perfect articulation—the Hall of the Presidents

you know, when Lincoln stands up at Disney World and speaks to us.  But that‘s not really a person.  That‘s a machine!

PAGE:  You know, you mention...

MATTHEWS:  He looks like a political machine.

PAGE:  You looked at...

MATTHEWS:  Susan, you‘re being very careful not to respond to me on this.

PAGE:  You mentioned the new CNN poll that shows him leading in New Hampshire.  Of course, the problem for him is that everybody in New Hampshire...

MATTHEWS:  He lives in New Hampshire!

PAGE:  ... knows him, and he‘s still only at about a third of the...

MATTHEWS:  He lives in Lake Winnepesaukee!

PAGE:  It‘s not a statement of strength that he‘s at that place.

MATTHEWS:  I know.  OK.  Let‘s take a look at Jeb Bush because this is

the outlet pass here.  He said in a statement Sunday—interesting.  Let‘s

let‘s vet this—“While I am flattered by everyone‘s encouragement, my decision has not changed.  I will not be a candidate for president in 2012.”  Howard?

FINEMAN:  Well, you think...

MATTHEWS:  Parse it.

FINEMAN:  Yes.  I think there‘s a smidgen, just a smidgen...

PAGE:  Where?

FINEMAN:  Well, “I will not be a candidate”—I mean...

PAGE:  You mean, If you elect me, I‘ll serve?

FINEMAN:  No.  Yes.  Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

FINEMAN:  If you wanted to believe in the rapture, OK, happening next Tuesday or—no, that‘s not until October now.  You know, people out there could say it.  But talking to members who know the Bush family, number one, the Bush 41 people are not behind the notion necessarily.

MATTHEWS:  So what‘s the—what‘s the ultimate...

FINEMAN:  Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.

MATTHEWS:  ... formulation if you‘re not running?  How do you say it? 

If nominated, I will run.  If not elected, I will not serve.

FINEMAN:  Yes.  I mean, that‘s the Shermanesque...

PAGE:  He‘s not running...

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE:  He‘s not running in 2012.  That‘s what he said.  I‘m not running in 2012.  That‘s the key phrase.

FINEMAN:  Yes.  Anyway, the 41 people are—don‘t like the idea necessarily.  A lot of family people don‘t like the idea, I‘ve been told.  A lot of the 41 people are scattering to other people, like Romney or Huntsman, OK.  The 43 people, they wanted Daniels, some of them.  They‘re now going to scatter all over the place.  And Jeb has been fairly close to unequivocal on this topic repeatedly.  It‘s not—it‘s not going to happen.  I just don‘t think it‘s going to happen.

PAGE:  And who did Huntsman have lunch with yesterday?

FINEMAN:  41 and his wife.

PAGE:  Up in Kennebunkport.

FINEMAN:  Yes.  No -- - no -- - nothing—you know, they had a long off-the-record conversation, which I don‘t know the substance of.  But the fact that they did that up there...

MATTHEWS:  That‘s the biggest fear of the Republican right, that if they were to nominate someone like Huntsman, of his background—went to Penn, has all the advantages of the East Coast liberal establishment—they will get another Bush 41.  They don‘t want another Bush 41.

FINEMAN:  Well, there is—there‘s no...

MATTHEWS:  He was the guy who raised taxes.  He was the guy who played ball with the Democratic Party.  And they don‘t like that kind of Republican.

FINEMAN:  Well, there‘s no question...

MATTHEWS:  Right?

FINEMAN:  Yes.

PAGE:  Of course, that makes it the kind of Republican that just might be able to win a general election.

MATTHEWS:  But they don‘t think like that.

FINEMAN:  No, but it does—I think, stylistically and substantively, there‘s a big gap on the Tea Party social conservative right that nobody‘s filling right now.

MATTHEWS:  That‘s why Michele gets in.

FINEMAN:  Pawlenty doesn‘t, Huntsman doesn‘t, Romney doesn‘t, Newt would, if he were somebody other—you know, maybe a better candidate...

MATTHEWS:  Can I make my prediction?  Then you guys can course (ph) me or not.  Michele Bachmann will run, and she will do very well against the field.  Your thoughts?

FINEMAN:  I agree and I agree.

PAGE:  I think she could win Iowa.  No question.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you very much.  Michele, we‘re ready.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  To cover you.  Positively on occasion and negatively on occasion, perhaps more frequently.

Anyway, Howard Fineman, thank you, and Susan Page.

Coming up: It‘s make or break time for the Republicans‘ plan to end Medicare right now as voters go to the polls in that special election in New York.  It could be the sword of Damocles.  If they all run on this ticket of smashing Medicare, they could all lose.  And that‘s a big problem for the Republicans because this could be the issue that beats Republicans right across the country, Medicare, and they‘re killing it.

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Wow, here‘s some great news out of Detroit.  Chrysler has eliminated most of its bail-out loans by paying off nearly $6 billion to the federal government.  They did it today.  The car maker wasn‘t expected to do so until six years from now.  President Obama hailed today‘s news as a significant milestone.  Two years after the much criticized auto bail-out, the U.S. auto industry is doing well.  GM is once again the world‘s biggest auto maker, and unemployment in Michigan has dropped from a high of 14 percent down to 10 percent.  Take that, Newt Gingrich.

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN:  First of all, if people are describing this accurately in polls, it‘s far more popular than the poll you referenced.  Second of all, leaders are elected to lead.  I don‘t consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policy should be.  Leaders change the polls.  And we are leading in the House.  We are not seeing this kind of leadership from the president of United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Wow.  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  That was, of course, Paul Ryan on “MEET THE PRESS” the other day, defending the House-approved budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it.  The Senate is, of course, going to take that measure up either the next two days—one of the next two days.  And that‘s coming up right now tonight in that special House race up outside of Buffalo.  We‘re going to test it tonight politically.  If that Democrat wins in that Republican seat up there, look out.  Will Democrats, our question right now, hold this around the neck of all Republicans next year?

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer is a member of the Commerce Committee of the U.S. Senate.  Senator Boxer, this is one of those issues that comes along that clearly seems to define the two parties.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA:  Yes.  Yes, every once in a while, you see into the heart and soul of our leaders.  Paul Ryan is a leader, and he is leading the Republicans to a place that I think they shouldn‘t go, which is to end Medicare as we know it.

And today, the women of the Senate held a press conference, and Chris, I‘m going to give you this one statistic because there‘s too of them.  But here‘s one that‘s important.  The average income, the median income of a senior woman, a woman 65 or more in this nation, is roughly $14,000.

Under the Republican plan, which Ryan started—it is now the Republican plan—they passed it—her health care costs will be $12,000.  So she earns $14,000 a year, and now she‘s going to have $12,000 a year in health care costs, up by double of what she‘s paying now.

Now, she can‘t live.  Chris, what is she going to do with the $2,000 that‘s left over?  I just don‘t know.  It‘s a disaster.  So she‘s not going to get any Medicare.  She‘s not going to have any health insurance.  She‘s going to go to the emergency room.  She‘ll have a terrible quality of life.  It‘s so tragic to see this.

And by the way, her benefit goes directly to the insurance company.  She never even sees a check.  It goes straight to that fat cat over at the insurance company that‘s earning an average $12 million to her $14,00 and whose profits have gone up 41 percent in the last 12 months.  That‘s the Republican Party for you.

MATTHEWS:  Well, Senator, what I think—maybe I will give you a chance to explain it—they just simply offer up sort of a gift certificate that doesn‘t cover any big chunk of your cost of a health insurance premium.  If you are 75 or 80 years old, it is very hard to get insurance that isn‘t going to cost a lot of money, right?  And that‘s their idea. 

(CROSSTALK)

BOXER:  Of course. 

But I‘m saying, even though it is a gift certificate, guess what?  It doesn‘t even go to the individual.  It goes straight to the insurance company.  So, it doesn‘t even go to the recipient anymore. 

MATTHEWS:  I know.

BOXER:  This is unbelievable. 

And, you know, again, look, all you have to look at was the vote on the ending—the corporate welfare, as I call it, to big oil.  These companies are two, three, and four on the Fortune 500.  They have been getting these subsidies for 50 years.  We could have gotten tens of billions of dollars.  Instead, they want to hurt average people. 

And this is the difference between the parties.  To those of you out there who say there is no difference, it‘s not true; it‘s not true. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, it looks to me like some of the Republicans are jumping overboard.  Scott Brown, who certainly is a politician, he has jumped overboard. 

BOXER:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  The two senators from Maine have jumped overboard, Murkowski of Alaska.

So, it looks like a lot of—I‘m looking at three Republican women here are basically getting—it looks like they are getting off of this.  Is that what is going to go on politically, that it‘s too hot even for the Republicans to support?

BOXER:  Well, I hope they jump off it. 

But you have to remember, Scott Brown said, thank God for the Ryan budget. 

My—my point of view is, thank God we are going to beat the Ryan budget. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

BOXER:  He said it started the conversation. 

No, it didn‘t.  It is ending the conversation.  The way you start the conversation is that we all in America know we have to do something about the deficit.  Remember, we did it with Bill Clinton.  The way you do it is define, what are the investments you want to make?  What is waste, fraud, and abuse, and how does everybody pay their fair share?

And it starts with big oil and the billionaires and the millionaires.  And then we don‘t have to hurt the middle class and the working poor.  I mean, America is great because of our middle class and our seniors.  This is the greatest generation.  They are the ones that now need to know they don‘t have to worry about having their dignity.

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

BOXER:  And they need their Medicare. 

MATTHEWS:  What is the Democratic plan? 

BOXER:  And I‘ll tell you something.  They‘re listening.

MATTHEWS:  Is there a way of doing cost containment? 

BOXER:  Sure.  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  I know you and I have—I mean, you have been working on this for years.

Is there any way to contain the galloping cost of medicine for people especially who need a lot of medical help when they get older? 

BOXER:  Well, definitely. 

And we did it in the Obama plan that‘s now the law, which I hope they will keep the law.  How did we do it?  We said we are going to stress prevention.  People are going to have free checkups, so that they know right away if they are getting sick and it doesn‘t wind up to be a very costly problem in the end of the day. 

We do it by making sure that there‘s no fraud and no waste.  And we‘re tough on waste and fraud.  But, for goodness sakes, you know, I was watching—I think it was either Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert one night the—a few days ago.  And they said, guess what, Republicans?  Old people want to live. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

BOXER:  And whether they‘re Republicans or Democrats, they don‘t like what you‘re doing. 

And this is something people should never forget.  You know, Newt Gingrich said, 15 years ago, let Medicare whither on the vine.  Bob Dole when—I went back into the ‘60s, when Medicare was put into place—said something like, it‘s socialism and it‘s horrible and it‘s the worst thing in the world.

And the fact of the matter is, it works.  There‘s a 1.5 percent to 2 percent overhead in Medicare.  The insurance companies have a 20 percent to 30 percent overhead.  What are these boys doing over there on the other side?  I will tell you, they are—they have made a huge mistake.  And people are saying bye-bye to this idea. 

We will see what happens in New York tonight.  But I have to say, regardless of whether we win, we lose—or it‘s very close—it never should have been a race for the Republicans. 

MATTHEWS:  I know.

BOXER:  They have held it for decades. 

But this budget, this is just the part of their budget.  They do things like they do away with the Education Department, the Energy Department.  I mean, it‘s—it‘s crazy.  It‘s crazy. 

MATTHEWS:  Senator Barbara Boxer, you‘re great to come on the show. 

Thank you so much...

BOXER:  Thanks.

MATTHEWS:  ... for coming on HARDBALL.

BOXER:  All right. 

Let‘s go right now to Ron Reagan, author of “My Father at 100.” 

Ron, you know, it‘s amazing about people, when they get 65, how they do like Medicare...

RON REAGAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR:  Yes, it‘s true.

MATTHEWS:  ... even if they‘re Republicans.  I—my dad really liked Medicare.  He really did. 

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN:  And what a—I think you‘re a better political historian than I am, Chris, so check me if you disagree, but I think the Republicans have made a historic mistake here, political mistake, with this Ryan budget plan and endorsing it to the extent that they have. 

I mean, think about this.  The largest voting bloc in American history, the baby boomers, are about to reach Medicare age.  And the Republicans have basically decided that this is a great time to remind everybody that what they really want to do is turn it into a privatized voucher plan. 

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN:  I mean, come on. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, you know what?  I‘m counting those old-age homes to have the right kind of ‘60s music playing. 

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN:  Oh, they will.

MATTHEWS:  And I‘m convinced the music has gone—is going from Guy Lombardo to the Beatles right now.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re going to hearing the Stones there now.

REAGAN:  That‘s right. 

MATTHEWS:  Everybody is going to be named Jennifer and Heather. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  It‘s all going to be ‘60s names for old people, and it‘s going to be our kind of music. 

Let me ask you about this ideological thing.  And you know this.  Your dad was a conservative.  This—and he didn‘t like Medicare one bit as a program. 

REAGAN:  No.

MATTHEWS:  And he fought against it for the AMA. 

And I‘m just thinking that—that everybody hates the world socialism, because it is always defined as some big shot, a gigantic bureaucracy that hates you, when all it means is that the government runs the insurance program and basically you get it when you‘re 65, if you have worked for 40 or 45 years. 

REAGAN:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  You have worked since you had a paper route, most people, or been a stock boy.  And you have worked all those years.  You pay into it and then you get back medical care. 

I—has anybody ever turned it down? 

REAGAN:  Well, of course not. 

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN:  Republicans often socialism, as you say, you know, as giving to the undeserving poor. 

Why isn‘t giving unnecessary tax breaks to oil companies socialism as well? 

MATTHEWS:  Well, because it benefits the party‘s fund-raising operation. 

REAGAN:  Exactly. 

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN:  Exactly. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, let—no, this thing about Medicare—because the funny thing about it is that campaign rhetoric is so rich with ideological fury. 

And then when you get to reality—the Democrats make this mistake, too—they get to hard cases and it is totally different politics to people.  They—they don‘t like the idea of regulation, but they damn well don‘t want to eat some tuna fish that has got ptomaine in it. 

REAGAN:  That‘s right.   

MATTHEWS:  They don‘t like the word regulation, but they damn well don‘t want to get on an airplane that hasn‘t been checked. 

REAGAN:  That‘s right.  And it turns out...

MATTHEWS:  So they do like regulation.  They love the FAA.  They love the FDA.  They just don‘t like the names of these places. 

REAGAN:  And they like their government-run health care program, as we started this conversation saying.  Absolutely they do.  And they want to keep it.

MATTHEWS:  So, when do they turn tail, Ron?  When do they turn tail?

Tonight, we are going to get the results from the New York 26, a strong Republican district.  It‘s the old—I guess it‘s the old Jack Kemp district, and pretty Republican.  It is a suburban district outside Buffalo. 

REAGAN:  Uh-huh. 

MATTHEWS:  And if the Democrats even get close up there...

REAGAN:  Exactly. 

MATTHEWS:  ... I think it‘s going to get these people on the—on the stampede trail. 

REAGAN:  Yes, absolutely.  The Democrat up there doesn‘t even have to win.  The point has already been made, in that it is a close race here, that the Republicans are suffering desperately with this Ryan plan.  You have seen it in town hall meetings.  You see it in the polls.  Eighty percent of the public say, leave our Medicare alone.  Don‘t cut our benefits.  The Republicans are in deep trouble.

MATTHEWS:  So, when do they—so, this week, the Senate has to vote on the House plan.  I noticed the House plan. 

See, once you vote on one of these bills, you are sort of dead for life. 

REAGAN:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  Every Republican who voted for the Ryan plan voted to get rid of Medicare for people over—over—what—under 55...

REAGAN:  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  ... which is most of your voters.  And they‘re thinking about being 65.

And they all did it.  And now they have permanently done it. 

REAGAN:  That‘s right. 

MATTHEWS:  This is an original sin for these guys and women.  And I just wonder how they are going to try to deny that.  Oh, give me the trick.  How do they un-vote this thing? 

REAGAN:  Well, I don‘t think you can un-vote it. 

They have—you have seen them trying, though, by proposing that we no longer have conversations about Medicare that are sort of harsh about the other side. 

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN:  They have basically proposed to the Democrats and the White House, don‘t remind everybody that we voted for this thing...

MATTHEWS:  I know.

REAGAN:  ... and we won‘t be mean to you either... 

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN:  ... seems to be their point.  But that‘s going to work.

MATTHEWS:  Well, I‘m waiting for the big deal.  I‘m waiting for the deal when they put it behind them, but I don‘t think it‘s going to come until the next election. 

REAGAN:  I don‘t think it can.  No, I don‘t think so.

MATTHEWS:  The Tip O‘Neill-Ronald Reagan meeting is coming sometime in 2013, I think.  That‘s my...

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Ron Reagan, sir, thank you for coming on. 

REAGAN:  Thanks for having me. 

MATTHEWS:  I think we will put Medicare back to where it belongs, in the books. 

Up next:  Why is Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich running for Congress 2,000 miles from his home district in Cleveland?  Is he going to do a switcheroo and run for reelection in Seattle?  This could be one of the great field trips in political history. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Back to HARDBALL.  Now to the “Sideshow.” 

First up: near miss.  Remember that shoe that nearly hit President Bush?  Remember how he ducked, how good he was at ducking, twice?  Now watch the sixth inning in last night‘s Rangers/White Sox game down in Texas.  It came as W. is nearly hit by a foul ball. 

You can see them there.  White House catcher A.J. Pierzynski dove for the ball as the president barely flinched.  There you go.  Pierzynski later said—quote—“Just because he was the president doesn‘t mean I wouldn‘t jump on top of him.”

Next: a cross-country relocation.  As we said, Dennis Kucinich will likely lose his Ohio congressional seat in Cleveland due to redistricting.  So, will he retire and call it a day?  Not one bit.  It turns out Washington State will be gaining a congressional seat next year.

In a not-so-subtle pitch, Kucinich this weekend held a series of meet-and-greets with Seattle area residents.  It sounds like a stretch maybe.  Consider this.  The last time a member of Congress won election in two different states was 1968.  Ed Foreman went from Texas to New Mexico. 

Finally:  Grandma gets thrown off the cliff.  A liberal group called The Agenda project has just released an ad whacking at Paul Ryan‘s plan to privatize Medicare.  Subtle, this ad is not.  I love the point of view on that one, as she tries to slow down with her feet. 

Anyway, the irony here, Paul Ryan may be driving the Republican Party off the cliff, which brings us to tonight‘s “Big Number.” 

In December, last December, the chance Republicans would keep control of the House of Representatives in 2012 stood at 79 percent on Intrade.com. 

Amid the Ryan budget controversy, what are the betting odds now, with the

Medicare kerfuffle?  Just 50/50, all even.  Republicans have just a 50 cent

50 percent chance of holding on to their majority next year because of that Medicare problem—tonight‘s “Big Number.” 

Up next:  Why has Professor Cornell West of Princeton turned on President Obama?  Let‘s find out what is behind all this attack on the president by that professor.

And, tonight, at 8:00 Eastern, Michael Moore is Lawrence O‘Donnell‘s guest—two good guys talking tonight.  That will be interesting.  I like Moore.  That‘s coming up at 8:00 right here on MSNBC.

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA, CNBC CORRESPONDENT:  I‘m Michelle Caruso-Cabrera with your CNBC “Market Wrap.”

Stocks struggling today, turning modestly lower at the close.  The Dow Jones industrial average was down 25 points.  The S&P 500 fell about a point, and the Nasdaq gave up a little more than 12 points. 

We had a bit of a tug-of-war for investors today.  Goldman Sachs upgraded oil and metals prices.  That helped to lift the energy sector.  Banks tried to rally toward the end of the session.  And even though Citigroup finished higher, it has been struggling since that one-for-10 reverse split.  But you can see Bank of America, Zions group and Wells Fargo all finished higher. 

Take a look at the shippers, though, a very rough day there—just one sign of growing concerns about a possible economic slowdown on the horizon.

Yandex—this is the Russian version of Google—had an extremely successful IPO today.  Shares started selling at $25, but ended the day and under $39 on heavy volume.  That‘s a one-day gain of 55 percent. 

And we have just learned that AIG priced its post-bailout re-IPO.  It‘s floating about 15 percent of the company.  Officially, they have not made the price public yet, but CNBC‘s Kate Kelly says it‘s going to be $29, a significant level because the government, i.e. the taxpayers‘ break-even level was $28.70 a share. 

That is it from CNBC, first in business worldwide—now back to

HARDBALL. 

MATTHEWS:  Breaking news:  There‘s a very large, very strong tornado right now on the ground outside of Oklahoma City. 

Let‘s go now to our NBC station KFOR right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And a few severe storms out to the west as well.  Let‘s go to the storm scanner and take a look.  We got to kind of broaden out here.

There are other dangerous storms potentially developing here.  One is northwest of Rush Springs.  You folks out toward Dibble, and Norman, and Persell (ph) and Lindsay, stay alert.

Conditions are so prime for tornadoes  And that one is coming right up in McClain County and eastern sections of Grady County right now.  And it‘s just coming out of the area there, near Apache and Cyril and it‘s coming into Grady County right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Inward to El Reno, approximately 300 yards wide

a two-story house completely destroyed.

      

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Two-storey house destroyed.  Two-storey house destroyed.  Three north of El Reno, that was across 81.

OK.  So, down here, these are dangerous.  These are dangerous.  And we‘ll pass along tornado warnings to you.  This is dangerous.  So, stay alert.

Tornado warning, what?  Oklahoma—Logan, Oklahoma, tornado warning.  Let‘s go to Jim Gardner (ph) live.  Tornado warning for Oklahoma County and Logan County.  Go, Jim.

MATTHEWS:  We‘re going to continue to monitor this amazing tornado in the Midwest and Oklahoma right now.

Princeton professor Cornel West has been an early supporter, had been an early supporter of President Obama.  Here‘s a picture of the president shaking hands with Mr. West after speaking at the National Urban League‘s convention just last year, in fact.

But a new article on the political blog, “Truth Dig,” Professor West takes on the president, calling him—this a strong language—“a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”

Needless to say, the blowback has been fierce.

Joining me right now is the Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network and Jonathan Capehart, who writes editorials and is a columnist for “The Washington Post” and MSNBC contributor.

Gentlemen, this is strong language from Cornel West.  I know academia can be an island of opportunity to say what you feel like.  But what‘s this about?  What‘s this anger about from West?  Reverend Sharpton?

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  I mean, he has said, Chris, that he does not think the president has focused on enough of the issues of poor people and black people.  But I think that the name-calling and the using the strong term like calling the president of the United States a black mascot and talking about his mother, I think this is in many ways gone over the line that many of us would say where we could have a critical discussion that would, one, say that president needs to deal with certain issues and two, not undermine him and hand him over to those that despise him and the black community.

I don‘t think this is help.  I think name-calling is counterproductive.  I think the president has addressed some of the issues.  I think he can and should do more, but I think it is not honest and fair to say the president has not made a different, a huge difference in the country.

MATTHEWS:  Jonathan, let me read you something.  And here‘s what we‘re talking about here.  This is kind of incendiary language.  It comes from Cornel West, who is major academic in this country.

“More and more working people are beaten down.  They are world-weary.  They are into self medication.  They are turning on each other.  They are scapegoating the most vulnerable rather than confronting the most powerful.

It‘s a profoundly human response to panic and catastrophe.  I thought Barack Obama could have provided some way out, but he lacks backbone.”

I don‘t know what—Professor West, by the way, explained his comments on “THE ED SHOW” last week.  Let‘s listen to him explaining what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORNEL WEST, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR:  Well, now, he had backbone in terms of killing bin Laden, certainly that‘s backbone, as commander-in-chief.  I‘m talking about backbone for poor children, misabused workers, those unfairly incarcerated, those middle class folks experiencing downward mobility.  And confronting the Wall Street oligarchs and that the corporate plutocrats.  That‘s the kind of backbone I‘d like to see more of, my brother.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re going to get back to that.  We have to go right now to the tornado situation in Oklahoma City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Tornado, it crossed Highway 81 as it intensifies and it almost got us.  It intensified right on top of us.  Amazing.  It‘s a half mile wide.  Just crossed Gregory Road.

It‘s now going to cross Northwest Expressway in about a minute.  It‘s crossing Northwest Expressway right now.  Right now, it‘s crossing Northwest Expressway.

It‘s a massive tornado.  It‘s a half mile wide.  No doubt about it.  It looks like it did an hour and a half ago.  Deadly, deadly, deadly tornado, Mike, coming now to north side of the metro.  Back to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, Piedmont.  Time‘s up.  Yo got to get out of the way.  Below ground, get out of the way.

Yes, tornado warning for northwest Oklahoma City and Deer Creek, Edmond as well.  That is a violent, violent, maxi tornado.  And it‘s a grinder.  And it‘s coming into Piedmont right now.

Yes, it‘s on the west side of Piedmont right now.  There‘s damaging winds.  You saw the power pole literally snap in two where Dave is located.  And he‘s like—he‘s a like a half mile away from it and the power pole just snapped in two.  You saw it happen live.

That‘s just around the tornado.  And those winds are 100 miles an hour.  So, it‘s right here on west side of Piedmont, crossing Northwest Highway right now.  Deer Creek, Edmond, just northwest of Mercy—southwest OKC, OK.

Let‘s go this—let‘s got to the north Doppler, look at the velocities.  And it‘s over northwest Piedmont right now.  It‘s centered right here.  That‘s going to be at 15th, Edmond Road, 33rd.  And out there at Piedmont Road, on the west side of Piedmont Road is where it is right now, showing over 200 mile-per-hour wind sheer.  So, it could be an EF-4, potentially approaching an EF-5.  It‘s a violent tornado.

Let‘s go back to storm tracker.  Tornado warnings in effect now for Grady.  There is a new warning for Grady County.  Now, is that the one down in southern Grady or northern Grady?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Northern Grady.  It‘s headed toward central OKC.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, back down.  We got shift gears here. 

Back to this one in just a second.

Piedmont, get out of the way.  Down here south.  This one right here.  Yes, OK.

This one right here, OK, tornado warning for this one right here.  Coming in to southwest Oklahoma City.  Hit the velocities.  This is for Union City, Mustang, Yukon and Bethany, it‘s part of that—it‘s part of that complex a bit earlier.  We got to verify that again.

The tornado warning for Grady County is for the one at Union City. 

Is that right?

OK.  This is for southwest Oklahoma City.  Steve, that ENG truck down there, we got to get them heads up on that.  Coming up in the southwest Oklahoma City.

This is Bethany, Yukon, Mustang, central Oklahoma City, including

downtown.  Now, I got to ask you again.  That is—that‘s the one because

it‘s one.  Tornado warning northern—OK, that‘s it.  Tornado warning Grady, southern and southeastern Canadian and Oklahoma County, tornado warning near Union City right now.  Tornado coming in to southwest Oklahoma City.  Different storm than the Piedmont storm.

      

You, folks, in this part of the city, you got to be ready to think about your safe spot.  And we don‘t have reports of a violent tornado right now, but it‘s so volatile today.  You got to get ready to go to your safe spot.

Union City, Mustang, Yukon, Bethany, downtown Oklahoma City, southwest Oklahoma City, over towards south Oklahoma City and Midwest City and up to about the zoo and up to about OCU and Whitewater Bay and the state fair park, all in through there.  You got to start thinking about where can you go.  We‘ll keep post track of that.

Steve, we got—we got to get that crew down there to get their shot up and got to take it.

Let‘s go up here to the north.  Up to Piedmont.

David, are you still with us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, Mike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  Go, give us an update on Piedmont.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  Mike, I had to come back just a bit.  I cannot see the tornado right now, few miles.  I‘m headed back east now, at high rate of speed to get ahead of this thing again.

Give me like 10 minutes or less than that.  I‘ll be back on it again.

But all I know is look at my north, I can tell

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Tell him to go south.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, go sound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It‘s far way from me right now, Morgan, but it looks like it is still on the ground.  Still on the ground.  It‘s on my north, northeast.  It‘s at about 10 miles, Mike.  It‘s still on the ground, no doubt about it, just to my north.  I‘m getting back in and so I‘m coming north and west and come back north in about 5 minutes.  Mike, back to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  It‘s sending debris balls at Edmond and Frisco Road.  Edmond Road, Danforth Road and Frisco Road.

So, it‘s now in north Piedmont, damaging winds on the south side of  that, coming through Piedmont right now.

Jim, to give us an update there from the chopper.  Can you see it? 

It‘s on the northern side of Piedmont right now.

OK.  All right.  Say that again.  All right.  Stovepipe tornado. 

Checking our reports from ham radio operator.  Say it again, Hank.

OK, Jim, give us an update.  Can you see it?  North side of Piedmont.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That‘s right.  Center of your screen, check. 

Back to level a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, it‘s real hazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Right in there.  OK, it‘s real hazy.  But I‘m just on the east side, southeast side of Piedmont.  That‘s it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  Yes, that‘s Jim Gardner‘s shot.

Folks, we‘re got two tornadic super cell.  One is coming from into west metro.  The other one is coming in to the west-southwest metro.

Let‘s go to the storm tracker.  And we got to make this as clear as we can.  We know that there‘s a lot going on here.  And we know that this is dangerous.  We want to make this as clear for you as we can.

There‘s an awful lot going on here.  This is a big tornado tp.  It‘s violent.  It produced a lot of damage.

It‘s moved to the west on north sides of Piedmont.  There‘s a lot of folks that have homes up here these day.  It‘s heading up toward four corners and Dear Creek, Edmond.  It could be and has been an EF-4, might have been an EF-5.

It‘s been a half-mile or larger wedge shaped multi-vortex tornado, extremely dangerous.  You‘ve got to be out of the way of that or below ground.  You have no choice—get out of the way or below ground.  Tomorrow is a better day.  Today, save your life, your family‘s life, your pet‘s life, that‘s the most important thing.  Other things can be replaced.

Up toward four corners and up into west and northwest Edmond, tat‘s where that maxi tornado is headed.

Chris, let‘s walk down, we got Troy Christianson going on this storm.  And hit the shear out of it TLX (ph).  This has a tornado warning on.  It is well—the hook there is east of Union City.

Yes, the velocities on this are just not that impressive.  I‘d be curious to see what reports we can gather from the southwest metro, not saying it didn‘t produce a tornado, but the velocities are not as impressive right now.  But that‘s a super cell and it‘s a tornado warning for southeastern Canadian County, Mustang.  Yes.  OK.

OK.  Brand new tornado warning, walk down.

You folks in Yukon, it‘s heading your way.  You have got to listen carefully.  That is a tornado warning could produce a tornado.  This one has a tornado warning on it, brand new.  Grady County, we‘re talking about this one earlier.

And this one looks like a beast.  This one looks like it could put down a big tornado.  And it‘s now just southwest of Chickasha.  And this has very violent rotation and it is very, very dangerous.  Southwest of Chickasha.

Chickasha, you folks, you got to get below ground or out of way. 

This is dangerous.  This is going to head up I-44.  Look at the motion. 

Look at the motion.  It‘s going to head up I-44.

Chickasha, Tabler, Middleburg, New Castle, Moore, Norman—it‘s heading your way and it could produce a violent tornado.  We‘ve got storm trackers down here as well.  There is a tornado warning for Grady County, Blanchard, if you live anywhere from Chickasha, Ninnekah, and Blanchard, all the way up into Newcastle, Norman and Moore, you‘ve got to think about where you‘re going to go to protect your lives and stay safe.  This could put down a violent tornado, as it comes to the southwest and south metro.

And in case you‘re flipping channels or, you know, you‘re doing that kind can of thing, you got to be clear that this is serious down here.  Ninnekah, Chickasha, Blanchard, Moore, and Norman, make no mistake about it, you have got think where you can go to be safe.  If you have got a neighbor that has a storm cellar or basement, you have got call them now and say, can we come over when this comes into our area?  And be safe.

If you can, when it‘s getting really close to you, you can get out of the way and it‘s producing tornadoes, do that, we‘re going to keep you forewarned on that one.  Now, that‘s serious.  That‘s a bad storm down there and it‘s coming up right up I-44, right toward Moore and Norman.  And we are going to keep you forewarned.

Tornado outbreak very much in progress here.  Tornado warning, Grady County.

Now, this one up here to the north, coming into Yukon, toward Christianson, is coming on that one right now.

Do we have any live cameras at all that are showing?  There‘s so much rain that is wrapping in some of these circulations.

This is circulation between Union City and Yukon.  And Jim is on the one near Piedmont.

Jim, can you give us an update on the Piedmont tornado, large and violent—what do you have?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, Mike, we are sitting in some heavy rain just south—excuse me, north of the Sundance Air Park, shooting back up toward Piedmont.  Now, we haven‘t been a able to get a visual on t we saw power flashes, but, you know, it‘s just so much rain, you made it really, there‘s so much being emboldened in these storms and wrapped, it‘s just very difficult to even see anything.

Right now, I‘m in a heavy rain.  I really, I can see Piedmont a little bit.  Like you said, pass to the northwest of there.  It looked all the emergency people and Piedmont police did a great job clearing people out of town.  But again it‘s just so hard out here to see anything, Mike, that we really can‘t—we really can‘t tell except for lightning flashes every now and then and picking it up.

But again, we‘ll just keep trying the best we can.  We‘ll keep tracking it and forewarn the people, let you know, Mike.  Jim (INAUDIBLE) reporting live from Tower 4, back to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We still show like an F-4 on the ground up there.

Jim, we still show an F-4 on the ground up there.

Let‘s go to the north Doppler radar.  Look at the sink drain effect, take it full.  David Payne (ph), the monitor we‘re getting here, we still show an F-4 here.

Check Hall Road (ph) and Coffee Creek (ph) and Covel (ph).  It is heading for four corners up to Seward, Lake Liberty, Lake Guthrie, Deer Creek (ph), Edmond, if it turns right, it could down Waterloo Road into north Edmond, all right?

It looks like easily—that is a sink drain, the hot red is a 100 away, the hot very 100 awake the hot green going to red is 105 to 10 toward, 200-mile-an-hour wind sheer here.

This is a maxi tornado. It looks like the eye of a hurricane.  There‘s no data in the middle because that‘s probably the eye of the tornado.  It‘s very, very large and very dangerous.

David, tell us where you are, let‘s go to the storm tracker here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, Mike, again, Mustang Road.  Mike, I‘m at Mustang Road just south of Piedmont, the tornado just to north.  Mustang Road and Memorial, Mike, a tornado just to my north, it looks like it‘s crossing, real close to crossing Mustang Road right now.  Is that what you have?  Mike?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, it‘s is a large, violent tornado.  It‘s got an eye in it.  It‘s at Check Hall Road.

Jim‘s got come on around.  Jim, come on around to the northeast side of it.  You can see it, it‘s great big, it‘s very large.  It is going to cross four corners, Deer Creek, Edmond.

David, it‘s still—might be an EF-4.  It might be a half mile to close to a mile wide.  It‘s very, very large right now, very large.

David, tell us where you are right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mike?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.  Go, David, yes, go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mike, I‘m at Mustang Road, I‘m coming up Piedmont right now.  The tornado has crossed Mustang Road.  I see the backside of the tornado.  It has crossed Mustang Road.

I‘m at Mustang and 150, looking north about a mile, there‘s the tornado.  It just crossed Mustang Road.  Just cross it had mike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It crossed Mustang Road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it‘s still a violent tornado.  It‘s wrapped in rain though.  It is starting to get really wrapped in rain, which is not good.  You can‘t see it at all, really scary.

It‘s still a big tornado, though, Mike.  I‘m heading at Mustang Road, where I‘m coming up on now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  It‘s heading for four concern and Seward, and even northwest Edmond, Deer Creek, Edmond.  It‘s a large tornado.

Jim, come on up around.  Come on up around, Coffee Creek, Covell, Sorghum Mill, and up toward Waterloo Road and look to your west southwest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, Mike.  I got it.  I can‘t see anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, it‘s a debris ball still.  It‘s still a debris ball, just to the northwest of Piedmont.  And it‘s a large tornado and right now, it‘s going to be—it‘s coming to right over four corners, it‘s where is going to go right now and it‘s heading for Seward.  It‘s still lifting more to the northeast.  So, it‘s going to go north of Mercy, it‘s going to go north of the Kirkpatrick, it just went to the west and north sides of Piedmont.  It is a large tornado.  It is violent.  David Payne said it just crossed Mustang Road.

It‘s heading right up to four corners, up to Waterloo Road, up to Seward and then from there up to Guthrie.  New tornado warning on it for Logan County, Guthrie.

You folks in Guthrie, this thing is a monster, and it‘s leveling stuff in its path.  You got to be out of its way or below ground when it comes your way.

Lake Liberty, Lake Guthrie, Seward, it‘s going to cross four corners right now.  It‘s just a mile southwest of four concerns, and it‘s a sink drain on radar, it has an eye on it looks like a hurricane.

David, tell us where you are with an update.  It‘s still spinning like a top up here and it‘s going to go just north of Deer Creek, Edmond, up into Seward, up into Guthrie.  There‘s the south Guthrie exit right there.

It‘s going to go right into Guthrie if it doesn‘t change path right now and it‘s up to at least a half mile, maybe a mile wide.  And it‘s right up at that intensity right now.

Also, David, are you with us?  David Payne?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, Mike, we are headed east on northwest 164th, tornado just in my north, Mike.  I can still see it.  It is wrapping rain.  But I can see the dark edges of it and it‘s still a big, big violent tornado.  I‘m at Sarah (ph) Road, 164th, the tornado just to my north, Mike.  Maybe a mile.  Maybe a mile.  I‘m guessing at this point, not very far it is right here, Mike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, David.  So, you‘re crisscrossing through debris, is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, it‘s just to minority west about a mile. 

I‘m staying on the east southeast side of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And can you visually see it right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, well, here is—I can see what I have seen the last 10 minutes and it‘s just a big, dark area and a wrapping rain that is completely wrapping around it.  But I cannot see the tornado right now.

Here‘s a deal, it‘s got a lot more rain in it, a lot more rain being pulled into the system compared to what we had even 20 minutes ago.  So, it‘s going to be really hard to see.  I‘m going to go another mile east and go back north and I will get up close to it again on the east side and see if I can‘t see it.

But I just see a dark wedge.  All I see a dark wedge looking through the rain at this point.  Going northwest now.  It looks to me like it is still on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, David, stay with it.  David, got to be going to Guthrie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, Mike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.  Go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  What about the storm coming into the southwest metro?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are going to peel off Jim Gardner on that one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  So, he is going to take that one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, I have Jim come down here, here at the station, have him bump down here at the station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mike, if this one weakens and I need to break off and go south, tell me.

MATTHEWS:  That‘s our NBC station, KFOR with coverage of those two powerful tornadoes on the ground in the Oklahoma City area.  We‘re going to have more on those tornadoes throughout the evening here on MSNBC.

That‘s HARDBALL for now.  We‘re going to have the full show at 7:00 Eastern.  Please rejoin us at 7:00 Eastern for a complete HARDBALL.  Right now, our coverage continues with Cenk Uygur.

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

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