Guests: Patrick McDonald, Tony Perkins, Patrick Murphy, Tammy Duckworth,
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Silence of the Nittany Lions.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews out in Los Angeles. Leading off
tonight: When silence isn`t golden. The most compelling question
surrounding the Penn State sexual abuse scandal is why didn`t anyone say
anything? Why didn`t they do anything?
Late this afternoon, the university placed assistant coach Mike
McQueary on paid administrative leave. He`s the graduate assistant who
reported seeing Jerry Sandusky raping a child but did not tell the police.
The more we learn, the harder it is to believe that Sandusky`s alleged
crimes were not known, or at least suspected, by a large circle at Penn
State and in the college football universe. Among our guests tonight is a
young man who was abused as a young boy and knows why victims and the
adults who should be protecting them remain silent.
Plus, is it possible that Mitt`s it? Is there anyone left to
challenge the candidate Republicans hate to love, Mitt Romney? "The Daily
Show With Jon Stewart" declared the race over, for example, last night.
But just as some were about to close the books on the GOP race, here comes
a CBS News poll today that shows Herman Cain in the lead, with Romney only
tied -- yes, tied -- with Newt Gingrich for second place.
Also, President Obama today called on businesses to embrace America`s
veterans and help put them to work and make them leaders in the community.
It`s Veterans Day. Why is it so hard for America`s veterans to find jobs?
And I`ve been thinking a lot lately about Jack Kennedy with the
release of my new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero." Now this question
raised by Stephen King. What if he hadn`t been assassinated? How would
the world have been different? King has written a novel, "11/12/63," it`s
called, that tries to answer that very question.
Finally, "Let Me Finish" tonight with the disturbing feeling you get
when authority figures let you down.
We start with the very topic -- that very topic, the Penn State sexual
abuse scandal. Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania and now
an MSNBC political analyst. And Patrick McDonald was 12 years old when he
was sexually abused by his Scoutmaster. He`s now a member of an
organization called Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. He`s also a
columnist for the DailyBeast.
Patrick, thank you so much for coming on tonight. We were talking
beforehand, and I do salute you for your openness about this troubling
situation in our lives today. Tell about what you learned as a victim.
PATRICK MCDONALD, DAILYBEAST.COM: Well, I mean, certainly, that`s a
very broad question in terms of what we learned -- what I learned as a
victim and what other victims experience.
MATTHEWS: Why don`t people tell on each other? Why don`t adults do
their job as grown-ups and report horrible criminal behavior by other
MCDONALD: Well, there are usually -- there are usually a couple
reasons for that. Number one is they suspect that things are going on and
they`re not willing to be wrong in terms of challenging an abuser and
removing a child from that environment. And really, who cares if you`re
wrong, if you make a mistake in terms of protecting a kid? But they`re not
necessarily willing to do that.
Or number two is they have some other motives in terms of being quiet
about the abuse. You know, I can`t speak to what may -- who may have
benefited from being quiet at Penn State, how McQueary may have benefited
from a long-term career, how Paterno may have benefited from a long-term
career by being quiet and protecting the organization, as well as
protecting their friend.
And at the end of the day, you have an obligation as a member -- and
Chris, we talked about this earlier -- as a member of the human race --
forget your legal obligations. You have a responsibility to kids that are
in your charge or that you witness, whether you`re responsible for them or
not, to protect them by any and all means necessary.
MATTHEWS: Well, how did it feel as a young -- and we have tremendous
memories of growing up at the -- in our early -- in early teens and before
that. I remember a lot of what it was like to be that age. And I think
you, obviously, do. What was it like back then to think about the adults
who were covering up, who refused to come to your aid when they knew
something was up that was bad about this behavior by this Scoutmaster?
MCDONALD: Well, it certainly leads you to believe that you are
completely alone in this battle. And you don`t have any resources
necessary to escape. You`re not big enough to get away. You don`t
necessarily have the courage. And so you count on somebody else to protect
you. You count on somebody else to watch your back.
And when that doesn`t happen, then you`re forced with believing,
whether it`s right or not, that you are completely and utterly alone in
this world. And I would tell you, as an adult, you can kind of rationalize
that away, but as a child, there is nothing more terrifying than knowing
that -- what`s about to happen to you and that nobody is going to come to
MATTHEWS: What do you make of this decision by Penn State an hour ago
to put on -- to put Mike McQueary, the guy who allegedly saw a child being
raped -- and that`s the right word for it -- and really, just think about
how bad it could be because that`s how bad it was, apparently. He`s on
paid leave right now. What do you think of that?
MCDONALD: I think that Penn State and everybody in the
administration, first of all, should be incredibly ashamed of themselves.
They clearly are not willing to progress forward past this and look at what
kind of good things can come out of this. They`re unwilling to do that.
If they were, they would find every person that has a fingerprint on
this cover-up. They`d find them and they would fire them, and that would
be that. There`d be no, We`re going to put you on paid administrative
leave. We`re going to put you on unpaid administrative leave. It would
be, You knew this or you should have known that, and you did nothing? You
did not meet your moral obligations at all? Go away.
And until that happens, Penn State is going to be looked at almost as
a laughingstock of an organization, where they do not care whatsoever about
kids, where they -- that`s -- their entire organization is around that.
And they choose to ignore it.
MATTHEWS: Pat, I want to get to the Penn State situation with
Governor Rendell in just a moment, right after this. But I want you both
to watch this. On ABC this morning, George Stephanopoulos interviewed the
mother of victim number one in this case, the boy who was allegedly
subjected to oral sex and fondling on at least 20 occasions by coach Jerry
Sandusky. Her voice was changed and her image obscured, the mother`s, to
protect her identity, obviously. Let`s listen to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Why do you think your
son never told you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think it was a lot of embarrassment. He
was letting (ph) me hints to figure it out. And I did eventually figure it
STEPHANOPOULOS: And when you finally did have the chance to have a
heart-to-heart with your son, years after the relationship first began,
tell us about that. What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had a discussion where, you know, I had said,
you know, If -- you know, Maybe we should have, you know, come to this
conclusion earlier. You should have told me. And he was like, Well, I --
you know -- he said, I didn`t know what to do. I just didn`t know what to
do, and you just can`t tell Jerry no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Governor, you`re a Penn State fan, as well as a Penn fan.
You went to Penn. But I think I know (ph) a little bit about that feeling
up at Happy Valley up there, that sense, almost a religious sense of the
importance of Paterno and that football program. What`s your sense of it,
as this thing`s really come open now?
ED RENDELL (D), FMR. PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: Well, I think the
university has to do what Patrick says. They have to really wipe the slate
clean and start anew.
And they`ve got to emphasize that Penn State is more than just a
football program. Under Graham Spanier`s leadership, it`s become one of
the great public universities in the country, one of the best academically,
and it`s more than just football. And that`s a point that ought to be
But they need to put all of this behind them. They need to understand
the reality here is, if in 2002, whether it`s coach Paterno, athletic
director Curley, Mr. McQueary -- if someone had reported it to the police,
there are at least five young men who wouldn`t have had their lives
unalterably changed in what happened in 2003, `04, `05, `06, `07 and `08.
And that`s an incredible tragedy. It`s horrific.
MATTHEWS: Governor, it reminds me of my church, you know, where the
sense of omerta, of looking out for your adult colleagues takes precedence
over taking responsibility for the safety, really, the moral safety,
psychological, physical safety of young people in loco parentis, who are
basically in your charge.
RENDELL: It`s absolutely true. There`s that sort of, Circle the
wagons, and protect the institution or protect our guy.
But let me ask you a question, Chris. Did they protect Jerry
Sandusky? If they had turned Jerry Sandusky in in 2002, he would have a
lot less criminal instances on his blotter and he would have perhaps gotten
a shorter jail sentence. Right now, if he`s convicted, he may be in jail
the rest of his life. Did they help him?
MATTHEWS: So are you with Pat, Pat McDonald, who in principle thinks
they have to clean the slate up there?
RENDELL: I think we...
MATTHEWS: They have to remove all vestiges of responsibility for this
RENDELL: Absolutely because that`s a statement that, We`re taking it
seriously. We understand what was done. We understand the incredible harm
that was done to young people`s lives.
Pat may corroborate this, but it`s a pain, it`s an emotional scarring
that will probably exist your entire life. And in some cases -- Pat`s
obviously come back, but in some cases, you never regain a normal sense and
a normal balance.
So Penn State`s got to make a statement that this is tremendously
important to us. We take it seriously. We want to start anew. We`re
going to develop a whole new culture.
MATTHEWS: You know what`s so hard, Governor, and Pat -- and you`re
not part of this, Pat, but Governor Rendell and I are part of it as
Pennsylvanians. It`s so much good up against so much bad. It`s just hard
to deal with. Graham Spanier up there has done -- as you said, done a
wonderful job as president up there, with his music department, with his
fine arts department, all across the board.
That school has become so good at turning out with these kids that
don`t come there with a lot of money. They`re average kids with average
income and parents. And this guy gives them a first-rate education. And
this horror, you know, on top of that -- it`s just -- it`s just tragic, you
RENDELL: There`s no question. And Chris, Joe himself -- I mean,
obviously, this is a horrible black mark on his balance sheet. But Joe
Paterno did a whole lot more than just football. He helped the university.
He and his wife gave millions of dollars to the university. He helped
virtually every charity, Salvation Army, you name it, in Pennsylvania. He
did a lot of good, and it`s tragic on the level that this may be what he
winds up being remembered for.
MCDONALD: Well, if I can add...
MATTHEWS: Pat, get in here.
MCDONALD: If I can respond to that just for a minute, is...
MCDONALD: ... all the good, perhaps, that he`s done in the past,
myself and the hundreds of thousands if not millions of others that are
like me, and the boys that were abused by the assistant coach -- we don`t
really care. We really don`t care.
As far as we`re concerned, every other good thing that he did is wiped
out and was a sham because what we really saw is the person that Joe
Paterno is. He comes across as somebody who`s going to look out for his
best interests and the best interests of his organization, aside from his
obligation to everybody else.
So I don`t care to hear another sob story or sob comment...
RENDELL: It`s not a sob story, Patrick.
MCDONALD: ... about all the great things he did!
RENDELL: It`s not a sob story.
MCDONALD: I don`t -- we don`t care about it.
RENDELL: It`s a realization that people are human beings. And none
of us are perfect. What he did is horrific, and not thinking about the
kids and the kids that could potentially be injured is a tragedy. And it`s
nothing that he can ever make up for.
But when you look at individuals, you have to look at the totality of
their lives. And again, does this wipe out a lot of the good that he did?
Sure it does. You`re absolutely right. And again, there`s no way of
apologizing to the kids who came after, who would have been saved had they
MATTHEWS: Last word, Patrick.
MCDONALD: You know, I guess the last thing that I`d say is, you know,
to the young man who actually came forward, and to those that were involved
with this, when you`re out there and you feel as if you are completely
alone and you don`t have any support, I would tell you that you have a
tremendous amount of support. There are millions of us around. And if you
MATTHEWS: What`s the name of your group again? Put it up there on
MCDONALD: The name of the group that I would talk to is RAINN.org --
R-A-I-N-N.org. It`s an organization that`s designed specifically to either
prevent sexual abuse or to give people resources necessary to rebound from
MATTHEWS: You`re an honorable man. You`re a great man, a courageous
guy. I`m so glad you came on to give a firsthand account of when it`s like
to be a victim. And that is the paramount concern we have tonight. Thank
MCDONALD: Thanks, guys.
MATTHEWS: Governor Rendell, you`re a great man. Thanks for coming
on. Patrick McDonald, tank you.
Coming up, back to politics. Is there anyone left standing who can
challenge Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination? This is a revoltin`
development for the conservatives of this country. A new CBS poll shows
Herman Cain in the lead, with Romney tied with Newt Gingrich. As William
Bendix said years ago, "What a revoltin` development."
I`m out here in Los Angeles, as I said. Tonight, I`ll be on Bill
Maher`s show tonight, on "Real Time" on HBO, talking about my book, "Jack
Kennedy: Elusive Hero," which I`m proud to say is number three now on "The
New York Times" and several other best-seller lists in its first week out
there, fighting for the top.
You`re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: President Obama`s in San Diego today. The president and
first lady Michelle Obama will watch tonight`s big basketball game between
North Carolina, the Tarheels, and Michigan State, the first ever to be
played on board a naval aircraft carrier. The game will be take place on
the USS Carl Vinson, docked at the navel base Coronado. The Vinson is the
carrier the Navy used, by the way, to carry -- actually, to bury Osama bin
Laden at sea after Navy SEALs tracked him down earlier this year.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Well, it`s been a bad week for
conservatives looking for a viable alternative to Mitt Romney. Herman Cain
continued to be dogged, as we know, by allegations that he sexually
harassed women, and Rick Perry made sure he`ll go down in the annals of
debate history thanks to his brain freeze the other night. And
conservatives` new best hope, if you can believe it -- and want to believe
it -- is Newt Gingrich. He`s inching up in the polls.
But can Herman or Newt or any other candidate beat Romney? This is an
amazing development politically. I don`t think I can ever remember
anything like this until going back to maybe the Republican fight in `64.
The guys at NBC`s "First Read" seem to have their doubts. They wrote
yesterday they don`t see anybody beating Romney. "Mitt Romney`s path to
the GOP presidential nomination is now wide open. In fact, not since Bob
Dole in `96 has a candidate been such a clear front-runner right before the
primaries and caucuses begin."
Well, two new polls out today show there is still a strong desire on
the part of many Republican conservatives to find someone else besides
Romney to be their nominee. The CBS poll shows Romney -- look at this
number here -- Romney tied for second with New! Herman Cain continues to
lead, but both he and Romney -- oh, God! -- are down dramatically from last
month. So Romney`s had as bad a time as Cain, with Cain losing a lot of
ground with women, obviously. Romney drops 7 points.
The McClatchy Marist poll out today shows Romney in the lead, but
followed closely by Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. Is there a viable
alternative to Mitt Romney for the nomination, especially for
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council and David
Corn is an MSNBC political analyst and bureau chief for "Mother Jones."
Tony, I`ve been thinking about you a lot. I do trust your conscience.
You`re more conservative than me on cultural and moral issues, maybe,
although I`m not sure. When it comes to actual morality, I think we may be
closer than you`d believe.
But here`s my question. How can somebody on the religious right, who
basically takes their cues in politics from their religious beliefs and
moral beliefs put out there somebody like Herman Cain, with all these
questions about him? Let me just call them questions at this point, but
enough of them to weigh you down a bit in terms of wanting to get a good
verdict out of it?
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: I think that`s a fair
question. And I think the question now that`s being asked -- conservatives
are saying, you know, Are these allegations cooked up by these women? Are
they true? Is Herman Cain, you know, a master chef of deception? And
that`s going to be a deciding factor for the outcome of his candidacy.
I think some look and see how front-runners have been -- kind of found
some weakness or some allegation. They`ve been attacked.
PERKINS: They`re waiting to see if these things are true.
And if they are, I do believe that people will leave Herman Cain very
quickly. And as you said, he`s declined some in the polls, but that
support has actually gone to Newt Gingrich.
I mean, Michele Bachmann -- Michele...
MATTHEWS: Well, what do you make of that? Newt Gingrich -- I`m not
against people having multiple, serial marriages. I`m not in the business
of justifying that.
MATTHEWS: A lot of people I know are happily married for the second
time, sometimes the third time.
In fact, I bumped into an old friend of mine the other day. He`s on
his forth. I`m not here to judge. I`m not a minister. I`m not a man of
the cloth. In fact, I don`t really judge people myself on that. I think
people should seek happiness on Earth in a reasonable way and in a moral
OK. Now, Newt Gingrich, three times married, Opus Dei, right-wing
Catholic, is he OK with you? Are you OK with him?
PERKINS: You know, this issue came up when he was kind of toying with
the idea of running four years ago. And he addressed those issues.
And I absolutely do agree he has serious problems with women,
conservative voters. I think they will give somebody one pass, but I do
think he has a difficulty that he may not be able to overcome. But this is
what he has done in the debates. He has not been out front and won every
debate, but he`s kind of had this -- every time he`s said something, it`s
been pretty good.
I mean, he`s a pretty smart guy.
MATTHEWS: I know that.
PERKINS: And he has kind of been a senior statesman and he`s brought
some clarity to these debates. So I think people are giving him a second
MATTHEWS: I will get to you, David, in a second.
DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: OK.
MATTHEWS: I want to get to Tony here because I find him fascinating,
because I do trust him.
Suppose you go to -- you go to the supermarket like I do occasionally
for the family. And you go and you look in the grapes collection. And all
the grapes are all rotten. So you don`t buy any grapes that day.
PERKINS: You buy bananas.
MATTHEWS: What happens when you go to your Republican candidates and
they`re all rotten this year? Do you not buy any?
PERKINS: Well, I think that is a challenge. And that`s why I think
you see people...
PERKINS: I`m not saying they`re all rotten. I`m just saying there
are actually some good candidates, but they have all had kind of a -- they
have been out front. Michele Bachmann was out front for a while. You know
she was attacked and she went down in the polls. Rick Perry was greatly
anticipated to enter the race and he has underperformed.
Then you see Herman Cain. But you -- look, it`s really interesting,
Chris. Herman Cain, despite these allegations and charges, is maintaining
his lead even in this poll out of Iowa. He`s dropped, but he`s still
ahead. It tells me that people are not ready to go to Mitt Romney and
settle on him as the nominee.
MATTHEWS: That`s it.
David, get in here, because, analytically, you`re a man of the left,
but this is so weird, this, a party that can`t find someone they like.
CORN: Your analogy is that a piece of bruised fruit might do better
than Mitt Romney. That may come at the end of the day.
But to win over the long run, you need three things. I will make it
simple for Rick Perry here. You need money, organization, and seriousness.
And none of these challenges that have come up, you know, as the non-Mitt
candidate have had all three, while Mitt Romney does.
And there`s one other thing I would add to that. You need to be able
to survive scrutiny. And Newt Gingrich up to now has had the advantage of
low expectations. The media hasn`t gone and looked at the 17 organizations
he`s running -- he`s run.
One good example, the other night at the debate, on CNBC, they asked
him about $300,000 he was paid by, what was it, Freddie or Fannie, and, you
know, when they were trying to get political influence in Washington to
keep the regulators off their back. He said that they turned to him
because he was a historian and he would give them historical lectures.
I spoke to someone at Fannie Mae about that and they were laughing
about this. He wasn`t telling the truth. No one`s really dug into a lot
of these things and 30 years of political controversies. So he may come up
for a while, but he`s going to fall down like everybody else, like we see
Herman Cain now. You may be left with Mitt Romney because there`s nobody
else in the barrel of apples.
PERKINS: David, I agree. I agree with you, David. I would just add
one kind of component, just a little twist on what you said, is I think the
candidate has to be trustworthy. People have to trust them, in that what
they say is what they do.
And sometimes we`re seeing rhetoric, but a record that doesn`t match
CORN: That is the Mitt Romney problem, yes.
PERKINS: Yes, absolutely.
MATTHEWS: Well, here`s Herman Cain yesterday joking -- and I think he
was joking -- about -- with a supporter about something that`s not really
funny, Anita Hill, the woman who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual
Let`s listen to his fun here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear the latest news today? Anita Hill is
going to come out...
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is she going to endorse me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, today, Herman Cain said his comment was in no way
intended to be an insult to Anita Hill or anyone else.
MATTHEWS: Well, I don`t how to put these things in context anymore.
Obviously, he thought it was real hoot. But I don`t think you should judge
a guy on what he says is funny in a weird -- look, I don`t think Anita
Hill`s charges were anything but serious. They were serious as hell.
MATTHEWS: And that situation was not fun when you were Clarence
Thomas or Anita Hill. It was a dramatically bad situation for both
parties. I think she was right.
But I have got to tell you, there was nothing funny about it. I don`t
know why they think it`s funny.
MATTHEWS: Let me go back to David Corn.
CORN: Yes. Yes.
MATTHEWS: Who`s going to be the Republican nominee, if you had to put
big money on it?
CORN: Well, I wouldn`t put big money, but I think you have got to bet
with Mitt Romney now. He`s the only guy who has been able to make it this
far without looking like a total fool.
There is the trustworthiness question that Tony`s brought up, and he`s
going to have to continue to navigate that. But at the end of the day,
he`s not a piece of rotten fruit, which may be what determines who wins the
Republican nominee -- nomination.
MATTHEWS: Go back to Tony for a second.
Tony, could you live with him as your nominee?
PERKINS: Well, we`re not there yet.
MATTHEWS: The religious right people?
PERKINS: We`re not there yet. We`re going to see where we win.
Sometimes you got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, and
I`m holding right now.
MATTHEWS: You think you might stay out of this race altogether if
PERKINS: Well, no, no, not at all.
What I`m saying, at this point in the process, we`re still a long way
from the convention and this being settled. And as long as there are one
or more conservatives -- or two or more conservatives in this race, I`m not
weighing in for any particular candidate.
MATTHEWS: Do you wish Huckabee was running?
PERKINS: I will say this. I told Mike this when we were talking, as
he was making his decision. Had he gotten in, I would have supported him
from the very beginning.
MATTHEWS: Yes, that`s what I think. I think Huckabee...
CORN: Maybe Tony`s hoping for Rick Santorum to get his turn.
MATTHEWS: No, no, no, no.
PERKINS: Everybody else has had their day in the spotlight.
MATTHEWS: That`s sarcasm, but there`s four guys that should...
CORN: No, I`m serious. No, I`m serious, Chris.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s go. We go -- there are so many guys. The bench
is better looking than the people on the field.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you very much, David Corn.
And we all agree the bench looks great right now.
Tony Perkins, thanks for that.
I think Huckabee, I think Mitch Daniels, I think Chris Christie, I
think Jeb Bush, I think Haley Barbour are all better as a group than the
team on the field on the Republican side.
Up next, Jon Stewart weighed in on the circus that is the Republican
field too. He`s next in the "Sideshow."
You`re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL. Now for the "Sideshow."
First up, leader of the pack by default. As we talked about earlier,
Mitt Romney`s front-running status seems to be mostly the result of the
surge-and-tank pattern. Surge and tank is the phrase, pattern we`re seeing
from his opponents. And plenty of people are noticing.
Let`s see how "The Daily Show" summed up Romney`s ongoing secret to
success on last night`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART")
JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": In our coverage
of Romney`s clinching debate, we need not even show you highlights of
STEWART: ... but merely the spontaneous combustion of his opponents.
Chief Romney rival in the polls, Herman Cain. Guy is in the middle of
a scandal involving his treatment of women.
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We didn`t hear about it in
the previous Congress -- previous Congress because Princess Nancy sent it
to committee and it stayed there.
STEWART: Princess Nancy. There`s only three times you should ever
use that term, with an actual female member of the royal family, a new
Maltese puppy you got, and, oh, what`s the third?
STEWART: Many Republican faithful thought Perry would be the answer
to their prayers, but it turns out he was the answer to ours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s for sure. Could there be any greater gift to
late-night comedy than the past few weeks of the Republican race? Answer:
And finally, I`m out on the West Coast this week and last night I
stopped by "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" to discuss my new book, "Jack
Kennedy: Elusive Hero."
Well, we had a great discussion on Kennedy`s presidency, Jay and I.
And I shared with Jay my discovery about Jack`s most famous line. Let`s
hear it from the interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")
JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Jack Kennedy`s
famous speech about ask not what you can do for you, what you can for your
LENO: But in your book, you say he didn`t actually write that.
Tell that story.
MATTHEWS: He went to Choate school, which is a private boarding
school up in Connecticut. And I had heard the rumor that maybe he got the
ask not what your country can do for you, what -- ask what you can do for
your country, from his headmaster.
His speechwriter thought it might be true, but never could prove it.
So I went up there. They pulled open a looseleaf book. And I open up the
looseleaf book. And it was the headmaster`s daily sermon notes. And it
had the date, the number of the hymns, and then it had an essay that said,
the youth should always ask of his alma mater, not -- and then quotes --
"not what she can do for him, but what he can do for her."
LENO: Oh, see? So there.
MATTHEWS: And I found it. I found where it came from.
LENO: A 60 -- 50-year mystery right here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: It was a heroic moment, by the way, Kennedy`s
administration, in the country`s history. And I`m bringing it back to life
as best I can in my book. Thanks again to Jay for having me on.
Up next, the Senate voted overwhelmingly for President Obama`s jobs
bill for veterans. Today`s Veterans Day, by the way, of course. Those who
are off today know it. Why is it so difficult for America`s veterans
coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan to find work here in their home
You`re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
HAMPTON PEARSON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Hampton Pearson with your
CNBC "Market Wrap."
A strong finish for the week puts us back in the black for the year,
the Dow Jones industrial soaring 259 points, the S&P 500 gaining 24, and
the Nasdaq picking up 53 points.
Looks like European bond investors are coming in off the ledge in
terms of their outlook on the crisis over there. A monthly analysis from
Bank of America Merrill Lynch found investors increasingly optimistic about
Europe`s ability to get its financial house in order.
The Italian Senate passed a new budget law allowing for formation of
an emergency government. And Greece`s new prime minister, Lucas Papademos,
is forming a crisis cabinet to help him role out painful austerity measures
with minimal unrest.
In stocks, Disney led the Dow higher on solid gains in TV ad sales and
theme park revenue. And Caterpillar rallied on word it`s shifting some
production from Japan to North America to cut down on heavy equipment
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide -- now back to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On this Veterans Day,
let us commit ourselves to keep making sure that our veterans receive the
care and benefits that they have earned, the opportunity they defend and
deserve, and above all, let us welcome them home as what they are, an
integral, essential part of our American family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was, of course, President Obama today at Arlington National
Cemetery. Returning veterans today, by the way, face a rough job market,
as you might expect. And for veterans who have served since 9/11, the
unemployment rate is 12.1 percent. And that, of course, is significantly
higher than the national rate of unemployment of 9 percent.
Joining me now are two Iraq war veterans, Tammy Duckworth, who was an
assistant secretary in the Department of Veterans Affairs and is currently
running for Congress out in Illinois, and former Congressman Patrick
Murphy, who is currently running to be the attorney general of
Thank you both for joining us.
Tammy, can you start off and give us your expertise now on the
particular job requirements or availability of people coming back from the
service that perhaps the hiring people in this country don`t understand?
TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think
that people don`t realize how well-trained our veterans are and how hard
they`re willing to work.
And, in fact, our veterans are probably one of the few groups of
people who have guaranteed the quality of their work with their lives.
When my crew chief gave me the keys to my Black Hawk and said, hey, I
checked the oil levels and I twisted all the safety wires, he didn`t just
hand me the keys and walk away.
He climbed in the back of that aircraft and he guaranteed his work by
getting on that aircraft and going on that mission. I think any employer
should be proud to hire someone who`s willing to work that hard.
MATTHEWS: Is one of the things you have in the service the ability to
learn? You`re -- you`re learning all the time. And therefore you can
learn something new the next day. That learning skill that you have to be
drilled in, in the military day in -- isn`t that something that the
employer would look for?
DUCKWORTH: I think employers would absolutely look for that.
And these folks are, as we used to say in the Army, force multipliers.
They`re not only going to be learning all the time. They`re going to be
leaders. They`re going to bring up the productivity and the willingness of
the rest of your workers to be creative and to troubleshoot and to problem-
solve. Our veterans can really be someone who will bring your business up
MATTHEWS: Let me ask Patrick Murphy to join us right now.
Patrick, you have been in politics, you have been in Congress, you
have served the Bucks County area for a while. Let me ask you about the
difference now than the way it was say in even in the Vietnam era. In the
Vietnam era, you had guys and women -- guys who were drafted all the time.
So everybody was eligible for the draft who was healthy.
So everybody was sort of in it together. People knew people in the
service because their buddies in school who sat next to them in school or
roommates were getting drafted. Today, the military is a small part.
President Obama pointed out the small number of service members that
make up the population. Let`s listen to the president on the point, and
you follow up here, how isolated that community is getting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This generation of service
members, this 9/11 generation, has borne the burden of our security during
a hard decade of sacrifice. Our servicemen and women make up less than 1
percent of Americans. But also more than 1 million military spouses and 2
million children, and millions more parents and relatives, all of whom have
shared the strains of deployment and sacrifice on behalf of the country
that we love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: You know, I was thinking, Patrick, my friend, it was like the
Amish. It`s almost like the military had become a separate community. And
I say that in the highest possible respect, from the everyday person who
doesn`t perhaps know a relative, hasn`t got a spouse, doesn`t hang out in
the community where other service people live.
Isn`t that a big problem?
PATRICK MURPHY, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: It is a big problem, Chris. And I agree
And I agree with President Obama. There`s not a lot of families in America
that have skin in the game. It`s not their sons and daughters. It`s not
their nieces and nephews.
And I will tell you, you know, there are a new generation of military
veterans that are trying to give back to their country. Leaders like Tammy
Duckworth -- I mean, she is an incredible, inspirational leader. And she`s
going to be congresswoman from Illinois. And I can`t wait to see that
But I tell you, that`s why it`s great to see younger folks get in in
politics and get in public service, and continue the military. You know,
Joe Klein had a piece in "Time" magazine, and he said it`s pure public
And your book, the Jack Kennedy book, on page 66, Chris, you write, you
know, war forges you forever. And that`s what Jack Kennedy said. And it
just gives you a love of your country that you want to give back.
You don`t care about Democrat or Republican. You just want to do right by
your brothers and sisters in arms and also by your neighbors and your
MATTHEWS: Tammy, you said something -- the president actually said
something, I think you can follow up on it today, which was so important.
He didn`t say treat veterans like victims, do them a favor.
He said the community leaders, local mayors and people like that, county
commissioners, bring these people into your leadership force. These are
natural leaders. Urge them to join you in leadership. Not to be
supplicants, but to be leaders.
I thought it was so bracing that he did that today. He didn`t do the
usual, give them a break. He said, bring them into the ranks of
TAMMY DUCKWORTH, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Absolutely. And our military men and
women, from the first day you show up at basic training, you`re getting
leadership training. You`re ready to take the next step.
You know, if your buddy falls or your sergeant falls, you`re ready to step
forward and pick up that rifle and carry on with the mission.
And I think the president is absolutely right. Chris, if you look back to
World War II and look at what the greatest generation did when they came
home, they became our nation`s leaders. They became the Bob Doles, the
Daniel Inouyes, the Jack Kennedys, that move this country forward and built
the middle class.
We have that opportunity again with this new greatest generation. They`re
going to lead this country back into strength and they`re going to be the
future of our nation. We just have to give them a shot at it.
MATTHEWS: Well-said, thank you, Tammy Duckworth. Good luck in your race.
Patrick, go ahead, last 10 seconds.
MURPHY: And, Chris, I would disagree. I mean, listen, it`s not just going
to happen because it should happen. It`s going to happen because we pass
bills like happened yesterday in the Senate, the veterans jobs bill. They
broke it down finally into smaller pieces, it passed 95-0, and it gives
basically tax credits to businesses to hire these leaders, these military
leaders back into the ranks of the employment.
And there`s almost 1 million veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan that are
unemployed. We need to get it done, we need Congress to act.
And have a great Veterans Day, Chris, and everyone. Thanks so much for
having us on.
MATTHEWS: Happy Veterans Day to everyone out there. To those who have
served our country, thank you for your service if you`re watching right
now, and your families. And I mean it.
Up next, what if John F. Kennedy had lived? We`ve got an interesting
theory coming out from the great, brilliant Stephen King, who`s written a
novel about what would have happened had he not been killed that day.
Stephen King, who can scare the bejesus out of you sometimes, is going to
tell us a story of mixed development, I must say. I`m not sure this is a
good ending either.
This is HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: Florida Senator Marco Rubio doesn`t seem to be losing support
after embellishing his family history. A new Quinnipiac poll of Florida
voters finds Rubio`s approval rating hasn`t budged. He`s at 49 percent
approve, 31 percent disapprove.
Two months ago, those numbers were virtually identical. Rubio long held he
was the son of exiles who fled Castro`s Cuba, but last month "The
Washington Post" reported that his family came to this country before
Castro took power.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We`re back.
My next guest is known for his suspenseful and scary works of fiction. But
his newest book is quite a departure for him, a work of historical fiction,
of which the protagonist travels back in time to save President John F.
Kennedy. So, how would a country had been different of Kennedy lives?
Stephen King`s newest novel known -- is called "11/22/63" is out this week.
Stephen, thank you for joining us.
I think there are some interesting parallels between the times, in November
22nd, 1963 and right now. When Kennedy was driving to the airport in Fort
Worth that morning, on the ay to Dallas, he was talking to Jim Wright and
John Connelly. They were on the car with them. And he`s trying to figure
out why Dallas was so right wing, so ferociously right wing, while Fort
Worth was this calm, yellow dog Democrat working class town.
How today do you see these parallels of this horrific right wing anger,
crankiness, or worse, and what it was like down there, the city he went
into, in Dallas?
STEPHEN KING, AUTHOR, "11/12/63": Well, you know, I`ve been looking at
some YouTube clips from 1962 and 1963. And the rhetoric then and the
rhetoric now is virtually interchangeable. I saw a clip with a
televangelist named Bill James Hargis and it could be Pat Robertson or any
Tea Partier today.
The hate is still around and the disaffection with politics in Washington.
And these are real.
You know, some of the clips from Dallas at that time. There`s one of Adlai
Stevenson being bat by a protester sign and Larry Bird Johnson got spat
upon by Chamber of Commerce ladies. And that was in Dallas.
MATTHEWS: Yes. That morning, he said, we`re going to nut country today.
Are we in nut country today?
KING: I think so. You know, I already had the idea for this book in 1971
and I`m really glad that I didn`t try to write it then because I think it
was too close, too many of the actual real life players were still alive.
Jacqueline Kennedy was still alive, and, of course, both of the kids.
And so, I kind of mothballed the idea. And I started to think about it
again in 2008, because there are a lot of parallels between John F. Kennedy
and Barack Obama. The age, they`re both young politicians, they both spent
a short time in the Senate. They both have beautiful wives. They both
have beautiful kids.
Also, there`s been this sort of atmosphere of real hate and obstructionism
that surrounded both men.
So, I began to think history repeats itself, and at that point I thought to
myself, I really like to write this book. And one of the things that I
kind of like to say is, here is where hate will get you eventually, this is
what happens. Finally, it`s the barrel of a gun.
MATTHEWS: Yes, but it was a communist sympathizer. That`s one of the
great ironies of history. It was Lee Harvey Oswald, the man of
extraordinary left by our standards, who killed him.
So, how do you put that together with the right-wing mood of Dallas?
KING: Well, it`s certainly a contrast between the mood, and I think a lot
of people in Dallas assumed at the time that it was somebody right wing or
somebody associated with the CIA, or this, that and the other thing. But
the fact is Oswald`s communist tendencies were basically the outgrowth of a
disturbed mind. He was somebody who wanted to be famous.
When he and Marina flew back to the United States -- well, they came back
on a ship, but they flew from New Jersey to Fort Worth to be with Lee`s
brother Robert. He told Marina all the things that they were supposed to
say when they were greeted at the airport by throngs of reporters. When
nobody showed up, he was a really unhappy camper.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about your novel --
KING: He was a fame junky, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I know.
Look, I loved your novel "Pet Cemetery." Like everybody else, I couldn`t
get it out of me. I thank you for that, for the months and years, I
couldn`t get that horror story out of my head or my soul. Thank you for
that, Stephen King.
KING: You`re more than welcome for that.
MATTHEWS: But this one, I understand from people who have read it, they
say that although you talk about history being intervened with, with
Kennedy surviving and going to a second term, it was like resurrection
ain`t so pretty, buddy, right?
KING: Well, I talked a bit with Doris Kearns-Goodwin and her husband, Dick
Goodwin, and I talked with my wife, who is a history major back at the
University of Maine, and said, well, look, suppose this didn`t turn out for
the best. Suppose Kennedy had lived and things went south anyway, give me
a plausible scenario for some of the things that might have happened.
And what everybody sort of agreed on was that, again, you know, the
parallel between Barack Obama and Jack Kennedy is, neither one of them
seemed to be able to find the levers that move the House and the Senate
with any real consistency.
And Lyndon Johnson was a past master at that. And when Johnson succeeded
to the presidency --
MATTHEWS: Yes, I agree with you,
KING: -- he was able to fulfill on a lot of the Kennedy
MATTHEWS: And he had one other advantage.
KING: Whether or not Kennedy could have done it.
And there`s also the question about what Barack Obama will be able to do,
assuming he is elected to a second term, with McConnell and Boehner and the
people who stand against him.
MATTHEWS: You`re a great --
KING: Let me ask you something, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I have to go. Real quickly, what, go ahead, Stephen.
KING: I wanted to ask you if you thought that Joe Biden would be able to
find those levers if he were to become president later on?
MATTHEWS: We`ll have to talk after the show. I think Joe Biden has great
strengths that don`t always become obvious. I think he`s a very, very
smart political leader who`s in second place right now. Maybe he would be
good in first place. But think we`re both going in the same direction.
Thank you very much. Your book, Stephen, it`s called "11/22/63." It`s
about what might have been. Thank you so much. You`re a genius.
When we return, "Let Me Finish" with some advice for Penn State as it tries
to rebuild its reputation.
You`re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: "Let Me Finish" tonight with this:
Nothing is more disturbing than having someone in a position of moral
authority who behaves in a lowly way. We are taught, most of us, to look
up to people in authority -- church leaders, firefighters, police, those
who teach us, to see them ago being on a higher moral plain. Their
positions tell us to respect them, to be guided by them, to see them in a
special moral rank, one well above us.
And then there come those times in our lives when we are jolted by the G-
force of someone in just such a position acting totally against the
character their positions suggest for them. I think of the New York police
just going on trial for drug dealing and other corruption.
My church has been the most dramatic example of men held high in our public
consciousness who have turned out to be hidden criminals in our midst,
protected by their colleagues at the expense of those young boys they have
sexually exploited and psychologically wounded, perhaps for life.
Why? Why did grownups at Penn State become the cover-up squad? Why do men
who must have known and been individually aghast at what they saw or heard
not act out of that disgust? They must have known at the instance they
Perhaps it goes back to my own deepest advice I give to graduates at
colleges like Penn State -- if you don`t enter a world like big-time
college football or Washington, D.C. politics with a solid moral grounding
of what is right and what is wrong, you are unlikely to learn it in that
arena. It`s something you must have walking in at first day and fight
never to lose, that basic human knowledge of what is right and what is
As Penn State says good-bye to Joe Paterno -- Joe Pa as they have long
cheered him on big game days -- I hope, don`t you all, that they will
welcome back those basic values lost in the hunt for the next win on
Saturday, because what makes college football, win or lose, great, what
makes trying to for personal and team glory and all the other fund and
challenging contest on this earth is the abiding respect for those values
that we all know are greater still.
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.
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