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updated 6/28/2012 5:42:31 PM ET 2012-06-28T21:42:31

Guests: Jim Burn, Patrick Murphy, Maggie Haberman, Harvey Weinstein

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: I confess.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews down in Washington.

"Let Me Start" tonight with this nutcase up in Pennsylvania, this
Republican leader who declared out loud what Democrats have been saying for
months, that these new laws making it harder to vote, requiring government-
issued photo ID cards and other moves, are aimed at getting Romney and
other Republicans elected.

How rare it is when the perpetrator of a political scheme confesses
its political nature, and that`s what majority leader Mike Turzai did this
weekend. He blew the cover. So much for good government. He admitted the
whole scheme was to win. Let`s get to this GOP leader in the Keystone
state and other states, this plan to kill off the older voters and others
who might be planning -- how dare they -- to vote for Obama.

Pat Murphy served as Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania`s 8th
district. Jim Burn is the chair of the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania.
Gentlemen, thank you for joining us.

This weekend, just to set the table, at the Republican state committee
meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania, house Republican leader Mike Turzai
championed legislation Republicans had passed, and then came out with what
a lot of Democrats have been saying for a while -- and it is a "A-ha"
moment for everyone -- when he seemed to confirm -- damn it, he did confirm
suspicions that Pennsylvania`s new voter ID law is not about stopping
fraud. Oh, no way. It`s about stopping President Obama.

Let`s listen to the guy give it all away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE TURZAI (R), PENNSYLVANIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: We are focused on
making sure that we meet our obligations that we`ve talked about for years
-- pro-2nd Amendment, the Castle (ph) doctrine (ph) -- it`s done. First
pro-life legislation, abortion facility regulations in 22 years. Done.
Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of
Pennsylvania. Done.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: You know, Chairman Burn, not only did he say it out loud
that it will allow their candidate to win -- or actually, it`ll allow
Romney to carry Pennsylvania, his new voter requirement that requires the
rather difficult efforts, like going out if you`re 80 years old and finding
someplace to get an ID card made by the government with a picture on it,
and then they go out and applaud the guy.

This wasn`t any secret. They -- all those Republicans in that room,
Republican activists and party regulars, were cheering a guy who had just
said, We did this thing to win an election, not to stop fraud.

JIM BURN, PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: No surprise on our
side of the aisle there, Chris. Quite frankly, we knew all along this was
nothing more than a Republican scheme to attempt to win and to tip the
scales.

But having said that, we have a very good ground game. We were
prepared this year, like every year, to bring out the vote with a better
ground game than our opponents. As we implement that ground game this
fall, we will remind folks who may be affected by this decision, this new
law, of what they need to do to vote, and we will help them to achieve the
credentials they need, if necessary.

MATTHEWS: Well, people watching right now from states like -- well,
let`s start with Pennsylvania. What should they do to be able to vote? If
they have -- they look in their -- hey, look, I haven`t driven a car in 20
years. I don`t have any government affiliation. I don`t have an ID card
with my picture on it issued by the government. What should they do, Mr.
Chairman? And forget -- this isn`t partisan. What should a person in that
predicament do?

BURN: We would ask any Pennsylvanian who has a question right now
about whether or not they have the necessary papers, unfortunately, to vote
to go to our Web page, www.PADems.com/vote. And as we canvas, Chris, and
as they go to our Web page, we will drill down with them to see if they
have what it takes to vote in Pennsylvania right now. And if they don`t,
we will make sure they have it. Either we will take them ourselves to get
what they need or if they can make arrangements to get to where they need
to go to qualify. We`ll make sure that happens. And then we will circle
back with them as we get closer to the November election...

MATTHEWS: Yes -- let...

BURN: ... to be sure not only...

MATTHEWS: ... bring it -- yes, go ahead.

BURN: Not only that they have what they need to vote, we`ll get them
there to vote, if we have to.

MATTHEWS: And just to bring it down to a local level, if you`re a big
city Democrat or Republican in any big city, go to your committee person.
They`ll help you out. That`s the way to do it.

Pat Murphy, thanks for joining us. This is an amazing assault. I
mean, this is an attempt to keep people who are older, people who are
poorer, who don`t have the money to go out and go find the Penndot (ph) or
whatever you have to go, the DMZ -- DMZ! -- DMV. It`s practically DMZ!
Talk about it.

PATRICK MURPHY (D), FMR. PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSMAN: And also, college
students. I mean, most of the colleges like Penn State University,
University of Pittsburgh, they cannot use their college ID to show proof of
who they are.

I mean, we`re talking about 700,000 people just in Pennsylvania
disenfranchised, and basically, Majority Leader Turzai getting caught
talking to his base.

Chris, this is offensive. To think that we have men and women who
have fought and died for the right to vote -- I look at my experience in
Iraq, the fact that I served with heroes who gave their life, who never
made it home, so that in 2005, people in Iraq, 12 million people could vote
for the first time.

MATTHEWS: Yes, but not here.

MURPHY: We all remember those purple fingers. The fact that here at
home, we`re chipping away at our democracy -- our vote is sacred...

MATTHEWS: OK...

MURPHY: ... and they just basically...

MATTHEWS: OK...

MURPHY: This isn`t a game.

MATTHEWS: Congressman, I want you and the chairman of the party up in
Pennsylvania -- because I don`t think this is a partisan issue except on
the Republican side. I would think everybody wants to vote. Everybody
should want everybody to vote. People that don`t want certain people to
vote are up to something.

Here`s the spokesman, pretty weak gravy coming out of this guy.
Turzai`s spokesman said, quote, "Representative Turzai was speaking at a
partisan political event." That`s supposed to defend him! "He was simply
referencing for the first time in a long while, the Republican presidential
candidate will be on a more even keel, thanks to voter ID. Anyone looking
further into this has their own agenda."

Your response to that, Chairman Burn?

BURN: That`s ridiculous. Mr. Turzai has tripped over his tongue once
again. This time, he has shown what the true intent of this piece of
legislation was. Chris, in the last 30 years, 32 years in Pennsylvania,
hundreds of millions of votes cast, less than 10 alleged cases of voter
abuse.

Mr. Turzai and this Republican governor, Corbett, have found $11
million to fix a problem that doesn`t exist while they cut education, an
attempt to cut it, upwards of 50 percent.

MATTHEWS: Well, it`s interesting -- Pat, let`s go over this number.
Let`s take a look at how the parties break out. This is not viewed
positively by the Democratic Party. It is overwhelmingly viewed positively
by the Republican Party. Look at these numbers now -- 91 percent of
Republicans who are registered voters love this thing, a majority of
Democrats, 53, oppose it.

What`s that about?

MURPHY: That`s about, basically, the talking points that they`re
hearing from their leaders. And the talking points from Republicans are,
We want to make sure that there`s no fraud.

So do we. If anyone commits fraud, there`s already rules in place and
laws in place to put them in jail. This is simply to disenfranchise
people.

They`re doing two things. One, they`re disenfranchising folks when
they show up in four months, but also to say, Well, maybe you shouldn`t
even show up. There`s the other intent there, as well.

MATTHEWS: Oh, yes, that`s right. People...

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: ... if my vote`s not going to count. Remember Florida in
2000, how important every vote count -- and Pennsylvania being a
battleground, which is in play, where we need every single vote to get out
there -- that`s why that Web site Gottovote.com or the PADems.com Web sites
are the...

MATTHEWS: OK...

MURPHY: ... two critical ones.

MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about how this is important. Chairman Burn,
you`re chairman of the whole political party of Pennsylvania. I want you
to look at this number here right now about how close Pennsylvania is. I
actually think it`s closer than this.

Quinnipiac has it as 46-40 for Obama. I think that`s getting very
close to the margin of error. And my sense is there`s some people in there
that aren`t being square right now. I think it`s a tough-as-hell election.

And my thinking is this. Why would any voter out there who was truly
nonpartisan want to make an 80-year-old person who doesn`t drive a car,
hasn`t driven one in 15 years, doesn`t get involved in public affairs
issues where you have an ID card, doesn`t traveled the world with a
passport -- why not let that person vote? And a lot of people have to
drive a cab or take public transportation to vote. It`s hard. This makes
it even harder and more expensive.

Let me ask you about how close Pennsylvania -- could they grab
Pennsylvania, like this guy just said, Turzai? That was the main port (ph)
of his statement. With this new voter ID card, a big state like
Pennsylvania with 20 electoral votes can be snagged, poached, if you will,
by the Republicans.

BURN: They`re not going to poach anything in Pennsylvania. We have a
better field plan. And whether or not they attempted to pull this
chicanery or not, we were going to have people on the ground -- and we will
have people on the ground -- to get out the vote and make sure everybody
who wants to vote can and will vote.

But Chris, I would suggest that those numbers may be further to the
president`s advantage in Pennsylvania. I`ve been to many of our counties
over the last couple years, and in this cycle in particular, this
Republican presumptive nominee does not connect with Pennsylvanians.

And if it hadn`t been for the Tea Party not being able to get its act
together between either Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum, I would suggest,
despite his hundreds of millions of dollars and campaigning for six years,
he would still be in a primary fight. They know they have a weak
candidate. They`re doing everything they can to create diversion...

MATTHEWS: What`s weak about him?

BURN: ... and to try to disenfranchise...

MATTHEWS: What`s weak about him?

BURN: ... voters.

MATTHEWS: What`s weak about him?

BURN: He does not -- what`s weak about him? 47 out of 50 in job
creation in Massachusetts, Bain Capital, running businesses into bankruptcy
to make profits, not being able to connect with average Pennsylvania
voters, failing to step up and take a statement on any significant issue.
Rather, he would kick the can down the road and point to the president.
The president has had the courage to step up and make difficult decisions.
All that this candidate can do is criticize this man`s leadership. He has
no plan of his own.

MATTHEWS: You`re the best surrogate we`ve had on for Obama. We can`t
get cabinet members or senators to talk about you. (SIC) You ought to be
running the surrogate operation because that`s a really good distillation
of what the hell the problem with Romney is.

MURPHY: Exactly. Chairman Burn is exactly right. The people of
Pennsylvania, a manufacturing state, do not want another outsourcer-in-
chief. I mean, that is what Mitt Romney`s record is. He went from 36th in
the country, Massachusetts, to 47th, the very last, the bottom of the
bottom. I mean...

MATTHEWS: Made a lot of money.

MURPHY: He made a lot of money, but let me tell you something. A lot
of middle class families lost their jobs because of his outsourcing.

MATTHEWS: We`re going to get to it later in the show again, but I
want to thank you both. What you raised is going to be a big part of our
discussion tonight, Mr. Burn, Jim Burn, the chairman of the Democratic
Party of Pennsylvania. And the point is that nobody seems to like Romney.
The ones who are thinking of voting for him -- and it`s a lot of people --
is they`re concerned about the economy. But they don`t like him
personally. He is not registering on the scale.

Anyway, thank you, Pat Murphy, former congressman from Bucks County,
Pennsylvania.

MURPHY: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Jim Burn from Allegheny County, now statewide chairman of
the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania. These guys are going up -- up in the
road here.

Anyway, coming up, the presidential race. Those attacks on Mitt
Romney`s years at Bain seem to be scoring. We`re seeing in the new polling
from NBC News real numbers moving here in those deciding states like Iowa,
Ohio, Wisconsin, where people don`t like big money coming in and destroying
your jobs and sending them to India and China.

Also, how much longer can Mitt Romney stick with his code of omerta,
criticizing the president but never telling us where he stands? Even his
supporters are saying, It`s time to speak up, Mitt.

And Hollywood and politics, the great movie producer Harvey Weinstein
with 70 Oscars comes here to play HARDBALL tonight -- HARDBALL.

Finally, President Obama learns a wicked hard lesson in Boston about
knowing your audience. Rule one, don`t even talk slightly negatively about
the Sox. Be careful. You`re in the Vatican of sports up there.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Ever since he ran for president, there`s been lots of talk
about whether Barack Obama is a Muslim or not. Well, he`s not, of course.
And in a new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, 43 percent correctly
identified the president as a Protestant, 8 percent said he`s a Muslim.

But here`s the kicker, 1 percent -- never forget this -- now say
President Obama is a Mormon. President Obama a Mormon, the hot news out of
our poll. Mitt Romney, of course, is a member of the LDS church, the
Mormon faith, and 67 percent of the country got that one right.

We`ll be right back with some of the more significant numbers from our
poll.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL. The White House is not letting up in its
criticism of Romney`s time at Bain Capital. At three events today and
yesterday, President Obama hit Romney over a "Washington Post" article from
last week. The "Post`s" story showed Bain was heavily invested in
companies that were considered pioneers of sending American jobs overseas,
pioneers of shipping our jobs away.

The attacks continued, beginning with new ads released in Iowa, Ohio
and Virginia. All hit the same note. Take a look at this ad running for
Obama in Virginia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Romney`s first 100 days, creating
thousands of new jobs for Virginians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But would he? "The Washington Post" has just
revealed that Romney`s companies were pioneers of shipping U.S. jobs
overseas, investing in firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by
American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and
India.

Does Virginia really want an outsourcer-in-chief in the White House?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s digging in there. Is there any indication
that these attacks are working? You bet. There`s a new NBC/"Wall Street
Journal" poll I mentioned just out today that offers some clues.

Chuck Todd`s the NBC News political director and chief White House
correspondent, and Maggie Haberman is senior political writer for Politico.
We got some good voices here.

Chuck, you are my guru on this stuff.

CHUCK TODD, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT/POLITICAL DIR.: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Is the fight and the attack on Bain, which has now been
going on for months, showing pay dirt? Is it working?

TODD: Well -- well, first of all, let`s separate out -- when you look
at our poll overall -- and we`re going to have more numbers later, and all
this stuff -- but what you see is everything went bad for the president as
far as the global picture of the economy. And so you would have thought
that in these polls, you would have seen him take a hit. Well, he hasn`t.

Why? Because the paid media campaign that`s taking place in the
battleground states is working for the Obama campaign. They`re winning
that front. And now, most of the negative ads now against Romney have been
more about his record. You haven`t seen a lot of the Bain. They are
pivoting to Bain now in paid TV ads.

MATTHEWS: What`s record...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... besides Bain?

TODD: ... a lot of it. It`s hitting him on his Massachusetts record.

MATTHEWS: The 47th in job growth.

TODD: It`s both -- it`s that private sector ad, where they say, Hey,
look at this. He made the same promise to Massachusetts that he is now.
And it was an ad that they ran over and over again.

I think what you see out of our poll and some other polls is that you
think, Geez, the weight of the bad economy should be hurting the president,
but he`s holding up. And Romney`s taking on water, too. They`re both
taking on water, but they both are, and that`s because the paid media
campaign of team Romney is working. Now, as for Bain, I think it`s clear
that they believe it works. And look where they`re running at...

MATTHEWS: OK...

TODD: ... OK? Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s look at this point, Chuck, you`re making here.
According to the new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, Barack Obama has a
sizable lead over Mitt Romney in the 12 swing states across the country.
Obama`s up by 8 points in those 12 states. Is this a leading or lagging
indicator, my standard old question? What`s ahead, the national numbers or
these -- these battleground numbers?

TODD: Well, I think the battleground numbers, and you`re seeing --
seeing...

MATTHEWS: Are ahead?

TODD: ... them come in. I think they`re a little bit of ahead
because they`re the ones -- they`re experiencing the campaign. You know,
we in the Acela corridor, we watch from the atop, right, atop of the trees
and all this stuff. It`s the folks in Ohio, Florida and Virginia. They`re
feeling it...

MATTHEWS: This is a new -- Maggie, we grew up in an America where
ever since Andy Jackson, the people who live in the middle part of the
country have resented the East Coast bankers. This is the old populist
reality of America that goes way back to hating the banks, hating -- you
know, free silver, William Jennings Bryan.

Is -- are we seeing a modern post-industrial version of that? Really,
I call it Scranton to Oshkosh. It`s the Rust Belt. There`s another
unlikable term. But it`s all those guys out there that go to Bears games.
They go to Green Bay games. They go out in cold weather to root for
football teams. They`re semi-skilled or skilled workers. They`re scared
to death of foreign competition.

They hate outsourcing. They hate the idea that you pick up the phone,
you got to call India to get an answer. Are these the people that Obama is
going after when he attacks Bain?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, POLITICO.COM: Oh, absolutely. Look, I don`t think
it`s full-throated Bryanism, but I think it is certainly an attempt to do
that. I think that the Bain attack, as Todd said -- they say it`s working.
I do think where we have seen more paid media certainly by the Obama
campaign has been on this Massachusetts ad, but the pro-Obama super-PAC,
Priorities USA Action, has done about $10 million of only Bain ads and only
in five states, five swing states.

So I do think there is evidence that both attacks are taking a toll.
This is what Democrats have always said it was going to be, an aggregate
effect over time. And if Romney is not going to defend against these
attacks, it will start to take a toll. The converse is that the economy is
bad, as Chuck said, and so Obama is not gaining ground, either. But we`ve
just escaped what was a very rough month for President Obama...

MATTHEWS: I know.

HABERMAN: ... and Romney`s best month of the year, and basically, the
needle really has not moved, certainly not in Romney`s favor, and those
swing state numbers are very interesting.

MATTHEWS: Well, now we heard from the tanks in those ads. Here comes
the artillery or rather -- well, the artillery.

Here`s Joe Biden in Iowa today making the same points that are running
in the pro-Obama ads about Bain. Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here`s the bottom
line, folks. Bain and their companies, they made a great deal of money
facilitating this outsourcing and offshoring American jobs.

Yes, they made a lot of money. But in the process, they devastated,
they devastated whole American communities. You have got to give Mitt
Romney credit. He`s a job creator in Singapore, China, India.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BIDEN: He`s been very good at creating jobs overseas.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: So, Mitt Romney is a punchline now.

TODD: This is rough stuff and this is -- look, Jerry Saab (ph) wrote
a great column today in saying, you know, Mitt Romney`s path to victory, he
has to win one of these sort of longtime Democratic blue states that have
always been contested, but Republicans have come up short, Pennsylvania,
Michigan, Wisconsin.

Take one of those three. And Iowa`s one of the other ones and I tell
you, this outsourcing stuff, this is something...

MATTHEWS: Oh, it`s a killer.

TODD: It can be a killer against somebody.

MATTHEWS: I`m with them on putting the knife in on this one.

But here`s -- I want to put together three challenges. He seems to be
winning according to the polling coming out tonight on the network at "The
Wall Street Journal." He seems to be winning the case against Bain and the
fact that it`s an outsourcing job that kills American jobs and sends them
overseas.

But let`s look at this number as the second question I bring in there.
Here`s Obama with some problems, what we have known about before among
working-class white voters, if you will. I hate getting sectarian. But
they`re white working-class voters in the same poll.

Look at that, 31 percent of white working-class, in other words, non-
college people.

Maggie, that`s a terrible number for a guy who wants to get reelected
president.

HABERMAN: This is a real problem for Obama and this is why he`s doing
the disqualifier on Mitt Romney. Don`t believe that he will make things
better for you than me.

I think what`s very interesting is you`re seeing Obama trying to
counter this, right, with his base. He is trying to counter it with black
and Hispanic voters, women voters, younger voters. He`s running a totally
base election. It`s not much very much towards the middle at all.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: But what happened to the white working-class that were the
base of the Democratic Party for 200 years?

HABERMAN: This has been a lot of erosion for a while. It`s been a
problem for Obama for the last four years. This is not a group he did very
well with in the primaries in 2008, as you know.

MATTHEWS: I know.

HABERMAN: This has never been a group that has liked him
particularly.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: It`s Clinton country and it`s Reagan Democrats.

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: They abandoned Bill Clinton in `94. Let`s not forget this.

HABERMAN: That`s true.

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: These folks have been skittish Democrats frankly ever since
McGovern.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: So you`re positioning me as a pro-Clinton guy.

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: No.

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: But they have been skittish about -- they have abandoned the
Democrats...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: So, it`s been gradual. It`s been going on.

TODD: It`s been gradual. Let`s not forget that.

MATTHEWS: OK, so what about the problem with Romney himself? Looking
into your poll data today, and I have been studying it, it`s fantastic.

It turns out there`s roughly -- maybe I`m getting ahead of some of the
numbers here, but when it comes to it, when you go to all the numbers
together, one in six people really want to vote for Romney to be president
of the United States. One in six. Everybody else is fighting over whether
they like the president or not and the job performance.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: But such a small percentage have glommed on to this guy and
saying he`s my guy. One in six, 15 percent.

TODD: Yes. This was the John Kerry problem. Remember? He has
coalesced the anti-Obama, the anti-incumbent. He`s gotten that vote.

MATTHEWS: But don`t you have to like the guy you want as president?

TODD: Well, I think that`s -- he`s testing this theory.

HABERMAN: That`s the question, right?

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: He`s testing this theory.

MATTHEWS: This is Nixon`s -- I say this on my commentary at the end.

The last guy that snuck in the presidency, not that he -- was Nixon,
who got elected because the Democrats were in this mishegas, this complete
confusion and hell in Chicago and had a war that everybody hated and Nixon
could come creeping in.

TODD: Barely, by the way.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Barely.

Maggie, what do you think when you look at the numbers and it shows
whites off the president, 31 percent of non college whites for the
president? And yet, the other guy, the other guy, the Republican, Mitt
Romney, looks right, I suppose, there`s nothing really unethical about the
guy, and yet nobody seems to like him. One in six voters are for him.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: That`s so amazing.

HABERMAN: Chuck said it very well. This is the analogue to Bush-
Kerry. Right? It`s the exact same thing. And it`s not really clear to
me.

MATTHEWS: What`s an analogue mean? What does that mean?

(LAUGHTER)

HABERMAN: It`s the parallel. Right?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: OK. Use my words.

(LAUGHTER)

HABERMAN: I`m sorry. Let me go back that way.

MATTHEWS: You guys are always using these new words.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

HABERMAN: But this is where the Romney campaign is making a test. He
does not want to take policy positions. He doesn`t want to touch on
certain issues that would fill out the frame of his personal life.

MATTHEWS: Can he hide from now to November?

HABERMAN: I think it`s extremely difficult.

Their bet is there are going to be a series of job reports that will
make it possible, but that is a serious bet.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: That he can actually come in as Brand X, that he`s an
alternative to the guy in there and that`s all he needs to say, I`m
different than this guy?

HABERMAN: Correct. I`m not Obama. I don`t know if you can win a
presidential race that way.

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: It`s their bet. They believe that Bill Clinton never really
fully convinced voters to be for him in `92, that essentially he was just
not Bush 41.

And if you look at where the direction of the country was at that
time, 70 plus percent thought...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Go back and look at those debates. He was masterful at
that.

(CROSSTALK)

HABERMAN: That`s the difference, though, is Bill Clinton is a very
different politician than Mitt Romney is.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... for that African-American woman who Bush couldn`t even
understand how to talk to, and he came out and embraced her emotionally...

TODD: But that`s what -- the Romney people are betting this is `92
and `80.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

TODD: And they don`t need to do that much.

HABERMAN: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: OK.

TODD: But I have to tell you, one thing I`m learning from our poll,
you`re seeing a different -- the two parties, they`re hardening in this new
coalition if you will of minorities and college educated whites for Obama
and base and everybody else for Romney. And guess what? That`s what we`re
headed to, this 49-49 election.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I don`t like that America. That is a divided America.

TODD: A very divided America.

MATTHEWS: And, by the way, when the young people vote as much as the
older white people, I`ll be surprised.

TODD: Well, there`s no evidence that`s happening.

MATTHEWS: I know. That`s the problem.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: As Joe Scarborough said, don`t bet on young people because
in the end, they got other things to do that day. Maybe not this time. It
wasn`t true in 2008, but I do worry about that.

Anyway, thank you, Chuck Todd, my guru.

TODD: All right, guys.

MATTHEWS: And thank you, Maggie Haberman, keeping up with Chuck.
He`s the best.

HABERMAN: Thanks, Chris.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Up next, booed in Boston. What did President Obama say
that got him booed at his new fund-raiser at the most Democratic of cities,
Boston? Don`t talk about the Sox in anything but praise.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": The segment
is called Rick Perry still sharp as a tack.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Mitt Romney`s very steady job-creating focus on allowing
the private sector to create those jobs is spot on. Most Americans
understand that. They`re ready to have a change in Washington, D.C., in
2015.

QUESTION: Let me ask you...

(BUZZER)

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL. And we`re already in the "Sideshow."

Last week, we showed you the epic gaffe from Indiana Senate candidate
Richard Mourdock. His campaign accidentally posted pre-recorded responses
to the Supreme Court`s decision on health care, including one celebrating
that the law had been struck down.

Well, we won`t hear the actual outcome until this Thursday.

Stephen Colbert decided to cover the bases himself complete with that
brick wall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE COLBERT REPORT")

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": The United States
Supreme Court has done what none of us have expected.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: The mandate has been struck down. There`s been another
recount, and George Bush is president again.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COLBERT: Well, the United States Supreme Court in a hotly contested
5-4 decision has declared that Carly Rae Jepsen`s "Call Me Maybe" is the
song of the summer.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COLBERT: Also, no health care.

Today, the United States Supreme Court did what none of us expected.
Justice Antonin Scalia revealed that the whole time, he`s just been four
raccoons in a black garbage bag.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: Today, the long-awaited decision on Obamacare came down.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: Excuse me, excuse me. I said nobody in the break room. OK.
Get out. Out!

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Mourdock had the video taken down soon after it went
public, but it was clearly too late to hide it.

Next, hitting a nerve. Bringing up baseball in Boston can be a risky
move, especially if you`re not a Red Sox fan. Well, yesterday, President
Obama thanked the Beantown crowd for Kevin Youkilis, who was traded from
Boston to the president`s hometown team the Chicago White Sox.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to say
thank you for Youkilis.

(BOOING)

OBAMA: I`m just saying, he`s going to have to change the color of his
socks.

I didn`t think I would get any boos out of here. But...

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: ... I should not have -- I should not have brought up
baseball.

(BOOING)

OBAMA: I understand. My mistake. My mistake. You got to know your
crowd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: It is religion up there. But think that was the end of it?
Not quite. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney came to the president`s
defense during a press gaggle on Air Force One earlier today.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is highly commendable in
my view as a Red Sox fan that this president has always refused to pander
on sports. He is a White Sox fan. He owns his fandom of the White Sox,
and proved that again last night.

Anyone who knows Boston and knows the Red Sox and was in that room
knows that the preponderance of people shouting in response to what the
president said about Kevin Youkilis were saying, Yook, not boo.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Come on, Jay. Yook as in Youkilis. No doubt, the
president felt and was completely outnumbered by Red Sox fans.

Up next, the sounds of silence. How much longer can Mitt Romney stay
silent before even his own supporters say, hey, we know you`re against
that, but what are you for?

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMPTON PEARSON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Hampton Pearson with your
CNBC "Market Wrap."

Stocks managed to eke out a gain. The Dow adds 32, the S&P up six,
the Nasdaq rises 18 points. On the economic front, consumer confidence
fell for a fourth straight month, according to the Conference Board.
Meanwhile, a report from S&P Case-Shiller showed home prices rose in April
for the third month in a row. And Zynga shares fell nearly 5 percent after
investors were less than impressed with the game maker`s Zynga With Friends
rollout.

That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide -- now back to
HARDBALL.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a busy week, by the
way, for the Supreme Court.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I think all their work highlights the leadership failures of
our current president.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: You see, when he was running for office, he said he would
make it his first priority in his first-year agenda to reform our
immigration system and make it work for the American people and for those
that want to come here legally. He didn`t do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

At a campaign rally in the battleground state of Virginia, Mitt Romney
stayed true to form, criticizing the president as you heard in this case on
immigration, while offering no plan of his own. This has become the
consistent pattern.

Last week, speaking at a convention of Latino elected officials,
Romney even names the question voters want answered, but declines to answer
the questions. Let`s listen to him here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Some people have asked if I will let stand the president`s
executive order.

The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that
will replace and supersede the president`s temporary measure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, it`s lines like that that make it hard for Romney
backers to defend him.

On HARDBALL last week, Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez tried to
shine a positive light on Romney`s non-answers on immigration reform.
Let`s listen to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think he laid out a more
general specific outline of immigration reform.

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: That was a wonderful phrase Leslie
had, a general specific plan. I thought it was remarkable.

SANCHEZ: I work hard on those, Bob.

SHRUM: I thought it was remarkably -- I thought it was remarkably
vague.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Romney`s strategy of avoiding specifics, will it work
and how -- for how long?

Michael Steele is a former Republican national chairman and Ron Reagan
is author of "My Father at 100." Both are MSNBC political analysts.

You know, Mark McKinnon, by the way, the communications director for
George W. Bush`s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, said that Romney`s got a problem
here when you avoid specifics.

McCain -- or McKinnon writes in The Daily Beast today -- quote --
"Until and unless the GOP presidential nominees is willing to outline
specifically what he envisions as a long-term solution to illegal
immigration, he will be the loser any time the issue is in the news."

Let me go to Michael on this.

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Hey.

MATTHEWS: Michael, I guess you run on -- if you got a strong issue
like the economy, you talk about it and just say how bad things are, but at
some point, you have to say what you`re going to do on issues like the
economy, immigration, et cetera, et cetera.

Does Romney have the onus of proof that he has the solution? Does he
have to do it?

STEELE: No, I think you`re absolutely right. I mean, you can`t...

MATTHEWS: I`m asking.

STEELE: No. I`m saying you`re right.

I think he does -- he does have to put the proof in the pudding in
terms of defining exactly what he will do as president. But I think, you
know, after looking at the strategy up to now and talking to some of the
folks around his campaign, what they`re doing is, they`re mapping out
something that`s a little bit more long ball. They`re not looking to play
to every issue that pops up right now, whether it`s immigration or a
Supreme Court decision. But I think Romney is looking to pace out in broad
terms now in the month of June, July, and possibly August, broad terms of
what he wants to do. And then when we get to the Labor Day window, when
things hunker down and voters are focused, lay out something a little bit
more specific.

But you`re right, Chris, you cannot run an entire campaign where
you`re not laying out the specifics. The same is true for Romney. It will
be true for the president.

MATTHEWS: Well, let me go to Ron Reagan on this. The trouble with
Romney, he doesn`t have a clean slate on things like immigration. Always
known for self-deportation.

RON REAGAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: So unless he comes up with something constructive, he`s
only known as the nasty guy.

REAGAN: Well, you`re right.

MATTHEWS: Officer Krupke.

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN: You`re correct. He was more specific during the primaries.
He was for a self-deportation. He was for making it so miserable for
immigrants in this country that they would simply leave the country.

But Mitt Romney`s problem with a lot of these issues is the
Republican Party`s problem with these issues. They can`t tell you what
they`re really for because if you knew what they were really all about,
nobody would vote for them.

I mean, the Republican Party uses immigration as a wedge issue for
instance, but they know full well that if they were to actually deport all
12 million or so illegal immigrants in this country, that various
industries like agriculture would simply collapse. So they`re not really
for that.

MATTHEWS: If you actually took him at his word, by the way, that
we`re going to go around looking for everybody who might have come here
illegally, 50, 60, 70 years ago, and we`re going to pick them up, take them
out of the country and dump them over the border, this country would be
ripped in half.

Anyway, Romney`s discipline when it comes to not providing specifics
leads to interviews that wind up almost comical. Here`s that now almost
infamous exchange with Bob Schieffer about what a president would do on
Obama`s executive order on immigration.

Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Would you repeal this order if you became
president?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, let`s step back and
look at the issue, with regards to these kids who were brought in by their
parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term
solution.

SCHIEFFER: But would you repeal this?

ROMNEY: Well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by
virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution.

SCHIEFFER: Would you leave this place while you worked out a 1long-
term solution or would you just repeal it?

ROMNEY: We`ll look at that. We`ll look at that setting as we reach
that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Blah, blah, blah.

And yesterday, Romney`s traveling press aide proved he learned his
boss` knee. Here he avoids giving any answer on Romney`s reaction to the
Supreme Court. This kid has got seven words he`s allowed to use and he
uses them. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Does he have a reaction as to whether he agrees with this
decision? So --

RICK GORKA, ROMNEY TRAVELING PRESS SEC.: Yes. The states have the
right to craft their immigration policies if the federal has failed to do
so. Let`s say it again and again and again for you. The governor
understands that states have their own right to craft the policies to
secure their own borders to address illegal immigration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Michael Steele, that kid`s got a short leash around his
neck. Talking about the repeat the non-answers his boss gives him. There
is no immigration policy with the name Mitt Romney on it. There is no
immigration policy.

STEELE: I wouldn`t say that, Chris, just because he hasn`t told it
to you or announced it publicly. What I would say is this --

MATTHEWS: The secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. It really is
Nixon `68. I was going to bring up Nixon `68.

STEELE: Yes, Nixon all over again, yada, yada, yada. But look, the
bottom line is if and when he does and this is part of the strategy that
they have to take into consideration and it`s true not just for Romney, but
even going back to Obama. Obama wasn`t specific about how he was going to
close Gitmo and what he would do with those individuals at the time.

So each of these presidential cycle, these candidates become less and
less specific because there are those in the media, present company
accepted maybe, who then pounce on that and the debate becomes more about
defending what you`re saying as opposed to laying out in a coherent measure
what it is you`re trying to do and have an honest debate. So, I suspect
what Romney is doing is taking a different approach on this.

MATTHEWS: Well, right now, Ron, I got some new numbers. One in six
Americans polled in an NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, fresh out tonight
like Romney, one in six. The rest are arguing about what kind of a job the
president`s doing. So this guy hasn`t passed muster in terms of a winning
personality because he doesn`t talk about anything that means anything to
people yet, except he doesn`t like the way the economy is going, which fair
enough, but that`s always selling.

REAGAN: Yes, but you can`t win the presidency just by saying I`m not
the guy who`s in office right now. Maybe you can if you`re a very talented
politics, but I don`t think Romney is that politician. He can`t really --

MATTHEWS: He`s not as smart as Richard Nixon.

REAGAN: No, he`s not as Richard Nixon. He`s going to have to stand
on a stage with Barack Obama and he can`t keep repeating these platitudes
about I`ve got a long-term plan. It won`t wash.

MATTHEWS: OK, thank you. The newly more youthful-looking Michael
Steele. Thank you having you on here. We like the clean-shaven. We`ll
look at it more closely when you`re on the stage here.

Anyway, thank you, buddy. Always great to have you on as debating
partner.

STEELE: All right. Good to see, Ron.

MATTHEWS: And, Ron, thank you for that.

Up next, the great Harvey Weinstein of Hollywood and politics joining
us in a minute.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, that Massachusetts Senate race between Elizabeth
Warren and Scott Brown could not get in closer. Let`s take a look at the
HARDBALL scoreboard.

Incumbent Republican Brown has gained five points in the latest PPP
poll, to poll in to a tie with Warren. It`s now 46-all. It seems Brown is
getting a lot of support from independent voters in the state. I think
that Indian thing is hurting her. It looks like this one`s going to go
down to the wire.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`re back.

My next guest is the commanding producer behind the award-winning
film such as "The Artist" and "The King`s Speech." His new film, "The
Intouchables," has already made more than $300 million worldwide. Now,
it`s playing here in the U.S. It tells the story unlikely friendship
develops between a wealthy quadriplegic and his new caretaker, a man from
the projects, with a criminal past. Let`s take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE INTOUCHABLES"/THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (translated): OK, after your classics, let`s
listen to mine, Earth, Wind & Fire. It`s a killer.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: That`s the new film "Intouchables."

Harry Weinstein is co-chairman of the Weinstein Group.

Mr. Weinstein, thank you for coming on. Tell us about the movie and
why we should see it.

HARRY WEINSTEIN, CO-CHAIR, THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY: Chris, it`s the
movie that makes people feel the best of any movie I have ever been
associated with. People walk out of the theater and they are ready to
dance just like the characters in the movie.

It really is a -- it`s a true story. It`s a great story. It is just
a fun story.

And I think in these times people need to go to a movie theater and
watch something intelligent and smart, and something that they can feel
great about.

MATTHEWS: Well, you made a lot of great movies. I saw the trailer
the other night and it looked great.

Let me ask you about the thing you care about which is politics. Got
to pay for your supper now. You produced a movie and you promoted it
rather well. But let me ask you about this. You have a free trailer on
the air.

What is this -- president has got to do to turn people on the way he
did in `08?

WEINSTEIN: Well, I think one of the things I thought was funny
watching a show was the best political column I read this summer is Mike
Lupica in "The Daily News" when he called Mitt Romney "Mute Romney" when he
did that "Face the Nation" interview. He said nothing.

Ands I love Michael Steele coming on and defending Romney`s right to
say absolutely nothing. Just because the president said something --
didn`t -- was specific about Guantanamo, he defends his right not to be
specific about immigration? I mean, they really have a -- I mean, I think
eventually it catches up to the American public.

You really cannot have a candidate who just says nothing all the
time. Unless it is Chauncy Gardiner in being there.

MATTHEWS: That worked. It`s time to plan, it`s time to sew.

Let me go to this question. You are a numbers guy. You`re always
crunching numbers. You`re not a machine. You`re not a formula. I`m sure
you are one -- more like the guys in the `30s with the cigar that knew how
to do it.

Let me ask you this -- project November.

WEINSTEIN: I never smoke --

MATTHEWS: Will Obama get 51 percent to win this thing?

WEINSTEIN: I think so. I think that -- I think he`s going to do
better than people even think right now. I think, you know, the minute
those debates start, you know, he`s just -- his experience, you know, his
foreign policy record which so far has been flawless, Romney saying that he
wouldn`t have, you know, hunted Osama bin Laden and crossed the line into
Pakistan. These things are going to come back to haunt, you know, these
guys big time.

Once people get exposed to his record, you know, I think it is -- I
think it`s going to be -- much easier than people think.

MATTHEWS: Romney seems like the guy with the look of a leading man
but there`s something missing in terms of either menace or sex appeal or
something here`s missing. What do you say?

If you are casting -- in your casting role. What`s missing in the
guy in terms of voter appeal? Does this something -- we just got a new
number out tonight, Harvey. Only one in six voters, one in six, basically
likes the guy. The rest are voting for or against Obama.

WEINSTEIN: You know, I think, you know, Obama is the Denzel
Washington/Brad Pitt/George Clooney guy. I think that, you know, Romney is
sort of the -- you know, the second guy. He`s the best friend, you know,
who just rides his bicycle and helps the guy find the girl and, you know,
gives him advice on occasion.

I`m not sure if it is very good advice but more like comic advice.

MATTHEWS: Be careful. That`s what Jack Warner said about Reagan and
he was the best friend. Jimmy Stewart was the star.

Harvey Weinstein, some day I will come with you with a request. I
can`t think of what it is, but I`d like to get a yes. Anyway, thank you.
(INAUDIBLE), whoever it was, Harvey Weinstein.

WEINSTEIN: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: The movie is called "The Intouchables," you`ve got to see
it.

Anyway, when we return let me finish with the invisible man running
for president. You know who he is.

And you are watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with a stranger. I`m talking about
the man Republicans are planning to nominate for president of the United
States, the stranger.

When you examine a new poll numbers compiled by NBC News and "The
Wall Street Journal," you come up with an amazing fact, a cold reality of
this political season. It is that less than one in six Americans, less
than 15 percent, want to see Mitt Romney president, less than 15 percent.
The rest intend to vote not on Romney`s merits but on what they think
President Obama`s performance. They`ll vote either for the president or
against him. Romney is simply the only option.

What does this say about the kind of campaign Romney has waged, is
waging? People know nothing about the person himself nor is he likely to
make himself better known. The way it is, few people knowing much about
him is the way he wants it. He wants the spotlight on Obama and not on
him.

It seems to be working so far. Romney`s right there in a fairly
tight matchup with an incumbent president. Most people vote for him not on
the fact of who he is but on the fact of who his rival is. Will this last?

Well, some Americans actually walk into the voting intend on voting
for a guy still hiding under the covers? Will they entrust this country to
a candidate who made himself the man behind the curtain? Richard Nixon did
this in 1968 and worked then because the country was unable to vote for the
riot torn Democrats, unable to back a party stuck in Vietnam, stuck in the
fight over Vietnam.

Well, I think we live in more hopeful times. We want the best
president we can get, not the one that is not the other. Not the one that
hides because he thinks who he is works against him.

In the latest poll -- anyway, thank you for joining HARDBALL. We`ll
be back tomorrow.

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

END

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