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updated 6/15/2012 11:52:14 AM ET 2012-06-15T15:52:14

Guests: Ian Simpson, Carl Bernstein, John Dean, Jon Ralston, Rick Tyler, Wendy Murphy


CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Mano a mano.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

"Let Me Start" with today`s big stand-off, President Obama and former
governor Mitt Romney each making his case to lead the country the next four
years.

Obama showed us a choice between his economic policies and Romney`s.
He says that his policies are based on tax fairness and a bigger commitment
to education, energy, infrastructure. He wants people trained for jobs.
He wants government to put people to work. He wants the financial big --
shots on Wall Street regulated in the interests of the people.

Obama says his opponent, Romney, would just give us a rerun of what we
got from W., tax cuts for the big corporations and wealthy people, the
pullback of regulation on Wall Street. Romney`s basic argument today is
that he`ll do what big business thinks ought to be done.

Let`s hear from former governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, author of
a great book, "A Nation of Wusses"...

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: ... and former Republican national chairman Michael Steele.
Both are MSNBC analysts.

Gentlemen, we brought on the heavyweights today, if you don`t mind me
saying so, to address this question. Well, today, President Obama, as I
said, clearly tried to turn this election -- this is the key word -- into a
choice, not a referendum on how the economy`s doing, a choice between two
candidates to lead the country for the next few years, a choice between his
policies that pulled us back from the brink and Mitt Romney and his allies
in Congress.

Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Governor Romney and
Republicans who run Congress believe that if you simply take away
regulations and cut taxes by trillions of dollars, the market will solve
all of our problems on its own. If you agree with that, you should vote
for them.

I believe we need a plan for better education and training and for
energy independence...

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: ... and for new research and innovation, for rebuilding our
infrastructure. And if you agree with me, if you believe this economy
grows best when everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does their fair
share and everybody plays by the same set of rules, then I ask you to stand
with me for a second term as president.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, here`s the question. He doesn`t want the American
people to say, How do you feel? How`s the economy doing? They want to
say, What do you think of the two programs of the two candidates?

ED RENDELL (D), FMR. PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:
Well, think it`s a smart strategy, if the president can do it. I think he
did a good job today structuring -- he went real quick through the -- what
he inherited and what the economy looked like when he became president, the
progress it`s made.

And I thought he did a very good job in Ohio, Chris, of emphasizing
the manufacturing comeback, half a million new manufacturing jobs in the
last 27 months, best manufacturing growth since `95.

And then he went to the future and compared his plan to Romney`s. And
I think in the end, that`s what the American people are going to care
about. They`re going to hear all the charges about records in the past,
president`s failed, Romney wasn`t a good governor, all that stuff.

They`re going to be interested in what are the plans of the candidates
to get us out of this. And I think the president has a more viable plan, a
plan that can jump-start the economy more quickly, and a plan that has a
chance to work. The Romney plan, as he pointed out -- Bill Clinton said
it`s the Bush tax cuts on steroids.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

RENDELL: And I think that`s a very good...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

RENDELL: If he can make the election about the contrast for the
future, I think he`s got a real good shot at this.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know, I guess the question is, Michael, whether
he can win with the argument, I started in a hole, a real mess I was given
here in `88 -- in 2008.

MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.

MATTHEWS: This guy wants to basically rerun exactly the same policies
of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of the financial sector, getting
rid of Glass-Steagall, all that stuff.

STEELE: Right.

MATTHEWS: And my question to you, and it`s a tough one -- give me the
profound differences between the presidential candidate Mitt Romney and
former president George W. Bush when it comes to economic policy. What`s
the difference between the two of them.

STEELE: Chris, that is an irrelevant comparison...

MATTHEWS: Well, not when it`s my question for you.

(LAUGHTER)

STEELE: But I`m not answering that question simply because...

MATTHEWS: I know why!

STEELE: ... it`s irrelevant...

MATTHEWS: And everybody watching knows why you won`t answer it.

STEELE: Well, I`m being very honest about it because, again, you`re
doing exactly what Obama wants us to do, and you`re a good sycophant for
it, and that`s looking backwards.

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s pretty rough!

STEELE: You want this -- you want this...

MATTHEWS: What do you call a guy that refuses to answer a question?

STEELE: Hold on!

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Is he a sycophant for the other side?

STEELE: You gave the governor the time. Let me have the time.

MATTHEWS: Yes, but my question...

STEELE: This isn`t about...

MATTHEWS: I preceded his time with a question. I preceded your time
with a question. My question to you is, give me the differences between W.
and Romney.

STEELE: You give me the differences between Mitt Romney and Barack
Obama. That`s what this election is about. This is not about George Bush.
Why are we talking about George Bush? We`re talking about Barack Obama and
his policies that have not created the jobs, that has kept unemployment
stagnant, that still has some 10 to 15 million people unemployed, looking
for work, who have just given up.

What I heard today -- and the governor`s right. The first part of his
speech sounded -- began to set the narrative, but then the latter half or
even two thirds of it fell off...

MATTHEWS: OK...

STEELE: ... into this sort of defensive mode...

MATTHEWS: OK...

STEELE: ... and that`s what the people are going to focus on, that
split vision between these two candidates running for the presidency of the
United States.

MATTHEWS: Right.

STEELE: It has nothing to do with George Bush...

MATTHEWS: Well, here`s my...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let me try one more time. If you bought a house and you
discovered it had termites and you found out the electricity didn`t work,
and every time you plugged the toaster in, you got a short, and by the way,
there was a fire because of the bad electrical system.

STEELE: Right. Right.

MATTHEWS: And everything was wrong with that house. Wouldn`t you
blame the guy you bought the house from?

STEELE: Well, yes, and the person...

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s what we`re doing!

STEELE: Right. No, no, no!

MATTHEWS: That`s what we`re doing here!

STEELE: Excuse me! Excuse me!

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: Excuse me! Hold up! There`s a new owner in the house. His
name is Barack Obama.

MATTHEWS: Yes...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... buying a lemon. Let me go to the governor...

STEELE: I`m sorry!

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... I`m just moderating this.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I want to ask a question.

STEELE: Are you going to give this analogy...

MATTHEWS: Why bring up W.? I want to ask the governor the same
question.

STEELE: All right. Go ahead.

MATTHEWS: Let him make the case.

RENDELL: No, and I think Michael has a point. But I think you bring
up President Bush, and actually, the last 60 years of economic growth in
this country because the prescription that Governor Romney is putting forth
before the American people is the same thing that President Bush tried to
do.

It`s not that we`re blaming President Bush, it`s just that`s the --
it`s the same formula. The formula didn`t work. It plunged us into a
significant recession.

And if you look at the last 60 years, Chris, the highest 10 years of
job growth were when the marginal tax rate on the rich was at 50 percent or
more. The lowest five years of job growth were when we were in the 30s. So
there`s no correlation between that and job growth.

MATTHEWS: Yes. And the reason we`re bringing back W. is because --
because the suggestion`s being made over and over -- and I understand why
your candidate`s doing that -- Romney is suggesting he`s a fresh start.
And I would argue -- the argument on the other side is he`s not a fresh
start, he`s a rerun.

And if you keep suggesting Romney hasn`t tried yet, we will say, Yes,
but his plans have been tried. And you deny that`s relevant. I think it`s
relevant.

STEELE: I know. I don`t deny that that`s relevant. I think he is a
fresh start. I think he does have a prescription that`s going to look in a
different direction...

MATTHEWS: No, no!

STEELE: ... and move a different direction...

MATTHEWS: So he`s different than W.

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: The one thing -- the one thing...

MATTHEWS: How`s he a fresh start?

STEELE: The one thing I did not hear from this president today was
what he was going to do about spending. He went off on a litany of things
that we should be investing in, more spending, more spending, more
spending. That is the crux of our nation`s problem right now! We`re
spending money we do not have. We are mortgaging the future, and I think
Romney has a legitimate prescription for addressing the spending side of
this equation, which a lot of folks on the left don`t want to address.

RENDELL: Well, wait. Let`s examine that, Chris...

STEELE: That`s what this big debate`s going to be about.

MATTHEWS: What`s Romney going to cut? Has he laid that list out yet?

RENDELL: Michael, in fairness...

STEELE: Well, look, I mean, there were no specifics from either of
these candidates today.

RENDELL: I`d agree with that. They were both speeches...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let me give you Michael`s argument. His argument is this
president, who wants to be president, rather, is basically a Republican...

STEELE: You got it right.

MATTHEWS: ... with same supply-side attitudes as the president we
just saw four years ago. He says he doesn`t have to say what the guy wants
to do and he doesn`t have to say how he`s different than W. He doesn`t
have to tell us anything about Romney except...

STEELE: No! Wait a minute!

MATTHEWS: ... we have to give a new guy a hot.

STEELE: So is Barack Obama going to tell us how he`s different from
Bill Clinton? Because Lord knows...

MATTHEWS: No. I think...

STEELE: ... Bill Clinton can spend money...

MATTHEWS: ... he wants to be like Bill Clinton.

STEELE: ... like a drunken sailor!

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: That`s my point. He -- if you`re looking at...

RENDELL: Michael, two things...

MATTHEWS: ... these two administrations...

MATTHEWS: OK...

STEELE: ... it`s vastly different in how they approach spending.

(CROSSTALK)

RENDELL: Two things, Michael. Two things. The president did say in
his speech that he has a plan to cut $4 trillion out of the deficit, and
that was the big deal that he and Boehner were trying to put together...

STEELE: OK.

RENDELL: ... and we couldn`t do it.

STEELE: All right.

RENDELL: And the president and Boehner will admit the president had a
$4 trillion-plus deficit reduction plan on the table. That`s number one.
And he reiterated that today for sure. And number two, on the flip side of
the coin, Governor Romney cuts all these taxes, which blow a big hole in
the deficit, and really hasn`t specified in any degree what he`s going to
cut to make up for that hole.

MATTHEWS: Let`s go back to the president. Here`s President Obama
today...

STEELE: And you...

MATTHEWS: ... saying what Romney is offering is nothing more than a
Republican retread of the failed economic policies of the past. I say
rerun. See, we differ on some things here.

STEELE: Oh, you do!

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The economic vision of Mr. Romney and his allies in Congress
was tested just a few years ago. We tried this. Their policies did not
grow the economy. They did not grow the middle class. They did not reduce
our debt. Why would we think that they would work better this time?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: How did you think he did today?

RENDELL: I thought he -- he did a very good job in framing
everything, very effective. But he didn`t say anything that he didn`t sway
in the jobs bill speech in October. Same stuff. But he did much better
job of framing it, putting it in context and giving a little flow to it.

MATTHEWS: Now, you`re with me. Or I`m with you, rather, because
you`re the -- out front on this. I think he has to have a major pitch
(ph). I think Michael`s going to disagree with this because he thinks
spending`s the issue. I think investment`s the issue. You`ve got to
build. And he -- why we`re behind...

STEELE: With what?

MATTHEWS: ... everywhere in the -- well, we`re behind...

STEELE: With what?

MATTHEWS: ... everywhere in the world in terms of what we have as
public sector development. We don`t have it.

STEELE: What are you building with, Chris?

MATTHEWS: We don`t have the highways.

STEELE: What are you building with? Where`s the money coming from?
What are you building with?

MATTHEWS: You build with...

STEELE: Do you know how much it costs to build?

MATTHEWS: You build with the decision that the business is not making
right now, that the consumer`s not making.

STEELE: Oh, my gosh!

MATTHEWS: If both of them are not spending, somebody has to or this
economy will go completely stagnant.

STEELE: We`re sitting with trillions of dollars...

RENDELL: And it is true...

STEELE: ... on the shelf...

RENDELL: Michael, it`s true that...

STEELE: ... because this economy is too weak to grow...

RENDELL: Michael...

STEELE: ... because the investor class will not invest in the
policies that this president has put forth! It`s that simple!

RENDELL: Michael, though, you have to look at...

STEELE: Yes, sir?

RENDELL: The last three Republican presidents, President Reagan and
the two President Bushes, to get out of the recessions that they dealt
with, they both significantly increased government spending, all three of
them. And that`s a fact. Government spending went up, and that helped us
get out of the recession. Every economist says...

STEELE: And they also cut taxes! And they also cut taxes, which is
why we have deficits.

RENDELL: And let me tell you, President Obama has said he`s got a
plan to take $4 trillion out of the deficit. Now, if you take $4 trillion
out of the deficit and you invest a half a trillion dollars in investment
and infrastructure...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I want to talk to politics for a second because...

STEELE: Sure.

MATTHEWS: ... it`s the elephant that hasn`t talked yet in this room,
we haven`t talked about. You know, I talked to a financial expert today
who told me all about it. He has a lot of clients who are CEOs. They`re
pretty much admitting they`re not going to -- as you say, not going to
invest until this president`s gone. They`re holding back.

Now, you can argue whether that`s punitive or smart business, but if
the basically refuses to invest, if the consumer doesn`t have the
confidence that comes with that, the government then pulls back, as you
advise now, we will have an economy which has basically decided to have an
unending recession because if business not spending and government`s not
spending and the consumer`s not spending, we are dying economically. And
that`s what you want us to do because that`s...

STEELE: No, it`s not, Chris.

MATTHEWS: ... the way to get another president.

RENDELL: It`s not. I mean, it`s not what we -- what I want us to do,
nor does it -- is what Republicans want us to do.

MATTHEWS: You just said so!

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... bragging about the fact business won`t spend. You
don`t want the government to spend.

STEELE: No, I`m not bragging about...

MATTHEWS: Who is going to spend?

STEELE: I mean, stating a fact is not bragging, Chris! You just said
the CEOs that you talk to have been saying the exact same thing. So this
is not...

MATTHEWS: It`s punitive.

STEELE: ... rocket science, nor is it confusing. It`s not punitive!

MATTHEWS: I see.

STEELE: Chris, would you make a bad investment if you know it`s a bad
investment? No. You don`t see the policies...

RENDELL: Michael, what about -- what about...

STEELE: Can I -- can I just finish...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let me as governor -- let me ask the governor. Is business
out there -- out there -- out there taking financial investments to help
this president get reelected? Nobody`s putting any money out...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Two trillion dollars they`re sitting on!

RENDELL: And Michael, you`d agree Warren Buffett`s a pretty smart
guy. He says it`s a great time to invest, and he`s going to increase by a
billion dollars...

STEELE: Well, God bless Warren Buffett.

RENDELL: ... the money that his company is investing. So he`s a
pretty smart guy and...

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: ... because Warren Buffett`s got the leverage to do that, but
a small business owner does not necessarily have that leverage.

RENDELL: And President Obama...

STEELE: And the final point...

RENDELL: ... has cut taxes on small business owners 18 times,
Michael.

STEELE: And all of this stuff -- well -- well, maybe he needs to cut
it 19 because no one`s feeling it and no one`s believing it. And the final
-- and the other point that I think it`s important to make, for all this
blubber that we heard today coming out about what he`s going to do -- he
had the opportunity in his grasp to do Simpson-Bowles and he blinked!

MATTHEWS: OK.

RENDELL: Wait, wait!

(CROSSTALK)

RENDELL: I can`t let that go.

STEELE: When the president gets serious, then the small business...

RENDELL: You can`t do Simpson-Bowles...

STEELE: ... community will get serious, too!

RENDELL: ... without the Republicans -- Michael, you can`t do
Simpson-Bowles without the Republicans...

STEELE: Yes, you can!

RENDELL: ... agreeing to raise revenue.

STEELE: The president can come out and said, This is my plan!

RENDELL: Michael...

STEELE: He can come out and say, This is my plan, and he didn`t do
it!

RENDELL: Michael -- Michael, you know you can`t do Simpson-Bowles
unless the other side agrees to raise revenue. Boehner couldn`t sell it to
the wacky right wing.

STEELE: It`s not what you can -- it`s not necessarily what you can do
at times...

MATTHEWS: OK...

STEELE: ... it`s what you`re willing to do, and he wasn`t willing to
go...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: We have an interesting set of vocabulary words used here
for the first time. I`m a sycophant. The president speaks in blubber.
Thank you for that elevation of our discussion!

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: It was a bad day, actually, for your crowd, Michael Steele,
so I understand why you got a little overexcited tonight. Governor
Rendell...

STEELE: It wasn`t a bad day, it was a good day.

MATTHEWS: ... well done. Well done -- author of a great new book, "A
Nation of Wusses." We`ll talk about that a couple times whenever -- we`ll
never stop talking about it. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Coming up, "Dirty, Angry Money." Sheldon Adelson, by the
way, says he`s -- well, he`s giving the Romney campaign maybe $10 million.
There`s talk he might give an overall $100 million. I guess the casino
business is doing really good over in Macao. What`s he going to do with
this money, and why is he giving it? That`s interesting.

Also, some gruesome testimony, more of it, must I say, at the Sandusky
trial. Could the trial empower other victims of child sex abuse to come
forward? Could this have a good -- a silver lining, people will talk now?

And 40 years after Watergate, two of the biggest figures in that case
join us tonight here live, Carl Bernstein, one of the great investigative
reports who broke this story, and counsel John Dean, perhaps the most
famous whistleblower in history.

Finally, Starbucks or Dunkin` Donuts, football or baseball? A new
survey tells you -- you can tell what your politics are by the answers to
those couple of questions.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`ve got new poll numbers from a pair of battleground
states. Let`s check the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."

First to Nevada, where a new PPP poll has President Obama up 6.
That`s good for him, 48-42 in Nevada. Out in Michigan, another poll shows
a closer than expected race, however. A new poll from the Democratic
outfit Baden Foster (ph) for presidential preference has Obama with a 1-
point lead. That`s not a big one in a state he needs.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: "Dirty, Angry Money." Back to HARDBALL.

If the 2012 election had a slogan, it may well, turn out to be
"Brought to you by Sheldon Adelson." The billionaire casino mogul from Las
Vegas has already given -- catch this -- $35 million to Republican super-
PACs, is likely to give a lot more.

His latest donation, $10 million to the super-PAC supporting Mitt
Romney. It`s called Restore our Future. But people close to Adelson say
he may give whatever it takes to make sure that Barack Obama gets
reelected, (SIC) maybe 100 million bucks he`s coming for this guy. And
unlike you and me, he might really have that capability. He`s worth $25
billion. This is chump change for him.

Adelson has a lot of money to give away, and Romney knows it. Last
month, he met with Adelson for nearly an hour. Wonder what they were
talking about? Do you think? Anyway, the question is, what does Adelson
expect to get from all the money he will put behind Romney? Perhaps that`s
the small question compared to the power of these guys to buy
advertisements that really make effective changes in how we vote.

John Ralston`s a columnist for "The Las Vegas Sun" and host of "Face
to Face" on the ABC affiliate out thee in Vegas. And Rick Tyler`s a former
Newt Gingrich spokesman who advised the pro-Gingrich super-PAC Winning our
Future. That group was a major beneficiary of Adelson`s money.

Let me talk to John Ralston for the state of play here. You know, it
is amazing, if you think about putting these stories together, the casino
operators -- I mean, you get -- this candidate for president, the
Republican candidate for president effectively now, Mitt Romney,
genuflecting at the altar of Donald Trump. And then you see him taking
money in scads from this other fellow we don`t know so well, Sheldon
Adelson, who`s worth $25 billion. Casino Jack. I mean, Casino Don.
Casino -- it`s unbelievable, what`s going on here.

Why -- what does that say out in Vegas that these guys who make money
at the craps table are now running the presidential election of the leading
Republican in the country?

JON RALSTON, "THE LAS VEGAS SUN": Well, I do have to say, Chris, I
think it`s unfair to Sheldon Adelson to compare him to Donald Trump. He`s
worth a lot more than Donald Trump, and he is actually a person of
substance.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

RALSTON: Now, what is that -- what is that substance?

He has a few things he really cares about, as you know. Israel is one
of them and he and Newt Gingrich got to know each other over that issue
back in the mid-`90s. He has fought the union here. He`s one of the few
Strip casinos out -- owners out here who that has fought the casinos -- the
unions.

And, listen, as you mentioned, he has got $25 billion. He`s going to
do whatever he wants with that money -- $100 million is not unreasonable.
I don`t think we`re going to see all that money, Chris. He is quite
enamored of Karl Rove. And I bet that Karl Rove has convinced him to give
a lot of money to Crossroads GPS, which, as you know, does not have to
disclose donors.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: So we won`t know how much?

RALSTON: I think could be -- it could be $100 million.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

RALSTON: I will tell you, I love the stories that say people close to
Sheldon Adelson. Nobody knows what Sheldon Adelson is going to do except
for Sheldon Adelson.

And there`s another big difference with Trump, Chris. He does not
like the attention. He really does not. And I think that`s one reason why
-- he told me weeks ago he was going to give one more contribution to a
super PAC. He said, it`s a small amount of money, maybe not to you, but to
me.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I know. What a comment.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: One of our producers figured out that for a guy of his
wealth, giving away this kind of money in the tens of millions is like
giving away $30 for a person who makes an average income.

It`s really just change to him.

Let me go to Rick Tyler, who knows how these super PACs works.

You know, when a super PAC like the one you were working with goes to
somebody who is a big one, big game hunting I might call it, I suppose,
getting the big guys to give, what kind of conversations occur between
candidate and giver?

RICK TYLER, FORMER NEWT GINGRICH AIDE: Well, in the case of super
PAC, not a lot of conversations, Chris.

But in general, donors and candidates have to find common ground. I
know with Sheldon Adelson, who is a deep believer in a pro -- or a very
hawkish stance on Israel to protect Israel, and that`s really where Newt
Gingrich came behind.

But watching Sheldon Adelson, the guy grew up in Dorchester,
Massachusetts, started throwing newspapers at 12 years old, and for 66
years has built up from nothing what he has. Why shouldn`t he be able to
take his money and participate and educate people...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, I guess it comes down to -- fair enough. It`s legal.
The Supreme Court, which is run by conservative Republicans now, said it`s
OK. It`s legal.

My question is, is this the kind of the kind of democracy that people
fight for in war? Is it what our founding fathers had in mind, that people
with a huge amount of money could put on television something they don`t
know anything anybody and influence people by the millions just because
they have got the money?

That`s my question. Does it bother you that they have so many more
votes effectively than the average citizen? Does it bother you?

TYLER: No. Chris, it does not bother me that you get on television
every single night and influence people with your opinion no, not at all.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, I didn`t pay to get on. I`m not running
advertisements. And, by the way, people can agree or disagree with me.

But these ads are not arguments. They are advertisements, relentless
saturation advertising campaigns that you cannot escape. Right?

(CROSSTALK)

TYLER: You can escape and you don`t have to watch.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You have got to turn off the TV.

I was in Iowa. Look, you`re so much smarter than me. Rick, you know
this. You guys run Dresden bombing campaigns. You cannot escape. Look
what happened to your guy Newt when that money was turned on against him by
Mitt Romney.

You had him crying out of the campaign. He was finished because that
kind of money talks. You know it does. Tell me it didn`t run your
candidate out of the race.

TYLER: Sure.

MATTHEWS: Didn`t it?

TYLER: Look, advertising is very effective.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Didn`t it run your guy out of the race?

(CROSSTALK)

TYLER: But what`s the -- it may have.

But what`s the alternative? I think the founders were correct in
terms of shutting down political speech. This is political speech. The
last thing we want to do is regulate political speech. Now, I would say
let`s have the money go directly to the candidates and then we get rid of
this third-party sort of shell game and then I think people, look, the
candidates can be a lot more responsible with the money.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I may be right. I know I`m right. You know I`m right,
too, but we will have a conversation off the air.

TYLER: I know you`re right.

MATTHEWS: And you know I`m right, because the power of money to
destroy Newt Gingrich -- not that he didn`t deserve it -- but he was
destroyed by big money.

Let me go back to Jon, who`s covering this.

What is the sense about Adelson? Now, he`s pro-hawkish on Israel.
That`s no -- there`s nothing wrong with that. That`s a point of view. It
comes down to the question of power and cynicism. How can you get up and
vote, you get out of their house, you take a shower, you put your clothes
on, you get up and you plan to go vote, but all the time you know that the
huge amount of money that`s going into politics today is making us a little
like those old Latin American countries where -- in the old days, when
there was about five families that ran the place?

Are we going toward that?

(CROSSTALK)

RALSTON: Well, listen, I think it`s right to worry about it, but I`m
not so sure Rick is completely wrong, in the sense that I think the biggest
problem is the transparency issue and the fact that he`s contributing so
much more money than we know to Crossroads GPS perhaps and in other ways.

I would like it to just be more transparent. But if I could point out
one of the great ironies that is going on here, when Mitt Romney talks
about the great threats to America, besides a second term for Barack Obama,
he talks about two things, a nuclear Iran and what? The economic might of
China. He`s worried about China.

Where has Sheldon Adelson gotten all his money from to...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: From Macau.

RALSTON: From Macau, which is in China...

(CROSSTALK)

TYLER: Yes, but it`s coming here.

RALSTON: I just think that`s just such a great irony of this.

And, listen, because of what the court decisions say, you can`t really
stop Sheldon Adelson from spending the money. I`m not sure you would.

But we should know, with the Internet, as it exists, real-time
reporting. When he gives $10 million to Crossroads, we should know it the
day that he does it.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: By the way, Jon, you`re on television. We just told
everybody that.

By the way, thank you so much, Jon Ralston. Print isn`t as powerful
as TV, but we did get the message.

I never thought of myself the way that Rick Tyler -- to have all this
influence in how people vote. I don`t think it works that way. I think
people make up their mind, they listen to people like me, they argue with
the television, by the way. They don`t just listen to it.

Anyway, thank you so much, Rick, for coming on.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Please come back.

TYLER: Thanks. Appreciate it.

MATTHEWS: Up next, do you think there`s a gaping hole between
Republicans and Democrats in this country? It`s not just politics, but
also TV, sports, cars, even coffee choices. Wait until you find out how
people decide on different coffees will tell you what their party is. This
is fascinating research. And it`s coming up in the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL. Time for the "Sideshow."

How did a Jerry Maguire throwback wind up in a town hall meeting
earlier this week?

Well, remember the scene where Tom Cruise as Maguire in the movie is
down to his last client, and he`s hanging in the balance? Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "JERRY MAGUIRE")

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I am out here for you. You don`t know what it`s
like for me to be out here for you. It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing
siege. God help me. Help me, Rod. Help me help you. Help me help you.
Help me help you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Help me help you.

Anyway, apparently, one Republican governor thinks he does a great
Maguire. Who?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I`m coming to Haddonfield today
because I need your help. Anybody watch "Jerry Maguire"? You ever seen
the movie "Jerry Maguire"? Remember that great scene in the locker room
where Jerry Maguire is talking to his only client he`s got left, right?

And he looks at him and he says, help me help you. Help me help you.
Help me help you.

That`s what I`m here to say today. Help me help...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s a tough audience from the looks of those
faces. Anyway, it looks like he rehearsed that a bit, the governor did.

Well, New Jersey has until the end of this month to reach a budget
deal. Christie has warned his Cabinet to start prepping for a government
shutdown.

Next: The White House has quite the love fest going right now with
veteran actress Betty White. Earlier this year, the president participated
in her 90th birthday celebration with a video message. And this week, we
got a snapshot of her visit to the White House before a speech at the
Smithsonian.

There`s more. Now she`s featured in a video for the president`s
summer jobs initiative.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETTY WHITE, ACTRESS: Well, my first job was actually -- I was during
a guest shot on a talk show on television. It was when television first
started. We did a little interview.

And it taught me that whatever else I did for the rest of my life, I
wanted to stay in that business. I`m 90, and I`m still in that business
and loving it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, the actress says she very much favors President Obama
in the upcoming election. I guess it couldn`t hurt having her behind you.

Anyway, also, think your go-to coffee joint or the sport you prefer or
the TV show you watch is just a matter of your personal preference? Well,
a new poll by the neuro-insight firm Buyology -- with B-U-Y as part of that
spelling -- says no.

It may determine whether you`re a Democrat or a Republican. Well,
starting with the morning cup of joe, Democrats tend to go to Starbucks.
Republicans, they go to Dunkin` Donuts. Sports, NFL for Democrats, Major
League Baseball for Republicans. And when it`s time for a new car, this is
very interesting. Democrats would like to own a jeep. Republicans would
go for a BMW as their most desired.

Anyway, TV channel, Democrats -- TV channels, Democrats chose Animal
Planet. Republicans went for the History Channel. Wow. And one last
nugget from the poll. HBO and Showtime were found to be two of the most
polarizing brands, with both favored by Democrats.

Up next The prosecution is getting close to wrapping up its case
against former football coach Jerry Sandusky of Penn State, who faces 52
charges of sexual abuse. Lots more graphic information just came in today
in that trial. Will Sandusky take the stand in his own defense? We`re
finding that out.

That`s ahead.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUE HERERA, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Sue Herera with your CNBC "Market
Wrap."

Investors bet on action from the Fed, sending stocks higher late in
the day. The Dow surged 155 points. The S&P gained 14, the Nasdaq up 17.

Jobless claims unexpectedly rose by 6,000 last week, the fifth gain in
six weeks. Meanwhile, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in May. That was
the biggest decline since December of 2008. And Nokia plans to cut 10,000
jobs globally. It also warned of a wider-than-expected quarterly loss.
Its shares slid 2 percent.

And that`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide -- now back to
HARDBALL and Chris.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Well, the prosecution appears to be close to wrapping up its case in
the trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky today, who`s denied of
course the 52 criminal counts he faces of sexually abusing young boys over
a 15-year period.

Well, one value of this trial, many people think, and its immense
media coverage has been the importance of shedding light on stories of this
sexual child abuse, unveiling not only the heinous details of the alleged
crimes, but also the fear victims have of coming forward, of saying what
happened, telling even their families, or much less tell the police.

Well, Wendy Murphy`s a veteran sex crimes prosecutor. And Ian Simpson
is covering this case for Reuters up in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

Let`s get the latest before we hear from Wendy.

I know you have got a real point of view, Wendy. I want to hear it.

Ian, today in the trial, was it just more of this gore of this
incredible use of prepubescent young boys for sexual enjoyment or whatever?

IAN SIMPSON, REUTERS: Well, today was the last prosecution witness.

And he gave graphic testimony about sexual abuse at the hands of --
alleged sexual abuse at the hands of Jerry Sandusky, mainly in the basement
of Sandusky`s home over a three-year period, and that he had met Sandusky
through Sandusky`s charity, the Second Mile.

And -- but in the prosecution`s cross-examination, he said that -- he
admitted he had continued to go to football games with Sandusky for years
after he had actually broken off this relationship.

MATTHEWS: Well, let`s go back to Wendy on that question because
you`re used to these kind of cases.

What kind of a defense is that, the kid was afraid to blow the whistle
and continue the relationship? He may not have had the lead-in to.
Sometimes, kids do what they`re told to do.

Your thoughts -- or your -- actually your experience, Wendy. Thank
you.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes.

I mean, not only that, Chris, but, sometimes, if you`re a little kid
and this happens and you don`t have a context to understand how cruel and
abusive it is when you`re little, you actually can develop real affection
for your abuser. Lots of the victims in this case testified, I liked the
guy. He was good to me. I had no father.

This guy pegged the kids well. He picked kids he knew he could keep
quiet because he was grooming them. He was affectionate to them, buying
them stuff, in exchange for which every once in a while he was sexually
violent towards them. And they stayed quiet in exchange. That`s very
common. So, I don`t think that`s at all a defense.

If anything, it sort of helps proves the prosecution`s case, because
that`s how victims are when they are young and being abused by someone they
care deeply for and trust and admire and look up to.

MATTHEWS: Let me go back to Ian.

The graphic nature, without going into all the details, it seems to
get worse. The prosecution seems to be setting this up so we hear worse
horrors after worse horrors. Without getting into details -- people can
use their imagination -- these were rapes of every possible way of these
kids. They`re 12 years old. It`s hard to think of the imagination of even
the most sexual perverted person would they allow this kind of stuff to
enter into their heads, this guy was doing it, according to the testimony
today.

IAN SIMPSON, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that`s the allegations of
the accusers and it`s horrific crimes and one of the alleged crimes. The
thing that important to remember is that these cases were normally, it`s
usually a one small child or a small boy against a man.

And in this case, these are men, ages 18 to 28. They`re eight of
them and one after the other, hearing this in this courtroom and often
hushed courtroom, the cumulative effect is devastating.

MATTHEWS: They were all about 11 or 12 at the time of these
incidents, these alleged incidents. What was Sandusky`s response when he
watches this and hears it?

SIMPSON: Well, he sits hunched forward for the most part at the
defense table. His back to the spectators. You can`t really see his face,
but he is focused on the witnesses.

Today, he was -- he kept his eyes on the last witness, which had very
graphic testimony. And at the end of the testimony today, the witness was
asked to point him out in the courtroom, the witness turned his head away
and said I can`t -- I don`t want to look at him.

MATTHEWS: The witness didn`t want to point him out?

SIMPSON: He pointed him out, but he said, I don`t want to look at
him.

MATTHEWS: Yes, but he wasn`t shaking his head in disagreement with
the testimony, was he?

SIMPSON: He did not.

MATTHEWS: To express kind of disagreement?

SIMPSON: No, he has never done that. He has been hunched forward --
sometimes chin on hand looking intently at the witnesses or the evidence.
Never expressing and occasionally turning to his lawyers.

MATTHEWS: Wendy, thanks for coming on. I want you to take a moment,
more than a moment. Make the point -- I made it last night, you`ll make it
better, that the one good thing about the graphic nature of this coverage
is finally we know how horrible this behavior was, criminal behavior,
felonious behavior.

For years, the press would write it in the most delicate way. I know
maybe I`m grosser than most people, when you write molested, I don`t know
what that meant. I don`t know what those words mean. Now I know exactly
which this guy did.

I do like that aspect. What would encourage boys, young girls who`s
ever been a victim of this, to say yes, I know that happened and now, I`m
going to tell somebody about it because now I know it`s a crime. Go ahead.

WENDY MURPHY, FMR. SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: Yes, and it also makes
kids feel comfortable that they`re not the only one. They often think that
they`re the only ones.

Millions of kids are sexually violated in this country every year.
Only a handful come forward because most of them really don`t understands
or don`t feel powerful enough to speak out. A crime like this, especially
with so many victims and it`s on international television, can be very good
for all of us. Not just the kids who we need to come forward but so the
jurors don`t feel it`s so horrific and disgusting they really can`t accept
the reality of it.

I`ve had a lot of trials where juries told me after the fact, you
know, I almost voted not guilty because I found the behavior so disgusting
I`ve never heard anything like it. So, I figured it can`t possibly be
true.

We need to be get comfortable with our discomfort, that`s the only
way we`re going to protect kids, and that means saying outloud, oral rape,
anal rape. This is not sex. Anybody who`s covering this story or talking
about it or writing about it who uses the word "sex" should be ashamed of
themselves.

This is never sex when it`s a child. It is always the language of
violence that we should be using. Needless eroticism and storytelling
makes it harder for us to understand how devastating and vicious this
behavior is, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Well said. Thank you, Wendy. You said it better than I
did. Wendy Murphy, a prosecutor who knows what she`s talking about.

Ian Simpson, thanks so much for the reporting today.

Up next, it`s been 40 years since Watergate. Two of the biggest
figures in that case, both of them from the good guys side, join us
tonight. Carl Bernstein will be with us, along with former Nixon White
House counsel, John Dean. They`re both coming here in a minute.

Stay tuned. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, global confidence in President Obama has slipped
since he fist took office. Take a look at this. In traditional allies,
Europe and Japan, confidence in the president remains strong although it
has dropped a bit in Russia and the Muslim countries, confidence in the
president has never been high and yet it`s down now.

And finally, look at China, six in 10 Chinese had confidence in Obama
in 2009. Now that number is down to four and 10. We see some friction
there.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`re back.

You know, believe it or not, this Sunday, the 17th of this month, is
the 40th anniversary to the day of the infamous moment in American history,
the break in. There it is in D.C.

"The Washington Post" reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward broke
the story with the help of their enormous source, Deep Throat. They
covered this story and made it a major American event because they exposed
it so well.

Carl Bernstein is with us from New York.

And John Dean`s probably the most famous whistleblower. He was a
counsel to President Nixon during that time. He provided the key
testimony, which was never really challenged ever in the Senate Watergate.
He has I think a photographer mine, I don`t know how you remember all this
stuff.

Carl, let me ask you -- thanks for coming on.

First of all, we`re going to start with John. Here`s a tape
recording of you talking to President Nixon or him talking to you,
discussing what`s famous about the cancer on the presidency when you really
got to understand that he was masterminding, if you will, the cover up.
Here he is talking about blackmail that he`s willing to pay to the
Watergate burglars keep them quite. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

RICHARD NIXON, THEN-U.S. PRESIDENT: How much money do you need?

JOHN DEAN, NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I would say these people are
going to cost a million dollars over the next two years.

NIXON: We could get that.

DEAN: Uh-huh.

NIXON: You, on the money, if you need the money, I mean, you could
get the money let`s say.

DEAN: Well, I think that we`re going -

NIXON: What I mean, is, you could -- you could get a million dollars
and you could get in cash. I know where it could be gotten.

DEAN: Uh-huh.

NIXON: I mean, it`s not easy. But it could be done.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: John Dean, I`m always -- that`s a long time ago. It`s 46
years ago. But what was the reaction when you heard the president of the
United States talk casually about the fact he had a fund -- he`s grabbing a
million bucks out of a safe somewhere and having it at his disposal.
That`s going on in politics to some extent today, this huge amounts of
money rolling in.

It obviously not unmarked bills like with Nixon, but what do you
think when he heard him say the president could help with you with the
cover up?

DEAN: I`d gone in there to convince him authorize. To warn him
we`re obstructing justice. Hopefully, that he would slam his fist down on
the desk and end it. I was getting all the wrong reactions including when
I pulled out of thin air it cost a million dollars. That`s $5 million in
today`s dollars.

I learned later and we all know what he did after that conversation
was he went to the corner of the Oval Office where Rose Woods had her
secretarial suite, opened the door and picked up on the microphones from
the recording system and he asked in essence Rose how much they had in
their slush funds. They didn`t have a million dollars but he knew where he
could get the rest of it.

MADDOW: Wow. Carl Bernstein, congratulations I guess on this weird
anniversary. It`s not exactly getting married 40 years ago but it`s
something. You and Bob Woodward broke this story. When you think about
it, you wrote that great takeout this Sunday, the five-part series about
all the Nixon wars going on against the press, against the truth, against
the Democrats, against everybody, what`s it mean today to you? What`s the
message for people watching this show right now?

CARL BERNSTEIN, THE DAILY BEAST: It`s important to understand what
Watergate was. It was not about a burglary. It was not about the
Watergate. It was about from the beginning of the Nixon presidency,
Richard Nixon directed a massive campaign of political espionage and
sabotage against all of his opponents.

It was criminal. It was illegal. It was breaks-in.

We hear on his tapes Nixon saying he wants to break into the
Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., so he can blackmail his
predecessor Lyndon Johnson. I want the safe cracked, he says. I want a
break in so he can blackmail his predecessor.

This is a kind of criminality unique to the president of the United
States. It marked Nixon`s presidency from beginning in 1969 when he first
used these illegal means to undermine the anti-war movement. Then the
Democrats, the press -- wiretapped the press.

Then at war against history and against the system of justice, the
cover up. There`s this line, you know, the cover up is worse than the
crime. Not in this case. Really, these crimes were enormous and
egregious. It`s why he was removed from office.

And now we have a much better sense 40 years later from these
additional tapes and memoirs of the participants of just how brazen and
corrupting of democracy this was and this president was.

MATTHEWS: John Dean, you were on the inside. You weren`t corrupted
in the end. You were able to break free.

But why did so many people -- I`m not saying this is like Nazi
behavior or anything like that, but why did so many people go along with
Nixon, people like Halderman and people that were in many ways mixed bags
like Ehrlichman. Why did so many people go along with this stuff?

I mean, G. Gordon Liddy was a strange guy anyway. But why would they
all do what he told them to do?

DEAN: Well, I think what happened is, it was done for the president.
Bud Krogh, was running the plumbers, has said, you know, I really believe
the president had this power. Today I don`t. But he at that point did.

When I heard for example about the Brookings, I was the one who flew
out to California and told them they were insane and to call this thing
off. As a result of that, I was never clued in on a lot of these
operations.

Bud and I have talked in the years since. He said you know, I think
if we talked it through, we`d have come out at the right place. One the
problem was never discussing it but rather, the need-to-know basis of that
White House.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

DEAN: So it was -- there were multiple reasons with multiple
individuals.

MATTHEWS: You`re a good story tellers. I appreciate it.

BERNSTEIN: John Dean has just used a really interesting word here.

MATTEHWS: Yes, Carl, quickly.

BERNSTEIN: It was insane, because it`s an insane criminality. And
that`s really what we hear when we listen to those tapes is a kind of
insane criminality. In Nixon`s idea that if the president says it`s legal,
it`s legal. And that`s --

MATTHEWS: He said that, didn`t he?

BERNSTEIN: Hey, Carl, thank you so much. We have it on record --
thanks to you and Bob Woodward and Ben Bradley and "The Washington Post".
And thank you, John Dean for -- I think you are the world`s most famous and
important, I should say, important whistle blower.

When we return, let me finish with a big lesson we haven`t learned
from Watergate -- the millions of dollars of dirty angry money flooding
into politics at this moment.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this back wash of Watergate.
We thought, those of us who lived through this scandal, that it was about
something bigger than a break-in, of a bugging of one side by the other.
We thought, too, that money was the root of corruption. Politicians with
unlimited trunks of hidden money, unreported and unknown except by a few,
that could be used for anything they wanted to.

"We can get the money," that`s what President Nixon said when he was
told the Watergate burglars were asking for money, money to keep them
aboard the operation, to keep them from jumping ship and spilling the beans
to federal prosecutors. They were asking for hush money, to use the terms
we all came to know so well.

Well, now, four decades from the night of Watergate, the exact
anniversary of the break in is this Sunday, we see ourselves surrounded by
unlimited money in politics. Thanks to the unlimited money pouring into
the presidential campaigns, where we see ourselves in the same world that
powerful people giving overpowering amounts of money to politicians.

What do they want for this money? Access? Support for their causes?

They`re paying to get someone elected. Why are they paying to get
them elected? It`s a question we have to ask, again and again.

We could get the money. It`s not something we like the sound of.

That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.

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

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