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updated 10/25/2012 11:49:36 AM ET 2012-10-25T15:49:36

HARDBALL
Date: October 24, 2012

Guests: Gwen Moore, Jonathan Chait, Clarence Page, Rudy Giuliani

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Disrespecting women, deriding minorities.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

"Let Me Start" tonight with this. Women of America beware. There`s a
crowd out there that doesn`t believe in you. You go through the terror of
rape, for example, and they question your word. They say you better have
that baby or you`re going to jail.

Check the Republican platform that came out of Tampa, 14th Amendment
rights to the fertilized human egg. What about the woman`s rights, you
might ask? Personhood for the unborn from conception. What about the
woman`s right to control her personhood?

And the attacks continue. Now a close Romney ally in Indiana has put
out word he would criminalize abortion even if the woman was raped. For
more than a hear we`ve heard this stuff, and it`s headed right for the
White House.

People scoffed when Rick Santorum pushed to stop contraception. Now
Republicans are all pushing a measure to let bosses deny coverage for birth
control simply by saying they don`t believe in it. Bosses get to decide.

All this from a party that wants to dismember Medicare, erase health
care and kill the federal effort for better education. Romney`s right,
it`s not about Big Bird, it`s about the bird-brained notions you and the
hard right are running this campaign on.

Joining me now is U.S. Congressman (SIC) Gwen Moore of Wisconsin and
the HuffingtonPost`s great Howard Fineman.

At last night`s debate, Indiana`s Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock -
- this is last night -- answered a question submitted by a voter about his
position on abortion.

Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD MOURDOCK (R-IN), SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, this is that
issue that every candidate for federal or even state office faces. And I,
too, certainly stand for life. I know there are some who disagree and I
respect their point of view, but I believe that life begins at conception.
The only exception I have for -- to have an abortion is in that case of the
life of the mother.

I just -- I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to
realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in
that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to
happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And there he is, saying under the law, a woman should be
denied the right to choose an abortion. She would be criminalized under
his law.

Shortly after the debate ended and Mourdock`s comments had gone viral,
Romney spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, who often does the cleanup, distanced the
candidate from Mourdock, her candidate, with this statement. Quote,
"Governor Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock`s comments and they do not
reflect his views."

But it may have been a little late to back away from Mourdock, given
that Romney`s ads supporting him, one of only two Senate candidates Romney
has come out for, had gone out the day before.

Let`s watch him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), FMR. GOV., PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This fall, I`m
supporting Richard Mourdock for Senate. As state treasurer, Richard worked
with Governor Daniels to balance the budget and make government more
accountable. As senator, Richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and
replace government-run health care. Richard will help stop the liberal
Reid/Pelosi agenda. There`s so much at stake. I hope you`ll join me in
supporting Richard Mourdock for U.S. Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, there you go. We`ve got the candidate pushing
himself away from Mourdock`s statement. Mourdock, of course, is the
Republican nominee in the state of Indiana for the United States Senate.

Let`s take a look now -- we`ve got a couple guests here. U.S.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore`s from Wisconsin. She recounted her own ideal
(ph) in this sort of situation, horrible situation. We also got MSNBC star
Howard Fineman.

Congresswoman Moore, I want to talk to you about just your own
feelings and attitudes and experiences that might put a light on this
thing. Here`s a candidate for the United States Senate in Indiana saying,
basically, if a woman is raped and has a pregnancy as a result of it, she
should be forced by law to have that child -- by law. And if you read the
Republican platform, it basically -- basically says criminalize abortion in
any case.

Go ahead. Your thoughts.

REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN: Well, all I can tell you, as a
survivor of rape, legitimate rape, whatever kind of rape you want to call
it, I just caution the women of America to not allow Mitt Romney and these
senators to take over our government. They will totally eviscerate the
rights of women to control their own destiny.

I can tell you, rape is not rare. And you know, I differ with Michael
Steele and others who say that they have just been inarticulate. They are
really articulating the views of people who -- of members of Congress and
the president who believe that there should be no exceptions to abortion.
Their belief is that rape is just yet another form of conception.

They believe that rape is sort of an excuse or loophole that women use
in order to get an abortion. And I can tell you that 95 percent of all
rape victims are women, 25 percent of all women in their lifetime will
experience rape. That means your niece, your daughter, your granddaughter.

And if we start forcing women to have babies when they have raped, it
will cause such social chaos. And these men who would seek to be in charge
of our White House, our Supreme Court, and our United States Senate are a
danger to the health of women.

Rape causes post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal attempts,
visceral reactions. I can tell you that as a rape survivor, every time one
of these buffoons opens their mouths, Chris, it really -- I really recoil,
physically recoil with how disgusting this is. And it brings up terrible
memories.

MATTHEWS: Thank you. Stay with us.

Howard, this is -- let`s talk ideology here. This is an ideology.
You`re hearing it from Mourdock. You heard it from Todd Akin, where he
said a woman can`t get pregnant because if she`s actually raped against her
will -- crazy talk like that because they cannot accept the impurity of any
policy. It has to be down the line, which is the definition of a fanatic.
We must punish anybody that has an abortion, helps somebody have an
abortion, anybody who has anything to do with it, and yet they don`t
recognize that in life, not everything is your choice.

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:
Right. And that`s why they wanted the personhood -- they wanted the
language about personhood and the personhood amendment in the platform.
That was crucial to them.

Mitt Romney says now in one of his many torturous -- different
positions on abortion that he is impure in the sense that he will accept
abortions in the case of rape, incest and life of the mother.

MATTHEWS: But he`s running on this platform.

FINEMAN: And he`s running on the platform. That`s number one.
Number two, the Democrats I think have rightly jumped all over this. I
talked to people in both the Romney campaign and the Obama campaign. The
Romney campaign says, Hey, our candidate distanced himself from Richard
Mourdock. What the Democrats are saying is, first of all, the ads are
still up, as you point out.

MATTHEWS: Yes, he`s still endorsing that guy.

FINEMAN: Yes. Secondly, the key in several states, Chris, are
independent women voters, and they say in surveys that abortion is their
number one issue. So that`s going to -- this is going to play right at
those people in Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, and so forth.

MATTHEWS: Oh, they`re in bed with the far right on this!

FINEMAN: And if Mitt Romney is saying that he`s a bipartisan, that he
wants bipartisanship, and if he`s saying that he`s a moderate, which he
said in all those debates, being in league with Richard Mourdock doesn`t
strengthen his argument, that`s for sure.

MATTHEWS: It just seems consistent now that these people on the far
right are saying what they want, and this guy is still in bed with them.

Anyway, Obama campaign spokesman Jen Psaki talked to reporters today
and relayed the president`s reaction to Mourdock. She said, quote, "The
president felt those comments were outrageous and demeaning to women." She
also said she finds it perplexing that Romney wouldn`t demand his ad for
Mourdock come down.

A Romney campaign spokesperson said they haven`t asked Mourdock to
pull the ad. Already, the Democratic National Committee has a Web video
linking Romney and Mourdock.

Let`s listen to part of that ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: This fall, I`m supporting Richard Mourdock for Senate.

MOURDOCK: Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape,
that it is something that God intended to happen.

ROMNEY: This is a man who I want to see in Washington to make sure
that we can not just talk about changing things but actually have the votes
to get things changed.

MOURDOCK: Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape,
that it is something that God intended to happen.

ROMNEY: We`ve got to get this guy elected in the U.S. Senate!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, he`s a wingnut, obviously, based upon what he`s been
saying. He also beat a great man, Dick Lugar out in Indiana. I`m sorry,
is this the same guy? Yes. Anyway, I can`t believe how they chose
Mourdock over Lugar.

Anyway, the Republicans are getting the message loud and clear, and
they hear (ph) that Mourdock, well, court hurt Romney. Former New Jersey
governor Chris Christie -- actually, Christie Todd Whitman, a Republican,
said, quote, "Mourdock`s comments damage all Republicans and especially
Romney as the fight for the women`s vote intensifies. This could be a
defining moment for Romney, and he should immediately distance himself --
denounce both Mourdock and the comment." That`s Christie Todd Whitman
there, and she is a moderate.

And Republicans in races are distancing themselves from Mourdock.
Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, fighting for his life -- well, his
spokesman issued a statement emphasizing that Brown is pro-choice and
disagrees with Mourdock. New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte canceled a
planned campaign trip with Mourdock today. And Mike Pence, who`s running
for Indiana governor, urged Mourdock to apologize.

Let me ask the congresswoman -- Congresswoman Moore, these guys are
all dancing away from this guy because he`s embarrassed them. But it seems
like, as you point out, their platform (INAUDIBLE) running away from the
platform. They`re running away from what Paul Ryan has said about
personhood.

How many times can they make deals with the hard right to get the
support of the base on the Republican side, and then dance away from it
when the lights go on?

MOORE: I just hope women of America are seeing that this is the dirty
little secret inside of the Republican Party. They have no respect for
women, no regard for women. They want to give rights to an embryo at the
expense of women`s health and women`s lives.

And they just want to get elected. You know, believe us for these 13
days. But I believe Mitt Romney and these senators -- I believe them for
what they have said the first time.

MATTHEWS: Yes, it seems like 14th Amendment...

MOORE: They have said that they would repeal...

MATTHEWS: Congresswoman, you`re an African-American. You know, the
14th Amendment came out of the Civil War. It was an attempt to make sure
that the freed slaves had the rights of citizenship and all those rights of
life, liberty and property.

Now to take the 14th Amendment and exploit it for this ideological
battle of craziness -- as you said, the fertilized egg has the rights over
the woman, who`s supposed to have control of her body under the law, and
doesn`t under this thing.

MOORE: And it does. And you know, and for Mitt Romney and these
senators to say that -- I mean, this is a woman`s entire life. I mean,
it`s her physical health, her mental health, her economic status.

I can tell you something, Chris. As a mother of three, it`s hard
enough to raise children when you plan a pregnancy, much less to have these
men thrust pregnancy upon you. I can tell you that the Jerry Sandusky --
that`s the reason why we can`t pass the Violence Against Women Act, for
example, because these men do not take the violence against women
seriously. They perhaps think that rape is just a sort of a rite of
passage.

But rape is pandemic. It`s a pandemic disease in this country. And
despite what Todd Akin says, you can become pregnant. And what is so
cynical is that once you become pregnant, these Republicans don`t want you
to have food stamps. They don`t want you to have WIC. They begrudge you a
safety net.

And so I am hoping that the women of America will believe these people
for what they are telling you. These are not misstatements. They are
stating what they actually believe.

MATTHEWS: OK. Well, we benefit a lot from your experience and your
knowledge. Thanks so much, U.S. Congressman Gwen Moore.

And Howard, is this going to get tied around the neck of Romney, this
(INAUDIBLE)

FINEMAN: Well, the Democrats are going to do everything they can in
key places where independent libertarian women...

MATTHEWS: Colorado.

FINEMAN: Yes, Colorado, New Hampshire, northern Virginia -- where
women who are in business and might like Mitt Romney on the economy,
they`re going to hold back. And the Democrats will have a chance to get
them for the same reason about libertarianism, which is they want to
control their own bodies and their own lives.

MATTHEWS: And Romney`s made his bed with this crazy crowd.

FINEMAN: Right.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, coming up, irrational exuberance -- thank you,
Howard.

Coming up: Irrational exuberance. Republicans are strutting, acting
as though the president election is in the bag. Do they know something we
don`t, looking at all the polls, or are they bluffing, hoping to influence
reporters and undecided voters who want to go with the winner? You know,
the kind of people that are other-directed.

Anyway, also, the right wing just won`t quit with its fever swamp
fantasies of a President Obama who is foreign, other, un-American. And
today Sarah Palin threw out the racial dogwhistle and grabbed a trumpet,
referring to Obama`s, quote, "shuck and jive" -- that was her phrase -- I
can`t even repeat this stuff -- on Libya. That`s the way they`re talking
now.

And "America`s mayor," Rudy Giuliani, joins us tonight to play
HARDBALL two weeks before election day.

Finally, "Let Me Finish" tonight with this dirty, relentless attack on
the president by people who don`t know what it means to be a true American.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, Elizabeth Warren appears to be opening up a lead in
the Massachusetts Senate race. Let`s check the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."

A new WBUR/Mass Inc. poll finds Warren with a 6-point lead now over
Republican senator Scott Brown. It`s Warren 50 -- that`s the magic number
-- Brown 44. Earlier this month, the poll had Brown up by 3. Things are
moving up there. I think Tommy Menino, the mayor, is the key up there.

In neighboring Connecticut, Democrat Chris Murphy has a 6-point lead
over Linda McMahon of the wrestling family for the seat currently held by
Joe Lieberman. A new Quinnipiac poll has Murphy at 49, McMahon at 43.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. The Romney campaign sounding
calm, cool and confident with 13 days to go. Well, since the first debate,
Romney has clearly caught President Obama in most national polls. But is
Romney really the front-runner, as he`s protecting himself -- projecting
himself to be right now and as some in the media are now painting him?

Well, this morning, Politico`s Mike Allen threw some cold water on the
growing conventional wisdom. He pointed out the obvious. Here it is. "To
be president, you have to win states, not debates, and Mitt Romney has a
problem. Romney has not put away a single one of the must-have states.
President Obama remains the favorite because he only needs to win a couple
of the toss-ups. Mitt needs to win most of them."

Well, "New York" magazine`s Jonathan Chait`s here with us. He put it
more bluntly just yesterday. Quote, "This is a bluff. Romney`s carefully
attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum in the hopes of winning
positive media coverage and thus creating a self-filling prophecy." Well
written.

Jonathan Chait joins us right now. He`s sitting right here, along
with my good buddy, David Corn, Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones"
and the author of the great e-book, "47 Percent," there it is -- as if it
actually exists!

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It does! It
does! It does.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... but they`re pretending it`s a book. Anyway...

JONATHAN CHAIT, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: It`s an e-book.

MATTHEWS: It`s a real book. It`s much cheaper. How much does it
cost?

CORN: 99 cents.

MATTHEWS: See, that -- that`s the deal. The deal (INAUDIBLE) read it
in one night. You can`t lose.

MATTHEWS: OK, Jonathan, I think you wrote that very well. What I was
reminded of in learning about the theory of BS, if you will, that they`re
going to win...

CHAIT: Right.

MATTHEWS: It reminds me of that little princeling W announcing
basically...

CHAIT: Yes.

MATTHEWS: ... the night of the election in 2000 that he had won the
divine right...

CHAIT: Right.

MATTHEWS: ... the droit du seigneur of the Bush family, we have a
right to be president...

CHAIT: Yes.

MATTHEWS: ... and I`m going to dictate from now on through five weeks
of recount...

CHAIT: Yes.

MATTHEWS: ... that I am the president. Is this what the other
princely born guy is up to, Romney?

CHAIT: I think so. And Bush did that even before the election.
Remember, he went out to California. Karl Rove was saying he was going to
win 320 electoral votes. I went back and I...

MATTHEWS: My daddy said I`ll be president. It`s coming true.

CHAIT: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: Is that it? OK.

CHAIT: I went back and read something I wrote in 2000 when I was at
"The New Republic" at the time, and I wrote this piece saying, Hey, Bush
doesn`t have it in the bag. And I sort of had to convince everyone that he
wasn`t going to absolutely crush Al Gore. It was sort of this surprising,
shocking...

MATTHEWS: Yes. But this strategy of saying you`ve won before you`ve
won creates a kind of an inevitability. I think it`s ridiculously
premature. We have two weeks, and anything can happen. But go ahead. And
by the way, the numbers are closing and may be crossing.

CORN: I don`t know why we`re all surprised the Romney campaign, which
doesn`t tell the truth about his policy positions, his past statements...

MATTHEWS: His taxes.

CORN: ... even what he -- his taxes -- even what he said five seconds
ago, is now throwing a line of bull out about what`s going to happen on the
elections. I mean, I`d expect them to do this. I think what they`re
trying to do, too, now, is we may have -- you know, everyone`s getting
worried about a post-election fight, that it`s not definitive or something
comes up. And so the more you talk about it beforehand as, Well, looks
like Romney`s going to win, you try to set up again for the post-election
fight that may or may not come.

MATTHEWS: Like in Florida.

CORN: Like in Florida. So it`s the -- you know, it`s the type of
thing that reporters get suckered into. And you know, we keep looking at
the national numbers...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let`s get down to the psychobabble here. Why do
Republicans lust for the presidency? It`s almost like, We are the ruling
class. They don`t mind being -- who`s running Congress. Those jobs are
middle level, below the line in the house. They must be president. It`s
like if they`re not president, they don`t call the military at their
demand...

CORN: Well...

MATTHEWS: ... if they don`t have this power of living in the White
House where the best people live, they`ve really failed themselves.

CHAIT: I think Democrats want to be president...

MATTHEWS: Don`t you sense...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: No, they want to be president, but I don`t think it`s the
same sense of right.

CORN: You`re talking about entitlement.

MATTHEWS: Democrats feel...

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: You`re talking about a sense of entitlement.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Democrats earn it.

CORN: We have seen for the last four years -- we have talked about
this numerous times on the show -- that they don`t accept Obama as a
legitimate president, a lot of Republicans, a lot of people on the right.

MATTHEWS: And why...

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: And so thus they feel that it`s theirs.

MATTHEWS: You know what I thought in 2000? Do you think the
Republicans would have given in so easily, the way it worked for the
Democrats?

CHAIT: Oh, no.

CORN: No.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: And do you think W. would have written that thing, that
beautiful speech that Al Gore gave? No way. They don`t concede.

Anyway, Obama -- if Obama carries Ohio, which looks pretty good as of
today, perhaps the main reason will be do to the fact that he helped save
the auto industry. We all know that. The people out there all know, the
ones watching it.

Well, the president addressed that yesterday at a rally in Ohio.
Let`s watch. And this many people believe is the key state in this
election, Ohio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Mitt Romney had been
president when the auto industry was on the verge of collapse, we might not
have an American auto industry today.

I wasn`t about to let Detroit go bankrupt or Toledo go bankrupt or
Lordstown go bankrupt. I bet on American workers. I bet on American
manufacturing. I would do it again because that bet has paid off for Ohio
and for America in a big way.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, he believes he`s going to win and you can see it
there.

By the way, a brand-new "TIME" magazine poll out just today -- this is
the latest news -- shows the president with a comfortable five-point lead
nationally among likely voters, 49-44, which -- actually, that`s Ohio.

CORN: Ohio.

MATTHEWS: Oh, God -- 49-44, what do you make of that?

CHAIT: I think he`s up in Ohio. All the polls have him up in Ohio.
And, look, it`s close. He doesn`t have a big margin, but he is ahead in
the Electoral College right now.

CORN: But it`s been pretty consistent too now for like two months.
He`s had this lead in Ohio that`s -- that`s ahead of all the leads in the
other swing states he has.

CHAIT: If the polls are right.

CORN: If they`re right.

CHAIT: Which they might not be.

CORN: Yes.

CHAIT: But if the polls are right, Obama is winning. And that`s a
fact that just hasn`t come through in the coverage.

MATTHEWS: Let`s take a look at this new ad by Bill Clinton. It`s a
very strong endorsement of the president. It`s basically entitled he`s got
it right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The stuff some
folks are saying about President Obama sounds kinds of familiar. The same
people said my ideas would destroy jobs and they called me every name in
the book.

Well, we created 22 million new jobs and turned deficits into
surpluses. President Obama has got it right. We should invest in the
middle class, education and innovation and pay down our debt with spending
restraint and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. Sound familiar?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Let`s take a look at this ad from Obama now. This is
another one. This is about getting people out to vote. It`s the underdog
ad, which is the flip side of what we`re talking about, the bragging ad on
their side, the bragging point of view they`re trying to push out to the
mainstream press.

And here is Obama playing it much differently. Perhaps that we try
harder approach here, the Harry Truman approach might be what will win for
him. Let`s watch this ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)

NARRATOR: Five hundred and thirty-seven, the number of votes that
changed the course of American history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida is too close to call.

NARRATOR: The difference between what was and what could have been.

So, this year, if you`re thinking that your vote doesn`t count, that
it won`t matter, well, back then, there were probably at least 537 people
who felt the same way. Make your voice heard. Vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: That`s my religion right there. That`s what I really
believe. Every vote counts. I believe it. I tell my kids this. You
think -- and it usually comes down to a choice between two candidates. You
play games voting for the third-party candidate. You`re playing games.
It`s two people.

CORN: Well, this is all about mobilizing people.

In my neighborhood, in my community, I know people who are doing less
and are less excited than they were four years ago. They`re not door-
knocking, they`re not going to swing states the way they did four years
ago. That has to have somewhat of an impact.

They want to make sure they squeeze every vote they can out of their
natural constituency. It`s natural. But if it`s so tight like this and
you don`t know if there`s going to be any funny business in the end with
super PAC ads, or anything else, voter suppression efforts, they just want
to get everybody out that they can.

And I think ads like that are -- I hope are effective.

CHAIT: Right.

There are definitely a lot of polls that show an enthusiasm gap with
Republicans just rabid, you know, determined to get Obama out of office.
And Democrats, they`re working their way toward it, but they`re not where
they were in `08. So, that`s the main project for the Obama campaign.

MATTHEWS: Right. Republicans, there are so many haters in their
midst, not of all of them obviously, but there are so many haters on the
right, right now. They`re going to vote, they`re going to show up.
Jonathan and David, thank you as always.

CORN: Oh, yes.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Jonathan Chait, thanks for joining us. Come back
again.

And thank you, David, as always.

Up next, here`s one boss who is for Obama, Bruce Springsteen, the
Boss. The singer is working on a new campaign song for the president.
We`re going to show you that next and let you hear it.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. Americans

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL.

Well, first up, debate or duet? That`s what Jon Stewart and plenty of
other people, too, are asking after Monday night`s foreign policy debate.

After all the talk of President Obama being too weak on foreign
policy, why did it seem like Mitt Romney was cheerleading for the entire
debate the Obama administration policies?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART")

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": Listen to these
guys` duet on Syria.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that Assad must
go.

OBAMA: Assad has to go.

ROMNEY: I don`t want to have our military involved in Syria.

OBAMA: For us to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious
step.

ROMNEY: We do need to make sure.

OBAMA: Making absolutely certain.

ROMNEY: That they don`t have arms.

OBAMA: Arms.

ROMNEY: In the wrong hands.

STEWART: How about Iraq?

QUESTION: Governor Romney, was the war in Iraq a good idea worth the
cost in blood and treasure we have spent?

ROMNEY: It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at
the time. I support it now.

STEWART: But do you support it...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: ... now?

ROMNEY: We don`t want another Iraq.

STEWART: Well, I guess that`s not a flip-flop, so much as a
principled recognition of the Iraq war`s current unpopularity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: He`s so good.

That was the Romney Etch A Sketch in all its glory.

Also, we have seen our share of Obama impressions over the years, but
the latest A-lister to make an attempt, Bruce Springsteen, that`s right.
Here`s the music legend at an Obama rally in Virginia just yesterday doing
his rendition of the president and testing out a new campaign song, sort
of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MUSICIAN: Late at night, the president gives me a
phone call.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

SPRINGSTEEN: And he`s -- once, twice a week, this happens. It`s
getting kind of annoying actually.

Bruce, I need a campaign song.

(LAUGHTER)

SPRINGSTEEN: A country musician wrote a song for Mitt Romney. And I
need a campaign song.

So, I`m thinking, OK, campaign song. Well, you came to the right guy.
I was having a hard time finding words that rhymed with Obama. You run out
of those really quick.

So I had, came to Virginia looking for a date. We kissed and I said
it`s a hell of a state. We made love and it wasn`t so great. Forward and
away we go.

I`m not sure what that has to do with the election, but...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Wow. Well, you notice he was able to include a nice nod
there to Virginia, one of the all-important swing states.

Up next, Obama derangement syndrome, we`re seeing even now even more
crazy right-wing wing nuts out there, attempts to delegitimize the
president, including Sarah Palin now accusing Obama of shuck and jive,
that`s her phrase, wonderful lady, on Libya.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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The Dow dropped 25 points. The S&P fell four. The Nasdaq lost eight
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That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide -- now back to
HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Throughout the Obama presidency, we have seen blatant attempts by the
far right to discredit and delegitimize this president. Today, "The New
York Times" reports that over the summer a group of wealthy conservative
activists made a plan to release an anti-Obama DVD by mail to targeted
voters and to air on cable and that they tested the impact of potential
films.

"The Times" writes -- quote -- "A 30-person focus group looked at
three choices, Dinesh D`Souza`s `2016 Obama`s America,` which theorizes
that president`s political beliefs were shaped by the radical anti-colonial
views of his Kenyan father, The Hope and the Change,` a softer critique of
the president that features interviews with disaffected former Obama
supporters; and `Dreams From My Real Father,` which posits the implausible
theory that the president`s real father is Communication Party loyalist
Frank Marshall Davis, and that Mr. Davis indoctrinated his son with Marxist
views early on."

Well, according to "The Times," voters in Ohio and Florida have
reported receiving copies of "Dreams From My Real Father" in the mail."

With me now is MSNBC political analyst and Bloomberg View columnist
Jonathan Alter and the "Chicago Tribune" columnist Clarence Page.

The blatantness of this thing I think went through the roof the other
day when Sarah Palin, about whom people have mixed views, put out a
Facebook post entitled "Obama`s Shuck and Jive Ends with Benghazi Lies"
regarding the Obama administration`s handling of the attack on the Libyan
embassy.

A dog whistle is a dog whistle, Clarence. A trumpet call is another.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Shuck and jive has a particular ethnic connection, not
necessarily bad in all cases. It`s sort of -- it`s slang. It doesn`t mean
evil.

CLARENCE PAGE, COLUMNIST, "THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE": Right.

MATTHEWS: But to throw it at the president as an ethnic shot is
pretty blatant.

PAGE: Well, for knowledge people, it has roots back in plantation
days, actually, when slaves during the shucking of the corn would jive each
other around just to pass the time.

MATTHEWS: Oh, that`s where it comes from?

PAGE: Yes, shuck and jive, yes. Thanks to you, I researched this,
Chris.

MATTHEWS: Well, I`m glad you did.

PAGE: So, I learned things.

Maybe Sarah Palin picked it up during her days as a sports reporter.
I don`t know. But what disturbs me though is the jumping to conclusions
about Benghazi, that there`s a cover-up going on, just stating it as if,
yes, it`s going on and we have got to stop it and Barack Obama is guilty of
blah, blah, blah. That`s just paranoid style of politics, where you don`t
take into account the fact that people can make mistakes or that signals
can get crossed or whatever.

MATTHEWS: There are mistakes. A mistake is like I thought it was the
13th. It`s the 14th of the month. That`s a mistake.

PAGE: Right. Right.

MATTHEWS: When you keep doing this stuff, like look at this Thompson,
the kid of Tommy Thompson. I got nothing against Tommy Thompson, but he`s
raising his kids wrong when his kid shouts out at some event that this guy
from Obama is not from Chicago. Oh, no, he`s from Kenya, at this point in
the discussion.

That may have been a cute negativity back when Trump brought it up,
but, Jonathan Alter, this stuff it just gets out. It trickles out. Every
couple weeks, there`s another one.

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Trump says the president is -- quote -- "monkeying with the
unemployment numbers."

It just keeps going on over and over again, just enough to keep it in
the atmosphere, to the point where today only two in five Republicans in
the state of Ohio, only two in five agree that the president was born in
this country.

It does work. It bleeds into people. They hear it enough from enough
people and they go, well, there must be something there, and they do it and
it works, it`s terrible stuff.

ALTER: Chris, I actually think my old friend Clarence is being a
little bit polite.

I think this is rank racism. Sometimes, people on the right get very
upset when people on the left charge racism, but shuck and jive, that`s
like talking about watermelon or, for Jews, talking about Jews are greedy,
or the Irish or drunk, or whatever. This -- these are racist tropes.

And we need to call them what they are. And I actually think, at
least implicitly, Trump was playing on racism today with his ridiculous
stunt demanding Obama`s college transcripts. What`s the subtext of it?

MATTHEWS: Well, what is that about? Let`s get -- what is that about?
It`s about affirmative action. We know what it`s about.

ALTER: Right. He`s basically saying Barack Obama was too stupid to
be at Columbia because he was an affirmative action student, and therefore
because he was affirmative action, he must not have had good enough grades
to stay in college, or whatever he`s talking about. It`s racist. Let`s
get serious about this.

MATTHEWS: And anybody out there, by the way, who thinks we`re seeing
things, it`s over and over again. And if you say we`re seeing things,
you`re dead wrong and you`re dangerous, because people that don`t hear it
should hear it.

Anyway, over the summer, Romney`s surrogate and former White House
Chief of Staff John Sununu criticized President Obama as un-American.
Let`s watch this little number.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JOHN SUNUNU (R), FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: The president clearly
demonstrated that he has absolutely no idea how the American economy
functions.

The men and women all over America who have worked hard to build these
businesses, their businesses from the ground up is how our economy became
the envy of the world. It is the American way. And I wish this president
would learn how to be an American.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: So, you have this endless stuff about, he`s not just black,
which is obvious. He`s obviously somewhere from somewhere else...

PAGE: Oh, yes.

MATTHEWS: ... un-American. Trump keeps selling his stuff to the
yahoos out there, and they buy it up, because he`s rich, he might be smart.

There`s a mistake in thinking.

What do you think of all this?

PAGE: Well, it`s remarkable.

MATTHEWS: Is this going to call the reaction results by a point or two in
an election that could be 50/50 and a couple people buy this slop because
they hear it relentlessly from people that make a lot of money? OK, he
gets to be ambassador to the Vatican out of this. But that`s not good for
America.

PAGE: Well, a lot of us thought four years ago that once Obama got
elected and handily so that all of this other garbage was just going to
fade away. It hasn`t.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

PAGE: You still find these ridiculously high numbers of people,
particularly Republican, saying they don`t think he wasn`t born in America.

MATTHEWS: You know what I think? I think they know he was born
here. They don`t want him to be president.

PAGE: I agree. I think it`s more than that. Well, it`s a cultural
touchstone now. It`s like you don`t think Obama`s really American? Well
neither do I, blah, blah, blah. You got this sudden tribal attachment now.

MATTHEWS: I know it`s sensitive for African-Americans to talk about
it.

Let me tell you as a white person, I think it`s a statement against
the white people like this. It has nothing to do with blacks. It`s a
sickness by the white people.

Anyway, they ought to be ashamed of themselves. They should be
beyond that.

Clarence Page, thank you for coming on. I miss you, buddy.

Jonathan Alter, thank you.

Up next, Rudy on the race. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani joins us to
talk about the 2012 election. It`s always interesting with Rudy.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`ll be right back with Rudy Giuliani talking about the
far right extremists in his political party.

More HARDBALL after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`re back.

We`ve lived through primaries, conventions and now four big debates,
and tonight, we stand about 300 hours actually away from the day that will
decide the fates of the country, of course, and also Barack Obama and Mitt
Romney.

Here with me tonight to evaluate the state of the race is America`s
mayor, New York`s own Rudy Giuliani -- himself, a former presidential
candidate.

Welcome, Mayor.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: I`ve always been a Giuliani fan and people are always
amazed at that. I don`t know what it is. But I think you did a hell of a
job with 9/11. And I think if you`ve done one thing that big in your life,
that`s pretty big.

GIULIANI: Thanks, Chris.

MATTHEWS: You`ve got some legs for that one.

Let me ask you about this president of ours. If I and somebody told
me the president of the United States went over and killed bin Laden on top
SEALs-type mission, he chose to go the direct route. No doubt he got the
guy, a guy who`s done a lot of drone attacks, a guy that spent a lot of
time taking apart bin Laden`s operation. Focusing on that, not Iraq, not
anything else, eyes on the prize, I`d say that sounds like Giuliani.
That`s sounds like what you would have done as president.

GIULIANI: I give him a lot of credit for that. I give him a lot of
credit for getting bin Laden. I give him a lot of credit for pursuing
pretty doggedly what has to be done in Afghanistan, a lot of areas where I
think he`s failed.

MATTHEWS: You know, people inside tell me he`s pretty tough, the
phrase was when you get in that room with him, he gets the bad guys.

GIULIANI: Look, you`re not going to have beaten Hillary Clinton and
John McCain and be in the competitive race for president right now if
you`re not pretty tough. No one doubts Barack Obama`s toughness.
Sometimes I doubt his judgment. And on domestic policies, I think it`s
been a disaster.

MATTHEWS: I`ll give you a shot.

GIULIANI: I think our economy is in absolute -- in shambles. I mean
--

MATTHEWS: You think?

GIULIANI: One-point-two percent growth? Last time -- that`s
pathetic. You should be embarrassed of that. The level of unemployment
that we`ve had for so long. The president doesn`t seem to have a plan --

MATTHEWS: But you`re in New York, you know where all that came from,
the financial collapse. This wasn`t just another monetary recession.

GIULIANI: Let`s suppose I was running for re-election of mayor of
New York City and three and a half years later I said, gee, I took over --

MATTHEWS: You`re in the market now.

GIULIANI: The city was in crisis, it`s now worse.

MATTHEWS: It`s 13,000. It was 6,500.

GIULIANI: Look where unemployment is. Look at our deficit is.

MATTHEWS: You`re doing the --

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: You`re just going to cut it in half. It`s doubled.

MATTHEWS: Let me talk about this, real estate market`s back,
unemployment is down to 7.8. I admit the next number is going to be the
big one, the crucial one that comes in, in a month.

GIULIANI: Right.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s talk about that. You and the party, OK, you
got the points in there. The economy is not happy right now. I agree with
you.

Let`s go to this one. You`re pro choice. I think you`re open to the
idea of same-sex marriage if it comes. You`re no enemy of it.

You`re in a party now that really is run by the people who don`t
believe in any of that.

Look at your platform and the people who write the platform, the
people that talk like Mourdock the other day that, you know, even if you
have a rape, the woman can`t make a decision about the pregnancy. You got
a guy out there says if you really weren`t raped, whatever that means, then
you`re really not having -- like you can will your way out of a pregnancy.

GIULIANI: Right.

MATTHEWS: I mean, you got some really Looney Tunes out there on the
right who seem to have more influence in the party than you. Who is the
last moderate in the Senate now? Suzanne Collins, Olympia Snowe, Arlen
Specter was kicked out of the party.

If you are senator now from New York, like you might have been at one
time beating Hillary, where would you be in that caucus?

GIULIANI: I could be Republican --

MATTHEWS: How could you? They wouldn`t like you.

GIULIANI: -- on seven out of 10 issues, not 10 out of 10.

I worked for Ronald Reagan and Ronald Reagan used to say, if a man
agrees with me eight out of 10 times, that`s about good enough to have a
political party.

MATTHEWS: Is that still good enough in the party?

GIULIANI: It better be because he can`t really govern unless you
have that view. And I think all said and done, I think that`s the way Mitt
Romney looks at things. I watched Mitt Romney as governor of
Massachusetts, what I saw there as a practical man.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

GIULIANI: A man who knows how to make it.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I agree. Is that guy still controlling the situation
after all the promises he made?

GIULIANI: Everybody unfortunately runs a little differently than
they govern. Barack Obama was against mandates. Hillary Clinton was in
favor of mandates.

MATTHEWS: I know.

GIULIANI: We`ve got a mandate, because it was the practical outcome
of the discussions with Pelosi and Reid.

I think if you look to the way Mitt governed in Massachusetts, that`s
about the way he`s going to govern as president.

MATTHEWS: Jesse Unruh in California used to have a terrible
expression. He used to say, if you can`t drink their money, drink their
booze, eat their food, and sleep with their women and vote against them in
the morning, you shouldn`t be in this business.

Do you think, do you think --

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: You`re laughing because you`ve heard it before.

Do you think Governor Romney is that ruthless so say, I`ll take
Grover Norquist, I`ll sign his petitions, I`ll sign on to the religious
right, I go with my robes on at Liberty University, and do all that stuff
for them, I`ll sign on to all the neocons, but in the end, I`m going to be
a man of judgment.

How does he do that? How does he cut the ties with those people?

GIULIANI: Well, you don`t cut the ties with them. Practical
decisions --

MATTHEWS: Is he a moderate?

GIULIANI: Practical decisions come along and you make the best
possible decision. Your ideology guides you but it doesn`t control you.

I mean, Ronald Reagan lowered taxes, just about more than any other
president, then three or two times he raised taxes because he got a good
deal with Tip O`Neill.

MATTHEWS: Right.

GIULIANI: They made a good deal.

MATTHEWS: I was there.

GIULIANI: So here`s a man believed in cutting taxes. But you`ll
give him a better deal on military defense --

MATTHEWS: So your sense is -- I`ve heard insiders -- because I`ve
talked to a top guy, I like him, I disagree and he`s very close to the
president, the presidential candidate.

He says a lot of neo conservatives, the real ideologues around him,
are nervous that he`s a practical guy. Is that your view? He`s a
practical guy.

GIULIANI: I consider him a practical guy. I think all you have to
do is look where he comes from. He comes from business, doesn`t come from
the academic world, doesn`t come form political world. So he hasn`t had a
long time to develop this very, very rigid political ideology.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

GIULIANI: What he`s basically been, a problem-solver. And I think
that`s the way, by instinct, you don`t do it on purpose, but by instinct,
that`s the way you`re going to govern.

MATTHEWS: Would you like to be attorney general under Romney?

GIULIANI: Right now, I like exactly what I`m doing.

MATTHEWS: Of course. But would you like to be attorney general.

GIULIANI: I told you --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I`m looking at all you guys. I`m not completely
(INAUDIBLE), but I look at Sununu who`s barking out there like a dog, I
think he wants to be ambassador to the Vatican, which is ironic because of
the way he`s been behaving. He`s not going to the Lebanon. I think he`s
going to the Vatican.

But you want to be in this administration.

GIULIANI: I`m not looking for a job, no. I`m really happy where I
am.

MATTHEWS: You don`t want to be --

GIULIANI: I`m not interested.

MATTHEWS: How nice. Anyway, thank you.

But let me ask you about this -- let`s take a look at this question
that some of the whackos in your party now. Rudy Giuliani, pro-choice,
pro-guy opportunity generally. Then you have these guys like Mourdock,
then you have these people like Todd Akin, they must strike you, as a guy
who grew up in New York City, as crazy.

GIULIANI: They don`t strike me as crazy.

MATTHEWS: What about the statements that you can`t get pregnant when
you`re raped? What does that mean?

GIULIANI: OK, that`s crazy. I mean, the guy obviously never took
biology in high school.

MATTHEWS: Well, these armies in the old days, in the ancient wars,
they would rape the women to make that point.

GIULIANI: I understand why he said what he said.

MATTHEWS: Why?

GIULIANI: Because I think what he`s talking about is -- and this is
sort of Catholic theology, right? Something bad happens, did God will it
or not? He made a mistake.

I think what he was trying to say was not that God wills a rape. God
gives human beings free will and they do bad things. But God wills life.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

GIULIANI: So, he`s taking a really complex subject --

MATTHEWS: But can you see putting a woman in jail, criminalizing a
woman who`s been raped for not having a baby?

GIULIANI: Of course not.

MATTHEWS: What`s he talking about? The law. He`s not talking about
his philosophy is. You`re talking philosophy. By the way, I agree with
your philosophy.

But the law, should the law penalize a woman who`s been raped?

GIULIANI: I don`t believe.

MATTHEWS: Do you think he does? He just said so?

GIULIANI: I`m not sure he really does.

MATTHEWS: But you help (INAUDIBLE). You`re going to help these
guys. They say terrible things, to say he didn`t really mean that. He
said it. He`s running for the Senate.

GIULIANI: A lot people say things stupidly, they get it contorted.

MATTHEWS: OK, Akin. When he said a woman can`t get impregnated by
rape.

GIULIANI: That was different.

MATTHEWS: What does that mean?

GIULIANI: That was so significantly dump he shouldn`t have been
running for the Senate. Mourdock, I think, screwed up on theology about
what God wills. The other guy, that was really --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: OK, let me explain something to you. You`re straight.
I`m straight.

But let`s go over this. The gay Republican out there. A lot of them
obviously. (INAUDIBLE) was a right for both parties. There`s no
difference, I don`t. You get these guys, like the Log Cabin guys, and I
like them. We get --

GIULIANI: They supported me every time I run.

MATTHEWS: They are a very good candidate.

GIULIANI: Big support.

MATTHEWS: They now endorsed Romney. Now, he opposes them on every
front. How do you explain that?

GIULIANI: I don`t know the conversations they had. They supported
me in part because I signed the first -- I think I signed the first
domestic partnership bill. If it wasn`t the first, it was the second in
the country -- big controversy at the time.

But I`ve never accepted the idea of guy marriage. I still believe it
should be a marriage of men and women. I`m in favor of domestic
partnerships. I`m in favor --

MATTHEWS: Civil unions.

GIULIANI: -- civil unions. And I`m also in favor of states making
their own decision.

MATTHEWS: That`s the way it`s going, yes.

GIULIANI: If you theoretically believe in state`s rights and not big
federal government, you should be in favor of, let Massachusetts decide one
thing and let`s let South Carolina --

MATTHEWS: More than men or women are the big voters in this country,
do you think a woman has a right to have an abortion if she chooses to do
that?

GIULIANI: I do.

MATTHEWS: The Republican Party platform completely --

GIULIANI: My church disagrees --

MATTHEWS: Your party says a fertilized a second after the conception
should have the right to 14th Amendment to life, liberty and property.

What does your party platform mean when it says that a fertilized,
the day or a second after conception, has the right to property. What does
that mean? It`s in your document. They just (INAUDIBLE) in Tampa.

GIULIANI: I`ve never agreed to the entire Republican platform.

MATTHEWS: Do you ever read it? Do you ever laugh at it?

GIULIANI: Did I ever read it?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: What would be the property rights? That means women don`t
have rights but the unfertilized egg has rights.

GIULIANI: Well, in any event, the candidate --

MATTHEWS: See, you`re a lawyer. If you become attorney general for
Romney, you have to enforce this kind of thinking.

GIULIANI: Well, he doesn`t believe that. The candidate of the party
--

MATTHEWS: Yes.

GIULIANI: -- believes that abortion should be available in the case
of rape, in the case of incest, and in the case of danger of the life of
mother. So the candidate of the party believes that. That`s what`s going
to happen.

MATTHEWS: Why would he pick Paul Ryan who believes in the personhood
amendment?

GIULIANI: The vice president has to submit his judgment to the
judgment of the president.

MATTHEWS: Flexible man out there. I love the way you explain these
guy. You would be a great criminal attorney, especially when the guy is
guilty.

Anyway, Rudy, thank you very much.

GIULIANI: Thanks.

MATTHEWS: Meet America`s mayor, Rudy Giuliani. Thank you for coming
in.

When we return, let me finish with the slime we keep hearing from the
far right and the presidential candidate that won`t stand up to it.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this: Sarah Palin just put on
her Facebook page "shuck and jive ends with Benghazi lies." Shuck and
lies.

She`s talking about the president of the United States, of course.
You know, the guy Donald Trump accuses of being from another country, one
in East Africa, the guy he accuses of, in his delightful word, monkeying
with the jobless numbers, the guy he continues to call him a minority who
couldn`t have gotten to where he got without some special help because, you
know, he`s black.

This crap from the party of Abraham Lincoln, this endless spewing of
garbage that belittles not the target but the people who eat it up out
there.

What about the Senate candidate`s son who just said the president
should go back to Kenya? Or the endless, old stuff about the food stamp
president, about welfare and the Obama campaign, or the president himself
dumping the work requirements so he could, quote, "help his base".

All this seeps in to the brain of some people. You know, what I call
the low information voters who could be reached by this stuff. Look at the
numbers in Ohio, for example, where only two in five Republicans, just two
in five Republicans who are willing to say President Obama was born in the
United States. Do you believe it? And it works all right.

You think about how it affects the results and if it does, think two
weeks from now, just think of Romney benefits from this slime without ever
trying to stop it, ever having a Sister Soulja moment where he says, no,
I`m not taking this kind of help, I`m not having this kind of ally. He
never says it.

I was never so proud of a candidate for president as I was of John
McCain last time when he stood up to that woman who said to his face Obama
was an Arab. But then again he became a patriot, he was a prisoner all of
those years in Hanoi, serving his country every second.

Romney has never served his country. The only prisoner he`s been
captive of are those right wing haters who keep shooting out the garbage
that are smelling up the Republican campaign.

And 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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