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updated 11/6/2012 11:17:35 AM ET 2012-11-06T16:17:35

HARDBALL
November 5, 2012


Guests: Stephanie Cutter, Nia-Malika Henderson, Dee Dee Myers, Scott Arceneaux, Bob Shrum, Dee Dee Myers, Nia-Malika Henderson

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: An easy choice.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Philadelphia.

"Let Me Start" tonight with this. Tomorrow, America, this country of ours,
will be divided. Half the country -- roughly half -- will vote for
President Obama and keep faith with the current direction. Half will vote
with varying degrees of anger to depart from it to head, who knows, in one
of the various directions Governor Romney has offered. Let`s face it, with
him, you need a weather map to know what road he`s going to take on any
given day.

But the question that looms now is how this country will get together the
day after tomorrow. I always think that`s important, but it`s more
important now because of our form of government and the division in the
country. Barring a landslide, a mandate election, which we`re not going to
get, it`s going to take both sides to move ahead to meet the challenges of
full employment, of debt reduction, immigration, education and competition
in an increasingly competitive world. Both sides. Got it?

So whatever happens tomorrow -- and I`ll talk about my sentiments about
that at the end of the show -- we need a working national unity when it`s
all over. And that`s a fact.

Our two guests are the best, NBC`s political director Chuck Todd and The
HuffingtonPost`s Howard Fineman.

Gentlemen, let`s look at this, the last word -- well, let`s start right now
and take a look at the last words. Here`s Romney today in Lynchburg.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), FMR. GOV., PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Paul Ryan and my
vision is to limit government, rather than limiting the dreams of our
fellow Americans. Now, our choice tomorrow is going to lead to one of two
very different outcomes. If the president were to be reelected, he would
still be unable...

(BOOS)

ROMNEY: I think you and I can agree on that here, but there may be some
people watching who haven`t decided yet. So I`ll just note for them that
if he were to get reelected, he will not be able to work with people in
Congress!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And later in the day, President Obama laid out that very
different division as (ph) where we should be heading. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tomorrow, you have a choice
to make. And it`s not just a choice between two candidates or two parties,
it is a choice between two different visions for America. It`s a choice
between returning to the top-down policies that crashed our economy or a
future that`s built on providing opportunity to everybody and growing a
strong middle class.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, we`ve got Chuck Todd joining us, and Howard Fineman.

Chuck and Howard, I have to give you some anecdotal information which has
always given me good information. I have a brother, Charlie, who always
votes for the winner. And he called me about an hour ago and said, It`s
Obama, because that`s who he`s going to vote for.

Now, don`t laugh, Chuck! When you get an absolute provable leading
indicator, you will never let it go, either. So I`ve got one. Your
thoughts...

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: And by the way, I`ve looked at all the numbers today. All the
numbers seem to point to a mild victory for Obama. None seem to point to a
victory for Romney. What do you know so far, as of this point?

CHUCK TODD, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT/POLITICAL DIR.: Look, I can tell
you the body language of the campaigns, I can tell you talking to the two
campaigns, you know, the Obama folks don`t think they`re trailing in a
single battleground state, and that includes North Carolina, and this is
the day before the election.

That`s not to say they think they win every one of the nine battlegrounds,
if you include North Carolina in that larger nine. But that`s how
confident they are. That`s how much they believe that they have done
enough of what I would call the -- building the floodwalls, if you will,
with the early vote and the absentee, and with what their turnout operation
is.

And I can tell you what you hear out of Republicans and out of the Romney
campaign is simply, Well, we`re counting on momentum. We know that the
core Republican Party is enthusiastic. That`s what you say when you don`t
have math on your side on this. And they don`t sound like they feel
confident the numbers are on their side. They`re hoping that somehow, like
in a senator`s race or a governor`s race, that tie goes to the challenger.

MATTHEWS: Howard, do you think it`s possible that the hatred level of
Obama on the right and some in the center-right -- some of it, I think
(INAUDIBLE) not all of it -- could be slowing down a bit because the last
couple weeks, things seem to be getting slightly less testy in the country?
That`s my hunch. Yours?

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No,
I don`t think so, Chris. I think among the hard-core, the intensity is
there. Chuck said floodwall. He used the analogy of a floodwall. I think
the storm -- whatever Republican storm is out there to continue the
analogy, is -- has a lot of velocity at the center of it, but it`s
questionable whether it`s a majority.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

FINEMAN: Now, when you talk to the Romney people, what they keep saying
is, Hey, look, the president is mostly under 50 percent in the horse race
poll. He`s at 47, 48 percent in most of the polls. And by the traditional
notions of campaigning, if a president -- if the incumbent is not at or
above 50 percent, then he`s going to lose. That`s their faith.

I agree with Chuck. They don`t talk numbers. They don`t talk states. The
only state they want to talk about is Pennsylvania. But I just got off the
phone with probably the leading Republican strategist in the state,
independent Republican strategist. He says that, in fact, Romney has
covered some ground in the last couple weeks, but he still thinks it`s 3 to
4 percent, maybe 3, 3.5 to 4 percent pro-Obama.

And what that race is going to come down to, Chris, if they focus on
Pennsylvania and Ohio, as you know, it`s who lives up on the hill and who
lives down in the valley. Who looks like the guy who runs the company, and
who looks like the guy you work with?

And the truth is that neither one of these guys fits totally into the
framework of mind of the working class person in Ohio or Pennsylvania. But
I think -- I think -- that Obama`s still a little closer to their heart
than Mitt Romney, who hasn`t made the sale to them personally. All he`s
done is made the case against Obama. He hasn`t made the case for himself.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the argument that Romney seems to be
making. I thought he had a really good argument in the debates. I
thought, in the first debate especially -- first, Chuck -- he said business
is jobs. I`m a business guy. I can give you jobs. It was so down the
middle, so perfect for the country`s need, a sense of need we have, all of
us. And that seems to be dissipated the last two or three weeks. Ever
since the first debate, it`s not the front and center discussion right now.
Is that bad news for Romney?

TODD: Well, I think that -- look, I think part of this has to do with he
didn`t -- he wasn`t able to make a closing sale in the last week to -- when
you think about the disruption in the campaign with Sandy.

Now, I think that there was some -- there was some evidence before Sandy
hit that he had sort of had -- was peaking and maybe the president was
starting making his comeback in some of these cases before Sandy hit. But
then it sort of froze things with a trajectory of the president with a
little bit of momentum and Romney stalling.

But I go back -- you know, it`s funny you bring it up. Businessmen, when
they run for office, get a halo effect with swing voters, particularly
independents. And there`s this businessman halo. And I`ve heard political
consultants tell me about it from both the Democratic side and the
Republican side.

And the trick is, you know, how quickly do you -- does that halo go away?
Well, there was for a long time, the Obama campaign had just beaten the
living daylights out of Romney`s business background...

MATTHEWS: Right.

TODD: ... to make it so that he never got it. The Denver debate gave it
back to him again, right? He sort of brought it back and he was doing well
with that group of swing voters.

Question I have now is where are these? I was stunned in our NBC/"Wall
Street Journal" poll, when you think about it and you look at the up-for-
grabs voters. They actually lean -- they look like they lean more Obama
than Romney. And that`s a big problem for Romney.

FINEMAN: I thought the NBC...

MATTHEWS: Does that mean -- stay with Chuck -- Chuck, then you follow up,
Howard. It`s traditional to believe that if there`s undecideds and you`re
47-47 or 6 percent out there that the challenger will get 4 out of the 6,
something like that. Is that still a probability or not, given what you
know about favorabilities within that 6 percent...

TODD: No.

MATTHEWS: ... the undecided people?

TODD: No. I think it`s very possible it`s 1 to 1. I think it`s very
possible that it actually splits up something like 40 percent of them go to
Obama, 30 percent of them go to Romney, and 30 percent of them don`t vote.
I mean, I think that`s the more likely scenario...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

TODD: ... of this sort of 9 -- 8 to 10 percent of the electorate.

FINEMAN: I thought that -- I thought that in...

MATTHEWS: Well said.

FINEMAN: I thought that in the NBC poll, actually, independents -- that
Romney leads among independents.

TODD: Among independents he does, but these are the up-for-grabs voters...

FINEMAN: OK.

TODD: ... people who call themselves undecided or lean...

FINEMAN: Right.

TODD: ... only lean Obama, lean Romney.

FINEMAN: Well, I think that for the -- the problem in the end for Mitt
Romney, if he doesn`t score what would have to be regarded as an upset here
-- if he doesn`t do it, it`s because he hasn`t made enough of the sale
about himself, I think, either his agenda, his personality, his plan.

It`s not specific enough. It`s just not enough. It`s not quite enough in
this situation to make the case against the incumbent. You have to have
done more to have made the case for yourself, and it`s pretty plain that he
hasn`t really quite done it in most places.

MATTHEWS: It`s funny because he got three quarters of the way there in the
first debate.

FINEMAN: Yes, he did.

MATTHEWS: But look at these numbers. The vice president yesterday -- he
certainly gave us -- he showed us his cards, at least. He told me he was
confident they would win most of the swing states. Listen to the -- he
gets down to numbers yesterday on -- on -- on the record. Listen to what
the VP said yesterday to me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we`re going to
win this state, Ohio. I`ve been in here 23, 24 days, something like that.
I think we`re going to win Iowa. We`re going to win Wisconsin. We`re
going to win Nevada. We`re going to win New Hampshire. I think we got an
even chance of winning Virginia and Florida. So it could be a big win.
And it also could be close.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Check those numbers. What do you make of those states? Is that
a good list there, Chuck?

TODD: It is. Look, I think the ceiling is somewhere about 300, 303, if
you want to be exact, in the numbers I`ve done. If you throw in North
Carolina, he could probably get it up to 318 max, and that`s if he wins
every one of the battlegrounds.

And that`s possible. You know, they all could be 51-49 at the end of the
day. But you know, I do want to say I think a lot of us are -- you know,
we`re sort of victims of 2004. I actually put this to the Romney campaign.
They didn`t have a good answer.

Before 2004, we were all more convinced of the challenger-incumbent rule,
that somehow, challengers always got the undecided and then a tie goes to
the challenger. Then `04 happened, when Bush won, frankly, as many of the
undecideds as he did.

You know, now you have -- then you`d have to go all the way back to `76,
the last time the person with momentum lost at the end, lost the popular
vote...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

TODD: ... and that was Ford. Ford had the momentum, but Carter won in the
end. You know, even Gore, he had the last-second momentum. He did win the
popular vote. So it does tell you having that momentum at the end does
mean a lot.

FINEMAN: What`s going to win it for Obama, if Obama wins it, Chris, is
organization, is the ground level organization. I was in an Obama campaign
headquarters on the outskirts of the Washington metropolitan area, in
Virginia, in Okakwan (ph), Virginia, and I was impressed by the methodical
nature of what they did, and also the distributed nature of what they did.

In other words, everybody didn`t come to headquarters. The materials, the
lists, the walking lists and so forth were all in homes around the region.
In other words, people in their individual homes and neighborhoods became
the effective campaign headquarters for those areas.

They have built on what they did in 2008. They really do have a superb
ground game. And it`s going to depend on them getting their own people out
in all of these states. They have it divided in terms of types of voters.
They have it divided by location.

The analogy I use goes to the way the Israelis operate in the desert. They
don`t have a lot of water, but they drop a droplet of water on every seed.

The Romney campaign theory is the older-fashioned wave TV advertising,
psychology, "tie goes to the challenger" situation. But in such a closely
divided country, where everybody is microtargeting, maybe that old wave
theory just doesn`t operate anymore.

Certainly, the Obama people think that. And you talk to the Romney people,
they`re still clinging to that idea, even though there are not that many
voters left to create any kind of a wave...

TODD: See, that`s the problem.

FINEMAN: ... any kind of a wave at this point.

TODD: Howard, that`s that last point that matters more than any. So for
instance, `76, my longtime mentor, Doug Bailey (ph), was on that Ford
campaign, and he said Gallup came out, showed Ford up ahead a point. It
cost him. And it`s because all of a sudden, a bunch of people said, Whoa,
whoa, whoa, wait a minute -- the psychological factor. And people went
into that voting booth going, You know what? I forgot. I`m punishing Ford
for Nixon, and that`s why I`m going to go and vote Carter.

The problem now is, let`s say there`s people with buyers` remorse and
think, Well, I`m not ready to reward the president. Half the battleground
state vote is in. It`s in! It`s already happened -- Colorado, Florida,
North Carolina, Iowa, more than -- Nevada. More than 50 percent in each
one of those states has already voted.

So there -- Howard`s right. It doesn`t -- let`s say there`s this buyers`
remorse or something at the end, going, Wait a minute, I don`t want to
reward this incumbent just yet. Well, that vote`s gone.

FINEMAN: I also don`t know if mass psychology works quite the way it did.
The country`s pretty divided, as we said. Communication is more
fragmented. People speak discretely to their own particular group. So the
sort of crowd psychology notion of the past may or may not work.

I mean, we`ll find out tomorrow night. That`s certainly the faith that --
it`s very interesting. That`s the faith that the Romney people have.
They`re going on faith more than numbers in most of these places.

TODD: And Pennsylvania is a good place to do it.

MATTHEWS: OK...

TODD: It`s one of the few states that doesn`t have a big early vote, by
the way.

FINEMAN: Good point. Good point.

MATTHEWS: OK, Chuck Todd, you`re the best. Thank you, Howard Fineman.
You`re the best. Coming up -- figure that one out!

Coming up: What are the stakes for this election? These two men from very
different -- with very different plans for the country`s future and what
voters need to keep in mind tomorrow. President Obama`s deputy campaign
manager, Stephanie Cutter, joins us live.

And also, we have some -- dubbed Romney the "post-truth" candidate. Have
you heard that? He`s the post-truth candidate. In these past few weeks,
we`ve seen his tendency to say whatever he thinks will work, regardless if
whether it`s true. Well, it`s gone into overdrive. Romney`s accused the
president of shipping auto jobs overseas to China, of going on an apology
tour he never went on, of eliminating the work requirement for welfare,
which he never did. If there`s one constant in the Romney campaign is that
he never lets the facts get in the way of a nasty attack.

Also, what`s going on in Florida? Over the weekend, we saw people waiting
as long as six hours to vote in Miami-Dade. A poling place opened, then
closed, then opened again. Former New Jersey governor Christy Todd Whitman
said it was reminiscent of a third world country.

And finally, tonight, "Let Me Finish" with a big if. Of course, it`s about
tomorrow. It`s about you. It`s about us.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`ve got some new polls, more new polls on the eve of election.
Let`s check the HARDBALL "Scoreboard" one last time.

In Virginia, our new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" Marist poll has President
Obama up by 1 in Virginia, 48-47. That`s good news for the president. In
New Hampshire, a new University of New Hampshire/WMUR poll has President
Obama up by 3 up there, 51-48. I think Romney`s going up there tonight. In
North Carolina, a new PPP poll shows the race tied, even at 49. In
Florida, PPP has the president at 50, Mitt Romney at 49. In Ohio, the PPP
poll has the president up by 5, 52-47.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Could the stakes of this election be
any higher? And what it comes down to tomorrow isn`t just about which
candidate wins, it`s also about what vision of the country, what direction
prevails on issues of equal pay for women, of health care, of course, war
and peace, of course. And we`re also facing an epic decision on every
front.

Stephanie Cutter`s the deputy campaign manager for the Obama campaign.
We`re lucky to have her tonight. Stephanie, thank you for coming on all
these times. Here`s your closing opportunity.

Let`s talk about women. I think you and I -- I`m older than you, but I
think we thought a lot of these issues were decided years ago -- choice,
contraception. They`ve come back almost like an old Friday night horror
movie.

What`s going on in this choice between men and -- women especially?

STEPHANIE CUTTER, OBAMA DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, you know, the
president said it best. We`re going back to the social policies of the
`50s with this Republican Party and with Mitt Romney at the top of the
ticket.

I don`t know why it`s been as divisive as it has been. It`s become almost
a litmus test for Republicans. But this is exactly what`s at stake.

You were saying it best in the open, whether women have access to
contraception on their insurance plans, that`s at stake, because Mitt
Romney wants to put employers, bosses, in charge of whether their female
employees get access to contraception. The right for women to make their
own health decisions is at stake. Mitt Romney said he was going to sign
into law legislation to overturn Roe v Wade.

And, of course, basic health care, the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare is at
stake, which is how women are getting preventive services now with no out-
of-pocket costs.

And then, finally, how many women across this country depend on
Planned Parenthood for family planning or for cancer screenings? Mitt
Romney said -- quote -- "We`re going to get rid of that." So that`s at
stake.

So when women go to the polls tomorrow, whether it`s equal pay, their
own -- ability to make their own health care decisions, or how we want to
move forward with this economy and help this economy recover from the
middle out, you know, helping kids go to college, because that`s an
investment not only in families and in opportunity, but in our economy,
whether or not -- how we`re going to reduce our deficit.

We have to reduce our deficit. Do we want to do it on the backs of
the middle class or do we want to do it having everybody pay their fair
share? That`s what`s at stake. So tomorrow is...

MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about -- let`s talk about single women.

Single women, it seems to me, are -- well, let`s take a look at all
women. We have got a new "USA Today"/Gallup poll that just came out today.
It`s very extraordinary. Men are about 10. They favor Romney by about
ten. Women, who are more numerous as voters, favor the president by 16.

And if you just put those two sets of numbers, look at them right
there, those four numbers, the four -- two sets, you say Obama wins the
election, because women are 52 percent of the electorate.

CUTTER: Well...

MATTHEWS: Is that the way your numbers square?

CUTTER: Well, at least 52 percent of the electorate.

But we can`t -- we need women to come out and vote. They support the
president by double digits, but we actually need them to come out to the
polls and vote tomorrow. In the "USA Today" poll, in a lot of the state
polling, he leads women by double digits.

But now is the time when it matters to demonstrate support, when you
come out to the polls. For those that are early voting, broad coalition of
people, young people, women, African-Americans, Latinos, they`re all coming
out to cast a vote early for this president. In many states, there`s still
an opportunity to do that. Ohio, you can still cast a ballot today.

Florida, they reopened many of those polls because of the long lines
to allow people to go in and drop off their absentee ballot in person
today.

MATTHEWS: OK.

CUTTER: So I hope people will come out and vote.

MATTHEWS: Thank you. Stephanie, you`re the greatest. Thanks so much
for coming on so many times on HARDBALL.

CUTTER: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for the
president.

Up next: the sights and sounds from this final day of campaigning.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL.

Now to the "Sideshow."

Well, the candidates and their running mates went state-hopping today
where tomorrow`s election is expected to be decided.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a great Virginia
welcome.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wisconsin, tomorrow,
you have a choice to make.

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m so happy the
economy of Virginia is going to continue to grow.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`re going to
barn-burner today. We`re crisscrossing the country.

CROWD: Four more years! Four more years!

ROMNEY: If you`re tired of being tired, then I ask you to vote for
change.

OBAMA: And Governor Romney`s a very talented salesman. He`s tried as
hard as he can to repackage the same old bad ideas and make them out to be
new ideas.

ROMNEY: Tomorrow.

RYAN: A handful of states are going to figure this out.

ROMNEY: Tomorrow.

OBAMA: I need you Wisconsin.

Wisconsin.

ROMNEY: We need every vote in Florida.

BIDEN: We need you, Virginia. Virginia.

RYAN: Are you going to help us win this thing, Nevada?

ROMNEY: Help us win this.

RYAN: Nevada, we`re counting on you.

OBAMA: Wisconsin, you know me by now.

ROMNEY: I need your help.

RYAN: We know you can do this.

BIDEN: I have got news for Romney and Ryan. Gentlemen, it`s never,
ever, ever been a good bet to bet against the American people, never.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, by the time the night is up, they will have covered
eight states between the four of them. Then the waiting game begins.

By the way, Bruce Springsteen, the Boss, joined the president in
Wisconsin and Ohio today. He`s one person who can tease the president on
this final day of the presidential campaign. It`s about those late-night
phone calls and the president`s performance in the debates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MUSICIAN: Every once in awhile, I get a call, like
after the first debate. At 2:00 a.m., the phone rings. I can`t get no
satisfaction. All right.

Then, after the second debate, I got a nice version of "I`m Sexy and I
Know It."

I stood with President Obama four years ago and I`m proud to be
standing with him here today, because he promised me a ride on Air Force
One.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Anyway, he wasn`t kidding. Springsteen hitched a ride on
Air Force One to the next campaign event, which was in Ohio. Update:
Springsteen said the ride was pretty cool.

Anyway, up next: Mitt Romney has been called the post-truth
candidate, you know, the guy who tends to say whatever he thinks will help
him win the election, whether it`s true or not. That`s ahead.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JON FORTT, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Jon Fortt with your CNBC "Market
Wrap."

Stocks tread water ahead of Election Day. The Dow gains 19. The S&P
is up three. And the Nasdaq adds 17. Apple shares rose more than 1
percent after the company said it sold three million iPads since Friday.
However, it didn`t break out sales figures for just the iPad Mini. And
Netflix was also a gainer after it took measures to protect itself from a
potential takeover. Billionaire Carl Icahn recently acquired a 10 percent
stake in the company.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Part of a presidential race is about policy. And part of it`s
about trust. You may be frustrated sometimes by the pace of change. Guess
what? So am I. But you know what I believe. You know where I stand. You
know I tell the truth.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

President Obama on the trail today with the bottom-line argument: "You
know I tell the truth."

It was back in August that a Romney campaign pollster made clear that
the truth wasn`t necessarily job one when he said -- quote -- "We`re not
going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

Wow.

But the Romney campaign ad in Ohio that left the impression that
Chrysler, an auto company saved by the bailout, was moving jobs to China,
broke new ground in political dishonesty.

I asked Vice President Biden about it when I interviewed him
yesterday. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: ... ad saying that Barack Obama sent Chrysler bankrupt so the
Italians could buy it, to send it -- and it scared the hell out of them,
scared the heck out of these people.

And it`s just flat false, absolutely flat false. It`s the most
cynical play I have seen. And as, you know, the -- there was an editorial
in "The Denver Post," saying this goes to character. Not -- it`s not just
a lie, but it goes to character.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And the vice president talked about the political
calculation the Romney campaign has made that their paid ads will overwhelm
so-called free media, also known as journalists reporting the truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: I think they believe that all the free -- when you and were
doing this, back when you were with Tip, free press was much more valuable
than paid media.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

BIDEN: Well, guess what? I think they think that if they spent a
couple million bucks or 6, 8, 10, 12, 20 million bucks around the country
on these ads that that will swamp free press.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Dee Dee Myers joins us right now. She`s the former
Clinton White House press secretary. And Nia-Malika Henderson covers
politics for "The Washington Post."

Dee Dee, you must be amazed by this new change in reality here, that
all those times you had to duck the press and deal with the press and argue
with them over facts and particular things. And now here along comes the
Romney people around him, the handlers, say, we don`t have to deal with
that quibbling over what`s true and not anymore. What`s true isn`t really
relevant.

If we can spend millions of dollars putting ads on the air saying that
Jeep is going to China, if we can say this guy is getting rid of the
welfare requirement for -- the work requirement for welfare, it doesn`t
matter what you pencil-necks back in Washington have to say.

DEE DEE MYERS, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, and
what they have found out or what the theory that underlines their case here
is that there`s no penalty to pay for playing fast and loose with the
facts.

You put a point of view on television, you line up a bunch of
information that`s not true, and there`s no penalty to pay for that. And
I`ll tell you, Chris. It`s the end result of a 20-year campaign by the
right wing in this country to discredit the mainstream media, the
lamestream media, whatever, the liberal press, so that now there is no
neutral arbiter in the country that can say, hey, wait a minute, this isn`t
true, and that everybody will pay attention to and say, you know what?
This isn`t true.

There are still people out there who believe those claims, those false
claims the Romney campaign has made. And that`s why they keep making them.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

And, Nia, we have a mixture of mainstream press, first of all. The
idea that we only have liberal press is absurd. We got "The Wall Street
Journal," the "USA Today." "The New York Times" is liberal in its opinion
pages. I wouldn`t say on the front pages. "The Washington Post" is very
close to dead-center these days.

What do they think when they think they`re just -- is it just they`re
going on the idea that sheer bucks and the amount of times you can make
impressions on the news or on the airwaves, whether it`s "Entertainment
Tonight" or a sports show, you don`t have to worry about people watching
the news?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON
POST": Well, I think it`s the George Costanza theory politics. It`s like
that, if you believe a lie, then it`s sort of true.

But I think in Ohio, they have run into a problem. And that is people
in Ohio know the truth about the auto industry. They know that there have
been more jobs there. They know that one in eight jobs is related to the
auto industry. They know their neighbors have been employed and kept
employed by these auto bailouts.

And then they went and really flew in the face of what Jeep wanted --
and Chrysler is actually doing, so they came out and, of course, knocked
down those statements.

MATTHEWS: Right.

HENDERSON: Here at "The Post," we have a fact-checker and -- who
gives out Pinocchios. And we -- over the last couple of weeks, the Romney
campaign definitely edged out the Democrats and Obama in terms of telling
falsehoods.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

HENDERSON: They got about 2.5 Pinocchios vs. Obama`s 2.1.

And I think it was in these last weeks that he was edging out Obama,
primarily because he wanted to close the gap in these polls. And we will
see in the end whether or not it pays off.

MATTHEWS: Well, let`s take a look at this.

This morning -- by the way, you mentioned the fact the Jeep producers,
Chrysler, have said basically this thing is dishonest. They`re not moving
those jobs to China.

Well, here you have the Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich,
conceding that despite the Romney ads` claim to the contrary, Chrysler was
adding U.S. jobs, not taking them away in Ohio. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: And is Jeep creating more jobs in Ohio, or are they sending
them to China?

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: No, Chrysler has -- Chrysler is the one
automaker that has increased employment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, there you have it, Dee Dee. And when you get the
automakers, you get the Republican governor along with what they call the
lamestream press. That`s a hell of coalition against the Romney ad-makers.

MYERS: Yes. This is -- I think they found the line. Right? They
found the line that they have gone too far.

And, in fact, this may not only cost them, but it could cost them Ohio
if it ends up to be an incredibly close race. But that doesn`t mean
they`re not still out there with a whole bucket full of other half-truths
and shifting positions, whether it`s Mitt Romney has said things like his
health care plan would cover preexisting conditions.

He said that he wants to make birth control accessible to all women
while his policies would actually -- he`s endorsed things like the
personhood amendment and other policies that would actually make birth
control much less accessible. He`s had every position on the book on a
woman`s right to choose, and the list goes on, his tax policies.

You know, it`s just one after another he`s just put out there these
falsehoods and dared the country to sort of call him on it, on his
inconsistencies.

MATTHEWS: Well, he knows whoever raises their hand in victory the
election night, nobody says, oh, but why did you say that two weeks ago?
In this country, unfortunately, victory is victory.

Anyway, last night, in a conference call, they went pretty far. It
was organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a grassroots evangelical
group headed by Ralph Reed.

Well, Paul Ryan told thousands of those on the call that President
Obama`s policies threatened, guess what, Judeo-Christian values. "The New
York Times" quotes Ryan saying that those, Obama`s policies the country on
"a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and
compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western Civilization
values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first
place."

I think this Paul Ryan guy has gotten off the crazy end here, Nia.
When you start talking about Obama, I know they call him the anti-colonial
Kenyan or all the other nonsense thrown out there. But here we have him as
some kind of barbarian at the gates who is bringing down the Western world.

Who is the guy? Who is this barbarian?

HENDERSON: Right.

MATTHEWS: And the fact that Ralph Reed, with his record, who`s he to
talk about this moral issue? What`s going on here?

HENDERSON: That`s right.

I mean, you saw some of this rhetoric in the primary with Rick Perry
saying that Obama was a threat to Christian values. And you have seen this
from Newt Gingrich going back to when he was up against Bill Clinton. And
it`s an old saw of the Republican Party, that somehow they`re in with God
and Democrats aren`t.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

HENDERSON: But I think what Obama has done to counter this idea that
he is somehow other is he`s out there all the time. He`s out there in our
living rooms. He`s out there with his family, with his wife, seeming
almost like the president next door and the first lady next door.

And in that way, I think most people see this for what it is. They`re
trying to rally the base, Paul Ryan, on this call with evangelicals. And
so in some ways, I think it does rally the evangelicals, but it also
rallies progressives. They are very much upset by this idea of framing
this president as somehow outside the mainstream.

And that`s why I think progressives -- there is this idea that somehow
progressives and liberals and Democrats aren`t fired up. But they are
fired up, and part of the reason is because of these Republican attempts to
paint Obama as somehow illegitimate.

MYERS: And, you know, Chris, it`s also...

MATTHEWS: Wait until they hear -- wait until they have to hear what I
have to say at the end of the show tonight. It`s along those lines, Nia.
Thank you for that.

Dee, last word. Got a half a word here, what is it?

MYERS: I mean, this is a reactionary kind of culture. It`s not just
in the Romney campaign and the Ryan part of the Romney campaign. It`s
throughout the Republican Party. They`re trying to, you know, limit the
number of people who can vote, keep people -- certain kinds of people away
from polls. They`re trying to reduce the size of the electorate. They`re
trying to, you know, sort of circle the wagons. They`re running this very
reactionary campaign.

And if they lose and beyond that, this is not a winning strategy for
a country that`s becoming more diverse, not less diverse. They are on the
wrong side of history here in so many ways.

MATTHEWS: Well said.

Dee Dee Myers, thank you so much. Nia-Malika Henderson.

MYERS: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Up next, both campaigns are lawyering up in case the
battle for the White House isn`t cleanly won tomorrow night. I hate this
mess that`s coming. Already, there are some big problems to tell you about
down in -- guess where -- Florida.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: President Obama sent Bill Clinton here to Pennsylvania
today after Mitt Romney campaigned here yesterday. And tonight, the
president will try to reach Pennsylvania voters with an interview on ESPN`s
Monday night football. Tonight`s game is between the New Orleans Saints
and the Philadelphia Eagles. It`s how we say it here, Eagles.

And the president will be looking to close the deal with Pennsylvania
voters and make up some ground among men across the country.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD: Let us vote! Let us vote! Let us vote! Let us vote! Let
us vote!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

What you just heard is a group of people waiting to vote in Miami-
Dade County in Florida just yesterday, protesting -- let us vote -- after
election staff people locked the doors during the time early absentee
voting was supposed to be in progress. Well, that polling site opened
about an hour later again. What came on the heels of Florida`s busiest
early voting day ever Saturday when some people waited in line up to six
hours to vote, up until 1:00 in the morning in some cases.

Here`s what former Republican governor of New Jersey, Christine Todd
Whitman, had to say about it earlier today on MSNBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN (R), FORMER NJ GOVERNOR: I don`t know what
went on in Florida, but I do have to say in this day and age it`s simply
inexcusable in this country, we have anything like this going on. I mean,
I`ve done -- led delegations around the world to watch voting. And this is
the kind of thing you expect in a third world country, not in the United
States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: That`s what you see in a third world country. Wow. What
a critique.

And with me is Scott Arceneaux. He`s the executive director of the
Florida Democratic Party.

And Bob Shrum is a Democratic strategist. He`s been through a lot of
these races.

Scott, just give me the skinny here. Can we get a clean, fair,
honest election in Florida tomorrow?

SCOTT ARCENEAUX, FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, absolutely, Chris.
We have had some problems, but some of these are good problems to have. I
mean, we`ve had an explosion of voting here. We`ve had early voting cut
from 14 days to eight. You know, just four years ago our Republican
governor had to extend early voting hours. And then we have a Republican
governor actually cuts early voting hours.

So, yes, we`ve had the intended consequences that the Republicans
wanted. We`ve had long lines.

But, look, folks here have stayed in those lines. They`ve sat throw
the seven-hour wait and they voted. That`s crucial, is people are waiting
and they are voting. And we`re going to have a big day tomorrow where we
think it`s going to go well and we`re going to win.

MATTHEWS: So if people show up to vote tomorrow in Florida in any
county, they`re going to get to vote, you believe. That despite what Rick
Scott`s up to, the governor?

ARCENEAUX: Well, absolutely. Look, we`ve got attorneys statewide at
all the major precincts. We have everything in place to make sure we think
it`s going to be a smooth and fair election. We think we`ll have close to
5 million people voting tomorrow.

Look, there are going to be lines. We`ve got a long ballot here in
Florida. But, look, people are going to get to vote. We`re encouraging
people to get out there. We think it`s going to be a great day.

MATTHEWS: Bob Shrum, thanks for joining us.

Nothing depresses me more than the thought of people being kept from
voting anywhere. Whatever party they`re in, they ought to have the right
to vote and vote what they think is the candidate they`re voting for, not
some screwed up ballot that makes impossible to read. So they end up
voting for Pat Buchanan rather than Joe Lieberman.

I mean, people ought to be able to vote what they think and forget
the chads and all this other crap. Voting ought to be simple.

Your thoughts on what`s going on?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, we went through this in
2000. I think it`s a cautionary tale. And that`s why all those lawyers
are there. That`s why people have gone into court.

And I think a lot of folks in Florida are really angry about this and
in a way it may backfire. They`re determined to vote.

But, Chris, you`ve done something important during this campaign, if
I can pay you a compliment. You`ve blown the whistle on the racial
appeals. And this voter suppression is nothing but a new form of poll tax
which taxes people`s hour and hour and hour of their time in order to be
able to exercise their franchise. It`s wrong and it ought to be illegal.

In the meantime people have to take it in their own hands. That is
stand in those lines. The Obama campaign has a great get out the vote
operation. And you also have all these lawyers who I think are ready to
fight this battle in court if it has to be fought.

MATTHEWS: Let me go about closing times and open times tomorrow.
Scott, thank you for joining us tonight. I haven`t met you before.

But, give me the clarity. Right now, you`re on live television in
Florida, as it was across the country. Tell people how to -- what time can
you vote tomorrow morning? When can you start -- and if you get in line by
7:00, is it? You get to vote no matter when it comes your turn, is that
right?

ARCENEAUX: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: If you`re there in certain time.

ARCENEAUX: Absolutely. Polls open at 7:00. They close at 7:00.
But if you are in line at 7:00, they will keep that polling place open
until everyone has voted.

So don`t feel like you need to walk away. Stay in line. As we saw
Saturday night, if it takes past midnight, we`ll go past midnight until the
last vote is counted.

MATTHEWS: OK. Bob, what do you want to say to the voters? Tell me
them to vote, right?

SHRUM: Well, listen --

MATTHEWS: Put up the crap and get there, right?

SHRUM: Listen. Look back at 2000 when the Supreme Court ultimately
said we don`t have enough time to count the votes. They did, actually. So
we`re just going to make George Bush president. Look at the consequences
that flowed from that.

So if you have to wait an hour, if you have to wait two hours, you
have to wait three hours, it`s unfair, we ought to make it illegal, it
ought to be a crime to try to stop people from voting in this country. But
go out there and do it because your whole future depends on it. And we`ve
got to send a powerful message in this election, that this kind of voter
suppression has no place in America.

MATTHEWS: Bob, you said it well. I`m going to say it again at the
end of this show. If you think these people are being prejudicial, they`re
being biased against you, all the more reason to vote for yourself, because
they`re not going to vote for you.

Scott Arceneaux, thanks so much for coming on. Good luck with the
election tomorrow. Hope you get a clean count down there.

ARCENEAUX: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Bob Shrum, thank you.

SHRUM: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: When we return, let me finish with the big if -- the big
if -- of this election tomorrow.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with tomorrow`s election.

If -- tonight, it`s all about this -- if. If president wins, it`s
because of some vital actions he`s taken in office. He rescued the
American auto industry -- one of those decisions that separates the two
parties. This is important.

Mitt Romney`s opposition to General Motors wasn`t some isolated
decision. His entire philosophy was against it.

A second step Obama took was to give legal relief to young people
brought into this great country by their parents. When the Congress held
them up on the DREAM Act, he did what he could with executive action.

And those he helped are not just the innocents here. They are future
Americans because of him. Hopeful of their lives, secure in their
prospects because of this president. Instead of helping themselves deport,
as his rival recommended, he welcomed them in our country and cheered them.
Again, the action mattered and separated him from the other candidate in
vital ways.

If President Obama wins tomorrow, it`s because of other actions that
carry tremendous vitality -- equal pay for women. It`s the law. It`s
enforceable because of the Lilly Ledbetter Act this president passed into
law.

Open service -- again, it was this president who established open
service in the U.S. military. No more "don`t ask, don`t tell". That`s
gone. You don`t have to pretend. You don`t have to hide to serve. You
don`t have to a part of your life to put all of it on the line for your
country.

And as commander-in-chief, he led the actions of the chief finally
this mission of the country since 9/11, justice for the person who
masterminded the killing of so many thousands of innocent Americans.

And he ended the American war in Iraq and is ending it in Afghanistan
by date certain. Oh, yes, it`s been in the headlines.

What an exemplary job that he`s done leading the recovery effort from
tropical storm Sandy. He`d done so in a way that perfectly displayed
bipartisan cooperation in a tough situation. He did that, Barack Obama.

As I said the word tonight is if. If this president is re-elected
tomorrow, it`s because of the bold controversial actions he`s taken. He
margin of victory would have emerged from his margin of guts. He acted
where others might have flinched or flubbed or said, oh, we don`t need
government to do those things.

Now to the biggest ifs tonight -- what the American people do
tomorrow and what they have begun doing since voting began, if Obama is re-
elected, it`s because of the historical alliance he struck when he asked
New York Senator Hillary Clinton to be his secretary of state, offering her
the most exciting, the most extinguished position in this cabinet. It was
a gesture that will go down in history. And her acceptance of this high
position, along with her requirement of a full autonomy in subcabinet
appointments was the deal maker.

Look, I grew up with a phrase "Democrats in disarray" as a cliche. A
headline written up when nothing was new, the old norm, the joke. Well,
today, tonight, the Democratic Party is united. The former President Bill
Clinton losing his voice, he`s worked so hard for the president.

But the former president speaking tonight in Philadelphia and in
Scranton as the Obama campaign`s closer. There could be no more dramatic
testament than this powerful alliance than what we are seeing in the
campaign`s close. Powerful. That`s the only way to describe the Obama-
Clinton alliance that could define the Democratic Party for years ahead.

If Barack Obama wins tomorrow, it`s due in powerful part to what Bill
has been doing for weeks now and what excellent work Hillary Clinton has
been doing for four years.

If President Obama wins tomorrow, it`s also because of other
Americans and what they are doing, their part -- progressives. People in
the progressive side of the Democratic Party have stuck with this president
and struck strong, recognizing you can`t get it all and certainly not all
at once. They have seen the full dimensions of this race. They have
looked at and heard the words spoken on the other side and have been left
with a surer sense of what really matters.

If the president wins tomorrow, it will be because the progressives
stuck and stuck hard and worked. They have kept the faith.

If the president wins tomorrow, it will be because women learn the
hard way that it still matters, the Supreme Court is perilously close to
going the other way of reproductive rights. And that belief and a women`s
right to think and to care and to be good is something shared equally -- is
not shared equally, I should say, across the political spectrum.

The crazy things said by certain Republican Senate candidates is not
background music, it`s coming from the same right wing mindset that loves
nothing, including human freedom more than it loves the past, indeed, the
distant past.

If the president wins, it will be because all of the people who
benefited from what he had the guts and foresight to do, stand up and do
their part tomorrow. He wins if those who despised racial and ethnic
prejudice wait tomorrow hearing those horrible words that have been called
out angrily against this president. They will vote because deep in their
suffering self that those words, that villainy that has been rained on the
president, that he`s not legitimately one of us, that he`s not really an
American, that he`s lazy, that he does not really love his country is not
aimed at him alone, not by any means. This diatribe from that side is not
aimed at one lone man, those words, food stamps and welfare and lazy and
un-American and all the rest of it has been handcrafted by history to
destroy the rightful place in this country of too many good people to be
counted and they will not stop from being spoken, even if Barack Obama wins
tomorrow.

But let those win tomorrow and you let those who spoke them win, and
they will do with more vehemence and all the more full-throatedness the
next time and the next.

So, tonight, I think of that word "if" because tomorrow, perhaps late
tomorrow, it will be different. We will know who showed up and who didn`t.
We will hear of the angry voter out there to rid themselves of Obama.

And the big if since whether we`ll hear the same of the young and the
hopeful, the believers in a better country, a fairer country, a country
where opportunity is democratic and American, where justice is reachable,
close of the reality because of what we, all of us, do tomorrow.

And, boy, 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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