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updated 11/8/2012 11:31:23 AM ET 2012-11-08T16:31:23

HARDBALL
November 7, 2012

Guests: Mark McKinnon, Bill Maher, Joe Donnelly

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: The day after.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

I`m Chris Matthews. Good evening. I`m in New York again.

"Let Me Start" tonight with this -- a sixth round knockout. It came
as early, so early in the fight, in fact, just after it began to get those
-- we began to get those state-by-state results.

Suddenly, it hit me. Obama, the champ, was not just holding his own,
he was winning. Then came the long run of rounds where he kept it up,
pounding away at the challenger, Romney. I say this all happened last
night because I never saw it coming.

I saw Romney`s big win in that first debate. I saw the president`s
sterling bipartisan work on Tropical Storm Sandy. I saw the numbers begin
to drift his way right up through the weekend. But I never saw what came
about last night, this powerful swing of support to the president, and not
just him but his party in Senate races across the country.

And this is our question tonight. What happened?

But I can`t begin our usual political discussion tonight without a
strong, sad personal note. I was on last night for 10 hours straight, from
5:00 in the evening until 3:00 in the morning. At a few minutes to 3:00, I
said something terrible. I said that I was glad about the coming of
Tropical Storm Sandy because of its impact on this national campaign.

It was a terrible thing to say, period. I could say it was because I
was tired, but the fact is, I wasn`t thinking of the horrible mess this
storm has made of people`s real lives up here in New York and elsewhere.
It`s not until you read the local newspapers around here that you see and
know the horror this has wreaked on people`s lives -- in fact, very good
people`s lives.

I grew up on the south Jersey shore. I have relatives living there
still. But I failed to see the even worse damage done further up in the
state of New Jersey and in Staten Island and other places around here. It
is truly a horror up here.

No, I was too deeply enmeshed in political thinking, deep in a world
of numbers and issues and people and stakes and all focused on who would
win and who would lose. But I left out the number one job of anyone on
air, on television or on the radio, to think about the lives, the real
lives of people, their losses, their relatives and friends who died in this
disaster, their dreams that have been hurt and sometimes destroyed.

I said something not just stupid but wrong. What I should have said
is how impressive it is for people in trouble and how they react to see
politicians working together across party lines as they did during Tropical
Storm Sandy and how people like to see that.

Instead, I said something that suggested ends justify means, something
I have never believed in my life. And even thinking that way I think is an
immoral way to live your life. Bad is bad. Good is good. There`s no
confusing the two. I said something bad about something bad when I should
have said something good about something I do believe is good, people
charged with public responsibility working together for the people they`re
elected to represent.

Look, I intended to take serious steps to show that I`m sincere on
this. I`ve heard from numbers of my family, members of my own family who
live near the areas hit. They don`t like what I said anymore than a lot of
other people like it.

Please believe me, I`m determined to do what I can to try to help the
people who have already been hurt enough, who have suffered and are
suffering enough hardship without hearing stupid stuff from me.

Anyway, I`m joined tonight -- I`ll be talking about this more perhaps
later tonight and certainly in the shows ahead.

I`m joined right now by some real experts who`ve done nothing wrong,
political director Chuck Todd, who`s amazing, and "New York" magazine`s
John Heilemann.

Let`s talk about this situation here of the president`s. Let`s take a
look at some of the facts. Here`s where we stand now. President Obama
wins by at least -- at least 303 electoral votes. Romney got 206, 100
back. NBC News, by the way, hasn`t called Florida yet, even now, a night
later, which has 29 electoral votes. Well, right now, the president leads
50 to 49 percent down there.

And in the popular vote across the country, Obama leads by about 2.8
million votes, 50 percent to 48 percent.

Chuck -- Chuck, this is something, I know you -- I don`t know if
you`re Billy Bean (ph) or you`re into the "Moneyball" stuff that`s going on
now, but I to tell you, I have nothing but absolute -- what is the word --
praise for people like Nate Silver, but more importantly, the guys in
Chicago like Plouffe and Axelrod and Messina and all these people.

They seem to have had the numbers right, and we were all the doubters.

CHUCK TODD, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT/POLITICAL DIR.: Well, you
know, they had this secret government study that was available to the
public called the Census, and they seemed to understand it a lot better
than the folks in the other political party, on the Republican side.

I mean, when you look at what they did -- you know, they knew this
wasn`t going to be easy. They knew there was going to be a fired-up
Republican vote. They knew that they were going to have some issues and
sort of -- among some conservative white voters, among white men.

And they basically went about to try to not just recreate what they
put together in 2008, but figure out how to maximize their vote in places
where there was growth demographically in their direction, particularly
Hispanics.

And you know, I keep coming back to two counties in particular.
Orange County, Florida, Osceola County, Florida. And I do this because,
you know, I`m hearing whispers and -- first of all, Chris, I just think
that apology was an unbelievable apology, as heartfelt as I`ve heard
anybody do when they feel as if they`ve done something that they need to
apologize for, so...

MATTHEWS: I just shouldn`t have said it. I know why I thought I said
it, I shouldn`t have said it.

TODD: I commend you for it. But I want to bring Sandy up for a
reason, because, you know, there`s a lot of whispering among Republican
operatives in the Romney campaign, Oh, if it wasn`t for Sandy.

That is not -- look at -- what happened in the state of Florida would
have happened if the election had been September 6th, October 6th or
November 6th.

This was structural. This was demographic. This had nothing to do
with any issue -- no auto bail-out, no Sandy, no any other effects. And so
any other excuse that some Republicans make is whistling past their
political graveyards.

MATTHEWS: John Heilemann, you accept that, that this was about
demographics, the more number of Latino voters, up 10 percent, almost 11,
almost maxing out there, actually, a pretty good showing among white
voters, about 39, about the levels of the last four or five cycles.

JOHN HEILEMANN, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes,
well, he -- well, I mean, he dropped a little bit. He had 43 percent of
the white vote...

MATTHEWS: But among the people before him.

HEILEMANN: Yes, look, yes, I mean, he`s right around where Gore and
Kerry were.

You know, they were -- the people you mentioned before, David Plouffe,
Jim Messina, David Axelrod -- particularly like Jim Messina and David
Plouffe, who are numbers guys -- they looked at this election -- and I
wrote about this back in the spring -- as a contest, in a lot of ways,
between demographics and economics, that the economic conditions of the
country were going to be a headwind for President Obama, and the only way
for them to win was to focus like a laser beam on four groups. The rest of
the stuff of the campaign was, in some ways, just mood music for them.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

HEILEMANN: They were looking at African-Americans, Hispanics,
college-educated white women and young voters in nine states. That was --
they had a year-and-a-half before they even had to engage with Romney, a
year-and-a-half and a billion dollars to go out into those states and
figure out not just in a broad way that these were the groups they had to
do well with, but how do you move those people?

MATTHEWS: Well, how do you find out how to do it?

HEILEMANN: How -- well, you -- I mean, some of the -- Chuck said this
thing that there was no issue -- I just -- there`s a little bit of
exception, I think, to that.

They were able to go out and talk to a lot of people in those groups,
find out what issues matter to them. You know, the things the president
did along the way, whether it was the Dream Act move in the spring, the gay
marriage move -- a lot of the things he was doing in terms of policy and
substance, the things they advertised on, the things that they focused on,
what -- how many college campuses he visited -- he was -- every trip he
took, every ad they put on the air, every Web ad, every piece of mail they
sent was focused on those four groups in specific counties in nine states.

They didn`t care about 41 states of the country. They cared about
those nine states and getting -- and they knew for every turnout number
what -- exactly -- exactly the number of votes they needed from each of
those groups...

MATTHEWS: It`s amazing.

HEILEMANN: ... to win those states. And -- and they were -- and this
is something that -- the Romney campaign are smart guys. If you gave them
a year-and-a-half with no primary fight and a lot of money, they could have
done the same thing.

But they had to fight a primary. They had to deal with Newt Gingrich
and Rick Santorum and Rick Perry, and they had to go out and fight for 15
months before they were able to look up in May and say, OK, now we got to
open our field offices.

The Obama field offices were there for a year-and-a-half, and there
are multiple ones in every one of these states, and they were out there
meeting these voters almost on an individual basis. Not -- these weren`t
just numbers, these were human beings that they were identifying...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... saying years ago you can`t get elected on the young
vote. And I looked at the numbers guys, Chuck, these -- and John -- these
numbers of young voters were better than last time for Obama. Who would
have predicted that?

HEILEMANN: Better.

TODD: Well, they went and they -- here`s what they -- and they also -
- they had time to change the makeup of the electorate. In the state of
Florida, they went and registered new voters.

HEILEMANN: Yes.

TODD: They registered these folks, you know, and they did the same
thing, so they were able to change -- I mean, look at the state of Ohio.
You know, all of the pollster conspiracy, the polling conspiracy theorists
would say, There`s no way that Democrats are going to have a party ID
advantage of 6, 7, 8 points in the state of Ohio. Well, they had a 7-point
advantage.

That wasn`t -- that didn`t just happen, they went and got it done.
They went in and did voter registration in specific places...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

TODD: ... because the other thing I found interesting, Chris, is when
you look at each of the nine battleground states -- and if you want to --
we have an easy way to do it, you look at the red and the blue, inside each
state, the county -- nothing changed. You can`t -- you can`t look at the
map and say, Oh, look, they won this county, they didn`t win that county
that time. They won all of the same counties. They went in and found new
voters.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well...

TODD: They went in and maximized.

MATTHEWS: I mean, everybody in America, how liberal you are, how
tolerant you are, how diverse you are, you`re always looking at sort of the
way people divide up ethnically, I think. And look at this. It`s 72
percent of the electorate was were people, 13 percent were African-
American, which has basically been constant for -- since I was a kid, I
think, if I ever paid attention to it -- and then 10 percent, just short of
that 11 percent, maxing out of Latinos. And that includes people from
Puerto Rico, people from DR, the Dominican Republic and Cuba and every --
and Mexico, of course, and further south. And then you`ve got 3 percent
which are Asian and South -- central -- or far Pacific.

John, this is the new world. Do the Republican Party, with their
slight support among Hispanics because of the positions they`ve been taken
against immigration, illegal immigration, really tough on it -- the lack of
having really any -- any really inroads in the African-American community -
- are they really stuck with fighting it out as, in effect, the party that
can only win among whites?

HEILEMANN: Well, they`re the party that has been -- that right now,
they`re a coalition, and the coalition that made 2010 happen for them
was...

MATTHEWS: Right.

HEILEMANN: ... is aging white men. And that is, just demographically
speaking, a disastrous position to be in because the coalition that the
Obama people and the Democrats are basically playing on, this is ascendant
coalition. You know, you saw the white vote fell...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

HEILEMANN: ... between 2008 and 2012. Every one of those other
groups -- young voters, women, Hispanics, Asians -- the black vote was the
same, but every other ones, they all went up a point or two. And they`re
going to keep going up more dramatically as we go forward, as we head
toward being a majority/minority country.

And so the Republican Party must, if it`s going to be not just a
plausible governing party, but an existent party, not an extinct party...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

HEILEMANN: ... it has to figure out a way to get right with those
groups, and particularly Hispanics. You cannot be a national governing
party getting 26 or 27 percent of the Hispanic vote.

MATTHEWS: OK...

HEILEMANN: You need to be up near 40. You need to be up near 40.
That`s where President Bush was in 2004, and Hispanics are more important
now.

MATTHEWS: Let`s go right now to the close (ph) of what it matters
because everybody who votes wants something to happen. They want a better
country, but they want resolution of the issues they care about.

Here`s something from Mitch McConnell. He put out a statement last
night. It`s quite an ultimatum from the Senate minority leader. He`s
still minority leader, of course. He never got the majority. Anyway, he
left no doubt that Republicans will not be cooperating.

It reads, in part, "The voters have not endorsed the failures or
excesses of the president`s first term. They have simply given him more
time to finish the job they asked him to do, together with a Congress that
restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party rule."

So he`s basically saying, We won, you won. This is going to be a
fight.

TODD: And not only that...

MATTHEWS: I didn`t see a lot of hope in that for negotiation.

TODD: Not only that, he started on a very sort of -- you know, Hey,
don`t offer us anything that can`t pass the House of Representatives.

MATTHEWS: What`s that mean?

TODD: You know -- well, that means we`re starting from square one,
apparently. John Boehner today -- he wants to not have any grand bargain
before the end of the year, wants to do this -- they`re just buying time.

It`ll be interesting -- I`ll be curious to see how the White House now
reacts. You`ve got both Boehner and McConnell, Boehner is playing good cop
here. His tone is different, definitely seems more conciliatory, Mitch
McConnell less so.

Now, McConnell`s got other political...

MATTHEWS: Yes.

TODD: Don`t forget, he`s going to get -- he`s got a political squeeze
happening on him because he`s up for reelection in 2014. And two things
he`s worried about. One is a primary challenge. And two, Ben Chandler,
great grandson of Happy (ph) Chandler, long-time famous Kentucky Democratic
name, conservative Democrat. Suddenly, he doesn`t have a House seat
anymore and he might be looking for something to run for in 2014.

MATTHEWS: How about Ashley Judd?

TODD: Well, I`ve heard the Ashley Judd rumor. I`ve also heard her
running for governor of Tennessee, which Democrats are trying to get her to
run for. I do think Ashley Judd does want to run for office. That`s a
serious piece of speculation that`s been circulating in Kentucky.

But -- so McConnell has to play bad cop here. How is the White House
going to respond, push back on this? Clearly, Boehner and McConnell are
trying to say, OK, we`re going to start in the most -- the most
conservative position we can find, even on this day where, essentially, our
side lost and see how the White House reacts.

MATTHEWS: OK, this was a stunning night, a stunning morning after,
evening after. I`m still -- got my own problems...

TODD: Yes, I know.

MATTHEWS: ... which I caused myself. But look, Chuck Todd, thank you
for joining -- you`re the best. And so are you, John Heilemann. Good
luck. The book has -- "Game Change." Looks like it`s got a lot of turns
in it, this last few chapters.

Anyway, coming up: Stay tuned for the Republican civil war. Moderate
Republicans say it`s time to move back to the middle or where the party
becomes a white -- that`s their phrase -- rural religious outlier. Well,
the Tea Party wing says the party`s too moderate, time to nominate real
conservatives. Sit back, relax, and well, enjoy the show.

Anyway, one of the consequences of the Republican lurch to the right,
if you will, is that in the last two election cycles, they`ve now lost five
Senate seats that could have been easy lay-ups, chip shots, and the
Democrats actually gained two seats yesterday, do you believe it, in a year
where they were suppose to be playing defense. There`s going to 55 members
of the Senate caucusing with the Democrats. What a surprise. As I said,
I`m still stunned.

Anyway, coming up, the great Bill Maher is here tonight to get his
take on what happened yesterday.

Finally, we`re going to take a look at some of the winners and losers,
including the pollsters.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, last night was a big victory for supporters of
marriage equality. Two states, Maryland and Maine, voted to allow same-sex
couples to marry, and a measure to allow same-sex marriage has a lead in
the state of Washington right now.

Meanwhile, Minnesota voters defeated a constitutional amendment that
would ban gay marriage. So all those seem to be going in the direction of
same-sex marriage right now. Thirty-two states have voted to ban same-sex
marriage. Last night broke that streak. It`s the first time marriage
rights have been extended to same-sex couples by popular vote, a big
breakthrough there.

And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. It`s soul-searching time in the
Republican Party. Fresh off their loss, they seem to be falling into two
camps, obviously. Those who say Romney wasn`t conservative enough is one
camp. And then of course, that -- they say he`s not really a right-winger.
They need that kind of guy or woman next time, or the realists in the party
who know that the GOP must become a big tent party -- remember that phrase?
-- if it wants to see success down the road.

Mark McKinnon was an adviser to George W. Bush. He`s also the founder
of No Labels and a DailyBeast columnist. And Joan Walsh is Salon`s editor-
at-large, as well as an MSNBC analyst.

Let`s take a look at the view from the far right. Laura Ingraham
wrote on her Web site today, quote, "Contrary to what the usual suspects on
the left and mushy middle are saying, Romney`s loss is not an indictment of
conservativism. The Tea Party remains the most invigorating force in the
GOP and conservativism`s core principles still deliver the greatest promise
to a demoralized middle class."

And last night on Fox News, Charles Krauthammer tried to move past
Romney and look to the future of the GOP. Let`s watch Charles.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: I think
he did honorably well, came pretty close, but he was a man -- he`s a
Northeastern liberal, and that`s not where we`re going.

And I`m optimistic because there was a very strong Republican bench
that did not enter the fray.

And all this soul-searching about what ideology we`re going to pursue
is going to come from them. And I think it`ll be a fairly Reaganite and
conservative one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Mark, this is an old argument, but I thought that the
conservatives in the party, the people even on the far right, the Tea
Party, self-described Tea Party people, had won the argument, until last
night.

MARK MCKINNON, FORMER MEDIA ADVISER TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
Well, Chris, you just can`t look at these results and come to any other
conclusion that the Republican Party has to expand the tent, and that this
strategy of going after a shrinking demographic and trying to expand a
shrinking demographic is a death spiral.

And that`s what we experienced yesterday. So, you know, I think back
to when I was a conservative Democrat, kind of moving toward a progressive
Republican. And it was George W. Bush`s message of compassionate
conservatism that drew me to support him.

And he had very progressive ideas about immigration and education
reform. Those were the things that attracted me and millions of other
independents and conservative Democrats. And so, until we start
recognizing that we have got to have those kind of messages and policies,
and greater tolerance, greater diversity, then the numbers are going
nowhere but down.

MATTHEWS: Well, this morning on ABC, former Bush strategist Matthew
Dowd broke down the Republican problems in TV terms, TV terms.

Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW DOWD, FORMER BUSH CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: What`s happening with
the Republicans is they are, the Republican Party, is "Mad Men" party in a
"Modern Family" America, and it just doesn`t fit anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: OK, that was pretty well said, I think, "Mad Men," meaning
early 1960s, and now "Modern Family," which is apparently one of the, if
not the most popular TV show out there, which has gay people and all kinds
of straight people all living together and having a pretty good life.

JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: The way we live, the way we live
today.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

WALSH: Those of us, like I know you did, who went from -- straight
from Charlotte to Tampa traveled from the `50s to the 21st century. And we
were there in modern America. And that`s what the Democratic Party that
the Republican Party doesn`t have.

Laura Ingraham is -- she is delusional. The Tea Party has
reinvigorated the Republican Party right out of five Senate seats that they
should have had. You know, Mark is right. Whether Mark`s position wins the
day, I`m not sure.

I really think that there`s going to be -- the pundits in this party,
the nasty pundits, like the Limbaughs, are going to be saying that we --
you gave us another one of those moderates, and we need true conservatives.
I think we`re going to hear that for another four years.

MATTHEWS: Well, here is what Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said of the
Republicans -- quote -- "They need a Bill Clinton moment."

But Rush Limbaugh sounded a skeptical and sarcastic tone about the GOP
become a big tent party today. I heard him. This is what he usually says.
And let`s listen to Rushbo here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW")

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain,
none of it counts. Don`t tell me the Republican Party doesn`t have
outreach. We do.

But what are we supposed to do now? Are we supposed to -- in order to
get the Hispanic or Latino vote, does that mean open the borders and
embrace the illegals? Is that what -- I want you to think about that. If
that what -- I want you to think about this . If we`re not getting the
female vote, do we become pro-choice? Do we start passing out birth
control pills? Is that what we have to do?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Mark, nobody says it better than he did.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: How do you retort to that as a -- what I think is a more
centrist Republican, which you are?

MCKINNON: I find it prehistoric, Chris.

And I think that economic freedom and, you know, and giving people who
help make this country great, the immigrants, green cards and finding ways
to get them into our society, be productive taxpaying citizen, rather than
this notion of self-deportation and throwing up fences, is the wrong way.

I don`t think that was the original idea of Republicanism. And I
think the philosophy of Republicans should be -- I mean, it`s supposed to
be to keep government out of your lives, so why do they keep coming back to
this notion of intruding on women`s lives? That`s contrary to the basic
philosophy of what a Republican should be. So, I find Limbaugh`s
statements to be contrary to the bedrock of what Republicans should be all
about.

MATTHEWS: Well, it`s a great question, because I know Laura Ingraham
personally and I think that her radio audience and Rush, they`re the most
zealous people. They`re the most doctrinaire. They are not the average
sort of RINO or half -- moderate Republican, Christie Whitman or Tom Ridge
from the Northeast. They`re not really talking to those people. They`re
talking to real rock-ribbed conservatives.

WALSH: They want to drive those people out of the party. They want
to drive people like Mark out of the party.

They are winning at this point. Chris, you and I have been talking
about this since 2008. Rush Limbaugh emerged as head of the Republican
Party in 2008 by saying horrible things about the president. And now
listen to the way he -- he thinks Latinos and he thinks illegals. He
thinks women and he thinks abortion and birth control pills.

This is a vision that`s going to drive people away from his party.
And Mark may have to suffer...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, I think there`s a lot of Republican conservatism out
there that can really get things done. Let`s face it. The Democrats need
the Republicans. They don`t want to be the ones putting teeth into
immigration law.

You put it -- they don`t want to be the ones dealing with welfare
reform. There are a lot of jobs that Republicans do better than Democrats.
If they have got to cut the budget, they want partners. They don`t want to
go out there and do it themselves.

The two parties have a lot in common. Mark, you know this. They can
cut deals which are good for the country and work down the center-left and
center-right until they find common ground. I think the first case is
going to be this fiscal cliff. They are going to have to do this one.
This is a time they have to work together. And so we will see if it`s a
good case of proving that the bigger stuff can work by doing the smaller
stuff.

Anyway, thank you, Mark McKinnon. Thank you, Joan Walsh.

What a day. I think we`re all a little woozy, having stayed up all
night long.

Anyway, up next: What`s become of some of the more colorful
characters in the U.S. House? I`m putting it nicely. We are going to get
caught up on the fate of Allen West and Joe Walsh and Michele Bachmann and
the rest of the usual suspects around here.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL. This is the "Sideshow" the morning
after.

Well, the common thread in this lineup of congressmen and women?
Well, Joe Walsh and Allen West lost their bids for reelection to the House
last night, and Todd Akin lost in his Senate race against Claire McCaskill.
West has yet to concede. But NBC News projects that his challenger,
Patrick Murphy, will come out on top.

Here`s some of the ways they have left their mark, these people,
including one from HARDBALL itself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALLEN WEST (R), FLORIDA: We need to let President Obama, Harry
Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and my dear friend the chairman of the Democratic
National Committee, take your message of equality of achievement, take your
message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the
entrepreneurial will of the American people somewhere else.

You can take it to Europe. You can take it to the bottom of the sea.
You can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United
States of America!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

REP. TODD AKIN (R), MISSOURI: First of all, from what I understand
from doctors, that`s really rare. If it`s a legitimate rape, the female
body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

REP. JOE WALSH (R), ILLINOIS: The government sets the rules. Don`t
blame banks and don`t blame the marketplace for the mess we`re in right
now. This pisses me off. Too many people don`t listen.

Chris, let me ask you a question. Do you support that, Chris? Chris.
Hey, Chris. Hey, Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. I love it, Chris.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Wow. All the same, there are some "Sideshow" regulars
there who beat their challengers. There`s Steve King of Iowa, a holdout in
the birther crowd, and Michele Bachmann, also back in the game after being
defeated in 2010.

Florida Democrat Alan Grayson, who offered this as the Republican
solution for health care back in 2009.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 2009)

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: If you get sick in America, this is
what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick, America, the
Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly. That`s right. The
Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And now to the roundup from the presidential race and some
winners and losers, aside from the candidates and the winners.

Well, the winners, guys who analyze pre-election polls, they got it
right, including Nate Silver, who, like many of his colleagues, was five 51
for 51 last night. That means 50 states and the District of Columbia. He
got them all.

Women, there will be 20 in the Senate now, the U.S. Senate, the
highest number ever.

Also, the LGBT community and gay rights advocates generally. Two
states, Maine and Maryland, voted in favor of gay marriage yesterday. The
measure`s still too close to call in Washington state, according to NBC
News.

And President Obama`s Twitter feed after this post-victory tweet made
history as the most retweeted photo in U.S. history.

Now to the loser list. Dirty, angry money, you know, the Sheldon
Adelson types who dropped hundreds of millions of dollars trying to sway
the vote toward Republicans, or two-time failed Connecticut Senate
candidate Linda McMahon. She dropped about almost $100 million this week -
- well, overall, out of her own pocket over the two attempts she made to be
elected to the Senate.

Well, the president wound up losing North Carolina, where the DNC was
held. That wasn`t a good place to have a convention. Romney lost Florida
after Republicans held their convention in Tampa. Wow, wrong locations
there.

Also, Karl Rove, who had a one-man sideshow of his own going on last
night as he became increasingly clear -- it did -- that the president had
won.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FOX NEWS CHANNEL)

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": Do you believe that Ohio has
been settled?

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: No, I
don`t.

It may be that Barack Obama wins the state, but it seems to me that,
you know, you got a lot of votes yet to cast. We have got another county
called Delaware, which is a good suburban Republican county north of
Columbus. They have had 56,000 votes cast. They`re going to have at least
another 50,000 votes cast. We have had one instance where something was
prematurely called in 2000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know it well.

ROVE: And I know it well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said this is not going to be another one of
those scenarios.

ROVE: Maybe not. Maybe not. But if it`s going to happen, let the
votes begin to show it.

It`s seems to me to be a very early or -- a very early call. I`m just
saying that in terms of public perception, it looks a little odd for us to
be making a call with 991 votes...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you know how the science works. They know
the counties and they know the expected outcome -- the makeup...

ROVE: And, look, they have got a...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... of the remaining electorate.

ROVE: They have got -- And, look, they have got a bigger data set
than I do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Folks, at Obama headquarters in Chicago, they`re
not listening to Karl. They don`t care about what Karl said.

ROVE: He has won the battle, but he may have lost the war. Second
terms are difficult for presidents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: That`s the architect, remember him?

From denying the results to denying that those results have
significance, a rough night for Mr. Rove.

When we come back, the one and only Bill Maher will be with us.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

A post-election stock slide today. The Dow plummets 312 points,
falling below 13000. The S&P drops 33. The Nasdaq loses 74, partly
because of Apple shares, which slid nearly 4 percent, putting the stock
down about 20 percent since mid-September. That also puts it in bear
market territory.

And a day after the election, the focus now shifts to the fiscal
issues. Fitch Ratings says failure to avoid the fiscal cliff raises -- and
raise the debt ceiling would result in a downgrade, possibly as soon as
early next year.

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

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Maybe the only people more depressed than Republicans today are
comedians. They`re now going to be able to miss out perhaps on the comedic
potential of a Romney administration. They also some lost old friends last
night, Todd Akin, of course, Allen West, Joan Walsh.

Well, Bill Maher warned us about the risk last week. Let`s take a
look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER")

BILL MAHER, HOST, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": So, that`s it. That`s
the election.

It is your choice, America, because, for me, it`s a win-win. If it`s
Obama, America wins. And if it`s Romney, comedy wins.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, last night America won, comedy lost, you might say.

Bill Maher is the host of "Real Time," an amazing television show,
"With Bill Maher on HBO."

So, Bill, Karl Rove I think has offered some material. Is he the
Baghdad Bob of the 2012 election, the last guy to admit something`s new and
something bad is happening?

MAHER: It was a little Hitler`s bunker, wasn`t it?

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: I really wanted to rush in with a cyanide capsule there.

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: I thought he was going to say, I do not want to live in a
world without national socialism.

OK, Mrs. Goebbels.

But, you know, I think it gets to a bigger point, Chris, which is that
Republicans have to start getting their information from a better source
than FOX News. I`m not kidding about this.

I think this really screws them up. All year long, we have had this
segment on our program called "Dispatches From the Bubble."

MATTHEWS: Yes.

MAHER: We actually had a bubble made and we put a Republican in it.
And, you know, with the Rasmussen poll, they actually closed the last hole
in the bubble. Now they have their own polling.

MATTHEWS: Yes. I know.

MAHER: They believed it right up until the end. They were shocked by
this election.

They have to somehow fix the way they get information, because they
only talk to each other. And they don`t know what`s going on in the real
world. And they were rudely awakened last night.

MATTHEWS: What do you think it was like to be in that bubble with
Mitt Romney in that time after it really -- I called it the knockout, like
the sixth round?

All of a sudden, mid-evening East Coast time last night, it just
started to go in that direction, the Democratic direction, just so
powerfully. What do you think they were telling him when he`s running
around saying, this isn`t supposed to happen, you guys told me I was
winning this thing?

MAHER: I mean, I think they were still saying, yes, mein Fuhrer, you
have 12 divisions on the eastern front.

I mean, until they actually heard the artillery -- I guess I should
stop with the Hitler analogies. OK.

MATTHEWS: Yes. I think Hitler never works myself.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: It never works. You know that.

Anyway, look, Dick Morris predicted -- or -- let me give you a break
here -- Dick Morris predicted a Romney landslide as late as last week. He
said the polls were totally wrong. Let`s listen to Mr. Morris.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK MORRIS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: In Florida, "The Times" says
Obama is going to win by one, but their sample has seven points more
Democrats than Republicans. That poll is off by a factor of eight. So,
instead of Obama winning by one, Romney would win Florida by seven.

In Virginia, they have Obama winning by two. But they have eight
points more Democrats than Republicans and historically, there`s one point
more Republican than Democrat. That`s off by a factor of nine. Romney
wins Ohio by -- wins Virginia by seven.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: All right. So you are standing by your
prediction of a Romney landslide?

MORRIS: Absolutely. Romney will win this election by five to 10
points in the popular vote and will carry more than 300 electoral votes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that didn`t happen. You know, I just wonder about
the way people use jargon to establish their preeminence. Have you
noticed? He says, not by eight points but by a factor of eight and a
factor of nine. Is that supposed to give you some sense that this guy has
a new -- has a different kind of, whatever, I don`t know, slide rule he`s
using?

What is this anyway? Your thoughts on Mr. Morris?

MAHER: I mean, last night was a victory for pot, for gay marriage
and for math. You know, these people have denied facts and math. One of
the big arguments they put forward for not doing anything about health care
was, why are we messing around with the greatest health care system in the
world? I don`t know. Maybe because the U.N. ranks it 37?

You know, outside of the bubble there are facts. I know they`re not
in the Bible but can`t we use them sometimes? I mean, I think this is what
it`s going to have to come down to.

You know, when Obama made that point in his victory speech last night
about the little girl with leukemia --

MATTHEWS: Yes.

MAHER: -- I thought, you know, yes, I wish you had said that during
the campaign. It really comes down to that. One party in this country
says, we are going to work backwards from the premise that little girls
don`t die from leukemia if we can all prevent it. And the other party
says, no, that`s kind of collateral damage because we love unfettered
capitalism.

And America has just decide, you know what, we are a modern country.
I made fun of the Democratic slogan, forward, one word, what is that? But
at the end of the day, people who don`t follow this very closely like we do
just came down to, yes, forward. Yes, you know what, I`m not crazy about
him but let`s keep moving forward.

MATTHEWS: I think you`re right. I don`t think it was about him. I
think it was the attitude toward their country and their time they live in.

Anyway, Donald Trump took to Twitter last night, trashing the
election returns. Here`s what he said. Quote, "On Twitter, in real time,
to use your phrase. He lost the popular vote by a lot. He`s talking about
the president and won the election. We should have a revolution this
country."

More Donald Trump tweeting, "This election is a total sham and a
travesty. We are not a democracy."

And more, "We can`t let this happen. We should march on Washington
and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided."

Well, later tonight Mr. Trump deleted all of his tweets. Your
thoughts.

MAHER: I mean, it doesn`t deserve thoughts because these aren`t
thoughts. I mean, as soon as Obamacare really kicks in, they really need
to get this man to a hospital. I mean, there is something going on here.
I think it`s that bovine thing. I don`t know if -- mad cow, I don`t know
what you want to call it, but the people in Atlanta do some amazing things
with neurological workups. He needs one.

This guy only two years ago was like apolitical, right? I don`t even
know what party he was. I don`t know if he knew what party he was. Now he
wants to march on Washington? This is democracy -- so it`s not democracy
when your candidate loses?

MATTHEWS: Yes, that`s the deal.

MAHER: This guy is just a clown. I mean, I can`t believe NBC is
going to stand by this guy.

MATTHEWS: I hear he`s still looking for the college records of the
president because he thinks somewhere in the transcript will be information
on him being a foreign student. He`s still on this trail.

Anyway, let`s take a look at some of the real -- well, let`s say,
colorful factors here of people. Joe Walsh and Allen West are gone, as of
last night. Mourdock and Akin are not going to get back in there. They`re
gone.

Here`s what you tweeted, Bill, last night about somebody else we know
well, and I think we helped create her. "I`m pulling for Michele Bachmann
in Minnesota. Can`t lose all the punch lines in one night."

Michele Bachmann has staying power, we must admit.

MAHER: Well, she won by 500 votes, but, yes, I mean, it`s very hard
to unseat any incumbents. That`s one of the problems we have in this
country, is that people are always complaining about Congress and they hate
it and they give it a 9 percent approval rating and then they vote the same
people back in every time.

MATTHEWS: So you spent $1 million dollars backing -- you spent $1
million, Bill, which I never imagined giving anything like it. You give $1
million to the Obama effort, Obama super PAC and the other guys, Koch
brothers, they gave a couple hundred I think million, and this guy Sheldon
Adelson gave, God, how much he`s give. Of course, he makes it every hour
in the casinos in Macau.

But this money -- you know what I liked in the last election, no
evidence whatever the TV advertisement had nothing to do with results.
People don`t pick their president from 30-second TV ads, I don`t think.

MAHER: Well, we don`t know that. What was important about I thought
giving it to Obama and giving it early was defining Mitt Romney back then
in February and March and April, and letting people know who he was.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

MAHER: Especially in the swing states.

Another thing I tweeted last night was since we have sort of made
these 10 swing states the deciders in this election, since they`re the
Simon Cowells here who decide the singing contest, since Obama basically
ran the table in the swing states, shouldn`t that be considered a mandate,
Chris? I`m asking you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Yes, it should.

MAHER: OK.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about some of -- it`s almost like your
audience got to vote last night, as if your view of world was out there
triumphantly. Maine and Maryland, first states really and perhaps
Washington will turn out, Washington state, will actually -- voted for pro-
gay -- you know, for same-sex marriages.

MAHER: Right.

MATTHEWS: It won`t be the courts. It will be the people out there
going to the voting booths. You`ve also got the marijuana thing
developing. I always wonder about what people are going to do and says
when you can only have enough for, what, one person if you`re stopped by a
policeman and what happens if four and five people are in the car, do they
divide it up quickly?

Or I don`t how you enforce some of this stuff, but I don`t take it
lightly but these new laws are going to be kind of frisky to enforce, I
would think.

Your thoughts.

MAHER: Well, I can certainly answer your questions about one person
and how you divide it up. But that`s for another day, Chris.

MATTHEWS: OK.

MAHER: As far as the laws themselves, you know, I mean, fantastic.
I went out and celebrated last night. This is -- this is really America
moving forward. And what I find so ironic is that the people who hate
this, the Tea Party people who want to restore America and have the country
go backward, they`re always the liberty people. They`re always talking
about liberty and don`t tread on me.

This is liberty. Liberty is deciding what I put in my body, how I
want to get high, who I want to marry, who I want to be with. This is
actual liberty. They just don`t get it.

MATTHEWS: You mean freedom you can feel?

MAHER: Yes. Actual freedom, yes.

MATTHEWS: I`ve always -- I`ve thought about that a lot. By the way,
I`m glad you finally said it. Bill Maher, freedom. It`s when you were a
kid and you got to leave the house around 10:30 at night, you`re going out,
and that you always figured one of your parents would put their hand on
your shoulder and pull you back in and you just kept going. That was
freedom.

Nobody`s pulling me back in the house at night. I`m going out. That
was my first reality.

Anyway, thank you, Bill Maher. You`re the best. I love being on
your show.

Up next, some other big winners, we`re going to talk to Senator-elect
Joe Donnelly from Indiana, a Notre Dame guy who defeated Richard Mourdock.
By the way, another win for Notre Dame this year, him, Donnelly.

Anyway, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Mitt Romney suffered the second worst home state defeat in
the history of presidential elections. Romney lost Massachusetts by 23
points last night. According to the "Smart Politics" blog, the only major
presidential candidate to do worse in his home state was John Freeman way
back in 1856. He was a Republican candidate. He won only about 19 percent
of his home state of California in a three-way race won by James Buchanan,
well, of Pennsylvania, by the way.

Romney also lost the state he was born in, Michigan. Lost in New
Hampshire and California where he owns homes.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

In a series of hard fought races, Democrat kept control of the U.S.
Senate last night, despite ample opportunities for Republicans to pick up
seats.

And today, two more races have been called for Democrats. NBC News
can project that incumbent Senator Jon Tester of Montana has won re-
election. And in North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp is the apparent in her race
against Republican Rick Berg, rather.

And that brings the Democrats` edge to 53 seats to Republicans 45.
But there`s really two other independents who will be in effect Democrats
in the next United States Senate, giving them 55 to 45 edge.

U.S. congressman now senator-elect, Joe Donnelly, won Richard Lugar`s
seat, Senate seat in Indiana last night, defeating state treasurer Richard
Mourdock. He joins me now.

Well, Mr. Donnelly, Congressman, I am so impressed. You gave up a
safe seat in the House, you risked it all, you put it all, you put it all
and -- I guess you put it on blue, the Democratic ticket, and you bet.
Were you better off running against Mourdock who ended up being a little
loosey goosy or would you have been better up going against the more
centrist Mr. Dick Lugar who`s been around forever?

SENATOR-ELECT JOE DONNELLY (D), INDIANA: Well, you know, in our
state, Chris -- and thank you very much -- and what I bet on was the people
of Indiana that were a common sense -- we have common sense attitude, we`re
conservative, but we believe in the basics, getting things done and we`re
not extreme. And what happened was this campaign came down to someone with
very extreme positions. And what I tried to do was just focus on the
middle, the same place where Senator Lugar has been for the longest time,
just trying to do common sense things, moving our country forward.

And, you know, I thought that that made a lot of sense, that that`s
where Hoosiers were and we were very fortunate last night.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know, you`ve been on the frontlines and there`s
nothing smarter than a candidate who just comes back from winning election
or losing one.

Now, what do you know about the appeal of the other side? What is
the main Republican appeal to middle of the road voters? Why would a
person of sound mind vote Republican?

I mean, I really want you to stick your neck out now that the
election is over. What -- when you meet the people that you like and they
say, you know I`m voting for the other guy and they say why, what is the
best case they make?

DONNELLY: Sure. Well, you know, the kind of Republican Senator
Lugar has been for years is making sure that we keep our financial house in
order, working hard for farmers and for agricultural community and for our
rural towns. And so that`s the appeal that so many in Indiana have for the
Republican Party and a big portion of the Republican Party has moved away
from that.

And here in Indiana, you know, as a Democrat, we have tried to fill
that vote. And what we`ve tried to say is, look, we want to focus on
common sense, on getting things done and focus like a laser on jobs. I was
one of the folks who led on the auto fight along with Sherrod Brown and so
many others, and obviously President Obama. That made a big difference in
this race, too, Chris, is across that whole middle section of our state
where we have a lot of auto plants and such, we did really, really well in
that area.

MATTHEWS: You know, that sounds -- you know, that`s the reason Ted
Kennedy got elected all those years in Massachusetts which is not as
liberal as everybody says it is. Home state -- delivering for the home
state, focusing on a state and what it needs.

We`ll be right back with more from Senator-elect Joe Donnelly.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

We`re back with Senator-elect Joe Donnelly of Indiana, one of the
people I`ve been watching throughout this cycle.

Let me ask you about this. What`s the secret? Come on, you must
have learned something out there that we in the media never get right.

DONNELLY: Well, you know, a lot of it is constituent service, that
if you focus on the meat and potatoes of every family`s life, making sure
that there`s a job, that their kids can go to good schools, that they feel
a feeling of safety, I guess, more than anything, they say that they feel
comfortable that next week, they are going to be able to keep their house,
they`re going to be able to make ends meet. And next year was stronger
than the --

MATTHEWS: Joe Donnelly, we have to go. Thank you so much.

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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