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updated 11/7/2013 4:46:53 PM ET 2013-11-07T21:46:53

HARDBALL
November 6, 2013
Guest: Charlie Crist, Clarence Page, Kathleen Parker, Dana Milbank, Ashley
Parker, James Carroll

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

"Let Me Start" tonight with this. Call them the nasty boys. When they
lose, they`re quick to shove the blame on the other side. The Cruz wing,
the Ted Cruz wing, of the Republican Party blames the mainstream
Republicans for the defeat of hard-right Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia last
night.

What`d you expect? They blamed the Republicans in the Senate for not
backing the Tea Partiers in the House of Representatives when the country
managed to avoid a default on the national debt. They wanted to keep the
thing going, even if it meant economic catastrophe for the country.

Well, today the U.S. stock market reached its highest level in history, and
the Cruz wing, sure enough, conjured up the most desperate possible
explanation for what happened in the elections last night. They blamed it
on the regular Republicans. They`re the ones who didn`t throw their
support to the wild and crazy types Cruz hopes (ph) to (ph) lead the
country.

Well, there`s something nasty about a politician or any type of politician
who refuses to back anything done by the other side and never misses a
chance to blame it, even when everybody on the planet sees that it`s the
crazy, crazed Tea Party right that has just blown another election they
should have won.

David Axelrod was senior adviser to President Obama, is an MSNBC political
-- senior political analyst. I think he`s the only senior political
analyst around here.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: And David Corn is the Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones"
mag, (sic) and also an MSNBC analyst.

Let me start with David. David, you know, I think there`s something in the
character. And it may not all be the right wing, but when you got a guy
like Cuccinelli running, who was from the beginning looked like a problem,
with all kinds of problems added onto him by the somewhat serious, somewhat
petty corruption around McDonnell and Richmond, and then to blame the
people that didn`t like him for what he is as the problem, when how -- can
you imagine the national Republican Party supporting a guy who`s opposed to
divorce, opposed to contraception, wants to have a personhood law
established? He would be nothing but trouble if they stuck to him. Your
thoughts.

DAVID AXELROD, FMR. OBAMA ADVISER, SENIOR MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well,
there`s one number that they should look at in the exit polling, and that
is 21 percent. That`s the margin by which Terry McAuliffe beat Cuccinelli
among moderate voters. You can`t win statewide elections in a swing state,
you can`t win a national election if you`re ceding moderate voters by those
margins.

Romney lost to Obama by 14 points among moderate voters, and that was one
of the reasons why he lost the election. So you know, they keep relearning
the same lesson, but they don`t absorb it, and I don`t think they`re going
to absorb it.

MATTHEWS: I think the definition of a zealot is someone, after they lose,
said if they only did more, if they only were more zealous, even further
out right -- right in this case.

What do you make of this?

DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well --

MATTHEWS: Because Cuccinelli was the problem from day one. And instead of
saying, We blew it by running a guy too extreme, they say, Well, the
moderates didn`t back the extremists.

CORN: Right.

MATTHEWS: Therefore, it`s the moderates` fault, as you just pointed out,
David.

CORN: Well, this is the interesting thing. Why are they so zealous?
That`s because they hate the RINOs. They say the RINOs are bad for the
party. But now in the aftermath --

MATTHEWS: Explain what a RINO is.

CORN: A RINO is a "Republican In Name Only" -- say Chris Christie! But
now there`s -- the people out there are saying, The problem is that Chris
Christie and other RINOs didn`t rally to support Cuccinelli. So the people
that they think are bringing the Republican Party down, the ones they
attack, the ones Ted Cruz`s attacks --

MATTHEWS: So the guy running for reelection --

CORN: Are the ones --

MATTHEWS: -- in Trenton should have gone down to Richmond to campaign
for the other guy. And since he didn`t, it`s his fault.

CORN: Yes, the people who are the problem with the party didn`t help, so
they`re -- that`s the problem. I mean, listen, Cuccinelli -- we talked
about this last night -- was about as good a Tea Party candidate as you can
get. He had statewide name recognition. He`s been working in Virginia for
years.

And even so, he couldn`t beat Terry McAuliffe, who I think is a rather
tainted Democratic nominee. So you can`t blame the RINOs for that.

MATTHEWS: OK, we`re going to show a lot of the concession speeches from
last night, which I find fascinating. I`ve always loved concession
speeches because oftentimes, they tell you more about the character of the
candidates than anything else you`re going to see.

Anyway, here`s what the Tea Party learned from last night, according to
them. We don`t lose, we`re betrayed, the knife in the back theory. You`ve
heard that one in history. Cuccinelli strategist Chris Lacivita (ph), or
whatever his name -- blamed the loss to Terry McAuliffe on members of his
own party.

This is the headline in "The Washington Post" -- - "Cuccinelli aide: The
GOP abandoned us." In the article, Lacivita is quoted as simply saying,
"We were on our own."

And then there`s conservative columnist Maggie Gallagher, who wrote this
op-ed in the National Review online, called "The betrayal of Ken
Cuccinelli." She writes, "This was a winnable election. How did we give
this away to Terry McAuliffe? Some serious soul-searching should be taking
place among the anti-Tea Party faction." She also writes, "The Republicans
who undercut Cuccinelli as unelectable have egg all over their faces."

Well, then there`s this sugar plum from conservative radio talk show Mark
Levin -- by the way, he`s a happy guy. To him, it wasn`t enough a (ph)
betrayal that the establishment was conspiring against Cuccinelli, Levin
claims that Republicans were actually rooting for McAuliffe to win. Let`s
listen to the master.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MARK LEVIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: And there`s an effort by the Republican
Party to ruin the Tea Party. The RINOs want a Terry McAuliffe victory in
Virginia. The GOP national machine has done next to nothing for
Cuccinelli, and GOP bag man Karl Rove is all over Fox without a word of
support for Cuccinelli while he schemes and whispers behind the scenes
against conservatives nationwide.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s entertainment. David, I don`t know why --

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: I`m not going to -- I`m not a media critic, so I`m not going to
say a word about the broadcast quality of that guy, but the argument, this
-- let`s go to the politics. The argument that somehow, the regular
Republicans I grew up with in Pennsylvania, people like Tom Ridge, you
know, and Bill Scranton going way back, and Christie Whitman in New Jersey
and Jack Javits and all those guys we grew up with in my youth that were
regular Republicans, somewhat notched to the right of center, somewhat, are
responsible for the failure of a far-right wild man down in -- who wants to
get rid of birth control down in Virginia, who wants to have personhood.

I mean, this guy is just pushing the envelope so far, and then he blames
the eyes (ph) of (ph) watching him kill himself, and he blames them for
watching.

AXELROD: Well, remember, this is the first time in 40 years that a party
has won the governorship when they had their own member in the White House.
It`s the first time I think in a century that the same party hasn`t won the
governorship of Virginia twice in succession. So they`ve broken all kinds
of barriers here with Cuccinelli.

I think there`s something else, Chris, that we ought to note, which is the
other thing they`ve said is that because of "Obama care," that they were
rallying toward the end of the race. And you talk to the pollsters for
McAuliffe, and they`ll tell you that from June on, they were 2 to 4 points
ahead almost throughout the race, and that there was no movement at the end
of this race.

So there`s a whole lot of fantasy and Kool-Aid drinking --

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, how do you --

AXELROD: -- going on over on their end.

MATTHEWS: -- explain -- in all fairness -- I agree. I`ve heard that
from the GG (ph) and I`ve heard it from the -- I`ve heard the same thing
you`ve heard from the pollster there. But let me ask you, why was there
this balloon talk about McAuliffe winning by almost double digits --

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: Because you had polls, public polls -- look, I wrestled with this
all through the presidential race. Public polls are often wrong. "The
Washington Post" had a poll that had McAuliffe down by 10 at one point.
They had him up by 12 at one point.

And the fact is that this race -- we have a very divided country. There
aren`t these huge swings. And this race was very much in the same place
throughout. And so they had a 2 to 4-point range, and McAuliffe won by 3
points.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, let`s -- here`s what I`m focused (INAUDIBLE) If the
Tea Party betrayal, as they call it, excuse sounds familiar it`s because
you`ve heard it before, most notably from Tea Party zealot Ted Cruz.
Here`s Cruz, the senator from Texas, just a day after Congress reached a
deal to reopen the government and avoid economic catastrophe by raising the
debt ceiling.

For Cruz, however, the reason he lost his crusade to kill the Affordable
Care Act was simple. He was betrayed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The House Republicans marched into battle
courageously, and the Senate Republicans should have come in like the
cavalry to support them. Unfortunately, a significant chunk of Senate
Republicans instead came like the Air Force and began bombing the House
Republicans, our own troops!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Yes. Knife in the back theory, he was betrayed. This
victimization is a big part of the psyche of the hard right. They never
lose, they`re screwed. Somebody screwed them from behind. Somebody snuck
around them. Somebody they counted on betrayed them.

CORN: It`s very self-reinforcing because what he`s preying on is political
resentment, cultural political resentment. And he`s saying, Everybody in
Washington is out to get you except me and a few dozen people in the House.
And so when we lose, when we fail to pull everybody over the cliff with us,
it`s not our fault. It`s not even the Democrats` fault. It`s the others
who would compete with us for your affections. It`s the RINOs. It`s John
McCain. It`s Lindsey Graham.

So Ted Cruz is operating, in a lot of ways -- hate to say this -- like a
Stalinist, who worries not so much about the other side, the Democrats,
because they don`t threaten his position of power, it`s the other
Republicans he`s vying with to lead the Republican Party.

So this is very sectarian. It`s very Joe McCarthy-like to talk about being
betrayed in the back and all this intrigue and such, but it`s his ticket.
He believes, I think, to --

MATTHEWS: Well, without mentioning any names --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Without mentioning any names, I can think of two demagogues that
this is their game plan, righteous indignation. It`s us getting screwed by
the world.

CORN: Well --

MATTHEWS: Anyway, the outcome in Virginia was a clear instance, David, of
Republican purity gone awry. Take a look at the exit polling. Talk about
this, David. Seventeen percent -- that`s one in six -- said they cast
their vote because they disliked the other guy running. Well, no surprise,
that group voted overwhelmingly for Terry McAuliffe because they viewed
Cuccinelli as too extreme.

In total, McAuliffe won the so-called protest vote by about 55,000 votes,
according to our NBC political unit, And that was the exact margin of
victory in the race. McAuliffe won this contest, in other words -- you
guessed it -- by 55,000 votes.

Bottom line, electability matters. So what happened here, David --
(INAUDIBLE) these numbers. Here`s a guy that won, basically, because the
other guy was too far right, and the numbers prove it. Too far right.
That`s the statement here.

AXELROD: That was the -- that was the entire McAuliffe campaign, really.
At the end of the day, they painted and -- with Cuccinelli`s cooperation,
they painted him right out of the mainstream.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

AXELROD: And you know, that --

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: That will happen -- you know, we all watched Governor Christie
last night, and his message was a broad message. The big challenge for
Governor Christie is the same one that Romney and John McCain faced, which
is can you get the nomination without paying tribute to these guys and
getting dragged so far to the right that you can`t compete for moderate
voters? That`s going to be the big question for Republicans moving
forward.

MATTHEWS: Well, we know one guy that`s just proven you can do it, and you
don`t have to deal and kiss butt on the hard right. Here it is. Here`s a
message from Governor Christie, who won big-time last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: You show up. We show up everywhere.
We don`t show up just in the places that vote for us a lot, we show up in
the places that vote for us a little. We don`t just show up in the places
where we`re comfortable, we show up in the places where we`re
uncomfortable. Maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their
TVs right now, see how it`s done!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: I think this -- David and I are left of center on a lot of
issues, but I`m going to tell you something, David -- and so are you. But
I got to tell you something. That speech could have been given by a good
progressive.

CORN: Oh --

MATTHEWS: It was about responsibility and accountability to the voters,
especially the voters who don`t vote for you. But it was in this case,
African-Americans and unionists and trade unionist guys, and women. They
didn`t vote for him (INAUDIBLE) his job to show up when there`s a -- when
there`s a hurricane, you come help everybody.

CORN: It was leadership and governance. It was not ideological at all.
It was about reaching out and getting done. And he`s sort of positioned
himself now as a can-do type of governor. Whether he`s done this or not,
people can argue about. But this is -- it`s pragmatic, but it`s also
saying, We`re going to put aside all this bickering about ideology and
we`re going to try to get done -- working with the other side, who I often
don`t like --

MATTHEWS: OK --

CORN: -- for the benefit of the people.

MATTHEWS: OK --

CORN: It was a very powerful statement --

MATTHEWS: I thought it was great.

CORN: -- that -- that I -- but you don`t see that happening --

MATTHEWS: OK --

CORN: -- happening in anybody in Washington on the Republican side.

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) I`m now going to a guy who`s worked inside in
politics, not just an editorialist (ph). David, can that message overcome
the antipathy of the Republican right toward anybody that looks like a
centrist?

AXELROD: Well, I think it`s going to be really problematical. Remember,
Chris Christie didn`t have a primary in this race. He was running in New
Jersey. There is a halo off of what he`s done --

MATTHEWS: I know. Well --

AXELROD: -- and appropriately so --

MATTHEWS: -- project this forward.

AXELROD: -- for Sandy. I think one of the reasons he did so well
yesterday is the exact reason the base of the Republican Party doesn`t like
him, and that was that he stood with President Obama and worked with him to
deal with this crisis.

So the question is, as I said before, can he get through a nominating
process and get himself nominated? There`s no doubt that`s a powerful
general election message. But what is he going to have to do to be the
nominee of the Republican Party? How far right is he going to have to go?

And remember, in this race, in fairness, I think it was a great victory,
but it was sort of like the Harlem Globetrotters versus the Washington
Generals, you know? I mean, it was kind of grooved (ph) for him to win, as
well.

MATTHEWS: I remember the Generals. Those Generals were supposed to lose
by 15 points, I believe. Anyway, you know what I like about this? I like
it`s happening. I think it`s good for the country that somebody like him,
with the bounce he`s got -- I loved the way he bounced out there with his
wife -- will take on the hard right in the party.

Thank you so much, David Axelrod --

AXELROD: OK.

MATTHEWS: -- and David Corn.

Coming up: If you didn`t see Chris Christie`s "the spirit of Sandy" victory
speech last night, let me translate those four words for you -- "I`m
running for president." Did I say that like Jersey? Anyway, a Republican
who isn`t afraid to physically embrace President Obama and get out of the
go -- well, the GOP echo chamber is a candidate who could give Hillary
Clinton some trouble. We`ll see. That`s all coming in the years ahead.

Also, the McAuliffe campaign managed to reassemble the younger, less white,
browner, more Democratic coalition that reelected President Obama last
year. If the Democrats can repeat that feat next year nationally, 2014,
could be a pretty good year, after all, for them.

And the first step in solving your plagiarism problem is admitting you have
one. Rand Paul is not admitting. He says he`s made mistakes, but he
doesn`t say the fact is he`s lifted material and claimed it as his own.
He`s claimed to be original when all he was was a word processor. It`s a
problem, Senator!

Finally, one of the things I love about election night are the concession
speeches. They`re usually warm and gracious. Not last night. These are
brutal. And they`re not nice.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, now that Bill de Blasio has won the New York mayor`s race
in record fashion, he has a mountain of problems to face, of course,
including a $2 billion budget shortfall. With 100 percent of the vote in,
however, it was de Blasio 73 percent and Republican Joe Lhota 24 percent.
That`s a 49-point spread. It`s the biggest margin of victory in an non-
incumbent race in any of the mayor`s races in the history of the city of
New York.

And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Last night, New Jersey governor Chris
Christie won in a landslide, of course. But in what should be a lesson for
Republicans, he didn`t hug the extreme right to do it. Christie, along
with former Florida governor Charlie Crist, worked with President Obama,
much to the disgust and anger of the right wing elements of their own
party.

Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLIE CRIST, FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Ladies and
gentlemen, please give a warm Florida welcome to President Barack Obama.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: And I`m pleased to report that he has sprung into action
immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding
together. It`s been a great working relationship to make sure that we`re
doing the jobs that people elected us to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Crist -- Governor Crist was punished for embracing
President Obama back then, and eventually left the GOP. Last year, he hit
the campaign trail for the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRIST: What an honor to be here with you, to stand with President Barack
Obama.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CRIST: I didn`t leave the Republican Party, it left me!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, Governor Crist is now running for governor of Florida as a
Democrat. By the way, Chris Christie worked with President Obama in the
aftermath of the superstorm Sandy, infuriating Republicans, who felt he
gave the president a lift in the last week of the presidential campaign.

But Christie is not afraid to embrace Democrats or to leave the safety of
the Republican echo chamber, if you will, and talk to people who voted
against him. It`s qualities like that that make Christie a potentially
formidable challenger for the White House, I think. That is, if the very
conservative Republican primary voters are willing to accept something less
than a Tea Party zealot.

Well, Charlie Crist is the former Republican governor of Florida. He joins
now. He`s a Democrat. He`s seeking up (ph) his old job. He`s seeking it
in 2014, next year. Clarence Page is an equally prominent columnist and
Pulitzer Prize-winning friend of mine from "The Chicago Tribune."

Governor Crist, it is amazing watching your career. It`s amazing watching
the weird warping off of the right wing of your old party and the way that
it has this sort of -- what I find awful, it`s one thing to disagree with
the president, but to treat him like he has cooties, like in high school,
like you can`t touch him, you can`t be near him, you can`t hug him.

A guy said the other day from South Carolina, I was 10 feet from him -- oh,
no, it was this other from -- Bentivolio. I was 10 feet from him and it
made me sick. I looked him in the face and it made me sick. "You lie."
This personal assault on the person of the president, as well as the
office, is bad politics. What do you think? And is that part of the
reason you had to make your move?

CRIST: Absolutely, Chris.

It`s not only bad politics. It`s simply bad behavior. We`re supposed to
treat each other with a level of respect and decency that we`re taught in
our Judeo-Christian upbringing. At least that`s how my three sisters and I
were raised by my mother and father.

The notion that when somebody comes who is the president of the United
States -- he came to Fort Myers, Florida. The reason he was coming was to
help our state, to help our Florida. And that some Republicans took great
offense to that was stunning to me. And this is the president of the
United States of America.

And so what if he`s not your same party? He`s the leader of our country.
And you show respect that that office deserves and, in my view, that person
deserves. The president has done a great job. He`s worked hard. He`s my
friend.

MATTHEWS: What do you make of that, Clarence?

CLARENCE PAGE, COLUMNIST, "THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE": Well, yes, you`re both
right.

It`s a nasty politics, not just bad, but really nasty, really aimed at
using Obama`s name as a rallying cry to pander to the far right and to
generate some kind of clout. And then that`s followed up by -- if you
disagree or if you want to make a civil outreach across party lines, then
you`re branded as a RINO, Republican in name only.

And that`s the kind of really political tribal politics, I call it, that
cheapens the process. And I think a lot of voters out there --

MATTHEWS: Yes.

PAGE: Look at the polls. Most voters are in that wobbly, reasonable,
sensible center someplace and are really turned off by that kind of
politicking, although it can be very effective in primaries for rallying
the base.

MATTHEWS: Looking ahead, Governor, looking ahead to beyond your race in
2014 and looking ahead to 20 -- I am convinced that the 2016 election, I
think we all ought be guided by this. I don`t think there`s going to be a
wild move to the left or lurch to the left in 2016. I don`t think the
country wants to lurch in any direction.

I don`t think it wants a big lurch to the right. I think it`s going to be
looking for competence and effectiveness. And the person who wins, whether
it`s Hillary Rodham Clinton or it`s Chris Christie or it`s somebody else,
is going to be the person they see as the most grown-up, the one that
really can do the job and stick to the job and stay away from all this
other crapping around with stupid personality problems.

People go to work every day and deal with bosses they don`t like and they
deal with co-workers they don`t like, and they do their fricking job. They
get it done. They don`t say, I don`t really like him or I`m not going to
stand with him or I can`t eat in the commissary with him or I can`t go to
the cafeteria when he`s there.

This is eighth grade -- what is it? Girls and boys` eighth grade behavior.
And these guys on the right act like they`re proud of this kind of
behavior. Oh, I couldn`t stand 10 feet from him. He`s -- anyway, your
thoughts.

CRIST: It`s unbelievable. Yes. It`s absolutely unbelievable.

MATTHEWS: It`s childish stupidity, and they call it ideology.

CRIST: You`re right. You`re absolutely right about that.

But to compare schoolchildren to what these people are doing is almost a
real negative to schoolchildren.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: I think.

CRIST: You know, it`s not fair. It`s not right. And really, it`s awful.

And it`s worse than childish. It`s so sophomoric, it`s hard to imagine
that these people call themselves adults. What Americans want, and what my
fellow Floridians desire is that people work together to work for each
other, to do what`s right for Florida, to do what`s right for America, to
do what`s right for education, protecting the environment, ethical
government.

Take the example of Governor Rick Scott, the guy I`m running against. A
month after he gets sworn in, Chris, he says no to high-speed rail, $2.4
billion of investment in Florida, tens of thousands of jobs, and he said no
to it. And then you have this Medicaid issue.

MATTHEWS: He said to that. Free money --

(CROSSTALK)

CRIST: Governor Scott came out -- free money. And he said that he was for
it for about 30 seconds. Then he didn`t lift a finger to make it happen.

What did that do to my fellow Floridians? About a million of them will not
get health care because he didn`t try harder to get this thing done, was
not effective in getting it done. And what does that mean? That means that
people who are already sick and need to get health care are not going to
get it so they will get sicker or they will die.

It`s unconscionable that somebody would be that callous and that heartless
to not work harder to do what is right for people who need it the very
most. We need people who care, who care and care with grace and work
together.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Governor and Clarence, I was watching across last night. I went
near a TV set just to watch the speeches. And I haven`t seen them all. I
wanted to watch them in the show tonight. But I caught part of Christie`s
speech last night.

And what struck me was that line we just showed here on HARDBALL, which is
the part where he I will show up. That is a wonderful nonideological way
of saying, when there`s trouble, count on me to be there. And I will be
there to get the job done.

And it`s a Woody Allen line, showing up, 80 percent of life is showing up.
But I think so many people think the politicians are at home somewhere or
they`re in the -- the bureaucrats are in the back somewhere.

PAGE: Yes. Yes.

MATTHEWS: They don`t come out from the back. They don`t answer the phone.

PAGE: Yes. Yes.

MATTHEWS: They don`t answer their Web site. They`re somewhere else. I`m
going to be there to answer the phone.

PAGE: Yes.

MATTHEWS: I think it`s an amazing -- it`s almost a comic book notion of
what we grew up. When there`s a five-alarm fire, the police chief`s across
on the curb watching. The mayor is there. It`s what we want.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: They want somebody to show up and lead.

PAGE: And that`s the advantage that governors have as far as running for
the presidency is concerned. They have had a leadership post.

They have to -- they have had to be the chief executive who takes care of
real problems like a Hurricane Sandy blowing in. And we saw Chris Christie
rise to that occasion and we saw President Obama rise to it at a time when
the two of them were -- well, President Obama of course was in his closing
days of his presidential campaign and Chris Christie was dealing with a
state where his approvals were shaky at the time as a Democratic --
Republican governor, Democratic state.

Both of them came out ahead because people saw them doing the job --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I agree with you.

Gentlemen, thank you so much.

Governor Crist, and good luck in the race. I mean it. Of course you know
that.

CRIST: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: And let me just say something here. That person I mentioned, I
will not disgrace his name. I will just ask him to take responsibility for
his words. This fellow`s name is Kerry Bentivolio. He is a Republican
congressman from Michigan. He is the one that said he couldn`t stand being
there with the president.

I think he should some day fairly soon take that back. That`s not good for
the civics lessons and the schoolkids in your district. They don`t want to
grow up thinking this is the way you lead the country.

Anyway, thank you, gentlemen.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Up next, some of last night`s concession speeches sounded more
like declarations of war.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN YOUNG (R), ALABAMA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I cannot bring myself to
vote for someone who would mislead the people of South Alabama --

(CROSSTALK)

YOUNG: -- and the nation like Bradley Byrne has.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL and time for the "Sideshow."

Political campaigns are a zero sum game, of course. There`s no second
place. But as Adlai Stevenson showed us after losing to Dwight Eisenhower
in 1952, you don`t have to look like a loser when you lose. His final
words for disappointed supporters were quoted from Abraham Lincoln.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADLAI STEVENSON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They asked him how he felt once
after an unsuccessful election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want Adlai!

STEVENSON: He said -- he said he felt like a little boy who had stubbed
his toe in the dark and if -- that he was too old to cry, but it hurt too
much to laugh.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: That was Adlai Stevenson, a great man.

But a few of last night`s concessions were far gracious like that. In some
cases, they were outright hostile.

Let`s take a look at some highlights, beginning with Alabama congressional
candidate and birther Dean Young, the far-right Tea Party type who lost --
thanks for God, lost last night to establishment Republican Bradley Byrne
in a primary runoff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YOUNG: This is the first warning shot that goes out across the nation that
people of the United States are tired of where our government`s going.

I cannot bring myself to vote for someone who would mislead the people of
South Alabama --

(CROSSTALK)

YOUNG: -- and the nation like Bradley Byrne has. He should be ashamed -
-

(CROSSTALK)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

YOUNG: And, therefore, you reap what you sow. And that will follow him,
what he`s -- what he`s done, and how he mischaracterized what -- who I am
and who I`m about, that will follow him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, what that fellow`s about is, he just said this week that
Barack Obama was born in Kenya. So, talk about misinformation.

Anyway, harsh words for the Republican who just beat him.

Next was another candidate who spoke out against her own party last night,
Barbara Buono, the Democrat who ran for governor of New Jersey and lost big
to Governor Christie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA BUONO (D), NEW JERSEY GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The Democratic
political bosses, some elected and some not, made a deal with this
governor, despite him representing everything they`re supposed to be
against.

They didn`t do it to help the state. They did it out of a desire to help
themselves politically and financially.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s going to help.

Finally, in Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli`s loss may have been a squeaker --
well, it was about three points -- but his rhetoric last night sounded like
the campaign was still going on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENNETH CUCCINELLI (R), VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Virginia
understands that Obamacare is a failure and that you want to be in charge
of your health care and not the government.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CUCCINELLI: This administration told us that Virginians could keep their
health insurance and their doctors and that their costs wouldn`t rise under
Obamacare, but that wasn`t true. And they knew it wasn`t true. We were
lied to by our own government --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s right.

CUCCINELLI: -- in its effort to restrict our liberty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: First step in politics, learn how to remember your concession
speech. It doesn`t quite work when you`re reading off the paper, no matter
what you`re saying.

Why Terry McAuliffe`s victory last night in Virginia could be the blueprint
for Democratic success in the years to come. Talk about this. He`s a
friend of the Clintons. He`s from Syracuse, New York, growing up there.
He`s lived in Virginia, but he`s come into that part of the country and won
big.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAGE HOPKINS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Page Hopkins.

President Obama is in Dallas right now encouraging uninsured residents to
enroll for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Texas has
the highest rate of uninsured Americans in the nation.

TSA personnel honored their fellow fallen officer Gerardo Hernandez today
at Los Angeles Airport. He was killed there by a gunman last week.

And it`s being called one of the most highly anticipated IPOs since
Facebook. Twitter just a short while ago priced its IPO at $26 a share.

Now we`re going to take you back to HARDBALL.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: This election was never a
choice between Democrats and Republicans. It was a choice about whether
Virginia would continue the mainstream, bipartisan tradition that has
served us so well over the last decade. At a time when Washington was
often broken, just think about what Virginia has been able to accomplish
when we work together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was, of course, Terry McAuliffe last night after his big victory in
Virginia against Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

Let`s look at how the race stacked but. Cuccinelli won among white men by
25 points, among white women by 16 points. He carried Tea Party
supporters, white evangelicals and gun owners. That`s quite a shopping
list.

McAuliffe was able to assemble obviously a somewhat stronger coalition of
his own, one that looks similar to President Obama`s last year. McAuliffe
won among -- won big among African-Americans, especially -- well, men
especially -- you saw that -- by 82 points.

He carried moderates by 22 points, as well as people with post-college
graduate degrees and unmarried women and men, both. Unmarried people voted
for McAuliffe. Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg calls it the rising
American electorate. Ron Brownstein, the other reporter, dubbed it the
coalition of the ascendant.

They are changing the game in purple states like Virginia. How much longer
can Republicans rely on their base of mainly older white men?

Well, Dana Milbank is the columnist for "The Washington Post" and Kathleen
Parker is a syndicated columnist for "The Washington Post."

Kathleen, I think I`m in the category I just mentioned as disappearing as
having any political significance.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: So I have to be a little careful here and step lightly, but it
does seem to me, if you look at some of the numbers, for example, the
margin of Terry McAuliffe`s victory could be made up simply of his margin
among African-American men. Right there was an explanation for it, you
see.

What do you think of when you look through it demographically?

KATHLEEN PARKER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, I love that term the
coalition of the ascendant. And I think, demographically speaking, that`s
a true thing.

But I do wonder how much Virginia really tells us about -- about trends,
political trends and about the Republican, Democratic positions, because I
think Cuccinelli was such an unattractive candidate on so many levels. He
didn`t have any of the charisma and likability that a candidate must have.

And as far as McAuliffe is concerned, I`m not sure I ever thought of him as
a mainstream moderate. But he is -- and, by the way, I don`t know how much
voters actually know about him, because his entire campaign was an attack
on Cuccinelli. And they -- they revved it up to the point that no person
living in the 21st century would want to -- you know, want to vote for
Cuccinelli.

It`s actually quite surprising he did as well as he did. But, you know,
I`m all for the -- the white male -- white, Caucasian, gun-toting Christian
guys.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know. Well, I don`t know how many guns you got.

But let me go over to Dana Milbank, because I think Cuccinelli`s positions
are extreme, but so is the Republican`s national platform if anybody reads
it. You know, this talk about personhood, which basically wipes out Roe v.
Wade.

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right.

MATTHEWS: Even talking about birth control seems odd, and talking about
making it more difficult for a woman to divorce her husband. He`s allowed
to basically reject it if they have young kids. I mean, this seems a
little medieval politically. But it`s in the platform, a lot of these much
more right wing stuff.

MILBANK: No, and Kathleen`s right, Terry McAuliffe did do an awful lot to
make Ken Cuccinelli look bad.

MATTHEWS: He ran entirely negative.

MILBANK: But, I mean, nobody did more to make Ken Cuccinelli look bad than
Ken Cuccinelli, and the even odder fellow running for lieutenant governor
there.

MATTHEWS: But is most of this country filled with guys with -- the thing
is, he`s focused on the cultural issues. That`s what makes him
particularly weird.

MILBANK: Yes, look, this coalition that we`re talking about for the
Republicans in the long run is doomed. That doesn`t mean they`re doomed in
next year`s midyear elections or even in 2016. They`ve got a real
demographic problem down the road.

But this shows that they can still compete. They can still stay there.
Now, Cuccinelli wasn`t an ideal candidate. Certainly, McAuliffe wasn`t an
ideal candidate.

MATTHEWS: Well, Bill Bolling, the Republican lieutenant governor of
Virginia, he`s in office right now, were seen by many in his party as a
better chance to take on McAuliffe, but he dropped out of the race when
Cuccinelli`s allies eliminated the GOP primary and, of course, replace it
with the convention stock with Tea Partiers.

So, Bolling never endorsed Cuccinelli. Yesterday he had strong negative
words for his party. Quote, "There are clear lessons in these losses for
the Republican Party. Going forward we need to have an open and honest
conversation about the future of our party and determine what we must do to
reconnect with the more diverse voter base."

Let me ask you, Kathleen, you write a column which a lot of people see as a
moderate point of view. And I`m wondering, how do you reconnect without
paying a price? Can you move to the center without alienating the really,
wild, angry people who are justified in their anger, they believe, and
don`t want to see any, quote, "betrayal". That`s the word they`re always
looking for. Anything that shows signs of moving to the center now by
Christie or anyone else is seen as potential betrayal.

PARKER: Well, I think that`s the biggest problem for the Republican Party.
They do have these purity tests they have been enforcing for years.
However, I do think there are people within the party and people in
leadership in Washington who understand that they`ve got to change that
somehow.

It has to do -- look, Chris Christie and Cuccinelli believe the same
things, essentially, and yet the tone of the way Christie delivers his
message is all different. And, by the way, he doesn`t talk about these
issues. I think the GOP could take lesson from the pope frankly, who says,
look, we believe these things. We are going to be conservative, but we`re
not going to hammer people with our positions and open that tent widely so
that other people can come in. That`s the only way they`ll survive, ever.

MATTHEWS: Do you think you can help me with some instruction in my church,
Kathleen? It would be great to have you talk about it.

PARKER: Yes, I`m working on an interview with the pope now. So, I`ll let
you know.

MATTHEWS: Me, too, actually. I wouldn`t love -- who wouldn`t love it?

PARKER: We`re going to get it.

MATTHEWS: The point here is women and single people. It`s so interesting,
Dana. Single people are all Democrats according to this polling.

MILBANK: That`s also a proxy for younger people. They`re voting basically
the same way they voted in 2012 and in --

MATTHEWS: Aren`t you amazed that Democrats got a big turnout by African-
Americans, young people. This is an odd election year. And they got as
good numbers.

MILBANK: We all thought this would be about the shutdown and it would
really benefit the Democrats. That didn`t show in the exit polls. In
fact, Obamacare was a huge weight against the Democrats.

MATTHEWS: And African-Americans 21 percent, strong turnout, without the
president leading in the ticket. This is very powerful for the Democrats.

Kathleen, thanks for joining us as always. And, Dana Milbank who amazes me
everybody with his columns.

Up next, Rand Paul`s plagiarism problem, and, boy, is it a problem. This
guy can`t get away from it. The senator is admitting to mistakes, but he
refused to say what he did.

He lifted stuff from other people`s writing and claimed it as his own. It
was not his original writing. It was someone else`s. He`s still talking
about footnotes and crap like that.

His problem is he won`t come to the truth on this. He has a problem of
size. He looks very small.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Six Colorado counties voted overwhelmingly last night to secede
from Colorado. But the vote was largely symbolic. There`s zero chance to
breakaway counties they would form a 51st state within the 50 states
because it would take approval by the Colorado state legislature to let
them go, and also, by the way, the United States Congress, to let it
happen. Anyway, the last successful secession was 1860 when the western
part of Virginia moved away to form West Virginia.

Five other counties in Colorado voted down secession measures. Good for
them.

And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

While Chris Christie`s on top of the political world today, following his
big win in New Jersey last night, another often mentioned 2016 contender,
Rand Paul, is looking rather peewee league today after a week of
embarrassing news that he`s plagiarized again and again and again. But the
plagiarism charge and his reaction to it hasn`t cast Senator Paul in the
most flattering light.

In a CNN interview yesterday, he portrayed himself as they all do these
days, as a victim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I think really the standard I`m being held
to is a little different than everybody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: I don`t know what standard you`re talking about, except the one
you should have been born with.

In an interview published yesterday, I see today in "The National Review",
Senator Paul asked, "Do I have to be in detention for the rest of my
career," referring to high school, and, quote, "I`m being criticized for
not proper attribution, and yet they are able to write stuff that if I were
their journalism teacher in college, unlikely prospect, I would fail them."

And here he is on ABC`s "This Week."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: I think I`m being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, and today, "The Washington Times," a conservative paper
here in too where Senator Paul used to write a column, they ended their
relationship with him because of the senator`s plagiarism. The paper`s
editor said, "We expect our columnist to submit original work and to
properly attribute material. And we appreciate that the senator and his
staff have taken responsibility for an oversight in a column."

Well, "The New York Times" reporter Ashley Parker joins us. She co-wrote
an article on today`s paper on Rand Paul.

James Carroll covers politics for "The Louisville Carrier Journal," an
amazing institution. Paul`s home state paper.

Let me start with -- I try it, you check me on this. It`s not about
footnoting, although we should footnote. There is something more powerful
here, it`s taking whole paragraphs and sentences and basically lifting them
and putting them in your speeches and put your name them. Or lifting them
and put them in your book. In other words, you did the original
composition, when in fact, someone else did.

Your thoughts?

ASHLEY PARKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes. I mean, what Rand Paul seems to
have failed to understand is what most high schoolers grasp, which is that
you cannot take something from Wikipedia verbatim, and put it in the paper,
and claim it as your own. He personally makes a distinction that not a lot
of other make people, which is that he thinks plagiarism is about sort of
intended meaning to mislead dishonestly and he says, you know, he never
meant to be dishonest. So, he just got a little sloppy. That`s his
distinction. But it`s not necessarily --

MATTHEWS: How would that be James? I mean, how would you be sloppy?

It seems to me, if somebody else wrote your speech for you and somebody
else was worse than sloppy. Was he sloppy in his management of the staff?
He let people think it was OK to lift material? Where does the sloppiness
not turn to a character problem?


JAMES CARROLL, COURIER-JOURNAL: Well, we don`t know what the inside
process was. They just have told us that they`re going to change it. We
just don`t know how they`re going to change it. And we don`t know how it
came about in the first place.

The problem is he is trying to bring focus on the footnotes at the bottom
of the page. That`s not what people are talking about, they`re talking
about what`s on the rest of the page.

MATTHEWS: You know what I think? I think he is protecting somebody who
shouldn`t be protected.

Anyway, Senator Paul on an interview on CNN says he will remedy the
problem, but the trouble is, he is promising to fix the problem no one is
accusing him of having. His problem is plagiarism. He insists in
something else.

Let`s listen. He keeps going off the ball here. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": What are you going to do,
Senator, to make sure this doesn`t happen again?

PAUL: We`re going to be much more specific and footnote it as if it were a
college paper. I am working on a speech right now for the Citadel, which
I`ve given portions of it before, but we`ve never footnote in my speeches.
Ninety-eight percent of my speeches are extemporaneous and never had
footnotes. We`re going now going to footnote everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Let`s be clear, Senator Paul`s problem is not a failure to
provide footnotes or end notes, or anything of the kind. It`s his lifting
of whole sections of other people`s work, original writing, that wasn`t his
original writing, and claiming the original composition of the work as his.
But he keeps denying and charges have never been made against them.

Here is what he told "The New York Times" along these lines. "Trying to
say someone commits plagiarism, you`re saying someone is dishonest. Well,
it would be dishonest if I try to say, oh, I had this great idea for a
movie and this is my idea, and this is a story I wrote in college called
`Gattaca`."

That never came up in the issue. Again, no one is accusing Paul of
claiming the idea for the movie "Gattaca". No one ever did, as his own.
He`s accused of lifting a description of "Gattaca", directly verbatim,
paragraph by paragraph, from Wikipedia, of all things.

The amazing thing is I don`t trust Wikipedia. And nobody should. It`s
written by amateurs, who knows what it is? If it is about you, you can
tell it`s dishonest -- well, let`s just say incorrect.

Let me ask you about the character problem. Assume a politician makes
little mistakes. I like to quote Mayor LaGuardia of New York because he
once said when he got in trouble, he said, "When I make a mistake, it is a
butte." And everybody loved it, because, you know, you admit you are
mistake prone.

Why do you think he is fighting this, Ashley?

PARKER: I mean, what`s interesting to watch is sort of exactly that, is
that he -- his response has gone to first, he blames the hacks and haters,
and he jokingly challenged people to a duel. And even once he --

MATTHEWS: It`s a search engine he is fighting. It`s a machine. I know, I
sound like Strom Thurmond. It`s modern electronics that can search for
engines that can search for similar writings.

PARKER: Yes, and I mean, he has been defiant. And that`s sort of his way.
Even in "The Times" interview, when he said I made a mistake, he said, "I`m
going to start to footnoting stuff if it will make people leave me the hell
alone."

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s talk politics. All politics is local. Is this going
to hurt him in Kentucky?

CARROLL: It won`t probably hurt him in Kentucky. It won`t hurt him
probably with the Tea Party people. I actually talked to some Tea Party
people today and they just laughed. They just thought this was hilarious.
This was not a problem for them.

MATTHEWS: It`s going to hurt him with the people who covered him.

CARROLL: And how he handles these kinds of issues is really early test for
2016.

MATTHEWS: I think it makes him, I don`t have a problem with him. I don`t
hate him certainly. I think it makes him really small. Admit you make a
mistake. Move on, fire the person, or slap, do something you had to do,
give them a different job. Let them do something else besides writing your
speeches.

Anyway, thank you, Ashley Parker, what you guys doing today.

PARKER: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Great to meet you James Carroll.

We`ll be right back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this:

I loved election nights growing up. You get to see who wins and get to see
the concession speeches, some of the best drama on television.

I liked what both Chris Christie and my friend, Terry McAuliffe, said last
night about working together across party lines because this is the only
way we`re going to get government to do its job in this country. We are
not a one-party country. That may not be what some of us like, but it`s
the way it is certainly.

And it`s why I wrote about all those adventures of mine growing up in "Tip
and The Gipper: When Politics Worked." One of my favorite scenes in the
book is when the liberal speaker of the House, my great boss, Tip O`Neill,
knelt down and prayed to the bedside of the conservative president, his
partisan rival, who`d just been shot by an attempted assassin`s bullet.
It`s about fighting a good fight which we did for a half dozen years
against President Reagan, and yet demonstrating that at the end of the day,
we`re on this thing together. It`s about shared humanity.

"Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked", a perfect book, a perfect this
season for the true HARDBALL fan. It`s in the stores right now and on
Amazon, of course.

Do me a favor and get a copy for yourself or someone you love who loves
watching this show and much as I love doing it.

And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" 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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