1. Headline
  1. Headline
updated 4/7/2014 11:59:57 AM ET 2014-04-07T15:59:57

HARDBALL
April 4, 2014

Guest: Michael Tomasky, Susan Milligan, Michael Goldfarb, Todd Purdum

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Supreme injustice.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

"Let Me Start" with this week in America, this week that saw the
Republican-dominated Supreme Court decide for big money over the people,
that saw the Republican Congress call for cuts in help for the working
family and big breaks for corporations, that saw another sledgehammer
assault on the country`s new health care system by the right wing, a week
capsulized by this morning`s front page story in "USA Today" on the growing
$100 million club of this country`s corporate CEOs.

How far will the right go in punishing the working people while
gifting the wealthier with more power and money, more clout to control
national policy, more taxes to avoid, more enjoyment in watching the pain
inflicted on those at the other end, the people they see as lazy and
irresponsible?

What a week to see America`s political division in clear numerical
terms, the right backing every tool for the rich to get richer, opposing
every progressive change to save the country`s safety net.

Jonathan Capehart is an opinion writer at "The Washington Post" and an
MSNBC contributor, and Michael Tomasky writes brilliantly for the
DailyBeast.

Gentlemen, I`ll tell you, it`s an amazing week. And somebody -- one
of our great producers figured this out. What a great week to put it all
together because the Supreme Court is celebrating the whole thing. And
you`ve got "USA Today" ending the week by saying, Guess what? Think of all
the new exciting members of the $100 million club. Meanwhile, people at
the bottom -- we`ll get to the numbers -- are not doing so great.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, "WASHINGTON POST," MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And
look, the person -- I think I should defer to Michael because in his piece
today on the DailyBeast, he puts it all together -- the Supreme Court
decision, the Paul Ryan budget. And I always forget the third one. What
is it?

MICHAEL TOMASKY, DAILYBEAST: Their opposition to "Obama care."

CAPEHART: Oh, "Obama care." "Obama care"...

MATTHEWS: Which they see as redistributive.

CAPEHART: And to my mind, what was so brilliant about what Michael
wrote today is that it puts into perspective what Harry Reid has been doing
for months now, hammering away at the Koch brothers. And right now, what
people can see...

MATTHEWS: What do the Koch brothers want? What do they want?
They`re not interested in (INAUDIBLE) they`re not Boy Scouts. They`re not
joining the Peace Corps. They`re not doing it for national service. Why
are they involved in American politics, the Koch brothers?

CAPEHART: Well, I mean, I think it`s...

MATTHEWS: What`s their approach?

CAPEHART: Their own self-interest. Their -- self-interest and...

MATTHEWS: Oil and gas. Start with that.

CAPEHART: Right. Right. That`s what they`re -- that`s what they`re
in for. That`s why they`re trying to do all these things.

And to get to my point, by focusing on the Koch brothers, by having
Harry Reid hammer them day in and day out for months, everything that
happened this week now has a face.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know. I think -- tell us how you put it all
together. It wasn`t just our producers. You did a great job in the
DailyBeast today of putting together the combination of the Supreme Court
decision for the wealthy to have more power in politics -- take a look --
anyway, you`ve got it here. Somebody`s done this for me. If you need any
further proof that the rich are getting richer and the rest of the working
public is stagnating, just look at this new information on page one of
today`s "USA Today."

In 2013, just the most recent year, the median national income for
full-time workers rose only 1.4 percent, to approximately $41,000 a year.
For CEOs at the other end of the stream there, their annual income surged
13 percent to $10.5 million per year. And my guest, Michael Tomasky, in
today`s DailyBeast has deftly, as I said, outlined the three events that
reveal once again that what matters most to Republicans, especially elected
Republicans in Washington, is protecting the well-off from redistribution
of their wealth to those who they believe don`t deserve it.

And look who`s helping this along, the Supreme Court, whose decision
this very week puts money above people. Here`s Senator Chuck Schumer on
that decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: They wish to dismantle all limits
on giving piece by piece until we are back to the days of the robber
barons, when anyone or anything could give unlimited money, undisclosed,
and make our political system seem so rigged that everyone will lose
interest in our democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Number two after the Supreme Court decision, the Ryan
budget that cuts aid for working people and helps corporations. Here`s
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Steve Israel on HARDBALL
just last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: With this Republican budget, the
House Republicans are turning their backs on the middle class in order to
stack the deck for the special interests.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And third, the Affordable Care Act. It exceeded
expectations by deadline day this week, but the Republicans still called
for its outright repeal. And President Obama called them out for that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This law is doing what
it`s supposed to do. It`s working. It`s helping people from coast to
coast, all of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare
people or undermine the law or try to repeal the law without offering any
plausible alternative is so hard to understand. I got to admit, I don`t
get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health
insurance?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, I think he`s using rhetoric there. I think he damn
well understands what he`s up against. People want to hold onto all the
money they make. They don`t want to pay any taxes. They don`t want
anybody to break in, to make it in the middle class, because they`re there.

TOMASKY: Redistribution, Chris, that`s the key word. That`s the
heart of the Republican Party today here in this town and...

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s another word for saying, I don`t want my
taxes...

TOMASKY: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: I don`t want any taxes.

TOMASKY: They don`t want any taxes. They don`t want any money moved
from the top 2 percent down to the rest of the people, down to the people
in the middle, certainly down to the poor. All three of these pieces --
"Obama care," their opposition to "Obama care," they don`t want government
to do this. They don`t want government to do this for people. Ryan budget
-- $5.1 trillion from the domestic discretionary budget, you know, that
huge whack at food stamps that makes the one they took this year look like
nothing, look like pennies.

And the third thing, the Supreme Court, makes it all happen because if
they can control the electoral process to that tune, then maybe they can,
you know, make sure that fewer redistributionist kind of...

MATTHEWS: Well, here...

(CROSSTALK)

TOMASKY: ... politicians get elected.

MATTHEWS: There is one curiosity here because all Republicans aren`t
rich. A lot of Republicans watching right now are not rich. My parents
weren`t rich. They were what you called "cloth coat Republicans," you
know? But yet the economics of the Republican Party is set in a different
way from its own median-income voter.

CAPEHART: Right. And those voters time and time again go to the
ballot box and send folks to Washington who do -- who...

MATTHEWS: Why do they do it? Why do cloth coat Republicans vote for
the mink coat Republicans?

CAPEHART: You know, that`s not a question I can answer. I don`t
know. I don`t understand it because these are people who are clearly
voting against their own self-interests.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, the perception -- I`m right here. I`ve been
through these numbers -- that Republicans are looking out for the rich is
already baked into the voters. They know this. This February, a poll
shows just how deeply it`s ingrained when you ask whether the policies of
the Democratic Party generally favor the rich, the middle class or the
poor.

Well, here`s (ph) pretty balanced -- 30 percent say the Democratic
Party is for the rich, 36 percent believe it`s for the middle class, 30
percent for the poor. But look at how they`re not mixed for the
Republicans -- 69 percent say Republican policies favor the rich, 7 out of
10, 23 percent say they favor the middle class. Just 3 percent say they --
who are those people?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Peter Beinart writes in "The Atlantic" this week
that this impression will be hard to shake. Quote, "Just as Bill Clinton
showed in the early 1990s that he was not beholden to the cultural left" --
Sister Souljah there -- "Republicans must find ways to show that they`re
not beholden to the oligarchic right" -- that`s a Russian term. "It`s
going to be harder for them now. For the contemporary GOP, the danger of
looking like the plaything of America`s super-rich outweighs the benefits
of increased support from America`s super-rich."

You know, here`s an argument of logic, which is all the money they`re
getting from the Adelsons, or whatever, the Koch brothers -- is that worth
being known as the party that hates the 47 percent, which they`re now known
as?

TOMASKY: Yes, they are. And they will be known as that...

MATTHEWS: As long as there`s a bartender with a cell phone who will
tape to it the wall when a guy like Mitt Romney is coming in to speak.

TOMASKY: Look, they have other issues through which they get cloth
coat Republicans to vote for them. And I don`t blame cloth coat
Republicans. If you care deeply about abortion, if you think abortion is
murder, you`re going to vote Republican even though you know the Republican
Party is for the rich people and not for you. If your gun is important to
you, you`re going to vote -- that`s fine. It`s the Democrats` job to make
these things clear to people and...

MATTHEWS: But you know...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... not going to sell them too hard because they don`t need
help, is the Clintons. Bill Clinton was so -- and so Hillary Clinton when
they were working together as a team back in the `90s, they were so sharp
that they would say, We`re not going to let you divide the country on
culture. They made a point of separating themselves from the far left,
Sister Souljah. They weren`t part of those rap songs, that rap music.
They said, We`re not part of that. And they caused some trouble with Jesse
Jackson over that fight.

But they also said, We`re for people that work hard and play by the
rules. We`re for people on abortion rights. They want it to be safe,
legal and rare.

TOMASKY: Correct.

MATTHEWS: They didn`t say outlawed, safe, legal and rare. So they
were able to cut it across and say, You can be culturally middle of the
road or even conservative a bit and vote Democrat because we`re not against
you.

CAPEHART: Well, here...

MATTHEWS: They made that, and they were very good politicians.

CAPEHART: So who...

MATTHEWS: To make that point.

CAPEHART: So who are the Clintons of the Republican Party who are
going to step forward and say...

MATTHEWS: Who are the Clintons of the Democratic Party right now?

(CROSSTALK)

CAPEHART: But we`re focusing on the Republicans right now. Who are
the Clintons of the Republican Party who can say to the far right of the
base and to the other folks who are in league with the oligarchs...

MATTHEWS: OK, I`ll give you a couple names and you can shoot them
down. Right (ph) Kasich.

CAPEHART: OK, but...

MATTHEWS: Who extended Medicare -- Medicaid.

CAPEHART: OK, but...

MATTHEWS: He took the chance. I`d say Peter King comes across as --
as a middle class Republican (INAUDIBLE)

CAPEHART: OK, these...

MATTHEWS: There`s a few.

CAPEHART: There are a few, but these are -- but will they do that if
and when they run for president? That`s the key. Bill Clinton did all
those things...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... kill those guys right now?

(CROSSTALK)

TOMASKY: They`re cringing...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I knew Tom (ph) when he was a House member, and I liked him
because he would make deals with Ron Dellums, and they really tried to cut
the gold-plating in the military, the waste (INAUDIBLE)

CAPEHART: But the problems that the Republican Party has is that they
-- for too many years, too many cycles since 2010, they`ve wedded
themselves to the Tea Party...

MATTHEWS: OK...

CAPEHART: ... and the far-right fringe that comes with it...

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s -- let`s...

TOMASKY: Mitt Romney was one those guys...

MATTHEWS: OK...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: A harder question. It`s Friday. I got to double a
question for you, double jeopardy, all right? The unemployment number was
pretty good this -- today, 192,000 new jobs, a really good March.

CAPEHART: Right.

MATTHEWS: Of course, there`s no publicity about it, but I`m going
bring it up. Number two, the stock market goes down. This is what drives
the middle class crazy. Every time there`s evidence that the guys are
getting back to work, the women are getting back to work and things are
looking OK, healthy, the rich and the stock market, Oh my God, the Fed`s
not going to cut rates, you know?

What do you think of this? You`re in New York. You know this New
York mentality. It drives people crazy.

TOMASKY: Of course it drives people crazy.

MATTHEWS: Wall Street`s against us!

TOMASKY: Yes, exactly, and that`s -- that`s what today proved to me.
When I heard the market went down, I thought, What? I mean, this is a
decent number...

MATTHEWS: Because -- because the unemployment number is good!

TOMASKY: Yes.

MATTHEWS: It`s 6.7 and holding and new jobs by 192,000!

TOMASKY: And the participation...

MATTHEWS: That`s a good number!

TOMASKY: And the participation rate`s going up, too.

MATTHEWS: So why`s the -- so why are the rich going down? Why are
they losing heart?

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

TOMASKY: The way these people feel picked on is just unbelievable.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Oh, OK. (INAUDIBLE) I love your piece. By the way, you
get all the credit. None of our producers get any credit. They just read
you!

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Which is really a great way to start for all of us. Thank
you, Jonathan Capehart, and thank you, Michael Tomasky. It`s a great week
to have you on, to see what this week was like, and it wasn`t good for the
working people. It`s good for the people who`ve been trying to torque this
system the other way.

Coming up: Look who`s searching for single women. I mean this
politically. The Democratic Party. It`s doing everything it can to find
them because when single women vote -- you got it -- the Dems win.

Also, the conservative clown car is careening off the highway. One
Tea Partier his week attended a pro-cock-fighting event. Another`s tying
the Fort Hood shooting, tragedy that it is, to what else, President Obama.

Plus, it`s possible that no comedian has had more HARDBALL "Sideshow"
appearances than the great David Letterman. Well, tonight, a look back at
some of Dave`s best political moments, as he`s announced his retirement.

Finally, "Let Me Finish" tonight with the fact that the Republican
Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln right through and up to until the
mid-1960s, as recently as that.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, this is something else. Quinnipiac`s out with its
latest "national thermometer" poll, where political figures are ranked
based on how hot they are with the voting public. And while Chris Christie
has cooled off a bit, a pair of Democratic women score highest. Let`s
count down the top 10.

At number 10, Jeb Bush, with a temperature of 44.7 degrees. Number 9
is Chris Christie, but he led the rankings back in January. Rand Paul is
in the 8th spot, and Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio are coming up next.

Now the top five. These are the big ones. Wisconsin governor Scott
Walker. At number 4, it`s Louisiana`s Bobby Jindal. Paul Ryan is the
third hottest politician right now. But get this. Hillary Clinton is the
runner-up right now. Catch this! And Elizabeth Warren, the senator from
Massachusetts, is in the top spot as the politician generating the most
heat right now.

And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Folks, a low
minimum wage is one of the reasons why women in America make only 77 cents
on a dollar that every man makes.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is time to do away
with workplace policies that belong in a "Madmen" episode. This year,
let`s all come together -- Congress, the White House, businesses from Wall
Street to Main Street -- to give every woman the opportunity she deserves
because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. As you saw in that clip, the
Democrats, including President Obama and Vice President Biden, have made
women`s issues the cornerstone of their 2014 agenda politically.

But look a little closer. Issues like raising the minimum wage to
$10.10 an hour would actually benefit single women more than any other
group. That`s single women. And here`s why that matters. As "The
Washington Post" reports just today, Democrats are doing, quote,
"everything they can to get single women to the polls this November as the
party looks to avoid disaster in the upcoming midterm elections" -- and I
mean everything, from pushing issues like minimum wage, as I said, and
paycheck fairness, to using computer algorithms -- there`s a word I didn`t
think I`d ever use on television -- to find out where all the single women
actually live. They`re trying to locate them.

As "The Post" reports today, "The Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee is building a national computer model to predict voters` marital
status, with hopes of targeting what may be the party`s most important
demographic group, unmarried women. Single women could spell the
difference between making gains in the House and losing control of the
Senate come November."

Well, Democrats dominate that demographic. Look at the 2012
presidential election returns. President Obama won -- these numbers are
really unbelievable -- 67 percent, two thirds of all single women voted for
the president compared to Romney`s 31 percent, 36-point margin there.

It`s that same group that delivered last year`s Virginia governor`s
race for Terry McAuliffe, who would have been soundly defeated if he hadn`t
captured a similarly dominant margin over challenger Ken Cuccinelli. And I
know where those single women live, northern Virginia, the eighth district
and the tenth, right across the river from here. And there`s 2016 coming
up, which we`ll get to in a minute.

Susan Milligan is a contributing editor with "U.S. News & World
Report" and Ed Rendell`s, of course, an MSNBC political analyst and the
former governor of Pennsylvania.

We got to start with you, Susan. The single women -- I`ve always
thought it`s not all about abortion rights, it`s about health care, it`s
about everything they need. It`s about getting a decent job at a decent
pay.

SUSAN MILLIGAN, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": Absolutely. Well, I
think that...

MATTHEWS: Because you got to live with one paycheck. It`s the simple
math.

MILLIGAN: Well, that`s also true. And it`s the paycheck. Its the
wage fairness, of here we are in 2014, and there`s still this huge wage
differential.

But I think the birth control is also a big issue because that is an
economic issue. If you can`t control the size and timing of your family,
you don`t really have any economic freedom. And I think that this is a
very smart...

MATTHEWS: Well, I think...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... to be blunt about it, single women are concerned about
birth control.

MILLIGAN: Well, of course they are.

MATTHEWS: As much as anybody. And -- and it`s not just abortion
rights.

MILLIGAN: Right.

MATTHEWS: It`s birth control as part of your health insurance.

MILLIGAN: It`s birth control. And that`s, I think, where I think a
lot of this disconnect is, is that there`s a lot -- there`s a lot of people
in government who are running for office who don`t see birth control...

MATTHEWS: Why would a guy...

MILLIGAN: -as a fundamental part of our health care.

MATTHEWS: ... running for governor of Virginia, which is really a
national state, you know, it`s not a Southern state anymore...

MILLIGAN: Right.

MATTHEWS: ... it`s a national state. Why would he -- let me go to
the governor on this. What do you make of a guy running for governor of a
major state like Virginia -- which is a national state now, it`s not a
regional state -- and saying, I`m against birth control. I don`t get it.
I think single women must look at him like he`s from Mars or something.

RENDELL: No -- no question.

And I think it`s just a case of being obsessed with the base, the far-
right side of the party. And it`s an issue that I don`t even think
resonates that well with those voters. It makes absolutely no sense.

But do you think it makes sense in Michigan for a so-called moderate
governor to sign a bill, Chris, that says you have to have rape insurance
or your health care plan won`t pay for it if you`re raped, won`t pay for an
abortion? It makes no sense.

Republicans are doing things to make you think that they`re trying to
snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

MATTHEWS: Yes, this November.

Let`s take a look at how some Republican women talk to other women
about these issues.

First up, this is an audio of a Republican state representative -- her
name is Andrea Kieffer -- warning her female colleagues just last month
that pushing the issue of paycheck fairness makes them look like -- and
this is her word -- whiners. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ANDREA KIEFFER (R), MINNESOTA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: We are losing the
respect that we so dearly want in the workplace by bringing up all these
special bills for women and almost making us look like whiners.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, less than a week later, the head of the Texas
Republican Party, Beth Cubriel, told women in her state to give up their
court battles for equal pay. Here`s where prescription.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETH CUBRIEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TEXAS REPUBLICAN PARTY: Men are
better negotiators. And I would encourage women, instead of pursuing the
courts for action, to become better negotiators.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: I think you can do both anyway.

And, on Monday, conservative commentator Mona Charen told women that
the best way for women to empower themselves is to get married. Well, why
didn`t they think of that? Let`s listen. What a joke. Here she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MONA CHAREN, POLITICAL ANALYST: I regard feminism as having been very
badly misguided on most of the important things that conduce to human
happiness. Married women are happier, healthier, and more productive than
single women. Married couples accumulate more wealth and volunteer more in
the communities -- in their communities than singles do. If we truly want
women to thrive, we have to revive the marriage norm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: That is one of the most amazing statements I have ever...

MILLIGAN: Yes. Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Governor, you may not want to get in on this. But I don`t
know what to say about...

RENDELL: I know. It`s shocking.

MATTHEWS: ... reviving the marriage norm. I mean, you can say taller
people All right,e happier than short people, so get tall.

How are you supposed to like find the guy that you haven`t found, if
you`re looking for the guy...

MILLIGAN: If you`re looking for the guy.

MATTHEWS: If you`re looking for the guy, and you haven`t found him,
but you`re going to get him because Mona Charen says that`s the smart way
to increase your income.

(LAUGHTER)

MILLIGAN: Well, OK, yes, that`s pretty offensive, putting kind of a
monetary value on marriage.

And the reality is, is, 30 years ago, a woman had to be married for
sex, for children, for financial security, standing in the community. You
don`t need to be married to have any of those things anymore, which is one
of the reason women are waiting...

MATTHEWS: And you also couldn`t walk in those days. If you wanted to
walk, you couldn`t.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLIGAN: But you could -- you know, that`s why I think women are
waiting now to get married. And the reality is, they seem to think, if
they do better among married women, if women just get married, they will
get more Republican voters, whereas the Democrats are being more smart
about it and trying to address the concerns that single -- single women
have.

Look, the reality is the narrative in campaigns is both Republicans
and the Democrats have been so family-focused for so long, whether it`s
family values or working families, or whatever, and that`s going to change
as there are more and more single people, particularly single women in the
electorate.

MATTHEWS: You know, I was staggered, Governor, by the increased
number of single women. In fact, well, anyway, here it is. Yesterday,
Hillary Clinton spoke to the Women of the World Summit here in -- where
Thomas Friedman, the great columnist, asked her about double standards.

Here is that exchange, which is not a surprise. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS FRIEDMAN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Is there still a double
standard in the media about how we talk about women in public life?

(LAUGHTER)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, you
know, really, Tom, I think...

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

FRIEDMAN: ... human sacrifice.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: There is a double standard, obviously.

We have all either experienced it or at the very least seen it. And
there is a deep set of cultural psychological views that are manifest
through this double standard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Susan?

MILLIGAN: There is a double standard for married men and married men,
single women, and so of course there is.

I just think that the Democrats are being smarter about addressing the
concerns and needs of single female voters, as opposed to trying to get
them married, so they will vote your way. That`s just not going to happen.

MATTHEWS: Governor, I`m just thinking of that old word, respect. If
you respect all voters, especially young women or older women who aren`t
married, as any other voter, and go to them without stupid lines like, go
get married, you will do a lot better. That`s your -- my thought.

Your thought. Last thought for you.

RENDELL: Or negotiate better.

These -- the clips you played are offensive to women. And it`s
beginning to show. As you said, Chris, the number of single women
increased by nine million, double the amount of married women, in the last
14 years.

And to give you an idea of the Republicans` problem, in 1998, the
Bush-Dukakis race, Dukakis won single women by 13 points. President Obama
in 2012, as you said, won by 36 points, almost triple the margin of 1988.
It`s a big problem for Republicans.

MATTHEWS: And I would say there has been a double standard. And we
better get rid of it. We all better get rid of it.

RENDELL: Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Thank you, Susan Milligan, and thank you, Governor Rendell.

MATTHEWS: Up next: In honor of David Letterman`s retirement
announced last night, we have got -- we have put together some of his best
political moments. They`re coming to "Sideshow." You got to stick around
for this and all the other stuff coming up here on HARDBALL.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Number nine.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What`s up, gangstas?

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: It`s the -- it`s M.I. Double Tizzle.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number five, confused stare.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TODAY SHOW")

JANE PAULEY, HOST: Do you really like what you do?

LETTERMAN: Yes, by and large, I do. Sure, I do. I like it from 5:30
to 6:30, when we tape the show. Everything else,, I`m not crazy about, you
know?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Wow. That was Dave Letterman in his early days opening up
to Jane Pauley back in 1984.

Well, from his beginnings on television as a local weatherman out in
Indiana, believe it or not, to his prolific 34-year career as a late-night
comedian, which started on NBC, of course, David Letterman has been
announcing that he is set to retire, he just did it, next year. Here is
how he broke the news just last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

LETTERMAN: It`s been great. You have been great. The network has
been great. But I`m retiring.

I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network,
all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater,
all the people on the staff, everybody at home. Thank you very much. And
what this means now is that Paul and I can be married.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Of course, Letterman wouldn`t be Letterman without his
trademark top 10 list.

Here is a look back at some of our favorite political moments from
those over the years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To keep the budget
balanced, I will rent the Situation Room for sweet 16s.

LETTERMAN: Hey, that`s a nice idea.

Number eight.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I`m the guy in the photo that comes with your picture frame.

LETTERMAN: That`s right.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: That`s where I have seen him.

Number four.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Thanks to corporate
sponsorship, majority whip now known as Miracle Whip.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Number five,
first day in office, my mother`s face goes up on Mount Rushmore.

LETTERMAN: Wow. Wow. Look it there.

And the number one sign Barack Obama is overconfident: "Been cruising
for chicks with John Edwards."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Of course, when it came to politics, one of Letterman`s
favorite targets was Chris Christie, who he has relentlessly parodied in
some over-the-top videos.

But despite the laughs at his expense, the New Jersey governor
famously got in on the joke with a little self-parody when he joined
Letterman in February of last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

LETTERMAN: I have made jokes about you, not just one or two, not just
ongoing here and there, intermittent, but...

(LAUGHTER)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I didn`t know this was going to
be this long.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end.
But we`re certainly going to miss Dave Letterman.

Up next: The right-wing clown car is drag-racing into high gear. And
we have got one Tea Partier who is out there defending cockfighting,
another one who found his way to tie the Fort Hood shooting this week --
shooting this week to, guess who, President Obama. Somehow, he is
involved.

Anyway, the clown car continues.

And you`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger.
Here`s what`s happening.

The father of Fort Hood gunman Ivan Lopez says his son must not have
been in his right mind. Lopez fatally shot three people and injured 16
before turning the gun on himself. A senior officer says the soldier`s
mental health was not a main factor in that shooting.

The economy added 192,000 jobs in March, slightly less than expected.
The White House says the private sector has added 8.9 million jobs over 49
straight months of growth.

And Thursday`s spate of severe weather nay have spawned as many as 11
tornadoes from Texas to Illinois -- back to HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Well, it was a bad week for Tea Party candidates and other passengers
in the right-wing clown car. One of the rising stars of the movement on
the right is being forced to answer embarrassing questions now thanks to
his attendance at a rally for -- you can`t make this up -- legalizing
cockfighting.

And that would be Matt Bevin, who is fighting to take Mitch
McConnell`s seat in Kentucky. According to "The Louisville Courier-
Journal" -- quote -- "Bevin`s campaign described the event at the Corbin
Arena in Corbin, Kentucky, as a states` rights rally and said that Bevin
didn`t know that it had ties to cockfighting. But the event`s actual
organizer told `The Corbin News Journal` that the sole purpose of the rally
was to gain support for legalization to legal -- legislation actually to
legalize cockfighting in the state of Kentucky.

Yesterday, Bevin went on a local radio show and gave his truly bizarre
defense.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MATT BEVIN (R), KENTUCKY SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I have never been to a
cockfight. I don`t condone cockfighting. But here`s the thing. I`m not
going to disparage people for exercising their First Amendment rights.

But it`s interesting. When you look at cockfighting and dogfighting
as well, these aren`t -- this isn`t something new. It wasn`t invented in
Kentucky, for example. I mean, the founding fathers were all, many of them
very, actively involved in this and always have been.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: First Amendment, freedom of assembly, which one is he
talking about?

Anyway, the fact is Bevin wasn`t alone in the clown car this week. He
had lots of company.

Dana Milbank is a columnist for "The Washington Post" and Michelle
Goldberg is a senior contributing writer for "The Nation."

Tea Party poster child Allen West had an unbelievable leap of logic
this week. He actually found a way to tie the Fort Hood shooting to
President Obama. The former one-term Florida congressman, who said once he
heard that there are 78 to 81 House Democrats who are members of the
Communist Party, was on Sean Hannity`s show the night of the shooting this
week.

Hannity talked about the big picture of combating evil in the Obama
era. See if you can follow Allen West`s logic here. Let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FOX NEWS CHANNEL)

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": Have we -- have we gotten too far away
from 9/11 that we don`t remember the impact of that day?

ALLEN WEST (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: I believe that`s a part of
it. And I believe also we have a civilian leadership that does not want to
recognize that an enemy exists.

You know, you look at what is happening in the Crimea, when the
president says that Vladimir Putin is operating from a position of
weakness.

HANNITY: Yes.

WEST: So if you don`t want to admit that there is evil, if you don`t
want to admit that there is an enemy, then you don`t have the right type of
security protocols in place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Michelle Goldberg, I don`t know where to start. The
candidate who is running for the United States Senate, in fact, trying to
take on the Republican leader in the Senate in the state of Kentucky, goes
to a cockfighting rally, claims afterwards he wasn`t at it.

Who does that help him with? And then I will get to Allen West with
Dana.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I want to give you the cockfighting opportunity here,
because...

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, "THE NATION": I`m actually -- I wonder..

MATTHEWS: ... I don`t even think about that too often.

GOLDFARB: I wonder if the cockfighting itself is such a big problem.
As far as I know, cruelty to animals is not a big issue in Kentucky
Republican primaries, although I could be wrong.

I think it`s more this kind of, first of all, ridiculous attempt to
deny that he was there and that he knew what this rally was about, and then
to try to somehow bring in the founding fathers. You know, I think it`s
not so much -- well, first of all, now his name is going to be forever
synonymous with cockfighting.

MATTHEWS: Yes, as it should.

GOLDFARB: But it also shows kind of a level of buffoonery and poor
advanced planning, and also just plain dishonesty.

MATTHEWS: Well, that covers most of it, Dana. You want to cover the
rest of it? Because I haven`t thought, and nor we will talk -- I think
it`s fair to say we will not bring up cockfighting again this year on
HARDBALL, and we may never bring it up again.

I thought there was some sort of ethnic group that loved it or some
reason you would play to them.

DANA MILBANK, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

MATTHEWS: But this is just apparently foolishness.

But I want to go to Allen West with you. There was sort of like a
9/11 syndrome, where everything was 9/11. And here`s -- we had to go to
war in Iraq because of 9/11, blah, blah, blah. But here it is, where Obama
is guilty of all things, including bad weather.

How would -- how would you put together Allen West, who may be flaky,
connecting what happened, another tragedy, a shooting down at Fort Hood
with the president? What did the president do to make that happen?

MILBANK: I think we can put all of that together, Chris, and even
throw in the cockfighting as well. I think if we`re going to follow Allen
West`s logic here, I think he is blaming Vladimir Putin for the Fort Hood
shooting. And then in this bizarre case of the cockfighting, I love the
notion that he is tying it into his respect for the Founding Fathers,
because you have to remember that Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap,
and we now know that he picked up that feather at a cockfight.

But what`s bringing this entire thing together here is this notion
that the Tea Party has entirely run its course. There is a reason Allen
West isn`t in congress anymore. And there is a reason if you`re looking
for support as a Tea Party challenger to Mitch McConnell, you`ve got to go
further and further to the right because the establishment has co-opted the
Tea Party. What`s left now are people on the fringe and you`re finding the
Tea Party candidates just aren`t get anything traction now there is no
evidence --

MATTHEWS: Nutty is nutty enough.

MILBANK: You have to get nuttier -- you have to get nuttier and
nuttier. You`re going to be with white supremacists. You`re going to be
out with the cockfighting legalization crowd.

MATTHEWS: Dana, Michelle, let`s get to the latest events besides this
crazy Allen West comment blaming the president for Fort Hood and this
cockfighting that has to go to Matt Bevin. There were some awkward news of
another candidate of another candidate this week, Mississippi State Senator
Chris McDaniel, who is running to unseat Thad Cochran. And maybe the
favorite was reportedly said to keynote an event billed as a combined,
quote, "Firearm Freedom Day and Tea Party rally."

The only problem, one of the vendors setting up his kiosk at the
event, a business called Pace Confederate Depot, which deals in Confederate
Tea Party and white pride merchandise. McDaniel says he never confirmed
that he would show up at the event. But the poster for the event
prominently features him, along with the Pace merchandise vendor.

And event organizer told "Talking Points Memo", by the way, that he
was confirmed in February. Well, the chairman of the Republican Party in
Mississippi took a swipe at McDaniel, I think fairly, telling NBC News,
quote, "I think he should clear it up as fast as he can. Running for the
United States Senate is a very important thing. And as a party, we need to
always be careful and focused and serious about what our views are and what
our interests are.

And if Senator McDaniel think there`s is more to tell, to explain it,
my thought is the party chair would be the sooner the better. So, the
weird thing about going into these collective tents on the hard right, it`s
also joining the hard left, you get some strange kiosks set up there,
Michelle.

Here`s the guy that was set to speak at a group that had featured
white pride materials, whatever they might be.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NATION: Let`s be clear -- this isn`t the first
time with McDaniel, right? I mean, McDaniel has already keynoted, we know
has keynoted a neo Confederate event. He has retweeted white supremacists.

And so, this is kind of a pattern with him. And although I would say,
you know, kind of -- Dana seems very sanguine about this being a relevant
fringe, the latest polls that McDaniel is slightly ahead. I`m not sure
that being -- that ties to white supremacists really hurts you in a
Mississippi Republican primary.

MATTHEWS: I think that`s probably true, Dana, because the African
American is going to go to the Democrat in that race and they`re probably
not going to win that race. The whites down in Mississippi vote
Republican.

MILBANK: Yes, look, I think that race in Mississippi is probably the
best chance the Tea Party, or this is even beyond Tea Party now, has of
knock off an establishment Republican in Thad Cochran.

But I talked to the leader of a group of 52 surviving moderates -- if
we can even call them moderates in the House. And he said he does not
expect a single one of his members to lose in a primary this year. That`s
just an absolute sea change from what has been going on two years ago or
four years ago.

MATTHEWS: Give me that list. I want to start talking with those
moderate Republicans.

Anyway, Republican strategist John Feehery was sitting here this week
told "Talking Points Memo" that the Bevin and McDaniel stumbles we talked
about are part of a larger problem with the Tea Party.

Here is what John, my friend, said. When you lie down with dogs, you
get fleas. This is the problem with the Tea Party and their candidates.
They lack judgment, and that lack of judgment makes them poor general
election candidates.

Your last thought from you, Michelle, because I think unfortunately
for those who are progressive or somewhere in the middle, Mississippi ain`t
going to be joining you in your column this November. It`s going to either
be Thad Cochran or Chris McDaniel. It ain`t going to be a Dem.

Your thoughts.

GOLDBERG: The one kind of silver lining here is that you do have the
Republican Party which has flirted with the far right, nurtured the far
right all these years, finally discovering the dangers of this thing that
they`ve helped to create. I mean, it seems like a very salutary
development when you have the Mississippi Republican condemning -- when you
have the Mississippi Republican Party condemning people for their
associations with neo Confederates and white supremacists. I mean, that`s
progress of a sort.

MATTHEWS: Well, it`s the old days and Trent Lott was involved in some
of those civic councils down there. We know about those councils.

Anyway, thank you, Dana Milbank, and thank you, Michelle Goldberg.

By the way, which will be the cockfighting candidate? There may be
two of them like there were the two rape candidates. If the Republicans
are lucky, there will just be one cockfighting candidate.

Anyway, up next, another example of how people pushing rights in this
country always win in the end over people looking to restrict them.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Well, here are some pictures of Kathleen`s father being
interred at Arlington National Cemetery this week. As I told you last
night, the marine corps was stunning in its tribute to my World War II
father-in-law. Every one of the Marines was a person emblem of Semper Fi.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: We`re back.

July 2nd will mark the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson`s signing of
the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act. That`s the Civil Rights Act.

But back in `64, LBJ`s push to civil rights faced tough political
opposition from his own Democratic Party, which held huge majorities in
both houses of Congress. And it ultimately took Republicans in both houses
to get civil rights through.

Take a look at the Senate vote. This is fascinating. Civil rights
passed with 73 votes for and 27 votes against. It needed 67 to get through
the filibuster. Forty-six Democrats, almost entirely from the north and
west supported it.

But they needed Republicans to get it passed, and 27 voted for it.
Twenty-one of 27 senators who voted against the bill were southern
Democrats with the exception of maverick Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough,
six Republicans including 1964 Republican nominee Barry Goldwater of
Arizona voted with the Southern Democrats.

Todd Purdum is author of the new book, "An Idea Whose Time Has Come:
Two Presidents, Two Parties and The Battle for the Civil Rights Act of
`64."

It`s so great a book.

TODD PURDUM, AUTHOR, "AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME": Well, thank you.
Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: As I said in my book (ph), it is so a good because it
teaches us how good the party of Lincoln was back then. It was still the
party of Lincoln. How it`s changed and become a Dixiecrat party in many
ways.

Tell us about how bipartisanship worked in those days. President
Lyndon Johnson, people like McCulloch of the House and, of course, Everett
Dirksen of Illinois.

PURDUM: Well, the dynamics were so fundamentally different, so
fundamentally different, as you pointed out and the parties really have
switched places. But a crucial unsung hero of this, everyone thinks of
Martin Luther King`s demonstrations, JFK`s moral vision, his assassination,
Johnson`s legislative skill.

But it was William McCulloch, a conservative Republican from west
central Ohio, John Boehner has his district now, he was ranking member of
Judiciary Committee in the House, and he told the Kennedy administration in
the summer of `63, if you promise not to water down this bill in the
Senate, which had been the usual pattern and give the Republicans equal
credit heading into the `64 election, I`ll bring the Republican caucus
along and that`s what he did.

MATTHEWS: Everybody played. Nobody tried any tricks.

PURDUM: His leader respected him. I mean, there were Republicans who
opposed it.

MATTHEWS: They kept the bill strong.

PURDUM: They kept the bill strong. And the pattern, LBJ when he was
majority leader, of course, had gotten the `57 bill by weakening it.

MATTHEWS: People need to know this -- Jacqueline Kennedy wrote to
McCulloch, who you mentioned there, when she got word in 1971 when
McCulloch`s planned retirement from Congress, quote, "I want you to know
how much your example means to me. I know that you more than anyone were
responsible for the civil rights legislation. You made a personal
commitment to President Kennedy in October of `63 against all the interests
of your district. There are opportunities to sabotage the bill without
appearing to do so. But you never took them. On the contrary, you brought
everyone else along with you."

Pretty sophisticated letter.

PURDUM: Pretty sophisticated letter and a pretty moving thing --
three pages handwritten from the yacht Christina in the Mediterranean.

And, you know, in the Senate, Everett Dirksen of my home state, the
Republican leader, was just as crucial. Now, he said he would support the
bill but he had major reservations about the two most important parts,
public accommodations, desegregating lunch counters in restaurants and
hotels, and the employment discrimination section, because in Illinois, his
home state, they had strong anti-discrimination statute.

MATTHEWS: So, what was his problem?

PURDUM: He didn`t want as a good small town conservative two sets of
recordkeeping, two sets of bureaucracy. The compromise he worked out,
states with real teeth, laws in the book let them go first then the feds.

MATTHEWS: I think it`s the greatest thing Congress ever did, I mean,
in modern time. But let me ask you, when I was a college kid, we go down
this time of year, spring break, and you would drive through Georgia, South
Carolina, places like that. Those were the days before 95. There were
these little speed traps through little towns. You`d see signs on the
restrooms on the gas stations, white only.

So, it was this law that struck all that down.

PURDUM: This law struck all that down. It really created modern
America. It created the world we live in today.

MATTHEWS: I just wonder, what happened to the Republican Party? What
happened to the party that supported civil rights?

PURDUM: Partly what happened is their standard bearer that year, as
you pointed out, Barry Goldwater was the nominee, one of only six that
voted against that. But from that point on, the Republican Party began to
shed its image of the party of Lincoln, begun by the late `60s to became
the party of white backlash, with Richard Nixon, Southern strategy.

And, remember, Ronald Reagan began his campaign in 1980 (INAUDIBLE)
fair grounds, just miles from where --

MATTHEWS: I worked for Carter.

Tell me this story, because everybody wants to know about it,
including my executive producer John Reiss who`s listening. LBJ -- why did
he support civil rights? A Southern guy, grew up working class, a teacher,
had played ball with those guys. Why did he become the great champion of
civil rights? What caused him to do that?

PUDRUM: Well, I think as you say, he had that background as a young
schoolteacher in a Mexican school. He`d seen what he said hate could do to
the face of a child, the eyes of a child. Remember, he was from Texas,
first the hill country as a congressman, then the whole state.

He told the leaders of the NAACP, when he became president, they said,
why are you strong for civil rights? He said, I`m going to answer in words
that will sound familiar. Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty.
I`m free at last.

And so, as president of the whole country, he had to get right with
the issue. He had to fix -- 100 years after the civil war, he had to fix
this problem or he wouldn`t have a chance to do anything else what he
wanted to do, like what became the Great Society. So, that`s why he came
out so strongly.

MATTHEWS: But he used words like Negroes and words like the old
Southern words --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Yes?

PUDRUM: We get our heroes in a complicated package. He wasn`t the
perfect person by any means.

MATTHEWS: Did he use those old words we don`t like now to sort of
befriend guys he was trying to move along, like Richard Russell, was he
trying to endear them or?

PUDRUM: I think he just kind of was a person of his time and place
and knew that he shouldn`t use those words in public and casually might
have used them in private. But if there`s any proof ever of somebody whose
heart was in the right place on this question, it`s certainly LBJ.

MATTHEWS: I`m glad to hear that.

The name of the book is "An Idea Whose Time Has Come." It`s a
beautiful book.

Thank you, Todd Purdum.

PURDUM: Thanks for having me, Chris.

MATTHEWS: I hope everybody buys this book who`s watching the show,
really. It`s about the best thing Congress did in our lifetime. My
lifetime, certainly.

And we`ll be right back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with that little bit of history we
learned tonight, how the Republican Party was still the party of Abraham
Lincoln right into the 1960s.

All but six Republican U.S. senators, 27 out of 33, voted for the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- 136 out of 171 Republican members of the House
voted for passage. It was the Southern Democrats who fought civil rights -
- 21 senators who voted against the `64 bill and 91 Democratic members of
the House.

I think we should remember this for one big reason. The reason the
Republican Party shifted from being a party that shared its principles on
civil rights with the Northern and Western Democrats is that it had to
pursue its -- it had yet to pursue its notorious Southern strategy, before
it went out and joined forces with the opponents of civil rights in the
Democratic Party.

And that coalition is now, today, the one running the Republican
Party. A coalition run by old Southern Democratic thinking dressed up in a
Republican uniform. Today`s Republican Party is dominated by the South
with little or no strength in the north. Thanks to this bit of history we
learned tonight, we know what came first, the Southern Strategy that led to
a marriage of partisan purpose by the Republicans and old Jim Crow
attitude. The result is a party of Abraham Lincoln that Lincoln, himself,
wouldn`t be caught dead in.

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

Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>