Chris Matthews Hardball (Really Softball) Transcript



This is one of the most ridiculous transcripts you will ever read. If after reading this you still think Chris Matthews is an objective journalist, you should run to the nearest mental hospital and check yourself in. He spins and lies and damn near gets on his knees for Bush, all his guests are moderate to far right republicans, except for Pat Caddell who is the so-called democrat. Yet he agrees with the republicans 80% of the time, if Matthews were a real journalist he would have a real democrat analyst (not a former democrat) and he would have an equal amount of democrats to republicans when they do analysis.

Anyone who uses Ann Coulter for anything, has lost their mind. If after reading this you still believe Matthews is a democrat, please don't vote because you are insane. BTW, if you actually saw this show, you are one of the 200,000 viewers in america who watch this drivel MSNBC calls news. Hardball is the lowest rated cable news show on tv, it averages an 0.2, Donahue averaged an 0.4 and it was cancelled. This hardball show is crap, it is always dead last in the ratings, it should have been cancelled 2 years ago. After reading this transcript, you will know why it is not cancelled, Matthews kisses Bush's ass so much it makes you sick.

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5-1-03 --

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Iím Chris Matthews, in my home town of Philadelphia, letís play HARDBALL. The big story, President Bush is aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, and two hour away from declaring an toned major combat operations in Iraq.

MATTHEWS: And more on the commander-in-chief, for more of that and his stewardship of the war in Iraq, weíre joined by Mitch McConnell. He is a Republican and weíve known that for years from Kentucky. Senator McConnell, let me ask about today. Whatís the importance of the presidentís amazing display of leadership tonight?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL ģ, KENTUCKY: Well, I think it was time to say to the American people, the hostilities in Iraq have ended but the war on terrorism is not over, and thereís much left to be done. I think this is the perfect place to do it. Surrounded by the young men and women who had enormous success. In this case, not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan.

MATTHEWS: What do you make of the actual visual thatís people will see on TV and probably, as you know, as well as I, will remember a lot longer than words spoken tonight? And thatís the president looking very much like a jet, you know, a high-flying jet star. A guy who is a jet pilot. Has been in the past when he was younger, obviously. What does that image mean to the American people, a guy who can actually get into a super sonic plane, and actually fly in an unpressurized cabin, like an actual jet pilot?

MCCONNELL: Well, President Bush is not the first president to understand the importance of a visual depiction. Of what-the point youíre trying to make. And I think this is a good way to bring home to the American people the role these young men and women played in bringing freedom to Iraq and to Afghanistan.

MATTHEWS: Do you think this role, and I want to talk politically for just a secretary, the president deserves everything heís doing tonight in term of his leadership. He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics. Do you think he is defining the office of the presidency, at least for this time, as basicly that of commander-in-chief. That is role, that if youíre going to run against him, youíd better be ready to take away from him.

MCCONNELL: Look, itís not the only issue. I was in a meeting with the president, along with the house leadership, the day before yesterday. We spent most of our time talking about ways to jump start the economy, and to get presidentís growth package through the Congress. So the president has more than one responsibility. He certainly demonstrated that heís an outstanding commander-in-chief. He did a wonderful job in the area of foreign policy and defense. He knows that none of that none us are satisfied with the growth rate in the country right now, nor are we satisfied with the unemployment figures. And he is spending a heck of a lot of time on the domestic side as well, Chris.

MATTHEWS: What would you like to see him achieve? Heís won the war, you wanted to see that. What do you think he has to achieve by next year to be the uncontested leader of the country in terms of the economy? What would be a goal for him in term of the unemployment rate, the stock market? What does he have to do?

MCCONNELL: We want to get a higher growth rate than weíve had. Weíre not in a recession but itís tepid growth. We want a higher growth rate. We want to get these unemployment figures lower than they are. And we want to get stock market moving again, which is why the presidentís proposal to eliminate the double taxation of dividend makes so much sense. Over 50 percent of Americans are in the stock market now. And the stoke Markets been down since the last year of the Clinton administration. I think the jump starting the stock market would mean a lot, not only to the 50 percent of Americans who own stock, but to everybody else in term of the perception of things coming back.

MATTHEWS: Is that a dead or alive kind of thing, senator, where he has to get this elimination of the dividend tax or else he wonít have a program this year? Does he have a fall-back position if that doesnít get you? Is he stuck with nothing if he doesnít get that program through?

MCCONNELL: No. It wonít an nothing. We are going to get at least $350 billion in tax relief. A growth package to help jump start the economy. Some of us would like to see a higher figure. The House would have a higher figure. Hopefully we can meet somewhere in between. And hopefully, we can front load that to get that relief...

MATTHEWS: In other words...

MCCONNELL: Yes. As much as the relief is possible, get into the economy as soon as possible in order to have an impact.

MATTHEWS: Can this president get reelected if the economy doesnít get better?

MCCONNELL: Of course. Yes. The economy isnít the only issue. Itís a very important issue and the president is spending an enormous amount of time on it. But thereís more than one issue. President has a lot things they have to do. This president has to continue the war on terrorism. Itís not over. It is unlikely to be over in the next two years, so that continues.

MATTHEWS: I think youíre right. Thank you very much, Senator Mitch McConnell, Kentucky. Former Congressman Bob Dornan is a Republican from California, now a radio talk show host, nothing wrong with that. And Lawrence OíDonnell, MSNBCís senior political analyst. I want to ask Lawrence the Democrat aboard, at least the former Democrat aboard to answer the question. Was this over the top for the president today to do the top gun routine or was it appropriate for the winner of a war?

LAWRENCE OíDONNELL, MSNBC SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Heís earned this Chris, as you said he flew jets in the reserves back in his college years. And so the problem is, when people accuse him of taking too much advantage of it, the mind real back to what other presidents could have done this? Certainly his predecessor could not have done it. Bill Clinton never served in the military. Probably had a little too much beef on his bones to fit in one of those cockpits. And you just canít imagine him walk out of one of those jets on to that deck. So, the guy has earned it. He did prosecute a war successfully. And it is all show business, thatís absolutely true. But you also can tell that this president really in his heart does feel joined with those people serving on that aircraft carrier.

MATTHEWS: And so does Bob Dornan. Bob, your joining us. I canít think of a better guy off the on the panel, a man who has flown those jet fighter. Tell me about what you feel when you see your commander-in-chief in the uniform and equipped to fly a plane like the F-18.

BOB DORNAN (R-CA), FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Cross my heart, I begged his father to do this in July of 1992 in the White House, in the Oval Office alone. I said Mr. President, go fly that B-1. Go fly one of your Navy Tomcats. Go out to a carrier. Do something to remind this country that you have 58 combat missions. You won in 1988 with that amazing little camera shot. That old .8-millimeter film being plucked out of the ocean onto a submarine. Let the nation know. These are my exact words. Swear to god. Donít let this draft dodger sit in this Oval Office, and he winced. Let me remind you of something. This is an first for a head of state. Putin a year ago, climbed in the back seat of a supersonic fighter, a MiG 29, and flew down to Chechnya. It charmed the country. And another thing that everybody has forgotten, maybe ďSaturday Night Live,Ē and your sister network will do it. One of these S3 Vikings slid off the deck during war, the Iraqi Freedom here, and slid off the side, and the two pilots ejected out of it. Why hasnít somebody been running that to show this was dangerous? The third thing is he was sitting on a off ejection seat command wired, which mean the pilot in a bad emergency would say, excuse me, Mr. President, youíre going before me, goodbye. Boom, and he ejects him. Everything is automatic. And heís coming down at a chute into the Pacific Ocean just like his dad.

MATTHEWS: Lawrence, Lawrence, I want to ask you a question. Remember when back when Reagan was president and Leslie Stahl of CBS did that really tough piece on him, and show how it used television for political purposes with all those staged events like Normandy. And after it was all over, Mike Dieber (ph) who was the presidentís TV adviser called up and said, great piece, Leslie. Explain. Explain how that-pictures are more powerful than commentatorís voice.

L. OíDONNELL: Well sure. i mean Ronald Reagan really mastered the show business of it, obviously. He had it mastered before he even got into politics. And the Republicans are great at this. You have to hand it to them. President Bush has been just masterful at it. It does-with Bush it has the advantage of seeming natural. It seems that if you gave George W. Bush a menu choices, of how do you want to do this speech? Do you want to do you know in a joint session of Congress? Do you wan to do it from the Oval Office? Do you want to do on it an aircraft carrier? Thereís no question which one he would pick. And so he fits this kind of show business very well.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Bob Dornan, you were a congressman all those years. Hereís a president whoís really non-verbal. Heís like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes west. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was the best picture in the 2000 campaign.

MATTHEWS: Now the question is, can he convert that to a very fluent, a very clear statement of his economic vision and get reelected?

DORNAN: I absolutely think so. I think the best photo thatís going...

MATTHEWS: Wait a minute. You said you absolutely and then there was a pause and said think so. Which is it?

DORNAN: I believe he can because I heard you say this the other day when you were at one of the ďCollege ToursĒ that he speaks to the average hard working American. When people were criticizing him for flying supersonic jets in the Air Guard in Texas, the young enlisted men like these men on the carrier go, are you kidding? These pilots are my heroes. He was alone in a supersonic fighter in the Guard? Thatís great, man. I donít know if I can do that. And when he speaks and says, ďweíre gonna git him.Ē We would all like him to say weíre going to get him. But when heís talking about Osama bin Laden or Insane Hussein, he says, ďIím gonna git him,Ē people respond to that. They like it. They say, yes. Git him.

MATTHEWS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But, Lawrence, you first. As a man who is a little less committed to this president, do you think itís important that by election time next November, thatís a year and a half from now, that as Lyndon Johnson would say, those coon tails are on the wall. That heís bin Laden and heís definitely got Saddam. Does he have to have them by then?

L. OíDONNELL: He doesnít have to have them but I do think going back to your earlier question he does have to have improvements in the economy. If we look at the model and the model for this election, his fathersí re-election coming off a very successful war effort but with a faltering economy, that presidency could not get into a second term. George W. Bush has to do something. The dividend tax credit-reduction is just going to be gone. Theyíre not going to get it. Theyíre going to get none of it. And it was a bad idea politically that never sold with the public. So what is he going to do? I donít see this presidency currently able to articulate a growth vision for the economy. Not one that the public is buying.

MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, gentlemen. Bob Dornan, Lawrence OíDonnell, thanks for joining me.

MATTHEWS: Iím just kidding. Bill Curry. Up next, the political buzz with Patrick Caddell-this is going to be even hotter-and Ann Coulter on issues like Hillary Clintonís latest book-weíre going to see that one-Bill Clinton and his refusal to be a game picker (ph), a big picker of town (ph) the Democratic Party, no bull moose here. And weíre going to talk about the presidentís incredible performance, flying into the USS Abraham Lincoln today. More on that when we come back with HARDBALLís buzz.

MATTHEWS: Weíre back with the buzz. Time for the political buzz. Pat Caddellís a former Democratic pollster and a man active in Hollywood circles, and Ann Coulter is the author of the forthcoming book-wow- ďTreason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism,Ē she warns darkly. Ann Coulter, youíre the first to speak tonight on the buzz. The presidentís performance tonight, redolent of the best of Reagan-what do you think?

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, ďTREASONĒ: Itís stunning. Itís amazing. I think itís huge. I mean, heís landing on a boat at 150 miles per hour. Itís tremendous. Itís hard to imagine any Democrat being able to do that. And it doesnít matter if Democrats try to ridicule it. Itís stunning, and it speaks for itself.

MATTHEWS: Pad Caddell, the presidentís performance tonight on television, his arrival on ship?

PAT CADDELL, FORMER DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Well, first of all, Chris, the-I think that-you know, I was-when I first heard about it, I was kind of annoyed. It sounded like the kind of PR stunt that Bill Clinton would pull. But and then I saw it. And you know, thereís a real - Ē thereís a real affection between him and the troops. Itís-you know, when you see Bill Clinton with troops, it used to be like watching people going to the dentist...

(LAUGHTER)

CADDELL: ... like seeing Dukakis in a tank. But no, the genuineness...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, letís talk about authenticity, Pat.

CADDELL: ... watching that was really...

MATTHEWS: Youíre an expert...

CADDELL: ... really, really authentic.

MATTHEWS: The president there-look at this guy! Weíre watching him. He looks like he flew the plane. He only flew it as a passenger, but heís flown...

CADDELL: He looks like a fighter pilot.

MATTHEWS: He looks for real. What is about it the commander-in-chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him-I mean, he seems like-he didnít fight in a war, but he looks like he does.

CADDELL: Yes. Itís a-I donít know. You know, itís an internal thing. I donít know if you can put it into words. Itís a jawn (ph). Itís a-as I said, itís a relation. You can see it with him and the troops, the ease with which he talks to them. I was amazed by that, frankly, because as I said, I was originally appalled, particularly when I heard he was going in an F-18. But-on there-but the-but you know, that was...

MATTHEWS: Look at this guy! CADDELL: ... was hard not to be moved by their reaction to him and his reaction to them and...

MATTHEWS: You know, Ann...

CADDELL: ... you know, they-itís a quality. Itís an innate quality. Itís a real quality.

MATTHEWS: I know. I think youíre right. You know, Ann Coulter...

CADDELL: Itís not something (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MATTHEWS: Ann Coulter, you know, some people have that leadership presence, that aura. Colin Powell has it. You may think him too liberal, but heís got it. Dan Quayle, whatever his mental powers, he doesnít have it. Some people just donít have it. This guyís father, George W. Bush- George Herbert Bush, was shot down by the Japanese at least once...

CADDELL: A war hero!

MATTHEWS: ... maybe twice...

CADDELL: A war hero!

MATTHEWS: ... and yet he didnít seem to have it, Pat.

MATTHEWS: He didnít seem to have that.

MATTHEWS: Ann, enter!

CADDELL: ... much more patrician.

MATTHEWS: Ann. COULTER: Yes. No. Thatís true. And though I have to say, in the current President Bushís defense, he was a pilot. I mean, it wasnít like the typical avoiding...

CADDELL: McCain. McCain.

COULTER: ... the military service by serving in the National Guard. He was a pilot in the National Guard. He was training to be a pilot. Itís a dangerous National Guard duty. If the Vietnam war had continued, he would have gone to the Vietnam war as a pilot, so-I mean, he is a pilot, though he was not-he did not serve in wartime.

MATTHEWS: Is this a legitimate use of taxpayersí money, to fly the president to the USS Abraham Lincoln tonight for this victory lap, basically?

COULTER: Oh, sure.

CADDELL: Yes.

COULTER: Oh, sure. With all the stupid things the government spends money on, this is pretty minor.

MATTHEWS: Pat, is this a legitimate use of the presidential office...

CADDELL: Well, you know, letís face it, itís kind of a-itís a PR ploy, too. Letís not kid ourselves. Itís a political-you know, itís political picture shot. And you know, I-you know, I donít think itís a question of money. I think sometimes I think itís a question of taste. But as I said, he pulled it off.

MATTHEWS: OK.

CADDELL: I was appalled when I first heard about it.

MATTHEWS: OK, let me run through the names, Ann. Lieberman-can you see him in this picture? Ann?

COULTER: What about him?

MATTHEWS: Can you see him getting into an F-18...

COULTER: Oh, no!

MATTHEWS: ... an flying onto an aircraft carrier?

MATTHEWS: Joe Lieberman, can you see him there?

COULTER: No possibility. I-I have...

MATTHEWS: Can you see John Edwards doing it?

COULTER: No possibility.

MATTHEWS: Can you see Dick Gephardt doing it?

CADDELL: Yes. No. Yes.

COULTER: No.

MATTHEWS: Can you see John Kerry do it?

COULTER: I can think of very few Republicans I could even see doing it. But no, not even Kerry.

MATTHEWS: Can you-Pat Caddell, are there any Democrats that could go for this part, if this were a Hollywood casting director? Who could play this part as a Democrat, besides the president? Pat?

COULTER: Olympia Snowe or George Voinovich!

(LAUGHTER)

CADDELL: Theyíre Republicans.

MATTHEWS: Any Democrat who could...

MATTHEWS: Could Kerry be this guy?

CADDELL: ... but if youíve ever seen-if youíve ever seen Bob Graham-I used to work for him when he was governor-he has that kind of presence in that thing-I-I donít-Kerry may or may not. Heís got the credentials, I guess, but...

MATTHEWS: Well, Howard Dean-could Howard Dean do this?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Could Howard Dean do this?

CADDELL: This is not-itís not a quality of-itís not about issues. Itís a quality of personal thing. Itís-you know, he does have one thing. He has that kind of cocky confidence that...

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, isnít he saying, Ann here, you guys try to do this. Howard Dean, Joe Lieberman, Dick Gephardt, John Kerry, Al Sharpton...

CADDELL: Well, but you never said this about...

MATTHEWS: You try to be what I am.

COULTER: Thatís not...

CADDELL: But we would have never said this about Bush...

COULTER: Right.

CADDELL: ... two years ago, before 9/11, either. You know, itís something that happens. You know, something happened to him there. And Iím willing to say that, even though your friend, Mr. Savage, called me a communist SOB, apparently, on his radio show for what I said on the last show. But you know-you know, something happened to him on...

MATTHEWS: OK, Iíll try to-Iím-Mr. Savage is a colleague of mine at MSNBC, Pat. Letís not get more intimate...

MATTHEWS: ... than necessary. Ann...

CADDELL: Iím sorry.

COULTER: Itís more than that. I mean, as Pat was saying, look at how these guys respond to Bush. I mean, I think itís more than a campaign ad. The military has just performed absolutely magnificently.

MATTHEWS: Exactly right. This is a tribute...

COULTER: ... reward for them.

MATTHEWS: And the women. Weíre going to talk about Hillary coming back, and that book, that (UNINTELLIGIBLE). ďWhich blonde would Bill Clinton rather sleep withĒ I think is your question, Ann Coulter, you or Hillary. Are you one of the options? When we come back and see what you think when we come back with Ann Coulter on her vying with Hillary for the affections of Mr. Bill in a moment.

The rest of this drivel is not even worth reporting. This is what passes for news in America now. If you want to read the rest of it you can do so here. www.msnbc.com/news/908492.asp