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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  September 15, 2016 8:30pm-9:01pm PDT

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>> coming later tonight to a tv near you, eight weeks to go until we elect the next president of the united states, that is "the 11th hour." "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. hillary clinton hit the campaign trail today, she's back facing new polls. they clue a brand-new "new york times" cbs poll out today that has the race, catch this, 42-42.
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meanwhile donald trump is regaining ground in battleground states, he's up two in nevada, he's up three in both florida and in ohio. he's up eight in ohio. you might say trump is back himself taking time away from the teleprompter to hit back at colin powell. hit back at a pastor in ohio and to put down hillary clinton for her health.
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>> she's lying in bed, getting better, and we want her back on the trail. >> as i said, trump mocked a pastor in flint. the pastor interrupted donald trump when he started criticizing hillary clinton in the church. >> hillary failed on the economy. just like she's failed on foreign policy. now hillary clinton. >> mr. donald trump, i invited you here to thank us, not give a political speech. >> okay, that's good. >> well, that was tough. today donald trump said that
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reverend, that was reverend faith timmons was nervous. >> when she got up to introduce me, she was so nervous she was shaking. so and then she came up. but the aud negligence was fantastic, but she was so nervous, she was like a nervous mess. s so i figured something was up, really. >> his latest target is a pastor who asked him not to insult. reverend faith green tim mons is not a nervous mess, she's a rock for her community in trying
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times, she deserves better than that. and flint deserves better, in fact so does america. >> none of this of course is likely to surprise or disturb the voter now looking to vote for trump. perhaps it will remind them of his brand. trump is on one side of what is said on september 15, an equal divide. on one side of what is today, september 15th, an equal divide. joining me right now to talk about that, "the washington post" robert costa, former rnc national committee chair, michael steele, and jane newton small. so trump seems to go back and forth between a teleprompter and being donald trump. what brought him back to being trump today? because hillary's back? >> i was with trump all day yesterday in flynt, michigan, and canton, ohio, and i got the sense shadowing him for about ten hours that this is a candidate that's very optimistic about the polls and is going with his gut.
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it's his instincts right now running this campaign. steve bannon and kellyanne conway, of course, around him. but this is a candidate driving his own ship, driving his own car. >> do you have a sense that has he thinks these polls are trend? because i heard about that today listening to the other discussions on other programs. i keep saying, when is a blip on the screen a cycle? when does it become a trend? something that's moving in one direction, unless stopped? >> well, i said to trump, chris, as he was looking over all of these polls on his plane, they were piling up, and he reviews them very carefully. i said, well, some of the polls show you are up nationally and in swing at a times. and he looked at me incredulous, and he said, some? some? all of them are up. so he's very confident as he looks at the data. we'll see if it lasts. he thinks part of the reason is the comment by secretary clinton about trump supporters being deplorable. >> okay. let's go about -- let's talk about that with michael steele and jane newton small. with these polls, "the new york times" -- "the new york times"/cbs poll, which closed yesterday, i believe, that's been -- that's barely covered the whole weekend. so it certainly went as late as tuesday night. that does cover the period of people, we were all blabbing about that. do you think that was a changer? >> i think it did? >> deplorables? move people to trump column?
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>> i think the combination of the deplorable, and of course, the general feel around the campaign, the clinton campaign, people are sensitive to that. it's funny, you get beyond labor day and the dynamics in the races change. people get more connected to it. reporters can tell you on the ground that, you know, there's a different kind of energy. and the voters are more sensitive. they pick up stuff. they don't -- they may not articulate it directly, but that is a sense, there's something not quite right. >> that's like me in the nba. i get to decide who i like, who i'm rooting for, the individual players. >> and the regular season is too darned long. it's 82 games. anyway, your thoughts about this. is there something that makes this more grabable. that they actually might move now? >> i think there's definitely a feeling of people definitely paying attention.
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but there's a huge group of the silent majority, the independents are finally sort of now really paying attention. but i have to disagree a little bit with you, mr. steele, in the sense that, i think what hurt hillary more was the fainting spell, was the pneumonia, was sort of covering up, it's all the things that people don't like about the clintons, was this sense of not being honest, not being forthright, of sort of hiding things. >> she blamed that -- i'm not going to be critical, but just factually, she blamed that on her staff, saying they weren't quick enough, but the staff is trained by her. they know what they're supposed to -- i've always said in politics, never, ever blame staff people. because everything comes from the top. they're taught how to behave -- >> it stops here. >> it's the way it works. anyway, secretary clinton used her first appearance on the trail today to slam donald trump as a loose cannon. i thought she worked very well today coming back from a -- by the way, she's not back from pneumonia, she's got it. and i thought she performed really well and strong, and i thought gutsy today. let's watch. >> people accuse me of all kinds of things.
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you probably have seen that. but nobody ever accuses me of quitting. and i will never give up. i'll never walk away. no matter how tough the going gets. i'm actually asking americans to hold me accountable for my ideas. and hold my opponent accountable for his. are we going to bring people together or pit americans against each other and rip our country apart. are we going to work with our allies to keep us safe or are we going to put a loose cannon in charge, who would risk everything, generations of americans have worked so hard to build? >> i think hillary clinton is shaping the battlefield. she's setting it up, going into this debate, to be the kind of debate that she would like to win, and she should win. preparation, seriousness, no pizazz, no showing off, no wild, crazy stuff.
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simple, i know my stuff, this guy's not ready, at all, never will be. >> and if you're talking about substance, then she absolutely wins. wherever we talk about substantiative things, hillary does better in the polls than donald trump. >> can she shape the way we look at this debate? >> i don't think the deplorable thing actually hurt her. i have this group of independent women i've been following the entire campaign from the various states that i've traveled to, and the independent women that i've been speaking to have said, that they actually -- this is a debate they're having amongst themselves. is it really -- am i deplorable person? am i in that basket of voters that are racist and sexist and xenophobic, if i vote for trump? >> what's worse, being in a basket or binder? where do they get these metaphors from? people don't fit in baskets or binders. why'd they say basket -- i never thought of people in a basket. roses are in a basket. >> that's the debate clinton wants people to have. >> this is the problem. i take your point and i see where you're going, chris --
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>> you do? >> i do see where you're going. >> i'm not sure i do. i'm trying to figure this thing out. >> here's the rub. here's the thing. she's setting this up. you know, hold me accountable for my ideas. well, this isn't that election. it has not been this election. it has -- this is -- no one is -- >> what is the debate going to be about. >> the debate is about actions. you'll be held accountable for your actions. that is her problem. it's a problem with the way her staff and she handle what happened on friday and sunday. it is the words that she has used to describe the american people. similarly for donald trump, but here is the rub that really rubs them the wrong way. he pays less of a price for it than she does. >> that's called the curve. >> that's called the curve. >> i was saying to all of you, i guess i can go back to robert now, i think the hillary people are plainly -- as brian said today, what's his last name? >> fallon.
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>> fallon. brian fallon. brian fallon said today, we don't want to be judged on a curve. i think that's what's going on here. i think most people will judge us on a curve. if donald trump comes out there and is calm and serious and matches her point by point, people will say, he won. that could happen. i'm just saying, i think that's what the clinton people are deadly afraid of. an even match, he wins. >> trump's told me he's not doing formal debate prep, as we know. >> why? >> roger ailes is playing a role, not a formal role, in getting trump ready for the debates. trump said ailes is walking him through the history of debates, how former candidates, people he's worked, nixon and others have handled the these debates. and one thing trump's working for is, does clinton attack him? he said he's ready to be the statesmen if that's the tone of the debate. he's also ready to be the attack dog. it will be interesting to see how clinton handles him. does she bait him, bring him out, or keep hip on a different level. >> well, donald trump jr., a top surrogate for his father was interviewed on a local philadelphia radio station
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i ereleased mine, i think she should release hers. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was paul ryan, the speaker of the house, calling on donald trump to release his tax returns. for months, the press and fellow republicans have asked trump to do the same thing. the quinnipiac poll out today shows that 75% of americans agree that trump should publicly release his tax returns. 60%, three out of five republicans say the same thing, release the returns. so far what trump has done, is release a number of excuses for why he won't. yesterday he told fox news that he would release his taxes immediately, but only if hillary clinton released her e-mails. let's watch him. >> she has 33,000 e-mails that she deleted. when is she going to release her e-mails? she probably knows how to find it. let her release her e-mails and i'll release my tax returns
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immediatab immediatab immediatably. >> and this week, kellyanne conway, his new campaign manager, said she doubted that he would make public his charitable contributions. listen. >> part of why people are calling for him to release his taxes is so we do know how much he has given to charity. will you or the campaign release exactly what that number is? and the reason i ask -- >> i doubt it. >> why would you doubt it? >> i doubt it, because, this is like badgering. in other words, i don't see it as journalism, i see it as badgerism. >> finally, donald trump jr. seemed to put the kibosh on his father releasing his tax returns because of this. >> he has a 12,000 page tax return. that would create probably 300 million independent financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that are going to distract from his main message. >> right now i'm joined by our roundtable, john stanton, he's in the middle, washington bureau chief for buzzfeed, colleen mccain, correspondent for the "wall street journal," and sabrina siddiqui, political reporter for "the guardian." this is a mound of growing alibis.
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first of all, he says he's under audit, so he can't do it. but then he says he can do it, but he's only going to do it if she releases her e-mails. then the son comes along, donald trump jr., and says, well it would distract from dad's message. here's the contradiction, he says he can't do it, then says he won't do it. why does he keep saying he'll do it if something else says he's under audit. >> the question is not whether or not it will distract from his message, but if it undercuts one of the central themes of his campaign, by pointing to the weighing in which executives have skirted tax reform. so is it possible that donald trump is exploiting the same loopholes -- >> is he right politically to hide them? >> it could become an issue. it could become untenable for mitt romney. it did. so far, he's able too get away with it. >> bernie sanders got away with it. much lower income. he got away wit. >> but that may not be what he's really worried about. he came out and said, i took advantage of lobbying and giving money to politicians to get them to give me what i wanted and now i'm here to change the system.
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but of course, i took advantage of it. if he shows up -- >> where would that show up in his tax returns? >> it it shows up because of loopholes, not paying any taxes. >> of course, you know he does that! >> as a good american, i'm take advantage of the rules and now i'm here to change them. but if it show he's not giving money to all these charities he claims he's giving to, that could hurt him. >> exaggerating. >> the other argument is he's afraid to show he's not as rich as he says he is. >> and that's just the ego argument. and that's probably the best-case scenario. >> the little hands thing. it's like the little hands thing. >> right. exactly. >> it means something to him. >> but he managed to get away with this for a long time. in part because he was so many controversial things. we were focused on whatever controversial thing he said the last time. and now that he's using a teleprompter, we have time -- >> the guy is stubborn. robert costa has a report, he
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asked him, basically, was the president born in this country and trump refuses to take back birtherism, which bothers so many people, not just african-americans. the statement that the president we have right now is somehow illegitimate. >> that's such a core part of his following. that's how he built himself to be where he is, by seizing on all of these supporters of his, who do not believe that this president was born in the united states. and that's not something he's going to give up. and we know that donald trump doesn't take statements back. the one time he expressed so-called regret, he refused to specify which one of the dozens of comments he's made that are controversial was the one he was expressing regret for and he didn't apologize for anything in the course of this campaign. >> so do we first release his tax returns or admit that barack obama is american? >> his head will explode before either of those two. >> earlier this week, barack obama questioned why donald trump hasn't released his tax returns. >> he calls himself a business guy, but america's got a lot of businessmen and women who succeeded without hiding their
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tax returns or leaving a trail of lawsuits or workers who didn't get paid. people feeling like they got cheated. >> he's got a whole style of irony here, that definitely works. it worked in philly, because philly thinks like that. they love this stuff up there. >> and obama also talked about why trump has been able to kind of get away with this. >> hiding's a good word. >> and he said, you know, in politics, voters are restless and they're attracted to the new, shiny object. and obama said he benefited from that in 2008 and trump is benefiting from that now. and also, trump is running this whole campaign based on upending the rules and just kind of throwing out all the rules, not just on transparency -- >> nick kristof today in "the new york times," he's a liberal guy, smart, progressive guy. he said, why does trump get the credit, get the problems for being honest, more than hillary. how can that be? he says, look at all the facts. there's no argument that trump's more honest than hillary.
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>> i think there's a -- you were pointing to the president's speech. he actually went on a tear about this issue because of the double standards he believes the media are applying to these two candidates, where anytime there's any negative press about hillary, even if it's deserved, it brings up notions about trust and transparency. when donald trump has defied all the rule, and i think it is incumbent on the media, where david fahrenthold has done great work about his charitable giving, and the media needs to press him on that. >> he also just doesn't care what anybody thinks. that's the problem. democrats always seem to care, particularly hillary and these people around her. they get super secretive and i think that translates into some people's minds as honest. straightforwardness. >> honest because he won't respond to any reasonable criticism. when we come back, my election
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thursday september 15th 2016. so in mid-september, this wild and woolly campaign went to a dead even heat. clinton 42% in a new cbs/"new york times" poll, donald trump at 42%. it went to dead even on the same day that hillary clinton came back on the campaign trail trying for a second time to power through her pneumonia. the same day that donald trump some say reverted to being more trump, less teleprompter taking a swing at the flint, michigan, pastor who told him to take his politicking outside and came on the same day the "washington post" used a survey to show how hillary clinton and trump people live in distance worlds to each other. check the date. here we are. the united states, anything but a country divided, a people divided between a well-known figure of the center left, that would be hillary clinton, and a well-known figure of business and reality tv whose outsider positioning of himself defines his politics. a neat choice, many would say, between what many would call a
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contest between the too familiar and the too bizarre. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. join me again tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern, see you then.
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>> we will move on to other breaking news over the course of this hour. right now, we will go back to hillary clinton at the congressional hispanic caucus. >> the right thing to do. but it will add $700 billion to our economy and enable america to be what it has always been, a place where people from around the world can come to reunite with family, start new businesses, pursue their dreams, apply their talents to american growth and innovation. now, i know this has been a long road. we wouldn't be where we are today without your persistence and the quiet courage of families in every state of our

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