tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 10, 2016 11:30pm-12:01am PST
face to face, this is "hardball." ♪ good evening, i'm chris matthews. back in washington, over the last 36 hours president president obama has displayed his ability to put aside his animosity toward president-elect donald trump, showcasing to the country and the world a core strength of our american democracy is the peaceful transfer of power. after a much longer than expected meeting with trump, president obama joined with his successor for a photo-op in the oval office. a spokesman said that the president say no agenda and was focused solely on answering any questions trump had on the responsibilities of the office. here's the president. >> i have been very encouraged
by the, i think, interest in president-elect trump's wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces and i believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party, and regardless of political preferences to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face. most of all, i want to emphasize to you, mr. president-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds. >> interesting body language there. donald trump reciprocated the president's goodwill and praised his accomplishments. he did that, saying he would continue to consult with the president. let's watch.
>> this was a meeting that was going to last for maybe 10 or 15 minutes and we were just going to get to know each other. we had never met each other. i have great respect. the meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half and it could have, as far as i'm concerned, it could have gone on for a lot longer. we really -- we discussed a lot of different situations, some wonderful and some difficulties. i very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel. he explained some of difficulties, some of the high-flying assets and some of the really great things that have been achieved. so, mr. president, it was a great honor being with you and i look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future. >> this comes as politico reports that the mood among the white house staff right now is
grim, quote, but the freakout has been kept in check, in public at least. people aren't feeling so good. people are scared, that includes a lot of people in big jobs. the president is also leading by example when it comes to the incoming trump administration, directing his staff, the president is doing that, to replicate the seamless transition that president bush put in place eight years ago. all of this is set against the backdrop of what we're looking at right now, the reality in the streets, the protests that broke out in major cities of the country, including new york. thousands of demonstrators out there who made it clear they reject donald trump as the next president. they took to the streets to vent their anger. look at the crowds. i'm joined by chris jansing from the white house. it's quite a contrast, chris, between the rousing crowd last night. who owns the streets? we do. who owns the streets? we do. this rejection out there, especially by millennials by what happened tuesday night. >> reporter: i don't know if you can hear, just outside the white
house gates we're hearing people yelling all day. there have been crowds out there saying, love trumps hate. these are the people that the president was aiming at with the i thought stunning image today, sending the message to the -- from the president of the united states that this is how democracy works this is what a peaceful transition looks like. a lot of those staff members have been in tears. i've seen how upset they are. he's called them in and talked to them and said this is what we have to do. so you have a meeting between these two men who are incredible political enemies. donald trump, who repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of president obama to even be in office. they didn't talk about birtherism. it was described as "less awkward than you might have expected." donald trump thought this meeting would go for 10 or 15 minutes. it went for an hour and a half. the president was determined to absolutely answer any questions that he had, whether they were about foreign policy, domestic
policy or just the transition itself. look, one image is not going to change the minds of the people out here protesting. and senior staff have admitted to me that all the things the president said about donald trump on the campaign trail, that he's not fit for office, those thoughts have not changed but what has changed is they got a result in this election they did not expect. he is determined as a president of the united states to set an example for himself, for the country and for what this transition has been. can i just say finally, chris, because you've been in there before, when i saw that picture in the oval office and it's set up in a way with all the media around it and these two men in these chairs on either side of the fireplace, that's a scene that's reserved for foreign leaders. so this is the first image we've had of donald trump as leader of the free world. for a lot of people, what a stunning image, chris.
>> thanks so much, as always. >> at the conclusion of their 90-minute meeting, president obama shared some advice with trump about the press, how do you deal with shouted questions from the press. >> thank you, everybody. we are not going to be taking any questions, thank you, guys. >> a good rule, don't answer any questions when they start yelling them at you. >> come on, guys, come on. let's go. >> very good man. >> appreciate it. >> it's so old school, come on, guys. i'm sure there are some women in that group. joining me is chairman of the american conservative union. also, my friend -- you are my friend, too. republican strategist. i just want to start with something human. i may not be emotional like most people. have i so many family members, not just women, emotional about this.
your side won -- i don't know if it's your side or not. your side won this one. >> definitely my side. >> the fear about this, the freak out you hear a lot, the cosmos has shifted into this perhaps brave new world but it is scary because of the stuff trump said and i know him for longer. i have a little mixture of feelings. i interviewed him 20, 30 times overs years, i went to his wedding and know him a little bit, a little bit. i have a mixed view. if you just go by what he has said, it's horrendous, horrific. so people are acting on the public trump. i'm watching him there. i know president obama got a look at the real guy, the personal guy. much different. >> much different. >> maybe there's hope there that he will be reasonable. your thoughts? reasonable meaning he has to govern the country. it's a job. >> i think he is a reasonable guy. i think the reason that meeting went longer than expected is because donald trump is inquisitive, he's charming. i think he was respectful for the president.
i think donald trump feels like he deserves respect, too. a lot of what happens with his reactions to things is when he feels like people are dising him. he found his voice in the last month of the campaign and it worked. if he acts as president as he did in the last month of that campaign, then i think he's going to be successful. >> you're on the republican side but you know governance. as church would say, keep calm and carry on. this is past politics right now. what did you think of the president today how he handled it? if this guy has inferiority complexes, the president addressed that concern. >> the best transition of all time was the bush transition to the obama administration. >> what was the worst transition? hoover being replaced by fdr? >> this is just fact. i didn't have a "w" on my
keyboard, the voice mail system -- >> you noticed that all the ws -- >> all the furniture had been broken. the voice mail system destroyed and the white house working guy with the name on his shirt, he said, i'll never forget it, he was looking at the wires and he goes, they say they're for the working man. i've had to work 24 hours fixing all the things they broke. that's why george w. bush didn't want that. >> andy carr spent a lot of time making sure it went well. >> josh bolton. >> josh bolton and the whole crowd. this is a very important image for the country, very important for the president to come in and say this is the guy that's going to replace me and i'm okay with that. by saying i'm okay with that, hopefully he can send a message to the young people who are devastated. who voted for hillary clinton. that we have to move on.
a lot of these young people have never really understood without barack obama as president. they were probably 12 when he got elected. so i think he's trying to teach them how this democracy works, because a lot of them don't understand how it works. >> a lot of people my age are worried they'll never have another shot for a woman president. a lot of heartbreak out there. nbc news reports tonight that donald trump's transition team has a working list of three to five names for each cabinet level position. i want to chair any skepticism about these names. senior staff would review their option with the trump's family. that's interesting. while they have not officially presented anything, several people are under consideration, including rudy giuliani for attorney general. newt gingrich as secretary of state. general michael flynn for secretary of defense. congressman michael mccaul for homeland security. "the new york times" is
reporting today that steve bannon is a contender to be the chief of staff. bannon, who previously ran the website breitbart news, if you want to call it that, has been a nasty critic of paul ryan. do you think this is real, this stuff? >> in these transitions -- >> who is floating this stuff? >> in these transitions, usually the names you see first that get printed are almost always from a faction of somebody who has an interest pushing one name over another but nothing what the candidate is considering. >> how would bannon help mr. trump come into washington, having no government experience, and help him deal with the congress and everybody else? >> i think it would be difficult. breitbart having been such a fierce critic, it's difficult to sell, not only for the house republicans but for anybody inside the beltway. but you know, it's his decision. the better decision would be
somebody like a reince priebus, who did a good job as rnc chair. >> reagan picked the guy that ran against him twice. and put that guy -- because he knew he would be the best chief of staff. >> but reagan had -- i think you could see something like that. those names that you -- mike flynn is going to have a big role in this administration, newt gingrich, rudy giuliani. >> you go in and shake hands with the president and talk nice for 90 minutes, then you bring in steve bannon? >> donald trump has to expect anyone he puts forward is going to be criticized by somebody. i think bannon would be a bad step in the wrong direction. >> i don't agree. coming up, both president obama and donald trump put aside their bitter history today for the good of the country. but let's face it, these two men have had a history of contempt toward one another. this is "hardball," the place for politics. listerine® kills 99%
president obama and donald trump smiled and shook hands, even joked about the press, as we said. it was an image of civility between two men who have been nasty critics of each other. donald trump's path to power was greased by his birther nonsense. president obama mocked him in front of the world at that 2011 white house correspondent's dinner, and they both accused each other of being unfit to lead. let's watch some of that history now. >> why doesn't he show his birth certificate? you know what? i wish he would, because i think it's a terrible thing hanging over him. >> he's not offering any policies or plans, just offering division and fear. and he's betting if he scares enough people, he could scare up enough votes to win this election. >> he's probably the worst president in the history of our
country. >> donald trump is uniquely unqualified to be president. i'm not joking. he's temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief. anybody who is upset about a saturday night live skit do you don't want in charge of nuclear weapons. >> he's down here campaigning for crooked hillary. he ought to be back in the office working. he's not going to be there very long, thank goodness. >> now donald trump set to take office, promising to dismamtsle the legacy of president obama. how will their histories shape the political argument? let me start with steve, just because i like trouble. steve, what did you make of that make-nice thing by both sides? >> you know, listen, here's what i made of this, i mean this as
an american. we have bruising campaigns, this was maybe the most bruising of my lifetime. but when it's over, im's time to come together because the office of the presidency and america itself is bigger than either of these individuals, even though they're the president and the president-elect, as important as they are, they're not as important as the office or as important as america. i was really proud of both of them. they said incredibly disparaging things, as you played for us, over the years. and yet they put that aside. the election has been decided. we don't need to relitigate the election. but we need to succeed going forward -- >> can we just get rid of that word, relitigate? when you call a guy an illegal immigrant who is president of the united states, when you saw the person you're running against ought to be in jail, you can't just say that was just campaign b.s. >> and i told you before, i think the birther thing was b.s., but thankfully he did put that issue to bed just a couple months ago.
>> he let the issue stay up pretty late before he put it to bed. >> i don't think hshould have, but he came to the right spot. >> let's talk about nice. the trouble with being nice today, and i'm all for it, but it begins to find a way of excusing anything that was said before. >> look, i'm going to say this. i think personally, it had to be incredibly difficult for president obama to have -- to be in this position that he is today, having to, you know -- >> it was like rabin shaking hands with arafat. >> but i think what the president did is he stepped into his constitutional role. and that wasn't hard, right? he put the country before his personal feelings about donald trump, which i think needs -- should be applauded, which is not an easy thing to do.
as we know, this country is incredibly divided. so i think the hope is that donald trump learned from what president obama did. >> steven, this is a fascinating point here. a little bit of the point today is that these two gentlemen, one running for president, one who is president, one who has been elected again. they never met each other. to me that's a great example of this country. i mean, i think 99.9% of the trump voters, they've never really met -- they certainly haven't hung out with the hillary people. and some of the hillary people say i don't know any trump people. maybe that's why i can excuse the damn pollsters. how do you poll somebody when they don't know each other? you can't smell the country because it's all so balkanized.
that's what we saw today, two worlds going into the same room. and then talking for 90 minutes. that's what is weird. >> i think you are right that we are very balkanized, perhaps the most since the '60s. i think a big reason why, by the way, is slow growth. that creates all kinds of stress and anxiety and problems. one of the main reasons, if not the main reason that donald trump won this election is he properly diagnosed that problem, that slow growth. this economy is not working for the vast majority of americans. it's only working for the top tier, who have already made it. >> thank you both. when we come back, let me finish with a proposal for the president-elect. and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
that elected you, mr. trump, the reagan democrats, the people disgusted with the political elites. jobs, rebuilding america, especially transportation. it's a practical way to reunite this country. put together a coalition of republicans and democrats in congress behind a massive building effort, from penn station in manhattan to lax in california. just do it. interest rates are low. sell capital construction bonds to get this country moving again. go get the money lying out there. don't wait for the establish politicians, just do it, you. and that's it. you know how to sell. you know how to cut deals, mr. trump. the most important thing is to put the target on what unites us, especially for the working people that are looking for real
jobs. go do it. replace the smell of decay with the smell of dirt being moved, engines that work, the freshly tarred highways, the sights and sounds of workers at work. mr. trump, you've been on jobsites. america itself is now your jobsite. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. join me again tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern. see you then.