tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 31, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
power. i don't like the fact that a republican prosecutor, a holdover from the bush administration, brought this case on edwards and then went on to run for congress and has just won his primary. are we real happy to see cases here as campaign gifts when the supreme court is saying that corporations and individuals now have a limited right to give money to campaigns. justice correspondent pete williams, savannah guthrie and hampton delinger, an attorney who has been covering this case for us in greensboro, north carolina. gentlemen and lady, you don't have to agree with my point of view. i want to know the facts, however. you start. i've heard your analysis today. what does it tell you that the jury could find a unanimous decision on a matter in which it was pretty clear the money wasn't coming in for campaign purposes because the campaign had basically ended for most of that year in 2008, and then the rest couldn't find agreement?
>> that may be the basis. we'll perhaps hear from some of the jurors on why they decided he was not guilty on that count. there were many potential lyn lynches along the way the jury had to get over to find him guilty. they had to find the money was intended to influence the campaign. that was the judge's instructions of the jury, chris. she said you have to find at least a purpose, if not the purpose, of the reason the donors wrote these checks to john edwards was to influence the campaign. that was the government's theory here, that he was using this money to influence the campaign. the government said that's why it came under federal campaign finance laws, and remember, the reason that the government said these were illegal contributions is because they exceeded the federal limit. it was almost a million dollars all told, which was well over the amount of money that someone could give to a federal candidate. so who knows along the way whether a jury decided the chain simply broke down and they couldn't find him guilty.
as a factual matter, the jury found him guilty on one count, buddy melon, her checks to be clear in 2008. they couldn't reach agreement on the other five counts. so the judge declared a mistrial on them. and then the question is will the federal government bring these charges again? i'm quite certain that the justice department hasn't decided what to do there. there are arguments for or against it of the you'. you've made some of the ones against it. those are some of the things the government has to consider. i would be surprised at the end of the day, chris, if the justice department does decide to refile given the complexities in this case and the things you've mentioned, that the whole world of campaign finance has changed, and in a larger sense in terms of justice, john edwards has suffered a lot during this trial, what's to be served by doing it all over again? but the justice department hasn't made that decision yet. >> i was thinking about this case and a point pete made
earlier this afternoon. you've been talking about the irony, and here we are prosecuting someone for taking campaign money that he didn't even think it was campaign money, and was given to him as a personal gift to take care of his personal problems including, perhaps, his affair with raelle hunter. and then the jury saying, that's not a crime, you don't go to jail for 30 years for that. and then saying okay, you can give money to the coke brothers for anything you want. they're still prosecuting somebody for carrying a six-pack around with them in their 20s. >> it just adds to the confusion that's kind of the subtext of this case. the jurors didn't hear about the citizens united case, they didn't hear about where this campaign finance law stands today. nevertheless, there was already sufficient doubt about whether or not these contributions given in 2000 and 2008 were even
campaign contributions whatsoever. i'm sure that conclusion led to when the jury was unable to decide. they didn't acquit on those charges, okay? they couldn't agree, that means someone in that jury room, perhaps more than one, thought there was grounds for conviction on those charges, perhaps. >> we're going to be hearing, i think we're going to hear pretty soon from john edwards shortly. let me go quickly to hampton delinger. what always stunned me is they let him stay on, let him proceed with his case, let the republican go on with a democratic administration. what was the basis for that, just not wanting to look bad or constructing a good, strong prosecution, which turned out not to be one? >> sure, i'll defer pete williams reporting on that. i think the tough call now is for the obama administration. for everything that pete said
plus these two facts, one, this case was really well tried by the federal prosecutors. robert higdon pr from d.c., dav harbaugh as well. the key issue here was always john edwards to be the first person prosecuted for this so he couldn't have had criminal intent. the federal election commission was not on board with this prosecution, they couldn't find a violation, so the prosecution could have had a better reason for a conviction, they didn't get it. >> all you have to do is show one purpose of giving this money would be to help his campaign, right? >> that's right. and the statute said anything of value given for the purpose of influencing an election will be considered a contribution. she didn't require that finding of this jury. she said it could be for one of many purposes. there was every opportunity for a conviction here. john edwards, the politician,
ended his career on the beach. >> you know what's interesting, pete, i don't know whether i can push this argument too hard, but here's the case that we thought would be enshrouded in talk about the man's affair, the caddy in terms of cheating on his wife and covering it up. here we have an acquittal on one count and a hung jury on the other, which indicates to me probably a majority of the jurors were on conviction for those. without going that far, it's interesting that here we have a guy walking, basically, and not being affected by the color of his marital behavior. >> that's a good point, but the jury was able to focus on the legal question here, which was did john edwards illegally accept a campaign contribution, and they were able to separate it out from the tawdry aspect of his life.
they were finding him as a bum, and the jury was able to make that distinction. i think getting back to what happened was just saying here politics was an issue that you raised whether prosecuting a republican or democrat, and i guess you could say the obvious -- >> we would ask you to respect his ability to get to the car and be able to leave at that point. thank you. >> that's like someone saying, yeah, he's not going to talk. >> that was a young spokesperson coming out from the courthouse saying mr. edwards was going to make a statement but not take any questions or answers. it sounds like a very terse statement he might make, although he may have been cautioned. do you think cautioned not to bring a hot dog to the end zone, tul. >> that's a good point because there's always the chance the government could retry the case. i guess one thing the government will have to consider is the
potential politics issue here, because now we have a former democratic installation, does that push it the other way? here he comes now. >> let's watch him now. well, apparently not. it looks like him, and there he is. there we have john edwards coming out rather calmly. he's going to approach that lectern and speak at that mike. let's quietly listen to what he has to say. >> i wanted to say first thank you for the jurors and their incredibly hard work and their diligence. they took their job very, very seriously as we saw both during the trial, the attention they paid to the evidence during the trial, the presentations of the lawyers and the fact that they now spent almost nine full days
deliberating, trying to reach a fair and just result under the evidence in the law. and all i can say is thank goodness we live in a country that has the kind of system that we have. and i think those jurors were an exemplar for what juries are supposed to do in this country. they were very, very impressive. the second thing i want to say just a word about is responsibility. and this is about me. i want to make sure that everyone hears from me and from my voice that while i do not believe i did anything illegal or ever thought i was doing anything illegal, i did an awful, awful lot that was wrong. and there is no one else responsible for my sins. none of the people who came to court and testified are responsible, nobody working for the government is responsible.
i am responsible. and if i want to find the person who should be held accountable for my sins, honestly, i don't have to go any further than the mirror. it's me. it is me and me alone. next thing i want to say a word about are the people that i love. it's been an incredible experience for me to watch my parents. my dad just turned 80, my mom, who is 78, tromp up here from robbins, north carolina every day to be with me and to support me, and i love them so much and they did such a wonderful job raising me and my brother blake and my sister kathy who i also love dearly. i also want to say a word about my own children. jake, who all of you have seen, has been here every single day.
she has been here no matter what. no matter how awful and painful a lot of the evidence was for her. evidence about her dad, evidence about her mom who she loves so, so dearly, but she never once flinched. she said, dad, i love you, i'll be there for you no matter what. and i'm so proud to have had her with me through all of this process. and then finally, emma, who turned 14 recently, emma and jack, who just turned 12, who i take care of every day and i've not been able to see them quite as much, but i see them in the morning, get their breakfast ready, get them all to school and then we get home at night and all eat supper together, and i love them both so dearly and they're such an important part of every day of my life.
and then finally my precious quinn. who i love more than any of you could ever imagine. and i am so close to and so, so grateful for, so grateful for quinn. i'm grateful for all of my children, including my son wade, who we lost years ago. but you know, this is the last thing i'm going to say. i don't think god is through with me. i really believe he thinks there is still some good things i can do. and whatever happens with this legal stuff going forward, what i'm hopeful about is all those kids that i've seen, you know, in the poorest parts of this country and in some of the poorest places in the world that i can help them in whatever way i'm still capable of helping them. and i want to dedicate my life
to being the best dad i can be and to helping those kids who i think deserve help and who i hope i can help. thank you all very much. >> well, i ask if pete williams wants to respond to that. i found that a very effective confession, pete, on a personal front and a resilience for what he's been through. >> yes, and i think, you know, he made a similar statement at the start of the trial. he didn't believe he ever did anything illegal but he did a lot of things that were wrong and he takes responsibility, so obviously contrition there if he knows the federal prosecutors are listening, that he obviously is trying to make amends and said he did some very bad things, but being very careful to say that he never thought he was violating campaign finance laws, which is what this trial was all about.
>> why do you expect he gave that strong message to the jurors? >> i never heard somebody who was acquitted in a criminal trial not say, thank god i live in a country that has this jury system. it's a common sense of relief that everybody has. and, of course, he's probably given that speech many times as a trial lawyer as well. i don't mean to say it's not sincere, but it's not one that's unfamiliar to him. >> hampton, it sounded to me he was not giving up his political career as well. we'll talk more on the program tonight, looking at the dimensions of this trial which to me are steep at this point. your thoughts, good or bad. >> chris, i'll watch firsthand as many of us did in north carolina, the incredible rides of his political career to come out of norway to unseize a republican incumbent. i don't think he's thinking
abo about. he has to be concerned about the government bringing a trial again. lan a lanny brewer sat in, so this has had attention from the justice department at the highest level. they have a great chance for a conviction here in the sense that all the political tawdriness, everything he did wrong, came out in front of this court. taking the path of a civil violation went in front of this jury. john edwards hopes he never sees the inside of a courtroom as a defendant again. >> let's get back to pete on that, our regular expert who i trust so much. if you look at things that -- the prosecutor was asking this jury to make law. . they were asking to basically
supercede. they were asking at tht. does that mean that this is as good a case as they can make and they're probably want going not try it again? >> the hard thing the jury had to decide was what was in john edwards' head, what was the intent? did he understand that taking this money, as the government said, was illegal? edwards has always said he didn't. one of the things the justice department has to consider when they decide to go for a retrial or not is, did we give it our best shot? is there something we have failed to do? everybody watching this trial didn't know. they put on their best case, so you have to ask yourself, having taken this good a shot, what's the reason to do it again? the only thing i was starting to say before edwards came out was
i suppose one of the things the government has to consider is the flip side to the political question that you raised initially, and that is this is now a democratic administration, will it be criticized if it doesn't seek a retrial against a man who was a democratic candidate for president? but having said that, many of the critics of the original prosecution were republicans and conservatives who thought this was a misapplication of federal campaign finance law. so it's not a simple political calculus. >> let me get my hands on the other question. as we get the information from the jurors, as they begin to speak and we begin to determine, someone is going to have a tally probably by midnight in the papers tomorrow if not sooner about the way in which they were headed. if they came 12-0 for acquittal on count 3 which had to do with getting money from bunny melon, rachel melon, for 2008, okay, they agree on that. there are two holdouts who were for prosecution, for conviction. would that leave the u.s.
attorney's team not to go ahead with a second trial? >> certainly seconds make a difference, and it was obviously unanimous on the decision to acquit. we can't know what they have to do, but i think we have to assume good faith here. this case did cross administrations, there have been a lot of critics about this case, and we can't forget this is the first case. john edwards after congressman moran's issues, the way the federal election commission has not seen a problem with some of those cases, it was very tough to make john edwards the first case. the problem always is making john edwards the first case. and now the jury has spoken, but they didn't see criminal intent on the part of john edwards. >> do you think if we find out
the jury was heading heavily towards acquittal on all counts, would that make it less likely we would have a sec trial? >> probably, but the national kpblt of prosecutors. . that's a difficult question, and i'm quite confidence they have no idea what they're going to do. >> a great answer. a fact to answer. much more on the john edwards case ahead. just remember this guy was on the political ticket of 2004. he came in second in iowa right ahead of obama and hillary. this guy was a major figure a couple -- ah, claim trouble. [ voice of dennis ] you should just switch to allstate, and get their new claim satisfaction guarantee.
hey, he's right, man. [ voice of dennis ] only allstate puts their money where their mouth is. yep. [ voice of dennis ] claim service so good, it's guaranteed. [ normal voice ] so i can always count on them. unlike randy over there. that is one dumb dude. ♪ the new claim satisfaction guarantee, only from allstate. are you in good hands? of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials... and a growing number of lower emissions planes... which still makes for a pretty enchanted tale. ♪ la la la [ man ] whoops, forgot one... [ male announcer ] sustainable solutions. fedex. solutions that matter. ♪ power surge, let it blow your mind.
[ male announcer ] for fruits, veggies and natural green tea energy... new v8 v-fusion plus energy. could've had a v8. free-credit-score-dot-com'sur boargonna direct you ♪ts ♪ new v8 v-fusion plus energy. ♪ to check your credit score before it gets too late ♪ ♪ and you end up strapped for cash ♪ ♪ patching your board with duct tape ♪ ♪ so hit free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ find out what credit's about ♪ ♪ or else you could be headed for a credit wipeout ♪ offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com™. and then treats day after day... who gets heartburn well, shoot, that's like checking on your burgers after they're burnt! [ male announcer ] treat your frequent heartburn by blocking the acid with prilosec otc. and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill a day. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
we're back with coverage of the john edwards trial. what a day it's been. the jury found him not guilty on one big count, and a mistrial on five counts. he's basically still innocent under the law. chuck todd, nbc news, political director and chief correspondent, and john hollis, writer for new york magazine. he wrote the cover story this week on the obama campaign strategy. that's what we were going to talk about. we have to talk about this. chuck, bring us back to how big this guy was. those of us covering him in 2004 in small rooms in iowa, new hampshire. he was a force to be reckoned with, it was a tale of two cities, it was an emotional p populous you've never heard before. >> if bob got his way in 2000,
it wouldn't be gore-leader, it would be gore-edwards. >> that ticket might have won. >> it might have. he really made his stamp, put his stamp on his early career among democrats por whfor what on bill clinton's behalf on what he did, but yes, this was a guy who was on the fast track, and the minute, essentially, that gore didn't win and he didn't get picked, i think it was two months into president bush's first term that john edwards made his first visit to iowa. this guy absolutely was on the fast track, and really just maybe a week away from the momentum, late momentum he got in 2004. he could have won the iowa caucuses and made it a whole different ball game for john
kerry. >> he was one of these guys that was really good in a room of 200 people. he was really, really good in those packed rooms. my question is about that speech he just gave us about 10 or 20 minutes ago when he talked about the lord is not finished with me yet, that argument, that resilience, i'm staying in public life. it may not be el erie electoral but it sounded like electoral life. >> he was great in a courtroom. he was a tremendous attorney, a great plaintiff's attorney. he made himself a rich man by tugging on the heartstrings of jurors in north carolina. he used those skills to great effect politically in the senate and then in the race of 2004, that vaulted himself in that second place finish in iowa that
made him attractive. then he got out of the ticket in 2004, but it was that moment that things really started to change for john edwards in a bad way. being on the ticket in 2004, he went from being a guy who everyone who knew him said was one of the nicest, most genuine, most humble people in politics to being an egomaniac. that's when the hubris started to creep in and that's when he started to believe he could get away with anything, and that's when he went down the path of ruin in 2007-2008. >> i remember covering him in sioux city somewhere. there wasn't a piece of paper on the bus. >> he wasn't a reader. it was surprising. he was very much sort of a skimmer. he would get top line information. the more you got to know john edwards as a political candidate, the less impressed you got for those of us who covered him. you could tell the coverage of
edwards was great at first and then as reporters watched him, because chris, you were just pointing out, you can tell there was not a lot there. this guy really is maybe only an inch deep when it comes to specific policy issues. it wasn't clear what motivated him and what exactly his passion was other than to get elected. look, i've always thought this entire edwards saga, there is a tragic element to this that i think none of us can fully understand unless you've lost a child. i always thought the reason i will still have sympathy a little bit for john edwards is nobody knows what it's like to lose a child, and when they lost a child, john and elizabeth edwards changed. their lives changed, everything changed, and whatever happened between the two of them, nothing was the same. i've always thought you have to realize -- >> it happens to people who lose children. it does something tragic to the relationship that's so common and it's horrible. >> look at everything that happened in their lives and then they decided to have two more
children, he decided to have a political career. everything changed in their lives. and i think a little bit of what edwards did today was frankly a little bit creepy, going as public as he did. i was uncomfortable watching him. i thought, you know what, we don't want to hear from you, john edwards, just say thank you to the jury, thank your daughter kate who has been unbelievable back there, and go home. we don't want to hear a speech. >> you don't especially, chuck. i think the thing that was a little creepy was hearing him talk about quinn. there is obviously nobody who begrudges a father the love of his daughter, but to be talking about a child that was the result of an affair that got him into this place, i thought that was the weirdest moment to me. again, i don't begrudge him loving his daughter, whoever the mother of that daughter is, but it was weird to see him absolving himself of the affair that started this whole thing.
it was strange the way he emphasized his love for quinn and then backed up and said, well, i love all my children after having praise for her. >> i do agree it was one of those moments. bobby kennedy used to say hang a lantern on your problem. part of that that was given was done ahead of time. he did what was supposed to be done in politics because you're already found guilty, you might as well admit it. here he is going through that procedure. here he is. >> my precious quinn, who i love more than any of you could ever imagine. and i am so close to and so, so grateful for, so grateful for quinn. i'm grateful for all of my children. >> well, that's quite a scene. your thoughts. no more political career, chuck,
for him, even if he escapes another trial. >> no, i think this is just a reminder of how crimping finance and these laws, that's the real world lesson here. no, john edwards doesn't have a political career, and i don't know why -- the fact he's desperate to get in public life, still, which to me is what he was saying and from what i understand from talking to others that he really wants. it's weird. he ought to go. >> it reminds me of those trials you read about in south asia, pakistan, latin america, around the world, these types of trials, when you lose, the guy who wins puts you up for trial. that's my editorial opinion. i never liked the smell of this case. thank you, chuck todd, thank you, jenny heilman. the whole political shebang coming up as we continue this program. why did one of the jurors push
back the sex scandal? they don't want to hear about it. as we saw through the clinton era, the voters don't want to deal with these matters. they leave it to the private matters of the politicians. we saw another example of that from the jury today. a place for politics. this country was built by working people. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars
back in the u.s. economy this year. in pipes, cement, steel, jobs, energy. we need to get the wheels turning. i'm proud of that. making real things... for real. ...that make a real difference. ♪ is now within your grasp with the all-new e-trade 360 investing dashboard. e-trade 360 is the world's first investing homepage that shows you where all your investments are and what they're doing with free streaming quotes, news, analysis
and even your trade ticket. everything exactly the way you want it, all on one page. transform your investing with the all-new e-trade 360 investing dashboard. [ clang ] my house is where plants came to die. ♪ but, it turns out all i was missing was miracle-gro potting mix. it's got what a plant needs. even plant food that feeds them for up to 6 months. you get bigger, more beautiful plants. guaranteed. who's got two green thumbs thanks to miracle-gro? uh, this gal. boom! everyone grows with miracle-gro. [ creaking ] [ male announcer ] trophies and awards lift you up. but they can also hold you back. unless you ask, what's next? [ zapping ] [ clang ]
this is the next level of performance. the next level of innovation. the next rx. the all-new f sport. this is the pursuit of perfection. john edwards found not guilty on one count late this afternoon, and the jury deadlocked on all five other counts. the judge declared a mistrial on all those other charges. we'll briefly talk to gabe in north carolina about what this means. this is "hardball," a place for politics. ♪ what started as a whisper every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. there's an insurance company that does that, too.
liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? [ male announcer ] kellogg's® mini-wheats cereal has 8 layers of whole grain fiber... so they stick with you. ♪ 45 bushels of wheat on the farm. 45 bushels of wheat! ♪ all morning long. there's a big breakfast... [ mini ] yeehaw! in those fun little biscuits.
i'm jane wells with your cnbc market wrap. stock dropped, the worst since 2010. ahead of tomorrow's closely watched employment report, weekly jobless claims rose by 10,000, to 383,000. that's a fourth straight weekly gain and the hits just keep coming. payroll from the edp said the private sector had it weaker than expected. but some good news, most retailers reported solid sales over the month of may. cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." all i can say is thank goodness we live in a country that has the kind of system that we have. and i think those jurors were an exemplar for what juries are supposed to do. >> well, they found him innocent
and the rest of the counts, they couldn't reach an agreement. that's john edwards. more now on the dramatic day in north carolina we've just seen. john edwards, like i said, found guilty on the one count and the jury deadlocked on five others. what does it mean for john edwards? i'm fascinated by this case because i thought it should never be brought. editorial director for the "washington post" and attorney and former general counsel for the election commission. let me start with this. why are we trying a case that would require making new law part of the process of a verdict? >> you got me. i just don't understand why this case was brought in the first place. it needs to meet a clear standard. there was no clear standard here. we have unlimited campaign contributions in the super pac
door. they changed the drinking age in jersey from 20 to 18 and they got you for drinking at 20. the whole thing is out of date. >> it's impossible to know, at least, until we talk to the jurors, but i think the fact that there is such a huge flood of money, secret and open, now going into politics partly as a result of citizens united and super pacs, as pete said, they made the money here look like pikers change, and it made the whole thing more puzzling, perhaps, to the jury. there was a lack of perspective on the part of the prosecutors. why are you doing this when there's so much more big and important going and your worried about money and politics? that may help john edwards. >> can't they put this to use? here's something we have to cover, our specialty, politics, you and i. here's john edwards saying today about his future, and he says he
has one. it sounds like he thinks he has a political future. after all this. let's watch. >> i don't think god is through with me. i really believe he thinks there's still some good things i can do. and whatever happens with this legal stuff going forward, what i'm hopeful about is all those kids that i've seen, you know, in the poorest parts of this country and in some of the poorest places in the world that i can help them in whatever way i'm still capable of helping them. i want to dedicate my life to being the best dad i can be and to helping those kids who i think deserve help. >> well, howard, you know, i'm not a cruel person, but i am an observant person, and i think he used this opportunity that he knew he would get on cable television and on network television to make a pitch. so he smartly said, okay, the
jury are geniuses because they just let me off, and of course i committed all these sins in moral terms. everybody knows i did, so that's no problem. and here was my chance to make a pitch for a political future. i'm the guy to talk about the two americans, the rich and poor americans. here he is politically fighting again. >> i knew him when he first came into town. i was probably one of the first people to break bread with him, practically, because i knew his consultants, and i said, this guy is a charming guy. but he's so veered off into the land of creepy self-delusion. i'm watching a car crash of craziness here. and i know there's second lives in american politics. but the notion that he took this occasion to weave the story of all his children, including the one that he had with the
mistress, that he was having relations with while his wife was dying of cancer, that he's going to weave the story of those children into the story of the poor people of america and the world. and thus i am going to be the pied piper leading the americas and the children together in a new public role for myself, that was so beyond any level of self-awareness as to be almost pa pathological. did i make myself clear? >> indeed you did. >> it's just sometimes the shamelessness of public figures, especially politicians, is astounding to me. you have to have a certain level of shamelessness to be in public life let alone to run for office. but to do that, in this occasion, was just mind-boggling. >> you've never been better at explaining the reality of
political thirnking, which is it's all ego. >> how do i use this opportunity of a trial which could have put him away for 30 years. he's just beat the rap. he's declared himself innocent and ready for political leadership again. and he's also saying, and i had this child through this woman and that's something i want to talk about now. >> let me weave that story into the other story. >> we're running along, watching the parade of these big egos coming down main street. we're amazed by them. >> absolutely unbelievable. this is a long road to redemption for him. i have no doubt about that. however, it did start out on the right track. he made a statement that was close to an allocution, and he does have to worry what the department will do next. he still has to face that. >> when you see, and i see a
huge ego unleashed, he could probably direct that to a kind of i'm on your side thing. >> he was a fantastic courtroom lawyer. i don't know what court he thought he was speaking to there. i think he thinks the court of voters out there in some future place and time that he's going to use his pay. >> contributors have given him money in the past and will give him again because of what he just said there, i'm going to help the poor. he had to go to that tonight and he didn't. out there it only takes one out of ten. they've got a lot of money and he's back in business. thank you, howard feinman. perhaps i thought of something you hadn't. >> you just did. >> we're going to have more on the edwards trial. this thing keeps giving. his acquittal on one count, mistrial on the rest. it could be a political gain for
this guy. johnny's come marching home again. this is "hardball," a place for politics. grams of protein. what do we have? all four of us, together? 24. he's low fat, too, and has 5 grams of sugars. i'll believe it when i--- [ both ] oooooh... what's shakin'? [ female announcer ] as you get older, protein is an important part of staying active and strong. ensure high protein... fifty percent of your daily value of protein. low fat and five grams of sugars. see? he's a good egg. [ major nutrition ] ensure high protein... ensure! nutrition in charge!
tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about that 401(k) you picked up back in the '80s. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like a lot of things, the market has changed, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and your plans probably have too. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so those old investments might not sound so hot today. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, we'll give you personalized recommendations tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 on how to reinvest that old 401(k) tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and help you handle all of the rollover details. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and bring your old 401(k) into the 21st century. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lastin florida we hadulf's best tomore sun tans...years. in alabama we had more beautiful blooms...
in mississippi we had more good times... in louisiana we had more fun on the water. last season we broke all kinds of records down here on the gulf. more people more good times. this year we're out to do even better... and now's a great time to start. the sun's out and the beaches are even more relaxing. you can go deep sea fishing or enjoy our world-class restaurants... our hotels and rentals have special deals for the whole family. go golfing, kite boarding, or build the worlds biggest sand sculpture... with the world's best sand. so come on down to mississippi... get yourself down to louisiana... we'll see you in florida... you know you want to come to alabama. the gulf is america's get-a-way... and we're 100 percent ready to see you. come on down and help make 2012 an even better year for the gulf. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
>> the second thing i want to say a word about is responsibility. and this is about me. i want to make sure that everyone hears from me and from my voice that while i do not believe i did anything illegal, or ever thought i was doing anything illegal, i did an awful lot that was wrong. and there is no one else responsible for my sins. >> welcome back to "hardball." it has been asked many times since this scandal became, what's sex got to do with it? today the juror said not much. we have melinda henenberger was in the courtroom covering the trial. let me ask you both, i have been trying to think about the angels of this trial as it seems to be
concluding with the acquittal on one count and the hung jury ob another, they were able to separate out the questions of the law, but they had a hard time deciding the decision, but it looks like they were not driven by the sexual aspects of this whole matter. >> they probably don't follow the way we do, but i don't think there is any doubt they will say what we believe. this case should not have been brought. it was ridiculous under law and common sense. i think the jurors felt that way, and if the prosecutors did not decide to retry or not, they will take that as a focus group. i bet they don't try to bring the case again. >> melinda, your thoughts,
what's your sense of what juries action today in the acquittal in the one matter, and it could not have been a campaign contribution because it was given after the campaign was over. the rest may have been hold outs but they could not reach a conviction on any of the other matters. >> well, i think to me if they had all of themberg this was a reki ridiculous case, they would not have spent nine long days thinking about it and taking it very seriously. so i don't know that his gamble played off, but i don't know that it was a ridiculous case. it was the case they had and they seem to have done their best to try and treat it seriously, and i think there was very much a way it to believe that he was guilty in the case without it being about punishing
him for being a cab. >> it seemed to me the judge and the prosecutors were trying to do a couple things. they wanted the jury to make law. there had not been a case like this before. they wanted to judge the guy guilty even though they had a case where they decided it was within the campaign laws, and they lowered the bar by saying all you have to prove is part of the contribution was political. even with that the jury could not reach the verdict. >> maybe the case should never have been brought, but that's the case they had and they took it seriously, and they obviously since they deadlocked on five of the charges found it wasn't clear one way or the other. if i could go back a .to what you were saying earlier, i had
such a different take listening to john edwards when he was coming out of the courthouse. i don't hi he was saying i want back in the political game, he wants redemption which anyone in his case would want. i listened to him even though i do think he was guilty under the judge's instructions, i had a sympathetic response where of course he wanted to say something to and about his children, especially about gywen who he denied. so it was natural for him to say i really love this trial and i will try to use the rest of my time to do something worthwhile. >> okay, we'll see. thank you. much talk from these guys and i
think this guy is a shrewd trial lawyer, do you agree? >> yes, but i think that was humanity, not laying the ground work for anything. i think if he cares about what the people in washington and new york think about him, he would have been better off not making a statement at all. i don't think it will be particularly well received. >> let me finish with the birth of my granddaughter julia. you're watching "hardball." the place for politics. not in this economy. we also have zero free time, and my dad moving in. so we went to fidelity. we looked at our family's goals and some ways to help us get there. they helped me fix my economy, the one in my house. now they're managing my investments for me. and with fidelity, getting back on track was easier than i thought. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy. get one-on-one help from america's retirement leader.
examination venel matthews just came into the world. she will spend her life in this 31 21st century perhaps right through the end of it. she'll have us devoted and dazzled parents of her parents. we're very fortunate, and thank you so many of you for recognizing that and sharing in our celebration. thank you. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> welcome to "politicsnation," i'm al sharpton. breaking news, john edwards is speaking out after a mistrial was decliered in five of the six counts of the campaign finance trial.