tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 28, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. it's roller derby time for the clown car boys, with only ten republicans allowed in the first tv debate, the republican candidates out there are like the three stooges on skates, each bashing the other, trying to knock them off the course. rand paul bashes the hawks for causing isis, santorum goes ballistic on paul, calling him a bernie sanders, big christie goes macho on paul saying he's too -- love this word -- sensitive. paul swipes jeb as not conservative and jeb swipes at rubio as being a switcher. and as these guys whiz around the roller derby trying to knock each other off the course, democrat hillary clinton speaking candidly about everything from her ambition to be the white house and her decades-long hair coloring has never sounded better. and all of this as the latest
polls show how widely close this 2016 race is going to be. michael steele's former chairman of the rnc and howard fineman is global editorial director of "the huffington post." i've got to go to howard. >> it's so nice, you say it twice. >> howard, mr. huffington, let me ask you this question. is it because reince priebus in his genius said, only ten of you are getting this fight, so better duke it out and see how the ten are. is that what's causing this combustion of attitude? >> i think that's part of it. because we have a weird version of a race going on, where it's a race to not be eliminated. it's not to win right now, and lord knows the polls show that nobody's really winning in any fundamental sense. it's to avoid losing altogether. so everybody needs a niche. everybody needs attention. everybody needs a sliver, just enough of a liver, to get over the, whatever it's going to be, 3 or 4% of the vote required to be in the top 10. >> which means to be in the bottom. >> because nobody has over 10.
>> it's the political equivalent of entropy. >> that's what you call -- >> is it radio that reince priebus, your predecessor -- i'm sorry, your successor, whatever, is it true that mr. reince priebus created this logjam of ambition here where they have to kill each other to get in the door? >> i don't think he created -- >> well, he said ten guys -- >> no, he left it to fox and is leaving it to the media to decide. the rnc is not setting the number of people on the stage. >> so roger ailes personally created this situation. >> so for the first debate, fox is the one that's determined what the measurement's going to be, to be on the stage. and that's going to result in what you've seen so far. and it's going to get even more interesting, because this thing is going to tighten up. >> republicans blame fox for the first time in history, right? for anything. anyway, is a circular firing squad is forming around the 2016 candidates for president. kentucky senator rand paul took
aim at the hawks in his party yesterday on "morning joe". >> isis exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party, who gave arms, indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by isis. these hawks the also wanted to bomb assad, which would have made isis' job even easier. they created these people. everything that they have talked about in foreign policy, they've been wrong about for 20 years, and yet they have somehow the gal to keep saying and pointing fingers, otherwise. >> and he's going to be on "hardball" tomorrow night. former pennsylvania senator, rick santorum, he's going to be a former senator for a long time. here's how he reacted >> that sounds like bernie sanders, not like some republican running for president. it just shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the enemy that we face. >> new jersey governor chris christie was asked about his comments over rand paul's opposition to the patriot act and mocked paul for being too sensitive to run for president. >> senator rand paul called your comments not very nice. >> that's okay.
i mean, you know, they weren't meant personally at all. >> yeah. >> we have a disagreement. if he thinks it's not nice to disagree, he's probably in the wrong race, because people will be disagreeing with each other all the time. i certainly didn't say -- i didn't even mention senator paul's name. so i don't know, he's getting particularly sensitive. >> sensitive. anyway, rand paul also told msnbc's joe scarborough that he doesn't believe jeb bush is conservative enough to win the gop nomination. >> i seriously doubt it. i think he's going to have trouble. i think he has trouble on two fronts. one, getting the nomination and convincing conservatives that he's conservative, but his second problem will be the bush legacy on lawyer, will destroy any hope we have of getting an independent vote. >> that's true. w.'s war is still a problem for all bushes and all republicans. and "washington post" reporter ed o'keefe gained access to a private conference call between jeb bush and alabama republicans, where according to o'keefe, jeb knocked marco rubio and scott walker, who used to support bipartisan immigration
reform, saying, i find it interesting that people who share that view, rather than stick with the view and try to persuade people about it, in many cases, have actually abandoned their views. if we're going to bend with the wind, then it will be hard to imagine how we solve our problems. there's a direct shot. you know, bush is the front-runner, still most people think of him as the front-runner. he's bashing back at these guys, at rubio and walker, because he's the only one. his wife is mexican born. he is going to have to be pro-immigration. it comes with the fact of his life. and then he's going to have republicans, who seem to have this tribalistic problem on this issue, of hispanic immigration.
it just seems to sit there. it's become endemic among so many of those members of congress, who patent pass an immigration reform bill, even with teeth in it. >> but the history of the party is not where the party is now. and when you talk about a party that once promoted assimilation and integration and expanding the pie for immigrants, that's what bush is going to try to get back to. i think he's going to try to pick up where his brother -- >> that one of the reasons you like him? he's positive on that front? >> i think he's very positive on that front. i think that's why a lot of americans will like him too. we really get into the debate of the conversation, and it will be interesting to see him push back on immigration, and rand paul to continue to create separation on this issue of war. and that's going to make this campaign over the next few months leading up to that first debate, where everybody's going to be doing the elbow thing, that much more interesting. when they're standing here where howard and i are, a whole different dynamic when i look you in the eye and say, you were wrong on the war. how do you respond that? >> you wouldn't do that to howard. >> i thought the war was a joke, you guys are all hawks, the other guys will saying with i think you're basically, you look anti-immigrant. and do you think it will really take sides, or everybody will sort of bunch to the center and say, we're all for following the law or we're all for this. >> it looks to me, based on what jeb was saying to the alabama republicans, that he's prepared to fight on that. and, again, it's partly because of his family situation, because of his background.
i think he's making the bet, he's playing a deeper game that he somehow will get the nomination and will separate him from a lot of the others. frankly, on immigration, a lot of the others will be playing to the yahooist part of the yahoo wing of the republican party, in places like iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, across the south. who are just flat-out anti-immigration, in any way, shape, or form. >> is funny thing is -- >> he's trying to make a virtue of necessity here. and i think it's probably smart for him. >> the ones they're not talking to, if they do, that will be jeb. but i'm thinking people, if the republicans will beat hillary. she's probably the democratic nominee. they have to appeal to suburban woman, who might not vote for a woman if she can find a superior republican candidate. they're not going to vote for some mediocre guy against hillary. and that's true with moderate men, who are for the suburbs. they're not going to vote for some yahoo, as you put it. they're going to vote for somebody who they can imagine as president, and a better president than hillary.
and i think the republicans are having a hard time coming up with somebody who looks like they'll be a better president than hillary on quality. >> when you put into that mix, just these two issues, immigration and the war, then you're really talking about a very volatile situation for the republican candidates, because how do you have that conversation inside the party, and then go into a general election mode, with all this baggage from playing to a very narrow base. >> i think rand paul is following a similar -- a parallel strategy to jeb, where rand paul is betting that if he makes it to the general, he can come at hillary and the whole democratic establishment on the history of war making in the united states. hillary voted for the iraq resolution, even though she now says it was a mistake. he can come at them from a different direction there, which could be very interesting. >> you know what i would like to see? i would like to see hillary clinton, up about five or ten point going into her convention, which is the second convention, and picking john kasich, and
blowing everybody's mind. because that would just blow everybody's mind. and say, you know, mccain talked about doing it, picking joe lieberman. the first person says, i'm going to pick somebody of quality on the other side. make it work. just a thought, it probably won't happen, but maybe stir something by saying it. in the latest quinnipiac poll, five republicans are tied for first place. look at these numbers, like a slot machine out in vegas. jeb bush, ben carson, a huckabee, rubio -- i'm reading this off the chart. walker, all at ten. followed by rand paul at 7. and ted cruz at 6. i mean, these are so close -- nobody's -- nobody's made it into the top 90%. and everybody knows -- jeb bush. that's what hurts him, right, howard? >> 90% of know him and say no. ben carson, nobody has heard of. >> what that chart says to me is that two things are fading. one is the bush dynasty, and the other is the old republican idea of --
>> you say it like the duck dynasty. >> the other is like the stately procession that the republican party used to have. >> whose turn is it? >> whose turn is it? next man up. the democrats have sort of adopted that. that looks like the democratic field in 1972 when the democratic party was falling apart and there were 12 candidates running. >> my take on this -- >> i love the way you laugh at the fact that democrats are becoming republicans. >> i think that is absolutely amusing to watch, the democrats dance with hillary over the next few months. watch everyone kind of line up very dutifully behind her, when they know that's not who they want, but it's her turn. and they owe her from 2008, and the way they went after her and effectively screwed her out of the nomination, they owe her. and i think that plays a lot of what you see going on right now in the democratic side. they're not being honest about who they really want and why they want her.
>> thank you so much, michael steele, former republican national committee chairman successor -- i'm sorry, predecessor of reince priebus. anyway, howard fineman, my friend, thank you. coming up, chris christie has another bridge problem, and so does the country. american bridges and highways are crumbling. and for christie, politics and presidential ambition may be keeping him from getting his own bridges and roads fixed. plus, when rand paul say the hawks in the republican party are to blame for the rise of isis, is he right? is isis the result of bush and cheney's misguided invasion of iraq in the first place? we'll get to that with former cia director, james woolsey. and we saw a different side of hillary clinton yesterday. >> i may not be the youngest candidate in this race, but i have one big advantage. i've been coloring my hair for years. they're not going to see me turn white in the white house.
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new jersey needs to ensure that its fiscal infrastructure is world class, its role as a transportation hub, unmatched. >> that was new jersey governor, chris christie, of course, back in 2012, vowing to maintain his state's infrastructure. now governor christie has another bridge problem. so does the rest of the country, beyond what happened with the george washington bridge problem. this year, new jersey's transportation commissioner closed several bridges that are at risk of falling down. and he says 500 more bridges need repairs across the state of new jersey. when it comes to aging infrastructure, it's another part of wider problem in the u.s. overall. according to american road and transportation builder's association, over 60,000 bridges in our country, across the country, are structurally deficient, which means dangers in some places, and certainly in need of repair. as the new york times reported today, the new jersey transportation trust fund is running out of money and chris christie's a likely 2016 candidate for president isn't helping to fix the problem. many of the voters supported an
increase in the gas tax. 50% of the people asked, said supported the increase, which is up from 35% in 2010. politically, it's difficult for a republican, of course, to raise taxes if he wants to be president. i'm joined by john wisniewski, who joins us from a structurely deficient bridge in dover, new jersey, that's been shut down. and also joined by ed rendell. i want to go to mr. wisniewski right now. is this something that's noticeable to drivers in the state of jersey, that these bridges are rickety? >> well, we see this bridge behind us, but there are countless other bridges around the state that are substantially in danger and need to have immediate work done to them. the problem is, the money is not there. our transportation trust fund is virtually out of money. it's being put together for one more year really with duct tape and glue. but there's really no long-term planning here. and this is what you get, when you don't fund transportation. you get roads closed like this. and this is not just a road in
isolation. i'm down here in dover, in the middle of downtown, this is a major road. this affects the people who live here and quality of life. this isn't some esoteric exercise in governance, this is affecting people's daily commutes, how the shopkeepers keep their stores open, how the local government functions, is all a function of our trust fund. >> you know how you can tell you're in a developing or third world country, they don't fix anything. it was like it was in colonial times, the same bridges and same roads, only broken up and beat up and old and nobody ever builds anything, because they're strapped for money. what's our excuse? >> well, we have no excuse. nationally, our congress and our government is just afraid to act and afraid to raise revenue, when that's one of the answers. we have to invest in maintaining a safe and sound and economically competitive infrastructure.
but the states are stepping up, interestingly, all around new jersey, states are stepping up, chris. new jersey has the second lowest gas tax in the country, 14.5 cents a gallon, compared to new york, 45 cents a gallon. california, 46 cents a gallon. pennsylvania, 50 cents a gallon. and talk about red state governors and red state legislators. listen to who's raised the gas tax in the last year. georgia, idaho, iowa, south dakota, utah, and wyoming. all states with republican governors, republican legislatures. governor christie should do the right thing and make a significant increase in new jersey's gas tax and make it now. don't wait, make it now. you can't starve infrastructure. something serious is going to happen. >> i first smelled trouble back in the beginning of christie's term, when i was sort of rooting for him, because i thought his personality was rather familiar to me, growing up in philly, and i noticed he didn't want to build that third tunnel going into new york. i said, why wouldn't a guy want to speed one of the great advantages of new jersey, which was transportation, which is
where a lot of the money came from. what would that mean to you, mr. wisniewski? when he said, i'm not going to improve the tunnel or improve traffic relations with new york city, one of the most important traffic hubs in the state. >> one of the first things a leader should do is make sure the infrastructure that leader is responsible for is functioning well and can provide the services that the people he represents need. the governor did was an aggregation of leadership. he didn't have the courage to raise the funds necessary for the trust fund, so he canceled the tunnel to grab that money to shore up his trust fund. it was a failure of leadership and that's a problem we in new jersey have to deal with every day. his failure of leadership. and it's amazing to me that he thinks that that audition for leadership and that failure of leadership in new jersey is something that the nation needs. it's absolutely ridiculous. >> well, the majority of new jersey voters, 53%, approve of
building a third rail tunnel from new jersey to new york. and that's according to a quinnipiac poll just last december. the existing pair of tunnels, both which are 105 years old, are in dire need of repair. governor rendell, i want to get back, i don't think infrastructure grabs people. i wish there was another word we could come up with. but it seems to me, most americans who don't take the subway or "l" in big cities, spend an hour or more going to work, an hour or more coming home, spend a good part of their day on roads and bridges. why don't they put the pressure on to do something about bringing those up to date and safe? >> well, americans do, it's interesting, chris, when we have to vote on referendums that call for an increase on taxes, voters approve 75% of the transportation referendums that are on the ballot. they distrust the federal government, but even that's starting to erode. we saw what happened with amtrak. you know, amtrak, the curves in the track bed are very dangerous.
but there are seven bridges that amtrak trains between boston and new york ride over, that are over 100 years old. the recommended life span for a bridge is 40 years. we are courting disaster by not acting, slowly but surely, infrastructure is catching on and the american people understand, it's for safety, for quality of life, for economic competitiveness. and by the way, every politician talks about middle class jobs. if we went on an infrastructure revitalization program, nationwide, we'd create 4 or 5 million well-paying jobs. >> i'm with you so much, governor. i think those are the kind of jobs we need. those are jobs for people wanting to work hard. it's a great opportunity to really build this country and rebuild the working ethic of this country, to have real jobs, they're proud to come home from. thank you so much, assemblyman john wisniewski and ed rendell of pennsylvania. up next, who created isis? rand paul said it was the hawks in his own republican party. is he right? what a charge that is, and i think it's true. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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isis exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately and most of those arms were snatched up by isis. these hawks also wanted to bomb assad, which would have made isis' job even easier. they created these people everyone they've talked about in foreign policy, they've been wrong about for 20 years, yet they have somehow the gal to keep saying and pointing fingers otherwise. >> welcome back to hardball. rand paul's assertion that it was the hawks in his party that created isis certainly wasn't met with a lot of o supports, from the hawks in his party. rick santorum says he is sounds like bernie sanders. bobby jindal says that he's unsuited to be commander in chief. "the wall street journal" today wrote an editorial with the tongue in cheek title, rand paul created isis. it wrote, quote, speaking of gal and a word of political advice, an aide might want to remind him
which party's nomination he's seeking. i'm joined by james woolsey and michael kay, former senior british officer. first, let's start with some very recent history. last week, mike bueller, the former director who briefed president bush on intelligence ever day told me he never told the white house saddam hussein had nuclear weapons, and yet here was vice president dick cheney speaking to "meet the press" just before the invasion. let's watch. >> we know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. >> reconstituted nuclear weapons. >> but why'd we go into iraq in the first place and how do we get back to this blame game? we can go back to this. you can argue it four or five ways. you broke it, you bought it.
we threw out all the army people who were sunni out of the government, out of the army. they went and joined to become the military leadership of isis. that's an argument. we finally left iraq. you can say, we could have stayed longer. how do we assign this division of blame as to how we got to isis? >> it's very hard to pin it down on any one thing. the chaos in that part of the world is so extraordinary, and the one power that seems the to know what it's doing and is expanding relentlessly is iran. and being shiite, the power that iran is building, it dominates four capitals in addition to its own. >> what are they? >> it would be in yemen, in damascus, in -- >> baghdad. >> baghdad and. >> lebanon. >> lebanon. >> so they're winning the battle against the sunnis. >> well, they are scaring the devil out of the sunnis. and that is one thing, i think, that has happened with the pulling together of isis.
that is not the only thing, but when passions get so great, as they do in a chaotic situation like this, the angrier and more ideological people come to the fore, and that's what's happening with isis. >> michael kay -- i'm sorry, michael kay, what's your sense, what caldron created the isis, who are sunni people, who don't like the shias who are running baghdad, don't like the people, the al whites who are running syria, and they're right there in the middle, building a country that at some point is going to be like jell-o. it's going to gel and become a country, if we don't blow it apart sooner. >> chris, can i start at the beginning? there's accountability at all layers of government, at the time in 2003. it starts at the executive branch by george w. bush and by dick cheney, who woefully underestimated what would happen when you took a dictator who opposed al qaeda, but also was the biggest counter check to iran in the region at the time. there was a woeful underestimation there. and in the legislative branch,
296 lawmakers in the house voted for the resolution on iraq, as did 77 from the senate. there's accountability there. at the diplomatic level, you had paul brenner, who made the biggest error that i think is out there, which is effectively, you dissolved 400,000 iraqi regime soldiers, many of which were high-level officers with significant contacts who worked in the intelligence agencies, and you basically put them out of work overnight and made them disgruntled. that's not just 400,000 officers and soldiers, that's their families as well in excess of 1.5 million people. we can go on. you then look at something at the military level, in terms of abu ghraib and camp booker. those were the melting pots for the likes of al baghdadi, for the likes of haji bakr. >> who could have seen this coming, michael.
i so ethat in retrospect, and we can all look in retrospect, but who could have seen coming the overthrow of a sunni-led government in baghdad would have led to a debathification, would lead to the creation of a rebel army, in both the territory of iraq and syria. who could have seen that coming and blown the whistle on this before we got that far. start right there. a debathification. >> it's an incredibly hard thing to predict. but what do i think we should be doing is trying to learn from the mistakes of the past. the first thing is, when you take out an army and a police force, you leave a power vacuum, which allows anyone to do anything they like. and that's what we're seeing at the moment. that's why isis has been allowed to grow -- >> okay, what do we do now? >> okay, what we do now is we understand what the critical capability of isis is. and to me, it's the ability to be able to operate asymmetrically. basically, isis play by no rules. if america get on the ground,
they have to play by rules. there are 180,000 coalition soldiers in 2007 in iraq, which tamed the insurgency, didn't beat the insurgency. so what america does through the cia is it works out who the proxy militias are. because the proxy militias don't have to play by rules. there's a big question that the u.s. administration need to ask themselves a to the momentum is, do we play with iran on this or don't we, and if we don't, saudi have to step up to the plate. >> i was watching, jim, it's a horrible story, a bunch, a dozen or so of personnel carriers and they're pretty immune to a rocket attack. they're strong armored. put some suicide bombers in these cockpits, in these front seats, go driving into the iraqi army front lines and blow it apart, because they're willing to die in these like hiroshima explosions going on. how do you fight an army like that? is michael kay right? you have to arm your own wild men? >> the suicide killings were also an important part of what made things so tough, right after the invasion, in anbar and elsewhere.
the ieds and the rest. i think the heart of the matter here, that we really ought to keep our eye on is nuclear capability. and iran may well have it, within a year or two, particularly if this treaty or agreement or whatever it is, goes forward. north korea has it now. russia is being very imperialises weapons, and china, same thing in the south china sea. >> you moved the question from iraq to iran, but what do we do? >> well, i think that we have to try to reconstitute the cooperative effort in anbar among the sunnis, that led to the -- produced the surge and made that work. we and to the sunnis and not let them go to baghdad and just stay there, with -- and that's one reason i think senator paul's statement is wrong. they've been going to the shia, our arms have, and they haven't been passed on to some of the sunni fighters that we need to help.
i think that we can't count on any one sort of solution, but the real problem here is that we may well, within a year or two or three, have a considerably nuclear middle east. and the next crisis that occurs, where sunni hates shia and shia hates sunni and everybody hates us and iran and iran hates everybody. it's a different crisis than what we have now. >> i think you're implicitly arguing, we shouldn't make a mistake of backing the shia militia to the point it supports a deal we should be making. >> isis is awful, but iran and its sat traps are -- >> are you with that, michael kay? do we have to shift our strategic thinking to say, it's more important to keep iran non-nuclear and perhaps hostile than it is to try to warm up toward them? >> look, chris, there are three main plays in iraq at the moment.
you've got the peshmerga in the northeast, which aren't geographically situated to fight in anbar province, because of the lines of communication. you have the populist mobilization forces south of baghdad and to the east, and the government of iraq forces that seem to be capitulates quite a lot. you have to make an assessment, can we degrade, not destroy, dangerous word, can we degrade isis through the government of iraq forces, through coalition air power, and through the use of the peshmerga? if the answer to that looking at the critical capabilities of isis is yes, then the question is, how do you prevent populist mobilization forces from getting involved in the fight, because that's difficult. up next, we saw a different side of hillary clinton on the campaign trail this week. authentic, relatable, winning. well get to that next with the roundtable. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
she reminisced about her husband's marriage proposal. here she is here. >> bill says, well, as i remember, i asked you to marry me twice before you said yes. >> well, this is the hillary clinton who's letting her down -- actually, letting her down her self-described colored hair. >> i may not be the youngest candidate in this race, but i have one big advantage. i've been coloring my hair for years. you're not going to see me turn white in the white house. >> joining me right now at the roundtable is republican strategist, liz mayer, heidi prezbela, and perry bacon. i was taken with that, and i admit, i thought hillary being candidate about ambition. everybody's got ambition, but for some reason, being the woman candidate, she's been forced to say, okay, i want to be president.
she laid it right out there. >> you know, obama beat her in 2008. and one thing he did, he was more authentic, he was more relaxed. >> but did he ever get forced to say, i want to be president. >> we assume men want to be president, we call women ambitious, we don't call men. also, let's be fair. when you're running against bernie sanders, it's a little easier to be relaxed >> the heat's off. >> you might win by 50 points. >> heidi, that's it, the heat's office, even talking about coloring her hair, because we watch these guy's hair turn white. it happens. >> it's not just the heat's off, it's, i got bad advice in 2008 when i came off as being very guarded and cold, even, and told, specifically by mark penn, we now know, that the one thing you have to do is show that you're tough. you know, don't let your guard down. >> she was supposed to be running as commander in chief. >> and when was the time, though, when we saw things start to change for hillary clinton in '08? it was when she went to new hampshire, and oops, it wasn't scripted, cried.
that was when she kind of rallied and things turned around for her. >> she found her voice. >> it wasn't in her head, though, that people were looking to expose that as a weakness, that she should look down her hair. i remember getting calls, saying, she's in new hampshire. >> watch this. we have a little bit of that differential to show you. we're seeing a very different hillary. her advisers back then told her a female candidate had to be strong and not let her guard down. here she is in a new hampshire primary victory speech in january of 2008. it was a huge come-from-behind win that night and she doesn't seem to react to the crowd. this is still part of that very confined way of presenting herself. >> we are facing a moment of so many big challenges. we know we face challenges here at home, around the world, so many challenges for the people whose lives i've been privileged to be part of. >> that's what i call robo talk. why didn't she say something the night of her biggist victory on new hampshire, just talk about what it feels like to win. and for then, she was still
perhaps under the influence of bad campaign managers. now she's different. what do you think, liz? >> i think probably part of it was, it was unexpected. you go back to the talking points you're comfortable with and that you know. but in addition to that, candidly, i have a different interpretation on what we saw of hillary recently. >> that's why you're here. >> thank you. i don't think that this is somebody who comes off as being real or authentic. like, okay, maybe it's a small improvement, but given how much she was sort of the liberal equivalent of mitt romney in terms of being so scripted and so, like, you know, unmovable and static, and very almost robotic, it's such a minor difference to me that i just think she has a long way to go. >> i disagree. i think she's been great. hillary clinton received a warm reception in north carolina this week. she says she knows what it will take to be successful in the oval office.
>> and i do know now hard this job i'm seeking is. i have seen it up close and personal. you're not -- you're not going to catch me wondering what it's like. >> well, that wasn't brilliant, but you know, it's true. how many people have been married to the president and now run for president? i don't think that's ever happened. >> two-term first lady, secretary of state, she has a great amount of experience. most important visual in that scene, though, was all the african-americans who were in the room that day. one reason she wants to campaign, he really was very strong in the black vote in south carolina and throughout the country. and now you see a lot of key black activists are for hillary, and that's why she has a big advantage in this nomination process. >> i don't think she's made any mistakes yet. what do you think, heidi? >> i don't think she's had the opportunity? i mean, you know that there's been a lot of criticism, that she has not been too accessible to the press, unlike jeb bush, who did make a big mistake, and
his one big selling point, at least with the media is, i'm mr. accessible. >> jeb bush looked a lot better -- >> but, chris. >> hillary clinton doesn't look any worse than she did four months ago. >> no, not in terms of the polls, but in terms of making public blunder. >> jeb's at 10%! hillary's at 80! >> he's also in a primary field that is packed with other plausible contenders. and she's in a primary field with bernie sanders. there's a reason those numbers look different. >> not to put bernie sanders -- before you put down bernie sanders. let me put him up against ben carson. is he going to be president of the united states? >> no. is ted cruz going to be the president of the united states? >> i don't think so. >> but let's go ahead and compare bernie sanders to marco rubio or chris christie? >> how about martin o'malley? >> martin o'malley is a more real candidate. >> you cannot say that the democratic field --
>> if hillary is the whole time use a state.gov e-mail account, she's made some mistakes. some of the stuff was sloppy and was going to create problems. if you're rung for president for a long time, prepare for that. the speeches, all the bill clinton -- the $30 million of speeches. all these things -- >> do we make an even money bet that hillary beats the republicans next year? >> sure, yes. >> we'll talk terms. anyway, the roundtable is staying with us. next, a criminal indictment today of former house speaker dennis hastert. that's bad news. i thought this guy was clean. this is "hardball." maybe he is. presumption of innocence. we'll be right back with the plax.
statements to the fbi. the charges each carry a maximum penalty offor each. liz, heidi, and perry, i'm hesitant to discuss a case that's just now been indicted but this is stunning stuff. this guy had major role american political life. speaker of the house, the second or third office in the land, in there in the constitution, it's right up there, run the house that controls all spending, all taxation policy. now you're found to have violated our tax laws and have been indicted on serious charges. heidi. doesn't make people happier about government. >> what illinois politiciaw hasn't been indicted? this is part of a broader narrative in that sense too. >> five governors out of seven. >> also shocking just in the sense of anybody who ever covered denny hastert, who knew him, seen as a good old boy, wrestling coach, that health get wrapped up in this. i have to say i found it interesting he's been the entire
time since he left office on k street yet he's very inaccessible, doesn't want to be in the public spotlight at all. not that tipped me off to anything, but now looking in hindsight, how long has this been going on? >> what is this? >> we don't know yet. >> tbd. >> k street means lobbying, working if nor client who comes in the door, you have to shingle up, sell influence. that's what it is. >> i was more surprised because he was the noncontroversial. he replaced newt gingrich, who was very controversial. top delay was in congress as hastert's number two. >> he was safe. >> thom delay was known as the person who -- considered the one who did the bad stuff, hastert was the nice man who took care of things, tom delay led the house. i'm kind of shocked more than anything. >> the country thinks you come to washington to get corrupted. get into the habit, people are getting into being lobbyists and people work on the hill that staffers get into. what can you get away with? take the pens and pencils home with me, phone line, person business, and the next level, i'll do this.
one thing that's interesting about this is obviously he is entitled to be treated as innocent until proven guilty and we don't know about the veracity of this. this is just what is being charged. that being said, it would appear we're talking about some sort of payment being made in respect of things that are alleged to have happened prior to him coming to washington. so it kind of busts conceptions in that respect i think, right, because, yeah, a you say, people do think of people coming to washington being corrupted here, but if there is something untoward going on -- >> a million dollars around in different bank accounts. >> there are a lot of -- >> a lot of questions here, more than answers. >> thank you, liz merrick for being prudent and heidi for the same kind of value thinking and perry as always, good to see your happy face here because these are grim discussions. when we return, it's like "house of cards." we'll fin wish hillary's bright new political panel.
we finish with hillary on the campaign trail. fills the air when a politician says, to put it succinctly, nothing, when they serenade the traveling media with robo talk, talking chirps, whatever you want to call the verbal excelsior that fills the air but not the brain. yesterday hillary clinton spoke in the words, thoughts, feelings of a real-life human being. she spoke openly of her personal ambition to once again live at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. finally a candidate's telling us that they want to be president. isn't it great to have one admit
that simple desire to succeed in winning the top office in the country, to be counted among the 45 presidents, to have your portrait hanging there not just in the white house but in the history books of every young school child? secretary clinton went further yesterday kidding the audience about the fact we don't have to watch her hair turn white as president because as she put it she's been coloring her hair for decades. most people want some personal connection with the president of the united states. we don't have that feeling about other offices, like mayor in new york city, but we have it about the person filling lincoln's chair. yesterday hillary clinton showed she knows just how to give it to us and for that i say hooray for her. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in," the shocking federal indictment of former speaker of the house dennis hastert over alleged hush money. then -- >> off prosecutor who acts and sounds like she's a political
candidate for office. >> marilyn moseby under attack as conservatives try to score political points in baltimore. >> she appears to be a problem. >> all this as the officers charged with the death of freddie gray seek a change of venue. plus, what happened to surveillance footage from the night chicago police shot and killed a teenager? then the corruption probe into fifa widens as its president speaks out for the first time. >> we cannot allow the reputation of football and fifa to be dragged through the mud any longer. and the republican presidential field gets a little more crowded. >> this is exactly what the founding fathers feared. >> who is this man? why is he running for president? "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. dennis hastert, speaker of the house with bill clinton and