Hardball with Chris Matthews for Jan. 26
Guests: Howard Dean, Judy Dean, Jacques DeGraff, Teresa Heinz KerryOriginally on: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/Default.aspx?id=4068638&p1=0
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Tonight on HARDBALL, the four most interesting people in New Hampshire: an exclusive interview with Dr. Howard Dean and Dr. Judy Dean. Are they healing the campaign?
Plus, the wife of the frontrunner, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and radio talk jock and cable cowboy Don Imus.
Live from New Hampshire, let's play HARDBALL.
Tonight with one day to go, Howard Dean is closing the gap in New Hampshire. And we‘re at the epicenter of this potential political earthquake, at the McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester, New Hampshire.
A few hours ago, I spoke with the former governor of Vermont and his wife, Dr. Judy Dean. Let‘s take a look.
MATTHEWS: We‘re here with Doctor and Doctor Dean. I want to ask you-- a hero of mine, Ed Muskie, once said the only reason to be in politics is to be out there all alone and then be proven right.
Where do you stand on that right now? You‘re all alone. Can you be proven right?
HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think so. I think I was right on the Iraq war when nobody else would join me. I was right on No Child Left Behind as a federal takeover of the school system was big mistake.
I‘m a guy who stands up for what they believe in. And that‘s a rare commodity in America politics. And I think New Hampshire voters are going to like it.
MATTHEWS: Can you sharpen these issues up here? These sets of issues that you‘ve got. So the voters go into that booth tomorrow, and they decide on the issues rather than just on who seems cooler this week or who‘s hotter this week?
H. DEAN: Sure. The biggest advantage I have is I‘ve been a governor. So people are going to want to balance the budget and they want health insurance. I‘ve done that. Everybody in my state has health insurance under 18. A third of our seniors have prescription benefits. We‘ve balanced budgets.
We desperately need balanced budgets in this country. And everybody from George Bush to all the Democrats are promising tax cuts, health insurance, college tuitions. It‘s not going to happen. You‘re going to have a choice of tax cuts or help with college tuition and health insurance and so forth. You‘re not going to have both.
MATTHEWS: The other candidates, you probably believe, are pandering on every issue.
They‘re pandering on taxes if they‘re going to promise a repeal of the Bush tax cuts but not for them.
They‘re promising no real change or choices in the Middle East.
They‘re promising no real decisions. They have—to make.
You‘re offering a tough choice. Why should voters choose pain if they have an opportunity to choose easy pleasure?
H. DEAN: Because voters are a lot smarter than politicians. That‘s basically how the country works. And I got reelected as often as I did in Vermont, which is a very similar demographics in New Hampshire, because I said what I thought. And people in New England value that.
MATTHEWS: Are you a maverick?
H. DEAN: I don‘t know. I say what I think. Is that a maverick? I guess I am.
MATTHEWS: What‘s it like being married to a maverick? Because he is one.
JUDY DEAN, HOWARD DEAN‘S WIFE: I don‘t know if he‘s a maverick, but it‘s great being married to him. He‘s a really good guy, caring person, honest person. And...
MATTHEWS: Do you ever say to him, “Why are you so gutsy? Why don‘t you just go with the crowd on some of these things?”
J. DEAN: Absolutely not. I mean, he usually is. He‘s really, really honest. I guess you‘d say gutsy; I‘d call it honest. I just think he says what he thinks, and—and it‘s...
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the issue, which you‘ve talked so much about back in 2003, especially, when no one else did. This whole new doctrine—I guess it‘s the Bush doctrine—of preemptive, some would say it‘s preventive. It‘s even more aggressive. Where do you stand?
H. DEAN: We‘ve always had a doctrine of preemption. We just never announced it and put it in everybody‘s face. If we had known Osama bin Laden was going to run planes into the World Trade Center 10 days ahead of time, of course we would have done something about it.
But to come out in everybody‘s face and say, “Our doctrine is preemption, and we‘re going to go in if we even think you‘re looking at us crosswise—cross-eyed” is a huge problem.
We used to be the moral leader of the free world. Under George Bush, we‘re not any more. Everybody everywhere in the world, you can‘t find a majority of people who respect us anymore.
H. DEAN: Respecting America is start of the defense of America. It‘s not just having a strong military. And that‘s what‘s missing in this president.
MATTHEWS: Did this president tell us a lie to get us into this war?
H. DEAN: The president told us...
MATTHEWS: Did the vice president?
H. DEAN: The vice president told us that they were about to get nuclear weapons. That was not true.
MATTHEWS: Did he know it wasn‘t true?
H. DEAN: I can‘t tell that.
MATTHEWS: Did he practice the policy of not wanting to know what he didn‘t want to know?
H. DEAN: I don‘t know what happened, Chris, but I know that even the president of the United States allowed us to believe and hinted broadly that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.
A lot of people in this country believe it. It wasn‘t true. He admitted it. Secretary Powell admitted it. I want to know why we‘ve lost over 500 troops, including one from New Hampshire today, because we went into Iraq without knowing why.
MATTHEWS: Does this administration deserve our trust for matters of security after what they did with the regard to the run-up to this war?
DEAN: No. The president chose tax cuts, $3 trillion worth to Ken Lay and the boys, instead of finding the—inspecting the cargo containers, instead of buying the uranium stocks from the former Soviet Union, their cooperative threat reduction agreement.
This president has made us less safe, not more safe.
MATTHEWS: Part of the arguments made for the war, the WMD argument, which is now very much called into question by David Kay‘s statements of the last couple days. Do you believe that you as president would ever be called upon to use nuclear weapons?
H. DEAN: I might be, and I‘m prepared to do that if I have to.
MATTHEWS: Give me the circumstances.
H. DEAN: If a nuclear power would attack us. That would certainly be one of them. There may be others, as well.
I mean, it‘s hard to—I want to be very careful. Any president has to be very careful in making sure that you never take an option off the table, because that‘s always the ultimate in terms of making sure we can negotiate. There are circumstances under which an American president would have to use nuclear weapons.
MATTHEWS: When you hear the phrase, axis of evil, is that a convincing phrase, a useful phrase, or a dangerous phrase? How do you hear it?
H. DEAN: I think it‘s a foolish phrase. The truth is that some of North Korea‘s behavior is undoubtedly stimulated by the president‘s labeling them as axis of evil.
No one would vouch for or advocate for the president of North Korea. The truth, is I think the president, the North Korean‘s president‘s policy is a disaster. We ought to be in bilateral negotiations with him.
We should have been a long time ago. The reason we‘re not is because the hard-liners of the administration have convinced the president the collapse of North Korea is inevitable. And it‘s not necessarily true.
And the risk is that they will either already have or will develop nuclear weapons, which will then be sold to a terrorist group or a rogue nation.
The Chinese would help us in the moment if we gave them a clear indication that we wanted them to make the deal. And the reason that we‘re not getting the help of the Chinese is because we‘re not giving them a clear signal that we want their help.
MATTHEWS: What‘s in the brain soup—I‘d like you both to answer this—what‘s in the brain soup of this man here that‘s so different than brain soup, sort of the basic psychic condition, of the president‘s people, who seem to relish the idea of confrontation?
And you seem to relish the idea of some kind of deal, of avoidance of a war. What‘s different about you from the administration hawks?
H. DEAN: I believe in facts. They don‘t. They have a theory that says if you send enough troops around, you can overturn the world and change the way it is.
I‘d love to change the way some of the world is, but I‘m a doctor. I pay attention to facts.
But one of the most interesting things here is, and I don‘t want to pick on John Kerry. That‘s not my intention.
But in 1991, I supported President Bush‘s Gulf War. John Kerry voted against it. There were troops on the ground in—Iraqi troops on the ground in Kuwait. Oil wells were on fire. I thought American intervention was justified. Kerry voted no.
This time, the president tells a whole bunch of things that turn out not to be true. Intimates that weapons of mass destruction are present, that aren‘t present. John Kerry votes to send us to war, I say no.
I keep getting criticized by John Kerry and others on my foreign policy expertise. It seems to me we‘re all getting our information from the same sources. What is really the matter in the White House, what really matters in the White House is having patience and judgment and an ability to sort out the facts, independent of political considerations.
MATTHEWS: Well, could it be that he‘s right? Could John Kerry be right? Because he said that back, the last time we had weapons inspections, it turned out they weren‘t accurate enough, that the guy, Saddam Hussein, was much more dangerous than the weapons inspectors said so? So this time, he said, “Let‘s not give him margin of error. Let‘s act on the worst-case scenario.”
How is that not being a good leader?
H. DEAN: Here‘s why I came to my conclusions—why I came to the conclusions I did on the war.
First, I knew that Saddam was a survivor type of leader, not a statesman. A survivor leadership will sacrifice their own people in order to stay in power, which means they will never tolerate a second source of - - second center of power in the country. That immediately eliminates the possibility they‘ll do any business with al Qaeda.
Second, Al Qaeda is a fundamentalist Islamic organization. Saddam Hussein was a secularist. They hated each other.
Third, there were British intelligence reports that have been made public on the front page of the “New York Times” that indicated there was no possibility that Saddam would develop atomic weapons for five years.
The facts the president were telling us were not so. And why the other folks all voted to go to war a month before the election, I do not know. But the facts were very clear that the war was not justified at that time.
MATTHEWS: You read all the clips. I‘ve heard that from your people. People work around you. You know what everybody else is saying in this campaign.
Does it bother you, as a guy who‘s done this much homework about Islam, to have John Edwards come on the other night during your debate and say, “Well, actually, I‘m not an expert on Islam.” Well, he‘s an expert on terrorism. Everybody claims to be today.
Doesn‘t that bother you, that this man can get away with a throwaway line like “Well, I‘m not an expert on terrorism.” I‘m sorry. He said, “I‘m not an expert on Islam”?
H. DEAN: That didn‘t bother me a bit. I mean, I do have...
MATTHEWS: It didn‘t bother you.
H. DEAN: It didn‘t bother me. I mean, people say all kinds of things at the debates. I was kind of interested...
MATTHEWS: But aren‘t you like the kid who did his homework, and the other kid didn‘t do his homework and he gets the same grade, like it‘s a pass-fail?
H. DEAN: No. This is not...
MATTHEWS: Doesn‘t it bother you?
H. DEAN: No. It doesn‘t bother me a bit. Look, Chris, the longer I stay in this game at this level, the more I realize that you‘re going to get a lot of high hard ones under the chin and a couple of them are going to hit you in the head. That‘s just the way politics is.
MATTHEWS: If you can‘t make it to the presidency, what do you want to say to the kids out in the cold here in Manchester, New Hampshire, when it‘s zero degrees chill factor? They‘re out there waving placards, and you got them into this, saying that you, an outsider, a maverick could make it? What do you say to them if you don‘t make it?
H. DEAN: Well, I think we are going to make it. It‘s going to be long and tough, and tomorrow‘s going to be close...
MATTHEWS: Can you win it here?
H. DEAN: I think we can win it here. It‘s very close, as you know.
MATTHEWS: It‘s within the margin.
H. DEAN: It‘s within the margin. We‘re surging. I think one more day is enough. I think we will, but I can‘t be sure. It‘s going to be very close. It depends whether New Hampshire voters want to send a real—somebody who‘s going to really change Washington to Washington.
MATTHEWS: Doctor, you‘re with your patients during the week, and you‘re thinking between patients, and maybe during patients, you‘re thinking about what‘s happening to your husband.
Do you ever sense that he‘s being treated like a transfer student by the establishment? Like going to a new high school, and everyone says, “Who‘s this kid?” They beat him up a little bit? That‘s the way I see it. What do you think? Is he a transfer student into politics?
J. DEAN: I don‘t know. I think he is a little bit of an outsider. But I think, you know, with him, he‘s very smart. And he‘s saying what he thinks. People will hear what he has to say. And I guess...
MATTHEWS: Do you ever say when you‘re going to bed at night, “Cool it on that one”?
H. DEAN: She‘s being modest. I‘ll tell you a quick story. I gave a speech about 25 years ago on a subject I didn‘t know very much about, which was at that time not uncommon. Someone accused me of it not being uncommon today.
So I gave this speech, and it was about the Soviet Union. And Judy and I walked out of the speech. We were walking home, and I said, “Well, how did you like the speech, dear?”
And she said, “Fair to poor with the emphasis on poor.”
MATTHEWS: She‘s not exactly Nancy Reagan material. Do you ever do the gaze? On purpose? Do you ever find yourself—I know I‘m supposed to do this, like Stepford Wife here. Do you ever do that?
J. DEAN: I don‘t think so.
MATTHEWS: OK. We‘ll be right back to talk about the more serious stuff. Your family, your kids and your husband.
Back with more with Doctor and Doctor Dean.
ANNOUNCER: Still to come on HARDBALL with Chris Matthews, behind the scenes with John Kerry‘s campaign. Chris sits down with the senator‘s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Plus, Chris goes one-on-one with radio legend Don Imus in a HARDBALL exclusive.
And our political panel predicts where this race is heading. “Newsweek‘s” Howard Fineman, NBC‘s Campbell Brown, Democratic strategist Jacques DeGraff and Joe Scarborough.
You‘re watching HARDBALL, live in New Hampshire on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: HARDBALL‘s live in New Hampshire. And still to come, John Kerry‘s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. But first, more with Howard Dean and his wife, Judy Dean. You‘re watching HARDBALL. It‘s live coverage from New Hampshire primary on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: We‘re back with the two Dr. Deans. One‘s Howard, former governor, running for president.
I want to address some of these questions to you. Do you feel like, you know those old stories of the Saint Bernard coming to the rescue of the guy in the snow? Do you feel like you‘re a Saint Bernard, coming to rescue this poor guy, lying in the snow with a brandy bottle under your chin?
J. DEAN: I definitely do not. Howard—When Howard first started to run, we thought that I would have to do some interviews but mostly from Burlington, because that‘s where I have my medical practice.
And—But a week or so, he called me from Iowa, and said that Mrs. Harkin suggested I come out. It was a Saturday. And I could come out on Sunday. I came out, and it started from there.
MATTHEWS: Did any of your patients ever say what are you doing with me? Get out there with your husband?
J. DEAN: Actually, yes. I canceled my Monday patients, because I‘m here today. On Saturday, I called them and canceled them. And one of them actually called me the week before, who had been a patient of Howard‘s and said, “Now, you know, I can cancel Monday, because you should really be in New Hampshire.”
And then sure enough, Saturday, I called her and said, “Well, guess what? I am going to be in New Hampshire.” So...
MATTHEWS: Let me ask about the East Wing. Are you comfortable—You know how it works in the White House. You‘ve seen “The West Wing,” and you‘ve seen the Clintons operate.
There‘s the Bushes that don‘t—the president runs the West Wing, which is the business of the government. And the first spouse, usually a woman, runs the state dinners. A lot of the travel of foreign dignitaries, a lot of the protocol. A lot of business. They have—The first lady has a big staff.
Are you open to playing that role? Are you happy about it?
J. DEAN: Well, we haven‘t really thought specifically about what role I‘d play. But I‘d have to do some of the ceremonial duties, and I think I‘d probably get a lot of help.
MATTHEWS: You‘d have to decide things like whether they have the dinner outside with the bigger tent or they have it in the East Room, where to put the king or the queen.
H. DEAN: That‘s nonsense, that stuff (ph).
MATTHEWS: Doesn‘t she have to do that?
H. DEAN: No.
J. DEAN: I think I can actually get help with that.
H. DEAN: She has to show up, but she‘s going to practice medicine most of the time. She is going to do some state dinners. But you know, there are people you pay to do that stuff. I mean, you know, social hostesses and all that kind of thing.
J. DEAN: OK. We‘ll look into that later.
Let me ask you, on a scale of...
H. DEAN: Well, you can do what you want.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about types of first ladies you can imagine yourself being. Let‘s give Laura Bush somewhere over, put her over, like, with Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower. Let‘s give her a 1 in terms of involvement in public policy.
J. DEAN: OK.
MATTHEWS: And HRC, Hillary Rodham Clinton, a 10. So you‘ve got Laura Bush 1 and Hillary Clinton, 10. One does the entire health care program of America. And the other one does some reading programs. OK.
Where would you be on a scale of one to 10 as a first lady, as an activist?
J. DEAN: I think I‘d just have a totally different role. I hope to continue practicing medicine. So I don‘t know where that fits in there.
MATTHEWS: Closer to 1?
J. DEAN: Well, I think practicing medicine is a role in itself. It may not be a traditional role, but I think it‘s a role in itself.
MATTHEWS: Can you establish a Washington, D.C., practice?
J. DEAN: I hope so.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about your kids. How do they feel about your—this whole incredible—you‘ve been on the road constantly. You‘ve been like an airplane pilot. You‘ve been everywhere. You‘re been constantly working 20 hours a day.
Paul and Ann, how do they respond to this?
J. DEAN: Ann‘s in college. She‘s not home, so she hasn‘t, you know, hasn‘t missed him that much.
Paul has seen him less. But he‘s a senior in high school, and he‘s out and about himself. Howard calls every night, tries to get to as many of Paul‘s hockey games as he can, which he does.
And I think they‘re just really proud of him.
MATTHEWS: OK. All thing being equal, are you glad you‘re both here together, rather than you here alone?
H. DEAN: Yes. I‘m always glad to see her.
MATTHEWS: I mean, even though it was tough getting to this point.
H. DEAN: No.
MATTHEWS: But you‘re glad. Look, you‘re holding hands. I mean, you‘re lovey-dovey here, you know. Do you think this is good? The way they‘re setting up the husband and wife end up campaigning in the finish together?
H. DEAN: Yes, but I really don‘t—I mean, I would never ask Judy to give up her medical practice. She‘s really good at it.
MATTHEWS: But do you mind the fact that you were sort of—there‘s a lot of attention to this question, whether you‘d come out and campaign? And the fact that you have, is it more fun than doing it alone?
H. DEAN: It‘s much more fun for me, because I get to see her.
MATTHEWS: Is it fun for you to be out here, the hell with your patients?
J. DEAN: It is fun.
MATTHEWS: Are they going to understand?
J. DEAN: They will definitely understand.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, should my daughter become a doctor?
J. DEAN: I think it‘s a great profession.
MATTHEWS: Is it still a great profession? With all the paperwork?
J. DEAN: It is more paperwork, and there‘s more rules and regulations. But I love it. I think it‘s a great profession.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you. Thank you very much.
H. DEAN: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Dr. Dean and Dr. Dean.
MATTHEWS: We‘re back with more HARDBALL. Up next, we‘ll get hard predictions from the panel about where this race will end tomorrow night.
And later, Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of John Kerry, talks about her husband‘s fight up here in New Hampshire.
Plus, my exclusive interview with Don Imus.
You‘re watching HARDBALL in New Hampshire on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. The race in New Hampshire is a dead heat between John Kerry and Howard Dean.
The latest Zogby tracking has Kerry within the margin of error at 31 percent, Dean at 28 percent, Clark at 13, Edwards at 12 percent.
Joining me here in New Hampshire, the panel that will be with me all night tomorrow during our primary coverage, starting at 6 Eastern Time. Campbell Brown is with NBC News. Jacques DeGraff is a Democratic strategist. “Newsweek‘s” Howard Fineman is an NBC News political analyst. And former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough hosts “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” weeknights at 10 on MSNBC.
Campbell, you first. Can Dean do it?
CAMPBELL BROWN, NBC NEWS: Yes. And I think do it means either winning or coming in a very close second. For two reasons.
I think Judy Steinberg was a big help on the stump. She warmed him up and made him more appealing.
And New Hampshire loves mavericks. The White House sent John McCain up here today to campaign on their behalf because New Hampshire likes mavericks.
MATTHEWS: Maybe we can call him an ex-maverick at this point. A retired maverick. I think he‘s in the corral right now.
Jacques DeGraff, can he do it?
JACQUES DEGRAFF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think he can come within five points. And I think he‘s already shown that he can take a punch.
MATTHEWS: Have you set the bar here tonight? Five points, is it? Bill Clinton, by the way, was within eight of Paul Tsongas and declared himself the Comeback Kid.
Is chutzpah still in the air in New Hampshire?
DEGRAFF: Well, I think he—I think five points is my margin.
HOWARD FINEMAN, “NEWSWEEK”: Can I say first that that was a terrific chutzpah? It was very well done. It‘s very well done. It‘s good for New England.
But here‘s what‘s going on. This is what Dean is distributing. They‘ve distributed 120,000 copies of the “20/20” interview, to warm up Howard Dean, to show Judy Steinberg Dean.
And this is the Kerry campaign, which is distributing leaflets about if it snows on Tuesday, get your 4 by 4‘s out.
It‘s organization, which is the Kerry campaign, versus Dean campaign‘s message that “I‘m a really good guy. I‘m a regular guy. I‘m not just a maverick. I have the maturity and the personality to be president.”
And that‘s going to make it a close run thing. And I think Dean could pull it off. Even though we put Kerry on the cover of “Newsweek” this week, Dean could still pull it off.
MATTHEWS: Is that like putting somebody on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”?
FINEMAN: What it is—It‘s the establishment. We are part of the establishment. The voters in New Hampshire say whatever the establishment wants, we want something different. That‘s New Hampshire.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” HOST: Just like I said last week, what makes Dean a nationwide candidate even if he lost Iowa, even if he came in second place, he was effective. He had great organization.
I spoke with somebody in this campaign today. They told me that that they‘ve raised over $1.5 million since that tirade Monday night.
MATTHEWS: They liked it.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, the thing is, he‘s been embattled. He‘s taken a punch. He‘s come back. And Judy Dean—in fact, I told one of them. One word for you: “Oprah.” Get Judy Dean on “Oprah.”
MATTHEWS: You stood up for him last week. You‘ve been consistent, Joe. Can anybody else win up here, besides those two? Can anybody else come out a winner besides the frontrunner Kerry or the challenger, the “we try harder” Dean. Anybody else can win here?
BROWN: Edwards, if he does what did he in Iowa.
MATTHEWS: Comes in third?
BROWN: He can come in third if he makes some real movement.
MATTHEWS: Jacques, will third do it? Take him into North—South Carolina to victory?
DEGRAFF: Absolutely. I think the big loser here is Joe Lieberman.
BROWN: And Clark.
FINEMAN: The second race is for third place. And if Edwards wins it, that sets him up, not only in South Carolina but for the long haul. We could have a long race here among three candidates.
SCARBOROUGH: Let‘s talk about the long haul. The only people that have the money over the long haul, I believe in the end, coming out of New Hampshire, will be Kerry and Dean. What this does, it sets up a poll.
MATTHEWS: You‘re talking about the blowouts of the party (ph) will be Clark and Lieberman coming out of here.
SCARBOROUGH: Clark, Clark is the one that‘s really...
MATTHEWS: He‘ll die in New Hampshire?
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, he dies in New Hampshire.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you, Campbell Brown, Jacques DeGraff, Joe Scarborough, Howard Fineman. We‘ll see all of you tomorrow night again, 6 p.m. Eastern Time, when our coverage of the New Hampshire primary begins.
Coming up next, Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Senator John Kerry, talks about her husband‘s campaign here in New Hampshire.
And don‘t miss our exclusive interview with Don Imus. That‘s coming up, too.
You‘re watching HARDBALL, live from New Hampshire on MSNBC. I‘m standing right here.
MATTHEWS: HARDBALL, this half-hour, Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of John Kerry, talks about the race and her husband‘s chances of winning the nomination; plus, my exclusive interview with radio talk show jock Don Imus.
But, first, the latest headlines right now.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL, live in New Hampshire.
John Kerry is still ahead in the polls here, but Howard Dean is closing the gap.
Yesterday, I sat down with the front-runner‘s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
MATTHEWS: Teresa, what is it like to be the wife of a candidate who has come from the back of the pack there in December all the way up to the top in this race for the nomination?
TERESA HEINZ KERRY, WIFE OF SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Well, it‘s the back of the pack for some, but I never thought he was at the back of the pack. And the reason I didn‘t, because I worked very hard.
And, in Iowa, specifically, if you work very hard, you‘re working with caucus-goers, meaning the people who are actually going to vote. And you get a pretty good readout on how they are, how they respond, whether they sign a caucus, the papers, and they say, I‘m committed to you. And after campaigning as hard as I did, I thought to myself five weeks ago that John would probably come in high second, if not first.
And, in fact, when I left New Hampshire last week and I was in the office with the kids in Manchester, I said, all right, we‘re going to do high second or we‘re going to come in first. And I really believed that. I don‘t think I say that because I presumed anything. I just said that, with 32 years in politics, having a gut feel and knowing how to read people and how people read you, unless we made a terrible mistake in the last week, we were going to do very well.
Now, did I think we would do as greatly as we did? No, I didn‘t read that. We also had a tremendous, tremendous organization. And all the Iowans kept saying to me, people outside don‘t understand how a strong organization here makes a huge difference. And they‘re right, you know?
So there‘s a lot I didn‘t know. But I do know about people. And I do know how to read people. And I do also know that, when you‘re honest with people and they‘re honest with you, they are not going to tell you they‘re going to go and caucus for you if they don‘t. They don‘t have to.
And so I had a completely different set of—I was very peaceful about it. I was not nervous. I was working very hard. I did—I had a lot of fun campaigning in Iowa and a lot of fun here, because the kind of campaign that I did was rather intimate. You know, you could be talking to 100 people or 25 people. It didn‘t matter. But the situation and the expectation of people who talk to you in Iowa is a direct talk conversation. And I like that.
MATTHEWS: You‘re reading people. Read your husband for a second, Senator Kerry.
A year ago, he said to me in a hallway: I‘m going to win this war. I‘m going to win this election. I‘m going to beat President Bush. I‘m going all the way. Believe me.
And then, when the numbers were down in the poll, he would do HARDBALL. And he would say to me off camera: Believe me. I‘m going to win this thing. Got it?
HEINZ KERRY: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
MATTHEWS: That self-confidence, is that there? Is that for real?
HEINZ KERRY: John—yes, it is. John—John always does well.
He is a fighter, in a sense. And he has—the reason John runs—how would you say this? The reason he is running is not temporal, if you know what I mean. And I don‘t want to give him more than he deserves. But he has some lofty ideals and he really believes that he can make a difference and lead people.
And it is also interesting to know that he is the only Senate—senator from the 1984 Congress that has never run for president, not that that is a reason. But he has been waiting. And I think he really felt:
This is my time to try. And I‘ll give it my all. And when he gives it his all, that‘s it. He does.
Now, I think he was slowed down by his operation and all that that entailed. And I know that it does change your energy some.
HEINZ KERRY: Any operation does.
MATTHEWS: Because he tried to run his own campaign.
HEINZ KERRY: No. I think that he just went too early. It was 10 days after the operation. He was back in California.
MATTHEWS: Oh, that operation, the real one.
HEINZ KERRY: That operation.
MATTHEWS: Oh, I thought you meant the political operation.
HEINZ KERRY: No, the prostate one.
HEINZ KERRY: And I have had actually several friends who have been operated since by the same doctor who have just been amazed at how John
MATTHEWS: Did he jump up too fast?
HEINZ KERRY: Yes, I thought so.
HEINZ KERRY: I mean, you know, but I‘m a wife, you know.
MATTHEWS: You wanted him to take off?
HEINZ KERRY: I wanted him to really rest for a week during the summer and do nothing. And he didn‘t, because there‘s just too much.
And I think, when you feel, or anybody feels a little weak or debilitated, it slows everything down.
HEINZ KERRY: And I...
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the scrutiny. I don‘t want to hold you up too much tonight—the scrutiny of the campaign, the scrutiny on Dr. Dean, Mrs. Dean—“Where is she? Why isn‘t she here?”—the scrutiny on that tape recording last week of Howard Dean in that performance he put on election night. Do you think there‘s too much scrutiny by the press and we miss something by being too intent?
HEINZ KERRY: You know, I—I decided early on in this campaign that I was going to try to do three things, one, stay strong, healthy; two, stay humble; and, three, develop the best sense of humor I could.
And so, when I‘ve seen for myself stories that are what I consider inaccurate or too unkind, I think, well, that‘s their problem. And when I see fluff pieces, I say, well, that‘s not me either. And somewhere between the fluff and the nonsense is a real person. It‘s me. And sometimes, people get it right and sometimes they don‘t.
And I think Dr. Dean—I feel badly for her, because she‘s—she might—I don‘t know her, but she might be very shy. She might not like to give speeches. She might just like to take care of people. And, you know, she should be able to do that. And I don‘t know them. I mean, I‘ve only shaken hands with Governor Dean once. So I don‘t know. But I don‘t think she should be—I think it would be unusual for the American people to have a spouse of a president that is not—quote—“a spouse of a president.”
MATTHEWS: I understand.
HEINZ KERRY: On the other hand, if you have a woman president and you have a man who is a lawyer or a general, how is he going to play spouse? I don‘t quite know. And I think, ultimately...
MATTHEWS: And Bill Clinton might discover that some day.
Let me ask you, do you look forward—being humble, do you look forward to being first lady? Can you imagine being in the East Wing, putting together diplomatic receptions and traveling the world?
HEINZ KERRY: You know, I try not to go there. I try not to go there.
HEINZ KERRY: I will—because I...
MATTHEWS: Is it a jinx?
HEINZ KERRY: No. You know what? I have to focus on what I‘m doing.
I focus on my work.
I think I can do a good job, if I get there, because I do some of that anyway. That‘s not the reason to go there, specifically. But if I could leverage the work that I do in terms of my own work now with other people and other communities in the country, enabling people to pick themselves up, that‘s what I would like to do.
MATTHEWS: Just a couple more questions.
What is it like to have somebody like this big figure, Ted Kennedy? I know your husband works with him every day in the Senate and is used to dealing with him politically. But what‘s it like to have that big guy arrive on the scene of a conflict, when you really need him, maybe?
HEINZ KERRY: You know, I‘ve gotten to know Ted and Vicki, and particularly because of Vicki‘s parents, Doris and Edmund Reggie, with whom I‘ve become very close. And Mrs. Reggie looks like my mom and my aunt. And so, since neither of them is alive, she‘s kind of...
MATTHEWS: Well, Judge Reggie is quite a character.
HEINZ KERRY: But I love—I love Doris, too.
In any case, so I see them. And what I‘ve gotten to know about Ted Kennedy is to see him as the youngest of the family. And when you see him as the youngest kid in the family, he is really mischievous and fun. And I‘ve also seen him with a boatload of 20 grand nephews and nieces, everybody‘s little children. And they worship that man.
And so, we see him as a political figure, yes. But when you see him as a (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (you know, that is really lame-- surely this transcriptionist could do better than that-Crocuta) to all of those little kiddies and the love that all of these—quote—“children,” these nephews and nieces have for him, it is a very endearing quality. It really humanizes him.
MATTHEWS: Do you think he, being the brother, the last brother of the Kennedys, and one time in his life, going for the presidency, has sort of a bittersweet feeling about this of helping another guy from Massachusetts?
HEINZ KERRY: I don‘t think—I don‘t think so. I think, maybe 10 years ago, maybe he would have. I don‘t know that. But I don‘t feel that at all. I just feel a lot of support and encouragement and faith coming from him to John.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s talk news—let‘s make some news, Teresa. After the results come in Tuesday night, you and Senator Kerry are going to head to Missouri, which is a very important state.
HEINZ KERRY: Is it?
MATTHEWS: It‘s important because if it
HEINZ KERRY: You looked at my schedule. I don‘t know my schedule.
MATTHEWS: Well, you‘re going to visit the state of Dick Gephardt, who has left the field.
HEINZ KERRY: Yes.
MATTHEWS: Do you think he‘s going to endorse Senator Kerry?
HEINZ KERRY: I honestly have no idea. I don‘t
MATTHEWS: Do you think he is a prospect for V.P.?
HEINZ KERRY: I don‘t know.
MATTHEWS: Have you talked about V.P. with your husband at all?
HEINZ KERRY: I put in a request for myself, because I can‘t get it anyway.
MATTHEWS: You can‘t get it because you‘re not...
HEINZ KERRY: I know, because I‘m not American-born.
HEINZ KERRY: No.
You know what? I have tremendous, tremendous respect for Dick. And, in fact, I told him when the AFSCME me and the AFL-CIO endorsements went elsewhere that I was surprised, because I think, if anybody deserves, at least in the old context of labor and party politics, deserved the endorsement, it was Dick. He has really been faithful to them.
HEINZ KERRY: Which is not to say that someone like John or someone else wouldn‘t be faithful to the principles that protect labor.
HEINZ KERRY: They would just do it differently.
But I think his speech, I saw his speech on TV. I cried, because I was sad for him.
MATTHEWS: Can I ask you a tough question?
HEINZ KERRY: And he had a lot of—a lot of dignity.
MATTHEWS: I‘m out of time here. I have to do one tough question.
Do you think George W. Bush deserves a second term?
HEINZ KERRY: Oh, God. You know, I don‘t think anybody really deserves to be president, if you really think of the responsibilities.
But I must say, he came in with a lack of curiosity and interest about the job. And I think that the results of that was offending a lot of people around the world and really, almost seemingly, being afraid to think on the complex problems that we live in as opportunities, but rather as silos to be disposed of.
And, you know, the world is really a very complex, but very interesting place. And I think you can‘t have someone who is afraid to be Socratic or is afraid to really go there, who is afraid to even make a fool of themselves, only because they‘re thinking out loud, not because they‘re not thinking.
And so I would say, Mr. President, if you want to stay there, please listen to Americans. Don‘t tell them.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you very much, Teresa Heinz Kerry. Thanks for joining us.
HEINZ KERRY: Thank you so much.
MATTHEWS: Coming up, an exclusive interview with Don Imus.
You‘re watching HARDBALL, live in New Hampshire, on MSNBC.
ANNOUNCER: Follow all the action in the battle for the White House. Just sign up for the best political briefing around. Log on to our newly redesigned Web site at HARDBALL.MSNBC.com.
MATTHEWS: Coming up, a HARDBALL exclusive with one of most influential media personalities in politics, Don Imus.
And don‘t forget, our coverage of the primary begins at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL, live in New Hampshire.
Earlier today, I caught up with Don Imus. I asked him where he stands on the issues for once and about the race, of course, up here in New Hampshire.
MATTHEWS: You know, Don Imus, I really don‘t know your politics. I‘ve listened to you about every morning for a long time. And where do you stand on right to carry, things like that, guns?
DON IMUS, TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think it‘s fine.
MATTHEWS: Are you a Second Amendment right kind of guy?
MATTHEWS: A real Charlton Heston guy?
IMUS: No, not a Charlton Heston guy. I don‘t think....
MATTHEWS: Cold, dead hands, the whole thing?
IMUS: No. No.
I don‘t think people should be able to buy assault weapons. And I don‘t think people should be able to buy a gun without being fully vetted and checked and...
MATTHEWS: If you live in a bad neighborhood, should you be allowed to have a shotgun in the house?
IMUS: Well, I think
MATTHEWS: If you don‘t take it out on the street, why can‘t you have it at home?
IMUS: Oh, I think everybody should have a shotgun. I do.
IMUS: And when you cock that thing, you know, man, they‘re out of the house.
MATTHEWS: Hah! They‘re out of there. Just the sound.
IMUS: That‘s all you got to do.
MATTHEWS: What about gay marriage? Are you for it or against it?
IMUS: Well, I hear—well...
MATTHEWS: Not for you especially, but...
IMUS: No, let me answer. I mean, I don‘t know.
I don‘t—I think they should be able to do whatever they want to do. Now, I think it is a cop-out to say, well, give them all of the rights they want, but don‘t let them get married. If they love each other and if gay people are as successful as heterosexual people about, about half of them are going to get divorced anyway. So...
MATTHEWS: We‘re up here in the New England area. And, say, next June
· they have a lot of June weddings out here in Provincetown, right? Not that there‘s anything wrong with it. And they grab—they come from San Francisco and Chicago and Atlanta.
MATTHEWS: And they all come in here and get their driver‘s licenses. I want to get your position on. And they all come home with their marriage licenses. And they wave them in the air. And they start filling out forms saying “married” on every tax return. They say to—they say to the local governments, you got to honor this license, I‘m married, is that going to - - is that something you would go along with?
IMUS: You‘re making it more complicated.
MATTHEWS: No, this is what‘s going to happen. This is as complicated as it is going to be. It is going to happen. There are going to be a lot of June weddings in Provincetown, not that there‘s anything wrong with it.
IMUS: Well, of course, there‘s a lot wrong with it.
As I was going to say, I think—homosexuality is aberrant behavior.
But you have to get past—at least, in my mind, I‘ve gotten past that.
IMUS: If that‘s what they want to do, and they‘re people and they love each other and they‘re nice, then you shouldn‘t be mean to them. And I‘m not mean to them. And other people shouldn‘t be mean to them.
MATTHEWS: So you‘re a libertarian, basically, guns, gay marriage, the route, the whole works.
IMUS: Well, I think it is an issue-to-issue thing. But, I mean, I just—if they want to get married, they should let them married. And whatever happens, happens.
MATTHEWS: How about polygamy? Where are you on polygamy? I mean, really. The Mormons had to go along with getting rid of polygamy to get in the Union. Do you think was that fair? It‘s their lifestyle. It fulfills their emotions and their society back in the old days. Why shouldn‘t you be allowed to have a three-way marriage?
IMUS: Why are you
MATTHEWS: Because I‘m trying to get to the truth here.
IMUS: No, no, but why? I‘m not running for anything. Why are you badgering me?
MATTHEWS: You agreed to come on HARDBALL.
IMUS: No, I agreed. I know I agreed, foolishly.
MATTHEWS: I would never do this to any normal person, of course.
IMUS: No, I understand that. If gay people want to get married, fine. You should have one wife. That‘s all.
MATTHEWS: And how many guns?
IMUS: As many guns as you have a license for.
MATTHEWS: And only one wife?
MATTHEWS: Well, why do you draw the line? The Muslims say you can have up to, what, four, right? Why are you being so—why are you being so—why are you being so ethnocentric here?
IMUS: It‘s a great word
IMUS: I don‘t know. You should make a commitment to someone in your life and then stick with that.
MATTHEWS: One to one.
MATTHEWS: Let me you about this election. Have you made your commitment yet in this primary up here?
IMUS: Well, this morning I have, yes.
MATTHEWS: Who is your guy?
IMUS: Well, my guy this morning is John Kerry. So...
MATTHEWS: Is that a sort of—sort of a like a marriage commitment?
Or is that just a one-night stand, one-morning stand?
IMUS: Well, no, it is not a marriage commitment.
MATTHEWS: So, tomorrow you could decide Lieberman still has a chance.
MATTHEWS: You like Lieberman. You were going to stay with him up here.
IMUS: I do like him, yes.
Well, yes. But, I mean, things have not worked out for either him—-
Craig Crawford found a phone book of Lieberman‘s in front of his headquarters. It‘s not open. Open the book and call some of these people and they‘ll vote for you. You can‘t leave the phone book out on your doorstep if it‘s not open. No wonder he‘s running at about 4 percent.
MATTHEWS: He obviously doesn‘t intend to stay too long.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about country, because you‘re a country guy.
And you are a country guy. And you know the music.
MATTHEWS: And you watch over the last year or two, the country music, “Remember How You Felt,” those kinds of songs, strong emotional connection between the country people and those who love country and this war and this patriotism thing. What is the connection between being a country guy and a patriot? Why do they seem to be so much more overtly patriotic?
IMUS: Oh, I don‘t think any different than NASCAR fans or—Brian Williams is a NASCAR fan. Did you know that?
MATTHEWS: Yes, but the fact you had to tell me tells me something.
MATTHEWS: Right. He doesn‘t seem like one.
IMUS: So, well, they‘re not just all redneck goobers.
MATTHEWS: No, no, I mean the country thing.
It seems to me, the more rural the guy, maybe the working guy has a lot more of a visceral connection with his flag, tougher connection. It‘s not sort of sophisticated. It‘s just gut. What‘s that about?
IMUS: I don‘t know. I don‘t have any idea.
IMUS: I mean, I just think that‘s—to talk specifically about country music and about, say, Toby Keith who I happen to like, but I thought that some of the things, they‘re idiotic, some of the songs. “We‘re going to put a boot in your ass.” That‘s stupid. So—but it got people jacked up. And the troops liked it. And that‘s enough for me.
MATTHEWS: Up next, more of my interview with Don Imus.
You‘re watching HARDBALL, live in New Hampshire, on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: We first met when I went after you, because you—you—you went after the president, President Clinton at the time. And you told a very funny joke about, “Go, babe, go.” And you said, that‘s probably not the first time you said that. And I thought that that was...
IMUS: It turns out it wasn‘t.
MATTHEWS: No. No. In fact, I think you might be up there with Saint John the Baptist in terms of knowing what‘s coming.
MATTHEWS: So, do what do you owe your prescience about Bill Clinton‘s lifestyle and how I was all mad at you, when you knew him? You knew him better than I did.
IMUS: Yes, but that was obvious to everybody in the country, except people like you, who just had blinders on.
MATTHEWS: Why was I so ridiculously naive even about the lifestyle of the president of the day?
IMUS: Well, the same reason
MATTHEWS: When you were so knowing?
IMUS: The same reason you‘re in the tank for Dean and some of these other people.
MATTHEWS: Hah! I don‘t think so.
IMUS: No. But, I mean, the whole country knew it at the time. It was probably in poor taste, but...
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you a question.
MATTHEWS: The smart ones do you a lot and show up on your show a lot.
IMUS: You really do talk when
MATTHEWS: I have got to talk while you‘re finishing up. And then I save time.
IMUS: Well, yes, but you just don‘t give anybody a chance to do anything.
MATTHEWS: I‘m listening with my tongue, OK?
IMUS: And you know what? This is superficial, but you have on a jacket and pants that—well, it‘s fine that they don‘t match.
MATTHEWS: No, these—these go to with my suit—they go with my suit.
IMUS: OK, but they‘re close enough that they....
MATTHEWS: They fake it, because I only have one pair of pants. They work for the suit and work with the blazer.
IMUS: But it looks awful. I mean, you‘re...
IMUS: You‘re actually on real television, aren‘t you, along with the cable thing?
MATTHEWS: Tonight, I‘ll put on a suit.
MATTHEWS: Did you notice that they‘re all kind of squirrelly, the guys that run for president, that they‘re all a little Nixonian? They have this bug that is the ability to give the same speech 1,000 times, to put up with guys like you, put up with guys like me, the willingness to be humiliated in public, to give the same different speech over and over again, to be destroyed and have to raise money and kiss butt with everything they get their money?
Aren‘t they a peculiar crew? Or what you think? Do you think they‘re normal guys?
IMUS: Well, no, I don‘t think you can be normal and run for the presidency at all.
But, I mean, I think you can be like John Edwards, who—somebody on either the Jon Stewart show or Colin Quinn somebody made the observation that he really does, when you see him, look like one of the guys at 3:00 in the morning doing a real estate seminar on television or an evangelist.
IMUS: He‘s really—he resonates with you that way.
MATTHEWS: Or a collie.
IMUS: Pardon me?
MATTHEWS: He reminds me of a collie.
IMUS: So I don‘t think he you‘re counts. He knows he‘s not going to be president. And we know that.
MATTHEWS: Not this time. He may be running for Hillary‘s V.P.
But, generally, I just—there have been a few guys who don‘t fit the mold. I know what you‘re saying—like McCain.
IMUS: I even think Bill Clinton, early on, was—was willing to be kind of a regular guy.
IMUS: You know? So—but you‘re right. They‘re all frightened and afraid they‘re going to say the wrong thing. And so...
MATTHEWS: Don Imus, it is good to have you as the morning starter of our network. MSNBC owes a lot to you. I‘m willing to say so. I‘m the first guy.
IMUS: I can‘t tell what you a pleasure this was.
MATTHEWS: Hah! Don‘t bother.
Don Imus, as our advertisement said last night, a legend.
MATTHEWS: Don‘t forget, HARDBALL‘s special coverage of tomorrow‘s New Hampshire primary begins at 6:00 Eastern. We‘ll be here at the McIntyre ski lodge in Manchester all night long.
Right now, it‘s time for the “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann.
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