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MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript


Location: Unknown


Thank you. I haven`t seen much of you lately. Where -- where have
you been the last couple months? Have you been out on television?

there, but I also had my twins (INAUDIBLE) this past weekend, so I`ve been
busy being a mom, too. And you know...


MATTHEWS: I`ve been missing you. We want you -- we want you for our

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I`ve been there. I`ve been there.
MATTHEWS: ... selfishness reasons. But also, I like to see the
partisan combat.

I want to show you something right now. It`s what I think a surrogate
should be doing. Now, we know this guy isn`t always on message, but when
he is, he`s pretty good. Here`s the veep, Vice President Joe Biden,
attacking Mitt Romney`s rationale for running for president in New
Hampshire today. Let`s watch the veep do surrogate work. Here he is.


better qualified to be president and commander-in-chief because of his
business experience.


BIDEN: That`s why he should be -- well, it`s not an irrational
argument if you -- but depending on the business and your success in the

(INAUDIBLE) job is legitimate. It`s legitimate. But folks, making
money regardless of the consequences for the workers, the companies they
acquire or the communities that get wasted, is another question. Folks,
making money for your investors, which Romney did very well, is not the
president`s job. The president has a different job.



MATTHEWS: Well, there you have it, Congresswoman, Madam Chairman, it
seems to me, not an A-plus performance, but a decently good performance
echoing the president`s argument that Mitt Romney`s not an evil person, he
may not be a vampire, but to claim that his work as head of Bain was
somehow a great preparation for the presidency is not true.

Now, why don`t we have the whole cabinet out there doing it? Why
don`t we have Democratic governors, senators and members of Congress? I
would have thought an orchestra leader would be important here, somebody
pointing out, You now -- you do Saturday, you do the women on Saturday, you
do the minorities on Monday, but let`s get this thing with an orchestra
sound to it.

And all I hear is a solo act from the president, broken now by these -
- well, they`re not purposely saboteurs, but they sabotaged this whole
operation this week.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Chris, we`re fortunate that we actually have a
very broad and deep surrogate operation in which we have many different
kinds of leaders across the country -- political leaders, elected
officials, community leaders, organizational leaders -- who are out there
as spokespeople on behalf of the president of the United States and making
the case for his reelection.

And that`s because they believe in his candidacy, they believe in his
record of accomplishment.

MATTHEWS: Who are they? But I don`t hear them.


MATTHEWS: Which Cabinet members? Which members of the Cabinet are
out there speaking for the president politically and for his reelection?
Who is out there giving speeches for him?


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Secretary Sebelius is one of those Cabinet
members. Now, remember, there are some Cabinet members that are restricted
and unable to advocate on behalf of the president, like the attorney
general and the secretary of state, the secretary of homeland security.

So you won`t see those Cabinet officials out there, because they are
appropriately doing their jobs. But you do see Secretary Sebelius,
Secretary Salazar. You have the secretary of commerce, the secretary of

You have -- I was just down in South Florida with Ambassador Susan
Rice, who came down to talk with the Jewish community, and she wasn`t down
to talk about the president`s candidacy, but about his record of
accomplishments and support for Israel.

So, we have internal surrogates who are making the case for the
president, and then we have a number and widespread outside surrogates,
like Governor Ted Strickland, for example, the former governor of Ohio, and
Governor Rendell is certainly a surrogate for us, and myself, and a broad
number of members of Congress, Congresswoman Donna Edwards.
There`s a very long list of surrogates for the president, and they
have been out there repeatedly.

MATTHEWS: You know, I don`t see it.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I`m not sure how you`re not seeing them.

MATTHEWS: I watch a lot of television. I watch a lot of television,
Congresswoman, and I got to tell you, it looks like a solo act.

The president had to go out and explain his position yesterday in a
press conference. When he was being assaulted by all those mutineers this
weekend, by Rattner and by Cory Booker and Ed Rendell and all those people
making those critical comments, I didn`t here anybody jumping to his
defense. Did you?


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Chris, I think there are times when it`s
appropriate to put a surrogate out there, and there are times when
President Obama believes that there is no one better than the president
himself to stand up and make the central case that because Mitt Romney has
been repeatedly saying that his central qualification for the presidency of
the United States is his record at Bain Capital, I think it`s entirely
appropriate for the president to make sure that voters and -- voters in
this country understand that that is not a qualification for president.
And if he is representing that he is, then a close examination and
close scrutiny of that record is entirely appropriate.


Thank you very much, U.S. Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair
of the Democratic Party.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You`re welcome.


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