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MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript


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MATTHEWS: Anyway, last night, the -- they highlighted some major differences between the parties. We`re going to get into them right now with Donna Edwards, U.S. congresswoman from Maryland, and Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California. Thank you so much.



MATTHEWS: Let me just say as a student of politics -- you`re politicians, I`m a student. Everybody who wants to go into politics should read Deval Patrick`s speech, recite it a million times, and say, Is this what I want to do for a living? Because that`s what politics is, selling, getting out there and saying, This is what we stand for. This is what we`ve done. We`re better than the other guy, got it? He was fantastic!


MATTHEWS: Your thoughts.

REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D), MARYLAND: Well, and Chris, you know, not apologizing for it. And so he put the record out there because so much of what we heard during the Republican convention was just a bunch of nonsense
and it wasn`t true.

What Governor Deval Patrick did last night, as he said, Let`s talk about what the real record is. And Democrats -- we`re proud of what we`ve done. We`re not going to walk away from it.

NEWSOM: Yes, Chris, that was the most powerful thing. I think even the reaction of the crowd just a moment ago -- standing up with strength of character, principle, having the courage of your convictions resonates.

People want strength, and they don`t want people to necessarily apologize for their points of view. So I agree with you 100 percent. By the way, it does not surprise me because he`s effective all the time.

Deval`s been an amazing (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: Oh, I know, but I never saw him do that street corner oratory like that last night. That was out (ph) with a bullhorn. I loved it!

EDWARDS: Well, you know what we saw. We saw so many people in the Republican convention -- what they were doing, they were selling themselves. They weren`t...


MATTHEWS: Did you notice, everybody gave 90 percent of their speech to themselves.

NEWSOM: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: That big guy from Jersey, what`s his name, Christie...

CLINTON: Christie -- 37...

MATTHEWS: All he talked about was Christie! Anyway...


MATTHEWS: I love the fact that your governor`s challenged him to a pushup contest.

NEWSOM: Yes, no, he...


MATTHEWS: Anyway, as NBC`s "FIRST READ" blog pointed out this morning, there was a big difference between how the two conventions talked about the American dream. The message last week was focused on an American dream to become an entrepreneur, a businessman. But speakers last night, like Michelle Obama, the first lady, had a very different take.

Let`s watch.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Barack knows the American dream because
he`s lived it.


MICHELLE OBAMA: And he wants everyone in this country, everyone, to
have the same opportunity no matter what we are or where we`re from or what we look like or who we love. And he believes that when you`ve worked hard and done well and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not
slam it shut behind you.

No, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that
helped you succeed!



MATTHEWS: Well, the keynoter, Julian Castro of San Antonio, tied the
American dream to the immigrant experience and the role government plays in
providing opportunity.

Let`s watch him.


not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay.

Our families don`t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. My grandmother never owned a house. She cleaned other people`s houses so she could afford to rent her own.

But she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. And my mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone.




MATTHEWS: Congresswoman, I thought -- I said it last night and I will keep saying because I learned something last night.

So much of us, so many of us whose families came, mine came over a couple of generations from Ireland and the British Isles, and to us that was the immigrant experience. I think that he made the point, the mayor did last night, that the immigrant experience coming south to north is the same thing. It may come from -- it is to get work. It is to find an opportunity.

I thought he really did that incredibly well.

EDWARDS: Well, I think between Mayor Castro and the first lady, what you heard is a dream that every parent and grandparent shares for their children.

And I think that they laid that out there in a way that says that we are connected as communities and as human beings and that our experiences
may be slightly different, but they are not all that different.


Did you get -- were you struck by the fact that it is not just black people but brown people, by Hispanic people, who were affected very directly by the Civil Rights Act? Those people were discriminated against as well?

EDWARDS: Absolutely. And then what you could hear from that is the connectedness between all of our experiences. And what he said is that as
a brown person, what she said is as a black person, guess what. We shared
some stuff.


EDWARDS: You could hear it.

MATTHEWS: It was a great thing.

EDWARDS: It was powerful.

MATTHEWS: Governor?

NEWSOM: It`s evocative of the best...


MATTHEWS: And, by the way, lot of kudos to you for your work for marriage equality last night. I think every speaker, every speaker, including the first lady, made a big case for marriage equality.

NEWSOM: No, I appreciate it. Thank you.


NEWSOM: And back to the point, when you stand on principle, when you have the courage of your convictions, and that went nicely with Governor Patrick.

But I was reminded, I think those two speeches connected me to the best of Dr. King, said we are all bound together by a web, a mutuality. We are all in this together. The notion of commonwealth was alive and well last night.

MATTHEWS: That`s right.

One thing missing from both Governor Romney`s and Congressman Paul Ryan`s speeches last week was any mention of the wars the country is
actually fighting now. That`s something Tammy Duckworth, a war hero herself, brought up last night.


TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: When it comes to our men and women in harm`s way, we have a clear choice on November 6.

Last week, Mitt Romney had a chance to show his support for the brave
men and women he`s seeking to command. But he chose to criticize President
Obama, instead of even uttering the word Afghanistan. Barack Obama will
never ignore our troops. He will fight for them.


MATTHEWS: Governor, why do the neocons, the hawks always want to talk
about fresh wars, and never talk about the wars we are still fighting with
all the horror that comes with them?

NEWSOM: Yes. For obvious point. They are messy, and they`re complicated. It is easy to start something and it`s difficult to follow through.

The irony of this, they get us in both these wars., and it is President Obama that has been cleaning up this mess and it is this convention and the conventioneers that are doing everything that needs to be done to get us out of these wars in a safe and responsible way.


MATTHEWS: Congresswoman?

EDWARDS: Well, and you know...

MATTHEWS: No mention of Afghanistan.

EDWARDS: No mention.

I come from a military family. So what I see what President Obama has done and particularly the first lady with our military families and our service men and women, we can`t ignore them. And, so, you know, to talk about starting new wars, but not even mention the honorable service that`s going on right now and the kind of sacrifice that`s going on in this country, no one should be president...


MATTHEWS: I think I know why they didn`t do it, because they are trying to sell a new one.

Anyway, one thing was clear last night. The Democrats decided they weren`t going to run away from Obamacare anymore. In fact, they called it Obamacare. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and education -- health and human services -- that was the old name -- said Democrats should wear the nickname of Obamacare like badge of honor.

And one of the most emotional speeches came from Stacey Lihn, a mother
of a child with heart problems, who had some strong words on the law.
Let`s watch her.


STACEY LIHN, HEALTH REFORM ADVOCATE: If Mitt Romney becomes president, and Obamacare is repealed, there`s a good chance she will hit her lifetime cap.

There is no way we can afford to pay for all of the care she needs to survive. When you have a sick child, it is always in the back of your mind and sometimes in the front of your mind.

On top of that, worrying that people would let an insurance company take away her health care just because of politics, one in 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect. President Obama is fighting for them.




MATTHEWS: Congresswoman, I loved it because the Republican ad campaign has been trying to suggest that Obamacare is some plan to skim from the middle-class retirees in Medicare and give it to poor people.

We have a poor person`s program. It is called Medicare.


MATTHEWS: This is different. This is called insurance for people that have real health crises.

EDWARDS: It is, Chris. And it is an anchor. It is what middle-class families need.
And it is what Stacey Lihn said that she needed for her family. And the Republicans want to take that away?

MATTHEWS: They only have one shot. It`s called November.

EDWARDS: It`s not happening.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you very much, U.S. Congresswoman Donna
Edwards, who I have always supported, anyway, and Gavin Newsom, lieutenant
governor of California.


MATTHEWS: Up next, more from Charlotte and our coverage of the Democratic National Convention down here.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


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