Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Hardball' Transcript: 3-30-10

Read the complete transcript of Chris Matthews' 'Hardball' program for March 30th.

BLACKWELL: Look, no. I am the co-chairman of the RNC`s redistricting committee. My job is to work with John Ryder, the chairman, to make sure that we`re in a position of keeping the pens that will draw the maps of the congressional district in our party`s hands for competitive advantage. Pure and simple. That is a full -- that is a full plate.

You asked me a question as someone that is intricately involved in the party, and I gave you an honest answer. We must make sure that we are not distracted from the business at hand and the charge of the Republican National Committee.

MATTHEWS: Right. Is Michael Steele a distraction?

BLACKWELL: I can tell you what is a distraction -- having to explain these weird expenditures, having to explain that we are not high rollers and high flyers and duplicitous leaders. That is a distraction, and it is Michael`s responsibility to make sure that we do away with those distractions, and we do away with incompetence, and we do away with those who would spend money unwisely. That`s what we need to take a step forward (ph).


MATTHEWS: Bob Woodward of the Watergate fame once said, "follow the money." Let`s follow the money. He started with $22 million at the RNC. He has got $9 million now, so that`s down about 10. Big problem. It`s not that just he`s down around 10. He brought in 96 during that period, so he lost $106 million that have gone out the door, have been burned in the last year because it has been spent--


BLACKWELL: Chris, Chris --

MATTHEWS: Has it been spent wisely?

BLACKWELL: Chris, let`s go back to what you said just in your last segment. The fact of the matter is, is that success has a thousand fathers. So I`m sure that Michael will take credit for Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, at least part credit. So as a consequence, there has been success.

The RNC is not a bank. We have to spend money in order to win elections. The question is, how are we spending the money? That`s why this is such a distraction. Because, one, there`s no way that you can explain that a stripper club expenditure is help building a grassroot organization in any county in the country.

MATTHEWS: Do you understand the responsibilities as the RNC chairman, is it to make sure -- does he have a fiduciary responsibility? In other words, if somebody writes a check and turns it in and says, I just paid $2,000 to go to the Voyeur Club in L.A. where they have bondage and S&M and all that stuff going on, is it the chairman`s responsibility to have people in place who will see that bill and say, no way in hell should this RNC, should the donors that kick into this party have to pay for that? Is it his responsibility --


MATTHEWS: OK. So it`s Michael Steele`s responsibility to make sure this kind of (inaudible) doesn`t happen.

BLACKWELL: Look, but this --

MATTHEWS: Yes or no?

BLACKWELL: This is nothing -- Chris, can you hear? I said yes.


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