tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC October 9, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PDT
taking it to the streets. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews down in washington. leading off tonight, the whole world is watching the occupy wall street protesters who have been gathering across the country aren't necessarily looking for a leader. but a leader may be looking for them. you can be sure the organizers don't want to be co-opted by any political party, even the democrats. but you can be just as sure that the democrats are desperate to ride that wave of energy and enthusiasm. if there's a tea party on the left, you may be looking at it. also, mass hysteria. republican scott brown is fighting hard to change the subject after taking a personal
shot at rival elizabeth warren's physical appearance. this is just the start of what's going to be the most in-your-face senate race in the country. plus, waiting for superman. or superwoman. chris christie said no. so did sarah palin. rick perry's losing supporters. and rick santorum is hoping to be the guy who picks them up and becomes the big-name conservative in the race. we'll play "hardball" tonight with rick santorum. and jon huntsman finally came in first in a straw poll. that's the good news. the bad news is, well, check out the side show. and let me finish tonight with a need to watch the wall street protesters and listen to them for solutions. let's begin with the occupy wall street protests themselves. sherrod brown is a democrat from ohio. senator, if you were standing in wall street with the occupy wall street people, what placard would you be holding up in the air? >> that's a good question. i just think for the president to stand -- be on or side in the end.
i mean, this isn't a liberal conservative left or right, it's whose side are you on, and the president's starting to fight more than he did. that's a good sign. i think the energy coming out of the wall street protesters is always a good thing. when people nonviolently speak out and stand for something, it's good to challenge authority when they do that. >> do you think they want reform or do they want structural change? the kind of stuff i grew up with and you grew up, which is a real argument about what kind of a system, kind of system we have in this country. is this for structural change, radical change, like the way profits go to different corporations or the way people get jobs? is it systemic? or do they just want things fixed a little? i'm curious. what do you think? >> i don't think they want minor reforms. you remember during the banking bill. the brown/kaufman amendment would have said, it would have basically said those banks that have gotten bigger and bigger and bigger, the biggest six banks in the country should have been broken up into smaller banks. it would have, instead of the power again occurring at the
top, we saw what happened this week, when some of the largest banks in the country added additional charges, quietly, sort of underhandedly to some of the veterans that were refinancing their homes. and those kind of things are still going on. so minor changes at the edge are not what people want. and i think that, you know, having a -- having rich cordray as the consumer protection bureau chief, things like that that are really going to make these -- make the big banks and make others behave the way they're supposed to. >> do you think corporations are like mitt romney says they are, they're just people like us? do you think they operate in the national interest or the interest of working people? when corporate boards meet and make decisions about automating and getting rid of employees or make decisions about investing overseas and not here, do you think they make decisions in the interest of patriotism, or just cash? what do you think? >> well, i think they're operating -- i remember the ceo of one major company, might have been ge, might have been dow a few years ago, said, i wish i
could move my corporate headquarters to a barge off the coast so i wouldn't have to be beholden to any country. i mean, i understand that. if that's the way they are, then we treat them that way. and that is that we treat them fairly, but firmly on taxes and other things, and you know, when we give tax breaks for people companies that move overseas, there's something wrong with that. earlier in the day, i was speaking -- i was at miracle scott's grow, a company in sort of central ohio, and one guy said, what are we going -- this guy is management -- he said, what are we going to do to help the middle class here? we're seeing middle class wages define, we're see manufacturing move jobs offshore. and i think that's what these protests on wall street are all about. they're standing up not just for the middle class, but for working people who aspire to be middle class. and that is getting a fair shake from companies and getting a fair shake from their government. they don't feel like they are, clearly. >> i think they're there to stay. i think this is going to be as big as -- maybe not as big as egypt, but permanent in our politics all through the next election. these people have got their act
together more than i think the democratic party does these days. let's look at this value voters summit today. eric cantor denounced the occupy wall street movement. let's listen to his angle. >> i, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying wall street and the other cities across the country. and believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of americans against americans. >> such babbitry. babbitry. why do you think he instinctively -- no, really, it is like the old sinclair lewis. here's a guy speaking to the people of main street about the evils of the little people outside their windows. i mean, why do you think the republican party instinctively dumps on people who are out of work, people who are simply in an american way raising their voices? >> well, it's the same people on the republican far right that
any time we talk about a tax increase for somebody making a million dollars a year, any time we talk about challenging the banks or challenging big insurance companies, or people protest peacefully on wall street, they say class warfare, class warfare. well, as you know, and you've talked on this show, chris, many times, is that the class warfare has been aimed by the biggest and wealthiest interest groups in the country, aimed at the middle class, and unfortunately, the middle class, far too often, is losing on this class warfare coming from the most well-healed interest groups in washington. that's why they're fighting back, that's why we're fighting back, that's why you fight back on this show just to give everybody an equal chance. and when eric cantor does that, he shows his true stripes. >> i'm with you. by the way. i think you're a great senator. thank you, sherrod brown, ohio. michael mulgrew was president of the united federation of teachers. he joins us right now from the protest site in downtown. mr. mulgrew, i like where you are, and i like the fact you're on the show tonight.
let's talk about the left, the positive left, who want to make this a better country. i'm not talking anarchy, i'm talking people that really want good reform, structural change, in the right kind of way. more equality in this country. what can get done if labor can get in bed with the people on the streets there? >> people here at occupy wall street first and foremost, they're very clear that this is not a political movement, this is a social movement. and myself and some of my colleagues, we're here to say, just do what you're doing and keep it moving. because this is a discussion that we believe this country needs to have. and as you walk through this park, you hear all of their different ideas, but the main thing, the main message they keep saying is, whatever's been going on here in this country, 1% keep getting richer and 99% are getting poorer and poorer. and we're hoping that by supporting these people and just let them keep going out and saying the messages that they're doing, go across this country, that that's a debate we need to be having on every street corner
across this country if we want our country, once again, to work for everyone. >> as you walk among those people, and you can probably >> give me one thing congress can do to reduce the disparity, the difference between rich and poor in america. >> right off the top it has to be the tax structure is completely out of whack. i represent teachers and school secretaries, they're paying more, a higher percentage of tax than someone who's making $17 billion running a hedge fund. that's absurd! we haven't had the concentration of wealth this high, this is just such a small percentage having all the wealth since 1929. and what you're hearing here and what so many people have been saying is, we don't want a complete collapse. we do not want another great recession. so, just start with the tax structure. let's be fair about it. >> well, wait a minute -- okay, it's friday. let's get serious here. the democrats have controlled the congress. a lot in the last 20, 30 years. there's still a democratic chairman of the finance committee in the senate. they've controlled ways and means with a lot of well-known
people, like charlie rangel, they never got rid of carried interests. they never got rid of those disgusting advantages that the hedge fund operators get. why should you trust the democrats when they've had the power to get rid of these crappy tax deals that give money to people who already make billions, why do you trust them to fix it? >> you know, that's why i was very clear to say to you, this is not a political movement. this is a social movement. it doesn't matter, democrat or republican. what we are hearing now is, the government has not been working for the people. we've had democrats in control and republicans in control, and for 30 years, we've seen all this wealth shift, and it has to stop. that's what i've learned from walking in this park and talking to these people. it's got to be about stop with these party politics, but more importantly, let's do what's right for most people, let's have a real chance at the middle class again. i'm a teacher, i educate children. but i also want to make sure that as that child gets educated and goes to college, they have access to a good life. it's pretty clear, talk to anyone here, talk to anyone on
main street, those opportunities are disappearing. >> you know, in cairo, you and i watched, like everybody else, what happened over there. they brought down mubarak, brought down the statues, they changed everything in egypt. i hope that doesn't happen here, because i don't like violence and i do love our constitution, but what do you think? can good come out of this in the end? in a couple weeks, in a couple months, what's going to be different in america because of that crowd behind you? >> what we're all hoping is that that discussion about really making those changes, about stop -- the income disparity is one of the major things you hear over and over in here. and they all feel, for their own little reasons, that might have about campaign finance, about free media, where we're not independent yaens more, they're all saying that you need to stop the income disparity that's just out-of-control in this country because you have to have that strong middle class. >> i hear you. >> and if we start hearing politicians on both sides start talking about that instead of trying though play these divide
games, then these people have accomplished something that we haven't been able to do in 30 years. >> you're great, mr. mulgrew, great having you on. please come back to "hardball." you belong here, too. coming up, republican senator scott brown of massachusetts fighting hard to get away from a very rough comment he made about elizabeth warren's physical appearance. you don't do that here. brown versus warren, it can promise to be one of the most in-your-face senate races in the country. and it's just getting started. we'll go to that right after this break. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. capital one's new cash rewards card gives you a 50 percent annual bonus. so you earn 50 percent more cash. if you're not satisfied with 50% more cash, send it back! i'll be right here, waiting for it. who wouldn't want more cash? [ insects chirping ] i'll take it. i'll make it rain up in here. [ male announcer ] the new capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet? sorry i'll clean this up. shouldn't have made it rain.
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elizabeth warren was asked by a young republican how she paid for college. the questioner then reminded everybody, including her, that scott brown had posed nude for "cosmopolitan" magazine to pay for his law school. >> to help pay for his law school education, scott brown posed for "cosmo." how did you pay for your college education? >> i kept my clothes on. >> i kept my clothes on. yesterday scott brown was asked about the exchange in a radio interview. let's listen to that. >> have you officially responded to elizabeth warren's comment about how she didn't take her clothes off? >> thank god. >> "thank god." anyway, later, elizabeth warren responded to his statement. let's listen to that. >> what do you think about this "thank god" comment? >> you know, i'll survive a few jabs from scott brown. >> do you think he should apologize? >> i'll survive. >> wow, and "the boston globe" reports that brown went back on
radio last night to say his earlier statement on warren was a joke. that's what he says. so in a competitive race, does a back and forth like this help either candidate? susan million writes for "u.s. news&world report," david corn writes for mother jones and alex wagner is an msnbc political analyst. i want to start with susan. who's won this thing so far, this lick back and forth about making fun of somebody's physical appearance, saying it's a joke? she sort of -- didn't exactly start it. that republican youngster started taunting her, go ahead. >> yeah, i think if anybody withins, it's probably elizabeth warren. i mean, first of all, i think we all know that a woman would never be able to run for office like this if she'd posed nude for a magazine. it didn't seem to trouble people about scott brown. but i think what his problem is, his campaign is now saying that this is an example of how elitist elizabeth warren is, because she didn't have to do something like that. and i kind of want their theme song to be that -- >> they're trying to bring it
back to what happened 30 years ago. >> right, exactly. >> i want to know, just your bottom line, who won the back and forth when she took opportunity to mention that he'd posed naked for -- nude for "cosmopolitan" years ago when he was in law school. and then he made the personal shot at her. >> yeah. >> who won in that exchange? >> i think she did. >> this is what i find frickin' fast snatding. brown is 41% 38% over someone who just came into politics. he is one of the best pure quarterbacks, i'm not saying anything about his policiepolic. with the coat, the car, the truck. he's got all the apparatus. >> you know what his problem is, and we can talk a lot about their supposed working class background and so forth, but the math is still very tough for him. he's still running in massachusetts, you're asking a lot of people to pull the lever for barack obama and scott brown. i'm not sure it's going to happen. and the second thing is that she has an advantage that i think in the first campaign, people were comparing martha coakley, who was a deeply flawed candidate to ted kennedy or the memory of ted
kennedy. and now elizabeth warren -- >> well, at least scott brown showed pictures of jack kennedy -- i'm sorry of martha coakley, who had never been a candidate. alex wagner, your thoughts about this? you come from a long pedigree of political people here. your thought -- >> no one's taking their clothes off to go through college, though. >> exactly. >> let's go back to the sheer politics which we do better here than naked pictures. this question -- >> that's arguable. >> would you say this is the closest race, it looks like, on paper? is scott brown in as much trouble as being within the margin of error against an absolute newcomer? >> absolute, chris. and his favorability rating was sky-high just months ago. look, you combine with what's happening on wall street, the feeling of anger and frustration and that the middle class has unduly born the brunt of this economic recession, with the fighting that elizabeth warren has done, and her record in washington, fighting the banks and fighting to some extent the government, she is the candidate right now. >> so she could be the gutsy
joan of arc up there that says i'm taking on the big guys. >> absolutely. >> she's the perfect, perfect democrat. she has a populous background that is rooted in her own experience. it's not an academic experience. she understands big finance and can relate to little people or other people. >> she's got to get out of that boston elite thing. it'll kill you, though. >> you know what, they took a poll and 13% said they were less favorably disposed to her, because of the harvard background. but that's a small number. you know, i'm not sure -- >> how do you beat that, my friend my fellow irish woman here. how do you beat that that drives most massachusetts people crazy? >> first of all, as david has pointed out, she's the won who went to a public university and a public law school and it's scott brown who went to the private schools. and she doesn't come from some kind of privileged background. what i think is remarkable is we sit here and wring our hands over the state of education in this country and how kids aren't making their s.a.t. scores, but going to harvard has somehow
become this negative thing. >> that's academic achievement and eliteism, an attitude of looking down on people, i'm better than you because i went there. you're allowed to go to the best school in the country, but in this democratic society, don't act like it. don't act like you're better than other people. >> what's she have to do? take off her clothes? >> i don't know. i'm asking. how about winning for once. that's what she has to do. >> she's champion -- >> then she'll be part of an elite group of 100 people. >> you're wrong. i'm sorry. >> she's good at crusading and championing for the average consumer. she talks about these big issues in a way that people get. and she makes a connection. she'll be great on the campaign trail. scott brown should be damned scare. >> you're great. you are really good. you're a wart healer. this guy is the best street corner -- you've got a bull horn somewhere. >> i would be happy to manage -- >> -- david corn. >> anyway. anyway, i like the way you talk. anyway, thank you, david corn, thank you, alex wagner, thank you, susan mill igen. you know what eliteism is.
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instead of artificial flavors and dyes. so you can feel good about what you take to feel better. back to "hardball." now to the sideshow. first up, finally a moment of triumph for gop candidate jon huntsman. that's right, the former utah governor ended up in the number one slot in a recent straw poll. only problem, here's a hint. the group that conducted the straw poll, well, they're called the take back the american dream conference, is actually a progressive organization and we're talking really progressive. in the same poll, 97% supported president obama's american jobs bill. when asked which of the republican candidates was most qualified to be president, 49% went for huntsman. so he didn't want to win this
one. mitt romney came in a distant second with just 22%, and this has got to be a bittersweet moment for huntsman, probably more bitter than sweet, if you consider that primary season has yet to be in full swing. next up, you picked the wrong guy. that's the gist of what former president bill clinton has to say about an add targeting president obama's jobs act. released by the concerned super pac, american crossroads. let's take a look at the snippet that got clinton's attention. >> the president proposes tax increases. >> $1.5 trillion. >> $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue. >> president obama's latest way is still the wrong way. >> i personally don't believe we ought to be raising taxes. it won't solve the problem. >> well, if you thought the former president didn't notice this cameo appearance, those people put the ad together were mistaken. in response to his appearance in the ad, clinton said, "the advertisement implies that i opposed the buffett rule. in fact i support both the american jobs act and the buffett rule.
i believe that it's only fair to ask those of us in high income groups to contribute to solving your our long-term debt problem. "what i did say was that the buffett rule cannot solve the problem alone. reducing the debt requires three things, economic growth, more spending cuts, and more revenue. bill is on his game. now for the big number. when you're debating what movie to see, how often do you think about where the leading actor or actress stands politically before buying your movie ticket? turns out, that's not an uncommon consideration especially when you're talking about tea partyers. a new poll asked that question. how many of the tea party respondents answered that a actor's political views do impact their decision to watch them at the movies. well, 45% say yes. that's more than double the amount of democrats who answered yes to the same question. tea parties, i guess, want to know that the guy kissing the girl is thinking about taxes
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