tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 18, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
i think he can make a big, big difference and this is what this fight is all about. john nichols, thank you for being with us. that is the show, and i'm ed schultz, and you can listen to the show monday through friday on sirius xm channel 127, and you can also follow me on twitter. and up next is "hardball" with chris matthews. >>can you believe it? cain you believe it? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews down in washington. leading off tonight, are you serious? that's the question a lot of people are asking about herman cain. can you be serious if you call for an electrified fence on our mexican border, then say you were just kidding, then say you meant it. can you be serious if you propose shifting the tax burden from the wealthy down to the middle class and then down to the poor? can you be serious if you're not running a normal campaign for
president? also, here's a story sure to anger some on the religious right. in fact, a lot of them. a leader of the movement to, quote, cure homosexuality admits it doesn't work. the former head of, quote, love and action, the country's largest ex-gay ministry joins us to say, i am what i am. and the occupy wall street demonstrations have energy, momentum and enthusiasm. they could build and play a big role in the presidential election, but what do they want? and what does victory look like to them? we'll talk to a couple of the leading protesters. and why are republicans like john mccain so upset that president obama is, quote, campaigning for his jobs plan? could it be just because more and more people support the president on this one? and let me finish tonight with the missiles of october, what happened almost a half century ago. let's begin with the big question facing herman cain. is he serious? steve schmidt's a former senior strategist for senator mccain's 2008 campaign.
in fact, he was the campaign manager. and dana milbank's "the washington post" columnist. steve, you know the business. does this fella look like he's in the business of running for president, herman cain? is that his business? or is it something else? >> well, i've said throughout the campaign, chris, that on any given day, it resembles more of a reality show than a political campaign. you've had a lot of candidates that have gotten to the top of the national polls. you know, herman cain is there today. i think he has his work cut out for him in terms of staying there. because some of the statements that you ran through at the beginning. joking around, you know, we ought to have an electrified fence on the mexican border, then saying i was only kidding.
these are not things serious candidates for the president of the united states say. >> let's take a look at what he said in politico today who wrote, now that cain, buoyed by bulging poll numbers, is demanding to be viewed as a credible contender for the gop nomination, cain's greatest peril is that primary rivals and journalists and the political world broadly will grant that wish. very little in recent days suggests that cain is adequately prepared for the coming test on his understanding of foreign policy, on his advisers, the origin of his most provocative ideas. and not to put too fine a point on it, on whether he has a factual command of issues equal to what would be expected of the typical congressional candidate." dana, i was stunned and i will remain stunned, how somebody running for president of the united states in the wake of this disastrous war in iraq would not know what the phrase neo-conservative, it was a great tribute to david gregory, our colleague, to put the question to him. it was no tribute to him that this guy has not been listening to the american debate over the war and the philosophical argument for that war from day
one to day "z," he hasn't paid attention to what this country's been involved in -- a war. >> right. well, clearly he wasn't watching "hardball" for the last decade, but probably hasn't picked up a newspaper or watched anything on tv either. the whole thing sort of reminds me of the peter sellers movie, "the mouse that roared," and herman cain is the grand duchy of fenwick who declares war on the united states and somehow wins. here's a guy who came in basically as a lark, to increase his visibility, increase his speaking fees, and then turn around and find out, oh, my goodness, i'm in a dead heat with the front-runner here. and you've got to think that herman cain himself is in a bit of panic now because of the scrutiny that's going to come this way. and i think it says less about herman cain than it does about this terribly distorted process that the primaries have become here, in which anybody who has basically any sort of qualification, based on experience working in government, is disqualified because of that very qualification. >> and you're up in new hampshire now. have you seen hide nor hair of this fella?
seen herman cain up there in new hampshire at all? >> i've seen a lot of romney posters. i was hanging out with poor jon huntsman today who is just amazed -- >> that's two of you. >> there were 55 of us, but i think a lot of them were paid to be there. but poor jon huntsman, two times a governor, ambassador to china, terrific resume and record, and he's being topped by the pizza man. he can't believe it. >> when you mentioned peter sellers, i was thinking of "being there," the movie. i was thinking, this guy has just talked himself into something big. over the weekend, cain took heat for these comments about an electric fence running along the mexican border. he later said he was joking, but you decide. let's watch. >> we'll have a real fence, 20 feet high, with barbed wire, electrified. with a sign on the other side that says "it can kill you." >> well, maybe that should be on the sign of his presidential campaign. yesterday he asked about those comments that first he again said he was joking, but later in
the news conference in arizona, he seemed to suggest that he was actually serious about the points, like the electric fence. let's watch. >> let me first say, it was a joke, and some people don't think that it was a good joke and it's probably not a joke that you're supposed to make if you're a presidential candidate. i apologize if it offended anyone. mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa. >> you said it was a joke. it didn't sound like a joke. >> well, you know, i think we're splitting hairs here. you're right, i don't apologize for using a combination of a fence, and it might be electrified. i'm not walking away from that. i just don't want to offend anybody. >> steve, do you watch "curb your enthusiasm," i think we're watching a larry david impression here, where an apology is forced to make, and i really don't want to give an apology so i'll give a lousy one. what was he doing here? does he want an electric fence that says it will kill you if you try to climb over this thing, to make his point as a hardliner, which it seems like
he wants to do, laugh at it afterwards, and that's supposed to take the heat off him. what's he doing here in this presidential campaign, this guy? >> i think he's making it up as he goes along, every day, from news conference to the news conference. there doesn't seem to be a particular rhyme and reason to it, but i do think that's going to start to change. because, chris, he is going to get the scrutiny that the front-runner in the race deserves to get from the journalists, but, also, from his competitors. because, if you're rick perry, if you're newt gingrich, if you're rick santorum, you're not going to grow your poll share out of mitt romney's piece, which has been very stable. you have to take your numbers to grow out of herman cain. so i think you're going to see the other candidates start to go at herman cain, start to go at him on the national security missteps, start to go at him on the regressive tax plan he's put forward, and to start to put him under some real scrutiny with a lot of these comments that don't make a lot of sense. >> you've got to wonder about our democracy.
it's come down to the president, who's got real political challenges facing him, dana, real challenges in terms of unemployment. normally, the kind of number that would cause you to be defeated in an objective sense. and then you've got mitt romney, who has already been rejected roundly by the political party. has nothing to do with the political movement that's dominating the republican party. in fact, they detest him. and you have this guy that has no political experience and proving it every minute. yesterday cain was asked whether he has campaign was serious. what a question. here was his answer. let's watch. >> one myth is that i'm not in this race to win it. that i'm just trying to get my profile up so i can get a tv show or a radio show. if you know herman cain, you know that that's -- nothing is further from the truth. if you don't believe me, i invite you to get a copy of my new book, "this is herman cain," you know, if you can find one, because they are selling like hot cakes. >> well, there he goes again, is he serious?
he makes a joke about his own lack of seriousness. what is it, dana? >> right, and his -- >> how are we to take this? as a lounge act or what? >> exactly. and his campaign is, in fact, buying his book, so it has him -- >> i see that. they've spent $36,000 to buy the book and then hand it out, i guess. >> it has some immediate benefit for him, too. but, you know, all along, the appeal of herman cain is that he's the un-politician, he's the anti-politician. so it's endearing that he can't say uzbekistan, and it's endearing that he makes these gaffes. but at some point, you stop being the outsider and the iconoclast and you just start to look like a nincompoop who can't answer the questions. i think he's reached that point. i'm not a politician, what do you want from me? he's going to have to actually start to answer questions. >> let's get serious ourselves, here, dana. you first and then steve. we're talking about trying to find the man, woman, republican, democrat, independent, whoever
it is, between now and next november who can perhaps offer a challenge to the president and come off as, to the american people, a reasonable option. that's what everybody who's an american wants to see. a reasonable option so when they go in the voting booth, even if they're red-hot for obama, they face a reasonable option, so they have a choice. that seems to me that's a reasonable american ambition here. and yet we've narrowed it down to one of these guys. i've got to go to steve on this. you've been in the business, steve. doesn't it bother you that the process has led to this pathetic set of options at this point already? two or three months before the first test, it's narrowed down, apparently, to romney and this character. >> it does bother me. but one thing that i'm hopeful about and optimistic about is the role that the new hampshire plays in this process. people in the state of new hampshire take this process deadly seriously. and they demand to see these candidates multiple times, to see them in the town hall meetings, to shake their hands, to check them out, to look under the hood. and i think that he's going to have to go up there and undergo
that scrutiny. i think lounge act is a great way to describe this, to this point. >> i don't think he is, but he's acting like it. the jokes he keeps telling, dana, suggest he's not serious. i'm not saying he's not a serious person. he obviously is. it bugs me that he doesn't seem to be taking it seriously. >> right. he has exploited this process. it's less of a primary process right now than some part of a primal screen. when you have one protest after another, whether it's going to be bachmann or cain or perry. and i think steve is right about new hampshire being as the saucer that's going to cool this down. that's certainly what the aforementioned jon huntsman is hoping by putting all his eggs here. look, romney is a far more reasonable choice than a lot of these other characters, and he's 30-something points ahead here in new hampshire. >> huntsman looks like israeli compared to this crowd. and that means good, by the way. up next, one of the leaders in the movement to cure homosexuality, if that phrase means something to you, through
mark your calendars. the iowa caucuses will be taking place on tuesday, january 3rd. the state's republican party made it official last night, and they picked the earliest day in january they could, considering the fact that january 2nd is the official new year's holiday this year, because new year's is on sunday. now all eyes are on new hampshire, which is waiting to see whether nevada moves back from its january 14th date. new hampshire's secretary of state has threatened to hold that primary in early december, but even he says he won't make a decision until he knows what nevada does. we'll be right back.
can help gay people live -- >> that is not sitting well with some gay rights activists. >> several dozen protests gathered today saying that this is an anti-gay organization. >> he says this program teaches children, among other things, they don't have to live a homosexual lifestyle. >> we're here to show them that this isn't the only choice. shame and fear is not the only choice. >> we are trying to help someone reorient their behaviors and the way that they think about themselves. there are therapeutic techniques and there are ways in which we can assist that awareness process. some people refer to that as brainwashing. i think it's a semantics question. >> well, we're back. that was a clip from the documentary "this is what love and action looks like," which focuses on convincing gays to become straight. john smid was the man that you saw in the therapy conversion program. he even goes so far as to say that he's never met a man who's experienced change from
homosexual to heterosexual. will this admission change the course of debate in this country over same-sex marriage and other issues? john smid joins us now along with "daily beast" contributor michelle goldberg. john, thank you for joining us on "hardball." it's always an honor to have somebody come on the show that could go anywhere they wanted to tell their story. and michelle, thank you for joining us and helping us with this story to understand it as a journalist. john, i guess the question that a lot of people want to ask is what caused you to go public with this pretty important observation, since you've been experienced in this world, that no one's ever gone through a successful, if you will, or a conversion of any kind from gay to straight? >> i think really one of the most significant things, chris, is that within the gay community, there is definitely a chasm between the gay community and the traditional american church. and it's my greatest objective to make sure that the gay community, people within the gay community understand that
there's room at the table for them in a relationship with christ. and i recognized that many things that i've said in the past have communicated that maybe there isn't room. and i want to make sure that there is. >> do you have a sense that this country, well, it's a dumb question, because i think we know the answer. this country is changing its attitudes about orientation, about people who are gay, in your lifetime. >> yes, that's true. and i think it was important for me to be honest about the fact that someone is most often, there's an intrinsic homosexuality that from my experience has not really -- i haven't really seen many people who have seen an orientation change. and in that, we have to make sure what are we going to do, how are we going to choose, and what are our relationship choices? for me, i'm married, i've been married for 22 years, i love my wife dearly, and we have an amazing relationship, but at the same time, i do experience homosexuality. it's a part of my history, and it's a part of the life that i
live. and i think it's important to be honest about that for myself and hopefully to open the door of honesty for others. >> how would you explain your sexual orientation -- your sexual attraction, are you attracted to male or female? >> i would say predominantly, i'm attracted to men. at the same time, i've chosen to be married, and a lot of people make that choice. >> let's take a look at the public's view. this is a political show, we don't get into psychology. i want michelle to get in on this. look at this. a new gallup poll focused on gay and lesbian rights shows that more than half the country now supports, listen to the way it's phrased, acceptability of gay relationships, morally acceptable, morally acceptable, 56%, morally wrong, 39%. now, i understand that that's a flip, a dramatic, more than a flip of where it was just ten years ago, michelle. so this country's views are definitely, dramatically evolving here. >> and they're going to evolve even further. because i think the numbers are even starker among the younger
generation, even among younger evangelicals, you see a lot more support and kind of understanding of gay relationships. >> well, let me ask -- go back to our prime guest here, john. you know, just a few years ago, we had an election in 2004, and i don't know if you studied the politics of the gay issues, but my understanding is that ohio went for president bush, w. bush, because there was a whole movement out there to try to fight the issue of same-sex marriage on the ballot. and it was basically skewed with don king and some other people involved in it and karl rove, to use that issue as a wedge issue to basically screw john kerry in ohio and it worked and flipped the entire national election to w. do you think that it's going to be a wedge issue this time around by the republicans, to be blunt about it? >> i think that really with the gay marriage issue, what's happened is the government and the church are split on the issue and i think that really as a government, that we shouldn't have gotten involved in the issue of marriage.
and so therefore, i think we've kind of put ourselves in a very difficult spot, because, frankly, i think coming from a pure government issue, i think two gay people should have the same rights as two heterosexual people, because that should not be a christian decision by the government. and we'll have to find a way to unravel all of that. >> what do you make of the fact that one of the candidates for the republican side, michele bachmann and her husband, run an organization that basically does what you say can't be done, change people. here it is, here's marcus bachmann, the husband of the presidential candidate, speaking for himself, using an offensive term many believed when he was talking about how to address gay teens. let's listen. >> what do you say when your teenager says she's gay? >> there's that curiosity. it is as if we have to understand barbarians need to be educated. they need to be disciplined, and just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn't mean that we're supposed to go down that road.
we have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings. >> well, i guess, first of all, john, and then i want to go to michelle, to use the word "barbarians" to describe gay people. >> i think that's horrific. i think that whole concept he's talked about there is an amazing denial of human experience. and i think the first thing we need to do is to listen and validate to what people experience. and i remember in my own life, that was very important to be validated. i think to invalidate a person's feelings and say, oh, really, you don't feel that, is an amazing shutdown in relationship. and, personally, i also had a hard time following what he was even saying. it didn't make sense to me. >> i wonder, too, because if you think and feel you're straight, are you supposed to go by that or not? but michelle, these bachmanns engaged in this unusual mission
in life, what do you make of this whole thing? and now being politically involved? >> i also think it's important to not just limit it to the bachmanns. the bachmanns are clearly one step beyond and that marcus bachmann actually engaged in reparative therapy. but as far as i know, herman cain believes sexual orientation can be changed. rick perry championed a constitutional amendment that banned not only gay marriage but civil unions. i think that although this is a minority position in the country at large, it's a majority position among the republican base. and so, this kind of, you know -- these -- >> well, how far does this go? trent lot a few years ago, seven years ago, he came out and said, we make a choice at a certain age. and somebody said, like pepsi or coke, crest or pepsodent, like toothpaste. i thought about it this week, i think i'll be straight. i think i'll be gay, like anybody can remember making a choice like that. and yet it seems like a mental trick they do. they can't handle the fact of
nature/nurture, whatever, so they say something stupid, oh, we make our choices. why is that politics? why do they have to make a political statement like that? >> in part, because it goes beyond homosexuality, and so much of their politics and their kind of cultural ideal is about a god-given hierarchy between men and women, god-given roles for men and women within the family. if you admit there are variations on the proper way to live a flourishing life, you open yourself to all kinds of challenges. to, you know, the kind of '70s feminists used to call patriarchy. >> if you admit that people are born gay or become gay very early in life, then you're admitting that god makes people gay. and john, you're one of god's children. i think we all ought to know that and everyone ought to say that every day when they get up in the morning. we're all god's children. let's start with that one. great to have you on. thank you so much for coming on this program, sir. and john smid, thank you. thank you, michelle goldberg.
up next, need proof that some republicans want to keep you from voting? maybe mike huckabee was joking. you decide. these guys love to say i was just joking after making their right-wing points. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. ♪ [ male announcer ] you never know when a moment might turn into something more. and when it does men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven
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powerful multi-symptom medicine flavored with natural honey instead of artificial flavors and dyes. so you can feel good about what you take to feel better. back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, looks like michele bachmann is now trying to separate herself from her former campaign manager, ed rollins. since his departure, rollins has been less than generous in his praise for bachmann, to say the least. remember his reaction to bachmann saying that the hpv vaccine could cause mental retardation. let's listen to his comments on "hardball" last month. >> the bottom line is she can't prove the case, and i think it's just better for her to get back on the trail. it's very important that you
never basically say anything that you can't back up with empirical data. the bottom line here is she has made what was a very positive debate and made an issue about perry to where it's now an issue about her and she needs to move on. >> hardly a ringing endorsement there. where does bachmann now stand when it comes to her former honcho? a piece in "the new york times" hits on the candidate's reaction saying, "bachmann said critical comments mr. rollins made to reporters after stepping aside were dismaying. when it was pointed out that mr. rollins has a history of speaking sharply about candidates who once employed him, mrs. bachmann offered a tight smile, quote, i guess i should have done that google search, she said." well, perhaps she should make that her all-occasion response. next up, rock the vote. more like stop the vote. that's former arkansas governor mike huckabee's plan to help push through an anti-union measure when the polls open in ohio this november. speaking at a rally late last night, huckabee told supporters how they could help make sure the measure passes on election day. let's listen.
>> make a list of ten family members, ten friends, ten neighbors, ten folks you work with or have worked with in the past and call them and ask them, are you going to vote on issue two, and are you going to vote for it? if they say no, well, you just make sure that they don't go vote. let the air out of their tires on election day. tell them the election has been moved to a different date. that's up to you, how you creatively get the job done. >> it sounds like he was going for the laughs there, but you do get the point. and finally, "saturday night live" had some fun this past weekend with new york city mayor michael bloomberg's reaction to the occupy wall street protests. let's take a listen. >> while these protests began here in new york, they have spread to dozens of other cities throughout the globe, proving once again that new york sets the trends, and the rest of the world follows. >> think bloomberg had a problem
with that spoof? not at all. the fact is, he wants the job. "he does not need to go and get somebody to impersonate me. i have my screen actors guild card and done this a number of times. i think he'd find my agent could negotiate a rate with him he could afford to do." well, billionaire seeking employment. mike bloomberg wants to be mike bloomberg on "saturday night live." coming up, no question those occupy wall street protests have been growing in number and intensity, but what constitutes victory to those who have taken to the streets? great question. what do they want to see happen? we'll talk to two of the protests and get a sense of what's the message. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
welcome back to "hardball." the occupy wall street movement is nearly a month old now, believe it or not, and continues to grow. this past weekend saw protests spread across the country and even overseas, including in europe and asia and even india. hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets around the world, but people are still asking questions about what does the movement want to achieve? what demands will they make eventually? and is there a unifying cause or theme that unites them all? "the new york times" this morning suggested the only thing uniting the protesters is a mood of anger. they report, "while the protesters seem united in feeling that the system is stacked against them, with the rules written to benefit the rich and the connected, they're also just as often angry about issues closer to home like education and the local environment. there may be no common manifesto or list of goals, something that has drawn criticism from both inside and outside the movement.
but there's one common thread. as i said, anger. and some have looked for jobs for months, others have lost their homes to foreclosure. angry they all are." so is the movement just about anger and where is it headed? for that, we're joined by two participants out there and spokespeople for the movement itself. tyler combelic is a freelance web designer and michael primeau is a photojournalist. gentlemen, they have both been involved with the movement from the early stage. you're veterans out there. how long have you been out there, michael? >> thank you for having us on, chris. i have been out here since the first week, about three and a half weeks now. >> and what have you felt that you've accomplished so far, personally? >> i feel like what we've accomplished so far is exercising our democratic rights to peaceably assemble. it is an amazing, exhilarating experience to be involved with a movement of people who are gathered together, to redress our grievances. you know, for generations,
literally, people have marched, people have used electoral politics to try to address these systemic challenges that disaffect a majority of people in america with no outcome. and now is a moment for people to sort of unlock their radical imagination about how we can find creative solutions to the same old problems. >> same question to you, your experience out there and what have you accomplished? >> i've been out here since the fifth day of the protests, so it's been about a full month for me now. honestly, this has been the most inspiring thing i've ever been a part of my life. i found a voice i thought i lost to an think and cynicism, which has become prevalent in this country because people think that the moneyed interests or the economic structure just does not favor them. they don't have a place in government. they don't have a place on wall street. this is giving a voice to people who felt like their voice was taken from them.
and i think that is powering unto itself and that's what i've taken most from this thus far. >> let's talk about the power that you might have. i'm going to go back to michael. and i'm not being unserious. i'm being deadly serious. if you had real power in your hands, sir, right now, to change the economic structure of this country, to balance it towards fairness, what would you do personally, if you could do it, if you were to say, president, almost a dictator in this country now, what would you do? >> what would i do personally? at the moment, we're not quite at the place where we can consensus upon articulating clear demands. for me personally, it's about shifting the balance of power to allow the democratic process to be back in the hands of the people. so that all voices can be properly represented in all facets of our system, both economic and political. >> you, tyler?
same question. if you had power right now -- you don't have power, you have a voice. if you had power, i mean, you just got to get -- we're looking for some sense of the dream. what's the dream at the end of the tunnel here for you folks? you're putting a lot of your life into this thing. where do you want it to sort of go generally without being specific? generally, where do you want it to go? >> generally where i want this to go is to create a new paradigm shift in this country, where it's just an assumption again that the american people have a voice in all aspects of government, that one vote for one person is the way the electoral system works and moneyed interests are involved. a system in which everyone has equal opportunity to achieve the american dream, regardless of where they're born. regardless of race, regardless of gender. and these are just simply not truths in our country right now. maybe we aspire to these values, but i think this movement wants to see these become a reality. and for that to become just the normal narrative day to day in
this country, and that's why i think it's more of a movement than a political party or anything like that. >> but you're all individuals in that movement. staying with you, tyler, what was it that first stirred you to make you want to join this movement? what experience, what observation about our economy, our politics? >> i think for me, it was, when the recession occurred, i felt frustrated. i felt like there was no recourse. you had two political parties that would argue it's the other party's fault that the system was broken, but neither were offering any solutions. neither were talking about what's the future for america. what's the future to make this country great? and when i came down to the protest, i decided to stop by and check it out for myself. i found a voice, i found people expressing the same frustrations and having hope that if we all raise our voices together, we'd be heard. we'd get coverage. and suddenly, politicians would have to listen to us again. they'd have to listen to the american people, the people that are supposed to be representing to begin with.
>> mike, same question to you. what was it that stirred you to go out there and give a part of your life to this? >> for me, it was feeling like i didn't have a place for my voice to be heard. feeling like i wasn't represented in government, feeling like i wasn't represented in the broader economic system. you know, coming out of college and having $50,000 in debt, being unemployed for two years, working odd jobs that barely pay the rent, with no health insurance and limited options. and no one to really listen to what i felt was important. >> well, i'm going to study what you guys have said. i'm going to look at that, type it up and look at it. your voices have been heard. thank you for coming on "hardball," even in this small amount of time. michael premo and tyler combelic, thank you guys for coming on and representing occupy wall street. up next, president obama's back on the road, pushing his jobs plan piece by piece. are voters buying what they're selling, even retail, are they buying? that's ahead on "hardball," only on msnbc. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made.
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well, you all no doubt hear a lot of criticism tonight from the republican presidential candidates in the debate about president obama's track record on immigration. well, today, u.s. immigrations and customs enforcement director announced nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants have been deported during just the past year, a record number. more than half were deported after being convicted of a crime and two-thirds of them had either recently crossed the border or had done so repeatedly. we'll be right back.
>> welcome back. of course, that's president obama today out selling his jobs plan to america. he started out in jamestown, north carolina. then as you can see on the map he made his way into virginia where he's speaking today at a high school in emporia. he addressed critics who say his jobs tour is a political stunt. let's listen to the president. >> some people asked me yesterday, why i was visiting republican areas of north carolina. i said, well, first of all, it's because i just like north carolina. second of all, i'm not the democratic president or republican president, i'm the president. and third of all, i don't care if you're republican or a democrat, because we're all americans. >> well, bob shrum is a democratic strategist and ron reagan is a political commentator and author of "my father at 100."
gentlemen, i want you to start off by look at something very heated. this is a comment made yesterday by mitt romney in a meeting with the "las vegas review journal" editorial board yesterday. he was commenting on foreclosure and the crisis attending that. let's listen here to something that could be very hot. >> as to what to do for the housing industry specifically, and there are things that you can do to encourage housing. one is don't try and stop the foreclosure process. let it run its course and hit the bottom, allowing investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and turn back around and come back up. the obama administration has slow walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang. >> well, i think we just heard from mr. potter. "it's a wonderful life," there, bob shrum. the bank owner. i mean, in other words, foreclose all the poor people, take away their houses and start
renting to people who are desperate to have a house. lionel barrymore. what do you make of it? >> this is a guy who made money by firing people and now he thinks he can make his presidency by foreclosing on people. there's no political i.q. here. who would go to the foreclosure capital and nation of the world and say let's foreclose more houses faster. roosevelt did this right in the 1930s with the homeowners loan corporation. they wrote down principal on houses when the principal was excessive for people who could then make the mortgage payments, and that stabilized the housing market. i now think a little bit of the real mitt romney popped out there. this is a cold, metallic guy who doesn't really care a lot about what's happening to people in this economic crisis. >> well, again, ron reagan, it's, again, his statement that corporations are people, too, and here he is saying that investors should be the volume vultures here.
the poor little family can't make its monthly should be kicked out and replaced by someone who is more desperate willing to pay rent, own nothing. >> that's right. when some corporation can come in and buy all these houses on the cheap and make a killing later on, but as we said, remember, those corporations are just people, too, so, you know. >> he comes off as kind of a cold person there, doesn't he, for a politician? >> yes, he does. as bob said, this is the bain capital, you know, mitt romney here who comes into companies and turns them around by firing everybody. i mean, did he mention anywhere in that discussion with the las vegas paper the fact that banks had been cheating their customers and been signing off on foreclosures without even checking the facts? and have been doing that for years? i don't think so. >> let's go to senator mccain, another guy that seems a bit bitter these days. spent the last couple of days for blasting the president for driving the wrong bus. he's now become a bus critic. he criticized the president for
the type of bus. this reminds me of george bush sr. and the flag factories. are we confusing the instrument with the message? let's listen. >> i've never seen an uglier bus than the canadian one. he's traveling around on a canadian bus touting american jobs. so, and one of the reasons why americans and i and my colleagues are a bit skeptical because we've seen this movie before. >> the shell of the president's bus, by the way, was built by the same quebec bus-maker prevost, but its interior was built by a coach-maker in tennessee. mccain may be the wrong guy to throw stones. it turns out his famous straight talk express was the same kind of bus made in canada as was bush and cheney's campaign buses and michele bachmann's campaign bus. so don't throw stones at the same bus you're riding in, i guess, shrummy. this is so low brow and so below john mccain.
he must be out of material to be arguing about buses. your thoughts? >> i think mccain has been angry and disappointed ever since he lost the 2008 election. thinks somehow or other barack obama, he couldn't believe that he lost to him. the whole thing is absurd. as you say, first of all, the same guys built mccain's bus that built the obama bus. beyond that, if you want to argue about canada. my recollection is that senator mccain voted for nafta, for the north american free trade agreement, and that's what enables canadians to sell things here very easily and americans to sell things there very easily. >> they're our biggest market. >> the biggest common market. >> they're our biggest market in the world. what is the complaint here? ron reagan, this has reached the level of pettiness. look at this. the president's got a challenge. here he is in north carolina. the quinnipiac poll has his numbers 62% disapprove among independents. this is a real threatened re-election campaign. your thoughts?
>> well, it is, and i think that's one of the reasons he's going right into the belly of the beast and going into republican areas, as he should. he should speak to republicans as well as democrats. i think that the republicans, mccain is complaining about the bus, i think that's a sign that they may be a little nervous about this tour, not just seeing it as a target of opportunity for derision, but actually a little nervous that the conversation has now been changed. when is the last time you heard deficit reduction featured prominently in anybody's talking points here? it's all about jobs, jobs, jobs and that's where the president wants it to be. let me just say, however, i think we can all agree it is one ugly bus. >> i know. it reminds me of mister -- >> couldn't they have put a flag on it or something? >> mr. mccain reminds me of mr. wilson complaining about dennis going on his lawn. thank you. wish we had more time. when we return, let me finish without jack kennedy. this time of year saved the
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let me finish with this. these crisp clear days of october carry frightening memory for many of us. it was on these very days in 1962, just short of a half century ago, that america and the world stood on the precipice of nuclear war. all the conditions were set for the united states and the soviet union to engage in an all-out
assault of nuclear weapons against each other. on the eve of the congressional elections in that year, the soviet union began installing offensive nuclear weapons in cuba. on october 16th, president kennedy was shown the aerial photographs. the first impulse was to bomb the missile sites. and the next a more sophisticated plan, the joint chiefs called for an all-out invasion of the island. president kennedy saw the dangers. if the united states attacked cuba it would kill most of the soviet troops stationed there. what would nikita khrushchev do in response? if he moved to take west berlin which he warned he would do the united states would have but one option, with the red army surrounding us in berlin our relatively small force of ground troops there would be soundly overrun. we would be forced with the need to use nuclear weapons to prevent such a historic humiliating rout of our key outpost in western europe. kennedy knew all this and saw the chain reaction that an attack on cuba would begin.
he ended the crisis by a combination of an open naval blockade and a secret agreement to remove u.s. nuclear missiles from turkey. had he taken the course recommended by the military and other cold war experts, the consequence would have been a planetary holocaust. we now know khrushchev planned to hit new york with whatever missiles survived in cuba. quote there, wouldn't be much of new york left, he wrote. i don't mean to say everyone in new york would be killed, not everyone, of course, but an awful lot of people would be wiped out. we would have seen -- would have been forced, of course, to retaliate. fortunately for the history of mankind we had a president who saw the movement of events toward global catastrophe and through vision and force of will found a way to deliver us from the worst evil in human history, global nuclear war. jack kennedy, elusive hero. you can get it in