tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC April 30, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
and there's no controlling alec baldwin. it's up to him. i don't know if he's going to host the show, do the re-write. we'll find out. "hardball" with chris matthews is next. obama gets osama, republicans snarl. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews. leaving off tonight, bin laden is dead, gm is alive, how do you like them apples? republicans say obama cannot take credit, but republican george w. prancing across that aircraft barrier and the mission accomplished banner, and rudy giuliani reporting a noun, a verb, and 9/11.
the 2004 republican convention and all of the hollering about the great decider that took us into the sands of iraq. maybe they had eight years to do it and couldn't, and that's why they don't like it. and barack obama and bill clinton. obama is hoping some of the clinton mojo and money can run off on him. they were fundraising last night warning that mitt romney would take us back to failed economic policies. and plus, dirty angry money, we begin our series on the hundreds and millions of dollars poured into this election. and you probably heard a lot about president obama at the white house correspondents' dinner the other night, but he did something that his campaign has been dieing to do, needle
mitt romney on the dog car roof story. and the romney campaign is now trying to take credit for saving detroit. you can check out this up is down lodge nick the side show. we begin with the outrage over president obama and the death of bin laden. david korn is the author of "showdown" and ron reagan from seattle, both are msnbc political analyst. david corn, the ability of the republicans to say you shouldn't take credit for what you did a year ago, we wouldn't do something like that -- your thoughts? >> you know from reading the look that chapter ten is all about the decision to launch the raid. that whole episode is a test case in presidential decision making.
for romney to say of course i would do that shows that he has to read the book, but that he doesn't understand what was involved in this. it wasn't a matter of saying go or don't go, he had to make very much difficult decisions against the advice of his top aids. they advised that he not launch the raid. most of his advisors were not in favor of the raid. they wanted a missile strike. for mitt romney to suggest that it was indicates that maybe he does not understand the job. mitt romney tries to diminish is, let's listen to what he said about it today.
>> even jimmy carter would have given that order. >> i don't know, sometimes ron reagan, i have to restrain myself from the words i want to use now. for him to mock jimmy carter on this front. you can argue about his economics or politics, whatever you want, but he sent those helicopters in the desert, some of those men were horribly killed. that was a terrible campaign. it did not make him look good that he tried that. for this guy i will not use the word that's come to mind here, to mock that shows an unrealistic look at foreign policy -- >> it's hard. it was an odd comment to make, and it reminds people that jimmy
carter made a call himself that didn't pan out, and obama made a gutsy call that did pan out. the republicans would separately like to take the whole bin laden killing off the table. they would like to make it so toxic that barack obama can't mention the fact that he, not the republicans in eight years, but he in his first term actually got bin laden. in a weird way, it's the same thing that happened to mitt romney under other circumstances. his signal accomplishment, his health care plan, he can't mention it. they would like to fix it so barack obama can't mention his signal foreign policy accomplishment. >> ron and dave, you know, everybody watching this tv right now everywhere in the world knows that if president w. had anything to do with catching the guy that blew up the trade center, cheney would be trying
to carve w.'s face into mount rushmore in the middle of the night. this video contrasts with what obama did and what romney said in the past on this topic. >> the downside would have been horrible, but he reasoned. i cannot in good conscious do nothing. he took the harder and more honorable path. >> it's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars, just trying to catch one person.e me by that? it's generating a little controversial given osama bin laden's roll killing 3,000 americans on 9/11. >> he had to decide. and that's what you want our president to do.
you hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it. >> david, i never herd wolf blitzer to music before. >> the point that the president makes, president clinton makes, is dead on here. this whole episode shows obama being deliberative and decisive, and it was a hard call because he didn't have the support of everybody on his side. in the last meeting they had, the thursday before he made the decision, friday morning before the sunday raid, the cia came and told him, we told you there was a 60-80% chance this guy in the compound is bin laden. we have downgraded it. so the intelligence was going in the wrong direction. as bill clinton knows, we all know if this had gone badly, president obama's presidency would likely be over.
he is putting his own presidency on the line. for mitt romney and others to diminish the nature of this call, shows they don't understand what it takes to be president. >> not all of the people criticizing balm for taking credit for this, and democrats in this campaign doing it. one that did is john mccain. he say it's diminishes the memory -- same on barack obama for diminishes the memory of september 1 19 and the killing o of osama bin laden by turning into a cheap political attack ad. this is a flakery comment by ed on "meet the press" they're just saying the usual partisan nonsense, here he is. >> this is one of the reasons president obama has become one of the most divisive presidents in history.
he took a moment, that people congratulated him for, for completing and killing osama bin laden, and he managed to turn it into a divisive attack. president regularen called sad, john mccain called shameful. >> sometimes in journalism we have to put on another view when if it's nonsense. most people proud of this country not because we killed bin laden, but we did what had to be done. a terrorist attack, aimed at civilians, you have to do something to end it, to make the statement. the moral statement this must not be done again. we finally did that.
to be wrong for taking credit for that baffles me. >> you know why they're doing it, and i just don't think -- they lose because it's reminding everybody what obama did. i don't think this will be a winner. >> the other thing too is about politicizing this. dick cheney has come out again and again saying obamacare is more about the rights of terrorists. if you're democrats you'll be hit again by terrorists. so now to cry tears over turning an counterterrorism -- this does not pass the smell test. >> this is the warm side of the pillow. here is president bush, he used
national security as a political issue. look at this ad from 2004, his reelection campaign that does mention 9/11 quite well here. let's watch this ad. ♪ >> well that wasn't political was it, here is vice president cheney trying to chair americans warning if they voted the wrong way, america could be attacked again, this wouldn't be political, let's watch this one from cheney. >> it's absolutely essential that we make the right choice. if we make the wrong choice, the danger is that we'll get hit again, and we will be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the united states. >> the guy who made the wrong
choice there was scooter libby for covering for this guy and taking a hit so he could skip away free. if they had done the squob, they would not have to go through all of that. >> they invaded a country on false presences and waved the 9/11 flag over and over again. and then dick cheney continued to do that through the obama presidency. so if they want to talk about terrorism, if they want to talk about what is best to be done, in the bush years, people talked about al-qaeda and said the problem is saddam hussein. so they have been trying to cover up that past. >> just to pounce on the grave of this insanity, please watch this picture right now. this reminds us all of never
using politics, never using war, never using the guts and sacrifice of our military men for gain. we did not catch him in the flight suit, that was an earlier portrait that day. and there he is using our tailers. thank you for joining us, and making it clear that both sides take credit for victory. there he is in his costume. i mean, unbelievable. there is the costume. he would never play politics. thank you both. on this wednesday, a special edition of rock center in nbc. coming up, the obama-clinton alliance. this is what i love about politics, getting together for common goals, bury the hatchet, do the right thing and win elections.
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clinton introduced clinton. you guys get two presidents for one out of this event which is a pretty good deal. a democratic source described the event as a first date. we have ed rendell, a former mayor of philadelphia, and mark penn who was the chief strategist for hillary clinton 2008 presidential campaign. i always look to you governor rendell for anything about the clintons. you're close, it's a relationship, it's for life. so here is the question, is this a good marriage, will it last through november which is all that matters. >> absolutely, number one, president clinton's belief that president obama did the best out of the circumstances, and second
out of a real respect for president obama and the way he handled the relationship with secretary clinton. they have a much value relationship and even friendship, and i think president clinton has been enormously impressed with that. i think it is all out, 100%, not leaving anything on the table. >> so i would like you to go over that event. we don't hear much about that in these times. it has been, and you have a close relationship with the former president, it's his feeling about the personal and professional respect between the president and the secretary of state, which has endeered him, politically at least, to obama. >> yes, he allowing hillary clinton to go out and credit a persona, and i think president
clinton is appreciative of the way president obama handled it. >> mark, you're a political strategist, maybe you had mixed feelings, but when i saw this -- that hillary clinton would be so smart, and i'm sure she made the decision along with her husband from what i hear, to take that. she could have been the loud mouth senator from new york, always being the lightning rod. she could have been the one like ted kennedy, she chose to join the team and she has grown as a global figure. >> i always thought it was a great decision on her part. it gave her a chance to defend and speak for the united states for four years to not only be out of politics but in the core
substance of managing our international and global relations. she's done a fantastic job. >> here is my question about the politics, it also allows her, i'm thinking, she's allowed to be not necessary to the right or left of the president, but she can be in a strong forward brogs if she was the senator from new york, most of the politics would have her on the left of the president. that's nowhere to position yourself if you want to run for president next time. you don't want to get to the left of obama, do you? >> you're holding back here, but isn't this the smart thing for her? >> no, i think your analysis is absolutely right. it gives her the ability to do exactly that. the question is whether she wants to run again. i hope she does. i'm ready to be the co-chair, but i'm not sure that she does right now. i think if the president is
reelected and secretary clinton gets to step down and get rest, i think she will think about 2016 seriously. i hope she does. >> you're smiling because you're a clinton guy, mark, you're almost exclusively a clinton guy, how does this help the president get reelected. >> it gives him a second vp out there, there's only so much president to go around, you need really strong, great surrogates, and he got president clinton to go in pennsylvania and ohio to talk about the economy, deficit, health care, and all of the topics that he specialized in as president of the united states. i think it was a great decision that will help the obama campaign. i think gore and kerry didn't make a smarter decision with president clinton like obama just did.
>> governor, i'm thinking pennsylvania was tough, and nort -- well north western pennsylvania. those difficult areas to reach. bill seems to have an appeal to working white people, and i'm not saying race is involved, but just normally he has such great appeal with working class whites that has to help in those states. >> no question about it, no better messenger, and bill clinton told a story why al gore should be president better than al gore did. i think he will be great in similar places in ohio. and the second factor here that's enormous for the president is their ability to raise money off their group of loyalist who have stayed on the sidelines. >> let me ask you, mark, you've been smiling at me, is it better for hillary clinton if he runs for president, for obama to get
reelected -- >> no, i want yes or no. >> absolutely. >> without a smile -- no question about it. >> okay, you're a great guy -- there's no other number that could be possibly going on where it's hard tore run for an extra four years once a party has been in office for eight, that is historically difficult, or harder against romney. >> you want the open seat, you don't want to run against an incumbent. >> i think the governor has it right. >> so it's a positive for both sides. let's look at some of the -- out of time -- you guys are great. you're really good guys, you want the president to get reelected mark, and governor, you do, you're a fantastic man. thank you both. mark penn almost got hillary clinton elected president the first time, probably will the next time. >> and president clinton the second time.
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let's look at this tape of scott browne from a community center. he earned the name downtown scott brown. that was the same shot. he's not that good. president obama went after republicans this morning at the bidding and construction trades department. this morning the president got to remember innocencing about his visit to john boehner's hometown of cincinnati ohio. notice the backdrop, a bridge in need of repair, here is the president today. >> over the last year, i have sent congress a whole series of jobs bills to put people to work, to put your members back to work. time after time, the republicans have gotten together, and they have said no. i went to the speakers hometown, stood under a bridge that was crumbling. maybe he doesn't drive anymore. maybe he doesn't notice how messed up it is.
there are bridge where's some of the key republican leadership come from, where folks have to do detours every day. >> they have to keep talking jobs, that nod to kentucky is for mitch mcconnell who is against everything. finally, especially jobs, finally, president obama's pitch for reelection hinges on the success of the auto industry bailout. get this, one of romney's aides says the come back of the auto industry is thanks to come back from romney, here he is on saturday. >> he wrote and op-ed, and he said if you want to save them don't just write them checks, they need to go through a managed bankruptcy process.
it's exactly what mitt romney told them to do. consider that the crown jewel, the only economic success that president obama has had, is because he followed mitt romney's advice. >> what it doesn't say is that there was no one in the private sector able or willing to lend the $80 billion needed to get them back on their feet. so team romney is taking credit for something that could not have happened under their leadership. the obama campaign says if mitt romney had his way, millions of jobs and the industry would not exist. they can't change this simple fact. by the way, the title of that op-ed was "let detroit go bankrupt." up next, dirty ank ri money. we begin on the billions of dollars being spent to destroy candidates for political office
>> welcome back to "hardball," we're kicking off a series called dirty angry money. some day people may look back on 2012 as the year of the super pac, guys with billions of dollars able to throw huge sums of money into political races. some of the nastiest ads have come from super packing so the candidates can keep their fingers after the ads. obama's campaign has raised more than double with the romney campaign has raised, but look at the biggest super pacs. karl rove's super pac american cross roads, and that's only part of the story for american crossroads.
when you combine it with crossroads gps, they have raised $100 million, and they have expected to rake in $240 before september. that's a lot to run negative tv ads from the top of the ticket on down. ezra cline is an msnbc contributor and chris freights is a reporter. we did a couple stories on this, we're going to keep doing it, let me read from your column. it's about the influence of super pacs not as much on presidential races but on your regular local congressional race, just as youth is wasted on
lay that out more, it's interesting how you said you can scare a member of congress into voting for a break on corporate taxes just by scaring them, you will run $200,000 or $300,000 in negative ads. >> if voters know a lot about the candidates, they don't care about the ads, they have made up their mind. the other is there already a lot of money there. if the candidate has a lot of money and the candidate already has a lot of money, they just dump in another $1 million. in a presidential race, people know the candidates and they both have a lot of money.
in congress in the third district in arizona when people don't know the challenger, the super pac can make a big difference. it can be enough to flip an entire race. number two, if congressmen on the hill, senators on the hill, are afraid of super pacs, they can come in, you imagine one run by hedge fund members, that allows them to be taxed at 15%, if they let it be known if they spend $1 million dollars, where a candidate opposes that tax break, who will oppose taking that tax break. most candidates don't know much about it, most are following, it's better not to get yourself into that kind of trouble. >> it's bad enough, chris, having worked on the hills all
of these years, when there are votes that only the people that know about this benefit from. then you can make the good government guy or woman say, wait, do i really want to lose my seat over this wrinkle in the tax law when nobody at home will give me credit for it? >> absolutely, and i think ezra has a point here. we saw this happen last psych billion a couple big members, dave obi for instance, i wrote about this last month, and skied people, will we see congressional super pacs come to the levels that we saw in the presidential, and the answer from even the people raising the money was no, because the presidential takes so much air out of the room. it's not as sexy of a race, it does have the bigger impact, but i think it will be difficult for
them to really attract those bi donors because everyone wants the white house. >> they want to knock off a democrat who is narrowly getting reelected and for a few bucks they can waste this man or woman. let's look at this ad put out by a new super pac. the ad takes on bill nelson for being too cozy with president obama, let's watch it. >> president obama said no to the keystone pipeline. bill nels sided with president obama instead of the people of florida. say no to bill nelson, and choose connie mack for u.s. senate.
>> it's so awful, i mean ezra, i love the way you describe the grainy pictures with the grim forbidding voice. i wish everyone would just say i will not be influenced by any ad that shows black and white picture that's is subversive in making this guy look evil without saying the words, but they work, don't they? >> yes, and i don't know, that bill nelson guy seemed pretty evil to me from that. this is the upside, they are issue ads. negative ads tent to have more issue content. bill nelson really did side with president obama on the keystone pipeline, even though that was not a fair assessment. it was paid for by freedom pac, what do they want? who is funding them? and that's what citizen's united did here.
they said corporations could spin as much as they want, but congress could pass a law and say they have to disclose who is funding them. we could have an ad like that. but as of yet, republicans in congress have blocked that bill. >> i'm afraid in november what could happen in november where one of these guys could spend so much, and it will be close, and turn it by a point or so with huge spending of money, totally negative on obama. just sheer oil money, the coke brothers and the money they can all get together, they each spend $100 million at a party, and put a billion down on the table at the end. it's possible. we're warning the voters, it might not work, but it's something we have to do. thank you for coming on, both of you. i'll be at browne university
as i mentioned, it's been nearly a year since that navy seal raid that killed osama bin laden and today the world trade center is again the tallest building in new york city. they pushed the skeleton up to 1250 feet high, higher than the empire state building. construction won't be complete until next year. it will be the third tallest in the world.
is predicting a nasty election, families are off limits, but dogs are fair game. >> fair game, we're back and that was president obama at sat's white house correspondents' dinner. he was talking about the dog on the roof story. and now they seized an excerpt where he said he had dog meat as a child in indonesia, he got the last word on the war on dogs where he cued up a fake ad from a fake romney super pac, this is funny. let's watch it together. >> what about barack obama? under his failed leadership, man's best friend has been forced into government controlled automobiles. imagine the dog socialism obama has planned for the next four
years. more government handouts, a life of government dependency. a left wing social agenda leading from behind. ♪ in the arms of the angel >> america's dogs can't afford four more years of obama. for them, that's 28 years. our dogs need leadership now. >> who let the dogs out? who, who? >> this guy. that's why we need to join mitt romney in sending a message this november. i'm an american, and doggone, i ride outside. >> there you have it. the dog on the roof. alex wagner joining us and eugene robinson.
rival dog, there's a dog food right there. here we go with it. a weird ad making fun of the president vulnerability. is he faced vulnerability like romney did because as a kid he ate dog meat. what's going on? >> is anybody really vulnerable. i know it's rough out there but does this really hurt either candidate? i think the white house calculation is being six years old in indonesia and eating dog meat is only going to turn off the people who already think that obama is a socialist muslim where as putting the dog on the roof of the car is something that might tick off independent voters. that could be the calculation. >> it's sounds like something from the guy that likes firing
people and putting dogs on the roof. alex, you have romney saying the dog loved going on the roof and then he has the president with the big happy dog in them. presidents nice to be seen with big dogs. they like those big healthy looking dogs. your thoughts on this conversation? >> as all great comedy and satire does is it pokes holes in lunacy and heavy handed political theories. this was a masterful stroke by the president in so far as it reenforces the fact that president obama is funny. he's got a great character. also, undermines these motions that he's a communist. he wants to turn the country into denmark and also draws again, it skewers mitt romney on
the character thing. what kind of guy puts man best's friend on the roof for six hours when the dog was sick. i've heard the white house loves this talking point. where as mitt romney decision's is much more, in a lot of ways creepy or speaks to a coldness and reenforces the notion he's wooden. >> i love the comment by jimmy kimmel, he said cover your ears if that's physically possible. you can see michelle laughing at that joke. here is the president of the united states making jokes. he was dishing it out himself on saturday night. he made fun of himself riding a wave of criticism for having eaten dog meat as a child. let's watch him talk about this. >> even sarah palin's getting
back into the game which reminds me of an old saying. what's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? a pit bull is delicious. >> that went right over my head. i watched that and he's making jokes about eating pit bulls. it's a disgusting idea. >> yeah. it is. >> he's joking about eating pit bulls. yuck. >> it's funny. i don't see how anyone wins big or loses big. >> alex you take this last one. here is when jimmy talking about dogs. let's watch the last one. >> i have some advice. if mitt romney ever invites you to go for a ride, call shotgun. if the president tries to butter you, run. >> well, that's it.
no thoughts about that one. if he tries to butter you run. thank you. that's all the time we have for that one. when we return, let me finish with why i wouldn't bet on those republican who is want to deny president obama with what he did with killing bin laden. ♪ surf's up everybody get your boards and your wetsuits ♪ free-credit-score-dot-com's gonna direct you ♪ ♪ to check your credit score before it gets too late ♪ ♪ and you end up strapped for cash ♪ ♪ patching your board with duct tape ♪ ♪ so hit free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ find out what credit's about ♪ ♪ or else you could be headed for a credit wipeout ♪ offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com™.
let me finish with this. i understand why some of the president's partisan critics are going after him over his successful mission over bin laden. people always attack their rivals for doing what they didn't do themselves. the republican party took credit for generations. general grant was elected president because he was the best general in the war just as general eisenhower was elected a century later for being the general that received nazi surrender. republicans do it so why can't a democratic president do it? mccain and some other republicans are out there trying to rain on the president's parade. i understand why. they have no problem with them doing their duty to their party. i wouldn't bet on them. history and the voters know the difference between success and sour groups. true victory by the man in the arena.