tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 13, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
of terror will go unpunished. it will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world, no act of violence shakes the resolve of the united states of america. >> and the president's on the case, he sent two u.s. warships to the libyan coast. he sent marines into tripoli, and attorney general eric holder said that he has opened up an investigation. >> as we watch the world today, it seems that we're at the mercy of events and -- a strong america depends on a strong military. this president has done something i find very hard to understand.
>> joe kleine, thank you because you've got a big picture and look at this, who is romney talking about our ability to confront these local situations where a group of militants in a place like benghazi decide to go after the american embassy. >> what is being able to fight two big land wars have to do with that? >> once again the guy doesn't know what he's talking about or he's 25 years out of date. the two-war strategy was a product of the cold war when we had to have the ability to fight the russians on the planes of the earth and.
>> he still thinks that the soviet union exists and is the greatest threat we have out there. it's really remarkable that a guy who is as smart as he is is so ill informed on these essential issues of military doctrine. >> could it be that he's surrounded mitt romney by neocons who really do have a strong intellectual footing in the cold war scenarios. i hate to say this but they have an intellectual conference. they never really adapted to the situation. no matter how many troops we have in benghazi, you can't fire across the crowd. you can't do that. and yet they think, he's talking about all we need are hired forced levels to deal with these very tricky ethnic and religious situations stirred up by some crazies out in california.
>> people called colin powell too far to the right in terms of what he thought should be the american foreign policy. part of his policy, is he wants to expand the military troops to 100,000 and that plays really well in a state like virginia where there's a big military population. but americans are weary of war at this point, we already experienced a time where we did have two large land wars going into at the same time. he's going up against a different reality in terms of what america wants, and he has these neocons that are surrounding him. americans have since turned against and judged to be a war that was not worth fighting. >> one of the questions everybody in this business seems to have in journalism is what's going on with romney in the day that things happened? that moment when something
happened, who's doing that torah torah thing in his campaign? >> i don't know who's doing it, but it seems to be his own impulse and it has been consistently in this campaign on matters not only foreign, but also domestic. but it really is unseemably when you have americans embassies under assault for a presidential candidate to start playing politics with it. and as you said before, there are people on his foreign policy advisory staff who are neocon servives who just don't reflect the views of the majority of the foreign policy establishment or of the american people. >> any chance of a shake-up, before we go on?
somebody who just started there sort of arrived and said that things in terms of communication and strategy of the place that maybe does need a shake-up. i think the problem with that would be what sort of message would that send, republicans are already doing lots of hand wringing about this campaign, about this candidate, when you have a presidential campaign, in and of itself, it can be an argument for the white house, and argument for what sort of white house you would run. so i think to have this sort of shake-up at this late date, it certainly wouldn't send a lot of confidence to republicans or republican donors, they seem to think he's still fighting, not only the cold war and then fighting the primary. so he's still tugging to the right and hasn't moved to the center quickly enough.
>> the wheel question of the middle east violence. here's what peggy noonan had to say. >> i'm still kind of absorbing it myself later in wall street interview -- >> of course he's trying to focus on the economy, it is the great immediate issue in all of our lives, but foreign policy is always there. >> they're holding high a grand strategy that says this is america's role in the world now, this is what we intend to do, these are what our challenges are.
this is how we mean to meet them. do you have any vague ad hoc unconnected statements about whatever foreign policy issue comes up. what is your grand strategy, which means what is your thinking as you look at the world. >> that's a powerful question. anyway my colleague joe scarborough in a political column got to the core of romney's problem as he sees it. he says quote, if we want to win the battle in the long-term, we should be able to face the fact that milt romney's likely to lose. he's an ambitious man. let me go back to that whole question, joe, i keep thinking what's romney's mission in life. why does he want to be president? it's a fair question, what do you want to do in the world, what's your united states role. besides this time going to be tougher and all this bs basically. this guy has had no military experience in his family, he just keeps talking about how
tough he's going to be. >> the scary thing about this campaign is that we don't have any idea what he wants to do or which policies he's going to support. we saw the stock market go up 200 points today. romney is allegedly running on the economy. well, for most people, the economy isn't the unemployment figures. the economy is two things, your house value, and your 401(k). housing values are going back up, and the market is almost back to where it was almost four years ago, so the one thing that he has, he doesn't really have. >> and consumer confidence is also going up, joe. >> this question i have about
romney, do you following the campaign expect that someday he'll go to georgetown or george washington university or somewhere, and give us a grand look at the world that mitt romney would like to lead america into? is he going to do that to respond to this sort of tit for tat game. >> it turned out that his strategy wasn't too much different than what he had already laid out. same things this week, when he went to reno, nevada, people thought he was going to lay out a morrow bust -- he didn't do that, this is a candidate that believes the more tales that he lays out there, the tougher road it's going to be. he also believes that americans will wake up on that first tooud tuesday in november they did
that. >> in november they'll get some bad news in termg of the economy, but things are looking up in terms of the economy. and people also blame bush as well. >> very quickly, joe. >> that's okay. >> okay, good, my quick thought is that, presidents, we always ignore the fact, there's a lag effect, when george herbert wat watch -- common sense tells you when you change u.s. economy is like turning around a big battle ship. if obama starts to get successes now, they're a result of what he did a couple of years ago, that's common sense. coming up, while mitt romney embarrassed himself most believe
trying to paint obama as a terrorist sympathizer. what about that anti-islamic film, where is romney on this? also, could this be just the latest incident in which romney -- it was romney that managed to sell britaiheir own e the guy should have stuck to business. and bob woodward tonight, he's coming here on last year's debt crisis. finally, let me finish tonight, with a man who hopes to become president by saying, nothing. as president dewey, remember him? president dewey, how did that work out for him. and please come back at 7:00 eastern time, we're going to have the brand-new nbc news and maris numbers. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ chuckles ] ♪
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back to "hardball" for two days, mitt romney's decision to try to score political points has earned him criticism, even from some in his own party. but how about the things that romney didn't say, namely why hasn't he condemned the brutally sensitive film that was at least partly responsible for this
violence in the middle east. the movie is a despicable piece of bigotry, and it's striking that mitt romney has such things to say about a major religious faith. both of you are great people, but also you know the middle east, and you have been over there and you know that a good -- we're largely crist. is islamic, wanting to pick a fight with islam, is insane, there's a billion islamic people that are born that way. >> r. >> i think there are a couple of things, first you have this attack and the takeover of the american embassy in tehran, and
this was an election that hinged in large part in ronald reagan's defeat of jimmy carter on how that crisis was handled, how it dragged out. the republican party may be calculating on the way how this plays out. even friday, the muslim day of prayer, but there's that other domestic component of his own religious rite within his party. and there may be many who are sympathetic to anti-muslim sentiment. that are skeptical that the cultural gap the bridged. >> you mean the right wants to go to war with islam? that's what you're saying? >> i think there is a religious right that -- what do they want their policy to be in regard to islam in reality. what's their goal, to get rid of it? >> there are those who are still deeply suspicious about whether the bridge can be he went out
there saying the president sympathizes with the attackers against our embassy. he was echoing basically what mitt romney had said a few minutes before when he put out the word. this obama sympathizing with our enemies, using the argument he's not really one of us, but he's one of them. now you have the problem of an active front now, a heated front in benghazi and in syria. >> the serious argument that mitt romney should be having and i hope we'll have in the debates. what is a strong america.
he basically said to the country that barack obama is jimmy carter, that american weakness has brought on this level of disorder in the world and as robin said a moment ago, this is 1979 all over again. i think barack obama can rebut that, i think he can say that to the extent that we're going to war with the muslim world, we're just digging ourselves in deeper. i'll cite one thing for you, chris, when i read osama bin laden's private communications that were taken out of his compound when he was killed, one of the things that was most striking was how upset he was that barack obama had stopped talking about a war on muslims, and had started talking about a
war on al qaeda. it drove bin laden crazy to the point that he wanted to change al qaeda's name, he wanted to rebrand it. that's the clearest testimony you could possibly get from osama bin laden, that are trying to do this divisive thing, war on muslims just plays into the extremist's hands. >> i think that was great reporting there, i didn't know that before, the bad guy of all bad guys said this is the smart strategy from america, don't focus on islam, which will just stir up an east-west war. focus on the bad guys themselves, and obama not only talked that way, he's out killing everybody. >> and the obama administration is trying to make that point in the campaign, general motors is still -- >> robert gates there, leon panetta there, he's been using drones killing one after another. i don't see anything to justify
the word weak. you can argue after -- jimmy carter looked like a huge failure. but what's the point now? >> also this is a particularly very -- what happens elsewhere in the islamic world. you have already seen the protests in libya and egypt expand to whether it's cashmere, or pakistan, and the danger that this becomes much bigger and that the kind of conciliatory position that the obama administration has taken might make it look weak down the road when in fact it has been -- >> surely you have to attack anti-islamic stupidity. to say that romney hadn't done so, let's watch the secretary.
>> the united states government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. we absolutely reject it's content and message. >> who would be offended. >> >> rochl any has painted himself into a corner. >> there's a clash of civilizations going on. you see this every day on the internet. and i guess romney in a kind of a political tunists's way, doesn't want to offend people who were going to be supporters of his.
>> he just comes across as a guy who doesn't have a feel to the way the world works. i think it's going to hurt him. we'll see in the debates whether he can form a coherent argument about american power and how the world works. but he ain't done it so far. >> he looks clumsy and slow when it comes to any of these crises. he keeps putting his foot in his mouth when he's gone abroad. >> that's a problem for him. >> it's one thing to be a robot, and it's another things to be a robot that's on the right. up next, as everyone knows, chris christie is a big springstein fan, but so far
oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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you'll find the technology to help you become a better one at e-trade. jimmy kimming -- what they thought was a new device. mitt romney gets a nod here in the tech talk. >> we told people to check out the new iphone 5 which is unavailable. in reality, what they were looking at is the current iphone 4s that everyone had. here's how that experiment played out. >> oh, it's way better. the screen is a little bit bigger. >> a lot lighter than the last one. it's last faster as well.
>> you drop it, it looks like it's not going to break, like this one has a million times. >> the company fujitsu -- we're already way ahead of japan p in this one. american researchers have already created a robot that's smart enough to be president of the united states. and that's him. i don't think romney's ever going to escape the robot romney zingers. also over the weekend, florida pizza lee that -- which politics swing by the restaurant yesterday looking for the same action? the clue, it's already been the subject of a high profile hug. it's former florida governor. crist used to be a republican,
is now a i guess you would the democrat leaning van dewser says he's voting for president obama in the november. as for that other high profile hug, obama said his -- all it takes is a look at christy christy's recent interview with jimmy fallon to recall that he's a big bruce springsteen fan. ♪ oh, thunder road ♪ oh, thunder road >> unfortunately for christy, springstein hasn't shown any sign of returning the love, so imagine the shock with a later
from springsteen recently arrived at the governor's office. the truce? far from it. >> the law is still sitting on the governor's desk. by the way, springsteen -- there was a whopping increase in sales, we're talking 400% in the days following the event. up next, from insulting our closest ally, mitt romney is having a hard time convincing people he's ready to be president. you know why i sell tools? tools are uncomplicated. nothing complicated about a pair of 10 inch hose clamp pliers. you know what's complicated? shipping. shipping's complicated. not really. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service shipping's easy. if it fits, it ships anywhere in
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an inspired rise for stocks today. the nasdaq adding on 41 points, today's gains follow the decision to launch another round of quantitative easing to boost the economy. to that end, it will buy 40 billion in mortgage debt each other. jobless claims rose by 15,000 to 382,000. that is it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now it's back over to "hardball." >> welcome back to "hardball." mitt romney's dreadful summer is turning into a horrible fall. he's had several campaign missteps that tell a whole lot about his readiness to be
president or unreadiness. let's listen to romney. >> in the short time you've been here in london, do they look ready to your experienced eye? >> you know, it's hard to know just how well it will turn out. there are a few things that were disconcerting. >> then romney was hazed a bit by another -- by the london mayor mars johnson. >> i hear there's a guy called mitt romney who wants to know whether i'm ready, he wants to know whether i'm ready. i'll be ready. i'll be ready. >> i like that guy, anyway yesterday romney was politically tone death again. >> the president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth, but also from the words that
come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies from the state department. they clearly sent mixed messages to the world and the statement that came from the administration and the embassy is the administration. the statement that came from the administration was a statement which is akin to apology and i think was a severe miscalculation. >> that's nonsense, romney gave that speech moments before the president spoke. today's "new york times" reports that romney's statement which distorted the chain of events, in addition to being ill timed was personally initiated and approve bid the canning dat himself. here's a reminder. >> i've got mr. obama sitting here, what? what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that? he can't do that to himself.
>> and romney could not even blame his staff for this one. it turns out, quote, the most bizarre head scratching 12 minutes in recent political convention history were set in motion by mitt romney himself. he proudly invited eastwood to speak at a fund-raiser this summer. is romney really cut out for this kind of work? alex, i have to tell you, sometimes it comes down to that thing in politics like blink, your first reaction to events, and you have to look at things clearly in the eye and have to make judgments pretty much on the spot, or with the counsel of the men and women around you, it seems like romney is tone deaf to reality, even in his cleanup act, he's now blaming some staff official in cairo for speaking to the president of the united states. first of all, nobody apologized to anybody and certainly nobody sympathized with these people who killed our ambassador. the whole thing is rotten that
he talks like this, i think it's imbecile kl, does he even know that, that they're professional foreign service officers working those embassies? does he even know the facts? >> i think the london thing i think you could point to romney trying to puff his chest out as a former olympics chair and saying i know how to do this. but the attack on the president, it belies -- but it shows romney to be incredibly naive about what's going on in the arab world. bobby ghosh writing today, i thought he really captured it when he said, these are neophyte democracies. romney has no understanding of that, he completely dismissed the fact that the people in this embassy were trying to avoid the potential loss of life. he really undermined the actions they took and really at the end of the day, what this shows is a certain amount of desperation.
for him to go to it is nothing short of a very, very desperate move. >> dana, i spent my adult life since the '60s, looking at this trumpery, we're going to kill everyone who doesn't like it, we're going to rule the world by force, it always ends up being a disaster. we live on this earth with 6 trillion people, not all of them like us, and we got to find some way to get along with them. and where's romney, he's going to punch them in the face. where is this language, i'm going to go and kick butt, it's all a metaphor, and these metaphors end up driving it to nothing but death.
>> it's doing romney a favor, anybody can say something dumb, if saying something dumb were disqualifying in politics, we never would have a bush presidency. he had 12 hours to think about it, despite the criticism and did it all over again. the idea of inviting eastwood to the convention, you could say maybe you don't know what would occur there, but he set the stage laughing at the thing in real time. the question of judgment comes in when the mistake is compounded in these ways.
>> remember w, bring him on, guys are getting killed in action, they say war more warfar warfare, more killing. >> we have had eight years of george w. bush and nobody wants cowboy diplomacy, that's the crazy thing about this is that romney is appealing to this -- you look at the polling on the war in afghanistan, 65% of the country wants us out of there, you talk about fiscal conservatism, you think mitt let me any wants -- it doesn't make any sense, there is no strategy there, it just goes to this idea mitt romney has about sort of american strength and this kind of flag waving patriotism that is grounded in nothing but myth making, and at the end of the day, is inkredably dangerous for the country. >> alex, it's great to have you
as a colleague, obviously. ever wonder what a candidate who knows he has a problem looks like? that's mitt romney campaigning today, this stay in fairfax, virginia. look behind him, all women, all four of the introductions today at that fairfax rally were made by women. we'll have new nbc "wall street journal" maris numbers from the key battleground states of ohio, maryland and virginia. these are the numbers to watch. up next, investigative journalist bob woodward joins us to talk about who really was to blame in last year's debt failure. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪
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turn to us. if you need anything else, let me know. [ female announcer ] wells fargo. together we'll go far. >> in michigan, president obama has a ten-point league. in montana, mitt romney is up by 5, no surprise, 50-45, but fairly close in that state. but we'll be right back. i don't spend money on gasoline.
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i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. ♪ we're back, what happened to that grand bargain that speaker of the house tried to reach last summer. oldest stand up to the -- traditional tax revenue at the last minute. by the end of july, the talks had broken down. in his new book, the. >> bob woodward joins me right now.
i want to ask you, because you're obviously the great reporter and you deal with the facts as you find them. the peo right that kept people from dealing. >> yes, there's a war going on in the republican party, as you know, and eric cantor, the number two in the house majority -- republican majority is much more connected to the tea party but don't kid yourself, boehner is a conservative republican that is a much more moderate one and he was laying down the law with obama, said no tax increases. >> he agreed to 800 billion -- >> through tax reform which is tricky. i mean, it's possible. i call it the great white whale. you chase it in the ocean and it
might kill you. >> let's talk about the republican party in the house. we know there are x number of t tea partyiers, just cut spending cut spending. every time boehner would meet with the president he would get a call from his staff, barry jackson, we're not going to be able to hold this deal. >> yes. there's a scene at one of the key moments where the president is asked for that $400 billion additional revenue. >> 800 billion up to 1.2, yeah. >> and so boehner calls eric cantor and his chief of staff down and says, what do you think of this? and eric cantor's chief of staff, steve, classic former army intelligence officer, bald head, says, well, how many votes do you think you can get for that? boehner says, 170. and stambraise, said, you're
crazy, not very polite. cantor backed him up and said they thought they'd only get 50 votes for that. there's a war and there's also a war in the democratic party. the president could not control pelosi and reid on some of these -- >> look, we don't have a british-style parliament. we have a congressional party. we have congress and we have the president. if the congress begins to behave like a parliamentary party and votes down the line discipline and says no to the president of another party, does the system work? >> that is exactly the problem. we have a skags now -- let's not kid ourself -- where the financial house is not in order and that is -- we've got $16 trillion of ious out in the world with europeans, people in this country, the chinese and so
forth. >> yeah. >> we have to make good on the principal payments and the interest payments and the president and the republicans in all of their talks and it's not just what happened last summer. i cover 3 1/2 years. they postponed everything. they said, oh, yeah, we'll do it in 2013. >> let's look for bad guys. does governor norquist -- he has every member of the republican party sign a thing that they won't raise taxes. if you don't raise taxes, the democrats won't go along with it. there won't be a deal. so is that a deal breaker? >> don't blame norville norquist. he believes he has strong convictions on it. believe the people who signed up. look, you have to have compromise. in the book i described at crucial moments where it's joe biden who comes in with the old approach. he is the -- he's called the mcconnell whisperer. >> the horse whisperer? >> yeah, the guy that can deal with mitch mcconnell, the senate
leader but biden can sit down with him and say, one for you, one for me, we're going to cut a deal. >> and what does mcconnell say? >> as long as you don't raise taxes, i'll go along with it. >> but you can never sell that, as you point out, to the pelosi party. 180 democrats are not going to sign any deal that doesn't have some kind of balance with revenue and spending cuts. >> but if you dig into this, as i spent 18 months doing, talked to the republicans, talked to speaker boehner, they all feel that they can get -- you know, if they agree on something, and they stand before the microphones and the cameras and say, this is the deal, this is in the interest of the country in the long run that people will swallow some of that dogma but they never got to that point. and so now we're dancing on the edge of the razor blade. >> i'll see you on sunday with
more time. bob woodward. when we return, who is who? the man who is running for president without ever saying anything. ask tom dewey. you're watching "hardball," a place for politics. an, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. [ male announcer ] fedex office. you can't argue with nutrition you can see. great grains. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. i'm eating what i know is better nutrition. mmmm. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself.
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losing, running and saying what he had to say. signing the documents of admission, he was when asked to cite his stronger character trait, resolute. resolute, yes, but towards what? suddenly there are militants climbing the walls of our embassy. what does romney do? he had nothing to say about that. nothing at all. all he did was put out a statement attacking a statement from some official in the cairo embassy put out decrying the anti-islamic movie. mr. romney had nothing to say about the movie that stirred thing up because except for the snip pe snippets, he doesn't have much to say about anything, except for his facith, family, and business. he's been in public for a long time, perhaps a generation now. if he was curious about