tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 6, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
sometimes provoke real criticisms from your side. if you're seeing fraternizing with the other side too much. >> i think booker has essentially predicted that's what he's going to do. but i'd submit -- we'll discuss that tonight. but first did anything reince priebus declares war again. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. reince priebus is on the warpath again. the rnc chairman who has made bones trying to suppress african-american votes now has a plan to suppress the free media. having waged war on the 15th
amendment, the one that gave african-americans the right to vote, he is now batting down the hatches on a free press. priebus' plan, which he described last night, is to take control of the republican nominating process, deciding who will be the moderators of the debates, which debates will be authorized, and which networks will be allowed to sponsor them. he, reince priebus, will decide if this big push for personal control is consistent with his oversight of a major republican plan to make it harder for minorities, the elderly and young voters to cast ballots. having loaded people down with more document requirements, voter photo i.d. cards and the rest and few opportunities to vote, he now is lowering the boom on the news networks. if nbc dares to run a planned miniseries on hillary, reince priebus has decreed it will have no role in republican debate. same for cnn. if it does a documentary on
hillary, it's dead as far as priebus is concerned. it will be pushed out in the cold while republicans stick to fox and other platforms that meet their terms. well, if reince priebus has his way, as i said, the only voters who will actually vote will be republicans. and the only networks on which they'll actually appear will be the ones answering to him, reince priebus. michael steele who knows reince priebus was chairman of the republican national party before reince priebus, and joan walsh will never be chairman of the republican national committee but only works for salon. i don't think so. here's priebus on fox last night. his chosen platform describing how republican debates in the 2016 presidential election will be governed by his rules. let's listen. >> for the first time in the history of our party, the republican national committee has rule-making authority now, and we can tie the debate calendar. we can tie who the moderators are going to be to the nomination for president. in our rule book. we couldn't do that before.
and so now we can say here's going to be the debate calendar. here is who the moderators will be. here are the debate partners. and to the candidates, you can participate in these debates. but if you participate in debates other than the ones that are on the calendar, there's going to be penalties. part of our problem before is that when you have, you know, 12, 20 people running for president, if 11 people raise their hand to any two-hour debate offered, then guess what, you've got a debate every two weeks. that's an unhealthy thing for our party. >> michael steele, this guy has a napoleonic notion of his power. this notion he can keep people from voting he doesn't wanting. it's not racism let's make it more difficult, make them with piles of id cards and only vote when he says it's time to vote. i get all that. but now he's saying not only do i want to get rid of that pesky 15th amendment, i'm going to go after the first amendment.
what is he -- is he just -- is this a power grab? i'm going to pick the moderators. now that's rich. he's going to say it's not going to be brian, it's not going to be diane, it's not going to be george. it's going to be his person? >> i don't know who the moderator is going to be left to pick from, to be honest. let's start with basic facts here. number one, by the time we get into the presidential cycle, reince priebus may not be chairman of the rnc. there is an election that will happen before then. >> you wish. >> i'm just saying, let's keep it real. the second thing is though, this is part of the rnc's -- >> didn't he just get re-elected? >> it's a two-year job. this is the response to what happened in 2012 where you had all these candidates in back-to-back debates. i personally didn't have a problem with that although i understood the idea. >> they embarrassed themselves by being on television so he's going to shut the number of times. >> limit the amount of exposure. >> suppress the candidates the way you suppress the african-american voter. this is outrageous. >> i don't get what the penalty is going to be. if i'm a presidential candidate and nbc is offering a debate and i want to participate in that
debate, i'm going to participate in it. i don't know how you penalize that candidate, particularly if he winds up being the nominee of the party. what are you going to do? >> what are you going to do if somebody like chris christie says i've got no problem with nbc, i'm showing you. what's reince priebus going to do? >> he's not going to do much. he is not going to do much. let's get the politics of this. this is just a political shot across the bow for the networks, number one. >> that's nonsense. that's where i disagree. i'm not defending nbc. i'm not their representative here. but i'll tell you this. no network once threatened to remove a documentary or remove a docu-drama would ever do it. >> i said the political shot is not so much for the networks as for the base and to draw lines out there and to be relevant in the conversation. >> joan, i see it he knows the net works are not going to buckle because of pride, institutional integrity, no matter whether they're right or wrong. they can't let him decide what's right and wrong. he's saying basically i'm going
cull the herd. fox will have 20 debates and ten i'll have a few on some other networks who play by our rules. let us pick the moderators and the format. in other words, it's an inside job. >> well, yeah. 's playing the refs, and he's saying that nbc and cnn won't be fair, and that they're in the tank for hillary clinton, which is ridiculous. she's had her own problems with the media over the years as you know. >> thank you for that. >> even more, listen to what he said to his friend sean hannity. listen to what he said to his friend sean hannity. i mean, it would be unhealthy. it was unhealthy to have all that exposure for our candidates. yeah, it was because you had a bunch of crackpots running for president and they did wound themselves every time they got out there. there were enough debates for perry to forget which agencies he was going to abolish in the federal government. right? so, yeah, i can see from his perspective, you want to go to the friendly confines of fox news. you want to have loving moderators like a sean hannity. you want to tell your story there. the problem is that that did not work in 2012.
in fact, living in the friendly confines of fox news made those republicans think they were going to win, that they could beat barack obama, that he wasn't a popular president. >> let's go back to reality, joan, with this. as your point is made, there's a long tradition of news anchors moderating debates. i moderated the republican debate at the reagan library last election, 2008. >> right. >> despite that history, reince priebus defended his threat to shut out nbc and cnn, saying he wants to be in business with participating outlets. participating. let's listen. >> yes. >> i think it's just about time that our party stands up and protects the party and our candidates from networks that are not in the business of promoting our party. they're not in the business of promoting our candidates. they're not in the business of doing anything but promoting the democratic party. and i'm not going to sit around and watch this happen anymore. >> that's kind of a dull comment to say he only wants to do business with those in the business of promoting their candidates. admit it, i admit we're not in
that business. >> right. this is the question i have based on what the chairman just said. so where do you go? >> fox. >> the only place -- so fox is going to have every debate? that's not credible, number one. >> comedy central. >> fox is not going to do it, number two. i just think you're painting it a little broad with the brush here. this is more the political play to the base. and sort of we're going to fight this with the hillary documents coming up. >> what would you have done? i know i work for an nbc company and i can't get involved in this debate very much. i want to ask you the question. i can ask joan too. you're all outside of here. you're guests on the show although you're both analysts i suppose. what do you do when you are reince priebus and you see they're going to do a documentary on hillary. a documentary can be tough. documentaries can be tough. >> sure. >> it can be all of those things. what would you have done if you'd seen this happen? they might be on the move to doing a puff. what is the smart move? >> to be honest the smart move is to get out in front what he's
doing. >> to threaten you're going to control your debates. >> look, chris, it is the late summer of 2013. this noise into an echo that has no one on the other end to hear it. >> doesn't it make him look like he's weak as if he doesn't deliver? he has to deliver now. he has to shut everybody out of the debates. but joan, i think he should have threatened something he doesn't intend to do. >> there's no loss in playing to the base. this is red meat for the base saying the mainstream media is the lame stream liberal media pleases everybody. he doesn't -- you know, when he doesn't get his way from cnn or nbc, which he will not, that will just prove that they're biased against him. he's within this echo chamber where all this stuff works. the problem is as michael well nose, when you take it out of the echo chamber and you have to talk to real voters and real people who may like hillary clinton who may find this fascinating and don't hate nbc or cnn, then you're making your argument to people who you're not used to talking. to and that's a problem. >> let's say assume the
production company doing the hillary story doesn't do the way they do tv. they've got some sex in it, some excitement in it, some tabloid type stuff. they go through the whole relationship of hillary and bill and his philandering. they do the whole thing with monica, the whole thing with gennifer flowers, nothing new, just public record stuff. then they do the whole stuff about how she was angry about his unfaithfulness. all that. and then she was on the wrong side of the iraq war in the 2008 election, how she lost an upset victory to an african-american guy that nobody thought had a prayer. how does all that necessarily help her be elected to president? i'm just saying. >> from a certain standpoint, it doesn't. that's the problem with coming out before the video, the documentary, the film is even produced. or the script written. we don't know. >> by the way, joanie, after hearing that whole story i just told, i didn't mean to sell it that bad, but that whole clinton story, who wants the sequel? >> it would work that way. it could work that way.
>> again, of making the noise before you actually know what the noise should be made about. this is more the politics of it. >> the smart thing would be to ask for a preview copy. >> that is the smart thing to do. ask for a copy. >> this is an even harder one. cnn, commissioned a documentary, a documentary can be on anybody. and there is no reason to believe it's going to be favorable, joan. >> right. >> why would they attack cnn? everybody will do a documentary. i'm sure fox has probably thought of doing one. >> sure. >> how does that suggest unfairness or a heavy thumb on the scale? >> it doesn't, if you're really an honest person, it doesn't. but if you're playing to your base, playing to that paranoid segment of gop voters that believe the media is against them, chris, then it always works. it always works to bash cnn. it always works to bash nbc. it always works to bash "the new york times." that's what he is doing. there is plenty of fodder for
this to be negative. i would be nervous if i were her a little bit. who knows how it could go. this is a play for the base. >> by the way, those who talk about the tight relationship between msnbc and barack obama, for example, count the number of times he's been on this network. zero. >> right. >> michael steele, thank you. >> all the things they've said about him. >> he agrees with us and we agree with him sometimes. i actually have my views and he tends to coincide with them. thank you, michael steele. i was right on the iraq war and so was he. your side was dead wrong. joan walsh, thank you. you were right too. you were for the iraq war, weren't you? >> no. >> okay. you're covered. some on the right are excited by a weird term in a weird way they insist president obama is losing the fight with al qaeda. as it turns out, they could not be more wrong, as we know. also, if you love newspapers as i do, the sale of "the washington post" to jeff bezos comes as a stunner. we about to see millionaires of
all kinds like the koch brothers buying up newspapers to promote their views? and if you thought the last was unproductive, the current one is even worse. and the republicans running the place are downright proud of it. and old birthers don't die, and they don't fade away either. they just keep coming up with more. we keep coming up with more every day here, and they're all alive. birthers. this is "hardball," the place for birthers. we'll be right back.
well, former president bill clinton finally broke his silence on anthony weiner, the former president told cnn he and former secretary of state hillary clinton are maintaining a healthy distance from the new york mayor's race. quote, this is great clinton. we are 100 miles from that race, he says. and everyone understands that we are not going to be involved as long as our personal friends and people we feel obligations to are involved. beautifully stated.
mr. clinton said even though weiner's wife huma abedin is a close confidante of the former first lady and is not now, they're not involved in the weiner campaign at all. clinton said there are too many people running for mayor who have been my supporters, who supported her for senate, her for president. and we'll be right back.
welcome back to "hardball." we're learning more about that terror alert that caused massive embassy closures in the middle east and in northern africa. the focus is yemen where the united states evacuated 100 government personnel and urging all-americans to leave the country immediately. well, the intelligence that sparked all this was a communication from osama bin ladin's replacement, ayman al zawahiri to the head of the al qaeda arm in yemen. the terrorist leaders discussed plotting an attack to coincide with a in muslim holy day this week. this afternoon nbc news is reporting that one reason the u.s. reacted so aggressively is because al qaeda operatives said they wanted an attack that, quote, would change the balance
of power in the region. well, as american counterterrorist officials are dealing with this threat, some on the right are using it to hit the president as weak on national security. big surprise there. take a look what bill kristol and former senator jim demint said this weekend on fox. >> four years ago, president obama gave a much heralded speech, his outreach to the muslim world. now four years later we're closing embassies throughout the arab world. a year ago he said al qaeda is on the run. now we seem to be on the run. i'm not criticizing the decision to close the embassies. that's probably the right thing to do for the sake of trying to save american lives and others but it's a terrible thing that just a year ago boasting al qaeda is on the run and osama bin laden is dead, and now an unprecedented closure of 22 embassies. >> i'm not questioning what he's doing. i think what bill is saying is true is our attempt to placate parts of the world, reset to whether it's russia or somewhere else are clearly not working.
the perception of weakness in this administration is encouraging this kind of behavior. >> of course, those were extreme hawks. someone needs to tell jim demint al qaeda doesn't care what our relationship is with russia. for more on how washington reacted, i'm joined by senior correspondent michael crowley with me and "the washington post" opinion writer jonathan capehart. gentlemen, thank you for this. i guess what's interesting here, jonathan you start, it's the quick almost rabble-rousing political hysteria. instead of sort of joining in, which was the initial impulse of people like peter king and others and lindsey graham, who care about national security, was to join forces and say you know what? we've got a unique threat here coming out of yemen. we have orders passed from pakistan. we better get serious about this and deal with the issue at hand. instead they reverted immediately to their political battle stations and said here is a chance to shoot at the president from behind. >> what's interesting here, chris, and especially in the clips you just showed with jim demint, where one minute
republicans are claiming that president obama is just a continuation of president george w. bush in the foreign policy realm where the president, this president is just continuing the hawkish policies of the bush administration. and then the next minute, they're claiming that the president is weak in foreign policy showing weakness to our enemies and yet, completely forgetting about all the drone strikes that the president is doing, and the other thing about what jim demint is doing which i find rather callous is would he rather the president of the united states not close the embassies and make our -- and make american personnel targets for a terrorist attack? i wonder what they would be saying if the president followed through on the advice that they're giving him. >> you mean another benghazi. >> yeah, exactly. >> benghazi, benghazi. right on cue, rick santorum not a foreign policy expert accused the president of being timid. i love the personifications, timid. muscular foreign policy. they turn on to some school yard kind of event.
let's watch. >> i think it's really a consequence of the policies of this administration. i mean, if you look at benghazi and what happened there. we had an attack on our embassy. we've seen really nothing other than cover-ups. we haven't seen anything from this administration really go after the people responsible or the network behind it. and i'm sure if you're looking at it from a terrorist perspective is, you say here's an administration that's pulling back, that's timid. and an opportunity to go after additional embassies. >> these are the same people, michael, who took this into iraq. we've got to be to be unafraid to use our strength. they're all chicken hawks, g.i. joe pretend types, and they all want us to go to the next war. timid means we're not fighting with somebody right now. that's what they mean. >> the idea of timidity in part of his administration is very strange to me. his complaints seem to be -- >> what is it, stand your ground writ large? is that what it is? stand your ground.
>> he seems to be talking about they're afraid to use the word terrorism, islamo-fascism. people would be upset about that kind of rhetoric. the fact is, this president has overseen drone strikes that have killed thousands of people and if anything, i think the complaint you could make, the better complaint would be that we are overreliant on drones. we've had problems, the reason we still have a problem with al qaeda in yemen according to some people, there's a backlash on the number of drone strikes we've carried out. the president has been using too much violence. the idea that al qaeda cares what your rhetoric is doesn't make any sense. >> do you think somebody in pakistan gives a rat's butt how our relations are doing with moscow? >> no. >> that's an absurd charge. >> it's a non sequitur. it's very advantage. and the reality is that this president has stepped up this drone campaign around the world, again, i think what people care about in pakistan is america is blowing people up from the sky. they're not showing their faces.
they see this cowardly and it alienates the population. understand there's a real debate to be had about the blowback of drone strikes. but our rhetoric has nothing to do with it. >> you know, jonathan, elections are imprecise. you choose one party or the other, one general approach or the other. the general approach of the bush administration george w was a freedom agenda. certainly the idea of the road to jerusalem is through baghdad. all this sort of neo con theorizing that if we go over there and go into iraq, somehow the front lines in the middle east will be loosen up, there will be some democratizing and it will somehow lead to a peace treat things will be better in the middle east. that means war generally. it means war. twice into iraq, once in afghanistan. obama came in saying i'm sort of a '60s guy. i don't really think big war is the answer to all big problems. i think a more surgical approach, let's get the bad guys and narrow it to that. let's not go against peoples and nations if we can avoid it. that's what the public wanted in '08, what they wanted again in
'12. i know it's not perfect. >> right. >> but that's where i disagree with your colleague gene robinson today in the paper where he was saying there is something wrong with drones. yeah. but if the alternative is going to war with yet another islamic country, i'll go to war with drones. >> exactly. some republicans want the president, any president frankly but this president in particular to just go headlong into any conflict that happens around the world and it seems all the conflicts happening have been in the middle east when the arab spring rose up in egypt, send troops to egypt. when it happened in libya, send troops to libya. the united states -- >> send troops to syria. >> that was the other one. send troops to syria. one minute they're complaining we don't have enough money we're going broke, we can't do all these things the president wants to do. the moment there's an international conflict, they want is the united states to go there. if anything, this president obama's foreign policy is cautious. and it's a little too cautious for a whole lot of people,
including us on the "washington post" editorial page, but i think it befits a president who sees what's happening in the world, doesn't exactly know because we've never been down this road before. the freedom and people rising up in these countries that you're showing on the map here. this is what you want from a president. someone who sees things happening, that takes very considered steps, and the other thing we have to keep in mind, it might not look like the united states is doing a whole lot overtly in this region, in this region of the world. but you got to know that the united states is doing a whole lot of things covertly behind the scenes, out of the public view to gain intelligence, but to also help friends and destabilize enemies. >> i agree. by the way, gentlemen, can you imagine what the right wring challenge would be the attack on the president had 9/11 occurred on president obama's watch? >> president obama's watch? yeah. >> of course --
>> the democrats gave george w. a free ride. they said it happened, nobody knew it was going to happen. we're not going to butcher you politically over this. it was the first time it was ever done. as the secretary of state said, no one imagined them using planes, although they did. if that had happened under obama's watch, i tell you, it would have been impeachment time. >> by the way, obama plans to attack within the united states. >> i remember the way the secretary of state had to read it with no affect that time at the hearing they said it doesn't have any punch. >> i know. it was standout moment. osama bin laden determined to attack the united states. my eyes popped out of my head when that happened. >> i know, i know. >> remember, this is the president who escalated the war in afghanistan. and we are now drawing down. but it just doesn't make any sense to say that he has totally recoiled, that he is afraid of conflict. he has blown these guys up with drones. he doubled down in afghanistan. if anything i think the critique you make is from the left. >> talk to some of the guys close in.
he is pretty darn tough when he is in there. this guy is not some jimmy carter on this stuff. not on this stuff. thank you, michael crowley. not that there's anything wrong with jimmy carter but he wasn't exactly a fighter in that sense. jonathan capehart. we always agree, jonathan, that's very dangerous. up next, it's august and congress is out of session. it's hard to know. it's like calvin coolidge, he died, how did you tell. anyway, the birthers are back and this is "hardball." the place for politics. [ man ] look how beautiful it is.
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got a bill that's going to look into the birth certificate again. would you be willing to cosponsor. so i called steve up. i says when i got back, you're doing that? yeah, you want to get on it? i said yeah. >> yeah. but as the daily show pointed out about ted cruz last night, two can play that game. >> you were born in canada. could you -- are you even eligible to be president of the united states? >> my mother was born in wilmington, delaware. she's a u.s. citizen so i'm a citizen by birth. >> okay. well, that shouldn't be a problem, then, because as we know republicans are nothing if not understanding on that particular issue. as long as your mother was born in the united states, you could be born anywhere on earth and be completely accepted as a viable presidential candidate. >> finally, they get it right. natural born means you don't have to be naturalized. you're born an american. all those birther charges were wrong about the constitution
just as they were totally wrong about where obama was actually born. well, "the washington post" may be a washington institution but its influence extends well beyond the capital. since 1933 when donald graham's grandfather bought the post at auction for $825,000 is, it's been the standard bearer of exemplary political coverage, a testament to the management of the graham family over the last 80 years. but before that in the early days, "the washington post" had something of a mixed record, which included the dubious distinction of printing one of the most infamous newspaper typos in american history. it was a 1915 article about woodrow wilson's love life. yes, he had one. the paper reported that wilson had been entering his bride-to-be, edith galt. it meant to say entertaining his bride-to-be. now we went further and dug up the original. here's how they printed at the time. quote -- this is "the washington
post." the president gave himself up for the time being to entering his fiancee. needless to say it was a source of amusement in washington. next up, this one definitely belongs in the sideshow. things got ugly when anthony weiner encountered a heckler on the stump yesterday in new york. take a look at how it unfolded. >> you're very passionate. >> i'm more passionate than you on twitter. i'm a social medial expert. get someone to handle your [ bleep ]. you are disgusting. >> okay. >> disgusting. >> you've had your say. >> whoa! >> you've got little kids. >> little kids here. >> little kids? you have no right to talk about anything. you have no right to talk about little kids. >> okay. >> talking about little kids? social media? you want to see some twitter action. >> take it easy. lighten up. you put your show on and you beat it. beat it. >> beat it. that's the way to get a vote.
welcome back to "hardball." a foreboding front page of "the washington post" today. graham's to sell "the washington post." there it is. it hit our driveway this morning. the graham family owned the post for generations and fought to the hill to defend its independence through the watergate investigation when reporters bob woodward and carl bernstein took down nixon's administration. the grahams had the guts to stand up for their paper and defend that special brand of investigative journalism, which can make you a lot of enemies. but now "the washington post" has a new owner, silicon valley billionaire and amazon.com founder jeff bezos. bezos isn't alone. over the last several years, billionaires have been gobbling up newspapers across the country, from "the wall street journal" to "the boston globe." in some cases, like rupert murdoch's purchase of "the
journal," those have pushed a right-wing agenda. the conservative koch brothers are on the hunt to buy up newspapers as well. the question is a pressing one. will the new money have the same guts and drive as the old money or will the papers they buy become political mouthpieces in some cases to the far right. anyway, eugene robinson is an expert, an msnbc political analyst. and brad stone is a columnist with "business week" and the author of the upcoming book "the everything store: jeff bezos and the age of amazon." right to you, brad. will bezos maintain the independent of the newspaper and be like the old money, grahams and willing to say i'm willing to bleed economically so this paper will live? >> absolutely. i don't see him as having an overt political agenda. i think his idealism will be a business idealism about disrupting the newspaper's old
revenue models, building new ones. experimenting digitally. you know, does he have an agenda? i think it's no accident that he's buying "the washington post" at a time when amazon increasingly has regulatory and legislative issues. but i don't see him wielding that influence in an overt way. >> what about his libertarianism? is he possibly in the mood to have "the washington post" endorse rand paul for president? is that within the realm of possibility for a libertarian, his first shot with the newspaper to endorse a libertarian candidate? >> i'm going to go out on a limb and say he won't be meddling with the decisions of the "washington post" editorial board. >> he won't? who will be? who will the post speak for, if not him? >> well, you know, he said he wants to keep the current management in place. >> does management decide who to endorse for president? i thought the owners do. >> you know, we'll have to see. >> it's a tough one, isn't it?
>> bezos has been -- it's a tough one. he has been sort of apolitical. only recently has he become sort of involved in the sales tax debate. he gave some money for a proposition supporting gay marriage in the state of washington. but these are kind of individual instances, and he really hasn't gotten involved. >> you know, i read the post every morning and try to figure out the editorial policy. fred is a bit of a neo con and a hawk. fair enough. he's clear and honest about it. he's hawkish. you come in there, you have some influence. it has a domestic policy moderation to liberalism. somewhere between moderate and liberal. it's not the liberal icon people thought it was, if it ever was. that's what i think. >> i'm on the op-ed page. we let 100 flowers bloom on the page. i'm a columnist. i'm not a member of the editorial board, which needs to debate and hash out the editorials that speak in the voice of the newspaper, which by the way is the voice of the editorial page editor and the publisher.
remember, katharine weymouth is the publisher. i presume the arrangement will continue if it's an important endorsement or something like that, fred and katharine will have to be on the same page. i don't know if jeff bezos would want to be involved. >> if it's his only newspaper, why wouldn't he want to have an influence who you endorse? >> maybe that's not the point of his getting a newspaper. maybe it's -- it may be the point is just as brad said. maybe it's to disrupt newspapering the way he disrupted retail, the way he disrupted book selling. >> so you think he has a business model, a way to make the paper make money? >> my guess, i don't know the man. my guess is he's got the germ of an idea. it's not a fully fledged idea yet. he's got a spend time at the post and figure out how things work. >> brad, is there a workable known way to make money with newspapers in metropolitan areas? suburban newspapers can deal with offset. i don't know how they do it. the traffic is different.
but can you make money in a big city newspaper with traffic concerns where you got to get the paper out physically way ahead of time? how do you make money with a paper these days. up against everything else. >> right. i think bezos is betting that you can. the first thing that you do is slay the old business. you let the traditional sources of revenue, the subscriber base, you know, the ad revenue, print ad revenue gracefully sunset and build a new business online. i think that's the opportunity he'll go after. >> online? >> yeah. and he's got, you know -- this is $250 million. for him it's a drop in the bucket. he brings us long-term operating philosophy, willing to sustain a lot of losses sometimes to the consternation of amazon shareholders. i think we'll see him bring that operating philosophy to "the washington post." >> you said the wrong word for me, online. i'm worried here. that's not a newspaper. >> look, 20 years from now, do you think we're going to be dealing with physical newspapers delivered on your doorstep? 20 years from now. i'm not sure we are. right now, that's what, 70%,
maybe 80% of the "washington post" revenue most print newspapers' revenue. so what i think bezos does is not to slay or actively get rid of that legacy business. it generates the cash. it generates a lot of money, and he is not averse to cash. but the advantage to having somebody like bezos owning the paper is number one, it's going to be private. so we're not going to have wall street analysts anxious about next quarter's figures. number two, he's got pockets deep enough for us to do the experimentation and the innovation that we need to do on the online side. >> okay, thanks. >> so that when the economics move there, we'll be there first. >> i'm worried about the koch brothers. they're come for the chicago tribune and "the l.a. times." they're coming. if they get a deal, god help us. anyway, thank you. up next, congress is on a five-week vacation, couldn't you tell? did they do anything while they were here? no. will they do anything when they come back? probably cause more trouble. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
any way you cut it and whoever's fault it is, you have presided over what is perhaps the least productive and certainly one of the least popular congresses in history. how do you feel about that? >> well, bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. we ought to be judged on how many laws that we repeal. >> we're back. that was of course a rehearsed line from john boehner bragging not about what he has done, but about the things he has tried to undo. 40 times they tried to undo obama care. no real accomplishments in this congress under boehner's leadership. he's on the way to becoming the least productive in terms of bills passed that's ever existed. boehner leads a conference of republicans who are averse to being led or legislating in the first place. so why would we expect any cooperation or progress henceforth? according to "the washington post's" chris cillizza in a great post yesterday, here is
what we learned on the five-week vacation. boehner has become a speaker in name only. the goal of reaching a budget is a pipe dream. republicans continue to slow down progress that yields any tangible result. gun control is not happening. senators are retiring at a historic pace, and tea party firebrand rand paul has become the republican party's most powerful spokesman and non-negotiator. chris, great column. it was so conclusive. this congress has done nothing. no appropriations passed, no budget resolution passed, no continuing resolution ready to go october 1. the government is fast approaching when they get back from labor day. they're going to go to a shutdown. three weeks of talking about doing nothing, then doing nothing. and then the prospect as we get closer to the holidays of the national default on the federal debt with perhaps our credit rating dropping. all this before christmas and the holidays. what a horrendous performance and the tea party types led by, and i do believe he's on his way to getting the nomination next
time, rand paul is enjoying it all because getting nothing done proves nothing can get done and doing nothing is what his philosophy is. he wins twice. >> well, you know, chris, i've done a lot of writing and using vital statistics on congress, great resource on productivity and sort of how you measure it. this congress, this house has passed 22 bills in its first eight months roughly that have gone to the president for signing the previous low ever before was 28 bills. you've seen 81 bills, 17 bills passed in past congresses. the argument -- and i want to get it out there because lots of republicans, and you heard john boehner talk about it -- lots of republicans say you're missing the point. the point here is that democrats control the white house. democrats control the senate. the only thing we can do here is we disagree philosophically and fundamentally with the ideas that they are pushing. the only thing we can do is to say we're not doing these things and thereby we are preserving
sort of the smaller government principles that our constituents elected us for. >> all on the same page saying voting 40 times to repeal or defund obama care is their idea, the republicans' idea, of an economic jobs program. how can you defend -- i'm going to go to the governor on this. how can you say doing nothing, voting against everything, trying to repeal everything in a feckless way, how can you say that's a jobs program or even a republican economic program? >> well, you can't, chris. and you make the point. the recovery is slow. we have significant joblessness and they're taking pride in doing nothing. i believe if they continue this, and if they shut down the government and screw up the debt limit, i believe they're going to lose control of the congress. and the reason is take suburban philadelphia. you and i talk about that a lot. we've got four republican congressmen. they're all pretty good guys, charlie dent, patrick meehan, et cetera. well, if i'm running the
campaign against them next time, hey, pat meehan is a good guy, but we're never going to get anything done in congress as long as pat meehan is in congress because he's going to vote for john boehner and he's going to make sure that nothing gets done. and we have this congress that's destructive. the only way to change things is to get rid of pat meehan and fitzpatrick and those moderate republicans that are left. and there are enough of them that if they lose them in the suburbs all over this country, they're going to lose control of the congress. so i think they're going down a path that's idiotic for them. >> that sound like harry truman going after the do-nothing congress between '46 and '48 and it worked. he blew them out of the saddle. all they wanted to do was hold hearings like darrell issa and investigate for communists. let me go back to chris on this. when you go up there and cover them, not just in numbers, in history, but the way they are today, do they believe they can sell this or is this to avoid having primary challenges? >> i think it's a little of
both. chris, i don't think there's any question the governor knows this, you know this well. they look around -- all politicians look around and when they see their colleagues lose, when they see a dick lugar lose, a bob bennett in utah lose, it has a real and lasting impact on them. i think the danger here is that i guess i disagree a little bit with the governor in that redistricting -- the line drawing process has created it so you have so few competitive seats that i don't know that there are enough seats to flip. what i think is dangerous is the mentality that they're adopting, for example, on immigration, which is immigration is a huge issue for the national republican party, but in congressional districts that are controlled by republicans, there's a relatively small number of districts that are heavily hispanic. they can hold the house if they don't pass a comprehensive immigration bill. the bigger problem is, are they cutting off their nose to spite their face in 2016? can marco rubio, jeb bush, rand
paul, scott walker, can any of those guys win with the republican party that if polling is to be believed is going to bear the lion's share of blame for not getting comprehensive immigration reform. >> i think the governor may be right about philly. i'm not sure they're going to like a do nothing nobody. anyway, thank you, chris cillizza and ed rendell.
as when it is taken away from us. and like so many of you, i am a newspaper reader. i love the papers. when i'm in another country, i love getting a copy of the international herald tribune or "usa today" or both. i love reading about america from europe. and every day you see me here at this desk, i spend a good day of the morning loving "the new york times" and "the washington post" and "politico" the political trade paper, and sometimes "the wall street journal" as well. i love the feel of the broad sheet, the excitement of a tab, the turning of the pages, the checking of the sports section, and the scores, the celebrity news, just enough, that is, and the opinions on the op-ed page. i want to know what people like me and also not like me are thinking. newspapers are great for one great reason. they throw it at you. you don't go looking for a piece on pakistan but there it is staring at you when you go to the jump what you are looking for. newspapers not only tell you what is new on what you know about but also what you should know about. they alert you, tickle you, taunt you until you have caught up and know what the story is.
the sale of "the washington post" is a tricky matter for the single reason it is an original source of knowing what you and i should know about. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i am in for are the great chris hayes. tonight on "all in" the sale of "the washington post" yesterday to billionaire jeff bezos. i have thoughts and even feelings about all this since i actually work there. that is coming up. also tonight president obama makes a return to phoenix to talk about the great american dream of owning your own home. i submit homeownership isn't for everybody. it shouldn't be tax deductible. but first, did anything really