tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 9, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
everybody is revved up every night. and if you want the stay revved up, stay with "politicsnation." one thing we'll never do is put you to sleep early. and put you to sleep uninformed. we want to answer your questions. e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org. remember, friend or foe, i want to know. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. have a great weekend. "hardball" starts right now. defending obama care. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight president obama throws down the gauntlet on republicans launching an all-out offensive against republican threats to cripple his signature achievement, obama care. in a press conference late today the president was defiant. at times he almost seemed to
taunt republicans when it came to their threat to shut down the government over the issue. in attacks that were swift and surgical, he began by calling out the republican fixation of obstructionism. >> the really interesting question is why it is that my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail, their number one priority. the one unifying principle in the republican party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don't have health care. that's hard to understand as an agenda that's going to strengthen our middle class. >> and this was his response to tea party leaders like ted cruz, rand paul and mike lee who are championing a government shutdown if the obama care law is not defunded. >> the idea that you would shut down the government unless you
prevent 30 million people from getting health care is a bad idea. what you should be thinking about is how can we advance and improve ways for middle class families to have some security so that if they work hard they can get ahead. >> you'll hear more from the president shortly, but the bottom line is this. this was perhaps the most impassioned defense of the law that we've seen from him to date. it has democrats everywhere asking what took you so long. to break it all down we welcome in chuck todd, nbc's chief white house correspondent and the host of "the daily rundown." an chris cillizza, msnbc political analyst with "the washington post." chuck, you know this president so well, was this calculated, or do you think he got caught up in the moment of responding to that particular question? >> oh, it's hard to say. i think this has been getting under his skin for a while.
so calculated's probably not the word i would use, but i think he wanted to make sure that he drew a line, was a bit more defiant. he's been getting a lot of grief behind the scenes saying you've got to sell this law better, you've got to do this. and i heard more clarity from him than i have in a while on this. of course, the real test of all this, michael, is going to be is he start going on the road and proactively doing this rather than doing this when he's asked a question about health care but proactively going out on the road and selling this and selling implementation. he's going to have to. he's got to turn these poll numbers around, or he is going to find moving congress on this is going to be a lot harder. republicans just sit there and they look at the scoreboard. and they say, guess what, half the country thinks it's a bad idea. less than 40% thinks this law's a good idea. >> well, to your point, let me show some polling data on the issue of whether it's a good or bad idea. there it is, good idea 34%, bad idea 47%.
chris cillizza, you know, i follow you in all your social media. you did say get ready for the sixthness or so question. i think you had a-rod in mind. but this is the one that ended up generating all the news. >> you know, chuck makes the right point, which is the president has not given this sort of passionate defense of his law that many hoped. i think that this is an interesting way that he did it. he didn't -- i mean he did defend obama care broadly, but it was in the context of sort of a dare. and, michael, i think you used that word, sort of a challenge. be my guest if you want to try to link defunding obama care to a government shutdown. i think he's on safer political ground there though the law broadly is not possible. the idea of shutting down government over health care and unfunding i think is also popular. i think that's why you've seen people like mitt romney earlier this week in new hampshire come out and say we should not do
this strategically. this is a bad move for the party. you've seen other governors come out and say you should not do this. i think obama feels he has the higher political ground when it comes to linking that defunding of obama care to shutting down the government. because he probably wins that fight. >> it's not only the issue of shutting down the government, chuck, the president was quick to point out republicans don't have a real alternative to his health care law. listen to this. >> they used to say, well, we're going to replace it with something better. there's not even a pretense now that they're going to replace it with something better. the notion is simply that those 30 million people, or the 150 million who are benefitting from the other aspects of affordable care, will be better off without it. that's their assertion, not backed by fact, not backed by any evidence. it's just become an ideological fixation. well, i tell you what, they're wrong about that. >> chuck todd, what will be the response to that?
and part b of my question, is the president also taking advantage of the fact that he's pretty much the only person in town so there can't be a coherent reply offered by the gop per se? >> well, that's right. but you're going to hear, i think, conservatives are going to hear that and say, hey, that's an unfair strawman. look at what he's trying to do, he's trying to paint us as anti-poor or we don't want poor people to get health care. but i tell you, it was, yes, the president likes to use strawman arguments, but that is a tough message for him to do. you know, both sides use straw men to make their arguments. we've heard what the republicans do when it comes to what they believe the health care law's going to do, whether it's on the economy, whether it's on job creation and things like that. so the president i think pushing back i think it's only going to increase the amount of rhetoric from the right in sort of pushing back on his statement that somehow they don't care about these 30 million people that don't have health care, that they don't want them somehow to get health care. so i think you'll see an
increase in the rhetoric, but i think this is a case where the white house believes they may not be on the right side of public opinion about the overall law, but as chris pointed out, they believe they're on the right side of public opinion on this idea that you gum up the works and you create more gridlock to try to stop it. >> well, chuck, you make the point the question remains will the president now go on the road and speak with such passion? but, chris, cillizza, i think a corresponding question is does he get any support? because the president may not have sold this to date, but he sure hasn't had the assistance of his own party to try and sell this message. >> well, you know, i think it's sort of one of those things should i take the first step, do you want to take the first step. >> yes. >> everyone in some ways is waiting. he is, ultimately, michael, he's the biggest politician in the democratic party and in either party. i think if he wants people to follow, he is going to have to take the lead. now, i will say i think he's much more comfortable making the argument that republicans are cutting off their nose despite
-- to spite their face on this. forget what you think about the health care law, the idea of defunding something that is law, threatening that in exchange for government shutdown that is an issue i think he feels more strongly about. i can tell you and i agree with chuck on this. ideological fixation, the words the president used to describe republicans voting to repeal part of all of obama care, yeah, that's not going to go down so well in the republican party. they are not going to have warmer relations after today. >> well, chuck, despite the attacks on the republican insurgency against his health care law and the threat to shut down the government over the issue, the president did say he thinks in the end common sense will prevail. here it is. >> the idea that you would shut down the government at a time when the recovery's getting some traction, where we're growing although not as fast as we need to, where the housing market is recovering although not as fast as we would like, that we would precipitate another crisis here
in washington that no economist thinks is a good idea. i'm assuming that they will not take that path. i have confidence that common sense in the end will prevail. >> chuck todd, do you have confidence that in the end common sense will prevail? >> no leader of the republican party, and i say that leader of the republican party, wants to pursue this path. the question i have though is how do they stop it? inertia, can they come up with an alternative way? can they rally their party in such a way that says -- cause they're not going to get cooperation from democrats on trying to somehow find a stopgap measure here. can they find some way to appease the tea party wing of the party that really wants this, that wants some sort of stand on principles and all of this to try to force this vote? can they come up with a compromise that appeases them in some form, but also can get through?
look, i think -- i know the leaders don't want to do this, boehner, mcconnell, you name it, i don't know how they stop it. i don't see a clear plan by them on how to prevent this from happening. >> one other aspect, chris cillizza, i thought it was interesting that the president begins to try to manage expectations with regards to the delivery come october 1st. you heard that reference by way to the iphone, right? when he made reference to apple and the launch of a new product. the president said today stuff, his word, stuff happens. and we all know what he means because you know that the first few glitches with implementation are going to get trumpeted on drudge, trumpeted on fox and talk radio, and could get the stage for the 2014 cycle unless they're responded to or managed. >> and, look, you know, i think, michael, this administration has struggled at times whether it's health care, economic stimulus, they have struggled to manage expectations effectively. they've sort of said, well, remember, as soon as the health care law begins to kick in, it's going to get more popular.
that wasn't necessarily the case. i think he's trying to do that. look, the president is not unaware of that poll number that you read, 34% of people think it's a good law. they're aware of that. they're aware of the difficulties of selling this. i will say and i don't want to sound like a broken record, i will say if republicans continue to push the tying of defunding health care, the government shutdown, they are handing on a silver platter a message that president obama can actually talk about health care, the health care law and went on. there aren't a lot of messages he can talk about health care win on. this would be one of them. i think that's why you see to chuck's point, mitch mcconnell doesn't want to do this, john boehner doesn't want to do this, mitt romney said they shouldn't publicly do this. there's a reason that minds like that in the party are warning on it. >> chris, thank you. chris cillizza, thank you so much. chuck todd, as always, we appreciate you both. >> thank you. >> coming up, four summers ago, the tea party road to power by disrupting members of congress
at town hall meetings. their beef then was obama care. and now it's the law of the land, they're at it again. they want it defunded, destroyed, and they're ready to take the country down because of it. also, the blowback from that supreme court decision to gut the voting rights act. florida governor rick scott is restarting his effort to purge the voter roles in his state, something the voting rights act stopped him from doing before. also, this weekend marks the start of the final season of the award winning tv show "breaking bad." it's just the latest example of a big hit, think of "the sopranos" where we end up rooting for the bad guy. and darrell issa wants to honor the president, but nobody does it like stephen colbert. >> tonight i am proud to declare that the area between 4 and 7 feet off the ground, the ronald wilson reagan economic breathing zone. right up there. >> much or of that tonight in the side show. this is "hardball." the place for politics. [ female announcer ] it balances you...
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could hillary clinton turn deep red georgia blue in 2016? let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. according to a new ppp poll, clinton leads gop front-runner rand paul by five, 48-43. she leads paul ryan by three, 47-44. she beats native son newt gingrich by four, 47-43. against jeb bush it's a tie right now at 45 a piece. and the only republican who has a lead on clinton right now is chris christie at 44-42. all those match-ups are competitive. by the way, bill clinton carried georgia in 1992 and then lost it in 1996. we'll be right back. let's play:
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obama care, yes or no? >> would you like to hear the thoughtful answer? no. let me tell you why. you got your answer. let me tell you why. it takes 60 votes. we only have 12 votes. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was republican congressman pittenger explaining to disgruntled constituents at a town hall monday why he's voting against defunding obama care. four years ago angry protests erupted at town hall meetings across the country. they formed a tea party wave that swept over obama care and swept a new breed of republicans into power in the congress in 2010. and tea party anger wasn't just related to obama care, remember at this town hall where former delaware congressman michael cassel was confronted by a voter who demonstrated a new level of vitreal and viciousness? >> i want to go back to january
20th and i want to know why are you people ignoring his birth certificate? he is not an american citizen. he is a citizen of kenya. i am american. my father fought in world war ii with the greatest generation in the pacific theater for this country. and i don't want this flag to be changed. i want my country back. >> angry vitreal at town halls in 2010 was an early sign of the republican coming sweep at the polls. are we seeing any harbingers of a 2014 wave? one way or the other. with me now republican strategist rick tyler who is the president for the strategy group and aisha moodie-mills. for the center for american progress. aisha, read the tea leaves thus far.
are there any issues out there that are popping? are there any signs of a coming wave like we saw in 2010? >> well, i think there's a sign of a wave that's coming, but it's going to be the opposite of what we saw in 2010. >> how so? >> the republicans have spent years making this anti-obama care bed, and now they're going to have to lie in it. you're seeing this civil war of infighting happening. and i think that it's really going to crash and burn them. >> but you know, rick, passion sells especially in primary season, and especially on the gop side of the aisle. might this mark a reemergence of tea party candidates even though those who can win a primary but never win a general election? >> well, aside from the latter point of your assertion, yes. i do think this could be a harbinger as it was in 2009 that was a real movement. not only reflected in the polls, but clearly reflected in the vote. i think we picked up 56, it was a historic republican sweep. and if the left is deathly afraid we're in a repeat here. because there is a narrative here. it's a metanarrative. we have people who don't trust
the government on nsa spying. we have people that don't trust the government with the irs declining conservative organizations. we have benghazi, which we don't hear enough about. and now we're going to have the irs implement obama care. it's not defunding obama care. obama care hasn't been funded. so the real question is will we vote to fund obama care or not, not defund. and it's certainly not the republicans who would shut the government down. it would be president clinton -- president obama. of course i don't think it would get to his desk. but by virtue of him not signing or vetoing the budget. that would shut the government down. >> let me show you something, congressman pittenger took a defiant approach to attendees who asked to vote to defund obama care even though he tried to explain why it would be pointless. and the crowd did not like what they heard. >> we lose over there, then they come back to us in the house. you win this battle by going
after -- we look at your -- we look at how we can win. do you think harry reid is going to -- >> it doesn't matter what harry reid does, we need to show the american people we stand for conservative values -- >> aisha, the passion still seems to be on the right side of the aisle. you're telling me that you think there's potentially a wave coming of democratic support in time for the 2014 cycle, but you don't see that anecdotally. >> here's what you're seeing. you're actually seeing cheers and jeers coming at the republicans. they're getting flak from both sides. americans who are democrats and americans who are republicans are really frustrated with them. i mean, for a couple of reasons. we have a poll that came out that showed that most people, the vast majority of people, really think that we should at the very least be improving upon -- at the most i should say, be improving upon obama care and to leave it as it stands. so every time they try to repeal or they try to defund, they're turning people off on both sides be it tea partiers who are
technically on their side of the aisle, or other democrats. and i think this is going to be bad news for the gop in general. >> rick, in another part of north carolina, pittenger's colleague, patrick mchenry, a staunch opponent of obama care faced his constituents in a town hall. but in a surprising turn of events, his constituents wanted to know why he won't support obama care in the first place because some of them say it's helping. here's the tape. >> yes? >> i'm from east ashville. i'm 63. my wife is 63. and without obama care we would have no health insurance. i would like to ask you and the republican party to answer the question why do i not have a moral right in access to health care if you want to defund obama care which is by law and policy going to save billions of dollars over the next ten years? >> rick, anecdotally in the 2014 cycle there will be those individuals whether they're
young americans who now can remain on their parents plan when heretofore they couldn't do so. or maybe someone who had preexisting conditions who couldn't get health now can get health insurance. there will be those faces to associate with stories like presumably that man's that the gop will have to respond to if they thwart this removing forward. >> of course, but we can fix those things. republicans have said that from the beginning. by the way, the republican party is not divided on this issue. every single republican voted against obama care, almost all the republicans voted -- democrats voted for it. several democrats actually broke ranks on this obama's delaying of the mandate for employers, which has no effect on the individual. not sure why he did it in the first place. but this is what's wonderful about town halls. look, i grew up in new hampshire. this is what town halls are for. people show up and get voices heard and you can all cover it. but what republicans know is that if obama care goes through, in the end fewer people have health insurance, the average family is going to pay at least
$2,300 more. we don't know how that man's going to be effected by obama care because we don't know the impact it will have on doctors, access, availability, incentives. >> take a quick final word. >> because then i want to say something and then we've got to get out. >> we don't know that because the republicans have demonstrated they're not interested in figuring out if there are any opportunities for improvement. they don't want to work on anything. they just want to can the whole thing. >> guys, time-out. here's my final thought on this. when i look at the footage from the town hall meetings, i say to myself who in the world would want to run for office? i think that incivility keeps good people from getting into the fray. thank you very much, rick tyler. >> appreciate it. >> thank you, aisha mills. we appreciate you being here. >> anthony weiner is now taking on the germans and the brits. that's ahead. and a programming note, please, remember you can listen to my radio program weekday mornings at 9:00 eastern on sirius xm's
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back to "hardball" now for the side show, congressman darryll issa introduced a bill last month that would rename nearly all of america's coastline waters after our 40th president, ronald reagan. the proposed legislation would include 3.4 million square nautical miles stretching 200 miles out from u.s. shores. so if you're hitting the beach this summer, know you may soon be honoring reagan's legacy ere every time you take a dip. stephen colbert liked the idea so much that he's proposing another way to honor the former president. take a look. >> there's no place on earth too large or too arbitrary to honor the gipper's legacy. that's why tonight i am proud to declare that the area between four and seven feet off the
ground the ronald wilson reagan economic breathing zone. right up there. [ laughter ] this, folks, this is the storied swath of american atmosphere within which ronald reagan's very own mouth was often found. i'm feeling a little woozy. i think i might sit down in the walter mondale, don't stand up for america's zone. >> next, new york mayoral candidate anthony weiner isn't winning any friends in the foreign press. the candidate showed off his surgically side last night as he knocked on doors in harlem. he was making fun of germany with an awkward exchange from a reporter from der spiegle. >> this? >> no, no. >> no doors, right? >> no. >> just gates. just thatch and huts, right?
you have like plumbing and stuff like that? like indoor plumbing? >> no, no. >> flush toilets? >> no. that's why i'm here. >> i know. this must be a great assignment for you. >> in fairness, he tried to clarify to that reporter that he was only kidding. i guess it was hard to tell at the time, but then several minutes later he gave this snarky interview to a british reporter from itv who asked him about his motive for running. >> is it ambition? is it a hunger for the big job the power? >> hard to take you seriously. no, it has to do with wanting to be mayor of the city of new york and wanting to help the middle class and those struggling to make it. >> what is it you want to do for this city? >> the hunger for the big job. >> would anything stop you? >> i just have a feeling i've stepped into a monty python bit. i don't know. would anything stop me? is a rock going to fall on my head? no, nothing's going to stop me. i'm going to win this election.
anything else can i do for itv, the weather or anything? it's going to be rainy, cloudy and grey. do what you can, guys. try to keep your head up. keep a -- what is it? stiff upper lip. >> stiff upper lip. good thing weiner doesn't need any votes from the uk or germany. making it harder for people to vote in the wake of the supreme court's decision to gut the voting rights act. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. the projects will be done in a timely fashion and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town. you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare. now that we're expecting, i like the fact i can go onto angie's list and look for pediatricians. the service providers that i've found on angie's list actually have blown me away. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. if you have high cholesterol, here's some information that may be worth looking into. in a clinical trial versus lipitor,
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i'm page hopkins with breaking news. the state department says it will reopen on sunday. 18 of the 19 embassies shut down in response to an al qaeda terror threat. the embassy in yemen will remain closed due to ongoing concerns. and the u.s. consulate in lahore, pakistan, the target of a separate threat, will also remain closed.
authority says they found the car belonging to james dimaggio, the man suspected of kidnapping 16-year-old hannah anderson in idaho. this after witnesses say they spotted two hikers in the area fitting their description. now we're going to take you back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." ever since the supreme court effectively gutted the voting rights act, we've been keeping an eye on the ripple effects. within hours of the court's decision three states that had been covered, texas, mississippi and alabama, ushered in photo id requirements that had been previously held at bay by the voting rights act. in north carolina, the republican governor is expected to sign a bill limiting early voting and voter registration opportunities and broadening id requirements any day. and now there is florida, where five counties had been covered by the voting rights act, the republican governor is restarting an effort that he says is designed to purge the voter roles of noncitizens but that a lot of people believe is
an attempt to purge the voter roles of democrats. when rick scott tried this last year, he was stopped by the voting rights act. last time as the "new york times" reports the attempt at unearthing noncitizens initially began with a pool of 182,000 names of potential noncitizens. that was winnowed to a list of 2600. those names were sent to election supervisors who found many were in fact citizens and ultimately the list of possible noncitizen voters shrank to 198. of those fewer than 40 had voted illegally. we'd like to remind you of one of the people who was caught in the dragnet. >> bill, a 91-year-old army veteran of world war ii who earned the bronze star and legion of honor for his service is one of the voters targeted by the state as a potential noncitizen and was ordered to prove his citizenship or lose the right to vote. >> i was amazed when i got the letter.
i've been voting since i was 18 years old or what it was. and i never had any trouble. i voted here for the last almost 15 years. to me it's like an insult. >> if the events in these states are any indication, there will surely be more attempts to limit voting rights since this congress is unlikely to fully restore the voting rights act. joining me democratic national committee chair and florida congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz and wendy weiser. of the brennan center for justice. congresswoman, i think that dr. norman ornstein is a real smart guy. he is a resident scholar at the american enterprise institute, and he recently published and outlines recommendations for a new national voting rights act. let me tell you what some of the component parts are. he recommends a separate federal ballot. he thinks we should have no more confusing butterfly ballots, no more than three races on the ballot, no more provisional ballots. in a word there'd be uniformity. he also thinks there should be a
new voter registration regime. that the default should be eligible citizens are presumed registered. he thinks we should have a weekend election day, a 24-hour period from noon saturday to noon sunday with early voting the week before. and he thinks that a social security card should be recognized as a valid form of voter id. what thoughts do you have on that proposal? >> well, the thoughts that i have on the notion that we should be making voting easier rather than harder is a notion that i fully embrace and that our party fully embraces. democrats have stood for years on the idea that we should be making voters -- making the process of voting easier, and give more access to the franchise not less. while republicans on the other hand as you've seen recently systemically have made it a legislative priority across the country to make voting harder. and in my state, to take your example that rick scott has gone
through with the potential purging of so-called noncitizen voters, that amounts to on that 180,000 person list 0.2% of the names on that list came up as noncitizens. not exactly a glaring problem. and 60% of those, michael, were targeted on that list were hispanic when only 13% of our electorate are hispanic. clearly they're not only trying to purge voters, they're trying to purge certain kinds of voters. >> congresswoman, superficially, this would seem like a no-brainer, that of course congress is going to take action. i look at the fact that the time of the last reauthorization in '06, the vote in the house was 390-33, in the senate it was 98-0. i assume because no one wants to be the individual who is held accountable for having voted against the voting rights act. but at the time when it comes to doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes, this can be torpedoed. isn't that what's going on? >> well, michael, i was on the
judiciary committee during that entire process of reauthorizing the voting rights act. there was some resistance by republicans, but essentially, you know, the republicans were in charge. they actually pushed through the voting rights act reauthorization. jim sensenbrenner, the republican from wisconsin was the chairman. and he has embraced the idea that we should revise section 4, make sure we respond to the supreme court's constitutional concerns, and revamp the voting rights act so that we can make sure that we make the franchise something that everybody has access to, not do what republican governors and legislatures have done across the country systematically since then, which is in 30 states introduce 55 different measures to actually make it harder for people to vote, and make it harder for certain kinds of voters to vote. >> why is congress reauthorizing the voting rights act? what can be done? >> you know, it's critical in the first instance that congress do something to put back in
place the protections that were lost in the voting rights act. we need to have some way to block discriminatory voting changes before they go into effect, before they mar an election. but there are also other critical steps that congress should be taking to improve the voting process for all americans. we do have a messed up system in many ways that's keeping people waiting in lines one to seven hours. and chief among them is really upgrading our voter registration system. >> but it's not just as you well know, because at the brennan center you track all this information. it's not just the states that were affected by the voting rights act. look at my home state, chris's home state of pennsylvania and what's taking place in the commonwealth of pennsylvania wouldn't have been effected by the voting rights act which is why i think of dr. ornstein and him saying you know, we really need to do something on a national level to right this ship. >> we really do need to have national protections. and there are in fact national protections against voting discrimination and that protect voting rights. there are some places where the problems are so persistent and so constant that we need greater protections to be able to stop them before they go into effect.
and that's what congress found in 2006. just last year alone we had 17 discriminatory voting changes blocked by the department of justice. 17 in those states, which does pale in comparison to what we saw in the rest of the country. >> thank you, wendy weiser. congresswoman, i know you're in new hampshire. if you go to iowa next, we're going to have a big story here. thank you for being here. >> well, i spend quite a bit of time in lots of states. great to be here in new hampshire. up next, why we americans just love to root for the bad guys on tv. this is "hardball," the place for politics. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin dedicated to your eyes, from bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite is uniquely formulated to help protect your eye health. now that's a pill worth taking. [ male announcer ] ocuvite.
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of episodes. and chances are there isn't a happy ending in store at the end of this twisted, dark and violent saga of walter white. if you don't watch, here's what you need to know. crime cranston plays white. he is a high school chemistry teacher struggling to make ends meet in albuquerque, new mexico, when he's given a cancer diagnosis. he turns to meth hoping to leave a nest egg behind for his wife and children. five seasons later the cancer is gone, we think, but walt's lust for power has only grown. the dark truth is he's come to enjoy it. >> who the hell are you? >> you know. you all know exactly who i am. say my name. >> do what? i don't have a damn clue who you are. >> yeah, you do. i'm the cook. i'm the man who killed gus fring. [ bleep ].
cartel got fring. >> you sure? that's right. now, say my name. >> eisenberg. >> you're [ bleep ] right. >> over the course of five seasons, we've watched him steal, blackmail, maim, even kill or poison a child, and yet shockingly, there are many of us who still root for him. what is it about characters like walter white, not to mention tony soprano and others that make us want to forgive their evil? david isikoff, a culture
reporter for "the new york times" and like me a huge "breaking bad" geek. and dr. paul puri is a psychiatrist in los angeles. he loves "breaking bad." doctor, why are we loving this guy? we should hate him by now. >> we absolutely should, michael. but the thing about it is these are not evil men including walter white, these are flawed men that do bad acts or evil acts. and we all have impulses just like that. and just like within, you know, there's a book that came out a few years ago bad men do what good men dream written by a forensic psychiatrist robert simon that goes into, you know, we all have these certain impulses. only certain people act on them. with that is the fantasy fulfillment in the show of watching something get carried out that we all wonder what if i did that and watching it out. >> all right. you're really saying that david isikoff wants to break bad, and because he can't, because he's a "new york times" guy, he's living through walter white, that a fair assessment? >> i was carefully vetted before the "times" brought me in. i think that's safe to say. >> do you buy into this? >> oh, yeah. i'm not going to disagree with a psychiatrist, but i think there's also we've seen the progression of the walter white character over these seasons. and when he started out, he was a very humble man. he was making choices that we could almost understand.
he was a teacher who had been sort of shut out by the economy. he had health care problems. we could all relate to that in circa 2008, 2009. and little by little he makes minute but increasingly, you but increasingly, you know, morally problematic choices until the point where he is the drug lord he is now. he's had opportunities to bail out and doesn't want to take them. >> for those who have not seen "breaking bad," don't start at the end, go back to the beginning. there was dexter, tony is a prawn know, j.r. in "dallas" started the trend of rooting for the bad guys. >> it comes out of the modern era of cable television, basic cable and subscription cable dominating the field in terms of these serialized narratives. they have the opportunity to show things you can't show on network, and the short runners of these programs are taking advantage. >> by last season it became clear that far from helping his family, walter white was driving it apart in this pivotal scene
after his wife, skylar, suggests he turn himself into the police for protection, white makes it clear that she doesn't really know who he is after all. >> walt, please. let's both of us stop trying to justify this whole thing and admit you're in danger. >> who are you talking to right now? who is it you think you see? do you know how much i make a year? i mean, even if i told you, you wouldn't believe it. do you know what would happen if i suddenly decided to stop going into work? a business big enough that it could be listed on the nasdaq goes belly-up. disappears. it ceases to exist without me. no, you clearly don't know who you're talking to, so let me clue you in. i am not in danger, skylar, i am the danger. a guy opens this door and gets shot, and you think that of me.
now, i am the one who knocks. >> that was a great line. hey, dr. puri, is part of the attraction of someone like david isikoff not only that he wants to break bad but still wants to see if walter in the next eight episodes is going to turn it around and somehow get back on the straight and narrow? >> absolutely. i think with all of these guys there's always been something redeeming about them from the everywhere beginning that hooks us and once we are connected, it's is a hard for us to disconnect or give up on them. the same reason that a person has trouble letting two of an abusive family member or someone with a drug addiction, it's hard for us to be able to let go on the possibility of them redeeming themselves. >> david, i came to your "times talk" seminar. i stood up to ask a question and they cut off the microphone before i could ask it which is the real reason you've been summoned to "hardball." i'm going to ask you what i would have asked vince gilligan. >> i'll answer in his voice. >> cool. >> what kind of pressure has been brought to bear on him given the seemingly disappointing "sopranos" ending?
do you think they feel some kind of a requirement to appease the fans? and if so, how do you do that? >> i don't know if they want to appease the fans specifically. i'm sure the "sopranos" ending lingers in everyone's mind. that's one that took years for people to kind of make peace with. i think people expect something much more conclusive with "breaking bad" and i don't want to speak for vince gillian but i have a sense they're going to deliver something with finnellfy. i suspect there will be fewer cast mens by the end of the season. >> you may know the answer. i shouldn't ask you. let me ask dr. puri. truly, do you want to see him live or die at the end of this? >> i think he has to go, michael. >> really? >> i think he has to get cancer. the cancer has to recur and he needs to go. maybe with hank chasing him. >> hank's the only guy who's maintained his scruples. i'm not rooting for hank. >> really? you don't want to see hank fi l finally save the way? >> we sound ridiculous at this point chitchatting about this. the person i'm really rooting for is jesse. i think jesse is a redeemable
soul. i really want jesse to survive and to succeed. i'm heartbroken he lost his girlfriend. >> don't you think, though, jesse represents something that he lost his moral compass a long time ago. he has to pay for his choices. >> maybe. thank you, david isikoff. dr. paul puri, we appreciate you being here. we'll be right back after this. yep! so is your husband off the hook? no. he went out for milk last week and came back with a puppy. hold it. hold it. hold it. at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card with late payment forgiveness. a quarter million twf music is being streamed. and 900 million dollars are changing hands online. that's why hp built a new kind of server. one that's 80% smaller. uses 89% less energy. and costs 77% less. it's called hp moonshot. and it's giving the internet the room it needs to grow. this&is gonna be big. hp moonshot.
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september 11th memorial at the location we used to call ground zero. i've been to that location many times since september 11th, but not since the memorial opened two years ago. here's some good news. 9 million visitors beat me to it. that's how many have flocked to pay their respects in just the last two years. and they've come from 180 different nations. today, under threatening skies on a hot friday in august, it was nice to see the memorial was crowded. designer, michael, and landscape architect peter walker are to be commended. there's tremendous attention to detail. i'm sure you've seen the photographs and film footage of the two pools set in the footprints of the original twin towers. water constantly flows into both pools masking the sound of the surrounding city and providing the appropriate backdrop for reflection. 2,983 victims are remembered here including 6 from the 1993 attack. their names are arranged in meaningful adjacentsies and
etched in bronze which allows visitors to touch their remembrance in any weather. i saw many looking for the names of friend and family and american heroes like todd beamer who lost his life aboard flight 93. i want to play homage to the captain of united flight 175. roses are placed on a daily basis to commemorate birthdays at an average of nine per day. the actual facades of the buildings is represented by a ring of trees. speaking of trees, there's ahe . it was planted in the 1970s and found after the attack by workers when it had been reduced to just an eight-foot stump. it has since been nursed back to health and it stands 30 feet tall. next spring, the museum will open underground. it will house engine 21, a fire truck from the fdny. the survivor staircase, the last column, and the cross of steel. hey, we're one month away from the 13th anniversary of september 11th. go see the memorial.
and support it with your donati donations. the memorial is a national non-profit that doesn't receive city, state or federal funding for its operations. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from washington. i'm ezra klein sitting in for the spectacular chris hayes. tonight on "all in" the day before his vacation, president obama holds a nearly hour-long press conference and makes some big news on the country's surveillance programs. also, tonight, the president defends obama care and slams republicans for hating on it but not having much of a plan of their own. and one of the most powerful women in the world is opening up about her very recent and surprising run-in with racism.