tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 12, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
rooting for putin. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. when i began reading vladimir putin's article in today's "new york times" i first thought of tokyo rose, the world war ii propagandist who broadcast soothing messages to u.s. g.i.s, hoping to undermine their will to fight. then reading further, i thought of dag hammerschill, the great united nations secretary-general who led worldwide peace efforts back in the '50s. let's assume here that putin's article in america's most important newspaper today carries a bit of both, propaganda and peacemaking. the most important element it carried i believe is the commitment to a role for russia
in the current conflict within and about syria. this has the capacity for good because putting putin's prestige in line, putin is telling the world to watch him, watch what he can deliver in syria, watch him as he demonstrates his control over the government in damascus. if he fails, it's because he, vladimir putin, stuck his head into this thing. if bashar assad uses chemical weapons from henceforth it is on putin's head. he's the guy saying he's got things under control. he's the guy who says he's the go-to guy to get this chemical weapons thing under control. it's not that putin has gone and gotten himself into an article written in the "new york times" under his name. it's that putin has to find a way through this. in fact he's now put his name to doing it. michael crowley is senior correspondent for "time" magazine and peter beinart is senior political writer for the daily beast and the editor of the open zion blog. thank you. first of all i'll start with michael, who's with me. what do you think is a fair look at this thing? let me read from vladimir putin's op-ed in the "new york times" today. it's certainly raising eyebrows around the world.
besides backing the plan to disarm syria of its chemical weapons the russian leader also took the opportunity according to some to lecture america. "it is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the united states. is it in america's long-term interest? i doubt it. millions around the world increasingly see america not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan you're either with us or against us." putin also chided president obama's exceptional nation comment this week. according to putin, "it is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation." your thoughts, michael. he certainly knows whoever helped him with this bit of aj-it propp knew what they were doing. >> and i gather he did have a washington p.r. firm helping. any good foreign leader would. chris, i see i think three key things going on here p one is he wants to undermine the support, there's not much of it to begin with, but the support for military action in syria in the united states. he doesn't like western, u.s.-led meddling in other
countries. he sees us as going around the world trying to change rejeemds. he hates that. he wants to further weaken obama's case for war for instance by throwing a little smoke around the question whof did the chemical attack. he says it was the rebels. doesn't seem very likely. >> growing up it was the words of national liberation, that the soviets were all pushing. and we didn't like it. now they don't like it and we're involved. >> but he does still have -- he was a former kgb guy. it's an oversimplification to say that's his whole worldview but he does still have a k0e8d war mentality. number two, he likes to take charge of the situation. he wants to show people he's a big man -- >> but to my question, does this put him in chinese handcuffs? reaching into this thing does he get stuck? he has to show he can deliver. >> that's the line you're hearing from the white house now. he's invested in it, it's on him it's his credibility. they kind of love this. it deflects a little bit from how is obama managing it, can he deliver on his threats and promises and inwin the congress to what can putin deliver.
>> well, i'm an optimist. i'm a liberal. let me go to peter beinart. i can never figure out peter because i think you're somewhere awround the middle line politically. i've been reading zwrufr and i think you're pessimistic about mr. putin's ability to be the middle man here and to get assad to stop using chemical -- in fact to turn them over. >> if the question is him not using chemical weapons again, i think you make a good point, chris. i think at this point that's pretty unlikely. but if the question is him giving them over, first of all, the logistics are just overwhelming. even if assad and putin really did want this. i mean, remember how much trouble we had with this in iraq? and there wasn't a civil war going on. the pentagon estimated you'd need 75,000 troops to protect the inspectors who were trying to walk around in the -- >> how critical is it that we collect all these weapons if they're not going to be used? >> i think this whole thing is a complete red herring. what matters is not how the people of syria are killed. it is the fact they are continuing to be killed at horrifying rates --
>> what should we do? >> we should be working with iran and russia, with whom we're in various stages of cold war, to try to cobble together a political solution in syria and that's going to require compromises on america's side. that's the bigger issue here, much bigger than the chemical weapons per se. >> let's stick with the chemical thing. the reaction in washington was swift, critical and bipartisan about putin's big article today. take a look. >> i was insulted. >> i think it's the height of hypocrisy for putin at this point to lecture the united states of america. >> president putin should be the last person to lecture the united states about our human values and our human rights. and what we stand for. >> i got an e-mail with what president putin had to say. and i have to be honest, at dinner. and i almost wanted to vomit. the reality is i worry when someone who came up through the kgb tells us what is in our national interests and what is not. >> it sickened me that we would have to sit there and read that.
but let's look at it through putin's eyes. he now knows that we had to come to him to get out of a hole. and so i think he's enjoying it a lot more than menendez and i are enjoying it. >> i don't know about everybody personifying, this personalizing it. john mccain tweeted putin's "new york times" op-ed is an insult to the intelligence of every american. you know, i think sometimes presidents and secretaries of state have to find their way through people. you don't negotiate with your best friends. you negotiate with your enemies. and sometimes they're your best friends. and russia and the united states did get together on the most important issue of the 20th century. together even when you never agree on anything else. and my question is whether we can still use putin. i'm going to go back to michael crowley -- i mean to peter in a moment. but michael, is there a way we can get through this thing? because it seems to me that putin now has stuck his head. he's the big fish now. he has to -- i said in my opening statement, and i think
peter agreed, if assad uses chemical weapons now, it looks like the man in russia has no power. >> that's right. and that would lead to an outcome that putin doesn't want. because i think if assad uses chemical weapons again the calculus changes. the use of force becomes much more -- a much more viable option for obama, we'll have more international support p you can see sentiment change in europe, for instance. and i think you're really likely to see a swift reaction from the west if he does it again. and that's the thing putin wants least here. he does not want the west using its military intervening, trying to effect regime change. one of his key goals is to stop what he sees as the sort of western-led regime change around the world. that's one of his key priorities. and we do have common ground with putin on the question of securing chemical weapons and trying to thwart radical islamists in syria. they threaten his regime as well. we saw that in the boston bombing. the boston marathon bombing. we saw the radicalism in the caucuses in russia. he's very nervous about that. he doesn't want any spillover. >> i think we have a north-south fight going on in the world right now. and it's including the countries
of old europe. and moscow's still part of old europe, and its capital, and i think they're afraid of what's going on to their south. in geneva today secretary of state john kerry began several days of meetings with his russian counterpart sergey lavrov and he stressed the common ground between the two countries on syria. but he also had a warning. let's watch. >> the united states and russia have had and continue to have our share of disagreements. but what's important as we come here is that there's much that we agree on. we agree that no one anywhere at any time should employ chemical weapons. and we agree that our joining together with the international community to eliminate stockpiles of these weapons in syria would be an historic moment for the multilateral non-proliferation efforts. this is not a game. and i said that to my friend sergey when we talked about it initially. it has to be real. it has to be comprehensive. it has to be verifiable.
>> that's true. but let's look at russia's motives. according to the "washington post," putin really does want to avoid a u.s. attack that would have made it look weak, russia look weak. there's a question of pride. russia poses as the counterweight to the united states. its diplomatic initiative helps to marinate that image. to be a relatively passive bystander to a u.s. attack would be a moment of uncomfortable truth. until this week any attempt to find common ground with the west on syria would have made russia appear to be dancing to the u.s. tune. now of course they caught us in our weakness. peter, you and i may not be on the exact same page but i want to get to the page i'm not just for a minute. it does seem the president has no cards to play. the congress i think we'd agree was not going to give him the authority to act. and that was going to be a terrible defeat. and perhaps even in the senate. >> right. >> and most certainly in the house. and that i think would have left him empty with no weapons in his hand and no options. what would have happened if we didn't have the russian card to play? >> no, that's exactly right.
i mean, regardless of what you think about the likely effectiveness of this russian plan in terms of getting rid of the chemical weapons in syria, it's very understandable why obama took that off-ramp from the congressional vote because it was heading toward disaster. i think the question for the administration is now, though -- this would take a year at best. and it's going to be hard for us to keep this cudgel of military force hanging over for this entire time. so i think for them as a a political matter the question is how are they going to be able to make the case to the american people that this is actually a meaningful process when once the threat of military force recedes which i think it inevitably will -- >> didn't it recede when anybody watching -- in moscow watching nerk knew the president didn't have the votes on the hill? didn't they know that earlier this week when they gave us the lifeline the secretary of state threw out to them? we jumped on it because they thought they could do something. you think they did it because they were afraid we were going
to attack? i think they already knew we couldn't. >> what shifted the balance of power here, and i think mike's exactly right, for putin it's all about reasserting russia as a great power in the world and restoring the -- even said in his op-ed, we defeated the nats yisz together, we were friends in the -- he got that moment because the president of the united states happened to be at a particularly weak moment because he had misgambled in terms of the vote in congress. >> do you guys buy into this -- this is a tough question for journalists. i want to start with you, peter, because it's hard to read you sometimes. do you buy the neocon argument that russians are bad people? forget communism, there's something wrong with them. i hear that from people, and i go are you guys still fighting the cold war? what is it about the russians you don't like now? >> no, i think that's nonsensical. there may be certain reasons that democracy is harder to make work in a country of russia's size and political traditions than other eastern european countries. whenever someone starts talking about the nature of different people i get nervous. >> i think it's important people
understand the russian experience over the last century has been horrible at times. they were invaded by the germans. you had the siege of stalingrad and leningrad. you had -- >> stalin. >> you had stalin. >> and the czars before that. >> a country who perhaps as a result the leadership of this country may be cynical, may be very hardened, may think that the world is a brutal and awful place. and chemical weapons in the general scheme of things, if they threaten us that's bad, but you know, we actually don't care that much about some of these other conflicts because we've seen a lot of blood shed and i just don't think you see quite the same moral outrage about some of these issues you see in the united states. they've had a much more brutal recent history. >> interesting thing is from 1945 right till 91 the fall of the moscow coup the two countries never fought with each other. that's one of the great realities of history. there is some rationality on their side. i think khrushchev was incredibly rational during the cuban missile crisis to the benefit of the world. >> and lost his job because of
it. >> he was lopped off for being what he was. thank you, michael crowley. thank you, peter beinart, as always. coming up, the commander in chief. to some president obama's changing positions on whether it strike syria or not has been a sign of weakness on his part. but others see the president as the anti-bush, unwilling to rush unilaterally into military conflict. and with a strike on syria looking increasingly less likely right now the focus turns to a big battle here at home on whether to shut down the united states government in order to kill obama care in its crib. that's the fight we're in right here. once again it's the republican leadership, unfortunately or not, out of step with the tea party crowd. with anthony weiner sxel yot spitzer going down in defeat tuesday night, why do some politicians survive sex scandals while others don't? we'll finish with the family on whom new york voters, or at least the democrats, have set their heart. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. your darkest hour ♪
this act will not stand. we will find those who did it. we will smoke them out of their holes. >> you're with us or you are with the terrorists. >> there are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. my answer is bring them on. >> ah, the old days. anyway, welcome back to "hardball." the texas macho president, that was president bush, brought the
foreign policy. we've learned president obama's approach most visibly on display in the past weeks as he's considered and reconsidered action in syria. as peter baker writes in today's "new york times," "to aides and allies mr. obama's willingness to hit the pause button twice now reflects a refreshing open-mindedness and a reluctance to use force that they considered all too missing under his predecessor with the texas swagger. but to mr. obama's detractors including many in his own parties he has shown a certain fecklessness in his decisions instead of displaying decisive leadership. he has appeared reactive, defensive and profoundly challenged in standing up to a dangerous world." like i often like to say, where you sit is where you stand. peter baker is white house reporter for the "new york times" and author of the upcoming book "days of fire: bush and cheney." or it should be said cheney in the white house. david gregory is moderator of course of "meet the press." i want both you gentlemen, and this is an objective assessment, neither one of you guys take sides, so i want to start with you, peter, and the way you set
this thing up. if you look at it, the way it's getting set up is at its worst the other guy was shoot, ask questions later, that was bush, and at his worst obama's being compared to people like me who've been around a long time to adlai stevenson, bright mind, considers all the factors and considers so many factors he can't get back to making a decision. is that the way it's set up? or say it your way. >> that's a fair summation. obviously, that oversimplifies as any newspaper article or any news show can do a complicated individual. in either bush's case or obama's case. but that's -- you do sort of see this very stark contrast on display these last few weeks, this sense from bush that once you make a decision boom, you go on, you never look back and keep pushing forward. obama on the other hand is sort of at this point kind of reacting, changing his mind, thinking through what he wants to do, and under very different political circumstances as well, for that matter. >> you know, david, i was thinking, it's not just the war in iraq we all talk about. it's the tax cut that bush came
in with back in 2001. he was going to do a tax cut no matter what the economic conditions were. i'm going to cut taxes. maybe because his father raised him but i'm going to cut taxes. and don't confuse me with the facts. it was almost like that with the war. don't give me the new information -- >> well, i -- >> you've been there. >> no, i think there there was a philosophical difference on taxes in terms of the impact on the economy. here's the important thing to remember. without bush you wouldn't have obama. what a lot of people disliked about bush is ultimately what made the public have an appetite -- >> define that. >> because there was swagger, because there was certitude, because they were wrong on key facts like weapons of mass destruction, because there was a view of them being kind of impervious to outside information that could help guide decision-making, the american electorate wanted a more deliberative president, but you only have obama struggling because of what happened under bush. let's also not forget, after
9/11, 67 support for going to war in iraq in october of 2002. the strength of bush after 9/11 was made him so politically successful and popular in the country at that time. we were in a much different place as a country. >> i think you're right. i think david is right. you think of the picture of president bush on the world trade center site that friday, afterwards, and when he put his arm around the firefighter and he said we're going to get the people that knocked down these buildings. i had never seen a president so brilliantly reach into the heart, gut, and mind of america and be that being, that thing. the trouble for obama seemed to be that he was out of sync. that when he went to go to the hill this week to get support from the united states senate and the house for a war, he was not in sync with the country. peter. >> yes. i think exactly right. and i think david makes a very good point, that bush was in a different political environment. he had the support of the country. the country was angry because of 9/11. they wanted bush to do something. they wanted a guy who was going to get up there and say bring
them on, dead or alive, with us or against us. that was the mood of the country. and president bush reflected that. as david said, i think president obama reflects the mood of a different country at a different time, a country that's tired of that, a country that doesn't really want to go to war anywhere, even just with a few missiles -- >> but here's part of the problem, peter. and i think just if we look at this analytically, this president, with such war weariness, who goes out of his way to say we're so war weary, is basically saying here's a guy who's like adolf hitler, who's like saddam hussein, who's committed an unspeakable act, and america, because we're exceptional and because we're the anchor of global security, we must act. you know who that sounds like? it sounds a lot like bush. >> he didn't say that in 2008. he never said my definition is american exceptionalism is different, it has to do with what you can do in this country or where you come from. his idea is -- >> but i'm saying he's saying that now but at the same time
this president is also saying, well, but let's also leave some room to be deliberative. and i people do celebrate this. some people do. some people say he seems a bit confused, he seems disorganized in terms of the organization of it. the leadership of it. >> do you think, peter, when you look at the two national security teams, the ones in between one and eight of this century and the new team that's in there under rice and the others, kerry, are they different in quality? is there a difference in their studied ability to look at things, understand the situations, and advise accordingly? or are they just different in ideology but the same quality? >> that's a very good question. hard to judge. i think it depends on how much your president wants to listen to and lean on and involve the staff. >> did he involve them -- that's good stuff you're reporting today. you state as a fact, an established fact that this president walked on the back lawn almost like a road to damascus. he's on the back lawn with dennis mcdonough, his young chief of staff who was deputy national security adviser, and comes back with a decision to go
to congress. not involving consultation with the secretary of state, with any of the congressional relations people. that's a profound way to behave. i'm here like bush would have done something like that, i think. >> it's so unlike the way obama had handled a lot of other big decisions in his presidency we are didn't not only consult with aides and his staff but have an extended process of study, evaluation, examination. the process of deciding to send the troop surge to afghanistan in his first year went on for months. >> and even people who respected his level of deliberation also thought he was going on too long, should have made a decision. in this -- >> there was some daalying there. it seemed like dallying last week. >> in this particular case people i've talked to in the white house say this issue of congressional authorization was always on the table, that obama and his counsel were always concerned about a legal justification for doing this and they felt more politically isolated. so it's not like it came out of nowhere but they did buck the system. >> one thing they did here is set a precedent. you first peter and then again
you david quickly. it seems like they're saying when it comes to a matter that doesn't directly affect an imminent assault or attack in the united states you need congressional approval for something that involves an international norm like chemical weapons use. it seems to me that sets up the premise for six months or a year if now we have to make a decision about what to do with if the mullahs decide to weaponize their nuclear program over in tehran. doesn't that set up a predicate now where he has to go to congress? >> i think that's a very good point. he says i reserve the authority to do this without congress. i don't need to go to congress. but i'm going to anyway. and it's hard to say why a future scenario like the one you outlined would be different. that somehow he didn't have to go to congress in the other scenario. he has set a precedent that's going to be hard to explain if -- >> here's where i disagree. couldn't he make the argument if all of a sudden we faced a threat from iran that america faces an imminent threat at any point because iran's nuclear arsenal would be capable of hitting us or could pose an existential threat to israel --
>> yeah, but that wouldn't be what he called -- the standard he set was pretty high. he said it had to be an imminent threat to us. >> right. that's what he said in 2007. presumably a nuclear armed iran could be -- >> at some point. >> i think it depends on the level of information you got and when you got it. >> this is a war-weary country as you said, david. this is a time where you've got to make your case i think. >> i do. and i think the important thing to take away is we cannot forget the environment the country was in post-9/11, 12th anniversary yesterday. so much different. 12 years later the isolationist streak is back as it was in other times of our history. >> i remember back then with the freedom fries and the country western music, remember how you felt. everything was emotional. our kurltd was headed to war. thank you so much. i wasn't of course. thank you, david gregory. you guys were objective journalists. covered it as it was. thank you, peter baker. good luck with your book, by the way. can't wait for this book about cheney. when is it coming out? cheney and bush. >> next month, october 22nd. >> good. i got a 22-day jump on you.
thank you. gregory, my colleague here, we live just next to each other here. thank you, david. coming up, ted cruz pays tribute to one of his idols, jesse helms. he says i wish we had 100 of these guys. well, if you had 100, you couldn't have a ted cruz. do the math. we'll be back after this. ♪ ho ho ho [ female announcer ] at 100 calories, not all food choices add up. some are giant. some not so giant. when managing your weight, bigger is always better. ♪ ho ho ho ♪ green giant
♪ back to "hardball" and time for the sideshow. bill de blasio may have won the democratic primary for mayor of new york, but it's his family who's getting all the attention. it's certainly clear that they have won the heart of at least one new york voter. jon stewart. check this out from "the daily show" last night. >> photogenic doesn't even go anywhere near what these -- check out this victory party move they pulled. >> ladies and gentlemen, and now the smackdown. >> then the entire de blasio family, including son dante and
daughter kiara did a weird gymnastic move that brought huge cheers from the crowd. >> adopt me? yes, somehow after 12 years of captain soda narc i think new york city might be ready for a charismatic biracial family with their own signature synchronized dance moves that appear to have been beamed here from their very own 1970s musical variety special. who is better than this family? nobody's better than this family. >> wonderful. and on the other side of the aisle the republican candidate joe lhota has asked hollywood actress jennifer lopez for permission to use the name j-lho for himself. lopez has not responded. diplomatic negotiations with russia over syria continue today. david letterman summed up the feelings about that last night. >> do you know whose birthday it is? evil syrian president bashar al assad. 48 years old today. 48 years old.
yep. >> nice. >> yeah, he got his present a day early. vladimir putin saved his ass. it would be nice if he had a surprise birthday party from s.e.a.l. team 6. that would be good. >> and speaking of putin, take a look at him beside actor daniel craig. were these two guys separated at birth? i always thought they could -- the either guy could play the other guy. definitely bearing a striking resemblance to each other. hollywood, take note. finally, senator ted cruz spoke a lot about former senator jesse helms in his foreign policy speech yesterday. helms, who was notorious for opposing integration, civil rights, and hiv/aids research, was controversial enough in his own day but he'd be considered even more crazy by today's standards. nevertheless, here's what ted cruz had to say. >> the willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare characteristic in this town. and you know what? it's every bit as true now as it was then.
we need 100 more like jesse helms in the u.s. senate. >> oh, my god. oh, my god. anyway, 100 more crazies like jesse helms. the problem with the math there, senator, is if there's 1 huffman him there isn't a senator cruz. there's only 100 senators. up next it's the republican establishment versus the tea party over shutting down the government and defunding the affordable care law. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay.
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we also will have a vote on the continuing resolution this week, and along with that vote we will send to the senate the provision which says, up or down, are you for defunding obama care or not? the house has taken a stand numerous times on its opinion of obama care. it's time for the senate to stand up and tell their constituents where they stand on this atrocity of a law. >> atrocity? the law of the land called the affordable care act he calls an atrocity. eric cantor there. anyway, welcome back to
"hardball." the establishment republican party and the tea party wing of the republican party are waging an all-out war over the affordable care act. as the government veers toward a shutdown come october 1st. and as you heard there from house majority leader eric cantor, the republican leadership's strategy as they drew it up was to pass a short-term spending bill to prevent a government shutdown. that bill would include a provision to defund the president's health care law, which the senate and the president would be free to basically ignore. on the face of it everybody wins. conservatives get a vote to defund a law they hate and house republicans wouldn't get blamed for a government shutdown. problem solved, right? not if tea party leaders like ted cruz have anything to say about it. here he is. >> some house republicans are considering procedural tricks to let them vote on defunding obama care and then to let harry reid strip it out and fund obama care.
let me ask you all a question. is an empty symbolic vote enough? are tricks and games acceptable? >> right-wing groups like freedom works and club for growth and tea party patriots have exploded in opposition to the plan of the house leaders. they're calling their own party's plan a grand betrayal, a bad joke, a trick and lie. well, the ins rex got so bad that the gop leadership pulled a vote on the bill originally planned for today due to lack of support from its members. so no vote for today. it's far from clear what their next move's going to be or how they'll appease an increasingly powerful wing of the government that's willing to destroy the government and even the economy in their quest to demolish the law. mat kify's the president of the conservative group freedom works and john fehr is a republican strategist. john, it seems to me what the leadership is up to, and you heard it in the side comment the other day from boehner that no matter what he puts up it's going to be trashed because what's up here is an effort to basically bring down the u.s. government so that you can kill obama care, the affordable care
act, in its crib and anything that doesn't kill obama care, which has already been enacted into law, passed by both houses by 60 votes in the senate is a matter of u.s. law like any other law, unless that is defunded, basically killed they want the government to come down around us and fail. this is serious revolutionary business. how is the house leadership going to handle it? >> that's a good question. this is i think going to be a big kabuki dance. we all know what the result is going to be. we have to keep the government open. matt might think it's a good idea to shut down the government. i worked for the leadership in '94, '95, '96 when we shut down the government. republicans are going to get blamed if they shut the government down p there's no doubt about that. obama care is a bad law and it's going to collapse at some point in time. the one thing matt and i agree on is we both hate obama care but i think that trying to shut the government down as a tactic is a huge mistake. >> what do you think? i'm going to show you the polls here in a minute but i'm not sure polls affect your thinking. but what do you think about whether you should bring the government to a halt for two
weeks, three weeks, four months, five months? how long are you willing to shut down the u.s. government to make your point? and then what do you want to do? are you going to say we can't have a government if it includes obama care? is that the bottom line here? you cannot live with obama care? >> well, of course, mike lee and ted cruz and the advocates in the house, they never, ever, ever supported shutting down the government. what they said was that obama care wasn't ready for prime time. the president himself has acknowledged that it's not ready for prime time. sort of arbitrarily delaying the pieces that he doesn't like. every republican said they would repeal obama care. a lost democrats have described it as a train wreck. so what mike leigh and his house counterparts have suggested is let's fully fund every part of the government except this one piece that's not ready for prime time. there's nothing about a government shutdown in that strategy. everybody's freaking out so much i've got to believe we're on to something here. >> why would the united states senate, which is governed by the
democrats, and the president of the united states, who is a democrat and the one who put this bill into action, who got it through the congress, why would he sign legislation which would kill his program after it's already been enacted into law? why would he ever sign such a bill? why would the senate democrats ever agree to something like that? in other words, what are you talking about? the house republicans don't rule the world. they simply rule the house. >> well of course, attaching it to a c.r. doesn't ultimately repeal obama care. it delays it for a year, it delays it until we get if right or until we take the is majority and repeal it ourselves. but you have to understand only in washington, d.c. does it make sense to go forward with something that everybody says isn't working. >> have you ever heard of a law that was totally ignored by the congress and the president? where they had a law, they passed it, they signed it, it became the law of the land, the program became part of the government just like social security or medicare, but then said no, we're going to kill it.
and & that's what you propose doing is killing it. >> isn't that what president obama -- >> no. he's delaying one portion of it. >> but you said it's the law of the land. how can he -- >> because it's his job to implement and to execute. >> it's not his job. it's the congress's job. >> the congress has passed this program. it's part of the law. and you're saying kill it in its crib. >> i'm saying it's not ready for prime time. i would love to repeal this law but that's not what we're proposing here. >> you are proposing shutting down the u.s. government. john, take over here because i think what we're talking about is a reality here that matt doesn't want to face which is come october 1st either the government has a continuing resolution to continue functioning or it doesn't. it will not have a continuing resolution if the requirement is that includes killing obama care. it will not exist. there will not be such a bill. it will never get to the president. it will never get to the president's desk. >> listen, chris, i agree with you but i also agree with matt.
this law is not ready for prime time. using the c.r., a short-term c.r. to try to come up with some language that's agreeable to delay it for a year, i think is something that could happen within the context of a negotiation. what will not happen is jamming a defunding legislation down the president's throat. it's just not going to work. the problem we have here, matt, is that the president won the election. it's something that i didn't like. i didn't want that to happen. but we've got to deal with that reality. and if we can find a way to reach agreement to delay, it i'm all for it. but shutting down the government is a huge mistake. it will take all the attention away from obama care and put it on house republicans and the government shutdown. i've been through this. and it's a disaster. >> let's take a look at the polling on that, how it's been shifting in what direction right now. who gets blamed if the government shuts down. republicans apparently, a new cnn/or the poll shows the majority of americans, 51%, would blame republicans if the government shut down. only 33% would blame president obama. more importantly, blame shifting toward republicans.
in march only 40% said they'd blame republicans. 38% said they'd blame the president. matt? >> well, i think you should look at the numbers on where americans are on obama care. i think all americans are righteously frustrated with the lack of basic budget regular order in washington, d.c. why are we debating a c.r.? why didn't they pass a budget resolution? why don't they -- >> i'll tell you why. that's a rhetorical question. let me give the actual answer. the senate passed a budget resolution. the house passed a budget resolution. but the minority in the senate, led by ted cruz of texas, said we done want to meet together. there will be no meeting of the house and senate budget committees to work out a compromise in conference. there will be no meeting because it has to include in it some commitment by the house and not conferrees, that will be no discussion of a debt ceiling extension. so in other words, he stopped it. he stopped the meeting, matt. you say why was there no budget? because ted cruz led the effort to kill it. you can't kill something and then say too bad somebody killed it. >> chris, in all fairness, actually, it was harry reid's scheduling. he did not schedule the appropriation bills. refused -- >> we're talking about the budget.
>> they could have marked them up and they didn't do that. >> but i thought he just said budget. matt, you just said budget. the reason there's no budget is because the right wing in the senate is what the reason is. and you know that. >> here's what we're asking for. we would like to skip the trickery. we would like to know where all house members, all senate members stand on this bill that the president himself says is not ready for prime time. that's what we're asking for. >> i believe -- >> they want to know where these guys are. >> the speaker of the house has called for a vote on those very questions as part of this procedure. right, john? an up or down vote in the house and the 123459 on this question. >> listen, any way you skin this cat, there's going to be a c.r. sent over. either way it's either going to be bounced back with higher spending levels from the democrats or it's going to bounce back with the same thing that the republicans want. the fact of the matter is you've got to keep the government open. two, three, four months, and we'll deal with obama care. obama care's going to collapse under its own weight. the fact of the matter is labor hates it, the american people hate it, it's going to collapse.
do not try to close the government as -- >> there's 30 million people waiting in the emergency room now that would like to get health care anyway. thank you, matt kibbe, thank you, john fehr for coming on to debate the right versus the center right. up next, why some politicians survive sex scandals and others certainly don't, like that fella. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
we're back. and 2013 was shaping up to be the year of political comebacks, but as it turns out, only one of three public redemption seekers was victorious. mark sanford won back an old congressional seat by appealing directly to voters by forgiveness and it worked. tuesday night, however, this week, former congressman anthony weiner and former governor of new york, eliot spitzer, failed to replicate sanford's success. are there reasons to be learned here? politico's maggie haberman wrote a great piece this morning, the so-called dance of the honest man is necessary, even if you have to fake it. a great line, a little cynical. joy reid and steve mcmahon, we have a male and that female commentator here. perhaps that evens it out. i may have a totally different view than both of you. let's start with joy ann.
joy, it seems to me that i was stunned by two things this week. one, the absolute humiliating defeat of weiner, where he went down below where he belonged, where i always thought he belonged, and new york finally agreed, below five. i don't know who that was. i was looking at the people in his concession crowd there, who are these people? but they do exist and he got blown away. on the other hand, sanford comes back in, admittedly a conservative in a conservative district, but he got through the primaries and he won and he's a u.s. congressman now. your view about these two opposite cases? >> chris, i think, first of all, when you're in a hole, stop digging. and anthony weiner continued to behave eare theically and strangely and make matters worse, after his scandal broke and he was sort of on the road to forgiveness, it turns out he was still doing the behavior that got him in trouble. whereas with sanford, he followed the classic way you get out of a scandal.
whereas, if in the aggregate, you are offering the voters who are evaluating you what they overall want, in his case, it was fiscal conservatism, you can survive, because they want that more than they care about your personal life. >> yeah, and let me ask you, as a guy -- >> as a guy? >> as a guy, when you think about the question of a guy who texts or sexts, which is ridiculous to me, it's throwing your affections out the window, your person, your body, out the window, it's weird. >> it's odd. >> another guy does something in our religion you're not supposed to do, in society you're not supposed to do, he fell in love with someone besides his spouse. he clearly fell in love, they're going to get married. it's different, but to me there's a difference of nature here. who you are. what's your thoughts? >> i thought sanford was a great example of something people could understand and to some degree perhaps even relate to, even though they may disagree with it entirely. a guy goes and falls in love with a different woman and leaves his wife. it's embarrassing and everything but you can apologize your way through it. >> but it wasn't something he wanted to take back. he's going to marry her, apparently, the woman from argentina. he's in love with her, he says, and it's not like saying, i made
a mistake. he's not saying, i made a mistake. he says, i did something that i shouldn't have done, but it's real and it's there and you live with it >> something you've done, most people would interpret it as a mistake. you can say he's not taking it back, but he demonstrated contrition and he indicated remorse. >> let's take the middle case, which i am very mixed on myself. eliot spitzer, when i'm with him, i like him, i see the charm, i understand why people like him. but apparently the guy who ran against him, stringer, did a really good job of saying, hey, you were against sex trafficking, the toughest guy in the world against sex trafficking is and now you hire sex workers for you. >> this is directly analogous to david vitter, who survived the same thing, a prostitution scandal. and eliot spitzer is a brilliant guy, probably no more qualified than the job he was going for, but there was a certain amount of, i don't know if you want to call it arrogance, a certain amount of lack of contrition, an in-your-face quality to him. and in vitter's case, he finished state. >> i can't explain vitter. maybe it's new orleans, or louisiana. joy, thanks for being on.
let me finish tonight with this. what i like about elections is when they agree with me. i do believe, not in polls, but in real elections, when people get out there and get themselves into that booth and vote their minds and their guts and their hearts. it's really quite a combination when you put it all together. our minds, our guts, our hearts.
and when they voted for deblasio up in new york this week, i think they were voting with it all, especially their hearts. you know, i, like everywhere else in the world, we have battles among our people, our ethnic groups, and they are fought in so many different ways. but the fact of the matter is we want them over with, especially the fight between white and black. i really believe that the picture of bill deblasio and his wife and young son at the breakfast table won the hearts of new york. why? because that picture of a fun-loving family that is real, not some reality show, but truly get up in the morning, have breakfast together, argue about things, watch television together, live together, makes us happy. new yorkers want to be happy. that's why they voted for deblasio. they don't want fights about stop and frisk and all the rest, they want peace. more than that, they want some love. i hope bill and his family go on showing new york and the country how to live together. i'm for that picture. i'm for what new york has set its heart on. and that's "hardball" for now. maybe softball.
thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight, on "all in," the russians have invaded the editorial page of "the new york times," and wow, it is getting a reaction. vladimir putin's letter to america coming up in a moment. and speaking of reactions, do you remember u.s. senator jesse helms? would you say we need more or less people like him in washington? ted cruz leans towards more. 100 more, to be exact. we'll get some reaction to that, coming up. plus, pope francis, best pope ever? i'm totally serious and i'll tell you why, ahead. but tonight, we start with russian president vladimir putin, who has gleefully jumped into the international spotlight with an op-ed published last night by "the new york times." certainly the most discussed op-eha