tv Martin Bashir MSNBC October 18, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
and when the government now open, republicans are asking if there is anyone who can shut down ted cruz. ♪ >> can you make some sense of the week that just was? >> there are no winners here. >> thank god. >> john boehner, you know the orange guy? >> mitch mcconnell says -- >> a government shutdown is off the table. >> those who can't stand strong, heck yeah, they've got to be primaried. >> people kept saying congress was acting like a bunch of kids. >> it was a fool's errand. that's why some of us became so angry. >> some think they can control the republican party. >> are you referring to heritage? >> of course i am. >> this was seen as the ted cruz shutdown. >> really strong language. from your own fellow republican senators. >> there is an old saying that politics -- >> ted cruz is doing a fabulous job of being ted cruz down the field. >> i'm not serving office
because i desperately needed 99 new friends. >> this is a fight that's going to continue. >> i would do anything to stop the train wreck that is obama care. >> you don't like a particular policy, go out there and win an election. ♪ we don't get fooled again >> good afternoon, and a hearty tgif after a week that began in frustration, careened into chaos and ended in abject surrender by the gop. and as republican lawmakers slumped back to their districts, bruised, batter and had bleeding from the fright, it's time for another round of republican soul-searching. unless, of course, your name is ted cruz. >> so you would do it again. >> i would do anything, and i will continue to do anything i can, to stop the train wreck that is obama care. >> sure he would do it again! . the man is having the time of his life! never mind that those like senate majority leader mitch
mcconnell, who said of cruz's shutdown strategy, we got off track with a tactical error. it was not a smart play. it had no chance of success. a tactical error that cost the nation $24 billion and the gop a plunge in poll numbers. oh, well, what's a little playbook disagreement? i'm sure mcconnell and cruz are now very good friends. >> you know, i'm not serving in office because i desperately needed 99 new friends in the u.s. senate. >> friends? he doesn't need no stinking friends. he and his heritage foundation puppeteers, they need fund-raisers like the great sarah palin who posted on her facebook page after the shutdown was over, quote, friends, do not be discouraged by the shenanigans of d.c.'s permanent political class today. be energized. we're going to shake things up in 2014. rest well tonight. for oh soon, we must focus on important house and senate races. let's start with kentucky!
oh, yes. let's. because that's where just today jim demint senate conservative's fund announced its endorsement in that very race. quote, he is not afraid to stand up to the establishment, and he will do what it takes to stop obama care, and though they were not talking about mitch mcconnell, but rather his conservative primary challenger, matt bevin. that's all right, mitch, times like this one can often rely on the folk wisdom of the ages, passed down to generation after generation. >> there's an old saying that politi politics, it ain't bean bag. >> politics, it ain't bean bag, brother. and no one has seen that axiom quite like robert costa, joining us live from washington. robert, we're delighted to have you with us. i don't think anyone has gotten as deep into the excrement with republicans. you look at a public conservative group endorsing the
challenger against the number-one democrat in the senate. is this, robert, just the beginning of a republican republican fallout from this shutdown and this default tragedy? >> the government shutdown may have ended. but when you look ahead to 2014 and you see former governor palin's statement, the republican party, especially the right, just starting to gear up for what's going to be a major class within the party. if you were with mcconnell and others on this deal, you could have some primary problems next year. >> so are you saying, robert, that this is now all-out war, republican on republican? >> it's very interesting, martin. because you're not seeing a war on policy or principle. when you look at ted cruz's platform versus mitch mcconnell's platform, it's nearly identical. but there is a civil war happening on tactics. they can't decide on a strategy. i interviewed mcconnell yesterday and senator mcconnell says the party has to be smarter as it moves forward, can't have these standoffs, but you still have a large contingent within
the party that wants to have political war. >> well, senator mcconnell's campaign has weighed in on the endorsement and i'm quoting. matt bevin now has the dubious honor of standing with a self-serving d.c. fund-raising group that made its name by recruiting and promoting unelectable candidates that insured barack obama, a majority in the senate. you've also had senator's like orrin hatch and john mccain lash out at heritage. how big a threat is this particular rift to the gop? >> it's only starting to brew. usually when you had in-fighting the republican party over the past few years, it would be during private senate lunches and closed doors conference meetings in the basement of the capital among house republicans, but slowly during the impasse, it started to become more public and now you have people like orrin hatch and others publicly saying on television that the heritage foundation and other outside groups are a problem for the party, and they're going to continue to name that problem. >> and this, of course, is an organization that provides vasts amounts of money, does it not,
to extreme conservative candidates. >> we have a real battle within the republican party. we're watching it unfold in real-time. it's a -- it's a ballots battle for power. the power brokers, the establishment. who is going to make the decisions and influence the decisions. that's where the ballots is. >> and the great thing is, robert, this isn't restricted to the senate, because, of course, on the other side of the capitol, speaker john boehner, politico reports, this exchange happened on day two of the shutdown at the white house. quote, john, what happened, obama asked. i got overrun, that's what happened, boehner said. in your conversations with the speaker, does he see it as bluntly as that, that he was overrun? >> i think when -- i haven't spoken directly to the speaker about this issue. but when you do talk to people within house republican leadership, they do feel like they're -- they're always threateneded by outside pressure groups that have these so-called key votes which put immense
pressure on conservative members to go along with those groups on certain votes. and that makes whipping votes in any sense a real difficulty. >> yeah, it certainly does. so speaker boehner is getting overrun by his right wing. mcconnell is getting run over by his former senate colleague, jim demint. ted cruz is trampling over everybody. where is karl rove with his white board when you need him? i mean, can anyone make heads or tails of who is in charge of the republican party, in fact, at the moment? >> i just spoke with senator cruz about 30 minutes ago. for a long run in "national review" next week. >> man, you've got access to all of the players, robert. you really have. >> well, interesting thing i heard from senator cruz, as much as there is a lot of talk about senate republican colleagues being very unhappy with his conduct and his strategy, cruz still remains the power center within the conservative movement. so though he may not have many allies within the senate republican conference, you can't count him out as the january deadline approaches and the february debt ceiling debt line approaches, because he's still
going to be one who can rally activists behind his strategy and an outlook. >> i have no doubt. now, robert, we would be remiss if we didn't recognize that you may be the singular star of this shutdown crisis. >> just a reporter, martin. >> well, no, you've been praised for your reporting and academic, your sources within the gop, your knack for breaking news. but one detail not found in your reddit ask me anything or in an extensive new york magazine profile is a bit of robert costa passed along on good intelligence by a producer of this very broadcast. can you confirm that you are, in fact, a fan of the musical jam band fish? >> they are my favorite band. i hope to make a few shows on this fall tour. if you want -- if if you don't know what fish is, go to youtube and google fish, listen to some licks, one of the best bands in the country. and i stand by that position. >> robert costa, world exclusive, a man who likes to relax to fish.
congratulations on your reporting and i wanted to convey my best wishes on your birthday which i know you enjoyed and celebrated last week. >> martin, we've got to go out for a drink sometime. >> coming up, indeed. a shift in the republican party appears imminent. but will a tea party mutiny succeed? we'll have a debate over the future of the gop with freedom watch's larry klayman and professor james peterson, when we come back. ♪ piano... ♪ violin... hey, what are you doing? music lesson. he has to start sometime. [ bell rings ] ♪ music lesson? whoo! [ bell rings ] [ female announcer ] by their second kid, every mom is an expert and more likely to choose luvs than first time moms. and new luvs with nightlock offer our largest absorbent area ever. they lock away wetness better than huggies, even overnight. live, learn, and get luvs.
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or an actual third party may be borne out of this schism. >> everything is more democratized and republicans should come to terms with that. they still want to control things from the top-down and if they do that, there absolutely would be a split. my prediction would be we take over the republican party and they go the way of the whigs. joig us now is larry klayman of freedom watch and james peterson, associate professor at lehigh university and msnbc contributor. welcome to you both. mr. klayman, you, of course, are affiliated with a different tea party group. we know that. but in your book, why and how i came to fight the establishment, you write this. i have never engaged the services of a prostitute. but i have encountered a lot of whores in my career, people who sell out for money, power and fame. so who is the whore, in your opinion, is it ted cruz or mitch
mcconnell? >> well, that was with regard to people in washington generally. you know, it was thomas jefferson who said, martin. >> i understand that, mr. klayman. i was wondering if i could take your very words and ask you, which of those two, mr. cruz or mr. mcconnell, is, in your opinion, a whore? >> in terms of how i would characterize it, mitch mcconnell has sold out the american people. i does not represent the interests of the conservative movement, the libertarian movement or any other movement. and whether it's mcconnell or whether it's president obama or whoever, they're representing their own proper interests in washington. and it's not the interests of the people. and that's why i said, i was referring to thomas jefferson as when the people fear the government, there is tyranny. when the government fears the people, there is liberty. right now our grievances are not being heard by either political party. and frankly, they're all whores. >> so you've confirmed to us that your view is mr. mcconnell is a whore.
professor peterson, do you think the republican party may be in danger of a major secession with severe conservatives like ted cruz leading a rump of true believers, and what will that cost the nation, given that ted cruz almost single handedly led the nation into default? >> well, my estimation is that we're not going to see ted cruz leave the republican party any time soon. he wants to run for president, and i think some of the things that he's been doing recently are clear indicators of that. i, to be honest with you, martin, i would love to see three or four political parties in our system, because i think one area where mr. klayman and i might agree is that in d.c., there's too much money in our political system, and so they're not very representative of the american people. but to me, ted cruz is a part of that system. he may -- he may seem to be more rebellious or revolutionary because he's affiliated himself with the tea party. but at the end of the day, mr. cruz is pretty -- pretty on the straight and narrow when it comes to american politics and
big money politics -- big money being in american politics. >> let's give him credit, though, for taking a position. there are very few people in washington who stick their neck out. and cruz did take a position that he believes in, carried through with it. he didn't win. but he's not at the level of mcconnell, i don't believe he's a whore. let's see how he evolves over time. i don't think we can judge him yet. >> i wouldn't use that kind of terminology. >> mr. klayman, speaking of people who stand by their word, last year, you attempted to challenge the current president's name on the ballot, claiming that he was not a natural-born citizen. and here's a sample of what you said last -- >> actually, i'm still doing that, martin. >> good, okay. here's a sample of what you said last weekend at a rally attended by mike lee, sarah palin and ted cruz. take a listen, sir. >> the president -- who bows down to allah. this president is not a president of we the people. he's the president of his people. and to demand that this
president leave town, to put the quran down. to get up off his knees and to figurative ecome up with his hands up. >> mr. klayman, are you saying that the president of the united states is, in fact, a foreign-born muslim who has hoodwinked the entire nation? >> first of all, that clip, martin, was clipped. i didn't get to finish the sentence. it was pasted together. secondly, what i'm saying is, the president has bowed down to arab states, and other muslim interests at the expense of the united states and israel. and frankly, our service men and women who can't defend themselves in afghanistan and other war theatres, because -- >> mr. klayman -- >> rules and engagement don't allow them to fire unless they're fired upon first. >> i understand -- mr. klayman, i really want to focus on what you said, if i may. >> i would be happy to. >> what evidence do you have to support these repugnant smears and slurs? have you asked the president if he's a muslim? have you observed him performing
the various practices of islam? has he arranged for the white house to be adjusted so that it faces mecca? have you seen him take the hodge? what is your evidence? >> as a journalist and as a writer, martin, you know that those references were metaphoric. >> they were metaphoric. >> let me finish. they ring true. >> okay. so -- >> has done everything he can -- >> so -- >> to harm israel, to harm american interests in the middle east. that's a fact. indisputable. >> so what you said last weekend, if i understand you correctly, you were using metaphor, what, just to simply incite the crowd, to titillate sarah palin? >> just like you do. >> i never lie about the president. >> you were making a point, to get them to under. >> let me understand -- was it -- mr. claiman -- >> let me finish. >> i want to ask you the question. allow me to ask you the question. >> and then allow me to answer the question. >> was it the act of a ranle
rouser who tells lies in public just to incite the crowd and i have to ask you, who is the whore now? >> i suggest people read the column coming out tonight on worldnetdaily.com which explains exactly what i said. and namely, this president when he gave an interview in 2008 to george stephanopoulos, he referred to his muslim faith. number two, and we don't condemn him for that. number two, he has done everything he can to harm israel and american interests in the middle east. our service men cannot even defend themselves properly, they're dying in record numbers in afghanistan because they can't fire upon any jihadist menomonie for fear they're going to hurt a muslim population. >> professor peterson, please, your response. >> just a few things here. you are demonizing islam, just in the framework of the metaphor that you set up in your
comments. and i just want to make it clear here in the united states we have freedom of religion, you can practice islam and still be the president of the united states. you may not like that or your group may not like that, but that's the country that we live in. and i wonder, you know, mr. klayman, who exactly you're talking about when you're talking about the president only serves his people. are you talking about people here in the united states? are you talking about people abroad? the idea that this president has somehow been the greatest supporter of islam or of islamic regimes in the middle east is a little bit convoluted. i don't know where to begin with that. >> it's like being a little bit crazy. it's not convoluted. >> it's convoluted in the sense that president obama has executed over the course of the last five or six years is almost identical to the foreign policy that mr. bush and cheney implemented in the united states when they were running this country. >> i'm not a fan of bush and cheney. let me say -- >> mr. klayman, please allow --
you must allow professor peterson to have his say. >> when bush and cheney were prosecuting the war on terror, i did not hear your group referring to them as muslim or delegitimize their presidency. so is that begs the question as to why president obama, whose foreign policy, again, is quite comparable, if not in some ways identical to the bush/cheney foreign policy, why that draws the ire of this president. >> rather than listening to cropped quotes which msnbc sometimes has done, i think hopefully it will be corrected in the future, i suggest that you -- >> did you say that he was a muslim? did you say that this president was -- >> you said bowed down -- >> kneeled down to the quran? >> that was a metaphor that he favors arabic interests over american and it's really interests. and he is not -- frankly, he's not a president in the mold of a jefferson or an adams, who believes in -- >> mr. klayman -- >> christian values.
period. >> depending on what mold you want your president to be in, mr. jefferson was a racist. so i don't know what mold you exactly want your president to be in. but, again -- even as a metaphor -- >> i'll tell you who is a racist, someone who attacked in the trayvon martin case, george zimmerman before he had a chance to be heard by a jury and then when he's acquitted, i'm just like trayvon martin 37 years ago. >> mr. klayman, can we pause for a second here? you have suggested that what you said about the president was purely met forric, okay? and that's been your line of argument. we have not in any way misrepresented your statements. >> i'm not backing off what i said, martin. >> good, okay. so here's the question. >> what i said is true. >> saying it's a metaphor is backing off of it. >> on worldnetdaily.com, you'll see. >> i will read it as i have read your book and i will take great care. >> thank you. i'll send you an autographed copy. >> mr. klayman, here is a
question i have for you. how would you defend yourself if accused of being a delusional racist, whose hatred for this president is, in fact, a form of psychiatric pathology, an illness? how do you defend yourself from the accusation? >> i don't have to -- >> well, hang on a second, sir. you have just alleged that what you said last weekend about the president of the united states metaphorical. and what i'm trying to offer to you, sir, is a similar experience. and we have people who may regard you in exactly that way. metaphorical metaphorically, as you put it. how do you defend yourself against the accusation that you're a repugnant racist whose hatred for the president of the united states, the current president, dominates every single aspect of your life? >> martin, i defend it, because you said it, okay? because you are prone to exaggeration. you have a reputation of going over the top. and frankly, just trying to destroy conservatives trying to represent everybody. >> mr. klayman, thank you for
joining us and professor james peterson, thank you, too. we'll be back with much more in a moment, including today's top lines. stay with us. ♪ come on let's take a ride ♪ just get inside ♪ building animatronics is all about getting things to work together. the timing, the actions, the reactions. everything has to synch up. my expenses are no different. receiptmatch on the business gold rewards card
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do stay with us, because cruz life is back in today's top lines, and in this gangster's paradise, politics ain't bean bag. >> i'll give you all time to set up, so you can relax, i'll give everyone time to set up. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] eeny, meeny, miny, go. ♪ ♪ more adventures await in the new seven-passenger lexus gx.
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republican sacrifice in 2014 to ted cruz's ego. >> i'm not serving in office because i desperately needed 99 new friends. >> he should just shut down again and go somewhere. >> thank god it's over. >> people who see the way i and ted cruz and mike lee and -- >> you're an idiot! >> what we're talking about right now. >> you can't even make this up, it's so awful. >> heck, yeah. >> nobody could stop ted cruz, nobody could stop the tea party congress people. >> i tried to do everything i could to urge senate republicans to come together and to stand with house republicans. >> you're saying more than that, though. >> it should have been the senate republicans that rode like the cavalry to support the courageous stand house republicans were taking. instead, they became the air force bombing our own troops. >> it was unfortunate that you saw multiple members of the senate republicans going on television. >> we republicans have a hole that we've got to come out of. >> attacking the efforts to defund obama care, saying it cannot win, it's a fool's errand.
>> it was a fool's errand. >> that is a recipe for losing the fight. >> due to the recent government shutdown, none of the food tonight was inspected. that salmon appetizer wasn't actually smoked, it just swam too close to a koch brothers factory. >> ted cruz is not about how to remove the republican party down the field. >> i will continue to do anything i can. >> ted cruz is doing a fabulous job of moving ted cruz down the field. >> in january, the same thing. >> you hear these democrats, hear the president, ready to move on, ready to do immigration. >> should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system. >> you know republicans good are going to be back to benghazi and the same old crap. >> let's make some calls to see if england will take us back. >> let's get right to our panel. joining us is krystal ball, my colleague. sam seidah, host of "the majority report" and tim dickens of "rolling stone" whose article, "inside the gop suicide machine" is on newsstands.
does the republican party now belong to king ted cruz? >> you know, frankly, i think it's clear that it does. on some level. you know, what was marginal five, ten years ago, is now essentially in the middle of the page. and those so-called moderate republicans, which i really frankly think is a misnomer, they're in the back seat now, and ted cruz and his ilk are driving. >> that's great. now, countries tal, it appears king cruz already has a court jester and here she is, threatening other republicans who dare to defy her royal lord. take a listen to this. >> so we do have to consider politicians' record, truly what it is they intend to do to stop this fundamental transformation, and the stripping away of our economic freedom. and those who can't stand strong to defend our republic, to defend our constitution. heck, yeah, they've got to be primaried. otherwise we're going down. >> does that send shivers down the spine of every republican facing an election in 2014.
>> i don't know that sarah palin's particular threat does. but i think what we have seen, the dynamics that we have seen play out are because they are so fearful of these primaries. and we're seeing it already. mitch mcconnell faces a tea party -- >> he does. >> primary challenger who just got an endorsement from the senate conservative's fund, cochran from mississippi just got a tea party challenger who has been endorsed now by heritage club -- heritage action, rather, conservatives fund and club for growth have all backed him. so we are already seeing that starting to happen. and i think, you know, for those who say that the house is unwinnable for democrats in 2014, we have to be watching this primary season very closely, because there is only so much, even in a leaning republican district, that is gerrymandered. there is only so much voters will take and only so much extremism they will tolerate. >> tim, what do you make of the senate conservatives' fund founded by former senator jim demint issuing an endorsement of the in next year's primary?
>> a very predictable outcome. this whole battle in some respects seems to have been waged by jim demint to draw a line in the sand right down the middle of the republican party. and have people who are with him and people who are with karl rove. and so, you know, mcconnell is an old rove hand, old establishment republican, a guy who gets a kentucky kickback in this bill to reopen the government, costing, you know, $2 billion for taxpayers, but getting kentucky a nice bit of pork. and then the demint school, about shrinking government by any means necessary. and so they're trying to bring in more demint republicans who are not about rewarding republican constituencies, but about downsizing the government in a radical fashion. >> so is this a fight that's been brewing for a long time, and do we anticipate that the boiler as it were, will burst next year? >> i don't think the boil is going to burst. thing is a fight that has been ongoing. the difference we're starting to see now is that there is such a huge amount of money being
poured into essentially what is -- really, i would call it -- conservative ink. for me, i think all this makes a lot more sense if you look at it as one big grift. think about the hundreds of millions of dollars that people like the koch brothers put into these organizations. literally, there is a huge system of welfare out there for these radical right wingers, and they don't think about the prospects of the republican party, because frankly, they're making too much money. just doing what they're doing. >> absolutely. now crystal, one person that hasn't been mentioned much is marco rubio and here is what matt lewis writes. the notion that tea party conservatives in iowa or south carolina will now support him is absurd. why would they choose him over ted cruz or rand paul? so i guess poor marco rubio's rise was meteoric but so was his fall. >> the problem has been he's
neither here nor there. he went out with immigration reform, going to be sort of his marquis play. it didn't go so well. even with that, he was in and then he was out and wasn't sure he wanted to be a leader there. >> right. >> but he did enough for tea partiers to be very upset with him. and then now with the ted cruz shutdown, he decided to go right along with ted cruz, but wasn't a leader of that either. so he doesn't get any credit. just looks like a coward. so if the party does by some miracle go in a direction of wanting to be a governing party again, they're not going to look to marco rubio. they're going to look to someone like chris christie. if they go in the direction of anilism and sanity, which is the direction they're headed in currently, they're going to look to ted cruz so marco rubio is nowhere in this conversation. >> ted, let's talk about senator rabid paul for a moment. here's what politico says about the kentucky republican and likely 2016 contender. has defendantly maneuvered the past several weeks of shutdown politics, toeing the conservative line without alienating the rest of the party. so is it possible that ted cruz
has cleared a place at the 2016 table for a kinder, maybe jebt gentler wacko bird? >> i think paul did a nice job of sort of drafting behind cruz on this. cruz made himself the front man of this fight. and honestly, you know, you get out in republican america and people are looking for a fighter. you know, and the primary season, let's not forget michele bachmann was a leader in the primary campaign for quite some time last cycle. this is not, you know, out of step with the primary electorate in the republican party. these people want somebody who is going to stand and fight, even if they lose. it's much better to lose than -- you know, in a real battle than duck the battle. and i think rand paul did just enough to show that he was a fighter without getting egg on his face when this thing blew up. >> and to what tim is saying here, the dynamics he's talking about are exactly why i'm afraid we have not seen the last of this sort of, you know, shutdown hoss hostage-taking. because this was all great for ted cruz, even as a republican party tanked, this was great for him. >> great for him. conservative mud wrestling,
fantastic. krystal ball, sam seeder and tim dickins dickinson. coming up, obama care has become the newest four-letter word. >> breaking news in washington on the government [ bleep ] crisis. >> if general boehner can't control his [ bleep ] is anyone in charge? >> this whole [ bleep ] has been completely unnecessary. >> if you would like to go to the white house at 3:00 p.m. with [ bleep ] in hand. others say it isn't a [ bleep ]. >> it was sheer jubilation that broke out. fans were definitely [ bleep ] up. ♪ ♪ i've seen it all now ♪ nothing shocks me anymore ime, just for themselves. before the last grandchild. before the first grandchild. smile. before katie, debbie, kevin and brad...
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ed website seemingly unable to handle the traffic, and now the troubling news that insurers are receiving the wrong information about those who have enrolled. >> there are messages, page not found. >> we're on track to flip the switch on october 1st. >> system down. it's been a tough, nearly two weeks for obama care. >> i hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure this thing bass supposed to work. we knew there were going to be some glitches. >> that's right. the glitches, the poorly designed website and all of the other troubling issues surrounding the affordable care act will all be fixed if we just do one thing. fire the health and human services secretary, kathleen sebelius. here to help us understand just how problematic the affordable care act rollout has been, is msnbc policy analyst, ezra klein. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> is it that simple, we just get rid of the madam secretary and all is well? >> no. >> why not? >> it's not simple at all. that's really the problem here.
look, i'm not saying somebody shouldn't eventually be fired. there has been a breakdown in the way they constructed the site architecture. i think there have been real management breakdowns inside the obama administration. we have talked about this before. i've been on the network a lot on it. i'm not down playing this. i think the launch has been very bad and there should be accountability for that. but now they need to get the system working. this is not exactly a time to get into massive personnel disputes. they need to fix the website. >> yes, this he they do, but on thattish y that issue, the rnc is using robert gibbs in their ad and this week ted cruz actually dropped your name while on the mark levin radio show. take a listen to this. >> there is so much widespread agreement that this thing is a train wreck. you've got wolf blitzer on cnn saying the president should delay this for a year. you've got ezra klein coming out in the "washington post" saying the president should delay it for a year. >> so ezra, what's it feel like to be part of that group of
people who shut down the government and almost led us to a default? they think you're part of the same crowd. >> my good friend, ted cruz. i was surprised to hear that, that i had written that. because i had not written that. look, this is -- >> what are you suggesting, that he invented those comments? >> this is the interesting thing, i think, about -- there was another republican congressman who told the daily beast i agreed that obama care is the single biggest threat to the economy. the thing is, it's so apocalypt apocalyptic, it can't possibly be good enough -- it can't actually even be a story that it's not working well. the view that this really has been about a bad -- they really have made huge, really serious errors and the law might really be in its early months in danger of not working for people. that -- that doesn't justify their view of the law, right? their view is so much more significant and overwhelmingly dramatic than that. so it has to be that if you're saying that, what you're actually saying is it is going
to destroy america. it should be delayed for a year, potentially repealed after that. it has been fascinate to go watch that game of telephone, because the republican party would simply calm down a little bit, has a real case to make on obama care right now. and but the problem is, do you correct the outcome of the case if all these people want to use it and they're overwhelming it and these people trying to sign up for information and not getting the right information. the thing it would make you want to do is fix it. and that is not the thing they want to do so they have to come up with these other things that it going wrong is really suggesting. >> i think you're absolutely right. ezra klein. thank you so much. >> thank you. coming up, we'll head to the white house where the president today nominated his next homeland security chief, and no surprise, republicans are already plotting against it. ♪ avo: the volkswagen "sign then drive"
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just a short time ago, the president introduced his pick for national homeland security, jeh johnson, someone who can do this week which seemed almost impossible to do. >> he is respected across our government as a team player. somebody who knows how to get folks who don't always agree to work towards a common goal. >> let's go to the white house and nbc's kristen welker. earlier today, the number-two oh republican in the senate, john cornyn of texas said in a statement, he has, quote, grave concerns about the pick. what are the expectations of that nomination? any chance republicans are in a mood for another skirmish following the debt ceiling debacle? >> reporter: well, martin, look, i wouldn't be surprised if you had more republicans coming forward and expressing opposition to johnson. cornyn made the point he doesn't have experience in immigration. white house officials say, look, he's an expert in a lot of other
areas, to sort of defend that position. but there's no indication that he won't get confirmed. i've been talking to top aides on the hill who say that he does have broad bipartisan support, he after all, has a strong background with the pentagon, the former top attorney for the pentagon. so this is someone who is known to washington, and based on my conversations, they think that he will get confirmed. and this is just not the fight that republicans want to have right now. >> well, you say that, kristen. i'm curious, while we have you, to know how much the white house is girding for further battles over the affordable care act. because even mitch mcconnell, in announcing the shutdown deal, was very clear about wanting to continue to attack the affordable care act. >> reporter: right? and he's not the only one. you have ted cruz continuing to dig in on that point, marco rubio. i've been getting e-mails from republicans about the fact this fight is going to continue, and to the point that you all were just making, the white house has sort of opened itself up to
continued criticism, because of this rocky rollout that they have. but i think that the white house is going to continue to resist major changes like delaying or defunding the health care law. you might see the president willing to consider some things like scaling back some of the taxes associated with this health care law. martin? >> nbc's kristen welker, thank you so much. for a taste of what mr. johnson is in for should he survive his nomination fight, take a look at the reception his br predecessor, janet napolitano was given. >> refine your answer to what i said and what you find misleading in it. >> i think your insinuation -- >> ma'am, please answer the question. please don't talk in terms of insinuation? >> may i have the opportunity to answer, please? >> members of terrorist groups allowed into the white house, you're aware of that happening, aren't you? >> she can be very thin-skinned about being asked very legitimate questions. >> joining us now is democratic strategist, julian epstein.
julian, we do not yet know how aggressive the nomination fight will be for mr. johnson. but what we do know -- we do know if the tenure of janet napolitano is any indication, he's bound to run into some fairly severe attacks. >> i think the president with this nomination is showing his inner koji uehara, the famed red sox reliever, basically unhittable in the major playoff american league championship series. there is basically no place for republicans to go with the johnson nomination. johnson was the architect of the legal justification for the bin laden raid, a drone policy which has basically unified democrats behind it, and split republicans -- has a considerable republican support. he has been the major architect of how we prosecute terrorists with respect to whether we do military tribunals or the civilian system. at home the architect of the report that put an ends to the don't ask, don't tell policy.
this a guy who is basically, i think, unchallengeable. on the other hand, we have seen what i would describe with this republican party as the baghdad bob syndrome. that is to say, in the midst of overwhelming evidence, they are losing a fight. they don't seem to be able to see it or admit it and want to keep litigating it. so is it possible that he would be subjected to the same mistreatment by my old committee, the government oversight committee? as his predecessor? possibly. but look at those fights, martin. there was a fight that went on for a year-and-a-half that was targeted mostly on the attorney general on the fast and furious. >> yes. >> matter. that was a case where the inspector general found out that gun-running had been a policy that started under the bush administration. holder had not only stopped it, he had gotten investigation going on it. he had removed and relieved officials that were responsible for it. >> not only that, julian, they started civil proceedings against the attorney general. that didn't stop them.
>> they started civil proceedings that have gone nowhere. you don't hear much from that anymore. so that's not to say that even though, to go back to the uehara analogy, this is an unhittable pitch, it's not to say that republicans won't staemt attempt to swing on it. but to reference the baghdad bomb syndrome, this -- i think the republicans will try to relitigate these old fights, there are a number of fights about administrative decisions that were made by the white house with respect to immigration enforcement, not only deferred action, but decisions that had to be made with respect to sequestration and the release of some undocumenteds because of sequestration policy brought to us by the republicans. so there will be some litigation of these fights. but all of these immigration fights that they will attempt to use against johnson, they have been litigated already and the republicans have lost this fight. so the question is, how -- you know, how much -- glutton for punishment are these guys? >> i'm sorry, but i have to take you back to things like
benghazi, the irs. look -- to know that the administration officials are often paraded before these house committees to answer question after question about a range of conspiracy theories that republicans have, and they just enjoy going through that process, don't they? >> and this is the process that i think is doing severe damage to the republican brand. not only the fact that they took a ridiculous position on the shutdown and on the debt ceiling limitation, but they seemed to be spending their time like captain ahab, chasing the whale and finding nothing time after time. and the american people -- increasing numbers, saying this party isn't about anything, about other than destructive anti obama philosophy, and general approach, and then going after these investigations that all go nowhere. you can count a half dozen investigations that the republicans have led since obama has been in office and not one of them have gone anywhere. >> julian, we have run out of time and we don't have time to mention them all. but julian epstein, thank you so much. >> thank you, martin. >> we'll be right back.
"the ed show" with my friend ed schultz, starts right now. >> good evening, americans and welcome to "the ed show" live from new york. let's get to work. ♪ ♪ we've come too far to give who we are ♪ >> our goal is good for the american people. >> you better take the reforms that we were pushing, even though the other oh guy won. >> the left likes to think that we are the fringe. >> paul ryan -- paul ryan is a true believer. >> that's right. >> and it's pretty darn ugly. >> and you're saying that man should put forth his own self interests? >> i wouldn't say first. i would say only. >> that's liberty. that's freedom. th