tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 14, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
i've never said that to a guest on this show before. >> that's what i do. >> judah friedlander gets tonight's "last word." oops is not a foreign policy. let's play "hardball.." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with a big civil war that's broken out in the republican party. i'm talking about the iraq war fight. the one brought to us by the republican party. i'm talking about the battle of words being wanl bid senator rand paul and rick perry of texas. the sharp debate over iraq and the iraq war promises an explosion and fallout into 2016 up there with the democratic fratric are idal war of 1968 when it came apart at the
chicago convention over vietnam. just as then the party that prosecuted the war is the one suffering from are the division. back then it was lyndon johnson defending against bobby kennedy and eugene mccarthy. todays is another texas hawk defending against rand paul. the hawks versus the doves on republicanle turf. can rick perry stop rand paul? can he lead a movement headed to the coming convention in cleveland? it's been tried before, the efforts to kill the chances of a rising candidate. i love the line from nixon on the 1968 electoral come back. if you ever hear of a group forming up to stop x, put your money on kprk. if perry is out to stop paul the senator from kentucky might be the candidate who win this is thing. the one going up against hillary clinton. if they are ganging up on paul and perry think it is smart thing to do is pile on, put a few bucks on rand paul.
i would. whether are you like his libertarian philosophy, rand paul has street smarts. he doesn't let perry call him an isolationist. he's nailed perry this morning for saying he wantses to send u.s. troops back to iraq. let perry carry that around for a while. the american people followed w. and dick cheney and the rest are of the world changers into iraq. hillary clinton said it was a mistake to follow them. perry acts like it's a great idea occupying and invading iraq. he wants us to do it again. my problem with rand paul counter attacking perry is it breaks another nixon rule -- always attack up. i have no doubt paul is in the fight for 2016. i don't have that about per pry who had an embarrassing oops last time he juan for president. i'm not sure the american people will give him a remake. bob woodward of the washington post and howard fine dxman of the w. post media group and
msnbc political analyst. an op-ed in the post, texas governor rick perry said senator paul was curiously blind to threats from iraq. he wrote, obama's policies have led us to this dangerous point in iraq and syria but paul's brand of isolationism or whatever term he prefers would compound the threat of terrorism further. rand paul responded quickly today. the kentucky senator said governor perry's ideas are rooted in bluster. that was his word. bluster. the let's intervene and consider the consequences later crowd left us with more than 4,000 americans dead, over 2 million refugees and over trillions of dollarses in debt. tough talk like perry's might inspire. some for the moment but when bombast becomes policy it could have long and disastrous consequences. we have to learn from past mistakes. perry seems comfortable
well written there. bob, this guy, paul, i wouldn't under estimate him. he has a sharp retort and did it within 48 hours. i believe in quick reaction. he didn't let perry get the weekend with the newspaperment he's back with politico. >> he's trying to fashion a new doctrine of restraint, not isolationism. if you step back a little bit he's pulling a bill clinton which is a third way triangulating between in this case obama and cheney to a certain extent saying, and i think the key line in what he wrote here is strength doesn't mean you always have war. he's saying, let's be strong. he's embracing reagan in a very, very direct, potent way. >> you have written books about the wars we have had under both bushes and the recent wars.
do you think the republican party -- >> i have four books. >> do you think the republican voters out there coming up, do you think they are less war-like than they were ten years ago? >> sure. >> it's not been a great time for a war. what rand paul is doing is stepping in here with a very original -- he's very careful to embrace reagan. if you think of when he was running for president, this is the mad bomber. >> sure. >> if you look at ken edelman's excellent book about reagan at rejkovic with gorbachev it's reagan saying let's do away with ballistic missiles, let's do away with nuclear weapons. >> it's chilling how important that was. >> caused the joint chiefs to have aneurysms across the board.
>> i know they did. >> they are taking missiles and nukes away. that's what reagan wanted to do. you have a mixture of the hard line and the soft, let's not run in. i have only met him once. if you read his words there is a strain of serious argument here. >> that's what it will take for the republican party which is normally crudely the hawkish party. for them to turn centrist on these issues and look at themselves and say think first, shoot second. i'm not sure perry wants him to get away with that. >> if i were rick perry, i would be careful about getting in the fight as we can see with rand paul. paul has been thinking it through for decades. partly because he's the son of another libertarian, ron paul. rand paul is serious about this stuff.
i would say he's pretty committed, pretty smart and the other thing is he's where are the american people are now. >> where are the republican leaderers like that? >> they are locked into the past. that's basically it. it worked for them for a generation and a half. >> smart move. >> it goes to the late 60s and early 70s against george mcgovern and successive democrats as weak on defense. they played it over and over again even though reagan was different. don't forget, the polls show most of the american people think the iraq war was a mistake. that we pasted money -- >> do the republican money men think that? >> i think increasingly they may. don't forget hillary clinton who is more conservative in many ways and more of a hawk than rand paul has also now said finally she thinks she made a mistake when she voted for the iraq war. that shows rand paul is headed
in the right direction. >> senator john mccain and liz cheney took shots at rand paul today while both made a point of saying they weren't taking sides between perry and paul. the hawkish people had strong words for rand paul. let's listen to them take sides effectively. >> senator paul is part of a wing of the party that's been there since prior to world war i in the republican party. that's a withdrawal to fortress america. >> i think i have some big concerns about the extent to which senator paul thinks we can be safe if we just come home and try to build a fortress america. that's clearly not going to work. >> there you have it. going for the old guaranteed move to support the hawkish position which is popular before a war. >> remember one of the dock tribes of politics here. define yourself. don't let others define you.
paul is smart enough, at least in terms of the rhetoric to say, hey, wait a minute. i'm not an isolationist. he's saying if we are strong that doesn't mean we'll have war. he holds up are reagan as the model of this. by putting on a label of, he's an isolationist, at least in terms of the words i have read, that doesn't fit. >> how do you see this? the old thing is the shape of the field determines the winner. if you have rand paul taking a hybrid position of not really being instinctively hawkish, the other side's line-up, rick perry is no thinker. he'll go with what he thinks works and has worked in the past. if chris christie can get back into this he'll be hawkish. he's a rudy giuliani type. who else? either guy. is anybody going to agree with rand paul in this debate?
>> maybe the voters are. it makes sense. >> i love the fight. in '68 the democrats had the fight over the war. >> the reason is the democrats were in charge of the war. they were in charge of war policy. they were the hawkish democrats, the henry jackson democrats. it was natural to fight within the democratic party. now it's natural to have the fight within the war party. >> they started it. >> they started it. they are admitting, many of them, including rand paul, that it was a mistake. they will have to deal with the consequences. the question will be -- the and rand paul will have this position to himself in pure terms. >> that's what i think. >> he'll have it to himself in pure terms and will go to iowa and new hampshire and make his case. after ten years and trillions of dollars and after that he may have a case with those people. >> just remember, in the game of
heartses he's shooting the moon. he's all alone. rand paul called out rick perry who talk theed about sending troops back to iraq. senator paul wrote, unlike perry >> the idea that i'm for opening up the gates and sending multiple numberses of american troops back into harm's way is a bit of a stretch. as a veteran, as an individual who deployed hundreds and thousands of u.s. national guard, texas national guard troops to iraq and afghanistan over the course of the last
decade, i understand as well as anyone the concept of putting our young people in harm's way. >> of course governor perry has advocated returning troops to iraq as he did in a republican presidential debate in january of 2012. let's watch it. >> i think you have to -- i would send troops back into iraq because i will tell you -- >> now? >> i think we start talking with the iraqi individuals there. the idea that we allow the iranians to come back into iraq and take over the country with all of the treasure in blood and money we have spent in iraq, because this president wants to kowtow to his liberal leftist base and move out those men and women. he could have renegotiated the time frame. i think it is a huge error for us. >> what do you think of that? first rate or third? >>first of all, the person gasping in the back was you. >> i think it was george stephanopoulos actually. off camera, it was me. >> that's a position, i'm sure
he will not stick to. your comparison with 1968 in the middle of the vietnam war doesn't quite work. it was a hot war. we had hundreds of thousands of troops over there. we were bombing actively. now the question is not so much the iraq war but the next war. is there going to be a next war and what is the basis for it? >> as they said in "charlie wilson's war," we'll see. thank you. i feel like i have failed the test of great areness. i'll keep trying. coming up, had enough of sarah palin? now with the talk of impeachment, republicans are saying time for the part-time governor and failed veep candidate to leave the states to the people, dare i say, who know what they are talking about it? and the cheneys are back. just today dick cheney joined his wife and daughter in selling the iraq war. that's coming up. and blaming president obama for the mess he left behind.
and could the tea party get angrier? the republicans fear the movement's anger could spread to close races in the fall around the country. some democrats hope so. and hbo's john oliver had fun over a president's surplus of libido. plus a lot of women and men voted for that guy. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
sergeant beau bergdahl has returned to active duty. he was held nearly five years by the taliban. he started regular duty today. s his assignment is an unspecified desk job near san antonio. he was released as part of a prisoner exchange that freed five taliban commanders who were held at guantanamo bay. the army continues to investigate why bergdahl left his post in afghanistan five years ago.
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a great awakening is due and this is the message to the president that he's not an imperial president. impeachment has to be sent to the president that we'll not put up with the lawlessness. you don't bring a lawsuit to a gunright. >> don't bring a lawsuit to a gunfight. welcome back to "hardball." the republican party has a sarah palin problem you just heard it. john boehner's lawsuit against president obama was meant to put out the hard right. it left the tea party red hots pouring gasoline on the fire. boehner and his allies know the danger if they don't stifle or contain the palin wing now. last time republicans let an impeachment craze take over the party under president clinton they imploded in the 1998 midterm election. they kicked out their own speaker of the house. it was a disastrous move to try to impeach clinton.
boehner launched the first counter attack within hours of sarah palin's comments last week. others are are joining the fight. yesterday neocon field marshall bill crystal who helped sarah palin to the nomination in 2008 slammed her as peddling a phony issue. >> no responsible elected official has called for impeachment. the problem is you get joe biden as president. the republican task is to elect a senate and president in 2016. not allow democrats to make republicans look extreme. >> the head of the house judiciary committee bob goodlatte also blasted sarah palin. >> we are not working on or drawing up articles of impeachment. the constitution is clear as to what constitutes grounds for impeachment for the president of the united states. he has not created the criminal act that is call for that. >> sanity from the republicans. perhaps the the strongest condemnation came from a
democrat. attorney general eric holder used a rare appearance on a sunday talk show to say this. >> she wasn't a particularly good vice presidential candidate. she's a worse judge of who ought to be impeached and why. >> david corn is an msnbc political analyst chomping at the bit here. he's obviously bureau chief for mother jones. and joy reid, host of "the reid report" well named, weekdays on msnbc. let's talk turkey here. the republican leadership seems to think you know what they are doing this year, freezing the ball on basketball. they have a wing coming in november. immigration, the kids down there. they don't want to do anything, even talk impeachment. anything to rattle the cage of the voter scareses them. they think they have it won. so, shut up, palin, shut up everybody. that's their strategy. not that they love our president. go ahead. >> yeah are. chris, i have missed you.
good to be back. along comes sarah palin. if you look at the people who follow her, they haven't changed much since they were screaming "off with his head" in 2008. but the problem is they are outdoing the elected wing of the party, the goodlatte, boehner wing in terms of constituent service. the part of the republican base that wants to feel victimized, be angry, wants nothing less than the total humiliation of obama for daring to be president and acting like president and using presidentle yal power, that wing will never be appeased. you couldn't appease him by shutting down the government, with a lawsuit. sarah palin speaks for them from her facebook page. >> david? >> joy is right. >> i think they deny his existence as president. they want to delegitimize him and they would love to impeach him. >> they were doing it from the beginning. secret socialist. >> he's not really president.
>> they want to erase him. take him out of the picture if they can. >> an asterisk. if they could get one next to his name. >> this is the energy in the party that brought boehner and others to party. they harnessed the tea party tieg thor. now they find it's hard to keep feeding it red meat. >> why are they afraid of the word "impeachment"? >> because they know it turns off moderate voters. they saw what happened with the clinton years. they see the dccc -- >> what about the word bothers middle of the road people? >> people generally and rightfully come to the idea of impeachment as something that occurs only in extreme circumstances. >> nixon stuff. >> it also will drive out the democratic base. we saw when they started talking about the lawsuit, let alone impeachment, contributions to the democratic campaign committee went up tremendously. i mean, i talked to people in the white house who would be delighted to see members of
congress talk about impeachment seriously. >> let's go back to standing. do you think, joy, for the progressive wing or journalistic way of thinking, do you think sarah palin is a leader in the republican party? i think she is. in other words, when she talks, half the party listens, i think. >> i agree. for the establishment wing she's like the plant in "little shop of horrors." she keeps getting bigger the more you feed her red meat. the reason is the base of the republican party has been fed by right wing media for so long. that's now what they have come to the expect from politics. the boehner wing can't serve them. no matter what they try they are being super served by the palin wing. she's not a lawyer. she worked at five colleges, no law school. >> okay, harvard. >> she's not a lawyer.
she has no standing to explain what should be impeachable. she does super serve her base. >> let's get into the anatomy of it here. why is she a great show? the left loves to bash her. the right embraces her. i know they do. >> they do. >> david, you start. they do embrace her. they see her as a person like howard biel in the movie who speaks the truth or jesse ventura for a while. >> unlike the plant in "little shop of horrors" she's hit her sell-by date. >> do you go to the same drive-in? i don't think i saw the movie. >> she's waning. she's no longer on fox every other day. they distanced themselves. people thought they had to pay her tribute. john boehnerer is saying, well, we really don't -- i do think this is going to cause a problem going into 2016. >> let's look at a list. >> she's creating a litmus test. were you for impeachment or not?
that will be a hard question when you get to the tea party driven republican primaries. >> look at the people willing to say no. already the impeachment craze is being felt at the local level. a half dozen republican u.s. senate candidates are saying no. they are in tight races and publically opposed sarah palin's call for impeachment. joni ernst in iowa, the hog castrator who tried to walk back her own impeachment comments in january are. thom tillus said he opposes impeachment of obama. he wants to win. congresswoman shelley moore capito has come out against impeachment. they are sitting on their leads. so is david perdue in a primary fight to run against michelle nunn in georgia. last, cory gardner out of colorado who does not support impeaching the president. all the other candidates didn't
confirm where they stood on the issue. everybody is freezing the ball. why go for the crazy shot of impeachment when you think you will win if you just shut up? >> you want to play it safe. i think you elect this guy. he's going to washington. first thing he'll do is start impeaching the president. that's not going to play well. >> i wanted the democrats to organize push-pulling and make sure every republican for the ticket and every cd in the country has to say for or against impeachment. >> you look at states like colorado, north carolina where there is just enough vote that if democrats did get out and remember in some of the states like north carolina, you already have a push because of things like voter i.d. to get more african-american voters out, more women because of the supreme court decisions. for republicans, absolutely. they are worried sarah palin will be made the running mate of every senator.
she'll be stitched to their campaign. the problem is the people excited about voting, it's the far right portion of the republican base. they are coming out and sarah palin excites them. to your point, what establishment republicans fear is that independence will be turned off by her wing of the party. more so that democrat wills figure it out because my reporting is the same as david's. in the white house world, they like it. they want to hear it. it does rev up democrats. >> to your point, think of the five colleges that can claim her as an alumnae. >> if they want to. >> you harvard person. thank you very much. we'll be right backment
football now. the conservatives say, we can't keep all these learn kids here. i say not only keep them but it will improve our chances of winning the world cup in ten years. >> so smart. time now for the sideshow. the library of congress is set to release over a hundred letters written by warren g. harding later this month. advanced copies from are the "new york times" portray a president who was racier than you might have expected. certainly i department. here is how john oliver reacted to the letters last night. >> a 14-year-old mother of two should be reading them on her kindle. this is an actual passage from his actual letterers. i feel that there will never be any relief until i take a long deep wild draft on your lips and bury my face on your pillowing breasts. i've got to say, damn, warren! you nasty!
no one is going to be able to look at you in the same way. i will say this ft as a president he was terrible. as an r & b lyricist he was way ahead of his time. he put it is warren g. into warren g. harding. >> is it worth noting that the presidential election of 1920 was the first in which men and women both voted thanks to the passage of the 19th amendment? hmm, lots to think about there. up next can the tea party get angrier? you have to think so after watching what's happening in mississippi. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. when you run a business, you can't settle for slow.
welcome back to "hardball." it's been three weeks now since chris mcdaniel lost to thad cochran in mississippi. mcdaniel and his supporters vow to continue fighting. in other words it looks like an angry tea party. mississippi is getting angrier. what began as a challenge to a six-term incumbent made national headlines after four mcdaniel supporters were arrested for breaking into the nursing home of senator cochran's ailing wife and photographing her for an anti-cochran video. one was mark mayfield whose bail was posted at $250,000.
while he was allegedly involved in the planning of the break-in, the arrest clearly took a toll on him and his well-being. he didn't go into the hospital, just planned it. a profile in the "new york times" details how he reacted to being implicated in a criminal conspiracy. he stayed away from facebook, stopped writing letterses to the editor. he went to the law office but had little to do since his major clients had all but cut him off. then another shock. mcdaniel narrowly lost in june 24 run off after some of the african-american community turned out to support senator cochran in the open primary. then three days later, attorney mayfield, the mcdaniel activist committed suicide. many mcdaniel supporters believe it was the divisive primary battle that drove him to it making their political fight so tragically personal as well. mcdaniel's policy director tweeted the following. a good man is gone because of a
campaign to destroy lives. to all so-called republican leader who is join lockstep, i will not rest. this is gothic stuff. southern gothic. mcdaniel refuseses to concede defeat and alleges voter fraud. he's now channelling tea party anger to raise money even calling for a new election. a fund raising appeal call it is the june election a sham and says, democrats steal the mississippi run-off. talk about southern governmentic. joining me now, msnbc political analyst eugene robinson and sam for the local. this is really a saga now of horror. the fact that they broke in and tied to exploit the condition of senator thad cochran's wife, whatever you think of that. it was breaking the law. $250,000 in bail money. that seems extraordinary, over the top. the poor fellow is so depressed he commits suicide after the
run-off. this doesn't seem to end. >> no, it doesn't. we have seen a lot of developments in this. that's been one of the key sticking points here. whether or not that was the conspiracy charges, felony charges that went with it. the mcdaniel camp, a lot of their supporters and activists said, you know, that's part of haley barbour and the local mayor there who was a big cochran supporter. that was part of them just trying to turn the screws on the mcdaniel campaign for negative press. we hear all the rumors and talks they will reduce the charges, they will drop the charges and all like that. the district attorney says they plan to present toyota the grand jury at the end of the month. you mentioned they were talking about possibly one more suspect that they are looking at.
we know they talked to at least one, maybe two other people in depth. they didn't find anything to it. so far as we know, the investigators close to it have given no other word that they will have any other arrests coming in the case. >> this is so full of questions. >> yeah. >> it has the southern small town -- though it's jackson, madison. i don't know how big of a town it is. >> there are no big cities in mississippi. >> it's this small town suspicions. the establishment, the main street people got together with haley barbour, i just heard it there. posting $250,000 seems a lot of money for someone who oversaw going into as hospice -- >> it seems like a lot of money. the whole scenario plays into the tea party suspicion, the whole tea party thing about big powerful interests that are working against the regular ordinary folks who just want their american freedoms back.
>> that explains ted cruz's stirring the waters there. >> you know, this is going to have are resonance, i think, on tea party activists not just on mississippi but possibly elsewhere. not that it will happen exactly like that in other states. >> ted cruz fanned the blame flaims further calling for an investigation into allegations of, quote, voter fraud in mississippi. here is what he said to mark levin. >> even more troubling, mark, in the past week or so, we have seen serious allegations of voter fraud. and i very much hope that no republican was involved in voter fraud. but these allegations need to be vigorously investigated and anyone involved in criminal conduct should be prosecuted. the voterses of mississippi deserve to know the truth. >> sam, can you tell where the voter wills end up? the people on the hard eight? will they vote for the democrat, childers?
>> we have a lot of people who say they are going to. others who will stay home and not vote for anybody. several folks who cut small checks to him. others who is say they will cut larger checks ifs mcdaniel is not successful in the challenge just because it's anybody but cochran deal now. >> what's the temperature down there in jackson today? >> a lot hotter than it is. there is still anger that the thought that this would subside and the longer you get away from the run-off that the anger was going to subside, it hasn't. it's gotten more intense as it's gone on, as a matter of fact. all the allegations of voter fraud have just played into that. so far, there's not been any solid proof of anything.
everything that's been brought up, there are at least, you know, plausible explanations about it. the biggest thing they are look at now are the vote counts and how many irregular ballots and the mcdaniel campaign so far has refused to release a list of this is how many votes, irregular votes we have found in such and such counties. talking to the people doing the observing it's single digits. >> voter fraud means the wrong people voted. >> wrong people won, too. thank you are. this has not just a southern but a third world aspect to it. thank you sam hall from jackson, mississippi. love that town. up next, after sarah palin, dick cheney is the republican the american people wish would stop talking. this is "hardball," the place for politics. at 1-800-dentist, we're about one thing.
helping you find a dentist you'll want to go to for the rest of your life. we've helped over 8 million people find that dentist, and we can do the same for you. call 1-800-dentist today. ♪ president obama is hitting the road to push for funding for america's broken roads and bridges. the president wants congress to pass a large scale package to fund infrastructure repair. he'll make the pitch in northern virginia tomorrow and delaware on thursday. congress has other ideas and is fighting over a smaller, temporary fund to prevent it from running out of money next month. we'll be right back.
discussion was the war in iraq. the cheney offensive comes at a time when iraq has exploded with chaos and 58% of the american people believe president obama's decision to withdraw troops from iraq was the right thing to do. that's 58%. 61% of the american people believe going into iraq back in 2003 was the wrong thing to do in the first place. 63% oppose sending troops back now to the war-torn country. got it? nonetheless, cheney, the number one force pushing war on the american penal said he's sticking to his tragic position of 2003. >> i believed in it then, i look back on it now, it was absolutely the right thing to do. >> what did anyone expect is what i have to say? is it news that dick cheney is dick cheney? there will be no agets who was consistently wrong about everything in the lead-up to war. >> regime change in iraq would bring about a number of benefits from the region. when the gravest of threats are eliminated --
>> you think the american people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant american casualties? >> i don't think it's likely to unfold that way, tim, because i believe we will be greeted as liberators. >> if we do have a take action, do you think it will be a long war or short war. >> my own judgment based on my time as secretary of defense and having operated in this area in the past, i'm confident our troops will be successful and think it will be relatively quickly. >> weeks, months? >> weeks rather than months. >> weeks rather than months. no casualties. hardly any casualties. and a quickie war. michael tomasky, columnist with "the daily beast" and joe conason, editor with "the national memo." i have to give you each a chance to say what you think about that. michael first. >> it's absolutely mind-boggling. chris, he's going to do this until the day he dies and he chooses these public forums. they chose to go to mike allen
and do this big hooha, to do this big thing, and keep choosing it forever. certainly as long as barack obama is president, then if hillary clinton is president, even though she supported it, because she has recanted, that going to keep pounding and pounding and pounding. he will never, ever stop. it's the opposite of statesmanship. >> we always have the access to the tape here when have that great strength, the america people benefited from it i think, objectively. they can always hear what this judgment, as he called it, was. he treasures it, he speaks about it as if it's king tut's tomb or something. >> well look, i mean, i would have asked him a different question. i would have said, do you think it was worth $3 trillion and breaking the u.s. armed forces to the extent we did and, you know, upwards of 4,000 american casualties and some untold number of iraqi dead over 100,000 most likely. and turning over iraq to iran, which is essentially what has happened here. do you think that was worth it,
sir? i would have loved to have heard the answer to that, because that's the right question, not, you know, was it right or wrong. are you sorry you did it? he's never sorry about anything. but the question is, does he understand what the real consequences were and can he respond to them? >> i think timing is a lot to this thing. i think he sees the foreign policy -- i mean, the whole world is coming apart. isis grabbing the land in iraq and syria. everything is coming apart going back to churchill. it's probably a good time to fish in troubled waters. is the that why he's back? mike first. >> he's back because he's never gone away and he's never -- >> i noticed. >> he's never going to go away. >> why did he go into vietnam -- vietnam, there's my freudian slip. >> he didn't go to vietnam. fought five different times. >> okay. you guys are ahead of me. let me ask you this. i don't think the weapons, wmd, that was a good sales pitch for the people in the middle politically. that got us in, people listening
to that, europe. okay. you might have a case. that was the sales pitch. what was his personal, primordial reason to bill up the yellow cake story, build up the aluminum tube? >> i believe it goes back to his time as secretary of state in 1992 and end of the cold war and soviet union collapse and the neocons, they wrote about this at the time. this wasn't any secret. they wrote at the time and said at the time now is the time to establish american hegemony in the world. we're the only superpower and that's how we have to run things. day were out of power for eight years because bill clinton was the president. they got back into power then 9/11 happened and had a chance to show we would be the hegemonic power and took it. >> i always believed they spoke in cold war terms, joe, and speak about everything as if it's eastern europe. when cheney was talking in that
interview with tim russert, how they're all going to be liberated, after like something happened -- >> france. >> france, or even the eastern european countries after the -- in the fall of the cold war, that they were going to be like poland or hungary, countries who wanted to be free from the yolk of the soviets. i still think they think in cold war terms. what do you think was pushing cheney to push us into iraq? joe? >> there's the old theory about halliburton and various theories about it. it's never made sense to me. i think mike probably close to it. >> is it oil patch stuff? think it's oil patch? >> yeah, maybe, but i think they thought they were going it reshape the middle east. you know, this is what president bush talked about often and cheney and condi rice. they talked about how this was going to reshape -- i think you have to never underestimate is their utter incompetence. they don't know what they're talking about most of the time. this has been proved again and begun and again. they had no idea what would happen in terms of sectarian
divisions in iraq because they didn't know anything about them in the time. >> you know what i think exposed their head, showed their hand, political ideological hand here, first of all when we found out there was no wmd, no nuclear weapons, they didn't change course for a minute, didn't say, oh, wait, we blew it. they wanted to de-ba'athisize and make sure the ba'athist party they didn't like was out of office. they thought it was the nazis. all over again. thank you, gentlemen. this ain't going away. he ain't going away. michael tomasky. i like your at tuesday. both of you. you don't like this guy. thank you. we'll be right back after this. let me finish tonight with
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let me finish tonight with this. there is something deep, dark, even spectral in dick cheney's role in this country's public life. why would someone who led us down a path to war, a path of unfounded evidence, love so much the chance to take us down it again and again and again? would a normal person like to relive with such weird relish the worst thing anyone did to his country in a generation? oh, yes, it's not about loyalty with this fellow, it's hostility. what drives him is not so much his acute sense of direction as the hatred that propels him. a brooding sense that demonizes anyone who fails to snap to, genuflect before him. that could be a democrat, could be saddam hussein. war, destruction, annihilation are his own means and only means of action and his reasons that concern me, even today, people around him in the years 2000
through 2003, all met his demands. they let him lead this country into a war that left thousands of americans and tens of thousands of others dead. the reason dick cheney still supports the iraq war of 2003 is crystal clear. he continues to support it for the basic reason that the public alibi for the war, that country's possession of nuclear weapons, was for him never more than that, a way to get people to support it. again, dick cheney continues to back the war because the nuclear weapons reason was never his own reason, and therefore the nonexistence of those weapons did nothing to undercut his personal determination to invade and occupy iraq. cheney did need the public reasons for hitting iraq. he had personal reasons. reasons that drove him and his chief of staff, scooter libby to push the case for war and punish those who dared dispose of as dishonest. cheney can't deny blame for the iraq war any more than he can deny how to pronounce his family name. again, it's cheney. just ask any one of them. go ask them.