tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 19, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am PST
obama rising. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. i hope you've had a good martin luther king day with time for reflection on its meaning to this country. and it's certainly been a good day for president obama. i've been saying for a while now that the president's about to cut into positive territory. and today he did. the abc/"washington post" poll became today the first major poll to show him, again, crossing the 50% line into positive territory. what's powerful here is the speed with which he's moving right now in terms of popularity. the momentum of this thing. in december he was at 41% in the "washington post" poll. and that's a nine-point gain in
just a month. and catch this, while he's gained among liberals certainly, his big growth is among moderates where he's up 10%, among conservatives where he's gained 11 points. again, in a single month. it's the economy, of course. and gas prices, of course. but also some other factors pushing this. the sheer audacity of his push with china on climate change, on immigration with the big executive order on cuba. add to that his populist push for free community college, generous paid leave for new parents, and what will be the impact of his new plan to shift taxes to the rich? that's not even considered in this late breaking poll. could it be, as they say in sports, the best defense is a good offense? and just as important is the morale factor here. his hateful critics on the right love to argue that popularity equals success, and success means you're doing the right thing. well, as long as they can say that obama was under 50%, they could use this logic to trash him. not so easy now, is it? susan page is the "washington post" bureau chief. washington bureau chief with "usa today." our poll is the "washington
post." steven kornacki also joins us, host of msnbc's "up with steve kornacki." steve, i want you to start with this polling number. give me your assessment on what's moving. this particular poll shows a dramatic uptick for the president in just the last four weeks. >> yeah, i mean, i think the economy is the main thing that's driving it and i think when the economy starts to move from the right direction and people start to feel the economy is moving in the right direction they start to look differently at other actions the president is taking. you talk about cuba, talk about immigration, talk about the forward looking thing he's been doing in the last month. i think people start filtering that through more, economic optimism, optimism of where the country is going now and look at the actions in a slightly different light. it reminds me, bill clinton when the economy really started to turn, hum in the 90s. he was stuck in the 30s and 40s to over 50, eventually the 60s. a similar thing happened with him. a similar thing happened with ronald reagan where unemployment finally crashed in 1984 and
growth really took off. people started to look at reagan very differently. it's very early right now. these are tentative signs economically. if this is the sort of thing that continues for a new months, a year, two years maybe, i think you're looking at the potential for obama's approval rating to move into the 50s here. >> susan, when this president came into office, things were in crisis state. we had an auto industry which we thought was in trouble, historic trouble. we had a stock market which had gone down to nothing. everything's come back, and could this be seen as finally a verdict on the policies? this isn't just good weather. this is policy reality. this is what came of what he chose to do when he first came in. the stimulus and all the rest of it. >> i think the reality matters, and i think for the reality to matter, you need more time to unfold. right. >> it's 2015. >> think of it this way. the state of union he'll give tomorrow night, first time he's able to give a state of the union address which isn't shadowed by economic catastrophe. that gives traction.
it enables him to talk about other things than simply the problems with jobs, for instance. jobs still a problem. we still have people who left the workforce but the unemployment rate down to 5.6%. >> there's real growth, too, in wages. >> that's right. growth in the number of jobs. >> let's have fun on this good news for the president. do you think they'll cheer on the republican side of the aisle tomorrow night on anything besides "hello, nice to meet you, mr. president," that they do in the beginning? >> it's a problem for the republicans. their fundamental argument against the president is his policies aren't working. on the economy, if the policies are making, it makes it more complicated for them. they control both houses of congress. they need to show -- >> do you think there will be a respect factor tomorrow night? i know this country is driven by popularity, who wins the academy awards, emmys, who wins the super bowls, who wince the college football top team. congrats to ohio state. i'm big on you guys. anyway, this thing about the -- will he get "you lie"? will some character like joe wilson yell out tomorrow night "you lie"?
there's very bad experience here with this president and republicans in the chamber of the house. steve? >> yeah, there's no predicting that because when you're talking about that wing of the party, that's faction of the party, that's something that's going to be unresponsive to broad national public opinion. that's about the sort of the passion of the base of the republican party. i assume in terms of, you know, as usual the specific policy proposals, you'll probably have republicans sitting on their hands. the broader statements about national identity, national purpose, optimism for the future. those things will get people on their feet on the republican side. the interesting thing here, you look ahead to 2016, if this continues as i was saying, if obama's approval ratings do continue to rise, it changes the nature of the election republicans thought they would be contesting in 2016. i think the two examples you have to think about here are 2008 when george w. bush's approval rating was stuck at about 30%. in 1988 when ronald reagan, outgoing two-term president was around 60%. in 2008, the republicans ran as far as they could from george w. bush.
in 1988, george h.w. bush, the vice president ran as closely as he could to reagan. republicans thought whoever the democratic nominee in 2016 would be would have to be following that bush model, running far, far from barack obama. now this raises the possibility that continuity could be a stronger message in 2016. >> that's why i think the important thing -- we'll get on this again tomorrow night as we have more time, steve and susan. selection of john podesta as to be aide to hillary clinton tells me they're going to stay close together with obama. this is going to be a team effort, so far. since the midterm losses, obama has been president audacity, what i call him. days after the midterms he announced a historic climate deal with china. days after that he announced executive actions to effectively legalize millions of undocumented immigrants to this country. in mid-december he moved to normalize relations with cuba, a big deal historically. then came his current populist push. he announced the proposal to make two years of community college free. mandate six weeks of paid leave for mothers or fathers after the
birth or adoption of a child. over the weekend, the white house unveiled a plan to raise taxes on the top 1% that would pay for a series of middle class tax breaks including a new childcare tax credit. more income tax credits and, of course, more student loan tax breaks. so he's into action. i think this calls for a little bit of interpretation here, what we do here. i think ever since he lost that 2014 election which seems a while ago now, he says my job now isn't to pony up to the republicans, hope i can cut a deal with boehner on a good day when he's not beholden to the tea party which is never. but now i got to do my thing. i got two more years to build a legacy, i can't wait for boehner to wait for the tea party. >> and the question is, does these executive actions, he seems really liberated. >> that's the word. >> by having taken these dramatic steps. the question is, will there be the space for some kind of deal with republicans on anything significant?
you know, trade, taxes, i think that's tough. will there be the ingredients here -- >> it seems like he wants to do something down the middle on trade. >> i think on trade that might be the exception. >> the left won't like it, but i think he'll like it. >> mostly i think he's trying to use executive actions to put in place policies that will be hard to undo. not impossible for the new president to undo. immigration, for instance. imagine after a couple years of the protective status we've got for d.r.e.a.m.ers a new president trying to pull that back? they're trying to make that as hard as possible for the next president to undo. >> steve, the ratchet effect in physics. he's achieved a level which i don't think he can fall from. it's like a mountain climber. i was in switzerland this weekend of all climbers. you have the ropes to hold you once you're there. immigration reform. you can't kick out people that were told they're here safely. how do you tell same-sex marriage people that their marriage doesn't matter anymore? you know what i mean? we didn't have some big national election because we don't have elections on rights, somebody should point out to somebody. rights are rights.
you don't have to get voted for them. i get a sense some of these stuff -- maybe health care if they really undermine it financially. your thoughts, steve? >> i think a you're saying is probably true for health care, too. one of the x-factors is the courts. if this was to get traction judicially. the other thing to keep in mind, too, i think the 2014 election as bad as it was for democrats i think was very liberating for barack obama because the think the guiding principle for the white house for most of 2014 was, look, we have a chance to hold on to the senate and if we're going to hold on to the senate, it's going to be by re-electing a bunch of democrats in red states. so what's the one thing we do not want to do in the year 2014 before the election? we do not want to put these red state senators on the spot where they have to take some kind of vote or defend some kind of policy that's going to make them seem like a national obama, washington democrat. in the minute the democrats lost the senate, the minute that election was over, that fear, that calculation, that impulse was completely gone and you've
seen the president since then doing a lot of things that would have been unthinkable to that white house before the election. >> let me ask you about this new number about elizabeth warren. we'll get to that. but everybody seems to want to be good on inequality right now. the president. even romney, as ludicrous as it sounds. let's watch romney here talk about how he's going to be pretty good. it was on friday. told the rnc that his potential candidacy would address poverty in america. this is almost a laugh line. he's talking it. he knows where the action is. here's mitt romney, the populist. >> under president obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse, and there are more people in poverty in america than ever before. under this president. his policies have not worked. their liberal policies are good every four years for a campaign, but they don't get the job done. the only policies that will reach into the hearts of american people and pull people out of poverty and break the cycle of poverty are republican principles, conservative principles. family formation, education, and
good jobs. we're going to bring them to the american people and finally end the scourge of poverty in this great land. >> papa's got a brand new bag here. notice he doesn't have a tie on. he's talking about how many cars he has on his car elevator. i mean, is this ludicrous? maybe i'm asking a rhetorical question. >> the tie thing, you mentioned, that's interesting. i remember when bob dole was running in '96 and left the senate and wanted to prove he was in longer a creature of washington, he started hi peering without a tie. that's a trick they tried to use for dole. the issue that romney has, let's face it, image is so important. >> does it tell you which way the wind is blowing? even mr. money is talking like mr., what do you call it, not demagogue, how about populist? >> he understands i think the
broad currents of american politics. i think the problem is the image that was sort of set in 2012. the image in many ways that he contributed to no matter what he's say. >> yes, 47%. >> makes it very difficult to sell -- republican, i think, i've always said if they want to run on a 1% message, they need a 99% messenger. >> it's so funny. >> here's the reality. income inequality, wealth inequality, that's the challenge of our day. the middle class is still getting squeezed. i'd like to note both of you are wearing ties. >> by the way, to have fun here, steve, i'm holding than you so i'll tell you some history. before bob dole went from wearing a tie, he went from robert to bob. that's something i watched in the '70s, '80s and '90s. no more formal first names. they were all gone. >> robert j. dole. >> all of them. susan page. steve kornacki. thank you so much. is terrorism over there? those terror raids are continuing now across the continent. we're going to look at who's being rounded up right now and what the threat is coming from.
and what's the likelihood of an attack here at home? of course, that's always on our minds, we americans. plus, mitt romney has strong republican backing for a third presidential run. that's the in numbers, by the way, on the republican side. ted cruz and his hard right crowd don't like it much. and today after a tense hearing on the topic of race relations, president obama and his cabinet are commemorating martin luther king day as we all should be doing. while a majority of americans believe dr. king's mission for america has been achieved, not surprisingly, a majority of african-americans do not notice that. and finally, if you missed yesterday's game between seattle and green bay you missed an incredible comeback, of course, led by someone with, i've got to say it, one great name. this is "hardball." the place for politics.
flo: hey, big guy. i heard you lost a close one today. look, jamie, maybe we weren't the lowest rate this time. but when you show people their progressive direct rate and our competitors' rates you can't win them all. the important part is, you helped them save. thanks, flo. okay, let's go get you an ice cream cone, champ. with sprinkles? sprinkles are for winners. i understand. well, president obama marked martin luther king day by taking part in the national day of service. the president and the first lady and top aides all teamed up to volunteer at the boys and girls club of greater washington. that's here.
welcome back to "hardball." europe's foreign ministers met today and vowed to work together to counter the threat of terrorism that the continent now faces. it comes while terror raids and arrests continue across the face of europe. on friday, more than two dozen people were detained in separate crackdowns in belgium, france, and germany. and over the weekend, greece arrested four people with suspected terror ties. one of those arrested is accused of having a link to the foiled plot in belgium aimed at killing police officers. belgian authorities told nbc news today that the terror cell was organized and well armed in the attack they were preparing was well planned. i'm joined right now by the great richard engel in istanbul. richard, thank you so much for this. give us a picture of what's happening in europe. >> reporter: well, i think the
european security officials are realizing that they are overwhelmed. europol said that 5,000 europeans have traveled to syria or iraq to fight with groups there with hundreds, at least, returning. that is the population that they know about. they don't really know how many supporters they have, how many people in european cities and not just the capitals, but small european cities are prepared to do copycat attacks or launch attacks. this is a major problem. it has been a problem that is not new. it has been a problem that people have recognized for a long time, but that paris was suddenly a wake-up call. and i really think that the more they are scrambling to make arrests, and the more they talk about cooperation, the more it shows that they really are behind the situation on this one. >> when they -- it seems to me, i'm just going by human nature, tell me if it makes sense. if you go over there to fight in a war like iraq or syria for the
islamic states you have a chance of surviving. you're a soldier. it's risky, but you'll probably make it home alive. if you come back to europe after some training there to do an attack in europe, you will probably be killed. right? it's not -- they're all -- in fact, the suicidal attacks. the european police are senator enough, they're going to have a shootout and you're going to get killed. is it something where they become more radicalized once they go over to iraq or syria and come back even more radicalized than when they went over? >> reporter: it's not so much the chances of dying. in both cases, you're probably going to die. it is, what do they think they can achieve with the death? if you're a radical and living in madrid or some small city in france and you dream of joining the caliphate and fighting to defend your prophet and listen to all of the propaganda that's online, you can either pack up a bag, come generally here to istanbul, make your way to the border, cross into syria and die, what will very likely be an
anonymous death, killed by some sort of u.s. air strike, or as just happened in paris, you can get together with some like-minded individuals, maybe a family member, carry out an attack and suddenly they're holding mock burials for you in pakistan, there are protests like there were here in istanbul with people coming out and singing your praises. so you're going to die, anyway. it is what do you think you achieve with that sacrifice? >> more bang. let me ask you about these, the reaction of the islamic community all the way to chechnya. reacting to "charlie hebdo" and the continued, well, mockery, if you will, whatever, ridicule or satire if you're being lighthearted about it of islam in the magazines. >> reporter: well, this is a -- one of the things, isis has carried out many attacks, for example, over the last year. and a lot of them have not been
popular in the islamic world. people thought that isis beheading journalists was disgusting. they thought it was vulgar and cruel. but when the militants attacked "charlie hebdo," for many people in the region, it seemed legitimate would be an overstatement, but understandable would not be an overstatement. >> i see. >> reporter: and then when millions of people around the world rallied and said "i am charlie" that was interpreted in the muslim world to say, i am charlie, i am with those who continue to insult and revel in the fact that they are insulting the muslim prophet muhammad. that set a lot of people off here when they saw millions of people in paris and they say millions of people around the world including at the oscars wearing these "i am charlie hebdo" buttons and saying it in every opportunity they could, people here thought, well, you're sticking up for a magazine that continues to insult islam.
we've now seen, oh, since friday, anti-"charlie hebdo" protests and anti those who supported the "charlie hebdo" demonstrations in ten countries in the middle east. >> it's a horrible situation. richard engel from istanbul. i'm joined by tom ridge. and michael kay, international affairs correspondent and former senior british officer. governor, i've known you a long time. this bugs me, to put it lightly, that you can't -- that you're choosing sides between ridicule of islam, going as far as you want to go, which i don't believe in doing, anyway, making fun of somebody else's religion. or being a defender of this horror, killing people to do it. it drives me crazy when some film editor or film producer gets killed. he has the right to make a movie i don't like but i don't have to say i like the movie. je suis charlie should have space to the magazine to the
point of freedom of speech which is a different point. >> i think your point is well taken, but i think our understanding of satire and freedom of speech is almost anathema to many parts of the world and particularly to those who believe in the caliphate and believe to impose sharia law, those who believe they can sacrifice their lives for an outcome that's more important themselves and going into syria or into a shop in paris or editor in paris and prepare to die. so i think we spend a lot of time, chris, trying to rationalize it in terms of our own western values, in terms of our own morals, our own ethics. we're wasting our time. the believers believe it. the subtlety around satire is lost in them. you offended the prophet, you offended us, therefore, you deserve to die. there's no rational western means of understanding that and there never will be. >> let me get michael kay, as much as they don't understand satire, wish to not understand it, they seem to have a sense of hyperbole which goes with kill the demons, kill the enemies of
islam, the very devil, the demon. there's the evil one that must be slained. everything is capital punishment in that language. what's going on with the big demonstrations? how do you read them? are they going to add to the sort of the foundation of terrorism when you have masses of people in the streets saying "charlie hebdo's" no good, does that encourage lone wolfing by people, even in this country? >> well, look, chris, you know, there is a fundamental difference between obviously the west version of what freedom of expression and freedom of speech is and the muslim community, but i also say there's been some clear examples within the muslim community there are some significant differences. if we look at the pakistan government, they condemned the "charlie hebdo" cartoons as hate speech. look at the muslim council of britain, they said they were hurtful but appealed for a sort of peace and a calm reaction to it. if you look at the mayor who's a moroccan and also muslim, he says to the people in his community which are muslim, if
you don't like the values with which the west live, pack your bags. that's a quote. i think in order to come up with a solution to what we're seeing in terms of freedom of expression and freedom of speech, we kind of need to understand the definition of what is offending people first. >> well, that's the question i guess. let me ask you about when you read the paper every day, governor, and you read this is all going on. how do you see it translating to action here? we thought before 9/11 we weren't going to get hit. and then we saw what happened up in boston with the marathon. and that was another strike. we saw them getting hit. we said, wait a minute, they don't really respect our border. >> that's true. we need to understand there are pockets of this individual who accept this caliphate and zealotries. chechnya with the brothers in boston. you've got yemen tied to the individuals in france. you've got the 5,000 or 6,000 europeans everyone is worried about training in isil,
potentially going back. we have understand this is a struggle that is now global, it's metastasized and it's growing in strength. i think what we also need to understand is violence begets violence. talking about freedom of speech, how about the blogger in saudi arabia that is supposed to get 1,000 lashes? i mean, when the european commission said we need to reach out to our friends in the arab world, i think one of the things we need to do is address this with them because that's bad example. i mean, let's face it. the beheadings, saudi arabia, they're flogging somebody because -- >> 50 a week for 20 weeks. >> thank you. so there's more to it than just -- >> it's the worst kind of lottery victory. 50 lashes a week until you heal, now we'll give you another week and hit you again. louisiana governor bobby jindal, potential candidate for president in 2016 on the republican side is on a trip to great britain now where he spoke about the terror threat in europe. the text of the speech he delivers quotes the governor as saying, jindal, "in the west non-assimilationist muslims
establish enclaves and carry out as much of sharia law as they can without regard to laws to democratic countries which provided them a new home. startling to think any country would allow unofficially for a so-called no-go zone. the idea a free country would allow for specific areas of its country to operate in an autonomous way that is not free and direct opposition to its laws is hard to fathom." michael kay, is it true, is it true there are no-go zones in europe where the governments don't go, don't go to the tribal territories in northwest pakistan? jindal is saying europe is basically occupied by the caliphate, a large part and the governments won't try to go into that area. >> chris, i'm going to be as diplomatic as i possibly can here. i have fairly extensive experience of traveling across europe over the last 20 years. in that time, i've never heard of a so-called no-go zone in the context -- >> where did jindal hear it? >> now, what i would say is are there places that i personally
wouldn't go in terms of those areas? absolutely, there are. what is that based on? it's based on divisions within religious communities, ethnic communities, cultural divides, social divides. it's gangs. there are places in east london i just would not go. i wouldn't go for a cup of tea in some areas in the bronx of chicago or detroit, but to sort of narrow it down to a sort of muslim area is completely preposterous. what i would say, there is a common thread that does link all of these. that's social economic problems. that is problems to do with high unemployment, high crime rates. you know, low employment opportunities. low opportunities to get a good education. that is the thread which ties all of these things together. not muslim communities -- >> i think jindal needs more homework. one last question. do you think america is better off because we have more assimilation here? america isn't a perfect country but when people come here, they can become americans. you can't necessarily become french or become a brit. here, you find the right place
to live, you're completely at home. people will accept you. >> i think that's clear. for many years there was this self-congratulatory notion in europe we're a multicultural nation. the fact of the matter -- >> they weren't -- >> they welcomed them but there was no effort to absorb them. >> they accept them as colonials. they're colonials. they aren't these interesting people. they're basically -- >> we're not perfect but we do a much better job. >> your thoughts? last word. >> let's not forget how important monty python has been in integrating the brits into society. i feel that's gone a long way. >> interesting thought there, michael. thank you, tom ridge. first secretary for homeland -- >> that's good. >> tom ridge and michael kay. thank you. coming up, in terms of heroics, a very hardball ending to the great game yesterday between the seattle seahawks and green bay packers. that's next in the "sideshow" there. this is "hardball." the place for politics.
ha! back to "hardball." time now for the "sideshow." the seattle seahawks are going to the super bowl after coming back to beat green bay 28-22. with just two minutes left, by the way, in the game. seattle was down by five and managed to turn their fortunes around by recovering an onside kick. listen to how that dramatic reversal played out on kairo radio, the local seattle station, and pay close attention to the name of the player who recovered the kick for the seahawks. listen to that name. >> there it is. bounces high. seattle has a chance. it's bouncing around. the seahawks got it. the seahawks have it in midfield. they got it. coming out of the pile with it is chris matthews. seattle. >> that's what i did over the weekend. anyway, chris matthews, what an honor. does he know who he was named after? just kidding. next up, the 2016 campaign
about to be under way, there's no shortage of books published by presidential wannabes. most are dull, of course. on friday, bill maher looked at some of the books by the republican contenders and came up with some alternative titles he thinks describes the authors more accurately. let's take a look. >> marco rubio's book is called "american dreams: restoring economic opportunity for everyone." original title "hispanic but not too much." rick perry has a book, "fed up: our fight to save america from washington." original title, "bush for dummies: government always wrong." rand paul has a book, "taking a stand: moving beyond partisan politics to unite america." original title, "my dad without the crazy part." finally, there's how "saturday night live" welcomed mitt romney to the 2016 presidential field over the weekend.
>> mitt romney is reportedly considering running for president in 2016. in a related story, charlie brown is planning on finally kicking that football. >> anyway, mitt romney's trying to win over republicans. he says he wants to be the president, but people like ted cruz are doing whatever they can to stop him. you're watching "hardball." the place for politics.
i used to joke during the campaign that president obama didn't have a foreign policy. of course, that was a joke because he did have a foreign policy and the foreign policy was one crafted by he and his secretary of state hillary clinton, and the results of the hillary clinton/barack obama foreign policy have been devastating. >> he reminds me of hall of the presidents, mechanical machine-like person standing up there. welcome back to "hardball." that was, of course, mitt romney last week taking on his 2012 opponent, president barack obama and his potential 2016 opponent, former secretary of state hillary clinton. romney's thinking about running for president, we're told, again. one of his potential gop primary opponents could be texas fire
brand senator ted cruz. cruz told tea party activists over the weekend that "if we nominate another candidate in the mold of a bob dole, john mccain, mitt romney, the same people who stayed home in '08 and '12 will stay home in 2016 and the democrat will win again." but romney has the numbers, actually, going for him right now. a new cbs news poll says 59% of republicans want romney to run in 2016. 50% of republicans would like to see jeb bush run. 40% would like to see mike huckabee run again. 29% would like to see new jersey governor chris christie make a bid. there's more consensus when it comes to the democrat side. 85% of democrats would like to see hillary clinton run. it's more like republican thinking there. very unified. 40% would like to see joe biden run. this is an interesting small number. very miniaturized. only 23%, less than 1 in 4 wanted to see massachusetts
senator elizabeth warren run. despite all the buzz you hear in washington and new york about her. for more on the 2016 contest. charles ellison is contributor to "the root" and washington correspondent for the "philadelphia tribune." melinda henneberger. and jonathan allen, washington bureau chief. first of all, let's have some fun with mitt. seems like name i.d. still carries a lot of power. doesn't mean i want to vote for the guy, just want him part of the action. why? why do they want him to run again? they've had two swats at the guy. they want a third strike? >> they know him. there's not a lot out there not known about him. look, it's hard for democrats to win a third term in a row and i think mitt romney like i said is a known commodity. so that's a forced answer. he's not on the debate stage with other republicans right now. i think when we start to see them actually running against each other, we'll get a real idea of who republicans really want in the race. >> melinda, what can you read in these numbers? let's start with elizabeth warren. i'm shocked. all i hear from the left when i'm everywhere, the people on the left, they love her, they're
ecstatic about her. >> this is such an early poll, what this poll overall says to me people aren't thinking about 2016 yet or people who are aren't captured by these numbers. you know, as for the mitt romney -- >> 77% of the people polled in the democratic party identified as democrats don't want her to run. or aren't interested in her running. 23% are. >> yeah, that's -- >> explain that. >> obviously i don't know any of those people -- >> you know the three. >> i want to say something about mitt romney here. is this a green light for him to go again? he can go again. i think he would love to go again, but it will be with the same result because how can you take a guy whose biggest challenge was coming across as a phony even when he was at his most sincere and say, well, this time, third try, i'm going to come out with a completely overhauled policy prescription.
i'm going to go completely to the other direction and now i'm a different guy, i'm the friend of the working man and woman. and this time that will solve my authenticity problem. >> you know what i hate? i hate the fact that both parties now have become button pushing parties. you can predict what hillary clinton is going to be for. she'll be for israel, for labor, for women, for children. it will more specific. it will be particular things, yes, yes, yes, because you have to push the buttons. the republican party is getting to be the same thing. you know romney is going to be a hawk. you have to say, we're going to go to war with iran, all that crap. >> romney is comfort food. >> does any of this stuff matter to him? i know all the buttons i have to push and i'll push all the buttons. i'm for income inequality. whatever button you want. >> which is laughable. that's the big problem with him. that's the problem in 2008 and 2012. he's not authentic enough. people know that. >> this is what -- what do you want? what kind of a party do you want? they just say, okay, you want to do that? i'll do that. it's ridiculous. nobody believes he's against income inequality. he's the champion of income
inequality. >> that mushy middle that ted cruz is talking about is the middle between donors and the grassroots activist base of the matter. that's the middle. for romney. he's squished between that. >> the equity people buy his act? >> they like romney. >> i'm not sure the money people would be wild about the idea again. >> i mean, right now they're conflicted between bush, between jeb. >> he was against the 47%. now he's for the 99%. a hard thing to get over. >> anyway, let me ask you about this fight now. it seems to be they think it's real. the right wing is scared. they're not shaking in their boots yet. they're thinking the empire is going to win. it will either be jeb or mitt and they'll be screwed out of it again for the 100th time. the right wing of the republican party will have to go, we love this guy, mitt romney, we love this guy, john mccain, we love this guy, whatever.
keep going all the way back. >> you've got folks like ted cruz who are hoping -- ted cruz is hoping he can stage a revolt of tea party republicans, the folks that are -- mike huckabee is trying to do that with evangelicals and rand paul is trying to do that with libertarians within the party as well. everybody wants to stage a revolt. establishment republicans are like, we've got your number. >> they do have numbers. 2016 gop field got a little more crowded this weekend when south carolina republican, okay, laugh factor here, senator lindsey graham said he, too, is considering a presidential run. let's hear him. >> we're not polling, but we set up a testing the waters committee under the irs code that would allow me to look beyond south carolina whether or not a guy like lindsey graham has a viable path. i don't know where this will go, but i'm definitely going to look at it. >> all right. >> i think the world is falling apart. i've been more right than wrong when it comes to foreign policy. we'll see. >> i've been more right than wrong -- was chuck todd laughing right there? i know he's so professional. how do you not that, melinda?
lindsey graham for united states? >> are you kidding me? many less serious people than lindsey graham have run for president of the united states. first of all, he spent eight years already on the campaign trail for president with his friend, john mccain. >> yeah. >> you know, he'll definitely have the same base as john mccain meaning the press will love to get on that bus. >> the side car. >> i think he wants to talk about his foreign policy positions. >> yeah. >> he wants to talk -- he is a major voice for conservative foreign policy. if he wants to talk about it, i've seen less credible -- >> you are so generous. go ahead. >> already the republican debate stage is going to have to be theater in the -- >> i love it. 25 people. >> lindsey graham, no reason not to throw your hat and there and also get an opportunity by saying that to start pushing the debate more toward the hawks and away from the isolationists. >> who's not a hawk in the republican party? >> rand paul. >> who else? >> rand paul. >> he's such a hawk.
they always screw it by being hawks. they'll say reasonable things like same-sex. education. core curriculum. they'll talk about immigration in a reasonable way. to make everybody know they're right wingers, they're complete hawks. >> that is obviously true. >> i didn't have to say it. >> and she's going to have to be, as a woman, she's going to have to be -- >> don't build it up. >> no, no, no, no. >> thank you. the roundtable is staying with us. two hawks running for president. up next. pictures. anyway, we're remembering dr. martin luther king today. and this is "hardball." the house tried to keep out all the water, but water got inside and ruined everybody's everythings. the house thought she let the family down. they just didn't think it could happen. they told the house they would take better care of her... always. announcer: protect what matters. get flood insurance.
get ready for a huge document dump dating back to hillary clinton's days as first lady. politico reports that more than 150,000 pages of records from the former first lady's policy work during the clinton administration is set to be released this spring. health care reform, civil rights, poverty, and equal pay. it may coincide with the early days of the clinton campaign. that could be news. we'll be right back.
we're back on this holiday president obama and his cabinet paid tribute to dr. king by volunteering at the boys and girls club. and oprah winfrey marched with other cast members from "selma." >> everybody crossed that bridge on bloody sunday welcome and had the counselorage to get up and do it on tuesday, and to march, every single person on that march is a hero. >> across the country in houston, philadelphia, and detroit thousands of people turned out to honor king. i'm back with our round table, i want to ask about your new poll out there today. he spoke before an organization founded by the klu klux klan. and in a statement scalise said
as we reflect on the life of martin luther king jr., we recognize how our nation had been changed and strengthenned by his legacy. leading by example, he stressed the teachers of service, tolerance, and love. his speeches continue to empower. why is he saying that now? he never said he wasn't with the guys in the robes. why did he say i'm honoring it? >> it's a bit amazing and i'm stumped that there was not enough noise made and calling for his legislation. the lone black democratic is
backing scalise. what was the black republican party have to lose. call for his resignation. maybe a player move. say you guys only want to give us voting rights act, but you will keep the house majority whip there. since you don't want to try to revive it, we want this guys head on a platter. african-americans have not gotten to the point where you judge a person by their content and not color of skin according to a poll. >> i don't think it's a matter when you look at the numbers on graduation rates, on income, incarceration rating, so many things, it's not a matter of opinion, it's a fact. >> get in the car and drive around, it's not complicated. i'm amazed that white people as a group say everything is fine when they know it's not. >> they want it to be fine. by and large, not everybody, but they want it to be fine, they want to believe there is
progress. they look at the marquee things, president obama half black, half white, they say this is progress. when dr. king marched on washington in '63, that was not the dream. the dream was basic equality. they're missing what is going on in our cities. they're missing barriers. in terms of education. in terms of just dollars. it's easy for white people to say things are getting better, but they're also missing a lot. we'll be right back after this.
>> the president throwing down the gaunt lant with the republicans. >> under president obama, the rich are getting richer, income e inequality has gotten work. tonight the fight over economic equality. >> if they want to live their life like the middle east, they can go back to the middle east. >> the latest on backlash on muslims in texas and north carolina. on mlk day, why one high school principal won't let his students see "selma." >> that's the last of my worries, that's -- i don't even respond to stuff like this.