tv MSNBC Special Coverage MSNBC January 20, 2015 10:00pm-2:01am PST
it is 9:00 on capitol hill. president obama is about to enter the house of representatives to driver his state of the union address. i'm rachel maddow with chris matthews. with the special coverage of the state of the union. for the first time president obama will be addressing a republican congress under full republican control. what the president calls on congress to do, where he challenges them to take action will signal how he intends to spend the final two years of his presidency. this is a huge night for the administration. that's for sure. i think that the president has given us a good preview of what's coming tonight. some spoiler alerts. but he will talk about income inequality tonight, and he will
be a democrat tonight. this is a political speech you will see tonight, even if he can't achieve these goals, she setting them and i think he is setting them for the democrat party for years to come. he wants it known why he want today be president and i think he wants to let everyone know tonight. >> some members of congress are planning to wave in the ware some pencils as a sign of solidarity for the victims in paris, je suis charlie. >> it'll be interesting to see if that's a bipartisan gesture when that happens. >> that is the first time they probably had number two pencils in their hands since the s.a.t.s. >> tonight it will be about how members of congress will react. for a few years they did bipartisan dating. >> that doesn't seem to be happening tonight. >> it made it interesting because when people would stand up or sit down, they didn't have the comfort of being in a big
crowd of people and it really changed the dynamics in the room. since making that gesture, they have since gravitated back to the other sides of the aisle. so you will see just how many republicans there are in that room. >> i just saw al franken, and trading places. he has become a real senator now, second term. there he was with ron wyden. i'm so impressed with his career move. >> one person the first lady has in her box is ana zamora. steve king reminding to her -- >> remind us who steve king is. >> he is the most restrictionist immigration hawk.
he tweeted that the first lady had a deportable. as a noun. and there was so much talk about the cataclysmic fight, and it looks now like it was a bluff. we'll see if it was a bluff and whether or not they carry through on it. right now, five or six weeks after that speech in which we all thought this would be the cataclysmic fight that would kick off this last two years of presidency, it it doesn't look like they have the stomach for it. >> one thing that is happening tonight that has never happened as far as we know, ten minutes in advance of the speech time tonight, the white house released publicly the full text of his remarks to people could follow along at home. they have done that tonight.
>> there is lots of things to get the speech covered, no doubt about that. i want to talk about something in a chris said. six weeks ago they said if the president does this on immigration, everything is off of the table. nothing will happen. you will hear that every day for the next two years. it does not mean they can't find common ground on certain things. they cannot find agreement whether democrats or the democratic caucus likes it on trade or corporate taxes or on nominees. one of the things truly overblown in washington is when someone makes a proposal in line with their political party, and someone says then we're not going to discuss anything else. >> sergeant at arms is honorable paul d. irving. the president, as usual, will have a hard time getting down the aisle.
many people camp out in the aisle and try to talk to him and kiss him in some situations. we're about to have the announcement i believe from the sergeant at arms. >> this is where photo bombing is born. >> sheila jackson lee must be there somewhere. >> eleanor holmes norton, a ceremony congresswoman threw some shade. she said scramble like 5-year-olds -- >> if i was a member of congress, i don't care who the president was, i would be scrambling. we all have a finite time on this earth, if this is your job, this is exactly where you want to be. >> it's a great time to cross the aisle, especially if you're a republican. you show you respect the president. >> the president of the united states. [ applause ] >> a hand on the shoulder.
deliberate decisions made about those things. >> i think it depends on what the topic and issue is. the committee members, i think a lot goes into that. i think you do have, and i think you have seen this over time, far fewer leanings with members of congress, less interaction, and the subtle things. >> in the bush cheney white house, was it similar? >> there was similar criticism. very infrequent contact with members of congress. if you look back at the reagan diaries and you follow his eight years as president, the interaction with congress was constant. it was every day. you look at lyndon johnson, you look at previous presidents of both parties. they dealt with members of congress, they were at the white house. they were on the phone, constantly working. you see a departure from that tradition over these last two
administrations. >> the president there greeting membership of the supreme court. a big hug as always -- >> i'm watching you. >> she is little and she looks frail. other than being little and looking frail, there is not frail about her, she could break you. every time they see each other, it's a big hug like they're related. she knows of what she speaks, they're close. >> you mentioned this, if there is a supreme court vacancy, and i don't think there will be one, the dynamic would be completely different because of what you said earlier if is the first time the president goes in front of an exclusively republican controlled congress and obviously the house of representatives doesn't have any bearing on a supreme court nominee. it would have to go through a new republican senate. that would change markedly the dynamics of who the white house could nomination. >> and you would need a filibuster-proof majority. >> yeah.
>> thank you. >> president obama stepping up to the lecturn now. the biggest night. let's listen. [ applause ] members of congress, i have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the united states. [ applause ] >> thank you so much. thank you. thank you so much. please.
mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, my fellow americans. we are 15 years into this new century. 15 years that were dawned with terror touching our shores that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars. that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. it has been and still is a hard time for many. but tonight, we turn the page. tonight, after a breakthrough year for america, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.
[ applause ] our unemployment rate is lower than it was before the final crisis. more kids are graduating than ever before. more of our people are insured than ever before. [ applause ] and we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we have been in almost 30 years. [ applause ] tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission
in afghanistan is over. six years ago, nearly 180,000 american troops served in iraq and afghanistan. today, fewer than 15,000 remain. we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 generation who served to keep us safe, we are humbled and grateful for your service.#vñ [ applause ]
america, for all that we have endured, for all of the grit and hard work required to come back. for all of the tasks that lie ahead, know this. the shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the union is strong. [ applause ] at this moment, with the growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy production, we have risen from recession and are freer to right our future than any nation on earth. it is now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years and for decades to come.
will we accept an economy are only a few of us do spectacularly well? or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort? [ applause ] will we approach the world fearful and reactive, dragged into costly conflicts that strain our military and set back our standing? or will we lead it wisely and protect our planet? will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another? or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that has always propelled america forward. in two weeks, i will send this congress a budget filled with ideas that are practical, not partisan.
in the months ahead i will criscross the country. i want to focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us. it begins with our economy. seven years ago, rebekah and ben erler of minneapolis were newlyweds. he waiting tables, he worked construction. they were young and in love in america. it doesn't get much better than that. if only we had known, re, bekah wrote to me last spring, about what would happen to the housing and construction market.
ben took what jobs he could find en if they kept him on the road for wrong stretches of time. rebekah took out student loans, enrolled in community college, and trained for a new career. they sacrificed for each other and slowly it paid off. they bought their first home. they had a second son, henry. rebekah got a better job and a raise. ben is back in construction and home for dinner every night. it is amazing rebekah wrote, what you can bounce back from when you have to.cj) we are a strong, tight-knit family that made it through some very, very hard times. we are a strong tight-knit family who made it through some very, very hard times.
america, rebekah and ben's story is our story. they represent the millions who worked hard and sacrificed and retooled. you are the reason that i reason for this office. you are the people i was thinking of six years ago today in the darkest months of the crisis when i stood on the steps of this capitol and promised we would rebuild our economy on a new foundation. it has been your resilience, your effort, that made it possible for our country to emerge stronger. we believed we could reverse the tide of outsourcing and draw new jobs to our shores. our businesses have created moreg)"h than 11 million new jobs. [ applause ]=!r
we believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. and today, america is number one in oil and gas, america is number one in wind power. every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008. thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save about $750 at the bump. save about $750 at the pump. we believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world. today our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record. our graduation rate hit an all time high. more americans finished college than ever before. >> we believed that federal regulations could prevent another crisis.
today we have new tools to stop taxpayer funded bailouts and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending. in the past year alone, about 10 million uninsured americans finally got the security of health care coverage. plstz [ applause ] at every step, we were told our goals were misguided, or too ambitious. that we would crush jobs and explode deficits.
instead we have seen the fastest economic growth in more than a decade. a stock market that has doubled and health care and inflation at it's lowest rate in 50 years. [ applause ] this is good news, people. [ laughter ] >> so the verdict is clear. middle class economics works. expanding opportunity works. and these policies will continue to work as long as politics don't get in the way. we can't slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shut downs or fiscal show downs. we can't put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance or unraveling the new rules on wall street, or refighting past
battles on immigration when we have to fix a broken system. and if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, i will veto it. it will have earned by veto. today, the recovery is touching more an more lives. wages are finally starting to rise again. we know that more small business owners plan to raise their employee's pay than in any time since 2007. here is the thin those of us here tonight, we need to set our sites higher than just making sure government doesn't screw things up. the government doesn't halt the
progress we're making. we need to do more than just do no harm. tonight, together, let's do more to restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every american. [ applause ] because families like rebekah's still need our help. she and ben are working as hard as ever. they had to forego have indications and a new car so they can pay off student loans and save for retirement. friday night pizza, that's a big splurge. basic child care cost more than their mortgage and almost the same as a year at the university
of minnesota. rebekah is not asking for a handout, but she is asking that we look for more ways to help families get ahead. in fact, at every moment of economic change throughout our history, this country has taken bold action to adapt to new circumstances. and to make sure that everyone gets a fair shot. we set up worker protections, social security, medicaid, medicare to protect ourselves from the harshest adversity. we give our citizens schools, colleges, infrastructure, internet. the tools to let their dreams take them as far as they can. the idea that this country does a best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share.
everyone plays by the same set of rules. [ applause ] we don't just want everyone to share in america's success, we want everyone to contribute to our success. [ applause ] >> so what does middle class economics require in our time? first, middle class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change. that means helping folks afford child care, college, health care, a home, retirement. my budget will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year. here is one example. during world war ii, when men like my father went off to war, having women like my mother in
the workforce was a national security priority. this country provided universal child care. in today's economy, when having both parents in the work force is an economic necessity for most families, we need affordable child care more than ever. [ applause ] it's not a "nice to have." it's a "must have." so it is time that we stop treating child care as a side issue. or as a women's issue. and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.
and that is why my plan will make quality child care more available and more affordable for every middle class and low income family for every family in america. creating new slots and a tax cut up to $3,000 per child per year. [ applause ] >> here is another example, today we are the only advanced country on earth that does not guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. 43 million workers have no paid sick leave. 43 million. think about that. and that forces too many parents to make the gut wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home. i will take actions to help states adopt paid leaves on
their own, where it was on the ballot last november, let's put it to a vote right here in washington. send me a bill that gives every worker in america to be able to earn seven days of paid sick leave. it's the right thing to do. [ applause ] of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages. that's why this congress still needs to pass a law to make sure that a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. [ applause ](lñ it is 2015. it is time. we still need to make sure
employees get the overtime they earned. and everyone in this congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, i say this: if you truly believe you can work full time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it. if not, vote to give millions of honest hard working americans a raise. these ideas will not make everybody rich. they won't relieve every hardship. that is not the job of government. to give working families a fair shot, we still need more employers to see beyond next quarter's earnings and realize that investing in their workforce is in their company's long-term interest. we still need laws that strengthen rather than weaken unions and give american workers a voice. but you know -- [ applause ] things like child care and sick leave and equal pay, things like hour mortgage premiums and a
higher minimum wage. these ideas will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families. that is a fact. that is what all of us, republicans and democrats alike were sent here to do. >> second, to make sure that folks keep earning higher wages down the road. we have to do more to help the americans upgrade their skills. america thrived in the 20th century because high school was free. sent g.i.'s to college, create the best workforce in the world. we were ahead of the curve.
but other countries caught on. and in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to up our game and we need to do more. by the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education. we still live in a country where too many bright striving americans are priced out of the education they need. it is not fair to them and it is not smart for our future. that is why i'm sending this congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college to zero. [ applause ]$ñ
keep in mind 40% of our college students choose community college. some are young and starting out. some are older and looking for a better job. some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market. however you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy without a load of debt. understand you have to earn it. you have to keep your grades up and graduate on time. tennessee, a state with d&q republican leadership, and d!
done, and get the job done right, hire a veteran. [ applause ] finally, as we better train our workers, we need the new economy to churn up high wage jobs for our workers to fill. since 2010, america has put more people back to work than europe, japan, and all advanced economies combined. [ applause ] our manufacturers added almost 800,000 new jobs. bedrock sectors like our auto industry are booming. there are millions of americans that work in job that's did not
exist ten years ago. jobs like google and ebay and tesla. we know we want the knew job that's are coming here in america. we know that. [ applause ] and that is why the third part of middle class economics is about building the most competitive economy anywhere. the place where businesses want to locate and hire. 21st century businesses need 21st century structure. ports, faster trains, and the fastest internet. democrats and republicans used to agree on this. so let's set our sites higher than a single oil pipeline, let's pass a bipartisan structure plan that can create more jobs per year and make this country stronger for decades to
come. let's do it and get it done. [ applause ] >> 21st century businesses including small businesses need to sell more american products overseas. today, our businesses export more than ever. and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. as we speak, china wants to write the rules for the world's fastest growing region. that puts our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. why would we let that happen? we should write those rules. we should level the playing field. that's why i'm asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect american workers with strong new trade deals from asia to europe that are not just free, but are also fair. that's the right thing to do. [ applause ]
>> look, i'm the first one to admit -- i'm the first one to admit that past trade deals have not always lived up to the hype. that's why we have gone after countries that break the rules at our expense. but 95% of the world's customers live outside of our borders. we can't close ourselves off from those opportunities. more than half of manufacturing executives say they're actively looking to bring jobs back from china, so let's give them one more reason to get it done. 21st century businesses will align on american science and technology, research and development. i want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to deliver the right medicine at the right time. and some patients with cystic fibrosis, this has reversed a disease once thought
unstoppable. i'm launching a new initiative to help us cure cancer and diabetes, and help us get access to the information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier. we can do this. [ applause ] i intend to protect a free and hope internet that can reach every classroom and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks so the next generation of innovators have the platform to keep shaping or would. i want americans to race for the kinds of discoveries that create
new jobs. makes sunlight into liquid fuel. making prosthetics so a veteran can play catch with his kids again. pushing out into the solar system not just to visit, but to stay. last month we launched a new spacecraft as part of a reenergized space program that will bridge american astronauts to mars. scott kelly is going to begin a year long stay in space. congratulations, captain, make sure you instagram it. we're proud of you. [ applause ]
now the truth is when it comes to issues like infrastructure and basic research, i know there is bipartisan support in this chamber. members of both parties have told me so. where we too often run on to the rocks is how to pay for these investments. as americans we don't mind paying our fair share of taxes as long as everyone else does too. for far too long, lobbiests have rigged the tax code that let some corporations pay nothing and others pay full freight. they have give aways that the super rich don't need and denying a break to middle class families who do. this year we have an opportunity to change that. let's close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad and reward those that invest here in america.
[ applause ] lest use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. let's simplify the system and let a business owner file based on her actual bank statement instead of the number of accountants she can afford. let's close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top 1% to not pay taxes on their accumulated wealth. we can use that to help families afford child care and go to college. we can use it to get a new leg up in the economy and we can achieve that together. [ applause ] helping hard working
families make ends meet, giving them the tools they need for good paying jobs in this new economy. maintaining the conditions of growth and competitiveness. this is where america needs to go. i believe it is where the american people want to go. they will make our economy stronger a year from now, 15 years from now, and deep into the century ahead. of course if there is one thing this new century has taught us, it's that we cannot separate our work here at home from challenges beyond our shores. my first duty as commander and chief is to defend the united states of america. in doing so, the question is not whether america leads in the world, but how. when we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines.
the first response to a challenge is to send in our military, we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts. that's what our enemies want us to do. i believe in a smarter kind of american leadership. we lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy. when we leverage our power with coalition. when we don't let our fears blind us to the opportunity that this new century presents. that is what we're doing right now and around the globe it is making a difference. first, we stand united with people around the world who have
been targeted by terrorists from a school in pakistan to the streets of paris. we will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks and we have the right to act unilaterally. we will takous terrorists because of direct threats to us and our allies. [ applause ] at the same time, we learned some costly lessons over the last 13 years. instead of americans patrolling the valleys of afghanistan. we honor our troop sacrifice by supporting the first democratic transition. instead of sending forces overseas, we're partnering with nations to deny safe haven to terrorists that threaten america. in iraq and syria, american leadership, including our military power, is stopping isil's advance.
instead of being dragged into another ground war, we're in a broad coalition to degrade and destroy this terrorist group. [ applause ] we're also supporting a moderate opposition in syria that can help us in this effort and assisting people everywhere that stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism. this effort will take time. it will require focus. but we will succeed. and tonight, i call on this congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against isil. we need that authority. [ applause ] second, we're demonstrating the power of america's strength and diplomacy. we're upholding the principal that bigger nations can't bully the small by opposing russian
aggression and supporting and assuring our nato allies. [ applause ] last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence with the frontline states, mr. putin's aggression was suggested as a masterful display of strength. today it is america that stands strong and united with our allies while russia is isolated with it's economy in tatters. that is how america leads. not with bluster, but with consistent, steady resolve. [ applause ]
you know in cuba, we're ending a policy that was long past it's expiration date. [ applause ] when what you're doing doesn't work for 50 years, it is time to try something new. [ applause ] and our shift in cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere, and removes a phoney excuse for restrictions in cuba. stands up for democratic values and extends the hands. america should work on ending the embargo as -- for france's sake. diplomacy is the work of small steps. these small steps added up to new hope for the future in cuba. after years in prison, we are
overjoyed that alan gross is back where he belongs. become home, alan. we're glad you're here. [ applause ] our diplomacy with respect to iran, where for the first time in a decade we halted the progress of it's nuclear program and reduced it's stockpile of nuclear material. between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear armed iran.
and it avoids another middle east conflict. there are no guaranties negotiations will succeed and i keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear iran. but new sanctions passed by this congress at this moment in time will all but guaranty diplomacy fails. alienating america from its allies. making it harder to maintain sanctions and ensuring that iran starts up its nuclear program again. it doesn't make sense. that's why i will veto any sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. [ applause ] the american people expect us only to go to war as a last
resort. and i intend to stay true to that wisdom. third, we're looking beyond the issues that have consumed us in the past to shape the coming century. no foreign nation, no hacker should be able to steal our trade secrets or invade the privacy of american families, especially our kids. [ applause ] so we're making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats just as we've done to combat terrorism. tonight i urge this congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks and protect our children's information. that should be a bipartisan effort. [ applause ]
if we don't act, we leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. if we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe. in west africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses, our health care workers are rolling back ebola, saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease. i could not be prouder of them. i thank this congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts. but the job is not yet done, and the world needs to lose this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development and eradicate extreme poverty. in the asia pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure other nations play by the rules in how they trade, how they resolve maritime
disputes. how they participate in meeting common international challenges like nonproliferation in disaster relief. and no challenge, no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. [ applause ] 2014 was the planet's warmest year on record. one year doesn't make a trend, but this does. 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century. i've heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they're not scientists and we don't have enough information to act. well, i'm not a scientist either. but you know what? i know a lot of really good scientists at nasa and at noaa and our major universities and they're all telling us that our
activities are changing the climate. and if we don't act forcefully, we'll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods. and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration and conflict and hunger around the globe. the pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risk to our national security. we should act like it. and that's why -- [ applause ] that's why over the past six years, we've done more than ever to combat climate change from the way we produce energy to the way we use it.
that's why we've set aside more public lands and wanters than any administration in history and why i will not let this history endanger of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. i am determined to make sure that american leadership drives international action. in beijing, we made a historic announcement. the united states will double the pace which we emit carbon pollutions and because the world's two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up and offering hope that this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we've got. and there's one last thing of our leadership, and that's the
example of our values. as americans we respect human dignity, even when we're threatened. which is why i have prohibited torture and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. [ applause ] it's why we speak out against the anti-semitism that's resurfaced in certain parts of the world. it's why we continue to object offensive stereotypes of muslims, the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace. that's why we defend free speech and advocate for political prisoners, or people that are gay, transsexual or transgender. we do these things not only because they're the right things to do, but ultimately they will make us safer.
[ applause ] as americans, we have a profound commitment to justice. so it makes no sense to spend $3 million per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit. since i've been president, we've worked responsibly to cut the population of gitmo in half. now it's time to finish the job, and i will not relent in my determination to jut it down. it is not who we are. it's time to close gitmo. [ applause ] as americans, we cherish our civil liberties. and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries
and industry in our fight against terrorist networks. while some have moved on from debates over our surveillance programs, i have not. as promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard with the recommendation of privacy advocates to increase transparency and build more safe guards against potential abuse. next month we'll issue a report on how we're keeping our promise to keep our country safe. making sure we match our power with diplomacy and use force wisely. building coalitions to meet new challenges and opportunities. leading always with the example of our values. that's what makes us exceptional. that's what keeps us strong. that's why we have to keep striving to hold ourselves to the highest of standards.
our own. you know, just over a decade ago, i gave a speech in boston where i said there was no liberal america or conservative america, or black america nor white america, but a united states of america. i said this because i've seen it in my own life. in a nation that gave someone like me a chance. was i grew up in hawaii, the melting pot of races and customs, because i made illinois my home. the state of small towns, rich farmland, one of the world's great cities. a microcosm of the country where democrats and republicans and independents, good people of every ethnicity and every faith, share certain bedrock values. over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more
than once that my presidency hasn't delivered on this vision. how ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. it's held up as proof, not just of my own flaws, of which there are many, but also as proof that division itself is misguided, naive. that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it. i know how tempting such cynicism may be, but i still think the cynics are wrong. i still believe that we are one people. i still believe that, together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long. [ applause ] i believe this, because over and over in my six years in office,
i have seen america at its best. i've seen the hope of faces of young graduates from new york to california, our newest officers at west point, annapolis, colorado springs, new london. i've mourned with grieving families in tucson and newtown, and boston, west texas, and west virginia. i've watched americans beat back adversity from the gulf coast to the great plains, from midwest assembly lines to mid-atlantic seaboard. i've seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom. across our country. now legal in states that 7 of 10 million americans call home. [ applause ]
so i know the good and optimistic and big hearted generosity of the american people who, every day, live the idea that we are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper. and i know they expect those of us who serve here to set a better example. so the question for those of us here tonight is how we, all of us, can better reflect america's hopes. i've served in congress with many of you. i know many of you well. there are a lot of good people here on both sides of the aisle. many of you have told me that this isn't what you signed up for. arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fund-raising, always looking
over your shoulder and how the base will react to every decision. imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. imagine if we did something different. understand a better politics isn't one where politics abandon their agenda or republicans embrace mine. a better politics is one where we appeal to each over's basic decency instead of our base fears. a better politics is one what we debate without demonizing each other. where we talk issues and values and principals and facts, rather than gotcha moments or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people's daily lives. [ applause ] a politics -- a better politics is one where we spend less time
drowning money into ads that pull us into the gutter, instead lifting young people up with a sense of purpose and possibility. asking them to join in the great mission of building america. if we're going to have arguments, let's have arguments. but let's make the debates worthy of this body and worthy of this country. we still may not agree on a woman's right to choose, but surely we can agree that it's a good thing that teen preg -- pregnancies and abortion are nearing all-time lows. [ applause ] surely we can all see something
of ourselves in the striving young student and agree that no one benefits when a hard-working mom is snatched from her child. and that it's possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and nation of immigrants. i've talked to republicans and democrats about that. it's something that we can share. we may go at it in campaign season, but surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred. that is being denied to too many. and on this 50th anniversary of selma and the passage of the voting rights act, we can come together, democrats and republicans, to make voting easier for every single american. we may have different takes on the events of ferguson and new york. but surely we can understand a father who fears his son can't
walk home without being harassed. surely we can understand a wife that won't rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door of his shift. surely we can agree that for the first time in 40 years, the crime rate and incarceration rate have come down together. and use that as a starting point for democrats and republicans, community leaders and law enforcement, to reform america's criminal justice system so that it protects and serves all of us. [ applause ] that's a better politics. that's how we start rebuilding trust. that's how we move this country forward. that's what the american people want.
that's what they deserve. i have no more campaigns to run. [ applause ] i know, because i won both of them. [ applause ] [ laughter ] my only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one i've had since the day i swore an oath on the steps of this capital, to do what i believe is best for america. if you share the broad vision i outlined tonight, i ask you to join me in the work at hand. if you disagree with parts of it, i hope you'll at least work with me with where you do agree. i commit to every republican here tonight that i will not
only seek out your ideas, i will seek to work with you to make this country stronger. [ applause ] because i want this chamber, i want this city to reflect the truth that for all our blind spots and shortcomings, we are a people with the strength and generosity and spirit to bridge divides, to unite in common effort, to help our neighbors, whether down the street or on the other side of the world. i want our actions to tell every child in every neighborhood, your life matters. and we are committed to improving your life chances, as committed as we are -- i want
the generations to know that we are a people who see our differences as a great gift, that we are a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen. man and woman, young and old, black and white, latino, asian, immigrants, native immigrants, gays, straights. americans with mental illness or physical disability. everybody matters. i want them to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true. that we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states. that we are the united states of america. [ applause ] i want them to grow up in a country where a young mom can sit down and write a let tore a president with a story that sums
up these past six years. it's amazing what you can bounce back from when you have to. we are a strong, tight knit family who's made it through some very, very hard times. my fellow americans, we too are a strong, tight-nit family. we too have made it through some hard times. 15 years into this new century, we are picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and begun again the work of remaking america. we have laid a new foundation, a righter future is ours to write. let's begin this new chapter together and let's start the work right now. thank you. god bless you. god bless this country we love. thank you. [ applause ]
>> president obama in his sixth state of the union. he spoke a great deal tonight about values. he told the personal story of a young couple who had been hard hit by the financial crisis, and managed through hard work and dedication to bounce back. he said, you are the reason i ran for this office. this was a segue to another coined phrase here that the president called middle class economics. an obvious play on the trick of that economics, the phase democrats have placed on republican economics. he singled out child tax cuts of $3,000 per child. mandated paid leave for new parents and also for sick leave. and free tuition for community college. he called for tax reform that closes loopholes and went after
the top 1%, saying raising their taxes will finance the middle class child credit. on terrorism, the president said we reserve the right to act unilaterally and asked for use of force authorization from congress to fight isis. he promoted his new opening to cuba, quoting the pope in support of it. he had alan gross take a stand tonight, take a bow. and on iran, he said new sangions passed by this congress will destroy any chance for success in keeping iran for building nuclear weapons. he then did a lightning round of commitments, calling for action on climate change to protect what he called the only planet we have. he side that he prohibited torture in his administration and restrained his use of drones. he spoke to his opposition to anti-semitism but opposed any ridicule of islam. he said he wanted to close gitmo, as well. he attacked the cynics who knocked his hope to end racial division in the country and the partisan gridlock in washington. he spoke defiantly against those
who refuse to join him in hopes for america. it was clearly a speech about values and what he believes. >> i think that's exactly right. the long focus at the beginning on -- when he called middle class economics, usually presidents save the personal story of a family that's had a hard time to the end. but this time the president put it up front. it seemed to me that the heart of the speech was something that i think he was addressing to people who voted for him, to people who are democratic minded, people who believed in him. he talked about the speech that made him a national figure in 2004, just over a decade he said i gave a speech in boston where there wasn't a liberal america or conservative america, but the united states of america. he said of the past six years, pundits pointed out that my presidency hasn't delivered on
this vision. and then he essentially took on that criticism right in the face. he said, i know how tempting that cynicism may be. i still think the cynics are wrong and he defended that vision over again, saying he had not only lived it, but seen it as president. so for people who voted for him and thought his presidency would and could be a transformative thing, that is the question about his presidency, whether he was able to bring us to a transformative moment in our politics. and by knowing that's how people see him and taking it on -- >> excuse me, i think he made a mistake about cable television. there are a lot of people who hoped and in fact share his hope with regard to the end of racial division and the need for -- the continuing hope for that
aspiration and not all benefited from it. and also about bipartisanship, i think a lot of us believe we have to work together better and he and his republican opponents have to cut deals. i don't think it's fair to say everybody benefits from division. i don't think he watches much cable television, that's his call. >> according to what cable you're talking about. first of all, i think he did try to go back to how we first met him in the 2004 race. and i think it was very wise for him to take on directly the accusations that we are not a united america. but i think he very smartly said there is some common ground. can't we still try to understand certain things that we can agree on. we may look at things
differently. he mentioned ferguson and new york in terms of race, but he talked about the cop's wife who wants her husband to come home. he talked about common ground in terms of women's rights and saying we can all agree on women's health care. so i think he did reach back if the context of, yes, we do have divisions, but even out of those divisions, can we seek this common ground? >> he had a lot of, for lack of a better word, swag. he seemed to be enjoying himself. i have no more campaigns left to run, i know, because i won both of them. it felt forward leaning and incredibly uncowed.
>> he went so far as to repeat the line, we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states, we are the united states of america. that line from the 2004 speech that we all remember. but at the same time, this is a president who has, in fact, relished the practise of politics over the last eight years. i think that this particular moment is, you know, it lends itself back into this figure who is more than just a politician, because he's no longer the guy who has to run another election. >> robert, you said at least in the last few weeks the white house was aiming to a shorter speech. this was the shortest state of the union he's ever given. what did you make of his performance? >> three things struck me. the first was just how much an advantage this president really any president has on a night like this, to be able to fully
set the agenda, to do it with strength and resolve. i was struck in the beginning of the speech when he said he wanted to focus less on a checklist and focus more on the values at stake and the choice before us, which really laid out again, not just making community college free, but why opportunity was important. not about closing tax loopholes and why fairness matters in our economy. and lastly, maybe because i'm a little partial to it, i worked for a guy who was a state senator, barack obama, when he gave that speech in boston. i love that he came back to that part of his introduction to america. i don't know that we're going to change our politics over the next two years. i still know that that speech is the promise how great this country can be, that we can put aside some of those differences and work together for the common
good. >> i think that speech is so important, rachel. he's our first black president, this is going to happen, because i thought it was a uniting speech. >> i remember playing that speech on my radio show the next morning, having to get up and walk around the studio to recalibrate my thinking about democratic politics. >> i think he's more powerful tonight because you have to remember, when we saw him say in 2004, here's a man who had been battered and bruised and he's still saying we should unite. so it gives him new power for a person that has taken his fair shots but saying i still believe what i said in 2004, that we can be bigger than that.
>> what did you think about the speech tonight? >> very good speech. we've all known that president obama is a powerful orator. you consider the collapse of trust in so many of our institutions, so many americans believe the country is on the wrong track, it was a significant effort to convey optimism to the country. taking place under the capitol dome, where maybe the greatest act of optimism in the country, that that dome be completed during the civil war. there were issues for the republicans and democrats to work with the president on. anybody who travels globally comes back into this country sees the disrepair of our infrastructure or airports or ports, our broad band. we need to make significant investments into those places and republicans would be wise to embrace some of these programs, particularly when he talked
about science and technology investment. i was particularly struck by one aspect of the speech where he said in iraq and syria, american leadership is stopping isil's advance. simply not true. an important paragraph, as he talks to the american people about the mentions of the global threat, this was happy talk. this was not attached to reality and the american people and westerners have to understand the dimensions of the threat we're facing and the president would be better served communicating to the american people the magnitude of the challenge that the country is facing as we look at this threat of extremism. >> do you think the republicans will back the republican's call for use of force against isil? >> i think that republicans will back the president's use of force.
the use of force resolution is long overdue. congress can't have it both ways on this. the entire country has to send a message to the world about where we are coming from on this. we were not engaged in a war against isil on behalf of the democratic party or the republican party. they are attacking us as americans. we are attacking our values, our liberties, our western values. i wish there were some paragraphs in the speech where he more dynamically defended the privacy of western values, speech, liberty, all the values that we saw under assault in france. >> he did go there. >> he did go there, but he did not go there -- he talked about isis twice in the speech. he talked about child care seven times. i'm not saying that child care is not an important issue, but it is not an issue of the magnitude of importance that the isis issue and the challenges we face -- >> i'm not sure the american
people need to be lobbied on the importance of isis. what's going to be fascinating is whether or not we have a solid debate about our military action in iraq and syria and the threat of isis. that connection is not self-evident. whether what happened in france, what may have almost happened in belgium, what could potentially happen here, the relationship between the threat that isis poses to the west and the way they're being attacked with these air strikes, that is not self-evident and that's why we need a good debate. that's why everybody is hoping that debate is joined on both sides so at least it's a really good fight. >> a debate and discussion of strategy about it. king abdullah came to washington saying we need a political, military and idealogical strategy to deal with this. when you look at wartime communications, maybe none better than churchill's speech to the english people, it
involves a reckoning of reality, where a great leader talks to the american people honestly about what the country faces and i think he fell short. >> and precisely on that score, the reality is we face nothing on the scope of world war ii. we face nothing on the threat of the size of the nazis or even the soviet empire. to me, this was a very strategic choice, taken by this administration, the rhetoric, with how they deal with what used to be called the global war on terror, which is not to give it the kind of time it gets in cable news and in the press to not allow isis, with slickly produced videos of murder, of the most atrocious kind, that are designed to provoke the u.s. into overreaction, to allow them to dictate the scope and size of the threat we face. they want us to believe, to announce to the world that they are world actors on the scope on the kinds of level of the nazis
in the past. >> at the same time, we have five months of military action, we have thousands of american families who have their family members serving overseas. we are fighting a war, and there's been no democratic decision about it in our government. >> you were talking about how this debate is going to take shape. i think it's going to be interesting to watch how it plays out within the republican party. if you look at the way that rand paul in particular has approached these issues, somebody who is very much apoped to actions in the middle east, i think where he sets himself up versus john mccain and lindsey graham, i think that's going to be very significant in 2016. >> republican senator joni ernst is just about to give the official republican response to the state of union. we're expecting five republican responses tonight. the official response, the spanish response, a tea party republican response, a rand paul republican response, and a ted
cruz republican response. five different republican responses from the opposing party tonight. if nothing else is going to make you feel important, that night. here now is the main one, the official english language one from senator joni ernst. >> good evening. i'm joni ernst. as a mother, a soldier, and a newly elected senator from the great state of iowa, i am proud to speak with you tonight. a few moments ago, we heard the president lay out his vision for the year to come. even if we may not always agree, it's important to hear different points of view in this great country. we appreciate the president sharing his. tonight, though, rather than respond to a speech, i would like to talk about your priorities. i would like to have a
conversation about the new republican congress you just elected, and how we plan to make washington focus on your concerns again. we heard the message you sent in november, loud and clear. and now we're getting to work to change the direction washington has been taking our country. the new republican congress also understands how difficult these past six years have been. from many of us, the economy and the frustration with washington's dysfunction, we felt them every day. we felt them in red oak, the little town in southwest iowa where i grew up and still proud to call home today. as a young girl, i plowed the fields of our family farm. i worked construction with my dad. to save for college, i worked the morning biscuit line at
hardy's. we were raised to live simply, not to waste. it was a lesson my mother taught me every rainy morning. you see, growing up, i had only one good pair of shoes, so on rainy school days, my mom would slip plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry. but i was never embarrassed, because the school bus would be filled with rows and rows of young iowans with bread bags slipped over their feet. our parents may not have had much, but they worked hard for what they did have. these days, though, many families feel like they're working harder and harder with less and less to show for it. not just in red oak, but across the country. we see our neighbors agonized over stagnant wages and lost jobs. we see the hurt caused by canceled health care plans and
higher insurance bills. we see too many moms and dads put their own dreams on hold while growing more fearful about the kind of future that they'll be able to leave to their children. americans have been hurting, but when we demand its solutions, too often washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like obamacare. it's a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions. that's why the new republican majority you elected started by reforming congress to make it function again. and now we're working hard to pass the kind of serious job creation ideas you deserve. one you probably heard about is the keystone jobs bill. president obama has been delaying this bipartisan
infrastructure project for years. even though many members of his party, unions, and a strong majority of americans support. the president's own state department has said keystone's construction could support thousands of jobs and pump billions into our economy and do it with minimal environmental impact. we worked with democrats to pass this bill through the house. we're doing the same now in the senate. president obama will soon have a decision to make. will he sign the bill or block good american jobs? that's a lot we can achieve if we work together. let's tear down trade barriers in places like europe and the pacific. let's sell more of what we make and grow in america over there
so we can boost manufacturing wages and jobs right here at home. let's simplify america's outdated and loophole ridden tax code. republicans think tax filing should be easier for you, not just the well connected. so let's iron out loopholes to lower rates and create jobs, not pay for more government spending. the president has already expressed some support for these kinds of ideas. we're calling on him now to cooperate to pass them. you'll see a lot of serious work in this new congress. some of it will occur where i stand tonight, in the armed services committee room. this is where i'll join committee colleagues, republicans and democrats, to discuss ways to support our exceptional military and its
mission. this is where we'll debate strategies to confront terrorism and a threat posed by al qaeda, isil, and those radicalized by them. we know threats like these can't just be wished away. we've been reminded of terrorism's reach, both at home and abroad. most recently in france and nigeria, but also if places like canada and australia. our hearts go out to all the innocent victims of terrorism, and their loved ones. we can only imagine the depth of their grief. for two decades, i have proudly worn our nation's uniform. today, as a lieutenant colonel in the iowa army national guard, while deployed overseas with some of america's finest men and women, i've seen just how dangerous these kinds of threats can be. the forces of violence and
oppression don't care about the innocent. we need a comprehensive plan to defeat them. we must also honor america's veterans. these men and women have sacrificed so much in defense of our freedoms and our way of life. they deserve nothing less than the benefits they were promised and a quality of care we can all be proud of. these are important issues the new congress plans to address. we'll continue to keep fighting to repeal and place a health care law that's hurt so many hardworking families. we'll work to correct executive overreach. we'll propose ideas that aim to cut wasteful spending and balance the budget, with meaningful reforms, not higher taxes like the president proposed. we'll advance solutions to prevent the kind of cyber
attacks we've seen recently. we'll work to confront iran's nuclear ambitions, and we'll defend life, because protecting our most vulnerable is an important measure of any society. congress is back to work on your behalf, ready to make washington focus on your concerns again. we know america faces big challenges, but history has shown there's nothing our nation and our people can't accomplish. just look at my parents and grandparents. they had very little to call their own, except the sweat on their brow and the dirt on their hands. but they worked. they sacrificed. and they dreamed big dreams for their children and grandchildren. and because they did, an ordinary iowaen like me has had some truly extraordinary opportunities.
because they showed me that you don't need to come from wealth or privilege to make a difference. you just need the freedom to dream big and a whole lot of hard work. the new republican congress you elected is working to make washington understand that, too. and with a little cooperation from the president, we can get washington working again. thank you for allowing me to speak with you tonight. may god bless this great country of ours. the brave americans serving in uniform on our behalf. and you, the hard-working men and women who make the united states of america the greatest nation the world has ever known. >> that's the official republican response from newly elected iowa republican senator
joni ernst. it is a hard thing to do to respond to the state of the union. previous picks by the republican party during the obama era have been -- it's a hard thing to do. we've gone from bobby jindal to -- >> you're being nice. >> there was a time they let mitch daniels do it and he did it from a bat cave. but this one tonight from joni ernst, very earnest, very folksy. >> better than jindal's. >> yes. no awkward walk down a long staircase. >> senator, thank you. the focus of that speech was about one thing, keystone. obviously she thinks that's one place they'll get a majority vote in the senate. where are you on keystone? >> i've always supported keystone, it's just a matter how to move the oil safely in a way that has the least impact on the environment. barges and trains and trucks are a much more dangerous way to move it. but i thought the line that the president had in his speech
tonight was so good. we can do better than one pipeline when it comes to our infrastructure. he hit that point very hard. it's some place we can find agreement, and that is dealing with the fact that we are being far outpaced by developed nations in terms of our investment infrastructure. and our children and grandchildren are going to pay a serious price for it. >> i liked her speech, and she talked about the breadbasket or the bread wrapper on her shoes. i thought a lot of people were going to like that, like when rick santorum was talking about his grandfather's big hands. will the republicans succeed with the populist crowd? >> i don't know. the president proposed a tax cut tonight on most of -- for most of america, and they're supposed to be for tax cuts and they all sat there very stoney during the president's talk about tax cuts
for working people. it seems like to me the president is fighting for the underdog in this country right now, and that's the people who do get their fingernails dirty like joni ernst's parents. the republicans seem to be worried about wall street and dismantling dodd-frank. so i really thought -- i will say that one part of joni ernst's speech that i keep hearing over and over again, they keep saying repeal and replace. has anybody seen replace? >> that's a great question. are they willing to just put up
that wall and say we're going to roll back history on cuba and obamacare, roll back history on same-sex marriage, just roll it all back, are they comfortable with that position going into 2016? >> it's hard to tell right now, chris. time will tell, but it's very disingenuous to keep telling the american people they have a replacement for the health care reform when they refuse to tell us what they are. i can't believe that they've gotten away with it for year after year after year. it's time that -- if they're hiding that "replace" somewhere, it's time for it to come out and say hello. >> it's usually tax credits. thank you so much for coming on tonight.
>> you bet. >> i want to bring in our panel here. i want to ask both of you for your response to the joni ernst response. there were five different republican responses to the state of the union tonight. one spanish and three other tea party responses. what do you make of the republican response tonight, victoria? >> you know, i think she has an incredibly compelling story. her response was very narrative heavy. it's interesting. but where were the specifics? it was totally devoid of anything in terms of details. she said, we're going to reform and the democrats want to raise our taxes. well, what is that reform you're talking about? folksy, cute.
>> michael? >> i think she hit the right tone, that the gop is trying to set going forward in terms of that sort of folksy, chris talked about that type of old cloth republican-ism that we seemed to have moved away from. the specifics are never there. they weren't in the president's speech about how we paid for these programs that he's laid on the table. nor was it in the republican's response. that's what the hard work of governing boils down to. how will these sides come together to deal with the things that the republicans want to do on health care or taxes. >> can i just ask a question? how can you get more specific than i'm going to nail the 1% and pay for the middle class -- >> what is your alternative, if you're talking to a congress that's not going to give you any
of that. >> the point is, michael, he specifically said where he wanted to tax, he specifically talked about tax credits in the middle class. she wonders all up with the bread bags around her feet and said we're going to -- he's not talking about raising taxes with those with bread bags. [ all talking at once ] >> reverend, as you know, it's all connected. just because you think you're going to raise the taxes on this end, that's not going to be some impact, there is. it's trickle down, trickle up, everyone is impacted by tax increases. those very rich are employers and investors, those very rich put down a lot of cash for the middle class. >> you have tax credits for the people she's talking about, if you have incentives in terms of --
>> that's money -- >> she didn't answer that -- >> michael -- >> the president was very -- at least he was saying i want to improve education. he said i'm going to improve education by providing free college tuition for the first two years. >> $60 billion, where is it coming from? the president didn't address the deficit or the $18 trillion debt. >> he's saying -- >> he's still sitting with an $18 trillion debt. >> let's talk to a sitting republican member of congress. president obama did call again tonight in his speech for congress to raise the minimum wage tonight. here's how that sounded. >> and everyone in this congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, i say this -- if you truly believe you can work full-time and support a family
on less than $15,000 a year, try it. [ applause ]
>> another generality. the guy is all over the place. he was totally specific, michael. >> our next guest tweeted this, obama just claimed you can't raise a family on $7.25 an hour. news flash, you can't do it on $10.10 either. that was from congressman aaron schock, republican from illinois. thank you for being here in person instead of just on twitter. >> thank you for having me on. the point i'm trying to make is artificially raising the cost of labor is not the way to raise people out of poverty and give them a living wage. i'm somebody who started out on minimum wage and slowly moved my way up the economic ladder. the minimum wage has always been
that in our country, it's been the starting wage. the good thing is most people on minimum wage are younger than me. there are many first-time workers who are starting their careers, who are needing training on the job. and what we need to do here in congress and federal government is to do those trade agreements that the president talked about, do tax reform to make america more competitive. get the boot off the neck of job creators and incomes will rise and the economy will grow. that's how people move up the economic ladder, not just artificially raising the cost of labor. >> congressman, if it was only trainees and teenagers who were making minimum wage, i think your argument would be one that would carry the day. part of raising the minimum wage is so popular across the country, even among republicans, is because of the blank fact that it is actually, contrary to your tweet, easier to live on
$10.10 an hour than it is to live on $7.25 an hour. and there isn't any evidence that raising the minimum wage has a negative impact on job growth. >> it's easy to live on $25 an hour, it's easier to live on $30 an hour. let's raise it to $50. the argument doesn't fit the argument that -- whether you're making $10 in peoria, illinois. you don't have to be in new york city. if you live in illinois and making $15 an hour, you're not sustaining a family on that. and we need higher wages than minimum wage and we need an economy that's creating more head of household jobs. right now in this economy, we have more unemployed adults at this period in our country's history than any other time. so that's what we need to be
concerned about. and work on that. on a positive note, there are things in the president's speech that we can work on. that's where i'm walking out of the chamber tonight, committed on finding those areas of common ground and championing those areas. tomorrow we meet with the trade ambassador. if you level the playing field in those 11 asian countries, represent 40% of the world's gdp. the president said 95% of the world's customers are outside our country's boundaries. the farmers and manufacturers in my district need access to those markets. infrastructure, he talked about infrastructure -- >> the president tonight called for a tax credit of $3,000 for people per child. it always seemed to be a relatively conservative argument, because you're
encouraging child rearing and he's saying i'll pay for that by going after the top 1%. how do you fight that argument with middle class people? there are few people in your district who are 1% people. so how do you say i can't stand this president's idea of shifting money to the people that make less than the 1%. >> because my voters don't believe in income redistribution. that's what the president talked about tonight. he talked about raising taxes on higher income earners. >> wait a minute, i never heard a republican say a tax cut is giving people money. those people earned the money. they may earn $30,000 a year, and if they give a $3,000 credit, that's not giving them money but tax relief. why did you shift the vocabulary there? if you're giving somebody a tax
break, are you saying that's giving them money? >> you're asking about how the president is proposing paying for tax cuts. as you know, democrats always make the argument that you have to pay for tax cuts. that's not an argument republicans make. we believe we should lower taxes on everyone. i know you don't like to hear this, but we're the only body to put forward a tax proposal that fits the president's stated goal. the president has said he wants to lower the corporate tax rate to 25% to keep american businesses from leaving. >> a lot of people would like to see lower rates. >> only house republicans have put out a plan to do that. those are areas of common ground that we can work on to accomplish goals that the president has and the congress has. >> i'm just trying to listen carefully, congress. you've called for a tax cut for the top 1% to go along with the
tax child cut -- >> i didn't call for a tax cut. >> you said you wanted the same tax cut across the board. >> i said we need to get rid of the loopholes and -- >> let's roll the tape. >> we need to lower the rate for everyone. >> you want to lower the rate for the top 1%, for everyone. you just said it again. >> that's what you do when you get rid of loopholes and deductions in the code. that's what the president said he wants to do and what i want to do. the only difference is i got a man to do it. >> i've never heard a republican say giving somebody a tax break is giving them money when they started with the money by earning it. congressman, thank you for coming on. >> i'm glad that we agree that people deserve tax cuts. >> that's very generous of you to let me have my money back. that's a republican value.
>> good to be with you. >> that's a good argument, because the reason minimum wage sells politically, there are more people that are wage earners than employers. >> minimum wage goes up, nothing bad happens. >> most people earn. the woman behind the counter said thank you for what you've done for minimum wage, assuming i was for it. so she was talking about minimum wage and what it meant to her. it's not just teenagers and summer jobs. >> i'm going to say that i think a minimum wage hike is possible at the federal level. i don't think it will go to $10.10. but george w. bush signed an increase in minimum wage. one thing that's happened is this president has been talking about raising the minimum wage for the past few years, but they've not been doing it at the federal level, but it's been resonating in blue states around the country and now we're living through this experience where
there are place where is minimum wage has gone up and they have had better job growth than the maces next door. we've got these natural experiments happening in states and cities all over the country. it's good economics. i think that reality is going to push this congress to doing it. >> i think it's a gimme for the gop. most businesses have already baked in those costs. they've already figured that out. the business people i talk to around the people aren't panicking over this idea, because it's already baked in. in most cases they're already trying to improve on that number any way. so this is a potential gimme for the gop. >> joining us right now is congressman from texas. he tweeted about ana zamora
tonight, tweeting president obama perverts prosecuteorial discretion by inviting a deportable to sit in place of honor with first lady. what do you think of this shot? >> it's unfortunate. she is as american as you and i and congressman steve king is one of those inflammatory voices in the republican party that has a lot of influence over the republican conference right now. but this was a chance for the president and first lady to showcase a dream act student who has a bright future in this country if we can pass comprehensive immigration report. >> what is his thing with
cantaloupes? then there's the other guy out there from the midwest who shot cantaloupes, something to do with the clinton problems. what is it about that fruit that focuses their attention? s >> you're going to have to ask steve king about that. >> what is the story on these guys? any way. >> i think that he's very much a hard right person on immigration. he's not a very constructive voice. there is a spectrum of opinion how how to handle the issue of immigration. there are also voices in the republican party that sew anger and fear and unfortunately, that's steve king. >> i have to ask you about your identical twin brother.
is either one of you going to be on the ticket with hillary clinton? >> i know it's not going to be me. i'll be glad to let him do it and support him. it was special to be on the floor with him tonight. he had a much better seat than i did, but i went down to say hello. >> congressman, we just talked with congressman schock from illinois. he suggested -- he brought up unprompted infrastructure, tax reform, trade and we interrupted him when he was saying the fourth thing. he feels like there's room between house republicans, obviously they sort of run the house with an iron fist under the republican leadership there. house republicans and the president, common ground, things they can do together. is that happy talk or is that
possible from your perspective? >> i'm optimistic there are things we can do together. this is a congress that the nation elected and this is a president the nation elected. one of the areas we should go to right away is criminal justice reform. especially because of the incidents in new york and in ferguson and in other communities, i think it's an issue we should tackle right away. tax reform also. i know that the president has talked about trade with democrats. of course, that's going to be a tough sell. he's got to extend his hand, which he did tonight. and hopefully republicans will off theirs, as well. >> congressman castro, thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you. >> i want to spring in senator cane, independent senator from maine. the president's speech was very specific in his talk about
middle class economics. it was also emotional when he talked about abandoning cynicism. the president was also very specific tonight on some national security and foreign policy issues. what was your take on the president's call for an authorization for the use of military force against isis and do you think the congress and the senate specifically can come to something that you all will agree on that? >> i think so. the first thing i will say is we should do this. we've been pushing for this since last summer as a matter of fact. i think the obligation is on the president to come forth with some language. he said he was going to do that last week. so we're looking for what he thinks his authority should be, what the limits should be.
but it's past due time for congress to step up and take a role. i think it's going to be very interesting, because a lot of people talk about beating our chests about congressional prerogative, but they really want to duck it when it comes time to make this decision. so it will be interesting to see whether congress accepts what i think is their responsibility to define what our role is and not let this power of making war just entirely devolve on the president. >> one of the things that tends to happen in the last two years of a two-term presidency, they always have a congress controlled by the other party and you get some strange bedfellows. you get republicans willing to work with a democratic president. on this isis issue and some of these other acute international issues in particular, is it
possible we'll see some republicans making common cause with president obama and the way they haven't been willing to before? >> i think on some of those issues, on trade, i think you'll see a lot of bipartisan support. probably more republican support on the trade issue than on the democratic side. on the international relations side, there will be a lot of common ground. it should be waning at this point. i thought one of the funniest moments is when he said i'm not running again and the republican s started to applaud. but he said, i won the two times i did run, that was a good retrieval on his part i thought. so i think you're going to see some of that. you'll see some bipartisan work on budget stuff and trying to solve the sequester, which is looming in the next fiscal year. so i'm optimistic myself. i thought the president's speech
was very interesting for a state of the union. it wasn't the usual laundry list of proposals. he had some broad themes and then the last part where he talked about who we are as a this, we're going to do that. he talked about who we are as a people and values and the basic fundamental values of trying to work together to solve problems. i thought it was pretty strong. i thought the last 25% of the speech particularly was very thoughtful and a kind of departure from past state of the unions. >> angus king independent senator from maine. he literally is senator. thank you so much. >> glad to be here. >> president speaking within the past hour. his address tonight was almost exactly one hour long. this was the shortest obama state of the union, at least in terms of sheer word count.
quote quote quote
it also revealed the heart of his approach now that republicans control both chambers of congress and do so with majorities. president obama began by trumpeting the administration's achievements by the recovering economy at home and the thawing diplomatic relations with cuba. he called out republicans and critics in the beltway who said his approach were destined to fail. >> in the past year
alone about 10 million uninsured americans finally gained the security of health coverage. and every step we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious. that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. instead, we've seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade. our deficits cut by 2/3. a stock market that has doubled and health care inflation at its
lowest rate in 50 years. [ applause ] this is good
news people. [ laughter ] >> this is good news people and the big smile. that was an ad lib. which we know in part because the white house took the unprecedented step of releasing the entire text of the president's planned remarks. so everybody could follow along as they read. in terms of specific agenda items, the president, as expected called for a new tax credit for child care increased taxes for the top 1% and increase in the minimum wage as he has done in previous state of the unions. the president called on congress to authorize the use of military force against isis. more than this this was a
quote quote quote quote
speech about an agenda. more than that it was a statement about his values as a democrat and as the leader of the
nation. the president went back to his own famous first national speech from 2004 harking back to that vision of an america that can do great things. >> you know just over a decade ago, i gave a speech in boston where i said there wasn't a liberal america or a conservative america, black america or white america but a united states of america. i said this because i had seen it in my own life. in a nation that gave someone like me a chance. for the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency hasn't delivered on this vision. how ironic they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. it's held up as proof not just
at my own flaws, of
which there are many but also proof that the vision itself is misguided, naive. that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it. i know how tempting such cynicism may be. but i still think the cynics are wrong. i still believe that we are one people. i still believe that together we can do great things even when the odds are long. >> almost immediately after the president's speech tonight, we got what has become the now, i guess, traditional, traditional for the obama era, what they now do which is a multipart republican party responses. there were five responses tonight. freshman senator joni ernst of iowa delivered the official
english language response to the president's speech. freshman congressman carlos car bellow of florida delivered the spanish language to the republican speech and an official tea party response to the republican response. that was from a congressman from florida. senator rand paul you see here delivered the rand paul republican response to the tea party response to the republican response. and texas senator ted cruz delivered the ted cruz republican response to the rand paul republican response to the tea party response to the republican response and ted cruz said he'll be sending his response around by e-mail. the take away from the main event, from the president's speech tonight is not just that the president is setting himself up for the next two years and with a legislative agenda that he can explain and put details on. i think one of the big takeaways from the speech tonight is what
chris hayes first identified in his first remarks after the president stopped speaking tonight. not only is the president defining himself as somebody who is still relevant in washington that president obama mostly through his ad libs and attitude defined himself tonight just frankly as someone with swagger as a player. not just a lame duck president, but a player in washington who is both deserving of respect, worthy of respect and who expects your respect. >> i have no more campaigns to run. my only agenda -- i know because i won both of them. [ applause ]
>> whereupon the mitt romney presidency poofed into -- sorry. that was probably the line of the night. it set the stage for a fascinating next couple of years. joining us now is andrea mitchell. andrea looking at the speech overall and specifically in your area of focus, which is foreign affairs, what stood out to you the most about the president's speech tonight? >> i think he knows that he has support. 60% in our "wall street journal" poll only 30% opposing. for the cuba normalization process. while there will be a lot of criticism and pushback from people on the hill and republican party and some menendez democrats, i think he feels strong support for that. also on foreign policy he presented a very policy and dare say rosie picture of the so-called picture against isil or isis in syria and iraq.
we're hard-pressed richard engel has been reporting tonight and i as well hard to see the congress they claim. perhaps there's more stability in iraq. you have a government there. certainly not the syrian free army and certainly not progress against assad or against isis certainly, in syria. so the civil war rages on. we are seeing an explosion of anger around the muslim world at "charlie hebdo" and at perceived anti-muslim sentiment. things are in a pretty dire straight. it's hard to see the progress that the president talked about there. but that said i think his economic message is perfectly calibrated for where the american people are and including some republicans. they're not going to disagree about the wage disparity. they're not going to be able to oppose the child credits.
that is going to probably pass. i think that there is going to be broad support for that. it's not just that it's poll tested. according to white house officials and if you look back these are his values. i saw especially in that ad lib, i know because i won both of them, a feisty confident, not lame duck president. i agree completely with chris hayes and your take. he wants to get stuff done. we were over at a briefing today and talking to people inside the white house. they do not see their time running out so much asseting an agenda for 2016. hillary clinton tweeting as she did on friday night along the same themes which is a move of her own economic positioning. and i think this president is setting up a democratic platform and that will be his legacy if he can help the democratic nominee and necessity do presume it's going to be hillary clinton, even though she hasn't
formally declared she's already signed up some of the operatives from his last campaign. they think that winning the white house, which would be a third democratic term is going to be his lasting legacy. >> andrea, giving a state of the union is like having your own tv show for a couple of hours once a year. he gets -- because i kept thinking tonight that there's a real world out there. that he didn't really talk about. perhaps the overambitious notions where we stood with isil, the islamic state. that's what they call themselves. the two japanese people with no guilt on their shoulders staring there out in the desert who are going to be apparently decapitated. that reality, what's going on in nigeria is reality. how close was the president to reality overall, globally tonight? >> i think that on foreign policy his projection of
success against terrorism and against isis in particular as i said, is not close to reality. they have not come up with a strategy and they've built a global coalition. but again, he talked about ukraine and putin being isolated. yes putin is isolated economically, the falling oil prices have hammered his economy. but at the same time there's renewed fighting and we haven't figured out ukraine or how the nato alliance can push back. sanctions have not really worked. ukraine is going to neat more weaponry. they have not reached that point. you're right, chris, it doesn't match the reality, but on the domestic economic front, i think the president laid out a message that will be far more popular outside the hall than inside. he didn't have the resounding cries and ovations that he's had when there are more democrats in the house. he didn't have the waves of applause. it was a very quiet chamber, but
it's still a better platform than republicans than the opposition party can have without having that platform. people were writing, why doesn't he deliver a message in writing? why does he go up there and do it? because that chamber is the greatest platform the greatest stage for anyone and he's speaking to a much wider audience, he's speaking to the international community. >> thachx thanks andrea. let's bring in ed schultz. we spoke about another american fight over trade. it's not the front burner issue but it is with working people in the industries and manufacturing trades. >> well, chris, as i predicted the first 20 25 minutes of the speech was there's a lot of good news out there, people. that was really what the president was trying to get across. undeniable numbers that are out there that the republicans, they're not only climate
deniers, they're economic deniers. this trade deal is bad for american wages, it's going to depress wages. the democrats are concerned about it. but they're in the 11th hour right now. they're not sure they can stop it. for some reason the president who is out to help the middle class is going to venture into a trade deal. yes, we're going to export more but we're going to import more. this idea that wages are higher in other countries, that may be true. why do we need a trade deal with vietnam? because we want to get along with them. there's no upside. >> why is the president doing it? >> i think it's a wall street deal. there's so much pressure to get the deal done. it's been done in secret. members of congress demanded the details of it and they can't get it. look, the president was vague on it again tonight, which is exactly what members on the democratic party thought would happen. >> chris hayes -- >> you've covered this probably more than anyone to your great
credit. i couldn't help but kind of shake my head in amused admiration at the description of the trade authority in the speech where he basically says china wants to write the rules, so we're going to write the rules instead to protect the workers. it sound good but far removed from the actual way the mechanics would happen. >> we are giving away a manufacturing sector of our economy in what the conservatives call it and the republicans call it emerging markets. an emerging market is somebody on the other side of the globe that will work for near nothing. the investment is over there, not here. labor is concerned about this. there's one other thing i do want to say about tonight. i thought the president was magnificent. as much as he's been obstructed as much as the republicans have thrown no at him, party of no this man was up there the last 15 minutes tonight pleading pleading with the congress to do something for the american people. trying to appeal to their greater sensibilities of doing
something for the country. i thought that was a very profound moment for the president. now, as far as the rebuttal is concerned, there's a real fraud being played on the american people from the republicans. joni ernst did this commercial about castrating a pig. she's trying to put lipstick on a pig called keystone. let me set the record straight tonight, folks. listen to what i say. this pipeline whether the president approves it or not, the senate can vote 100 times on it. the house can vote 100 times on it. it's not going to be built for at least two years because of the lawsuit that was filed on friday. what happened is the landowners and a lot of them are republican, i'm going to be in nebraska on saturday doing this story. this is now a property rights issue, an eminent domain issue. for the republicans to pin this on the president for not doing a jobs package on keystone is frat-out fraudulent. they're not doing their homework or lying to the american people
or don't understand the legal process of this at all. there are landowners in the middle of the country who are saying we're not letting them bring the dirtiest oil across our land into an aquifer. the president hasn't made a decision because he knows the law better than the republicans do. for joni ernst to talk about 42,000 jobs and this is a jobs packet, all the president has to do is sign off on it she's lying. >> bottom line before you leave. will there be a keystone pipeline running through the united states? will it happen eventually? >> maybe. but it's not going to happen during obama's years. >> ed schultz, thank you for your time ed. good to have you here. it is interesting. we had the whole setup from joni ernst about how republicans aren't just republican talking points or gimmicks or real programs. that's why we need the keystone jobs bill. permanent number of jobs from keystone would be --
>> 35. >> without any zeros after it. >> 35. >> i can't tell if i'm reading too much into this. in the speech when he talked about the pipeline give -- i couldn't tell if he was floating a deal if he was basically saying if this is part of an infrastructure bill. i couldn't tell if that was showing a little leg there or overreading the section. >> he's been showing leg on the keystone pipeline all along. >> that's right. >> you know yes, he says he'll veto the bill because the process hasn't continued. do you think in his heart of hearts that he's adamantly overreaching -- >> no. although his rhetoric is more skeptical in the past five months. >> it's one of the biggest bargaining chips he has working with this republican congress. if there's a bill he wants to pass himself, he can throw that in there >> the value of it he's been helped by the -- the value of the bargaining chip has gone up and up.
>> let's talk to a democratic senator in favor of keystone joe mansion -- >> hey, rachel. how are you? >> great. i'm very good. i was interested tonight on two things on which you have very strong opinions and been blunt. one is about the end of the war in afghanistan. >> absolutely. >> your feelings about american involvement in the middle east and overseas. also this issue about keystone. you have been a booster of this you voted for t you think the president ought to approve it. do you feel you know what's going to happen on this issue in the senate and overall? >> i've been listening to ed and all of you speaking. i respect everyone's position on this. i just look at the facts, raich 'em. the bottom line is we buy about 7 million barrels of crude oil a day. about 800,000 barrels from venezuela, which is a heavy crude such as the keystone.
we buy 1.3 million from saudi arabia. we buy from russia. it makes common sense to me and west virginiaians i'd rather by from our friends who won't hold us hostage. it will be built sooner or later. i know that. i don't think this is about the pipeline. i think the people opposing the extraction of the oil sands, if you will. you know i don't know. canada is a sovereign nation. they're going to produce it and sell it somewhere in the world. there will be a demand for it. we're putting amendments in there, make sure we don't ship the oil off shore. basically, any oil that comes to america comes under the jurisdiction of the commerce department. there's things we can do to make it better. if people are against it, they'll be against it. i respectfully disagree. >> senator, does it give you pause when we have pipeline
accidents like over the weekend in yellowstone river in montana that's close to the keystone route. that was not a pipeline that was seen at very high risk. in glenn dive montana, tonight, they're drinking bottled water and they don't know how much has been destroyed. are you worried that all that -- we're essentially selling the safety of this country, putting very important aquifers at risk essentially to help canadian companies get their stuff to the world market at no real benefit to america? >> we respectfully disagree on the benefit to america. any time we have more security and independence from foreign oil, we'll be more secure and might not take us to places such as afghanistan and iraq and syria, which i don't believe we should be. i've been very clear about that. as far as the concerns, absolutely i'm concerned. i'm concerned about all of the rail traffic that comes out when you see it blowing up and you see a train go and a tanker blow
up and all the different things that happen and basically i also see that when you have a pipeline such as antarctica up in alaska they've been able to do that and have a tremendous safety record there. so we have to be vigilant about these things we truly do. i understand that. but we have hundreds of thousands of miles of pipeline throughout america now. i mean we have it everywhere. we're buying 2.5 million barrels a day from canada already. it's not something new. it's not something that's never been done. if there's another energy that's commercial hydrogen and we don't need anything but water that day may come sometime. that would be great. right now we have to do everything we can to be energy independent. >> it's no secret that issues like the keystone pipeline and plenty of other things that senator mcconnell as the new majority leader will need senators like to you break filibusters on legislation he wants to put through.
i'm curious, how many conversations have you had with him about things he wants to do and have you heard from the president personally? has he tried to reach out to you to convince you that you should stick with the home team and the democratic party? >> well, i have not heard from the president. and i have had a few conversations with mitch mcconnell and some of the leadership along with the democratic leadership. i think people know casey, that i'm pretty much right in the middle. i'm looking at the policy not the politics. when they talk about the home team that's truly america. let's start doing something for the united states of america. i've always said that. and i'm not going to vote if they're clear to far right and off the cliff, that's not me. the bottom line is can we find a compromise to move good policy forward? i'm always going to look for that position. and i'm going to be probably one of the people they come to consistently. they're going to know they're not to be reasonable and not be extreme. >> senator, do you see any reason to believe that the
president is going to change his position overall in how he's dealt with congress? he's been pretty hands-off. >> well it started out to where the speech started out to where i had a lot of hope and then it got down to the points -- i would have loved to see -- i know he has a sense much humor and i would have loved to see when he said i can't run, this is my last election my last office, i can't run anymore and he kind of smiled. wouldn't it have been great to say come on guys, that deserves a standing ovation. i think that would have been a real light moment and loosen people up a little bit. i think the response they got was a little bit pointed, maybe. it is what it is. i'm looking for the policies. i'm not going to judge. he makes a great speech. he has great delivery. i don't think anybody can take that away from him. >> thank you very much senator joe manchin of west virginia. you're a great guy to keep an eye on. you are an independent.
let's bring in chuck todd, moderator of meet the press. even though -- it was programmatic. child credit $3,000 community college, all the stuff that was rolled out before. all the things that rachel pointed out. powerful reassertion about america and its chances and it's moving toward a post racial, end of racial discrimination or racial differences. of course, another double downing on the fact he thinks washington can actually work it won't be blue state and red state against each other. what do you make in terms of hard news in the next week or so. >> i feel like eve gotten the headlines out of the way. i'm glad you focused this way. i'm curious your thoughts too. i thought it was almost like president obama doing a victory lap, not just talking about the
economy but it was defending his foreign policy views even with pointed jabs at his critics without naming them. pretty much i think every television network cut away to john mccain when he mentioned the vladimir putin line. of course the ending with what you were just mentioning about our broken politics. some of it struck me as defensive on his part basically saying hey, i've made my effort i want to see all of washington do better. we've got to be able to rise from this. but when you put the whole thing together, chris, it feels as if this was a president who realized oddly this was his last state of the union. the one a year from now will be in the heat of the presidential campaign and it will be an odd interruption while we're covering iowa new hampshire and south carolina and it interrupt things for a day and a half and fades away. it's almost as if the
president's team acknowledged that okay make in your statement state of the union, the final one, the agenda you want to be remembered for and the big picture items that you want to defend yourself from for the history books. >> i'm worrying about what's coming down. the fight over the use of military force in fighting isis. you got people like menendez out there on a rand hawkish. i fear what could be done in the amendment process on both sides. this could be expanded into another wide attack on islam and tying the president's hands. i don't know whether congress can actually micro manage a war. it seems like that's where we're headed. micro managing what use of force, on the ground, how many boots on the ground how many support soldiers. all those -- when do we use drones. i'm worrying about this and when will they get out of the thicket once they get into it? >> there's not much that i feel will make it through this
congress. but one of the asks is a new war authorization. i suspect that will show up. i'm more optimistic than you are, chris. i think you have a bob corker and the president's national security team they have a very good working relationship. arguably better working relationship than the leading democrat in foreign relations in the senate. the white house also made it clear in talking to folks that they're going to throw up some suggestions of how they would word it, which is something a lot of republicans want to do. if the things you're worried about, chris, there's enough sort of concern -- there's enough republicans and democrats, i think, who will come together who are concerned about giving too much authority into this. there seems to be a collective majority working majority that wants some sort of limited war authorization that i think will end up making it through. i think corker is the right guy to get it done. i think president obama and corker together can make this happen. >> the other chris wants in
here. >> just two things on this war authorization. i have to say this on the substance. it's untenable. it's one thing to say we need authorization, going to go to congress and get it. it's another continuing to say cover us legally and we're doing something within the law. it's a hard thing to say we don't need authorization but we want authorization. if what you're doing is legal under two authorization of force -- if you want authorize sfwlags, why do you want it? the legal status of what this is is very unclear. >> that's a -- back up one step chris, and say to say that we already have the authority from a resolution that does not mention the word syria, for example. >> sure. but just so everyone is clear, is the belief that the legal finding of this white house that the phrase associated forces in the original one includes the groups we're bombing as of this moment including isis.
>> ad lib tonight when he said we need this -- it wasn't in the script. >> those are dangerous. i hope it doesn't include the word iran. thank you, chuck todd. i love your optimism as always sir. we'll be back with more and richard engel will join us from istanbul. it is going to be the big topic i think. our strategist will rejoin us steve schmidt and robert gibbs. this is msnbc's coverage of the state of the union. >> at this moment with the growing economy, shrinking deficits bustling industry booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on earth.
i call on
this congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against isis. we need that authority. >> president obama "we need that authority." joining us now is richard engel from istanbul. nbc news chief correspond penitentiary. richard, great to have you with us. were you able to see the speech from turkey and what did you think of the president's remarks tonight? >> i don't understand why he says they need that authority. the u.s. is already launching a war against isis. >> right. >> there is a war that is going on every single day that we are watching, we are depending on his releasing aerial and drone footage of the bombs that are exploding. so is it about money? are they talking about money? is it about increasing the air campaign? so i'm not sure what he's talking about, we are already in a war that, according to
military officials, kills about 1,000 members of isis every single month. they manage to replace their ranks. >> in terms of the president's call tonight, he didn't talk in a huge amount of detail about the threat posed by isis or the connection between that military fight in iraq and syria, and how it relates to the threat of global terrorism like we saw in france and threatened across europe over the past couple of weeks. if there is an authorization for the use of military force and debate in washington, if that does happen, what do you think needs to be sort of input into that debate in terms of the reality on the ground, in terms of what the real fight against isis is like, and how american military forces are effective or not thus far? >> well, i'll try to answer you. i've got a little bit of a cold here that just kicked in as you were speaking. >> you are free to cough. it's cable.
>> i was coughing. it came over me. i will try and answer you. >> this goes back to the conversation i think you were having earlier, chris was having earlier with andrea mitchell. it seems that the rose-colored glasses through which he was viewing the foreign policy were so rose-colored that i think they don't even reflect the world that we're living in. he said at one stage that american leadership, including our military power, is stopping isil's advance. it didn't look that way in paris. it looked like isis was doing well. it didn't look that way -- i'm not going to be able to finish this -- with this new video that was released today with the japanese hostages. it doesn't look that way in syria. isis is doing very well, and the strategy is completely disjointed. so to sell that as a big success i think was missing the point. maybe even disingenuous.
instead, he said the president i'm quoting, of getting dragged into another ground war in the middle east, we are leading a broad coalition to degrade and destroy isil. first of all, 80% or more of the air strikes that are taking place now are by the u.s., and the u.s. is getting drawn back into a ground war with about 2,000 troops, another 1,000 on their way to iraq. and with that, i'm going to have to drink some water. >> we love you. >> get some water. poor guy. keep him up in the middle of the night and then submit him -- >> that's what i was thinking. richard engel, i think he's the best foreign reporter in the country right now, maybe the world. join us now, republican senator from north dakota. it was interesting that the republican response given by the new senator, joni ernst of iowa
really had one hard specific, keystone keystone. is this going to be an iconic fight that will be waged for the next couple of years? i think your side will win it but why is it such an important issue for republicans and some of the democrats, what is the hard case that we haven't really heard? >> it's about building an energy plan that makes us energy secure, meaning we produce more energy here at home and working with canada. produce more oil and gas here at home, so we don't have to get it from opec. and you see the benefit right now at the pump with lower gas prices, huge benefit to consumers and the economy. it's also a national security issue. we can't continue to rely on places in the middle east like opec and venezuela. for our oil and gas. >> i understand the argument, but isn't it a pipeline through the united states, not to the united states? it goes on to the world market. down to the gulf and to the world. we can bid for it at the world price, but it's canadian oil
being sold to the world. isn't that the case? >> no, if you look at the environmental impact statement, which was prepared by the obama administration it indicates the oil will be used here and it goes to refineries, to the just on the gulf coast, but also in illinois, and remember, this isn't just about moving canadian crude, it moves domestic crude from states like mine north dakota and montana. chris hayes, go ahead. >> senator, do you have any concerns about this sort of sustainability of the oil boom in your state and the tar sand if we continue to see oil at this price? the saudis said they're willing to deal with oil at this price, where they're clearing a profit and in the tar sands very soon. how long can the north dakota oil industry survive oil at this price? >> so you're making a really important point here with that question. opec right now is trying to shut
us down. they see us gaining energy independence. they don't want that. that's what they're doing. they're trying to undermine our efforts with canada so they can reassert their market dominance. that's why it's important to produce more oil and gas, as well as other kinds of energy, including renewables. >> isn't it a problem if there's continued investment and they're willing to go at this price level for a very long period of time? >> no, if we have the right kind of business, we can compete and win this fight. >> is this a case of predatory price cutting by the saudis? >> that's exactly what it is. they are undercutting to try to reassert their market dominance. >> so when we say a little more than $2 for regular, that's a function entirely of the saudis. you're saying they're doing this
as a favor to us on the surface to screw us in terms of energy independence? i'm saying there's a number of aspects to it. they certainly want to reduce that price to affect iran and russia. but at the same time, they know they have to maintain their market share so they can continue to set that price. so it affects us, as well and we're part of that strategy. but we can continue our industry if we do it with the right infrastructure and the right kind of investment climate. that also helps us invest in new technologies that produce better environmental storage. including things like carbon capture and storage. >> senator, thanks for being with us tonight. this has been great to talk to you about. really appreciate it, sir. >> thank you. >> i want to bring in one other aspect of the president's speech that is getting a lot of attention. particularly online. which is the president's brief but pointed mention tonight about the protests that have taken place across the country and the issue of police violence
and the way they've been responded to in the country. watch. >> we may have different takes on the events of ferguson and new york, but surely we can understand a father who
fears his son can't walk home without being harassed. and surely we can understand the wife who won't rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift. >> president obama went on to say, surely we can agree it's a good thing that for the first time in 40 years that the crime rate and incarceration rate have come down together and used that as a starting point for democrats and republicans to reform the criminal justice system. so it protects and serve us all. that was the total remarks on that issue that's been a flash point in this country. >> it has been. i've heard from a couple of people who wished it had been a
paragraph rather than a sentence. after all, it's something we have been focused on. it dominated the news for months in this country. you know, i guess two lines about that, i certainly think he could have and perhaps should have gone deeper into the subject, knowing that whatever he says about race, whatever this president says about race is misconstrued, it is polarizing, and that's just a fact. it's just the way it is. >> do you think the president has let attorney general eric holder not just take on these issues but talk about these issues and physically be present at some of these flash points not just because of eric holder's interest in this as a subject, but also so he can be a heat shield, so these issues can be identified with him instead of the president. i think it's a combination of things.
eric holder is his own man. he serves at the pleasure of the president. but these are issues he cares passionately about. >> it has to be both of their decisions. look, president obama can't comment on henry lewis' arrest without this huge hoo-ha about something that was simple and frankly trivial. so imagine his going to ferguson and how that would be construed and misconstrued, often deliberately by some people. it's just -- part of this just comes with the territory of being the first black president. being the first black anything is fraught. used to say, this is fraught with fraught. it's just fraught. and you add to that this, you know, tactic of just opposing
anything the president does and the way people have sort of -- made a business model of opposition to the president based on distortion of what he actually said. >> i think to that overall point that you're making, it's interesting and instructive that the white house put out word today that president obama will be going to the 50th anniversary of the selma march in march this year. they put out word about that and he did not talk about it in the speech. he mentioned selma. >> he did mention the 50th anniversary. >> did you notice the way the clip you showed how he balanced the concern of african-american parents and their kids on the street being harassed on the street. didn't take a stand on what happened in ferguson and with garner and he balanced that with the concern about the wife hoping her husband makes it home. i wept back and looked at the philadelphia speech. he did the say thing with the speech in philadelphia.
he -- it seems like the paradigm is he has to, when addressing race as the first black president, he has to do a hedge. he has to balance it very clearly. >> yes. >> perfectly balanced. >> yes >> he has to be the at least aggrieved black men in america. >> much more ahead tonight. steve kornacki will be with us in a moment. more of the
state of the union continues. stay with us. >> i served in congress with many of you. i know many of you well. there are a lot of good people here on both sides of the aisle. and many of you have told me that this is not what you signed up for. arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fund-raising. always looking over your shoulder and how the base will react to every decision.
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back. to msnbc's coverage of the state of the union. let's bring in steve with reaction to what the president said tonight. steve? >> it was a reaction. we're looking at a very specific type of reaction. these are not the formal statements that they that put out. that the press shops put out. we decided we would look at how they're reacting to this speech and interacting with this speech on social media. looking from an content stand poit not -- standpoint, not surprisingly, a lot of negative reaction to the speech. you get a sense of very different styles of how they handle it. mitt romney a possible, future, third time presidential candidate.
saying true to form, the president more interested in politics than leadership. linked to a facebook post that expanded it on those thoughts. he posted this soon it was over. that was mitt romney on social media tonight. this, by the way, is that facebook post from mitt romney. again, expanding on those thoughts. rand paul was live tweeting the speech. he had a whole stream of comments that he was making as the president was speaking. here's an example in the middle of the speech. mr. president you can't wave a magic wand and declare something free. something has to pay for it. someone has to pay for it. a lot of retweets. a lot of favorites. he's doing that during the speech. the other thing he did, he tweets memes out. he found a meme of willy wonka i guess this was in reference to the community college proposal. he put that out in the middle of the speech. that got a lot of attention. ted cruz put out this negative comment on twitter tonight. america saw a powerful demonstration, but it's time to move on beyond president barack obama. linked to a youtube video.
that was ted cruz talking into what seemed to be a hand-held camera phone in the hallway of the capitol. there was a goof here too. so that's floating around as well. this is interesting. scott walker. you don't know the name donovan slack. he's a reporter for the usa today. donovan slack tweeted out after the speech that scott walker has released a statement and this is a quote from the statement. we have not been able to get our hands on the statement but scott walker retweeted a reporter with excerpts from his statement. that's how scott walker has been handling this tonight. jeb bush, this is his style. he posts longer, slighter longer posts on facebook. this came up after the speech. a little critical of president obama for using the tax code to divide us. then praising joni ernst for the republican response afterwards. that's jeb bush. rick santorum this was interesting. he made an interesting comment.
has there been a single proposal that any republican has applauded? a couple minutes after this the president talked about trade and the republicans rocketed to their feet. i don't think rick santorum tweeted for the rest of the state of the union. he got a little attention for that. rick perry we were trying to figure out the context of this. but couldn't. at one point he decided to tweet only once he tweeted once about the number of jobs that were created in texas. that was rick perry's. different styles there. we didn't see anything from marco rubio and the others. give you perspective of how republican candidates were handling this. >> steve kornacki on that issue about ted cruz i'm trying to figure out what he was going on. he said he was going to do his own response. he posted a poorly lit cell phone video and he said i want to stop and start over but they had already posted it now there's nothing posted. it seems like the ted cruz social media response might have been an implosion.
>> we've been trying to figure out exactly what happened. we were trying to get the video up. we don't know for sure, but it looks like a hand held, like anybody would take on their camera phone, on their cell phone. in the hallway in the corridor of the capitol. i think it's stephen f. austin statue is behind him. he does -- he seems to -- there's a flub in the middle of it or something for some reason. he stops. that's sort of the end of it. the video is floating around online. if they've taken it down, other people certainly have seen it and it will live on. >> wow. fascinating. never -- a swing and a miss is much more interesting than never swinging at all. in the last couple of minutes before the top of the hour last thoughts tonight from you rev and victoria in terms of what was accomplished tonight on the president's side. >> i think the president recaptured the whole mission that he started in national
politics by really raising above, raising the nation above just politics, appealing to our values, appealing to how we want to be defined as a country. really aggressively saying let's fight for middle class economics. going after the top 1%. saying there's common ground and really raising the bar a little on the republicans. they have devoted to politics but he has set a moral tone again and a values tone that i think is very important. >> i saw a tone that we saw in 2008 of optimism. really quickly, i saw talk of women being equated with the economy. in terms of child care, equal wages and maternity and sick leave. he didn't spend a lot of time on it. this is a democratic strong point and he nailed it. >> don't be scared. i mean that to me was the theme. it was the theme for his presidency and the american people. about threats like isis.
it was like everyone -- things are getting better. we're turning the corner. brighter horizons. feel that. we can take a moment here. we've been in crisis for so long. perpetual war, financial crisis, economic anxiety don't be scared. fear not. i thought it was powerful. >> the thing i did not expect to feel, which i did was if he could run for a third term i think he would. i did not feel that way heading into the midterm elections and i feel that way now. the feeling he is going to sprint to the end of this presidency. it was new to me tonight. our live coverage continues tonight with chris matthews. a special edition of "hardball" on state of the union tonight on msnbc. it's politics and it continues. >> going to be noisy. t started to rain. the house tried to keep out all the water, but water got inside and ruined everybody's everythings.
good evening. i'm chris matthews. let's make some noise tonight. in a defiant and sometimes soaring speech tonight, president obama made his appeal to the american people for the final two years of his presidency. it comes at a time when americans are feeling more optimistic about the state of the union itself than at any time since the president's been in office. tonight he told the country the worst of times are behind us. >> america, for all that we have
quote quote quote
endured, for all the grit and hard work required to come back, for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this, the shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the union is strong. >> all night tonight you saw that difference with the vice president jumping up like a jumping jack every time the president spoke because he supports him and the speaker of the house sitting there like a toadstool not moving at all during the president's speech. that
was way of keep track of what the partisanship was beginning on there. the president said the country has come back from the brink. >> at every step we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious, that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. instead we've seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled and health care inflation at its lowest rate in 50 years.
>> maybe not on the level
of the new deal was the phrase, the president made his case for what he coined as middle class economics and outlined a proposed new tax plan that would shift more of a burden to the rich. >> let's close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top 1% to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. we can use more money to help families pay for child care and send their kids to college. we need a tax code that helps working americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy. we can achieve that together. >> it's also case by the president for more humble foreign policy. the phrase that george bush promised us, humility in foreign policy and never delivered. the president touted his new policy with cuba an outreach to iran. he called on congress to pass a use of force authorization for the war against isis.
he called for the closing of gitmo, and he means that. he spent a fair amount of time
calling for a renewed effort to combat climate change. in the end he returns to the soaring speech he gave in 2004 that moved many of us who watched him. >> i want them to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true. we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states. that we are the united states of america. >> what will be one of the most talked about moments, the president add-libed a great retort when republicans applauded him sarcastically, applauded the notion that this is his last campaign, it's already over. let's watch that little back and forth. >> i have no more campaigns to run. my only agenda -- [ applause ] >> i know because i won both of them. >> that's how he did it.
he said i know because i won both of them. he turned away from the sarcasm making sure it was clear it was sarcasm. joining me to assess the politics and policies congressman ben ray luhan. he's chair now. responsible for getting a democratic congress elected next time. we have u.s. congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania. and "washington post" columnist eugene robinson staying up late with me tonight, an msnbc contributor as well. what did you make of the president's wonderful repost there to the republicans after they applauded the fact he ain't running anymore? >> i think as the president always does he's very in tune with everything that's being said, chris. tonight the president spoke very clearly to the american people about what we have to do to put the middle class first. he made it clear that trickle down economics does not make its way to the middle class and we need to start working on middle class economics. that should be front and center. i think that's what the
president was tried to adjust at. >> did the president's message sell in the country? will they get excited about minimum wage, community college being free and sick leave and parental leave? will they be selling points as you try to win back congress? >> it's important to all americans as we see the economy getting stronger, wall street doing better that the middle class is still feeling the squeeze. all the programs the president put on the table are targeted at making sure we're paying attention to what the middle class is feeling. working families understand what's happening when child care is so expensive that it's out of reach, to make it easier for them to get by. we need to even the playing field and make sure middle class priorities will be at the front of the table and make sure that's where we'll be prioritizing. congressman dent what did you make of tonight overall?
did you think it will have an impact in either direction for either party? >> i thought the speech was actually more of a political statement than a governing agenda. i think there are few areas we can work with the president on particularly trade, transportation and infrastructure. i think those are areas. a long-term transportation bill i'd like to think we could move forward on that. i'm a little less optimistic on tax reform. if the@wants to talk about a child tax credit, i think it has to be done in the broader context of a more comprehensive tax reform. i thought the president said he was operating under an existing aumf and now he wants a new one. if he wants an authorization of force he should come to congress and tell me us what he wants. i've not yet heard that from the president. >> gene, that's the troubling question that he has the authority and he wants the authority. >> yeah, you cannot reconcile those two things. they do not make sense together. congressman dent is right. the president did not lay out
for the nation what it is exactly he wants. >> he said no boots on the ground but more forces. >> does he really want a resolution that limits very specifically what he can do? i would doubt he wants that. i bet he wants something much more open-ended. >> he turned to the themes. the upbeat themes he gave this boston back in 2004. the speech i said here is our first african-american president. let's look at that. >> just over a decade ago, i gave a speech in boston where i said there wasn't a liberal america or conservative america, black america or white america,
but a united states of america. over the past six years the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency hasn't delivered on this vision.
how ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. it's held up as proof not
just of my own flaws, of which there are many, but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, naive. there's too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it. i know how tempting such cynicism may be. i still think the cynics are wrong. i still believe that we're one people. i still believe that together we can do great things even when the odds are long. >> let me go to congressman luhan. i haven't met you before but i want to ask you about that division issue. for hispanic people and anglo people and white people, these distinctions, we've lived with them.
is the president right? he seemed to push the button of optimism tonight, positively. >> chris, i'm more optimistic than ever that we truly are the united states of america. what the president outlying is what that vision is. what's concerned me all day long is the rhetoric i've heard from my republican leadership in saying that middle class tax cuts is a nonstarter. what better place to find something we can work on than targeting middle class tax cuts where it's going to help them in their pockets. that's something we should unite on. it's what brings us together as a nation and it's what the middle class deserves today. >> let me go to congressman dent. you represent lehigh valley. why can't the republicans who supported highway bills and been for infrastructure, it's good money, it's good jobs. it's construction. it's great. the smell of highway building,
why can't this republican congress and president get it together on building stuff again instead of letting it rot? >> chris, i agree we need to do a long-term surface transportation bill, five or six years. we have to be open to revenue sources. we have to be open on all sides of the equation. i'll tell you that when the president said we need to do a transportation bill on the one hand but he has a hard time with the keystone pipeline infrastructure, i think he has to take that small step. >> is there a deal there? >> i think so. i think there's plenty of potential agreements. we could use the keystone pipeline. he wants a minimum wage. we want to repeal the medical device tax. i could marry a few ideas and advance something that i think a lot of people in both parties could embrace. >> who takes initiative on that? how's that's happen? >> on transportation, i think it would be okay at some point to
marry up a long-term service transportation bill with the keystone pipeline. maybe we don't go to $10.10 an hour on the minimum wage but something less than that and tie that to repeal of the medical device tax which is a job saving proposal. >> you sound like the kind of republican i grew up with. i mean that positively. the president made a pitch for higher stakes in politics. let's watch him here. >> i served in congress with many of you. i know many of you well. there are a lot of good people on both sides of the aisle. many of you have told me that this isn't
what you signed up for, arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fund raising, always looking over
your shoulder on the base for every decision. imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. imagine if we did something different. >> that's what we try to do
every night around here. i'm the greatest dealmaker. i got to talk about race. >> very quickly. we'll get to race. i thought that was the weakest passage in his speech. >> what is this beef he has with cable? >> he's not the guy who goes over and hugs the guy. it was a good speech, but i thought that was the weaker part of it. >> i think you and i disagree. there's a real dichotomy. i think 70% of the country really looks up to the first lady. i think there's a real acceptance, and she truly is african-american. her parents go all the way back to slavery. you have this regular ragging on the president on race. i see it. somebody wrote it the other day
in "new york magazine." i said all these things that certain republican on the right do, they wouldn't do for a white democrat. how do you reconcile what seems to be the acceptance maybe three quarters of the people as african-americans. yet you have this rabble rousing out there against him. i think both are true. >> both are true. there's something about the fact of the first black president irrespective of the individual, i think, that seems to have intensified some peoples feelings about race in general. good, bad, hair on fire. >> what percent? >> who knows? >> 10, 20. >> some days i look at my e-mail, i think it's a high percentage. i've not seen before against a white president. >> i think a lot of these people are dying. i think younger people are so farther ahead on this thing. we're better off than our parents. i'm talking about white people, i guess. it seems like there's something
majestic about that first lady tonight. the way she comes out. i think there's admiration for that family from three quarters of people. the people you're hearing from you're just a magnet for this crap because you're a great writer and you write positively about the progressive view of race relations and they don't like it. thank you. you know you're right. thank you for joining us. i do mean that about the valley and your brand of republican. i grew up with it and tom ridge republicanism. it's not so far off. coming up, we have the results of an online survey. we'll see what americans thought of the speech tonight. it didn't take long for republicans to declare war on president obama's agenda. led by senator joni ernst. it's been a wild couple of hours for the opposition party as they took to spoil the president's hot hand. they tried.
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tonight, after a breakthrough year for america, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. >> well, welcome back to "hardball." the president addressed congress tonight on the economy, his political fortunes and they're on the rise. msnbc's steve kornacki is with us with an early look at how americans received his speech. steve? >> these are fresh numbers. let me explain what the numbers represent. we say online survey. you might think this is whatever wants to log onto a site and not that scientific. this is a specific sample of people.
this was done in conjunction with survey monkey. it's a site where two million people come there and take surveys every day. we had a professional team of pollsters take a smaller sample and weighted it for age, sex, region and all sorts of things like that. it's a little more scientific than your standard survey. the bottom line question what did you make of the speech enthusiastic, 28%. satisfied but not enthusiastic, 43%. if you add those together, 71% of the people responding here said they were somewhat positive in the reaction to the speech. 21% saying their dissatisfied and not angry. 5% say they're outright angry. 26% on the negative side there. 71% on the positive side. that's the bottom line of what we're finding in these numbers. if you look at the other stuff we asked about, is the president focused on the right thing,
by a two to one margin people who watched the speech said yes. he's focused on the right things. are republicans focused on the right things. the inverse. 35% saying they are and 61% say they are on the wrong things. if you ask about obama's proposals, will it unite or divide the country? 54 to 40. specifically on that tax increase on the wealthy two different ways of looking at it. is it a bad idea because the wealthy will help grow the economy? 35% saying it's a bad idea and 63% saying it's a good idea because the wealthy can afford it. that's consistent with polling we've seen down through the years. that's why it's an issue the president himself ran on in 2012. democrats like to run on this. i think in laying this out that's something the democrats may be running on in 2016. >> going by your margin of
error, 6.8% let's go back to the angry figure. that's 5%. could it be there's less people that exist that are angry? >> i guess the range is negative 2 to 12. >> that's only 5% are angry. could be off by 6.8. that's good news for the president. i'm just teasing. nothing is perfect. steve kornacki, great work tonight. >> since the state of the union republicans have exploded into a furry of opposition and some of it has gone off the rails. michael steele former chair of the rnc. i haven't had chance to give you a broad brush. you want to start, michael. this speech, i thought he was up. >> oh, yeah. >> i think being up is like in our business just communicating at night. if you're down, people know that too. he wasn't tired. he had good sleep.
he looks healthy as heck. he seems happy. >> he was. for this president he's feeling freed. he's lifting burdens off of his shoulders. >> is this a janice joplin kind of freedom? >> it is. nothing else to lose. it's almost coming full circle from 2008 particularly when he puts in a line i said at one point this would be a red, white and blue america. he's bringing that back. i think he wants to move into his own space and that includes on trade issues, for example, he knows that will upset democrats. okay. deal with it. this will be interesting to watch with the congress in the senate. the republicans, i think, are actually in a good position, too. because now they have an opportunity to go out and lay out some. >> back to my old ronald reagan tip o'neill deal here. you can see the deals on the table. do something on infrastructure and do keystone.
i know it's not purity but it would move things along, howard. >> and trade. since i'm now global editorial. intergalactic. all the pieces are there. you're right. it's like a puzzle. they could put all these pieces together. as you're always saying, you don't have to agree on each individual. >> you trade. >> you trade. all the pieces are out there on the table to trade. >> who's going to be the guy that calls everybody in and say let's sit down for all weekend and work out a deal? >> i'll tell you one other thing, the other reason the president was happy man is that he was able finally to say in his own mind and to the american people he had accomplished what he had been hired to do, which is to bring the economy reasonably back. >> what he proposed is a lot of things that patched the tire in the sense we have recovered
overall from the recession, but the wages, real wages haven't increased which is why. don't worry government will help you with that. >> there's no rocking fiscal policy change. no rocking foreign policy change. there was no new dealish kind of picture. >> no, small points to patch the tire i think. he thinks he's in a position to do that because he did the big things that he wanted to do in his mind. the economy, health care and so on. >> we probably talked about it 20 years ago we've been together so long. didn't it come out that after all that bill clinton did in terms of big economic growth the most popular thing he did was that leave thing he did? >> family medical leave. >> that was intensely practical and tangible. i think that's what he trying to do here. child care, sick leave, paid sick leave. free community college.
and reduction of existing interest rates for student loans. all those things poll well. >> they poll well but here is problem they're not going to pass to congress. the bill to pay for them has not been clarified yet. it's not all going to come out of raising taxes on the wealthy or increasing the capital gains tax. to your question, this is where you'll have some republicans, a john thune maybe and a joe manchin on the democratic side to find the sweet spot for mitch mcconnell to go to the president and say we can put together a deal. i think you'll see the house come along and follow behind mitch more than people are thinking that boehner and the house will be pushing a lot of agenda. >> why do you think mitch will be a better dealmaker? >> i think he has a better sense of the ultimate purpose and of the ultimate purpose and goal
here. he's looking more broadly at where the party needs to be to keep the senate in two years. >> not only that. he's the bridge between the congressional republican party, which is no, no, we don't want to do anything. he wants a president -- he wants to be the republican leader who got a president elected. >> quick lightening question. which party loves the presidency more? >> republicans. >> that's what i think. don't you agree? >> yes. >> they love the executive. >> president obama is doing a pretty good job of inhabiting the office right now, and that's significant. >> the republicans really, really, really want that presidency. thank you. >> thank you michael steele and howard fineman. up next, president obama once again called for equal pay for women. if washington is playing catch up, hollywood is there. we're lucky enough to be joined by a star outside our usual sphere. golden globe recent winner
actress ruth wilson from "the affair." watch it all the time. this is "hardball," the place for politics, and ruth davis. [ high-pitched ] nailed it! [ normal voice ] you're right, that was really easy. i know, i told you so. on progressive.com you can compare our progressive direct rates with our competitors' rates, so shopping is easy. you don't sound like flo. [high-pitched] yeah, i do. [ clears throat ] who you talking to? [ normal voice ] what? what's on your hand? noth-- my wedding ring. [chuckles] symbol of our love and understanding. comparing rates for you. now that's progressive. [ high-pitched ] nailed it!
>> that story is a really hot show winning the awards. it tells the complex story of an extramarital affair through the varying perspectives of the two lead players. it earned the show two golden globe awards including best ak tris for ruth wilson. she plays allison lockhart coping with the emotional loss of her son. she's starring in "constellations" alongside jake jill horn. he's giving me the look. i want to talk about this. i think movies are always about today. every time this movie about mash wasn't about korea. it was about vietnam. your shows on television are serials.
they grab you and hold you. why are we in love with the serial idea where it's "the good wife" which i never miss and your show. >> i think it's changing the way people watch narratives and dramas these days. people have bigger tv screens. it's almost like a cinema experience at home. they can watch box sets in their own time. >> on demand. >> they can watch it at their own convenience. i think that writers -- and writers are getting the chance to write novelistic kind of dramas. it's brilliant for actors, writers and directors to have that chance to do that. that's why i think people are moving dramas are moving to tv and becoming more sophisticated. the audiences are incredibly sophisticated wanting this material. there's a desire for it. i think it's about how habits changed, viewing habits are
changed with box sets and on demand. >> what i'm fascinated with is women characters are the most interesting by far. they're flashbacks to the strong women pictures. are we getting ready for a woman president? i think state of affairs, african-american woman is president. "madame secretary." they yeah leony plays a very impressive, nice actually secretary of state. all women. >> there was a show called "commander in chief" with geena davis. it didn't last long. >> they didn't know how to do it
then. in some ways we're getting ready psychologically ready for it. or at least the entertainment industry is trying to get us there. if you look at the number of women in the senate in the house of representatives, it's nowhere near the number of strong female characters we see on tv. >> when people get together in d.c. they talk about politics and your show -- >> by the way, can you switch to american right now? >> no. >> i'm looking at you and your leading man and every show i think of seems to have an australian or a british actor. >> a british actor playing lbj in "selma." >> someone said -- actually jake gyllenhaal had this theory that the brits -- the americans are straightforward and up front and say what they think and say it with passion and clarity. >> it makes us boring. >> the brits lie all the time. they repress. they're keeping all these emotions down. they say something else but
hiding everything else. it makes them seemingly more interesting than they are, but it's because they're perpetually lying all the time. it's like that idea of we're not so honest with our emotion. >> i think you're it. i think there's something going on now. i really do. >> thank you. >> you could be getting some big awards this season. >> thank you. >> i think you're great. >> i do say i have giuliani margolies is remarkable. >> watch "luther." >> yes, i play a psychopath. >> anyway, thank you for coming on. you're on the stage tonight. up next, president obama's big night tonight. up next, president obama's big night tonight. he's looking to go viral on the heels of tonight's address. he's launching a social media blitz on youtube.
watching "hardball." >> i served in congress with many of you. i know many of you well. there are a lot of good people here on both sides of the aisle. many of you have told me that this isn't what you signed up for. arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fund raising, looking over your shoulder to how the base will react to every decision. imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. imagine if we did something different.
a safer more prosperous role. that's what
our enemies want us to do. i believe in smarter kind of american leadership. >> welcome back. president obama is using social media and the internet to reach audiences not reached in a live television address. he'll do an interview with youtube personalities this week. we have the google searches inspired so far. we've got mike paul former new york city mayor aide. a great historian, a daily beast columnist an msnbc political analyst. i'm looking at the list of topics. the google has put out what the people are looking at tonight. they're looking at the very topics the president brought up. college, i guess community
college, taxes, housing, employment, education, health care, cuba, economy, immigration and racism. it seems like people watch television with their hand doing something else. they're now looking up stuff. we mentioned that. some of the earlier google things wanted to know what is this. who sits behind the president. that kind of information. >> it makes me think that the president was very broad-strokey. we watched this and really in it. when he does say a single pipeline, he doesn't say the keystone pipeline. he talked about a trade with china but he doesn't say what it's call. i think that you need to be a little bit more specific with some of these folks are looking it up. i'd rather have him looking up what are the pros and cons of blank rather than what is blank. >> i love these questions. alan gross, the president
brought up tonight. he's sitting next to the president because he was in prison in cuba. a person writes why was alan gross in prison in cuba. these are basic questions. was he a spy? what is going on down there? what is the cuban embargo? how do you travel to cuba? what's a community college, a top question here. how much does community college cost? people want more background. >> i think the important thing about this speech, some of the lines might be remembered, his tone. churchill talked about the broad lands. uplift will be remembered. i believe what will be most remembered from this over the next 10 to 15 years is the community college part of it. this is barack obama's g.i. bill and even though it's not going to get enacted in his term, he will always be credited for it. in terms of new media.
the white house has done these videos every day for six years. the one that was done two weeks ago where the president was on air force one talking about free community college was the most watched video of his entire presidency. >> what was it about? >> outlining his free community college program. there's huge interest in this. in tennessee which is the prototype, where 90% of high school kids will enroll in this tennessee community college program, it was more than double what was expected. there's huge demand for this. young americans know it's the only way they will be able to compete in the global economy. >> technical. it's not going back to photography school. it's learning stuff you can get a job with. >> it's not just that. community colleges are also known as places where you complete your ged first and then you go onto college work. i think that's one of the reasons when you're talking about the message that you had before, which is it's an inside
the beltway, a message to the layman, to the citizens of our country. that's the answer you want. there's a lot of people who have not completed their ged. they're not just interested in going to community college, but you'll help me to complete two things in one. that's a big deal. >> nobody asked how do you pay for it? they're like this is dead on arrival. the bill passed unanimously in 1944, the g.i. bill. nobody was saying how are we going to pay for it. they understood this is an investment in the future of the country. we need to do this to have a strong nation. that's what will be interesting to see whether some of that starts to come this way. >> this would be so a kid with no money from the parents, working kid from the neighborhoods, the row houses where i grew up originally and he now or she now knows, worse comes to worse, if i can get enough money to live on, i can go to college.
>> and i can finish my high school degree, many of them are saying and i have a lot of guilt and shame surrounding that that many of them have not finished. they might be older as well. they're not 18 years old going and completing by 20. they might be 19, 20, 25 some of them. they'll finish that ged and get a college degree. >> from both ends macro, microeconomics. macro, we need a workforce. we need trained people like those guys mostly guys that work at euro motors and fix mercedes, they're making a lot of money. that job needs to get done. >> other than tennessee, chicago is the other pro toe type for this. what ram emanuel did is he blew up the old community college system. he got 70 employers. they take took over the curriculum of these schools. one is i.t. one is hospitality, one is manufacturing. they're training kids for the jobs they need.
quote quote quote
the problem is the dropouts are off the charts. it's like 75% drop out nationally. for these schools to get the money, they have to have programs that get these kids to graduation. >> all these folks are staying with us. more on this historic night. i want to get their assessment personally. the president clearly had the wind at his back tonight. i think that jonathan had it
right. there was a tone that was more optimistic than we've seen. this is "hardball," the place for politics. >> everyone in this congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, i say this. if you truly believe you can work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it. if not, vote to give millions of the hardest working people in america a raise.
>> we're back with the "hardball" roundtable. a final question. i've got to ask you this because you're in show business here. did you see the combination of what he threw there? he did the ad lib and he does it like he put his spirit and looked away. that was a little cold. i think he realize thad was a little cold then he comes back with that incredible irresistible smile. there was a lot of action in terms of drama. >> there is no bigger sign of confidence than silence and reaction. when you can, you feel you might have done something wrong, you take a moment, you give a smile and you take it in because you know you're winning. that's when you know you're winning. absolutely. >> jonathan, you're the big picture guy here, it's fair to say.
will this matter two weeks from now? >> your sunny uplands, will they still be sunny two weeks from now? >> it's important he's not going into the last two years of his presidency on the defensive. he's going to enjoy it and the american public wants their president to be sunny and enjoying the job. this was the real obama who trash talked a little bit. that's what he's like in private. he's been really concerned about the original promise in boston in 2004 that we're going to get beyond red state and blue state america. this defense tonight -- >> double down. >> of what he called a better politics. he really wants to keep focused on we with do better. we can have a better politics. we can have a functional washington.
that's his big message going into the last couple of days. >> the problem is the republicans are weightaiting and they'll start pounding him, if it doesn't touch your heart, it doesn't touch your pocket. there was a glow to his message, there was promise and hope i don't think people are feeling that strong attachment emotionally to the message tonight that's going to last behind the punches that will come. if we were able to say i feel it in my pocketbook, i feel it in my family. my job is a little bit better. i don't really have to worry about the stress around health care and what it costs and if someone's going to get hurt. those are things that are emotions and in politics -- >> close it down, liz. last word. >> what i think is he did something that was very brave
when he was elected and that is make plans that take a long time in a country that's learned to put a pie in the microwave rather than cook it, bake it, watch it come to fruition. now he's seeing the pie come out of the oechb, with the economy, with health care become successful, and he can take a breath. with gas prices down he's like this is what i was talking about. he gets to do that. he gets to make big plans and talk about community college. i think when the economy does great and the republicans can come and punch hard why do you want to tax us they're going to say, you know what? we need a share in that. >> i want to thank our round table, mike paul. lizz winstead and jonathan alter. when we return our coverage continues with a replay of the full state of the union address. that's coming up. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics.