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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 6, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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and disaster strikes, we come together, ayman mohyeldin. >> craig, we're very happy to see that the community is coming together. a tremendous amount of resilience, as well as the heartache for all those families down there who have lost so much. but our hearts and families go out to everyone and especially to you and your family, craig. thanks for being with us. that's it for me this hour. thanks for watching "msnbc live." i'm ayman mohyeldin. "hardball" starts right now. hillary tried rescuing ambassador stevens, so why didn't we know it? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. in an all-out counterattack, hillary blames republicans for pushing benghazi to beat her, which a top republican now admits.
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we have evidence that a gop-run committee has been withholding testimony from that she pushed for a military rescue the night of the attack on ambassador stevens and the other americans in benghazi. the hillary camp has begun running a tv ad, blasting the about-to-be republican speaker of the house for admitting the entire benghazi investigation so far has been a strategic move to drive down hillary clinton's support in the opinion polls. u.s. congressman elijah cummings is a democrat from maryland and the ranking member of the house select benghazi committee. democrats on the benghazi committee have gone public with the explosive charge now that republicans on the committee are selectively leaking witness team to spare secretary clinton and hiding exculpatory evidence that would clear her. in response, the democrats have released excerpts, including cheryl mills, that refutes the heart of republican allegations that secretary clinton ordered the military to stand down on the night of the attack. here's the testimony. the committee asked mills, did
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secretary clinton request that military asset be deployed? mills responds, on our secure video teleconference, which obviously had the presence of a number of different agencies, of which i believe the defense department was one, she said, we need to be taking whatever steps we can, to do whatever we can to secure our people. and i remember that someone from the white house said that the president was 100% behind whatever needed to be done, and we needed to do whatever needed to be done. let me take that up with congressman cummings. it seems to me that that's a gut punch of argument that hillary didn't give a damn about her friend, chris stevens, but in fact, she said, do whatever we can. >> she did everything she could. cheryl mills made that clear. the republicans don't want that out there. as a matter of fact, they've been holding it back and chris, they've been putting out leaks. and that's why we want to make sure the entire transcript is put out. keep in mind, miss mills said, even before she gave her tribed
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interview, she says, look, i don't want leaks coming out. do this in public so that everybody can hear every single word i say. they refused to do that. and by the way, mr. mccarthy, congressman mccarthy has basically lifted the veil and shown that this is not a fair, thorough, and a fact-based investigation, but it's about how can they derail hillary clinton's campaign by my means necessary? and it's very important -- >> what do you think -- >> by the way, by the way, we're using taxpayer dollars, chris. taxpayer dollars to the tune of $4.5 million and counting. >> well, counting is the right word for it. how long can that go on? will they keep trolling for evidence on this major fishing expedition, hoping to catch some e-mail that somehow shows a conflict? how long is this going to go on? can you tell? right through the general election? >> i have absolutely no idea. keep in mind, when we first started this, chairman goudy said that we would be finished
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with this within a year. well, now we've gone on far more than a year. about -- approaching a year and a half. and we're still going. and by the way, he had scheduled originally 11 hearings, chris, where we would have d.o.d. come in, a fellow named maxwell was supposed to come in, who claimed there was some destruction of evidence by cheryl mills and the clinton -- secretary clinton. they never presented him. and any kind of exculpatory evidence, they refused to let come forth. so when mccarthy said what he said, and i know he's trying to walk it back now, but basically he said, he just got up there and told the truth. and what he said also, chris, keep this in mind, he said that we're, again, using taxpayer dollars for political purposes. by the way, that's an unethical and that's against the law. >> anyway, chairman goudy is going after you now. he says you're shilling for
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hillary clinton. by selectively leaking parts of mills' testimony, democrats have shown their naked political motivation, and their desire to shield secretary clinton without regard for the investigation. >> goudy is a good man, i like him, but we've got to remember that he crossed this bridge a long time ago when he released the e-mails of sidney bloomenthal and hillary clinton. he did that way back in june. so, this is nothing new. what we're trying to do is clear up everything. don't just put out some information and then let that lay, and not have the complete transcript. we're saying, put out the whole transcript so that the american people can see it. as a matter of fact, i would like for all the transcripts put out there, so the american people can make share own judgment. nothing to hide. and if they were put out there, i think hillary clinton would look pretty good. >> you know, if this were an alfred hitchcock movie or a
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suspense movie, i would be thinking, what don't we know? what is this -- the thing, the piece of golds that they're looking for. do they even know what it is? the smoking gun. what is the thing they say they're going to get to if they hold hearings for another ten years? where are they heading with this? >> i don't have a clue. after you've had eight investigations, some of them, indeed, bipartisan, everyone asks the question, back then, when they first established this committee, why are we doing this? well, i think that mccarthy answered it. he and boehner apparently sat down and said, how can we derail hillary clinton? how can we destroy her campaign? and how can we use taxpayer dollars, hard-earned taxpayer dollars to do it? and that's what's happening. >> well, your chief witness is named kevin mccarthy, sir. you should get him under oath to say it now. the whole thing is about politics. thank you so much, u.s. congressman elijah cummings of maryland. the clinton campaign has a tv ad out right now attacking the republican-led benghazi committee. here it is with a big
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counterpunch. >> are testimonies finally admit it. >> republican kevin mccarthy saying the committee investigating benghazi and clinton's e-mails was created to destroy her candidacy. >> everybody thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? but we put together a benghazi special committee. what are her numbers today? >> republicans have spent millions attacking hillary, because she's fighting for everything they oppose, from affordable health care to equal pay. she'll never stop fighting for you and the republicans know it. >> i'm hillary clinton and approve that message. >> they'll rely heavily on media attention to reach eyeballs, according to the ad trackers, so hillary's holding on to her money, but still getting the message out. governor howard dean of vermont, dnc chairman, presidential candidate, he's endorsed hillary clinton, and michael steele, before that madman reince priebus took over the republican party. you're republican and proud of it, i guess, still. >> yes, very much. >> what do you make of this
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whole thing? cheryl mills, honest person, i assume, said the night they were under attack, hillary appointed the guy, did the best she could. now, the argument has always been the deep little gut shot -- the rabbit punch has always been, hillary was out having fun, she didn't really try to save the guy. clearly she did try to save him -- what's left to talk about? >> i think that's the big question a lot of people will be asking, number one. number two, i go back to when this story first broke. and a lot of folks on the hill, on the gop side, started making this about hillary clinton and it never should have been about hillary clinton. >> what is it about then? >> it should have been an appropriate investigation into the facts of what happened. but it immediately became this thing to sort of poke hillary, which put it into the political. and this is what you read from that. so mccarthy's statement now sort of closes the loop on the argument that had been out in the public for some time, that this was all about politics. and i don't know, honestly,
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chris, how they extricate themselves from that. but hillary now will go into that hearing and she's going to sit there and she's going to be, quote, the political victim of what this is -- >> smart politics. >> the best position in politics, and i understand warfare is an attack from a defensive position. she has the perfect right to defend herself and say you guys came at me, you've exposed yourself by the goofy talk by mccarthy. now we know what the game is. i have to sit here, like you say. i'm the victim of you guy's bad politics. >> this was fraudulent from the beginning. this was -- >> but it worked. look at the numbers on hillary. >> well, with i think it was the e-mail. >> that's how they got the e-mail. >> except this has been going on forever. >> but they trolled the their way to the e-mails. and then they talk about the e-mail, because of the benghazi committee. >> well. >> we wouldn't be talking about the e-mail otherwise. >> but the mainstream media is talking about the e-mail. "the new york times" is putting stuff in the newspaper that's
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not true and having to backtrack later on. i saw it up close and personal when i was running. when you get to be the front-runner, you can expect pac journalism, which is basically intellectual laziness. i would never accuse the president of being lazy, because they work too hard, but they all write the same story and compete to write the same story. >> why are you shifting attention if you're for hillary from where she's winning to there are still questions? >> i don't think there are. there's 30,000 of these things -- nobody knows what's in them? >> everybody knows what's in them. nothing. >> how do we know? >> name one thing -- they've already released about 12,000 of them. name one that is even remotely incriminating? not one. not one. >> there's a couple that can be argued -- >> after the fact. here's the deal. you can't trust the republican to be competent about anything. all you can do is throw mud at the wall and hope it sticks. that is exactly what this congress has done. there are some good republicans
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who are competent. unfortunately, none of them seem to be in this congress, and i think the public now knows that. >> so why do we have an e-mail system that was separate from the government's? >> she thought it was a reasonable thing to do. >> but the administration said it wasn't. they made it clear they wanted something with more accountability and she went out -- >> that is planl false. the rule is, what she sent had to be recorded and she has said that she sent it -- >> that's what she has to take up with the administration. the administration clearly has a different position. >> that is not true. read obama's -- >> are you here for hillary or against her? because you just shifted from a position where she's -- >> right! >> you shift to e-mail, my god, i've never heard of a tactic lick that. >> you were the one that shifted to e-mail. you said without -- >> no, you started talking about -- >> okay, look, the whole thing is a fraud. these attacks on hillary clinton, they've been going on as long as she's been around. they can't stand -- >> so you're predicting they're not going to nail her?
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>> of course they're not going to nail her. she's going to be the next president of the united states. that's what's going to happen. she's by far the most competent, qualified person -- >> i don't know if we can make that leap. >> and the press and the lazy republicans can make up -- >> i don't have -- i have a totally different brief. i think we've now been exposed to the fact that the republicans would have to hurt her for political reasons -- >> well, what a surprise! >> excuse me. i just have to get to the facts before i know the answer. you seem to be ahead of me on the facts there. thank you, howard dean, a strong supporter of hillary clinton, regarding any evidence or whatever. we don't need evidence. >> no, nothing. >> thank, michael steele. i have to be prodded along here. coming up, donald trump senses a threat from marco rubio. watch him stomp the guy. trump's not alone. rubio is rising. he's become trump's number one worry. you know, mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? he thinks it might be a little guy named rubio coming at him. does rubio have a real shot at the nomination or is he just the republican flavor of the month?
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i don't think he is a flavor of the month. i think he's a danger to trump. plus, joe biden is getting close to decide whether he's going to run for president. and politico reports that when maureen dowd that joe biden says that beau tried to get him to run, that that was from joe himself. and can hillary clinton beat back the challenge from bernie sanders by exposing the deep divide between two of them on the issue of gun safety. he's to her left on just about everything else, but not gun control. finally, a newly recovered or uncovered speech on gun control by robert f. kennedy. catch this back in '68. >> now, does that make any sense, that you should put rifles and guns in the hands of people who have long criminal records or people who are insane or people who are mentally incompetent or people who are so young that they don't know how to handle rifles and guns? >> what's notable, not just how
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familiar it sounds to today's debate, but for where it took place. he gave that speech you just watched in roseburg, oregon, the site of last week's mass shooting. this is "hardball," the place for politics. some cash back cards love to overcomplicate things. like limiting where you earn bonus cash back. why put up with that? but the quicksilver card from capital one likes to keep it simple. real simple. i'm talking easy like-a- walk-in-the-park, nothing-to-worry-about,
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welcome back to "hardball." just as senator marco rubio is climbing in the polls, the republican front-runner, donald trump, is seeing his numbers plateau. look at that there. it's making trump nervous, and when trump is scared, he
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attacks. and those attacks are usually pretty personal. like this one. >> i'm looking at guys like marco rubio, who has the worst voting record in the united states senate, and a young guy, although, he sweats more than any young person i've ever seen in my life. i've never seen a person sweat. i've never seen a guy down water like he downs water. i've never seen -- they bring it in in buckets for this guy. >> rubio's first introduction to the national stage was there when he gave that 2015 republican state of the union response and reached rather widely there for the water. anyway, on monday, the trump campaign took the water joke to a new level, sending a case of donald trump-branded bottled water to the rubio campaign office in d.c., along with two towels kbr towels emblazoned with trump's make america great again logo. trump reveled in the attack and then made another attack today. >> this rubio, who's a total lightweight, by the way, believe me. he's weak on immigration, he's
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got such problems. >> he's coming up in the polls. a lot of people says he has promise. he looks at you and says you're old, you're the old generation -- >> he's lightweight, he's weak on immigration, take a look at his past, he's got $12 in the bank. >> i love the precision. $12. like, how would you know that? as for rubio, he took it in stride. here he is on "today" show this morning. >> apparently, the water is very high-quality party. it's top-notch water that he sent us, that donald trump sent us. >> smart response. but sweating it out in the national television is not a laughing matter for a politician, as we see there with richard nixon. he found out with his sickly and sweaty performance in the 1960 great debate with jack kennedy. joining me right now is nbc's katy tur, who covers the trump campaign to tell us more about the trump/rubio feud. katy, i would love to hear your inner-most thoughts sometimes about this race, because you must be storing a lot of really good journal material. >> i have no comment. >> it seems like trump knows as much about the media as people like you and me, where we watch all the shows, if we can, we know what everybody is saying,
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it's all part of our traffic control in our brains. he knew that we had stewart stooemp stevens on last night and he seems to know who's moving up, even if they're down in single digits like rubio, he sees him coming up in a trajectory that might be trouble, say, in december. real trouble. is that why he's swatting the guy so hard and trying to humiliate him? >> i think he's a voracious news consumer, i think he's constantly checking his numbers, i think he's obsessed with numbers. and this is one of the smarter moves of the trump campaign. instead of calculating, who is a threat right now, fiorina or carson, they're saying that -- they're believing that rubio is going to be a threat in the future, which is what gop insiders have been saying. and now he's swiping at him and trying to cut him off at the knees before he can take off, as much as he did to jeb bush. and it was really effective with jeb bush, when he would criticize him or insult him. jeb was very flustered and didn't quite know how to respond to it. rubio, though, is takie ing it a
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different way, entirely. he is obviously being coached to laugh at it, to not be bothered by it, and to make a joke of it. ultimately, what's happening is, rubio is kind of coming off as more of the adult in this situation, while trump is coming off as this jokester and this bernan prankster, who's not necessarily taking this campaign seriously. trump keeps saying that rubio is the kid in this race, but rubio is certainly coming off more like a grown-up. but yet again, donald trump is donald trump and he's going to be who he's going to be and his supporters like exactly that about him. that he's wild and outrageous and he's speaking his mind and they believe that he's representing them more accurately than anyone else. i think the concern for the campaign, though, is whether or not the media is going to grow tired of all of this. will we stop airing him as much as we have been? will we stop giving him the same amount of attention? when that happens, he's going to need to do tv buys like the rest of them. that's when we'll start seeing him spend money, and is he willing to spend as much money as he's going to need to to stay in the spotlight as he has been
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for free for the last three months. >> i'll defend the media, i find it very hard to get interested in the other candidates. rubio is interesting. he's a hawk. a total hawk. he innings the old serenades to sheldon adelson. he's a total and utter neocon-loving hawk. he's frightening, but he's a great speaker and always speakers in a simphonic matter which scares me. >> when we were at values voter just the other day, the crowd was very into what he was saying. she's very charismatic. he's somebody who is very likable on that republican stage. and the more air time he gets, i think the more popular he's going to become. whether or not people agree with his stances, his positions on things, we're going to have to wait and see about that, as you said. but as of now, he does light up the camera in a way that a lot of the other candidates aren't necessarily doing right now, other than, of course, donald trump. >> to the older viewers watching right now, not you, katy,
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obviously, he's playing ralph kranden to rubio's ed norton. nbc's katy tur, watch it up. >> i know it, i know it. i know it. >> oh, good. >> thank you. joining me is former oklahoma congressman and rand paul supporter, j.c. watts and senior nbc news political reporter, perry bacon. so donald trump has also regularly jabbed at rubio's absenteeism for votes in the senate. he responded about missing all those votes, here says. the majority of the job is of being a senator is not walking on to the senate floor and lifting your finger on a non-controversial issue and saying which way you're going to vote. >> jc, you remember the congress. i think you took the response, you're getting paid to do it, putting your little finger up in the air is what voters expect you to do. and for rubio to say, i'm not doing my job, i don't see how that works with voters. if i were trump, i would deck him on this one. you don't think it's important to show up and vote? you took an oath to do it. and now you say, sticking my little finger up in the air is
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how i do it. your thoughts, jc? >> chris, i understand what the senator is doing. i know he's got to campaign and i don't fault him for that. but i do think people expect you, once you're elected to show up and vote. and i don't think you're a house member or a senator, if you're in the state legislature or on the city council or the school board, they do feel like they'll lecture to vote. he's got a lot of ground to cover and mideast making a conscious decision to say, i feel like i can miss those votes and be out there telling my story. but i do think, if the people are upset about that, i do think that i have got a legitimate concern or a legitimate right to be concerned about it. >> you ever been in a schoolyard fight, perry? >> i have not been a lot of fights. >> back in my day, they had a lot of them. if a guy saw you had braces on them, he'd punch you in the mouth until you bled like hamburger. if you had a bad eye, he'd punch
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you in the eye. there was fighting in in school. trump was a schoolyard fighter. he finds the other guy's weakness. he just pounds away at the other guy's weakness, and usually it works. >> we know it worked, because jeb bush was so irritated with that low-energy thing. he kept making jokes and trump really captured it. rubio, he said three things about him, he misses senate votes, he's too young and inexperienced, and he's the amnesty guy. these are really three of rubio's biggest problems. >> does it hurt if you keep punching the same wounds? >> i'm sure it does, and you can tell rubio is nervous about it. >> and he's stopped attacking your guy, rand paul. is that a bad sign for rand paul? he's not getting punched up enough by the front-runner? >> i don't think it is, chris. but think about what trudonald trump does. going on the chris rock show and trying to be funny with chris rock, that's not the way you go and do jon stewart or chris rock or somebody that's a comedian.
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i think marco has handled it very well. i think rand paul handled it very well, to say, we're not going to get in a tit for tat, the voters are going to decide. and chris, there's one piece of data that nobody can say, you know, it's defying conventional wisdom. and that's the unfavorable numbers. and i think senator clinton and donald trump, they've always had very high unfavorables. and especially donald trump. so i think this thing is starting the to balance out, and you're going to see at the end of december, it's going to be a competitive race between four or five people, and i don't think donald trump's going to be the nominee. >> well said, j.c. watts, thanks for coming on. up next, in the wake of the roseburg, oregon, tragedy, new york governor andrew cuomo joins us here on how politicians should take action on gun safety. he's pretty good on this. this is "hardball," the place for politics. do you know the secret to a happy home in these modern times?
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welcome back to "hardball." the tragic mass shooting in roseburg, oregon, has again brought gun safety to the forefront of the political conversation. while advocacy groups like the nra have made it increasingly difficult to have a national or rational dialogue about the issue in recent years, the debate over gun control goes back decades in this country. in his campaign for the presidency, senator robert f. kennedy made a heartfelt speech in support of the 1968 gun control bill, which had stalled in congress at the time. it was five years after he'd lost his brother to an assassin's bullet and just two weeks before he would become a victim of gun violence himself. now, 47 years later, kennedy's words have taken on a new me meaning because of the place where he delivered his remarks, on the steps of the county courthouse in roseburg, oregon. >> anybody can have a gun. anybody can have a rifle. but a person who has a criminal
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record or is in an insane institution or is mentally incompetent shouldn't have a rifle or guns. is there anybody out here that thinks those people should have rifles and guns? that's all the legislation does. it doesn't stop anybody from having a rifle or a gun. >> following kennedy's death, the 1968 gun control act was signed into law and supported by the nra. while the law has evolved, they've long cited ronald reagan as a staunch supporter of the amendment. what they don't mention is that reagan came out in support of the brady bill, writing an op-ed piece in "the new york times," reagan reflected on the day that almost took his life and that of three others. quote, four lives were changed forever, and all by a saturday night special, a cheaply made .22 caliber pistol purchased in a dallas pawnshop by a young man with a history of mental disturbance. this nightmare might never have happened if legislation that is before congress now, the brady
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bill, had been law back in 1981. wow. i'm joined now by new york governor andrew cuomo, who last month lost a top economic staffer to gun violence. new york state passed tough gun safety laws in 2013, one month after the sandy hook massacre. governor, great to have you on the show. i know cow care a lot about this issue. what does it take? tragedy after tragedy? and even that doesn't seem to work. >> you know, listening to your setup, chris, it really is amazing how long we've been grapling with this issue. and it's only gotten worse during that time. it hasn't gotten any better. society has gotten more violent. the gun, the assault weapons have become more capable. and it is, it's seemingly every few weeks, now, you know, and it's distressing. you mentioned the situation that we had here in new york. 43 years old, a black man who
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grew up in the projects in the bronx, chris, you would never think that he had a shot at making it, he brought himself to harvard university. after harvard university, he came to work for the state government. he could have made $1 million in a law firm. he wanted to give back. he was a beautiful, beautiful human being. and just shot down in random gang violence. he was with his brother, the two of them bend down behind a car when they hear the gunshots. one brother gets up, the other brother doesn't. i'm amazed, frankly, that the american people have been as quiet in their response as they are. either they're getting numb, which i hope isn't the case, or they've just given up on washington, and the federal government. you know, in a relationship, when you stop yelling, chris, that's when you're really in trouble, because you've given up. and i think that's the state they're at. because i passed what is probably the toughest gun law in the nation. i can't protect my state.
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because i closed the front door and the guns are coming in the back door. i'm in new york. if you drive to virginia, you drive to south carolina, you can come back with a gun. so, the states can't do this. it has to be the federal government. they're arguing about the border down south with the mexicans. i'm not worried about the mexicans coming across my border. i'm worried about assault weapons coming across my border. and that's what the federal government and the atf should be focused on. >> what do you make of the resistance by the nra and their supporters to any kind of background checks? it seems like we back when, i used to say, guns don't kill people, people do, so why don't they keep the wrong people from getting the guns? >> i think it's a slippery slope argument, right? and i went through this when we passed the gun bill here in new york. their position is now no conversation, no common sense,
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no cooperation, slippery slope, government is trying to take the weapons, because they want to disempower the citizenry. i mean, it is absurd. that's why there is a common sense approach here. there really is. but the nra has taken a position, a zealot's position, they've attracted a zealot crowd, frankly. and i think they've actually galvanized the opposition. but, you know, we both have been around long enough, at one point, chris, you have to say, i'm going to do it anyway. i understand why litigations want to stay away from this issue. i understand that it's going to cost you political points. it cost me political capital in this state, 30%, 40% of the population that is just against it. but you have to have a political system that acts and acts on the tough ones. and this is a tough one, but this is not going to change
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unless you get people to talk, common sense, busted gridlock, and you have politicians who actually stand up. >> it's great to have you on, governor cuomo. i'll see you at the al smith dinner, as always, you're a great man to have on the program. thank you, sir. up next, vice president joe biden finds himself in the headlines once again as he decides whether to challenge hillary clinton. when will we know? i guess the guessing game is getting pretty close to a solution, hopefully. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ ♪ the beautiful sound of customers making the most of their united flight. power, wi-fi, and streaming entertainment. that's... seize the journey friendly. ♪
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san fwhile this parking loting lies still. life, proposition d and mission rock will create a new neighborhood right here with 40% affordable housing, 8 acres of parks and open space, all connected to public transit, and generate $25 million a year in revenue for san francisco. vote yes on d to turn this into this. ♪ means striking a the right balancesco
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between economic growth, housing we can afford, and our quality of life. aaron peskin has been a champion for the middle class, fighting bad growth and income inequality. and mayor ed lee has transformed san francisco into the nation's most thriving city. vote peskin/lee. san francisco needs them both. aaron peskin for supervisor and ed lee for mayor -- the perfect balance for a better san francisco. i'm page hopkins. here's what's happening. the death toll from the massive floods in the krcarolinas has risen to 17. the president signed a disaster declaration for south carolina last night. the bureau of prisons says about 6,000 federal inmates will soon be granted early release. the inmates are eligible for shorter sentences thanks to changing guidelines for drug offenders. and the owner of the cargo ship that went missing during hurricane joaquin says it's
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working with coast guard to locate the ship and its crew. the "el faro" with 33 onboard is believed to have sunk during last week's storm. now we're going to take you back to "hardball." a number of you have said to me over the last three to four years, thank you very much -- no, didn't say this. >> welcome back to "hardball," that was vice president joe biden on saturday in a lighthearted moment at the human rights dinner. one story receiving a lot of buzz is a story from politico that it was biden himself who told maureen dowd about his son's dying wish that he, joe biden, run for president in 2016. politico says according to multiple sources, it was biden himself who talked to her, painting a tragic portrait of a
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dying son. beau's face partially paralyzed, sitting his father down and making him promise to run to president because the country should not return to clintons. that was apparently a quote. almost immediately after the dowd comment august 1st, biden began to make calls, seeking advice for a presidential run and support for the vice president to actually challenge hillary clinton in the democratic contest and that began to grow. but nbc's andrea mitchell reports that biden aides are vehemently now disputing the premise of that story and tells politico he was trying to use beau's death for politics. quote, he was a grieving father trying to deal with his son's death. he was not making a political calculation. well, hi dee with "usa today" and paul singer, of course, washington correspondent for "usa today" and jane newton small is correspondent for "time" magazine and also has a great book coming out. let me ask you, personal opinions. is this story new today? when the story ran with maureen
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dowd, you would assume it came from the father, it didn't say anybody else told her. what do you make of it? >> i think there might have been some cringing inside the beltway, but let's pretend here that we're normal americans and we see this story. in other places as well -- >> he was telling a lot of people. >> that beau biden was pushing him to do this. that was kind of documented. >> and the fact of the matter is, joe biden is a political person. he's been a political person all his life. it would not be at all surprising that even in this tragedy, he's still thinking about politics in the back of his mind, when he's running for president for two decades. >> he's still a public personality. >> these are the things that make people run for president, make people run for higher office. look at john edwards. he lost his son, wade, that was his huge impetus to run for office. he certainly politicized that death, but it wasn't detrimental to him. it was ultimately because he had an affair.
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>> good call now. >> in terms of human values -- here's an argument, fair enough for the reporter for writing it today, but i thought that it's interesting, when everybody was so taken with the vice president's performance on colbert. and what everybody walked away with was, this guy's not running. the guy was desperate. he was sad, he was beaten. he was in grief to the point he couldn't act. and so if there's some calculation a couple weeks before that, that he was going to run, it didn't seem to square with what he did on colbert in front of our eyes. >> the timing on it was also bizarre. and i think there's no one -- you have to talk to people who are close to joe biden as well. there's no one who doesn't believe he was genuine lly grieving at that time. and i don't doubt as well that he didn't have a conversation with maureen dowd. in that context, she's known him for many years. >> -- connection here, too. there is a connection among the irish. and joe biden always has the breakfast on st. patrick's day.
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i'm in the larger circle, not in the inner circle. but i've always been friendly with that family. and i think he feels very comfortable with maureen. >> right -- >> and i think they do talk about it that old irish thing you share. it's very much an irish thing. everybody else doesn't grieve. but i can see him in the middle of a conversation with maureen, telling this story of what beau said without some plan. >> even if you accept the politico's premise here, that there was some sort of planting a seed for a campaign, i still don't believe now that that means that the colbert appearance was false, that he has decided that he's going to run and that -- >> what's your bet right now? >> i'm still 50/50. i think if he runs for president now, he takes the legs out of hillary clinton in the middle of the campaign and there are going to be a lot of angry democrats. >> i talked with a former senator, a big democrat, and she said, he will be blamed. in other words, not just david brock and some others, but the people and the general press will say, biden took away moderate votes, exposed her to a
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more left-wing candidate, the left-wing candidate can beat both of them or at least challenge them. the math is there. >> remember how angry women got when barack obama came in on hillary clinton? the backlash this time around, i think, would be even bigger. >> more pumas. >> more puma trouble. >> i know all about that. >> and the whole context, when we were initially discussing joe biden getting into the race, it was about hillary clinton stumbling. >> what about her good week? >> she's having a good week now. >> i think a lot of this is -- by the way, if you're a friend of biden's and don't want him to run, pushing this story out into the print today may be a way to do that. a weird world, if you don't want him to hurt himself. i'm sort of in that group. i don't want him to get hurt. still to come, hillary clinton makes an impassioned debate on gun. sanders is not a gun safety guy. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ahh... yeah! ahh...
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and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. talk to your doctor and visit this is humira at work. senator john mccain stopped by the "late show" with stephen colbert last night and he wasn't afraid to make a joke at president obama's expense. let's take a look. >> can you explain something to me. you know, you're one of the leaders of the republican party. what is happening? >> i would remind you that this time four years ago the leader in the polls in the republican -- not for the republican nomination, was herman cain.
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>> yeah. >> and that was followed by, as i recall, michele bachmann. >> yeah. >> so there's a lot more, there's a lot more -- >> and how have you felt the bachmann/cain administration -- >> hell of a job. >> yeah. >> so right now -- >> would have done better than this one. >> so right now -- >> whoo! >> making friends with john mccain. hey, come over to john mccain's barbecue. your kid's ugly! >> well, mccain and colbert seem to have had fun in that interview, though it was a bit awkward. we'll be right back. which means you can access your dvr at the dmv. change channels while he changes pants. you don't have to be a couch potato, you can be a train potato! and let them watch all the shows they love, inside the ride that you really kind of hate.
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we're back with a roundtable "hardball" roundtable, heidi, paul and jay. in the wake of the oregon shooting just last week, hillary clinton yesterday made a big push for gun safety laws up in new hampshire, making an impassioned case against the nra itself and second amendment extremists. >> when the nra was on one of their you know, tirades and calling the alcohol, tobacco and firearms enforcers you know jack booted thugs, president george h.w. bush resigned as an nra member. and said no, i'm not going to be associated with that. so i mean, ideally what id love to see is gun owners responsible gun owners, hunters form a different organization and take back the second amendment from these extremists.
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>> well, secretary clinton's proposal would impose universal background checks, close loopholes like in gun shows that allow gun buyers to avoid background checks and repeal liability protections for gun manufacturers which would allow victims to sue the gun manufacturer for negligence. gun safety is one of the few issues where she's to the left of her primary opponent bernie sanders who opposed gun control measures in the past. he was quoted in an alternative vermont publication in 2013, 2013 as saying if you pass the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, i don't think it would have a profound effect on the tradition we have seen. what do you make of this, heidi? >> it's the one -- >> does she have the stones? it's so scary. we've all grown up in this country. if you run a national campaign against the nra, don't you like give away 40 some% right away and have to struggle to get the other 60? >> that is the myth the nra has been promoting over the last 20 years since the 1994 assault weapons ban. we all know going back to that
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it was not necessarily the 1994 assault weapons. it was what the clinton administration did on health care. >> why are they afraid of this myth? >> they're an aafraid of the control and power the nra has. if you look at more recent elections, there's been a lot of people not helped by the nra and actually, their voting records don't line up and the nra also doesn't make that kind of a key issue. >> who's ever run against the nra and gotten away with it? this isn't a quiz show. >> there's not a lot of people who go after the nra. there's not a lot of people who stand up to them. >> there's been a lot of successes lately. delaware passed a law that closed the gun loophole for online sales. one of the big loop hoes. so there are states where they're making progress. the nra is losing ground. it's just on the federal level that they're not. >> ohio, virginia, colorado is hard to read, always hard it
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read, florida is probably okay down there. but i would say ohio. >> colorado that's the one with are they voted ford gun control and got the state legislators voted out. >> it's not a myth. >> if you look the specific things she's targeting in the past, the mistake democrats have been have been making the assault weapons ban repeal kind of the heart of their proposal. she's not doing that, going for the low hanging fruit where 90% agrees with who she's going after background checks, after a very carefully cystly carved proposal that does not ignite the nra but improves our ability to make sure crazy people don't get guns. >> nra will be against it. >> toomey mention mansion was blocked in the senate. >> dianne feinstein and other democrats made it part of a proposal where the assault weapons ban was a major. >> heidi, they call nra a myth.
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i don't know what to say except i grew up in pennsylvania and i don't believe it's a myth. there's a lot of gun others in pennsylvania who are second amendment zealots. >> you have to distinguish between what she's doing in terms of the specific. >> >> democrats come out with a proposal this week. let's see what's in it. >> guys that live in vermont like howard dean know what's going on too. >> where did you grow up? >> michigan. >> john dingell. >> we have different reads. thank you, heidi, paul, and jane. "hardball" back after this. zaz. (friends gasp) the app where you put fruit hats on animals? i love that! guys, i'll be writing code that helps machines communicate. (interrupting) i just zazzied you. (phone vibrates) look at it! (friends giggle) i can do dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs... you name it. i'm going to transform the way the world works. (proudly) i programmed that hat. and i can do casaba melons. i'll be helping turbines power cities. i put a turbine on a cat. (friends ooh and ahh)
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picture that msnbc has been showing in newspapers and magazines around the country from the staff section of the old air force one, the scene you see there is from the saturday before the 19 0 presidential election. the people you see are chief speechwriter henrik hertzberg and me sitting at the table. behind meed are president jimmy carter in the middle and press secretary jody powell. it was quite a memorable moment. they just campaigned in five texas cities and were headed up to milwaukee. you can see jodie holding a pillow. he's about to bed down on the bench that runs between the staff section of the plane and the president's cabin which is forward. we ended that saturday night pretty late only to learn early in the morning hours there was movement in tehran, evidence
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that the 50 american hostages might get released before the election. it didn't turn out that way. once back in washington, we learned that the iranians were going to make sure the americans didn't get released till president carter was out of the office. it was a tough time for the country, a turbulent time to serve the country and such an extraordinary position. il never forget the people, especially president carter, a good man who gave me the honor to serve the country at such a type. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. all-in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> i think everybody just ought to give him the space to decide what's best for him and his family. >> team clinton prepares an op poe file on the vice president and an explosive new report claims joe biden himself leaked the story of his son's dying wish. tonight the fight for the democratic nomination gets intense. plus, senator bernie


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