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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 11, 2009 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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>> yes. those are the things we thought you should know today. something to ponder. okay. so the congressional town hall meetings have been quite a spectacle. today alone we witnessed pennsylvania senator arlen specter, claire mccaskill receiving some very confrontational questions, a i aggressive body language, people being yanked out of the room or escorted i should say out of the room when they became disruptive as well. >> let's get right to our next read on politics. for more on all of this with the stories heading into tomorrow, mark murray is nbc news deputy political director. what do you have? >> david and tamron, that's right, tomorrow there will be more town halls. one in particular will be for maryland senator ben cardin that everyone is going to be probably watching for tomorrow. also tomorrow president obama will be hosting a reception for newly minted supreme court justice sonia sotomayor. and finally on his plate, he will be hosting another reception for medal of freedom
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winners. sandra day o'connor, billie jean king, and senator ted kennedy. >> we were asking but the number of people who have real questions who are looking for solid answers from this administration combined with those who are perhaps using this for political gain. how is the white house trying to juggle the legitimacy of the questions even if they are angry questions? >> well, we were trying to see them doing that today. there are people who are wondering whether president obama and the white house stacked the deck at today's town hall, but you saw him really seek and solicit tough questions basically begging, please, let me try to find somebody who is really, really ang gr gry at my plans. >> mark, we ran out of time. we will have you do your elvis impersonation tomorrow. check out first read first thing every morning. logon to firstread.msnbc.com.
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>> i'm tamron hall. >> and i'm david shuster. up next, "hardball" with chris matthews. a big interview ahead. you don't want to miss this. "hardball" starts right now. it's getting weird now, weird. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in boston. leading off tonight, in your face. welcome to town hall america. take a look at what happened when senator arlen specter held a town meeting today in lebanon, pennsylvania. >> you want to be let out of here, you're welcome to go. wait a minute. now, wait a minute. now, wait a minute. now, wait a minute. wait a minute. wait a minute. >> i have every right to -- >> wait a minute, wait a minute. he has a right to leave. >> wow. a similar scene played out later
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this afternoon when senator claire mccaskill held a town meeting in hillsboro, missouri. add in the protester with the gun strapped to his lower leg who showed up at a church near the town hall event that president obama held in portsmouth, new hampshire today. it's legal to carry the gun in that state, but this is what happens when the demagogues turn up the heat and the angry people come out in force. they start to tune in. that protester will be on the show to explain what he was doing with a gun near the president's meeting this afternoon. also, ewe nice kennedy slifer, the sister of john f. kennedy died today. we will talk about the kennedys and the slivers. plus we told you last night about what hillary clinton said when she was asked a question about what her husband thought about something. tonight we have that video and it's interesting. speaking of bill clinton, the hero of pyongyang, he's in vegas. that's in the "hardball" sigh showed tonight.
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we start with the town hall meetings, including the one the president had today in portsmouth, new hampshire. william kostric is a protesser who game with a gun. why did you come to the town meeting -- >> chris, first i'd -- >> no, why did you come to the meeting. >> i came to be heard. >> what did you want to say? >> i wanted people to remember the rights that we have and how quickly we're losing them in this country. >> and what rights are we losing that you wanted to talk about at the meeting today at the town meeting on health care? >> well, there are a litany of them. it doesn't take a gene jus to see we're traveling down a road at break neck speed that's towards tyranny away from liberty and that has much to do with excessive taxation. one party wants to take our money and bail out corporations. the other one wants to take our money and bail out welfare cases. neither party wants to listen to the people who believe that they own their property and what we earn is ours. >> who did you vote for last november? do you mind telling me. you don't have to if you don't
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want to? >> ron paul. >> you voted for ron paul. what do you think of president obama? >> i think he's a great speaker. i'm surprised that he calls himself a constitutional scholar j do you have any problems with his legitimacy as president? >> i don't. >> you don't -- you're not part of the birther movement or anything like that? you don't have a question about whether he was born in america. >> i have read the material. i don't really know anything about that. >> wait a minute. where are you on that issue? where are you on the issue of whether he's a legitimate president of the united states? do you believe he is or do you believe he isn't? >> well, as i say, i haven't done any of the research into it to be able to make any claims on that. i mean, that's for lawyers and other people -- >> so you're not making any claim he's not a citizen. >> i am not making that claim. >> let's ask about the presidency and what he's trying to do with health care. you brought a loaded gun. was your gun loaded today? >> wow. who would be silly enough to carry an unloaded firearm? >> i'm only asking. you're answering the questions. who is yelling now? that's on the tape y did you
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bring a loaded gun to a public meeting? >> here in new hampshire -- >> i know the law. you can chew gun at church. you can ride in on a pogo stick. why did you bring a gun to the meeting with the president of the united states given the violent history of this country with regard to presidents and assassinations? why did you bring a gun to a public event with the president? >> well -- >> you know the history of this country. if you love this country, you know its history. we have had ra problem with people with guns at presidential events y did you bring a gun to an event with the president. >> i do know history, and the history is that our forefathers fought for the right to keep and bear arms and they believe -- >> i know all that. everybody knows that. >> okay, well then -- >> why did you bring a gun to a presidential event today? >> that's not even a relevant question. the question is why don't people bear arms these days? >> okay. let's -- you brought a sign that said the tree of liberty has to be watered with the blood of tyrants and you're carrying a
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god damn gun at a presidential event. i think those things make people wonder what you're about. >> right. the sip didn't say anything about blood. >> what did it say? >> it's time to water the tree of liberty. >> where did that come from? that line? >> it's a quote from thomas jefferson. >> what's the rest of the line? >> the rest of the line is for people to look up. it's not a sound bite. they need to understand the context -- >> what's the rest of the line from jefferson? >> the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots. >> you're carrying a gun and you're carrying that sign and you don't think people should worry about you? >> no, i don't think people should worry about me. >> well, let me ask you about the history of people who carry guns to presidential events. tell me that history, sir? >> are you speaking of a particular event? >> i'm talking about people who bring guns to presidential events in history. tell me the history. >> i'll tell you this, chris, we just started new history. i was there today -- >> you started new history. >> there was a peaceful rally. no one was injured. no one on our side was alarmed.
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people in new hampshire are used to seeing firearms. no one from new hampshire was alarmed. maybe some of the people they bused in from massachusetts were alarmed but we're not really concerned about them. >> what is wrong with the people from massachusetts? >> they already have their health care scheme and socialism going in their state. they should probably keep it over there. >> let me get back to your beliefs. do you believe our fundamental rights as a republic, limited government, the notions that people are -- individuals are supreme, you believe all that is at stake here? >> yes. >> how so? >> well, it's not like this is, you know, out of the blue and all of a sudden it's at stake. this has been an ongoing process. this has an ongoing process since it was said what type of government have you given us, the republic if you can keep it. people have not been vigilant -- >> i'm with you. let me ask you, do you think roosevelt was wrok to start social security? >> yes. >> was johnson wrong to start medicare? >> yes. >> where did we go wrong?
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>> um -- >> was teddy -- >> i'd start with the federal reserve bank. >> well, how about was wilson wrong with what he did in terms of reform, the income tax? was the incomes tax wrong? >> the income tax originally was instituted as a voluntary -- >> it was an amendment to the constitution, direct taxation, you're against that, too. >> that came later on. >> that was under wilson. do you think that was part of the loss of our republic. >> there are better ways to do things. >> we've been on a slippery slope to the loss of our republic therefore you bought a gun to the meeting the president held today on health care. >> therefore. i don't know about that. i live in new hampshire. i open carry many places. as i said, people come up, they talk to you. people here are pretty used to it. >> i want to be polite to you. i want to be polite to you. >> we're not in new york or los angeles. >> my brother -- >> it's not like people hit the
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deck when you walk past. >> members of my family are members of the nra. they believe in the right to bear arms as many americans do. i'm not against that. i'm asking you what do you bring to this discussion about health care by bringing a gun and the sign you quote jefferson from? what does this bring to a debate that this country is engaged in and we're looking at your gun right now and your sidearm there. and it's loaded. you pointed that out. what are you doing to help this debate? >> okay. well, sometimes when people are mired in their position, you can try to pull them out of it a little bit. but sometimes if you show the other end of it, you can pull them a little bit in your direction. clearly, i'm not advocating violence. clearly, no violence took place today. >> what are you advocating? >> i'm advocating an informed society, an armed society, a polite society. that's all there is to it. john lott has a great study,
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university of chicago, more guns less crime. people should read t. >> thank you for coming on the show. i think you speak in a different way than most people. i think what the trouble is, you alarm many people to believe when you bring a gun, violence might be afoot because they associate a gun with violence and associate a gun with force, but you say you're not interested in using force to get your way politically. you say that. >> for me -- >> you're not using force. >> no. a firearm is a defensive tool. >> so bringing a show of force to a political debate was not meant as a violent act. >> not at all. >> it was meant as a what? what kind of a demonstration was it? just to get it clear. i want to -- >> it's just another point if you don't exercise your rights, you will lose them. >> do you think if there were 1,000 people today there all armed, that would have been a safer crowd? >> absolutely. >> if everybody had a gun? >> absolutely. >> okay. thank you very much. william cross tick, thank you for coming on "hardball." coming up, we get other sides of this health care debate there. will be other sides. and the town meeting protests today, they were pretty wild
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today. meetings involving, well, mccaskill, senator mccaskill, senator specter. we have a lot of points of view, including the one we just saw. you're watching "hardball" obviously only on msnbc. >> i don't understand this rudeness. what is this? i don't get it. i honestly don't get it. do you all think that you're persuading people when you shout out like that? you don't trust me? >> no! >> okay. you know, i don't know what else i can do. i don't know what else i can do. if you want me to go home --
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(groans) a lot of people are gonna be kicking themselves r not buying in this market. (woman) visit remax.com where you can see all the listings in thousands of cities and towns. where do you want to be? welcome back to "hardball," for more on these town meetings
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i will be joined by ed rendell the governor of pennsylvania and stephen moore a "wall street journal" editorial board member. here is a protester at senator specter's -- score ♪ ♪ now all they let me have is this dinosaur ♪ ♪ hello hello hello can anybody hear me? ♪ ♪ i know i know i know i shoulda gone to ♪ ♪ free credit report dot com! ♪ that's where i shoulda gone! coulda got my knowledge on! ♪ ♪ vo: free credit score and report with enrollment in triple advantage. hi, may i help you? yes, i hear progressive has lots of discounts on car insurance. can i get in on that? are you a safe driver? yes. discount! do you own a home? yes. discount! are you going to buy online? yes! discount! isn't getting discounts great? yes! there's no discount for agreeing with me. yeah, i got carried away.
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happens to me all the time.
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we're back with senator -- governor edward rendell of pennsylvania and we've got stephen moore of the "wall street journal" joining us. right now, gentlemen, let's take a look at something that happened at senator arlen specter's town meeting today in lebanon, pennsylvania. it's pretty dramatic. it's almost as dramatic as that guy we had on with the gun a minute ago. >> i'm sick and tired of the rendells of harrisburg. i'm sick and tired of our young men and women being used as pawns around the world. would you go back to washington and represent us first as an american and tell mr. obama he's
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an american, and if not, there's other countries. >> well, i think president obama knows he's an american. >> well, senator specter, it's very clear in saying that the president is, of course, an american. i think we can all agree on that. governor rendell. i'm staggered. i thought we had agreed on a certain consensus in america. we're going to try to make it a better country, make a few changes in welfare, in medical care, and we're going to argue about different provisions. now we get a guy a minute ago talking about sort of like the republic is at stake. he's acting like thomas jefferson. you have to sprinkle the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants this. guy is questioning the president's birth in america. are we back on square one in what kind of a country we want? governor rendell? >> well, i think it's incumbent, chris, on the vast majority of americans who are still good, honest, decent people who believe in american democracy, who believe in real discourse to
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step up and say no to these crazies. they've got to make it clear that we, the american majority, don't want any part of people who are destructive and want to destroy this country for their own reasons. i think if the majority speaks up loud and clear, and i think they are beginning to, they're getting fed up with this. you saw what happened to claire mccaskill, you saw what happened to arlen specter, you saw the breakdown of any rational political discourse in this country, and i think the majority of americans will get turned off by it and i think they will step up and they will be heard. >> stephen moore, your thoughts. >> well, i don't really agree -- certainly i agree that when people go to these kind of town hall meetings and tea parties, they should be very respectful and polite. as you know, chris, i have been on college campuses where i have been shouted down and not able to speak as a conservative, and i think it's just ill behavior. but i do think it's important for people like ed rendell to understand, there is an amazing amount of rage out there in this
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country. again, i think people should -- >> rage at what? >> rage because of the $800 billion obscene fiscal stimulus bill -- >> are you telling me that these guys were created by this new president, that the people who are watching on television with their guns and attitudes about the republic weren't around before january 20th. >> i don't agree with that gentleman you had before. i think it's absurd to bring guns to these kind of meetings. but i think you all are kind of missing the point of what's going on here. there are hundreds of millions -- i mean hundreds of thousands of americans who are so enraged about what's going on. this is still a pretty conservative country, and people are upset about the policies in washington. they don't think the politicians are listening. >> i think some of the people are upset because we have a black president. let's look at senator specter -- >> chris, it has nothing to do with race. >> oh, no. >> that's an absurd comment. >> let's listen to what they're saying. then, governor, react to this.
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>> i don't believe this is just about health care. it's not about t.a.r.p. it's not about left and right. this is about the systematic dismantling of this country. i'm only 35 years old. i have never been interested in politics. you have awakened sleeping giants. we are tired of this. this is why everybody in this room is so ticked off. i don't want this country turning into russia, turning into a socialized country. my question for you is -- what are you going to do to restore this country back to what our founders created according to the constitution? >> governor rendell, this is primitive talk. >> no question. >> what do you make of it? is this about the health care bill or is this about some basic sort of almost successionist movement going on out there
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against any kind of federal role with anything to do with social welfare? >> i grant stephen one point, i think our people are legitimately concerned about the amount of debt the country is running up, and i think that is a legitimate concern. however, to say that these people who come to the rally, that that's foremost on their mind, stephen, let's begin with the fact that many of these people are birthers. the birthers are absolutely nuts. they won't believe the clear and credible evidence that president obama was born in hawaii. hawaii is part of the united states of america. >> ed -- governor, let me say this, i hope you all on the left keep calling these people who go to the tea parties and town meetings nuts because you're talking about the -- >> i didn't say they're all nuts. >> but you are. you look at a couple people like this nut who brings a gun to this rally and say, these people are just crazy. why don't they just shut up and go home? and, chris, i have to say, it is so outrageous -- >> the birthers were --
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>> it makes me think you're totally out of touch with -- >> no, the reason -- >> a lot of people voted for barack obama. >> the reason i say it is because i look at the map of the united states and i see where people question his birth, and i see the pattern of race here, and its historic in our nature and i see it and i don't like it. you're telling me these people just have idle thoughts. well, he may not be born here. could it not be his ethnicity. you deny that, stephen? >> i'm sorry, could it be what? >> his ethd nisity. that's not the issue here? >> i don't believe it is. >> you really don't believe that? and you look at the people -- the kind of people that have been jumping up and down on this issue. >> chris, i think most conservatives that i know, and i go to a lot of these meetings, they're proud of the fact we have a black president today. they genuinely are proud of our country for electing a black president. they don't agree with his policies, but the fact that we have grown beyond racism i think is a great thing for this country. i think most conservatives agree. >> you think these people voted for obama? >> some of them did. >> oh, come on. >> i know some of them do.
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i went to these tea parties. a lot of them are independents. a lot of the people were angry -- as angry at george bush as they are with barack obama. they just think our country is out of control. you can't borrow $10 trillion over the next decade. we're losing control of our country. >> let me go back to governor rendell. you have a budget problem in pennsylvania. you know the difference between people worried about budget problems and people with a fundamental anger about the way things are. some people are just mad at society right now. >> there's no questions about that. and the birthers are a perfect slice of these people who have lost their rationality and they have become obsessed with certain things, and that obsession is hurting the democratic process. you know, if stephen is right, and let's grant for the moment helicopter c hypothetically that there's a huge wave of outrage, the way to manifest that is at the polling booth and we'll see what happens at the 2010 elections. the way to manifest it is not going to public meetings and
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ending discourse because you shout so loud nobody can be heard. >> governor, i agree with that. and i think that's the ugly side of these meetings. i don't think people should shout down an arlen specter or a claire mccaskill. you're exactly right about that. >> i have never seen ugliness and rage like this in the 32 years that i have been in politics. never anything close to it. >> there was a lot of rage against george w. bush. you can't deny that. >> let me -- >> not rage at this level of intensity. >> stephen, i respect -- anybody that writes and thinks hard like you do deserves respect clearly left, right, or center, but there's been a memo passed around that tells them how to behave. they're told to yell out and interrupt. they're told to stop the tenor of the meeting, to get the person holding the meeting off their game. it's clearly a disruptive tactic. would you agree with that? >> i haven't seen the memo. >> it's put out by right principles. they have been circulating their memo throughout these groups and they're all using the same tactics.
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>> i don't agree with that. >> stephen -- >> i don't agree with it. i think it's outrageous. >> you're a fair guy. doesn't it bother you -- >> sorry, go ahead. >> i said you're a fair guy. doesn't bother you that k street lobbyists are spawning a lot of these protests? that doesn't bother you? >> this is one of the most outrageous charges f this is about the health care bill, a lot of it is, all the industry groups are in favor of what barack obama wants to do. pharma and the american medical association, they're running ad in favor -- this is actually one of the reasons there's so much rage. it's k street and the insiders in washington against america here and america is standing up and saying we don't want these lobbyists running washington. >> it's k street lobbyists that are running these buses to take these people -- >> they aren't. >> oh, i saw a guy admit it. phillips, he was proud of it, proud of it and he's on k street. >> why are all the -- then why are all the lobbyists spending all this money running ads in
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states like yours endorsing the obama health plan? >> it's a guy from columbia health care that spends $20 million in this campaign, $5 million of his own money. he got hit for fraud a couple years ago. he's a guy spending five of his own money after taxes, e not getting a write-off for this, and he's raidsing another $15 million from the industry. clearly the industry is not unified in its support for barack obama, stephen. >> but, chris, it's also true that on the other side -- >> and the insurance companies are against it. >> it's true on the other side where you have the rallies in favor of the obama program, that's all organized by the unions. so how is that different than industries organizing events against these -- >> okay. let me -- >> let me answer that. >> last word for the governor and then stephen. >> there's a big difference. rallies that are organized on a pro-obama side, we don't shout down other speakers, we don't
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yell. there's no rage. we let the discourse go ob. that's a big difference. >> governor, you have never been a conservative trying to speak at an american campus and being shouted down not by the students, by the faculty. it happens all the time on the left, and i think it's terrible behavior on the left and the right. >> that's a great end. >> that's something we can all agree. >> it was great having you on. thank you, stephen moore. governor, thank you, sir, for coming up much. up next, what happen hs in vegas stays in vegas. the details for the layest birthday party for bill clinton. >> as a 74-year-old man, if you develop cancer, we're pretty much going to write you off. because you're no longer a working citizen who will be paying taxes. what are you going to do about it? >> you're just not right. nobody 74 is going to be written off because they have cancer.
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back to "hardball." time for the "sideshow." first up, vive bill clinton. big bill rang in his of 63rd birthday last night in vegas. dinner was at a joint charging $250 a steak. the gang included the former staffers terry mcauliffe, john podesta, jake carson, and hollywood's steve bing. let's leave it at that. next up, ordinary people. supreme court justice clarence thomas likes to trek across the country with his wife, guinea, in a 40-foot rv and park at walmarts. i told you ordinary people. you know when you see it. next, please release me. remember jim traficant, who could forget him, the ohio
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congressman was convicted in 2002 on charges of corruption and tax evasion. he will be released from jail next month, september 2nd. in honor of that date ohio's mahoney valley scrappers, a minor league baseball team is hosting traficant release night. the hometown game that night will include an official announcement and slides from traficant's career on the team's video screen up on the board at the game. as traficant used to say on hearing such news, beam me up scotty. yesterday the alaska state legislature reversed one of sarah palin's marquee policies. the legislature voted to override her veto and accept $28 million in federal stimulus funds for the state of alaska. palin said the federal money would come with ropes attached. well, the alaska legislature doesn't seem to mind knows ropes. opening the door for $28 million in federal dollars in stimulus. tonight's big number. we'll be right back.
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the death of eunice shriver. we will talk about that when we come back with mike barnicle and doris kearns goodwin. we'll be right back. (announcer) illness doesn't care where you live... ...or if you're already sick... ...or if you lose your job. your health insurance shouldn't either. so let's fix health care. if everyone's covered, we can make health care as affordable as possible. and the words "pre-existing condition" become a thing of the past... we're america's health insurance companies. supporting bipartisan reform that congress can build on. when we're in a sandwich you'll know it
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i'm sharon pepperson with your cnbc market wrap. a modest sell-off on wall street with bank stocks dragging on the broader market. the dow lost 96 points. the s&p 500 is down 12. the nasdaq finished 22 points lower. bank stocks skidded after analyst dick bow va said they're running on fumes. despite a recent rally. he recommended taking short-term profits. citigroup, bank of america, and jpmorgan finished lower on the day. citigroup said it would file for bankruptcy if it couldn't secure some reliable debt financing. but retail stocks moved higher
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ahead of earnings reports do out later this week. in manhattan bernie madoff's former cfo pleaded guilty to charges. frank dipascali apologized to investors and said he knew what he was doing was wrong but did it anyway. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball". welcome back to "hardball." eunice kennedy shriver, the founder of the special olympics, died earlier today in hyannis, massachusetts. mrs. shriver was the sister of president kennedy, of robert kennedy, of ted kennedy. she died surrounded by her family. doris kearns goodwin is an author, of course, and presidential historian, and mike barnicle, our friend is a friend of the kennedy family. i want to start with doris
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because sarge shriver once told me before he got alzheimer's, we were having lunch, he said if you really look at my wife, e euni eunice, you'd see jack kennedy. if she wasn't a woman, she would be president. something like that. tell us about the importance of eunice shriver who had to live in the shadow of her brothers? >> in a certain sense what you could say about eunice shriver is she created a movement and that puts her in line with people like civil rights leaders, union leaders, gay and lesbian leaders. a movement transformed the attitudes of people in societies, in countries, and the people themselves which sometimes has an even greater effect than politicians do. it seems it all came from the relationship she had with rosemary when she was a little girl. they said she was the most sensitive to rosemary, almost as if she were born mature, as if she were the mother of rosemary rather than the sister, and all that being able to teach her how to play tennis, how to put on lipstick, how to go shopping, giving her compliments.
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she saw how far she could come and she wanted to do that for disabled people in the country. >> i think we got ahead there. rosemary kennedy was the quiet kennedy sister that was of course retarded was the old term, she was slow. i don't know how slow she was. she was a little out of control and joe kennedy had her la bot myse myselfed. that was an extreme treatment. >> you take away the part of the brain that agitated you so she'd emerge as a serene person. she lost her ability to be a person after that. >> she lost her person. >> i think what happened that also made joe kennedy, jr., and eunice want to do something for people who suffered with disabilitied and they came through with spades with special olympics. think about china, a police where severe attitudes towards disability and yet the special olympics that took place there were hugely triumphant. >> michael, you have been privy to that family in ways none of
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us will. can you tell us what it was like in that inner connection between eunice shriver and rosemary. i have been pictures of eunice walking rosemary across the lawn. she took an interest in her like nobody apparently. >> you know, chris, nearly every summer up until rosemary died, rosemary would come to hyannis port for a couple weeks each and every summer, and she would go out sailing with senator kennedy and eunice would, as doris indicated, take care of rosemary not as if she were her older sister, but as if she was her mother. your initial question to dor ri reminded me of a story ted kennedy used to love to tell. eunice shriver was very, very competitive. had jack kennedy lived, he would have been eunice shriver at 88. but ted kennedy used to love to tell the story that when he was leaving for prep school, leaving the house in hyannis port going away to prep school, his
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patients, ambassador joe kennedy and his mother, rose kennedy, got him a set of luggage embossed with his initials e.m.k. on the luggage. when he went upstairs to pack the night before he was to leave for prep school, the luggage was gone and he found out that eunice had taken the luggage because her initials are e.m.k. as well. >> wow. let me ask you about this role. you know, i was lucky to be in the peace corps and you all know what that's done to people's live and sarge shriver who has alzheimer's was an amazing guy. let's talk about the kennedy's role in public service. you first, doris. why did they make this big commitment to the special olympics? nobody in this country on a national or world stage ever paid attention people who were learning disabled or whatever, retarded, whatever the term is, special education people. they did. >> absolutely. i mean, i think when eunice went to stanford, she went in sociology. she then worked in social work in harlem. so she already had that instinct
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of wanting to do something, which as we have said i think grew out of that special relationship with rosemary. then she got president kennedy to set up a committee on mental retardati retardation. she set up the national institutes of child health and suddenly research was going into what's possible for disabled people. but then she made it real. she realized that when rosemary took compliments, when she was able to swim as she said once like a deer, she lit up. she was a different person. so finally she figured if we can give these kids and these older people a chance to compete to feel good about themselves, it's going to change their attitudes towards themselves, their parents' at toured towards them, and the community's attitudes towards them. it was said the american revolution was won in the hearts and minds of the american people before the first shot was even fired. when you transform attitudes, you've done something larger in some ways than pure politics. >> michael, the kennedy family is now living through what most families live to, old age, the ones that have survived old age, of course pat and rosemary and now gene is still alive and teddy is still alive and now
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eunice is gone. they're going through sort of the passage all families go through, old age now. and what's it like? >> well, senator kennedy battling his illness, he has an odd luxury that none of his brothers ever had or were ever given. he has the luxury of time to plan his departure from this earth. the other thing that doris is talking about, you know, chris, i don't think we can overestimate what eunice shriver did. she literally nearly all by herself at the beginning managed to take the word that everyone used in the awe forts and '50s, and '60s when we were growing up, retarded, out of the language. we had say he's retarded or she's retarded, but these are people with special needs. she nearly all by herself in the beginning managed to make life easier for people who didn't have it very easy because of misunderstandings about who they
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were and the difficulties they endured. she managed to put a light on for millions of people around the globe as doris alluded to who had been forced to live life in the shadows, and anybody who has ever seen the special olympics, i mean it is food for the soul just to see the special olympics and the pride that these people have in participating in them. >> doris? >> well, you know, just your comment about the fact that she lived at least to a good old age makes you realize how fulfilling that life was. when joe kennedy had to bury his children, he once said it's a terribly unnatural thing when a parent has to bury a child, and think about that family with kathleen dying at 28. joe jr. at 29. jack and bobby at 46 and 43. rosemary having that low bot mi at 21. and he said at that time when you bury a child, the sorrow is forever. at least when a child buries a parent, time will heal, and i think that's the way it will be
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with this. everybody knows what an extraordinary life she had. >> doris, you're great. everybody know what is that means. parents should die first. thank you very much doris and mike. by the way, the wake is thursday. the funeral is friday for eunice kennedy shriver. up next, secretary of state hillary clinton made it clear she's the boss. she's certainly secretary of state. everybody gets tired. i think she's had a hell of a trip and, well, television is television, and we're going to show the pictures. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. but did you know you also get hotel price assurance? it's a one-two punch of savings -- pow! pow! lower hotel booking fees mean you get a lower total price. plus, if another orbitz customer then books the same hotel for less, we send you a check for the difference, automatically.
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we're back. time for "the politics fix" tonight with chris sill liz za and melissa hamburger. thank you both for joining us. i want melinda and chris to take a look at secretary of state hillary clinton and what she had to say when someone asked her what her husband thought about a matter involving congolese and chinese trade relations. let's listen. >> what does mr. clinton think through the mouth of mrs. clinton and what does mr. mutombo think on this situation? thank you very much. >> wait, you want me to tell what you my husband thinks? my husband is not the secretary of state. i am. so you ask my opinion, i will tell you my opinion. i'm not going to be channeling my husband.
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>> melinda, your thoughts on that performance? i thought it was very american myself, but let's hear your thoughts. >> it was refreshingly honest. it was obviously from the gut. but also shockingly insecure. i mean, her husband has been reduced to photo-ops with dictators and errands usually run by jimmy carter or jesse jackson. i was surprised she came off as so threatened. >> maybe because she's busting her butt to do something really worthwhile for a hugely under covered event like re-establishing american relation was africa while her husband gets a cheap opportunity and exploits the hell out of it and comes out a hero. i don't want to get into complete psycho babble. she did a hell of a job in africa and i'm totally with her. chris cillizza, you're always so
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wary about saying anything, but what do you make of what we saw. >> i thought it was relatively compelling tv. the problem with politics in my perspective is you don't see enough real emotion. almost everything is manufactured and focus grouped. she was clearly annoyed and she expressed it. >> do you know what i think i saw, melinda, and we have been in politics, been on the bus together, i have to tell you we saw what politicians behave like when there's not a camera on them. human beings. when somebody, you know, underestimates your status like that guy did with the question apparently, you react. what are you talking to? >> and i would have loved to to have seen that hillary a little more during the campaign obviously. we all would have, but right. >> they would have loved her in scranton, i can tell you that. they would have said, there's a regular person, you know. >> right. >> anyway, i think we have milked this thing do death. chris cillizza any final thoughts about hillary clinton's wonderful statement about who the secretary of state actually is? >> no, other than i do think that this sort of nature of
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politics as it is practiced now robs politicians of who they actually are. i mean, i think gore during the campaign. he was so careful not to take a position, very poll-tested, alpha male thing. afterward al gore's had this successful career as a global warming prophet leaving a lot of people saying, why didn't he act like that during the campaign? i think it's the nature of the beast, unfortunately. we've had a hand in creating it. >> one thing i've been saying -- >> she's the chief diplomat now. it wasn't a very diplomating thing, coming off that like that. >> true. >> do you think there's any chance anybody -- male, female, any age, any country -- is going to dare ask her again, in this history of our times, what her husband thinks about anything? i don't think so. >> maybe not. >> okay, we'll be right back. let's talk about the gun-toting guy we just had on the show tonight with chris cillizza, melin melinda, also some of these incredible statements being made at these town meetings to everybody.
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the rumor that's been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow, the house of representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma. because we've decided that we don't -- it's too expensive to
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let her live anymore. i am not in favor of that. >> may lin sa and chris, back in the '50s before youtube children were born. i remember the fluoride debate. chris especially. the conservatives believed, the birchers, not the birthers who were their grandparents, believed that floird days of the water was a communist technique to undermine our iq. only problem with that was they fluorinated the water in russia too. it was hard to believe it was all some subterfuge to undermine our will. that said, this stuff about euthanasia, this stuff that's been talked about, the plug-pulling, the death panels, sarah palin who's become sort of the patron saint of these people -- it's really getting wild. chris first. it's really getting wild. >> you know, chris, in campaign col ticks, a little misinformation goes a long way. and i think that's what we're seeing. you know, you saw this during the campaign, and frankly after
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the campaign with the whole birth -- birth certificate debate. that people are looking for reasons and even when they are provided with evidence that these claims are in fact not factual, they are still sort of convinced by this misinformation. it's all based on raising enough doubt. that's all that it's about. it's not about offering a different plan, it's about raising enough doubt to beat back this plan. that's hard. that's why you don't see big policy proposals -- social security, medicare, health care -- changed all that much. >> do you believe as a high school kid there was a piece of john dillinger's anatomy on display at the fbi building, and when you came down here for your high school trip didn't you believe it was going to be part of the trip? everybody in philadelphia believed that, growing up. and it wasn't true. did you know that, chris? that's one of the rumors that gets started, everybody believes. >> that's the problem is combating those rumors. combating every internet rumor that's out there is almost
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impossible. i know the white house set up this website, they did it during the campaign as well. the problem is the people who are believing these rumors, those fall falsehoods, they're not interested in it being rebutted. >> take a look and comment on the meeting today. >> sure. >> every time we come close to passing health insurance reform, the special interests fight back with everything they've got. they use their inference, they use their political allies to scare and mislead the american people, they start running ads. this is what they always do. we can't let them do it again. not this time. not now. >> melinda, which way is this going to go? could this be a fortune cookie for the president to have the wingnuts out there, in the end could they help him sell the middle? >> i absolutely think that sarah palin and maybe even the guy you inte

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