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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  June 16, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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terroristsin fact sold they're arms. he ran from lebanon and gave illegal immigrants amnesty. he would be crushed in today's gop primaries. i would love to see the debates now with regan under it. he would be like, no, but guys aam ron and reagan. they would say, yeah, right, run along, lib. thank four watching everybody. "hardball" starts right now. . >> twittered away, let's "hardball" twittered away. i'm chris matthews in los angeles. leading off tonight, exit stage left. congressman weiner gave way to the pressure on top of him.
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he resigned in the end. the drip, drip, drip of disclosure was too much and led to x-rated photographs and a major distraction for democrats. can they now get back to the message, pounding republicans for trying to kill medicare or will his hull louisiana lieu haunt them? congressman weiner lied about it at first only to confess with days and then dragged it out in hopes he could somehow survive even as just about everyone on top of him called for his resignation. we've got the story covered from you all the angles tonight including trying to discern what finally pushed the congressman over the top to resign. he did it today. throughout the day, some of the in your face comments that made him famous. let's get right to it. eugene robinson and politicos fred smith in that room of that big press conference this afternoon when weiner resigned. here's weiner making the announcement's his resignation
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with hecklers one from howard event turning the event into a freak show. let's listen. >> i have never forgotten my neighbors because they represent the same middle class story as mine. i went to public school it's my whole life. my mother was a schoolteacher for 32 years, my father went to law school on the gi bill. the middle class story of new york is my story, and i'm very proud of that. i had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do. to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. unfortunately, the distraction that i have created has made that impossible. so today i'm announcing my resignation from congress. >> man: yeah! pervert! >> so my colleagues can get back >> my neighbors can choose a new representative, and most importantly, that my wife and i
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can continue to heal from the >> you know, let me go to brad smith doing great reporting on a sleazy story. you did great. let me ask you, reminded me of the saddam hussein hanging. couldn't do it right. the grossness of that affair led to the grossness of the finale. who were the clowns making a disgusting situation even more disgusting? was that a howard stern guy? what was that like? something about seven inches? who was doing the yelling? >> a crazy press conference. i've covered these for ten years. the biggest i've seen. 40 cameras. howard stern confirmed some kind of a stunt man from his show who didn't look like he was having any fun. there working. got up and started screaming obscenities. weiner brought in, a senior center, a lot of elderly around, weiner's supporters. you heard him yelling, no, no. don't resign. weren't hecklers, trying to support him packed with
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reporter. quite a scene. >> if you had to have a scan, i don't know how to say something sarcastic. certainly is strange one. the only one we've had that was viral, virtual, wasn't good old times sex. something strange. wasn't criminal, apparently. what was this thing? how would we write this in the history books? >> it was, first of all, a sex scandal without actual sex. it was, not our first kind of online sex scandal. representative chris lee, who -- who sent that shirtless photo to the woman he met on craigslist and that became public. he resigned in four hours and i actually thought from the beginning, as soon as the weiner stuff started coming out, this was not going to end well for him. in was going to be more revelations, and we going to have our second online sex scandal.
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>> here he is thanking a lot of people. more from his statement. amazing statement. not that long. a big chunk of it. let's listen. >> i want to thank, of course, the many people who have helped me. the people who have volunteered, the people who have given me advice. the many of my constituents who offered me good ideas and of course i want to express my gratitude to my family. to my mother and father who instilled in me the values that carried me this far, to my brother jason, and, of course, to my wife huma who has stood through me through this entire difficult period and to whom i owe so very much. >> you know, our colleague mike viqueira did a great job. a very good question that sow have popped out of this event. write a letter to the secretary of state of new york and issue his resignation? why have another circus? what do you think -- is he going to continue in politics at some later date? he ought to take a crack at it, if he cleans up this mess. he has talent. i've said for a week or so, resign and contest the special election. he's obviously not going to do that. is he trying to string out his
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career? more importantly, string out this scandal? >> two things. a guy who lived through the new york media and tv his entire political and public life. his whole life, and couldn't quite imagine going off the stage quietly, privately. that's not how he operates. it's part of his identity he had to do this in public. and i do think. you're right. probably he were come back. these things now on the internet toned burn. scandals burn hot but eventually burn themselves out. you see eliot spitzer is back. broke the law. a holier than thou prosecutor, he's back. talk about him running for mayor sometime. anthony weiner has almost $5 million in a political account in new york city probably could run for something at some point. >> is that feasible? given your perspective on this thing? >> i this difficult for him to come back into politics. i think there are a lot of things he can do. go into television, for example. or certainly political commentator.
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do politics in other ways. ed difference between him and spitzer is there are not pictures, naked pictures of spitzer out there. this stuff lives forever and i think it's going to live forever and haunt weiner forever. things could be hard. >> you're so genre to us our professional, gene. you're a britain guy at heart. you can't teach, can't lobby. so many things you can't do. not a lawyer, not a cpa. no a physician. you're seeing, at least be a television guy. >> or a print guy. i'll weigh in on that, chris. he can certainly comment on politics from a variety of circumstances from a variety of media. i do think it's going to be difficult for him center to run again for a national office. >> ben, wanted to jump in there, right? >> saying that the colleague of my suggest i'd would watch is weiner/huckabee. >> don't know how to make that. how weiner got into politics.
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a biographical day. this isn't a good-bye. this is an, i shall return speech. let's listen. >> i got into politics to help give voice to the many who simply did not have one. now i'll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents to make sure that we live up to that most new york and american of ideals. the idea that leaving a family, a community and ultimately a country is the one thing that all united states us. the one thing we're all focused on. with god's help and with hard work, we will all be successful. thank you and good afternoon. >> that is the meeting today. you were there. i always ask people on public with me, what was at the crazy press conference you could smell, feel in the room that didn't show up on camera? >> the freak-show quality produced a sympathy for weiner that was lacking to this point. ed fact you have a guy, abusing
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him, produced a little reaction, a little sense of like, poor guy. let him exit with some dignity. as you say, that was a very political speech. like a totally political speech that looked forward to something next. >> that's what i think. gene in terms of purpose, will he try to take a break, a time-out as we say in grade school, but come back off the bench in some way? >> clearly, in some way, he will come off the bench. i'm not sure in what particular form, but he's not done with the political world. he's also, as you point out, he's not a lawyer. he's not -- you know, he doesn't have these other things to fall back on. politics is what he does. in some way, shape or form i think he's going to come back and try to do it again. >> maybe roger ailes over at fox, we'll have him play the liberal. wouldn't that be -- >> they referred me to cnn. >> perfect for rogers. here's your typical liberal with all the lifestyle qualities of typical liberal. talk to him about a scandal
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every night. second question, ben. you cover politics not just scandals. will this be a period or comma? were we hear steve israel, for example, tomorrow talking about the medicare problem for the republicans and the danger to medicare to older people they're posing with their budget plan? will they get back on mark fast enough? >> democrats hoping to get back on meg. remember with the scandal, the leadership what they'd done, how they'd handled it. because there's no criminal aspect to this, i'm not sure there are more questions to ask nancy pelosi. we'll see. they're going to try hard to stop talking about anthony weiner. >> sure beats a long ethics hearing. does it? >> yeah, it does. democrats are breathing a sigh of relief over that. i think democrats will banish the word weiner to the extent that they can from their vocabulary and go back to medicare. they'll be very happy to have
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this over and done with, and i think they'll declare it over and done with. >> let's check the word count from weiner. more weiner, by the way, a little more, those who missed the event today. it was, as i said, sort of like the hanging of saddam hussein. gross, even in its conclusion. interrupted by hecklers calling out obscene stuff. i'm sure you can hear it. let's listen. >> i want to thank my colleagues in the house of prep representatives. democrats and republicans alike. they come from different places around the country but they're all patriots and i will miss them all. >> man: are you more than seven inches? >> i also want to thank members of my staff. there are young people not paid very much. people that work very hard and very long hours. ultimately, those people define the notion of service. >> well i guess, ben, you were there. i want to close on this. that certainly is an example of
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keeping on meg, despite what we all heard on television. the gross comment by that howard stern guy. he kept talking. he did his job. i think weiner did very well today. i'll leave it at that. a good job. at his best, dignity, a measure of class, missing in all of this, and maybe for his good and the good of his wife and his family, hi parents who must be suffering through this, he'll be bag to being a human being after all this. anyway, thank you, gene robinson, "the washington post" and ben smith of politico. great job of covering this mess. coming up, how not to handle a scandal. going in the books. maybe put it in my next edition of "hardball." you don't lie your way through it, say i want to call a lawyer, a doctor, waiting for my wife to get home. you get it over with. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. announcer ] anan the netwo. a living, breathing intelligence
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welcome back. anthony weiner didn't mind dust-ups from the other side. last year during the debate over health care he made this charge against the republican party. >> the republican party is a wholly own subsidiary of an insurance industry. that's the fact. this isn't going to do enough. when we provide an alternative to provide competition they're against it. they say we want to strengthen insurance commissioners and they'll do the job. but when we did that in our national health care bill they said, we're against it. they said they want competition and when we proposed requiring competition the republicans against it. they are the wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry. that's the fact. >> objected to weiner's statement and asked his words be taken down, off the record. weiner asked to have his words
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withdrawn and substituted new ones. here was weiner's substitution. >> make no mistake about it, every single republican i have ever met in my entire life is a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry. >> you might have guess, again objected to that, and we'll be right back. [ heather ] businesses need a reliable financial partner. one who can stay in sync with their moves. my job at ge capital is to get bobcat all the financial and business support they need. we provide financing for every bobcat dealer in north america. together, we've rolled out over 100,000 machines to small businesses all over the country so they too can grow. ♪ ge capital. we're there for bobcat every step of the way. ♪
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today i'm announcing my resignation from congress. >> man: yeah, pervert! >> so my colleagues can get back to work. my neighbors can choose a new representative, and most importantly, that my wife and i can continue to heal from the damage i have caused. >> what a crowd out there. anyway, welcome back to "hardball." congressman weiner and the crowd heckling him. ten days ago on june 6th weiner
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denied he would resign in another press conference. what was said on "hardball" that same day. >> and he opens up new lines of inquiry. in two weeks if anthony weiner's still in congress, i'll be surprised. >> the same steve mccann joins us now along with msnbc's analyst, legal analyst, michelle bernard. what led you to believe, besides your ingenious mind -- did you have a semblance of what was coming? >> well, only because congressman weiner had spent so much time attacking the press and denying it vigorously yet unable to answer the questions at the same time. when he went out and raised a bunch of questions and you and i that evening, you're the first person to point it out, he actually raised new areas of inquiry, and why didn't he give a short statement? take questions and leave the stage? that's the big mistake. first lying. second, waiting for as long as he did to get it's facts out. third standing there answering all the questions for 40 minutes. i know he loves the media. that that case, that instinct is
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what destroyed him. >> michelle, take a look. i want you to comment. nbc's luke russert did a great job. he got the question that got the answer out of this guy that i think did exactly what steve said. teased us. here's luke with the question, and him with the answer. let's listen. >> the picture that went over twitter to jeanette friedman from your account, is that you? >> well, let's keep in mind what happened. i was pranked, hacked, punked, whatever it is. someone sent out a picture. i'm an easy name to make fun of and i think that that's what happened again. >> but that's not a picture of you? >> i can't say with certitude. my system was hacked. pictures can be manipulated. pictures can be dropped in and inserted. one of the reasons i've asked the firm that includes an internet security firm is take a look at what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> michelle bernard, when in history will politicians learn
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that when you dodge a question, a decent reporter asks it again. luke asked the exact question again. is that you? and finally came something like the truth, in the teasing manner he offered it. i can't say without certainty. transition, okay, you got me. >> absolutely, chris. i was going to say. not just that luke asked a great question, every single human being who watched that interview had to be thinking in that instant that if he doesn't know without certitude whose body part that was, then obviously, he absolutely -- absolutely did it and it was him in that picture. he made a terrible, terrible, terrible mistake. i have to tell you, one of the things most women i have talked to about what happened with anthony weiner have been more grateful than anything else that the american public didn't have to stand by and see hit, watch his wife stand by his side as if
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to say that all of this is okay, and i will be with you no matter what. you know -- >> as a woman, and i think it's a great question. what should be protocol for men who get trouble in the general area of sex that doesn't involve the innocent wife? what should be the role of the innocent spouse? you say to be off-camera? >> first of all, the protocol should be, dote ghent into sex problems, if you are a married man, but going past that and assuming that that comes up as an issue, you know it really depends on the spouse, but over the last few years whether it was jim mcgreevey, the former governor from new jersey, or to other people, when you sit and watch the spouse looking up, you know, like a deer in the headlights and not knowing really what to do, most american women, and you have to remember, it's american women who vote more than the american men. women are looking at that. they're watching it on television saying, i can't possibly suffer through this. i feel sorry for her. how could he do this to his
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wife? i think that from now on we will probably see wives not stand there and deal with the hue humiliation we've seen time and time again over the last couple of years. >> as a guy, the only classy about the whole spitzer mess, the classiness of her wife, came out with that tasteful scarf, like a real gentle lady putting up with her embarrassing husband, i thought at least all's right with her world, even if it isn't with him. your thoughts, steve. >> i was going to say the same thing. his wife may have changed the rules. people have given anthony weiner a lot of credit for not drags his wife out there. anybody who knows his wife, i don't know her well. anybody who's met his wife he wasn't going to drag her somewhere she didn't want to go. she's a woman of her own mind and probably told anthony weiner what he was going to do. he doesn't -- >> that's my exact experience.
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here's weiner on his june 6th press conference when he admitted what he did. let's listen. >> i'm deeply regretting what i have done and i'm not resigning. >> they roll it out slowly, give you a teaser, steve. what do you tell your clients when involved in something, they can survive, if they deal with it the right way? >> well, i tell them the only way to survive if you're going to have a, a sort of roving disclosure situation is to get everything out as quickly as
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possible, and then to basically answer whatever questions you're willing to answer and draw a curtain on it. you don't go out then, if you're anthony weiner, and go buy and orange to talk to reporters. you basically try to bring the curtain down on the scandal and wait it out. i'm not sure he could have made it through this, because this is going to be a rolling disclosure unless he told everything and i presume he didn't want to tell everything because he was protecting his wife and maybe other people, but in a case like this, the only chance that you ever have is to get all the facts out, get them out quickly, answer the questions and try to move on. >> here's more of weiner's press conference today. michelle, you responded. ten days ago, the earlier press conference, put a of this rollout of the truth which took two weeks. here the first part. let's listen. >> i don't know the exact ages of the women, and i don't know if you do. i'm going to respect their privacy, but they were all adults, at least to the best of my knowledge they were all adults, and they were engaging,
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and engaging in these conversations, consensually. >> this is -- change the gender here, michelle. gypsy rose lee stuff. this is teasing. i can't say with certitude it's not me. i can't say exactly how old they were. leaving each press conference like you do on television. you tease the next item. he was like teasing the next episode. >> he was literally giving people a reason to go out and do more investigations and i believe it was, know, a week ago tomorrow we found out wan one of the people he involved in online communication was actually a 17-year-old young woman in delaware. >> i'm not going to defend him generally, that was apparently just politics they were talking. that's what i heard. >> yeah. and i'm not going to dispute that, but the bottom line is he handle this so horribly from day one. he should have either done what was discussed earlier, which was come out with all of it, right in the very beginning or should have said, absolutely nothing.
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but -- either way -- >> 30 seconds. to the political adviser, if he ever want to run for politics what should he do in the next six months? >> i think he gave his first campaign speech today. i'll be back but i'm not going to be back tomorrow. i think he's already planning his comeback. what he needs to do show contrition. probably do something for the community that's seems self-less and then he needs to basically wait until the time is right. he's got $5 million and can pop up at any time. he's a very talented guy. >> that's the advice i gave spitzer before he signed with cnn. he ignored me completely. you're right, and i was right, the other guys are wrong, but it's brilliant advice. take your time. do something good that's not just for you and eventually people lp say, hey, everybody's human. thank you. and solve that problem he's got about twittering. get off the twitter. don't ever twitter again. once again, anthony weiner's resignation. we're learning a lot. later in the hour, mitt romney tries to bond with out of work voters saying he's
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unemployed. one of the richest guys ever to run for president. you don't chuckle about being unemployed when you're a multi-millionaire. this guy has the wrong foot out there. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. a city comes to life. it moves effortlessly, breathes easily. it flows with clean water. it makes its skyline greener and its population healthier. all to become the kind of city people want to live and work in. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest questions. and the over sixty thousand people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers.
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for mitt romney. al gore just endorsed the republican contender, stance on for mitt romney gore writes, while our republicans are running from it's truth he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the republican party. i think gore made a mistake's should have paid tribute to romney and jon huntsman who's getting in the race next tuesday and also believes in man-made climate change, as do all the multimillionaire met with other floridians at a coffee shop. i should tell my story. i'm also unemployed. are you on linkenin, one men asked. i'm on the site. mr. romney said i have my sight
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p.m. most people unemployed, don't chuckle about it. long ago a man in vermont writes to weiner for he was hoping to one day bargain way this site to anthony wean's real presidential campaign. in light of recent event, he has to make that site to charred politicians. what a waste of time for a human being. up next, anthony weiner vowed ton resign but today he did. who pushed him over the snej was it president obama? nantsy pelosi, the clintons or his wife. lashing out on republicans on the house floor. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. >> frankly i don't flow what it is they want. they said 131 days guy they would have a plan. you hear that sound? that's the sound of their plan. they don't seem to have one. [ manager ] you know...
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>> hello, i'm page hopkins. here is what is happening. at least three dozen people are dead. there want as explosion an a residential build flg israel. police do not expect a terror attack. the he is nthe senate voted overwhelmingly to scrap a plan for ethanol. zawahri lacks bin laden's charisma but is stale a threat and still look ford by the u.s. the town of sierra vista has a population of about 40,000 and meanwhile there is a makeshift levy along the missouri river. casey anthony's team began presenting its case in florida regarding evidence. there was a vote in the state generalate for a
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controversialville limiting their rights. . back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." for the nearly two weeks of this, anthony weiner pressured from nearly all sides. what pushed him to resign today adviser to bill and hillary clinton and mark, thanks for coming on. tell us what you can. we were hearing for a while that secretary clinton i think was standing behind her top aide huma. the wife of anthony weiner, and obviously in solidarity of the innocent. and the question then is, did they urge them to stick it out or did they urge him to cut his losses? what was the message coming from the clintons? do you know? if you don't, you don't. >> i don't know the message coming from the clintons. it's clear what the message was coming from everyone else and
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the entire democratic establishment. it was a congressman not a president. you know, the democrats themselves really needed to get back to their message, and he was in a safe seat. so the democrats couldn't afford this kind of distraction. there was no gain in it, and a miracle that he lasted even two weeks, given how this was going. >> is that how you followed it, david? did you sense any kind of dispute with the factions around this couple? was there a, an argument about what the right course was? >> i think there was probably some hesitation with the democratic caucus to jump on him too fast, too quickly, just out of the general sense of solidarity and loyalty. but as mark said, this was a guy who they didn't really need, they didn't -- he was a fellow without a lot of friends.
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i talked to someone connected to the white house. listen, he takes a lot of shots at us. we can live with that. he's arrogant. we don't like him that much, and not a lot of goodwill around town, even though he married into the clinton clan. so all that being equal, political calculations rule the day, and the democrats decided that it wasn't worth sticking out their necks for this guy that back in the clinton days all of these people who called on anthony weiner to resign all stood by president clinton and didn't want him to leave, because they still thought that his remaining in office was a good thing for them politically. >> take a look at this. the "chicago sun-times" reported june 9th, bill and hillary clinton had numerous long conversations with the two spouses in this case. talks with the new york congressman very icy and tough, to say the least, and it said another source close to both the secretary of state and to huma, her assistant. let me go to this question. what do you think was -- to me,
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i kept asking myself, mark, of course, i've advocated he should resign and run in a special election. maybe too expeditious in the return to public life. leave it up to the people while they're red not that district, brooklyn, standing by their man against any component. come back in a marginal race against a couple challengers, come back in and be certified add, okay, vote of no confidence. i went to the people, they said, come on back in. why did he avoid going that route when he has opportunity? mark? >> i just think that's an unreal ifltic scenario in terms of the way things are going here. >> why? >> because he's going to need, as your previous guest said. he's going to need a time here to go back and kind of regroup. to do some things for the community. if he's going to come back into politics, it certainly isn't
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going to be in a special election. besides that would have kept the story going. you know, democrats need to get back to their message. that would have been months more of the anthony weiner story. that would have been a continued distraction, that would have benefited no one. i don't think anyone would have welcomed him in a that race with that scenario. it's not reasonable. >> my guess, the democrats, would have sent a strong signal. you come back this way you will not be welcomed here and that won't go over well back in your district. i also think there was a constituency of one that had a lot of influence here. probably his wife. if she urged him to do something, maybe whoa have taken that seriously. if you recall, some sincerity when he wanted to wait for a return, sit down and have a long talk. so you can't overestimate, you know, the fact that he was playing to an audience of one person at the very end of this, because there was nobody else standing by him except for a few people back home. >> look at the "new york times" reported on saturday june 11th.
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"pelosi and the campaign according to one high-ranking, according to one lie-ranking democratic official when mr. weiner repeatedly told him he could not resign now because his wife huma abedin was traveling with her boss, secretary of state hillary clinton and unpersuaded pretext. i don't want to get into famil issues. we value family, spouses, issues at home. most argue about things occasionally. the question, was this guy playing out his strength all along and finally ran out of strengths. first i want to hire a lawyer. everybody chuckled. then i'm going in for treatment and apparently nancy pelosi leader of the democratic house laughed that one off. then said i have to wait for my wife to get home. is it reasonable to assume he was simply playing for time? >> i think he was playing for time to see if there was a way for him to keep his seat. he tried more or less every trick in the book. in terms of trying to keep his
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seat and none was working because he'd had no political support. no leadership. no support, really, of any kind. so i think it left him no choice, and i think that he had to come to grips with the fact that he no choice. i think he'd be sitting there saying, look, i didn't do anything illegal, but this didn't morph into the kind of thing that happened with president clinton. republicans trying to unseat the government and the democrats rallied to the notion his private life was separate from his private life. quite the opposite happened here. >> you made a good point. that this is a safe district for the ds. right? >> a safe district. may not even exist. >> they have to get rid of -- a redistricting. this may be an easy way out because they don't have to bounce anybody who they really care about. it won't be a competition amongst the incumbents. >> look what the democrats said -- >> go ahead. >> two words. the democrats saying two words. anthony weiner, thank you. >> i think he did well today. did the right thing for the party, clearly, and handled himself well even with the howard stern person and bad
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people in the room. let's look at what i think was a move by the president that may have been the dealmaker for his departure on monday. the president did something so unusual. he went on the "today" show with ann curry and said weiner should quit. a good question by ann that got it going. of course. let's listen. >> i can tell you that if it was me, i would resign. because public service is exactly that. it's a service to the public. and when you get to the point where because of various personal distractions you can't serve as effectively as you need to, at a time when people are worrying about jobs and their mortgages and paying the bills, then you should probably step back. >> well, i think the president didn't get hurt by this. a clean lifestyle. not touched at all. clearly, not able to get the message out. probably thrilled they can start tomorrow doing that. thank you for joining us.
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thank you as always. up next, congressman weiner, was it right to the resign or should he have stayed with it? those believe he should have fought this had something to say in politics and should have been allowed to keep saying it. this is "hardball" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] to the 5:00 a.m. scholar. the two trains and a bus rider. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. learn more at
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more of anthony weiner's greatest hits of last year. here se he is going ballistic for voting down a bill that would have provided health care for 9/11 responders using proposal grounds against him. >> and then we stand up and say, oh, well, we had a different classes you vote yes. you vote yes if you believe yes. you vote on something you believe it's the right thing. if you believe it was the wrong thing you vote no. i will not yield to the gentleman, and the gentleman will observe regular order. the gentleman will observe regular order! >> wow. anthony weiner, back in july of 2010. we'll be right back.
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the power that will help make our nation more energy independent is right here in america. [ crickets chirping ] ♪ [ cheers and applause ] advanced gas turbine technology from ge. ♪ you know, i want to any other vice people watching at home playing that now popular drinking game when you take a shot every time the republican say something that's not true. please, assign a designated driver. this going to about long afternoon. >> wow. that quote from january of this year shows the kind of passion former congressman anthony weiner brought to the job. he was right to resign, or was he? >> gentlemen, never now how it's going to go. whether it's partisan or not. josh marshall.
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should he have quit? >> i wish he wouldn't have quit. if he wanted to, i have no problem with that. the key is, i don't like how his party ganged up on him and forced him out. the next thing they were going to do, say they weren't going to have electricity in his office anymore. couldn't have lights on or something. the kind of universal demand from the leader of his party in congress, the head the democratic party, everyone, demanding that he resign, when other people who've done infinitely worse things have never been treated like that and all while this is happening, his voters, the people who he actually works for, polls showed clearly, they didn't want him to resign. so it's not that i think that, you know, the republicans are going to say whether anthony weiner is in office, fall or not, the intensity of demands seemed off to me. because of that, i wish he wouldn't have had finally buckled, although i can only imagine the pressure was overpowering. >> one point of view.
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he should have stuck. reverend sharpton what should he have done? the right thing to do, to walk? >> he put himself in a very precarious tour with hid media tour denying everything when he knew think was something every when he knew that this was something personally he had to know that his denials were wrong. but my concern, where i agree with him, is my concern is where is the precedent here now? where are we going to draw the line? we have people as just stated that have done far worth that didn't have pictures but had sex with no pictures, that not only didn't leave congress but were supported with republican dollars for re-election. so i think the question now that we are left with is where precedent, where is the line going to be drawn now? will they now try to use the
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weiner example every time someone is accused of something, or does it have to be proven, or do you have to lie about it? where do we go from here? i don't think that's clear. >> i started this discussion about two weeks ago with our producers arguing we should look at this for what it is, public service, abused or not, and not circle the wagons ideologically. do you disagree with that? should have be looked at in a partisan fashion? josh, would you make the same claim for a conservative -- i'm not going to mention a name, because it would impugn somebody. but if somebody of his rank did exactly the same thing on the other side of the aisle, behaved the same way, would you say they should stick? >> i would. and, again, i run a news website. we have been all over this story. we've published all sorts of embarrassing details about anthony weiner. so it's not that i have any particular brief for him as an individual or what he did. i'm not even really trying to defend him. what i don't like is my sense is a public servant works for the
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voters who elected him or her. if oy just -- it seemed unseemly to me that people that he didn't work for, he doesn't work for nancy pelosi or steve israel. those people sort of ganging up on him and forcing him out. and frankly, you know, our website covers all sorts of scandals. we cover them all aggressively. you know, i don't call for people to resign. that's not part of my -- that's not on my menu of options. >> wait a minute here. i want to get reverend sharpton in here. but joe mccarthy was censured by the entire senate. he probably could have kept getting re-elected out there at wisconsin. so is it always up to the people at home? >> the house can expel a member. >> i don't know about your particular site, about you to say republicans and right wingers don't call for people to resign, no, they just call for people to be impeached. i mean, we're talking about a situation here where i think that mr. weiner -- a lot of -- i do a syndicated radio show, and
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a lot of people that i talked to tod today wanted him to fight and not resign. the problem is it is up to the constituents and the people that vote for him. but he also has a responsibility to say to them that if i'm not going to be able to effectively work with the leadership of my party, that assigns committees, that makes it possible for me to deliver goods and services, to you, can i effectively representative you? so you can't discount pelosi and the democratic leadership because there's not an effective relationship with them, can he deliver for those constituents. >> i think that's a certain point. and again, it got to the point if he was going to be stripped of his committee assignments and stuff like that, i just don't think they frankly should have done that. and to go to chris' point, you're right, chris, that was the case. and there is a role. but, look, the house can expel a member. and if they thought that was necessary, then they could have gone that route. it just again -- i don't like the idea of seeing someone who's
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made a fool of themselves, but not committed any crime, getting the bum's rush out of congress, when again it really seemed like as of the last poll his constituents wanted him to stay in. and as long as someone's constituents want them to stay in, i don't think why they should be forced out. >> this is a healthy argument. who makes the call, the people at home or the members of congress? does he serve out his term no matter what he does? and i think we'll always have the pressure. and i think it was right calling it a bum's rush. there wasn't even a vote in the house floor or the caucus. people ran him out without even putting a hand in the air. thanks to both of you. when we return, let me finish with getting back to business. now that the weiner thing is behind us, you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. laugh. honey bunny. [ babbles ] [ laughs ] we would do anything for her. my name is kim bryant and my husband and i
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let me finish tonight with a simple statement of fact but also hope. we're back to business. that business is making the choice between the two kinds of countries we want to live in. do we want to live in a country where 40 or 50 million americans and climbing won't have health care? they just go without a doctor, without medicine, without help with their health, when they need it? or do you want to live in a country where people have health protection and are required to pay what they can for? nothing is perfect, but make your choice. what kind of country do you want to live in? one in which gay and bisexual and transgendered are out of the
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mainstre mainstream, or one in which we are all god's children and are treated that way? do you want to live in a country where the commander in chief makes prudent decisions? we may not always like them, but who works to find a way to bring our troops home, not sending them off to new countries to invade and up on. yes, there is a choice. compare the administrations of clinton and obama with those of the bushes. let's see. iraq the first time. pana panama, then somalia. then bush the second. we into afghanistan supposedly to catch afghanistan and off again to iraq. clinton, air strikes over kos o kosovo. obama, in libya that doesn't involve our troops. what kind of president do you want? one that leans into war owe away from it? do you want to believe in science, or do you want to believe that man's knowledge


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