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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  June 28, 2011 2:00am-3:00am EDT

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i think that that's going to be a concern. >> state senator lena taylor and john nicholls, thank you for coming on tonight. i appreciate it. that will do it for "the ed show" catch me at 11:00 a.m. eastern. bachmann goes to iowa, blagojevich goes to jail. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington, heading up tonight, the second battle of waterloo. everyone has theirs, even napoleon. a nickname when people of huge ambition have reality. today michele bachmann signaled
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a battle for the right in the country. she came first on "hardball" when she called for investigation of democrats in congress for anti-americanism. now she's in the race for president, and in a brand new the seven-month campaign has begun and the republican heart. also, guilty, guilty, guilty. it took a second jury to do it but former illinois governor rod blagojevich was convicted this afternoon of 17 of 20 counts. most important, trying to auction off barack obama's old senate seat. why is illinois sent so many governors to prison? kerner, walker, ryan, now blago. forget term limits. throw away the keys. plus the decision to legalize gay marriage in new york is about much more than one state. it's becoming acceptable to millions of americans, will republicans try to exploit it one last time? threaten obama if he sign on? the tea party, anyone but mitt. mitt romney's got a big lead in the national polls. the perfect candidate to take on president obama. right?
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then why does the tea party look for somebody, anybody else? let me finish tonight with that very point. the heavyweight battle between one candidate, trying to something he's not. i just mentioned his name. another who is for better or worse exactly who she is. we start with her. michele bachmann. michael steele's the former chairman of the republican national committee and msnbc political analyst and the david corn, washington bureau chief and nbc political analyst. gentlemen, show you now, here she. michele bachmann, the congressman in her announcement speech this morning in waterloo, iowa. let's listen. >> i want my candidacy for the presidency of the united states to stand for a moment when we, the people, stand once again for the independence from a government that has gotten too big and spends too much and has taken away too much of our liberties. government thinks it knows better. government thinks it knows better thousand spend our money. government thinks it knows better how to make a better life for us.
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they think they create jobs. they even think they can make us healthier, bus that's not the case.ç we have to recapture the founder's vision of a constitutionally conservative government if we are to secure the promise for the future. >> what is this, michael? a protestant reformation? somehow we're going back to the purity of the original christian church? back to the original perfection of slaveholders and how perfect they were and government is the enemy. she speaks purity party lingo. >> she's like the council of trent. >> right. >> for the church. >> what is it she's going back to the purity of the old days? >> not going back to the purity of the old days. it's reminding us of some of the foundational principles. >> what? slavery? >> please, chris, come on. >> in the original principles. >> stop jumping in. you know that's not what this is about. the reality is, when i became chairman of the rnc in 2009, i inherit add party that was lost.
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moorings not anchored. you have candidates who have emerged the last two years who understand going around the country eliciting the people what foundation's issues are for them. let me speak to that. >> what it's worth. the foundational issues. government is bad. >> right. >> government is bad. she's in the government, by the way. >> and -- >> paid by the government. she's paid by the government. >> and also a tax lawyer when she represented the irs against people who had tax issues and now is -- >> reform subsidies for the family, too, i guess. >> listen, this is a foundational battle. we have it in the debt talk ç here's, had it with hr-1, slashing government. she wants to get up there and say government's bad.
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we shouldn't have food safety programs, shouldn't have environmental enforcement. all of that stuff. let her gut up there and say this. we didn't see the full bachmann, this is where ed rollins is making his money, earning his money, because she got up there, didn't say the gays are running america, didn't attack anything specifically. didn't say anything wrong about american history. has she ever? she said this over and over again. >> the show right now. let me give you late-breaking history. only three years old but fresh enough. back in october 2008. really the seed of the hurricane here, ladies and gentlemen. congresswoman bachmann appeared on this program as a surrogate for the mccain campaign and her comments soon made her famous. or something. let's listen. >> so this is a character issue? you believe that barack obama may, your suspicious, because of this relationship, may have anti-american views, otherwise it's probably irrelevant to this discussion? >> absolutely. i absolutely -- >> barack obama has anti-american views? >> absolutely, i'm very concerned that he may have anti-american view, and what i would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look.
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i wish they would. i wish the american media would take a great look at the views of people in congress and find out, are they pro america or anti-america? i think people would love to see an expose like that. >> thank you, congressman bachmann. now we have a chance to hear what she said. start with you, mr. chairman of the republican party erstwhile. i used to know what it meant. former. okay. she says we should investigate the members of the united states congress, all elected. starting with democrats for anti-american views. who should we start with? who's a good suspect for an anti-american person, a traitor in our midst? what kind of talk is this?ç >> it's at the time i think michele bachmann like a lot of folks were saying at the time that then senator obama was running. we does not know much about the man. we were learning through third parties about him. >> okay, wait a second. >> no. >> you are guilty -- >> to this day for all your progressiveness you still don't
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know barack obama because if you did you would understand exactly what his policies are right now. >> you are changing the subject. >> i'm not changing the subject. >> anti-american. >> the issue at hand, the charge he's anti-american. >> excuse me, sir. he is anti-american, she's using the same rhetoric that nancy pelosi used to describe those who didn't support efforts -- >> bob schieffer joined this. i have great respect. any one of these guys, bob schieffer, down the middle journalist. on cbs asking congresswoman bachmann about those comments she made here on "hardball." he follows up the exchange i think well yesterday. here's a bit of that exchange on cbs's "face the nation" yesterday. >> so what does that mean, congresswoman? did you mean he was unpatriotic, that he didn't love this country? >> no. i didn't mean that at all.
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i don't question the president's -- >> what did you mean? >> i don't question the president's patriotism at all. what people are concerned about now is that the president doesn't steam have an understanding of how the economy works. it doesn't seem that he has a basic understanding of how to do the job of president of the united states. and i share that view. >> there's a long way between that and saying he's anti-american. >> well, you know, all of that has been dealt with in the past. again, as i said i don't question his patriotism. what's most important is, how has the president performed? i think quite simply, the president has been wrong.ç and in his policy prescriptions for the country. that's really what is important right now, because we're in serious times, and we're in trouble. >> what makes you put it in a
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different way when you said he anti-american views? >> sure, a lot of things i wish i would have said differently. >> which bachman was right? the one who thought we ought to have a joe mccarthy-style investigation? accusing the president and on two occasions you heard her -- tape is great. isn't it? >> it doesn't lie. >> bob schieffer is getting so hot. he is so good at this basic question of documentation. he asked a simple question -- >> i wish he would do that when he has the president sitting in front of him. do that when he has some of the democratic leadership sitting in front of him like nancy pelosi and be as penetrating in getting to the point -- >> you think she's a liberal? ha. >> i'm not saying -- >> what i -- >> there is nobody. no, no, no, no. >> enough's a enough. >> the idea is you're not going -- >> let's try chris -- i'm not sure where you think he stands. bob schieffer off on the left. let's take a look at chris, yesterday on fox news sunday. a well-known retreat for lefties. ended the interview with bachmann asking if she was flake. interesting question. not sure i would have put it that way. >> are you a flake? >> well i think that would be insulting, to say something like that, because i'm a serious
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person. >> but you understand when i say that that that's what the rap on you is? >> well what i would say is that i am 55 years old. i've been married 33 years. i'm nome not only lawyer, a degree in tax law from william & mary, worked in serious scholarship and work in the united states federal tax court. >> but do you recognize now that you're in the spotlight in a way you weren't before you have to be careful and not say what some regard as flaky things? >> well, of course, a person has to be careful with statements that they make. i think that's true, and i think now there will be an opportunity to be able to speak fully on thç issues. i look forward to that. >> i think he hurt her feelings there. a moment there, i know michele bachmann a little bit as a human being. the arguments we have here. let's ge on. i think his favorite, trying to use the language other was using, but it came across this way and after the show ended,
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wallace apologized to the question he put. you get in situations not exactly this way, but he got into it this way. >> a lot of you were more than perturbed and upset and felt that i had been rude to her, and since, in the end, it's really all about the answers, not about the questions, i messed up. i'm sorry. i didn't mean any disrespect. i simply was trying to put an issue that's out there directly to her, because some people do dismiss her as a flake. >> he was speaking for the crowds. >> yeah. >> wait, wait. >> let's go on here. >> okay. he made a mistake by using that term, but she has said a lot of flaky things. she believes global warming is a hoax. she's not -- >> a lot of people -- >> no, no. don't go down this road. you are so -- >> down this road? >> the size of the -- george w. bush didn't believe that global
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-- >> mitt romney -- >> your definition is -- >> wait, wait. across the ice cap. start -- going to norway across the top. will you say we have global heating, then? >> i'm just saying. >> no, no. what i'm saying is a lot of people do. >> she called for -- called for investigations of members of congress. believes that people -- >> and democrats haven't. >> not for being anti-american. another one. take this one on. believes that people become gay and lesbian only because they're abused as children. do you buy that, too? i don't buy that. a few things, flaky remarks. >> you're saying stuff people think are flaky so -- >> so what? >> back to reality. i accept your visceral attitude to some of the things she said, which i do think, we've got to be careful of the words flaky. a homonym.ç well said. >> and that person -- can we stipulate anti-american has been thrown around by both the right and the left, nancy pelosi and during the whole debate on health care in 2009, 2010 talk and the tea party people as being anti-american. michele bachmann, please. >> back to the world we cover really well. philosophy, like we're doing it well. also, hard core politics.
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michele bachmann, whatever you think of the statements she'd made, they have run with people. run with voters. she's now tied, 23-22 out in des moines poll and leaving behind the other candidates. herman cain won't win. gingrich not win. ron paul, still has a chance to get in the ray, pawlenty, other candidates in the field. are you surprised so quickly narrowing to that bracket, bachmann and romney? >> no, i'm not. i think further narrowing -- >> how can it get narrower than two candidates? >> possibly more than just two candidates. that's my point. it's going to nair toe down a little more. probably at the end you're looking at four individuals who are going to contest heavily beginning with -- >> who are the best bets? >> probably the best bets right now, taking rick perry out of it, it's going to be huntsman,
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bachmann, romney and pawlenty. i think pawlenty -- to your point, i think -- can still have a legitimate -- >> let's do this. thank you, michele -- i've got michele on my brain. good luck, michele bachmann. she's a good person. by the way, whatever she says, she believes. that separates her from romney and the other guys that just want to look good. they dress for success. she is what she is inside. good luck, as human being. as a politician, we'll see. thank you. blagojevich had his day in court and lost. convicted probably for life now. 17 counts. they all add up. the jury says he's guilty of trying to sell the senate seat of barack obama when he was elected president. what a show trial. he testified in his own defense unsuccessfully. he's going down. this is "hardball," only on msnbc.
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>> president obama is getting into a debate. he is with senator mitch mcconnell. the president wants to avoid economic catastrophe. mcconnell wants my tax increase taken off the table.ç they want to have the option of raising taxes on the very rich, the people that got us into trouble. eric cantor walks out of talks with vice president biden over the tax issue. he's not budging. we'll be right back.
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patty and i obviously are very disappointed in the outcome. i frankly am stunned. there's not much left to say, other than we want too get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and then try to sort things out. wow. welcome back to "hardball." former governor blagojevich. you just saw him there. found guilty on all charges at
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his attempt to sell the president empty senate seat when the president was elected. joining me, "washington post" columnist and columnist from the chicago news cooperative. jim, you start. were you surprised by the strength of this verdict? >> no, not at all. when i listened to the jury instructions to the 12 jurors, particularly, chris, on conspiracy and wire fraud counts it was open and shut. now, we can argue and have a good discussion about whether or not these were real, true crimes and whether or not this was essentially criminalizing political behavior at all levels of government, but when you listen to the federal conspiracy statutes are written, the two of us can have a private discussion about some hanky panky with eugene and don't have to transmit that information. the fbi wiretap catches us
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discussing the swap of some governmental action for personaç gain, we are screwed under the law. so, no. absolutely not. i'm not surprised. >> in other words, just to teach this lesson to everybody watching including young people who want to go into politics, bring gene in in a minute. basically, two people get together. one says, how about i give this job to somebody, and then in exchange for that i get a job with the union? or in exchange, give money to my caucuses? even though those caucuses aren't personally for me, those are both criminal acts? >> right. in this case also, chris, we did have examples when it came to discussing putting valerie jared in the obama seat, discussing his political enemy, congressman jesse jackson jr. in that seat, in each case there was evidence of personal political benefit. he wanted a nonprofit set up for him in the case of jared so he could make $750 grand to $1 million running that nonprofit in exchange for getting jared
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the job and in the case of jesse jackson jr., he hates, everybody knew he hated him, putting him in the seat for a period of time if some contributor would fork over $1.4 million. >> here is a lesson in big crimes. this guy's going to serve a long time. he looks great there but he's going to end up in prison. a miserable life. >> my first question was, do they give you a buzz cut when you check into prison? starting a twitter campaign. >> he's got real hair. >> spare the hair is my twitter -- >> did you know these were crimes? >> you know, it's a matter of degree. when you look at the blagojevich stuff, and in one sense it's politics. in another sense, very specific things he wanted. he wanted money. he wanted a job. it was too blatant, i think.
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it did cross a line, and, you know, has it happened before? >> he had cash in his pocket.ç in the end, that was it. was it, jim? before we get to the tape, listen to the jurors here. just to get the point. the criminality was he benefited personally in terms of his own income. is that what did it? >> in fact, chris, he never benefited by one penny given the evidence that was here. the scary part about the way the conspiracy statutes are written was that the mere discussion of deals in which, for instance, he would hold up legislation to benefit a racetrack in exchange for campaign contributions, in exchange -- and then would hold up reimbursement of medicaid dollars to a hospital in return for campaign contributions. the fact that he tried to hold up a construction executive for $50,000 in return for signing a state highway bill. all of that, even though there
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is no proof that any of those acts were completed. he did not get a penny out of all this, chris. he's going to jail. >> and even though the money let's look at the jury's thought. a couple juror whose have spoke on camera since the late afternoon verdict. here they are talking about the effect of the ex-governor's testimony. >> what was your reaction to former governor blagojevich's testimony? how did it make an impression on you? >> i think it made it -- i wouldn't say it made it a bit harder, but because he was personable, it made it hard to separate that from what we actually had as jurors. we had to put aside the fact whether he liked him or didn't like him and just go by the evidence that was presented to us. >> he was being tried on attempting and not committing a crime, and when you say that you're going to forward an idea as opposed to asking someone to do it, that's where it changed, and there was several times where he said, you know, do it. push that. get this done.
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and i think that's when he crossed the line of just saying an idea and actually doing it. >> pending the instructions of the court which is at any step taken in the direction of ç carrying out a conspiracy, it's a crime. >> well, i mean, look, we're talking about the federal conspiracy statute. so if there's a quarrel, it's with the way the laws are written and the way the instructions were given by the judge, but i think the jurors didn't think they had a lot of choice in this matter. >> i guess i'm learning all the time about what is crime. you've got to help me here, jim. separate this crime. teach a lesson sheer. here's a teaching lesson for a journalist. does this mean if you want to give to a presidential campaign, which you'd like to be ambassador to this, to sweden or somewhere, one of the major
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countries. not the major, and you talk to a guy, say i'm going to raise you a million bucks but i expect to get an ambassadorship out of that. according to the way this jury was instructed, would that be criminal conspiracy? >> oh, yeah. the lesson to this is that, don't say in exchange for the million bucks i want to be at the, you know, the court of saint james with two months of your being sworn in on january 20th. no. i think the lesson sheer, don't be quite so crude. don't be quite so overt as rod blagojevich was, who was so obsessed with horse trading and with money and had so clearly little interest in the actual act of governing. but, yes, the lesson is, give the million bucks and then maybe through other means over the court of a period of time, threat be known to certain folks that you might be interested in ambassadorship, but don't get on the darn telephone with a guy and say, here's what i'd like. check's in the mail, buddy. >> not with a u.s. attorney that's got you bugged. thank you. we're not teaching crime. you've got to be careful what a criminality. what used to be considered politics. thank you, gene and jim. up next, chris christie repeatedly said no to a presidential +un.
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what if he were asked to be somebody else running mate? this guy is different. good question. his sans coming up. it's not "none of your business" but it's close and it's in the "side show." you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. >> announcer: this past year alone there's been a 67% spike in companies embracing the cloud-- big clouds, small ones, public, private, even hybrid. your data and apps must move easily and securely to reach many clouds,
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>> announcer: call for a free hair analysis and you could have more hair in as little as four weeks. hair club, america's hair loss experts since 1976. call now for your free info kit and free hair analysis. back to "hardball" now. the sideshow. great sideshow. remember the barn burner for the great -- well, chris christie. let's just call him that. >> you don't send your children to public school us sent them to private schools.ç so i was wondering why you think it's fair to be cutting school funding to public schools. >> gail, you know what? first of all, it's none of your business. i don't ask you where you send your kids to school. don't bother me about when i send mine. >> republican governor pointed to that when asked on "meet the press" whether he'd be on the national ticket this year.
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>> if they came to you and said, hey, be on the ticket, you're not a vp guy? >> can you imagine? the person who picked me as vice president would have to be state sedated. >> you are huggable and lovable, you said? >> you also saw the answer i gave to gail. that's who i am and i don't think that's vice presidential material. >> i think romney is a date piped wouldn't bet on it. bachmann plays fast and loose with the facts -- again. here she in iowa talking at the state's favorite son. the man known as the duke, john wayne. >> what i want them to know is like john wayne was from waterloo, iowa. that's the spirit vie, too. it's really about not being ashamed of america. it's embracing america. >> she almost got it right. actor john wayne was born in winterset, iowa, about three hours away, though his parents did briefly live in waterloo, before he was born. speaking of bachmann, time for tonight's big number, besides the big john wayne
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gaffe, she left no doubt as to the focus of her campaign. >> it is so great to be here in iowa. >> i grew up here in iowa. >> this part of iowa. >> my iowa roots. >> iowa values. >> iowa values. >> iowans. >> iowa's iowan. >> iowa. >> iowan. >> thank, iowa. >> wow. 14 mentions. the kickoff, 14 mentions. tonight's big number. up next, all politics is local. up next, new york approved same-sex marriage. the biggest state by far to do so and now gay rights activists are hoping, hoping, many more states will follow what new yorç has already put on the books. a republican state senator from new york state, who changed his vote to is a support gay marriage. interesting discussion coming up. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc.
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>> there is a mandatory welcome back to "hardball." gay rights advocates won a major victory friday when new york state became the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage. governor andrew cuomo managed to get a republican majority senate to bring the bill to the floor and four republican state senators broke rank with their party to pass the measure for gay rights and are looking to get this across the country. the first republican to support gay marriage up in new york. senator, thank you so much for coming on "hardball." this must be a very interesting weekend in your life. what did you learn about american life and attitudes about sexual orientation in the last three days since you cast this vote? >> i think that the main
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message, what i learned what i've known for a long time, is that equality doesn't know political boundaries. equality doesn't apply just to republicans and just to democrats. any more than it should apply to heterosexual couple, straight couples or gay couples. >> what do you make of your party's platform? i know nobody talks about party flat forms, but the republican national party last year said they won a constitutional amendment protecting marriage between a man and a woman. could you ever support a party platform like that?ç >> i can't now. obviously, because i've take an vote that is totally contrary to that kind of a platform offering. i believe that equality between a man and a woman and the equality of someone of the same sex is still equality. can you have a marriage between a marriage in afghanistan between an adult man and 12-year-old girl. that's man and woman. those are extreme arguments. i think the republican party needs to understand that it is
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the party of abraham lincoln, and that was based on freedom and based equality and we need to apply that to all members of our society. they are our sons and daughters and our brothers and sisters and equality needs to apply to everybody. >> how much do you think that fact, that you just gave us, played a part here? the fact that people now who are gay, who are born gay, and come out and tell their parents that maybe in their teen years, how important was that simple statement, that direct statement by young people to their relatives, their aunts and uncles as well as parents? how important was that coming out in this development? >> it's vitally important. if you see the younger generations, there's a generational gap here that society starts to evolve on this issue and on other issues. if you look back at the issue of abortion many, many years ago, it's not in the same place that it was then. we evolved socially. what drives this evolution as far as a social movement is concerned is a young group of
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people that look at things differently. they know that they have brothers and sisters. they know that they have co-workers. they know that they have people they went to school with that are gay. they see them just as everyday people and they put themselves in a place where if they were deprived of that kind of equality they would be ç uncomfortable. the number of people moving this social involvement are the ones that i think will eventually spread this kind of message, equality, across the country. it's up to someone like me, who's not as young as i'd like to be, to listen to that, and to listen to both sides and understand that we have to make this an opportunity for america to be what america was designed to be and that is the freest land in the world. >> thank you so much, senator. reminds me, by the way, of one of those great changes of mind. barry goldwater back in the '60s or '70s voted to let people at 18 vote after arguing if you have to fight for your country
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with the old draft country, ought to be able to vote. thank you for joining us. john holman, from "new york" magazine. an important guy here. he's a swing guy. a guy who make as decision. so rare in politics. two years ago he voted against same sex, now voted for it. the readings weren't done and with our producers he said two years ago he didn't vote his conscious. now he has. >> part ever the way governor cuomo and the supporters of this, to get it done in new york, going to people like that senator and saying we could tell that you were torn when you made this vote a couple years ago. >> who did they bring into their offices? big backers. >> one of the biggest differences between new york and the other places in the country, where the money in new york is consummate of wall street and though there are republicans, there are a lot of gay republicans. straight republicans with gay children and gay republicans
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themselves who came in and were able to say we'll be there financially for you. >> translate what you're writing a book about, written so well "game change." when you go into the states, north carolina, virginia, ohio.ç is this going to cut against the movement for equality? because there will be people who will be revisiting it? >> look, i think you have to -- already you're starting to see stories about what's going to happen now is the movement for gay marriage going to be able to spread state-by-state across the country? you look state-by-state. new york is new york. it's not the way a lot of swing states are. >> it's not utah. >> not ohio or north carolina, not virginia. the margins are much closer and it's a 50/50 proposition and in the long march of history we know inexorably, i think -- >> could there be a backlash? >> not so high. what you saw happen in new york and because of the republican party is likely to nominate someone not wanting to make an issue out of this.
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>> they put on their platform, will they do it again? we want a constitutional amendment to guarantee marriage is only male-female. >> interesting question. get to florida, tampa this summer, and there will be real division. there are a lot of people in the tea party also strong cultural conservatives. if you have a romney or huntsman, nominee, knows their path to winning the state focus, like a laser beam on the economy. are they going to want to go this way? something like abortion but the nominee, whether george w. bush or bob dole. >> or ronald reagan. >> goes out, doesn't talk about it. exhibit a. >> says, fine, it's in the platform, don't talk about that. >> red hot issue. interesting to see if they can put it away. good luck with the book. the trouble with mitt romney. the problem with -- i was going to say tea baggers -- tea
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partiers, traditional standards not current. obviously, why don't they like this guy? they really don't like romney. we're going to find out what's wrong with romney.ç that's ahead. and this is "hardball." only on msnbc.
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early this month when mitt romney announced he was running for president in new hampshire, sarah palin sol some of his thunder. her bus tour rolled through the same day. palin may be at it again tomorrow. off to iowa one day after michele bachmann's big announcements today. palin's first trip to the caucus states. there for the premiere of that new movie about her calmed "the undefeated." we'll be right back. i
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we're back. is the fight for the republican nomination shaping up now to be mitt romney versus the tea party? the new des moines register poll of iowa voters makes it look like that. romney's neck and neck with michele bachmann, head of the tea party in the congress. the co-founder of the tea party patriots and matt is the president of freedom works. let me leave this wide open with no pushy liberal questions at all. i want you guys to have a complete free forum here on the mat here right now. mark, when you look at the presidential field that's emerging right now in these polls, what do you feel about it as a tea party leader? >> well, first of all, i'm not a tea party lead perp appreciate that. i just try to reflect the millions out there in the movement. they see slate of qualified candidates.
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going through doing a mature analysis. they're not getting pumped up and enthusiastic about one candidate. we always saw what it brings to the white house. he's sitting there now and they're looking for something completely different than that. >> not charisma, then? >> definitely not. looking for record. one word we're looking for. principle. somebody who says what they're going to do and does what they say. >> so you hate romney? >> no. there's no personal vitriol there. >> no. the point, i can hear you, sir. romney was pro-choice in massachusetts. created the health care model for barack obama. he ran as moderate, liberal, you'd see, republican up there. now a pro-life, hard as nails pro-lifer and a mr. anti-obama health care and he wants to get rid of obama. that's a pretty much a 180 isn't it? about principle? >> it is. those flip-flops don't bode well for him in the tea party. >> let me go to matt. what do you see when you look at
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the field? >> we're trying to measure all the candidates based on some objective criteria laid out by the tea party. the contract from america. the one reason we've been critical of mitt romney, look aç core principles, particularly health care and the individual mandate, he just doesn't measure up and he's so entrenched on that issue in particular. it's hard to imagine him being able to debate the president of the united states on the question of health care freedom, on the question of government health care, because the president himself has celebrated romney care. >> not only that, even before that when he ran against ted kennedy for the senate. you know better than i this guy's record. back to mark on this. romney supported national individual mandate just exactly like the presence of the chafee bill. you could argue a pioneer in the terms of individual mandate, at the time argued by the heritage foundation as an alternative to the kennedy style canada plan?
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>> i think you're right -- his record is long and i think it speaks for itself and that's how people are going to judge him. look at what he's done. not just what he says. >> let me ask you about this other fella. pawlenty, fading like an old battery here. he is for cap and trade. is that as lethal as being -- >> he flirted with cap and trade. he is not nearly as entrenched. >> let's go to huntsman who supported it. is he in trouble with you guys too? >> i don't actually take governor huntsman all that seriously as a candidate. he doesn't seem to measure up on economics, but to go back to your question, i think pawlenty had an opportunity on health care in the last debate, and he whiffed. >> yes, he whiffed. that's the word. he didn't take -- he called it obamnicare. i am looking at the three candidates who have been called the front runners going left to right.ç romney, pawlenty, and huntsman.
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are any of them on your screen a possible candidate as enthusiastic champions for what you believe? >> yeah, i don't think we're seeing a lot of strength or leadership from any of those candidates. i don't think they're the frontrunner candidates according to the tea party movement. >> let's go right now to your field without picking a leader yet. you're not a leader, you told me that. you do speak for the people in the party. let me ask you on the tea party people, who are you looking at as potential nominees you can get excited about? >> again, i don't think it's about excitement. i think it's about analyzing record. i think generally speaking, if you look at michelle bachmann, i know you admire. >> let me make this clear to people. what i like about her is i like people who are what they are. i'm tired of frauds. what i like about her is that she and her husband seems like a good guy too. raised 25 foster kids. there is no way not to respect that in our society. >> i agree with you. i think that's what a lot of people -- that's what resonates with them. she is who she is, like her or hate her. you get what you get. what you get on camera and -- i think that's refreshing to
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people. i think people see a similar character in herman caine so, people are interested in that. there's some interest in the fact that he doesn't have the political resume. those are two of the people that i hear those names regularly. >> matt, who do you look to as possible people who you consider favorably? >> i think romney has created a sort of vacuum, and michelle bachmann. >> who do you want to come in the race who isn't in it, based on record? >> it's still early. >> not by -- >> by politics standards that was created by the tea party, it's still pretty early. someone like perry is thinking about coming in, and i think if you can pierce the armor of the romney myth and allow some of these other candidates to step up into that vacuum, i think we might have a real debate about the issues the tea partiers really care about. speak for your party now really. this is important. are you guys as appalled as i am of the fact that the press reports of nothing but how much
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money is being raised from big donors and the attempt to freeze out people in this campaign because they don't have enough bucks up front? mark. that seems to be the way this thing is being covered. >> i am absolutely appalled by that, but that seems to be the nature of media nowadays. it's literally all about the money. they're going to follow the candidates that are raising the money. that's a problem in our system. >> you know, i've said that -- >> you've seen the kind of money romney is raising. >> i've said that mitt romney may be the charty krist of this cycle. >> that's not an accolade, is it? >> for me it is not. >> i think we're shaping up the thing. it's an interesting battle coming up between the pop list people like you and the inside people. mark mecklor, thank you so much. when we return, let's finish with the tale of two frontrunners. romney and bachmann. you're watching hardball. more on this coming here. oh, we call it the bundler. let's say you need home and auto insurance. you give us your information once, online...
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let me finish tonight with the strange pair of front runners on the right. one is not really a right-winger but pretending to be courting the vote of tea party people am he wouldn't share a thought with much less an evening.
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the kind of person who reads the "wall street journal". not right-wing political nostrims but for the skeny on how to make more money. he reads the news pages. he is a lot more at home with the first george bush than the second. he wants you to read his lips like the older bush, not his mind. please. his mind is thinking constantly. how in the world can i convince these people that i'm one of them. how can i learn to imitate these crazed tea party type that is i hope to never meet at a real party. that's the moderate governor of massachusetts, who is elected up there in the base state as a defender of abortion rights, who made a record up there in boston as the deviser of the health care plan complete with individual mandate that was the very role model for obama. that's mitt romney out there ç today, by the way, pretending with all his might that he is not that mitt romney, that massachusetts politician, the only one with a public record in actual government. well, today he is joined william
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michelle bachmann who believes every word she says whose heart rides with every applause line. democrats are traitors. anti-american to the core. george washington worked tirelessly to end slavery, and, oh, yeah, lexington and concorde is right there in new hampshire when just happens to be the place where she, michelle bachmann, wants her shot heard around the world when she knocks off mitt romney right there in his own new england backyard. this is the fight card for the republican presidential nomination right now. one candidate to pretend, pretending to be a right winger. the other the genuine article, as we say in politics, the one who is right down to her core, which she seems to be, but who says things she truly believes that, unfortunately, are not true. so welcome to the battle of the talking points, the hip knottic trance that both these candidates will enter and maintain for the simple reason that one fears to venture forth into the realm of hits its own moderate real world thinking and the other so unaware of the country's real history that she must paint and repaint the myth as if she's ernestly at work on a paint by numbers. mitt romney or michelle

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