tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC October 8, 2011 5:00am-5:30am EDT
> taking it to the streets. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews down in washington. leading off tonight, the whole world is watching the occupy wall street protesters who have been gathering across the country aren't necessarily looking for a leader. but a leader may be looking for them. you can be sure the organizers don't want to be co-opted by any political party, even the democrats. but you can be just as sure that the democrats are desperate to ride that wave of energy and enthusiasm. if there's a tea party on the left, you may be looking at it.
also, mass hysteria. republican scott brown is fighting hd to change the subject after taking a personal shot at rival elizabeth warren's physical appearance. this is just the start of what's going to be the most in-your-face senate race in the country. plus, waiting for superman. or superwoman. chris christie said no. so did sarah palin. rick perry's losing supporters. and rick santorum is hoping to be the guy who picks them up and becomes the big-name conservative in the race. we'll play "hardball" tonight with rick santorum. and jon huntsman finally came in first in a straw poll. that's the good news. the bad news is, well, check out the sideshow. and let me finish tonight with a need to watch the wall street protesters and listen to them for solutions. let's begin with the occupy wall street protests themselves. sherrod brown is a democrat from ohio. senator, if you were standing in wall street with the occupy wall street people, what placard would you be holding up in the air?
>> that's a good question. i just think for the president to stand -- be on our side in the end. i mean, this isn't a liberal conservative left or right, it's whose side are you on, and the president's starting to fight more than he did. that's a good sign. i think the energy coming out of the wall street protesters is always a good thing. when people nonviolently speak out and stand for something, it's good to challenge authority when they do that. >> do you think they want reform or do they want structural change? the kind of stuff i grew up with and you grew up, which is a real argument about what kind of a system, kind of system we have in this country. is this for structural change, radical change, like the way profits go to different corporations or the way people get jobs? is it systemic? or do they just want things fixed a little? i'm curious. what do you think? >> i don't think they want minor reforms. you remember during the banking bill. the brown/kaufman amendment would have said, it would have basically said those banks that have gotten bigger and bigger
and bigger, the biggest six banks in the country should have been broken up into smaller banks. it would have, instead of the power again occurring at the top, we saw what happened this week, when some of the largest banks in the country added additional charges, quietly, sort of underhandedly to some of the veterans that were refinancing their homes. and those kind of things are still going on. so minor changes at the edge are not what people want. and i think that, you know, having a -- having rich cordray as the consumer protection chief, things like that that will make the big banks and others behave the way they're supposed to. >> do you think corporations are like mitt romney says they are, they're just people like us? do you think they operate in the national interest or the interest of working people? when corporate boards meet and make decisions about automating and getting rid of employees or make decisions about investing overseas and not here, do you think they make decisions in the interests of patriotism or just cash? what do you think? >> well, i think they're
operating -- i remember the ceo of one major company, might have been ge, might have been dow a few years ago, said, i wish i could move my corporate headquarters to a barge off the coast so i wouldn't have to be behold to any country. i mean, i understand that. if that's the way they are, then we treat them that way. and that is that we treat them fairly, but firmly on taxes and other things, and you know, when we give tax breaks for companies that move overseas, there's something wrong with that. earlier in the day, i was speaking -- i was at miracle scott's grow, a company in sort of central ohio, and one guy said, what are we going -- this guy is management -- he said, what are we going to do to help the middle class here? we're seeing middle class wages sideline. we're seeing manufacturing move jobs offshore. and i think that's what these protests on wall street are all about. they're standing up not just for the middle class, but for working people who aspire to be middle class. and that is getting a fair shake from companies and getting a fair shake from their government. they don't feel like they are, clearly. >> i think they're there to
stay. i think this is going to be as big as -- maybe not as big as egypt, but permanent in our politics all through the next election. these people have got their act together, more so than the democratic party does these days. let's look at this value voters summit today. republican majority leader, eric cantor, denounced the occupy wall street movement. let's listen to his angle. >> i, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying wall street and the other cities across the country. and believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of americans against americans. >> >> such babbitry. babbitry. why do you think he instinctively -- no, really, it is like the old st. claire lewis. here's a guy speaking to the people of main street about the evils of the little people outside their windows. i mean, why do you think the republican party instinctively dumps on people who are out of
work, people who are simply in an american way raising their voices? >> well, it's the same people on the republican far right that anytime we talk about a tax increase for somebody making a $1 million a year, anytime we talk about challenging the banks or challenging big insurance companies or people protest peacefully on wall street, they say, class warfare, class warfare. well, as you know, and you've talked on this show, chris, many times, is that the class warfare has been aimed by the biggest and wealthiest interest groups in the country aimed a the middle class, and far too often, the middle class is losing on this class warfare coming from the most well-healed interest groups in washington. that's why they're fighting back, that's why we're fighting back, that's why you fight back on this show just to give everybody an equal chance. and when eric cantor does that, he shows his true stripes. >> thank you so much. i'm with you, by the way. i think you're a great senator. thank you, senator sherrod brown, ohio. >> thank you, chris. i appreciate that.
michael mulgrew join us right now from the protest site in downtown. mr. malgrew, i like where you are and i like the fact you're on the show tonight. let's talk about the left, the positive left, who want to make this a better country. i'm not talking anarchy, i'm talking people that really want good reform, structural change, in the right kind of way. more equality in this country. what can get done if labor can get in bed with the people on the streets there? >> well, people here at occupy wall street are clear, this is not a political movement, this is a social movement. and myself and some of my colleagues, we're here to say, just do what you're doing and keep it moving. because this is a discussion that we believe this country needs to have. and as you walk through this park, you hear all of their different ideas, but the main thing, the main message they keep saying is, whatever's been going on here in this country, 1% keep getting richer and 99% are getting poorer and poorer. and we're hoping that by supporting these people and just
let them keep going out and saying the messages that they're doing, go across this country, that that's a debate we need to be having on every street corner across this country if we want our country, once again, to work for everyone. >> give me one thing that congress could do to reduce the disparity, the difference between rich and poor in america. >> right off the top, it's got to be the tax structure. it's completely out of whack. i represent teachers. they are paying a higher tax than somebody running a hedge fund. it's a concern. this is such a small percentage having all the wealth. what you are hearing is we do not want a complete collapse. start with the tax structure. be fair about it. >> it's friday. let's get serious here.
the democrats controlled congress. we have a democratic chairman of finance. they controlled ways and means with a lot of well known people like charlie rangel. they never got rid of carried interest or hedge fund operators get. why charge the democrats when they have been able to get rid of the tax deals. why do you trust them to fix it? >> that's why i was clear to say to you, this is not a political movement, this is a social movement. it doesn't matter, democrat or republican. what we are hearing is the government is not working for the people. we have had democrats and republicans in control. for 30 years we have seen this all is well stuff. it has to stop. that's what i have heard. it's got to be about stop the party poll picks. let's do what's right for people. i'm a teacher. i educate children but i also
want to make sure as he gets educated and goes to college, it's clear. talk to anyone here. those opportunities are disappearing. >> you know, in cairo, we watched like everybody else what happened over there. they brought down mubarak and the statues and changed everything in egypt. i hope that doesn't happen here. do you think good can come out of this in the end? in a couple weeks or months, what is going to be different because of the crowd behind you? >> the income disparity is one of the major things you hear over and over. they all feel, with their own little reasons about campaign finance, free media where it's not independent anymore. they are saying you need to stop the income disparity that is out of control in this country.
you have to have that strong middle class. we start hearing politicians on both sides start talking about that instead of trying to play the divide games, then they have accomplished something we haven't been able to do in years. you are great. thanks for coming on. coming up, republican senator scott brown in massachusetts fighting hard to get rid of a comment he made about elizabeth warren's physical appearance. promising to be one of the most in-your-face races in the country. [ male announcer ] for sore muscles use new bengay cold therapy,
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scott brown and his democratic opponent, elizabeth warren. it started on tuesday when warren was asked by a young republican how she paid for college. the question reminded everybody, including her, that scott brown posed nude to pay for his law school. >> scott brown posed nude for "cosmo" to help pay for his college education. how did you pay for your college education? >> i kept my clothes on. >> i kept my clothes on. yes, scott brown was asked about the exchange in a radio interview. let's listen to that. >> have you officially responded to elizabeth warren's comment about how she didn't take her clothes off? [ laughter ] >> thank god. >> "thank god." anyway, later, elizabeth warren responded to his statement. let's listen to that. >> what do you think about this "thank god" comment? >> i'll survive a few jabs from scott brown. >> do you think he should
apologize? >> i'll survive. >> wow, and "the boston globe" reports that brown went back on radio last night to say his earlier statement on warren was a joke. that's what he says. so in a competitive race, does a back and forth like this help either candidate? susan milne writes for "u.s. news & world report", david corn is a washington bureau chief, of course, for "mother jones, and alex wagner is an msnbc analyst. i want to start with susan. who has won this thing so far, this little back and forth about making fun of somebody's physical appearance, saying it's a joke. she didn't exactly start it, because that republican youngster started taunting her, go ahead. >> yeah, i think if anybody wins, it's probably elizabeth warren. i mean, first of all, i think we all know that a woman would never be able to run for office like this if she'd posed nude for a magazine.
it didn't seem to trouble people about scott brown. but i think what his problem is, his campaign is now saying that this is an example of how elitist elizabeth warren is, because she didn't have to do something like that. and i kind of want their theme song to be that donna summer -- she works hard for the money? >> they're trying to bring it back to -- >> right, exactly. >> i want to know, just your bottom line, who won the back and forth when she took opportunity to mention that he'd posed naked for -- nude for "cosmopolitan" years ago when he was in law school. and then he made the personal shot at her. >> yeah. >> who won in that exchange? >> i think she did. his is personal. >> this is what i find fascinating. brown is not a politician. he is one of the best pure -- like a quarterback. with a barber coat, a car and truck. >> you know what his problem is, we could talk about their working class backgrounds and so forth, but the math is tough for him. he's running in massachusetts. a lot of people are pulling for barack obama and brown.
the second thing, she has an advantage. in the first campaign, people were comparing martha coakley, a member of ted kennedy. >> at least brown showed pictures of kennedy. there was never a kennedy in the seat. alex, your thoughts about this. you come from a long pedigree of political people. >> no one is taking their clothes off to get through college. >> let's go back to the sheer politi politics. we do that better than naked pictures. >> it's arguable. >> is scott brown in trouble? >> absolutely, chris. his favoribility rating was sky high months ago. combine what's happening on wall street, the fear of anger and the middle class is unduly born with the fighting that elizabeth warren has done and her record
fighting the banks and the government, she is the candidate for now. >> she is gutsy, joan of arc taking on the big guy. >> she is the perfect, perfect democrat. she has background rooted in her own experience. itis not an academic experience. she understands big finance. she knows -- >> an elite thing will kill you, though. >> 13% said they were less favorably disposed to her because of a harvard background. >> my fellow irish woman here, how do you beat that rap, we are better than you that drives most massachusetts people crazy. >> first of all, she is the one who went to a public university and law school. scott brown went to the private schools. she doesn't come from a
privileged background. we wring our hands over the state of education and how kids aren't making their s.a.t. scores. >> academic achievement and elitism and looking down on people and i'm better than you because i went there. in this democratic society, don't act like you are better than other people. i don't know, i'm asking. >> she is -- >> how about winning for once. >> she's champion -- but she's champ -- she's very good -- she's good at crew saiding and championing for the consumer. she talks about these issues in a way people get. she will be great on the campaign trail. scott brown should be scared. >> you are great. you are really good. this guy is the best. you got a bull horn out there somewhere. >> i would be happy to manage her campaign. >> anyway, i like the way you
talk. thank you all. you know what elitism is. jon huntsman comes up in first place in a straw poll. guess which one he won. [ fem] starbucks via® is planted the same... ♪ ...harvested the same... ♪ ...and roasted the same as our other premium coffees. ♪ it only makes sense it would taste the same. so, try it for yourself. buy a pack of 100% natural starbucks via® ready brew. we promise you'll love it or we'll send you a bag of starbucks coffee. it's the starbucks via® taste promise. look for it at starbucks stores and where you buy groceries.
back to "hardball," now to the side show. first up, finally a moment of triumph for gop candidate jon huntsman. that's right, the former utah governor ended up in the number one slot in a recent straw poll. only problem, here's a hint. the group that conducted the straw poll, well, they're called the take back the american dream conference, is actually a progressive organization and we're talking really progressive. in the same poll, 97% supported president obama's american jobs bill. when asked which of the
republican candidates was most qualified to be president, 49% went for huntsman. so he didn't want to win this one. mitt romney came in a distant second with just 22%, and this has got to be a bittersweet moment for huntsman, probably more bitter than sweet, if you consider that primary season has yet to be in full swing. next up, you picked the wrong guy. that's the gist of what former president bill clinton has to saying about an ad targeting president obama's jobs act. released by the conservative super-pac, american crossroads. let's take a look at the snippet that got clinton's attention. >> the president proposes tax increases. $1.5 trillion. >> $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue. >> president obama's latest way is still the wrong way. >> i personally don't believe we ought to be raising taxes. it won't solve the problem. >> well, if you thought the former president didn't notice this cameo appearance, those people put the ad together were mistaken. in response to his appearance in the ad, clinton said, "the advertisement implies that i
opposed the buffett rule. in fact, i support both the american jobs act and the buffett rule. i believe that it's only fair to ask those of us in high income groups to contribute to solving our long-term debt problem." well, there you have it. and later -- "what i did say was that the buffett rule, this is clinton, again, cannot solve the problem alone. reducing the debt requires three more things -- economic growth more spending cuts, and more revenue." bill is on his game. now for the big number. when you're debating what movie to see, how often do you think about where the leading actor stands politically before buying your movie ticket? turns out, that's not an uncommon consideration especially when you're talking about tea partiers. a in poll by "the hollywood reporter" asked that question. how many of the tea party respondents answered that a celebrity's political views do impact their decision to watch them at the movies. well, 45% say yes. that's more than double the amount of democrats who answered
yes to the same question. tea partiers, i guess, want to know that the guy kissing the girl is thinking about taxes being too high. 45%. and that's tonight's wild big number. that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business." s to work day. ♪ campbell's microwavable soups, right where you work. in three minutes, the deliciousness that brings a smile to any monday. and soup has what you need at work, to work. make any place, your happy place. ♪ campbell's -- it's amazing what soup can do.