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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 23, 2011 2:00am-3:00am EST

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evan, lawrence, the entire last word team, all of us, thank you for your help. now, you can find information on how to donate on our blog at the last word at cave men. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. leading off tonight, surrender. john boehner and the house republicans finally realized there was no way out of the corner they had painted themselves in on the payroll tax cut and they've caved. late today, boehner agreed to a vote on the senate bill that calls for a two-month extension. hours earlier, president obama jammed the house republicans with a rub it in their faces moment in front of cameras. score one, a big one for the
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president and the democrats. plus, uneasy lies the head that leads iowa. almost immediately after ron paul topped just one iowa poll, he began getting hit from all sides, from the "wall street journal," from, and from republicans who fear that a paul win in iowa would make the caucuses irrelevant. welcome to the top, mr. paul. also, let's go to the videotape. remember this moment? >> america's never seen a candidate like herman cain. together, we can do this. we can take this country back. we're going to look back at our favorite youtube political videos of the year. and leave it to the republicans who oppose anything, anything president obama does, to criticize him for going christmas shopping. that's in the sideshow. finally, this is my favorite night of the year on "hardball," the night my wife kathleen, we
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call her the queen, turns the tables and interviews me. we start with the payroll tax cut crisis. hour fineman is the huffington post media group editorial all director, and one of the rain moments. here's john boehner speaking to the press late today. he took some tough questions, but defended his actions. >> reporter: a lot of folks are saying you caved. was this the worst week? >> sometimes it's hard to do the right thing, sometimes it's political difficult to do the right thing. when everybody called for a one-year extension of the payroll tax deduction. when everybody wanted a full year of extended unemployment
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benefits, we were here fighting for the right things. it may not have been political the smartest thing in the world, but i'm going to tell you what, i think our members waged a good fight. >> they lost, the president released a statement congratulating the congress for ending the partisan stalemate as he called it. he said, quote, this is good news, just in time for the holidays. this is the right thing to do to strengthen our families, grow our economy and create news jobs. >> howard, this is certainly a high moment for the president, to be able to have a position where he's for tax cuts for working people, have the republicans foot drag, and pretty much on christmas eve saying you're right. >> he gave them the biggest christmas present of all, and he was willing to stay in washington, not go to hawaii, to ensure he would get four more years. that's what it was amounting to. at the beginning of the week the president is the one that looked weak. once again everybody was writing
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president obama can't get two months, but the tea party republicans turned it all around, 180 degrees, and gave him arguably the biggest single political victory he's had of his presidency, by looking like they would be the grirchls who stole christmas and not give people an extension of the payroll tax cuts. >> jonathan, the word from newt gingrich, was humiliated by the shoutdown in the 1990s, warning the republicans like boehner, you are about to blow it. even newt, whoa can be a tough guy, an s.o.b. at times, saying don't be an s.o.b. a week before christmas. >> i think speaker boehner understood the politics, but he needed for his conference to get there. when he presented it on saturday, there was a rebellion against it. i think his folks were waiting for the conference to come
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around. a lot of these guys are new to politics or new to government. some have been around a while and are not that good at it. congress mast from georgia said earlier today, part of boehner's job is to protect the majority and to get things done. that's what he did today. i think that's sort of the spirit a lot of members are come the at this with. a thought were happy to get this off the table. they didn't want to see the tax cut expire and continue to get hammered into january as paychecks went down and taxes went went up. >> here's the president today, late this afternoon, sounding a populist message while he urged house republicans to pass the senate agreement. he stood in front of a crowd of people who had written into the white house, specifically, to explain what losing the payroll tax break would mean to them personally. let's watch the president and listen. >> this is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in
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both parties agree. how can we not get that done? i mean, has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can't do it? enough is enough. the people standing with me today can't afford any more games. they can't afford to lose $1,000 because of some ridiculous washington standoff. he reminds me of a guy at a card table looking at four aces, saying how can i lose this hand? >> and a fifth one buried in the cushion. and the tea party republicans, as jonathan said, gave him those aces. they allowed him to look like the victim of gridlock, not responsible in any way for gridlock, who is not to blame for the dysfunction of washington, and to make him look like a pop you list, who finally
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understood the extra vail of the commonman. barack obama has had a hard time convincing people he understands what their lives are like, really, but everyone can understand you'll get whacked $340 or $50 every week. he was prepared to play it as long as necessary. >> let's they are swinging that direction. the latest "wall street journal" -- actually "the washington post" polled, it shows yesterday morning, actually showed him getting better on the tax issue. which is a big turnaround. they also trust him more on protecting the middle class, which is of course the key issue, most people are middle class. it was profound, it seems to me on these issues where he has turned the table. now he does this -- exposes them, opposing people's simple tax break. >> he didn't even mention he
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delivered on his 2008 campaign promise to bring troops out of iraq. i think that's something you'll see a bump from as well. this is a time of great momentum for president obama, as howard pointed out, you pointed out, four aces in his hands. he's not used to saying that. often it's 2s and 3s, and not a straight he can lay down. this is an interesting time for the president. it's a peak -- a pretty long valley for him with the economy. we'll see how that goes for the next few months. for him he's lucky, he doesn't have to deal with congress that much more. there aren't that many big issues to deal with. obviously this payroll tax extension is one he'll be dealing with next year, but really a limited aenda for next year, a long on the campaign trail. he's coming on with a nice wind at his back. >> it seems to me -- you and i grew up in industrial states like pennsylvania. you look at the states where he'll have the hardest time, the
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older white voter. this is where he's up against a grouchy republican party, a cranky party that's doing stuff automatically on the right side of things. conservative side of things and not in the interesting of the average family. >> the team party republicans, they say they're worried about the long-term fiscal health of the country. the motivating thing for them is $15 trillion national debt. that's legitimate and something for everybody to be worried about. in two months from now when they're arguing again about the payroll tax and extending unemployment, the dr. oc fix, all of that, the tea party will hope to bring up those issues again. how do we actually pay for this? this whole battle wasn't really about the payroll tax. it's about how you pay for cutting the payroll tax. so there will be another argument.
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they'll have another chance to do it, but i would predict that once again in the spring, in the middle of the republican primaries, the president will still have the upper hand on this issue because it's about payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance, and it's hard for the republicans to stand up against it. it just is. >> jonathan, when people on the left, if you will, the progressive people in this country, when they watch this, they'll say this is an example where the president meld firm. that's why he won. he forced the other side to buckle. is that going to be a useful guideline from here until next november, say look, no, like nancy reagan says, you're not getting your way. we're getting or way because the american people are on our side. >> it depends on the issue, chris. these were issues where the republican house had leverage, because the president needed something from them. in this case he had a great issue. they were trying to, you know, getting some of out of him. they got keystone xl.
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now they have a figure leaf 2458d make eve blush as a result of this issue. >> you mean a minuscule -- i get the metaphor. let's start with the republican party, how it's coming apart. this is a strange republican party. it is a party run by a majority of tea party freshmen, redhots, if you will. they don't like government, don't like washington, don't like takeses, it's the no-deal party. then led by the old bulls like boehner, upstop and people like that, hanging on their jobs as holdovers, leftovers from an earlier era. will this fight break that alliance and force, the tea party wins from here on out our boehner survives? >> one has to go, and i think there will be an open battle, this signals the beginning of a real open battle. >> he looked miserable today. >> he was, because from his point of view, no good deed goes unpunished, as jonathan said,
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they had this conference call, boehner and his lieutenants said, this is the best we could get out of the senate, let's go for it, there's silence, you could heard the crickets out there in the land as the tea party people said no, no, no, no, no. so now boehner is taking the heat for it, but boehner was willing to call their bluff. he was willing to say, fine, you want a vote on this? we'll have a vote on it -- >> but having won, won't they sim irin the intoic rooms and meetings. >> yes. >> and say this guy boehner prevented us from a a win? >> i think, he's going to say i showed you the way, and they'll say, no, you didn't, and i think there will be an open revolt by the spring. >> if you're a moderate republican, boehner, the relative moderate, the angry right is sitting there saying we're no longer going ton led by moderates. they hate moderates. >> that's true. i'm not sure boehner is correctly seen as a moderate. he was seen as one of the
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original seven. >> compared to now? compared to now? >> so moderate comparative. >> this is many golf matches later. but you've got to assume that boehner at some point heard from enough of the guys out there screaming and yelling about what a bad deal this was, that they wanted him to cut the deal now and spare them 9 political pain and humiliation. you've got to figure he didn't make this decision until he was getting enough of that, and not fall politically. i think howard is right, there will be a lot of palates intrigue coming up for republicans, not just boehner, but also kantor, often seen as tremendously disloyal to the speaker. you've got guys down the road, mccarthy, hencer ling, i think pretty much everybody has to watch their backs. >> i've never seen such petty anger on the conservative side or any side. they're knocking obama for goods
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christmas shopping. attacking on him kantor attacking the president for going to the store nearby, saying he ought to be back there looking. give me a break! >> eric cantor should have been thankful that obama went to virginia to do the shopping. >> it it's so petty. we used to argue about big things. as they used to say in "the godfather" small but -- coming up. ron paul, the dove, the isolationist is winning there. what is iowa saying about the republican party? remember rudie giuliani, the hawk? what happened to that party? we're going to ask the governor. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. ♪
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you might assume that a texan would always support a texan, about you that's not the case with former president george h.w. bush. he offered close to an official endorsement not to the governor of his state, rick perry, but to candidate mitt romney. the former president toast "the houston chronicle" this weeks quote, i think hominy is the best choice for us. he also said i like perry, but he doesn't seem to be going anywhere. on newt gingrich, he said carefully, i'm not his biggest advocate. what a gem. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." ron paul now leads the race to win the iowa caucuses on january 3rd. and with that lead comes a level of scrutiny he hasn't yet faced, including a closer look at some of his more unconventional positions. what is paul's popularity in iowa tell the rest of us about that state?
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and what would a ron paul iowa caucus win tell the country? terry branstad is iowa governor, and it's great to have you on, governor. an honor, in fact. thank you for coming on. you are not only governor of your state, you are a veteran political observer of that state. you have won every race, i believe, statewide, you've ever fought. let me ask you this question. are you surprised by the, what looks to be a blooming support out there in your state for ron paul, and what does it tell you as an expert on the state's politics? >> well, in this caucus race, we've had more leaders than ever before. people are really disgusted with what's going on in washington. the lack of leadership from the president, the fact that we see the national debt going up more than $1 trillion every year. obama's health care is unaffordable, unsustainable. i think iowa voters want to send a real signal. we need to dramatically cut federal spending and have somebody that has the courage, and ron paul has had the courage to vote against all these deficits and all this
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manipulation of the currency. we don't want to be the next europe. we see the disaster europe's in because of their excesses in spending and failing to manage their fiscal house. we don't want to see that happen in america. and i think people are very concerned about it. but, also, as you pointed out, a lot of people are now starting to focus on ron paul's positions on foreign policy, some other issues, and i think a lot of iowans have some concerns, think he might be naive with regard to iran and some other places. >> well, let me ask you about that. because four years ago, whenever he said something that sounded isolationist or anti-war, about the iraq war, for example, rudy giuliani was there on a platform and he just whacked him and said, 9/11, that was the end of it. he got the applause and ron paul was quieted. this time around, is ron paul benefitting from a bit of war fatigue now that we've been over in afghanistan for ten years, we're just coming out of iraq after 8 1/2 years. do you sense in iowa among conservatives a sense of war fatigue on the part of our military?
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>> no. i think, really, his appeal to conservatives is the fact that he's a libertarian that's been against all this excessive government spending and manipulation of the currency. i think that's his real appeal. he wants to send a real message there. now, he's getting some support from some nontraditional places, from the occupy groups and some of those, who are just plain against defense and against the military. but he also does get some support from rank and file people that serve in the military. so his support comes from a lot of different places. but also recognize, he's now a front-runner and with being a front-runner comes more scrutiny. others that have been front-runners have been there for a while and drop back. so i think the iowa voters are looking for somebody that would be the perfect candidate. there isn't such a thing as a perfect candidate, but they want
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a better alternative. they are convinced the country's going the wrong direction, we can't afford four more years of obama. we need to have the strongest and best candidate. >> it's been a tough audition for all those guys. here's ron paul taking center stage. the nbc news/politico unit took a look at some of his unconventional positions. he opposes any federal regulations, incoming those for car safety, medicines, even air traffic control. he leaves it up to the states whether drugs like heroin, marijuana, and cocaine are legal or not. and he also says it's for states to decide whether prostitution be legal or not. he says the americans with disabilities act should never have been passed. and he believes social security, medicare, and medicaid are unconstitutional. those -- it reminds me of being a kid and liking barry goldwater. i think a lot of young people love that stuff. why do you think it's grabbing not just young people? young people are young and healthy, let me ride my motorcycle without a helmet, let me live my life. is that what it's about? is that the appeal of ron paul in iowa? >> right.
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he's got a lot of support from young libertarians, but also, you've got to remember the iowa caucuses are going to be held on january 3rd. the colleges are going to be on christmas and new year's holidays. so not all of those people are going to be here to vote. and it really depends upon who turns out. he's got some very strident supporters, but you've also got to remember, there are a lot of candidates in this race, and we're looking at maybe the front-runner getting around 20% or something like that. in the end, it could change hands another time or two before it's over. it's a wide open race. i don't think we should focus too much on any one candidate. let the voters decide. i have a lot of confidence in iowa caucus-goers. they'll choose the candidate they think is the strongest and the best to be the leader of america. >> well, as you know, the more wide open this election is, this caucus you're having january 3rd, the more everyone gets somewhere around 25% or less, the better it is for romney. that means dividing up the conservative vote.
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here's ron paul getting front-runner treatment on cnn last night from gloria borger. she asked about incendiary language in a newsletter published under the name "the ron paul report" back in -- here's a 1990 news her that criticized ronald reagan by honoring martin luther king jr., day by creating a holiday. he called it in the news her, whoever wrote it, "height whitie day." borger asked paul if he read the newsletters and ask what happened here next. >> not all the time. well, on occasion, yes. >> did you ever object when you read them? >> we talked about this twice yesterday, cnn has. why don't you go back and look at what i said yesterday on cnn, and said for 20-some years ago. 22 years ago. i didn't write them, i disavow them, and that's it. >> but you made money on them? >> i was still practices medicine. that's probably why i wasn't a good publisher. i had to make a living. >> is it a legitimate question? >> when you get the answer, it's legitimate you sort of take the
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answers i give. >> it's legitimate. these things are pretty incendiary. >> because of people like you. >> no, no, no. come on. some of the stuff was very incendiary, in, you know, in saying in 1993 the israelis were responsible for the bombing of the world trade center, that kind of stuff. >> yeah. come on. >> all right. all right. thank you, congressman. >> well, there you have it. i don't know what happened there. but gloria borger is not usually that -- well, she was asking questions. are they legitimate questions, governor, about what was published under his name in a newsletter that many years ago, 20 years ago? >> any time you get to be the front-runner, you're running for president of the united states, you better be ready for a lot of scrutiny. that's just the way it goes. politics is tough. you call this "hardball," that's what it's all about. it's hardball, especially when you're running for president of the united states. people have a right to know what stands you've taken and even though it might be over 20 years ago. >> i think you're rooting for romney.
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that's my hunch. but you don't have to respond. my hunch is you want a winner -- you think the best bet is romney. right? that's what i think. >> well, listen, i think that iowa voters are the best ones to decide. i have confidence in them. i've tried to be a good host to all the candidates, i want to treat them all fairly. i want to see a great turnout for the iowa caucuses. and we can't afford four more years of obama. we want a republican that can restore fiscal integrity and focus on helping the private sector create the jobs to renew the american economy. >> thank you very much. iowa governor, terry branstad, a pro, as you can tell. up next, jon huntsman goes musical. he's got talent and that's in the sideshow. you're watching "hardball." yes, you are, only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] in 1894, a small town pharmacist
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, striking a chord. jon huntsman and mitt romney both appeared on david letterman this week, and last night huntsman showed his skills at the keyboard. >> is it possible for you to run over there and do a little something at the organ with paul? >> what do you think? >> i'd love to hear it. ♪ go, johnny, go, go, go go, johnny, go, go, go go, johnny, go, go johnny be good ♪ >> jon huntsman, ladies and gentlemen! >> pretty good, actually. back in his youth, huntsman hit the road with a rock band. next up, who needs scrooge? president obama took some time out yesterday to hit up a few stores, buying christmas gifts for the family, including something for the dog, bo. according to some republicans, the gridlock in congress over the payroll tax cut was reason to skip that presidential
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shopping trip altogether. here's house majority leader eric cantor and senator john mccain earlier today saying just that. >> i think that the president should play much more of a lead role rather than go shopping for his dog. maybe call these people over to the white house, as the previous four presidents that i've served under, would have done. >> i saw the president out yesterday doing his christmas shopping, saw he brought his dog with him. you know, we're here. he could bring his dog up here. we are pet friendly. >> that's pretty geeky stuff, if you think about these two guys, giving him trouble for going christmas shopping for an hour or two. let's see, the republicans went after franklin roosevelt for his dog in '44, and nixon played a big defender of his dog back in 1950, checkers, of course. now president obama's getting attacked by republicans for his dog. human tricks, they never change. up next, let's go to the videotape, the top political videos of 2011 on youtube. you're watching "hardball." by the way, stick around for
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kathleen, the queen, she's coming on later on "hardball" tonight. only on msnbc.
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welcome back to "hardball." this political contest we're in right now is unlike any before in the use of video. youtube has put out the top ten most watched videos. joan walsh is editor at large. joan walsh is editor at large at
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salon, and ron reagan is a political commentator for us. this is one features herman cain's chief of staff smoking, and it's going viral, because it's so an akronistic about cigarettes. let's watch. >> mark block here. since january i've had the privilege of being the chief of staff to herman cain. we need you to get involved, because together we can do this. we can take this country back. ♪ i am america one voice united we stand ♪ ♪ i am america one hope to heal our land ♪ you know, i guess you want to starred with joan on this. it's so in your face. it's politically incorrect, i'm smoking on camera, which we don't do anymore, except in
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movies, i guess, but not on tv anymore, and i'm smiling about it, hey, i got you beat. the conservatives like that, but the conservatives live that in your face anti-pc behavior, i think. that's an akronistic, too. >> we're never going to get the hours back this year that we spent talking about herman cain. this breaks my heart, the three of us, but let's give them one last look. this is not a serious campaign, these people don't know what they're doing. they're having an enormous laugh at our experience. >> it does have elements of the old gong show. amateurs coming on one after another unsomebody bangs that gong and take them off the stage. in this case it's the people in the polls.
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>> indeed, this is where we learned that doing a book tour is different than running for president. just because you have a chief of staff that can manage your book tour doesn't mean he's the right guy to manage your presidential campaign. >> i know book tours, i love them, and they're no presidential campaigns. this ad was released in iowa in a clear play for the evangelical vote. let's watch this one. >> as president, i'll end obama's war on religion and i'll fight against liberal attacks. >> well, ron, i never would have connected those two issues myself, but -- >> no. >> first of all it's public school, secondly and it's organized prayer.
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let's always get -- you can say a quiet prayer and nobody will throw you out of school. you can pray at every exam. just no organized prayer. that's what the law says, organized by the school officials. that's what it's about. the gays in the military, why does he want to rip the scab off that one? we've gotten past it. what's he doing that for? >> going after the rick santorum vote, i get. that's a perfect encapsulation with what's wrong with the -- >> i'm saying the gays are still going after rick santorum. >> instead. >> what minority culture we can throw under the bus for political advantage, and then make up this crazy lie about we're not allowed to celebrate christmas. we've been celebrating christmas since august in this country. >> i can hear johnny mathis in my sleep. it's sense around for me these days.
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these the president doing some macho bragging of his own about the death of osama bin laden. let's watch this one. >> tonight i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children. >> you know, joan, if that were w. doing that he would be flying around in an airplane in the white house with a bomber jacket on. >> he would have come in with his bomber jacket as though he had done it himself. a, he didn't -- he got about a minute of credit, maybe that, and b, the other thing i think when i see that moment is that that was the same week that poor man had to release his long-form birth certificate to shut up those crazy birthers, and at the same time --
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>> didn't work, did it. >> at the same time he's plotting -- >> it didn't work, but it was a fine moment, yet we weren't allowed to celebrate it behalf his political opponents. they're just so savage. >> joan, here's the good one. the last, not least. in april, president obama he had some deadpan securing to do of the man, the chief birther, donald trump. it became a youtube hit. this is my favorite. at this point trump was actually running for president, until this happened. let's watch. >> in an episode of "celebrity apprentice" at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from omaha steaks. there was a lot of blah imto go around, but you, mr. trump, recognized the real problem was a lack of leadership, and so ultimately you didn't blame li'l john or meatloaf.
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you fired gary busey. and these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. >> there he is, comparing his role on this planet with donald trump et cetera. >> that hissing sound you heard was the air going out of donald trump and his campaign, when everybody suddenly realized what were we thinking? we're considering nominating a game show host for president? [ laughter ] >> joan, you can do the coupe dee de de grah on this one, and he might grab the mike and let me talk about you. >> he was so angry, though, that's the best thing. you see him getting angrier and angrier, and the second-best thing as the president is making that wonderful joke about
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meatloaf and gary busey, he's thinking about the decision that he's making the next day to take out osama bin laden. it was the next day, chris. we are living through a gong show of politics, you're absolutely right. this has been an amazing year. >> actually his hair looks pretty good. thank you, joan walsh. i like to always mix it up. you both have a great merry christmas. thank you for coming on. >> you too, chris. this is my present. my wife kathleen is coming on to play something like "hardball." we do it every year, we'll talk politics action the economy, and a little bit about my book "jack kennedy: elusive hero." and this is "hardball," only on msnbc.
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guess what? hbo has released a first look, a trailer, if you will, a preview
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of the high-profile movie "game change" about the 2008 presidential election featuring ed harris as senator john mccain, woody harrelson as mccain adviser, and "hardball" regular steve schmidt and the great julien moore as sarah palin. take a look. >> we desperately need a game changing pick, and none of these middle-aged white guys are game changers. >> so find me a woman. >> sarah, sarah! >> i will be honored to accept your nomination for vice president of the united states. >> that's irresistible. the movie's going to debut in march. i can't wait. that's on the script, and i mean it, i can't wait. we'll be right back. uyjl6ns'4m4oxl,f3+
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we're back. now something we've done in the past couple of years. the tables get turned right now and i'm going to be grilled, well, somewhat, by, and i mean it, the great kathleen matthews, who anchored the news here in washington for a while, and then became, as she is now, a top executive for marriott international, and has travelled the world. i sit at home at night and she tells me about china and what's happening in the amazon and what's happening in the new st. petersburg in russia. and i'm here, you know, in washington, d.c., covering local politics nationally here, and you see the world. the world! >> it's great to be across the table from you. it's a little bit like the dinner table conversation, right? >> yeah, except you're in charge. the queen. >> what's the first thing i do in the morning, every morning? >> he brings me a skim milk latte. >> right to the bedside. >> i love it. >> i love seeing the white house here behind you. a live picture.
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>> people don't realize that behind us is a live picture of the white house. >> to see all the ornaments and everything. >> that picture is not a picture. it's the white house and it's a live camera shooting it. there you are on live tv. >> chris wants me back on the show when he has a book to promote, which in case you haven't heard it yet, he's got a book to promote. >> you mock me! >> and, you know, i'm a reader of fiction, as you know. i don't read that much nonfiction. >> what do i read? i don't read that much non-fiction. >> and what do i read? >> and you read non-fiction exclusively. but when i read this book this summer in the first galleys i fell in love with it. and i was a skeptic because i thought why is a president who was elected more than 50 years ago relevant today? and what's the answer to that question? >> well, i think its purpose -- those of us who grew up when this man was president, and he looks like a million bucks there, we had a country that had a purpose. it was to really keep our place in the world. and to do it successfully against the soviet -- what looked like the soviet onslaught. and to do it without war.
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so kennedy said, here are some ways to do it. we'll prove our technological expertise with the moon shot. we'll get to the moon before the russians. and everybody in africa, latin america, and asia will see, we've got it better than the communist system. we have a better economic system that can produce new ideas and innovation. sort of steve jobs of the at the time. and then he said, we're going to go around with the peace corps with guys like me and women like me and we're going to go around the country, around the world, and develop the third world in a way that is positive and make friends for the united states and we're going to have the alliance for progress. and things like the special forces even. we're not going to go to nuclear war. so he found a way to have america with a purpose. also that ask not what your country can do for you, that was a real call to arms, a call to duty. i think the reason -- >> is this something you think is lacking today? >> yeah. i think the reason people like television shows like "pan-am," it's kind of a soap opera at night but it's gleaming, it's positive. they like "mad men" despite the chauvinism. they like the idea of everyone wears thin ties, we're going to get things done, can do. it wasn't sort of that sloppy period that came in the late '60s.
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it was let's get it done. we can do it. and i think the can do thing. and the unity. we weren't arguing over these little tax cuts with these sort of small potatoes arguments just to fight with each other. there was a sense of big stuff. we've got to beat the russian >> but the times also had its challenges because you had -- this was before civil rights -- >> well, he created civil rights. >> incredible lack of equality in america. you also economically had some periods in there that were not, you know, robust economic growth. so what are the lesson that's somebody running for president or running the white house today could take from jack kennedy? >> get tough. obama. president kennedy went down to mississippi and brought the federal troops down there and said to ross barnett, the governor, you're going to let blacks in that university, jim crow is dead and i'm making it official today with federal troops, with bayonets fixed. you're going to take blacks into your university. and you watch a football game now at ole miss, there are black players. in those days nobody played. not even the athletes. same thing with george wallace down in alabama, the crimson
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tide. all white. kennedy said that's over with. he just did it. and that's bracing to think about, a president just says, okay, i'll bring the troops next time. and he did it. this one guy did it. and he backed up dr. king when he got arrested in 1960. and he played a big role. king was the hero of course. kennedy played a big role in that. >> i think a lot of people today look at jack kennedy's record and feel like it's somewhat eclipsed because the media of the time didn't cover the warts. and today every wart is covered ad nauseam on cable television. >> i'm not saying wasn't flawed -- >> so it's very hard to be a hero today. do you think jack kennedy could have been a hero today and still have sort of the double life he had, unfaithful to his wife, sort of a father in the back room and some really pretty tough hardball politics? >> the old man was a right winger. here's what i think. once you've saved your crew in world war ii and you're a hero and you really did protect the men in your unit and you really did risk your life, medium cut you a little slack. anyway, kathleen's staying with
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us. when we return, i'll ask kathleen about the world. she's been all over the world, and she's got some good news economically. we could use some. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. progresso. it fits! fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. okay is there a woman i can talk to? wait a second... with olay challenge that. new regenerist wrinkle revolution... relaxes the look of wrinkles instantly, and the look of deep wrinkles in 14 days. ready, set, smooth... regenerist. from olay.
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we're back with kathleen matthews. i mean, if you want to understand me you have to watch her and see what she does. here's kathleen and what she learned. i've got a big positive because we always do tough economic news on this show. tell me, you travel the world, i was bragging on you because you go everywhere in the world,
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places like the amazon, all parts of china, russia, some beautiful places like st. petersburg you've been to. what's the good news in all this traveling around you've figured out? >> well, the good news is that people are traveling. i mean, there's a reason why companies like marriott or hilton or starwood are building hotels in india, china, brazil, and that's because no longer is it just an issue of americans or europeans going to those countries to see the great wall or to see the taj mahal -- >> or the grand canyon. >> it's people within those countries, these rising middle classes. and we're talking about hundreds of millions of people who want to travel. first they want to see their own country. most of them want to come to america. >> yeah. >> and so what we need to do is make it easy for them to get here. >> to get their money. >> for every international traveler that comes to america we create jobs. those international travelers -- >> give me an example of that because when i've traveled around on this book tour you've gone to beautiful cities like chicago and san francisco and of course new york. and every time you walk down the streets, i'm not saying always,
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you see russian, germans, people from asia, carrying big bags. they're buying all this stuff here. >> there's this multiplier effect. they're staying at hotels, going shopping, eating at restaurants. so it's huge for our country. and we could create -- >> so our biggest export is people coming here iron clie ically ically. >> it could be. since 9/11 the u.s. has lost shares of global travelers. >> where are they going? >> the numbers are going up. we now have 12% because we've made it really challenging to get in here with our visa policy. and you have so many people -- >> is that because of terrorism? >> well, we just want to be careful. so it it requires in places like china and india and brazil an in-nerns interview. you have to physically go to a consulate. there are only five consulates in all of china. only five in india. sometimes it takes as much as 100 days to get an appointment to get a visa. and sometimes you have to take a big trip to get to the consulate. we're working with state department, wo


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