tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 1, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
good evening. leading off tonight, the president in afghanistan. the news broke just before 3:00 eastern time. president obama had landed in afghanistan to sign an agreement on winding down the war. the fact that mr. obama's trip to kabul landed on the one-year anniversary of the bin laden raid is lost on no one, least of all republicans like mitt romney who had, until today, been accusing the president of exploiting the anniversary. at 7:30 eastern time this evening, president obama will address the country, our country, on the future of u.s. involvement in afghanistan. lost over all the fuss of who should get credit for the bin laden raid. why aren't people talking about
this? we expect president obama to talk to you and the troops in afghanistan. we'll bring you that live. we will have an edition of "hardball" tonight, and we'll carry the president's speech in entirety. we'll begin with the president's surprised trip to afghanistan. chief white house correspondent for nbc news. let's go to chuck, why was it kept so secret? is it obviously the question of security? >> number one, it's always security that it's done this way. secretary leon panetta just a few weeks ago. that's number one, number two, they're therefore in such a way that the timing was chosen. yes, the president did not to the. you're going to relive parts of
the screaming which means they're going to have a military, security, economic relationship with afghanistan beyond 2014. so 2024. well, explaining what that means is going to take time and the white house made the decision that the best place for the president to do that was from afghanistan to explain exactly what this agreement means, but also to send a signal to the af afghanis. so by having the president there, it sends the message that the u.s. want to spend. it's not a total cut and run, but this is going to be a delicate political dance for him to walk, chris, because as you know, there is war fatigue. what kind of troops are going to be in afghanistan? >> it seems to me, maybe you can
mark me down as a skeptic, more war in afghanistan like a ten-year extension did. >> this agreement does commit the united states economically, to some degree militarily, to a training and supervisory role in poof level, and it does not send anything. if congress doesn't want to provide it, it doesn't get provided. this is going to be an ongoing conversation skpchlt for those republicans, and there haven't been that many, at least so far on the record today, at least in congress, boat surreptitiously criticizing the president. there have been critics in the past saying the president has not talked about afghanistan nearly as much. and he's saying, i am now. talk about the bin laden
university all you want, but this is an agreement that's going to fuse these two neighbors together until 2024 and let me talk. the trio of the. all three of them have been critical for the president for not selling afghanistan enough to the. she's praising that that some will criticize and say, why use this during the obama anniversary? he will shoot back and say, hey, you say i'm not making a out filed. >> let me ask you about this question of the good war and the bad war. i want to go back to obama's
record here. all during the 2008 campaign when he was he -- is this a continuation of worthy cause to be fought for in afghanistan, che check. was it negotiated, a residual force with afghanistan is an agreement for an agreement to negotiate an agreement about having the residual course and the size of it. this agreement today is a political document between two countries, so it's a commitment of anie request. you said this is the policy going forward, the issue of a residual force is on the table and, frankly, is expected to be negotiated and happen post-2014 in some form or another. now, in this agreement they
outline certain. they will not use any troops based in afr they want to utilize contact inside a. i think you real reasons to negotiate having fortd stick around in afghanistan. something he did not. is this something object observe is this what you have of all the other positively tickets? this is something he believes in. joe biden as president saying, let's just stay together. now he says, we have to sesh in
this. >> right. there was a surgeon in afghanistan tus iing. he would engage both pakistan and eye don stan and win the war where it started in the first place. >> thbin laden was criticized i 2007. is criticizing in help help what is theme. so the president has a deep memory about this, a long memory, possibly a short fuse when it comes to reminding fu. if he's reelected, president obama's term will end on january 17.
this agreement carries longer, to 2024. so he's commuting the next with the lt this o. chuck, let me ask you about the politics. john mccain, you brought up his name. he's a very important man because he has a combat record. he suffered as a pow. he he's. now he's out there saying, this put and . you had mccain and others talking about the bin laden killing. is this going to change the discussion for a while? >> i think it absolutely does. you brought up the quote bio
plan. skplly have known shorthand rig right. >> and that's what it's going to do, which is to have counterterrorism 40s ready to go, special forces in place, on a. might be a base owned by afghanistan but least by the united states to launch operations like that. but when you talk about politically, i do think this sort of tables this for a while. ironically, where the president would be politically. nee, a small minority of the population that is.
>> we have a whole cross beblgs. you have knee oweconservatives in one place, but the tno diswa. vaguely continuing perhaps counterterrorism regime on our part before into is. >> the facts on the ground are going to determine the politics for this, right. if not the scott. it stunned, and to a certain degree, mortified the u.s. and taliban commander, that is this auj he not in carrying out this
rain. also. that's what is contributing and driving the sense of war fatigue and war on ease. this agreement does lock these two nations together. essentially, we're engaged to be engaged all the way to 24. the trajectory of success or lack thereof winds to mere 48-hour assessment of this let me just show that. you're not going to. the. we've gotten involved in urinating in dead soldiers on the other side, or we is a the. what's to stop those instances
from occurring on a nearly basis for the next ten years at every to light a den denominator, if you will, for a real. there was after. we're still on a pacific timeline. nn wub from a u.s. league to an afghan league in the so the footprint in the united states is going to be much smaller militarily, so let's go by the numbers. the types of forces we're going to have there are going to be counterterrorism, more of the elite group of folks, number one. and number two, you're just not going to see in -- hundreds of united states toorps overly. they've determined this will be more of an operation that is.
at least, that's the goal reported of this. the president's surprise visit for all of us to afghanistan will be speaking tonight. he'll be sparking right on this program event well along. . would you like to watch some hardsbaul. they kwi etly destroyed. as the killing of ben ludca. anyway, this is "hardball." but, y'know, with every door direct mail from the postal service, you'll find the customers that matter most:
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we now have the audio of president obama talking to u.s. troops from the airfield just moments ago. let's listen to the president. >> we also have somebody who is john's partner on the civilian side and has made extraordinary sacrifices first in iraq, now in afghanistan. ak ba ambassador ryan crocker is here. please give him a big round of applause. [ applause [ applause ] >> let me just see if we've got this right. we've got the first infantry division in the house? [ cheers ] >> we have the air expedition? [ cheers ] >> we've got the task force muleskin. [ cheers ]
>> we've got the 101st army field to stay in the brigade! we've got task force offender in the house. and we've got task force defender in the house. and we've got me in the house. [ applause ] >> 82nd and a half! 82nd and a half! somebody is going to be in trouble that they didn't have 82nd. anybody else on missile? there you go. all right. i love all of you.
i'm not going to give a long speech. i'm going to have the opportunity to address the nation. that's going to be broadcast back home in prime time. all i'm going to do is say thank you. the sacrifices all of you have made, the sacrifices your families make every single day are what make america free and what make america secure. i know that sometimes out here, it's not clear whether folks back home fully appreciate what's going on. and let's face it, a lot of times it's easier to get bad news on the news than good news. but here's the good news and here's part of the reason that
i'm here. i just finished signing a strategic partnership agreement with afghanistan that signals the transition in which we are going to be turning over responsibility for afghan security to the afghans. we're not going to do it overnight. we're not going to do it irresponsibly. we're going to make sure -- i love all of you. now, listen, i'm not going to give a long speech. i'm going to have the opportunity to address the nation from bagram in a few hours. it's going to be broadcast at home. i just want to say thank you. the sacrifices all of you have
made, the sacrifices all of us are make make america free and what make america secure. and i know that sometimes out here when you're in the field, it's not clear if folks back home fully appreciate what's going on. let's face it, a lot of times it's easier to get bad news on the news than good news. but here's the good news, and here's part of the reason that i'm here. i just finished signing a strategic partnership agreement with afghanistan that signals the transition in which we are going to be turning over responsibility for afghan security to the afghans.
we're not going to do it overnight. we're not going to do it irresponsibly. we're going to make sure that the gains, the hard fought gains that have been made, are preserved. but the reason we're able to do that is because of you. the reason that the afghans have an opportunity for a new tomorrow is because of you. and the reason america is safe is because of you. we did not choose this war. this war came to us on 9/11. and there are a whole bunch of folks here, i bet, who signed up after 9/11. we don't go looking for a fight, but when we see our homeland
violated, when we see our fellow citizen killed, then we understand what we have to do. and because of the sacrifices now of a decade and a new greatest generation, not only were we able to block the taliban momentum, not only were we able on bribe al-qaeda out of afghanistan, but slowly and systemically, we have been able to decimate the ranks of al-qaeda, and a year ago we were able to finally bring osama bin laden to justice. that could have only happened because each and every one of you in your own way were doing
your jobs. each and every one of you, without a lot of fanfare, without a lot of fuss, you did your jobs. no matter how small or how big, you were faithful to the oath that you took to protect this nation. and your families did their job, supporting you and loving you and remembering you and being there for you. and so together, you guys represent what is best in america. and you're part of a long line of those who have worn this uniform to make sure that we are free and secure. to make sure that those of us at home have the capacity to live our lives. and when you're missing a
birthday or you're missing a soccer game or when you're missing an anniversary and those of us back home are able to enjoy it, it's because of you. and i'm here to tell you everybody in america knows that. and everybody in america appreciates it. and everybody in america honors it. when the final chapter of this war is written, historians will look back and say not only was this the greatest fighting force in the history of the world, but all of you also represented the values of america in exemplary ways. i could not be prouder of you.
i want you to know it's still tough. i want you to know the battle is not yet over. some of your buddies are going to get injured. some of your buddies may get killed and they're going to be heart break and pain and difficulty ahead. but there's a light on the horizon because of the sacrifices you've made. and that's the reason why, for michelle and me, nothing is more important than looking after your families while you're here, and i want everybody here to know that when you get home, we'll be there for you when you're in uniform and we'll stay there for you when you're out of uniform. because you've earned it. you've earned a special place in
our hearts, and i could not be prouder to be your commander in chief. god bless you. god bless the united states of america and now i want to shake some hands. >> that's great stuff. i must say this has nothing to do with partisanship. he met with the troops right out of henry v, those soldiers risking their lives over there. thement kudos for iran. i imagine are backed up by the people at home, and there you had your kmarnt commander in ch. >> he is. he is our commander in chief, and not just by claiming to be, but by acting how a commander in chief should act. this was a commander in chief's speech. it was not political. it was motivational.
it was just exactly what the troops need to hear, and as important, what they're faemmils need to hear back home. i do think from the perspective of hardball politics, chris, this takes national security and foreign policy off the table as a campaign issue. you can't accuse the democratic candidate of being weak on defense. instead of gloating over the killing of bin laden a year ago, this is exactly where he should be and doing what he's doing. responding to the concern about this war, i wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't accelerate a troop withdrawal. but it's not going to happen as long as he can responsibly withdraw troops. so you're not going to hear much
we are always left in a don't on the. here's an example, i suppose, of the charnd in chaef, they'll fuss over who should get. the commander in chief has had posts here. >> politically, there is no danger ever a with the troops, and i think both parties could probably agree on, is that the focus is we still have a bit troo, and most of the attention politically has been on domestic issues. not a bad thing. has the president positivelitic
this? of course. it's coincidence it just happens to be on the anniversary he's in afghanistan. that strikes me as a little laughable. i don't think there's any koins den dens in politics. >> i think he acknowledged that somewhere in the comments with the troops, that this was a year later after we've done what we've done. let's go back to congress. i look at john mccain's career and i have nothing but pride as an american. i think he did a great job as a soldier, a flyer. he gets shot down, he suffered as a pow those seven years. he's got a wonderful service record. he was elected and he's done a
large thing for his country. why is he being criticized in his. it's not wrong. we all have roles to play. they have not on the surface or in uniform. but the question is, do we support them a talented way. i think president obama is responsing to the. the fact is, with all the physical constraints, he's put more money into helping, traumatic brain injury, helping their families. this is what they need, and i think you're going -- you can see on the face of the troops right now, they're happy. this guy is their leader. he's responding to what's in thifr mind. they are concerned. they're probably as concerned
about losing their buddies as losing their own life. but he recognizes their sacrifice. i think he speaks for all of us. so, you know, you can call it political. everything he does is political, but there are some things that need to be done and need to be done the right way. this stretch he's the kind of commander in chief that. >> you saw a we're going to show it. the news to the american left, center and wil we're not going to roll up the pg znk, stay there in some capacity. >> i think it does, i just don't
think it's a top issue if you talk to most voters. most of them are focused on the economy. where it becomes the big issue f was the duration of the war and the cost of the war. politically i agree with the congressman. if you think of national security and the liability that national security has been for democrats historically, it's just not big of a liability for obama. he gets high grooades if you lo at the wars on the fights against terrorism, and many of these policies, he's acted as i think george bush would have, and in some areas has been more agressive if you think of the word drones to assassinate terrorists or suspected terrorists. he's been aggressive. here's what mitt romney said today in response to the question about the raid that killed osama bin laden. he's changing his message virtually every day now.
>> of course i would have ordered taking out osama bin laden. of course, this is a person who had done terrible harm to america and who represented a continuing threat to a civilized people throughout the world. had i been president of the united states, i would have made the same decision the president made, which was to remove him. i ak nonld it about a year that, that continues to be great. certainly would ha . >> how are these candidates saying that when it's 180 from what he was saying earlier. mitt romney's comments were he would strike obama even if it meant crossing over the border. here's romney before today.
>> i do want want it to incur in the words of barack obama and enter an ally of ours, their contract, between be bosing, i don't that i think i think it's comments were ill-timed and ill. at a debate, romney disagreed with his proponent. . the very thing that the president did. let's watch this exchange. >> i would take that option if i thought there was no other way to crush al-qaeda, no other way to crush the taliban, and no other way to be able to captour irg. >> i think barack obama is confused as to who are our friends and unilaterally our
neighbors. which. congressman, i think you and i were grown up. this is exactly the opposite of what he was saying before. now today, given the change in sirmds, he's. he's also made dment to me, these two he supported a president for seven years that was never able to get bin laden. now that president obama has done so and really has decimated al-qaeda as a major threat certainly in south asia. now he's got a different position and he's saying, i
would have done the same thing. he doesn't know what he would have done under the circumstances, but the point is, what will he do in the future? president obama is showing what he will do in the future. i do think we're going to have a much smaller military presence, and the fact is, we're engaged all over the world, chris. there is no way we're going to leave south asia, afghanistan or pakistan. we're engaged still in korea, we've got thousands of troops in germany. i mean, we have a global presence. the question is, how many troops should there be in a particular place and with what kind of lethal force? we're going to be training afghanistan, we're going to try to help them get in at least in the 20th century, if not the 21st. we're going to be doing the things that will stabilize that region. we recognize pakistan, which mitt romney refers to as such an ally, that's where the real threat is, that's where the real problem is. they're the ones with nuclear weapons. they have far more extremists
and al-qaeda members. bear in mind that's where bin laden was, so i take issue with romney's description of pakistan as a close ally. there are many allies in pakistan, but pakistan is still a troubled stand. he needs to take a broader and deeper perspective on foreign policy, and until he does, he probably ought to keep his mouth shut. >> well, congressman, i think you gave it a lot more thought than he ever did. i don't think he gave it a second thought except he happens to be running for president and has to be briefed on the subject. welco welcome. welcome to this special edition of "hardball." we'll have the president's address from afghanistan tonight. you're watching "hardball." ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." remember all the criticism and fear from the right, that barack obama would be weak and indecisive on national security? certainly it's hard to argue that. these days the raid to kill obama was the hardest tack he's taken. he's assumed an anti-terrorist approach, including the use of drone strikes from his predecessor. at a press conference in december when asked about republican criticism that he has appeased our enemies, listen to what the president said. >> osama bin laden and the 22
out of 30 top al-qaeda leaders, ask them whether i engage in appeasement or whoever is left out there. ask them about that. >> wow. and yesterday a new obama campaign web video touted some of the major successes in national security. let's take a listen. >> over the last two years, we've seen a depletion of the senior bench of al-qaeda. >> another huge victory in the war on terror. >> and, of course, this is nbc chief correspondent, washington editor at large for the atlantic. a great two people to have on. thanks so much for this. i think we do a good job at nbc kofrg this war on terrorism but there is sort of an accumulated story here. that is what the president just called a few moments ago in that
audio and the videotape from kabul, the did he secimation of al-qaeda. tell us how that proceeded. >> i think it's very clear there has been a real downgrading of the ability of al-qaeda and certainly the intelligence gleaned from obama's lair made that point. he had the opportunity to go after general petraeus, the commander of the troops there. but neither of those achievements, if you will, those goals of al-qaeda could be accomplished. his own people were telling him, leader, we cannot do that. they really have been decimated by the drone attacks and very interesting that john decided yesterday on the president's orders that the drone attacks of a covert war is taking place. >> why don't we take a look at
mr. brennan and what he had to say about this. counter-terrorism adviser john brennan said about the president's record in going after al-qaeda. let's watch. >> along with allies and partners, we have been unrelenting. when we assess that al-qaeda of 2012, i think it is fair to say that as a result of our efforts, the united states is more secure and the american people are safer. today it is increasingly clear that compared to 9/11, the core of al-qaeda leadership is a shadow of its former self. al-qaeda has been left with just a handful of capable leaders and operatived. and with continued pressure is on the path to its destruction. >> steve clemens, tell us about that. it's always a dangerous thing to tell us we're safer because anything can happen, but give us your assessment. >> i think what's important to understand is john brennan is one of six people who have met with the president of the united states every morning, keeping a
laser focus of this question of what to do with the outstanding terrorists that surround osama bin laden and what was the most significant terror network that challenged this united states. and they have, since the raid on the compound, worked with the intelligence they have and, as you said, gone one by one and knocked out people. had they not done that, the raid would have been a failure. what's important to look back on with hindsight is the last administration was towards iraq, and i've talked to fbi officials who doubted bin laden was still around because he had so effectively seals himself off. one of the decisions i think president obama and his team made was to come back up and pop up those resources and while they were encouraging the surge in afghanistan, they also doubled down on basically taking down the mother ship of al-qaeda.
during the time of that distraction, you had al-qaeda metastasized around in other parts of the world, in yemen, down in africa, of groups that have self-selected and were inspired by bin laden because he wasn't taken out soon enough. but you have to give them credit for basically taking out almost entirely those folks that were the key commanders of al-qaeda, the plot sbe -- integraters of al-qaeda. i think it's a real credit that every morning they have zeroed in on what the intelligence has led them to do, and while the cameras haven't been on it, they really nailed dozens of folks that were involved with attacking not only the united states but its allies in europe and also other places in the mideast. >> let me pick up a quick thread to what steve just said, which
is that it has metastasized. and that's the other shoe that could always drop. al-qaeda has been, i think, pretty much decimated. there may be lone actors or they may be able to order something, but they are much less operational, that is indeed true. you do have the threat in yemen, you do have the threat, you have threats to americans, american troops, to contractors to afghans right in afghanistan where we still have so many troops. >> there are many operations, andrea. operations like we saw in 9/11, can they do the big one? >> not against the homeland. i think the homeland is much, much safer, but they certainly are able to get american installations abroad, and we've seen that even with getting to the heart and soul of kabul to our embassies, to our facilities, to our allies. >> let's take a look, however, going after the main force there in pakistan. drone strikes under president
george w. bush. the president sharply increased their use when he came into office. take a look by the american foundation. drone strikes jumped by a total of 9 between 2004 and 2007. they peaked in 2010 last year and there was a slight decrease due to the bin laden race. we'll go back to andrea on this same point. i want the same point to close with. people around the president, they'll tell you, they'll get the idea that this guy is some sort of liberal on war, that he's not quite an aggressive warrior, that he is a warrior. your sense of being able to calibrate that, steve, you and andrea. >> i think that he has demonstrated and really robbed from the mantel of the gop that america used to only feel safe with republicans during times of challenge, and i think obama has shown he can be very tough and
smart. at the same time, he's also shown a lot of strategic restraint. the quick thing i would add about those drones since i'm very involved, there's a double story with those drone attacks. active terror campaigns, no doubt. they have taken out a lot of the most nefarious terrorists this world has seen. but there's also been a lot of mistakes and civilian casualties, and that, i think, has caused a lot of the blowback of various countries we've been cooperating with in the drones. >> i want to get -- i just want to get your sense because you're so good at both sides and knowing what's going on. the sense that this guy is not some dove -- >> i think he is really protected by the bin laden raid and by the increased tempo of the drone attacks, initially by the surge afghanistan protected by those sort of republican attacks. we've seen today, in fact, that
mitt romney and his surrogates have pulled back from their initial decision to go after president obama for allegedly politicizing the bin laden anniversary. they realize he's pretty much, in the political sense, bulletproof on that issue. >> that was one of the rare changes in politics where a tune has been memorized and they stopped playing it right away. thanks so much, andrea mitchell. it's always great to be on with you, and steve clemens, thanks for joining us. much more on president obama's surprise trip to afghanistan. when we come back, this is "hardball." you don't like it. but you've never tried it? see the problem here... ♪ see the problem here... what happens when classroom teachers get the training... ...and support they need? schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like...
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welcome back to "hardball." president obama made a stirring trip to afghanistan. spoke to the troops at bagram airfield a few moments ago. let's listen to something of what he said. >> i con be prouder of you. i want you to understand, i know it's still tough. i know the battle's not yet over. some of your buddies are going to get injured. and some of your buddies may get killed. and there's going to be heart break and pain and difficulty ahead.
but there's a light on the horizon. because of the sacrifices you've made. >> cnbc political analyst and joe williams, white house reporter for politico. gentlemen, i don't know if you were as skired as i was, but there was a commander-in-chief meeting with some in scary sit yaegss on post, during the night and day. and there he is telling countries behind them. whether that's true or not, i can only imagine chris, that's the one thing they want it hear. >> you know, chris, the commandener chief role i think is often down played in election times, particularly election times where the economy is so front and center. but i would say it is the most basic hurdle you have to clear. barack obama after becoming democratic nominee in 2008 went to europe to show that on a world stage he could be a commanding presence and he had kind of the right experience to do so. i think if you don't get beyond
that initial hurdle to be able to give those speeches, to give remarks like you just heard with credibility, and with gravity, all the other stuff doesn't matter. it's kind after sinnonnon. and senate republic nominees will have to check that box. >> to see the president of the united states with the troops, who do represent so much diversity in society, the many faces of ben ton, if you will, the smiles on the faces of these people. it's real. look at it. i'm watching a picture of these guyes with their cameras. greedy for some face time with this fella, who is their president and commandener chief. >> well, and it's also interesting that a commander-in-chief in war time in a long, long war that's been drawn out for such a long time that so many people have made such great sacrifices that he
talked about, is greeted warmly and not with the kind of resentment you might expect from a group of soldiers airmen and air whoem have been over there for such a long time and seen such horrific things. and when you're talking about being able to make a statement and being able to inspire confidence on the world stage, remember, president obama had to answer that kind of criticism during the 2008 primary from hillary clinton. we all remember the 3m phone call ad that resonated so much with voters for hillary clinton. he's answered that call and then some. so this is another moment to krt credentials ahead of a campaign and opponent who attacks the very nature of that leadership. >> well, the wonderful thing you didn't mention is that if there's a 3 a.m. phone call right now, they would both be on the line, of course. they are talking to each other at 3:00 in the morning on this kind of stuff. chris, let's get back it politics for a minute. i think maybe the republicans who are -- they are certainly as
smart as democrats and never noticed an iq difference, but they must not have anticipated the fact that at any moment the president could simply revert to his role as commander-in-chief, give up the arguments as to who's responsible for who deserves credit for catching and killing bin laden and focus on the fact that he is commander-in-chief. he is the incumbent president, not just a dart board for everything that goes wrong with the economy. but the vivid commandener chief of our troops as well. that comes with the territory also. >> i'm not suggesting that the president went over to afghanistan to politicize it and -- but the point is, everything that happens particularly everything that happens in may of an election year, fits into a political story to tell, look, this is the advantage of being an incumbent president of the united states. you can do things like this. and i would just say, very quickly, chris, on the criticism of president obama and politicizing it, the president
want this to be a referendum on president obama. that works fon on their favor on the economy, on the stimulus, on the healthcare. you can't resist the politically bad, which is the fact that president obama authorized a mission that led to the death of osama bin laden. if it is a referendum, it is a referendum. you take the good and bad of it. you can't argue. it will only take it when it works in our political favor. >> you can't argue that it won't be effective if people won't listen to it. >> right, right. >> joe, this is what we call in baseball a gopher pitch. this is a high one down the middle for you. >> absolutely. >> what do you think the republicans would have said if the 9/11 would have occurred on a democrats watch. do you think the republicans would have blamed the democrats of being weak and invited the attack? >> maybe just a tiny bit they might have gone there. but we all know that they are very generous and whole-hearted in their love of country thing.
we had guests earlier that it is a blood sport. you go for your opponent's weaknesses. in the republicans case, in the last several campaigns, they did a political jiu-jitsu of turning their opponent's strength into a a weakness and used it against them. that tried to come to the forefront in president obama that he made decisions that did very well for the economy and they are trying to maintain that those were decisions that in fact wrecked the economy. this is one of the situations where the strength of the opponent issi opponent cannot be countered. he has air force 1, he will go around the world, and people will pay attention to that and that is something people can't argue with. >> the metaphors are brilliant. i want to hear more you from on this, about