tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 8, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington leading off tonight. a time to spill? president obama will tell us what he really thinks. remember that great scene in "the godfather" when carleone tells carlotti what he thinks he should know. well, everyone thinks president obama supports gay marriage. but the president knows this tricky issue could cost him votes in battleground states like north carolina. he may blame what joe biden said over the weekend for this, but now he has to deal with it. what should the president do? plus, car fooling. mitt romney says detroit, when he wrote when the u.s. auto market was on its knees, on this policy. also, spy games. the latest details on how the cia foiled that plot on blowing
up an airliner heading for the u.s. how could the gps claim to be a non-profit supporting social welfare? >> reckless spending, massive debt. no wonder tim kaine opposes president obama. >> how these groups gain the system in order to keep their contributors anonymous. and let me finish with my thoughts on our evolving president. we begin with president obama in gay marriage. ronald reagan is with us as well as ellie brown. support for gay marriage is just about down the middle, almost even. a recent wall street journal
poll shows 45% approve and 43% disapprove. that's less than a year ago when 37% approved of gay marriage and 54% disapproved. i'm not quite sure where we're headed so i'm going to go to our experts here. ron reagan, everybody in town here and everybody in the country, not just gay activists or gay people or liberal activists, seem to think that the president supports gay marriage, he just won't say it. should he say it? >> yes, he should. this whole involving thing has really jumped the shark. he's taken more time evolving on this issue evolving from h. the problem is, you can make an argument. a little bit of hyperbole there but i thought i would add some
color. we all agree he's making a political calculation, and we can argue whether that political calculation is correct or incorrect, but it's an obvious political calculation. he's taken a simple rights issue and he's trying to kind of, you know, straddle the fence on it, and it's unseemly. he's beginning to look ridiculous on this issue. he needs to just get off the fence and go where he knows he really is in the first place. >> you read his mind, you read his heart, you find him wanting in sincerity. let's go to mayor brown. mayor brown, what do you think i should do politically? he has an election to win. he's got six months to win it. your thoughts? >> above all else, barack obama is running for president. he is running to be reelected. he is going to do whatever it takes to get to the point where on murray jones, his conduct on the question of equality.
there's been nobody before him or whaz done what he has done to date. i would cut him the slack as a great supporter of his and as one of the people who at all times has been for same-sex marriage. i'm not demanding that estep up at this moment and swing at that issue. after all, it's going to be voted on in north carolina today. why should barack obama do anything any differently than he's doing it? he has told the justice department, don't you participate in any effort to discredit the opportunity for people to have equality on the same sex life. he signed the measure, knocking out the whole question of don't ask, don't tell. and at every level of his appointments, they've been reflective of people of all sexual orientations. i don't know what should be required of those who we
support. >> suppose you wake up the morning after the election and the president lost the election because he lost ohio and north carolina. by the way, they already lost ohio back in 2004. this has been up to don king in yuma county. they were daush mitt romney walks into the white house, says he doesn't evolve, he won't evolve. he walks into the white house and says he's been an all, although it's not good for the cause. here's the problem. i don't disagree with what mayor brown is saying. i understand whoo the calculation is. but i think the calculation is now incorrect. you can only make this political calculation when people don't generally see it as a political calculation. if people know that you're not
actually speaking your mind and your heart, if you are inauthentic about this issue, and it is an important issue to some people -- a lot of people -- then you're doing yourself harm. you're actually harming your electrical prospects. here's th here's ed rendell. he supports the president on gay marriage. >> he should man up and say, this is what i believe. he doesn't lose any african-american votes, and people who vote solely on this issue, a single issue voter, gay marriage. >> that's the first time in my life i will disagree with ed rendell. .
>> she. i'm not sure that's good advice because i do believe there will be people from north carolina who are opposed to same-sex marriage, but they like barack obama. he's saying there is no one out there who will be for same-sex marriage and who is. your thoughts? >> i think that's the question that i think they have evolved. when he was the state senator in illinois, he was one of the people leading the charge for same-sex marriages. i think he was part of a religious operation that preached against that and spoke against it. i think he has grown tremendously in the last eight or nine years.
>> but mayor, he did support same-sex marriage on the record when he was state senator. yes, he did. . the process of letting you know how he, as the president, as the leader of this nation, wishes o to. . i don't think ron is being miscalculated az man doing something inappropriate. i think he's walking through the sand for all of these reasons or why we should be where we are. and. . he resulted in a david axelrod or all the others and we have the same thing that barack obama does.
we should not require him to step up and do the same thing. let him continue in the process of where he is. >> i will arrive at the right place with the right woman if we arrived there. and that is not a great quality. he's got an opponent who was evolving on all issues all the time. now it's been mitt romney. >> why do i not want to. i made light, if that's possible. let's listen. >> no one has ever doubted i mean what i say. the problem is i sometimes say all that i mean. >> that's for sure. ron, was it smart for the vice president to opening this door about the argument you're having right now with the country?
was that good policy? >> i don't know if he intended to spark that kind of argument, but he was speaking from the art and joined my big fun. mr. obama has put himself in a deep place for a solution. he's too smart, he's too young, he's too kos month positively tin. i believe we have this rg umt three years from now, a year and a half from now, there will be a different context. we'll we get through the quad. . you can't hear the music. i think a big part of being president is still hearing the music of the people.
. . quickly, your thoughts. >> i think he's playing the game the way he needs to help put z. remember, he's being criticized for some blacks. and the president. i want him to stay the president and i'm willing to wait to have him satisfy re. >> speaking from a womman who h never had an election. talk about hutzpah. this guy says he saved the auto
industry, the same mitt romney who said let detroit go bankrupt and the market will take care of things. is this guy for real or not? then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team. devry university, proud to support the education what happens when classroom teachers get the training... ...and support they need? schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like... ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy... ...and astronaut sally ride's science academy are helping our educators improve student success in math and science. let's shoot for the stars. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students.
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romney. he said the new market is likely the resurgence of gm and chrysler. the national editor for new york magazine and senior political reporter for plit colitico. mitt romney said, quote, take a lot of credit for the auto industry coming back. listen to his reasoning. >> well, my idea, by the way, was that the auto companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help. thankfully, that's what the president finally did. he fimly took them through bankruptcy. that was the course i argued for from vet beginning. was the uaw and the president who delayed the idea of bankruptcy. i pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and finally when that was done and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. so i'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has
come back. >> and help was given. like mistakes were made and help was given. guess who gave the president the united states government? we did, not mitt romney. help was given. what a phrase. and this from the same guy who penned an op-ed in the "new york times" that red, let detroit go bankrupt. quote, if general motors, ford and chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the american automotive industry goodbye. it won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed. barack obama invested heavily in these auto industries and brought them back. >> like you said, chris, help was given and because of that op-ed, mistakes were made. i think that was a big political
mistake on mitt romney's part. i think what it reflects as much as anything, certainly some hutzpah, but it reflect more than anything the narrowness of the map. it's very hard for them to win without ohio, and it's very hard to win without putting a couple other obama states in play. michigan, under normal circumstances, because it's romney's home state, might be prime for that kind of a takeaway. i have to say i've covered the republican primary in michigan when he ran against rick santorum a couple months ago. the memories of the auto bailout, the possible fallout of that for the president, and the fact that the president won by 216 points in 2008, and there's not a chance people are going to take michigan away from him without reminding michigan every day of "let the auto industries go bankrupt." >> i must remind you, if voters from ohio are watching, if you
vote for him, give the higher electoral votes to mitt romney, you're saying trash us again. we like people trashing us. magg maggie, if you dump on us, you betray it, and then you leave us out in the cold and we'll vote for you again and again. >> i think what john said is exactly right. i think this speaks to the path that he has and what a problem he has, and the memory of it in michigan, i think mitt romney actually has a bunch of problems in michigan. theoretically, he has roots there, but there hasn't been a romney in office forever. this was a tough state for him, anyway. you had the republican governor actually saying, ultimately, not echoing the negative sentiment that mitt romney did about the auto bailout. that sort of underscored where this goes. i think for mitt romney, there is a problem for a leap from saying, look, i think there should have been some managed bankruptcy to, i deserve credit. i think it gives the obama
campaign a huge opening to remind people, as john said, look what the president did. the auto industry is still standing. >> let's look at former governor strickland of ohio. on a conference call to the obama campaign, here's what he had to say. this is fresh news from the former governor of ohio. >> the entire country knows what mr. romney's approach was to the auto industry, and for him to come back now and to try to lay claim to the credit is astounding. but it's not surprising. you know, it's been said that he does not seem to have a political core, and i know that's kind of a harsh thing to say, but regardless of what issue we're looking at or thinking of, mitt romney has been on one or two or three sides of that issue. >> you know, guys, it seems to me one thing that somebody of a
business becoackground like rom should be testing business character, who's got it, who doesn't have it. ford is back. the number 5 is a profitable company in the country right now. it seems to me that something should pay attention of governor on. >> well, it's true, kris, but obama made it a big. they kind of identified the weakness and a. to be fair to mitt romney, he obviously didn't see the car district go away.
he had a great. in theory, one, people might embrace it. the problem was, you need to have private. >> but as a republican, he should have followed. they do for the people what they can't do for themselves, maggie. . this whole theory was based on idealogy, not on reality. . >> mitt rahm notice's was because the auto industry, one, was being discussed and they were working out a. offer if i said, this is a
lovely theory of the. and to then claim of this ordeal threatens kred you'llty this works. >> how are they going to work getting to the people on the kbround. this works against obama to turn this thing olt other side. >> i think the question will be if, nft. hef is driving a message. they're trying to figure out if they can see some numbers around the wolish. it's going travelers that ea
eaeast he will get the 270 electoral votes without ohio, so they can play there, but although it's true the auto industry is really important as a subsidiary employer in ohio, it's not the same kind of bread and butter issue as it is in michigan. they can campaign other things besides the auto bailout there. >> maggie, are you surprised at our poll that showed little increments, little advantage of picking portman and ohio as a running mate? >> not really. you do not have a huge brand as exciting or interesting. i don't believe he is hugely known to his state. that may change as we get closer to the election. but i think there are probably reasons you say they are a vp pick and i guess that's why you say it right there. >> john, i hope you know how
much we love you. i sometimes think you don't know how much we love you and how much we need on you this program. >> i feel the love, chris, i feel the love. >> i have to make sure you know how much i need you. john halliman, much more special to us. up next, rick santorum finally endorses mitt romney. you're watching "hardball."
not in this economy. we also have zero free time, and my dad moving in. so we went to fidelity. we looked at our family's goals and some ways to help us get there. they helped me fix my economy, the one in my house. now they're managing my investments for me. and with fidelity, getting back on track was easier than i thought. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy. get one-on-one help from america's retirement leader. back to "hardball" and now side show. we catch the campaign between will ferrell and zac efron.
>> if you love america, if you love freedom, if you love your fame, then you'll love cam brady. >> education is our future because schools is this nation's backbone. >> when it comes to his opponent, he won't back down from a fight. >> i've seen a mustache like that before, and do you know who wore it? saddam hussein. >> he's not afraid to work it. what does marty huggins stand for? >> economist. >> that's a real shame. >> i'm cam brady and i approve this message. >> if that didn't get your vote, try this one. >> what do these men have in common? marty huggins has read about these leaders and said, i can do better. he's a visionary. >> let's get rid of daylight savings time. i hate when it gets dark early! >> he's multicultural.
>> glad to be here. it's the first time i rode a ya yama yamaha. >> when i say things are a mess, it's a mess. >> i guess the real ad wars will be in full swing. until now the winner of them was probably george potachi telling us that romney has, kwoquote, unquote, a number of problems. here it is, the stamp of approval from rick santorum. the big announcement came last night around 11:00 eastern via e-mail. here's part of rick santorum's breathless endorsement. the primary campaign certainly made it clear that governor romney and i have some differences. while i had concerns about governor romney making a case as a candidate about fighting
against health care, i have no doubt if elected, he will work with a republican congress to repeal it. my conversation with governor romney was very productive, but i intend to keep lines of communication open. >> how can they claim to be a non-profit devoted to promoting social welfare? aimed against democrats by name. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball." . ...with the best math scores. ...the united states would be on that list. in 25th place. let's raise academic standards across the nation. let's get back to the head of the class. let's solve this.
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conservatives of the coalition raising the prospect of another round of elections. employers posted 3.74 million positions in march, the most since july 2008. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." we've been tracking the dirty money out there that's been infecting our political system, and here's a perfect example. a $10 million contribution to crossroads, gps. unlike most political controversies, the group is under no obligation to disclose who gave that $10 million, or even if it was a single individual or a group that gave that money.
that's because the group calls itself a social welfare organization, unlike the other group also run by him, which is a superpak. they must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. that's a tough argument for crossroads gps to make since they are taxed by name on democratic candidates. here's one that goes after president obama by name. >> typical washington. obama says spend more and promises jobs. obama asks insiders to line up for handouts. mr. president, we need jobs, not more washington insider deals. >> well, crossroads gps would call that an issue ad, but who exactly believes that? senior correspondent of the huffington post, and editor in chief. i want to start with dan who got
us into this issue. i just looked at the law, and it clearly says if you spend this money on advertising in a campaign, and here's a rogue out there spending his gps money against people like tim kaine, all these money in these ads, drebt directly in violation of these tax profits. how are they getting away with it? >> they're defining what they're doing by the sec rules. they have these hair-splitting rules about what's a political ad and what isn't. by the sec rules, you absolutely have to use one of the magic words, electricity, vote or don't vote. >> you mean jumping all over a candidate isn't opposing them? >> if you call them and say, tell them to stop eating live puppies, or tell them to stop t supporting obamacare, the sec rules are not considered an ad.
the sec looks at things like facts and circumstances, and their rules seem pretty clear. the question is if they'll do anything about that. >> joe, share your opinion because you think about this as much as i do, about our democracy and keeping it somewhat democratic, where people actually count more than the big money people. >> one would hope. look, anybody who looks at this understands that the sec has failed to enforce any reasonable standard for these rules for many, many years. it's a political operation. it's staffed and the commissioners are democrats and republicans and the republicans protect republicans, and it's the nature of them to have a stalemated vote. the irs is a different story, and i find it hard to believe, frankly, chris, that the irs is going to fall for carl rogue's story, and hopefully they'll decide they ought to audit his group and see where they're
actually spending the money, not take their word for it and what that money is going for and then see whether it falls within the rules. because i suspect it won't, and i suspect that if they do find that, then the donors who gave a $10 million contribution a no one musti-- anonymously and i st rogue's ideals will find they are wrong. >> these are right wing people, business people, and they'll say if you give these people money, they're democrats, and that's not true. >> going after democrats in this case. tim kaine is running for senate, ben was about to run as the governor in alaska. >> tim kaine has been part of
obama's cheerleader. >> as junior governor rough spending sent him. >> what's wrong with washington? >> look at the damage he did. higher taxes, cutting medical spending. embarrassing in nebraska. senator, it's time to make it right. remember this from jon tester? tester voted against obama 97% of the time. oba obama's way is the wrong way. >> is there someplace like a superman movie where they go spinning off into space in the
space screen and you never tell them aga -- see them again until the sequel? >> leave the press to the a almighty. >> then they have the black and white and the same newspaper clippings. it's the same old m.o. >> nothing is going to change about this until people rise up and decide that the politicians seem to reform this system. luckily, there is a sign that finally they're going too far, and that this year, after the republican campaign wall the superpac spending in the primaries, that people are disgusted at long last. you and i both know, chris, that for years now, most voters have paid very little attention to these reform issues. it just hasn't been on the radar for them, either war or economy, something else. but this year there seems to be some suggestion that people are
paying attention now. there is a new poll that's going to come out tomorrow from democracy corps and the public campaign fund, and it's going to show this is a salient issue for a lot of voters this year. >> just under 100 donors gave a total of $77 million between june 2010 and december 2011. there were four other donations between 4 and $5 million. according to the "new york times," donors gave at least $1 million. if you could run a series of ads and say, and you can just pound the air waves all the way through october, and you had the money to do that without even having your name show up, you've got a great level with voters.
>> in terms of a great public mode, in terms of with secret money comes the chance for a corruption. it's a big slush fund, basically. >> you mean they might get in to see the winning candidate if they give a million bucks. >> it will be secret to us, it won't be a secret to them who they gave money to. he tends to look really smart -- >> you mean w. isn't still seen as a successful president? >> this is fascinating stuff. and here again, the good guys won. and this is "hardball." there's definitely a temptations for you. unless you're one of those people who doesn't like delicious stuff. temptations. it's the first jell-o that's just for adults.
mark rubio tops the list of running mates right now. take a look at this. the florida senator was named by 25% of republicans, the best vp candidate for romney. chris christie is down at 2nd at 19%. jeb bush at 16%, paul ryan at 8. look at rubio, he's getting a lot of dance time with romney. boy, they put a lot of interest in this guy. we'll be right back.
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we're back. we've got great new details about that terror plot the u.s. intelligence disrupted within al qaeda and the arabian peninsula base in yemen. today we learned the intelligence source was the would-be suicide bomber himself. roger, tell us about this. it's amazing to have the guy, if you will, that was going to put on the underwear, who was going to blow up the plane, according to people who were working with him who ratted out this whole thing. >> this is a good news story. in some respects it's what we expect the cia to do, is get a source inside early on in any type of development of a terrorist plot. they were in so soon, and there was never a point when this
became a credible threat because they knew what could happen and they disrupted it. >> the fbi agent said to the american communist party, were there more agents at the meeting than there were communists? were there more at the meeting? a little humor doesn't hurt here. how would score at the guy who was going to blow up the plane be our guy? >> what a remarkable change from december of 2009 when the cia thought they had recruited someone that would lead us to the highest ranking members of al qaeda and the a double agent enkilled seven cia agents. >> that was horrible. i was on the frontier there wab yeah. >> a similar incident happened in yemen. a high ranking al qaeda member saying wanted to surrender, he went there with a bomb and nearly killed several.
even al qaeda has acknowledged, this is the way in which we will defeat them. that's not just al qaeda generally, al qaeda in yemen acknowledged that very specific fact. >> tell us the story of how that happened. >> what we know so far, there is a lot we don't know, is that there is early penetration within the al qaeda and arabian peninsula network. we still know his nationality, we think there may have been other nations like the british intelligence involved in supporting this. they were basically able to identify where this plot was going to go. they would be able to work with the individual who ultimately was going to build the bomb. he was identifying what kind of device and how it would be created. at every point in the process, we had far better visionbility than what would happen here than was otherwise the case. it is directly related to the fact we had a person on the ground, penetration of the network early on. and so the threat was never going to be that significant. >> evan, tell us about the bomb, the underwear bomb, what it is,
consist of how it works, how it gets through the tsa equivalent in other countries. >> al qaeda and the arabian peninsula, put a lot of time into this. they spent a lot of time thinking about how to bring down commercial aircraft. the devices seem to revolve generally speaking around an explosive component and it's delivered in liquid form. but the key element here is the detonator. rather than using a metal detonator which is usually what you see in these explosive devices, there are up to five different detonators that have no metal in them, which means that x-ray detectors, metal detectors, they don't do any good. as for as what aqa -- >> what is the material used for the conductor to detonate? if it's not metal? >> they haven't said. they said it is an organic material, nonmetal, and apparently it neither sets off x-ray detectors or is it detectible on human body scanners. they developed it specifically
because of that. they whole a whole long treaty about how they hope to have a thousand cuts targeting america. instead of operations like 9/11, they will have successful operations over a shorter amount of time to bleed the american economy. >> you mean, they expect to have a lot of explosions? >> they are hoping for that. the idea is to keep the tempo up. to keep the number up, and through our security. >> a tsa operator, you're watching the scanner right now, would you be able to see one of these, the underwear? >> it depends, is the quick answer. this device is now in in the fbi lab. they will see what part will show and what won't. guidance from the bureau will be given to tsa. whatever the evidence is, that we -- and conclusions that we
draw from the lab analysis, we will see that from tsa. it may require new measures that we may see. again it depends on what the fbi determines. >> quickly, were he going to have more of these people carrying the bombs inside them? surgically implanted? >> surgically implanted, probably not. concealed within clothing, definitely. have you it take al qaeda at its word. they said expect us to send more people like this. expect it to happen again. the problem is that there are other al qaeda affiliate out that want to be the next latest and greatest in the world of terrorism. and you can be sure they are watching this right now and saying, let's imlate this. let's do this ourselves and next time we will grab the headline, we'll grab the focus and get the notoriety out of it. >> thank you you for the bad news. whenever you guys show up i have a bad night. just kidding.
great to have you. reports about our evolving president. you're watching "hardball." comes to mind for me is my high school math teacher, dr. gilmore. i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us.
not in this economy. we also have zero free time, and my dad moving in. so we went to fidelity. we looked at our family's goals and some ways to help us get there. they helped me fix my economy, the one in my house. now they're managing my investments for me. and with fidelity, getting back on track was easier than i thought. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy. get one-on-one help from america's retirement leader.
let me finish tonight with this. any problem with two-party politics is that you are inevitableably drawn into saying things in public than you would want to. if you are for the republic, you are supposed to be down the line forlabor positions be down the line for women's groups and down the line for bipartisan push for
war. for this reason i would rather be a commentator and pick my fights. i've been fairly positive about the gay people in the country. i think the president is with those causes. it is about saying the right thing when it will achieve the right purpose. it will achieve the marriage equality for the president to back it now. would is t advance to have a year twofr acceptance or occur casualties in the cause? the loss of more conservative states including north caroline why or ohio or cost obama a surprising state, like pennsylvania. when that advance the cause or solidify the republican opposition because they would owe it big time? would it put mitt romney in the white house? someone who said he would never give up his opposition to same-sex marriage? i believe that president a knows more about his political challenges than the rest of us and is basically, b, liberal on such matters. i can't read his mind or heart but he is not the sort to condemn people for how they were
born and for the love they know and the love they know because of who they are. the places he is evolving is in sync with many americans. if he is at a stage of evolution further than he is willing to admit, his opponent's evolution as he just declared is not existent. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politicsnation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead, the president tells republicans, get to work. today the president went to albany, new york where he unveiled a to-do list for congress. to push them to help homeowners refie answer that their mortgages. give tax cred it to small businesses. and put veterans back to work. >> i know this is an election year. but it's not an excuse for inaction.