tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 23, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
let me start with romney's rule of engage want, faith, family, and business and that is about it. this is his statements about what the public and press are not to be asked about. he is a candidate for our highest office who holds ims well beyond the rope line and complains about the need to explain himself. there is a man who demands we keep our distance when he entered the public world. we can't talk about his faith, time as governor, we can't talk about bain capital, what can we talk about? his choice in cadillacs. we have the car czar for the obama administration, and our other guest just interviewed romney for time magazine. he asked if his business record
was open to scrutiny, let's watch his response. >> you welcome scrutiny of your business record? >> i spent 25 years in the private sector. that teaches you something you don't learn if you haven't spent any time in the private sector. if you said tell me what you learned from your schooling that helped you become president, how do you begin to go through a list like that. the president's experience is in politics and a community organizer. right now we have an economy in trouble. someone who spent their career in the economy is more suited to help fix the economy than someone who spent his life in politics and is a community organizer. >> what did you make of that interview? what did you make of the answer? >> that's part of what he said, chris, and people can go to
time.com and read the full answer. i think it had three parts to it, two are politically effective. the general answer is if you're in business you know how to make the economy work, i don't think that's particularly effective. there are two other answers that i think are more effective. i think his critique of the president, the white house will push back, but a lot of voter wills find that compelling. saying i have been in the private sector, he hasn't, and you don't like the economy. he also talked about energy. one of the first times i heard him drill down and say when i was at bain, this is a specific thing i learned about business that i can apply as president. not a mega revolution, but that if your energy costs are high, you can't meet your payroll and be competitive with other countries. that's something something he said animates his energy policy.
>> let me go to steve ratner, i have known you awhile and you work closely with politicians as a reporter and a political contributor and a man close to a lot of them and the business people, you're in business yourself up there in new york. there has been a reason why business-types, and i don't mind using the frame like romney, and i don't just mean private equity, but business leaders have not made great presidents. you can pick the press an the people you want to talk to, politicians have to swim in a world of people and be involved in a lot of people not directly involved in making money for them. >> there's no question about there. they are different sets of skills. i think you articulated it pretty well. if you're ceo, you have to deal with employees and legislatures. and the record of business
people going to washington, treasury secretaries and other jobs, it's mixed, most are used to the command in control ceo approach, and it is quite different. >> let me ask you about bain, and he did, mark is smart, he shifted quickly away from it to obama, and he said i can't give you a whole list of things. he wants this to be about the performance of the president, right? on obama, not him. >> i watched that clique, and i astonished how quickly he pivoted. he turned around and talked about the president as a community organizer. he claim thoost he created 1010,000 jobs when he there was. he made this an issue and put himself forward as a job creator and chief. once he did that in a specious
way, i think it's fair game for the press, democrats, and anybody that wants to dissect that job creation record and see what it really amounts to. >> mark, you asked governor romney about the president's focus on bain, and he told you he welcomes that before quickly pivoting to the president's record. let's watch that action here in your interview. >> the president wants to focus a lot of the election debate on your career at bain capital, are you woke with that? >> of course, but i want to focus on his record. did he establish the revitalization he promised, did he hold unemployment below 8%? it's been 39 months now and that has not happened. gasoline prices, are people happen with those? home prices? are they happy with home prices and the level of foreclosures?
do they think someone can do better? he spends his time blaming over people for the fact that he has been unsuccessful turning around this country. and people ri. >> rick: saying they would like to try something knew because they believe this president is a nice guy, but not up to the task of helping guide the economy. >> what do you make of his nervousness, calmness, can you read into that? people tell me he looks nervous, i can't tell from the clip. >> he's getting over a head cold, you have to give him slack on that. i think right now one of his great strengths is he is not all caught up in the election. you and i covered presidential elections saying what's the other guy saying, he is engaged in all that, but in my time with him this morning, it was a long interview, i found him to be very calm. the same guy from the first time i met him, calm, relaxed, and
just like the president, he believes mitt romney would been a horrible president, he believes obama has been a horrible president. he's not making it up, that's what he believes. >> i crust you on that, but why does he have a weird line, and he has a weird thing on a rope line. in a business press interview, he's solid. he can't speak on the rope line, he's nervous about it, and he likes the formal debate structures with you. what is it about his formality? >> he has a veer allege to rope. not everybody is good at everything in politics. he learned not to talk on the rope line most of the time.
he's not a great off the cuff politician. the debates will be an interesting challenge for him. sometimes when a certain button gets pushed, it's not good. most of the time, his skills are pretty good. when he's prepared, he is pretty good. >> i agree, let me go back to steve. you have a good knowledge of all of these kinds of people. he does not seem to want to talk about his private life, about his religion, he doesn't want to talk about his experience as aed moderate governor in massachusetts. he doesn't like the scrutiny of a lot of the bain stuff. can you get away with being elected as president and have this shield around you? >> no, i think part of his
problem connecting with people is the fact that he doesn't want to do any of the things that you just mentioned. i think thing in massachusetts may also be a little different. i think there are questions act his record in massachusetts. the democrats have a soundbyte about massachusetts being 47th in their economy, and he is trying to dodge and weave. people will try to run him into the ground and he will have droubl responding. >> okay, and by the way, thanks for saving the american car industry, that's quite a notch on anybody's belt. thank you. coming up the republicans say it everyday, president obama raved taxes, he apologizes for america, those are not true. we did work and got facts for
you. spending has not gone up every year, it's been flat. he has not apologized, he wasn't into pakistan and didn't care what they thought, he got bin laden and killed him. it's better in swing states. there's a lot of cases where it's going to matter most he is doing his best. are we talking about the elite in big money and the regular rank and file person. finally let me finish with the knock knocks on president obama and why they're a joke. this is "hardball." today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines
are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers. by what's getting done. measure commitment the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues... but that doesn't mean our job is done. we're still committed to seeing this through. troubling numbers for president obama, the biggest swing state on the map, let's check the "hardball" score board. out of florida, mitt romney gives romney a 6 point lead over
now, that's progressive. back to "hardball," there's been a flood of dishonesty coming from republicans. they want you to think the president is balloon government spinning but that's not true. it's been flat as a pancake. and they want you to think that he raised taxes. what do they want you to think? that he didn't -- he has been apologizing for america. we have joan walsh and david korn.
every once in awhile i come across a fact that blows me away. here is the new ad from karl rove's group that says president obama engaged in massive government spending increases. >> obama started spending like our credit cards had no limit. how will my kids pay that off when they can't find jobs. i had so many hopes, cutting taxes, debt, and creating jobs. that's the change we need. >> mitt romney likened his spending to an inferno, let's watch him. >> rather than putting out that spending fire, he has been feeding it. he spent more and borrowed more. the time as come from a leader and a president who will lead
us. ly le i will lead us out of this debt. >> and it's not true at all. market watch points out that federal spending is rising at the lowest rate, look at that bar chart there. from 2009 to 2013, no change. it's been about $3.5 trillion right through. every once in awhile i'm amazed when i hear that government spending is spiking, and believing that every year is ticking upward, but it's incredibly flat. >> it is, this market watch piece is getting a lot of attention. i've been trying to think about what is the biggest lie they have told so far. birtherism is vile but a crack pot. fringe, this might be the
biggest lie of all. >> trump is still pushing it. and joe arpio, but this one, you take share mendacity and multiply it by the number of people that believe it, and to me that's the joan walsh formula, and that tells you the biggest lie. actual per capita spending has dropped under president obama. the administration is now pushing this and jay carney practically swore today saying don't believe the republican bs, they have to be better getting this stuff out. >> the phrase big lie is terrible, of course, but there has been a relentless use of not truth telling. >> there have been so many candidates, one was that the
stimulus created no new jobs. and a good example, i think about how they get away with this and why, and we were just watching mark halperrin interview saying president obama promised he would keep the unemployment under 8%. that is a lie. i was wishing for mark to stop the interview just there and say wait a second, is it? can you defend this comment? as long as they keep saying stuff like that and keep feeding an impression, they're going to keep doing it. the fact checking doesn't stop them. the world hold is dishonest. it spiked up to above double digits when he got into office that first spring.
he tried to get it down to eight. the word hold like it was below 8% and not going up. >> i know it's dishonest. one big lie after another. here is another one, taxes. we all washed obama lose one fight after another with the republican controlled congress trying to get rid of bush tax rates. they attack him from raising the rates from bush's level when he lost every fight to try to do it. they whack him from both sides saying he tried to raise the taxes. he tried to but he didn't. our economic fiscal policy is basically the bush tax rates right now. >> right. and -- there is more to say, he cut taxes in the first two years through the make work pay tax
credit. and then he followed up with the payroll tax cut. so actually he has cut taxes for most meamericans. the only think they can point to is that tanning tax that snooki was so concerned about. >> i've heard about the tanning tax, let's go to romney's dishonesty. let's go to another that he is always around the country, around the world, being weak on national defense. here is romney again with that old song that he is always apologizing. >> internationally, president obama adopted an appeasement strategy. he apologizes for america. and i will never apologize for the greatest nation in the history of the earth. >> the president took on his critics about his national
security record during a press briefing last december, let's listen. >> ask osama bin laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-qaeda leaders taken off the field whether i engage in appeasement. or whoever is left out there. ask them about that. >> david, appeasement has a horrible ring to it, of course, and they don't mind using it. >> it goes back to the nazis appealing hitler. there is no basis. ask for an example of appeasement. libya? he pushed the alleys to go further than they were willing to go to take down gadhafi. he makes a good case not appeasing al qaeda who is our biggest threat now.
romney is saying rush that is our number one foe which is not true. it's the type of thing that really shouldn't pass any sort of laugh test in society. he shouldn't be allowed in the rom with positions like that. but because it feeds this notion that it's an amateur, not really american, it finds a foot hole in those people out there who are already skeptical of the president and it's red meat for those folks. it's kind of sad that romney has to sink that low and can't have an honest debate over foreign policy and national security differences. and they legitimately exist. >> joan, it seems to me that he doesn't know anything -- i'm no hawk, but i have been reading a lot about reagan lately. he spent a lot of time trying to get gadhafi.
they talked about the war on terrorism, that his his phrase, and in terms of the war on terrorism, the sheet he just ran through, the 30 some people, he has done good on fighting the war on terrorism. even on their own score sheet, she should be a hero. barack obama should be a hero to the hawks on the right wing. >> she should be, and i have to call ourselves and the rest of the media on the carpest here too, chris. we have to find ways, i don't know if mark halperin should have jumped into that interview, maybe that wasn't the time, but in print and broadcast, every time we report that barack obama apologizes for america, reporters should be required to
say as a matter of fact, msnbc found he has never one apologized for america. this needs to be a reporting convention. >> there's a catch 22 there. we'll never get that interview. because we'll keep doing that to him. they're not going to listen -- we won't get a second interview, we're not going to get a second one. if mark did that and laced into him, the goodbye would be permanent from this guy. >> that's part of the problem here because if you don't do that, then you're enable lg him to use you as a flat form to say things that are not true. the other day he gave a speech that romney said if obama is reelected, half of the economy will be controlled by the government. again, not true. a line he keeps using over and over again. unless someone gets in his fashion, he's not going to stop. and some voter wills believe it.
it's not just cable chatter here. this matters when it comes to picking a president. >> he will be president of the united states his press conferences will have everyone from forbes to fox. up next, say no more, wait till you hear the brain dead answer repeated overand over by a united states congressman still in office about what he said about the president not being an american. he was caught by a good piece of work by a good journalist in his state. and tomorrow newt gingrich will join us. we'll have a lot of fun looking over his presidential campaign and we'll have real interesting back and forth.
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back to hb "hardball," mitt romney ran his first had of the november election of what he says he would do on day one of the election. >> what would a romney presidency be like? day one, president romney immediately approved the keystone pipeline and issues the order to begin replacing obama care. day two, he will be reminded that he lost to president obama by a landslide. that's what a presidency by romney looks like. >> here is jimmy kimmel. >> what would a romney presidency be like? machines, a mexican, a black
lady, more american flag, dockers, an old guy. >> i wish the original was that smart. i told you about congressman mike coffman who at a recent fundraidser said this president obama. >> i don't know whether barack obama was born in the united states or not. but in his heart, he is not an american. >> coffman later said he misspoke, but a local newspaper reporter tried getting coffman to elaborate. >> do you feel that voters are owed a better explanation than i misspoke? >> i stand by my statement. that i misspoke and i apologize.
>> who are you apologizing to? >> i stand by my statement. >> i apologize, we talk to you all of the time, who is telling you not to talk. >> i stand by my statement, and i misspoke and i apologize. >> was it that you thought it would go over well in a country that is very conservative. >> i stand by my statement, i misspoke and i apologize. >> is anything i can ask you that you will answer differently? >> i misspoke and i apologize. >> it's like i refuse to testify to grounds if they -- and ken bennet floated the idea of not putting president obama on the ballot if hawaii would not verify his birth. yesterday, hawaii put it out
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hey there. here is what is happening. president obama spoke to graduates at the united states air force academy earlier. he said the u.s. is stronger, safer, and more respected worldwide. there will be no charges for the passenger that caused the u.s. airway's flight to be diverted. and no verdict in the john edward's trial. they are on their fourth day of deliberations and they will resume tomorrow morning. now back to "hardball."
welcome back to "hardball." the economy has been a drag on the reelection efforts, but it will be decided in the swing states. in 2008, obama moved nine states that were formally bush and brought them into his column. now colorado, ohio, ohio, virginia, and new mexico. in short, the geography of recovery may be working for the president. we have a reporter for the huffington postand one from the washington post. let me ask you about the economies, my old boss would say that all politics is local. my question, do people go by what they see on the economic
reports like on cnbc and the financial pages, or do they go by what they sense locally. >> i would go by what they sense locally. all politics it local, but you get a sense of what's going on by the community around you and the community in your town. obama has an interesting map of states that are battle grounds that have done better than the national average with the unemployment rate. it's interesting that some of the key battle ground states recovered or never had a recession like the national averages were. i think it benefits him in the long run. >> the president bought a ticket on the auto industry rather than buy into ran. he made a decision not to trust the markets. will he benefit for that in ohio
where you have a resurgent auto industry? >> what's important about the auto bailout is that it's where where the romney campaign had a very different proposal and message, so romney has been quiet on things like t.a.r.p. when the economy collapsed, there was no bankruptcy sentencing that could have gotten them through to the other side. so you've had two messages now out of the romney campaign, and one a couple months ago, and said that what obama did made things worse. a couple days ago his communication says -- i think they're inability to figure out a way to deal with this shows
how touchy they are in some of these states. >> you know, it's impossible to imagine, if romney were to win this election in november, perhaps because of the economy, and say he won the argument of arguing the case of rock and roll cowboy capitalism, all of the good stuffs that got us into this mess, and he rolled to victory by saying let's go back and do it again. >> yeah, it's a gamble on his part. the gamble is there is a sort of amnesia about what got us into the financial crisis to begin with. when he talked about the foreclosure crisis, he said we need to let it hit rock bottom before we do anything else. i think it gets him somewhere politically because the american public has to some extent moved
on. if you look the the polls, there is a lot of blame on bush getting us into this. you rarely see him talk about george w. bush. the endorsement happened in an elevator. so i mean yeah, he's hoping that people forget the causes of what happened. >> this is another one of those do not go there man behind the curtain. we can't talk about bain, his religion, not his family, fair enough, we can't talk about bush, his philosophy, where he came from politically. what are we allowed to talk about, even in this show, if you ask about him? >> obama's high spending and deficits, of course. i think one of the interesting things about the veep search is two of them were former budget
directors. you will bring up the bush years in a very big way, and if you look at his economic team, two of his key economic advisors ran bush's economic council at different times. one thing is very true that he has a bush circle around him. i do wonder if he will be able to escape from that. people used to talk about obama in this fdr moment, fdr came in three years after the great depression had begun. obama came in right as it was beginning to hit rock bottom. then for months things -- so it allowed a lot of the key financial policies here, the deregulation and things to get muddled. >> one of the problems was the constitution was changed and he
office in january rather than march 4th. thank you for the change. coming in just in tomb to take some of the blame for the catastrophe created by the bush's. thank you sam stein and as always, the brilliant ezra cline. thank you, is there a government rift in the democratic party right now between the pro-business better off people like corey booker, and the rank and file democrats? i'm more of an absentee plant parent.
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president obama has a big league among latino voters according to our telemundo poll. he has a 34 point lead, 61 to 27. he carried a latino vote by a similar spread in 2008. another challenge is getting la teen knows to vote. only seven in ten said they were exciting to vote this time around. [ banker ] mike and brenda found a house that they really wanted.
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we're back with corey booker who criticized the president's attack ads on bain capital. some of the democratic party have increasingly relied on wall street for money and in short, he is a fisher in the democratic party between the rank and file and the moneyed elite. we have robert reich, and eugene robinson. gentleman, i want to talk about this. i'm not sure this is true, but i have been told it's true. i've been told robert reich there are republicans that are pro private equity.
they think the democratic party is in kinship with those people and don't like this populist outrage. >> this is not a new rift by the way. i remember 20 years ago, 15 years ago in the clinton administration there was the same rift. many who came from wall street or big business, and then there were raipg and filers who didn't want anything to do with them and were more populist in their inclinations. i think it's wrong to take it to the point where you see it as a conflict between the notion of fairness and the notion of ground. you can't gate real growth unless you have a more equitable distribution of wealth. the vast middle class doesn't
have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. >> wasn't it henry ford that said he wanted his auto workers to be able to afford one of his cars? that was a reasonable conservative gentleman. >> eugene robinson, your thoughts about this battle? i think there is always a batten between center right and and i democratic party, between left and center left. but it also seems to be, there's a lousy -- i shouldn't say that, a noisy group of people who are in equity who are offended that their wealth is being questioned. and i thought cory booker spends a lot of time hanging around with those guys for future reasons. your thoughts, gene? political reasons. >> politicians in the new york metropolitan area, the greater new york area, like cory booker, get a lot of campaign contributions from wealthy financiers, including people in private equity.
so it stands to reason they may have been nicer to those folks. you know, but this divide exists not only in the democratic party, chris. i think you saw it during the primaries. you saw the same sort of rift inside the republican party. in fact, when newt gingrich made a lot of hay out there, especially in my home state of south carolina, talking about bain capital and talking about private equity, and talk about that form of what rick perry called vulture capitalism. so i think it's -- >> but he's on tomorrow night, and we will raise that. we will raise that issue, that populism in the republican party is there, just like nixon used to refer to the cloth coat republicans, they're there. they don't always make the most noise in that party, gene, but they're there. and he claimed to them and so did rick santorum. >> they are there. and there's a wealth of newt gingrich quotes. of course, there's a wealth of newt gingrich quotes about everything. but there's a wealth about bain capital and equity, and he hasn't taken it back.
he's talked about that model of capitalism in the midst of which you kind of come in and pick the bones clean of a failing company and he's questioned it and continues to question it. that would be with a great thing to talk to him about tomorrow night. >> good idea. let me get back to robert reich and this question of populism. i know you're a populist, i know you believe in it, and i just wonder why we're seeing this fight. it looked to me like a couple things happened last sunday. cory booker obviously wanted to differentiate himself from the president. he did so effectively. but he did so by undermining the president's main campaign argument. i want to ask you if you think it's a smart argument on the democratic side, that fairness cuts with voters? >> i think it does. again, chris, if it is linked up with growth, as it must be. because the only reason and the only way we can get growth back in this country is if we have a fair distribution of income and wealth in this country. and most people looking at the why we have such a sluggish
recovery now understand the problem is on the demand side. it's not the supply side. it's not because of corporations don't have tax cuts and it's not because the wealthy don't have the tax cuts. it's because the middle class doesn't have the income they need to provide adequate demand for all the goods and services that the private sector is capable of producing. and understanding that makes the connection between growth and fairness. i think the president has done a good job. he could do even more, making that connection. you know, wall street and the top reaches of the can democratic party, the big contributors, very often, they don't understand that. they would do better with a rapidly growing economy. a smaller share of a rapidly growing economy than they are doing right now with a big share of an economy that is slowly growing. >> you know, the old line, gene, you're my age, so i remember this, if you want to live like a republican, vote like a democrat. i mean, the fact of the matter is, the great irony is that bill clinton, with his 39.5% top rate, was the best thing that ever happened to american
wealth. >> yeah, and look at recent republican and democratic administrations and under democrats, government spending goes down and the economy roars ahead. and under the republican spending goes way up, and the economy stalls out and goes into recession. because they cut everybody's taxes, they cut the wealthy taxes, and essentially, you know, stop their foot on the middle class. you know, just to add to what bob reich said, i think you also have to talk about equality of opportunity. and the sense that wealthy insiders like the people at bain capital and like a lot of folks in wall street, have opportunities that the rest of us don't have, simply because they've sort of rigged the system to favor themselves at the expense of everybody else. and you know, financial markets are supposed to serve the interests of the economy. it's not supposed to be the other way around. >> and most people -- understand that right now. >> i know. robert reich, you're great.
please come back with your populist message whenever you can. when we return, let me finish with why you shouldn't believe everything you hear from the republicans about president obama. this is why the phrase is bs, lots of it now, coming out about spending, about taxes, about apologizing. none of it's true. we ought to know that. you're watching "hardball," the application. [ music plays, re] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me! twenty-one vitamins and minerals and zero fat! hmmm. you'll bring a lot to the party. [ all ] yay! [ female announcer ] new ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. twenty-one vitamins and minerals. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. refreshing nutrition in charge!
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let me finish tonight with this. did you catch this karl rove tv ad he's running for 10 million bucks against president obama? it's a smart effort to grab single women voters. smart, but not especially honest. did you see what that ad said about government spending under obama, that it's rising year after year, relentlessly throwing away our dollars? well, the big lie in that is that government spending has been basically flat all these years. fiscal years '09 through 2013, flat, flat, flat, flat. and how about saying that obama raised taxes? that's another thing you hear out there. how could we have fallen for that one? obama's lost every single fight he's had with the republican congress trying to get rid of the bush tax rates. lost every one and we know it. the tax rates we had today is
the same as they were when w. left us. if they're holding the economy back, blame him. they can't blame obama for trying to dump the tax rates and them come back and blame for him very hose same tax rates, can he? i guess rove can. and that's what he's doing in this slick ad. remember, he was the architect of the w. area left us with. that's "hardball" for now. join us tomorrow night when newt gingrich comes to "hardball." "the ed show" with ed schultz starts now. >> welcome to "the ed show" tonight from new york. elected officials in the republican party, they just cannot hide their hatred for the president. and i say their leadership needs to step up and do something about it. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> i do know this. that in his heart, he's not an american. he's just not an american. >> a republican congressman is caught on tape, telling constituents the president is not