tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 14, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EDT
but that's the politician talking. sister simoncampbell, thank you very much for joining me tonight and gets tonight's last word. >> thank you. trying ryan. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in new york. let me start with this weekend romance romney had with paul ryan's budget. on saturday he was for it. by sunday night he was on "60 minutes" saying he had his own ideas. what's up? he picked ryan to show he had a spine. within 24 hours, by sunday on the next day, romney was splitting away from ryan's greatest deal. where is that spine now and where is that romance? and how can you be for ryan and not be for the thing ryan is best known for? how can you support ryan's
courage for coming out with a tough budget and then before sundown the next night skip town on doing the same thing. where is that spine of yours, mr. romney? you picked this guy. we didn't. why are you already pulling away from him? and there he was today back to the old mitt. what happened to that rooting tooting guy we saw on saturday? i guess he skipped town with paul ryan's medicare plan, the plan he doesn't want to be caught dead with. take a listen to mitt romney in st. augustine, florida, today. >> now, as you know about four years ago candidate obama was speaking in denver to the democratic convention, and he got up there and made a lot of promises and he did it in front of those greek columns. i don't think he'll be standing in front of greek columns at this year's convention. he won't want to remind people of greece because that's where he's taking our country if we don't get off the road we're on. >> with me now are two of the top analysts on msnbc, "the huffington post's" howard fineman and "time" magazine's mark halperin. let's get to the heart of this thing.
i'm surprised because i thought romney had some spine in picking ryan at the very act of doing so. because ryan has stuck his neck out on a very, very tough, perhaps draconian budget which includes cuts against groups that don't like to be cut, like seniors, and great advantages to people at the top, of course. but then again on sunday night out of nowhere on "60 minutes" he comes out and says, well, really i have my own plan. i'm not really with the ryan plan. does he already lose points? polling in the last 24 hours or 48 hours has shown a mixed reaction to romney picking ryan. "usa today"/gallup poll out yesterday, nationwide, 42% said romney's choice of ryan for vp was a fair or poor choice. 39% believed it was an excellent or pretty good decision. it was the worst performance looking at those numbers of any vp pick in a dozen years. now here is a different view. abc/"washington post" poll had a more positive outlook. here it was. 38% viewed the pick favorably. 33% had a negative reaction to romney naming paul ryan.
those polls were taken over the weekend. i wonder if he's losing the glitz and the pep of the weekend. that speech i saw this morning looked like the old romney again. >> chris, i think the way it looks to me at this point, if i'm talking to people from both parties, the risk for mitt romney is the worst of all possible worlds. he excited the base. no question. he excited the tea party and the rest of the conservative republican base with the pick of paul ryan. and now the question is going to be how loyal is he to it? how whetted is he to it? he's going to get attacked for it anyway. he can say anything he wants on "60 minutes." the two of them can do any dance they want in front of bob schieffer on "60 minutes." the fact is that the democrats are going to attack paul ryan's record which is not just about medicare and the budget, it's about social issues as well. he's very hard right on social issues. they're going to attack anyway, and if mitt romney is now going
to spend the next weak or so selectively distancing himself from paul ryan on various issues, he's going to end up with the worst of all possible worlds. >> he's sort of taking an ala carte look at romney. >> it doesn't work that way on this. >> i'm going to mark here on this. it seems like the gutsy thing i was saying when i was reporting saturday night was just picking ryan, now he seems to be picking among the ryan things and the ones he doesn't like. >> i think you may be overstating a little bit. >> go ahead. your view. >> the extent to which he's distancing himself and the significance of it. he's trying not to own it lock, stock and barrel because there are elements different from his plan. on the basics, on the notion of changing medicare, on the notion of the tax policy, he owns ryan and i don't think he distanced himself completely. ed gillespie said over the weekend if the ryan bill came to his desk, he'd sign it. he owns the ryan bill and i think attempts to distance are meaningless and should be substantively. the differences are minor. >> why does it help him to have any distance from ryan at this
point? why does he want to do a step away from the guy after showing some guts in picking him? >> he'd like the parts that are politically sensitive but he does disagree with to not own the whole thing he owns the major elements. that's drastically reducing the size of the federal government, how medicare works, and drastically altering the tax code where the richest americans would get a tax break. he owns that and he has to win that. >> if you're a hard core individualist and believe in giving more rewards to the wealthy, more rewards to people in society and cutting the benefits going to those who are not winning, you're with this guy. if you're romney, your name is ryan. it's the same plan. >> chris, i think i agree with mark. the attempts to do it on an a la carte basis are a waste of time. he's committed to this. it's as if mitt romney didn't have an identity. he's now uploaded an identity. we said during the campaign that he was committing a hostile takeover of the republican party. well, now that he's done that takeover, they've taken over
him. and they are one and the same. and i'm struck by the fact that i think other than barry goldwater and to some extent ronald reagan, other than barry goldwater this the most thorough going critique and attack on what we can call the social state, the welfare state, call it what you will, going back to the new deal. >> yeah. >> paul ryan has an entirely different set of assumptions. he's like a third generation conservative. you had bill buckley and so on. then you had the ronald reagan generation. this is the next generation. they don't accept the assumptions of the role of government in the lives of people. and that's the real meaning of the ryan budget. that's the real meaning of paul ryan's career, and that's the real meaning of his candidacy. whether the american people, number one, are ready for that debate, number one. and, number two, whether they would dare to choose what ryan is really saying is what's at stake here and it makes it a really very interesting and important election. >> i agree completely. it's not a hard one to choose
from if you look into the facts of who these people -- what they're standing for. it ain't complicated. they are clear in the ideological difference. the president began thinks three-day bus tour through iowa telling a crowd in council bluffs his problem with the new republican ticket. here he is with his first in person critique of the new romney/ryan team. let's watch. >> this weekend my opponent, mr. romney, chose his running -- as his running mate the ideological leader of the republicans in congress, and i have to tell you, i know congressman ryan. he's a good man. he's a family man. he's an articulate -- he is an articulate spokesman for governor romney's vision, but the problem is that vision is one that i fundamentally disagree with. governor romney and his allies in congress, they think if we just get rid of more regulations on big corporations and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest americans, if we end medicare as we know it, make it
a voucher system, then somehow this is all going to lead to jobs and prosperity for everybody. >> i just like the way this guy does it. they all play politics. you're laughing. i'm laughing. he's not going to let ryan be the outsider looking into washington saying what's wrong with it? he's going to put him right in bed with congress. he said congress five times there. this guy is one of that republican congress the public hates. >> the president now has a license to talk about paul ryan. ryan is in the news. we'll is if he can keep this up. as much as he can keep the focus off the economy and his economic record, talk about ryan and romney, washington to congress and republicans and congress, they are not popular for a variety of reasons and part of it is obstruction and part of it is their policies on things that are unpopular. the super pac the president put out a memo this afternoon saying part of our problem in convincing people of what the republicans in congress stand for is they don't believe it. when we tell them in focus groups what the paul ryan budget says, they can't believe anybody
would be for that. the president now has an opportunity to take the specifics of republicans and congress, attach them to mitt romney and he'll do it as long as he can get away with it. >> how do you sell the fact, howard, a rhetorical question to you and you know what it is going to be, how do you sell to the average person who works for $40,000 a year, you sweat, come home tired at 6:00 at night. and then under the paul ryan world, people who make money off money, people who get dividends, interest, whatever, they're not going to pay any taxes, any at all. in other words you don't have to look at mitt romney's tax returns anymore. it will have a zero price on it. don't look for the secret tax returns. a freebie. a free ride. how can you sell that to people who don't even know what a million bucks looks like? >> well, i think it's difficult. i think that the effort to question the underpinnings of the modern social welfare state, if you will, that's a legitimate one. >> how about right wing social engineering? >> just wait a minute. we're going broke. but mitt romney, i think, is probably ill suited in the extreme to be the guy carrying that case because he's not --
the democrats have very successfully painted him as an uncaring, unthinking rich guy who manipulates the tax code, who has offshore wealth, who doesn't pay his fair share of taxes, who only understands wealthy people, who doesn't have your interests at heart. so if he doesn't have your interests at heart and doesn't understand your life, how could the plan that he put forward actually help you? now in state -- and places like ohio, both campaigns are doing focus groups of undecided white, blue collar voters. sort of middle class voters. that's who this is aimed at. the romney/ryan ticket will say we're going to allow you to stop paying for the welfare state and give you back more tax money. that's what their argument is going to be. but making that case convincingly will be difficult. >> especially when you have parents living off that system. anyway, paul ryan was met by a loud group of protesters today who joined his supporters at the same state fair event in iowa. they booed and yelled throughout his ten minutes but he handled it pretty well. let's watch.
>> my guess is -- my guess is the reason president obama isn't making it here from council bluffs because he only knows left turns. >> well, there you have it, howard. let's talk in human terms, how is he handling his first couple of days out there as the new kid on the block? >> well, mark and i have both seen him in action. at least i've seen him here. i haven't seen him in his district. he's a born pol. he's excellent at it. he's well liked. he's solid on his feet. he's good on the campaign trail. a scene like that in iowa doesn't help the democrats at all. people in iowa like their politics polite and don't like to see something like that. the democrats are going to have to at the grassroots be careful not to overplay their hand. if they're going to view the romney/ryan ticket as somehow extreme, they've got to restrain themselves in their critique. >> i wonder if they were in charge of the people at the state fair. mark, were those people on duty
or just regular ticked off people that hang out at the state fair that happen to be liberals? >> i think they were as on duty as someone who shows up in a giant chicken costume at an event. there are very few people in america who have never run for statewide office who are pretty much unknown, put them on a national ticket, and have a high degree of confidence. they're not going to make mistakes. ryan could go on your show, david gregory's show, and the people in boston would say, no problem this guy can do it. he is incredibly experienced. he's been around this for a long time. i think he buys mitt romney on the inside game, something important, reporters, national political reporters like this guy. they know him. they like him. they have a connection to him even if they don't necessarily share his ideology, and that helps romney, i think, going forward. he's way behind in how the press views the republican ticket. >> that is so -- >> help him catch up. >> that's true. >> i accept that completely from your reporting but, i tell you, it can show romney ain't that guy. he ain't a guy you can talk to. >> and if ryan starts trashing the top of the ticket, that
would be a problem. i have no expectation that will happen. >> thank you very much. it might be bottom heavy. anyway, thank you, mark halperin, for that assessment, and howard fineman, as always, sir. coming up miss is the rare instance both are thrilled with the vice presidential choice. don't you believe it. both sides say, yay, this is great. both sides can't wait to run on the ryan budget issue. republicans for it. democrats against it. the side that's right will probably celebrate in november. here it goes. also, what's in that budget? is it a courageous attempt to cut the deficit or simply a dismembering of the social safety net masquerading as deficit cutting with all the savings going right to the rich people? we'll have that debate. and among the happiest people today are the democrats running for the senate and house seats. they believe the ryan pick has nationalized the election giving them a chance to link ryan's proposed cuts to the opponent. elizabeth warren is one of those who think so. we'll have her on next in a minute now. let me finish tonight with spine. on saturday i thought mitt romney finally showed some. where'd it go in two days? this is "hardball," the place
with all the buzz surrounding paul ryan, we learned this sugar plum about the last republican vice presidential pick. sarah palin, get this, will not be speaking at the republican convention in tampa. that's right. the grisly mama herself will be on the sidelines. in a statement palin said everything she said about barack obama back in 2008 still applies today. it's unclear as to -- unclear yet as to whether palin was to speak in the first place or whether romney's campaign told her she wouldn't get a speaking slot. this is fascinating. we'll keep covering it. was she shut up or did she jump out? either way she's going to give a speech from the parking lot right next to where we're going to be, i bet you that. we'll be right back. terol? and it tastes good? sure does! wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time...
i mean, the left and the right both reacted to a selection of what seemed like equal excitement over the weekend. obviously one side celebrating a little too soon here. one thing seems clear, ryan's pick is a game changing moment in the campaign so far. romney went for a selection that would change things up, redefine his narrative after weeks of bad headlines everything from bain and his tax returns he won't show us to his overseas trip which was a flop and romney decided playing it safe wasn't an option anymore, so he went with ryan. ryan comes with major risk and the democrats know it, in particular he's a lightning rod on his budget which president obama has made already clear to be one of his centerpieces of his campaign. so did obama get his dream opponent? we're going to get two views now starting with reich under bill clinton, professor of economics at the university of california berkeley, author of "beyond outrage: what's gone wrong with our economy and how to picks it." it's great to have you on. it seems to me if you watch this being plotted, for months now it's as if obama picked ryan, romney didn't. he wanted him as an opponent.
>> it does seem that way. ryan represents exactly what obama has been campaigning against. the frustration that the obama camp has had, anytime obama punches, romney ducks. and he's been very vague. now paul ryan comes along and provides details that actually sharpen romney's message. and the message obviously is very right wing. >> well, where is the bad ire? with where is the glass jaw? where would you punch if you would fighting in pugilistic terms? >> medicare is the simplest and easiest one for people to get and understand. i mean, obviously ryan wants to restore all of the defense cuts. obviously ryan wants to provide huge tax benefits to the rich and it's not really a budget deficit cutting plan because it doesn't see surpluses for three -- more than three decades. but medicare -- shifting medicare into basically a voucher system that the congressional budget office has
even said, nonpartisan congressional budget office has said, will raise the cost for the average elderly person by $6,500 a year. well, that's something easy to punch at. and ryan really doesn't have any response. >> well, the response we're getting from the white house and all the talking points and perhaps the governor will be on himself, obama already cut medicare by $700 billion. what do you make of that number? >> well, that's what romney has been saying on the campaign trail today. he's been saying, yes, obama has been through the affordable care act by cutting medicare. ryan's plan already makes the same cuts. the difference between ryan and obama's plan is that ryan is making the cuts by shifting those expenses onto the elderly through this voucher system. obama is making the cuts in medicare through cutting the providers, what the providers are making, drug companies and the hospitals and other providers. >> what are nonessential services? that's what they're called. >> the drug companies are making a mountain of money and, also, hospitals are very inefficient.
>> let's stick it to ryan here. >> 30% of hospital costs, 30%, go into purely administrative costs so there's a lot to cut there and that's exactly what the act will do. >> here is what i'd fear from ryan. not only is he changing into a voucher program, say i'm 75 years old, 80 years, i have to go trucking out for a health insurance policy i can buy at my age, of course, 82 or whatever, 72, and i have to go buy it and i know it doesn't cover the costs of my medicine because that's how they're saving money. and then what else? i have to do all this knowing that it doesn't cover the costs. i don't see how you could be happy with this if you're a retired person especially an elderly person. >> and not only are you going to pay $6,500 more as soon as this goes into effect but, remember, health care costs -- assuming
health care costs continue to go up -- that voucher's value is not going up nearly as fast. so that $6,500 becomes $7,000, becomes $8,000, becomes $10,000. so, chris, if you were right now 40 years old and looking ahead to medicare, there is no way that ryan plan is going to give you any kind of medicare at all. >> let's hear what the governor sununu has to say, former governor of the granite state, a tough guy. you can you go in there like the celtics. remember the guy that used to play for the celtics? you go in and knock the guy out of the game. >> i do. >> you're pretty good at this. let's pick up on that conversation i just had with reich. >> let me pick up where you left off. two points. number one, this is not ryan/romney as a ticket. it's romney/ryan and the budget will be the romney budget when you have two people come in and the guy in charge decides what his plan is.
>> that's what i said when i started the show. he's skipping away from what he said on saturday which on saturday he just loved the ryan plan. by sunday night on "60 minutes" -- >> he loved ryan. he loves ryan. what he loves is he also spent a lot of time putting his budget together. but i think -- >> he picks out the stuff he likes in ryan and skips away from the stuff that might actually show some spine. go ahead. >> let me do the medicare and if we have time i'll show you why you're wrong on that, too. >> i think i'm right, but go ahead. >> let's do medicare. i think the democrats and obama land is making a huge mistake. they think medicare is the same issue it was 20 years ago. when the bankruptcy date or expiration on medicare was 20 or 30 years away. so if you were on medicare, or 55 or 60 approaching it, you didn't want medicare touched because you were going to live through it until it was okay. today medicare's bankruptcy date is 10 to 12 years away.
by the medicare actuary himself. it means if you are on medicare or close to medicare, you expect to live well beyond bankruptcy. >> you're claiming right now the federal government is going to renege on its commitment to medicare. >> no, i'm saying that you have to fix it. >> of course. are you still with ryan? i want to ask you about ryan. here, the new hero. >> i'm with romney. forget ryan's plan. romney's plan -- >> he's with him on a corporate tax cut, for a continuation of the tax cuts, he wants all those shifts to the wealthy not to cut the deficit. >> are we talking medicare? come on. you want to talk medicare? >> those savings in your program under romney and ryan both -- >> no. you're wrong. >> go to corporate tax cuts. they don't? you're not going to cut corporate taxes? >> medicare will be covered by guaranteeing to everybody 55 and over that they can have medicare exactly as it is today. >> yeah, yeah. >> no change.
>> what's going on in the future of medicare. >> if you're 55 and over, if you're one of those elderly voters, you understand that. >> medicare under the ryan and romney plan is to replace a fee for service program which we've all grown up with. you go to the doctor and pay for it with a voucher program. where you've got to buy nurns the the private market. that's what they want to do, both of them. >> but that happens for people under 55. >> how is that a good deal? we're talking people 55 and over. why is it a good deal for the future? why is it a good deal? i'd rather have a private insurance policy than a government insurance policy any day. >> here is the question. if it's such a popular idea, the romney budget, why is -- if it's such a popular budget, why is romney skipping away from it? >> because romney's is better. that's why. >> why are you kicking elderly people under 55 -- why not kick it in now? >> because romney's is better. it includes a lot of the good
features and it addresses the fact that you've got to get rid of very significant amounts of loopholes and it is designed to create a growth pattern that generates another three-quarters of a percent of growth. >> i have one last question. you're a great surrogate so let me ask you this question. does romney skip away from the ryan plan to eliminate capital-gains taxes, so the rich who make money off money don't have to pay more taxes. >> romney has made it clear that the capital gains rate will stay at 15%. >> so he's against ryan on that one, too. >> no, he's for romney. ryan is supporting the romney plan. >> this is wild. >> why do you want -- here is your problem. here is your problem. you guys don't understand there's a guy at the top of the ticket. >> let me explain. >> i'm not dumb enough to pick
the fact the guy in second place is going to call the shots. >> okay. i get your point. and here's the point. we can talk about romney but we can't talk about his years at bain. we can talk ryan but not about his budget. whatever these guys have done before, we can't talk about. >> well, let's talk did -- we can talk about the fact obama did take $716 billion -- >> the same exact number, by the way, which ryan takes away in his budget. go ahead. >> but not in the romney budget. and if you want to debate a budget that's not going to be policy, that's up to you. >> okay, thank you. we have to go. >> but the public is going to debate a program that is being put up as the policy. >> you defended governor -- your fellow governor, governor romney tonight. you have not saved private ryan. thank you very much, john sununu, private ryan is trashed by you. >> he doesn't need saving. >> thank you, governor. great surrogate for one of the two guys on the ticket. not so much the other guy. up next, for the ryan pick parallel what republicans had said with palin? with palin? i don't think so. stick around for the sideshow. there are questions here and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
the one word the entire romney campaign probably doesn't want to hear in the midst of all this paul ryan fanfare, how about palin. nobody on the republican side wants to relive the 2008 game changing vp selection back then. but get a load of politico's e-mail du jour posted from a democratic operative. quote, here is my prediction. the cycle of reaction will be exactly the one with palin. press, wow, interesting. democrats, huh? press, he's so dynamic. what a boost of energy. republicans, what a great speech. the base loves him. democrats, uh-oh. republicans, the big mo has shifted our way. press, he's breathing new life. democrats, but wait, there's more. press, hmm. republicans, uh-oh. as of now we're still in phase one of that timeline. surely you've heard talk of ryan, quote, as a great boost of energy. next, think name recognition won't be an issue, that won't be an issue for paul ryan or will it? he's been a rising star in congress. the washington post points out a different vibe however.
at a restaurant in florida just yesterday as diners weighed in on the ryan pick. rick ryan said one diner, was a brilliant vice presidential choice. mike ryan, said another, would surely boost mitt romney's presidential campaign. at last a guy said jim smith, romney made a decision that solidifies his credentials. he picked paul from kentucky. a good move. i didn't support romney in the primary but i will now with paul in there. wow. that guy, smith, thought romney had picked rand paul from kentucky. that's why he likes the ticket now. nobody is really focused on this yet. whatever makes you happy so far. up next, democrats are hoping paul ryan's addition to the republican ticket helps them down the bout in the race for governor and senator. we'll see and that's ahead had. you're watching "hardball." we have elizabeth warren coming up from massachusetts taking on scott brown. here's the place for politics.
record of that. anyway, joining me now is elizabeth warren who is in a hot race with scott brown for that massachusetts senate race. elizabeth, miss warren, it's always great to have you on. it seems to me that scott brown won with his truck and barn coat or his barber coat and visual iconic appeal. he didn't win on ideology. is this going to plunge this election back to a philosophical difference between you and him? this ryan deal? >> well, you know, the romneys picking ryan for his running mate has certainly made clear what this election is going to be about. you know, the vision of the republicans is now clear, cut taxes for billionaires and big corporations and let america's families pick up the pieces. the problem is that america's families are really on the ropes and they can't take much more. the romney/ryan economic plan is a punch to the gut for america's working families.
>> well, let me ask you when you go to voters and going hand-to-hand, there's a lot of retail up there and you have to talk to people. when they come up and challenge you, how do you get them to start thinking do you want a philosophy that says no taxes on people that make money off money, that just coupon clip? how can they defend that philosophy on the ticket they're voting for? >> that really is the heart of the problem here that the republicans have got. their basic proposal is help the guys at the very top and, you know, for working families, let the devil take the high notes. i think a lot of working families have figured that out. people are smart. they get it. they get that the system is rigged. and they get that the republicans, not only like it rigged, they want to rig it more. they want to make sure that they get to stay on top. it's not enough the money they've made. it's not enough what's happened on wall street.
they want to say they need even more tax breaks, and they want to do it on the backs of working people. >> many aspects of a greased pig says scott brown. he voted against the ryan budget to protect himself and penned an op-ed, why i applaud ryan for getting the conversation started. i cannot support his specific plan and therefore will vote no. i fear as health inflation rises, the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays. protecting those who have been counting on the current system their entire lives. cutting taxes for the rich and he would vote for a fleecing of the medicare -- of the health care program the president has put through. he'll be one of those republicans in there with the pac and yet he cleverly slips away whenever he might get exposed to the voter. what do you make of his political stripe? how he votes? >> he's not going to get to slip away this time.
look, he clearly wants mitt romney and paul ryan to be the president and vice president of the united states. he wants them to lay out the economic blueprint, and he wants them to execute on the economic blueprint. he can wave his hands all he wants but he's not backing off from that. scott brown has said there is no one he trusts more on the economy than mitt romney. and mitt romney has picked paul ryan. but, you know, i think the point to remember here is that romney/ryan part of this is something the republicans had already started and scott brown is deeply tied into. look at the votes they've already taken. the buffett rule, whether or not billionaires should be able to get away paying half of rate of their secretaries, scott brown and all the republicans voted to protect those tax breaks for billionaires. the oil company subsidies, the
biggest profitable companies in the united states making huge profits, scott brown and all the republicans said they get to keep those tax breaks. but then when it came time to give tax breaks to 98% of america's working families, scott brown and the republicans said, no, no, no. no breaks for them unless the top 2% get even bigger breaks. so the basic direction of romney, ryan, brown has already been set. it's just gone now to its clearest position with the adoption of ryan as the running mate. >> well, thanks for being on. it's great to have you on. elizabeth warren running for the united states senate up in massachusetts. with me now is steve israel, the congressman from new york and chairman of the congressional campaign. i've been waiting for you, sir, all night long because i know you've figured this thing out, steve, and i want to hear this. now hear this, your view, what is the voice of response to the pick of paul ryan? by your side.
>> you have these republicans who have been harry houdinis all over the country trying to extricate themselves from the ropes of the ryan budget which ends medicare in order to fund tax cuts for millionaires. we're not going to let them get away with it. chris, when they put their voting cards in and voted yes to end medicare, to fund tax cuts for millionaires, they sealed their fate. >> let me show you the ad that i have to like the most in this campaign. it's an ad that has a familiar look to it. let's take a look at the granny off the cliff ad for a second. ♪ >> i assume the people who put that ad out used a dummy to
throw grandma off the cliff. at least the one looking old. this ad basically makes the point that we're going into a society if the republicans win with ryan, that basically make sure we don't waste any money on people who need money and make sure people who get rich have a little more incentive to be rich. this is an amazing -- i mean, i read fountain head growing up. i know it was a nice story. but here is a party that believes this stuff. incentivize the rich, screw the poor, and screw older people who don't have much to defend themselves with. it is true. it's not just party rhetoric. it is true. >> no, no. look, a budget is a statement of our priorities and values. the ryan budget statement is if you're a senior citizen, we end the medicare benefit for you and it costs you up to an additional $6300, but if you're a millionaire, you get a bigger tax cut. that ad reflects what the ryan budget is all about. if you're rich, we take care of you. if you're poor, off the cliff.
>> what i would do with you, and you're an expert, as an amateur i used to work in your business in politics, i would give every member of congress who's running, every challenger who is running on your side on the phone and say the words together. get used to singing in unison, they're out to get rid of medicare. they're giving all the money to the rich. say that every minute of your life. >> we've done it. we've done it, chris. we've done it. in fact, we had a conference call with our candidates and told them you need to focus on the following three issues in alphabetical order. and order of priority. medicare, medicare and medicare. that's what this election is going to be about. not cutting medicare to fund tax cuts for millionaires. that's why there are more seats in play. mitt romney just became the latest majority maker. we were marching up hill. >> that's the old real estate line. thank you, steve israel. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] it seems like every company
guess what, paul ryan says he'll release two years of federal tax returns the same as mitt romney but he undoubtedly had to release a lot more than that to the romney campaign as part of the vetting process. he's already in tune with the romney production of just two his entire lifetime, two tax returns. tim pawlenty was on the vp short list, said he turned over several years of tax returns. but if ryan were to release more than his tax returns than romney he, of course, runs the risk of making the boss look pretty bad. romney has been under pressure to release more of his tax returns and he will continue to be so especially here on "hardball." we'll be right back.
welcome back to "hardball." until this weekend, few outside capitol hill had ever heard of the ryan budget, but the ryan budget, but now it's front and center to understanding the nominee, paul ryan. it substantially restructures medicare, taking the security out of a program that is hugely popular with seniors. it cuts medicaid, food stamps, transportation, also infrastructure programs and all of the safety net programs for the poor. it reduces the taxes on the wealthiest people from 35% to 25%, and getting rid entirely of the capital gains tax. the ryan plan won't even balance the budget despite all of the shifting breaks to the wealthy until the year 2040. steven moore and jeff sacks, let me ask you gentlemen to take a look here.
how is this ryan plan going to succeed in shifting all this fiscal policy towards tax breaks for the wealthy, away from the entitlement programs without hurting the people who benefit from the programs. steven? >> i don't agree with a single one of the characterizations of the plan you put up. let's talk about tax cut for the rich. as you know, chris, this is a 20% across the board reduction. so everybody gets a 20% cut in their taxes. >> that's romney. ryan is for dropping from 35% to 25%. >> i'm talking about the romney/ryan. >> we're talking about ryan. >> that's what -- >> i wish you would take back your correction because i was talking about ryan. >> here's the point. paul wants to cut the tax rates for everybody -- >> by 10% for the rich. >> let's talk about medicare. >> you lost that fight so you have to change the subject. a radical social engineer
according to newt gingrich. he wants to socially engineer our government policy so the rich get a bigger break. >> why is it that every time since 1960, since john f. kennedy we have cut tax rates across the board, that the percentage of taxes paid by the rich has increased. jeff knows that. those are just the facts. >> they're making a bundle. thats the argument in society, there's a growing grap between the top and bottom. >> their taxable income went up so they paid more taxes. that's a good thing. this is a key point. >> you make my argument, sir. >> you said this about five times on the show already. >> make it again, whatever it is. >> look, i looked at the numbers today under the ryan plan. today, we spend about $500 billion on medicare. by the year 2014 under the ryan plan, we spend $800 billion on medicare. how is that a cut? >> why are you giving a cut of the cost to the insurance industry?
>> most americans if they think the cost of the program is going to go up by 90% and paul ryan said we're going to make it go up by 80%, they don't think of that as a cut, they think of it as a huge increase. >> let me go to mr. sacks. what is your view of this idealogical shift. romney went from the moderate governor of massachusetts to this guy on the right. now he's shifted his posture to being married to the right by putting ryan on the ticket with him. that's my take. yours? >> this ryan plan is an absolute assault on the poor. just as you said. on medicare, it's a plan of it kicks in, not right now, but in the next decade, that would also be an assault on the guarantees of older people to have health coverage. and how is this going to be paid for? by cutting the programs that people need to stay alive right now, the poorest people in our
country. it's really shocking, actually. of course, our whole situation is completely messed up. steven is talking about tax cuts for the rich. we're collecting less in tax revenues than we have in modern history in this country, a share of national income. larger budget deficits than ever. we're in a complete mess and they want to gut it even more. >> ten seconds to respond. that's all we have. >> we're in a mess. the middle class is getting creamed. they've lost $4,000 of income per family in the last three and a half years under barack obama. what could be worse than the policies? jeff is right, we have a lot of poverty. it's gone way up under barack obama. the best way to help the poor, you know this, is to get them a job. >> thank you. i'm out of time and so are you. thank you very much. when we return, let me finish with mitt romney's spine, and where did it go in just 48 hours? you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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romney picked a conviction politician, and that, ladies and gentlemen, romney is not. he is a real individualist, and his budget shows it. pull-backs on spending on people in need. more incentives for people on the make, corporate tax cuts on top of bush tax cuts and a squeeze on the old and poor to pay for it. here's the problem, belief is not something romney is known for. conviction is alien to him. romney is a data miner. he doesn't start with the truth. he digs and digs and tries to find what to do based on the data he can mine. not exactly a leader, not close to being a ryan or an obama. ryan believes the government should stay out of our lives. obama believes it has a vital role in the society that would be driven by the market, by profit seeking alone. what does romney believe? we thought for almost two days he believed in ryan and what he stands for. now, we know he likes the sound