tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 3, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EDT
office shows who they are, they will get feedback from voters and it's not going to be voters and it's not going to be positive. how close? let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. president obama has got a spring in his step this friday before the election propelled by a good week on the job and 171,000 new jobs in this morning's report. he's out there in ohio fighting the good fight. i only make predictions when people make me make them, but the trajectory, the momentum, now seems pro-obama. pennsylvania will hold, ohio looks good but close, and all the battlegrounds look winnable for the president.
the huge question is turnout, that and rational self-interest. the young who believe in science, women who believe in protecting their rights, latinos who can see a brighter future with a supportive president all need to get out, show up, and vote. there's no reward for a failure. in a free society, a democratic society is a failure, deeply personal, you blew it if you don't vote. let's see where it stands. i'm joined by mother jones washington bureau chief david corn and joy reid. do you think i'm a little strong? >> no. >> i don't want to talk to anybody after this election if they haven't bothered to vote. with four days to go, president obama and mitt romney made their closing arguments today at multiple stops in ohio and wisconsin. take a look at some of the sights and sounds from this day of campaigning. ♪ >> in this campaign he's tried as hard as he can to repackage, to repackage these same policies and offer them up as change. >> do you want more of the same or do you want real change?
>> giving more power back to the biggest banks, that's not change. >> and we need real change. >> another $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy, that's not change. >> president obama has tried to convince folks that these last four years have been a success. >> by the way, when you try to change the facts just because they're inconvenient to your campaign, that's definitely not change. >> he wants to take all the ideas from the first term, you know, the stimulus, the borrowing, obama care, all the rest, and then go back and do it all over again. >> you may be frustrated sometimes at the pace of change, but you know what i believe. >> we're four days away from a fresh start, four days away from the first day of a new beginning. >> you know that i'll fight for you and your family every single day as hard as i know how. you know that. >> we've got joy. >> i was going to answer that. >> joy reid. thank you both for joining us. everybody knows the stakes are enormous. that's signals aren't just where they're at, they're being radiated on the nightly news, this program, everywhere.
aren't you impressed by romney who is often very stiff and overdressed, never unbuttons his tie, more dressed up than ever. obama wearing the grandfather cardigan or whatever he's got on. i love that kind of sweater, my wife hates it. >> fdr. >> romney looks like he's going to a board meeting, and he doesn't exactly sound like a guy giving a rousing rally. he sounds like somebody -- >> what's with the president of the united states with that costume on today? >> he's doing cool obama. he needs the young vote. >> is that what it is? >> i think right now i'd rather be barack obama than mitt romney. if you look at the polls, his campaign feels pretty good about where they are, and so he's sort of enjoying this. >> i get up this morning and started clocking it around 8:00. i started clocking minute to minute to minute to get the jobless number. then i go, i did say this before, i said if it's underrated it's okay for obama.
if it's up a tick it's okay. but i didn't think the good news would be 171,000 new jobs, which is way above the 125,000 predicted, and now we have three months of 170,000-plus. >> you notice -- >> so it is starting to go up substantially. >> if you compare it to what happened when -- four years ago, i think they lost 400,000 jobs or so this month, it is change for the better. i notice -- >> i'd say. >> i notice today there was a lot less arguing about these jobs numbers than there have been the last -- >> you spoke too soon. someone who wasn't pleased with the jobs report was mitt romney. here he is with his statement. the candidate said, quote, this is a statement, today's increase in the unemployment rate is a sad remainder that the economy is at a virtual standstill. creating 171,000 jobs a month. >> ronald reagan proved it's about trajectory. the trajectory of the jobs numbers. do people feel like the economy is getting better? is getting better? are things looking better? if you look in states that matter, places like ohio where the economy has gotten substantially better and they can pinpoint why. if you're in michigan or ohio
you can point to that reason why, and that reason why has barack obama's name on it. >> if you listen to the little clips we played, it seems as though barack obama is energized -- >> that's apparent. >> mitt romney is going through the motions. >> let's go to the facts here we have on the table. i love the atmospherics. let's go to this peaking question. dick nixon, richard nixon, he was a smart politician as they go, and he used to believe -- he didn't want to the run all out. he said you have to peak at the right time. he almost caught kennedy. he was three days late. three more days he might have caught him. humphrey almost caught nixon in '68. these elections go through rhythms. >> mitt romney peaked exactly where john kerry peaked in 2004, the first debate. they both had a first great debate, got a great bounce, and it dissipated -- >> slowly dissipated. >> -- over the course of the campaign, and they couldn't get the wind back. >> i'm not sure obama is peaking at the best moment, but the campaign, particularly in ohio,
seems to have reached a plateau, this small -- >> why do you come with this debbie downer -- >> let me finish. >> are you irish? >> i'm jewish, close. >> dim scenario. >> if you look in ohio, it has narrowed in the last couple weeks, but it's hit this 4% mark and it hasn't changed -- >> let's go to -- >> obama steady -- >> let's go by what obama thinks -- not obama, romney thinks. if he thinks he's winning, why is he throwing these mud balls like this guy is hanging around with chavez? why he throwing mud balls about jeeps going to china when it's not true? why is he heading to pennsylvania? i just checked with neil, one of the top consultants in pennsylvania, he said four points to six points. he says they will only lose -- >> why are they going to minnesota? >> he's suggesting he's desperate. >> i think it is. they have had -- their marching strategy has been kitchen sink. everything at all times, keep throwing things at the wall and
we'll hope because the economy is not good, people will vote for mitt romney even though they don't like him. >> here is -- >> at the end of the game when they're looking at the numbers and they see they can't close that gap in ohio no matter what they've done and i think last week might have hurt them in ohio -- >> might have? >> they're going -- >> an older reference to the nba, when you're behind by seven or eight points, you start fouling. you have to get the ball back. the other guy gets the foul shot, nobody likes the looks of it. >> they built their entire game plan, the romney campaign, on that over 8% unemployment. once they lost that, and that was really what mitt romney was running on, once you lose that argument, they didn't have any place else to go. they went to welfare reform and extraneous things where they're basically like let's get your voters angry, uncomfortable, get them to come up because they hate the guy. the problem is not enough americans hate barack obama -- >> i'll tell you what i'm impressed by is obama bringing in the cavalry. he brought in colin powell.
said are you going to endorse or not, and he wouldn't tell me. just at the right time. he got bloomberg coming out -- >> and by the way -- >> now the biggest endorsement you can get, the best surrogate on this planet is bill clinton. the former president has been all over the country for obama. he's lost his voice he's working so hard. here he was in florida today. let's take a look. five stops down there. >> what president obama is saying, look at me, i'm always willing to work with republicans, i work with governor christie in new jersey on sandy. i tried to work with him on the budget. i tried to work with him on health care. and what they say is we'll work with the democrats if you put us in charge. now, that's the message, and you just have to decide whether you think that's a good message. >> there's bill out there. getting all the attention, but it's great. >> he's very popular in florida. i'll tell what you else, bloomberg, he might as well also be the mayor of broward county. there are so many new yorkers who are dual residents.
>> they still read "the new york post" because they think it's liberal. >> they still read "the new york post." florida has 22% independents, people who listen to bloomberg and clinton, and that fema thing i think is also going to hurt romney. >> when she was declared the victor, it was over. >> florida may be too far a bridge for barack obama, but by putting bill clinton and all the things you mentioned, it means the romney campaign has to pay attention to it. >> let's talk about "the washington post" editorial today because it gets to the question of fouling. of breaking the rules and going -- basically saying things that even the totally independent people say is dishonest. here it is, quote, "washington post," through all the flip-flops there's been one consistency in the campaign of republican presidential nominee
mitt romney. a contempt for the electorate. how else to explain his refusal to disclose essential information, how other than an assumption that voters are too dim to remember what mr. romney has said across the years and months, to account for his breathtaking ideological shifts. within limits all candidates say and do what they have to say and do to win. mr. romney by contrast seems to be betting voters have no memories, poor arithmetic skills, and a general inability to look behind the curtain. a "wizard of oz" reference. >> he's counting on those things. it's almost like he's in "men in black" and he thinks he has a flashy thing where he can say something and reverse himself and count on not being called for it. between fouling and the way that mitt romney has run, in a lot of ways if this is the way you can win a presidency, if he can win this way, i think it says horrible things about our policies. >> using the word lie. if you're willing to completely fool your base -- >> your own base. >> you might fool everybody. >> he's lying to the base or
lying to the middle. i think one of the essential questions that will be settled on tuesday is does bs work? can you put out the jeep ads when you have most newspapers in ohio on the front page calling you out and you still stick to it come hell or high water. neil newhouse, the poster for mitt romney, put it best when he said we will not be dictated to by fact checkers. he will find out on tuesday if this can work. >> let me put another stake in this guy's heart, and this is bipartisan, nonpartisan. jimmy carter's problem in the presidency, and i worked for him, came down to this. in the primaries he ran as an outsider against four or five liberals and won. when he got the nomination, he became eleanor roosevelt. he became a classic liberal, mondale, humphrey. when he got into office, nobody in the white house knew who he was. he had certain people who thought he was a liberal, some who thought he was a conservative, and he never got
it together. that's what happens when you do the two-faced number in sequence. here is some breaking news from new york. wnbc reports the new york marathon scheduled for sunday has been canceled. this is a big decision by bloomberg. mayor bloomberg repeatedly insisted it would be held despite criticism they pulled police and other resources away from the recovery effort. the big problem i believe was staten island. this was going to be the starting point. they didn't want all those people coming out there from all around the world at the moment when they're trying to deal with a real problem like water. thank you, david corn and joy reid. coming up, all eyes are on ohio. both candidates are focusing most of their attention in the final days on the buckeye state. sherrod brown is also fighting to hold his seat. we'll talk to him about the situation in ohio. control of the united states busy in here.
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we've got some new polls as we enter the final week of the campaign. in ohio a brand new cnn poll shows president obama with a 3-point lead over mitt romney, but it is the all-important 50% marker, so it's 50%/47%. good for obama. in new hampshire a new poll from new england college finds president obama with a 6-point lead. that's solid. 50%/44%. in wisconsin a new poll from st. norbert college has the
welcome back to "hardball." we've gotten to the point in this campaign where you count hours, not days, and in this remaining precious time, you can tell where barack obama and mitt romney think this race will be won or lost. just take a look at their travel schedules through election day. for the president, colorado, iowa, wisconsin, ohio, new hampshire, virginia, and florida, of course. for governor romney, those same seven states plus his newly contested edition.
he's going to pennsylvania. but zero in on today, and you can see what matters most, ohio, ohio, ohio as the late tim russert would say. three stops for the president and two for mitt romney who began his morning in wisconsin, another key rust belt battleground. congressman sherrod brown knows a little about buckeye state politics, and joan walsh is managing editor of salon.com and a political analyst. senator brown, sir, you know that state. i think you look like ohio. i think you are ohio. you're the labor guy. you're a blue collar kind of guy. you look like a senator from out there. you remind me of the late pete williams of new jersey, but you never had his problems. this is the question, why are you having a tough race? i don't get this guy running against you, this kid. is it all this money being pumped in there? what's made this even interesting, not for you. >> well, it's $31 million, they spent more money against me than any senate race in the country.
we figure it's oil company money and wall street money. >> is this americans for prosperity, the koch brothers? >> it's all different groups. it's not a super pac, it's not disclosed money. it's directed by karl rove. he's directing the choir and this group comes in -- >> crossroads gps. i know it well. >> it's 45,000 ads so far. there are eight groups right now in the state together running -- eight individual groups running ads. the only way you fight that is grassroots, and we've got a great grassroots operation. sherrodbrown.com, people can join us. we've got lots of people that have done everything from small contributions to knocking on doors and doing phone banks, and that's how you beat this kind of money. it's the only way a progressive populist democrat in a state like ohio wins. >> there's some things i keep worrying about. ohio is one i worry about. i wonder about the secretary of state out there. i wonder about the stumble we had last time, the people kept
questioning -- i'm talking about 2004, real questions about the count out in ohio. what do you see? what do you see -- we have 650 obama lawyers in cuyahoga county being on the lookout for any kind of monkey business out there. what do you hear? what's coming? >> well, i think -- >> in terms of trouble. >> i think the obama campaign -- there may be trouble. you know, i think we're all worried about voter suppression. we're somewhat worried about diebold, about getting the ground game out, but the ground game is excellent, chris. i feel optimistic. it's not a slam dunk, but you're right, senator brown's race should not be close. he's amazing, he's excellent, but they've thrown a lot of money at it and got very cocky after john kasich won the governorship, but the optimistic and positive thing is a year and a half ago the white house -- the campaign was looking for a way to win back the white house without ohio. they were very concerned about
ohio. they were looking at the sunbelt as being better than the rust belt. now the rust belt is coming through for the president, and it really is white working class voters who are doing much better for the president, much more behind the president than they are in most other places in the country, and i think senator brown can talk to that. >> let's go back to senator brown. i forgot the intellectuals around the president were talking we're going to run a new democratic party. i said why are you guys doing that? you have to dance with the one that brung you. the democratic party is based on the industrial people, the part of the country that built this country. your thoughts about this, senator brown. how does it affect the race, the fact they're back fighting it out for ohio, not thinking these other things out in the country. >> joan's comments were exactly right as yours were, chris, except it's not the rust belt, it's the tech belt now, and there are a lot of great things
going on. our unemployment rate around the time of the auto rescue before it took hold in the recovery act, the unemployment rate in this state was 10.6%. now it's 7%. not good enough, still too many unemployed people that want jobs, but you can see the auto rescue. you can see what's happening with the president's emphasis on trade enforcement, on community colleges, on small business, and this state's coming back and we're seeing huge numbers of jobs being -- growth and manufacturing, 500,000 new manufacturing jobs in this country over the last two years. we hadn't seen that in ten years. so -- >> why do you think romney, who has a brain, bet against the auto industry? why do you think he did -- he told them basically forget about it? why did he say go bankrupt? why would he do that? what's the politics of that? is that just ideology playing to the hard right? >> i would never try to ascribe any motives or judgment with mitt romney because his position changes so frequently. but i think that's the right
question. and part of the answer to that is how desperate this toledo jeep ad looked when it's clear the auto rescue has worked here. everybody believes it worked. people forget it was a hard political call three years ago, wasn't a hard call in terms of substance, but a hard political call for congress and the president, but we did the right thing. it was several things. it was bipartisanship back then with senator voinovich and president bush and president obama. it was a partnership between the federal government and local communities and businesses, and we always kept a focus on how do you get manufacturing jobs back and focus on the middle class? that's why it's been a success. that's why it's working politically, and that's, frankly, why governor romney is so desperate in ohio right now. >> one thing i have learned is my jeep came from toledo. i never knew where it came from. now i have to thank the people of toledo tonight for making my jeep. i love it. i haven't had a single problem with it. thank you, sherrod brown, thank
you, joan walsh. up next, president obama won the endorsement of mayor michael bloomberg, and today mitt romney won the endorsement of another one-percenter. i can't wait to see what that is. this sunday join me for a special edition of "hardball" at 7:00 eastern. we have special guests on sunday, just us, vice president joe biden is going to join us on "hardball" sunday night at 5:00 and 7:00. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
i saw a campaign ad today. you tell me what this means. >> america is facing problems of historic proportions, and your vote could mean the difference between prosperity and ruin, but who will you choose? will you vote for the elite, harvard educated lawyer who overhauled the health care system or the elite, multimillionaire lawyer who overhauled the health care system? choose wisely, america. >> back to "hardball." first a plug for mitt romney from "the simpsons." here is mr. burns, the fictional
and highly unpopular owner of springfield's nuclear plant, in pre-election panic mode. >> i have to say, despite those unimaginably horrible good job numbers, we're feeling pretty confident. there's only one thing that might deny us the presidency that is the god-given property of the republican party. >> the 47% tape? >> nope. >> the empty chair? >> nope. >> cayman islands? >> not a problem. >> swiss bank accounts? $10,000 bet? i like to fire people? >> no. it's a shaggy dog story about an actual shaggy dog. apparently while on vacation old mitt strapped his mutt to the roof of his car for a brief 650-mile jaunt. so tonight we will explain what truly happened. now, seamus, what did you think of being strapped to the roof of your dada's car? what's that? you liked being tied to the roof of the car? because it allowed you to see more of this great land of ours
and it's wonderful natural resources? ripe for drilling and mining and exploiting. anyway. >> wow. that's one way to commemorate the low lights of the campaign by romney. also, it's officially crunch time for get out the vote initiatives. here is actor steve carell's final pitch to encourage his fans to head to the polls. >> why are you taking such an attitude with me? why are you yelling at me? i don't think you should be yelled at to vote. you should want to vote. well, i actually have billions of young fans, not millions. and why do i think they should all vote? without putting too fine a point on it, it is a responsibility. click here. click here. click here. click here. no, wait, click here. >> wow. got to love that deadpan delivery, but his point is a serious one obviously. finally, total blackout. last month i told you a few days before the election george w.
bush would give the keynote speech at a conference in the cayman islands, one of the offshore tax havens where mitt romney has invested millions of dollars. not ideal timing for the campaign of romney. the event went on as planned yesterday, but don't expect any kind of review of w.'s speech. according to nbc, quote, the keynote speech by the former president was totally closed to all journalists, and conference organizers were banned from discussing any aspect of it. the restrictions were imposed by the former president's own staff. there you have it. any advice the former president had for investing money in offshore tax havens was reserved for the people who paid $4,000 to attend the conference. by the way, "the miami herald" posted the ap's account of w's speech on their website. there's no mention of mitt romney in the piece, but check out the similar stories bar next to the piece. topics like mitt romney's tax
return fails to quiet critics and mitt romney and the 47%. i guess it could have been worse. up next, we'll delve into some of the hottest senate races around the country, and senator claire mccaskill will be here with her closing arguments against todd akin. coming up at 8:00 eastern, coming together, a benefit telethon to aid victims of hurricane sandy featuring the great bruce springsteen and jon bon jovi. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." the fight for the u.s. senate can be as significant as the fight for president. right now looks advantage democrats. the latest analysis is it appears more likely than not democrats will hold the majority, perhaps by only the slimmest of margins. there you have it. and the catch up is the massachusetts senate race between republican scott brown and democratic challenger elizabeth warren, and right now the clear politics poll average has warren up by 4.5. politico is up there in boston covering the race. dave, thanks for joining us from politico. >> absolutely.
>> let me ask you about that race. it seems like something happened a couple weeks ago. was it the mayor's endorsement and putting all the troops? but that's only 8% of the electorate. what got her on top of the race? >> i think it's women voters that were in brown's camp, still sort of flirting with him this summer in polls, moving towards warren, and i talked to some pollsters and voters on the ground today, and that's all you hear about on the airwaves, in the messaging. it's all designed to court women voters. some of them declaring themselves independents, although democrats have a big registration advantage up here 3 to 1, but i think if you look inside the polls, that's what's given warren the lead. brown still beats her among independents overall, but he's losing female voters. she has widened the gender gap. >> you're going to have a big turnout. not like january of 2010 when he won that first time. here are the closing ads from warren and brown.
first up, warren's. let's listen. >> for all the families still struggling, all the people who deserve a decent job and the women who deserve equal pay, for our kids crushed by student debt and our parents worried about medicare, know this. my fight is for you. >> well, here is the part of scott brown's ad called people over a party that includes a shot of brown with president obama. let's watch. >> let me tell you, things would be a lot better in this country if more people in washington were willing to think of themselves and work with each other for the good of america. >> i wouldn't have thought he would be a flash in the pan, but if he loses, i don't know what's up for him in the future. let's go down the east coast. connecticut, i thought murphy has a real challenge on his hands with mcmahon, but he seems to be up now. >> right, right. it looks like he's solidified a small lead there. look, linda mcmahon lost in the
best republican year ever in connecticut. while she had tons of resources republicans love and she's able to spend a ton of money, put it on the air, it just seems like connecticut is not being sold, so it looked like murphy is going back and that's going to be a safe democratic hold. >> we live in washington here. the virginia senate race is neck and neck. the clear politics average in this race has kaine up by a point. the most recent quinnipiac poll had him leading by four. which direction is that headed? >> i think it's headed toward kaine, but a lot of it is dependent on the presidential win. it's predicted to end up in the democratic column. you're talking about margins of error and especially in northern virginia. that's going to be obviously a more diverse part of the state. that's where kaine needs people to come out, and i think he's been the better candidate. >> did you see how close allen was trying to grab himself close to romney? trying to mate with him, trying
to hold so close to him. it wasn't clear romney wanted to be all close to him. it was interesting to watch that nonmating game going on the other night, and that backs up -- let's go to ohio. we just had sherrod brown. we got his numbers, by the way, a lead over josh mandel, the very young opponent of five points. i think that should be so much higher. what's going on out there? >> again, i think you have some presidential headwinds. you have so much money -- sherrod brown has told you i think numerous times he's had more outside money spent against him than any other democratic senator, so that has taken its toll, but josh mandel has had some missteps. there's some perception that he's a little too young, not really ready for prime time, and that's what's given brown an edge there. i think brown ends up winning that race. >> i thought he was perfect for that state, sherrod brown. thanks, david catanese, from politico.
in missouri incumbent democratic senator claire mccaskill leads todd akin by five points. the campaign just dropped a devastating ad. let's watch the latest mccaskill ad. here it is. >> is todd akin fit to serve in the senate? mitt romney doesn't think so. >> what he said was indefensible, was wrong. it was offensive, and he should step out of the race. >> and he's not alone. >> todd akin is not at that convention, told by his own party to stay home. >> even republican senators from missouri called todd akin totally unacceptable. >> frankly, he would not be welcomed by republicans in the united states senate. >> it was offensive, and he should step out of the race. >> i'm claire mccaskill, and i approve this message. >> was that you playing the piano in that one, senator? >> no. >> that was a pretty devastating ad. you have all the republicans who had basically ran scared from the guy. are they all still scared of him or have they regrouped since that ad -- since those pictures were taken?
>> some of them have kind of lukewarm endorsed him, but here the biggest news in missouri this week is that the national republicans have snuck in the back door after trying to reassure women all over america that they understood why everyone was offended at todd akin's beliefs. they have now piled in, you know, yesterday i think they dropped a million and a half dollars on tv for todd akin in the closing days of this campaign. so we're having to work hard, but that's the only speed i know, and it's -- you know, there's some headwinds in missouri this time, but we have really -- have a strong ground game. we need everybody to come out and vote. it's very important that people stay engaged, and we hope that people go on our website and help us with some virtual phone banking or maybe 5 bucks over the weekend so we can get all of our -- we had to add to our media this week just because of all the money that snuck in in the last 48 hours.
>> well, this question might help. i will put it to you pretty strongly. anybody that would accuse someone of rape which carried a life sentence would believe that they were raped and they would have the personal experience of having been raped. who is he talking about when he suggests this category of women who accuse someone of rape, which is -- used to be a capital crime but it's close to it. who are these women that he's talking about? where does he get that thing about legitimate as opposed to these other cases? who are these people -- where does he get this memory bank from -- of women who have charged men with rape? where does this happen? >> chris, i spent many years as a courtroom prosecutor and prosecuted hundreds of rape cases and worked with many of the rape victims on a personal basis, and i don't think people realize what women go through when they seek justice in this area. i think what congressman akin was trying to do was in his mind
justify his beliefs, and that is that somehow a rape victim should not be allowed to access emergency contraception, and in order to justify that belief, i think he's trying to, you know, hold on to some mythical power that a woman has to not get pregnant if she has been raped, and clearly that's wrong, and that's why so many republicans have distanced themselves from todd akin. it's not just what he said, chris, it's what he believes on a number of subjects. this is somebody who wants to abolish the minimum wage, who believes that employers, that the boss, has the freedom to discriminate against people based on their gender. this is somebody who is on the fringe. he is going to be part of that -- you know, he's very close with michele -- i make the joke he makes michele bachmann look like a hippie. >> that's a hell of a push. thank you for coming on, senator mccaskill. good luck in your race. we've had you on our show so many years. hope to have you on next year. >> thanks. president obama has garnered praise and endorsements following his handling of hurricane sandy.
one thing is for sure, both campaigns for president aren't ending on a high note by any means. candor media looked back at the last week of campaign ads, and the obama campaign commercials have been 85% negative. you think that sounds bad until you look at the what the romney campaign has done in the last week. the romney ads have been 99% negative. 99%. and most of the 1% of positive
no matter how bad the storm hits, no matter how tough times are, we're all in this together. we rise or fall as one nation and as one people. >> we're back now on the campaign trail in ohio reflecting on the damage hurricane sandy wreaked on the east coast. the response has been seen as overwhelmingly positive. supporting the role of government, a central issue in this campaign. from the "new york times," a big storm requires big government.
usa today, sandy clarifying federal government's role. praise for barack obama, chris christie. and in the "orlando sentinal," hurricane sandy proves case for obama. joining me is the district along the jersey coast down to asbury park and cynthia tucker is from the university of georgia and a syndicated columnist. cynthia, i want to talk to the congressman about your district. would you describe verbally what is the condition of the jersey coast where you represent? >> it's really catastrophic, chris. i've spent the last few days going to the various sections and you see houses completely destroyed, washed away. businesses destroyed, the boardwalk, the beach club. and so many people displaced. i mean, today i was mainly concerned in trying to get food and water and shelter for people because it's getting colder out. so this is really catastrophic. i've never seen anything like it. >> how do you grade the effort of the governor up there, you guys in congress, have you all been able to do this together?
it's going to get worse because these things tend to get worse. when people are out of electricity for five days, it's worse than three days. >> the fact that everyone is working together, both the president and the governor and others is very important. i mean, obviously we want this to be bipartisan and it has been. we're trying to get fema in there. i spent most of the day trying to get fema in to the various towns and setting up headquarters and going door to door to help people. but we've been getting total cooperation from the white house and from governor christie. >> let me bring in cynthia tucker here. this whole question here, let me look at some of these numbers. 78% think the president handled it pretty well. i want to show you this picture of the president with this woman at the airport. let's take a look at this. i think people are going to remember this. >> we're going to help you get it all together. i promise. i promise. you're going to be okay.
everybody's safe. that's the most important thing and then we're going to get this whole thing set up. >> you know, cynthia, one thing that i liked about this, and this isn't politics, when the president said the other night, i'll return your call in 15 minutes. that has been a critique of this white house, that it has been a bit isolated, a bit in a bubble. you know what i'm talking about. hard for politicians to get to this president. >> yes. but this was a crisis, chris. what you've heard mostly from politicians is that the president isn't a schmoozer. he's not a back slapper. and i think that's probably true but i haven't heard anybody say that the president isn't available at the important
moments and i think it was critically important that the president said to the governors, to mayor bloomberg, you can have my number at the white house because they were in a better position to tell the president what was going on on the ground. he was also, of course, hearing from fema. but sometimes it's just good for christie, for bloomberg, for andrew cuomo, governor of new york, to know that they can call the president to vent if they need to. so i don't think it's any great surprise that in a crisis the president was immediately available in his role as commander in chief. >> you know, i want to get into politics now with congressman pallone. you saw the president how he didn't respond very well in the first debate. this he subjected very well. think blunt here in terms of reaction time, focus, connection, schmoozing a little bit. that's part of politics. >> well, as cynthia said, this is a crisis and i think the
president has been totally up to this crisis. i mean, they set up -- fema set up a headquarters in trenton today where they had about 100 people and now 700 people being sent out to the various communities to help and this is a direct result, i think, of president obama's statement that we're going to be there and we're going to be there quickly. >> are people going to be able to vote this tuesday in jersey? >> well, we're going to do whatever we can. it is a concern because most of my town does not have power, which means that the voting places at this point don't have electricity. so we're working with the white house and with the state and also with our county clerk to try to make sure that every voting place is available. we're talking about bringing in generators. that may be necessary because of the fact that we don't have electric in most of these towns. so i'm hoping that the
electric -- the power is up. if it's not, we're going to bring in generators and do whatever we can to make sure people vote and get the word about where they vote. >> cynthia, last thought about what you're watching here. we have a picture of the president hugging this woman in jersey and governor chris christie is behind him there. he's hanging with this woman. i have to tell you, i'm affected by this. i think this is what people should be doing in politics more often than they do. >> absolutely most people would be. the president may not be a schmoozer, but he is a real man who relates to the problems of ordinary people. and it shows up very much in his contact with that woman. these are people, in some cases, who have lost everything. they don't have houses. you know, they don't have furniture or clothes. she is distraught. and the president connects with her very, very easily. and i think that people across the country seeing that footage
will remember that and understand that this is a president who can connect with ordinary americans. >> well, thank you very much. u.s. congressman frank and thanks for coming on "hardball" and cynthia tucker, thanks as always. by the way, politics is always a learning profession. i think the president has learned a lot from this thing. we all have. tonight at 8:00 eastern, join msnbc for a special telethon, of course, for the victims of the hurricane featuring the boss, bruce springsteen and bon jovi. when we return, it's a simple question. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. @ñ
let me finish tonight with this. the good president. isn't that the question? is he a good president? if he is, keep him there. if not, look elsewhere. are you personally proud that barack obama is our president? does he measure up to the mystery books? ended our rely generals on the emergency room for people's health care, ended up unpopular and wise war in iraq, cut the jobless rate from 10% where w. had it skyrocketing and doubled the stock market and your 401(k). is he a good president? he brought us through clean four years of scandalless government. you have the weekend to think about it and then vote like your country depends on it, because it does.