tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 16, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EST
great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. >> my pleasure. tomorrow night on "the ed show," the post office. why is the post office in your town closing? what did they do wrong? that's tomorrow night on "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. the rachel maddow show begins right now. good evening, rachel. good evening, ed, spectacular show, above and beyond your usual greatness. >> do i have to come back tomorrow night? it's friday. >> yes. if you keep it up, come back friday and saturday. ease up, big guy. >> i'm out of here. >> thanks to you at home for joining us for the next hour. president obama was in new york city serving damage from hurricane sandy alongside new york governor andrew cuomo and new york city mayor michael bloomberg. in the immediate aftermath of the storm the president spent time in new jersey alongside governor chris christie. mayor bloomberg specifically asked the president to please not come to new york city at that time, so the logistics and security arrangements around his visit wouldn't get in the way of the immediate recovery effort. but now with two weeks or so gone by, the president today announced that he is putting a cabinet official, housing secretary, in charge of the federal level of the rebuilding efforts after the storm. and he made that announcement from hard-hit staten island. >> during difficult times like
this, we're reminded that we're bound together. and we have to look out for each other. and a lot of the things that seem important, the petty differences melt away and we focus on what binds us together and that we as americans are going to stand with each other in their hour of need. we're going to have to put some of the turf battles aside. we're going to have to make sure everybody is focused on doing the job as opposed to worrying about what's getting the credit or who's getting the contracts or all that sometime that sometimes goes into the rebuilding process. >> that was what happened today in presidential politics in storm damaged new york. but if the president's message in new york was one of buckling down and cooperating and working together to get things done, what happened in washington today was a study in contrast from that. >> the president, himself, has intentionally misinformed, read that, lied, to the american people in the aftermath of this tragedy. this is not simply a cover-up of a third rate burglary.
we have four of our diplomatic personnel dead. >> this administration continues to put out things that are just not quite true. >> if you want to know who is responsible in this town, buy yourself a mirror. our evil doing american citizen hating administration requested a lot more money than we provided. a quarter of a billion dollars in security upgrades that you refuse to make in this committee. and then you have the audacity to come here and say, why wasn't the protection of these people provided for? and the answer is, because you didn't provide it. >> the election was over. the president won re-election. the voices of the public were heard. they want us to cooperate. if you want an honest investigation of this tragedy, we will join you. but if you want to persist in
trying somehow to put this, lay this at the doorstep of the president or the secretary of state, or the united nations ambassador, you will find us ready and willing to resist to the teeth. >> to the teeth. that's what it was like today at the house foreign affairs committee's hearing on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, and in the house and senate and intelligence committees but those are both closed to the public. we learned today newly resigned cia chief david petraeus agreed to testify at a closed intelligence committee hearing tomorrow and maybe a closed house hearing, too. in his first remarks to a reporter since he resigned, general petraeus told kyra phillips from "headline news" his resignation had strictly to
do with the affair and not related to benghazi. he told kyra phillips he's eager to testify in congress about the benghazi relationship to clear that up. that's related presumably to the conspiracy theories of general petraeus' resignation that are populating the conservative media. quote, it's obvious someone was out to silence petraeus. quote, in the modern era, office holders with forgiving spouses simply do not resign from powerful jobs because of a temporary noncriminal consensual adult sexual liaison. said elliot spitzer. i mean, anthony weiner. i mean, jim mcgreavy. none of them. it was said by a man named andrew napolitano. david petraeus' resignation to him could not possibly be about some dumb affair. nobody resigns from office for having an affair. there must be a leftist
government cover-up going on. the white house is trying to keep general petraeus from spilling the beans about vague imagined government conspiracy surrounding the benghazi attacks. that's what napolitano is saying. the conservative columnist charles krauthammer is driving the same thing now. it is still really senator john mccain. over the past week senator john mccain made six different television appearances just to talk about the benghazi attack and obama administration cover-up of the attack making his case over and over and over again to any blinking red light within sight about how benghazi should not be viewed as an attack on a u.s. consulate but instead be viewed as a democratic lie. an obama scandal. the senate needs more information about this blatant cover-up, says john mccain. john mccain needs more information. this, for example, is john
mccain convening a press conference yesterday morning denouncing the scandal that congress is not being given enough information about this horrible scandal that he can't get any answers on. while john mccain was demanding answers at this press conference, that he convened yesterday morning, some of this colleagues, from a committee that he's a member of, were getting answers. on the subject that he was so mad about. john mccain was missing a three-hour high-level closed classified briefing on what exactly happened in benghazi from representatives of the state department, national counterterrorism center, fbi, john mccain did not get any of the classified briefing, did not get any of that information or questions answered by any of those people because he skipped the briefing and instead went and yelled at tv cameras about how he couldn't get any information. and when a cnn producer had the good sense to ask senator mccain about why he was yelling about not getting information instead of attending the briefing on his committee where the information was being given out, then he
just yelled some more. >> our ted barrett caught up with the senator earlier today and wanted to know why he didn't go to that briefing and to say the least, it did not go well. listen to what happened. >> because i have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me i can or not? i'm not giving you an answer. for the tenth time. >> who the hell are you? this is all going on while john mccain continues to try to make a case that this scandal that he can't get any information about, can't be handled through the normal committee process, that he can't get enough information that way so instead john mccain says there needs to be a water gate style mega investigation. so far that idea has been shot down by the republican speaker of the house, john boehner, by john mccain's own bff in the senate, joe lieberman, he also disagrees with mr. mccain on this. same goes for susan collins of maine who did go to the classified briefing yesterday
and noted publicly that john mccain was not there. even though it was his committee. mccain's special investigation idea was also shot down today by republican senator richard burr who said, quote, i think you've got to allow the structure we have of oversight to function and i think the intelligence committee is more than capable of handling this. in other words, the senate is getting information so maybe we should, you know, get information instead of continuing to scream on tv about not getting information. here's how you know when somebody is being disingenuous. when they demand something and then you give them that thing that they just keep demanding about and they pretend that you're not giving it to them and they just keep making the demand anyway as if it hasn't been met. john mccain obviously sees some advantage somewhere in continuing to scream on tv about the fact he's not getting information about this issue. when that screaming cannot be quieted by actually giving him information about this issue, that is a sign that something else is going on here. joining us now is josh rogen, staff writer, "foreign policy" magazine, he writes the daily
column "the cable." thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> president obama yesterday in his press conference basically accused john mccain of grandstanding, trying to gin up the tragedy into something he and the republicans can get political gain from. how did that play out today with john mccain and the way the rest of congress is viewing him on this? >> right. so you've been covering this well in the sense that republicans are not used to the obama administration pushing back. they're not used to the obama coming with a fire in the belly and really confronting them on accusations and insinuations that they've been launching for the last four years without a lot of resistance, without a lot of contradiction. let's remember the politicization of the benghazi issue started with the mitt romney campaign, on the night of the attack. he then harangued the entire republican caucus into joining him on that. now the mitt romney campaign is gone leaving guys like john mccain holding the game. he's committed to the strategy and has to go forward. now that president obama called him out on public television
during a press conference, he has no choice but to double down. and stories like these where he missed the hearing that he was calling for undermine his argument that the obama administration is not giving him enough information. and pushes him back into the argument the obama administration is lying, or misrepresenting or intentionally politicizing the tragedy. that's a much tougher argument to make. and that's the fight the obama administration wants to have. so john mccain's really on his heels. >> that point, about which argument the obama administration wants to have, i mean, the thing that tripped up mitt romney on this in that debate is that he believed what conservative media had been saying about this. right? he believed some conservative thing that president obama never used the word terror when he described this attack. when, in fact, the president had. it led to that horrible fact checking moment, live fact checking in the debate. is john mccain, and these guys, dana warbaucher, gene schmidt, trying to make it into a political scandal, are they making the same mistake, they're pursuing a narrative circulating on the right but isn't based in fact? >> i'd add darrell issa on that. he held the hearings on benghazi
a month before the election and bungled them. he released documents without even check with anyone. and the bottom line here is there are legitimate questions about the benghazi attack and a lot of information we haven't gotten but that's all become secondary to the sort of political fight between the republicans in congress who want to assert that they still have the control of the foreign policy issue, and they want to assert that obama's weak on foreign policy though the election is over and the actual responsible lawmakers who want to actually just figure out what happened and what we can do to prevent it from happening again. >> the way this is going, are we likely to get a giant watergate style mega investigation on this the way john mccain has been demanding? >> there's no appetite for that. the bottom line is congressional committees with set up based on seniority. people want to have control over what they have control over. let's put this in the context of the republican caucus which is fighting amongst itself on foreign policy. for a decade, john mccain and
the hawks and neocons had control of gop foreign policy. over the last two years that's been contested. mitt romney started out as a neocon, ended up as a moderate on foreign policy. now the caucus is more on that side. so john mccain is fighting for relevance here, fighting not to be marginalized in his own party, about to lose his own committee chairmanship on senate armed services. jon kyl, joe lieberman are both leaving. he's seeing his relative power inside the caucus on foreign policy challenged for the first time in a very long time and fighting for the survival of that power and that plays into everything that we're seeing. >> the more he swears on camera, the more you can tell he's feeling that. josh, could you stay with us for just a moment? this afternoon, i sat down with house democratic leader nancy pelosi. and she had something very interesting to say about the connection of the david petraeus scandal to some of these other issues. i'd love to get your response. hold on? all right. hold on. we'll be right back. >> what has triggered about informing the congress in any event, just talking about congress, does it have an impact on our national security? >> you think this did not rise
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my exclusive interview with nancy pelosi, her first interview since saying she's staying on as the top democrat in congress is coming right up. hold on. ♪ if it wasn't for you ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove ♪ i'd have nothing to lose [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take an extra 10 percent off storewide, now through sunday. wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac
[ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. [ yawning sound ] it's so great to see you. you, too! oh, cloudy glasses. you didn't have to come over! actually, honey, i think i did... oh? you did? whoa, ladies, easy. hi. cascade kitchen counselor. we can help avoid this with cascade complete pacs. over time, the other premium pac can leave cloudy, hard water deposits, but cascade complete pacs help leave glasses sparkling. shiny! too bad it doesn't work on windows. okay, i'm outta here. more dishwasher brands in north america recommend cascade. ten years ago yesterday our country for the first time ever put a woman in charge of up of the two major political parties in congress. that was ten years ago. and it is still the only time we have ever done it. yesterday former house speaker nancy pelosi, the top democrat in congress, the highest ranking woman in american politics ever, she announced that she would put her name forward to stay on as the top democrat in the house. because of the election results
from last week, the new house that's going to convene in january will be more democratic than it is now. although the republicans will still have the majority. it will be more diverse in terms of race and sexual orientation. and it will be considerably more female. no thanks to the republicans who are actually even more male than they used to be in the house before this election. but democrats more than made up for it. with the number of women they added. a fact miss pelosi highlighted in her announcement that she is staying on by bringing up all of the democratic women in the caucus on stage with her. but as excited as everybody is for the next congress to start in january, you can feel it in washington, people are very excited, the old congress is still in session now. this is the lame duck between now and january. and this lame duck, "a" has a lot of work to do and "b" is taking place in the midst of a really big scandal has engulfed the head of the cia and top commanding general in the war in afghanistan, a scandal that
still seems to be getting bigger and not smaller. here's what nancy pelosi had to say today on this matter when i asked her about it in her first interview since she announced her intention to stay on as the top democrat in congress. let me ask you about something that arose unexpectedly right after the election which was the sex scandal that has ended the career that the cia chief, david petraeus. as you know, this arose from the fbi starting an investigation into an unrelated matter and they came across evidence of his sexual misconduct. at this point, there does not seem to be any evidence of anything criminal or of the mishandling of classified information. at least that we know thus far. given that, do you think that the fbi should tell congress and tell the white house about evidence they uncover of personal sexual misconduct by political figures? or should that be kept private? >> well, i believe that the standard has to be, does this have an impact on our national security?
so far, we haven't seen anything that gives evidence of that. we have another balance that we have to strike, our founders had to do it, the beginning of our country, and we still do, except now with communication the way it is in a different way. and that's a balance between security and liberty. and so how do you make that balance? should congress and the president be informed of hearsay? i don't think so. what is triggered about informing the congress in any event, just talking about congress, does it have an impact on our national security? >> and you think this did not rise to that level? >> from what we know so far. but it's really also important to note that our founders had to do this, and that was at a time when a message could travel only as fast as a horse could gallop or ship could sail. that's how fast or slow a message could travel. with the blessing of
telecommunication, we know in realtime true or false about what somebody might be saying about somebody else and i think we, in the interest of everyone in our country, have to respect privacy rights unless it falls into a realm of something of a person of that stature. i mean, that's such a sad thing. such a sad thing. and personal indiscretion is unfortunate. but to have a personal discretion e-mails is stupid. >> to have this scandal touch on general allen, commanding general in afghanistan, today was the confirmation hearing for the man who would be his successor, general dunford in afghanistan. that sex scandal, personal behavior scandal is unrelated to the war. the fact these things are all happening at once raises for me,
once again, the strangeness of the fact that we have so little political debate about our ongoing war. in terms of the realm of political responsibility and what is doable after this election, i have to ask you why congress shouldn't be expected now to push for a faster end to the afghanistan war than the end of two years from now? >> well, it isn't two years. it's just one year from now. >> end of 2014. right? >> i guess almost two years. let's hope it's before then. let's hope it's by then but let's hope it is before then. what is our mission? how is it in our national security to stay a long time? what i think we have to be vigilant about is we're not staying any longer. i know there have been some comments about, well, we may keep a force. i don't think there's any appetite for that. >> general dunford said he'd be willing to keep a force beyond 2014. >> i'm interested in what the president of the united states
has said, we will be out by the end of 2014. but it is unpopular. the country is weary of war. they want our troops to come home, and they are coming home, but i don't know if there's a majority in the vote in congress to bring the troops home. remember, the president said by 2014. so hopefully it will be sooner. >> nancy pelosi in an exclusive interview with me today saying that from what we know now, general petraeus' affair does not seem to have risen to the kind of national security matter that might justify the fbi telling other people about that affair. also saying the ultimate drawdown timeline in afghanistan should be shortened to earlier than the end of 2014 which is what it is now. joining us again is josh rogin, staff writer at "foreign policy" magazine where he writes "the cable." when nancy pelosi said at the end i don't know if there's a majority in congress that would vote to make the war end sooner, if such a vote was put to them, do you think she's right about that?
do we know? >> yes. let's remember here the president's policy is to extend the troops past 2014, negotiations started in kabul today to extend the troops past 2014. we can forgive nancy pelosi for not knowing that because the administration, according to joe biden during the debates said the on sit thing. >> what about the distinction between combat troops being gone by 2014 and some residual force being left thereafter? >> it's a distinction without a difference. you have troops in harm's way fighting, killing, dying. those are combat troops no matter what you call them. we're going to have a big debate, what the roles and responsibilities should be. that debate starts today. there were dozens of congress people led by nancy pelosi, call them liberals in the house, have been arguing against the long troop deployment since the wars in afghanistan and iraq started. president obama has never in his four years favored the liberal national security policy of getting out of the war sooner. not likely it's about to start
right now. >> in terms of the republican side of this debate, i keep talking to people who have been around politics for a long time who say the republicans don't want this conversation, but when you ask them what they think of the afghanistan war, nobody makes an argument we ought to be there a day longer, yet alone two more years plus an unending residual force. >> right. >> so will anybody ever ask the republicans on this? >> yes. we're going to have hearings. eventually general allen is going to surface, going to testify. there will be a bunch of republicans led by john mccain and joe lieberman and lindsey graham who are going to argue for longer troop deployments. waiting to see what the conditions are on the ground. having more troops there than the administration wants and a big segment of the republican caucus that will not support that. and that, again, is the divide inside the republican caucus. ultimately the president is going to have to balance the risk of withdrawing troops faster against the goal of leaving afghanistan as stable and secure as possible. and whatever his decision is going to be, that's going to be his legacy. so that's going to be his responsibility.
>> is there anybody else who's stepping up on the john mccain side of this? i mean, at this point john mccain is a noun and verb and don't cut and run. he's really -- i feel like his credibility on foreign policy issues is getting pretty wispy at this point. is there anybody else who's taken the place of him as he becomes less and less relevant? >> mark kirk, kelly ayotte, marco rubio. prepared to carry this water on the republican side. the question is whether or not the generals are going to back them up. when the generals come to testify, if the generals are to the left of john mccain and lindsey graham and joe lieberman, they're going to be left twisting in the wind. if the generals -- the obama administration and give an honest assessment that matches mccain, they'll have a stronger argument. in the end the president is going to do what the president is going to do. >> i think the politics are in flux. six months from now this is going to be a different discussion. josh rogin, staff writer "foreign policy" magazine. writes "the cable." still ahead, a lot of republicans get mad at mitt romney, now, today, and not just for losing last week. we'll also have more from my interview with nancy pelosi when she weighs in on why all the
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care what mitt romney says when he says stuff. because unless and until the republican party can find a new national face for their party, mitt romney remains the national face and, therefore, the national leader of the republican party. even if the republicans don't want him to be. and it appears the republicans do not want him to be. the thing that has landed mr. romney back in the national spotlight is a post election conference call he did with donors in which mr. romney said the reason he lost and president obama won is that president obama bribed minority voters and young voters and women with gifts. >> what the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote and that strategy worked. he gave them a big gift on immigration with the dream act amnesty program, which was obviously very, very popular with hispanic voters. and then number two, was obama
care. and so for any lower income hispanic family, obama care was massive. let me tell you, what i would do if i were a democrat running four years from now, i'd say, you know what, dental care ought to be included in obama care. immigration, we can solve. but the giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with. >> on that call, portions of which were edited and posted online by abc news, on that call mr. romney also praised his campaign team for being no drama and highly effective. now, everything went perfectly. according to abc news, mr. romney's campaign manager then listed other gifts president obama used to win the election like free contraceptives for 18 to 29-year-old women, dream act waivers and student loan interest rate cuts for college students. the romney campaign released a statement authenticating the tape saying, quote, governor romney was elaborating on what obama senior strategist david axelrod said about the obama
campaign's effort to target key demographics, most specifically women. for the record, david axelrod said nothing like that. for their part republicans seemed very mad on his way out the door mr. romney has left them with this mess to clean up. iowa's republican governor, terry branstad, said this. quote, i don't think it's helpful. florida senator marco rubio said, quote, well, senator marco rubio according to journalists, quote, distanced himself. kelly ayotte weighed in on "andrea mitchell reports" today. >> i listened to the comments. i don't know what the context fully was. i don't agree with the comments. we have big challenges that need to be resolved as you know. >> so you're not comfortable with what you heard him say. >> no, i don't know the full context of them, but i don't agree with the comments. >> you know, nobody sounded quite as annoyed with mitt romney in these comments as
louisiana governor bobby jindal asked about the romney comments yesterday at the republican governors association conference. >> no, look, i think that's absolutely wrong. two points on that. one, we have got to stop dividing the american voters. we need to go after 100% of the votes, not 53%. i absolutely reject that notion, that description. i think that's absolutely wrong. that is not -- i don't think that represents where we are as a party and where we're going as a party. and i think that -- that has not got to be the most fundamental takeaway from the election. >> for continuing to spotlight the most alienating, most elitist, most resentment driven weaponized thurston howell ideological edge to what republicans are offering the country. you can see why they'd be so angry at him. the country as a whole maybe owes mitt romney a debt of gratitude for continuing to exist in the public eye and continuing to insist there was
nothing wrong with his campaign and the democrats' victory should be ascribed only to a vast bribery conspiracy involving, like, green cards and condoms. what is good about that for the country, maybe, is that republicans who are now jockeying among themselves to replace mitt romney as the de facto head of the republican party, they are having to articulate what is wrong with that way of thinking. and that seems constructive. that seems like maybe what the country needs them to do. >> this is just something that's fundamentally important for the future of our party, as a republican party, also important for the country. the country needs two competitive parties fighting for every single vote out there and proudly standing up for their principles. let's have a real contest of ideas and that's what this country deserves. we didn't get that in this past election. that's what this country deserves going forward. >> yay. i agree with bobby jindal on almost nothing when it comes to policy and politics. what he just said there is the kind of conversation the whole country is counting on republicans having with each other right now.
today the top democrat in the house gave us exclusively her reaction to those comments from mitt romney, and she told us how she thinks they're going to affect the ability of republicans and democrats to work together now and in this next upcoming congress. it's fascinating. that's next. when you watch that tape, that videotape, you see passion, you see commitment. that is the most sincere, with no competition for that honor, most sincere moment in his campaign and that's what he believed and that's what he continues to believe and that's what he said yesterday. that's quite sad. okay, now here's our holiday gift list. aww, not the mall. well, i'll do the shopping... if you do the shipping.
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yesterday nancy pelosi announced her intention to stay on as leader of the democrats in the house. in her first interview since that announcement, i asked her today for her reaction to the tape that emerged last night of mitt romney explaining to his donors that he only lost the election essentially because of bribery by the democrats. in the form of policy. watch her response. there was a bit of a firestorm in the last 24 hours when number of news organizations reported on mitt romney's comments to
donors in a call yesterday explaining why it is that he thought he lost. and he attributed his lost to democratic policies that he described as gifts to specific populations. to young people, to students, to latino voters. he described as a gift the way he put it, amnesty for the children of illegals and that was a gift to latinos and that was essentially a democratic bribe to earn those votes. that's mr. romney's assessment of why he lost. >> well, that's sad. that's really quite sad. it doesn't sound very professional about who he was as a candidate and what his organization might have been in spite of all the money they had. but it was completely consistent with his message when he didn't know he was being recorded about the 47%. i have said for a long time, since we saw that tape, that's the most authentic romney we have seen. every other instance, for this, then against this, different. what does he really believe in?
that he really believed in. when you watch that tape, that videotape, you see passion, you see commitment. that is the most sincere, with no competition for that honor, most sincere moment in his campaign. that's what he believed and that's what he continues to believe and that's what he said yesterday. that's quite sad. >> if that is, we are seeing some republican dissent, bobby jindal criticized him, kelly ayotte, has criticized those remarks. it's not been greeted warmly, the remarks from him, just as the 47% remarks weren't. if that ends up being the conservative assessment of what went wrong, and it is absolutely the take in conservative media and in conservative talk radio. what does that say about what's politically possible next? i just think about the prospect of john boehner and nancy pelosi working together. i think about you sitting down with vice president biden and president obama and john boehner and talking about what's possible.
what do you expect about the republican world view and goals to change because of this election? >> well, the president was very clear in the campaign. on where he stood. there was no ambiguity about where he was on many of the issues. and so his election, i think, strengthens our hand at the table. but the public still has to continue to be engaged. public sentiment is everything. and in the past, for example, the republicans in the house were the odd people out on the -- on some of the tax bill. one of the tax -- you know, deduction. and then also on the transportation bill. and so when the president went public on those, then they finally came around. but they're not going to come around just by persuasion sitting across the table, i do not believe. >> they are not going to come around just by persuasion in washington. nancy pelosi essentially calling for an extension of the spirit
that drove the campaign. more ahead. why did all of the democratic women on stage with you boo that question and why did you call it an offensive question? you won't find a "home rule" on every corner, a "stag provisions" down every block, or a "hugh and crye" in every town. these are the small businesses of america, and all across the nation they're getting ready for their day. hundreds of thousands of small businesses are preparing for november 24, a day to open doors, and welcome the millions of customers who will turn out to shop small. small business saturday. visit shopsmall.com and get ready. because your day is coming. thank you, mr. speaker, uh, members of congress. in celebration of over 75 years of our government employees insurance company, or geico...as most of you know members it.congress. ...i propose savings for everyone! i'm talking hundreds here... and furthermore.. newscaster:breaking news. the gecko is demanding free pudding.
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privately say your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership and will be -- hurts the party in the long term. what's your response to that? >> leader pelosi. >> -- asked that question except to mcconnell. >> anything about mr. -- excuse me, you, mr. hoyer, you're all over 70. is staying on -- younger leadership from moving forward? does this delay younger leadership from moving forward? >> i think what you will see, let's for a moment honor it as a legitimate question. although it's quite offensive. but you don't realize that, i guess. the fact is, the fact is is that everything that i have done in
my almost decade -- i guess decade now of leadership, is to elect younger and newer people to the congress. in my own personal experience, it was very important for me to elect young women. i came to congress when my youngest child, alexandra, was a senior in high school, practically on her way to college. i knew that my male colleagues had come when they were 30. but i wanted women to be here in greater numbers at an earlier age so that their seniority would start to account much sooner. >> at your leadership announcement yesterday, you were asked, well, there was a strong reaction and a very strong response from you to a question about age. about the prospect of stepping aside so younger leadership
could take over in the democratic party. why did all of the democratic women on stage with you boo that question? and why did you call it an offensive question? >> well, i don't -- the point is that i was surprised at the reaction of my colleagues because i hear these questions all the time. from the press. not that one, but questions that they might consider inappropriate. but here's the thing. i didn't say it was inappropriate. i said it's only appropriate if you're asking everybody else. senator mcconnell hasn't won an election in a while. and nobody's asking him to step aside. and i said, do you want the whole leadership to step aside? but it's interesting because when something like that happens, remind them that president reagan was elected at 69 and left at 77 from the white house. sam rayburn was 79 years old when he ended being speaker.
in the strength we had in the election, we won 25 seats. we didn't net 25 seats but we elected 25% of our caucus is new, younger, women and minorities, 50% of our caucus, women and minorities and lgbt community folks. so we thought it was a great night. the election of the president to protect health care and the rest. increase our numbers in the senate, increase our numbers in the house. so i didn't really know what the point was unless it -- was it about winning? was it about not winning enough seats or was it just about age? >> and a combination of age and gender. you're saying. that it's a different -- >> that was the point. right. it was -- and i -- you know, we all live with each other around here, no offense taken except the women took great offense. and i made the point that one of my goals was to bring women in younger so they could start getting seniority sooner. not to wait as i did until my children were practically in
college, all in college. one, alexandra, in high school. that was my choice, my love, my happiness. the most important thing i'll ever do. if women have an opportunity earlier. they get the seniority sooner. i think i should be granted a dozen to 14 years for raising my family. >> you talked about the diversity. >> ronald reagan said, i will not hold your youth and inexperience against you. >> i will pass that onto luke. >> you are talking about the diversity about the democratic caucus in which you lead in the house. it is a new thing at least that there is not a straight, white male majority in this caucus. and i wonder, you know, the republican party, won a larger
majority of the white vote which they were bragging about today in terms of what went right for them in this election which they lost. they lost all minority groups by large margins. when you look at your group and you have that momentous change, what do you say to people who look at that change and think i'm not sure i'm happy about the fact that there is a -- in the democratic caucus? >> i haven't met anybody like that yet. >> but let's say i would say everybody is talking about how we can appeal to these people to vote for us and we are saying no, we want to go beyond that. we want them to represent us. so it is not about we need your vote this is an election day
alliance, we want you to have a seat at the table. it is not that we want to displace the white males in our caucus. we want to have a mix. there is something important about having other thinking. whether it is generation al to have a mixture of thinking at the table. but it gives people hope outside to say, there is something there who understands my aspirations and challenges and i reiterate we have diversity of opinion one in our caucus too and we rejoice in that at well. and i say to my male friends. your views are enhanced because you can convince more people about your position.
>> you are not just talking to people are inclined to agree with you. you have to persuade others. >> when you bring that caucus together and they build consensus, i've never lost a vote when i was speaker and that is because we built consensus. we didn't write something and say this is what we are going to vote for. i would not want to be a head of a caucus that was a rubber stamp. >> announcing that she in tends to stay on in that position. best new thing in the world coming up next. look how small they were! [ husband ] transfer! [ male announcer ] free data transfer at home. you just deleted all the photos! you did! no you did! [ male announcer ] or free data transfer when you buy a windows 8 computer at staples. another way staples makes it easier to upgrade.
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important work. like medicare, it is the government insurance company for 50 million americans and people are happier with it and it is cheaper to administer than all of the private insurance plans that everyone else has to use. it works well. another example the mayor's office in newark new jersey. if there is a tree down on the wires in front of your house. did you see homeless people suffering through the storm, are you stranded with a baby, tell the mayor's office and he will come sort it out for you personally. he will be there in five minutes and bring your bored baby a toy. sometimes government works well. in big and small ways. but government rarely works well in ways that are also very funny. here is the situation.
nobody knows if it is legal or illegal to smoke pot or possess pot in the states of colorado or washington. that is because on election night measures to legalize it passed so in state law it is legal. but federal law that applies to the whole country says it is still illegal. which is it? we don't know. enter the seattle police department. on their blog they posted this official document. it is called marijawhatnow? and it is clear answers to simple questions to what everyone is asking. like where can you smoke pot now in seattle? >> you can use it in the privacy in your own home.
>> can you get that seized pot back from the police? >> one word answer to that one is no. >> will seattle's finest help criminal agents with small amounts of pot. here again the answer is no. >> this my friends is a public service and it is everything you wanted to know about the complicated laws about pot in seattle as presented by an alternative guy who blogs for the police department along with this guy who is an actual cop. they posed for their post with this video clip from the "lord of the rings". this is a needed service. nobody has been able to figure out what the law is. and what you have done makes sense and has gandolf in it for no good reason.