tv The Last Word MSNBC February 15, 2013 1:00am-2:00am EST
whether wenderstand it wl enough to stop it from happening again the next time somebody inevitably tries it. that's monday night 9:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. we understand this is likely to cause political upset when we air it, but sometimes you got to do that anyway. after all, it's for a good cause. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. today republicans blocked a vote on chuck hagel just because they can. >> well, it's valentine's day. love is not in the air. >> it's shocking. >> not a lot of love for chuck hagel. >> to filibuster of the senator's confirmation is unprecedented. >> unprecedented filibuster. >> the debate on chuck hagel is is not over. >> all roads lead to benghazi. >> i'm going to fight zblooes willing to fight to the very end. >> i'm going to hit you and keep hitting you. absolutely. >> who blinks first? >> nobody is quite certain. >> the filibuster of senator
hagel's confirmation is unpress dented. >> not a filibuster. >> filibustered one of the president's nominees. >> who's going to filibuster? >> is that what they want? >> not a filibuster. >> the signal we're sending to the world is america can't get its act together. >> the sequester is there because the president insisted it be there. >> the president's sequester. >> republican dna is all over it. >> the sequester was the president's idea. >> the blame game just doesn't work. >> senate colleagues do nothing. democrats must begin to do their work. >> democrats have been willing to more than meet the gop halfway. >> the house has done its work. >> we're not in control of the house of representatives. we don't control the agenda. >> the blame game doesn't work outside of the capitol. >> this is the house side of the capitol. our snoot our senate colleagues do nothing. >> dysfunction and gridlock. >> congressional uncertainty. >> well, it's valentine's day. love is not in the air. >> i can't imagine a more romantic way to spend valentine's day.
>> with all the love lost, is it time for a breakup? president obama's nominee for defense secretary chuck hagel has the 51 votes needed in the senate for confirmation. today he actually needed 60 to control republican procedural hurdle that would allow the vote on his nomination to actually take place. he got 58 votes. hagel came up two votes short of what he needed. today he will eventually have those votes. that's for sure. >> we can get this issue resolved on the day that we return from the recess. certainly there is, i believe, sufficient votes to invoke cloture at that time. >> when we get back, unless there's a real bombshell, i vote for cloture and move on to his nomination. >> that's right. senators john mccain and lindsey graham will vote to end debate on the confirmation of chuck hagel, eventually, but today,
they just didn't feel like it. they towed the party line and voted to block hagel's nomination. the procedural vote failed 40-58 with one senator voting present and one senator not voting. 54 democrats voted in favor as did four republicans. no cabinet member nominated for a national security post has ever been filibustered. only two cabinet secretary nominees in history have been filibustered. both eventually cleared their cloture votes 85-8. and both were eventually easily confirmed. today, senate majority leader harry reid knew he did not have the votes to clear the republican procedural hurdle, but scheduled a vote anyway to demonstrate this. >> republicans have made an unfortunate choice to ratchet up the level of destruction here in washington. there's nothing going to change in the next ten days about the qualifications of chuck hagel. i guess to be able to run for
the senate as a republican in most places of the country you need to have a resume that says, i helped filibuster one of the president's nominees. believe that helps. believe that keeps a guy from a tea party guy from running against you. >> here's what president obama said just after today's vote. >> the notion that we would see an unprecedented filibuster just about unprecedented, we've never had a secretary of defense filibustered before, there's nothing in the constitution that says that somebody should get 60 votes. there are only a handful of instances in which there's been any kind of filibuster of anybody for a cabinet position in our history. and what seems to be happening, and this has been growing over time, is the republican minority in the senate seemed to think that the rule now is that you have to have 60 votes for everything. well, that's not the rule. the rule is that you're supposed
to have a majority of the 100 senators vote on most bills. the filibuster historically has been used selectively for a handful of issues to extend debate, but we don't have a 60-vote rule. and yet that's become common practice. >> it seems to me that nothing proves better how ridiculous this is than what john mccain and lindsey graham said, which is, well, you know, on another day we'll vote the other way. >> yeah. the thing, there are so many things that are frustrating and maddening about this, it's hard to know where to begin. john mccain, by the way, broke his own rule and own supposed rule of not using filibuster on cabinet nominees. he's broken with the rule to stand with his sidekick, lindsey graham, afraid of a primary challenge, worried about his re-election in 2014. the only reason i can think of to delay this then guys when they said it's a fore gone, they, themselves are going to vote for cloture, is a fishing
exhibition. what to they think they'll find in ten days? use it for ten more days of excruciating irrelevant argument about benghazi, something over which chuck hagel had nothing, no oversight, nothing to do with? it's irrelevant to his nomination. >> chris, it sounds like for mccain and graham, they want to drag it out. they don't even sound like they're looking for some smoking gun. >> i think one of the most important things for people, you know this better than i, one of the most important things for people to understand about the way the senate works and the filibuster works is that one way to look at a congress, a senate, 113th, is as a finite amount of legislating hours. let's say 5,000 hours of legislating, right? now, every hour you can burn, if you're in the minority, that's to win, right? it's a finite budget, right? when you can spend down that time with dilatory tactics such as this and the filibuster eats up a lot of time, what you are doing is rinking the amount of time the majority can get things done and waiting until the next election when you might be in the majority.
and so one of the huge effects of the constant filibustering is less obstruction and more chewing up the clock, right? making it impossible to get through the broad spectrum of things you would be able to get through if you could use every hour of that electi inlegislati. this is a perfect example in which the result is a fore gone conclusion. what they have gained themselves are hours no one is ever getting back in the 113th congress because time only moves forward. and that's the fundamental truth about legislating that this use of the filibuster exploits. >> yeah, i once figured out how many legislative days we had in a given year in the senate. i realized, oh my god, we're not going -- >> right, every one you x off -- >> it's hard to explain to the outside world how that time gets eaten up and disappears. but joy, one thing i've been wondering about is that chuck hagel, unfortunately, is not the ideal case. this is not a john kerry nomination. that he struggled in the conf confirmation hearing.
i'm wondering if he had turned in a better and stronger performance in that room, would that have picked up a couple of votes today? >> i mean, it might have picked up a couple of votes. i don't think it would have changed the outcome. the political imperative for republicans had nothing to do with chuck hagel but their parochial interest. lindsey graham is the perfect example. pure self-force. his friend john mccain relates to it because that's how he ran his re-election campaign, pure self-interest. not anything of substance. this isn't about chuck hagel but a republican party in a lot of was is broken. maybe you're right, don't want to get to guns or talk about uncomfortable things like immigration reform. this is so bad, such a bad precedent it's hard to believe someone like john mccain who claims to love the institution of the senate would do it. >> particularly when we just had this. what's maddening about this, to watch harry reid complain about it is a little much. he had a chance to do something and he bailed.
he basically had this gentleman's agreement with mitch mcconnell. the president is saying we now have this de facto 60-vote rule. exactly. that's what advocates o reforming the filibuster in a muscular way you write in the rules are saying this is the tendency that there is nothing to interrupt this tendency right now. there's nothing in the norms of the institution. there's nothing in the actual rule, short of changing them, that is going to stop this. there's all the incentives for more of this to happen. so i'm sorry, it's a little hard for me to be particularly sympathetic to harry reid when he gets up there saying oh my god, look at these people abusing the filibuster. yeah, that's been the case, you had a chance to do something about it and didn't. >> republicans look at jim demint retire and replaced immediately with a possibly crazier senator from texas, ted cruz. john mccain was outraged that cruz questioned the patriotism, the loyalty to this country of chuck hagel. but the right way for john mccain to have expressed his outrage would have been with a
different vote today. rather than supporting in effect the crazy cruz side of this argument. >> yeah, i think there is this larger story about the degradation of john mccain's public image. this is a guy who claims to be a friend of chuck hagel. comes out with all this ombrage of what cruz says. he's allowing this undignified process going forward and participating in it. he didn't stand by and watch it and vote present like one member of the senate did. he participated in the filibuster. it's ugly and bad for his long-term image. >> the grand irony of this entire thing is, running the pentagon is a hard job. people failed at it before. the largest bureaucracy we have in the government, one of the largest workforces in the world. i mean, it's a hugely complicated thing to do administratively, logistically, politically. strong centers of power in that building, right? i have no idea whether chuck hagel is up to it, nor does anyone. none of that has been lit gaited at all. he talked to al jazeera once,
gave speeches to. the actual job the guy is going to do, i don't know if i have a dog in the fight. do i care if chuck hagel is running the pentagon? as far as i can tell, no one has done much in congress to sort of sort that out. >> and the one thing that job, is a policymaker. that is not the person who decides whether we go to war but takes the orders from the white house about how to implement it. that is not the person who decides what our relationship is with any other foreign country. those issues belong in other jobs. that's what they made the whole hearing about. >> no, absolutely. and even their fixation on benghazi is located in state. they went after hillary clinton -- >> 100%. >> that has nothing to do with this job either. at the end of the day i started out says, confirm chuck hagel. he was an enlisted man, fought in vietnam. i'm saying, i don't know why i support him because it hasn't been about him at all. >> joy reed and chris hayes. thank you for joining me
tonight. coming up, wane lapierre, i'll be joined in rebuttal, by someone who is on the nra's enemy list. and in the "rewrite tonight" if there was no such thing as democrats, if republicans ruled the world, would they ever raise taxes? well, there is a place where democrats basically don't exist and where republicans today voted to raise taxes big-time and that's in tonight's "rewrite." to grow, we have to boost our social media visibility. more "likes." more tweets. so, beginning today, my son brock and his whole team will be our new senior social media strategists. any questions? since we make radiator valves wouldn't it be better if we just let fedex help us to expand to new markets? hmm gotta admit that's better than a few "likes." i don't have the door code. who's that? he won a contest online to be ceo for the day. how am i supposed to run a business here without an office?! [ male announcer ] fast, reliable deliveries worldwide. fedex.
and it is probably a good thing at this point in time that we have a chance to get some damn rest. >> according to a newspaper report today hillary won't be resting for long because she is running for president. that is coming up. ♪ this is amazing, how did you find us? i thought we might be related, so i had a fiber analysis done and sure enough, we're family. but you're not even shredded. you're...crunchy?! that happens sometimes. and you help keep people full with whole grain fiber? just like you guys. [ female announcer ] they're different, but the same. new frosted mini-wheats crunch. a tasty square packed with a crunch... [ crunch! ] ...of whole grain fiber that helps keep you full. it's a big breakfast... [ crunch! ]
must start with a part of this congress that his party controls, the united states senate. >> that includes the sequester which is scheduled to take effect two weeks from today. >> we're going to insist that they finally pass a plan to replace the president's sequester. this sequester was the president's idea, his party needs to follow through on their plans to replace it. if they're willing to pass a bill, we'll find some way to work with them. >> john boehner told the "associated press" in an interview he is not interested in a grand bargain to avert the sequester. remember, this is the president's idea he insisted on this and until he puts forward a plan to place the sequester and his senate democratic colleagues pass it, we're going to be stuck with it. frankly, every time i've gotten into one of these high-profile negotiations, you know, it's my rear end that got burnt. senate democrats not as sensitive about their rear ends
as john boehner. announced their plan to avert the sequester today. it would replace the drastic cuts with more than $100 billion in deficit reduction, half of that would come from spending cuts. $27.5 billion cut from defense and $27.5 billion cut from agriculture subsidies. the other half would come from new tax revenue eliminating tax subsidies to oil companies and enacting the buffett rule, the new version of the rule would require people with incomes over $2 million a year after charitable deductions to pay at least 30% federal income tax rate. john boehner was asked today about the democratic plan to replace the sequester. >> would you rather see the sequester kick in than accept a deal that includes some new tax revenue? >> when the senate passes a plan, we'll be lehappy to take look at it. >> the house democrats introduced a bill today, but they're not hopeful john boehner will be happy to take a look at
it. >> we actually think it would pass, you know, we think that our republican colleagues are afraid of bringing that bill up for a vote. because it really clearly presents the priorities that are before us. do you want to lose 750,000 jobs? or do you want to ask the big oil companies to get rid of their taxpayer subsidies? >> president obama went to georgia today to promote his education agenda and spend some quality time with preschoolers. even in georgia, sounded like he had john boehner on his mind. >> wa we saw in the classroom here today is kids are taught numbers, they're taught shapes, how to answer, discover patte patterns, play well with others. that whole playing well with others, by the way, is a trait we could use in washington. maybe we need to bring the teachers up. you know.
every once in a while have some quiet time. time-out. >> richard wolffe, so john boehner now says it's president obama's sequester. he invented the whole thing. at the time, i believe he said that john boehner said, i got the 98% of what i want. it's at most 2%, the president's sequester. right? the president's got 2% 06 that. >> you know, maybe he has a short-term memory loss problem, but as i recall, i mean, you recall the specifics of the 98%. there was this whole debt ceiling crisis where they were about to default on american debt and send the entire global economy into a tailspin. and that's how we ended up with the sequester. now, if i remember rightly, it wasn't the president's idea to play around with default. but i could be wrong. i mean, what do i know in. >> and i thought that the president outsmarted those guys at the time. boehner is now retroactively
trying to admit that after having said he got 98% of what he wanted. >> right. he wants to blame the president for a solution to, as richard said, the problem he created and this is not the natural order of things. i mean, lawrence, you showed the tape today that i thought was very important of boehner basically saying, hey, it's all in the dems. it's all in the senate. and if you go to thesource.com, opposition does not always equal obstruction or doing nothing. i mean, newt gingrich who i don't hold up as a great example of much at least had the courage of his convictions to get out there and pass bills. that's not what these guys are about. they're about obstruction and as you staid, richard, manufactured crises. >> this, i think, is a poll-tested position that boehner -- it's a new position. boehner has finally figured out how you can sound reasonable. he should have been saying this all along. he should have been saying, hey, look, if the democratic senate, if the senate passes something, we'll take a look at it. instead, he was always jumping out there saying no, no, no, right at the start. when he didn't have to because
the senate wasn't going to be able to pass most of what we were talking about. >> right. so no leadership is actually his best form of leadership. >> exactly. >> and that is why -- >> it's very zen. >> that is why he is actually in accomplished politician. that's how you get to be house speaker of this crazy mess that is today's republican party. you know, it is the only practical way anything will happen. it also, talking about focus grouping, if you have to go into a focus group with republicans' positions where cutting spending is more important than creating jobs, or somehow cutting spending and jobs will create jobs, you would rather do nothing. you would much better off being an oadvocate for nothing than te official house republican position. >> what he's saying has always been the political dynamics that exist between the two bodies. it has always been that the house, the speaker would always say, well, we'll see what the senate can do. if they believe that the senate could do nothing. they wouldn't put the house through a vote if they thought
the senate could do nothing. and the senate leader would always say, well, we'll see what the house can do. if they believe the house could do nothing, there was no sense putting the senate through the vote. so he's actually retreating. it looks like a refeetreat. it looks like a retreat. to what has been the normal position of the leader of each one of these bodies. >> he's retreating and also doing something that was once called leading from behind which is looking to other people before you figure out exactly what you want to do. under the constitutional system, of course, that is how a bill becomes a law. one body passes it, sends it to the other. when there are differences in the statutory language, you go to the conference committee. in the old days a lot of action happened on the conference committee when things were a little less ideological and buttoned up. i think boehner's problem is this is not normal times. we still have a recession out there. we have a president who just built a bridge from what i thought was a tremendous inaugural, ambitious, strong and clear to a state of the union that everyone agrees has real content to it, whether talking about preschool, the tax basis,
or a long-term growth plan. so i don't think this is a period where doing nothing and waiting for everyone else will play well at all. >> and there is one little problem for boehner. and that is the only parliamentary rule that is actually in the constitution. which says that all tax bills must originate in the house and what they're talking about in the senate is a tax bill and what chris van hollen was talking about is a tax bill. the big lie of boehner is if the senate ever did move on that, and sent it to the house, then they would immediately rule it inadmissible, procedurally, a so-called blue slip and just throw it out. so the truth of it is, this is the one thing where the house has to go first. >> right. and there may be some shell game they can play, right? they could have a vehicle -- >> they've done it before. >> yes, yes. >> there are also parliamentary -- >> when they're feeling cooperative, you can do anything. but boehner said today, he told the "ap," "there's nobody that
has more guts to take on his own party than i do." >> yeah. >> what is the evidence of that? ari? >> i don't know what the evidence of that. it reminded me of what senator inhofe said today which is you know how democrats are, they always fall in line, republicans just don't do that. >> huh? what? >> if you're going to lie, you want to have a plausible lie, not a crazy lie. i don't think john boehner has stood up on anything. there are at least some republicans on immigration doing something. i don't see him anywhere. >> i disagree. i think he had guts and then lost his guts. he actually started out doing this grand bargain and as soon as someone said boo, notably, the people in his own leadership team, then he realized he had no guts at all. so, you know, i guess that redefines guts. >> sequentially, he had the guts to negotiate with the president to a certain point, but then he did not have the guts as he says here to take on his own -- >> there is that. i think evaporating guts don't -- >> i try. >> the republicans have been
consulting pollster neil nuhouse, quoted as saying this "i kind of emphasize to the members that second midterm elections have never been friendly to the president. you can't count on that. that's not going to happen. we've got to realize that the house republicans are going to be obama's top target." so boehner is being told, don't just sit there and think on a midterm you guys automatically pick -- >> i seem to recall the last democratic president in his final midterms actually did better. because house republicans overreached. does this sound familiar? may be a completely different kind of overreach, but if they think they can run the same playbook as they did in 2010, they're in for a big surprise. the reason this is difficult for john boehner is they are on the wrong side of these issues, and if they think they're going further down the conservative track will save them again, let's watch it happen. >> that old school issues matter thing. okay. be that way. richard wolffe, ari melber,
thanks for joining me tonight. coming up, one of the people on the nra's enemy list joins me on wayne lapierre's response to the state of the union address. and in the "rewrite" republicans rewrite their philosophy on taxes. y roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. all stations come over to mithis is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one.
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in the years ahead, we will be looking to all of you and to your successors to carry this mission of american leadership forward. >> in hillary clinton news today, the "new york post" reports a real estate mogul told a reporter that bill clinton told him that hillary clinton is running for president in 2016. 76-year-old angelo said "hillary will be our next president and she will be a great one. i talked to her husband and he confirmed it. she will run." but the strangest hillary clinton news today comes from david corn at "mother jones" who reports in the middle of an investigation into how tea party group, freedom works, spent its
money, investigators found a video produced under the supervision of the group's executive vice president. everything i'm about to read is a quote. "the video included a scene in which a female intern wearing a panda suit simulates performing oral sex on hillary clinton." the author notes the previous sentence contains no typos. coming up, why democrats are the enablers of republicans. and later, a look at how the rubio water break was handled by the late night comedians. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote. >> in the "spotlight" tonight the lies of wayne lapierre. here's what washington's lobbyist for mass murderers had to say in president obama's state of the union address. >> it's not about keeping kids safe in school. that wasn't even mentioned in the president's speech. they only care about their decades-long, decades-old gun control agenda. ban every gun they can, tax every gun sold, and register every american gun owner. the president has taken the art of public deception and manipulation to a whole new level on this one. >> joining me now, "washington post" columnist and msnbc political analyst, e.j. dionne
who is also on the nra's enemies list. e.j., first of all, congratulations of making the -- >> it's a my honor and distinct privilege to be on that list. >> a lot of us are kind of jealous. you're in distinguished company. frank rich, jimmy breslin. they concentrate on columnists. they still think that you wield all the power in public o pin where on. so there's a compliment there, i think. >> i also think it's a fairly old list. >> yes, it is. >> that list has been around for a while. i'm not sure they fully updated it. when they do, you'll be at the top i think. >> i'm going what i can. >> i say that as a compliment. >> i'm doing what i can to get there. so, e.j., wayne lapierre wrote a crazy op-ped piece yesterday somewhat in response to the president, then there he is today. and it's clearly a -- he keeps repeating this line, buy more guns, buy more guns. it's almost more overtly than
ever a gun industry shill of let's just run up the sales. >> well, you know, i thought long and hard about this, and i've decided that actually you are writing most of wayne lapierre's material, because it doesn't make sense in any other way. it creates awesome segments for your show. the people, the only people this can appeal to are "a" the gun manufacturers as you say because he keeps saying, buy more guns. "b" the most extreme right end of the republican party base. i miean you look at this piece e wrote in the "daily caller." he says when the next terrorist attack comes, not with, just when, a paragraph that begins hurricanes, tornadoes, riots, terrorists, gangs, alone, criminals. there's a craziness about the rhetoric. so the only other thing i can think of reading this other than the fact you might have written it all is it's about the
competition among groups at the far right end of the spectrum who are competing for the extreme gun owners to show they are the ones who are going to be tougher on obama and all those liberals than the other group, but it doesn't -- it is not persuasive to anyone who's open to persuasion. >> and he makes a lot about how criminals can cross the southern border and assigns each one of them specifically to president obama's neglect of the southern border. something he never once, ever, assigned to president bush's handling of the southern border when, in fact, president obama has been much tougher on enforcement on the mexican border. >> right, there's no question about that both in terms of the numbers who have entered the numbers who have been deported and the number of people on the border. the other thing he never wants to talk about is how many guns are crossing from our side into
mexico to fuel their gang and drug wars down there. it's a real scandal that we are allowing all those guns through. they could cross in to our country and buy them in a way they can't in mexico. we august ought to be taking so responsibility for that war town there but the nra doesn't want us to do anything about it. >> he does suggest in his written piece, as you mentioned, that he envisions all sorts of disasters hitting the united states where you're going to absolutely, absolutely need a gun to defend yourself to get through the day. it will be impossible. he thinks that hurricane sandy proved that. he said, after hurricane sandy we saw the hellish world the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. now, the problem with that, of course, e.j., he can sell that everywhere except new york because people in new york know that crime dropped dramatically. there were absolutely no homicides after hurricane sandy. just none. but out there where he's selling this stuff, they think, you know, that, you know, people are
just being dropped like flies 24 hours a day by all the bad guys in new york. >> right. i mean, that line, looters ran wild in south brooklyn, i mean, that sounds, i guess, really scary if you don't live in brooklyn. and there are all kinds of connotations when you start talking about looters. but i do think it's helpful that he's doing this because they talk all the time about how people who are critical of the gun culture want to impose ourselves on world people. we don't really want to do that. what they're trying to do is tell all of us who don't want to own guns, who don't want guns in our houses, that we will have no choice but to arm ourselves. and i think this kind of, thissest to push their culture on the entire country is something we ought to respond to regularly. >> let's listen to what republican joe scarborough said wayne lapierre is up to.
>> this is so laced with racial overtones. >> oh, absolutely. >> that the republican party if they were smart, their leaders today would condemn it, but they're not smart. they're scared. you know, they keep running scared, they're going to lose more votes, they're going to get hammered in future elections if they allow this clown to continue to lead them around by their nose. they're shameful. they need to be leaders. >> e.j., is it your sense that republicans in washington are, many of them, actually get what joe is saying? that he's absolutely right about that? >> i think they do. i think some significant minority, at least, of the republican conference in the house gets it which is why i think they are going to find a way to push john boehner to let them vote on some gun legislation as the president called for in that speech. i've heard that at the republicans' retreat some of them raised this and said we want to vote at least on a bill to provide, for universal
background checks. a lot of suburban republicans in the northeast and midwest do not want to be seen as allies of wayne lapierre. >> e.j. dionne on the nra's enemies list and "washington post" columnist. thank you very much for joining us tonight, e.j. >> good to be with you. thanks. coming up in the "rewrite" how democrats are enablers of republicans and how republicans are rewriting their philosophy on taxes. and later, you knew they were going to do it. the late night comedians get the last word on the rubio water break. duced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy how do you keep an older car running like new? you ask a ford customer. when they tell you that you need your oil changed you got to bring it in. if your tires need to be rotated, you have to get that done as well.
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are responsible when it comes to taxation and republicans know that they can rely on democrats being responsible. republicans know they don't have to raise the money to pay their bills. they know democrats will do that. george w. bush and his republican-led congress knew they could cut taxes. they knew that they could completely wipe out the budget surplus that bill clinton created by raising taxes. they knew that they could then rack up massive deficits and never consider paying for the two wars that george w. bush started. they knew they could do all that because they knew eventually the responsible party would come back into power and raise taxes. but how would republicanism work if the democrats never came back into power? if funding the government was actually up to republicans? according to their theory, since all taxes are bad, a republican congress and republican
president should cut taxes down to zero. >> it's a very simple equation. tax increases destroy jobs. >> since taxes destroy jobs, the only logical tax rate for the republican party in washington to support would be zero. on everything. personal income, capital gains, gasoline, every single federal tax rate should be zero. that is the logic of the republican position. in the world in which this guy is considered the leadi ining intellectual of the anti-tax movement, if washington had no democrats, taxes could never go up. they could only go down and they'd eventually go to zero or just low enough to pay for the defense department and nothing else. right? i mean, that's 21st century republicanism. or is it? if you want to see a world with no democrats, there's no better
place to go than wyoming. the state's entire congressional delegation is republican. that's two senators and only one congressman. the governor of wyoming is a republican. the state senate has 26 republicans and 4 democrats. the state house has 52 republicans and 8 democrats. the state legislature is 85% republican in both bodies. governing in wyoming never requires the slightest consultation with or even the acknowledgement of the existence of democrats. wyoming is republican country. and in wyoming today, the republican senate voted to increase the state gasoline tax after the republican house already voted to do it, and the republican governor supports it. all four senate democrats voted for the tax increase, of course, but the republicans didn't need them. the bill passed 18-12 with a
majority of republicans voting for it. the federal gasoline tax, which began in 1932 at 1 penny a gallon, went up a half penny or a penny at a time over the next 30 years. republican presidents signed our biggest gasoline tax increases later. ronald reagan and his successor, george h.w. bush. the last time the federal gasoline tax was raised was 20 years ago with no republican support. it was a 4.3 cent increase that i personally negotiated with montana senator max baccus, briefly the lone holdout on increasing the gas tax and is now the chairman of the committee. the 4.3 cent increase was signed into law by president clinton raising the total federal gasoline tax to 18.4 cents where
it has remained for 20 years. so how much are they raising the gas tax in republican world? more than the democrats would ever dream of in washington. the republican wyoming legislature and the republican wyoming governor are raising the gas tax t10 cents. more than double the bill clinton increase in the federal gasoline tax. the wyoming state gasoline tax is going to be higher than the federal gasoline tax. wyoming's gasoline tax is going to be 24 cents. as i said, the federal gasoline tax now is only 18.4 cents. why are they doing that? for the same reason democrats vote to raise taxes. because the government needs the money. and in this case, the state of wyoming needs the money. according to this guy's theory, there won't be a job left in wyoming by the fourth of july, but wyoming republicans know that washington republicans are lying about taxes and so they
are confident that a 10 cent increase in the gasoline tax will not close down the state. but when wyoming survives its 10 cent increase in the gasoline tax, we can't expect washington republicans to follow wyoming republicans and rewrite their tax policy to include the principle of responsibly raising taxes when needed. washington republicans will never, ever, ever, ever have to do that, ever. thanks to their enablers, the responsible democrats. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do. [ engine turns over ] [ male announcer ] we created the luxury crossover and kept turning the page, writing the next chapter for the rx and lexus.
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a long day of work, i'd already taped an 18-minute speech in spanish, so i'm glad the water was nearby. i don't know what i would have done without it. >> yesterday afternoon when i first considered how to approach last night's marco rubio segment on this show, for a very brief moment, less than a minute, i considered doing some kind of water bottle joke. but then i decided to leave that to the professionals. >> the most impressive thing about president obama's speech last night, he did the whole thing without a single drink of water. [ laughter ] >> did you guys catch marco rubio's response to the state of the union last night? >> the night's main event, the
long awaited state of the rubio address. given by florida senator and board certified minority, marco rubio. and folk, hopes were high. no pressure, marco. you're just the egg from which the new republican party will be born, so we should put all of our egg into one basket then count our chicken before it hatches. and while we're at it, why don't we make it a hand basket and make sure it's headed someplace really warm? >> his favorite attack of all, those of us who don't agree with him that we only care about rich people. our energy industry over the next decade. [ laughter ] nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. >> don't worry, senator rubio, nobody noticed that you gave a
speech. >> so the top ten things going through his mind at that particular moment, i would think one of them would be, wow, rehearsal is going pretty well. number five, that looked presidential, right? number four, i'm sure they'll edit this part out. number three, oh, my god, i asked for sparkling water. number two, marco rubio needs his throato lubio. for the love of god. the number one thing going through marco rubio's mind at this moment, by 2016 won't america want a stooge in the white house? >> by the end i was waiting for him to butt dial his ex. >> i think it was a bold move to duck off camera during the biggest speech of your life. i cannot imagine what he was thinking. ♪
>> is this really that big of a deal? just because it's the only thing that people will ever remember? >> i'm just going to, just going to -- get something to drink here. just so thirsty i can't -- sorry, should have drank something before the show. don't know why i didn't think of that. >> maintaining eye contact with the home viewer and connecting, connecting with the audience on a human level, you know, makes them overlook your difficulties. just keep the words rolling from your face hole. no one will notice. >> the state of the union rebuttal is most often handed to a rising party star. whose star then, according to tradition, quickly falls. >> good evening, and happy mardi gras.