tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 18, 2013 6:00am-9:00am EST
we're back now. at the top of the show, we asked, why are you awake? our producer john tower with your answers. j.t.? >> you might have to explain something to me. new pajamas are out from the peter alexander collection, but do i really want to spend $100? another one, omg, peter alexander just released his zebra print onesie. >> yeah, good time with that. my australian brother peter alexander makes women's sleep wear. that's all we got, j.t. thanks very much. "morning joe" begins right now. good morning. it is monday, february 18th. welcome to "morning joe,"
everybody. did you know it's president's day? >> oh, my -- >> what? >> the kids are home. yes, they are. with us onset, msnbc and "time" magazine senior political analysis mark halprin and john heilman. hi, willie. >> hi, is this holiday casual? shoutout to millard filmore. >> he wore that to the second state of the union. >> that's fantastic. your favorite president is? can you say it? >> kind of a big g.w. guy. >> what? >> george washington. >> oh. >> number one. >> what about you, john? growing up, who was your hero? >> i liked lincoln. >> i was a fan of teddy roosevelt the man. i don't know if he's the best president who ever lived, but the man.
>> you liked the mustache a lot. >> among other things. >> minka? >> i might go with calvin coolidge. >> i was a big harry truman and ronald reagan fan. one started the cold war, one ended it. i thought harry truman was to fascinating because he was so unpopular when he left office. everything he did from '45 to '50 shaped our world. and a regular guy. my mom, for them, it was all fdr, fdr fdr was king. i think i liked this guy, this common guy stepping in from independence. >> what did you think i was going to say? you were worried, weren't you? >> i had no idea. carter? >> no. okay. >> more current, perhaps.
>> you were worried. i saw a flash of fear in your eyes. >> no, you get all -- >> oh, please. >> eyes start twinkling whenever you mention his name. your heart flutters. >> are we still being simulcast on the history channel? >> how is the book going? give us a deep tease. this thing comes out in like five years. >> it's going well. it's coming out soon. >> when is it coming out? >> it's coming out soon. you'll enjoy it. >> i'm going to actually talk about something that's actually happening. in less than two weeks -- >> well, the book is happening. >> doesn't sound like it. in less than two weeks, $85 billion in automatic budget cuts are set to kick in. while lawmakers scramble to figure out how to stop the so-called sequester, the blame game is already under way. at issue, whose idea were the cuts in the first place?
>> in 2011, congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about $1 trillion worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. democrats, republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said these cuts, known here in washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea. >> it's the president who proposed the sequester. it's the president who designed the sequester. it's the house republicans who twice passed legislation replacing the sequester with smarter cuts in other areas of government. the senate has panted a bill to replace the sequester. the president gave a speech showing he'd like to replace it, but he hasn't put any details out there. that's why i conclude i believe it's going to take place. there's no leadership on the other side of the aisle and therefore no agreement. >> bob is the man who literally wrote the book about the budget battle. put this to rest. whose idea was the sequester, and did you ever think we'd actually get to this point?
>> first, it was the white house. it was obama and jack lew and rob neighbors who went to the democratic leader in the senate, harry reid, and said this is the solution. >> all right. meanwhile, senator lindsay graham is suggesting one potential -- >> i'm sorry, could i interrupt? i had a munchkin in my mouth. >> no, you can't have those. you're supposed to have your greek yogurt. >> i'm trying to make a point with a visual aid. this is like defense spending. done. gone. >> before the day has even started, you've just -- give those to me. >> i'm not homer simpson. what do you make of what woodward said? >> the president's in charge. he's got to figure out a way to stop the sequester. i think the symbolism of the last couple weeks haven't been great. he's not really out there
leading a new path towards figuring out how to avoid something he says is a bad idea and promised as a candidate wouldn't happen. >> okay. john, joe's mouth is full. what do you think? >> i'm hap think the sequester be a bad thing. >> everyone says that. who's going to take the blame? who should? >> if it ends up going into effect, i think they're all going to take a lot of blame and they should. it's fair enough to say, if bob's reporting is right, that the idea originated in the white house. but it did get agreed to by congress, both sides of the aisle. they all voted for it. at that point, it becomes a bipartisan thing. that was the whole point of it. there would be pain on both sides. everyone signed up to this deal. now everyone has to suffer the consequences. >> willie, doesn't this show how clueless both sides in washington are? they're both going, it's their fault. woodward says it's the white
house's idea but everybody's fingerprints are on it. everybody's going to take the blame and everybody's a loser at the end of the day. >> and there doesn't seem to be a lot of urgency. congress is out for nine days. president is in florida playing golf with tiger woods. there aren't two parties who are desperate to solve this problem. >> if you had a choice of saving the pentagon or playing golf with tiger, what would you do? >> i'd play golf with tiger. but that's two guys talking here. i don't begrudge the president two days off. he's earned that. >> he needs it. >> and the congress isn't there for nine days either. my point s neither side seems to view this as urgently as the american public. >> oh, no. i wasn't doing that as a subtle dig. i would golf with tiger and figure out a way to save the pentagon. >> maybe while you're golfing with tiger. maybe tiger had some ideas. i don't know. >> long time between holes on that course. >> good things happen when presidents are golfing with famous people. back in 1997 bill clinton got a
phone call while he was golfing with michael jordan in vegas. he got the horrible news that -- true stroory. i get to say this because i'm a former politician. he got the news that if he did nothing, the budget was going to balance itself alone without any of his help. so he quit, rushed to the airport and came back saying, we have to do something fast so i can take credit for it. and we did. so there you go. i think it's a fascinating story. i did that for the kids. >> meanwhile, in the middle of all this, senator lindsay graham is suggesting one potential -- >> wait, wait, wait. can i just ask a question? >> because he needs cameras and likes to be on tv and has a lot to say. >> let's be honest, guys. john, you're not looking at me. you're reading. >> what is wrong with you? >> i'm reading about immigration. >> we're talking about lindsay.
we poke at lindsay a lot. it's not personal. should we have an intervention? should we give him a call, or should we call somebody in the senate? >> i think we're the last people to intervene, actually. >> no, i know him. we go way back. we went after newt together. >> what would you say? >> i think there need to be a series of countdown clocks. i'm not sure counting down to what. maybe joe lieberman's absence from the senate has undermined his sense of equal librium. he's just saying everything. >> just blah. here is lindsay graham saying where he thinks the government could recoup some funds. >> here's my belief. let's take obama care and put it on the table. you can make $86,000 a year in income and still get a government subsidy under
obamacare. obamacare is destroying health care in this country. people are leaving the private sector because their companies can't afford to offer obamacare. if you want to look at ways to find $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade, let's look at obamacare. let's don't destroy the military and just cut blindly across the board. >> okay. could i ask a quick question? you know i don't really follow politics. >> well, and you eat munchkins. >> ooi'm looking at this quote here. i'm against obamacare. i was really upset when it passed. i didn't say as everybody republican did freedom died tonight. freedom can only die so many times. >> and it didn't. >> lindsey says obamacare is destroying america. doesn't that not get implemented until 2014? i'm just curious. >> most of it. >> a lot of it. >> is this a prequal? >> he has a premonition.
>> so it's a premonition. >> premonition. >> okay. fair enough. go ahead. >> in other news, chuck hagel is still days away from a senate vote -- >> because really, how can a bill destroy america when it's not even in effect? >> are we going to hear from lindsey again on the hagel story? god bless. >> is it really only one republican in washington, d.c. that can do sunday shows? john mccain would be good. >> yeah, he's 234not going to v for him. at the earliest, it won't happen until lawmakers return to washington next week after a ten-day recess. senator john mccain, one of hagel's most outspoken critics, pushed back against suggestions that his opposition was meant to settle old scores. >> is it payback time for chuck hagel? that's what this process has amounted to? >> of course not. 99% of it is to do with the positions that senator hagel has taken. the positions he's taken on
various issues has frankly been not only out of the mainstream but far to the left. we will have a vote when we get back, and i'm confident that senator hagel will probably have the votes necessary to be confirmed as the secretary of defense. we have an obligation of advice and consent. i don't intend to give those up when other senators continue to have reasonable questions. i mean reasonable. >> but you're not a yes vote for your old friend? >> no, i don't believe he's qualified, but i don't believe that we should hold up his nomination any further. >> all right. what do you think of what the senator had to say? fair? >> i think all of it was very fair. there are a lot of democrats right now that are asking the question. they've said it to us, that they're not sure if chuck hagel is qualified to be secretary of defense after his performance in the senate. there are a lot of questions. so what john mccain said is very qualified. you put that on top of the fact
that chuck hagel has said things over the past five, six, seven years that does place him outside the mainstream of american political thought when it comes to foreign policy. i think that's fair too. so i think that's what the senate is supposed to do. they're supposed to advise and consent. i think john mccain is doing it exactly like he should do it. he has problems with it, but he's going to let the president put his person in charge. i thought mccain was very fair there. mark? you take some of the things he said in the past, they're pretty bad, but he circled back. he's talked to lindsey. he's assured some other people that those are not his positions today. >> senator hagel has really big shoes to fill. the president's first two defense secretaries, fantastic. worked well with the hill, worked well with the pentagon. i think senator mccain, unlike some of the other critics that
chuck hagel, has focused on the things where there really are questions. >> and by the way, again, i support chuck hagel. but they're very legitimate questions. we have to sort out some of the hyperbolic attacks, which are just shameful, versus responsible concerns. john mccain, i felt, was really responsible yesterday, took a great tone, and i'll just say it e selfishly, i think that's good for the republican party, when you have someone like john mccain coming out saying that in a reasoned, responsible way. that's why i'm going on about it. >> and for a long time, he wanted to use this moment as lemplg leverage on benghazi. i think he's realized he's not going to fully get what he wants from the white house. they did send him one piece of paper. he's ready to move on. >> mika, i think new republican senators should look at the clip of john mccain on "meet the press" yesterday and follow
suit. >> exactly. i think he hit just the right tone. here's what frank rooney says. the gop's nasty newcomer, i don't know if you saw this, when a vesuvius like john mccain tells you that you belch too much, smoke, and spew too much fire, you know you have a problem. and ted cruz, a republican freshman in the senator who has been front and center in his party's effort to squash chuck hagel's nomination has a problem. he's an ornery, swaggering piece of work. he's already known for his naysaying. courtesy isn't cruz's metier. grand standing and browbeating are. >> so mark, you knew this guy before. other people who knew him before
he came to the senate actually like him a lot. say he's an intelligent guy, very likable. >> they had hope in him. >> and he's not this persona he seems to have taken on since he came to washington. but you know, using innuendo, as he did against hagel, during the hearings. even offended republicans on that panel. bill nelson, democrat from florida, spoke out against it too. some of the things he said about the president, saying that he used the death of these children politically in newtown when the president was breaking down crying, as a lot of us did who have children that age. he's really -- it seems like he's bent over backwards offends republicans as well as democrats. >> he's surprising me. today in the senate, you can get away with acting like that as long as the people back home support you. texas is a pretty conservative state, so i don't think he worries about losing his seat there. you know, you look at other
senators like mike lee, like jim demint, who have been independent actors. cruz is taking it so far as a freshman, in his first weeks in the senate, to a different level. i think he's underestimating the extent to which operating like this will affect him. >> mike lee is a great example. very conservative. this isn't about being conservative. it's about going out of your way acting like you're, you know, a carnival barker at a local republican event. i mean, mike lee is a great example of a guy who's really conservative, and i'm glad he is, but he knows how to carry himself. i just don't understand a guy as smart as ted cruz, and again, a guy who i've heard good things about personally. i don't understand what's going on here. >> well, i think there's two different things to say. one is, you know, the senate has -- everybody else says now the senate has changed a lot
over the course of the last 20, 30 years. this would have been unimaginable 20, 30 years ago given the way the decorum and the comedy have normally prevailed in the senate. this independent actor thing, people doing these -- taking these kinds of tones and not caring about seniority. that's something that's been going on for a long time, and it's getting worse and worse if you like the old senate. i can't help but think about this in the context of republicans and where the party is going and what it's going to look like in 2014. if you're a hispanic republican right now who has a national platform, your mind is immediately spinning towards thinking about 2016. >> so you think that's what this is about? >> i think ted cruz is trying to stake out ground as a certain kind of -- getting a lot of loyalty among a more fractious, more populous part of the republican party. you see a guy like marco rubio, who's a simile, has great
potential as a hispanic republican senator, going a different direction. rubio still has to care about the tea party, but he's also trying to make his way into a different place. i think they're all jockeying for a place on the national stage. >> so you think he's trying to go hard right? >> well, whether it's 2014 or 2020, you're staking out ground. all these guys are not just your average freshman senator. if your a freshman senator guy like that with a harvard pedigree from one of the biggest states in the country and you're hispanic, you're going to get more attention than most other freshman senators ever do, so you have an opportunity. >> too bad he wasted it. >> by the way, if he's thinking 2016, he wants to make sure, willie, that nobody in the 2016 or 2020 primary is -- and i know people are shocked that we're talking about it, but that's what he must be thinking. it's the only way to explain why a guy would change personality this radically. i guess he's afraid to be attacked as being a harvard guy.
so he's -- anyway, i don't know. >> i think his approach has pleased a lot of conservatives who said stick it to them, go to congress, don't play ball, be your own man. marco rubio over the weekend tweeted out support along those lines this weekend for ted cruz. it strikes me as shortsighted. if you're going to be in the united states senate for a long time, or a short time, you're going to need all these people, many of whom you're alienating, to get done anything you want to do through the kcongress. >> he didn't expect to be there, to he's a little unshackled. >> i don't care about seniority system in the senate. turn over the tables in the temple, man. that's fine with me. i'm worried about a republican national party that is losing in swing districts badly. anyway -- >> all right. still ahead on "morning joe," former senior adviser to president obama, david axelrod,
will join us. also, cnbc's andrew ross sorkin. it's president's day. kids are off. up next, mike allen with the politico playbook. first, here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> hey, everyone. this weekend we just got clipped in new england by another huge winter storm. this one was just as powerful as the blizzard before, but it was a little further off the coast. it actually was bad enough down in the carolinas it snowed in charlotte and raleigh, even myrtle beach getting snow. that storm is now located up here in the canadian maritime. hopefully it won't be as windy this morning. look at this image. this line you see here, this center point, that's actually like the eye of the winter storm. a very amazing image just off the coast of new england last night. this was literally strong enough to be considered a category 3 hurricane. that's how low the pressure was. winds are still a little gusty in maine this morning and southern new england but not as
bad as yesterday. a lot of people don't have to go to school or work, so that's nice. if you have to head out, it's full winter gear. maybe long johns. forecast for today, at least it'll be sunny as the winds die off. temperatures recovering this week. all the warm air is now in the middle of the country. that'll push to the east coast tomorrow. just a little light rain for president's day chicago, st. louis. this week it looks like thursday and friday will be a big storm in the middle of the country, possibly severe storms, and also heavy snow. the east coast gets a break after our two big winter storms over the last couple days. taking a look at washington, d.c. look at that. the sunrise starting to get a little earlier every day. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. ♪ ♪
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>> can we celebrate spring? it's not here yet, but man, i'll tell you last night i'm driving back, and it's light at almost 6:00. it's light. look how beautiful new york city is. don't come to me, t.j. t.j. is obviously back, right? >> he must think you're beautiful too. >> i'm wearing a different sweater today. >> but the collar of the sweater looks like a mouse ate it. >> look how beautiful new york city is. where are we? we're in midtown looking north. >> yep, that's northwest. george washington bridge upper left. upper west side on the left part of the screen. that's the reservoir. >> the jacqueline kennedy r reservoir. >> yes, it is. i think they went with onassis. >> sill me me. do you know for the kid at home watching this on the history channel, she was, what, like 31,
32 when she became first lady? >> that's amazing. >> i think it was 31. >> i was 31 when i started "morning joe." >> no. >> you guys know that? >> no, actually. no, you weren't. in fact, you have a birthday coming up. >> no, i don't. i have no birthday coming up. >> yes, he does. all right. time to take a look at the morning papers. "the los angeles times," music fans are in mourning today over the death of country star mindy mccready. according to arkansas police, she was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. her life was marred by a public battle with substance abuse and arrests. she was just 37 years old with two young children. "the new york times," a new study in the journal pediatrics finds certain types of television can have a positive impact on a child's behavior. decreasing the time children spent watching violent programming and increasing time viewing educational shows, especially ones that encourage
empathy, can reduce aggression among peers. that's an important study. >> that is an important study. i practice it every night because my 4-year-old and i have a routine now where we watch educational television. >> no, you don't. >> yeah, we do. >> no, you don't. >> he loves "sponge bob." >> i love "sponge bob." >> pure learning. >> brilliant stuff. >> "sponge bob" just keeps coming back. >> we're not allowed to watch "sponge bob" in our house because he's, quote, too fresh. what does that mean? he's got bad manners? >> he's very polite. >> there's some off-color jokes in there hidden in the dialogue. that's why you like it. >> i'm more of a patrick guy. >> who says that in your household, too fresh? >> the mrs. people in charge. >> it really is irritating to a lot of adults. it is just shrill. a lot of them just hate it.
that's why i love it so much. >> really? okay. i'm trying to think of what character. willie, want to do the last paper? please, god. >> of course, i was having joe scarborough watch "the simpsons" at age 5. >> i took my kids to the book of mormon. i really can't -- yeah. >> how about this one from "the louisville courier"? makers mark bourbon publicly admitting its error in reducing the alcohol content from 45 to 42. they started using extra water to stretch the supply. despite the company's insistence there was no change in taste, customers were outraged by the move. now we're happy to say maker's mark has backtracked. going back to 45% alcohol. >> i want to tell you a story.
couple weeks ago i'm out having a drink with willie geist. got a couple maker's going. he likes the maker's and ginger. >> ginger? sort of a girly drink. >> he said, there's something wrong with this. he ordered a different one. same thing. we went to a different bar. something is wrong with this. kept saying that. it turned out they'd reduced the alcohol by like 3%. willie picked it up just on taste. he was starting to get full of anger, full of range. started a campaign. now we're back up to 90 proof. >> it's a discerning palette. often on the rocks, but just a little splash of ginger. bam. >> really? do you like that? >> ever had that? >> how about "politico?" is there a "politico" segment this morning? >> sounds kind of girly, but that's okay. but i guess with this stuff, i didn't know this until i read this story. they get to plan their supply.
something like six, seven years ahead. they had no idea there'd be such a big -- >> they do. they store it in the barrels for years on end. >> well, they assumed willie's consumption doing more morning tv would go down. it skyrocketed. that explains the problem. >> thank you. >> let's talk to mike. he's standing by in virginia. actually, he's in d.c. this morning. he's the chief white house correspondent for "politico." mike, good morning. >> good morning. we'll try not to get too fresh down here. >> good, yes. you're a bourbon guy, aren't you? >> without that splash. no girly splash. >> okay. all right. so you guys this morning have an exclusive story about what's next for hillary clinton. what can you tell us? >> yeah, this is the first phase that secretary clinton has announced in her new life. starting this spring, probably april or may, she's going to hit the paid speaking circuit. she's selected the harry walker
agency of new york as her agent. it's also the agency for her husband, president bill clinton. we're told that folks in the speaking industry expect she'll be one of the highest paid speakers ever to hit the circuit. high six figures up there with president clinton, tony blair, george w. bush. >> i think no surprise there. >> this is what a lot of people do. step out of public life, make yourself a little money perhaps before stepping back into public life. >> the clintons need that. they don't have a lot. you know, i understand that when they go on vacation, they have a canoe and this little shack in arkansas. >> sometimes a days inn. >> i love days inn. >> econo lodge. they like that one too. >> mike, let's talk about something happening in washington. john mccain had a big splash of news yesterday when he talked about universal background checks. going to gain wide support by republicans in congress. that's huge news, and it's not
just huge news in a political sense. people that have really been focused on reducing gun crime for a very long time say, yes, they'd like to have assault weapons banned and, yes, they'd like to have high capacity magazines banned, but if you really want to cut gun violence, tighten up and make universal background checks and take care of the gun trafficking. then you'll not only take care of the mass shootings, but you'll start to make a dent in chicago and other places across america. keeping guns out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill. >> this is something that could even get through the republican house. people were a little dismayed, a little pessimistic about getting anything through. over the weekend, i talked to some of the lobbyists on the gun issue. they also are hopeful of getting some reduction in the magazine size, which you've talked so much about here on "morning joe." assault weapons, no way, but there are some of these earlier steps. as you make a point -- as you
point out, they would make a real difference. >> they really would. anybody surprised by that? >> i noticed it and thought, yeah. >> i've been hearing from behind the scenes that they were moving in a positive direction. tom coburn obviously playing a critical role here. >> it's part of the gun gang they have. >> i was surprised, though, that we got the news this weekend. it came out this weekend. mccain just said it. hey, looks like it might pass. that's really, really big news. >> despite the top-line headlines in the last couple months, the senate had become a hot bed of bipartisanship. the white house strategy all along has been to get some gun control stuff through the senate. i think you're going to see maybe even overwhelming vote in favor of whatever package emerges. >> that would be great. >> that would be amazing. mike allen, thank you. >> happy holiday. up next, defense made a rare appearance at the end of last night's all-star game. it turned into a one-on-one
between kobe and lebron. we'll show you who got the better of it. highlights next in sports. one. two. three. my credit card rewards are easy to remember with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. [ both ] 2% back on groceries. [ all ] 3% on gas. no hoops to jump through. i earn more cash back on the things i buy the most. [ woman ] it's as easy as... one! -two. -[ all ] three! [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. apply online or at a bank of america near you. [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online.
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the all-star game last night in houston, east versus west. it was michael jordan's 50th birthday. remember, he said he'd choose kobe over lebron. more on that matchup in a second. there's lebron on the run up off the back board for the easy dunk. just over six minutes left in the first. kobe to kevin durant. not a lot of "d" in these games. chris paul now finds his teammate, lob city, blake griffin. fourth quarter now. griffin gives himself an assist, the backboard. lebron looking to take it coast to coast, but kobe is all over him, rejecting the jump shot. >> now we're starting to play a little ball. >> so next play, lebron gets the inbound past, spins his way under the basket, goes up, but kobe's playing for real now. >> no way! >> the west goes on to beat the east 143-138. players from the western
conference took home $50,000. >> i believe that's 281 points in one game. >> and their opponents got $25,000. chris paul was the mvp. 25 points, 15 assists. he walk away with the big trophy. in her fourth year in nascar, danica patrick has made history. she becomes the first woman to secure the top spot for any race in nascar's premier circuit. she went out in eighth in qualifying session and had to wait about two hours as 37 fellow drivers tried to take her spot. only four-time cup champ jeff gordon even came close to knocking her off. >> that's huge. >> she'll start this weekend on the poll at daytona. really cool. >> that is huge. in this sport, i mean, man. >> some people have accused her of being a novelty over the years. you're not a novelty when you take the poll at daytona. >> that's what's so exciting about that fact. it's such a male centric,
testosterone fueled deal. we always hear these stories about how men will take more chances than women, and they don't -- it's just -- that is great in so many ways. >> yeah, she's driving with the boys now. finally, the shot of the day comes from brandon university in manitoba, canada. not exactly a bracket buster, but friday night head coach gill chung, you know him. >> is gill still at manitoba? >> not for long. he made one kid's entire semester. okay. so that's coach gil chung making the shot. he earns the student he was playing for free tuition for the rest of the term. they said if the coach hits the shot from half court, you're getting free tuition. gill chung getting it done.
>> he always does. this guy, seriously. >> chung delivers. >> that's just chung being chung. the contest ran all season long, and not one brandon bobcats player was able to hit the shot, so they finally bring out the coach. chung drains it. >> what have i always said about that? let chung be chung. they just -- they finally did. >> i like how he celebrated. >> untucked his shirt. >> they call that guy the reggie miller of manitoba. >> he really is. >> congratulations, gil chung. >> coming up next, mika's must-read opinion pages. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. i know what you're thinking...
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>> they're all laughing in the control room. >> they are? >> let's take a shot of the control room and see what's wrong with these guys. they don't get out much, i guess. you guys like that? >> it was funny. >> willie, what do you think? >> i would go with the cruise ship opening. >> the cruise ship was amazing. then the funny marco rubio skit. >> oh, with seth. >> that i would have shown. >> let's show our control room again. why didn't you go with that? >> we have 2 1/2 more hours of television. >> they're suckers for papal humor in the control room. >> so 2 1/2 more hours. let's start with the worst skit. then build from there. >> all right. it is 47 past the hour. time now for the must-read opinion pages. we'll go with tom friedman in "the new york times." how to unparalyze us. he writes in part, this, our choice today is not austerity versus no austerity. that is a straw man argument offered by both extremes. it's about whether we phase in,
in the least painful way possible while protecting the most vulnerable in this generation while funding opportunities for the next generation and still creating growth. we can't protect both generations in full anymore, but we must not sacrifice one for the other, favoring nursing homes over nursery schools. that's what we're on track to do. >> and that's what i've been saying for the past couple weeks. since paul krugman came on, saying we don't have to worry about debt and medicare until 2025, which i guess mark was writing about that over the weekend as well. you know, there are -- not a lot of people, but at least paul krugman and a small group of bloggers setting up straw men saying, you know, if you worry about debt in 2025, then you're adopting an austerity approach. as tom friedman said, that's a
straw man. you can take care of, as we say here every day and have been saying every day for five years, you can take care of long-term debt while investing in the short run and not engage manain austerity. for some reason that, argument is too difficult for a lot of people to understand. so let them remain on twitter saying really stupid things. >> i think it's difficult for extremists, but on both sides, those who don't have extreme points of view, i think agree with it, but then they disagree and bet paralyzed in the how and don't want to get together to figure out how, to do it together. that would be the only way to politically survive such a thing, correct? >> the problem is, you have people on the far right saying splash and burn right now when you have an economy that's actually losing track. that's not workable. on the other side, you have paul krugman and nancy pelosi who say we don't have a spending problem and we don't have to worry about the debt until 2025. actually, you have barack obama and a lot of the senate and
certainly most of the people that come on this show, in the middle, saying let's do two things at once. i know there are a lot of republicans that feel that way too. there should be a deal. let's go on and read mark's. >> okay. here's mark in "the daily beast." debt is a drag, a reality you may experience with every credit card bill you open. for a corporation or a government, it can be even more of a drag on economic growth and job creation. yes, at times moderate levels of government borrowing can be good medicine, helping to spur a weak economy and reduce unemployment and sharp increases in deficit spending are expected in extraordinary times during a war or in an economic crisis. but sustained, irresponsible deficit spending leading to long-term high levels of debt is damaging. admitting you have a problem is the first step.
doing something about it comes next. >> yeah, and again, there's such a consensus about what we need to do. you just have the extremes on both sides. at the end of the day, doesn't the president, most members of congress, understand that people like paul krugman are just dead wrong? you can't wait until 2025 to worry about medicare. you can't wait until 2025 to worry about long-term debt. you can't wait until 2025 to reform entitlements to help future generations of retirees. >> they do, but what they want is more economic growth because it's a lot easier to make these decisions it we have more robust growth. that's what i think is the dirty little secret of why the president's not in a hurry right now to strike this deal. he'd rather strike it when growth is more like 3% or 4%, if we can get there. >> so you're saying the president might be trying to drag his feet so if we're growing at 3% or 4% two years from now, that changes all the projections out 20 years.
>> it changes them dramatically to where you don't have to cut entitlements as much, don't have to raise taxes as much. as long as they can sort of cheat the difference and stagger along, they'd rather wait to make the deal. >> of course, the only problem with that is the president himself four years ago, in february of 2009, said entitlements were the great danger facing us. >> and they are. >> the president four years ago said we can't kick the can down the road anymore. the fabled fiscal austerity summit. what did he call it? the fiscal responsibility summit. before we added another $6 trillion over the past four years to the national debt. so the president's kicked the can himself down the road four years ago. remember when the president voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006? he talked about the staggering deficits and the staggering debt. that was six, seven years ago. so the president's now going to wait two or three more years? i mean, i think you're right. i think that's what he's doing, but how long do we push that out
before we start worrying about -- >> that lack of continuity you can find on both sides, which is why they have to do it together. i don't know how else. >> exactly. and paul wrote columns back in 2002, 2003 worrying about the deficit when george w. bush was in the white house, saying we couldn't afford the iraq war because the deficits were just too high. we couldn't afford tax cuts because the deficits were just going to be too high. >> different paul krugman. >> different president, actually. different party. >> all right. you can get all of our must-read opinion pages on our website. while you're there, check out my latest blog on tina tchen, first lady michelle obama's chief of staff. it's part of my women of values series. she is awesome. >> she's great. >> full disclosure, friend of mine. speaking of powerful women, on tomorrow's show, former u.s. secretary of state madeline
albright will join us onset. >> i thought we were going to have an awkward segue because andrew ross sorkin is over there. >> no, no. we're talking about madeline albright. there is andrew ross sorkin. he's coming up too. coming up later this morning, former senior adviser to president obama, david axelrod. keep it here on "morning joe." ♪
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all bundled up. that's good because it's cold outside. don't forget your mittens. >> you put that hat on. nobody put that hat on you. >> true. >> put it on. live with it. >> andrew ross sorkin is here. also, bob woodward when we come back. "morning joe" is going to start rocking. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain
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all right. let's see what's in the news. the pope resigned. oh, lord. >> oh, wait. okay. here's something fun. north korea successfully launched a nuclear -- nope. never mind. >> remember that olympic sprinter who ran on blades? >> amazing story. so uplifting. >> absolutely. well, it says here that -- no, no. >> you guys think you might have it bad, but do you have it worse than 4,000 stranded on nightmare cruise? that is about us. >> that's us. that's enough. enough with the headlines. >> oh, that's pretty good. that's a good clip. i like that. >> that's funny. >> welcome back to "morning joe." remember that big story about the cruise ship? >> i do. we didn't have the cnn helicopter. fortunately nothing happened in the world over those five days.
the anchors were saying, this is sort of like katrina. the guy was like, we're on a cruise ship. it's not like katrina. we're good. >> the whole thing cuts to primal fear. a lot of people are like, you have this visceral reaction to the notion of being stranded on a cruise ship. >> you know what i have a visceral reaction to? being on a cruise ship. >> yeah, don't go on one. that's the first mistake. >> i totally agree. >> being trapped. >> trapped in tiny rooms and then, like, herded like cows to the food. >> how would you like to go on a cruise -- >> with william f. buckley? >> i would do it with william f. buckley. >> mika, surely you would celebrate the all you can eat buffet. >> there's no joe scarborough cruise? >> there will not be. >> we could do a new kind of
cruise where people actually exercise. okay. it's president's day, obviously. you can see we're stretching. really, really stretching here. joining us onset, co-anchor of cnbc's "squawk box," andrew ross sorkin. how are you? >> i missed you guys. usually i have to watch you from a monitor on the side because we're on at the same time. now they're running infomercials. >> you get president's day off? >> the markets are closed. >> do you get arbor day off? i want this schedule. we love having you here. >> the normal people are home today. >> even the mark people are home today, which are not normal people. >> nothing normal about them. also, let's go to washington. we have bob woodward. the author of the book "the price of politics." i was fascinated by your discussion yesterday. we're talking about sequester. it's going to happen most likely. both sides are furiously trying to blame each other. you said this idea started out
at the white house. give us the background. >> yeah, it really did start out at the white house. it was in the end game on the fiscal -- on the debt ceiling negotiations in 2011. literally july 27th, 2:30 in the afternoon, jack lew, who's in the white house chief of staff, rob neighbors, the head of congressional relations for president obama, went to see harry reid and proposed sequester. of course, everyone signed up to it, but it was designed to not happen. the cuts were perceived to be so draconian in domestic policy and in defense issues that no one would ever let this happen. it was the super committee, as you may remember, that was supposed to come up with more rational budget cuts. they failed.
so we're stuck with -- it's kind of like being on a cruise ship with no power. >> where you have the captain and crew fighting each other and going around in circles. i don't get this, bob. you write this book about how the president and congress talk past each other. we have an election. we hear they might start talking together in a more positive sense. yet, here we have a situation that the defense industry hates, that advocates for the poor hate, that economists hate because you're going to cut wildly, some say, defense, cut wildly these programs for the poor, and slow down the economy when we're already in negative growth. so how do they not -- i just -- i can't get it through my head. how do they not get together and fix this? it seems like that's the only option. >> you're asking the right question.
part of the answer is last week harry reid and speaker boehner met, i understand, and harry reid, the democratic leader in the senate, majority leader, said, look, let's postpone this for a year and literally said to john boehner, you can't let this moment go by. i don't think boehner wants to let it go by, but he took a real hit on the tax increases for the rich when they did the fiscal cliff negotiations. another one main this sequence. they won't give, at least at this point. it truly is government at its worst. >> so andrew ross sorkin, play this out for us. if they put this off, is anyone ever going to take washington seriously again, and what's at stake? >> does anybody take them seriously? >> 9% of americans do. >> the 9%.
>> that's probably a fair issue. one, what does it do to the economy in the long term and short term? most economists now are saying, as bad as the defense industry believes it's going to be, as bad as you could argue it's going to be for some of the poorest people in this country, if you have the discussion we were having during the commercial break about krugman and how much debt you want to have, there is an argument to be made that if you want to start tackling it, tackle it, and the world is not going to stop. there is an argument to be made about that. the question is, when do you want to tackle it? some people would say, start tackling it now. but if you don't want to tackle it now and you want to push it out a year, you know, how much does that really advance the cause? >> you bring up krugman. he says let's not tackle it until 2025. >> he wouldn't tackle it for a very long time. >> is 2025 an option for most of the people that you -- >> probably not. >> probably not? >> the problem is that confidence in the markets
doesn't evaporate in years or months. it evaporates in weeks and days and minutes. >> doesn't it evaporate when you lose confidence in washington? >> there's going to be a moment, and we don't know when the moment is. there will be a moment where somebody's going to wake up one morning and decide this is not cool anymore. you're going to tefeel it in th markets. >> that will happen well before 2025. >> well before. >> this is the thing. this is what makes it so hard for people. for the last ten years, people have been saying, wow, if we keep running these deficits and have this level of debt -- and i'm with you on the need to deal with entitlements. this is the hard thing. for the last ten years, people have been saying, well, eventually people are going to stop, the bond rates are going to spike, interest rates are going to spike, we're going to confront a sovereign debt crisis. every year, the bond market does not respond the way people have predicted for the last ten
years. >> bob woodward, you say every year the debt is going up exponentially and we've got to respond. we've got to plan ahead. tom friedman was talking about it yesterday. we've got to plan ahead. >> well, you need some strategic thinking here. andrew's idea of, well, at least we're going to cut something, it would be like in the family budget you have to cut. so you say let's do without food for a week. i mean that, makes no sense. when you get in -- "the new york times," on their editorial page yesterday, had a long list of the things that are going to be cut. it is idiocy. if you look at the national institutes of health, they're going to take a 5% cut. what it does to their grant programs is it takes a meat ax to them. this is the crown jewel of american science where the breakthroughs in a.i.d.s., heart disease, cancer have come
through. if you put this to a vote to people and said, is this what you want to cut, i suspect 80 to 90% of the people would say no. >> 80 to 90% of the people don't want to cut anything. if you get to a situation where we start thinking about a simpson-bowles program, it sounds nice in theory, but if you actually read it, which 90% of the people i would gamble have not, you realize there's a lot of stuff in there that hurts a lot. >> there's a rational way to cut, and you can cut all kinds of things. if you look at the plans that have been discussed, as you well know, over the last couple of years, by the white house and by the congress, they don't start the cuts particularly on entitlements for years. you can do that and at least get that sort of bottom line number
of we're doing something about this problem. >> i think both sides would say there's a rational way to cut, but there's not a painless way to do it. that's what they don't want to be shouldering. >> there's not a painless way to do it, but this is insanity. if you look at what's happening, what we're seeing unfold is exactly what i've been complaining about all along. you have both sides afraid to tackle long-term entitlement, so what do they do? they slash and burn the 10, 11, 12% of the budget, which is discretionary spending. bob talks about, you know, taking the meat ax to all of these programs that are actually important to a lot of americans. instead of, again -- mark, we've talked about it for five years. planning ahead. saying we understand we have a demographic explosion. we understand there are going to be 2 1/2, 3 people working for every one person on social security and medicare. we've got to plan ahead. we can plan the cuts seven, eight, ten years out, but if
they don't do that, if there's no leadership on either side, then the alternative is going after discretionary domestic spending, which is not going to get you where you need to be in the end anyway. it's just going to hurt a lot of people in the short run. >> and it's not going to produce economic growth. it might have the opposite effect. >> it will have the opposite effect. >> the white house made thedeco increases from spending cuts. now you hear republicans saying no more tax increases. we're not going to raise new revenue without significant tax reform. harry reid says we're not going to cut entitlements without significant new revenue. those things now are totally decoupled. those were the ingredients of a grand bargain. that leaves the white house unable to substitute anything for the sequester cuts. they have no play right now, except to say gloom and doom,
the sequester cuts would be a disaster. to say the country is going to be in huge trouble, i don't get the logic. >> the white house has no plan "b." for five years barack obama's been talking about let's tax the rich, let's tax the rich. if we just tax the rich. of course, those of us that have been saying, go ahead, tax the rich, but it's not going to take care of your debt problem, knew that was a short-run goal. they get taxes on the rich, and they're follow-up is, well, we're not going to do more cuts until we get more taxes on the rich. i'll even go there. let's do what warren buffett is talking about doing and have a minimum 30% tax rate for millionaires and billionaires. they shouldn't get 15, 16, 17% in taxes. i agree with that. guess what happens after that? loopholes. it still does nothing in the long run. you still have to cut. we were talking about allen blender last week. allen, the princeton economist,
said, sorry, democrats. tax increases aren't going to fix this problem. >> we have to get back to growth. >> john, the white house is going to have to come to terms with the fact that cuts are the only thing, as professor blender says, cuts are the only thing that are going to save us. in the long run, that is what he says. >> i think the white house has come to terms with the notion that they believe that they need to do both. the president is not saying he won't do cuts. he's just saying he wants to do -- he still thinks you need to do a mix of those things. i don't think you can get where you want to go -- >> what are his cuts? >> he put out a budget last year. it exists. >> what are his cuts? you can't say because there are no specifics. >> there's a bunch of medicare cuts laid out in that bill. there's all kinds of thing on prescription drugs. i don't have it at my fingertips at this moment, but they laid out a thing that had $800 billion, i think, in medicare savings over the course of the next ten years in their budget last year. it's not like the white house has said they won't do any
cutting. they've said they won't do cutting in conjunction with new revenue because they think you need both to get to where you want to go over the long term. i think they're probably right about that. i don't think you can do it just on cuts or just on revenue. you've got to do both. >> bob woodward, it would be great for us to lose some loopholes. you know, so they're not paying 14% tax rates. >> that should have happened a long time ago. it's despicable it hasn't happened. >> it's obscene it's happening. it's immoral it's happening that people that are making, you know, $50,000 are pay managing tax rates. >> it's not a practical debate about it means to the economy. >> that's the point i want to make to bob. that's not going to take care of our long-term debt. >> yes, exactly. then you've got to go back into the history of this, unfortunately. it was the deal making between
vice president joe biden and mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader. aga again, in the end game of this in 2011. the deal was that this phase of the deficit reduction was going to only be spending cuts, no tax increases. sot republicans have solid ground that the deal was no more tax increases on this. rationally, you need some sort of tax reform, but that was the secret deal between biden and mcconnell. once that is made, that sends you on the trajectory of the sequester, this super committee failing, and now we've got truly something -- if people understood it, they would be marching on washington and calling their congressmen and writing the white house. this is about as bad as
governing can get. >> i don't disagree with that. >> andrew? >> i don't disagree. my only question is, when did you do it? >> when do you do what? short-term? >> when you do short-term anything. >> as far as cuts go? >> as far as cuts go. >> probably not when the economy is upside down. >> i'm not disagreeing, but there is an argument to be made that if you're not willing to grapple with it now, you're going to keep pushing it off. this is the argument. >> wait, wait, wait, wait. if you're willing to grapple with what? why can't we grapple with long-term debt now? >> we need to. >> cuts that are seven years out. >> you're looking at me like i don't want to. i absolutely want to. >> you're saying maybe we can wait until 2025. is that the position -- would you like to go back to cnbc and tell people, you know, maybe we can wait until 2025? how would that work out? >> i'm not in that camp. >> sounds like it. >> no, no. i think you need to grapple with it. the question s how do you
grapple with it? it's going to cost everybody. i'm not sure we realize the pain of what that ultimately means. if we can just figure out a way to get some sort of growth, which i think is what the president is trying to do. that does solve a lot of problems. growth solves a lot of problems. >> this is allen blender, professor. january 25th, 2013. princeton professor, former vice chair of the fed. pretty smart guy. >> and the council of economic advisers. >> the government can cover no more than a small fraction of the projected deficits by raising taxes. sorry, democrats, but republicans are right on this one. americans are used to federal taxes running at 18.5% of gdp. they won't allow it to go to 32%. he says, and this is what's so maddening, the health care costs over the next generation are going to bankrupt us. that's what the professor says. >> there's no question about that. when i talk to president obama
about it last year, he said the spending on these programs, medicare, medicaid, social security, is untenable. we have to get control over it. >> so the president agrees then with this as well? >> the president agrees, but i think if we were to take an extra hour here with andrew's idea of you need to cut something now, and i think that's right, do you need to make a down payment and prove you're serious? but do it in a much more rational way. come up with a long-term plan. this could be done. it is not rocket science. it is not complex. you have a mix of cuts -- >> that goes back to what mark was saying. because the president just raised taxes now that, feels like it's off the table. how do you actually do that? how do you get to a brand bargain? >> but he's talking about closing loopholes. >> but it requires a little bit of all of this. >> they're not be touted as the
answer to all of this. >> and they're talking about tax reform. one of the real experts on tax reform is dave camp, who's chairman of the house, ways, and means committee. if you empowered him and said, look, take some time and come up with something that makes sense, a lot of the things they would come up with the president would be delighted with, in fact, because they have to close these loopholes. there's just so much nonsneensen the tax code. again, that's another dimension of the governing tragedy we're living in. >> all right. coming up on "morning joe," former presidential candidate newt gingrich joins us. also, former senior adviser to president obama, david axelrod. up next, chuck todd. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. as your life and career change,
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it doesn't happen in washington by accident. this raises the question many of us continue to wonder about. does the president really want a result, or does he want another opportunity to the beat up republicans so he can get political advantage in the next election? >> 25 past the hour. look at the sun up over washington. beautiful morning. republicans are not happy after a new immigration proposal drafted by the white house was leaked to the press over the weekend, including the details of the plan. after eight years, people who learn english and u.s. history and pay a fine could qualify for legal permanent status. later, citizenship. the plan calls for more money toward border security and requires businesses to check the immigration status of potential workers. republican senator marco rubio, who's involved in the senate discussion, says the white house legislation is, quote, half baked and seriously flawed,
calling the plan dead on arrival. here with us now from washington, nbc news chief white house correspondent and political the daily rundown, chuck todd. is the plan doa? >> well, you heard it's an incomplete plan. we know they had come up with a plan. they were going to unveil a plan. they were going to do that in las vegas about two weeks ago. about 48 hours before that speech, the bipartisan senate group came out with their set of principles and the white house backed off. the president decided not to unveil his plan. it's always been sort of held out there as a if you guys fail, then we'll unveil ours and we'll push this. this is where mccain is half right in his analysis, i think, which is, look, i think the president wants an immigration plan. the idea that he doesn't want an
immigration plan, i think they're playing with fire with their own hispanic supporters. but it is a threat from the white house by saying, hey, if you don't do it, the politics on this get really bad for you very quickly, so hurry up and get something done. >> it's interesting, chuck. we hear the white house pushing back on the guest worker program. i guess unions don't like guest worker programs. is that right? >> they don't. they're not thrilled about it. it's interesting to me to watch. unions are pushing back only a little bit. they're sort of backing off some. don't forget, there's a split in the labor movement on this. the service unions are on one side of the immigration debate, seiu, those folks, and the old brick and mortar unions are on another side. >> let's talk about -- i thought the biggest news that came out yesterday. that was john mccain talking about the possibility of a universal background check passing the united states senate with broad bipartisan support. we have come a long way in a
short period of time. i guess even republicans who are angry that barack obama got elected can read those polls that say 92% of americans support universal background checks. perhaps, perhaps, i don't know, maybe we shouldn't align ourselves with the 7% survivalist faction. >> by the way, joe, this is an example of presidential leadership. would this issue be as -- would we be hearing republicans talking about universal background checks may pass the senate if the president wasn't about every three days doing some event to bring more attention to this issue of guns? you know, there's always a lot of debate. where should the president use his bully pulpit? where shouldn't he? you hear some republicans saying stay out of the immigration debate. the fact of the matter is, we wouldn't be where we are on this gun issue, we wouldn't be as close as we are on universal background checks without the
white house pushing so hard. >> the highlight of president's speech was when he started talking about newtown. it was, i thought, a very, very moving part of that speech. soon after that, following up on chuck's point and one poll after another poll showing nine out of ten americans support universal back ground checks. we may have a big deal there. >> i think this is something that's going to work. chuck is right. the president has been hammering this, and you can see it's not just a political position. he really believes it. i think there is a ground swell moving in that direction. something should be done. the same on immigration. those are opportunities. if you look at it from the republican side, they realize in recalibrating what the republican party is, they're going to have to move to a more sensible, moderate center. the issue of guns and immigration provide that
opportunity. >> and obviously to be able to go back in and say in your district, if you're a republican, no, going vote against the assault weapon ban, they can even vote against the very rational legislation to stop these high-capacity magazines. but if they vote for universal background checks, if they vote for tough gun trafficking laws, there are gun advocates who say those are two of the most important things they can do, as far as stopping widespread killing from chicago to sandy hook. >> it's a real step. it's an important step. politically, it means a lot. if you think about the control, the iron grip that the gun lobbyists had over the gun debate since 1994, anything that's substantial that goes in the face of the nra and breaks their back and you get a victory for sensible gun legislation, just one piece of it, that's an important piece, but it's a symbolic piece. now it's not the gun lobby runs the show anymore. it shows that you can make these
votes and not necessarily lose in your district. >> did you say it was a symbolic vote? >> it's both. >> it's something. >> it's substance and it could matter on the substance, but also in the politics. it's politically -- it's massively symbolic, the notion that the gun lobby no longer has a veto, complete fiat over what we can't and can do. >> the nra then take the money away? >> what? >> does the nra take the money away from the republicans who vote for that? >> no, not for the universal background check they don't. >> they stand by? >> that's why they have four bills. this is part of the -- right, joe? if you voted, you were running actively, running for congress, running for the senate in a state like florida, for pro-gun state, and you came, you could defend. you could say, hey, i voted against the assault weapons ban. i voted against the magazine clip. the fact of the matter is we want responsible gun owners, and
that's why voted for universal background checks. you can see how you can make that case and still be pro-gun. >> if i were debating somebody in a florida primary, very pro-gun state, and it got to assault weapons, i would have to admit, that's more of a symbolic vote. after sandy hook, i understand it's more of a symbolic vote. it's not going to save a lot of lives. >> right. >> that's what i stand for. but universal background checks, my opponent in the most conservative part of my district would get hammered nonstop by me. really? so you want to make sure that a felon can walk in to a gun store -- i mean, a gun show and pick up a gun? do you really want that? i mean, there is no defending that. i'm just saying politically, chuck, i think a republican can very easily vote for a universal
background check and put his opponent on the defensive if his opponent decides he wants felons or people who are mentally ill to be able to get guns without a background check. that's just rational. so i think, though, chuck, this is very, very big news. obviously, wayne lapierre, who's a guy that i -- i support the second amendment. i think maybe they should ship him to france for a couple years. >> i think he hurt the movement. i think it's made it easier to sit there and say, wait a minute, whose side do you want to be on? they've been bad spokespeople on this front. it has made it easier for a tom coburn, who by the way is probably going to be the lynch pin here. schumer has been negotiating with him. they want to get coburn as a co-spon ssor on the background check. >> diane feinstein, chuck
schumer. these people, they cannot push the republicans in any direction whatsoever. but wayne lapierre's mistakes, mika, week after week after week, his horrific performance on fox -- >> every single one was a cringer. >> the stupid thing they did with their gun app that little kids could play. on the month anniversary of the sandy hook slaughter. the commercial going after the president's kids. wayne lapierre did more to damage the nra than any democrat or liberal could ever do. >> he totally did. i can't imagine anybody who would look at his performance and say, well, that was produ productive for the nra. it just wasn't. he hurt himself and his organization. >> again, i saw david kaine last week on, i think, "anderson." did a very good job. very rational explanation. >> there is a debate there. >> there's a real debate over
universal background checks. there's a real debate over all these issues, but the nra hasn't had it because wayne lapierre has been so extreme. >> all right. chuck todd, thank you very much. bob woodward, thank you so much as well. coming up, tens of thousands gather on washington's national mall to call on president obama to reject the keystone pipeline oil deal, but will this president choose climate change over jobs? also, newt gingrich will be joining us. more "morning joe" when we return. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel,
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coming up on this president's day, we go inside the most exclusive fraternity in the world, the president's club, and why the lessons passed down between our former leaders transcend party. and up next, former republican presidential candidate newt gingrich is here. more "morning joe" when we come back. all stations come over to mission a for a final go.
welcome back to "morning joe." here with us now from washington, the former speaker of the house and former republican presidential candidate, newt gingrich. mr. speaker, obviously a historian, former and present. >> happy presidents' day. >> give me your list of three greatest presidents. who are the three greatest presidents in u.s. history? >> well, i think you probably have to say washington because he really was the father of the country. lincoln because without him the union probably would have collapsed. and franklin delano roosevelt, who was the leader of the country during the second world war. his 12 years are an extraordinary achievement. >> talk about roosevelt's 12 years. here was a guy that when he was first elected in 1932, a lot of people thought he was a
dilettante, he had -- until obviously he was stricken by polio that he might not be deep enough for the job, he might not be up for the job. yet, my mother in rural georgia 12 years later when he died, they thought the world was going to come to an end. my mom said fdr was king. he was remarkable, he saved us. >> well, i think first of all, the quote you're alluding to by walter lipman, who was the leading call lead ing columnist of a man said he's a real nice man but has no qualifications to be president. that was pretty rapidly wiped out by his ability. let's be clear. roosevelt was devious. she was duplicitous. people often said that if you had a choice between a correct route and a crooked route, he always took the crooked route. i think part of that was being bound in a wheelchair.
on the other hand, he had enormous firmness of purpose. he was naturally optimistic. remember, this is a man who was in a wheelchair at a time when almost nobody in a wheelchair has a public life. he wheels himself to the presidency. he is deliberately optimistic, even after pearl harbor. and that optimism infects the country. i think the roosevelt optimism is in some ways as important as any single program because it reminded us that america is a great country, that we can do great things, and as he himself said in 1933, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. it was an extraordinary psychological achievement. >> so three of the great presidents of the 20th century, and i think most historians would agree, would roosevelt, eisenhower, and lincoln. you talk about fdr being duplicitous. people that knew fdr were the first to admit, those closest to
him, they never really got to know him. eisenhower, we've had a spate of eisenhower biographies. maybe eisenhower even admitted you can't get to the essence of ike. he's too hard to figure out. and reagan, the same. even nancy has said she didn't penetrate ronald reagan at all times. what is it about these three great presidents that were elusi elusive, even to those closest to them? >> well, i did a documentary about ronald reagan called "running with destiny." in 90 minutes, you see from the outside how extraordinarily effective he is, but you're right. you can't quite penetrate the core of him. he's consistently optimistic, as eisenhower was. in eisenhower's case, when they had their first meting after the german counterattack in the battle of the bulge, he said to
his senior commanders, i want no frowns, no worries. we should have nothing but smiles. the germans have come out in the open. we now have a chance to defeat them. this willful optimism is a key part of successful leaders. the world is big and scary. having a leader who gives you energy and pulls you together as a team because they see a better future is an extraordinarily key part of who they are. >> and of course, while you were saying that, we were showing pictures of fdr along with winston churchhill, another man optimistic in the most bleak of times. in 1940, literally saved western civilization by willing the british people to do something many of the british people may have doubted in 1940 they could do. >> you could make an argument churchill is the single most important figure in the 1940s. that very brief period, a lesser person would have crumbled.
britain would have accepted a truce with nazi germany. we would be living today in a remarkably different world. >> i think historians 500 years from now, if they were still studying what happened in the 20th century, will go back to 1940 and see what winston churchill did and that will stand out as one of the great examples of leadership of our time. >> well, and i do think it's worth looking back, which is why i'm teaching this class at newt university about washington. i think washington is in some ways the least studied of our great presidents, parr stially because he wasn't much of a writer and his wife martha described his personal correspondence. the world was formed around him from 1775 until 1796. it's easy to forget how much he really was the father of the country and how much we today owe our institutions and our
attitudes to washington's nobility and washington's belief in the ability of people to govern themselves. >> we always overlook washington. it's another guy who was hard to penetrate. >> incredible. >> absolutely. >> there's an enigmatic quality to them. you think about lincoln, we've seen with the film. there was a book a few years about written about lincoln as a depressive. you think about these leaders who were profoundly optimistic in their public persona. many of them kind of tortured by various demons. all of them presenting these puzzles. it's like why they make such great subjects for biographies. people are still trying to penetrate lincoln, still trying to figure out jefferson, still trying to figure out who these guys were. they're not simple men. >> ask reagan's poor official biographer who just made a fool of himself. he had to make things up. poor edmond morris. >> decided to write a "lord of
. >> so i think ryan will become the center of gravity in talking about how you can try to solve these problems. i would say second that there's a great opportunity here for the house republicans in particular to understand that the pentagon and the intelligence community need to be thoroughly overhauled. that instead of fearing the sequester, this is a great moment to hold a series of hearings, bring in all the past secretaries of defense and ask them to lay out what they would do to make the pentagon manageable and what they would do to make the intelligence community manageable. and didn't trap them and mire them down in huge volumes of bureaucracy and paperwork, i think you could run a better pentagon for less money. but that would be the bargain. >> when you think of the great presidents of our time, and you think of what they were able to do by offering the public hope,
and you think about the president now, and you think about all the folks in washington now where their greatest challenge is not offering hope but in many ways taking things away, how do you square that circle? >> well, first of all, i'm enormously hopeful. i think it's a huge mistake to be negative about the future, and i think it's a sign of how everybody in washington is sucked into talking about trivia, and let me give you an example. i was fascinated recently to have a chance to talk with sebastian thrune, who is the engineer at google who is developing a engineless car. california, nevada make it legal to have a car without a driver. if you get to a high-quality driverless car, the degree for example, for elderly people with vision problems, you liberate their lives. the degree to which you reduce the cost of accidents, you take
away 90 percent of current accident rates, you just had a revolution in cost and quality for the american system. but thrune is a remarkable figure. he had a class online, 151,000 students sign up worldwide, and the top stanford student was number 441 on the finals, there were that many quality people taking the course. his goal is to reduce tuition by 90%. you can look up udacity and google it. governor jerry brown just picked them to have a joint venture with san jose state. they're capping it at 300 students in phase one. we talk about a america, students optimistic, only 0%.
that's the beginning of a positive future. >> newt gingrich, thank you very much. happy president's day. good luck with your live class at newt u this flid on george washington. >> at mount vernon. again, gorge washington is one of the least understood presidents, but no doubt -- >> coming up former southeastern adviser to president obama, david axelrod. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. more than two years ago,
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a.m. on the west coast. time to wake up, everyone. let's take a live look at new york city. welcome back to "morning joe." willie is back. >> willie, it is so good to have you back here. >> along with mark halperin and john heilemann. >> shot out to milliard fillmore. >> this is an exact replica of what he wore. >> how comfy. >> second state of the union. >> that's fantastic. your favorite president is? can you say? just throw one out. >> i'm kind of a big g.w. guy. >> what? >> george washington. >> how about you? >> i liked lincoln. >> willie? >> i was a fan of teddy roosevelt, the man. i don't know if he was the best president who ever lived, but the man. >> the muss attach.
>> i'd go with heilemann. >> what about you? >> growing up, i was a big harry truman and ronald reagan fan. one started the cold war and one ended it. no, i thought harry truman was so fascinating when he left office and you go back and everything he did from '45 to '50 shaped our world. >> and a haberdasher. >> and a haberdasher. and a regular guy. for my mom and them, it was all fdr, fdr. fdr was king. i think i liked this guy, this common guy stepping in from independence. >> what did you think i was going to say? you were worried, weren't you? >> i had no idea. >> carter. >> okay. >> more current. >> more current. >> you were worried. i saw a flash of fear in your
eyes. >> no, you get all -- >> oh, please, come on. >> i start twinkling whenever i mention his name and your heart flutters. >> are we still being on the history channel? >> we are. >> how's the book doing? >> it's doing well. it's coming out soon. >> when's it coming out? >> it's coming out soon. you'll enjoy it. >> i'm going to actually talk about something that's happening. in less than two weeks -- >> the book's out. >> doesn't sound like it. in less than two weeks, $85 billion in automatic budget cuts are set to kick in and while lawmakers scramble on how to stop the sequester, the blame game is already underway. at issue, whose idea were the cuts in the first place? >> in 2011, congress passed a law saying that if both parties
couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about $1 trillion worth of budget cuts would go into effect this year. democrats, republicans, business leaders and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea. >> it's the president who proposed this sequester. it's the president who designed this sequester. it's the house republicans who twice asked legislation replacing the sequester with cuts in other areas of government. the president gave a speech showing that he'd like to replace it but he hasn't put any details out there so that is why i conclude it is going to take place. there's no leadership on the other side of the aisle and therefore no agreement. >> bob, does the man who wrote the book about the budget battle put this to rest? did you ever think we'd ever get to this point? >> first, it was the white house. it was obama and jack lew and
rob neighbors who went to the democratic senate, harry reid, and said this is the solution. >> all righty. meanwhile senator lindsey graham is suggesting one potential -- >> i'm sorry. could i interrupt? i had a munchkin in my mouth. >> you're supposed to have your greek yogurt. give those to me. >> hold on. i'm trying to make a point using a visual aid. ross perot had his props. willie, this is like defense spending. done. gone. >> before the day is even started -- give those to me. >> i'm not homer simpson. what do you make of what woodward said? >> you know, the president's in charge and he's got to figure out a way to stop the sequester, and i think the symbolism of the last couple weeks hasn't been great. he's not out there leading a new path figuring something he said
is a bad idea and promised wouldn't happen. >> joe heilemann, what do you think? >> i think the sequester would be a bad thing. >> everyone says that. who's going to end up taking the blame and really, really should? >> i think they're all going to take a lot of blame and i think they all should take a lot of blame. it's fair to say that the idea originated in the white house but eventual it did get agreed to by both sides of the aisle. they all voted for it so at that point it becomes a bipartisan thing. that was the whole point of it. there'll be pain on both sides. everyone signed up for this deal and everyone's going to have to suffer the consequences. >> and doesn't this show how clueless politicians in washington are? woodward comes on and he says it was the white house's idea but everybody's fingerprints is on it. everybody's going to take the blame and everybody's a loser at
the end of the day. >> and there doesn't seem to be a ton of urgency about doing something about it. the president's in florida playing golf with tiger woods. >> can i ask you this question. if you had a choice of saving the pentagon or playing golf with tiger, what would you do? >> i'd play golf with tiger. >> we're guys. >> i don't begrudge the president two days off, he's earned it. but the congress isn't in for nine days either. my point is neither side views this as urgently as the american public does. >> oh, no, i wasn't doing that as a subtle dig. i would figure out to save the pentagon. >> while golfing. >> you can do it. >> maybe tiger had some ideas. >> good things happen when presidents are golfing with famous people. back in 1997 bill clinton got a
phone call while golfing with michael jordan in elevation. he got the news that if he did nothing, the budget was going to balance itself alone without any of his help. so he quit, rushed to the airport and came back because he had to do something fast, so i can take credit for it. and we did. so there you go. i think it's a fascinating story on president's day. i do that for the kids, and we'll simulcasf on the history channel. >> can i ask one question. >> he likes to be on tv and he has a lot to say. >> let's be honest, guys. john, you're not looking at me. >> what is wrong with you? >> i'm reading about immigration. >> we're talking about lindsey. we poke at lindsey a lot. it's not personal. i just disagree with him on a lot of issues, but should we
have an intervention? should we give him a call or should we call somebody in the senate. >> i think we're the last people to intervene, actually. >> no, we go back with him. we went after newt together. >> well, what would you say? >> i think there need to be a series of countdown clocks, i'm in and out sure counting down to what, but maybe joe lieberman's absence from the senate has undermined his -- he's out there. immigration, hagel, budget. just saying everything. >> well, here is lindsey graham saying where he thinks the government could recoup some funds. >> here's my belief, let's take obamacare and put it on the table. you can make $6,000 a year in income and still get a government subsidy under obamacare. obamacare is destroying healthcare in this country. people are leaving the private sector because their companies
can't afford to offer obamacare. if you want to look at ways to point $17.2 trillion in savings, let's not destroy it military and cut blindly across the board. >> could i ask you a quick question because i don't really follow politics. >> and you eat munchkins. >> now, i'm against obamacare, been against obamacare. i was really upset when it passed. i didn't say as every republican did, that freedom died tonight. freedom can only die so many times. >> and it didn't. >> so lindsey says obamacare is destroying america. >> yeah. >> doesn't that not get implemented till 2014? i'm just curious. >> most of it. a lot of it. >> is this sort of a prequel, it's destroying america before it even takes effect, or why? >> he has a premonition. >> premonition? >> premonition. fair enough.
go ahead. >> in other news, chuck hagel is still days away from a senate vote -- >> because really, how can you destroy america, how can a bill destroy america -- >> are we going to hear the hagel story? >> john mccain would be good. >> he's not going to vote for him. his nomination as secretary of defense. at the earliest, that won't happen till lawmakers return to washington next week after a ten-day recess. senator john mccain pushed back against suggestions that his opposition was meant to settle old scores. >> is that to say, senator, that it's payback time for chuck hagel? that's what this process has amounted to? >> of course not. 99% of it is to do with the positions that senator hagel has taken, the positions that he has taken on various issues has franklin been not only out of the mainstream but far to the
left. we will have a vote when we get back, and i'm confident that senator hagel will probably have the votes necessary to be confirmed as the secretary of defense. we have an obligation of advice and consent. i don't intend to give those up when other senators continue to have reasonable questions, and i mean reasonable. >> but you're not a yes vote for your old friend? >> no. i don't believe he is qualified, but i don't believe that we should hold up his nomination any further. >> all right. what do you think of what the senator had to say? fair? >> i think all of it was very fair. >> really? >> i think there are a lot of democrats right now that are asking the question, and they've said it to us that they're not sure if chuck hagel is qualified to be secretary of defense after his performance in the senate. there are a lot of questions. and so what john mccain said is very qualified. you put that on top of the fact that chuck hagel has said things over the past six, seven years
that does place him outside the mainstream of american political thought when it comes to foreign policy. i think that's fair too. and so i think that's what the senate's supposed to do. they're supposed to advise and consent, and i think john mccain's doing it exactly like he should do it. he has problems with him, but he's going to let the president put his person in charge. i thought mccain was very fair there, mark. i think, again, you take some of the things that he said in the past, they're pretty bad, he's circled back, he's talked to lindsey. he's assured some other people that those are not his positions today. >> senator hagel's got really big shoes to fill. the first two defense defense secretaries worked well with the hill. and i think critics of mccain say he's focused on the things where there really are
questions. >> and by the way, i support chuck hagel but they're very legitimate questions. we've got to sort out some of the hyper bollic attacks which are just shameful, and i thought john mccain was very responsible yesterday, took a great tone, and i'll just say it, selfishly. i think that's great for the republican party, when you have somebody coming out like john mccain saying that in a reasoned, responsible way. so that's why i'm going on about him. >> and nor a long time he wanted to use his moment as leverage on benghazi. i think he's realized now he's not going to ever fully get what he wants from the white house. they did send him one piece of paper. but i think he realizes that maemt has passed. he's ready to move on. >> coming up on "morning joe," we're going back to the president's club. coauthors joanne gibb and michael duffy join us.
and we're going to talk to former senior adviser. >> mika, what a huge storm we just ducked in the northeast. and i know up to cape cod and all the way back into maine got it, but this was just a huge storm. we're lucky it wasn't like the one from last weekend that was closer to the coast. but this is just another beast. two weeks in a row with just these huge storms. the winds were incredible. and it really cooled off the entire east coast. thankfully the winds are beginning to lighten. just some guests 20-30 miles per hour from maine to new england. and the wind chills, a lot of cold there sucked down from canada with this storm. wind chills in the negative numbers still but at least it's sunny out there. single digits all the way to new jersey. so the forecast, the next storm is moving through the middle of the country. this one's a warm storm. for the most part, rain breaking out from chicago to st. louis, little rock and areas of
kentucky and tennessee. maybe a stray thunderstorm for areas of louisiana. the next storm behind this will be bigger. that's going to affect the west coast on tuesday. there could be blizzard-like conditions on thursday. we're in an active pattern weatherwise that's going to continue to next weekend. new york city blowing around a little bit. wind chills will improve as the day goes on. you're watching "morning joe." we're brewed by starbucks. with the spark miles card from capital one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please.
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senator, i have to say, it must be frustrating for you to carefully craft a rebuttal speech and then have it overshadowed by the fact you took a drink of water. >> yes, i have to admit, it's a little aggravating, seth. so what? my mouth got a little dry and i took a drink of water. we've all been there. you're about to give an important policy speech, you get a little nervous, and you eat a whole bag of roasted peanuts and some beef jerky. there are how the lights on you. the room isn't ventilated. you're wearing your lucky unitard. then you take a drink from the tiniest bottle of water anyone's ever seen. and then for no reason, you set the bottle down even farther away. so what?
>> joining us from choig, senior adviser to president obama, david axelrod. mark halperin, john heilemann and andrew ross sorkin are all back at the table on this president's day. >> i was hydrating all during that clip. >> good. and feel free during the segment to pick up a drink. >> own the drink. >> so senator rubio says that the president's immigration plan, the backup plan is dead on arrival. is it? >> well, first of all, the president's backup plan is a backup plan. i think the president's -- my understanding is that the president's staff has been meeting with senator rubio's staff and all of the staffs of the gang of eight throughout this period several times a week, so i think the president's plan is to support what they come up with, but he said there needs to be a comprehensive plan. he's working an a backup plan. the mistake here was to disseminate it so widely within
the administration that it got leaked. and i'm sure if they could, they'd take that back. >> so it's just a protocol issue, david? their feelings are hurt? >> it can't be more than that because i don't think they've seen the actual plan. and when i read about the details of the plan, it matches up with the parameters that people set, which is strong border security, going after employers who violate the law, making sure that people who are here illegally go to the back of the line, pay fines, learn english, pay back taxes. so i think it didn't warrant the reaction that we saw, but my expectation is that those senators in the gang of eight are going to come up with a bill and it's going to be one that the president can support. >> and again, just to be very clear because the white house i think has come out and said, seemed to be saying it this morning, the president's going to stay out of the way, let congress develop and shape the
bill but have this backup bill in case something goes wrong there. >> it is kind of ironic that some of of the same people who want to involve the president in some things want him not to be involved in other things. but be that as it may, i think that the thing is moving along, and we ought to let the process work. >> hey, some good news yesterday, at least from my point of view, john mccain yesterday talking about, well, first of all talking about chuck hagel, going to sec' d up. but more importantly, after newtown and after chicago and after all the things we've been seeing in the papers day in and day out and continue to say, john mccain said it looks like there's going to be broad support for universal background checks. that is a significant advance in the battle to stop all these killings from guns. >> it is, joe, and i'm happy to hear it.
i'm not surprised to hear it. we've talked about this before. you've seen the polling. it's a 92% issue, and nra members, it's a winner. so it would be a very hard thing for this congress to walk away from background checks. and as you know because you talk to a lot of the folks who are involved in the gun safety movement, there's a strong feeling that background checks can have an enormously positive impact. so it is a positive development. >> and i do, i want to restate this for people that may be tuning in right now, but we've been obviously talking behind the scenes with a lot of people involved in the gun safety movement and they've said all along to me, even though i'm focusing also on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, they say, listen, tough gun trafficking laws as well as the universal background check will do a lot. that does a lot, not only in newtown. that does a lot in chicago. >> yes, absolutely. so much of what happens in chicago has to do with straw
buyers flooding the streets with guns, arming the gangs. if we can take aggressive action to cut off that movement, that would be very helpful here. >> we need really, really harsh penalties for gun trafficking fer these straw buyers. mark halperin. >> david, on the sequester, should we give us hope that there's any chance of heading it off, or do you see a route to having tom tax increases replacing it? >> what i hope is that we could head it off because the impacts are dramatic. i heard bob woodward on the show earlier talking about some of those, and all of you guys know why i have particular concern about things like medical research. but there's so many impacts of the sequester that are negative that, you know, you would hope that reason would prevail. but time is running out.
congress is on a nine-day hiatus, and so, you know, it's concerning. and i'm not overly optimistic about it. >> what does the president plan to do to try and fix this problem? >> mika, here's the issue, and i'm not speaking for the president, but i can only tell you what he said, which is we need to solve this, but we need to solve it in a balance way so that we are moving forward and not making those kinds of cuts. we are making the kinds of cuts that make sense over the long-term that won't throttle down the economic recovery and that some of that will come from tax reform and closing some of these egregious unwarranted tax loopholes. so that is the prescription for moving forward, and ultimately that's the solution to this problem. >> but how does he do that? what does he plan to do? i get that that's a good
outcome. i would agree with it, actually. but now what's the process? what's the mechanical process of getting the two sides together to try and do this? >> well, the two sides i think are talking at the staff level throughout. i don't think that there is no conversation going on. it's going on, and the question is just whether we have to go over the edge on the sequester in order to -- and have people absorb the impact of it in order to solve this or whether it happens before. i hope that it happens before. the sequester's not a reasonable solution to this problem. >> david, how much does it matter that the stock market doesn't seem to care about the sequester, at least hasn't fallen on this issue? normally the market puts enormous amount of pressure on washington at these times when you think about the debt ceiling, but right now there's almost been expectation in the market that we're going over, and yet the market continues to go up. >> yeah, i don't know the answer to that.
i do think that after two years of this back and forth, there is some suspicion that somehow either a rabbit will be pulled out of a hat or the can will be kicked down the field and that this will be solved. so we'll see as the clock ticks down if that is the reaction. and there are some, perhaps, who believe that the sequester is an appropriate answer to the problems of deficits. but that's a short-sighted view because it will have a very negative impact on the economy. a million jobs lost, and it will be a real drag on the economy so it's not a good answer. >> all right, david axelrod, thank you. you're going to have newt. >> i'm interviewing newt tomorrow at the chicago institute of politics. should be fun. >> that's exciting. >> david, great to see you. come back soon. up next, best-selling authors, nancy gibbs and michael duffy
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house at 33 past the hour. we welcome back deputy managing editor of time magazine, nancy gibbs, and michael fuff if i. their book, "the presidents club." inside the world's most exclusive fraternity. >> who's your favorite president? who inspired you as a president throughout history? >> well, roosevelt was very big in the household i grew up in because like so many americans, he helped the country move from difficulty to prosperity. so he was kind of held pretty high up in my house. >> nancy. >> when we've been asked who we wish we could have dinner with, linden johnson usually wins. >> it'd still be going on. >> lyndon johnson was a great example of how the presidency
wrecks so many powerful forceful men who spend their entire life trying to get there and a lot of times they're just destroyed by the end result, win or lose. >> it's true, and this is one of the things we find binds them all together. they all limp out of that office, that even the successful ones, much less the ones thrown out prematurely. >> what a difference when they walk in and are arrogant and think they don't need to talk to anybody, but what your book shows masterfully, and what president obama did was turn the page and say wait, i may not be the only smart guy in the world, and they pick up the phone, whether it's jfk and the cuban missile crisis. >> last week, the nixon library
released some documents trying to explain the relationship with clinton. >> clinton said it was like a father to him, like he lost a father. >> yeah, still wishes he could pick up the phone and call him many times. the thing about the presidency is it's on-the-job training. it's the one thing you think doesn't have to have on the job training, but they all do. >> so one thing people learn from the book is the advice passed down from president to president, and what about second terms and how does that advice differ in those subdivisions, and does it? does it exist or are they left to their own devices? >> one of my favorite stories about second terms is nixon had clear advice for ronald reagan, and he said get rid of everybody, get rid of the staff. clean house. i did some of it. obviously i should have done more. >> didn't do enough. >> and reagan follows a lot of that advice.
these things naturally mold and change, but nixon says, don't make the mistake i did. don't go with the team i came in with. >> one piece of advice they all gave each other that i was reminded of with president obama this weekend, was they all tell each other, you got to relax. go to camp david, get out of the white house. it's the most consistent piece of advice from democrat, republican, it doesn't matter. so it always interests me when you see people criticizing the president for doing anything other than being at his desk is it misunderstands that office so profoundly. >> what so fascinating also is the burden of the office is so heavy on every man that carries that burden, that when they are together, you're right, a lot of times they don't talk about policy. it's almost enough to be in the same room with the one other person or the two other people on the planet -- >> that can understand. >> -- who understand what you're going through. like president obama, nobody
understands what he's going through unless it's george w. bush or bill clinton or george h.w. bush. >> in fact, george h.w. bush said to us it's the one place we can go when we don't have to explain anything. these guys spend the rest of their lives, sometimes 30 years, trying to account, strangers come up to them, why did you do that, do this, and they're constantly trying to explain themselves. those guys know how hard it is. >> we have a picture of jimmy carter here pushed off to the side. a lot of people talked about that. you all say that president carter was difficult. >> maybe he stepped off to the side. >> but that he was also helpful in this book. and i also notice something in him, the inaugural festivities this last time. he seemed to have a joy about him that i haven't really seen in a long time. actually heartened me to see that. >> he was very upbeat that day.
he was also the southeastern president on the dais because president bush did not come. >> and by the way, i think he's just as happy to be separated from the other presidents as other presidents are happy to be separated from him. >> but as much as they complain about him, they all the used him they all realized a little bit of a risk there, he might go off script there, but they used him on missions that they didn't think anyone else would have as good a chance of accomplishing. >> i was just going to say, the clinton global initiative, it got its start because jimmy carter, jimmy carter foresaw something that the post-presidency was capable of doing that nobody else saw. >> he's the john the baptist here. he's the one who says this is just a good career move being president. you can have a whole second life in some ways just as effective. longer innings. these guys are now all global rock stars after the white house. >> in some ways more effective.
>> carter says i was a better ex-president than i was a president. >> i think it was fascinating. i was looking at, nixon reviewed ike and dick this past weekend. that tortured relationship. i did not care for nixon, and yet there was a scene in that book where ike is taking kissinger to the said, basically scolding him, you betrayed him, you left him out in the cold. and all of these presidents seem -- ex-presidents seem to come around and are defensive of those, even if he attacked them. >> what's so remarkable with those two is you end up at the very end of eisenhowerer's life with his grandson marrying nixon's daughter. we had a club wedding. and eisenhower, like the others, one his last conversations with nixon was him saying, i'm yours to command.
and nixon said that to reagan. i'm yours to command. >> did you get the idea ike liked nixon? >> no. >> did you get that sense? >> i think what was so terrible -- jeffrey frank shows this -- what was so maddening for nixon is nixon didn't matter to him anymore than a lieutenant matters to a four-star general. he always saw him as a lieutenant. he always saw him as his underling. and ike never thought twice about playing bridge at camp david with some of the post powerful men in the world and told dick to walk the trails. never once invited him there. it was a really complex relationship. but you've heard that expression that hate is not the opposite of love. indifference is the opposite of love. that's i think what happened here. >> all right. "the presidents club" is now out in paperback.
michael duffy and nancy gibbs, thank you for being back on the show. up next, thousands gary on washington's national mall to call on president obama to reject the keystone pipeline. straight ahead on "morning joe." ♪ [ male announcer ] were you more interesting in your twenties, or now? when you were starting out?
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of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. >> president obama vowed to tackle global warming in his second term. history shows the topic can be politically toxic, but the realities of a changing planet could shake that thinking. last year was the hottest ever. historic drought devastated you billions of dollars in crops while the west was torched by one of the harshest fire seasons in memory. and hurricane sandy, the worst hurricane since katrina, sandy reshaped the coastline and devastated homes, businesses and lives. nasa says the evidence shows humans are contributing to global warming. still, the realities in washington test the bounds of how we as a nation respond.
in his state of the union address, the president told members of congress that if they don't act, he will. >> eye will direct my cabinet to come up with actions we can take to reduce pollution, prepare communities for climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy. >> last year president obama rejected a permit to build the keystone pipeline. but democrats are torn between a base of supporters who strongly oppose the project and the potential business boom by adding thousands of new jobs into the work force. that permit now rests in the hands of the state department, and secretary john kerry, who in august suggested climate change is as dangerous as iran, nuclear weapons, and war. now, on february 8, kerry met with canada's foreign minister, and he promised a fair, transparent and prompt decision
on that. i don't know. it's a tough one, actually. >> andrew, what do you think? >> it's a hard one because there's a moral high ground, if you believe that you're trying to help the climate, this says you don't do it. but the flip side is you have 30,000 jobs on the line. by the way, it's probably going to happen anyway, meaning forget about nebraska, forget about us. this one's going to get shipped over to china if we don't do it. and there's also this issue of our foreign policy with canada. canadians are going to go crazy, legitimately crazy if we as their partner say no-go, and what does that mean? >> the problem originally was nebraska. >> right, so the other problem is the sierra club and some of the folks, originally didn't like the path of nebraska. now they don't like just the broad idea of takin oil from the greenhouse, emits more gases than greenhouse gases.
>> all right. tomorrow on "morning joe," former secretary of state madeleine albright will be with us here on set. and up next, disgraced ex-governor mark sanford launches a sympathy tour in preparation for a run at congress. we'll show you his latest ad, next on "morning joe." revolutionizing an industry can be a tough act to follow, but at xerox we've embraced a new role. working behind the scenes to provide companies with services... like helping hr departments manage benefits and pensions for over 11 million employees. reducing document costs by up to 30%... and processing $421 billion dollars in accounts payables each year. helping thousands of companies simplify how work gets done. how's that for an encore? with xerox, you're ready for real business. a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib:
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up, and so for years while many have talked, i've fought to do something about it. i've cut spending, reduced debt and made government more accountable. more recently i've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. but we can learn about a god of second chances and be the better for it. in that light, i humbly step forward and ask for vur help. i'm mark stanford. >> he announced in january he's going to be running for congress. a lot of people i know for dragging him into the race. in this case it actually happened. and as you know, the guy left with an approval rating close to 60%. how's he doing in this race. >> he's a great politician, and just my instinct is that had his perfect pitch for combining talking about spending fiscal issues, which was what his hallmark was in congress and
before as governor, and the re-dempsey, very strong opening spot for a guy in a position to win that seat. >> i can tell you when i was in congress, there was nobody more courageous than mark. i always tell the story where i'm sitting, gingrich's people are yelling at us saying we're going to destroy you guys. we're going to cut everything in your district and you're going to voted out, and i'm sitting there next to make saying, this is not good, this is not good. i've burned one bridge too many. and mark looks up and starts laughing and says, are they threatening us? and he got up and walked out. and they just flows, scared to death. that was just mark. he put long-term debt ahead of everything else. >> well, he was a politician with a lot of national potential before this thing happened with him. a lot of republicans thought about him as somebody who could have been a serious 2016 player
before this happened. >> i would have supported him in 2012 without a second guess. and i think people are far more forgiving. this is not 1950. i think you judge him by his life's work. remember bill clinton, exactly. here's a look at your business travel forecast, as we get ready for our workweek ahead, we are looking at quiet conditions in new england after that big storm and this morning. we're watching rain developing in st. louis, kansas city, and west coast, everything fine from l.a. to phoenix, with some showers in seatle. have a great holiday.
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oh, my lord, sweet, fox on the run, 1976. x has dug deep into my jukebox. what did you learn today? >> that whoever is on enjoys it much more when it's light outside. >> oh, i can't wait for spring. >> andrew. >> the sequester is a horrible, horrific idea -- >> but its time has come. >> i did not get the sense from newt or anybody else that -- or even ax that this was really going to happen. >> what did newt say? it was a stupid thing. >> bring it on. >> that a stupid thing is better than not doing anything when it comes to -- >> i don't know if that's the right answer. >> what are you doing? >> just remind me how much i missed andrew. >> it's nice to have him here. the truant officer's looking for him.