tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 18, 2013 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
it's president's day. going to the mattresses. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this big one. is barack obama going for it? is he suddenly becoming one of the great presidents in history? i'm not talking about mt. rushmore but perhaps the level right below it. i'm talking, to use his word, transformational. and is he using the country's historic demographic shift to do it? can he combine the new american power of hispanics and other minorities with the immediate aspirations of women to lob himself into the highest level of presidential greatness? can he bring on an era of democratic, even liberal dominance, for years to come? this is what his adversaries fear. they look at his working of the gun safety crusade, his
positioning on immigration reform, his distancing himself from the triumphing over -- even triumphing over the hard often bizarre right wing of this country to do it. are they on to something? could this president be the president of our time? tonight we examine on president's day just where barack obama intends to go. where he intends to be once he, too, joins the pages of history and the lists of american presidents. i've got to machines political analysts to answer the question. howard fineman and joy reid. first of all, i want to ask you both about these numbers here. these are numbers for the next election, 2014. right now the democrats are about 17 votes shy of taking over the house of representatives. they're about five votes ahead of where they have to be to hold the senate. can they do it? can barack obama leave office having won back the united states congress and then, of course, aiming toward the second goal of his greatness, getting the democrat to replace him, hillary or joe biden. >> on the congressional side,
history generally tends to be against presidents in midterm elections. they don't tend to do so well. they tend to lose seats historically, but i think -- >> clinton didn't. >> i think there are exceptions. what barack obama is counting on is a combination of sort of wearing down the republican party. there is a sense of demoralization on the right, and if you can tamp down that turnout because essentially you're throwing so many issues at the republican base -- >> yeah. >> they almost can't resist it and at the same time you're hiking up the excitement and keeping the level of excitement among minority voters high. i think the stuff they're doing on immigration is in part designed to do both of those things at once. >> unpack that bag. what does his throwing out that thing, whoever threw it out, his plan on immigration reform, how does that bring out, spook out, whatever you want to call it the republican right so they make exactly the presentation he wants them to make so the hispanics for example will say i'm not joining that party zm. >> they did it to themselves. look at the reflexive reaction of a marco rubio, of leaders in that party. the reflexive reaction to that leak of those ideas was
absolutely not, this is dead on arrival rather than a more thoughtful response -- >> we'll push the cheese out. the mouse comes out and goes for it, snap, he nails them. for the people who didn't catch the story, u.s. today got ahold of a white house draft proposal on immigration and reported in part, quote, it would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years. the plan would also provide for more security funding and require business owners to check the immigration status of new hires within four years. in addition, the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants could apply for a newly created lawful prospective immigrant visa under the draft bill being written by the white house. it if approved they could apply for the same professional legal stats for their spouse or children living outside the country according to the draft. in response, florida senator marco rubio issued the following statement. it reads in part. this legislation is half-baked and seriously flawed. it would actually make our immigration problems worse and would further undermine the american people's confidence in washington's ability to enforce
our immigration laws and reform our broken immigration system. yesterday republicans were also quick to criticize. >> leaks don't happen in washington by accident. this raises the question that many of us continue to wonder about. does the president really want a result or does he want another cudgel to beat up republicans so he can get political advantage in the next election? >> leaking this out does set things in the wrong direction. look, the question that we always have to ask ourselves, particularly with this white house, is the president looking for a partisan advantage or is he looking for a bipartisan law? >> this is the president torpedoing his own plan and shows me that he's really not serious. there are many people who think democrats bring up these ideas as wedge issues. they don't really ever want to pass them because then they would no longer have the republicans to blame. >> you know, not -- i can't bring up the geek factor because it's not fear but the republican young breed aren't even as cool as john mccain. be mccain is pretty cool as a
personality. these guys, this new crowd. the key word in what john mccain said there was another, another cudgel. >> yeah. >> there's been -- in other words, the democrats have had the upper hand now for weeks now if not months, and he's just saying -- when he said they've got nur comingel to beat us up with, that told me everything. >> it's even better because the president to some extent stands on the sidelines while they self-cudgel. they're beating themselves up. >> i think that's a six -- >> the president i'm perhaps belatedly coming to realize is really deft at using the outside game, which is how he started, social media, et cetera, using public sentiment and the outside game to pressure the congress without doing it himself directly in a way that divides the other party and forces them to come to him. he makes them come to him
because -- he's for the most part hands off. wear saying why isn't he lbj or lincoln. that's not how this president operates. he operates with public sentiment from the outside. he deftly puts that stuff out there. the republicans tear themselves to pieces and just enough of them come along with him to get the jobs done. ja what do you make of that? i think it's a good analysis because -- it's also part of what you said before, just hit them with so many things at once. if flusters them. and then they just sort of break into a thousand pieces and they come back at -- >> and all they say is no. >> the sunday talk shows are no friend of the republican party because the people that desperately want to get on those shows are not the ones they should want desperately to be on those shows. >> right. i think what -- >> the tea party is always ready for sunday. >> exactly. no, i think you're right. it just goes to show you that this president has learned from his first term. this is not the way he started out. if you look at the first term, he was like one singular issue, health care. this is whey want to do. he turned it largely over to the senate. he said, listen, we want this to be in congress because he wanted buy in.
he kept trying to get buy in and he left the public sentiment part alone which is why the tea party was able to rise. he wanted that one big thing. that was his big move for history was health care and he left a lot of the dealmaking and the sausage making to congress -- >> is it enough for him? >> no, i think now he feels now -- >> he's still doing it that way only now he's added the public opinion part. >> go to the public, shake up the other side, constant pummeling until they finally come apart. i agree. they have not shown a great solidarity around mcconnell and the rest of them they're all going the wrong way because of the sunday talk show. >> the president has the advantage of a united democratic party. >> you and i didn't grow up with that. >> it was the other way around. >> democrats in disarray was the boy ler plate. >> this strategy -- hillary helped. the fact he brought them in helped. the fact that he has a solid base among the very most loyal democratic voters in the country, african-americans. >> and republicans helped him do
that. i think the overreaction to barack obama's presidency -- >> do you remember the fact there was always the humphrey hawkins approach, every time there was a budget there was a different black approach to the mainstream democratic approach. they always had different approaches. you don't hear that now. >> there have been differences but there have been subsumed -- >> you're smiling at me. has barack obama in his own lights and the lights of history, highway he done enough to make the history books. when you look at reagan like i have been studying him lately, you can point to immigration, tax reform talk to some other things, ending the cold war, that's a huge one. you can say he got stuff done. there are points on the board. does barack obama with health care and the initial stimulus package, one of our producers was saying even the first black american president is enough. but is it enough for him? >> that's the point you just made i was going to make. this is a guy who did not want to be known as just being the first black president. he wanted a lot more. health care was -- >> to complete the metaphor, he
wants to be jackie robinson. >> and getting re-elected was key. >> i agree. >> he wanted to get re-elected -- >> okay, what does he do to make the big time? >> immigration reform i think he wants, gun control i think if he got those two big things. he's done a lot on gay rights. if you combine that with health care, saving the economy, i think that would be big -- >> and also -- >> he's done equality, doma, getting rid of that, getting rid of the don't ask don't tell, pushing towards pretty much equality in marriage all the way, almost there, and then health care, of course, historic because every democrat since truman -- since roosevelt has been trying to do it. gee grades himself on a tough curve. i remember when i visited him in his senate office years ago. the pictures he had on the wall were gandhi, lincoln, muhammad ali, and thurgood marshall. >> where was hannibal? >> hannibal wasn't there. but thurgood marshall was there, ali was there, gandhi was there, lincoln was there. that's the way he thinks of himself and i think he's going to strive very hard to reach those goals that joy talked
about. also more prosaically, he's got to make sure health care gets properly implemented. because if it doesn't -- and it's moving in his direction. >> right. >> and he plays -- you know, he's patient. one of the things about this president, he'll always be known for in the history books is patience. he's patiently worked this, put the federal money out there. the republican red states are going to come to him on medicare and health care. it's going to end up being in their interest to implement it in the long run. >> patience is a great -- i believe he's riding the course of history, the country is getting browner. it's getting less white, getting more open towards same-sex marriage certainly. women are getting -- much bigger 20, 30 years from now than they are now. all the causes he seems to have basically mounted are going to be stronger so that those people who are going to be calling the shots and who was the greatest president 20 years from now will be his allies. >> not only that -- >> you actually said it before i did. i want to check the tape. how did you know i was going to say that?
go ahead. >> that's a good point because the victors write the history. >> if you look at where black and brown voters are going, they're coming to him on issues. let's not underestimate getting republicans to vote for a tax increase is so demoralizing it has undermined them with his own base. he has them at an incredibly vulnerable place. >> the first reaction was, oh, obama gave -- on certain parts of the left the reaction was obama gave away the store. actually strategically and psychologically as joy says it was a huge victory. >> minute he heard if you were watching, i know he's playing golf with some rich guys. >> i'm going to disneyland. >> he's not a '60s guy. if he were hearing us talk about him mounting mt. rushmore, getting up there with the great presidents, secretly, what would he be thinking? that's exactly what i'm doing? >> i don't think he would ever admit to that but you have to believe whenever any of these guys run for president, they all think about it. >> it's about children. it's about the other people.
i'm sorry. i'm sarcastic sometimes. president's day i should not be sarcast sarcastic. thank you so much. selling the war in iraq now information on how the bush administration decided from the very start to link saddam hussein to 9/11 to justify a u.s. invasion of that country. ten years later the administration's shameless deceit remains as disturbing as ever. also, is it time to get rid of the voting rights act? i wonder. i doubt it. an alabama county has filed a suit that's reached the supreme court saying with a black man in the white house, there's no need for federal protection of m north votes. tell that to reince priebus. as you imagine, not everyone agrees. teams of rivals. the rivalries between presidents, obama versus clinton, bush versus bush. our different takes on presidents. and this just in mississippi ratifies the 13th amendment. the one ending slavery. what took so long? what do you think? details coming up. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup
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having failed once to rig the electoral college for republicans, the republican president of pennsylvania's state senate is trying a new scheme. in 2011 dominick pill leg give proposed to distribute electoral votes based on results in congressional district which would have given romney the majority of votes in that state despite winning only 47% of the vote. now he's proposing to divide the electoral votes proportionally to each candidate which would have given president obama 12 of the state's 20. that's not a majority. republicans have lost pennsylvania in all of its electoral votes for six straight presidential elections. that, of course, is the reason they're doing that rigmarole. we'll be right back. and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across
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morning, boys. so, i'm working on a cistern intake valve, and the guy hands me a locknut wrench. no way! i'm like, what is this, a drainpipe slipknot? wherever your business takes you, nobody keeps you on the road like progressive commercial auto. [ flo speaking japanese ] [ shouting in japanese ] we work wherever you work. now, that's progressive. call or click today. welcome back to "hardball." next month will mark ten years since the iraq war was launched amid of flood of misinformation ob fuss skation and fear that flowed from the white house to the american people. as we get further away from the event, however, new evidence is emerging there was far more dissent within the
administration and the military than was previously known. plus, we're getting more details on just how this war was sold to the american people. it's all laid out in a new brilliant msnbc documentary airing tonight on this met yooshg, hubris, the selling of the iraq war hosted by rachel mad dow and based on the book of mike isikoff and david corn. congratulations, you have won the george polk award the biggest one in this industry. incredible reporting on mitt romney's 47% comments. which you broke. >> thanks, chris. >> and you're mg zen. vice president dick cheney sold the iraq war with conviction and certitude. i wouldn't call it conviction. it wasn't necessarily shared by others in theed a organization xlug anthony zin ni. let's listen to him being overwhelmed by the deceit of cheney. >> simply stated there is no doubt that saddam hussein has weapons of mass destruction. there is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends,
against our allies, and against us. >> i had a seat at the stage next to the lectern where he was speaking, and i literally bolted at that. >> with our help, a liberated iraq can be a great nation once again. >> vice president dick cheney's speech to the veterans of foreign wars is the opening salvo of the bush administration's effort to sell to the american people what white house insiders call the product. >> thank you very much. >> it was a shock. it was a total shock. i couldn't believe the vice president was saying this and doing work with the cia through all the briefings i heard at langley, i never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program. >> this is what's so stunning about your report tonight, your book and everything. just documents the fact that the people who knew more than the big shots in the white house, including cheney, knew it wasn't there, that he just bs'd his way into that war. >> cheney said there was no doubt in that -- >> that's his avuncular manner.
>> no doubt they were amassing weapons to attack the united states with. ziny and many others within the intelligence and national security establishment which we read about in the book through this was plenty of doubt that in all the major factors that they would bring to wear, aluminum tubes and yellow cake there, was always dissent, someone saying we're not so sure about this intelligence. it's rather iffy. >> why did cheney say otherwise? >> ziny, just to underscore how significant it was, he was centcom commander since 2007. his view of the intelligence was what the u.s. military's view was right up to 2001 which is saddam's much less of a threat today thn he had been ten years earlier. the weight of sanctions are closing in on him. >> everything -- >> his ability -- >> centcom -- the chief military guy in fighting the war. the chief guy. let's take a look at another example.
vice president cheney in a pattern repeated over and over as he sold the iraq war. it would ignore all evidence that didn't make his, cheney's case. he tried to draw the connection between saddam hussein and the ringleader of the 9/11 hijackers, mohamed atta. remember his face. despite the fact that this link had been debunked totally by the fbi counterterrorism agent who was then detailed to the cia. here is more from the documentary, hubris. >> from prague comes a czech intelligence report of a photograph allegedly showing mohamed atta meeting with a high ranking iraqi intelligence officer. the photograph of the supposed meeting is never made publicly available. >> mohamed atta was a slight guy barely 5'5", 5'6" and skinny. the guy in the photograph was muscular and thick and had a neck the size of two of my necks. that's not mohamed atta in the photograph. send it to the lab anyway. in my mind the matter is put to bed. >> but even without definitive
evidence, the vice president goes public with it. >> it's been pretty well confirmed that he did go to prague and he did meet with senior official of the iraqi intelligence service in czechoslovakia last april. >> i was sitting in my den in my home in washington, d.c., and i remember looking at the tv screen saying what did i just hear? and first time in my life i actually threw something at the television because i couldn't believe what i had just heard. >> you guys are pros at this as reporters. i want to get to final ones. the nail in the coffin. you guys know almost everything there is to know about this. what was the motive for cheney to take us into this war in it wasn't the evidence? >> it certainly wasn't the fact that iraq was a major wmd threat working with al qaeda against us. i think maybe some regrets over what happened with the first gulf war. i think -- but after 9/11, you know, sort of a fuse kind of popped for him and he said we
have to go out against these guys again and again. he bought the neocon line that saddam hussein -- >> did he buy it or were they both -- >> i think they were of a similar mindset. >> cheney doesn't -- didn't consent to an interview bu doug five is in this film and he says some very revealing things. the purpose after 9/11 was to shock the upon sers of state terrorism to get them to change their policies. that's his quote in this film. now -- >> which isn't what they told the public. >> it's not what they told the public and it was not about changing policy as i think your last bite here will show because it's very clear this was never about changing policies. >> this is what they will want to watch tonight, michael. the documentary which you really were behind includes the talking points from a november 2001 meeting held by secretary of defense donald rumsfeld. on the agenda was how start? those were the notes. how start? meaning the iraq war. with bullet points that included
these potential pretexts. u.s. discovered saddam connection to 9/11 attack or anthrax attacks. dispute over wmd numberses. start now thinking about inspection demands. in other words start putting together the pretext. we didn't have a war. we didn't have a reason for a war. we were looking for a reason for a war. >> we didn't have a bona fide threat. at any time they were free to go to the public and say you know what? this is what doug five thinks, this is what we think, we're not so sure, but we still think we ought to do something. they never did that. they were looking for a pretext, as you say. they were phonying up the case. in another part of the film lawrence wilkinson chief of staff to colin powell said he and colin powell participated in what he called a hoax. unintentionally but he called it a hoax. >> one of the things coy never understand, at the time i didn't either, the hawks in the middle east believe somehow if you could break apart one of the arab front line states were rejectionist, the road
through -- jerusalem goes through baghdad. if you broke one of them, they would all break and you'd be able to get a treaty, get peace in the middle east which is a dream of everybody. was that ever the driving force or not? >> that was the sort of ideological preconception of where all the people who were driving this were coming from. cheney, wolf -- >> where did they lose that? we did go into iraq, did what they wanted us to do. why didn't it lead to that sort of nirvana -- >> can i just say one final thing on this point. chuck hagel in his confirmation hearing the other day said -- when he was pressed my mccain, history will make the judgment on the iraq war and whether it was a good thing or a bad thing or the end product. but the verdict of history is already in on the selling of the war. that's the focus of this film and i think -- >> another key point. you asked a good question. why didn't it work? one reason is they weren't prepared. we go into this in the book. it's not part of the documentary as much but what would happen after the invasion?
they thought it would all happen by magic. what you might call hubris and arrogance that the world would fall into place affording to the neocon vision and they put no thought into what it would mean for iraqis. 100,000 were killed. >> they mean a chance for shia to fight sunni. thank you, guys. david corn, michael isikoff, the brains behind this great documentary that rachel maddow will present to you, hubris, the selling of the iraq war. there is no better thing to do tonight than to watch this ping. up next, only took 148 years but mississippi, remember every molehill in mississippi, has officially come out against slavery. boy, they're up to date. and this is haum, the place for politics. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
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first "snl," "saturday night live," takes on marco rubio's state of the union response. well, actually really just his big gulp. >> we've all been there. you're about to give an important policy speech. you get a little nervous in the green room and you eat a whole bag of dry roasted peanuts and some beef jerky. you're wearing your lucky burlap unitard under your suit so you do what anyone would do. you suddenly lunge to the side all the while holding awkward eye contact with the camera and then you take a drink from the tiniest bottle of water anyone has ever seen. and then for no reason you set the bottle down even farther away. >> would you like to give it another try tonight? >> seth, i would really appreciate it. >> okay. >> for much of human history people were trapped in society. where is the watter? >> it's right here. can you not here? it's never that far away. >> oh, my god.
ahhh! oh, so good. i just want to put that back. >> as i said last week, marco rubio is going to have a tough time shaking his new title, the thirsty one. next, the old news, it was president lrng who ultimately pushed the states to ratify the 13th amendment and to end slavery with it. well, the update now in mississippi's case. it was the movie lincoln that got the job done. the steven spielberg movie up for several oscars this week. here is the story. university of mississippi professor went to see the movie lincoln and did some post-movie research. here is what he found. mississippi lawmakers initially rejected ratification in 1865. years later in 1995 lawmakers had a symbolic vote to officially ratify the amendment and it passed. that was in 1995. end of story? well, it would be if they had submitted all the pape arework to the office of the federal register. that didn't happen until two weeks ago. now it has. thanks to that, one moviegoer and his friend, the mississippi secretary of state's office finally got it all squared away.
148 years later, better late than never, they've ratified amendment to the constitution outlawing slavery. and even though today's federal holiday is officially washington's birthday, it's really become a day when we look back on all the presidents. we've heard it time and again. you can never really understand what it's like to be president unless you are one of the few who have actually been there. over the years we have gotten some pretty inventive descriptions of that. being president is like running a cemetery. you have a lot of people under you and nobody is listening. well, that's slightly morbid. the description came to us from bill clinton. neck, being president is like being a jackass in a hail storm. there's nothing to do but stand there and take it. that's pure lbj. here is another on the same suggest. if i were two-faced, would i be wearing this one? no stranger to self deprecating jokes about his appearance. that was honest abe. i discovered being president is like riding a tiger. a man has to keep on riding or
be swallowed. that's from the great give 'em hell harry truman. up next, why so the people this is the time to get rid of the voting rights act. i'm not one of them. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ male anno] you are a business pro. omnipotent of opportunity. you know how to mix business... with business. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. [ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here is what's happening. gas prices are at a four-month high due to rising demand and changes at refineries. aaa says prices have been rising since mid january. venezuela's fiery president hugo chavez is back in his only country after two months in cuba for cancer treatment. he hasn't been seen since december. and authorities say country singer mindy mccready was found dead sunday in the same spot where her boyfriend tragically died last month. back to "hardball."
♪ we should follow the example of a north miami woman named desalene victor. when she arrived at her polling place, she was told to wait to vote might be six hours. and as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her because desalene is 102 years old and they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read i voted. >> welcome back to "hardball." it was that moment in barack obama's state of the union message that the efforts of voter disenfranchisement that took place in the 2012 got a
face. a 102-year-old's face. inform nine states highlighted here, dozens of countyst and municipalities a part of the voting rights action called section five requires any changes that would affect voting in those places must be cleared by the u.s. department of justice. as this headline in today's "new york times" shows, this part of the voting rights act is being challenged today as, quote, a cure the south has outgrown. but given the efforts of voter disenfranchisement in this past election it's not clear that the patient is cured. i don't think it is. and this map shows the states that have made it harder to vote since 2010. a lot of northern states by cutting back early voting requiring photo i.d. cards. we have a generalist, msnbc contributor joan walsh. she's like me. and judith browne dianis of the vanment project. welcome joan and happy mattress day. i'm not sure what we celebrate today besides selling mattresses but -- i don't know how that ever happened.
but let's talk about this very serious topic with judith. congratulations. >> you did, on bringing that wonderful woman of 102 up to washington. she waited in line how many hours? >> she waited in line three hours, standing. it was a six-hour wait and she was told to come back after the three-hour wait. >> one of the great things that lbj did after the death of kennedy in the mid '60s was the voting rights act. first the civil rights and then voting rights act. one was public accommodations. and then the voting rights act was an attempt to give real power to black people by saying if you want power down the road in any area, you got to vote. and you couldn't vote in the south. >> right. >> because, what was the reason most people were kept from voting -- the reason for the voting rights act? what were the tricks used? >> it was the poll takeses where you had to pay to vote. you had grandfather clauses that said that certain people could vote if they had done something -- they had land at a particular time and then you had literacy tests where you had to read and pass a test in order to
vote. and the voting rights act outlawed that. it really was -- the voting rights act really is our statute that ensures that the 15th amendment to the constitution is gavin at thissed, but also guarantees the fact we are all equal in this country. >> now today just to continue with your expertise, so many states including my own in pennsylvania have polled these numbers, come out with a real i.d. cards, pem in their 70s and 80s won't be able to get one, court struck that down. how does that play? >> it clearly shows section five of the voting rights act is still needed because in fact we saw states making it harder for particular groups of people like african-americans and latinos to vote in this election and so those laws, for example, in texas and south carolina, those laws, those voter i.d. laws were put on hold specifically because section five came in act and tyme the department of justice objected to those laws.
>> joan, you and i talk generally about politics and the thing we talk about a lot, you and i, is this new sort of civil war or continual civil war in this country where a lot of people on the right would like to keep it going. you know, they want to fight the cause still. they want to fight the federal government. they like states rights. they like sa session, nullification, they like setting their own voting rules because they want to have the same thing they had once before, which is mainly a more -- higher proportion of whites making the kaultion. >> well, right, and what we've seen now is it's not restricted to the south. it's going on a lot in the south. that list of states you showed showed people who made it harder to vote. -- also northern states as well and in a better world i suppose you'd extend section five, you certainly wouldn't kout it back. alabama has a point in one sense when it says, hey, we're not the only ones. i don't know if they're the worst. this is something -- and sadly it is something that's become
really a partisan thing because we all remember that while lbj and jfk were democrats, they were new democrats. the democratic party had a shameful history in terms of voting rights suppression and they were fighting democratic governors in the south, and they also relied on the votes of republican senators and congress people in the north. so the party sort of switched sides. now you have north and south republican governors, not democratic governors, republican state legislators working hard to disenfranchise black voters but also sort of the obama coalition. so not only african-americans, but latinos, younger voters, poorer voters, and in states like florida where older people vote democratic, you know, older people, too. it's really a pervasive and pernicious new crusade. >> joan, to make your point, here is mike turzai, the republican leader in pennsylvania admitting basically that the reason they're making the laws tougher setting up the
voting i.d. system is to win the election. let's watch. >> voter i.d. which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> you know, judith, i was thinking that -- i mean there's a lot of polarization on both sides, left and right, black and white. first african-american president is going to do incredibly well among african-americans. i was thinking in alabama and mississippi, alabama, mississippi is like 85% of the white vote went for romney. 89% of alabama. so if you can repress the black vote down there and make it irrelevant. >> that's right. this is why we have to have the voting rights act because we know that racially polarized voting still happens. black people will actually have always had a history of voting for black and white candidates. white people and especially in the south still vote for white candidates. and so we have to have these laws in place that get us to
free, fair, and accessible elections, and section five is one of those, the voting rights act has been key to breaking down and making sure that these laws that would take away the right to vote actually don't get implemented. >> you know what i'm thinking again about the demographic fight. i'm going to talk about at the end of the show. if president obama does have a political strategy to rebuild the democratic party as the dominant political party and his plan is to use demographic shifts as part of that, hispanics especially and young people and the issues of marriage equality and things like that that really shift the demographics in this country, this issue is the heart of it, isn't it? they see what he's doing and they're going to try to fight it by getting rid of the voting rights act. >> he knows this issue is the heart of it and they know it maybe even better. and that's why we've seen such a backlash especially just since 2008 really, chris, where these tactics have moved north and you have states like ohio and wisconsin and pennsylvania doing it, too. so we need to be more vigilant, not less. >> the funny thing, the whole
country is on the same page. they know exactly what's -- both sides know exactly the stakes. they though the trend of hit and one is riding the trend of history, obama, the others are fighting it and we all know what we're doing. thank you very much joan walsh, thank you very much, judith. great get the other night. as we say in our business, great get. up next on the president's day agen agenda, presidential rivals, bush versus his father for their place in history. of course, the old question we always ask, are bill clinton and barack obama on the same side? this is "hardball," the place for politics. a multivitamin for years. centrum silver. both of us actually. our pharmacist recommended it. and that makes me feel pretty good about it. and then i heard about a study looking at multivitamins and the long term health benefits. and what do you know? they used centrum silver in the study. makes me feel even better, that's what i take. sorry, we take. [ male announcer ] centrum. the most recommended. most preferred. most studied. centrum, always your most complete.
for politics. ll work remotely so this is a big deal, our first full team gathering! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall... here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job. [ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard. hey do you wanna get a drink later? [ male announcer ] hold packages at any fedex office location. the battle of bataan, 1942. [ all ] fort benning, georgia, in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto-insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
call it the revenge of obama care. for years republicans have relentlessly tried to hang obama care around the president's neck and use it to destroy his popularity but on abc's this week yesterday romney campaign manager stewart stevens said it was the popularity of the obama care among hispanic voters that helped the president drive up his numbers. let's listen to stuart. >> the greatest appeal that the obama campaign had for hispanic voters turned out to be obama care, and they ran a tremendous amount of their advertising appealing to hispanic voters. it was the only place in their advertising where they talked about obama care was to the hispanic community because an extraordinary percentage of hispanic voters are uninsured. >> wow. president obama beat romney among hispanics as we know 71% to 27%.
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which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. ♪ we're back. today's president's day, a holiday for most americans. a day we honor our presidents and shop for mattresses for some reason and lots of books, of course, have been written about the exclusive club now. the exclusive club among presidents, relationships forged through the powerful singular experience of being elected president of united states. but that's not to say that these brethren aren't always rivals or occasionally are rivals. amateur psychologists might have a field day teasing out whether wmpld was trying to compete with dad in his unfish initialled business by invading iraq and going after saddam and the so-called black president, he was called that, bill clinton
was accused by some of race simple for comments he made while barack obama was beating hillary clinton to the democratic nomination in 2008. by the way, all of these presidents and jimmy carter will gather if two months at the dedication of george w. >> that's down in dallas. anyway, david marinist won the prize in 1993. he's the author of the new york times best seller, "barack obama: the story." george bush is the co-author of "bush's brain." when you look at all of this, when you look at everything "w" did as president, being a hawk in the middle east, cutting taxes. everything he did seemed to be a 180 from the old man. is that a fair thing to look at in personal terms? >> i think in the case of bush, chris, you almost had an in-house rivalry. the accomplishments and the interests of every father inform
the sort of life that unfolds for his son. but bush was always trying to out do his dad whether it was in baseball or being governor instead of congressman. i think what happened in iraq was that "w" didn't think it was enough to invade iraq. he has his gun on his wall when he's president. i think that that was his way of saying ip'm ining i'm a bigger,y than you. and ultimately, it's going to be his legacy that cost a lot of livings and a lot of treasure for one country to make that happen. and that was an important part of the psychology between two men that drove that point. >> i agree with this. but you're basically saying, you're accusing this guy of the worst case of narcissism. it's all about what i want to do for my own personal reason that has nothing to do with anyone else. just me.
i want to beat dad. that's a hell of an accusation, if you think about it. >> listen, understand. that is a significant part of what drove this guy. beyond that, you have to also remember. there were economic forces, there were geopolitical forces and political forces within the prepubly c lly can party that w going on with his father forever and ever. i think we see the political forces that end uptaking us places that we wouldn't otherwise go. anyway, we all remember that bitter rivalry back in 2008, only five years ago. but it was when obama praised former president ronald reagan that clinton really took offense. let's listen to this point in history. >> i think ronald reagan changed
the trajectory of america, in a way that, you know, richard nixon did not. and in a way that bill clinton did not. >> i'm sure bill clinton didn't hear that. anyway, president clinton landed in hot water after he declared candidate obama's prior to that in jesse jackson. >> jesse jackson won south carolina twice in '84 and '88. senator obama is not a good campaign here. he's a good candidate. >> well, there you have it. let me ask you about a deeper question, not the cheap shots and the obvious analysis based on either side's point of view. and you know this better than anybody. the natural rivalry, the stuff that just happens because you have to be a rival. if barack obama is a transformational president, he's the guy that has the democratic successor elected.
he's the guy that starts a real era? can he win and the clintons not win? or is there a natural rivalry here? >> well, there is a natural rivalry. but, right now, that i hey're inextricably linked. that's what's interesting about this moment in history for the first time, really, starting with the last campaign. bill clinton was needed by barack obama and clinton loves to be needed. that's what carries forward. i don't think that dynamic will change now. for both of them to establish what they want in history, they need each other. and it's also true, and the reason bill clinton reacted so strongly to that comment about ronald reagan, is because bill clinton understood some of the truth of that. he always realized that he was just sort of a transitional presidency and he granted that he didn't have the opportunity that he felt to be a great president because no crisis arose that a rot of them shot. and for that reason, for the fact that barack obama is truly
the first black president whereas bill clinton was sort of symbolically and loved, you know, the better part of his nature was his idealism about race. for those reasons, it created some problems between them. but, in politics, both of these men realized there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies and they need each other right now. >> did clinton like your book, "first in his class." >> at the time, he kept complaining about it but reading a lot to his staff. >> i have no clue and that's not really that important to me. i know that most of president obama's cabinet has read the book. >> thank you, guys. thank you, sir. and david marinist, author of "barack obama: the story." [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes,
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let me finish tonight with this. bush senior versus bush junior. the older bush stood aloof from the neocons and was hated for it. the younger bush was beloved by the neocons because he did just what they wanted him to do. the older bush raised taxes to cut the deficit and brought on a period of solid economic growth. the younger bush cut taxes without reason. could we be watching an even fiercer rivalry between the presidents today? it's not personal again, just historical. if obama turns into