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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 8, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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would do similar to what president obama is doing. i would ignore them when they get way out of bounds. the legitimate debate, disagreement good. but when people start questioning your birthright and making all kind of racist and bigoted statements, it's better not to feed into them. it's better to just organize on the ground and make sure the voters come out that will protect the country. well, thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. reince's trifecta. bash the media, bash the president. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, rnc chairman reince priebus
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continues his attack on nbc and cnn for upcoming projects about hillary clinton. and why wouldn't he? this issue has everything that republicans could ever dream of, bashing hillary, and rallying the base all at the same time. it's the far right trifecta and priebus knows it. here's his plan. he's plan to shut them out of the primary process if they don't their hillary films even though they haven't written or filmed them yet. this morning on "morning joe" he dismissed the counter argument by nbc that the entertainment division has nothing to do with nbc's news division. >> the fact is i cannot have companies that are in the business, whether it be nbc entertainment or whoever is making the decisions, i cannot have companies in the business of making what i consider to be promotional movies. >> right. >> about the life of hillary clinton when at the same time we know that her people are gearing up for a presidential run, and then i'm going to bring those people in to depose the candidates running for president
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on the republican side of the aisle? it's ridiculous. >> priebus isn't alone on this one either. liberal columnist maureen dowd, even our own chuck todd have conceded that his point has some rationality to it. but if you think rationality is what drives priebus and the party, think again. priebus is wading dangerously into an ideology which even he has warned against. that would be party isolationism. and here is the proof. speaking to conservative radio host andrea tanteros, he endorsed an idea to let the far right control the debates. and this is that plan. >> chairman, what do you think about a talk radio debate where maybe i get together with my buddy sean hadn't hannity and we interview some of the candidates. because the base i think would like that. >> listen, i don't think -- i actually think that's a very good idea. >> now, here is the irony. priebus led a massive gop autopsy to figure out why they got crushed in the last election. the results, the party needs to, quote, learn to appeal to more
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people. this is how you do it, by shutting out news outlets and retreating to your own fox news echo chamber? if he gets his way, it isn't new voices that the party will be hearing and reaching just their own. michael steele was chairman of the rnc before priebus. joan walsh is editor of salon, and both are msnbc political analysts. michael, if this were still the steele administration, would you be pursuing this path? >> yes, some severe thunderstorm of it, to be honest with you. >> why? >> let me break it down for you. i wouldn't be pursuing it now, because there is no body of evidence to prove your point. and so there is nothing to really beyond the base to rally the american people and those in the media who like chuck todd and others would say, yeah, this does not smell necessarily correct. to do it now sort of goes to your point about the trifecta. and i think it really does set up an argument that may come back to bite. point one. point two, how do you enforce this with the candidates come
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2015 when they're scrapping to get on the board, and nbc offers a debate. they're going to turn it down? or point three, they say you know what? if you hold a debate and you do your thing, that's fine. we just won't cover it. so they've got to be very smart. and i think this is a little bit premature, even though i get what is being done here, and probably would do some form of it if i were still chairman, but not now. >> joan, i use the words echo chamber. >> yeah. >> and what i was thinking of when i said that is the wednesday morning after 2012's election, when those who were paying attention only to drudge, only to talk radio, and only to fox, it was like a truck had hit them. they didn't see it coming. they really didn't recognize that it's a big country out there. >> because that were only talking to each other, and they were only watching fox news, and they were only listening to rush. >> is this more of that? >> i think it is more of that. on the one hand you had this alleged autopsy and the desire to reach out to more people, michael. but this desire to go really insular, talk to one another, control the terms of the debate.
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and sadly, it seems like mr. priebus decided the last campaign with a lot of debates was not good for his party, that people didn't like what they saw. but this time around, i would think a lot of these new candidates would want to be talking to a larger audience. >> yeah. >> certainly chris christie if he were to run is not going to abide by a ditch cnn and ditch nbc strategy. so it's crazy. but as you said, there is no downside for him right now. >> some in the republican party don't see the media as just liberal, but as a group that conspires with the white house against republicans. this is rand paul during an interview yesterday on geraldo rivera's radio program. >> well, you know, you can look back to the last primary season, and you wonder whether this was collusion between some reporters. you know, stephanopoulos asks an obscure question about griswald and birth control when no republicans were bringing up anything about trying to have any limits on birth control. so you wonder if there was a
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concerted option between a democrat operative. >> well, are you alleging that george stephanopoulos was a democrat plant during the debate? >> i'm saying that it makes you wonder. and he has also said publicly that he has frequent correspondence with his friends who are still involved with the white house. >> hey, michael, i love the part, it makes you wonder. it reminds me in "house of cards" with that line. i saw in the original version, the francis underwood version you might think so, but i couldn't possibly comment. >> i'm no fan of the treatment of the republicans even at the national level receive by the media whether it's in print, on tv or the raid yolk, it doesn't matter. we know how the deck is stacked. and i appreciate people focusing just on fox, because that's literally all we have in terms of conservative tv. and a handful of stations around the country on the conservative radio. and i understand that. but i think we need to be very careful here, not bite off more than there is to chew. the reality of it is it's a
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legitimate point to raise concerns about whatever division in these operations doing this type of self-promotional or promo on behalf of hillary clinton at the beginning of what will be a hotly contested open seat for the presidency. so i think it's a legitimate point to be made. we just need to be smart and more careful about how we talk about it. >> michael, i would understand it more. joan, i'll put this to you. >> right. >> i would understand it more if the bad, the negativity that came out of those many debates was attributable to the questioning of the partisan members of the media. but it wasn't. i've gone back and reconstructed what transpired in those debates. often it was the audience. often it was questions from fox news personalities that elicited the response. >> that brought out the crazy. no liberal media figure made poor rick perry forget which agency she was going to shut down. i think there is something overly aggressive. rand paul sounds paranoid. the big contraceptive issue that
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came up, that was rick santorum talking to a christian magazine i believe about his views that contraception is doing something is that is not okay. >> and contraception was a big part of the 2012 cycle, especially in the senate races. let me show you something if i might. it wasn't questions from the media that made the gop debates most memorable. this is one fatal moment when a gay soldier asked a question at a fox news primary debate in 2011. >> in 2010 when i was deployed to iraq, i had to lie about who i was because i'm a gay soldier, and i didn't want to lose my job. my question is under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military? >> yeah -- i would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. and "don't ask, don't tell" i think tries to inject social policy into the military, and the military's job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country. we need to give the military,
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which is all volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient and protective of men and women in uniform. and i believe this undermines that ability. >> and michael steele, similarly, i'm not going to show this. but it was another fox debate. and i think this had a lingering after effect. i think you remember the ten for one question, the ten spending cuts that was bret baier who threw that into play. by wiping out nbc's and cnn's role, you're not going to eliminate those sort of tough questions. >> that's the real kicker here in the irony for me. i think a lot of people on the right were surprised at how bret and other fox analysts and reporters really dogged these candidates in 2011 and 2012. so there is no sanctuary here when you're running for the presidency. there should be balance there should be openness for sure. there is no sanctuary. so you're going to get the tough questions. and i think the candidates know this going into this. which, again, more of play in my
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estimation that rallies the base. as reince said this morning, he is being approached by people who said it's about time you did this. and that's the effect they're going for. the problem is i think it's too soon. i think it's premature in the sense that you don't know what the final product is going to be. and at the end of the day, how much of this are you really going to control when you've got seven, eight, nine candidates vying for the nomination. you're not going to tell them to shut up and sit down because they won't. >> let me ask this of joan walsh. might it impact the product? and i raise this because of "zero dark thirty." you remember approaching the election there was a hew and cry. there was a delay in the release. when it came out, president obama was like a 10 or 20-second fight in a steve kroft interview on a television screen, and that's it. in other words, i think the concerns had an impact. might nay have an impact on the way hillary clinton is treated by cnn and nbc? >> they might. one thing about cnn, that's
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being directed by charles ferguson, who did "inside job" is kind of hostile to the corporate democrat position that hillary clinton represents. so there is no evidence that either of these projects is biassed in her favor. but, you know, reince priebus, he also, i just want to say as a woman, i thought that the way he treated mika this morning was really kind of zurich, telling her personally i would never let you personally moderate a debate, mika, coming on to a show where she is the co-host and really putting her down like that and challenging her objectivity. i think he is doing something that is kind of mean and that has the potential to backfire, especially when he makes it personal like that. it was something off about it. >> appreciate both of your being here. michael steele, joan walsh. good to see you again. coming up, things just got worse for mitch mcconnell. his campaign chief who used to work for rand paul just got caught on tape saying between you and me, i'm sort of holding my nose for two years, because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to rand in
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2016. that's rand as in rand paul, kentucky's other senator. when your own campaign manager doesn't like you it's no wonder your safe seat just got toss had in the toss-up column. bob filner being accused of sexual harassment. the calls for his removal are growing even louder. his former campaign manager who counts herself among his victims. plus, one official comes up with a new reason to oppose immigration. it's the work of satan and signals the end of the world. and finally, let me finish tonight with the important difference between a crime and a hate crime. this is "hardball," the place for politics. t on the streets. [ whispering ] shhh. it's only a dream. and we have home insurance. but if we made a claim, our rate would go up... [ whispering ] shhh. you did it right. you have allstate claim rate guard so your rates won't go up just because of a claim. [ whispering ] are we still in a dream? no, you're in an allstate commercial. so get allstate home insurance with claim rate guard...
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poll. it's clinton 62 and vice president biden at 8%. massachusetts governor deval patrick at 5%. and now to the republicans, where it's more of a race. chris christie the early favorite at 21%. rand paul in second with 16%. and jeb bush in third with 10. marco rubio's lost the lead he had earlier in the year. we'll be right back. our start up is not making any money yet even though it's the best idea ever. but dress for success right? so we started using tide, bounce and downy together. it keeps our clothes looking newer longer. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." what does mitch mcconnell's own campaign manager think about working for the mcconnell campaign? an audio recording was released today of a recording between an ardent activist and jesse benton. benton who is married to rand paul's granddaughter oversaw his presidential campaign, rand paul's election to the senate in 2010, and is widely expected to play a significant role in a potential presidential campaign for rand paul in 2016. are you following all of this? which benton implies on the tape
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is eminent. economic policy has obtained a reporting in which benton in his own words describes how he feels about his current job. listen. >> between you and me, i'm sort of holding my nose for two years. >> benton responded with a statement today. he said it is truly sick that someone would record a private conversation i had out of kindness and use it to try to hurt me. i believe in senator mcconnell, and i'm 100% committed to his reelection. being selected to lead his campaign is one of the great honors of my life, and i look forward to victory in november 2014. if mcconnell's own campaign manager has to hold his nose to work for him to benefit rand paul's presidential ambitions, what does that say? right now he is in a statistical
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dead heat or trails his opponent allison leison lundergan grimes. joining me to discuss this revelation and the race are "the huffington post" sam stein and democratic strategist margie omero. margie, what is the net net of this? might there be blowback that causes people to be sympathetic to this individual? >> well, i'm sympathetic for anybody who has a private conversation turn into a national story. and you know, that's unfortunate for him, and i feel badly that that happened. i think ultimately, voters, though are, going to be looking at this race, not through the lens of what happened to this campaign manager a year out. but what do we know about mitch mcconnell? and he continues to be far to the right of where most voters are. not only that, he really demonstrates what is wrong with washington, the gridlock, the obstruction, the very clearly saying in his own words our
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number one goal is to try and defeat president obama. that was his stated policy goal. and so i think a lot of voters have just had it with washington as usual. and there is no one really who demonstrates washington as usual as much as mitch mcconnell. the fact that his own campaign manager can't get excited about him is really a symptom rather than a cause of where his troubles are going to be. >> sam stein, you are mitch mcconnell. i know this is a stretch for you. but i want you to put yourself into his mind and body. must you now fire this guy? >> no. you can't fire this guy. part of the reason that jesse benton was brought over to run the mitch mcconnell campaign was to give him the type of cache with the rand paul, ron paul crowd. he's ron paul's son-in-law. this is not someone you can easily toss to the side and dismiss because you risk offending a great swath of primary republican voters. thing is the most damaging thing to ever happen in politics. i'm not going to blow it out of
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proportion. but it is damaging to the extent that matt bevin, the tea party challenger can now just turn around and say hey, listen, each conservatives on mcconnell's own campaign admit that they have to hold their nose to work for the guy. so why not just vote for the true conservative in the race. i think that's where it becomes damaging. it increases that narrative that mitch mcconnell is more of an establishment guy than a paul guy. >> margie, what a democratic standpoint, what are you hoping for? who is the easier of the candidates to pick off if you're the d in this race? do you want mitch mcconnell to survive a process or the pea party to be victorious? >> thing are pros and cons to both for sure. certainly mitch mcconnell is a known brand, and that known brand is one that is weakened, it's one that continues to be unpopular and vulnerable. but he will likely be better fund and that a tea party than bevin, if bevin should win the primary. i think bevin has a clear opening. sam said to really try to make news of this and to keep the
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story around. and, look, grimes i think is strong. she is clearly strong. she wants it. she has a lot of strong support. she has a lot of enthusiasm and charisma. and i think she is going to be strong against both candidates. >> i think the real question, sam stein, at least in the short-term, how do republican primary voters react to this issue. >> i don't know. i hate to come on a show and say i don't know about things. it remains to be seen. my suspicion are opinions of mitch mcconnell are basically baked in the cake. this guy has been around for quite a long time. people in kentucky know who he is. part of kentuckians do like him because he does bring back projects to the state. he is a very good local politician. but if you had your mind-set up that mitch mcconnell needed to be ousted because he wasn't conservative enough, this reinforces your theory. if you thought he was good politician for the state of kentucky, i don't know if this necessarily dissuades you. >> margie, listening to this conversation, this surreptitiously recorded conversation is that it was not
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among friends over a beer. >> yeah. >> where you might be inclined to say oh my god, i'm holding nose for the next two years there was a certain underlying hostility in that discussion. and then he drops this bomb. play psychiatrist. what did you think of it as you listened to it? >> i mean, it's -- it's pretty standard practice that you should never really say things like that if you don't want them to get out. you shouldn't really speak like that in any kind of real company, except for maybe your mom, your therapist, your spouse, unless you're ready for it to get out. because people talk. and the political community in kentucky and around the country is ultimately pretty small. so it's a mistake. and it probably means he's said it to other people also. >> did you find it odd listening to it? i heard you chuckle as i made this comment. >> what is odd is this is the second time i believe that a surreptitious recording involving the mcconnell campaign was is leaked. the first was the potential
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ashley judd candidacy. i'm really curious what is going on here. this is rare to happen once. it's incredibly rare to happen twice. and it suggests that there are people within the republican party perhaps who are out to get mitch mcconnell. >> and margie, i guess it's a new way of doing business where at all times these candidates, as well as their chief officials have got to believe that what they're saying is being recorded in some form or another. >> for better or worse, everybody. candidates, operatives, staff, interns, just assume you're on camera being mic'd at all times. >> that's a weird reality to live in, but yes. >> sam, i keep waiting for there to be b roll that shows mitch mcconnell smiling. i swear i have never seen an appearance where he t man appears to be frumpy in appearance. >> my impression is they're sticking by jesse. there is not many options they have. he is going to turn bad lemons
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into bad lemonade i guess. >> thank you. by the way, late this afternoon, senator mcconnell and jesse benton tweeted this picture trying to make light of the whole hold your nose episode. a programing note, don't forget -- texas has a new reason to oppose immigration reform. she says it's the work of satan. this is "hardball," the place for politics. announcer ] made just a little sweeter... because all these whole grains aren't healthy unless you actually eat them ♪ multigrain cheerios. also available in delicious peanut butter. healthy never tasted so sweet.
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[ male announcer ] call now and get adt installed for just $99. you could save a lot more than money. hurry, and take advantage of these savings. adt. always there. i dbefore i dosearch any projects on my home. i love my contractor, and i am so thankful to angie's list for bringing us together. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. former presidential candidate mitt romney reemerged this week with some unsolicited advice for republican voters in 2016. but will his fellow republicans listen? here is jimmy fallon's take on that last night. >> mitt romney told republicans that they need to pick a
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candidate for 2016 who can actually win. and republicans said yeah, wish you told us that last year. thanks a lot. next up, the former chair of the texas republican party is coming out against the senate's immigration bill. why? because she thinks it's demonic. here is kathy adams talking about that on end team talk radio. >> i think the latest nonsense i saw from the homeland security department was something like a million people that have come here on visas that we have no idea where they are. >> do you know where they're taking us with this? because they said the solution to all these lost foreigners in the country, the solution is biometric scanning. >> i do understand that. i've seen it. i've heard it. and of course we know in
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biblical prophesy. that is the end time that is going to be the brand either on our foreheads or on the back of our hands. that is demonic through and through that is end times prophesy there is no question about that. >> in case you were wondering, the senate immigration bill does not include the branding of immigrants. new york mayor michael bloomberg is taking the lessons of detroit's bankruptcy to heart. he cautioned that new york city could suffer a similar fate if it takes its financial well-being for granted. his warning comes, coincidentally, on an anniversary of new york's own fiscal crises in the '70s. here is a flashback to new york's last federal bailout, which was signed 35 years ago on this day in 1978. >> on the steps of city hall in new york this afternoon, president carter signed into law a bill to keep the city from going bankrupt. with this law, the federal government guarantees more than $1.5 billion of loans to the city over the next four years. the white house decided it
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should be done outside where it would draw a large crowd. an effort, said the white house aides, to portray firm presidential action. >> we've come a long way. up next, 13 women have now accused san diego mayor bob filner of sexual harassment. when we return, we'll meet one of his accusers. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ [ villain ] well mr. baldwin... it appears our journey has come to a delightful end. then i better use the capital one purchase eraser to redeem my venture miles for this trip. purchase eraser? it's the easy way to erase any recent travel expense. i just pick a charge, like my flight with a few taps, it's taken care of. impressive baldwin. does it work for hotels? absolutely thank goodness. mrs. villain and i are planning our... you scare me. and i like it. let's go what's in your wallet? first wait till summer. then get the cars ready. now add the dodge part. ♪
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hey there. i'm veronica de la cruz. here is what is happening. san diego authorities say a man accused of kidnapping a 16-year-old girl may be armed with homemade explosives. james dimaggio is accused of killing the girl's mother and possibly her younger brother. fema has authorized federal funds to assist california in a wildfire burning out of control. it has forced 1500 people to flee their homes.
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and trains trigger flash floods across several states prompting evacuations. two are dead. i'm veronica de la cruz. let's get you back to "hardball." we're back. 13 women have now come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, groping, and other charges of inappropriate behavior against san diego mayor bob filner. but the newest charges may be the most disturbing yet. this week two female veterans said that filner made sexual advances at them last year. the truly shocking thing is where filner met them, at an event for victims of sexual assault in the military. the two women were themselves victims of rape. this morning one of the women, eldonna fernandez spoke with nbc's chris jansing. >> this is an organization that helps women and an organization of women who have all been
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victims of sexual assault, sexual trauma in the military. well trusted him. and apparently he hit on about seven or eight of us within the organization, which to me is very egregious. to come into an organization like that is supposed to be a safe space for us to heal. that's why it was called a healing and hiring fair. >> the latest news just adds to a list of shocking allegations of behavior by the san diego democrat. >> he would come in and try and kiss me on the lips. and i'd have to squirm to get away. and just as recently as a few months ago, this happened. and i turned, and he just slobbered down my chin. and i was so violated and i was so offended. >> as we were leaving the office, all the guys left, and i was the last one in the room. and bob stepped between me and the doorway, and he stopped me, and he got very close to me. and he ran his finger up my cheek like this, and he whispered to me do you have a man in your life?
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>> i was placed in the filner headlock and moved around as a rag doll while he whispered sexual comments in my ear. mayor filner challenged me to give him one example of how his behavior towards me was improper. i pointed out that he had asked me to work without my underwear on. he had no comeback. >> the embattled mayor has entered a two-week behavior treatment program, but has refused to step down from office, leaving his opponents with only one option, a costly and time consuming recall process. laura fink is a political consultant and a former deputy campaign manager for mayor filner. she too says she was harassed by him, and karen finney is the host of "disrupt" which airs weekends here on msnbc. laura, what exactly did he do to you? >> in 2005, one of my duties was to staff him at fundraising functions. and i was at a formal dinner where i was responsible for
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moving him from table to table. when i stood next to him in order to do so, one of the guests commented that i should really be appreciated for my efforts and that i had worked my behind off for him. he proceeded to tell me to turn around, which i did, and he patted me on the behind and laugh and said nope, it's still there. >> what was the reaction from those who were at the dinner? >> you know, i think that they were like were, in shock, and they were just looking for a way to get beyond that moment. i found that the anger and the humiliation, what you might association, reactions you might associate with the situation come later. and so i would imagine that it was similar for the guests. >> it seems like there is strength in numbers, to use that old expression, that so many women are now coming forward, 13 as of this particular moment. why didn't you come forward sooner? what is it about needing to see others who were similarly afflicted before everybody came forward? >> well, i documented the incident, and i demanded an
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apology, and i asked that this not happen to other women at the time. but it's extraordinarily challenging to confront those in power, in particular when you feel alone or you feel isolated. you're not sure that he is doing this to other people when it happens to you. and furthermore, you're not sure that you'll be taken seriously if you come forward. it's extraordinarily intimidating. and the fact that we just heard navy retired rear admiral and former navy mayor of san diego, a dean at san diego state and a prominent businesswoman assert the same thing, it speaks to how difficult it is. >> but was it nevertheless known among people who were close to him, hey, this guy is creepy, and you've got to be careful when you're around him? >> you know, i don't know that for sure. i think that some of his behavior has devolved, and it's become more pervasive and more intense over the years. so it's hard to speak to that issue in isolation. i don't think this was a case where everyone knew and wasn't saying anything. i think everything had a suspicion, but i don't, you know, obviously we're all finding out now.
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>> filner spent 20 years as a member of congress. last week hilary rosen told cnn his behavior was no secret to people in congress. >> i actually had dinner over the weekend with some female members and former members who said that this guy has kind of been this way all along. that everybody thought that he was a little creepy. >> to that point, slate's david weigel wrote filner's ultra slow motion downfall tells us how long you can get along with being a creep in politics. the tolerance for mild creepiness is quite high because your victims don't know how much of it they're expected to put up with. karen, as i watch this unfold, i'm thinking about sandusky, because i said to myself, this can't be just -- if there are three victims, there need to be ten victims. >> of course. >> it's hard to believe that for 20 years in who t house he wasn't up to the same shenanigans. >> he probably was.
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and people probably didn't come forward because how much of this do i put up with? is it just me? part of what this makes me want to remind people this is why it is so important that we create ways for victims to come forward and know they will be listened to and heard and believed. because that time and time and time again from the sandusky case to the military sexual assault cases that we have been hearing more and more about, what do the victims say? they were afraid to come forward. they were afraid because the person was in power. >> he is the mayor, the congressman. >> they were afraid that they wouldn't be believed. it's interesting. as a woman, i can tell you that there is a conversation that i and many of my women friends, we girls get from our parents before we go off into the work world telling you this could happen to you, and to be prepared for it. i was lucky my parents always said if it does, we believe you. but i think we don't have enough systems and enough attitudinal changes to make sure that people know this. is zero tolerance. we cannot tolerate this kind of behavior. it's not cute.
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it's not funny. it's got to be a zero tolerance policy. >> laura, to karen's point, how do we make it easier for those who have been victimized such as yourself to come forward? >> well, i think that you give them a means to do so. i mean, it's a complicated issue. there are statues of limitations on lawsuits. sometimes people don't want to file lawsuits. how do you report this? how do you immediately address it? and how do you promote a work environment where it doesn't feel as if there will be a consequence if you do so. part of the reason i came out is because i wanted to encourage other women to come forward and to show them that you are not going to be vilified for this. >> last month, mayor filner apologized to the women and announced that he was entering a two-week intensive therapy program to address his behavior. >> let me be absolutely clear. the behavior i have engaged in over many years is wrong. my failure to respect women and the intimidating contact i engage in at times is
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inexcusable. this intensive counseling will just be the first step in what will be a continuing program that will involve ongoing regular counseling. i must become a better person. >> the hubris is astounding in the face of 13 women coming forward. >> right. >> this is an arduous process, now, to get rid of him if he won't go. >> i certainly hope there are people, there are a number of different efforts. this is also i should say as a democrat, i don't care democrat or republican, this guy's got to go. whether that means the democratic party can help make that happen, the people of san diego, what help do they need to make that happen, i know it's an arduous process. i hope they get enough signatures. because, again, this sun acceptable. did you believe anything he just said? he was reading from a script, and there was no sense of remorse, no sense of i really screwed up here. two week, are you kidding me? that is like the hollywood oh, i went to rehab, and now i'm fixed. nobody should buy that. >> if i can play armchair shrink
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for a moment, i get from him what i get from weiner in a sense this seems to be a personality that would rather be drawing the limelight for negative reasons than not drawing it at all. >> but also it seems like this is a person who has no sense of what is or is not appropriate. some of the women that you talked -- a rear admiral? my heavens. a businesswoman? there is no mechanism in his brain that says that's inappropriate. i shouldn't do that. that's a sickness. >> laura, go ahead. >> karen, if i can interrupt, just from my experience with him, it's even beyond that. i think that he knows exactly what he is doing. he laughs when he does it. he enjoys putting people in uncomfortable situations. and ultimately, this is about power and the the abuse of power. and when you have -- whether you're talking about politicians or ceos. >> that's right. >> or other folks, it's about abusing that power. and so he knows that he is doing it. >> and that's part of why it's so important, again, is we're having these conversations. now that some of this stuff is getting out on the table, this issue about power, this issue about, again, people feeling like they will be bieved if
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they come forward. but also creating a climate where it is absolutely not tolerated. because you get away with stuff like that when you think you can. >> laura, knowing this personality the way that you have, from having worked with him in the past, i take it you're not surprised that he refuses to go silently into that night. >> i'm not surprised. i'm not surprised at all. and the recall faces significant challenges because of the structure and the timeline to get the signatures. it's going to require a herculean effort. i'm not confident that it can succeed as a political strategist. it's just the sad fact of the matter. we really do need him to resign as well. and so -- the ball is in his court. but i think there are things we can do to put pressure on him. i think that's part of -- the lawsuit will put pressure on him. i think the investigation by the sheriff's office will put pressure on him. and my hope is whether it's because of, you know, whatever the rationale or the reason, my hope is he is going to choose to resign. and that might be because of the public shaming. that might be because of his pocketbook. one can't really say. but my hope is that he reaches
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that tipping point. >> well, thank you both for being here. thank you, laura fink, thank you, karen finney. up next, what do you think of when you she this flag? if it's the tea party, you're not alone. now a new york man finds himself at the center of a legal controversy because he wanted to honor veterans by flying this flag. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ human league plays "i'm only human" ] [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay -- you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car and we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. learn about it at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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formal symbol, the flag has become associated with the tea party in some quarters. but in march after they replaced the tattered flag at the local armory with a new american flag and the gadsden flag flying officials ordered it taken down. in response, the patriotic association of new richelle f e filed a federal lawsuit. moses is a citizen volunteer with the save our armory committee. he actually purchased and gave the gadsden flag to the veterans group. peter is the "our town" columnist for "the new york times" who wrote about the conflict. are you a tea party guy? >> i've never been a member of the tea party, not affiliated with any political group of that nature. >> why this flag? you shelled out $16 of your own money to get a gadsden flag where there hadn't been one. >> i've always liked the gadsdn flag.
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to me, it was something that spoke to me as part of american history that i'm very fond of and i'm a historian of american history. that's why. >> to whom, if anyone, were you trying to send the don't tread on me message? >> i was trying to send the message specifically to our mayor. if there was any message to be sent, the mayor has had a long history of disrespecting the veterans in new richelle and also our military history. the armory in new richelle is our last bit of remaining history. and they have not treated that place very fairly. it's in very bad condition. and they've done everything that they could short of tearing it down to actually make sure that it's in as poor of shape as possible. >> peter, your piece which i shared with my radio audience really struck a chord all across the country. people calling and were passionate on both sides of this issue. what's the big picture that you see? >> the big picture is how polarized we've become as a country. even five years ago there would
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be no dispute over this, but rightly or wrongly, if you google tea party flag, this is what comes up. >> right. >> for a lot of people, there's a charge to this flag that there wasn't. it's a conservative symbol. i think that's what the city was getting at. >> a friend of mine who owns a tavern in old city, philadelphia, close to independence hall, the liberty bell, betsy ross, used to fly it outside his establishment then told me he felt obliged to take it down when it became this symbol because he didn't want to lose half of his audience. >> right, there have been disputes all around the country, in arizona, in connecticut, in rhode island over this very same issue. again, this was an issue that, a flag that a few years ago had no connotation other than history and patriotism. now it's part of the american culture and political -- >> the armory is municipal space. it's deeded over from the state. what would you say to someone who says i feel alienated by that flag because of its association, flying on public space? >> well, what i would say to the person is that you have to look into what the context of our
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ceremony we held was. you have to see what we were trying to do. what the flag really symbolizes. and i believe that, you know, we can all come together under that meaning of unalienable rights and if we have a dialogue, we can see that it's not as partisan as some people would like to make it. >> and to your point, there was a 5-2 vote taken. your point of polarization. 5-2. the ds said get rid of it, the rs said keep it. >> right. the legal question will come down to something that has very little to do with the meaning of the flag which is whether it's government speech, whether it's private speech. it's a city-owned armory and city-owned flag pole. and the veterans group is chartered by the city. so if a court concludes that this is essentially government speech, then they have very broad powers to say what they will allow and what they won't allow. >> you obviously think there's an important principle at stake here that necessitates litigation to resolve whether this flag can fly over the armory. >> yes. because of the fact that the
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veterans organization is chartered by the city, and they have been in charge of doing things like this in the past. they've been allowed to choose what they have flown in the past. our city government has been at memorial day services where that flag was flown. this has become a political issue and it's being made one when there really isn't one. >> peter, just 30 seconds or so left. what kind of a reaction have you gotten to your piece? did you get the same sort of passion that i heard on the airwa airwaves? >> aside from the fact that we're so polarized, this is a symbol that goes back to the beginning of the country and has a huge historical charge as well as the contemporary issues. so, yeah, people are very passionate. >> part of me says if you don't like what the symbol has become, you know, fight for the right to take it back. >> well, absolutely. you know, because i was thinking, there are a lot of aggrieved people in america, and a lot of people feel don't tread on me. conservatives use this flag, maybe liberals should, too. >> it's a great issue. moises, thank you for being here. peter, thank you for writing about it. >> thanks so much.
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when we return, allow me to finish with an important distinction between a crime and a hate crime. you're watching "hardball." the place for politics. she's stl the one for you - you know it even after all these years. but your erectile dysfunction - you know,that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away.
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let me finish tonight with that horrific footage of a fight on a florida school bus that made news this week. i'm sure you've seen or heard about the three 15-year-olds who beat a 13-year-old, gave him two black eyes and a broken arm. there is a debate now raging about the pictures you're looking at, some wondering if this was a hate crime because
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they watched three african-american perpetrators beating a white teen. but the motivation here seems to have been not race, but the 13-year-old snitched on one of the 15-year-olds for drugs. but there was a hate crime this week that was in news, and that came not on a school bus, but in a baseball field. it happened at mcu park in brooklyn, which is home to the met-affiliated brooklyn cyclones. a statue there depicts jackie robinson and pee wee reese both playing for the dodgers in 1947 on cincinnati's crosley field. a particularly harsh day for robinson. the description reads in part -- robinson endured racist taunts, jeers and death threats that would have broken the spirit of a lesser man. some idiot added the n word and a swastika and the word heil. i'm not a fan of calling something a hate crime. i think we open pandora's box when we ascribe punishment based on motivation, meaning what is in a person's head.


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