tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 21, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
stone." and tonight i'll be doing another book signing here in chicago at the dusable museum of african-american history. hope to see you all there at 7:30 p.m. central time. it's important that we struggle together. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. cruz out of control. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in chicago. let me start tonight with this. is chicago part of america? is philadelphia my hometown where i'm going to address the national constitution center tomorrow? is philly part of america? is l.a.? is san francisco? is austin, texas? the reason i'm asking this stupid question is because this
partisan gun slinger, ted cruz, is out there today defining who is and who isn't an american. remember michele bachmann asking the press on this show to conduct a person-to-person investigation of who in the congress is anti-american? cruz is worse. the same senator that nominated the defense secretary was taking money from north korea now decrees what part of this country are in and which parts are out. which parts are american and which parts aren't. this is mccarthyism at large. disagree with this guy and be prepared for the accusations. we are witnessing the greatest challenge to progressives and reasonable conservatives. it's an indictment against the great majority of americans. to compromise he says is bad. to oppose his brand of right wing politics is to stand accused by him of being un-american. cruz returned to his supporters this weekend where he got shouts of approval saturday night from his most fervent backers. here he is drawing the line
between him and his following senators. all the people represented in washington. >> having spent the past month up in d.c., it is really great to be back in america. >> howard fineman of "the huffington post" and david corn of mother jones. both are msnbc political analysts. howard, this isn't a casual reference. this we're americans out here in texas opposed to people in the big cities. the ethnics, the blacks, the browns. those people in washington, those liberals, they're not american. this guy either has a total lack of understanding of the industry or he knows it well and is playing that card. what do you think it is? knowledge or ignorance? >> i think he knows exactly what he's doing. i think he knows what land mines he's stepping on and i think he wants to step on them. because his basic appeal is emotional. it's basically us against them.
and it's highly ironic that he was speaking in the only state in the union that has an active movement going on. mainly texas. app lot of people in texas don't think they're part of america. don't want to be part of america. so there's an emotional rejection going on of the rest of the country. it's part of texas tradition in a way, only he takes it to an extreme. in the old days texans said we're america only more so. he's saying, you know, washington is not american, only we are. >> i'm scared by the cheers he got. my same question to you. remember how agnew, he wasn't the smartest guy in the world and he would use phrases like he's squishy soft on communism. then had to be told that was mccarthyism and he shouldn't talk like that. does this guy know what he's talking like? >> i think he knows exactly what crowd he's playing to and more importantly why he's playing to this crowd. we've talked about this before, chris. i think there's been a political cultural war going on in this
country. i think the election of barack obama exacerbated those tensions and made the people on the other side more paranoid and upset about what they saw. there's so many strong cultural element. he's not just trying to lead the tea party effort, he's trying to lead this sort of cultural crusade against the rest of america. the last time we saw someone try to do this was our pal pat buchanan in the gop primary. ted cruz has a much bigger platform. >> what's his goal? >> sorry for pat, but he's better at doing this. >> he was a loud speaker of his support for old values and all that. but let me ask you this. somebody lightly says he's running for president. i'm not sure it's as simple as that. i think he's calling for an insurrection here within the law, of course, but some kind of loud, you know, father coughlin, hewey along thing. what is it? >> you have to understand where he's coming from. he's coming from a deeply
cultural and religious place where his people believe that the federal government is an imposition. that it should have no control over family life, over commerce and so forth. and also he operates on the basis of division. he believes the greater division there is, the greater chance for a charismatic figure such as ted cruz to be the magic figure that comes in. >> the man on the white horse. >> the man on the white horse that comes in. it's his plan to sow division. >> i'm not sure he's interested in the white house. i can't believe he believes he'll ever get the votes for his brand. >> i disagree. >> i thought you would. i'm always the odd man out. >> his dad is a evangelical preacher who has said repeatedly that my son is destined for greatness. i think, you know, in the last couple weeks we have seen ted
cruz leapfrog over rand paul in terms of who has the best sale now for the far right of the republican party which is where all the action is. it's where a lot of the votes will be in 2016. i think he's really looking to be a national leader. i don't know why you want to be a national leader if you're in elected office unless you are -- >> he has no doubts. i can say this. having watched him, he has no doubts about wanting to be a national leader. >> that's strange. even if he was elected president, he's never going to be elected. still a two-party system. you still need compromise. i keep teaching that wherever i go in this country. compromise is american. let's take a look at this. if you've listened to cruz over the last weeks, you've noticed his rhetoric remains the same. he's defending the american people against the train wreck which is obama care. let's watch the guy. >> i would do anything and will continue to do anything i can to stop the train wreck that is obama care. we're going to stand against the train wreck that is obama care.
stop this train wreck of a law. there is is mouch widespread agreement that this thing is a train wreck. i think our focus should not be on d.c. politics. it should be on the people who are getting hurt. my ire is focused on obama care because it's not working and hurting the american people. this fight was always about the american people who are hurting because of obama care. the deal that was reached last week was a lousy deal. it was a classic example of the washington establishment selling the american people down the river. >> cruz says he's looking out for the american people. you heard him there. take a look at his record in office. it points to other motivation. he's trying to be the leader of the anti-obama movement. not just obama care. he voted no on the continuing resolution to fund the government. he was one of only 18 to do so. he voted no on the bipartisan immigration bill that was supported by people like john mccain and marco rubio. that bill passed the senate with 68 votes. pretty dominating there. he voted no on the farm bill
that included funding for food stamps. he opposed john brennan. he did the same for chuck hagel. a republican. he opposed jack lew with the treasury. he was one of only three to vote against john kerry to lead the state department. i'm convinced -- this is a hard one to say. if caroline kennedy, if her nomination was confirmed by the senate for going to japan, i wonder if they'd had an actual roll call where he would have voted, this guy. he wants to be on the record as the most anti-barack obama. he's pretending it's all about protecting the harm caused by obama care. all those crocodile tears. he's in there on an assault mission to put the dynamite under the tracks causing the train wreck. he's not there to cry about its failures. he's there to destroy obama. look at his eyes. are those the eyes of a guy looking out for regular people or the eyes of a guy going into a diet to hurt? >> i'll take a flier and suggest
he would have voted against caroline kennedy. but he's pursuing two tracks here. one is he's appealing to the emotional heart of the base of the conservative wing of the party for whom the very name obama -- these are people who have a deep seeded fear and loathing of the president. so you combine the word obama with obama care which is unpopular with that part of the party, and he's going to continue to push this. and even though he's running hot, even though it doesn't seem like he could run at this pace for two or three years, he's making a bet that obama care itself will continue to be enough of a problem that somehow he will emerge victorious. if he has a logic to his politics as opposed to his emotion, that's it. >> chris, as we've seen already in just the last week or two, a lot of folks who even benefit from obama care on the right still hate it. because they hate the idea of
it, they don't even have to come to a conclusion about the realities. if you look at texas, texas has the highest rate of uninsured americans in the country. 3.5 million texans don't get insurance. already 270,000 texans under the age of 26 have benefitted. we have 206,000 elderly texans who have saved $280 a year because of it. it's not about a train wreck for millions of texans. yet he keeps saying that over and over again. even people who are benefitting, i'm sure there's a lot of medicare recipients who have saved hundreds of dollars who think obama is a socialist muslim and they hate him. >> cruz frequently attacks the leaders of his own party. here's what he said on cnn. let's watch. >> the people i work for are the men and women you just saw. i work for the texans. i fight for them.
i don't work for the party bosses in washington. i work for the people of texas and i fight for them. >> howard, again, he just keeps going on about this fighting. the word fight seems to be his favorite word. i have heard the word fight so many times from this right wing crowd. they don't seem to have a goal. they don't have an alternative health care plan. they have no policy plans for any of the problems facing america. what they like is the fight. maybe this ask back to what david said. just be seen as angry as the average right winger is against obama and you score. >> yeah. by the way, chris, i think he has a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is to be a united states senator. yes, you represent your state, but you're a member of a body that helps to lead the entire nation. so just as an example of the divisive politics you're talking about. >> i think he has a warped view of the party too. a lot of the tea partiers do. there are 10 million texans alone that have some degree of a pre-existing condition. when he says he's fighting for
the texans, a lot of the texans he's fighting against. people who are benefitting or will benefit from obama care. but yet he goes on as he said last week, premiums across the country are going up for everybody. it's just not true. you know, you can make policy arguments, libertarian arguments, ayn rand type arguments, and we'll see how well things work a year from now. but he's out there with rhetoric that is just -- has no basis in reality. and for his side, it doesn't matter. >> well, i think you're all right. i have no idea of his religious beliefs, but his political beliefs are clear. challenging everything in america saying i'm rallying against the people back in texas. it's interesting you point out the fact he doesn't see himself as a u.s. senator but a texas senator. thank you. by the way, the right wing of texas. thank you both. is the roman candle about to
burn itself out? or more like the flesh eating virus that's going to take over the gop? looks as if it's going to take a civil war in the republican party to get the answer. i think that's begun. also president obama acknowledges what everyone knows that the health care rollout has been a failure so far, but he says the affordable care act is more than a website. he accuses some of rooting for its failure. plus chris christie drops his argument for same-sex marriages. how will it play in those primary voter states like out in iowa? and we'll get a never before heard recording of nixon hearing offers in the soviet union. they were not about nuclear arms. >> probably out with somebody. >> i hope so. >> wasn't through lack of offers. >> just wait until you hear where those offers came from. this is "hardball," the place for politics. from what happened
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the question now is will the republican party have a civil war? over the nature of the party. and i think we're beginning to see rumblings of that. to have a civil war, you have to have two sides. the tea party has a side. they have a think tank and doe nar base. the other side, the republicans that want to compete in california, new york, along the
east coast and in illinois, they don't have a side. they have american cross roads. they have a cocktail party. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was columnist david brooks yesterday on meet the press. we're seeing a civil war emerge in the republican party these days. the tea party has the upper hand. john favreau wrote the tea party is the most destructive force in politics today. quote, what makes the tea party dangerous is that its members' ll disregard for american democracy. they do not believe in the legitimacy of our president, of decisions handed down by our supreme court. they have never, not once, shown a willingness to compromise on anything. merely uttering the word is enough to draw a primary challenge. the favreau, he argues in the best interest of parties they -- wi me is matt kibbe and
michael tumaski. i would argue it's not all good intention. i would argue for the first time in american politics that i can remember, the alternative to the government in power has been on display. we have seen the tactics of the tea party movement. we've seen the threat of a government shutdown and the reality of it for more than two weeks. we have watched the threat of a default on the national debt. we have watched it all. we have watched the angry faces of people supporting that tactic. i don't think it's ban good sales pitch. do you? >> well, i think it's difficult to be the guys that come to washington, d.c. and try to stop the bipartisan insanity of borrowing so much money we don't have of moving ahead with the program that nobody seems to think will work. yet we're going to fund it. it's not a political party, by the way. this is a social movement based on a set of crazy ideas like we shouldn't spend money we don't have. >> why has it gotten such a bad blasting in the polls? you've read the polls. you can deny them all, but
everything i've read said you guys don't look good. >> we've definitely been trashed in the polls. you've helped do that. >> i don't control the polls, matt, come on. you know that. we effect some people perhaps in their thinking, perhaps. but the idea that the main body of the american people is affected in its thinking by one or two tv stations is wrong. i don't believe people are that moved by an opinion i express. they have their own thinking and are independent in their thinking. i think, don't you? don't you think the american people are independent in their thinking? >> i agree with that too. >> then why do you accuse me of controlling the national opinion? >> no, no, i say you're one of many voices that don't quite understand why we have to do things differently in washington, d.c. you remember, you should remember this -- >> wait a minute. let me ask you this. what's wrong with having a regular system of voting on spending bills where you vote for appropriations or vote against them? you have the president veto them
or sign them. you have a budget resolution which guides spending and priorities and fiscal policies. you agree to it or don't. this past year has been a disaster. there's been no budget, resolution agreed to. cruz had something to do with the two budget committees not even meeting. the failure to have anything passed by october 1st. and then the disastrous two or three weeks of a government shutdown. do you think that's good government? >> no, i think it's bad government. >> whose fault was it? >> tip o'neill shut down the government 12 times. >> let's not go into that. i know all that history. please don't go into it. these are one or two times that hardly made the newspapers. they were not significant. they were not about the fundamental question. nothing happened back in those -- i was there the whole time. there was nothing like a government shutdown based on getting rid of a president's primary accomplishment in office which was a direct shot at the person. it was nothing as fundamental as this. believe me on this. it was not fundamental. >> i thought tip o'neill used it to go after star wars?
wasn't that reagan's achievement? >> let me tell you something. the average length of those shutdowns if you want to call them that -- first of all, we passed appropriations. we passed most by october 1st. a continuing resolution only effected that part of government that had not been appropriated. it's nothing like today. today we don't do any appropriations. we shut down the entire -- it is a government shutdown. not several agent sis. the u.s. government. so it's a totally different environment. you have to go back to 1994 where you have a government shutdown with very few appropriations passed. nothing like today where everything gets shut down. it's different in content and it's different in duration. certainly in duration. it wasn't until newt came along until we shut down for 26 days. it's different in the 23u7 fundamental quality of it. you're probably proud this is the most destructive shutdown. >> no. i agree with everything you talk about the dysfunction of the
budget process. we need to choose priorities in washington, d.c. the question is who's willing to do it? and. >> well, the congress that's been selected should do it. . >> from my perspective, the tea party has brought a rational conversation. the only savings achieved through the sequester came not because the democrats wanted to do it. not because the republicans wanted to do it, but because the american people insisted on it. thank god somebody showed up in that fight and it wasn't washington, d.c. >> let me go to michael. i have a different point of view. i think things could be solved by negotiation. i saw it done with tax reform. it can be done. you don't have to go to total war like this. but i think matt believes in total war. i get his message. he's a tea partier. your thoughts, michael. >> they all believe in total war. that's why the graphic you showed with corn and fineman are, cruz is against everything. because you have to take an absolutist line on every possible issue. and matt kibbe talks about
spending. i know that's a tea party priority, but he makes it sound so nice a. there are other aspects to the tea party as you know. the tea party is fueled by a lot of antagonism, a lot of rage, a lot of inflexibility on a whole lot of issues. and people sense that. people see that. people know how they talk and feel about obama. and that's why they're at 21% in the polls. >> this is really a fight on the right and center right. do you think we should dump as a country mitch mcconnell, thad cochran, pat roberts as senators? >> i do think we should upgrade from a lot of these republicans who haven't done what it takes to get this done. >> in other words, that's nice language for let's dump these guys. you say upgrade, i don't know what that means. >> we're in the process of repopulating the republican party with people who stand for something. >> upgrading and repopulating. how's that different than dumping? >> same thing happened when ronald reagan stepped onto the national scene in 1976. the establishment hated it.
ronald reagan became the new standard for what a republican was. >> and what's the new standard now? >> the new standard is the same values that elected the house in 2010. stop spending money we don't have. stop forcing people into a health care system they don't want. and start getting washington out of our lives. that's what's going to win in 2014. >> and do you think your party's going to be -- the movement of the tea party is going to take over the republican party? is that your goal? >> that's absolutely our goal. >> and when do you think you'll achieve that? rather than the old republican party of the establishment. when will that happen? >> i think it's a process. i think it probably happens by 2014 because we're trying to shift the center of gravity. i'm all for more moderate republicans in blue states and purple states. but in south carolina, we should have a hard core constitutional conservative that doesn't want to spend money. >> you want to dump lindsey graham. let me go back to michael.
this is a direct statement. of a direct attempt to dump all moderate republicans from red states. get rid of anybody, sort of a mainstream conservative and replace them with tea parties. only allowing moderates, as matt said beautifully, in states like new jersey. they will allow a chris christie in jersey. but he better not show his face anywhere in the south or in the conservative rocky mountains. >> but it's delusional also. they're not going to elect any republicans in new york and california. you remember, it was only 15 or 20 years ago that the republican party was competitive to dominant in california. but it's dead. it's dead because it's gone so far right. and it's going to stay dead in states like california and new york. so all they're going to do is play in these deep red states, and they're going to erect more and more radical and extreme people. that's all they'll have. >> matt, what's more important to you personally? to take over the republican party by the tea party or republican victory in the presidential election of 2016? what's more important to you? >> i think they're the same.
establishment republicans have been losing contests for most of my life. >> if you had to choose, would you rather take over the party and lose now or win later? >> it's a false choice. i don't think another version of bob dole is going to win in 2016. >> who's the last great candidate you've had in your party you've accepted? >> the last great candidate, it's going to be someone like ted cruz. >> no who was the last one? you accept as a leader of the tea party movement in the united states? >> ronald reagan. >> all right. thank you. thank you, matt and michael. both of you. up next, a never before heard recording from nixon -- from the nixon white house tapes and an offer for the soviet union henry kissinger couldn't refuse. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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but enough politics. we are here tonight to celebrate the first lady of american comedy, ted cruz. >> time now for the sideshow. that was tina fey taking a shot at senator ted cruz last night at an event honoring carol burnett in washington. next up, it was 40 years ago this week that former president richard nixon agreed to turn over audio recordings of his white house conversations to watergate investigators. while the nixon tapes are in the public record, no historian has listened to and transcribed more of the 4,000 total hours than texas a&m professor and author luke nictor. now he has teamed up to write the book on the tapes. luke has found some gems that have been hiding in plain sight for years. he shared one of his lightheaded conversations exclusively with "hardball." here now is richard nixon with his secretary speaking about henry kissinger's trip to the
>> i don't know what to say except too much information about nixon and kissinger. up next, president obama admits the online rollout of the affordable care act has been rocky. so what's it going to take to fix it? that's the big question. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. i'm on expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for, because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. ready to plan for your future? we'll help you get there. because an empty pan is a blank canvas. [ woman #2 ] to share a moment. [ woman #3 ] to travel the world without leaving home. [ male announcer ] whatever the reason. whatever the dish.
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the problem has been that the website that's supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody. there's no sugar coating it. the website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process, and i think it's fair to say that nobody's more frustrated by that than i am. nobody's madder than me about the fact the website isn't working as well as it should. which means it's going to get fixed. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama earlier today acknowledging that the rollout of his signature policy achievement obama care has not lived up to expectations. as you heard him there, the president has vowed to fix the problems which are daunting. "the new york times" reports that the issues plaguing the law's rollout or enrollment website are more than just a few bugs. here's why. the error messages and
registration issues may be masking deeper systems problems. some insurers have been receiving incorrect enrollment information. contractors are worried that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly. and get this, an astonishing 5 million lines of code may need to be rewritten. a recent report from usa today summed it up like this. quote, the federal health care exchange was built used ten year old technology that may require constant fixes for months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system. what can be done to fix this situation? the chief technology officer from 2009 through 2012. he served as a key policy adviser to the president when the affordable care act systems were designed. and "the washington post" ezra klein, an msnbc policy analyst. i want you both gentlemen to be positive. we've only got a few minutes here. help the viewer and consumer at
the same time. what can be done to improve what's wrong? >> well, first and foremost it's important to understand that there are plenty of ways to access the plans besides the website. you can talk to people in person as well as over the phone. the good news is that i believe the steps that are in challenge right now, that is, in setting up the account and carrying you through the online market place, there is a team of people that are diagnosing and creating a punch list of those challenges that they're going to work through them in the coming days and weeks and are going to get them resolved. hopefully this will be a footnote in the experience. >> the idea, the concept of providing a market based solution to our health care challenge which is all these people who work for a living but don't have health care, is there something faulty in that concept? >> no. that's what's so deeply
frustrating about the failure of the website. this is a concept that could work. the medicaid expansion part is going fine. the states are having -- >> which means increasing -- lowering the standard for getting into medicaid. you can make a bit more money than you did before. >> that's an existing sort of government-run insurer. they're having no problems with that. the broader concept of how you have a competitive market place and the government helping folks who can't afford it buy private insurance, the example in romney care and old plans later adopted by the democrats, that is also working. you see it working in massachusetts. but you also see exchanges working in california, in washington, in kentucky. so this can work. eventually the federal exchange will work. so the model can be done. the question is simply how quickly they get it fixed and if they get it fixed in time to get those kind of young healthy people in order to keep premiums low in year two. >> suppose you're 25 years old
right now. you're skeptical and not really happy about being told you need health care because you feel fit as a fiddle. and you're living a safe life and wonder why you have to do more than buy liability on your car insurance. that person is at risk here. if that person tries a couple of times to hook into the website and doesn't get to, they might walk away saying i did my bit. it's their fault. >> i actually disagree with the premise. >> go ahead. >> when they get to the site, they'll see the prices they'll ultimately pay for their own service is actually affordable and accessible to them. they'll deal with the short-term set of glitches to make it through to take advantage of these. >> what's the beef? >> the beef is obviously the systems aren't working to take you all the way to the end. if i'm told i can save 15%, 20% on what otherwise would be available to me in the market to get me something i haven't b had before but i know will keep me protected throughout my life, that is a huge burden to lift on
their shoulders. i'll take a few bumps in the road to get there. remember glitches like this happen even in the private sector. i'm a united airlines customer. when united and continental merged, it took them months. >> let's imagine you're president of the united states right now, you know him personally, you've worked with the president. what's he doing right now to get this thing online faster? because he knows the deadline is you want to make sure these -- as many young and healthy people get aboard as possible. what's he yelling into the phone? what is he concerned about that if he were the yelling kind of guy, he'd be yelling about? >> number one, he wants an accurate diagnosis of the problem without any spin. he wants the best people inside and outside of government to come in and help address those problems. and he wants to make sure that every creative alternative is available so we can solve these issues moving forward. >> let me ask ezra. no contacts with the white house. present, past, or future. like the president of a baseball team, they're losing, they have to get rid of the manager
because that's what they do. the owner is looking around. the general manager is looking around. are they looking around for some person from silicon valley or genius steve jobs type who they know can fix the problem within days if not hours. are they looking around for someone like that? >> so they've got a huge group of these people. they won't tell me who they are. they say maybe later. they call them the tech surge. they brought in a bunch of people. some from inside government led by the white house guy named todd park. very bright guy. they're very effective. they're on it. but they also have a lot of people from outside. folks who are very strong tech people. but it should be said, this isn't a thing where somebody can just come in in a day or a couple of days just because they're real smart and redo it. it is such an incredible massive code. you're dealing with 500 million lines of code. at least 5 million of which are
compromised. you do need people who have experience in these areas and get up to speed on it quickly. so they are bringing outside folks, but it isn't just really smart people they need. they need people who have experience on these kinds of interoperating systems. that is who they're looking for now. >> aneesh, last question the you. you're an advocate and so am i. what do you worry about that's republican extense shl here in terms of us getting health care for the country? >> the absolute concern is too many young people don't sign up. and we see an adjustment to the risk pools for next year which take us in the wrong direction on prices. we've got to do all hands on deck to get the enrollment to where they need to be so we deliver on the long-term savings that the affordable care act has already demonstrated and i hope will carry forward. >> and everybody understands that. it's called shared risk. it's shared pooling of your resources and your health problems so that the people that are less healthy and older are -- >> we win together.
>> otherwise we lose together. you thank you as always. up next, same-sex marriage is now legal in new jersey. but that puts chris christie kind of in the middle of this issue between wanting to be president and wanting to be the governor of new jersey. fascinating stuff. this is "hardball," the place for politics. but they didn't fit. customer's not happy, i'm not happy. sales go down, i'm not happy. merch comes back, i'm not happy. use ups. they make returns easy. unhappy customer becomes happy customer. then, repeat customer. easy returns, i'm happy. repeat customers, i'm happy. sales go up, i'm happy. i ordered another pair. i'm happy. (both) i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. happy happy. i love logistics. [ passenger ] airport, please. what airline? united. [ indian accent ] which airline, sir? [ passenger ] united. whoa taxi! [ british accent ] what airline, then? [ passenger ] united. all right.
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we're back. chris christie standing down in his fight against same-sex marriage after the state supreme court voted unanimously this friday to uphold a lower court's ruling in favor of marriage equality. christie who had attempted to stay and appeal that earlier ruling says he will cooperate with the order and dropped appeal today. it came days after christie defended his position in a debate against democratic challenger barbara buono. >> the governor is consistent. he's consistently aligned his views with, oh, i don't know. his social views online with sarah palin, the iowa republican caucus. >> if my children came to me and said that they were gay, i would grab them and hug them and tell them i loved them. but what i would also tell them is that dad believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. and that's my position. >> well, the marriage debate is
proving to be a difficult balancing act for a republican governor from a blue state. especially if he's angling to run for. t in 2016. look at how these nu break down. our nbc/"wall street journal" poll found that 53% of americans altogether say they support same-sex marriage, but among republicans, the folks who actually will be choosing the party's nominee, just 27% say they're in favor, big differential there. while christie can say he took a stand against gay marriage, that might not be enough for some social conservatives who see the governor as capitulating. look at how "drudge" put it together "christie's engaged gay marriage in new jersey." here car knackie of "up with steve carnacki" and jody of "the grid." you could be in new york city on the west side, you could be out in utah in the rural areas and have very different notions of what america is culturally on the issue of same-sex marriage or equality, as lots of people like to say it now.
steve, can you -- let me just put it this way, i think guns are a voting issue in a big part of the country. i think abortion's a big voting issue, and it is, and it's going to stay that way in a big part of the country, conservative parts of pennsylvania, for example. abortion rights are critical as a political issue. i don't know whether even three years from now marriage equality's going to be a voting issue. what we mean by that is an issue on which people vote. plain and simple, that's how i decide how to vote. do you think it's going to remain an issue that could stop a christie nomination fight? >> i think it could still be an issue, but i think it's an issue that three years from now could cut both ways. i think it's the kind of issue where if you're the republican nominee in the general election in 2016 -- >> no, let's talk about the nomination. >> okay, but i think that's part of the calculus here, but if you're looking -- >> you think they're thinking who's electable? the party of the republicans are totally beyond that, steve. let me talk to you about this. they are so angry as a party now, they don't think about who's going to be the best candidate. they tried that with mitt romney, tried that with john mccain. don't you see them now going for a candidate that they like?
>> well, i think we've been saying the same thing in the run-up to every republican nomination since 1994, since the angry white male election of 1994, when they went with bob dole in '96 and bush in 2000, mccain in '08 and romney in 2012. the bet the christie people are making is that ultimately that will prevail again in 2016. >> i see. >> i think when i say general election, what i'm talking about here is i think part of the 2016 pitch to republicans that chris christie's going to be making is i am the most -- of all of the republican governors in the country, none of them is in a state that was more obama-friendly than me, a 17-point obama state in 2012, and i managed to get re-elected in 2013 by a huge margin there. i think today, the move he's making today is about shoring up and protecting the big margin, you know, in two weeks in new jersey so he can go carry that message to republicans. i think this is the kind of issue, wasn't going to cost him the election in 2013, but this was the kind of thing that could have shaved five points off for him and i think he's trying to protect that with the move today. >> there's nothing more i like
to see, joy, my friend, is a debate between chris christie who i like in many ways, because he reminds me of the guys i grew up with -- big city, ethnic kind of guy, i went to school with, catholic guy. i get him. i get this guy. and none of your business sounds like one of those guys, none of your business. him seda debating ted cruz woul heaven for me. i'd watch a three-hour debate between them. i'm not sure who would win the nomination fight if they could tag him with, you're a cultural liberal, you think like modern people. we don't think like you. >> no, chris, i totally agree with you, i think, more than steve on this. because i think had there not been a john mccain, not been a mitt romney and not been a george w. bush, because remember, what bush's genius was, if you want to use genius and george bush in the same sentence, but the genius of george w. bush was he was able to have enough credibility with the rock ridge conservative base to be able to move and be sort of palatable to the business conservative. but right now, the business wing of the party has three strikes. they elected george w. bush, who came in as a rock conservative
and gave away the store on spending. then you had two losses with mccain and romney, both of whom the base ultimately said okay, we'll embrace him, give you guys your way. i think this time the base of the party is through with the establishment, and christie being the favorite of, let's just face it, our business, of the northeastern media elite, hurts him. the national organization for marriage came out and slammed him as having no courage, no convictions. that part of the party is ascendant right now. the rock rib base wants somebody like him, and there's going to be other governors, there will be perry out there, scott walker out there, people more conservative than christie. he's going to have a tough time getting the nomination. >> the one thing going for him, steve, and i don't know what's going to happen in three years, but one thing going for him, there's only one of him. joy just went through the list. i remember jimmy carter won because he was the only nonliberal running in '76 and he stood out as a moderate and the country was dying for a pragmatic moderate, didn't want another mondale, another guy like that. >> exactly. i'd say a couple things. one, first of all, if you have a
splintered right and then you have chris christie as sort of, you used the term moderate, i don't know that that even applies to chris christie. that's sort of his image in the republican world, that he's a moderate -- >> it means he's not a horse's ass is what it means. >> when you get down it, i think he'll pass most of the litmus tests -- >> but walking the beach with obama, they'll do what they did to -- you hugged obama. steve, i'm out of town. we'll have you back, steve. you're great and a smart guy. thank you, joy. every purchase earns you 2% cash back, which is deposited in your fidelity account. is that it? actually... there's no annual fee and no limits on rewards. and with the fidelity cash management account debit card, you get reimbursed for all atm fees. is that it? oh, this guy, too. turn more of the money you spend into money you invest. it's everyday reinvesting for your personal economy.
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let me finish tonight with my latest travels and what i'm hearing out there. i spent yesterday and today in chicago, including a stop nearby north central college, hearing and answering questions from a range of folks, suburban, city, moderate, liberal and even conservatives. every one of those people are americans, as are people i'll meet tomorrow in philadelphia, as i discuss my book at the national constitution center. as for the people i worked with in washington and with the san francisco newspapers, i have a message for them and everyone else worried about the country getting so divided that ted cruz can define where america is in this country and where it is not, and by stark implication, where the people living there are not american. as willie nelson says in his great song "it's not supposed to be that way," "you're not supposed to point at someone" or a part of the country and say you're not an american. if you want politics to work in this country again, we need people to stop