tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC May 23, 2010 11:00am-11:30am EDT
>> this is the chris matthews show. >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> i can hear you. >> the time for change has come. >> city hall and the winners are running against both parties. how aboutac bk obam the big change in 2008 battle washington in 2010. how does he become the change? the bill drill. and how does the president re tiger and how does he join the citizen's revolt? that's easy, do what clinton did. and rand paul was a huge winner tuesday night but now has he
brought himself big trouble by questioning a civil rights bill. is he upset with the tea party backers and out of step with history. >> welcome to the show, and the chief washington correspondent with msnbc and howard fineman. if we didn't know change was it, this week's primary trove it home. the voters have had it with washington and the establishment of both parties. they're looking for ways to cut losses this november, and figuring that barack obama who swept in two years ago on the push for change can run against washington from the white house. they may take a page from bill clinton. clinton recaptured the change after newt gingrich ran against
washington. here's the playbook. join the party of change and blame washington. >> half of the time up there, everybody is worried about what does the polls say, making calculations based on what is good for the next election instead of the nation. >> talk up job growth as clinton talked about his imprfinghe economy. third, wait for the other side to overplay its hand as gingrich did. and change is in the air, kentucky and pennsylvania and everywhere, arkansas. how does he get on the front of that fight? >> a few things. stop saying the word "i" all of the time and say we. stop talking about history. they want jobs, not history. and admit that he has not changed washington as much as he wanted to and he needs more help to do it. because that was the big promise, the name of jonathan's book is the promise. to me, the promise was not only it pass laws but to change the
way washington works and he hasn't been able to do it. he has to admit that because the polls show people don't believe it. ask for their help in doing it. chris: seems like he could give you the scoreboard and we did this and that and the stimulus and the obama care. they seem to be more tarts than accomplishments. how does he put meat on the bones and say i got jobs? >> they admit even though they have huge legislative accomplishments and health care and getting that legislation and selling it was harder. selling it to the american people. the communications job for a man that is a great communicator is difficult for them. they're trying to put this under a big until prell has, not the party of reform but the party of results as a message for 2010. chris: the republicans tried to do it like rand paul and they're begging them to campaign for the opponents.
republicans think obama is a losener 2010. is he right? >> he's popular but not able to translate into electoral votes. we have seen that with new jersey, pennsylvania and virginia. inviting him to come to kentucky they play expect is him to once again waste more capital. and paul has two things. this issue we're going to talk about hair, puts -- makes things messy foree for, for paul and for all of the republicans who want to make obama look bad. there's a sympathy factor kicking in when you start challenging whether, whether the civil rights act was good thing and suddenly the first african-american president on the ground who wants to get involved in that conversation. chris: before that, that's a good piece for the second half of the show. we'll talk about your book. president obama talk to you about his surprise about how the big spending of his first year, all of the stuff he did, it stirred people up. here's what he told you. it wasn't that i thought my political outreach would yachtly
stop partisan politician, i thought that at least for the first creer, there would be interesting governing and you didn't see that happening. was he naive? >> he was a little naive in that he did think with the economy using -- losing 740,000 jobs a month in january of 2009 when e he wame in. if we stayed on that path, we would have had a great depression by end of last year. given we're facing that and a lot of historic challenges, he thought that that the other team would join him. they were getting stimulus money for their districts and he was frankly stunned that he didn't get any republican votes. he went over and met with the republican caucus a week after the inauguration. no democrats. just obama and the republicans. he found out later that john boehner and the republican leadership had instructed every member of the caucus to vote no and not talk to the president and not cut a deal with them because they were wasting his time. >> the problem, it seems
everything he's done has cost muff money and driven up the debt and deficit. the more he brags about what he's done and say, i didn't like that but i -- that cost a lot of money. the stimulus, that cost a lot. and your response for the deficit, the debt. and he gets no credit for the fact that the unemployment situation while still bad, there are a lot of jobs being created. >> he's got a problem in that he can't brag about preventing, something that didn't happen. in your own words, one of his main arguments is, hey, if it weren't for us, there would have been a second depression. since it didn't happen -- it is hard to brag about something that didn't happen. >> right now the thing is turning a bit. there's new parties. >> the amount of money he spent and the debt commitments and deficit commitments, that's a big issue. he's got to recognize that. while some say he can't blame the past and talk about bush and the republicans and i think and he's indicated in the fund-raising speech in new york he's going to say -- we don't
want change does not mean we want to go back to those guys. >>ed best defense is a good offense. can he, given the way things are, and he has no real electoral leverage, can he sort of attack the other side? can he go on the offensive politically? yao yes, and this white house will turn up the rhetoric. he'll come out as a fighter. they don't want this to be a referendum on his presidency or the democratic party. they want to of course make that point that the president made. they tried to drive the country into the ditch, we're just getting out and we're not going to give them the keys. that's the refrain for the president when it comes up and that's what they want. >> that's certainly the message. but, there's a -- a huge anti-establishment movement under way and really doesn't matter who is in office. ifou're an incumbent, you're goin toutg he door. and -- i mean, it may be -- you may disagree with that but we're seeing it over and over.
>> i don't agree with that. i think it is grossly exaggerated. the tea party is grossly exaggerated. >> it is exaggerated but the eab establishment mood is there and obama is the establishment. >> the mood is there and they shouldn't underestimate the anger. look at kentucky, the losing democratic candidate got more votes than rand paul. there were more democrats voting. >> i understand that. >> and talking about -- and he was more than an establishment candidate. >> you're still talking about 20%, the fierce, the fearful fifth. they're the tea party and rush limbaugh. that adds up to 20%. so the battle ground is independents, as it has always been in the country. obama lost them in 2009. the democrats are in trouble with them. >> and the spending issue. we got to fast forward and a different question, and matthews, and 12 regulars. will president obama run against washington when he's trying to
get reelected in 2012? seven surprised me and five say no and of the seven three are here and they're in the meter and they all say you three say he could run against washington. does that presuppose this november that he loses control of congress and gets a run against congress. >> i don't think he'll lose -- >> what about congress? >> he could say we made changes, here's what we done. >> and then run against washington? >> i think he can. as presenting himself as a change agent. he's trying to rack up the wins to do that. he's going to in some way pivot. 2010 he's the fighter and 2012, he returns to the speech of 2004, the convention speech not red and blue but the united states of america. he wants to be seen as a partyless leader. >> do you think he expect to run against congress because he may
lose? >> he will lose effective co it is going to gum up the works for him to run again. chris: do you think he'll do what clinton did? >> he's -- i do think that the -- a lot more republicans are going to move in and be helpful to moom because he can center them and become morrison tryst and if it goes badly, and he could say it is not my fault. they fought me. chris: can he get the center like clinton? >> i think so. he's got to stop saying i and talk about history. chris: that scares people. >> sounds like too much government and history. that's what i'm saying. >> jobs is everything. when people have jobs -- chris: can he go center? >> i think he can. you said it with the first word. >> he can go to the center but he has to get back to jobs. he got too far away from 2009.
he needs innovation agenda. that word innovation and small business and entrepreneurship, he's not saying these things. chris: i want to see him with a hard hat and building trains and hybrid cards and the clipboard. i never think of him as building things. >> you want a train. chris: i want to see the plants open up again. before we break, it is a week when dumb political statements have been front and center. there's rand paul's questioning of the civil rights act. much more on that in the next segment. there was connecticut attorney general blumenthal's claim he served in vietnam when he didn't. and arlen specter lost for lots of reasons but a big factor is his weird declaration last year that he was switching parties so he could save his senate seat. and the opponent used that. and the statement was so self-destructive, it is number 10 on our top 10 stupid political thinkers of all time. >> my change in party will
enable me to be reelected. >> and another top 10 political statements ever. this one. >> i actually did vote for the $87 billion before i voted against it. >> and george romney running for the g.o.p. nomination and was finished with this one. >> i came back from vietnam, i had the greatest brain washing anybody could get. >> and senator and physician bill fish had this diagnosis of brain activity in terry schiavo made by looking at a videotape. >> based on the footage provided me, which were part of the facts of the case, she does respond. >> number six, barack obama never fully recovered among blue collar workers after this. >> [unintelligible] religion or and angry about people that aren't like them. >> jerry ford ridiculed after
this. >> there's no soviet domination of eastern europe and there never will be under a ford administration. >> number four. by the way that was back in 1966. bush 41. he had t tak this back big time. >> read my lips. no more taxes. chris: number three, virginia senator george allen finished his hopes with this. >> let's give a welcome to america and the real world of virginia. chris: john mccain was on a roll in september of 2008 and then the economy collapsed and mccain had this to say. >> the fundamentals of our economy is strong. chris: number one talking about self-emulation. and this is mondale in 194e. >> mr. reagan, -- mr.ea rgan will raise staxes -- taxes and
in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains. i'm all in favor of that. but -- you had to ask me that. i don't like the idea of telling private business owners -- i abhor racism, i think it is a bad business decision to exclude anybody but at the same time i do believe in private ownership. >> my msnbc calling, rachel maddow tried to get him to say up or down whether a store should be able to discriminate at its lunch counters. ow>> h about lunch counters? walgreen's lunch counters. >> these are philosophical depaetz. >> should woolworth lunch counter be allowed to stay segregated? just joran. >> and since then, he has said he won't repeal the civil rights act and he would have voted for
it if he was in congress then. done a lot of 180 turning. can he control it now. >> it is 170. he said he would have voted for it because there was a problem in the south back then. he claims to -- clinics to his belief. that's a problem not just in kentucky but nationally. nationally polls show that a lot of americans think that the tea party is motivated by race. i don't think that's really the case. but this kind of thing plays right into the developing stereotype of the tea party. it could hurt the republicans in states like illinois and others. chris: people care about civil rights. they hear one thing. he's got a problem. they don't care what it is. that makes him the prothan. >> it is a huge problem. the word that should have followed that is nothing. the civil rights act is the best thing we ever did. case closed. i'm done talking about it.
let me bridge to something else. what we do see with him is another problem for the tea party movement, it shows how woefully inexperienced he is. he'll put -- put someone in power or in office who doesn't know what is going on. chris: these are the conversations you have in dorm rooms. >> at 2:00 in the morning. chris: maybe 40 years ago. >> keep your mouth shut from republican leaders in washington who don't like the fact that he was engaging in this conversation, a 15-minute long interview with rachel maddow and they don't want him coming it washington and screwing the republican party by having longer discussions where he's going about which parts of the civil rights movement he doesn't like. >> this sets a pred cal for his libertarian views. he wants to abolish cabinet offices. when they ask about medicare, he says he likes reimbursement but
was against it. and then they start adding up how many people in kentucky get medicare and then starting to ask, so you're saying these folks shouldn't get this, because it is not the fedal government's responsibility to do this. medicare is opposed. as socialism. >> he's crossed with americans and disabilities act. >> fundamentalism sounds good without the facts. chris: we'll come back with without the facts. chris: we'll come back with these top reporters. >> if your home runs out of room before you run out of family, you might need a sunroom. if the only place in your home you can find peace and quiet and relax is the bathroom, you might need a sunroom. and if bringing the outdoors indoors at your house means a goldfish bowl and an ant farm, you might need a sunroom. a betterliving sunroom is the simple, efficient way to add useful living space to your home.
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chris: tell me something i don't know. >> this is going to make your head explode, chris. this has to do with dick blumen thall who is in trouble in connecticut. there's democrats talking about possible replace ms. some of the names, rosa demore ra who happens to be married to stan greenberg and the other name, ted kennedy jr. >> wow. chris, europe has greece, united states has california. now i was out there and the situation financially is worse than anybody knows, not with just the budget that could be in the hole but the pension plans are going down and there's no democrat to do a deal with. willie brown, who i spoke to, the famous speaker, because of term limits, there's nobody in the legislature for arnold schwarzenegger to deal with. it'll make it a much bigger problem. >> a month ago i mentioned the
name of this young woman that is running for governor of south carolina. guess who swooped in? and sarah palin swooped in and dropped her bubble dust and she went from the bottom to the top. sarah palin can change a race like that. >> i'm going to plug the pak. a lot in this you don't know. >> the secret between the president and pentagon practices. joe biden wanted people fired in the pentagon. >> what was the issue? >> the issue was talking out of school and jamming the president and boxing him and manipulating him. when i interviewed him i asked him about it, he sd,ai i'll neither confirm or deny i was jammed by the pentagon.
chris: this book's big question. will obama eventually get blamed personally for slow action on the oil spill? >> personally. no. >> sure. >> i don't think it'll be personal but blamed. >> it'll be up to him. >> yeah, becseau we didn't respond very fast. chris: who -- >> on his watch and they'll both share blame. >> and norah o'donnell, thanks for sitting in for me last week. you were too good. and kathleen parker and congratulations on your great book. and that's the show, thanks for watchi