tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC April 1, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT
>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> tear down this wall. >> i can hear you! >> the time for change has come! chris: health care took decades to be born. f.d.r., truman, kennedy, they all tried to sell it and then obama did. so what will happen if it comes tumbling down? will there be sadness or wonder? they hold the power to call obama's number one deal a violation of the constitution. will that give his critics to say that obama violated the oath
of office? and would he then have to fight the court? >> and then finally, history fights back. the trayvon martin case shows the power of this country's bad old history continues to hold the upper hand. hi, i'm chris matthews. with us, hdnet's dan rather. nia-malika henderson from "the washington post." and nbc's pete williams. the euphoria of the bill's victorious passage has a far less optimistic view. >> it's the law. the president signs the health care bill adds supporters cheer and critics vow their argument. the argument whether the health
care argument is constitutional at all. chris: take us inside the court, pete williams. you were there. electric. it's called a hot bench. it's really feverish. >> it was. everyone had a lot of questions. the justice had to play traffic cop and they had to say which one would go next. there was one point when justice kagan was interrupted. the so lister -- chris: he gave different signals this week. one was a real resistance this week of the president's individual mandate requiring us to get health insurance. on the other hand he seemed to
question what if they don't get insurance? >> maybe there is something different about the health care industry. you go to the hospital, they treat you anyway. but the cost is transferred to other people who do have insurance. his final words were, that's what concerns me about this case. despite all his reservations, at the end is he going to find some way, ok. this is different. we're not saying that congress can force you to buy anything it wants in any other field. there's something different about health care. chris:er were you dismayed by the notion that this bill is really in trouble? >> i was not surprised, chris, because it was going to be controversial whether the federal government can force americans to buy something that they may or may not want. it's not inconceivable that the
president would pass it. >> there were conservatives of the field court judge who is found a conservative pathway that said this could be upheld. chris: i don't know about you. but it looked pretty tough on the president. he had a tough time especially with justice kennedy. >> there's no question on what we've seen and heard thus far. president obama has plenty to worry about. the economy is the number one thing in the campaign. but however this decision goes, it's going to be big, big as in huge, borderline enormous as we go get the fall campaign. either way it goes, and it's a personal opinion. i'm a little surprised that the white house seemed to have been caught unbalanced, perhaps unprepared. perhaps i'm wrong about that. but they have to realize there's a huge problem if this decision
goes against them. chris: it seems to me that this is a whole new factor. romney could jump on this. the president could play defense. this is so new to the game. >> they're the oness that wanted this to happen. now we have a situation where one of romney's primary arguments that he would repeal and replace obama care might not be available to him if it's declared unconstitutional. if you look at their treatment of health care so far, it happened in -- you can imagine that he'll go back to this idea saying hey, let's come together. let's figure out a way forward. chris: all the cards are in the air now. i mean, everything, we don't have perhaps come june when they make a ruling.
number one legislative achievement. what does he say? he said i made a good try at it. how does he commence the fight? >> there are a lot of theories in the way this will go. james carville has said, well, this is a great thing for the democrats because it will rally them in a way it could. president obama said, look, i did my best. these partisan judges don't care. ultimately it will come down to fairness and freedom. who can make those arguments. polling shows that fairness always wins. if president obama can push forward that it was a fairness problem all along, then he's still ok. but the republican's argument that it was all about freedom. that will not necessarily prevail.
chris: carville said the democrats would benefit down the road. not the president. this could take years when people say, why don't we have a health care plan? i guess the question is will the president be pained as the guy that he went too far with power which the tea party will rebel against. or will we still have a problem of 50 million people uninsured. >> the republican have a great opening, look this was his center piece legislation. it was unconstitutional. chris: is that fair? >> they're reviewing an active congress, not the president. the commerce law is about the congress' authority. that's what the supreme court's looking at. it's the power of congress that's what we have to remember. the second thing is even if the supreme court strikes down only
the second part, they will take out the mandate and that insurance companies can't turn down something with pre-existing conditions. so there is something that everyone will like. chris: what's the strongest argument going into november. that the supreme court, they went too far. they're all appointed by regan, the bushes. or will they say that the president took advantage of his office? >> i just want to point out for sure. but i think it's an advantage with republicans because it fits into, listen, this guy, he's not only suspect of being too far to the left but he doesn't know what he's doing. he's ineffective. >> but i do wonder if romney is the best person to do that.
chris: he wouldn't be the best guy. >> he hasn't been, you know, a tea party guy. and that's their argument about freedom, the competition. his argument would be in terms of his program in massachusetts. my plan romney will say, what's constitutional and guess what obama -- chris: kathy, who wins? what would you say? >> i would say ha the republicans will benefit from that. absolutely. >> let me say what i think won't happen and that's that the democrats won't say it will happen. we need to appoint more liberals to the president court. that is almost never a big issue in any campaign. >> they lose interest in that supreme court fight. >> before we break. what's the beef about broccoli. broccoli got picked on by both sides but justice scalia started
it. >> everybody has to buy food. therefore everybody's in the market. therefore you can make people buy broccoli. chris: but the guy who gave broccoli its cauley flower ear was george w.h. bush. >> now, look, this is the last statement i'm going to have on broccoli. there are truckloads of broccoli at this very minute descending on washington. my family is divided. i do not like broccoli. and i haven't liked it since i was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. and i'm president of the united states and i'm not going to eat anymore broccoli. chris: well, after that, broccoli kept rearing its ugly head if you will on the tonight show like the day bush nominated suitor. >> he met with sudor and that's
when bush asked him the big important question. how do you feel about broccoli? chris: the bush family thing about brockly, w. stopped in portland. >> it was back to the airport for the presidential hopeful. more than 100 supporters came out early. but does george bush jr. like broccoli? >> but the secret service confiscated broccoli man's head but they let him stay in the crowd. >> the answer to the big question is -- i like the tops but not the stocks. chris: they do love their veggies in portland which they love this show out there, which makes me happy. >> turning serious again, we have the first african-american
chris: welcome back. when barack obama won the presidency, many americans of all political stripes were hopeful that the country was marking a national passage. but the trayvon martin case shows that faced with a human tragedy, americans still react with the full force of our history. the president talked about the case and his personal sympathies for the martin family. we don't know great deal about his own experiences as a young black man in this country. but listen to his answer when he was asked about not being black enough. >> how do you address those who say you're not black enough?
>> you know when i'm passing a cab in manhattan, i've given my cre -- credential. race is still a critical problem. but i do believe in the core decency of the american people. and i think they want to get beyond some of our racial divisions. chris: that's the president at his best when he can be. it seems to be being very careful for and every journalist should be careful. there are several issues, one is that young man was pursuing him because of his race because he was african-american. you have to wonder the way the police handled this the way they didn't know who the young man was. drug testing his body. the sofert attitude they had
towards him. it seemed to be racially based. >> that's right. in a lot of ways there has been a rush to judgment whether from the cops or whether it's the way we covered this case. and i think you saw the president really trade lightly here. this was probably his best per foreman mans in dealing with race. there was a skipped aid case and a shirlry sherrod case. there was a lot of pushback. in talking to african-americans about this, they don't see as the president who should weigh in on every issue. they think that talking about it can be a trap for the president. you saw that with shirley sherrod. chris: well said. you said we steam reach a consensus of racially triggered violence when president obama commented on the case who said
if he looked like a son that looked like trayvon. >> this is one of those subjects that so difficult to talk about because there are so many land mines. i'm curious to know what he thinks. he has given a speech offer race. and i think we want to have a conversation. in a way it's an opportunity to sort of level the playing field. let's talk these things through. my particular with this particular case is there has been such a rush to judgment and there is this assumption that there are things there that might not be there. we just don't know that. >> the first time he spoke on this he said as a father this is what my son would look like this. >> the question is can he, should he say anything more since this is a case under
investigation yet to be take on the the garage yet to know -- to the grand jury. let's talk about the clip you played, his afeel the core decency of the american public. i thought it was one of the most important things he said at least in many months because it's a way of saying, do we have race problems, yes we have race problems. but it was a steady as we go. we are decent people. but there is a core decency even about race. that's the message he put out. i would leave that message out there and wait until we get more information. >> that doesn't get reaped enough by the people are on the airway building this bigger
about this man. chris: do we need a voice? >> the tricky part is that there is a federal investigation. if there are going to be charges, the most likely charges will come from the state. they have a broad array they can choose from. there is no federal/murder statute. it's extremely difficult and i don't think the feds will only assist this investigation. chris: when we come back scoops and predictions. tell me something i don't know. be right back. [ male announcer ] for our families... our neighbors... and our communities... america's beverage companies have created a wide range of new choices. developing smaller portion sizes and more low- & no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels so you know exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks with lower-calorie options.
about this it could turn into big stuff. and you're doing this for hdnet? >> we are. >> ron paul faded down the stretch but his people are working the convention that he could be closer than he looks. but he's in a position to make a play for the convention and to have some language -- chris: second most delegates? >> here's some even better news. the tea party suggests that the tea party is not going to have the same clout in the 2010 election. in fact, the greatest effect of sort of making the old establishment adapt. can we put out your e-mail address. they want to react. thank you. the health care case attracted a record number of friends.
ken jeong: it's not just what's on the outside yvette nicole brown: it's what's inside that really counts alison sweeney: so get to know the people around you ann curry: you'll see all they have to offer al roker: the more you know chris: welcome backs. new polls are out this weekend for key states to determine who wins the white house. as you can see there, barack obama is way you. there is a new development which brings us to this big question. with all the because news out there, why is the president doing so well in the swing states? dan? >> i think the debates hurt the republicans ooh greel. they felt they could attack one another. for most people we crossed the birth control issue along time ago. the biggest thing is economy. but the economic indicators more
than anything else that's what we're flexing it. there are so many polls out there. >> there is no clear nominee yet. there will be soon. but it reflects romney will likely be the nominee. he has made a clear and compelling case. chris: no vision, thing. >> not yet making a case for why she should be in if man in the oval office. i think the only thing i could add with that is that last week, i left my house with um brala and rubber boots. chris: what was the cause? >> it was leather. chris: anyway, thank you. >> i cast my vote with dan rather. chris: thanks for a great round