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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 18, 2013 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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analyst because they can't speak openly, who would say we have no evidence to back this up. >> and i would seize on that. >> you would seize on it, put on a show if you have a show at the time. but the general thrust of the matter is you worked in congress, you know that a lot of congressmen and senators don't get past the headlines, we should take what bush says with more weight. the thrust of the story should have been president bush said something, contradicted by his own government and that should have been the lead, the fact he was saying something that wasn't proven. again and again and again. colin powell, that speech he gave february 5th, 2003, everyone remembers that, you know -- >> swayed a lot of people. >> swayed a lot of people. the coverage was over the top. it was like writing about a rock star. then if you turned inside and kept on reading 20 inches in, you would find people saying wait a second, we don't know about this, we don't know about that. yeah. the people that dig deep can find this. i remember at the time there was
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a tide was hard to swim against. he would give that speech, then go on tv. >> you had some amazing moments on tv those days. >> a lot of fights. i said wait, the post, the times is reporting, i would talk, did my reporting, i talked to nuclear scientists about the aluminum tubes and they would say that wasn't proven. you would be laughed at. >> it was a wise man's view. a serious man's view. >> media consensus, tell you one story. won't embarrass the person, it is someone we both know. he told me his opinion would be determined by what thomas friedman wrote, guy wrote for a major paper we see all the time. there was a consensus that dominated. >> i remember people surrendering opinions to colin powell and influential columnists because it was such a tricky issue and the homework was massive. >> they didn't want to take the risk. >> we are out of time. we will be showing hubris again
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on this network. david corn gets the last word. thank you, david. this friday at 9:00 p.m., don't miss the replay of the documentary based on hubris, followed by talking hubris, hosted by chris hayes. reince priebus. what more can i say? let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with that bridge being detonated down in texas. wow. that's what reince priebus, himself, is doing to the republican party. he talks about building bridges to african-americans, but isn't he the same reince priebus who is chairman of the republican
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national committee and presided over a voter suppression effort in three dozen states, aimed at keeping african-americans from even voting? wasn't the country's number one birther, donald trump, speaker at the conservative convention? and wasn't that sarah palin letting loose with the latest crack about the need to check president obama's background? priebus talks about getting the true nature of the party out to the public. he says it's been a communications problem. wasn't the most excellent communication of all during the election year that tape of mitt romney talking to rich people in florida about the people, the 47%, who aren't rich? priebus talks about outreach to the young, yet it was his party that opposed issues important to younger voters. marriage equality, abortion rights, gun safety. and he's still talking, actually pushing big tax cuts for the rich and cuts in medicare and medicaid that affect the middle class and poor. what a strange thing it is to hear reince priebus talking about building bridges when he was the one with his hands on the detonator? former pennsylvania governor ed rendell is with us as well as
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managing editor of the "grio," joy reid. governor rendell, i read what you had to say about this. i'm just wondering, why would a political party believe a new pr strategy would cover up for its policies? >> it makes no sense at all. first of all, their policies are bankrupt. they're the exact same, and they haven't changed their policies a bit, chris. you see republican state legislators pushing virulent antiabortion bills that are clearly unconstitutional, clearly punitive to women. no exceptions for incest and rape. things that voters rejected the last time dramatically. they're still -- they don't get it about income inequality in this country. they're still pushing for budgets that give huge tax breaks to the rich and stick it to poor people. people who are vulnerable. they haven't changed their policies a bit. no packaging, no marketing, can change that. and then they've got the additional problem of the cpac convention where you've got the wacko factor at work, every
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independent voter, moderate republican, conservative democrat, who looks at that sideshow, and it was a sideshow, says this party is whacked. we can't be for them. they have problems that outreach isn't going to fix. >> joy, what happens when an nfl team goes 0-16? they generally take a look at the coach and get another coach. this time the coach is saying we need a better public relations desk, better public relations office to say we really did win 16 games or 8 or 10. we didn't lose all the games. this priebus guy has chutzpa like i've never seen. he's a disaster. he ran a three dozen state effort to screw the black voter out of voting, especially older voters. he did that on purpose from the top, including pennsylvania. now he comes out and says we have to outreach. they had an outreach to the black voters aimed at keeping them from voting. >> priebus came from the wisconsin republican party he was the head of before he got his current job. this is the stuff about the billboards designed to make
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black voters feel like the police are coming up behind them. >> the marshals are coming. >> right. a lot of those ideas were incubated in wisconsin. some of what he said in his report, about the governors need been -- where it's the republican governors especially in swing states initiating some of the most draconian policies that are saying no to expanding medicare for their poor. they're the ones who are saying yes to the voter i.d. laws they hope will keep minority voters home. the idea is softening your language on a few social issues and on immigration to lure more hispanics is not a cure for their overall policy and stylistic problems. >> no, i think what you do is do that to make the older white voter feel better about being a republican. >> right. >> we're not racist, not anti-latino, we're not anti-gay. you don't encourage actually anyone affected -- anyway, the chairman of the party, reince priebus, what republicans are calling the growth and opportunity project. focus groups describe the
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republican party as narrow minded, out of touch, stuffy old men and the party of the rich. take a look at priebus earlier today. >> our message was weak. our ground game was insufficient. we weren't inclusive. we were behind in both data and digital. and our primary and debate process needed improvement. so there's no one solution. there's a long list of them. >> governor, if you were in a choosing side situation, would you ever pick him for your team? renice priebus. i can see three guys playing basketball with three other guys. give me him. i want priebus on my team. >> the last man standing. >> anyway, the timing of his release was interesting coming
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soon after the conclusion of the cpac conference. conservative speaker after speaker told activists there's nothing wrong with the conservative message. take a listen. >> we're not here to re-brand a party. we're here to re-build a country. >> for the last three weeks, conservatives have been winning. >> we don't need a new idea. there is an idea. the idea is called america. and it still works. >> i keep thinking about when the democrats have been in a situation like this, because the clintons won pretty well. they'll probably win again, governor. and obama won twice. and i'm thinking back to when they were in really bad shape. i'm thinking back to maybe mcgovern, when they really had a -- bob strauss came along. you know, like you, as a party chair and tried to rebuild out of what goodwill and a little bit of b.s., i guess, from bob. the idea was to rebuild. sometimes you just have to say, we have to hunker down, admit we're not too popular, and just hope time's going to change? what can you change with a political party? does any party ever say, let's do it different? and get away with it?
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clinton? >> well, yeah, i think bill clinton did that with the d.o.c. and sort of changed the direction of the party on policy. they've got to do that. the first thing i would do, were i a republican chair, is i would promote republicans. i'd give exposure to republicans who were pro-choice, who believe that a woman has a right to choose. i would try to show we are truly a big tent. i would try to put someone up who like marco rubio on immigration and say, look, this is the republican party position on immigration. if you house members don't want to follow it, that's on you, but this is where we are. we are -- our policies are going -- our actions are going to reflect our words. they can talk all they want about a new image, new style, new this, new that, but it's the same old policy. >> joy, you're going to love this one, joy. i have to give you this one. this is a gopher pitch for you. right down the middle, over the top. the cpac convention was a pr nightmare obviously for conservatives. it featured birthers like donald
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trump who told the crowd the problem with the country's immigration system is we don't let in enough european immigrants. this is so funny, i guess. let's watch him in action here. >> when it comes to immigration, you know that the 11 million illegals, even if given the right to vote, you know, you're going to have to do what's right, but the fact is 11 million people will be voting democratic. why aren't we letting people in from europe? i have many friends, many, many friends, and nobody wants to talk this, nobody wants to say it. >> why would nobody want to say this? >> why wouldn't they? >> joy, why wouldn't anybody want to say we want to have a country that's specifically aimed at white people and want to keep it white and that's the goal of this place, is to be white? we have our tribal loyalties. but to make it an official policy seems to be a bit un-american. just thinking. >> that should fix it.
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they had their segment on race, all about how to trump the race card. wasn't how to appeal to african-americans and sound like you don't dislike them. it was about how to get them not to call you a racist when you're saying the things you want to. the problem with the republican party fundamentally, reince priebus goes out and does these focus groups in l.a., in san francisco, in seattle. he goes to austin, texas, probably the only liberal city in texas. and he asks these focus groups, how can we sound more friendly? but the base of the republican party, which is mostly in the south, and i don't mean austin, texas. they are more like donald trump. at this point, the core of their party are people whose core value is resentment. resentment against immigrants. resentment against minorities. and holding on to this economic philosophy that says give more and more tax breaks to the rich and the poor are bums. if they can't change that core problem, they can't add to the republican party. because most americans don't think that way. >> picking up on what you said -- >> chris, i want to add -- i would add to what joy said is even if the core isn't a majority of republicans, that base dominates their thinking.
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best example, the senate judiciary vote on universal background check. 93% of americans and all 8 republican senators voted against it. they know better. they're afraid of their base. until they can stand up to that base, until they can say to that base, look, we need a broader look at this and we're not going to kowtow to you on every issue. until they can do that, they're going to be a minority party. >> you mean by the base, people who are basically against immigration from mexico or from anywhere in the south? people who are against any kind of gun control? people who are against any kind of real marriage equality for gays? it is pretty much across the board. anyway, on friday, cpac did feature a breakout session, they called it. it was entitled as you got it right, "trump the race card -- no comma there. -- are you sick and tired of being called a racist when you're not one?" it sounds like the redneck one. according to a reporter from
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"talking points memo" present at the event, an audience member popped up, took offense at the moderator's comments about slavery. believe it or not. take a look at what happened when the moderator praised frederick douglass. listen to this. there is no middle road in this crowd. >> douglass escaped from slavery. i think ten years or 20 years after he escaped, he writes a letter to his former slave master and says, i forgive you for all things you did to me. >> for giving him shelter and food all those years? >> no. listen. now, wait a minute. >> that white guy with the beard stands up at that event and openly makes a case for slavery saying they got three squares a day. what are they complaining about? >> exactly. joy, pick this up. there should be shame for admitting fondness or nostalgia for the antebellum days in the south. i mean, this guy didn't sees django, obviously. just guessing. >> it encapsulates the whole --
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>> black republicans say the way is to reference frederick douglass. who lived, you know, hundreds of years ago. go back to the republican party the way it was under lincoln. then you've got this other guy who comes out and says we want to be booker t. washington republicans. you know, one hand, but as separate as five fingers. why can't we go back to segregation? a woman stood up and said, wait a minute, we shouldn't be talking about slavery in referencing that. she's the one who got booed. both people came out of the tea party session saying the woman arguing with the segregationist guy was the problem. people didn't see the black guy saying let's go back to frederick douglass or the white guy saying go back to segregation. they weren't the problem to most of the attendees at that event. that is what it wrong with the republican party. >> well said. >> the harm this does, chris, is not just with african-american voters. it's with those independent voters in the philadelphia suburbs. >> correct. >> they listen to this stuff and say these guys are nuts.
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>> they said i signed on to the party of lincoln and these guys signed off from the party of lincoln. >> exactly. they're the opposite now. >> i know who you're talking about. i go back to my point, white people don't like to be thought of as racist. a lot of them aren't. some are, and of course some are trying to get over it over the years. to be in a party with somebody standing up saying, let's go back to before the emancipation proclamation is wacky. thank you, governor rendell, thank you, joy. as always, you were wonderful at the end. i'll have to listen it again. coming up, the big announcement today from hillary clinton. she came out in favor of same-sex marriage. that's a big boost for the gale rights movement, but that's even a bigger boost, i think, to her run for president in 2016 should she make it. it's the first indication she's thinking about it seriously and clearing the deck on some of these issues. this next story shows how out there the pro-gun movement in this country has become. so-called newtown truthers, they're called. they're gun nuts who claim the elementary school massacre in newtown, connecticut, never happened, that it was staged to take away gun rights.
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this will be monstrous itself, but the fact is is these truthers are overwhelming the towns up there for demands for death certificates and burial sites. the governor of connecticut joins me to talk about more important things. sarah palin proves she's the best carnival barker at the right-wing circus. she's been forgotten lately but hasn't stopped her from being a big hit among the true believers. see if this guy looks familiar to you. this is a picture of satan in the history channel series "the bible." look familiar? a lot of people think so, though the producers say any similarity between satan and any known living person is purely coincidental. this is "hardball." the place for politics. to the , once you try an oral-b deep sweep power brush, you'll never go back to a regular manual brush. its three cleaning zones with dynamic power bristles reach between teeth with more brush movements to remove up to 100% more plaque than a regular manual brush. and even 76% more plaque than sonicare flexcare in hard to reach areas.
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oral-b deep sweep 5000 power brush. life opens up when you do. cpac is over. two of its biggest stars were the big winners on saturday night's straw poll. rand paul narrowly won the presidential straw poll getting 25% of the vote down there. marco rubio, second at 23%. far behind the front-runners, rick santorum, 8% in the voting. chris christie who wasn't invited got 7%. paul ryan and scott walker
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finished fifth and sixth. we'll be right back. we're here! we're going to the park! [ gina ] oh hey, dan!
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welcome back to "hardball." former secretary of state hillary clinton ventured back into politics today when she announced her support for gay marriage in a video for the human rights campaign. let's watch. >> lgbt americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. that includes marriage. that's why i support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. i support it personally and as a matter of policy and law. embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for lgbt americans and all americans. >> well, secretary clinton's
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support came not long after an op-ed from former president bill clinton backing an overturn of the defense of marriage act. a few days before the supreme court will look at both doma, defense of marriage act, and california's prop 8. it also puts her in line with top democrats heavily weighing 2016 bids, of course. could this mean a move for her already, eventual candidacy? chad griffin, president of human rights campaign, and joan walsh editor at large for "salon" and msnbc political analyst and laughing, and joyously involved in fascinating conversation. i watched the clintons and am a student of the clintons. bill clinton wrote a nice piece. now hillary clinton has come forward in a very well-produced video. very well done. and i listened to it all today and it's well done. here's my question. how did it happen? we were talking, the producers and i, when is she going to do it, how is she going to do it? now we know. >> i've known the clintons for a long time.
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i grew up in arkansas. over the last few years every chance i had when i was around people in leadership positions, i urged them to fully evolve and come out in support of marriage equality. that includes former secretary clinton. sometimes in the last ten days or so, she reached out and actually offered to do this video as part of a series the human rights campaign has. >> who did she call? >> me. >> she personally called you? >> yes. i had the happenstance of getting on the train this went deign, chris, and walking on the amtrak train and former secretary clinton was seated there. she was so excited. >> was this the fast train or slow train? >> this was the fast train. we were able to talk about how excited she was to do this. and she actually did it over the weekend on saturday. and then we released it, as you know, to our 1.35 million members today. >> this is kiss met? >> it had to be. >> incredible.
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>> let me go back to joan. what i'm fascinated by is the doppelganger. laura bush a week or so ago was featured in a big ad, a group you support for marriage equality. she was listed as one of the four -- in the upper right side -- a major figure along with colin powell, an endorser of marriage equality. later that afternoon around 5:00 eastern, she withdrew her name from it and said you can't use my image, which she can't -- it's a fax, so they can't say it wasn't true. i find this still a partisan issue. i find it something that's troubling for the republicans and a big plus for the democrats. i think they've really chosen sides. your thought on this issue of equality? >> i agree. i think this is a foundational issue that will divide the two parties. i think secretary clinton getting out there and doing this now makes it clear, i don't think there could be anybody running in the 16th primary who don't support marriage rights. it feels to me like that would be a really dangerous place to be. and so i think it's significant that chad says she reached out to him. this is really her first political act. now that she's allowed to be political again.
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and i think it is saying that we know that we're the party that supports marriage rights, some of us came to it a little bit later than maybe we should have. but we're coming to it firmly. i think her position sounds like she may even be beyond president obama's position, and this is -- >> how so? how so, joan? >> you know, i think he's left it that he's comfortable leaving it at the state level. she seems to come out and go beyond it that it's just a basic right. you know, i would want to follow up on that, but it's a very, very strong statement with no caveats or quibbles. and, you know, god bless rob portman. he's come out for it on behalf of his son and other gay people. but this is an issue where the republican party is going to drag its heels. john boehner feels like it's a good idea to come out and say, i wouldn't support gay marriage even if i had a gay son which is so unbelievable. >> let's get a response to that. i think that's interesting.
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is it becoming partisan? meaning that you expect the republicans will not change their platform between now and then, next time, for president? >> no. i actually am optimistic they will, chris. in fact, the postmortem that came out today from the republican party mentioned four times that they have got to start including gay people in the party platform. >> wait a minute. what are the words? the words matter. what do you mean, including them in the platform? >> they said that they're -- oh, that's right, no, the platform actually is terrible, as it relates to lgbt people, but the report that came out today used the position that they have against lgbt people as one of the reasons why they did so poorly this past election. >> therefore? >> it has to be followed up with actual action. >> i see all this -- you're concerned about it, obviously concerned about others. not just marriage equality as an issue for the gay community, lgbt community. when they say things, we want to reach out to african-americans. i say in all honesty, their way of reaching out is to stop them from voting. people are not stupid. if your policy is still anti a group, they're not going to vote for you.
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let's take a look at this, the way she ends this. secretary clinton. i thought this video was very well written, very well put together. let's talk about it as an opening for the 2016 presidential bid. let's listen. i really did think it was in the best sense political. >> for those of us who lived through the long years of the civil rights and women's rights movements, the speed with which more and more people have come to embrace the dignity and equality of lgbt americans has been breathtaking and inspiring. we see it all around us every day in major cultural statements and in quiet family moments. but the journey is far from over, and, therefore, we must keep working to make our country freer and fairer and to continue to inspire the faith the world puts in our leadership. in doing so, we will keep moving closer and closer to that more perfect union promised to us all.
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>> "we." chad. "we." >> look, chris -- >> is she running for president? did she tell you? >> she did not tell me. we didn't talk about that. the "washington post" came out with a poll today that shows that 58% of americans support marriage equality. 81% of people under the age of 30. chris, 81% of people in this country don't agree on anything these days. 81% of people under the age of 30. i think it's going to become increasingly difficult for anyone of either party to run for public office if they're anti-gay and hold anti-gay positions and do not embrace freedom and equality. >> you're making a push here, but i'll make a prediction. the next presidential election, the republican party platform will oppose gay marriage. >> i'll take that bet. >> how much? no, i'm just kidding. >> a great dinner, chris. >> i can't bet. i always like to bet in my brain, though. joan, do you think the republicans will get on board? i think they'll be slow to get on. they may be for civil unions at some point, but i think they'll fall back to the states rights position, myself. that's their usual fall
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position. >> yeah, they may try to have nicer language. you know, this rnc report today talked about inclusion and tolerance, but we're not talking about tolerance in the democratic party anymore. we're talking about full partnership and equal rights. and i have to say, chris, today watching that video was the first time that i really felt a twinge in my gut like, i think she's going to do this. not a prediction, i have no inside information. >> okay. >> just my -- >> let me tell you why you might be right. when she announced for president, when she ran against obama, what, five years ago, six years ago, she opened up with a videotape. >> with a video. it was like an echo of that. >> just like this. >> time will tell. >> thank you, chad. >> time will tell. >> you're such a pol, chad, such a politician. joan walsh, as always. up next, notice anything familiar about this guy? he's a character who plays satan in a new history channel series "the bible." a lot of people think he looks like the president. you decide.
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a lot of people around here. i was a little slow on that. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] going to sleep may be easy, but when you wake up in the middle of the night it can be frustrating. it's hard to turn off and go back to sleep. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep. it's an effective sleep medicine you don't take before bedtime. take it in bed only when you need it and have at least four hours left for sleep. do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien.
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ha! >> back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." first, a history channel mini series called "the bible" gets overshadowed by satan. actually the actor that played satan and unfortunate resemblance given the subject matter. take a look. some say the satan character here resembles president obama. what do you think? during the show, twitter exploded with people taking note of the resemblance. the history channel stepped in with a statement today. "it's unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. history's "the bible" is meant to enlighten people on its rich histories and deep stories." anyway, mark burnett, obama supporter and one of the show's producers called the outrage utter nonsense. intentions aside, it really is tough to look at those side by
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side and not see some similarity. next, what happens when two conspiracy theories end up in close quarters? conservative website breitbart.com put together a panel of speakers who didn't make the cut on last week's cpac's invite list. one of them was anti-islam activist pamela geller who says grover norquist was helping the muslim brotherhood infiltrate the conference. at one point during the panel, birther queen orly taitz tried to steer the conversation toward the president's citizenship. take a look at geller's response. >> i mean, how many, how many topics can you handle? i mean, really. inappropriate. >> anyway, just imagine the chat there between someone who thinks the american right has been overtaken by the muslim brotherhood and a birther? pick your poison there. "new york" magazine caught up with orly taitz, unhappy with the lack of attention she's getting from the media these days. "the reporters today are similar to, i'm sorry to say, reporters i've seen in the former communist soviet union, or what was being reported in nazi germany in the 1930s." that's orly taitz.
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finally, cpac takeaways from bill maher, starting with a welcome back for mitt romney. >> mitt romney was up there and i tell you something, mitt romney has not lost any of the warmth and charm that we have come to know. he still sounds like the flight attendant who tells you you can't use the bathroom in first class. they had a panel discussion there at cpac, and i swear to god, this is the name of the panel discussion today. it was called "are you sick and tired of being called a racist when you know you're not one?" let me save you guys a lot of trouble and money spending on this seminar. if you get called a racist often enough to be sick and tired of it, you might be a redneck. yes. you just -- >> as we talked about it earlier, that was the event that spiraled out of control thanks to a pro-slavery audience member. bill maher, by the way, dubbed the entire conference an open mike from hell. can't beat him.
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up next, the disturbing phenomenon of the newtown truthers. those extremists who insist the massacre at sandy hook elementary school never happened it was actually a plot, they say, that the government could take away your guns. the governor of connecticut joins us next to talk about more important things. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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welcome back to "hardball." while the world has viewed last december's massacre at sandy hook elementary school as an unspeakable tragedy, some gun rights dead-enders have seen it more as an inconvenient truth, an event that could and has prompted calls for new gun laws. enter the online conspiracy theorists who claim the massacre never happened and it's a government plot to take away guns. the "new yorker" magazine this month describes the so-called sandy hook truther movement this way. "a loose coalition of online conspiracy theorists -- that claims that the massacre never happened. it had been staged. theorists as well as journalists overwhelmed the town's clerk's office with so many requests for birth certificates and burial locations the clerk is working
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with state representatives to limit the public's access to vital records." with me, a man who knows all the truth up there, connecticut governor dannel malloy. you're powerful in your feelings and thoughts about this. what is it that springs it out of our country's culture that people won't even accept reality in fights like this? >> you know, i've looked at some of those. there's a lot of videos up. a lot of folks -- they're really sick. honestly, these are not well people. and so anyone who ascribes to that theory really is advertising that they shouldn't be trusted for any reason. and, i mean, it's really wacky stuff. you can go on youtube and scroll through those and look at some of the articles. it's interesting, but it's kind of like going to the, you know, the funhouse when i was a kid at play land. it's not reality. >> what about the power of the nra that is real? i keep thinking about -- i just read a piece in the paper today, even wives threatened by their husbands, frightening cases of armed husbands saying i'm going
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to kill you, put a gun in your mouth and blow your head off. they can't get court orders. to disarm these men. >> we can do that in connecticut. obviously i think we're ahead of the curb on this stuff. it's sickness. you had states that weren't reporting data. pennsylvania not reporting hundreds of thousands of cases that would have disqualified people to get guns. this is a system that if the nra has its way, there is no limitation. everyone can get guns. we could say they shouldn't get guns, but we won't have a system that prevents them from getting guns. that's what the nra now wants. of course, it's different from what they said in 1999. but that's what they want. >> then i saw the vote in the senate last week, we all did where all the republican senators voted against every initiative, whether it's limiting the number of magazines -- well, on everything. background checks, it was obviously on assault weapons. i'm beginning to think nothing
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really about guns is going to pass the senate on partisan lines. democrats for gun safety. republicans against. >> yeah, these are real profiles in courage, aren't they? >> well, they can't all be sick. >> no, they're not all -- no, no. i mean, i thank they have i think they have reasons. i mean, they're afraid about their election prospects. i mean, when the head of the nra goes to cpac and says the vehicle they have chosen to develop their policy as the republican party, what does that tell you? it tells you there's this gigantic disconnect. the reality is the vast majority of americans want universal background checks. you can't get on the a plane without somebody doing a background check on you. but you can go and buy a gun. >> i guess they believe in same-sex marriage between the nra and republican party. last week during a senate judiciary hearing on gun safety, things got heated between freshman republican, ted cruz, who's far right on this gun issue. i think he's against any gun control. and committee chair, dianne feinstein, who's very good on it. let's watch. >> the question i would pose to the senior senator from california is would she deem it consistent with the bill of rights for congress to engage in the same endeavor we are
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contemplating doing in the second amendment in context of the first or fourth amendment? namely, would she consider it constitutional for congress to specify the first amendment shall apply only to the following books? and shall not apply to the books congress has deemed outside the protection of the bill of rights. >> i'm not a sixth grader. senator, i've been on this committee for 20 years. i was a mayor for nine years. i walked in. i saw people shot. i've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. i've seen the bullets that implode. in sandy hook, youngsters were dismembered. it's fine you want to lecture me on the constitution. i appreciate it. just know i've been here for a long time. i've passed on a number of bills. i've studied the constitution, myself. i'm reasonably well educated. and i thank you for the lecture. >> well, there you have it. this is the face of the new republican right. they basically are for everyone having a gun whenever they want it.
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in fact, they encourage you have to a gun. >> they have no shame, to go back to the mccarthy period. and i think senator cruz is one of those individuals. i mean, i think he'll demagogue this issue and it plays well for his constituency. and he -- you know, i think he might even believe some of this. >> let's take a look at the numbers here. you're familiar with this. this is the difference between passion and effective politics. the people with passion on this issue tend to be the gun people. look at these numbers, though. if you look at the whole country now, armed guards in schools, pretty close. what do you think of that 50%, 48%? >> you know, i think that it's an easy solution that people think about. there are a lot of schools that have police officers. >> you don't have a big -- i don't either. what about this assault weapons ban? it's just about 57%, 3 out of 5. what do you make of that? not a strong endorsement. >> i think it is. i think, you know, the country has moved on this issue.
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they really now recognize how lethal and how dangerous -- >> why only 57%? if you get -- >> there's a lot of people in texas, i guess. >> the trouble is of that 41% on the minority side there, is a lot of intent gun owners who will think about nothing else for the rest of their lives. >> right. yep. >> except keeping their guns. >> you're right. >> illegal gun sales. that seems to be doing better. 82%. of course, background checks always does well with 91%. this is, to me, probably the cutting edge. if we can't get any more background check coverage, more effective background checking of people, then i think we will have lost a chance here even in the tragedy, the horror of what happened in connecticut, to get minimal benefit out of it. >> 40% of guns in america change hands without a background check. that's the reality. that's what's happening in our country. some of these sales are in alleys of urban communities. some of them are taking place in florida and virginia. and guns moving up through straw purchasers. this stuff is going on. the american people get it.
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there's too much violence. we're losing 30,000 people a year. i mean, you know, a lot of them are suicides. a lot of them are domestic in nature. there's a lot of reasons for it, but we're losing too many people. the american people get that. people shouldn't have guns who have a restraining order against them, or have a -- >> you're a good man. a reasonable man. thank you. >> thank you. >> governor dan malloy of connecticut. sarah palin proves once again she's not a serious person. she might be out of the national media, but the right wing loves this person. she can put on a show. she's the chief barker at the circus. this is "hardball," the place for politics. waiting to look y? don't wait. [ female announcer ] get younger looking skin fast. with new olay regenerist micro-sculpting cream. the next generation with 2 new anti-aging ingredients. it penetrates rapidly. visible wrinkle results start day 1. and you'll see younger looking skin before you even finish one jar.
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oh, bloomberg's not around. our big gulp's safe. we're cool. shoot, it's just pop. with low-cal ice cubes in it. i hope that's okay. we're back. sarah palin found her true fans this weekend when he made her way to an adoring crowd at cpac. >> more background checks. dandy idea, mr. president. should have started with yours. >> you get the drift. this kind of talk may rile up the base, but it doesn't appeal to mainstream america. sarah toplitz is a reporter for roll call.
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sarah, why do they love doing this, to talk about the president's roots as un-american? what's the giggle here? >> well, obviously she was speaking to a conservative convention. a lot of young activists are there. probably the most conservative, the conservative wing of the republican party. they liked it. they were clearing it on. >> why? >> why? because i think they still believe the president has more to offer on this. obviously he's released his birth certificate. they still like to cheer it on, even though it has been proven factually accurate that he was born in the united states of america. >> so i'm still left, brian, with the question of why. you can disagree with the guy. those basically judgments you make. but there is no judgment aspect as to whether this guy's an american or not. whether he was born here or not. i don't know if anybody had this much advertising. most people don't get this much advertising. when you're born in honolulu, you were born. nobody gets advertised what
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wasn't born. they don't like his last name. they don't like the color of the guy. they don't like anything about him being black or not white. it's bugging them still, so they make a ha-ha chuckle out of it. >> you're absolutely right. if he wasn't african-american or mixed race, they wouldn't be doing this birth nonsense with him. but these people live in a different universe, chris. they believe all sorts of things that aren't true. they believe the earth is 6,000 years old. they believe that global warming isn't happening. they believe all sorts of things. if you want to find the people who are ruining the republican party, you go to cpac. i will leave you with one little observation. they had a seminar on minority outreach that was dominated by white men defending slavery.
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that tells you all you need to know. >> i like the guy to stood up, what are they complaining about. and one more time, why did donald trump call for bringing whites into the country and not dark people from the south. how can you come out and say for racialization of america that whites should be officially welcomed but not other people? >> i don't know. >> it's a mystery. sorry. go ahead. >> it's okay. i don't know how you can say that. i think what's really the story here is the evolution of cpac is so much the evolution of the republican party. cpac used to be this conference that attracted all these very, very conservative figures. and now more and more you're seeing mainstream people, used to be built for people like donald trump to speak. that's not the case anymore. i think that's very scary for republican operatives. >> let's take a look at one last line. here's sarah palin talking about something you might say off-color, but it's her way of being a red neck.
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>> oh, you should have seen what todd got me for christmas. it wasn't that exciting. it's a metal rack case for a hunting rifle to put on back of a four-wheeler. and then i had to get something for him to put in the gun case. so this go-round. he's got the rifle. i got the rack. [ applause ] [ cheering ] >> so that's how it's done, ron. liberals can't talk like that. conservatives are people on the wacko right can talk about that. i guess they have different pc rules. what do you think? >> only at cpac would that kind of sexual innuendo get that kind of a laugh. the central question for the republicans, and that's a question sarah palin poses by her very presence there, is how
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do you drag a 19th century party into the 21st century when it's hauling this barge full of people who want to relitigate the civil war and sarah palin, among other people? i don't see how you do it. >> well, she's god's gift to the people who are truly sane because they can always check themselves against her. by the way, how about finishing your term, governor. sarah, thanks for joining us from roll call. when we return, a special celebration for st. patrick's day. [ female announcer ] going to sleep may be easy, but when you wake up in the middle of the night it can be frustrating. it's hard to turn off and go back to sleep. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep. it's an effective sleep medicine you don't take before bedtime. take it in bed only when you need it and have at least four hours left for sleep. do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien.
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