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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 29, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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all your important legal matters in just minutes. protect your family... and launch your dreams. at we put the law on your side. . that's our show. have a great weekend and happy easter. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. wedding of the year, republicans and the nra. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. i hope you're having a meaningful good friday and will have a bright and glorious easter sunday. now, get this. the republican party says that marriage consists of one man
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marrying one woman. how do you explain, or we explain what just happened? five of its men, ted cruz, rand paul, mike lee, marco rubio and jim inhofe just married wayne lapierre. in sickness and in health, until death do us part. not even that. these five buckaroos won't let the senate vote on a gun safety measures, not even one dealing with better background checks. the hardliners calls it surveillance and want none of it. this is one area where they believe in the right of privacy, darn it, believe in the government's right to know what's going on inside a woman's body, of course, but don't ask if some gun buyer is a nut, a criminal or wife beater. that's his affair and don't forget it. ron reagan, radio talk show host. nia malika henderson for the
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"washington post." the president made clear many reasons gun control legislation deserved a vote, a vote, not even a vote, just a vote. >> deserves a vote. >> gabby giffords deserves a vote. the family of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. the families of oak creek and tucson and blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote. >> well, in a letter to senate majority leader harry reid, five republican senators disagreed. they write, "we the undersigned intend to oppose any legislation that would fringe on american people's constitutional rights to bear arms or exercise this right without being suggested to government surveillance. we'll oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions." a filibuster declared. ron reagan, they're not going to
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fight this thing but make sure nobody gets to vote on background checks. they consider it a privacy matter, apparently. >> there are a couple things going on here. on the political side, of course, and the least important side, you have marco rubio, rand paul, and ted cruz, three of the five musketeers here, who are really grandstanding and looking ahead to 2016. and these three guys are going to be elbowing their way into each other's limelight for the next three years. so you might as well get used to that. but the more important thing that's going on here has to do with democracy, and how we proceed in this country in a democratic fashion. you've got about nearly 90% of the country that would like at the very least there to be universal background checks on firearm purchases. nearly 90%. that's as close to unanimity as you get in the united states of
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america, and yet these five individuals have decided that the senate will not even be allowed to vote on something like universal background checks. i don't know how good that's going to stay, and what kind of stead that's going to stand politically going forward, because it seems to me that there's going to be a backlash against this kind of obstructionism, obvious obstructionism, but we will see. >> you know, nia, i just have to go back to rationality. i always assume rationality in politics. what are they thinking? >> well, they're thinking that if you look at the gop senators in -- it looks like 40 of them have an "a" or a-plus rating with the nra. they only need one extra vote to sustain a filibuster. they're looking at the reality that somebody like max baucus, who's a democrat, probably wouldn't support this legislation. i think that's what they're looking at. they're also looking at a house of probably wouldn't even bring this to the floor. i talked to some pretty high-level house aides --
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>> wasn't boehner clapping there for most of the president's rift there? i was watching it. ron, and nia, i was watching boehner. he was clapping through half of that they deserve a vote, then start to listen to it and sat down. i don't know. >> well, he said, you know, they'll take a look at it. and that doesn't sound like he would bring something to the floor. of course, it would be his decision and cantor's decision. it would have to possibly go through some committees. >> why don't they want a vote? if you're a gun toting nra member, wouldn't you want to get out there with great pride and brio vote against gun control and screw all the other guys by making them vote for it, nail them in their districts? why wouldn't they want to vote? wouldn't they want to be proudly pro gun and make the other guys unproudly anti-gun? wouldn't they want the vote? i don't get this part. >> you would think so, but we do get back to that nearly 90% of the american public wants universal background checks. they can read those polls. they know that. it's more complicated than that. there are people on the democratic side who also are nervous about having to vote for
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any kind of gun legislation. look at a joe manchin, say, in virginia. harry reid is nervous, about half a dozen or so of his member, seven members or so -- >> if they vote against cloture, if they vote -- this is how it's asymmetric. if you're a conservative, you're protected from voting maybe too far right. if you're a moderate democrat worried about your red state constituency, you're protected by this. this is good for you, right? >> no, i think, yeah -- >> you can't vote for it. the irony is you can't vote for the right wing filibuster position. >> right. you can't vote for that. you might be able to vote for universal background checks. you probably vote against any amendments involving assault weapons ban. i think the problem is we haven't heard any new voice from any of these discussions. you haven't had a rubio-like figure who is a sort of gateway to the right in terms of immigration. you haven't had that figure around this debate. so it's been very hard for democrats. not only to keep their caucus together, but to get anyone on the republican side, the party of this. >> okay.
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i think the president's a winner here. he has -- i was mildly chastising him last night for welcoming back to the fight, because he really turned it over to biden and bloomberg. but he is back in the fight now. isn't this good for him to have, oh, look, i just want a vote. let's hear him back again. he got back into the fight on gun restrictions in a big way surrounded by family members of shooting victims yesterday. it was very dramatic. let's watch the president yesterday. >> less than 100 days ago that happened. and the entire country was shocked. and the entire country pledged we would do something about it and this time would be different. shame on us if we've forgotten. i haven't forgotten those kids.
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shame on us if we've forgotten. >> how can republicans on the right even deal with that, nia, going down the road? if the president's for a vote and they're against even a vote after newtown? how do they win that way? >> well, you know, i think the president wins no matter what. even if this goes down, i mean, he has given some of the most compelling speeches of his presidency around this issue, but, again, the reality for republicans is very different in their states. they see this through a very different lens. he hasn't been able to play the inside game with democrats or republicans around this issue. he's been very good -- >> nia, you're right except florida is a normal state. it adds up to a normal state. it's not texas. it's florida. it's a very interesting state where you can easily live there, and it's all kinds of different people. it's not a bunch of right wing gun toting nuts. doesn't have a gun toting history. why would you want to be rubio, being a guy who refuses and has
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to go out on a campaign stump and talk to regular people and tell them, i don't want the senate to even vote on this gun issue? that we must protect our gun owners? what kind of position is that to run for president? that's wacky. >> i think rubio can't -- rubio can't decide if he's going to be a moderate guy or tea party guy. he's following behind paul in every instance. this instance paul was out first. you saw rubio sign on later with the drones. it was the same thing. he voted against the violence against women act. he can't really seem to make up his mind whether or not he's going to be an establishment republican or more like a rand paul. >> ron, suppose you're hillary clinton, hillary clinton is on the debating platform or any of the democrats and on the other side of the platform is marco rubio who supports a filibuster against any kind of gun safety. how can you not smash him across the face with this? how can you let him still be
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standing two minutes later? >> the republicans will be in the same bind they were last time. they'll win primaries but they'll lose the national election. again, 90% of the public is for universal background checks. how good are you going to look in a national primary if you're the guy filibustering national universal background checks here? these three guys, in particular cruz, rand paul, and rubio, are competing against one another to be the young fire brand, young turk of the conservative wing of the republican party. they're all trying to out-conservative one another. >> let's talk about -- i have to go to ron on this because i really like ron, obviously, and your family, and i'm thinking back on, what, all those years ago, 1981. and i'm thinking that guy, hinkley, was obviously emotionally disturbed, still at st. elizabeth's because of good reason. i think he's out once in a while to see a movie. he's basically under protective situation there. he's a classic example of someone who should have never had a gun in his hand. he had a pistol, .22. >> .25 caliber. saturday night special. >> it was a pistol, revolver. it wasn't a semiautomatic. if he had a weapon, however, of
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the kind we're talking about here now, it would have been a far different situation. i mean, jerry parr, as courageous as he was, the great secret service guys up against a guy with a quick shooting gun, it would have been a different situation. why don't people think like this on right? >> they don't think like this because they're enthralled with the nra. as you said at the beginning of this segment, it's the republican party and the nra. the nra is not about sportsmen anymore. the nra is a $12 billion -- shilling for a $12 billion industry. bestselling gun in america is the al-15. that's what gun stores sell out of. they don't commit the most crimes with them. >> what do you do, shoot up car wrecks and canyons somewhere in l.a.? >> you run around in the woods acting out your red dawn fantasy. imagining you're fighting the black helicopters and the blue helmeted -- that's what these people do. >> that's a hell of a lot of people, ron. nia, last thought. >> i think what you're going to see out of the republicans, you might see them put forward gun legislation, too.
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that's been the talk out of grassley's office. it might address issues around mental health. it probably won't be a background check bill and certainly won't involve anything with assault weapons. they want to some ways be on the record, too, possibly supporting something. maybe there is some hope with that. >> they don't like surveillance. find out if somebody's crazy or not might be intruding on their privacy. happy easter, ron, to you and your mom. she might be watching tonight. >> happy easter. >> nia-malika henderson. happy christmas to you. how about happy easter? that would be better. coming up, why republicans are having a tough time courting groups they lost in last year's election. congressman don young of alaska just referred to immigrant workers as wetbacks. thank you, sir. here's another reason a member of the republican national committee posted an article on facebook saying gays live a filthy lifestyle. that was his word. hey, republicans, you're not going to win new friends by calling them names. big surprise. it also doesn't help when you try to stop democrats from voting. a lot of them minorities.
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we saw how that worked in 2012, or didn't work. republicans in north carolina right now pushing bills to restrict early voting and sunday voting when a lot of blacks vote at the polls in that tradition. anything they can to focus on the other side and keep them from being allowed to exercise their democratic rights. also, one of the reasons behind the surge in support for same-sex marriage is the dramatic shift among this last group, resistant to the idea, african-americans. they've been shifting on issues. there's been a 35-point net swing toward supporting same sex in three years. the right wing cheering section over at fox is upset sequestration has ended white house tours and figured out how to fund them again. end sex education. would you have made that connection? what regular person would have said, let's have less sex education to pay for the white house tours. they are really flipping out on this one. this is "hardball," the place for politics. omnipotent of opportunity. you know how to mix business...
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sarah palin made clear how she feels about political consultants in the web video she released this week. >> don't let the big consultants, the big money men and the big bad media scare you off. >> when somebody's going to hold republicans in congress accountable, it's going to be sarah palin. >> they talk about re-branding the gop instead of restoring the trust of the american people. how about rebuilding the middle class? >> yep. palin sure stuck it to those evil consultants in that ad, but the "daily beast's" john avlon looked at the figures compiled by the center for responsive politics. guess what they found? palin spent $4.8 million this last election on consultants. consultants. the one she's dumping on. i suspect those consultants are more than happy to hear palin knock them as long as she keeps paying them. in fact, what do you want to bet it was a consultant who told her to make that video? what do you think? ♪ shimmy, shimmy chocolate. ♪ we, we chocolate cross over.
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welcome back to "hardball." more than one republican has recently suggested it's time for the gop to stop being the stupid party. well, less than two weeks after the party's autopsy conceded they need to reach out to women, gays, and minorities, a republican member of the united states congress violated the new don't be stupid rule using a racial slur in a video interview. longtime alaska congressman don young used a derogatory term, wetbacks, to refer to immigrants who worked on his family ranch. >> my father had a ranch. we used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks, and pick tomatoes. you know, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. it's all done by machine. >> i can tell by the way he said that with such delight, he didn't know it was a bad word, but it is. in a statement released overnight the 79-year-old congressman tried to explain himself. he said in part "i used a term that was commonly used in my
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days growing up on a farm in central california. i know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays. i meant no respect." i don't think he called people who were that that. just guessing. anyway, after tough statements today including one from john boehner, the speaker, reince priebus, young issued a full apology saying "i apologize for the insensitive term i used during an interview in ketchikan, alaska. there was no malice in my heart or intent to offend. that word and the negative attitudes that come with it should be left in the 20th century. all the way up to 1999. "i'm sorry this shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform." i'm not sure how the rnc reboot is supposed to go. not this way. david corn is washington bureau chief for "mother jones." raul reyes writes for nbc latino. raul, i don't know what to make of this, except i'll just say in very modest defense of this guy, he doesn't know what he's doing.
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he's a bit older and using a term which obviously you never called somebody a wetback to their face. >> we hope not. >> it was a term used by owners about the people working on their ranch. but he obviously didn't ever talk to any of the help. he just talked about them. apparently. your thoughts? >> right, well, you know, the thing that really struck me, he did by the end of the day issue the full apology, but it shouldn't take a whole day before this happens. and even when he says, let's leave this word in the last century, to be honest, that's a word that didn't have a place in the last century, either, because it is so offensive to hispanics, to immigrants and it's something that really deeply offends latinos. i can tell you, there's very few times where i feel comfortable speaking for the whole community, so to speak, but this is one of them. this is something that is a huge
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turnoff to latinos and it's exactly, obviously, exactly what the republican party does not need right now when they're trying to re-brand themselves. >> let's take while you're on leer, and i'll get all purposes, david corn. it seems to me it is generational. i was looking at a new poll this week, today i was studying, that showed among people under 30, the millennials, they are really diverse conscious. they don't have, for instance, in the backroom when people are listening, over a beer, it's much more a natural thing to be positive about other groups, don't you notice? or what do you think? >> absolutely. the interesting thing, also, you know, younger people, they don't see the color like the older generation does. but also, you know, the sensitivity is better. it's higher because they live in a different society. they live in a changing united states. and that's what the republicans are very slow to adapt to. >> do you think it's better, do
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you think kids who are not latino who are anglo, not everybody is an anglo, north americans, whatever you want to call them, do you think they are more sensitive just by company, just by keeping company? in other words, diverse rooms, diverse communities, diverse classrooms, diverse whatever, does, in fact, make people better in terms of relationships? >> yeah. oh, yes. correct. because, you know, when you're interacting with people on a daily basis obviously you don't have divide. it's also when you have personal relationships, you see that -- we have more in common than we have different among us. >> you're so smart. you're so smart. >> this makes me think -- >> you are. i'm not being condescending. that's the key thing. we have more in common than we know. >> that's a good question. i keep thinking the republican party still is stuck in 19 -- >> if there's nobody in the room, a latino name or background, nobody is going to raise their hand and say, don't say that. >> they're stuck in 1950s. congressman don young saying that was a term -- >> as recently as 1999. >> that's a big problem they have with the attitudes toward women and the changing demographics.
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the other thing is because -- >> the pill between the knees, that one? >> all that stuff. they gerrymandered their districts so that their districts, themselves -- >> are claustrophobic. >> they're white, they have the same sentiment, and they're people who also want to go back to 1950. so it's easy to see a lot of these guys say, well, you know, no one back home would be mad at me for saying this word because -- they have done this to themselves. they have ghettoized themselves. >> we're going to have a country, by the way, that's going to be like they say about the west bank, raul, like swiss cheese. there's going to be different communities clustered around their own thinking. look at michigan today where republican national committeeman is rejecting calls for his resignation. posted an offensive article on his facebook page wednesday called "everyone should know these statistics on homosexuals which include part of the agenda is to get the public to affirm their filthy lifestyle. this is a guy representing the whole state. homosexuals account for half the murders in large cities. that second point there which is so ludicrous, i don't know what the murder rate is among gay people. i bet it is slightly lower than the straight. the idea that half the murders, given the number of about 6% of
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the population, that they kill half the people is so ludicrous that even the biggest -- in the world probably don't want to think about this. your thought about this. this is really weird. >> i don't think on this that the republicans we hear a lot about their messaging problem. i think part of their messaging problem in this instance, and also up in alaska, is they are very slow to realize that they make these comments on an obscure radio station, or they post something on their facebook, and the next day or that day, it's all over the word. they just don't recognize the power of social media and what they say even off the cuff goes everywhere. it just seems like these things keep happening again and again and they keep putting their foot in their mouth. >> by the way, if you say something, you're guaranteed to get national play. >> of course. >> you're not going to hide something like this. 47% -- >> this is a party, to be not so charitable, a good part of their appeal is toward people who if
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they don't hate, they have very negative feelings about gay people, about undocumented workers, you know, maybe about black people. and, you know, and so it only takes a couple of them to sort of say stupid things like this and it taints the whole party, but then again, if you look back at the primaries, they are kowtowing and catering to that particular -- >> i think you're right. because the people they're targeting hear the message, too. there's no secret negatives out there anymore. you know, it gets out. anyway, truth will win out this weekend. thank you, all it. raul reyes, thank you, nbc latino, and of course, david corn who can speak with authority on any liberal subject. up next, it's one thing when a progressive points out republican hypocrisy, but it's something else when the critique comes from a fellow republican. this is coming up right now on the place for politics, "hardball." [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness?
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ha! back to "hardball." now to the big sideshow tonight. first, republicans have argued that the cancelation of those white house tours is an obama gimmick that has nothing to do with sequester. so this a.m., fox news weighed in with a solution. >> the federal government spending apparently $350 million for planned parenthood-style sex education programs in western states including montana, idaho, oregon, alaska, for sex education programs starting now in kindergarten. >> remember the sequester was all about, it's going to end everything, we're going to have to close the white house tours, going to have to close small airport towers and things like that. so they did that and a whole other list of thing, yet they're able to find $350 million for this program. >> you know how long that would keep the white house tours going? >> 20 years?
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>> 100 years. >> no way. >> 100 years the white house could be open for as long as us and our grandchildren would be around. >> was this really a zero-sum situation? do you really have to choose between sex ed out in the country and white house closing its doors? i don't think so. next, former republican senator alan simpson, love this guy, says his party needs to stop letting the religious right rule the party positioned on issues like abortion rights and gay marriage. here's what he said to "the l.a. times." "you're a republican, you believe in get out of my life and the precious right to privacy, the right to be left alone. well then, pal, i don't care what you do. you can go worship the great eel at night, but don't mess with me and take a position i have and wrap religion around it." remember when rick perry said this about the possibility of texas seceding from the union? >> texas is unique. when we came in the union in 1845, one of the issues is we would be able to leave if we decided to do that. we've got a great union. there's absolutely no reason to dissolve it, but if washington continues to thumb their nose at the american people, you know,
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who knows what may come out of that. >> governor perry eventually stopped with that secession talk but not everyone in the state backed off with him. check out the latest pitch from secession from a group called the texas nationalist movement. four guys in cowboy hats there separating the state, physically, from the continent and letting it float off into the gulf of mexico. they won't quit. up next, the reasons behind the stunning shift in support for gay marriage. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. o integrated, we consider ourselves business optimizers. how? by building custom security solutions that integrate video, access control, fire and intrusion protection. all backed up with world-class monitoring centers, thousands of qualified technicians, and a personal passion to help protect your business. when your business is optimized like that, there's no stopping you. we are tyco integrated security. and we are sharper.
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i'm craig melvin. the maine zumba instructor has pled guilty. this will allow her to forego a
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trial that would reveal explicit videos. the faa is announcing to close towers and it will affect safety. astronauting docked earlier at the international space station. it will be there for four months. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." no secret supreme court justices are aware of popular opinion when they start cases, the background music of this week's two gay marriage cases was at tuesday of the public on that. in 2009, not 100 years ago, 2009, only 32% of african-americans supported same-sex marriage, while a majority of african-americans, 53%, were opposed. by december of last year, 2012, the percentage supporting in that community supporting same-sex marriage jumped to a majority, 51%. the biggest jump in support for gay marriage was among blue
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collar workers of all ethnic groups. back in 2004, only 18% were in favor. now with 80% opposed back then, four out of five opposed. by december of 2012, there had been a spectacular shift in opinion. now 47% approved gay marriage. just 43% disapprove. joy reid is managing editor for the brian sims is a pennsylvania state rep who's openly gay. thank you for joining us. i want to start with joy who's our expert here all the time. then you can be the new expert. congratulations on representing one of the more interesting parts of the city, we call center city. anyway, let's go with this, why do you think if you had to write a history paper on this, what would be your lead about why the black community shifted in favor of allowing people to marry somebody of the same gender? >> you know what, i wouldn't put it all on president obama. i think it is a matter of leadership.
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you do have public opinion leaders. >> he's been late. >> he was late to it, but so is the african-american community. remember, when prop 8 passed in 2008, it wasn't because of the african-american community as some said, but the black community was pretty solidly behind prop 8 in california. >> yeah. >> and even when president obama announced he shifted his position or evolved his position on gay marriage, there were a lot of churches and pastors who were not really sure they wanted to do it, but you've had a lot of opinion leaders in the black community coalesce behind the president, pastors who have a good esteem and good reputation, reverend al sharpton being one of them, and you started to see because opinion of people that folks respect is moving in that direction, that does have the power to move people. i think it has in this case. >> i want to stay on you for a minute. i want to be sensitive here, but in the black community, the sensitivity about gay marriage, is it related to the lower prevalence of marriage, itself? of straight marriage? the people are living together, not really formalizing it in church or anywhere. what is the sensitive -- what had been the sensitivity? is it just religious-based or is it situational? people realize we've got to encourage straight marriage and this somehow threatens it? or what was it?
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is there any particular cause there is? why it was so conservative? >> it's the evangelical tradition. within the black church which is very conservative on a lot of issues, the evangelical tradition is the same as it is among white evangelicals. it is a biblical belief that homosexuality is wrong and follows that -- >> why change? >> honestly i think the -- >> the bible is still the same. >> yeah. i think what you're seeing is people -- first of all, i believe very strongly that throughout, whether it's for black folks or anyone else, the fact of more people being openly gay has sort of opened a lot of minds to the fact, hey, you do know one who's gay and the proximity of having it be someone you know. the fact you don't have as many people who are closeted. there have been shocks in the black community of people who have been outed or outed themselves through conduct. people are starting to realize there are more gay folks in their circle than they thought before, and when you know that, it's harder to say, i don't think that this person i know should be able to get married. >> now, brian, i understand your district includes downtown, some of the wealthier crowds, certainly places i'd love to live like rittenhouse square and
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society hill. fairmount. that's your area, right? >> those are some of the places, chris, in the city i'd like to live, too. >> okay. where's your district? i'm trying to figure out your community you represent. being openly gay. >> you hit it dead-on. we're looking at center city, philadelphia. pretty much the core of the city except for chinatown and the convention center. so everything from rittenhouse square out to the art museum including grays ferry, really the core of center city, philadelphia. >> what's it called? gayberhood. >> gayberhood between chinatown and the american market. >> my daughter-in-law and son live there, by the way. they're straight, obviously. >> let me go to the question, was it a plus or minus for you running for office being openly gay? times have changed. that's a reasonable question. >> i think it was a plus. i worked very closely with the victory fund, the national gay and lesbian victory fund to really help me talk about how i
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wanted to address being an openly gay man when i was running. there are a couple simple truths when it comes to elections and one of them is people appreciate authenticity. they may not understand everything you fight for, but people appreciate when you stand up and speak up for your community. honesty. 100%. >> did you have doubts when you got into running for office whether that was the right course politically? was that the smart move or just the right move? >> it was the right move. pennsylvania was the second largest state in the country who never elected an openly lgbt state legislator. we've known for years that really electing out legislators is the key to passing equality legislation. you know this about pennsylvania. chris, pennsylvania has no statewide lgbt civil rights. >> yeah. well, work on it.
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>> working on it. >> works on it. i'm glad to have you on. that's why i wanted you on. let me go back to joy and this whole question of change. and you're young. you know why, because the battle lines in so many other issues, whether abortion rights, or a war, they seem to stay where they are. they're always sort of in the 40-yard lines, using football teams. it always seems to be on abortion rights, somewhere it's close, it's pro choice, but it's somewhere near this battle line. the battle lines shifted so dramatically in just 20 years. do you think it was -- you said, let's get to the facts here. people coming out, right? >> yeah, it's been breathtakingly quick. my kids who are young teenagers or teenagers, you know, they don't think that being gay is that, you know, remarkable. they don't think -- when i was a teenager, it's something that you didn't know anybody in your community who's gay because no one would admit it. the late harvey milk, if you remember the dramatic scene in the movie "milk" where he says to his leagues, you have to come out, come out to your families, you have to talk about it.
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i think openness, itself, has caused people to be more comfortable that gay people aren't aliens from another planet. >> "modern family." >> "modern family." even the "fab 5" the bravo show where people could look at gay people and not be afraid of them. remember when teachers who were gay were pushed out of schools because people thought they didn't know anyone who was gay. i have people i went to high school with i had no idea they were gay until ten years ago. no one would ever admit it. >> so true. >> the fact people being out and open made it hard for us not to all be rob portman. when you know someone who's gay, when your kid's teacher is gay, when your neighbor is gay and know it, you can't say, i want to see that person discriminated against. >> who were your role models in being courageous in running for office as an openly gay man? i think of the movie in philadelphia, tom hanks playing a man who was hiv infected and think of sean penn playing harvey milk. 30 years ago this wouldn't have been an acting choice, hey, let me play the gay guy. this is a big positive development i think. your thoughts? >> you know, there's no question that harvey milk was an obvious role model in doing this. you know, i actually represented a good chunk of benjamin franklin's legislative district. one of the things we learned
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from ben franklin, which is as old as politics in this country, is that if you work toward a common goal, if you're able to bring people together and fight for those things we all agree on, people are going to do a much better job of listening to you on the things we disagree on, and joy and chris, you've touched on this in just a moment ago about coming out. you know, we have seen more people come out of the closet in the last 25 years, the last 20 years, than perhaps we did in the last 100 years, and what's happened as a result is this lgbt civil rights movement, you know, has gained in last 25 years. what took about 65 years from civil rights movements. now what happens every single day people see lgbt people around them in their family, their workplace. every morning they bring ellen degeneres and tom roberts into their household. that's the people, chris, we're talking about here. we're talking about seniors, southerners. we're talking about working class people seeing lgbt people
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around them every day. >> you know what i like about you, brian, you're obviously a great local representative. i like the fact you talk at the right speed. my speed. >> you know what, i know that you, like me, can cram about two minutes worth of information into a minute. >> as rightly we do. happy easter to you. happy easter to you, joy reid. thank you as always for coming on the program. >> thank you, chris. up next, there they go again. republicans in north carolina writing legislation trying to make it harder for democrats, especially minorities, to even register, even show up to vote. this is crazy. they keep doing it. we keep talking about it and they keep doing it. this is "hardball," the place for politics. hey, we got our cards, honey! great, anything come with it? [ ding dong ] ♪ 20% off teleflora... oh...
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and still pay the mid-size price. this is awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is, business pro. yes, it is. go national. go like a pro. we should follow the example of a north miami woman named desaline victor. when desaline arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her. because desaline is 102 years old, and they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read, "i voted." >> wow. we're back. a state of the union this year, the president promised to do something about a voting system that forces some people to wait
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in line for hours just to cast their vote. it's a problem disproportionately affects african-americans we know now according to a recent m.i.t. study waited an average of additional seven minutes more than whites do to cast a vote. in some cases those waits are much, much longer. in florida, for example, the in florida, for example, the saturday before the election the reports of people waiting up to seven hours there. this week the president followed to do something about it. set up a bipartisan position task while he feets to improve access there are still rips out there trying to make it more difficult to vote. that's exactly what is happening in north carolina right now where two bills are now working their way through the legislature that would cut back on early voting. they get away with it? judith brown is co-director of civil rights group the advancement project and michael wauldman is present of group for justice which tracks voter suppression for justice. i will lay back here and learn.
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in the last election cycle we talks about states like pennsylvania and florida. sunday closings. now we find out that north carolina is doing exactly what we pinpoint as a particular problem screwing black voters out of a habit they had. they found out blacks like to vote on sundays from church. let's cut that down and they are openly doing it. >> that's right. because the politics of north carolina changed. you had republican control of the legislature. now you have republican control of the governor's house. so the equation has changed. so now partisan efforts get to change the way people vote to make it harder for those that they don't want to vote. so we know -- >> to get it through. >> right. early voting, they will cut back. they are also trying to eliminate same-day registration. more than 250,000 people registered through same-day registration in 2008. we know the margin of victory was a little over -- >> so people that haven't voted in a while. you keep your registration if
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you vote. >> it helped with people who move. you can register again and it is -- >> that day. anyway, run of the republican sponsored bills in north carolina want to cut the early voting period by a week. another outlaws sunday voting before the election. tho efforts would disproportionately americans. 70% of african-americans vote sunday. when it comes to sunday voting. many african-americans took part in poll drives. they make up 22% of registered voters in the state. we are learning a lot here. michael your thoughts and study of this. this is great you're doing this. >> what a wince dense that happens to be the day that gets cut off in early voting, right? this is interesting because as you know, there was a real effort in the last election, 19
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states passed 25 separate laws to make it harder for people to vote. most of those worst laws were blocked by the courts or by the justice department. and there was a real backlash. so now you're starting to see something of a split personality in internal debate among republicans pushing this. in florida, governor scott, who had pushed basically the same exact ideas, is now doing back flips to say how much he supports early voting. >> why? he is fighting for his life down there -- >> exactly. >> -- the guy is so detested in florida, he has to do something. >> republicans got caught in those lines and republicans are upset because they went out to early vote and say, why did you stand against it. important in florida, is they are not trying to give back all of the early voting days. >> are you saying that some republicans were if line too held up? >> yes, they were in line too. >> that's the thing. early voting and other early voting issue, they aught not be
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partisan. early voting doesn't supposedly favor one party or another. and it shouldn't matter what party you're in or what state you're in. that's why whatever happens with this presidential commission which is just going to be making recommendationes it local and state officials, there's really no substitute, i think, for minimal national standards set by congress for things like that. >> let's get back it what is sneaky and look sneaky. in baseball they play around with the strike zone. too many home runs, not enough home runs, so they adjust it. shouldn't we be suspicious about any law voting changes? >> yes, we should. >> because they want to change the results. >> and there's no good reasons. there's no compelling reasons for this. all we know is that at the end of the day, the american public wants it to be easier to vote. they want free, fair and accessible elections. but republicans time after time line up to make it harder to vote. in virginia, governor mcdonald, ready to sign off on a voter id
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law that makes it harder to vote. and so, yes, the closer they get to perhaps winning, they want to take -- >> last word, mike. >> i think there's a good record that when this country, can which it has over time, has expanded the ability to vote, has made it easier to vote. we've never regretted it. it hasn't led to problems. it's only led to a stronger country. but it should be done carefully and in a way with both parties. but cutting back, it smells bad, it really does. >> okay, mike, i think i will see you at my house soon. mike walledman shas has done a great job in his career after being a speech writer for president clinton. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things.
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let me finish tonight with this. the nasty tricks keep coming, don't they? i'd like to think that we at "hardball" spotlight a problem that may stop. well, when it comes to republicans messing with voting laws, that's been a case of hope tramping over instinct. the instinct is to sit around in state capitols thinking of ways to win statewide elections by getting the urban vote. you get the idea. they get the idea. the community gets the idea. we end up all on the same page. in reince priebus doesn't like this stuff, why doesn't he stop it? he doesn't like people using bad words. we saw that today. why does he put up with people trying to deny their right to vote


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