tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 7, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. target, benghazi. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. there have been a raft of charges that fit under the heading, benghazi. the sheer volume of them allows the one making the charge to maintain the offensive. it allows people to take glancing shots at this administration and possibly a future administration without coming up with a sharp indictment that merits hard public debate. so to avoid that confusion, i'm going to divide the charge into four periods. one, events before the benghazi facility came under attack. two, events occurring when the benghazi facility first came under attack. third, events occurring before the second attack in benghazi.
and fourth, events after those two attacks. one of the charges congress will hear tomorrow concerns the third time period. between the attacks in benghazi. between those attacks. gregory hicks, a state department official, posted in tripoli said, he asked for four special forces personnel to be sent to benghazi but was refused. the defense department says the four personnel weren't ready for combat. also, they were needed to defend the embassy in tripoli. a second charge congress will hear tomorrow, also concerns that third time period. the one between the attacks. mr. hicks said he asked for fighter planes to do a flyover of benghazi. he says it would have scared off the terrorists and prevented the second attack. well, defense department says there that the planes stationed over in italy needed to be refueled en route and there was no tanker in the area to do it. let's take on the charges. let's take a look at them. we're joined by andrea mitchell, nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent and host, of course, of "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. let's get to this first charge.
gregory hicks, deputy chief of our embassy in tripoli at the time of the benghazi attack. he told investigators for the house oversight and government reform committee that more could have been done in this period after that first attack on the mission in benghazi. but before two more americans were killed hours later in a second attack. he said a team of four special forces operatives were ready to fly to benghazi in that period between the attacks but were told by defense department superiors they didn't have the authority to do so. he also said, this is hicks, that the united states never sought permission to scramble aircrafts over benghazi after the first attack. had they done so, he said, it might have caused the attackers to scatter before the final attack. let's start with the two main charges. they've gotten all the publicity today. let's start with the first. the four special forces personnel who apparently are speaking on the record and saying they were ready to go to benghazi. >> these are four, in addition to the six, who had already gone. and the pushback from the pentagon and the state department is that they were needed in tripoli. that embassies were under attack all over the region. and that if those four had left
and gone to benghazi, it would have exposed the embassy and far more important target in tripoli. >> that's their main argument. not that they weren't battle ready, but that they were needed to defend the main base, main americans operation base in libya. >> the second argument is that they were not combat assault ready. in other words, that they were based in tripoli, they were actually visiting on a mission in tripoli and could not launch a combat assault at a remote location. >> my experience in political argument is, if you have a good argument, and that's the real reason you make the decision, you don't add a second one. can you tell from the way the testimony is developing what they truly were guided by? was it the need to protect the embassy in tripoli or was it because they didn't think these guys were ready to jump into hell basically which is what they would have had to do once they hit the ground? >> my best judgment is they did not want to expose the embassy in tripoli. >> right. okay. let's talk about the aircraft. the defense department position there apparently is those planes could have scrambled from italy. would have taken three, four hours. that route would have required a refueling en route and there was no tanker available.
is that their defense? >> their argument is it would have taken five hours and there were no tankers available. that the closest tanker was actually in europe. not in africa. and not in italy. >> so what do the critics say up against these two pushbacks? what do they say in defending the charge that -- basically taking down the defense that says, look, we couldn't spare those four guys. what do they say about that? >> i talked to jason chaffetz today. >> he's one of the critics. >> one of the leading critics on the committee. he said this is the first time we are hearing the specific pushback from the pentagon. he's also saying, why wasn't gregory hicks interviewed by the independent review board? now, the other -- >> that gets to the fourth stage of discussion after what happened. they always shift these things around. now, i'm not saying they're dead wrong on everything. i just noticed a tactic. every time somebody defends something, they go, what about this other thing? i'm sorry. >> let me stipulate. >> that's my point of view. >> gregory hicks has a superb
record. he was the deputy chief of mission, but he is a diplomat, a foreign service officer. and the pentagon's pushback is he's not a military officer and to suggest a flyover of f-16s could have buzzed the mission, the outpost in benghazi, and scattered the attackers, is naive, number one. it's hypothetical. >> right. >> and that they couldn't get there in time in any case for the very reasons you just cited that they didn't have refueling capability. they were not on the runway. it takes a couple hours to get an airplane, an f-16, fueled up and on the runway and in the air. >> so this falls into the category since we grew up, monday morning quarter backing. it's legitimate disputes. we can argue about how it could have been handled better. it's not a mortal sin politically that would cause the downfall of an administration, even a british style ministry where they do resign in these situations. let's talk about the cover-up. let me read this other point. gregory hicks, this respected foreign service officer, based in tripoli, took issue with the account ambassador susan rice of
the u.n. gave after the attack. that it was a spontaneous attack that grew out of the protest. hicks told investigators "i thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. i think everyone in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning." here's what congresswoman -- congressman darrell issa of california had to say about that. let's watch him in action. >> we know one thing, the talking points were right and then the talking points were wrong. the cia knew it was a terrorist attack. deputy chief of mission, gregory hicks, knew it was a terrorist attack. the ambassador before he died, one of the last words he ever said was, we're under attack. >> the significance. i mean, secretary clinton before she left her post as secretary of state said, what's the issue here? what is his issue there? we're not talking about saving lives or lives that could have been saved. saving chris stevens' life. we're talking about how the pr was handled by the white house. why is it so significant to the critics? >> i think it's significant to the critics because they see political targets. they see a cover-up.
they believe that in the weeks before a major -- you know, a presidential election, where president obama and team were claiming that al qaeda had been diminished, that there was an effort to white wash or clean the talking points to make it appear less a terror attack and more spontaneous. >> was there a move by the assistant secretary for public affairs at state to say there wasn't terrorist or change that? was there any evidence anything was changed for any reason? >> no, all the evidence has been that it was changed in the intelligence community and general clapper took responsibility for that. >> because of their own estimates of what happened? >> because it's -- they did not have what they felt were the hard evidence. clearly it was an attack. when ambassador stevens said, we're under attack, that didn't define who was attacking. so i think that is a red herring. you know, the last words of the dying ambassador. to hold that against the state department. i do think there were screw-ups along the way. >> afterwards? >> afterwards in the way the intelligence community and the white house, all these things
are vetted. they're rewritten. it's clear petraeus went and said one thing and then -- >> i understand. >> the talking points were changed. >> this is my political analysis. you don't have to buy it. i notice all these attempts to smear somebody, generally speaking, what they do is they say legitimate concerns about, for example, what john kerry said when he came back from the vietnam war. he said this was the wrong war, we did horrendous things. that was legitimate criticism of him from the people on the right. they got people to criticize his statements after war to blemish his war record. here they take legitimate disputes of how the pr was handled, we can argue about that, now cast doubt about how what efforts were really not made to save the lives of these diplomats. i think it's an attempt to mush it up a bit. usually a very successful pr tactic on either side politically. >> why wasn't gregory hicks interviewed before this? why did not his testimony become part of the independent review board? >> good question. >> that is a question that needs to be answered. but whether this is dispositive -- is this going to really prove anything about how
we handle embassy security? they're still not asking the pentagon why there aren't more than 1,200 marines globally to take care of embassies. we're not putting marines in front of embassies or missions. >> you know this diplomatic world better than anybody in our business. you can't stock a ford apache in the middle of a country that's barely a country yet like libya. we don't have a right to move in with a military, you know, brigade. >> you have to have host country permission. >> they have to protect us basically. >> the bottom line here is, we are not spending the money to either secure these outposts or staff them properly. still foreign service officers like greg stevens are raising their hands saying i want to serve there even though i know i could die there. >> that's a big part of our story. the courage of our diplomats to go into tricky situations knowing there's a certain percentage of chance they won't come back. >> exactly. >> that's how much we respect those people. thank you, andrea mitchell. let's go now for more on the investigation, i'm joined by u.s. congressman matt cartwright, democrat from pennsylvania. member of the committee on
overnight and government reform holding these hearings tomorrow. what do you make of this? we're trying to settle through, andrea and i, everybody, our production team have been trying to figure this out. it looks like they got a couple charges about the way things were handled before the attacks, during the attacks, which were basically monday morning quarterbacking. we can argue about them forever. no real malfeasance yet. we have this question of cover-up. do you see any merit -- i know you're a democrat -- do you see any merit in what darrell issa is up to? is this just politics? >> well, i'm a democrat and i'm a democrat from northeastern pennsylvania, chris. and you've got a lot of fans in that part of the world. i can tell you. >> thank you. >> but i will say this. i am a freshman. i've been in congress now for four months. i've been a member of the house oversight and government reform committee. and one thing we see on this committee is something i've never seen before in my life. i've done courtroom jury trials for 25 years. exercises in finding the truth. sometimes it really doesn't look like we're interested in finding the truth in these hearings we
see on the government and oversight -- oversight and government reform committee. let me give you an example. you show up at these hearings. they have titles. you know, why such and such is so. then they take the testimony. they are exercises in the majority of the committee deciding what hearing is going to be held and then withholding the information until the very last minute or in many cases revealing what's going to be in the hearing by leaking it to the press the night before. >> i know. >> including documents, including what witnesses have to say. so, for example, tomorrow in this benghazi hearing, we're going to find out from this witness, mark thompson, things that those of us on the minority on the committee have no idea what this man is going to say because we have been granted no access to this witness. so it's a complete surprise. >> well, not to fuel your concern that this is a stacked
jury here. it's certainly something the look of a show trial. look at former u.s. governor of arkansas, mike huckabee, who ran for president, of course, as a republican. yesterday he said benghazi is more a serious scandal than watergate and made a startling prediction. let's look at mike huckabee. >> okay. >> i believe before it's all over, this president will not fill out his full term. i know that puts me on a limb, but this is not minor. it wasn't minor when richard nixon lied to the american people and worked with those in his administration to cover up what really happened in watergate. but i remind you, as bad as watergate was because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. this is more serious because four americans did, in fact, die." >> did you catch that?
he's not accusing people in the state department or defense department bureaucracy of making a mistake or human error. just things are always looking better afterwards. you can always think things through. he's accusing this of a high crime of misdemeanor, something from the president on down that's a grievous crime against the state that should be answered with impeachment and conviction and removal from office without ever saying what it is. this is classic. classic conspiracy talk. your thoughts? >> well, you know, as i mentioned, i did jury cases for 25 years and if you got caught grandstanding to the jury, you would be admonished by the judge. here in washington, d.c., the definition of grandstanding is completely different. it's an art form. and so something like that, look, this is not what the american people sent us here to do, chris. they want us to work together. and as an oversight panel, we should be sharing information with each other so that we work together to get at the truth. because you know what, if you
share with us what the witnesses are going to say, what the documents are that you're going to use ahead of time, the truth isn't going to change. the truth is going to come out. truth is the daughter of time. and it doesn't change. so let's work together. that's what the american people want us to do. >> congressman, my best to the sons and daughters of scranton, especially the irish. and everybody else up there. thank you for coming on tonight. congressman matt cartwright of the scranton area. coming up, one of those stories that makes you wonder, how could it happen? three women held captive in cleveland, ohio, for a decade. ten years. were just found and freed in their own neighborhood. and the three brothers, middle-aged brothers, accused of holding them, are now under arrest. my question, did police just assume that these three women, they were girls at the time, were just lost causes? they ran off? now they're found in their own neighborhoods. plus from the moment we heard new jersey governor chris christie had had lap band surgery, stomach surgery, we were faced with two possibilities. christie wants to lose weight for health reasons.
that's a good one. or this is the surest sign yet that he plans to run in 2016. could be both. it probably is. and matthew perry, the actor. remember "friends"? he's here tonight. he's a recovering priescription drug addict. he's here telling congress that treatment, not jail time, is not only more effective, but far less expensive. that makes sense. finally a pro same-sex marriage public service announcement straight out of the 1950s starring "modern family's" jesse tyler ferguson. >> dale wants to restrict marriage to a man and a woman. he doesn't care whether the couple just met on a drunken trip to vegas, a reality show, or if they're only marrying for a green card. >> by the way, could you tell who's narrating? you'll find out in a minute. interesting guy we all grew up with. this is "hardball." the place for politics. [ man ] on december 17, 1903, the wright brothers became the first in flight. [ goodall ] i think the most amazing thing is how like us these chimpanzees are. [ laughing ] [ woman ] can you hear me?
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welcome back to "hardball." all day long, now, people have been asking the same question. how? how could three women disappear and then be held captive for a decade, ten years in their own neighborhood with no one knowing they were there? their awful ordeal came to an end yesterday. one of the captives managed to attract attention and escape. here's her dramatic call to 911. >> hello. help me. i'm amanda berry. >> you need police, fire, or ambulance? >> i need police. >> okay. what's going on there? >> i've been kidnapped. i've been missing for ten years. i'm here. i'm free now.
>> wow. that was amanda berry, went missing april 21st, 2003. ten years ago. she was 16 at the time of her disappearance. just one day shy of her 17th birthday. also freed from the same house, gina dejesus who went missing april 2nd, 2004. she was 14 at the time of her disappearance. and michele knight who went missing august 22nd, 2002. she was 20 at the time of her disappearance. as this map shows the women were found miles but not that far from where they disappeared. the neighbor who responded to amanda berry's call for help is hailed as a hero. his name is charles ramsey. he describes the homeowner in custody with his two brothers. all three of them apparently were living with these three young women. let's listen. >> we see this dude every day. i mean, every day. >> how long have you lived here? >> i've been here a year. i barbecue with this dude. we eat ribs and whatnot and listen to salsa music. see where i'm coming from? >> you had no indication
anything was going on? >> bro, not a clue that girl was in that house or anybody else was in there against their will, because how he is -- he just comes out to his backyard, plays with the dogs, tinkers with his cars and motorcycles, goes back in the house. he's somebody, you look and look away. he's not doing nothing but the average stuff. you see what i'm saying? there's nothing exciting about him. well, until today. >> i'd call that fellow a cooperative witness, wouldn't you? joining me on the scene in cleveland is reporter sarah dallof. thank you for joining us. we haven't met. tell me. answer some of my questions. people live next door to three middle-aged guys, men, older men, and never hear young women's voices in all those weeks and nights and days and hot nights and whatever? it seems unreal. it does. >> it does seem unreal, chris. and that is the big question that everyone has on their mind. how could these women be hidden relatively in plain sight under
the noses of the people looking for them? that is what investigators want to answer. we can tell you during the time these women were missing, police did respond, were called to the home twice, but the calls were not related. one was even the homeowner calling to report a fight on the street. the other was a question to deal with his job. he was a school bus driver. accidentally left one of the kids on the bus. neither of these calls police say they received were in any way related to the disappearance of these three women. >> are the houses -- the house we're talking about like the houses behind you? i mean, i grew up in a neighborhood that looks like that. row houses. are they that close together? this house to other houses? >> they are close together. close enough that you easily could throw a stone and hit your neighbor's home. this is not a remote area. there's traffic on this street. there's a school about a block this way. a daycare about another block. and businesses. some restaurants, some local shops here. this is not an area where people are not frequently here. where they're not here on a daily basis walking these sidewalks.
>> do we know -- last question. do we know how amanda berry who got the 911 call through, why she was finally able after ten years to have the confidence, i guess the right word is, knew she wouldn't be hurt if she made that call? >> you hear her on the 911 call pleading with the 911 operator to send a patrol car as soon as possible, that she's worried a man is going to return. we don't know what led up to this, her ability to escape last night. from everything that neighbors say that witnesses saw, she was screaming and pounding on that door. she wanted out. >> good reporting. thanks so much, sarah dallof in cleveland. joining me now is marc klaas. we know him. his 12-year-old daughter, polly, was kidnapped and killed nearly 20 years ago. also joining me, jeff gardere, he's a psychologist and nbc news contributor. thank you, jeff. thank you, marc. tell me what it tells us about the missing persons. you hear young women running
away fwr from their parents, maybe a difficult situation at home or they just want to have freedom. are they never heard from again and police rest the case, they kill it? what happened to these cases, do you think? >> the fallback position used to be that if a girl is missing or a child is missing, that they're most likely a runaway. that would absolve law enforcement of most responsibility. we've learned the 20 years since polly that that's not the case at all. for a variety of reasons, children are snatched off the street either by other family members or in the rare instance, strangers, such as this guy, castro, was. that's exactly what happened in this. we have tools that exist now that didn't exist before, including law enforcement protocols. things like the amber alert. we have things like megan's law that gives us a heads-up as to who these individuals are in our neighborhoods. but the reality is, is if one of these guys snatches one of these kids kids in stealth and nobody is watching him and he's able to marginalize them successfully,
this ultimately can be the outcome. >> these guys don't look like mr. rogers. they look like pretty scary guys. the kids -- how does it happen? you're an expert about this, unfortunately, marc. you don't know if they've ever been armed at all. we don't know if there's ever any arms involved in this. how do you grab a kid, get them out of a public situation without them being able to even scream for help? are they seduced away from it or just grabbed physically and gagged? >> well, my suspicion is these kids were probably gagged. i mean, it's been -- this guy has been described as a sexually sadistic psychopath. quite frankly, i can't find any fault with that. what he's going to do is find a situation where nobody else appears to be looking and then make his move at that point. >> i see. >> then isolate these kids. is exactly what he's going to do. and this guy has been able to successfully do that for a long time. these are young girls that are being approached and being manhandled by a determined predator. that's a huge -- that's a huge disconnect as far as power goes. >> you know, let me bring jeff in. an expert.
i've seen movies like "the lovely bones" and you think about predators waiting and waiting for their chance to grab. what does it tell you about the psychological condition of these apparent predators? >> well, obviously a family of sociopaths. we've learned from an uncle that they were actually isolated from the family. other family members had not spoken to them for a couple of years. so these are literally, perhaps, the bad seeds of the family. and as part of that sociopathic thinking, of course, they are going to wait and look for the right moment to grab these girls. i think they did those things on three separate occasions. but you've got to believe, chris, that there was a lot of mind control going on. >> yeah. >> you talk about how could this have happened? maybe, you know, there was a situation of where there might have been some occasion for them to get some help and maybe didn't. we shouldn't blame the victim. this is part of the brainwashing that we see all the time where they threaten to kill them or
maybe another one of their roommates there if they say or do anything. and luckily, amanda berry finally just seemed that she had had enough. she ran out of there with her daughter. that was the perfect time for her to make that escape. >> it doesn't look like there's a stockholm syndrome. looks like these are rough looking guys. you wonder whether the fear of these guys, just because they look pretty rough. i mean, i can't judge people by their appearance, obviously. the mugshots here are pretty frightening. you wonder whether there was just terror going on, just, you move, you're dead. we'll find this out. i think it was fascinating they were so intimidated, if you will, psychologically frightened, that they were afraid to even yell out in the night, like at 2:00 in the morning just start howling like a dog. people would hear it. all they had to do was hear it once, right? >> oh, yeah, absolutely. it's also the situation of where first we assume that they were physically assaulted. sexually assaulted. emotionally assaulted. all of those things play in.
and there still might be some stockholm syndrome in that their lives were actually in the hands of these monsters. >> yeah, their whole beings. >> exactly. >> that's the only world they knew. after years. hey, marc, i always feel for you, buddy. i know it never goes away. i know about this. thanks for coming back on to talk about this kind of horror again. jeff gardere, great guest. thanks for coming on. we'll be right back.
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♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] back to "hardball." now to the sideshow. first, "funny or die" teams up with "modern family" star jesse tyler ferguson. and also others on a marriage equality public service announcement. it's what you'd expect actually from a 1950s tv show with a clever twist. here's a look. while you watch, see if you can identify who's doing the narrating. >> this is a typical american neighborhood. friendly faces and quiet streets. but there is one person living
on this street whose orientation threatens to destroy society. there's dale wilson struggling with his lawn mower. what you can't tell about dale is that he's sick. he opposes marriage equality. he gives off clues of his prejudice with buzzwords like "pro family." dale would let any two idiots marry unless those two idiots are gay. dale has been divorced twice. his third marriage to joan is -- well, take a look at it. she doesn't look happy, does she? the good news is that feelings are changing. many people are evolving into champions of equality. by participating in reparative therapy that includes watching a broadway musical, or simply meeting a gay person. >> pretty funny. anyway, there you have it. anyway, the narrator is george takei. as you probably know him, he was
sulu on "star trek." there he is. he's gay. today delaware became the 11th state to approve marriage equality. this thing's moving. there's a flip side here. enter rick perry comparing the boy scouts' ban on gay members to former texas governor sam houston's refusal to pledge his loyalty to the confederacy in 1861. here's perry with the family research council's tony perkins. >> the greatest governor that ever served this state was sam houston, and from this library that i speak, he made a powerful decision that cost him his governorship. he was against slavery and he stood up and very passionately said, you know, texas does not need to leave the union over this issue of slavery. but that's the type of principled leadership, that's the type of courage that i hope people across this country on this issue of scouts and keeping the boy scouts the organization that it is today. >> so governor perry believes keeping gay boys out of the scouts is like opposing
secession? wasn't perry the guy talking up secession a while back? well, it's true sam houston was against secession, by the way. he did own slaves. he just wanted to not extend them into the new territories. up next, new jersey governor chris christie has even more people thinking he's running for president in 2016, and that's because he quietly had lap band stomach surgery earlier this year in an attempt to lose weight. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball." the place for politics. [ lorenzo ] i'm lorenzo. i work for 47 different companies. well, technically i work for one. that company, the united states postal service® works for thousands of home businesses. because at usps.com® you can pay, print and have your packages picked up for free. i can even drop off free boxes. i wear a lot of hats. well, technically i wear one. the u.s. postal service®, no business too small.
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at the white house. the u.s. and russia have agreed to take action to try to resolve the crisis in syria. they're hold a cop frenference this month aimed at ending that country's civil war. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." finally, a story everyone can understand. call it gut check. new jersey governor chris christie who has publicly struggled with his obesity revealed today he underwent lap band surge three months ago. a procedure which can lead to dramatic weight loss and has already shed some 40 pounds off the larger than life political figure himself. the story was broken by the "new york post" today and the governor addressed the issue late today saying the decision had nothing to do with larger political aspirations like running for president. >> it's not a career issue for me. it is a long-term health issue for me. and that's the basis upon which i made the decision.
so it's not about anything other than that. everybody's going to have opinions, as is obvious, from this, you know, scrum of people here today. but i don't -- with all due respect to everybody here, your opinions on this issue really don't matter a whole hell of a lot to me. >> that was scrum, by the way, not the other word. what about it is he going to lose -- or what does he gain about all this in terms of politics? like it or not, the public judges politicians for many reasons including their appearance, from jack kennedy's good looks to obama's youthful athleticism. it all helps. joining me michael steele, who benefits in the same way, former rnc chair. and bobby shrum who knows all about glamour. thank you, gentlemen. i want you, shrumy. sometimes you can put the dagger in to the other side. this decision is -- i know a friend of mine here, i can't mention his name, let him speak for himself, he's a fellow broadcaster, who's had this surgery. it's worked very well for him. he's a fellow diabetic with me. he's gotten rid of his diabetes. it's been fantastic. if you can't lose weight by giving up everything you love,
and it's still not working and you exercise and it's still not working, i think people try alternatives. in this case the governor, i think, is heroically trying something else. if you keep eating i don't think it works, but go ahead. >> i don't want to disappoint you, and i don't want to hurt governor christie, but i think potentially he's the strongest republican nominee in 2016. i take him at his word that that's not the reason he did this. i mean, he's got a family. he's got his health to consider. he's got young children. but if this doesn't have political intention, it certainly has political implications. i have a very good friend who's a senior republican strategist who strongly favors christie, who was very worried that if he ran in 2016 he just couldn't withstand the rigors of a presidential campaign. >> you eat a lot, too. barney frank once told me, michael, he gained 40 pounds in some race because all you do is try to get your metabolism down by eating hamburgers and french fries and pizza. all the worst stuff. >> it's very true. in my run for lieutenant
governorship and again for the u.s. senate, you know, even if you're just running in a state, yet alone the entire country -- >> yeah. >> -- you're hitting the hamburger joint at 11:00 at night and 1:00 in the morning. so, look, i'm very proud of the governor. very supportive of the governor's effort here. i don't second guess his intentions. but i think shrumy put it exactly right. the implication is another thing. >> let's take a look at some polling on this if we can. i think you always want to check your own gut sense -- gut sense. let's take a look. does weight really matter when it comes to voters? according to the quinnipiac vote which we use all the time from march, basically, it was taken in march. four out of five registered voters, not just adults, in new jersey said they're fine with an overweight gubernatorial candidate. in fact, if you look at the numbers, we had a dispute on that here. 64% comfortable with, 4% enthusiastic about an overweight. and only 17% with reservations. only 4% that said outright it bothers them really. i think what we're on to is something actual humane and human.
i think as the wife of a famous politician who's on this network a lot once said to him, trying to get her husband to lose weight, did you ever see an old fat man? because old people tend to survive, by definition, because they have somewhat better health than the people who didn't. >> right. >> if you're way overweight, you're not going to really make it probably. i'm sure there's exceptions out there. i apologize to you. generally i think it's good advice to stay within the non-obese category when you're getting older. >> the rigors of running are one them. the stress of governing is something else. i think chris christie recognizes, you know, to keep the pace of running the state, to keep in the game, he's got to do something about his health. he's taken this step. let's see where it goes. >> here's another poll, university of missouri taken in 2010. not long ago. it concluded that, "contrary to expectation, obese candidates were rated more favorably than nonobese candidates. obese male candidates were evaluated more positively than nonobese males and nonobese females." you know, i was just thinking,
you've got to be very careful. probably the most popular person in the country is oprah winfrey. i remember every time -- she was always talking about her weight issue. people were always rooting for her. you know, bob? people root for people. it's time every time you go by a krispy kreme. five guys hamburger. every time you see a really good cinnamon bun, you go, okay, i'll start the diet in an hour after this baby. >> i haven't had a cinnamon bun in about five years. let me tell you -- >> they're really good. >> a lot of cliches about presidential politics. you and i know that. michael knows it. one of them was age. ronald reagan disposed of that. another one was the idea you can't have an overweight president. sure, we haven't really had one since william howard taft. i think chris christie could have won votes as a guy who was heavy because he has a remarkably uncanny sense of how to communicate with people. >> doesn't he? >> i don't happen to agree with him. i wouldn't have voted for him. >> isn't it something? i'm not sure you wouldn't.
you probably wouldn't. you're a real progressive. i've made exceptions for different people over the years, people, i liked them a lot more hahn the other democratic candidate. i'm not a regular voter, i started with arlen specter, for example. i moved around. i do think he would have the appeal not to straight-line voters, michael, i think he would have appeal to people slightly center left in that center. >> absolutely. >> i think he would have an appeal. they'd say i just trust him more. or he grew up like i did, sort of an ethnic guy, big city guy. he seems like me. >> he seems like me. he's real like me. he's going through real life experiences like me, whether it's his weight or other things. people identify with him. chris christie's challenge is not his weight. it's his primary. that's going to be where this thing gets played out. >> you know why i like him? one reason i like him? besides we talk once in a while, every three years or so. i have to tell you, i liked about him is i picked him to beat corzine. i always liked the guys i picked because that was an upset. when they had the picture of him getting out of the car looking really overweight, bob, remember that? remember the ad ran against him? i thought that was a bad ad. he's going to win this darn election. >> i thought that was a stupid ad and i thought it hurt -- it distracted from the message.
>> hurt his opponent. >> i think it hurt jon corzine who's a very good friend of mine. i think it was a dumb ad. let me tell you something. this guy's personality is bigger than his politics. that's why his appeal transcends normal ideological lines. >> agreed. >> but michael's absolutely right. he's going to have a very hard time in these republican primaries. he's a conservative. they think he's not conservative enough. >> right. >> he doesn't seem to care. the other morning on "morning joe" he was asked about president obama and hurricane katrina again. he said, listen, the president's kept every promise he's made. and i thought, there goes another 3% or 4% in iowa away from this guy. >> i know. i don't think he cares about that nonsense. he's quite willing, as he showed during tropical storm sandy, he's willing to do the right thing for jersey. that took a lot of guts. thank you, michael steele, sir. thank you, shrumy. you were on your best behavior tonight. we'll have you back as a partisan next time. up next, matthew perry is going to join us right here. he battled an addiction to prescription drugs. he's right here in washington telling congress that treatment, not jail time, is the answer.
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or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. we are back. you may remember him as the charmingly funny chandler bing on the hit show "friends." well, most recently on nbc's new comedy "go on." but this week matthew perry has left hollywood for washington to bring attention to an issue he knows firsthand, addiction. he's been advocating for drug courts, a system for nonviolent
criminals to get the help and rehabilitation they obviously need rather than go to prison and pick up other bad habits. matthew perry's here with me tonight. for the national association of drug court professionals. first of all, what's a drug court? >> what is a drug court? a drug court is a system of judges that take people as you said, that take people who have committed nonviolent first-time drug offenders and instead of putting them, throwing them away into -- into prison puts them in a rehab situation, having a chance to get better. >> you play that sleaze ball on "the good wife," don't you? >> yes. >> that guy is awful. first of all, he tries to screw my hero's character and her husband and ends up running against the guy. and you lost the election last week. >> yeah, he's a fun character to play because he's a sociopath and you're on the show too. people say you were good but i was better. >> you're a pro.
doctor, tell me seriously about this. most people talk about prison being packed with drug offenders. people that are picked up for robbing a convenience store to get the cash to buy the drugs. and so much of that is drug related. and if you could find a way not to introduce them into the system where they learn criminality. >> right. >> it's fair to say that 80% of criminal offenders are there in part because addiction is fueling the criminal activity. so what we're trying to do is find a middle ground. we're not going to let them go. we're not going to endanger public safety, but also not going to throw them away. so a judge, prosecutor, defense lawyer, treatment get together and work together with the individual to ensure. >> who would make that call? a jury or the judge that the guy or girl wouldn't go to prison, this sort of enforced rehab program? >> all the people i just said. prosecutor agrees, defense counsel agrees, judge agrees, the offender agrees, and it's a
deal. everybody gets something from this deal. the offender avoids prison, a criminal record, gets treatment, the services they need and we get public safety. >> okay. i'll ask you, matt, you had prescription drug. but what about people with heroin and stuff like that. can you get them off that? >> absolutely. >> you can through a court-ordered situation? >> yes. >> and all the other drugs? >> you name it. >> the most common drugs are meth amphetamine, heroin, cocaine, followed by marijuana and alcohol. >> what's the hardest to shake? >> i would probably say methamphetamine because it's so damaging to the brain. >> cocaine too, right? >> meth damages you cognitively, it's a 6 to 12 month process before you're dealing with the person again. >> how did you deal with it? you didn't commit any crimes. >> i did commit crimes, i never got arrested. >> what was your crime?
just using? >> i got them illegally. and had i gotten arrested, then i wouldn't be here helping people, i'd be somewhere, you know, in prison somewhere, you know, with a tattoo all over my body. >> yeah, something like that. doesn't make you a better person. >> no, and i was fortunate, i got to go to rehab and -- >> was this on your own? did a friend intervene? >> no, i was worried i would die from it. >> you hit bottom? >> yeah, i hit bottom. >> and you were working on tv while this was happening? >> yeah, yeah. >> explain that. >> well -- >> you'd get up and make your call in the morning, 6:00 in the morning, all the time throbbing with a hangover or what were you dealing with? >> yeah, i had to get the right amount of pills to get through the day and, you know, i joke about it that i -- >> did you feel like you were under an influence? >> oh, they knew, and they were very concerned about me because my joke is that i returned to my original birth weight. so that's when they -- that's when they knew. >> well, i think i've been through something like that with alcohol and i beat it and, knock
wood, and a lot of my friends are in the program and for anything that works. appreciate you coming on the show. you've been there, you don't want anybody else to be there. there's hope because of you. thank you. thank you, matthew perry and i really don't like your character on "good wife." we'll be right back. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] it's not for colds. it's not for pain. it's just for sleep. because sleep is a beautiful thing™. ♪ zzzquil™. the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil®.
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presidential candidates who can credibly lead the country. it has not done so well when one party plunges off into the extremes. we saw this with goldwater and mcgovern. left with no choice on election day, and left with the presidency that lacked an earned connection with the american people. one led us to vietnam, the other to watergate, it's far better to have elections when both parties were credible. i like it that way. i'd like to know if a candidate i start to campaign with ends up totally disappointing me, i have an option in november, someone i'd prefer to see president at that point. chris christie looks like he's gearing up to make a run. it's his political value system i suppose. he made it clear last year that he's willing to work with the other party to get things done. he and obama presented the one good picture of positive political news the entire campaign simply by working together as elected officials of our country should. so maybe the governor of new jersey is getting in shape to run or maybe just to improve his
health. in any case, it will be good to have him as a prospect for 2016 if only because he's someone who many people on both sides of the political middle can actually imagine voting for. and that's "hardball" for now, thanks for being with us, "all in" with chris hayes starts now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes, thank you for joining us on "all in" tonight. one day after we told you of the shocking arrest of the lieutenant colonel in charge of curbing sexual assault in the united states air force, a new study released showing an epidemic of sexual assault in the military. plus, you know a civil war on immigration is underway in the republican party when grover norquist testifies in favor of immigration reform. all that in click 3 coming up. but we begin tonight with a story out of ohio that has captivated the country today. three diff