tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 29, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. see your doctor and get checked out. thanks so much for watching this afternoon. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. fall of a viking. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. michele bachmann is quitting the congress. what is it with these people? is it congress? is it the right wing? what gives? sarah palin was the vice presidential nominee of the republican party in 2008. remember? game change? she was the game change. then she quit. left the governor's office halfway through her term. her only term. then jim demint, the guy ruling the whole right wing of the
republican senate, wing to the right of mitch mcconnell, that's half the party. he quit to go run a think tank. it's not a bad think tank. it's also not the united states senate. so what gives here? is it the house? is it the senate? or is it the right? where are these right wingers headed? into the sunset or to some elephants graveyard? oh, yeah. is this good news really or are they being replaced by far nastier people like cruz and paul and lee? there's a scary thought. david corn to take that up. alex wagner is host of "now" on msnbc. in the year 2008 not so many moons ago on this show michele bachmann said the president of the united states harbored anti-american views. she called for an expose on whether any of her democratic colleagues in congress shared those anti-american views. and it was, in fact, her debut on the national stage, and it was right here on "hardball." let's take a look. >> i absolutely -- >> you believe barack obama may
have anti-american views? >> absolutely. >> how many people in the congress of the united states do you think are anti-american? you've already suspected barack obama. is he alone, or are there others? how many do you suspect of your colleagues as being anti-american? >> what i would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. i wish they would. i wish the american media would take a great look at the views of the people in congress and find out, are they pro-america or anti-america? >> never got around to that expose. anyway, today michele bachmann calmed it quits. her reason, well, self-imposed term limits, apparently. >> our constitution allows for the decision of length of service in congress to be determined by the congress people themselves or by the voters in the district. however, the law limits anyone from serving as president of the united states for more than eight years. and in my opinion, well, eight years is also long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific
congressional district. and rest assured, this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff. >> well, that explanation is hard to swallow since she had already, michele bachmann, began raring a tv ad this month 17 months before the next election for the next one next year. somehow she made a change of mind the last few days. well, earlier this month i diagnosed her problem as a lack of effectiveness. she spent her career in congress avoiding doing anything substantive. instead she proudly boasted this month to once again getting the house to cast a symbolic vote to kill obama care, by the way, for the 37th time. here's what i said after that. >> i know what her problem is. her pollster is telling her she's got wickedly bad numbers on the issue of effectiveness. all she does is give right wing speeches. she's trying to prove she's doing something when she isn't. >> alex, boy do i love it when
i'm right. you know? you figure after all these years i get an instinct listening to certain words and figuring out what's the certain problem i'm diagnosing. this is a person in trouble at home. you can gif a lot of great spaces. you can do c-span till you fall down. in the end you've got to serve the district. i get a sense they were thinking she wasn't helping them in minnesota. >> i think you were right, chris. rom romney won her district by 15%. she won it by 1%. she knew she had a tough uphill climb. the fbi had got into the investigation regarding her use of campaign funds. today an iowa court set a trial date for a lawsuit alleging that she stole an e-mail distribution list from a home schooling group. michele bachmann was in hot water. but more to your point, chris, i think she represented a strain of e legislate elected official feel they have to do anything once elected into office. they are there to demagogue. it sort of donned on her as it
tid to jim demint and sarah palin, they can be incendiary figures without actually holding office. >> i want to blow the whistle there. i don't think either party is more honest than the other party. i don't think any party violates campaign lawing more than the other does. this may be a factor. she's innocent until proven guilty. my problem with her was i'm not sure she was good for anything. never did anything good for the country. >> someone asked me earlier today what will be the impact of this decision of hers. the answer really is, not much. she was not truly a player on capitol hill. >> why did we think or a lot of us thought she had some wind in her sails? remember, she announced she won the iowa caucus for president? >> she did represent a slice of the american electorate. people who don't believe in evolution, do worry obama is a socialist dictator who's going to put people in re-education camps. people who wonder about blackle
helicopters. she represented this sort of very paranoid right wing fringe which is not insignificant in american public life. when it comes to what happens in washington and as we saw on the presidential campaign trail, at the end of the day they don't matter that much. >> alex, respond to this. she, of course, made some very wild statements like investigate congress for anti-american attitudes. today "the washington post" fact checker, a good guy, glenn kessler wrote, kquote, as one o our colleagues put it the entire fact checking industry may have to hold a national day of mourning. bachmann is not just fast and loose with the facts, she is consistently and unapologetically so. for example, last year she went on the "today" show with an astonishing allegation that she said or claimed she picked up randomly from a woman she bumped into. this is really irresponsible. catch this one. it's not about politics. it's about health care. it's important, but it's wrong. let's watch. >> i will tell you that i had a mother last night come up to me here in tampa, florida, after the debate. she told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that
injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. it can have very dangerous side effects. the mother was crying when she came up to me last night. i didn't know who she was before the debate. this is the very real concern. and people have to draw their own conclusion. >> well, she did, certainly. she drew a conclusion from bumping into someone. doesn't even know if it's a mother. in march she took to the house floor to warn americans they should be afraid of obama care. another responsible statement by michele bachmann. let's watch. >> the american people, especially vulnerable women, vulnerable children, vulnerable senior citizens, now get to pay more, and they get less. that's why we're here. because we're saying, let's repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens. >> you know, that looks a lot, alex, like those floor displays they did when nobody's on the house floor late at night. special orders.
it looks like she's actually debating somebody. i notice the seats were all empty. >> yeah, well, who's going to -- i mean, she was an enemy of science, chris. not only the vaccine. she said carbon die yox side was a harmless gas. the muslim brotherhood had infiltrated our government. fearmongering distortion. two great things about today. we get to play the greatest hit reel of michele bachmann's outrageous, incendiary comments. you can't sell this to the american people over and over again. i believe there's a place for truth in politics. >> that's hopeful. >> eventually people like michele bachmann are not taken seriously and shown the exit door. >> here's bachmann making history in the paranoid, conspiracy statements about the u.s. government. in 2009 she told a minnesota radio station the bill trying to expand americorps, ted kennedy
bill, volunteer program like the peace corps at home here, was really going to lead to brainwashing in education camps like in cambodia. let's listen. >> i believe that there's a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service, and the real concern is that there are provisions for what i would call re-education camps for young people. where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward, and then they have to go and work in some of these politically correct forums. >> so she put it all in one sentence, right? let's get it straight. very strong chance that we're going to see young people put in mandatory service to go into americorps? a real concern we're going to have re-education camps, obviously refers to cambodia. they're going to be forced in those. trained in philosophy the government puts forward. then they have to work in some politically correct forums. she puts it all together. an entire life of being
controlled by the government like your maggots or something. it's unbelievable. if anybody thought she was telling the truth, you'd be scared to death. >> let's take a step back. chris, she -- not only is she a member of congress, she was the head of the tea party caucus. so the tea party people in congress thought she had something going here. and john boehner -- >> let's get the quote from boehner. you are so funny. here's the boehner quote. thanks, michele bachmann, for your years of service. fine. her comes the best part. a courageous voice for freedom in the people's house. >> yes. she was on the intelligence committee. >> no. what were the requirements to getting in there? >> i think you have to ask. >> okay. >> it's amazing that with these views, she could go as far as she did. but she had a national base. one reason she kept her seat pretty easily up until the last election was that she had millions of people across the country, tens of thousands, who gave her millions of dollars. and i think she -- >> let's try this out. >> she's going to make more money now. >> do you ever go shopping for your family at safeway.
go out for milk. i don't know, alex. i guess you do up there. you go by the checkout counter. you see stuff. it's just -- jack kennedy, who by the way his birthday is today, alive in poland. they have a powdered up high school -- he's behind a curtain in poland. they had to make it original. this nonsense. that's the world in which michele bachmann lives, alex. the world in which people are willing to buy anything by her. >> who knows about re-education. it's marcus bachmann that may have engaged in repartive therapy for gay people. her husband did. to brainwash gay people into being straight again. whatever she couched it as. whatever psychiatry she thought marcus was practicing. at the end of the day michele bachmann was someone very educated at the knee of conspiracy theorists and far right wingers. i don't think that flies in the national conversation. john boehner is probably more
excited than any of us. >> she won the iowa presidential caucus. let's try to remind ourselves now that we're so wise. she won it. when she first went out for president, i thought being a woman i think everybody's thirsty for a woman to be a presidential candidate. a real possibility. that gives a little bit of wind to your sails. she's a woman. let's face it. a little. >> she had an opening. >> what will michele do next? in her mind the possibilities are endless. let's watch. in her mind. >> looking forward after the completion of my term, my future is full, it is limitless, and my passions for america will remain. and i want you to be assured that there is no future option or opportunity, be it directly in the political arena or otherwise, that i won't be giving serious consideration, if it can help save and protect our great nation. >> i don't know if that was a great grandfather clock or something.
that clanging. >> it was music. it was like drug ad music that they're running behind this. >> it was somewhere between a campaign ad and an inflight safety video, chris. >> by the way, she won the ames, iowa, caucus. i went further than her history. looked like she was going to win the whole thing. let's not be so sure of the future of any one of these people. we'll talk next about jim demint who left the senate. who else? sarah palin left. they just keep taking french leave, these people. can we still say that, french leave? >> they make a lot of money when they leave, to. >> i think they go to the elephants graveyard. thank you, david corn. thank you, alex. you always outdo me. >> hardly. >> i never lie. you really do outdo me sometimes. on those occasions i salute. michele bachmann is exiting. these people are leaving but being replaced by an even scarier group of rand paul and ted cruz and mike lee from utah. even further additions of the tea party. you can't get rid of these people. democrats keep control of the
senate next year? we'll see. with barack obama not on the ballot in 2014 that could be a bit harder. take a look at this extreme ad by the man who vowed to make barack obama a one-term president, michelle mcconnell. >> do you believe it is illegal? >> i don't believe it is. >> when the president does it, that means it is not illegal. >> what does the president believe? does the president believe that would be illegal? sfwl the law here? the law is irrelevant? >> we got on his campaign ad in kentucky. he apparently voted for nixon twice. you saw richard nixon in that clip. mcconnell is throwing a long ball because he may be in trouble back home in kentucky. let me finish tonight with the power of the african-american vote and power of jfk's memory. his birthday today, may 29th. this is "hardball," the place for politics. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second.
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the independent governor is now a democrat. he made the switch today to give himself a better shot of winning re-election in the state president obama carried by 27 points. going full circle politically. he started his career as a republican. became an independent as his party lurched to the right. now he's a democrat. even so his poll numbers aren't strong. he might not win the democratic primary, but he might win it. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." michele bachmann's departure leaves republicans without their lightning rod, of course. does it also leave tea partyiers without a star quality leader. she joins sarah palin, jim demint and allen west as big name tea partyiers who peeled away. does that diminish the power of the far right or just usher in a new era with young guns like, oh, the friendly ted cruz and rand paul and mike lee of utah? dana milbanks, a smart guy with the "washington post" delights us all with his deep mind and
frisky wit. and the co-creator of "the daily show." thanks for joining us, liz. what do you make of michele -- the disappears people. they go away. they take french leave, an old term. governor of alaska. it's not the biggest state in the union in terms of people, but you were elected. you did take an oath. and then you split. with bachmann, she's talking last week about running for re-election. she's doing ads. all the sudden she says, i'm up against an eight-year term limit which i just discovered. demint goes from being a united states senator. could be there from life from that state. i guess he's south carolina. you know what? he leaves and goes to the heritage foundation. which is not a bad place for the right wing but it's not the united states senate. why are they running and hiding, question mark? or going to fox? >> who is that to? >> that's to you, liz. >> oh, okay. well, i think there's nothing
more brave and patriotic in looking at something when it's really hard and quitting. because that's what they all did. we're in a really hard time. but i think they look at their own, like, intellectual heft and realize they don't have the chops. so they got to get out. you can't tell me that a sarah palin or michele bachmann or jim demint has the chops to look at the financial crisis we're in, jobs, you know, what's going on in foreign policy, and that they are the ones that can fix it. they got elected on an emotional rage. and they have to back out, i think. >> you mean they really are humble? >> no. i think they really -- >> humble. >> yeah, humble. >> i never would have thought of it that way. >> i think they realize they don't have the skill set. >> i know. to recognize it yourself. a lot of people in congress don't recognize it. left and right. i'm sorry. >> the humility caucus has few members. >> let's talk about the transition we're looking at. i have grown up with the memory, the historic memory, i was not aware at the time, though my mom when i came home was watching
the mccarthy hearings. i think she was rooting for mccarthy, actually. but joe mccarthy seems to have been reincarnated in ted cruz. they even look alike. that's not really fair to say that. but they do. a certain aspect. a nastiness. an edge. i see rand paul's replacing his father on the hard right. and this mike lee further right than bob bennett in utah. further right that orrin hatch. seems like almost like some sort of insect farm where the bigger, badder insects are replacing the little ones. >> there's a whole lot of turnover in a lot of places. some of them are just as goofy characters as before like in the house you have louie gohmert instead of michele bachmann. >> birther. >> he tells attorney general holder he's casting aspersions on his asparagus. there's an unending stream of goffy ne goofiness. there is a darker strain here. mike lee and amy, rand paul, an
intellectual, ted cruz is a very interesting case. because he is making his name very much the way joe mccarthy made his name. with outlandish, unprovable allegations. throwing them out there. getting attention. well, he looks like it. it's superficial. he's the same age as mccarthy. that's not why i call him tail gunner ted. because he's using those same kind of tactics. people will see that works. you're going to get more outlandish allegations. >> liz, i'm sorry. >> i was just going to say, these people have never -- when a fly swatter is fine they always use an anvil. they never really look at a problem with any kind of nuance. everything is horrible. everyone's motivation is ugly and dark and ruthless. you hear those words, infestation. the muslim infestation from these people constantly. >> the smirk is what gets to me. this attitude of i'm better than you, you're no good. maggots is a bad word. but idea they're no good.
the idea the right wing -- of the right wing republican party, now, my concern is the voter will go to the voting booth in 2016. not a million years from now. and really have no choice. they'll have to vote democrat just because what will happen is, the republican party will put a ticket together which will have at least one of these crazy people on the ticket. it's very possible that ted cruz will be on the ticket. it's very possible that rand paul will be on the ticket. or one of these people. it's not at all possible, it seems to me, that it's going to run a ticket of two moderates. think about that chance. zero. chris christie, but even a rubio. that's a moderate ticket by today's standards. >> i think the republicans are beginning to hear the bob dole message of closing shops for repairs. that's where there's a bit of good news for the republicans in the bachmann departure. she's not leaving just because she's tired of it, there's some eight-term, you know, eight-year term limit. she was going to lose at her election next year. she won by 1.2 percentage points last time in a pretty good
republican district. now the fbi, the fec, ethics commission, all looking at her presidential campaign. she was going to lose that campaign. but i think -- >> i'm still for innocent till proven guilt, myself. >> it suggests even in a republican district people will reach a point where they've had enough of this. that's possibly good news for the republican party and everybody else. >> the face of the democratic party right now is probably a bit of a blur. it's probably a combination of the president and the clintons. both of them. it's probably -- you think who's mr. and mrs. democrat or ms. democrat. you'd say hillary clinton, bill clinton, barack obama. they're the big faces. who are the big faces on the right? they're not the old moderate republican party. they don't -- they're not even in this game. the question is, if you have a party so far to the right, what's that to to democracy? what kind of choice do you have? you don't make a choice. you vote common sense and vote against them. >> well, and they keep grasping. it's like when you watched the primary on the republican side, you know, every one of those
people was the front-runner for, like, at least two days. you know? >> that's rue. >> when you watch the rising stars of these parties, it's the new guys that everybody loves for five minutes. can we get to know these people, see how they legislate, see if they can bring people together? they never want to do that. they're grasping at straws like insane people who are drowning. >> i want to thank you both for coming. by the way, i was thinking about how brilliant stewart is. your guy. jon stewart. and i thought this through a lot why these guys are the best comedians in history. take three of the greatest. they all have sort of a point of view. jack bene, johnny carson and this guy. and all three of them got their best laughs by deadpanning. because you know what they were thinking. they just -- they have taught you through their careers, brief careers in some cases, so you just laugh your butt off at them. just -- they just pause. that's the brilliance. the brilliance of just silence, looking at the camera. not a political thought. but i do think about these things, liz, all the time. thank you.
by the way, the public -- >> the confidence of knowing. yep. >> the confidence of knowing who they are. it works. they've taught us who they are. >> it does. >> thank you, dana milbank. that's why i think jon stewart is a brilliant political satirist. liz winstead. thank you. of course, dana milbank who i read often. coming up, take a guess, which political party plays fast and loose with the truth three times as often as the other. maybe there is a difference. next in the sideshow. this is "hardball," the place for politics. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
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♪ je t'adore ♪ c'est aujourd'hui ♪ ♪ et toujours ♪ me amour ♪ how about me? [ male announcer ] here's to a life less routine. ♪ and it's un, deux, trois, quatre ♪ ♪ give me some more of that [ male announcer ] the more connected, athletic, seductive lexus rx. ♪ je t'adore, je t'adore, je t'adore ♪ ♪ ♪ s'il vous plait [ male announcer ] this is the pursuit of perfection. welcome back to "hardball." now time for the sideshow. first, which party do you think wins on the truth issue? you suspect republicans tell more false claims than democrats? now you've got proof, you believe that. according to to a study by
politifact, ratings by george mason university, republicans have received the infamous pants on fire rating three times more often than democrats. while democrats get twice as many entirely true grades than the gop. democrats are better at being truthful. not as awful as republicans at not being. perhaps the tide will turn for republicans, though. a top offender includes the retiring michele bachmann who politifact reports today received pants on fire or false in her first 13 fact checks on their site. 13 in a row. next, president obama had to clear things up last night when he spoke at a celebration for asian-american and pacific islander heritage people for the month honoring them. turns out the aunt of former "american idol" contestant jessica sanchez had put him in a bad spot. >> i want to thank everybody who's here, the incredible warmth of the reception. a sign of the warmth is the lipstick on my collar. i have to say, i think i know
the culprit. where's jessica sanchez? jessica -- it wasn't jessica. it was her aunt. where is she? auntie, right there, look at this. look at this. i yus want everybody to witness. so i do not want to be in trouble with michelle. that's why i'm calling you out. right in front of everybody. >> lucky he had witnesses for that. next, who says congress doesn't do anything? you might not have been impressed with the work product of the last congress which passed just 240 bills in the last two years all together. they could afwree on one thing. post offices. 46 bills. nearly 20% of the post offices were naming local post office branches, according to the congressional research service, that's what congress does. names post offices. something everyone can agree on. finally tonight, who can forget the iconic image of a cowboy hat wearing man pushing a wounded bombing victim away from the marathon site last night.
the victim lost both legs as a result of his injuries. but last night he reunited with the cowboy hat wearing carlos arandando so they could each throw out a first pitch at the sox game. wow. what a sight. coming up, democrats need to get out the african-american vote to keep control of the u.s. senate. that's a fact. that explains why republicans are trying to make it harder and harder for african-americans to get to the polls. that's ahead. the big fight. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. aaah! aaaaah! theres a guy on the window! do something, dad! aaaah! aaaah! what is happening? they're rate suckers. their bad driving makes car insurance more expensive for the rest of us. good thing there's snapshot from progressive. snap it in and get a discount based on your good driving. stop paying for rate suckers. try snapshot free at progressive.com.
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to pay a $10 million fine. this stemming from sec charges that it botched facebook's ipo launch last year. sally may says it will split into two separate companies. one will manage existing student loans. the other will make new student loans and take deposits. that's it from cnbc first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." african-american voters have become a force to be reckoned with in this country and a constituency to be courted, of course. a recent associated press study of the 2012 election proves their increasing power. watch this. don't forget it. the headline sums it all up. in a first, black turnout rate surpasses white turnout. while blacks make up just 12% of the eligible voters of the country, they made up 13% of the 2012 votes cast.
stop the prompt ter for a second. this is a big deal. this isn't about voters registered voting. tremendous turnout by the black community. the study sums up the significant, saying overall, the findings represent a tipping point for blacks, who for much of america's history were disenfranchised and eflktively barred from voting until passage of the voting rights act of '65. the black vote could be a determining factor looking into the future. lo these are red states. we have blue state senators. look it there. kay hagan of north carolina. mary landrieu. mark pryor of arkansas. given the fact republicans need to pick up six states, they're targeting those very people. the african-american votes are going to decide where they stand or probably the senate shifts to the republicans. joining me, someone who knows about this stuff, pulitzer prize winning columnist for the
"washington post" eugene robinson. the two best possible people to talk about this. first of all, the stunning fact. it's stunning because i fwru up in philly where you had racial division up the kazoo for many years and still does. the black vote, because rizzo seen as the enemy of the black community drove off the vote. if he's mayor, i'm going to show up and vote to protect myself. >> exactly. >> and in a way, i think reince priebus and the boys with their multi, multi, dozen state efforts to keep the blacks from the voting booths aroused -- you tell me. >> no. i think the voter suppression efforts drove up the black vote. i think they ticked people off and they made people more determined to show up at the polls. you saw that effect particularly in a state like ohio, for example. which was sort of ground zero. they really thought they had something going in ohio. it turned out they didn't at all. because the black vote was -- was greater than the white house proportionally. it's an incredible thing. for a guy who grew up in the south, when black people
couldn't vote, it's extraordinary. >> talk about this. talk about this. there's three things going on here. one is the black vote is at least keeping its own in terms of showing up. which is the key. woody allen said 80% of life is showing up. if you don't show up and vote, you ain't voting. you can only complain then. you can still complain if you vote, of course. that's fair enough. the other thing the effort to try to screw the black voter in every way, no sunday voting, shorter hours, more paperwork, photo id, anything that will slow down the black vote. this other thing here is this need on the part of the democratic party for black votes. and a black constituency that wouldn't believe in them. >> we went into 2012 talking about an enthusiasm gap in the black community. and that black voters wouldn't turn out. the gop decided that they were not going to take a risk at that. what they wanted to do was change the rules to make it
harder for black voters to turn out so we wouldn't get the turnout that we had in 2008. lo and behold, black folks decided we are not going to allow this chance to pass us. we're not going to allow people to take away our vote. i mean, i voted in maryland. i waited in line for seven hours. that's in maryland. and the conversation was about voter suppression and the fact that we died for the right and that we're not going to allow anyone to take that away. and so as we move forward -- >> do you live in a black community or mixed community? do you think there was something going there? >> i live in a black community. prince georges county. and seven hours in line. and literally that's what people were talking about. and so as we move into 2014 and 2016, the gop is going to double down on its efforts to make it harder for black voters to turn out because they now understand the strength of our vote. and the democratic party better make sure that they don't take black voters for granted. >> well, that's a big question.
what did you make of -- this is such a tricky question for a guy like me that's white to ask. i'm always curious. what do you make of obama's statement down at -- it wasn't spelman. morehouse. >> first of all, it's not new. it's something he's said consiste consistently. it was just ironic the different interpretations of that speech. >> what's your stand? >> racial grievance is what the -- >> some people say he's pandering to the white folk because whites love to hear this stuff. >> it's a message that he's consistently given. i think it's part of the message that -- that it's certainly appropriate for him to give. it's also appropriate, i think, for african-americans and for others to ask, okay, well, that's great. what are you doing to, you know, to help recreate the rungs of that ladder we're supposed to
climb. >> this is something i'm curious about. i watch this stuff from my perspective. i have a mixed view of it, too. i think depends who you're talking to. >> i do, too. >> one of the best schools in the country, morehouse. he had no problem. they were as energized and academically driven as anybody in the country. don't go to them talking about how they don't believe in books. your thoughts. it's tricky stuff. >> yeah. this was a trick question, chris, that i wasn't expecting. but, i mean, i have mixed views on it, too. it was a tough love message. and really, you know, i think that he missed an opportunity to talk some about the structural barriers that young people, young black men, especially, really do see as they move forward in this country. and so i think it was a missed opportunity -- >> what are those, by the way? >> those young men -- >> what are those structural barriers? >> well b, i mean, from mass incarceration to schools that are underresourced. he could have talked about jobs.
and the need for more jobs. and the black unemployment rate. and really kind of hit home on some of the challenges. and whatnot only he, but the democratic party, are doing in order to make sure that the black community is strengthened and that we come back and bounce back in this bad economy. >> that's why i'm glad you're on. i'm glad we're talking about this. i think jobs is the thing. education and jobs go together like a horse and carriage. you got to put them together. >> if i could add one thing to that discussion. i don't speak for the white house, but i do happen to know what the white house would say in response to that, which is that, yes to all those -- to all those things. that's absolutely right. there are these structural imbedmeimbe impedimen impediments. but it's important to give a message of reality. what's going to get through this congress? what money is there to spend? >> what world are you going to live in? >> right. in the real world, fair or not,
it's on you. and so that would be the response. >> that is true. >> i'm confident from the white house. >> i'm glad we're having this conversation. as somebody once said of bill clinton, everything you think is true. thank you, gene robinson. thank you, judith brown. i have to lighten things up here sometimes. up next, the most negative man in the u.s. senate goes where few others would dare. that is a tricky question for us all. howard fineman joining us to talk about what mitch mcconnell is up to now. he's something, isn't he? this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] running out of steam? ♪ now you can give yourself a kick in the rear!
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i've got some new polling out today in the virginia governors race. let's check the "hardball" score board. according to to a new ppp poll democrat terry mckaauliffe holda ten point leave over ken cuccinelli. as voters get to know the candidates better, more are becoming undecided. poll found voters have higher negative opinions of both candidates than favorable ones. tough race down there. we'll be right back. hey, what's going on here?
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declared opponent as he tries to keep his senate seat out in kentucky where his popularity is less than stellar. the latest entry is a web video from his re-election team. it's called team mitch. by the way, it telegraphs just how hard he intends to hammer the administration's irs woes in the 2014 race. let's watch mitch's worst. it's coming up here in this ad. >> no president from either party is more powerful than the constitution. >> invoked her fifth amendment right and refused to answer questions. >> i will not answer any questions or testify about the subject matter of this committee's meeting. >> didn't know at that time. >> i'm not aware of that. >> i don't know. >> i don't know. >> i have no memory of anyone doing that. >> i didn't know that. >> not personally responsible. >> do you believe it is illegal. >> i don't believe it is. >> when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal. >> joining me the huffington post howard fineman, great man himself, also an msnbc contributor. and associate editor and
columnist for "the hill." howard, you're so humble. it's all true. i think it's so interesting, this race. the guy is so unpopular, the only way mitch can get re-elected, i call him mitch, favorably, is he has to say, okay, you don't like me. i can see know you don't like me. i'm not even at 47%. those government people are so bad, you need a nasty guy to protect you. >> this is a triple play here. it's the first thing you said. secondarily, he's still worried about a challenge from the tea party candidate in the republican primary. i don't think there's going to be one. the tea party are e-mailing me saying -- >> you worked for louisville -- >> the paper. >> they said, we're going to have a tea party candidate. mitch mcconnell's first tactical imperative is not to have a tea party opponent so this is a very heavy tea party-type of ad. >> do they want to go to the right wing mitch mcconnell?
>> then in the general, look, kentucky is a state that gets a lot of services but paradox clee doesn't like the government. >> a.b.? >> i think it's a couple of things. he's telling a primary challenger not to come near him but i think he's actually locked that up and he's pretty safe in the primary. what he's also doing is telling the democratic party that hasn't been able to field a candidate against him, it's going to be really toxic for you. don't come back here because i'm going to fight back hard. i think it's helpful. >> what about the secretary of state? >> the hillary clinton part of it? >> no. >> alison lund drergran grimes y has 50% name i.d. in the state. >> there's been a woman governor. there's been -- has there been a -- yes, martha lane collins
has been the governor. statewide office holders. i don't think that's a problem at all. a.b.'s point, which is that mitch mcconnell is going to run against obama and the democrats, whoever the democratic nominee is. >> ashley judd, would she have been a better candidate? >> i don't think so. she wanted to run -- if she runs for the senate, she's going to have to run to policies of president obama and they are going to tie her to that. she's been a delegate and has ties to the party that the other delegates don't have. look, she's been looking into this. she's certainly having the right conversations. it's entirely possible that she jumps in but at this point she's running against the record. when people run against mitch
mcconnell, later on she has a path to perhaps the governor's office one day. their careers end up ruined and they don't run again. >> let's talk about you first this time. let's talk about mitch mcconnell. now, i guess it's okay, if you're very right wing, to support someone who says my number one job is to screw this presidency, make sure it's a disaster, make sure nothing gets done. nothing gets done. that seems to have been solved. the house members met the night that he was inaugurated in 2013. january. five years ago and said, let's make sure this guy gets nothing done. is that something vetters really want to see in the presidency? they will make sure nothing gets done. >> mitch mcconnell is going to tell kentucky voters in the general election that this president's health care law is unpopular. it's going to create tremendous anxiety. it's going to shudder small businesses, it's going to take your doctors away, it's going to raise your premiums.
the economy is not going to recover. he's had five years. president obama's approval rating has stayed steady so far but we're looking at a midterm election where the democrats have to defend the implementation of obama care. mitch mcconnell is counting on president obama being unpopular. >> the economy, the market went down today, but it's been zooming. housing -- i've been talking to some experts, including my new guy advising me, housing is getting under control. we thought it was finished. the american economy is strong, robust, it's coming back. it's a jobless economy. but it is booming. i wonder by next year, if this keeps going, all of the conversations we are having are off the board. >> well, i still spend a lot of time in kentucky and the economy is not booming in kentucky. >> okay. >> the other thing is that the democratic governor has decided to implement obama care in the state. you've got democratic office
holders that are going to try to implement obama care. the democrats are nowhere in presidential election years. i think it's going to be very difficult to defeat mitch mcconnell and i think mitch mcconnell's basic stance is, we'll take the federal government's money but we don't like the federal government is the kind that sells in kentucky. >> focuses on jobs? >> yes. >> he's going to be playing defense like this and i don't think it's going to work. i go back to what i said for a long time. a democrat should be for jobs, jobs, jobs. you're always stronger. even if you fail. if you're fighting for jobs. thank you, a.b. >> thanks. >> for coming on. and howard fineman. thank you. we'll be right back after this. i don't make any decisions about who to hire
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let me finish tonight with this. i'm profoundly impressed by the power of the african-american vote this early century, the ability to get to the polls despite effort to keep people from getting there is a solid good thing for this country, a display of energy in this country politically, people that vote to control things, people who don't get to complain about things. and the big republican mistake for the last 50 years was to take the wrong side on the civil rights struggle. they had it right in the early '60s. history came back and bit them and will keep on biting them until they change again, back to the party of abraham lincoln. today is a special day. also, may 29th is the day john f. kennedy was born. there's a book out there which
i'm proud to say i wrote, "jack kennedy" and fellow americans is this. he was the president, he put the presidency on the side of civil rights. it was he, 50 years ago, who called civil rights as well as scriptures as clear as the constitution. he, jack kennedy, our elusive hero. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris, and thanks to you for tuning in. the end of the era. michele bachmann, a former presidential hopeful, the cheerleader against obama care, is calling it quits. >> i have decided next year i will not seek a fifth congressional term. be assured, my decision was not