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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  May 30, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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that we live in a nation where people cannot just do things and walk away without being held accountable. it is important for this nation that we watch and see how far we've come. that's why we needed to go in a court of law and that's what we sought and then 11 days, that's what will begin to happen. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. choose your weapons. scandals, or jobs? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. politics is what you're talking about. if you're talking about the national debt, bet on republicans.
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same with crime. that's another good issue for them. benghazi. better yet, think irs. that will get you votes if you're a republican. or if nothing else is happening, say they're coming to get your guns. this is the conversation in this country right now. they're not talking about the debt, we're talking about benghazi or the irs or here's the old standby, guns. they're coming to get your guns. keep you from getting them back. never more will you have a gun. if you're president obama or a fellow progressive, i'm thinking, why on earth would you sit around and share in those conversations? how about we talk about how we're not quite as bad as the right wing conservatives say you are? sticking your chin out so they can pound you one more time. i have an idea. why isn't the president, why aren't progressive people talking about something constructive, something that would be good for the country?
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at the same time, good. politics? we've got a 7.5% unemployment rate right now. let's be realistic. it's not going to go down a lot more over the next three years. if left alone, it might start rising again. that's reality. we have practically 0% interest rates out there. we've had a huge drop in public sector employment over the last few years. everything is right to tackle the challenge of rebuilding this country. look at germany where i just was and see state-of-the-art bridges and super modern rail system and brand new subway system in berlin and wonder, who won that war, anyway? you go to france, they have the shuttle running under the english channel. the french have trains to go 300 miles an hour-plus and you think you're sitting still. we have the buckboard called amtrak. what's the matter with the democrats? why are they sitting on their duffs while the country is raring to go? i am. aren't you? or could we have just one more chat about benghazi? you tell me. senator sherrod brown thinks like me. he's a democrat from ohio. harold ford is an msnbc political analyst and former
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representative of tennessee. senator brown, i don't get it. i don't get it. the reason the right is winning these discussions is it's the only discussion in town. what are we going to talk about? benghazi or the irs this week? that is why they keep pounding and the president plays defense. why is the democratic party not the jobs party? why don't they have a big construction plan out there with pictures of what we're going to build, so we can, how about this, catching up to europe? just catch up to old europe. how's that for an idea? >> yeah, exactly right. i think we should talk about infrastructure, comparing what we invest with what china's now investing and what much of europe is now investing in infrastructure. talk about medical research. talk about college affordability. talk about our china currency bill to level the playing field with china trade. a populous progressive economic message. even though reporters ask us about these quote/unquote scandals, always turn the conversation to jobs and moving forward. you're exactly right. >> let me go to congressman ford on that. you're in the financial world. you were a congressman for two
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years. now you're in the financial world. smart people say with 2% interest rates we should be investing down the road, down the road we can pay it back because it's not costing us a lot to do this stuff. we have a lot of unemployed people out there. declining number of people working for the sector. it seems to me given the need and the supply, we ought to be putting it together. >> it's strange in so many ways. it's good to see my friend, sherrod. we not only talk about the things we see but look at the broadband industry and the great strides and great investments that industry has made in ensuring small businesses across the country can grow. we ought to give them certainty. we look at pipeline infrastructure. we ought to invest across the country in building things. i can't quite figure out why it is is my party at times can't seem to stay on this one message and one set of issues. it's going to take a level of discipline, particularly in the face of all the questions about
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these scandals. i think there are legitimate questions that need to be answered on a few fronts. that should not distract or dissuade anyone from talking about the number one priority in the country, underemployment and unemployment amongst so many americans. >> well, that's a point i want to raise right now. let's take a look at this new poll that came out which got me thinking about this. what's the more important issue for americans? scandals, talking about the things we're talking about, benghazi, irs, or the economy? a new quinnipiac poll just came out. it asked, which should be the higher priority for the united states congress? investigating the irs, which darrell issa does every minute. benghazi and the "ap" subpoena issues? let's take a look at the results among party. among republicans 60% say the economy is more important than talking about these so-called scandals. not surprising the scandals were less of a priority for democrats. nearly nine out of ten said it's the economy we should be talking about.
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the total across the board, both parties. 73%, senator. three quarters of country say we should be talking about jobs and doing something. my problem isn't with the media and the president, sorry, the republicans, they're doing what they ought to do, kick everybody in the shins. the democrats. that's what you do to your opposition. why doesn't the president have a jobs bill? a big one, everybody knows what it looks like, draw pictures of it. what fast rail are we going to do? which highways are we going to repair? which highways are we going to build? i don't have a picture of what this president wants to do. i don't have it. >> i think that's a very legitimate point to make. you had said earlier, chris, that interest rates at all-time lows sort of persistently low, that's why now is the chance. and what harold said about broadband's right. it means investing in community colleges. there's a -- you think about this country, in the '50s, '60s, 7 '70s and '80s, we were building infrastructure the world had never seen before. you look at the wealth in this country. it's the building trades jobs. i spend time talking to laborers, people who will build this infrastructure, steelworkers in cleveland and
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youngstown building the steel for this infrastructure. so it's the jobs today, but it's setting the foundation, obviously, for economic growth. the reason we have that growth, the same thing. exactly. >> let me ask you this. i was just over in berlin with my wife. we took a vacation months ago. there in berlin, which has been reunited since the '80s, there it is, beautiful civil engineering. gorgeous. it's very functional. like frank lloyd wright. see the function of the girders. the rail system. brand new. you can move around germany now. beautiful railroads. beautiful subway systems. they lost the war 50, 60 years ago. again, back to france, which we make fun of. the republicans make fun of freedom fries and that nonsense. they have railroads that go 350 miles an hour and you think you're sitting still. i was on amtrak the other day going to new york. i thought i was on a buckboard in a roy rogers movie. what kind of transportation is this thing?
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harold, you go up and down, the east, you're an east coast guy now. i'm just telling you, it's weird. and people are going to wonder generations from now why were you sitting on your duff talking about benghazi, you democrats? you did control the senate. you had the white house in your hands. and you talk about this. >> there needs to be a picture, a vision from the white house and for that matter even democrats, the white house, what a jobs bill and massive investment in the country. the president lays it out eloquently and well during his state of the union addresses. there doesn't seem to be the follow-up and follow-through. it would be great if everyone in congress, put forward, here's not only what democrats want but what the country needs. can you imagine visitors to this great nation arriving at jfk airport in a terminal that looks 40, 50, 60 years out of date? having come back in the country
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off of business, it's remarkable to me when you compare our airports to airports around the globe. the most powerful, dominant, enterprising nation on the face of the earth, how we treat visitors and how we treat our own. >> what's the better looking airport, johannesburg airport or jfk? jfk is not even in the game. this is in south africa. the country's been through hell. a beautiful airport. you know, pat moynihan, one of my heroes used to say, i'm sure yours, too, sherrod, he said we people in new york aught to arrive in new york city at penn station like princes, not like rats. every time you arrive in new york at penn state, you cannot believe you're in the greatest city in world. we have beautiful skyscrapers and stuff, but the train system, the subway system, especially the train system, is horrendous. >> i would agree. >> we unfortunately, since the early '80s, for 30 years we've let the republicans win the debate on the role of government that government can't go anything right. look what government has done from everything from medicare, to social security, cleaning up lake erie. what we've done with food
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safety. what we've done with higher education, medical research. we don't trumpet those successes enough. when they win that debate, it makes it harder to invest. all the things that make our country great and still make our country great when we do the big construction. >> why don't the big construction unions, that build stuff, the public service employees, the teachers, why don't they have their big equipment down circling the capitol building right now demanding action? when you really want something like the civil rights people did, they got action. they did something and they got something for it. martin luther king and everything else. and we lived through that. they got something done. i don't see any demand from labor to get something done from you guys, and i don't see demand on this president. i don't understand why they're not out there blowing their horns with their trucks and everything else saying we want jobs, but most important want to build our america for the 21st century. we have a long way to go in this century. we're going backwards. a trio of administration controversies, if you call them
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that and a weak economic message. obama's approval rating has dropped to 45% according to the quinnipiac poll. he's lost four points since april. those numbers were essentially the other way around back then. he used to be relatively popular. now he's relatively unpopular, these numbers. look at this approval rating on the economy. it's actually ticking up because
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the unemployment rate is gradually coming down. a recent "washington post"/abc poll, 48% say they approve of the job he's doing on the economy, on jobs and the economy. that's up 4% compared to last month when a majority said they disapproved of his handling of the economy, a lot of this, senator, is basically macroeconomics where there's something of a recovery going on. the housing thing seems to be straightening itself out gradually. home prices are going up. the dow seems to keep going up. the public sector, what this president could be doing to goose this economy much further into a really good time, and in that really good time he could get all kinds of things approved by the congress if times were better. let's face it. >> that's exactly right. i was in cincinnati two days ago, and talking to a realtor who said he's in the best situation in real estate now in five years. in 2010 when we did the auto rescue, unemployment, and ohio was over 10.5%. now it's around 7%. that's because we finally see manufacturing job growth. we lost 5 million manufacturing jobs in this country in 2000, 2010. we gained back 500,000.
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the problem is the drag on the public sector where job layoffs in continued in education, health care, because of this austerity, but when we see private sector job growth, if we do the right investment in infrastructure, in public sector, that's when the economy builds the foundation to really take off. that's where we fall short. >> chris, i'd also argue, i know there may be some who disagree with me and my party. i wish the president would move right away to approve the keystone pipeline. natural gas exporting and allow more and more of it. these are things that will create jobs, create new tax revenue in the states impacted by this and obviously create jobs all around the country. not only directly building the pipeline, but the residual and multiplier effect that will come from that which will create tax revenue, create new jobs and feed families across this country. >> my dad, your dad probably told you this, heard, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. i don't feel the squeaky wheel. a lot of people, democrats, demanding this president do something big-time. immigration will do itself through. it's not really a presidential issue. this thing of jobs takes a certain kind of presidential
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leadership, i think. senator sherrod brown. i'm a great admirer of you. congressman ford, thank you. >> good to be with you, buddy. thanks. coming up, another round of letters laced with the deadly poison, ricin. this time the threats were about gun safety. they don't like it apparently. the intended recipients were president obama and new york mayor michael bloomberg. the latest on that investigation coming up quickly now. plus political courage. rhode island's lincoln chafee switches parties. he's now a democrat. and ted cruz calls the new generation of conservatives the children of reagan. would they even allow reagan in their party right now? i'm not sure cruz is well to the right of reagan. and glenn beck and michele bachmann. that's where he belongs. in the sideshow. this is "hardball." the place for politics. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle.
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it sounds like we have another situation of a dangerous life that lurks out there under the surface. authorities are investigating three letters sent to president obama, mayor mike bloomberg and mark glaze. all the letters contain the poison, ricin, and warn of more attacks to come. authorities say they originate in the same spot, shreveport, louisiana. according to nbc news they read as follows. "you'll have to kill me and my
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family before you get my guns. anyone who wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. the right to bear arms is my constitutional god-given right. i will exercise that right until the day i die. what's in this letter is nothing compared to what i have planned for you." they never made it to their targets. they were intercepted at off-site facilities. yesterday mayor michael bloomberg responded to the news. >> no, i'm not angry. there are people who i would argue do things that may be irrational, do things that are wrong, but it's a very complex world out there, and we just have to deal with that. >> wow. we get more now on the investigation from wnbc investigative reporter jonathan dienst. any more leads about where this source is in shreveport? >> no, the fbi joint terrorism task force, nypd and secret service in a full-court press trying to find out who sent
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these letters. very difficult. there's no signature other than the postmark where it came from and the time it was sent, may 20th. so they are hoping that maybe there's some dna or fingerprint on some of these letters that may provide them with a lead. right now they're working very hard trying to find who sent these letters. >> my sort of way that i keep my mind at ease when these things happen in my little world is people that make threats probably don't do it. people that do it aren't going to threaten you ahead of times. truly dangerous people attack. they don't scare. what do you make of this in terms of the psychology of someone who would send a letter like this? to hurt people, to scare them? what? >> law enforcement officials we spoke with are treating this very seriously. they think it's a lone nut who sent these letters, but look, the tests have come in preliminarily positive for ricin. if the person knew what they
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were doing, knew how to vaporize it, make it dangerous, if inhaled or ingested, it could be lethal. so it's not something to mess around with, so law enforcement treating it very seriously. look, we see letters like this often with fake powder jobs all the time. what makes this one a little bit different is it tested positive. again, the significance or the seriousness of the materials inside, unclear if he was able to make it at that dangerous, fine level, but they're treating this very seriously until the lab results come back. either way. and they're going to do whatever they can to try to track this guy down. >> i try to remind myself when we have what you call a nut. this is a country of 350 million people. it's the luck of the draw in terms of mental and emotional stable. we know all that. political attitudes may play a role a bit in triggering this kind of emotional instability and danger. my question is, have there been a lot of these? have there been 20 or 30 of
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these aimed at people for gun safety. >> the mayor of the city of new york, for example, receives about a dozen significant let threats a year. that's one a month. not always do they contain some sort of substance. it can be a telephone threat. often it's a lone individual and the police and fbi run out and try to track individuals down. sometimes they make arrests, sometimes these individuals are never found. similar threats have been made against the police commissioner and other public officials in this region. look, they treat it very seriously. they try to track these guys town. in this case, look, we had numerous other powder jobs in this city just today. at political candidates' offices. one was sent to the epa. those turned out to be harmless substances. we see this all the time in new york. these types of hoaxes and threats. and in this case, something that was more than a hoax.
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something that had some dangerous substances inside, it appears, and, look, that guy is still out there and they're concerned he could be trying to send more of these materials out there. he also makes the threat in writing that he's armed and he's ready to do something. so they need to try to track him down. >> okay. it's a crime. obviously it's a felony what he's doing. thank you so much, jonathan dienst from wnbc in new york. yesterday michael bloomberg said the threats wouldn't deter him from pursuing gun safety measures. here he is. >> the letter obviously referred to our anti-gun efforts, but there's 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns, and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns and we're not going to walk away from those efforts. i know i speak for all of the close to 1,000 mayors in mayors' coalition against guns. this is a scourge on the country we have to make sure we get under control and elimination. >> stephanie rawlings blake is the mayor of baltimore and member of mayors against illegal guns. thanks so much for joining us. how do you respond personally to this story? >> i know mayor bloomberg. i know he's not going to be intimidated. and i think when we hear, as mayors, this crazy attack, it
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just makes us more committed to do the work that we need to do to reduce gun violence and to deal be the issue of illegal guns in our country. >> when you think about guns when you go to bed at night and you worry, you're a big city mayor and worry about crime rates in your city and other cities. what do you think of when you hear the word -- a lot of people that hear guns, they think that's a shotgun my uncle had, he gave it to me, i use it once a year to shoot squirrels or whatever. when you think of guns that big city environment, what strikes you? what do you think of? >> we're working very hard. over the last decade, baltimore has become a safer city. we strengthened our gun laws with the state legislature. baltimore, last year alone, has taken more than 1,000 legal guns off the street. this is baltimore with one legal gun store. these guns are coming from some place up and down the i-95 corridor.
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we really need federal help in order to tackle this problem. so that's what i think about. closing the loopholes. making it harder for the straw purchases to take place so we can protect our communities. we can't do it alone. we need to have more federal intervention. >> i want you right now to do something. i'm going to give you a free ad, i guess. an advertisement. talk to the rural people who see things differently than a big city person. what goes on in the big cities that people out in the country don't get about guns? >> that they're ready available. because we have so many loopholes, because illegal guns are running up and down the east coast, you know, children in our schools know where you can get an illegal gun. that's how readily available they are. we need to close the loopholes, make it more difficult to get their hands on gun. increase the penalties, and help to create safer cities. >> do you think it would be good to have a wider background check? or does it just make us feel better? i wonder, can we stop people who want to get a gun who are mentally deranged? can we stop people who are wife beaters, to use an old express, spousal abusers? can we stop people who have
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criminal records? because criminal record people may well still be criminal. how do you stop them from getting a gun by simply saying you have to have a background check if you go buy it at a store? >> i think people get hung up with this notion there's a silver bullet for lack of a better phrase. there's this one thing that's going to stop every crime, but it's not. it is that combination, or the layering of these things that will make it more difficult for, you know, the one person that is, you know, deranged and, you know, does not have any respect for human life to get their hands on the guns. we need to slow down the pipeline. clog it up, slow it down. make it more difficult for people who don't mean well. for our communities to get their hands on guns. so for people to say, if you expand the background checks,
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that's not going to make a difference, it only impacts people who legally own guns. if we can make it more difficult to get these guns on the street, we can slow down the ability and reduce the ability for people who, you know, that are acquiring these illegal guns to get them and create safer communities. >> mayor, it's great to have you on. stephanie rawlings-blake of baltimore, as we say. baltimore. >> baltimore. >> baltimore. the old days. up next, reaction from the far right fringe. now that michele bachmann is exiting stage right, i think. this is "hardball." the place for politics. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
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in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our history matter to you? because for more than two centuries, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. ♪ and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ ha! back to "hardball." now the sideshow. it's been a mixed bag of reactions regarding michele bachmann's decision not to run for re-election. glenn beck of all people was not pleased. >> i find it sad and tragic. here's a woman who has weathered much. really gone and gone the extra
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mile and really just taken it. just taken it over and over and over again. they've accused her of everything. they've never come up with anything that has ever stuck to her. she is much more of a founder, and she looks at the role in washington different than those like john mccain. so those dirt bags remain, and michele bachmann now leaves. >> so let me get this straight. john mccain war hero is a dirt bag and there you are wearing a savari jacket. nice work. anyway, that was john mccain who called out michele bachmann for suggesting huma abedin had ties to the muslim brotherhood without evidence at all. by the way, bachmann is actually with a congressional delegation in russia. next, remember what barbara bush said recently when asked if she wanted another bush in the white house? specifically her son, jeb, in 2016?
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>> he's by far the best qualified man, but no, i don't. there are a lot of great families, and it's not just four families or whatever. there are other people out there that are very qualified, and we've had enough bushes. >> at an event in detroit yesterday, jeb bush was asked to weigh in on his mother's comment. it seems they're not quite on the same page. bush said, "life teaches you that you need to make decisions in the right time. not too early, not too late." later, "what can i tell you? all i can say is we all have our mothers, right? she is totally liberated, and god bless her." what do you do when you're running for governor and the polls aren't looking good for you? a ppp poll in virginia's gubernatorial race showed terry mcauliffe leading republican ken cuccinelli 42% to 37%. ppp can lean democratic.
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in response, the cuccinelli campaign blasted out this mock press release about a fake poll. "ken cuccinelli leads terry mcauliffe by 12 points in a virginia statewide poll released today by the newly formed polling firm republican republican, republican, rrr." has pledged to only conduct surveys on behalf of republicans. a quinnipiac poll isn't that much different from the ppp poll. mcauliffe leading cuccinelli 43% to 38%. isn't it early to be going after the pollsters? be back after this. ♪ bonjour ♪ 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 ♪
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i'm dylan dreyer. within the past half hour we had a confirmed tornado in pernell,
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oklahoma. that storm has dissipated but a second one has developed just to the south of that, about half as intense. the initial one had 190 mile-per-hour wind sheer. this one is about half as strong. it's not been confirmed to have touched the ground just yet but spotters are on the ground keeping an eye on it. it should stay close to falls creek, oklahoma. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." if politics is a game of tough decisions, we have two professionals for you tonight. governor lincoln chafee of rhode island served the state as a republican senator before becoming an independent then running successfully for governor of rhode island. today he went to city hall to become a democrat. and former democratic congresswoman who's always a democrat, represented the 13th district of pennsylvania for one term.
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she became the crucial vote in 19 3 on bill clinton's budget. she is the mother of chelsea clinton's husband, mark. she just announced she's running for her old seat which is good news for everybody up there. let me start with lincoln chafee. is this about the fact rhode island is a democratic state? if you want to represent the state, it's better to be a democrat? >> well, as we heard earlier this week, bob dole said the republican party should be closed for repairs. i left the republican party in 2007, and since then been an independent and was fortunate enough to have the people of rhode island elect me as the first independent governor of rhode island. i wanted to find a home. i look forward to working with democratic governors like governor malloy, governor brown from california, the governor from kentucky. i'm very happy to have found a political home. >> i know.
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i want to talk about what's changed in the party you grew up in. of course, your father is a great man, john chafee. governor as well. my sense of this is that the people we grew up with, whether it's bill scranton of pennsylvania, or hugh scott, all the guys i grew up with were moderate republicans. clifford chase of new jersey. >> how about alan simpson? nancy kassenbaum from kansas? >> what happened to the northeastern republican party? why did it disappear? >> well, the shift occurred down to the south, and my dad lost his leadership position to senator cochran from mississippi and then the next year senator simpson from wyoming was too moderate and lost his leadership position to, i think, senator -- >> trent lott. yeah. >> so the southerners were taking over the party. they just had a different view of where the republican party should be, and as a result, the northeasterners and other moderate republicans were slowly
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taken out of the party either by elections or by choice. >> jefferson davis didn't win the war between the states, the civil war if you will, but he did win the republican party. this is weird. >> yes, but now you see senator dole saying the party is in trouble. some of the policies they have advanced and having lost the '08 election and now the '12 election. i know there's a lot of introspection by the republicans. i'm happy to have found a home, myself, with the democrats. as i work with the governors, all the governors in the nga as an independence. >> last question. you said you switched because republicans went too right. if the republican party comes back to the center right, back where it was, will you rejoin the republican party? would you rejoin it if it changed again? >> no, chris, i thought long and hard about that. you don't want to be zigzagging around. i wondered, is the party going to come back to my way of thinking, the old traditional, all those you mentioned, ed
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brooke and the northeasterners? you heard -- >> winston churchill said anybody can rat, it takes somebody special to re-rat. anyway, good luck with you in the democratic party. let me go back to my hero, marjorie margolies today. i think you going to represent somerton, northeast philly. raised a son. chelsea clinton. you're a popular professor at penn. i know that's the case. why would you want to go back into the mall? >> i never stopped. i served one material and was defeated. then i started to do the kind of work i had done in congress in other places all around the world. sometimes many pretty dangerous places. but i just think that we women bring a different vision, a different view to the table. period. we're very underrepresented. when i first went in '92, we doubled the number of women in
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congress and what got done? family and medical leave. the assault weapons ban. we got things done. we became critical. and then clinton's budget. what happened with clinton's budget? the most dramatic job growth since world war ii. i think we can get things done. i also think people are really annoyed with members who won't take tough votes. who go down there and really want to stay. >> okay. i can tell by your political
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argument here that you're pushing the fact you're a woman which is certainly appropriate, especially i understand you're running against two men. therefore, you could get the women vote and a lot of the male vote. they're splitting the non-woman vote. this is obvious. you're giving away your strategy here, aren't you? just guessing. >> the demography of this district. i feel that way. i've worked with women all over the world and sometimes in places that are quite dangerous. and we do sometimes approach things differently. and when i was there last time, the women got together and crossed party lines. that's what has to happen down there all the time. >> okay. good luck over there with the cops and the firemen and the 66 ward "a" and "b." i think that's in your ticket. >> they're great. >> the 58th where the teachers are. that area. i know that whole area. >> i'm impressed. >> you know it. i grew up there. >> you can get your deer cut up down there. >> yeah. you're great. governor chafee, thank you. you're a good, clean governor. i hope you do well. thank you, marjorie margolies. up next, texas governor ted
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cruz, there's a piece of work, plants his flag. the children of reagan he's calling himself. would ronald reagan fit in with this crowd? reagan used to smile once in a while. don't wait for the smile. you'll never see it. anyway, this is the place for politics. ♪ as your life changes, fidelity is there for your personal economy, helping you readjust along the way, refocus as careers change and kids head off to college, and revisit your investments as retirement gets closer. wherever you are today, fidelity's guidance can help you fine-tune your personal economy. start today with a free one-on-one review of your retirement plan.
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do you want the long or short answer? long i guess. chevy is having a big -- huge, in fact -- event. the-great-deals-on-our-most- fuel-efficient-line-up-ever- for-just-a-very-short-time-so- you-better-hurry-extravaganza! so what's the short answer? awesome. [ male announcer ] the chevy memorial day sale. now, get $500 memorial day cash for a total cash allowance of $2,500 on a 2013 chevy malibu. hurry. offer ends june 3rd! welcome back to "hardball." last week lightning rod senator ted cruz of texas and his band of tea party merrymakers left john mccain dismayed on the senate floor because of their complete rejection of the process of governing. cruz said he didn't trust democrats or republicans in the congress. well last night, speaking of new york city fund-raiser, cruz gave
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himself and his tea party brethren an assaulted lineage. he called themselves the children of reagan. let's listen. >> we are seeing a new generation of leaders step forward. you know, if you sit back and you list who are the brightest stars in the republican party? who are the most effective advocate for free market principles? you come up with names like marco rubio, like mike lee, like rand paul, like pat toomey, like scott walker. here's what gives me so much optimism. if you look at this generation, i refer to this new generation of leaders as the children of reagan. because we learned watching him. >> well, it's doubtful reagan could have governed with me of these lawmakers he identifies with. the new republican generations have been different i think. wayne slater is political senior writer for "the dallas morning news," and joan walsh is msnbc political analyst and editor at
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large for "salon." thank you both for joining us. a couple things i want to get in to here. what is this 47%? i think we both know during the campaign last year, that was the it wasn't just that he talked about it. we are going to show it here. it's what he looked like and seemed like. he did seem like a guy who was interested mainly in the wealthier americans and helping them out economically and not particularly attuned to the needs of the people who weren't so lucky. here by the way is ted cruz identifying with republicans in november 2012 and suggesting a solution that actually contradicts the positions of hill and other tea partiers. let's listen. >> the national narrative of the last election was the 47% of americans who were not currently paying income taxes, who are in some ways dependent on government, we don't have to worry about you. that's what was communicated in the last election. i've got to tell you shall as a concern afternoon, i cannot think of an idea more opposite what we believe.
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i think republicans are and should be the party of the 47%. >> well, that was kind of a dutful set of applauses there, joan. i mean also, by the way, they did implore romney when he said we're against the 47% so i'm not sure the big "we" he's throwing around represents the thinking of the republican party. the republican party is for less taxes and people who make a lot of money and it makes perfect rational sense for who they represent. they are not looking out for educational programs or health programs or poor people or any child development stuff. they don't support that stuff. >> no, they're not. you know, we had the donor class there last night, chris, and we had the donor class with mitt romney when he made the 47% remarks. but the through line between mitt romney and ted cruz is the policies. what is ted cruz going to do for the 47%? he's going to abolish the irs, abolish obama care, he's going
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to eliminate dodd-frank so he's got policies that are really for the top 1% but he's trying to pan them off as though they're policies for the 47%. it's the entire republican project now of supposedly remaking itself, but it's really all about just talking more nicely about people that they don't want to do anything to help in the first place. it's just a kinder, gentler, kind of rhetoric but it's the same -- it's the exact same policies. >> wayne, maybe it's my religion, but this guy reminds me of cromwell. this guy, he's got that look on his face. occasionally it goes from frown to smirk, but you can hardly tell it when it happens. he's never any happiness factor there. it's all indicting, indict, indicting. he doesn't like republicans, he doesn't like john mccain. what did he call him, something terrible the other day. he just keeps doing this. does he have friends? does he have allies? >> he has a few, and again this small, young republican tea party types in the senate and
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then the governor of wisconsin, this is, as he -- look, this was a disciplined speech that he presented. this was a surprisingly disciplined. 30 minutes, no notes. he knew exactly what he was going to say. his friends are this caught -- coterie of tea party generations. he frames this group as opposed to john mccain. and when he said, as you said, i don't trust the democrats, i don't trust the republicans. that might have been seen as a blunder inside the beltway among some people. that was a message that resonated among a whole lot of people, and not just the birthers, birchers and secessionists. he is talking for a number of people, whether progressives and moderates inside washington think he is or not. >> okay. let me do what i like to do, find inconsistency. joan, you can start. it's my greatest joy is to find inconsistency. people on the right and not just the birthers went after barack obama because he has an african
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name and they figured to have some fun so a lot of them said he was born in kenya. weirdly he was over there not in honolulu but over in kenya. they made this notion up that since they all know his white mother, if you will, was american, they say he's not really eligible to be president. now you have the exact same situation with cruz. his american mother had him up in canada with her cuban husband. same exact situation. if barack obama had been born in kenya and they -- and if, and they're saying he should run for president. so what they thought about obama as an illegal ill grant or something, this guy fits the exact same profile and they're talking him up for president. how can they wake up in the morning with some flagrant inconsistency. >> i'd love to know what donald trump thinks about this. where are we going to get the money to litigate this? but i also want -- i want to go back to something that wayne said before. i mean i have -- this man is not
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the child of ronald reagan, he's the child of joe mccarthy. he's very comfortable with guilt by association, with talking about the communists that were in law school at harvard. he's the child of michele bachmann. reagan was a deal maker, and a governor. >> okay, i think joe mccarthy was a little old -- a little old for michele bachmann. >> i didn't say it together. don't put that in my mouth. >> thank you. having fun here and i'm going to have fun with cruz because he is really something. it's a little scary to say he might just catch on. >> not just joe mccarthy, he's roy coen, he's both of them of the you make a great team.
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let me finish tonight with this. senator cruz suggests that the voters don't know the difference between the two major political parties. that, he suggests, is the reason they voted for president obama last november. i tend to assume rationality on the part of voters. they vote for the party that meets their concerns, the party with the best track record for doing what they want done. senator cruz suggests the republicans should be the party of the 47%, nearly half the electorate has been misinformed. had they known what mitt romney stood for, they would have lined up to vote for him. that's what he's arguing. this assumes the voter, not mitt romney, was the mistaken one and that senator cruz is going to disabuse them of that grievous misunderstanding. we'll see. my sense is that based upon experience, the voters, especially voters in real need
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have learned from their experience who was on their side. not always delivering, but who's on their side. and which party is working the other side of the street. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes and thank you for joining us. tonight you've heard of too big to fail but i'll tell you about a company that was invented to fail and thousands of workers who got robbed in the process. also a surprising move to restore voting rights by a conservative southern republican governor in contrast with the continued civil rights outrages just one state over. and the absolute craziest political story in north america, probably in the entire hemisphere got even crazier today. but we begin tonight with this photo, the one you see there on your screen. that's the maverick,

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