tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 11, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PST
i can't see any meaning to what he is doing. >> a moment in history. lost in translation. with the whole world watching. ron allen, nbc news, pretoria. chris hayes is up next. mutiny of the wacko birds. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews out in columbus, ohio. let's start tonight with this. it looks like some of the wacko birds didn't get the message. remember how the right wing and in fact the republican party took that nasty hit during can the october government shutdown? how it's been the one time that the president's party was up near the angels. someone didn't get the message.
blind to the poll numbers of people watching the government shutdown. federal employees got paid for staying at home. they're now out there all over again demanding no deals, no compromise, no budget agreement. let's do the whole dance all over again. what's driving the urge to shut things down again. what's driving people like marco rubio and rand paul to this monster mash when even john boehner is yelling, stop the music. both our guests are political analysts. before the ink was even dry on paul ryan and patty murray's agreement they went in for the kill. the koch brothers, the club for growth and freedom works they all slammed the deal before they knew what was in it.
there are now at least 33 house republicans objecting to the deal's sequester relief. so what's notable here is that the anger within the party has turned squarely on their own, paul ryan. folks like coburn are blasting ryan for a sellout. >> he has led to make a compromise that sells out what actually needs to be done. >> but you just called paul ryan a sellout. >> no, i didn't say that. i didn't say that. i said he was told to lead a compromise. a compromise is going to give up your principle. he said last night on the tv that he didn't think you have to give up core values. we gave up core values. >> this is really mickey mouse. i don't mean to be offensive. i just want to -- you're
claiming. we're facing a fiscal disaster in this country. i know you know this. you've told me this. hold on. i just want to get my question out. a fiscal disaster in this country, and we're talking about $23 billion over ten years. the debt goes up to 17.3 trillion in the next few months. where the hell are all these cuts? >> elections have consequences. >> it seems like most of the people in the house of representatives and the senate saw the poll numbers. the only time your party got in trouble was when you shut down the government and left people at home collecting paychecks. it bothered everybody. people like to see people work for their pay. we think 33 in the house are ready to rebel against what looks to be a minimal, harmless budget deal. >> look, the fact that we were
able to accomplish a budget deal here is in and of itself a remarkable achievement at a time when the parties have been unable to do even their ministerial functions, one of which is producing a budget. look, the budget doesn't solve the country's fiscal problems which are significant and severe. i am scared to death about the fact that we are $17 trillion in debt and going higher. this is a minimal budget. it has deficit reduction in it. at the end of the i da, you know, the fact of the matter is elections do have consequences. and one of the consequences of the election is you try to get the best deal you can get. and i think that's what paul ryan has done here. when you look at some of these conservative group, they had the fund raising letters out before they had any ability to analyze what was in the deal. so the politics for profit wing of the party is at it again to the detriment of the wing of the party that actually has to play a part in governing the country. and that's what you're seeing here. >> are you surprised to see the speaker of the house directly
shot at them. that they're mad because they know this is a way if you're mad at a budget deal to show your anger, and can you raise a lot of money on it. and that's not the interests of the republican party being done there, but the interest of the fundraiser. i've never seen boehner to do this. to go after the fund money, the rich people in the party. >> there's a lot of evidence to suggest that he's been thinking it for a long time. it's good that he said it. and so when you look at the recent history of the republican party over the last couple years, look, when you appease this crazy behavior, do you get more of it or less of it? you got more of it. so now you're calling it out hoping you get less of it. >> after following the far right's lead in the last round of budget talks and shutdown,
and further damaging the republicans' image, speaker john boehner exploded now at the mention to their opposition to this agreement. here's boehner being very un-boehner. >> blasting this deal, are you -- >> you mean the groups that came out and opposed it before they ever saw it? >> yes, those groups. >> they're using our member, and they're using the american people for their own goals. this is ridiculous. listen to me. if you're for more deficit reduction, you are for this agreement. >> i've been waiting for that boehner for many years now. and i know we've all seen it now. that's the boehner we've been rooting for, somebody to be a leader. >> well, chris, i think far from ending the civil war within the republican party, i think the events of the last 24 hours have just made it all-out war now. and i think that paul ryan has
staked out a position as a pragmatic conservative, a guy who disagrees with chris christie over new jersey saying washington can't do anything. that you can get some deficit reduction, make some incremental progress and by his light stick to your beliefs. and i think john boehner has basically just had it. i think that this thing is going to pass, if it is going to pass, with a lot of democratic votes. he's basically telling that conservative wing of the republican party, the jim dement wing, the koch brothers wing to just get out of town. he's going to pass a bill with democrats if he has to. and it's all-out war. and interestingly, paul ryan is in the photograph, in the video with john boehner, and i think that was significant that paul ryan was willing to take the step he did, because i don't think he's given up on his own national ambitions either.
>> this division between what you might call the establishment, i guess that's as good a word as any in the leadership and the right wing on the other side, it looks like their line of division has moved a bit. now you've got paul ryan in the establishment circles. you've got coburn outside with the red hots. it is moving around where people are jumping from side to side, but it means what howard just said that this civil war is red hot right now. it isn't going away right now in your party. >> no, it's not going to go away. and it's going to play out over the 2016 election, but look, this isn't an ideological fight within the republican party. the fact of the matter is these groups, in the name of conservatism, they've taken conservatism and defined it not by issues but by tactics and by extreme rhetoric. and by who's the most nutty person yelling the loudest, the craziest things in the room at any given time. and they've divorced conservatism from prudence, from pragmatism, from it's
attenuation to reality. so i think it's great that john boehner and other leaders are saying enough is enough here because we need to have a healthy republican party in this country to help solve some of the problems that have been built up over the time, and it's true that but for the senate conservatism fund and these other groups, the person that paul ryan would be negotiating with would be the republican senate group leader because we have a majority in the senate but for the five senate seats we've given up over the last two election cycles because of all these nut eye candidates. >> don't you agree you've solemnized the marriage between john mccain and sarah palin? >> self-evident. you know, look, it's been self-evident for some time that, you know, when you look at some of these folks, whether it was her, whether it was a christine
o'donnell in delaware, we shouldn't define who is and who isn't a conservative on your capacity to extend disbelief. but look, i mean, this has been self-evident for years, for years, chris. >> at least i got my thrill up my leg from obama. you got it from sarah palin. that will never go away. >> it went away faster. >> let's take a look at paul ryan. >> did you ever think that a piece of legislation that you were responsible for would be called not conservative enough? >> yeah. that's, it's a strange new normal, isn't it? it's funny, isn't it? >> isn't that funny? ryan impresses me. there's a good running mate. ryan seems to understand the irony of being pushed off the crazy car. he's not in the crazy car
anymore. he's getting hit for it. >> yeah. absolutely. look, you know, now paul ryan, all of a sudden, is an rino. and the number of people that are increasingly kicked out, you know, and this is dementism in full force, the notion that i, jim dement get to decide who is a conservative. it's dough fined on agreement with me, not on any particular issues or what has traditionally been defined as conservatism, so when you make conservatism a cult of personality, this is what you get, and we have now good conservative leaders, impeccable conservative leaders now being painted with this brush. and it does great harm to the republican party, but it is god that john boehner and others are starting to push back against it. >> i don't think we can outdo what we just heard there, but go ahead. your thoughts.
>> i'm just looking at that what other republican leaders are going to come forth and really take this on. i mean, and kentucky, mitch mcconnell should just, hey, just do it. he's being attacked mercilessly by the tea party candidate down there. i know that mitch mcconnell thinks that what the tea party is doing is crazy politically. he should flat out and get out there and say so. why not? >> we don't know which way he'll go. he may go with the tea party and trash the budget deal. >> he may. >> we'll watch him in the next 24 hour, whether he'll go with the wacko birds or be a leader. thank you. you are the best. coming up, we know president obama's poll numbers are down, who doesn't, but with an improving economy and functioning website, it could turn around. maybe the party should talk to women.
plus, you probably saw those pictures of president obama chatting with the danish prime minister. talk about harmless. and the need for progressives to go big, really big. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ [ male announcer ] ever wonder why no other mouthwash feels like listerine®? because no other mouthwash works like listerine®. in your mouth, bacteria forms in layers. listerine® penetrates these layers deeper than other mouthwashes, killing bacteria all the way down to the bottom layer. so for a cleaner, healthier mouth, go with the mouthwash dentists recommend more than all others combined. #1 dentist recommended listerine®... power to your mouth™.
welcome back to "hardball," well, the country's unemployment rate is at its lowest in five years. americans' confidence in the economy is improving, and the health care website is working better, and yet the president's approval ratings remain under water. in three recent polls, the job approval ranges from a low of 38% to a high of just 45% in the pew survey. even more troubling is americans say their personal trust in the president has decreased. presidents have pulled themselves out before. how does the president do it? how does he get out of the hole? gentlemen, i want to start with david axelrod who's been there and has maintained ties, i believe, at least with some of the people over there. the president, it seems to be one of the rules of politics
which you know very well, it's the topic of what people are talking about that drives the numbers. is there any way in the short run, that due to the incremental improvement in the health care -- >> i think that's already happened, one thing about this poll is 58% of the people asked, were asked what's framing their opinion, it was about health care. if that subsides and other things take precedence, then i think that will help improve the situation. the good news about this poll from the white house perspective is that so much of this is tied to health care. if they can get past this juncture and improve on the performance of this website, get past these stories and refocus on the economy, i think there's a good chance that a year from now we'll be having a different conversation.
>> yeah, chuck, you and i know that the news is driven by things that go wrong. you don't cover a non-traffic accident. you cover traffic accidents. that's what we could have. is there a way you can distract from something that is still a problem with people. how does the white house move the conversation to something else? they can't do it to iran, because iran as over there. now can they do something with, say, a fight over minimum wage? trying to get it up over ten bucks? can they do it and drive the story that way? >> look, i don't think they can force a change of subject. i think the way they create the environment to have a different conversation is by simply making the health care implementation work better and better each day. they obviously got better news today, as far as the enrollment figures are concerned for november. what you hear about where things
stand, even now in december, they're still going to be behind the eight ball a little bit. i don't think they're going to get to a million enrollees by the end of the year, but it's possible they're moving in the right direction. sure looks like it based on enrollment data, but i don't think they can throw something else and hope that it's a shiny metal object here. i think they've got to clear the decks with health care. i think they've got to make their staff all focused on getting it done. yes, i think the minimum wage is a potential wedge for them, but i also think the republicans are going to cave quickly on this. they're not that stupid. >> one area where the president has taken a hit was on trust. americans were asked to rate the president on the qualities of being honest and straightforward. 37% said good, 43% said poor. if you look at january, his numbers have taken a big hit and those numbers have essentially been reversed.
i agree with him on a lot of these issues, but the question about the health insurance policy, if you are happy you'll get it keep it. he hasn't been able to keep it. i know he's doing things like our interview last week, which i'm glad he did. is part of that just getting out with young people, especially and showing he's there to answer their questions? or what? >> i think part of it is being honest about it, and he has been honest about it. part of it is getting it fixed as best as you can. there is no doubt that that is the core of the problem when you come to this measure, and i think he was ill served because i'm sure when he said what he said he believed it when they put the grandfather clause in, he believed that that would take care of these kinds of transitional problems. it didn't. and i think the real lesson here is don't ever speak in absolutes because there's always going to be an exception and that exception is going to be an
example that your opponents lift up. >> what do you think of his answer to my question last week when i asked him about his management of the white house, there doesn't seem to be a clear chain of command with a chief of staff. he pushed that aside and said no, it has to do with the organizational structure of the government which he inherited or he blamed it on the republicans. what do you think of that? you worked there, was there a clear line of authority where people got things done or they got fired or frozen out or something? >> when i worked there, rahm emanuel was the chief of staff and i think there was a clear line of command and people who stepped out of line knew that there were consequences. and i will say this. i think dennis mcdonough is a very, very good man. and he's brought a lot of order
to that operation, so i do think there is a sense of someone in charge. he meets with the president in the morning and at night. >> what about there needs to be a ceo in charge of the health care rollout and there never was one. >> i agree. there needed to be a presence, and they folded into the domestic policy. i'm not sure that was the right move when nancy left. she was the de facto person. but what did hubert humphrey say? the would have and the should have clubs are the biggest clubs and you don't want to be a member of them? >> a clear line of authority almost like a military chain of command in the white house where nobody gets in the way. there's a clear line. the boss is the boss.
there wouldn't be the health care screw ups if you had a clear line of accountability, where months ago, if not years ago he would have known it and fixed it because somebody would be talking with him and he'd be vetting. >> there was nobody in the west wing that owned health care. there was somebody who owned health care politics, but there was nobody in the west wing who owned health care implementation until it was too late. and that, of course in hindsight is the real mistake. yes, there are problems at hhs, medicare, medicaid. there were structural, bureaucratic issues. and they dismantled it when they needed it. they used it as a political -- so i think david, he knows better being on the inside.
but that was the initial mistake. but to go back to dennis, look, he is a more hands on chief of staff. he very much more is in the mold of rahm emanuel. he knows everything that's going on. jack lew was not that guy. i know what you're looking for. >> you don't know what i'm looking for. you only get to vote for one person in the white house. we only have one person that responds to us, answers to us. that's the guy we elect as president in this case. he answers to health care. he needs somebody that's a direct line to answer to him, not down to sebelius and the ceo and the cms, no, no. he was elected. he should have been on top of this right from the beginning. and that's the issue i keep getting at. you're chief executive, mr. president, not just chief of staff or chief of state. next, giving credit where credit is due.
back to "hardball" and time for the sideshow. with this congress trying to be one of the least productive in modern history, it's no surprise that it has a 13% approval rating. and now it seems some mens would rather pass the buck instead of passing bills. here's jon stewart's analysis of that last night. >> now you might wonder which political party bears more responsibility for not getting anything done. the party that's more responsible might be the one
that defined its mission thusly. >> we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. we should be judged on how many laws we repeal. >> ask not what your country can do for you! ask what you can stop your country from doing! >> well, it seems one senator has his staff working overtime. he has his staff going to great lengths to footnote after dealing with plagiarism charges last month. here's a quote. quote, there is a recurring theme in budget negotiations, it's i'll gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today. it attributes it to the wimpy character, senator, you created
this problem yourself. how's that for self-reliance? up next, if you were watching the memorial service for nelson mandela, you probably saw the sign language interpreter standing beside the podium. but as those of you who know sign language, he was faking it. the south african government is investigating how the pretend interpreter gained access to the stage, the deaf community is outraged. meanwhile, some are outraged by president obama's handshake with castro. here's how conan o'brian portrayed it. >> here's the real interesting thing that happened at the memorial. president obama shook hands with cuban dictator raul castro. or foreign communist shakes hands with the leader of cuba.
>> and then there's this, the new york post, not a particular friend of president obama, pokes fun at his exchange with the danish prime minister yesterday. they also featured yesterday's selfie with the president and the prime minister and david cameron, and the interaction between the leaders. the president's defenders were quick to note with great concern that the photo play was overhyped. the photographer himself warned not to jump to conclusions. i thought the world leaders were acting like human be beings like you and me. as jonathan capehart put it, it's a non-troversy. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. my mantra? family first.
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meeting female challengers on election day. they have been holding sessions with aides to incumbents which politico wrote about gop men tutored in running against women. it almost sounds like a joke, but it's no joke. new poll numbers should give the party pause. 42% of the respondents identified themselves as democrats. but among women, half of the country, half of the women identify themselves as democrat and 32% republican. kathleen parker rights even though well intended, the idea that men should get coaching on how to talk to women as not to offend them is 1950s-ish prep schoolish.
>> mark, this past week we learned that john boehner is training his members how to talk to women. we begin this morning, what's the biggest difference between men and women? >> you have to connect with women on an emotional level. and with a wife and a 18 year old daughter, i've had a lot of coaching on that. >> both our guests are analysts. what do you think of that line? to me, it's tricky business even talking about this. but your thought? >> i'm going to try not to cry while i explain things, but it seems, you know, this has got binders full of women written all over it. in light of what the republicans have been through and what the numbers clearly indicate, their
problem with women, you know, this move to sort of talk to them about how they should approach women, this idea that women have to be approached emotionally, that's just one man as opinion. and i of course know what he meant, he talked about his wife and daughter. he just says yes, dear, and everything's fine. and that's actually a good rule of thumb, but it's just silly. the idea that women can't be approached the same way would you approach a man at work, the idea being that we're all there to do a job, is just beyond, it's neanderthalish and insulting. >> it seems there are two different vocabularies, the way men like you and i talk, we may talk on a train or at a bar together. and we talk about how we get along with our spouses or girlfriends or whatever. and there's a certain kind of comedy that goes along with that among men. and then there's the way you approach this in public and have to be in public.
you're just walking into trouble it seems. >> walking right into the worst kind of stereotypes. i think that conundrum points to the bigger problem. you're talking to voters as if they're intelligent people, whether they're men or women and talking to them about issues in terms of their head seems to me to be a good rule of thumb when you're talking to any voter, whether they're a male voter or a female voter. and the problem the republicans seem to have with women is much more a problem of policy than it is a problem of communications or of manners. >> you know, kathleen, this is troubling, but women live longer than men. women take care of their parents as they age much more than men do. they focus on what shots the kids have had more than the men do. they focus on the teacher's
quality more than the men do. obviously talk ed characteristic health care, social security, policy, that would be a smart approach to women. as a guy, i would say speaking logically. >> and also, by the way, women are working in great numbers. they care about tax, health care and all the things that any citizen of this country cares about. they care about military readiness, economic policy, fiscal matters. so it's just not even remotely accurate to think that women have only certain interests. and i think -- >> they're not as gun crazy, right? >> i'm not so sure. >> i didn't know. i didn't think so. that was an assumption. >> yeah. be careful. >> here's where we can agree on something. catch this. on monday, rush limbaugh, who can unite us all, was ripping, liberals want to stop liberals from checking out women. >> as you know, so let me offer, first suggestion, you find
yourself staring, casually looking at a woman, but you know that it's now socially taboo. you shouldn't be doing it. and you think everybody is noticing you doing it and condemning you in their mind. you walk town the woman saying, would you please ask your breasts to stop staring at my eyes? >> so let's just aggregate what he's doing there. he's appealing to his radio audience. they're mostly men. i guess he's assuming they have a certain attitude that would find this funny. what's he talking like that for, kathleen? >> he's definitely talking to the guys. i think rush has a shtick. he knows that's insulting to
woman. his remarks, starting with sandra fluke and going from there, he goes out of his way to be mean-spirited and derogatory towards women in very personal ways and it's no longer funny, for sure, the idea that he has a large base that finds that interesting and abusing is disconcerting to me as a woman, but also as anyone who's concerned with the level of civility in our public discourse. he's really not helping, and he could help so much. >> is there any sign that the republicans are going to make up what looks like a 18 point gap in voter identification with women? >> i don't technically see, and i think it's another case where republican whose have done poorly in 2012 with members of the coalition of the ascendant. they have not improve there had posture with minorities, they've
not improved their posture with latinos in particular. but the rush limbaugh thing is worth focussing on. he is one of the most visual and vocal members of the republican party, identified as a leader of a huge part of the republican party. he says those things and no one in the republican party stands up and says you're wrong. in this case, maybe it's not that big of a deal, but if you go back to sandra fluke and he calls her an slut and no one repudiates him, that's a big problem for republicans, and it makes a lot of women feel as if the party is toll rant of views that express hostility toward more than 50% of the american electorate. >> i don't like media critics. but rush limbaugh is more powerful than many.
i think he will have to pay for calling the pope a marxist. i'm surprised he hasn't had to do that yet. thank you kathleen, and john, we miss you. you're great. this is "hardball," the place for politics. in a timely fashion and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town. you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare. now that we're expecting, i like the fact i can go onto angie's list and look for pediatricians. the service providers that i've found on angie's list actually have blown me away. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
we're back. time magazine's just released its person of the year award, and it's the catholic church's leader, pope francis. when i mentioned pope francis, he came alive. >> we're back at the "hardball" tour. your remarks the other day on economic justice, to me, as a roman catholic is so relevant to what the holy father, pope francis is saying. we have a moral responsibility to look out for people who haven't made it in this country.
>> there's no great religion that doesn't speak to this. at root, every great religion has some equivalent of the golden rule, some equivalent of i am my brother's keeper and my sister's keeper. i think pope francis is showing himself to be just an extraordinarily thoughtful and soulful messenger of peace and justice. i haven't had a chance to meet him yet, but everything that i have read and everything i have seen from him indicates the degree to which he is trying to remind us of those core obligations. >> but not even the universally popular pope is spared ugly attacks from the right wing, of course, jonathan capehart and opinion writer from "the washington post." gentlemen, this didn't come as a big surprise to you, gentlemen, was this a close call or was this the winner? >> no, it was actually a close
call, down to two people for a while, edward snowden, the nsa leaker this year. and both came out of nowhere, and both are influencing the way literally billions of people are living in different ways. so they're doing it in different ways but the pope edged it out. it was a tough call. >> how did you make this decision? how did you decide? >> the final decision was my boss's decision -- it was not my decision, i was the author of the snowden piece, the runner-up piece. but i made the case, other people made the case. we talked about it. and she decided -- >> okay, make your case right now, this is fascinating, why do you think it was edward snowden, the pope, and not edward snowden?
>> what you're talking about is one person influencing in a very dramatic way the way the world thinks about technology and democracy. and snowden will change from here on out the way people think about these issues. you will have very real changes in the way the laws are, and intelligence, the biggest contribution is people think of their cell phones as tracking devices. they didn't do that before. and once that information is out, it is out there forever. but you're talking about the pope, a totally different issue. he is changing the issues around the church, and income equality, and issues such as bringing the world's conversation back to this idea of poverty and helping the poor.
and income inequality. >> jonathan, let us know why you think he should be the winner? >> well, michael laid out most of the case. i would add to that what the pope has done in terms of his telling the church to you know, don't obsess over social issues such as homosexuality or abortion as happens here in the united states, focus on the tenants of the church, not so much as focusing on inequality and helping the least of these -- i have to tell you on top of that, because of the pope's message, his all inclusive message, the welcoming message, he has made the church accessible to those who have been turned off by the church and those who tuned out because they think the church has gone away from them. now, chris, i'm not a catholic,
a roman catholic, but i have to tell you when the pope speaks, i listen, because i know from reading his interviews and reading other things about him that he is someone who would welcome me with open arms into the church. he views from everything that i have read, every individual, every soul as someone who should be reached out to, and someone who should be invited into the church as opposed to excluded from the church. >> you know, i think groucho marx was wrong, i think it will welcome others into the church. it is nice to be drawn in as a person and not rejected as a person. thank you. we'll be right back after this. .
let me end tonight with this, i'm out here in columbus, ohio's speaking at the museum of arts. at the big barnes and noble at noon in bethesda, maryland. and what i have learned out here in the country is how much people who come out to see and hear me want to see politicians, progressives, as well as those on the right get their acts together. that number, we show you congress' low approval rating is real. people who care about this country, watch this program and programs like it who know we can do better are determined from the president on down, words and
promises need to be put into actions and achievements, let's face it, we can sit here and blame the koch brothers, i like to do that, and all the bad stuff coming from the right. and you know, nothing that they have done can match the frustration and anger of what those in public office have done to reduce the hope we have for change in this country, good change. we know the facts, the health care bill was great history, great progressive success, but the raw has been what it has been. you give it a name, we know that one reason things are not getting done, is not just the republicans always saying no in congress, but the failure to truly challenge those republicans with progressive ideas, big legislative ideas, highways, bridges, tunnels, fast rail. that will bring this country up to europe and drive this jobless rate down, the real jobless rate down to about 4%, where it belongs. why not? if the republicans in congress are going to say no to everything, why not give them
something big to say no to. as i like to say to my graduate students, don't say no to yourself, make them say no to you. and that is the message and i got it for myself, that is it for tonight. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening, from new york, i'm chris hayes, house speaker john boehner went off on the far right forces that helped drive the government shutdown today. it is just the latest struggle among the power centers in the world of republican party politics. two dueling factions of the republican party have been at war with each other. the supporters of john boehner and the gop leadership and the members of the so-called suicide