tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 10, 2014 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
voice, boys, i am so proud of you. i only regret that you didn't do this ten years ago. >> an amazing story. a reminder of how progress begins in the hearts of all of us. franklin mccain died last -- late last week. he was 73 years old. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. sleeping bear. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. the big story of governor christie's two-hour defense yesterday is what he didn't say. why did a governor of his state, a man with clearly with his eyes and heart on the white house
fail to ask anyone, anywhere, any time what the hell was going on at the george washington bridge when traffic stopped for hours day after day after day after day, when the democrats in trenton were raising hell, when the media was jumping all over the story, when his two top guys at the port authority were forced to resign, when all this was popping on the front page and raging in the nightly news, this big bear of a politician, this guy who dominates the scene not once asked what the hell was happening. not only that, he openly and sarcastically refused to ask any questions. here he is on december 19th, three months into this donnybrook, still refusing to act or ask or think to do anything that might alert him, publicly alert him to what his people had been up to. >> you guys want to keep chasing it around, chase it around. it's your business. but i'm not running around doing independent investigation. i'm not a prosecutor anymore. i'm a governor. >> i'm not going to conduct an investigation.
well, this is my question, and this is my theory of the whole matter. i think governor christie may have been careful yesterday in laying out his story that will stand up for him as narrowly as he defines it. he didn't think anything wrong had been done from september on. when the traffic started up through december, and then he gave his staff a one-hour window to come clean and went out there and said they were clean. you have to wonder why this big, boisterous take charge guy had so little interest in knowing what he had to take charge of. and the only other explanation is that governor christie simply didn't care about the biggest mess of his political career, didn't care about the smell of trouble that surrounded him even as he minced his way toward a run for the country's highest office. and that's an explanation i can't buy. as i said, i can buy the explanation that this very political governor, very ambitious governor made his business not to know, not to let people see him knowing what business his people had gotten themselves into on his behalf.
steve kornacki will be with us in a minute. let's start first with michael isikoff, the national investigative correspondent for nbc news. he joins us from trenton. michael, big picture question. knowing all you know now, what you have heard, what you can report tonight, what is something -- what is chris christie, the governor of that state got to worry about? what is he worrying about? is somebody that has been hit hard? if somebody goes public, are they going get immunity? >> excellent questions, because first of all we have hundreds of pages of new documents, the smoking gun that do show -- what he has to worry about are some really strong clues that emerged yesterday that david wildstein, his appointee to the port authority who took the fifth amendment rather than testify has got some bombshells to unload. at the very end of that testimony, this got overlooked yesterday. the democratic chairman was outlining all the unanswered questions that the committee
still has about what christie and his people knew and when they knew it. and then wildstein's lawyer says well, if my client gets immunity from the u.s. attorney, from the new york authorities and new jersey authority, you'll get the answers to your questions. that's a very subtle hint. we've got a story to tell here, but we need immunity to tell it first. in short, is david wildstein the john dean of this affair? >> yeah. >> one other clue that got overlooked yesterday, those documents that have been turned over by wildstein, those e-mails, those incredibly damaging e-mails, they have all those deletions because the subpoena only called for documents responsive to the traffic closures, to the issue at question. well, while there are all those deletions, one of the things wildstein did include was references to a meeting that was proposed between christie and
david samson, christie's appointee to the port authority. a few days before bridget kelly writes that e-mail saying time for some traffic problems in ft. lee. so why did he include the references to a meeting between christie and samson in this -- in response to the subpoena? that's the question i've been talking to a lot of people in the state house today. that's a question they're asking. that's something that they're pointing to that nobody is really focused on. >> okay. what have you been able to get out of the documents that were just dumped on the media? >> i think what the departments really show is just sort of further underscore what a complete fiasco this was. you have patrick foy, the executive director of the port authority just going ballistic talking about the threat to public safety, endangering lives, pointing out that, you know, there are e-mails from ft. lee public police talking about somebody having a cardiac arrest, a missing child, the
child is later found. but, you know, there were real public safety consequences here. a couple of other things. this took place the week of the anniversary of september 11th. >> i know. >> point it out in terms of public safety. and it was also during the week of yom kippur, the holiest day of the jewish new year. this is preventing people from getting home in time for yom kippur. so there are a lot of aspects to this. yeah. >> in those days very important for the enemies of israel and of course the enemies of the united states could have used to attack us. thank you, michael. great reporting from trenton. steve kornacki is the host of "up" on weekends. you've been so smart on this stuff. answer my open question at the beginning, steve. my theory here is that this guy, the governor of new jersey is very lawyered up in his own head. it's in his dna how to protect himself. all these months since september when the traffic tie-ups were order by his staff, he made a point of not talking to them.
he says the other day in his press conference, i only have two reports, my council, which lawyer council -- client relations with and his chief of staff. in other words, i never talked to bridget kelly, i never talked to anybody. i only have to -- he has cauterized himself and separates himself completely from any possible criminality by the nature of the way he described the situation. my question is the dog that doesn't bark. why through these four months didn't he ever inquire and the only answer i can come to is he damn well knew they were involved ant didn't want to hear it. your thoughts? >> that's a logical theory that this was willful ignorance on his part. >> i'm borrowing it from your analysis the other day because you used that very term. i thought it was so on the mark. >> i think there is a specific reason why if you accept that theory and you play it out, there is a specific reason why he might have been confident in that strategy, and that has to do with sort of the internal mechanics of new jersey
politics. the current state legislative session is expiring next tuesday. with the expiration of that legislative session, expires the legislature's subpoena authority. it has been subpoenas from the legislature, subpoenas from the state assembly that have kept this story alive these past few months. the incoming assembly speaker next tuesday is the product of an alliance between chris christie and a group of pro chris christie democrats in the legislature. the expectation before this week, before all the bombshells this week was that that speaker was not going to renew the subpoena authority for the state legislature. >> but now? >> well, now there is no choice. that's going to happen. >> the national democratic party were to assassinate those people if they didn't do it. >> more than that, it's not the state assembly anymore. now you from the u.s. attorney sniffing around, the commerce committee. this has gotten bigger in the last few days. >> let's go to what michael isikoff pointed out, the john dean. i grew up during watergate. it follows a certain pattern. nixon would try to set it up that first thing i knew about
this, i heard from john dean, and then i operate in this certain way, like christie yesterday, all picking a date like december something when i quizzed my staff and i moved forward and said i'm clean until then and after them. once i asked them once if they had anything to do with this, i'm clean when they said no. he sets that up. my question is why would any of these people, starting with wildstein, going to baroni, going to his campaign manager stepien, and certainly going to bridget kelly, who has now been made the villain in this piece, why wouldn't they want to come out at some point and say, you know what? i'm an office holder. i work for a guy. my mission here is to carry out his purposes. and one of them is are political, and i did what i did. i wasn't out robbing gas stations for money. i was doing this for him. >> well, the question here, you take these people individually, but let's start with bridget kelly, because bridget kelly is the one he really singled out yesterday. he called her a liar five or ten times during that press conference.
i think the logical conclusion you draw from watching chris christie doing that yesterday, this is a guy who is confident there is nothing that is going to come out that is going to contradict him. there is no further documentation that is going to come out. >> meaning he never talked to her in the office all these months about this trouble, he never -- >> well, there is -- >> my point, he probably didn't. he made a point of never winking in her direction, take care, you'll get through this. any sign of collaboration. >> that is one theory, and that is entirely plausible. however, there is a history with this governor. just three years ago in this state when he was the governor, he fired his education commissioner, and he held a press conference which is very similar to the one he held yesterday. the education commissioner's name was brett schundler. he screwed up the race to the top application. chris christie said the number one rule of this administration is you don't lie to the governor. now brett schundler admitted that he and his teamed a screwed up the race to the top application, admitted he deserved to go, but did not like being called a liar. what happened a week later?
brett schundler had documents, he had e-mails, he has records. he could prove that when chris christie called him a liar, he had not been a liar. chris christie and his administration had known brett schundler had talked to them. and i cannot help but think of them right now. because chris christie confidently got up there three years ago with all the cameras rolling and called him a liar, even though there was evidence out there that came back to haunt there. there is a precedent. >> now, you know wildstein a bit, and i heard your story you knee him indirectly because he ran your website. i'm watching this guy. i'm really try to empathize with people in trouble politically. i'm looking at this guy. he obviously has a lot going on in his head. he is a smart guy. he knows what is going on. he knows all the forces at work right now, and he is playing his time right now. he is waiting, waiting out the prosecutors, waiting out somebody is going to give him immunity so he will not face any criminal charges. because if he doesn't face any criminal charges, he might mai be a lot less likely to face any civil action, which could be very expensive, even if he doesn't have deep pockets. so he wants a deal. if he gets a deal, isn't christie done?
>> well, what michael isikoff said is really interesting. and the most interesting part of that for me this weekend, i should say yes, i worked for a website owned by david wildstein. i haven't had any contact with him since this began. but what i will say is the most interesting thing to me this week is on tuesday night, chris christie and the republicans named bill stepien, that had been chris christie's campaign manager, saying bill stepien is going to be the next chairman in the party. so if there had been, if wildstein was still on the team with christie, there would have been a heads up. there would have been some way of getting the news to christie's team that hey, this is coming. bill stepien and others are going to be implicate in stuff that is going to be in the press wednesday morning. and there is no way that chris christie and his team ever would have announced bill stepien as the chairman of the republican party on tuesday night if they knew that was going to happen wednesday morning that tells me the idea here that wildstein and
there might be some coordination behind the scenes between the governor's office and him. that's not going on. because if there was -- >> that's my theory too. >> right. >> he has cut him off. at some point, these people's livelihoods, what their kids think of them, what their spouse think of them, what their families think of them, what they're neighbors think of them, their wikipedia reputations are at stake here. they're going to try to clean them up at the expense of the governor. >> i'll say this about david wildstein, and i owe my career to him. i'll freely admit that he is a very smart, a very intelligent person and a very strategic thinker. >> that's been my impression watching him think. i've been watching the guy think the last few days, and i think he is planning a return to greatness. anyway, thank you, steve kornacki. you have been a tiger on this story. you've been great. our network is lucky to have you. anyway, "up with steve kornacki" airs weekends at 8:00 a.m. get up early to watch him on to the weekend. coming up, a rare point of agreement between democrats and republicans. they both are loving this christie ordeal. they love the guy going through hell right now, because a lot of
them, even on the republican side just don't like the guy. he is a little too independent, i think. also, since they won't support christie, many republicans are doing the next best thing, attacking obama. just the other day, congressman grimm, who i like having on the show couldn't resist saying benghazi, benghazi, benghazi, what about benghazi, what about benghazi and the irs and fast and furious? never mind that this has anything to do in proportion or reality with what they're talking about, but they're out there vomiting their latest. christie has a reputation of being a bully. christie says it's not true and his reputation sun earned. let's go to the videotape on that baby. finally, let me finish tonight with why governor christie can expect some more sleepless nights. this is "hardball," the place for politics. we're gonna be late. ♪ ♪ ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." has something been missing from the chris christie story these past few days like fellow republicans defending him? where are they? the head of the republican governors association has had a glaring lack of republican governors rallying around him, and that's christie. he has had some support. michael grimm yesterday came on "hardball" to back him up. rudy giuliani is also out there for him. and surprisingly, governor nikki haley from down in south carolina. but those are the small exceptions. most republicans have been holding back, not giving an inch of help to this guy. and some have taken the opportunity to actually attack him. catch this. here is lindsey graham. he told nbc news kasie hunt yesterday the scandal, quote, reinforces a narrative that is troublesome about the guy. he is kind of a bully. you know, being candid and forthright and speaking truth to
power is one narrative, but the other narrative is, you know, he is a transactional politician. he rewards his friends and he punishes his enemies. later, senator graham backtracked a bit saying he was impressed by christie's press conference yesterday. he handled it as well as he could. that's certainly minimal. meanwhile, rand paul, potential rival for the 2016 nomination against christie joked about the scandal when he was asked during a white house walkout yesterday. >> i don't know. who e-mailed who and who works for whom. i have been in traffic before. i know how angry i am when i'm in traffic. i'm always wondering who did this to me. >> he didn't even bother to stop. but christie has never shied away from bashing his fellow republicans. is he suffering the consequences of that now? what goes around comes around. the moderator of "meet the press" on sunday's on nbc, and david axelrod is a former adviser to president obama and msnbc senior analyst. david, i want to start with you. as a democrat, it seems to me that the democrats are enjoying this for the reasons i would
suspect is that they suspect he might be the toughest republican candidate for president in a general election. he gets knocked off, then they only have to face at best maybe scott walker, if jeb bush gets back in the game, of course, but probably face a right-winger who they think they can beat. >> you know, for all the reasons that very few republicans stood up, christie has some broader appeal as a candidate. he is somewhat independent of the kind of most strident right-wing voices in the party. just the day before he got into trouble signed a dream act in new jersey. these kinds of things enrage the base of the party. but they make him a more appealing candidate nationally. so yes, he was an attractive and may well yet be, chris. i'm not in the camp that says the guy is done. i think if any of these threads get pulled as you suggest and expose him as having lied at this press conference, then he is done. >> no, i don't think he will be caught lying.
i think it's a whole truth more than a lie. i don't accuse him of lying at all, never have. what i do think is he never explained why he never showed any curiosity from september all the way through december about what seemed to have been the work of his staff and his appointees at the port authority. that's what to me is the dog that hasn't barked here. >> i don't think that that is a serious question, but but i'm not sure that will disqualify him as a candidate. but if one of those people who is involved in scheme says as a matter of fact, yes, the governor did know about it, that's obviously game, set, and match. >> that's wildstein. let's go to the republican side. it's a little more nuanced, david. it seems to me my hunch is the guy plays outside the pocket. he is a scrambler. he breaks all the rules. most politicians play inside the pocket, they play it carefully, they work with their own side. here is a guy who went out and worked with president obama right at the end of the campaign last year for president. and did his own thing. now they seem to not like that. >> well that.
>> also i think some people feel like he was a little too help to feel the president at a critical time. and that's the romney campaign. but i think it goes a little bit beyond that as well. some of it is about ideology. but i think most of it is about personality. and i think that there is a big ideological fight in the republican party right now. but i think the big test for christie still remains personality, leadership, temperament. and it's why this cultural question that you raised, chris matters a lot. these are people who have worked for him for a long time. and yet there was the cryptic nature of these e-mails. it just had to be cued up. so is this just a rogue operation that took root underneath him without him knowing, without him sort of sending cues that this would be okay, that this would be acceptable, this is how we do things. i think that's the thing that ultimately becomes a leadership question. >> i have to follow up with that, because i think that's so
to the point here, david axelrod. the fact that as chris jansing said on our air this morning, that comment, or that cueing up as you put it, david gregory, which was it's time for some traffic problems in ft. lee, that was in the middle of a conversation. that wasn't a guess what, i got this idea to screw this guy by screwing up the traffic, somehow cutting out the two lanes by the four lanes, knowing about the geography and all that stuff. somebody had a larger conversation about this beforehand, and this was like d-day, h hour. we're going to do it now, but we've been planning to do it for a while. that's clearly the implication of that e-mail. >> well, it feels that way. but it's certainly in keeping with the kind of pugnacious way in which the governor has done his politics in new jersey. and i thought one of the great failings in his press conference yesterday, and by and large i thought he actually did do very well in that press conference. but one of the failings was that when he was asked to be introspective, and when he was asked did he think that his own sort of demeanor in politics, his own style of politics had
somehow sent a cue or a signal to his staff that no holds were barred and they could do whatever they pleased, he said no. and he denied that his style would encourage that in any way. i think it would have been a good moment for him to be a little more introspective, because that would help explain some of these other acts that are undoubtedly going to be uncovered where they were aggressive in dealing with political opponents. >> let's look at the bigger picture. you know they say in massachusetts, david gregory, the and the field determines the result. right now the shape of the feel has changed radically in 48 hours. the shape of the field up until now is this guy was a front-runner, if not the front-runner right at the top. and he was probably going to have to take on maybe rand paul and take on even ted cruz. but he was sort of the east coast, he was head of the eastern conference if you will. he was going to win that conference. and now what happens to the republican party? and they all seem to be holding back. my god, they weren't ready for this. all of the sudden the front-runner, the yankees aren't
going to be the champion this year. >> this is part of the problem of peaking so early. and he has had a good ride in the media, and he is in a huge media market, two, really in new york and philadelphia. but, of course, he has been a national figure, even before now. so he is going to get this scrubbing in realtime. he doesn't have the ability to kind of go under the wraps a little bit say like a scott walker and then emerge adds a national figure when he tries to run. so i just don't think we know. at this particular point, all the cultural questions, all the leadership questions, yes, those continue. but they were always going to happen with him. he was always going to get that scrubbing. but it was actually david axelrod who pointed out i think it was yesterday who say there are very few of these dispositive moments that are so clear that it's the end of the game. we have a long ways to go here before this stuff really gets litigated. >> let's also point out, chris, history is replete with people who have died and come back, not
necessarily because of an incident like this, but sometimes because of it. but i remember back in 2008 when john mccain went into the race as a front-runner, was written off, didn't have the resources, had misplayed the race and ended up as the nominee. these things have a way of taking weird twists and turns. >> yeah. >> running for president, you get tested along the way and you either pass the test and get stronger or you fail the test and you're gone. and i don't think we'll know for some time just where christie fits in that in whole tale. >> thank you, david gregory. i'll see you on that show, "meet the press" on sunday, of course. >> thank you. >> a big show on sunday. and david axelrod. love your institute out there at the institute of chicago. >> thanks, chris. up next, the christie bridge scandal has become gold for the late night comedians. no surprise there. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] the new new york is open.
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back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. while few have come to chris christie's defense, stephen colbert announced last night that he is standing by the embattled governor, perhaps all the way to 2016. >> now i realize he is the kind of leader i can get behind, the kind who says it's my way or i shut down your highway. christie is a true conservative. he is committed to proving the core conservative value that government is the problem, even if he has to create those problems himself. i can already see his 2016 bumper sticker. christie, bringing america together or i will [ bleep ] you over. best of all, best of all, his team will make sure you have plenty of time to read those bumper stickers.
>> but those bridgegate issues right now may prove especially damaging to a guy like christie since it reinforces the very image he sought to downplay, that of a schoolyard bully. as jon stewart pointed out last night, sometimes your reputation really does precede you. >> this is not the tone that i've set over the last four years in this building. it's not the environment i've worked so hard to achieve. >> intimidation, vengeance, vitriol, that's not the tone? >> damn, man, i'm governor. could you just shut up for a second? >> no, no, that's not it. hold on. try that one. >> did i say on topic? are you stupid? >> no, not yet. just haven't found it yet. ♪ >> okay? that's what it is. ♪ i think i finally figured out
the tone he set, fu sharp. ♪ fu! >> well, we found a few more feisty moments that the daily show didn't get to. here are some of chris christie's other highlights from the past three years. >> you know, some may go down tonight, but it ain't going to be jobs, sweetheart. the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn't get involved. well, then what the hell are we paying for you for? >> you don't send your children to public schools. you send them to private schools. so i'm wondering why you think it's fair to be cutting school funding to public schools. >> what's her name? >> what's her name, guys, real quick? because the governor is talking. gayle. talk to gayle. >> gayle, first off, it's none of your business. i don't ask you where you send your kids to school. don't bother me about where i send mine. >> thank you all very much and i'm sorry for the idiot over there. >> up next, the right wing is using the attack on chris christie to what else, attack president obama. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. e.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here is what is happening. larry speaks who served as acting press secretary for six years under ronald reagan passed away. speaks passed away after a battle with alzheimer's. he was 74. a chemical spill in west virginia has led to a tap water ban affecting 300,000 people. it's not clear when the tap water supply in nine counties will be safe to drink again. and the cdc says flu season is in high gear with the virus now widespread in 35 states. the majority of cases this year have been cause beside i the h1n1 strain. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." governor chris christie's office did get caught red-handed. it couldn't have been more clear. his deputy chief of staff directed his appointee at the port authority to exact political revenge against the
ft. lee mayor. time for traffic problems in ft. lee. that was the e-mail. but if you listen to the right wing these days, the christie scandal is nothing compared to their fantasy scandals about president obama. they say it's a drop in the bucket compared to how president obama ordered the irs to terrorize or tyrannyize his opponents. orchestrated a massive cover-up there, and how president obama covered up the fast and furious scandal. well, there is only one problem. it's complete nonsense. the sad part, are we really surprised by the method of operation here? david corn is with mother jones, and joy reid, managing ed or telephone agree owe and msnbc contributor. when i haven't seen you for a few days, i start to wonder where is joy reid? and now you're here. especially the biggest story we've had in weeks now. it's a hot one. what is your knee-jerk?
you say you're fat. your old man's fat. this -- >> hey, the best defense is what? a good offense. >> right. >> so they want to change the suggest. >> did you catch grimm here last night, the congressman? out of nowhere he starts bar offing up all this stuff. he started saying irs, he started saying benghazi, fast and furious. >> what is really interesting here, even "the wall street journal" editorialists who often are a little more sophisticated than say news mags, today they go on in the editorial and say that bohm used the irs to spy on political opposition. that has been so debunked. we've had reports coming out. >> but they're counting on short memories. >> of course they are, because the initial headlines were so hot. that's what they think people will recall. >> joy, i don't dislike this guy, michael grimm, republican from staten island new york and parts of brooklyn. here is what he said last night. out of nowhere, he started bar offing out these buzz words.
here he is, congressman michael grimm last night on "hardball." let's season. >> i've been hearing from democrats now how outraged they are, they're angry thanks, that the other thing. from the democratic party, let's be honest here, from fast and furious to benghazi to the irs -- >> you got your. >> where have the democrats been angry? >> okay. there was an editorial for action right there. it's like a little set of buttons. it's almost like in manchurian candidate, just show the queen of diamonds. just show it. just say benghazi and the right wing starts twittering and quivering and they get excited. and say fast and furious to the gun guys out there, and they go crazy, irs. tell me about the method of operation and what it possibly has to do with a very clear, serious scandal in jersey, which is on the record now. >> and i actually watched that last night and was thinking exactly what you're thinking. it sort of shows you the extent to which the right wing media has body snatched the political class on the right, where these myths that live in minds and
night terrors of conservatives in the base have now infected their ability to do politics. listen, this could be equivalent if you had the white house deputy chief of staff, you know, e-mailing the former campaign manager jim massino or david axelrod you just had on the show, and e-mailing those guys in cincinnati and saying hey, time to mess with the tea party that is not what happened. what you had here was really frivolous, petty, ugly political retribution that was done without regard to the affect it would have on people that are actually consistent s constituents of the they're boss. >> the editorial team had this sugar plum in today's paper. quote, compared to using the irs against political opponents during an election campaign, closing traffic lanes for four days is jaywalking. check out this piece of politico, which says, quote, one prominent gop fundraiser lamented that governor christie
was getting pilloried for standard political activities bipartisan media. standard. where does this guy work? anyway, telling the paper, quote, obama had the irs investigate goppers, and made the media yawn. that's a crime. this is silly. here is why this is so wrong. it will make your head spin. here is the timeline. on may 14th, the inspector general found out there is no influence by any individual or organization outside the irs. that's the so-called irs scandal. on june 18th, the house oversight committee releases the interview with the screener who says we never, never discussed any political aspirations. on june 24th under new management, the irs releases the results of its own audit finding no evidence of intentional wrongdoing by anyone in the irs or involvement in these matters by anyone outside the irs. the final nail in the con coffin comes on august 20th showing that the irs also argued the, guess what, liberal groups. so your point you made three
minutes ago which is it doesn't matter that all this is fact, because if you can rely on the public's short memory, you can take them back before all this became clear. >> when this story broke we were on the set actually that day. and you and i an others were very upset and said this could be a big deal. the initial indications were that there had been some wrongdoing. it might even have been political. as it gets investigated, the headlines come out and show wait a second, it wasn't a big deal. it gets less and less impression. the first initial impression is what they're feeding on. you have to look at something like politico. when they quote the gop strategists who they don't bother naming saying this, it's like so and so saying the sky was purple, or saying a dog meows. it's not objective journalism to let somebody lie. >> it's called balance journalism. >> it's the false equivalence someone side is maining stuff that is controverted by the facts. and if you don't call them out on it, then you give the advantage to people who lie or who misrepresent. >> do you think is going to
work, joy, in your political analysis? do you think constantly citing words like death words, i love your night terror reference, that's pretty good for a friday night. i have to go to the drive-in to enjoy that one. night terror, friday the 13th. just the idea of saying the words, the magic words, the poison pills, benghazi, irs, and fast and furious, anything to do with guns gets the paranoids out there. >> it works with the republican base. what is republican party's problem is right now is they have a closed loop of conspiracy theories and beliefs about president obama that are unshakeable. they're always going to believe those myths at the core of their base. what this not is expansive. people can determine even when the mainstream media plays this game of quoting people saying things that are blatantly false. people who bother to take a look at it, people who are politically interested who are not on the far right are not going to be moved to the republican position to believe in these myths. so republicans are really closing themselves off from even finding solutions to real
problems to like, for instance, reforming the irs if that's what we wanted to do, because they're so steeped in myths and lies. so unfortunately, it's doubling down on the worst aspects of conservatism right now. and when it comes to the situation with chris christie, it's denial. this is a very real scandal, shutting down that bridge two days before 9/11, that had real implications and potential implications for people who needed emergency services. there was a child that was missing they were trying to look for this. is real. it is not petty and it was not unimportant. >> having lived through watergate, it wasn't who shouted the loudest, it wasn't who made the arguments or repeated it the most often, it with us the facts of the case. i think we're going to see fax develop in the next several months. they're going to trump everything we talked about. >> that's the bottom line. we can talk now and forever about what chris christie did at the press conference yesterday. but eventually, there is a u.s. attorney on this. fbi, assembly looking at this as well as dozens journalists talking to every mayor of every
town in new jersey. and the documents that came out today, we at mother jones started finding really -- >> i'm sympathizing. maybe it's my irish background. but i want to hear what bridget anne kelly has to say. >> exactly. >> i don't think she is the total villain in this piece. >> no. >> and operating completely outside the framework she is working in. who trained her. who taught her, who led her? it's like scooter libby. he wasn't working for cheney? are you kidding me? >> exactly. >> he wasn't robbing gas stations to pay for the family. he was work fog for the boss like she was. thank you, david corn, thank you, joy reid. have a nice weekend. i got to tell you about this, where i was for the last two weeks. a little fun here. also some important stuff about saving one of god's great gifts to the planet, which is this incredible wildlife in africa i have been long working to save. we're going to talk than in a minute and show you some amazing pictures. a little candy here on the way out this week. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street
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more americans than ever say they're liberals. according to the new gallup polling, the number of voters themselves who identify as liberals is up 23%. that's the highest number since gallup began asking the question in 1992. that said, 38% identify themselves as conservatives. another 34% as moderates, whatever that means. but the gap between conservatives and liberals is down to 15 points and shrinking. you wouldn't believe it from the media. liberals are making a comeback
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we're back. i wanted to finish this week by explaining where i was the past two weeks. and as promised, kathleen here to tell about the trip we took. our family loves taking trips like this one. many of you know i first went to africa back in, well, one of the ten trips i've head over there as member of the united states peace corps in the '60s. i was a trade development adviser, fancy name for a business teacher in the kingdom of swaziland for two years and that was a big life changer. my wife, kathleen, has gotten into africa like i was into it. let's take a look at some of the pictures and kathleen will narrate. >> this was a trip to batswana. we've been to tanzania, rwanda even. we've never been to batswana in southern africa. it's the wet and drive.
nibia is the dry. it's this incredible, incredible landscape. former german colony there in southern africa. botswana is all the delta, fwregreen and lots of lots of animals. we had the chance to walk in the footsteps of baby elephants. we took safari drives into the desert at night. it was really an incredible experience. more than anything, chris, it was about being together with family. >> yeah. >> i have to say, trips like this are transformational and have been in our family. i think our kids had a chance to two to africa five times. you took me to swaziland for the first time when we were married. >> '83. >> we took a brand new baby with us. >> by the way, the great thing about africa, it's just real, no matter what age you are, you cannot -- my daughter, caroline, is so in love with that baby elephant. the elephant trainer there on the left who really knows his stuff and really tweet these animals well.
i like the government of bo botswa botswana. you hear all this bad stuff about africa, those are count countries that kept their act. protecting resources like we protect niagara falls, grand canyon and central park. they know what conservation means. look at these people. >> the animals, but it's really learning about other cultures. >> talk about this culture. the hemba. >> this is the hemba tribe, nomadic originally from east africa. they migrated across the continent. the women as you can see are bathed in an okra paint which is a sign of beauty there. they essentially have these small little villages and they're in namibia. they're protected from the animals. you're not going to see hippos like this next to the tribes but you'll see orks and other animals. they don't have formal education. they were trading beads and different articles we were able to buy from them. that's part of their economy.
being in the travel industry, i work for marriott international, i believe in the value of travel and tourism to help these economies. worldwide. one out of ten jobs are from travel and tourism. in africa, it's almost 10% of their gdp. when you go to a country like this, you feel good taking a hot air balloon ride has benefits for the local economy as well. >> what i care about, get angry about is the killing of these animals. the seriousness of the slaughter of animals like every animal you're looking at especially the rhinos and elephants. it's terrible. tens of thousands get killed for the ivory obviously and the aft afdeziak of the elephant tusks. hillary clinton, a person of her prominence worldwide has gotten into this issue. here she is. >> we have a crisis. we have a wildlife trafficking, poaching, murdering crisis. and, you know, we can talk specifically about the elephants and in particular african
elephants, and especially the african forest elephants that are now really at risk. the poaching of animals is a huge, international, criminal enterprise. there's about 20 significant pockets of elephants, both savannah and forest el vant elen after rick a that really deserve our protection. >> what's happened here, essentially you have rising middle classes in china, in vietnam, in singapore, they have a huge appetite for ivory products. it's a real sign of stature to be able to have these ivory carvings. so it takes the elephants to do that. >> kill the elephants. >> killing the elephants runs with sort of the appetite for the ivory. but also the gun trading that goes on with some of the instability and the political instability of africa. it's a real problem. >> i want to end this, when i first got to africa and worked in the peace corps, bun thing the government officials said,
we don't want to show future visitors to our countries postcards of the animals. we want them to be here. >> they're important for africa's economy and a dream to be able to go and see them. >> you're my dream. >> with you. >> once again, we show the adventures of the world. anyway, we'll be right back after this. [ dennis ] it's always the same dilemma -- who gets the allstate safe driving bonus check. rock beats scissors! [ chuckles ] wife beats rock. and with two checks a year, everyone wins. [ female announcer ] switch today and get two safe driving bonus checks a year for driving safely. only from allstate. call 866-906-8500 now.
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time. a really long time. we've got the investigation by the new jersey legislature with democrats leading the charge. we've got civil litigation beginning by those affected by those long traffic blockades. we see the federal investigators looking at the actions of new jersey and its governor's office. and we've got the u.s. senate digging into this matter. and we've got reporters all over the scene. people are going to talk. the two people who are forced to quit at the port authority, both christie men, his campaign manager, deputy chief of staff bridget anne kelly. they can explain why they believe they were advancing christie's political agenda by doing what they did. they weren't out there robbing gas stations for the cash but punishing a politician for perceived hostility to their guy, chris christie. they will get immounity from prosecution, a whole lot better than sitting there and waiting for the civil suits to target them and have their reputations
marinating month after month after month. the big question that looms is why chris christie kept himself away from this story as long as he did. that's "hardball" tonight. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. more than 2,000 pages of documents related to the widening george washington bridge scandal were released today as the story threatens to spiral further out of the control of new jersey governor chris christie. we've been sifting through the documents today and here's what we've already learned. first, the absolute rage and frustration of ft. lee residents about the lane closures that hit the world's busiest bridge on the first day of school in ft. lee and lasted for four days including the anniversary of september 11th. one that struck me was from a man 40 minutes late for his