tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC February 24, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
they high fived. they cheered one another on. they were all smiles. and the best new thing in the world really could be the supernatural good sportsmanship and maturity of these kids. but come on! i mean, whatever you call the spelling bee equivalent of a sonic boom, that's what these kids do this weekend. they exhausted the epic list of complicated words provided by scripps. they were too good for the dictionary. they have to keep going now and nobody knows how to do it. s-t-u-p-e-n-d-o-u-s. and the best new thing in the world. well done, you guys. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. last week the president of ukraine was trying to crush protests. tonight his whereabouts are unknown. >> a new chapter begins in ukraine. >> major breakthroughs in ukraine today. >> deposed president viktor yanukovych. >> former president yanukovych. >> now accused of mass crimes. >> the bloody crackdown has left dozens dead. >> there has been a week of
bloodshed. >> ukraine's parliament voted to remove yanukovych from power. >> the deposed leader fled kiev on friday. >> leaving the capital of kiev on friday. >> an arrest warrant has been issued for him. >> he is not actively leading the country at present. >> now back in independence square. it has been filled with flowers. >> explosions and molotov cocktails have been supplanted now by the glow of candles. people coming here all day identify their respects. >> russia and the u.s. are both doing a bit of saber rattling. >> russia's leaders entered the fray. an ominous reaction from russia this morning criticizing the west for recognizing the new government. >> we do believe that parliament has lawfully elected its new speaker. >> this is not about the u.s. and russia. >> there has to be? type of stability. >> a revolution has taken place. >> parliament is taking charge. >> ukraine's president was driven out of office and into hiding over the weekend.
on friday night president viktor yanukovych was captured on surveillance cameras leaving kiev in a helicopter. on saturday he went on ukrainian television to insist he would not resign. he would not leave the country and that he remains the legitimately elected president. he denounced the current situation in ukraine as a coup d'etat by bandits and compared it to how nazis came to power in the 1930s. today the ukrainian parliament drew up a warrant to arrest yanukovych for the mass murder of civilians in kiev's independence square last week. police now say they are on the hunt for him. and tonight the associated press reports before he was ousted as ukraine's president viktor yanukovych drew up plans to use thousands of troops to crush the protests. a former deputy interior minister published a document online detailing a plan to surround independence square, the cradle of the uprising, with snipers and open fire on the protesters below. armored vehicles and about
22,000 police would have been involved. national security adviser susan rice spoke for the obama administration yesterday. >> the ukrainian people expressed themselves peacefully. they were met with violence. and that did not end well for yanukovych. >> does he have to go in the president's mind? >> he has gone. >> but does he have to relinquish power? >> he has gone, david. i mean, this is an interesting and complicated situation, as you know. he's lost -- yanukovych has lost enormous legitimacy despite having been originally democratically elected, by turning on his people, by using violence in the streets against peaceful protesters. and by flouting the will of the ukrainian -- >> but he's saying he's not stepping down. >> but he left kiev, packed up in an orderly fashion, took his stuff, his furniture with him. this was not fleeing -- >> the united states says it does not know yanukovych's current location. the ukrainian parliament has named its new speaker as the interim head of state. russia has recalled its ambassador to ukraine.
today russian prime minister dimitri medvedev told reporters the legitimacy of a whole number of organs of power that function there raises great doubts. "some of our foreign western partners think otherwise. this is some kind of aberration of perception when people call legitimate what is essentially the result of an armed mutiny. we do not understand what is going on there. there is a real threat to our interests and to the lives of our citizens." joining me now are steve clemens, washington editor at large for "the atlantic" and an msnbc contributor and adrian karatnitsky, a senior fellow at the atlantic council. adrian is also a managing partner for the mirandum group, which advises companies looking to enter the ukraine. steve clemens, a lot has happened since we last met on this subject. very fast-moving situation. where do you think it stands now, and can this government that's kind of holding on at the
moment continue to hold on with the speaker of the parliament basically in charge? >> well, it's highly fragile. there's no one that can watch the events of really the last 48 hours and not be incredibly impressed with the bravery of the protesters and frankly the efficacy and efficiency of that parliament that has moved so rapidly that i think that they've moved very expeditiously, but it raises other doubts because they are in a geographically complex position. they're wedged right in the armpit of russia. and i think the last thing that vladimir putin wants to see is this kind of liberal spring come rushing right in to russia. and so, you know, after the sochi olympics i think you're going to see, you know -- you're going to see the question of whether those moves by the ukrainian parliament and the counterforces to yanukovych can afford what they have. they have a lot of financial exposure to russia. and at the end of the day will
europe and the united states ante up the money to support the ukrainian change in power? and i think those are the questions that are uncomfortable to ask. it's easy to say democracy is flaming ahead. but there are a lot of expenses and bills to be paid, and i think russia's going to be a very, very tough neighbor. >> adrian, how does the russian government see the stakes in this? >> well, i think the russians were very close to wooing and wrenching ukraine out of the european orbit and putting it within its own. and the people basically spoke. the people stood up. these protests really started after mr. yanukovych reversed course on a path to association with the european union. and that was what provoked the initial wave of protests. and they accelerated after there was of course a lot of repression. but the point is mr. putin is i think angry, frustrated. he was on a roll. he was on a roll in syria. he was on a roll with his sort of iran policy. he was exerting a lot of clout
for a fairly small economy relative to the european and the united states, and here suddenly the people of a country bordering him surprise him with their vehemence, their courage and their civic-mindedness and deal him a pretty severe setback. >> i want to listen to what susan rice said about warning about going back to a cold war dynamic. let's listen to this. >> the president is very plain and very forceful in his dealings with putin. but it's not necessary, nor is it in our interest to return to a cold war construct, which is long out of date and that doesn't reflect the realities of the 21st century. >> steve, is this the biggest risk we've seen of slipping back into some of the cold war dynamic? >> well, i think we've seen it for some time. you know, in 2008-2009 russia basically, you know, showed a lot of tough love with ukraine on its natural gas exports. we saw some of the tension over
georgia in a number of other cases. but president obama through this crisis has been careful to say that ukraine needs to be itself careful of choosing between an orientation toward europe versus an orientation toward russia. it needs to co-exist. and i think president obama should say the same thing coming forward that it needs to balance its interests. because the nation is divided and split. it can't afford a zero sum game between both of these contending arenas of influence. and i think obama and his team, susan rice, have been very cautious on that front in an admirable way because they don't want to see russia use this as an excuse to everywhere else, whether it's in edward snowden's case or syria or a number of other fronts, begin to use that to challenge the u.s. in kind of a global game of chess. >> yeah, susan rice was very careful yesterday to talk about some things that we've been compatible with russia on, working with russia on, then listing things we disagree with them on, showing that both of
those, you can have disagreements and agreements at the same time. i want to listen to what jay carney said today when he was asked about who is in charge in ukraine. >> just a practical matter. who does the u.s. consider to be the leader of ukraine at this point? >> well, as you know, mr. yanukovych has left kiev in an orderly fashion, packed up his things and left, and his whereabouts are not known to us in a confirmable way. and certainly while he was a democratically elected leader his actions have undermined his legitimacy, and he is not actively leading the country at present. we do believe that parliament has lawfully elected its new speaker, and we support getting the situation under control in terms of law and order and
ensuring that the institutions of groovernment are working. we note that recent parliamentary votes have been passed by overwhelming majorities that include members of yanukovych's own party. >> adrian, is that the answer? basically it's the speaker who's now in charge? >> well, there is i think a collective leadership. the speaker has been elected. and by the ukrainian constitution. and ukraine just adopted a return to its 2004 constitution where the presidential powers are limited. in the absence of a president the speaker fulfills the role of the president as the acting president until elections which are to be convened within 60 to 90 days and they will be on may 25th. so there is an orderly transition. there is not a full consolidation of authority. but the interesting thing is there is no serious challenge to authority. there are a lot of people who have been part of these protests
and self-defense groups protecting protesters from government violence who are, you know, patrolling streets and working in some places with the local police, in some places the police have disappeared because they were part of the repressive mechanism, but basically there's no one systematically capable of challenging the people in power. and certainly the military is on board. the security service has a new leader. there's a new minister of the interior. he has purged all the intermediate people who were associated with the violence. and a new chain of command is being put together. so it is a little bit of a, you know, transitional and bumpy ride. but they are well on the path after such a turbulent period and the collapse of an entire system which had ruled as a very authoritarian and tightly controlled system. we're moving toward the consolidation of power of these people. and i think one thing i want to point out is that yes, western europe and europe and the united states have recognized the orderly transition of power. i think it's very important for
the united states and the europeans to get other countries outside of the east-west divide to recognize the legitimacy of the ukrainian government, really to isolate russia, to not make it an east-west game but to make it a consensus of the international community. >> steve clemons and adrian karatnycky, thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up, the chairman of the republican governors association could not appear at the republican governors association's press conference today because, you know, it was a press conference. and some republican legislators in arizona have apparently been listening to george takei's objections to the bill they passed that would allow businesses to dis krint againcr against people for religious reasons. george takei will join me to try to convince governor jan brewer to veto that bill. and in the "rewrite" today republicans who were for defense cuts until they were against them, which is to say of course republicans who were for defense cuts until president obama was for defense cuts. ♪
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president obama invited republicans who want to move into the white house to visit the white house today. that's next. when does your work end? does it end after you've expanded your business? after your company's gone public? and the capital's been invested? or when your company's bought another? is it over after you've given back? you never stop achieving. that's why, at barclays, our ambition is to always realize yours.
but keep in mind what a wise man once wrote. "i am more than contented to be governor and shall not care if i never hold another office." of course that was teddy roosevelt. [ laughter ] >> that was president obama at his dinner for governors last night at the white house. and one governor, who hopes to one day be the host of such a white house dinner for governors, did not show up for that event last night. chris christie skipped the white house dinner for the governors, and after having skipped the governors association opening press conference on saturday, today he skipped the republican governors association press conference in washington as well as a meeting at the white house today to which all governors, democrat and republican, were invited. needless to say, the chairman of the republican governors association missing their press conference did not go unnoticed.
>> r.j. is more important than just any one governor. it's not about the chairman. it wasn't about the chairman when i was chairman last year. it's not about the chairman this year. the reality is rga is about the 29 governors that are members. it's also about the 36 governors' elections we've got this year. i know the media's got attention on one particular governor in rga. he has been an effective leader of rga. i think he should remain. the reality is chris -- he is taking responsibility. he has said he'll cooperate with all of the investigations. i don't know what more we can ask him to do beyond that. yes, he can be effective. >> chris christie is not the only republican governor with problems these days. >> question. if county workers were doing nothing wrong, why should they be using a private e-mail account? >> well, but that's exactly to my point. you had a democratic district attorney spend almost three years looking at every single one of those communications. interviewing people, talking to people. and closed the case -- >> private e-mail account. >> it's one of those where i point out the district attorney has reviewed every single one of these issues -- >> but sir, you're not answering
my question. >> no, because i'm not going to get into 27,000 different pieces of information. >> you are in an election this year, as you point out. a lot of people talked about you possibly running for president in 2016. should republicans worry from all of this about you as a potential presidential candidate in 2016? >> no, i think we'll lay the issues out -- >> after today's meeting at the white house with all of the governors the normally non-partisan national governors association turned sharply partisan at the white house driveway when bobby jindal said this -- >> what i worry about is that this president, the white house seems to be waving the white flag of surrender after five -- more than five years now under this administration the obama economy is now the minimum wage economy. i think we can do better than that. >> one second. until a few moments ago we were going down a pretty cooperative road. i don't know what the heck was a reference to white flag when it comes to people making $404 a
week. i mean, that's the most insane statement i've ever heard. >> if that was the most partisan statement he's heard all week i want to make sure he hears a more partisan statement, which is i think we could also grow the economy more if we would delay more of these obamacare mandates. >> joining me now is msnbc senior political analyst david axelrod who's a former senior adviser to president obama. david, it seems like the republican governors association has a new chairman, whether they like it or not. bobby jindal's just grabbing the microphone. >> yeah. it seems that way. i was interested in what he had to say. he was offering all kinds of economic advice. you know, the mean wage in his state is 44th among all the states. they're second in poverty. he's 45th in people covered by health care. i'm not sure he's the guy we're going to be looking for for advice on how to get this economy moving. >> and the president has been telling the governors, administration's been telling republican governors you can do a lot to improve the situation for people in your state simply by accepting the medicaid
provision in the affordable care act. let's listen to what chris wallace and scott walker said about that yesterday. >> you turned down $119 million in federal money to expand medicaid. >> mm-hmm. >> a lot of people would say, really? >> well, in our case i don't think the measure of success in government is how many people are dependent on the government. i want people to no longer be dependent because we empower them to get good jobs. >> david axelrod, how is that going to sound on the campaign trail against a hillary clinton democratic nominee for president? >> well, here's the thing. before you get to run against hillary clinton you've got to go through a republican primary. and i think what walker is betting is that by turning down that money, even if it's to the detriment of folks in his state, that he'll get some points from the right wing of his party and that'll help him become the nominee of the party. i think that it is a hard thing to justify other republican governors, kasich and others have taken a different tack and
christie has taken a different tack on that, but they've been excoriated by people on the right for it. walker i think is trying to walk that line and be acceptable to the right. but mainstream enough as a governor to present himself as a national candidate. it's a tough line to walk. >> new poll in new jersey saying chris christie's approval rating falling a little bit more with registered voters. and there he is unable to even be present at events like this now because there will be reporters there asking questions. i mean, that's it. i mean, that's the only reason he couldn't be there. >> he says that his daughter had a birthday party last night, an 18th birthday party. >> let's give him sunday night, david. let's give him sunday night. but to not participate -- >> no doubt -- >> but to not participate in everything else is -- >> no doubt about it. look, there's no doubt that he is trying to wait out this storm and he's hoping that it will ultimately blow over, that when these myriad investigations are
done there will be no arrows pointing at him and he can move forward. but right now he's really pinned down by this story. and there's no doubt that had he appeared at these press conferences that he would have handled some questions about the situation in new jersey. so his plan is to just hunker down and like -- he's dealt with storms before. he's hoping to deal with this one. >> and other than bobby jindal, who seems to be in effect taking over the rga in this kind of situation, who else gets to benefit by christie being completely on the sidelines like this? >> well, look, i think there's a void there. he had been slowly becoming the sort of consensus candidate of the center right. republicans and others are going to look to fill that slot. perhaps a paul ryan. maybe even a jeb bush. maybe marco rubio tries to move
in that direction. but there is a void to be filled, and people are going to look at that. but again, if he gets a clean bill somehow through these investigations, i would not -- and i know i've irritated people sometimes on this air by saying it. i just don't think you can count this guy out until the verdict is in on these investigations because he is a talented performer and i don't think he's going to go away easily. >> david, i think in his press conference in terms of a republican presidential primary, he said, this is a quote, which is easy to remember, and will be in every ad against him, "i delegate enormous authority to my cabinet and my staff." and in the very same press conference he said that that staff embarrassed and humiliated him. you join those two statements together in your 30-second ad against chris christie in any republican primary and i don't see how he gets through a month of it. >> well, i think the problem
is -- and 24s what the problem with the whole story is. is that nobody really believes that he is someone who idly delegates to his staff. he seems like a guy, and he's always presented himself as a guy who's firmly in charge and running the show. so you can't have it both ways. and he needs to have it one way in order to explain how this could have happened without his knowledge. and he needs to have it the other way, to be in line with the image that he wants to present as a candidate for president. i agree with you. i'm not suggesting he's going to be the nominee. but i'm just suggesting it's a little early to count him out. and partly it's because of my own experience in politics, which is that the conventional wisdom is generally wrong. i often bet against it just because the record is what it is. >> if you've been betting with david axelrod in american politics for the last few years, you've been winning a lot. david axelrod, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> good to be with you, lawrence. coming up, george takei will
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you know, the bill is in transmittal and i don't have to make a decision until next friday. so i've got plenty of time. >> that was arizona governor jan brewer on saturday at the national governors association meeting saying she doesn't yet know whether she will sign into law arizona's bill passed by the arizona legislature which would allow businesses to turn away
customers for religious reasons. in the spotlight tonight arizona senate bill 1062. most of the attention to this bill is on how it could target the lgbt community, but as the gay rights group, one community, points out, sb-1062 could affect almost anyone. a taxi driver could refuse to drive someone to a synagogue because it goes against his religion. women could be in danger of losing jobs because in some religions they are not equal. restaurateurs could refuse to serve a mormon family on the grounds that they disapprove of their religion. last may jan brewer vetoed a similar religious freedom bill as part of a package of bills that she refused to sign until the state legislature worked on expanding medicaid through the affordable care act. this time jan brewer's decision may come down to football. >> in the past the nfl has made decisioned about where they host the super bowl based on laws that are passed in the state.
do you think it's possible that they will decide next year not to hold the super bowl in your state if this law is in effect? >> i think you should address that issue to the super bowl. >> i think you should address that issue to the super bowl. the super bowl could not be reached for comment. but today the nfl released this statement. "our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. we are following the issue in arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time." and the arizona super bowl host committee said a key part of its mission is to "promote the economic vitality of arizona. on that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state's economic growth potential. we do not support this
legislation." apple, meamerican airlines, marriott, and republican arizona senators have jeff mccain and jeff flake have all urged jan brewer to veet oet bill. actor and activist george takei who owns a vacation home with his husband in arizona wrote thon his blog friday -- "if your governor jan brewer signs this repugnant bill into law, make no mistake. we will not come. we will not spend. and we will urge everyone we know from large corporations to small families on vacation to boycott. because you don't deserve our dollars. not one red cent." joining me now, actor and gay rights activist george takei and arizona state representative chad campbell, who is the minority leader in the house. george, the amount of opposition to this since you wrote about it on friday -- i remember reading what you wrote on friday. i was reading it on my phone, and i thought okay, that's good, that's george. i'd expect that from george. and it felt like you were writing into what was then a
pretty quiet world on this subject. here we are monday, you've got enormous support coming your way. >> we feel very strongly about this. and it breaks our heart that both houses of the arizona legislature passed this. it is not a religious freedom bill at all. ironically, their religious freedom is being well protected by gays and lesbians in the military. and the economic vitality of arizona is being contributed to by gays and lesbians. the so-called religious freedom is just a cloak for prejudice. and they're trying to write their prejudice into civil law, which you can't do and you can't write your religious faith values into civil law either because we have many, many different religions. and as you said, the wise
republican leadership now is expressing their opposition to it. but it's these right-wing religious extremists that seem to dominate in the legislature. we have relatives and many, many friends, gay as well as straight, that we love. and they are not represented by this bill. it is really a disgraceful repugnant bill that is trying to hide under the cloak of religious freedom. >> chad campbell, since george started writing about this on friday, there have been some fascinating changes including some republican state senators who voted for the bill, they're now against it. they're urging governor brewer to veto it. one of them, steve pierce, appeared on chris hayes's show a couple hours ago on this network. let's listen to what steve pierce said about this.
>> when i voted on it, i did not look towards any kind of discrimination at all. i didn't see that in there. as the days went on after we voted, it was from constituents in the public and the outcry from it. and you know, i've been listening to things all day about the discrimination. there is none in my view, and i don't -- if there is, i'm totally against it. we made a mistake. and that's about all i can tell you, is we went the wrong way. >> so chad campbell, you were there. did you leave some things unsaid in your opposition to this bill that could have convinced steve pierce, things that he's heard from george takei and others since? >> no. i think anybody that knows me knows that i don't leave anything unsaid when i'm debating any bill on the house floor. and i was very clear about the discriminatory practices involved in this bill. there's no doubt about this bill. it's an effort to be offering,
or legalizing i should say, state-sanctioned discrimination. and as george pointed out, it's a very heartbreaking bill for many of us that are arizonans. i'm a native of the state, been here my whole life, and it's been eight years, my time in the legislature, and that was probably one of the worst votes i've had to make in terms of the severity of the bill. and i do want to say to george's call for boycott, though, there are millions of arizonans that oppose this bill. the business community has come out against it. we have a wide range of people that are opposing this bill. so don't hold us all to the same standard, george, i beg you, for that. and don't think that we all are not open to everybody coming to our state and spending money here and living here and enjoying themselves here and raising a family here. and you know, really i would make the offer to george, come out here and let's work together and change this state this year. it is an election year. we can elect better people to the legislature because you're right, we have an extremist element that's taken over the legislature. and let's get them out.
and i'm committed to working with you, working with anybody across the country to make that happen in arizona. >> we're absolutely with you. we love arizona. as i said, we know many, many, many people. and brad's got relatives in arizona. so yes, we'd be happy to work with you to get rid of these -- that state senator who claimed that they had no idea that it was involving bigotry. how do people like that get elected in that office? we've got to correct the process by which they get into office. he doesn't belong in public office. >> george, what about chad's point about please don't do a boycott of his state, please in fact come to arizona and try to actively change the situation while in arizona? >> that was at the heat of the moment, and it is a tactic, a strategy to persuade governor brewer to reject -- veto that bill.
we do mean it. i mean, if she signs it, then we will withhold our economic other support. but we will be there supporting senator campbell's effort to restructure the legislature. >> chad, how powerful is the football business in arizona? clearly they do not want this bill to be signed by the governor. >> no. and it's beyond just the football business. there's been several major corporations that have come out against this bill over the past couple days. all of the major business organizations have come out against it. you mentioned that our two senators, flake and mccain, have both opposed it. so there is a broad range, a very diverse range of opposition to senate bill 1062 now. and we're very hopeful that she will veto this bill this year. she vetoed it last year, as you mentioned. so hopefully she'll do it again. and i hope she does it not just for economic reasons but for moral reasons too. we do not need to be sending a message to the rest of the
country as a state that we only want certain kind of people here, that we only want to do business with certain kind of people. that is not what the majority of arizonans believe in this state. i know that in my heart. like i said, i've been here my whole life. and i know that this bill was only passed by a very vocal minority. not the majority of the state. >> george takei, we may see more republican senators changing their minds as you keep this up. >> good, good, good. i'll be there supporting that. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. george takei and chad campbell. thank you both very much. >> thank you. coming up, paul ryan is in favor of cutting defense spending as long as president obama doesn't say that he's in favor of cutting defense spending too. that's in the "rewrite." and later, bill clinton is going to kentucky tomorrow, and sok kentuc kentucky's junior senator rand paul continued attacking him today. mine was earned in korea in 1953.
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like, i don't know, about three or four flights up. and for his first guests he went with a pair of politicians. >> you've been very open about talking about 2016 and considering what you're going to do. where are you in your thought process? what are you taking into account? >> well, you know, i was planning on making a major announcement tonight. but i decided tonight's your night. >> thank you. thank you. [ laughter ] >> so i hope you'll invite me back. >> yes, absolutely. and team your 2016 plans? >> oh. i'm going to run for president. >> okay. great. >> the vice president of the united states. joe biden, everyone. >> tonight's quiz, who coined the phrase the military-industrial complex? the answer is next in the "rewrite." the technology is actually creating new jobs. siemens designed and built the right tools and resources to get the job done.
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and will persist. >> that is the most important thing said by a president in his farewell address since george washington. president eisenhower coined the phrase "military-industrial complex" when he warned us against it gaining more and more unwarranted influence in our politics and our government. it took a former military man, a general like eisenhower, to recognize that threat and to have the political authority to speak out against it. and in today's politics only a combat veteran could make this announcement. >> today i'm announcing the key decisions that i have recommended to the president for the defense department's fiscal year 2015 budget and beyond. these recommendations will adapt and reshape our defense enterprise so that we can continue protecting this nation's security in an era of unprecedented uncertainty and change. as we end our combat mission in
afghanistan, this will be the first budget to fully reflect the transition d.o.d. is making for after 13 years of war. >> that was president obama's republican secretary of defense, chuck hagel, admitting that it is time to adapt and reshape the defense department budget to address the real threats that we face now. the defense cuts the obama administration is proposing would still leave our defense budget larger than russia, china, and the united kingdom combined. republican budget guru paul ryan said, "i'm proud of this agreement. it reduces the deficit without raising taxes and it cuts spending in a smarter way." well, he didn't say that today, when chuck hagel announced the proposed budget cuts. he said it 76 days ago, when he fought for the passage of the bipartisan budget act which he helped write with democratic senator patti murray. it is commonly known as the ryan-murray agreement.
that agreement cut military spending to about 496 billion for fiscal year 2015. the obama-hagel defense cuts would not actually cut defense spending quite as much as paul ryan's budget. so what did paul ryan say today about the obama defense cuts? did he say, hey, come on, mr. president, you can cut defense spending more than i did, you know, more than that, because i paul ryan was able to do that. or did he say, you know, as a republican i hate cutting defense spending and i'm glad the president found a way to cut it less than i did? or did he just decide if obama's for defense cuts then i have to be against them? well, of course, you've guessed it by now. he did exactly what you'd expect him to do. paul ryan said that the obama defense cuts are disappointing. but he wasn't consistent. he didn't say they're disappointing because the president doesn't cut defense as much as i did. instead he said it's disappointing that the president
continues to use these vital funds as bargaining chips for higher taxes and more domestic spending. never mind that chuck hagel said nothing today about higher taxes or more domestic spending. the secretary of defense was announcing an approach to military spending that is designed to meet the threats he believes the united states faces in the world today. and quite reasonably, he believes that requires less military personnel and smaller budgets than it did when we were fighting simultaneous wars in iraq and afghanistan. so it turns out paul ryan was for defense cuts before he was against them. or paul ryan was for defense cuts until president obama was for defense cuts. when you order the works you want everything. an expert ford technician knows your car's health depends on a full, complete checkup. the works. because when it comes to feeling safe behind the wheel,
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kentucky, rand paul is of course talking about bill clinton and interns and all sorts of old news. that's next. all-you-can-eat is a hotel policy that allows you to eat all that you can. the hotel gym is short for gymnasium. the hotel pool is usually filled with water. and the best dot com for booking hotels, is hotels.com. it's on the internet, but you probably knew that. or maybe not, i don't really know you. bellman: welcome back, captain obvious. captain obvious: yes i am. all those words are spelled correctly. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. oh, it's great. yeah. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. ♪ new at&t mobile share value plans for business. our best value plans ever. for example, you can get 10 gigs of data to share. and 5 lines would be $175 a month. plus you can add a line anytime for $15 a month.
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serious thing. think about your network. if the president of your network had relations with a 20-year-old girl who was there from college, i think the president of your network would be fired. we don't accept that in the workplace. and so if that's what bill clinton, you know, did multiple times, really they ought to be concerned about being associated with him. >> that is how kentucky's junior senator, republican rand paul, is defending kentucky's senior senator, mitch mcconnell, against the clinton invasion. bill clinton is going to kentucky tomorrow to headline a fund-raiser for the democratic candidate for mitch mcconnell's seat, kentucky's secretary of state alison grimes. bill clinton carried the state in both of his presidential elections, which was the last time a democrat won kentucky's eight electoral votes. alison grimes is now running in a virtual tie with mitch mcconnell, with only one point separating them in the latest poll of likely voters by republican pollster wenzel strategies. joining me now is "washington
post's" e.j. dionne, who remembers all this stuff that rand paul is talking about. but e.j., how much resonance does it have for kentucky voters? and how old do you have to be to remember all this stuff that rand paul's talking about? >> and also, i noticed he said workplace violence. whatever happened here, i'm not sure that's the right term for it. but you know what? i think alison grimes doesn't care what rand paul says because bill clinton is about the most perfect surrogate. and they've been involved, the clintons, in her race even before the beginning. her dad, jerry lenergan, was an old pal of bill clinton. she was at clinton's first inauguration as a 14-year-old. and clinton can do some very good things for her because if you look at the map of both 92 and 96, bill clinton carried a whole lot of those counties in eastern kentucky. those appalachian counties that barack obama couldn't -- doesn't have much support in.
and if you could put together the core obama coalition of african-americans, college-educated middle-class, upper middle-class voters, and then bring in the working-class whites that bill clinton i think can still appeal to and also hillary clinton, you're getting very close to a majority in kentucky. so i think she's going to ignore rand paul and say to bill clinton, please come as often as you can and send your wife here too. >> i want to look at what matt bevin -- talk about why matt bevin isn't getting more traction against mitch mcconnell with all the help he's getting from ted cruz and others in washington. let's look at what matt bevin's problem is here. it could be matt bevin. >> i'm matt bevin, and i approve this message. >> mitch mcconnell betrayed conservatives to give obama a blank check. matt bevin opposes raising the national debt, period.
the choice is clear. conservative republican matt bevin for u.s. senate. >> now, e.j., that's what went up as soon as ted cruz forced republicans to vote on the debt ceiling in a way that they didn't have to and forced mitch mcconnell to cast that vote. but i've got to say, if mitch mcconnell is known for anything in kentucky, it has to be opposition to everything president obama thinks about. >> right. but you know, with the republican base, the right-wing part of the republican base that bevin is trying to get, that kind of ad works very well. the notion that he'll never raise the debt ever, that means he won't be able to vote for any budget since we're going to be in deficit for a long time. it doesn't matter to that part of the constituency -- that part of the republican party. i think mcconnell has enough going for him both because of how anti-obama he has been, and on the other side people who hate spending nonetheless love
all the money he's brought to kentucky. and that's going to be his calling card, ironically, is how much -- how many dollars he's brought to kentucky from other taxpayers. >> let's listen to alison grimes' defense against the kentucky charge that she's just an obama girl. >> national republicans have cast you as obama girl and one of their national spokespeople referred to you as an empty dress. >> yes. >> do you think those are appropriate? how do you respond to that? >> it's about as accurate as mitch mcconnell being a chippendale dancer. >> e.j., she knows how to give you a sound bite. >> she's good. and she's also shown herself to be very tough when mcconnell went after her really strong when her campaign started, and she hit right back with a great ad that had some of her family in it. her dad is a real -- could be a real tough guy in politics. so i think mcconnell has always been known for running take no prisoners campaigns, but i think
she is capable of giving him that kind of campaign right back. >> well, as of now she's winning. according to that poll, an incumbent in that kind of poll against a challenger is losing. something's going to have to change in this good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. the ceo in charge of the largest public oil company on planet is all about fracking in america. except when it's in his own backyard. and who could blame him. the business of extracting fossil fuels is a dirty one. here's what it looks like along the mississippi today. boats stranded after a barge collision yesterday sen over 31,000 gallons of crude oil into the water forcing them to close a stretch of the river including the port