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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 27, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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and they come from silicon valley which is not what you often think of these days when you think of silicon valley. >> this is great reporting an analysis. thanks, steve. >> thank you. battle at the top? let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. for a while now here on "hardball," i've spoken of joe biden actually challenging hillary clinton for president next year when they both have to decide. well, today we learned in a big front cover article for politico magazine that biden is now blowing his own cover, showing his true 2016 ambitions. he makes unforgettably clear that he wants to run. believes he would be as good a president as the recent
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secretary of state. more important, he says he wants the presidency more than secretary clinton does. that, biden says, the vital difference between he and hillary clinton. he loves politics, loves the presidency, and she doesn't love either anywhere as much as he does. actually, does anybody? one thing he clearly loves is sitting down face-to-face, biden does, with world leaders. who wouldn't? david cameron. angela merkel of germany and all the other world leaders. why shouldn't he be considered as obama's successor, he is asking? why should hillary clinton get first dibs when he has the edge and years of service, high level meetings with world leaders, the works? tonight we out the what could be the democratic super bowl, biden versus clinton in a regulation 15 rounder. glenn thrush wrote the big story in politico. he joins us. and howard fineman, editorial director of "the huffington
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post" and msnbc analyst. glenn, it's fascinating to read. what i was getting through my nose and listening to bits and pieces of, you sat down with the guy. you're on the famous amtrak with him which he is always most at home on. what did you get that you felt gave you a better sense of where his head is headed, joe biden? >> i just think that biden loves what he is doing. i don't think that joe biden can conceive of a world in which he is not in the middle of things. bruce reed, his former chief of staff said to me, and i think this is a great way to put this. this isn't as much about politics, it's about his an appreciations politically. but for him, this is a guy who doesn't want the ride to end. he thinks he has something to contribute and he just doesn't want to it to stop. and the problem with that is hillary clinton is the person standing in the way between the end of the ride and joe biden gets to continue on. >> does he get it, why people don't think of him as a natural next president, why there is this failure of people to leap oh, yeah, it's your turn. >> absolutely. when you a conversation with him, and both of you probably experienced this, biden goes on and on and on. he has a real consciousness of his own weaknesses. he looks around at his aides sometimes when you're talking to
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him and almost sort of begs them to account him off. this guys know -- >> he is hubert humphry. >> it's an endearing characteristics. >> this is "hardball" here. glenn, you quote someone in president obama's inner circle saying, i think this is a great quote, this is about the polls that do show hillary clinton way ahead of vice president biden right now. here is the quote. it's so big, it's almost literary. never in his entire life has this man been better positioned to get the thing he most wants, the presidency. he has climbed almost all the way to the top. and guess what? somebody moved the ladder how. would you deal with that? you again on that, and then i'll get to howard. what a great metaphor that man or woman came up with. you won't tell us who it was. you did everything right, he was elected when he was 29. he is vice president of the united states. he has been a good guy as vice president. people sort of like him. and then something happened. >> i mean that's why i did the story. i didn't want to write a political story joe biden. a lot of those have been written. i wanted to write a personal story about joe biden. he has had his nose pressed up against the glass for the longest time.
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>> he ran the first time in '87. >> first time was completely humiliated. >> and ran again in 2008. >> his past is so fraught, we're talking about between the time he gets elect at 29 for the senate and gets sworn in, his wife and young daughter are killed. this is a guy by necessity has to knock off the rear view mirrors on any cars he drives. he's got to look forward. he has to keep impelled forward or he really loses his momentum. that's really the arc of this guy's story. >> what i find, howard, he is unusual. he is this high. he is not like dick cheney who had all the health problems and said he couldn't run for president, right? guy isn't term limited politically. >> no, he is not. and i too have spent a lot of time with him over the years. i covered that '88 campaign. and what happened in iowa was is he would go to a campaign event, and he would never stop talk. and he had them for the first 15 minutes of the event. i remember down by the river in davenport, iowa, beautiful night.
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everybody loved joe. and he just went on too long. frankly, but on the other side of that, for the book that i wrote, i interviewed him about foreign policy. and he was utterly comprehensive in its knowledge, reduced it to street language in a very wise way, and i ended up most of the chapter about foreign policy was just quoting joe biden. so he is right when he says he has the foreign policy credentials especially and the domestic ones as well. he has the knowledge to be president for sure. >> yeah. >> and experience. >> let's take a look at some of what the vice president has been up to these past several months. it may strike you as someone running for president, perhaps. here he is. in november he shook up his staff. hired a new chief of staff, whom the white house initially opposed because this new guy was seen as too much of a free agent, in other words, too frisky. they didn't think he was their guy, patiently. it was biden's guy or could be. also pushing biden in the administration as a bigger role for himself. this week he made news at an african american history month
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when he attacked better than anybody the tough new voter id laws as the remnants of lingering hatred. strong, but i believe true there meanwhile, he is stepping up in a major way for the 2014 elections. today he said he is scheduled to campaign in more than 120 races this year. 120. the vice president also stepped up his media appearances in just the past week. we've seen it. he appeared on seth meyers' late show and he was on "the view" with barbara walters the other day. and today telling state democrats their party had the winning message. let's watch joe in action today. >> and i can't think of a time, for real, since i was elected in '72 where the majority of the american people agreed with us on every major issue we're for. so what are we worried about? why are we -- what we're worried about is the koch brothers and their friends bringing in millions and millions and millions of dollars.
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but guys, i'm still one of these guys that believe that money can't buy an election or you're selling a bad set of goods. >> you know, i want to get back to you, glen, because you're reporting this story. and i like report mortgage than talking about reporting. but you still got reporting to do here. tell me. biden wants to run. he thinks he is qualified to run. what stops him? if you asked the great question -- tim russert used to ask these questions. what is it that would stop you from rung. i was hoping i was on the shows that could get him live. what could stop him from running? because hillary is not going to stop you. so what would stop you? what would he say? >> a couple of things would stop him. first and foremost is a family health crisis. and lord knows he has had enough of those. another is the realization that this is going to cost him too much personally and financially,
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because remember, this guy doesn't have -- he is probably the least affluent elected official. >> his net worth is not a ton of money. let me ask. would he run into it like -- would he be the polish cavalry going against the soviet or the german tanks? would he go into it knowing that it's all romance? he is doing the right thing, but he'll get killed? >> he won't do that. >> this guy, he is the perfect definition of that fine line between delusion and common sense, right. he really believes that he can do this. and he's got a sense -- >> okay. he is looking at the poll in iowa. if hillary clinton is going to get 65%, he is going to get 30, will he still run? >> i think so. the decision he is going to make unless ted kaufman and his sons and wife -- >> jill is supporting him. >> howard, to you. >> to me the key question is what is he going say? if he gets in that race with hillary clinton here are two people who are both in the obama administration. one is vice president, the other is secretary of state. what are the issues that he is going to raise aside from personality and experience? what type of candidate -- >> you know what he'll do. secretary clinton will probably edge a little bit to the right
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on foreign policy from where obama is. >> right. >> a little more middle eastern get involve kind of thing. we know that. she voted for the iraq war. he'll sneak in right behind her and say i'm on the left. that's one move he makes. >> that's true. and on foreign policy -- >> now backs the president a thousand%. >> the former defense secretary bob gates scorches biden in the book partly because biden was not about to cede control of foreign policy to bob gates. >> gates is a good guy, but he is republican. >> exactly. >> and biden's policy has been validated this week. we're pulling out of afghanistan because of the conflict. >> he said i want to go any terrorist route not a counter insurgency. i know this is nuanced, but the president ended up going with biden. >> i think he can be a more convincing populist than hillary clinton can, frankly. >> yeah. >> partly because he isn't a guy who has made a lot of money at it. he is a life-long politician. he has taken the train back and forth to wilmington the whole
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time. he is in it for right reasons and hasn't gotten rich off of politics as the clintons have. let's face it. >> you know what i like about the democratic party besides a lot of beliefs? i like they like to have fights and fun. they don't go whose turn it is and get in line. >> what really impressed me about glenn's terrific story is the fact that joe biden was furious that a key money raising and strategic guy, jim messina, seemed to commit to hillary clinton. what joe biden is doing is trying to freeze in place the rest of his people. >> the same instinct, don't talk me out of this. watch what he does with the great barbara walters. here he is on "the view." look what he says when asked about his 2016 intentions by barbara walters who very carefully got him to commit here. watch. >> you have said if she runs for president, you will not run. >> no i have not. >> oh, then tell me what you said. >> the only reason to run for president of the united states, if you truly believe you're in a better position to do what you believe is most needed in the country.
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i think my knowledge of foreign policy, my engagement with world leaders, my experience is uniquely positions me to be -- to follow through on the agenda barack and i have of bringing up world peace in a way that is real and substantive. i also think the middle class st. the single -- the single focus, what we should be looking at and how to grow it. so whether she runs or not will not affect my decision. >> so barbara walter is less than two feet from his face. and she sticks him with i understand you don't want to run if hillary runs. that's a good way to get him to say oh, no, that's not true. >> listen, he has been telling people privately that he thinks hillary is too hawkish. he stakes out a position to the left of her. they had significant foreign policy disputes. he did not back the libya incursion as energetically as she did. he is carefully in a calibrated way he is left of both. >> and comes across as a street corner guy. >> and that's why that wonderful onion humor newspaper picture of
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him polishing his 1981 trans-am. >> probably the best in the definitive piece. >> it's a car. it has him in a sleeveless t-shirt fancifully polishing his car in the driveway of the white house. it was very funny. but also, oddly, weirdly, really joe biden. >> there is a lot more people that do that than have rhodes scholarships. >> thank you. we like when you give us a story, and you gave us one. is he going to run? >> ultimately, i don't know. >> oh! stepped on your lead. buy the piece. thank you, howard fine man. document dump. we now know that bridget kelly and david wildstein kidded about causing the traffic problems at the washington bridge and also of causing a traffic jam in front of a rabbi's house they don't like for some reason.
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this is malicious stuff. they all think it's a big joke when you read the transcripts we're going to read tonight. but it does subject a atmosphere of retribution, of nasty politics in chris christie's crowd. also, can you hear me now? he is the nastiest voice on the right. but ted cruz worries that rand paul is getting all the noise out there. so cruz is out there today celebrating the tea party and dumping on the health care law. original fellow, isn't he? plus, look who is defending obamacare, hillary clinton. after all, she is the one that started this big push for health care in the country. finally, ralph nader is offering up the names of billionaires of who he think would make great third party candidates in 2016. it seems like the last time nader pulled the third party game, it didn't work out so well for al gore, did it? this is "hardball," the place for politics. 
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even with all of chris christie's problems, he's still within striking distance of the presidential race in the key battleground state of pennsylvania. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard.
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these are amazing numbers. according to a new quinnipiac poll just out, new jersey's governor trails hillary clinton in neighboring pennsylvania, but by just five points. christie trailed by one in november, but he does far better than any other republican in pennsylvania against senator rand paul of kentucky, it's clinton by 15, 53-38. against former senator and native son rick santorum, it's clinton, 53. santorum, 37. it's worse for jeb bush. clinton beats bush there by 17 points, 53 to 36. if i were bush, i would stay out of this thing. once again, the republican who fares worst against hillary clinton, ted cruz. he would lose pennsylvania by 20, 54-34 if the election were held today. we'll be right back.
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handed over hundreds of pages of documents to investigators which blew this story open in the first place. some of those documents included conversations that were heavily redacted. in other words, a lot of stuff blacked out. but today many of those redactions have been lifted. you can now read the paper, giving us a much clearer picture of just how malicious some of christie's top staffers really are and were. some of the documents reveal never before seen interactions. we see kelly, that's bridget kelly and david wildstein joking about how they could punish the port authority's chaplain, a rabbi. wildstein says he has officially blanked me off. kelly says clearly we can't cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we? to which wildstein replies flights to tel aviv all mysteriously delayed. bridget kelly's response to that was "perfect" in a case where something malicious was said we now know who said it. it was bill stepien who unloaded on patrick foye who put a stop to their fun and games.
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stepien wrote to wildstein, holy -- we can fill that word in. who does he think he is, captain america? to which replied bad guy, welcome to our world. bridget kelly was enjoying the panic it created by shutting down the lanes on the bridge after learning that the ft. lee mayor had sent a panicked message to the port authority that kids couldn't get their buss to school, she wrote is it bad that i'm smiling? i feel badly about the kids, i guess. to which wildstein replied they're the children of bueno voters, in other words they voted for the democratic governor, not christie. in the world they're living in they're the good guys, and the real good guys like patrick foye who blew the whistle in this are the bad guys. i guess the rabbi was a bad guy by their terms. what kind of people are we talking about? and who talks like this? brian murphy was a reporter for politics he is now a brand-new msnbc contributor. welcome, brian.
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>> thanks. >> and jonathan capehart is an opinion writer with "the washington post." he is also an msnbc contributor. brian, it's great to pull the masks off these people, the ski masks if you will, because now we can see who they are. we can see bridget kelly laughing. well can see wildstein laughing about all the mayhem they can cause by shutting down traffic for four days. now we have also learned they were planning to do it for four weeks for a full month. but they got stopped by this guy foye, who worked for cuomo. and i am personally dying to know when cuomo is going to tell us all about the time christie called up and said call this guy foye off. i want to keep this game going. so we'll see. your thoughts. >> actually, pat foye came out this week. christie gave a budget address, and pat foye came out earlier this week and said he didn't think david samson had the moral authority to keep leading the port authority. so we have seen some cracks from albany on this that we hadn't seen before. but getting back to your original point, it's interesting
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to see them joking about this. and for one reason is usually when people -- and this is just from historical perspective, when people joke about an operation that they're running or that has been run, usually they do it after the fact, after they have already gotten away with something here. but here they're making this remark in the context of still being in the planning stages for what they're about to pull in ft. lee a few weeks later. this comment about causing the rabbi some problems, that's only six days after the initial order is given from bridget kelly, time for some traffic problems in ft. lee, right. that's given on a tuesday, the day of cory booker's tuesday. this is being sent on the following monday. this gives us some insight into what they're really thinking here. and it's desperately causing traffic problems. >> you know, christie, like any good politician is trying to act aloof from all this. he is acting like oh, all that scum behavior by that awful people that i don't even talk to. i only talk to a couple of people. i don't talk to bridget kelly. he is saying it again last night.
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but the stinkorama that is going on here, all these people talking about how they're going to skew rabbis, make school kids be late for school, laughing about it. by the way, they're all democrats. who cares if they're all late for work, this whole attitude is called abuse of power. and you would think that the real right wingers out there would hate it. this is exactly what they hate about big shots in government. >> right you. would think that. and the other thing to your point about the governor trying to put some distance from this stinkorama. >> that's what i called it. >> was the word you used, bridget anne kelly wasn't someone who worked in an office in another building or down the hall. >> that's right. >> or down another floor. she worked in the same complex, office suite that the governor did. it's just a little ceremonial hallway between their two offices. the idea that bridget anne kelly -- >> that's what i was saying today at the office meeting. she is the kind of person you would yell to how about those giants this weekend or something
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when you walk past her desk. >> right. >> and now he is acting like he never heard of her. >> never heard of her, never talked to her before. she is not some rogue operator. >> christie went off on eric scott last night, that radio show when scott pressed him for answers. scott did a pretty good job trying to get him to talk. he asked about bridget kelly. here is christie's response. take a listen. >> you said that you were angry when you read about her e-mails to wildstein. you said you personally fired her. >> no, i did not say that. >> that was not -- >> i ordered it. >> i'm sorry. so you personally ordered her, ordered her fired. did you have no face-to-face with her on that day? >> no. >> so there was no opportunity for you to pull her aside and say what is going on? >> eric, by that time, it was evident from the e-mails what was going on. and it was not appropriate for me to have those conversations. >> because? >> because there was obviously legal consequences going on. >> okay. >> potentially for her and for others. so, you know, and by the way, on december 12th or 13th, she was
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questioned extensively by her superiors and said she had no involvement, no knowledge, no e-mails, no nothing. attend of the day, eric, if someone is not going to tell you the truth, they don't tell you the truth. what you going to do, grab them by the ankles and shake them upside down until e-mails fall out of their pocket? let's not be hysterical about this, eric. >> that's a strange image. there is legal consequences for them and others, meaning him. >> right. >> christie there makes a deliberate point, which he does over and over again, as if he were in court. i only have two reports, mckenna, o'dowd. she doesn't work for me. i couldn't fire her. the reason he is particular if there i would argue is a courtroom issue. he doesn't want to admit he can fire her. he always has to cauterize himself, isolate from anybody that works except the two guys i think he is going to ask to take the fifth, and that's going to be mckenna and o'dowd. he has completely cut himself
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off from the running of his entire governorshi i only talk to two people. i don't talk to her. i can't fire her. i won't talk to her. it's interesting how he consistently sets up this firewall. your thoughts. >> if you look at -- it just contradicts. thinking about this visually, when you see the picture of bridget kelly with the governor at the boardwalk fire, she's standing right next to him. when you see the picture of the governor at the 9/11 memorial, who is standing closest to him? it's not dave samson, it's not bill baroni, it's wildstein. like the idea that there is this great distance here, i've never talked to these people, i have no interaction with these people, it's hard to wash with what we know about how that office operates. it's hard to wash with what we know we have seen. and the statement there about the first contact being in december doesn't match up with what the governor has told us about ordering an investigation as soon as he learned about this back in october, asking charlie mckenna and his chief of staff kevin o'dowd to begin looking
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into this matter. she should have been questioned back in october, not in december. so this statement that he gave to eric scott yesterday, and i think that question was pretty -- that's a pretty obvious and softball question to ask, not to demean eric scott's interview. but if you want to get to the real heart of it, ask about august. don't ask what happened after the fact. >> well, we all wish we had a shot at the guy. >> yeah. >> last night, listen to this. christie, the governor delivered a stern warning to new jersey lawmakers investigating him. this is the first time, be careful. some might even call it a threat. let's listen to him putting the word to these guys. these are the democrats trying to figure out what is going on. >> if the legislature wants to be partisan and political and block the agenda that the voters voted for in november through their governor, the only person all the voters voted for, then they're going to have to put up with the political consequences that come along with that.
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i will be damned if i let any of this stuff get in the way of doing my real job. and this is my real job. and i'm doing it. >> forget about it. you've heard it all been. in january '74, nixon stood in front of congress less than seven months before he resigned. here is what he said then. >> i believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. one year of watergate is enough. >> so there was christie saying don't do too many investigations. you'll get in the way of what i want to get done, and if you push too hard, i'll push back. he is telling them when to end their investigation, just like nixon. >> but the problem that the governor has is that the legislative investigation isn't the only investigation that is happening. >> it hasn't even begun yet.
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>> there is the federal investigation that is happening. and look, what the governor did in that response is what i've been saying all along, which is he is trying to present that, yeah, this is happening, but i still have to be governor. i still have to run this state. i still have an agenda that i'm trying to get through the legislature. and if they want to play political games, well, then they will be accountable to the voters. that's sort of the subtext of what he is saying. but i agree that the overall message is that i'm standing there with a bat, and you guys, if you're going to insist on investigating me, well, i'll make sure i hit you with it. >> he also says to eric scott there, his interviewer, don't get hysterical about this. that's a great way the talk to a reporter. don't get hysterical. and that guy is blowing right now, holding her up by her ankles and shaking, where does he get a image like that? you have a bully problem, don't use images like that. thank you. up next, a lot of progressives blaming ralph nader for costing al gore the election. now nader is stirring the pot again for 2016. i don't get why he is doing it, but he is doing it. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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some more political news. ralph nader is now calling on super rich people like oprah to run for president. yeah, president oprah. a lot of people say this is an interesting idea, while hillary calls it that dream where i wake up screaming. that's not real, right? >> time now for the sideshow. that was jimmy fallon last night. as implausible a ralph nader's proposals sounds, fallon is not make it up. nader did release a list of 20 billionaires who he thinks should make a third party bid for the white house in 2016. and yes, oprah winfrey was on his list. but so were some other notable figures, including steve case, the former chairman and ceo of america online and bill gates. ralph nader, of course, ran as a third party candidate in the year 2000. ask al gore how that turned out
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for him. next up, he may be five years out of office, but former vice president dick cheney hasn't exactly held his tongue when it comes to the foreign policy decisions of the obama administration. but when the outspoken former veep criticized chuck hagel's proposed military spending cuts this week, it earned him a strong rebuke from retired major general paul eaton, a 30-year veteran of the army who served in operation iraqi freedom. here is what eaton had to say about cheney. >> vice president cheney is one of the architects of the worst foreign policy disaster of the 21st century decision. the decision to attack iraq and to do so in such an incompetent manner does not give him a platform to say anything about the foreign policy under execution today. >> in other words, shut up, dick.
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strong words, and they're true. up next, ted cruz watched from the sidelines as rand paul took the reins of the republican party lately. apparently cruz has seen enough of that. now he is trying to grab back the spotlight. there he is, the joe mccarthy imitator. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." some of the biggest names in the republican party the ones mentioned as 2016 contenders have been to own the spotlight. rand paul has been dominating the headlines since he took aim at bill clinton on "meet the press" last month, and he has been asked about it everywhere since. but texas senator ted cruz wants back in the mix. earlier today, today, senator cruz was the main event at a politico breakfast where politicos michael len played a political word association game with cruz. >> hillary clinton. >> misguided. >> chris christie. >> brash. >> rand paul. >> liberty loving. >> mitch mcconnell. >> leader.
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>> that's a statement of fact. >> that is what is stencilled on his door. >> that's what is stencilled on his door. that's loyalty. late this afternoon cruz brought down the house at the tea party patriots anniversary event when he incorporated a jay leno impersonation into a vow to repeal the president's health care law. >> last fall, jay leno said, so ah, president obama called me. he said jay, if you like your job, you can keep it. a few weeks later, leno went back to the same thing. he said, so ah, the holidays are coming up. thanksgiving. you know, the first thanksgiving, the pilgrims said to the indians, if you like your land, you can keep it. we are going to repeal every single word of obama care. >> joining me right now is
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"time" magazine's mark halperin and john heilemann. both are nbc political analysts and co-authors of the great book "double down." so gentlemen, starting with john heilemann and then to mark quickly with the same question, will ted cruz be a major player in your next book? will he figure prominently beyond the rick perry level of comedy in the fight for the presidency in 2016? >> rick perry had a pretty big role in "double down," chris, so you set that bar exactly that level. ted cruz decides to run for president, he certainly looks like he is going to, he'll be a part of our book if we decide to write one in 2016 for sure. >> god, that's qualified. let me go to mark on that. ted cruz, will he be bigger than rick perry who couldn't remember the government agencies he was going to get rid of. probably the most famous bartletts quotation for him will
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be oops. will he get beyond that bar? >> first of all, i'm a little surprise you'd didn't show barbara mikulski's imitation of seth meyers which also kills. this thing, as you know, is so wide open. i think ted cruz is an undervalued stock as a player in the republican nomination fight because he is much more skillful, much more thoughtful than he has displayed so far on the national stage. i know i'll set some msnbc tweeters on fire with that but he has the potential. and i think you're absolutely right, that he wants to be back this the game now because he has not performed as well or as visibly in the last few weeks as he can. >> well, that disturbed me no less. you've got me completely worried by that, mark, because i think the guy is so far right and so angry as a political figure that he will burn himself out like a roman candle, where rand paul, who has a finesse factor i'm impressed with, knowing when to kick bill clinton below the belt, when to make noise, and
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then at the same time sort of woo the republican mainstream. can ted cruz win without any wooing, john, just go completely firebrand, bring down mitch mcconnell, bring down pat roberts, bring downed that cochran. let them all burn at the stake. i want to be a leader higher. >> chris, i think it would be very hard to win the republican nomination running that kind of campaign there is no doubt that ted cruz appeals to a part of the republican base in a vivid way, which is why he could be of real force, especially given as mark suggested such an open field and such a fractured party. yet there is no question that the republican establishment still, still controls the nominating process of the party, more than any other faction. and that part of the party is not going to take well to that kind of a campaign if ted cruz goes that way without wooing them whatsoever. >> is this sort of westerner or southern division of this party going to be the winner?
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in other words, mark, if it comes down to a battle between rand paul and ted cruz, with bobby jindal floating around at the bottom somewhere, is that going to decide who the nominee is? or is there a still somewhat centrist wing left to compete with these guys? >> that's the faction that is nominated the republican nominee going back to bush 41. look, if christie, jeb bush who i know earlier in the program you said wasn't looking so strong, and paul ryan all stay out, then the establishment is looking for a candidate. and i think those three guys might stay out in that wide open, the southern division, the iowa division, the evangelical division, the young candidate division, i think cruz can play in all those places, but he must up his game he was well are received at the tea party event, but he has to learn how to be well reserved dare i say at the council on foreign relations, on "the tonight show," on this program. he is going to have to learn to play in other venues. that's the history of what happens. again, i'll say i knew him before he was a senator. he is undervalued. he has underperformed. maybe he'll never raise his game
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again. maybe he has found his niche and he is happy with that. but if he raise his game and moves out of his comfort zone, i think he can be a player in a lot of the dimensions of the primary fight. no establishment, though. >> mark and then john, the same question to both of you. it seems to me his problem is he is all known by his tactics. he is known as the guy that wants to shut the government down. he is known as the guy that doesn't like mitch mcconnell. he is known as the guy that gives support to all the challengers of his colleagues, being the most offensive guy at lunch. if he is only known by his tactics, not his beliefs, where as rand paul is primarily known by his deep libertarian beliefs, doesn't rand paul carry the heart of the republican party? you first, mark. >> i think you're absolutely right. and not just in terms of being known by the tactics, but by those specific tactics. part of rand paul is getting so much attention is because he is crafting a biological message and issues message that dovetails. and people can see having a broader appeal than just the libertarian wing of the party. ted cruz is not broadened at all, and he has become caricatured in just the way you said.
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he led himself into that. i'm not sure if he can fix it, but i know today clearly was an effort, especially sit do you think with politico, trying to broaden out his appeal. >> he is trying to do jay leno jokes. your thoughts. i don't mind anybody doing imitations. try them all the time even when they don't work. my question to you, can he win on vicious tactics, tough guy tactics or does he have to go to the heart? >> he has to go to the heart. when he did the image with politico, his problem is for too many parts of the republican party, the one word associated with ted cruz is tactics and jerk. that combination, tactics, all tactics, no values, no beliefs, no vision. and the fact that he has come across as personally repugnant not just to liberals or moderates, but conservatives, that not a winning way to try to get the republican nomination. >> i think he is joe mccarthy incarnate. thank you both. i hope you do write another book.
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up next hillary clinton does something we haven't heard enough democrats do. she is out there defending the health care law. why not? it's working, and she is the one that pioneered this thing. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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democrats are bracing for another senate fight this november. this time in colorado, where republican u.s. congressman cory gardner has agreed to challenge incumbent democrat senator mark udall. boy. gardner is considered a rising star nationally in the
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republican party, and his entry into the race gives republicans another shot to net the 60s they need to win control of the senate. we'll be right back. we're back with something
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we're back with something interesting. hillary clinton is out front these days. just last night she spoke to students at the university of miami where she gave a strong defense of affordable health care. >> there's been so many misconceptions about what is in the affordable care act. many of you are now covered because under it, up to the age of 26, your parents get to keep you on their policies. that wasn't the case a few years ago. we can still disagree and well,
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but the disagreements will be based on something resembling evidence and we won't be living in an evidence-free zone where we just argue past each other all the time. >> well, evidence-free zone. there is a new phrase to think. about clinton was beaten up badly in the '90s when she tried to push her own health care bill through the congress. now it seems that she is likely running for president again, she will inherit president obama's signature achievement, like it or not will and it doesn't matter whatever came before. she is running for president ask that bill exists. joan walsh with salon, president of the bernard center for women, politics and public policy. i want to start with joan on this. it is interesting. 75% of liberals like hillary clinton. 75% of moderate democrats like hillary clinton.
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i would say the numbers are all pretty good for health care too. i would say there may be a match-up here. i don't see how you can be a democrat and not be for some kind of national health care system. it has been a the heart of the party message since at least fdr. certainly since truman. and it seems to me you can refine it, play with it but in the end it comes down to, are we going to help people get on health care or not? >> this is an issue she tried and failed. this is the president who got it done today. she has a lot of respect that is genuine respect. he took part of her proposal from 2008. he didn't support the mandate. she did. there is a lot she can be genuinely proud of and i think there is a really important political aspect to this, too. she cannot in any way afford to distance herself from the ata or this president. if she wants to extend and consolidate the obama coalition, she has to be very loyal to this president. she cannot take the african-american vote for
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granted. i don't think she does but i think there are a lot of reasons why this makes sense for her in material of policy but also politics. to be out there and be one of the foremost defenders of this lawful it is crucial. >> so interesting. what do you think? >> i thought this was great. do you remember bill clinton on affirmative action, mend it don't end it. i think this was similar for hillary clinton last night. she is a support he of the affordable care act but she was also very reasoned about it. she talked about taking a few years. let it roll out. take a look at and it see how is it really impacting businesses? small businesses of 50 people or larger. how is it impacting where your employer wants to take from you full time stat to us part time status because they don't want to contribute. let's take a look at it. let's look at i on the basis of evidence and the facts. i think it was great inoculation for anything the republican there's say about hillary
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clinton in 2016 and democrats in 2014. there is some distance. >> where do you see distance? >> a little difference because she is saying, let's take a look at the evidence and see what the impact really is on small businesses. >> is obama, the president said we won't try to refine this? >> he has not said that he won't do it but she has said this in a different way. i think she sounds reasonable. she is not out there ra ra ra. >> i did not hear it that way. i think this president has said over and over that we can mend it. that there are things we can change about it, michelle, i about doesn't have partners in the congress. you and i both know every major rollout, program, medicare or social security, congress goes back and they fix it. that is true of this act but he doesn't have partners. they just want to talk about repeal. >> look, i don't disagree -- >> could you think the republican there's help obama make obamacare better? >> the republicans aren't going to help him do anything. but hillary clinton just helped every democrat running in november to put a little distance and say we're going to
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be reasonable when we deal with the affordable care act. don't listen to everything the republican party says. mend it. don't end it. >> can i agree with joan on this? you're right. hillary clinton should build on the coalition. build on it. she could bring in a lot more people but she'd better have what she has already. thank you. we'll be right back after this. she was pretty much okay with me turning her home into an ice rink. ♪ she'd just reach for the bounty select-a-size. it's the smaller, powerful sheet that acts like a big sheet. look, one select-a-size sheet of bounty is 50% more absorbent than a full size sheet of the leading ordinary brand. use less, with the small but powerful picker-upper, bounty select-a-size.
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let me fwn my take on politics right and left. 2016 presidential politics as i see it now. on the right it is clear that rand paul is the man to beat.
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he is showing the two key faculties for presidential campaign successful one, he is showing that he wants and it it is not about to slink back into his senate seat between now and 2016. two, he is showing that he knows what's necessary to win the republican nomination and he is doing it. he is not just running to run. he is running to win control of the republican party and turn to it his direction. into victory. the challenge he has right now is ted cruz who would only be nominated by a party that hates the government like he hates it. hates the democratic party like he does. and sometimes hates the republican party as much as he does. since he needs the nomination of the republican party to run in november, i don't quite see how this works out for him. right now, it is all rand paul. on the democratic side i see only one reason for someone to take on hillary clinton and that's if the person is convinced that he or she has experienced the stature of the intellectual self-confidence that she brings to the table. whatever many might think, this leaves only one challenge to the vice president of the united
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states. joseph biden. chock it up to my willing to see some good fights but you can see i'm already reporting them coming our way. right now my call. february 27th, 2014, clinton versus paul with clinton winning within 5. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts now. good evening from new york. stay officially day one of rabbigate. thanks to david wildstein, the man who the record called governor chris christie's eyes and ears inside the port authority. the man who said he got it when christie's deputy chief of staff said it was time for some traffic problems in ft. lee. we now know the traffic jam wasn't the only one on the table. in 15 pages of newly unredacted documents provided and released today by the n


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