tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC June 10, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
>> and he also delayed the responsibility for the current immigration crisis in arizona and texas where hundreds of unaccompanied mine verse been caught crossing the border on both president obama and eric cantor. >> if you incentivize more people, drudge, it's at the top of the drudge news story right now. >> right. >> we heard there was a kids act. well, eric cantor is the author of the custodies act. so if you want open borders, vote for eric cantor because he is opening the borders. i'm an economist. this isn't theoretical. look at the data. the kids are coming across the borders and it's a humanitarian crisis. so i don't how much simplery make it for the voter. that's what is going on. >> for the next hour, we will cover the story from every angle from ramifications of the republican party to what it means for the future of immigration reform to brat's victory tells us to the amazing story about the college that david bureaucrat is from and the fact that he will be facing off in the election in the fall against another faculty member
from that small college in virginia. it's a big night there. we begin tonight with the political fallout from house majority leader stunning defeat. joining me now, howard fineman, msnbc political analyst. christina belantoni, well, howard, the old clish shapche. eric cantor, a man who helped create the tea party movement in a sense in congress, who was the master of saying no, of just saying no thought that he could ride the wave that he had helped create, and instead it drowned him tonight. because he ultimately didn't realize, i think, that the tea party people that he helped in power would not be amenable to the kind of insider politics he then ended up trying to play. and instead of going along with him on that, they became increasing increasingly with him on that. and they turned him out for not
being a pure enough representative of the movement that he helped create. >> howard's point here, christina, is really important. because in the -- the drama of the post tea party congress, the congress elected in 2010, eric cantor has played this role as the right flank of boehner. he is always challenging bainer from the right. people think he has been subverting boehner from the right. he has at 95% rating of the american conservative union. this is a guy who was seen as essentially at the top of the house leadership. he was the kind of right-most person at the very top. and that was not right enough, apparently, for the primary voters of the seventh district. >> sure. and in the story we just put to bed that is going to be on the front page tomorrow is that kantor really started this push against president barack obama in early 2009 when he and a bunch of other republicans went to the house to talk about the economic stimulus, and barack obama kind of challenged them. he was seen as the first person
really sticking his thumb in the president's eye. but he also -- this gets at the whole story of how the caucus is changing in congress right now. you've gotten more conservative republicans than you ever had before. cantor is still viewed by many as establishment, moderate, pick your word for it. and he also was always trying to push the party towards ideas. that's why you heard him talk about charter schools and the family research act that he champions for this girl who died from his state last year. this is someone who really wanted to push the party in a different direction. and still is very conservative. >> chris, he committed three acts of apostasy here against the movement he helped generate. number one, he refused to rule out the possibility of immigration reform of some kind. >> even though behind the scenes he basically slow walked it. and i know immigration advocates on the hill. eric cantor was not their ally, let me tell you. >> i know. but he wasn't pure enough and unequivocal enough in public,
whatever he was trying to do behind the scenes. second, he voted ultimately to raise the debt court of appealing in a complex deal. strike number two. strike number three, after posturing and beating his chest along with a lot of other republicans, he ultimately voted to end the government shutdown. and, again, these interest three things that the college professor from randolph macon crammed down his throat day after day after day. >> and here is the other thing, i think, before we read too much into the we'll talk about the tea party, we'll talk about immigration reform there are two people i follow on twitter one is a gop strategist naked rick wilson. another is a sort of very left organizer in chicago who organized against the criminal justice system. and both of them made the same point. these are people opposites of the political spectrum. they said organizing, organizing, grassroots, grassroots, grassroots. eric cantor was not in the district today. on the day of the election. >> well, his pollster told him he was going win by 34 points. >> christina? >> in addition to that, they were talking to people. they had no indication that this
was even going to be an issue. he didn't really run a campaign against this guy. the last minute you saw him put out some anti-immigration mailers saying he was the one stopping barack obama's amnesty. so this was something that they only woke up to at the last minute. we have a consultant who told role call that basically they thought at the very worst, this might hurt his chances for some day running for the speakership, not that he could ever possibly lose. >> i want to bring in congressman jim moran, a democrat from virginia. he is a veteran of virginia politics. and congressman, what's your reaction? you shaking your head tonight? >> well, you could knock me over with a feather. i'm obviously shocked as all of us are. we did not see this coming. it is going to mean a real shake-up in the republican party. i don't think that in the short-term it's in the country's interests. in the long-term, it's probably going to help the democrats. but unless paul ryan steps in to
the leadership race, and i would think jeb hensarling would make the move. and that will push the republican caucus further to the right. hensarling is far more hard-core than eric is. eric got bitten because there are certain times when as majority leader you have to show some statesmanship. and he did that. and that's why these folks defeated him. i don't think that, you know, in a normal election, he would have lost. but they do say there were about 60,000 people voting in that primary. in our district 8 primary it was half that. >> this was not a fluke election. this wasn't by primary standards, this was not a low turnout election. this was not a squeaker, like i said at the top of the show. this was also not an example in open primaries in which
democrats can vote. based on the early looks at the precincts, this was not democrats voting for eric cantor as far as we can tell. >> can i make a quick point? >> yes. >> apparently he lost in rico county, which is the richmond area. he lost by seven point, even in the most urban and suburban part. now his district had been redrawn to include more rural areas. but he even lost richmond, which to me indicates the republican party in virginia that has moved way to the right. >> congressman, can you -- >> i agree with you, howard. and i do think this plays a bit into the medicaid issue that governor mcauliffe is fighting over. much of that medicaid issue is related to the fear that a lot of new immigrants are going to be able to take advantage of that, of medicaid funding. you know, we got an enormous divide here. of course, to some extent, eric did this a bit to himself. he wanted, as conservative a
district as possible, which he interpreted to be as safe as possible. and boy, it came right around and bit him. >> i mean, eric -- eric. congressman cantor was presumably in communication with the house republicans as he drew those districts. he probably had a sense of what the numbers looked like. >> he had a major role, completely. that's a gerrymandered district. >> it's a very gerrymandered district. christina, you wanted to say something early? >> well, the entire thing, not just the importance of organizing, but the importance of being prepared in a campaign. when you're caught by surprise, that's when it's an issue. and then the issue of when not that many people are paying attention. it was big turnout, but it's the most activated and angry people that show up. this is of course why we're watching what is happening in mississippi. we're going have a runoff campaign there. state senator chris mcdaniel thinks he has a very good chance to topple long-time senator thad cochran. this a race we're watching really closely. in the runoff, you have even fewer people turning out.
>> chris mcdaniel was out with a fundraising e-mail to supporters a very short while after eric cantor's defeat tonight. >> i know virginia well. i have covered many race there's. and right now i don't think there is any more politically schizophrenic state, and there are a lot of states competing for that title. >> yes. >> but you've got the northern virginia washington suburbs, which are increase leg trending democrat, pro-obama. >> strongly so. >> pro all kinds of social issues. and then you have got a republican party in virginia that is becoming more conservative, more estranged from the washington power structure. eric cantor was seen as a guy who was too willing to be cosy with and comfortable in washington. it was indicated by the fact by tonight he wasn't even in the district. >> congressman, as a member of the virginia delegation, does that sound right to you? >> oh, howard is absolutely right. i will mention something else. i suspect virginia is the most weakened state as a result of
this year's elections. frank wolf leaving appropriations and now losing the majority leader. i mean, to a lesser extent my leaving appropriations on the democratic side, virginia has been blessed in the past with having a grossly disproportionate amount of federal grants and contracts. so from a parochial standpoint, i think the people of virginia are going to start feeling this very soon. and i doubt that eric's constituency has any idea of the kind of power they just gave away. >> the big question to me is whether -- and this is an honest question. i mean, how does cantor carry on as majority leader for the next however many months? the guy is just basically a walking corpse on capitol hill. that's a position in which you have to bring the hammer down on people. you need to keep people in line
you. do a lot of fund-raising. you're a disciplinarian. it's impossible for me to imagine how the guy plays any of those roles having been so thoroughly politically humiliated in front of everyone. >> not to mention the fact -- >> the focus is not on it quite yet, but my guess is he is going to try to position somebody who is more moderate than jeb hensarling and the tea party types who defeated him. the only one i can think of is ryan who could beat the tea party leadership like hensarling and jim jordan and a whole bunch of others. i can think of a lot of tea party people who would like that leadership people, but not a whole lot of moderates. if tom cole ran, that might be a possibility. but now, you know, figuring out who is going to have john boehner's back, it's going to be very difficult to get somebody in there. so i'm not sure how much longer john is going to last. >> christina, ezra klein quipped
that john boehner is having an emotionally complicated evening tonight, which i thought was pretty on the money. he had a very fraught relationship with cantor in lots of ways. >> yeah, he did. and in fact we had a role cal reporter waiting for him outside of his dinner at capitol hill a few minutes ago. he wouldn't comment about it. but you have to bet that a lot of these republican leaders, but also cantor's deputies, they've got to be on the phone right now. they've got to be trying to figure out a strategy because this race starts right now. and it has consequences for john boehner. it has consequences for everyone. and so the question i was actually going to ask the congressman is if he thinks that cantor even stick around, or do you sort of step aside at this point and say i'm going to resign because you can't be effective in the last five months of essentially a lame duck term. >> i don't think he is going to want to put this guy brat in and give him any preferences for seniority even within his own class. i kind of hope that eric does
stick around. but in the long run, this is going to help the democrats, because i think the republicans are going to overreach. and so we may be looking at a wave election in 2016. not in 2014. but this has implications for the democrats, obviously, just as it does internally for the republicans. >> congressman jim moran, spoken like a true veteran of congress. his eye on the ball about seniority. christina bellantoni from role call, thank you both. howard fineman is going to stay with us. lots more after this break.
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there is a better way, and a new team is ready to bring america back. eric cantor, kevin mccarthy, paul ryan joined by common sense conservative candidates from across the country. together, they are ready to make history. together they are the young guns. young guns, a new generation of conservative leaders. >> men in khakis and button down shirts, a new generation.
that was an ad from a few years ago when eric cantor was one of the new stars, the young rising stars of the republican party. one of the three amig miyagi goes along with kevin mccarthy in leadership and paul ryan, who you have probably heard about. well, eric cantor's political career came to a shocking screeching halt tonight when he lost a primary in his own district in virginia, the republican primary by about 11 points to a guy that basically no one outside the district had heard of until this evening, guy by the name of david brat. howard fineman is still with me. joining me now is msnbc contributor karen finney. karen, what do you make of this? >> i make it that the republican party needs to get a different pollster, because yet again it seems like the internals in no way -- it's really hard for me to believe, i have to be honest with you, that they had no idea this was coming. and so yet again we see what i would consider political malpractice. and i mean that quite seriously. and as you pointed out, cantor wasn't even in the district today. that tells you a lot about how
poorly that was managed. it also says, though, that this is, and i think you were talking about this a little earlier, congressman moran made this point that the gerrymandering of these districts, this is what happens. because it enabled brat to run a single issue campaign against eric cantor to which he was very vulnerable, as we have just seen. and, you know, to that i also say to people, that's why elections matter. that's why activism matters. a lot of times you don't want to go out and vote in a midterm election. but this is a great cautionary tale. >> that's a great point. there has been a story about, and we'll talk about this a little more later in the evening there is a story about the tea party's demise, the tea party is still living, the mississippi race. and i think that the real key thing to understand here is the fear of the tea party challenge. even when tea party challenges don't work is enough to enforce a certain amount of biological rigidity in the house and caucus. but you get one of these.
even if you get one of these in 20 or one in 50, everyone is going to know about this. everyone on the hill right now is look agent this news. and it's going to change the way they behave and the way they vote. >> well, i think this is the first time since 1899. >> yep. >> that a sitting majority leader in the house has been defeated. so this is big news. and i think the art -- two things. the argument about whether the tea party is on the rise or has fallen is a little bit silly. the fact is all the motive, power in the republican party now is with the tea party. >> all of it. >> and it's not visible, as the polls showed to the normal political machinery of politics. >> yes. >> which is the whole point. >> yes. >> and the fact that eric cantor's people, whoever they are had no idea just shows how important the tea party is within the republican party. the other thing is there is an argument going on tonight about how important or unimportant the immigration issue was. you know, people are saying eric
cantor was not a nice guy. eric cantor's staff was horrible. eric cantor was running for speaker all the time. he was never in the district. all of that is true. but i can tell you from having reported on the tea party from the beginning, the immigration issue is the one thing that ties all of them together. >> yeah. >> and even if it wasn't front and center in what there are 20,000 dreamers inundating the 7th district, this issue of the border and the immigrants and the dream act and all of that stuff matters big-time. each in virginia. >> karen, there is a fox news host tweeted tonight something along the lines, and i'm slightly paraphrasing here, cantor's defeat shows you're either with the invaders or you're with us. >> i have to tell you, i saw a mail piece from a virginia campaign some years ago where literally you would have thought it bordered mexico, the rhetoric. >> exactly. >> that's part of the point here. the republican party, cantor is exemplary of what we have seen all along.
he was trying to do one message at home and one message sort of from washington. and that clearly didn't work. but also, you know, in the short-term, sure, the tea party, you know, they are feeling their oats, no question. i think it will be very fascinating to see how it impacts republican leadership. but when we talk about 2016, that is a very different ball game. and i think some of the leaders in the party recognize that and they know they have that problem coming their way. and that is a problem they created. they talked themselves into a corner with their very harsh rhetoric and now they can't get out of it. >> john boehner, who was having dinner with a few congressional friends at a bistro in washington tonight did not say anything to reporters. he did just apparently issue a statement. eric cantor and i have been through a lot today. he is a good friend and a great leader, someone i have come to rely on a daily basis when it come to making the tough choices in governing. my thoughts are with him tonight. notably not a brat endorsement.
>> i would have given almost anything to have been at that dinner and seen what the reaction when they got the news. yes, it's probably still a blackberry saying eric cantor loses by 11 points, loses his home county, gets wiped out by a guy. not only the people in the district, people in the district didn't know about this guy a month or two ago. >> lighting up a marlboro probably in the restaurant, karen finney. not even going outside. screw it. >> well, but, and this, boehner, you also got to say this about boehner. lindsey graham won his primary tonight down in south carolina. a more conservative state than -- probably a more conservative state than the virginia district that eric cantor was in, he won his primary in. and john boehner won his primary handily. so there is something to be said for how people campaign and how candidates work. everything you said about his district staff comes back to haunt you.
as you and howard dean prove at the dnc when you guys were running the ship over there, local grassroots networks matter a whole lot. >> absolutely. >> in politics. >> well, absolutely. and just the easiest way to take a look at that is how much money was roughly $200 a vote that eric cantor spent versus how much did brat spend? almost nothing. he organized clearly. although the turnout numbers were small, he got out the numbers clearly. he knew what he needed to get out and he got it out. i will poke a little fun at the virginia democratic party. i am glad that they kind of decided that they maybe should have a candidate in the race in case cantor doesn't win. >> he is a last-minute thing. >> didn't they have a conference call? karen, didn't they have a conference call? they nominated somebody by conference call. >> a book about the economics of slavery in richmond, looks like a very interesting book. howard fineman and karen finney, thank you. always a pleasure. >> thank you. >> thanks. coming up, it appears
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family. and this little note was hanging on my door every day. and i read this every day, luke 18:27. jesus replied what is impossible with man is possible with god. >> the very happy david brat. happiest moment of his life. i wonder how his family feels about that as the tea party conservative who just delivered a stunning defeat to house majority leader eric cantor in tonight's republican primary of virginia. brat's surprise ten point victory leading many to believe the news of the death of the tea party was greatly exaggerated. it certainly seems a reasonable conclusion to take away from virginia tonight that was not the only contested republican primary. in south carolina, lindsey graham, a guy who voted for the senate version of the immigration bill that was part of the downfall of eric cantor defeating no fewer than six tea party challengers, avoiding even a runoff election, carrying 60% of the vote. so what lessons can be drawn
from the different fates of those two men? joining me josh barrow, correspondent for the upshot "new york times." dave, i'll begin with you. i understand you got to talk to mr. brat this evening? >> not this evening. a little while ago. before anyone knew his name or how to pronounce his name or anything about him, there was a little bit of reporting by bob costa from "the washington post" on how republicans in the district had upset one of kantor's preferred candidates for republican leadership spot. i talked to brat after that for about 15 minutes. he is i think a very recognizable, well spoken libertarian-minded candidate. and you can be a libertarian and decide to quote the book of luke after you have beaten the only jewish congressman there is no contradiction there. jewish republican congressman. he was referring not so much immigration he talked to me, but cantor's votes to raise the debt limit and cantor's lack of faith in the tenth amendment. he disliked that cantor was
getting the republican party involved in a federal level with big policy. and that voice, which was pretty ignorable on talk radio maybe just a couple of hours ago, much less ignorable for republicans right now. >> and one of the -- so one of the big issues here, we talk about it a little bit is immigration. it was the single biggest policy area, war this was waged on. and you've got the situation, which you have laura ingraham endorsing brat. and then this groundswell of very hysterical coverage of immigration in the country in the last three or four days. and you had brat himself saying just look at drudge. >> well, one interesting thing about that is the one area of institutional support for him was this talk radio support. the big well funded outside tea party groups were not in there with brat. and i think that what that reflects is the big money in the republican party that is behind the tea party insurgency does not really care about immigration. >> that's a great point. >> these republican billionaires giving that money, they care about -- >> apf is not going to town on
that issue. americans for prosperity, it's not a the koch brothers defeating. >> i don't know, do the koch brothers have any involvement in immigration? i would suspect they're favorable? toward more immigration in general. so it really shows that this is an issue that grassroots voters and the republican base care about. and they can be activated on it very cheaply. >> yes. and that's a big question here. that ever going to go a away? i remember covering this at the grass roots level the last time. you had this huge backlash. and it was the same grassroots backlash even when you had the chaim area and big establishment republicans who wanted to get that. getting that kind of anger in the republican base on this issue is not very hard to do. >> it's incredible when you think about a guy, a minority leader who had the power to help bring up an immigration bill who didn't, being beaten by people because they're angry about the possibility of an immigration bill coming up at some time.
the way it was conveyed in this race wasn't that he was bringing up the bill tomorrow. it was that he was a tool of the chamber of commerce. and the chamber of commerce means a lot of things to republican voters. brat ran, he was explicit in the speech tonight framed everything he was doing as populism, americans first, job creation on main street versus the interests of big republican business. and that might not sound coherent to democrats who are watching this with amazement. but one of the reasons cantor lost is because in addition to being seen as too close to the chamber, he wasn't seen as close enough to the ground level in the district. i had one republican tonight, i'm forgetting his name. but everyone is talking tonight, he said he should have spent less time in davos, more time in culpepper. >> and there was a certain kind of populist element to this race. cantor is someone who raised a lot of money. i believe his wife is a banker. he voted for bank bailout.
all of those things are being talked about in the district. >> it's interesting. it's not exactly that cantor was caught sleeping. he raised and spent a lot of money in this race. he outspent 26-1 i think. so it's not that he wasn't taking this challenge seriously. but clearly, he wasn't take it seriously enough to change the way in which he was interacting with his district. and it sort of reminds me of the 2008 senate race in north carolina where elizabeth dole got defeated by kay hagan. and one of the issues is she went these vast stretches without returning to north carolina. she was married to bob dole. their life was in washington. >> and they didn't come back. and you learn your lesson quick what happens. thank you both. >> thank you. still ahead, much more on the political fallout from the house majority leader's phenomenal loss tonight, including what it might spell for the future of immigration reform. we'll be right back. i'm just comparing car insurance rates at progressive.com. is that where they show the other guys' rates, too? mm-hmm. cool. yeah. hi.
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i believe there is opportunity around the next corner for all of us. so i'll look forward to continuing to fight with all of you for the things that we believe in, for the conservative cause, because those solutions of ours are the answer to the problems that so many people are facing today. thank you all very, very much. >> by next quarter, one has to imagine cantor's run to k street where he is likely to find some easy employment. eric cantor, the second most powerful republican in the house, the only non-christian member of the republican caucus has lost his seat to challenger dave brat. brat has just over 55% of the vote. it's results that will have ramifications not just throughout the gop, but throughout the country, especially when it comes to the country. joining me mike sickles, chairman of the virginia house caucus. well, delegate sickles, you see this one coming? >>, no chris, didn't see it
coming. we have parts of our state where the tea party is still very active. and of course this is the hotbed of it. hanover county where randolph macon college is one of only six. we have 135 jurisdictions in virginia. there were six that mark warner has never won. and hanover is one of them. but the fact that he lost in richmond city, the precincts that he has which are the western part of the city, beautiful neighborhoods, western and chesterfield county is pretty amazing. i know there will be a lot of people sipping their starbucks storm morning feeling guilty about not participating in this, because they never thought there was a threat. >> what do you mean? explain what you mean by that? >> well, i think that his support, if the election consider were held tomorrow after this defeat, i think more people would take this seriously. nobody thought he was going to lose on the establishment republican side. and stay at home.
and elections are won by people that have energy and want to come out to vote. and the anti-instinct in human nature is always stronger. >> that's right. >> and he -- that's what he faced today. my aide down in richmond said that over this weekend, he saw signs that said calling cantor a socialist. posted on the roads. this is pretty amazing. and last year, you know, i had -- i paid close attention to our house of delegates races, our state house delegates races which were held last year. in many cases we had open seats where establishment republicans won without any problem at all. and then we had other -- we had two cases where long-time incumbents similar to cantor were knocked off in very, very low turnout elections. and we had passed what was the largest tax increase in virginia history, believe it or not, for our transportation. try to address our transportation problems here.
and the two far-out northern virginia republicans who lost in a primary were two or 3,000 people voted only, one case it was a lot more than that. but low turnout elections because or partly because of that vote. we talked last night about our medicaid issue and how the governor and we're trying to get medicaid. >> do you think the fight over medicaid expansion, the bitter fight played a role? >> absolutely it played a role. and there has been a big backlash against the transportation bill too. i was talking to my republican friends. they said he lost because he voted for the tax bill. what tax bill? it's the transportation bill. its same thing for them. >> and congressman moran, who we had on earlier, he said the argument is being made that the medicaid expansion is going to mean free health care for, quote, illegals. which is always way of kind of getting people even more riled up about some government benefit if they think that government benefit is going to undocumented people.
>> which is untrue. >> it sun true. >> they're still going to be uncompensated care. it's probably bad policy. but it's true. >> that's exactly right. uncompensated care happens either way. mark sickles, thanks very much. >> thank you, chris. did tonight signal more than the demise of eric cantor's political career? that story next.
mr. president, thank you again very much for having us and for staying with us for the six hours. appreciate that. i don't know if you will after the six hours or not. but -- >> let me just guess. that's the 2400-page health care bill. is that right? >> well, actually, mr. president, this is the senate bill. >> you know, when we do props like this, stack it up and you
repeat 2400 pages, et cetera, the truth of the matter is -- is that health care is very complicated. and we can try to pretend that it's not, but it is. so i point that out just because these are the kind of political things we do that prevent us from actually having a conversation. >> house majority leader eric cantor was not known for bipartisan overtures. he was a constant foil for the president and congressional democrats. the stunning defeat tonight at the hands of dave brat turned on an issue that cantor once seemed to find a bit of common ground with democrats, if a narrow sliver one, immigration reform. he once endorsed the principles behind the dream act, the path of creating citizenship for some undocumented young people. and for that dave brat hammered away at eric cantor. the race was called and fate sealed just before 8:00 p.m. tonight. already politicos from across the spectrum are declaring immigration reform dead as a
result. joining us goldie taylor. raul, what is your reaction to people reacting to the race and saying immigration reform is dead? >> i don't see the results today as a referendum per se on the future of eric cantor's position on immigration reform and on the future of immigration reform. i see it as more of a referendum on his inaction on immigration reform. because you have to remember that he was not a real friend of the immigration reform movement to begin with. >> no. >> as you just said, compared to a few years ago when he supported the dream act, he walked away from that. >> he support dream act and then walked way from the dream act. >> not only, that he also backed off something called the kids act which is dream-like where they could get help. and the enlist act that would allow some kids to enroll in the military and possibly get citizenship. he has backed off, backed off, basketball backed off. meanwhile, he is sending out flyers saying he is fighting
amnesty. he is really being hammed from boast side. not just the anti-quote/unquote amnesty crowd. >> to me it also speaks to the fact there is something in the republican base that this issue winds them up in a way, goldie, that very few do. i've seen it up close in personal as a reporter, reporting on this issue through the years. >> sure. >> it gets something very visceral in a certain part of the republican base, this idea of invasion, of being overreturn, the idea that other people are going to come and sort of pull out the rug from under you, where you live. >> sure. you know, our colleague chuck todd spoke to that tonight, that you see it much more prevalent in the south across georgia and alabama. virginia is one of those states. and largely, it's because we're the states that are most largely impacted by it. so you see a more visceral reaction, more extreme reaction to what these policies ought to be. certainly, his loss tonight does
not forebode what happened to immigration reform. i will counter and say that immigration reform these for this term was dead whether or not he came back to the house or not. >> that's right. >> but the truth of the matter is, eric cantor set up, invested in the very same litmus test that slew him tonight. that he was unable, he himself to live by. so whether it was immigration reform or trying to have a broader conversation about poverty in terms of going and visiting with the cbc, these are things that are simply not done if you're a true tea party patriot. so the very same litmus test that he set up for all other members of his house, caucus, he was unable to live by. and his opponent took that to town. i could have gotten 44% in his district tonight. >> raul, i want to ask you, what this sort of message might be there is a substantive idea, did this kill immigration reform. i think goldie is right. i think the three of us agree that it almost certainly was not going happen in this term anyway. the question of what the message of this will be, which can be
very different from what the facts are, i want to talk than right after we take this break. i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
we're back with raul reyes and goldie taylor. the question is what political message on immigration gets sent. it may be the case that eric cantor's loss wasn't really about immigration. it was about the fact that he hadn't been going to his district. he was out of touch. his staff was bad. his consultants were terrible. if it becomes the conventional wisdom, he is a victim of
immigration, that is going to be bad for the politics issue. >> if it does. but i have to say. first of all, goldie touched on a really important point when she mentioned this issue of immigration resonates particularly in the south. a lot of people associate wit an issue that resonates in the border state. but the fact is the southeast is where we're seeing the largest growth in the hispanic populations. >> that's right. >> so places like georgia, alabama, north carolina, virginia. >> places where there previously had not been large populations. >> now people are dealing with the issue. and that's why they're feeling threatened. and we have all the legislation and different things going on. >> very good point. >> as we go ahead with the immigration reform movement, the gop declares it dead at their own peril. that's only because in all likelihood, it is legislatively dead. but you have a generation of lengths, particularly young latinos who have not been this politically engaged since the days of cesar chavez. >> right. >> meanwhile, even in virginia and the southern states you is also have a very sizable evangelical catholic southern baptist coalition. and they're really pushing
immigration in terms of the moral argument for reform. the pressure is there. the movement is not going away. >> the movement is not going away. the pressure is there. this is one of the places where, goldie, i've been amazed, if you want to bet on a policy outcome, particularly if you want to bet on a policy outcome in the republican party, you want to look at where the chamber of commerce. and usually it's a smart bet to bet with the chamber. this has not been the case here. the chamber has not been able to impose its will on the caucus. >> we're dealing with the politics of fear. we're dealing with the politics of who is going to take my job, who is going to take away -- who is going to join my kids in their school, who is going to take away my health care, who i am i going to be fighting for resources with. so we're really dealing with the politics of fear. that trumps the chamber of commerce any day when you look at how many hispanic and latinos are turning 18 every day as legal citizens, people who are native born, then you've got to understand that there is a tide moving across this country. not only in the southeast where it is, you know, really the epicenter, but moving across this country that will change the course of elections for
generations to come. and so the republicans make a fatal mistake, you know, by backing off of this legislation, not moving towards comprehensive reform in giving them access to citizenship and to the ballot box. i mean, if you want to enfranchise people, if you want them to believe that you embrace them in terms of your sharing your portion of the american dream with them, then that's something you are to do. and republicans have really dealt with the politics of fear and it's kept them away from it. >> and the politics of fear for republican strategists is all those folks are going to vote democratic and screw them over. >> which has not been born out by the empirical evidence. although latinos are generally progressive and certainly lean democratic, you always have a very significant chunk who say they have voted republican in the past. >> but that is changing. >> but it is always the gateway issue. >> i think it's only changing because republicans have been so -- i think it's changing because republicans have been so hard hearted against latino and
hispanic communities. >> raul reyes from usa today, msnbc contributor goldie taylor, thank you. we'll see you back here tomorrow at 8:00 eastern. rachel maddow show starts right now. >> so people are saying tonight, it is the biggest political upset in their lifetimes. at this hour we can report that eric cantor of virginia, the number two republican in the house of representatives, he has we can report that eric cantor, number two in the republican house of congress, has lost his seat. the timing of when john boehner would step down and give cantor the job. that conversation is now moot. in just a little less than an hour ago, this race was officially called by the