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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 9, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EST

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more disciplined ourselves in digesting information knowing that we'll learn more but also be more easily confused at the same time. that will do it for us. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. good economic news. bad news for the republicans. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, raining on the parade. here's how you know republicans are spooked by today's strong jobs report. speaker john boehner called it a testament to the hard work and entrepreneurship of the american people. eric cantor said we know jobs aren't created by washington. and michele bachmann said this president still doesn't understand that government doesn't create jobs. the same republicans don't
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hesitate to talk again and again giving credit to ronald reagan for creating job growth in the 1980s. the better the economy, the worse it is for republicans this november. plus giving newt the boot. rick santorum has been saying it all week. he said it again today. it's quitting time for newt gingrich. what santorum needs is what mitt romney fears. an unobstructed race between the two. also republican legislatures are passing voter i.d. laws to stop voter fraud. but are those rules really to make voting honestly democratic harder? now for tonight's off the waller. sarah palin has done it again. saying the problem with barack obama, if you hadn't noticed, is he wasn't properly vetted back in '08. why would she trot that out on the weekend that "game change" is coming out? and let me finish with "game change." what a movie and what it says about politics. we begin with the economy.
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susan page is washington bureau chief and david corn is washington bureau chief for jones. this economic news today, the number at 8.3%. also 227,000 jobs created. >> things moving in the right direction for the president. unemployment still pretty high. 8.3% is his ttorically high. no president reelected with numbers like that. but moving in the right direction. that's the best possible news for barack obama. >> dramatically good. he's not getting into a situation where it's going to go down to 8 and pop up to 9. >> we haven't seen wild swings. but the trend line is positive. it takes about 150,000 jobs a motto keep up with population growth and other matters. if we want to get back the jobs that were lost from the bush/cheney recession -- >> three times that many people join the workforce making it
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harder for the 8.3% to hold. >> but if you get over 200,000, it means you are chipping away at this jobs deficit, which is good news. more would be better. >> it's bad news for the republicans. how did republicans respond to the good economic news today? well, the economy added 227,000 jobs in february, with denial. listen to this statement from rights prebus. he said, today's jobs report is reminder that far too many americans are out of work and the situation is clearly not improving. it's the opposite of that. the unemployment rate has been dropping for some time now. in october it was at 9%. 9% as recently as october. it's now down to 8.3%. desmite the 227,000 new jobs, it stayed at 8.3% is because more people entered the workforce.
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three times as many as usual have joined the workforce. >> as things look better, more people who have been discouraged looking for jobs will probably jump into the workforce. that could make the rate go up in the future. but it's basically good news. >> so i want to leave you with this. mitt romney. not exactly mr. excitement. he has one ace in the hole. he's the turn around man. he's the guy that comes into a slottenly run company and turns it around like he did for the olympics. how does he say he's going to turn things around if they are going in the right direction? that means back to bush. a turn around now means back to bush. >> what he said today, if i were in charge, it would be even better. it's a complicated argument to make. that's the argument that barack obama made in 2010. things are bad. but if i weren't in charge, things would be even worse. it's a complicated argument to persuade voters that even though
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we're going in the right direction, if you change horses, you'll go a little faster. >> people judge events by events. >> and people know what's happened with the economy. it's not something you can spin. you can talk about iran and syria. people know. >> by the way, they know more than the politicians know. >> they know how they feel about the economy. as we have seen in politics in the past, sometimes public perception is out of zinc with what the economy is doing. if they feel there's a positive trend line, they don't want to turn around. so mitt romney is arguing that he has to accelerate. he's the accelerator. that's a hard phrase. >> he put out a statement today not putting his mouth around it. he said "president obama promised that he would turn the economy around, but millions of americans are struggling for work and the economy is not adding jobs at a sufficient pace. what would a second obama term mean for the economy? another four years of job-destroying policies."
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he didn't even want to make a public statement meaning he's chicken. the president spoke this afternoon. let's watch. >> we're still recovering from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. we have a lot of work to do before everybody who wants a good job can find one. but here's the good news. over the past two years, our businesses have added nearly four million new jobs. [ applause ] >> we just found out that last month in february, we added 233,000 private sector jobs. [ applause ] >> so the economy is getting stronger. when i come to places like this and i see the work that's being done, it gives me confidence there are better days ahead. >> that's the president today down in virginia. the president has had a run of good news lately, of course. though there's still a long time
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to go before the election. here's how jonathan cheney fut in the new york magazine. why has o bam improved his standing? pretty much everything has moved his way all at once. the recovery is picking up speed. perceptions of the economy are improving. the republican candidates have all hurtled rightward and lost popularity in the center. obama has managed to establish a contrast against the wildly unpopular republican house rather than allow himself to be sucked down into its dysfunction. so at the very time he got the house to agree to finally continue the reduction in payroll taxes, which he had to do. some people think that was his turn around. >> if you want to look at the other side of things, you could say, why isn't president obama doing better at a time when republicans are beating each other up and the economy is getting better? he continues to not have a sterling approval rating. the monthly average was 45%.
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today i think it was at 48%, which is better. i mean, there continues to be a case you can make against president obama. he wasn't really triumphant in that speech in virginia because a year ago, we had a similar situation with jobs numbers we thought we were getting out of this recession. so things happened in the world. >> he's still hedging on the possibility of another dip. >> it's still possible it's a long way to november. >> you're going to hear republicans talk about gasoline prices. they are going to use that as the battlefield to make the case the president is bad on the economy. and you're right. we saw greece and japan meltdown. they are talking about a war with iran. all these things could turn at a moment's notice. pu right now, jonathan is right. after the debt ceiling where he hit the lowest he's been in awhile and congress did, he was able to pull himself up with the jobs bill and morphing that into the payroll tax cut.
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he's where he wants to be, i think, in the contrast issue. >> let's take a look at mark sanders. he's a democrat, but he worked for mccain. let's look at him now. he talked this morning. this is him talking about who deserves credit for the economic turn around that seems to be moving at a steady pace. >> i do think the policy responds during the financial panic and the great recession is a very important in explaining why the recession ended as quickly as it did and why the recovery is gaining traction. >> so the stimulus worked a little bit here? >> i think it was a success, yes. it ended the recession. it jump started a recovery. it's not a source of long-term economic. it was never intended to be. but it did what it was supposed to do. >> the stimulus has never gotten good pr. can he change his image and say it's not the future of america, but it got us over a dangerous period.
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>> this is what they are doing in chicago. they came out with a film, but on the stimulus and health care and wall street reform, they believe they can go back, refight those battles, and win them and use that to make a case for the president's reelection. so they are ginning up for that. >> susan, for the first time you're hearing the president and his people decide we're not just going to run some rot gut campaign. a positive campaign, at least in form, they are going to start saying look at the auto industry. gm is alive. bin laden is dead. we have done great things. e we brought back the economy. we met the crisis. can they win a positive campaign in this environment? >> they can't win a backward looking campaign. you can make the case that some of these things got a bad rep, but that's not what's going to win a presidential election. he needs to look at what we're going to do next. they haven't done that yet. but --
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>> isn't that fascinating. in fairness, neither guy has. >> every political consultant will tell you that every election is about the future. that's what they all say. >> we can't wait for that. thank you, susan page. thank you david corn. rick santorum wants newt gingrich out of the race so he can have a one on one with mitt romney. to get newt out, santorum has to beat him down south badly. he has to take mississippi and alabama. he has to shut him out. close the guy down. can he do it? that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, espresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships, anywhere in the country for a low flat rate.
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kansas. 40 delegates are at stake. the results should be in some time in the afternoon. the state should pick rick santorum, who has already won neighboring oklahoma, colorado, and that bu beauty contest in missouri. four years ago mike huckabee won kansas beating john mccain by 36 points. wow. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." as we head to mississippi next week, the votes are there. rick santorum argues the only thing standing between him and the white house is newt gingrich. take a listen. >> if you go out and deliver a conservative victory for us on tuesday, this race will become a two-person race. and when it becomes a two-person
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race for the republican nomination, the conservative will win that nomination. and the conservative wins the nomination, we will defeat barack obama in the general election. >> i love that clarity. with gingrich pledging to take his campaign all the way to tampa next summer, we're looking at a long and bitter spring and summer. a long time before mitt romney or any candidate can nail down the nomination. rick tyler is senior advisor to the pro-gingrich super pac. and chip salts man was part of mike huckabee's campaign in 2008. i want a one on one race. mitt romney, i believe is a moderate republican from massachusetts. just like when he was. that's my view. i admit my prejudice. i think your guy is a road hog. why doesn't he let a conservative who has a chance to
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knock off romney do it and get out of the way so it can happen? >> well, first of all, rick santorum is not a conservative. he's a big government republican. he voted to raise the debt limit five times. >> okay. you got the talking points. there's not a single person watching right now who thinks that's anything but political blather. we all know the american people know. he's a conservative. rick santorum is a conservative. can't you give him that? >> compared to you he's a conservative. >> what was his ada rating? 5? what are you talking about? >> newt gingrich is a higher acu rating than rick santorum does. >> i don't deny he has a higher one. the question is is either one of them not a conservative. you're not going to break from the talking points. how much money has sheldon ad el sow son agreed to give you to keep you in the race? >> i'm not going to talk about
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donors. did you know that rick santorum has fewer pledged delegates than newt gingrich. newt is currently ahead in alabama and mississippi and he has more pledge delegates than rick santorum. >> okay. you're saying your guy is going to win in alabama and mississippi. if so, you win the argument. let's me go over to chip. how do you see those two hot races going next tuesday? newt has been able to win in the panhandle to get himself going. he won in georgia. so based upon his geographic strength in the southeast, he could win alabama. he could potentially win another one. who do you see winning? >> i can tell down there, it's really tight. mitt romney is doing well in alabama from the polling i have seen and from the people i talked to. newt gingrich and santorum, it's a three-way race in those states right now. i think it's going to be very close next week. i would have loved in 2008 if everybody would have dropped out
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and mike huckabee would have been the nominee. >> that's a stupid comment. wouldn't you like to have a one on one. anybody can say that. >> but i'm saying, why should newt get out? >> because at some point, shouldn't there been an effective run off? everything we ever watch, there's eventually a battle between the two top teams or candidates. that's what people like. wouldn't it be good for the republican party to get to the two top candidates to duke it out. >> we have had 12 candidates n running at one time. they have all dropped out for certain reasons. until somebody gets 1,144, i think everybody has a right to stay in. >> i don't deny their right. but dent doesn't the voter have a right to choice in two people? >> they are having their say every couple of days. >> this is why we don't have three parties in this country. it messes things up. here's gingrich on fox describing how he sees the race.
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let's watch. >> we have a real race. basically a three-way race with ron paul as a fourth candidate getting his percentage. for a long stretch, i was either in first place or i was clearly in second place. during that entire period, senator santorum decline d to leave. now suddenly, he's in better shape. he would not like me to leave. it's all a game. he and i would both like romney to leave. the fact is everybody would like to end this on their terms. i think this is going to go on probably into june. >> that was ridiculous. nobody thinks romney is getting out. an alabama radio interview duck up by mark halperin, gingrich pledged not to give up. let's listen. >> are you pledging to stay until the convention? >> i'm going to be all the way to tampa. there's no question in my mind. i think it's important to win alabama and mississippi. but i also have 174,000 donors.
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95% of them under $250. i think they want to see a big solution of visionary candidate. >> you have a lot of donors under $250. one big one way above $250. let me ask you, rick. give me a scenario that's good for your candidate. the one you are supporting. that's newt gingrich, your old boss. how does it work well for him now until tampa? what's a good scenario for him to come out a winner? >> the best scenario is he wins alabama and mississippi. then he gains momentum from there. as rick santorum, you can look up his record, but he's not a conservative. he gains momentum from there. but by the way, the romney campaign put out math where it's impossible for rick santorum or newt gingrich to reach the delegates that he now is claiming for himself. and while i'll admit it may be improbable, it's also equally impossible that mitt romney
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actually gets to the convention with the number of delegates. the the fact is if newt gingrich were to drop out and leaving no conservative choice at all, mitt romney would crush rick santorum. he would be our nominee. >> you know, when newt gingrich was speaker of the house and was responsible for getting the debt ceiling passed every year, wasn't that something as a reality in your own background for your own candidate? >> when newt gingrich was speaker, the budget was balanced under his leadership for four years in a row. >> but he was speaker for longer than that. >> he also paid off -- >> you're saying he never raised the debt ceiling. >> i'd have to look up his record. >> you're attacking the other guy for doing something. in other words, you're attacking the other for something. >> all you have to look at is the record. >> you can't attack without knowing your own candidate's
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record, can you? >> i just did. >> i'm being too tough. it's friday. i'm sorry. nobody has to know everything about everything. your job is to get the money going. let me ask you this. do you think your candidate has a chance to be president of the united states? is that what this is about or a grudge match against a guy that screwed you -- by the way, i might be engaged in a grudge match after what they did to him in iowa. i was there watching the destruction of his reputation. not a better person, just a guy with more money. i might be mad too. that might be a reason to stay in the race. >> i'm like you. i have never known newt gingrich to it hold a grudge. i think he believes he's the only one to beat bo b. he's the only one to change washington because he's done it before. the other two have been about accommodating washington. mitt romney does not have a jobs record. he invented romney care.
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rick santorum endorsed arlen spector. while romney invented obama care, rick santorum gave us obama care. >> mitt romney -- let's end on a lighter moment. i've been too tough. mitt romney has been trying to win over southern voters. he calls it an away game. but this seems a little forced. let's listen to what he said about his southern talk just yesterday. and today again. >> he's now turning it into an unofficial southerner and i'm learning to say y'all and i like gri grits. stranger things are happening to me. >> the governor said i had to say it right. morning y'all. >> i said it right this morning. >> is this working? this admission of being a chameleon? if you admit it is it okay? >> it's okay for him to come down south and do that.
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he's trying. >> what do you make of that line something seems to be happening to me? what is this guy? the fly? is he growing six-inch hairs on his back? isn't it a little strange when he says something seems to be happening to me. what did you make of that? give me the definition of this guy right now? who is mitt romney? >> i truly have no idea what he was talking about. i think that's it probably the biggest problem we've all got. >> we all have in figuring him out. rick, last word from you. >> the fact is mitt romney believes he was a conservative all his life. he believed he led the republican revolution and he was for the little guy. he believed he was for little government and protected the second amendment rights. why wouldn't people think he doesn't now believe he's a southerner? >> i know. i think you have a good point there. thank you, rick, for joining us.
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i have to keep you super guys separate. thank you for being here. up next, pot meet kettle. sarah palin says barack obama wasn't properly vetted. do you believe it? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. br
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this year's gop race with a special nod to the important vetting process. >> nothing is inevitable. i do appreciate that these men are continuing to duke it out in the arena of ideas and are allowing themselves to be vetted. so thank you, gentlemen, running on the gop ticket. staying in there, allowing yourselves to be vetted by the media, because they didn't do it when barack obama ran. >> wow. two words. "game change." next up, dance the night away. take a look at what newt gingrich was up to in the wee hours of the morning after arriving in jackson, mississippi. it was 2:00 a.m. in the morning when this was going on. what prompted that impromptu serenade? here's what newt had to say about it last night on fox. >> you know, she warned me this would make -- but since we agreed to come on, i couldn't back out. we got in late last night into
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jackson. we had been campaigning nonstop in georgia and campaigned very hard. we took a two-hour vacation from the campaign. >> people with santorum are hoping he takes more than a two-hour break. finally, giving it another go. we heard rick santorum say president kennedy's 1960s speech on the separation of church and state made him, rick santorum, want to throw up. he said he regrets that remark or at least the words, but went back at it again last night in alabama. let's listen. >> the language i used was at a minimum inarticulate, but what it showed was maybe years of frustration in what president kennedy had dope. the first statement was i believe in an america where the separation of church and state is absolute. that's not america. that's france.
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that's a naked public square where people of faith are out of bounds. >> okay. so this time he knocks kennedy and then takes a crack at the french. up next, republicans are pushing voter i.d. laws to stop voter fraud. but what's their real motive? to stop crooked voting or honest democratic voting with? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. this was the gulf's best tourism season in years. all because so many people wanted to visit us... in louisiana. they came to see us in florida...
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i'm hampton pearson with your cnbc market wrap. the dow adding two points. and the nasdaq tack on 15 points. the markets were rattled late in the session when it was announced that greece's massive debt reduction deal with private creditors will trigger insurance failures.
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employers added 227,000 jobs. the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3%. the national average for regular is $3.76 a gallon. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." there are currently laws pending in 24 states now that would strengthen or create voter i.d. laws. this issue is causing a big fight out there. on one side, those who say the laws are designed to make it harder for people who tend to support democrats to vote. on the other side, people who say you need to produce an i.d. for all sorts of things. why not for voting? just to get you up to date, 15 states already require photo i.d. to vote. eight are considered strict photo i.d. states where there's no exception.
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the others, seven there are except tans. in 16 other states, voters must show i.d.s at the polls. they can include anything from a local utility bill like a gas bill or a bank statement. and 19 states plus the district of columbia have no voter i.d. laws at all. that could change dramatically. right now, there are now voter i.d. proposals working their way through legislatures in 13 of our states legislation has been introduced to strengthen them. in many cases, to require a voter to have a photo i.d. with him or her. who does not have photo i.d.s? according to a study done in 2006, six years ago, 11% of eligible voters. 25% of african-americans don't
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have photo i.d.s. 18% of senior citizens do not possess an i.d. jo ann reed and matt shultz join us. the senate refused to take it up, but it could still be tacked on to other legislation. let me a ask mr. secretary of state. is there evidence of significant voter fraud? i mean significant. we outlaw murder because there's a murder problem. but we pass laws when we need them. that's a conservative view. why do we need to pass a law unless there's a need? what's the evidence of a significant level of voter fraud out there? >> well, we also pass laws to close loopholes we know about. and the thing about voter fraud, it's difficult to prove one way or another because we don't have video surveillance at the polls
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keeping track of everybody. so it's really tough to prove if somebody was cheating or not at various times. what we're trying to do is close a loophole. >> well you don't know. you're admitting you don't know. >> absolutely. we don't know. that's the point. but we do know there's a loophole. we need to close that loophole and make sure nobody is cheating. in iowa, our elections are getting closer and closer. just a few votes could swing an election. if somebody is cheating, they are taking my vote away and your vote away. >> why are all the people pushing this are republicans? why isn't there a bipartisan push for voter reform if there's a problem? wouldn't you see a bipartisan push? it's either you guys are right in saying there's a problem out there, or the democrats are wrong saying they are covering because they are covering up corruption or voter fraud. it's certainly ridiculous that only one party thinks there's a problem. that doesn't make sense. >> look at rhode island, chris. rhode island is dominated by
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democrats. they passed voter i.d. i think that what we need to be talking about is what kinds of i.d.s we're going to use, how we're going to implement voter i.d., and if people could come together and talk about that, we could come up with some reasonable solutions. just like rhode island. it doesn't have to be a partisan iss issue. >> is there an easier way to make a person that's 80 years old to have an i.d.? just an average working class person. they walk down the street and vote and have been doing it their whole life. now you better have a photo i.d. card. nobody drives a car on this street. where am i going to get one? i have to go to city hall to get one? that looks like a burden you're putting on somebody. >> i think you're insulting their intelligence. >> no. i'm talking about an 80-year-old woman. where is she supposed to get the i.d. card? >> if you -- obviously i'm sure
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you haven't seen my bill, but my bill allows for those elderly people who are confined to nursing homes would just have to sign an affidavit. we also have an affidavit process for certain people. i got chewed out by an 80-year-old that said, i can find an i.d. do you think we're stupid? >> i grew up with a family in a big city who didn't have cars. so i mean, it isn't something that everybody has a driver's license. let me go to joann. i want to know the burden issue. i want everybody to vote. everybody that cares about the vote. i don't want them to have a reason not to vote. i'm looking for anything that gets in the way of their voting. is this something that gets in the way? >> absolutely it will. the idea is that the state shouldn't put any undo burden on the exercise of fundamental rights. i showed an i.d. to get into 30
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rockefeller plaza, but i don't have a right to be there. i do have a right to be a in a voter booth. there are entire swaths in florida where you have to take a bus to get to the dmv to pay money to get the i.d. they want. that's putting a burden on the exercise of the right to vote. you just heard the state senator talking about signing an affidavit. the only instances of voter fraud that have been documented in the country have been people filling out the wrong address on their registration. having an i.d. at the polls doesn't stop that at all. then you look at the selectivity of the kinds of i.d. that are being required in some of the states. you can have a gun license, but not a student i.d. that's sending a message about the kind of person you believe is going to commit fraud or that you just want to stop from getting to the polls. these laws are selective. they are being proposed only by republicans, and i really believe they are being proposed to address a demographic
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reality. barack obama lost the white vote by 11.5 million votes in 2008, but he won the minority vote by 22 million. >> you get to respond to that, matt. >> i appreciate that. let's talk about it fundamental rights. we have a right to bare arms, but we have to go through a background check and show i.d. there. in terms of going after a specific demographic, i can tell you in iowa, that's not what we're doing. we're trying to attempt to make sure we provide security without disenfranchising voters. i can't speak to other states in that case, but in terms of iowa, i can tell you what we're trying to do is trying to find a way to make sure that people who are eligible to vote are able to vote and to prevent cheating. we're not trying to keep those people from voting. >> can i respond to that? this is exactly the case i'm talking about. the state does have a compelling interest in making sure we don't shoot people. when the state has an interest, they can put a barrier in place
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to protect the public good. what's unsafe about someone voting? >> they have a compelling interest in fair voting. >> absolutely. however, having an i.d. at the polls does not prevent the only kinds of voter fraud we have seen. >> letd me give you an idea. i'm going to try to break the tie. it will probably bother one of the two of you. if the problem is unable to prove or prosecute cases of voter fraud, i don't think there should be an assumption of wrong doing, which i think you're putting here. we don't have terrorists going to vote. why don't you have a little cell phone there and take a picture of everybody who votes? nobody is going to be offended by that. you can have a case if somebody votes for somebody else. take a picture of them. no problem by them. no burden. as you walk up, you say my name is mary jones. you take the picture. if there's any problem, anybody is voting for mary jones, you can nail them. that means they are going after
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somebody for doing something wrong. your thought about that, matt? >> i'm willing to work. if the democratic legislature would bring that idea forward, let's work on it. the idea is let's make sure that people can't cheat. i'm willing to sit down with anybody to work at that. >> you're not seeing instances of it. i voted in the same precinct for 12 years. you have elderly people who have seen the same person they are voting in front of for years and years. >> i think that's great. >> now you're saying show me an i.d. and prove you're you. this is something that's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. >> what about my idea? take a a picture of the person. what's wrong with that? >> i don't think anybody would have a problem with that because you're not going to purchase that. >> let's make sure we catch the bad guys and not bother the good guys. thank you. up next, how bill clinton became bill clinton. i have a guy that went to school
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with bill clinton. let's talk about this guy. he went to georgetown. he's also a writer of great fiction. he's not going to give us fiction now. this is "hardball," only on msnbc. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers. i knew it'd be tough on our retirement savings, especially in this economy. but with three kids, being home more really helped. man: so we went to fidelity. we talked about where we were and what we could do. we changed our plan and did something about our economy. now we know where to go for help
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if things change again. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy. get free one-on-one help from america's retirement leader. coming back with a look at at life of bill clinton when he was a kid. we're going to look at the real bill clinton. come back after this with "hardball."
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[ roger ] same agent and everything. [ kyle ] it's like we're connected. no we're not. yeah, we are. no...we're not. ♪ the allstate value plan. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate. we're back. with a little fun here at the end of friday's show. it's been 11 years since bill clinton left the white house and remains certainly one of the most fascinating people in the world. he's the most popular politician in the country. worldwide, not just in america. he inspired -- what inspired him to get into a life of politics? we've got here a guy there at the creation. thomas caplin lived with bill clinton in a dormitory at georgetown university way back then. he remains one of his closest pals. also the novel of "the spy who jumped off the screen" which has an introduction written by bill clinton. i'm going to use you for a few minutes here. great book. "the spy who jumped off the
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screen." a novel by you. bill clinton. i am still fascinated by this guy. he gives you the magical one or two minutes where you are totally encased in his world. >> it's completely genuine. his mother once said it's easy to remember people's names and their stories if you care. and a lot of bill clinton, of course, comes from virginia. and -- >> his mother. >> his mother. wonderfully positive attitude about life. the reason he has that effect on people is because it's genuine. >> when you met him, you were 17, 18 years old, you went to school just like that. jesuit, went to school in a coat and tie. was he like a poor kid or a rich kid? i heard he had a convertible -- >> i can't think of any of white house had cars the first year. but later on, he had a buick because his father worked or is adopted father, stepfather, took -- worked at a buick gae agency. >> that's how he had the car. >> did you see the pol back
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then? did he know everybody's name? >> yes. he was very gregarious. very easy. i mean, not sort of ambitious but just an easy fellow. >> did you get a sense that this kid from the back woods of arkansas compared to a lot of you from new york and jersey, big city kids, catholics. did you think he was on the road to something big politically? >> i thought he would be a huge success and probably in politics or government. maybe law. as for being president you never know who is going to -- there's so many slips between the lip for that and so many careers. but i always thought he would be a successful person. >> long before he ever ran for national office, bill clinton made his mark running for class office at georgetown university. look at this clinton campaign flyer. he had one big loss. the key to bill clinton is his comebacks. he runs for student council, gets his ass kicked by a nobody.
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>> last year. >> not by nobody, but -- >> runs for congress. loses. runs for governor, gets defeated for re-election. gets a terrible speech at convention and comes back on the johnny carson show. gets impeached, comes back and very popular as president. what is this about? >> this comes from virginia. you have six pieces of news, five are bad, one are good. you go with the good one and you have an optimism about the future. keep going. churchill thing never, ever give up. >> and that's him. the name of the book "the spy who jumped off the screen." a novel inspired by -- >> bill clinton. inspired by alfred hitchcock. introduction by bill clinton. >> is he a good writer? >> he did and he edited the book. >> did he really? >> yeah, i gave him the book originally because i knew he was a fan of thrillers. >> unbelievable. the blue pencil job by bill clinton. thomas caplan, i love digging your plind on this stuff. when we return, let me finish with -- i have an important
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thing to say about this movie "game change." it's what really goes on in the back room of politics and the pressure on these people. come back and watch it. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is.
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let me finish tonight with this. you know it's an amazing thing to be caught in a public predicament to have this problem, this situation that may be beyond your control. but you and everyone in the country is watching you. you have to fix it. i watch "game change" for the second time this week.
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it's a fabulous movie. as i've said before, anyone who loves politics and loves this country will love this movie. you should find a way to watch it many times actually because you keep appreciating it all the deeper. what it's really about this movie "game change" is this thing i call a predicament. when you are in deep, growing pretty sure you're not going to be able to get out of it the best way and hoping you have to cut your losses. this is where steve schmidt and his candidate john mccain were in this movie in the hard weeks in 2008 when the presidential election was retreating away from them in the face of barack obama and the vice presidential candidate they decided would be their game changer. steve schmidt was up to his elbows in alligators, desperately trying to keep things from going completely haywire, trying to keep his candidate on the road to possible victory. this is the hard part. keeping sarah palin, a reasonabreaso
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reasonable fax simile of a political candidate and to keep her from going rogue. it's pure pathos and so much of what it means to be a human being in this shake and bake era we live in. it reminded me of a quote, we do not know do what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are. we do not do what we want, but yet we are responsible for what we are. how many times do we get pushed into a decision only to begin to regret that decision the moment after we've made it. they knew picking palin was a mistake. they knew it was a risk certainly, but they did it anyway. they knew they were not picking a possible president or even a vice president. they were simply picking a running mate who would help them win but didn't nonetheless. and they faced the consequences and had to live them out slowly and painfully, really only a down payment of what history would exact of them for having made that expedient decision to pick an unqualified candidate for vp. this is what this incredibly serious and yet wonderfully entertaining movie is all

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