tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 9, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
we march out of hope because marching has worked. we've won and we're going to continue to win. and we're going to keep marching until the total victory has been achieved. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. i'll be on nbc's "meet the press" this sunday morning. check your local listings for the time. "hardball" 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. well, funny isn't it, that the same republicans don't hesitate to talk again and again giving credit to ronald reagan for creating job growth back in the 1980s. the republicans know the better the economy, the worse it is for them 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 allegedly stop voter fraud. but are those new 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. at our highest level in this country. we begin with the economy. what a story it is today and what it means for the president. susan page is washington bureau chief and david corn is washington bureau chief for mother jones and an msnbc political analyst. this economic news today, the number at 8.3%. i thought it might go up. it didn't. also 250,000 people joining the workforce. >> things moving in the right direction for the president. unemployment still pretty high. 8.3% is historically high. no president reelected with numbers like that. but moving in the right direction. that's the best possible news for barack obama. >> it's steady. it isn't dramatically good. he's not getting into a situation where it's going to go down to 8 and pop up to 9. it's just holding steady at better. >> we haven't seen wild swings. but the trend line is positive.
it takes about 150,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth and other matters. if we want to get back the jobs that were lost in the bush/cheney recession -- >> three times that many people joined the workforce making it 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. >> want proof it's bad for the republicans? here it is. 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 reince priebus. i love that name. he's chairman of the republican national committee. reince priebus said, today's jobs report is yet another reminder that far too many americans are out of work, and the situation is clearly not improving. it's actually 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%. economists say the reason the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3%, despite the 227,000 new jobs is because as i said a moment ago, more people went out and entered the workforce. for a long time people were saying, oh, that's because people gave up. no. three times as many as usual have joined the workforce. >> as things look better, more people who have been discouraged workers not out there 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 turnaround man. he's the guy that comes into a sloppily run company like he said the government was and he turns it around like he did the olympics or did at bain capital. how does he say i'm going to turn things around if they are going in the right direction because then a u-turn means back to bush. a turnaround 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. everybody is miserable, but if i weren't in charge, things would be even worse. it didn't sell in 2010. it's a complicated argument to persuade voters that even though 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. spin it this way or that way. >> 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 sync with what the economy is doing. sometimes they think it's worse than it is or better than it is. if they feel there's a positive trend line, they don't want to turn around. so mitt romney's argument has to be that he's accelerating. he's the accelerator. that's a hard phrase. >> he put out a statement today not putting his mouth around it. he put it out by paper saying,
quote in part, quote, 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 yearsf job-destroying policies." he didn't even want to make a statement publicly. he issued it which shows he's chicken right now. the president spoke this afternoon at an event in virginia. 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 4 million new jobs. we just found out that last month in february, we added 233,000 private sector jobs. 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 to go before the election. here's how jonathan cheney put in the "new york magazine." why has obama improved his standing? pretty much everything has moved his way all at once. the recovery which stalled last year is picking up speed, and perceptions of the economy are improving along with it. the republican candidates have all hurdled rightward and lost popularity in the center. obama has been able to establish a contrast against the widely 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
turnaround. >> 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. his approval rating monthly average for gallup in february was 45%. not a winning number for an incumbent president. today 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. as the jobs numbers get better, they're going to lose that as a surrogate or battlefield to mke the case that the president is bad on the economy. and you're right. we saw greece and japan meltdown.
they are talking about maybe a war with iran. all these things could turn at a moment's notice. but 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. and he's on a roll. he's kind of where he wants to be in this contrast issue, but it's a long time. >> 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 on "the daily rundown" this morning. he talked about who really deserves credit for this economic turnaround that seems to be moving at a steady pace. >> i do think the policy response 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. >> sthe 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. >>an he make that argument? the stimulus which has never gotten a good pr out there. that image, can he change the image and say, no, it's not the future of america but it got us over a very dangerous period. >> this is what they are doing in chicago. they are coming out with a 17-minute film next week. but on stimulus, on health care, on 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 re-election. so they are ginning up for that. >> this is a big development. 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. we brought back the economy. we met the crisis. probably the greatest crisis since fdr had to face it since
the 1930s. can they win a positive campaign in this environment? >> you know what 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. what is the course at hand? they haven't done that yet. but -- >> isn't that fascinating. in fairness, neither guy has. romney hasn't done that either. >> 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. that will have to come in the debates. thank you, susan page. david corn, as always. coming up -- rick santorum wants newt gingrich out of the race so he can have a one on one with mitt romney. will he get it? we'll see perhaps after next tuesday. 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. in beball terminology. close the guy down. can he do it? that's ahead. you're watching "hardball. wake up!
even before we get to ne tuesday's primaries in alabama and mississippi, we have a caucus coming up tomorrow in kansas. 40 delegates are at stake. the results should be in some time late afternoon. the state should pick rick santorum, who has already won neighboring oklahoma, colorado, and that beauty contest in missouri. four years ago mike huckabee won kansas with 60% of the vote beating john mccain by 36 points. wow. we'll be right back. r more than, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one.
welcome back to "hardball." as the republican primary race heads south to alabama, and mississippi next week, actually it's already there, the votes are tuesday, rick santorum argues the only thing standing between him and the white house -- catch the phrasing -- the only thing 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 race for the republican nomination, the conservative will win that nomination. and when 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 and the convention next summer, we're looking at a long and bitter spring no matter what santorum wants to see and 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 saltsman was part of mike huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign. i want a one on one race. i want a fight between the true
conservatives in the republican party and mitt romney who i believe deep down is a moderate republican from massachusetts. just like what he was. okay. that's my view. i admit my prejudice. i want a fight. rick, i think your guy is a road hog, stopping that from happening. why doesn't he let a conservative who has a chance to 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. >> no, he's a conservative. what was his ada rating? 5? what are you talking about? >> newt gingrich has a higher acu rating than rick santorum does.
>> i don't deny he has a higher one. we're not getting anywhere. you're not going to break from the talking points. how much money has sheldon adelson agreed to give you to keep you in the race? how far will he go with your candidacy? >> i'm not going to talk about donors and how such in there. did you know that rick santorum has fewer pledged delegates than newt gingrich. of course rick wants newt to get out of the race. 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 in dixie going next tuesday? newt has been able to win in the panhandle and in south carolina to get himself going there and he won his home state of georgia. it's all contiguous. based upon his 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. when i've run and contested primaries, i would have loved in 2008 if everybody would have dropped out and then 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? most life in all sports, campaigns, everything we ever watch, there's eventually a battle between the top two teams or top two 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. i'm just asking in principle. >> we've had 12 candidates running in this race 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 doesn't the voter have a
right to a clear-cut choice between two people? >> they are having their say every couple of days. they had their say last week in ohio. >> this is why we don't have three parties in this country. it messes things up. here's gingrich on fox last night describing how he sees the race. let's watch. >> we have a real race. basically a three-way race with ron paul as a fourth candidate who is getting his percentage. you know, for a long stretch, i was either in first place or clearly in second place. during that entire period, senator santorum declined to leave. now suddenly, he's in better shape. he would now 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 -- certainly into june. >> that was ridiculous. nobody thinks romney is getting out. he's leading. an alabama radio interview dug 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. 95% of them under $250. i think they want to see a big solution, ronald reagan-style visionary candidate. >> you have a lot of donors under $250. one big one way above $250. sheldon adelson and his wife. 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 from now until tampa? what's a good scenario for newt gingrich to come out a winner in this process? >> 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 all this 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 improbable if not impossible that mitt romney actually gets to the convention with the number of delegates. 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 candidate? rick? >> 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 -- >> he never had to raise the debt ceiling. you are saying he never raised the debt ceiling? >> i'd have to look up his record. >> you're attacking the other
guy for doing something. you don't know about your own candidate. in other words, you're attacking the other for something that you don't know your own candidate. >> you can't attack without knowing your own candidate's record, can you? >> i just did. >> i'm being too tough. it's friday. i'm sorry. i'm being too tough. 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 if i were newt gingrich after what they did to him in iowa. i was there watching the destruction of his reputation by a guy with more money. 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 can hold a grudge. i have never known newt gingrich to hold a grudge. i think he believes he's the only one to beat barack obama. he's the only one to change washington because he's done it before.
y in other two haven't. they've been about accommodation and accommodating washington. mitt romney does not have a jobs record. he's 47th when he had a chance to lead. he invented romney care which now we have obama care. rick santorum endorsed arlen specter. 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 me into an unofficial southerner and i'm learning to say y'all and i like grits. things are -- strange things are happening to me. >> the governor said i had to say it right. morning y'all. i got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits.
>> let me ask you, chip 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. i think it sounded more texan than southern today. >> what did you make of that line, something seems to be happening to me. what is the guy, the fly? is something happening to his met morph sis? 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. i know who i am. you know who you are chip saltsman. rick, last word from you. you have a thought? >> 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. and was for the protection of the unborn. 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. >> thank you. >> from restore our future. anyway, what is it -- winning our future. >> yeah, theirs is destroy our future. we're winning our future. >> i have to keep you super guys separate. thank you chip saltsman for being somewhat of a nonpartisan expert here. up next, pot meet kettle. sarah palin says barack obama wasn't properly vetted. do you believe it? pot, meet kettle. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
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through the cracks. let's listen to what sarah palin had to say just last night about how things are shaping up in this year's gop race with a special nod to the all-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." don't miss it. what a movie. next up, dance the night away. take a look at what newt gingrich was up to in the wee hours ofhe 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, calista warned me this would make -- but since we
agreed to come on, i couldn't back out. we got in late last night into 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. that he and calista take a long dance break from the whole thing. finally, giving it another go. last week we heard rick santorum say that 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 done. his first statement was i believe in an america where the
separation of church and state is absolute. that's not america. that's france. 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 strict voter i.d. laws to stop voter fraud. but what's their real motive? to stop crooked voting or honest democratic voting? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. no, i wouldn't use that single miles credit card. nice ring. knock it off. ignore him. with the capital one venture card you earn... double miles on every purchase. [ sharon ] 3d is so real larry. i'm right here larry. if you're not earning double miles... you're settling for half. really? a plaid tie? what, are we in prep school? [ male announcer ] get the venture card at capitalone.com and earn double miles on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? i was gonna say that. uh huh...
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end of the month. donations are down. 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. the others, seven there are exceptions. for instance, if a voter with an i.d. card, he or she can go vouch for someone who doesn't have one. in 16 other states, voters must show i.d.s at the polls. but not necessarily photo i.d. the list includes anything from
a local utility bill, like a gas bill or electric bill, to a bank statement. and 19 states plus the district of columbia have no voter i.d. laws at all. that could change dramatically. if some of the bills in state legislatures right now become law. right now, there are now voter i.d. proposals working their way through legislatures in 13 of our states. in 13 states that already have laws, 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 have photo i.d.s. 16% of hispanics don't have photo i.d.s and 18% of senior citizens do not pohave photo 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 ask mr. secretary of state is there evidence of significant voter fraud? i mean significant like, you know, we outlaw murder because there's a murder problem. especially in some high crime areas, obviously. but we pass laws when we need them and 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 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. and make sure that everybody who is eligible -- >> then you are admitting that you don't know. >> right. >> there's significant voter
fraud out there. >> 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 republicans? why isn't there a bipartisan push for voter reform if there's a problem? even if there's a potential problem, wouldn't you see a bipartisan push? it's either you guys are right in saying there's probably a problem out there, or could be, or the democrats are wrong saying they are kourccovering u voter fraud or corruption. 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 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 issue. >> is there an easier way to make a person that's 80 years old to have an i.d. when they live in a row house in a big city and they're not rich. just an average working class person. they walk down the street and vote and have been doing it their whole life. now when you walk down the street to vote you better have a photo i.d. card? they say, why would i have that? 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 because you don't want them to vote. >> 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 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 indigent people. i got chewed out by an 80-year-old that said, i can find an i.d. do you think we're stupid? we can't go get one? >> what would the i.d. be? let me go over -- >> i grew up with a family that was row house people in a big city that didn't have cars. so it isn't something that everybody has a driver's license. let me go to joann. i want to know one thing, the burden issue. i want everybody to vote. certainly everybody who follows politics and 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 rockefeller plaza, but i don't have a fundamental right to be in rockefeller plaza. i do have a fundamental right to be in that voting 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 an undue 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 voter registration. having an i.d. at the polls doesn't stop that at all. it does nothing about it. 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 reality. barack obama lost the white vote by something like 11.5 million votes in 2008, but he won the minority vote by 22 million. that's what this is about. >> you get to respond to that, matt. >> i appreciate that.
let's talk about fundamental rights. we have a right to bear 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. >> chris, can i respond to that? >> we're not trying to keep those people from voting. >> 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 a compelling interest, they can put a barrier to place 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.
absentee ballot fraud, people filling out the wrong address. >> let 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 where people do something wrong, and i think you should have the assumption of innocence when people go to vote. 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. they take your picture. they know it's you. then there's any problem, anybody is voting for mary jones you can nail them. that means they are going after people because they did something wrong, not stopping them from doing something they want to do. 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.
>> that would do it. >> i am 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. that's clean. >> 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. there's a reason for this demographic. >> what about my idea? take a picture of the person. what's wrong with that? ho's going to be offended by that? anybody? >> i don't think anybody would have a problem with that because you're not going to purchase that. that's not costing anything. >> let's make sure we catch the bad guys and not bother the good guys. thank you. up next -- i love writing laws here. up next, how bill clinton became bill clinton. i have a guy that went to school with bill clinton. we love bill clinton. we love talking about him. hillary clinton may be the next president. who knows. 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. investing technology
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we're back with a little fun at the end of friday's show. been 11 years since bill clinton left the white house, the most popular politician in the country. world-wide not just america, but what inspired him to get in a life of politics. we have a guy caplan lived with him at georgetown, he's one of his closest pals, also the author of a novel with an introduction written by bill clinton. i'll use you. great book, "the spy jumped off the screen" a novel by you. bill clinton, when you meet him he gives you the magic one or two minutes, total communication. >> it's completely genuine. because he really -- his mother
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. >> his mother. >> wonderfully positive attitude about life. the reason he has that effect on people because it's genuine. >> when you met him you were 17, 18 years old. you went to school like that. jesuit, coat and tie, was he look a poor kid, convertible, had money? >> none of us had cars the first year. i can't think of anyone who did. >> later on. >> he had a buick because his father worked or his adopted father, stepfather worked at a buick agency. >> did you see it back then? >> yes. >> did he know everybody's name? >> yes. he was very gregarious, not ambition pall but an easy
fellow. >> did you get the sense this kid from the back woods of arkansas, 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 -- there are so many slips between the cup of the lip for that and so many careers by i thought he would be successful person. >> you look at the pictures, before he ran for national office, he made his mark running for class office at georgetown university. look at the flyer, there it is, running. he had one big loss, the key to bill clinton is his comebacks. he runs for student council getsigets i his ass kicked. runs for congress, loses, runs for governor, defeated. terrible speech at convention, comes back on the johnny carson show, comes back and very
popular as president. what is that about? >> goes back to what i was saying, comes from virginia. you have six pieces of new, five are bad, one is good you go with the good one and keep optimism about the future. chur churchill thing, never give up. a novel inspired by --. >> by alfred hitchcock, introduction by bill clinton. >> did he write this clean? >> he edited the book. >> did he really? >> i gave him the book, i knew he was a fan of thrillers, he edited it. >> blue pencil job by bill clinton. i love digging your mind on this stuff. when we return i have important thing to say about the movie "game change" 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 mooebs.
let me finish with this. you know it's an amazing thing to be caught in a public predict a ment to have a situation that may be beyond your control, you and everyone is watching you. i watched "game change" for the second time, a fabulous movie, as i said before anyone who loves politics and loves this country will love movie you should watch it many times, actually, because you keep appreciating it all the deeper.
what it's really about a predict a ment when you are knee deep, growing sure you are not going to get out of it the best way and hoping to cut your losses. this is where steve schmidt and his candidate john mccain are in the movie. the hard weeks of 2008 when the presidential election was retreating away from them and the face of the charismatic barack obama and vacuity vice presidential candidate would be the game-changer. steve schmitt i kept focusing on. up to his elbows in alligators trying to keep things from going haywire, trying to keep his candidate on the road to possible victory and this is the hard part, keep sarah palin a reasonable facsimile of a national candidate and keeping sarah palin from in her own unforgettable phrase, from going rogue. it's pure pathos, so much of what it means to be a human being in the complex, shake and bake everra.
>> we not do what we are but we are responsible for what we are. we do not do what we want but we are responsible for what we are. how many times we get pushed in a decision and then begin to regret it. they knew it was a risk, they did it anyway. they knew they weren't picking a president or vice president, picking a running mate who would help them win but did it nonetheless. and faced the consequence and had to live them slowly and painfully. a down payment of what history would exact of them for having made the expedient decision to pick an unqualified candidate for vp. this is what this incredibly serious and entertaining movie is about. the all too familiar, human predict a ment that gets public on public display in politics. we do not do what we want, yet we are responsible for what we are. what a