tv Morning Joe MSNBC October 23, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EDT
that makes tv even better. if your tv were a prom queen, zeebox would be a stretch limo. with this enchanting union, comes a sunroof she can scream from... i'm goin' to prom! [ male announcer ] ...and a driver named bruce that she can re-name james... faster, james! [ male announcer ] ...just 'cause. download zeebox free, and have the night of your life with your tv. welcome back to racks restaurant here in boca. we asked you at the top of the hour what you thought about the debate. let's go back to new york, our producer john tower has some answers. >> we've got a lot of focus on the president's bayonets and battleships line. joe in florida, just had my bayonet polished, now to feed the horse. up bemoaning my bayonet surplus, seemed like a good investment. courtesy of the president, my wife and i had a great idea to play battleship throwback. >> i see how this is going to go this morning. horses, bayonets, and battleships.
we've got three more hours of this. "morning joe" starts right now. ♪ what we need to do with respect to it will middle east is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map. and unfortunately, that's the kind of opinions that you offered throughout this campaign. and it is not a recipe for american strength -- >> i don't see our influence growing around the world. i see our influence receding in part because of the failure of our failure to deal with economic challenges at home, our withdrawal from our commitment to our military and the way i think it ought to be. in part because the -- the turmoil with israel. >> all right. good morning. here we go. it's tuesday, october 23rd. we're live once again from racks downtown in boca raton, florida.
just miles away from where it all happened at lynn university where last night president obama and mitt romney faced off in their final presidential debate. >> yeah. >> look at this crowd. i don't get it. it's early. >> it is early. >> i'm looking for the baby. i'm hoping sidney shows up again. >> we're excited. very excited. >> it's a great crowd. because they know obama won. >> mitt romney's best debate ever. >> how many thought obama won the debate? sorry. all right. >> well, i'm not even going to ask. of course, because, yeah. it's fine. >> okay. >> why don't we talk about the debate last night? what did you think? >> i thought that both. i think mitt romney got through it. got through it. >> right. >> he got through it. and he looked pained at times, and i think the president was strategically very smart in terms of his approach. i think we're going to disagree on this. >> i think we are too.
but richard haass is here, and richard was saying before that both wanted to -- they both had their objectives going into this debate. and richard, the president of council on foreign relations -- >> also of a forthcoming book. >> also of a forthcoming book. you believed that both candidates got what they needed out of the debate last night. what did you mean? >> the president came through as a strong and knowledgeable commander in chief on top of the issues after struggling with them for four years. and mitt romney had a different mission, which was to reassure people he could be commander in chief. and above all after all the rhetoric of the campaign, his message last night was more to be reassuring. and he in many cases said, look, i agree with the president on this or that, some of the lessons over the last few years, he didn't want another iraq or afghanistan. talked about getting troops out of afghanistan by the end of 2014. very careful about syria. it was a very reassuring message. >> richard and i were both reassured that the neo
conservative in mitt romney was left somewhere on the campaign trail. this was more mitt romney realist. >> and you see a lot of people reacting saying, well, who is he? and i think ultimately perhaps those who were very close to these -- what richard does were glad to hear what mitt romney had to say last night. but strategically, he needed to prove he wasn't a joke on foreign policy. and i think the president took him down a notch a few times by actually going back to things he said on the campaign trail. >> right. >> to kind of mock his evolution. >> well, first of all, talking about the evolution, it is a political evolution, candidates do this. richard nixon said you run to the right in primaries, run to the middle in general election campaigns. if anyone believes that data-driven mitt romney's a type of guy to follow wilsonian foreign policy and be george w. bush and say we're going to export freedom to all four corners of the globe and we are going to end tyranny on the face of the earth, they don't know mitt romney well.
if you want to bash him for being a neo con to win the primary, you can do that. if you want to criticize him, you can do that too. i think this fits mitt's personality a lot more. that said, if you look at the polls last night. the game change boys are here. some of these polls show that barack obama, a lot of people thought he won and he won by a substantial margin. >> according to flash polls taken immediately after the debate it was a good night for the president. cnn/orc poll found that 48% of registered voters believed president obama won the debate, 40% said romney won. i guess we have a little bit of a bias audience here. cbs news poll of uncommitted voters hands the president a decisive victory in the debate by a 30-point margin. >> and you had a lot of tweets also. a 30-point margin, that's about as substantial as barack obama -- or mitt romney had in the first debate.
we also had some tweets last night that we picked up on. mike murphy tweeted this. he worked with mitt romney in the past. romney will keep moving forward after tonight, obama was solid, but romney was tone perfect, what he needed. erick erickson said this, saying obama won this debate is like the nobel prize awarded for not being george bush. obama is wiping the floor with him on substance and basically fled his neo-conservatism. ron fournier got it right in my opinion, at least, obama wins night, romney wins season, obama faces what he sought to avoid, a tight race against a credible rival. and i wondered, john, last night as we were watching this debate, you know, how i said after the second debate i thought mitt romney's tone was off for the first 20 minutes. he was too aggressive. >> yeah. >> and even the romney people are saying that now.
last night, i was struck watching the commander in chief, the sitting president, the reigning heavy weight champ, every question turning and punching away, punching away at romney. every single question he had -- he felt like he couldn't just answer the question, he had to attack his rival. i thought he was -- i thought his -- the '80s called and want their foreign policy back. i thought that was not presidential. i thought what he talked about with the u.s. navy. again, this is my opinion. i'm hearing cat calls from the back already. but i bring this up to bring up the point, most presidents want to look like they're above the fray. last night revealed something deeper, i think, about what the obama campaign is seeing in their polling. they have got to take romney down a few notches, right? >> well, i think it's true that there's -- that, ron's point, there's no question that romney is a credible rival and is moving. we talked about this yesterday.
the momentum is with romney and there's no question the president had a desire to try to keep him down. i didn't really find those things quite so problematic. i actually thought this was the best of obama's three debates. >> right. >> compared to, you know, in that debate last at hofstra where you had the physicality and all that kind of contempt that came out. i thought the seated debate. president obama's really good on foreign policy, he was good on foreign policy in 2008, good last night, he indulged in a few zingers, that's certainly true, although the one on the navy illustrated a broader point which was to cast romney as a figure of the past and show romney doesn't know what he's talking about. >> and also the broader point he knows he's lost virginia, but go ahead, continue. >> and i think romney actually in the first half an hour of the debate seemed very tentative and very weak and nervous and kind of -- >> he did. he did. >> in a time very unsteady. he got better as the debate went on. his second half was better than his first half. the overarching thing you couldn't get away from was
watching romney. i joked about him running to the center. he really was -- he hugged the president on substance over and over and over again trying to basically say there's not much that difference. his message was -- i basically agree with you on everything in terms of policy, i would execute the policy better. >> i noticed what you noticed in terms of unsteadiness, but there was a point where you saw romney get strong and get comfortable with the content. >> you didn't realize how uncomfortable mitt romney was with foreign policy until he started talking about domestic policy. and he looked so confident. he looked like the mitt romney of denver. and then they went back to foreign policy and there was a little sweat, there's nerves, his voice wasn't in command. far different than when he's talking domestic policy. >> if he hadn't righted himself after the first couple of answers, it would have been a disastrous debate for him. i don't think there's any doubt that the president won in the room. he was stronger on almost every topic on foreign policy, he was stronger, and i think his knowledge not only of his own record and ability to talk about it fluidly, but if mitt romney's
record was really impressive. he knows what mitt romney said in the past and i don't think there's any doubt that mitt romney in terms of inconsistency on foreign policy, in terms of not having a policy shop on foreign policy, anything like what a normal presidential candidate has, i think that was all on display. but -- >> by the way, let me stop you right there. not having a policy shop, mitt romney has decided from the very beginning that he was going to be his own guy on foreign policy. he was going to avoid getting the giants in foreign policy. there have been a lot of concerns. last night it showed. he didn't have the foreign policy giants around him. he's the guy that made that decision and he paid for that last night. >> you saw it last night and you saw the president was good at teasing this out. a history of statements on a range of important issues where his criticisms of the president were kind of hallow and shallow. and i think the president made him pay a price in the room. but i still believe as i said
last night, what was mitt romney's goal in this debate? to come out with people saying he's acceptable. and if you want to change in direction in particular on the economy, are you fine with mitt romney sitting in the oval office during an international crisis? i think for a lot of voters he came across after the last few minutes as acceptable. >> even in the first few minutes i could tell he was nervous, uncomfortable, but i thought mitt romney's tone was pitch-perfect throughout the night even when his responses weren't. and i know this is deeply offensive to a lot of people that are in their basement eating chee-tos and dorks and losers like us that have been following this since we were 5 years old because substance matters. but if you're undecided at this point, you're not focusing on gaza, right? you're focusing on your kid in middle school and the report card. and so tone really does matter. is this guy going to be crazy? or is he rational? and mitt romney looked rational
last night. >> yeah, i think he did for the most part. i think the question we could answer here this morning is when we asked yesterday, which is are people going to vote on -- based on what they saw last night? are they going to vote on a foreign policy debate? was there anything they saw last night that would change a mind? >> do you think there is? >> i don't necessarily, i think there were some things if you were on the fence that mitt romney came to president obama on. right out of the gate on a couple of issues, benghazi, first and foremost, the first question, so much build-up about it, this is going to be central -- >> willie, why can't mitt romney get that answer right? -- >> well, it was clear he didn't want to talk about. >> why? >> he was asked the question and swept it aside and moved on to -- >> a lot of liberal pundits are talking about the "washington post" report that showed that susan rice was right. that's all we heard last night, susan rice was right, it doesn't matter, there has been a chaos around the white house message over the past month.
and the fact that mitt romney has now whiffed two times at a big fat softball coming down the center of the plate, and by the way, how about those giants -- is shocking to a lot of conservatives. >> i don't know he whiffed last night. >> he left the bat on the shoulder because he whiffed last time. after he messed it up in the second debate, i predicted he would not engage on it because he missed his chance. he could not go back without calling attention to his -- >> but if you listen to the post debate analysis, read twitter online. conservatives were shocked. they believe this issue is central to flaws in president obama's foreign policy. >> it is. and i'll tell you, you get a guy like charles krauthammer, give him 20 shots, he could still go on there and explain why benghazi was an absolute mess. but you -- you had mitt romney incapable for the second time of answering that question. >> i think on libya, once the
information came out that the cia was slow to catch up with what was happening, i think people essentially said let's move on, let's focus on other foreign policy issues. i think they tended to agree on a lot of issues like iran which got a lot of attention like syria. the biggest area of agreement was the foreign policy, you know, to use my phrase, begins at home. they spent most of the debate talking about domestic policy. >> yeah. >> essentially the real challenge for the united states was not doing more iraqs and afghanista afghanistans, quote unquote nation building begins at home. that's what people want to hear. it's the sense we've overreached, overextended, and the biggest challenges are education. look how much they talked about teachers, infrastructure, deficit. essentially we've got to -- not become isolationists, but recalibrate. >> mitt romney came in strong kind of talking about how bad off we are and how our role in
the world has gone down a notch or two. and the president came right back saying actually, no. and we have a lot to be proud of, a long to go, but here's what we're doing. he went into manufacturing and went into all the things he's done that's played into building america from the middle out, which builds our strength ultimately in terms of national security. >> that's the argument you had to convey. i do think it is ironic that after four years of us conservatives saying this president is not up to the task of being commander in chief, is not up to the task of understanding the nuance of foreign policy, he's not up to the task of building alliances across the globe, he just in terms of substance so clearly outclassed his republican opponent last night. again, in terms of policy. there's no doubt. if you watch that debate last night and you thought that mitt romney was better on substance than barack obama, had a better grasp of substance than barack obama, then you're such an
ideologue. >> exactly. and i think if you're undecided and you had voted for obama and you were on the fence, you might have been pulled back in last night. >> you know what? i think last night, again, i think it just is going to make this race even closer at the end. >> let's take a look at the issues. one key issue, of course, how to handle a nuclear iran. romney agreed the u.s. should focus on crippling sanction and military action as a last resort. >> we need to increase pressure time and time again on iran because anything other than a -- a solution to this which says -- which stops this nuclear folly of theirs is unacceptable to america. and, of course, a military action is the last resort. it is something one would only consider if all of the other avenues had been tried to their full extent. >> i'm glad that governor romney agrees with the steps that we're taking. there have been times, governor, frankly, during the course of this campaign where it sounded
like you thought that you'd do the same things we did, but you'd say them louder and somehow that would make a difference. and it turns out that the work involved in setting up these crippling sanctions is painstaking, it's meticulous. >> okay. we can go to afghanistan, but richard really quickly on iran, there were some interesting things happening there because the president went back at some of the things romney has said along the way. and i think that was actually effective to sort of remind people that this guy has had different points of view on this issue. >> i don't think that was that effective. people want to know where you are moving forward and the message of last night is everybody wants tighter sanctions on iran if possible. by the way, the sanctions are extraordinarily successful, which is why we're seeing iranians now interested in negotiations. and both people were essentially saying going to war ought to be a last resort. we ought not to rush toward war. i came away saying -- i got a funny tweet saying they're in
severe agreement on iran. i actually thought that was quite a lot of consistency. >> and again, you know, we always go back to the 1980 debate and make some comparisons because it's such -- it was such an important debate. >> right. >> mark, mitt romney did the same thing ronald reagan had to do in 1980. we remember the '80 debate, those old enough, and everybody loves to talk about how ronald reagan wiped the floor with jimmy carter. he didn't. he had a couple of extraordinary moments, but it was neck and neck. there were a few -- but last night, this is what mitt romney had to do. he had to prove that he was not crazy. you know, gerald ford in 1976 said governor reagan won't get us into war, president reagan will. his own party knocked him as this crazy sort of cowboy. the fascist gun in the west a lot of people would say. reagan diffused that, same thing mitt romney did last night.
for swing voters watching last night, that's the message he had to deliver. >> that's why, i think, although the president clearly won on points in the room, if there's an impact on the race, it seems to me if mitt romney did really achieve that. again, not just last night, but over the three debates, i think he came across as someone who a lot of people could see as president and moved to the question of we want four more years of the president's economic policies, or do we want to try something new? that's where governor romney wants the argument. i don't think there's anything that happened last night as exposed as he was on points and on the merits by the president, i don't think there's anything happening last night that he's going to have to deal with -- >> and he was -- >> got through it. >> he was exposed on the merits last night. no doubt about it, mitt romney is uncomfortable talking about foreign policy. >> i'm in severe agreement. >> oh, no. now the exit strategy in afghanistan, governor romney criticized, of course, the president and the way he
announced the time line saying he'd consult with military commanders on the ground. but you know, last night, mika, again, we seem to have severe agreement. again, i was happy to hear mitt romney say something that i wasn't sure he was going to say, and that is that he agreed with the president that we could stay in afghanistan no longer than 2014. that was a surprise. let's roll the clip. >> well, we're going to be finished by 2014, and when i'm president, we'll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. the commanders and the generals there are on track to do so. we've seen progress over the past several years, the surge has been successful, and the training program is proceeding at pace. there are now a large number of pav began security forces, 350,000 that are ready to step in to provide security and we're going to be able to make that transition by the end of 2014.
>> i hated his foreign policy before last night, mitt romney's. i like this. we're not talking about residual forces past 2014. we're not talking about war with iran. this is, again, this is moderate mitt. this is -- by the way, by the way, this mitt romney is where most republicans are right now. he's a realist. >> well, in the end, we will never know until he gets in office if he gets in office who the real mitt romney is on these issues. he's said a lot of things that were much more bellicose than this in the republican primaries. maybe that was politics, maybe this was politics, i don't know the answer to that. but there's no question in a war-weary country, he wanted to, as well -- in terms of reassuring people. he wasn't just reassuring people that he was a capable commander in chief, he was assuring a war-weary country that i don't want to fight -- >> why is it -- why wasn't he this way in the primary when you have so many conservatives, traditional conservatives like myself, like george will.
even pretty tough conservatives like ann colter who were skeptical about afghanistan, skeptical about george w. bush's wilsonian foreign policy, even talking about glenn beck, there are a lot of conservative people out there that don't believe in wilsonian foreign policy. >> they made a calculation they wanted to play on the neo con side of the house. there was also a really intense side of the competition for the loyalties, financials and otherwise people like sheldon adelson. if you listen to the question of iran and israel, and israel in general that came up all the time. president obama was the greatest friend israel's ever had in this debate. and if i was listening to this debate, i would have been choking on a pretzel last night because it looked to me that president obama was more conservative on the issue than
mitt romney. >> that response from mitt romney on afghanistan begs the question you could ask about a lot of his answers last night. is it the romney there last night or the romney in the past? do you think he really believes that 2014 is it? or he asks the generals again, do we stay longer? >> we're probably going to end up with some sort of a residual force, but right now close to 70,000. if we end up with 10,000 or 15,000 in afghanistan, it's not the end of the world. i think it makes sense if we can get a situation where americans and afghans can work together and train together. the biggest problem with afghanistan is people we're training are killing the americans. >> and, willie, that really is -- i did not go to any military colleges, but if you were actually training people to turn around and kill you, that's a bad sign you need to get out of the country. >> i audited a class at west pointe once. >> here we go. we were doing so well. coming up live -- >> what about the giants? we're going to talk about the
giants. >> we're going to keep going here. senator john mccain will be here onset. and also romney's sparring partner and debate prep, dr. brzezinski will join us. >> he and will will can talk because willie audited a class at west pointe. >> i went one day. >> doris kearns goodwin is here. >> i see a baby. >> bring it here. where is that? >> coming up next, the obama campaign is funding its case for the second term. mike allen has that new ad coming up next in the politico playbook. but first, here's bill karins with a look at the forecast. well, joe, a lot of interesting things going on out there. tropical storm sandy and the possible east coast impacts. we have rain through missouri and thunderstorms that are spreading toward st. louis, i think you're going to have airport problems there early today. we also will see eventually that rain heading for chicago.
the other area of rain out there moving through pennsylvania. showers to areas like albany, syracuse, rochester, and right down toward new york city as we go throughout this evening. those are areas of minor concern. a lot of problems from philadelphia, baltimore, d.c., the whole southern half of the country looks gorgeous. the northwest still a little stormy. and as far as that tropical storm sandy goes, seven days from now that storm could be very close to the east coast and new england. there's the potential for a significant storm. we're hoping right now it heads out to sea safely, but it is something we need to watch very closely. again, that's a week from today, it could be near new england. you're watching "morning joe," more live from boca coming up. we're brewed by starbucks.
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so, which superfast 4g lte service would you choose, based on this chart ? don't rush into it, i'm not looking for the fastest answer. obviously verizon. okay, i have a different chart. going that way, does that make a difference ? look at verizon. it's so much more than the other ones. so what if we just changed the format altogether ? isn't that the exact same thing ? it's pretty clear. still sticking with verizon. verizon. more 4g lte coverage than all other networks combined.
okay. so it found him. >> there's a problem. >> he's so cute. >> i give a warning. by the way, welcome back. we're at racks in boca. and the crowd has been extraordinary. but, you know, i have warned people in this general vicinity. and i think the police have actually posted signs on, you know, lamp posts across the area. do not give your babies to mika because she won't give them back. >> he's so cute. >> and here we have little dylan. >> he's 6 months. and guess what i found out about him? >> what? >> it's disturbing. >> he's a republican. >> he's a romney baby. >> i'm going to try to protect you. >> i can tell by the clip-on tie. >> he's ready to talk about money and he's very selfish.
>> dylan, you sit tight. by the way, dylan, don't worry about that. she also says that about her own daughter, her republican daughter. let's take a look at the morning papers while mika plays with babies. the "washington post" says apple is set to make a major announcement. the screen's expected to be about 2 inches small eer than t current model. there are major questions about the features the device will contain. apple sold, by the way, over 84 million ipads so far, half of those to mark haleprin. it amounts to a quarter of apple's fiscal third quarter revenue. >> and the "new york times," the fda is investigating claims that the popular energy drink monster may be involved in the deaths as many as five people. the reports claim people had adverse reactions to the amounts of caffeine, but the fda says the drink is not necessarily to blame. monster contains about seven times as much caffeine as a
12-ounce soda. >> okay, willie -- we better -- when we're smoking a couple of cartons, we probably need to put down the monster. >> and to think it was a matter of time before some of the drinks and the shocks. >> it makes me nervous. >> something weird going on there. >> seriously. >> bias material, man. >> chief correspondent for politico is mike allen. >> he's on monster right now. >> he's on street king energy drinks. >> we're high on life here. >> okay. >> if that's what you call it. >> okay. >> sure you are. >> all right, mike, let's look forward. we talked about last night now for the first half hour of the show, now we've got two weeks till election day. the obama campaign making the final argument for why the president deserves that second term. today i understand starts for you with a new book. let's look at a 60-second ad
he's putting up in nine swing states. >> there's just no quit in america. and you're seeing that right now. over 5 million new jobs, exports up 41%. home values, rising. our auto industry, back. and our heroes are coming home. we're not there yet, but we've made real progress, and the last thing we should do is turn back now. here's my plan for the next four years, making education and training a national priority. building on our manufacturing boom, boosting american-made energy, reducing the deficits responsibly by cutting where we can and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. and ending the war in afghanistan so we can do some nation building here at home. that's the right path. so read my plan, compare it to governor romney's and decide which is better for you. it's an honor to be your president. and i'm asking for your vote. so together we can keep moving
america forward. i'm barack obama, and i approve this message. >> man, that's a great ad, willie. >> it's a great ad. we're talking here on the set. joe points out there's hints, traces in there of "morning america" from 1984. >> even if it's not morning in your country, in your home, there is morning all around you. that's the message of it. and three important words we heard in that ad. here's my plan. the president's been getting a lot of criticism for not being specific about what round two, what an obama two would look like. there, he starts to talk about it. and beginning today at his events, the president is going to hold up a book of his plan. and we have a copy of it here. the president has a 20-page booklet printing 3.5 million copies of it to mail out, to give out at events, to send to field offices, to answer people who say the president hasn't said what he's going to do. this is a re-packaging of the plans the president has previously announced of manufacturing, education, energy. but the idea is to remind people
he has a plan. very much the way mitt romney very successfully in the debates has said i have a five-point plan. here are my five points. people like to hear that. and even if they don't delve into what those points are, it sinks in their mind they know a little bit where things are going. >> and so real quick, mike, is there anything new as far as you can tell on that book that the president's putting out anything different? anything to put forward in the second term? >> the president, vice president biden, their surrogates are going to be holding out, giving out this book in conjunction with tv advertisement. over the next 72 hours, we're really going to see the power of the obama machine. we're going to see the president do a whirlwind of six states, including wednesday night flying overnight from las vegas to tampa, making calls from air force one to supporters. showing energy, touching all the most important states and at the
end of the trip, he'll be going home to chicago, becoming the first sitting president to early vote. reminding his people, if i should do it, you should do it. >> mike allen with a look inside the politico playbook. coming up, we're going to talk to former arnc chairman michael steele. his take on the debate and the world series match-up with giants coming all the way back to stunning the cardinals. mike, step away from the children. sports next. i don't spend money on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt.
welcome back to racks here in boca raton. you know, there was a baseball game last night, john heilemann. >> there was a baseball game last night. the san francisco giants last night. >> john heilemann is our resident giants fan that came all the way back from a 3-1 deficit to force a game seven last night in the nlcs in san francisco. the cardinals were a -- giants
up 1-0. matt kaine at the plate with a runner on second helping his own cause. a base hit to center. blanco comes around to score, ji giants up 2-0. bases loaded for hunter pence, broken bat single and then john jay misplays the ball at center, all three runs come around to score. the bases are cleared, blowing it open, mike, 5-0. >> the slow-mo of that at bat, the ball breaks the bat, the ball hits the bat twice -- >> three times it hit the bat, incredible. >> and in for a double. >> matt kaine up 7-0. ninth inning, matt holliday down 9-0, he pops out in the driving rainstorm to marco scuturo. and that's it, the san francisco giants going to the world ser s series.
>> unbelievable, willie. >> win game seven, 9-0, they'll take on the tigers, the second team in history to win six straight elimination games, marco scuturo is the mvp. >> what about coming back from 3-1? i know quite a few teams have done it, but that's a bit of rarity. >> it is. and you can feel with every game the pressure builds. i say, boy, they're going back to san francisco, if you're the giants, your mentality is we have to win a two-game series at home. >> getting back home for those guys, there is no baseball park in america where the crowd is more part of the game, it's a very intimate stadium, everyone's right on top of the field. well, okay, national league. but you concede, the crowd is loud and on top of the field and believe that team can come back no matter how far down they are and they often do. >> and they're high on life as
well. >> and a lot of other things. mike, how does this series line up. >> well, the tigers have their pitching lined up because they're well rested, the giants have had to extend their staff because they didn't go home, they were extended to seven games. i would have to think the tigers would be the prohibitive favorites in the series. i would pick the tigers to win in five or six games. >> remember, the series starts in san francisco, they have home field advantage because the national league won the all-star game. >> there's no home field advantage with justin verlander on the mound. >> giants have a good staff, though. >> but it's two days off. >> just saying. >> don't count those boys out. don't count the orange out. >> the monday night football last night, the bears beat the lio lions, bears 5-1. when we come back, michael steele joins us here in boca for mika's must-read opinion pages. keep it on "morning joe." we'll be right back. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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our navy is smaller now than any time since 1917. the navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. we're headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. that's unacceptable to me. i want to make sure we have the ships required by our navy. >> i think governor romney hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. you mention the navy and we have fewer ships than 1916. well, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes
land on them, things that go under water, nuclear submarines. so the question is not a game of battleship where we're counting ship, it's what are our capabilities. >> welcome back to "morning joe" at 46 past the hour. time now for the must-read opinion pages. and joining us now, msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele. michael, good to have you onboard. >> good to be with you. >> i don't know when you did this, but joe wrote a piece for politico that was filed before 6:00 this morning. it says mitt wins debate season. interesting spin. >> you don't like that, do you? >> well, the title seems you might be spinning. we'll see. romney did enough things right to keep the momentum going his way. the former massachusetts governor's tone was nearly perfect and he abandoned the hard neo conservative line that concerned more traditional conservatives like myself.
president obama showed superior knowledge to his challenger on almost every question raised involving foreign policy. but i found his tone at times to be jarring for a sitting commander in chief. i would roll my eyes at a cable news pundit who used the line, the '80s called and want their foreign policy back, but that line is cringe-inducing from a president. still, president obama clearly won the debate last night, i'm just not so sure this morning that his performance in boca will ensure the commander in chief another four years. >> mike, you'll remember back in 1980 george h.w. bush talked about bigmo, the second debate didn't really stop it. from going mitt romney's way. will obama's wins in the second and third debate stop that? >> the president of the united states did a nice job last night. he is the commander in chief.
he as access to all the intel reports every single day. governor romney came in there playing an away game. his only objective last night was fulfilled. it was for millions of americans watching that debate to sit there, see him and say he's not dangerous. that was all he had to do and he did it. >> you think he did it. michael steele, is it possible for mitt romney to lose the battle twice? debate two and debate three and still win the war? >> yeah, i do. >> you agree that's what happened, right? obviously romney won the first debate and the president won the second. >> i think your headline really sums it up. while he may have lost an individual debate here or there over the season, over the long run, he's won. >> tell me why that's not spin. because a lot of democrats listening would say, oh, you and scarborough are spinning. >> i think it's spin. >> mika thinks it's spin. >> she does. >> you do. >> and i'll tell you why in a moment. first you. >> i don't think it's spin, because i think to what mike just said and what you've talked
about so far is that this whole thing leading up to this moment is about do no harm. >> yeah. >> and romney did no harm. he was effective, he was commander in chief-like. he presented well, he was effective in the way -- his demeanor, you know, the engagement between him and the president. >> you would agree with me that the last debate, the first 20 minutes, mitt was way off. and when i said it, a lot of republicans were shocked. it was unbecoming of a guy who wanted to be president. but he corrected. >> that's the skirmish he lost. and it started with that first debate, that was the marker, he laid down that benchmark and basically stayed true to that throughout this whole process which allows him to win the season. >> i think stylistically he did no harm. but i think people are really tuned in and i don't think they're looking at style, i think they're looking at substance, and i don't think -- i'll say mitt romney did not seem comfortable with his content last night. and i know that look very well.
richard haass, i'll read what the "new york times" says, the final presidential debate, on issue after issue, mr. romney sounded as if he had read the bold-faced headings in a briefing book, or a freshman global history textbook and not gone much further than that. other times he announced he had a strategy for the middle east, particularly iran and syria and really for the world but gave no clue what it would be. much like his claim that he has a plan to create 12 million jobs and balance the budget while cutting taxes but not say what it is. at his worst, sounded like a beauty pageant contestant groping for an answer to the final question. >> okay. that's a little extreme. of course, the audience loves it. >> no, i thought it was really interesting that mitt romney said we can't kill our way out of this mess. talking about the middle east, that iraq and afghanistan were not templates for him. i think what he was basically was messaging.
that we are not going to have the sort of overreaching foreign policy where we were the united states to use what a former secretary of state once said, we're not going to go out in search of monsters to destroy and we're not going to remake a part of the world worth remaking. that represented a departure from a certain strand of republicanism, and it was very consistent, again, with the idea that what we need to do is take every discretionary resource we have, every marginal resource and focus it on domestic rebuilding. that was an important message. >> mike, mitt romney the realist, even if he'd been flip-flopping up until this point, that's a lot more comforting, isn't it, than mitt romney neo con? >> yeah, i think people watching the debates centered around foreign policy, obviously. we've been at war for 12 years. this is beyond definition. none of the candidates get or address, but it is beyond
definition. the war wariness in this country. by the way, these are observations, not endorsements, so stop the tweeting. he did an effective job of being sane, sensible, and not dangerous. >> that's very generous. okay. still ahead, senator john mccain -- >> my goodness -- >> and chris -- >> do you think he'll be so generous? >> i'm a little nervous. and in a few minutes, tom brokaw. keep it here on "morning joe" live from boca. [ male announcer ] humana and walmart have teamed up to bring you a low-priced
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feelin' real good! [ engine revs ] boat protection people love. now, that's progressive. call or click today. all right, welcome back inside racks here in boca. he's had a couple of bloody mary's and he's got an important feature. >> my daughter was kind enough to make this. she built with her sisters a couple hundred romney signs and we heard rudy giuliani speak at the romney boca office. and we obviously have a different view than most people here, including mika. and i do watch the show every day because i like to hear what the other side has to say. i like to hear a diverse opinion and educate my daughters on what that opinion is. >> and mika drove you into the arms of the republican party. >> something like that. i voted for perot so i've been
independent. >> another man who saddled up to the bar, the man, the myth, the legend, tom brokaw next when we come back to racks in boca. i'm so g lad you called. thank you. we're not in london, are we? no. why? apparently my debit card is. what? i know. don't worry, we have cancelled your old card. great. thank you. in addition to us monitoring your accounts for unusual activity, you could also set up free account alerts. okay.
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legalzoom helps you get personalized and affordable legal protection. in most states, a legal plan attorney is available with every personalized document to answer any questions. get started at legalzoom.com today. and now you're protected. what we're seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes we had for that region. of course, the greatest threat of all is iran, four years closer to a nuclear weapon. and we're going to have to recognize that we have to do as
the president has done. i congratulate him on taking out osama bin laden and going after the leadership in al qaeda. but we can't kill our way out of this mess. >> governor romney, i'm glad that you recognize that al qaeda is a threat. because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing america, you said russia. not al qaeda, russia. the cold war's been over for 20 years, but, governor, you know, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies in the 1920s. >> all right. welcome back to "morning joe." it is the top of the hour. live from racks downtown eatery and tavern in boca raton, florida, just miles from lynn university where president obama and mitt romney faced off in their final presidential debate last night. mark haleprin, michael steele, and mike barnicle still with us.
and joining us now, nbc news' tom brokaw. >> mika, top of the hour, a lot of people that weren't watching an hour ago tuning in, what did you think? >> i thought the president won, i think there's clear arguments for romney got through it to the point perhaps nothing jarring would happen that would throw him off from any closing in he might be doing. but the president was really strong on every level. >> you said two, three minutes in, you picked up that mitt romney looked nervous. >> he seemed to be more focused on just getting it right than going after the president's policies, and he agreed in areas where he had been more critical of the president in the past. so he was making some transitions. i think also quite frankly to get through the night, as well. >> tom brokaw, what was your take away? >> well, my take away was as i said last night, the american people have to understand that the middle east has never been more dangerous nor more complex than it is right now. and this is not a kind of shake and bake foreign policy that we're going to develop here.
i think that both men were trying, obviously, to score points. but there has not been a sweeping middle east review since the arab spring. it was not about democracy. this was a populous movement, democracy's a new concept for them. it took us about 30 years after 1776 to get our democracy in place. it's still a tribal culture over there, still very dangerous. we're supporting monarchies in saudi arabia and jordan yet, but at the same time talking about democracies. if you spend any time in that region at all, first thing happens when you get off an airplane is some young arab will come up to you and say, i love america, you only support israel. so it's very hard to get traction in that part of the world when it comes to having an
influence on them. >> before i get to a back and forth last night that resinated with either side depending on who you were supporting, what was your take away overall? >> well, barack obama clearly outmatched mitt romney on substance. no doubt about that. i also noticed a couple of minutes in, mitt romney was striking the right tone. the second debate his tone was all wrong for the first 20 minutes, 30 minutes, he was combative like he was in the republican primary. and while that worked well against rick perry, and newt gingrich and very well against primary opponents herman cain, it doesn't work well against the sitting president of the united states. last night his tone was right. he wasn't as strong on the substance, he did look like he was trying to memorize lines and spit them back out. that said, i think he did what he needed to do to survive. the question now is with swing voters in ohio whether last night's debate will sway how they vote. i suspect it won't. >> i wish there were four more of these. i thought schieffer was fantastic and i loved the format because you could have a real
discussion almost. >> bob schieffer, by the way, did you notice, mark haleprin, they didn't screw with bob schieffer. like they knew they weren't going to cross schieffer. >> there's a reason for that. >> because they knew that this tart -- as dan rather would say, this tart texan would come right back at them and hit them hard. they showed schieffer respect and bob schieffer ran the best debate by far. >> well, the president had an extraordinary command not only of his own record but of governor romney's. and i think bob let them both have their say. and one reason i think the president got the better of him, again, just total command of here's why i've been a good commander in chief, but also he knows governor romney's record and past statements on foreign policy like he's an opposition researcher who sits in headquarters in chicago and reads transcripts all day and got his chance to make that case very strongly. >> it wouldn't be a tart texan, it would be a tough texan.
that tough texan would trouns them until they were tongue tied. did he do what he needed to do? >> he did. he was very effective and he was presidential. and that's what you need to do in that situation. >> he looked nervous. >> he was in the beginning. but he settled into it. and it proved the point. and i think i've heard tom talk about this. when you're on that stage with the president of the united states in a foreign policy debate, you've got to bring your "a" game. the best you're going to do is a "b" plus. >> like mike's been saying, mika, barack obama had home field advantage, commander in chief. >> and actually had some really strong foreign policy moves in the past four years that sort of back him up a little bit. but so much riding on this election on the outcome in ohio, which holds the second highest number of auto workers in the country, both candidates drifted into domestic policy and the question of the auto bailout. take a listen. >> i said they need these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy and in that
process they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through a bankruptcy to get rid of excess costs and the debt burden they built up. and fortunately -- >> governor romney, that's not what you said. >> fortunately -- >> you can take a look -- >> governor romney -- >> you can take a look at the op-ed. >> you did not say -- >> i said we would provide guarantees and that was able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy, come out of bankruptcy under no circumstances would i do anything other than to help this industry to get on its feet. and the idea that has been suggested that i would liquidate the industry, of course not. of course not. >> let's check the record. let's check the record. >> i never said i could liquidate the industry. i want to keep -- >> the people in detroit don't forget. anybody out there can check the record. governor romney, you keep on trying to air brush history here. you were very clear. that you would not provide government assistance to the u.s. auto companies even if they
went through bankruptcy. you said they could get it in the private marketplace. that wasn't true. they would have gone -- >> you're wrong. you're wrong. >> no, i am not wrong. i am not wrong. >> people will look it up. >> good. >> so in a 2008 "new york times" op-ed titled "let detroit go bankrupt." he argued he wanted to take the company through a managed bankruptcy where they would get government help but also acquire private financing. of course, tom, this is so critical and the election may come down to the auto bailout because of -- as your good buddy and mike's good buddy tim russert would be saying right now, it is all about ohio, ohio, ohio. let's all say it together. >> i know what he was attempting to do which was to soften the edges about his position on the bailout of the auto industry. i thought he weighted a little more deeply into the weeds than i would have expected him to at
that point. very strong as the president was, hey, guys, you've got to go through bankruptcy, and when you emerge from that, we'll see what happens. and there are a number of people who are advisers to him that say no, no, no, they couldn't have gotten private equity. a lot of people don't think there was that kind of money to bail out chrysler. i'd also like to remind folks that ronald reagan during his term, i'm very familiar with this because i was doing a profile on a documentary at the time. ronald reagan said loan guarantees for chrysler when chrysler was in trouble went to congress and said okay by me, give them the loan guarantees they need to survive. and so this is a very tricky issue. >> and the election comes down to ohio. >> it does come down to ohio and comes down to the fact that i would suppose that governor romney and his people do not want to go to toledo, akron, and other places in northern ohio where the part suppliers as well
as the automobile manufacturing plants are so reliant on what the government did for the automobile industry, he doesn't want to be going there to try to explain what a managed bankruptcy would've meant. >> yeah, right. >> once he gets into that. >> what the president did, worked, therest no argument there when it comes to the -- >> the "new york times" pays $500 or $1,000 for an op-ed piece by an outside writer, i'm not sure mitt romney is happy he took the money and wrote that piece. he traded $500 for the presidency potentially. >> so mitt romney looked to attack the president on his so-called apology tour. a phrase some republicans began using just months after he was inaugurated in 2009 to criticize the president's policies toward the middle east. >> then the president began what i called an apology tour of going to various nations in the middle east and criticizing america. i think they looked at that and saw weakness. then when there were dissidents in the streets of tehran, a green revolution holding signs
saying is america with us? the president was silent. >> nothing governor romney just said is true. starting with this notion of me apologizing. this has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign. and every fact checker and every reporter's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true. >> the reason i call it an apology tour is because you went to the middle east and you flew to egypt and saudi arabia and turkey and iraq. and -- by the way, you skipped israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations. and by the way, they noticed that you skipped israel. >> if we're going to talk about trips that we've taken. when i was a candidate for office, first trip i took was to visit our troops. and when i went to israel as a candidate, i didn't take donors, i didn't attend fundraisers.
>> i mean, if we want to -- if we want to talk about fundraisers that the candidates -- >> no, let's just leave that. >> no, let's not leave that moment there. if we want to talk about fundraisers that candidates made at the inappropriate times. i could list about 20 of them that barack obama did over the past four years that he shouldn't have done. that was a cheap shot. that said, michael steele -- >> so too -- >> it was a cheap shot. i hear the booing in the background. would you like me to talk about fundraisers that the president made, when the president made fundraisers that were inappropriate? i could do it right now. you want me to? you don't want me to because it's not good for your candidate. michael -- >> give them one. >> that said, michael, the contrast between barack obama in the first debate and the third debate could not have been different. you remember 2004, the president saying i'm lebron, baby. last night he was lebron, baby. >> he was lebron, baby.
>> while it was a cheap shot, it was effective and it caused people to go, oh, okay, all right. the president brought it to romney in that moment. and that's the difference between being president of the united states and in this area of foreign policy when you can then wrap back around and say, oh, wait a minute, while you were playing politics, i was doing the heavy lifting of foreign affair. but to his credit, to his credit, at that point i think romney has settled into his groove a little bit. he was a little bit more comfortable in his skin in going with the president -- going up against the president. and he didn't back down. he stayed in the game. and i think that helped him survive that moment. >> but if we're going to talk about trips. mitt romney as david axelrod put it on "meet the press," had his dukes of hazard tour of destinations that did not go well at all where he insulted everybody. >> well, actually, mika, your father's home country of poland, i think that went very well for mitt romney.
>> my brother ian did a great job with that. >> when they went to israel, benjamin netanyahu did everything but come out and endorse mitt romney on that tour. if you want to be selective about it, you can be selective about it. but there's no doubt that barack obama won on points last night. my question is this, is it a cop out to say and mika answered this, as well, is it a cop out to say that both candidates got what they wanted out of last night? >> i totally agree with that. i think mitt romney needed to get through the night and there needed to be no gaffe. no real hole in his argument, something that he would then have to fix later. and he more than did that. >> mark? >> the president is by definition an incumbent, also by the counts of his campaign ahead. an incumbent who said he's ahead on every answer -- >> i don't understand that. >> one is, he was still haunted by the denver performance.
he still needed to go out just as he did in the second debate, forget denver, i'm aggressive, fighting for this job. and he believes having studied mitt romney's statements on foreign policy it's disqualifying, he shouldn't be commander in chief and he wanted to prove it on every answer, every opportunity to say you guys need to focus on this man. his statements are too inconsistent, much like george bush and john kerry. >> i think you may have seen with the president a man who believed that his opponent was unworthy. >> yeah. >> and these flip-flops on foreign policy -- >> just like bush and kerry. >> hey, tom, mark brings up a great point, and i wonder what it means about the internal polls that barack obama's team are looking at. but, i was really surprised by this president on every single answer would answer -- talked about his policy, pivot, turn to mitt romney and rhetorically punch him in the face. every single question. and as mark said, he's ahead right now. even if it's by a small margin,
he's president of the united states. why did he -- why do you think he did that? do you think it was a personal thing or do you think it was political that they said, hey, we really need to disqualify this guy the momentum's on romney's side. >> i think it was a combination of the two. i think when the full realization of how poorly he performed in denver washed up over top of him and hearing it from everyone knew he had to fight back and there were suggestions within the democratic party that the guy doesn't want a second term. maybe he doesn't want to be there anymore. he's been trying to demonstrate he does. and there's a fair amount of personal animosity between the two of them now. >> you think? >> although they were better on the stage last night, by the way. >> the families. >> with the families. they mingled in a way and i think that had to do with the al smith dinner that they probably bonded a little bit there. we're all treating this like an insurance contract and going through it point by point by point. the fact is the public looking
in, in my opinion, is a broader impression. can governor romney be commander in chief? is the president a commander in chief that we can entrust our national security to? and we'll see the results of that in the next 24 hours or so as it plays out. and my own impression was that obviously the president was more commanding because he is the commander in chief. he's more familiar with these tough decisions that have to be made and the complexity of what they're dealing with around the world. but i don't think he knocked romney off the stage. and that was the important thing for the governor was that he hung in there. i did think that there were a couple of contradictions on the parts of both of them when the governor talks about not cutting the defense budget and the navy ships and then that gave the president the opportunity to say, you know, we haven't had horses and bayonets since the first world war, as well. and then when the governor comes back and says government doesn't create jobs. last week on this program we had
eric cantor on and i pressed him about the defense budget and he said we have a lot of jobs in virginia that depend on it. it's that contradiction that we pay more attention to than the country does. >> all right, tom, stay with us if you can. still ahead, we have senator john mccain. he'll be here onset in boca. also presidential historian doris kearns goodwin joins us. and next, dr. brzezinski joins us and chris coons of delaware. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this.
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they sell us about this much stuff every year, and we sell them about this much stuff every year. it's pretty clear who doesn't want a trade war and there's one going on right now we don't know about. it's a silent one and they're winning. we have enormous trade imbalance with china and worse this year than last year and worse last year than the year before. china can be our partner, but that doesn't mean they can roll all over us and steal our jobs on an unfair basis. >> governor romney is right, you are familiar with unfair jobs overseas because you were involved in a company shipping jobs overseas. you're right, that's our free market works. i've made a different bet on american workers. if we had taken your advice about our auto industry, we'd be buying cars from china instead of selling cars to china. if we take your advice with respect to how we change our tax codes so that companies that earn profits overseas don't pay u.s. taxes compared to companies
here that are paying taxes, that's estimated to create 800,000 jobs, the problems are they won't be here, they'll be in places like china. all right. >> 23 past the hour. we're live in boca at racks downtown eatery and tavern. and inside, we have a great crowd. and joining us here onset, democratic senator from delaware, member of the foreign relations committee, senator chris coons. and from washington, not sure how we got this one done, former national security adviser for president carter, dr. zbigniew brzezinski, author of "strategic vision: america and the crisis of global power." dad, thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> morning. >> so dr. brzezinski, i know you're very excited to find that there is a new realist in this race running for president of the united states. his name is mitt romney. he had a decided tact to the center last night.
what were your impressions? >> well, my impression overall was that obama came out clearly ahead. very much so, in fact. but that romney made some points, particularly whenever he veered away from foreign affairs to domestic affairs. he then became himself. during the earlier part, i can only repeat what i heard driving in to your program. you all have said it. he sounded as if he was reciting a briefing and was desperately making sure he remembers all of it. and that wasn't very impressive. but the substance, nonetheless, probably was reassuring to much of the world in the event that he became president because he sounded more moderate than earlier in the campaign. he more or less said that he wouldn't go to war against iran much like obama, as well. they both said, of course, they would consider that option, but they also made it very clear the final option, it's the
never-never option in effect. so i think probably netanyahu was very disappointed if he looked at the debate. but clearly in terms of mastery of the subject, a sense of confidence, sense of direction, obama had it last night. >> and i think we all agree with you on that point. we have been talking, though, for some time during this campaign, dr. brzezinski about mitt romney has adopted more traditional neo conservative position. last night, as you said, mitt romney seemed more moderate on iran. he seemed more moderate on libya. he seemed much more moderate and much more the realist on extending u.s. foreign power and doing it more through soft power than hard power. in fact, he sounded at times like he read your book. was that a surprise to you? >> a little bit of a surprise, yes. i thought romney would make more of an effort to define himself
differently. he didn't. he really was following in the footsteps of obama. and in a way as i said from the foreign policy standpoint, that's reassuring. it sounds like he will have probably like zelic running his foreign policy. i'm sure last night was a disappointment to the neo cons. but in a larger sense in so far as the sense of direction of america is concerned, as america's role in the world is concerned, i think there's no doubt that last night developed more confidence in obama, reinforced confidence in obama, made people more comfortable with his stewardship than romney who seemed rather uncertain in discussing that subject. >> okay. dr. brzezinski, tom brokaw is here. he's got a question for senator coons.
>> we've been talking here about two aspects that impress us both. one was, i thought that governor romney gave maybe the beginning of a romney doctrine in the middle east when he talked about working with the new governments and trying to find ways of dealing with them that does not involve military confrontation -- >> wasn't that fascinating? he started talking about soft power. >> we've been talking about that in this country since 9/11 about how we deal with the islamic world and we've not been very effective through two administrations. the governor, at least, introduced the concept of it last night and i think that's important for whoever wins the presidency is how we approach the islamic world given all the turmoil that's going on over there now and will continue for some time. senator and i were also talking about what was left out last night, including the eurozone and the impact of an economic meltdown on our economy, senator. >> we did see some growth in governor romney, some movement toward the center. but there's two weeks to the
election. early voting starts here in florida on saturday. and we're not hiring an investment portfolio manager in this election. we're hiring a president. there was only one commander in chief on stage last night. it is too late for governor romney to once again move his positions dramatically and begin as you put it to develop a romney doctrine on the fly, on stage, what was striking was that yet again a completely new governor romney showed up last night. i think both the moderator and the president were trying to hold him accountable for what he has changed. the president has shown leadership in applying soft power, in responding to the arab spring and the uprisings and i think we saw last night the sort of commanding and strong leadership that our president has shown. he's earned a second term in foreign policy. >> mark? >> dr. brzezinski -- dr. b brzezins brzezinski, two questions, are you comfortable with mitt romney as commander in chief? and two, did he say anything
last night that would've sent off alarm bells around any capitals around the world? >> not really. not really. i don't think so. except for, perhaps, in regards to russia where he didn't respond to obama's point. but he did raise one issue, which surprised me and the only one to raise it, not only in the course of this debate, but in the course of much of this campaign. he explicitly said that as part of his soft power approach to the middle east, there would have to be a renewal in the israeli/palestinian peace process. he was the only one to say it and i wonder what was behind it because he didn't elaborate, but we know a peace process means major concessions by both sides and not unilateral actions. so i would think that might be of some concern to some of his more right wing supporters in the israeli community. >> tom brokaw's here. do you have a question for dr. brzezins brzezinski? >> yeah, i was very surprised, dr. brzezinski, that china did
not come up until 10:15 last night. less than ten minutes to discuss china. and obviously there was a kind of chest beating that went on on part of the both of them. we have a new leadership coming up before the end of the month of november. wouldn't it have been better for both of them saying we're looking forward to finding a new relationship with china? >> i think you're absolutely right. i was a little surprised that obama was so hard and basically conveyed a hard message. romney in contrast conveyed two messages. he made essentially two different statements. the first one was actually very balanced, emphasizing the fact that china does not see itself as an enemy of the united states. that we ought to seek a partnership. and the second one, of course, was a slam at them for doing this and that and undermining our currency and stealing our products.
there are two romneys. one very moderate, accommodating, one very hard. obama was kind of solid/hard. and i think after the election if obama wins, he will have some reconstruction to do in the relationship with the chinese. if romney wins, he would try to do better with the chinese and you're absolutely right. once the new chinese leadership is installed, we are to make a very serious effort. to go to them and say to them let's sit down, let's talk about this relationship. because we face a historic opportunity for the first time ever, two major powers, contenders should not be getting into a war. that is a challenge we both face. and we cannot solve it on our own. we can only solve it together with the chinese. that'll have to happen after the elections. >> senator coons, you know the administration had a good hand in developing the defense sequester opposition with members of congress. last night i thought the
president exposed himself a little bit on that. wouldn't you agree that when he said in that moment that will not have a defensive sequester and have the administration folks -- he meant should not. wasn't there exposure on that issue for the president last night in. >> the president showing a clear-eyed effort to get a resolution between now and the end of the calendar year. a sequester is a tool that was insisted upon by the house republicans. getting the debt ceiling done, the control act. it was supposed to be difficult and hard and nasty, it was supposed to motivate the not so super super committee as you may remember last year. so for the president to say strongly, we shouldn't, we won't have sequester kick in does mean, i hope, he will be a strong leader on getting us to close on fixing our budget issues rather than having sequester kick in. >> can i ask a question? is there something going on we're not seeing when it comes
to the sequester. are there questions underway on what happens post election? >> yes, there are a number of different folks, both parties and houses and the leadership who are talking about what to do going forward. i think it'd be irresponsible for there to not be a legislative leader. that's as much as i can say because i'm not in the room for those conversations. >> dr. brzezinski, was there any question not asked last night that you think should be central to u.s. foreign policy moving forward over the next four years? any discussion that was not had? or any answer by either the candidates that concerned you? >> i think something was missing. but it isn't exactly the way i should be responding to your questions specifically. i think there was something missing, namely a larger view of the problems the middle east and the fact that the entire region is on the brink of an explosion. i think this is a reality that
we haven't been focusing on sufficiently because it's a reality which would not only make our ability to deal with the problems of the middle east infinitely more complex. if iraq explodes into a civil war, if that is linked with the war in syria, if jordan is destabilized, which is actually threatening currently, if lebanon explodes as it is beginning, there's a war on the frontier between turkey and syria, and the kurdish problem erupts, all of that could precipitate then some sort of conflict between the united states and iran. and consequently in turn a massive crisis in the global economy. this is the danger we're facing in the middle east and this is why a cool hand, a steady hand is so essential in dealing with this problem. and this is why i was relieved to hear not only that president obama is rather reticent about the idea of major involvement in the war with iran but that is
also the case with romney to his credit. >> all right. >> dr. zbigniew brzezinski, thank you very much. he pulled a joe this morning. >> what's that? >> woke up 32 minutes later on the air. impressive. >> that's impressive, dr. brzezinski. >> i don't know who was driving. i'm a little nervous. >> mika woke me up. i was stunned. >> a little bit of a role reversal. >> mika said that was a role reversal after years of you calling to wake her up. >> thanks, dad, very much. >> senator, thank you so much. >> and tom brokaw, thank you. >> my pleasure. >> coming up, senator john mccain joins us onset. more "morning joe" live from boca when we return. with the spark cash card from capital one,
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in boca raton, coming up, senator john mccain. senator, what's your thumbnail review of last night's debate? >> mitt romney did what he needed to do to show the american people he is perfectly capable of being commander in chief. and i think the president played way too much small ball. >> we're going to hear much more from senator mccain out on the campaign trail every day for the next two weeks as we head up to the election day. "morning joe's" coming right back to racks in boca raton, florida. [ male announcer ] humana and walmart have teamed up
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understanding in the military. and i was amazed that even as just a couple of weeks ago when i debated congressman ryan, congressman ryan was laying out the foreign policy with regard to what he and what governor romney believed the overwhelming criticism of our positions in syria, iraq, iran, across the board and tonight governor romney seemed to be rushing to agree with everything the president had done. didn't address any breath of understanding and it was a little bit, quite frankly, surprising. >> welcome back to "morning joe." >> i think it's a good sign whenever the next morning you have your opponents by your position the night before. >> i think you should read politico, it takes it a step further. >> very good to have you with us
this morning. >> thank you. thanks for having me on. >> senator, we've been saying to most of the people on the set this morning have been saying that mitt romney did not seem to have as much control on the conversation. didn't have the control. how did you think governor romney did? >> i thought he did very well. his task was to show the american people that he's perfectly capable of assuming responsibilities of commander in chief. i think frankly i don't understand why the president seems to want to take these kind of cheap shots, bayonets and horses, what's that all about? when i debated then senator obama, i didn't criticize or belittle his lack of experience on national security issues, and he seemed to take these cheap
shots. thatst not presidential. and frankly, i kind of resent it because i think mitt romney has had a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge and background on these issues, and to say everything's fine in iraq, of course, was one of the great leaps of the imagination. iraq is going to hell in a hand basket, al qaeda has doubled their presence there. there are al qaeda training camps in western iraq. and of course, with syria to say that things are going just fine after 30,000 people have been massacred, and we basically stood by and watched and watched what arms do flow in go to the wrong people, you know, it's just -- i got to hand it to the president to say things that in my view defy reality. and there's an article this morning about afghanistan and the way that everybody believes we're leaving. so therefore things are deteriorating. and unfortunately, general keene
who was the architect of the surge was right about the surge which obama said would never work. and he's right about what's happening there now. >> so, senator, you bring up afghanistan. there's one example of where mitt romney seemed to move more to the center. he agreed that 2014 should be the last year that u.s. troops were there. didn't even talk about a residual force. he appeared to be more moderate on iran, he appeared to be more moderate on syria. were you concerned as one of the two or three strongest voices in the senate for a much tougher u.s. foreign policy? were you concerned that governor romney did seem to tack to the center last night? >> well, first of all, my views on how we should behave, i think, goes back to ronald reagan and peace through strength. i think that anybody who believes that our handling of the situation in syria by just staying hands off doesn't really -- isn't too concerned about the 30,000 people being
massacred by not leaving the residual force in iraq, which by the way they tried to do. and the president said that they didn't. and they did. because i was part of that effort to try and help them. i see richard haass there nodding his head, so he basically said something fundamentally false. so i guess these things happen in debates. i think that mitt romney's job. you know, the big gap right now is with women for -- as far as the romney campaign is concerned. i think he helped himself with that vote by showing that he had a centrist approach. that he is not going to get us -- we also know that americans are war weary. and the 2014 date he should've stuck to. but he also, i think the reality is that he is the president has overruled his military advisers on several occasions as to withdrawal dates and numbers of troops. and that has put us in a very precarious position.
>> willie? >> do you think governor romney's lack of experience of foreign policy should be a concern to the voters? it was a center piece of your campaign four years ago that barack obama was not qualified to be commander in chief. mitt romney was a govern mitt romney was governor of the state, a businessman. why does he have more bravtase, if you want to call it, more foreign experience than president obama did four years ago? >> if you think about it, i was exactly right on president obama. when i look at the world today compared to four years ago, our position has dramatically deteriorated. mitt romney has traveled around the world, has business interests, has very close relationship with the prime minister of israel, which is going to be very important as we approach this iranian crisis, which is looming. i think he's perfectly qualified. again, i might are said that -- and i did say that i diplomat think that barack obama had experience on foreign policy. i didn't take any cheap shots at him.
those were cheap shots he took at mitt romney last night. i think you should treat your opponent with some respect, especially if you're the president of the united states. he certainly didn't. he was small balling. same thing he did in the first debate. didn't work in this debate. >> president obama was talking about extremism in the middle east was a real problem, that we can't kill our way out of this mess. what do you think we should do to try to roll back this tide of extremism? you've seen throughout the region political islam, if you will, is a dominant force. we're seeing it in egypt, going on in syria. what do you think the united states can and should do to push back? >> first much aof all, you and know radicalism lamb is on the rise throughout the middle east.
as romney-m sa can't just kill e with drones. have you to have a democrat policy where it's most effective. if we paid more attention to libya after gadhafi. in fact, joe lieberman, lindsey graham and i wrote a piece in "the wall street journal," helping them with their borders, helping them with democracy, all of those things, there's many aspects of beating back radical islam. one is showing a commitment for the things we stand for and believe in. that's one reason the arab world watches us sit, and watches assad continue to massacre his own citizens. >> that seems to me to say that in a lot of these places we should have residual forces, in afghanistan you supported one, in iraq. is that a sense in libya we should have had a presence? >> i think in libya the presence should have been ways of building democracy, and helping
them secure their border, training, but not a military presence in libya. i really believe that if -- you know, look, the famous story, taliban prisoner, american integrator. the taliban prisoner says, you've got the watch, we've got the time. that's the view in the middle east if united states is going to stay or not. we have committed to a strategic partnership with karzai. as you know. why weren't we discussing that? because there's a lot of work that still needs to be done in afghanistan, particularly as far as -- well, rights of women, democracy, fundamentals that need to be -- they need assistance with. it's not happening. i'm afraid it's not going to happen. >> all right. you know, by the way, richard, quickly before we go, i thought the president's response last night on the issue of resill yad forces in iraq, it was fascinating.
as we said before, the president wanted residual forces but he was pushed back. >> we didn't insist on it and now we're seeing iraq has become the biggest facilitator of the syrian people. >> and the president did want residual forces, right, going into those negotiations? >> in fact, he asked the help of me and joe lieberman and me and lindsey graham. we tried to help. it's sad to see him make a statement which obviously contradicted his actions. but it's probably not the first time in the debate. >> senator john mccain, thank you for being with us. by the way, say hi to my friends and family in pensacola, florida. the senator going out to pensacola, florida, again. >> again. >> still ahead -- >> thank you so much. >> "time" magazine's joe klein joins us on the set. [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac
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the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪ governor romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign. both at home and abroad, he has proposed wrong and reckless policies. he's praised george bush as a good economic steward and dick cheney as someone who shows great wisdom and judgment.
and taking us back to those kind of strategies that got us in this mess is not the way we're going to maintain leadership in the 21st century. >> i don't concur with what the president said about my own record and the things i said. they don't happen to be accurate. but i can say this, that we're talking about the middle east and how to help the middle east reject the kind of terrorism we're seeing and the rising tied of tumult and confusion. attacking me is not an agenda. talking me is not talking about how we're going to deal with the challenges that exist in the middle east and take advantage of the opportunity there and stem the tide of this violence. welcome back to "morning joe." we're live from racks downtown eater and tavern in mizmer park in boca raton. mike heilemann is with me and joining the table is halpel har.
hi, harper. i like your red shoes. who do you think should be president, harper? >> obama. >> exactly. >> there you go, harper. love you, baby, but sit right there. >> she's my girl. >> we have chief correspondent, political director and host of "the daily rundown," chuck todd, also with us from the moderator of "meet the press" david gregory and the attorney general of delaware, beau biden. thank you for being with us. chuck, let's go to the site of the debate last night. any question of whether mitt romney accomplished what he wanted to accomplish, despite the fact most of us believe he lost on points last night, was probably made evident in our interview with dr. brzezinski, who said he was confident that romney struck a more rod rat tone, less of a neocon and more
of a shift. my question is, why didn't they make this shift at the convention, like most candidates do? >> reporter: that's the thing. you know, could come across as overly cynical, if you will, about the electoral in variety moments. look, mitt romney struck me as someone that was trying to pass a class rather than ace a class. we could go through -- i mean, they didn't to want do anything more than they had to do on this front. that's what was surprising to me. i mean, about the only time mitt romney took bait from the president, and the president came out -- body language, if you look at this big picture and didn't give me any polling data, i would say candidate obama is acting like the guy behind and mitt romney acts like the guy who's ahead, in the way they approach this debate. >> a sitting president, chuck, that was correcting and going
after the challenger time and time again. you're exactly right. fy didn't know any better, i would guess the guy jab be romney every time was down five points in the poll. why did they do that last night? why did team obama decide to be so aggressive? >> reporter: look, i've said this and they've pushed back saying, we weren't behind. in is how you have to debate mitt romney. we just weren't going to make the same mistake we did in the first debate, is what team obama said. john mccain said it in the segment before, when you hear the phrase, well, he did what he had to do, that is code for, he didn't win the debate. but we don't think we got blown out, right? that that is what they're trying to say. look, i think it's actually risky when you play that risk -- it's risky to be risk-averse.
especially when you're on a subject matter that isn't your strong suit and last night it came across at times it wasn't your strong suit. >> no doubt. he seemed to be on the defensive. he seemed to be uncomfortable, david gregory. they switched over to dough necessa -- domestic policy and mitt romney became the domestic policy of denver. why would some say mitt romney is up in the national polls, up in ohio. why de feel the need to attack mitt romney on every single question? was that personal or was that political? >> i think it's political to this extent, joe. i think he saw an opening last night with the romney who showed up. more of a realist, like you said. more pragmatic. wpting inwanting in some ways distance himself without saying the name bush foreign policy, foreign domestic policy, don't want another iraq, don't want
another iran, don't want to go to war in syria. we talk about security moms in 2004, we know about the gender gap. mitt romney wanted to sound big, sound smart on these issues but wanted to have as much of a cool temperament he can have because we know in foreign policy that's an attribute president obama has. oh, by the way, he is commander in chief, a huge advantage. i think president obama saw an opening to say, this is the worst of governor romney. he will really say whatever he has to say to close the deal. the guy who was out,there sabre rattling, talk of loose war with iran. i think back to the apac speech governor romney talked about moving naval as spem spekts into the persian gulf to counter iran. that guy is not measuring up on character. i think this is the president's argument. i think that's why he went after him so hard and i feel like the
president is trying to do something to stem this momentum moving romney's way. >> look, i think it was strategic, joe. i think this is a first time a lot of people are seeing mitt romney's foreign policy points of view and the president made a point of reminding people that his points of view have been evolving again and again and again. and riddled with gaffes. i don't think he was attacking because he was nervous. >> you don't believe he can evolve? >> oh, i believe a lot of men can evolve, oh, yes. >> are you talking about us? i'm evolving. >> but i do think -- >> chuck? >> i'm sorry, it's david. i do think what's significant, whether it's overly cynical, real evolution or as you suggest, attacking to the center, the reality is all kam ba campaigns are a little more on foreign policy and then channeled into a way of saying,
look, there are very difficult challenges we face, particularly in the middle east, that require sober and pragmatic leadership. i think romney wanted when push came to shove not to sabre rattle but to say, i'm going to approach this in a very responsible way. because i think right now this overall question of leadership is important. to the extent we may have moved into a new phase in a change election, you know, he's still, a, fighting disqualification and, b, wants to say, look, i am an acceptable alternative who can bring change on the economy but who will have some level of continuity when it comes to how we approach the world. >> attorney general biden, what do you think is the effect after three debates? there were a couple weeks where it looked like it was slipping away from mitt romney. he brought it back with his performance in the first debate. where are we now with all three in the books? >> running for president of the united states is earning the trust of the people in this
room, this state, this nation. governor romney said anything to get elected at any point. when he ran against ted kennedy, he took the stage and tried to be more progressive than ted kennedy. people on stage know this. he's not competing in his own state. he's a good father, husband, no doubt. but he had no quick, no sense of purpose, no clarity on a fundamental issue our day. we've been at war for ten years. our longest war. we talk about it all the time. thank you for doing it. he's willing to say anything about anything at any time to close the deal. this is not a sales pitch. this is running for president of the united states. >> you don't believe he wants the troops out in 2014? >> i believe he wants to say whatever it takes to get him elected. that's not a president. that's not a commander in chief. on to afghanistan, he said up until last night, it depends. it depends. it depends on iraq.
he said it was a tragic mistake to take our troops out of iraq. that's what he said the entire campaign. he took the stage and tried to be more conservative. he's the only person i've seen that's taken two stages and tried to be more progressive than ted kennedy 20 years ago and more right wing than newt beginning rich. running for president is about earning the trust of the republicans, democrats, independents in this state and ohio. people want a person with conviction, say what they mean, mean what they say. he serves what is expedient at the moment. >>, so what's your sense given back -- >> by the way, we have a lot of uncommitted voters in this room. go ahead, mike. >> given your sense -- >> there's some republicans here. i saw the reaction to john mccabe. >> they're in the kitchen i think right now. >> washing the dishes. >> yeah. >> what's your sense, given some exchanges we've seen this morning and witnessed last night during the debate, the back and forth between the governor and the president? can you place it in the context
of the president of the united states is commander in chief, your father is vice president of the united states, long-standing member. of foreign relations committee. in the context of who they are, governor romney the challenger, how much is personal in the sense that the president is the guy thinking, you know, i get up at 3:00 in the morning when i'm called. i see these intel reports. this guy has seen some of them. i can't -- what's the deal? what's going on between the two of us? >> i don't think it's personal. >> you don't? >> no. this is personal. this our nation's longest war. good guys. least take on foreign policy in my lifetime. both have zero in foreign politics, zero. who are their advisers? their advisers are the people joe rails against. the people that have gotten us in the problems in the last
decade. john bolton probe wonders what the hell is going on. he disavowed everything he's been talking about for the last 14 months. it's remarkable. now, the american people, citizens of ohio, they know authenticity. they know what conviction is. they know purpose. that's what you saw last night. you saw governor romney play the type and as a person willing to say anything that is expedient for the moment. >> john heilemann, what do you think? >> i just think there's -- this doesn't seem that confusing to me. i'm with mika and general biden here. you know, joe, you're totally right. candidates from both parties go to their extremes and then gradually drift back to the center over the course of campaigns. governor romney has done -- is audacious what he's done in the last month. the switch -- the audacity of etch. >> flip-flopping. >> we rightly criticize president obama for not nailing
him on that and being more aggressive and being more confrontational, and hold his feet to the fire in denver. that was a large part of hi failing. he failed on multiple levels but he failed at that. it doesn't surprise me in this debate he's now trying to make that argument and say, wait a second, this is -- you know, you can't just in the last month become a totally new mitt romney without someone calling you on that. i guess the question for chuck is, chuck, do you think it's too late? i mean, is this a strategy that mitt romney can actually pull off? because we've never seen anybody try to do -- attack to the center this fast on so many things this late in an election. can president obama impose a price on mitt romney for that? can he hold his feet to the fire and actually win that argument or is it possible that the awe awe da audacity of etch will work? >> the problem is the first
debate, what you brought up, the president didn't call him on it, didn't try to push back, didn't try to have a debate and said, wait a minute and has been trying to make up the ground since. you say, how do you call it on him now in the last two weeks? look, the president's got bigger problems than trying to disqualify mitt romney now. the president has to requalify himself for a second term. i think they've made that decision. i think that's why you see the closing argument style of advertising that they have, that's being unveiled today. it's obama candidate. you look at the president's closing statement last night. i think they now realize that they don't have -- two weeks is not enough time to have the conversation with voters that they want to have. he missed his opportunity. he blew it in that first debate. if the president tactically if they lose this electric, tactically, the biggest mistake will be the president's performance in that first debate because it gave him the room to do that.
if romney loses, by the way, we'll say tactically it will go to joe's first point to me which is, if he was going to move to the center, why didn't he do it at the more traditional time, at the convention and use his convention to do it rather than wait until the last minute? he was playing with fire there. >> i mean, i think we all around this panel would agree, if obama had done well the first debate, this election would have been over. i think we also probably agree if-m romney attacked to the center at the convention, he might find himself up considerably, even in states like ohio. mike, i make no apologies whatsoever for mitt romney's flip-flopping. in fact, i've been very critical of it over the past year. you live in massachusetts. it would be one thing if you had an extreme candidate trying to paint himself as a moderate in the final stretch. here you have mitt romney who i never believed was a conservative. never believed was a neocon.
never believed was idealog he claimed to be. attacking to the center. seriously, does anyone believe this guy was going to be an idealog like george bush? i never believed that. >> people in massachusetts would say, a, he was moderate as a governor. b, yeah, he would attack to the right to get the nomination. david, general biden just indicated he didn't think it was personal between these two candidates and yet there are many observers, and if you look at the three debates, and last night's debate being the most specific, do you think it's personal between the two candidates? was that evidenced last night because last night they weren't talking about how to move the dow jones up or down. they were talking about life and death. people die in wars. do you think that drew the president out a bit more? >> yeah, i do, actually. i think some of the president's language, some of his tone,
talking about, you know, we have these things -- you know, these carriers where you can land airplanes on top of now. i think there was some snashg in the government's tone. i think it becomes that way in the thrust of these presidential campaigns. i agree with the attorney general there. i don't think in the end what matters. i think what supercedes these is how important these final arguments are in the battle to the finish. and i think what chuck said before is really important is that with just a couple weeks to go, the president has a number of things to worry about, including what he wants to try to do today, which is to try to make another pitch to voters about why he deserves another four years. i don't think he's done trying to disqualify. i think there's still going to be a big part of this, and you heard it from attorney general biden this morning, which is you can't trust this. you can't trust governor romney to be an alternative here. even if they can just knock that back a little bit in terms of
the gains that romney has made, i think that they feel there's some real advantage in that. >> all right, david gregory, thank you. beau biden, final thoughts as we head into the final two weeks of the campaign, looking after last night, looking ahead now to the messages on both sides. >> look, we're going to be working our tail off to earn voters. my dad is out in ohio with the president, and i'm out there, working hard, working hard. >> beau biden, thank you. >> how do you feel? >> i feel great. >> looks good. >> i love that tie. so, chuck todd, we've got to go to break. why don't you give us your final thoughts. we are in the home stretch here. >> reporter: we move the msnbc battleground map, we shrunk it to seven tossups, put nevada
with obama, north carolina in romney. it's the sprint to seven. right now the three midwestern states we've talked about, that's -- i guess say that's where this battle is. that's where this is. that's where mitt romney wins or loses and that's where the president holds romney off. colorado, florida, new hampshire, va vashgs they're all very close, but i think it's the midwestern belt that's going to tell us the story of this election. >> chuck, we'll see you shortly on "the daily rundown." harper, you were so good, but when you spoke, she yawned. she yawned. >> well, you know what, harper -- >> isn't he boring? >> speaking from experience -- harper, that's such a great southern name, harper. >> i can ask you a final question? who do you agree with, joe or mika? >> mika. >> mika. >> good girl. >> she's a smart girl as well. so, hey, chuck, thank you so much. i do think this race comes
down -- i mean, it's an oversimplification, but if mitt romney can't win ohio, he can't win. if president obama loses ohio, all bets are off. it all comes down to where your dad's going to be for three days. all right. >> still ahead, presidential historian and author of the book "team of rivals" doris kearns goodwin. >> we'll be talking about yankees. >> yes. rob portman and "time" magazine political columnist tom klein but back to bill for a check on the forecast. >> good morning. two weeks away from the election. a little too early to talk about the forecast and how it will affect voter turnout. about a week from today we could be dealing with sandy along the east coast. a tropical storm that formed yesterday. now heading for jamaica and areas of cuba. this storm should be over the top of jamaica in 48 hours from
now and heading up to the ba ham months as a hurricane. it will probably be a big beast of a storm, off the east coast, about a week from today. the question is, will it get sucked up into new england or will it stay just off the coast, grazing the area? that's the multimillion dollar question. if it heads for new england, there's the possibility it could be a big and serious storm. let's hope it stays out to sea. forecast throughout the day, a lot of rain and showers from the great lakes to chicago and also showers heading for new york city. florida, you're looking great today. sunshine, as usual. what a beautiful scene at racks down in boca. we'll return coming up on "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ male announcer ] humana and walmart have teamed up
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political columnist and presidential historian, boca, doris kearns. >> great to have you. >> thank you. >> let's start with the yankees only because we've been suffering so long this year, doris, but we'll do that later and talk about the debate first. >> thanks. >> mika, one of my favorite harry truman stories when he gets off the train and the guy yells at him for five minute. truman says, we'll mark him down as undecided. joe klein, undecided. >> how are you going to make up your mind? third debate, president obama won foreign policy debate, cleanly and decisively, on both
style and substance. it was a a clear a victory as mitt romney's in the first debate and mitt romney lost in similar fashion. he seemed nervous, scattered, unconvincing and practiced unilateral disarmament, agreeing with obama hither and yon on iraq as opposed to two weeks ago, on afghanistan as opposed to interviews he's given this fall, on libya and syria and iran. he didn't have a creative, elegantly stated foreign policy thought and indeed seemed foolish at times using the word peace about as often as george mcgovern in 1972, not that mcgovern was foolish but romney has run so hot and aggressive on foreign policy seemed to sudden convert to yokeco ono. >> did we get any view as to
what kind of a poern foefl romney-m would be? what kind of a president would he be? >> we have absolutely no way of knowing. although if i'm a neoconservative, i'm pulling my hair out this morning. >> by the way, john bolton shaved his mustache. >> right. >> this is terrible. >> you know, i've lived these issues for the last ten years. i've spent time out in the field with the troops. at a certain point, substance matters. what happened -- what romney did last night was outrageous, after what he had done all year. he had been playing politics foolishly aggressive on a whole bunch of issues all year. and then last night he said, never mind. >> what was most outrageous? when you say he was outrageous, what was -- >> listen, he didn't answer the first question on libya after attacking the president for the last three weeks, he digit have a thing to say about that.
all year he's been saying the president threw israel under the bus and misstating the president's peace talks. i mean, on issue after issue after issue. he didn't know the world. he said syria was iran's path to the sea as if the persian gulf didn't exist. you know, you didn't even know -- he completely whiffed on veterans issues, which is something that is very close to my heart. he said we have to bring the soldiers back when anybody that knows the military knows you use the term troops or forces because soldiers refer to the army not the marines. marines refer to the marines. on issue after issue, moment after moment -- >> joe klein we put you down as undecided. >> it's all right. you've got two weeks. >> happily so on this one. >> undecided. doris kearns goodwin, richard
haas, dr. brzezinski, myself, mitt romney primary republican neocon was more mitt the moderate from massachusetts last night. >> i think clearly this strategic decision the romney campaign made is that after he crossed the threshold as a credible alternative in that first debate, he had to do everything in the world not to go back across that door on the opposite side. so he agreed time and again last night with obama. i think where obama was able to push back is when he kept talking about the kind of clarity that's needed for decision making when you had commander in chief. time and again he said if you are in that room, have you to understand the strategy, not the politics. what was interesting about the tone of the debate, focus group got upset when obama said, that was a big whopper. in the old days they used to be able to say, teddy roosevelt just said, you just lied, atroe
awickedly lied, and lincoln was able to say to douglas, i don't know what to call you except you're a liar. we've gotten more wimpy about what is an attack. i think it was important for barack obama to push back, air brushing history, that's not what you said, and showed his strength. but i still think romney accomplished not falling back, he didn't stumble, not making that mistake we're all talking about. this election will depend on what chuck said earlier, who's going to make the better case for who will take us through the next four years better. and obama's closing statement was the best he's had on that. the campaign has to have the pamphlet out in everybody's hands and romney has to make a credible argument, what am i going to do in the noection four years? who's better economically and world. >> wow. doris, to condense what you just said, you're from the school of thought that mitt romney went into that debate last night with one bullet point to achieve, don't frighten anyone.
>> exactly. that's what he said over and over again. i agree with you, mr. obama. yes, you're right on this. because people like mostly what obama has done on foreign policy and to the extent romney was way on the other side in those debates during the nomination, people were afraid he might be could reckless. i think to the extent he twinned himself with obama last night, it may have made him not look strong last night but it was their strategic goal. you could see he had that in his head. he must have had all those lines down. yes, i agree. i like technology. i like this. and i think it was probably smart, even though it made him lose that debate last night. >> it may seem craven but i think don't frighten anybody was first but the bigger subtext last night, women, women, women. >> absolutely. >> good ol' women. we're becoming the most important thing. >> you know, helly reddy was
right in 1972. i wish i would have listened to her. >> and ohio -- >> it's sad nobody gets that reference. >> romney back to high. that was trying to fix that problem for him in ohio. bob schieffer asked a question last night about the administration's drone policy. governor romney basically said, i'm for it. president obama never had to talk about it. it seems like it continues to be a huge question about -- this policy to me still is -- really deserves more scrutiny and public debalt. >> oh, my god, yeah. >> the droens, we kill from the sky the way we do, we kill without any due process the way we do, using the drones. i'm not taking a position on it but it's not been -- over the course of the last four years it's a key part of the obama administration -- >> let me take a position on it.
what we're doing with drones is remarkable. the fact that over the past eight years -- over george w. bush's eight years, when a lot of people brought up legitimate questions regarding international law, my god, those lines have been completely eradicated by a drone policy that says if you're between 17 and 30 and within half a mile of a suspect, we can blow you up. that's exactly what's happening. >> hey, joe -- >> trust me, i know. you talk to people in the cia, you talk to people running this drone program, they're focused on killing the bad guys but it is indiscriminate as to the other people that are around them who are killed at the same time. and the fact that neither party want to talk about this, i think, is something that's going to cause us problems in the coming years. >> i have to disagree you. >> then you don't know what's going on. i rarely say that. you need to talk to people that are running this program.
>> actually -- i actually -- >> i prefer he didn't because i like doing this. go ahead. >> we'll mark it down as undecided on that one. >> exactly. >> i actually have talked to people who have been involved in it and it's been remarkably successful. >> at killing people, yes, it has. >> as decimating bad people, taking out bad people. >> and taking out innocent people as well. >> and saving american lives in the process because our troops didn't have to go and do this. let's take this out into the future. when romney talks about adding $2 trillion to the defense budget, he's not taking into account things like drone technology. sooner or later, within 15 years, the entire air force could be drone-driven. you don't need pilots anymore because do you it with a joystick in california. >> this is offensive to me. you do it with a joystick in california and it seems so
antiseptic, it seems so clean, and yet you've got 4-year-old girls being blown to bits because we have a policy that now says, you know what, instead of going in, take the risk to get the terrorists out of a karachi suburb, you blow up everybody around them. this is what bothers me. the fact there was such -- there was weeping and gnashing of teeth for eight years over our antiterror policy. we would go in, grab the bad guy, take him to a site, interrogate them, this one person, get information from them, we would build a case, figure out where the next terror attack was coming from. that is over. those days have -- we don't -- we don't -- we kill them and everybody around them. that's hypocrisy if we don't face that. nobody wants to talk about it because they want to be tougher on how many bad guys we can
kill. >> first of all, we've never gone into karachi or a big city like that. >> where was ksm apprehended. >> in karachi but we never sent drones. >> of course we did. >> listen -- if you know what you're clapping about, that would make it better for everybody else here. that was my point. we would send people into karachi to get ksm to pull him out. now we're indiscriminantly launching drones. listen, i hate to sound like a code pink guy here. i'm telling you, this is causing this, quote, collateral damage, with a joystick from california, this is going to cause problems in the future. >> if it's misused and a major possibility of misuse if you have the wrong people running the government. but the bottom line in the end is, whose 4-year-old gets killed? what we're doing is limiting --
>> does that matter? >> -- limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here are going to get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror. >> listen, not if you don't have another way to go in. and apprehend these terrorists. >> no, we're going to do that, too. >> no, we're not. >> yes, we are. special forces and drones. >> it troubles me to be on joe scarborough's side in any debate but, secondly, you sound like you're at yoko ono's concert right now. >> it's troubling the indiscriminate killing. >> i agree with you. >> it's one of philosophy. so much was raised in terms of people opposed to torture, rightly so. americans shouldn't be torturing people. yet, there's minimal discussion, and, by the way, i don't want to be that corrective, but it's in missouri that they have the joysticks, not california. but there's been minimal discussion about the impact of the drone attacks. >> regionwide --
>> i'm all for it, i'm all for it. i would rather kill them than have them kim us but there is eventual blow-back. doris, we'll are to have you back. ist a fascinating conversation. >> it's an important conversation that we just haven't had as a country. >> we should talk about it more because we have barely just begun. >> i wish we would have hit it more in the debate. >> i agree. >> joe klein stick around, if you can. >> we have rob portman here and we have to figure out how to get him in. >> we'll be right back.
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portman. what was your reaction of last night? >> i thought it was a great debate for mitt romney. he showed he's knowledgeable and reassuring and ready to be commander in chief. that was the bar for him. and you talked about the drone issue and your views on it, joe, he did say i support going after osama bin laden, going after the worst actors with drones. that's not efficient. we need to deal with this issue of violent extremism spreading around the middle east and he said we need to get at the underlying issue. what mika's dad said, formerly known as dr. brzezinski. >> joe klein? >> you're from ohio. >> yeah. >> could you tell us why -- >> very observe anlt.
>> that's why they pay me the medium size bucks. >> but could you tell us why ohio has been such a heavy lift in this election? classically a conservative state. why is mitt romney having such a problem here? >> barack obama won this state five years ago by five points. last year democrats had a pretty good year last year with union issue, kept organizers on the ground. we had a tough primary. president didn't. democrats got a head start on us. what's happened in the last few weeks is amazing, going from five to six points down in ohio to being dead even. momentum is great. i've never seen as much enthusiasm on the ground. o we made three times more phone calls, 25 times more door knocks than in 2008. i think momentum is on our side right now. >> but you still have to deal with the fact that most people in ohio, you've spent more time
there, and you have chevy being built there. >> we're happy in ohio, the auto industry is making a comeback. ohio voters will be surprised when it was barack obama that took him through bankruptcy because ads say mitt romney wanted to take the auto companies through bankruptcy. that's what barack obama did. as mitt romney said there should be federal guarantees, federal involvement. there will be hypocrisy when people find out what's going on. >> mike barnacle. >> back to last night, specifically with afghanistan, 17 years, 6 months, median age. you say there's a lot more in governor romney's policy binder than just drones. >> you got binder in there. >> yeah, is big bird coming, that's my question? >> the question is why?
why? can we change afghanistan? >> he was good in afghanistan pointing out pakistan plays such a huge role going forward and what happens in afghanistan, that's why we can't take our identify off the ball in afghanistan. what he said wasn't just in relation to afghanistan but the entire middle east. we've seen this in north africa. we saw this in benghazi as an example. there is chaos. there is spreading extremism. so, we need a strategy to deal with the underlying problem. not just drone attacks. we need to do more. as you said, you can't show your way out of this. have you to deal with these issues. if we don't, our national security will continue to be threatened. that is the broader point. again, dr. brzezinski, mika's dad, made that point earlier. >> thank you senator rob portman. ♪
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's time to talk about what we learned today. mika, you have a guest. >> i have anna bell, she's 4 1/2, she has four brothers so she feels my pain this morning. who do you think should win the election, anna bell? >> mitt romney. >> there you go. >> i'm with you. thank you so much. you're a wise, wise girl. what did you learn today? >> booing an 8-year-old girl. >> what did