tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 26, 2013 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
thanks so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. hagel's in. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. let me start tonight with this. we can usually tell when a political party has gone off the deep end. republicans did it with goldwater, democrats with mcgovern, fdr did it when he tried to pack the supreme court. republicans did it when they impeached bill clinton. so let's talk about this grabbed standing hue loo hooping bonanza of bs the republicans have thrown at chuck hagel. look at the list of gop senators who voted today again to continue the filibuster against the president's nominee for secretary of defense. check these names. barrasso and enzip of wyoming. cornyn and cruise of texas, crapo and rich of idaho, paul
and mcconnell of kentucky. boozman of arkansas, coats of indiana, fisher of nebraska, grassley of iowa, heller of nevada, hoeven of north dakota, imhoff of oklahoma. eye sayson of georgia, johnson, wisconsin. kirk of illinois. moran of kansas. portman. roberts of rubio florida. toomey of pennsylvania. vitter of louisiana and wicker of mississippi. think about it, all these men, all men, voted against even having a vote on hagel. they did so after it was clear there would be a vote today on hagel. they did it to put themselves on record for no better ran than to undermine, undermine is the key word here, the successful functioning of our government. they knew it would hurt hagel's prestige, would discredit president obama's leadership and did it anyway. want to know why the government is grinding to a halt? check this list. they are men bent on division, distrust, and disdain toward the elected presidency of barack
obama. and i mean it. i'm jined by steve clemens and piter by nert. these people are disrepresentable. peter binert why on god's earth with a united states senator whose purpose is to help the republic work knowing this guy is going to be 1k9 of defense, knowing there's going to be a vote on it, vote publicly to deny him even a vote today? why would they do that? >> well, i think it's because they wanted to somehow show that they are more militantly in opposition than anybody else. but the whole thing is absurd. >> they already did that. >> that's right. >> they already did that a week ago, two weeks ago. you know, peter, they did it. they did all that. they dutched all over this guy's nomination. they attacked him in the hearing, issued all the prereleases, made their point. why would they do it the very day they knew he'd be confirmed knowing they would be dumping on him as secretary of defense, not as a nominee, but actually as dkt of defense?
>> because we have so debased the idea of the filibuster that i honestly think people think of not voting to allow a vote as simply the same as voting no. this is how corrupted our political system has become that actually people see voting for a filibuster as simply no different than simply voting against someone. the whole system is not working the way it's supposed to. >> you know what? steve, i respect any opinion on this within bounds. there are problems with this nomination. this is not superman. >> right. >> but they looked and they looked and i said face-to-face enough, they looked. had he ever made an anti-semitic look in private. had anybody heard him say anything awful. they looked and looked and looked and they couldn't find it an they still voted to deny him a vote. >> two of the most militant senators opposed to hagel nonetheless did the right thing and voted for clowe you tour and that was mccain and graham. those were two of the centerpieces. when you look at inhofe, ted cruz, inhofe is ranking member of the armed services committee.
he has certain responsibilities. i think they just blew it. >> but you're right, they voted against -- voted for cloture to stop the debate. let me ask you about this, peter. let's talk about the look looking forward and what it does to our government. we have a government closed down in a lot of defense spending. it's going to hurt a lot. we have a potential -- we have a war we're still fighting. i wish everybody remembered that 37 men and women are out there on the post right now in some cases scared to death wherever they're stuck fighting the enemy and they couldn't agree on a secretary of defense in the chain of command. what's it do to the active military? what's it do to our future potential for saving money in defense and perhaps fighting another war in iran? >> i think it's terrible. the fact that afghanistan which you remember mitt romney never mentioned in his speech at the republican national convention was barely mentioned by any of the republican senators in the 7 1/2 hour hagel hearing. i think it shows how fundamentally unserious and unreal so much of this foreign policy debate is. this hawkish party, this party
which claims to be the party of national security in the military basically acting as if the united states is no longer at war when american soldiers are still dying there. i think, unfortunately, this very, very nasty campaign against hagel and let's be honest hagel's not very stellar performance in front of the senate armed services committee is going to make it harder for him to have the political leverage that he's going to need to make the tough decisions on cutting the defense budget. he's going to have to rebuild some of the political clout that i'm afraid he lost over the past few weeks. >> let's go with that. steve, same question. what does it mean to our country. the wars were fighting now, the one we're sort of getting out of in iraq. the one we're still in in afghanistan. the one we may face within months. >> i know chuck hagel and know him well. i know he's going to sit down and he's going to do exactly what peter said. he's going to come out with a plan. he's going to communicate with the soldiers in the field. he's going to remind them he was a sergeant, too, and he is going to implement the president's policy of shifting out of the wars we're engaged in now and sorting out other priorities.
i think my estimate of this is that he's going to dom out with a very, very good and confident looking strategy for the military and its priorities and how to responsibly handle what likely are to be sizable cuts. so he's going to owe it, but people in the gop are saying that he's going to have to reinvent their relationship with them. i think it's the other way around. i grew up in oklahoma. my parents are in texas. these places have bases, defense contractors. now, hagel will be judicious. he's not going to hold anything against them, but their constituents are going to want -- can you talk to chuck hagel about our base? i don't know if he's going to take his calls before -- >> he may have to -- >> he will take their calls. he's not going to hold any grudges. >> i guess -- >> but their grudges are go going to cost their quaets. >> peter, let's talk about the republic. what does it say about the ability of a president to pick his cabinet, especially the top officers. they're going after jack lew. they gave i guess kerry got this pretty clean but it looks like they're being very tough on these top appointees. >> that's right.
and this obsession with the benghazi thing, it seems to be again, it's a way for the republicans to still continue to fight the last election, and just politically it's hard to understand what the republicans feel they're gaining by continually picking these fits that they know they're not going to win. it seems like, you know, you're a student of the history, chris. you know how this happens. sometimes when parties get smaller because they have lost elections, they get more captive for a while by their most extremist wings. if you look at the way that ted cruz was essentially driving this whole debate over chuck hagel, you see that you have a republican party when in some ways it's most militant factions, the ones who are furthest away from ever being able to help the republican party compete nationally, are the ones driving the agenda. >> i think one thing they'd like to do, let's talk about the golden fleece, what they're really after here. i think what the republicans want to do with benghazi, it's the thing -- the only thick they're interested in and they're the only ones interested in it is potentially in their dream world that they can prove that the president of the united states got an emergency call
from benghazi, from lib yashtion and heard our ambassador, chris stevens, was in trouble, was under attack, and went off and played golf or had his dinner or forgot about it. . they want to show that somehow the president of the united states didn't go to the defense of his own guy over there and that's why the guy is dead. i think that's what they're after. i don't think there's any proof, any evidence, any reasonable to believe it, but that's the only thing that can justify this continual refocusing and refocuses and reattack. peter, what do you think. they're fighting the old battle. i think they're still going after obama personally. >> also about hillary clinton in 2016. it's about trying to take away the benefit she's gotten from what most people agree was a pretty successful run as secretary of state and creating a political scandal they can use all the way through until the next presidential election. >> let's face it, they're going to turn on hillary the main she makes a move. >> absolutely. they're waiting. >> only last as long as obama's run. >> that's right.
jo let's take a look at the confirmation vote. chuck hagel's been confirmed by 58-41. so he got some republican votes there. >> it's interesting. john bolten when he was up for under secretary of state, he also had 41 no votes against him. so they're tied. so those that were the bolden crowd can feel like they got a tie with chuck hagel. >> injure attempt at symmetry disturbs me. i think no one is in the same league as bolten. why do they keep bringing up benghazi. what's the bee in the bonnet? >> i think there's a couple things. for them there's the earnest side if you want to give john mccain and the others the benefit of the kout, they're national heroes and they think it's markers for things like the iraq surge. if you're not in the right place on that, you're not a true national hero stewarding the interests of the country in the right way. the deeper thing is this is a time where the other side really just wants to tear down the president anyway he can and to do it viciously every day over and over again and not be about constructive solutions.
now, i happen to be one who doesn't think john mccain and even lindsey graham are really about that, but i think that the ted cruzs and inhofes are. >> cruz is voting against everybody. >> i think it's -- the petty slander. we've got to call it what it is. there is a game of slander that's coming out of u.s. senate offices today in a way that we haven't seen in generations. that's what we should be worried about. >> we saw the staffer who said we're going to prove he's an anti-semite. >> right. friends of hamas. >> peter, i know you're a high level policy analyst but let's talk down and dirty politics. i don't dislike lindsey graham. in fact i like him. i don't dislike the guy at all. i think he's facing a potential right wing chal feng for renomination in south carolina by some standards on the republican right down there he's a moderate republican, i guess. was this a way to show that he had some bullets in his gun and he was willing to play right wing cowboy on issues like benghazi and it would make up for the fact he was smart and reasonable and even a bit progressive on issues like
immigration? >> absolutely. you know, lindsey graham reminds me of what al di ma toe used to be like when he was senator from new york. in the last couple years he would have to race to his left politically to get in touch with new york and in some ways graham does the same thing. he's actually relatively moderate the first four years and the last couple years he races to get in line with the tea party because people have seen what happened to richard lugar. there were people who were considered reasonable conservative credentials who are now no longer conservative enough to win their own primaries and that's what's driving even big questions like how you vote on chuck hagel. >> i remember pataki in new york moved to the center. i like people who move to the center in general elections. it's the whackos who move so far right th right. thank you. steve, thank you much. steve. thank you peter beinart. coming up, the fight over the massive automatic job
killing spending cuts set to take place this week. the fifth fiscal showdown between congress and president obama just since 2011. now it's true gridlock and it could be taking the country down economically and that's what i fear. we have two normer members of congress, a democrat and a republican, coming here. i want to know what they'd do if they were president in one case house speaker in another. we have to figure out a way to work together in this country because split government looks like it's here to say for a while. another sign of how far this country has come on marriage equality. good news for progressives. a group of republicans has signed on to a brief to the supreme court supporting gay marriage. and the rising stars of the democratic party. tonight we're going to bring you someone i have been keeping an on, pennsylvania attorney general kathleen cain. she's one of the several women i'm watching who will soon be in the national on-deck circle. hp let me finish with my growing concern that things are not working out so well in this city of washington. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ alright, let's go.
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the annual conservative political action conference cpac is coming to town here next month and one republican star won't be there. new jersey governor chris chris tis wasn't invited. christie is a republican with sky high approval rating at home and a potential presidential con ternder for the gop in 2016. we all know that. he committed a cardinal sin to some conservatives. he lavished praise, even touched president obama during the aftermath of hurricane sandy and now he's getting snubbed by c north carolina pac. it might be a bad thing for governor christi. republican strategist steve sha 234i9 called cpac the star wars bar scene of the conservative movement. remember that scene? and we'll be right back. a confident retirement. those dreams have taken a beating lately. but no way we're going to let them die. ♪ ameriprise advisors can help keep your dreams alive like they helped millions of others. by listening. planning. working one on one.
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public has mixed views on just what to do about the deficit and the budget. let me show you some new numbers from our own nbc/"wall street journal" poll just out tonight. we asked how americans feel about the president's budget negotiations with republicans in congress. do they make people feel more or less confident about the economy. 51% said it made them less confident. it's hurting people's confidence in the economy and it could have a real impact on our lives. on the spending cuts scheduled to take effect on friday, 52% said they are a bad idea, but 53% think congress should deal with the deficit with friday's scheduled cuts or plan even more cuts. in other words, they're complicated on this. the public doesn't like the idea of automatic spending cuts but if they had to choose, these spending cuts but more spending cuts. and when asked which statement is more in line with their thoughts on the cuts, the country looks pretty evenly divided. 50% say the cuts are too severe. 46% say it's time for dramatic
measures to reduce the deficit. those numbers if you look at them reflect the whole numbers, 50% being obama and 46% being roughly romney. with numbers like that, what do you do if you're president obama or speaker bonn janer. i have two former mex of the house of representatives. republican steve latourette, thank you. congresswoman thank you so much. i'm going to put you in a difficult position to be president obama right now. he's given so many speeches. his wife is all over the police. mrs. obama is on every show including the academy awards. they're getting a lot of popularity but it's kind of thin. it's nice, good, it's happy but what does that have to do with getting a deal with the republicans who are insistent on no new revenues? >> you know, i think -- i think actually let me add on to what you were saying. 27% of the public says that they're not even interested in it anymore. i don't know. i don't know where to go. if i were doing it i would say
let's look at bowles simpson, simpson/bowles a and b. what are we doing? where should the cuts be? the military says of that cuts can be had with a scalpel, not with a cleaver. 20 years ago when i was in congress, i said let's talk about entitlements. we've never really debt with entitlements except on the margins. that's what i would be doing if i were president. >> okay. >> i would -- >> the president says he will do it after the republicans do their thing on tax reform and raise some revenues. then he says i'll look at reforming medicare and medicaid. so it's a sequence thing. sure, i'll do. it's like i say in this terrible metaphor, it's like there's been a kidnapping and you wan the baby back and you have to give the money to the kidnappers. where do you do the drop? how do you make it xhult because nobody trusts anybody? congressman, your thoughts. you're now mr. boehner. nervous mr. boehner who cries occasionally. you have to play him. your friend.
can he cut a deal? >> yes, he can. >> what would be the deal he'd cut with the president? >> he was close to a deal a year ago august in 2011 on the debt ceiling limit, and he was pulled back by his folks more conservative folks and the president was pulled off the cliff, too, if you look at bob woodward's book as to how that thing unraveled. they both have to channel. he needs to channel tip o'neill and the prids needs to channel ronald reagan and they have to do things. people talk about it it was wonderful, it was bliss, it was euphoria. but they made tough choices. they raise the age of social security, and they raised revenues and the only way you solve this problem is through the big deal. >> don't you have to be big to do a big deal. >> yeah, but these are the leaders -- >> is your leader your leader? i don't think boehner is your leader? >> he is my leader. but not anymore i'm retired. >> i don't think he calls the shots. >> i don't agree with that. he calls the shots. he has 20 or 30 that came in in
2010 and that are going to vote no. it's final to forget those guys. >> has he done that. >> he did it at the end of the year. when they rejected plan b he broke the hastert rule and put it on the floor. >> we heard some harsh words from speaker boehner and nancy pelosi this morning. let's hear what they had to say on the latest. >> i don't think the president's focused on trying to find a solution to the sequester. for 16 months the president has been troofling all over the country holding rallies instead of sitting down with senate leaders in order to try to forge an agreement over there in order to move the bill. we have moved the bill in the house twice. we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their [ bleep ] and begins to do something. >> the republican leadership says let the senate begin. i remind them the constitution says appropriations and revenue bills must begin in the house. so we have important work to do, the american people want us to work together.
most people don't even know what the word sequester means. sequestration equals unemployment. sequestration we don't want it. >> you know what i think, marjorie, and this is my big concern, that both parties no longer competitive with each other. there's no common group of voters like there used to be reagan democrats, conservative people, a lot of catholics and conservative jewish people that switched back and forth, and therefore you could compete for that clump of voters. therefore, smart politician would say let's try to get that center. today the democrats -- and the republicans play to the conservatives and the districts are all gerrymanders and nobody wants to go to the middle. and i don't hear boehner going to the middle and i don't hear the president and that is a problem because i like the president. >> and there's huge frustration even with members. bob brady, children of the city committee and head of the house administrations committee says that he is absolutely -- it's more than frustrated. he's revolted.
he can't believe -- he cannot believe that nothing -- he said it's tied up with leadership and members of congress are walking around saying what the hell is going on? frustration is all around. the sequestration would almost be comical if it were not affecting to many people. kind of like patriot deucers. let's do it, nobody will like it, the show will never open, and it's there. and i think the public has crisis fatigue. what are we going to do with it? the cr is coming in a month. they have the debt crisis in the wings. people are just frustrated, and i think members of congress, members are extremely frustrated, too. >> well, i think the president went out there campaigning thinking that the republican party would never go along with defense cuts because it's a hawkish party, and what do you know you're seeing people like buck mckoen saying i'll take the
cuts if i can get some domestic cuts. miscalculation by the president? ? >> miscalculation to put sequester in place. if this is the wake-up call and it sobers people up, you can make the big deal still and get it done. to your point on the districts in marjorie's state a guy name tim holden, a great guy, he lost because he wasn't a good enough democrat. and the same thing happens in my party. the biggest challenge we face now are primaries on the right or left. it's not november anymore. >> that's a problem. >> it is. >> thank you very much, congressman. thanks for coming. congresswoman margolis, i have always respected you. up next, how did first lady michelle obama end up announcing the academy award winner for best picture. how oscar's biggest secret stayed that way. he was surprised at the very moment of it. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things.
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." first, the late night comedy recap of the academy awards. >> from last night's academy awards a special segment we call first time applauding? ♪ >> only the sisth time in oscar hero there was a tie. the first went to began dolph the gray and the second went to sara mon the white. both men thanked their mothers, blowouts and vidal sassoon. >> michelle obama announced best picture. something happened. i thought maybe -- i thought this was a bit rude. take a look. >> mrs. obama, do you have your envelope?
>> and the oscar goes to. >> "argo." >> well, the appearance from michelle obama was, of course, one of the night's surprises and there's a reason we didn't know about it before hand. "the l.a. times" has con krl candidate the operation from start to finish. it turns out the idea for the first lady to appear at the oscars was hatched before the producers knew whether it would be michelle obama or ann romney. the idea was brought to the first lady's team by harvey weinstein when he attended the second inauguration. then the logistic were put in place. extra precaution that is kept the whole thing under wraps. the few people who were in the know told a crew last week that they were having an emergency meeting about one of the show's musical numbers. in reality they were helping the first lady rehearse via satellite. the winner envelope was hand delivered to the white house over the weekend. so the first lady knew who was
going to win, i guess. throughout the show, the producers were backstage sending text messages to the white house staffers making sure everything was good to go. every the first lady's location in the white house was chosen not so much for the ambiance but because the room they did it would be free all weekend for the set yaup face. next, the latest state to be toying with nullification. alaska. the state's republican led house passed a bill yesterday which would exempt alaskans from having to follow any federal gun or al nitions restrictions. and would subject federal agents who tried to enforce gun laws up there to felony charges. well, alaska speaker of the house led the charge on this one. here he is last month talking about nullifying the president's executive orders on gun control. >> the president has the power to issue -- i'm just wondering which -- >> i also have the ability to not like the authorities that he's passed. >> but you don't necessarily have the ability to nullify things that the federal government has -- >> and that's something that the
people in my district are looking at is nullification. >> seems like this was resolved a long time ago when andrew jackson was president. >> well, we can go back if we want to all the way back to george washington if we want to go far thuf back. so we all know even before thomas jefferson and how we became a country. >> i have no idea what that guy is talking about. nullification became a thing of the past legally in 1833 which is why plenty of people are saying the move in alaska is unconstitutional and will never, ever be enforced. remember this? >> we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. i went to a number of women's groups and said can you help us find folks and they brought us whole binders full of women. >> well, if you thought binders full of women left the scene with the rest of 2012 you didn't catch jeopardy yesterday. >> here are the categories for
you. hugo awards for science fiction. 1990s music. world place names. funny things people say. a bunch of stuff. potpourri really. and a binder full of women. >> a binder full of women for $400. >> she's the 111th justice of the supreme court. >> keith? >> who is sonia sotomayor. >> yes. >> $800, binder full of women. >> in 2012 this berliner topped forbes list of the 100 most powerful women for the second year in a row. >> colby. >> who is merkel. >> angela merkel, correct. >> binder full of women. lives on on jeopardy. up next, a group of high profile republicans is urging the supreme court to support marriage equality. it's yet another sign of how fast this country is moving on this issue. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ lorenzo ] . i work for 47 different companies. well, technically i work for one.
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i'm mary thompson with your cnbc market wrap. the dow gains 116 points, the s&p adds nine and the nasdaq finishes up 13. comments from ben bernanke helped to boost stocks. the fed chairman downplaying concerns about the central banks bond buying program and low interest rate policy. investors also cheering new data on the health of the housing market. new home sales jumped nearly 16% last month. and a separate report showed home prices rose stronger than expected 0.9% in september. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." ♪ some good news for progressives in in story. welcome back. xm one month from today on march 25th, the united states supreme
court will begin hearing arguments on two landmark cases both regarding same-sex marriage or marriage equality if you will. the ground swell of support for gay marriage among prominent republicans is being showcased like never before. this week a friend of the court, amicus brief signed boot at least 80 republicans will be filed in the proposition 8 marriage equality case out in california supporting same-sex marriage. six former republican governors have signed on including former presidential candidate jon huntsman of utah, former new jersey governor chris tooen todd whit man and former massachusetts governor william weld, also signing their names. mary cheney, nicolle wallace, ben ginsberg, and michael powell, colin powell's son. and in the biggest turnaround, meg whitman who supported proposition 8 barring gay
marriage now support gay marriage. joining me is jimmy la salle via president of go proud and msnbc contributor ron reagan. gentlemen, thank you for joining us. jimmy, you have been involved in this fight and i think on the republican side. when did the turn begin? when did you start meeting people who at least said priflly we got to change on this from what the platform has been saying? >> well, i think this issue has been moving faster than any issue we've seen ever in my lifetime, and it's been the last few years. i think that certainly -- i think before then we started a lot of movement. i think especially now that we've had the 2012 elections where four states passed the marriage issues and it's just the new political reality, and people are thinking about the issue differently. everybody has got gay people in their lives now and they -- >> tell me the importance of that. the importance of people just coming out. i think that's the key. when you realize somebody you might have thought was gay but
they come out and say it and you're reconciled to that reality. >> exactly. and people want -- you know, politics is personal and people think about how issues affect their friends and family, and marriage is a good thing for people, and settling down and being monogamous and getting married is a good thing, and more and more conservatives are realizing that and wanting it for their gay friends and family. >> you know, ron, thanks for coming on. unlike the gun issue, for example, where your rights can easily endanger if not kill somebody else's existence, the thing about same-sex marriage is it's not like it's an aggressive act. it's a marriage. it's between two people. so is might bother somebody conceptually but there's no real danger of anybody else's marriage being corrupted by same-sex marriage it seems to me but maybe some people disagree. >> you're absolutely right. that's one of the fundamental weakness of the anti-equally people. they can't point to a harm if
gay people were allowed to marry. their argument comes down to i don't like it so you should make a law and you should add, too, that i don't like it is usually based on explicit religious grounds which it seems to me you could make a base violates the first amendment. if you're going to pass a law like the defense of marriage act that is based on an explicitly judeo-christian reading of what's okay for marriage, it seems to me you're in violation or in danger of violating the first amendment. >> so that's caused some trouble here. i don't know you so let's cause some trouble. i want jimmy to do the dirty work. the catholic church, do you think they're consistent in the way they behave in the clerical world? do you think all the way down from the papacy do you think the whole world up there is nongay? do you think there aren't any gay priests? this whole thing -- >> i work in politics, i'm not a preacher but gay people were everywhere. you know that. and so, yeah, that's my answer. >> why are they against gay marriage? >> i don't know. i think that fundamentally
marriage is a conservative thing. it's what we should want people to do is settle down and partner up and be happy, and so i hope that more and more people see it that way and hopefully some day religious institutions will see that, but at this point, you know, we live in a country that's governed by laws and we should treat everybody the same under the law. >> let's take a look at the friend of the court, the amicus brief. quote, it argues that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in a two-parent home, and that advances conservative values of limited governmented a maximizing individual freedom. i think thinking i'm not a lawyer, ron, but you and i can agree on this. if you just look at the basics, the 14 amendment, you can't be denied equal protections of the law, let's start with liberty. liberty, let's start with the declaration, the pursuit of happiness. it seems to me you look at those crisp documents that still are in our hearts and minds, it says it clearer than anything. how can you deny a person the
way they were made, made by god, and feeling the way they do. it isn't something you choose like trent lott would say you choose to be gay at some particular gay. i don't know when that comes. but he thought it did. i don't want to get too ludicrous about it because it's a sengs tiff issue. the way politicians talk about it and some church people talk about it as if they aren't on this planet among our species. they're not familiar with human life. >> and that's a huge problem for jimmy's party, the republican party. it's not just that they're hateful towards gay people, it's that they're ridiculous about this issue. you can be hated and people might still respect you in some way, shape, or form, but when you're absurd, when you're ridiculous about this kind of issue, people just -- you lack all credibility. >> this is part of the bull fight where the matador here ron reagan takes out the cape and the sword and goes in for his opponent. but you're the bull by the way. here is the question. i may be the only guy in the
world that reads party platforms. your republican platform again this year -- >> i know. >> i was reading it down in the sweaty town of tampa. all this anti-gay rights stuff. every reference was negative. why don't you change it? >> we should. this issue crosses all demographic groups because gay people are in every single family -- >> why is your platform stink? >> that's it. as we look to build a conservative coalition that can win again, we have to take this into consideration and people -- >> why don't you get somebody on the platform committee? get somebody on the plarl form committee. >> love to be. chris matthews appoints me to the platform committee. >> i don't think i can. last week an ad by the marriage equality coalition featured patrick -- barack obama, laura bush, dick cheney, and colin powell that used their public statements to show their support for gay marriage. former first lady laura bush later asked to be removed from the ad. her spokesman e-mailed us saying
why. mrs. bush did not approve her inclusion in this advertisement nor is he shi associated with the group in any way. when she became aware of the advertisement last tuesday night, we requested the that the group remove her. i think her brother-in-law is running for president and i think in your party, the republican party, it's still a problem to be publicly associated with somebody who is more marriage equality? is that possible? do you think that's why laura bush -- >> i don't know mrs. bush so i don't know why she did that. >> well, think. well, think why she did it. >> this issue is baffling to me that many establishment republicans don't get it. because they're out of touch. out of touch with america but also out of touch with their own base. >> put this guy on the platform committee. zbroo most conservatives -- >> jimmy lavalle via should be on that committee. ron, and i will never get on that committee. the sword fighter, the matador who sed his last move. one of the rising stars of the democratic party, pennsylvania attorney general
kathleen kane, there she is, and this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ whirring ] [ creaking ] [ male announcer ] trophies and awards lift you up. but they can also hold you back. committee. kathleen kane, there she is, and unless you ask, what's next? [ zapping ] [ clang ] this is the next level of performance. the next level of innovation. the next rx. the f sport.
this is the pursuit of perfection. the f sport. the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf., and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america. we support nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. president obama met today with two of his biggest rivals, senator john mccain and lindsey graham. the topic, illegal immigration. after the meeting senator graham heaped praise on the president telling reporters it was one of the best meetings i've ever had with the president and he thinks we will have presidential leadership in a very productive way on immigration reform. and with that we have a very good chance of doing it this
year. john mccain echoed his colleague calling it an excellent meeting. wow. mccain and graham are the senior republicans on the so-called gang of eight that's been working on fixing illegal immigration in this country. what good news for everybody. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. omnipotent of opportunity. you know how to mix business... with business. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. [ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro.
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kane worked on hillary clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and former president bill clinton endorsed her for attorney general last year. let's listen to bill clinton. >> if you want somebody who's both tough and smart, both somebody who has got a steel spine and a caring heart, kathleen kane is your candidate. she has handled more than 3,000 cases. >> wow, handled more than 13,00 cases. >> kathleen kane is with us. should i call you general? is general a good title? >> you may call me whatever you like. >> okay, kathleen. thank you for coming on. i hear nothing but good things about you. the reason we're asking you to come on tonight and you've agreed is i'm looking at people in the country in public service who i can see a couple notches now being national figures. i'm not going to ask whether you're running for president. let's talk about matters we always talk about in this show. what do you think of this republican plan to change the use of the electoral college and basically kill the unit rule,
kill pennsylvania's right to vote as a state, basically disassemble the districts and have those vote for president? >> well, i'm a big believer in the popular vote should continue. i believe pennsylvania is as important as any other state and our vote should count. >> so we should keep it together as a unit? >> i agree. yes, absolutely. >> okay. let me ask you about this attempt and i really was going after -- i don't know if you watch the show, but i was going after it almost every night. this requirement that went into effect last year and the leadership in harrisburg was pushing it. to require older people in the city to come up with a photo i.d. card when there was no reason for them to have such an i.d. card. they live if had the city. and all of a sudden all these democrats were basically disenfranchised. that law's basically in suspension right now. where's that going to end up? is that going to be back on the
books again? >> that's right. and you're right. right now there's an injunction. the injunction is going to stand for the may primary at least. then it goes before the court. trial date is set for july. we'll see what happens then. >> okay. let's go into a subject we in pennsylvania hate to talk about. gun control. gun safety. what do you think the people of pennsylvania would accept? what do you think the people should accept? should there be a gan on assault weapons? should there be new background checks? what do you think should get done here after newtown, connecticut? >> well, i think the people -- yeah. the people of pennsylvania are very reasonable people. i mean, we're hunters. we're fishermen. we're sportsmen. all that kind of thing. but we're also reasonable and practical. i think the people of pennsylvania would accept a limit on the amount of clips. you know, i believe and i think a lot of people feel the same way that you don't have a right to go into a classroom and take down a class of children in
under a minute. i think they would be okay with limiting the size of the clips. universal background checks. it has nothing to do with your second amendment right or your ability to keep your gun. but i think everyone agrees that it is a common sense approach that we should be background checks. if we're going to have them on some gun sales, we should have them on all gun sales. what's the difference? we also -- last year our legislature passed a straw purchasing to make the penalty stronger. i think now that we have that tool box set, i think the people of pennsylvania are ready to say okay. we don't mind reporting our lost and stolen gun. that is just the tool for prosecutors to make sure that straw purchasers who make up 40% of all gun crimes in pennsylvania are held accountable for their actions. it's gun trafficking. no one agrees with gun trafficking. so there are common sense approaches we can take. two weeks ago we closed the florida loophole here in pennsylvania. we received first e-mails saying
we don't understand. why are you infringing on our gun rights. when we accident plain what had the florida loophole was, it allows people from pennsylvania who are denied permits to apply into florida and get a gun permit when we explained that to them, we had every single e-mail come back and said you know what? we agree with you. you're absolutely right. it has nothing to do with the second amendment. so i think there's a ground swell of support. i think that people are ready to at least start saying the word gun. i mean, you know, in years past, you could never get any elected official or candidate to talk about guns because they were so afraid of losing. >> okay. >> but i think now that -- i mean, i've done it. i did it throughout my campaign. even now my first 25 days in office, we've already tackled one gun issue. and we have a lot of support for it. >> kathleen kane, attorney general of pennsylvania. glad we had you on. when we return, let me finish with our big worry that things are not working well in washington. i mean it. it isn't looking good here.
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let me finish tonight with my growing concern that things are not working out here in washington. washington is as i've said many time has no factories or smokestac smokestacks. the only output of this city is the government. and there should be deals across the aisle. between the president and the congress. without deals there could be no
action. because only if this democratic president and this republican house of representatives can reach the accommodation, we are stuck right where we are today. not passing budgets, not dealing with the debt, not ending these endless manufacturing crises now coming at us with disgusting regularity. where's the deal to save us from this? the president said no deal until the republicans pony up enhancing tax reform. speaker boehner says no tax reform until there's entitlement reform. both sides know their bases. they know they can go on with the decisions as long as their political bases support them. this could be a long time. boehner's biggest worry isn't the president. it's the tea party members of his own caucus that might bring him down. the president's biggest worry is that boehner alone it's the democrats who will resolve him. the only question to which i do not know the answer is how in the world can boehner and the president cut a deal when they're so restricted