tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC December 23, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EST
>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do for you -- >> tear down this wall. >> i can hear you! >> a time for change has come? >> chris: down to the chimney, join the crowd, it's time for celebration and whose stockings will get the most gifts. who scored the best achievements this year. that christmas morning feeling, who's happy with what they got this year and who's not. and finally, unforgettable, we unwrap historic moments this past year you may have forgotten. welcome to a holiday awards show. with us today, michael duffy with "time magazine," the bbc's katty kay, the "new york time's" helene cooper and abc's sam donaldson. it's been a very tough week and americans are trying their best to celebrate the season.
this show always celebrates by looking back at the political hits of the last year and what a rich political year it's been of the let's start with the biggest game changers in politics this year. the biggest game change of the political year the surprising supreme court ruling in june that upheld obama care? or was it the big impact our country's minorities had this year to re-elect the president? was it the big fat super pac money that swamped presidential politics this year or the tea party's influence over the republicans rose up over two years ago but continued to dominate the g.o.p. this year. >> i think it's money but not big money, little money. obama raised $1 billion this year, half of it in donations from small people, small amounts, and half in the last three months so astonishing swell of cash at a time when people thought he would be outspent. chris: over and over again, an
email asking for $5. >> i'm going with the tea party because it had such an impact on the republican primary process and what the republican party needs to fix now because if they go through that again in 2016, they're in trouble again. >> i'm going john roberts and the supreme court. i think that was a game changer. i can't imagine what conversation we'd be having if they struck down obama care or not ruled in favor. chris: the republicans could have really used that. >> they could have and i remember that day, all the charter to twitter where people were calling chief justice john roberts a snake from harry potter, the evil professor who turned colors. chris: sam? >> the minority re-elected president obama but i'm going can katty. it's the tea party and thinks of the tea party that are driving the republicans out of contention as a national party. you cannot win nationally if you don't know something about the way the country's changed and the tea party seems to think the
country can go back 20 or 30 years. the greatest slogan i hated was we want to take back our country. it's not your country anymore. it's our country and you're part of it but that thinking will defeat republicans if they don't get rid of it. chris: our next category, worst moments of the campaign year. clint eastwood's empty chair number, mitt romney's disastrous overseas trip to london, suggesting that the brits weren't up to hosting the olympics. next, it was the uproar when the white house went to war with the catholic bishops by insisting religious organizations cover employees for contraception and barack obama's frozen performance in the first debate? >> i'm going with london. i was there at the time and it was not only the worst moment for mitt romney but the best moment for boris johnson, the mayor of london, when he came out with that fantastic line, "i
hear there's some guy named mitt romney." >> i think it was the olympics, too, because it knocked 10 or 12 days out of his campaign, no one in his campaign wanted to go and he went for a show horse. >> he didn't watch the show horse. >> that would have killed his campaign early. if he had gone for greco-roman wrestling. >> why did the show horse hurt? >> it's a high-end, rich people sport. chris: and he had a horse in the race. >> i think that foreign trip was pretty bad, too, but not just because of london because after he left london he went to jerusalem and didn't meet with the palestinian president. things got worse and he went to poland where he had issues there, as well, so the entire trip was a big -- chris: sam? >> i agree with everybody. why not, because -- and i agree when he went to jerusalem and talked about the palestinians and said, well, the people here
in the jewish state are so successful because of their culture. well, that's the code word and that doesn't work. chris: to straighten things out. you're saying that the trip to jerusalem which was missed by a lot of people, including me, was worse than the first debate by obama? >> the first debate didn't turn the race. >> obama won. he got over it. chris: that's the way people think in politics. if everything you did is wrong because you lost and everything you did is right because you won. i love the revision. the greatest zingers of the year. was it this impromptu fun between senate pals at a capitol hallway stake-out? >> senator mccain. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. >> thank you very much, mr. president. this is what happens when you get two losers up here.
[laughter] chris: is it this from ron paul, putting down newt gingrich for his out-there views on space exploration. >> i don't think we should go to the moon. i think we should send some politicians up there. chris: or the president's sharp comeback to a romney charge in the third debate. >> you mentioned the navy for example and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1915. horses ander bayonets. chris: was it this zinger in the vice presidential debate. >> jack kennedy. >> now you're jack kennedy. chris: these aren't the best of all time. >> i like the navy one and i know -- chris: the bayonets and horses. >> the white house had been prepared for that one because mechanism was using the line about the navy being smaller now. chris: one of his biggest advisers, former secretary of the navy, 600-ship navy.
>> so they were prepared for it and put that line in there just waiting and it was so funny, i was there for that debate and the second mitt romney said what he did, a lot of the reporters trying to groans baud they knew what was coming. >> i like the zinger from the president. the one i like was on the david letterman show. letterman says you and mitt romney don't like each other, why not? and he said, when we were kids together in kenya growing up and that kind of humor really makes an impact on people because they like it. chris: it's self deprecating, taking the biggest charge against you. >> i'm going with the kerry. the setup thing was terrible but when kerry said you've got a lot of losers up here, it was funny, because the zingers are best when they're not planned. >> you calling him mr. president was funny. >> it's the self deprecating
thing. chris: loser is a pretty good word. >> i'm staying with ron paul. the republicans are only going to win the presidency when they stop letting people run who adjust to raise their speaking fees. chris: but it's free to get in. >> anyone can grow up to be president. chris: on a more serious note, our next nominations are for backbone. we have to say that the heroic teachers in newtown, connecticut, and first responders, won every american's highest regard but this show's about politics. in our political awards, our nominees are chief justice john roberts who we talked about earlier stiffed the other conservative justices, including scalia, and upheld obama care. next, those republicans in congress who broke publicly with grover norquist to support the idea of higher tax rates on the healthy, or, bobby and wallace edwards, parents of john edwards, who trooped behind him every day to that north carolina courthouse to stand with their
son. or, was it this -- >> one nation, under god, indivisible, liberty and justice for all! [cheers and applause] chris: gabby giffords who survived an assassination attempt. sam? >> gabby giffords, when she did that, my heart sank. this brave woman coming back from -- she should have been dead. how did she survive? chris: she decided not to run for re-election and she knew she wasn't up for it. >> she made the right decision. chris: what about backbone? >> a republican hasn't voted for a tax increase in congress since 1990 and in the last couple of weeks republicans have talked about and said they're for tax rate increases. that is is a huge sea change in that party, the beginning of wisdom on physical sanity. >> gabby giffords, she did it
with a smile. that took a lot of guts to get in front of that huge audience. chris: you can tell a lot of about these pols when people stand up for you. >> i have a new nomination. i would say the republican pizza owner in florida who lifted up president obama in front of the secret service. chris: were they reaching for their guns? >> looking apoplectic. i was one of the pool reporters. he goes up to obama and goes like that and i thought the secret service was going to body slam the guy. chris: that was gutsy. when we return, this christmas special, more of our awards.
chris: it's time for one of our favorite awards every year, the foot in mouth prize. here goes. as we mentioned, before, mitt romney on his overseas tour trying to make friends over there but missing his mark in the interview with brian williams. >> in the short time you've been here in london, do they look ready to your experienced eye? >> it's hard to know just how well it will turn out. there are a few things that were disconcerting. chris: vice president joe biden on "meet the press" frustrating the white house by forcing the president's hand on a big policy change ahead of schedule. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women are entitled to the same exact rights, and quite frankly, i don't see much of a distinction. chris: and there was this incredible utterance. >> back in my days, they used bear aspirin for contraceptives.
the gals put it between their knees. chris: and this obama surrogate going off message describing ann romney. >> his wife has never worked a day in her life. she's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing. chris: dive into this shark tank. who was the biggest mistake? >> i'm going with foster flice but i think he got it from his wife. he said his wife let him have it. chris: who is he a fan of? >> santorum. >> it's got to be the aspirin. how do you alienate one half of the body populace. >> and you have to add todd akin in there. >> is your winner prince harry with hijinks in vegas or mitt romney back home in michigan. >> i was born and raised here. i love this state.
it seems right here. trees are the right height. i like -- chris: this was a cone head moment. what were these secret service agents thinking when they engaged in sexual tourism in cartagena on company time and what was david patraeus thinking when he carried on an affair over his email? >> what a lot to choose from this year. chris: it's a rich pile. >> it's got to be the secret service guys. really, what were they thinking? chris: we know what they were thinking. >> how do they not think it's going to get out? >> patraeus and the secret service are in their own category because they put national security at risk in a big way but among those two, i'm with patraeus. he had more secrets, he was more blackmailable and should have known better. chris: and using his email. don't spook guess through his emails all the time? >> i would go back -- not just the secret service agents but
the one secret service agent who got into a fight with the woman over paying her. that is ridiculous! chris: these are poor people, and you're arguing over $50. >> i like the secret service but i'm going to be different. i like the trees. what was he thinking? it reminds me of ronald reagan who talked about killer trees. why do people say things that are so completely off? chris: what did it mean? >> i don't know what it mean. chris: it did seem like an alien from another planet talking in english. >> saying the trees were level? chris: that will haunt him and you and the killer rabbit and carter. when we return, what was the biggest sign of trouble ahead that first
things to come. here's green shoots we saw emerging this year. hillary clinton, soon to be a private citizen but with a future presidential run you can already see. the census bureau's announcement that the american birth were the majority non-white and the fact at that hurricane center got all the way to letter t, way beyond the usual number. helene. >> the last two are gloom and doom. i'm going with the browning of america. that's interesting, that's huge. you saw it starting to play out in the election and this is such a much more diverse country now and i'm wildly curious to see how that plays out. chris: it's amazing how people are not aware of it. >> no, no, so many people think it's the same united states but that's what's always made this country so cool, it's the reason i could always thought have not gone anywhere else in the world as an african
immigrant and end up on this show next to you. chris: americans, true in sports and other things, put in the best player. >> demographers tell us most american citizens will be part of groups we now think of are the minorities but i think it's hillary clinton, things to come. she's going to run. i think this time she will organize the caucus states. had she organized the caucus states, she would have been the nominee of the democratic party. >> i know we are close to christmas so we want to think about the nice things but doom and gloom as helene said but global warming. nobody talked about it during the campaign. we have record levels of ice melts. chris: new york is getting lower and lower in the water and nobody talks about it. >> nobody's doing anything. chris: mayor bloomberg deserves credit for retrofitting new york but all of the sewage and water systems all built below the ground level and we got to
prepare for that. >> and the highways buckled this year, the electrical grid gets stressed, the cities on the coast are not prepared. it will cost billions. the demographic stuff is huge and it's a good thing. the weather is huge and it's a bad thing and we are no more prepared as a country to make the changes we need -- >> or the world on the climate. >> as a trend to worry about, the weather is the one to worry about. chris: the denial of this thing is unbelievable. chris: the denial of this thing is unbelievable. when we return, next eek,
your mood improves. friends will want to know, "what's your secret? mine is cross training and running. you'll be happier and healthier the more you know. chris: our final awards category for this christmas show, one of the biggest mountains for president obama in the coming year, mountains to conquer. our 4 choices -- the continuing pressure to cut spending to slow the growth of medicare or medicaid, or dealing with iran and its nuclear
program, or forging the ties he'll need for a heavy lift, the big lifts coming up for history. he needs allies. >> i like people around him for the second term. you watch second term presidents, they go downhill because people change. ronald reagan, first term, great people everywhere. then they shuffled the chairs, some people left. second term, it's on the bitberg, selling arms to iran. chris: the second team sometimes is second rate? >> that's correct and if he falls down that same rat hole, he won't do what he wants to. chris: i think sometimes they pick people they're more comfortable with. i think it's time for him to swing for the census, middle east peace, something he hasn't touched in years and how he goes about trying to assemble -- chris: looks like he's getting ready to do that? >> no. >> i wish we could end on a positive note. chris: your chance is now.
>> they are so preoccupied with the middle east, iran is part of that but on the national security side, it's iran, the state of egypt, syria. there's a ton of stuff he has to look at. chris: should we warn our grandkids that in the news when you're getting older there will be a topic called middle east peace process. >> in the history books. chris: it will always be there. >> i'm with the first one. i think he has a huge task, mountain to climb in selling his party on entitlement cuts. he's ready, he says, the party is not. the caucuses are not ready. it will be a huge story and very soon as to whether they will accept this half of the bargain. chris: why are democrats so protective of medicare and medicaid? >> it's a mystery to me where the other party is ready to raise rates. they have to give ground. chris: how does he build the team to do in a? >> i would get bill clinton to come back and say i was for doing something on social security 15 years ago. can we do it now?
chris: the can-do attitude clinton could bring back is so important and part of the kennedy era i grew up with. and next year is a big anniversary in our country for history, the death of jack kennedy. my book, "jack kennedy, elusive hero" just coming out in paper back, a great gift for history lovers looking forward to next year. thanks for the roundtable, katty kay, michael duffy, helene cooper and good luck to you, you're heading off to write a sequel to your book about your home in africa and liberia, sam donaldson. thank you. we'll see you next week for part two of our political awards. [captioning made possible by nbc universal]