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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  September 12, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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time mccain slipped up on foreign policy. in 2008, mccain said iran was training sunni operatives. he was only corrected by his own buddy joe lieberman when he pointed out the mistake. >> al qaeda is going back into iran and receiving training and are coming back into iraq from iran. that's well known, and it's unfortunate. >> dipped -- >> i'm sorry. the iranians are training extremists, not al qaeda. not al qaeda. i'm sorry. >> a pretty being error for someone who ran for president on his foreign policy credentials. mccain also criticized president obama on libya. john mccain should get his own facts straight before he criticizes the president. >> thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now.
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romney or perry, pick your poison, and let's play "hardball." good evening. the fall political season is on, and the race for the republican nomination is going down to rick perry or mitt romney. i love that question, does he think either of them will be easy? that's our top story tonight. then we could have seen this coming. republicans rumbling about president obama's job plan, saying they don't want to give him a political victory. that's why the president needs to take this flight straight to republicans and highlight projects, work that needs doing in their own district.
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all politics is local. tomorrow president obama goes to ohio, home of house speaker john boehner, and boehner's district is home to 99 bridges that need repair, structurally deficient. should this help the president's argument? we think so. we begin with which
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candidate president obama wants to run again. thank god we have the right people here. howard fine man, his titles get longer and more impressive, and they should, and chris cillizza. ? focus groups they did off the president's speech, they think that the hot rhetoric of perry and the sort of let's change all
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the ideology rhetoric of perry is not where the voters are at, the mainstream voters. >> saying bernie madoff was behind the new deal? >> yeah. they want practical policies to work. and romney, however boring he may be, is closer in terms of being a guy who could get practical results as opposed to starting an ideological fight. at least, that's what i take from the interpretation of the focus group from the white house. >> it makes sense to me that they also -- i think you're also saying, if you take the 30% on the hard right are going to vote against obama if he runs against anybody, he's already lost them. but that 20% that makes it up to 50, that other 20%, that goes from 20% to 50%, the ones that can beat you, they may not go as far as rick perry. they might say, i can't do this. i can't pull the lever for this guy. >> the advisers of the white house and the democrats are saying, too hot, too ideological for those like-deciding suburban
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women voters. >> i grew up with them. i know them from the 'burbs. let me go right now to chris cillizza, for an equally gutsy call. who would they like to least likely to run against, perry or romney? >> howard is right on both accounts, they don't talk about it. and two, if they did talk about it, they would say, they'd rather run against rick perry. chris, you mentioned it, you were talking about it. i think what you're looking at in almost any presidential election, but almost certainly in 2012, 40% of the people will vote for the republican nominee, no matter who it is, 40% will vote for barack obama. it might not even be 20%. let's say it's 20%. independents in the middle -- >> the people that vote for porky pig rather than president obama. >> right. and the thing is is we spend all of our time, chris, analyzing election, and in truth, you're probably talking about 10% of the voting population. >> and they make all the difference. >> they believe that romney tonally, tonally is more appealing to those candidates --
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to those independent voters. businessmen background, he's from the northeast, he was the governor of a northeastern state. than rick perry ace southern accent, governor of texas, social security as a ponzi scheme. those kind of white-hot comments, to howard's point, people just want to feel like government is working and politicians understand them. romney fits that mold better, and therefore, more dangerous against obama. >> chris, do you have a guy in your family or close circle of friends that usually you can tell is your bellwether? i have a brother named charlie who does a lot of work in business, he's a business guy, salesman of high-tech stuff. and he's only voted wrong once, he voted for dukakis. if you ask him how he's going to vote -- do you have the anybody like that, howard? >> i do. i have an aunt like that. >> who's a bellwether. have you checked in with her lately? >> i haven't lately. >> we ought to do a weekly check-in with our favorite family members. >> i've got my parents. >> might be a little early. >> who do you go with, chris?
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>> i check in with my parents, especially my mom, they live in connecticut, which is not a republican readout, but they reflect what a lot of people think. they think things are broken. they don't believe that the government is working for them, and they're willing to look around. i think that's what barack obama, he's got to close the deal, because people are willing to look around. >> i'm with you. >> i'm not sure they're sold on the other candidates on the republican side, but they want to look. >> also, i think the problem for president obama is he has to realize, it isn't just personality. when people want change, they find a way of liking the other person. they find a way of liking them. here's nbc's brian williams asking president obama about the very question i've raised with you two fellows about the republican field this weekend. let's listen to what the president said or didn't say. >> gull watch any of the republican debate? >> you know, i didn't watch my own debates, much less somebody else's. >> mitt romney, quote, president's a nice guy. he doesn't have a clue how to get this country working again. your reaction? >> i'm not going to start
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reacting to republican rhetoric in a presidential campaign. let them decide who it is that is going to be their standard-bearer and we'll have more than ample time to have a debate with them. >> what do you make of rick perry who is, i guess, the front-runner? >> well, he's been the governor of a big state and, you know, there's no doubt he's a credible candidate, as is mr. romney and a whole bunch of other folks. >> that was brian williams, our colleague, fly fishing out there, for trout, and he didn't get any. because the president wasn't saying nothing. >> no, he wasn't -- >> a lot of fellas out there, he was probably going to throw herman cain on the list. they were all possibly, credible candidates? >> why should he, when the president had the opportunity to give at least in part a gangbusters political speech before a joint session of congress, challenging the republicans to do something. it's not like barack obama is out of politics.
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>> yeah. >> but what he was trying to frame the debate before he ever gets to a specific candidate. because he's running against whole mind-set here. >> okay. look how wild this is, guys. we all watch this, because we know how important it is, but there's also an element of game to this that is so stunning. chris, you do this all the time. i love your thing, bachmann had the worst week of the week. she certainly did. look at her on this list. in fact, where's waldo on this list? this is the latest cnn poll. let's see, rick perry holding strong at number one, way ahead of mitt romney, who's a bit ahead of -- whoa -- sarah palin, she's not even running, and look at her up at 15. she's still got a following certainly out there. ron paul, a small, consistent following. herman cain, a following, guess who's not on the list, chris michelle bachmann, she's at 4. we didn't have room for her on our chart. what happened? >> if you don't make the first page of a graphic that includes six candidates, that's not really a good sign. here's what happened. >> if you don't get ahead of newt gingrich, you will never be
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president of the united states, you've got real problems. >> here's what happens, she wins the ames straw policy -- policy on august 13th, but the bigger event that day is rick perry getting into the race in south carolina. he is, i think, michele bachmann 2.0, is what i've been calling it. he's conservative, so tea party members like him, but he's also, they believe, electable. you know, chris, another number in that cnn poll, they were asked, who has the best chance to beat barack obama, 42% said rick perry. romney got 24%. it speaks to the fact that he is, in their mind, at the moment, both conservative enough for them and can beat president obama. she never could make both sides of the argument. she was certainly conservative enough, but people struggled to see her as -- >> and chris and howard, you and i, we all know this, people wonder about a guy or a woman who's still only a congressperson. it's a very distinguished position, i would love to be a congressman, but the fact is, congressmen are below in the public mind senators and governors. and they must wonder, this is a heck of a jump. you want to go from congressman to president of the united
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states? it just never happens. >> and no matter how much she talks about her titanium spine, it doesn't quite cut it. but what impressed me about that list, if you look down the list, they're all hard-core tea party types of one kind or another, except for mitt romney. so that means everybody else on that list, you add up all the numbers on that list, you're up to like 50, 60% or more -- >> so when it goes to the playoffs, what happens? all those votes collapse around rick perry? do they all go to him? >> yeah, i think they're going to go to -- if it turns out that way, they're going to go to rick perry. i think that shows better than any graphic how difficult it's going to be for mitt romney. >> thank you, thank you. >> to win win the nomination. >> everybody's been doing these how sanaas, about how great romney's doing, and yet i think red-hot, right-wing republicans want red-hot, right-wing republican candidates. >> hasn't hurt him yet.
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>> let's take a look at this op-ed on social security. here's what he said to try to prune this a bit. he wrote, quote, i am going to be honest with the american people. for too long politicians have been afraid to speak honestly about social security. we must have the guts to talk about this financial condition if we are to fix social security. finally comes the wort he wants to fix it and not kill it and make it financially viable for generations to come. he's turned the circle, he's going around and saying, yeah, this thing is a ponzi scheme. in the sense that with an older population and older voters, the old math of three to one or four to one worker bees for one retiree doesn't work anymore. now it's closer to two to one. it's getting very tricky to have enough workers out there to pay for the retirees. >> and that is a point of view that is, if not broadly held, certainly held by both members of parties. the question is, can he close that circle? what he has said in the past is that the program was flawed from the start. now, that's different than
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saying it's now flawed and we need to reform it. >> it wasn't flawed when people didn't make it -- to 65. >> chris, in florida, don't forget, there's a debate there tonight. there's also going to be -- that could be the deciding state in the primary process in 2012. a lot of seniors in that state going to vote. that social security position may be less tenable for perry there than it might be in other places. >> comments, byron york is a smart conservative, is saying michele bachmann will do 'tag team. she's going right after rick perry. >> she's got to attempt some kind of payback. rick perry stole whatever thunder -- >> i just cedric cross, coach of the won the holy cross/colgate game this weekend? i think it was holy cross. thank you, howard fineman, my good friend. he went to colgate, it's a hell of a school. thank you, chris cillizza for joining us. i read you all the time. you're right, bachmann had the worst week. coming up, have the neocons learned their lesson? we'll see.
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as sure as the turning of 9 earth, here comes dick cheney, the one member of the bush administration who ain't giving up. he was for attacking syria in 2007. but he was all alone. and even john mccain now says america isn't going to war in the middle east again. has the republican party moved on? are we hearing a lot about, you know, foreign adventurism has got to end. what a change in the clock. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. confidence, with depend in color. now available in gray. looks and fits like underwear. same great protection. depend. good morning. great day.
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well, mitt romney, talk about excitement, has picked up the endorsement of former rival tim pawlenty. two little puddles of water coming together. not exactly a splash. the former minnesota governor dropped out of the race last month after a disappointing finish in the ames straw poll. pawlenty said today he made his endorsement based on romney's economic experience and his belief that romney would appeal -- would repeal the federal health care bill and perhaps put him on the cabinet. in another endorsement news, louisiana governor bobby jindal says he's going with perry.
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so it looks like a match today. we'll be right back. a living, bg intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ in here, machines have a voice... ♪ [ male announcer ] in here, medical history follows you... even when you're away from home. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities, creating and integrating solutions, helping business, and the rethink possible. or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion.
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back to "hardball." ten years after september 11th, of course, we marked it yesterday, where are the neocons? the movement that took the united states into the war in iraq isn't a dominant a force even in the republican party as it once was. if anything, it's poster children like dick cheney seem to have come from a different era of republican politics. and a daily beast article last month, peter barnhart argued the movement is dead, "none of the major candidates is attacking president obama along neoconservative lines, none is focusing on his withdrawal from iraq or his timetable for exiting afghanistan or his refusal to obama iran. while they know they're supposed to call obama an appeaser, they also know that even republican voters have had little appetite right now for the war in the middle east." is the neocon movement dead? in so, has anyone told dick cheney? david corn, msnbc analyst and
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correspondent for mother jones, and joe conason, who was fabulous this morning. joe, you were great this morning. you said a couple of things that were brilliant this morning. and i want to start with something you didn't talk about. it seems like the republican party is going through a weird with kind of change. i don't know what it is, but they've changed. they're attacking foreign adventurism. they've even got terms for it. they're getting flighty about it. when they were the ones that marched like lemmings towards war in iraq. what's changed? >> what's changed is the attitude of the public. you take any poll and see that the war in afghanistan is not popular. certainly, the war in iraq lost popularity a long time ago. and, you know, even the war in libya, which i think where the president sort of tried to take a backseat to the international coalition, also was not popular with most voters.
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so the republicans look at that and being the very principled people that they are decided, hey, we're not to get behind any of those things we decide we were going to get behind anymore. even john mccain said over the weekend, you know, the american people just don't have the stomach for these wars in the middle east anymore. >> but i also think we've learned a lot of lessons, and frankly, i don't think you're going to see the united states of america in another war in that part of the world. i don't think american public opinion would stand for it. >> you know, that's the john mccain that is sensitive to the electorate like he is on issues involving hispanics and immigration. when you sit down and listen to him, he's very thoughtful. >> yes, when he's not running in a republican primary. but, you know, iraq turned out to be the edsel of u.s. foreign policy. the neocons were the cheerleaders and they got the administration going against a war that at first the public wasn't much behind. >> but to this day, don't these
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guys still scare you in your spine that a president with a slight mental and rhetorical ability as george w. bush, he was no hitler or stalin or call to arms type of guy was able to talk the american people into that war over absolute bs. >> he didn't talk them into it, he scared them into it. dick cheney and others talking about a mushroom cloud, right after finishing the job in afghanistan, right before the november 2002 midterm elections, that's when they started the push for that war. it served their political purposes and it served whatever proactive need the president had to -- >> could someone please tell me why went to war in iraq? joe, can you tell me why we wasn't to war in iraq? cheney says he would have went without wmd. at the time they used wmd as a selling people for europe. but why did they go? >> the practical reasons why we went to a war in iraq, chris,
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remain mysterious, i think, to everybody. we spent upwards of $3 trillion on this project for no discernible return. so it's hard to say. i guess cheney and others of his ilk believed that we were going to transform the middle east, perhaps in our image, if we overthrew saddam by force of arms, and that's obviously been proved to be false. arab spring is opposite of the war of iraq. it's indigenous, grassroots, largely nonviolent. and this is proved, i think, the neocons completely wrong from beginning to end. >> i think some of them just wanted to fight. you have people, and i don't want to get into fights, but from the beginning, some of these guys, after we were hit, just wanted to strike back at anything and everything. here's pipes that day. there is no need to know the precise identity of a perpetrator. how's that for a statement? in war, there are times when one strikes first and asks questions later. just go attack the irquois on
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the reservations, attack china, attack anybody and it somehow makes you feel good. >> daniel pipes wasn't in the government when said that. paul wolfowitz was. he said, forget about afghanistan. iraq, iraq will be easier. iraq is the source of our problem. it was -- they used 9/11 as an excuse to engage in a war they had been lobbying for for years. >> here is cheney acknowledging some of the intelligence, here it is, they received in iraqs weapons program was wrong, but he stands by the administration's decision to attack. nbc's jamie gangel asked him, cheney, about the decision. she pointed out that it didn't sit well with president bush. let's listen. >> in his book, president bush wrote he had a, quote, sickening feeling, but you don't seem to express the same reaction or regrets. >> well, i didn't have a sickening feeling. i think we did the right thing. >> well, that's just what he says. he just says it.
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okay, here's "washington post's" bob woodward today. he took vice president cheney to task today. bob woodward reported that2007, cheney was the only member of the administration advocating a attack on a syrian facility. this was despite the fact that the cia said they had low confidence that the site was being used to create nuclear weapons. had he learned nothing from iraq and the missing weapons of mass destruction. that's my question to you, joe. there he is right away, and by the way, woodward just takes him to task for this. >> you would almost think that cheney was actually an agent of the nation's enemies, because everything that he advocates, everything he wants us to do plays so perfectly into the hands of the people who hate america. i mean, it's remarkable. this is an outlook that has been designed to damage our prestige and that's what it's done. >> that's what they said, by the way, of joe mccarthy.
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you couldn't be a better friend to the communist than joe mccarthy. >> even if he thought these threats were real and there was a reason to go after them. if you look at how we handled the war, the aftermath, what we did in afghanistan or didn't do in afghanistan, they messed it up every step of the way. not just the reasons to do it, but the doing of it. so it set us back, and that's not just because we attacked, but because we were incompetent after the attack. >> i think we've got to give up on dick cheney. i think it's going to take a cambodia reeducation camp to turn him around. anyway, i salute him for his object duralens. up next, hillary clinton answers the troublemakers who are calling for her to challenge president obama in the democratic primary. an old nixon trick, like kennedy was going to jump johnson. it's always a troublemaking move. let's see that in the sideshow,
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sideshow. first up, putting it to rest. last week former vp dick cheney speculated on how hillary clinton would fair as the president of the united states. well, i think it's sheer trouble making on cheney's part. this is the kind of trick richard nixon used to pull. here's the secretary of state herself. >> what's the likelihood that you're going to challenge president obama in the primary? you know, you've got dick cheney in your court. >> oh, yeah, it's below zero. one of the great things about being secretary of state is i am out of politics. i am not interested in being drawn back into it by anybody. >> well, that's a strong statement. anyway, it's nice to be asked, but it sounds stupid after all to keep being asked. i still bet on her becoming secretary of the world bank. i think she'll get it. and al gore got some attention when ron paul released an ad criticizing his opponent rick perry for supporting gore's presidential ambitions back in 1998. of course, the al gore of '98 was notably more conservative, but perry's backing of gore does seem peculiar. in an interview with "usa today" gore explains, "i remember rick perry from that campaign. he was one of a number of democratic legislators who
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endorsed my candidacy in 1998 and i was happy to have his support. i don't know what has happened to him since then." well, gore went on to say, "people are free to change their minds in politics. i'll let the voters judge and make their own interpretation of his explanation for his extreme shift in views." well, he got the knife in there. anyway, the response probably comes as good news to the texas governor. imagine if gore had endorsed rick perry. that would have been trouble for perry. and now for the big number tonight, talk about getting the word out. the numbers are in and it appears that president obama drew quite a crowd for his address in confronting the jobs crisis last week. 31.4 million people tuned in for that. 31.4 million people. and despite all the hype about how the speech would affect the football game, the president beat out the opening night game in numbers, 31.4 million, that's bigger than the opening nfl game. that's tonight's big number. up next, do republicans really want president obama's
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i'm milissa rehberger. some texas residents are being allow to do return to what's left of their homes you new york city that fire crews have deadly wildfires about 50% contained. in all, more than 1500 homes have been destroyed by the worth wildfires in texas history. meanwhile, across the atlantic, what's level of heron katia bathered the coast there. six new strains of e. coli has been added to a list of illegal contaminants. bank of america will be slashing jobs as part of a cost-cutting plan. new hope for millions
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stricken with alzheimer's, a new insulin nasal spray has shown progress. and serena williams has been fined forthere 2,000 for engaging in a dust-up with a line judge on sunday. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." today president obama surrounded by teachers, firefighters, and construction workers, challenged congress to pass his jobs bill. >> no games, no politics, no delays. i'm sending this bill to congress today. and they ought to pass it immediately. >> what some republicans are already out there bashing the
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president's plan, even before they've had a good look at it. one unnamed senior house republican aide told politico, "obama is on the ropes. why do we appear ready to hand him a win." in other words, don't help him! he's in trouble. will republicans support obama's job plan and help americans get back to work or just say no because they want the president to fail, simply put. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz of florida, is chairman of the democratic national committee, and barbara lee is a democrat from northern california. i want to start with the chairman. congresswoman wasserman schultz, i just don't know about this. i sense some hesitation on the part of boehner, the speaker, even eric cantor, not to be out there trashing it too soon, but i hear noise coming through the woodwork, they'd love this thing to fail. >> well, you know, so far, all i've seen from the republican leadership, whether it's the presidential candidates or the speaker or eric cantor is they cares about one job, president
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obama's. i'm a little worried, chris, that the republican leadership is playing rope-a-dope here. they know it's unpopular to suggest that we shouldn't pass a bill like the american jobs act, and i think that, you know, they are probably likely to just chop it apart, take the deregulation of business, let the fox guard the henhouse again, and repeat the same failed policies of the past, instead of seriously considering president obama's sound proposal to invest in infrastructure, to make sure we can put teachers, firefighters, other first responders, veterans and construction workers back to work, and make sure that we can get this economy the shot in the arm that it needs, so we can pick up the pace of recovery. >> congressman lee, what i'm overwhelmed by is the hesitance of republicans to support a business tax cut. here you have an employer payroll tax cut that the president is proposing, and why don't they just say, yeah, that's our stuff, that's what we do? >> they should, chris, but i'm reminded always of what senator
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mitch mcconnell said last year. and he said their first priority, of course, was to make sure that president obama was a one-term president. anything they do is within that context. so, now, again, we are hearing that they're going to pick this jobs bill apart. they have not proposed one single jobs measure. also, i'm reminded that in their districts, they have people who are unemployed. they have people who are desperate for help. so i don't know how they're going to get away with it, with the public, chris. this is a jobs bill that should move forward immediately and republicans should support it, democrats should support it, and we should move forward to help the american people. when you look at the unemployment rates in the country and in the minority communities, people want to work. it's a moral disgrace. so we have to move forward. but, again, i'm reminded and i want to remind everyone that senator mcconnell said that their first priority was to make sure that president obama was a
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one-term president. so, once again, i hope we don't see this, but what we're hearing is they could be obstructionists to this very good plan. >> we also know there's work out there that needs, done. we're going to point out the bridges, for example, in the districts he's going to, eric canton's on friday, speaker boehner's tomorrow. president obama should pay attention to those projects. 95 bridges in speaker boehner's district tomorrow, where he visits, have to be fixed. he should tell the people in that district to tell their congressman, what happens to be speaker of the house, to get to work. there's work being done. congressman wasserman schultz, i just think this is part of the missing message that your crowd isn't making. it's not just people need to work, there's work that needs to
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be done. it's to the leaf raking or digging holes and filling them, there's bridges that are actually in decrepit shape that are going to fall down, just like the one described as deficient, the category i'm talking about here that happened in minnesota. >> chris, there's roads that are clogged with traffic too. i mean, i decade press conference in my district a couple of weeks ago with a small business owner, a mom, like me, who talked about how difficult it was for her to get her son to his football game on time, leaving work over an hour before when she was pretty close by because the roads are clogged, the bridges need to be fixed, and you know, this is slowing our economy down, not making sure that we have an efficient transportation system. we should all be for this. i'm hoping that when barbara and i go back to washington this week, that the republicans will take this seriously, that they will recognize this for the shot in the arm for the economy that it is, and they will embrace the tax breaks as well as the pay for, because the pay for is critical too. we have to make sure that the wealthiest and most fortunate americans and everyone is paying their fair share to get things turned around. >> let's take a look at the gop has already devised a tough political strategy, rebranding the jobs bill and other stimulus bill.
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here they are using the old language to try to kill it. >> the president's now talking about adding $450 billion in the next year or two as an additional stimulus plan. >> the president's speech comes on the heels of $1 trillion of failed stimulus, bailouts, and temporary gimmicks that have been aimed at creating jobs. >> i mean, congressman lee, bachmann, for example, one of the republican candidates, she's not doing so well, the congresswoman. she says things like, just stop. in other words, obama, the president of the united states, isn't supposed to do anything. he's supposed to wait around for a republican to replace him, basically, in 2013. that's her prescription, basically, for the president of the united states. don't do anything. wait for us to take over. >> well, the president, obviously, isn't listening to what michele bachmann's prescription is. he's moving forward to create jobs. and creating jobs is the biggest deficit reducer we have. putting money in people's pockets. giving people the ability to
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work on a good-paying jobs with benefits really helps on our national debt. it's really a shame and disgrace, once again, that the republicans don't understand that this is a moral issue. people want to work and they should work. so whatever michele bachmann is saying, you know, that's just campaign rhetoric. i think the country is ready for a jobs program, a jobs bill, people want the work, this investment in our jobs, and in our schools, chris. our schools are dilapidated. some young people in our country are going to schools that we wouldn't even want our children to go to. and so this bill also has a direct investment into rehabilitating our schools. and that is so important for our young people. it's so important for our teachers and our first responders, and people to be able to work in the public sector. so this bill, while it may not be enough for myself, you know, it should have been more, but i
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understand the political realities of what we're dealing with. and so the republicans need to come together and look out for their constituents, look out for the country, and work with us to create jobs. >> okay. thank you very much, congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, chairman of the democratic national committee, and congresswoman debora lee from up there in northern california, the berkeley area. thanks very much for joining us. president obama goes to ohio tomorrow. we'll have the full list tomorrow of all 94 bridges, we'll show you the names of the bridges that are structurally deficient in boehner's own district. he's got to remember the old rule, all politics is local. he's not just speaker of the house, he's a local congressman and has to look out for those bridges. well, we're talking facts here. up next this weekend, september 11th memorial services saw america's leaders come together, regardless of political party. president obama stood side by side with president bush at ground zero and bill clinton teamed up with john boehner to finish the memorial in shanksville, pennsylvania, for flight 93. i was there, boy, it was great to see the team spirit of the american people there and the strong feelings of pennsylvanians. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. ♪
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election for the house seat once held by anthony weiner. recent polling out of the new york's ninth district shows republican bob turner with a lead over democrat david weprin. that's a district that should be reliably democratic. maybe this is the response to what they don't think of weiner. weprin has made a string of gaffes, but if republicans win, they'll no doubt try to pin it on president obama. whose approval in the district is down in the 30s. we'll be right back. copd makes it hard to breathe, so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life, but with advair, i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator,
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somewhere in america, there's a doctor who can peer into the future. there's a nurse who can access in an instant every patient's past. and because the whole hospital's working together, there's a family who can breathe easy, right now. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest healthcare questions. and the over 60,000 people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. for generations, people will study the flight, the story of flight 93. they will learn that individual choices make a difference, that love and sacrifice can triumph over evil and hate. and that what happened above
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this pennsylvania field ranks among the most courageous acts in american history. >> we're back. that was former president george w. bush really being masterful and wonderful on saturday at an event dedicating a memorial for flight 93. though the site has opened, $10 million is still needed to finish the memorial where the plane crashed on a hillside in southwest pennsylvania. former president bill clinton announced he and speaker john boehner will help meet that goal. >> since i am no longer in office, i can do unpopular things. i told the secretary of the interior, the head of your development program that i was aghast to find out we still need to raise $10 million to finish this place, and speaker boehner and i have already volunteered to do a bipartisan event in washington. let's get the show on the road. let's roll. >> mike smerconish, the nationally syndicated radio host and an msnbc political analyst who was with me in shanksville on saturday.
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welcome, michael. i see you smiling. it doesn't take much from bill clinton. all it takes is once impulse and the guy can move mountains. you've been trying to raise money for that incredible memorial out there, it's way out in the middle of really nowhere. there's nothing else around. a former strip mine, filled in now. it's an open field, basically. and it's where that plane crashed, where those 40 people stood up against terrorism. the first americans really to know what was going on on 9/11 and went out there, defiantly and at the risk and ultimately at the loss of their lives, really challenged the bad guys. michael, your thoughts. you have a lot invested in this. >> it's a 2,200-acre site, as you mentioned, a former strip mine. there were initially some problems, chris, in pulling together the parcels, because many of them were in private hands and people were anxious to get top dollar. but in the end, the park service, i think, has done a terrific job. and what's amazing is that 130,000 people have been showing up annually when, frankly, there's not much to physically see, but there's a lot to feel
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and experience. and now that you've been there, i think you probably know what i've been describing as that aura that you get when you walk, frankly, on the first battle field in the war against terror. >> and so much, the idea that those people went into oblivion, basically, physically, lost their lives, as that plane crashed at 580 miles an hour upsidedown going into a treeline, hitting the soft dirt there. it ended up you couldn't tell the people apart basically except through dna evidence. they had that graveyard there basically without any extinguishing marks for individual people. it's a communal it's a communal graveyard of people -- we're not sure historically which of the passengers had the most guts, who were the leaders. as a group they went to the front of the plane and confronted the guys who were armed. they were just civilians stuck on a terrible situation who showed soldierly courage. >> i think understated is the
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way i would describe the way in which the monument is coming together. the tribute. paul murdoch, who's a california designer, was the winning proposer out of about 1,100 that were submitted. i think it's very tasteful the way it's being created. it's not overdone and speaks well to the surrounding area, the gorgeous pennsylvania farms you saw as you drove in on that access road. it's a gorgeous part of the country. and i think that the memorial is in keeping with the surrounding area. no commercialization. as i joked to you on saturday, it's hard to even go out and buy a sandwich somewhere much less a t-shirt. >> yeah. they're not hunky tunkky at all. there will be an event to give refreshments but not in other places where there are important events. let's put up on the screen what people can do about this. this is not just a news item. i'd like to help on this thing. if you'd like to contribute to the flight memorial, go to
4:52 pm that's pretty easy to remember. honor -- i'm sorry,.org. it's or donate $10 now by texting the word "memorial" to 90999. 909 9 memorial. there's a special campaign to match your contributions dollar for dollar. it's the perfect time to show your support. michael, why did you get involved in this besides the obvious? how did you get into this thing? >> in my case it was six years ago there was a now i know a contrived controversy on the internet where some were saying from an aerial perspective there's going to be an islamic crescent that will be apparent in the tde-dean. i loaded up a bus of listeners, drove five hours out, back, we surveyed the topography.
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it was explained to me exactly why the design was taking the shape it was taking. i was just a devotee of the site ever since i met the people involved in it. the community dosens who offer their time to school out of towners to the school of flight 93. one of the great privileges i had was to take jose poes out there with me who prevented the fifth terrorist from being aboard the flight. 18 minutes in travel time is all that separates shanksville from washington, d.c. >> it could have hit the capitol, the white house. who knows what it could have done. the people stopped it. you never know what you'd do in such a circumstance. we know what the people did. that's why we're honoring them, what hemingway called grace under pressure. these regular people stood up like soldiers. thank you, michael smerconish. >> thank you for putting up the information. >> that website again, when we return "let me
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finish" with the intrigue, i have to call it that, surrounding the jacque kennedy tapes and what we're learning by hearing the former first lady speak. boy, did she rarely speak. she is now on these tapes in her own voice. >> jack said it to me sometimes, he said, oh, god, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if lyndon was president? it's the only time he'd say it if there was ever a problem. re/max agents know their markets, and they care enough to get to know you, too. nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit today. [ male announcer ] if you're in a ford f-150 and you see this... it's the end of the road. the last hurrah. it's when ford's powertrain warranty ends. but in this ram truck, you've still got 39,999 miles to go.
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"let me finish" tonight with the intrigue about the jacqueline kennedy tapes. i'm personally transfixed by them. i've been studying jack kennedy, who he was, what he was like to be with, for years. he wives obviously saw a side of him others didn't. they had two of them, a fine intellectual relationship batting comments back and forth about the people around them all the time, enjoying the life they shared, a life at the very top. yes, they were quite a pair in public, but imagine their back and forth in private over the sound of old jack kennedy's record player. and while the tapes haven't come out yet, those that have gotten out confirms some interesting stuff. one is that jacqueline kennedy knew her husband pretty well, more than most people knew him, at least, and in a different way. she called him that unforgettable elusive man. elusive he certainly was. she again more than anyone knew how many sides there were to him. the idealist was just a big part of it. not only one, and it was only one side of him, she said that and said all men are a combination of bad and good.
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she was taken with how jack prayed on his knees each night before going to bed, how he went to church religiously, all his life. how he went to confession regularly, even as i've discovered he had to sneak in among the secret service agents so the priest didn't recognize his voice as he once did. as a fellow catholic, understanding having found this out. i knew his views about lyndon johnson were complicated, too. he picked him as his vice presidential running mate against the wishes of his brother, bobby. yet he liked him and knew he needed him. hi last political conversation on earth was driving to the airport on ft. worth where he was in the car trying to figure out why ft. worth had been so welcoming to him that morning and why dallas was so red hot right wing. he was to the end, jack kennedy, a student of politics knowing what he needed and how he needed to carry texas. trying to figure it out as so many people are trying to figure out texas today. and just as barack obama may be thinking how much he would rather run against rick perry