tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 27, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, obama derangement syndrome. are you aware that president obama's leading a massive conspiracy to destroy the second amendment? or that that long-form birth certificate that he released is a fake? or that he's the anti-christ? richard hopstadler once wrote a story in "harper's" magazine called "the paranoid stale of american politics." nearly 50 years later, it's still going strong. plus, he insists he's not interested, but if chris christie of new jersey really doesn't want to run for president, why is he giving a speech out in california tonight at the reagan library on american exceptionalism? the latest on the case of will he or won't he just keeps going. also, try to get your head
around this one. some employers are posting help wanted ads saying no unemployed candidates will be considered. get that. no unemployed will be considered for employment. by the way, didn't governor romney say that corporations are people? and the inartful dodger, mitt romney meeting with donald trump, but having his aides play scarecrow so the media couldn't get any pictures of the meeting with the strumpster. it's a classic case of romney trying to have it both ways. finally, republican voters don't seem to like any of their candidates. jon stewart has a theory. maybe the problem isn't the candidates, maybe it's the republican voters. we start with what we call the obama derangement syndrome, for lack of a better term. ron christie is a republican strategist who's not deranged. he worked for vice president dick cheney. i'll let that verdict not stand.
and willie brown is the former mayor of san francisco, the former speaker of the house of california. by the way, gentleman, in a "new york times" opinion piece entitled "why the anti-christ matters in politics," history professor matthew averies sutton wrote, "for some evangelicals, president obama is troubling, the specious theories about his place of birth, his international tendencies, his measured support for israel, and his nobel peace prize fit their long-held expectations about the anti-christ. millions of voters like their depression-era predecessors fear that the time is short. the sentiment that mr. obama is preparing the united states, as president roosevelt did, for the anti-christ global coalition is likely to grow. barring the rapture, mrs. bachmann or mr. perry could well ride the apocalyptic anti-statism of conservative
christians into the oval office." i'll tell you, it's hard to make what to say this is, but go ahead. and last night, here's a heckler. just to prove "the times" isn't off base. president obama was heckled in los angeles out on the strip at that club out there where he was speaking in los angeles. let's listen. >> i want to -- >> christian god is the one and only true living god, the creator of heaven and the universe! jesus christ is god! jesus christ is god! jesus christ is god! [ audience booing ] >> well, that's kind of a benign look, ron christie, but i don't know what a guy's supposed to say when people are screaming that kind of religious zealotry at you when you're giving a secular fund-raiser. >> well, chris, i just think that's entirely disrespectful. obviously, i have certain policy disagreements with the president of the united states, and
rightfully so, but for people to heckle the president like that or people to suggest that he's the anti-christ or he was born in a foreign country, i just think that's nuts. we need to focus our disagreements on policy. you know, i had the opportunity -- i'm spending the month or the year up here at harvard university as a fellow at their institute of politics -- and i had a chance to talk to david axelrod last night and we agreed. we can respectfully disagree with individuals based on their politics, but you should never go after people personally, because that's why people are around the united states hold politicians in such low disregard. and people who engage in this behavior are equally reprehensible. >> mayor brown, we're going to go through a long list of these crazy accusations of the president here at the beginning of the program tonight because they are unique. it's not just people calling him the anti-christ. there are people who are saying he was born in some other country. we'll get the accusations, go across the board. what is it about obama that inspires this kind of weird, zealous hatred? >> well, i think you would have to start with the fact that he is unusual in that he is an african-american. that is an unusual thing for this country. we've been looking forward, as african-americans, to this for a very long time, but we know that there is a residual amount of racism in this country. it's there, it's going to be there for a long time, and it expresses itself in many, many ways.
and this is not playing the race card to justify what i am saying. let me also tell you that there are real disagreements, by some people in this country, with barack obama on the questions of whether or not he is too liberal. that's always a problem for lots of people. and all of these crazy statements really come from people not listening to nor being led by individuals who are saying be rational, be direct, and be what we ought to be, and that's democratic. >> well, you know, i want to be careful about the race card, as you do, and i do think playing the devil's advocate, mr. mayor, nobody ever accused somebody like you, who is really a mainstream democratic politician, the worst thing they would say about you is you're a smart pal. you know, did you have to face these kind of strange accusations when you were speaker in california in the assembly or when you were mayor of san francisco? >> no. be clear. all of this is new.
it has come in the new century, chris. in the years in which i served as speaker, remember, i was elected with more than half of the people elected me were republicans, who voted for me. democrats were in the minority, that gave me the job. secondly, you had a republican party led by really talented republicans who believed in the government as we see it. whether it was pete wilson, whether it was even richard nixon, these were people who did have some sense that the government was for all the people, not just republicans. and the tea party types literally didn't exist. they just didn't surface anywhere. nobody gave them any respect. however, they started their life from the whole business of people saying too much affirmative action, there should be no affirmative action, no set-asides. that crowd began to surface, saying reverential treatment for unqualified people. suddenly, you begin to get an
environment where it was okay to be racist. >> well, here's something, another strain of the crazy far right. here's the national rifle association's wayne lappier, and i've known this guy for a long time. i'm astounded by this new accusation that the president is leading some conspiracy. here he is, wayne lappier, head of the npr, national rifle association, at the conservative conference in florida last week. let's listen to wayne lapierre of the national rifle association. >> the president will offer the second amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he's actually been good for the second amendment. but it's a big, fat, stinking lie. it's all part -- it's all part of a massive obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the second amendment in our country. before the president was even sworn into office, they met and they hatched a conspiracy of
public deception to try to guarantee his re-election in 2012. >> you know, i got to tell you, again, ron, the language, "lie," "conspiracy," it's almost like, i don't know, lincoln talking about what was going on in the civil war below the mason-dixon line. i mean, this is civil war talk about a president of the united states. >> oh, come on, chris, look -- >> look at what he just said. >> look, i can play "hardball" on this as well. >> "big fat stinking lie." >> i don't agree with what he had to say, but to suggest that somehow wayne lapierre is somehow some fringe element, let us not forget that the president of the united states has said about his own constituencies, if they bring a knife to a fight, let's bring a gun. this is the same president of the united states who said that the republicans should ride in the back of the bus. this is the same president of the united states who was
introduced on stage by jimmy hoffa, who said, mr. president, we are your army, let's take them out. so i have a big problem with somehow wayne lapierre saying something that i don't agree with and trying to raise money, but the president of the united states, out of his own mouth, and taking the same podium from mr. hoffa said, oh, mr. president, we're your army, we're going to take them out, is reprehensible. but still, the cry about mr. obama allowing democrats and union members to say bad things about the republicans and the americans he was elected to serve, that's an entirely different standard. >> i can't help you if you don't see the difference. let me go to mayor brown. they're calling the president guilty of a big, fat, stinking lie. that's pretty direct. accusing him of hatching a conspiracy to undermine the constitutional protection to bear arms. what is this about? why do they have to do it? are they trying to raise money?
do they really believe this stuff? what's going on at the national rifle association here? >> let me assure you that barack obama as the president of the united states obviously finds what was said quite disgusting, but he also knows that it can not be translated into a majority that would elect somebody that would advocate what that man was saying, that would agree with what he was saying and would believe with what he was saying. so in a real sense, from a democratic standpoint, let people like that keep on talking. they're not discussing whether or not i'm going to have a job. they're not discussing whether or not i'm going to be able to get a loan to build whatever i want to build or to invest in whatever i want to invest. they're not talking about real things. they're not talking about how do you end that war, those two wars that are over there. they're not talking about any of
those things. they're talking nonsense, and the public is not following that nonsense. after all, barack obama's goal is to get all those young people that were so enthusiastic about his candidacy in 2008, he's got to get them back in. he's got to make the african-americans as proud as they were of him. and he's got to recapture the magic of being able to communicate with the public press in this country and through the public press. he is, otherwise, going to be in trouble. >> hold on for a second, ron. let's hold on. i want you to respond to michele bachmann here. here she is on simon conway's whio radio show out in iowa yesterday, speaking to callers. here's one of the callers criticizing president obama, and listen for bachmann's reaction. >> i think anyone who is anyone just has to put the hammer down, stare at him with razor wire in their eyes, and in their voice and make a joke out of the guy because he's blowing up our country, and the guy is a walking nightmare. i would vote for charles manson before this guy. but i'm pulling for you big-time, all the way, michele. >> hey, thank you for saying that. >> what do you think of that, ron christie, i would vote for charles manson rather than that guy. this is what's going on. somebody attacks a gay soldier, nobody defends them. saying we're going to electrocute 300 people, that's fine, that's applauded. it just seems like there's a pretty angry voice out interest on the far right, ron christie. i don't know if you share it, but you seem to be defending. >> chris, you've known me for a lot of years.
i don't share any sort of dissension when people use that kind of rhetoric. but what michele bachmann should have done, is, i deplore that comment, it's reprehensible, manson's a murderer. >> but that's one of her backers talking. >> chris, that's one isolated individual. that guy's a nut. bachmann should have said that. but what i find very interesting, and i challenge you on this, chris, the president took the stage after jimmy hoffa said, mr. president, we're your army. we're going to take out these guys. and you have president obama saying, if they bring a knife, we'll bring a gun to the fight. >> that's a line from the movie. that's a movie line. >> it's not a line from the movie. that's a line by barack obama. >> it was a move line from chicago. >> chris, give me a break. >> it's a line right from a movie character. >> so if it's fine if a liberal democrat does that, oh, it's a movie line, it's excusable, but
if it's a republican individual who doesn't deplore it or one crank caller, somehow they speak for all conditiontives. totally disagree with that. >> i think the president of the united states has been even tempered and has put up with crazy talk. let me get back to this birth thing. do you know, mayor brown, one in five americans still won't say the president of the united states was born here. >> i heard that. >> still a chunk of people out there. we just checked the numbers. this is recent numbers. they're not as bad as they were before the president had to go out and produce his documents like he's coming in from mexico. he's got to show papers now for these people. but when he did go through the humiliating step of having to show his birth certificate to these crazies, even after doing that they remained crazy. 19% are not ready to say he's one of us. >> well, i've got to tell you,
there will be an opportunity for barack obama to jam that concept down the throats of anybody who is opposing him. just think about it. if you've got to start out, and you're christie of new jersey, and you've got to start out by saying, i disagree with the person who's questioning whether or not barack obama is an american, whether or not he's one of us, that's good stuff for barack obama. i hope those nuts continue out there. because it will make it impossible for barack obama to be defeated, even though his numbers are fairly low. >> okay. >> ron christie, to respond to your number, 19% of this country's in the crazy column. your thoughts, ron? >> i can't speak to that. if these people believe he wasn't born in this country, that's their issue. he's our president, he's the president of the united states, he's been an abject failure. he's failed to reduce the unemployment rate, failed to
deal with black poverty. his policies are what are going to doom him for the next election. not the color of the skin or certain fringe elements that don't speak for the republican party. >> the problem is that those fringe elements are all rooting against him, as you are, so they're in league with you. >> they're not in league with me, chris. i do not believe the people who say that. they can think what they want. they are not in league with me. but they can oppose their president, because this is the united states and you can respectfully disagree with people. >> you know what i think, i think mayor brown's right. i think they're going to drive up the vote for president obama. thank you, ron christie, for coming on, as always. thank you, mayor brown. wise man. coming up, republicans are angry. so is a tough guy like chris christie. is he the right candidate to match their anger? he seems to be cranky like a lot of people are these days. maybe he's the one to run against the president on that side. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
well, vice president biden was on "the view" today, and he was asked about his reaction from that crowd at the last republican debate, those people who booed a soldier serving in iraq just because he's gay. let's listen. >> i did have a visceral response, and i'm not sure it's because my son spent a year in iraq, and i know my son and all the kids with him -- kids, they're grown men. i don't think they give a damn whether a guy firing a rifle to protect them is gay or straight. i don't think they care about that. and look, this kid risked his life, this kid was there for a year. and i, quite frankly, i thought it was reprehensible.
>> right. and no one spoke up. that entire panel, not one person said anything. >> well, vice president biden is exactly right on that one, of course. we'll be right back. to the world of multigrain... taste. ♪ delicious pringles multigrain. with a variety of flavors, multigrain pops with pringles. [ gnome ] awwwwwwww. i just feel bloody awful. she told tiffany, stephanie, jenny and becky that she was coming to a place like this! but somebody didn't book with travelocity, with 24/7 customer support to help move them to the pool daddy promised! look at me, i'm swimming! ♪ [ gnome ] somebody, get her a pony!
welcome back to "hardball." well, the speculation continued today about chris christie of new jersey, whether he'll reconsider running for president as he prepares to deliver a speech tonight at the reagan presidential library out in simi valley. but this hype about the new jersey governor says as much about what they don't have in their current front-runners, rick perry and mitt romney, doesn't it? they don't seem to be satisfied, the republicans, with what they got, and just what do they not see in them that's causing them to beg christie to reconsider. that's the key question. steve schmidt ran john mccain's presidential campaign in 2008 and john heilemann covers
politics for "new york" magazine. he co-authored "game change," and he's writing another one. let's start with steve schmidt. you're on the inside of the republican party. yesterday, here he is, governor tom kaine, the former very popular governor of jersey told "national review" that christie was thinking very seriously about running. he went on to say, "it's real. he's giving a lot of thought to it. i think the odds are a lot better now than they were a couple weeks ago." well, then today chris christie's brother, todd, a republican fund-raiser told new jersey press, "i'm sure that he's not going to run. if he's lying to me, i'll be as stunned as i've ever been in my life." what is it? is there a chance this big guy will get in the race? everybody wants him from karl rove to barbara bush is calling him and kissinger is calling him, everyone wants him in. >> we're a political party that believes in market. and there's another market in
the race. particularly when you look at the donor class in the tri-state area in new york and new jersey. a lot of interest in chris christie getting into the race. i don't believe he's going to run. i take his brother's word for it. but there is a huge opportunity for him if he decides to do it. and he'll be a formidable candidate for the nomination. >> i like the way you answer a question, it goes up, goes down, and actually ends. some people don't stop talking. i'm serious. you know how to answer a question. one of our recent guests didn't know how to do that. let's go to john heilemann. john, it looks to me like two weeks ago before rick perry got the dunce cap put on his head, which sits firmly on it right now, there was no talk of adding to this field like steve just said. everyone seemed content and satisfied with who was running. it's changed overnight. >> well, chris, it's been the case for most of the year that
there's been talk about other people getting in, including chris christie, so this is not totally new. it seemed when perry got in that that talk quieted down for a little while, but there's no question that his weakness in his performance in a series of debates is what's reignited these talks right now. when it comes to christie, my reporting indicates, that he has been taking it much more seriously in the last couple of weeks, that his -- his switch to some extent, nine months ago he was saying things privately to people like i don't want to run. i think in the last couple of weeks, he has become more enlivened to the possibility that maybe he actually does want to run, but the explorations he's been doing is, can i run? is it now too late? could i actually -- there are hurdles, and some of the same hurdles that faced rick perry, so formidable, that even with my skills, it might just be too late for me now, even though i
kind of have changed my mind about the desirability of trying to get in. >> as the penguin once said in the batman movie, things change. and look at this. and a bit of good news for chris christie at home in new jersey, despite his tough talk, his approval rating has gone up, he's now at 54%, very high. 36% disapproval. steve, does that give a guy like him or a woman like him, a politician that sense of, you know, i've got some capital now, maybe i can risk going for this thing? they like me at home, nobody can dump on me for that. >> when chris christie's thinking about this, you know, and you talk to people who are close to chris christie, you know, the first consideration is this -- is he's going to have a very tough re-election. and even though his approval numbers are strong right now, new jersey's a democratic state, and it's not going to be a rose-strewn path for his re-election. and secondly, his moment is now. and it's not often that moments
like this occur in american politics. and they certainly don't typically last for four years. he has a legitimate shot to be the republican nominee and because of the president's numbers, a legitimate shot to be president of the united states, if he takes the shot now. it will be fascinating to see what he does. >> that's a good question, john heilemann. the galloping horse of history is riding by this guy. is he going to get on it? can you think of a time where there's been a big call for someone to run one year, and four, eight years later, it happens again? it seems to me -- i can't think of one. >> no, in fact, i can think of a counterexample. a lot of people, chris, talk about how, to make steve's point, that you have a moment, that it's your time. and they say, look at how barack obama seized his moment, even though he by some traditional standards didn't have the resume that was required to run in 2008. the other example that really
drives home the point and makes the point about why i think chris christie may regret it for the rest of his life if he doesn't run is hillary clinton in 2004, which we reported about in "game change," she was in the same position, in a lot of ways, that christie's is now. in a very weak field, the democratic donor class unhappy with john kerry, unhappy with howard dean, begging her to get in. and her considering it as late as november of 2003, and then deciding not to run. and i think that the history has shown that hillary clinton missed her time. 2004 was the year she should have run. and when 2008 came around, it wasn't her time anymore. and barack obama stepped in and took it away from her. and i think that could easily happen to christie again in 2016 if he wants to try to run then. >> bottom line, yes or no, you thought she could have won in 2004? >> i do, i think she could have won the nomination and the presidency.
>> okay. receive, what's missing in the republican soup right now that they are looking so hard for christie? >> i think electability is going to be a key issue in the republican race. and i think mitt romney has done a tremendous job in these debates. just an enormous improvement from four years ago. >> but they don't like him. >> i think he's actually quite good. but i think that there's elements of the republican party that haven't settled on him yet as the candidate who's best able to, you know, to take on the president. and certainly, rick perry's performances, while not disastrous, have been near disastrous. kind of the last one. so there's a lot of unsettlement in terms of looking at a candidate that's best able to take the president on and defeat him. >> are you still dying that sarah's not in it? >> well, i don't know what she's going to do. i don't think anybody does. you know, whether she gets in or whether she's not. you saw new poll numbers out today that show the majority of republicans don't want her to run. and if she does run, she's a second or third-tier candidate in the race. and i think that there will be contributions made by some of these other candidates to the outcome of the race, but, you know, for right now, it remains a two-person race between romney and perry. >> again, your vote is not for sarah anyway. thank you, steve schmidt. she doesn't know anything! anyway, steve schmidt, you'll never forget, that's going in bartlett's, by the way, she doesn't know anything! thank you, john heilemann -- who reported it. up next, republican voters don't like any of their candidates and jon stewart says the problem is the candidates, he says i msnbc. so i took my heartburn pill and some antacids.
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back to "hardball." now to the side show. first up, bring on the funny. well, it's hard to recall another presidential candidate getting so chewed out for his weak debate performance as is the case w goper rick perry these days. here's now nate toomier took perry to task for his downward spiral at last week's debate. here he starts.
"moving on from the obama bashing, the second part of the debate will cover other issues. such as illegal immigration, crony capitalism, and foreign policy. first question goes to governor perry. governor perry? wake me in ten minutes." and this is just the beginning. a tad too soon for a front-running candidate to be petering out, don't you think? but perry's not the only one who's tired of the presidential debates. guess who's got a problem with the debates themselves? michele bachmann. here's the solution she gave in an iowa radio show just yesterday. >> we get in trouble if we don't answer the questions that they ask us, so the other thing that i think your listeners need to remember is we don't control the questions, the moderators do. it would be great if we could maybe even have sit-down one-on-one interviews more 20 minutes or for a half hour, so that we could have the same questions, but then we each answer those questions, and just answer the question to the moderator. >> well, let's see, nine
candidates, that's nine times 20 minutes each, that adds up to 180 which is three hours. three hours of repetitious questioning. sounds more like the twilight zone to me. stop and reflect. anyway, lastly, last night on "the daily show," jon stewart urged republican voters to do just that. >> it's like your ideal candidate is a rare, super heavy element that can only exist in a particular particle accelerator. and even then, only for a fraction of a second. before you all remembered how much you hate science. you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and not come away thinking, you know, there's something wrong with this mirror. and now you want chris christie. sure you do. >> the folks who criticize my department are ignorant. absolutely ignorant of that and they're criticizing him because he's a muslim american. this sharia law business is crap, it's just crazy. and i'm tired of dealing with the crazies. >> he's talking about you. >> i would love christie to get
into this race. the big east deserves a shot in this tournament. that's what i say. up next, president obama's pushing his jobs plan in colorado today. and now he wants to stop a new trend among employers who say in one ad, believe it or not, that the unemployed need not apply. what a great ad that is. predictably, republicans don't like it. should employers be able to bar the jobless from seeking jobs? that's our question coming up next, right ahead. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
well, that was our graphic for creating things and building things, which i'm all for. the president, by the way, is finishing up right now a three-state tour out west, with a stop in colorado. he's, of course, pushing his jobs plan. his focus today is on education and helping to renovate troubled schools. but it's not just schools that need help. here's a fact about colorado. the president might want to mention. there are 569 structurally deficient bridges in that state that could use work to keep them safe. bridges that american workers could be fixing. i don't get it. work that needs done. and speaking of the president's jobs plan, there's one part that hasn't gotten a great deal of attention according to "the new york times."
the president is backing a proposal to prohibit employers in this country from discriminating against job applicants who are unemployed. in other words, if you're out of work, you can't apply for work. a company can't discount you based on the fact that you don't currently have a job. it would also stop job boards and employment agencies from advertising for positions that exclude unemployed work. i never heard anything like this. is it a good idea? well, there are 14 million people out of work today in the united states, and 4.5 million of those have been unemployed for more than a year. so do the math. 4.5 million people sitting out there right now who want to work right now, in fact are walking the streets looking for jobs. dana milbank is with the "washington post" and steve moore is with the "wall street journal." steve, what is the case for employers being allowed to say, don't waste my time if you're unemployed, looking for a job? you're not even going to get an
interview here. >> well, i don't think it's right to say, like, you know, like irish need not apply, unemployed need not apply. but i do think, chris, that it is important for employers to be able to look at the worker job history, and if somebody's been out of work for a long time, for better or for worse, that's usually a negative on their resume. it doesn't look -- i always tell people, you know, the best way to find a job is to have a job. >> steve, you're being redundant. if you tell a person they can't apply for a job because they've been out of work, the next time they apply for a job, they'll say, you've been out of work longer, therefore, you can't apply for this job. it seems like it's a redundant, vicious cycle you're creating here. don't hire the unemployed, so they can be unemployed next week and not get hired by someone who won't hire the unemployed. isn't it a problem you've just created here on this store. you've just done it. you've stepped in it. >> no, i think that -- no, i
think the problem is, one of the big problems with half of the people who are unemployed now have been unemployed for more than six months. i think one of the reasons for that, and the statistics show this, is we keep extending unemployment insurance. that's kept people unemployed longer than they would otherwise be, and it's hurt their job market prospects. >> so as they go out there to apply for a job, they're told they can't apply because they've been unemployed. but you say they don't go looking for jobs because they've been getting benefits. what is it? are they looking for jobs and being rejected? why would they put those signs up if they weren't having people come looking for jobbed that are unemployed? they wouldn't need the sign. it's a good question. you don't know the answer, do you? you wouldn't need the sign, would you? >> look, chris, you're taking out of context my words. i don't think it's fair for employers to say, if you don't
have a job, you can't apply. but i do think it's certainly legitimate for businesses to look at the work history. if somebody's been out of work for two years, you're less likely to want to hire that person than somebody who actually has been working. >> dana, let me ask you this about this. i didn't know this was going on. and i'll tell you one thing. i'm into politics, not hiring people. i think it sounds like hell. this is the worst i've heard. you don't help a guy or a woman when's been out of work, say a plant closed. it's not their fault. they're living in some small town, all there is is the plant. there's not another plant opening up. it's not their fault. >> right. and barack obama, in proposing this, you know, buried in the legislation, is praying that john boehner will say the same sort of thing that steve moore
and barack obama, in proposing this, you know, buried in the legislation, is praying that john boehner will say the same sort of thing that steve moore just said, because leaving aside the economics, it puts the president -- >> so this is a booby trap? >> sure. very few things in the unemployment bill is going to be passed. we're talking about preventing barack obama from becoming unemployed, so he's picking various fights with republicans. even if this were implemented, these things would take months if not years to resolve in lawsuits. but it's good politics and it's illustrated by the fact that there's one state that's doing this sort of thing, blocking employers from having these adds, saying no unemployed need apply, and that is new jersey, and this line was signed by chris christie's -- >> he's with the president on this. he signed the bill. christie's agrees with the president. by the way, he's on the very popular tom joyner radio show.
let's listen to him. >> we have seen instances in which employers are explicitly saying, we don't want to take a look at folks who have been unemployed. well, that makes absolutely no sense. and i know there's legislation that i'm supportive of that says you cannot discriminate against folks because they been unemployed, particularly when you've seen so many folks who, through no fault of their own, opportunity. >> well, there's no question. i mean, president obama has moved pretty sharply to the left. i mean, i've been listening to the speeches he's been giving for the last three days. they've been kind of big chunks of red meat to the liberal constituencies, but i'm not so i mean, what really surprises me the most, dana, about this president over the last year or so is that he has not pulled a bill clinton, he has not moved to the middle. he's really continued to govern from the left, and that's what the voters voted against in 2010. >> well, you want to answer the new moderator here? >> well, i think what happened is -- >> who shall i address here? well, i think what happened, chris and steve, is the president did go to the middle a couple of times, but basically, what happened is, he started out with what was a moderate proposal and then got pulled to the right by republicans. i don't think it's a matter of governing to the right or left, i think this is a tactical shift here and he's just saying, look, i'm going to take a more extreme position to get it where i want. >> you know what people remember? big shots think of the small stuff, family home leave, louis ledbetter, equal employment
payment, things like that, the little things that seem so little to big shots, but regular people say, you know, that affects me, and can i connect with that. >> but chris, i don't buy that, chris. i mean, look, the fundamental number is the one that you started this segment with. $14 million people unemployed. the president is the coach. if it's not working, you fire the coach. i mean, no matter how many of these things you pass, like, you know, we'll give protection for jobs for people who don't have -- who are unemployed, that's not going to get around the fundamental problem that there just aren't enough jobs in this economy because the president's jobs programs haven't work. >> that's true. there's 14 million unemployed. the president's trying to bring them under the democratic umbrella. we're looking at, we're protecting the old folks, women, gays and the unemployed. >> i think it's a heard case to make, steve, and i'm going to end on this to say that corporations are people, too. this argument by mitt romney that corporations are human and they're thinking and they care about people, and then they put up signs, if you're unemployed, don't waste your time here. that doesn't make mitt romney's case any better. i agree, 14 million unemployed
it's not exactly a profile in courage for mitt romney. yesterday he met with tonight trump. he didn't want to be seen with donald trump. talk about trimming, here he is yesterday, he met with romney, but he didn't want to see him meeting with romney. he's so proud of that meeting, but he doesn't want anybody to see it. it's a classic case of romney wanting to have it both ways, we think. no wonder republicans are looking for someone else. he wants them to stand up and be seen with the earn person he's been with. is that too much? this is "hardball" on msnbc. well, as bad as things look for president obama, "the wall street journal" points out that he can console himself with the electoral math for 2012. consider this, 18 states plus the district of columbia have voted democrat in all five presidential elections since 1992. that's good for 242 electoral votes. while republicans have won just 13 states in each of the last five elections for 102 electoral votes. that leaves 19 battleground states, including five that democrats have won in either three or four of the past five elections. iowa, new hampshire, new mexico,
nevada, and the biggy, of course, ohio. if obama can win those five, he'll have 281 electoral votes, 11 more than he needs, and that's without winning virginia, north carolina, or florida. so we'll be right back. ohio, ohio, ohio. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, helps cover some of the medical expenses... not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying up to thousands of dollars...
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we're back. here's another example, as i mentioned, of mitt romney trying to have it both ways. romney was in new york city yesterday for a scheduled meeting with donald trump, but he had a member of his communications team deceive the press for over an hour assuring those reporters that romney was on his way to that meeting. well, the whole time the former governor was upstairs meeting
with trump. there's a lot of hatred in the air right now, and not a whole lot of compassionate conservatism. governor perry learned that the other day when he dared to scold his fellow republicans for not having a heart for those young people raised in america by immigrants here illegally. so governor christie may be joining the list of republican candidates at some point down the line, but if he does he'll have something to answer for. should he ever find himself on a gop debate platform, that kind of statement, that kind statement of his about gay people being god's children, may cause some real gnashing of teeth. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. the only good judgment republicans have shown this year is how much theyon