tv Morning Joe MSNBC December 21, 2012 3:00am-6:00am PST
we've got 11 minutes left. i love you, mom. at the top of the show, we asked, why are you awake? the producer has your answers. >> larry writes, i am waiting for my son who is flying out of chicago and one of the only flights out. he's been working on a political campaign for 18 months. >> you are stuck in chicago, you may be there for days. you might want to hunker down and get some starbucks. ph.d. he's an educated man. didn't want to risk sleeping through the apocalypse. well, we now have maybe a shade under 11 minutes here. so if you're walking down the
street, give her a kiss or wave hi or say i love you, mom, or sit right where you are and watch "morning joe" which starts right now. ♪ waiting for the end of the world ♪ ♪ waiting for the end of the world ♪ in the fifth century, the mayans correctly predicted a prominent jets player would fumble after running into his teammate's ass. this has been "mayan predictions that have come true," a division of dow chemical. >> how did they know that? >> i don't know. so weird. >> how did they know that? >> good morning, everyone. it's friday, december 21st. can you believe it? welcome to "morning joe." with us on set, we have the chairman of deutsche incorporated, donny deutsch. and msnbc political analyst and visiting professor at nyu, former democratic congressman, harold ford jr. >> good morning.
>> and in washington, msnbc and "time" magazine senior political analyst, mark halperin. >> listen to the song. ♪ waiting for the end of the world ♪ >> good call, kid. elvis costello. "end of the world." >> "end of the world." it's here. no. no, no. >> what's this "new york post" stuff? what's going on? >> i don't know. olympic gold medalist turned prostitute. >> are you serious? >> the thing about the "post," they are always on the pulse. >> exclusive piece or is it in "the times," too? >> here's -- i'm glad it's going on in new york. they're getting ready for the holiday season. >> they've got their eye on the ball. >> i don't know what's going on there. >> let's just throw those away. john boehner had a bad night last night. >> yeah. a picture on the front page of "the new york times" seemed to say it all. >> yeah, my goodness. >> look at his face. >> he said a prayer last night. he undertook a gambit.
he decided that he was going to walk away from negotiations and try to get republicans to support a tax increase on people making $1 million or more. without any spending cuts on the other side. and conservatives told him no. >> when we -- when this first came up, we talked about it on the air. you talked with chuck and had an exchange with chuck on this. you asked if he would take it. what was your answer? or should we show it? >> sure. >> let's show it. let's pull the exchange between joe and chuck had this first plan "b" came up. >> how we could have possibly seen this coming because there was no hint that a conservative would say no to this deal. you'll notice when chuck asked me -- >> you saw the wiggle room. you saw the wiggle room. >> little blue space. >> take a look. >> go ahead. >> hey, joe, i have a question. >> yeah. >> i have a question for you. if you were sitting in this congress and you're dealing with john boehner's plan "b" where
he's coming to you saying, look, i'm in the middle of negotiations with the president. we may end up coming to an agreement that does raise taxes, makes you have to go back on some pledges, not all of you will have to vote for it because i'll get democratic help. or here's my plan "b." it's basically only a tax hike here. i need everybody -- i need 218 of you -- because i'm not going to get any democratic help to do that. by the way, no spending cuts. we're going to punt that down the road. i'm doing it for political leverage. is there any way he's going to find 218 votes? >> no way. i wouldn't vote for that in a million years. you know, i never supported any tax increases. i find it immoral that our government, on the federal, state and local level takes 50% of americans' dollars that they make at work. so if you're going to get me, for the first time in a quarter century, to say i'm going to agree to any tax increase, there better be a lot of cuts on the
other side. we'd better get serious about medicare, medicaid. there's a nice 15-minute clip. thank you, t.j., for that tight edit. the point was that the first time i heard it, there is no way i would -- i'd give up my seat before i voted for my first tax increase in 25 years without getting a dime in spending cuts on the other side. >> so what was the strategy? what was the thinking? >> i guess boehner wanted to destroy his speakership. i mean, i'm serious. why would he do such a thing when he knew? >> seriously, there had to be -- >> some calculus. i have my thoughts. and i'm curious. >> he was thinking it would give him more leverage going back to the president. listen, we passed a million-dollar deal. we spared everybody making less than $1 million of tax cuts. >> that's what he would take, a quarter of a million or under. >> again, just like i said, chuck said, this is the deal he's working on. my gut immediately was never in a million years. never in a million years. and all my conservative friends on capitol hill were saying the same thing. i called them up, are you going
to support -- no! >> does this mean that boehner is able to go back to the white house and say you have to add spending cuts. take your cost of living adjustment, social security, i ask you as a little "c" conservative, would you be willing as a member of congress today, if he came back with $600 billion or $700 billion, whatever the number may be, in entitlement savings and cuts along with the tax increase above $400,000, would you vote for it? >> i would need more spending cuts. >> what would be the number? because i think that's where we are, unfortunately. are we going to go over the credit rating? downgrade it? >> if we get over $1 trillion in spending cuts, then you're at least getting in the ballpark because we've got sequestration on top of that. there are a lot of different possibilities here. but the problem here is not an ideological problem. a lot of people, donny deutsch, like to suggest that there's a problem with these conservatives. they're crazy, right-wing freaks, they're nuts.
remember we had john chatig on a couple years ago. he clearly explained, i'm not going to support a $700 billion t.a.r.p. bill that's three pages long. that gives them the freedom. and he was exactly right. we had a guy on the other day, gosh, i forget his name. i'm embarrassed. >> which one? >> it's been a long week. >> who was very calm about things. these guys aren't crazy, but if you're asking them to jump over the cliff, you'd better be a strong leader that can tell them how you're going to land softly. >> kind of the ridiculousness beyond what boehner did, and i'm still searching the logic, is that at the end of the day as far as on the revenue side, there are $20 billion a year apart. and at $2.6 trillion -- yes. you're talking about .7%. less than a percent apart. >> that's not a lot of money. >> and the fact that we're at this point, forget the brinksmanship that boehner did. there's something wrong.
.7 of 1% apart at this point. >> willie, what happened was, boehner got down the road, and he found out, after he gotten down the road, that he was negotiating terms with the president that he couldn't deliver in his own house. and so he blew it up again. this is exactly what happened a year ago when the president said okay, i'm going to get a couple more votes. john boehner said okay, i'll get a couple more votes. and he's blowing it up because he doesn't have the votes in his own caucus. >> i know what he's doing. it's what you said. he wanted to go to the president and said after all this, you're finally going to get your tax hike on the wealthy, $1 million and up, 99% will still get their taxes lowered, but i'm surprised he didn't count his votes before he did that. a man as experienced as he is, if he was going to step onto that ledge, he'd better have the votes. he walked out on the ledge, turned around, there was nobody with him. >> craig shirley had a very interesting quote, our friend craig in "the washington post." >> he's got this in "the washington post" saying if there
was a parliamentary system, tonight's dissent on plan "b" would be seen as a vote of no confidence in boehner. the national gop is now simply a collection of warring tribal factions. i'll add to that, alex, a new cnn/opinion research poll has found the majority of americans believe the republican party is now too extreme. 53% including 22% of republicans say the gop views have shifted too far to the right of mainstream. that's a 17-point swing, an opinion from september. >> hold that up. hold that up. i want my republican brothers and sisters who have taken exception to some of the things i've said over the past year about us going in the wrong direction as a party, offending swing voters, offending the middle class. i want you to look at those numbers and just breathe them in. think back over the primary process that i said was going to be destructive to our party. think back over the convention. think back over the contraception debate, all of these things i kept bringing up that kept enraging you.
i want you to keep staring at those numbers. i could show you 20 more numbers that show what a sorry state the republican party is. craig shirley's right. we are a little more than a tribe of warring factions. and donny deutsch, mark halperin, let me bring in mark really quick. and mark, this week, this week, after the most horrific act, i think, in american -- recent american history other than 9/11, i can't think of anything that has scarred the soul of americans than what happened at sandy hook. you have had complete utter silence from republican leaders. on some of these key issues. and so there are americans out there that are thinking okay, wait a second. is this the party of lower taxes, or is this the party of assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips? is this the party of balanced budgets, or is this the party of
contraception wars going back to the primary process? this party has painted itself into an extreme corner by going down all these various rabbit trails that have nothing to do with our core of who we are as a party of small government. and again, i want to just put these numbers up one more time. the cnn numbers that come out, again, on the eve of this disastrous plan "b" vote. i can't think of any time the republican party, my republican party's, been in such disarray since 1974 after richard nixon resigned. what does it all mean? >> well, look. first on the boehner plan "b," i think the conventional wisdom in both parties both before and after they had to pull down the vote was, boehner had a horribly designed plan, but he ux cuexec it worse. he's left himself now in an incredibly weak position, and i think he's got to head now towards, had they come back after christmas, what i've
always thought they'd have to do, which is boehner's going to have to allow a vote on a compromise with the president that skews the democrats' way, that gets many more democratic votes in the house than republican votes. and somehow jointly whip that to a majority that really will divide the party even more. the white house sees the weakness of the republican party right now just the way you do, joe. but the reality is, boehner has the gavel. and if you're going to move through a budget deal that averts the fiscal cliff, if you're going to move through a package of recommendations on how to deal with the aftermath of the horrible shooting in connecticut, you're still going to need the house judiciary committee to sign off on it. that's the reality. >> mark, how long does he have the gavel if he's as, you know, "the washington post" suggests today he might be the weakest speaker in modern american history. and then he decides to roll his own conference and do a bill that more democrats are going to support than republicans.
that's not a great plan to bring down to hc5 when you caucus together, trying to pick the next speaker for the republican party. >> it's not. i don't think he's looking forward -- they're doing a signing ceremony in the rose garden standing with the president. but remember, big business wants a deal. a lot of people -- a lot of taxpayers, when they see what's going to happen in january, are going to want a deal. speaker boehner's going to have to do something that almost no republican leader has done in the last couple years, which is to say my party is going to have to understand that this is a more centrist country than their views. we need a deal. and he's going to have to do it. i don't see any other alternative, particularly after what happened last night. >> here's what they're up against. congressman of kansas put out a statement last night, reading in part this. "republican leadership thought they could silence conservatives when they kicked us off our committees. i'm glad that enough of my colleagues refused to back down
after the threats and intimidation thus preventing the conference from abandoning our principles." >> the republican party has fallen and they can't get up. joe, you brought it back to, i agree with you, the worst tragedy since 9/11, a brand is a set of values. that's the definition of what a brand is. and to say that right now the party needs to be rebranded on the verge of reinventing itself, which is you have to look at the core values system, which is rugged individualism, compassionate conservatism, but it is not the socials. it is not assault weapons. and until these idiots -- and i'm calling them idiots -- get it, they will be such a distant second in this country. i have never in my lifetime seen a party in such disarray. and i think also on those lines, sometimes when a team is going to ride, you need a new face. and i think boehner at this point, you just want to change the channel.
i think they need a new coach. i really, really do. >> i don't disagree with you much at all. i would say this. i think boehner showed a little more leadership than some of the guys in that caucus had. whether he had the votes or not. i agree with mark that the execution was poor, but at least he stepped out to try to forge a path. i think the problem with the party that joe's point and your point about social issues, they look even worse when it comes to the fiscal issues confronting the country. if we go off the cliff, it's likely we'll have our credit rating downgraded and they'll try to fix things next year. i give boehner credit for trying to compromise. >> this vote has now set them up as the great protectors of the millionaires. i mean, at least before, you could say protecting people making $250,000 or more, small business owners. john boehner has now put them on record as the party of protecting millionaires. >> of the 0.5%. >> everybody in america would
have their taxes increased january 1st. this is the absolute worst-case scenario. their position has been so weakened. >> i'm not defending john boehner. what the president has put on the table i think is the position we ought to go forward with, $4090,000 plan with. boehner's plan, he could have done this more effectively, there's no doubt. >> what i'm saying is, though -- >> the republican rank and file -- >> -- if he knew he didn't have the votes, if it fails, you have just made your party the party that's going to raise somebody's taxes that makes $50,000 because they couldn't protect the millionaires. >> but -- no doubt -- but the republicans were already there. if they were not willing to agree with the president to say don't raise it over $250,000, they're already ready to go not only off the cliff but to raise everybody's taxes and at the same time do nothing to avert the reality of having our credit rating downgraded again, which we've already been warned that if we don't take steps to reduce spending, entitlement programs, that's where we'll end up. so both sides, but particularly the republican congress and this young fellow from kansas, that's
representative of even more republicans, as you said, donny, they've fallen and they can't get up. on social issues and now fiscal issues even more. >> you have newtown and the absolute fear to speak out -- not against the nra -- to speak out against survivalists. to speak out against people that want to buy assault weapon, to speak out against people -- i mean, great. if you really do -- if you believe that james madison wrote the bill of rights so people would have the ability to squeeze off that many rounds and have these extended magazine clips, if that's your america living it, that's your america. god bless you. good luck with that. if you really believe the federal government's coming, you're going to kick down your doors, what are you going to do? are you going to shoot that weapon up at the drone? lots of luck. it's not going to help you. but that's where they're positioning themselves. they don't speak out against the slaughter of 20 young children and doing anything about that because they're afraid they may offend sur vooifrlivivalists an rushing out going to walmart and
buying assault weapons. they're not going to stand up to so many of these extreme forces. and mark halperin, it's killing them because, again, you look at the cnn poll. their branding's down. and then john boehner picks a fight with economic conservatives, with economic conservatives, by not putting them on committees. schweikert was on last week. tim's going to be on this morning, right? tim basically saying, okay. mr. speaker, you kicked us off the committee. and look what it got you. i mean, he's getting it from all sides. >> we had a two-man game for a while, speaker boehner and the president. i think now we'll have a different two-man game which is going to be the president and mitch mcconnell along with senator reid. on both the fiscal cliff and on guns, post-connecticut. i think the strategy is going to be for republicans who want to save the brand, mitch mcconnell, lamar alexander, rob portman,
their strategy's going to be make deals with the white house, first on the fkiscal cliff and then on guns. then the ball's going to be in the court of the house, and there's going to be nowhere to hide, no ambiguity. what's standing in the way of dealing with the fiscal cliff? speaker boehner striking a deal with a lot of democrats and some republicans. if the white house can work with the senate leadership on the republican side and senator reid and they get a deal there, that's going to put the republicans in the house on the line to say, are you together with the country and with other branch, the executive branch in the other chamber, or are you going your own way? then it's going to be up to boehner to decide what to do. >> willie, the republicans just keep playing into the president's hand. contraception this spring was the big debate. and now -- they never see it coming, like this gun debate right now, they're stuck in 1994. they think ruby ridge and waco happened the year before. they're never going to see it coming before it's too late.
they never can see around the curve, and that's why my party is shattered now because they're living in the past, and they never, ever, ever -- they're so disconnected from middle america. so disconnected. so disconnected. there was an article in "the pensacola journal news" yesterday, my hometown, where i live, where my family lives. law enforcement officers go, really? we need assault weapons? i mean, what cop believes we need those on the streets? but they never see it coming. and they just play right into the white house's hands. >> it will be interesting today at 10:45 to see that nra press conference to see what they're willing to do and with david gregory on "meet the press" on sunday. to your point last night, politically they walked into that mitt romney stereotype of the republican party. you're just here to protect the millionaires. they walked right into it. so my question is, if they won't go along with anything that raises taxes on people who make
above $1 million, will they ever go along with anything that includes revenues? unless -- >> get some spending cuts. >> but will the president now -- now the president's hand is so strong, will he give them deep spending cuts? >> the president has to be the grown-up in the relationship here. you can -- as a back bencher, i can tell you, you can throw a lot of rhetorical bombs, but when you're the president of the united states and you've got to answer to the markets and you've got all the top business leaders coming to the white house going, please, do whatever. and the president's, like, i'm working with them. can you talk to people on the other side of pennsylvania avenue? yeah, if they're spending cuts, if there are real spending cuts, i'm telling you, they're conservatives will come along. but boehner gave them nothing last night. >> right. >> joe, before we go -- >> hold on. willie was going to read the white house. >> i just wanted to say, donny, because the white house did put out a statement after all this last night. they wrote, "the president's main priority is to ensure that taxes don't go up to 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses in just a few short
days." meaning he still wants a deal. "the president will work with congress to get this done and we're hopeful that we will be able to find a bipartisan solution that protects the middle class and our economy." we'll see how far he's willing to go with the cuts. >> can we no longer talk to the words -- i want to rebrand the entire discussion -- gun control. it's not gun control, it's assault weapon control. stop calling it gun control, and it's done. there's no defense from the nra. wipe that clean. nobody's talking about gun control. that's not the argument. assault weapon control. let's reframe the argument, and it's over. >> you know, mika -- >> no longer gun control. >> i can't wait to hear what they have to say. >> i keep getting e-mails and texts from people that basically say, you know what? i am the nra, okay? i am the nra. and my daddy was nra, and my granddaddy was the nra, and it's about my right to have a shotgun in my house, in the back of my truck, to go hunting, to protect my family, to let anybody know
if they come to my castle, they're not going to leave in the middle of the night, if they break into my house, i'm going to take my gun and i'm going to kill them. and that's my right. it ain't got anything to do with assault weapons or these magazine clips that allow you to spray down 20 young children or people in malls or people in movie theaters. that is not the nra of my friends and church members in northwest florida. that is not the nra that they know. it is not the nra of survivalists or people who believe the federal government is coming to kick down their door and, you know, and seize all their property. >> you heard my father on the set yesterday after a day of hunting who said yeah, fine. give me a deep psychological examination, whatever. i don't need an assault weapon. it's not so hard, you know. intelligent people -- >> change the words. >> -- know the difference.
there's an intelligence issue here, too. >> it's assault weapon control. harold, you campaigned -- obviously you represented tennessee. you campaigned for senate, came very close. you had a lot of nra supporters supporting you in that campaign back in 2000. >> these high magazine capacity clips, it's easier to go buy a car. i'm a member of the nra. this causes, i think, a lot of people who sit where i sit wonder if the organization can't support these kind of sensible and responsible things, it's going to cause a lot of people to rethink because my membership has a lot to do with protecting my home. i'm a hunter. you can teach people how to use guns responsibly. >> take the word away. assault weapons. it's assault weapons. >> we've reached a point now, you have to register to do all these other basic things. if you're going to buy all of this ammunition, we should know who you are and what you're doing. >> coming up -- >> by the way, before we leave, mika, put up the cnn poll one more time.
>> yeah. >> i want my -- i want my fellow republicans to take this in. >> look. look at this. >> as you decide on whether you're going to shoot the messengers that warn you about the destructive direction of your party and allowing the extreme elements to seize control of your party. i want you to look at those numbers and realize how devastating that is. that craig shirley, the reagan biographer, reagan historian, one of the truest conservatives in washington, d.c. he said, we are little more than a tribe of warring factions. >> and if you're taking heat, joe, it's only because you saw this coming, and you might have said it a little too early for people to feel comfortable about it, but this is what's happening. this is the reality. >> there are a lot of other people that saw this coming as well. unfortunately they get knocked down every time. they tell the truth. coming up, we'll talk to obama senior adviser david axelrod. also republican congressman him
heulskamp, "the washington post's" eugene robinson and geno auriemma. up next, mike allen with the top stories in the "politico playbook." first here's bill karins with a check on the winter storm that's hitting the midwest. bill. >> good morning. yesterday was bad enough in the midwest with the blizzard conditions. now we're dealing with a wind storm and heavy rain through the big cities of the northeast and soon new england. it's a rough morning for the commute. winds just gusted to 43 at jfk airport. you can imagine at the airports especially from new york city, philadelphia and northwards will have the most significant delays and cancellations on this friday. thankfully it's just rain. we're not really dealing with igs ice or snow in new england. it's a different story in the great lakes. it's a winter wonderland anywhere in the state of michigan. it snowed hard last night, northern indiana and much of the state of ohio right now is seeing snow. careful driving, interstate 70
going across the lower portions of the great lakes and the ohio valley. and the winds are gusting, too. we probably have a little bit of blowing and drifting snow in indiana, michigan and ohio. and again, those winds this morning around new york city could get as high as 60 miles per hour. the worst of it coming in the next three hours. so keep that in mind as you're driving on the roads or doing anything outdoors. as far as snowfall goes, over the next 24 to 48 hours, we're going to get lake-effect bands. we're also going to see snow on the backside of this big storm. western new york will get a good coating of snow between three to six inches in most locations. so the forecast over the next three days, today's the worst travel day by far, great lakes and the northeast. thankfully as we go through the weekend, it's a little chilly across the country, but the weather improves for all your travel needs. the exception being the west coast. once again, for about the next six hours in new england, the worst of this winter storm, rain and wind is moving through. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles
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"the morning papers." "washington post," mark sanford is eyeing a run for the seat that will be vacated by soon-to-be senator tim scott, the one-time rising star in the republican party has been out of the media spotlight since he admitted to an affair with an argentinean woman in 2009. >> you don't know how that will affect him in the cross-tabs. by the way, he left as governor with a 60% approval rating. >> at least he was straight up. he didn't hide. he said i fell in love. >> honest from the beginning. left with a 60% approval rating. >> and now it's put some distance between them. >> i think he'll be okay. cory booker announced he will not make a run in 2013 to
challenge chris christie but will look at running for senate. that would put him in a fight with frank lautenberg, expected to retire but has not made a formal decision and we know will not be forced into one by anybody. "the detroit news," tragic deaths are up in the united states by 7.1% in the first 9 months of 2012. it marks the largest increase for the first three quarters of the year since 1975. lower gas prices are believed to be among the leading causes for the rise in fatalities. "the winston-salem journal." teenage smoking has dropped for the fifth consecutive year falling to a new historic low at just 18%. the study also found marijuana use remains an elevated level of about 25%. alcohol use remains historically low, but binge drinking on the rise, increasing to 24% among high school seniors. and in this weekend's "parade" magazine, "les mis,"
hugh jackman opens up about life, acting and fatherhood. with us now, chief white house correspondent, mike allen with a look at the "playbook." good morning, mike. >> good morning and happy friday. >> you're sounding a little better today, mike. let's talk about whatted exac y exactly happened to john boehner last night. the lead story this morning, "obama's dilemma." what is it? >> first an exclusive for "morning joe," the speaker's office telling us speaker boehner will go before cameras at 10:00 a.m. to talk about the road ahead. his message is going to be that president obama and the senate democratic leader, harry reid, now have a responsibility for what they've sought to avoid, and that is their own responsibility to put forward a plan that can pass. so boehner's going to wash his hands of this and say it's now on the democrats. the senate leader and the president to avoid the cliff.
>> and mark halperin, i want to bring you into this conversation. does the president put forward something that includes cuts now, that he's got a little bit of leverage here? >> look, i thought before the president was on track to give republicans a lot more than some democrats wanted him to give. i don't think he has to give quite as much now, but he's going to have to give some. there's going to have to be cuts. it's not going to be anything like that would pass the house under boehner's concepcion of the world, but i think he's going to make an offer along the lines of what he's previously offered. again, i think the senate will pass it, puts huge pressure on the house. >> what's that number, mark, for spending cuts? what do you think it is? >> i think it's pretty close to a 1-1 ratio. >> mike, how does this play out? you've been making different predictions of when it all gets settled. we're headed into christmas week now. how does it end? >> it looks like the house may not even come back till 2013. it's possible that congress is not going to meet at all next
week. they're just nowhere. and for obama, of course, the white house is enjoying the speaker's embarrassment, but it's also, as you mentioned, a dilemma for obama. and that is that he had hoped to go into 2013 with a clean slate, with the ability to get something done on immigration, get something done on gun control. instead all these financial issues are going to overhang into there, and washington's not working. president obama is the person to the public most identified with washington. >> all right. mike allen, we know what we're getting you for christmas, a lozenge. >> merry christmas. thanks for a great year, "morning joe." congratulations on a great run. >> thanks so much. coming up next, he is one of the most decorated coaches in all of college basketball, geno auriemma, the head coach at uconn, joins us next, telling us what he and the university are doing to help the victims of the sandy hook tragedy. keep it on "morning joe." have a good night. here you go. you, too.
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that obviously hit close to your home. >> right. >> that struck a chord with you, and you're doing something pretty remarkable for those families in newtown, connecticut. tell us about it. >> well, of all the short-term things that are being done with whether it's vigils or people coming up to newtown to show their support, kathy and i, we thought there's got to be some long-term things that are more sustainable. and i talked to president herbst at the university of connecticut and said why not set up a foundation so that we can ensure that all the dependents of the adults that were killed and all the siblings of the children that were killed, that we can educate them at the university of connecticut at no cost to them. >> wow. >> and i think that's something that going forward, we can do that, it's a little more meaningful, i think, than, you know, us taking our team out there for a practice or something, which would also be
good, but -- >> so we're talking, coach, full scholarships to the university of connecticut for any sibling? >> yeah, yeah. >> that's incredible. >> that's amazing. >> obviously, what we're going to try to do is take care of dependents of the adults and then if we have enough money, if we raise enough money, if people watching, we're already at $350,000 in just three days, that we can have scholarships in the name of the 26 people and endow those scholarships so future students -- >> that's fantastic. >> and students that were at the school the day that this happened, you know, we all have children. the kids that died, the adults that died, the people that were left behind are going to be affected by this for the rest of their lives. they're never going to be -- the first responders walking in there and seeing these children, i mean, there's just no end to how many people were affected by this tragedy. >> how can people help if they're watching this morning and they want to give a little
money to help get this going. >> that's one way your family can become part of our family, go on the website, university of connecticut, it will be on there. you can write a check, send it to the sandy hook elementary fund. >> it's on the bottom of our screen right now. >> if you want to contribute, that's your way. if you're a corporation and you want to contribute a large sum, if you're someone that can only, you know, write a check for $5, $10, we've got 1,600 donors already in just a couple of days. i think there's a lot of people around the state, around the country, around the world that are looking for, like, how can i help? >> something tangible. >> exactly. >> that would really do something good and find some sort of way forward for the people left in the wake of this. >> yeah. there's no way to bring back anything that happened. there's no way to erase what happened. and, you know, we're pretty good at trying to make ourselves feel good. and i think in this tragedy, we can make ourselves feel good by maybe doing something that helps people. >> good.
>> and there's some of the adults that died that have high school-age kids. and now all of a sudden they look up and one of their parents is gone. and we can take care of them right now right away with the money that we've raised. >> can you talk about what this horrible, horrible event has meant to the relatively small state of connecticut? it's hard to believe one week ago right now, all those kids and those teachers were still ali alive. >> right. >> it's become part of who we are as a country. can you just talk about connecticut and what it meant there? >> you're looking at a state that's got a little over 3 million people. you know, we're the size of a smaller big city in this country, and it's made up of a lot of little towns. and each town has kind of their own identity. they band together, and any little thing that happens affects the town, something like this. not only does that community become scarred for life, but
because that community is tied into the next community and the next community. every single person in the state of connecticut, my players, everyone was just -- it's about as stunned as i've ever seen anyone. you know, i'm 58 years old. i've lived through all the '60s and all the things that happened all the way up to today. i don't think i've ever seen anything that affected people the way this tragedy affected people. >> i never have either. and you know, 9/11 was such a cataclysmic event in this country and brought us all together. and mika, you know, you, obviously, were down there at ground zero for a couple of weeks reporting. you've reported in connecticut as well. people could figure out how eventually compartmentalize that evil. it was terrorist. it was al qaeda.
they were angry because we were, you know, it was a clash of civilizations. there's no place to put this. there's no way to explain this or justify this. it makes it impossible for connecticut to heal. >> there is a certain raw difference to it. i'd say that sort of in a career of journalism and covering stories, 9/11 stands out as like a turning point in our lives. and i think this does, too. i think that this has to be a turning point because whenever the brain goes to, whenever the mind starts to go there, you're left just torn to shreds. >> it will be. this is a -- it's an horrific moment in time, but lives will change because of it, and the laws will change because of it. we all feel that. we all know that. >> i think that's exactly right, donny. joe, you talk about 9/11 changed the way we live in this country.
if al qaeda wanted to change america, they didn't just tear down buildings. they changed the way america lives. had this been 20 adults in some random place which has happened in the past, i think we would have looked at it as, my god, another tragedy. the fact that it's, you know, 6-year-old children, i think it's going to change -- it's going to be one of those events that we're going to look back and say, because of that, things that were supposed to change that were changing slowly, all of a sudden became rapid change and became the change that unfortunately every american wants, but it took something like this, maybe, to get people to move instead of just stand and say i hope somebody changes this someday. >> it's got to change our culture. >> we want to remind everyone watching, if you want to contribute to the sandy hook fund, you can text 50555.
50555 with the phrase "uconn newtown." or visit ww www .friends.uconn.edu/sandyhook . geno auriemma, your legacy as a coach is set in stone, one of the all-time greats, but this says so much about you as a man. we're grateful. >> thank you, gene. >> i hope we can do a lot for those people and future students at sandy hook. and i thank you for having me on here. >> well, we appreciate you coming despite the fact you say you're very comfortable because there are so many s.e.c. guys around here. >> growing up in the northeast, you know, but as i said, you know, i know roll tide, man. >> there you go, baby. >> listen, i'm not going to leave -- give me one of those looks, mika, where joe's talking, like give me one of those looks. >> you have to say something impossible, you see. >> say roll tide. >> roll tide, baby. there you go. >> all right. thank you, gene. >> worth the trip, right? >> it's worth the trip. >> we'll be right back.
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a live look at the capitol as the sun has yet to come up over washington. it's 50 past the hour. we have time for one "must-read opinion page." charles krauthammer writes this in "the washington post." "roots of mass murder. we live in an entertainment culture soaked in graphic, often sadistic violence. older folks find themselves stunned by what a desensitized youth finds routine, often amusing. it's not just movies. young men sit for hours pulling video game triggers, mowing down human beings en masse without pain or consequence. and we profess shock when a small cadre of unstable, deeply deranged, dangerously isolated young men go out and enact the overlearned narrative. if we are serious about curtailing future columbines and newtowns, everything, guns,
commitment, culture, must be on the table. it's not hard for president obama to call out the nra, but will he call out the aclu? and will he call out his hollywood friends?" i couldn't agree more. >> how exciting to me that a guy i have deep respect for, that a lot of liberals just don't like. charles krauthammer, my favorite columnist, how exciting that he's talking about a plan that looks at guns, at mental health. and at graphic violence. and he put it best. i mean, i remember my boys, when they were teenagers, seeing these "kill bill" movies, saying they're the greatest movies you've ever seen. quentin tarantino. i've seen a lot of things in my life, but it's just shocking what they consider, as charles
krauthammer said, routine, "saw." "saw 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7," just graphically violent movies. and it's nonstop. the video games. as he said, mowing down one human being after another on video games. i lo of that charles krauthammer said this. he is so right. they are simulators! >> let's start with the parents. if you have parents of a little boy, don't buy those games. >> don't. >> don't let your kids at 17 go to those movies. we can start at home. it starts with us. >> we do need to start -- >> there's one common denominator in all these things we've seen, it's people have these automatic weapons. >> it's all of the above. >> the culture of violence is being reinforced by video games and movies. krauthammer's on spot, on point. but at the end of the day, you can't act these things out, joe. if we do the things that you so eloquently and passionately said the other day on your show, which i think is still the best
speech given about where we ought to be headed. >> i understand what you're saying. it, though, is mental health. it's violent culture, and it's guns. and god bless you, charles krauthammer, for talking about all three of those things. i hope other conservatives will follow charles krauthammer's lead and take an all-in strategy. that's really significant. coming up, a look back on the top stories of 2012. the associated press editors have voted. we'll show you their list straight ahead. keep it right here on "morning joe." ♪ [ male announcer ] with a select terrain dial that adjusts the jeep grand cherokee's performance for specific weather and road conditions... ♪ ...even heavy snowstorms... won't keep you from getting to work. our apologies.
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we do not intend to spend -- send members home after this vote. we want to stay here. we want to avoid the fiscal cliff from happening. and again, i think that the decision is for the white house and the senate democrats to come join us so we can avoid the tax hike on american people and avoid the fiscal cliff. >> no vote today? >> nope. >> will there be a vote tomorrow? >> nope. >> are you ditching plan "b"? >> will there be a vote today? >> no. >> what happens next, mr. cantor? >> all right. it's a little bit of a contrast there. a live look at the white house. welcome back to "morning joe." harold ford jr. still with us. and joining the table is former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst, steve rattner. also with us from chicago, former senior adviser to president obama, now the director of the institute of politics at the university of chicago, david axelrod. good to have you all at the table this morning. all right.
>> david axelrod, putting on your hat as institute of politics guy and not barack obama communication guy, what the hell happened last night? >> well, a whole lot of nothing, obviously. >> we're trying to figure out how john boehner botched this the way he did and caused further damage to my party. >> yeah. no, they went from plan "b" to plan see you later is what happens. and i really don't know the answer to what happened. obviously, you saw eric cantor. they had confidence. they had votes. and you know, it was largely a symbolic vote anyway. because that plan wasn't going to fly, wasn't going to fly in the senate. the president wouldn't accept it. but the fact that they couldn't even pass that was an embarrassment. i mean, this is the longest day of the year, and certainly true for john boehner. i'm sure he's scratching his
head right now. but the bottom line is that we need to fashion a plan, and the president's offered one where you can get bipartisan support and move forward. this is not about -- this shouldn't be about caucus politics. it should be about solving a big problem for the country. and hopefully over the weekend, the speaker, the leadership, will think that through and come back and be ready to negotiate seriously and move forward. >> i wonder if at this point there is anything that john boehner, whose leadership is being questioned in all this, steve rattner, anything he could sell. to -- i mean, there's -- it seems like even the cnn poll that we were showing last hour about how people feel about the republican party's policies, it just seems like the party has too many extreme factions in it, and the people that john boehner is trying to bring together will not agree on anything.
they will not give him anything he can lead on. >> i disagree with that. >> well, what is it? what could it be? >> leadership. it comes with leadership. if you're going to ask me to march into battle, into unknown territory, steve rattner, i've got to know that you're going to get me out alive, asking republicans to vote for a plan to raise taxes for the first time in a quarter century. >> people earning over $1 million. >> but hold on a second, though. okay? i know this is shocking to a lot of people, but, you know, i mean, a tax increase is a tax increase. and so i'm making a bigger point here, which is if you're going to march me into that battle, you've got to convince me that you know how to get me out on the other side of that battle. and john boehner proved last night, he didn't. he didn't even know how to get on the battlefield. >> well, but i think there is a way they could have gotten out the other side. i actually thought it was not a stupid idea. given that you don't have a deal at the bottom that the
republicans can accept, you do plan "b." you get the monkey off your back and you put it on obama's back. are you really going to veto -- you can look at this either way. you can look at it as tax increase or as a massive tax cut from what would have happened on january 1st if they did nothing. >> the president wouldn't have a chance to veto it because harry reid would have vetoed it in the tsfat. senate. >> fine. >> i'm just telling you, the politics -- this is what we called the btu'ed them, voting for a tax -- >> but you've got to get to the end of the story. you stick the monkey back on the democrats' back. harry reid doesn't let it out of the senate if you follow your scenario. taxes go up, the democrats get blamed. meanwhile, two other things are happening. sequestration goes into effect. so you get $1.2 trillion of spending cuts. you may not like it because a lot of them are on the military, but you get your spending cuts. and this is the game i thought boehner was trying to play, you get to the debt ceiling, in
february or march. and republicans have another lever to force a package that they like. so i think there is an end game -- i think there was, i should use the past tense, an end game for boehner here other than passing this symbolic tax increase which, as you said, might cause them a lot of political problems. >> david, this is willie. you said this should be about more than caucus politics. this is not about who's winning and who's losing in washington. this is a big and serious problem that could hit us on january 1st. given the fact that congress has said they're going home for christmas now, boy, that leaves about five or six days to get this done. do you have any hope from people you've talked to or what you're hearing at the white house that we'll get some kind of a deal before the sequestration goes into effect? >> well, obviously, it's tough. i don't have any -- i don't have any inside information that would cause me to say impossible or would cause me to say optimistic, but the calendar is the calendar, so it's tough. the main thing is whether the
speaker reorients himself towards solving the problem. and you know, he has a speaker's election on january 3rd. perhaps that's on his mind. but joe started the conversation with a good question, which is how does this help the republican party in the long run? and of course, it doesn't. the country's watching this spectacle, and they're saying this party is a mess. it won't put the national interests ahead of its own dogm dogmatic fashions. that's been true on other issues. we'll see what happens on the gun issue that you guys have been talking about so much and so effectively over the last week. but, you know, this is a problem -- a larger problem than john boehner's leadership from the republican standpoint. it's a question of whether they want to be a national party and assume leadership or a factional party and never challenge for real leadership. >> well, and talking about a national party, harold, i'm going to put this poll up again.
and this is very instructive, by the way, for my republican friends at home. when i put unfortunate facts out, there are people that will say in the republican party oh, you're a rhino. that's like telling your doctor he's not a real doctor because he tells you you've got cancer that's going to kill you unless you take care of it. and that's what i've been doing on this show for years now. harold ford jr. right now 53% of americans believe my republican party is too extreme. 53%. two years ago, only two years ago, that number was at 36%. this is a party that is heading towards just absolute catastrophe, and they'd better -- >> highlighted by what happened in the past week. >> highlighted by what happened in the past week. one of the most traumatic events -- >> in american history. >> -- in this nation's -- in my
lifetime, over 49 years. was met with complete and utter silence by one political party. complete utter silence. >> silence. waiting for the nra. >> because they're afraid that a small fragment of nra members that believe the federal government is coming to kick down the door and kill them and seize their property, because they're afraid of that contingent! it makes me so angry that they are destroying their party because of these extremists. and they cannot speak out to the extremists! they want to negotiate. they want to bargain. they want to fight about contraception! this was taken care of in 1965. they want to debate on assault weapons and these high magazine clips! instead of talking about cutting taxes, creating jobs for middle-class americans, making
sure that kids have a chance to go to safe schools, making sure that even though they're struggling, their older kids have a chance to go to a good college, that they've got a chance to at least get a job, as good as the job that their dad had 20 years ago! what's wrong with the extremists in this party? what's wrong with our party leadership? >> i don't know what's wrong with the republican party leadership. i can say two things. the myopia of republicans when it comes to tax policy is mind boggling. to david's point, the president campaigned ferociously and consistently around the message of republicans only want to protect the rich. what they did last night, republicans rebuffing their entire leadership including paul ryan, again, was astonishing and would only reinforce the message that steve raised. two, here in new york, governor cuomo is proposing the most stringent gun control -- or i should say assault weapon control legislation in the country including limiting the
size of a gun magazine where it won't -- you can't sell anything in this state that would shoot more than seven bullets at one point. the fact that republicans nationally in the state of new york are rallying around it, the fact that nationally they're not talking about this is even more telling. and finally, what this says about leadership in washington, if you're a pedestrian watching this over the next several days, that republicans -- and to some extent democrats -- but largely republicans are unable to agree to what seems to be a reasonable package to protect middle-class americans from seeing their taxes go up, i think will do more to hurt washington's standing in the eyes of everyday businesspeople and everyday people. >> i actually think it's the party. >> and republicans are going to now, after what they did yesterday, will bear even more of the blame. >> much more. much more. >> mika, business leaders that were harshly critical of barack obama over the past four years -- >> yeah. >> -- they're now sitting down with him in the white house saying, what do we do to get our party -- these are republican
ceos saying how can we get our party to come to the table and stop an economic catastrophe that will devastate the middle class if this continues? >> right. and they want, at this point, the word that i find annoying to an extent, but at this point, certainty. give us something. let's move on. let's now understand what our reality is going to be. david. >> joe, you say the businesspeople are saying -- there's no doubt the business community has been strongly supportive. i think the signal that needs to be sent is we're not going to support you. the business community has been a font of support for the republican party and for those republican legislators. and i think they need to make clear this is a red-line issue, and we're not going to support you if you behave irresponsibly, if you take the country off the cliff. the president's made a reasonable compromise. you ought to accept that compromise. we ought to move forward as a country. and if you don't, if you play caucus politics, if you listen to the most strident voices and
fail to solve this problem, then we're not going to fund your campaigns. and that would be a powerful message. >> you know what's so crazy, willie, is the fact that everybody in washington knew, the president jumped to $400,000, that wasn't his last number. we would have gone up to 50 $0,000, $600,000, he was ready to go higher. and it blew up in negotiations. to do this last night and devastate the party. >> well, right. but i think the core issue that boehner is pushing, when you get to substance, you get away from all this crazy politics, what boehner is saying is he wants $1 in cuts for increases. there was a gap. the president wanted $1.2 trillion in tax increases. it was a bit less than $1 trillion in spending cuts. >> what what do you do? walk away from the table? >> no, i'm with you. there was a deal to be done and boehner could have gotten that deal done, but we have this problem we've been talking about for the last 15 minutes on his hard right.
>> is there still a way for a deal to be done? >> there's definitely a deal to be done that could pass the house and senate. i think the key question is whether boehner is prepared to do a deal without a majority of the majority. in other words, whether he's prepared to do a deal in the house where he loses a lot larger -- republicans, we all know what the potential consequences of that are for him. possibly losing his speakership. to there's definitely a deal that could pass those two houses. whether boehner will allow it is questionable. >> he's got to go back to the caucus and say you had a 3-1 ratio, spending cuts to tax increases. now you're at best going to have a 1-1. i would call them what we said during the first segment and say guys, this is just math here. we are in a weaker position. if you're a republican, and if you're the president, you sit back and you watch politically and say, i can't believe these guys are conducting themselves this way. >> you know, so much of this, though, mika, is about leadership. i know there's ideology. we're talking about extreme ideology. so much of it -- and it starts with the republicans that ran for president.
it starts with mitt romney. when you've got prominent conservative voices calling the president of the united states a racist that hates all white people, and mitt romney says nothing -- >> or that he's not a citizen. >> or that he's not a citizen of the united states and mitt romney says nothing. and other leaders say nothing. and the same thing -- we talked about assault weapon control. they say nothing. talk about the leadership here with john boehner. so you know, if you're john boehner, we all know, david knows, what's john boehner's problem? john boehner's problem is going to be his conservative base. the guys like me that gave gingrich all the problems, because we weren't going to raise taxes unless we got a lot of spending cuts. instead of going to those people, which is what i'd do first, okay. you 25, right here. i'm going to tell you right up front, you're running this thing. it's up to you. either this country goes off the
cliff economically, or you guys figure out what you can live with. so we're going to sit in this room until we figure out what you guys are going to do. what does john boehner do instead? he kicks them off of committees! this is a leadership issue. this is just shortsighted, i am sorry, stupid leadership, a lack of management that led him to where he got last night. >> so you have this cluster going on in washington to the backdrop of something much bigger for all americans looking in, and that is not just leadership, it's a party that seems to lack moral conviction. you have a party waiting for the nra to speak first, literally on guns. and you have everyone seeing their silence on this matter. nobody stepping up and saying, you know what? here's how i feel. one way or another. so you've got this backdrop now that literally reveals them to have no soul, no moral
conviction, quite frankly no - co-cojones, none. they've got none. >> david, one week ago today, this beast was preparing to kill his mother, assault a school, go into first grade classes, line little children up and do the unspeakable. the things that unfortunately i have heard those little 6 and 7-year-olds went through in the final moments of their life, kept me awake more nights than not. the details. i'm sure you know the details. they're just -- you can't sleep after hearing what these little children went through. it has scarred the soul of americans that i know.
not republicans. not democrats. not liberals or conservatives or independents. all americans, judging from my friends and relatives and loved ones and former constituents calling me, e-mailing me all the time. and yet there is one political party, as mika said, that has refused to speak out on this issue, have refused to come on news programs, to have their voices heard because they're waiting for the national rifle association. >> and if you don't think that's true -- >> to hold a press conference. >> -- we've reached out -- and i won't say his name, but there are some that said we can't talk to you till friday. >> i reached out on tuesday to a guy i've known for 20 years who's a republican leader, and he said i'm sorry, i can't talk to you until after the nra has their press conference on friday. >> till friday. >> yeah. but you guys, you know, let's face up to the fundamental issue
here, and it defines all of these things. the fundamental instinct of politicians generally -- and this is certainly true, members of congress, self-preservation, and these guys fear, in their primaries, the nra. they fear grover norquist and the strident voices on taxes because they think it threatens their tenure. and there are certain questions on which you have to -- if you're going to be a leader, if you're going to live up to your oath, you have to step up. driving the country over the cliff is one of those issues. certainly this issue of guns, i flew into laguardia airport on monday. i saw a children's choir, 7 and 8-year-olds, angelic faces and voices. and i watched and everybody there watched as they sang. and we all had the same thought in our heads, which is it could
have been these kids. it could have been anyone's kids. and any reasonable person would say, we have to do something. we have to act. and act, i quite agree, on a whole range of fronts, not just on guns, although guns is certainly a major part of it. >> right. >> and so the question is, in these situations, are you willing to step up and put yourself at risk, or is your job more important to you as an elected official than the lives of those children than the welfare of our country, and these are the choices people are going to have to make. >> and by the way, willie, for those that say democrats want to take assault weapons out of people's hands, david axelrod was incensed about a violent video game that the nfl allowed to be showed right after the president's speech a couple of nights ago. >> yeah.
three hours after his speech. >> what was the name of the video game? >> i think it was called hitman absolution. there was an ad and there was this lifelike cartoon character spraying the screen with bullets. >> are you kidding? >> it was unbelievable. it's unbelievable. >> it's sickening. and willie, again, talking to the republicans, one of the great things about having you on this show and that we love so much is people always ask me the same question. first of all, is he really that good-looking? but the second question they ask is, i can't figure out, is he a republican? is he a democrat? what is he? and i say, i have no idea. i have no -- i said, i think willie is a what a lot of voters are, and that is just somebody looking at both parties going okay, who's going to do best for the country? you're not ideological. how stupid does it look for one party to be completely silent to independent swing voters right now in this moral crisis? >> what you just said is one of the most depressing things i've
heard in politics in a long time, which is that a leader, supposed leader, of the republican party in this country told you he cannot speak until the nra speaks, that he takes a back seat to the nra. >> 20 children dead. >> 20 babies. >> 20 babies dead. he can't speak until after the nra allows him to. >> makes grover norquist's pledge -- >> pathetic. and the nra will speak at 10:45 today. we'll see what they say. we'll see how far they're willing to go, if they're willing to meet the president somewhere, come down on military-style weapons, come down on those high-ammunition clips. the fact that we have leaders, i put in quotes for the moment, in washington who wait for third-party groups before they can speak from their own guts and give their feelings and give their convictions is pathetic. >> let me just say this. while the nra is polishing off their statement today and preparing for the press conference, let me be very clear. you can be the association that protects gun owners that want to
protect their children and protect their families in their home and that want to hunt with their children and grandchildren, or you could be an association who decides you want to protect survivalists and people that have assault weapons and want to have a gun that can spray down and mow down people in malls and movie theaters and in first grade classes. if you choose the latter, you're going to lose. you're going to embarrass yourself. and your organization's going to be broken in half. it's your choice. it's your choice. you can do the right thing, or you can keep doing what you've been doing since 1994. make the choice. but i guarantee you, if you choose wrong, you're going to pay. you're going to pay a tough political price. >> i think it's awful. >> good luck. good luck at your press conference today. good luck. go mainstream again. be the organization you once were. >> david axelrod, thank you very much. it's very good to see you. >> okay.
>> thanks, david. >> don't forget, slash the 'stache, mika. >> how is slash the 'stache doing? before we go. because you're still raising money for cure. >> you guys got my mustache. now i'm going after alex castellano's. we're a little more than halfway there. anybody watching, go to slashthestache.com. >> all right. so you're trying to get to 500. you can do it. >> 500, yes. help us out here. >> raise the money for a cure. steve rattner, stay with us. coming up next, one of the republican congressman who led against plan "b" yesterday, congressman tim huelskamp and kelly o'donnell. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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>> with john boehner, just chaos. >> oh, my lord. >> is there anybody we have that would be able to tell us what happened last night? >> well, maybe -- oh, i know. joining us from capitol hill, nbc news capitol hill correspondent, kelly o'donnell. i mean, are there negotiations that go from here at this point? that seemed to end kind of abruptly and awkwardly. >> reporter: it was a really strange evening because the speaker had been so up front selling this plan to try to convince the white house that republicans would give some on taxes but not at the level that the president wants, and it fell apart. we're told that when he called the meeting of his fellow republicans, he did the pledge himself, even read the serenity prayer, which is sort of interesting when you consider being able to accept the things you cannot change, and then telling his members they just simply didn't have the votes. what does it mean? we know the speaker will talk to reporters in a couple hours this morning. will he talk to the white house? the white house says they want to work with congress. nothing is scheduled just yet. a very difficult day for the speaker, kind of pushed back by
probably a couple of dozen members of his own party. there were some who were willing to go along, but not enough, so they canceled this vote. and now we're really left with just more uncertainty. joe? mika? >> all right, kelly. thank you. >> wow. massive uncertainty. >> what's the date today? aren't we getting kind of close? >> yeah, we're getting kind of close. >> with us now from washington, d.c, i'm excited about this because here's a guy that if i'm speaker of the house, i go to him first. >> exactly. >> right? >> i would. >> because he's a real skifsh t conservative. >> i'd make sure that he was side by side with me. let's see if that's what happened to republican congressman from kansas, representative tim huelskamp, also pulitzer prize-winning columnist for "the washington post," eugene robinson. tim, i've been through this before, as you probably know, and i could never understand why, in my case, they would always go after the
conservatives that represented the values that they claimed to support when they were running for speaker, and then they decided to punish somebody like yourself because you don't want to vote for a budget that balances in 2040. i mean, if democrats put that type of budget on the floor, it would kill them. >> we would. and i'm a conservative, and i make no bones about it. my constituents are very conservative as well, and they've been so frustrated that leadership in the house right now, the speaker has been talking about tax increases. that's all we've been talking about. you know, but clearly, i mean, the numbers are very clear, it's a spending problem. i mean, we could raise taxes on the rich. if we did, that's a few days worth of spending, but that's been the frustration. there's been very little outreach by this leadership team to conservatives. but as you indicated, it's been the other way around. punishing those that speak up. myself and three of my colleagues kicked off
committees. and indeed numerous others have refused chairmanships and subcommittee chairmanships. it is about leadership, but it's about leadership in the white house, leadership over in the senate, leadership in the house. and that's my frustration as a freshman. no one wants to seem to lead and actually listen to what the american people are saying or representatives because every player in this scenario, everybody won the election. obviously not just the president. >> right, and that's the point i've been making. but if john boehner and the leadership team had come to you early on and said listen, i don't like it, james madison, he had this idea of divided government. we're going to have to go along with raising some taxes. we're just going to have to. but what do you need in return for that, congressman? what do the people in your district need? what kind of cuts do you need? and we're at a point now where, you know, simpson-bowles was talking about $4 trillion. $4.5 trillion. we're sitting at close to $2 trillion. what if they came to you early
on? could you guys have fashioned a plan that you could have lived with? >> perhaps, perhaps. but that hasn't been the case in the last two years. it's usually john boehner dive left and conservatives on the outside and at the end of the day, they'd call the democrats and say we'll get the votes to piece that together. we have to look at what the problem is, and that's what conservatives have been saying, my constituents are saying. there's the problem. it's not a taxing problem. it's a spending problem. but i'll tell you, both sides, both the speaker and certainly harry reid, if he ever comes back to negotiations. yesterday he said he was going to leave town and not do anything. and the president -- they're not talking about spending cuts now. all their spending cuts proposals are three, four, five years down the line. we've got a fiscal cliff problem, but we actually have a fiscal abyss problem with all these entitlements coming, and that's the best thing john boehner's been doing, talking
about entitlements, that i haven't heard about that for about a week. >> harold. >> good morning. we were talking about spending cuts and taxes. remember, taxes would go up on those earning over $1 million. my first question would be how many of your constituents for would be affected by that. and two, are you prepared then to go off the cliff if we can't find spending cuts and there's only a tax increase on millionaires? >> well, i think that we need to look at the tax on millionaires, at least 300,000 small businesses -- and in my district, we don't represent major corporations. it's farms and ranches and other small businesses. those are the folks who are going to be harmed the most. and that's what drives the economy. so it's just not millionaires. it's not the buffetts of the world. it's the folks that actually produce 41% of small business income that would see their taxes increased on the millionaires tax. i think what everybody in washington should agree on is we want to create jobs. we want to make sure 20 million americans looking for work can go find that. these tax increases will not
create a single job. and that is a real frustration because that is the one thing everybody says they agree on. >> so you'd go off the cliff? that's my second question. you're prepared to go off the cliff? >> no, i'm prepared to keep working for another ten days. but you know, when harry reid yesterday said we're going to go home, we're not going to do anything, let's do plan "w." go to work. let's have john boehner sit down with the entire republican conference and put something together. let's see harry reid try to get something through the senate and actually have a written proposal to the president instead of everybody going behind closed doors, as the instinct in washington has been for years, and let's do something public and go to work. we can still get this done. >> i'm listening to you. i want you to answer a very specific question. should anybody's taxes be raised? should a millionaire's taxes -- these guys, it's spending, spending, spending. yes or no? should anybody's taxes be raised at this point? please answer, sir, yes or no. >> no. >> no. then how do you negotiate with somebody who comes from your point of view? we do have this deficit.
it's purely entitlements. no taxes anywhere. a guy making $5 million a year, his taxes should not increase. and we're going to solve a problem in this country with an attitude like that? >> mr. buffett's not going to pay a dime in taxes. that's what we're talking about here. >> to solve this fiscal crisis without taking any, any revenue at all. >> taxes doesn't solve the crisis at all. that's the misleading statement. all these sides are making that somehow it's a taxing problem. it is not a taxing problem. >> congressman, i understand that completely. you know, you raise taxes. you fund the government for eight days with the tax increases. so fiscal -- you're exactly right, this is a spending problem. that said, you talk about these business owners. they've no sit around the table every day, and they have to deal with people that they may disagree with. and they may have to give up part of, you know, they may have to give up something that they disagree with. so economically i understand what you're saying. i think the question here, though, is if you got enough
spending cuts, if you got the entitlement reform, because you and i both know it's medicare and medicaid that bankrupts us over the next 10, 15 years. would you go ahead and vote? you give up something that you don't want to give up and agree under a scenario to raise new revenue if you got enough spending cuts on the other side? >> for two years i've been asked, do not ask for spending cuts. we're not going to give them. and there's not been a cut in this town for literally decades. >> congressman, i understand that. and listen, i'm with you, buddy. ideologically -- >> but they haven't presented any cuts. >> so let me ask you -- >> they have not offered any cuts. >> let me ask you. okay. i'm asking, though, can you foresee a scenario if they offer enough cuts? >> no. good question. i'll answer it. no. i don't believe so. i am not going to vote to put people out of work. and that's what these tax increases do.
>> congressman, let's put aside the economics. and we can all argue about whether you need revenues or not. >> i'm not going to put aside the fact that this tax increase would put 200,000 to 700,000 americans out of work. we can't throw that aside. >> let's get to the practical realities of life. we have divided government. your party controls the house. the democrats coal the senate without having 60 votes. you have a democrat in the white house. how do you get anything done without both sides being willing to compromise? you're saying you're not going to move one inch, one millimeter, one centimeter on this tax issue. so how do you ever get a deal done in a divided government? you'd really prefer essentially to abandon all effort to govern and just let nature take its course? is that a better idea? >> well, two years ago, let's look and see what happened. president obama said he was opposed to -- said he wanted to increase taxes. but he signed on. he went along with that. he did that two years ago, and he said it was a bad thing to raise taxes because it's going
to cost you. we can do that. the president can step up and say hey, i don't want to go over the cliff. harry reid can come back from hawaii and actually go back to work. we can make that happen. we don't have to raise tacks on anyone. but what we know what we have to do is actually focus on the problem. and i think most americans are starting to understand, washington is trying to convince us that they're not taxing enough. everybody knows $1.3 trillion deficit is not a tax problem. >> congressman, again, i agree with you, but we also live, if you see "lincoln" or see what's happened over the past 200 years, we live in a divided government. that's our constitutional republic. and there are going to be tax increases. and if you do nothing, there are going to be tax increases on january the 1st. wouldn't you rather shape it than just let taxes go for everybody on january the 1st? >> that's a great question for december 31st. and that might happen. but again, where are the spending reductions? where are the entitlement reforms out of harry reid and the president of the yaunited
states? i disagrees with boehner caving on taxes. he went over to the white house over the weekend and said we'll give you $1 trillion in tax revenue, maybe raise the debt ceiling for a year and take the lever out of the hand of republicans, but he did that without, i think, the support of the conference, as we found out. as you mentioned earlier, leadership is actually about listening, not throwing out things. but we see that from the president, lack of leadership from harry reid and oftentimes a lack of leadership of republicans on our side. yeah, let's put proposals on the table that actually are a full solution to that. will that happen before the end of the year? i don't know. i'm not giving up. i still think we have time to get it done before taxes go up and crater the economy. >> congressman, before you go, i want to ask you a question on another topic. and just get a sense of what's in your heart on this. do you think it's time to take a look at assault weapons and discuss possibilities of changing laws pertaining to them? >> well, we can discuss that, but i have four young children. i have a 6-year-old, and that
strikes in my heart what occurred. but again, what has bothered me the most as a representative is how this has been politicized so quickly that somehow if we had changed one single law, which as i understand it, the state of connecticut had laws against these kind of things. and somehow that would have changed things. what i agree on, i think everybody can agree on, we've got a cultural problem. i've got an 11-year-old. and the type of video games you just talked about, we don't let him play that. let's have the moms and dads of america stand up and take control of their children and actually do the best they can. we've got a mental illness issue here. we can continue to talk about that. but washington has to recognize that there's no simple solutions. this has been going on a long time in terms of our culture. >> but is it time to look at assault weapons? >> will that solve the problem? i don't believe so. it's not a gun problem, it's a people problem. it's a cultural problem. >> it's not a gun problem? so tell me, why do americans
need assault weapons? why do they need these high-capacity clips? why do they need a bushmaster? can you tell me why? >> there's been a lot of misleading statements including those said right here and saying that somehow if we ban a gun that somehow criminals won't get those guns. >> no, i'm asking -- >> no, no, that's the reality here. it's not a gun problem. >> it's not a gun problem. >> there's a person doing that. >> oh, really? >> yes. >> so compare the united states to other industrialized western countries and look at -- >> let's actually look at washington, d.c. where the ability to get a gun is extremely limited. >> by the way, with virginia right next door with the most per missive loopholes for gun shows? i'm asking you, do you believe -- >> honest people aren't breaking the law. >> do you believe i have a constitutional right to van assault weapon? do you think that james madison, when he drafted the bill of rights, meant for me to have the ability to have an assault weapon? is this a constitutional issue for you?
>> i think it's an issue of the second amendment. it says we have a right to protect ourselves. the supreme court has upheld that. but gosh, let's step back. let's not build on the tragedy in connecticut and use that to actually push a political agenda. >> to push a political agenda? >> oh, absolutely. this president and his folks are using this to push -- >> let's talk about september 11th, congressman. were there some changes made in this country because of the tragedy of september 11th? was that just using a tragedy, 3,000 deaths, to try to make americans safer? do you dare come on my show and say i am using the slaughter of 20 little 6 and 7-year-old children, i'm using that for political purposes, tim? >> joe, how many children do you have? >> i've got four children, tim. answer my question. >> so do i. and i refuse to let you say that because you have children, or anybody else, that we need to actually politicize this. but i see folks in washington -- i don't know about you. i don't watch your show.
you're trying to politicize this. >> tim, i'm not going to let you say that i am, quote, politicizing the slaughter of 20 children. but you said anybody talking about this. >> doesn't connecticut have a ban on assault weapons? >> maybe some of you just believe, tim -- maybe some of us just believe we have to do whatever he we can, whether it's looking at mental health, whether it's looking at a violent culture of video games and hollywood movies, whether it's looking at the proliferation of these weapons, whether it's looking at what happened in oregon, what happened in colorado, what happened in virginia, what happened in connecticut, what continues happening, congressman. so we can't at least talk about guns without you questioning my integrity and saying that i'm using the death of 20 children to try to make life for my children a little bit safer? we can't even talk about it without you coming on this show -- >> joe -- >> -- and insulting me
personally? >> i didn't say it was you politicizing it. you're not even a politician anymore, and i understand that. you look around this town, you look within 24 hours, folks running on and saying hey, we need to change the laws. when they don't even know the situation. >> sir -- >> all i'm saying is let's spend time looking at that but not to use the tragedy. as a very famous political strategist from chicago said, don't let any crisis go unused. i do not want to politicize this. >> let me get this straight. so you can come on the show and say what i've said, by the way, that we've got to look at violent video games, and we've got to look at a violent culture that hollywood promotes, and that's not politicizing, but if we even bring up guns, that somehow that's politicizing the deaths of 20 children. wow. >> what i've said is i've got an 11-year-old son. and i have a choice, whether he's allowed to play those video games. what i would suggest to moms and dads across this country is look at what your children are doing. get engaged. let the communities get engaged. and i think that would be a
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>> stunning. >> stunning. it was depressing. i didn't know whether to scream or to weep. but there you see the problem. you know. and look, i have a great respect for conservatism and the conservatives' viewpoint. i think it's necessary in this society, but if you won't move one millimeter on the issue of assault weapons at a time like this when we had the tragedy one week ago, i am absolutely floored. >> and gene -- >> one millimeter on tax revenue, given what we face. i am floored! i just don't know what to say. >> gene, i actually -- i agree with him that raising taxes, it's not going to pay for that increase, but guess what? we live pay for that but guess what? we live in a constitutional republic. james madison intended it to be this way. i just got an e-mail from one of george w. bush's top aides not mark mckenna who said, i'm so mad i'm shaking. put them on every day and let
republicans across america see why we are moving toward the status of the weak. >> there you go. >> watching this you understand the challenges john boehner faces every day. i almost feel sorry for him. >> gene do you feel sorry for john boehner right now? >> you know, i do. i really hope he gets a happy holiday and gets away. run, john boehner, run. >> stand up and say this is what i got to deal with. >> this isn't about the president leading. you can't lead that. >> no you can't. >> that's impossible. >> that is out now. >> the fact is, we're not criticizing him for having strongly held views. >> that's true. >> we're criticizing him for believing that he can run a country like hugo chavez. >> right. >> we live in james madison's america. >> right. >> we live in a constitutional republic. it's separation of checks and
balances. and separation of powers. checks and balances. >> thanks. sorry we didn't get you to earlier. ahead the associated press is out with its top ten stories of the year. we'll go to the list. stay with us. hey, look! a shooting star! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature.
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coming up next speaker boehner pulls the plug on his plan b bill due to a lack of republican support where the fiscal cliff negotiations possibly go from here, next on "morning joe." ♪ free falling [ male announcer ] this december, remember -- what starts with adding a friend... ♪ ...could end with adding a close friend. the lexus december to remember sales event is on. this is the pursuit of perfection.
>> good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast. 5:00 a.m. on the west coast. time to wake up, everybody. as you take a live look at new york city. back with us onset we have donny deutsch, harold ford jr. and mark halperin in washington. >> john boehner had a bad night last night. >> yeah. picture on the front page of the "new york times" seemed to say it all. >> yeah, my goodness. he said a prayer last night. he undertook a gambit. he had decided that he was going to walk away from negotiations and try to get republicans to support a tax increase on people making a million dollars or more without any spending cuts on the other side and conservatives told him no. >> when this first came up we talked about it on the air. you talked with chuck and had an exchange with chuck about this. you asked if you would take it. what was your answer? should we show it? >> sure. >> let's show it. let's pull the exchange between
joe and chuck when this first, plan b came up. >> how could john boehner have possibly seen this coming? there was a no hint a conservative would say no to this deal. >> none. >> you notice when chuck asked me -- >> you saw the wiggle room. >> hey, joe, i have a question. >> yeah. >> i have a question for you. >> no way. i wouldn't vote for that in a million years. you know, i never supported tax increases. i find it immoral that our government on the federal, state, and local level takes 50% of americans' dollars that they make at work. >> the point was, the first time i heard it, i said, there is no way. i would give up my seat before i'd vote for my first tax increase in 25 years without getting a dime in spending cuts on the other side. >> what was the strategy? >> i guess john boehner just wanted to destroy his speakership. i'm serious. why would he do such a thing
when he knew -- >> seriously, what was -- there had to be something. >> i mean, he was thinking it would give him more leverage going back to the president to say, listen, we passed a million dollar deal. we spared everybody making less than a million dollars. >> the president had recently said he would take a quarter million or under. >> chuck said, this is the deal he's working on. my gut was never in a million years. and all my conservative friends on capitol hill were saying the same thing. i called them. are you going to support that? no. >> does this mean now boehner is able to go back to the white house and say you have to add spending cuts? make your cost of living adjustments to social security? actually this is a conservative, little c conservative, joe, would you be willing as a member of congress today if he came back with $600 billion or $700 billion whatever the number may be in entitlement savings and cuts along with the tax increase above $400,000 to vote for it? >> i would need more spending
cuts than -- >> what would be the number? i think that's where we are unfortunately. or we're going to go over, credit rating -- >> the thing is if we get over a trillion dollars in spending cuts, you know, then at least you're in the ballpark. we've got sequestration on top of that. there are a lot of different possibilities here. but the problem here is not an ideological problem. a lot of people donny deutsch like to suggest that there is a problem with these conservatives. they're crazy. right wing freaks. they're nuts. remember we had john on a couple years ago, willie, he clearly explained. i'm not going to support a $700 billion t.a.r.p. bill that is three pages long that gives them the freedom -- he was exactly right. you know, these guys aren't crazy but if you ask them to jump over the cliff you better be a strong leader that can tell them how you're going to land soft. >> well, kind of the ridiculousness beyond what boehner did and i'm still
searching the logic is that the end of the day as far as the revenue side the $20 billion apart and 2.6 trillion the current year. you're talking about 0.7%, less than a percent apart. >> that is not a lot of money. >> the fact we're at this point, forget the brinksmanship boehner did there is just something wrong. 0.7% apart at this point. >> i think what happened was boehner got down the road and he found out after he had gotten down the road he was negotiating terms with the president and so he blew it up again. this is exactly what happened a year ago when the president said, okay. i'll give you a couple more votes. john boehner said okay. and then the next thing the president hears he is blowing it up because he doesn't have the votes. >> i know what he was goidoing. he wanted to go to the president and say look you're finally going to get your tax hikes on the wealthy a million dollars up. 98% still get their taxes
lowered. i'm surprised he didn't count his votes before he did that. a man as experienced as he is. >> that is what is so shocking. >> if he was going to step out on the ledge you better have the votes. he walked out on the ledge, turned around, and nobody was with him. >> craig shirley had a very interesting quote in "the washington post" this morning. >> he's got this in "the washington post" saying if this was a parliamentary system tonight's dissent on plan b would be seen as a vote of no confidence in boehner. the national gop is now simply a collection of warring tribal factions. i'll add to that. a flue cnn opinion research poll has found the majority of americans believe the republican party is now too extreme. 53% including 22% of republicans say the gop views have shifted too far to the right of main stream. that is a 17-point swing in opinion from september. >> hold that up. and i want my republican brothers and sisters who have taken exception to some of the things i've said over the past year about us going in the wrong
direction as a party, offending swing voters, offending the middle class, i want you to look at those numbers and just breathe them in. think back over the primary process i said was going to be destructive to our party. think back over the convention. think back over the contraception debate. all of these things that i kept bringing up that kept enraging you. i want you to keep staring at those numbers. i can show you 20 more numbers and show what a sorry state the republican party is. craig shirley is right. we are little more than a tribe of warring factions and, donny deutsch, mark halperin, let me bring in mark really quick. mark, this week -- this week after the most horrific act i think in american -- recent american history other than 9/11 i can't think of anything that has scarred the soul of americans more than what happened at sandy hook. you have had complete, utter silence from republican leaders
on some of these key issues. and so there are americans out there that are thinking, wait a second. is this the party of lower taxes or is this the party of assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips? is this the party of balanced budgets? or is this the party of contraception wars going back to the primary process? this party has painted itself into an extreme corner by going down all these various rabbit trails that have nothing to do with our core of who we are as a party of small government. again, i want to just put these numbers up one more time, the cnn numbers that come out again on the eve of this disastrous plan b vote. i can't think of any time the republican party, my republican party has been in such disarray since 1974 after richard nixon resigned. what does it all mean? >> well, look. first on the boehner plan b, i
think the conventional wisdom in both parties, both before and after they had to pull down the vote was boehner had a horribly designed plan but he executed it worse. and he's left himself now in an incredibly weak position and i think he's got to head now toward when they come back after christmas what i thought -- i've always thought they had to do which is boehner has to allow a vote on a compromise with the president that excuse the democrats' way, that gets many more democratic votes in the house than republican votes, and somehow jointly whip that to a majority that really will divide the party even more. the white house sees the weakness the republican party right now just the way you do but still the reality is boehner has the gavel. if you're going to move through a budget deal that averts the fiscal cliff, if you're going to move through a package of recommendations on how to deal with the aftermath, the horrible shooting in connecticut, you're still going to need the house judiciary committee to sign off on it. that is the reality.
>> mark, how long does he have the gavel? if he's as, you know, "the washington post" suggests today he might be the weakest speaker in modern american history and then he decides to roll his own conference and do a bill that more democrats are going to support than republicans, that's not a great plan to bring down to 8 c 5 when you're caucused together to pick the next speaker for the republican party. >> it is not. they're doing a signing ceremony in the rose garden standing with the president. remember, big business wants a deal. a lot of people, a lot of taxpayers when they see what is going to happen in january are going to want a deal. speaker boehner is going to have to do something that almost no republican leader has done in the last couple years, which is to say, my party is going to have to understand that this is a more centrist country than their views. we need a deal. and he's going to have to do it. i don't see any other
alternative particularly after what happened last night. >> here's what they're up against. congressman tim hulsecamp of canss who led the efforts to stop the bill from reaching the floor put out a statement last night reading in part this. republican leadership thought they could silence conservatives when they kicked us off our committees. i'm glad that enough of my colleagues refused to back down after the threats and intimidation that's preventing the conference from abandoning our principles. >> the republican party has fallen and can't get up. it is, joe, you brought it back and i agree with you, to the worst tragedy since 9/11. a brand is a set of values. that is the definition of a brand. to say now the party needs to be rebranded, on the verge of reinventing itself which is you have to look at the core value system which is rugged individualism, compassionate conservativism, but it is not the socialism. it is not assault weapons.
and until these idiots, and i'm calling them idiots, get it, they will be such a distant second in this country. it is -- i've never in my lifetime seen a party in such disarray and i think also along those lines, sometimes when a team is going to ride you just need a new face. i think boehner at this point you just want to change the channel. i think they need a new coach. i really do. >> i don't disagree really much at all. i would say this. i think boehner showed a little more leadership than some of the guys in the caucus had. whether he had the votes or not. i would agree with mark that the execution was poor but at least he stepped out to try to forge a path. the problem with the party that joe, your point about social issues, they look even worse when it comes to the fiscal issues, important fiscal issues confronting the country. if we go off the cliff it is likely we'll have the credit rating downgraded and they'll come back next year and try to fix things. i give boehner credit for trying to compromise. >> this vote has set them up as the great protectors of the
millionaires. at least before you could say, hey, protecting people who make too,0 250,000 or more, small business owners. john boehner has now put them on record as the party protecting the millionaires and everybody in america will have their taxes increased in january. this is the absolute worst case scenario that their position has been so weakened. >> i'm not defending john boehner. what the president has put on the table is the position i think we should go forward with the $400,000 plan but boehner's plan said everybody earning under a million won't see their taxes go up. he could have done it more effectively. >> if he didn't know he had the votes don't put that on the floor because if it fails you have just made your party the party that is going to raise somebody's taxes that makes $50,000 because they couldn't protect the millionaires. >> no doubt. but the republicans were already there. if they were not willing to agree with the president to say don't raise it over a quarter million they're already ready to
go not only off the cliff but to raise everybody's taxes. at the same time do nothing to avert the reality of having our credit rating downgraded again which we've already been warned if we don't take steps to reduce spending and create savings that is where we'll end up. both sides, particularly the republican congress, and this young fellow from kansas, that is representative of even more republicans, as you said, donny, they've fallen and they can't get up on social issues and now fiscal issues even more. >> you have newtown and the absolute fear to speak out not against the nra, to speak out against survivalists, speak out against people that want to buy assault weapons, speak out against people that, i mean, great. if you really do, if you believe that james madison wrote the bill of rights so people would have the ability to squeeze off that many rounds and have these extended magazine clips, if that is your america, god bless you, good luck with that. if you really believe the federal government's coming to kick down our doors and you
think, what are you going to do, shoot that weapon? lots of luck. it is not going to help you. but that's where they're positioning themselves. they don't speak out against the slaughter of 20 young children and doing anything about that because they are afraid they may offend survivalists and people rushing out right now going to walmart and buying assault weap weapons. they're not going to stand up to so many of these extreme forces and, mark halperin, it's killing them, because, again, you look at the cnn poll, their branding is down. then john boehner picks a fight with economic conservatives, with economic conservatives by not putting them on committees. dave was on last week. tim is going to be on this morning, right? tim basically saying okay, mr. speaker. you kicked us off the committee. and look what it got you. i mean, he's getting it from all sides. >> we had a two man game for a
while. speaker boehner and the president. i think now we have a different two-man game which is going to be the president and mitch mcconnell along with senator reid. on both the fiscal cliff and on guns post connecticut i think the strategy is going to be for republicans who want to save the brand, mitch mcconnell, lemar alexander, rob portman, their strategy is going to be make deals with the white house first on the fiscal cliff and then on guns and then the ball is going to be in the court of the house and there is going to be nowhere to hide, no ambiguity. what is standing in the way of dealing with the fiscal cliff? speaker boehner striking a deal with a lot of democrats and some republicans to deal with that. and then i think the next issue will be guns and it's going to be the same thing. if the white house can work with the senate leadership on the republican side, and senator reid, and they get a deal there, that is going to put the republicans in the house on the line to say, are you together with the country and with the other branch, the executive branch and the other chamber or going your own way? then it is going to be up to
john boehner to decide what to do. >> willie, the republicans just keep playing into the president's hand. you know, contraception this spring was the big debate. and now they never see it coming. like this gun debate right now they're stuck in 1994. they think ruby ridge and waco happened the year before. they're never going to see it coming before it's too late. they never can see around the curve. that's why my party is shattered now because they're living in the past and they never, ever -- they are so disconnected from middle america, so disconnected, so disconnected. there was an article in the pensacola news journal yesterday, my hometown, where i live, where my family lives. law enforcement officers -- really? you need assault weapons? i mean, what cop believes we need those on the streets? but they never see it coming. and they just play right into the white house's hands. >> it will be interesting today
at 10:45 to see that nra press conference to see what they're willing to do and with david gregory on "meet the press" on sunday. to your point last night, politically they walked into that mitt romney stereotype of the republican party. you're just here to protect the millionaires. they walked right into it. my question is if they won't go along with anything that raises taxes on people who make above a million dollars will they ever go along with anything that includes revenues? >> spending cuts. >> will the president now -- the president's hand is so strong -- will he give them deep spending cuts? >> you know, the president has to be the grownup in the relationship here. as a back bencher i can tell you, you can throw a lot of rhetorical bombs but when you're the president of the united states and you got to answer to the markets and you've got all the top business leaders coming to the white house going, please. do whatever. the president is like i'm working with them. can you talk to people on the other side of pennsylvania avenue? yeah. if there are spending cuts, real spending cuts i'm telling you
these conservatives will come along. >> coming up on this last friday before christmas, we bring back our faith on fridays discussion. the leaders of three different religions join us next with their varying views on spirituality during this holiday season. we'll also get their thoughts on how to process the evil that happened in midtown. but first, here is bill karins with a check on the weekend forecast. bill? >> good morning, mika. we have trouble out there especially at the airports. this is a busy friday before christmas and new york city is pretty much the worst of it. winds are howling up to oo mi50s per hour, pouring rain. this will last probably another two or three hours and then the weather will dramatically improve even in new york city this afternoon. the airports are a mess. ranging between two to three-hour delays at the new york city airports, newark to philadelphia. so far so good boston logan but what is in new york will soon be heading up toward you. so the heavy rains moving through, winds in new york city right now between 40 and 50 miles per hour. very heavy rain moving up into massachusetts currently. we have to watch some of the
flooding too. areas of snow on the ground in new england are going to get drenched with heavy rain today. that could cause minor flooding. also snow through much of michigan, indiana, and ohio. even the high elevations of west virginia. it is not a pretty morning in chicago, either, with windy, cold conditions. this is your snowfall map over the next 48 hours mostly looking at snow in high elevations of west virginia and western portions of new york. happy to tell everyone after we get past today the airports and everything else across much of the country will be much better and your holiday travel will be just fine saturday and sunday. you're watching morning joe with a blowing christmas tree in the background, brewed by starbucks. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there.
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you know what it is. >> what's that? >> i'm not talking about the gift the congressman gave us last hour. >> it's quite a gift. >> we're going to be going over with the associated press's david quarry who has the associated press's list of the top ten in 2012 also jonathan capehart, harold ford, steve rattner back at the table. this is from thomas robertson. i'll just tell you it is going to be delicious. i knew it. >> berger cookies. >> he always does this. >> he does it. you could pick up 30 pounds right after the holidays. >> i do. bloat out. >> let's go over the ap's top ten stories and start, number ten, syria. >> yeah. that was the only full fledged
foreign story that made the list. it was not a big year for the interesting but complicated foreign stories. >> 9, gay marriage. yeah. that was a strong contender. it was an historic year for that cause. absolutely. >> 8, fiscal cliff, 7, u.s. economy. 6, penn state. 5, libya. 4 obama care. why did obama care rise again? >> you know, it seemed people felt that story was never going to go away. it actually started last year, went through this year and is still an unending story. we don't know. people felt it affected their readers, their constituents. >> obviously the supreme court story was huge. but also the election was huge as well where you had a lot of republicans say okay. we'll basically -- it's been, you know, verified by the american people. >> this was the first year i went back, since 1996, that a presidential election did not make the number one spot. it is pretty unusual.
it's because of newtown. >> number 3, superstorm. obviously a huge storm, had a devastating impact on the tri-state area. >> in a normal year that would have been the number one story. it was a very complicated news year and it got knocked down to 3. >> you're right the u.s. election would have been the top story of the year. quite an election. >> almost any time. this is a fascinating election with so many sub plots. we had trouble describing it in one entry because there were so many sub plots. >> yeah. but number one you have mass shootings. let's talk about that. >> yeah. we started out. we did this draft of the poll before newtown. we had an entry for mass shootings based on the colorado aurora thing and wisconsin, oakland, a sad litany of these things. we conducted a first round of voting. that finished sixth. and then we ended our poll the day before newtown and we realized we had to do it over. the first time we've done that. >> wow. >> we told our editors and
members we're going to do it over. newtown finished first. just barely. it was one of the closest races we've ever had between newtown and the election. >> i mean, at this point actually after the interview we had last hour, with the congressman, i think this is going to be something that brings us into the next year with a goal united as a country you'd hope. i'm not sure how united we're going to be though in washington about this. >> yeah. i think that was what struck people as why this was important. there have been plenty of mass shootings but they feel this has staying power in terms of policy changes. >> jonathan capehart? >> yeah. i think -- i think the newtown shootings have staying power and have resonated so much because, you know, we've been through mass shootings before as we've been discussing but this is the first time at least in my memory that we've seen a massacre perpetrated by someone from the outside inside an elementary school where the victims, most of the victims were 6 and 7
years old. if you can't see a way to have a change of heart, open your mind to possibly doing something to ensure this doesn't happen again then you've got the hardest of hearts out there. so my hope is as you were saying, mika, is we go into the next year that at least the country can rally around, when i say the country i mean the folks here in washington can rally around and do something to ensure that we doan have another newtown again but, you know, as we saw in the interview with the congressman, we here in washington and you guys on the set know what's been happening in washington and how difficult it's been for speaker boehner. but after that interview, you know, i sort of question how -- how much governing is going to be able to get done. >> i don't know if anything can after watching that actually. >> so this poll is done of editors and people out --
>> right. professional business people. >> you get ten really important issues. we'd all agree the most important and very serious issues for the country. if you were to look at usage of your news service online where presumably you can pleasure it is the public tracking this kind of interest or are they off the kardashians and the petraeus affair and other less heavy -- >> it depends what barometer you're looking at. pew did a poll of what the public was most intently interested in over a week's time and it tracked our poll almost exactly -- election, newtown, sandy. but if you look at some yahoo online things or what is the most clicked it is a very different set of answers with celebrity scandal so it all depends what barometer you use. >> it was interesting. penn state the only sports thing, here in new york jeremy lin obviously a big thing to steve's point. as you head into the new year you've watched these polls. what can we expect in terms of the continuation, the obvious fiscal cliff, obvious gun
control and assault weapon control? do you see those playing, would it be consistent for us to expect those to be the -- continue to be the top stories that consume the most ink from you? >> sadly, about half -- i've done this job for 11 years and about five of those times it's been a disaster, a calamity. katrina, the gulf oil spill, the virginia tech shooting was number one that year. so god forbid we don't have another thing like that. then it's usually politics. it might be gun control this year. might be something economic. could well be. >> jonathan capehart, we were talking about the last interview with the congressman from kansas. and, of course, i think what was so telling was not just the fact that he wasn't even considering having an open mind on assault weapons. he wasn't considering having an open mind on raising taxes even
one dime, even if he got massive spending cuts and entitlement programs and certainly i understand idiosyncrasy logically where he's coming from on taxes and the economy but i wonder did he ever take a civics class? does he not understand that the house republicans don't run washington, that we have a separation of powers? >> yeah. >> it really is, again, tons of e-mails from republican leaders after that interview. it's a lot of republicans very depressed by the spectacle they just saw and they understand john boehner's position much better this morning after that interview. >> yeah. i got a taste of it last year during the debt ceiling fight at one of these economic dinners with members of congress, people from the financial services talking about the debt ceiling, what was going to happen to the country. and there was a guy, a member of congress whose name escapes me
who after hearing the calamity that would happen, if the debt ceiling weren't raised he said, well if that is what is needed to get the country's house in order then so be it. that was when i knew the tea party caucus, the freshmen who had come in to change washington, to change, cut the spending, they were serious. and there was no amount of grownup talk from the house leadership, from the financial services industry, from anyone that was going to change their minds on what needed to be done and so the fact that the congressman came on today and is continuing that mindset, a year and a half later, is really quite frightening. >> all right. the associated press says david gray, thank you so much. jonathan capehart stay with us. coming up next faith on fridays. we welcome leaders of three religions to the set for a discussion on the holidays and how to deal with what's ban very painful time for so many this season. keep it right here on "morning joe." this holiday, share everything.
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w. dean sharif. all part of the interfaith coalition for hope and peace. rabbi, you know why i might eat the whole box of berger cookies. >> i would guess you've also been asked throughout your life, why do good things -- bad things happen to good people? how could a loving god allow what happened in newtown? what do you tell your flock when they ask that question? >> it is probably the most asked theological question. i say to people i don't believe that god chooses one set of people, one person to have some kind of tragic circumstance happen to them. i don't believe that -- i think it is theological nausea to be honest to think that god would choose a specific person to go through a trial. but i do believe that this happens, that people have to grit and bear it but we as god's
messengers on earth can be the ones who respond -- family and friends who help people walk through the valley of the shadow. when all that noise sort of disappears and clears out you might have an opportunity to see a new trajectory both for the person and i hope for the nation. >> and god's work comes after tragedy reaching out to these people, putting yourself second, trying to be there for them in any way you can. >> especially after the media leaves. we cannot forget this town, we cannot forget people. oftentimes after death it's a month later when people are still struggling and the world continues to spin and people continue to walk through the valley of the shadow. >> bishop mark beckwith, we saw a priest in newtown crying. >> right. >> there are times when it does feel impossible to bring solace to the grieving. how do you even begin? what were your thoughts initially? what would i do?
how would i help from the position that you're in when you heard this? >> yeah. i start with my wife who used to be a principal of a k through 4 school and the thought of somebody coming into the school, and they had all the security measures to make sure that didn't happen, what would she do? she would do, she said, what the principal in newtown did, at sandy hook, offer her life for kids. and then thinking about just this loss, the tragic, tragic loss, horrific expression of violence and people show up. the question was just asked on why bad things happen to good people. i'm guided by the book written 30 years ago by a raabi, when bad things happen to good people. they do. people do things to one another as we see over and over again. when bad things happen, then other people respond. they offer the comfort of each
other. they go down deep to the depths of their faith. and they encourage one another. we saw this in newark five years ago when four young people late one night behind an elementary school were just talking. they're college kids and they were set upon by gang members. three were executed and one survived. there was a level of violence newark had not seen before. it brought us together. it brought us together from our respective traditions and the hope and peace that we try to offer the city of newark and now the whole country is trying to offer similar kind of hope and peace to newtown and beyond. >> and imam, how do you do that with the people of newark? and the people at your mosque? >> in our community the city of newark in which of course i was raised it is unfortunate that we experience this loss and so we certainly understand the tragedy of newtown because this kind of loss in terms of children's lives being taken is something
that happens too often in the cities so the violence perpetrated by people who are disturbed and people who are depressed, this mental illness that is plaguing our cities is something that, unfortunately, is plaguing, has been plaguing the inner city for quite sometime. so we have to understand that, you know, the message of hope and the message of peace begins with the language that we begin to share with our young people and that language begins to shape the minds, the hearts, and the souls of people. we can begin to monitor that language and begin to understand that that language must be language of understanding, compassion, and mercy. then i think some of the violence perpetrated as well as some of the depression that sometimes is imposed upon the soul begins to be alleviated. >> what about, though, and i'll let you all jump in if you feel it, i'll start with rabbi, the
culture we live in. this threefold problem that we've been talking about all week. i don't know anybody at this table who doesn't think that one issue is more important than the other -- mental health, the violent video games, and the violent media culture that young people are exposed to as well as the guns that are available in our society -- the assault weapons if i may and we start using that word more and more. >> yes. >> i mean, it is one thing to talk about the language and how we treat each other but don't we need to shape our society in a way where people are safe and can build safe minds? >> we need to break the cycle and one thing the three of us have found is that people who go to break the cycle are usually seen on the fringe because people believe there is no way in a calderon of violence that this can change. you know what? change is always happening from the fringe going to ward. i don't mean far left or right. i mean fringe pursuers of peace. it's time for us to stop being
pro first amendment or antisecond amendment or pro, you know, it's time to be pro peace. it's time to be pro child. it's time to be pro community. it's time to voice our opinions loud and clear. put the politics aside and say this is a religious imperative, a moral imperative, this is an ethical imperative. >> so jesus said, blessed are the peacemakers. >> yes. >> we celebrate as christians, you and i, the arrival of the prince of peace this time every year. how do we forward that promise? >> jesus came into a world that was fraught with violence. he was born into a culture of violence and violence surrounded everyone who lived at that time and the message that comes through the gospel, the christian message that is the advent message, the christmas message, the primary message to my mind is fear not. we have a lot of things to be afraid of but if we're guided by fear and gripped by fear it puts
us in a very difficult position. i believe that fear begets fear and we live in a culture where people become more violent because they're afraid and they arm themselves because they're afraid. >> yeah. >> that stops the discussion and it doesn't allow for the interplay that we found with each other because we have three separate religious traditions but in the work that we've done together we found a commonality and solidarity and a hope that is more powerful than if we do it separately. >> and final thoughts for the imam as we close the segment here. we celebrate two celebrations a year called recurring happiness. that is in the same spirit that was documented in the declaration of independence as inalienable rights, those rights the creator has given every human being to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ours are to remind us that
pursuit of happiness has to do with the restoration of the original human spirit which is that innocence every human being is born with. then the second is the celebration of the enlightenment of that original human nature. that is the growth of knowledge, the growth of understanding and the growth of compassion. >> enriching imam shareef, bishop beckwith, rabbi math, thank you so much. >> our pleasure. >> thank you. >> happy holidays to you all. >> happy holidays, guys. thank you all. >> up next the latest from wall street. we're back in a moment.
>> a symbolic christmas photo. >> wow. >> yeah. i think that says it all. >> yes, it does. >> i think that says it all. here is brian sullivan. he'll say it all. >> just go right to business. >> before we talk to you let's hear what the republicans are doing also to reach out to swing voters. by the way i'm a republican. i like winning elections. that is what separates me from somebody you may have seen before. i like winning national elections. i like republicans being presidents, appointing supreme court justices. i'm crazy. that's me. what did the republicans do yesterday on defense cuts? >> to try to get his plan b passed and throw a bone to the conservatives boehner agreed to restore the defense cuts that were coming from sequestration and take that money from the following programs. >> entitlements i hope. >> yes. >> all this stuff, right. >> makes sense. here is what he wanted to take to help defense. mortgage relief, foodstamps, the child tax credit, and obesity prevention. >> okay. well, there you go.
because those things are bankrupting us as we know. give me a break. brian sullivan, boy, wall street can't be happy with what's going on in washington. it's just an absolute mess and we saw in large part why last hour. >> plan b looking more like plan f in terms of the markets. futures indicating a pretty much big down day for the stock market. stocks simply a measure of future earnings. if people have less money to spend it seems likely companies will make less money. the earnings will go down. therefore joe and
micah stocks are likely to go down. that is your big story today. we're watching the markets very closely all day here on cnbc and for that picture i've heard of judy garland. i've never heard of mika in garland. but it is not bad. not bad. >> all right. brian, thank you so much. >> happy holidays. >> have a merry christmas. happy holidays. "morning joe" will be right back. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically
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