tv Politics Nation MSNBC April 3, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
an anti christ, by the time we get to the people who believe the u.s. itself had a role in bombing the pentagon, climate change to be an outright hoax, how do you wind up the whole country to do a rational thing like gun safety? and that's our problem. that's "hardball" for now. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. thanks, chris, and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, president obama on the offensive many moments ago he delivered a passionate speech in denver, just miles from the aurora movie theater where 12 people were shot dead last summer. the president was there calling for action on gun reform and demanding new laws on universal background checks. >> it's commonsense a, by the
way, most gun owners, more than 80% agree this makes sense. more than 70% of nra members agree. 90% of the american people agree. so there's no reason we can't do this unless politics is getting in the way. >> the president's right. around 90% of americans support background checks. 87% in a new poll out today. 87% can't agree on anything. this shouldn't be hard. it's clear the american people want change on a range of issues, on stricter gun sale laws, democrats, independents, and the majority of americans want reform. just one problem. republicans don't. on immigration, again, a majority of americans are for path to citizenship. but not the republicans. on gay marriage, once again, a majority of americans, including
independents, want change. and, again, republicans are in the minority. anyone else see a problem here? this is what americans want yet republicans refuse to come pro-might. today, republican senator susan collins of maine said, quote, i think my party needs to meet president obama halfway. how about that for a concept? meeting president obama halfway and former senator olympia snowe was more blunt. she said, they don't tolerate dissent within the party. that's why they find themselves in trouble. yes, they are in trouble all right and if they don't change they might become extinct. joining me now are clarence page and e.j. dionne. thank you both for being with me tonight. >> glad to be with you, reverend. >> clarence, a majority of americans want reform.
why don't the republicans see this. >> well, the congressional republicans are being heavily pressured not only by the anti-rhino surge, the republican in name only, the appearance that former senator snow was talking about, but also they are worried about primary fights that they are going to have to fight for ballot position in the primary and that's because of gerrymandering and we've got so many red districts out there that any move towards the middle is viewed as a weakness and in the long run is hurting the party. republicans believe that. sensible republicans do. >> now, e.j., clarence mentioned the republicans in congress. but a brand-new poll shows just how bad the republican brand is doing. just 19% approve of the job
congressional republicans are doing. a full 71% disapprove of these republicans in congress that clarence is referring to but at the same time americans trust democrats on basic economic issues. 53% say democrats care about the needs and problems of people like them. just 37% say they trust republicans on this issue. >> right. well, i think you can take a little bit of heart from susan collins and susan collins is. i think you have at least some people in the republican party who look at what's going on. for example, the republicans risking being tools of the nra and blocking or gutting universal background check law. that's not going to lay in a lot of parts of our country all through the northeast and parts of the midwest on the west coast and the fact that collins feels
some freedom now despite the tea party surge of three years ago, suggests that there were more republicans out there who said, wait a minute, we've got to change course and i think on the economics the republicans are still stuck with the 47% image and they talked a lot about the need to move away from what romney talked about. they have a lot of work to do and that polling suggests it. >> clarence, look at what paul ryan is saying on the deficit. let me show you this. >> we're saying, let's balance the budget so we can make sure that we don't have a debt crisis. >> as he's saying that, 64% of people polled say the top priority in congress should be creating jobs. just 33% say it should be
deficit reduction. in fact, that's what the republican national committee leaders are saying in the wake of their autopsy as it's called, a report on why their nominee, mitt romney, lost to president obama. the priorities of the party and the voters were not in the same place and that hasn't changed and apparently neither has paul ryan. but there's got to be some meeting out there that republicans are still debating each other over that. like e.j., i see hopeful signs out there, too. senator mark kirk of illinois has come out in favor of same-sex marriage rights. that, too, is nothing but change. you're seeing some independent voices come out and we'll see.
>> clarence, when he says the party is fighting it self, rand paul is a good example of that. when we look at the fact that today politico reports that gun rights group that he supports is actually attacking republicans, quote, this is what politico has said. rand paul and his fundraising pitches for the national association for gun rights who says that the nra is too willing to compromise on gun rights. so dealing with what clarence says, if you have rand paul endorsing groups that is blasting the nra, they are all fighting each other whether it's on this issue or others seems to be something that's picking up every day new battles within the
republican right wing circles, e.j. >> that's like saying a double cheeseburger does not have enough cholesterol in it. that's really remarkable. i think it's happening and one of the reasons for these crazy nra statements is that they are constantly looking over their right shoulder because they are worried about losing membership. that is a real problem for the republican party because the mainstream of the court is nowhere near the nra is on guns or where groups to the right of the nra are on guns. and i think the difference we may see and we don't know this yet is that at least some of the republicans who want to say wait a minute we can not be apologists for the gun manufacturers, that they -- whether they will join again mark kirk who's been almost alone right now in being willing to work for democrats or some other republicans that are going to say we don't want to be here
and then you really will see some of this infighting get worse. i think republicans can't let their party become spokespeople for this gun fundamentalist that we're seeing from the right groups. >> there's all kinds of things that don't make a lot of political sense. take for example the attorney general running for governor. today we learn that he's keeping to fight anti-sodomy laws on the books in virginia. he says he's protecting sexual predators. so should he write a law about that? i mean, can you believe this? >> it's getting more and more difficult to unravel the logic that we're hearing from some potential candidates as they try to maneuver both sides in their pursuit of higher office. i think kwha we'what we're seei is a state that -- several
states, really, a lot like florida in that regard, northern virginia is voting more democratic, more like washington, d.c., and there's other parts of washington, d.c., the less urban sectors are very conservative and republican and again that's the state of pat robinson, the late jerry fallwell. so i think this is one reason why he will sound like a man of the future and the next day will sound like he's going back to that old-style gop religious. >> thank you for your time tonight. >> good to be with you. ahead, selling the vision. the man behind the obama campaign has a new job. jim messina joins us live. plus, here she comes. hillary clinton makes her first pub electric appearance in two months and it has the gop shaking in their boots. and 45 years ago tonight,
have you joined the "politicsnation" conversation on facebook yet? we hope you will. everybody was talking about president obama's decision to give back 5% of his pay to stand in solidarity with federal workers facing furloughs because of automatic budget cuts. terry says, "it's a gesture that shows he cares about people." craig says, "i'd rather have no furloughs." i agree. vincent says, "congress should follow his lead." that's not a bad idea. coming up, more on selling
president obama's taking the fight for his agenda to the people. three months into his new term, he knows how hard it is to get things done z we knew from the beginning that change wouldn't be easy and we knew that there would be powerful voices to run off the clock, change the subject, and ignore the majority of the american people. we knew they would try to make
any progress collapse under fear and frustration and maybe people would stop paying attention. the only way this time will be different is if the american people demand that this time it must be different, that this time we must do something to froekt o protect our communities and our kids. >> this is what people want. as we talked about in the last segment, most people are on with the president, on gun reform, on immigration, on economic fairness. and the campaign to make progress is still under way. it's said to make a major gun control and outside of senator rubio's office, yes, change is hard but when you fight for what
you want and what you believe, anything is possible. joining me is jim messina, chair of organizing for action. >> hi, reverend. how are you? >> good. let me ask you directly, how does the organization work to get the key piece of legislation through congress? >> well, look, reverend, we understand that the grassroots is the only way we're going to get this done. the president took a lot of grief during the campaign saying he can't change washington from the inside. >> right. >> we really believe that. we believe the only way to change the issues is to change what the grassroots is doing and saying. last week we had over 130 events across this country talking about the president's commonsense gun proposals. we've had over 1.5 million people in just the first few
weeks alone volunteer to help us and this is a nationwide change, the time to act is now. >> now, on his radio show today, let me raise this to you, jim, mike huckabee made some pretty shocking comments during a discussion with a caller. listen to this. >> there are so many people that have not read and do not understand how quickly germany was turned into a -- it was a democracy and then turned into a dictatorship by everyone having to register their guns and then they went door to door and collected them. >> people do forget that. and by the way, linda, know that when you bring that up you have people that get crazy on us and say, there you go, comparing to -- and i understand the reaction but it's the truth. >> i mean, how does the president counter such
outrageous comments where he just about says comparing this to the nazis when we talk about gun reform and he says it's the truth? i mean, how do you combat this kind of crazies? >> well, two ways. first, obviously huckabee's statement is ridiculous. the facts are on our side. one of the single most effective things you can do to reduce gun violence is a background check. over two million people have not been able to get guns who legally shouldn't because of a background check but 40% of all gun sales don't go through a background check. you showed the numbers earlier, reverend. there isn't any political issue i can think of where you get 90% of the country agreeing yet we are held hostage by a very, very vocal special interest who is scaring people on the politics and that's why we think when you go to the grassroots, just how
barack obama got elected, door to door, person to earn approximat and changed the politics. it won't be easy but it's essential. >> now, president obama has a clear thing for this term. let me play this to you, jim. >> for we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed with a shrinking few do really well and the most barely make it. we, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of dignity and security. the election four years ago wasn't about me. it was about you. my fellow citizens, you were the change. >> it seems clear that a theme the president hit all the way through the campaign and after was to try and galvanize people,
grassroots people across all geographic, racial gender lines to come together and mobilize and do it, as you said, outside of the beltway but do it in mainstream america. >> that's exactly right. look, there is real consensus across this country on how to create jobs, on how to reduce gun violence, on why immigration reform is so important to our economy. people across this court have decided. we have just decided this if a presidential election, yet there's only one place that there's not consensus and that's the ten-mile square logic-free zone called washington, d.c. >> logic-free? >> logic-free. 90% of the country support a background check and yet people in washington are working hard to kill this every single day. it just doesn't make sense. and that's why, you know, the way barack obama won two elections was person to person
talking about the issues and he won elections that people say he couldn't win and that's exactly the kind of commitment and the kind of organizing we have to do around these legislative issues. they are going to spend all of the money in the world and we're going to encounter it with fax and people and i like our chances. >> well, i think you laid out a real strategy and it's interesting when you were talking about he won elections people didn't think he could win, i was looking at a quote from you where you talked about doing health care five different times during the health care we went in and told the president it was dead and five different times he put it together and passed a bill that has made millions of americans live better and that's why he's the leader who i believe in. and i think that's an interesting statement, jim. it gives a lot of hope on the policies we're dealing with now if that's the way the president is going to succeed. thanks for being on the show
tonight and have a good evening. >> thanks, reverend. take care. ahead, hillary clinton and joe biden share the stage and it has everyone talking. 2016. and the o'reilly/rush feud is getting bigger. wait until you see who bill is going after now. and ted cruz has it all figured out. you'll have to hear his latest conspiracy theory about the president. i love to eat. i love hanging out with my friends.
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we have major news to report. president obama's trying to sabotage his own legacy. that's right, folks. all the talk about immigration reform, all the speeches, all the effort to get a law passed is just a big act. so says new right wing senator ted cruz. >> i think the reason that president obama is insisting on a path to citizenship is that it's designed to be a poison pill to scuttle the whole bill, so he can have a political issue in 2014 and 2016. i think that's really unfortunate. >> a poison pill. waying to the way to go there. obviously the president can't wait to see his legacy burn up right before his eyes.
only a cynical political bomb thrower could think the idea of actually wanting to do some good, something right, something decent for people is not the only republican swallowing a pill. >> create a tough but fair path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. >> once you have a green card, you're three to five years away from becoming a citizen. >> if you wish to live and work in america, we will find a place for you. >> i support the paddle way to citizenship so long as the path for people who have been waiting patiently is easier and costs less. >> they will have a pathway to citizenship but it will be earned, long, and hard and i think it is fair. >> quick, somebody call the dock are doctor. the gop has been called. cruz, did you think we wouldn't
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let the 2016 speculation begin. hillary clinton made her first appearance since leaving office two months ago last night. she was greeted like a rock star at a global women's initiative. a standing ovation. >> many of us have worked and traveled together for decades. we've shared struggles and successes and even some foxholes over the years, it's a little bit like a family reunion. >> the family reunion included vice president joe biden and clinton had nothing but praise for his work. >> vice president and i have worked together on so many important issues and one that is particularly close to his heart is the fight against domestic violence and i know what a personal victory it was for him
to see the violence against women act reauthorized last month. >> and then the vice president returned the favor. >> there's no woman like hillary clinton. hillary clinton, that's a fact. >> it has everyone talking in 2016. here we go. joining me now, patricia murphy of citizen jane politics and thanks to you both for being here tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> my pleasure. >> patricia, let me start with you. let the hillary speculation begin. what do you make of her reaction last night? >> i think the reaction in that room was exactly the reaction of democrats across the court and democrats in washington. i talked to a number of different democrats today to ask them what they thought if you
sort of put hillary against uncle joe, who do you want to see in there. democrats i talked to, their top three choices are hillary, hillary, and hillary. they want her to run and she will freeze the field staffers that don't want to join another campaign, donors that want to give another dollar until they know if she's going to get in it. this is her nomination to take if she wants it. obviously she has a lot of decisions to make but she cuts across party lines and a number of women support her, 66% of americans support her. there's a good chance she would win if she ran. democrats can't quit talking about it because they believe she would win if she ran. >> patricia, i notice that she said she has a possibility to win a new marist poll shows nothing but good news in head to head matchups. hillary clinton wins in all head
to heads with the republicans. against marco rubio, she wins 52 to 40%. against rand paul, she wins 52 to 41. against jeb bush, she wins 54 to 38. the closest mashup is against chris christie but she still wins, 46 to 43. now, there are also similar numbers for joe biden, too. for rubio, he wins 53 to 39%. against rand paul, and then jeb bush, 49 to 41 but loses against chris christie. what do these numbers tell you, tricia, in terms of a -- not a fall primary but in terms of a november election? republican against hillary, republican against joe biden? >> well, i think despite all this enthusiasm, i think it's a
bit early to come to these conclusions. a lot can happen. i imagine the republicans will work incredibly hard to ensure that she's painttainted in some. i think what it does mean is a woman willing to speak about women issues, to connect reproductive freedom to economic rights and women's rights to human rights can get a substantial amount of progressives and this would be a wonderful thing because i think those issues really need to take center stage giving profound levels of women and her connection of the state department to women's global issues i think is very important and i hope this excitement is a sign that those issues will become central stage in domestic and global politics. >> it's interesting tricia says
that because hillary clinton did speak about working for women's rights in a speech last night. listen to this. >> our unwavering faith in the potential, the untapped potential of women and girls is at the heart of the work we've done together. when i became secretary of state, i was determined to weave this perspective into the fabric of american policies so our diplomats and policy makers would see a map of opportunities as well as challenges. we did put women on the agenda and made it a centerpiece of all that we did. >> so she's speaking directly about the women issues that tricia raised. if, patricia, she runs for president, do you think this will be the cause she champions? >> i think you will see her
running the clinton global initiative but for women and you could see her candidacy being built around this. this is where she built her legacy as first lady and in the state and state department. this is what she cares about. you can tell this is what is in her heart. one thing i talked to democrats about today besides hillary clinton and joe biden, a relatively short bench for democrats without those two on it. you have to think what she has done has been absolutely extraordinary and they believe that will translate to votes. women are the majority of voters in this country to see a woman have a chance to make history what is so exciting about her candidacy to democrats and some many independent voters. >> now, tricia -- >> well -- >> go ahead. you can beyond if you want to add to that. >> very quickly, i think the real concern is what happens during the presidential race. >> right. >> what is allowable on the public stage in the mainstream and if we look at anything and come away from both the first
and second election of president obama, one has to raise questions about whether or not certain kinds of issues that one is associated with can be raised and sustained without so much criticism that people back away. so i'm hoping that these large number of women's voters translate to the kind of agenda we're projecting here tonight. >> isn't that going to be the challenge, tricia, to make sure that it translates from just an enthusiastic reaction to a real movement that can deliver votes if in fact she decides to run and champion those issues? >> it will be a real challenge but of course you can translate and then google can reverse your translation back to something else, right? so i think part of this is about what will the attacks be and will they be compelling and will women be able to be taken up in that central way without a certain backlash. i think if you know the history
of femininism. >> let's not forget joe biden. he's a major power broker on gun control, the drawdowns on iraq and afghanistan. he's not someone to easily dismiss. >> no, he's not. and his biggest successes i think have been behind the scenes really and i think that's what people don't necessarily see happening when president obama has been able to get to a deal, a lot of times that's because joe biden has gone up to capitol hill, relayed on his relationships with democrats and republicans and gotten that deal across the finish line. the problem is that joe biden has run for president twice before. he never quite caught fire and even when you talk to democrats and listen to their enthusiasm about who can run, hillary
absolutely, joe biden -- he's like your uncle, you're glad to have him at the dinner table but you don't want to live with him and they don't see anybody else behind him either. so if not hillary, joe biden is their second choice right now. there is a ton of time. >> it is something tough look at. let me sd you thiask you this, tricia, bill clinton, will he be a major factor and something that they use to go against mrs. cloent if s clinton if she decides to run? >> we will have revisiting of various scandals associated with clinton's presidency and we'll have a kind of critique i think of a number of his program revisions at the time, some of which i think are fair and legitimate and some which will be exaggerated. but what is interesting is that bill clinton's support of the second obama presidency and
campaign, particular flin relatn to the debate will hold hillary in good stead. when you combine that with her connection in the white house, it really gives her another level of stature and separates her from wife/senator in training and puts her on a whole other level. so i think there could be quite an interesting bill clinton effect in this regard. >> i'm going to have to leave it there, patricia murphy and tricia rose, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you for having us. ahead, 45 years ago tonight, martin luther king jr. gave his mountaintop speech. how it's pushing us to climb even higher today. but first, the reality show that is the right wing. it's o'reilly versus rush and
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the alliances, the backstabbing, the drama? well, there's a new reality show that's on tv playing now and the big loser might just be the republican party. party leaders like gop chair reince priebus admit they need an image makeover but conservative flame throwers like sarah palin say there's no need he to change. but the main event is bill o'reilly against rush limbaugh. he says those against it can't thump the family bible. >> there is a feud. i think when you said they have to do more than bible thump, i don't think you really needed to say that, right? >> number one -- can i finish here? >> no. we're going to get very specific. >> may i?
>> there's no feud between me and limbaugh. i don't talk to limbaugh. i've never said anything about a limbaugh on this program. >> no feud? okay, bill, but you're right on this one. >> when you say you can't cite the bible, well, again, i think that's disrespectful to people who really try to live their lies and -- >> it's not disrespectful. in their private life they can. >> why are you yelling at me. >> don't you understand the dins betwe difference between private life and public life. >> i guess i'm not well-educated. >> who will be voted off the gop island? joining me now is joe madison and williams. what does this reveal? >> cannibalism. >> i hope you mean political
cannibcan any bill and they are trying to now be the voice. you know, i never thought i'd defend bill o'reilly but he's absolutely right. the argument before the united states supreme court, the bible was not mentioned once. >> right. >> it was about the constitutionality of the argument. this is political cannibalism. that's exactly what it is. >> jimmy, how do you view it? >> i wouldn't go so far as to say cannibalism. i don't disagree with the fact that the republican party is having a massive family feud right now. i kind of feel like -- i'm almost giddy about being the
witch. i get to look out the curtains and watch the republicans eat each other alive. but it's also -- it's very sad in a way because this country has always had a very strong two party or two political party system and what we have now is democrats who have since 1988 we have won 240 electoral votes and in the last two we've won florida. if we keep doing that f. we keep winning those two and 42, plus florida, we will be in the presidency forever. had have the republicans figured that out? i don't think that's the case. but when your party, your base is shrinking, we have 70, 50, 60, 70, 80-year-old white men who are eventually going to die away and you're doing nothing to expand your base with women, with african-americans, with latino population, if you're doing nothing to bring those
groups into you, into your political philosophy, not just your message, your philosophy is your theology. the american people are rejecting the theology every single day. >> joe, when the autopsy, as they called it, came out to rebrand them, they flipped out, a lot of republicans. listen to this. we're not here to rebrand the party. we're here to rebuild a court. >> well, if there's any rebranding to be done, it's to rebrand as a conservative party. >> the republican party lost because it's not conservative. it didn't get its base up in the 2012 election. >> they think the problem is they weren't conservative enough, not that they need to rebrand but that they should of dug in deeper, joe. >> there's something strange when you call your report an autopsy. which you only do autopsies on dead things, you know. so they admit, one, that they
are dead. number two, they act like the american people didn't live through the republican presidential primary debates. remember all of them holding up their hand about immigration? they were all talking and they were very conservative and the entire group was very conservative and the american people saw that. this is not about brand. this is about public policy. this is about all of us are hurting right now and quite candidly you're right. i think it's time for moderates in this party to see an opening and to step up and be counted. and that's really what is going on. that is what is needed. >> jimmy, before we run out of time, joe and i and abefore we
get carried away, he shows that he can't handle facts. listen to this. >> he says, here are the programs that are going to go down. here's how we're going to reform medicare and social security and the man refuses -- >> that's not true. >> yes, it is. give me one damn program he has -- >> entitlements. >> entitlements? >> what are you yelling? why do you want to yell at me? >> because you are lying. >> you are lying. >> no, i am not lying. you don't like what he's dg doing but don't sit there and call me a liar. >> i didn't want to get too carried away with the o'reilly love fest but we are talking about bill o'reilly.
>> he's not patting 1,000. >> you don't have to convince me that bill o'reilly is as crazy as ever. i will agree with you on that. as chris matthews says, if you say that the capital of japan is osaka, over and over again the capital of japan is osaka. but here's the sad reality, the capital of japan is tokyo and that's never going to change. 28% of the american people actually think they want to be a member of the republican party. that means that 72% don't want to be a member of the republican party. when 72% of the people don't like your philosophy and politics, you suck at what you're doing. >> all right. well, i think it's clear that this is a feud that is going to go on. i'm going to go while i'm ahead. joe madison and jimmy williams, thanks for your time tonight. >> see you friday. look forward to it. 45 years ago tonight, martin
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45 years ago tonight, martin luther king jr. gave what would be his final speech in which he famously said, i've been to the mountaintop. dr. king was in memphis to support striking sanitation workers protesting low paying working conditions. he was feeling ill that not and was not planning to give a speech at all but did so at the urging of his friend. and speaking without notes for nearly an hour, he brought the crowd to tears. dr. king spoke about his own mortality when he said he was at peace. >> because i've been to the mountaintop and i don't mind. like anybody, i would like to live a long life, longevity has
its place. but i'm not concerned about that now. >> dr. king said with him or without him the struggle for civil and human rights would continue. >> we as the people will get to the promise land. so i'm happy tonight i'm not worried about anything m i. i'm not fearing anything. my eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord. >> i remember when dr. king was killed. i was 13 years old. i had just became youth director of his new york chapter and many of us will never forget that speech. but you know, climbing a mountain sometimes