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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  April 8, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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thank you both for being here tonight. >> thank you. >> and i want to say to everyone, yes, the people of this country deserve a vote. le thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. high noon. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. remember what you, i mean you, personally, thought when you heard all those first graders had been shot up there in connecticut? first if you're like me, you thought of the little kids and the fear, terror, the horror of those nightmare seconds. the last those kids would ever know.
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second, you thought of the ferocious firing of bullets. all these bullets flying from one person's hand. all that death coming in that hard barrage. what kind of gun did this guy have? 27 people, 20 little kids, blown to kingdom come in a moment of hideous mass murder. this evening the president is up in connecticut trying manfully to resurrect that first human parental reaction of ours, caring for those lost, the caring that this kind of mass killing weapon should not be in the hands of a nut, a murderer on a rampage, someone who wanted this very weapon so he could kill like he was in some house of horrors shooting gallery. this soul dedicated to the nightmare. the question, perhaps, the last question about gun safety, not just now, but for the foreseeable future, is whether the president can redeem this once salvageable good from this horror. can he get the congress to show the guts that those teachers showed when they stood up to the mass killer? can he get toomey and coburn and some of the others of the party that prides itself in upholding personal responsibility, to show some of that themselves? can the republicans tell the lost souls of newtown they are
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here standing with those unforgettable grown-ups who raced down, faced the killer, with nothing to shield them but an ability of heart? because we can use some of that ability. america can. in the days just ahead. let's listen to the president. it was a great, great statement for the president. >> i've had tough days in the presidency. i've said this before. the day newtown happened was the toughest day of my presidency. but i've got to tell you, if we don't respond to this, that will be a tough day for me, too. because we've got to expect more from ourselves. we've got to expect more from congress. we've got to believe that, you know, every once in a while we set politics aside, we just do
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what's right. [ applause ] we've got to believe that. and if you believe that, i'm asking you to stand up. >> this is a man, a president leaving the country in a direction it wants to go. 90% want to go where he wants to go. ba background checks, mad men, and people that are criminal, are dangerous to their wives or anybody, they shouldn't have guns. nine out of ten americans believe that. yet he's facing the possibility that there may not even be a vote in congress. >> he was fired up about that. he built to it. he got to the essence of this is whether we in a democracy can even have a vote on these 90% issues. now, he said, as politicians often say, this is not about politics but at the heart of it it is. you have a dozen republicans in
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the senate, saying no, no, not even a vote. the only way he can crack that and over and over again you get the intensity. >> calling out by name and party and take it to them direct on. >> here, i want you to respond to this. the president called out republicans for using and he probably should have. let's listen. >> if our democracy's working the way it's supposed to and 90% of the american people agree on something, in the wake of a tragedy, you would think this would not be a heavy lift. and yet some folks back in washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent
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stunts on any of these reforms. think about that. they are not just saying they will vote no on ideas that almost no americans support. they are saying they will do anything they can to prevent any votes on these provisions. they are saying your opinion doesn't matter. and that's not right. >> you know, joy, this is getting historically political and partisan. they are two different issues. and yet look at the people who supported a filibuster. it's big people. it's the young hero in the republican party. i think it's an intelligent guy with a lot of future but he's taking the position, no vote. same with rand paul, same with cruz, same with mitch mcconnell, the leader in the senate. they are saying as a party from top down, no vote on gun control. >> yeah. and you know, chris, the filibuster has an ugly
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reputation in this country. it's been used incredibly to block the assent of members of the cabinet of judges. but now we're seeing republicans, including people who are supposed to be the future of the party, saying they will use the filibuster, this tool within the senate, to stop something that, yes, 90% of people in the country approve but to stop -- i don't understand the argument against it. are they essentially saying that they stand together, locked arm in arm, for the right of the next adam lanza to get as many weapons as he wants to accumulate assault rifles? >> they are not going to say it that way. but -- >> that's what it comes down to. >> nothing should stant between a person who wants a gun and the pirn getting the gun. >> this is like george wallace on the steps saying i don't care what you say, i don't care if the tide of history or poll tiblgs is against me, i'm going to say no, no, no, a he they are catering the the far right and
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the base that they need in 2016 and -- >> they are also saying no to these people. let's look at the president in noumpb. i get a sense during this speech that it was the heart talking, not a script writer. this was the president and his heart. let's watch. >> when i said in my state of the union of address that these proposals deserve a vote, that the families of tucson and aurora and former member of congress, gabby giffords, that they all deserve a vote, virtually every member in that chamber stood up and applauded and now they are going to stop denying your families a vote when the cameras are off and when the lobbyists have worked what they do? you deserve better than that. you deserve a vote. >> you know, we live in a very violent country and especially the political country. it wasn't just george gabby.
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it was malcolm x, bobby kennedy, you had jack kennedy, reagan was shot, you go all the way back to teddy roosevelt was shot and nearly killed, garfield, lincoln. it's almost the relentless killing that gets into the political sphere. the next assassin to come, whether he's coming for a conservative or liberal, is not going to bring a little gun. that's where the level of firepower is right now for the killers. they are going to have with heavy weapons that will not be stopped by a couple of secret service guys that are putting their life on their line. it's going to be hell to pay. republicans can step up and say on a buy pard san basis, somebody shoot me tomorrow, it's not a person who has emotional problems or a wife beater to use an old term. maybe we can't stop the murder rate in this country. we can stop the insanity of
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letting obvious murders have guns. >> absolutely. chris, ask any inner city cop if they enjoy the fact that they are out there outgunned by people who have military assault-style weapons. it's like they are fighting a war. >> and they have a glock. >> they have to go into a domestic situation and just ask people who are experiencing drive-by shootings in places like chicago, on the south side, where their kids are going to school, they are facing what military people are facing on the battlefield. how do these republicans look into the faces of those families and say no? >> you know what i like, i like the president and sometimes he says something and gets to my heart. criminal guys, somebody gets killed, a person in the wrong place at the wrong time. no, you're the killer. don't say the wrong place at the wrong time. the president said, at a school, ga
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gabby giffords meeting constituents, these kids were in school. you've got to say their part. they are responsible. >> they have a right. we have a right to be secure when we see a movie, when we send our kids to a public school. the thing is, it's sad to say, newtown was exceptional but it wasn't. it was one in a long time -- this is going to happen again and again because -- >> you heard that guy of the father who lost the kid when he spoke? very he will kwepteloquently sa going to happen again and again and again until it gets to you. >> and i don't think the nra will buckle. i think they are in it for the long run. the president is going to have to mobilize sentiment again and again. he's going to have to do it again in two days, five days -- >> this guy, lapierre, is a clown. i'm afraid it's very hard to do that. it's very hard to say, mr.
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toomey, how can you defend this? let's hear the president on this issue. >> this guy is so out of whack that 92% of the people want universal back groubld checks. i can't get on the plane as the governor of connecticut without somebody running a background check on me. why should you be able to buy a gun or arming am mu nugss. it doesn't make any sense. >> is it only in states like california joy, or new york or connecticut that you can speak like this? you know what i'm learning? the power of geography. the senate does not represent the american people. the united states senate represents states. their vote is just as powerful as chuck schumers or
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gillibrand's or anyone in connecticut. >> and no surprise that pat toomey is seen as a possible switch vote that may come over to the pro gun control side because he's got to be re-elected in pennsylvania which goes for presidents routinely. we're going to almost go to two countries. one that is just the wild, wild west. i don't know what principle the republicans are fighting for. the idea that you should be able to arm up with a militant? they are talking about being able to fight the government. do they honestly think that the founders of this country want to create a country in which they can take down the government that they are fighting? >> they want to fight the government to keep their guns. to keep their guns. it's a kick cla kell argument. therefore i have to have the guns to fight the government t is crazy but it's part of the paranoid history of our country.
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thank you, david corn. the president was wonderful tonight. he was soulful. joy an read, thank you so much. coming up next, there's immigration and the budget, of course. now there's three that can turn out to say a lot about how he lids the presidency in a couple of years. how does the president work with republicans who demand to be more involved and then vote against him every time he does get involved his name gets on a bill? also, when did the reflex from the right for anything that obama wants to do, obama care, gun restrictions become, well, that's an assault on my freedom? could it be because they are losing the argument and have nothing else to say? and the passing of margaret thatcher. one of her most notable and least talked about achievements was bringing an american-style politics to british. finally, conspiracy theories
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unite. vice president biden mentions the word new world order and somebody concludes the crazy, of course, we're on our way to a one world government. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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you can add another senator. tim johnson says he backs same-sex marriage. that brings the total number of u.s. senators supporting gay marriage to 54. that's out of 100. increasingly red south dakota when his current term ends after next year. we'll be right back. and what we. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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welcome back to "hardball." as i said, we're about to enter a hugely important period for president obama and the country. congress is returning from its spring break. the next few weeks in this city could determine, well, among other things the president's legacy in this country. will he be remembered for passing gun control legislation with background checks for gun buyers?
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will history show him signing comprehensive immigration reform at some point? will he and congressional republicans work out some kind of grand bargain, call it what you want, that combines tax reform, that raises revenues, with entitlement cuts and reforms? the president's at a critical juncture. the question tonight for the republicans, are they willing to work with him at all? how does he get them onboard without scaring away democrats in the process? we have our "hardball" strategists to advise their camps. they're not going to squabble, they're going to advise. mcmahon, you're so smart. you're in the corner with the president. he invites you in. i have three big issues on the table. gun control looks very dicey now. >> right. >> immigration is a must-win. which of those three should he get out front on and say this is the obama bill? i'm putting my face out in front? which should he fight for, or lead from behind, as they say? >> well, actually right now he's already made that decision. he's out front. he's in connecticut tonight talking about the importance of gun control. and reasonable restrictions that
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most americans agree with. so he's there. i think there's one thing you left off, chris, which is his legacy, ultimately, is going to be health care reform and budget-related. he has to make sure health care reform works which means finding a way to get it implemented so people understand the value in their lives. i think he's in a very good position coming out on this budget conversation, bring a budget forward -- >> because he put his cards on the table. >> he looks perfectly reasonable. in the immigration debate, the president is looking reasonable. >> he's leading from behind. >> he's leading from behind only because he wants the senate to act first. but he will lead on this if that's what it takes. >> let me ask you the last question to you then i'll go to john. people tell me, i mean, i know this, this is what i think about all the time. they hate him so much on the republican right that if he puts his face on any bill, it's called the obama immigration bill, it doesn't pass the republican house and therefore he gets nothing in history. >> there are a couple things going on here.
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the first is the president wins -- >> i mean by getting stuff done. in the end you're judged by what you get done. >> he's gotten a number of things done he has to make sure work. the republican, by the way, are going into 2014 with a brand problem. people think they don't get it. they think they're out of touch. >> nice try. >> he can take the house. >> okay. let me go back to you on this question. should the republicans beat him on everything? do they actually win if we get no gun safety? the republicans win if we get no immigration reform or no deal on the budget. do they win with three losses for the country? >> i don't think so. your question is a good one. here's how i look at it. on gun control, it's easy for the republicans to oppose obama. it's not so easy for republicans to oppose the parents. so i think on gun control, he has to step back and let the parents of those kids, and i feel for those parents so desperately, that that's how you get -- >> would you give a vote on the senate? would you let the senate vote on background checks? >> i think if harry reid wants a
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vote, they're going to get a vote. i think they will get a vote on background checks. i think it was unwise to go for assault weapons. >> are they going to get 60 votes to break the filibuster? >> pat toomey wants to get something done. something modest that doesn't scare people. >> i'm watching toomey. >> i know you are. >> because i think we've been talking to our producers, it's really tricky where he stands. is he going to back gun safety in a state that's pro-gun like pennsylvania or not? >> i think they're going to ultimately get some sort of modest deal on gun safety. let me say, the rest of your question. on the budget i think he needs to leads on entitlement reform. >> he's done it. >> that's the start of the process. he's got to keep -- >> what about your side? should your guys give on revenues? >> taxes just went up. >> for the rich. 1%. >> it hurt economic growth. i think you need -- >> you keep pulling this number. i said no rhetoric tonight. you keep saying taxes are going up on the top 1%. >> i think ultimately if he leads enough on entitlement reform he could get some revenue. >> would you go with him if you're a republican leader? say, okay, you've done a good thing on reform? >> if he goes all in on entitlement reform, they can
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get -- >> that monkey on their back. >> on immigration this has to be a true cooperation. figure out a way to get marco rubio and ted cruz to get together. ultimately you have to get 70 votes out of the senate to get enough momentum to get it through the house. >> does the president want the issue of immigration going into the 2014 election or want a bill by then or rather have, get the house back in democratic hands in '14? >> if he doesn't get the bill, he wants to embarrass the republicans, push them too far. >> let's get the issue that's really changed in our lifetime. gay marriage. as i mentioned a bit earlier, south dakota democratic senator tim johnson became the 54th senator to endorse same-sex marriage today. let's look back and take a look. less than a year ago in may 2012 joe biden publicly supported same-sex marriage on "meet the press." he was way out front. prompting the president to do the same just a few days later. then nevada senator, democratic leader harry reid the next day said he, too, thought gays
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should be able to marry legally. fast forward to the last month. we've seen an incredible swell of support. starting with rob portman in mid-march. citing his gay son the reason to re-evaluate his position. hillary clinton three days later taped a video for the human rights campaign endorsing same-sex marriage. then came senators mccaskill, rockefeller, tester, hagan, casey, carper, kirk, bill nelson, heitkamp, donnelly and today tim johnson. three have not backed it. louisiana's mary landrieu, arkansas' mark pryor and senator manchin. why does it seem to happen day after day after day? is it a big plus for democrats? >> it's a big plus for democrats. republicans have explaining to do because it's the party of limited government. it's the party of get government out of our life and it's also, in this case, the party of hypocrisy. because they seem to be --
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>> that's what you would say if you're a democrat. yeah. go ahead. >> does your party have a problem -- the hill has plenty of gay staffers, gay republicans. there are a lot of gay republicans around. how do they stand in this position? the active people? >> i think the most interesting thing that's happened when rob portman made his decision to come out in favor of gay marriage, all these democrats immediately said, i'm with rob portman. >> what do you think that was about? >> they were worried about their constituencies back home. i think for rob portman -- >> he's the leader? >> i think he in many ways changed a lot of minds for the democrats. it's been fascinating. there are three democrats. >> do you have to be a -- does your kid have to be gay for you to come out for gay marriage if you're republican? >> apparently. >> this is all politics is local. let's get back to the election. you guys have to write a party platform in 2016. will it, again, be anti-gay?
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>> i have no idea. >> when are they going to stop doing it? >> the people who write the platform are not necessarily the people who vote. that's a small group and they -- >> you are running the platform. >> they run the platform. >> this is like the cafeteria catholic. he ignores anything on the platform he doesn't like. >> the republicans have been ignoring their platform for years. >> suppose you're giving the republican convention acceptance speech. chris christie, rand paul, whoever gets the nomination next time. rubio probably. who knows. will you make a case against gay marriage in that speech? would you hold the line? >> completely in that convention speech is economic growth. i wouldn't even talk about gay marriage. i think bashing gays is a political loser. >> would you come out for same-sex marriage if you're the candidate next time? >> i might depending on how i feel. >> this is like situation ethics. i might depending how i feel. >> i don't think it's going to be that big of a political
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issue. >> advisers, guys like him won't tell him to do it? >> i don't think it's going to be that big -- >> what will ed rowlands tell you to do if you're the candidate? >> what did he tell michele bachmann? >> sarcastic. i think you guys are going to do just like you said, tuck it. hide that baby. thank you, steve mcmahon. and john feehery. up next, joe biden inadvertently fuels the right wing conspiracy nuts. that's their phrase for black helicopters. and this is "hardball." the place for politics. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things.
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changing again. >> so biden said new world order, meaning that the international community needs to revamp trade laws to reflect the times. but in far right conspiracy world, out there, new world order is a secret plot where individual nations are absorbed by a single world government. you may remember alex jones' tirade as piers morgan last year suggested the government, our government was out to confiscate all our guns. on biden's nod to a new world order he said, "vice president joe biden threw caution to the wind friday as he shockingly declared the affirmative task we have now is to actually create a new world order adding yet another admission to an already long list of documented globalist bragging of plans for a centralized one world global government." to jones and his cohorts, any cooperation among governments and multinational banks is evidence that this one world government is in the works. also, what can brown do for
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you? congressman paul brown, that is, the georgia republican who said evolution and the big bang theory for, "lies straight from the pit of hell." brown carved out time at a recent town hall meeting to rally against obama care, specifically a recently withdrawn proposal that would have provided coverage for sex-change operations. why his operation -- why his opposition? brown put it like this. "i don't want to pay for a sex-change operation. i'm not interested in. i like being a boy." in other words, why should i pay for something if i personally don't directly benefit? by the way, if brown's logic, if you can call it that, sounds familiar, think back to what senator saxby chambliss said about his opposition to gay marriage last month. "i'm not gay, so i'm not going to marry one." hmm. next we turn to my overseas look-alike. london mayor boris johnson. no, they didn't get the right
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picture. we really do look alike in other pictures. johnson is no stranger to silly situations like getting stuck on a zip line during a ceremony at the london olympics. earlier today boris johnson channeled michael jordan. you won't believe this shot. a lot of action in that basket. anyway, see what i mean? if that looked effortless to you, there's a reason. according to the mayor, anyway. >> very clear, i was saving that up. i could have done it any time. >> anyway, always had it up his sleeve. president obama hasn't been lucky of late going 2 for 22 when he hit court at the white house eager egg roll last week. up next, remembering margaret thatcher who broke down class and, of course, gender barriers to become britain's first female prime minister and a great one at that. and that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. this day calls you.
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here's what's happening. a group of 12 newtown family members are aboard air force one with president obama following his speech in hartford. they are heading to washington to speak with lawmakers about gun reform. north korea says it is suspending operations at an industrial complex. the decision to shut it down permanently depends on south korea's attitude. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." as we reported earlier in the show, former british prime minister margaret thatcher passed away at the age of 87. her 11 years and half as british prime minister were historic. she was the first woman to lead the uk and the first woman really to lead a western power
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in modern history. i guess you have to go back to elizabeth i to see an earlier version of leadership in the world. today british prime minister david cameron spoke of her influence. >> we've lost a great prime minister, a great leader, a great britain. as our first woman prime minister, margaret thatcher succeeded against all the odds and the real thing about margaret thatcher is that she didn't just lead our country, she saved our country. >> joining me right now is the great historian, doug brinkley. and andrea mitchell. the host of "andrea mitchell reports" on this network. we knew it was coming. she had dementia. she had alzheimer's all those years. i think she's probably the greatest prime minister of britain besides churchill. >> there were many domestic issues in the uk where she was derided and hated. she was tough on immigrants.
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there were riots in the streets. but she had such character and grit. she was consistent. she was, like her friend, ronald reagan, consistent in her beliefs. and she was so tough. she loved the combat. she loved question time. she was perfect for the time and the place. and in war and peace, she was, you know, not just a cold warrior, because she was the first, as we all know, to recognize the potential in mikhail gorbachev. i talked to jim baker today. he said they had a seamless relationship. only one dispute over grenada. his invasion. >> he never called her. >> he called her the night before. and she said, ronnie, that is not consultation, that is notification. >> he did the same thing to tip o'neill, by the way, that night. anyway. let me go to doug. it seems to any a key to a leader is understanding your culture, your nationalism.
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her sense of british nationalism was very close to reagan's. it was very nationalistic. her sense of how to connect with her people. we love britain, we want her back. >> well, that's right. i mean, she waved the union just like ronald reagan waved the american flag. at the time she arrived in 1979, there was a fatigue, exhaustion, in the '60s and '70s. britain didn't know what they were doing. dean acheson said at west point in 1962, britain had lost an empire and hadn't found a role for itself. by the time thatcher came in, she was able to get them to be proud of being britain's again. i think it was the seminal turning point. also for a woman to be overseeing a military exercise like that had a big impact. >> i'm thinking of elizabeth i, the great queen who fought the armada. i think of her. i think hillary is probably going to run. i don't know whether she will. she'll probably run.
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who will her role model be? here's the question. thatcher ran very much as sort of a classic male politician. i'm the leader, i have the truth, listen to me and follow me. i don't want a meeting on it. >> colin powell told me today they were afraid of her handbag. >> oh, yeah, she always carried that. >> she was very feminine in a funny way. >> i met her. >> a very sympathetic character personally. if you sat down to interview her, i remember interviewing her at the height of the controversy over intermediate nuclear missile deployments in europe. and she stood by reagan on that. she stood by him on strategic defense which was derided at "star wars." when you questioned her about that, she absolutely came down on you. >> you made a good case this morning on the fact we are using strategic defense. >> everywhere. >> certainly point defense in israel and our west coast. we're thinking a lot about the north koreans about this. let me go back to the woman role. these are great leaders in history. and yet they are rare.
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and my question -- >> angela merkel. >> merkel, of course. i met her briefly one time before she went on to speak to the house of representatives, to the congress. she was very nice. i walked in the room thinking here's the iron lady, i better be careful. she's the nicest person in the world. so is dennis, her husband. that's still the problem, challenge for women. how can you be tough and a leader? the same time not tick off some guys out there which is always the challenge? doug? you're a guy. you got to answer this. >> well, so her name was, you know, margaret roberts was her maiden name. unlike hillary clinton or eleanor roosevelt, it wasn't a husband who promoted her. she was working class. lived above a grocery store. really made her own way into things. and even the iron lady, i mean, originally the task network and the soviet union used it as a criticism of her and mocked her. she embraced that iron lady motif. yet she always had the learned manners of the british
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aristocracy. reagan would always let her walk in front as a proper lady. and that word, lady, she took very seriously, yet she was a hawk on the cold war and was suspicious of the european integration movement, particularly the euro, was more about the special alliance. i think -- with the u.s. i think there is, like you said, chris, churchill and fdr, and then there's thatcher and reagan. she embodies what the special relationship's all about. >> the great thing about churchill, and i'm a churchill buff, or nut even, was he knew he had to fight the nazis. there was no talking to these guys. they had to be beaten. i watched "winds of war" the other night again. the guy says the only thing i want to know about the germans is to lick them. they always knew it came down to talks. you had to negotiate. they weren't crazy, these communists. you could deal with them on
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self-interest and get somewhere. they both ended up getting somewhere with gorbachev. >> which was not easily forecastable. she said, i can go business with him, i like gorbachev. reagan had not met with any soviet leader because he said, well, they keep dying on me. now this young man, gorbachev, she sized him up and said we can do business with him. as you remember, that first summit was tough but it led to a lot of other things. >> geneva was very important. you were there i'm sure. thank you, doug brinkley. thank you, andrea mitchell, my colleague. up next, ever notice how any time republicans don't like something president obama wants to do, they call it an assault on freedom? their latest scare tactic, that certainly is. we're going to talk about whether it's working or not. doesn't seem to be. this is "hardball," the place for politics. which would be fine if bob were a vampire. but he's not. ♪ he's an architect with two kids and a mortgage. luckily, he found someone who gave him a fresh perspective on his portfolio. and with some planning and effort,
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it's your bank account that might explode. so get allstate. [ dennis ] good hands. good home. make sure you have the right home protection. talk to an allstate agent. we're back. from the beginning of the obama administration, republicans have opposed almost anything president obama has supported, often because they said the president was engaged in an assault on their freedom.
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exactly how giving health care to the uninsured was an assault on individual freedom is more or less beside the point. freedom was under attack, they say, and paul krugman pointed out, it's all they have left these days since mitt romney's attempt was rejected by the takers and the givers. joy ann-reid and david corn, both msnbc analysts. you know what, let's take a look at paul krugman. he said the old trick of blaming the needy doesn't seem to play the way it used to. that seems to be the point. back to you, joy. it seems to me that what they did use his arguments don't seem to work anymore. now they've got to do the general libertarian argument. any time the argument does something, it's infringing on your freedom, therefore it must be stop. >> you're absolutely right. krugman made the argument that people would point to some other, mainly black and brown,
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saying that they are the ones soaking up the benefits. now you've had this great recession where lots of middle class people from all walks of life have experienced what it means to suddenly drop out of the middle class. to have to need social services. you've got a lot of people taking care of their parents, finding out medicare is not a bad thing to have around and they like it because they're taking care of the elderly in their own families so it doesn't work to argue against the programs themselves. this generalized freedom argument is what they're falling back on. you know what, it's fair to ask freedom to do what or freedom from what. in a lot of cases they're talking about freedom to buy a gun if you've had a conviction for domestic assault. on medicare and medicaid, the freedom of governors to deny health care to their citizens. the freedom of their governors to say no to the neediest in their own states. so in a lot of cases they're arguing for the bad guy. that's why it doesn't work. >> not to make terrible comparisons, when you have a natural disaster like sandy, you don't have people saying i don't like disaster relief. >> right, right.
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>> because it's counter -- it's just against the situation. >> keep me free from that assistance. >> but what i think is pertinent tonight, when you see people like mitch mcconnell saying i don't want to vote on gun control, in the very face of a tragedy, in the very face of a need to do something, they're waving the flag, the red flag, don't do nothing. >> they can't win on the particulars. whether it's obama care or gun control. if you get to the individual policies -- >> background checks. >> previous conditions. kids staying on to 26. background checks. gun trafficking laws, even limiting magazine capacity. they can't win on those particulars, so what they have to do is find a way to demagogue and come up to an overarching argument, which is this libertarian clap trap. this is about freedom. if they really believe it then, then they should be arguing for getting rid of all background checks and for getting rid of medicare and medicaid and social security. but, you know, it's really kind of a bait and switch on a
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rhetorical level. >> by the way, ronald reagan, who i don't dislike the way some people do, but joy, this is so interesting. ronald reagan gave up with his most compelling speeches against the encroachment of big government right before they passed medicare in the early '60s under johnson and he was basically saying this is going to be the beginning of the end. it was that slippery slope. we're all going to be in handcuffs. my father and everybody i know who's a pretty conservative person loved medicare. it was the only thing in their whole life, after their years of giving, they got to take. when they got old, they got health care. there's nobody watching right now who doesn't like medicare who's on it. >> it's ironic you have people like liz cheney -- >> i was hoping they wouldn't bring up that name. >> she's quoting ronald reagan saying that barack obama is going to destroy freedom of the country, quoting his speech against medicare. i think ronald reagan said it would essentially turn america into an unrecognizable country
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and one day we'd look back and wonder what it was like when america was free. i think pretty much everybody, most seniors like medicare. the idea is that they are saying they want to get rid of it. republicans want to privatize medicare and social security, which is the same as getting rid of it. >> one of the freedoms they enjoyed before 1964 was the right to deny service under any circumstances to any black person that tried to sit on the stool. you couldn't sit on the stool or buy a coke unless you came in the side door. you had to sneak, could i please have a soda? that was the freedom. our freedom to deny patronage. what coinkind of freedom is tha >> freedom is not a response to a serious policy argument. are you free to drive without insurance? do you want to give people those freedoms? are you free -- >> free to text? are you free to text while you're driving with your hands off the wheel? that would be nice. >> are you free not to pay taxes? once you have government, you're talking about imposing a certain set of obligations on people,
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but that is the essence of society and civilization. no one is totally free. >> let's go back to this as a tactic, you first. a tactic. is this a desperate last tactic when obama discover that say people aren't afraid of him, they're used to the first african-american president. they realize he's center left, not some hard lefty, he's somewhere on the democratic mainstream. do they have to use this and will it work or is this just a desperate, we can't think of anything else to say? >> i feel like after this they're left arguing for liberty. >> we're all for liberty. >> we are all are, we're for freedom. they can't demonize obama anymore. they tried that for five years. they can't win on the policy arguments so they're left with what reverend al calls a political staungunt. >> i'd like a debate between mcconnell and reverend al sharpton on this network. he'd outthink and outtalk this
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let me finish tonight with margaret thatcher. let me repeat what i said on "morning joe" when i first got word of the former british prime minister's death.
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i don't like the way hollywood makes movies about people they don't agree with politically. ronald reagan comes off as an aimable dunce. margaret thatcher gets hers on a dementia. if you disagree with someone politically take on their strengths. do what they did in that little british film. take your shots, hit them where they're strongest and you disagree with them the most. don't come off trying to be so-so compass nat, so balanced when what you're doing is finding a velvet glove to punch them one more time when they're dead and can't sue you. one of the best examples i've discovered in politics and in covering it is the best of people are always there to say something good about the best of those on the other side. reagan would always salute fdr. you admit great leadership because that's what you, yourself hope to achieve. here goes. i think margaret thatcher, the first woman to lead a great western country in our times is enormously worthy of


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