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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  November 7, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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the next few weeks you will have me here telling you stories of people who will not succumb but will fight back against gun violence and will fight back to give the children, the young people like that young man, hope that this country still is a place where dreams can come true. and not where children have to worry what happens when they walk outside of a classroom. chicago can be the model for how we can do this all over the country. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. right versus harder right. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews up in philadelphia. let me start tonight with this. you know a politico crowd is going nutty and maybe scared
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when they start blaming the one guy who won. the crazy angry right of the republican party spent the last several hours attacking new jersey governor chris christie like he was the creature from the black lagoon. all the guy did was manage to carry 60% of a deep blue state to a normal sane political party might offer a map to victory nationwide. didn't happen that way. on tuesday night republicans put up two tea party candidates. one in an alabama primary and the other in the virginia governors race. both lost. the race republicans did win by a blowout was in new jersey where mainstream governor chris christie distanced himself from the tea party extremists. the cruz wing of the party wants you to believe they didn't lose tuesday. they were betrayed. especially in virginia. they hold true to that despite the fact cuccinelli was viewed as the more extreme. our party in many respects in virginia has been taken over by
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a sideshow. the party of reagan's big tent has been reduced by some to a du dunce cap. cuccinelli's finance chair says his party's betrayal was something out of a soap opera. the democrats weren't happen we with their candidate. but they were yunited. he called the party squishes. that's grownup talk. jason johnson said at the urging of the establishment, far too many national republican donors declined to support cuccinelli. you cannot win if you lack the resources to be heard. steve latourette is from ohio and jonathan martin is a reporter with "the new york times." thank you for joining us. congressman, thank you for joining us. i'm looking at this right now. i would have thought there would be a little more discretion in these last couple days, careful comments. not an all-out battle of words.
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but it seems like the people who lost in virginia are blaming those that didn't back them in the mainstream. and the mainstream candidate in new jersey isn't getting as much respect as you'd think from the party across the bofrd. >> well, that's exactly right. tuesday i think you can't read too much into midterm elections, but what you can read into is i thought it was a great day for the center of the republican party. you had chris christie getting 61% of the hispanic vote in new jersey in a bright blue state. you had senator byrne win down with the guy where mr. young in alabama that didn't think that president obama was born in the united states. and the tea party rather than again going on the attack and trying to root out rhinos and squishes and everything else, i think they should take heart that ken cuccinelli could have been elected governor over a flawed candidate terry mcauliffe in the state of virginia with his conservative rhetoric if his allies, senator cruz and others,
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hadn't slammed the door on the government and brought us to almost the brink of default where cuccinelli got wiped out in northern virginia. i don't care mouhow much money had, federal employees weren't going to vote for cuccinelli. >> it's like rodney dangerfield. not a lot of credit coming from the right to the governor of new jersey for his huge win up there carrying all the different economic groups and winning by 60%. on the other hand out there rooting for cuccinelli who lost. >> right. i think what you have now is a divide in the party between those who want to elevate chris christie in that main line wing of the party. and because they see him as somebody who has now proven he can win among a non-tradition groups. and somebody who does not have the stink of washington, d.c. on them right now. and those are very compelling to a lot of the donor and operative
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and frankly elected official class in the republican party. there is a much more conservative wing, though, of activists. i think it's broader than that. it is uncertain about governor christie. and he perhaps is fine for jersey, but they're uneasy about him being on the national stage because then they're not quite sure that he truly wants to advance the conservative movement. i think christie himself has become a figure who illustrates right now that clinging to the republican party. >> let me go to the former congressman. it seems there's an all around nastiness right now. i was watching barbara buono in new jersey. instead of taking the loss says we tried, my workers did their best, we came up on the short end. she's out there blasting democratic party leaders across the state for not backing her in the same way cuccinelli is doing it. there's so much -- in other words, the same nastiness out
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there. nobody's being magnanimous about this saying you win some, you lose some. which is the way politics usually works. >> people complaining the loudest should go to the local store and buy a mirror and hold it up to their face. and what they see in the mirror is going to be what's to blame for their loss. so chris christie, you know, i don't know if he can be the president of the united states or not. but the goal is to win elections. it's not to blame people when you lose. >> despite their losses on tuesday, some conservatives including mary matlin are convinced their ideology can win out there. not just in virginia but nationwide. here's matlin during an interview. >> i do blame those in the party who are attacking the so-called tea party conservatives who were elected, who are doing exactly what they were elected to do.
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and they're attacking them on tactics. this was never about tactics. it's about ideology. it's the base of the country. and it's an ideology that wins. it's an ideology that works. >> well, that fellow agreed with her. i don't. was it the tactics of the people who shut down the government or the ideology? that almost caused the fiscal debt default or their tactics. it seems to me it is about tactics. everybody's concerned about the debt to various degrees. everybody worries about the deficits year after year to some degree. and yet the issue, should we turn the government upside down and turn this country into a laughing stock to make a point ideologically? >> if you look at the virginia governors race and pull out the exit data, there's no question that ken cuccinelli had a major
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problem with women. you know, his gender gap with women overall was not terrible, but if you drill down further, chris, he lost unmarried women by 42 points. and that's just not sustainable if you want to win statewide elections or certainly national elections. so he had a problem with his identity with women. so i think that that is partly ideology. the cuccinelli people, though, say even though they had that chance with women, they still had a shot to win. but there was that shutdown of the federal government that really hurt him in northern virginia. so the virginia governors race, there is evidence to both sides. you know, both sides could make the case that either "a," koo h cuccinelli was too conservative, or "b," he was in the game but the government was shut down. his poll numbers dropped and then the establishment was nowhere to be found because his poll numbers dropped.
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so he had no money. there's arguments on both sides. it's really not very satisfactory election, chris, in terms of the analysis because both sides have arguments to make about why he lost. >> i like the congressman's argument that the real drop in support for cuccinelli came when the government got shut down. anyway, congressman, your group main street advocacy is out there with an online ad attacking the extremist wing there. let's take a look at your ad. >> it's only the special few who enter the senate candidate hall of shame. >> i think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> i'm not a witch. >> what were they thinking? the time to act is now. help us fight to protect main street.
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>> well, that's a great tag line. what were they thinking? what's your answer to that? why do right wing put up the craziest candidates up? >> i have no idea. i have argued for a long time that it's this notion that we have to elect these pure republicans, pure by their definition, that we are not in functional control of the united states senate as a party today. harry reid who every republican is supposed to hate wouldn't be the senate majority leader if it hadn't been for sharon engel. so while they continue to hue towards the small section of the party to nominate people who are not electable in certain areas. in places like texas, ted cruz could be hired. >> we must run the most left wing possible candidate each time in every part of the country. thank you very much. coming up, if you want proof
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that chris christie is the republican front runner for 2016, listen to what his would be rivals are saying about him. rand paul's called him a moderate. bad word for republicans. marco rubio suggested he'd have a hard time winning outside new jersey. and ted cruz knocked him for not standing up for principles. make no mistake, these guys are talking that way because to them christie is a real threat. plus president obama talks for the first time about whether he really considered dumping joe biden for hillary clinton last year. and the president travels to texas. ted cruz country. has some choice words for the texas senator. finally, let me finish with the strange way the republican party is rebuilding itself. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. people don't have to think about where their electricity comes from. they flip the switch-- and the light comes on. it's our job to make sure that it does. using natural gas this power plant can produce enough energy for about 600,000 homes. generating electricity that's cleaner and reliable, with fewer emissions--
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welcome back to "hardball." chris christie pulled off an
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impressive win tuesday night in a state president obama easily won last year. the republican governor was re-elected with 60% of the vote. he won among women, among latinos, and he scored 21% of the african-american vote. those are feats the modern republican party at large can only dream of. and that's why christie's star is on the rise. this week he graces the cover of "time" magazine. he'll appear on "meet the press" and other sunday shows this weekends. among democrats and republicans, there's a widespread agreement that christie could be the most formidable republican candidate in 2016. so how has this impressive win been greeted by others in the party especially those rumored to want to run as well next time? watch. >> every race is particular to the state it's run in. there are factors in new jersey that i think are individual to that race and clearly he was able to speak to that and to the hopes and aspirations of people within new jersey. >> i think it is terrific that he is brash, that he's outspoken, and that he won his
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race. i think we need more leaders in washington with the courage to stand for principle. and in particular, obama care is not working. >> i think the republican party is a big party and we need moderates like chris christie who can win in new jersey and our party. we do need moderates like chris christie in the party. >> do you think it's possible they're scared of him? sounds like it to me. michael steele is an msnbc political analyst. and michael duffy is the executive editor of "time" magazine. let me go to michael steele. this sounds tough. there are two prevalent emotions in politics. fear and envy. fear that somebody wants what you've got or want to get or envy -- or what's the other one? envy. they got what you want. so here we go. it seems what you're hearing in these nasty comments by people like cruz, he can't even give the guy credit. you're supposed to say when you walk out of the theater, great
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performance. not i see that as a stupid role. i see it blew the second act. what happened to the 11th command of ronald reagan? so no evil of a fellow republican? >> they blew that one out a long time ago, chris. we haven't applied that going back now for two or three years. i think the reality, though, as you've framed it, there is fear, maybe trepidation would be a softer word. but there's certainly fear i think underlying a lot of that. and a little bit of envy. chris christie is doing something that republicans haven't been able to do in about three or four years in terms of connecting with the electorate in a very different way and expanding the opportunity for the party to bring that electorate to the table for votes. now, there's going to be a lot of water as you know under this bridge before we get to anything about a 2016 race with chris christie. what you're seeing right now, the initial to let him know if you want to step out on this fielding with be prepared. you have to prove your bona fide
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with the base first. you can talk all you want on "morning joe" and "hardball." the reality is you have to start with us here at home first. that's going to be an interesting dynamic for christie to venture into. >> let me go to michael duffy. i thought you were going to do it and you did it. elephant in the room. what did you mean by elephant room? besides the elephant being the symbol of the republican party? >> well, he's obviously a big guy. he's obviously a big republican. but he's also done a really huge thing this week. he's stood astride the republican party and said, stop. we don't have to make our appeal about narrow base issues. and that campaign showed it with the demographics you talked about. there's another thing that's really big about what christie achieved in the state that hasn't voted for a republican two times in a row since 1985. he's made his campaign, chris, not really about issues but about sort of the cultive
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personality. he's lifted himself to a cultural figure here. the way palin did, clinton did, bush did. and say i'm past politics. i'll tame it when i get wherever i'm going. even said it last night because of who he is, brash, bold, a different politician than we've seen from republicans in awhile. >> here's some real -- i want to say something about rand paul. he's getting smaller by the minute. he had negative words for christie. christie was on tv ads to boost the new jersey economy after hurricane sandy. they were funded with the federal is disaster and state money. let's watch this -- just watch rand paul going at him here. let's watch. >> some of these ads people running for office put their mug all over these ads while they're in the middle of a political campaign. in new jersey $25 million was
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spent on ads for somebody running for office. you think there might be a conflict of interest there. that's a real problem. that's why when people who are trying to do good and trying to use taxpayer money wisely, they're offended to see our money spent on political ads. that's just offensive. >> i think that comment by rand paul makes him smaller. it's a pissant comment. if he is a republican for rand paul to win. he goes after the ad. new jersey which has a lot of poor people in it to get medicaid. magnanimity is amazingly missing here for him. >> chris, let's start with where this thing really took off between christie and rand paul. when christie went after rand
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paul a couple months ago and they got into their sort of back and front. this is a little bit of a continuation of that. rand paul stood his ground then and he's standing his ground now. it goes back to what i say. they're drawing the lines here, me markers. the first gauntlet for chris christie is not a general election gauntlet. it is a primary gauntlet where he'll have to stand on the stage with one of these guys, maybe both of them, and engage in a conversation about his bona fides. so the one that was the most off for me was cruz's because he starts talking about he ran this race and congratulations, then he sort of looped it back into obama care sort of reminding people to your point about well, yeah, he's given up and he's allowing obama care in new jersey. so this is the dynamic christie is now fronting. i think christie has to take his time. don't do this on their timetable or their turf. he's now set the stage.
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and he can define the direction of this party almost indirectly around these folks without having to play the game they want him to play. >> let me try something. i love that thinking there. let me ask you michael duffy, test me on this. here's my theory. if they thought they were going to beat him down the road next time, they would need him in the general come 2016. if they want a confident victory over him, they would be seducing him a little, saying nice things. if they fear him in the meantime, they'd be attacking him now. it seems the real statement is we don't think we can beat this guy unless we can attack him. your thoughts. >> the smart play was to just stroke him and keep him alive so you can chew him up later. but to do it now just underscores how effective christie's message is in politics. the way he's running the campaign. going into minority districts.
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he doesn't get all of those votes, but he gets some. i think he represents a completely different path than the one this party has been on for the last 10 or 11 months and they are concerned that perhaps the pendulum has begun to swing back in the party toward the middle. that's a big change. that's what this week's probably about, chris. >> i think as you pointed out, keep in mind. chris christie is a conservative. i mean, you know, the rand paul comment, yeah. we like having moderates in the party. he's a conservative. you go through whatever litmus box the party has, you check them off. chris christie's there. >> well, you know what? you take what you can get on that side. you know what? i remember he didn't build that tunnel to new york which i thought was narrow thinking. thank you michael steele and michael duffy. congratulations on the cover. up next, you know rand paul has a plagiarism problem when the late night comics are on his case. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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we thought well, to celebrate his landslide re-election, let's take a look back at chris christie's first term in office. here you go. hope you enjoy it. ♪ i don't know much ♪ but i know i love you ♪ and that may be all i need to know ♪ >> well, i guess comedians really can get away with anything. welcome to the sideshow. as you can see david letterman is having a little too much fun with the latest political news. here's how he handled the charges of plagiarism against senator rand paul last night.
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>> you folks know rand paul, kentucky senator rand paul is accused of plagiarism. he just was taking stuff from other sources. well, today, he issued this statement. this is from rand paul's office, senator rand paul. let's look at that. >> in the face of charges leveled against him, rand paul wishes to say i am not a plajerrist. further more, i think it's going to be a long, long, time until touchdown brings me round to find i'm not the man they think i am at home. oh, no, no, no. i'm a rocket man. rand paul, rocket man. >> the rocket man. well, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but who knew paul was a elton john fan? owen hill hopes to challenge in the midterms next year. he's wasted no times to show off his true colors. here he was in his attempt as birther humor at a denver county republican breakfast.
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>> i was flying back from kenya. we spent about two weeks in the largest slum outside of nairobi. and the nickname of this slum is called flying toilets. the reason is because there's no running water, no latrines. people do their business in a plastic bag, tie it up, and throw it out the window. it's a tragic place, but you spend time there and little kids are running barefoot in these streets. you ask them what they want to be. they want to be an astronaut, a physicist, a marine biologist. one said he wanted to be the president of the united states. i said well, you know what, we already have somebody from kenya. >> send in the clowns. it's not often you get a phone call from the president of the united states. but that's what happened to marty walsh. from a number he didn't recognize. he was greeted by joe biden who
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exclaimed marty, congratulations, you son of a gun. the only thing was -- the only thing wrong was was the veep got the wrong guy. he was trying to call the new mayor martin walsh. marty was request quick to poin but biden said at least i got a marty walsh in boston. then the office tweeted this photo, #throwback thursday. it said any other marty walshs out there, we'd love to hear from you. well played, mr. vice president. up next president obama pushes back on the story that his aides considered swapping out joe biden for hillary clinton. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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it's been called one of the most powerful typhoons ever. thousands have evacuated the central region. secretary of state john kerry is in jordan today. he will talk with iran over nuclear activities. the senate has approved a bill banning discriminating against gays in the workplace. back to "hardball." ♪ welcome back to "hardball." the most sensational headline from the new book by john heilemann and mark halperin. that the president seemed to consider to swap joe biden for hillary clinton on the ticket last year. chuck todd today asked the president directly about that story. let's watch it.
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>> did you really not know that your campaign was researching this idea of swapping joe biden for hillary clinton? >> you know, again, chuck, the problem that we've got and this goes back to the earlier question you asked. you know, i am in charge of 2 million people in the federal government. that was true, by the way, even when i was running for president. so people do all kinds of stuff. some of it they clear with me. sometimes they're trying to figure something out particularly on the political side. i'm not somebody who delves into polling and all that data. here's one thing i can say for surgeon. if they would have asked me, i would say there's no way i'm not running again with joe biden. because i genuinely believe he has been one of the best vice presidents in our history. he also happens to be a friend. he also happens to be one of my
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most important advisers on domestic and foreign policy. i like him. >> howard fineman of "the huffington post" and joan walsh for salon. both are msnbc political analysts. i want each of you to answer a simple question. did the president deny or admit right there in that answer to chuck todd that there was a poll taken and focus groups delivered and organized to find out whether it would be a good idea to dump biden and bring in hillary. was the answer yes or no from the president there? >> well, i'll jump in and say yes, the president admitted that in a very oblique and round about way. he said he doesn't delve into polls. that doesn't mean he doesn't read them. he said if they had come and asked me shall we get rid of joe biden i would have said no. that doesn't mean that they weren't percolating the idea around. and i also love the 2 million
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employees excuse. i mean, that was pretty funny. i got to say. and, you know, the fact is he did talk to joe biden about it. they had it out. i think they genuinely like each other, but it's clear the research was done. >> so they talked about it subsequent to the book being published and the heat coming on him. >> yes. >> i agree with that. same question to you, joan. always the thing in politics one of the earliest things i learned was listen to what they actually say. did he say he knew this was polled? did he say he approved it? disapproved it? did he make a decision based on the polling? what did he tell us? >> i think he told us that no one has denied that somebody polled this question. i think he acknowledged that. i think he may have also left the door open that maybe he overheard something from another office that maybe they were doing this. but at the end of the day, he gave joe biden a big, old hug. that's what haematters.
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later in the interview he has a dig to his staff saying folks like to talk about things to make themselves feel important. so whoever leaked this garbage to heilemann and halperin, i know what your game is. so i think it's certainly not anything he directed or that he said i'm in a panic, go find out if i should pick hillary. that was never the story. >> okay. let's ask about -- let's see what he said now about the question that has been hounding him lately. the president has faced weeks of bad press over the faulty rollout of his signature health care law and more recently over the repeated claim during the campaign people would be able to keep the health care plans they had if they liked that. that turned out not to be true for everybody. and the president expressed his regret on camera. let's listen to his answer here no chuck. >> we worked hard to try to make sure we implemented it properly. obviously we didn't do a good enough job, and i regret that.
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we're talking about 5% of the population who are in what's called the individual market. they're out there buying health insurance on their own. a lot of these plans are sub-par plans. and we put in a clause in the law that said if you had one of those plans, even if it was sub-par, when the law was passed you could keep it. but there's enough churn in the market that folks since then have bought sub-par plans and now that may be all they can afford. so even though it only affects a small amount of the population, it means a lot to them, obviously, when they get this letter canceled. and, you know, i am deeply concerned about it. and i've assigned my team to see what can we do to close some of the holes and gaps in the law. >> do you feel like you owe these folks on apology for misleading them even if you didn't intentionally do it? they feel misled. you've seen the anger that's out there. >> i regret very much that what
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we intended to do which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want them opposed to because they're forced into it that we weren't as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place. and i want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position, a better position than they were before this law happened. >> howard, what do you make of that? what he said there. >> well, i think he's moving the goal posts here some. i think he made for the first time a statement he was willing to consider changes in the law. he says here that there are holes and gaps in the law and he said elsewhere in the interview that the law wasn't implemented properly. so he's gone beyond saying that things weren't explained clearly to admitting that the problems with the architecture of the law -- he loves the word "architecture," used it several
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times in this interview. he's admitting that the architecture of the law is not good as it relates to those people who are on sub-par plans who are getting kicked off of them. and that's a significant admission on the president's part. and it's one i would bet that the republicans are going to seize on immediately. >> you know, joan, just to interrupt here for a second. i want your view, but i want people to know where i stand on this. both political parties have played with the idea, mostly the democrats of course, of putting together a national health care plan. the republicans did it under teddy roosevelt. and i think ted kennedy was one of those who helped shoot one down. now we have a health care plan thanks to one man and largely because of nancy pelosi. the other party is still vacant. if there was a hospital in one party -- one party had a lot with a hospital on it, the other has a vacant lot next to it. they have no room to criticize. but i do believe being a fan of the president's that he did make
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a very broad promise that if you liked what you had, you can keep it. there'd be nothing changed. i think he's got to deal with that directly. not sure he's done that yet. your thoughts? >> i'm not sure he did it either. he did give an apology. i guess i would disagree with howard a little bit in that i think he's always said that there's room to improve this law and that it's not a perfect law. the problem that he and the democratic party face is that republicans will not participate in improving it, upgrading it, fixing it. they've only been about repealing it. so i think he left the door open. but he's always had that door open if things need to be fiked. and i think he's really -- what you really heard, i thought, in his voice was no good deed goes unpunished. i worked -- he says the left was not happy with me. they wanted single pay or a public option. i worked with the existing patchwork of existing insurance and this is what i get. the people are being canceled. so, you know, i think people who are inclined to be patient are
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still going to be patient. and the people who won't ever cut him a break, nobody's going to be satisfied. >> the only problem here, chris, is that even though this only affects a small number of people in the individual market place, i think the whole rest of the country and people who are on their employer-based health insurance or so on are looking at this as a sort of test case of the government's role in administering health care. that's the larger risk the president faces. >> okay. you heard where i stood and still stand. i think one party has a plan, the other doesn't. thank you howard fineman and joan walsh. up next, president obama takes the fight to ted cruz. this is going to be funny. really good actually. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. road closed? there's a guy...
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complaining about how the website's not working. and why isn't obama fixing this and all these people are uninsured. yet they're leaving a million people right now without health insurance. that they could immediately fix. there's not a lot of logic to that. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was of course president obama at a town hall event last night in dallas attacking republicans who have made it their mission to destroy the affordable care act. republicans like texas senator ted cruz. in fact, the president specifically attacked cruz as an ideologue when he spoke as a private event last night saying, quote, what precipitated according to at least one senator in texas, the necessity for the shutdown is the affordable care act. in the state of texas you've got more uninsured people than any place in the country. a million people could have health insurance, the only reason they're not doing it is ideology. well said. ted cruz didn't take kindly to
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the president on his home turf. in reaction to the president's arrival itself, cruz put out a statement basically telling the president to leave town. it read obama care has no place in texas and must be repealed so we can empower americans and their families by offering real health care choices rather than a government-written menu of plans they don't want and can't afford. president obama should take his broken promises tour elsewhere. sam stein with "the huffington post" and wayne slater for the "dallas morning news." let me go to sam on the big question that never seems to be asked. how can people like cruz who oppose and have opposed any kind of government role in health care have no plans for their own states' uninsured people. it's one of the highest percentage states of people not insured and therefore since it's such a big state, it has the largest absolute number of people who have no health insurance whatever. and he never feels the need nor
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does anybody call him up and say excuse me, where's your plan? >> well, this has been a big recurring problem for the republican party which is what do you have as an alternative to obama care?have, as an alternative to obama care? in 2008, john mccain did have a plan. it involved ending the employer tax benefit for health care coverage, giving people tax benefits so they could go out and buy private insurance. it didn't pass. it wasn't voted, the president obviously won re-election. we relitigated this again in 2012. and through it all, and since john mccain, roughly, there's within no plan presented by the republican party that would provide comprehensive health care coverage to everyone. in fact, there's been a lot of discussion about how many people would be covered under the republican plan. this is a valid criticism of ted cruz, of the republicans. which is you want to repeal, but we somehow lost the "replace" aspect of that. >> let me go to wayne about culture and hospitality. aren't there any rules down there about how you treat a president coming in?
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you know, especially given history about sort of at least being formally courteous, and not saying stay out of dodge. not dodge, but stay out of texas. >> i talked to some cruz people today in washington, who say, you know, he wasn't saying, physically, that cruz doesn't have the right to come in. i think they were a bit sensitive of that. but fundamentally, that's what he was saying. he was saying, this town ain't big enough for both of us. and that's because, what cruz was doing was not offering up a plan, not suggesting that there's a solution. that's asking the wrong question. he never campaigned on the idea that he would have an agenda, a specific policy agenda. he's trying to fire up his troops and point up that there is a division out there. obama came here and started talking about the division within the republican party and the reality-based republicans, suggesting, hoping that maybe there could be some solutions down the road. ted cruz lives for division.
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if the republican party truly did come together in some fundamental way, which they may do, before 2016, ted cruz is dead in the water. he must have the party divided, say, the chris christie folks on one side and hopefully, he hopes, the ted cruz constituency on the other. >> well, to that point, cruz has had a history of fiery attacks against the president himself. personally, his style had been compared by some to joe mccarthy. this is just a sampling of some of his attacks on president obama. >> we should never default on the dead, and the only players in washington who are threatening default on the debt are president barack obama and harry reid. >> why is president obama threatening to shut down the federal government, because he wants to force obama care down people's throats. >> this has been an imperial presidency. it has been a lawless presidency. >> you think president obama has been abusing his power? >> i think he has absolutely been abusing his power.
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>> you know, this mccarthy thing. you know, i'm not going to get over the fact that he accused chuck hagel, who's up for secretary of defense, a combat veteran of vietnam, of having taken $200,000 from north korea. i don't think the man has any sense of history about this country, what we've within through in the mccarthy period and his almost vengeful attack on his political rivals is something i haven't seen in a long time. he treats his political rivals and those with a different philosophy as un-american. he treats them as evil itself, and they have to be removed, if not from texas, perhaps even from the country. the man is really a negative force in american politics. my view. what's your thinking, sam? how does he fit in here? i've never heard politics talked about like this. >> well, i think the notion that he lives off of division is probably the best way to put it. and i think that's true of both dividing himself against the president and the democratic party, but also within the republican party. you know, you played a clip earlier in the show about him talking about chris christie and how brash and great he was, and you know, then shifting over to
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obama care. i can't wait until he talks about how chris christie embraced medicaid expansion under obama care. to ted cruz's point, no one is ever pure enough as ted cruz. and until -- if the republican party were to come together around some common agenda, ted cruz would be dead in the water, because his polls shtick. >> you know, the president had a light touch there, wayne. he said the other day that he knows who the members of his cabinet are by who's ted cruz has called a communist. that's tough talk, but the look of the guy, the political face he puts out there of anger and hatred, only then can you joke about guy saying -- >> well, no, think about this. go beyond the words that he uses. i know it's difficult to do. but it's not just the words he's using, it is what he is -- the way he is saying it.
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he is talking about absolutes. and so when he talks about someone being not just different than me, but a communist. not someone who just has a different point of view, but as evil, that's the implication there, it resonates among the constituencies that he's trying to appeal to. he lives in and lives off of a political universe where it's us and them, right and wrong, good and evil. and frankly, chris, there are an awful lot of folks, populist, tea party folks, many christian conservatives, who embrace this sort of absolutist attitude about the world. >> well, i've never been a fan of oliver cromwell. i guess that's the difference between me and them. thank you, sam stein and thank you, wayne slater. and we'll be right back after this. customer erin swenson ordered shoes from us online
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let me finish tonight with this. the republican party has a strange way of rebuilding itself after its self-defacing of the government shutdown and its near debt default, it's now veering toward outright civil war. rand paul, the self-reliance champ, recently caught secretly taking credit for other people's words is now out there attacking new jersey's victorious chris christie for the fame he gained openly from hurricane sandy. meanwhile, down in the old dominion, the defeated forces of ken cuccinelli are blaming their loss on the fate of less-zealous republicans to jump aboard the hard-right bandwagon. well, this back biting, south
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against north, west against east, is not what you'd expect from a political party still reeling from its wild and crazy ride on the shutdown express. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evenings from new york. i'm chris hayes. an nbc news exclusive tonight. president obama sat down with our own chuck todd for a lengthy interview to discuss the maelstrom of criticism over the rollout of the health care website, in particular, the president addressed his repeated promise throughout the health care reform battle that people would be able to keep their existing plans. >> and some of those people like those policies and they can't keep it. what happened? >> well, first of all, i meant what i said and we worked hard to try to make sure that we implemented it properly. but obviously, we didn't d


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