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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 16, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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this well within the fourth amendment boundaries. >> thanks, julian. >> thank you, lawrence. >> chris hayes is up next. boehner quits the clown car. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. let me start with this. the difference between being a child and being a grownup. it's a difference of job description. that wonderful guy who created peanuts. here's the deal. if you're a kid you get to sit in the back seat and fight. we've all heard it. and believe me, we've all done it. she's sitting on my side. she just touched me. he just touched me. i'm hungry. i'm car sick.
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that's the kid's job. just sit back there blaming and complaining. what's the grownup's job? first of all, to sit up front, make the car payments, keep up on the registration and driver's licenses, pay for the gas and insurance. and know where the hell you're going and how to pay for it when you get there. last week the speaker of the house who spent the last months and years speaking for the kids in the back of the car spoke like a grownup and said i'll drive the car but i'm not going to drive a crazy car, damn it. i'm speaker of the house. i'm second in line to the presidency. not the mad hatter of the tea party. howard fineman of "the huffington post" media group. he's chuckling already. and joy reid is also happy with my words. she's an msnbc contributor. it does seem strange that boehner -- here is a reminder of john boehner and what he said that surprised us all taking on the tea party and those way
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outside groups that tried to thwart boehner. let's watch. >> quite frankly i think they're misleading their followers. i think they're pushing our members in places where they don't want to be. frankly i think they've lost all credibility. they pushed us into this fight to defund obamacare and shut down the government. most of you know, my members know that wasn't exactly the strategy i had in mind. but if you'll recall the day before the government reopened, one of the people -- one of these groups stood up and said well, we never really thought it would work. are you kidding me? it just comes to a point when some people step over the line. you know, when you criticize something and you have no idea what you're criticizing, it undermines your credibility. >> well, this weekend "the new
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york times" reported that the speaker's criticisms of those groups in private to house republicans was even stronger. according to people in the needing, -- meeting, he said quote, they are not fighting for conservative principles or the conservative party. they are using you to do it. it's ridiculous. powerful stuff. >> and talking to republicans who know him and talk to him. this was both a plan and an emotional response by the speaker. he'd had it. he'd just had it. and the effect was galvanizing. it's almost as though when he said it, a spell was broken. and a lot of people who otherwise were hanging back took their lead from him and said enough. now, how long that will last, who knows? but for the time being, the fact he was the adult in the front of the car and told the kids in the back to shut up had an effect.
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had a real galvanizing effect in congress as few things have done in the republican leadership in recent months. >> don't make me stop the car. and i think we just saw the car stop there. and he said these clowns have humiliated me, made me into one of them. i'm not going to be the mad hatter of their tea party anymore. i'm wondering is this the long-term projected civil war ton the right where what's left of the moderate republican party outnumbered or not takes on the crazies. is it? >> what you call the moderate republican party is the conservative republican party. i have three kids, so i've been on those car rides. i know it can be tough with the chorus on the back telling you how to drive. the reality is boehner has been trying to represent his own members. this is what the members have been up against. groups like heritage action run by jim den mint. groups like grover norquist club for growth.
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and not going after democrats, primarying their own team. and there are a lot of members who have been governing in terror because they've been forced to do things like go for the government shutdown. they've h the senate, people like ted cruz telling them what to do. i think there's been a lot of frustration boiling up in the caucus. when you hear the speaker voicing that kind of frustration, that's also coming up to him from other members who are saying i got to go home and tell people at re-election time that i've done something. >> let's take a look. other republican leaders asked the question back him up or go after him? here's what paul ryan told a wisconsin radio station. by the way, here he is talking back home which is important. here he is not exactly backing up his leader. >> i don't think it's that serious. i think john got -- his emotions got ahead of him a little bit. i credit the tea party with helping us get our mojo back. getting conservativism back in
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the party. >> here's a paul ryan skipping off the reservation here. >> i think john got his irish up. he was frustrated that these groups came out in opposition to our budget agreement before we reached a budget agreement. i was frustrated, too, but i think these are very important elements of our conservative family. i would prefer to keep those within the family. >> i couldn't believe patty murray's face there watching him. one said he was sorry boehner took the whole thing public. look how these guys are going over to the tea party. >> we all need to be held accountable, but at the same time, you know, politically you ought to be focused on the president and harry reid and those kind of folks.
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you know, i think most of us are pulling for the same thing. yeah. i thought the speaker's comments were a little bit unfortunate. >> these guys are all jumping away. they're more scared of the crazy right with the next tea party meeting them. the loudest guy in the back row is more their leader than boehner is. >> the interesting thing is going to be watch what speaker boehner does. people that know him think he is going to take the spell breaking outburst of the other day and continue that as a strategy all the way along. in other words, i do not think this is the beginning of an all-out war between speaker boehner and people within his own caucus. i don't see that at all. i think this is where he said you guys forced me into shutting the -- into the government shutdown threat. i didn't want to do that. i'm not going for it this time around.
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i think he is still concerned enough that he's not going to be in open war with these people. >> why is he afraid of them? because he obviously doesn't like them. >> he doesn't like them, but he can't -- if he's in open war with them, he can't do his job as speaker at all. the only way he seemed to have done his job is by doing bidding -- >> how many house republicans are there? 20? >> there's more than that. 232. something like that. >> and there's how many tea party people do you think? >> i think functionally 70 maybe. 78. >> but doesn't he outnumber them? >> yeah, but all the others are looking over their shoulder at the ones who are the activist tea party people. >> this is the tail wagging the dog. joy, get in here. why do the 70 dominate the rest of the 230? what's this about? we've been watching this thing
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on this show for a couple of years now watching the tail wag the dog. and the dog's yelling back at the tail now. and now he's -- according to howard he's more afraid of the tail. he respects the tail more than his own head. it's just weird. >> well, for one thing because you still have a couple of months when you don't have primary deadlines closing yet. when you were close to the time people could be braver. but at this point people could still get in. you're seeing people like mitch mcconnell, the senate minority leader getting a primary. people always have their eyes on those deadlines. these groups are terrible at winning special elections because they put up such out-there candidates. they're good at raising big money. afraid of attracting attention. if you attract the attention of one of these outside groups, they can pour substantial money into a primary race against you, get some tea party leader to run against you, and they're all terrified of that. even though ones who privately hate this, they've got to go on.
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>> is it your bet he's going to tuck it in again? he's going to say never mind, i didn't mean to say something so mean. i'm afraid of you guys. >> yeah. i think after the budget fight you'll see the chance for him to stand up on immigration. i am not -- he's not going to stand up to them. >> they don't want to vote scheduled. he's not going to schedule it. >> this is my point, chris. this is a -- to some extent it's a one off. the other thing that you don't see is a truly organized effort by john boehner by karl rove, by the chamber of commerce, by all the quote, establishment republicans to counter the focus and rigorousness of the tea party people. like the nra against the left. >> i'm with you. but i also step back to my gut sense of politics which is what word do you want to yell really loud right now if you're a republican? yes? or no?
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i think they want to yell no. and that's why i think when they go into a primary, they want to say no to any name brand republican, any establishment position. the easiest gut way of saying something else. you know what i feel? no. and boehner's trying to say yes. >> i was fascinated by the fact that he said there in that sound bite, i didn't want to shut the government down. i think he even said i didn't want to end obamacare. that was the phraseology he used. the way forward is to focus on obamacare. and if they can do that, if they can get the tea party people and the establishment people to focus on the dismantling of obama care, that is the republicans' no theme for 2014. >> i don't think they've got a lever to do that. >> then they're going to get sidetracked. >> they're going to fight over the debt ceiling. >> they're going to fight over immigration too. >> right. >> we got to go. it's going to be a hot fight this year. still waiting to see whether
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boehner is going to be a standup guy or not. standup person. is he going to stand up to these enemies who made a fool out of him? howard fineman and joy reid, see you soon. coming up, the best evidence the republicans are willing to take the american economy hostage again. paul ryan says the party will see what it can get by threatening default. and he's supposed to be the moderate among the red hots. plus another sign if you're a conservative, you can't be against the affordable care act enough. a state senator said the law has done more damage to the u.s. than the nazis and terrorists and soviets combined. also, it sounded crazy at first, the idea that new jersey governor chris christie would purposely cause an epic traffic jam on the george washington bridge to oppose a mayor. is it true or not? and "snl" declares open season on the selfie seen around
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or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. he's viewed favorably by 73% of republicans. versus just 10% who view him unfavorably. they also like mike huckabee who last week said he may be open to another presidential rud. two-thirds view him favorably. different story for ted cruz. less than 50% of iowa republicans view him favorably. and chris christie doesn't fair that well either with the highest unfavorables among republicans in the entire poll. i guess he's too east coast. on the democratic side, iowa's ready for hillary. nine out of ten democrats view
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her favorably. that shows who's leading the pack there. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." the march to madness. after taking it on the chin in the polls during the government shutdown, republicans, some of them at least, are finally giving up the kamikaze tactic to destroy the government. some of them. last week the house passed a two-year budget agreement which paves the way for a shutdown truce. and the senate's expected to give the legislation the go-ahead later this week. perhaps tomorrow. though just barely. with the threat of a government shutdown likely off the table this year, the far right is lining up a bigger hostage. and it's a familiar one. the american economy. speaking with fox news' chris wallace, paul ryan the architect of this budget deal for this christmastime made one thing clear. republicans aren't backing down one bit. in fact, they're gearing up for a bigger fight over the debt limit. >> are you going to demand more in return for raising the debt
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ceiling? >> we as a caucus along with senate counterparts will meet and discuss what it is we want out of the debt limit. we don't want nothing out of this debt limit. we will decide what it is we can accomplish out of this fight. one of the problems or concerned i have with the debt limit is we don't know when it's going to hit. jack lew, the treasury secretary, has ultimate discretion on when this could occur. so the timing of this is very much in doubt. >> did the debt limit is not raised, experts project that the government could default between march and june which also happens to be the heart of republican primary season in the u.s. senate. look at this calendar of events. john cornyn's texas primary is in early march. thad cochran's mississippi date is penned for early june. and lind b see graham's south carolina primary scheduled for just a few days later. they're all in hot water in those states. david corn and ryan grim. both are msnbc contributors. let's start david and then go to ryan.
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this is an interesting combination. we think this is going to be a smooth season getting through the holidays. but they're already lining up for the gun fight at the ok corral, if you will. sometimes between march and spring, they can shut down the american economy. and these guys say they don't want to do it. then they say we're going to threaten to do it. mitch mcconnell is worried about being defeated. thad cochran is worried about getting defeated. shutdown which means default. >> it kind of reminds me of "godfather iii" when he says every time i get out, they pull me back in. what's pulling them back in is the gravitational pull of the party. with those states that you went through but throughout the board. so while -- i saw jack lew the other day and i asked him if the budget agreement means that maybe there won't be a default fight.
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he says, well, i think it shows that they're learning. now, maybe john boehner and people in washington are learning, but nothing's changing that much at the grassroots yet. so there still is a lot of pull in these guys to disrupt, to force obama to his knees, to take hostages, and go through the same rigger morale. >> do republicans agree they screwed up with the shutdown? yes. right? >> well, most of them do. but not all of them. >> they all seem to have agreed they screwed up with bringing this country to fiscal default. that doesn't seem to scare them because they didn't actually do it. they actually did shut down the government and paid the price for it. but they didn't -- ryan, they didn't actually default on the debt. so they haven't paid the price yet. i'm afraid it's going to be one of the things they're going to go over the cliff and suffer a permanent damage to fiscal credibility which we'll pay for in centuries in terms of increased payments. and no one will want to invest
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in our country. >> i don't see that happening in the next few months. because i don't think you can take anything republican leadership including paul ryan take seriously now before the budget deal is inked. he can't go on -- >> you think this is just a payoff to crazies. >> he can't go on tv now and say we're going to cave on this budget deal and we're caving three months from now. he has to say we have to fight. >> is he that smart? i thought he was an ideologue. >> this is obvious because he knows there's a lot of dissatisfaction on the right whether he's running for 2016 for the -- in iowa or not. he and the party still has to deal with this. it's an easy thing at this point, ryan is right to say. well, we're going to be firm on that until we get -- >> the only problem is sort of a rejectionist wing of the party that doesn't accept evolution or debt default. there's a class of republicans
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out there on the record now who have said the consequences of default is as real as the easter bunny or santa claus. that includes justin amash, mulvaney, barton. other os like king and hoho as well as crapo, coburn, toomey and rand paul. there are people that think you default and it doesn't hurt the economy. >> you'll have plenty of no votes on this. and whether we go off the cliff has to do with how this fight within the republican party eventually unfolds. but right now leadership feels confident. you've listed a lot of the primary dates. and a lot of folks do have primaries. and they can vote no in the upcoming. but the key part about primaries is that there won't be enough time for somebody to get on the ballot if there's a no vote in, say, the middle of march.
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if your primary is in march or in april and you haven't started a campaign yet, you don't have a threat. there are plenty of of republicans. >> that's when they realize they don't have a primary. >> they want to talk about obamacare. they don't want to talk about this. so if they do bring the government to the brink again four months, five months before the general election, that could really be bad for the republican party. >> i think some leaders are talking out both sides of their mouth like ryan. those like boehner and mcconnell were warning about the perils of default. listen to them tell -- this is when they say it's for real. don't screw it up. don't go past the debt limit. >> my goal here is not to have the united states default on their debt. >> the relief we hope for is to reopen the government, avoid default, and protect the historic cuts we achieved under the budget control act.
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this is far less than many of us had hoped for, frankly. but it's far better than what some had sought. >> no rational person supports a default. we should never default on the debt. >> i just don't believe this guy, cruz. he's the guy leading the fight to default and says i don't believe in it. how do you read him if you're a right winger? >> this is what's dangerous. because they say they don't want to default, yet they say they will use the prospect or threat of default as paul ryan said to get some concessions. so they're whipping up their base and at the same time president obama has been clear for the last two years he will not negotiate on the debt limit. so they are sort of raising expectations at the same time saying we're not really going to do this. but maybe we will as we ink the steel because we don't want to tick off the base. >> what's better politics? talking about debt and craziness or trashing people and african-americans with food
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stamp talk? what's the better pr for these people? >> nothing. like dead silence is the best politics for them. and that's what the smarter ones in the party want to do. >> they'll win because people don't like obamacare. >> keep the mouth shut and just cruise into 2014 and hope that obama's approval rating and stuff -- >> i think you're right. i think there's a secret message which is don't talk. thank you david corn. thank you ryan grim. up next, the return of the president obama rodeo clown. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. my mother and my grandmother are very old fashioned.
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i think we both are clean freaks. i used to scrub the floor on my knees. [ daughter ] i've mastered the art of foot cleaning. oh, boy. oh, boy. oh, boy. [ carmel ] that drives me nuts. it gives me anxiety just thinking about how crazy they get. [ doorbell rings ] [ daughter ] oh, wow. [ carmel ] swiffer wetjet. you guys should try this. it's so easy. oh, my. [ gasps ] i just washed this floor. if i didn't see it i wouldn't believe it. [ carmel ] it did my heart good to see you cleaning. [ regina ] yeah, your generation has all the good stuff. [ daughter ] oh, yeah.
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. "saturday night live" had no shortage of political material to parody over this weekend. and so it came as no surprise at all that president obama's famous selfie from nelson
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mandela's memorial service made it into the opening sketch. >> yoohoo. hello. it's your favorite german chancellor angela merkel. >> what are you doing here? >> i have a favor to ask. the danish prime minister has been bragging all over northern europe about her selfie with you. and i was hoping that i could get one as well. >> i don't think so. >> oh, really? i feel like you kind of owe me after the whole wiretapping mine cell phone thing. >> okay. but make it quick. >> okay. okay. that one was serious. now let's do fun one. all right. don't worry. i won't tag that on facebook. >> finally "time" magazine's person of the year has inspired one small town in missouri to hold a similar contest of its
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own. the honor in this case may go to an undeserving character. remember this guy? it's the rodeo clown who made national news for his some say racially charged mockery of the president at the missouri state fair. chosen for person of the year award in the local one. i guess no bad deed goes unrewarded there. up next, we've heard a lot of crazy things about the president's health care law. but the two we heard this weekend may be the biggest head scratchers yet. the clown car rolls on in overdrive coming up next. and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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welcome back to "hardball." ted cruz has a formidable challenger in the hyperbole department today when it comes to hitler references when it comes to describing the affordable care act. a state senator from north carolina tweeted this gem.
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quote, justice roberts' pen and obamacare has done more damage to the usa than the swords of the nazis, the soviets, and terrorists combined. top that, ted cruz. anyway, the charlotte observer reports that the north carolina republican party chairman said that the state senator should apologize, but the state senator in this case his name is bob rocho is standing firm. he told a reporter, quote, the bottom line is i still believe fully that the negative impact on the finances of north carolina and its people is going to be significantly impacted even in comparison to any of those wars that occurred. people need to open their ears or their eyes. this is a serious problem. and there's more coming here. former pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate rick santorum speaking at a young americans for freedom event described a near-apocalyptic set of emotions coming into play by the affordable care act. it's a little hard to follow what he says here, so listen closely and see how many falsehoods and loony conspiracy
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theories he packs in. here we go, rick santorum. >> if we have a system where the government is going to be the provider, principal provider of health care for the country, we're done. because then you are dependent upon the government for your life and for your health. but when thatcher ran for prime minister, she said remember this, this is the iron lady. she said the british national health care system is safe in my hands. she wasn't going to take on health care. because she knew once you have people getting free health care from the government, you can't take it away from them. and the reason is because most people don't get sick. and so free health care is that. free health care until you get sick. if you get sick and don't get health care, you die. so you don't vote. it's actually a pretty clever system.
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take care of the people who can vote. the people who can't vote, get rid of them as quickly as possible by not giving them care so they can't vote against you. it's how it works. >> it's how it works. in the world of rick santorum. i don't get that. there's so many lies. i'm sorry, mistruths here. it's hard to know where to begin here. first of all -- this one is not the provider of health care. every dollar spent in the new obamacare system goes to insurance companies. every dollar spent. the subsidies or whatever you pay yourself, all the money goes to private sector insurance companies. that already exist. second of all, people even in the uk aren't getting nothing free. you don't get anything free over there. they pay for it in much higher taxes. and santorum, is he suggesting the government of the united states would prevent giving health care to somebody so they die? ron reagan and clarence page. first of all, it's a lie to say the government is getting all this money.
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two, the idea you get free health care anywhere is crazy. you have to pay for it somehow. this part here, this death panel that somehow if you have any kind of national health system. a different system for a single provider, they will cut it off to kill you if you don't vote their way. and they check the voter roles and know what happened in that voting booth and somehow kill off. what kind of crazy talk is this by unusually crazy rick santorum? >> only in the fever swamp that rick santorum lives in does this sort of thing happen. i mean, may i just observe that as you implied earlier that this was a lot of self-contradictory gibberish. does this man not speak english, first of all? can he not express himself clearly? beyond that, he's proposing two things. one, you can't have the government provide health care for the people because then the people won't give it up.
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then you can't have them provide health care for the people because then they will take it away. this paranoid fantasy that democrats can't get health care and vice versa. really. what sort of a swamp does this guy live in? >> it must mean they kill you not just wound you. they could knock you out of the system. but this is like, it's not what we're going to talk about in the next segment sort of caused a traffic jam. we're talking about a guy, the president of the united states who could systemically kill people when they were in dire need. >> it's bizarre. i read his statement several times. i heard it and tried to decipher it, it sounded like he was actually saying you'd better vote for obamacare and get -- well, you better sign up for obamacare so you can live and vote against obamacare. which doesn't make sense either.
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i think santorum was looking for a life line here. >> look, we've been thinking about this the producers and i have been trying to figure this out. let's look at him and see if he's sane. if this makes any sane sense. you jump on in this one. see if you can decipher any truth here in this statement. >> if we have a system where the government is going to be the provider -- principal provider of health care for the country, we're done. because then you are dependent upon the government for your life and for your health. when thatcher ran for prime minister, she said -- remember this, this is the iron lady -- she said the british national health care system is safe in my hands. she wasn't going to take on health care. because she knew once you have people getting free health care from the government, you can't
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take it away from them. and the reason is because most people don't get sick. and so free health care is just that. free health care until you get sick. and then if you get sick and you don't get health care, you die and so you don't vote. it's actually a pretty clever system. take care of the people who can vote. people who can't vote, get rid of them as quickly as possible by not giving them care so they can't vote against you. it's how it works. >> ron, is that how it works in this goldberg version of life here? i'd never heard of anything as crazy as that. >> i don't think a single sentence in there and it was hard to pick apart the sentences themselves because it all kind of was a big run on, but not a single sentence made any sense. did you notice that? most people don't get sick. well, that crowd would applaud. most people don't get sick. everybody gets sick. every single human being gets sick. and will need health care. i mean -- >> by the way, the margaret
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thatcher we can argue about her. she was admirable in many ways. but she didn't take away anybody's health care. >> why didn't margaret thatcher cut off or even attack health care because for all of its flaws, the brits love it compared to -- >> churchill wouldn't touch it. >> thank you. same thing with the canadian system. >> i know. that's what they're afraid of. mikey will like it. anyway, thank you ron reagan. thank you, clarence page. up next why the kerfuffle of chris christie. they're trying to figure out if the word bully applies or not. let's keep it open for a few minutes. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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u.s. congressman steve stockman of texas hoping to be the next wild man on the right to beat a veteran establishment republican. but polling shows he's got an uphill battle ahead. let's check the "hardball" score board. from a new poll of wilson perkins allen, cornyn leads stockman in their republican primary by 44 points. as of now. it's cornyn 50, stockman 6. like a bad football score. anyway, 39% say they're undecided. that's a lot. the primary is three months from now. we'll see. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] this is jim,
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we're back. our next story seemed so farfetched at first it was hard to imagine. the suggestion that new jersey governor chris christie intentionally caused a massive traffic jam on his side, the jersey side, of the george washington bridge as political payback against a democratic mayor in jersey who didn't support him for re-election. but now it is being treated as a legitimate news story in papers like the wall street journal and "new york times." told the newark star ledger, quote, when you run for president you'll be questioned about absolutely everything. and you can't bluff your way past something like this. it's not personal life or his weight, it's related directly to his conduct in office. but christie sarcastically denied any involvement in closing the lanes on the bridge and mocked the reporter who asked the question in a press conference.
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here he goes. >> i worked the cones, actually, on that. unbeknownst to everybody, i was actually the guy out there. i was in overalls and a hat. i was the guy working the cones out there. you really are not serious with that question. >> well, we asked the governor christie's office late today whether he instructed anybody to close those lanes to the bridge. his deputy communications director referred us to what the government said himself in the press conference this past friday when asked whether he told anyone to close those lanes. he responded absolutely not. so you got an answer from him. ed rendell is the former governor of pennsylvania and msnbc political analyst. alex burns is a political analyst. this seems to be a story. but why do you think it is a story about something where there may have been some payback, political -- you know, the usual sort of sharp elbow stuff that goes on in politics occasionally.
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why is it a story now? >> it's only a story because it feeds into the narrative that governor christie is a bully. that he's vengeful. and the reason this story seems to have legs is no one's given any explanation why the lanes were closed if the governor didn't order it. and that the two port authority people who supposedly ordered it stepped down. the suggestion that new jersey governor chris christie intentionally caused a massive traffic jam on his side, the
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candor at the press conference friday, almost bearing democrats in the state and nationally to come after him, and the state democrats are delighted to do it, chris. if you look at the results of the election last november, christie really had no coattails. he still has a very robust democratic majorities in both the state assembly and senate, and these are people with subpoena power who are going to make the absolute most of it against a guy who they view as a likely republican presidential nominee. >> so, let's go to the factual reporting quest here. why did the two top guys in the port authority quit? christie appointments, apparently. why did they walk, except he told them to walk or they took the blame, took the bullet here? what's going on here? governor, you answer this. why would your top guys quit in such a public fashion from the very place in which there's charges being made here about misuse of power? >> well, only two reasons. one, because they were told to quit, told to resign, or two, because they did it on their own. and if they did it on their -- i can't imagine two people closing the busiest bridge in america on their own. can't imagine that. >> yeah, suppose -- let me get
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back to alex -- suppose there's an accident, suppose somebody needed medical care. there's so many unknowns in a situation where people are waiting in line. you know, we've all been stuck there wishing we weren't stuck in traffic, and things go wrong in the cars that have to be dealt with. >> well, exactly, and that's why the explanation that's been offered to date, which is that the lanes were closed in some kind of traffic study, that's a bit of a tough sell on a bridge where it's hard to believe you would create more traffic than there is unnecessarily by choice. so, chris, i think that, you know, there are a lot of reasons why people resign from their jobs. i think that -- it behooves all of us to remember that whenever something goes wrong in government, we do tend to call for somebody's got to get fired, somebody's got to take the blame. so the best-case scenario, the most generous explanation for christie is that that's exactly what's happening here, that there was a mistake and somebody had to go. >> you know, these little things, i was looking back, governor, about political history. i know you love it, too. when tom dewey, the governor of
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new york, was running, way front-runner back in '48 and a train bolted ahead by accident because some conductor did something wrong, and tom dewey, who was way ahead of truman at the time, said some lunatic just started this train. and next thing, the guy says yeah, i don't think anything more of him than before, which isn't much, and he lost points at that. people got a look at his penalty, tom dewey's in this case, and they thought he was an arrogant s.o.b. and didn't like him. they thought typical elitist looking down on the working guy. this isn't there yet, but it's an interesting look into what might be an m.o. here. >> and if you put all the incidents together, chasing the guy down the boardwalk screaming at him, you put them all together, it paints a picture that's not a picture that's going to play well in areas of the state that are not like philly or new york or new jersey, that are not rough-and-tumble areas. >> you didn't want that reputation, did you? >> no, i wanted the reputation >> you never had that. >> i wanted the reputation of being a tough guy who stood up, but not being a bully. >> yeah, i think there's a -- give me the fine line, alex,
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here, because people really -- i know myself, jersey relatives, they loved it when he said none of your business when it was a family matter. this isn't a family matter. this is a governmental matter. >> no, it's not, chris, and even when you do add up all the reactions, as the governor was just saying, the guy on the boardwalk, the don't question my kids, the helicopter to the kids' soccer match or whatever sport it was. you know, you can put together a pretty good clips reel of governor christie looking fairly thin-skinned, and the democrats have and they will continue to do that. >> governor, how's he put a cap on this, if he did have something to do this? does he admit it or hope time will forget it? i don't think time will forget it. >> i think he has to let it ride and take whatever damage he takes in the short run. in and of itself, it's not a big thing, chris, but it's part of the narrative, and what he's got to do is pivot off this and be a kinder, gentler chris christie. >> yeah, maybe he should be out there removing the cones sometimes. thank you. he says he doesn't do that kind of work. thank you, ed rendell, former governor of pennsylvania.
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when we return, we'll finish with the democrats who might run for president next time around. the race is still very much up in the air and we'll be right back. up around a daily problem? well ladies, now there's big news in controlling your overactive bladder symptoms. thinking less about them with new oxytrol for women. it's a patch. the first and only over the counter treatment for overactive bladder. it's good to know how to put the control back in your go. new oxytrol for women. now over the counter in the feminine care aisle. visit to learn more.
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"let me finish" tonight with this. christmas is upon us, and we just got back from new york and the annual weekend of the pennsylvania society. vice president joe biden gave a powerful speech about his roots in pennsylvania, which was very well received by the big dinner crowd at the waldorf astoria hotel.
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it made me think that the 2016 democratic presidential nomination is still very much up in the air. we don't know if former secretary of state hillary clinton is running. my strong hunch is that the vice president, joe biden, would very much like to be considered for the top job. we will know a lot more a year from now after the midterm elections. secretary clinton will be under pressure then to declare. the vice president will have to make his move, perhaps without knowing what the front-running prospect secretary clinton will do. this will all make it interesting and i wonder if secretary kerry is giving thought for a run himself in 2016. he's doing a powerful job at state, no questioning that fact, only the extent he reaches success with the iran deal, and of course, with the middle east. if he makes progress on both fronts, his success will have to be considered by all wanting to keep the white house in democratic hands. again, all depends on what secretary hillary clinton decides, and nobody, perhaps not she herself, knows the answer. it's what makes this business of national leadership so exciting. it comes down to the individual spirit of individual people.
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as winston churchill once said, "man is spirit," and that goes for women, too, obviously. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. and even as the latest polling finds new jersey governor chris christie leading not only the republican presidential field but also a theoretical matchup against hillary clinton, christie finds himself right in the middle of the biggest political scandal of his career. just wait until the voters of iowa hear about this one. >> tonight i stand here as your governor, and i am so proud to be your governor. >> just last month, chris christie swept to re-election in a landslide and launched himself towards the white house, but today, hisin