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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  December 18, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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i'm ed schultz. politics nation with reverend al sharpton starts right now. tonight's lead, people over politics. that's the message from the president and the first lady today. after they met with a group of mothers who have been helped by the affordable care act. and later today i talk to the
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first lady on my radio show. she was very personal and passionate, telling me why health care hits so close to home for her. i want to get into this because this is such an important message that you're giving. and what really was striking to me is that you got very personal. you talked about 12 years ago with sasha. tell us about that. >> yeah. when sasha was about 4 months old, you know, we were blessed with healthy babies. i had a healthy pregnancy, you know, malia was issue free, but i will never forget, it was a day when, you know, one hour she was fine. she was normal. she was happy, doing everything i was used to her doing. and in the next hour, she was crying inconsolably, and that just wasn't like her. and i did everything i could do.
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i tried to rock her, feed her, burp her. finally, i thought i need to call my pediatrician. that's the first point i want to make is we had health insurance which meant i had a really good relationship with our pediatrician. and he knew me. and he knew i wasn't the kind of mother to call up just because my baby was crying. so when i described the symptoms, the fact that she had a slight fever and she seemed to be in pain in a way i'd never seen in a baby he said get her to the emergency room. i don't like the sounds of it. just go, do not pass go. get to the emergency room. and as it turned out, she had meningitis. and they had to do a spinal tap. she turned out, obviously, as the story end, she's healthy. she's a beautiful young lady, but if we hadn't had insurance and access to pediatrician and access to a hospital where we didn't have to worry about the cost of care, if we had waited overnight, if we had postponed acting, there's no telling what
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the outcome would have been. and that's why, for me, as a mother, i am just, you know, i just can't put into words how important it is for every american, for every mother, for every person in this country to have health care. because you just never know what kind of curve balls life are going to throw you. >> you never know what curve balls life will bring you. that's why this law's so important. it is personal. and this is what's gotten lost in the political debate. people need help. this law is protecting real people from those curve balls. 137,000 people signed up through the federal website in october and november. and more than 100,000 enrolled just in the first week of this month. enrollments are surging also in some of the states of the
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running their own exchanges. 15,000 are signing up each day in california. 4500 each day in new york and 1400 daily in connecticut. there is no denying the demand. and despite what we hear from the right, the first lady says this is an issue that's bigger than politics. the thing that strikes me is you bring a passion and a perspective to this that is really beyond the partisan bickering we hear in washington and we hear on talk radio. okay, i'm doing both now. or in civil rights. you talk as a mother. and you talk as someone who said i've been there, and i know what ordinary americans are facing, and this is why they need to deal with this. >> yeah. and we, barak and i just met with a group of mothers because we're talking to mothers.
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mothers are the ones who make the decisions about health care in their families. they're the ones dealing with sickness on a regular basis. they're the ones who have the ear to their kids, their teenagers and young adults who think they're invincible and don't need insurance. we're talking to them because they're the ones with the stori stories. a roomful of women who had young people with cancer that they never imagined, you know. sons and daughters who are working part-time jobs and don't have insurance, you know, but are, you know, running across these curve balls that i've talked about. and they tell their stories with tears in their eyes, you know, that until this act was passed, there was one mother who said she cried herself to sleep every night because her son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his early 20s. and she didn't know how she was going to pay for it. so she was praying every night that the act wouldn't be
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repealed. you know, so that's the kind of personal, you know, story that's often missed in that back and forth that turns this issue, which is pretty plain and simple issue, reverend al. this is about getting people health care who didn't have it and can't afford it. and now we have obamacare. and it's affordable. most people can get a plan for as little as $100 a month. they could be assure, insured. they can go to a doctor on a regular basis. when they get sick, they won't go bankrupt. it's as simple as that. but health care is so confusing to most people, that it's easy to confusion the situation. >> it's easy to confuse the situation. and that's what republicans are trying to do. like congressman daryl issa, smearing the navigators who help explain the law to people getting signed up.
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or groups backed by millionaires trying to scare young people out of getting insurance. or republican leaders who have no health care plan besides repealing the law. they want to confuse us. but hike the first lady said, this is a simple issue. it's about taking care of our fellow americans and putting people before politics. joining me now are congresswoman karen bass, democrat from california and msnbc contributor teresa kuma. >> you heard the first lady today. >> i did. >> it's about helping people. what is your reaction to her story today? >> first of all, it's personal to me. i have many experiences myself, but it reminded me of when i worked in l.a. county's
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emergency room. she said she was able to get a response immediately. when i worked at the emergency room, it was for the hospital for people without insurance. it's not that people don't get health care. the problem is if they wait. they wait and what wound up being something that could have been completely treatable, i can't tell you how many times i had to go in a room and tell a person that basically they were now terminal because they had waited too long for their health care. so when you're talking about the affordable care act, you are truly talking about legislation that la and already has saved people's lives. when you have provisions like no pre-existing conditions can be used to exclude people, these are life-saving measures. and it is very personal, because everybody has somebody in their family or themselves who has faced a serious illness. >> you know, maria, when we talk about wait, young people are so vital and usually the ones who
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say i've got time, they think health care is not an immediate concern, and it's crucial to this law that young people sign up. and the first lady and i discussed that today. listen to this. it. >> that's where my passion comes from. i want for the rhys of america what my family has, you know. i want people to have the peace of mind that i have, because it's hard enough being a mother trying to raise kids and then worrying about whether if they get sick whether you can help them. there is nothing more powerless than being a mother who can't help their child when they're sick. that's just to me untenable, but we now have the resources. but we have to be educated about it. we have to do the, we have to reach out. we have to get signed up. and then we have to sign up others. we need young people signed up, too, for this. because it's not just about moms
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and babies. it's about young people who feel invincible, right? >> that's right. >> who feel like i'm never going to get sick. i'm healthy now. well, young people are the ones who are driving around late at night and they can get in a car accident or slip at a club or playing pickup games and get a black eye or cooking for the first time and cut a finger or bust an artery, you know. health care is something that every american of all ages, particularly young people, because one of the things that we learned from one of the women that we talked to who had a nephew that she cares for, she worries just as much because he wouldn't get health care because she knows if he didn't get health care, if something happened to him, she'd have to pay for it, right? >> yep. yep, yep. >> young people are not just living out there on their own. if they get sick and can't afford it, who's going to come in and clean up that financial ssthis. this was plainspoken, right to
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the point. >> she was incredibly clear. and i think something that she highlighted earlier and something that congresswoman bass mentioned, this is about preventative care. but you don't know what curve life is going to take you. and unfortunately in our family, we had a tragedy and luckily she was 26 and was able to get on her parents' plan. she was 26, healthy, and she had a brain tumor, something she would never have guessed. it's these types of case, you don't know what life holds, what kind of cards you have. so the best thing you do is get preventative care. and she's absolutely right. if we don't get young people who for the most people are incredibly healthy right now. if we don't get them enrolled, everybody's premiums are going to go up. one day they're going to wake up and say they want insurance and their premiums are going to go up. that's why you have the heritage foundation discouraging young
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people. we want to make sure they are enrolling so they have fair prices. >> but, you know, congresswoman, republicans will say anything, and i mean anything to try to fear monger over this law. on monday, congressman daryl issa was attacking the navigators who explain the law and help people sign up. listen to this. >> these individual, these so-called navigators don't follow any of the rules that every state in the union has for insurance people. this is basically just a, another form of community organizing paid for with your tax dollars. acorn revisited, if you will. >> never misses an opportunity to compare anything to acorn. just something to acorn. but then last night, congressman issa tried to scare people away from the website, saying it was not secure. listen to this. >> we have a lot of investigations. but the privacy of the american
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people is paramount, and this is one where the jury is not just out, but the information continues to come in, telling us that we're not secure. >> now, you know, democrats say that issa's just cherry picking information and trying to make the website seem bad. and the security is fine, congresswoman. >> well, i think it absolutely is, but daryl issa has been on this crusade for the last three years that i've been in congress. every month or so he comes up with some new issue to attack the president for. it is really shameful. daryl issa is the richest member of congress, worth over $100 million. and so i'm sure -- >> say that again. wait a minute. rewind that. daryl issa's what? >> he is the richest member of congress. he is worth over $100 million. and i think that it is just not within his thinking that he can imagine. i wished i could take him to spend a day in the emergency room with me so he can see what
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happens when people don't have insurance. i think, you know, i think about ten years from now, and i just can't brielieve that some of my republican colleagues aren't going to be shamed and embarrassed at what they did, what efforts they went through to prevent people from getting health insurance. it's really shameful, and i know they're going to look back at this with regret. >> they are definitely, well, they should, anyway, look back at this with regret. >> i think with the republican party you have folks such as representative coburn come out and say this is actually working, the website is working. now they're trying to find other problems with the website. what daryl issa is talking about. they are grassroots organizers. why? because the only way we can make sure people are getting enrolled is by word of mouth by trusts sources. >> thank you both for your time.
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and you can. >> thank you, reverend. >> and you can hear my full interview with first lady michelle obama tomorrow on my radio show. check your local radio one affiliate. coming up, president obama fighting for unemployment benefits. there's a new plan, the new numbers calling for fairness. plus, too rich for jail? our last ditch legal effort to put the teen in the affluenza case behind bars. we're live in texas. and mitt romney as you haven't seen him. an amazing look behind the scenes on the night he lost the election. and president obama and steve harvey crash a white house tour. you have to see this. i'm guaranteeing a smile tonight. >> got ears just like me. >> yeah. yeah. >> has anybody ever said that?
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a new plan to fend off attacks from right wing budget hacks. but senate democrats are fighting back, revealing a new plan that calls for a three-mornts extension for now. republicans are blocking it, but the white house is on record today, saying it will push the measure in coming weeks. this plan should be bipartisan. the american people want action. they want economic fairness. today we learned 57% think government should take steps to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off americans. and 66% support an increase in the minimum wage. but right-wingers in congress
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are out of touch with reality. today the senate voted to pass the new budget, and congressman paul ryan is actually gloating that it doesn't extend jobless benefits. >> i got 70% of what we wanted. over the life of the sequester we keep 92% of it in fact. they wanted a big unemployment extension. they did not get that. no stimulus spending. no 13th extension of the emergency unemployment provision. >> blocking jobless benefits is what he wanted, but it's not what americans want. and president obama and the democrats are fighting back. joining me now are cory dade, contributing editor at the root, and political strategist angela
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reid. >> i think they have to continue to tell the truth. this is a political problem that really shouldn't be one that is partisan, right? economics benefit the country in total, whether you are a democrat, republican or somewhere in between. but the fact that people need to have funds to buy groceries, to buy other things. the fact that they have not, the fact that there is a condition of have-nots makes have less. >> the more that you have in the hands of citizens, the more they're going to consume, the more money there is for everybody. it helps the economy. and when we look at the details of this plan it would extend long-term unemployment benefits for three months. it's designed to buy congress time so it can create a longer-term fix. and it would cover 1.3 million unemployed americans.
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>> that's right, rev. you have more than 4 million americans now who have been without work for more than six months. you still have about 40% of the unemployed universe is made up of people who have been unemployed for more than 37 w e weeks. we're not talking about quick fixes. republicans continue to grumble about extending these unemployment benefits, but they know it's politically popular. there is no partisanship around the people who are out of work. that's going to be a key issue when they start campaigning in some of those battleground districts and states where republicans are under pressure. >> you know, angela, in the first segment i was talking about how health care is about real people. in ten days, 1.3 million real people, real people, forget republican and democrat, will not be getting coverage,
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unemployment that they have in many cases depended on. listen to real people how this will impact. >> sick, i was almost sick to my stomach. i'm like, how can they do people like this. my family is all to pieces financially. we've exhausted our savings. >> are you ready to see me on the street begging for food? you know. i know i'm not ready to. i can be a very contributing member of society. >> i don't know what we'll do. my husband is not working. he's unable to work. >> angela, these are real people. how can, i don't care what side of the aisle you sit, or what your politics. how can you ignore that? >> you shouldn't ignore t and you shouldn't be able to in good conscience. i think somewhere along the way they forgot that the people who are needing unemployment benefits right now were at one point employed and tax-paying americans. and because they were taxpayers,
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they should be able to benefit from those tax dollars. we've talked about this ad nauseam that it's not a partisan issue. why was it rejected on the gop senate side? where is the conscience on these folks are unemployed and we don't have an immediate solution and we're not even trying to have one. we're on to the debt ceiling fight. >> the president said this month that confronting income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. >> a dangerous and growing inequality in lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle class america's basic bargain that if you work hard you have a chance to get ahead. i believe this is the defining challenge of our time. the combined trends of increased inequality and decreased
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mobility pose a fundamental threat to the american dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe. >> how do we get this congress to deal with the beginning steps of dealing with this challenge of our time? >> not to be pessimistic, but i don't see them doing that. this is a do-nothing congress. they are going to go on record as being the least constructive in history. their supporters in their districts are actually hurting and there's not enough of a ground swell of independents, democrats who are going to come out in the midterm who are going to force them to take this to account next year. so -- >> they actually, can, though, rev. this is polling very well, fairness polls very well. if they push back on the fairness option -- >> you said one of the least
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productive congress. >> angela rye, thank you. there's a new push for prison time for the teenager who some say was too rich for jail. and a white house tour gets a presidential surprise. and there was a special guest with him. that's next. [ male announcer ] you've got to try red lobster's four course seafood feast,
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imagine being on a white house tour and the president drops in. well, it happened. the president was spreading the christmas cheer, and he brought along a special guest. tv personality, steve harvey. >> hey, guys. i got steve harvey here. howe are you? what's your name? >> how you doing, sweetheart?
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>> you got ears just like me. >> yeah. >> has anybody ever said that? that's good, man. that gives you some special power. good to see you. oh that's so sweet. happen' birthday. >> oh, my god. >> how are you? what's your name? >> janea. >> i've never been ignored these many times ever. >> they just can't see you behind the decorations. >> no, no. this is really cool. >> how are you? >> what a memory for those on tour. merry christmas to them. merry christmas to the president. and merry christmas to you, cedric, i mean, steve. and coming up, we're staying with the christmas spirit. the right wing declares an end to the war on christmas. that's next.
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there's a major breakthrough in the case of the texas teen who some say was too rich to jail. >> tonight there is a new effort now to put a teenage drunk driver behind bars. >> they could have a new shot at putting ethan couch behind bars. >> they will push once again for the teen's incarceration. >> just this week prosecutors had said that there was no way to appeal ethan's ten year probation sentence for killing four people while drunk driving, but now the district attorney in the case has turned his attention elsewhere. he wants ethan couch to serve time for the two teens who were severely injured in the crash.
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they include sergio melina who was left paralyzed as well as another young man who suffered broken bones and internal injuries. every case deserves a verdict. if sentenced, couch could get up to three years in texas juvenile justice facility. another shout at justice for the families, including the brother of sergio melina who joined me last night. >> look at the lost ones. look at my brother, you know. my brother has a life sentence, a conviction of something that he obviously did not plan for. and this man, or this child, i mean, he doesn't even have one day in any kind of jail or anything. >> finally, a new shot at
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justice for those victims. joining me now is texas attorney k cade burnson. what do you make of this latest news? >> i find some hope in it. i do think it was a little administration that there h-- s now he's got the two vehicle ul assaults, i'm surprised they didn't give sentencing for those two other crimes. i know the families are very hopeful that the judge will do the right thing this time and
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put him behind bars. >> now, faith, the official investigative report from the ethan couch case shows that on the night of the crash, friends told him he was too drunk to drive and then immediately prior to the crash, a friend told him to slow down, you about he speeded up to 70 miles per hour. >> right, i mean the behavior was completely egree ju gregree. i'm not as optimistic as my colleague. ethan pleaded guilty to sikts counts here, the four counts of manslaughter and the intoxicated assault counts. clearly she looked at the most serious charge, the manslaughter charges where four people were killed, and decided that this case warranted probation. so, to me, that says she's not going to look at those lesser
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counts and think that they warrant jail, because she's already decided against the most serious charges. judges have a lot of latitude. what she did was within the statutory parameters. here i think she made the wrong decision. >> now, cade, one thing is not in dispute is the civil suit. and there is some new developments, at least in my, brought to my attention that there's new attention being directed at ethan couch's family. because his defense was that he was wealthy from a wealthy family and didn't know the consequences. would that involve the assets and awealth wealtth o wealth and awealth weal of his parent. he also had access to a 4,000
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square house where he often stayed alone. >> i think his defense may have overlooked this and may have opened the door for some enterprising plaintiff attorneys to come through. if you're going to claim that his defense and why he shouldn't go to jail is because his parents, he wasn't supervised properly and he was able to drink and drive with no consequences time and again, they have basically handed the victims' plaintiff attorneys a strong, strong case to go against his parents in civil court. and unfortunately, sometimes, as faith knows, we don't get justice in the criminal courts, and we have to rely on the civil courts to try to seek justice, although no amount of money will ever bring back a family member
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or heal a paralyzed person. but because of this junction science affluenza defense, i think the criminal defense attorneys have handed the plaintiff attorneys a very, very strong case against his parents. >> what do you think, faith? clearly, i agree you will never be able to replace with any amount of money the four lives lost or the young man paralyzed. but haven't they opened the door for these parents and their assets and their wealth now being fair, fairly brought in to this civil proceeding? >> absolutely. and normally, parents aren't just automatically responsible for the sins of their children, but here, the plaintiffs' attorneys are going to argue that the parents' negligence contributed to ethan's behavior and his criminal behavior that resulted in the loss of all of those lives and people being seriously injured. they're going to argue that they knew he had a propensity to drink, but they still gave him a
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truck to drive every single day. they knew that when he lived alone in this 4,000 square foot house that he partied. he had unsupervised pears and kids were drinking at those parties. those are going to be the arguments that the plaintiffs' attorneys make that these parents contributed to the downfall of this young man and the fact that he committed these crimes. >> and it wasn't like this same young man had not had encounters at least with the ha where he was, we understand from reports, had been talked to before about drinking and found one time passed out in the car with a naked 14 year old female. and there's also new attention being directed at the family. ethan couch's father, fred couch, had up to 23 police records. they included charges of criminal mischief, theft by check and assault. all the cases were dismissed.
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>> reverend, this story just keeps getting more interesting by the day, but in texas, we call it negligent entrustment. and faith's right, just because a child goes out and gets in a wreck and hurts someone, you can't just get the parent for that, because it may not be their fault, but if you show a history that these parents were on notice that their child was acting in this irresponsible manner then they've got a case. they've got a strong case. and this affluenza junctik scie case may backfire on them. >> thank you both for your time tonight. still ahead, the election night video you didn't see, until now. what mitt romney said when he realized he'd lost. but first, what's really behind the right wing's phony war on christmas? ho, ho, holy cow, you've got to
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good news, america! bill o'reilly has won the war on christmas, according to bill o'reilly. just watch. >> then the aclu, as you know, over the years has spent an enormous amount of money trying to terrorize certain school
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districts into browbeating the public schools that you can't have christmas carols or a christmas wreath or a ma nenorar whatever. today the governor, this season, the governor chaffee reversed. all of those things happened because we, we attacked them. we challenged them. so therefore, it isn't a mythical war on christmas. it's real. and we just won. >> the war on christmas is over? well, somebody tell the folks at fox nation website. today's headline, the war on christmas. fox nation's full coverage of the untold stories. oops. the truth is right-wingers invented the war on christmas solely as an excuse to attack
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people, mostly on the left, who they claim don't respect true religious, the true religious of christmas. but the right's hypocrisy's put them on the politics nation's naughty list. here are some examples of the facts. >> tis the season to be jolly and for rum maker bacardi that has many spirits, that can be huge sales. people like to imbibe and imbabe. >> you haven't been touching -- >> i haven't been touching the bombay sapphire. >> the ugly christmas sweater trend is growing. >> those are ugly, those are usuallier. >> norad wants to have escorts.
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>> all you need are lines, sugar and bacardi. >> i'm a mn mojito girl. >> nothing says respect for christmas like a little rum. or on fox nation today, an angel on the beach wearing reindeer antlers. these war on christmas people have a holier than thou attitude. >> we forget jesus was homeless and mary was homeless and joseph
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was homeless. they didn't have a place to stay on christmas. they had to stay in a manager. the reason for christmas is not whether santa claus is black or white, it's the spirit of santa claus. so i would ask the people of fox, what color is the spirit? spirit has no color. >> i think also, when you deal with the hypocrisy, where you're attacking others, and, well, let me show you something. you heard them talking about the holiday tree rather than christmas tree at all. well, sometimes fox news seems to be part of the war on christmas. watch this clip carefully to see what fox news shows after bill o'reilly teasers, his war on christmas segment. >> next on the run down, crowley and combs react to that. then bernie goldberg how corporations including big media are handling the massive
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christmas commerce. factor's coming right back. >> now he just promoed this war on christmas. and right after, fox goes to break on happy holidays. >> that's because they're commercial venture. >> that's exactly right. >> you wonder, what do jewish people and muslim people think when you want to greet them? they respect us. they will say to me -- >> and we respect them. >> let's be quite honest. the reason people -- >> you have jewish holidays. >> that's why you say happy hanukkah. >> and kwanzaa. i believe in jesus, and the birth of jesus. i also believe in kwanzaa. >> i also respect everyone in their belief.
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it's all inclusive. if there's anything this holiday time does, it makes us all inclusive. this, it's also a distraction. if you really brief in the spirit of christ, you don't get rid of unemployment. you don't get rid of food stamps and have people hungry three days after christmas with nowhere to go. you bring the spirit of jesus into public policy. >> well, it seems very strange that you would celebrate as i do, the coming of someone, but not celebrate why he came. so, i mean, the reason that you celebrate his coming is because of what he did in coming and what he did after he came, not just that he came. so i think there's a little hypocrisy and posturing going on. >> let the church say amen. >> at least twice. >> thank you for your time tonight and merry christmas.
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>> and merry christmas and happy holiday and kwanzaa and anything else you'd like. coming up, a remarkable look behind the scenes the night mitt romney lost. it will surprise you.
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how did mitt romney react the night he lost the election to president obama? we have a remarkable look behind
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finally tonight, a remarkable look behind the scenes of the 2012 election. a new documentary goes inside mitt romney's campaign, inclusion election night when he realized he'd lost. >> i just can't believe you're going to lose. >> yeah. yeah. >> so what do you think you say in a concession speech? >> by the way, somebody have a number for the president? >> i do. >> okay. hadn't thought about that. >> if you don't win, we'll still love you. the country may think of you as a laughingstock, and we'll know the truth, and that's okay.
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>> get beat up constantly, mitt romney's a flip-flop, constantly, is it worth it? >> it's like trying to convince people that dan quayle is smart. in which case i think i'm a flawed candidate. >> a year as we told you no matter how this thing turned out. >> now you're not so sure. >> now we're not so sure. >> sometimes in the heat of a campaign, it's hard to remember. people are people. everybody should be respected. on election night, mitt romney gave a very gracious concession speech. and president obama had some kind words for romney in his speech as well. it was a lesson in democracy and good manners. you can disagree with policy, and i disagree with pretty much all of mitt romney's, but you can do it without being
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disagreeable. politics doesn't have to get personal. thanks for watching. "hardball" starts right now. the scrooge party. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this battle for christmas. on one side lies the scrooge party, not a cent more in minimum wage. it barks any more lip from you and you'll lose that low-paying job


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