tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 5, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
a tower of treasures. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. well, the visitor's list to trump tower at fifth avenue in new york has become a who's who or who was list of american ambition. those who said the worst about trump are showing up hat in hand, hoping to get some of that golden patronage the man's got to pass around. the top prize, of course, remains secretary of state. the search to fill that role is
widening as i speak, with new names added on like a traffic lineup in manhattan. there's still no indication that donald trump is anywhere near to making one of the key decisions of his presidency, who will serve as his chief diplomat. vice president-elect mike pence ran through some of the top contenders yesterday. >> i think everyone that he's talked to and has been talked about, whether it be a rudy giuliani or mitt romney or general petraeus or senator corker or john bolten, and others, bring extraordinary background and qualities to this. >> nbc news reports that several new names have been added to that list, even if they remain outside contenders. the associated press, meanwhile, is reporting that prospects of rudy giuliani and mitt romney, they say, are fading. the new names include jon huntsman, who was critical of trump during the campaign, but who wasn't also reportedly in the mix, ceo of exxonmobil, rex
tillerson. and general petraeus appeared on television this week to audition for the role. he answered questions about his guilty plea for mishandling classified government information. >> five years ago i made a serious mistake. i acknowledged it, apologized for it, paid a very heavy price for it, and i've learned from it. and again, they'll have to factor that in and obviously, 38 1/2 years of otherwise fairly, in some cases, unique service to our country. >> there's some news out of trump tower today on another front. donald trump announced he's nominating dr. ben carson to be secretary of the department hoff housing and urban development. carson was a former 2016 rival, of course, with a history of controversial statements of his own about obama, president obama want race, and about sexuality. we'll get to that later. meanwhile, there was a surprising face making a visit to trump's offices today. former vice president, al gore, who met with trump and his daughter, ivanka.
>> the bulk of the time was with the president-elect, donald trump. i found it an extremely interesting conversation. and to be continued. and i'm just going to leave it at that. >> for the latest on the transition, i'm joined by nbc's kristen welker. i don't know what's going on. all i know, kristen, the list gets longer. the ones that came to the vineyard earlier aren't getting much good time out of this. it must be very frustrating for rudy giuliani, for mitt romney, and the rest. your thoughts? what do you know? >> reporter: you can only imagine. of course, you had mitt romney dining with malpresident-elect trump last week. look, here's how to think about where things stand right now in terms of this race for the secretary of state. you have rudy giuliani and mitt romney who were really the two top contenders. but chris, as we've been reporting, trump world was so deeply divided over these two top contenders, a lot of people saw rudy giuliani as a lightning rod, too much of a loyalist and an insider.
too many people thought that mitt romney has been too sharply critical of donald trump during the campaign. so that's why you're starting to see those two contenders start to fall out of favor and the reason why president-elect donald trump is exploring new options, including jon huntsman. someone who was also critical of him, but of course, he's the former ambassador to china. interesting given that you have trump making that controversial phone call with taiwan. my sources telling me that huntsman didn't advise him prior to that call. but at the same time, huntsman's been supportive of the fact that he made it, saying that it could be a smart foreign policy decision, a warning to china, making it very clear that he's going to be tough with them. of course, a lot of critics on that front as well. and rex tillerson, the ceo of exxonmobil. he's going to be here tomorrow. but at this point in time, chris, huntsman and tillerson haven't met with trump, so they're not serious contenders yet. i think the names to really be focused on, petraeus, we know that donald trump felt very good about that meeting and as you
said, he was out on the sunday circuit, sort of doing a test run, answering those tough questions about the fact that he pled guilty. and also, bob corker. that's the name that keeps getting thrown around a lot. the president-elect very impressed by him. and they think that he would be a good counterpoint to some of his tougher, more hawkic foreign policy members. so that's where things stand. but the overarching theme here, the bottom line, top officials are saying that the president-elect is not in a rush to make a decision. he is going to take his time, because this is such a critical choice for him, chris. >> kristen welker, thank you. and don't back up, even a foot. the perspective from here look like those buses are about an inch from you. thank you so much, reporting from fifth avenue. as i mentioned, donald trump today, nominated. dr. ben carson to be secretary for the department of housing and urban development. and last month's carson's own team seemed to raise doubts about his team to run a major
federal agencies. armstrong williams said, dr. carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency. this is honesty. the last thing he would want to do is take a position that would cripple the presidency. you don't get honesty like that very often. when asked what made him qualify for the job at hud, dr. carson said this. >> i grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot of time there and have dealt with a lot of patients from that area. and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities. >> well, during the 2016 republican primaries, carson's background in some of his past statements about his childhood came under fire from, guess who, donald trump. let's watch. >> he said that he's pathological and that he's got, basically, pathological disease. i don't want a person that's got pathological disease. i don't want it. at a fairly young age, 14, 15 years old. i didn't. i didn't.
he took a knife and he went after a friend and he lunged, he lunged that knife into the stomach of his friend. but lo and behold, it hit the belt! it hit the belt! and the knife broke. give me a break. if you try and hit the mother over the head with a hammer, your poll numbers go up. i never saw anything like it. this is the only election in history where you're better off if you stab somebody. what are we coming to. >> showmanship matters. >> joining me right now, a "washington post" callum, msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. i read your columns. and former senior strategist to rick santorum's presidential campaign, john brabender. let's talk about this, first of all, secretary of state really matters. let's talk about that. >> it does. >> i sometimes think he's auditioning for looks, appearances, who's going to look
right as my guy. bring mitt romney in, he seems very presidential, and he didn't really like him, apparently. and kellyanne conway seems to have some power. >> she apparently does. she spouts off and things either happen or don't happen. look, let's, for a change, let's take a slightly more charitable view. i hope he takes his time, actually. this is a man who's starting from zero on foreign policy. got no foreign policy experience, doesn't know anything about diplomat. the history of our relations with any country. he just don't know what's happening. >> you mean pakistan has a rivalry with india? you mean taiwan is an issue with china? >> yeah, exactly. so, when these people who do have some experience, i'm putting rudy giuliani aside, but mitt romney and general petraeus and others come in, jon huntsman, when he does come in, and they say, you know, this is my view, i hope he listens. i hope he's listening and considering and trying to figure out what kind of foreign policy
he wants to implement. that's the hopeful view. >> this could be a good fishing expedition and we'll end up with who? bob corker, who's chairman of the finance committee? >> any had to guess, corker or petraeus. i agree with you 100%. he's taking his time, making them audition. he did the exact same thing for vice president, if you'll remember. he said, here's who we're thinking about. they all went out there and were very public about trying to get their performances up. this is a good thing. i think he's made very good picks so far. it's not like he picked someone from the second season of "the apprentice" and made them attorney general. >> they're not credible. >> they're all credible people. ben carson as secretary of hud, i mean, he lived in a house, you know, so housing. but other than that, i don't -- >> it's sort of like getting married, you don't have a picture of someone you're going to marry, you fall in love with someone you meet. you don't know who you're going to meet. but he seems to be going from
such bizarre directions. he's got john bolton, a neocon, all the way, a hawk, and goes all the way over to somebody else who seems like they don't have a foreign policy. how do you bring a neo conn -- does he know the difference between the two of them? >> i think he probably knows the difference, maybe not in detail, but you listen to these people. >> we were talking about mitt romn romney. mitt romney was so critical of a muslim ban. >> someone told me he would never take the job as long as there was a muslim ban in the works, because he morally opposed it. >> exactly. even if you call it something else, if it's really a muslim ban, i don't see how -- >> if you look what he's doing, he's not hiring by any logic, he's doing it by skill set. they have different skill sets. i think that's what he sees. the one thing all these people have in common, they're not somebody who's going to say, yes, sir. >> why would he consider a guy like huntsman, who was named ambassador to china by president obama, and then took the job.
and then went and ran against obama for re-election. you have to have some measure of loyalty, some history of loyalty, don't you? you don't run against a guy who gives you a fantastic diplomatic post. >> huntsman is a surprise for a number of reasons. one is, he's pretty moderate. >> and the mitt romney crowd hate him. >> if you say china is everything, nobody knows china better than huntsman. >> he was ambassador to china. >> and as you pointed out in the intro, the list of people who were not critical of trump during the primary season is very, very short. >> let's go to dr. carson, a very likable fellow, obviously a brilliant guy, but he has a history in the world of politics of making very controversial statements about president obama, about race, and a topic not usually brought up, homosexuality. here's a sample.
>> obamacare is really, i think, the worst thing that's happened in this nation since slavery. >> i've been told he said we're living in a jgestapo age? >> like we're living in nazi germany. >> you think being gay is choice? >> absolutely. >> why? >> because a lot of people go into prison straight and when they come out, they come out gay. >> you said obama reminds you of a psychopath? >> yes. >> why? >> because they're extremely smooth, charming people who can tell a lie to your face. >> you have the m.o. of a psychopath. smooth. >> i did notice that ben carson is smooth and charming. but i won't go there. look -- >> the president has said -- he
makes a good case. >> like you, i've known ben carson. i didn't know his political views. a brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon, one of the best of his times. i think he has insane political views. and i would really worry about what he would try to implement as secretary of any department. >> we will see. over the weekend, a little light heartedness, "saturday night live" did it again, they targeted trump's transition effort. let's watch them. >> next i'm going to do what i promised my whole campaign and i'm going to build that swamp. >> don't you mean drain the swamp and build the wall? >> no, that's too many things. just smoosh them together. smoosh! smoosh! >> well, once again, trump didn't like it. he tweeted an aggressive reaction to the show. just tried watching "saturday night live," unwatchable!
totally bias! not funny. and the baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. sad. today trump tweeted in defense of his twitter habit. he wrote, if the press would cover me accurately and honorably, i would have far less reason to tweet. sadly, i don't know if that will happen. john brabender, we are in for a tweeting president. >> i think that's wrong. of all the things he's done recently, to tweet about china makes no sense whatsoever. i think his picks are great, i think he's doing a lot of things great with transition. i wish someone would take that thing away from him. >> you would have to sleep with him to do it. he does it at 5:00 in the morning. >> i'm just saying, it doesn't help. >> let's talk about a real thing. ronald reagan succeed eed as a president because he made a choice to pick a really serious chief of staff, who was willing to say, mr. president, that's not a smart thing to do this week. focus on the economy, on job, on cutting taxes and stay away from
this social issues stuff. does trump have any around him with a bell that says, just don't do that? >> i don't know if reince priebus can do that, has the stature and standing to say -- obviously, he doesn't have the stature or standing to tell him not to tweet. so i don't though -- >> how about a seven-second delay like we have on television, where if you start to tweet and it gets out of hand, it doesn't go. >> or like a white house jamming -- don't have they have control of communications -- seriously?! >> i was an adviser to mike pence. i know reince priebus very well, i know kellyanne very well. the one thing they all have is tact, which is what you have to have with donald trump. you don't go in there and pull him into a room and just blast the hell out of him. what you do is you say, look, and you have to walk him through why this doesn't make sense. he won the election because in the final three weeks he listened to advisers and acted presidential. and i think they'll get him there this way as well, quite frankly. >> well, we'll see. i think it's dangerous for the country to have him in this wacky mode, whatever your
politics. whether you're a big progressive or not, you don't want a president of the united states starting wars on his watch. >> i think we can all agree. >> he has to be careful, because other countries are paying attention. they'll take it seriously. >> they don't know him like we do. anyway, please, when you hear our president talk, don't take it literally. >> well, see, that's a problem. >> can you translate into portuguese. >> might be brilliance in there. >> there is a problem. >> coming up, trump's call with a leader of taiwan wasn't the spur of the moment congratulations call he made it out to be. turns out it was long planned. this is a serious problem. could be an opening gambit in a major shift in strategy over how we deal with china, probably the most important relationship we've got in the world right now. plus, joe biden moments ago said he'll run for president in 2020. we'll get the latest on that in just a moment. we'll see what that means. this is "hardball," the place for politics. world ugly and messy.
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just moments ago, vice president joe biden was up on capitol hill and said he will run for president in 2020. nbc's kelly o'donnell was with the vice president and joins us now. >> okay, kelly, for real, for fun, for what? >> reporter: that's what we're trying to figure out. the vice president was here presiding over the senate while a bill that has now been named in the honor of his son, beau, who died of cancer, a cancer-related treatment bill, so he was here and it was sort of an emotional setting. he came off the senate floor, a small group of us were talking to him, asking him about what did this mean and so forth. i said, you know, these are the final days of your time in office, did that add to the emotion? and he began talking about what it means for him in the senate. and he said, i'm going to run again, and we actually laughed, assuming he was teasing, thinking that his career in public life had come to an end. i'll read exactly what he said. he said, i love this place.
there was a question, are you going to run again? he said, yeah, i am going to run, in 2020. for what, the question. he said, for president. what the hell, man. and i said, mr. vice president, we're going to run with that if you drop something with that. okay, go ahead. circled back around again, mr. vice president, were you kidding? his answer was this. first of all, he paused for four long seconds as he thought about what he was going to say. "i'm not committing to not running. i'm not committing to anything p p. i learned a long time ago that fate has a strange way of intervening." chris, as you understand in the senate, there are places where no cameras were committed. so i recorded the audio on my iphone and i believe we have a clip of that so you can hear it and see what you think based on his voice. >> i'm going to run in 2020. so -- >> for what? >> for president. [ laughter ] >> so, what the hell, man. anyway.
>> we're going to run with that, sir, you know, if you drop that. >> that's okay. that's okay. >> just to be clear, were you kidding about running for president in 2020? >> i'm just, i'm not committing not to run. i'm not committing to anything. i learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening. >> fate has a strange way of intervening. he's not going to claim he's not going to run. it's open to possibility. he seems like he wants us to think he might run. >> that was clearly my impression. his body language, i was looking him right in the eye. he understood, when i said, mr. vice president, we're going to run with that, meaning, if you're messing around having fun, this is going to be a headline, so please think about that. and my sense is that he wants to keep that door open. now, he's 74 years old now. now the facts of the election have played out, it's not even a month since the election. there is, i think, in a world if hillary clinton had been president, certainly he would not have challenged her for re-election, but now with donald
trump a republican, about to take office, might he reconsider it? so, it is tantalizing delicious for those of us who like politics and have watched biden's long time in public life and how passionate he is about it. we also saw that he really struggled mightily about the decision not to run in the primary against hillary clinton and bernie sanders, and it had a great deal to do with the loss of his son and the healing his family needed. he was teary-eyed talking about beau with us just a short time ago. so my takeaway is that he wasn't kidding. it's not that commitment to run, but he wanted us to know, he has not closed that door. that was my sense of it, standing right next to him. >> you know what would be great, kelly, if they would take a poll in the next couple of weeks, some big pollster, gallup or somebody else, and asked people who might run, who should run, i bet you he leads the pack and that would be a nice present for joe biden. i want to see where it plays on the front page tomorrow. top of the fold or bottom of the
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this was a courtesy call. the democratically elected president of taiwan called to congratulate the president-elect. -- >> so nothing new should be read into it? >> well, i don't think so. i think i would just say to our counterparts in china that this was, this was a moment of courtesy, the president-elect talked to president tsai two weeks ago in the same manner. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was vice president-elect mike pence yesterday on "meet the press." he was downplaying, of course, a telephone conversation we're all talking about now between president-elect donald trump and the president of taiwan, in what is being described as a breach of diplomatic protocol. it's always dangerous with the chinese. it's not about matters, it's about war.
"the washington post" reported that the call was an intentionally provocative move and was the product of months of new strategy with taiwan. chinese considers taiwan to be part of china. trump is now the first u.s. president to have spoken with the taiwanese leaders ever since way back when in the '70s. china responded -- '79, it was -- by calling the conversation a petty move. but trump defended himself and the phone call in a flurry of tweets over the weekend, saying the president of taiwan called me today to wish me congratulations on winning the presidency. thank you. and then he goes, interesting how the united states sells taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment, but i should not accept a congratulatory call. did china ask us if it was okay to devalue their currency, making it hard for their companies to compete, heavily tax their products going into our country. the u.s. doesn't tax them, or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the south china
sea. i don't think so. that's trump. rising the whole thing up. andy kard was white house chief of staff around j. bush and andrea, thank you. we've avoided fighting with russia since the cold war start going. and we've also voided being too menacing towards china, because it's a big country with a lot of people. and we saw what happened in the korean war, where we just couldn't match their numbers. that they're willing to throw into combat. so we've tried to avoid that. are we avoiding trouble with china right now or looking for it? >> i think we're looking a bigger deal out of this than we should. and i don't think it was wrong for president-elect trump to talk to the president of taiwan. but the united states does not recognize taiwan the way we recognize china with two systems. one china, two systems. that's been a very delicate balance for a very long time. i'm not sure that
president-elect trump understand that balance in the conversation that he had. but i don't fault him for accepting the phone call. and yes, i'm sure it was a contrived phone call. i'm sure that it was set up, but -- >> he wasn't being punked. >> but there should be recognition. we made a commitment to taiwan a very long time ago. we do offer some protection to them. and we do have a relationship with them. but it's a relationship that is not meant to offense china. and that's a diplomatic balance. so this is unusual diplomacy. i had the privilege of representing the president of the united states at the president's inauguration in taiwan. i did not represent the people of the united states or represent the united states government p government, i represented the president. and that is a balance that has been such that we've maintained a good relationship with beijing and with taipei, and is not an easy thing to do. so words matter and i always tell the president, or a
candidate for president, taste your words before you spit them out. the diplomats help you taste those words. >> anyway, i always wonder, what speed does china move at? do they get roused up or think long term, make decisions and act long-term and don't worry about these little flea-flicker things like a phone call. >> it's a little of both. they're looking at a long game here and have been studying trump for years and have been trying to figure out what kind of leader would he be should he win. and so, they will continue to do that. and look at -- look far into the future, at the relationship with the united states, that they expect to have 30 years from now, when they see themselves as our full military and economic peer, not only in the pacific, but in the world. and are ready to challenge the united states much more frontally, three decades from now. they don't want to do that now. but, on the flea-flicker point, yeah, this really ticked them
off. and they expressed that first, i thought, very sort of amusingly to president obama, their first call was to the white house, saying, hey, how come you can't keep your guy in line here. of course, obama had nothing to do with it, whatsoever. but in the chinese way of thinking, obama's the head of state. he should be able to -- >> do you think somebody in the media that has a big name, today's walter lipman or whoever that might be, should put out a column around the world, an apb, like what the police puts out, don't take what trump says seriously for a few months, because it isn't that serious. >> trump has tried to do that himself. >> corey lewandowski over the weekend said, don't take him literally. you in the press take him literally. it's not fair. >> what are we supposed to do? >> you've got a word processor, take notes, and go with words. >> it's a big challenge. it will be a challenge for everyone who is working around donald trump. but i also think that he's
reflecting what's happening in the world. we are a world without discipline right now when it comes to war. >> white house press secretary josh earnest was asked about that phone call today. here's what trump had to say. >> i think it's hard to determine exactly what the aim was of the president-elect, and the vice president-elect and his campaign manager were, with when asked about this over the weekend, were told that this was a courtesy call and that the president-elect was merely returning that call. "the washington post" today tells a different story with sop trump aides indicating that this was a long-planned call and that this is part of a broader strategic effort. it's unclear exactly what the strategic effort is, what the aim of this strategic effort is, and it's unclear what exactly potential benefit could be experienced by the united
states, china, or taiwan, but i'll leave that to them to explain. >> i've got to ask you something now that i've got you here, andy kard, i like to grab people. andy kard, what happened to the republican party in new england? i was counting the senators from new england anymore that are republican, you've got susan collins left. and all of the states are women -- >> great governors, charlie baker in massachusetts, chris sununu coming in in new hampshire. >> okay, okay, what happened to the republican representation in the united states senate from new england? it's gone! >> we need more of it, yes, i admit that. >> what happened? >> well, the republican party has got to get back -- >> it's moved south. >> -- where it's an inclusive party rather than an exclusive party. and donald trump's victory actually proved to open some doors that hadn't been opened for a long time. if you look across the nation, he attracted people that haven't been part of the republican establishment for a long time and got engaged. that will help to redefine the
party. the most popular governor in the united states today happens to be charlie baker, a republican governor in massachusetts. >> i thought you were going to be governor. >> you were almost alone. >> andy kard, who had the distinction of being the chief of staff, which is one of the most important positions in american life with president bush, the second. andy, thanks for coming. and anne gearan, thank you. where republicans and democrats can work together. this is my dream. i think there are things like infrastructure and things like that that they can actually do together. after the bitter campaign, what issues can they work together on? this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. the death toll in friday night's warehouse fire has risen to 36. officials fear more bodies could be still in the rubble. tribal leaders are asking nosh-sue protesters to leaf the north dakota camp where they've been demonstrating for months now. the standing rock sioux successfully blocked the dakota access pipeline from being built near the reservation after the army corps of engineers denied a permit. drivers in portland, oregon, are taking caution, snow is creating a slippery situation in some areas. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." in the aftermath of the most contentious elections in memory,
both sides of the aisle, democrats and republicans, are trying to meet somewhere in the middle. according to the pew research center, contempt for the opposing side has been on the rise. nearly 60% of republicans have a very unfavorable view of democrats. and nearly 55% of democrats have a very unfavorable view of republicans. the group no labels hopes to be the antidote to the rising partisan divide, by bringing republicans, democrats, and independents together to pass problem-solving legislation. over the weekend, there was a glimmer of hope in that regard, here's what the speaker of the house, paul ryan, and the democratic leader in the house, nancy pelosi, had to say. >> i really think we have a great opportunity in front of us to fix problems, produce results, and improve people's lives. that's why we're here in the first place. that's what's going to matter at the end of the day. >> we will engage where we can and we will oppose where we cannot. >> joining me now is adam kinzinger. he's a republican member of the
congress from illinois and he's with the no-labels problem solvers caucus. congressman, thank you for trying on this one. i would like to ask you about two issues that i think can be dealt with quickly. i want to go to the one that people think is complicated, i don't think it is. immigration. every country in the world has a work permit to work in that country. i can't go to swaziland tomorrow and just move in and start running a business. you've got to get permission. so you should have permission, no matter how liberal the system is. i think we have to all agree, every country has a right to limit to some extent who comes in the country. not to be discriminatory, just the numbers. and then you can say, if you're going to work here and not become a citizen, you need a work permit. if you want to become a citizen, that'll take longer. here's the question. why's it so hard. why can't they just do that? why do we have to talk about walls and deportation. the real problem is illegal hiring is in a magnet in this country for people to come here and once they're here, no one
wants to throw them out unless they're felons. so can't we agree? >> i think the way you phrased it and when you talk about kind of a comprehensive, it's gotten a bad wrap, but a comprehensive reform to immigration, including border security, making sure that's important, but figuring out what to do with those here and finding a system that works on the work side of it. it's an 80% american issue. so i think, you know, right now, it's kind of contention in terms of, we have to build a wall thing, and then, you know, was just contention on both sides. i think when it settles down and we kind of take a deep breath, that's an issue we can attack. but i think there's a lot of big issues we can attack first, and i think we're going to have a really good opportunity to do that. >> well, 12-foot walls lead to 13-foot ladders, right? >> yeah. >> so i don't think anybody thinks there's a wall high enough -- the chinese wall didn't stop anybody. let me ask you about this other one. i do think it comes down to hiring. people come here for a job, if you can get one legally. my job is, everybody that's here now with work permits, no more
deportations except for felons, give people work permits. if they want to become a citizen, they've got to get in line behind people from poland and everyone else who wants to come here. that's my chris matthews theory. let's talk about infrastructure. we have an almost $20 trillion gdp. we're getting close to that range. what would we needle in terms of a real make america great infrastructure campaign? what would it take? >> i think you'll have to have a bipartisan buy-in on this. this is why it's so important to say, republicans, we took the chamber out here, we have the presidency now, we can't just focus on running only our agenda through. we're going to have to reach radio across the aisle. because on infrastructure, we can all agree that, you know, look, it's in the constitution that it's the role of the federal government to provide post offices and post roads, which is obviously infrastructure. the problem is, how do we pay for it? and i think there's really ways to get this done, whether it's bringing some of the corporate profits that are parked overseas and taxing them at a lower rate, or even things like having grown up discussions about how we're paying for that infrastructure in terms of revenue collection.
i think if we get some courage out here, a lot of people have courage, but we're going to need some big courage to tackle these big issues and i think it can easily be done, we have to be willing to do it. >> how do you overcome the fact that democrats don't want to spend money and republicans aren't trusted to spend it. >> you have to be honest with the american people. so, you know, if, for instance, we have a program where we're spending money and need transparency to show where it is, i think we have to very aggressively try to get rid of -- >> i'm with you. >> yeah, and you have all of these different programs that are redundant. let's combine them together and make government effective and efficient and i think we'll earn the trust of the american people. >> people want to see what gets built, not just where you spent the money. the problem with the obama stimulus package, no one can think of what gets built. it gets peeed away, if you will, to use a bad phrase. up next, when we come back, the "hardball" roundtable will be here with the latest twists and
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it's expanding, because of, at the moment, there are no, there's not a finite list of finalists, only because he will interview with additional candidates earlier this week. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was kellyanne conway with the sunglasses on her head, yesterday at donald trump's lightning search for a secretary of state. well, new candidates for the job include exxonmobil ceo tex tillerson, james stavridis, and
jon huntsman. jay newton small and jeremy peters, a political reporter with "the new york times." speak with authority. who's got the best shot to be secretary of state at this hour? >> the best shot, it changes hour to hour. the trump camp is very much a camp divided at this point. there are the lines that have been drawn for the last couple of weeks, where -- >> you mean the factions? >> there are those who are pro-romney. those who think, give it to rudy, he's been a loyal supporter all along and adored by the grassroots. some want to see a military figure like a general, like general kelly in there, or the huntsman thing was curious to me today. because that to me showed that there is real division in the ranks. that didn't leak intentionally. that leaked accidentally. >> is that just to tick off huntsman -- tick off romney, because they hate each other. >> it's true. that would be the ultimate way to needle romney for not
supporting him. i assume this circle is widening because trump is not sold on any of the four people we were told were finalists. the longer it goes on, the less likely it is he goes to giuliani or romney. >> how about someone traditionally qualified? is there anybody on that list? >> huntsman was reasonably positive about trump, when most of the establishment republican was not. he was not a never-trumper. he spoke in a positive way about trump, early on, before he even started winning things. so while he wouldn't be a favorite of conservative republicans, maybe that gives him a little bit of traction. >> let's talk loyalty. huntsman was named ambassador to china, a hell of a post, by barack obama. he then quit the post and ran against barack obama. would you like that as a story line as someone who's applying for a job, jay? >> so are you saying that one of these guys are going to go ahead and challenge trump? >> no, but i wouldn't think he would have a loyalty reputation. >> well, look, he named nikki haley to his cabinet, who is a u.n. ambassador.
he was definitely a huge critic of donald trump's. so -- and there are -- and part of what he wants here, to some degree, is somebody who can bridge the establishment. somebody who can talk to both sides of the party. >> he wants someone who looks the party, too. >> boy, you are right where i'm at. i think this guy's appearances -- it's like, with all the women candidates, all very attractive. it's the way he looks at things. trump tower is gold. everything about his family is gold, and everything has to look right. >> these men they project strength and virility and especially -- >> swank. >> petraeus, i was told after he met with petraeus and the same was true of john kelly, he admires his appearance. to them, they embody what trump sees in a trump secretary of state. >> you know who's like this? you know who's like this? nixon. he was in love with john connelly, because he looked like secretary of the treasury. you're laughing at me! you think i'm off something here?
>> no! >> this is a television guy. >> he looks like a television guy. who looks like -- romney, huntsman. >> they look the part. anyway, let's talk about something. we all like uncle joe. joe biden said he's going to run for president in 2020. >> we all love joe biden, but this seems unlikely to me. >> i mean, 2020, he'll be 78 years old. that's got to be the person ever running for -- >> he'll just be beating the house leadership at the turn. because they're all older than him. clyburn's older than him, pelosi's older than him. they're all older than biden. >> really? >> don't argue with me. i just checked it, because they were taking heat in this case. 77, 76, 78. it's unbelievable. >> the democrats have to eventually move on to a new generation. >> when would that be? >> this might be the moment. >> maybe after a huge bruising
loss. >> i don't know. jeremy, who's going to be the next democratic nominee for president? >> i don't think it's going to be biden. something tells me tonight this was more about being caught up in the emotion of that moment. a bill that just passed that wa dedicated to his son and i think that could have gotten to him. >> and i think his son would have asked him to run. what a great guy. joe biden, i hope you take care of yourself. up next, these three will tell me something i don't know. ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ ♪ gaviscon is a proven heartburn remedy that gives you fast-acting, long-lasting relief. it immediately neutralizes acid
you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. we're back with the roundtable and susan tell me something i don't know. >> i interviewed tony blair this afternoon and he left downey street when he was 24. his advice to bill clinton is, you need to find something you feel really passionate about and keep doing it so you have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. >> this is advice to hillary or bill clinton? >> this is to bill. this is advice to barack obama leaving office at a reasonably early age. >> i think i like hugh grant better, but go ahead. >> harry reid and mitch mcconnell are the two leaders who hated each other and rarely
talked. i heard from both of their staffs when they do talk on the floor of the senate one thing they could always talk about was a mutual love of the nats. that's the one thing they bonded overall the way to the end. >> that's something i don't want to know. i'm just kidding. go ahead. >> talk of jon huntsman as secretary of state is probably not going to happen. the real talk is what jon huntsman might do in 2018 and may primary orrin hatch. >> if hatch runs again? >> that's what some people are speculating, absolutely. he would be a really strong contender. hatch is beloved in utah but he's getting up there in age. >> i think beloved may be overstating. >> you're biased. >> susan, thank you, dear. you match up with the -- what are these flowers? >> poinsettias. >> and jeremy peters and jay, my paul. when we return, a shameless display by the people vying to be picked by trump for any job.
you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a rodent ride-along. [dad] alright, buddy, don't forget anything! [kid] i won't, dad... [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is literally crawling, but there is some movement on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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particular, i'm just playing the field. and so the beat goes on, the shameless cowtowing continues. does donald trump want a professional, an ambitious a neocon. nobody knows if trump knows the difference between the two or cares that he doesn't. that's "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> i think the conversation that happened this week with the president of taiwan was a courtesy call. >> first it was a courtesy call. today, reports trump was intentionally provoking the world power. >> china has created the greatest theft in the history of the united states. >> the high stakes of donald trump's first global feud as president-elect. plus, what was al gore doing at trump tower