Skip to main content

tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  September 14, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT

12:00 am
vistigile organ. if she wins, who runs the campaign, who funds snit what does the republican party that's so horrified by her do in the general election? i love election years. that does it for us tonight. "hardball" is up next. good night. the eye of newt. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in boston. leading off tonight, going tribal. newt gingrich and the notorious political scavenger has drudged up his dirtiest shovel fall. the political strategist says the president of the united states is actually a zombie, animated by the ghost of his african father leading a kenyan quest against the white oppressors. the former speaker of the house said that this is the most
12:01 am
stunning, most protective model. he called barack obama a con man who managed to trick america into electing him, quote -- what if obama is so outside of our comprehension that only if you understand kenyan, anti-colonial behavior can you begin to piece together his actions. that's what newt gingrich said this weekend. i want to know, can we go any further down this suer of hate. isn't it enough to fight over taxes and spending and wars? do we have to attack the very americanness of the president, who brought this country such honor by his inspiring rise to office. plus, we heard john boehner say he would be willing to extend the bush tax cuts for the middle class. sounds like he's willing to compromise. maybe, or maybe he's luring democrats into a trap. we're going to ask the "hardball" strategists. also, the big political story in tomorrow's primaries, may come out of delaware, where a sarah palin/jim demint conservative may be poised to score the biggest upset of the season. a win by christine o'donnell
12:02 am
would be good news for the tea party but it could, it could cost a chance to take over the republican sen participate and how meg whitman's madmen managed to rip the top off a fight between two top democrats. jerry brown and bill clinton. let me finish tonight with the inspiring sight i saw this weekend in front of independence hall. let's start with newt gingrich's tribal attack on the president. "newsweek's" harry fineman is an msnbc political analyst. i think you have to go back to almost pagan rights to find this kind of commentary by a major american official. talking about obama basically being a kenyan, anticolonial-type who's operating as his father's pawn. he's accusing him of conning us to elect him president. what do you make of newt, howard? >> i've been covering newt for many years. he's a bomb thrower. he's a guy who knows the weak point to attack. what's interesting to me here is
12:03 am
he feels free to say anything at this point. it's a kind of free fire zone within the conservative movement. and newt, who's always trying to say the most outrageous thing and that goes back many, many years, now has moved from saying outrageous things about the ethics of the house members in the democratic leadership 15, 18 years ago, to saying these things about a man that newt himself has no evidence for what he's alleging here. he really has absolutely none. his facts are wrong. as mr. weigel pointed out on his page and i'm just really not surprised, but kind of depressed by it. >> david, you covered this kind of spiritual territory. ideological territory. he's accusing him basically of being a zombie. saying his father hated the british white guys. his son is kind of a zombie like figure. in fact governed by a ghost.
12:04 am
this is the kind of crazy stuff that franklin graham, reverend franklin graham got into saying the seed of islam comes through the father, where you have a christian evangelical buying into a theory of heredity. you know, my father voted republican every election i think he was in except maybe one philly local election. three of my brothers are republican. you cannot predict behavior from the father. americans don't buy that. we don't ask what your father did. we ask who are you. there's something really un-american about this stuff. i don't know what to call it. your thoughts, david. >> no, it was strange. >> strange? >> newt said this to me and robert coast is a great reporter for the "national review" and i could see a glint in his eye when he was saying this. he knew he was going to get a new cycle or two of people analyzing what the heck he meant. just him getting the word kenyan into the news reminds me of that old lbj expression, make the sob deny it. on your show two years ago when
12:05 am
hillary advisers started using the word cocaine. very deliberately to get us to talk about cocaine. >> you're chuckling, david. you think this is funny? you think it's funny to de-americanize somebody. this is what did years ago, you take an american -- you want to see the democrats do this to arnold schwarzenegger and talk about being an austrian and what maybe somebody in his family might have done once, do you want to go after the indian americans have done so well in the politics. nikki haley the governor of louisiana. are we going to go to this kind of tribal politics? it's not funny, david. >> i was just laughing in recognition, how obvious it is newt gingrich is doing here. i don't think it's funny at all. this argument he's taking is on the cover of "forbes" magazine. why is that on the cover of "forbes" magazine? it's an incredibly flimsy article. >> the republican magazine and the republicans are out in full force. let's take a look here. steve forbes may have an interest in this. gingrich was reacting to a "forbes" cover story -- as you said, david.
12:06 am
incredibly be the united states is being ruled according to the dreams of a luo tribesman of the 1950s. this philandering, inebriated -- the incarnation of his dreams and his son. the son milwaukees it happen. he admits he's only living out his faith's dream. the invisible fire provides the inspiration and the son gets the job done. america today is governed by a ghost. howard? >> well, that's -- >> newt gingrich believing, he said this is brilliant. >> yes, i know. >> he said this is stunning. >> yeah. >> he said this is a perfect predictor of the behavior. >> all right, well, i think david was that the event the other night, last saturday. and my sense of it is that newt was trying to impress the people around him waiting for pearls of attack wisdom from newt gingrich.
12:07 am
but the article by dennis de souza has tons of inaccuracy and misstated assumptions in it. it's a dream/nightmare of the right about obama. it's not really about obama. it's less about barack obama, president barack obama than it is about the fears and the nightmares and the resentments of the people who write articles like that. it is more of a window into desouza than barack obama. it has almost nothing to do with barack obama himself. yes, he wrote the book "dreams from my father," but if you read that book, it's not about what danish de souza says it's about. >> who was it that said the other day they know less about this guy than anybody? >> haley barbour. >> haley barbour. now newt goes after him for having written an autobiography. it seems like there's no way this guy can can win the argument of who he is. >> no, and this is a myth too they don't know this about him. if you go back and read barack obama's debut speech to the
12:08 am
democratic convention in 2004, the first line of his speech after he got through throat clearing is about his father was a tribesman in kenya who herded goats. this has never been secret. he's been more open about this part of his life, his history, his relationship with his father. go back and read george bush's autobiography. or about bill clinton before he ran for president. obama's been honest. it's just that they want people like gingrich, de souza want to keep poking a stick and hinting that there's some secret to the way he's governing. there is no secret. if this guy appointed larry summers and tim geithner and a bunch of mainstream american this is -- this is dragging our politics -- >> chris, the harvard law school has a lot more to do with the way barack obama governs than kenya does, but citing the harvard law school has kind of lost its oomph. since john roberts is an alumnus of the harvard law school.
12:09 am
>> what is this thing about inebriated? we've had a lot of top americans we've had a lot of successful, top americans that have overcook maybe as part of the reason to rise up as young men. certainly bill clinton, ronald reagan had fathers with alcohol problems and overcame that. difficult upbringing. here he is with the approval of newt gingrich, going back and calling his father a drunk. i mean, what is the point? here's gibbs. let the white house have their say. here they are in response to this stuff. let's listen to robert gibbs. >> i think newt gingrich knows that he's trying to, he's trying to appeal to the fringe of people that don't believe the president was born in this country. you would normally expect better, but look at his political season and most people will say anything and newt gingrich does that on a generally -- on a regular basis. >> david, it seems to me that gingrich has a history of finding racist on the part of liberals.
12:10 am
gone arch shirley sherrod who was working for the agricultural department. calling her a black racist. he referred to sotomayor who was named to the supreme court and confirmed as a woman -- a latino woman racist. he seems to like to point that way. is this to give cover to something on his side? what's he up to here? why is he also saying racist, racist, racist, about minorities? >> well it's something that he didn't do quite as much of when he had position of power. it was something as howard pointed out, he did when he was a bomb thrower. he sees his job as getting on tv, getting arguments on to tv and into the discourse which he's doing here. it really isn't befitting the statesman, the speaker of the house. this almost reminds me of rand paul talking about civil rights act, as the kind of theory. there's things, it's perfectly
12:11 am
fine -- well maybe not perfectly fine. these are things that are okay to dish about in an intellectual level but these are, you know, weird allegations to make about the president with a lot of innuendo that are really not befitting these politics and i don't think that he make that connection. he's so used to being a political celebrity they don't think that he puts these things together anymore. >> howard, you and i talk politics a lot to understand the way people play the game. let's talk about this, as awful and as evil that it it may number a game. could it be he's attacking barack obama when he's down? the polls are tough now. the right direction, wrong direction are terrible. president obama's approval rating is down at an all-time low. the democrats are facing a -- so why not hit his head while he's down. why don't you hit him in the cement while we've got him down. this argument may be useful two years from now. could it be this is an insurance policy? the unemployment rate could drop, the economy could get better in two years. barack obama could recover. but this smear will stick, and this is what they're hitting him with when they got him down. that's my thought p it's purely political but that's what newt is, i think. >> well, i think newt is
12:12 am
visoral. he's a visceral attack guy. he wasn't very good as a speaker because he wasn't an affirmative character as much as a brilliant attack guy. here, he's doing the dirtiest of dirty work for the conservative cause and the conservative coalition. why he feels he needs to do this, i'm not sure. he used to be more focused on economics and issues like that. than he is on this. even though he came out of georgia, he was seen almost as a progressive in certain respects, for his -- the flavor of what he said 15, 18 years ago. why he's doing this now, i don't know. but you're right. it's to keep obama down and to try to turn the virtues of biography around on obama. let's not forget that obama sold himself originally and was embraced for it. i think the republicans understand that his biography is the strongest thing about barack obama. it has an only in america, uplifting quality to it. they can't stand the idea that barack obama has successfully
12:13 am
appropriated an aspect of the american ideal and they want to deny it to him even though it's two years after the election in preparation for the next election. i think that that is absolutely right what is going on. >> the american exceptionalism, which he exemplifies, brings to life. the only country in the world where you can come to a name like barack hussein obama in a middle of the terrorist fight and the american people will say we've looked enough at you, we're going to make you our leader. only here do we do that. that's what inspired me from the beginning about our country and now, to turn it inside out. also they're turning it inside out about our country. can't accept the simulation and that's the opposite of who we are. howard fineman, thank you. up next, the white house is escalating its words with john boehner. this is back to safer ground. let's talk about something really wonderful intermural american for once. boehner says he'd be willing to extend the tax cuts if that's the only choice. question is, is the senate going
12:14 am
to be in the way of that decision? we'll ask our strategist what boehner's up to. what's the politics? he looks like he's softening up. is he just getting smarter? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. stufy, make the call. ♪ [ dialing ] ♪ [ dialing ] [ female announcer ] think thousands of women can't agre challenge that with olay. in an independent study of 50,000 consumers presented by better homes and gardens, olay was voted best across facial cleansing and anti-aging categories. woman to woman - we think you'll agree. olay.
12:15 am
imam feisal abdul rauf the leader of the islamic group trying to build a center two blocks from ground zero, now says that he'd never have proposed if he knew that the backlash that was coming. he says changing the location now would send an uproar. strength and radicals there and send a message that islam is under attack here in america. still a new quinnipiac poll shows -- two-thirds of americans say it should not be built as planned.
12:16 am
12:17 am
if the only option i have is to vote for -- some those tax reductions, i'll vote for them. but i've been making the point now for months that we need to extend all the current rates for all american.
12:18 am
>> welcome back to "hardball." with that statement on "face the nation" john boehner set up a fight with the white house to get control politically the tax and of course by extensions of the midterm elections, who comes out the winner? this is fascinating and i don't know the answer. that's the question for the strategist steve mcmahon. is the democratic strategist. while you're laughing there the loudest there, tom harris. so explain to me, you know, everybody knows that there's more votes for people who make less than $250,000 a year. that's the way that economics work. ome a few people at the top. so what's he doing here? is he just saying i will not get in the waive middle-class people -- and by the way, middle class extends to the highest of $250, that's a lot. so let's just say that he doesn't want to be the big guy. what's boehner up to? >> well, what he's saying is that he's rather have tax cuts for the middle class than no tax cut at all. what he also repeatedly said in that interview is that he doesn't think that that's what the choice is going to come down to. republicans are pushing. boehner has been pushing for an
12:19 am
extension across the board of all of the '01 and '03 tax cuts and as far as the political calculation, you, yourself know, chris that class warfare arguments almost never works in american politics. the dnc is working overboard right now, trying to turn this into a referendum on class warfare, but it's just not working. all you need for proof is to get out of washington and come to a place like florida, where i am now, and look at a candidate like alex sink, the democratic nominee for governor in florida. she came out for an extension of all the bush tax cuts. so it's not just republicans. a lot of prominent democrats agree with this position as well. >> let me go back -- let me go back to steve. steve, why do you think what's going to with boehner? >> because he understands
12:20 am
republicans' vulnerability, they look out for fat cats, wealthy people and wall street. what he's doing here is i think waving the white flag. basically saying, i'm not going do that to my members. maybe them walk the plank for tax cuts on millionaires, i'm not going to make them walk the plank on borrowing $700 billion in order to do it to the wealthiest americans. i think the interesting thing here is what it does to mitch mcconnell and some of those down scale voters in order to get re-elected. particularly the two women senators from maine. >> let's talk politics. >> steve, steve -- >> let's talk politics. suppose there's a vote on the floor sometime before the election and one of the options is a two-year full extension for everybody. and the other option is to only extend the tax cuts for people below $250,000. would the first one win, and therefore, knock the other one out of the game? steve, could you stop democrats from contributing to a 218-point victory which i would assume get all of the republican votes to
12:21 am
218 to basically extend the tax cuts? how could you stop it from passing before it gets to the floor? >> i don't think it will get to the floor. hold on a second. you asked a very good question and it would be a difficult question if not for the fact that the speaker controls the flow of legislation to the floor. what will get to the floor now with john boehner's support is a tax cut for everybody that makes $250,000 and under and what won't get to the floor is what john boehner would like. it might get to the floor in the senate and the republicans will have to defend tax cuts. >> i agree. but steve -- back to todd. i'm not going to make a fight for it but you're already laughing. it seems that boehner has got himself in a position, okay, i'll vote for it if it's the only thing that we've got. give me one other option. let me have an up and down on everybody getting a tax cut. your thoughts, todd? >> he certainly has not waved a white flag and i'm only laughing because the class warfare argument from steve is very unbecoming but i think it's
12:22 am
funny. >> it's fiscal discipline, todd. >> -- when -- when, when you've got more and moor when you've got more and more democrats every day coming out in support of extending all of the tax cuts, democrats like alex cink here in florida, the more the dnc tries to turn this into a class warfare argument the more that they're going to be undercutting their own candidates. i think that's really funny. >> the deference to todd, here's that ad that he keeps talking about. the dnc ad that goes after boehner. let's listen. >> do you think republicans have no plan for the economy? it's not true. john boehner opposes funding for government jobs. jobs for teachers, for cops, for firefighters. boehner has a different plan. tax cuts for businesses. those that shift jobs and profits overseas. saving multinational corp rations $10 billion. >> do you think public employees are popular, steve? do you think that's a good ad to be running? i keep hearing people nashing their teeth that public employees are working wou, maki
12:23 am
more than the regular people in the country. what are the politics of this? >> first of all, politics are going after john boehner when most people in america don't know who john boehner is, which is questionable in my mind. >> i agree with you there. >> police officers and firefighters and teachers are popular and contributing members in their community and they consistently test well. the reason they're in that ad is because people don't want them run off of the job because of budget cuts. >> from a pure strategy standpoint, you know, both steve and i make tv ads, i agree. firemen, teachers, nurses, they're all very popular. for the average american though, if you talk about reducing the number of government workers, that's -- they'd say amen to. >> that's not what the ad does. >> this is why the people don't trust ads. what's the difference between a cop, a fireman and a teacher who
12:24 am
are working for the government and government workers, todd? >> here's the difference -- >> i'm sorry, steve. >> okay, there's a huge difference. cops, firemen, teachers are on the front lines, actually, i think most people think that they actually earn their salaries. the average government bureaucrat who sits behind a desk and pushes paper, we have too many of them -- oh, please. they'd support an across-the-board cut. >> steve, would you defend the average worker that doesn't get seen, how come they look so bad? how come the unseen public employee is hated, but the seen public employee is sort of liked? >> well it's understanding the job that they do. people clearly understand the job, teach or firefighter does. when you talk about the faceless, nameless, government bureaucrat, nobody understands. but when you explain to them
12:25 am
it's the person who is picking up your garbage every day, or the person who is making sure that people drive with driver's licenses and auto insurance, and then they appreciate them a little bit more. but generally it's a slur. the government bureaucrat is definitely a slur. >> driver's license. i'm glad steve has not come out in favor of huge expansions of people who sit around the dmv and do nothing all day. >> bottom line. bottom line we get on election eve. the people go to vote. which two realities will they face? will they have the democrats saying the republicans held up the tax cut for the middle class because all they care about is the rich or will republicans be able to say all the democrats want to do is futs around with this bill. now your taxes are going up. todd, you first. what will they be saying? >> anytime we're talk about taxes, it's a good issue for republicans. i think the democrats are going to cave and come our way. >> gift full tax cut. go ahead, your thoughts, steve. what will the voter be thinking
12:26 am
when he or she votes? >> everyone's taxes are going up because republicans insisted that millionaires and billionaires should get the same kind of treatment that average working class families will get and i think that the republicans will lose it and i think that john boehner knows it which is why he waved the white flag on sunday. >> you know you're not going to get the 60 votes in the senate. what is the truth is here. boehner knows it. all three of us know it. in the end, they won't get the tax cuts that they want because the democrats won't be able to get the 60 votes. i'm not sure you're right, steve, going to throw in the white towel. what is it, the white towel. >> white flag. >> white towel. white flag. thank you, todd and steve. up next, john boehner is hearing about his smoking habit. wait'll you hear this conversation between bob schaefer of "face the nation" and a major political figure about, bob licked the habbist smoking and now he wants this other guy to do it. what is this a crusade from schaefer? if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes,
12:27 am
you may also have very high triglycerides -- too much fat in the blood. it's a serious medical condition. lovaza, along with diet, effectively lowers very high triglycerides in adults but has not been shown to prevent heart attacks or strokes. lovaza starts with omega-3 fish oil that's then purified and concentrated. it's the only omega-3 medication that's fda-approved. you can't get it at a health food store. lovaza isn't right for everyone. tell your doctor if you're allergic to fish, have other medical conditions and about any medications you're taking, especially those that may increase risk of bleeding. blood tests are needed before and during treatment. in some, ldl or bad cholesterol may increase. possible side effects include burping, infection, flu-like symptoms, upset stomach, and change in sense of taste. ask your doctor about lovaza, the prescription that starts in the sea. [ air whooshing ]
12:28 am
[ crunch! ] [ male announcer ] 11 grams of delicious whole grain. one mighty toasted crunch. new wheat thins crunch stix. the crunch is calling. new wheat thins crunch stix. r eakout session is got the gecko t-shirt... "4 million drivers switched!" gecko water bottle... notebook... chamois... gecko: sir, i feel a little bit uncomfortable with all... you know... with all this. i mean, it's not about me. should be about how geico's the third-largest car insurance company in the nation. things like that. boss: oh, of course! we're not gonna get carried away. gecko: uh...yeah... all right as long as we don't overdo it. vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
12:29 am
12:30 am
back to "hardball." and now "the sideshow." is john boehner calling it quits with his smoking habit, that is. watch what he told bob schieffer yesterday on "face the nation." >> mr. boehner, i'm going to ask you this question because i'm not objective about this. i'm a cancer survivor. i used to be a heavy smoker. do you still smoke? >> i do. bob, tobacco was a legal product in america. and the american people have a right to decide for themselves whether they want to partake or not. >> if you should become speaker, you could set a good example for the country by saying i'm not going to smoke. maybe you could get the president. i understand he smokes, too. maybe the two of you could find a way to try to stop smoking. that would be a good thing, wouldn't it? >> bob, i appreciate your suggestion. >> bob, a noble effort. let boehner be boehner and obama, obama. now to the big number. as the saying goes, it appears the cake is baked this november.
12:31 am
per analyst nate silver. what are the chances that republicans will gain control of the house come november 2nd by nightfall? 67% the republicans have a 2-in-3 shot of taking over the house of representatives. tonight's fast rising big bad number. up next republican mike castle was a shoo-in many thought to win the senate seat in delaware. until the tea party challenger rolled over him in the polls. are the republicans on the verge of losing a race that they had in the bag? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. ♪ where'd you learn to do that so well. ♪ the new cadillac srx. the cadillac of crossovers. cadillac. the new standard of the world.
12:32 am
i look great in my wedding dress with the help of your amazing light soups. now we're adding even bigger pieces of white-meat chicken. oh, so when's the big day? oh, we got married years ago. but the point is, i fit in it. well, good for you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do,
12:33 am
then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah. announcer: there's an easier way. create your own business site with intuit websites. just choose a style, then customize, publish and get found. sweet. get a 30-day free trial at
12:34 am
i'm lynn berry. here's what's happening. pacific gas & electric company is setting aside $100 million for the families
12:35 am
of last week's deadly explosion in northern california. the company says the money is for day-to-day expenses and comes about w no strings attached. the so-called christmas day bomber have suggested that he may plead guilty to some charges. and this time, it's igor that's the monster. hurricane igor has grown into a powerful category 4 storm, packing 150 mile-an-hour winds. it's expected to continue to grow and could hit bermuda dead on as a major category 5 hurricane. that's a check of the news. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." the republican primary in delaware, the little state of
12:36 am
delaware, tomorrow could mark big implications for the republicans nationwide and their ability to take over the u.s. senate, which is possible. republican mike castle spinning off a tough challenge with christine o'donnell. and polls show she's in the race of his life. and that's a race that's too close to call. here's a couple of ads that reflect what's going on there. let's watch. >> do you recognize this delaware politician? here's some hints. according to "the news journal," she didn't pay thousands in income taxes, had to be sued by a university for thousands of unpaid bills. defaulted on her mortgage. she ran up a huge campaign debt and left vendors and staff unpaid while using campaign funds to pay her own rent and personal expenses. say hello to christine o'donnell. >> and sarah palin of alaska has recorded an ad and robocall for christine o'donnell, the tea partier. here's part of it.
12:37 am
>> hi, this is governor sarah palin. vote for christine o'donnell for u.s. senate this tuesday. the wave of positive change can really sweep across our land with the election of constitutional conservatives like christine, who promise to use common sense and rein in federal government spending. i can relate to the vicious personal attacks on christine and can tell you, it's sad to see the establishment's desperation in this. >> wow. joining me is radio talk show host, dan gaffene and chris cillizza. dan, do the voters of delaware know how important this is tomorrow, that this could affect the outside chance of the republicans grabbing the senate as well as the house come november. >> yeah, i think many do, but some my talk radio callers don't care. they're more interested in winning the actual battle than the war. and there's such a wind of anti-castle, you know, there's
12:38 am
an anti-castle wind in the air, and even when presented with the fact that castle has a better chance at beating the democrat ic counsel, many people don't care anyway. they want to vote him out any way. >> that sounds like the democratic left sometimes. it's called ndc. cillizza, you're shaking your head. the one thing about a polarized electorate is that it doesn't care about practical electoral consequence. >> yep. >> by the way i want to give a salute if not a positive salute a reality check to the far right. bob bennett was knocked off. the guy who beat him, lee, who is going to win the general. chris has been bumped out, but rubio could win that. he's ahead in the polls down there. specter was knocked out of his party, but, too, he's well ahead by seven points in p.a. and who am i missing murkowski? well i have to bet what's his name up there, joe miller's going to win that. or if he gets in that thing clean one on one. so you could argue that the tea party's have had a good record of positioning themselves to win generals. maybe not in nevada, but other places. >> chris, first of all, isn't
12:39 am
it amazing we're talking about delaware? this is a state we never thought we would be talking about. number two, alaska, utah, those states, the one thing that is different, delaware, this is a democratic state. mike castle's been elected for more than 40 years. he's been the governor of the state. the at-large representative. this is not a state where whoever wants to be republican nominee -- utah, alaska, has a big leg up in winning. >> let me give you some history, young fellow. joe biden, back in 1972, bumped out a guy who had won the house seat -- and you go in here, dan, you're the expert. a house member, senate member, for "x" many terms. joe biden at the age of 29 knocked him out of his seat and held it for 40 year, so isn't it possible christine o'donnell could be a senator for life? we don't know, do we? >> what my original opinion was that if she wins tomorrow, we would say hello, senator coons. that was my original opinion.
12:40 am
but i'm starting to think if she pulls it off tomorrow, she could do anything. if she can beat mike castle in this state, we're ready for anything. >> what's your state like these days? is it as unhappy as the rest of the country and could say, she's not quite prepared or maybe this other fellow cunes has more executive experience. the logic way that we make decisions may not play out this year. >> no, chris, it's very emotional. there's a lot of antiestablishment, anti-incumbent sentiment. the tea party is strong. there are three counties, the two lower counties, much more conservative, much more likely to go to christine o'donnell. the others, the city of urban. more likely to go to mike cassel. however, will he win enough to take the whole state? it's a crapshoot. all of my political pundit friends are saying the same thing to me. i don't know. >> let's talk about the country. chris, let's pull back and look at the whole country. people who are watching from
12:41 am
california who want to know this. it's possible with boxer in play, with patty murray in play, with harry reid in play, with russ feingold in play, the democrats could lose the senate. it's possible on a bad night, a wave night, you're an expert, right? delaware matters. >> you used the word, chris, shoo-in. that's exactly right. i liked chris kuehnes. i never knew that he would beat christine o'donnell. you never know what's going to happen. doesn't mean she's not going to win, but not as strong a candidate. now you're looking at winning two out of three, you're talking about winning all three. is it possible? yes. polling suggests it could happen, but in order, i think wisconsin, california,
12:42 am
washington, even the most sort of optimistic republican strategists say we'd love to win two out of three, but two out of three and losing delaware -- >> okay. i think that you're so smart. >> the majority. >> let me go to gaviny. a fellow irishman. i have to ask you this. do you think it could be the like guys like joe biden and guys like me who were smart enough to make the run? i'm looking at this situation. it's a crapshoot. you cannot predict this year they recognize your name and say, i knew that name three months ago. they don't like you. isn't that true? >> it is true. bow biden should have gotten in this year. >> could he have beaten either of these candidates. beaten cassel or o'donnell? >> i think that he could have. >> really? >> yes. biden, absolutely. >> chris, can i make one quick point that matters. alaska, august 24th, what was
12:43 am
interesting about that state? a small state by population, a relatively number of small people, we were not sure who were voting. a small number of people, delaware, a small state where a few people, that's why republican strategists are nervous. everyone i talk to today say we think he's going to win, but we don't know. >> okay. tell me something i don't know, cillizza. is murkowski going to go three-way in alaska? >> no. even if she did, it's very, very put another "very" in there, difficult. >> gaffeny, what is the first state? >> the first state, we are the first state. >> thank you so much. an easy way to end. delaware's the first state. thank you. >> why do i get that question? >> because you're on the show too often. thank you, chris, dan. up next, meg whitman has spent over $100 million on her and ready to spend a lot more. now, she's trying to use bill clinton to bring down her opponent, jerry brown. what an ad she's put on the air. brown and clinton butted heads when running for president in 1992. she's ripped the scab off that and got them fighting again i guess. i guess it's good politics. sche.
12:44 am
hold all your phone calls. for the next hour, there will be no agenda. marie callender's invites you back to lunch, with a new line of fresh recipes. like chicken teriyaki with crisp water chestnuts. it steams to perfection in minutes, giving the fresh flavors and textures of a homemade meal. marie's new steamed meals. it's time to savor.
12:45 am
we're just talking about that hot republican primary tomorrow night in delaware. nbc's kelly o'donnell reports from delaware that minnesota congresswoman michelle bachmann radioed in to a station and said hello, to the host and proclaimed, quote, christine, delaware's next governor! of course, christine o'donnell is running for the u.s. senate. "hardball" will be right back. ♪ ♪ j-e-l-l-o ♪ j-e-l-l-o ♪ j-e-l-l-o [ child giggles ]
12:46 am
but now, to get it really cooking, you need a little website development. some transparent reporting, so you know it's working. online ads and 1-on-1 marketing consultation. yellowbook's got all that. yellowbook360 has a whole spectrum of tools. the perfect recipe for success. visit and go beyond yellow. ♪ i like your messy hair ♪ i like the clothes you wear
12:47 am
♪ i like the way you sing ♪ and when you dance with me ♪ you always make me smile [ male announcer ] we believe you're at your best when you can relax and be yourself. and at thousands of newly refreshed holiday inn hotels, you always can. holiday inn. stay you. and now stay rewarded with a sweet dilemma. up to five free nights at any of our properties or double points. we're back. an 18-year-old fight between jerry brown and bill clinton has been reignited. california's republican candidate for governor, meg whitman fashioned an entire ad
12:48 am
on tv on the attack back in '92 during a primary debate. here's the ad. >> jerry brown's good old days. but what really happened? >> cnn, not me. cnn says his assertion about his tax record was just plain wrong. jerry brown went out there and took credit for the fact that the people of california voted for proposition 13, which lowered taxes, which he opposed and now he's going around and taking credit for it. he raised taxes as governor of california. he had a surplus he took office and a deficit when he left. he doesn't tell people the truth. >> well, and then brown, the guy running for governor, took the war of words to a new level when he assailed the ad by invoking clinton's impeachment ordeal. let's listen. >> meg witman, she stops at nothing. she's even got clinton lying about me. that's right. no, did you see that?
12:49 am
where he said that. i don't say anything. that's why we have to have our own truth squad to get the word out, okay? i mean clinton's a nice guy but who ever said he always told the truth? you remember, right? okay, i did, i did not have taxes with this state. >> well, we'll see how that plays out. willie brown is the former mayor of san francisco. the former speaker of the assembly out there, let's establish one fact. margaret carlson bloomberg. first let's start before the rigamarole right now. he wrote the report back then. governor brown did not raise taxes -- let's get back now to this segment, margaret, you first.
12:50 am
meg whitman has all the emergency in the world to hire the smartest zone draper she can get her hands on. the fact is why would jerry brown make a fight now with the most popular democrat in the country? >> jerry brown is one of those candidates that can't be handled. he does stick his foot in his mouth. after jerry brown, bill clinton must be one of the most popular democrats in california. nobody thinks about impeachment. that's ancient history. for jerry brown to bring it up about such a popular democrat is lunacy, really. bill clinton was never going to come and campaign for jerry brown. there were a lot of wounds in that campaign, including jerry brown attack hillary clinton. >> well, that may be -- i'm not sure what the plans were. i've been trying to figure out the plan. i think mayor brown would have
12:51 am
probably come out there for barbara boxer and she's in a tough race. he would have said good things about brown along the way. i guess this is tricky now. >> well, let's be very clear. i think senator clinton as is the case with now secretary of state clinton will probably at some point be in california. that's just the way the political game is played. i think she will say good things about all of the democratic candidates, even more importantly, i think president bill clinton will be in california and probably more than one time. and he, too, will say good things about democratic candidates. jerry brown has to be very, very careful. he's so bright, so able and so combative on every occasion when anybody attacks him, he flashes back. and this is one of those occasions when he just made a tactical error. he did not know somebody was there with the television camera watching and hearing exactly what he says.
12:52 am
i've been in that position before and i know how awful it is. >> margaret, what's wrong with politicians in the 21 cst trend t try? they can't remember they're in the 21st century. there's no secret meetings anymore. >> no. jerry brown is pretty smart. he is one of these spontaneous politicians, because you and i had dinner with him a few years ago and he hadn't lost any of his -- i mean, it was a reporter's dinner. he's just an original. he can't hold back. and i bet that was his line, it just came out of his mouth, nobody gave it to him ahead of time pep couldn't resist. >> mayor brown, jerry brown's been at my house on weekends with my grown-up kids now. he narrates the morning with them, gets up in the morning, says here we're having
12:53 am
breakfast, we're making coffee, talking about the day. he's always giving that running narrative. i guess that's his problem. he was giving us too much of a narrative about what happened 18 years ago. >> margaret is correct, jerry brown is an original. she's incorrect, though, nobody can comply him with any words. he creates all of his own words. you're right again, he's not in the 21st century because he must know that he is being followed 100% of the time. if meg whitman can spend more than $100 million doing all the things she can, she can add ten people to follow him around with a camera and some of them will be democrats an they will turn in their information every night. so he's just got the watch out for that prospect. >> yeah, i have no raisen to believe that meg whitman is as smart as the ad she put on the air. the guy or woman who made that
12:54 am
ad is one freakin' genius. it ripped the scab off. you're laughing, mary, because you know how the game is played. thank you. it's great to have you on as always. margaret carlson, thank you for coming on. jerry brown has apologized for the comment about president clinton. but says the real issue is that meg whitman is running an ad she knows to be false. when we return, let me finish with thoughts about sending the right message. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
12:55 am
lord of the carry-on. sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do.
12:56 am
go national. go like a pro. oh! just come snuggle with mama. [ male announcer ] missing something? like 2 pairs of glasses fo$99.99 at sears optical, with bifocal lenses for just $25 more per pair. hurry in to sears optical today and don miss a thing. [ air whooshing ] [ crunch! ] [ male announcer ] 11 grams of delicious whole grain. one mighty toasted crunch.
12:57 am
new wheat thins crunch stix. the crunch is calling.
12:58 am
let me finish tonight with something good that came of this book burning craziness in the now related issue of the new york islamic center. this saturday i stood facing philadelphia's independence hall as a group of islamic, jewish and christian leaders prayed from the religious text in the spirit of inner religious tolerance. governor ed rendell spoke of the great irony that focuses around the islamic center to be built two blocks from the world trade center. he said the space was made available because people working high in the towers would otherwise would have to go down 100 floors and walk four blocks to the nearest mosque.
12:59 am
rendell said he would be comfortable leading a demonstration of interfaith respect. proud to remind themselves this country was found on the on religious freedom and everyone who came here came for more freedom to think and worship freely. newt gingrich said something awful. he said the president represents kenyan anti-colonial thinking. there was one purpose to de-americanize barack obama and plays into the thinking of those who say he is not an american. weirdly he goes further and declares barack obama to be some zombie walking under the guidance of his father. those would stood at