tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 22, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
why we fight. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. leading up tonight, fair well to arms. why are we still in afghanistan? why did president obama decide send 30,000 additional troops to afghanistan, and does he really believe in this war, or is he simply doing the minimum he thinks is politically necessary, the most that he can politically get away with? bob woodward's exclusive and explosive new book, "obama's wars" about the internal divisions over the president's afghanistan strategy is sending shockwaves throughout washington tonight. and beginning to answer some of those questions i mentioned.
here's what's new. the president repeatedly pressed his military brass for an exit plan. he secretly enlisted joe biden to push his strategy that would have greatly reduced our role in afghanistan. he signed off on an additional 30,000 troops, despite the fact that he, president obama, was looking for a way out. and he set a withdrawal deadline so he wouldn't lose democratic party people. woodward's book and the intense struggles over the president's war plan is our top story tonight. plus, how's this for outrage? in the top health insurance companies have already found a way to not cover children with pre-existing conditions. they are simply dropping their policies designed exclusively for kids. is this a preview of 2014, when coverage is supposed to kick in for everyone under the health care plan? and are the democrats doing enough to keep the tea party from turning even big blue states red? a new poll has republican carl paladino, perhaps best known for its racist and pornographic e-mails within striking distance of democrat, andrew cuomo in the
race for new york governor. also, tired of washington gridlock? then look out. nearly two-thirds of republicans don't want their political leaders to compromise. how's anything going to get done if people aren't going to be willing to talk to each other? and let me finish tonight with some thoughts on a vital good anniversary, the day congress permanently established the u.s. peace corps. let's start with bob woodward's book. andrea mitchell nbc news's chief correspondent and chuck todd is nbc's political director and chief white house correspondent. let me go to andrea first. andrea, let me read to you a quote from the book. this is something obama told his aides. "i think i have two years with the public on this. they'll stand by us for two years. that's my window." that seems to be a statement that politics plays a role in his thinking about how long to keep us in afghanistan. >> i think the politics does play a role but that is a commander in chief and a
president who is trying to understand what leeway he has. i think it is defensible. i have talked to michael beschloss and others who say that this is someone trying to figure out what is tolerable by the american people. i think they can explain this and say this is exactly what he is doing. >> well, he's saying how much he can get away with in terms of keeping his troops there, because his base will depart from him otherwise. let ask you about the positive question. are we in there for two years because he believes in what we can do for two years or believe that is what he has to do to keep the right from attacking him, because throughout this -- these quotes we are getting from this book today, we are getting the sense that he really wants to get out. he wants an exit strategy from afghanistan. my question is why are we even there two years if he wants to get out now? >> i think they felt trapped. from reading this book, they felt trapped with the war in afghanistan that they had no option and you are right, he felt that he had to keep the lindsey grahams, the republican critics on his side and the military. this is a new president who had
no relationship with the military. and what does come through loud and clear in this book is the distrust and the long knifes that were out, the infighting between the civilian side, the white house aides, the political former campaign aides and the military brass. >> well, here's another quote. when senator lindsey graham asked the president if the july, 2011 withdraw was firm, the president said "i have to say that i can't let this be a war out end and i can't lose the whole democratic party." again, the president admitting he had an outside window he couldn't continue through. let me go back to chuck todd at the white house. chuck, i was talking to andrea the fact that the quotes and the book by bob woodward admitting basically, he had political concerns. that we couldn't stay in the war more than two years, or his democratic base, which is basically dovish would abandon him. fair enough? andrea points out that is fair enough. here is the other question, was he staying there at least two years to keep the military happy? in other words, was this simply a calculation? i have to stay there at least two years to keep the military happy. i have to get out of there within two years to keep my
base, my liberal base happy, a pure political decision? >> no. let's remember, this was -- when these meetings first started, they were called afpak meetings, let's not forget the pak portion of this, which is pakistan. and i remember at the time, when president obama was candidate obama and when he was starting to get intelligence briefings, everything about his focus even then had more to do with how is this going to affect pakistan. so i think the promises that they felt was necessary to make to pakistan played a pretty big role in this as well. but let me go back in a political point in here, chris. that is what this means going forward and the fact that how well -- how aware the white house is of their problem inside the democratic party. if these midterm elections are as bad for the democrats as things look now, the democrats that will be left in congress will be the ones that are probably, you know, from the more liberal districts, the more
dovish democrats, the ones that have been standing by him, giving him more leeway on this, are probably the first guys that lose if this midterm election goes badly. so he won't even have -- he will have even fewer democrats left in congress backing him up on anything beyond july 2011. >> that appears what he is talking about here in the book, the woodward book and what president obama told gates, robert gates, the secretary of defense and secretary clinton. secretary of state, "i'm not doing ten years i'm not doing long-term nation building. i'm not spending a trillion dollars." i guess, andrea, you are the expert on foreign policy. why is he doing what he is doing if he doesn't think it is working, because he says i don't believe in nation building? isn't that what we're trying to do in this short time frame? >> it is. and i think that he really --
what you see in the book is that he felt trapped by being in afghanistan. he had campaigned against the war in iraq. afghanistan and the commitment there was really the exit strategy from iraq. it was clear to the military you couldn't do both. afghanistan is where they felt, because of the importance of pakistan, as chuck correctly points out, and india as well, the whole region, the war on terror, it made sense but strategically, it made sense, but still is not an easy thing to do militarily and it is very clear at he is aware going in that it is not something you can be do in a year or two. and so one would ask, if you have loved ones there, you know, why are we going to be any better off a year or two years or three years from now than we are right now? and there is no good answer to that. >> well, the preside told the chairman of the joint chiefs, mike mullin, and general petraeus and secretary gates, "in 2010, we will not be having a conversation about how to do more. i will not want to hear, quote, we're doing fine, mr. president, but we'd be belt fer we just do more. we are not going to be having conversation about how to change the mission." so he has basically said, unless he went on, we're talking about how to draw down faster than anticipated.
so he is saying, chuck, don't give me some trick. i've been studying the kennedy administrations, these efforts by the military people to always hook the civilian leader into something that is going to drag them into a wider war. he seems to be a student of history, if not instinct here. he doesn't want to be captured by the people who are supposedly taking his orders. >> that's right. and i think right now, you really see that the december review is very likely now to be the -- be the first time that we get the -- that we start hearing about what the framework of what july 2011 really means. right now, july 2011 and that deadline means a lot of things to a lot of people. everybody seems to take what they want to hear from it, right? the military guys take from it, well, it is conditions based. well, some in the president's base and in the democratic party who don't want us to be there very long take it as, well, at least there is an end date. i think in december, we are now going to get a clearer picture of what july 2011 is. frankly, you can just -- tell
from this book the president's instinct is that that july 2011 thing is a lot more real than maybe was hinted at when they first rolled it out. >> but then again -- >> joe biden. i want to get to a couple of points, sorry, andrea. joe biden made a point this deadline is real a quote from joe biden in the book. a quote in joe biden's box. everybody talks out of school, i work here. there is a lot of kibbitzing any place you work, don't want to be held to it. bob woodward around, somebody will quote you and you are nailed for life, because as long as that other person lives, that book is on their shelf with your quote in it. here is joe biden talking about richard holbrooke the special afpak envoy. "he's the most egotistical bastard i've ever met." these kind of quotes. petraeus referring to david axelrod, the president's spin doctor. he called him a complete spin doctor. i guess that is what you are supposed to call a spin doctor. but a lot of these quotes are they going to cause trouble politically and in terms of
policy or are they just the usual, as i said, kibbitzing? andrea? >> i think inside the white house and we should point out what the vice president said about richard holbrooke is he is the most egotistical bastard i ever met but he is probably the right guy for the job. so there are extensions and contexts there when you see the book that some of the newspaper headlines did not pick up. but i think it does cause problems and i think it does sort of precede an exit strategy by some people, like the national security adviser jim jones it is very clear that he feels ostracized. that he didn't have access to the president on the president's first european trip, the white house aides, he had to go to the president and complain. that kind of thing. >> it true they don't like each other? bottom line. true the military guys don't trust the white house political people and the other way around? your thoughts first, andrea, on that one? >> i think that is true and in particular, jim jones, marine general, retired marine general, feels very much at odds with some of these civilians on the national security team and is about to leave. i think that is the next big announcement we are going to have from the white house is the shakeup on the foreign policy, national security team that
mirrors what's happened so far on the economic team. >> chuck, you surprised by the bad blood here inside? >> you know, the one that really surprised me, frankly, all the jim jones stuff, you have been hearing chatter about that for a long time. the most surprising thing was the apparent distrust between the secretary of defense gates and jim jones' deputy, tom donelan, the fact that there is not a lot of trust there, because tom donelan is seen as somebody very trusted by the president, could be a replacement -- >> that one surprised me. that one surprised me, tom donelan a great guy. you know, very quickly, chris, i do think that this book, you see the steve ratner book, people leaving the administration, boy, i think you are going to start seeing the next six months, you are going to hear a lot of anonymous quotes, a lot more reporting about hand-wringing inside the west wing because the distrust between the staffers now.
they see what somebody else said to woodward and they are going to feel like, you know what i will talk to reporters now. >> god, this is like the cherokee strip, isn't it? racing to get the first -- the first homestead out there. thank you, andrea mitchell. thank you, chuck todd. >> you bet. coming up, the outrage story of the day, big health insurance companies say they are going to stop selling policies that cover children rather than comply with the new federal health care bill, barack obama, that bars them from rejecting kids with pre-existing conditions. how's that if for a way around goodwill? that could leave hundreds of thousands of kids without insurance and they are the ones who need it, the ones with problems. and the white house and democratic lawmakers are up in arms. the question, can they do anything about it? we will find out. get to that next. you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc. introducing precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving cream works quickly to activate sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals fast for relief you can feel precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol.
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welcome back to "hardball." with just six weeks until election day, president obama spoke from a suburban backyard in virginia today about some important parts of health care reform that kick in tomorrow. >> number one, paul already mentioned, the issue of lifetime limits. that is not going to be the rule anymore after tomorrow. number two, pre-existing conditions for children. number three, we are going to make sure that if young people don't have health insurance through their employer, that they can stay on their parents' health insurance up the age of 26. number four, you're going to be able to choose your doctor and not have to go through some network in an emergency
situation. >> well, apparently that is not all true. item two, health care could have aren't for children with pre-existing conditions has now hit a snag. some major health insurance companies have chosen to stop selling children-only policies in states like california, illinois, florida and connecticut. is there anything lawmakers can do to fix that snag? congresswoman loretta sanchez, democratic, california, joins us from capitol hill. congresswoman, you know, the biggest selling point to the middle class, it is fair to say, not just the working people, working class, if you will, was the pre-existing conditions would still be covered. now we find out that children who have them, chronic illnesses, cannot be covered because the insurance companies in your state, for example, have shut down these policies. what can be done? >> what a shame. it is unbelievable that they would actually do that for example, what they did when they were trying to raise the rates artificially before these laws came in on individual policies. so once again, we see people trying to get through the
loopholes or really not go to the intent of our law. unfortunately, a lot of this is done on a state-by-state basis. i know that in california, there has been a bill passed up in the legislature that will say if you will not do children-only policies henceforth, then for five years, you would be barred from writing insurance in the state. so, i don't know whether schwarzenegger, governor schwarzenegger will sign that but certainly something californians have out there i think the bigger thing is, yes, the address of yes, we could come back to the congress, and we could try to fix or mend this law in that way. but y'all know that we're in the middle of election, so that's not going to get done. so what is the redress? what is it that we can do? so, obviously, one of those things is when we do set up these exchanges in three years, we're going to get on choose. we're going to have a commission that's going to get to choose
what policies are put in there. certainly, i would call a company that is not writing children's insurance a bad faith company, and i would suggest they wouldn't be found in that new 30 to 40 million-person market that we will create. >> so you could blackball companies basically that don't provide insurance for children with pre-existing conditions? you are saying you could fix it that way? >> i think the -- >> let's look at the congresswoman woman. an estimated 80,000 california children currently without insurance and as many as 500,000 nationwide would be affected by this. so, there's a lot of kids out there who obviously have serious problems like leukemia and things like that, horrible diseases, won't get coverage? >> absolutely. the sad thing is who ends up paying for that? again it comes back on the taxpayer that means these kids then go into medicaid or some of these programs at the state level and we end up paying for
it, the taxpayers end up paying for it and it is unfortunate, because we have seen the profit margins of these companies be higher this year than at any other point. >> well, thank you very much, congresswoman loretta sanchez, as always, from california. thanks for that update. wendell potter is an insurance industry whistle-blower and former executive at signa. now a fellow at the center of media and democracy. okay, wendell, you are the expert. you are very well respected on this so, let's nail this baby. why did congress, when they pass this bill, not see this coming? it's a market. people try to avoid cost these don't like. i can understand why an insurance company doesn't want to get nailed with having to insure people who are already sick. knowing that if they can't get to insure other people not already sick so they can share the costs, didn't they see this coming, this need to have shared costs and shared profits, if you will? >> you know, i think some members of congress probably did but the law that finally was passed has a lot of loopholes and frankly, this points out why
it was so important for us to have had a public option. the rules of the road in health insurance are really set by big for-profit insurance companies who answer to wall street. without the benefit of the public option, these guys will continue to be able to gang the system between now and when this bill is fully implemented and the need will probably be on that. >> explain that i know the case among progressives for a public option is probably a good one. so it makes the case here. how would the fact you had an option out there public option did provide for insurance for individual children with pre-existing conditions going into coverage, how would that force a private sector company to match it or would it? >> well, it could force it, because what is happening -- >> how? >> what is happening here is that some of these companies are getting out of this business, which means that all the companies will ultimately have to do that, because none of them will be able to absorb the risk. a public option, if it were in place and robust enough and was operating in enough states and had enough members could make
sure that it was setting the rules of the road. making sure that this was the standard. >> how does that work? i know you are the expert, so tell me. how does having a public option force the ones that are offering in the private sector do the right thing here? >> because, again, if this is robust enough, for example, in california, if you had some of the very biggest companies who were out there staying with this children being able to stay in these plans, then the others would stay in there as well. if there is also some enforcement and the congresswoman is right this also needs to be something that is dealt with at the state level as well. lawmakers need to make sure that as they are developing these exchanges that they can exclude these companies. >> well, i would see a problem right down the road there. if the government put together a public sector option, which could be a very good idea, all the private sector companies would say, great, you guys take care of the sick kids, we are going to have a pool of kids, a
lot of whom are healthy. we will make money off kids who are not sick, while the government insures all the kids who are. wouldn't that happen in. >> you have to make sure that it's setup in such a way that that doesn't happen. >> how do you stop that? >> you are talking about adverse election. it would just have to be set up. we didn't get that far to see exactly how it would be set up, but i think that you can actually do that. >> i think moynihan figured this out years ago. the public sector does stuff that doesn't make money, in other words, ensuring kids who weren't sick already, whereas the private sector makes money off things that do make money, in other words, ensuring healthy people. >> you will actually start -- continue to see there, because, again, you are being this industry is led by wall street and that is the way it will continue to be. they have an obligation to meet the expectations of shareholders, so you will see this going forward, unfortunately. >> let me tell you, we had a big problem. you tell me right now how they could have got an public option through with a congress which was recalcitrant, even to do what the president pushed them to do. >> you couldn't have to done it because the influence of the
insurance industry is so intense, so effective that it wasn't going to happen. of course, the industry knew that without a public option, with some of the other things that got in this legislation that they would be able to find these loopholes and to gain the system as we're sitting here doing. >> put on our seat belts because it's going to get more right wing, more private sector and more anti-government and more antipublic option and more anti-social policy down the road if this democratic congress goes down. thank you very much, wendell potter, you are much respected. thanks for coming on the show. >> chu, chris. up next, president obama and sarah palin join forces, in fiction at least. you won't believe what a throwback this is when you check out the side show. coming up next, you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc. the ♪ ♪ for a chain of supply, that's logistics ♪ ♪ when the parts for the line ♪ ♪ come precisely on time ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ a continuous link, that is always in sync ♪
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first up, "fox and friends," remember when sharron angle said she would be sticking to conservative media outlets because she wants the press to, quote, ask the questions we want to answer. the strategy of getting only the news about her that fits her point is paying off. "the las vegas sun" posted audio of angle at a house party earlier this month. take a listen. >> pathetic. any way, more confirmation of angle's interviews seen by her pain as advertisements. pure and simple.
next, new jersey governor chris christie a lot of attention from conservatives for big budget cuts this year. natural question, will he make the run for president? that's what cnbc's carl quintanilla asked christie yesterday. >> i have to feel that if you ran for president, you could probably do some good? >> i just said this to joe off the air, i'm not ready. i'm not -- listen, i think there's two things you have to have to run for president of the united states. first, in your heart, you got to want it more than anything else. more than anything else. i don't want it that badly. secondly, you got to believe in your heart that you are ready to walk into the oval office and to lead the nation. and i don't feel like i'm ready. so, it makes it very easy for me. i'm 0-2. so you don't do it. >> wow. smart words from a real new jersey accent, by the way. honest of an answer that i've heard. finally, president obama and sarah palin join forces? it is a scenario that might only be possible in fiction. in this case, the archie comic
book series, where the two polls get involved in a riverdale high school election. the captions here are priceless. obama on the left, palin on the right. archie the middle of the two says, "everybody gets along in riverdale." and then a panel of them sharing a milkshake. i love it. archie watches obama and palin from the background and says, "wow, i guess anything's possible." what a reminder of the good old days, archie andrews. time for tonight's big number. overall democratic candidates have outraised republicans this year, how are conservatives making up the difference? well, spending by outside groups. consider this. liberal groups have spent $3.5 million in key senate races the past two months. 3.5 million. how much have conservatives spent? 22 million, six times as much. conservative groups hold the power of the purse, 22 million and counting from outside forces. tonight's could make a difference big number. up next, we have the latest polls in some very hot races around the country. stay tuned in a minute. in some cases, republicans are doing well on states were no one
gave them much of a chance. and in one state it looks like the tea party may have blown it the new "hardball" scoreboard, coming up next. you got to watch in just a minute. you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc. the specialist? he compares rates side by side. you could save hundreds. it's easy. great. okay, pickles! do your thing. [ bell rings ] that's amazing! i trained him myself. i meant the... okay. same coverage, more savings. now, that's progressive. call or click today. thanks. i got the idea from general mills big g cereals. they put a white check on the top of every box to let people know that their cereals have healthy whole grain, and they're the right choice... (announcer) general mills makes getting whole grain an easy choice. just look for the white check. ♪ an accidental touch can turn ordinary into something more. moments can change anytime -- just like that.
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hello, everyone, i'm lynn berry and here's what's happening. president obama is new york city tonight to outline a new global development policy at the u.n. the plan focuses less on spending and more on diplomacy, trade, and investment. meanwhile, republicans on capitol hill are unveiling their 21-page pledge to america. it lays out plans to create jobs, cut spending, and repeal the president's health insurance reforms. top counterterrorism officials told congress that homegrown islamic radicals are the fastest-growinghomeland security.
owner of an iowa egg farm linked to a salmonella outbreak told a congressional panel that he was horrified that it had caused so many illnesses. and florida governor charlie crist says the state will stop enforcing a ban. now back to "hardball." my favorite time, time for the "hardball" scoreboard, we check out the hot races across the country to see where we stand tonight and new numbers on senate race from cnn, "time" and opinion research. we begin in wisconsin. ron johnson down 50%. he leads incumbent senator russ feingold, the democrat by six
points, 51-45. very few undecided there pennsylvania, republican pat toomey holding onto his lead, over joe sestak, 49-44. only five points now. republican ken buck, tea partier, leading michael bennet, 49-44. again, close five points. and in delaware, democrat chris coons have, a not close at all, 16-point lead over republican, christine o'donnell. the sorcerer's apprentice. coons' up 55-39. finally, new york, a shocker, new quinnipiac poll, republican carl paladino trails democrat andrew cuomo in the new york governor's race by only single digits. cuomo's up by just six points, 49-43, cuomo had led by wide margins but an antiestablishment, being a democrat named cuomo might spell trouble, although i'm not sure. one caveat in the poll, didn't include republican rick lazio, who's also on the ballot as a conservative. yesterday, we got this number in on west virginia senate race,
another shocker, whre democratic pollster ppe finds democratic governor manchin trailing, nobody be can beat manchin trailing joan raese. wow, hot news. it's surprising every night now. how two brand name democrats like andrew cuomo and joe manchin in trouble in the tea party power holding strong with just 43 days to go in this midterm? joan walsh is editor and chief of salon.com and sam stein covers politics for the huffingtonpost.com. joan, great to have you on. maybe it is time for a little cheerleading for some good democrats here. i don't know. andrew cuomo, clean as a whistle, been a spectacular attorney general, he was great at hud. his father was very popular, although stayed in rofs too long. i don't understand why -- how could he be this close to somebody who is a nothing, paladino? >> i'm not worried about this one, chris. i don't think anybody needs to worry about this. >> a negative nothing, i think it's fair to say. >> a negative nothing. there is a couple of things. the poll left out lazio. it may have oversampled republican voters slightly, not that much.
and i think there is -- there's a newness factor. lazio is a tired candidate, nobody excited about him. paladino seems, i don't know, fresh maybe. >> you think that is the right word. >> the pornographic and racist e-mails are kind of exciting. >> fresh doesn't work for me with paladino, your thoughts. it's nice to hear you use the word fresh about a guy who doesn't -- i say new -- in other words, he requires more probing and investigation between now and election day. >> and he will get it. and he will get. >> your thoughts. >> i think joan is right. another element, voters don't like a coronation they don't like to be told the election is over before it starts. >> they vote for the other guy? >> no they, consider with the other guy. dabble with the other guy, both these cases, andrew cuomo, joe manchin, basically told these guys were obvious. >> let's go to manchin, a very popular governor in west virginia, a culturally conservative state, pro-gun, right. >> right.
>> culturally conservative in many, many ways. let's go to this. a lot of states historically elected democrats to run their governments but don't trust them in washington? could that be manchin's problems? >> you look at the polls, dig deeper into it, a 59% approval rating in the state, as governor. >> so, why not senator? >> the question -- the question that you raise rightly is why does he not translate that into a federal office? i don't know. perhaps you are right that the trend is that people trust you, handle local politics when you are a democrat. but send you to washington, they are worried that the spending is out of the control and thinker fiscally responsible. >> a lot of hot issues, here is christine o'donnell on fox news with sean hannity. bring in cole to newcastle. let's listen. >> not going to do any more national media because this is my focus, delaware is my focus and the local media is my focus and it's frustrating because i've let the local media know they're my priority, but our phones are ringing off of the hook that they can't get to me. so it's actually become an interference with the campaign.
>> a confusion here, joan. i'm stuttering with confusion. says she doesn't like the national media and telling it to sean hannity. what's he? is he mr. local yokel now all of a sudden? >> listen it is insulting to delaware reporters, not going to like delaware media any better. sharron angle tried the strategy, doesn't like local nevada media better. people are going to ask questions, she is an embarrassment. i don't think anybody has to worry about that. all watching our friend bill maher say he is going to be releasing more of this great stuff from the '80s. you know, chris, i don't regret the '80s, she regrets the '80s. she says everybody regrets the '80s. >> what's wrong with the -- i thought the '80s were about making money, ronald reagan and gold rush times. you're a young guy, sam, what's about the '80s bog so loopy. but i think, my hunch it's not that she's too conservative, the country is getting conservative in many ways this cycle. it's the witchcraft stuff. i think they are a deal breaker.
>> sure, the irony here is she made her career before now, talking on national tv. look it, sharron angle perfected this. she doesn't take any national questions. as you pointed out she raised a ton of money by going on conservative outlets and talking about her website, she raised $236,000 going to on rush limbaugh. >> o'reilly asked her on tomorrow she wouldn't go? >> of course she will go. >> let's take a look at murkowski. this is a fascinating race. alaska a small state but big enough for three candidates, lisa murkowski running as write-in candidate which is doable, a small state. let's listen to her strategy on "the daily show," on "the daily rundown," actually. >> well, i would just remind by colleagues back there in washington that what i'm doing is really all about alaska. 85% of the people, the electorate, did not participate in selecting the two nominees going forward. the democrat, scott mcadams, a nice, nice guy, but really
unelectable. joe miller represents some views here in alaska most people feel are outside of the mainstream. i have been asked by thousands of alaskans to step up, to stay in, to stand up for alaska that is where i am. >> joan, am i missing something? this strategy didn't work for crist down in florida, arlen spector in pennsylvania. admittedly, the far right, a small group of people, you lose to them, hope to hide in the general and win with democrats? she is trying to poach votes from mcadams there, it seems like. >> it seems like it. i don't think that is going to work. just a question of whether republicans didn't know what they were getting. this one is so much fun because it is a grudge match between murkowski and palin. you know, palin's old campaign manager went to run murkowski's campaign, palin jumped in for miller. it is just get the popcorn. this is a great one. >> speaking of popcorn, the part that you don't want, this is the dirty part of life, what
we are going to show the democratic and middle of the road voters that reasonable republican voters what your choices are in the election. here is a republican candidate running in north carolina. it is a new ad. let's listen. hate it. but this is what people are doing. let's listen. >> after the muslims conquered jerusalem and constantinople they built victory mosques and now, they want to build a mosque by ground zero. where does bob etheridge stand? he won't say. won't speak out. won't take a stand. >> the terrorists haven't won. and we should tell them in plain english, no. there will never be a mosque at ground zero. i'm renee ellmers and i approve this ad. > how can you get that low? >> this is pretty much pathetic, shallow -- >> going back to the seventh century of when mohammed was a around and acting like they are coming this way in hoards with flashing scimitars, whirling
dervishes, and got to stop them at the gates in north carolina. >> in that ad, the word terrorist and muslim are interchangeable. >> absolutely. >> is shallow it is pathetic it is awful. this is -- my theory this is replacing the traditional cultural -- >> used against the irish, against the jews, against the blacks ethnic prejudice it is nothing more it is terrible it is un-american. >> not to mention that congress has nothing to do with this issue. >> terrible, must be an idiot to vote for people who show this to you. a fool. thank you, joan walsh and thank you, sam, i'm serious. you can be either republican or democrat but voting for that kind of crap -- anyway. up next is bipartisanship dead? my very point. that new poll yesterday that said americans want their leaders to stick to their guns and not compromise. well, catch this, republicans overwhelmingly don't want their leaders to compromise. what am i saying? what does it mean for the next two years of the obama president?
right now that white house chief rahm emanuel is considering stepping down and could leave his post as early as october. the most logical time for emmanuel to leave would be right after congresses recesses but before the november midterms. emmanuel expressed interest in running for mayor of chicago next year and have to file nomination papers by november 22nd of this year. "hardball," back after this. [ manager ] you know... i've been looking at the numbers, and i think our campus is spending too much money on printing. i'd like to put you in charge of cutting costs. calm down. i know that it is not your job. what i'm saying... excuse me? alright, fine.
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we're back. do you want to fight or make a deal? a new poll finds that more people say fight than deal. the national journal found that 49% of people say they more admire political leaders who stick to their positions without compromise. 42% said they admire political figures more who compromise with someone they disagree with. among republicans, no surprise here. it's almost 2 to 1 in favor of the fighter, 62-33% they don't want dealers. joined now by national journal's new congressional president, much respected major garrett. major, it's great to have you on this show. >> chris, great to be here. >> the dumb question, are you surprised the country is in a combative, belligerent, bellicose mood? doesn't want to compromise. >> no, i'm not. the most surprising number in our poll was 53% of independents don't want to compromise. >> what do you think they mean by compromise? i mean, every time the congress says should the tax rate be 16% or 14%, the logic is 15%. >> in between. >> fight the war for five years or three years, how about four? numbers open themselves to negotiation but they don't want
that negotiation. >> i'm a parent. >> i'm a parent, my children are at a young age, but many parents, when they feel their children are unruly or the situation is out of control -- >> i've seen you in church, and your kids are perfect, i must say. >> they call for a time-out. i think one of the things you can find for independents is time-out. we're not sure exactly whether we're -- whether obama's 100% wrong or 100% right, but we want to take a breath and we want to take a pause on what's going on here. >> is the pause button -- >> republicans don't like it. they want to be confrontational. independents, i think, want a time-out. >> why would an independent vote for combative politicians if they want a time-out? >> well, what they're saying is, in this climate, they know the choices, if you elect a republican house, i don't think there's going to be a republican senate, but if you elect a republican house, you can stop where we are. everyone understands, if there's a republican house, we've called effectively a time-out on the latter two years of the first term of the obama presidency.
and it seems to me that's what republicans -- >> they want to lock the box and stop traffic? >> at least now. the interesting thing is, i talked to a lot of democrats about this polling data. they don't disagree with it entirely. they're a little bit skeptical of the social security numbers, which shows republicans and democrats tied on that issue. >> are they afraid the republicans might attempt a radical program? >> well, democrats -- first of all, what republicans may do is of secondary importance. because they know they have two months to fight this out. until democrats are of the opinion, look, that's where the numbers are now. this election is not over, though the conventional wisdom of this town is completely, lopsidelied on the side that the republicans will take the house. these races still have to be fought out. and democrats are going to fight that fight. they've got plenty of money. elections are conversations, elections are choices, and democrats still want to put the argument before the american people. >> do you think ads matter? >> i think some ads matter. >> let's take a look at this one. >> there's an ad now that we're going to talk about. >> everyone says this is a good
ad. remember that one ad from ronald reagan? let's listen to this one, because it has an opposite purpose. >> there's mourning in america. today, 15 million men and women won't have the opportunity to go to work. businesses shuttered. 2,900 families will have their homes foreclosed by nightfall. this afternoon, 6,000 men and women will be married, each of their children to be born with a $30,000 share of the runaway national debt. >> well, there's an upbeat. but that message is "vote no." >> that message is "vote no." and mourning in america for reagan was for a person and an agenda that had been tested. it was tested in the '82 midterm elections, when many republicans wanted then-president reagan to back off. he refused, to '84 was an answer
not to just his agenda in '80, but the catcalls he got from his party to back off. >> which he did in '82. >> so mourning in america in '84 was part of a continuum. >> are we going to see more ads in the next final weeks -- >> i don't think national ads like this that try to capture a mood work necessarily in a midterm congressional election. because every candidate has a different message, a different orientation, a different message in their own district. >> is it harder to be an incumbent democrat or an incumbent republican? >> much harder to be an incumbent democrat, no question. and let's say democrats hold on to the house narrowly, there will be some of those in the democratic majority who will have campaigned either agnostic or opposed to a speaker pelosi speakership. >> would people rather vote for a nut case -- let me say, an accused nut case. >> your words. >> someone who's been very controversial, on the ditzy end of things, over an incumbent they don't like. you know what states i'm talking about.
if you had to choose between ditzy, because everybody says she is, and an incumbent, how do you vote? >> if the primaries are an indication, you vote new and untested and untried. but general elections are a different atmosphere and a different place. and what you vote in a primary, what wins in a primary may only get you 47 or 48 in a general. that's going to be the key test and that's why republicans, i believe, must be cautious about the wins they believe are prevailing at their back now, because we have a long way to go between now and november 2nd. >> i think meg whitman's reaching a point of diminishing returns. thank you, major garrett. when i come back, the peace corps. lters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf?
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let me finish tonight with the fact that today, september 22nd, is the anniversary of congress approving the u.s. peace corps. ask anyone who's volunteered and they'll tell you it was the opportunity of their life. the moment they broke out of their world into a larger one, when they came face to face, probably on the other side of the globe, with a very different human experience. i went to swazi land as part of the first peace corps group in that southern africa kingdom. there were 50 of us and we went into a country with very little experience with americans. the relationship was fresh and crisp, hopeful on both sides and grateful too. i've kept up with a half dozen guys that i went over there, friends for life. we shared something out in the african sun, without electricity
and television and telephones. out where you lived, life with real people. taught what you could, learned much more. found yourself in close company with people surprisingly very much like you. it was when you could experience, as i did, the afterglow of empire, when you could live in a world bursting with hope and youth and belief and what is possible when people rule their own lands. i have unperson to thank for the peace corps, most of all. his name is sergeant shriver who put the unit together. our common faith with those young countries in africa, asia, and latin america that came to life in the 1960s. sarnlg did two things that made it great. he made it clear that it would be run by volunteers, not the staff back in washington would be the front line groups. and no one could stay in the peace corps for over five years. it would never become a tired, old organization, dominated by the way things used to be. it was shriver who knew how to build something, and bo did he