tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 14, 2010 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
in washington. they say small business. we need growth businesses. new businesses that will achieve growth and scale growth over the next 10 or 20 years. businesses that will employ 5,000 people. >> we're launching the steel on wheels tour and are looking to start a jobs movement around the values people like you represent. we'd love to invite your participation? >> sure, you're going end in the wrong city. you've got to end in kansas. >> you're in. thank you so much. that does it for us. we'll see you from seneca falls tomorrow. um next, "hardball" with chris matthews. romney heads right. let's play "hardball."
who's sorry now? one week ago, all that noise against the tax cut deal came from the democratic left. now, the noise is is on the right. limbaugh, palin and mitt romney are all complaining about the $900 billion bill. the question you have to ask the what are they complaining about? they love tax cuts. this deal gives you huge tax cuts. are you complaining just because you don't want the president to have a win? is that your economic philosophy? also, whose presidency has obama been reading about late ly? according to "the new york times," it's bill clinton. it could help explain what could be the most important political alliance in america today. two former clinton administration heavy weights robe -- plus, that loud noise you heard
outside your window was the republican snowball fight that came when yes, michael steele is running again. but how can the party of lincoln stop this guy? it was after all these wins in fact and with a secretary of state alive now lining up with the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, why are so many right wingers standing in the way? and meet the new boss. not the same as the old boss. he says you'll love this, he's in business to serve the banks. didn't he get the memo? you're not supposed to admit that. we start with the tax cut deal. howard fineman, and richard wolffe, can't be any colder than this place. you know, i have to say, romney. this guy is mobile. this guy moves around. he was for the health care plan in massachusetts.
pro-choice in massachusetts. the minute he cleared the state board or commonwealth border, he's now hiding from the health care bill he passed up there and he's changed on abortion rights, but here he is saying he's against this tax deal. help me, howard. i've never needed you more. how can a guy who claims he's a supply schneididsider and he's he's against it. >> well, there's both substance in music here. the substance is in the op-ed he wrote in "usa today" today, he says his objection is that he wants these cuts to be permanent, not two years, but permanent. what he's really trying to do is show he understands the music m
imic of the tea party. i talked to one of the founders of tea party p patriots and he said what he doesn't like about the deal is it was quote, done in the dead of night. in other words, with barack obama. what a lot of conservatives don't like and what mitt romney -- playing to is the fact that in conservative circles, this is now known as the obama compromise and that in and of itself is enough to doom it in their eyes. >> even a fist bump is barack obama is lethal now. >> that is a republican's biggest concession here. for two years, mitch mcconnell has played the strategy of i'm goipg to make him acceptable. >> did you hear boehner on 60 minutes? he said we will not compromise with him. >> but they have. there's their problem. which opens up -- room for the presidential pack to say, we're different. >> let me get it straight. richard, you first. it seems we understand limbaugh.
he's out there. palin is out there and her tweet is -- i'm not knocking her brain, but doesn't make any sense so i'm not going repeat it. then romney. romney is sort of what we consider the establishment republican party. is he trying kill that image by going to the right so he doesn't run as the east coast republican? >> he's saying, i am 2 the business guy. i understand ceos. i understand the mentality, saying it's the uncertainty argument playing in here and the sub splot i'm the guy who's run a business. i have this executive experience. there is a track here, a spot for someone who is a business guy, the fiscally conservative guy to separate this fr the pal pack. there's palin and everyone else.
the one track he can take is -- >> is there any doubt -- howard, to both of you, that if boehner and mcconnell had introduced this exact bill as republican position, not the compromise, he would have been for it? romney, the whole bunch of these dpis. . >> the true supply side says you have to promise cuts forever. reagan had his tax cuts chopped back in the day. this is to me at any rate, they took notice of what romney dade because it was something where he was saying, i don't like the inside deal. i don't like the fact they're dealing with obama. i don't like the pork in it and conservatives think there's pork in it. that's the kind of thing that the tea party people want to hear. >> that's the big part. the verb. here's rush limbaugh. let's listen.
>> i now hope this deal fails. i say it directly and officially. let the tax rates go up. on january 1st. let them go up. wait for our cavel ary to show up. >> chaexactly, that's what the president was worried about. what he wants to happen is nothing gets past. they control the house effectively are going to have control of the senate on this issue. >> we're in a situation where rush limbaugh and move on agree with each other and on the other side, newt gingrich and al franken agree. this makes no sense. >> behind the 20 yard lines, people are not going to go with an establishment deal. you're not an insurgent. by its nature, it's a compromise. a person on either end isn't
going to like an end of the road compromise. >> newt gingrich and al franken. how did this happen? >> the great iron ay is going t be, according to conservatives, they think support among house republicans is eroding by the minute. the sands are shifting as we speak here, ironically and richard e lead eluded to this, if anybody's going to save this, it's the democrats in the house. in the end, it's probably going to be the democrats who are going to save it from a tax from republicans in t house. >> here, the house republicans. i'm going to list them for you and the reasons. darrell issa says it's an incomplete effort. jeff flake says he doesn't like
extending unemployment benefits without paying for them. jeffrey chavis says the bill is loaded up the spending. john campbell says he'll vote no. mike pence says he's not decided yet, but he's not impressed. that's a safe position and michele bachmann who chairs the tea party caucus also does not like the tax. you never know what to make of her. michele bachmann is out there on the right away from any establishment dealings to lame base whatever's going wrong or right. >> in the end, this is going to pass because as you know, wasn't there a congressman from pennsylvania whose advice to everybody was vote for every tax cut and every spending bill. in the end -- >> jimmy burke in massachusetts i believe. >> excuse me.
>> my hometown. >> in the end, in the end, members are going vote for tax cuts and especially for one that -- >> how does a republican vote against a tax cut for the richest people? >> they're not going to. what will happen here is that the leerds in both parties will make sure they have enough votes to get the thing passed then they'll let everybody else dribble away who wants to make a statement. >> that's what i think, but that's so cynical. a it's called the corral. let's explain. you're bob -- what's his name? i can't remember the name. boehner. and you're in steny hoyer. you hold about 30 or 40 members like in cattle stalls around the
leadership. you say, you can't leave the floor until we have your vote. it's called corralling. >> that's why they call it prime rib. >> howard's down there covering the mark foley race for mayor in west palm beach. >> i'm getting some perspective on the world inside the beltway, let's put it that way. >> i think you're getting a wider view and bragter view and warmer view. you deserve a break. howard fineman, richard wolffe up here and the coldest washington i can remember. coming up, the clinton obama alliance is the most important we've come across in years. boy, is it interesting to watch. two clinton heavy weights coming here tonight. they're both going to educate us. naturally colorful vegetables are often a good source of vitamins, fiber, or minerals.
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history when the alliance was certified only national television. we're joined by terry mcauliffe and robert reich, author of "after shock." interesting, i love it when numbers agree. right now, the support for the deal on taxes and jobs benefi benefibenefits is 69%. one of those -- what do you make of that? >> i think what people are seeing, they like it when people are working together. what we saw in the last election, they hated the division. they like the idea of the democrats and republicans are working together to get the economy going. people are very worried about their jobs cht they want to see this country move forward. let's get together and move the
country forward. >> you've criticized the bill in print. give me your view overall between who's going on between those two leaders. >> they're both pragmatists. bill clinton doesn't exactly dislike the limelight. if you look at the national polls, are higher than anytime in the last ten years. people are kind of nostalgic for the 1990s and like his folksiness. h that's big. that's important. means that regardless of any tension that might have been existed between these two major figures, both kind of need each other in a way. certainly, barack obama needs bill clinton and that means that
they are going to utilize each other. >> let's talk about the people being critical of the president. people most passionate are from the northeast. vermont's not exactly a purple state. new york is pretty downtown. people like anthony weiner, really loud. is there a pattern there of clinton or obama people or both cau causing trouble here for the president? it's been a real noise machine and i think fair enough. we've taken both sides. is there a clinton role here to play? >> i think some people on the left, we know the differences on the tax bill. i think what clinton said the other kay day, it's not ideal. >> not a democratic bill. >> we've got to move it forward. the payroll tax deduction, 2%, you may not like the tax cuts, but we had to do something to
get this economy moving again and i think for clinton what he said the other day, a lot of things he didn't like about it, but overall, it will move the economy forward. i think it's very important to move forward, but he and president obama, they worked together on north korea. he sent president clinton to north korea, to haiti. >> is this a relationship or transaction? >> it's been a relationship and i think the press has wanted to see this, but president obama's calling clinton, go to north korea, to go to haiti. president clinton did 133 campaign events, worked with the white house. they've been working together. they love this country. they want it to go forward. >> i think all the political transactio transactions become relationships. washington is a very peculiar kind of city. i think that next year on balance this bill probably will have a stimlative effect. over all, if you're just looking
at the economics, doesn't make much sense. the top are already taking home almost 25%, almost a quarter of the national income before the extension of the bush tax cut. >> what do they do with it? >> they save it in a variety of financial instruments many of which go abroad. in terms of getting jobs back, you need more spending here and it's not going to actually do very much. >> do we want this country so save more or spend more? robert, what's better for you? >> right now -- when you have this deep a recession, what you want on balance is for people to spend. it's not the interest. it's not in the interest of any individual family particularly when they're still under a huge weight of debt and they are still worried about debt. if they were really being
prudent, they would hold back, but from a nation standpoint, you want people to spend. >> i say great black friday. everybody saving money. rush limbaugh. we're all looking at the same facts. rush limbaugh susannah was just on the radio. here he is saying, i wish they didn't have a bill because i'm hoping they let the taxes go up again then the republicans come in and own the house. they are the ones that cut taxes. he called it the cavalry. the same image i used. isn't that a good argument for the progressives that the president had to do this or other wise is cavalry would come in? >> this is what you've got to respect about president obama. it wasn't about politics. it was about doing something immediately now. put the politics aside. let us move forward. do it jointly. the public wanted to see our
politicses working together. i give president obama tremendous credit. >> i give obama credit, too. but i think the question is, why did the democrats do this before the midterms? i think there's a very interesting question here. >> robert, tell the guys that lost and the women that lost, if they had been able to say what's the guy mcmans, the guy from staten island. tell them. >> or the largest tax cut in history. how about with stimulus money. >> i'm going to take on robert reich. suppose this does go down. taxes go up january 1st. unemployment benefits get cut off. as an economist, isn't that bad
news for obama, for america and if if you are a real hawk, good news for you because it screws obama's political situation? >> you forgot the alternative minimum tax. it's very, very large. initially, taxes go up, right when the republicans take over january 1st, unemployment is cut you have. it is bad for the democrats, but bad for the country. >> when why are you opposing this deal? i read your column. >> if it's a take it or leave it, i say we probably have to take it, but that's the issue. >> hey! things happen here. has turned this very show for the president of the united states and this new coalition. >> it is a take it or leave it situation and we should never
have gotten into this to begin with. >> this is a real philosophical thing. terry will get this and you'll get it. because this 60-vote rule in the senate which says you can't get anything passed without -- which seems that neither party seems to have, it's a sack race. like every fourth of july picnic, this is the sack and the trats and republicans have a leg in that sack. >> i think you're overlooking one important thing. why not go after the filibuster months if not years ago. >> they supported the dixiecrats.
>> roeblt if you get rid of the rule, you'll be the most famous progressive in history. >> chris, one thing. with reconciliation, the way george w. bush got this tax extension mostly for the wealthy, through reconciliation. he said was only going to be ten years, a tax bill. why didn't the democrats try to do this under reconciliation and actually get what they wanted instead of what the republicans wanted? >> they did one this year. thank you. a great question. up next, the republicans are set to take over the house finance committee. is guy who's going to do it says washington regulators exist to serve the bank. that's his job. help out the banks. help out mr. potter who never gives a loan. elections have consequences. the wrong guys win sometimes.
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back to "hardball" now to the "sideshow." note to wall street, spencer bacchus is at your service. he told his local alabama newspaper -- he later tried to clarify, saying he meant that banks shouldn't be micromanaged. either way, is this the guy you want in was? a guy who thinks bankers are the ones who need protection? next, where's michelle ree when we need her?
michele bachmann says he's planning weekly civics classes for her members of congress. >> we're going to do what the nfl does and the baseball teams do. we're going to practice our craft, which is studying and learning the constitution, the bill of rights. here's a sampling of her pearls of wisdoms over the years. she's called the white house a gangster government. compared americorps to education camp. she's called for republicans to slit their wrists and become blood brothers to defeat obama care and called for members of the united states congress to be investigated for quote anti-american views. this is an odd person to give a class in constitutional law. tonight's big number, yesterday, would be senator joe miller filed a challenge with the alaska supreme court.
for all intents, that fight is long over. when did the associated press declare the race to have been won? 27 days and he's still fighting. joe miller remains firmly in denial. that's a long way for the river nile. up next, michael steele stunned republicans last night when he announced yes, he's running again for party chair. why shouldn't he stay on the job? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] got a cold? [ coughs ]
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backing on two points. no surprises in the fed's monthly meetings today. standing by a $600 billion second round of support. pulling the market lower late in the session, but aig soared to the top of the s&p as underwriters started jockeying for the deal to repay. meanwhile, general electric finishing flat. the parent company of these networks is forecasting solid growth and better than expected revenue. best buy shares plunging nearly 15% on dismal profit and a surprise drop in same-store sales. retailers were mostly higher. that's it from cnbc first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball."
the party that we began over a year and a half ago, to years ago, continues as we set our sights to 2012 and what we hope will be the election in 2012. >> that was michael steele last night on fox after a surprise announcement that he's going to run for another term as chairman. is this a good thing for the republican party? we've got two here, pat buchanan and john feehery is here supporting, are you one of the other people running against? who you running? why are you -- did cheney tell you to do? did cheney tell you to do this?
>> cheney doesn't tell me to do anything. >> is she going to beat michael steele? the republican party keeping michael steele. lieutenant governor of maryland, put him up for the united states senate. they they've him all these big jobs. why do they trust him again and again and again if they're not going to trust him? >> he won as lieutenant governor. maryland is probably one of the most -- party chair and so they gave it to him. >> why are they dumping him all time? >> they didn't to begin with. they believe he hasn't raised money. people aren't giving to the rnc. he's brought on too many people who are cronies. >> his track record of vikt vito should be the output. >> is he responsible for those victories or did they win him in
spite of him? >> here he is assessing whether he gets credit or not. >> we had not won the seats we won 60 in the house, 21 state legislatures that flipped from democrat to republican, then that would rest at my doorstep because we hadn't put the appropriate mechanisms in place to win. we took advantage of those opportunities to raise the money and won the election so we have control of the house. i'm looking forward to referring to mr. boehner as speaker boehn boehner. >> he has been a fairly mediocre chairman. from the standpoint of min especially. the rga and these outside groups really thrived because people didn't want to give money to the rnc because they didn't know what michael steele was going to do with it. you need someone who is an honest broker and who will be
able to run an organized campaign to revitalize the republican party. >> two things. there are two rules. one is the spokesman rule, the other -- and gorge bush. they were the spokesmen. then you get guys under him, really raise the money. ipg that combination is good. the problem is we don't have a president who can make that selection. >> here's the president, prepared remarks -- that reference was taken on what -- did report --
is he saying if you dump me for a white guy, you're dumping a black guy for a white guy. >> lincoln did not pick a black guy in those years, chris. there's no question about it that one of the attributes steele's got is that he was an outspoken republican who won a credible race hand thought he would represent the party well on television. if he's taken out, people will say race is the reason. i don't believe for a second it would be. >> what about the gaffe thing? vice president biden is a very smart guy, but he occasionally says things that people get a chuckle out of. >> they get the whole party off message. but that's not the principle reason people are running
against him. it's all about the money. >> you are working for cheney, i can tell. >> it's about the organization. >> why would vice president cheney come back from his retirement and declare he's for this woman? >> because i think that the vice president believes that organization and money are important elements. >> why is he getting involved so much? >> he would like to have an administration that brings the republicans back. the ideal guy is haley barbour. that's who they ought to draft. >> he ran the rga just like the rnc and that tells you volumes. if steele gets the rnc again, it's going to collapse. the rga and others will thrive. >> that's right. haley runs a good show.
>> i think the man behind the curtain is cheney. he comes on the show, he called me three hours and said, but feehery in for me. good luck. does care about our country, but boy, is he on the right. up next the senate pushing ahead on new s.t.a.r.t. something i do care about. when we return, let's debate whether new s.t.a.r.t. is good for this country. we're going to have former secretary of state on and former pentagon official. a debate this is the hottest issue. are we going back to the cold war? this is "hardball," only on msnbc.
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with the russians. i grew up with that. that was president obama last week expressing confidence that he could push through this new treaty in the lame duck congress this fall and now, senate democrats believe they have the 67 votes needed to ratify the treaty. they're pushing to begin debate on this agreement with the russians as early as tomorrow despite resistance from some republicans. lawrence was one of the six former secretaries of state that have urged the senate to ratify and doug serve as secretary of defense during the bush administration. why is it important, urgent, on all accounts that you can think of for this to be ratified this fall? >> i think it's important that it be ratified this fall, early next year. i'm not one of those who feels it has to be done in this lame duck session.
i would prefer it to be done then, but if you'll notice in that piece that all these secretaries of state, republicans, once did here recently, we didn't argue about when it should be done. we said it should be ratified. i still believe that, but i don't want to do it if in fact, i don't want to do it now if that's going to kill it. if we can get it through, fine, but otherwise sh i want to wait until next year. >> here's a list of prominent republicans voicing support. i think jim bakker's on the list somewhere there. >> he is. >> doug, what's the problem with this? why are you questioning it? >> i think a number of those republican officials that you mentioned also raise questions about the treaty. the treaty establishes a link,
an interrelationship between offensive force reduction. when i helped negotiate the pred success sor treaty, they said no. but the obama administration said yes. the treaty has counting rules, these complex counting rules that have the effect of imposing tennellties on the yit if we want to convert long range nuclear systems into long range conventional systems. >> the pentagon says it's better to create new rockets. isn't that the case? that this isn't a problem because the pentagon preferred to create new weapons? >> i don't think there's a problem of either point. number one, you're correct on the pentagon. that's not the issue. on the other hand, the so-called leakage is not there and we
don't accept the russian argument isn't there. >> let's go back to -- >> key factual point here. if you look at article 5 section three of the treaty, there's a limit on missile defense and the p preamble language. >> i think that's probably why we had the cold war, right? we basically bluffed them or convinced them, reagan them or reagan did, we could put up a shield against their ammo and said, whoa, we better call it quits. >> we have thatechnology that's better than theirs. >> mr. eagleburger, do you think we face a geopolitical threat from russia today? are they our enemy or potential enemy in the world? >> oh, i suppose they're a potential enemy. they are not now an enemy.
i think that where they pose a problem is that things like maybe some hands over some nuclear secrets to syria or something like that. in that regard, yes, they are a problem. in terms of the way they used to be that the two super powers facing each other, twno, that'so longer the case. >> i agree with secretary eagleburger on that. >> don't we need the russian alliance on issues like afghanistan, issues like iran, toughening the sanction, helping us do the battle we have to fight in afghanistan as long as we're there. >> we don't have them on a lot of those things. >> we don't? >> it would be desirable to have russian cooperation. and i'm all in favor of trying to improve cooperation with russia. but the russians have been very unhelpful on iran with the exception of one cancelation of a arms sale to them which was good, but in general they've been unhelpful and they're unhelpful on a number of other areas. i'm in favor of trying to
cultivate better relations. this treaty has serious problems. my view is the problems about this treaty should be looked at seriously, part of the answers to them may come if the administration releases the record which it's refused to do. i don't think it makes any sense to push it through the lame duck session. >> well, the concern that the democrats i hear from, like i believe the vice president and others, is mr. eagleburger, the concern they have about us going over into next year when you have a much more republican senate, still a majority of democratic senate nominally, but certainly much more conservative, it's going to be harder to get the 67 2/3 vote next than now. that's why they fear not getting it done in the lame duck. you're reaction to that? >> my reaction to that -- see, this is why i'm put in the profession of being more liberal than my friend on the other side there. i'm not liberal on this at all, except in this particular case it's a treaty worst doing. however, i don't mind if it waits until next year.
the fact of the matter is that democratic argument if you just used is says because we lost senate seats and therefore whatever it is it will be tougher for us to get because republicans are now in those positions is simply saying they want to do this now that they lost their seats in the senate. they want to do it before the lame duckers are out there. that's not the way to move on this issue. >> i think they're concerned. i'll express their concern since i'll share it. they're afraid these people come in from the outside, come in with an anti-establishment point of view to start with and their view will probably be -- >> we don't know that. we don't know that. we don't know it on s.t.a.r.t. at least and the fact of the matter is, this is the thing i think is so important where mr. feith and i probably disagree. the looming, worst issue we face for not just tomorrow but decades to come is this issue of nuclear weapons. anything we can do to begin to shave off a little here, a
little there, needs to be done. i think it's a terribly, terribly -- >> i do agree -- >> -- dangerous issue and we ought to go ahead with it. >> i do agree we have to do everything we can. the thing that concerns me is some of the mistakes that were made in the negotiating of this treaty may make the proliferation problem harder than easier. on your point, there are republicans who have serious questions about the treaty who i think, if forced to vote before those questions are answered, in a lame duck session will vote no. whereas they might be satisfied if it comes up later. >> i think it's fair to say we won't prejudge them. thank you. former secretary of state lawrence eagleburger, former undersecretary of state doug feith. let me finish with why i think our relationship with russia is critical right now. [ male announcer ] you know her.
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let me finish tonight with this nuclear treaty with russia. i have a simple view of this thing. we keep the strongest possible relations between our two countries. any student of history knows this bond between the united states and russia is crucial to the world's current strife. which is now between the zealots who used terror against the united states and those other countries that have armies. the war between big power armies is behind us now. the war between states with armies like us and russia and those who use terror stretches before us. i want peace between the big power countries with armies, so
that we can do a better job of defending ourselves against the terrorists. this is the heart of it. i make the basic assumption that henry kissinger, george schultz, jamgs baker, condoleezza rice and lawrence eagleburger, hard nosed people would have spotted a flaw in the nuclear arms treaty if one exists. i assume questions on the treaty of matters of verification, missile defense, modernization have been answered satisfactory. above all, not to fall back into the hostility between moscow and our country that prevailed. we do not need a second cold war on top of the threat we face from terrorists. we need the strongest possible alliance between america and russia. we need russia to build a tougher pressure on tehran to prevent iran's development of a nuclear weapon. the stronger the washington/moscow alli
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