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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 16, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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commission to sit there and have to deal with this in-public accountability we're talking about public airwaves. >> so this means that limbaugh would have to step up or maybe one of his representatives or the people that carry his show and explain that it's okay to say racist things on the air. >> and explain why some these statements are not racist, which i would love to see them have to explain that. >> it's going to be an interesting year. reverend, good to have you with us tonight. >> thank you. >> thanks so much. >> all right. >> you bet. tonight in our telephone survey i asked, do you want house democrats to keep fighting this tax compromise? 88% of you said yes. 12% of you said no. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. we'll see you tomorrow night from minneapolis. have a good one. deadline. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris
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math use down in washington. leading off tonight the last harrumph. over the tax plan reluctant house democrats are roaring their disapproval one last time before taking a deep breath and then probably voting for the bill. now here's the irony. the closer this gets to passage, the more it's the republicans who are having second thoughts because politics again. they think it's too good for president obama. uh-oh he likes it. the president likes it, there must be trouble in there somewhere. that's the republican attitude now. and plus the reviews on afghanistan are in and they're not good. yes, we're making some progress in afghanistan, but it's slow-going and here's the killer, pakistan isn't helping enough. and that's not to mention the corrupt afghanistan government. so even if we had to go into afghanistan after 9/11, does the war still make sense today? that's the hot issue that's getting hotter. plus, who's the grinch? did democrats hate christmas, that's argument republicans are seriously turning into an annual rite of the season. this year it's jim demint
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attacking harry reid because they don't want to work past the holiday. do they know how many americans are lucky enough to have a job and are working on christmas day? and skunk at the tea party, a new stimulus bill. the old gop guard is running committees right now. too much compromise with the democrats tea partiers say and they're ready to, quote, rod stewart to republican leaders, i know i keep you amused but i feel like i'm being used. finally, he won't admit it, but yet another republican, let's call mike huckabee, was for something before he was against it. wow. and we've got the tape to prove mike ain't telling the truth. we start with the two house democrats on the tax cut deal. u.s. congressman michael capuano of massachusetts. he joins us. and congressman of pennsylvania. thank you, gentlemen for joining us. two of my favorite congressmen but i think that they disagree. mr. capuano who holds tip o'neill's seat. the old eighth in massachusetts once held by james michael curmy and then jack kennedy and then tip o'neill and now you, sir. are you in that tradition of
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being the big liberal in the house, is that what this is about? >> i don't know about that. i mean i think that i'm a pragmatic liberal. i'm a liberal because i believe that government can and should make lives better but i'm a fiscal conservative because of i think we should pay our bills. >> wow, and you think what should happen tonight as the evening gross long? as we go past midnight tonight, what do you think the democrats ought on do finally relent, go out with the president or hang out a little bit more. >> i always presumed in in the final analysis that the president will get what he wants. i think that this bill is too big, too untargeted and i think that it adds the deficit way too much with too little return. i like the unemployment issue but i just don't think that it's good for the country in a long run. >> if he was to go down politically this season because of your vote, would you still deny it to him. >> i don't think that it's the way it's going to happen. look i was an early supporter of the president's. >> i know, that's all right. >> i don't think based on my vote. >> i know it's a cruel question at christmastime. but i'm asking you, speculate, if you were the vote deciding on
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the floor and you were corralled down there on the floor by speaker pelosi or steny hoyer and they said i need your vote, mr. capuano, we need you, mike, we need you, we need you, we need you, we're not getting out of here until after christmas, what would you say? >> that will not be happening. i'm not the guy who hangs onto my vote. they know how i'm voting and if they will do that do it to somebody else. >> okay, let me go to a more reliable democrat. i'm just kidding, go to mr. fatah of philadelphia. sir, your view on this, should the democrats go with the president. >> well, i issued a statement last week. i'm going to support the tax cut compromise. i think football always works better when you -- when you play with your quarterback and you it's democrats we have a president, he's come to a compromise. a lot of which we all like. and the republicans' side of compromise, most of us don't like. but that's the basis of a deal. and you know when bill clinton was in and republicans to deal with, there were combinations that we had to come to. i agree that we should pay our
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bills and have a debt and deficit reduction plan. i'll be altering my own in january about how we get out of debt but white now 98% of this country don't want their taxes to go up. we disagree about the 2% but republicans say look that's their side of the cake and they want the 2 percenter, the wealthiest people, to get a break. and we made an accomodation in which everybody's going to get what they want. we need to move forward, make sure that this recovery moves forward. i disagree with my colleague but i think that he's a great congressman from the commonwealth. >> lay it it on, lay it on. let's go. i know, mr. fatah, yous a s dis with, that's rush limbaugh. here he comes, and this time he's right for all of the wrong reasons but he's got it. and i think that you guys will agree that he's right. here's rush on the tax bill. let's listen. >> i know hope that this deal fails. i say it directly and officially. let the tax rates go up. on january 1st. let them go up.
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wait for our cavalry to show up and deal with this the right way. >> what do you make of that, mr. capuano? you've seen cowboy movies. he wants to be the cavalry with the white hats coming in with the white horses and saying those damn democrats let your taxes go up, here we are january 15th, whatever, and we're here to cut them for you. he wants to be that guy. >> he'll be the guy leading the charge next year to cut the programs i think that's so important like social security and medicare and senior housing and education and police and fire protection and i don't want to do that. and i think that that's absolutely inevitable. they're going do it anyway, and to add another trillion dollars to the deficit is simply going to empower them to do it more. >> okay burks is rush right that if you guys don't deal with in tax issue before christmas the bad guys, as you see them, will come in after january 3rd and look like the heroes? aren't you thinking politically at all on this, mr. capuano? going to go to mr. fattah. >> very politically and i also think that i have to think philosophically as well. >> mr. fattah, you're thinking politically is rush limbaugh right. >> al franken, barbara boxer
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voted for this in the senate. as liberal as they come in our party. i'll vote for them in the house. i'm part of the liberal left in the house. there will be members who disagree in and on legitimate points they may disagree. anytime that a deal is struck, some people are not going to like it. there will be enough votes to pass, this will pass out of house. will send it to the president for his signature and we'll get a few more things done. i think that the senate's going to pass don't ask, don't tell. we'll get the appropriations bill done. and then these republicans who want to celebrate christmas, i guess, will get a chance to, like most americans, they have to work up until christmas, some have to work on christmas day. but we'll get the work done. >> well, some people are lucky to be working. let's take a look at his tax. the polling data. i know that mr. capuano is not a politician so let's take a look at the poll dat. you and me, mr. fattah we'll look at these numbers. that's in our poll. and the latest quinnipiac poll has 69%. 69% say to go with the deal. this is 72% of republicans. 72% of independents.
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mr. capuano, i have to go back to you, 71% support this among union households this deal. what do you make of that? union households. >> who doesn't want a tax cut? that's -- i ask the question, do they want to lay it on their kids? why are they bothering to save money to send their kids to college and help them going forward? we're laying this on our children, everybody knows it and when you ask that question you get a different answer. if you ask for a tax cut i'm for that. i'll get a good tax cut out of this bill but at the same time my responsibility here is not just to the people who are here right now, it's also the future of this country. and we will regret this vote in a few years if we don't deal with our deficit and our debt right now. >> plete ask you, mr. fattah, what's it like you in the cloak room? how is this division? what's the argument going to? is it like this between what mr. capuano calls the philosophical position and the political necessity, in not letting the republicans steal this issue from you come january? >> well, there are a lot of
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different viewpoints at least one for each member of the democratic caucus. but the bottom line here is that we have a situation in front of us where we have a time line. we're going to be in the majority for a few more weeks. we need to get our work done. i agreed that the debt's a problem. i'm going to offir a bill that will deal directly with the nation's debt but i do think that we also have an economic recovery that's critically important and our lead economist that has looked at this across the board says this is going to add to our gdp, this will add at least a million-plus more jobs, we fleed to focus on building our economy because at the end of the day, that's how we're going to get out of debt. we have to grow our way out of debt by adding more tax rateables to the bottom line. >> okay, let's take a look at congressman defazyork last night he described what he said, were high-pressured phone calls from the president on this tax deal. though not saying that he got one himself. he said that he heard from someone who did. a white house spokesman, by the way, has denied the president is making any such apocalyptic phone calls. here's what the congressman said, however.
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let's listen to mr. defazio. >> the white house is putting on tremendous pressure, making phone calls. the president's making phone comes saying this is the end of his presidency, if he doesn't get this bad deal. you know i don't feel that way. i think this is potentially the end of his possibility of being re-elected if he gets this deal and it's a trap, it's a trap on social security and on progressivity in our tax system and a tax on huge cuts to programs we care about about because this adds half a trillion buckings to the deficit next year, and the next year the new republicans come in whoa, we've got to cut the heck out of everything because we have a $1.7 trillion obama deficit. they won't be talking about their role in creating that. >> this apocalyptic phone call that the president is going to lose it presidency if he doesn't get this bill, mr. defazio found out from his office a few minutes ago didn't get that call himself. he reports that he got it -- he heard another member got that call. mr. capuano, is anybody that you know getting calls from the president saying if you don't give me this tax fight -- vote i'm losing the job? anybody that you know hearing that junk.
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>> i've not heard that. >> okay thank you very much, mike capuano from the eighth in massachusetts. great to have you on for that for that great district, and mr. fattah, thank you. merry christmas to both of you, gentlemen. >> americmerry christmas to you >> thank you. coming up president obama says that the war in afghanistan is on track. whoa, whoa, whoa. we're making significant progress, i'm not sure. how can we say that with al qaeda holed up in the pakistan border where we can't get after them? that's the tough question. that's the question. the other question is what will we do with a corrupt afghanistan zbhft we've got the polls. does the war make sense? the people don't think so. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. princess of the powerpoint. your core competency... is competency. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle.
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back to "hardball." president obama's war review shows military games against the taliban and southern afghanistan but pakistan's refusal to attack extremist havens in the border regions threatens to unravel any progress made in afghanistan, so how much longer should our troops night this nine-year war? democratic senator jack reed of rhode island's a member of the armed services committee. he was a combat veteran himself. he's made ten wartime trips to afghanistan, and eight to pakistan. he was a veteran of the united states army's 82nd airborne. thank you so much for joining us, senator. i've got great respect for you. my trick question and it's trick question because it's trick reality. i don't know how many years that we'll stay over there but how can we ever win if we stay 20 years with al qaeda holed up in pakistan? >> first i have to correct. i am not a combat veteran. i have great respect for combat
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veterans. i have spent 12 years in the army but just for the record. we have to make sure that the pakistani's cooperate with us, and frankly, one of the issues there is that they consider some of these extremist groups as strategic assets, not liabilities. we have to convince them that they're liabilities to their own government. but we have made some progress to get them to go into the tribal areas. but i think the important point to emphasize and reemphasize in the president's comments is that he is committed to a july 2011th transition point where our troops begin to come out. and that is key. he does not see a long-term significant u.s. presence in the region. he sees the presence but not the kind of combat presence that we're seeing today. >> why do we stay any more than we're there? i keep asking to myself, if we have the al qaeda elements across the border and we're not going to win ultimately. because ultimately the taliban will call the shots when we leave, won't they? and al qaeda will call the shots when we leave.
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what influence can we have once we pull out in strength? >> well, i think this might be seen as transitioning to a mission of, really counterterrorism. directed at those taliban elements that are still supportive and connected to al qaeda and the al qaeda elements. we can't forget the fact that even though the pakistanis are not taking as much action that we'd like against these elements in the pakistan, we are continuing to use predator attacks, drone attacks to disrupt and to destroy al qaeda elements. we're still looking and putting a lot of pressure on them. so we're not abandoning the field to al qaeda. but we can do it and i think we ultimately have to do it with a much smaller footprint and the president i think believes that also. >> well, speak now as if you're speaking to a progressive audience to a group of antiwar democrats. what would you tell them it would look like a year or two ago over there in terms of our component? what would we have fighting over there? would we have 50,000 troops? way less than we have now is what would we have in the field.
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>> well, first thing i would say is we're there because that's where al qaeda mounted their attacks against the united states. we have a real mission there. it's continuing. second, we're going to begin withdrawal. it's not going to be as, i think, robust as i think many would like but the direction is going to be set and it's going to be firm. the president has done the same thing in iraq. he said on the campaign trail and he was -- it was out of the debate that he was going to start to withdraw. that withdraw is well under way and headed in the right direction. the question i think in a year from now i think that we'll see that shift. i think that we'll see more activity by the afghan national security forces. i think that you'll also see a continuing very robust counterterrorism effort by the united states. and that'll be our special forces operations. >> well, right now we've got a brand-new poll, senator, "washington post"/abc poll joining our other poll that says that 60% of the americans believe the war in afghanistan, a tough assessment, is not worth
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fighting. 27% want to draw out even sooner than that. i guess the question that liberals and progressives will ask, is it going to be a rapid withdrawal, a steep decline in our force level or drag on like vietnam did? >> i don't think it's going to be as rapid, frankly, as people would like to see. i'll be very candid. but i think once that direction is set, it will be in that direction. it won't be equivcating. and i think based upon conditions and many conditions, but again the president inherited an operation that was underresourced, mismanaged because of iraq for many years. i think he's got the right strategy and it's going to be a difficult strategy to carry out but it is the right strategy. >> thank you so much, senator jack reed of rhode island. happy christmas to you. >> merry christmas. president obama decided progress on his goal of disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al qaeda in afghanistan and in pakistan. let's listen to the president.
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>> in pursuit of our core goal, we are seeing significant progress. today, al qaeda senior leadership in the border region of afghanistan and pakistan is under more pressure than at any point since they fled afghanistan nine years ago. senior leaders have been killed. it's harder for them to recruit, it's harder for them to travel, it's harder for them to travel, it's harder for them to plot and launch attacks. in short, al qaeda is hunkered down. it will take time to ultimately defeat al qaeda and it remains a ruthless and resilient enemy than onto attacking our country, but make no mistake we are going to remain relentless in disrupting and dismantling that terrorist organization. >> senator chris coons is a democrat from delaware who just took office. senator, do you share vice president's skeptics about in war? very clearly in his nuanced statements saying again and again he'd like to see a fairly
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rapid withdrawal from that company starting next july. he says it's a real beginning of a withdrawal. not just with a few troops coming out of there, are you with him? >> chris, thanks for a chance to be on. i think i share every american's concern that if we're going to continue to stay in afghanistan, it's got to be work the the investment of lives, of money, of resources, and there's got to be a strategy that allows us to see a path forward towards a stabile, secure, independent afghanistan. >> have we got one? >> i was encouraged by what i heard today about the progress in southern afghanistan and the partnership with pakistan. but i am gravely concerned about whether there is a path forward for a counterinsurgency strategy that can really work or not. >> you know, if you were in -- let's think politically, you're sit, these guys are as smart as we are. they may be evil but they're smart. you're in al qaeda. you're watching america. you're reading the newspapers over here, watching cnn, whatever, you're keeping up with us. you know that we're talking withdrawal next july. you know that they're allied with the taliban, many elements of it.
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why don't they just keep things cool, wait for us to leave, and take over and have their base back? i just never understood this, we can wait them out when they live there. they'll always wait us out. we're from here. >> i support president's commitment to continuing a very tough fight against al qaeda wherever they are. there are elements affiliated with al qaeda that are yemen, that here in somalia, that here in pakistan, that are in afghanistan, and so -- >> germany. >> -- you're right. ultimately be able to take our eye off of the ball and stop a conflict with al qaeda that may go on for many, many years. the real question is we going to be able to stand up a successful afghan security force? are we going to be able to get a good and effective partner in the karzai government? are we going to be able to persuade pakistan under president zardari to work with us to close down those parts in the border regions that the taliban and al qaeda are using. >> so what's your answer to that. you're the senator. do you think that the governments of zardari of
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pakistan has the stuff to go into those northwest territories, those unregulated areas, tribal areas and really crush al qaeda if f bin laden may be there. why haven't they done it in ten years. >> as you heard from senator reid, they just don't see that it's in their own interest. >> right. >> to go aggressively after the taliban and al qaeda, it particularly that are affiliated with afghanistan, but they have stepped up their attacks against the elements of the taliban that are in pakistan. we have made some progress with them. i'm reserving judgment, as you mentioned at the outset, i've been a senator for just a month. i am looking forward very much to going to afghanistan and making a visit on the ground. i have friends, folks who i've known and served with in county government in delaware who have done two, three tours in afghanistan and i'm gravely concern read that we find a path forward that morkworks for amer >> responding to new polls that shows dwindling support for the
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afghan war. let's listen. >> i would just say that it's obviously the responsibility of leaders to pay attention to public opinion, but at the end of the day their responsibility is to look out for the public interest. >> i think it's understandable and i'm very respectful of the feelings of the american people. but the question i would ask is, how do you feel about a continuing american commitment that is aimed at protecting you and your family now and into the future? >> well, here's something i'd like you to check out, senator, with all respect. i got a sense we have no idea what's going on over there. i think the isa in pakistan is in bed with the taliban. they like the taliban because they're on the same side against the indians. they don't like karzai. there's so many strange alliances over there that we can't even figure out and yet we think that we're fighting a war. that's my worry.
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your thoughts on that as the last question. the murkiness of it. >> i think that you're right, it's a very complicated, strategic picture. i think where pakistan and its leadership really is one of the critical questions for us and i think that this war has become increasingly unpopular because the average american is convinced that it's not winnable in the long term. i'm going to support the president's efforts in the next few months. but at this moment i'm looking forward to us making a tough strategic review and making responsible decisions by next summer. >> well, congratulations, senator coons, and thank you for beating christine o'donnell, that was an important election i think for life on this planet. anyway, up next, who's the republican congressman who says getting i received don't ask, don't tell marks the end of america's days as a great nation? check out this guy's commentary. . . who's your somebody? eating campbell's healthy request can help. 25 delicious soups with low cholesterol,
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back to "hardball." and to the "sideshow." first up louis gohmert straight out of the right field. yesterday the texas republican congressman, you know, one of the berthers, urged his fellow members of congress to vote against the don't ask, don't tell repeal. why? because he says it threatens america's very existence. see if you can follow this line of, well, reasoning. >> to my friend who said, hist real judge us poorly, i would submit if you will look thoroughly at history, and i'm not saying it's cause and effect, but when militaries throughout history throughout the greatest nations of the world have adopted the policy that find for homosexuality to be overt you can keep it private, it could drug your hormones if you can't that's fine too, they're toward the end of their existence as a great nation. >> wow. we call congressman gohmert's office today for specific examples of such once great
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nations. well, they said they were fielding a lot of requests for that information and would get back to us. well, stay tuned here. next, mike huckabee's curious case of amnesia. the once and likely future presidential contender took hisu with an article on the website and i love this website realclearpolitics. quote in a recent internet post a contributor claims or makes the claim that i supported cap and trade in late 2007 while running for president. to put it simply, that's just not true. well, it's not true, mr. huckabee, that you supported cap and trade? let's go back to the tape here's huck in october 2007. >> i also support cap and trade. and i was disappointed that the senate rejected a carbon counting. >> i love that tape. it sounds to me like mr.
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huckabee has taken the temperature. most notably the tea partiers and realized that it would be more convenient for him to now disavow his prior support of cap and trade. thankfully for us there's videotape. now to the tonight's "big number," yesterday republican senator john thune issued some a fatwa against the new spending bill. >> the american people neither deserve nor want this bill that heaps more debt onto the backs of future generations. the bill's loaded up with pork projects and it shouldn't get a vote. >> wow. but catch this, how much in so-called pork projects does senator thune himself have in this spending bill? according to politico, he has $65 million in pork. talk about one of your cake and eating it too. senator thune has $65 million in earmarks requests in the new spending fwhal he opposes. he's campaigning against the very pork he's grabbing. tonight's outrage worthy "big number." boy, these guys are unbelievable. up next senate republicans say that they're mad at harry
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reid for threatening to keep the senate in session around christmas. they're saying reid is disrespecting christmas because he wants to hold a vote on the new s.t.a.r.t. nuclear treaty before christmas, and reid says the republicans who are just trying to run out of the clock, let's get into that fight next. you're watching "hardball." calcium per chew than viactiv or for the delicious flavors like chocolate truffle and vanilla creme? mmm. -mmm. -mmm. [ female announcer ] hard to say really. new caltrate soft chews, we put the yum in calcium. i'm off to the post office... ok. uh, a little help... oh! you know shipping is a lot easier with priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. plus, you can print and pay for postage online. and i can pick them up for free with package pickup. perfect! cause i'm gonna need a lot of those. wow! i knew i should have brought my sleigh. priority mail flat rate shipping starts at $4.90 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
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hey, there, i'm veronica de la cruz. you are looking at live pictures right now of the house floor on capitol hill. lawmakers are considering an unfunded $858 billion package extending tax cuts for millions of americans. the house is expected to vote on the package late tonight or possibly tomorrow using new rules allowing separate votes on different parts of the bill. wikileaks founder julian
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assange has arrived in london where he will remain under bail but under house arrest as he fights extradiction in sweden. the federal reserve is considering imposing on transaction fees. they want to cap those fees at 12 cents a transaction. who had i role in the movie the "40-year-old virgin" was sentenced to life without parel on after stabbing his girlfriend more than 20 times in a fitting rage. the pink panther series died today, he was 88 years old. i'm veronica de la cruz and now back to "hardball." back to "hardball." it's the most wonderful time of the year, unless you're a u.s. senator, who may be working straight through christmas, i guess. republican senators jim demint and jon kyl have been protesting democrats who want to vote on
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the new s.t.a.r.t. nuclear treaty with russia and other legislation in the next two weeks. here's senator kyl on tuesday. >> it is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing -- frankly without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for christians and the families of all of the senate, not just the senators themselves, but all of the staff. >> wow. and here's senator demint and what he had to say in politico in print "we shouldn't be jamming a major arms control treaty up against christmas. it's sacrilegious and disrespectful. what's going on here, it's just wrong. this is the most sacred holiday for christians. they did the same thing last year, they kept everybody here until christmas to force something down everybody's throat. i think americans are sick of this. for more on this war over christmas we're joined by "newsweek's" john alder. and also a columnist for
7:38 pm i have to go to my friend. the sanctimonious almost too much to reserve and even to report. what do you make of it? they've worked till late. ople work. we'll be here right before christmas. you know a lot of the normal americans get christmas eve off, they get christmas day off. and they don't belly ache about it. >> i love this that these guys are playing the christmas card. >> good pun. >> it's like it reminds me of what fox did, remember the war on christmas? they tried to stigmatize liberals by saying that they were anti-christmas or something, this is the last refuge of a senator who is out of an arguments which is where jon kyl is right now. he's been trying against the support of republicans secretaries of state. all of the listen republican secretaries of state want to get on with this treaty. it should had been ratified a long time ago. the idea that it hasn't been fairly considered is just completely untrue.
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they've had held 18 hearings on the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, so it's time to vote. the blame for the reason that it hasn't been voted on yet, rests with senator kyl, not with senator reid and the democrats. >> wasn't it signed, david, in june, by the president and medvedded. >> and kyl and the other republicans are calling this am to read the treaty. >> outloud. >> outloud. >> what an affect. >> no affect. to complain. >> i know. i know. i want to observe christmas, a lot of people do but you know i don't think that it's disrespectful of the christian holiday to say you'd like to end nuclear war threats before christmas. >> peace on earth. >> perfect season for peace on earth. >> with the scriptures. here's president -- or rather senator harry reid responding to kyl and that sort of sanctimony. let's listen. >> i don't need to hear the sanctimony lectures of senator kyl and demint to remind me what christmas means.
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my question, madam president, is where were there concerns with christmases after filibuster after filibuster after major pieces of legislation during this congress. >> guys you study these guys, the history, don't they have a gag in them that say, i can't say this. >> no. >> i can't say that the fight is over the holidays that they're trying to -- you know with some kind of sack relidge going on here. they should be saved for at least special occasion. why are they bringing it up now? blasphemy, sacrilege, come on. >> that seems to be changing, is that anything goes now. you can use any ridiculous argument that you want. if you can try to appeal to the base or whatever they're doing or figure out some other way of getting a little bit of an edge they'll use it. it used to be where these constraints on -- particularly in the senate, where -- when they said my distinguished colleague, it wasn't just
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blather. it was because -- >> yeah i know. >> they respected certain boundaries on the debate. >> is there somebody -- is there some living soul out there that's listening to demint or listening to kyl who goes to vote in a church bus who is so religiously driven by it in their voting that they actually were truth when he says this stuff? do they really hear it. >> well, there may be some people who think that you know because of the fox effort that jonathan mentioned earlier, nat democrats and liberals are really out to get christmas and the final blow is negotiating or debating the s.t.a.r.t. treaty up to christmas eve. >> you know people when they have hangovers they have to put one foot on the ground to try to find stability? well this is to bring stability back to this discussion. a list of regular people who work right up to christmas eve. i mean, doctors, nurses, members of the military. they don't get a week off. service industry, firefighters. by the way, most normal people top reiterate to the producer putting this together, most people like us, get christmas eve off. >> i'm looking forward to next year when they shut the senate
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down for ramadan, for the whole month. what are you going to do? we worked -- they worked during hanukkah. what's the problem here. >> get to the greatness and the reason that you guys are really employed at your great level. john, will we get a vote on probably the most important vote of the year? it's not the taxes, which is politically hot fire. but this nuclear arms race. we have all of our lives worried about a nuclear war. the two sides, russia, the united states have ended the cold war since 1991. they're working closer and closer together. occasional friction but they're really trying to reduce the number of nuclear weapons. every republican with any brains going back to scowcroft to schultz to kissinger, kissinger, dr. strangelove, they're all for this treaty. all of them for it, are we going to get it signed, ratified by the congress before they go to christmas? >> i think that they will and the reason is iran. this has not been enough, part of the discussion. we need russia in order to contain and isolate iran. and that's what ultimately this is about. if this treaty doesn't go
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through our relations will russia go into the crapper and we have a real problem. >> but they'll wonder who is calling the shots over here, david. >> i'm usually pessimistic about the senate doing the right thing. >> yeah. >> but in in case i think because of the overwhelming support, when you have the chairman of the joints chiefs of staff, you have bob gates a republican. >> and 67 votes. >> and everybody else who jonathan has mentioned say that we must do this for kyl and demint to hold it up under the banner of protecting christmas is about absurd as it's got then year so i'm hoping that it will pass in the next week. >> on that positive note, we end the conversation. thank you. and by the way, happy holidays to both of you guys, david corn, jonathan alter. up next, well that didn't take long. the tea party leaders are already angry with the republican leadership in congress. why are theyed. >> and why the republicans sustain an attack from the right, next. a lot of fun.
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we're back. and some tea partiers out there are mad about this trillion-dollar budget bill with some pork in. some others are mad about the tax cut bill which also adds $900 billion to the deficit and some others are mad that the republican leaders aren't rewarding some of their heroes, like michele bachmann with plum assignments. is there a brewing battle on the right between the tea party people and the establishment republican party? matt kibee is the president of freedom works and bob walker. is a former congressman from pennsylvania. gentlemen, thank you. let the fight begin, perhaps. what do you make of this -- let's start with the tax cut proposal. matt, we want you on this show
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all of the time. do they like this big tax cut for everybody, bush tax cuts all of the way, extending the jobless benefits and the whole works. >> i tell you it's kinds of a mixed deal and there are some tea partiers that have anxiety, particularly about some of the junk in the bill. the extension of unemployment benefits. the ethanol subsidies, they're pretty -- it's bad stuff. but we view it as dodging the executioner's bullet, getting past this massive automatic tax increase that will hit all americans in january. we have to get to rational tax policy, but for this congress, nancy pelosi, harry reid, and president barack obama to extend the bush tax cuts, i think we should consider that a tactical victory. >> bob walker, do you think unemployment benefits are junk for the people who get them? you just heard it, your colleague there on the right just said, it's junk. >> well, i don't think they're junk but i think that they should be paid for and i think that's one of the things that republicans had hoped to do that have not been done thus far.
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but i certainly agree that the tax bill should be passed because i would be afraid that if you start withdrawing billions of dollars from the private sector of the economy and bringing it into the government early in january, that you really could undermine the whole economic performance for the rest of the year. >> are the tea party folk out there, to the extent that you can talk for them, matt, and you can i think for a big chunk of them, do they worry about deficits or do they worry about spending? see the deficit will be added to by 900 billion by a big tax deal, do they say i'd rather have the tax cut than the deficit? is that the way the tea partier thinks of it? >> i think they're worried about deficit spending. i don't think they have a problem with allowing americans to keep some of the money they've earned. >> it's rhetoric. but it does increase the deficit. >> i'm not so sure. you have such a trouble with unemployment and economic stagnation right now.
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it's not at all clear to me that the numbers make any sense. you're looking at raising taxes on everybody in january. and you have can't possibly argue that that's going to have anything but a negative impact on growth and the revenue that growth produces. >> you seem to be saying that cutting the taxes or allowing the tax cut to continue for people who make over 250,000 a year will pay for itself in new government revenues. it will be one of these things where you lower the rates, but more revenue comes in than otherwise would come in. you believe in that process? you just said so. >> no, i'm arguing this is a spending problem. we've been spending our way into massive debt. >> so the taxing didn't bother you, adding to the deficit? >> i will say if we don't fix this problem of this automatic tax increase, you are going to see further economic problems and less employment, which does nothing to fix our revenue
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problem. >> here's what the founder of tea party patriot said about michele bachmann got getting a slot on ways and means. i think she has the background necessary to be on ways and means. it shows leadership doesn't necessarily support her. congressman walker, does fame on the outside help you get a big job on the inside? she's got a lot of fame and notoriety. i love sparring with her. but that doesn't seem to be helping her with the inside guys. >> it's more than simply being a spokesman on the outside that works inside the process, that determines what you do on committees. and the steering committee has to weigh a number of things. i think in picking the people that they did, they did a pretty good job. they picked people who are going to stand up for lower taxes and more dynamic economy and economic growth. that's what we have to have on the economic committee.
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>> is she a show horse, not a workhorse? >> no -- >> i thought you were saying that. there were workhorses you could put on that committee, not her because she didn't meet that standard. that's what you said basically. >> no, that's not what i said. i said she's been a very effecti effective spokesman for the party but the steering committee probably had more senior people to be on the come the, that deserved their shot, having been effective in the work they had done in the congress previously. i think michele bachmann wants to be on the ways and means committee, probably will be at some point. >> i know you're not big of the tax side. but what about these porkers out there? all these guys that seem to love your votes, thune, cornyn, mcconnell. they have all have their santa
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claus bags to go home with. >> we have to strip all the earmarks out. it's an outrage. there's 6,600 earmarks in there. it's a republican and democratic problem. i think we should do a short-term resolution and get all of that garbage out thereof and deal with real spending reform come january. >> you're new the new juice. why don't you make these republicans do what you guys sell, matt. >> that's exactly what we've done with the house republicans -- >> you have not done that, matt. all these fat cat republicans, every one of them is pushing pork so they can get re-elected. they're doing it and laughing at you guys. >> senator mcconnell is leading the charge against this omnibus pork bill. >> and getting his pork while he's doing it. >> not if we kill the bill. >> okay, okay, thank you. going around the corner on me. thank you very much for joining me. freedom works, great organization for you guys. bob walker, always great to have you on.
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when we return, let me finish with a tribute to larry king. his run is ending tonight. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and from national.
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let me finish tonight with a gentleman of immense curiosity. that's, i guess, you can only guess about these things, the secret to mr. larry king. how do you explain the success
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of this phenom, larry king? all in that thick smoky new york accent that appeals to everyone. my late mother if law would go to bed with larry king in her earphones. she would perch into the big night with this big liberal democrat as he talked to someone from somewhere for this flinty conservative woman from colorado. how about the nude scenes, are they a problem for you? he knows what the guy back in brooklyn would want to know. what larry knows is that knowing the right question to ask isn't exactly a secret. it's knowing because you never stop being one of them, what the guy or woman out there would like to ask if they had the