tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC October 22, 2011 5:00am-5:30am EDT
> bye-bye, baghdad. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, out of iraq. barack obama's campaign for president began with his opposition to the war in iraq. well, today, without the embellishment of a self-serving mission accomplished banner, president obama announced all american troops will be out of iraq by the end of the year. >> after nearly nine years,
america's war in iraq will be over. >> wow. well, the president made the announcement one day after the killing of moammar gadhafi. that strengthened his bona fides on foreign policy and allowed him to say to the republicans, essentially, go ahead, try to oppose me on this one. plus, castro convertible. maybe we now know why senator marco rubio keeps insisting he's not a candidate for vice president. rubio has dined off the story that his parents fled fidel castro's cuba. now we learn they fled batista's cuba, years before castro took power. rubio's explanation, such as it is, simply doesn't pass the sniff test. how does he survive this history? also, herman cain is against abortion rights. no, wait, he's for them. well, actually, he's for them and he's against them. or maybe it's the other way around. cain's self-contradictory positions and confounding explanations even have conservative republicans asking, how many do-overs does this guy get?
and the republican presidential candidate democrat seems to like the most, jon huntsman, joins us here tonight, right here, to play "hardball." let me finish tonight with the iraq war that we never should have fought. we start with today's dramatic announcement, however, that all american troops will be out of iraq by the end of this year. patrick murphy is the first iraq war veteran to serve in the u.s. congress. and today he's a candidate for attorney general of pennsylvania. and michael hirsch is with "national journal." thank you, gentleman, for joining us. let's take a look at the president's comments today, and they begin to dovetail from, we're getting out of iraq, and i wish you'd put these young men and women to work. here's the president making clear that jobs for veterans is priority number one. >> as we welcome home our newest veterans, we'll never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits, and the opportunities that they have earned. this includes enlisting our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation, creating opportunities
and jobs in this country. because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build is our own, and an america that sees its economic strength restored, just as we've restored our leadership around the globe. >> well, patrick, i merely thought of you today, because you were one of the people heroic enough to make the right statement on iraq from the beginning. and you're, of course, an iraq veteran who then got elected to congress. and now, of course, i assume you're concerned about the unemployment rate in pennsylvania. tell us how these two issues come together. cheering the troops as they come home, but also offering them an opportunity here in this country. >> you know, it's interesting, chris, i got a comment today from a young woman, lakeisha watson moore on my facebook page, and she said, why don't we take that money we invest in iraq and invest it here in job training programs for these heroes coming home. for these heroes i served with in iraq and who are now coming
home finally, we need to make sure, they served our country, they fought for us over there, they shouldn't have to come home and fight for a job here at home. we need to do all we can. i will tell you that mrs. obama, the first lady, has done a tremendous job, and dr. jill biden, the second lady, they have teamed on this effort to make sure that these heroes -- because the unemployment rate for veterans coming home is even higher than the general population. we have to take care of these heroes. we have to give them opportunities, whether it's the gi bill i voted for and helped pass or whether it's tax breaks for small businesses to hire these veterans. >> let me go to michael hirsch, reporting on this nationally. this question of concern for veterans. the republicans are very good, and i do respect them on this. they do care about their soldiers, and visiting them when they get hurt and they get bounded. and of course, grieving their deaths. this question about creating a opportunity at home, was it interesting? it was to me. i'll ask you the open-ended question. the president timed these two issues together. respect for the soldiers and opportunity for them. >> i mean, this has been a consistent theme, chris, for months now.
when he announced the afghanistan drawdown back in june, i think it was the first time he used the phrase, we need to do nation building at home. and that's something that ties together with the biggest critical issue in his future, which is the economy and the jobless rate, as well as winding down these two wars. i think you're going to see him repeat that again and again, as these withdrawal timetables continue. >> and here's president obama pointing out that he'd kept a campaign promise in ending the war. let's listen. >> as a candidate for president, i pledged to bring the war in iraq to a responsible end. today, i can report that as promised, the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. after nearly nine years, america's war in iraq will be over. >> on october 2nd, 2002, then-illinois state senator, barack obama, made an anti-war
speech in chicago. he said, "i don't oppose all wars. what i'm opposed to is a dumb war. what i'm opposed to is a rash war. what i'm opposed to is the cynical attempt by richard peril and paul wolfowitz and other armchair weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and the hardships borne." that could be me speaking, but it's more impressive when the president says it. a lot of us thought this was an ideological war, we were talked into, some of the american people were, first of all, the president was talked into, and then we went to war basically on an ideological jag. your thoughts? it's over. >> my thoughts, chris, i was on active duty when 9/11 happened, and my best friend growing up in northeast philadelphia lost his girlfriend and her father who were murdered along with 3,000 other innocent americans. and i deployed, i volunteered, my first deployment was with
general petraeus. came back from that deployment. that was 2002. then there was the ramp-up in 2003, as you know, to the iraq war. and i remember being back home on our soil, on active duty thinking to myself, as a young captain, why are we going to iraq? we're not -- we haven't brought bin laden to justice. and next thing you know, i shipped out with the 82nd airborne division, and unfortunately, 19 of my fellow paratroopers never made it home. and i saw firsthand in baghdad in 2003 and 2004 how shorthanded we were and how it was not the right war. and i came home and i stood up for that. for my beliefs and what i saw. and i tell you, it was not easy, and you know that, chris. it was serving in a republican district, and sometimes you get your patriotism questioned. but what is important is that you do the right thing for the right reasons. and that's what barack obama has done since day one. he was very clear to the american public that we will focus on bin laden, we will bring our troops home from iraq. he did that, he kept that promise. but he also, and very important
to note, he said, we will bring bin laden to justice. he did that. even though people like john mccain criticized him. because, remember that question, michael smerconish said, well, what happens if bin laden's in pakistan, and john mccain said, no, no, we can't tangle with that, and barack obama said, we will bring him to justice, period. and we did that. we brought number two of al qaeda to justice. he has continually made america safer. and the news, just yesterday, with gadhafi. and let's be very clear. bringing gadhafi to justice is an important step to keep our world safer. and i will tell you, chris, and you know why this is important, because we have people that, unfortunately, american service members who were murdered by gadhafi, we have people that, unfortunately, were killed, americans -- there's a young girl who was 21 years old, miss johnson. she's from greensburg, pennsylvania. a semester abroad in scotland. she was on that flight coming home when she came to her death because of gadhafi.
finally, he was brought to justice. this guy was a madman. do the republicans give the commander in chief, barack obama, credit for any of these things? absolutely not. they continually politicize this thing. today is a day to say, thank god these troops are coming home from iraq, thank god, frankly, we were able to bring bin laden and gadhafi to justice, and let's make sure that we invest our money, our time, our talent, and our lives of our americans here at home. >> thanks so much. first iraq war vet. he's now running for attorney general. thank you. coming up, senator marco rubio once a shooting star of the republican party told a story that his parents fled castros cuba. the trouble is, they didn't. they left for other reasons. how damaging will this be to rubio having ridden so long on
castro. what does it make rubio? that's a great question. "the washington post" broke this story. joe is the editor and chief of nationalmemo,.com. i want to show you something that puts it into perspective. this is clear cut. for a long time, marco rubio considered a vp nominee for the republicans, made it clear he's one of those people who comes from an anticommunist past, a cold war past. his parents left cuba because a communist stole that country. his family left well before that. here he is bragging on who he is and he ain't. they put together a montage of his statements and family history. let's watch. >> i think the direction we are going now in washington, d.c., would make us like the rest of the world, not the nation my
parents found in 1959. >> your father came here from cuba? >> yes. my parents and grandparents in '58-'59. >> i know it's possible to lose your country. >> my people know what it's like to lose their country. >> no matter what titles i achieve in my life, i will always be the son of exiles. >> that's clear cut. >> it is. you know, i got into looking into this because i'm looking into a biography for rubio and came across documents that had that '56 date. i was skeptical, i thought it could have been a mistake, a mix up, '56-'59. there was document after document with the same date. it's clear that's when they
made. lying on a resume to look like they are something they are not. what happened when you -- did you confront them? how did you confront his people? how did you get him to deal with this, or did you get him to deal with it? this dishonesty? >> i talked to senator rubio's staff. they invited me over to their office to look at some passports, copies of passports. they didn't want me to take them with me, but they said that i could look at them. and what was interesting about the passports is that they showed that during this period, between 1956 and 1959, the rubio parents were in miami all the time. >> okay. joe, what do you make about this. we have a lot of information on this to make them look like a real anti-comy? >> well, i've seen senator rubio give different dates for when he knew his parents came over or when he said his parents came
over. you know, i think most children have a good idea of when their families came to the united states and under what circumstances. it's hard to imagine asking mommy, what was it like under castro and why did we leave? >> well, we weren't there, son. >> yeah, everybody that saw "godfather 2." what was it like? i notice he shot 600 people. you always ask that stuff. >> it's like the immigrant jews or irish not knowing about the potato famish. this is part of the immigrant mentos. if you didn't hear that that way as a child, then you are missing something. it's hard for me to believe he didn't know the real circumstances. >> i don't think it's that
fuzzy. you are being kind around the edges. his own website leaves no wiggle room. it reads, in 1971, marco was born -- it's an official document. also note the same wording is found in the biography that appears on the campaign website back in 2010. he keeps putting out this cover story and over and over again, look here, i'm going to give the judge a chance to response to this. when you are caught, admit you are caught. he doesn't admit he's caught. he lashes out at you. here he is lashing out at the reporting calling it outrageous saying he won't stand for it. he writes quote, here is what the senator said, if "the washington post" wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, i accept that. to call into question and my
parents young lives and a communist took control over their homeland is something i will not tolerate. what "the washington post" writes is not that important to me. i am the son of exiles. i inherited two generations of unfulfilled dreams. why did you do it? how can people put out this pompous information. >> i don't know if i would use those exact words, but i will say this. there's an interesting story whether they came before or after castro. in fact, in some respects, if they came before castro, it's an immigrant story that would be understood by a lot of people in the united states right now. millions of people in the united states right now who came here looking for economic
improvement, a better life, all of these things that we hear when we hear interviews on the mexican border, for instance. it appears that based on the timing of this, that the motivation would have very likely been for the rubio family to come here and find work and have a better life and all those same reasons. but, it's not the narrative that the senator is comfortable with. >> this is ideological, not ethnic. he's already cuban-american. it's a fact on the record. he had to be part of a right wing struggle. he has to appeal to the tea party types. what's going on is an attempt at an unfactual history to win over the approval of right wingers. >> he wants to cloak himself in that ideology. that's okay. the problem is, it's not true.
the second problem is he's had other integrity questions raised about him in the not so distant past about his use of credit cards, republican party credit cards. the former chairman went to prison in that same scandal. this is not rubio's only problem. i think it's a good day for anybody else who wants to be on the vice presidential slot next year. >> it's a decent day for chris christie and thune. thank you. a big story for "the washington post." by the way, don't worry about them attacking back. that's what they do when you catch them. what does the death of moammar gadhafi have to do with the new york yankees? it's sick but the kid that killed him was wearing a yankee's cap. that's one victory for the yankees. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc.
back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, looks like gop candidate herman cain has a way of bringing in some extra personal cash during the 2012 season. apparently the candidate is still very much available for motivational speaking gigs. think he's trying to stay under the radar on this one? far from it. according to the candidate, "i'm still doing paid speeches, but i have not raised my prices. this economy's on life-support, so i'm very mindful of those companies that would like to have me come and speak, but i'm not going to take advantage of my newfound popularity just to put more dollars in my pocket." well, the hermannator experience, a phrase cain trademarked himself, does not come cheap. cain estimates he's raked in $250,000 in speaking fees this year. next up, front-page frenzy. with the news of libya dictator moammar gadhafi's death yesterday, it was time for the press to get creative.
"the washington post" with "for gadhafi, a bloody end in libya." and the "chicago tribune" went, "with gadhafi gone, libya exhales." the always tasteful "new york post" had "gadhafi killed by yankee fan," and showed gadhafi's killer wearing a yankees cap. it's all true. there were still questions about the sequence of events that lead to gadhafi's death. many are handing credit to this 20-year-old member of the rebel forces. there he is. and now for the big number. did you notice that each of those headlines went with a different spelling for the former libya leader's name. does it start with an a, k, g, or a q, and does it end with an "i" or "y," and quite an arrange of spellings for his first name as well. in his 40 years as dictator, how many translations of his name have popped up?
that's 112, just in the english translations. the library congress alone lists 72 of them. 112 right ways or wrong ways to spell moammar gadhafi. that's tonight's big numbers. that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business" with jj ramberg. nurse...! [ female announcer ] dawn power clean can give you the power of an overnight soak in just 5 minutes. [ sponge ] it's a scientific miracle! [ female announcer ] dawn does more. [ sponge ] so it's not a chore. [ female announcer ] starbucks via® is planted the same... ♪ ...harvested the same... ♪ ...and roasted the same as our other premium coffees. ♪ it only makes sense it would taste the same. so, try it for yourself. buy a pack of 100% natural starbucks via® ready brew. we promise you'll love it or we'll send you a bag of starbucks coffee. it's the starbucks via® taste promise. look for it at starbucks stores and where you buy groceries.
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