tv Morning Joe MSNBC December 23, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EST
from daniel. i'm getting invasive dental work done this morning. >> good luck with that. >> we have one from a viewer who says lennie davis, former special counsel for president clinton. last time i was up was when joe scarborough was giving me a hard time about president clinton. i cannot confirm. >> lanny? has he been on the show since then? anyway, thanks, john. "morning joe" starts right now. . i saw like a trailer what they call a trailer for the hobbit. fantastic. >> journey back to middle earth
with the wizard gandolf, feely, keely, biffer, nory, dory, and ron. >> i would like to restore your right to drink raw milk any time you wanted to. christmas eve eve eve. who do with have with us onset? >> we have mark haleprin. we have also the political writer for "the huffington post," sam stein, and editorial writer for the -- >> not the shot i would have taken. >> the msnbc contributor jonathan -- >> how did it go in the break? >> how are we doing? in the way of e-mails?
>> how was willie's show? >> willie's show was great. the e-mails were fine. some dude who says he's lanny davis e-mailed in saying he hadn't been awake that early since the last time he was on the show and he was -- you were berating him about bill clinton. something like that. >> that guy's living in the '90s, i guess. >> this was a big, big day for the democrats, big day for the president. >> it is. >> finishing strong. >> yeah. i think so. >> the democrats have finished strong. i remember sugar ray leonard talking about how he beat marvin saying he would stand there taking a beating and then steal rounds at the end. well, the democrats stole a big, big round. >> the democrats are taking a victory lap after house republicans retreated on their demands for a long-term payroll tax cut deal. it ends a nasty standoff in congress that left millions of americans wondering if they would lose an extra $1,000 from
their paychecks next year. john boehner will fast track a procedural vote for a two-month extension of the breaks. he announced his decision yesterday in a conference call with members of his caucus. unlike previous meetings where rank and file revolted, this time boehner didn't give his colleagues a chance to voice their opposition. with most lawmakers already home for the holidays, the bill is expected to pass through a unanimous consent motion, meaning just a few members need to be present for that. still, some republicans are furious over the deal, including freshman congressman who wrote this, even though there is plenty of evidence this is a bad deal for america, especially our small business owners, the house has yet again caved to the president and senate democrats. the republican majority would not exist if not for the conservative freshman class of 2010. we were sent here with a clear set of instructions from the american people to put an end to business as usual in washington, yet here we are being asked to sign off on yet another -- >> okay.
so mark haleprin, the republicans got their heads handed to them. >> they did. they lost on the politics. i know you think on the substance they were right, the american people do not think they were right. this is a great psychological win for the president and the democratic party because there have been debates throughout the obama administration on the fight of the two parties on ideology. t if the president's reelected, i think we'll look back at this and say it was a huge reason why. >> it was a big win. and you say saying going too far to the right. the republicans in this case were the ones fighting a middle class tax cut. again, i think for the right reasons if you look at economics, tom friedman would agree, jeffrey sachs and i would agree. but i was reading, sam stein, as i usually do late at night in front of a crackling fire the speeches of margaret thatcher. and in it -- >> who doesn't? >> but in 1975, margaret thatcher was talking about how they lost two elections in a
row, and she said the reason we lost two elections in a row is because we were more focused on macro economics than we were on average britains. and she said we can never again lose sight of how policies impact average britains. >> yeah. well, first of all, i listen to my margaret thatcher speeches on audio book, we're a little different, i guess. >> it's a generational thing. >> yeah. >> even if they were right in substance, they were wrong -- >> i think we need to step back for a second and look at where we started, which is obama came out and said pass my jobs bill. it was a $450 billion jobs bill roughly. he said pass it, i want it passed in full. republicans were able to get him to only pass $30 billion -- that's 1/15 of the jobs bill, and yet they come out of this debate looking terrible. and the reason why is because they stopped focusing on the actual, you know, day-to-day
lives of americans and they started focusing on esoteric political arguments. >> macroeconomics. >> and once you start arguing about whether or not we should pay for a tax break by, you know, raising fees on fannie or freddie or surtax on millionaire's income, you're not talking about the fact that a lot of people are unemployed and need that help. and that's where they stumbled, i think. >> no doubt about it. and jonathan, the republicans had a chance just a few days ago to leave this year big winners with the president caving in on the pipeline. instead, they're the ones that are stumbling out of town. this is bad news for the republican party, bad news for republican presidential candidates, and bad news for john boehner. >> really bad news for john boehner. remember earlier in the week, we saw the speaker standing with the entire conference behind him. remember they cheered at one point when the -- when someone asked him, well, when are you going to get to work?
and he said we want the president to get to work. and everybody cheered with him. the leadership were behind him yesterday when he pushed back on senate minority leader mitch mcconnell's call for him to throw in the towel and get this done. last night when he announced that, okay, we're going to do the two-month extension, he was a man alone. he was alone at that podium, no one around him. it was painful to watch. >> yeah. >> but we've seen this before. we saw this during the debt ceiling debate, john boehner seems to be -- being wagged by his caucus, a man who doesn't seem like he's in control of his caucus, but a man who seems to want to do the right thing but can't. >> can i just say one thing? imagine if john boehner had after they reached that two-month deal in the senate simply taken that deal and framed it in a way that was logically a victory. we got the pipeline, we eliminated the surtax, we only have a two-month extension, we'll relitigate this.
obviously they didn't like the fight because it wasn't going in their favor, but he could've spun that in their favor. this caucus needs to know when they've won, and that's one of the problems confronting boehner. he has a lot of people who don't know when they should say, hey, we won. >> that's what being a leader is about. is being able to see these coming around the corner. this has not been a good week for john boehner. for some, you look at this and it's almost like we're looking at a mutant strain of bush derangement syndrome which has mutated now into obama derangement syndrome where you cut off your nose despite your face and everything you look at is focused through a singular prism, what hurts the president. democrats did that with bush, republicans seem to be doing that now with obama. >> i felt that a long time now. and i think that the tea party part of this story played too heavily, and i think it led to the speaker being incredibly tone deaf at a time when not
only is the economy struggling, but when congress is about as popular as it has ever been in history. let's go to capitol hill right now. kelly o'donnell has been covering it every step of the way. what went on behind the scenes as this retreat went down, kelly? >> reporter: well, one of the great things we've got to look for is what happens when we get closer to the end of the two-month extension. and will some of the dynamics you were talking about begin to repeat themselves? because one of the things that house republicans had been talking about are the practical arguments in terms of policymaking and government. not so practical when you're talking about the holiday season and what a specific extra amount of money means to people when they've got bills to pay and holiday gifts to buy. what we saw happening is that many house republicans thought they had a practical argument to make. go for a full year extension. and as you all know, the real battle wasn't over duration, it was how do you pay for it. and they could find democrats
and republicans a way to come up with $33 billion, which covers three months extension, but couldn't agree on enough to get to roughly $190 billion, which would be a full year of these added benefits or reduced taxes. so it was a challenge, and it was a slow sort of cracking branch that we could hear behind the scenes yesterday where you began to see that aides to leadership knew that this was not a winnable argument, even if they believed on the merits that they had something important to say and it was how do you get there? and one of the critical moments was when mitch mcconnell put out a paper statement, wasn't here in person, just put out a paper statement to them saying both things could be done. republicans and democrats -- >> let's talk about mitch mcconnell for a second. there was another freshman republican who put out a statement that said basically we were run over by a bus and that bus had kentucky license plates. a lot of anger now between the house republicans and mitch mcconnell. that is an anger that will
fester into the new year. >> and it's not a new anger. there has been frustration for a very long time. house republicans can tell you how many bills they've passed they believe the senate has igno ignored. those house republicans especially some of the newer group believe they were sent here with those marching orders that you talked about earlier, and they feel the senate has not responded. so there was a real tension that didn't get as much public notice as sort of an intramural fight between the house and senate. so senator mitch mcconnell pushed, that gave other republicans cover to say let's get this done. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you very much. >> thank you, kelly. >> happy holiday. we're going to turn to the other side of politics now, which is the republican presidential candidates, mitt romney for one, is focusing his attention on new hampshire, striking a confident tone there after picking up the support of george h.w. bush. the former president told reporters that romney is "mature and reasonable," not a bomb thrower. >> obviously as you can tell,
there's growing momentum for this effort. here in new hampshire and across the country. and i had the chance to chat with the president this afternoon and wish him a merry christmas, he did the same to me, i thanked him for his support, his leadership, his heroic life, and his friendship mean a great deal to me. i must admit, this is much more important to me personally than even politically. he's a real hero to me. and my family and i appreciate his support. >> so yesterday in new hampshire, mark haleprin got a chance -- i love when they let kids get on the bus and ask dan quayle questions about abortion and stuff like that. yesterday was mark haleprin's time in new hampshire and he got a chance to talk to mitt romney. let's take a listen. >> i'm not sure we fully understood who barack obama was before he became the president of the united states. i think we're still learning that. i also think that a campaign is
about an mri of the economy and the record of the incumbent. and i know the president will try to do everything he can to try to kill our nominee. to brutalize them, distort their life and their record. but what he can't hide no matter -- despite all the money he'll amass, he can't hide his record and the fact he's been a president at a time when americans have suffered and he can't turn this economy around. >> and he was responding to the axelrod quote that these campaigns are the mri of the soul. how did you find romney yesterday other than turning left of manchester? >> it was actually wednesday, just to be -- >> don't -- >> he's a reporter, it's okay. he has his facts. >> seriously? buzz kill. >> that ruins it. >> he was very relaxed and very confident. i think in the next two weeks, one of two things is going to happen. either he's going to become the nominee very quickly and the focus is going to be on the general election, or he's going to take a real stumble in iowa and/or new hampshire and be in a fight to try to win the
nomination. in both cases, i think the implication is going to be, is this guy tough enough to win a nomination? he's very relaxed on the bus. he was extraordinarily relaxed. and he's very focused. and he's got his priorities straight. he's not scrambling around trying to figure out, should i do this? where should i go? >> he's very comfortable. >> he's very comfortable right now. but he also recognizes. one of the things i've asked about. he said recently i have a great life, if i lose, i can go back to that great life. and i said can republicans be confident you're going to fight for this? he's got a nice balance between wanting to win for the country but also not feeling obsessed with it. >> mitt's comfortable. we've got the big four, though. and i want to go around the table. sort of year-end predictions, i guess. right now, who would you predict wins iowa? >> mitt romney. >> you're kidding me? what about you? >> who knows. >> good answer. >> i predict ron paul. >> me too. >> new hampshire.
>> you really predict ron paul with all of these stories surfacing? >> yeah. >> don't make me make a $10,000 bet challenge. >> ron paul yesterday despite all of these new charges ignored it, went out. he's got more energy, more excitement, we've got christmas coming up, they're going to go down for a couple of days. when he comes back, he's going to have five, six, seven days for the final push. if these stories had to hit, they hit at the right time. >> i guess his supporters aren't the type to be driven away from these stories. >> do you know how many colleges are in session on january 3rd? >> zero. >> same thing was said about barack obama. >> and they had a sophisticated way to reach out -- >> how many of those kids are in state kids and will be in iowa anyway? >> some. a lot. >> if ron paul wins the iowa caucuses, what does that do -- >> thank you, john. that's my point. most of us will probably pick
romney winning new hampshire. so if you have paul, iowa, romney, new hampshire, it turns out for south carolina and florida, i am not so sure that newt gingrich doesn't find a second wind and win south carolina and rolls into florida the strongest candidate. you have mitt wins 1 of 4. i think this is right now, if i had to bet, that's my bet. >> i will say in terms of my prediction, i think if i had to pick one, i think romney could finish fifth in iowa. >> do you really? >> yeah. >> what about south carolina and florida? you think newt still has a shot? >> i think he does. a much better shot if he finds a way to win iowa. i think he can have a second life in iowa if things break right for him. if romney wins, if romney survives iowa whatever that means and wins new hampshire, i think he will find a way to win south carolina. >> i will tell you, there is such a disconnect in the south, jonathan, between mitt romney and the republican voters. >> and the disconnect is because
is it -- >> with the base. >> policy? >> i don't think it's because he's a mormon. when i talk to my friends in the south they don't go, oh, he's a mormon, i can't vote for him. this is a thing that a lot of people in manhattan and washington don't see. growing up in an evangelical church where you feel like the world is against you and radicals are against you. i'm telling you, my mom and dad always saw mormons as allies. they're on our side. >> so then do southerners feel that mitt romney isn't conservative enough? that, you know, since the 90s he was a progressive and liberal. >> i think so. but there is also a cultural disconnect. i think is the main thing. you can look at mitt romney's performance in all of the primaries and caucuses back in 2008, his 13 lowest performances were in the south. >> so i think the touch stone you've always used has been your dad.
what would you dad say about mitt romney right now? >> he'd probably vote for him reluctantly. probably would. but i don't know. >> isn't it sort of remarkable. we've been at this -- mitt romney's been running for president more or less for four years now. he's been at this for almost seven months, eight months now, his numbers are basically where they were when he started. and it's like -- i'm waiting for him to breakthrough that and i'm wondering what it will take. but is it just sheer reluctance that's going to bring him over the finish line? that's not compelling. >> listen, at the end of the day, you've got to ask the question -- >> who can win? >> what does mitt believe in? >> yeah, that too. >> what does mitt -- and that's what southern conservatives are asking. what does mitt believe in? of course, if mitt loses in the south, the next question is, who else is there? >> right. >> outside of brokered convention, what are the other
options? and that's why they turned to newt in south carolina, they turned to newt in florida. there's that possibility. >> let me piggyback -- >> that means chaos ensues. >> right. so who would be your father's second choice? >> describe him. >> i think my dad -- >> it's the voter -- >> i was talking about my dad for those that don't know the back story, my dad always at the end went for solid establishment type figures from gerald ford through john mccain. >> right. >> when i was saying john mccain, he's not conservative! and he's a war hero. i don't know who my dad would vote for second. >> three people you can rule out -- >> you know what? and probably not jon huntsman because he couldn't relate to jon huntsman either. >> i don't think we can rule out perry, gingrich, or huntsman at this point. >> you know what? you say perry. he'd say, i kind of like that perry guy. i kind of like him. >> definitely.
>> you're right. that's actually -- >> perry finishes second in iowa. >> i don't think he will. >> could. >> forget the third. >> maybe he wins south carolina. >> he's a good south carolina candidate on paper. >> perry could -- perry could -- if perry surprises in south carolina with a strong second place finish forget iowa, i think he goes into florida. >> he's the only one who has -- well, beside romney, he's got that super pac money waiting in the wing. >> you're talking about my dad. you know what my dad would say? after looking at everything, he would say you know what? he was governor of one of the biggest states of america for a decade, he created a lot of jobs there, he may say some kooky things, but in the end, maybe he's the guy. >> and you nailed why we're having this conversation because your dad could relate with someone like perry and the mitt situation, i think he's not relatable to folks like george.
up next, an exclusive with politico's top stories. and don't miss -- well, we'll miss it because we miss him, don't miss willie's year-end review. find out who he names person of the year. plus a special holiday performance by carol king right here onset. but first, bill karins with a check on the holiday forecast. we didn't get too many people snow last night, but it is snowing this morning up in northern new england. where the ground doesn't have a lot of snow, you're getting a little bit more. specifically areas from burlington through northern vermont, the ski areas of new hampshire are getting snow. pretty good snow from portland to augusta to bangor, maine. that's really the only areas that were cold enough for snow. everyone else it's been a rainy night. the rain's clearing out, though. give it another hour or two in boston, you'll be done, we should be dry for the rest of the day in new york, hartford, and philly. snow flakes in buffalo and pittsburgh. we are going to watch the middle of the country today, your get
away day, no problems in dallas, atlanta, chicago, a lot of the big airports looking good. as we go into christmas eve, west texas has a chance for some snow. and that's about it. we may see snow showers in the great lakes this weekend. but even on christmas day, the rainy period in texas. rainy time square, you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ♪ [ female announcer ] you use the healing power of touch every day. the healing power of touch can be even more powerful. with precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving cream works quickly to activate sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals fast for relief you can feel precisely where you need it most.
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>> thank you. >> all right. time now to take a look at the morning papers. and we'll start with the parade of papers. the los angeles times says the current presidential candidates are choosing late night tv over sunday talk shows. republican front-runner mitt romney has yet to appear on one of the three major broadcast network sunday political talk shows this fall, yet twice has found time for david letterman. >> he was on fox news sunday, may i suggest in this race, is the most important show to be on right now. "the new orleans times," drew brees needs 265 passing yards to break dan marino's record. >> i think he'll get it done. and steven spielberg talks about family, going to the movies, and the problems with theater popcorn. >> i've got to say, you know,
overall there's only one sunday show to be on. >> what? >> well, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." >> of course. >> are we talking to him today? >> i hope he's not where willie is. it's like everybody. what is going on? there must have been some party we weren't invited to. >> it was a big eggnog party. who was the person -- and you'll know this, in andy griffith, who was the person who always got locked up? otis. it was otis, yeah. >> yeah. >> willie is acting like otis this morning, maybe david gregory, but i'll tell you what, mike allen can hold his eggnog. >> i've seen him. >> he's a chief white house correspondent for "politico," here with the morning playbook. my goodness, not a good christmas season for john boehner. what does he do next, mike? >> well, ho ho ho to "morning joe."
>> wow. thank you. >> thank you, mike. >> speaker boehner has a rough couple of hours ahead of him. "politico" learned to prevent another mutiny from his freshmen as he forced them to take this deal they didn't want to that on the conference call where he announced it, the lines were muted. they couldn't speak up. the speaker announced his decision and said we're finally going to do what we should've done before. house republicans were isolated with the senate republicans saying this is crazy with carl rove out saying this is crazy, with the "wall street journal" editorial page saying you've handed president obama a huge issue. president obama is now out there in the holiday season as a tax cutting issue. when you have all of that opposition, it was only a matter of how quickly they were going to cave. boehner knew this would be tough. he had no idea how bad it would be. the obama people knew this would be good for them, they had no
idea how good it would be for them. >> no doubt about it. by the way, you got called out the other day. >> yeah. >> by chris christie. >> he battered me on the set. >> it was sort of a battering. >> you know what you do when -- >> you're good friends, though. >> he did that all in love. >> he was trying to make a point for the republicans. >> yeah. >> and i thought patience would be the best answer in that situation. >> well, i thought you knew -- >> also because he may be mitt romney's vice presidential selection, at least that's what the story's looking like. >> he sat down with fox news and talked about how he wouldn't close the door on this, which is something i wrote on a piece of paper to you. take a listen. >> i think it's presumptuous to do that, martha. running for president, that's my decision, vice president's a decision of only one person. whoever the nominee of your party is and i think it's awful to say i won't do something when it hasn't been offered. the fact is, if governor romney comes to me and wants to talk to
me about that, we'll have a full, complete conversation about it and then mary pat and i will make a decision about what we want to do with our future. >> translation. he's going to do it. and it's going to happen because that's the only way any of these republicans might have a chance. mike? >> he would love to do it and as vice president, he wouldn't have the disadvantages he would have running at the top of the ticket. we've agreed that chris christie was very wise about staying out. he knew that with no national record out there it would be very hazardous to go out. he knew that you can't learn this policy on the fly, ask rick perry how easy that is to do. but as the number two, he would not be responsible for that. and his advantages as the plain talker, the straight talker, the person who appeals to the middle, those would be out there. for mitt romney, you're more likely -- your more likely possibilities are bob mcdonnell
of virginia, maybe senator john cornyn of texas. but we can see that now chris christie's definitely going to be courted and probably in a very public way you'll start to see the great mentioner mentioning him more and more. >> mark haleprin, chris christie has one of the highest approval ratings of any republican governor, you immediately put new jersey in play. and even if mitt romney doesn't win, look at john kennedy in 1956, the mere mention of possibly being a v.p. candidate helped him. sarah palin in 2008 is propelled on the national stage. this could be very good for a run in 2016. >> christie would excite the pac base, raise a ton of money for the rnc, and you can send him anywhere in the country kind of like obama four years ago. there's flaws, but you can send him to any state in the country and get a good reception and that's a great thing in a v.p. pick. >> merry christmas. >> you too. fun year.
coming up -- there are certain teams that just can't get it right. even when they win, they lose. >> what? >> the baltimore colts -- actually the indianapolis colts. >> there you go. >> it's suddenly christmas 1975, are that team. they may be -- what are they doing? they have the first round draft pick and they start winning. plus, we're going to show you what happens when tom hanks gets liquored up and goes on david letterman. more "morning joe" in just a minute. [ male announcer ] if you're intrigued by the hand-selected wood trim... the 38 1/2 inches of legroom... and the reclinable, heated napa leather seats
hey, welcome back to "morning joe." in sports, coming up, the colts hosted the afc south champion houston texans and indianapolis. what is wrong with the colts? just lie down, die! so the texans score, okay. >> that's not nice. >> texans score, this game doesn't matter, but yay, the texans go ahead and you have fumbles and catches, and oh, it's great, texans score again. we show these highlights, sam stein, have you ever followed a team that loses, loses, loses,
and finally you start cheering for them to lose, they start winning! it's happening to the colts who at the end of the game with 24 seconds left on the clock score a touchdown, win a game which caps a 76-yard drive. the colts fans go wild because who wants a first round draft pick anyway? >> it's crazy. >> the colts lost everything. and now they are -- >> picking up a win -- they have the best prospect in many many years in their hands and they're actually winning and blowing it away. it's terrible. why are the fans cheering? >> why are they cheering? they should be booing. why are they there? go home, be with your families. what's wrong with you? i remember back in 1972, haleprin -- no, '71 or '73, i think. young kid, christmas eve game, i think it was the raiders and chiefs, it was a classic, that
was a big rivalry. and i'm like, why aren't there good games on christmas eve anymore? i'm not asking that question anymore. because tomorrow on christmas eve, we've got a must-win game for both the jets and the giants. they're playing tomorrow on christmas eve at 1:00. this is a huge game. mark haleprin, who wins? >> lots at stake for both teams, my money's always on the afc jets. >> i'm a huge giants fan. my money's on the jets. >> jonathan capart, you have dissected both teams, looked at them very closely. jets and giants, break it down. >> just pick one -- >> what color are the uniforms? >> you'd like the green of the jets uniform. >> that's right. jets are green and you said -- >> giants are blue. >> giants are blue. i'm partial to blue. i think it's going to be the giants. >> all right. the jets win. >> okay. >> i think -- >> my jets win. >> i pick the giants. >> what do i get if i win this. >> absolutely nothing. coming up next --
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it's an old-fashioned american story. i married my high school sweetheart, but first i had to wait as he volunteered for the air force and flew planes all over the world. when rick's tour of duty ended, he returned home to farm with his dad and asked me to marry him. we grew up in small towns raised with christian values, values we still believe in, and we know washington, d.c. could use some of that. >> i'm rick perry, and i really approve this message. >> all right. >> oh.
>> where's waldo. >> just jumped from the bushes. >> that was cute. >> that was cute. >> perry do well in iowa? >> i think the difference between first and sixth at this point is like ten points. if somebody closes strong, they can do well. >> any movement on perry's part in iowa? >> not much. >> what about bachmann? >> you know, she's drawing big crowds, going to all 99 counties. >> isn't that a good sign? >> it's usually a good sign. she didn't get the big endorsement that went to santorum from the iowa group. but she's working very hard and, remember, she did win the straw poll. it's really unsettled. i said i thought romney would win if you asked me to pick one, but i think there's shifting around at the end. time for somebody to go strong. >> i've been expecting bachmann movement out there. and i just haven't seen it. i would thought -- >> she doesn't have tv on and it matters in the caucus she
doesn't have the money. >> there's been two complex things that are very difficult to understand things, why romney hasn't been able to -- and and also, why bachmann fell off the face of the earth after the straw poll. she had all the momentum. >> why did that happen? let's talk about that. >> well, probably rick perry. >> michele bachmann was at the top. >> perry came in -- >> and remember, pawlenty got out. ironically she drove pawlenty out of the race, but his getting out overshadowed along with the perry entry her victory there. and she won that straw poll. but remember, romney didn't committee there, perry didn't compete there, newt didn't compete there. she had the thing somewhat to herself. >> could iowa be so muddled that the results don't matter if they're -- >> that's been the question. >> iowa on the republican side hasn't been a good predictor in i don't know how many cycles. on the democratic side, it's a good one, but it's a complex and
weird process and it's a small group and universe of voters that, you know, it's always difficult to ascertain what the results actually mean. >> it's interesting, we always hear all of the talk about money and politics, there's too much money in politics. i think the number one story of this campaign right now is as the political armies line up for the big battle, they're all broke. nobody has bullets. i'm serious. newt, no money, bachmann, no money, santorum, no money. perry, diminishing money, the only person with any money, and it's not really an impressive amount, mitt romney. where is all this money that i hear about? >> you think about four years ago how much obama, and clinton, and edwards were spending in iowa. gigantic, tens of millions compared to this. >> why is that? >> part of it is the bad economy. there's not as many people willing to give and part of it is a lack of enthusiasm for
these candidates, people don't have the confidence. >> you're saying if jeb bush were out there, chris christie were out there, they would have more? >> how much of it has to do with the fact there's so many more places to give now. and the big donors, they don't have to bundle money for a candidate, they can write a $1 million check for a super pac -- >> even the super pacs don't have that much money. they don't have hundreds of millions, tens of millions. >> it is fascinating. can you read charles kraudhammer's piece -- >> the house pac's down -- i mean, it goes on and on. >> the gop's payroll tax debacle and this is important, i understand a lot of people are kicking the republicans this morning. but when it's the "wall street journal" or charles krauthammer, pay extra close attention. it matters. >> the democrats set a trap and
the republicans walked right into it. by rejecting an ostensibly bipartisan compromise, the republican house was portrayed as obstructionist and heartless. willing to raise taxes on the middle class while resolutely opposing tax increases on the rich. having finally realized they trapped themselves, house republicans quickly caved with help from a fig leaf contrived by senator mitch mcconnell. nicely reprizes that scene in "animal house" where the marching band turns into a blind alley and plows into a brick wall crumbling to the ground with one difference. house republicans are unplumed. here's the thing -- here's the thing, i don't want to -- it's done and they screwed up and we all agree. but how did they not see this coming? explain to me. had you been there? would you have said, guys, we're losing this? let's just -- >> well, you know, the thing
that i think allowed the freshmen back in '94 when we went after newt and we were able to succeed. we succeeded by pushing our conference in a lot of ways, we would look at the big picture. >> yes. >> the big picture. and in this case, somebody there with power should've stood up and said what charles krauthammer said, which is we were right on policy, but we're going to have to figure out a way out of this box because i will guarantee what's going to happen is they're going to say we don't want to give working class americans a payroll tax cut, but we're going to keep protecting the richest americans. that is even if you -- especially if you were a republican -- >> doesn't work. >> that hurts you. >> i keep going back to this -- republicans got an enormous number of goodies out of this. they have expedited the keystone pipeline, they got rid of the millionaire surtax, they only 1/15 of the jobs package is
passed. they have gotten 99% of what they wanted and when they're at the one-yard line, they fumble. they're like the colts. >> it is. as we move forward, what we have to realize is these things are never all or nothings. like it's not like john boehner either had to take barack obama and the senate's bill or fall on his sword. there was another way forward and great leaders and smart conferences figure another way forward. they just -- they were unable to do it. there was -- this was -- >> obama derangement. >> it was obama derangement syndrome, and this is a good example of john boehner being disconnected from his caucus. if you have a caucus saying we are not going along with this tax cut for the same reason i said they shouldn't go along with this tax cut. you go, okay, what are they going to do? speaking of newt, one of our criticisms of newt was tactically early on newt would say, okay, bill clinton does
this, we're going to do this. and that's the end of it. you never think through. there was never a plan "b," what happens if bill clinton comes back with a next move? and he never had the answer to that. john boehner, boy, he fumbled this one. >> and the president surrounded himself with people who would be affected by the, you know, increase in their taxes. it was -- i watched that and i thought -- it's too easy. >> pointing your finger at the conservative freshman who made you speaker of the house is not the answer. the answer is figuring out how to channel that energy into a victory and john boehner fumbled. >> they had a really bad plan, but executed it worse. the cooler is next. we'll be right back. with the capital one venture card
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if you work in an office, you probably have already had your holiday party. that time of year when you discover the frightening drinking habits of your coworkers. well, last night on "the late show," david letterman gave us a sneak peek into his show's end of the year bash with a special guest appearance. >> we did some videotaping. there we are. oh, there's some folks talking. and then we had the -- those are the interns. oh, this is great. they get to unwrap the presents. they don't get to keep them. but they get the thrill of enjoying the unwrapping. now, here was a problem. we had ordered cookies and they came by mistake from an erotic bakery. i left the party early, this is what we do when something -- oh, and guess who was here? tom hanks. you know who that is? that's tom hanks. and he had one too many drinks -- >> i'm larry crowne!
does that mean nothing to you? i know ron howard. >> yeah, that was -- so that was the big -- he knows ron howard. >> that's my kind of party. >> he knows ron howard. >> my colleague, "the washington post's" eugene robinson. keep it on "morning joe." [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
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this isn't a typical democrat versus republican issue. this is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in both parties agree. how can we not get that done? i mean has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can't do it? it doesn't make any sense. >> what everybody called for a one year extension, the payroll tax deduction, when everybody wanted a full year of extended unemployment benefits, we were here fighting for the right things. may not have been the politically the smartest thing in the world, but i'm going to tell you what, i think our members waged a good fight, we were able to come to an agreement, we were able to fix what came out of the senate.
>> welcome back to "morning joe," mark haleprin, sam stein, still with us, and joining us from washington, associate editor of the "washington post" eugene robinson. >> let's keep the music up for one second. >> so nice. >> i played this specifically for you, eugene, and democrats who have suffered through the year, it's i think some tactical mistakes by the white house. but now, just sing along to andy williams. this is a wonderful time for democrats in the white house, isn't it? >> well, you know, it's a whole lot better than it's been at certain points in the past couple of years. look, this was a clean win for the white house. and the house republicans, you know, painted themselves into a corner from which there was no escape. and so they've had to, you know -- they lost this one.
>> let me read what your take is on this in the "washington post." >> gene, do you write like every three hours? >> that's what he does. >> how many columns do you have a week? >> i have two a week, but, you know, yes, i write every three hours. >> in fact, he's writing one -- look at his right arm. it's moving just a little bit. he's writing one right now. >> yeah. >> all right. the gop -- >> hard to do on those touch screen smartphones, i'm working on it. >> here's what you say in the "washington post" this morning, eugene. there are only two possible reasons for house republicans to behave the way they did, maybe they're so blinded by ideology they no longer care about the impacts their reactions might have on struggling american families. or maybe their only guiding principle is anything obama supports, they oppose. the week's events offer reason for obama too. public opinion has become more sensitive to issues of economic justice. this may be partly due to the
occupy protests. but i'm convinced that obama's fiery barn storming in favor of his american jobs act has played a big role. people are hearing his message. the president has been on the offensive. it's no coincidence for the first time in quite a while, republicans are backing up. >> republicans are backing up, gene, and the president's poll numbers are going up. >> yeah. they're going up. and i really think this is linked to the fact that he went out very aggress i havely over the last few months to sell h his -- his story. to sell his version of how we got into this economic mess, how we ought to get out, and and who's helping in that effort to get out and who's not. >> right. >> and it's -- i think it's really having an impact. it's clear that over the last few days as the house republicans tried to hold this indefensible position. they were hearing from constituents who were saying,
look, what about this do you guys not understand? and it's a lesson for those of us who have been saying for some time go out there, you know, hit them back, i think it's a lesson for the white house. it works. >> i think also -- and i wonder, mark haleprin, if you agree. because a lot of people were critical recently on this set of the president's speech in kansas. and i saw it when i heard it as a turning point for the president backed up, not only feeling the pain of what american families are going through and understanding the disparity that is out there, backed up then by this policy debate over the payroll tax cut extension. and i think it's beginning to really sync for the president. >> joe biden has an op-ed piece in the "des moines register" today that makes a counterargument to mitt romney's speech on this big debate about what the government should do, who should pay what in taxes, and i think the kansas speech
has been attacked by a lot of people. but i agree with you on the politics of it that that line is going to be part of the president's reelection effort. and if mitt romney's the nominee or if newt gingrich's the nominee, i think the white house welcomes that contrast. >> and i will go back to august, and the debt ceiling fight as the key turning point when the administration was looking at the economic abyss of the united states not raising its debt ceiling. when that deal was finally done and the president and the administration could finally exhale, any fight after that, they viewed it as a piece of cake. so it was easy -- it became easier for the president to realize you know what? i'm going to -- i now am liberated to fight. and he's been fighting since the august bus tour, then the job speech in the house in september -- on september 8th. and we've seen him consistently push and fight on this agenda. and we see that like -- it pays
dividends. his poll numbers are up. he's got this -- he and the democrats have this great victory with the payroll tax cut and we're going to see this continuing through 2012. >> so everybody's talking about what the president's done right. he p doesn't operate in the vacuum, though. i think you have to look at the other side of the story and see what republicans have done wrong. i think an ugly gop fight with weak presidential candidates that has sucked, really, most of the oxygen out of the room as far as political discourse in this country. who has also helped the president great deal and hurt republicans. you combine that with some tactical mistakes with this final blunder, and my gosh, it is great news for the president. now, i just want to say on that speech, where he was channelling t.r., i've read a lot of columnists that krauthammer would be one of them, the "wall street journal" page would be another one that i thought had
strong thoughts against that speech. the problem is there is not a national figure on the stage for the republican party running for president of the dwrits united states that can articulate clearly why that speech is offensive. i think the republicans are leaderless right now at the top. >> and chris christie on the set mocked it in the most, i think, kind of almost extreme way. >> well -- >> hold on. >> chris christie, though -- >> i like chris christie -- >> if you put chris christie on the campaign trail for a couple of weeks -- >> he will be. >> i promise you, he will punch holes in that speech. but he's not out there. >> but here's the thing -- >> please don't call him an extremist because you disagree with him. >> no, i think that the criticism of the speech was a little rough if you look back at the tape. i watched the interview, we got a lot of responses on both sides as to who was rough on who. and i watched it curiously and i thought that was the only thing i thought was downright mean --
>> you don't like people disagreeing with the president. >> no, if i could, i really think the speech did something. and we're seeing the results of that right now. and let's talk about you brought up what the republicans did wrong. there are a couple of things that are peppered in along the way that added to this. they look like what they're being called, obstructionists. look at the appointments they've shot down along the way. the ambassador story we were covering from el salvador. every step of the way, they look like obstructionists, and in this case, they look mean. they look like they don't care. and i don't care if ultimately you and i disagree whether they do, i'm talking about the politics of it, as well. the president starting with that speech turned the corner, in my opinion, showing that he cared about what is wrong with this society. >> i think the republicans do if you read the "wall street journal," if you read charles krauthammer, i think they would agree, sam stein, that the republicans whether you agree with the president's speech or
not, which i disagree with it. i think the republicans set themselves up to look mean, to be defenders of the rich as the "wall street journal" and krauthammer -- >> let me make the argument that you guys are making the same point. which is for a while now, we've had a president who has been out there saying we need to help the middle class, we need to create jobs, we need to save teachers, et cetera, et cetera, and event had an articulated republican counterproposal. and by that i mean something that says, yes, we still do have a jobs crisis in this country and this is what we have to do about it. instead, what you get is, oh, no, we can't tax the rich, or no, this ambassador to el salvador cannot be confirmed -- >> who has been there for a year. >> the point is that the country is deeply concerned about this jobs crisis, and if you're going to have one party who says absolutely not to everything the president proposes when that proposal's about jobs, of course they're going to take a hit. it's not a surprise it's 50% to
35% in the washington post over who can best represent the middle class. >> gene, the question has been asked for weeks, why are republicans flirting with newt gingrich instead of mitt romney? i think herein we find the answer. and the answer is, if you want to have a battle over ideology, you want somebody like newt gingrich and not mitt romney. mitt romney will not carry the banner for free enterprise. he will not carry the banner for the wisdom of the -- even though he worked at bain capital, he can read those talking points, but he's not going to be your champion. newt gingrich and i'm not -- i'm certainly not supporting newt, i'm explaining, though, the base wants a fighter, somebody who can defend conservatism. and whether you love or hate mitt, he's not that guy and he never will be. >> well, i agree with that, joe. i think that what conservatives ideally would have is a less
imperfect vessel than newt, but someone with that fighting spirit, you're right. it's just that he has all of the other baggage that we've gone over many times. i think the republicans have a short-term and a longer term problem. and the longer term problem goes through the election. the short-term problem is that they're going to have to come up with a new tactic other than obama says yes, we say no. that's not going to work anymore. and so they're going to have to figure out how to say, well, okay, you know, let's modify it or do it your way this time. they're going to have to come up with a new way of dealing with that. and i think they'll do that. i think they will succeed at that. there's no reason they shouldn't be able to. longer term, they've got to come up with a compelling story about the economy and about jobs and about why what they want to do and what the presidential candidate ultimately chosen wants to do is better than what the democrats want to do. and it's not going to be name
calling and saying he's socialist and he's whatever. it's got to be substantive. and they haven't done that. >> i think also if you look at some of the polls for the president, people are beginning to be sympathetic whether you agree with it or not with the president's predicament with the republicans because of all of the stops along the way. it also was a predicament for the republican candidates. could in be an opening for newt? in some way, shape, or form? >> i don't think there's any doubt about it. the republicans got their head handed to them. they're going to going into the iowa caucuses with this being the last political event. and it's a political event where they took a left hook to the face, and frazier is down. frazier is down. and mark haleprin, this is actually a bad development, mark haleprin, for the romney campaign i believe going into iowa because the last thing you want when you are being
overtaken is a guy like mitt romney that's not going to fight back. i think it's an opening for newt and others that are willing to take the fight in an aggressive way -- >> except newt told them to take that deal, though. that's the problem. >> i think mitt romney has got -- if he's the nominee, 46% of the vote in a two-way race. the question is, can republicans find a nominee who can get to 51% of the vote. and i think a lot of iowa voters will be looking for that. i'm not sure this is -- i don't know this is bad for romney. i think it's good for anyone who can make the compelling case they can win a general election. we're close enough to that that i think that's going to be on the minds of a lot of voters. >> i tend to agree with joe that this does create a different atmosphere for the iowa caucuses. i'm not sure that your scenario, joe, is absolutely the way it's got to go. i think it becomes more unpredictable. i think you're right, you know, newt may not just kind of slide into oblivion, we'll have to see. >> you brought up joe biden's
piece. the white house looking at mitt romney for sure. this is what a real opportunity society looks like. mitt romney recently laid out his plan for america. reading about it, i thought of my dad. my dad was a hard worker, he took pride in what he did, and like millions of americans, that pride was put to the test when he found himself struggling to make ends meet. he never believed he was owed anything. but he did believe if he worked hard and played by the rules, you were entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and a fair shake. romney appears satisfied to settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed while the majority of americans are left to tread water or fall behind. romney also misleadingly suggests that the president -- where government provides everything for its people without regard to merit as opposed to what he calls an opportunity society where everything is merit-based and every man is left to fend for himself. the only entitlement we believe
in is an america where if you work hard, you can get ahead. mobility. that's what we're lacking. jobs, that's what we're lacking, and the choice will be down to that. >> and they're both mischaracterizing what the other one thinks. >> explain that. >> well, mitt romney doesn't believe that middle class people should be left behind. you may think his policies aren't right for the middle class, but he's talking about the middle class and what he thinks is right. and the vice president's -- or mitt romney's characterization of the president that he believes in entitlement society isn't accurate either. >> you hit the nail on the head, the word is mobility. you can craft an economic system where people have more chance to move up income brackets. and i think the winner of this election will go who can answer that question and present themselves? >> we were talking earlier about my dad. who would my dad support? i think right now this is a real problem because my dad was a republican, he was a conservative, i doubt he ever voted for a democratic presidential candidate even
though he did vote for democrats on the state level. but my dad was out of work for a year and a half. and he -- people like my dad are seeing their world go away where there's not the mobility. where there's not the hope that they had in the past. and therein lies -- and i'm not jumping on mitt. i like mitt a lot. i'm just explaining. i'm going to get calls from friends in mitt's campaign, i'm just explaining the political reality. and they'd be smart to listen. i'll just say it right now. mitt romney represents the 1%. mitt romney represents this new economy that is not part of the economy that my father the republican conservative grew up in or that joe biden and his dad grew up in. that's a -- mark, a lot of things are lining up in a way that's not positive for mitt
romney right now. >> he's going to have to convince people that he understands the plight of the working class and that he will fight for policies that will help working class americans, that's what he says he believes in, but he's going to have to convince people -- >> you said something on this show a few weeks back that made me gasp and made me pay attention. >> just one thing? >> not just one thing, but when you said on this set that you had been hearing from conservatives that they were looking at maybe -- they would be comfortable with another four years of barack obama than to have mitt romney become president because they're afraid of being fooled again the way they felt they were fooled when they put -- when they elected george w. bush in 2000. where they thought he was a conservative, he came in and blew up the budget, busted up the budget with more spending on the wars and things like that. and so listening to you now, i wonder, do you think your father
would think that, as well? >> no, absolutely not. my father would vote for -- >> for romney? >> for mitt romney. >> he wouldn't stay home? >> begrudgingly. >> he wouldn't stay home? >> my dad wouldn't stay home because that's what you do on election day. you wake up, get the kids off to school, and then you go vote. but there are a lot of conservatives who might stay home instead of vote for mitt romney. that's just the reality. >> and there could be a third candidate in the race who may take votes. >> there could be a third candidate. gene, final word to you. >> well, you know, i've been thinking about education recently. i think one of the most important pieces of legislation of the 20th century was the gi bill, which vastly increased the number of americans with college degrees and prepared the society for the 60, for the 70, for the great economic expansion that we saw. we need a similar big thrust, i think, to prepare the society and propel us into the 21st
century. who's more likely to articulate that? i'm kind of waiting for either side to articulate that. but i think who does is going to do well. >> all right, gene, thank you so much. we're going to be looking for your twice hourly column online at the washingtonpost.com. mika, let me say that following up on what jonathan just said, at the end of the day, most conservatives, most republicans will come home to mitt romney. i think it is still overwhelmingly possible that mitt romney ends up winning the nomination. and i think a lot of this will be forgotten. but it -- >> it's still precarious at a very late stage. >> it is. remember four years ago the entire conservative movement, rush limbaugh to ann coulter, to shawn hannity, they all were attacking john mccain in favor of mitt romney. he was the conservative champion.
by the time florida came around, everybody lines up at the end of the day behind their candidate. and i think it'll happen with mitt too. but it's going -- as you said, it's going to be a tough slog for mitt to get from 48% to the 50.1% he needs to win. >> there's some outliers there. randi weingarten joins us next. and david walker. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. nyquil: you know i relieve coughs, sneezing, fevers? tylenol: me, too. and nasal congestion. nyquil:what? tissue box (whispering): he said nasal congestion... nyquil: i heard him. anncr vo: tylenol cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion... nyquil cold & flu doesn't.
ceo of comeback america initiative david walker. david, good to have you back on the show. >> david, we've got a lot to talk to you about. first of all, i'm reading the paper this morning. >> yes. >> about this deal. and every part of this deal from the payroll tax, which costs americans money. and it's not -- it drives the debt up, it's not offset. and then you can look at they're fixing the doctors reimbursement due to go down at the end of the year, they're going to keep that up, which is going to cost, of course, us all more money and the debt goes up. and every other part of this deal is so typical of every washington deal. they all increase the debt. there are never any deals to bring down our $15 trillion debt. >> well, joe, what they've agreed to is short-term gain, but increases the risk of long-term pain. let me tell you what's going to be released this morning. we're not going to get a lump of
coal in the form of the payroll tax cut not being extended, a lump of coal in the form of the united states government's financial statements are going to be issued this morning, and while the final numbers won't be known until they're issued, it's expected that we're going to be in an over $65 trillion hole, that's $550,000 per household. and that represents the threat per america's future, that's what has to be addressed. and you're correct, washington has been totally dysfunctional with regard to the ability to do so. >> so underline again this report. what should americans take away from this report? i find it fascinating that they're releasing the report not just on a friday -- but a friday before christmas, a friday when everybody's out of town. what do americans need to know? >> it's really pretty outrageous. it's been known for a long time
when you want to issue something, you don't want people to pay attention to, you issue it on a friday, a friday before christmas, obviously, is even worse. and it's just going to be given out and put on the internet. there's going to be no press briefing or anything else. the key is that we're going to -- we had a $1.3 trillion deficit, which has already been announced, the social security and medicare trustees have already shown that social security and medicare are going to be about $4 trillion more underfunded. if you take that where we were last year, we're going to be in about a $65 trillion hole. and that hole goes up by -- >> -- 65 trillion. $65 trillion -- >> right. >> and let me find that -- well, i don't have the "washington post" onset here. when we go out and talk and i start explaining why medicare and social security are
challenges and people stand up and say, oh, no, they're not. the "washington post" has a statistic in the paper today that every american should try to digest along with their turkey at christmas. for the next 20 years, if i'm not mistaken, every single day, a baby boomer -- 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65. 10,000 baby boomers per day turning 65, going on to medicare rolls, going on to social security rolls, the numbers don't add up. this is a system that will collapse. >> almost 10,000 a day, you're correct. and as you know, the budget has kept on a cash basis. and so we haven't felt that yet. but once they start retiring, we will feel it. but what you can see in the financial statements that you don't see in the budget is they actually calculate how
underfunded medicare and social security is. and if you use reasonable assumptions, the combined -- the combination of their degree of underfunding as well as public debt and pension and retiree health obligations, it's about $65 trillion based upon reasonable assumptions. and by the way, there's a difference of opinion between the social security and medicare trustees and, pardon me, the medicare trustees and the chief actuary to the tune of $12 trillion. and the gao is noting we face serious problems in the future. if we were a company, joe, the ceo would be having emergency phone calls with investors, the board would be calling a special meeting because people -- otherwise people would be dumping our debt and shorting our stock. >> you know, i've been talking about this. sounding like a broken record. somebody throw it up to you guys. i've been talking about this since 1994. and i'm a broken record here.
but does -- and when i went out on the campaign trail, people cared. i was able -- this was my big issue. people seemed to care. but let me ask you guys. mark, i'll start with you. does anybody out there care in iowa and new hampshire? $65 trillion debt, 10,000 baby boomers per day. the numbers not adding up. medicare and medicaid alone over the next generation consumes every cent of taxes coming to the federal government? anybody focusing on this in a real and meaningful way? >> the poll shows voters care about it. the problem is we're not having a realistic debate about what the choices are. we didn't have it around the super committee, didn't have it around simpson/bowles, didn't have it around the fight over the budget. i'm worried we're not going to have it in the presidential election either. republicans want to attack obama care, but they need to come forward about their own ideas about controlling health care costs, difficult to do, but they need to do that and the
president needs to do the same thing. >> and sam stein, the president has not paid one bit for completely ignoring his own presidential debt commission. >> i actually disagree with mark here. i think there are plans out there. it's not that we're lacking plans. we had the proposed plan between john boehner and the president over the debt ceiling, there was the ryan medicare -- >> we're not having a national debate about it -- >> of course, we are. in the 2010 elections -- >> so what candidate's talking about it now? where is our ross perot? >> this is what it comes down to, we have an inability to actually look at the tax code and think about what we want to do there. >> no, not -- >> it's on the other side too. not just the tax cut, but entitlement spending. >> oh, no, entitlement spending, as well. lengthy conversations about what to do with medicare. we have the paul ryan plan now out there. there has been that. but we have as a congress an
inability to touch taxes. they would not pass a millionaire surtax. you cannot raise revenue in this congress. it's true. >> you think there was a national debate about the simpson/bowles commission report? >> absolutely. >> what are the tax provisions in it? >> we lower -- >> you want me to go -- >> maybe sam knows, i'm with you, i guarantee, 99% of americans don't know. we haven't had real leadership out there pushing it on the national stage. 20 years ago, ross perot ran for president of the united states. everybody talks about ross perot was a joke, he was laughable. he talked about the national debt, and we've had this discussion before. he talked about a disconnect from washington, d.c. and the people. he talked about the need for reform. 20 years later, are we better off or worse off than when ross
perot grabbed america by the lapel and shook it? >> joe, you're exactly right. 20 years ago in 1992, ross perot ran for the first time because of fiscal irresponsibility, declining trust in government, and declining confidence in the future. and if you look at the objective statistics, financial and public opinion polls, we're in much worse shape today than we were then and we're losing ground. we need to make sure that we have a meaningful public education engagement effort in 2012. simpson/bowles did good work, they did nothing outside, it was inside the beltway. fiscaliq.net, you've got to fill that out. it's the first step -- and viewers, by the way, have above average scores. several thousand filled it out, they need to do it again today. fiscaliq.net. >> and by the way, he's exactly right. the debt commissions -- people inside the beltway and capitol hill correspondents for
huffington post and white house correspondents say they know. but outside of that -- coming up, from tiger blood to 9-9-9, willie's year-end review brings us the best and worst of 2011. "morning joe" back in a moment. [ child ] it's so cool! you can put a force field on him and be invisible! [ child 2 ] i call first player. no. i already called it. [ dad ] nobody's playing anything until after we get our homework done. thank you. hello? test drive's not over yet. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. [ louder ] hello? but we still need your signature. right now during sign then drive, it's never been easier to get the all-new passat, the 2012 motor trend car of the year, for practically just your signature. that's the power of german engineering. visit vwdealer.com.
welcome back to "morning joe" on this christmas eve eve. big storm rolled through new england. typically this time of year would have been a big snowstorm, not for many, though. it was only a bunch of rain for the big cities. only snow i've seen this far is to the north. you want the white stuff, you have to go here. new mexico got nailed yesterday. they've seen more snow than just about anybody else out there. some of the best skiing in the country. look at the radar for new england. boston's going to start to dry out pretty soon here. you notice the white on the map. that is snow through much of new hampshire and maine. those ski areas the best over the holiday break. vermont was a little messy last night. the rain moves out, temperatures still mild, as far as the get away forecast. not too many issues. i'll fast forward to christmas day.
we will see a little rain through texas into the southeast, but tell you what, it's going to be pretty mild out there, it's going to be very quiet. kids get toys to play outside with. they're going to be able to do just that. you're watching "morning joe," we're brewed by starbucks. we'll be right back.
it's 41 past the hour. welcome back to "morning joe." joining us now, the president of the american federation of teachers randi weingarten. and vice president of west virginia's state board of education, gail manchin. >> when joe is here, we introduce him as the husband. >> exactly. >> thank you. thank you. >> it happens that way. and now the husband of gail manchin. >> they're here to talk about the reconnecting mcdowell initiative. it's a five-year public/private partnership to help struggling schools at mcdowell county, west
virginia, in the face of extreme poverty. i love this project. >> i do too. and i see a statistic here. i want to ask you about, gail. vocabulary list for the average 3-year-old across the united states, 12,000 words. mcdowell county, 5,000 words. talk about some of the challenges. >> well, i think the challenges there are certainly the rate of illiteracy across some of our -- and you know, it's mcdowell county, but it's rural america where educational opportunities are not as forthcoming. and it's not a level playing field. and so children in the home don't have books. they don't have parents with the vocabulary to hear every day. they're not out into a lot of public interaction and socialization, and so that's the downside of what happens. >> and the "washington post" says here, no after school activities because if they miss the school bus, they have no ways to reach their trailers or
homes. there's no recreation centers, no ymcas. there are challenges. and randi, we've been focusing on education reform, we've been focusing about the challenges that so many urban centers are facing. here's a new challenge. well, not a new challenge, but here's a refocus. >> what's happened here is we're trying to debunk the false debate that it's an either/or situation. that individual teachers can do everything to help all children. and so what's happened here is that we want to dramatically improve outcomes for kids, for all the kids in mcdowell county, which is the southernmost county in west virginia, the eighth worst county in the united states. so we realize that it takes a village, meaning you have to focus on the economic issues as well as the education issues. >> so what are you doing? >> we got 40 partners together -- >> a five-year plan. >> five-year plan. next six months we have to plan, and we have a matching grant,
all of us have skin in the game. >> right. >> and we're focusing on instruction, on recruitment, and retention of teachers. and we're also focusing on housing, transportation, job creation, and social issues. >> gail, talk about the 40 partners. who are the partners? >> well, it's wonderful. we have frontier, we have our energy companies in west virginia, we have cisco -- >> blue cross, blue shield. >> who made the ask? who picked up the phone? did you pick up the phone and say start helping these kids? >> i did. >> they said yes, ma'am, didn't they? >> yes, they did. well, how could you not? how could you not be involved? the other morning, tom brokaw was on your show talking about the public/private partnerships in states where states are looking for solutions. and while the federal government is not forthcoming with a lot of answers, but states are finding ways to do it. and that's exactly what we did.
we started finding ways to make it better. >> and -- >> gayle is a force of nature. >> it is investment in the communities. >> exactly. >> one of the great take aways waiting for superman was i thought -- a movie that you watch on a loop, randi, of maybe the greatest movie ever. but one of the real take aways that you -- that you can agree with, i think, and i can agree with, there always is a belief that the schools were bad because they were in the middle of an impoverished area. what we're learning now is the area is impoverished in part because the schools were so bad. that everybody around there has to have skin in the game. they've got to make that school a magnet for better things for the whole community. >> let me go to the end, which i -- you and i agree on the end
that we have to make school the center of communities. what's happened at mcdowell is the -- the coal industry just left it. and so that's why the economy got so bad. welsh had 100,000 people living there about 50 years ago. but the -- but what we're trying to do is this real coordination. like at the top of this, you started talking about the stat about books. one of our partners is actually doing an amazing job in terms of getting books in the hands of kids. so the aft contributed $14,000 with others to make sure that every single kid in mcdowell county right now can take a couple of books home for christmas. >> that's great. >> so they don't come back to school, they're home. so that's what we're trying to do. three to five-year partnership, education, economic, social. >> i love it. >> by the way, randi, she's going to open up her stocking
stuffer, "waiting for superman." >> "american teachers." >> give that to me. i can't wait. thank you all so much. >> thank you. we appreciate you. ♪ you, you ain't alone ♪ and just let me be [ male announcer ] this is your moment. ♪ your ticket home ♪ [ male announcer ] this is zales, the diamond store.
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still stuck in his fog right now. but he left us with this 2011 year in review. >> the united states conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden. >> all day, all week, occupy wall street. >> breaking news out of japan where there has been a massive tsunami wave. >> these are the people that drove this revolution. >> 9-9-9. >> you know what, it's turned out to be magical. >> duh, winning. >> the voices of 2011, a year whose arrival was announced by a golden voice that touched our lives. for about a week and a half. >> nothing but the best of oldies, you're listening to magic 98.9. >> soothing as ted williams' baritone may have been, it was the deep pipes of a former pizza executive that really stayed with us this year. ♪ imagine there's no pizza ♪ >> deep dish. >> becky, becky, becky, stan,
stan. >> there was no sex? >> no. >> none? >> no. >> i believe these words came from the pokemon movie. >> his pokemon inspired farewell closed a beautiful chapter in the year's bizarre race for the republican nomination. >> if he has a birth certificate, he should release it. >> the, um, commerce -- i can't. the third one, i can't. >> did you owe a half million dollars to a jewelry company at one point? >> go talk to tiffany's. >> i'm speaking. i'm speaking. >> because he has a lot of chutzpah. >> are you a flake? >> i think that would be insulting. >> would a fool -- >> terrifying. >> this is an unusual interview. all right, let's do it again. >> live free or die, victory or death, bring it. >> this year, washington suffered an actual earthquake. >> feel that? >> and some political tremors too. there were debt ceilings. >> pull off the band-aid, eat our peas.
>> super committees. >> spend more than you earn, you lose your butt. >> and congressional deals from hell. >> on the surface, it looks like a satan sandwich. >> a long war was brought to its end. >> the war in iraq will soon belong to history. >> and a bright political career brought to an end by a tweet heard around the world. >> that's not a picture of you. >> i can't say with certitude. >> there were profiles in political courage, like the montana state erepresentative wo fought to protect the right to drive drunk in big sky country. >> you hitchhike or you drive. i promise you that they're not going to hitchhike. >> the illinois state senator who invoked wu-tang clan during a budget fight. >> kareem, get the money, dollar, dollar, bill ya. thank you. >> and the subtle ad warning against the forces of darkness that want to kill our grandmas. >> oprah and regis were not pushed off the cliff as far as we know. the icons stepped off the stage
and the nation was forced for first time in a generation to search for its own favorite things. alex trebek, meanwhile, remained on television, and haunted our dreams this year with the mind searing knowledge that he sleeps in the nude. >> i put on my underwear and ran down the hall. >> speaking of nudity, another strong year for the world leader who from time to time likes to fish topless. vladimir putin spent good portions of 2011 scuba diving and bending frying pans. not such a good year for moammar gadhafi, after decades of terrorism and flowing robes, gadhafi met his end in a libyan drainage pipe. >> we shut him. >> with masses in the streets demanding historic change around the world, one mass was in the streets to celebrate its historic lack of change. america had its own royal wedding and then 72 days later,
a royal divorce. >> is it weird to think if i wanted to i could throw you over the edge. >> the kardashian divorce cost the united states its aaa rating but we still had our heroes. richard simmons keeping us safe in the skies. >> the captain says let's kick butt! >> meatloaf keeping gary busey honest. >> i'm the last person in the [ bleep ] world you ever [ bleep ] want to [ bleep ] with. >> and miss arkansas throwing her voice competitively. miss arkansas reminded us all of american exceptionalism as china began to show signs of vulnerability. its leaders looking the opposite of threatening, playing hoops and its senior citizens singing and dancing to lady gaga while wearing golf shirts and dockers. ♪ the competition for our 2011 person of the year was fierce.
there was the kid in the darth vader super bowl commercial. there was the guy who tried and failed to rob a 7-eleven in a gumby costume. there was wendy murdoch pimp slapping the guy who tried to pie her husband rupert. in were the two old guys who scrapped on stage at a canadian football reunion. alas, there can be but three medalists and only one who wears gold. the bronze goes to the mountain biker who was dominated by a 300 pound leaping antelope. the silver to a crowd favorite who has become an internet hero, the cane-skinned cap eyewitness to a police chase in panama city, florida. >> he came in dukz of hazard, getting it, digging like that, like dale jr. >> it is honestly hard to believe there was somebody better than that guy over the last 12 months or someone more
entertaining than the cain/perry campaign combo. >> if they print any more money over there in washington, the goal is going to be good. >> but there was. this year saw perhaps the greatest public meltdown in the history of american popular culture. our 2011 person of the year is the star of both "hot shots" and "tough shots part two," he is mr. charlie sheen. >> tired of pretending. i've been riding it on a mercury surfboard. i'm a high priest in the world. tiger blood, you know. winner, winner, sheen dinner. i am on a drug. it is called charlie sheen. rhymes with winning. i'm by winning. i win here and i win there. now what? duh, winning. everyone believes in keeping their promises once a year.
but we believe in helping people take steps to keep them every single day. that's why every day we help people across the country get into their first homes. prepare for a comfortable retirement and protect the people and things that matter most. at genworth we believe every day is the right day to take a step toward tomorrow. you can put a force field on him and be invisible! [ child 2 ] i call first player. no. i already called it. [ dad ] nobody's playing anything until after we get our homework done. thank you. hello? test drive's not over yet. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. [ louder ] hello? but we still need your signature. right now during sign then drive, it's never been easier to get the all-new passat, the 2012 motor trend car of the year, for practically just your signature. that's the power of german engineering. visit vwdealer.com.
good morning, it is 8:00 on the east coast. it is the day before the day before. it is so exciting. as you take a live look at new york city, welcome back to "morning joe." we have mark halperin, sam stein and jonathan capert. >> a big day for the democrats. a big day for the president, finishing strong. >> yeah, i think so. >> the democrats have finished strong. i remember sugar ray leonard talking about how he beat marvin, he would stand there for two minutes and take a beating and then steal rounds at the end
by punching fast. the democrats just stole a big, big round. >> that's very big of you to say. the democrats are taking a victory lap after house republicans retreated on their demands for a long-term payroll tax cut deal. it ends a nasty standoff in congress that left millions of americans wondering if they would lose an extra thousand dollars from their paychecks next year. later this morning, house speaker john boehner will fast track a procedural vote for a two-month extension of the breaks. he announced his decision yesterday in a conference call with members of his caucus. unlike previous meetings where rank and file revolted, this time boehner didn't give his colleagues a chance to voice their opposition. with most lawmakers already home for the holidays, the bill is expected to pass through a unanimous consent motion meaning a few members need to be present for that. still, some republicans are furious over the deal including tea party-backed freshman congressman tim huelskamp who wrote this. even though there is plenty of evidence that this is a bad deal for america, especially our
small business owners, the house has yet again caved to the president and senate democrats. the republican majority would not exist if not for the conservative freshman class of 2010. we were sent here with a clear set of instructions from the american people to put an end to business as usual in washington. yet here we are being asked to sign off on yet another gimmick. >> the republicans got their heads handed to them. >> they did. they lost on the politics. you think on the substance they're right. the american people do not think they're right on the substance. this is a great psychological win for the president and for the democratic party because there have been debates throughout the obama administration on the fight between the two parties on ideology. the president and his advisers think the republicans have gone way too far to the right and here they win a big victory. if the president is re-elected, i'm pretty confident we'll look back at this and say it is a huge reason why. >> a big win. and you say going too far to the right. the republicans in this case were the ones fighting a middle class tax cut. again, i think for the right reasons, if you look at
economics. tom friedman would agree, jeffrey saks and i would agree. but i was reading late at night in front of a crackling fire, the speeches of margaret thatcher. and in it margaret thatcher was talking -- who doesn't? in 1975, margaret thatcher was talking about how the tories lost two elections in a row. and she said the reason why we lost two elections in a row is because we were more focused on macro economics than we were on average britons. and she said we can never again lose sight of how policies impact average britons. >> yeah. first of all, i listen to my margaret thatcher speeches on audio book, not read them, we're a little different, i guess. >> it is a generational thing. that's where republicans sit. even if they were right in substance, they were wrong -- >> i think we need to step back for a second and look at where we started, which was obama came out and said, pass my jobs bill.
$450 billion jobs bill roughly. and he said, pass it, i want it passed in full, so on and so forth. republicans were able to get him to only pass $30 billion of that, that's 1/15 of the jobs bill. and yet they come out of this debate looking terrible. and the reason why is because they stopped focusing on the actual, you know, day to day lives of americans and they started focusing on esoteric political arguments. >> macro economics. >> macro economics. once you start arguing about whether or not we should pay for a tax break by, you know, raising fees on fannie or freddie or surtax on millionaires' income, you're not talking about the fact that a lot of people are unemployed and need that help and that's why they stumbled, i think. >> no doubt about it. and jonathan, the republicans had a chance just a few days ago to leave this year big winners with the president caving in on the pipeline. instead, they're the ones that are stumbling out of town that
this is bad news for the republican party, this is bad news for republican presidential candidates, and it is bad news for john baner. >> it is really bad new yous for john boehner. remember earlier in the week we saw the speaker standing with the entire conference behind him, remember they cheered at one point when the president -- when someone asked him, well, when are you going to get to work? we want the president to get to work and everybody cheered with him. they were with him, the leadership at least behind him yesterday when he pushed back on senate minority leader mitch mcconnell's call for him to throw in the towel and get this done. last night when he announced that, okay, we're going to do the two-month extension, he was a man alone, he was alone at the podium, no one around him, it was painful to watch. but we have seen this before. we saw this during the debt ceiling debate, john boehner seems to be -- seems to be being whacked by the -- by his caucus, a man who doesn't seem like he's in control of this caucus. but a man who seems to want to
do -- want to do the right thing, but can't. >> can i say one thing. imagine if john boehner had, after they reached that two-month deal in the senate, simply taken that deal and framed it in a way that was logically a victory. we got the pipeline. we eliminated the surtax. we only have a two-month extension. they didn't like the fight because it wasn't going in their favor, but he could have easily spun that in his favor. this house republican caucus needs to know when they have won. and i think that's one of the main problems that is actually confronting boehner, he has a lot of people who don't know when they should say, hey -- >> that's what being a leader is about. being able to see these things coming around the corner. this has not been a good week for john boehner. i've got to say, for some, you look at this and it is almost like we're looking at a mutant strain of bush derangement syndrome which mutated now into obama derangement syndrome where you cut off your nose to spite your face and everything you
look at is focused through a singular prism. democrats did that with bush. republicans seem to be doing that now with obama. >> i felt that a long time now. and i think that the tea party part of this story played too heavily. and i think it led to the speaker being incredibly tone deaf at a time not only when the economy is struggling, but when congress is about as unpopular as it has ever been in history. let's go to capitol hill now. someone who knows a bit about this story, kelly o'donnell, she's been covering it every step of the way. what went on behind the scenes as this retreat went down, kelly? >> well, one of the great things we have got to look for is what happens when we get closer to the end of the two-month extension and will some of the dynamics you were just talking about begin to repeat themselves? because one of the things that house republicans had been talking about are the practical arguments in terms of policymaking and government. not so practical when you're talking about the holiday season and what a specific extra amount
of money means to people when they have bills to pay and holiday gifts to buy. what we saw happening is that many house republicans thought they had a practical argument to make. go for a full year extension and as you all know, the real battle wasn't over duration, it was how do you pay for it and they could find democrats and republicans a way to come up with $33 billion which covers two months of an extension, but they couldn't agree on enough to get to roughly $190 billion, which would be a full year of these added benefits or reduced taxes. so it was a challenge. and it was a slow sort of cracking branch that we could hear behind the scenes yesterday where you began to see that aides to leadership knew this was not a winnable argument, if they believed on the merits they had something important to say, and it was how do you get there? one of the critical moments is when mitch mcconnell put out a paper statement, wasn't here in person, just put out a paper statement saying to them, that
both things could be done. >> you know, kelly, let's talk -- let's talk about mitch mcconnell for a second because there was another freshman republican who put out a statement that said basically we were run over by a bus and that bus had kentucky license plates. a lot of anger now between the house republicans and mitch mcconnell, that is an anger that will fester into the new year. >> and it is not a new anger. there has been frustration for a very long time. house republicans can tell you how many bills they have passed, that they believe the senate has ignored. those house republicans, especially some of the newer group, believe that they were sent here with those marching orders that you talked about earlier. and they feel the senate has not responded. so there was a real tension here that didn't get as much public notice, sort of an intramural fight between the house and the senate and so when senator mitch mcconnell pushed, that gave some other republicans a bit of cover to also say let's get this done. >> all right, kelly o'donnell, thank you very much. >> thank you, kelly. >> happy holidays.
>> that was great. >> we'll turn to the other side of politics now, the republican presidential candidates. mitt romney for one is focusing his attention on new hampshire, striking a confident tone there after picking up the support of george h.w. bush. the former president told reporters that romney is, quote, mature and reasonable, not a bomb thrower. >> obviously as you can tell there is growing momentum for this effort here in new hampshire and across the country. and i had the chance to chat with the president this afternoon and wish him a merry christmas. he did the same to me. i thanked him for his support, his leadership, his heroic life, and his friendship. it means a great deal to me. i must admit this is much more important to me personally than even politically. he's a real hero to me and my family and i appreciate his support. >> so yesterday in new hampshire, mark halperin got a chance -- i love when they let
kids get on the bus. yesterday was mark halperin's time in new hampshire and he got a chance to talk to mitt romney. let's take a listen. >> i'm not sure we fully understood who barack obama was before he became the president of the united states. think we're still learning that. i also think that a campaign is about an mri of the economy and the record of the incumbent. and i know the president will try and do everything he can to try and kill our nominee, to brutalize them, to distort their life and their record. what he can't hide, despite all the money he'll amass, he can't hide his record. and the fact that he's been president at a time when american have suffered and he hasn't turned this economy around. >> and of course he was responding there to the axelrod quote, these campaigns are mris of the soul. how did you find mitt romney yesterday other than turning left at manchester? >> it was actually wednesday, just to be -- >> don't. >> he's a reporter.
that's okay. he has his facts. >> that ruins it. >> he was very relaxed and very confident. i think in the next -- in the next two weeks, one of two things will happen, either he'll become the nominee very quickly and the focus will be on the general election and can he beat the president or he's going to take a real stumble in iowa and/or new hampshire and try to win the nomination. in both cases i think the implication is going to be is this guy tough enough to win a nomination? he's very relaxed on the bus. he is extraordinarily relaxed and he's very focused and he's got his priorities straight. he's not scrambling around trying to figure out should i do this, should i do that, where should i go? he's delegating. >> he's very comfortable with where he is right now. >> he is. he also recognizes one of the things skied him about was, he said recently. ha i have a great life, if i lose, i can go back to that great life. he has a nice balance of wanting to win for the country but not
feeling obsessed with it. >> mitt is comfortable. we have the big four, though. i want to go around the table here, year-end predictions, i guess. right now who would you predict wins iowa right now? >> mitt romney. >> you're kidding me? >> i don't know. who knows. >> what you, jonathan? okay, ron paul. i predict ron paul. new hampshire. >> you predict ron paul with all the new stories surfacing? >> don't make me make a $10,000 bet. >> ron paul, yesterday, despite all of these new charges, ignored it, went out, he's got more energy, he's got more excitement, we have christmas coming up, they're going to go down for a couple of days. when he comes back, he's going to have five, six, seven days for the final push. if these stories had to hit, they hit at the right time. >> i guess reporters aren't the type of people who will be drawn away from it because of the stories. these are diehard people. >> do you know how many colleges and universities are in session january 3rd? >> zero.
>> same thing was said about barack obama in four years ago. >> they had a sophisticated way to reach out. >> how many of those kids that support ron paul are in state kids and will be in iowa anyway? >> some. >> if ron paul wins the iowa caucuses, what does that do? >> and thank you, jonathan. that's my point. most of us probably pick romney winning new hampshire. so we have paul, iowa. romney, new hampshire. it turns south to south carolina and florida. i am not so sure that newt gingrich doesn't find a second wind and wins south carolina and rolls into florida the strongest candidate. you have mitt winning one of four. i think this is right now, if i had to bet, that's my bet. >> i will say in terms of my prediction, i say romney. i think romney could finish fifth in iowa. >> do you really? >> what about south carolina and florida? you think newt has a shot? >> i think he does. certainly has a much better shot if he finds a way to win iowa
which i also don't rule out. i think he can have a second life in iowa if things break right for him. if romney wins -- if romney survives iowa, whatever that means, and wins new hampshire, i think he will find a way to win south carolina. >> i will tell you, there is such a disconnect in the south, jonathan, between mitt romney and the republican voters. >> and the disconnect is because -- >> i don't think it is because he's a mormon. when i talked to my friends in the south, they don't go, oh, god, he's a mormon, i can't vote for him. this is the thing that a lot of people in manhattan and washington don't see, growing up in an evangelical church where you feel like the world is against you and elites are against you and radicals are against you, i'm telling you, my mom and dad saw mormons as allies, they're on our side. >> so then do southerners feel that mitt romney isn't conservative enough, that -- >> i think so.
there is also -- there is a cultural disconnect. i think that's the main thing. you can look at mitt romney's performance and the primaries and caucuses in 2008, his 13 lowest performances were in the south. >> still ahead, don't miss a special holiday performance with carole king in our studio. >> exciting. >> and next our faith on friday series. >> i got a question for you. what happens when you have a father, a rabbi and imam coming to the set of "morning joe". >> sounds like a good holiday segment. >> i'll show you in a second. first, here is bill karins with a check on the weather. >> right before christmas, joe, right? one little piece of love. that wouldn't be right, would it? good morning, everyone. we saw snow this morning, not manufacture u many of us, but in northern new england, some of the ski resorts saw a little bit. if you want snow on the ground in christmas, that's where you have to travel if you're in the east. not much of us have snow on the
ground. people that always have a white christmas, not this year. the rain and snow is kicking out. we are watching some snow in areas of new mexico. it is a nice travel day out there. if you have to go to the airport, you want weather like this. even as we go to christmas eve, maybe western texas could get a little surprise white christmas. that's about it, though. unfortunately for christmas day, there will be some rain in louisiana, especially in mississippi during the day. that will push into areas of the southeast. as far as travel goes, no ice, very little snow on the map. very strange december. i wonder what january will bring in the new year. you're watching "morning joe." have a great holiday, everyone. we're brewed by starbucks. ♪ ♪
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this holiday season is balancing the job, being a generous santa with a new reality of having to tell children to lower their expectations in a bad economy. you asked for santa -- for anything that you want from santa, but unfortunately santa has a budget too. and we're in tight times. mrs. claus and i had to sit down and we literally had to cut back. >> listen up, fat man! the whole point of you being at the mall is to upsell these kids. when little johnny asks you for an xbox, you remind him how much cooler he would be with a kinect and every call of duty game. you don't say, nothing can match the 3-d graphics of your imagination. >> oh, it is that time of year. 23 past the hour and joining us
now, father edward beck, host and executive producer of the sunday mass on abc family channel. and also the author of "the soul provider," spiritual steps to limitless love. also with us, the vice president of the world jewish congress, rabbi mark snyir and president of the islamic society of north america, muhammad muhammad majid. what's the joke? >> a rabbi, a priest, and an imam walk into the set of "morning joe." you got to wait for the punch line of the joke. >> what is it? >> we'll figure it out by the end. it always is amazing. every christmas season, every holiday season, you get a couple of days before-hand and everybody around is talking about how stressed out they are. >> yeah. >> and i would recommend they go back and see "a charlie brown christmas," you know, either real meaning of this holiday
season. we forget it all the time. we wanted to bring in religious leaders. >> i love it. >> from the three great faiths and ask them. what is our takeaway from this holiday season? >> what should is be -- >> and for you this christmas season. >> if i want you to be real daring and if i were to go around this semiround table and ask us all to talk about our image of god, i won't do that because i'm afraid of what joe would say, but if i were to, i don't think that the first image that would come to mind would be homeless refugee. but that, in fact, is the kind of god we celebrate with christmas that we say god comes -- chooses to break into human history as a homeless refugee, but why? so that we can relate to every single person. look at what is happening now in our country, in our world. people who don't have jobs, people who are going to food banks for first time, people who are really struggling, how are they to make sense of god, making god seem like he's not part of their lives, not with
them. christmas says god is, because god is among you as one of you. >> 33 years later, that homeless refugee is asked by disciples, how do we find the kingdom of heaven and what does he say? he says you provide hope to the hopeless, you feed the poor, you clothe the naked, you visit those in hospitals and those in jails and that message eclipsed in the season of stephen colbert of xboxes and all of these presents. >> exactly. >> we're teaching our kids the wrong things. >> would the message reflect here or would it be a different one for you? >> it he wouwould reflect very . people celebrate the prophet in
prophet ibrahim and we come together to say all humans are equal. these holidays should remind us we need to reach out to people who have less than us. and those who are struggling because some lost their homes, they don't have food at the table. and we have to, as people of faith, be compassionate. >> that seems to be this year, rabbi, universal message. we're not talking about lowered expectations. i think we're talking about the right expectations. what not only this holiday season is supposed to be about, but what faith is supposed to be about. not presents. but compassion. >> not presents, but presence in terms of we need to be a bit more positive. and we need to learn to magnify our blessings instead of exaggerating our troubles and this is the time.
of self-examination, of introspection, of self-reflection. and it is also time to find god for the blessing of the united states. here we have three representatives of the abraham traditions. and not only do we share a common faith, but we share a common fate and how our sing single -- how we must care for each other. >> they were in the green room punching each other out, guys, but there has been, though, father, there has been a lot of scratching and clawing over the past year. some of it embarrassing in our faith, squabbling. >> that's another reason for me, though, that the image of christ that probably is most important this year is prince of peace. at the birth, the angels say, glory to god in the highest and
peace to his people on earth. we finally are out of iraq, the last soldier has come home. hopefully by this time next year we will be out of afghanistan as well. can we really believe that the prince of peace is more than just this notion that we're actually supposed to get there? i don't think it is just pie in the sky prophecy. i think there is something to god wanting us to live in unity, without war. and, i mean, iraq for me is a small sign of hope in the midst of that right now for this year. >> and i'm sorry, go ahead. >> i also think that the -- during this time there is a message that we can send to children now more than ever because we have gotten to a point where they have everything. can you imagine if when we were growing up, what we give our children, and what people who live on credit give their children as gifts at christmas, and i would urge people to sort of find a stranger, find somebody you wouldn't think of, who needs help and teach your children to reach out to them,
because we sort of lost ourselves in everything that we have. does that make sense? >> yeah. >> no doubt about it. >> i would say that this is also the season of hanukkah, the festival of lights. and just our being here, we're keeping aglow, that light of understanding and caring. and my challenge for the new year would be to go beyond dialogue, to learn how to fight for the other. people who fight for their own rights are only as honorable as when they fight for the rights of all people. so this year, in america, we have seen a growth in anti-muslim bigotry, in islamophobia, really coming from the place of ignorance, and the american muslim community has been under attack. it is not the imam's fight.
that is the fight of the christian community, of the jewish community, as i would trust that the imam and the father would be the first ones to combat against anti-semitism. it is really about fighting for the other, and, again, keeping aglow, that light of understanding and character. >> let me ask you about what's happened this past year and at the end of the year, do you believe there is reason to hope? people of all faiths, religious expression will continue to be respected in america. >> i have a lot of hope because christians and the jews in american community and the united states have come together to support the muslims' community and have created organization called shoulder to shoulder, where 26 religious organizations, they came together and they said enough is enough. we will not allow this to happen to the muslim community. we will believe that everyone have a right to practice a
religion, the religious community should not have a fear of, you know, of defining themselves as muslims practicing religion, in children in schools or public spaces and so forth. and rabbis and catholic communities are a champion of this campaign. i'm very optimistic. and i do believe that the people of religion have so much in common, caring about the needy and the poor people, the passage you hear in matthew, we have a lot we can do together of reaching out to those who are in need in our community rather than just, you know -- >> i don't want to sound pessimistic, but if you look at what happened in the political campaign so far with regard to religion, and how it's been used so divisively, i mean, between mitt romney's mormonism and, you know, how he was introduced at that faith rally of rick perry in texas, i think we still have a long way to go.
i don't think we're willing to look at each other's faiths as equal and respect them and say everybody has a shot. >> and, by the way, there is a great example, you can talk about mitt romney, who is attacked for his faith. >> right. >> you can look at the president of the united states who has said, and i quote, jesus christ is my lord and savior and he's attacked as a muslim as if that in and of itself is a slur. >> exactly y . why is that a bad thing? is it so bad to be a muslim? >> but he's president and that broke through some barriers. i think as we look at what is happening with religion and this election, it is part of the process. it is not pretty. but as it becomes part of the national conversation, it is something we can grow from. it can be sad at times to see the negativity, but i think also the conversation is good for the country. >> i was going to say, we spoke about magnifying one's blessing. what you just said, in terms of
this now being part of the national conversation, this was not part of the national conversation 25 years ago. we know that we have a standard of acceptance when it comes to religion. doesn't mean everyone is living up to the standard, but thank god in our country today we have that standard and we know what our promise land is in terms of greater understanding, reconciliation, and -- >> as we close this segment, let's go around and rabbi, i'll start with you, what is your prayer to god for the new year? >> my prayer to god for the new year would be to challenge his creations, meaning human beings to recognize that we are all children of god, and that every human being is entitled to be treated with a dignity, the justice and the compassion that
we claim for ourselves. >> imam what is your prayer? >> my prayer to have a community that is full of love, that respects one another, having people of faith to work together in harmony, and building a society that really stands for those in need, to teach our children to respect others regardless of their color or gender or race. i'm praying that the -- all this war and violence to end and to have a community of compassion, of loving and caring one another. >> and, father. >> it may sound hackneyed but it is for peace. global peace, yes, maybe we'll get there. but peace in the hearts of each of us. i found myself yesterday in a road rage situation. and i thought, what are you doing? you're a catholic priest, you need to be talking about peace, you need to be living it. i think it starts with each person, when you live
differently, the world does change. and so my hope and prayer is for peace for me, everybody else, and the world. >> peace, understanding, optimism, those are great messages. >> and the peaceful conversation that we had here to round out the new year. father beck, rabbi snyir and muhammad majid, thank you. carole king performs from her new holiday album. and how will the markets respond to the new payroll tax deal. let 's go to vegas. alright, let's do it.
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we're here. >> i know we're here. welcome back. that was a great segment. >> it was lovely. it was lovely. good idea. >> did you ever have road rage? >> do i have road rage? >> did you ever have road rage? >> no. no. >> okay. >> i think sometimes people might get a little frustrated with me. >> there is no doubt about it. you can only strangle around so much vodka and ambien on the road. let's get a check with brian shactman. brian, what are we looking at on
this day before the day before christmas. >> well, we got a bunch of data, joe, that i want to whip through, durable goods were good. personal income and spending taking up .1%. maybe a little bit more disappointing. one takeaway number, the savings rate went down again. it is at 3.5%. it can mean two things. it can mean people are feeling more confident, they're spending more, saving less or they need that money just to get through the months. so americans have always needed to save a little more through the financial crisis, that's one number that is popping out. stock futures are up, a bit of a santa claus rally, not quite as fat and jolly as some would like it. but two interesting smartphone stories that might get your interest. volkswagen in germany, there is this work live balance thing. they're limiting blackberry usage, they're shutting down service a half hour after certain shifts and not turning it back on until half an hour before that shift starts again so you can't e-mail off hours. and also the iphone, guys, not selling in europe.
this post steve jobs apple story, market share in france down from 29% to 21%. they just like the android better than the iphone in europe. >> i heard this. >> not american. >> they like jerry lewis. >> so, guys -- >> we all love jerry lewis. >> how about that turning off the blackberry -- that's germany? smart. brian, thank you. >> thank you, brian. have a great holiday. carole king in studio next on "morning joe." so i'm glad it's with fidelity. they offer me one-on-one guidance to help me choose my investments. not just with my savings plan here at work. they help me with all of my financial goals. looking good, irene. thanks to fidelity, i can stay on top of my financial future, huh?
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welcome back to "morning joe." you know, it is the holidays. i think it is time -- >> how did you know it was the holidays? only, the poinsettias. >> i think it is time to put politics aside. do you think we can do that for a second? >> maybe. >> maybe with some help. >> a little bit. we need a lot of help, actually.
>> i thought maybe carole king would be a way to start. carole king is with us right now. >> she can do it. >> she has a new album, it's beautiful. look at this. it stands up. i like that. >> you can put it by your fireplace. this song is really exciting for you, obviously, because there say little family connection here. >> this album is all about family. and my daughter louise produced it and wrote the song that i'm going to sing with jodie mahre. so this is family. >> perfect. >> the album, by the way, "is a holiday carole," the first song is "christmas in the air" written by louise and jodie mahre. carole? ♪ ♪ a woman's got to make her own ♪ ♪ if this christmas i'm alone ♪ ♪ won't hang no tear drops on my tree ♪
♪ merry has taken flight on this starry night ♪ ♪ i can feel the sky beneath my feet ♪ ♪ i don't want to wait for santa claus ♪ ♪ because i can celebrate life just because ♪ ♪ every day is a gift i get to open up ♪ ♪ anytime out of the year ♪ ♪ it's christmas everywhere ♪ ♪ it feels like christmas in the air ♪ ♪ i throw away my cares ♪ ♪ because it's christmas in the air ♪ ♪ walking through central park ♪ ♪ making drumbeats on guitars ♪ ♪ the kind of fun you get for free ♪ ♪ even when my heart's in pain ♪ ♪ no mistletoe to hang ♪ ♪ i got my own
sense of funny ♪ ♪ i don't want to wait for santa claus ♪ ♪ to fill my heart with joy and peace and love ♪ ♪ when every day is a gift i get to open up ♪ ♪ i can see the world from here ♪ ♪ peace and joy love and hope ♪ ♪ peace and joy peace and joy joy, joy, joy ♪ ♪ i know awhat i'm gonna do ♪ ♪ gonna turn up the music now ♪ ♪ oh, yeah i'm ringing in the new sing away the blues ♪ ♪ going to make it through some how through some how ♪ ♪ it's christmas everywhere it feels like christmas in the air ♪
♪ i throw away my cares ♪ ♪ because it's christmas everywhere ♪ ♪ it's christmas everywhere it feels like christmas in the air ♪ ♪ i throw away my cares ♪ ♪ because it's christmas in the air ♪ ♪ it's christmas [ cat yodeling ] honey, check your email! [ cellphone chimes ] [ cat yodeling ] kids! [ cat yodeling ] sing, larry, sing! [ cat yodeling ] we should have got a cat. [ male announcer ] get low prices on gifts to stay connected. order your last-minute gifts at walmart-dot-com and get free same-day pickup on select items. save money. live better. walmart.
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sam stein on twitter but i wasn't. >> that's a problem. >> what a holiday nightmare. >> i learned that he suffers from a severe bout of twitter envy. my follower numbers are higher than his. >> mark what did you learn? >> i learned you look better in the slippers than i ever could have possibly imagined. >> i love these things. mika in. >> i look forward to willie getting back but it was fun doing "way too early." it has been a wonderful year. thank you, everybody. and we will see you in iowa. >> thank you so much for watching. it has been a great year. and a big hand to everybody around the studio. you guys have done an amazing job. thank you so much for everything. and also, of course, thank you to everybody in the control room that makes "morning joe" what it is and our friends around the set. i can say that because t.j. is off today. happy holidays, merry christmas. if it's way too early, mark
halperin, what time is it? >> it is "morning joe." get ready for "the daily rundown." >> well done. ♪ ♪ holiday holiday ♪ ♪ and the best one of the year ♪ ♪ i cover both my ears but if i wait for a holiday ♪ ♪ could it stop my fear ♪ ♪ go away on a summer stay ♪ ♪ never seems so clear ♪ ♪ holiday so far away ♪ ♪ on the beach i can't forget just how bad it gets ♪ ♪ if i wait