tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 16, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EDT
endorse something they don't have to, so they're going to stay as far away as they can. >> we're out of time. sam stein gets the "last word." thanks, sam. romney's complaint. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in nantucket where kathleen and i have been enjoying summers since our honeymoon. let me start with mitt romney's dare to call out for negative campaigning. i was in iowa when he carpet bombed former speaker newt gingrich and did the same to santorum. now hoping everyone forgot how he got this far, the curtis will he may of massive tv bombing is sniping at a metaphor joe biden used against his economic plans for cutting medicare. here he is leading the party
that drifts with birther talk where slurs with anti-un-americanism rich with chorus. references to food stamp, welfare the practice code of bigots. perhaps mr. romney should unchain himself from this cotillion of nastiness before he tries to play umpire against mr. biden. i begin tonight with cynthia tucker. and the huffington editorial editor howard fineman. and msnbc analyst. we listened to romney and hear him complaining about the president's negative campaigning. ask yourself, is this the same mitt romney who eviscerated his primary opponent was the help of his super pac? they ran ads like this against gingrich. let's see how romney got this far. >> why is this man smiling? because his plan is working. brutally attack mitt romney and hope newt gingrich is his opponent. why? mute has a ton of baggage like the fact that gingrich was fined
$300,000 for ethics violations or that he took at least $1.6 million from freddie mac just before it helped cause the economic meltdown. then there's the $37 million gingrich took from health care and industry groups. >> cynthia, you know, i don't know where this guy claimed he's the umpire in this race where he will decide who is in and who is out in terms of ethics. but this guy got this far with an overwhelming expenditure of outside money to destroy first newt and santorum and anyone else that got in his way with blanketing of negative advertising. now he is saying biden is the bad guy because he used the word chains in some metaphor he was putting together. >> this is manufactured outrage. chris, you know, i would bet that mitt romney's staff had this hatred and angry obama is hateful and angry speech written days back and they were just waiting for an excuse to put it forward. this is mitt romney knows his
unfavorable ratings are high and that obama is perceived as much more likable than he is. this is an effort to tar obama's image some, increase his ez unfavorability ratings in the hope that it will help mitt romney some. this outrage is absolutely feigned. after all of the vicious things that not only has romney said about his republican rivals but he spent the last four years saying vicious untrue things about obama too. he's not sufficiently american. he apologizes for americans. he even claimed obama apologizes for americans' athletic in greatness in the olympics. this is all not true. and so for mitt romney to complain that obama is playing dirty is just the height of gal. gall. >> howard, your thoughts about this as the campaign tactic?
is he hoping the media will join in and agree with him that we need to have a more regulated campaign at the expense of obama? is that what he is up to here? >> yeah, i think part of it is complaining to the refs for sure. it is -- usually the people who commit the fouls that complain the most to the refs. and i think that's the situation here. more generally, i think, the romney strategy over the last week or two especially has been the best defense is a good offense. they went -- as soon as paul ryan was named they went after the medicare issue trying to muddy the waters there as much as possible. trying to take the offense on that. and on this, they are doing the same. as cynthia says, rightly, one of president obama's treasured advantages in this campaign, even at a time of high unemployment and so forth is that he's liked by the american people. they think he's a decent guy with decent motives. and the romney campaign and its
allies will do anything they can to try to bring him down. they have no expectation that they are going to raise the likability of mitt romney. they are utterly realistic about that. mitt romney doesn't seem to care that much how liked he is. he just wants to win and -- the only way he can do it in this part of the campaign is by dragging the president down, trying to bait the president, trying to call him names, trying to dag him down in terms of likability to mitt romney's own level. that's what they are trying to do here. >> late yesterday mitt romney reacted with some heated rhetoric. to comments joe biden made during the day. the vice president said romney wants to unchain wall street and put y'all back in chains. he's talking to a mixed audience of white and black people there. here is how romney responded. let's watch. >> his campaign and surrogates made wild and reckless accusations that disgraced the office of the presidency. another outrageous charge came a
few hours ago in virginia. and the white house sinks a little bit lower. this is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like. president obama knows better. promised better and america deserves better. his campaign strategy is to smash america apart. and then try to cobble together 51% of the pieces. mr. president, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting america. >> anyway, obama's spokesman ben labolt quickly responded with a very strong statement. quote, governor romney's comments tonight seemed unhinged and particularly strange coming at a time when he's pouring tens of millions of dollars into negative ads that are false. on cbs this morning, romney in turn responded to the unhinged charge, let's watch the counterpunch.
>> i think unhinged would have to be characterize what we've seen from the president's campaign. the president's campaign is all about division and attack and hatred and my campaign is about getting america back to work. if you look at the ads that have been described in the divisiveness based upon income, age, ethnicity, and so forth, it's designed to bring a sense of jealousy and anger. >> you know, cynthia, we talk about the language used in politics all the time. we have a rich history in this with regard to andrew jackson to harry truman. more recently of populist language, most famous speech we -- all of us in high school reciting was the cross of gold speech, you shall not crucify mankind on a cross of gold. that was over the issue of tight money and loose money. and the silver standard and gold standard. using it in reference like that were considered fair play. we are used to the word by biden the other day and can get over
the top, was chains. obviously it was reference to slavery, historically. but i think of all of the code they've used on the other side about food stamps and welfare and welfare queens and all. it seems to be that's a negative reference to slavery and black folk. whereas biden is maybe trying too hard to get the support of black people and not using negative slurs in doing it. he is making historic reference, he may not have been right to do. certainly wasn't malignant like the other stuff we get. that's my view. what's yours? >> not only was it not malignant, i'm not even sure it had anything to do with race. if you didn't know that there was significant numbers of black people in the audience and you read what he said, it seemed to me that he was talking about the difference between the banks being shackled and being let loose on the average working american. be that as it may, it is absolutely true that republicans have owned the southern strategy
of thinly vailed racial references and race baiting for the last 50 years. they are well known for that. and at first i thought mitt romney wouldn't sink to that. but when he got desperate enough, he dipped into that rhetoric, too. claiming that obama wants to put more people on welfare. they're not going to have to work. well, not only is it a lie, you know that's all racially coded rhetoric. so for mitt romney to then turn around and claim that obama is trying to divide us is laughable. >> let's take a look at joe biden, vice president's comment yesterday that they are using on the other side to stir up a hornet's nest. here he is in -- also the sharp response. let's watch. >> romney wants to let the -- he said the first 100 day he is going to let the big banks once again make their own rules. unchain wall street.
they are going to put y'all back in chains. >> okay. following up on a reference from the other side. later in the day the vice president clarified the statement a bit. let's listen to the vice president here. >> i'm told when i made that comment earlier today in danville, virginia, the romney campaign put out a tweet, you know, tweets. put out a tweet. went on the air. went on the air saying biden, he's outrageous in saying that i think i said instead of unshackled, i said unchained. outrageous to say that. that's what we had. i'm using the wrong words. i got a message for him. if you want to know what's outrageous, it is their policies. and the effects of their policies on middle class americans. that's what's outrageous. >> howard, my friend, here we go. the argument here -- i don't don't want to get down in the ditch on the exact wordage here. is shackles any different than chains.
the republicans have been using the word shackled and don't like business being shackled. corporate greatness to be shackled. now he threw it back on them using the word chains rather than shackled. can you build a war -- civil war over that distinction? >> no, you really can't. and i think that joe biden was trying to be charming joe biden and made a mistake there. clearly. but the romney's campaign's motive in putting attention on it is not to cleanse the campaign of any racial reference. it is probably just the opposite. if they can stir up arguments about race in the campaign, they are only too happy to do so. and as a matter of fact, earlier when mitt romney in that earlier sound bite of yours said that the obama campaign had been using divisions of age, income, and ethnicity, i don't -- i'd like to know exactly where, maybe i missed it. i don't think the obama campaign
has harped on ethnicity as a way of attacking mitt romney. i really don't think that they have. at least i haven't seen it. >> he doesn't have any ethnicity. >> right. >> howard, i don't think him as an ethnic. >> i don't know what they are talking about there. but it is -- look, this is rough stuff when you complain about -- what i would view as a sort of semi accidental or joe bidenish, almost the same thing, reference there, you're shining light on the race issue. you want to bring up race. you want to talk about it. and if you didn't, you would have let it go. come on. that wasn't a serious attack. and it is not like -- you know, that -- that's my view of it. you talk about it. you are bringing it up and want to have a big argument about it and talk about race in the campaign. we are just getting -- only august, chris. october is going to be -- i hate to say it but is going to be about race and religion. >> yeah, well, racial division
may be the -- their winning ground. who knows if the end. i've got to lot more to say about this later if the show when i will talk about the stuff that the romney side of the political world has been using. ethnicity, charges of obama not being an american. i have never heard stuff like this in my lifetime of watching politics. for them to pretend they are a referee or umpire is a joke. howard fineman, thank you. cynthia tucker, good to have you on always. >> coming up, one reason mitt romney put paul ryan on the ticket was ryan supposedly stands for something. he didn't yesterday. his first big tv interview with the hometown crowd on fox, they are the home turf, instead ryan ducked and dodged a question about tax reform. also talk a lot about the tough photo i.d. in pennsylvania republicans put in place to help romney win up there. a judge allowed the law to stand. the legal fight is far from over. the consequences could be horrific. what about the crazy joes out there. joe the plumber says we need to put a fence up on the mexican border and start shooting.
joe says he's not done with his investigation in the president's birth certificate which he calls forged. joe walsh is one of the worst of them says muslims are trying to kill americans here at home. did you notice? the three joes. what a crowd. three stooges perhaps. let me finish tonight, like i said, with the vicious personal attacks republicans have consistently made against president obama. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
as many as 90 million americans eligible to vote won't vote this year. among those likely nonvoters, president obama has a 2-1 lead over mitt romney. that's according to a "usa today"/suffolk poll. take a look. these are people who are registered to vote. for whatever reason, lack of interest, lack of time, say they won't vote this year.
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congressman ryan joined my campaign and his campaign is my campaign now. >> are you running on his budget or your budget? >> my budget, of course. i'm the one running for president. >> welcome back to "hardball." mitt romney cannot escape questions about paul ryan's budget and more he's asked about it the faster he runs away. the only person running away faster from paul ryan is ryan himself. on fox last evening, ryan tried his best to distance himself from his own plan. and got onboard the romney bandwagon, whatever that is clear, we don't know what it is. let's listen. >> only president obama raids $716 billion from the medicare program. he cut $716 billion from the medicare program to pay for obama care.
we don't do that. >> how much? >> the point is -- i joined the romney ticket. and what mitt romney is proposing to do is repeal all of obama care. >> but it is the case that in the budget that you passed through the house of representatives significant savings of upwards of $500 billion in medicare. >> we do not add cuts to medicare program. on the house budget. we don't take more cuts to medicare. i am on the romney ticket. what mitt romney is proposing is to repeal all of obama care. >> the romney campaign has decided to take medicare, arguably ryan's biggest vulnerability since his budget. dismantles it and go on offense by saying it is obama that will hurt medicare. can this double bank shot work? robert costa is a political reporter for the national review and cnbc contributor. you know, the best we can figure out is both sides are going to change medicare to some extent. romney people are going to do
the serious business of looks like shifting it into a voucher program which is going to get less money to give to the insurance companies to replace medicare with less money. and by giving a slice of that money to the insurance companies. i think it does reduce the amount of benefits going to recipients. on the other hand, the obama approach has been to basically put a squeeze on providers, what they call unnecessary services, hope they can still provide the full services to the recipients. now, the differences add up to basically the same kind of cut in costs. they claim. that's my understanding. here it is. has romney got a case obama is hurting medicare. >> i think that actually the biggest difference between the two candidates and these two teams is that president obama has a plan to have savings in medicare and actually goes back to seniors. there are no savings in medicare that touch beneficiaries. and that is the biggest distinction between his plan and the romney/ryan support of
premium support. lot of debate around $700 billion but both romney and ryan have supported turning medicare into a voucher which will shift costs to seniors by $6,000. basically romney/ryan vision of health care is that can seniors pay too little for health care costs? they need to pay more. and they need to -- that's what their premium support plan is all about. which they -- neither one of them has distanced themselves from. you know, we might give them a few days because they might change their minds on this as well. but so far, they've both endorsed premium support. >> the hardest thing right now is to find out what is exactly their policy. by the way, try to figure it out and help them with the politics, conservative columnist charles says ryan risks getting caught in the weeds trying to defend his plan and his advice to him is don't even try. a here's a smart guy trying to help the republican ticket get its act together. let's listen.
>> he's got one problem. i think they knew this was a problem going in. the details of the ryan plan have some things which don't mesh with what romney is running on. and which are a little harder to defend. and i think what ryan has to say is look, i propose the plan in congress. it was a congressional plan and was rejected by the democratic senate and by the president. it is now history. i can defend it if you want. but it is complicated, active plan right now, what we are running, what the country will see is the romney plan. >> robert costa of the national review, much respected national review. how do you say the -- krauthammer said it, paul ryan, superstar on the budget issue, entitlement programs on the republican party, selected as running mate for the very reason of your expertise and ability to figure these things out, to now say forget everything i've ever said on this issue because i'm now on the romney team. can you do that?
is this etch-a-sketch now applied to ryan? will it work? >> i wouldn't use the word etch-a-sketch. i look at history. when jfk taps lbj to be his vp in 1960, lbj brought a large legislative agenda, legislative history. they shared a common vision. and they had that vision as a ticket and that's what you see with romney and ryan. same with obama and biden. four years ago, when senator biden was picked he and obama were not identical on every issue but shared a common vision. on medicare, they shared the same principles of the ryan budget. what ryan is doing -- in the fox news interview saying he's running as a ticket. he will answer the questions as krauthammer said but is running on the romney ticket. >> his philosophy is -- just a minute here. these are serious beliefs, this guy has. everyone says on your side, here's a man of conviction. so pay attention to his convictions. he wants to get rid of any taxation on capital gains. all the rich will make their money off cap gains and don't have to pay any taxes. he believes that and believes we
have to get rid of medicare as we have and it turn night a voucher program. he believes that. is that not relevant? isn't that relevant? >> it's relevant but not relevant to the actual platform of the romney/ryan ticket. all of these issues are very relevant to the debate. if you want to ask what would romney and ryan do once in office have you the look at what mitt romney's proposal is. that's what paul ryan is endorsing at the moment. >> we'll see. what's your thought on that, neera? it seems to me they are radical. newt gingrich said this is radical right-wing social engineering and still looks like it. >> i think the problem for mitt romney in this, paul ryan has strong views. they are unpopular, people won't like them. he's trying to shift. in shifting over the last few days i think he really has helped harden this view that he doesn't have -- that there's not a lot of conviction there. conservatives pushed him to make the selection of paul rien. it is a risky selection.
many of them believe it's a risky selection. he made this risky selection. precisely because conservatives didn't trust him to be conservative enough. be so now he's in this weird position. >> are you concerned, neera, this guy ryan believes in the person hood of -- cause, he believes can't have abortion of any circumstances because you have to believe in the personhood of some -- any unborn child to be -- after conception? this guy is radical belief. even for a pro-lifer. that's where he is. do you think that's not relevant to this presidential election, that that's where he stands? romney has him on the ticket now i think the fact that mitt romney -- mitt romney chose a vice presidential candidate who believes that even the case of rape and incest, a woman should not have access to abortion, you know, which i think is a relatively extreme position, far more extreme than even george bush's positions on abortion, is disconcerting. and the fact that it seems to me
he was cowed into this selection by conservatives. this isn't a pick that will reach out to moderate voters. i think says a lot more about mitt romney than it does about paul ryan. >> i there is a lot more to this people will be learning like the personhood belief he has. thank you. up next, the always funny bill maher on the difference between paul ryan and sarah palin. that's next in the sideshow. you know that's going to be great. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
[ theme from "rocky" playing ] >> i'm mitt romney and i approve this message. >> as i said yesterday the boost of energy romney did get on the day he made paul ryan the vice president nominee was lost the second they split up. the next day. anyway, next, bill maher also unloaded on romney's vp pick asking the question republicans don't like to be asked. think sarah palin. >> i heard joe biden the other day say what's gutsy about his plan? which is what i have been saying way back when paul ryan first presented his plan. he has, from what i can see, two ideas. one, let's stop having rich people pay taxes at all. and poor people should look for food in the woods. he is a step up from sarah palin? actually, you know, he's more articulate than sarah palin. tell me one area where he and sarah palin would disagree. i cannot find one area.
somehow he's the smartest guy in the party and she is the stupidest woman on earth. but they agree on everything. >> i think maher is one of the smartest people around. here is one difference. books with hard covers, palin wouldn't name -- he reads books. i don't think she's looked at paper in awhile. after vice president joe biden stirred up a right wing hornets nest by saying republicans would put americans quote, back in chains, palin jumped in. >> strategist there in the obama campaign have got to look at a diplomatic way of replacing biden on the ticket with hillary. i don't want to throw outhat suggestion and have actually accept the suggestion because then a obama/hillary clinton ticket would have a darned good chance of winning. really, joe biden really drags down that ticket. >> i think she's putting us on. she needs to stir up her own audience, obviously, now that the republican leaders have avoided giving her a serious role at the coming convention in tampa.
now back to "hardball." >> back to "hardball." pennsylvania judge today refused to block that strict new voter photo i.d. law that requires voters to show official photo i.d. cards at the polls before voting this november. opponents of the republican sponsored law charged that it disenfranchises voters who don't have the means to obtain valid photo i.d. cards. the poor, minorities, students, elderly, that's typically democratic constituencies. with me right now, pennsylvania is a crucial swing state in this election. it could be a move that will have big impacts on this election day. i'm worried the it's going to turn the election. chaka fata and penda hair. the group claims to appeal to the state supreme court
tomorrow. congressman fattah, the case is dead right now. it looks like your voters and your constituents here are going to have to find god knows what's evidence to prove they have a birth certificate and then use the birth certificate to get a photo i.d. card from the government. what are you telling the average person comes up to you and says i live in your district, congressman, i don't have a driver's license. how am i going to get volunteer -- to vote? >> we are going to win this election because we are going to make sure they can vote. we are going to have a buy -- bifurcated strategy. obviously the appeal will go forward. i want to thank the advancement project and the aclu for the hard work on this. i believe that they will be successful in a court of law. however, we have been putting together over the last four months the most significant effort. we have the list of people that the state says that are on the registration rolls but don't have a driver's license and will be a concerted effort.
if they don't have a birth certificate and born in pennsylvania, they need to meet all of the other requirements. they don't have to worry about the birth certificate. if they were born out of state, we're putting together linkages with elected officials in other states who can help facilitate us getting those birth certificates. many of my constituents migrated from south carolina. from other southern states. those who are older and may even be at a point in which there weren't recorded birth certificates for them. and we have to find ways to meet this hurdle. we are going to make sure that people have a right to vote. we want everyone who is registered to come cast a vote. and if there's any problem with their identification they will be able to be allowed to follow up a -- file a provisional battle lot. there is no reason for this law. this is -- an attempt to -- really a conspiracy to put aside the republican party's principles in lieu of trying to win this election. it is an embarrassment and should be to the republican
party but we are not going to let interest stand in the way of people exercising their franchise and we are going to make sure whatever the rules are, they are going to apply across the state. so we want to make sure that we can fight this in court but we are going to meet the hurdles whatever they may be and you know, people have given their lives and went through a lot of effort and struggle and you know some of them firsthand, so that people can have the right to vote. we are not going to sit back and let meese rights be set aside by some procedural hurdles. >> okay. let me go to penda on this. this is worse than anybody washing can understand. you have to have a birth certificate. to get a birth certificate you need a photo i.d. how do you get a government photo i.d. card if you need a birth certificate to get one? this is like the old literacy laws. will are other ways perhaps to get there. to the average person that doesn't have a driver's license and big city people that live in row houses and rely on public transportation, don't have driver's licenses. how do you get -- just tell me how difficult it is for an
average person to get the to vote in pennsylvania where they grew up? how hard is it? tell me how they have to do it. >> yes, chris. this is a very disappointing decision. the evidence -- >> no, no. answer my question. what does it take? tell us how bad this law is. what does it make a person do? >> you have to have a photo i.d. that is not expired, issued by the state government or the united states military or united states passport. and to get that i.d., if you don't have a birth certificate, you have to go to the state where you were born, and that state has to give you a birth certificate and you have to pay whatever fee which is $14 to $25 to get a copy of your birth certificate. then you bring that back to pennsylvania. we have many plaintiffs at trial who went to their state and they didn't have any record that they had been born there. because they were born with a mid wire -- midwife. their birth wasn't registered. those folks are going to have an
extremely hard time meeting the requirements of they are law. and there's just not very much time left. so this is a real blow to the democracy. >> chris, let me say this. you know, the public says while voter i.d., that's not too onerate. if this was just a matter of people producing some identification, that will be one thing this is a very prescriptive requirement that requires if you work for the school district in lower marian county township in my new district, you won't be able to use that i.d. even though it is a government issued i.d. if you work for -- you have to get one from the state of pennsylvania and if you are a military person that has -- like joe sestak, a military card but no expiration date, you point be able to use it because it must have an expiration date. it is a very prescriptive law a lot of people when they show up at the polls will never know the details. so we have to work very, very hard and we put together an effort to be able to knock on every one of these doors and to work to make sure that people
can be educated while our great lawyers continue to fight this in a supreme court and if necessary, in other courts okay. >> okay. you know, you think king herd once did this about 2,000 years ago. go back to the town of your birth. remember that one? that's how the christmas story occurred. this is really biblical stuff going on here. really bad news. anyway, thank you. good luck with this effort. everybody should vote. and penda, good luck on your case in the supreme court. up next, three joes and they're all nuts. by the way, certifiable. joe the plumber wants to build a fence on mexican boarder and then start shooting. that's what he says. sheriff joe arpaio from arizona has said the same. pressing on with his birther investigation of the president. and good old u.s. congressman joe walsh, deadbeat dad, he says muslims are trying to kill americans right here at home. you notice, the crazy joes next. i'm not kidding. these guys are zany. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] if you had a dollar for every dollar car insurance companies say they'll save you by switching,
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take a look at what house speaker john boehner said monday. two days ago. about paul ryan's conservative credentials. >> i think that he's a practical conservative. he's got a very conservative voting record. but he's not a knuckle dragger. he understood the t.a.r.p. while none of us wanted to do it, if we were going to save our
economy, save the world economy, it had to happen. i wish we didn't have to do it either, but he understood that. >> he's referring to members of his caucus, among them he's not a knuckle dragger like some of the other ones. it is amazing how he talks about these guys. now we really know what boehner thinks of the tea party wing of his party. don't you think? we will be right back.
we are back. here is a group of less than average joes. joe the plumber. sheriff joe arpaio of arizona and joe walsh all spew insanity. rarely do they go back to back to back. first up, joe the plumber telling an arizona republican fund raiser that he wasn't worried about being politically correct. he was going to tell it like it is. the way to protect the border, he says is to build a fence and then start shooting. at that same fund-raiser sheriff joe arpaio said his investigation he called it into
the president's birth certificate is preceded and is convinced the document from honolulu is a fraud. and a few days earlier, tea party favorite joe walsh told a town hall audience in illinois there were radical islamists in the chicago suburbs trying to kill americans every week. what do these joes have in common? they're all trying to be as incendiary as possible. thanks for joining us. the author of "lizz free or die." you know, i'm hanging these people. i want -- let's watch joe the plumber. he will warm this up. he said at a fund-raiser friday, arizona state lori klein, fund-raiser for her. here's what he had to say. >> you know, for years i said put a fence on the border going to mexico and start shooting. i'm running for congress. that should be a bad thing to say. but it's how i feel. i'm not going to hide it because i'm running for office. i want our borders protected. i'm very, very adamant about
that. >> let's go to lizz. we'll go to the trio of joes. they have the same m.o. and they're crazy. they have a crowd on the right, a niche of people who applaud terrible things. like we're going to shoot mexican-americans on sight. just kill them. is that funny? is that overstatement or do they mean it? >> as you hear this rhetoric, it seems like every few years what was absurd is now normal. it seems there's all this extra money in the world. if you have money to give to joe the plumber and the messaging he's got for you is, hey, let's go to the border and shoot up the border. at the fund raiser for a woman who pulled a pink gun on the press and said well, my finger wasn't on the trigger. i don't know. i feel slightly like i may be put out of business. because reality is just trumping what i do.
i'm running for congress. that's a bad thing to say. i'm not going to hide it because i'm running for office. i'm very adamant about that. >> okay. let me go with liz. these people, we're going to go through this trio of joes. they happen to have the same names and m.o.s. they're crazy. they have a niche of people who applaud terrible things. like we're going to shoot mexican-americans on sight. is that funny? do they actually mean it? >> well, you know, as you hear this rhetoric, it feels like
every five years we're -- what seemed absurd is now normal. and it seems like there's all this extra money in the world. if you have money to give to joe the plumber and the messaging he's got for you is hey let's go down to the border and shoot up the border. at the fund raiser for a woman who pulled a pink gun on the press and said my finger wasn't on the trigger. i don't know. i feel like slightly i may be put out of business. because reality is just trumping what i do. >> you know, david, these are not people -- these screw balls, they're not people we discovered. these are heroes in the republican culture. these are people like donald trump, he knows how to make money as least. but they love these people, david. they're the heroes. >> i would actually put joe walsh in a bit of a different category. i've interviewed him. i think he's a true believer. this is a guy who says things on the record that most politicians would never do off the record. and again, he is an elected congressman in a very tough race. and i think he holds these -- when he says something, i think he believes it. i think with the plumber and the sheriff, they're more showmen. they've got books to hawk. joe the plumber gets paid sometimes to go into these districts. he's a congressional can the in ohio. what is he doing in arizona if he wants to win that race? it was revealed after her endorsed herman cain last year, the campaign paid him $10,000. so these guys also know where their bread is butter. >> i would say -- >> let's take a look at this guy. i'm sorry. let's go to look at joe walsh. we'll skip ahead to joe walsh and what he's been saying. let's look at wag walsh. let's hear what he has to say about the near threat of radical islam in this country. >> in this country it's not just over there. trying to kill americans every week. it is a real threat. and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was right after 9/11. it's here. it's in addison, it's in elgin. it's here. >> the specificity of this, it's the old joe mccarthy trick. if you give a lot of details of the near threat of islamic terrorism in this country plotting against us as a real threat. i guess it rings true to the people watching his pointer there as if he was the mad professor. >> and he goes on to say there's a string of muslim as though muslim is some kind of pandemic and a bad thing we need a vaccine for. i grew up in keith ellison's
district in minnesota, i now live in a muslim neighborhood in brooklyn, new york. i don't see what he sees. and i'm curious as to how many muslims are actually plotting in his particular neighborhood. because it doesn't seem like with the tragedies we've seen that it has anything to do with muslims whatsoever. he opens his big mouth and there's a threat against an islamic schoolyard. it's troubling and crazy but also people hear them like you said. the people find them as heroes. they're their spokes people. they feel it's a calling. >> there's one common thread in this insanity and it's racial and ethnic. they go after people who have come here to this country from latin america, they attack them. that's joe the plumber. arpaio does the same thing. he's going after the president because he's african-american. he wouldn't do it to a white guy. there's nothing more inspiring to me as an american to walk down 6th avenue in new york and see a guy run really a humble food stand on the corner with his prayer mat out praying to mecca. i want that country where people are free to do that on the job. it's not terrorism. it's wonderful. it's american freedom of religion. we should be proud we're the country that can do that and make a living when you come here. thank you liz and david. we've got to stop being afraid of what this country is. when we return, let me finish with the personal attacks in this campaign. the ones we've heard for years by republicans against president obama. let's drop this talk about biden. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
let me finish tonight with this. we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them you shall not press down upon the brow of labor, the crown of thorns. you shall not crucify man kind upon a cross of gold. this was the future democratic candidate for president back in 1896 william jennings bryant at the chicago convention of that year.
what would mitt romney say of this? would he say that the great comment was out of bounds? he was running a great campaign? the great fact behind this latest romney tact is that all he says about the vice president mr. biden and his metaphor about change and economic profession pail above past campaigns. the phrase is populism. the same populism we got through jackson and truman and democrats since anyone can remember. i say, mr. romney, get used to it. now for your crowd. a word is in order about the words your fond -- the democrats who brought up the church the candidate attends. it was the republicans who attacked the church the democratic candidate did. it wasn't the democrats who attacked the background of the republican candidate mr. romney. it was the cackling mod on the right. the mob that continues even b now to question the american birth.
without anything from the republican candidate. not a word does he say when his allies bark and bay in the moonlight that the president is an illegal immigrant who snuck in after his birth to grab the white house. and it hasn't been the democrats attacking the other candidate's loyalty to the country. you never hear a democrat question or mention the fact of romney's americanism. never a peep. but boy do romney and his henchmen love bringing it up in their round of slurs against this president. about how foreign he sounds and thinks. how he doesn't know what it means to be an american. his claim of birth right citizenship is a street corner con. that's what they call it. we've heard it all. the ugly rant from high and low that never seems to end. and so my fellow americans on the right, get this. before you play umpire consider your own performance in this contest. can you say you're proud of the words your crowd has been using. can you say this is good for the country to bark over and over that the other guy who doesn't share your politics is also deserving of having everything