tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 14, 2013 2:00am-3:00am EST
>> yeah. >> assign one to the pope. >> unfortunately i am not a politician. neither is the pope. >> oh, you are so lucky. we have run out of time. i think we were really close. father james martin. once again. gets tonight's last holy word. power grab. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in new york. let me start tonight with this. what do you do when your political party is getting smaller and your rivals out there are getting larger. what do you do with this political party, the republicans, and the numbers of your male white voters are shrinking and the number of younger progressive voters are starting to dominate? you use redistricting to magnify
the power of the more conservative whites to keep control of the congress. finally, you obstruct the power of the emerging new majority once elected to even run the government. actually, you do all three of those. welcome to the republican plan for holding power in this country long after they have receded into a minority of the population. gerrymandering and obstruction. an article chronicles all the tricks republicans are using. and a political analyst, let's start with voter suppression. ron, you and i have talked about it. it's rather shameless. it's under the tutelage of the rnc chair. they are basically saying let's make it really hard for older people to vote. let's make it really hard for black people and minorities to vote.
let's make it harder for young people to vote. let's make it easier for white people who live in rural areas to vote. >> cynicism and politics have gone together for a long time. but the cynicism in this sort of an effort, and many of these republican functionaries are up front about it when they're not on camera. think about this. how profoundly anti-democratic could you get than you're trying to eliminate the idea of one person, one vote. and the whole democratic process becomes undermined by this sort of effort, and you don't care because all you care about is winning. thank goodness that people like tim have written articles like this because the media as a whole has not been doing a very good job of covering this sort of republican tactic. it's shameful and needs to be exposed. >> good for you. when we look at countries that have less complete democracies.
or you look at third world countries where there is an accepted slate of candidates and you better be on that slate. when state legislatures have run by republicans have said we can't beat the big cities so let's reduce the number of urban voters, the number of african-american voters as much as we can. >> there's a difference between using the tools at your disposal to turn out your voters to use big data and targeting your voters and get them to the polls and win electoral advantage that way. and that's not what's happening here. we're seeing a cynical operation to rig the development. that's not democracy. that's america now. >> let's look at the redistricting there you're
talking about in your story. it calls it hyperpartisan. nationally democrats beat republicans by more than a million votes in the 2012 election. it's illustrated by results in three key states. my own hometown, pennsylvania. democrats got 83,000 more votes. yet republicans in office. the vote is represented dramatically by the republicans in congress. call it democracy? not really. in michigan, house democrats won 240,000 votes. michigan's represented by 9 republicans and 5 democrats. the people of wisconsin now represented. it seems a clever way to not waste votes.
>> they use efforts to pack districts. where you have urban and minority voters packed into these tiny geographic areas and you spread the wealth among republican leading districts so they split 55-45. so you have just enough to guarantee on an average basis that a republican's going to win there. and that way, it's not just the states where you have a state like ohio where you're 50/50, you know, bellwether state. but republicans control 75% of the seats. its with a very coordinated effort funded by the chamber of commerce, funded by big tobacco, run by gillespie, by karl rove. this was dreamed up. >> this is something to keep an
eye on for people who think they shouldn't vote in midterm elections like 2014. the state goes as the state goes by majority vote. they're trying to do it by congressional district. if they can get it changed like that they basically can went the presidency with a dramatically lower number of votes than the other side had. >> right. in these same states where they redistricted so dramatically they're proposed to have the electoral college linked to a congressional district. if they had that last election, mitt romney would be president despite a popular loss. >> that's a vast majority of the number of congressional districts, and all they have to do is use that to rubber stamp a victory in the house and a victory in the presidency. >> and they're obviously not proposing this in big red states like texas or south carolina.
this is in only states where the republicans happen to control the legislature. >> besides reapportionment, the shrinking white majority claims to power through this. one of president obama's is picks was blocked. the vote was 56-41. sorry. that's enough, enough. you didn't get 60. that's the new tactic. i want to start with ron, get back to you on this question. it's not just they try to keep the other party out of power, but if they get into power through some hard-work being effort by the obama people to win again, winning enough votes despite all these efforts, they make sure they don't get to do anything. they use the 60 vote requirement on every little antsy thing. so they're hamstrung, so they win by not letting the other side win when they win.
>> i think it's making sure that elections don't have consequences unless the republicans are winning. this is an unprecedented use of the filibuster by mitch mcconnell. in lyndon baines johnson's tenure he faced one fill buster. and about half of the executive appointments that have been filibustered, about half of them have come under the obama presidency. fill me in there and talk about all three of these efforts. not only are they using voter suppression shamelessly. i them i'm the only guy going after priebus on this thing. when the democrats won the total overall number out there in pennsylvania. same thing with the use of the filibuster. they can't get anything through
this government unless they get 60 votes. 40 is more powerful than 60. the media, you'd think that the democrats were filibustering as much at republicans. the republican party is now obviously decided that they cannot win the battle of ideas. but once you decide you can't win the battle of ideas, you stop having ideas. so we have one political party that simply doesn't have ideas. think about health care. do they have an alternative to obama care? what's their alternative? they don't have one. think about paul ryan's budget plan. >> kangaroo court. >> paul ryan's budget plan, when it was unveiled, it was like something he scrawled on the back of a napkin at breakfast or something. they have no ideas because they don't think they need them.
they're going to win another way by cheating. >> are people up in arms? do they say wait a minute, this is a tilting of the game from the beginning? you can't win a game that's constantly tilting against you? >> i'm excited by the reaction of the story. these things have been floating out there, but we've been able to draw these three threads together and see how they're connected. if you're a party that's tilting the playing feed to win eventually that game runs out. and i think the republicans are on borrowed time here. and it's going to be irrelevant to the process. >> in lebanon when the christian population was purportedly as large as the muslim population, they would have all these censuses over there. but they would take so many, and they'd somehow come to the conclusion there were as many christians as there were muslims. there weren't, but they came to this conclusion. is that the next step?
tilting the polls? tilting the census bureau? what are they going to do next? >> they seem to be pulling out all the stops now. they are trying to lock in changes that we won't be able to get five, ten, 15 years from now because the votes won't be there. >> i hope the voters out there are keeping their eyes open. thank you. coming up, rising tensions. the latest house meeting to cripple the affordable care act. >> mr. chairman, i -- let me be clear that we have staff who work just as hard as yours. >> i wasn't insulting your staff. >> well -- >> we also know who the shoe in
for the white house is for 2016, right? or do we. a new poll suggests the republicans might have a shot after all if they pick the right candidate. and if you want to know how republicans plan to go after hillary clinton if she runs, benghazi. and sarah palin has decided that pope francis is too liberal. this is "hardball," a place for politics. you have time to shop for car insurance today? yeah. i heard about progressive's "name your price" tool? i guess you can tell them how much you want to pay and it gives you a range of options to choose from. huh? i'm looking at it right now. oh, yeah? yeah.
what's the... guest room situation? the "name your price" tool, making the world a little more progressive. democrats, of course, won that big governor's race last week. they took the governor's race. according to the virginia state board of elections, mark herring has a lead over the republican. obenshain hasn't concede and this is headed for a recount. the state will foot the bill if
jay carney is paid to say things that aren't so. it's the tip of the iceberg. if they're willing to put politics into a website, what will they put into your health care? >> that's daryl issa. he's become the republican's front man in an unending series of witch hunts. and of course fear mongering. yet very short on actual facts. we've seen it with benghazi, with fast and furious, with the irs, and now from fox last week. there was little reason to think we'd see anything different. issa continued his scare tactics. this week he tried frightening away people from the program. >> hackers in fact may have already or may soon find those vulnerabilities.
they may soon find your social security number or your sensitive information because there was no integrated security testing before the launch. >> by the way, kathleen sebelius has testified there is no way a hacker could steal your social security number from this site. meanwhile, issa was denounced for his attacks on the health care law. >> house republicans shut down the entire federal government for three weeks in october. three weeks. shut down the government. they threatened to default on our national debts unless we repealed the affordable care act. now they're attempting to use the congressional oversight process to scare americans away
from the website. nobody in this room, nobody in this country believes that republicans want to fix the website. for the past three years the number one priority of congressional republicans has been to bring down this law. and that goal, ladies and gentlemen, has not changed. >> congressman cummings joins us. when you sit with those people like your chairman of that committee, what do you sense is his game plan? is it cheap publicity? or is it actually into scaring so many people from participating in the program that he can help kill the success of obama care? >> i think it's to discourage people from signing up and kill it slowly, chris, i think that's what it's all about. and to say as many negative things as possible.
and the other thing is he's always trying to link any negative decisions to the white house. i mean, we get so distracted by that, we never get to reform. we never get to making sure that the system works correctly. and that is definitely not the intention of the republicans on this committee. >> your chairman's hard line tactics came under fire at this hearing. cooper charged issa of running a kangaroo court. >> i believe in fairness. and the american people do not want to see a kangaroo court here the and the way this hearing has been conducted does not encourage good private sector people to want to join the federal government. >> kangaroo courts is quite an accusation. and i hope the gentleman from tennessee, when he uses the term kangaroo court will think better of making an accusation. no witness has been cut off. every witness has been allowed to complete their entire answer in every case.
>> congressman, someone who i met years ago when i was working for president carter who was an old bureaucrat, said people don't do their best work, and i'll change his language, when they're being urinated on. you die moralize people. you demoralize possible participants. it just seems these people want to make people miserable who are trying to do their jobs. >> a group of people before us today were experts in technology. and mr. todd park who is really working with the team night and day, literally sleeping on the floor, doing the job almost 24 hours to get this done by the end of the month was taken away, chris, from his duties. and he said, he told them, he told issa, look, i'm happy to come testify after december 1st.
but issa, instead, handed him a subpoena. but one of the good things that came out of the hearing today was that mr. park testified that there has been significant progress. he seems to be pretty confident that by the end of the month, that we'll be in pretty good shape. >> what do you make of this charge from the republicans. this is mitch mcconnell saying that by trying to fill these court appointments that are vacant, these are vacancies in the federal court, the president's distracting from the failures of his health care program. i've never heard a more -- that's the most difficult connection i've ever heard. >> that is ridiculous. i am a lawyer. i practiced for 30 years. and i can tell you, we need our judges on the courts. we've got people from my district, judges from my district who are saying, that, look, we have got to fill vacancies because we are having all kinds of backlog. no. there's no relationship, but they try to connect the two.
and it's absolutely ridiculous. >> let me go to dana milbank of the washington post. you know, we read him all the time. this character, daryl issa, he spent like $30 million trying to get elected to the senate. that wouldn't work. but he wanted to get as much publicity as the senator so he comes over to this oversight committee with the expression intention of be being acrimonious. of being a noise maker and trying to destroy anything that gets in the way. it has aspects of the old days of the witch-hunts and he keeps finding new witches. >> he viewed the obama administration as corrupt. and he has been seeking to demonstrate it ever since then. we see the same pattern over and over again. you'll have something where something went wrong. fast and furious, benghazi, the obama care rollout, and he takes this leap, perhaps a kangaroo sized leap if you will, and says there's high level political scandal in the white house
that's politically motivated, and that's what's driving this problem. and then he'll selectively leak some testimony to make it look like it's supporting his point. then it all comes out in the end and goes poof. if i was the republicans i'd be thinking we have a good case without daryl issa going over the top. >> why is everything that issa get in his target zone have to do with moral turpitude. it can't be something that just didn't work. murphy's law doesn't always apply. it's always evil. it's always the president is a bad person. why do they have to keep making that case? can't they just say, you know, he's not the most efficient chief executive we've had. he didn't have his eyes on the game enough to keep charge of these people and make them work harder. it's always somehow he's corrupt, evil, that there's some character problem and it's always a witch hunt, looking for the witch. >> it goes back to what we've said many times.
they want to make sure that this president has an asterisk by his name saying that he did not accomplish anything significant. and of course the affordable care act is the most significant accomplishment of this president or of any president it would be. and so this is, i think, another effort on the part of chairman issa to put a few more lines under that asterisk that you talk about. >> like hank aaron really didn't hit all those home runs. therefore, therefore, therefore. thank you. anyway, thank you for joining us. up next, sarah palin takes another alaska sized potshot, this time at the pope. this is "hardball," a place for politics. [ thunder crashes ]
back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. talks with iran over nuclear weapons may have stalled over the weekend. but john kerry's summit in geneva represents the talks since 1979. it was not lost on jon stewart last night. here's how he dramatized the gathering that took place. >> iran is willing to make a deal. let's do this. >> foreign ministers of the big western powers led by the u.s. secretary of state john kerry diverted planes and canceled meetings to fly into geneva. >> let the call go out to the league of unknown gentlemen. diplomats assemble. they all came to geneva by boat and plane.
john kerry turned around his trusty sailboard. >> of the six nation team negotiating with iran, only france had the escargots to say no. and you know it's a bad deal if france is turning down a six way. and now our president's been out toughed by the french? that's like being outsobered by toronto mayor rob ford. and finally, sarah palin showcased her unique candor. this time it's about the pope's so-called liberal statements. >> what do you make of pope francis? what do you think of him? >> i'm kind of trying to find what his agenda is. you know, i'm surprised that he came out with a couple of things in the media. but then again, i'm not one to trust the media's interpretation
of someone's message. but having read through might yeah outlets that he's had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal has taken me aback. it's kind of surprised me. but there again, you know, unless i really dig deep into what his messaging is and do my own homework i'm not just going to trust what i hear in the media. >> and there she is talking on the mainstream might yeah which she calls the lame stream media bashing people like jake tapper for talking to her. stay tuned for a lot more about her comments about our pope. up next, for all the talk of the tea party, why can't any of them touch hillary clinton? you're watching "hardball."
a new poll found that hillary clinton would get the support of 44% of adults against chris christie. a quinnipiac poll revealed a tighter race with christie in the lied. she leads rand paul and paul ryan and ted cruz. i want you to make the fight. this is about, this is about strategy. and you're a strategist. so make the case that you'd like to see hillary clinton make about why she should being the next president beating all these people, inclusion christie. why should i, i'm hillary clinton, why should i be president. >> she'll fight for the middle
class. she'll fight for women and for the kinds of issues that i think have hurt republicans so badly in the last few elections. certainly, i think there is a tremendous desire, a pent-up desire in the country to elect a woman to the presidency. this isn't a case of affirmative action. she is supremely well qualified. i think she's going to have to go out in 2016 when she runs, and i believe she will run. and she'll have to say to people, this is what i want to do as president. she can't rest on obama's record, she'll have to offer a vision for the future. she'll do that because she went through that 2008 campaign. the first part of it was when she didn't do that. and we knew, by the way, fairly early on that bawl was almost certain to be the nominee, but she kept going, she was a superb candidate.
>> she was under attack and losing it at the new hampshire. let me go to you, john. this is a tough one. how do you go after hillary clinton and attack her without getting blown up yourself? there are people in her corner. they're not officially with her like david brock. you take a shot at hillary clinton and you are nailed. how does a republican candidate do that facing that fuse laud of attack? >> i think she is a formidable candidate. i don't think it's that hard to attack her. she's pretty vulnerable. she's going to be associated with the obama administration. and the argument will be do you want a third term of the bawl administration. and i think she also will be attacked a little bit on the idea of does she have real executive experience? can she really take over and lead this country to a right
place? i think bob is right in a sense of what is her vision. and that was her biggest challenge in the last election. she's going to be challenged from the left by elizabeth warren or somebody like that. and then you're going to attack her on being liberal. this time, if she's pushed far to the left you can attack her on those grounds. >> i did hear benghazi. not a word on benghazi. before i go past you here. benghazi, do you want to say anything? >> i think it's going to be good tor the royal conservatives. >> he's absolutely right about benghazi. and he is engaging in wishful thinking if he believes elizabeth warren, and this is the hot house story of the week is going to challenge hillary clinton. i don't think saying liberal, liberal, liberal is going to get you anywhere.
people have a sense of hillary clinton. they have a sense that she shares their values. she fights for the middle class. running the state department may constitute executive experience of a high order. more than say being governor of new jersey or being an optometrist. >> i'd love to talk politics here. don't get into policy here. is there anybody beside christie that could knock hillary off? >> i don't think anybody associated with congress can. i do think jeb bush if he decides to run could mount a good campaign. i think another governor like john kasich who has that blue collar sensibility. nobody attached to washington can beat hillary, although
that's going to be hillary's biggest challenge is disassociating herself from the obama administration. >> hillary clinton won't run. do the democrats have anybody that can beat governor christie? >> oh, sure. joe biden is likely to be the nominee if she doesn't run. and i think he can beat christie. he had pro found appeal in those tough swing states like ohio where it really matters. remember, that's what he did for obama in 2008 and 2012. he was the guy responsible for carrying pennsylvania and did a lot of the heavy lifting in florida. >> why are you so high on biden and he gets such bad press? >> it's easy to caricature him. voters relate to him, they relate to him in a very real way. if he gets to go out there and run, i don't think he'll run if hillary runs. people are going to like what they see.
remember when brian williams asked him the question, what are you going to do about the fact that people think you talk too much. are you going to prove they're wrong? and he said yes, and just stopped. this guy is a superb campaigner. >> what do you think of biden? is he getting a bad rap? >> i think joe biden is the most likeable part of this administration. he's one of these nice guys. good storyteller. he's almost wrong on everything he comes out for. >> that's not true. >> well, for example breaking up iraq into three-pieces. the-pie. >> not killing osama bin laden. he's almost wrong. >> the anti-terrorism campaign. he didn't believe in the counterinsurgency program. he was dead right. focus on the terrorism, get out of that country. he was right. the president was wrong on that one. >> he was wrong about killing osama bin laden. >> you give the president a lot of credit for making the right choice.
>> the bigger fact is, is the obama administration going to be on the upswing? or is it going to continue to go down this treacherous path it's gone down. >> upswing's coming. >> anybody associated with this obama administration is going to have a tough time. >> one last question. it's totally unfair, that's why i'm asking you. do you think this guy ted cruz is really a guy who the american people can look at and say i'd like him to be leader of our country? do you really think, when you look at the guy and watch him in action. do you really think the american people would say he's my idea of a president? >> well, not right now. i think he's a very smart guy. but he's got a lot of maturing to do. and he's got to get off this idea that he's god's gift to the world. he puts his pants on just like everybody else.
>> you are the most generous person on earth. happy thanksgiving if i don't see you sooner. up next you can see this coming. republicans are using benghazi to hit hillary clinton three years before the election. this is "hardball," the place for politics. my mantra? family first. but with less energy, moodiness, and a low sex drive, i saw my doctor. a blood test showed it was low testosterone, not age. we talked about axiron. the only underarm low t treatment that can restore
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we're back. if you think you've heard a lot about benghazi, you haven't seen nothing yet or heard nothing yet. as the hillary presidential bid seems to be gearing up more and more, republicans have indicated they plan to scream benghazi, benghazi, benghazi at the top of their lungs every opportunity they get. namely rand paul. >> when hillary clinton was asked for more security, she turned the ambassador down. under cross examination i asked
her, did you raid the cables? she said she never read any of the cables. that's her excuse. she says don't blame me. somebody beneath me should have been reading those cables. i find it a dereliction of duty. a clear dereliction of duty. she wants to blame it on somebody else? it's absolutely a responsibility. and her failure to provide our ambassador and his mission with adequate security should preclude hillary clinton from ever holding high office again. >> wow, well, senator paul has made similar statements in the past. this time in the wake of repeated plagiarism allegations. he says he will add citations and place them on his website. what will he add for this story? it's a story in the hill newspaper that seems to contradict his very statement. here's part of the article. the report may have been
overreached when it said it had evidence that clinton had personally signed an april 2012 cable turning down then ambassador's request for security. all state department cables bear the signature. josh rogen is a senior correspondent at news week. and i just want to point out something i know. as a lowly peace corps volunteer, every time a cable came to us, it had rogers written on it as a return address. secretary william rogers was not talking to me. that is what they say in cable language. everything by law that comes out of washington has the statement of the secretary of state on it. it's never personal. and to say that that's evidence that hillary clinton had read
the materials is ludicrous. your thoughts? >> we see the evolution of the benghazi story as certain people try to perpetuate it to go from an attack on obama to an attack on susan rice to now an attack on hillary clinton. this could propel the benghazi scandal well into 2016. wow, well, senator paul has into 2016. that doesn't make it accurate. and the beauty of rand paul's lost of foot notes, we can actually see what he says doesn't match the reality. the good news is, he is not plagiarizing, the bad news is, he is out there foot noting it. >> last month, dick cheney criticized her taking comments she made completely out of context, let's watch. >> i think the benghazi thing is not just an embarrassment of the tragedy, because we lost four people that night.
as i recall, her testimony was, what difference does it make? the fact of the matter is, it makes a huge difference, she clearly was hands on, and now she doesn't want to be hands on. and she is doing everything she can to avoid responsibility for what clearly fell into her bailiwick. >> he is implying that she was talking about dead people, actually she was referring to the republican attacks on the talking points regarding susan rice. >> with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead americans, was it because of a protest or because was it four guys out one night deciding to fill four americans? what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and to do everything we can to prevent it from happening again, senator. >> and your thoughts about it. that is like the stuff they did to kerry, the swift voting, they didn't like his attitude after
the war. they seemed to imply he did something wrong. this is the old trick that got us from 9/11 into iraq, and combining two totally separate things. hillary clinton did not say her friend dying, what difference does it make, her making that statement was somebody on television saying did it begin as an attack, or something else. that could be argued, but she was not talking about chris stevens getting killed. >> you're right, i think that is one thing, all the republicans who are going to go after hillary clinton on the benghazi episode are going to do what vice president cheney dna interview. they're going to talk about the fact she was secretary of state, and she was responsible for it before and after. she was friends with stevens, if she was doing her job correctly she would have known if he needed more security.
it is a good story for republicans to excite donors who believe that president obama is essentially buried under the weight of obama care and he is a lame duck anyway. it is assuming she is going to be to be the nominee, they're looking to undercut hillary clinton and because she is secretary of state she owns that event. and she is accountable. she can say we're going to follow the recommendations of the accountability review board. we're going to go after her likely, they will certainly over play it now. because this is the beginning of their positioning of the supporters and donors before their candidates. >> and you're right, former secretary of defense, robert gates, a great guy who served both president obama and george bush, he defended the administration earlier on the charges they didn't do enough on the night of the attack.
is this strong enough evidence? well, let's listen to robert gates. >> based on everything i know, people really didn't know what was going on in benghazi. and to send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on, on the ground, i think would have been very dangerous and personally i would not have approved that. because we just don't -- it is sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities, military forces. >> let me go to josh, how do we put this issue to bed? or how can we put it to bed? is it possible that hillary clinton could say something that would allay the attacks, conclusively, she did the best she could do on the night of the attacks? >> we're going to have discussion on some of the questions unanswered. the romney campaign made a
she said she is concerned he sounds like a liberal. she said she has been taken aback. well, of course a lot of people are thrilled about the new pope's commitment to helping the poor. i look differently at sarah palin, she should not be taken aback by his words. i remember a much earlier pope saying we need to look out for people who get exploited or overlooked economically. he also supported a living wage. and being concerned about people as they grow old or become disabled. much of what was said became part of our social contract in the 20th century. i grew up knowing this, one result of going to catholic schools, 16 counting holy cross. but what i learned there, is caring for people, the people that get overlooked, especially the poor or the elderly. governor sarah palin, i think we all should look out for the poor, look