tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC May 29, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
>> ask not what your country can do for you. >> tear down this wall. >> the time for change has come. >> making the playoffs for the republicans hat come down to three who could beat barack obama. a trio of ex-governors. each offers a different contrast to obama. what they lack in excitement they offer in safety. which has the right stuff to take on the president and beat him? what is baking in alaska? there is a sign sarah palin may get in this. a big movie is coming to iowa that will tell her story the way shy wants.
should she let michelle bachman win the cake and on this memorial day is it possible following the mission to get bin laden that the u.s. military has embraced obama as the man who got nominated opposing the iraq war won over the soared that has done the fighting. with us today
"time" magazine joe klein. cnn gloria borger. elisabeth bumiller and daily beast's andrew. chris: with all the republican drop out and sarah palin talk the g.o. spfplt down to three with a serious chance to boat barack obama. mitt romney. tim pawlenty and john,huntsman. how would each do it? romney would probably be as manager and job creator. here is romney's offense and obama's defense. >> i like president obama. but he doesn't have a clue how jobs are created. >> an economy that was shedding
jobs every month now has seen over two million jobs created in the last 14. chris: former utah governor john huntsenman, his strongest argument is he could get bipartisan cooperation. here is his main theme and obama's defense. >> we have been divided for too long. the yelling, screaming and finger pointing
in this country ought to come to an end. >> when it comes to just about everything we have done to strengthen our middle class and rebuild the economy, almost every republican in congress says no. chris: the third with a serious chance is tim pawlenty. he is running as at conservative p populist who could blunt charges the g.o.p. is a rich man's party. >> i saw up close the face of loss, the face of hardship, the face of losing a job.
so i know americans are feeling that way today. >> the big thing for republicans, just making sure that millionaires and billionaires keep their tax cuts. chris: here is memorial day weekend and we are getting toward jelling a field. these three ex-governors seem to fit the notion that they are definitely running, they could win the nomination and all three each could win the presidency. is this about not being a tea partier? of this tea party excitement but they are regular republicans. >> i wonder if they were not wondering for the nomination of a party that no longer exists. i think that there is going to be a candidate on the other side on the tea party side of the ledger and who is going to be more comfortable in his or her, especially her, skin than these guys because each of them has to take a position, to reverse a position that they took before. mitt romney created universal
healthcare in males. pawlenty was for cap and trade. hun huntsman still may be for cap and trade. there will be somebody who says look at these guys flipping and flopping and how awkward they are. you put all three requirements, they have to be unning, have to win the nomination and can they win the general? is there anybody else besides these three you can see doing all three, going all the way? >> i think that it is hard. the person in the news is sarah palin. chris: could she be the president of the united states? >> i would like to see that. chris: does anybody imagine sarah palin being elected united states?e >> yes. chris: you can? >> yes. not because of obama's weakness but unforeseen events. i think if for example we had a collapse in the markets because of a debt ceiling crisis. if we have a -- chris: you are talking
armageddon. >> another major terrorist attack. chris: no, let's get back to -- >> you were around in 1979 and 1980. did you see many in the carter administration think that ronald reagan could beat jimmy carter chris: short of armageddon like the capture of hostages and humiliation of the united states and inflation and unemployment. let me ask you about the question of these three. they seem reminiscent of the bush crowd. they seem like the guys who probably decided when they were 13 they wanted to be president and no matter what else happened they got to be governor and now the next step. how can they act as if there is no tea party or sarah palin? >> huntsman is a throwback. he had lunch with george h.w. bush a week or so ago. he is the old republican. he would hate to hear that but the old school republican with some foreign policy experience,
ambassador to china. he speaks mandarin. he knows something of the world. chris: he is also a guy that wants to get along with democrats and deal make with them which seems to run against the idea -- >> he is the man who introduced sarah palin at the last convention. he has said even though he that qualms about ryan's plan that he will back it. chris: getting rid of medicare as we know it. >> if you have a reasonable republican explain we have to do something about the debt and democrats are in denial about it and he doesn't seem like he is going to end every entitlement. >> but in is a generation gap in the republican party. what you are seeing with these folks who believe that it is their turn to be president, they have been -- this is the regular way of the republican party. then you have the up and coming group, paul ryan, marco rubio, younger folks. they don't believe that -- they
are not running. i said to a republican why don't some of the young guys run on the barack obama model and the answer was because we believe that barack obama model didn't work. chris: let me go back to the question. if you start with the three regulars, the one problem, elephant in the room. what is the problem with romney? people say he looks like a president. thank god the notion of what that is is changing. he seems to be well trained, speaks with great articulation, been a governor. why is he rejected? >> he has flip-flopped on everything. i have watched him five or six or seven years and i have never, ever seen him lift a republican audience off their fannies. he just doesn't inspire. chris: it is a personal thing. >> why huckabee says he has no -- >> they think he is a phony. >> there is animosity with mccain. there is personal animosity.
it was suggested that he was flip-flopping and a sense that he was not authentic. rightly or wrongly there is the story about strap being the dog to the top of the car in the cage. chris: up to montreal. >> it is the second thing that was mentioned. here is a guy who put the dog in the cage and travels on airplanes. drives to canada our parents did, all the time with the dog on the roof. are we talking about? >> we are just saying healthcare. >> i was going to say that. chris: the dog on the roof. >> i remember interviewing romney when he was governor of massachusetts and talking about healthcare and other issues and he impressed me as a really smart, together reasonable guy. chris: why don't people get
excited? >> because they don't know what he believes. >> that explains why there is a pawlenty in the race. people say pawlenty is the non-romney. if you can't take romney and not a tea party you have to go with pawlenty. >> i think the best line on romney is john stuart who said he likes -- looks like the guy that fired your dad and his career was firing people. >> say pawlenty is the second choice so he could be the tortoise in the race. chris: let's put it to the matthews meter. 12 regulars including joe, gloria and andrew which of the three romney, pawlenty or huntsman has the best appeal to beat barack obama? eight this blew owe of the saddle. eight say huntsman including three of you. overwhelmingly lun lly huntsman. i bet you know the least about him.
>> that is why. what a statement. >> we didn't say he had the best chance of getting until nated but against obama. chris: let's go to palin. you love palin. some strange way you are fascinated by her, andrew. >> as i said many times she started running the day after 2008 election ended and there is no reason to believe she isn't running. chris: she took a smart break about that. >> her position is if no one else will represent this grass root movement of cutting government down to size and standing up to are america abroad i will have to be the candidate. chris: the angry candidate? >> the principal candidate against what she will describe as the -- chris: are you getting her into this race? are you escorting her into this race? >> no, because i'm too terrified for the country to do that. but i think washington has misread her, underestimated her. chris: can palin and bachman
run both on the right? >> sure but he don't know if they can win but palin doesn't know anything about policy but she has skills. she knows how to be a stand-up politician. >> in the end she is so relentlessly negative that the american people don't like that. look at ronald reagan. he was optimistic, positive. >> alaska is very authentic. this whole thing movie out there of total upbeat optimistic stuff. she knows this and she is going to work on that. chris: before we break speaking of sarah palin one person praying for it is the sat nightlife superstar tina fey. >> i'm going to be running for president every four years for the rest of my life. it is my olympics and i intend to win a whole bunch of silvers.
chris: seriously, palin recruited a conservative film make tore make a full length movie to resuscitate her reputation. it opens soon it iowa and is entitled the undefeated. producer says it will catapult her back to the front ranks of candidates. it was shot in deep secrecy it alaska and uses her most out spoken critics as foils and relies on loyalists in alaska to retell the story positively of her giveship and uses graphic images to attack those that brought the ethics complaints. this is how it apparently ends. there is a suggestive message from here i can see november and it winds up with this vintage combative pail in wisconsin just last month. >> maybe i should ask them if we should be suggesting to g.o.p.
meters they need to learn how to fight like a girl. chris: she is that. not so subtle message for president obama. >> mr. president, game on. chris: wow. >> told you she is running. if she didn't get it she will run as a tea party candidate. chris: that will kim the odds. >> in the end i think sarah palin wants to be the king maker. chris: when we come back it is memorial day. after getting bin laden is there a richer connection between the president and the troops who do the fighting? has the anti-war candidate of 2008 become the leader of the military in 2011 and scoops and predictions. be right back.
the greatest victories in the high risk killing of osama bin laden. it was a high point in the obama presidency and in his relations we think with the military. he went down to fort campbell, kentucky, right afterwards. >> no problem is too hard and no challenge too great. that is why i'm so confident with your brave service america's greatest days are still to come. god bless you. god bless the 101st and the united states of america. chris: you were over there at the pentagon reporting and i pt want to have a sense as somebody who says i want to know 10:00 at night how is he doing as commander in chief? >> at the pentagon he got a big shot in the arm with getting of osama bin laden. but right now it is an interesting time. bob gates is leaving. lee on panetta is coming in. the president did panetta no
favors by asking him to cut some of the budget so panetta is going in and it will be interesting to see what happens because the military -- that is not a good thing with the military. there is an agreement that things have to be cut but he has to come up with a vision of how to shrink the size of the military but keep -- >> he is doing better that general cartwright looks like he won't be the next general. he was obama's favorite and the brass really didn't like the guy. the other thing is there is tension between him and patraeus about what exactly, how to close out afghanistan. i would say the relationship is pretty good, better than it was with bush because the military hated the fact that he was not doing the job in iraq. chris: there is always military hawkish and liberals are anti. i'm not sure that is the case.
>> i think they want to make sure they succeed in averages and withdraw the way they want and that is the next thing. >> the difference between the military and obama administration is that obama wants this fighting season and we pouplt and military wants this one and next year. chris: what about libya? >> there is a sense it is not getting rid of gaddafi. >> that is a great strategy it persuade the allies to take more of the burden dealing with their own back yard. that is the fundamental strategy and only way in which the draw down will happen. it is an attempt to get beyond spending more on defense. chris: what is the reaction? >> the military wasn't behind the libyan. gates was opposed. they were led kicking and screaming. chris: that was the hillary push? >> they did what they had to do which is take out air defenses then said it is nato's problems.
>> now the british are complaining also because they feel like the united states has not taken its share. >> you have one lucky bomb that kills gaddafi and obama with both osama bin laden and gaddafi. chris: i want to ask before a year from now the libya situation will be as relevant as the oil spill is right now. it going to be over in a month or two and it will be forgotten. chris: do you thinks moving toward the military? better than he was when he started? >> he is certainly better than when he started and he ran against the war, the iraq war. but he has adopted pretty much across the board most of bush's national security policy. >> he sounds different. chris: when we come back scoops and predictions with these reporters. and predictions with these reporters. tell me something i
chris: joe, tell me something i don't know. >> the next bad guy to fall in the middle east will be mahmoud ahmadinejad in iran from the supreme leader who is sending out reports to his and having members of parliament attack him for buying votes in the 2009 election. chris: i hear cheers. let's talk about medicare a little bit. the joe baden working group on the deficit and raising the debt
ceiling started talking about the m word this week and watch to see how the white house behaves on this now that it is such a great political issue for them. will any care of -- will any kind of medicare cut backs to providers or beneficiaries be on the table if taxes are not on the table. >> bob gates interesting speech this week in the q&a afterwards he said it is interesting that our record for predicting where the u.s. will need forces since vietnam has perfect. we have never once gotten it right from grenada to the balkans to the first gulf war we didn't know ahead of time what was happening. chris: great public servant by the way. i heard him speak at the reagan gala and going out with flying colors. >> the war on the american president has succeeded with huge uptick in support but it is
pushing the europeans further toward the palestinian position and may make the vote in the u. tphfp u.n. -- chris: u.k. is going with the palestinians? >> i think they may. chris: when we come back the big question this week was it appropriate for the justice department to go after john edwards with a criminal charge on campaign finances from the past campaign? be right back. my diet? well yesterday i had an apple turnover.
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chris: welcome back. our big question does it strike you as appropriate for the justice department to go after john edwards with a criminal investigation of the use of donated money for his mistress and their daughter? joe? >> leave him alone. why waste our effort on that when we haven't indicted a single banker after the crash of
2008? >> i don't know enough of the facts. i don't know whether edwards personally directed that the money should go to some cover-up of his mistress but millions of dollars. >> was it campaign money though? >> i don't know. chris: billions. >> i don't know enough of the facts. chris: andrew, do you like the smell of this case? >> no and i agree with joe that we should focus on the people who plunged the country. chris: we have enough crime without worrying about this. thanks to a great roundtable. joe klein, elisabeth bumiller, gloria borger and andrew sullivan. monday really is memorial day. we will be right back here next [ asst mgr ] what are you doing? fixing the name. it's fiber none. looks like one.
well, i know. i put an "n" there. ah! fiber one honey clusters cereal! that's really good! it tastes good, so there can't be fiber in it! it's actually got about half a day's worth of fiber. [ asst mgr ] it says so right on the box. [ fiber seeker ] really? try it. [ mr. mehta ] honey, touch of brown sugar, crunchy clusters -- any cardboard? cardboard no, delicious yes. so where's the fiber? maybe it's in the honey clusters. [ male announcer ] fiber one. cardboard no, delicious yes.