tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC September 10, 2012 12:00am-12:30am PDT
>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> the time for change has come. [captioning made possible by nbc universal] chris: barack obama gets propelled out of charlotte. how does it look from here to the first the bait? the two candidates start the final stretch head-to-head with only a slight edge to obama. but it's important according to gallup poll, the one leading at this point usually wins. what's best for hillary? if she hopes to become president, is she better off if the barack obama wins or loses? if she sees the economy taking off, she wants barack obama for another term. if she sees a weak economy
ahead, she wants romney to win. trish rebegan with us, a.p.a.j. hunt and politico's john harris. the president didn't say how his sec term would be different. opting instet to rouse the troops. >> our friends down in tampa at the republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with america. all they had to offer is the same precipitations they've had for the last -- presippingses they've had for the last 0 -- prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years. deficit too high? tax cut. feel a cold coming on? take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning. [applause] chris: i had to tell you the democrats ended that week sky high. >> you've been to a lot of conventions, i have too, i've never seen a jump start like this one, a restart like this,
in the 25 years i've been going to them. this is a group that doesn't lack for confidence generally but their expectations, they had some speeches that were authentic as well as passionate. that's not typical of conventions. they patched up whatever differences remained between the clinton and obama wings of this party. expect a bounce, we don't know how long, how big or how long but it's enough of a convince to get them to the debates new york matter what happens in september. chris: casey, you've bnch covering the romney campaign. so watching it from that perspective, and i agree with mike, i never saw so many good speeches in a row from people how don't normally expect great oratory from. it was dine mate. -- dynamite. >> the romney campaign were critical of john kerry, i was emailing top advisors as obama's speech was going on, they continue to say what they're not talking about is the cly mt., how people are feeling day-to-day, the fact that the unemployment rate is stuck where it is. you didn't hear mention of the
unpliment rate. they say the overarching environment is going to negate things like a convention bounce. chris: i saw bill clinton give a heck of a punching kind of speech. he punched back at every point from the republicans. how negative will they get? you say the obama campaign is running a personal assault on whether this guy, romney, is qualified to be president. >> the essence of what barack obama is doing is saying, mitt romney is is, a personal level, not credible as president of the united states. he's too greedy and too disconnected from concerns of the average american. the romney campaign are also running an intensely negative campaign, not based so much on obama's personal characteristics, his values or the idea that he's somehow in some sort of fundamental way corrupt. whereas the obama people are calling romney a charlatan,
suggesting he might be a felon because of the -- how he's handled the bane issue, as stephanie cutter did. that's aimed at tearing him down personally. but i don't have any sympathy for romney, that's what he did. the republicans did that. chris: you keep count in the campaign of what romney said every day. do they feel they lost the edge they had coming out of tampa? >> the oconventions were so close together. they had been telegraphing they expected a convention bounce and when they got to tampa, expectations were being tamped down. since the democrats followed so close on his heel. one reason they're so confident, the democrats, that is, is in part because they feel they've done a good job over the summer of laying out all these things that john was just ticking through, all these character assaults on romney over his swiss bank accounts. chris: now to the big question, the unemployment rate.
the number did go down. the jobless rate. which used to be the way to guide these things, 8.3% down to 8.1%. getting closer to eight%. however, few people looking for work anymore. the lowest labor force, the smallest labor force in 30 years. >> you made an observation, it went down. it had a lower labor participation rate, that's one reason it went down. we added less than 100,000 jobs. usually about 150,000 jobs just to keep pace with population growth. this is not a good sign. historically, the trend matters. for any presidential candidate, this is where you have to watch the next two reports very, very carefully as they come out. can we see a trend where we're starting to add more and more jobs? right now, it just doesn't look like that. chris: there's one coming in for september and october. the question is, let me go to you on this, john. this whole question of the power of those numbers -- >> you go back four years ago.
what barack obama thought was we were in a steep but nonetheless, a cycle. a steep fall to be followed by a steep recovery. the biggest thing he got wrong in terms of his own expectations was it was more like an l, down and then flat. we saw him trying to frame expectations. i'm not going to promise you things will get better right away. we are in for a long, hard slog to get the economy back. chris: he's got a problem with the unemployment rate and people not trying to get jobs anymore, bob woodward who has superb timing is coming out with a book talking about then failure to try to get a debt ceiling agreement last summer, to try to give confidence to the markets he goes after the lineup and said they don't have the team there. >> stories about the white house team isn't as important in a -- in an election year
like the behavior of a president. the question at the heart of this is who do you trust? which isn't changing. voters aren't sure he knows how to fix the economy. but he understands their problems. the opposite is true of romney, he know house to fix the my but he doesn't understand their situations. >> this is why you're seeing such a negative portrait of mitt romney, he's private equity, he's big business, wall street, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, because they want to make sure that americans don't see him as strong on the economy, they want to make sure they see him as someone who doesn't understand, is not empathetic, doesn't have any idea what everyday americans are going through. chris: let me ask you to check, trish, check what they said. when the business world realizes that obama doesn't have a good team a good leadership ladder, chain of command to get things done, he doesn't trust anybody as chief of staff, gave it to his old
colleague from chicago, do they think, this guy doesn't know how to run a corporation, doesn't know how to be a c.e.o.? >> the business community is disappointed. there were a lot of people on wall street and the business community thought this president would unite washington and in 2008 when he talked about hope and change, there was -- there were so many expectations for what he could do. simpson bowles was a missed opportunity. we're now looking at a fiscal cliff that could result in another downgrade of our credit and that's a big problem for the economy. chris: the president seems to be -- everybody think he is wants to have done that. he wants to have agreed to simpson bowles but find a way of kissing it without marrying it. he wants to say i'd like to do it, i just can't do it because the republicans won't join me. if they won't join me, i'll be hung out there. will there be any movement with by the president toward a simpson-bowles compromise? will he take the lead to try to do that or let it hang out
there for a while. >> not before election day. he thinks he'll get a simpson bowles like deal after winning re-election where he thinks he'll face a chastened republican party having lost the house and the senate. chris: the president believe he is can beat what he thinks is a right-leaning party this november. what he considers the grownup the jeb bushes and other moderate republican conservatives will come back and he'll be able to deal with them. >> the -- he tells woodward boehner would have had a deal the he'd had the backing of his party. he said whereon would cut a deal with me, but he can't. >> obama said if wins the election, mitch mcconnel will change from the party of no, to a party of maybe. chris: some see parallels between this year and 2004 when bush 43 was another president who excited strong opposition from the other side.
there are plenty of unlikely parallels between bush's opponent john kerry and mitt romney. they love to ridicule each other. here was john kerry the other night. >> mr. romney, here's a little advice. before you debate barack obama on foreign policy, you better finish the the bait with yourself. chris: here's was romney doing the same to kerry back in 2004. >> the other day i heard that the junior senator from massachusetts is thinking about putting together a balanced ticket. and he wondered whether he could pick someone with views different than his own, he selected himself to do that. chris: a shared handicap is their money an of course northeastern elitism. listen to the pot here calling the kettle black on "hardball" back in 2008 when he was being talked about for mccain's running mate. >> how many houses do you have? >> one less than john kerry. that would be four.
>> come on, how many do you have? four? that means the other guy, you've got 11 between you on the ticket. >> i'm afraid i can't hear you. >> ok. that's an old reagan trick, i can't hear you. chris: here's how jon stewart wove the elitist and flip-flopping story lines together to link romney with kerry. >> mitt romney, former massachusetts governor, businessman, a perfect g.o.p. candidate. except for this. >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. >> all right, well you're pro life now. and of course as for the big-time hunting, well it's now been revealed he's never purchased a hunting license and he's only been twice. >> i'm not a big game hunter. i've always been, if you will a are dent an rabbit hunter. small varments if you will. >> so a patrician flip-flopper
from massachusetts. good luck with that. chris: for political junkies, the big fun parallels is predicting whether barack obama will survive, as bush did. one predicter who leads in the gallup poll right now after the labor day kickoff new york 2004 bush led kerry by two points going into charlotte, going into the charlotte convention. gallup had obama up by one point. since gallup started doing this, under f.d.r., the man leading the gallup poll at labor day has led all but three times. dewey led truman in 1938 and al ger led. every other time, the leader at this point, in early september, has won. when we come back, what's better for the clintons? an obama win or a loss? would hillary have a better shot in 2016 running to replace obama or to oust romney?
>> president obama appointed several members of his cabinet even though they supported hillary in the primary. heck, he even appointed hillary. chris: that, of course, was bill clinton working his magic wednesday night. many pros tell you if hillary wants to be standing on that stage accepting the nomination four years from now, she can have it. but there's been disagreement about whether getting elected president would be harder or easier for hillary clinton if president obama wins a second term. if he win this is time,
americans might follow the pendulum rule and want a republican four years from now. under that rule, they usually oust the party in power. two exceptions, harry truman, and george bush holding it for the g.o.p. after president reagan. it could be easier if he loses in 2012 but she'd have to beat the incumbent mitt romney. tell me how secretary clinton should be thinking if she wants to win president? >> one thing i like about your show is that you make me feel like an idealist or even a nave because i honestly believe that the clintons don't ask the question that way. they think mitt romney and the republicans would be a disaster for the country. they want obama to win and aren't thinking that much about what it means for hillary in 2016. chris: be that as it may.
be that as it may. let's assume she's thinking politically as well as in terms of policy and the country. is it better for her, if she wants to run, to have obama win or lose? >> i think it's better that obama wins. it's hard to beat an incumbent and she'll have the advantage of being in the administration, she'll be a democrat but she'll have been out of power for a full term. she won't be carrying whatever baggage exists in 2016. chris: one calculation to make is, if the next four years are going to be pretty good, you want the democratic president to be there to bask in it. if you want to run against a republican, you want the economy to be bad and beat them and deny them a second term this may be below your idealism landscape but it's easey to run against someone in economic trouble. >> it's not going to be good. look at the yield on the 10-year right now, the lowest it's been in years. we've got record low interest
rates, companies still aren't spending money, people haven't spending money. -- aren't spending money and we're in the midst of a worldwide deleveraging process. look at what's going on in europe right now. all of that will matter for us, china, it's a worldwide economic problem. there's no way this is going to turn the corner overnight. chris: you've written "the president's club," which is still doing gang busters on the bestseller list. how do you think they're doing? >> they can see they think it's going to happen. you can see that happened this week in four or five ways. it's not just about whether obama wins or not. let's turn it around. if obama loses, the race for the democratic nomination starts on november 8, 7, whatever the day is. she has to be ready to go that day. she becomes number one. that's not in her interest. that's not ideal. it's better to have a little more time.
chris: the clintons would be the last standing heroes of the democratic party if obama is beating. >> and what republican will be around to win this time. whatever democrat runs, are they running against the ryan-santorum wing of the party? or the restoration jeb bush wing of the party? it's in her interest that it be one and not the other. chris: do they see bill clinton coming in like gang busters as a brother to the president? >> they put an add out criticizing obama last time around. it's different than when you saw romney out on the trail having nice things to say about bill clinton's economy back in the day and how obama has gotten away from what new democrats were doing in the 1990's. >> how many -- chris: how many people think hillary clinton doesn't want to be president?
>> maybe she doesn't know it yet. chris: i love that answer. predictions from these top so the 9:15 meeting looks like it's going to start a little late... um, but i uh... (interupting) oh okay - okay yup that's fine. excuse me - sorry. yes! vo: from the new, to the hard to find: when it's on your mind, it's on ebay™.
chris: trish? >> given the jobs numbers on friday, the expectation is that they will engage in another round of bond buying to try to stimulate the economy. so far -- chris: the market? >> the market loves this but it's like an addictive sugar high. >> wisconsin, increasing signs that romney will campaign more aggressively there. paul ryan has a hefty congressional campaign account he can use at will there. >> democrats are increasingly confident that after november they'll control the senate and they're being increasingly open about their payback strategy, looking at donors and others who have supported american crossroads, superp.a.c., they are in trouble. chris: how does she look in massachusetts? >> she'll win because of todd akin. chris: and the big question of the week, mitt romney has one big chance to win this thing, the first the bait in three weeks.
chris: welcome back. politico employee -- political pros think mitt romney has one big shot at winning this thing, the first debate with president obama. this week's big question, will romney win that big debate? >> i have no idea. it's the single most important hour between now and election day. chris: that's part of the question. what's the answer? >> i don't know. >> he's very good at debate. if he can hammer home on some of the economic numbers, that could give him an advantage. chris: i agree with that part. >> republicans have been counting on the first debate for a long time. we've been asking him about his convention speech and they're like, debates, debates, debates. >> i think it's going to be a blast. this will be the one hour thon campaign where we like both candidates because they're smarter and better people than they appear. >> who wins? >> i think the obama people