tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 7, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
their vows and their oaths and act like it's our fault if we have weaknesses that they exploit. thank you, michael. and thank you for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. star witness, let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews out in seattle. leading off tonight, a clear charge against herman cain. a woman has made a clear on-camera narration of what she alleges he did. and in this claim, the claim could be sexual assault. nothing in the past week has dented cain's voters.
we have a new msnbc/"wall street journal" poll out that shows numbers how tight the race is right now for president. the key may be, who can take advantage of the growing anger at wall street and economic equality. and guilty of involuntary manslaughter. that was the verdict this afternoon. dr. conrad murray was found guilty in the death of his patient, michael jackson. he was accused of administering a lethal dose of an anesthetic that killed the pop giant. and imagine this -- you turn to the side on a plane and who's sitting next to you? mitt romney. we'll talk with the woman who shared a trip with mitt, in coach, by the way. and let me finish tonight with the terrible position of the republican party right now as i speak. they have one candidate who has been perhaps fatally wounded
today and another who has never been able to break through to republican conservatives, much less become their champion. we start with this story. sharon bialek says she traveled to washington, d.c. to meet with herman cain for help finding a job. here she is describing a night in which he took her out for drinks, dinner and a drive past the n.r.a. offices. nbc has not independently confirmed her allegations. let's listen to mrs. bialek. >> infed of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over an he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt and reached for my genitals. he also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch. i was very, very surprised and very shocked. i said, what are you doing, you know i have a boyfriend, this isn't what i came here for. mr. cain said, you want a job, right?
>> the cain campaign issued this statement this afternoon in response to that press conference. quote, just as the country finally begins to refocus on our crippling $15 trillion national debt and the unacceptably high unemployment rate, now activist celebrity lawyer gloria allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the characterof all allegations of harassment against mr. cain are completely false. mr. cain has never harassed anyone. fortunately the american people will not allow mr. cain's bold 9-9-9 plan, clear foreign policy vision and plans for energy independence to be overshadowed by these bogus attacks. for more on these allegations and what it means politically for herman cain, i'm joined by john howman and maggie from politico. politico's been all over this story. what's your reaction to hearing this first-ever on-camera narrative of these allegations? >> i think this, as you
suggested, changes things because this is someone who's come forward on the record, speaking publicly. she has a name to the face. she's going into detail on the allegations. that's been what mr. cain's campaign has pointed to as to why they didn't want to respond to this going forward. you raised a point that came up at this press conference where gloria allred who answered questions for ms. bialek. she was asked, doesn't this go bond sexual harassment, doesn't it go toward more sexual assault? she didn't answer the question. the more this gets repeated for herman cain. i think this is something he's going to have a harder time not answering questions about. >> what's different is we've heard the word murky used more time during anything in my time of coverage. there's nothing murky about this. either she's telling the truth and he should go or she's totally making something up. this is not an interpretive event. this is horrible, horrible.
if anybody knew their daughter was submitted to this kind of behavior by a boss, a wife, a spouse, sister, or anybody they cared out, it's unbelievable. it's horrendous. a christian conservative watching this description by her would have to say either she's completely lying or this guy shouldn't even be thought of as a president. it's one or the other. >> right. i think what she did to bolster her claim was that gloria allred read from two sworn statements from her boyfriend at the time and a friend at the time, both of whom she said she told about what happened. she didn't get into specifics because she was embarrassed but she did say that there was a car, she did say the general outline of what happened. as you said, she's either telling the truth or she's not telling the truth. but this does take this out of sort of what critics described as a grayer area and it does make it much more specific. >> i think it's black and white. john, let me ask you about the
political aspects of this. we're not a court of law, but i'm thinking that -- we've heard a lot of murky, we've heard a lot of buzz. everybody talks about what they think they've heard as the best reporting on this. but this isn't reporting. this isn't the media. this is a woman with a clear-cut memory, apparently, or an accusation of a memory which is stark as hell? >> yeah. and i think it's conceivably a watershed moment in this whole episode. as you said, and i'll draw it out a little bit further, herman cain last week had a series of allegations and a series of facts that became known. each day, they got a little worse, to my eye. but they all were still confined to stories by the reporters at politico to quotes from settlement documents to comments by lawyers on behalf of alleged vikts. but we had no face, no human being. now we have this woman who i thought came across as credible on tv. she did not come across as flaky.
she didn't come across as someone who was in some way not to be believed on the face of it. and i think for a lot of people, that does change things in terms of the psychology of this, in terms of how it's received by people, a human face is a very different phase. it will be hard for herman cain to say, i'm not going to talk about this anymore. i think we will remember last week when his stories changed so dramatically over the course of the week, for them to deny categorically the way sthey did today, my thought is, what's going to happen next week? none of us knows if their categorical denial is going to be standing here 24 hours from now. who knows? >> let me go back to maggie. you've been covering this for so long, your organization especially. this is the line that defines sexual harassment. you want a job, right? >> right.
>> in addition to possible felonious behavior here, you have somebody saying, if you don't commit this sex act for me, you're not getting the job. this is not the worst case, this is the common notion of sexual harassment. it's when you use your power to get sex. and here's a guy -- if this is true -- you have to throw in the "if." it's always possible she completely made this thing up. >> right. she definitely worked for the n.r.a. we confirmed that she was employed there. she definitely did the job that she said. the rest of it, as you said, it's a he-said, she-said. you are going to see her face on loops on the cable networks for at least the next 24 hours. she is now someone who is an identifiable figure. i think that herman cain's campaign has said, we're not talking about this anymore. so far polls have all shaone shown that republican voters are not influenced by this. they don't consider this to be a problem.
i think the more this drip drips on, i think it does become harder to deal with. >> this is an avalanche, i think, maggie. >> yes, this is definitely a different thing than what we have seen so far. >> you've heard so much, that your perspective is so informed by your reporting that you're missing the incredible drama people who doubted this all along all of a sudden saying, wait a minute, i've been all wrong in my thinking, it looks like there's something here that's awful. in our new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll taken before the accuser came out today, a majority of americans say they're not concerned about voting for cain in light of these allegations. these aren't allegations of the kind that are off the table or out of camera range. this is right on camera. as we all know from video, it never goes away. it's not biodegradable. that allegation made today is going to haunt this guy from here to the iowa caucuses, if he's still around. >> it's a different character of allegation.
even though it's different because of the fact that there's a name and a face attached to it, it builds on what happened last week. she's woman number four. we don't have the faces of the first three women. but we have three previous women and we have two settlements where there was money exchanged to make cases go away that have at least some similarity to this case. so it is, for many reasonable people, it's starting to look like, again, if -- some of these things we know something happened. in this case, if this woman is telling the truth, something definitely happened. and now you have four cases where people are going to start to quite reasonably, if not conclusively start to think there's a pattern here. this is consistent. and four cases could turn into -- who knows what will happen after this? but there is an accretive element to this where finally the straw breaks the camel's back. people who want to be in denial and say, it's just the liberal media and the inside-the-beltway crowd, start to think, huh, four is four and this woman is out here in front of the camera.
this could be the moment where the polls start to turn. if they start to turn, we'll look back on this day and say, it was this day that started to turn them. >> t let me ask you, maggie, if you don't want to answer, fine. is this a piece you've been able to discover -- really be careful here. is this the kind of behavior of this raw, almost violent kind of behavior, this physical forcing kind of thing and then challenging "do you want the job," is this of a piece or of a kind with the other three cases? >> we've reported before that in some instances that were physical gestures or comments that made the women uncomfortable. in one specific case, we reported the woman alleged at the time that she was invited up to herman cain's hotel room and that he did something that she perceived as overtly sexual and she felt that her job was going to be at risk if she didn't do it. so i'll just leave it at that. >> i'm talking about are there other cases of demands for
sex -- >> i'm just going to leave it with where he reported it. >> i understand that you're being careful. cain did not want to answer questions about the allegations over the weekend. here he was chiding reporters, in fact, for asking him about the whole issue. let's watch. >> don't even go there. >> can i ask my question? >> no, because -- >> ki ask a good question? >> where's my chief of staff? please send him the journalistic code of ethics. who else -- you want to ask another good question? i was going to do something my staff told me not to do and try to respond. what i'm saying is this -- we are getting back on message, end of story. back on message. read all of the other accounts, read all of the other accounts where everything has been answered in a story. we're getting back on message.
>> it seems to me the republican party, the conservative wing of it, hasn't warmed to mitt romney. this guy was their alternative game. who's next to be possibly a hero of the right? could it be newt gingrich? he wanted to be seen in kind of a buddy picture at that texas debate, the two of them, he and cain. >> well, look, there's a lot of buzz in establishment circles about the notion that newt gingrich's time is coming and we've had all of these non-romney's rise and fall, whether it's people like donald trump or michele bachmann or rick perry, herman cain has not yet fallen in his numbers. but he may be about to. it might be newt gingrich's turn again. that's possible. iowa conservatives, he's getting a lot of buzz on the ground among crowds and so on. so it's perfectly possible. but i said this last week and i'll say it again, republicans -- what we find in polling is that republican voters want someone who can beat president obama.
and republicans are always at a disadvantage with female voters. i can't understand how a republican voter who wants badly to beat president obama doesn't think that herman cain is now toxic for suburban moderate women that you need -- the republicans need to get in larger numbers than they normally do to win a general election. i don't understand how you make that calculation. >> and they'd have to get over the on tbstacle of a woman, a cr good witness, they can't dismiss her and say, she doesn't know what she's talking about. thank you, john and maggie. coming up, the new msnbc/"wall street journal" polls shows just where the presidential race stands right now. if it's obama versus romney, who has the greater potential to catch fire? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. wake up! ♪ that's good morning, veggie style.
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welcome back to "hardball." the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll is out, and while it shows that president obama is still under water in to beat a generic republican in head-to-head match-up. chuck todd is a msnbc political director and kris cillizza is the author of postpolitics.com. let's go through the numbers where we see a generic matchup, republicans haven't settled on a candidate just yet, but the nbc poll shows that romney and herman cain are virtually tied as the frontrunners while rick perry has taken a tumble and now ties newt gingrich for fifth. where are we at right now, chuck?
>> i think where we're at, we still have the republican party split into two camps. your establishment business wing is gravitating towards mitt romney, and the tea party populist conservative sort of outsider part of the party gravitating towards anybody that's not mitt romney, and doubling down for now with herman cain, though this poll was taken before today's new developments and the gloria allred connected part of this crazy story. but what i would say is we're still in the same place we were. the party still split down the middle between whether they're going to rally around the country club business wing of the party, which is what mitt romney represents, or the more conservative, pop list wing that has given them all the energy. >> chris cillizza, today, we saw a vivid attack, basically, on the morality, basically, the morality, basically, the character of herman cain. this wasn't a question of inappropriate behavior, this is terrible behavior, in any circumstance, on any planet.
and it looked like the worst kind of case of sexual harassment, using your power to get sex from somebody. horrendous, vivid, graphic description, we've never seen before from an actual human being who seems like a regular human being to me. >> and you know, chris, the woman, sharon bialek said, i'm here to put a name and a face to this. and i thought to myself, politically, that's troublesome if you're herman cain. because to your point, what we've had is a series of anonymous women who are resistant or don't want to come forward, for whatever reasons. confidential agreements, they want to protect their privacy. it's easier to turn this into a case of the media, the republican establishment, whoever you want to blame, rick perry playing political gotcha if you're herman cain, if there isn't a face. if there isn't video. if there isn't sound of someone. remember, i always harken back. remember gennifer flowers from the 1992 campaign. we had heard rumors of all this stuff with bill clinton, but it didn't crystallize until gennifer flowers held that new york city press conference.
so to chuck's point, i think, let's wait a few more days or even a week or two and see what polling looks like then. i'm not saying this will be the game changer as it relates to these charges or accusations, but i think it has the potential to be so, because, you know, it's a name, it's a face, it's a voice. and she looked and sounded credible. >> let's take a look at the republican field right now. right now in a head-to-head matchup, obama beats romney by six points. that's an actual face. romney's and cain's by 15. the nbc poll shows regardless of a third party candidate entering the race, obama stands firm with 34% of the votes, but is this his ceiling? this is fascinating stuff. there's always the theory out there, given a weak republican candidate like romney and not a very strong democratic candidate in obama the way he stands right now, someone will want to venture into this thing. here's one clue why these numbers barely change. only 11% of those polled would enthusiastically vote for
romney, while 28% would intiz enthusiastically vote for obama. the republicans aren't mad dog behind any one candidate. >> that's what's fascinating. republicans in general are more enthusiastic about voting this cycle generically. and when you put the name to the candidate, then suddenly you see that that is different when it's mitt romney. at some point, mitt romney has to confront this. does he confront it in the primaries, where it's a challenge to him, where he almost can't get the nomination? does he confront it with a running mate, where he'll have to pick somebody that excites this part of the party, the tea party, the conservative populist wing, whatever you want to describe it as, but it's the part of the party that's providing the energy. does he have to pick a running mate that does that, that, frankly, did for -- what sarah palin did for john mccain. people forget this. i think it actually helped him in some parts of the republican electorate, created an enthusiasm. but one thing about this third
party matchup, and you've got to keep an eye on it. paul's given everything indication that he's not going to do this. he's not ready to say he's going to endorse whoever the nominee is, but he says he's not going to do this this time. but putting paul on the ballot, even bloomberg, we tested both of them. it's a strong -- it's 13% for bloomberg, 18% for paul. it looks like perot, chris, these voters. they're more -- a little more conservative. a little younger, from the western part of the country. i mean, it's like the perot group. a little more disaffected, a little more disillusioned. supporters, both of the occupy movement and the tea party, it's that disillusioned portion of the electorate. paul speaks it better right now than any other part of the party. >> i smell it, too. i'm with you on that. the nbc poll shows there is one issue more than any other driving the election. it's along the line you're speaking. it sure should not come as a shock, but an overwhelming majority of americans, 76%, believe the economy is out of balance and favors the the rich. chris cillizza, if you believe that obama is an establishment
figure coming from the ivy league, if you believe -- and having a lot of friends on wall street. if you believe that mitt romney is an establishment figure from the ivy league with lots of friends on wall street who's not really going to go after him with a torch, you're looking for somebody who will. i don't think bloomberg fits that category myself being an expert in business communications, and a billionaire, but it does seem they want somebody to stick it to the establishment, and neither one of these two guys is perfectly fit for that. >> absolutely, chris. and look, we've talked about this for a long time. you look at any poll, nbc, "wall street journal," "washington post," abc, it's clear that the sentiment for a third party run is out there. people don't like politicians. look what happened in 2006 and 2008. people voted against republicans. in 2010, they voted for republicans. people don't know what they want. they just know they don't want the status quo. so i think it's as ripe as any time since '92. the problem, chuck and i have talked about this many times is who is it? i don't think it's bloomberg. i guess it could be ron paul, jon huntsman.
you have to have somebody to channel that sentiment. >> none of those three -- >> chris, the number one thing -- peter hart did this great thing, our pollsters, they wrote up various scenarios that could happen after the election. the number one scenario that was the most popular was that somehow this was an election where anybody with 15 years or more experience in washington was voted out. it was something like 75%. >> that's amazing. >> i agree. >> that's the sentiment. if that doesn't capture where the public is, they think this place isn't working, they want to change it, they're not sold on the republicans, they're not sold on the president, but they want somebody who's going to truly shake it up and you point to it. that's where, you know, you go back, i'm a buffalo springfield guy, peter hart started doing it today. there's something happening out here. what it is, ain't exactly clear. >> i still don't understand why chris christie took the ride on this. took the bye. >> he has to be kicking himself. we said that at the time, chris. we said that at the time. everything was perfect for him to step in.
chuck's point, you see cain go up and down, rick perry go up and down, what doesn't change? mitt romney is at 23% to 25% of the vote. >> they're not going to look for either guy who looks like they've never had a bad guy. barack obama or mitt romney look like they've never had a problem in their life, and the country's had nothing but problems, and they're looking for somebody who shares their grief, their grievance against what's going on, their anger. and neither one of these guys has the temperament to express that. i don't think obama is a convincing populist and certainly mitt romney isn't. and the reason we're talking like this, guys, let's be honest, we know that herman cain can't be the nominee as of today. it doesn't look like it's -- i'll say it. i don't think it's possible for the christian conservatives of this country to say yes to a guy who tried to get that woman to say yes to him. thank you, chuck todd and thank you, chris cillizza. up next, which republican candidate's mom wants the world to know her son is smarter than she is. that's the side show next. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. ♪ ♪
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, there's more where that came from. herman cain may have a monopoly on the headlines these days, but don't think that's doing anything to overshadow rick perry's loosey goosey speech in new hampshire late last month. >> the good news is that little plan i just shared with you doesn't force the granite state to expand your tax footprint, if you know what i mean. like 9% expansion. >> and the late-night scene shows no signs of putting that one to rest. let's take a look at "saturday night live's" take on where rick perry is headed. >> governor, uh, it looks like you're just flat-out losing it. >> what? the election? i know. i'm losing it really bad. i'm losing. everyone say, you got to run, you got to run, you'll definitely win.
and my polls go like, beeee-boop-boop. i wish there wasn't talking involved. >> governor, it's a long campaign, you'll be fine. just don't worry about what people are saying about you. i'm sure you'll pull out of this with dignity. governor? okay, he's asleep. >> today's peacock, tomorrow's feather duster. and more from the perry front. mother knows best. perry's mother has no qualms about defying his request, including offering herself up for interviews. she recently said, "i probably shouldn't be doing this, because rick asked me not to. i don't think he's perfect and i don't always agree with him, but he's smarter than i am and he wants what's best for america." well, rick perry, his mother says he's smarter than she is. pretty good campaign slogan. and the golfing days are over.
winter may be upon us, but the weather's not the only thing turning chilly on capitol hill. how are thing going between speaker john boehner and president obama? could be better. let's listen. >> the president and i have a pretty good relationship. you know, it's been a little frosty here the last few weeks. but we've got a pretty good relationship. >> i think we all know the reason for that frosty relationship. boehner can't deliver on a decent compromise for the president. and that's the reason. coming up, michael jackson's doctor is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the king of pop's death. that's ahead. and this is "hardball," only on msnbc. ♪ ooh baby, looks like you need a little help there ♪ ♪ ooh baby, (what) can i do for you today? ♪ [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance? align can help. only align has bifantis, a patented probiotic that naturally helps maintain your digestive balance.
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is in. >> we, the jury in the above entitled action, find the defendant, conrad robert murray, guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter. >> jurors agreed with prosecutors that dr. murray provided criminally substandard medical care by administering a powerful sedative in a home setting without life-saving equipment. he faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced on november 29th. oklahoma's just activated its emergency management system with a threatening system possibly with tornadoes there. and more than 13 million bank of america customers charged with overdraft fees -- and a very thorough report on iran's nuclear report due out tomorrow. back to "hardball."
welcome back to "hardball." today in los angeles, dr. conrad murray, michael jackson's doctor, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. he was convicted of administering a lethal dose of an anesthetic that killed the pop giant. today he was found guilty, as i say n court, and i think that was the right verdict. >> so this drug is used only to
render someone totally inanimate so they can be operated on with serious surgery. and he used it for what purpose? what reason did he give or could have given for prescribing it for michael jackson, this muscle relaxer? >> interestingly, dr. conrad murray has no expertise in the area of insomnia nor anesthesiolo anesthesiology. he's a cardiologist. but he was invited to look after michael jackson. but he was invited to look after michael jackson at a fee of $150,000 a month. and for that, he did whatever was asked of him. and on occasions, he would put mr. jackson to sleep with a concoction of pharmacologies. some sedatives, some anesthetics, and tragically, on this occasion, he gave him propofol, he left the room. one of the things that was said by the prosecution was that conrad murray performed a scientific experiment in a bedroom.
there is not an anesthesiologist in the world, chris, who will tell you, that dispensing propofol in a bedroom is appropriate. there was no resuscitation equipment. there was nothing that could be called upon in an emergency. and worse than that, conrad murray walks out of the bedroom, after dispensing and setting up a drip. and that was what happened. and that's why he got, i believe, what he deserved, which was a guilty verdict. >> explain to me the crowd outside, that were clearly chanting for his conviction. >> well, you probably don't know this, chris, because you spend your time analyzing politics, history, and other, perhaps more erudite subjects. i spent a year with michael jackson making a documentary. and in the process, i got to see close-up his status to people. he wasn't just a wonderful composer, a brilliant singer, an incredible dancer. and by the way, there's no one else who's combined all three of
those talented in one body like he did. he wasn't just that to these fans, he was messiahannic, and people lived by some of the lyrics he produced in the songs that he sang. and so for the crowds outside, i wasn't surprised at all. just a few minutes ago, an ambulance was called because a fan fainted as a result of the verdict. none of that's unusual. and you have to remember, chris, that this is a man who, i once read an article, i think it was in a music magazine in the uk, which said that there were three words that you could utter anywhere around the globe and all three would be recognized. they were "okay," "amen," and "michael jackson." >> i saw a bit of that on an african safari in mozambique, of all places. the young people who were working us, the african people and mozambiquens were totally enthralled by this man, especially at the time of his death. was he as big as elvis presley and the beatles?
he wanted to be. >> i think he probably was, i think he was bigger. i don't think that popular music has ever had two albums like "off the wall" and "thriller." i think that they were incredible works of art. and i don't think they'll ever be surpassed. and remember, it's hard today for people to reflect upon that, because, of course, there's been this horrific tragedy, and this death. but, actually, it's his music that continues to live, i think, will live forever. >> well, thank you, martin bashir for that emotional, actually, very telling description of the importance of this conviction sentencing today. thank you, martin bashir, my colleague. the reverend al sharpton is host of "politics nation" on msnbc. reverend, thank you for joining us. about this case, you've been following it. four years, is that about right? do people see that as an appropriate sentence with this verdict? >> i think some people see it as probably a light sentence. i think when you have a doctor
that clearly goes against his oath that results in a fatality, that now this jury has convicted, four years is probably light in the view of many. now, again, chris, i am not an unbiased observer. i was friends with michael. i knew michael for 30 years. worked with michael. he supported national action network, my group. i did the eulogy at his burial. i watched his kids. i watched his mother in the days between his death and the memorial service and the burial that we did, grapple with the fact that he was gone. people forget that he was somebody's father, somebody's son. and they doubted anything would happen. i'm glad for them today there was a deposit made for justice. but you've got to remember, these people exploited michael. did michael have weaknesses and flaws? yes. but for people -- this doctor to get $150,000 a month to take care of michael and to allow this to happen, to turn his back, to bring girlfriends in. for him to have walked out of
this trial acquitted would have sent a message around the the world that i think would have been an extremely negative precedent. >> well, reverend al, tell me what you think was the actual moral crime here. this man, obviously, was playing to the weakness in the part of his patient. the patient was desperate to get to sleep. we've heard these stories about judy garland and these movie stars over the years, they're so hyped up, for a lot of reasons. some of them taking drug themselves, they can't get to sleep. i've not had this problem. but he apparently was so desperate that he asked this guy to do things he shouldn't have done. at one point, was it michael jackson's fault, or was it his fault? how do you divide up the responsibility for a patient who desperately wants to go to sleep and is willing to take chances? >> the way you divide it is up is a thing called law. the question is, when the doctor was asked if he was to break the law, he had an oath as a doctor and a responsibility as a citizen to say, i'm not going to break the law. i was friends with michael. michael and i have spent
countless hours talking about many things. if michael had asked me to do something that was illegal, i have the responsibility to say, i may be your friend, but i'm not doing that. so there is no point where michael shares the blame on a doctor deliberately, intentionally, with reward saying, i'll break the law for you. >> so you believe he bidded him up to $150k a month to get him to -- >> this doctor closed his practice, moved into his home, and got paid handsomely. not only i believed it, but apparently the jury believed it after hearing all of his defense because they convicted him. there'll be many that try to blame it on michael. michael paid whatever he did with his life. this doctor should pay for what he did. and anyone that participated in exploiting michael should have to pay.
>> thank you, reverend al sharpton. up next, we'll meet a woman who spent two hours on a plane sitting next to mitt romney. she said he came off as out of touch. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. ♪ ♪ ♪ when the things that you need ♪ ♪ come at just the right speed, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ medicine that can't wait legal briefs there by eight, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ freight for you, box for me box that keeps you healthy, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ saving time, cutting stress, when you use ups ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ tdd# 1-800-345-2550 there are atm fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 account service fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and the most dreaded fees of all, hidden fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, you won't pay fees on top of fees.
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come see why more investors are saying... i'm with scottrade. welcome back to "hardball." when dr. carolyn mcclanahan took her seat aboard a flight from atlanta to boston, she found herself seated next to mitt romney. she asked romney if he would pose for a picture and he agreed. then carolyn tweeted it to her followers. but when she tried to engage the candidate about health care reform, he wasn't in the mood to talk. that led to this headline, an aloof romney in a plane encounter. dr. carolyn mcclanahan is a former practicing physician. she joins us from jacksonville florida. thank you for joining us. i'm not say i'm overwhelmingly surprised by this but you were. tell me what it was like. you're sitting next to him on a plane in coach. that surprised you that he was riding in coach. >> right.
it was very funny. we knew he was getting on the plane and all of a sudden he's looking at my seat and there he was. and i'm thinking, gosh, i'm an expert on health care reform an expert on health care reform and sitting next to governor of health care reform. this is very exciting. you know, i thanked him for running for president because it's a hard job. you have to put up with a lot and i also thanked him for, you knows what he did in health care reform in massachusetts. he was very gracious and very kind. >> and then? >> then he pulled out a "usa today" and i said, nobody's ever going to stump you on what you're reading these days. >> okay. i know, like a sarah palin. i get you. >> right, right. >> you ventured the question, you were about to talk to him about your ideas, about health cost containment. then what happened? >> well, actually, the flight, we were an hour into the flight. in the whole two hours i talked to him a total of four minutes. and i read my medical journals in front of him and my financial
planning ge inning journals. i said to him, i want two minutes of your time. he was wearing ear buds and looking at his ipad. i said, i'm a physician, a financial planner, i read the entire health racare reform law and speak to thousands of people around the country on health care reform and i have the answer to your problem. that's kind of bold. there are answers out there. he goes, okay. i said, 25% of our costs in health care is on overhead. in france and germany, it's 5% to 10%. if we could cut overhead to what they have, we would save $ 500 billion a year, don't you think people would take notice of that? then he looked at me blankly and said, i understand. he put his ear buds back in and went back to his ipad. he didn't ask or give me a chance to say, the way we do that is with a single billing system and nationalized electronic medical report. i never got the opportunity to share that part with him. >> what's your -- i don't know what to conclude on that. it seems to me normally people like -- i'm not him, but
normally if somebody comes up to me with an idea, because i'm on television, i say, here's my e-mail address and i'll respond to you if you send it to me and i'll look at it. you didn't sense he was going to even look at your idea? >> oh, no. it was obvious he wasn't interested. i mean, i know he has to be so careful about everything he says, and i didn't really expect anything. it would have been nice for him to say, you know, thank you, so i'm glad that you're interested in such an important topic. anything like that. i just felt that he, you know, he's riding around in coach trying to make himself look like one of us, and i was, four minutes out of two hours, i don't think i was being out of line just to want to speak a minute. and so that was just a little -- it made me sad actually for the lack of political discourse in this country. >> i understand. let me ask you this. do you -- the democrats, the people around the president, the handlers, are pushing this story, have pushed this story already, that he's weird. what would you call him? weird, distracted? would you call him weird? >> i would not call him weird.
he was very gracious. people asked for autographs and he gave autographs. one guy did ask him for a restaurant recommendation in boston. he said, i can't give you one. the guy pressed him a little bit. he says, you'll have to ask somebody else, i can't give you one. i think he's very tentative. he's got to be careful about what he says. so he says nothing. >> yeah. well, next time better luck. maybe you'll sit next to somebody else sometime that will be more interesting. i understand what you tried to do. you tried to do the right thing which was share your expertise. as a citizen you did the right thing. >> thank you zblau. >> thank you -- >> i look forward to your book, by the way. >> you mean the one called "jack kennedy elusive hero"? i like the way you work. thank you, doctor. let me finish with a big problem for republicans and herman cain and he implodes. that wasn't planned, by the way. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. but it was delightful. it's electric. i don't think so. it's got a gas tank right here. electric tank, right over here. an electric tank? really, stu?
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let me finish tonight with this. thanks to the horrendous news today, the republican party finds itself at whits end. if voters believe the account given by sharon bialek today, they cannot possibly want herman cain as president. the same forces that drove c arks cain to lead in the polls will undermine mitt romney. hard conservatives see romney as quite willing to people a northeastern moderate, even a liberal and do not believe what happened in massachusetts will stay in massachusetts. they believe once washington, d.c., surrounded by the country's east coast political establishment, romney will become part of it. he will be in washington, d.c., what he was in boston, massachusetts. who's that leave? if cain combusts and romney remains romney, who will be the go-to republican? this is the problem. as i just said, the forces that led conservatives to cain, their paramount rejection of mitt romney remains.
having seen trump come and go, bachmann rise and fall, perry fly without any bearings. i've been watching newt gingrich move into position. his comradery with herman cain in the weekend texas debate shows he's willing to benefit or hoping to benefit when herman cain folds his tent. he, newt, will get the cain backers because he's been kind to cain, a warm associative of his. can the republicans one a guy pushed from the speakership as their prime candidate out of 300 million people? could this be where it ends with conservatives voting for newt gingrich at a base antipathy toward mitt romney? i didn't think it would come to newt. little did i know he'd end up being for the american right the only game in town. again, there's that thought that the man in the white house could possess in addition to charisma that other political intangible, good old-fashioned luck. speaking of charisma, tomorrow i'll be in san francisco speaking about