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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  November 16, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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support occupy wall street protests? why some of us march for jobs and justice just last month by the tens of thousands? why are people doing what they're doing?[ @&h(lc% we've got to get the right conversation in this country, and we're going to do it. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. freddie and friend. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in new york. leading off tonight, newt and the "l" word, lobbyist. donald trump, michele bachmann, rick perry, herman cain. each has had his or her chance as the gop flavor of the month. now, here comes newt gingrich. today we learned from bloomberg news that gingrich was paid up
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to $1.8 million by freddie mac, that quasi-government mortgage company newt himself loves to trash. hired freddie mac officials say to build bridges of love to republicans bent on destroying freddie. in other words, to lobby. welcome to front-runner status, newt. you've been caught. plus, how many blunders can one party take, from rick perry's oops to herman cain's head-scratching on libya, to michele bachmann on, well, almost everything? looking foolish has become the dress code in this republican race, and what does that say about a party that most resembles now a clown car from the best days of barnum & bailey. also penn state, what happened when mike mcqueary allegedly saw jerry sandusky molesting a -- violating a child? he says he left immediately, and now he says he stopped it and called police. if his credibility is questioned, how will that affect the prosecution? it's clear the republicans can't touch president obama on foreign policy, so the new shiny objectç
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is iran, and it's nuclear ambitions. some want to bomb iran, but have they even thought what the consequences would be? finally, which republican candidate said in new hampshire he doesn't care what the rest of the country thinks or fears? that's in the sideshow. we start with newt gingrich. joan wall somebody editor at large for and david corn is from "mother jones" and an msnbc political analyst. one of the more ridiculous answers at last week's cnbc republican debate. asked about his ties to freddie mac, newt gingrich said they paid him to offer advice as, quote, an historian. let's watch. >> i offered advice, and my advice as an historian when they walked in and said to me we are now making loans to people with no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that's what the government wants us to do, i said to them at the time, this is a bubble. this is insane. this is impossible. >> well, it seems like to pay those tiffany bills he's been busy out there for freddie mac.
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today bloomberg reported that freddie mac executives dispute gingrich's assertion that he warned them about the bubble coming. according to bloomberg, quote, none of the former freddie mac officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said gingrich even raised the issue of the housing bubble or was critical of freddie mac's business model. what was gingrich paid to do? according to two former executives, quote, gingrich was asked to build bridges to capitol hill republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company's public/private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it. he was expected to provide written material that could be circulated among free market conservatives in congress and in outside organizations. well, the price tag for his services, according to bloomberg was between $1.6 million and ç $1.8 million over an eight-year span. joan, it seems to me that he's doing what all big shots get paid to do. they get paid to sit in law firms or sit in consulting firms or pr firms, whatever they are called at the time, to basically oversee a lobbying campaign. they are the ones that send the
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little pawns up on capitol hill to make the contacts. they are the ones that know where the action is, know it will sell and write the talking points. is a they are, in fact, running the lobbying campaign. >> well, right, and i think he's trying to make a distinction that lobbying really means just going and talking yourself, buttonholing a legislator, trading on your connections with your individual congress people but that's really not the whole story, and in fact what he did was trade on his relationships and trade on his status at a great free market person, which he's not, to create these talking points and to create this campaign to say hands off freddie, and i think it's a ridiculous distinction to say that's not lobbying. today i believe he told a reporter it was strategic advice. >> right. >> strategic device from an historian. thanks, newt. what's next? >> he's got to be houdini to get out of this one. he may be houdini here. congressman barney frank, one of
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my favorites, appeared on martin bashir's show this afternoon, who said gingrich was a lobbyist. he said a lot worse. let's listen to barney frank. >> two "l" words, lobbyist and liar, newt gingrich was reprimanded by the house of representatives for lying and he has a history of doing that. this is nonsense he was being paid $1.6 million, maybe more, to talk about history, to talk about the transcontinental railroads. he was clearly there as a lobbyist. he kind of slipped and acknowledged that when he said to justify that large amount of money, after all, i'd been speaker of the house. you don't enhance your academic credentials by having been speaker. what you enhance is your value as a lobbyist. >> i was just thinking, if you work for freddie mac, you must be having a hard time. who should we hire, michael beshlash, david mccullough, what about our house historian on housing? clearly he's the lobbyist in chief. let me ask you this. >> yeah. >> here's a guy, and here's where it's really evil.
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i don't want to overstate that until we get to the bottom of this. i think it's like that. here's a guy who made a lot of points the last couple of months blasting the democrats, dodd and frank, saying they both ought to be in prison, basically. in fact, he said that. >> yeah. >> for basically coddling freddie mac. now it turns out he's their chief lobbyist. how can you be that dishonest? >> chris, you've been around the block a few times. this is 100% newt gingrich. this is his pattern. you come up with a slippery denial about your own behavior while you throw bombs at the other side. even for doing what you yourself have done. just go back to the clinton impeachment crusade. i mean, it's one of the biggest dodges in town to say i'm not a lobbyist. >> you mean carrying on an affair with somebody who works in the house staff below you at the same time you're going after a president for doing something like that in the white house?
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>> yeah, that comes to mind. >> yeah. >> so he's a serial fibber, and you saw that when he said i was an historian. that is patently absurd. the fact that we even have to parse or analyze that remark for more than a nanosecond shows our political culture is a little bit askew. he should be laughed out of town. >> okay. >> as he should have been laughed out of town many times in the past few decades. >> let's catch some of his history, we could all be historians on newt. we all remember this. 2008 on "the o'reilly factor" talking about the housing market. he's indictanf the democrats for doing what it turns out he was doing himself, looking out for freddie mac's interests. here he is. >> yeah. >> what you have today is that the rich in wall street and the powerful of fannie mae and freddie mac had so many politicians beholden to them, that in fact nobody was going to check them, and so they got away with things that were absolute baloney, and it's a tragedy. >> he's not a human being. he's a gaseous state, isn't he? this is like a gaseous state around the world. i mean, this is newtism. how can you accuse the democrats of the very thing you were paid a couple million bucks to do which is look out for freddie
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mac? >> i mean, literally, literally listening to that. there's also the clip, i think it was in an october 11 debate, where he actually said who should go to jail. barney frank should go to jail, and democrats and their relationship with freddie mac, that he can say that knowing that he's taken money, almost $2 million, from freddie mac. i mean, honestly, david, i agree with you. we should have seen this coming, but i find this shocking, and i didn't think i was capable of being shocked by newt. >> i think it's pathological. i mean, i know that's a big word and i'm not trying to hype it here, but you can go through 30 years of his statements and actually we did that at "mother jones" a couple weeks ago. i should put that story back up again on the home page. >> right. >> but you can find examples of this again and again and again. it's not a slipup. this is an m.o., his modus operandi for newt gingrich. i called someone at freddie mac, when the story line first came out, and the guy just started laughing at me. he goes why do you guys even
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believe or talk about it for a moment? he was paid the same way we paid all politicians, to be in our pocket and make us look good, very simple. >> i think you were very excellent there in ripping the scab off the reprimand at one branch of government for speaker of the house, and i think he does pretend to be a candidate for the head of the executive branch.ç how can you go from big kicked off one branch and grabbing on to the other? i don't get it, but i want to remind to something, worse than all the flip-flops, let me get to something that's classic newt. remember, joan, when he blamed the democrats for susan smith's killing of her kids? >> yes. >> return to that day. what does that tell you about a politician? he's not a normal politician who does that stuff? >> no, it was just -- it was abominable, unbelievable. this woman, obviously disturbed, first, she lied and said a black man carjacked her and killed her kids. then it was found that she did it herself, and newt said, he
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literally said, it was on the eve of the '94 mid terms, that the only way to stop behavior like this was to vote republican. he said the democrats had created this culture of corruption and law-breaking and families disintegrating, and reporters came back to him and said is that what you're saying? are you really saying republicans can stop that? he said absolutely. >> right. >> so this is, again, the kind of projection. >> with that light motif, with that background, watch this little bit of tape here on his flip-flops. let's watch newt, not just flip flops but really his dishonesty. here he is. >> i believe all of us, and this is going to be a big debate, i believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. i think the idea -- >> you agree with mitt romney on this point? >> i agree all of us have a
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responsibility to pay for health care, and i think there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. i've said consistently we ought to have some requirements, ought uá)hr'surance or post a bond or some way you indicate you will be held accountable. >> it's the individual mandate? >> that's a variation on it. >> i'm completely opposed to the obamacare mandate for the and oppose any effort to impose an individual mandate because it's fundamentally wrong, and i believe unconstitutional. >> what would you do about libya >> exercise a no-fly zone this es evening. the idea that we're confused about a man who has been an anti-american dictator since 1969, just tells you how inept this administration is. they were very quick to jump on mubarak who was their ally for 30 years, and they are confused about getting rid of gadhafi. this is a moment to get rid of him. do it. i would not have intervened. i think there are a lot of other ways to affect gadhafi and there are other allies in the region we could have worked with. i would not have used american and european forces. i don't think right wing social engineering is any more desirable than left wing social engineering. i don't think imposing radical
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change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate. i made a mistake, and i called paul ryan today, who is a very close personal friend, and i said that. the fact is that i have supported what ryan is trying to do in the budget. any ad which quotes what i said on sunday is a falsehood because i've said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate. >> david, what we're watching here is not someone who changes his mind, but we're watching a whirling dervish of a dishonesty. he spins and spins and spins depending on the circumstance and the moment and grabs what he thinks is the higher ground in that moment, and he doesn't tell the truth about what he thinks because it's the same person claiming to think two different things in the same moment. how can you believe a word thisç guy says as he runs for president? >> chris, i think, you know, i've been in town almost as long as you have. if he had to name the most situational politician we've ever covered, newt would certainly be at the top of that list. he's not -- you're right.
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he's not a flip-flopper. he is a gyrator. following him gets you dizzy. you know, the word spin, you know, in the dictionary, he should be next to it because he never ever stops. he likes to position himself or depict himself as a grand big thinker, of noble grand big thoughts, but if you actually compare one to the next over the years, you see there's no consistency, and -- and inside it's like hollowness. it's really whatever is going to give him that edge at the moment, the advantage. that's what he goes for, and it doesn't matter what he said ten seconds earlier. >> joan, last thought? >> well, i think this will really sink him because he and republicans have succeeded in demonizing freddie mac and making freddie mac into an agent of socialism, so the idea that he took almost $2 million from freddie mac, he's a liar. he's a hypocrite, and i think he's done with the tea party. >> yeah. join the powers that are attacking freddie mac and get paid to defend them.
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what a brilliant washington game, and now he's been caught the price of front-runnership, newt. >> exactly. >> thank you joan walsh. had to have you two here. i think it's so great. you two are the best at understanding washington. thank you david corn and joan. coming up, from herman cain's brain freeze, that's a nice word for it, to rick perry's oops last week, to michele bachmann on just about everything she tries to handle, how many blunders can a political party stand and still stand up? and how damaging to the republican brand name are endless gaffes on everything from the important to the $opeless? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. premier of the packed bag. you know organization is key... and so is having a trusted assistant. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above and still pay the mid-size price. here we are... [ male announcer ] and there you go, business pro.
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there you go. go national. go like a pro. like a ramen noodle- every-night budget. she thought allstate car insurance was out of her reach. until she heard about the value plan. shop less. get more. make one call to an allstate agent. how about the beat of a healthy heart? campbell's healthy request soup is delicious, and earned this heart, for being heart healthy. ♪ feel the beat? it's amazing what soup can do. we just told you that newt gingrich received money. now he's getting criticized by none other than jack abramoff. he told nbc's david gregory he
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doesn't think he can survive the news. >> i don't think in a he'll be able to survive this. >> why? >> he's engaged in the exact kind of corruption that america disdains, the very things that anger the tea party movement and the occupy wall street movement movement and watches washington and says why are these guys getting all this money? why are they so rich? why do they have they advantages? >> you call that corruption, though. >> indeed. >> that's a heavy charge. >> what is it? it is corruption. >> that's jack abramoff calls newt gingrich corrupt. we'll be right back. [ stu ] yeah. 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? is that what you pour the electricity in? it's actually both, guys. i can plug in and go 35 miles gas free, or i can fill up and go a whole lot farther. is that my burger? oh. i just got bun. i didn't even bite any burger.
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welcome back to "hardball." republican candidates have been the butt of many jokes this year because of the long list of gaffes and awkward moments from the campaign trail. in an article in today's "new york times" entitled "flubs are rubbing some republicans the wrong way" it quotes many republicans who aren't laughing about the multiple missteps and some republicans are asking
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whether the gaffes may be damaging the republican brand itself. ed rendell is the former democratic governor of pennsylvania and msnbc analyst, a and john feehery is a republican strategist. gentlemen, i have to ask you. it used to be that the republicans were the daddy party, if you will, the ones we're going to take care of all the dangers facing the country. we're the experts on foreign policy. don't get in our way, democrats, and now it seems like they are just dicey on the subject. they don't seem to have any expert on foreign policy in the entire list of republicans running. >> it's true, chris. if i were an independent voter or a moderate republican, my head is spinning, and i'm thinking what in god's name is this party up to? is this the best they have got? but, again, what happens once ç there's a nominee is people focus not so much on republican and democrat, they focus on the republican nominee versus the president so they will have a time to recoup. what i think the big problem is, let's assume for a second, chris, put yourself in mitt
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romney's place. you're the nominee going into the convention, what do you do with these wackos at the convention? what do you do with them? >> what raw meat can you throw their way to make you think you're one of them? >> right. how do you put herman cain and rick perry and michele bachmann on the speaking program and hope to win the philadelphia suburbs? >> remember how they used to bring all the other candidates up on the stage after you get the nomination. >> if i were mitt romney. >> can you imagine this motley crue? feehery, even you are laughing. would you bring sarah palin up on the stage? would you bring michele bachmann and the whole gang of them up on the stage and say here are my rivals, my excellent colleagues. here they are together to show you our intellectual force. would you do that, john, or keep them in the closet? >> of course i'd bring them up and strategically place them throughout the program so they would make the maximum amount of news i wanted them to make at the time. you do that at any convention to unify the party, and, you know, they speak -- the candidates running for president speak for a lot of different constituencies within the
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republican party. i would say to the "new york times" piece, it's not the gaffes of a few that define a party. it's the philosophy of many, and the republican party is by and large a conservative party, and we live in a conservative country, and i tell you, when it comes to where most people are on foreign policy, most of the country is far more conservative from a foreign policy standpoint than anybody in washington, in either the democratic or republican party. >> bush had a better record of catching bin laden than obama ç does, right? >> chris, it's even worse than that. >> well, wait, wait, wait. this election is not going to be about osama bin laden. >> it's not about terrorism, not about 9/11 anymore. oh, i've got it. >> this election is about the economy. >> i've forgotten we don't care about this. governor, i want you to look at this so we can actually show the problem area for mr. feehery. a national security official under george w. bush told the "times," this is the core of the republican brand. you mess with it at your peril. it cuts directly to the essence of the brand republicans should
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be concerned about this. you don't agree, john, right? >> well, listen, what i think is that, mitt romney or whoever the nominee is going to have the foreign policy establishment, the republican foreign policy establishment behind them, and they are going to support each other, and i think that at the end of the day that brand on foreign policy is going to be just fine. >> you know, the other day, governor, herman cain of all people went up to see apparently henry kissinger. doesn't that show you the gap in what they were and what they are? >> it's enormous. >> and it's a hoot. the idea of those two people taking up the same office space is unimaginable. your thoughts, governor? >> and the weakness in john's position is these are the people running for president in the republican party. they are not just some local mayor or some county commissioner or congressman here and there. these are the supposedly the best and the brightest. if i'm in the philadelphia suburbs and i'm a moderate republican, my head is spinning. i'm saying this can't be true. this guy doesn't know about
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libya. this guy can't remember the departments he wants to get rid of. this guy wants to bomb iran after all we've been through. >> here we go, governor. by the way, even when you the mayor of our great city you read the newspapers.ç let's listen to some of the more notable blunders by some of the republican candidates as they have gone into the dangerous areas of american history and politics. >> we know there was slavery that was still tolerated when the nation began. we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the united states. men like john quincy adams who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country. >> would you describe yourself as a neo-conservative then? >> i'm not sure what you mean by neo-conservative. i'm a conservative yes. neo-conservative, labels sometimes will put you in a box. >> you're familiar with the neo-conservative movement?
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>> i'm familiar with the -- i'm not familiar with the neoconservative movement. i'm familiar with the conservative movement. >> we've gone from a country that's made great strides in issues of civil rights. i think we all can be proud of that, and as we go forward, america needs to be about freedom. it needs to be freedom from overtaxation and overlitigation and freedom from over-regulation. >> well, i have to tell you, john feehery, i've got to give you a shot at this. john quincy adams was 6 years old at the writing of the declaration of the founding documents. he was a brilliant kid, isn't he? fighting slavery at the age of 6. what is she talking about? the one thing if you're a philly kid, governor, you know this, you can't way to go down to mt. vernon and see the slave quarters, this is where they lived, they actually had slaves and here's michele bachmann coming along saying, you know, george washington and those guys, they were just killing themselves to get rid of slavery. what is she talking about?ç they all this slaves. >> john quincy adams was a
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fierce -- was a fierce abolitionist. >> was 6 years old at the time of the founding. >> she was right about john quincy adams. >> which of the founding fathers was fighting slavery, one? founding fathers. >> john adams. >> oh, come on. >> thomas jefferson had great concerns about slavery. >> he had slaves. >> of course he did. i get that. >> and george washington had slaves. >> john, i want you to come up to philadelphia. we have something called the president's house. the first residence of george washington when he was president when the capital was in philadelphia, and there are slave quarters in it. >> i know my history. i also know -- >> well, she doesn't. anyway, you're smarter than anybody running for president. >> i would vote for you. >> and you should have run for president. this crowd -- this is an upside down world over there. thank you once again for the defense of the ignorant. up next, there's only one candidate who knows he has a shot to actually jump-start his campaign. he knows he has to win in one place.
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that's huntsman in new hampshire. the trouble is he says he doesn't need those other 49 states. that may be a gaffe right there. that's next in the sideshow. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. smal l bu sinesses are the smal lifeblood of our communities. on november 26th you can make a huge impact by shopping small on small business saturday. one purchase. one purchase is all it takes. so, pick your favorite local business... and join the movement. i pledge to shop small at big top candy shop. allen's boots... at juno baby store. make the pledge to shop small. please. shop small on small business saturday.
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up is gop candidate jon huntsman putting too much focus on the granite state? no secret that the candidate has high hopes for new hampshire in a few months, but what about the rest of the country? apparently huntsman got a bit overzealous during his 100th new hampshire event yesterday when discussing the state's importance to his campaign. let's listen. >> this election in new hampshire is critically important, and i have a very small request of you. i just want your vote. now we need some people. we need a little groundswell and this is where we're going to get it in new hampshire. i don't care what the rest of the country thinks or feels, that's not important. i do care about what the people of new hampshire feel because this is important. >> i don't care what the rest of the country, wow. huntsman later said that he was speaking about the polls putting
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all his marbles on one make-or-break primary. in other words, he was quoted correctly. >> fans of "the good wife" know i made a debut, my only debut on that show. let's take a look at that sceneç from that episode where alan cummings character, a political consultant out in chicago, gives me a scoop on his candidate, and his candidates's got skeletons in his closet. >> you know robert mulvey? >> the ex-congressman, the one that flipped from republican to democrat. i hear he's looking for a campaign that can win. >> mickey represents him, and we want to offer you a story. >> really, you got a headline for me, too? >> we have a picture. it's not as bad as anthony weiner, but in our view it captures the prospect of the facebook candidate. >> that's him, that's robert mulvey. >> it is. you want to hang a lantern on your problem? >> hang a lantern on what, nothing to do with mulvey's policies or morals. >> you want to give me something, give me something. why don't you put the candidate on.
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wow, that was so much fun. kathy, by the way, my wife and i love that show. up next, the penn state scandal. mike mcqueary, the former graduate assistant coach, says he stopped jerry sandusky when he saw him in the showers with the 10-year-old boy back in 2002. he also says he went to police right then, but that's not what the grand jury report says. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. but you've got a meat and potatoes guy?
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i'm page hopkins. here's what's happening. president obama will address the australian parliament tonight after paying his respects at a memorial to australian soldiers killed in combat. today the president said up to 2500 u.s. troops will help set up a joint training hub in the northern part of that country. here at home the house voted to allow concealed weapons
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permits to carry over into all states where it's legal. and a 21-year-old man was arrested in connection with a shooting near the white house. apparently it left two bullet holes in the white house. one death is being blamed on a line of powerful storms moving across the southeast tonight. oil prices topped $102 today on the word a major pipeline will reverse its flow to alleviate a midwest supply glut. and çrick,gervais will retn to host his third global globe awards. back to "hardball." do you have any idea when you think you might be ready to talk? >> this process has to play out. i just don't have anything else to say. >> okay. >> and then just one last thing. just describe your emotions right now.
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>> all over the place, just kind of shaken. >> crazy? >> crazy. you said what? like a -- >> snow globe. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was penn state coach mike mcqueary talking to cbs news yesterday. according to the grand jury report when mcqueary witnessed a 10-year-old boy being subjected to anal sex by jerry sandusky, he left the scene and called his father, not police. but last week's reports are that mcqueary e-mailed a friend last week to say yes, he did stop the attack and yes, he did call authorities. the e-mail reads, quote, i did stop it, not physically, but made sure it was stopped when i left that locker room. i did have discussions with police and with the official at no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30 to 45 seconds. trust me. but did he call police? grand jury report says penn state university police never
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questioned him and that his superiors didn't contact authorities or the town of state college itself police. they told nbc news today they have no record of mcqueary speaking to them, and the pennsylvania state police won't comment due to the ongoing discussions, and no word on any state police discussions, so for more on this and the key witness who may have a credibility problem, let me bring in nbc's top investigative reporter, that's michael isikoff, who is at penn state itself and buzz bissinger who writes for "the daily beast." and "vanity fair" and authored the best-selling "friday night lights." let's go to mike right now for the reporting. mike, where are we now? has this guy lost his credibility because of his odd statement here about having gone to the cops and having stopped that, well, in effect it's a rape, if not legally that's the right term, penetration of this kid by this guy? do we have any new reason to question mcqueary now one way or
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the other? >> well, there's certainly mounting credibility questions about mcqueary, but it's important to remember there were going to be questions from mcqueary from the get-go, even if you take the grand jury report as gospel and that that is actually everything that mcqueary testified to. he still has the problem of he says he witnessed a 10-year-old boy being sexually assaulted in the shower, and according to the grand jury report he left immediately distraught. he did not intervene to stop a criminal act against a young boy taking place in real time. so i think that, you know, clearly the discrepancies and contradictions between what he says and what schultz and curley, the two university officials say, the ones charged in this case, but even without this e-mail, there were going to be a lot of questions about mike mcqueary and his -- and his actions here, and -- and it's also worth pointing out, chris, that, you know, there was
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supposed to be a -- a preliminary hearing tomorrow inç this case, and it was the government, the prosecutors, that asked for the delay, not the defense. in fact, the defense for curley and schultz say they are outraged by the delay. they are ready to proceed, and it's the government that's asking for the delay. that does sound a bit unusual. >> you know, the scary thing here, mike and now buzz, the graphic nature of what we were told in the grand jury, a naked 10-year-old boy up against a wall with a grownup behind him having sex with him, just -- i mean, penetrating him. it's an unimaginable scene, and here is mcqueary saying something quite human for once. he says imagine being in my shoes for 30 to 45 seconds. i mean, it was just the moment he looked and probably looked away. he certainly didn't stop anything in 30 to 45 seconds. he didn't seem to call the police in 30 to 45 second. it looked like he turned his eyes away from a horrible scene and didn't know what to do, did nothing really. go ahead, buzz?
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>> you know, look, i have no doubt that mcqueary saw a rape, i have absolutely no doubt. i would bet my life on the lives of the children that jerry sandusky did what he's alleged to have done. i believe that more than ever on the basis of his interview in which i thought he came across as arrogant and despicable, but whenever a witness has credibility problems, and the prosecution -- someone should have been with that guy 24 hours a day saying, mike, you don't talk to anybody. you don't e-mail anybody because if you do, there's going to be a credibility issue, and we all know what defense attorneys are paid for, to drive a truck through credibility issues. it just waters down the case. i believe that mcqueary isç telling the truth, but it doesn't help because frankly all the charges against the victims are serious. there are four that are not that serious. there are four that are serious. you have mcqueary who was an eyewitness to one. the eyewitness to the other has
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dementia, so he's not going to testify. >> okay. >> the tragedy is to have a male eyewitness to a sexual assault is very, very rare and important, and -- and i don't want mcqueary to blow it with these e-mails and talking to people. >> you think he did it on purpose to screw up his credibility so he couldn't be getting sandusky in trouble? maybe that's too much of a stretch, but it looks like he's done that. >> i -- i don't think he did it on purpose. i think he's scared. i think he doesn't know which way to turn. i think -- well, he felt a lot of shame. >> sure. >> the nation came down on him, including me, and i think he felt a lot of shame, and he reached out to friends and he said, look, you don't know what happened, but it is diametrically opposed to the grand jury report. he says he stopped it, and the grand jury report he says it became immediately distraught and left. he says he called the police, contacted the police.
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grand jury report says that didn't happen. the university official he spoke to was schultz who is in charge of the police. that washes out, but there are diametrically opposed stories. >> right. >> and we know what happens. defense attorneys make millions to show that. >> i just want to point out that on the -- on the charge against curley and schultz, it's a perjury charge, and it rests on the credibility of mcqueary as opposed to schultz and curley, so, you know, these credibility issues, regardless of what you think about sandusky right now and the likelihood or not that ç he committed the act that he's alleged to have committed, for the prosecution to sustain the charges against curley and schultz, they have to -- to present mcqueary as a credible witness, and to have these e-mails out there contradicting his sworn testimony and coming after his grand jury testimony, that's a real problem. >> yeah, but a grownup jury, i hate to put that much faith in a
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jury, a jury can distinguish between a guy telling the truth about someone else's horrible misbehavior, a felony, and doing something that makes himself look better. a jury can understand motive, mike, can't they and why you're honest about one thing and dishonest about another? >> i'm not saying the case is -- is completely destroyed here, but i'm just saying this presents serious problems, and it's also worth pointing out one other problem about the 2002 incident for the prosecution's point of view. they don't have the 10-year-old boy. they have not been able to identify who it was. >> no. >> who was -- who was allegedly being assaulted here. >> wow. >> and -- and that's a real -- that's a real problem. remember, sandusky's lawyer says we think we found the kid, and we think he's going to be able to come forward and say this never happened. it didn't happen in the way it's being described in the grand jury report, and if the prosecutors don't have the --
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the boy who was allegedly -- who was allegedly sexually assaulted, that's another problem for their case. >> wow. >> so all told, there's the court of public opinion, and i think most people would agree jerry sandusky hung himself in the court of public opinion, but there's still a court of law, and as you look at it, at least on the charges of the 2002 incident, there's problems. >> thank you, michael. buzz, so great to have you on, one of the great reporters of our time. ç up next, the republicans running for president can't touch president obama on foreign policy because of his success in getting terrorists, but maybe that's why many of them are talking about a new war, attacking iran, with an act of war. that's ahead. this is "hardball," only on msnbc. ♪ ♪ ♪ walk, little walk ♪ small talk, big thoughts ♪ gonna tell them all just what i want ♪ ♪ i said don't stop, don't stop ♪ ♪ don't stop talking to me [ male announcer ] the most legroom per dollar of any car in america. the all-new nissan versa sedan.
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welcome back to "hardball." at saturday night's debate, they saw it as an opening to attack president obama. let's listen to mitt romney. >> the president should have built credible threat of military action, and made it very clear that the united states of america is willing, in the final analysis if necessary, to take military action to keep
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iran from having a nuclear weapon. look, one thing you can know. if we elect barack obama, iran will have a nuclear weapon. if we elect mitt romney, if you elect me, they will not. >> what is he talking about? has he thought about the consequences of an attack on another muslim come? joining mess is robin wright and john klemmants. what's fascinating, we had a poll on the other night, the 350e78 in israel, the most endangered obviously beç an iranian nuclear weapon, obviously ahmadinejad, to the extent he has any power, has threatened them with it, and clearly they're on the road with doing something with nuclear materials, according to the nuclear commission -- atomic energy commission. here's my question, robin. if the israeli people are 50/50, how can n mitt romney be 100%?
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>> i'm not even sure the american public -- cbs did a poll just a week ago and found that 55% of americans believe that diplomacy was the only way out and 15% of americans thought iran is a military threat today. i'm not sure it reflects what american sentiment is. the rally is mitt romney talked about generalities, talked about an option, a military option that both the obama administration and bush administration before it have left on the table. and he offered no specifics about what are you going to do, particularly given our experience in two neighboring count countries, iraq and afghanistan, over the past ten years and the fact the military is not enthusiastic about a military option on iran and is concerned that this is not just a one-strike deal to eliminate some facilities, suspected facilities, but might actually have long-term repercussions that haunt the united states in many places in the middle east and beyond. >> well, we are still calling it
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the department of defense, aren't we? we don't call it the department of war anymore, do you? don't you have to build a case for u.s. interests, not that we don't have an interest in our ally, israel, we have it as much as with any other country. isn't the department responsible for defending the united states? can we just attack another country that hasn't attacked us at all? sorry, forgot we did it twice. your thoughts. >> i agree with you çcompletel. this is where the pentagon is deeply concerned about what happens in the aftermath. and what threats do you then have to begin defending against as well, because iran, whether it's through its allies, hezbollah, and lebanon, allies in iraq, other factions in the region began to take actions that you also have to build up your forces for, that this is much more complicated than mitt romney made it sound. >> steve, i think the israeli people right now are trying to figure out the consequences of any action, even if the action is highly successful in surgically removing the atonic threat from iran for maybe four, five, whatever years.
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they're looking at what else can happen. they're not stupid. romney seems to be here. not -- let me just say he's not a stupid man, but stupidly making an assertion that we're going to do something without even weighing the consequences with the national security team. your thoughts. >> i thing he's trying to turn something that shouldn't be a black and white binary choice into one. the recently retired head of the mossad in israel came out critically, critical of political leaders in israel saying in israel's case an overt act against iran like this would be so against israel's interest. we see romney and other of the candidates in the gop in that debate pandering and fear mongering and actually trying to commit the united states to a course that's so utterly disruptive of our interests. you mentioned the department of defense. i wish it was called the department of strategy. what i keep waiting to hear from any of these candidates is a vision for how, where they think the united states needs to go. is this a knee jerk reactive view, and what romney's doing is
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it's kind of renewed unilateralism. it's this pugnacious damn the rest of the world unilateralism they think sells with the american public, but it's very, very dangerous to have this kind of commentary out there. >> let me go to robin. churchill said there's two kinds of success. initial and ultimate. would that be an ultimately successful policy for israel to go to war with iran, go to war with them because attacking them would be an act of war. >> this is a much more complicated question. the fact is, how much knowledge does iran have already? we don't know the answer to that, but if they are at a point that many people fear, there's a danger that even a military strike would not eliminate the knowledge that they have accumulated at this point. they remember that the shaw reportedly wanted a nuclear program as well. this is something at proud persians going back 5,000 years feel is maybe important to their defense. so the dynamics in terms of how this plays out are not just a --
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>> got to go. >> -- straightforward answer. >> thank you so much. it has a pride aspect to. i think that's part of the thing. robin wright, thank you, steve clemens, expert tees, we need it. when we return, let me finish with the recklessness i believe mitt romney is showing saying he will attack iran if he gets into office. wow, what a statement, we're going to war if he gets elected. furg [ male announcer ] when these come together, and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from?
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let me finish tonight with this. it's one thing to be completely ignorant of foreign policy, when a candidate acts as if his knowledge of the libyan war to overthrow gadhafi is a note on an index card to be retrieved from a pile of such cards lodged sloppily in his staff induced memory. that's one thing. add those two together, the ignorance as to the most prominent advocates for one war and embarrassing display of confusionç over another. herman cain is never going to get the okay from the american people to be its leader in the world. let me put to you a more dangerous case. if you can imagine it. suppose we had a kennedy who threatened a new war before elected, so randy to be elected he's willing to threaten an act of war between nations as a bid for political success? i give you mitt romney, who says if you elect me, to use his self-indulgent phrase, he proposed an act of war again, presumably an attack of nuclear facilities.
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you may like that proposition. it come to a day when israel takes such a step. here's a candidate for leader of this country committing himself through promising through whatever means of his disposal iran will not get a nuclear weapon. he, himself. not beebe netanyahu. romney. has romney calculated the fallout to a u.s. supported attack on iran? we know this, it would be an act of war, put in the hands of those leading iran the option of how to respond. would they cut up the oil lanes, attack american interests in the region, rally the muslim world against us? these are no small things to consider. you can bet the israeli people are considering them because they, the people most exposed to an iranian nuclear weapon and most threatened by one are evenly divided on whether to support an attack on iran's nuclear facilities. though are in a quandary as to whether to commit an act of war. not romney. he's speaking before getting to the presiden