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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  May 3, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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to -- it is inclusive. i can tell you. there is 106 of us out of 163 down in jefferson city. each of us have something different to bring to the table. i really enjoy that. >> missouri state representative, zach wyatt, gets tonight's last word. thanks for joining us tonight, zach. >> thank you very much, lawrence. >> you can have the last word on our blog and follow my tweets @lawrence. >> mitt romney says hide the gays. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. in washington tonight, why are republicans still closeting gay people? "rick, the campaign ask you not speak of this call, it's best to
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lay low from now. "they took out the openly gay foreign policy strategist. he was told to hide. why is mitt romney letting an advisor get silenced. here is romney's chance to show he is not afraid of the right. what happens for you win a brutal nomination? does anyone like this guy? plus the chinese disdent. republicans are on the attack, why this could be a big moment for better or worse for hillary clinton. and the congress that can't do anything. two scholars say blame the republicans, it's ideologically extreme and unmoved by convention of facts, science, and politics and dismissed in
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political opposition. they're saying it out loud, the republicans are the problem. let me finish tonight with a pathetic assault on romney by jimmy carder. we begin with the foreign policy advisor that quit the campaign. and ron reagan is an msnbc political analyst. thank you both for joining us. david wright, you've put a lot of thought and a lot of work in your career lately in trying to fight this kind of bigotry. the republicans have a large right. i've been speaking to the right for years. they exist, there are gay republicans. why are they taking a guy they just named as one of their chief foreign policy spokespeople and saying you can't speak anymore. >> there's a long history of this, going back to when the soviet union was dissolved, they demonized gay people.
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back in the '90s, newt gingrich compared gays to alcoholics. saying victims of aids were like rats. this is a long time coming. right now the pressure groups are not fringe groups. it's today's republican party. the american family association has 2 million members and are on 200 radio stations. this is what party is. >> it's become that. >> let me go back to ron on this, you're thinking about this, growing up in a republican family, one thing i liked about your family, although their conservative, your parents didn't have any problem with gay people. this whole thing has gotten to be changing into a witch hunt. >> right, and this isn't entirely new. since the civil rights era, the republican party has been a
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haven for biggots. not saying all republicans are, but it exploited their fear and anger. it would be communist, african-americans, mexicans, and women, people who stand up. there's always a "they" that will undo family values and drag down the america of their dreams. the most reliable are gay people. gay people will always and are still to this day, people who under certain circumstances can be demonized and they are demonized on the right. >> allen west has not gotten the message yet. he is going after the 81 communist in congress. i worked with a lot of people in washington, a lot of gay people, they were on both sides of the aisle.
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how do they survive culturally socially and morally in a environment where gay bashing still goes on as of this moment because mitt romney will not defend this guy. right now if he is watching this show, governor romney ask the guy to come back and we stop talking about it. >> rick grenell's mistake was. >> so being in the closet is okay. >> sure, there's two kinds of people in the republican party. the ones that are okay with it, but then when the question is called, there is cynical pandering. >> what did the top aides say? what did they say when they have to write this? >> they're running the campaign their running, and mitt romney
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is running a anti-gay campaign. >> is there any pledge he won't sign? >> he is going to speak at liberty university next week. >> here is mark by the way, a former bush campaign advisor, here is what he said about romney's decision not to stand by his now former spokesman. >> these are examples where people i think would like to see mitt romney stand up and say i don't care what people think, i'm standing behind him and i want him out front. we need to see more examples of that. people want a president that is strong, bold, clear convictions and stands behind his decisions. >> here is the former senator from missouri and a campaign advisor to romney right now. he said this "people with the kind of expertise that ric has don't grow on trees" remember bill clinton had the sister
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soldier moment. this, i don't like displays with street theater, this is an opportunity for true guts. he can say this guy is on my team, and staying on my team. and he won't do it as we speak. >> he missed an opportunity and gave himself a longer term problem. this was a chance to shake up the etch-a-sketch. to say to the he has been pandering to that i have a line i won't cross. u i'm pivoting to the general election andly -- andly not pander to you anymore. now they see they can dictate who he has on his staff. >> so you think there will be a
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blacklist now? a pink list or whatever they will call it? any list they can use. >> yes, in all sorts of ways, not just gay people but other things as well. >> david, this is a question because we have gone through real policy debates, we will have a legitimate debate on marriage, it will go on and be state by state unless that brilliant lawyer team is able to do something, if they're able to win the case in the high court, but that will be awhile. i think it's growing towards the numbers showing most people for it. the thing is open service now. we finally got away with don't ask don't tell. that seems to be a question about patriotism, and we have people serving openly in the military, but they can't in the romney campaign.
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>> it should be a reasonable position, but you look at romney's record and he has beenon both sides of the issue. he said he would be more prothan ted kennedy. he has been on both sides of the don't ask don't tell. >> so maybe you know some people, what do you say he believes? >> that's a good question, because when you review the record he's on both sides of so many issues. >> what do people think he believes? >> what matters is not what he believes as much as what he does. he has sent a clear message that he will do what is politically expedient. >> here is a thought, there is a pattern here, we saw it with tax policy, he will sign anything that nordqvist puts in front of him. he talks about iran which is so crazy. good people, but they're certainly on the hard right of the republican party and people like that around. now in the cultural front, he is doing it here again. it seems like there is nothing
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he won't say yes to g they don't say no to him. if it means they will say no, he says yes to them. >> absolutely, and people look for a president with convictions, and this man doesn't seem to have convictions. in terms of the republican party himself, this is a deadly issue for them. it's a generational thing. old people are afraid of gay people. younger people are not. they're shruging their shoulders. >> you know what is a problem here? last thought, if he were a true conservative, romney, he would be able to say okay, this is where i draw the line and i'm different. i'm a libertarian on this one. i'm with gay people because they're the way god made them. i know you know i'm a conservative, but since he is not seen as an authentic conservative, he has to keep proving himself. >> he has a problem and he has to prove himself. >> nobody thinks he is anything so he has to cross the line.
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it's another example. so scary. thank you, it's great to have you on. coming up, michele bachmann is the latest big name republican to endorse mitt romney. he did it better than the other gays 119 days after she quit the race. after romney carpet bombed his opponents, there's not a lot of admiration. [ female announcer ] removing facial hair can be irritating. challenge that. olay smooth finish facial hair removal duo. first a gentle balm then the removal cream. effective together with less irritation
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and as gentle as a feather. olay hair removal duo. you know, from car insurance companies shouting, "save 500 bucks over here!" "no, save 300 bucks over here!" "wait, save 400 bucks right here." with so many places offering so much buck-saving, where do you start? well, esurance was born online, raised by technology, and majors in efficiency. so they're actually built to save you money... and time... and whiplash. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call. >> new polling data from key battleground states in the presidential election. let's check the score board.
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in florida, it race is tightening, romney is ahead there, 44 to obama, 43. in ohio, obama is up by two, and in pennsylvania, obama is leading 47 to 39. and in wisconsin, obama is up by 9, 51 to 42. some of the dividing states, the troublesome states that are always hard to pick, ohio and florida.
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i am honored to be able to be here to introduce not only governor bob mcdowell, a fabulous governor of the state of virginia, but also to lend my voice and my endorsement to mitt
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romney as our president to take the country back. >> welcome back to "hardball," it's 119 days after she dropped out of the race and michele bachmann endorsed mitt romney. how seriously can we take these endorsements from someone like her who said this. >> mitt romney, can he beat obama? >> no, his policy is the basis for obamacare. >> this is why people trust politicians. candidates and party leaders have been grudging an unenthusiastic support. >> we have democrat and republican tonight. just in a moment, a nano second
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on my part, i thought michele bachmann had a good shot. >> you should have asked me, i would have told you. >> she was attractive, had a great christian positive message, but i don't think she had the right campaign. >> she was all the rage for a short period of time -- >> she got a look in iowa. she could have run off with it, but when she got the look she was not ready. she could not answer the questions. >> let's talk to the person, this is newt gingrich giving an endorsement for romney yesterday. >> i'm asked sometimes is mitt romney conservative enough. my answer is simple. compared to barack obama? you know, this is not a choice between mitt romney and ronald reagan.
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these ads could explain gingrich's restraint. restore our future jammed the air ways in iowa in september. newt has more baggage than the airlines. >> ever notice some people make a lot of mistakes? so far newt gingrich has admitted his mistakes or flipped on taeping up with pelosi, immigration, medicare, health care. >> there were ads like this one coming here. >> who has the right experience? mitt romney helped create thousands of of jobs. >> romney res the olympics, santorum was in washington voting to raise the debt limit five times.
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>> do you believe mitt romney is the right guy? >> i think -- obviously i believed i was the better choice, but i'm not in the race anymore. >> is there the right guy? >> absolutely, he is the person that is going to go up against barack obama, it's clear, and we need to win this race. >> isn't that -- it's not mishearing things, you just endorsed mitt romney. >> if that's what you want to call it. >> it's like he's slow talking. what is it about romney that makes people who have run against him hate him. >> no -- they hate him. >> look, it was a tough, tough primary. and you don't run for president without having a outsized ego to begin with, and romney vanquished every single one of these guys.
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>> he outscored them in debates with charisma and charm. >> he beat them fair and square. >> there's a reason why they hate him, they think he is an empty suit within and he has so much money. >> it needs to be pointed out that newt gingrich who has compared himself to moses and george washington, is not happy about the fact he was defeated by romney. >> john mccain hate him so much he would not pick him on the ticket, he picks sarah palin. >> he hates obama now. >> the people that run against romney come out with a bad taste in their moth. he tens to win, but he didn't stand for anything, he flip-flops all over the place, and when you believe you're someone of pled stands like newt
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gingrich or santorum and you get beat by someone that you think doesn't have that, and it's done by super pacs and mysterious money, and pop up ads with no signature on them. >> i'm not a conserve ti, okay, but i know what one is. they're just like liberals, gut conservatives. they have a feeling. they don't have to argue or think about. they wake up worrying about deficits. they have deep feelings. these are not things they can fake. they think romney is a fake. and you know that's true, they think romney is a fake. >> who is they? >> true conservatives. >> that he's fake or that's what they think. look at the polling, do some professional conservatives that make a living by being the arbiter of being conservative,
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do they dislike mitt romney, they do. you would not see polls out of ohio and florida that show them neck and neck. if there was a huge swath of conservatives that were not on board with mitt romney. >> you think that is the face of authenticity. just asking. does he look like an empty suit to you pretending to be a conservative. >> he is a business guy trying to the deal. what happens is people come to you and say you need to agree with to this close the deal, and he says okay i'll do that. you need to say this, okay i'll do that. he's a business guy trying to close the deal. everyone that ran against hymn understands that. >> here is ronald reagan, he taught himself conservatism, in the 1950s he read the new
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republic, he got into it. and current stuff. by the time he ran for president a few times, he was writing his own speeches, do you think romney is like that? writes his own speeches and has his own thoughts? is he that guy? >> i don't care. and i don't think -- >> that's the standard for republicans right now. >> what they care about is when he becomes president if he will change the direction of the country. that's why they're support him. >> he will tax things right. he has five digits. you said you don't care if he doesn't believe anything. steve mcman and todd harrison. up next, if you're going to tampa for the republic convention, don't bring your water pistol, but a real gun is no problem.
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rick scott's wild west approach to a convention. it will be fun. people really love snapshot from progressive, but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. i was worried it would be hard to install. but it's really easy. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. yeah. you're not... filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive.
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back to "hardball," now for the side show. first up, do you remember for first summer job? the obama administration kicked off an initiative trying to help companies hire summer jobs. >> my first job was cleaning gum and stuff from the electronic mats from front of sliding doors. my grandmother started crying. don't be embarrassed to work hard, even if it makes your grandmother cry. i'm sorry grandma. >> my first was delivering the philadelphia boulton.
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you think security would be a top priority, sfligt there is a ban on concealed firearms for inside the convention center. the mayor asked rick scott for the pan to include the event zone. some of the pans include water pistols, slingshots, brass knuckles, clubs, and guns. why would anyone bring a gun to a national convention, i just don't get it. didn't we just have a case where a guy had a gun and we would be better if he didn't, especially trayvon martin? still ahead, who is to blame for the dysfunctional congress?
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according to two nonpartisan scholars, it's the republicans. that's tomorrow we will be joined by clint hill, what a great man he was, assigned to first lady jackie kennedy on that terrible day in november in 1963.
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welcome back to "hardball," a dramatic moment today for chen guangcheng. he was reached on the phone and said he wants to meet with secretary clinton. let's listen to some of what just happened at that hearing late today. >> translator: i want to meet with secretary clinton.
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i hope i can get more help from her. i also want to thank her face to face. i fear for my other family member's lives. >> he is a blind activist that was at the american embassy. all of this has happened to fast, u.s. congressman christopher henderson chaired the hearing and is with us now. i know you have been involved in human rights in china for a long time now. how do you think this is working out right now and how it should be working out. >> so far it's a failure, and i hope there can still be a happy ending. when he was released to the chinese under an agreement, it was not written down with guarantees of his safety. those that know china know there's no safe place in china.
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the talk should have been about getting him to the united states. not just himself, but his wife who was beaten severely overand over again, and all of those that helped him. and the chinese human right's activist that took him in her car to beijing. he is under house arrest or custody right now. there a lot of people we have concern for. unfortunately with the timeline of this summit, he was literally pushed out the door with some very vague, and i would say ineffective assurances, and now he realizes it and wants to come to the united states with his wife and friends. >> congressman, you're a politician and you have studied these situations for a long time. why would the chinese allow us to score an international propaganda victory of this sort, where we take one of their people, one of their citizens
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and the families who say back on a plane with our secretary of state, take them out of the country in the face of this diplomacy, to walk out with some people saying we're saving them from their own government, why would the chinese government ever let us do that? would they ever let us do that? >> of course they will, chen guangcheng is an example. >> why would they let do that? >> they want to get rid of someone that's been a problem for them. we got solve yet jews and christians out of the soviet union. i worked on all of those issues, and many other people out of china when we're firm, when we say this the highest priority to the united states and they come here. he is at great risk, and i mean great risk to his life and freedom. we can't even visit with him. our embassy people can't get
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back into the door. they were asked to leave and left -- >> you're just establishing the in facts i'm trying to work from. if they have that firm determination not to let them move around, why would they let him move a united states military plane to go back to the united states. >> because it all comes down to whether or not we're willing to use enough political capital to say that human rights are the priority, not just -- >> what is our leverage on the people's republic of china to get this guy out of the country? >> it continues to be the diplomatic issue of them holding this man. we didn't make the to priority for asylum that it should have been. >> what is our leverage, what is our power on this situation. we all know we want him out, we would like to give him his freedom, and all of the chinese people to have freedom. what is our leverage when we're in a country that's a host country, we're surrounded by the red army, what leverage do we
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have? >> we have diplomatic leverage. >> what is that? >> all of the high level people from china, i have introduced a big that will hold the people in china responsible that do the forced abortions. >> how do we tell the chinese to stop having forced abortions. >> let me finish, chen guangcheng, the reason he has been treated so harshly, is he exposed that forced abortion is common place in china. i offered a bill in 2004. i have introduced legislation identical to that -- >> how does that get this man out of china? >> we deny them visas wg holding them to account --
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>> getting into a diplomatic war with a country that is our banker right now. >> we're their market, without the united states, where will they sell all of those finished goods. that's a given. >> so you believe, let me get bottom line -- you believe we can use our economic leverage with the chinese to get to produce more human rights in china? you believe that's doable? without a doubt? >> okay. >> bill clinton in may 26, 1994 severed the relationship between the favorite status and nation rights. that day things went into a tail spin. >> so it's bill clinton's fault. >> it's for holding visas of those that commit atrocities. i agree with you on your position to forced abortions.
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thank you, you're not one of them, thank you for coming on. we're now joined by a person very involved in chinese policy, jane harman, a director here in washington. she was, of course, for years a united states congresswoman from california, and is well schooled in this high pressure how do we balance our concern with getting our relationship with china on a better footing, and this very human situation of chen guangcheng. >> i was with chris smith in beijing when hillary clinton said human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights. i respect his passion and i agree with him about forced abortions, and i think this man is -- >> it's the one child law. they have a policy if you have one kid other than you have to have abortions.
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>> he is a great human right's activist, we all agree on that. so how do we balance -- >> is it reasonable to demand -- >> a couple things were left off -- i don't think it's do able, i don't know what we're doing. i like the fact that we're negotiating in private. i don't think this needs to be tried on o tv or in a one party house hearing. i don't think that will lead to a good result. >> i don't know what i want to do with this guy, but there's a couple facts left out. he spent six days in our embassy and did not ask for asylum. he wanted to be reunited with his family outside of his province, and he was reunited with his family in this hospital. he has free access to media, he is talking to everybody outside of china, so the chinese are using to moment to convey some interesting views.
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>> how do you read that? >> i read it -- i think there are agendas on both side that are mixed agendas. in china there is the old china and the new china. this is playing out in another case. i think once this generation takes power, nigh that will have to open up to some extent. >> who is calling the shots every there right now? >> i think the negotiator for the six days was harold coe. he is the a-team. >> i think they thought they had a good deal in chen's interests. >> we don't know what he was told. >> but consider this, on this side, in a presidential year, i
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thought it would shock you by making that point, so people are piling on and that's not very helpful, the passion is good, the reck rit is over the top, and the goal should be safety for chen and his family, and human rights concerns inside and outside of china. i don't think any of these agendas will achieve those. >> sim bollism overrides facts on the ground. there are tremendous e motions. >> and one more thing, our agenda with china has to be competition and cooperation with talk with hillary clinton and geithner, and it's being blown up. >> we went to war with china in the early 50s, we don't want to do it again. who is to blame for the dysfunction nal congress? two nonpartisan scholars say it is one party, the republicans. we'll talk about that with barney frank who is leaving and has thoughts on the subject. this is "hardball." ] to get a professional cleansing system you could spend as much as $200.
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we're back, blame the
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republicans, that's the conclusion congressional scholars thomas man made after studying it for four decades. who bet ere to talk about this than congressman barney frank. many people respect you and you have been there long enough to see changes made, to you accept this is true? >> oh, absolutely.
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this is not a 50/50 deal. democrats have got more tougher in response, but in an ironic way, chris, this is the year of newt gingrich's greatest failure. the gingrich presidential campaign ended. but it was also in an interesting way his great triumph. because newt gingrich came to congress in '78 and was angered shortly thereafter when tip o'neill and ronald reagan talked about that cooperation. he did not like bob michaels, a midwestern conservative in the bob dole mold, who was the republican leader. newt gingrich said, you know what? we republicans will never take power, as long as this is seen as a debate between decent people who disagree on economics and who disagree on the environmental, and who disagree on health care policy. he said, let's be very clear. and he put out, you know, things saying this. he put out work sheets and instruction manuals. the democrats are corrupt, they are treasonous, et cetera. and he worked that and worked that.
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and what we're now seeing is the ultimate triumph of that. you have -- look, american politics has always had two factions. one that wanted somewhat more government, one that wanted somewhat less government. he understood the legitimacy of the other. there were no democrats that don't believe in a free enterprise system as a generator of wealth and goods and services. and most republicans used to say, yes, and we need a government that sets the rules and works together. that's now out of whack. you have a republican party full of people who don't believe there should be any government at all. you have grover norquist, this the guy who's got them all cowering, who said, i want to put government in the bathtub and pull the drain and shrink it. you have no understanding of the importance of the role of government, plus you have a degree of vitriol that, basically what they're saying is, we don't accept their bona fides. now, we have fought back. i do think what you just quoted tom mann and norman orstein saying is correct. not since the civil war has there been a faction of the
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country that took over a political party so far from the center. and i think they're going to get repudiated. in 2010, people were mad at us, but now people are looking at what they're saying and i do not think the american people are ready for this. >> the idea of congress, and i don't think you have to be a student of the federalist period to figure it out, is that people like you, center left, sometimes left, come into congress and people from the right, center right, come to congress. and they meet. they get to know each other. that's why you don't mail it in. you get to know each other, you negotiate, you perhaps have a drink together. this is the way it's been since they wrote the declaration, they wrote the constitution. you get together. you get together! >> and it was that way up until fairly recently. and people say, oh, things are terrible. what's happened, frankly, is that the republicans today, this very extreme republican group is repudiating the bush administration. come 2008, people will remember, we have this terrible crisis, there was great bipartisan cooperation between henry paulson, ben bernanke, george
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bush's appointee, shelia bair, a dole aide who was george bush's appointee to run the federal deposit insurance commission, and myself and senator dodd, nancy pelosi, harry reid. we worked very closely together. what you now have an extreme right-wing group that's repudiating even that. you know what i find very interesting, by the way, and i see this, to my surprise. you have the businessmen, on wall street. we hurt their feelings, i understand that. the president, i, others said, you know what, your irresponsibility brought us a lot of these funds, and we have to put some limits on you. they are so angry that a lot of these wall street people that used to support obama, they were mixed, are now overwhelmingly republican. they're supporting people, by the way, who are opposed to doing things that georgepointees think we have to do. these are people telling the international monetary fund and the federal reserve, don't help europe deal with their crisis. but for them, that has a double advantage. if europe can't resolve its crisis, our economy will be
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damaged, and they would like that, because it would hurt obama's chances, but it's also ideological. so ornstein -- >> how do we fix it, barney? is there any hope for this cycle? >> yes. >> what do we do? >> after all, people said, oh, you're totally dysfunctional. but in 2009 and 2010, we passed good legislation. i'm very proud. the shareholders of city corp. just photoed down the pay package for the leaders of city corp. that's because we gave them the right to do that in the legislation that passed the reform bill. we have an independent consumer agency. we have made it easier for women who are being discriminated against sue. and we have, i think, a good health care plan. the problem is that in 2010, you had this recession, you had the anger over the collapse, and so 2010 was an aberration. but here's the test. if the republican party takes back the senate, holds the house, if mitt romney with his pandering to the right wing, throwing gay people over the side to lighten the load in the boat, so the right wing doesn't blow them over, if they win,
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then you will see a perpetuation of this. what i'm hoping will happen is the more reasonable -- i'm not talking about moderate republicans. i'm talking about mainstream conservatives. if the mainstream conservatives, the bob doles, they've clearly lost their party right now. the right wing has taken over. but if the republicans don't do well, and i don't want them to do well for a number of reasons, but i say this. if you're a mainstream conservative republican, you want the current crowd of extremists to lose, because only after they lose will the more reasonable people be able to take back their party. we've seen that in other cases, '64, '72, i think you'll see it now. >> okay. congressman barney frank, we'll have you back many times before you leave this year. i know you're leafing congress, we don't want you to leave this show. when we return, let me finish with mitt romney's pathetic attack against former president jimmy carter. you're watching "hardball." [ alarm buzzes ] [ female announcer ] wake up time, but not for your eyes. they're still so tired looking. with olay challenge that, with regenerist anti-aging eye roller. its hydrating formula with caffeine conditioning complex, perks up the look of eyes.
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let me finish tonight with this. mitt romney just took another shot at former president jimmy carter. mitt job picked this fight so let's start with guts. president carter had the guts to take two warring countries to camp david and came back with a peace treaty. carter had the guts when the soviet union invaded gafgs afghanistan to cut up grain shipments to them and to the invader, even if it hurt american farmers on the eve of the iowa caucuses. because he knew, this was a way to reach the soviet union where it hurts. president carter had the guts to give the panamanians the control of the panama control.
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things didn't turn out right for him politically, but that's politics and he took it hard. whatever you say about carter, he regularly, relentlessly did the things that were good for the country, pushing human rights around the world, pushing for energy skfrgs. the country club boys had a lot of fun with that one. pushing for an end to nuclear nonproliferation. he worried about the things we worry about today and took stands that needed to be taken, like making sure that nuclear weapons didn't get in the hands of the wrong people. reagan, remember, said that was none of our concern. speaking of which, it's not really, when you think about it, all that gutsy to call for tax cuts. it's not gutsy to say fill her up and go buy yourself a big car. it's not gutsy, mitt, to buckle to grover in orderquist and signs any piece of paper he puts in front of you on taxes so he won't take you off his list, or buckle to the neon cons or by bucking to the right and dumping any gay staffer that may show himself. try this one on for size, mitt, the first time you show a whit of t

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