tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 17, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
>> i think you have a slogan, i'm funny in person and even funnie rer funnier from 3,000 miles out. "hardball with chris matthews" kicks off in three or four seconds. >> jeremiah was a bullfrog. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington, bad men with dirty angry money. the mitt romney super pacs decided to get as dirty as possible, as soon as possible. tonight new york's front page shows the billionaire joe
rickets was looking to link mitt romney with joe wright. he said it was merely a suggestion, but that suggestion came with a campaign plan with photos. mitt romney says he repudiates this campaign and accuses president obama with it. plus mitt romney hearts bill clinton? romney said he has more in common with bill clinton than president obama does. really? clinton supports the health care law, supports financial reform and he champions tax rates that obama says will destroy the economy. the only thing clinton and romney has in common is romney has the job that clipt on wants. are catholic conservatives
trying to draw liberal comics of what they want. chuck todd's nbc political director and correspondent major gary covers the national journal. the "new york times" wrote a wealthy super pac backer. the reason is to show president obama really is a radical after all. our plan is to do exactly what john mccain would not let us do. show the world how barack obama's opinions of america and the world were formed. and why the influence of that misguided mentor and our president's formative years among left wing intellectuals has brought our country to its knees. chuck todd, front playtime on l
placement on left front side of the paper. >> the idea that this might come up as a potential ad. and it just shows you why a simple political strategy, this was a bad idea, and this wasn't good advice. the idea that somehow mitt romney or the republican message machine should go off on another tangent and not be talking about the issues of the day, not be talking about the economy. it's simply bad political strategy and it threw romney off all day today. i think clearly it's turned into bad business for mr. ricketts who owns the chicago cubs, clearly here to do business with the city of chicago, whose mayor is rob emmanuel, who pb one, it
seems like bad political jay ji, and it also took the opportunity to hit mr. obama's campaign. let's watch. >> i read the article on the aircraft. as i read the article, i want to make it very clear i repudiate that effort. i think it's the wrong course for a campaign s or and about a vision for america. i've been disappointed in the president's campaign to date which is focused on. quite clearly, a characteristic campaign and my campaign is going to be getting the economy going again and providing a better future for our kids.
>> what is this talk here? i read that newspaper on the aircraft. what's going on? the aircraft. there's no need to discuss this, it's just funny. go ahead. >> let's decode what mitt romney was saying. he said two things. this campaign should be about the future meaning don't talk about my past. what does the past mean? bain capital. . it also means my. let us take religion both off the let's hope it's on the future, because i'm afraid then your past will be allowed to withdraw. >> what are you worried about
romney now? what's left? he is running to be our president of the united states. can we talk about him? >> i understand, chris, but you understand also that every candidate tries to fence off that which they can. also, look, i was there when the jeremiah wright story broke. i was one of three people who interviewed then-candidate obama about this. kids were off with another, and th then. >>. all i'm saying is in romney's own way and trying to redirect that which is accessible and that which is not accessible and it completely obliterated news for romney today which is he
raised $4 million to run against president obama in the election campaign. >> it looks to me like, chuck, and you study this all the time. we've got a campaign coming. we're only in. the proceeds and so far the training program of which romney was very tough negative campaigning, basically dress in style bombing, erased him as an opponent, and yet he says, don't talk about me, don't engage in character assassination. any attack on my, and therefore i'm going to unleash the super. >> i would say basically you had the president as a candidate that decided to repud i can't
tell. i'm wonder if. to get equivalent treatment, he would also have to do with the treatment of and the distance epd to put between himself and reverend wright and the church himself and reverend wright and the things he said. i think mitt romney is setting himself up. i get the strong man. i think they said, hey, let's repudiate, but let's try to reemphasize that, hey, look, the oba obama. and he can sort of bully and opponents not to make it as part of the story he's trying to sell. >> let's take a look at what romney said on shawn hanady.
let's put his record the way he talked this year. here he is in february of this year talking about this thing. let's go look at the hannity performance in that theatre. >> i think again the president takes his philosophical leenanis in this regard not from those who are believers in various faiths, but instead from those who would like to see america more secular. i'm not sure which is worse, him listening to reverend wright or him saying that we must be a less christian nation. >> what do you make of that commentary there, major? there he is saying, i don't know what's worse, whether he listened to jeremiah wright who he doesn't want to bring up but he just did, or he's listening to these lefties who don't believe in god. then he has to go out there.
what's the deal? >> that was then, this is now. what was then? a primary context when romney is trying to communicate certain values, certain core beliefs or certain core attack lines to whom. american here's the other thing that i think is worth pointing out, chris, just for a second. the implicit premise of this tom ricketts' probably is the. that was his tribute to black history month, whacking at his minister for his religion, and
now he's declaring this, we don't attack each other's religions in may. why do you let him skip away from the classic he said? who knows what the number there was. why did he bring up reverend wright? . he brought the ad campaign because he saw this woman play this new guy is desperate to get the job. so why don't i do a 54-page proposal for the guy, get prior approval at a new york meeting, come back for further approval, it hits the "new york times," and wait a minute, oh, now the "new york times" find out about it, he says he's not going to do it. but he indicated before a couple times he would do it, and then we see a little note that says, with your preliminary approval
at the new york meeting and then they get caught. thaet my thought. your thought? major. >> it's all part of the public record, everything you said. everything can evaluate romney what he said in february, why he said it then and why he's repudiating it now. >> the concept for rep repudiation -- >> everything for the course of contacts not only invites scrutiny and deserves scrutiny. i'm not saying romney doesn't deserve scrutiny, it's all public record. if you don't like them now or you don't like them then, then you don't vote for him. >> i just want consistency and transparency. chuck, i'm sorry, i'm shorting you. do you think this is the kind of
campaign we're going to see this year. is it going to be this kind of dirt in the ditch, take it and is sudden the debates are going to happen and it's going to recenter the conversation one final time. there is one point about reverend wright that i think viewers here need to understand which is on keconservative medi outlets, reverend wright never has ghana way one away on an is. however you want to describe it, it is a regular conservative sledgehammer, if you will, on the president. and it gets brought up in passing. his name as very high i.d. i think it does not play well with swing voters, and i'm very surprised with the people
involved in this, that they actu actual. >> i have to go. major moore, next time you're on. thank you from the white house. coming up, we're going to ask the hard ball strategists. in february, now they got it on the 594 page ad. plus romney's charge that he's a victim of character assassination. that's interesting. [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials...
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school finds the rates between obama and romney at 46. it's that close. it's a state romney probably needs to carry to have a chance to win. 46-all. you can't beat that for a tight win. we'll be right back. we work with you to get to know the unique aspects of your business. we can recommend financial solutions that can work for you that have helped millions of business owners save time, reduce expenses, and maximize cash flow. as the number one small business lender for nine years running... we're with you when you need us. so you can be there for your customers. wells fargo. together we'll go far.
welcome back to "hardball." hard ball strategists are here to discuss the subjects brewing cht first, how do you talk about the strategy campaign involving reverend wright? second, mitt romney calls it character assassinations, obama attacks on his bain record. did he forget how personal he got with gingrich? he blew those guys away personally talking about their baggage. republican todd harris, thank you very much. it's great to have you on. what do you make of the "new york times" today, and then romney in his usually odd language coming back and saying,
yes, i read that on the aircraft. why does he talk like that? i just got off the plane. that's how people talk. he says, i just got off the aircraft. >> most people read on the airplane. it's also an aircraft. >> is it a flying saucer he got off of? >> i don't think he lost any votes calling it an aircraft. it's a plan that's not going anywhere. the guy putting up the money said he's not going to do that romney has disenvowed. it wasn't a good idea in the first place. >> at the end of the 2008 campaign when john mccain trailed barack obama, he went around attacking obama's connection with the reverend wright. let's watch the scene from "game change." >> john, these numbers do show it, we've got to make this about obama. we've got to get tough and we've got to get negative.
>> if we go this way, reverend wright is still the best play we have. >> any of you ever been accused of having a negro child out of wedlock because your adopted daughter was born in bangladesh? and then when she was 16 and googled her name i had to explain to her why president bush's henchmen called her a bastard when she was ten years old. >> south carolina, that was an ugly primary. but this isn't the same thing. reverend wright really did say those things. >> that may be true, but there is a dark side to american populism. some people win elections by tapping into it. i'm not one of those people. >> well, how are you going to spin this thing, todd, because, you know, your candidate, romney uses the references to wright. we just caught him doing it in
february. this ad campaign guy, fred da , drooi davis, trying to sell him on a 50,000-page proposal. >> number one, obama is most vulnerable on economic issues. something like this, look what's happening today. we are not talking about the president's failed promises to turn the economy around. >> so why were they giving preliminary approval at the new york meeting? why were they doing it? >> it doesn't mean they actually agree with the strategy. the second thing is most voters think this has already been prosecuted. this came up in 2008 and obama was elected. to bring it up now, it's going to feel like old news. >> how are obama's people going to exploit this? >> i don't think the president benefits from an extended conversation about reverend wright. i think most voters think not only has it been litigated, they
think it's racist. the people making the decision about this election wouldn't be persuaded by this, they would be offended by this. recent it was seriously considered is it was a bunch of rich fools sitting there thinking what can they do? >> in the proposed talks of jeremiah wright. >> i've been disappointed in the president's campaign to date which has been focused on character assassination. i just think we're wiser to talk about the issues of the day, what we do to get america working again and talk about our respe respective records, and so with that, i certainly hope that you get a chance to see our first ad. that will come up, i think, in a couple of days. it will be a positive ad about the things i would do if i were president. it's contrasting with the president's ad which came out again as a character assassination ad. >> this is the talking point.
>> he's absolutely right. the obama campaign attached this to the politico last year when he said our strategy against romney is to make people not like him. we're going to say he's weird because he's a mormon. >> who said they were going to call him weird? >> the obama campaign. there's a whole story about t. i think it's pretty incredible. >> can we go back to mitt romney's record? a record of great wealth and he created jobs. >> if you want to talk about job elimination, taking away benefits, taking away pensions. he had the fourth worst job
creation record in the country. >> once you're president of the united states, the most important job in the world, he doesn't want to talk about his entire business career, he shouldn't talk about his family, what's left? >> he can talk about his business. >> but it's assassination. >> only to sell it his way. >> we have the wright issue from the obama campaign. today mitt romney had the opportunity to distance himself from his previous. this was a moment that required moral leadership and wubs once again he didn't rise to the occasion. throughout the campaign, he has refused to stand up to some of the most extreme voices in the republican party. what can the american people expect of him as president.
>>. >> this is a political issue, but don't be, oh. >> your guy won't talk about -- >> is the left going to stop talking about romney being a foreman? >> i don't think they ever talked about it. >> will they rant about mormonism? >> you're a romney fan. the orioless. he's not going to go near this issue fort rest of the campaign the. it doesn't mean these crazy, rich foolz aren't, but it will backfire. >> will you use reverend wright?
>> i don't think he did, either. thank you for your advice. up next, the late night come ix has some advice for mitt romney, which i'm sure will be positive. [ lauer ] this is our team. and unlike other countries, it's built by your donations, not government funding. and now, to support our athletes, you can donate a stitch in america's flag for the 2012 olympic games in london. help raise our flag, add your stitch at teamusa.org. but not how we get there. because in this business, there are no straight lines. only the twists and turns of an unpredictable industry. so the eighty-thousand employees at delta... must anticipate the unexpected.
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nothing. >> the girls have their shirts on and the girls have tops, i guess you'd call them. >> i'm allowed to say what i'm not allowed to say, that's very important to me. >> i'm over 13 now. >> here's david letterman with what happened when george bush endorsed romney as the elevator doors were closing. >> we have a simulation, we don't have actual footage, so we put together a simulation of the elevator.. bush must have here it is. i hope you enjoy it. >> i strongly stand with mitt romney -- >> that was his tie going up the elevator. anyway, all of a sudden you see president obama a voids mentioning mitt romney when he names the policies, quote, some
people running for certain offices should not be named. vice president biden was on a campaign in ohio and he wasn't so coy. >> here's the crooks of governor romney's argument. romney's partners, key men, investors, and eight years later the company was bankrupt. romney's investors walked away with $12 million. the president did not take governor romney's advice. governor romney seems to want it both ways. romney. romney. romney. he said, quote, i'll take a lot of credit for the fact that the industry's come back. whoa. by the way, i'll take a lot of credit for man having landed on the moon, because although i was in school, i rooted for it. >> see what i mean?
19 direct shots in today's speech alone. finally, why are republicans bigging big ing -- digging up four-year-old attack lines on president obama? here's the latest. this is u.s. congressman from colorado mike coffman at a fundraiser last week. >> i don't know whether barack obama was born in the united states of america. i don't know that. but i do know this, that in his heart, he's not an american. he's just not an american. >> coffman found himself backpedalling that last night in a quote when he said, i have confidence in president obama's citizenship and legitimacy in the united states, however, i don't believe the president shares my belief in american exceptionalism. his policies reflect a philosophy that america is but
i'm jackie deangelis with your cnbc market wrap. the dow plummeting 156 points, the s&p 20, and the nasdaq going down 60 points today. looking ahead to the facebook debut. apple fell nearly 3% today. and jp morgan slipping another 4%. the banking committee wants ceo jamie dimon to testify as early as next month. that's all on cnbc worldwide.
now back over to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." mitt romney has been testing out a new strategy aimed at driving a wedge between president obama and senseless republicans and democrats who supported bill clinton. political analyst in the huffington post media group and the host of the now highly successful program that comes on earlier than this. here's mitt romney. you're laughing but it's all true. here's mitt romney stirring the pot in des moines this tuesday, two days ago. let's watch. >> president clinton was signalling to his own party that democrats should no longer try to govern by proposing a new program for every problem. president obama tucked away the
clinton doctrine in his large drawer of discarded ideas along with transparency and bipartisanship. [ applause ] >> it's enough to make you wonder if maybe it was a personal beef with the clintons but probably that -- it runs much deeper than that. >> you know, who writes this? he's reading off a teleprompter, howard, and he's reading crap. here's a guy who said this president of the united states boldly came out for health care reform in the face of the worst economic danger in the great depression, did all this stuff, and he's saying he did all that out of a personal beef or tiff with bill clinton. how can you say something -- is it just meant to be overstatement or understatement or what? >> if he were speaking to a democratic audience there where he was seriously trying to get people who adored bill clinton, i might take it a little more seriously as a political tactic,
but even then i wouldn't. it doesn't mean anything. >> does it have any meaning at all? >> no. first of all, i would let the sleeping big dog lie here. don't give bill clinton -- >> they hate clinton. >> i know, but don't give bill clinton an excuse to be righteously in dig anatomy in public and campaign fat the sam time. we take seriodon't take seriouse of the other party. we just don't. he thought he was trying to be clever and stir mischief among the democrats. it won't work and nobody was listening. >> what do you make of that? it was obviously aimed at stirring trouble, but what's it about? >> it's not surprising. actually, hal stein in the huffington post had a great analysis of this. mccain tried to do this to some
degree. barack obama remind people of the halcion days. mitt romney is clearly trying to paint president obama as an extremist which is not going to work. >> i'm sorry! they impeached him! how can anybody forget that? two presidents in history were impeached him. how can they go on? does he have any history in that head of his or just talking points? i interrupted you. but i did interrupt you with something important. he was at peace with republicans. >> he was. but institutional memory is a thing of the past. if this was mitt romney speaking in 1994, perhaps he would have more in common with bill clinton and he could sort of align himself better with him. mitt romney these days, we call
him that. governor romney had more in common than candidate romney. >> no democrat is going to take mitt romney's praise of bill clinton seriously. and if he somehow thought he was going to lure democratic votes, it's a waste of his time. >> thank god we have videotape. romney's new line of attack might have you thinking he was once a clinton fan if you don't pay attention. here he is in a debate this january trying to explain why he didn't vote in the 1993 republican presidential primary in massachusetts and sticking it to bill clinton in the process. here he is explaining who he is in january. let's watch. >> in my state of massachusetts, you could register as an independent and go vote in whichever primary happens to be interesting.
any chance i got to vote against bill clinton or ted kennedy, i took. >> there we have it, alex wagner. we like to report here we do have a videotape machine here, we can show what he says. i love bill clinton. here we have trashing him in january. thank god for tape. it's not a good friend of this guy, though. >> chris, are we surprised? mitt romney -- he has slipped up on every major issue. it is very hard to understand what mitt romney is all about. the other thing, and howard mentioned this, don't wake the sleeping giant. bill clinton is still alive. he will disprove whatever romney is saying about him, and the clintons, if we know anything about them, they've got institutional memory. they remember who their enemies are, they remember what was said about them years ago, months ago, weeks ago. bill clinton is around and he will be out there on the campaign trail not for mitt romney but for barack obama. >> well, for all romney's talk, he's no true believer in president clint ont's policies.
clinton raised taxes on the wealthy, up to 37%. mitt romney wants to lower taxes on the wealthy further. clinton supports obama's health care reform. romney has vowed to repeal it. and while clinton backs the dodd/frank reform, mitt romney opposes it. howard, bill clinton wants this guy to win, i believe, because somewhere in the back of his head, he would like his wife to be president, hillary clinton, and i don't think what she thinks. if this president gets beaten, it's going to be hard to be the incumbent. >> a couple things. first of all, the clinton version of health care was more government oriented, actually, than the obama one. >> so was nixon. >> right, so romney makes no sense on that level. i think bill clinton wants to be the guy, short of hillary being
elected, bill clinton wants to be the guy who is called upon in a great statesmanship to bring in obama. >> he's a st. bernard. thank you, howard. good luck with your show. you're doing great. . that's liberty. you can't talk. this is "hardball." the place for politics. to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. [ male announcer ] ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health.
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as citizens of a vibrant democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? how does each of us remain firm in our principles and fight for what we consider rights? with us, as father john said, demonizing those are just as strong convictions on the other side. and of course nothing is more powerful than the issues of abortion. >> he gave the address when he addressed notre dame. but because he said he supports the woman's right co chooto cho abortion, he was talking to catholi catholics.
kathleen sebelius is at the invitation of the students, they call her work on the affordable care act the most direct challenge the criticism, jack dejoyis supports her. he is with me now, he is a senior fellow at brookings institution and a ten year profession at georgetown. >> the inviation came from the student's idea. we have a committee that makes the decision, and she is perfectly typical. >> you had paul ryan the few weeks ago. >> we had a lecture named for someone that died in 9/11. i was one of the people who
signed the letter disagrees with congressman ryan. >> you didn't want him to speak? >> our first letters were welcome to georgetown. i think what you're seeing here is an effort to keep only, if you will, liberal catholics off -- >> the issue at hand is not so much her general position which is pro-choice, and i understand that long debate, the way they put it up is they don't her to speak because she supports contraceptive services as part of health care. >> and what they said is that georgetown was slapping the bishops in the face. we were critical of hhs before the compromise, and then we were for the compromise. so yeah. so they have a disagreement with her on this.
but they don't apply this rule, saying when someone disagrees on the death penalty, they say we should not have invited paul ryan. >> does the catholic church view the iraq war as a just war? did it meet the standard? >> the church and the vatican were very critical of the iraq war. if it's a catholic university, a university should be a place where a people of a variety of views, including catholics, get to present their positions. i invite people who disagree with me to my classes in georgetown a lot >> is it inquiry or -- >> i think it's spreading the fate. i like to -- one man regularly
invited atheists in to discuss questions about god. it is more fund fennal to catholicism. he said the purpose was always the same, to help people think. >> the funny thing is, and when i was growing up, one of the things we really valued was the great church thinkers of history, could have great arguments in the middle of the night, and they would argue all night. >> john murray, who was the architect of the reforms in the vatican too, some of them, the vatican wanted to silence him in 1 1954, and he became a hero of the church. >> thank you, when we finish, let me if with what we should do to reduce abortions in this country.
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this year? will it reduce by one? what would reduce the number of abortions in this free country of ours? i would say it's reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. stop protesting government officials and start talking to the people involved in having these millions of unwanted pregnancies. get word to them that if they're going to have sex, and that's a decision they ought to accept for responsibility for. please use birth control. just stop having unwanted pregnancies. it's how we do things in a fru society that values life. i say this as someone that accepts the moral teaching of my church, but also for the practical need of action. and now a work about secretary sebelius. she has done more to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies
than anyone in our country. she has made birth control free and will deuce more unwanted pregnancies than anything i can imagine. getting people to stop having sex is another way. her way will have a more dramatic result. i know what the protesters believe, they believe they can stop it by protest, rallies, stopping people from speaking at graduation ceremonies. common sense tells me it's not in a graduation ceremony, but on what we used to call dates. it's when a young man and woman are together. we can argue against them having sex, we can suggest that birth control is far better than an unwanted pregnancy. here in my role, i suggest those of us that think this country would be better off with radically fewer abortions begin doing something about it. kathleen deserves credit. it could certainly be argued for her doing her