tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 30, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
you have such quietness from the left? >> i'm disappointed with the whole befy of democratic politicians who are giving obama a pass. obama is better on the issues but this is a problem. >> thanks you for bringing it to light. i am dylan ratigan and "hardball" is up right now. >> lumped with trump. let's play "hardball.">> lumped. let's play "hardball.">> lumped. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews back in philadelphia. let me start with that honeymoon going on in las vegas. what does trump have on romney? fear? is he frayed what an unleashed trump might say about him? is he afraid of the crap he is slinging and is he afraid he
might sling it at him? there is a growing group of republicans showing that romney shows independence from trump and leave trump to sit in his playpen blowing noise makers alone. joan is here to tell us what it could mean. is donald on the short list of the bp? is there something to his birther stuff? will he be if his kitchen cabinet if he is elected? what? let's bring in joan walsh. first of all, fellas, watch this thing. republican strategist mark mckenyon told the new york times today quote and he said it so well, i think who romney stand with says a lot about what he will stand for. associating with trump sees to only reinforce the narrative on romney that team romney want to what team obama want it push which is that romney is an out of touch rich guy without any real core. which means he will associate with anyone if he thinks it will further his ambition.
that mark mckenyon. joan walsh, your thinking? is it along those lines? >> yes it is very much so, chris. he's been called a perfectly lubricated weather vein by our friend john huntman. his friend. but i think it goes further than that. i think it is very cowardly not to distance himself from donald trump. i think it is a sign he want it leave no wing nut behind. he doesn't feel that the base loves him enough, that he can just count on turning them out in november. they've been a little bit tepid. so he want it rely on the trump magic and trump name. and i think, you know, after yesterday, i will never forget the sight of mitt romney decomplaining next to the big trump sign behind him. like a wholly owned sub sudden areary. so it is cowardly but also brings this this birther nonsense, no matter what they try it say, he validate trump's birther nonsense and keeps it part of the conversation. trump is loving every minute of it. and romney needs it stand up to
him. >> of course he is. he's the piper. he's the piper. david corn, joan has a point here. >> yes. >> the point that this guy want to be the hard right on every issue. with grover norquist on tax policy, with the liberty university crowd in virginia on christian issues. and on birtheris heiism he want be with trump. >> i feel like bull murray. the point i've made on this show and elsewhere is that romney again and again sort of flirt with a pale version of bijerrism in which he says barack obama doesn't really understand america. doesn't think america is eye neek. doesn't think it's special. which is his way of saying obama is not really a true american. he is not one of us. so you know, he plays footsie with that notion that birtherism
is supposed to advance. that obama is not truly american. and i can't think of a better contrast. yesterday the president of the out, who is he hanging out with? john glenn. tony morrison. john door, great civil right hero. pat summit, basketball coach. and what was mitt romney doing? hanging out trump. with that big trump airplane, you also expect romney to put trump in the white house. >> i mean it, the fact that trump has sort of the godfather of birtherism now. but he has now romney as one of his accolades out there saying, basically saying that president obama is basically an anger baby. somebody technically born under the 14th amendment so deserves citizenship but really isn't one of us. here is chuck todd asking andrea
saul today about trump overshadowing. romney wrapped up the nomination yesterday by winning in texas. let's watch. >> any regrets by the campaign of spending the day that you clenched the nomination with donald trump? >> well, donald trump is a supporter. you know, governor romney made it clear that they disagree on some issuees. governor romney said that he believes the president was born in the united states. he said it repeatedly. he said that he thinks the issue is closed. >> well, you know, then let's look at romney on monday what he said. i think what he said himself is far more informative. let's see what he said on monday about this week about the 50.1% which is the name of the game for him. >> i don't agree with all of the people who support me. my guess is they don't all agree with everything i believe in. but i need to get 50.1% or more, and i'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.
>> here is his other spokesperson, donald trump tweeting today. what a perfect method of communication for him. i want to see barack obama's college records know to see how he listed his place of birth in the application. in fact yesterday trump was interviewed by just about every cable network out there with a working telephone. let's listen to him go at it again. >> a lot of people are questioning his birth certificate. they are questioning the authenticity of his birth certificate. there are many people that don't agree with that birth certificate. they don't thinkity's authentic, wolf. >> when you say many people who don't agree. >> many people. >> like who? give me a name of somebody in a position of authority in hawaii who says -- give me name. >> there are many people -- i don't give names. there is a lot of questions as to the authenticity of the birth certificate. you can believe it or you don't have to believe it. but certainly there are many, many questions. i think it's a great issue for mitt romney. >> well you know, i don't know
what to say there. joan, this is literal mcarjyism, i don't give names, i just say there are a lot of names out there. >> right. >> the idea that some guy in the street is yelling across the street at him on fifth avenue, stay at it donald, because some nut case is yelling at him. that's enough authority. here is donald trump citing his authority. characters yelling across the street. >> some lunatic. >> who don't know anything about anything. except a derivative of the new york post. or worse. if that's possible. >> this is what mitt romney is bringing into the political mainstream, chris. there's no -- there's no way he gets off without having to defend it. he can say he's distancie tansig h sex /* -- distancing himself. honestly i thought the trumpism was dying away after the
president's humiliated him at the white house correspondent dinner and also released his birth certificate but mitt romney went up to new york to chris the ring a few months ago thinking, i need that guy. i need the birthers. i need the crazies because the base doesn't love me. so he already brought him back in and now by standing with him -- >> the thing is -- >> i think have you a point here, guys. david, i think what is going on here is this is nuts. a few months ago as you pointed out, joan, he wasn't in sneaking in the back, making sure there were no pictures with the two of them together. this time they are acting like a honeymoon couple. embracing each other. photo ops. >> vegas. >> he want to be as far right as can you get in the republican party on the right. >> and of course he let trump through a birthday party fund-raiser for his wife a few weeks ago. >> right. >> the big issue here, take a
step back. can any of us show any moment in time when mitt romney showed any guts. did anything that showed a spine. what happened with ted nugent? nothing. what happened when that woman said that barack obama should be put on trial for treason? nothing again. and his whole career, was there a point when he said up and did something difficult, distanced hill self from an ally, took a stand that might not be possible -- >> maybe his motive is not to be courageous. maybe he doesn't want to be like john mccain was last time around when the issue of ethnicity came up and playing the reverend wright number. maybe he want to be a seen as a guy who does go down with the right as far as he can go. maybe he want us to be doing what we are doing, saying he is so far right he is hanging out with birthers. maybe that's makes him beloved by the birthers. >> he knows that name of the game for the next five months is convincing the independentes wh he ailated by making love to conservatives o or trying to
>> he thinks he is having a profile encouraged by standing up to critics from the left. john har wood said this to rachel last night. i'm not going to bow to msnbc and distance himself to trump. >> i think he likes it over there. >> he must. >> his father, we wasn't all through this this week and last week. his father was beaten because he was too moderate. >> his father is gutsy. his father walked out of the gop convention in '46 to protest barry gold water's decision in civil right. yes we have seen nothing like that coming from mitt romney. sew may have inherited the hair, but not the spine. >> i tell you, just like w. he tried to balance the budget. he didn't balance the right
wing. the son game the biggest grover norquist type in the world. the son wins one lesson, how not do win. they don't learn the values of the father. they learn the father lost. so i don't want to learn my old man's values. i want it wto win. i want to beat daddy. anyway, thank you david corn. thank you, joan walsh. now that he clenched it. we are trying to marre narrow i down. does this guy have any interest in policy besides a hawk. he doesn't actually have a position of his own, he is just another mouth piece. what the democrats have to do with the voter ids. what will they do to make sure the people in the row houseses get to vote in time.
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welcome back to "hardball." yesterday we brought you the two three things the obama campaign should worry about between now and november. today is romney's turn. here to break down what the romney team should be worried about is michael smir connish and sam stein. gentlemen, let's look at this. an economic boomlet is at the top of what romney should be worried about. michael? >> the romney campaign is predicated on the economy. i can't see him thus far or from now through november getting track traction on any issue. there is a turn about thus far in the cycle where foreign policy, normally the strong suit of the rs, i think it is a distinct advantage for the ds. so mitt romney needs to fear an economy getting better. >> same question to you sam. a boomlet of any kind in the third quarter is probably the worst possible news for him.
>> i agree. you are starting to see them prepare for such a thing to happen. on the trail yesterday, romney said what he said before, which is the economy is recovering slowly despite what the president did. almost like an insurance po policy for the romney campaign to say that obama campaign didn't effect the economy. if jobs numbers improve, if the economy gets better, i think romney is out after premise for candidacy and that's really the worst thing that could happen for him. >> let's talk about something else that developed here. i think your thinking here, sam, let me ask you about this one. a bad romney story out there. dug up by good enterprise reporting. you argue that basically romney's background haven't been vetted like obama's has. if something is going to pop, it'll probably pop for romney but we don't know if there is anything there yet, right? >> correct. this is just part of the process of general election campaigning. obama's been through it and romney hasn't.
i know there's a they're are that i obama haven't been vetted. but if you think back to 2008, so many stories about his childhood, time at harvard, time in the senate. anything new will come out from his administration records. but with romney the narrative is defined to a run for governor. and his failed presidential bid in 2008. the stories that we see so far involve his time at prep school about his mormon faith. there will be more of that simply by the fact that journalist in d.c. haven't had the chance it pour over records and will all be running and competing with one another for the next big romney story. his campaign has to be cognizant of the fact that they are going to be under more scrutiny i think from now until november than the president will be. >> let's take a look at this possibility of another big foreign policy success story. michael smerconish, you've been very concerned from day one after 9 slo/11, that we have to catch the bad guys, what they
did from 9/11, and stay off the distractions. here, this could concern romney because it could show the president o to be one tough customer in protecting the country. give us the scenario. >> i think the scenario is that i'm alwar zawahari. i know you saw the front page new york times story. it was an amazing story about the kill list that president keeps. so many of these names i think begin to run together for the american people. almost like who is the number two in the plo. and interchanging director toate bp but the one guy who is still out there that i think would really resonate with the american people, bin laden's number two, now presumed number one of al qaeda, and if we should get him between now and november, i think that would be significant. >> let me good sam in on that whole question. i don't know how much firepower literally there is for obama.
you can't hit him on this because he is so strong. is it good firepower if he catches another bad guy through this aggressive campaign of finding people and killing them? >> sure. i would hate to disagree with the smiek with the great michae smerconish, but i do. this was fairly marginal, all things considered. you look at polling numbers about what motivates going into the election. this is so far down below the list, under jobs, people are tuned out to the whole thing. if there was a terrorist attack, a successful one, that would be problematic. so it is good armor. all the president has to do is point to bin laden but in terms after proactive case to be re-ele re-elected, i'm not sure what kind of leges it has. >> michael, let me ask you to
finish up this question. an economic boom late summer could blow romney out of the saddle. anything about his personal life or political life could be bad because he is such an open book right now -- or closed book. we know nothing about his background like we do about obama. why does he get credit at ballot box and polling for getting the guy that w. never seemed to be interested in getting and he got him and nailed him. >> i think there is a fairly effective job done by the president's opponents who want to say that predicate was put in place by the bush administration. to a certain extent that's true. but they overlook as far as back 2007 then senator barack obama was saying, look, i'll go even into pakistan if that's what is going to take. he was rid uld by both clinton, mccain, even his now vice president biden who also wanted to portray him as being naive. i think he is deserving of a
great deal of credit. look, at a minimum, he has neutralized what is normally a trump car. no pun intend et, for the dop. they can't say that about this president. >> you said it right up front today, michael. that's the great irony is democrats, what we used to call in old days, the mommy party, is pretty good at of the fist could cuffs. republicans were known for through out the cold war. thank you michael smerconish, in philadelphia, in another location. i'm in one, you're in the other. and sam, thanks for your great thinking coming in here. a phone app going viral. but for another reason. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ barking ] i'm your dog,
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you as first lady you have an aproks rating of like 85, 90%. through the roof. your approval rating is like your ice cream. your husband's blue rate is like -- >> edge vabls. >> it's vegetables. >> and that's it. we're in the side show. that was the first lady last night on the side show. mitt romney's campaign put out a new iphone app that lets users upload their own personal photo with a, i'm with mitt banner. it went viral but not for the reason romney people were hoping for. here is an example from a tumbler a account. probably not the campaign's favorite photo. romney surrounded by money. but is america a bit off? they spelled the name of our country wrong. and the etch-a-sketch version is out too now. can you see it. remember christine o'donnell's shining moment? >> i'm not a witch. i'm nothing you've heard. i'm you.
>> "time" magazine's michael shearer point out another candidate going with the, i'm not a, fill in the blank, his campaign does the same thing. republican republican running for congress in colorado. let's watch. >> hi, joe coors running for congress. i know what you're thinking. but i'm not that. i'm a manufacturer. i help build the largest technical ceramics company in the world. it's time to washington washington's rec list borrowing and spending my name is joe coors and i am not a beer. >> what does the co-founder to the tea party caucus for congress and birther to boot want it add a new office of government in washington. what what issue?
what issue could be so crucial? he whipped out his idea earlier this month when an attendee started with the birther talk own now that video hit of that conversation hit the internet. >> we i'm sorry, but i would like to establish a three-person office in washington, d.c. okay? knowing it will grow to five. but there is no reason why we should have this kind of questions. someone would have to walk into that office and prove that they meet the minimum qualifications to be president of the united states. >> whaen would be the job requirements for these three new public officials on that board? would they need to have another bureau there to certify them?
this is never dw going to end. we're going to get some answers from the great u.s. congressman john lewis. he is coming up next even you're watching "hardball," a place for politics. recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this.
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i'm hampton pearson with your cnbc market wrap. worries about bond yeemds in italy and spain sinks stocks. s&p falls 19. the nasdaq loses 33. the selling continues on facebook shares. the stock sheds another 2% today. to finish about $28 a share. oil prices slumping about $3 to close to below 88 a barrel and pending home sales fell 5.5% in april to four-month low. economist expected a slight
gain. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." earlier today attorney general eric holder while addressing state voter id lays. let's watch the attorney general. >> i would argue that of all the freedoms that we enjoy today, none is more important or more sacred, than the right to vote. now our efforts on the generations who have taken extraordinary risks, and willingly confronted hatred, bias and ignorance as well as billy clubs, and fire hoses, bullet and bombs, to ensure that their children and that all citizens would have the chance it participate in the work of
their government. without those people, there would be no eric holder. there would be no barack obama. and we must never forget that. >> one of the heros that attorney general is my nech guest, an icon of the civil rights movement. author of a bright new book "across that bridge. life lessons and and the for change." that is why it is very important to remain engaged especially when it is aggravating the vote is the post powerful nonviolent tool we have to make change in a democratic society but one vote will not make the all of the change that is necessary. change requires patient persistent action. what about the voting rights in '65 important today? >> chris, thank you so much for having me.
i truly believe, i really do, in my heart, in my gut, that the vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society. and we must use it. we must use it or we will lose it. it doesn't matter whether you are low income, middle income or billionaire, we all have one vote. and every single vote must be counted. so it is important that people go out, register, and vote like you never voted before. i think chris adds a deliberate systematic attempt to win or steal this election before it takes place. it is a voter id in an early voting, making it almost impossible for young people for students, for seniors, for minority, to participate for the disabled to participate. it's a sin. it is obscene.
to tell people that it is going to be hard, it's going to be tough, for you to cast a vote. that's not right. it's not fair and it's not just. >> mr. lewis. i hear every word you say and i'm worried, worried, worried about this. up here in pennsylvania, which just passed a law, signed by the republican governor, passed by republican legislature, that says the government issued photo id card. if you don't have one on election day this year, and you cast a vote, all you get is a provisional vote that doesn't become a real vote unless you are within six days show up with a government issued id card, photo id card. what are people who want to have everybody vote going to be able to do about these laws already put in the books? >> well, i'm very worried also, chris. that's why a gripe of my colleagues more than 130 members of the democratic house, have introduced a piece of legislation. it probably will not get passed
in this congress but we want people to use it, organize, mobilize and take back the majori majority. in some communities all across america, churches are providing people about w a voter id but a voter id is almost like a poll tax. it is the form after literacy test. saying to people, like in a state of texas, even a student id cannot qualify. but a gun id will qualify. that is obscene. >> what happens if this november we get up wednesday morning, congressman, and we realize that a state like pennsylvania has gone for romney, not because most people wanted romney over obama in pennsylvania, but that most people or a lot of people weren't allowed to vote because
they live in row houses, don't have an automobile. my grand parent were like that. and nafr mand african-americans live in row houses, take the subway and the question is, how do they get voter id cards with a picture on it? >> well i think that right now, not waiting until objector or november. but aclu, the nacp legal defense fund and different voters groups must go into court and get an injunction against the states, county, government for using this form to try to discourage people from participating. to be able to cast a vote should be very simple, like getting a glass of fresh water. >> i agree with you. same day registration would be fine with me. hey, thank pup once again, here is your book.
across the river -- across the bridge, your great history of civil rights and your involvement in it. it's an honor to have you on. congressman john lewis of georgia pz sni georgia. >> thaefr>> thank you very much. >> fill in the details as the congressman is done here. in theory or moral victory, how will people get to vote? given the laws like in georgia passed in 2007. pennsylvania law just passed this year that require these very ownrous requirements to get to just simply vote. >> it is interesting because it almost seems like when barack obama put his hand on the bible in 2008 or 2009, like the '60s evab rated. they will take tactics from the 60s and educate people from mass drives, going into churches, getting pastors and perishiners to talk about this in church and with each other. as you mentioned, going door to door knocking on row houses to
make sure everyone knows what the law is and that everyone is prepared to meet the law when the polled open in november. . >> i think it could be a surprisingly positive thing. of course, it is done for all the wrong reasons of course but if this energizes the political people in big cities, to actually go out there and go door to door and work with the voters and make sure they get to the motor vehicles ofs and get an id card, it could energy the joys people. maybe it is a bigger hurdle. it shouldn't be this complicated. but if they can pass this hurdle and dot work politically at the local level one might be able to reenergize politics, maybe. >> whenever i hear lewis, i only hear about the fact that hired el overcome thern was so much higher. the hurdle here is still in place. we shouldn't have to have a
hurdle in the first place. but since it's here, they will make sure everyone clears it and that can be energizing catalytic effect to get people to the poll answers how right it is to cast a ballot in a free and fair nation and have other people in this nation who died for that right have that right be sustained through overcoming what certainly is an adversity-filled campaign. >> do you get a sense there might be a real effort to drag down the minority vote? look at this effort first of all. urban areas that don't have cars. people that rely on public transportation like cleveland, philadelphia, pittsburgh, cleveland, cities like that. we have close state elections. minorities bunched together in cities. then ministers, after same sex wsh turning to church people, against the democrats. you do wonder about this, how this is working to get down the natural or expected i should say vote strong vote for the president. and in the black community.
>> and it is hard not to see some dots and seeing dots is hard now to connect them because have you not only the matter where a lot of these voting rights laws are enacting. a lot of the more tightened ones. stricter ones are happening in battle ground states. pennsylvania where you are. ohio, wisconsin has a voter id law that a people are challenging. and it looks like there's an effort to place the thumb on the scale. you couple that with a lot of what has been talked about with defunding unions, those kinds ever laws where people aren't getting the right to collective bargaining. unions do what? register people to vote. there's also a crack down on third party organizations, league of women voters, naacp, anyone doing active voter registration drives, has to overcome a second hurdle and make sure that their organization is set up strictly for social program. there are a lot of interesting things happening. hard not to see it when you take the big picture of you here.
>> so well said, thank you, joe. by the way, advice to people stuck with this kind of attack, it may be too late to change the law. if you don't louse it, you lose it. attacking president obama over syria now. macho man mitt romney, the warrior he is now, i guess, listening to the neocons with their tool. just like w. this is "hardball." [ male announcer ] if you think any battery will do, consider this... today training depends on technology.
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the wisconsin governor's recall election is just six days away now. we have new poll numbers to give you. let's check the "hardball" score barred. according to a new marquette law school poll out today, scott walker is opening up a seven point lead now. walker is up 52-45 over democratic challenger tom barrett, mayor of milwaukee. the poll asked wisconsin voters about the presidential race and president obama here with eight-point lead in the badger state over mitt romney. he is up, the president, 51-43. i guess people are voting incumbent out there. we'll be right back. i should be arrested for crimes against potted plant-kind. [ clang ] my house is where plants came to die. ♪
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we're back, amid escalating violence in syria where dozens of children were brutally killed. the out and other countries expelled sir ran diplomats in a move to pressure the syrian regime but at home mitt romney condemned the administration for leaning on diplomacy. in a statement yesterday romney said quote president obama's lack of leadership resulted in a policy of paralysis that watched assad slaughter 10,000 individuals. we use increase pressure on russia to cease selling arms to the syrian government and to end its obstruction at the united nations and we should work with the partners to arm the opposition to they can defend themselves. i want it start with major eaton thon matter. is this president -- not this president, this president wannabe, mitt romney, is he surround by the same people who
surround w., who used their intellectual superiority around the president in iraq. are they doing the sail thing to push the candidate doing the sao push this candidate to be hawkish at every moment on every front? >> good to be with you and it seem that's way. a lot of neo cons putting out paper that's this former governor may or may not be reading. we can't tell. ly tell you the military is be mused consistently by people with no military experience that wish to resort to military action as a primary activity. governor romney road the war out as a missionary in paris. he is not a guy with serious credentials for foreign policy. >> where does this need to always go to war, arm the rebels, challenge iran, say they will not have a nuclear web
because i say so. is this all a metaphor since he has no real experience ever carrying a gun or sense of military history in his family, nobody has been involved with rotc, where does he get the where with all to talk like he is a foreign policy hawk? >> it is a neo con reflection, it is a neo con approach -- it's a hammer and a nail. they refuse to per sue a d diplomatic approach which is what we need. >> let's me go to pj crowley. i'm just wondering what do we make of this guy -- he reminds me of somebody suddenly scripted to talk like a tough guy internationally. what's the genesis of this mitt
romney tough guy? >> referee: there is a difference between campaigning and governing. he is trying to create differences that do not exist. what he is outlining the obama administration has considered. the gulf states are -- also, be careful what you wish for. libya is a wash with arms, and now the new central government is having a tough time reigning in these arms militias that are arming the government. it may not be the best approach. >> here is susan rice talked about to be the next secretary of state, respond to call on
andrea mitchell. >> for those advocating the army position, they ought to consider the sequenconsequences of that approach. who are you arming? we know it's not unified. they don't have common command and control. and we know much less about the leadership and the intentions of the syrian opposition than we did of the libyan opposition at the time. i want to remind you that we did not arm the libyan opposition. >> this is a sophisticated response copping from the romney argument. here is john mccain on sunday, on fox. here is what he says, knocking the president has he has been doing lately. here is mccain. >> horrible things are happening in syria. this administration has a feckless force policy that abandons american lineup.
the only conclusion you can draw is this president want dos kick the can down the road on all of these issues until after the election. it's really an abdictation. >> what do you think of this back and forth with john mccain who sometimes seems like he is bitter about everything. >> senator mccain has not recovered from 2008. that colors everything he says and does. he is not pursuing complex nuanced approaches to foreign policy problems. his answer is air strikes, air strikes, air strikes. and he marshalled others to be along that line. it's unfortunate, and i'm excited to hear ambassador rice. >> there is nothing take like
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