tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 3, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
now, a bit more wondrous. for msnbc, i'm chris matthews. thank you for watching.msnbc, romney fails to bounce. democrats celebrate. let's play "hardball." what a crowd. i'm chris matthews in charlotte. site of the democratic national convention. let me start with something so experience to believe. the difference between democrats
and republicans when they get together. last week in tampa, it had the feel of a business convention. today in charlotte, it was like a labor day picnic. one reason for the upbeat mood, the ballyhoo spike in the polls. the bounce that mitt romney was to get from the convention didn't happen. could it be that the convention based on grim resolution lacked joy. was it the lack of goodwilled humanity that kept it from soaring? could it be that wood doesn't bounce? i was in my early teens when i noticed the difference between these parties. at the democrat's convention in 1960 someone always yelled could the delegates clear the aisles. no one did. i heard people at the republican convention to tell people to take their seats and they did. republicans are more disciplined
or how you view it, more docile. democrats are more exuberant and excited. and right now more optimistic. who thought the republican convention would be recorded as such a clinker? they act like they're at a fair here. republicans acted in tampa as determined, tight, excited when someone said something nasty about the other side. even the republican keynote speaker chris christie called the audience at the convention flat. first time i've ever heard that. anyway, it was jackie kennedy say it was just more fun being a democrat. and i can report from charlotte on this labor day that it's still true. chuck todd is nbc's political director in chief and howard the great fineman is an msnbc analyst. ladies and gentlemen in the crowd, here are the numbers. gallup tracking poll. out today shows the president
holding steady with a one-point lead over mitt romney. 47-46. a margin unchanged in the past days. the survey of national adults showed a mixed reaction to the republican convention. 40% that heard or read about it made them more likely to vote for romney versus 38% who made them less likely. not a resounding bounce. chuck todd? >> i feel like we're at college game day. this is great. we got to put on the hat. will it be the donkey or the elephant? we've got to put on the hat. >> what did you feel like at the republican convention, chuck todd? ha! >> we said before these conventions there wouldn't be bounces. so far no bounces. why is there no bounce? $500 million was spent before
the convention started. this is a locked in electorate. it was locked in before the conventions. it's locked in after. mitt romney was not trying to hold a convention to fire up the base. he was trying to hold a convention to make suburban women like him. that's not going to be -- >> did it work? >> we'll have to see. the only way to determine a bounce on romney is his likability number in two weeks. that's what i'm curious about. >> howard fineman? >> i'm glad to be here in charlotte. that convention was like dropping a bowling ball in a sandbox. >> well, why was it? >> i can say that. if they were trying to reach middle america with that convention, i don't think they did it. i think the speeches weren't that good. i think the tone was kind of mean. and i think the country's locked in.
it was more of a negative message than positive overall. >> let's look what the president had to say about it. he took time to make fun of the republican convention and republican policies. let's watch the president. >> it was a rerun. it could have been on nick at nite. we've seen it before. you might as well watched it on a black and white tv with rabbit ears. those ideas don't work. they didn't work then, they won't work now. >> let's talk about this better off, worse off thing. i think the republicans caught the democrats flat footed the past couple days and the media too doing our job. how come the democrats can't make a simple point. in 2009 we had a stock market that was going through the ground. it was 6,500. we were losing wealth disappearing. people were scared we were facing a great depression. we had unemployment rate spiking 10%. today we're back from the abyss. we didn't go over the cliff.
unemployment coming down to 8%. stock market up to 13,000. why aren't the democrats a little proud of what they've done? >> i have no idea why they were caught so flat footed sunday. well, they were better on how they answered the question. they answered the question the way you just answered it today. and the irony is when the president announced his re-election, remember he went to columbus, ohio, and richmond. he himself said don't -- it's not about -- the question isn't are you better off it's are you going to be better off. so they knew this was an issue. they knew they had to change the terms of the debate, and they were shocked when they were asked the question on sunday. they were flat footed. >> they messed up. then emergency meeting sunday night. why didn't they have the meeting beforehand? my explanation is to too great an extent, the obama campaign has focused on romney and not enough dealing with this inevitable question to focus on them. if you don't brag about whatever good it is you have done, nobody
else is going to do it for you. >> i was told if you don't toot your own horn, who's going to toot it? let's take a look. sunday on the circuit, democrats had troubles answering the question. let's watch them in action. >> i think everybody understands we were this close to a great depression. because of the leadership of the president we staved that off. >> are we where we need to be? no. >> can you honestly say people are better off today than they were four years ago. >> no, but that's not the question of this election. >> they have gotten their act together somewhat. here's vice president joe biden and stephanie cutter. >> are we better off today than we were four years ago when president obama was elected? >> absolutely. by any measure the country has moved forward over the last four years. >> folks, let me say something clear and say to the press. america is better off today than
they left us when they left. you want to know whether we're better off? i got a little bumper sticker for you. osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive! osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive! >> great. chuck, let's talk about this. you know when you have a world series in baseball and you win the games -- you win some games away. then you're going home. it does seem almost like the democrats have won a couple games away and they're coming home here. you know? no wonder they feel better. >> they feel better because what did romney have to do at his convention? the fact he had to spend his convention fixing his personal issue meant their june and july campaign worked. that romney couldn't run a convention that was more proactive. he had to do repair work. i remember mike murphy three
months ago saying he thought both conventions that both guys would be in such bad shape that both of them would have to use their conventions to rehabilitate their image. one guy had to do it. the president is in a position where he gets to at least try to make the affirmative case, hey, don't lose faith in me yet. >> the republican convention ended up being who is mitt romney. whether they answered that well enough is an open question. this convention is about answering that are you better off question and having a good answer for it. and joe biden the old pro he is did a good job of making the key point. individuals are suffering, obviously. but the country as a whole, they argue, democrats argue, is better off and certainly better off than otherwise. >> how about the fact they said i want the press to hear this. >> and i think sometimes, chris, if you win a couple of away games to pursue your analogy when you're coming home on the trip home you're not paying close attention. they knew they were coming here. i think they --
>> let's think about it. let me get a little tough here. it seems when a candidate has to spend a whole week of a convention to establish the fact that he's a human being, it's an amazingly low bar. when you go to prove i'm a person with a ticking heart and i have some compassion and humanity and some personality. that's a low bar. >> that's all they did. >> don't forget they feel like -- this is what republicans believe. they have the opposite problem reagan had. reagan had all the likability in the world but he had to prove he was ready to do the job. they think on the metrics the country believes romney is capable of the job, the question is whether he shares middle class values. that's what the whole point -- >> did he? >> that's what i'm saying. i want to see his favorable rating in a week. >> why do you think two weeks is necessary for that? >> you have to let the convention settle in. by the way, the ratings for last week's convention the collective ratings were not good. and i'll be curious to see -- i'm talking about the collective audience.
>> the romney camp i talked to just a little while ago, they defined the lack of bounce by way of saying obama didn't have all that great of bounce out of his convention and the country is divided. i think they're disappointed. i think they needed more than they got. and i frankly don't think they're going to get more in the next several days. >> i like your analysis. a lot of this is decided. we have a very -- we keep seeing poll numbers 47-47. true or not. let's take a look -- >> the only way to change that is a debate. >> let's look at this ad now. obama campaign is out with a new tv ad in seven swing states going after romney. let's watch this new ad. >> the middle class is carrying a heavy load in america. but mitt romney doesn't see it. under the romney plan, a middle class family will pay an average of up to $2,000 more a year in taxes. while at the same time giving multimillionaires like himself a $250,000 tax cut.
so romney hits the middle class harder and gives millionaires an even bigger break. is that the way forward for america? >> look at that picture of romney. that picture of him there because the rich are getting a better deal. will it work? very populist ad. >> i think it's the right way to go because voters in the middle that 6% or 7% you're talking about want to hear specifics. i disagree it's all about emotion with them. i think they want to hear something specific. okay, mitt romney, you're a human. fine. tell me your plan. tell me what it is and i think this ad goes at the lack of specificity that there was at the republican convention. there were no numbers. this goes after that. i think it's a smart ad for them to do on the attack while they remembered they got to talk more about themselves. >> i go to economic values. all elections are values elections. romney wins on the economy and loses on values.
>> very smart thought what i didn't like about the romney speech talking about all the wars he wants to fight and not one second or thought or emotion about the people over there fighting now. >> you weren't alone. bill kristol wasn't happy about that. >> thank you chuck todd and howard fineman. coming up, the reverend jesse jackson talks about voter suppression and agitation of the white working class. also the democrats plan to support gay marriage on their platform. especially in the state like north carolina. and the democrats will not consider this a successful convention if they don't come out of it by expanding the gender gap. win women by enough and president obama can jog across the finish line. finally let me finish with this strategy employed by the republicans.
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ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you. then find out how to get lunesta for as low as $15 at lunesta.com. there's a land of restful sleep. we can help you go there on the wings of lunesta. new poll numbers from the two convention states which happen to be key battleground states. where a new poll has president obama up. now obama 48, romney 47. keepd it's an automatic poll that sometimes leaning democratic. here's a new charlotte observer. romney up 47-43. that's lower than he was. we'll be back.
democrats last week with the restrictive voter i.d. laws sweeping the country. in ohio a judge turned over the ban on early in person voting a week before the election. and in texas a federal court blocked the photo i.d. law ruling it would impose strict unforgiving burdens on poor minority voters. it's no wonder why republicans are so fired up about voter i.d. laws. check out the reaction. south carolina governor nicki hailey got when she brought it up at her convention last week in tampa. >> we said in south carolina that if you have to show a picture i.d. to buy sudafed and to set foot on an airplane, then you should have to show picture i.d. to protect one of the most valuable, most central sacred rights in america. the right to vote. >> according to reuters, voters
in south carolina, nikki haley's home state, 20% more likely to be black. and just over 1/3 of registers voters do not have a driver's license. anyway, the reverend jesse jackson, the great man, the president of the rainbow coalition joins us. you were calling me up last week. you were so angry and concerned as a leader, a civil rights leader, about this new ploy to keep people from voting. >> the irony of nikki haley, she got the right to vote because of the voting rights act itself. then 18-year-olds to vote in 1970. and then students could then vote. and able to get the voting. she is a product of the voting rights act. their plan is negation, purging, voting suppression. and confusing people. and inciting their base to vote. >> but it seemed like they're trying to deny or really make it
highly difficult. if you come from the south like you did and move north and you live in north philadelphia where i'm familiar with, that means you got to go back to somewhere in south carolina to get your birth certificate. you got to figure out how to get it with an i.d. card. it's difficult to do this. >> the jefferson davis democrats and republicans have never stopped to deny --
>> remember harvey gantt, mayor of this city, african-american. he ran against jesse, the other jesse. and they had a tv ad, a guy with white hands ripping up the pink slip saying you needed that job. >> yes. >> does that still go on? >> he paved the way for barack obama in 2008 and anthony fox in 2009. sometimes, we have to have a pioneer who helps people understand that we are not running these races to represent just one part of the society. we're running these races because we want to be judged by the concept and not by the color of our skin. >> boeing and airbus come to -- the civil rights movement. these jobs would have gone
north. once the bearers came down, why has it benefitted the civil rights? it hurts when you see poor people who are -- medicare. and when carolina plays a big football game, because -- >> you know what's changed in democratic convention politics? >> it used to be the guy who gave the best speech lost. teddy kennedy in 1980 and jesse jackson in 1984 and in 1998. this time, the guy who gives the best speech gets to be the nominee this year. thank you, sir. >> most content, too. has no empty chairs. >> thank you. the democratic convention kicks off tomorrow. we'll be back from charlotte in
a minute. but tonight, join me for the premier of msnbc's documentary, barack obama, making history. a lot of people worked very hard op this and i think you're going to love this tonight. 10:00 eastern, barack obama making history. i stepped on the machine, and it showed me the pressure points on my feet and exactly where i needed more support. i had tired, achy feet.
we're back here in this crazy weather, just like in tampa, but it's nicer here. you ladies have been waiting in line. i love it. >> it's not raining. we sbort barack obama. >> what are you doing in the rain here? >> i'm a new jersey delegate here to support president obama. >> women for obama. when are you going to run for office? yay! >> are you old enough to vote?
>> no. our friends are. >> we're from california. glad to be here. >> this is wild. charlotte. charlotte. charlotte, thanks for the welcome here. what are you going to vote for this election? >> barack obama. >> do you have any republicans here? what do you think? you're standing in the rain, lady. >> yes. >> we got the camera getting wet. thank you. sir? >> we're from north carolina. >> four more years. we're excited. we're pumped up. >> we've got the mayor who's headed the convention.
support it now than oppose it, but in places like virginia, ohio and north carolina, opposition is still strong and the question is, will it hurt the president and his party? barney frank from massachusetts and mayor villaraigosa, the mayor of los angeles. gentlemen, watch this. conservative groups are trying to drive home the point that president obama's out of touch in this issue. take a look at this new ad produced by gary bower, just caught it this morning. let's watch this ad they're running here. >> hey, honey. how are you? >> fine. i guess. >> what's going on? >> well, obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. that's not the change i voted for. marriage is between a man and a woman. >> that's not the change i voted for either. >> what can we do? >> we can vote for someone with values. >> well, you know, i don't think
that's a very realistic discussion. i've always wondered what it does to their relationship. nothing probably. here's the line they're putting out. obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. you know the language that's coming out and the platform of the democratic party. does it meet this. is it forcing gay marriage on the country? >> not forcing gay marriage on the country. what he's speaking to is the notion that marriage ought to be a fundamental right. that the government shouldn't deny someone who loves someone the right to marry. if we believe in family values, then marriage ought to be for all families. >> and how does a right get promulgated by the supreme court, by the voters or how does it happen? >> it's the regular campaign of divide and conquer, of fear. they'll be spending a lot of money. ins gaiting, engaging in that
kind of fear. on a lot of issues. >> congressman frank, there's a big possible frank going to the supreme court on this. what do you think? >> well, i don't think there's any likelihood of this supreme court saying -- than in the future and frankly, that's not what most of the gay, lesbian and bisexuals are fighting for. we are trying to have the say that state by state, each state has defined marriage and the the federal government to say i will recognize these marriages in massachusetts and iowa and new york and not those. two circuit courts including a lot of republican appointees have said that. the notion we're going to force this. no, nobody could force it if we wanted to. it's being done on a state by state basis. ultimately, the supreme court might reach it. the case that was one in san francisco on the california law
only said that if california once granted the right of same-sex couples to marry, they couldn't take it away. that doesn't even give people who want to. remember where it comes from. gary bower is a very odd extreme right winger, who ran for president and i think he has more fingers than he got votes. >> let's take a look at the are republican platform. it says we affirm our support for a institutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman. we applaud the states of which have enshrined the traditional concept of marriage and support the campaigns under way to do so. the idea of putting a institutional amendment out to make sure there's never marriage equality. >> they're enshriing in our constitution -- it should be reserved for expanding rights to more people.
that's the america that i know and love. that's the america that gave me the voting rights act. that gave me a civil rights act. that opened up the country to give me the opportunity to be mayor of los angeles and chair of the democratic national committee. >> in fact, that amendment, paul ryan's voting for it, it not only says no further same-sex marriage. it would cancel my marriage. allowed to stay in effect. mitt romney tried as governor to undo it. in seven states, marriages that have gone after five years and here's the problem. haven't happened. they have to make things up. because all -- we've had same-sex marriage in
massachusetts for eight years and a number of other states. tens of millions of americans now live in areas where you can have it and nothing bad has happened. so that's why they have to resort to this sillyness and they're the ones who are not only in the minority, baugh growing minority who talk to their people in their 20s and 30s. they understand if you love someone of the opposite sex, the fact that the two women across the street who love each other have a slim chance of affecting your life. >> i remember about 20 years ago at a convention in philadelphia, you said to the young people there, mostly gay people, that things were changing. certainly are. mitt romney in line with his party's platform. back in may, he said he rejected both gay marriage and civil unions. >> i think people have differing views on marriage and i respect those views. when i served as governor of my state, this issue arose. same-sex marriage.
i pointed out i'm in favor of traditional marriage and don't favor civil union or gay marriage. >> some republicans take issue. according to politico, that includes billionaire romney backer david koch. when a reporter reminded him his candidate strongly opposes, he responded, well, i disagree with that. >> when mitt romney ran against ted kennedy, he said he was going to be a better defender of gay rights. not on marriage. that's been untrue. mitt romney as a business man brings marketing techniques to politics and he's got a consumer angle here. comes with an expiration date. we know any policy he take, it's not good after a certain time. >> we're going to miss you, mr. frank. nobody else thinks like you. thank you. mayor villaraigosa of los
he told the 74-year-old governor and mocked his age saying he was only 14 when brown challenged jimmy carter for the nomination in 1976. governor brown fired back with this. >> and i here by challenge governor christie to a three mile race, push up contest and chin up contest. and whatever he wants to bet. i have no doubt of the outcome. >> neither do i. i'm betting on jerry. we'll be right back. jerry!
hope last week's convention will only strengthen that. the party adopted a plank on reproductive rights that reads -- and endorse legislation to in other words, a personhood amendment. on top of that, todd akin, who brought the term legitimate rape into the national discussion, has refused all calls to get out of the race and appears to be dug in. even before the the convention, the poll had president obama leading mitt romney by ten points among women. joining me now is north carolina governor bev perdue and barbara lee. the bay area. thank you. let me ask you, governor, thank you for welcoming us. we have never had a welcoming, even in the rain. >> all north carolinans.
obama down here has a plus one among women, but it's close. why is romney doing so well among women in north carolina? because we're just starting to get the word out about what romney believes. it's about the policies. romney's not said a word about education. he's against contraceptive health care coverage. as women in this state begin to resonate around the issues, the policies, you'll see those numbers change. >> a new poll shows that president obama and governor romney tied among north carolina women, but among all likely voter, romney leads by just four. i find that very close. >> it is close, but it's early, chris. people are just now beginning to folk. you've got the country evenly divided. then you count all those new people we're registering. our democrats are aggressively registering people. i believe there's 150,000 or more we've done. we're going to go on those college campuses. every young woman in america should understand that we're at risk with this threat from the
republican party. >> let's take a look at ann romney. she spoke about a number of things. i find it fascinating her perspective. i'm not knocking it, but i notice it was different than you hear from democrats. let's listen. >> it's the moms of this nation. single, married, wwidowed who really hold this country together. we're the mothers, the wives, the grandmothers, the big sisters, the little sisters and we are the daughters. you know it's true, don't you? i love you women! >> you know what i noticed, congresswoman, two things. the perspective. woman who work outside the home or which they work less. it's a particular attitude about working outside the home as if
it's only a necessity then you're better off not having to do it. the other thing, you want to stay home and have more kids. these are values which i understand, but they seem to be different over the ones i've gotten to know over the last 30, 40 years. whatever that means. it's not always about the more the better. >> women want choice. they want to make decisions over their lives. they want to make decisions over their health care. they want to make decisions over where they work, when they work. they want to make decisions over the education of their children. and they want to make decisions as it relates to their senior years in terms of being able to take care of their family members. >> how do you like the way she talked about you? >> as a single mom and a grandmother, you know, i want my grandchildren to have access to comprehensive sex education. i want them to know they have those rights. my granddaughters as even
daughter and girl in america deserve, they have the right to decisions over their bodies. my mother, i want all senior citizens to have access to medicare as we know it. not privatize medicare. i want our mothers to be able to have pay equity. >> womens are the ones in the family normally, and maybe this isn't right, who pay the closest attention to their parents. right? >> absolutely. >> it's true. >> you know that's exactly where it is. may i make a point? i've never seen a bunch like this here is against regulation. they want less, less, less. then a woman in the bedroom and they want to control everything. i don't get that. >> i love north carolina. i went to grad school here. i call it -- >> we'll sell you a second home any time you want to come. >> when people say outlaw abortion, do they know what that means exactly -- i guess there were fewer abortions technically. but so many girls would be in a
predicament they wouldn't want to be in and they're going somewhere to have it dealt with. you're not going to stop it. you're going to drive it underground. >> they're going to go somewhere to end the pregnancy if they can afford it. but in cases of poor women you'll get back to the case of coat hangars in the bathtub and women will die. it's tragic. >> are you surprised romney wants to move ahead and talk about getting rid of the judges. get them on the court so they can end roe v. wade. they're serious. >> that's right out of -- we've seen what's happening in texas and all over the country. people have got to stand up. women understand that it might be their daughter or their granddaughter who's raped. there's no such thing as legitimate rape. and that young woman should have a choice about what to do with her body and life. >> i have to have sk you, you cover more liberal areas.
berkeley and oakland and all that, those are not racist parts of the united states. people live there because they like diversity. this republican ad campaign about welfare and giving up the work requirement to me is all of the old language and lingo? >> these are code words. when you talk about the food stamp president and welfare and the way they talk about welfare. i was on public assistance. we have many young women who need that bridge over troubled waters until they can find a good paying job to take care of their families. there's so many people because of the economy and because of the previous administration's economic policies who need assistance yet. they need food stamps. but the way the republicans are preventing this, of course it's cold. and of course they're trying to play into the worst fears of the american people. it's not going to work. people know better than that.
i think people will rise to the occasion. they're going to get out and vote for president obama. they're not going to listen to the right wing rhetoric of this. >> i remember the campaign against harvey when jesse was hanging on until the last term or so. you needed that job. does that go on here? >> you have the ad there in the paper. we're really concerned about -- in my state it's what the voter i.d. is all about. we believe we identify voters anyhow. >> thank you for the warm welcome. when we return, let me finish with republicans for refusing to -- with the election. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] it seems like every company
the move to limit voting amongst minorities. to reduce the number of votes, cast out african-americans by eliminating early in person voting. and most viciously by demanding the presentation of government-issued photo i.d. cards. the republican leader in pennsylvania was open about the purpose of this last tactic. its purpose is to get romney the electorate votes of pennsylvania. and then the relentless push against white working class voters to get them angry at welfare recipients. get them furious at obama for doing it. and throw in a slur by the republican presidential candidate about not needing to show his birth certificate and hugs of birther donald trump and you've showed your colors. this is a nasty campaign cut back the black vote, anger up the white vote. it is tribal, un-american, nothing to be proud of. a strategy which will go down
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