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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  April 10, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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thanks so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. posse. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me tart tonight with this. there's a new posse out there in the country. they aren't the big city boys, no, they come from the smaller towns. from allentown and out there in west virginia. they're trying to stop crazy people and outlaws from getting their hands on rapid firing guns. pat toomey, joe manchin. nothing big city about either of these guys. they don't care if you drink giant 16 ounce cokes. they don't want their kids being shot at by nuts waving semiautomatic assault rifles. the kind our soldiers use in afghanistan and on some other war fronts. pat toomey and joe manchin are
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now in the process as i said, maybe the posse will grow to the 60 senators we need to get the deal they struck the deal on, voted on. that's the idea. because without a vote in the senate, john boehner and the house will be sure to keep the house from voting on gun safety. so tonight let's find out if our democracy is going to have a chance of working. think about it. 92% of the country wants background checks. that means 92 senators out of 100 senators in that body should be ready to at least vote on the matter. senator john tesh is a democrat from montana. he joins us from the capitol. i want to show this first of all, senator. senators joe manchin and pat toomey are your colleagues. their proposal would close the gun show loophole. it would require background checks be performed on all commercial gun sales, exempting only under their proposal individual, noncommercial sales. for example, if you sold a gun to a friend. today manchin invoked the tragedy in newtown to explain why something needs to be done. let's watch.
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>> truly the events at newtown changed us all. it changed our country, our communities, our towns, and it changed our hearts and minds. this amendment won't ease the pain. it will not ease the pain of the families who lost their children on that horrible day. but nobody here, i mean not one of us in this great, great capitol of ours, with a good conscience, could sit by and not try to prevent a day like that from happening again. >> senator toomey from pennsylvania made an important point that could help sway other republicans. he said, for him, the issue of criminal background checks was not a matter of gun control. that's the way he thinks about it now. it's not actually gun control to check on people's backgrounds. let's listen. >> i'm a gun owner. and the rights that are enshrined in the second amendment are very, very important to me personally. as i know they are to so many people across pennsylvania. my record shows this. but i got to tell you candidly, i don't consider criminal background checks to be gun
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control. i think it's just common sense. if you pass a criminal background check, you get to buy a gun. it's no problem. it's the people who fail, a criminal or a mental health background check, that we don't want having guns. >> this afternoon the president praised the compromise. in a statement he said, quote, this is not my bill and there are aspects of the agreement that i might prefer to be stronger. but the agreement does represent welcome and significant bipartisan progress. it recognizes that there are good people on both sides of this issue. and we don't have to agree on everything to know that we've got to do something to stem the tide of gun violence. let me go to senator tester. senator, you've had interesting rations out there in montana. it's a red state. and you've always prevailed or so far. people like you. what is your concern? what concerns do you have about, for example, this new compromise? could it be something you would vote for? >> well, i've got to look at it, chris. i'm going to tell you, i want to thank joe manchin and pat toomey.
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i work with both those guys. common sense is the key to this. we need to protect our second amendment rights for law-abiding citizens and we need to make sure guns don't end up in the hands of violently mentally ill folks or folks who have a long history of violence. i think that's really the bottom line. making sure this allows our people who play by the rules, who are honest folks, to be able to go out there and buy guns. but yet keep the fwun guns out of the hands of people who use them in inappropriate ways, like i said, have a history of violence or are violently mentally ill. i appreciate them coming forth with the bill. i hope we can debate it on the floor. i think it's critically important that we do. if there's changes that need to be made to the bill, let's make them and let's move forward. >> let's talk about moving forward. it seems to me we've got three hoops to get through. first of all, 60 votes tomorrow to proceed with the debate. will you be one of the 60? >> i will vote -- i will vote to debate this on the floor. it's why i came to washington, d.c., chris. the senate is supposed to be the biggest deliberative body in the world. we need to deliberate on this
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issue. we need to have a good debate, have a good conversation and figure out what can work for this country, protect our second amendment rights while keeping the weapons out of the hands of those who don't use them in a proper fashion. >> will you then vote among the 60 necessary to proceed to voting on the measure such as this manchin vote, man chin/toomey proposal? >> absolutely i will be voting in favor of moving to debate. >> yet just to get your vote clarified, will you be among the 50 that's necessary to pass some gun safety regulations? >> i've got -- i mean, look. like i said, you heard what i said about law-abiding citizens plus folks who have a history of violence. i think that if we can make some inroads into that, it's a positive thing to do. i've got to look at the bill, truthfully, chris. i say this about every issue that comes down the pipe. if i can look at the bill, we can figure out how to make it work, meet the parameters that i have in mind, yeah, i'll support it. if it doesn't, of course, i won't be able to. >> what are you concerns? let's break it up. are you concerned about any aspect of the criminal, if a person has a felony record. where would you draw the line on
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who gets to have a gun? >> it's got to be court adjudicated. here's one of my concerns. we've got a lot of folks coming back from iraq and afghanistan that have mental health issues through no fault of their own. through actions they've seen in the theater. we've got to make sure that, number one, if they go in to get help it doesn't put them on a list. that, in fact, it actually encourages them to go get help. we got to break the stig na. they've got to be able to get the treatment they need to get cured. on the other hand, let's say a person ends up on a list. there's got to be a way to get off of that list. i think that's also critically important. mental health issues can be treated and they can be cured. we need to make sure those problems are addressed in the bill as we move forward. look, patrick toomey said you got to apply common sense. that's really what it's about. if we apply common sense measures to this background check bill, i think it's something that gun owners and folks who are concerned about gun violence alike will be in support of. if we don't and we don't thoroughly debate this bill,
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then we've got problems. >> today senator toomey responded to critics on the right who say background checks could be the first step toward gun con fiscation. >> the fact is the national law that we have had and pennsylvania's experience have done nothing to restrict the lawful ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens. and neither will our amendment. the worries that we hear sometimes about background checks leading to an erosion of our second amendment rights, it simply hasn't happened. >> do you know, senator tester, whether the nra is going to make this record vote, one of the votes that matters to them? the toomey proposal? >> yeah. i don't know, chris. i haven't heard whether they're going to score it or not. the point is, is he is -- patrick toomey is spot on when he talks about the background checks. if, in fact, in the past they haven't restricted law-abiding citizens from being able to have
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guns and in the future they should be -- should be applied the same way. but i have not heard whether the nra is going to score it or not. >> okay. thanks so much. great having you on, especially tonight. senator tester of montana. today first lady michelle obama gave an emotional speech about gun violence out in chicago. she invoked the memory of hadiya pendleton, teenager shot in january in a park near the obama's chicago home. just a few days after attending the president's inauguration here in washington. mrs. obama said the difference between the chicago teenager and herself was that she got to grow up. and then she choked up while remembering meeting with friends of the teenager before her funeral. let's watch the first lady. >> and let me tell you, woo, it is hard to know what to say to a room full of teenagers who are about to bury their best friend. but i started by telling them that hadiya was clearly on her way to doing something truly worthy with her life.
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i told them that there is a reason that we're here on this earth. that each of us has a mission in this world. and i urged them to use their lives to give meaning to hadiya's life. i urged them to dream as big as she did. and work as hard as she did and live a life that honors every last bit of her god given promise. >> what a great first lady. anyway, in another emotional address today, senator chris murphy of connecticut, actually, it was his first ever speech on the floor. he said the country might be getting desensitized to everyday gun violence out there there's so much of it. it's his first speech. let's listen. >> the worst reality is this. if we don't do something right now, it's going to happen again. but really, mr. president, it's happening every day. and this country has just gotten so callusly used to gun violence that it's just rain drops.
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it's just background noise. and so the question is, are we going to do anything about it? or are we just going to sit on our hands like we have for 20 years and accept the status quo? >> someone not sitting on her hands is era lafrty. her mother, dawn hochsprung was the principal at sandy hook killed defending her kids. erica, thank you for joining us. whenever someone like yourself who i consider a regular person comes on this show, i just basically ask you to tell what you feel and why you want to come on. what did you want to say to the senators in the last couple days. >> call me back was definitely my first message. and, i mean, really this all just began because i was making phone calls and sending e-mails and trying to contact them on social media and i just heard nothing back. at this point, it's been, you know, a full two days and i've heard back from 2 of 14 senators that i've tried to contact. >> 2 of 14. you told the person when you called these senate offices -- i
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keep telling people the number is 202-224-3121. you get any senator you want. 202-224-3121. when you, erica, made the phone calms and got somebody, maybe a legislative assistant, executive assistant, aa or chief of after. you told them who you are. told them who your mother was and what role she played in trying to prevent this horror. they said the senator will get back to you or what did they actually say? >> a couple of them actually sounded like they had no idea who i was even talking about. a couple of them said to e-mail their scheduler or i got transferred to a scheduler or a lot of times i just had to leave voice mails. but it absolutely was not the reaction that i was anticipating. trying to -- i don't know. i guess to talk to a senator. >> you didn't get the music you get sometimes on those calls. thank you for classical music. senator christie, i'm not a big fan of his. i think he's too hard right for me to figure out. he did call you back.
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what was that like? how aggressive were you with senator cruz from texas who refuses to even have a vote on the senate floor. he wants to filibuster this thing. >> my first question to him was, i guess just to explain to me why he was choosing to not do his job. the purpose of congress, the purpose of the senators, is to debate and then to vote. and they're elected officials. they're brought in by the people. over 90% of americans are in support of the universal background checks, then how does he just opt to not do his job. and i asked him, straight up, you know, what would have happened if my mom chose to not do her job on december 14th? what would have happened at that school? and, you know -- >> what did he say? >> it really just got kicked back to, well, maybe connecticut needs to have stricter laws. you know, for involuntary institutionalization and things like that. that's absolutely not the case. it's not if you have a mental illness we're going to lock you in a room and pretend that it's not happening.
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it's about helping people and working through their problems and it's -- i don't know. >> do you think anything you would have said would have worked with that guy? >> no. no, i don't. it was almost like, you know, there was like a delay. okay, is she done talking yet? can i say my next piece? >> i know what you mean. perfect bureaucrat. anyway, erica, good luck. you're doing the right thing if you just keep this up. i think you're making a difference with these people. i saw toomey come out. i wasn't hopeful he would. he's joining the posse as i'm putting it, one of the good guys now. i think you're reaching these people in human terms, those who are reachable that way. you've just got to keep calling. i would actually work the phone all night and keep calling. >> i'm not stopping. >> always call after 6:00. all important people, big shots after 6:00. they don't have five or six secretaries between you and them. you know what i mean? they get a little available all of a sudden at the end of the day. bother them at five after 6:00. you'll probably get a few of them. thank you, erica lafrty. you're doing the right thing for
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the country, too, not just for your mom. >> thank you. coming up, president obama tells republicans, let's make a deal. he says he's already cut the deficit and has more than met the republicans halfway. he's doing his job. the question for republicans, how do they agree to higher taxes and a grand bargain? it's a tough one for them but they got to do it or nothing's going to get done. they keep saying if obama proposes, we oppose it. that's helpful. look who's trying to make a comeback. anthony weiner. two years after humiliating himself with that twitter scandal, he's eyeing, believe it or not, the mayor's office in new york. mitch mcconnell has spun that campaign strategy tape about ashley judd being emotionally unbalanced into a story in which, oh, poor mitch, he's the victim. worse yet, the press is buying it. look at the papers today. we'll show you the terrible headlines. they fell for mitch. finally, you can watch as rand paul attempts to convince the african-american students at the great howard university today that he's really on their side. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive?
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i want to give you that number to the u.s. capitol again. it's good for congress or senate. the switchboard number. boy does it work. they're great over there. get either one of them this way. 202-224-3121. that's 202-224-3121. it really works. just keep calling till you get somebody on the phone and talk to them. we'll be right back. thought? describe the first time you met. you brought the flex in... as soon as i met fiona and i was describing the problem we were having with our rear brakes, she immediately triaged the situation, knew exactly what was wrong with it, the car was diagnosed properly, it was fixed correctly i have confidence knowing that if i take to ford it's going to be done correctly with the right parts and the right people. get a free brake inspection and brake pads installed for just 49.95 after rebates when you use the ford service credit card. did you tell him to say all of that? no, he's right though...
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welcome back to "hardball." today we saw an essential leadership -- i think this is bipartisan. he offered a big compromise to the republicans in the fight over taxes and spending. while he's taken heat from some on the left, some of the usual suspects, his proposals, he's still hoping i guess to get the gop on board with a big bargain. let's listen to him today. here's the president. >> my budget does also contain the compromise i offered speaker boehner at the end of last year,
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including reforms championed by republican leaders in congress. and i don't believe that all these ideas are optimal, but i'm willing to accept them as part of a compromise. if, and only if, they contain protections for the most vulnerable americans. when it comes to deficit reduction, i've already met republicans more than halfway, so in the coming days and weeks, i hope that republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they're really as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be. >> look, i think 5-year-olds understand this fight. i don't think -- if you'd watch television ever you'd get it. the democrats want tax fairness, want some of the rich people to pay a higher rate or at least get rid of some of the loop homes. democrats, at least a lot of them are willing to make compromises. the president is. at least to do something on entitlement, social security, medicare, in terms of the cpi to at least get the ball rolls so we do reduce the debt over time because we have to do that. the question is will the republicans ever give on taxes?
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jay carney is the white house press secretary. i pay him the tribute of pronouncing his name properly. great to have you on. you know this fight is so basic now. explain it from what it's like on the inside with the president. how does he see the guts which he showed in coming forth with his end of the deal? the baby hasn't been delivered and he's offering up the ransom money. he's offering his half of the deal before the other side comes to the table. that's pretty daring stuff. how does it work? >> well, chris, the president is serious about trying to tackle our budget challenges. but the budget he produced today, he announced today, has as its primary goal economic growth and job creation. and within the context of a budget that invests in education and in our middle class and in innovation and in infrastructure, he is willing to reduce our deficit further in addition to the $2.5 trillion he's already signed into law as long as it's balanced and fair.
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his budget proves the basic premise that you can take action to grow the economy and create jobs and secure the middle class even as you reduce the deficit. you do not have to do the extremes that the house republican budget suggests you have to do, which is to e vis rate programs that invest. vouchize medicare, shifting thousands of dollars per year in costs to seniors while giving a massive tax cut to the wealthy in the name of deficit reduction. one of the ironies about the house republican budget, chris, as you know, as it claims to balance, but they won't tell you how. and they won't tell you how because it can only balance if you raise taxes on the middle class while voucherizing medicare and the like. >> i know these things, these elements are important to us. let's talk about the politics of this. remember what they used to say about the russians. you're younger. the russians would say what's mine is mine and what's yours is
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negotiable. thank you, mr. president, the chained cpi and cuts on the management costs of medicare. we'll take all that. of course, we're not going to raise revenues in the budget. we're going to get through conference. it's going to have some of the stuff, but it's not going to have your tax propose aesals in. they don't raise revenues. they don't reform revenues. just take his cuts and the entitlements and stick it to him. how does the president stop that once it's begun? >> that's not going to happen. >> how does he stop it from happening? >> a threshold here is there is no deal if republicans won't accept. >> who says? >> the basic premise -- because he's the president. he has to sign it into law. >> not the budget resolution. the president never gets to sign the budget resolution. >> well, the president -- the president will not agree to a broad budget deal that does not include balance, chris. and you know that democrats in the senate won't support an ala
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carte approach to this. republicans from mitch mcconnell on down said at the end of last year, they put on the table, in public, that they wanted certain things in return for revenue as part of a balanced deficit reduction deal. >> yeah. >> that included so called chained cpi, means testing medicare. the president has agreed to those in this comprehensive budget proposal. but it's not an ala carte. just as you said, you can't say i'll take what i want and we won't talk about a broader deal. that's not acceptable to the president. he will not accept an approach that asks only seniors and the middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction. that will not happen. the american people made clear last year in the election they reject that approach. >> okay, jay, great to have you on. thanks for coming on and explaining that. jay carney, white house press secretary. dana milbank, a bit more aserbic. he's here. columnist for the "washington post." let's talk about the president's challenge for the left. he's got to take on the right, the center -- boehner from the center right.
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crazy right behind him who won't let him deal. the president, is he ham strung at all by the bernie sanders of this world, people on the left? >> i don't think he is. they're hopping mad. they've been triangulated. >> explain. >> well, the president took a position in between the congressional democrats and the congressional republicans. bernie sanders, a couple of congressman and all the usual suspects, alphabet soup of the left were all out in lafayette park across from the white house having a protest as if george w. bush was still in there. they're going nuts about it. you know what? this is exactly what president obama needs to have happen because he can say to john boehner, you know what? you've got nuts on your side. well, guess what? >> you know what this looks like? old-timers night for the '60s. when they bring back the players from 50 years ago. bernie, every time i see him in action, i say that reminds me about 1968, '69. that's him. >> he's the finest vermont senator ever to be born in brooklyn. >> he's just one of us in a way. let me ask you about the left. i don't want to put them down because i agree with them a lot
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of times. back when i was in politics i was one of them. i just want to say does the president have a fighting chance here? beyond the sarcasm and everything, if boehner isn't really the speaker, and i don't think he really is the speaker. he doesn't speak for those people. he's got a bunch of people behind him far to his right. why if you're facing re-election next year as mr. smith republican or mrs. smith republican, why would you raise revenues in any fashion for fear of the -- the economic equivalent of the nra? >> well, maybe they won't. but it's still a good move by the president to do this because, look, the last several years he came up with a budget nobody took seriously. dead on arrival. now he has to be taken seriously. he can say to america, look, i've made people in my own party uncomfortable. if republicans can't even budge on this now, they're the ones who look -- >> so next november and october and september when he's running for -- helping to bring back the congress and pelosi be speaker again, he gets out there and says, look, we were the middle. >> uh-huh. >> we went to the middle. these other guys won't do it. >> maybe he's got a balanced
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budget to show for it. that's a nice way to run. >> a balanced budget? >> no. long-term balanced budget. miracles happen. >> still a trillion. anyway, thank you. i thought you were right there. up next, better late than never. rand paul finally says he's onboard with the civil rights act, 49 years later. hmm. this is "hardball," the place for politics. she's always been able to brighten your day. it's just her way. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident
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trip. bump your head. trip again. dodge a shoe. flip a dog. and spit on the white house lawn. the george w. bush presidential library and museum. >> and we're going there. anyway, back to "hardball." first, the fine presidential mascots of the great washington nationals make room for a guest. from an ail tern tive political reality. george washington, thomas jefferson, teddy roosevelt, abe lincoln and william howard taft were joined by a larger than life version of selena mayor. the vice president on tv's "veep" played by julia louis dreyfus. >> george is running second. goes down! george takes out abe! here comes selena myer! she goes to the right field corner! she takes the lead!
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selena's on the outside, george is on the inside! the winner's going to be -- george! george and tom take the win. and selena and teddy finish a close second. >> i think she gave it to him. anyway, it looks like they're out for novelty since teddy roosevelt's streak of over 100 losses in a row ended in october. finally, rand paul took on the republican effort to reach out to minority voters today in his speech at the great howard university here in town. it's a historically black university. here's a line that sparked a few questions. >> i've never wavered in my support for civil rights or the civil rights act. the dispute, if there is one, has always been about how much of the remedy should come under federal or state or private purview. >> as one attendee pointed out lat later, the senator has spoken out against the part of the civil rights act that bans discrimination in private institutions like restaurants.
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>> you have spoken out against the -- the it shall against the civil rights agenct, against th voting rights act. you've done it as a chap of individual liberties and states' rights. aside from the moral reasons not to discriminate, of which there are many, what -- when is it okay legally to discriminate according to you? >> well, i think it's a mischaracterization of my position. mischaracterization. i've never been against the civil rights act. >> there was a -- there was a long -- one interview that had a long, extended conversation about the ramifications beyond race. >> it's likely that that was the long interview he had when it was with msnbc's rachel maddow in 2010. he should remember it better than he did there. we do. >> if there was a private business, say, in louisville, say, somewhere in your home state that wanted to not serve black patrons, do you think that they have a legal right to do
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so, to put up a blacks not served here sign? >> well, the interesting thing is, is, you any, you look back to the 1950s and 1960s at the problems we faced. there were incredible problems. you know, problems had to do mostly with voting. they had to do with schools. they had to do with public housing. and so this is what the civil rights largely addressed. and all things that i largely agree with. >> no. it largely addressed public accommodations.tehotels. exactly gas stations men's and ladies room. paul later said he would have voted in favor of the civil rights act had he been in congress when it passed. it's pretty clear in that tape he had a real problem with government overreach as he saw it. anthony weiner looking to make an unlikely political comeback, we'll see, two years after resigning from congress after admitting to sending these lewd tweets out will. you're watching "hardball." this isn't going to be my
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i'm bertha coombs. the dow surges 128 points to another record high. s&p goes along as well, up 19 points. the nasdaq gains 59 points to close at a 12-year high. minutes from the federal reserve's latest meeting show policymakers growing concerned about risks from stem lus measures, but most say the risks are manageable. and earnings from bed, bath & beyond came in in line with expectations. shares are higher after hours. that's it from cnbc. we're first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball."
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today, i'm announcing my resignation from congress. so my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representative, and most importantly, that my wife and i can continue to heal from the damage i have caused. >> so what was worse, the hanging of saddam hussein or that scene? pretty rough. somebody yelling pervert. the poor guy was just trying to get out of politics. he had a press conference. look how he was treated. we remember that moment. we saw the lewd photo, i don't think we're going to show it, that got him in trouble. he tweeted to a woman in seattle this picture of himself, it was a lewd picture. somehow, this has got to be freudian, sent out 45,000 tweet copies of it to everybody he says by accident. then he followed that escapade with denials, lies, finally an admission of guilt. and eventually there you saw him resigning. since then the former congressman has stayed out of
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the news, of course. now weiner is stepping out of the shadows and plotting some kind of comeback, maybe running for mayor of new york this time, this year. his wife is with him. she's a very famous and well respected long-time aide to secretary clinton. the interview will be on the cover of the "new york times" magazine. there it is. for the first time weiner is speaking openly about the scandal, pain, embarrassment, all of it all happening while his wife was pregnant. telling the magazine, quote, she was devastated, it was brutal, it was completely out of control. there was the crime, there was the cover-up, there was harm i had done to her and there's no one who deserves this less than huma. the question people are asking if they're interested, does new york need anthony weiner as its next major? margie o' mara. jonathan, this piece is pretty nice. >> thank you. >> i've had cover stories on me
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by mark leebvich. they cut our heart out. did it to ted kennedy. you were very even handed and skillful with your knife. do you think this guy has any chance of being the next mayor of new york? in fact, elected this year? i know he's got a lot of money left over from his senate -- or his house campaign. you treat him like he might actually run and he might actually win. is that what you believe? >> you know, i actually think we should back up and say the guy that i met seemed really ambivalent about whether he even wants to get back into politics or not. >> he said he settled the issue right there, it's in your piece. he's running. >> no, no. it doesn't say that. >> you said he's eyeing the mayor's race. >> he's eyeing the mayor's race. i think he's actually trying to figure out by talking to a writer like me for hours and hours and then seeing the reaction to this piece whether -- whether he should run or not. whether he should get back into politics. >> and he's using you to find out. then he's going to use the people at some sort of public bath he's going to walk through. after everybody -- as you said, he wants to go through it, not
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around it. in other words, by running for office, it becomes some sort of cleansing ritual. that's the way i think you wrote it. >> right. that's one of the -- one of the many theories is that he could be, you know, running a race right now that he could very likely lose to cleanse himself for another -- another race of some kind. again, it's all speculation. >> but i'm not sure it's all speculation. because you sat there and sort of tested this. he was testing himself with you. you were watching him as a reporter. >> right. >> i think there's something -- by the way, what he might be doing, i think we've been talking about it with the producers here, his game, it's a serious life game for him. it's serious as hell, the stakes. he could run, come in third or even second. have a good showing. and he'll be the guy that almost got elected mayor of new york. he will no longer be the guy that tweeted. he will have changed the story, right? >> yeah. no question. but, see, there's a part of me that still actually, like, you know, the questions that were -- there were so many awkward questions that i had to ask him. what's strange to me is that the most awkward questions are how will you know whether you're going to run for mayor or not?
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he literally, like, the pauses were so long. and so uncomfortable that it made me think that he doesn't actually know in his heart. >> okay. >> whether he -- >> i think he knows more. he'll know more after the reaction. it runs sunday, right? >> yes. >> these pieces are brutal. identi i've been through this. you get a "new york times" cover, jonathan knows this. you spent a lot of time writing these pieces, getting them right. extremely well written and reported. everybody sees it who gets the "time"s. here's the question. he paid $100,000 to a pollster like you. he's already testing the water. people don't throw 100 k away unless they're thinking about doing something with it. he hired a pollster. what does that tell you? he gave them $100,000 to test him in new york. >> i guess he wanted to see where voters were. and how the story -- how people remember the story a few years later. it doesn't mean he's automatically going to do it. i got the same -- >> why is he spending $100,000? just to twidle his thumbs? >> no. that's the first step. you can do an exploratory set of
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research. it's the first step before you decide to commit. >> if he ain't running for mayor -- i think he's doing what he said he's doing in this piece with jonathan. he's testing whether people like him. like sending out these signals on tweets. do they like me? in the middle of the night he's tweeting to see if people like him at all. is this polling another way to see if people like him? >> it is. but i also say in that piece, which was, i agree, a great piece, someone who's still figuring out how he's talking about this publicly. he hasn't been going to big events, he says. he hasn't been talking this personally with reporters. i mean, it was very personal. he got very emotional. in a way showed some contrition. >> great question to jonathan. the wife whom everybody likes huma, immensely respected. she comes from a religion that believes in permanent marriage no matter what the guy does? i have never seen, i'm dead serious here, the loyalty of this woman. instant loyalty and the way you wrote it, she came right back to him after all this hell and slapped his wrist and said why'd you screw this up, buddy, i love
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you? >> somebody that knows huma really well is interesting to me. the very thing that makes her so good at her job with hillary clinton for 17 years is the ability to filter everything out that doesn't matter and only focus on what really matters and make sure that hillary knows what really matters. and in a weird way, that's actually the skill that it shall th -- that saved her marriage. she somehow was able to filter out all the noise and chaos. >> you're a good guy. you are a good guy. that's what harry hopkins was called. root of the matter by churchill. he would get to the root of the matter and let everything else go away. very insightful. and actually very generous. you both are. very generous for this guy. new york has always liked a good show. maybe this guy's the answer. jonathan van meter from the "new york times." margie omera. mitch mcconnell trying to spin his way out of the
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embarrassing campaign strategy tape trying to make himself the victim. this is scary how a guy who's really on the wrong side of everything can make himself look like he's the victim. scary to see the press this morning, by the way. he won. can you believe it? look at the mainstream press. i'm attempted to say lame stream press right now. this is "hardball," the place for politics. potent of opportun. you know how to mix business... with business. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. [ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. yes, you could. all stations come over to mithis is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds.
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extreme, emotionally unbalance zbld thanks to some spin mcconnell cleverly shifted the storyline from himself to the fbi. here's fbi. here is how major papers displayed it. fbi looks into allegations that mcconnell's campaign was wiretapped. mcconnell wants fbi probe of alleged bugging of offices. i'm not a media critic. why would the media go for the second game of the double header? the big story is what it's going to say for mitch mcconnell. but everyone went after the red herring. he turned it into who told you. >> the media went for it, by and large, because the magic letters
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fbi. >> yes. >> they carry a whole lot of weight. that's number one. the other thing he did and his aides did is scream about the vast left wing conspiracy, the left -- >> today. that's the new one. >> yesterday was the left wing. the key thing there is and he wrote a piece for huff post about this now, talking about my sources in kentucky, mitch mcconnell still even to this day has a problem with the conservative base -- >> losing the primary. >> of the republican party in kentucky at the very bottom of the transcript that david got, there's a throw away line where the aides say and by the way, don't worry, boss, we're going to look the a the primary challengers, too, and that's something -- >> let's go with that. is this whole -- i'm bringing the fbi in, i'm doing my comments at the end of the show. he has a little spat and calls in the fbi, for the the local cops, and all of a sudden the fbi.
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what is this? they must love big government, don't they? >> i can tell you because we at "mother jones" brought the story. >> by the way, congratulations. and who's the guy that gave it to you? just kidding. >> we send it out at 7:00 in the morning. >> we? who are these other people involved? >> people who work for me. >> so you came in overnight? >> we had it for a week or so. you have lawyers vetted and all that stuff. we put it out and send it out to the bloggers and tweeters and all that and we see some interest and people are saying at 10:00 in the morning, mcconnell said fbi, everything exploded. you know, the requests come in, the media people, and it was all about making him the victim because of political reasons so he can be the victim of the left wing and make good with the conservatives who don't like him and it's still, i think, a memorable moment and spin to watch him -- >> maybe i'm missing something here. >> yes. >> you're a lawyer. >> yes. >> somebody leaves their cell
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phone on because they want to make a good record of the meeting. two months later they taped somebody. it happens all the time in our business, unfortunately. is it a federal crime to replay your tape recording of a meeting? >> well, that's a -- >> a federal crime? >> that's a close question because in -- the letter of the law is, if you -- if you tape someone without their knowing that you're doing it -- >> even if the room with them? >> i don't think so. i think if it's in the room, it's a different thing. and i also -- and i also think that mcconnell's spin here is really as important for what it says about his political fears in the state. he's very -- not only the transcript itself -- >> you don't think he will lose the general election? >> look, hits approval rating is 36%. >> against nobody. >> against nobody. >> but what about the lefty?
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>> the really obscure secretary of state, mcconnell is only ahead by 4 points. he's ahead by 5 points against ben chandler who got kicked out of his house seat. he's not exactly running against henry clay, you know. >> you can usually measure -- you can measure political desperation by the excess of rhetoric that goes along with it. >> yeah. >> and so yesterday it was watergate. today it's the holocaust. >> it's the gistopa. >> he's comparing what happened to mitch mcconnell and millions of jews. >> by the way, chris went to louisville. >> as did i. >> what you do is solidify your base quickly. he didn't have to convince his 36% that he was the victim. >> they are predisposed to believe that. >> one of the republicans that i interviewed today for this piece says, there's a lot of
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unhappiness in mcconnell land here in kentucky, among the republicans. he's basically had an iron grip on the kentucky republican party for most of 30 years which rand paul broke in -- >> he's basically hugo chavez. by the way, the three of us together, i'm convinced, can figure out the world some day. find me in a park bench somewhere. >> as long as the facts don't interview. >> you don't have to do that. confidence. howard fineman and david corn. by the way, congratulations, again. i want to know who this guy was. was it a male? we'll be right back. you say men are superior drivers?
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let me end with this tonight. how about getting the story straight? how about not burying lead? how about showing the discernment about what's news here and what the same old tired and true political spin is here. when the tape got out yesterday of mitch mcconnell listening to a campaign staffer trash a potential opponent as emotionally unbalanced, people around here at "hardball" figured, well, this guy has been caught, trying to do in president obama from the start is up to the same snuff politics he's known for. there he was saying it wa was he and his people's job to hammer down any opponent who stuck his or her head up. i pick up the newspapers today and read not about what mcconnell did or he's up to but he's the man at the fbi investigate who taped him at that meeting. the