Skip to main content

tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  April 25, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

4:00 pm
you don't have to tear it apart in the name of building it up. we have always had disagreements in this country but we didn't try to destroy it. we have always voted for our candidates but we didn't try to. it is time for civility again. that's what we saw in dallas today. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. president's day. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in dallas for the opening of the george w. bush presidential library. leading off tonight, what could be a bombshell development in the boston marathon case. police commissioner ray kelly of new york said today the boston marathon bombing suspects were talking about going to new york
4:01 pm
and exploding their bombs in times square. we'll have that in a moment. meanwhile, here in dallas, texas, four u.s. presidents teamed up to dedicate their fellow president's library. it was a day of emotion and goodwill. a day in the sun for george w. bush. the biggest news was made before the dedication even began, with barbara bush making clear her assessment of a presidential run by son, jeb, in 2016. >> it's not just four families or whatever. there are just other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough bushes. >> we've had enough bushes. but we start with news in the boston marathon bombing case. pete williams joins us from washington. pete, this is big news in the sense that it looks like we can at least understand vaguely what these suspects had vaguely in mind for their future. >> i think two vagus is correct here, chris, because what the authorities say, both the police commissioner in new york and the mayor and the officials we've talked with, is that this is,
4:02 pm
remember, these are two people that the fbi says really had no escape plan. they really didn't seem to know what they were going to do after the pictures were shown on thursday night. friday night, they hijack an suv. they get some money out of the owner's atms. and he says while they were driving around, they said that they suddenly came up with the idea in the car as they were driving, perhaps going to times square and detonating some of the six or seven bombs that they had left in the car. they had one of their pressure cooker bombs and a couple of pipe bombs. of course, they ended up throwing the pressure cooker bomb out at the police when the police stopped them in watertown. whatever plans they had, of course, were then completely thrown out the window. one of them was dead and the other was on the run. >> here's new york police commissioner ray kelly in his news conference with mayor bloomberg this afternoon. >> we learned through the joint
4:03 pm
terrorist task force that the boston marathon bombers had planned to travel to manhattan to detonate their remaining bombs in times square. dzhokhar tsarnaev, the terror suspect who was captured alive, initially told investigators that he and his brother decided after the boston bombings that they would go to new york city to party. however, a subsequent questioning of dzhokhar revealed he and his brother decided spontaneously on times square as a target. >> well there we have it. it seems like, pete, you're the expert. it doesn't just come from the person who was hijacked who had to give his atm money across but
4:04 pm
also come in the interviews, the interrogations with dzhokhar. >> yes, that is the key to the interview with the bombing suspect. and he says that -- he says the point is they came up with it on the spot. that when the police commissioner says they planned, you know, the only planning was starting to talk about it right there in the car. >> let's talk about this, what we know about this miranda rights. i've never as a civilian, nonlawyer, never understood the importance of miranda. seems it wouldn't turn a person around. before we get to mike rogers, who's a critic of the way it was handled, is it your understanding when a person is giving their miranda rights, they're less likely, given the condition the suspect is in right now, less likely to talk than before they're given them? >> it happens that way sometimes but it also happens the other way. it's happened in terrorism cases. for example, the underwear bomber umar abdulmutallab was given the miranda warning. he initially stopped talking and then blurted out the whole thing, how he was trained, who trained him, names, dates, all
4:05 pm
of that. this happened in other terrorism cases as well. we know they were talking to him. they had basically two sessions. we learned some of this from the police commissioner today in new york. the first session over the weekend didn't go so well. he was still coming out of it from his treatment. the second one went better. and then the judge comes in on monday and reads him his rights. now, of course, he has a lawyer, and of course, he has stopped talking. the question is, will he resume again? sometimes in these cases they do. sometimes they don't. so we have to wait and see whether the lawyer says, you know, it's in your best interest to keep talking, you could save yourself from the death penalty. >> i see. well, thank you so much, pete williams, for that as always. jim cavanaugh is retired atf special agent in charge and now msnbc analyst.
4:06 pm
jim, thank you for -- what do you make of this? where are we at on this case? because the whole question has been were they still on the loose? still out for more bombing? still terrorists? still active at the time the one was picked up in bad condition? that, of course, would then allow the authorities to question them all they wanted before giving them miranda rights. >> right, chris. i mean, exactly. i've been giving people miranda for almost four decades. it doesn't make them all shut up. but there was a public safety exception here and the agents used it for two days. but really what happened is the united states magistrate or judge showed up at the hospital and with him was assistant attorney. in miranda when we say you have the right to remain silent. this was an initial appearance in the federal court system. so here's, i'm going to appoint you a lawyer and here's the lawyer standing next to me. so it's more than miranda. it's miranda, you don't have to talk, if you can't afford a lawyer, i'll give you one. he can't afford a lawyer, here's a lawyer. he's not going to talk after he has a lawyer. the lawyer is going to advise him not to. that's a miranda issue. as far as what pete says, he's
4:07 pm
exactly right. it's a little vague. ray kelly can be right as well. two things can be right here. because, look, these guys had a pressure cooker bomb. let's just take that bomb that they threw at the watertown police. they didn't buy the components for that bomb, chris, between the time their pictures were released on thursday night at 5:00 and the time they killed brian collier of the m.i.t. police. they didn't buy those components, acquire it then, or build it then. it was already built. they already had this pressure cooker bomb, chris. probably remote control like the other two. they weren't going to sell it on ebay. they were going to detonate it somewhere. now, they might not have planned more. they might not have picked new york or any other location, but they certainly were planning on detonating that bomb somewhere. >> it sounds like you agree with
4:08 pm
this politician here. let me show you. mike rogers told andrea mitchell this afternoon, he's hearing the interrogation of dzhokhar tsarnaev was still going on when the court mirandized him and may have shut him up. here's this knock, really, on the way this case was handled by the obama administration. mike rogers. >> we can't have in a case like this the judiciary diseasing because it's on tv and might look bad for them to allow the public safety exemption deemed legal by the united states court, they were going to intervene in this, it's confusing, horrible, god-awful, and we have to get to the got tom of this. >> do you agree, james cavanaugh, the argument by the congressman, chairman of the committee makes the case, look, if this guy is a dangerous fugitive, we pick him up, he's in the process of committing crimes, we he's a danger to the community. we interview him until we get all we can from them and get around to mirandizing him,
4:09 pm
getting a lawyer, a judge. he said the judge showed up out of nowhere and basically stopped the interrogation. does that sound like you to be bad justice, bad law enforcement? >> well, we get right into, chris, the greatest things of our democracy here. the three branches on government. i've never had a judge come to an initial appearance like that. i've had him come out at night if we needed it an an injured person or called them. the normal course of business is the law enforcement agents bring the defendant or ask the judge to come if the defendant was hospitalized to conduct an initial appearance because they've arrested the person. if the judge decided to call the assistant u.s. attorney and federal public defender and say, we're going here because i feel this person needs counsel, and it's more to miranda, chris, it's counsel as well. once you get counsel, now, your attorney is going to shut you up. so that could have happened.
4:10 pm
we don't exactly know. i mean, u.s. attorney's office could have asked judge to go. we don't have those facts. miranda doesn't always shut people up. they can still waive the right. he can still talk, too, because his lawyer can allow him to talk for some deal. so it can still happen. >> boy, this is getting murky. it's as simple as i can put it is the fact we had an investigation, interrogation under way. out of nowhere comes a federal judge with a lawyer and apparently stopped the interview, stopped the interrogation, stopped the information gathering. we'll see who had the right to do this, if they still have the right after this is looked at by the other courts. thank you, jim cavanaugh. coming up, what an amazing day it was in dallas today as five living presidents were together to dedicate the george w. bush presidential library. it's right here behind me, by the way. and leave it to former first lady barbara bush to make the biggest news. she says her son, jeb, shouldn't run for president saying we've had enough bushes. whoa, mom, you're taking over this thing. and later, syria. u.s. intelligence says the syrian regime used chemical weapons. something president obama said
4:11 pm
would be a game changer. now the hawks are clambering for action over there. but the white house wants more time to get the facts straight before acting. finally, let me finish with a day where partisanship took a back seat to pleasantries. and this is "hardball." the place for politics. but i wondered what a customer thought? hi nia... nice to meet you nia, i'm mike. what do you drive? i have a ford explorer, i love my car. and you're treating it well? yes i am. there are a lot of places you could take your explorer for service, why do you bring it back to the ford dealership? they specifically work on fords. it seems to me like the best care. and it's equal or less money, so it's a value for me. get a free brake inspection and brake pads installed for just 49.95 after rebates when you use the ford service credit card. who doesn't enjoy value?
4:12 pm
rhode island's on the verge of becoming the tenth state to recognize marriage equality. the state senate has approved a measure legalizing same-sex marriage last night. and it's expected to clear the statehouse and be signed into law by governor lincoln chafee next week. by the way, earlier this week the french parliament approved same-sex marriage making france the 14th country to do so. we'll be right back. supporters come and go, but in the end leaders are defined by the convictions they hold, and my deepest conviction, the ♪
4:13 pm
♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] this is a reason to look twice. this is a stunning work of technology. the 2013 lexus es and the first-ever es hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection.
4:14 pm
4:15 pm
in the end leaders are defined by the convictions they hold, and my deepest conviction, the guiding principle of the administration, is that the united states of america must
4:16 pm
strive to expand the reach of freedom. i believe that freedom is a gift from god. and the hope of every human heart. >> welcome back to "hardball." as i said earlier today was most definitely a day in the sun for george w. bush. as he was joined by all of our living presidents in his library dedication today right behind me here. it was an emotional day, of course, for the bush family. let's watch presidents bush 41 and 43. >> honor our son, our oldest son, and this is very special for barbara and me. thank you all for coming and all those who made this marvelous museum possible, we thank you, especially, and we're glad to be here. god bless america, and thank you so much. >> i dedicate this library with unshakeable faith in the future of our country. it was an honor of a lifetime to
4:17 pm
lead a country as brave and as noble as the united states. whatever challenges come before us, i will always believe our nation's best days lie ahead. god bless. >> joining me right now is nbc news chief white house correspondent, political director, chuck todd. he's also the host of "daily rundown." let's see. also jonathan martin of "politico." gentlemen, thank you. i have to tell you, as tough as i can be when i want to be, i thought there were great moments today about life. i thought everybody, all of us would love to have our spouse talk about us the way laura bush talked about her husband. that's a guy. >> a lot of people met the moment. president bush met at the moment. you just felt like they understood what today meant. you set aside some of the political debate. president obama i thought captured -- i thought he did an excellent job of honoring
4:18 pm
president bush. you know, some of the other speeches, president carter, president clinton, they personalized it and brought themselves into it. what made president obama stand out is he really did sort of 90% of his remarks. >> i talked to a senior bush person after the speech. i worked in the white house and was personally close to the president. he said to me he was really struck by president obama's graciousness. that he thought that president obama went a notch above what they expected. >> had a low bar, didn't have a very high bar. >> he praised president bush as not just a man, as a leader, too. he used those words and saluted them on the very issues, by the way, that george and laura bush want him to be remembered for. right? aids in africa, response after 9/11, education reform. immigration reform.
4:19 pm
>> all the liberal progressive things. if you think about it. >> all the stuff in the library. >> i tell you, though, it does -- all of this hand wringing going on inside the republican party, and the way i've been thinking about this day and about bush and his legacy and, look, there's iraq and he's never going to escape iraq. >> not mentioned. >> not mentioned. he's never going to escape it. george w. bush is never going to escape iraq. if you think about what the republican party is in search of, they're desperate for the guy who ran for president in 2000, the compassionate conservative who rounded out the hard edges, who was trying to reach out, frankly, downplay social issues. still talk about them. still have principles about them. but put them in a different place so you look like you're reaching out to suburban america. that's what they're -- sort of this interesting -- on one hand they don't want to talk about the bush brand. yet they wish they had a
4:20 pm
bush-like candidate from 2000. >> bill clinton figured out the bush campaign early on in 1999. he had this great quote. bill clinton said the campaign consisted of everything you like about the current administration plus you get a tax cut. that was bill clinton's description of what bush was running on. right? so clinton saw it early. >> except he didn't admit also marital stability. >> didn't mention that. >> every one of these guys, what i liked about how they got along, they didn't bs the whole day. they only picked out what they did like. picked out the truth. cherry picked. the iron of our two of party system. it really comes down to each party taking eight years to think about how they can exploit the shortcomings of the other party to come back into power with it. if the clintons have marital confusion, me and laura, really steady. jimmy carter was clean as a whistle but didn't know a lot of stuff. reagan comes along and says, carter, i can beat him. it's always knocking guy who's in there. they come out here today, hold hands. they love each other. basically each depended for his personal career and success on bashing the other guy's weakness. punching him in his bad eye. >> that's politics, though. >> here's clinton.
4:21 pm
let's take a look. here's clinton and obama paying tribute to the recent president. let's take a listen. >> i like president bush. we do a lot of speeches together and i like it when we have disagreements. he's disarmingly direct. we were having an argument over health care in one of these speeches and i went on about the german health care system. he said, i don't know a thing about the german health care system. i think he probably won the argument. >> what president clinton said is absolutely true. to know the man is to like the man. because he's comfortable in his own skin. he knows who he is. he doesn't put on any pretenses. he takes his job seriously, but he doesn't take himself too seriously. he is a good man. >> there, again, i mean, there's george w. cracking a joke about not knowing something, as his victory statement. hey, he like me, don't know
4:22 pm
anything more than you do about these things. we elect this genius president, obama, he has his shortcomings, too. it's always back and forth. >> that's the story of the country. >> do we want an intellectual president? do we want a guy who's intellectually pointy headed? we got one in bush sort of -- sorry, in clinton and obama. >> the country responded to bush in 2008, but look, i think if there's going to be a bush rehabilitation effort, i think president obama actually helped the cause tonight. >> tell me -- i tell you who didn't help the cause, barbara. that was an -- it reminded me of eisenhower pulling the rug out from under nixon. he said, give me two weeks to think about what this guy has done eight years. she said, we've had enough of the bushes. >> these events are so scripted and so polite. in the midst of this, real news broke out. who would have thunk. >> i want to make one quick point then i want to get to barbara because god love her. >> she's a great interview. >> unbelievable interview. it was interesting to have president obama, the one piece of politics he decided to do was in the best interest of the republican party -- >> down here in texas. >> particularly here in texas.
4:23 pm
>> immigration. >> this may be the largest pure republican crowd the president has ever addressed, president obama has ever addressed. >> that's a good point. >> he used it and almost said, hey, this immigration bill is not my legacy. it's this man's legacy. i thought, there's a smart way to sell it. we'll see if that works. the politics of this in the house still a little complicated. i think they're going to get it done. back to barbara, god love her. >> you didn't see this crowd, by the way, in the northeast. >> very republican crowd. >> not right wing. somewhat muddied -- >> country club republicans. >> businessman. country club republicans. this is actually what the tea party has also been running against. >> they don't like this -- >> the last four years. >> these are pretty moderate republicans compared to the crazies. yet, bottom line, is it going to help the immigration bill get through this year? >> look, i think this was going to happen, anyway, because the incentive on the republican party leadership to get this done. go back to barbara bush -- >> will he bring him out of retirement? >> i don't think bush will do
4:24 pm
it. >> i don't know if -- i say the bush brand is still -- it's still uneasy. >> i tell you, i think the president and i support him on this, i think it's a good, tough bill. rubio is the hero. >> let rubio sell it. >> i think the president should lead from behind on this one. rubio's the winner. he has the right name. >> rubio has more juice in the congress. >> rubio has more juice with tea party conservatives to maybe not win them over, just keep them from killing -- >> essential man right now. marco rubio. we all agree on everything. >> is that not good? >> we'll be back right after this.
4:25 pm
♪ vo:wiplus wireless speaker,rhead bold is the proud sponsor of singing in the shower. thto fight chronic. osteoarthritis pain. to fight chronic low back pain. to take action. to take the next step. today, you will know you did something for your pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a pain reliever fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain.
4:26 pm
one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. anti-depressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not for children under 18. people taking maois, linezolid or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. take the next step. talk to your doctor. cymbalta can help. governor of getting it done.
4:27 pm
you know how to dance... with a deadline. 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. this is awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is, business pro. yes, it is. go national. go like a pro. ha! back to "hardball," now to the side show. it's rare events when we get to see the five living presidents come together. today they all found some humor in what ties them all together. take a listen.
4:28 pm
>> we've been called the world's most exclusive club and we do have a pretty nice clubhouse. >> this is very special for barbara and me and thank you all for coming. we're glad to be here. god bless america and thank you very much. >> too long? >> starting with my work with president george h.w. bush on the tsunami and the aftermath of katrina, people began to joke that i was getting so close to the bush family that i had become the black sheep's son. my mother told me not to talk too long today. and barbara, i will not let you down. >> well, it's a great honor for me to be here today and it reminds me of my favorite cartoon in a new yorker magazine. this little boy is looking up at
4:29 pm
his father. he says, daddy, when i grow up, i want to be a former president. >> this is the first time in american history that parents have seen their son's presidential library. mother, i promise to keep my area clean. >> now, in the past, president bush has said it's impossible to pass judgment on his presidency while he's still alive, so maybe this is a little bit premature but even now there's certain things we know for certain. we know a father who raised two remarkable, caring, beautiful daughters, even after they tried to discourage him from running for president by saying, dad, you're not as cool as you think you are. mr. president, i think i can relate. >> if you don't have anything to do today, tune in to the "today" show. jenna is a national
4:30 pm
correspondent. >> the last time the president's club was together, a white house meeting back in 2009. but that was before president obama was sworn in. the bush center tweeted out that snapshot of the five living presidents and their wifs. bill clinton brand new to the twitt twitter seen sent this out. and then there's this one of just the first ladies in attendance. up next, a big decision for president obama. the syrian regime uses chemical weapons, something that the president said would be a game changer. so what's his next move? you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. in a timely n and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town. you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare. now that we're expecting, i like the fact that i can go onto angie's list and look for pediatricians. the service providers that i've found on angie's list actually have blown me away.
4:31 pm
join today and find out why over 1 million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. but i wondered what a customer 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... [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ge has wired their medical hardware with innovative software to be in many places at the same time.
4:32 pm
using data to connect patients to software, to nurses to the right people and machines. ♪ helping hospitals treat people even better, while dramatically reducing waiting time. now a waiting room is just a room. [ telephone ringing ] [ static warbles ] [ beeping ] red or blue?
4:33 pm
hello, everybody, here's what's happening. president obama spoke earlier at
4:34 pm
a memorial for the deadly memorial fertilizer plant in west texas. >> families, the neighbors grappling with unbearable loss, we are here to say you are not alone. you are not forgotten. we may not all live here in texas, but we're neighbors, too. we're americans, too. and we stand with you and we do not forget and we'll be there even after the cameras leave. >> 14 people were killed in that explosion. more than 200 were wounded. the mother of the boston bombing suspects spoke to reporters in russia. she insisted that her two sons were innocent and she may renounce her u.s. citizenship. a body was found of a missing brown university
4:35 pm
student. 22-year-old was seen last on march 16th. there's tough news for air travelers. united and u.s. airways are hiking their ticket change fees. it will now cost $200 to switch a ticket instead of 150 bucks. the unemployment number is at a low of 16,000 from the week before. more news later. now it's back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." there's news from the intelligence community today about syria. that could have major implications. president obama said any use of chemical weapons by that regime in syria would be a red line as he called it for u.s. for us. rather. according to the intelligence
4:36 pm
community, at least, that line has likely been crossed. that was the regime has used chemical weapons. secretary of defense chuck hagan currently traveling in the region briefed reporters on it today. >> the u.s. intelligence community assesses with some degree of varying confidence that the syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in syria. specifically the chemical agent sarin. we cannot confirm the origin of the weapons. we believe any use of chemical weapons in syria very likely originated with the assad regime. >> very likely. france, britain and israel have come to the same conclusion, but the white house is walking a fine line here. in a letter to senators it makes clear the assessment comes from the intelligence community and the administration is pressing for a u.n. investigation before taking the next step. still today's news raises a lot of tough questions. for instance, what options do we have if the white house decides
4:37 pm
its red line has been crossed? that's a great question. richard engel, nbc's chief foreign correspondent. richard, thank you for this. i guess the big news question is, where do we get this information from? is it hard? >> based on what we've been hearing from other intelligence agencies, it seems pretty solid that particularly the british were able to smuggle out some samples that show that sarin gas was used in a very small scale. more than once. including a few months ago in aleppo. and what i think was interesting about that clip you just showed was that the defense secretary was reading from that statement. and the white house and the administration in general is very cautious on this one. they want everyone to be speaking on the same line. and that line so far coming from the obama administration is we are still in a wait and see mode. there are varying degrees of confidence in these assessments. they are not going as strongly in condemnation or in any kind
4:38 pm
of definitive way as we heard from the israelis, the french and the brits. >> can we determine, or can you determine at the right time or now whether the reason for hesitancy is based upon a lack of surety, that there is, in fact, a use of chemical weapons or a concern that once they put that fact out there and acknowledge it as the administration, not just as the intelligence community, they then have to move on that green light to some kind of action? >> i think it's a little bit of both. one, the president painted himself a little bit in the corner by saying this is a red line and if you acknowledge then that the red line has been crossed, it begs the question, well then what? and today the syrian opposition was very strongly saying the white house must do something otherwise by doing nothing and you acknowledge them using chemical weapons, you are perhaps even encouraging them.
4:39 pm
you are saying that the u.s. won't react, yes, we accept some chemical weapons were used, but we're not going to act. so that's one way of looking at it that they may have painted themselves too much into a corner and don't want to act because of a minor use or minor several occasions of use. >> i get you. >> the other way of looking at it is a lot of stuff out of syria is very murky and don't know exactly who fired these, when, in what capacity, is this doctored evidence? and there is, having worked in syria quite a bit, there is certainly a reason to be skeptical. >> that someone might have put it in there to get us in the war? is that out of the question? >> no, that's not out of the question that someone tampered tissue samples to get us into the war or that we just don't know enough about who ordered them, was this an accident, was it a misfire? what was the intent? there are still a lot of unanswered questions. >> yeah. >> i remember looking into these incidents as they were happening
4:40 pm
at the time and sarin gas if it's used properly, it doesn't have the reaction of killing 10 or 15 or 20 people. if you suddenly saw hundreds of people dead within an hour, that's a sarin gas attack. you don't have a sarin gas attack that kills 15 people. so there's certain confusing things about how small amounts of chemical weapons have been used. >> i'm learning something here. thank you so much, richard engel, as always. we have senator robert menendez of new jersey. senator, this is a murky political thing right now. i have always wondered, what kind of role would we play in the syrian war right now? the syrian civil war? what do we do? do we try to topple that regime? >> well, chris, there's a couple of items here. number one is we obviously are concerned about chemical weapons not only obviously being used against syrian people, but about the security of those sites.
4:41 pm
and that's incredibly important to us. it's incredibly important to our allies like jordan and turkey in the region. secondly, if we don't want to see the greatest humanitarian catastrophe continue to go on, we have to change the dynamics because right now there is no tipping point that assad believes that he can fall. so for so long as he has superiority and air power and artillery, he's going to continue to try to stay in power. we have to think about, do we assist the vetted rebels? those individuals who we believe share our values? at the end of the day, do we assist them in a way that changes that dynamics? and thirdly, we have a growing extremism problem here in al nusra and also al qaeda. they're growing in strength within syria. that's a real challenge to our national interests as well. so if we continue to allow what is happening to take place, then
4:42 pm
we are only going to manifest the bigger problem at the end of the day. >> yeah, but if you're assad, you're looking at mubarak who's in jail probably for life if he's lucky and not executed. gadhafi ended up in a sewer pipe. or suddam hussein who ended up in a spider hole. what is the future for assad if he gives up? the people will lynch him, torture his family and kill him. why should he give up? i don't understand the demands from secretary clinton and all the secretaries. why should he quit? >> he's had a series of offers made to him. he can go live in russia. he hasn't been willing to do that and the russians obviously haven't changed their own equation. they think that assad might be able to hang in there. if, in fact, we harness all of our regional allies in that area, have a defined plan as to how we help the opposition, the vetted opposition inside of syria, if we bring to bear an opportunity to have them change the tipping point, if we at the
4:43 pm
same time look at the opportunities to undermine the extremists and, by the way, undermine iran which is sending enormous amounts of assistance to assad, then assad is going to look and say, wait a minute, the dynamics changed for me. either i can ultimately find myself dead or i can stay alive in some place, another part of the world. >> do you think we have the power and the ingenuity to turn that war around so assad loses? >> i do. i do believe, you know, we'd have to bring an international effort. look, you know, to believe that the brits, the french, and the israelis who came to this conclusion, and i understand why the administration wants to nail it down tight, because if you're going to go to the security council, you don't want a repeat of the history we had, for example, in the war in iraq. but by the same token, unless we're saying others outside of
4:44 pm
assad have control of chemical weapons, then the only entity that is likely to have used chemical weapons is assad and the question is, if he has his warplanes armed with greater amounts of those chemical weapons and sees himself in a moment in which he makes a decision tactically to go ahead and use it because the world is not responding, then you have a much greater consequence. and those are the tough challenges we're facing in making this decision. >> yeah. i just think we have to make sure we're right before we go in there. thank you, senator menendez. chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. up next, let's go back to dallas and former first lady barbara bush's stunning statement today she doesn't want her son to run for president. no more jeb, no more bushes. we've had enough bushes, she said. i wonder what jeb thinks of all that. what he thinks of his mom today. this is "hardball." the place for politics.
4:45 pm
4:46 pm
rand paul speaking up steam.
4:47 pm
he's in the lead among potential 2016 new hampshire primary contestants. paul's at 28%. just add in marco rubio at 25%. chris christie is third at 14%. jeb bush and paul ryan is at 7%. on the democratic side, no surprise, it's hillary clinton with 68% support followed by joe biden with 12%. everyone else is in single digits. right back after this. copd makes it hard to breathe...
4:48 pm
but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can help make this a great block party. ♪ [ male announcer ] advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. ask your doctor
4:49 pm
if including advair could help improve your lung function. [ male announcer ] advair diskus fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder. get your first prescription free and save on refills at [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay -- you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car and we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. learn about it at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? bush is at center of attention here in dallas, big d.
4:50 pm
it was just another bush who made the biggest headlines today. she upstaged her son. that's barbara. the former first lady was on the "today" show and matt lauer got himself today. she had a comment about her she made a comment when asked about whether jeb should run. >> he's by far the best qualified man, but, no, i really don't. i think it's a great country. there are a lot of good families. it's not just four families or whatever. there are other people out there that are very qualified. wave had enough bushes. >> best qualified man. that only narrows it down to one potential of the gender we know in politics today. you have to look at hillary. thanks a lot, mom, he must be saying, the one word reaction. what must be saying to john king of cnn, priceless. and howard is the editorial
4:51 pm
director of the media group. i have to start with you. this barbara bush is really like -- i have to go back to mitchell in the nixon administration, martha mitchell. this woman has something to say here. >> she's nothing like martha mitchell because everything barbara bush says is said deliberately and for effect. she this is queen mother of the presidency. and she has been both the wife and mother of presidents. the way i view that, wayne may disagree, is that she knows what she's doing here. she said similar things, not quite in this same word, but similar things when george w. was thinking of running, when she had two people, including jeb, who were thinking of running back in the late '90s. i think she's lowering expectations and she wouldn't mind at all if jeb ran, that's my view. >> you think it was sort of a cuff, a mother's cuff on the
4:52 pm
cub, warning him of what's out there. >> exactly. >> it wasn't to undercut h his -- how do you read it? do you read the same way as howard, a mother's loving warning to the son, it's dangerous out there? >> i think that's exactly it. what she really is, is the protector, always has been the strong protector, matriarch of that family. >> having said that -- >> here's the deal. with george w. bush, what she said to george w. bush is i don't want you to run for governor. the reason why is because she didn't think he could beat ann richards and she was wrong. >> how about this time? does she think her son could beat hillary clinton if she runs? >> one of your libraries in the future at some point. he very straight faced said i don't know about that. then he grabbed his son, george p., turned him around and said, this is the real candidate. >> he's running for land
4:53 pm
commissioner. >> running for land commissioner in texas, likely to win. >> a legitimate texan? >> yes. he'll win this race unless something weird happens and an odds on favorite for governor in nine years. >> you're embracing the mother i think thoughtfully. do you think she took a roundhouse punch that included the clinton, why should the same four families be running the show. let's face it, who else is she talking about? >> definitely, she was cuffing her cub around, as you said, also fire inging a shot across bow at the clintons, i have dealt with and wayne has, too, i've dealt with barbara bush a lot over the years. if there's a godfather in that family, it's not h.w., or george, it's barbara. she's the keeper of the christmas card list and enemy's list. >> i love it. >> she never forgets -- i tell you, she never forgets. she's fierce and she's helped make two men president.
4:54 pm
as i said, her husband and her son. she's looking out for jeb. by the way, i saw jeb in washington the other week at a dinner, similar circumstances to wayne. it was funny, because i was spending all my time talking to george p. because, you know, he is an up and comer, he is going to be running in texas. he's an obvious future star of the republican party. jeb's reaction, if i could read the body language, hey, what about me? i'm not chopped liver. i'm still here, too. i think that could go either way. i don't think jeb is ready to leave the stapling quite. >> last 30 seconds, didn't you love the sidebar discussion between barbara bush today and the president? it was the greatest little thing. such an interesting conversation michelle obama was dying to get in it. what are you two talking about over there? >> i didn't see anything quite as fascinating as that except at john connolly's funeral where sitting next to richard nixon,
4:55 pm
what were they talking about? >> where are the lip-readings? >> i want the tape. they were chuckling away there. it was great. i do want to know. i'm serious. thank you. you're always great. thank you for coming. i think you're right about the mother. she couldn't have been as mean as it sounds. we'll be right back after this. meet the 5-passenger ford c-mc-max one. c-max two. that's a super fuel- efficient hybrid for me.
4:56 pm
and a long range plug-in hybrid for you. now, let's review. introducing the ford c-max hybrid and the ford c-max energi plug-in hybrid. say hi to the c-max hybrids. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems,
4:57 pm
or if you develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. with chantix and with the support system it worked for me. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. omnipotent of opportunity. 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.
4:58 pm
let me finish tonight with this pleasant day in dallas. the goal here today was give a
4:59 pm
big push off to george w. bush's presidential library. the great irony it would have been a huge difficulty laying the fact the number one decision of george w. bush was to take us into the iraq war and also the chief reason for the election and nomination of barack obama. activists democrats didn't like the iraq war or foreign policy behind it or like the decision to attack and invade and occupy was made and told and made to happen. that explains why the word iraq was never mentioned today, not once. that said, it was a civilized today down here. the words spoken were as sunny as the weather. you couldn't tell the parties apart. you couldn't tell jimmy carter had won because of nixon's watergate that the republicans beat carter by calling him weak. clinton beat bush by calling him out of touch and the second bush said he wouldn't embarrass us the way his democratic predecessor did.
5:00 pm
they got through the day without harming each other or themselves, by finding things to agree about. finding good and honest things to say about each other and leaving all the rest for the next day on "hardball." that was a good thing to do. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us, "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. thank you for joining us. big stuff today and we'll get to all of it. big news out of the state department, the united states believes the syrian regime may have used chemical weapons on its people. also, president obama spoke at the memorial in west texas for those killed in the explosion of a fertilizer plant. we'll tell you what role then senator obama played seven years ago trying to prevent explosions