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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 24, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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when more of us can be insured and given the health care that we need. we want to answer your questions. e-mail me. remember, friend or foe, i want to know. well, that's going to be it for tonight. thank you for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. new york times to anthony weiner, get out. let's play "hardball." ♪ snoetd good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. new york has two historic mayors in a row now. rudy giuliani and mike bloomberg. they are not without controversy, of course. but in the end, both stand today as public figures of renown. they can travel the country and
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be treated with great applause by broad audiences of the american people. and that's a fact. anthony weiner is known nationwide for one thing that he sent pictures of just himself across the country. now he wants to bathe in public attention of another kind at the expense of new york's dignity. i think new york is back as a great city, surviving not just 9/11 but years of high crime and low expectations. i hope new york knows that it has a lot going for it. i think this race for mayor is going to come down to two people, christine quinn and bill thompson. quinn is a serious public servant who has operated at the highest levels of new york city politics. she's a political heavyweight as is bill thompson. spectacularly came close to beating bloomberg himself. why would the city of new york want to drop in class now when it's in the middle of a winning streak? who are these new yorkers who would feel good knowing they hel something to do with making weiner their mayor? is there something else this guy can do where we wouldn't be talking about him? i forgot.
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that would defeat the whole purpose of this guy. i'm joined by political analyst howard fineman with the huffing post and the new york daily's reporter annie carney. "the new york times" has come out strongly in its lead editorial against weiner saying in the race. the paper read quote, the mr. weiner should have his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, and off the web and out of the race for mayor of new york city. he says he is staying in the mayoral race. to those who know his arrogance and grown tired of his saga he has dragged the city into, this is not surprising. that's pretty strong for the gray lady. >> i think it probably captures the sentiment of all but whatever strong supporters he has. which i think is a rapidly diminishing number. i think part of it is what you said. the dignity, pride of new york.
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the desire for a world class figure, that's number one. number two, his -- he had told the narrative that this was all behind him. that he'd learned. that he'd gone through therapy. he was a stronger man, better man, and because of his pain he would be a better politician and better leader. it turns out not only was he doing the selfies last summer. >> the what? >> selfies are pictures of yourself. >> i need you for this, howard. >> this is the age of the selfie. >> where would i be without you? >> it depends where you're directing the selfie also. >> go ahead. >> he was doing it as recently as march of this year. the family saga is under pressure here. not only his evasiveness, but sort of the dignity and the pride of his wife huma who was seen as standing by her man in a sort of dignified way. at the press conference yesterday came off as a figure who was almost a sort of psychological prisoner of her husband or somebody who has some other motive than just standing
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by her man. it diminished -- >> let's cut to the chase on that. we'll talk more about that with women guests on the show. but it seems she's made a lifetime investment in this fella. either stay on the train or get off the train. >> but it depends on how honest he was with her in recent months as well. do you really want to spend the mayoral race unpacking the relationship of these two? and you have to ask questions about her that you might not have asked a few days ago. >> let me go to andy carney. i was looking at "the new york times." if you don't watch me, i don't behave like a media critic. i don't think it's right for a baseball player to make fun of another baseball player. but i think "the times" may have felt in this guy. the puff piece, the magazine puff piece he was all cured and he was wonderful. and they were sort of rooting for him in that piece. what's your feeling about just
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start with "the new york times," lead editorial saying get out. you're gone. >> well, the problem is i think that, you know, weiner said that i -- you know, he knew stuff was going to come out now it's come out. the problem here is that the stuff that came out yesterday happened after he resigned from congress. as late as last summer. so this is another lie. and we don't know what else will come out if he becomes a democratic nominee. who knows what could come out further when he runs against a republican. i think that's the concern here. as for the "new york times" editorial, the daily news had an editorial as well saying the same thing. and i don't want to comment on the editorial. but he is not jumping out of the race. he sent an e-mail to supporters saying new york, i'm not going to quit you. i think he's going to -- >> isn't that from "brokeback
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mountain"? why would he bring that up? doesn't matter. anything goes. anthony weiner continued campaigning today. i didn't know he used that particular phrase. >> he did, yeah. >> wow. >> positive this whole campaign on a bet. and that is at the end of the day, citizens are more interested in the challenge they face in their lives than anything that i have done embarrassing in my past. and i'm fine. i've got an amazing wife and child upstairs. i have a comfortable life. this is not about me. >> well, in a letter to supporters today, weiner i guess to contributors tried to cast himself as a david up against goliath. quote, now with 47 days left until the primary, some powerful voices are making it clear they still don't want me to run. well, yesterday's news has given them fresh fodder. i was clear that these relationships took place over an extended period of time with more than one person. i regret not saying explicitly when these exchanges happened,
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but the bottom line is that the news today is about my past life. this comes less than 24 hours after weiner admitted in a press conference his online activities continued well past his resignation in 2011. let's watch him here. this is hard to follow this honesty here. >> some of them happened before my resignation, some happened after. but that was also the time that my wife and i were working through some things in our marriage. >> when was the last? >> i can't say exactly. some time last summer, i think. >> was it after you told people magazine it took us a lot of work to get where we are today? >> yes. >> now, i think he assumes everybody's -- i know he's bright. he thinks everybody is stupid. when he said at the time when he quit congress and went through this public bath of public knowledge, he said basically i'm not telling you when this happened. but he didn't tell us it wasn't going to stop.
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now he's looking back saying he was perfectly honest back then. he never said this is going to keep up. >> yeah. >> annie, howard first then you. >> absolutely. as i say, there are stories rattling around there are even more recent incidents than the one from last summer. and it's clear that he didn't solve the problem. it's clear he hasn't solved his personal problem. it's clear he's lied about it continuously. it's become an embarrassment he doesn't fully understand. sometimes smart people are the dumbest when it comes to themselves. that's true in hiss case. i think whatever hope he had of getting the old line senior liberal jewish democrats, i.e. grandmas out there, whatever shred of hope he had of getting them, he just lost. >> i don't know if that's completely true. i think huma standing at his side means a lot to people. i talked to people in passing today who said that would be a reason they would still consider him.
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so, i mean, this is a huge setback for his campaign, no doubt. but i think that huma is carrying this thing. and her forgiveness b of him is making voters think twice about him still. >> do they see her as an exonerater here or an enabler? is she just step ford wife going along with her man or is she part of the political movement to get him in the mayor's chair at all costs? >> i think she's a political powerhouse, i think. one thing, she didn't do the stand by your man, woman, wife thing. she spoke. that was different. and she's been his biggest bundler. brought in $150,000 to his campaign. she's the powerhouse in this thing. >> is i hope she doesn't underestimate her role here. >> she's going to become the story and that's not necessarily a good thing for him. >> people are getting very scrutinizing in looking at all these cases now. when you look at the spouse and how they behave. please reporting there annie
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carney. and thank you for telling us about the editorial even though you don't agree with it. the poll coming out today conducted before these allegations really got out there. and before weiner served us with this problem. shows weiner in a tight race in the front of the field. 26%. christine quinn is behind him there in that poll. by four points. she's at 22%. they're all roughly in the pack there. eyes now will be on the new maris poll tomorrow. meanwhile, here's weiner today discussing his opponents. let's watch. >> there have been people since the moment i got in this race who didn't want me to run. there have been people who didn't want me to run at the very beginning. but a lot of people have been crying out for someone to talk about issues important to the middle class.
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and a lot of the same people not happy about me in the first place want me out. >> one of his opponents is bill thompson. thanks for joining us. i was rooting for you last time even though i respect bloomberg. i tried to get my kid to vote for you. i'm not sure if he did or not. >> i hope so. >> let's talk about this race. can you talk about weiner's problem that seems to have continued after he ran for the mayor. he keeps doing this up to as recently as whenever. do you believe his problems are behind him, yes or no? >> it's not a question of do i believe that are his problems behind him or not, this election this race for mayor is about new york city. anthony's made it about him. i think the people of new york city want to have a discussion -- >> are there rooms for his problems and the problems of new york? >> he's become a distraction right now. i think the consensus is he needs to get out and i agree with that. >> let me ask you about this. what do you think he did wrong that justifies the times, you, and the daily news saying get
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out? is it his dishonesty? strange proclivity? you'll be asked this by other people. what makes him a non-player for new york's future? >> this winds up being a question of leadership. this ends up being a question of judgment. i think in the long run that's what the people of new york city care about. they want a leader who puts ideas forward, that they can at least it will help lead new york city to higher heights. they want to have somebody who will stand up and that they can trust in. somebody who leads new york city who can talk about the issues not about themselves. i think that becomes the problem. >> i want to hold you on that word judgment. should i put out tweet pictures naked or not? you have to judge that? that's like a quiz for yourself? i mean, what are we talking about judgment here? tell me yes or no, does this guy are have a problem? >> it has become clear he has many problems. and i think that in the end this is about judgment. this is about leading new york city. this isn't a game. and it's not about one's self.
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this is about people of the city of new york. anthony has made it about himself. it isn't. it is about new york city and its voters and the people who live in new york city who care about education and jobs and housing. that's what it's about. >> hope to have you back later on in the debate. we love new york. i work up there. so we want this to be a good mayor's race with the best person winning. >> ask your son to vote for me again. >> you did a good run last time. i think it was a courageous run against the unbeatable bloomb g bloomberg. is huma forgiving or simply now in survival mode? i think that's the answer. plus president obama basically declared war on a republican congress today that has decided it will do whatever it can to destroy him in his presidency. he's positioning himself as the leader who wants to kick the economy into higher gear and make government work. steve king isn't making life
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any better. he may have set a new standard or low standard for an offensive speech. his comments about illegal immigrants in this country are the reason why some in the republican party want to get past this fight over immigration reform. finally, during anthony weiner's press conference, did you see the guy behind the cubicle? he's an internet star. today he came out of the cubicle. this is "hardball," the place for politics. help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger.
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caroline kennedy will soon be headed to tokyo. the white house announced today that president obama will nominate the daughter of the former president to serve as the next u.s. ambassador to japan. caroline kennedy was an early supporter of obama, of course along with her late uncle ted kennedy when they passed the torch and endorsed the senator at a campaign event right across the street from here in 2008. kennedy had thought about running for the senate in new york before taking herself out of consideration. "hardball" back after this.
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well, from hillary clinton to wendy vitter, wives of politicians who screw up, if you will, always fascinate the public. what are they really thinking inside that head? why do they stand by their husbands who clearly go out to embarrass them? ever since weiner admitted to sending the sext messages and photos to women online some of whom he didn't know, huma abedin has faced similar questions. abedin a close respected official working with hillary clinton says she's forgiven her husband and strongly backs his candidacy for mayor. yesterday after the allegations, the new ones, surfaced she stood beside her husband. >> anthony's made some horrible mistakes. both before he resigned from congress and after. i do very strongly believe that is between us in our marriage.
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we discussed all of this before anthony decided to run for mayor. so really what i want to say is i love him, i have griffin him, i believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward. >> well, in an article in the september issue of harper's bazaar she said why am i doing this? anthony has always been a smart caring dedicated person. he now represents a better man. had she talked about his changing. new yorkers will have to decide for themselves whether or not to give him a second chance. i had to make that decision for myself, my son, and our family. i know in my heart i made the right one. kimberly cutter and keli goff. let me get you both on the record here. i don't have a judgment, this one time where i'm watching and not deciding yet. but i do think that men, maybe
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women too, make this gut judgment it's all about loyalty and love. it's not about self-direction and independent thinking and judgment and sort of direction setting in the public matter like running for mayor of new york. where do you put it, keli? is it judgment? love? ambition? self-protection? survival? where do you put it? >> can i choose "d" all of the above? as i said in my blog, i am a huge admirer of huma, but for her to say this is between us, it would be if he weren't running for office right now. and they decided to make it between all of us because as a new york voter and taxpayer i would be his employer if he became mayor. that's the way i see it. he's in one long job interview. so the question becomes for me, chris, the only analogy i can draw here is lindsay lohan. when she kept doing film after film after film as her life became a bigger train wreck we asked why is her family around
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her enabling her and not pulling her back from the public eye to get her life together? that's how huma's starting to look here. she's someone i admire a great deal, but the issue of ambition is starting to sort of creep into our minds when you ask his life is a train wreck, why is she supporting pushing him out there instead of helping their family step back from the limelight and get their lives together? >> kimberly? >> i think as she said in the piece for bazaar, i think she loves him and believes what he can do for new york. so she's sticking with that line. >> so are you endorsing weiner for mayor? >> no, i wouldn't say that. >> it sounded like you just did. it sounded like you just endorsed him. >> no, i don't feel that way -- >> would you vote for him in new york for mayor? >> luckily i don't have to make that decision yet. >> i said would you consider it? >> if i had to vote tomorrow? >> yes. >> i would, sure.
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>> after all this? >> yeah, i would. >> i wouldn't. >> we have a long history of politicians who've had very messy private lives. and that didn't necessarily mean they were bad politicians. sometimes they've been excellent ones. so i'm not dismissing ut of hand on that basis. >> chris, can i say -- >> let me stick with kimberly because i'm hearing something i'm surprised to hear. do you think the fact this continued long after he confessed, gone through the remorse in public, rehabilitation they attempted through their pr. all that public relations effort built on remorse and redemption, that whole theme, is that still credible when it comes out the fact he lied? that it continued and he's been covering up ever since maybe right through this year? does that hinder your willingness to vote for him? >> i certainly think it's made me think he's much more a reckless person than before. it's definitely made me concerned. i just haven't made up my mind
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about it yet to be totally honest with you. i sort of like to really think these things through before i make a firm decision. so i'm still in the phase of really watching to see how it all unfolds. >> let get get back to huma and keli on that. we all know about the stepford wives. they are somehow through scifi to say you're right dear. yes dear. it's how some guys would like to be treated. but it's not dignified to live with somebody who would just say yes, sir. sometimes get the idea the woman's job is yes. whatever crap is thrown at me, i say yes. pat nixon with the pink coat. all those messages used as a prop. for the first time in this campaign bring his wife into a press conference and have her talk. why on this particular issue? on this particular issue, she was damn useful. that's why. >> that's right.
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because she has substantial more credibility than he has. that's the reality. not only more credibility, but let's not forget, she's better liked than he is. she's better respected than he is. >> why is that though? why is she better respected? i mean, i think you're -- >> because she didn't send pictures of herself across the country to strangers. >> agreed. >> that's not hard to delineate here? >> not at all, but i think we respect her because she's an intelligent strategic thinker. i think if she speaking on his behalf it's because she decided to. not because she's forced to be a prop for a camera. >> i've met huma and others know she's an independent woman. i think the question some of us have, though, is why is this the choice she's owning. >> i have that question too. >> she's not going to be mayor. i'm sorry. she can be a character witness. there's a reason why wives don't testify about their husbands in court. just a minute. i think that's the question. who goes in the winner's circle?
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she'd go in the winner's circle, but he would make the decisions as mayor. his brains. his judgment. her judgment is probably impeccable. she's not on the grill here. >> except for picking men. >> he chose in every instance to send something out. at one point 45,000 people on the twitter. he sent indescent pictures of himself. she hasn't made a mistake yet in her life except maybe one. >> picking him, yeah. >> maybe one. >> my previous column was titled the wrong weiner is running. >> i feel the same way. >> i think that -- >> i don't think she's taking his name by the way. that might be the most important decision of her life. thank you. kimberly we'll check back over time to see if you decide on this race. i've made a call on this one. up next, the guy keeps popping up in weiner's press
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conference. remember the guy bopping up in all the pick which you ares? we're going to talk about him. he's become a viral figure. this is "hardball," the place for politics. stor. when you do what i do, you think about risk. i don't like the ups and downs of the market, but i can't just sit on my cash. i want to be prepared for the long haul. ishares minimum volatility etfs. investments designed for a smoother ride. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. [poof!] [clicks mouse] there's doughnuts in the conference room.
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i love it. this time anthony weiner used the name carlos danger. that was the name. he was sexting women under the name carlos danger. see, this is weiner's way of getting more latino support. i'll be carlos danger. yeah. >> that was jay leno of course poking fun at anthony weiner's online alter ego. carlos danger. it sounds like a jekyell and hyde story here. it seems they weren't the only ones making headlines. many couldn't help but notice a man peeking from the cubicle in
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the background. cubicle guy is an unlikely viral sensation. here he was in a montage posted by "the daily beast" last night. >> while some of the things have been posted today -- ♪ >> i was watching him the whole time. that man was identified as jeff mckinney, a radio reporter in new york. the peeping tom reminded some of wilson, the character from the '90s from the sitcom "home improvement" whose face was always obscured by tim allen's fence. up next, it seems kate middleton is raising the bar for mothers everywhere. check this out from the colbert
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report. >> labor party, fetal attraction, birthing hips the prince of wales, spotted dick, it's a boy. 013. >> this afternoon, the royal couple finally emerged hoeltding the yet as unnamed new prince of cambridge. of course kate's a trend setter, so ladies this is the new standard for what you must look like less than 24 hours after giving birth. smiling, glamorous, hair perfect, radiant, and fresh. okay? step up your game. >> that's a ridiculous statement. finally, this is a heartwarming story. former president george herbert walker bush shaved his head in a show of solidarity for the 2-year-old son of a secret
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i'm paige hopkins. here's what's happening. as many as 50 are announced dead after a train derails in spain. several of the derailed cars toppled over. at least 70 are reportedly injured. the high speed train was headed to madrid. can be seen caring for the injured still inside those passenger cars. the cause of the derailment is not known at this time. but authorities have ruled out an attack. now we're going to take you back to "hardball." ♪
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with this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and foe any scandals, washington's taken its eye off the ball. and i'm here to say this needs to stop. and as washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes for our middle class and everybody fighting to get into the middle class could not be higher. a good education, a home to call your own. affordable health care when you get sick, a secure retirement even if you're not rich. reducing poverty, reducing inequality, growing opportunity. that's what we need. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was a hell of a speech today the president gave as part of a retooled mission to focus on the economy. as the president said, there comes a time the stakes couldn't be higher. the government is staring down
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possible shutdown on default on national debt if congress does its number. but if you're looking for any of obama's vision to get through to republicans, dream on. the front page of today's "new york times" says the house gop is setting a new offensive on obama's goals. it's an at war of presidential suppression. they want to see the government health care gone. and any spending bill give aspenny to help in support of that. threatening government default if the administration doesn't cut spending where they want. where they want. eliminating all kinds of programs. and when they want it. obama needs to be clearly positioned in this battles where the republicans refuse to support the agenda and he's seen promoting one. he wants to be seen as the leader who wants government to function. and his opponents want to shut down government. today's big speech was about a lot more than just the economy
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and jobs. it was about the president versus his enemies. joining me now jonathan capehart with the post and david corn of mother jones. i saw the speech that was basically up front offensive. he wanted to do more good things to get the economy going. but the beef in this speech was his admission that he can't play mr. i love everybody. that there's going to be a war coming this fall and it's going to be fought by republicans and he might as well get in early. if they want to bring down the government to a halt by saying no debt ceiling increase. they're setting these conditions. they're saying we're going to blow you out of here because when we're done there ain't going to be an obama care or administration. we're going to kill you politically. that's what they're saying. he admitted it today. >> right. and what this speech does is lay down a marker for what he wanted to do. where he wants to go. we've heard bits and pieces of
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this speech before. we can go to the budget and see what he wants to do. we can go to the american jobs act of 2011 to see what he wants to do. i think the president is trying to remind the people i've been talking about these things for five years. and you know who's preventing me preventing us from moving forward? it's the republicans. and the republicans don't have anything to present in the alternative. it's stop block and cut. but nothing to -- >> there was a great line. he said killing obama care is not an economic program. >> no, it isn't. and i thought this was a good speech. i didn't think it was great. listening to it i thought about classic rock. these are all the great lines and ideas he's been presenting for a couple of years now and that very based the campaign on. these are the things he wanted the public to decide the question on. you want a government nast going to do something? you want obama care or not? and he won that fight. but he comes back to washington and he can't do anything.
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but i think to get -- you know, to sort of really set the right context of any chance of making it clear to those voters in the middle who may not be decided in general, about what's going on, he's going to have to come down even harder. now, this is a series of speeches, they say. he's going to have to -- he can't just keep giving speeches. he's going to have to act like he's fighting and doing things. >> what does he do when they shut down the government? what does he do when they default? what's he going to do with words? what's he going to do on national television? when people like ted cruz who don't give a damn about his thought or rand paul or mike lee. they just want to bring government to a halt. they want to humiliate this guy in history. and they want to put an asterisk to his name. he wasn't really president. >> good luck with that. but i think there are two things here. there's defaulting on the debt and the government shutdown.
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when he president faced the abyss in 2011 with the debt ceiling crisis, that was the worst crisis the president and his administration had ever faced. anything up to that is a walk in the park. so what i see possibly happening is the president -- he said i'm not negotiating on the debt ceiling, but i wouldn't be surprised if the president said you know what? you want to shut down the government this is a few steps removed, go ahead and do it. that would be -- have an incredible impact. and the american people will blame him, but turn to congress and say what are you people doing. >> let me give you a more difficult question. what does he do if they say we're not going to fund and increase the national debt? >> well -- >> not pay the bills. what does the american people -- doesn't that screw the economy, wall street, and it gets blamed on him. >> exactly. and the last time in 2011 the economy was fragile and his economic advisers and the
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president himself were very nervous about doing anything. they felt like the responsibility adults. we can't let this happen. but as part of that negotiation, you know, the president and i wrote about this in the book i had out awhile ago. he kept telling his aides i'm not going through this again. >> what's that mean? >> he said -- >> what's he going to do about it? >> i think he's going to have to call their bluff. >> and then what? lay out -- what happens to the american people? the front page of all newspapers, america can't pay its bills. america in default. what happens from that hour on? >> well, it depends -- >> if that happens in november -- >> the business community lands on top of the republicans to begin with. they have to. he has to -- >> they -- yes. they would absolutely have to. >> interest rates, everything else -- >> let's see. because i think the president is very worried about this to the point he wants to set this high noon fight up now. his terms. >> but he told his aides this is a constitutional issue that you can't let a few republicans hold
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the country hostage. to do that you have to play hardball. >> let's hope. i don't believe in shutting the government down every couple of years. thank you. up next, leave it to the iowa congressman steve king to say something about immigrants that even republicans are actually offended by for once. finally. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. i can't always keep my kids' socks clean. but at least i can help keep their underwear clean. with charmin ultra strong. i'll take that. go get 'em, buddy! [ female announcer ] charmin ultra strong has a duraclean texture and its four times stronger than the leading bargain brand. enjoy the go with charmin ultra strong. 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. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain.
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economic speech today comes at a time when the nation's trust in washington is in a serious summer slump. according to our new nbc poll, the president's job approval has slipped to 45%. his lowest reading on that since august of 2011. but catch this. congress' job approval has tanked to 12%. which is tied to the lowest reading on record in our poll which goes back to the mid-90s. and the 83% is the highest in the history of the poll. we'll be right back. [ brent ] this guy's a pro, herbie. [ herbie ] there's no doubt about it brent, a real gate keeper. here's kevin, the new boyfriend. lamb to the slaughter. that's right brent. mom's baked cookies but he'll be lucky to make it inside. and here's the play.
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so your rates won't go up just because of a claim. [ whispering ] are we still in a dream? no, you're in an allstate commercial. so get allstate home insurance with claim rate guard... [ whispering ] goodnight. there are so many people in our bedroom. [ dennis ] talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] ...and let the good life in. welcome back to "hardball." steve king a republican from iowa has stepped into it once again. this one with vile comments he made about immigrants to news max tv. let's watch. >> and some of them are valedictorians. my answer to that is -- by the way their parents brought them
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in. it wasn't their fault. it's true in some cases but they weren't all brought in by their parents. for everyone who's a valedictorian there's another hundred out there that they weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. >> speaker john boehner called those comments wrong in his language hateful. eric cantor called them inexcusable. this isn't the first time mr. king has made offensive comments about immigrants. he also referred to then-senator obama an urban senator. most recently immigrants to dogs. this is exactly what the gop is trying to avoid with image making. writing republicans must consider the impressions they will create by what they say, the changes they propose, and their votes on the final product. joining me now are two strategists. one a democrat steve mcmahon and john feehery. john, how do you explain if you
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can the fact that you have a member of your delegation, a member of your caucus from iowa who's been elected by republicans again and again, despite comments that goes to sort of imaginative levels to make fun of a group of people saying they're all small, they weigh about 130 pounds. they have big calves. he's going into detail here about the size of cantaloupes. there's another weird description. because they're hauling huge amounts of marijuana across the border. i don't know what 70 pounds of marijuana looks like. but it weighs 75 pounds. such detailed derision of a people. the pounds of the drugs they're carrying. the pounds of the people involved. t the fact they have wide calves. this takes thought. this isn't a slur out of something angry in traffic yelling at somebody. this is a person that sits down and thinks through how in the stupidest people to determine
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the people he has no respect for. they're all little drug runners carrying big loads of illegal drugs. that's who the hispanic people in this country are. that's what he's saying. how do you say it was just >> it's amazing, season the it? i think he's taken on the mantle from tom tancredo as being the most anti-immigrant member of congress, and he uses this language all the time. you know, chris, you served in the congress, you know there's 435 members of congress. truly a cross section. and you have some people who say some crazy things, things that are offensive, sometimes they go out of their way to do that. that i don't think typifies the congress. >> let me say first of all, i served the congress, not in the congress. you and i had a nice job. >> here's the thing. would a democrat survive 24 hours after saying something like that? >> no, here's what's amazing to me, the fact that he survives at all. i went to lawsuit at the university of iowa law school.
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i can't believe iowa ans elect this guy, because they're not at all like him. the republicans would let him sit on a committee that's deciding policy on immigration and not take him off that committee is outrageous, the leadership should do that tomorrow. >> well -- >> and john's here from -- i respect your judgment. would the leadership in the case have said, this guy's got to take a little time out? you don't just throw words like appropriate. you have to shut him down not just shut him out. >> it's difficult to take someone off a committee for saying something, pete stark was on the weighs and means committee. he would say some of the most outrageous things about all kinds of things. you just don't do that, the fact of the matter is that steve king doesn't -- the leadership has condemned him. >> jong, the leadership actually removed people from their committees for voting against john boehner for speaker. you remember that? it was just a few months ago. the notion that they can't do it or it's hard to do, was be lied
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by the fact that they did it a few months ago for something not as egregious as this. >> that's a completely different thing. and actually, they did remove. >> the fact of the matter is, that members of congress say all kinds of crazy things. you wouldn't have -- >> he's made some comments. let me ask you about this, it seems like the republican party has a good chunk of the white male vote. fair enough. a good chunk of the white vote. how big a chunk can you get and still survive. if you keep kissing off hispanics like this, kissing off women by this absurd probing and unnecessary legislative attempts on abortion rights that seem to be getting rid of all abortion clinics. and making comments about voter suppression where you basically keep getting rid of early voting and like they're doing in north carolina right now, you're sending a message now, if you're in charge of the pr, the republican party, do you think you're doing a good job on women, hispanics and blacks?
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do you think they're doing a good job? i think we can do a better job by adjusting some of our policies. the president's abysmal record in creating jobs and economic growth which has been stagnant. and i think that ultimately, you do have to -- and i said this consistently, as have all the other republican leaders. you have to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. that allows you to have a deeper discussion with -- >> does the average republican in this planet, in this country, want to give a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants? >> probably not, but i do think there's a way to finesse this. you have to include that in a package. ultimately, that's what gets you into having a deeper conversation with hispanic voters and attract them to your party in the future, which we have to do. >> do what you don't believe to get some votes? >> i think we can ultimately get the votes. it's going to take a lot of --
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>> most republicans don't believe in immigration reform. >> listen, chris -- >> you need to work on the votes. this is a -- as you know, chris, this sausage making is not very pretty. you have to make it happen, because you have to have that conversation. >> please join our party even if we don't really like you. >> sometimes you have to do that. absolutely. >> i love the way you talk. when we return, let me finish with what i heard from president obama today, it was important, and it's tough.
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let me finish tonight with what i heard in the president's big speech today. i heard an offense and a heard a defense. first the obama offense, he sees the economy not getting all that much better this year or later, and doesn't want to be blamed for it. what he wants is a battle, a national debate on the following question. do the people want to persist with the rate of growth we have now, with a higher than healthy jobless rate that's ebbing only slowly. or push for infrastructure spending that will kick the economy into a higher gear. he wants this debate and he wants to be positioned on one side of it. where the republicans refuse to support an agenda, and the president is seen supporting one. he also knows the republican right ram rodded by ted cruz planning a showdown this fall. a manufactured crisis that leads to a government shutdown and risks national default.
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he the president wants to position himself in the national stance coming this fall, as the leader who wants government to function, his opponents. he's basically admitting the reality, there are strong forces posed against them now. the republican right that is saying, there will be no budget agreement, that includes revenues to finance current government spending or pays for what the congress has already agreed to, or that allows obama care to survive. the president knows he needs to win the first of these fights, the first where he's taking the offensive or risk being a mediocre president. he knows he needs to win the second fight, the one where he's currently on the defensive or risk outright failure. his opponents are out to destroy not just his presidency, but his place in the history books. they hate him. he knows that. hate him when he's progressive, when he's moderate, when he cuts deals with them. and they hate him most of all when he succeeds.
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whether it's doubling the dow, killing bin laden or getting through a program on health care that democrats and some republicans have been promising this country for generations and have it delivered. he has. and 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, we have a strong lineup of news tonight on all in. president obama looks like he's ready for a fight. that's a good thing, because he's fighting to raise the minimum wage. if there was a single economic fight we need to win. that's the one. coming up. >> also tonight, you've got to fight and then you've got flight. the heat is on republican congressman steve king after his hideous statements about mexican immigrants this week. he will be my guest tonight. you're going to want to h