tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC August 3, 2013 2:00am-2:31am PDT
cruisin' for a bruisin'. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. remember what president obama said about the republicans about how their endless symbolic votes to kill obama care are now part of american law, by the way, don't constitute an economic plan? well, they didn't get the word. before the congress left for a five-week vacation today, they had one last piece of business to attend to. it wasn't creating jobs.
it was another vote to kill obama care. if you're scoring this at home, it's the 40th time the republican-led house voted to of repeal is, defund or cripple the law. it is government by tantrum meaningless. meaningless measures, meaningless roll calls, meaningless speeches as they say down in texas, it's all hat and no cattle. republicans are united against obama care when it comes to votes like this one, but a warring faction of tea party republicans led by ted cruz of texas are making it very real threat to shut down the u.s. government if the law is not killed. apparently the strategy is being lambasted as silly, dumb, unachievable and political suicide. and the people saying those words are not democrats, it's the republicans in congress who are saying those things. and those criticisms are delicate compared to what's in today's "washington post." charles krauthammer, a
pulp pulitzer prize winning conservative columnist says cruz belongs to the looney bin. "and this is krauthammer, this is nuts. every physical showdown has rebounded against the republicans. those who fancy themselves tea party patriots fighting a sold out cocktail swilling establishment are demanding yet another cliff dive as a show of principle, and manliness. but there's no principle at stake here. this is about tactics. if i thought this would work, i would support it, but i don't fancy suicide. it has a tendency to be fatal." as for manliness, the real question here is sanity, nothing could better revive the fortunes of a failing, flailing fading democratic administration than a government shutdown where the president is portrayed as standing up to the gop on honoring our debts and paying our soldiers in the field. wow. also in the "washington post" today, michael gershon, a former george w. bush speech write are says cruz views this as the last stand against obama care, a conservative alamo instead, it would be a little bighorn.
cruz bids to become a custer for our time, an actual shutdown of the government the only realistic outcome of his strategy would work for conservatives only if voters blamed it on obama's intransigence. joining us now david corn of mother jones and sam stein with the huffington post. sam, what probably brought this to a head? what finally got people like gershon and krauthammer and others i singled out there over the prairie to say we'd better be careful. if cruz gets control of the opposition here of the republican party, we may be in trouble. >> i think it was the sheer overtness of it. it wasn't as if he was trying to set the stage for a government shutdown. he was sort of actively courting it.
and when you're trying to shut down the government, you shouldn't be the one who says let's do it. that's what has convinced republicans this is a stupid strategy. you also have to look at the actual implications and how this thing would work. and the congressional research service did that and concluded if you wanted to defund obama care, shutting down the government wouldn't do it. a lot of this is mandatory spending that would continue going on as if nothing happened. so in terms of substance and strategy, a lot of people woke up and said, why exactly are we doing this? >> let's go into the why. most times when you have a mission and cruz has got a brain, where is he headed? he up to the rock 'n' roll opposition politics of newt gingrich which is insurgent politics? it he trying to scare us with this? what's the plan? >> i think this is a fight between the oppositional insurrectionist wing of the republican party and basically everybody else, whether it's john mccain in the senate or
charles krauthammer in the thought leaders on the right. there are all kind of bounded against this. this is about setting up 2016. we kind of thought after 2012 and the election results that this wing, the tea party radicalized wing of the republican party was certainly not -- but ted cruz and mike lee and others are saying hey, this fight's not over yet. a vacuum with nothing else happening in congress these days, mike -- ted cruz mike lee and the others can get a lot of attention by making these threats. the republicans had any real strategy, any real legislative program going on, they wouldn't get any traction for this. >> go back to the numbers here, sam. it looks like obama floats around 50% now, a little less. generally in that area. maybe it's 45 now. congress is down around 8 in terms of public support. now, you don't battle four against 45. it's a killer mission, 9-1.
it's overwhelming. why would you do it if it's going to come down to that day when all of a sudden the average person out there can't go to the national monuments, they can't go to the national parks, they can't get their checks on time or threatened with not getting them and say we only have one president. we may not agree with him on many things but there's only one of them. as for congress, we don't want those guys running the show. >> twofold. one is that the 8% popularity rating applies to an institution at large, not to the member itself. for rand paul -- >> you think he's higher than average? >> protected in in the state of texas, sure. a lot of house members, of course, gerrymandered congress feel protected to do things like this and don't need to take into consideration the long-term national ramifications of what this means to the party. i think also there's a bigger issue here which is that the longer that the health care law is in existence, the harder to repeal. 2014 is a big year. a lot of benefits come into effect.
it's a lot easier to repeal a law in abstract than take away the coverage you've gotten through obama care. i think a lot of people doll recognize this and making that type of calculation, as well. >> let's look at how extreme the opposition is to obama. you think cruz is far out there, at a town hall meeting in alabama the other day, martha roby was confronted by an angry tea party constituent who spouted accusations about the president. her lack of response is notable here. here's the back and forth. >> what i need from you is to know what you can do, you and your fellow con communist colleagues in the lower house, what you can do to stop these communist tyrannical executive orders laid down by this foreign-born american-hating communist despot. what can you you do for me.
>> we need to know. he said it loud enough that you all heard it. look, i can't emphasize the oversight part of my job enough. and i think that that gets lost in what we do every day because that's exactly what we're doing. we're chasing down these executive orders. we're chasing down these rules that are promulgated that are backdoor legislation by agencies whether it's the epa, the irs, go down the list. >> you know, sam, and david, i've been saying for weeks if not months the real leader of the republican party today is no way is it john boehner. the real leader of the republican party is the loudest crazy person at the next town meeting you've got to go to if you're a republican member in congress. that guy with the blonde case, the nut case that calls the
president foreign born despot was more powerful in that room than the member of congress who kowtowed to him. john boehner had said let's be reasonable, she would have shouted her down. this guy shouted her down. >> props to tim murphy for reporting this first actually. that was very great to jump on that. it gets to the question we've been talking about. ted cruz is not playing for people who are worried about shutting down the government. he's playing towards the republican base and. >> the birthers. he was out with gohmert the other day, one of the wildest of the birthers. >> the pew study foundation came out with a study the other day asking republicans, do you think your party is going in the right direction or not. most said no. but 54% said they wanted it to be more conservative. so that's what he's doing. this is all setting up 2016 and becoming the nominee or the champion of the guy who asked that question.
>> come on. would like t ten wall to wall with the coverage of ariel castro in court. why is a man who has admitted his monstrous guilt allowed his big moment in the spotlight? that's a good question we're going to get to right away. and also the racial divide in the george zimmerman trial has reflected how people feel about this stand your ground law. i think it's all tied into this trial. it's obvious that's the case. and you've seen them countless times in beer ads, the most interesting man in the world. and now the man is out there doing something, well, interesting. he looks interesting. and the jobless rate that's down, but not enough. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers. you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word... if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts...
knight facing the monster who enslaved her for over a decade. on the other hand, we saw ariel castro ramble on for 16 minutes with excuses and half hearted apologize. even as he apologized he insisted what went on in his house of horrors was normal. >> i would come home and just be normal like a normal family. these accusations that i would come home and beat her and beat them, those are totally wrong, your honor because like i said before, i am not a violent person. i know what i did is wrong but i'm not a violent person. i simply kept them there without them being able to leave. i am truly i sorry to the dejesus family, michelle. and you guys know a lot of harmony went on in that home. >> i don't think those lawyers
ge later told him, the prisoner there, there isn't another person in the entire country who would agree with his description of being nonviolent. but what was it like for michelle knight, the victim? and the families of the other victims to sit in that courtroom and listen to their torturer speak like that? someone who knows that kind of pain too well is marc klaas, a good buy. in '96 he was in the court for the sentencing of his 12-year-old daughter's convicted murderer as he addressed the court, he used part of the time to taunt klaas with a vial vile accusation. here we see how klaas reacted. let's watch. >> burn in hell, davis. >> well, why do monsters and davis and ariel castro get to taunt their victims. why do lawyers not object to his self-important screed? marc klaas is the founder of the klaas kids foundation along with former prosecutor and defense attorney seema iyer. thank you both.
what did you think watching, i guess you watched on television yesterday, as castro the kidnapper, rapist, whatever, killer, murderer, he is all of them, walked in there and spoke like he was jeremiah? he had some big message for everybody? >> it was absolutely and completely offensive. i really, chris, physically started shaking because it took me right back to that time 17 years ago when i sat in a courtroom and had to listen to another extreme pervert excuse and justify his vile crimes. it was an affront to humanity, i thought. >> let me bring in seema iyer, an attorney. i noticed that the victim was very careful, she addressed the court, spoke to the judge in reading that statement but did the defendant here, he's already convicted now, was able to turn around and basically enjoy the confrontation with his victim.
>> chris, a psychopath and a sociopath and someone narcissistic of course, he wants this attention. and unfortunately, our law recognizes that. there are certain critical stages in the process. and this is what case law and statute tells us. so this sentencing is one of those critical stages. he las the right to speak and he has the right to speak as long or as little as he wants. the difference between mr. castro and ms. knight is that ms. knight was well prepared by the prosecutors and probably her lawyer. >> let's watch him in action now. ariel castro here. ariel castro winking sort of at the judge after enjoying eye contact with everybody in the room, he talks about to the court about the sex with the three victims was consensual he said, that they asked for it. it's that gross. let's watch him. >> most of the sex that went on in the house practically all of
it was consensual. there's allegations about being forceful on them, that is totally wrong. because there was times that they would even can ask me for sex. many times. and i learn add that these girls were not virgins from their testimony to me. they are multiple participants before me. >> marc klaas, i guess that resounded to you, they asked for it. as if tied up or chained in a basement for a decade, getting only your food from this guy, the only food you got, scared to death he's going to beat you or rape you or kill your kid or whatever or drive you to a miscarriage or whatever, that's called nonviolent by his terms and that's called asking for it? >> you know, i mean the only good result of his being allowed to give this testimony is that
it gave us a window into exactly what his soul is like. he talked about a harmonious relationship within that house. well, for him, a harmonious situation is one where he gets to imprison, gets to rape, gets to beat, and gets to the torture multiple victims. that shows you exactly how evil and horrible this creature really is. >> i agree. >> go ahead. >> i agree completely with mr. klaas. because of his own tragedy, mr. klaas understands that this person, chris, you're trying to talk about him like you can connect with him. you cannot connect with him. he is a sociopath. that is not my opinion. that is a clinical fact from almost 20 years of dealing with people like mr. castro. so you cannot try to explain why he did what he did. in his mind, that was harmonious. in his mind, that was a home. for us, it is evil. we had the opportunity and the unfortunate predicament to look at evil in the eye.
and hopefully, we will never see this man again. >> here's michelle knight talking about what it was like in the captivity of this guy. >> ariel castro, i remember all the times that you came home talking about what everybody else did wrong. and act like you weren't doing the same thing. you said at least i didn't kill you. for you took 11 years of my life away. and i have got it back. i was in 11 years in hell. now your hell is just beginning >> mark, you've been helping michelle knight. tell me about that relationship that you helped with her. >> about six months ago, the foundation started a new fund. called the klaas family housing fund, the brainchild of a local real estate lady who wanted to do something in her field to help the families of missing persons.
so we came up with this idea of funding this new fund to be able to pay to the families of missing persons so that they wouldn't slip into financial ruin as they were looking for their children, but then all of this business happened in cleveland and it turned out that michelle was one of the three young women who didn't really have a family to go back to. so we made the decision to take the money that was in the fund which was about $6,000 and donate it directly to michelle for the express purpose of allowing her to pay for her living expenses. >> marc klaas, i hope you can proceed with your effort to get justice and not just in your case but as much as you can get in your lifetime. thank you, sir, for coming on. seema iyer, great to have you on the show.
tongue that reaffirmed one of the worst stereotypes of the back country. u.s. congressman jo bonner of alabama actually recalled an embarrassing story during his farewell speech in the house yesterday afternoon. here he was explaining how he once mixed up the word insects with the word incest. >> i said you know we have a real problem with incest in south alabama. i said, in fact, i would venture a guess that we have more problems with incest in my district in alabama and in any other congressional district in america. >> so i got back to my office thinking i had delivered up with of the best speeches on insects ever made. and my staff said jo, in about two minutes you just reinforced in the minds of all americans what we have a problem with in south alabama.
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large piles of bombs. it felt good to hit that switch and remove these threats forever. >> so wouldn't you like to have dinner tonight with the world's most interesting man? that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business." has an exclusive 5 in 1 formula it's clinically proven to hydrate dryness, illuminate dullness lift sagging diminish the look of dark spots and smooth the appearance of wrinkles together these 5 elements create ageless looking skin roc® multi correxion 5 in 1 it's high performance skincare™ only from roc®
it's a sleepy little southern town that thrived for decades, then the factories closed. so how are small businesses working to overcome hard times? and once again become a thriving business community. we travel to main street brundidge, alabama, coming up next. small businesses are revitalizing the economy and american express open is here to
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