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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  September 24, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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underfunded. there is no fmention of the author of "atlas shrugged" it is all about rand paul. the case to the feds. they have nothing to do with rand paul. i give them 10 stars out of 10 on cajones, not so much on i believe a word you say. nice try now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. you are looking at live coverage of ted cruz's very long speech on the senate floor. where he is entertaining questions from other senators. and where ted cruz tonight is apparently surrendering in his war against obamacare, in his way of doing that, it is to talk endlessly on the senate floor at a time when it doesn't matter at all. >> we should fund every bit of the government. every aspect of the government.
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100% of the government except for obamacare. >> the debate over funding the government is officially under way on the capitol hill. >> the sna eenate -- >> senator cruz trying to rally -- >> we're not going to balance a tea party anarchist. >> we should fund every bit of the government except for obamacare. >> a fun-filled year for ted cruz. he has been called out. he has been exposed. >> where is the urgency. >> they all turned against him. >> you don't want an irs agent deciding if your mom lives or dies. it makes health insurance less affordable. my premiums will be higher. >> one of the stupidest. >> the dumbest idea they have ever heard. >> i've ever seen. >> if you can't get everything you want will you accept a compro is my. >> very good question. >> makes no sense to run into fixed bayonets. >> ted cruz is not thinking of the american people. he is not thinking abut his colleagues. >> i want to take the opportunity to read two bedtime
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stories. and "sam i am." >> is his personality going to be a political liability. >> filibusters will stop people from voting. >> there is a point to this also. >> we are going to vote tomorrow. >> there is a point to this also. the point is -- [ static ] >> about eight hours ago, ted cruz rose on the senate floor and said this. >> madam president, i rise today in opposition to obama care. madam president i plan to speak in opposition to obamacare. i intend to speak in support of defunding obamacare. until i am no longer able to stand. >> that was a moment that ted cruz scheduled with the blessing of senate majority leader harry reid who negotiated the terms of today's speech which cruz desperately wants people to
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believe is a filibuster. >> mr. president, on the morning news i hear that there is a filibuster today. i want to disabuse everyone, there will be no filibuster today. filibuster is stto stop people from voting. we are going to vote tomorrow. under the rules. no one can stop that. >> what freshman senator ted cruz might not know is that a filibuster is not just speaking for a very long time in the senate floor. a filibuster is something that is blocking the senate from doing its business. but there was no business scheduled in the senate today. which is what makes ted cruz's long speech just a long speech. nbc news learned that in a private republican meeting earlier today, rand paul stood with mitch mcconnell, and advised ted cruz against his strategy of supporting the
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house-passed bill that defund obama care by blocking the house passed bill that defund obama care from coming to a vote in the senate. later, rand paul went to the senate floor. and asked ted cruz a few questions. >> i would ask the senator from texas, what are your intentions? do you want to shut down government? would you look to find something to make obamacare less bad and we would like to repeal it. would you accept anything in between? >> now, ted cruz rambled a bit before he decided to answer rand paul's question that he was clearly unprepared for. he finally realize heed had d h choice about his answer. the question that senator rand paul asked is an excellent question. the question is, do i, does any one here want to shut down the government. the answers is absolutely not. >> of course there was more to rand paul's question than that. and so, rand paul followed up with this question.
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>> since we're making it clear that the republican message and alternative here is not to shut down government. are -- our desire s is to have o obamacare. not to have it. we think he went the wrong directs. we don't control all the government. we don't control the senate. controlled by the opposition party. we don't control the presidency. my question to you is, if you can't get everything you want. if you can't defund obama care which is what you and i both agree on and millions people across america wants us to get rid of obamaswear. if you stand and argue and cannot get rid of it. will you accept a compro is my. >> ted cruz fumbled before he decided to deliver a clear answer to rand paul's question. your question was, would i vote for something less than defunding obamacare. personally, no. joining me former republican congressman and dem ware governor mike castle, and
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msnbc's joy reid. mike castle. i know we have never seen anything like this. in your time in the house do you ever remember your friends in the senate who supported your bill that you passed out of the house telling you that the way we are going to supported it in the senate is by blocking it from ever coming to a vote. >> no, i don't remember that ever happening. i -- you know, it's a shame. and in my judgment, the way it happened. but i must also point out that -- that, we need to, to realize this is a failure of this united states senate. they don't pass budgets -- they don't pass appropriation bills. what do you have? you have a situation that you get done to a single vote to keep the government going. and this concurrent resolution. that's a shame too. that needs to be taken under consideration. as well i think. >> joy reid, the rand paul role is fast night. he privately stand with mitch mcconnell and most of the
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republicans saying this is the wrong way to do it. but he needs that tea party credibility, that ted cruz is trying to earn out there in the senate floor. he goes out on the floor, and publicly in a certain kind of way looks like he is being helpful to ted cruz. but he is asking the, the uncomfortable questions that none of ted cruz's real friend asked today which is what happens if you fail? >> right. no it's, this is so entertaining. i have to say. i find this fascinating. you hatch rave rand paul lookin the sane one. he was the architect of the idea of the talking filibuster from the republican side as a way to foot for tea party values. what you are seeing there, you pointed this out in your opening. this is a performance. ted cruz performing for the right-wing base. performing for right-wing donors. see, this is my performance of fighting for you. what he is doing is filibustering the republican house tea party bill.
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it makes no find a way. it is catching on. but to look like the adult. so when he too runs for president. people will pick him. there is a report tonight that rand paul might actually volt the way ted cruz is going to vote. because he knows it is meaningless. there is no way of prevailing. that way he will keep the tea party credentials. as you look at what the tea party has visited upon the senate. and the house. and given you are not a member of the senate today. and the tea party, candidate, ran -- out of the nomination in this state. and what do you see as the -- the workable future for the republican party. in the senate having to deal with the tea party in these types of situations. i agree with the tea party in certain circumstances.
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i don't believe obamacare is the right way to go with health care in the country. there are ways of doing things. the important factor is you have to keep the country going, as best you possibly can. we need to pass -- some sort of a funding mechanism in the next few days, or we are going to have a government shut down. that is going to be a political problem. that's where the tea party some times does not think. the political problem is going to be that the -- the president has a big microphone. probably going to be able to blame republicans for the funding. and all of a sudden. the parks aren't open. security is not there. a lot of other things happen. as far as nonfunding is concerned. it is a tremendous problem for the markets in america. problem for individuals in america. i think it would be a problem for the republican party. i don't seep h how this is possy a win for the republican concerned. i think the tea party is being
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unreasonable with respect to that. they can fight obama care however they wish. but this is probably not the place to do it. there may be things they could have done -- could they have asked for example for a delay of some period of time. perhaps a year or whatever it may be looks like they need that kind of time to get rings ready. i think some of the democrats might go along with that. and the shutdown and defunding is not going to happen. and, it -- and if it is tied into this whole business of not funding the government, you have a shut down of government services. that is a real black eye. probably republicans are the one going to get the black eye. >> jo jy reid, mike castle makea good point. there are plenty of ways to have approached obamacare once it became law, republicans have sacrificed in this. we do deficit reduction bills all the time. in the congress where they cut in various ways medicare.
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they make the cuts that are not easy for people to see. surely, the obama care program would have been up on the menu of things that you could possibly take little trims out of here and there. and republicans, if they were -- playing the inside game -- could have been very good at suggesting those over time. but now it seems, if they, in the future, were to suggest even some minor cut in obama care instead of doing a cut in medicare. they would have no credibility on that. >> lawrence, you know as well as any body. the senate is where the deals are cut. so that you request something that, is a minor, or a shaving off of something on obamacare. go back and campaign in your state, and say, i won these concessions on obama care. there is a way you can work that in your campaign. what's happened to the republican party, unfortunately, it's bled from the house to the senate. is this fictional view of government. they don't take the time to learn how government actually works. they have just created this nonsense sort of false universe, where they can just stand of and
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talk and suddenly obama care will fall. and it's, it's ridiculous. but because the guys get their news from rush limbaugh. they get their views on the economy from ayn rand. they don't have to know how to do government. you know, ted cruz is up there reading "green eggs and ham," what republicans don't understand at the end of green eggs and ham. sam likes the green eggs and ham. republicans are afraid if they don't stop affordable care act right now in its tracks, over time. people will come to like the benefit. they won't be able to undo it. it's what happened with medicare. and they're terrified it will happen with affordable care act. >> joy reid, mike castle. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> coming up, president obama joins with bill clinton today to defend obamacare. and in the rewrite tonight, why the washington media refuses to receive write their image of ted cruz as a smart guy. no matter how many wildly stupid
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things he says.
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>> sarah silverman is trying a new angle on encourage young people to vote. >> hi, this is sarah silverman. register to vote at, not the elderly dating site. practically the opposite, but also hopefully there is love involved. register to vote at it's so easy. do it. be a part of this world. beside just facebook. >> up next, the commander-in-chief and explainer in chief, explain obamacare. te . build character through quality.
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>> we would resist or at least some would resist as fiercely as they would, or as they have, make this their number one agenda, is perpetuating a system in which millions of people across the country, hard-working americans, don't have access to health care i think is wrong. >> as ted cruz was mounting his fake filibuster on the senate floor today, as you can see he is still doing at this hour. president obama sat down at the clinton global initiative in new york city for a candid conversation with former president bill clinton about his
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health care reform law. and the president tackled the cruz opposition without ever using the word cruz. >> what we are confident about when people look and see that they can get high quality, affordable health care for less than their cell phone bill, they're going to sign up. they're going to sign up. and part of what i think the resistance that we have seen ramp up particularly over the last couple months is about the opponents of health care reform know they're going to sign up. in fact one of the major opponents when asked, why is it you potentially shut down the government at this point just to block obamacare. he basically, fessed up. he said. well once, consumers get hooked on having health insurance, and -- subsidies, then they won't want to give it up. well that's, you can look at the
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transcript. one of mathe major opponents of health care reform. odd logic. essentially people will like this thing too much and then it will be really hard to roll back. >> he said we can look it up. so we did. that refers to something ted cruz said to rush limbaugh last month. here is ted cruz, explaining the evils of obama care to drug addict rush limbaugh in terms that rush can understand. >> as you know, the exchanges are going to be up and running shortly. on january 1, subsidies are scheduled to kick in. president obama's strategy is simple. he wants to get as many americans as possible addicted to subsidies, addicted to the sugar because he knows in modern times, no major entitlement has been implemented and unwound. >> gets as many people signed up to the exchanges as possible. it makes it all that much more difficult to take it away from them. >> that's exactly right.
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>> president obama also talked about opposition to the law in red states and told the crowd about the new version of keep your government hands off my medicare. >> there are a couple of states. arkansas, a good example, kentucky, another good example, idaho, interesting example. these are states where, i just got beaten, i mean, you know, i do not have a big constituency in these states. well, i take that back. you know what, 40% still a lot of people. i am losing by 20% in these states. but the governors were still able to say we are going to set up our own state exchanges. their own market places. and -- each state is just -- using -- their own name for it. you know, kentucky, called, like
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kentucky connect. in idaho, idaho health care exchange, and yeah, a story out of kentucky where some folks were signing people up at a county fair. some guy goes up. starts looking at the rates. decides he is going to sign up. he turns to his friend and said "this is a great deal. this is a lot better than obamacare." right? which is fine. because we, i don't have pride of authorship on this. i just want the thing to work. >> joining me now, msnbc's, crystal ball, skoe hoco-host of cycle." crystal, you have to believe that will happen over and over again. people are not going to realize the good deal they're signing up for is this much-dreaded
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obamacare. >> yeah, i have actually been wondering abut th ing ing about. as january 1 comes. people are covered by obamacare. how many folks are going to realize that the ben fit benefi from obama care. we have young people able to stay on their parents health insurance for longer. i expect. a lot of people who got rebate checks from their health insurance providers. i expect a lot of people who received those benefits didn't realize that it was coming from obamacare. but i do think eventually when people see how many more people are able to get coverage how much better their premiums are and how much better it is working. over the long term. people will realize obama care had something to do with it. in the short term we will hear more and more stories. >> i think that is a bad thing. can i say that is a bad thing t if they don't realize it comes from obamacare. the main reason it is bad.
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people can still be both anti-government, and take this benefit. they don't, connect the fact that it is, government had made this possible. both by creating the exchanges, and -- by creating a subsidy that makes it affordable. therefore they can feel legitimate in sort of being suspicious of government. being anti-tax. yet taking all the goodies. i think that is a big mistake. when the president says, he doesn't care if they take it and it works. it does have to work. also have to see it works because government made it possible. it didn't work in the private sector you. didn't get exchanges work in the private sector without government intervening creating a mandate. >> crystal, this is an ongoing challenge. in a program like social security. you actually get a social security card. you understood, okay, these are my social security benefits. it was never blended in with something else.
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disguys disguised. people knew now i am in medicare. i get. but this obama care program, the availability of health insurance that is a fordab abaffordable o exchange that didn't have obama all over the documentation is going to be a challenge. that's part of why i think the president and administration will continue to talk about this -- almost every day of the remainder of this presidency. >> that's right. i don't agree with dr. manuel. better if people were more informed about the benefits. and the government played a role in this if i have to say for the short term. in a place like idaho. in a place like kentucky. if the sign had in bright red letters. come sign up for obamacare. you probably wouldn't get as good of a response as many people to sign up for the program. ultimately it is very important that people sign up and participate in the sexchanges fr
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the health of the program not to mention the fact the ultimate goal ties hais to have more peo health insurance. by the way i am sure you have seen crazy ad that are out. telling young people in particular to opt out of obamacare. which means don't sign up for health insurance. i just think it is incredible. outrageous that we are at a place where the republican party. party of personal responsibility is urging young people few be risky, and irresponsible and not buy health insurance. that's unbelievable. >> you should also make the point that they're, they're encouraging people to violate the law, since the law says that you should have health insurance. otherwise you have off to pay a penalty. that is not typically the law-abiding republican party. doctor, i can tell you i have been saving you the pane of watching the senate floor all day. where mike lee is up at the moment. helping ted cruz rest his voice box for a little bit. i can tell you --
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not one of them, not mike lee or ted cruz has said one true thing, not one true thing, about what is actually in the bill as written and signed by the president. not one true thing. i do think they have a bit of an argument about the possibility of an impact on certain jobs, a 30-hour threshold. nothing in the bill, you know that is trying in any way to -- to, to force people out of work. but what every single thing they, every other single thing they say a. but what bout what bill. irs agents deciding if your mother lives or dies. the guys get on the senate floor and say that with a straight face. they do not know or cannot honestly describe what is in the law you helped write. >> it is no surprise. this whole debate has been filled with death panels. we go back to the summer of 2009. where created out of whole
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cloth, something which doesn't exist. and, you know they have made quite clear that reality is not something they're interested in. they often talk about the bill as if it's got 2,000 pages, 2,500 pages. in fact the bill is less than 1,000 pages. about the length of a steven king novel. they haven't bothered to read it either. so i don't. this isn't a debate about facts. this is as ted cruz made quite clear. a debate about larger eissues o ideology. and getting ready to run for president. that is obviously a tragic mistake. but i do think that -- the point is this is going to be better for most americans. and i think in the end the fact that it is going to be a good deal for people. they're going to finally get insurance at an affordable price. that is going to put downward price pressure and reform the cyst temperatu system to improve its quality.
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in the end that will win out. and it understands what it is in its interest. and see it as a huge step forward. >> it won't surprise you to know. ted cruz was talking death penalties tonight. crystal ball doctor. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you. >> coming up, president obama's message for the world at the united nations today. and ted cruz -- is continuing to talk right now on the senate floor. and he is talking his way into tonight's rewrite. i have low testosterone. there, i said it. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% testosterone gel.
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>> in the spotlight, president obama's message to the world for nearly 43 minutes to day president obama addressed the u.n. general assembly. the president laid out his strategy in dealing with variety of, use. with an almost exclusive focus on the middle east and north africa. members of the iranian and syrian delegations were present as was russia's foreign minister. some of the president's important points were made for someone who was not in the room. vladamir putin. president obama had this to say to vladamir putin's suggestion that syrian rebels might have been responsible for the chemical attack last month. >> the evidence is overwhelming that the assad regime used such weapons on august 21st. u.n. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. these rockets were fired from a
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regime-controlled neighborhood. and landed in opposition neighborhoods. it is an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest anyone other than the regime carried out this attack. >> president obama responded to putin's "the new york times" op-ed critique of american exceptionalism this way. >> i believe america must remain engaged for our own security, but i also believe the world is better for it. some may disagree. but i believe america is exceptional. in part because we have shown a willingness through the sacrifice of blood and treasure to stand up not only for our own narrow self-interests but the interests of all. >> joining me steve clemens, washington editor at large for "the atlantic." steve, quite striking language to stay what vladamir put spin
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had said without using his name was an insult to the in tell jivens ttell -- intelligence of the people in the room today. couldn't have found a stronger way of saying that? >> the was very strong. this president and vice president biden both made the whole notion about proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, a defining effort off their administration. april 2010, they hosted world leaders in washington about exactly this subject. they don't take lightly the notion that the kind of gas attacks that we saw that killed nearly 1,500 people, probably affected 15,000 people, are something that you can get away with lightly. he did however have some other lines in there that were design ford putin as well. that were more accommodationist of -- to certain degree of how russia saw potential stake holders in a peace process in syria. while he hit him hard in one place. he had very soft language in other parts of the speech. >> yes, he had to acknowledge. okay, that who did it thing is
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behind us. now, we are dealing with solving this problem. he is standing there i think triumphantly as the man who was able to bring this problem under united nations jurisdiction now. >> that's right. you have something that is a remarkable moment, potentially, both in presidential history and -- perhaps in the region. where all of a sudden, you have got really interesting movement with iran. we saw the real outreach to him, while they didn't shake hand. they came pretty close to a very significant shift with iran. we have seen movement that we wouldn't have expected in the middle east peace process. and, you have got a process where the chemical weapons, strategic objective of the united states with syria, at least recently, on the chemical weapons is that they may be not only under u.n. supervision, but disposed of and destroyed. and so, you may have gone from a period just a few weeks ago. where obama looked flat on his back in foreign policy. to now looking like a real master of the game.
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to use maybe the term. >> let's listen to what the president said about iran today in his address to the united nations? >> i don't bleach this difficult history can be overcome overnight. the suspicions run too deep. but i do believe that if we can resolve the issue of iran's nuclear program -- that can serve as a major step down a long road toward a different relationship. one based on mutual interests and mutual respect. and given the president's stated commitment to reach an agreement i am directing john kerry to pursue the effort with the iranian government in close cooperation with the european union, the united nations, france, germany, russia and china. >> steve, he is really reaching out a hand to iran there. >> we are seeing the public side of the reaching out which is
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really important. we are not going to get a change in it by slow incrementalism. and growing together. a three decade long tortured relationship. there are vested interests that don't want the two nations to come together again. if behind the scenes the president of the united states and the president of iran are aren't saying we really have to work together to bring this together and we need to show some angle. we need to show some of the process in, in what this is to bring our public as long. that's there. i assume, we are, we are jumping far forward in dealing with iranian leadership than we are seeing even here. >> steve clemens, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> coming up -- who is the best, the best presidential strategist since l.b.j.? david corne will join me. he has the the answer.
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>> ted cruise is talking this way, at the very moment, talking his way into the rewrite tonight, once again. [ phil ] when you have joint pain and stiffness... accomplishing even little things can become major victories. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. when i was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, my rheumatologist prescribed enbrel for my pain and stiffness, and to help stop joint damage. [ male announcer ] enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders, and allergic reactions have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. you should not start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu.
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nbc news obtained video from inside the mall in nairobi. as the the siege ended, people crawling on the floor, children, others rushing to exits. kenya's president now says 61 people were killed in the attack. 175 were injured. the president declared three days of national mourning in kenya. five attacks were killed by gunfire. more than a dozen have been arrested. the al qaeda affiliated group meaning "the youth" in arabic, and said it was retribution for kenya fighting kenya in nearby so mall yeah. t -- somalia. the fbi is investigating whether any attackers were american. ted cruz is still talking on the senate floor. there you can see him, up over my shoulder, yeah. that shoulder?
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no. it's hard to do. how do the weathermen do that on the local weather? anyway. he is still talking on the senate floor almost nine hours after he began which has earned him, five minutes of me talking about him in tonight's "rewrite" which is next! [ male announcer ] julia child became a famous chef at age 51. picasso painted one of his master works at 56. doris taerbaum finished her first marathon at 50. not everyone peaks in their twenties. throughout their lives.
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you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. (aaron) purrrfect. (vo) meee-ow, business pro. meee-ow. go national. go like a pro. >> so i intend to support you. you are going to be blocked from having any meaningful discussion on one of the most historic damaging bills in maybe the last 100 years that would basically move us to -- to single payor government run socialized medicine. >> so they are being denied any meaningful discussion of
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obamacare. what about the last nine hours of ted cruz on the senate floor. that was alabama's jeff sessions you just heard. joining ted cruz's fake filibuster and joining the cruz strategy of showing support for the house republican bill by blocking the house republican bill from coming to a vote in the senate. the single stupidest legislative strategy in the history of the united states senate. now, close your eyes and imagine, you know, actually this is really easy to imagine. you don't have to close your eyes. imagine if jeff sessions, is the one who came up with this unbelievably stupid strategy. the stupidest strategy in the history of the united states senate. everyone, everyone would be saying jeff sessions is stupid. every washington pundit. okay, most of them would not use the word stupid. because they're more polite than that. but they would be finding ways of saying -- that jeff sessions is way, way, way not smart.
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and nothing would inhibit them from saying that. they would then go looking for things in jeff sessions' background, proving he is not smart, they would find a lot throughout his career. jeff sessions has said the naacp and american civil liberties union are unamerican and communist inspired. they would fiend a fond a forme assistant revealed he heard jeff sessions say he used to think the ku klux klan was okay until he found out some of them were pot smokers. jeff sessions did not deny the statement. his defense was it was a joke. but the real reason that the washington media would have no problem saying that jeff sessions is not smart, and by the way, everyone in washington including jeff sessions senate colleagues, republican colleagues firmly believe he is not smart. the reason the media is satisfied that jeff sessions is not smart is the wrong reason.
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jeff sessions graduated from huntington college in montgomery, alabama. he got his law degree from the university of alabama. for the washington media, there is nothing in jeff sessions academic back ground to prevent them from thinking he is not smart. but that same highly academically prejudiced washington media refuses to say that ted cruz is not smart because he has the word princeton and harvard on his resume. there can be no other reason. because virtually everything ted cruz says is not smart. i mean, way not smart. >> you don't want an i.r.s. agent deciding if your mom lives or dies. >> no one in the washington media is going to say that ted cruz is stupid because he said that. or the thousand of other things that ted cruz says in the course of a normal day that he just tosses off like that. ted cruz says things that are
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profoundly wrong all day long. in the washington media does not hold it against him because they all believe that he is smart enough to know the truth and understand the truth and that he is simply lying about it in the washington media actually respects lying. they respect political lying the they believe it is part of the game. because they believe governing the thing that they are supposed to be covering as reporters -- is a game. but the things ted cruz says, are so relentlessly stupid that there comes a time when even the washington media would have to kids rewriting all the things they keep saying how smart ted cruz is. so far, ted cruz blinded them from being able to see him as anything but the smart guy from princeton and harvard. the glare of his academic armor has blinded the washington media. and that glare comes from -- the gold princeton ring that ted
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cruz wears every day. something no other graduate i know of that institution or any other ivy league college actually wears. look for conan o'brien's harvard ring next time he walks on stage. he will not find it. wearing the ring of the schools became way, way uncool in the 60s and 70s. the ivy league ring business continues to exist only for those who need-up to -- need you to know where they went to college. many people think that because ted cruz was a good law student or good lawyer he is therefore smart. smart as everything he does. and they are wrong. being a good law student does not mean you are a smart parent for example. or a smart driver. or a smart eater. or a smart senator. in fact, law school performance is a predictor of nothing.
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including your potential ability as a lawyer. and there are many high functioning lawyers who are absolutely terrible at everything else they do. just as there are high functioning physicians and scientist whose are very bad thinkers in other areas of life. if you judge how smart a senator ted cruz is by what he says and does in the united states senate, by what he is saying and getting and doing in the united states senate right now at this moment as he stand on the senate floor. if you score him fairly on that he is, as he stand there tonight, on the senate floor, the stupidest guy in the building. [ man ] on december 17, 1903, the wright brothers became the first in flight. [ goodall ] i think the most amazing thing is how like us these chimpanzees are.
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>> in a new poll of the new
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jersey senate race, democrat cory booker has the lead. the race is tightening. cory booker is at 53%. republican lonegan at 41%. cory booker led lonegan 54-29. coming up the answer to tonight's question -- who is the shrewdest political strategist since lbj? david corne asked that question today and has the answer for our next. hint -- he has one of lbj's old jobs. ♪
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>> who is the best since lbj? in an article from "mother jones" david corne, "obama is the shrewdest political tactician since lbj." joining me now, david. david, when i saw the piece, i said "get me david corne" because i completely agree with you. and you now have five minutes to convince the rest of the world. go ahead. >> let me say that i, i sort of, posed that as -- a bit of an overstatement. but i gave the case for -- for, for, believing that might be so. and basically if you look at -- president barack obama and ask yourself, who are his most bothersome foes of late. the answer would be vladamir putin and john boehner. two men who probably don't have much in common with each other. right? but i think barack obama has
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really gotten the best of them in the last couple weeks despite what maureen dowd and others in the conventional wisdom circuit say. let's look at syria. the president had one aim in mind, which was to stop bashar al assad from using chemical weapons again. he looked like he would attack. want to congress. looked like he may have a vet thvet -- vote that would fail. people thought he didn't have true command of the approximately see ma policymaking. it drew putin in. put putin on the hook. had to exist that chemical weapons in syria, he became in some ways a guarantor, he would be involved in getting them out and cutting a deal with assad. now assad is hand tied. he can't use chemical weapons again without embarrassing, anger, ticking off number one benefactor, putin. obama drew putin into this
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thorny issue of syria's chemical weapons in a way that has the put the issue to the side now. they can, negotiate this for the next five years. but as long as assad isn't using the weapons, obama has won. he scored it. he scored what he wanted to achieve. if you look at boehner, you know in the last couple weeks he had probably the worst couple weeks in washington. because he is in the center of this -- republican circular foreign squad. obama wisely did not get engaged with negotiating a budget deal or get involved in negotiating a debt ceiling hike. he will get to that's eventually. he sort of stepped back. let the other side, self-emulate. spectacle tonight of ted cruz trying, doing a fake filibuster, while most of the republican party, mitch mcconnell and others are scratching their head and saying this is just really -- dumb. and the republican look like they're -- like they don't have -- a consend us. they don't have a strategy. they can't work together with each other. let alone negotiate with the
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other side. the president did that by stepping back and letting, you know, giving them enough rope to hang themselves. these are beoth really pretty savvy tactical moves of late that have given him, the upper hand. at moment. you know, syria is not resolved. the budget issue. debt ceiling crisis is not resolved. but, again, the president as often happens, you know, doesn't always look great coming out of the chute. but he has a strong sense of strategy. and if you look at outcomes, he often ends up, if not on top, at least with a better uppend of t deal. again, again, again. he doesn't control the narrative. which allows washington pundits, myself included to make it seem as he is not doing as well as he may be doing. >> there is a theater critic component to washington punditry. critic is part of it. criticism is the first empulimp it seems to me.
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hard to sit back and say "hey, looks like they're kind of getting it right as you can get it within these circumstances? ". >> yeah, tough stuff, syria, budget good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight on "all in," fake it till you break it. republican ted cruz takes to the senate floor in a faux filibuster talking about, among other things, nazi germany and carrier pigeons, saying he will speak against obama care until he is no longer able to stand. he's still going and we've got the live cruz cam here all night long.