tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC October 12, 2013 2:00am-2:31am PDT
the last gasp of ted cruz. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews. let me start with the strangeness of ted cruz. getting slammed in the polls, pounded with the news in the gallup his negatives have doubled, he now declares the nbc poll invalid. say he said the news is not the news. the poll results are just what, quote, an awful lot of obama supporters have to say. listen to this.
>> if you seek out liberal obama supporters and ask their views, they're going to tell you they're liberal obama supporters. that does not reflect where the kun industry. >> i award the first-ever karl rove award. to raphael edward cruz of texas. it singles out those who win face with bad political facts or the loss of political innocence simply deny the facts as presented. rove did it to his own election analysis team at fox. cruz is now doing it to the wall street journal and nbc. it's called blaming the messenger. meanwhile, back in the real world, the president must decide how to deal with the changing republican positions. if they offer a clean six week debt extension bill but refuse to reopen the government, does he sign it? if they do both, does he sign it? even though it brings the ransom problem back before thanksgiving. and what if the house republicans decide to extend the debt limit, reopen the government, but add a provision requiring some debt reduction.
or limiting the affordable care act. does the whole idea of a six-week extension to simply create more time for republicans to pressure obama to break. i, of course, if i were the president play hardball. david corn and jonathan capehart, both msnbc contributors. i guess the question -- i want to start with the president's situation. david, i'm really curious what you think. of all the options, a clean cr, a clean debt extension, would he go with that if it's only six weeks or does that say we're kicking the can down to the next block sometime before thanksgiving? >> well, i think he certainly would sign the bill if they do that. jay carney just came out of the white house not too long ago and basically gave the republicans no quarter. they said again and again we will not negotiate on the threat of default, government shutdown, a six-week bill that brings us to the brink of christmas
shopping, the middle of thanksgiving, it won't work as well. he was very firm. the president did talk to john boehner this afternoon. we didn't know exactly what occurred in that conversation. finally boehner got the conversation he wanted. but in public at least, the president is holding firm that he will not be extorted. now at the end of the day to prevent default, he might give in on something. certainly he'll sign a bill that will prevent default, but -- >> but does -- let's go back -- but here's the -- >> i'm not sure he's there yet. >> here's the tough one. if he signs the six-week, isn't he agreeing to this drum roll and another deadline and another drum roll and another deadline and the threat of more pressure on him to give in to something? >> he may be. but if he's not giving up anything in response to that, just saying these guys need another six weeks to get their act together. and for me to be firm and see the numbers plummet more in a wall street journal poll, that's the best we can do now. i'll take that.
>> jonathan, how will people read on obama agreement to a six-week agreement which means we're right back at this in six weeks? >> well, i mean, it depends. as david just laid out, it depends on whether there are conditions attached to that bill that the president would sign. he's been clear he wants a clean continuing resolution, a clean debt ceiling bill. and the president had said at least up until today that, you know, if it was a short-term deal meaning it was undefined, that he would sign it. you know, i think the american people are tired, certainly the president is tired of lurching from crisis to crisis. but when you're smacked up against both a government shutdown and potentially defaulting for the first time in the history of the united states, if you're the president and you're presented a clean debt ceiling bill and a clean continuing resolution to reopen the government, you'd be hard pressed not to sign it. >> okay. you mean you want both. >> sure. >> reopen the government is a
minimal condition for the president. reopen the government and continue the extending debt ceiling another six weeks. that would be -- okay. by the way, going back to david on this. same question. are you assuming he has to get both or could he agree to just the extension but leave the government shutdown. i'm serious. this is a tough question for him. i agree. >> i think that if they give -- if he gets anything clean, if it buys time, he will sign it, he can still say this is mickey mouse. i'm only doing this to prevent a default. the republicans and congress still have to get their act together and deal long-term and get the government back open. but to prevent a default, he will sign a clean bill without conditions. >> let me give an alternative opinion. this based on the fact the republicans are on a run now. i really think this -- it won't ever be as good as it is now for him to pound these guys and put them up against the wall. not him. this is the nbc/wall street journal poll that cruz is trying to deny. it shows the public have
delivered an unequivocal rebuke of the republican's party's hostage taking strategy on the debt limit and the government shutdown. we brought you those results last night and today they are spread all around capitol hill like wildfire. here they are again. this is why i think he needs to press now. and don't deal with the short-term. the blame for this shutdown falls squarely on the republican party and not the president, by a huge margin. 22%. when is he going to get that kind of margin again? the republican party favorable falls to an all time low. of 24%. will it get any lower? president obama is in a relatively good position. at 47%. and look at this. the popularity of the health care law has increased by seven points. the pollsters behind this survey a democrat and a republican, both called the results jaw dropping. back to you, david. given the fact he has the best numbers he's ever had, the opponents have the weakest numbers they've had. isn't this the time to say buddies, you've got five days,
reopen the government, stop pussyfooting around, stop the mickey mouse and do it. by the way, extend the debt ceiling. so we don't go into a default. do it now. >> the leverage he has today is indeed high and great. as you get towards midnight on the 17th, it will go down. i believe he'll keep pounding them. as i said, carney came out today and didn't really change the president's firm position. there are conversations going on. maybe there's some give there, but we don't know. i think he'll keep pounding the republicans. but i think at the end of the day, if the best they give him is the temporary extension, he will not let the nation default. ultimately, he's the adult in the room. but i think until that point, he will keep pressing for more and use his political leverage that he seems to have amassed. >> jonathan, can you cure an addict by giving him another fix? >> no. but here's the thing. and i want to expand on something that david just said. he's right. the president has it as good as he's going to get right now with
these poll numbers. but let's say, you know, a week from today we are staring at the destruction at the full faith and credit of the united states. those numbers, the president's advantage will disappear exponentially as the days go on. in times of crisis, the american people are not going to be looking at speaker john boehner or senate majority leader harry reid or nancy pelosi or mitch mcconnell in the senate. they're going to be looking to the president of the united states to solve the problem, to fix the emergency. and so that's why, you know, i think the next six days are going to be critical for the white house. >> well, some republicans on capitol hill saw the writing on the wall including john mccain who reacted to the poll on fox yesterday. actually early today. here he is. >> look at the wall street journal poll. "wall street journal" is not a liberal organization. look at the poll this morning. 24% of the american people approve of republicans.
that's an all-time low. we better wake up. we're in serious situation right here, and we better wake up and we better try to come to an agreement salvaging something out of this. >> david, it seems to me we're reaching -- again, i know we're pounding away at this. but a situation where john mccain, recently the republican nominee for president has come out and said basically cruz you're out to lunch. these polls are real. stop blaming the ref. and you're beginning to look ridiculous. we have to accept reality. the poll is probably the most respected poll in the country. it's always been where it is. and it gives information to both parties. there's mccain saying yes. yes. >> you know, nobody not even john mccain is going to convince ted cruz or the 30 or 40 members of the kamikaze club in the tea party in the house of representatives that they're wrong and they should change course. that's not going to happen.
what can happen is because of poll results like this, other members of the party whether it's john mccain, whether it's peter king in the house, other republicans outside of congress, put enough pressure on boehner and even on mcconnell to fix this thing before the republican brand gets even more tarnished. that's where the action is. you're never going to get the people who came to town to destroy government to feel bad about destroying government. >> thank you david, thank you jonathan capehart. republicans were happy to embrace the tea party, but now a lot of them feel the anti-government extremists or zealots are tearing the country down. they may be right. the guy who lit this fuse, mr. at the time cruz told the values voters summit today he's not giving up. all over washington, they're enjoying the fact. the "wall street journal" poll with the republican lowest level -- how republicans try to
get back on their feet and how democrats plan to keep their foot on the republican throat. let me finish tonight with the fond memory of better times and they were. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. zyrtec®. love the air. [ sneezes ] same grin, same walk. and the same beautiful hair. [ female announcer ] nice 'n easy. in one step get expert highlights and lowlights. for color they may just think you were born with. [ rob ] i'm a lucky guy. [ female announcer ] with nice 'n easy, get the most natural shade of you.
welcome back to "hardball." if there's one thing senator ted cruz achieved to gut the president's health care law by shutting down the government, it's this. he success ked i-- cruz's tactics have had the opposite of their intended ee effect. >> no one has done more to strengthen obama care than ted cruz. since he started this crusade of his, the fact is over the last ten days support for obama care has gone up 7% in the country. not because obama care is
working, not because it's played out well at all, but because he has given such a bad image to the anti-obama care forces. so president obama and the supporters of obama care should thank ted cruz because he is their biggest ally right now. >> conservative columnist charles krauthammer says he never had a roadmap for the wild ride he took republican house members on. >> how exactly was he going to achieve abolition of obama care? explain that to the me. has he ever explained it? and where is he now? where are they? where are the generals? what's their strategy to get abolition of obama care? >> former mississippi governor, haley barbour a friend of this show, was once a chairman of the republican national committee of cruz's attempt to stop the health care law, quote, it never had a chance. and he's a smart fellow. eugene robinson is a columnist for the "washington post" and msnbc analyst. tim saltz worked for mike huckabee back in 2008.
free fire zone for you, chip. what's happening to your party in light of the cruz mission which was to go after obama care, if you will, a phrase he doesn't mind using. i prefer affordable care act. that says it's an act of law. and tying it to the debt ceiling, tying it to the government shutdown. was that a smart strategy politically and what has it done? has it detonated your party? >> you know, i like senator cruz and i respect him for standing up for what he believes, but i agree with some of the previous ones. he never had a game plan to win. he picked a fight. i also have a strategy to win them once i pick them. he's started this hornet's nest and left my friends in the house holding the bag. because there was no path to victory on this. instead of letting obama care fall under its own weight which is what a lot of republicans thought would happen, he's picked the fight. he's become the bad guy, and now he's the issue and it's become very personal and that's hurt our party a bit. >> let me ask gene about this. analytically, can you decipher whether cruz is a smart guy --
at least academically. maybe not politically. he did pull an upset in texas. in winning that primary. did he think obama was weak in the knees and if he pushed hard, obama would give a piece of obama care back? or did he want something that would all explode and everybody would be jumping around like it has happened? what was he planning? >> i have no idea. look, i think people are starting to wonder, you know, number one, did they overestimate? did we all overestimate ted cruz when he first arrived? he's really smart, he can be eloquent. he seems like a really clever guy, but this never made sense. this never made one iota of sense that president obama would voluntarily renounce his biggest legislative accomplishment. something democrats have been trying do since harry truman. i mean, it was never going to happen. >> let's figure why he made the mistake. it's smart to learn. i'm going to go back to chip on this question.
i think -- let's let him. you know, back in the '60 campaign nixon thought he could carry the south because all the business guys out there, business guys with some money in their pockets were all downtown atlanta that day. like they're at lunchtime in any big city. and he got the idea because they're applauding him, i'm going to carry georgia. i'm going to break this solid south. right? he didn't. he was misled by leading indicators. was cruz overwhelmed by all the applause meters at all those right wing events and town hall meetings thinking that echo chamber was the congress? it was the republican caucus? it was the world? is that what happened to him? he got misled? >> maybe visions of '16 kind of blinded him. like how does he win before '14 and especially this congress with obama care. when you're trying to figure what was going to be a win, i think at that point they felt like getting it delayed for a year, defunding it. using that as a way to delay it for a year to negotiate things out might be a win. but i think he overplayed that hand a bit.
i have great respect for senator cruz. i don't think they thought it through to say, okay, this is not just one senator that can stop this. it's two chambers. the democrats control the senate. the democrats control the white house. what is in reality what we can really do. >> i think gene, they're afraid of him, afraid to tell him he's wrong. i've never seen a guy so brilliantly good at pointing the finger. so nobody stood up to him in this whole buildup to this fight. >> well, you know, the senate didn't used to be that way, right? >> a kid coming in first term couldn't make this much noise. maybe it had something to do with the fact that mitch mcconnell, the minority leader in the senate who keeps discipline normally is looking over his shoulder at a tea party challenge and perhaps felt that he couldn't tell senator cruz, look, this is not going to work. and this is not the way we're going to do it. but, you know, i wonder how long people are going to be saying
what chip just said. i respect senator cruz. i think he has lost a lot of respect. he certainly lost a lot of friendship and potential allies on the hill. i don't know how much that means to him, but this has not been a good week for him. >> thanks so much eugene robinson and chip salts man for your candor. i was on the tonight show with jay leno. this is "hardball," the place for politics. you think you take off all your make-up before bed. but do you really? [ female announcer ] neutrogena® makeup remover erases 99% of your most stubborn makeup with one towelette. can your makeup remover do that? [ female announcer ] neutrogena® makeup remover.
comedians were having a field day with that one. here was jimmy fallon last night. >> congress has never been less popular. this new poll found americans have a better opinion of zombies than members of congress. [ laughter ] >> which is weird. they're not that different from each other. we have zombies with creepy discolored skin and congress has john boehner. zombies do a lot of moaning and congress does a lot of postponing. and zombies would destroy civilization as we know it. congress, give it a few more days. i was on the tonight show of course last night to talk about my new book, "tip and the gipper." and we discussed the sorry state in washington these days. >> do you think obama and boehner, do they hate each other? like each other? >> i don't think they have the relationship. what the president does is strange. if you were president of the united states, wouldn't you invite people over and work them? that's what reagan did.
he had parties for tip o'neill. he had birthday parties at the white house. he had tip to his birthday party. they had st. patrick's day parties every year. what was the favorite picture last year in the campaign? favorite picture? that people liked? it was chris christie on the beach with obama. >> yeah. >> and everybody in the country said that's what government is. when you work together across party lines for something really important. when sandy hit. and they just wanted their parents to get along. >> yeah. that's really what it comes down to. you know? >> i agree. >> tonight i'll be on hbo's "realtime with bill maher." that's a different kettle of fish. next, senator rand paul had some product placement in his remarks this morning at the value voters summit in d.c. in a joke the senator said he drives a toyota prius, a car by the right wing saying it's a environmental friendly liberal mobile. >> and i am in a toyota prius. i don't know if i can take all the supporters with me, but if
you need a ride back, we will take you along. we do have a prius. >> as it the turns out, paul does drive a prius and he should be plugging toyota. it's the biggest employer in his state of kentucky. recently added 750 jobs building lexus luxury cars at the toyota plant there. and last month the senator even visited toyota's north american headquarters which is based in erlanger, tennessee. and there's more here than meets the eye. could rand be trying to make the prius cool? among higs fellow conservatives. that would be good. that would be a big step for his party. considering the cross branding going on here, here's our idea of what rand paul's campaign ads might look like in 2016. you can call this a cross-promotional parody. ♪ ♪ this is the car that loves to have fun ♪ ♪ the car hybrid ♪ once upon the time it was the only one ♪ ♪ let's hum hum hum ♪ let's hum ♪ a prius for everyone
>> i'm rand paul and i approved this message. driving a hybrid car should not be a conservative taboo. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. coming up next, your business with jj ramberg. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. zyrtec®. love the air. [ sneezes ] 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. le le store and essentially they just get sold something. we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. before you invest in a mattress, discover the bed clinically proven to improve sleep quality. when we actually lower the sleep number setting to get the sleep number bed to conform to them, it's amazing the transition that you see with people. oh, that feels really good.
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washington battles while small business owners grapple with the complexities of the affordable care act. the answers you're looking for regarding the new health care exchanges. plus, this woman auto repair expert succeeds in a male-dominated business by telling not selling. that's all coming up next on your business. ♪ small businesses are revitalizing the economy, and american express open is here to help. that's why we're