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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 11, 2009 12:00am-1:00am EST

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we will see you again tomorrow night. until then, you can e-mail us, rachel at msnbc.com. "hard ball is next." at american speaks, let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. accepting his nobel peace prize, he spoke of the world'sville n villains, he spoke of the world peace. >> i cannot make idle threats against the american people. make no mistake, evil does exist in the world.
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a non-violent movement couldn't have halted hitler's armies. negotiations couldn't convince al qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. >> it was the speech of putting flowers in the gun barrels. they use the cause of human rights or democracy or whatever is available. no, it was a powerful speech, worthy of a kennedy, who refuses to give up hope that world peace is necessary. it looks like the public option, at least as it's been described, won't be part of the package. then again, candidate barack obama never promised a public omg option, and he's about to give americans what's been promised since roosevelt, access to millions who don't have it. plus, it's my party and i'll cry if i want to. they've been thrilled to see the tea partiers and the loud
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celebrations against the democrats, but what the party goes third party? we'll talk to two leaders of the tea party movement then check in on their plans. also, the republicans want the economy to tank so they can win elections next year. for the second time in a week, obama has said the republican leaders have given up responsibility helping the economy say they, quote, almost seem to be rooting against recovery. one decided that the argument that the 2,070-page health care reform is too long, and now he's saying the words are too short. let's start with president obama's nobel peace prize acceptance speech. cynthia tucker is with me in washington. let's take a look right now at what the president said about
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just rewards, why we sometimes have to fight. let's listen. >> i do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. what i do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. and it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace. we must begin by acknowledging the hard truth. we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. there will be times when nations acting individually or in concert will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.
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>> jeff, what kind of an audience was he facing up there? i mean, the swedes didn't even fight hitler in world war ii, so they don't always see the evil that we see. cynthia thinks i'm kidding here, but let's not forget, some people just don't see what has to be done and don't do it. we can be wrong, but at least we see it. >> look, the president laid out, i think, his vision for foreign policy in a way that we hadn't heard before, and it could be summed up, i think, in two words. realistic idealism. you know, you hear the words realism, idealism. i think what he was trying to show was paint this piblgt thct that, look, you can have an ideal stick vision, but it's a realistic path to get there. and i think this argument about the just war. would the tone of his speech been different if he had not just sent off 30,000 troops to a war in afghanistan, perhaps.
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this speech is technically called a lecture. thael that's what the nobel prize committee calls it, a lecture. in many ways, it was a lecture to the european community. >> cynthia, your thoughts? >> i thought it was a very powerful speech, chris. i thought it was very well done. it reminded me in a sense of his ray speech, his speech during his campaign when he was at a very tough moment. this was a speech for grown-ups. it was a speech that embraced complexities. there was a lot of talk before he went to oslo about how would he, having just said that he was going to up the ante in the war in afghanistan, how would he stand there and accept the nobel peace prize? well, i think his justification was lucid, coherent and powerful that there is sometimes a moral argument for. he did everything, quote, but
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ride a looeever. he was one of those who suggested war. but europeans remember how hitler's armies scarred the land and there was nothing but military force that could have stopped hitler. and obama used that example to great effect, i thought. >> the president made the point that words are sometimes necessary. here he is on what america has done for the world over the last six or so decades. let's listen. he's really defending america's role in recent generations. >> whatever mistakes we have made, the plain facts are this. the united states of america has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from germany to korea and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the baltic.
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we impose this burden. we have done so out of enlightened self-interest. >> chuck, you've been following this president since he was a candidate way back in springfield in 2007. did the speech surprise you in terms of that strong defense of america's history, in terms of the wars we've had to fight from war world war ii on to vietnam. but we have been fighting and we've been taking the heat and suffering casualties. he defended the role we've taken across the board. >> i would say the tone surprised me. i don't think i expected as hawkish, and yet in hindsight, probably should have. nothing in this speech was different policywise, but a couple things about that sections in particular, chris, that's a section of the speech that won over the newt gingrichs
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and the sarah palins and the carl rhodes. all three of them approved that speech, and it sat there and defended america. it was an idealogical speech in this sense, defending america exceptionalism and that america is maybe the only country that could play this role. and chris, i think this was the section of the speech that justified the nobel committee's picking obama for this because he was basically saying, look, only the american president could leave it at this moment in time in history. >> i'm going to leave you with exceptionalism. to me exceptionalism means one clear thing. anybody who comes here does better than where they came from. it is not a country that has any special rights in the world. i think he was saying we've had to take this role because we've had the power and nobody else
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was doing it, not because we had some special dispensation to do it. >> he said we've won the authority, more than anybody else in the world, to play this role to under line global security. i think we're finding a distinctions without a lot of difference. >> yeah, it's a tough call. but the question is, what call does that give us? >> why should anybody be surprised that president obama gave a strong and ringing defense of the united states of america? >> because he was totally against iraq -- i would argue his speech today was consistent against iraq because he came out against invading other countries, and he clearly separated himself from the dick cheneys and the george w. bushes, and he took a very presumptive attitude of, if you don't like this country, go
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after it. >> hedick cheney is still goingo find something to argue with. >> i believe the united states of america must remain a standing bear in the conflict of war. that's what makes us different from those who fight. that is the source of our strength. that is why i prohibited torture. that is why i ordered the prison at guantanamo bay closed, and that is why i've reaffirmed america's commitment to abide by the geneva conventions. we lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. [ applause ] >> chuck, do you think the president gets enough moral authority to lead those neo kinds of cheney types out of the bowels of evil here? can he save them from their at least short-term belief and
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torture and gitmo and the rest of this? >> well, certainly as far as the relationship to the world is, if that's where you're asking that question from, judging by that applause, not many parts of his speech in voevoked applause. and it's sometimes on foreign soil, the president will note not a lot of applause and it may be translation issues. that wasn't a translation issue, it was the sobering of the speech and the topic. that's the part where he separated himself from his foreign policy doctrine with president bush's foreign policy doctrine. >> cynthia? >> that's what american exceptionalism is all about in my view, chris. we're the people who have the good values even when it is tough to do so. we don't torture. yes, we will try -- >> cheney does. the neocons believe in it.
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we had ron and chris sitting in that chair last night, defending it down the line. >> that's why this speech won't make dick cheney happy. but i think many americans should be proud of the speech president obama gave this morning. >> thank you for joining us. a great report from oslo. cynthia tucker, thank you. coming up, why are they so dead set on a public option? do they still want what they don't have or are they hopeful we'll get there somewhere as a country? i think they go for the deal, but we'll see. we're going to talk to four different people. only on msnbc. big deal. i'll just use my phone. let's say we crashed. whoops, your phone's gone. onstar automatic crash response can call to see if you're ok. if you don't answer, they can automatically send help. i think i'll ride with you. now during the chevy red tag event,
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senator democratic harry reid said he found the answer to health care, but can he convince other people that he's right. senator clara mccaskey of missouri. she opposites on the aging committee. i need to get an update. here's diane feinstein of california coming out that far caucus you had yesterday. there was no explanation, it was sort of a go, team, go, she described the meeting. ben nelson of nebraska said general concepts but nothing very specific at all. so given, well, whatever you've got at hand, are you hopeful that you could vote for the health care bill if it comes to the floor eventually, senator mccaskey? >> i'm pretty optimistic. we're all waiting for the financial analysis, because at
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the end of the day, that's what this is all about. it's about saving money for americans on health care costs and saving money for our government in the deficit on health care costs. so we've got to look at the numbers, a numbers, and as soon as we get the numbers, i'll make announcements then. but this is really hard. >> how will it make america better to pass the health care bill? what is so good about this, the promise delivered of the democratic party going back to fdr? what are you going to deliver to the american people here? >> we're going to reverse a trend that is killing most families in this country, and that is they're having to go in their pocket for more and more money for health care every year. we're going to reverse that trend. we're going to reverse the trend that is absolutely devouring us in terms of the deficit. we're also going to bring some insurance companies to heal here. we're going to stop practices
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that are so unfair and make health care more cost efficient. but this is not easy stuff and people need to remember we are the governing party because we have diversity of opinion in our party. we aren pure, we have moderates and we have more progressives, and the reason we're governing right now is we replaced moderate governments. compromise is not evil. >> how will it be different in hospitals across america after this bill is passed as you see it now? will we still have a lot of poor people waiting in emergency rooms for general medical care? >> overtime, we will see more and more of those people at clinics. we will see more and more of those people with a primary doctor and with affordable kovr coverage so that we're not paying the hidden cost we're paying now for people in the emergency rooms. the best care was given to those
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americans without insurance. it's kind of stupid we're fighting the notion that we want to quit paying the hidden tax and be up front about covering people in a way that is cost effective. >> you represent the middle of the country, the heartland. i don't think you get any closer than missouri. are the people of your state behind you on this? >> you know, there is a lot of misinformation out there, chris. the people are angry and cynical, in many cases for good reasons. and they're believing the stuff they're hearing, that the sky is going to fall. this place is full of chicken littles right now, the sky is falling, if you listen to republicans. but we're going to pass this bill and the sky is not going to fall. but we're okay, and in missouri, it's a 50-50 state, so i'm kind of used to the state being mad at me. >> you have real a gress sieves in that party of liberals. how do you keep that wing of the party happy without giving them what they want, which is what
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they really want is the start of basic national health insurance. they want the start of the government taking their hand and providing health insurance. that's what i think. and they say so, some of them. how can you make them happy, the people that really want the government to begin to run some of this health care? >> well, no one is going to be really happy here. that's the process of le legislating. it's the practice of compromise. so many things this president is doing is what he campaigned on. and he said, no universal health care, no single payer health care, he said that during campaign, that he was opposed to sa single payer. i think as we've worked through the progression of our caucus, americans need to bend a little to get that final product for the american people. >> will the president have a health care bill to sign come the new year? >> yes, i believe he will.
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we have no margin of error here, and everyone is tired, and tensions are high, and it is a partisan food fight. this is a rip-roaring partisan food fight, so i hope everyone stays calm, but what i've been encouraged about is everyone wants to stay and work. no one is kplajcomplaining abou staying here on weekends, and people are even willing to stay here on weekends if we have to to get this done. >> merry christmas. >> merry christmas to you. >> dennis from ohio, one of many progressive voices. can you see yourself voting for any health care bill that can carry the majority of the house? can you, because of your position as a real progressive, a social democrat by most world standards, could you ever buy what most people in the congress will buy when we finally get to the bottom line here? >> well, taking the latest plan out of the senate, if they expand medicare so people under
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55 can buy into it, or 55 to 64 can buy into it, that's a positive step. i might be able to support that, chris. it all depends on the details, if the benefits are going to be the same, if the out of pocket costs wouldn't be too high, if there would be privatization for medicare advantage. i might be able to support something like that. as you know, john conyers and i are the ones that wrote the bill before that. so if they wrote the bill so that 55 and up would have a chance to buy in, that would be a step in the right direction, no doubt about it. >> what they're talking about so far, congressman, is not that you are provided medicare at the age of 55 but you can buy into it. how would you read that? >> that would be about $400 per person to be able to buy in at age 55. that could cover 25 to 30 million people. that could be a big step, chris, because right now people are paying 500 to $1,0$500 to $1,00
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month for private insurance. the expansion of medicare so that age 55 and up can buy -- to 64 can buy in, that's a positive step if they can, in fact, deliver that to the house of representatives in a conference report. >> you're a progressive. what is your sense of history about this kind of fight? i look back as you look back to the great depression and what roosevelt was able to do in very difficult times to get social security through, back at a time when it was seen as not what it is today. it was sort of a last ditch, if you really needed it, you got it, but today it's part of your retirement program. medicare, getting through that in the '60s after kenenedy's assassination, and there was a desire to do something to carry on his agenda. if we get a bill passed with this president, what would you think of this success story, i
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call it. what do you call it? >> if 47 million americans are currently without health care and another 50 million are underinsured, if we can get more people to have health care, that's a positive step. however, on the other hand, we're seeing increasing privatization of the health care system, and the bill i voted against was a $50 million handout to the insurance companies and basically helped to lock in a private insurance system. if we can't rescue a role for the public here, not by government owning all the hospitals. we have a government-run system, it's veterans, but by government paying the bills in a medicare structure. we're not going to have medicare for all, the president made that clear. but chris, at least we can take a step in that direction by giving people age 55 to 64 a chance to buy in, then we're reconnecting with some of those ideals that go back to the great days of fdr. >> okay. thank you so much. merry christmas.
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>> same to you, chris. thank you. up next, a public argument against a 2008 bill. if you think conventioning is over -- this senator says this bill has got to have more words in it. you're watching "hardball." only new dove has nutriummoisture... which can nourish deep down. new dove body wash with nutriummoisture. superior natural nourishment for your skin. ( cracking, crash ) that was delivered fast! it's not delivery and we'd like it back. new digiorno ultimate toppings pepperoni, with 50% more pepperoni. taste. believe. it's not delivery, it's digiorno. that's why we created the tide "loads of hope" program, a free laundry service that provides clean clothes to families affected by disasters. [ woman ] it feels so good to be able to know that i've got clean clothes.
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proof of the pudding, senator mike ensee. he says the 2,000-plus bill doesn't have enough words in it.
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listen. >> there has never been a bill as important as this one because of how many it effects. we talked about 2,070 pages, which is a lot. it would be a bill you could read in a normal amount of time. but 2,074 pages isn't nearly enough to cover health care in america. >> next, let me amend my remarks. back in march, congressman joe ba bacca of california gave tiger woods a medal. given all that's happened, it'sit's not surprising mr. baca has reconsidered his bid. he said given the latest announcements, he no longer considers him for the award.
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a new public policy poll, which isn't that great of a poll, by the way, it relies on recorded tapes over the telephone like those jokers trying to sell you something. dr. 50% likes things the way they are, 44% would like to have george w. bush back on top. 50 to 44, obama over bush, to tonight's big numbers. they're happy the tea parties are targeting the democrats, and now the tea parties may run against democrats. so will the purification rule over you don't need a rematch-- but a re-think-- with lunesta.
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i'm dan kkleoffler, and her what's happening. at the height of the iraq in surge inn surgery ents -- a massive winter storm is moving east along the great lakes and leaving behind up to two feet of snow. wind chills approaching 25 below zero. police shot by an armed suspect. the shot shattered windows and sent tourists diving for cover. $1.1 trillion spending bill.
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despite the nation's $120 billion deficit. now let's go back to "hardball." the conservative tea party movement has shown it's not afraid to challenge republican primaries. let's listen. >> if you were to run for something again, would you run as a third-party candidate? >> that depends on how things go in the next couple years. the republican party gets back to that base, i think our party is going to be stronger and there's not going to be a need for a third party, but i'll play that by ear in the coming months, coming years. >> let's shake it up.
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he's with president freedom works which organizes tea party events around the country. he's also organized tea party protests. i'm going to start with matt who is with me. what's the plan? how do you guys shake things up and move the country where you want to move? >> i think we have to get the republicans and the democrats to get back to what i call the fiscal conservative, the issues that drive the party. >> who would be a role model for you in that regard? >> i think this is a leaderless movement. >> has there ever been a stronger president? who do you look to as a good role model for the tea party people? >> obviously, ronald reagan is the closest we have. he said we shouldn't spend money we didn't have. >> he wen from under a trillion to 3 trillion. he did more to increase the size
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of the debt than any other president in history. i'm asking you, one president you can look up to who was good at tea party politics and idealogy? if it's not reagan, who do you look to? coolidge? how far do you have to look back? >> i think we need to find somebody who meets that standard. >> every party and every movement tends to need a hero. who is yours? >> i think right now tim demet. they don't just vote against budget bills, chris. i think those guys right now are good role models in the house. i really respect jeff lay. he would stand up, they stripped him of his judiciary committee. those are three guys i really respect right now. >> the senator for south carolina says he wants to
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encourage the recruelitment of w members. >> when i was deciding to run again for the next six years in the senate, i decided if i'm going to be here, i am no longer going to go along with this idea that we're going to keep spending and borrowing and taking over and raising taxes. i'm going to do everything i can to change things. and to do that, i made some new republicans. >> let me go back to you. i want to know, because it's clearly the president. once they get into the presidency, something happens. they never really balance the budget. i did a few times, harry truman did, but it doesn't seem to happen recently. they're up to a trillion and a half dollars right now in deficit. what happens to conservatives when they get near the white house? how come they all seem to be talking the good talk at the senate level where they don't have to run the show? >> i think any politician, you have to hold them to their word, and conservatives run on fiscal
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conserve tic conservetism. we think any politician that gets elected needs to be held accountable 365 days a year. >> let me ask you, tim, what senators, with respect to the holy trinity there, no disrespect to the whole thing, when they brag about how much pork they brought home, when is it going to work? the poestal patron says, i got you this, i got you that. doesn't that work with voters? >> i think voters sometime in the past are looking at that and saying, hey, yeah, we're getting our money back. i do think there is a concern across this country. people are more worried about debt and deficits. i looked at this legislation. all the republicans voted against a bill on the house, and
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good thing because it was a big spending bill. one thing that drives americans for prosperity nuts, to see these guys raise up and vote. but they go put ear dgs marks in there. that's why i think next year, 2010, you're going to see a lot of activists go away. do i want to get involved in primaries? do i want to educate folks? i think you're going to see that next year. >> there's a guy that is against pork, and he is getting threatened by j.d. hayworth? would you pick one who is known to be an enemy of pork or j.d. hayworth? seriously, do you go for the j younger guy, the older guy, the guy who has been successful in fighting pork and just wants to make some noise?
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>> j.d. hayworth stood strong on issues. where we've been stronger, he's waifrd and not done so good. i'm going to dodge your question, chris. i'm not ready to say which of those guys i prefer. >> we don't endorse candidates, but ru but rubio is one of those. eases one of those guys you can get excited about, you bet. >> how about third party? i mean, sarah palin's kind of hard to read. we're all fascinated with her because she's as exciting a political figure right now, but she answered the question about larsen and said, yeah, i might go third party. would you guys knock off a rekum bent republican. >> so the only thing to do would
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be to take care of the rerepublican party. that's what our goal is. we need to replace them with fiscal conservatives. >> do you trust rod, or do you think he suggests -- >> what do you think of rod? he may well be the front runner. >> i think if he's running for senate of massachusetts, he's pretty attractive. his presidency, not a lot less. >> are you going to go with palin, because bottom line, you only get to select those who run. among those out there, pa lent i, huckabee, sarah palin and my mitt romney. who looks good to you guys from
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your tea party perspective. i think it's really hard to tell. mitt romney, his campaign was really good. governor polenti, it's just too early. i think 2010 is easier to handicap and look at, because you know who is out there, what they're saying, what their records are. i think it's tough to put the crystal ball on with no news of clart, but like with tattoo in pennsylvania, there is a guy that a lot of folks are looking at. it's like, wow, look what that guy's record was in the house. >> if i know pennsylvania. he can win. good luck, guys. no, not good luck, but it was nice to meet you. thank you, tom phillips. by the way, you're much more serene and sober than you are at
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those meetings. they seem to be roogt against the economy. by the way, he has been saying some tough stuff against the republicans saying they're ruling for the fall of this economy so they can rise again. let's go i'd like one of those desserts and some coffee.
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thanks to joe walsh and henry hertzberger. it's a white house meeting between democrats and republicans on how to create more jobs. the president suggested republicans. their refusal to work with him seems to be rooting for recovery. joan, it seems to me we've seen this theme. the president seen the other day talking about the economy. it was a sign the republicans wanted to work with him. from the beginning, they haven't wanted to work with him.
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he puts the blame squarely on him for fighting bipartisan and this economic challenge face in the country. >> i agree with you on this one, chris. i believe he came into office, he campaigned on getting out of gridlock, he came in, he had meetings, he had drinks, he had the super bowl, he invited them to consult, but i think you and i both know the path of 2012. they didn't get a single vote of house republicans. they got the two lovely women from maine in the senate. they offer amendments. democrats would accept the amendments but then they wouldn't vote for the bills they amended, anyway. bill is thrilled with that timed story because he's expressing his frustration, but he's also expressing the frustration of his liberal face.
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>> it seems like he's making the point now that the republicans never would have played ball with him. >> it says, they seem to be almost rooting against recovery, and that's a fair observation. they do seem to be almost rooting against recovery. they haven't offered any positive program themselves to get us out of this, and the things they suggest would actually deepen the recession. it's a fair observation. let's lirch to the president here on tape. >> it comes across the political spectrum heading for a second great depression. so in the weeks and months that followed, we took a series of difficult steps to prevent that
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outcome. and we were forced to take those steps with the help of an opposition party which, unfortunately, after having resigned, i wonder. >> we only have one governing party right now, and the other one is stepping aside, if not bitterly stepping inside. many liberals didn't think it was big enough, and many of us were kind of rir tasz by we were right. our whole stick lus package, but he didn't. we have to discuss that and that's our idea. so the parks can continue to come on, when we gt us another
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room. but he wants to hear it, and you could hear it, too, because he sden want to go on compromising when he doesn't have a partner. >> that's absolutely right. bipartisan ship takes two to tango, and obama has held his hand out from the beginning, even when it's rejected and slapped aside. that doesn't mean he's not going to fight for what he thinks is the right solution. but the republicans have just opted outd of this. it would be nice if we did have a governing pear. we don't exactly, because in the senate, they have the power to stop anything if florida. we would have a double role in some case they pat. thank you. we'll be right back with joan
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i know that engagement with impressive regimes lacks the security of the indian nation. but i also know that sanctions
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without outreach, condensation without discussion could carry over only a crippling status quo. no repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door. >> we're back with rix. >> it was a remarkable speech on many, many levels. the others received them long after their term for specific acknowledgements. teddy kennedy, the treaty for the russian-japanese war. this is the first time we'll have a speech from a resident who is actually engaged in exerting power.
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i think that speech will be read for decades to come because it's an extraordinary expression of philosophy of governing, and it's state craft that really reflects the kind of president that obama wants to be. >> joe, no repress sieve regime can move down a new path unless it has the scope of an open door. how do you defend that line? >> he is attempting to reach out to people assumed to be our enemies. the guy on the right -- it's really deceitful and disgrace ful idea that he opposes the result of professionalism, or he apologizes into america that hz never been true. his speeches have always shown a respect. both a defend force to talk about justified wars, as well as
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japanese rights, but in a way that i can we woening reading it for a long time, as rick says. >> i don't want to have the term misused in the hal burton crowd. dick cheney uses it to make a lot of of money. i think there's an interesting point here. you believe in america because of its rights to do things in the world, my fault. yes. american except whs. i think it means we uphold these rulgsz. that's what carery is foegs or sden love america. that was certainly bloen