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tv   Hardball Weekend  MSNBC  December 13, 2009 7:00am-7:30am EST

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strategists on whether president obama is moving to the right or that's where he always was, in the center. michael feldman and john fieri. let's get to the bottom line. does the president have ideological integrity? is he what he says he is? is he consistent? is he a man of the center left, or the left or center? where would you put him and is he real? >> i think he is a man philosophically on the left. i also think on some things like afghanistan he campaigned on, he's been consistent. he said he would increase the troops in afghanistan to win it, and that's what he's doing. he's been very consistent on that. he actually promised some things -- i think the best thing he could do to govern as a centrist is get control -- >> i don't care what you want. rhyme asking you one simple question -- i'm not here to sell. is he a man of integrity? >> he's a man of the left who is trying -- who i think he's keeping consistent with his philosophy. >> he's a man of integrity? >> i think he's a man of integrity, absolutely. >> your thoughts? >> i'm not going to disagree with that, chris. >> that's easy.
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what is he? >> i think as much as some people in john's party -- i'm not saying john is, but as some would like to call him a socialist or communist or whatever the term of art is and try to paint him into a -- >> what do you call him? >> the guy ran from the center, he governs from the center, he remains in the center. that's where he was elected. >> how do you explain the fact that he had like a 100% ada rating when he was a senator? is that the center? >> that's his voting record. but the fact of the matter is, he was elected in states like indiana, not because he had a 100% ada record. but because they liked what he had to say. >> you're changing the subject again. is he a man of the left or the center left or the center? >> i think he's a moderate democrat, moderate progressive, centrist left. >> centrist left? >> there's no evidence he's actually in his own beliefs a moderate. he's almost consistently said he's the left wing of the party. he campaigned on that, especially when it came to iraq. >> is he a big government liberal at home? >> he's a big-time government liberal at home. >> is he a dove of foreign
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policy? >> i think he's a dove, but with afghanistan, he had no choice. he campaigned that he was going to win -- >> let's look at the president here. i think this is going to be part of the argument for the next couple of years. i think he sounded the other day in oslo like jack kennedy. not teddy kennedy or bobby kennedy, he was very hard to read, but jack kennedy. someone who will forever try to figure out was he a classic cold warrior or was he a revisionist of some kind really pushing for peace like a nixon was. let's take a look at him speaking yesterday in oslo and receiving the nobel peace prize. the president. >> whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is 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 balkans. we have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our
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will. we have done so out of enlightened self-interest. >> newt gingrich liked that. sarah palin apparently liked that. peggy noonan liked that. is that real? john, again, a man speaking in defense, full-throated defense of america's defense of the west, basically, for all these years since world war ii. >> good for him. myself, i think he's been mugged by reality with the power of the presidency. he sees the threats he's encountering, but good for him. i think that american power is an essential part to worldwide peace. i think he's starting to project that. that's good. i think that's important. >> let's be clear about something, there was nothing terribly new substantively in that speech. it was beautifully given. i think it was hard to imagine a wartime president going to -- >> let me ask you a question. if he had given that speech in the iowa caucuses last year, would he have given that speech in the iowa caucuses when he was contending among those populist, somewhat, well, largely anti-war democrats in the democratic caucuses? would he have given that speech?
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>> i think it would have been an odd venue to give that speech. >> yeah, i think so. >> but the fact of the matter is -- >> so in other words, he's changing his emphasis from what he was as a candidate? >> no, no, i think it was brilliantly executed in oslo. receiving the nobel peace prize as a wartime president talking about foreign policy. i think that was very well done. the fact of the matter is, he talked about afghanistan as a war of necessity a year ago. he talked about it in the campaign. he has governed that way. the fact is, that the timing of this speech obviously wasn't perfect politically for him, but he handled it very well. >> let's get back to facts here. there's a big difference between this president, barack obama, and a hawk. or a neocon, a group of people i don't agree with, because i think they are too hawkish. iran, we haven't gotten there yet, but everybody figures we're going to get there. when the time comes, would he ever pull the trigger and support a military campaign to blow out those bases or those missile sites over in iran? would he ever do that, ever? >> i think the only way he would do something like that is to make certain that the israelis wouldn't do it. i don't think he would do it willingly.
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i don't think he's someone like a dick cheney that says we've got to go in there. >> well, cheney has a hair trigger. cheney's dr. strangelove. you made my point. he's not cheney. he's not one of those guys. >> the only way he would get into iran is if he was forced into it. >> do you think he would ever attack iran? i think a lot of republicans -- i think nixon would have behaved totally different than kennedy in the missile crisis. i think there's a big difference between the parties. >> i don't think a president ever takes a military option off the table. >> would he do it? would he ever attack iran? why are you being so careful? would he ever attack iran? >> go back to what the president has said. >> i don't think he would. >> first of all -- >> i don't even understand why he would do it, because if israel wants to do it, you can't stop them. if they want to do it. >> i think if there's a situation there that -- the situation is so dire -- so dire that -- >> then they have to do it. we don't tell them what to do. >> he's not likely to shoot first and build a coalition behind it afterwards.
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he's the kind of guy that's going to use all the tools -- >> you're so technical. i want a philosophical answer. is he a hawk? >> i think he's pragmatic in his foreign policy as well as his domestic policy. >> okay. let's take a look. i'm not getting an answer. you're saying he would only do it if he was forced to do it? >> i think -- >> i think he's very different than cheney. do you agree these different than cheney? >> i think he's a lot different than cheney. >> how so? in effect. in reality, where would there be a difference in how they would act? >> i think -- >> would very gone into iraq? >> no, i don't think he would have going into iraq. >> would he have gone into iraq? >> maybe, depending -- >> i don't think so. i disagree with that. i think only cheney would have gone into iraq. let's go to domestic policy where we might find clarity here. let's listen to the president where he's speaking on the economy this week. another example where people think he's moving to the center or to the right. >> that's why it's so important that we help small businesses struggling to stay open. or struggling to open in the first place during these difficult times. building on the tax cuts in the
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recovery act, we're proposing a complete elimination of capital gains taxes on small business investment, along with an extension of write-offs to encourage small businesses to expand in the coming year. and i believe it's worthwhile to create a tax incentive to encourage small businesses to add and keep employees, and i'm going to work with congress to pass one. >> i think he would have gone a lot further successfully. but he's starting to move toward tax cuts for businesses, write-offs, capital gains cuts. >> i would support that. and a lot of other tax cuts. >> that sounds very republican. >> it does, but it's not going to go anywhere in the congress. if he wants to be like a bill clinton and actually be in the center, he's got to triangulate against the democratic congress. right now he doesn't want to do that. >> i don't think he's doing this politically. he's doing this because there's 10% unemployment in this country. that's not a shift to the middle. that's a shift from wall street to main street. >> i think you're right in the sense he wants to do something
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worse, which would be republican ideas. >> there are a lot of republican ideas in his proposal. i give john credit for saying he agrees with him. a lot of people are looking for a reason to carp on him for -- >> if you want to keep a balanced presidency, to go from center left on health care and now going a bit center right on tax cuts for small businesses. it's a natural way to keep things balanced, right? isn't it just good politics? >> he's proposing a lot of things and letting the congress work out all the details. socialist health care. we have not for that. >> is medicare socialist. >> has some tendencies of socialism. >> it's going to drive us brook. >> you have a better -- >> what was your alternative to
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socialism? the great depression. the little shacks people lived in. that was hoover's plan. >> social security? >> wait for the market. >> well, it wasn't his only plan. >> let's agree on one thing. if it were political expediency that mattered if it were just making sure you locked down votes on health care, health care would not have been the priority. health care would not have been the priority. he made it priority. give him credit for doing it. >> i think he's following reagan's advice. get a big win the first year. thank you feldman for flackery and i give you an a. and for a while there you were pretty reasonable. the senate's compromise on health care reform. the great howard dean himself. the man who is health care reform is showing up in a minute to tell us what's good, what's bad. and i think he might surprise us by being mr. pragmatic. we'll be right back. he's coming here, howard dean, the governor, the doctor, he's everything. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. nts first. according to a leading independent research firm, in 2009, clients rated wells fargo advisors
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welcome back to "hardball." democrats are closer than ever some think to getting a health care plan signed by the president. will expanding medicare and opening up access to the same health care plans as federal employees have be a way for harry reid and nancy pelosi to get the votes they need? i'm going to the reality check now with dr. howard dean, former governor of vermont and former chairman of the democratic national committee. i mean this, governor, i really respect what you've been doing all this all these months. if it gets through, it's because people like you have cared a lot and thought a lot about it. i want to give you a couple minutes because people who watch this show do want to know how it looks from here. so give us the color of the game, if you will. how does it look now on december 11th, 2009? >> well, mostly that depends on whether the democrats who had been opposing the public option are willing now to try to do
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something to get health care through. i think the senate democrats, the majority of the democrats have given a lot to get these four folks onboard. and what they have given is actually very good. medicare is a much better way to have a public option or have people sign up than creating a new bureaucracy. so although the house bill is much more comprehensive, using medicare is the right thing to do. and it's going to have a couple of benefits. one, is that you can sign up as soon as the president signs the bill, or within a few months afterwards. because it's an existing bureaucracy. that's going to make a big, big difference. two senator jay rockefeller has a piece in this bill that requires health insurance to pay out 90%. now, medicare itself pays out 96% of the premium dollars to pay for health care. the private insurance industry today pays out 83%. there's a lot of waste there. that would be fixed with senator rockefeller's amendment. so i think the senate bill, while not as comprehensive as the house, it's a big step
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forward towards real reform. >> what will it cost a person at the age of 55 to 64 to buy into medicare? senator mccaskill from missouri last night was optimistic saying it would be about $400 a month. "the new york times" today said "this much seems clear, anyone who wants to buy the same health care benefits as members of congress or buy coverage through medicare should be prepared to fork over a large chunk of cash. seeming to indicate it would be more expensive than, say, $400 a month. >> it won't be as cheap as $400 a month unless there's a i think there needs to be a subsi subsidy. we need to get the 55-year-olds signed up. that's the most vulnerable action of americans that don't have it. it's going to be expensive. it will be between $400 and $600 a month. i don't think you can get down to $400 without some kind of subsidy. i think there needs to be a subsidy. remember, this bill, once it gets past the senate, god willing, will be going to conference committee. there will be plenty of room for compromises and improving the bill.
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i think it's a major step forward to use medicare as a substrate, and i think the insurance regulation is a major step forward. if you don't think it is, the insurance companies are squealing like stuck pigs, which means it's got to be a good bill someplace. >> what do you think about this, we've been debating about this, we've been debating and watching this, i've been sitting in the court watching this fight for months now. ed schultz does it, everyone else on this network watches it. with a very positive attitude. we all want something done, because all of us know about the tens and tens of millions of people, 30 to 40 million people who don't have health insurance. i think speaking for everybody in this country, we're better off with an insured public than people waiting in the emergency rooms. >> i join an awful lot of americans saying, any old bill is not good enough bill. if all we do is give tons of money to the insurance companies, this is a waste of money. >> where is the cost control going to be in it, as you see it as a necessary piece? what is your holdout issue on cost control? >> there's two pieces that are really important. one is using medicare as a substrate, because they do a much better job on cost controls than the private sector.
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they're not perfect, but they do a much better job. two is senator rockefeller's proposal that really does use the private insurance to insure other people. look there are two countries in western europe who have public health care without having any kind of money in it. switzerland and netherlands. they treat the insurance industry as a regulated utility. put that in the bill, the insurance companies scream and yell and shout. if they want to be responsible and they've been grossly, disgracefully irresponsible for the last 15 years, look at aetna. >> do you think your friend joe lieberman would go for that? up in connecticut? not in a billion years. >> probably not. 600,000 people are going to get kicked off the aetna roles next year so they can make more money. this is not a responsible industry or an industry that cares about their clients. we need to do something about that. if our system's going to work and remain in the private sector, otherwise we should have a single payer and be done with it like everyone over 65 has. >> how is the president doing in
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terms of leading this? it seems like he's waiting for congress. is he leading congress? >> we would all like the president to be as forceful as he could, as we could. but the president, when he was campaigning, people would yell and carry on about how he ought to do this and ought to do that. at the end of the day he came in and did what had to be done. we're going to have to wait and see. i have a feeling behind the scenes he's being pretty forceful. but, you know, this is tough. it's been a long, hard fight. the american people are tired of it. they want this fight to be over. they want a decent bill and move on to jobs and taxes. i see the president is moving on to jobs and taxes, but we can't leave this behind. or there will be an awful lot of democrats that lose their seats in 2010 because they won't show up without barack obama on the ballot. >> happy holidays. >> same to you. >> dr. dean, governor dean, thank you for joining us. congratulations if it works. up next, if you think washington has become less than civil these days, wait until you see what's happening in the irish parliament, known as the irish doyle. wait till you catch this guy. i like him already, by the way. he's taking on the guy giving him a hard time in the corner there. there he goes. i think you can read this guy's lips.
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back to "hard ball." time for the "sideshow." what a "sideshow" tonight. first up, the fighting irish. catch this great scene today from the irish doyle, today here's paul gagerty, a member of the parliament who doesn't like his integrity challenged. we have to cut out a bit of the sound, but you have no problem reading his lips. >> i respect your sincerity and ask that you respect mine. with all due respect, and the most unparliamentary language. [ bleep ] you, deputy. [ bleep ] you. i apologize now for the use of my unparliamentary language. >> that is most unparliamentary language. >> it is most unparliamentary
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language, and i will now withdraw and apologize for it. but i'm outraged someone there is questioning my sincerity on this issue. i don't like what has to be done, but i'm going to take the responsibility and get it on the chin and get the unpopularity and use my seat because it's the only thing we can do to get this country out of the state we're in. i firmly believe that. and you respect my view. i didn't cause the economic mess. i didn't take money from developers or the -- >> deputy, deputy -- >> the point is -- >> deputy, shut up. deputy shut up. >> the point is, we're screwed as a country because of the wrongdoing of others. >> that's paul gagerty of the green party. send your campaign checks directly. did you notice the other deputy didn't complain about what he was saying, even his language until he named him, the other guy, for taking money from developers. sound familiar? next, she's just not into you. this morning jenny sanford filed
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for divorce from south carolina governor marc sanford citing many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation. but not before she got in an appearance with barbara walters. de rigueur there, and got a book deal altogether. i suppose she's right in all this and he's wrong. i'm not making any judgments. as i said before, i kind of like that governor. last week we learned democratic senator max baucus nominated his girlfriend for a top job at the u.s. attorney's office. this minor tale of hanky-panky took another turn. the politico reported today that baucus in the summer of 2008, the summer before this, gave the same girlfriend who was working for him in the senate office at the time a big raise. how big? $13,687. that's not a bad raise. baucus' defense for giving the raise? he gave the entire office raises that period. anyway, senator baucus gave a $13,687 raise to his girlfriend last year. oh, well. tonight's big number. that's "hardball" for now. coming up next "your business."
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more proposals from the president to help small business owners. should you franchise your business or buy into a franchise? and what will our elevator pitch panel have to say about a pirate-themed boat ride? that and more coming up next on "your business." >> it's not just any business, it's your business that's why american express open is proud to present "your business" on msnbc.
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hi there, everyone. i'm jj ramberg, welcome to your business where we give you tips to help your business grow. president obama was back in front of the cameras this week saying he wants small businesses to start hiring. the president outlined measures he hopes to see in a new jobs bill to combat the nation's unemployment rate. the proposed legislation would improve incentives to ease credit for small businesses which would ideally result in the creation of new jobs. >> building on the tax cuts in the recovery act we are proposing a complete elimination of capital gains taxes on small business investment, along with an extension of writeoffs to encourage small businesses to expand in the coming year. and i believe it's worth while to create a tax incentive to encourage small businesses to addnd


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