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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 24, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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head size, that was the index? >> yeah, don't eat anything bigger than your head. >> that's the rule, right? i broke that rule in arkansas. >> we heard about that. >> sorry. that does it for us tonight. thank you very much, kent. we'll see you tomorrow night. until then, our new blog is awesome, we hope you check it out. "hardball e "hardball" is next, good night. change you better believe in. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, history right on television. it happened today on live television, one of those moments that democrats hope will be remembered like franklin roosevelt signing social security in, lyndon johnson signing medicare into law.
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president obama signed a new health care bill into law today before an east room filled with exuberant, proud and morally convinced democrats. >> today after all the votes have been tallied, health insurance reform becomes law in the united states of america. >> tonight we're going to look at the politics of health care. last week's conventional wisdom was that democrats were facing the abyss. this week, it's just possible this week that republicans may have overplayed their hand. that they relied too much on sitting back and cat-calling. been a bit too lenient in letting the far and in some cases nasty right do the work for them. even to the point of stating their case. where has this taken us politically? that's our top story tonight. as for the republicans, they did what the old federalist did in the early days of the republic, they resorted to the courts. in the language of today, they're suing. a dozen republican and one democratic state attorneys general have filed suits against the bill, the health care bill.
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in one case claiming the federal government is now, i love this word, invading his state and taking away its sovereignty. civil war talk there. four of these attorneys general are running for governor, by the way. i should add. some politics here. we're going to look at the gop morning-after strategy. plus, losing ugly. with the use of the "n" word and gay or anti-epithets and the cry of "baby killer" by randy neugebauer, it's become more and more difficult to distinguish republican office holders from their extreme tea party supporters. what is it about health care reform that causes opponents to reach for the nastiest charges? and on the heels of his health care victory, president obama meets today with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. in fact, the meeting's tonight. can he mend the diplomatic rift with israel and get the peace process back on track? and finally some thoughts about the brother who wasn't
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there today, senator edward kennedy. we start with this historic day, itself, with senator sheldon whitehouse, a democrat of rhode island. a new gallup poll by "usa today," one-day poll conducted monday, that's yesterday, finds 49% say it's a good thing that congress passed the health care bill. 40% say it's a bad thing. so times change, things change. so quickly, victory looks good to the american people so far. your thoughts? >> i think victory does look good to the american people. i also think that as they become more accustomed to this bill, as the president said, as its reality confronts some of the rhetoric that we've heard about it, they will learn some very important things about what this bill does. i think the republicans have painted themselves into a corner. if they want to run against us. in november, on opposing closing the doughnut hole for seniors, opposing protecting children with pre-existing conditions against the insurance companies that are denying them coverage,
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opposing $1.3 trillion in deficit reduction, opposing tax credits for small business, they put themselves in a tough position. >> okay. let's listen to some of the president today as he signed the bill. >> our presence here today is remarkable and improbable. with all the punditry, all of the lobbying, all of the game-playing that passes for governing in washington. it's been easy at times to doubt our ability to do such a big thing. such a complicated thing. to wonder if there are limits to what we as a people can still achieve. it's easy to succumb to the sense of cynicism about what's possible in this country, but today we are affirming that essential truth. a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself. that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations. >> you know, senator, i was just thinking, i'm trying to get beyond the cynicism of the
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people who just think everything is scorekeeping. to real motivation in politics, real mission in politics. how does this fit with your goals in life, what happened today? >> this is right down the middle. i come from rhode island, rhode island is a state with a lot of seniors. and a lot of low-income seniors. so solving their greatest dread, which is falling into the doughnut hole for part "d" prescription drug coverage is a really important and fulfilling thing. i heard from a woman just the other day, christine in providence, about her 23-year-old son, who she is scared to death about, because he's out on the job market and can't get health insurance and he's off her policy. christine's son will be protected. you come from a state like mine and this is all personal. it's all real. and that's what's been so frustrating about the demagoguery and the nonsense and frankly, the flat-out lies about things like death panels. now that it gets real and we have a real bill, i think we have a wonderful story to tell. and more important, we can really deliver for the people at
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home who are living in this health care system and experiencing failures day in, day out in heartbreaking ways. really the stories are just unbelievable. and this will begin to address them. >> i wanted you to get to that point in a bit more detail even than that. because you know, every economist, everyone who studied economics in college or grad school like i did knows the importance of the stimulus bill that was passed last year. and yet, anecdotally, your party has lost the argument. republicans are able to say it didn't do anything because you never sold it on the ground. is that a lesson you have to not make, well the mistake you cannot make this time? you have to explain the health care bill so it doesn't become evanescent, like the stimulus bill did? >> i think it's true, the stimulus bill achieved kind of a notoriety of its own. republican governors and congressmen came to all the ribbon cuttings, they spent the money, they loved it. they claimed the jobs it would create when they applied for it,
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but once it was a stimulus bill, something generic, they attacked it. we have to make sure that this stays close to home. and that the real stories hit home. and i think we have a strong commitment from the white house to be persistent about getting that message out. and, of course, the bill itself gives us a story to tell that's good in the real homes of real people and real families all over this country. >> how does the president use this victory moment to grab hold of the hearts and guts of the american people? i know you've got financial regulation coming up which could be another one of those bills that becomes a little to adelaide stevenson, a little too elitist, if you will. it doesn't grab people. wait a minute, the government is going to be a little teddy roosevelt, they're going to grab hold of these big trusts and they're going to protect us. how do you grab hold of that issue and make that coming issue into a kitchen-table issue? >> i think there are lots of ways for the president to do this. two that come to mind -- bring to the white house some of the families of the children who have pre-existing conditions.
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where dad and mom were trapped in their jobs, because they couldn't move because they would lose the coverage for their child with a pre-existing condition. let them tell their stories. it can be as simple as that. i think also in a more political level, you know, one team worked very hard to try to fix a real problem for the american people. the other team demagogued it and lied about it. and i think independent voters, given the choice, even if they disagree with parts of the bill will say look, one team was in there trying. the other team was out there lying. we're for the team that's in there trying. at least they took us seriously as voters and tried to solve a real problem that we as citizens face. >> is part of the problem the failure to get what we call bipartisan support, was that there weren't many bipartisan types left on the republican side? you've got people like chuck grassley and mike enzi from wyoming. you have a few out there, certainly dick luger, people like that, and the two senators from maine who would normally be part of a coalition to get something done for this country. pragmatic coalition. but they're not enough in number.
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is that the problem? you just can't get enough of them, so none of them break loose. because nobody wants to be part of a small, renegade group? >> well i think they also made a calculated decision as a party, to hang together and oppose everything obama proposed for the purposes of basically trying to make him look like a failed president. it was a calculated decision. they made it early. they stuck to it. it was a strategy. this was not just people being unwilling to come across the aisle. this was an actual strategy of refusing to come across the aisle. >> well that's the same thing they did back -- you're saying they followed the same strategy of rejectionism that they used back in '93 to '94? >> more or less. i wasn't here then, so i didn't see it firsthand. but i think the combination of trying to deny obama victories and trying to appeal to the very far right wing that is very important in republican primaries has driven them way off-course from the american
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people. >> okay. thank you so much, senator sheldon whitehouse of rhode island, thanks for joining us on this very historic day. u.s. congresswoman barbara lee is a democrat and chair of the congressional black caucus. it's an honor to have you on. i'll bell you folks were 100% today, i'm just guessing, the members of the black caucus, did you vote 100% on sunday for health care? >> there was one member of the congressional black caucus who voted no. but for the most part, 99.9% of the congressional black caucus voted for this bill. let me just say, chris, this is a major victory for the american people. the congressional black caucus of course for many years has been fighting for equity in our health care system. when you look at health disparities in communities of color and the african-american community, huge gaps. this is a moral issue for us. and we were so happy to be able to help write this bill. and make sure that the expansion for community clinics to the tune of $11 billion is in there. to make sure we have now an institute for the national
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institute for minority health. some major, major provisions that will allow now for more doctors into our communities. more people of color going into medical school. so it was a great day. it was a great day for the entire country. >> well i like the press coverage myself, you probably did notice, congresswoman, the press coverage all over the country in the newspapers was four people, nancy pelosi, steny hoyer, jim clyburn and john lewis in all the pictures. i thought it was impressive this was a diverse look. here's the president today at the interior department. let's listen to the president and i want you to respond to what he says, congresswoman. >> now, as long as a road that this has been, we all know our journey is far from over. there's still the work to do to rebuild this economy. there's still work to do to spur on hiring. there's work to do to improve our schools and make sure every child has a decent education. there's still work to do to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
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there's more work to do to provide greater economic security to a middle class that's been struggling for a decade. so this victory does not erase the many serious challenges we face as a nation. those challenges have been allowed to linger for years, even decades. and we're not going to solve them all overnight. >> well what do you make? it seems like there's so much before you now. the energy question in this country. our reliance on foreign oil. climate change, educational challenges. the war in iraq is winding down. the war in afghanistan continues. so many challenges for this president to get from here to the end of perhaps two terms. >> so many challenges. but the president has shown us over the last year and a half, that he's up for the challenge. and he is going to stay the course. as we speak, we just passed today for example, a jobs bill. the congressional black caucus, i know you know, chris, we've been beating the drums on jobs, jobs, jobs, since last year. we've got to create a
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comprehensive jobs initiative to employ everyone in our country. especially the chronically unemployed. and so today, under the leadership of chairman levin and our great speaker, we passed out of the house an expansion of tanif and also tomorrow we'll be working on our summer youth jobs initiative to the tune of $600 million. hopefully we'll be able to pass that. i share that because we met with the president, the congressional black caucus, we met maybe two or three weeks ago, we talked about what next and how to put forth initiatives to create jobs for the country, especially for those in areas of high unemployment. so we have a lot of work to do. but i think what you have seen is the leadership of both the president, our speaker pelosi, senator reid, and all of our democratic caucus, with the commitment regardless of where we are on political points of views, that we're willing to step in there, fight it out, and come up with something that's major for the country. and i'm so proud of the fact
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that we were able to do this under our watch. >> california congresswoman barbara lee, thank you so much for joining us. congresswoman. coming up, republicans went for broke and failed to defeat health care. did they break their pick? and what's worst, they lost ugly. some on the right certainly spewed some racial and rough stuff against people like barney frank and some black members of congress. rough talk out there on the capitol the other day. how can republicans defend the ugly attacks from those on the far right? you're watching "hardball." i heard one of the republican leaders say this was going to be armageddon. well, you know, two months from now, six months from now, you can check it out. we'll look around and we'll see. you don't have to take my word for it. [ male announcer ] when you buy a car,
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one of the loudest republican critics of president obama's health care reform has been mitt romney, the former massachusetts governor called the president's plan unconscionable abuse of power and said it should be repealed. the ironic thing is president obama's health care plan is largely based on the health care reform mitt romney signed into law in massachusetts four years ago. so romney has a real problem. if he wants to win the republican nomination for president 2012 he needs to reinvent himself again and hope his party overlooks the fact he once championed the very kind of reform they're now attacking. national car rental knows i'm picky.
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welcome back to "hardball." monday on msnbc u.s. congressman jim clyburn told andrea mitchell that he heard and saw this weekend outside the capitol building. here's what he said and heard. >> john lewis told me he was called the "n" word more than once, and two other members in
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the vicinity told me they heard those words being used. and when you look at the some of the signs that were painted out there, putting hitler-like moustache on president obama and other things that carried double meanings, you know that much of this was not about health care at all. >> well, the democrats weren't the only ones shocked by the ugliness out there on the capitol plaza. here's a politico report from today. it was like a mob at times lamented one house republican speaking on the condition of anonymity. it wasn't good for us, remember, it took years for democrats to recover from the bad publicity the anti-vietnam protests generated. well is that unnamed house republican right? could the ugliness of this debate cause big problems for republicans? pat buchanan is an msnbc political analyst, and david corn is an analyst for mother jones and columnist for politics
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i remember pat, reading something that you wrote about when richard nixon was inaugurated and the when he came down pennsylvania avenue and the ugliness of that crowd. remember that? i'm sure you don't forget it. >> very first thing that richard nixon said to me as president, came walking into the reviewing stand, i was in the way. i didn't know he was right behind me. and the secret service moved me aside and he said, buchanan was that you throwing the eggs at me? they threw eggs at the presidential limousine coming down there. >> and that led to -- a lot of that ugliness of the late '60s and early '70s that ended up helping the republicans in a way. >> every time. hey hey, lbj, how many kids did you kill today? >> that got the president up 60%. >> every time they went after nixon on these things, we soared in the polls. i was at the pentagon when a crowd of about 50,000 mailers, armies of the night tried to storm the building, fought with the mps trying to break into the building. it was an enormous event. these things are tea parties compared to that. >> well that was '67. >> '67, exactly. >> i was in that crowd. >> so was i. >> as my wife reminds me, i was
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watching the demonstration more than participating. here's texas congressman randy neugebauer yelling "baby killer" at bart stupak as he spoke on sunday. let's listen. >> those are shouting out are out of order. >> baby killer! >> well -- >> the republicans i think have two problems. one are these optics that we see. i think they look ugly. they look bad and they only appeal to the really most extreme part of their constituency. the other problem is, what do they do now? the vote on sunday night created a tremendous divide. there's, you know, not just a partisan divide, but an ideological and policy divide. and they're going to run on repealing this bill. the democrats now are actually feeling like they're in the cat bird seat. i was meeting with other columnists with nancy pelosi a
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few minutes ago and she's saying we would love to tell the story of what this bill is going to do. i just read about an 8-year-old boy who had a stroke and therefore was kicked off health care and he will never get it again, except for this bill. do you want to run on repealing that? already we see michele bachmann and jim demint saying repeal, repeal, repeal. and some republicans are starting to say today, wait a second, let's think this over. >> back to the ugliness, you saw the portrait of those people, the guy in the white shirt and tie last week before i left for the wedding this weekend, that guy yelling, making fun of the guy who was suffering from parkinson's, victim was sitting on the ground. obviously a guy in desperate shape. you may not agree with him, but that kind of ugliness -- what do you think of that, pat? it fits with this. i understand why middle class people are worried. they may have health insurance. they may pay taxes that are too high for their ability to pay. people may figure there's freeloaders out there, they may have all kinds of regular republican attitudes, but this goes beyond that. >> the behavior toward that guy
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sitting there. i don't know who put that guy there. >> i think he crawled there. >> he crawled all the way out there? >> it looks like it. >> who made the sign? >> it doesn't matter how he got there. >> he had to bring us together. the behavior -- >> here we go. >> we're going back to outside agitators. >> okay, i don't know -- >> let's assume he got there on his own. >> let's assume that. the behavior was contemptible by those few individuals calling the congressman names. even calling barney frank names. this happens in these things, its deplorable, it ought to be condemned. but to think the democrats can run on this nonsense when you're talking about a takeover of 1/6 of the american economy, i disagree in this sense. the democrats have made these arguments, they've made the anecdotal cases. they've lost them. we're going to have it out.
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>> this is a republican point you're making. fair enough. this is a spokesman told the "hill," quote, my impression he was satisfied. that's the boss, the leader of the republicans, with the tone of the debate. which focused on the serious factual arguments against the democrats' job-killing government takeover bill. there you have some pretty strong language. fair enough, that's standard politics. it's not working, pat. we've got a new poll out that shows 49% to 40%, people like what happened this weekend. it shows how quickly the american people adjust to -- >> well there's -- >> they like the fact that something was finally done. and they're going to like what's delivered in terms of these anecdotes. it's not just outside agitators, pat. when you have people on the floor shouting "baby killer," connie mack, representative from florida, republican, puts out a press release saying freedom died today. americans by in large, a lot of american voters, independent voters don't like excessive rhetoric of either side. they're going to look at the fact that the bill was passed, it has benefits and this is how republicans react? republicans are facing a problem. >> his great grandfather sold a million-dollar infield.
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>> look, it was predictable and predicted. get a halo effect, they want a big victory. everybody saw it, president won, pelosi won. the republicans are are losers. he's going to go up and go back down in two weeks. chris, but this is going to be -- >> you don't think the ugliness is one reason that the people find the president more fetching? >> they don't like that stuff, they probably don't like what joe biden said today. this is a big deal. i don't think john nantz gardner said that when franklin roosevelt passed social security. i laughed about it. that's what's going to be on tv. >> here's vice president biden today with president obama at the white house, let's give pat his jiggle and giggle. let's listen. >> this is a big [ bleep ] deal. >> okay. >> that's how american history is made. >> people like that. >> somebody please explain to the vice president that we have microphones. i don't know -- >> david's right about this -- >> i want to ask you -- >> wait a second, he's going to agree with me. >> are you offended by that
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language? >> i laughed my head off. here's the thing. david is right about this -- if you run for repeal, everybody knows you're not going to do it. if you say repeal, repeal and reform. say we're going to get rid of these, we're going to keep these and we're going to put these in there. that might work. if you say it's not going to happen until 2013. because then it's got credibility. but it ain't going to happen -- >> these guys don't have credibility. they took themselves out of the conversation. they are flirting with the worst aspects of your side of the aisle. >> i've heard it from -- >> from mother jones. >> just like we needed a senate bill and house bill to fix with the reconciliation, we're going to need this basic reform to work from. once we make a commitment we're going to insure everybody, or 30 million more people, then we can spend the rest of our lives reforming and improving. but until we got to today and passed the bill and signed it, it was all talk. now we're into true reform and refinement and polishing. and over time, this government will improve. thank you, pat buchanan for not
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being offended by the "f" word you've never heard in a newsroom. >> i heard it from dick cheney once. >> only once? up next -- this guy wasn't armed. i want to tell you about a wonderful moment this weekend with my family. this is totally personal. it explains where i was this monday and friday, the marriage of our oldest boy, michael.
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back to "hardball." kathy and i were down in charleston this weekend for one of those rare wonderful moments in life when something really great happens. our son, michael, got married. he and his beloved sarah became a family in the company of many of their friends and our friends, including some very special people who paid real attention to michael and sarah growing up. their sacrament of matrimony took place in an old huguenot church. the church of her family. father william george of my beloved jesuit performed the ceremony. our son, the actor, sang "ave maria." our daughter, caroline, was a bridesmaid.
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kathy and i have been fortunate to enjoy an adventurous life along the way, traveling to africa, ireland and enjoying many of those family events at home like birthdays, and the beach and just hanging around together. michael and thomas and caroline are just great company. especially great company when we're all together. sarah's one of us now, we were five, now we're six and i miss being together already, even though it was just yesterday. we were and i'm already missing them. as i said in the words of the song "to michael and sarah, i wish you bluebirds in the spring, a cozy fire to keep you warm, but most of all, when snowflakes fall, i wish you love." at green giant, we pick vegetables only when they're perfect. then freeze them fast so they're as nutritious as fresh. ho ho ho green giant
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i'm lynn berry and here's what's happening. top u.s. diplomats and security officials are in mexico today hoping to strengthen cross
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border cooperation in an on going battle against the drug cartels. british officials are expelling an israeli diplomat over his alleged involvement in an overseas assassination plot. a dozen forged british passports have been linked to the murder of a hamas leader in dubai. government's pay czar has set compensation limits for executives at five bailed out companies. company's top earners will take home 15% less this year under new restrictions. the north carolina school board has decided to drop a longstanding bussing policy. some parents complained their kids were being sent too far from home. and oprah winfrey has settled a defamation lawsuit. winfrey claimed the head mistress didn't act aggressively enough in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse. now back to "hardball."
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a few minutes before 12:00, the president of the united states today signed into bill, into law a health care bill that in our judgment, and the judgment of 12 other state attorneys general is unconstitutional and invades the sovereignty of the states. >> invades the sovereignty of the state of florida. welcome back to "hardball." that didn't take long. minutes after president obama signed the historic health care reform bill into law, attorneys general in 13 states fought a lawsuit challenging it. they say the individual mandate, that's what requires you to buy insurance, is unconstitutional. attorney of michigan, attorney general mike cox is is one of the 13. sir, it seems to me interesting that 12 of you are republicans. and four of you are running for governor. is this politics? four running for governor? >> well, chris, i am running for governor and nancy pelosi is running for her seat and harry reid is running for his seat as well this year. >> but you're trying to get a promotion based on this suit.
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let me ask you this -- do you really believe it's an invasion of the sovereignty of the state of michigan? that's what the language is used by bill mccollum down in florida. he's run every two years for something or ever since i can remember. go ahead. >> chris, what we're arguing is that the federal government has never, congress has never said to americans that part of the price of being an american citizen is that you have to buy something. and here for the first time ever, we have to buy something. we have to buy health insurance or the federal government is going to fine us. that has never happened in our 200-plus years of history. we're saying -- we're saying article one of the constitution doesn't authorize this. >> well, let's take a look. okay, article i you're going on. let's take a look at a justice department spokesman who said we will vigorously defend the constitutionality of the health care reform statute, along with any other claims in any litigation that's brought against the united states. we're confident this statute is
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constitutional and we will prevail when we defend it in court. what's your sense, attorney general, about the possibility of you winning the case? i talked to pete williams here, who is a pretty straight-down-the-line reporter on this. he knows this stuff, he said there's a possibility you might have a case. it may be remote, however. what's your sense of the plausibility of you, of you getting served, going to the supreme court and winning your case with a 5-4, at least, decision? >> well, chris, i think we have a very strong case. as i said, in the past 15 years, the supreme court has scaled back congress when they've tried to inject themselves into purely state matters and using the commerce clause. a perfect example was the morrison case with the violence, the violence against women act. another case was lopez, where they tried to criminalize purely state behavior within a state. so this over the past 15 years, the supreme court has scaled back and said to congress, when you try and go after activity
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that doesn't cross state lines and when you try to go after activity such as here, which is inactivity, here the federal government is punishing people for not buying a product. they're punishing them for not getting into interstate commerce and that has never happened before. >> well, they punished people in the civil rights act under public accommodations in 1964, for not selling to an african-american who comes to a hotel and says i want a room. so there you have them punishing a hotel owner or restaurant owner who is running a diner. if you say to a black fellow who comes in the door, get me a coffee and you say no, because you're black, the constitution held they had the right in congress to do that. how is this different? >> chris -- >> that was interstate commerce. >> well, that is apples and oranges. >> how so? >> they were proceeding under the three amendments that came into being after the civil war. >> no, no. i'm following your language. they said you must sell this cup of coffee to this fellow. >> here's the difference. let me finish, chris, if i can.
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here's the difference. the federal government wasn't saying there to the individual who wanted to use the hotel room, the african-american, you have to go into that public accommodation and make a purchase. here the federal government is saying, you have to go in to the public square, the public marketplace and you have to make a purchase of health insurance. that has never happened before. >> but you do recognize that the opposite was done, that they said to the hotel owner, you must sell the room to this customer. if he's a legitimate customer. you do understand, that the congress of the united states went across all state lines and said, i don't care if you open up a mrs. murphy's, i don't care if it's a corner store that only sells the tomatoes they grew out back. you must sell those tomatoes to anybody who comes in the door. you must sell them. so you understand the strength of the interstate commerce clause as invoked by the courts in the past. and accepted by the courts. you understand that? >> absolutely. so if an insurance company turned down someone because they were black or because of their gender, that wouldn't be allowed.
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but this is not the case, this is where the federal government is saying you have to buy this. you can't be a cash payer for health care. you can't make private arrangements with your health insurance company, have you to buy this. >> you think hospitals should have to take care of a person who is injured in a traffic accident, right? they must take care of them, right? that's a law. >> that's a federal statute. yes. >> okay. thank you. i'm looking at it the other way. you have to help contribute to the cost of your medical care, if you expect it in extreme cases to always have somebody pay for it. whether there's a traffic accident, heart attack, a stroke, you expect somebody to come to your aid without cost if necessary, right? >> well, chris, almost nine out of ten people have insurance companies and have a contract with insurance companies to take care of that or they pay cash. >> right. well the government is going to try to say make it ten. anyway it's a an interesting case, let's put it that way. i'm not going to say good luck with your case, but we'll be watching you. thank you. attorney general mike cox of
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the state of michigan. congresswoman donna edwards. democrat from maryland. congresswoman, you're an attorney. you know the law. you're under the constitution. i only can assume that you know the constitution they're trying to follow it. explain why you believe under the constitution acceptable for congress to say, you must buy insurance if you can afford it. >> not just that, but i brought my constitution. all of us know even from second year in law school that the interstate commerce clause gives congress broad authority to regulate in these matters. where there's an economic impact across the states. and clearly that's been true with insurance. that was litigated 65 years ago. we've established medicare, medicaid, minimum wage standards. other kind of workplace and labor standards that cross state lines. congress has broad authority to regulate, that's what we've done here. and if these attorneys general want to file a case, it's not winning a case. but the fact is for the 15 million people in their states, who don't have health care insurance and who are now going to be able to have access to quality, affordable health care
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right now, we're all grateful for those 15 million people that we got article i, section 8 of the constitution. >> congresswoman, can you cite a case where the federal government has ever before this bill signed today, told somebody to buy something? they had to buy it? in this case, insurance. >> well under mckaren-ferguson, of course regulating insurance across state lines and, you know, obviously in the states we have insurance companies that operate across state lines. and that's regulated both at the state level and at the federal level. we have commerce that transportation, you know, trucks, et cetera, operating across state lines. where we have specific obligations that people have to meet because they're operating on interstate commerce, i think this is really well-settled law. and the fact is that many of the republicans in congress and now in the states lost on the substance, they lost on the process, and now they want to litigate. and it really is a bit of an irony for a group of folks who
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decided that they actually wanted to challenge the litigation for people under our health insurance reform plan. >> well, none of us are shocked that they've resorted to the courts. thank you very much congresswoman donna edwards of maryland. up next in the middle of the biggest fight between the united states and israel, benjamin netanyahu is in washington to meet with president obama. does the president have the muscle to get the peace process back on track? or does he risk being too tough on israel? this is a tricky question. we're going to deal with it when we come back. to stay on top of my game after 50, i switched to a complete multivitamin with more. only one a day men's 50+ advantage... has gingko for memory and concentration. plus support for heart health. ( crowd roars ) that's a great call. one a day men's. [ birds screech ]
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for a full-flavored cup of coffee. so you can be good to the last drop. i think we need more cups, mom. we're back. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is meeting with president obama tonight. earlier today the israeli prime minister told congressional leaders that peace talks could be delayed another year, unless palestinians drop their demands for a settlement freeze. and last night, netanyahu and secretary of state hillary clinton gave competing speeches before the powerful lobbying group apac.
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that revealed simmering democratic tensions between the two countries. netanyahu refused to yield to u.s. pressure to halt construction of housing units in east jerusalem. here are the back and forths. >> the jewish people were building jerusalem 3,000 years ago. and the jewish people are building jerusalem today. jerusalem is not a settlement. it's our capital. >> new construction in east jerusalem or the west bank undermines that mutual trust and endangers the proximity talks that are the first step toward the full negotiations that both sides say they want and need. and it exposes daylight between israel and the united states that others in the region hope to exploit. it undermines america's unique ability to play a role, an essential role in the peace process. >> let's turn to nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell.
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also host of "andrea mitchell reports" and msnbc political analyst, howard fineman, also of "news week." i'd like both of you experts, which you are, to talk about presidential power and how victory in one arena, domestic politics, and perhaps political leadership of the political party, the democratic party, would help barack obama navigate through this very tricky bit of business which i have to say having, on that trip with joe biden a couple weeks ago looked very tricky, even treacherous for him. >> well, you were there in the middle of it. you know nobody studies politics like the israelis. >> they study us. >> it is their national sport. they are watching this as are everyone here in the united states, and this is a very big plus. not just on the health care issue. this makes the president seem more powerful, stronger
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internationally. >> i think it does one thing, i will suggest to you, old buddy. he seems the leader of the democratic party right now, the way jimmy carter suspect by israel never was, george bush sr. was mr. republican. you know what i mean? >> you think of jimmy carter in this context for two reasons. one is success on the hill and efficacy within the party and the other is the middle east. you need to be a strong president to deal with president however you are going to deal with israel. >> yes, you do. >> barack obama is now out of the jimmy carter category. i think he's in little danger of falling into being inetech tulle of getting things done. >> you think he is out of that category? >> he is out of that category, probably permanently. in the eyes of the historians. and the israelis know they can't rely on the republicans. what is happening is republicans are making a big play for conservative supporters of israel.
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>> evangelicals. >> evangelical christians, conservative jews. they are smart enough to know with a strong barack obama they can't put all their eggs in the conservative republican basket. they're going to have to deal with a strong or at least a president with a fairly united democratic party even though the party itself is split on supporting israel's hardline or not. >> is it fair to say that democrats who vote and speak in polls are more sophisticated about their knowledge of israeli politics the nuance of the peace here on the left, much more aware that we're allowed to argue with israel? we have differences on politics and the two-state solution. republicans see israel as a biblical notion. do you know what i mean? is that fair? >> well, the interesting thing about this is of all people in the democratic party hillary clinton was the strongest defender of israel, certainly in the campaign. >> always. >> and she in the cabinet has been very, very tough. she was the one who called
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netanyahu after the afront to joe biden and said, we condemn this and had a very tough conversation with him. and the fact is that i'm waiting to see the pressure come because pelosi and boehner came together around netanyahu today. they had their photo opportunity with him today. i'm waiting to see the pressure come from democrats on the hill against the administration on this issue. >> is there a difference -- is united states and israel the same interests, no two countries have exactly the same interests, but are the policy interests the same? does netanyahu buy that or not? >> i don't think he necessarily buys it. i think he's willing to stall around and pretend he buys it. i don't think he really does buy it. >> and in fact. >> no, your interest. >> he doesn't buy it, and in fact u.s. interests are to work closely with the arab states.
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the fact of this administration is netanyahu's policies undermine the arab world. he's hurting his own security by undermining arab support. >> obama has to be careful because support is as high as it's been, and that's because of the "war on terror." >> thank you, andrea mitchell and thank you, howard. when we return, i'll have thoughts about the brother who wasn't there in the east room of the white house when president obama signed health care reform into law today. teddy kennedy 37. is today. fortunately, he has at&t's blazing fast 3g laptopconnect card. [ flight attendant ] sir, turn off all electronic devices. which means he can download all his pdfs, spreadsheets, and meeting notes, before you have the chance to say -- sir... look at that little truck right there, you don't see those out on the road, you know? that's a luggage cart. [ male announcer ] switch to the nation's fastest 3g network
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let me finish tonight with a small event that occurred 64 years ago up on cape cod. it was at a family party for a young kennedy, running well ahead in the polls in his first race for office. his whole family was gathered celebrating his birthday and he and this young fellow back from action in world war ii was about to be a u.s. congressman. everyone was offering a toast to this young hero when his youngest brother, just 13 years old stood up and said, i'd like to offer a drink to the brother who's not here. the party was in honor of john f. kennedy. the boy was offering to the
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toast to joseph kennedy. he had been killed a couple years earlier in a dangerous mission in europe. the young boy was edward kennedy. teddy. he never forgot the brother who wasn't there. the democrats celebrated the signing of the historic health care bill. you can see all the key people there. president obama signed the bill. speaker nancy pelosi, senate leader harry reid, jim clyburn, bernie sanders, a self-described socialist to bart stupak who insisted on the executive order banning federal funds for abortion. they were all there in the east room today, and it was a joyous time. perhaps something like that party in hyannisport in 1946 when the kennedys got together and the youngest said they should not forget the brother who set the standard of courage for all. if we set our compass true we will reach our destination, not merely victory for our party, but renewal for our nation. on this day of celebration, i woulke