Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 24, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

7:00 pm
> a dope, a joke and a fraud. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm ron reagan. leading off tonight, looking for love in all the wrong places. rick perry has leapt ahead of the republican field, the economy is in trouble, people think the country is headed in the wrong direction action and president obama's approval ratings are in the tank. republicans should be thrilled, right? so why all the long faces? yesterday politico reported, and we're quoting here, that conservative elites consider rick perfectly a dope, michele bachmann a joke, and mitt romney a fraud. remember, that's conservatives talking. why republicans don't think much more of their candidates than
7:01 pm
you do? that's our top story. also george w. bush called himself a war president when no mission was accomplished. yet mr. president bin laden is dead, gadhafi is out and al qaeda is on the run. why does the white house seem to reluctant to make the cases for obama as a successful war. president? plus is the texas economy really the miracle that rick perry claims it is? if so, how much credit does he deserve? we'll take a close look, fair and balanced, you might say, at the so-called texas miracle. forget seismologists, talk to the animals. at washington's national zoo yesterday, moments before the, apes sought high ground, lemurs sounded an alarmt and bird huddled together. what do they know that we don't? and let me finish with rick santorum's obsession with gays, marriage and your choice of paper products. we start with the
7:02 pm
republicanis not really happy with their field. charlie cook is nbc's political analyst and editor of the cook political report. and jonathan martin is senior political reporter for politico. welcome to you both. when i look at the republican field on on paper, it seems that none of them are actually electable. the thing is i think it's a plea a -- a placebo would have a better chance of running. it really is. but, you know, look, there's a lot of disillusionment. jonathan's piece yet really nailed it. i might add there's a lot of disillusion meant -- the
7:03 pm
president's job approval ratings in the gallup poll last week was 8%. the week before 9, week before 10, 12%. the think about it is they may be disillusioned, but i think frankly at the end of the day will they vote a year from november? in the general election? you bet. doesn't that apply to the democrats, too? they're not going to go voting for rick perry. isn't one of the big problems is they are a fractured party? you have the romney-huntsman wing, then the bachmann-perry wing and those two don't see eye to eye 37 >> both parties certainly have their problems right now. i think it's more accuse in the republicans part, of course, president obama doesn't have a primary. usually when an incumbent presidents do lose, it's often
7:04 pm
proceeded by -- and it seems like he won't have it this time. which helps him quite a bit. you talked to senior levels, and they really want more options in this field. statistic donor class especially still really wants chris christie to run. he's said repeatedly he will not do it, but that longing is still there. but if you have a two-person race eventually, you'll see some fracturing. there's no question about it. romney will be stronger in a place like new hampshire, perry certainly in south carolina, so i think you're going to see that class, part it cultural between those two candidates, but at the end of the day, charlie gets to the central point here, ron, and that is the president running for reelection with the unemployment challenge being where it is is regardless of who the nominee is, it's going to be a competitive race, as long as they nominate something that is
7:05 pm
something of a viable candidate. swathing of this count are red -- >> who is that viable candidate? both of you, when you look at the individuals there, and let's call romney or perry, if you want, the kind of nominal front-runner here but perry's positions on a lot of issues are way, way out in right field. the general public isn't going to go for that. romney, you've got to say it, even if the primaries, and i know people don't like to talk about it, but the evangelical christian vote in the republican party is huge, and they are not going to vote for a mormon. they're not. >> i think evangelical christian conservatives will not vote for a mormon in the primaries, but in a race against president obama, i don't think they're going to defect. to your larger point, you have a
7:06 pm
republican tradition, eisenhower, nixon, 230erd, bush 1, bob dole, your dad, that republican tradition, if there's a republican nominee in that tradition, i think, with 8.a% unemployment, i think it's sort of a no-brainer. >> wlos that republican? are there any that fill those shoes? >> i think there's an argument to be maid that romney certainly could. i think huntsman certainly could if he could find more appeal witness his own primary. >> huntsman is at 1%. romney is the guy they're calling a fraud. >> i think, ron, certainly perry, it's an open question, and in fact, i think the biggest question now hanging over this race, primary or general election, could be, is rick perry a viable general election candidate? can he play in pennsylvania, ohio, michigan? look, i asked him that question
7:07 pm
last week, i said, what do you say to those folks in your party who say he can't play in pennsylvania? he can't play in an ohio? his response, his fairly curt response was they care about jobs in pennsylvania, too. which is shorthand for saying, look, as long as the economy is where it is, that that will trump any cultural differences. >> former florida governor jeb bush offered up a warning. let's have a listen to that. >> i hope republican candidates when they are offering their solutions, it's good to be critical of the president. i think the president means well but his policies have failed and to point that out, nothing wrong with that. that's politics. but just to stop there and say, i'm going to win because i'm against what's going on, is not enough. >> do you think the party will overdid do it. >> i do.
7:08 pm
i think when you ascribe bad motives to the guy, it's wrong. it turns off people that want solutions. >> rick perry is somebody who doesn't shy away from getting person with people. he demurad on that question. well, go ask him, he said. is that -- is jeb bush right? do all the candidates have to watch that kind of talk? >> i think absolutely. they're the people that are going to be the deciders in this race, the independents. i think romney gets it, i think as jonathan set, huntsman probably gets it. before he dropped out pawlenty certainly got it. the question is can a rick perry or michele bachmann, can they move out, become appealing enough and nonthreatening enough to independent candidates, and i think the jury is still out on that. >> does it strike you, of all the candidates, republican candidates in the race, only
7:09 pm
two, huntsman and romney have declared they accept evolutionary science? gingrich tried to have it both ways, but everybody else is anti-evolution, which is kind of starting to me. >> that was one, and the question, would you accept a package that had $10 in spending cuts for every dollar in new taxes? i have a lot of republican friends and business leaders that were sort of aghast at that. that's the kind of stuff that doesn't fly with independents. >> jonathan, what about sarah palin is she -- has she devolved into irrelevancy at this point? does she still have a ghost of a chance? >> oh, i think she has a loyal following certainly in this country, and i think she also retains a following among us in the news media, because she's good copy. so i think, when she does get in, if she does get in, it will
7:10 pm
generate significant attention. i guess my question about palin is are voters, gop primary voters still interested in her, not as something that they admire, who they respect, who they think has gotten a recall deal, but are they interested as a presidential candidate? certainly her supporters and their loyal are there, but can she appeal to the broader primary universe? are you a conservative activist in iowa or new hampshire were why would you be for sarah palin instead of rick perry or michele bachmann? i think as charlie said, the jury is still out on that. i think it's an open question. >> charlie, is bachmann toast at this point because of perry getting into the race? >> i don't think so. i think there's a certainly flavor of the month here that perry is the new guy on the block? high profile. i think there's a certainly amount of that, but i still think it will be a knock down/drag out fight. romney's wrapped up the other one, then a finals between the
7:11 pm
winner of the winner of that -- i mean, you actually laid that out in the beginning. we see the contours of this race, and i seriously doubt if sarah palin gets in. >> there are three republicans still thinking about running, george pataki, rude,giuliani. taking palin out of it, pataki, giuliani, really? is anyone feeling a chill run up their spine with either of those two? >> i was joking on twitter, yesterday, where is john roland, we're talking about former tristate governors here with christie in the mix, too. >> i think giuliani would probably have more impact in a place like new hampshire. because ever his branding with 9/11. but i think it's uncertainly -- it's really uncertainly to whether or not either are going
7:12 pm
to run. the republican party is in a conservative place, and i'm not sure why moderate politicians would have much appeal at this movement. >> we'll keep watching this, of course, as the debates and everything else proceed. thank you, charlie cook, and jonathan martin, appreciate you being here. >> thank you. coming up, george bush was good at dressing up and standing in front of the mission accomplished signs. >> president obama is good at accomplishing missions, so why isn't he making the most of being a war president? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
7:13 pm
every time a local business opens its doors or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion. even add one more name to the wink-wink list of those who say they will not be nominees. marco rubio says he loves the senate too much and would kindly decline an offer. last week south carolina governor nicky hallie who dismissed the idea, and we've already ahead no-thank yous from
7:14 pm
newt gingrich and governor chris christie. so let me get that straight. when that phone rings you guys will say no? but wait, republican presidential hopeful jon huntsman said he would be open to running as vp, as long as he doesn't have to run with mitt romney. we'll be right back. so you thine getting enough vegetables? maybe not. v8 v-fusion juice gives them a full serving of vegetables plus a full serving of fruit. but it just tastes like fruit. [ male announcer ] get five dollars in money-saving coupons at
7:15 pm
7:16 pm
tonight, i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda. welcome back to "hardball." this was of course the president on may 1st of this year. as far as libya, the president said this on monday. in which is clear, the gadhafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of libya is in the hands of its people.
7:17 pm
>> his succeeds as a war president is unquestionable, initial to helping to take out two of the world's most well-known terrorists, he's presided over troof, and the wind-down in iraq, yet he seems reluctant to fully embrace the role as a war president. is he missing an opportunity. eugene robinson, and rob christie, welcome to you both. >> good evening. >> eugene, he got osama bin laden, he pulled the trigger on the somali pirates, he doubled down in afghanistan. what else did he do here? lots of stuff. he's been pretty good, it seems to me at sending troops overseas to do things. by traditional republican standards, how is obama doing as a war president? >> well, what he has done, i would say, ron, is neutralized
7:18 pm
the traditional republican attack on democrats that they are wusses who can't be trusted to defend america or project american military force the way republicans would. clearly obama is knolls hesitant to do so, and he's clearly rather skillful at doing so, because he's had these successes. i think that's the major political impact. >> ron, if george w. bush, or for that matter mitt romney had somehow nail osama bin laden orring flying those drone missions over pakistan, what would republicans be saying? >> i'll give the president all the due in the world. it was an important mission, and whether that's president obama or any president, i will give him his due. my problem, however, ron, is we keep hearing about the successes, it is arab spring in my opinion has been a disaster. for the last 30 years, hosni mubarak has kept the peace with
7:19 pm
israel. now you have him in jail, you have insurgents on the border on the sinai shooting rockets into israel. you have a situation in libya where he only said we would lead from behind we don't know who these people in the transitional council are. what happens when gadhafi is gone? will these folks install a democracy? will it fall into something like somalia where you have warlords? we just don't know yet. >> ron -- >> go ahead, eugene. >> that same argument could have been made about the decision of the president you worked for, to invade iraq, and to take out saddam hussein, who after all had provided stability in iraq. as far as european, u.s. interests were concerned. not the chaos that we have seen since? in fact, this is one thing that
7:20 pm
obama has continued from bush, a kind of democracy agenda, and i don't know why all of a sudden you would object to that or find something wrong with that. >> ron, that's a good question. respond to that point, if you will. >> absolutely. >> if you will. >> to eugene robinson, he knows the united states, with the coalition of the willing, seeking resolution after resolution, recognizing that iraq was a threat to the democracies, not only in the western world, but in the middle east, the united nations, working in concert with the united states and her allies, determined it was time for him to go. what president obama has said we're not at war with libya, i don't need to go to the congress or the war powers resolution to seek congressional approval, because it's not a war, yet he wants to take credit in a war in libya he's allegedly leading from behind? that's the difference, gene. he worked with great britain, he worked with our allies and a coalition of the willing, and we took down a dictator there.
7:21 pm
>> last time i checked, the u.n. and the arab league both wanted us to go into libya. >> correct, ron, but of course president obama said after initially committing u.s. troops and forces over in that part of the region said, no, we don't want american troops here, we're going to turn it over to nato, we're going to lead from behind. we're not at war, we're in a kinetic military activity. it's all silly. that's the difference between what president obama has done and what president bush did. >> you make a good point about that silly business about it not being hostilities. when you're dropping bombs, i think that's pretty hostile. >> look, the constitutional issue is there, absolutely. president obama asserted executive powers that probably go beyond what the founders intended and what the war powers act intended, as has every president, including your dad,
7:22 pm
ron, going back as far as i can think, as far as i can recall. >> since world war ii, i think. >> it's the way it works now. but yes, it was ridiculous to say this was, you notice kinetic military activity or something, as opposed to hostilities, which clearly these were hostilities. it also was a fiction to say it's going to be led by nato. what is nato, in fact, if it doesn't have u.s. command and control, u.s. lift capability, u.s. logistical and intelligence support. it's not anything. >> gene, how does obama play this on the campaign trail, though? he does seem reluctant to advertise himself as the war president, if you will. can he do a better job of that? how would he do that? >> i think he could talk about it more, and point out the successes he has had. you know, one reason he may be
7:23 pm
reluctant to do that is there's still a question mark to how the afghanistan escalation is going to work out and how the united states is going to extricate itself? >> the president gets high marks on the handling of terrorism threats, 53% approve and 40% disapproved. ron, how do the republicans handle this politically? i don't think that they sound too well complaining about him getting osama bin laden or anything like that. how should they do this? >> i think this is one of the areas that should be nonpartisan. i think osama bin laden was one of the most brutal tie rants, and whether it was president bush or president obama, and president obama, i applaud him for that, but moving forward, i think what's going to matter is what's going on on the ground in tripoli, iowa rather than tripoli, libya.
7:24 pm
the question is the economy, the domestic issues, and the jobs. bhil the president might tout what his believes his foreign policy credentials are, i think the american people will assess, as did he make it a better america than when he inherited it four years ago. i think at this point, the answer to that is no. >> it's always "the economy, stupid" as one famously said. it's the all-important struggle to obtain name recognition in the upcoming election, but what to do when you're more well known on the international stage than here at home. that's next on "the sideshow." you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ oswald ] there's a lot of discussion going on about the development of natural gas,
7:25 pm
whether it can be done safely and responsibly. at exxonmobil we know the answer is yes. when we design any well, the groundwater's protected by multiple layers of steel and cement. most wells are over a mile and a half deep so there's a
7:26 pm
tremendous amount of protective rock between the fracking operation and the groundwater. natural gas is critical to our future. at exxonmobil we recognize the challenges and how important it is to do this right. d in at exxonmobil we recognize the challenges and how important it is .. rpsegnp
7:27 pm
7:28 pm
back to "hardball." now for "the shied -- sideshow." well, as it turns out, gop candidate jon huntsman has that part lick. the problem is there's been a bit of a language barrier. huntsman explained his problem to piers morgan on cnn. >> speak to me in mandarin. [ speaking foreign language ] >> what the hell have you just said to me? >> i said, whatever i say, you'll have no idea what it is, and after that i said, my name is chinese, and i said i'm going to become the next president of the united states. for the billion people who live on this earth who know who i am and my chinese name, the unfortunate thing is i'm known by the wrong quarter of the world's population. >> kind of a unique dilemma. he did enjoy a bit of star power in washington last month when he was swarmed by a group of chinese tourists, all vying to
7:29 pm
snap a picture and get the candidate's signature. if only the excitement war bit more local. next up, the people speak. where nearly 60% of house members deciding not to participate in free town hall meetings in their home districts during the august recess, some voters have taken their frustration to the streets. chak the case of republican -- from minnesota. they were at least a two-hour drive from the home district ace population center. curious. let's see how yesterday's confrontation played out. >> what do we want? >> good jobs. >> what do we want? >> town hall. >> what do we want? >> town hall. >> hey, guys -- guys, can i >> okay, guys, you guys want a town hall? you want a town hall? okay. be at the airport tomorrow, 4:00, we'll have a town hall in duluth at the airport at 4:00. >> and the people win.
7:30 pm
this may not bode well for some of his republican colleagues who have crafted other strategies to avoid angry confrontations at town halls, some even preselecting attendees. that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? now for the big number. believe it or not, even though most have made time to head home this month, neither chamber formally resisted, as a result, both are constitutionally required to meet at least once every three days. yesterday happened to mark a meeting day for members of the u.s. senate. despite being rattled by yesterday's earthquake, they struck to the rules, securing a location in the basement of the postal square building not far from the capitol. a rushed official meeting did convene, and rushed as in really, really rushed, just how long did the session last before someone announced, okay, that's a wrap? 22 seconds. talk about short and sweet. no official business was handled. there's a shocker.
7:31 pm
that's tonight's big number. up next, rick perry is happily taking all the credit for job growth? texas, but is the texas economy a miracle or just a mirages? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, espresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf? do you think that would help? yeah. priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
7:32 pm
7:33 pm
7:34 pm
hey there, i'm veronica de la cruz with breaking news. steve jobs resigned from ceo of apple effective immediately saying he can no longer immediate the duties and expectations of that position. jobs major has major medical issues since diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant in 2009. he will remain chairman of board while eric and tim cook step in to replace him as ceo.
7:35 pm
wall street is reacting negatively to the news. apple shares tumble more than 5% in after hours trading. hurricane irene is battering the bahamas with heavy rains and 120 mile-an-hour winds after causing widespread damage in the turks and keikos islands. the mid-atlantic coast residents are taking the storm seriously. irene could strengthen to a serious storm before coming ashore this weekend. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." if you've listened to rick perry, you've probably heard him talking about his jobs record in texas. >> i'm really proud of what we've done in the state of texas in the last decade. 40% of all the jobs created in america from june of 2009 until the present were created in
7:36 pm
texas. i know how to create jobs. >> texas has become the job creating center of the entire united states. i'm proud of that. it didn't happen by accident. folks say how did you do that? what's the magic? and it's not magic. it's actually common sense. >> if texas were a stand-alone entity, we would be somewhere i think around the 11th largest economy in the world. we're about the same size as russia. >> he probably just forgot to mention that texas has an unemployment rate of 8.4%, which is lower than the national average, about higher than some blue states such as new york and massachusetts. while it's true that texas produces a lot more jobs than in other states, critics have raised important questions like what kind of jobs is texas creating is it is the economic model one that americans should want to see on a national level? while we're at it, how much
7:37 pm
credit does governor perry deserve for the so-called texas miracle. to help answer those questions we're joined by analyst and "the washington post" columnist ezra klein, and former u.s. congressman from texas, chris bell. welcome to you both. chris, you ran against rick perry, i believe, in a race, so you probably have a bead on this whole texas miracle thing. is it a miracle down there, or is it something a bit less? >> if it's a miracle, i sure hate to see what a catastrophe looks like. >> he keeps painting a picture of this great utopia, unless he's going to take credit for the state of texas having a great deal of oil and gas. we've seen the economic boom
7:38 pm
here fuelled by the energy sector. that's been around for a long, long time. way before rick perry. as far as the types of jobs created, we're tied with mississippi for the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs. so if people are looking to recruit those people with minimum wage experience, they need to set up shop here in texas. >> esra within i think i heard you talking the other night about the types of jobs texas created the last few years. since 2008, and correct me if i'm wrong, since 2008, texas lost 40,000 jobs in the private sector but they've made up for it by hiring in the government sector. 1515,000 jobs. -- 115,000 johns. is that representative of the texas miracle? >> i don't want to take too much away. if the whole country is doing as
7:39 pm
well as texas, we would be doing better. part of it is more complicated than perry, but as you say, one thing they have been able to do, they've been able to add a lot of government jobs, and when you can add a lot, as the contends keynesians will tell you, it has a lot of -- and it is in general quite complicated, as economies tend to be. >> rick, rick perry talks about the obama's stimulus money to boost the economy. he doesn't seem to have anything nice to says about the stimulus plan from president obama, so i'm assuming as governor of texas, he wants absolutely nothing to do with all that dirty money, huh? >> he didn't want anything to do with several million but he
7:40 pm
wanted something to do with 17 billion that helped balance our budge net 2009. it was a great boom to texas, and we wouldn't be able to -- balance the state budget any other way. and it saved a lot of state workers jobs and schoolteachers jobs. >> so government spending is at least partly responsible for the texas miracle, such as it is? >> i think what people need it look ats disconnect. he goes out on the stump ease says how evil the federal government is and how bad the stimulus was but haen while we took 17 million. why we were safe is one area that is regulated is the mortgage industry. not so in other states where you saw it have such a horrible impact.
7:41 pm
we didn't suffer through that here in the state of texas. it was much easier tore us to recover. rick perry goes out and speaks against regulation at every turn but regulation helped save the day for us here. the mortgage industry aside, there has been deregulation in texas, but what has it brought texans in terms of quality of life? >> you get a lot of different pieces of that. >> in the housing area you've had a lot of population growth, and that's an important thing and that had pretty bad consequences. on a related note, the spending cuss so perry doesn'tcy v to say he is raising taxes. these are things that are the degree to which they can grow in the long run. you are destroying the education
7:42 pm
system, much as we're doing in my home state of california. people like -- even a household knows when you're having a tough time, the thing you probably don't want to cut back on is sending your kid to college. i do worry with texas, i don't want to take too much away from it, but i want to worry a bind of penny wiseness and pound foolishness. by not raising taxes, they have taken long-term growth away from the future of that state. >> and, rick, is governor perry himself responsible for the policies he claims led to the texas miracle or did he inherent those policies? >> ron, it's chris -- >> i'm sorry. >> you're thinking you're talking to rick perry, but you're not -- >> my apologies. >> we all sound the same down here. >> i asked people to look at what programs he's responsible for. because they'll come up with a big round zero.
7:43 pm
he isn't responsible for any programs. he hasn't championed any programs during his campaigns george bush ran on programs that he worked to put into effect. especially in the area of education. rick perry was basically happy to adopt a lot of programs, none of which were his own, so when you look at credit, he really doesn't deserve any. we'll leave it there, ezra klein and chris bell of texas. appreciate you both being with me. a remarkable story. the animals seemed to anticipate yesterday's earthquake. what did they know that we didn't? this is "hardball," only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] this is the network. a network of possibilities.
7:44 pm
excuse me? my grandfather was born in this village. [ automated voice speaks foreign language ] [ male announcer ] in here, everyone speaks the same language. ♪ in here, forklifts drive themselves. no, he doesn't have it. yeah, we'll look on that. [ male announcer ] in here, friends leave you messages written in the air. that's it right there. [ male announcer ] it's the at&t network. and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say. relatives of 9/11 victims were in washington today to meet with attorney general eric
7:45 pm
holder, following allegations that some may have had their phones illegally hacked by reporters working for british newspapers owned by rupert murdoch. the relatives want to cooperate with the fbi and department of justice to determine if such hacking was attempted and/or occurred. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] heard this one? listen to this. three out of four americans don't get enough vegetables. so here's five bucks to help you buy v8 juice. five bucks. that's a lot of green. go to for coupons. you can count on us. my son and i never missed opening day. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over.
7:46 pm
so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better, and that means... game on! symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. [ whistle ] with copd, i thought i might miss out on my favorite tradition. now symbicort significantly improves my lung function, starting within 5 minutes. and that makes a difference in my breathing. today i'm back with my favorite team. ask your doctor about symbicort. i got my first prescription free. call or click to learn more. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
7:47 pm
we are back. yesterday's east coast earthquake took everyone by surprise, but the national zoo is reporting that some of the animals housed there had noticeable changes in their behavior right before the ground began shaking.
7:48 pm
apes climbed to the tops of trees lions stood still and leap murals sounded an alarm caldwell before the earthquake hit the nation's capitol. that doesn't suggest that we should all keep an ape other lion in our home, but it does suggest that animals do possess remarkable instincts. joining us is wildlife biologist and nbc science and environmental expert jeff corwin. welcome. >> hey there, ron, how are you? >> i'm fine. you weren't at the zoo just before the quake hit, but apparently many of these animals reacted. what did they do? did they panic? is that what's going on? >> i think we're getting a number of responses here. of course, most of this is based on anecdotal evidence and observations, and really less than scientific evidence, but for many, many years, there have been lots of observations where we have seen animals react to some sort of environmental event, such as an earthquake or a tsunami.
7:49 pm
we see them go into panic mode, an irritated mode, sort of a fight or flight responsibilities when something like this happens. >> we've known about this for a long time, but nobody can quite figure out what's going on. what are the ideas floating around to why animals, but partial not humans should be so sensitive to intending earthquakes? it's an interesting question. and confide a conundrum. as we sort of unravel the mysteries of the narld world of why animals can react this way. i think probably the simplest and most logical explanation is they creatures are is finely tuned, highly plugged into their environment. human beings lived in a very one-dimensional relationship. it's in the immediate time and our moment of being around. for example, when we experience an earthquake, it's right there in the moment as it happening, but look at something like a
7:50 pm
great ape. this is a creature that live ins a multi-dimensional experience. it's not just faceted to the earth. it's climbing through canopies, moving through branchs, so it's experiencing things in a very different way. we can look at the biology of animals, sharks have the lateral line, and that lateral line allows this animal to actually sense and pick up pulse-like movements from almost half a mile away or alligators have sensory sights so it's really not illogical or it's very plausible that these animals are connected and plugged into the world, especially with something like a geological event, far beyond what the capacity is for human beings. >> now, do different animals seem to react in different ways? for instance, i gather that flamingos react in a certain way to this sort of thing? >> i think what was interesting
7:51 pm
about the observations of the way these animals reacted is it was very much intuned in the way they manage dangerous situation in the environment where they live. for example, flamingos sort of rely on safeties in numbers, so literally within seconds of the earthquake, the flamingos began to cluster together and in a tightly-bound flock, and that's very logical. for example, when these animals get attacked by birds or prey or other predators, they'll come together because chances are you're less likely to get eaten and you're hoping your neighbor next to you will have worse luck and he's taken. you look at something like the primates, when the great apes detected something going on ten seconds before the earthquake, they climbed to the top of their cage as they would climb to the top of a canopy in the rain forest, so many of the animals reacted like they would in a
7:52 pm
dangerous situation in the environment. for example, the beavers and ducks immediately took to the water. >> my cats at home just fell asleep. >> those are the west coast cats. >> that's right, west coast cats. they've seen it all before. the 5.9 is nothing to them. now, understandedly, human beings having noted the fact animals seem to react to earthquakes on the way have tried in the past to sort of harness this ability of animals. are we having any success whatsoever with that? >> well, we look at animal behavior all the time and the physiology and the natural design of creatures and we augment it and twist it and apply it to our own survival and technologies, so above and beyond our ability to manage a situation like this, we're looking at these animals when it comes to flight, when it comes to computer technology, and we
7:53 pm
actually looked and the physiology of sea turtles and birds, and an animal like something as simple as a pigeon, inside basically above the beak area it has a region called the crystal of lamenz, it's a natural come pas that allows this animal to target and fly it's way from one point to another. we can see perhaps there's a connection between the change in the earth's geology and that navigating ability, and we learn from that ability of nature and apply it to our own technology for survival. >> jeff, we got to leave it there, but thank you for dropping by. if we see animals heading for the hills, i know what it means. >> go under the sofa and put a helmet on. >> thanks, jeff. when we return, let me finish with what i really think about rick santorum and his whimsical logic.
7:54 pm
7:55 pm
as much as i can about a company before i invest in it. that's why i like fidelity. they give me tools and research i can't get anywhere else. their stock screener lets me search for stocks with more than 140 criteria. i can see what their experts are thinking and even call them to bounce an idea off of one of their investment professionals. a good strategy relies on good insight. if you wanted to learn more about a company, i think you'd actually have to be there.
7:56 pm
♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] with the most advanced engine in its class, 50 horsepower, dual overhead cams and fierce acceleration, the gator xuv 825i will shatter your expectations. discover the fastest most powerful gator yet, at
7:57 pm
let me finish tonight with republican presidential candidate rick santorum. santorum has lately taken to comparing marriage equality to paper products. according to him, gay people must not have the same opportunity to wed as straight couples because, well, a paper towel is not a napkin. if only he was a lonely homophobic voice, but all the
7:58 pm
other republican candidates have likewise signed on to sign the defense of marriage act, designed it disenfranchise gay couples. leaving aside the fact that some of us have been able to employ a paper towel as a napkin, it's an odd, nonsensical comparison. he expresses his miscomfort with traditional marriage being redefined. marriage has been treated as a property arrangement with husbands, in effect, owning their wives as they would cattle. is that a tradition santorum seeks to revive? men were entitled to beat their wives as long as they used a stick no larger than their thumb, the so-called rule of thumb. does santorum harbor a yen for corporal punishment? they are fond of claiming if gay people were allowed to wed we'd
7:59 pm
have to allow polygamy, insist, and bea-- if you find yourself similar flum uxed point out laws against polygamy are n nonexclusionary. you can't be married to more than one person at a time. preventing gay people from exercising their right creates a separate, unequal class of people. it is exclusionary. that is the only meaningful distinction you need to keep in mind when arguing with people like santorum. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. it's impossible to believe marriage to a person of one's mutual choosing doesn't fall in one or more of those categories. santorum and his friends might want to check out the word


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on