tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 4, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
gone. they cannot let us children go through life saying it's your father's fault that a doctor did not stand up and do what a doctor should have done. that's what a jury must decide. let's not confuse who is on trial and who ought to be found guilty or not. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. unwanted advances. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, a series of unwanted advances. that's what the lawyer for one of the women linked to the herman cain story says his client experienced, a series of unwanted advances.
that late-breaking bit of news was just the latest detail that has come to light. yet another detail that does not square with cain's denials and now a group supporting cain has put out a web video, calling media scrutiny of cain a high-tech lynching. sound familiar? also, swing time. a "usa today" gallup poll looked at 12 swing states, all won by barack obama in 2008, and found that they are now essentially toss-ups, including the state of pennsylvania. mitt romney and president obama are essentially tied in these states overall. this is where the election will be won or lost, of course, in these 12 states, and we're going to look at where things stand as of right now, a year before the election. plus, look who's cozying up to the tea party for the second day in a row. mitt romney has courted the republican right wing. it looks like mitt has decided to accept the tea party. big question, will the tea party ever, ever accept him? and take a look at this moment from a senate candidate fellow -- it was a gathering of
a senate candidate elizabeth warren had with volunteers this week. >> well, you're the intellectual creator of that so-called -- >> well, that was a tea party supporter, and it's just the latest example of how the matchup between warren and scott brown may wind up being the most emotional and intensely fought of next year's senate races. let me finish with president obama's need to describe what his second term would do for the country if he wants a second term, and he surely does. we start with new details on herman cain, jonathan martin is senior reporter for politico, and john heilemann is "new york" magazine's national political columnist. gentleman, i have been out selling books in philadelphia last night, and obviously lost my voice. i will persist. joel bennett, the attorney for one of the women who settled with the national restaurant association gave a presser today about the sexual harassment complaint.
and he said there was more than one incident. here's a portion of that press conference just a short time ago. >> thank you all for your patience. in 1999, i was retained by a female employee of the national restaurant association concerning several instances of sexual harassment by the then-ceo. she made a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the ceo. those complaints were resolved and an agreement with her acceptance of a monetary settlement. she and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now, nor in discussing the matter any further publicly or privately. in fact, it would be extremely painful to do so. >> jonathan, you broke this story initially, so tell me what's moved here today. what's new to you? what's new to us? >> well, you have the lawyer for one of the women who claims
sexual assault harassment detailing unwanted advances and inappropriate behavior. and that statement, he said, was written with his client, so he's essentially speaking for his client there. so this is the first time that publicly, for the camera, you are seeing a representative of one of the women who has made these allegations saying that, yes, in fact, we did make this claim. you also have the organization confirming, through their own separate statement today, that this woman did file a formal complaint with the organization in 1999. now, the attorney wouldn't say today how much the woman got. my reporting has turned out that it was about $45,000 of it she got for the allegation. so the interesting thing, too, chris, i was there at the press conference. the last sentence of the statement from the lawyer on behalf of his client was, she stands by her allegations.
so she's not backing down one inch. but she's also not going public. she wants, i think, to avoid the spectacle of bringing this out, having a public back and forth, so she's not going to detail what exactly happened, but she's also standing by her claims. >> well, here's the latest from the cain campaign. they just issued this statement in response to the bennett presser. "we look forward to focusing our attention on the real issues impacting this country, like fixing this broken economy and putting americans back to work through our 9-9-9 plan, as well as strengthening national security. so they're moving away from this story, as best they can, over the weekend. john heilemann, has this sort of frozen the story at the level of advances? and we can assume that meant sexual advances. we can assume that meant some sort of a -- well, something like what we think of advances, what they mean, not just bad talk in the office, but a particular sexual aspect to this thing. so where's that leave us? >> well, it leaves us, chris, at
the end of a week in which herman cain has seen the facts in this case get worse for him every day. from moving from the initial politico story, through what we've seen, day by day, wit eyewitnesss coming forward, from additional people who have seen him do inappropriate things. an iowa conservative radio show host, who says that cain behaved in ways that made some of his female staff feel uncomfortable. there's been a lot of back and forth over the course of the week with the cain campaign trying to blame the perry campaign and the perry campaign blaming the romney campaign. in the end, none of that matters. what matters is the facts. and with each day that's gone by, his case has gotten worse. and i don't think that the stories -- it's not stoltified right now in my mind. and reporters will continue to press it --
>> i meant stultify if the complaint here, the plaintiff, i guess you could say in a legal sense, would say, this is all i'm going to say, going into this weekend. is there any reason to believe that she's going to change her mind, or is there any reason to believe that the other women if there are, will come forward? >> there's no reason to believe that. it's certainly possible. but there are also other ways that reporters can obtain information. if there were witnesses, for example, that saw some of that behavior. so, obviously, news organizations will keep reporting on this, mine included. but, again, this is the first time that you've seen one of the women speaking, granted, through her attorney, actually, you know, reassert these charges against mr. cain. mr. cain has clearly now decided that he would rather move on than litigate what would happen when he was at the organization. but he also, in that statement, did not respond to her allegations, and didn't reassert his denial. >> well, "the new york times" story vet this for me, you're in competition, politico, but "the new york times" story this morning said they were out at dinner one night, they were drinking, a whole lot of
drinking, he was out with a bunch of young staff people, he was in his 50s at the time, that's at the borderline of trouble, but he apparently made a proposition to one of the young women, she turned him down, he kept it up, she turned him down. and she had the sense, whether it was evidentiary or not, that she was being punished at the office for having turned him down. that's serious, serious bad behavior. is that where this story stands? all they're admitting here is advances, which to me is absolutely consistent, but very skeletal in describing the scene. >> chris, your viewers should know that based on our reporting, the woman described in that story, and also our own story from last night that my colleagues wrote, a separate woman from the woman whose attorney just spoke about an hour ago. >> okay, this is another event. another case -- >> two separate cases. >> okay, it's another case of advances, though. that word is a very interesting case.
but advances means, as we might say in the parlance of our time, made a move on somebody, in a way she did not appreciate. rejected, and continued to do so. i'm just trying to get this to the language where the average person who doesn't work for an hr section of a company would know what we're talking about and would decide for themselves where inappropriate ventured into bad. and where they said, no, this is character. this is character here. >> chris, my colleagues last night reported that mr. cain in a hotel room made a sexual overture at this woman. she was so angry at what happened that she, within hours, took the matter to a board member at the organization and complained to that board member about what had happened to her in that hotel room. well, it was a pretty clear, according to our sources, sexual overture in a hotel room. so that's different than a comment in a workplace environment. >> sure. and that was the woman who is not the woman who here is described by her attorneys as saying there were advances made?
so we have two cases here that seem like consistent with each other. john heilemann, i get back to the question. let's take a look at the polling here. new polling conducted since this story broke on the sunday shows. it remains -- it shows a strong contender, and still, mr. cain. he is neck and neck with romney at the top of the field in a new "washington post" poll, also by abc poll, in the margin of error. there they are, just points apart. it doesn't look like he's cracking him yet. >> through most of this week, he's had pretty consistent defense through conservative media figures, and others on the conservative side of the partisan aisle. that has obviously helped him. there are many of whom for who his supporters work who find him playing the victim in some ways of the establishment media culture. they find that an appealing -- it's part of his whole persona as an outsider. i can say, chris, we don't know yet, it seems like some conservatives are still walking away from him.
there are still more facts to come out. and if all of the allegations against him are true and credible, there's now becoming a pattern of behavior here that's going to be very hard for him to escape in the long run. and i think for republicans who are looking for somebody who can beat barack obama, a terrible like this is going to be terribly scarred with women going forward. that's a problem the republicans have in general against the democrats and would make it very tough for him if he were to be the party's nominee, to beat barack obama. >> here are the facts -- >> one more poll out of here. more poll data we have to share with the audience. among "the washington post"/abc poll, 55% don't think the charges against cain are a serious matter. 39% do. nearly 70% of republicans say the cain charges make no difference in whether they'll vote for him. now, here's the problem in these numbers. back to you, jonathan. they don't know what we're talking about here. we hear buzzes beyond what we can report. but we can't go by those. we just know they're out there. jonathan, you're totally on top of this story, more than anybody.
there's a lot of stuff floating around, but there's only stuff that's reportable. but what's reportable? has it gotten through to the conservative base? >> well, if you go by those polls, it hasn't. there's obviously a hesitation by a lot of folks on the right to believe some of these charges. i think, in large part, because they want to believe that mr. cain is telling the truth, because they like him. certainly, if more facts do come out, i think that that's certainly going to hurt him. but just consider what we know right now as of 5:00 friday afternoon, after the press conference by this woman's attorney and the statement from your organization, that in 1999, this organization paid a woman, a cash settlement, it's about $45,000 to settle claims of sexual harassment. he denies it. she stands by those charges. you've got a candidate for president whose organization, when he was ceo, had to pay a claim of about $45,000 to one woman to settle a sexual harassment payout. a second one, we understand, from "the new york times," got a payout of about $35,000. so this candidate for president
has at least 80k in settlements to two women at the organization that he helmed in the 1990s. >> thank you very much, jonathan martin, who's leading this story, and john heilemann, as always, giving us the political context for 2012. coming up, could be tough sledding for president obama in 12 key swing states. he won all 12 back in 2008. but a new poll has him neck and neck with these top-tiered republicans in those states. he could actually lose a lot of these, perhaps half of these states, and therefore lose the election. he's in trouble where he needs to win, and that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
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welcome back to "hardball." the 2012 election will be decided by voters in a handful of key states that could swing either republican or democrat. take a look at this map. the states in yellow, there they are, are the 12 toss-ups at this point, a year before the election. barack obama won, this is the scary part for the democrats, he won all those yellow states in 2008. but he's facing a tough fight to win any of them back or all of them back. here to break down some new numbers on these all-important swing states are susan page, washington bureau chief, "usa today," which is in any hotel room in america when you wake
up, at the door, and she wrote the cover story today on this polling. and my esteemed colleague, david gregory, moderator of nbc's "meet the press," who has to deal with this latest news. first you, ingestion, digestion. you, what's new here? >> let me tell you, we do national polls all the time, but we don't have a national system. we have an electoral college system. these are the states, these 12 states are the ones that will determine who wins the presidency. we went back and looked -- and polled in those 12 states. the thing that is alarming for the obama white house that we found is he's in a tough situation nationwide. he's in a worse situation in the battleground states. people are more negative about their lives. they give him a lower approval rating. it really underscores the uphill climb he's going to have to win a second term. >> what does that tell you about the kind of climb he's going to have to do, probably? >> i think it's a couple of things. in that polling as well, and in your story, is talk about how pessimistic americans are. we know that right track/wrong track number is so indicative of how independent voters are thinking. the problem with that is that the white house knows that
independent voters are looking up and saying, you know what, am i better off than i was? these are independent voters who had soured on the bush years and thought that obama had the competence to lead the economy forward and lead the country out of where we were? and look what's happened? the best argument, as we were just saying was, well, it could be a whole lot worse. that's not a position of strength. number two, look at that map again. in the mountain west, what are you talking about? you're talking about a lot of minority voters, not just independents in those states, we're talking about colorado and new mexico and nevada. you're talking about minority voters, latino voters, the fastest-growing voting bloc in the country. they don't just have to win them, they have to win them huge. they have to win them huge at a time when there's not a great deal of enthusiasm. the president himself saying, it's not going to be a sexy campaign. they're going to have to grind it out. >> the white voters in all our polling showing leading heavily right now against obama. >> and how about the blue-collar voters?
kim stroszel wrote this in the journal, you look again at the map. the upper midwest. >> to make these points, let's take a look at the 101 matchups in these 12 battleground states in the polling here. mitt romney beats barack obama, 47-46, a statistical dead heat. what state was that? >> that was all 12 states. >> and best against the -- romney does best against the president. romney leads cain 48 to cain's 45. one note, the poll was conducted before the cain news broke. but we're getting a good look at the president. the president's ahead of rick perry, 49 to 44. that doesn't surprise me, given the difficult problems he's been having. but let me ask you about this thing. we talked about industrial states, basically. you talking about the rocky mountain states, where they definitely hope to get the newer voters, the hispanic voters, the high-tech voters, the sometimes better educated voters out there. let's get back to the rust belt, from scranton to oshkosh, the classic tim russert world he grew up in.
those people are white people, ethnic people, used to voting democrat, but also quite willing to vote for a reagan, somebody they like. will they vote for a romney? >> and -- we don't know. people -- i think when a president's running for re-election, they make two decisions. the first decision is, do i want to re-elect the president? and it's hard to imagine that when you have 60% of people in these battleground states saying i am worse off than i was when barack obama got elected is that they're going to say, yes, i definitely want to vote for barack obama. if they say, i'm not sure about this president, then they look at the alternative and say, is this an acceptable alternative? am i willing to vote for this person? and that's when the hurdle will come for mitt romney or whoever -- >> you know, it's like a baseball manager. he looks at the guy on the mound, it's the sixth inning, halfway through the game and says, this guy seems to be losing his fast ball. he doesn't decide about the guy in the bull pen until he sees him on the mound.
>> is this an acceptable alternative, is the question. what's plouffe's job in the white house, david plouffe, the president's job is to beat the hell out of the alternative so you have enough reasonable doubt -- >> but does that ever work at the presidential level? jerry told me in '80 that people believed everything bad about reagan, but they didn't think carter was up to the job. >> it worked with dukakis and it worked with kerry. >> it worked in 2004? how did it work? >> basically, the choice was, who's going to keep you stronger? who's going to keep you safe? who's going to be tougher against the terrorists? and ultimately they were able to whittle away and chip away kerry, a veteran in the vietnam war, of whether he was going to be tough enough on terrorism and sort of undermined his choices about the iraq war. and i think it was -- you know, i remember bush saying that he ran into a guy who said, there's something about the massachusetts liberal that has a good ring to it. i mean, that basically was the campaign. >> i remember that poll, david, and it blew me away when it said basically they didn't trust kerry to protect the country. and that's the -- >> and then bin laden comes out. >> right now with the economy,
what does it have to be? i know this is the magic question. it's 9% today. what does it have to go to for people to say, we'll keep this guy? >> president obama's going to be forced to break a historical precedent to win a second term. we know that there's not a credible economist in the country who says the unemployment rate is going to be low enough to be back in that range for presidents to traditionally win. that's not to say he can't win, but it means he needs to make his opponent acceptable and he needs to make the country feel like we're at least back on the right track. and now, of course, by three to one, americans say we're on the wrong track. that's the number -- >> this sunday, "meet the press" day, nate silver says in "the new york times" that if we have this flat economy next year, obama loses. >> what they say in the white house is two things. trajectory matters. if it can be in the high 8s, whatever it is, he's going to still have to buck history, but there's got to be a trend in the right direction to the vision thing, that george herbert
walker bush talked about, who's got the vision for the future of the economy? independent voters in the white house, they believe, will be swayed by, and they have some evidence, they believe, to support that people buy that obama's still a guy that's got some vision, and he's stymied by forces in washington and the republicans, etc. that's, i think, where the -- >> will they show us a picture of what the second term will look like? >> that's a good question. and i don't know. if it's going to be austerity, if it's going to be tough choices, if it's going to be medicare cuts and stuff like that, i don't know -- >> he may be lucky with his opposition, though. if the republican candidate is pushed so far to the right -- >> how do you put luck into a model? he ran against cain when he was at the end of his career. he ran against alan keyes in the united states senate. i loved your piece this morning. i like those newspapers i get at hotels. >> good. >> thank you, susan page. and thank you, david gregory. republican presidential candidate jon huntsman will be david's guest on "meet the press" on sunday.
>> and you! >> i'll also be there, talking about my book, "jack kenly: elusive hero." there it is, my book. next week i'll be doing the show from the west cot. starting monday in seattle, go to facebook.com/hardball for more information on the tour. up next, john kasich fumbles a football analogy about one of his most beloved teams, the browns. catch the sideshow, next. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. this is $100,000.
back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. thanks for putting up with my voice tonight. first up, it's not exactly smooth sailing for ohio governor john kasich. days before the vote on a controversial piece of anti-union legislation. as that approaches, he's been covering major ground throughout the state, trying to rally support.
he even went for a sports analogy when asked by a reporter if he thought the legislation would survive the strong public accusation. "we never thought former cleveland browns quarterback bernie kosar would bring the browns back and win that big championship game." remember that super bowl? no, maybe that's because he never won a championship for the browns. that's on par with martha coakley once upon a time calling former red sox pitcher kurt shilling a yankee fan. the lesson here, don't use sports analogies until you know what you're talking about. next up, talking about unphased. it's been a rough week for herman cain, says we know, and now his campaign is also facing a possible legal issue regarding his campaign's relationship with a koch brothers nonprofit. let's hear how he's responding to the news. >> i am the koch brothers' brother from another mother.
yes! i'm their brother from another mother! and proud of it! >> wow! i'm not sure if it qualifies as a defense. and finally, we all know that the current crop of gop candidates or some of them, at least, are not exactly on the dean's list when it comes to the science behind global warming. how will this anti-science platform play out in the race for the white house? according to a new york city mayor michael bloomberg, it doesn't make the grade. in a speech yesterday, the mayor said, "we have presidential candidates who don't believe in science. i mean, just think about it. can you imagine a company of any size in a world where the ceo said, oh, i don't believe in science, and that person surviving to the end of the day? are you kidding me. it's mind boggling." bloomberg declined to target specific candidates, however, but you know who you are. mitt, michelle and rick and the rest of you. we know who you are. up next, is mitt romney the guy who wouldn't be caught dead in a tea party rally now cozying up to the tea party? can he fake it? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
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here's what's happening. there will be no verdict tonight in the trial of michael jackson's doctor. the jury ended deliberations for the day without reaching a verdict. they will take the weekend off and resume on monday. the number two general in charge of training in afghanistan has been fired for publicly describing afghan leaders as erratic, upeat ungrateful and e isolated from reality. meanwhile the g-20 economic superintendent it wrapped up in france with little progress toward addressing european debt
crisis. former south carolina governor announced that he's undergoing experimental treatment for brain cancer. and concerns wiabout the globed snapped a five week winning streak. welcome back to "hardball." mitt romney has been trying to make inroads with conservatives after being eviscerated by the likes of george will earlier this week. and now it appears he's extending his hand all the way to the tea party. romney spoke earlier today for americans for prosperity. even though it seems romney seems to have accepted the tea party, will the tea party ever accept him? mark meckler is the cofounder of the tea party patriots and david corn is the washington bureau chief of mother jones and an
msnbc political analyst. mark, i have to start with you on the most basic question. is mitt romney a tea partier? >> you know, i think fundamentally, if you look at his record, he's not what i would call a tea partier and he has serious differences with a lot of tea party folks on a lot of issues. >> what bugs you the most? romney care -- give us a sense, if you had to sit at a dinner with some pals of yours on the right, and you were saying, you know, i can live with romney, what would you question? what would you go for? >> well, i think fundamentally in the tea party movement, the buzz word for this year is principle. you look at somebody who has changed his position a number of time on a number of key issues, and you have to doubt the principle of the man. and i think that's the fundamental issue with folks in the tea party. there's just a lack of trust. >> do you believe there's any program or policy on which mitt romney would die? would he take that position, stick to it, if it meant the defeat and an election for a president? is there anything he will fight for and believe in?
>> you know -- >> anything? >> that's hard for me to say. i can't say what's inside of the man -- >> but can you think of, knowing him -- you're a skeptic, so try hard for a minute. can you think of a single thing he would give up the presidency for as a matter of principle? i'd rather have this principle to heart than be president? >> honestly, i don't know the man. if i had to come up with one thing, i would probably say he seems like a good family man, and i think he would do -- >> well, we're not asking him to offer up hostages. it's about principles. david, that is the problem. this hasn't have to do with left or right. it's a question, do you believe he will fight for anything, any position he takes isn't rubber with this guy. >> i think what you're hearing from mark is the reason why he can't get above 22, 23, 24% in republican polls. it's, you know, you can go down the list of issues that he's flip-flopped on, and people should have concerns about those, but i think they add up to a character issue. i mean, whatever you want to say about barack obama or john mccain in the past, or george w.
bush and john kerry, they had a consistency in their careers and you could expect them to go to the mat on certain things. barack obama, even the left didn't like what he did all the time on health care, but in the white house, people keep telling him, back off, back off. he said i'm going to push ahead, even if this wrecks my presidency. let's take a look at that. >> here's the latest huntsman campaign web ad, showing how romney has flipped on issues. >> here illegally should be able to sign up for permanent residency or citizenship. >> we can't talk about amnesty, we cannot give amnesty to those who have come here illegally. >> i don't think i ever hired an illegal in my life. we hired a lawn company to mow our lawn and they had illegal immigrants that were working there. >> i believe that since roe v. wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it. >> i'm in favor of having the supreme court overturn roe v. wade. >> wow, a lot of 180s along that road. yesterday romney tried to defend himself against the charges of
flip-flopping to the seacoast media editorial board. let's listen. >> i think you'll find that i've been as consistent as human beings can be as i look at those issues and as i try to apply those principles to government. i cannot state every single issue in exactly the same words, every single time. >> he's even flip-flopping on flip-flopping. i mean, mark, here's a guy who says, i simply rephrased my position while he was for a man-made climate change before a week ago, now he doesn't believe there is such a thing. he was against -- he was for limiting co2 emissions. now he says we should definitely not do that. he was for, basically, a woman's right to choose an abortion. he's now completely against that now. i mean, i haven't been able to locate it. what do you make of his charge, all i do on every single issue is to use different phrasing, different words each time? >> well, he sounds like a
politician. frankly, he sounds like the president. the idea that president obama's been entirely consistent is absurd as well. the vast majority of politicians from the president on down do this regularly. the citizens don't like it. left or right, we're tired of it, we're sick of it. that's one of the reasons people are sick of this president. and i don't think they like it from romney any better. >> where's the president flipped, by the way? give me some examples? >> i'll give you a perfect example. one of the things that the president promised to do, immediately upon taking office was to close guantanamo bay. clearly -- >> which he tried to do! >> he tried -- >> mark, mark, he can't -- >> hold on, chris. he is the president. >> mark, your turn. make your point. you're saying he can do it by fiat? by fiat. >> he's done all kinds of things by fiat, hasn't he? this president has operated largely by fiat. >> mark, mark, you're wrong on the facts here. there was a bill passed last year under the republican leadership, saying that he's not allowed to move prisoners from guantanamo. he's not permitted to do this, under u.s. law, passed by the congress. so he can't do this by fiat.
they took away in the first year money from the defense department that would let him close down guantanamo. and democrats, too, so not a majority, but some democrats went along with that as well. so he made this promise. he's been trying hard to do it, and he ran into a roadblock. but i think more importantly, going back to mitt romney, if i may -- that's absurd. you're an apologist for him. he had two years of congress where he had control of both houses of congress. he's a flip-flopper, he's a flip-flopper, there was no filibuster. >> mark, you opened up this door, and i want to ask you this. give me an example where he's changed positions, where he says, i want to do something, and then he says, no, i want to do the opposite, like romney's done. where he's flipped 180 on a position, not on capability. you know how the constitution works. there's always that 60-vote bar to do something -- >> i know how the constitution works. it seems like our president doesn't know how the constitution works.
>> how so? >> look, guys, you guys are so partisan -- >> you're partisan too. let's go on from there. >> this is about all americans and all americans are sick and tired of whether it's mitt romney, whether it's president obama, you know, you said john mccain. i won't defend -- i won't defend john mccain. john mccain flip-flopped on issues. these folks do it all the time. it doesn't really matter whether they're republican or democrat. they're not serving the citizens of america. they're not standing on principle, and it isn't divided by party line. >> it's very easy to say, you know, i speak for all americans. you know, all americans don't support barack obama or the republicans in congress. they divide and they judge these people and their changes and their actions and failures to act across a wide spectrum. now, it's easy to come out and say they're all the same. but at the end of the day, the tea party has gotten behind a lot of republicans and put them in office, and these guys have not made things better and they've put up roadblocks to compromise reasonable action.
>> i understand your attitude about politicians. by the way, generally, i accept the attitude that a lot of these guys are slippery. i've worked with them. they want to survive. my question to you, and it's a tough one. please give me a straight answer, mark. you must be a straight guy. here it is. do you believe there must be some people on the right whose attitude must be, i would rather beat the brains out of barack obama for a few more years than to have the stand up like some dunce and defend mitt romney for eight years, as if he were my guy. you ever hear that sentiment? joe scarborough hears that sentiment. >> i haven't heard it put that way, but i can tell you, i've definitely heard people who are personally and deeply uncomfortable with the idea of supporting mitt romney, absolutely. and i hear it regularly. >> could you vote for him for president? >> could i vote for him for president? >> yeah. >> to me, the most important thing is to change the direction of the country and i will vote for whoever i believe can remove barack obama from the white house. >> so even a flip-flopper. >> i think we heard him. thank you, david corn. thank you, mark meckler.
i think you're wrong about obama. he's not as strong as you think he is. he can't do anything he wants. he's not superman. up next, elizabeth warren versus scott brown. it's getting hot. i didn't think anyone could beat brown, i think she can. she's a real liberal. can she do it that way? from ideology, from principle. this is "hardball," only on msnbc. i've seen this before -- the old "impromptu in-law visit." dad's a real cleaning machine. and look at mom whipping up some kraft homestyle mac & cheese. sure it's easy to make, but it looks like she's been busting her hump in the kitchen. [ doorbell rings ] ♪ let the fireworks begin. hi, it's so nice to see you. something smells good. [ male announcer ] kraft homestyle macaroni & cheese. cheesy noodles topped with golden-brown, breadcrumbs. you know you love it. your core competency is...competency.
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to worry about buying the wrong mattress. once they get our bed, they're like, "why didn't i do this sooner?" hurry in to the semi annual sleep sale of the bed that can change your life. the sleep number bed. only at one of our 400 sleep number stores, where queen mattresses start at just $699. welcome back to "hardball." one of the more key senate races in 2012 will be the massachusetts contest between incumbent republican scott brown and democrat elizabeth warren. the cook political report rates it a toss-up right now. for many years, warren has been an advocate for the working class and at the event on wednesday, a big event on wednesday night in brockton, massachusetts, a man asked about her role in the occupy wall street movement and later yelled a gender-based epithet at her. >> i also want to say about occupy wall street, i've been protesting what's been going on on wall street for a very long time.
it is, as i said, it is an independent and organic movement. they must, of course, obey the law, like everybody else, but they have their own agenda and they will develop it as they develop it. >> well, if you're the intellectual creator of tha so-called party, you're a socialist whore. >> after the event, warren spoke to a huffington post reporter about the incident and said, "i'm not angry with him, but he didn't come up with the idea that his biggest problem was occupy wall street. there's somebody else who's pre-packaging that poison, and that's who makes me angry." this race could develop who runs
the senate race. ron reagan is with us, and katrina vanden heuvel, author of "change i believe in." katrina, your view? i'm absolutely fascinated with this race. it might be one of those races where some progressive as heck, doesn't seem at all an elitist, seems a regular person and can put it together in a way the old style liberals could do it. your thoughts. >> i agree. i think elizabeth warren is a commonsensical passionate fight r for those who have been shafted in our political system. she speaks with great expertise, but also plain vanilla. pragmatic language. grounded in the reality of people's lived experiences. and it's part of the mood of th this country that she was really the key architect in trying to hold banks accountable for the economic mess they created in our country. i think the fighting spirit, chris, is one that we saw in that video. it's one we saw in the first viral video elizabeth warren
made a few weeks ago where she just took on this ridiculous idea of class warfare, meaning that you take on and tax the best off in this country who have so benefited from the infrastructure, education, so i think it's a real fight and i think she's a model. i think people in this country are seeking, seeking people like elizabeth warren. she does it so well. we need that democrat, the democratic wing of the democratic party is what we need to retrieve and she becomes a face of that. >> let's talk about decency, ron. a while back, scott brown made a reference to her, physically made fun of her saying she shouldn't appear in one of these ads or photo plays that tdidn't have clothes on. this terrible comment, somebody called her a socialist whore, didn't come out in her defense. we haven't been able to find out anything on google. he ought to be a decent guy and
say, let's kill that kind of talk. my thinking here. nothing to do with left or right. >> he should. make no mistake about it. e liz belizabeth warren has tre qualities and is the most lethal threat to status quo washington and its connection to wall street that i can imagine. she can't be fooled by the wall street crowd. she knows where the bodies are buried, how they wreck the economy, how they did it in cahoots with members of congress and the government. you know, including some in the executive branch. and she has this wonderful quality of being able to make these rather complex ideas clear and plain to regular folks like you and me who don't make their living ginning up funny money derivatives. the attacks against her have gotten personal. >> do you think the president has stuff to back her? it's going to make him of a lot enemies in the fund-raising base on wall street. >> he's moving in the ways,
because of the atmosphere of the country. the things at the front of the agenda, inequality, making sure the richist pay their fair share. real change comes about when movements from below push so you have a climate in which politicians of principle, like elizabeth warren. if president obama wants to win the next election, i think he needs to head out to wisconsin, head at out ohio how and stand with the working people of this country. that's what elizabeth warren does so well. only she does it, i have to say, with this combination as ron was saying, as the fighting spirit fused with this pragmatic down home commonsensical, plain vanilla way. it's a remarkable conversation. i don't think we've seen someone like her on the political stage for a long time. >> it's not ivory tower liberalism but meat and potatoes.
>> in massachusetts, she's the harvard fancy pantsy professor. >> but she's not. >> she's already taking that on. she's the daughter of an oklahoma maintenance man and speaks in such ways and is going to have to stand tough because the smears ron pointed out are going to begin. the money pouring into this race. they're going to take her on. >> ron, thanks so much. by the way, the fact this crazy guy attacker accused the president of being born outside the country. an ig nor ran mouse on parade. with friends like that, you don't need. the other side may be stuck with them. ron reagan, katrina vandal heuvel. most americans, many americans wanted to see added to mt. rushmore, that's jack kennedy. many say they wanted him there. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy.
let me finish with this. a poll published last year asked people to name the president they would most like to see added to the four now on mt. rushmore. whom do they want up there are with washington, jefferson, lincoln, and most of all, i think teddy roosevelt? most said john f. kennedy. president obama promised us a presidency like kennedy's, a transformative one. to win his second term, the only way he'll achieve this goal is to paint a picture of what he plans to do with that extended lease on his presidency. he needs to give us purpose. we knew what kennedy wanted to do, where he was going. he showed us his dreams right
there in his programs. the push for the civil rights bill, the peace corps, the space program, nuclear arms control. winning the cold war without war. what are president obama's dreams? if there were no tea party, no eric cantor, where would he take us? he needs to tell us. the day before he was killed, president kennedy spoke in san antonio about how little irish boys would get themselves to climb over high walls by first throwing their caps over. that would force them over the wall to get them back. what is missing in the obama presidency is that spirit of adventure, that mission. if it's who to blame, the verdict will be mixed. of course. if it's about how bad things are now, the verdict will be simple, negative and unfortunately for the president, bad. but if it's about the future, right there is the prospect for president obama. he needs to be taking us somewhere. what does he want to do with this sec
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