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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  November 7, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm EST

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afternoon in the michael jackson trial. not only with al sharpton but chris matthews as well, which picks up in 15 minutes. and we will resume our normally scheduled analysis of the greek debt crisis and leverage in the financial system another day. guilty, dr. conrad murray. chris matthews picks up the ball right now. a verdict in one case, a new star witness in another. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews out in seattle. leading off tonight, guilty of involuntary manslaughter. that was the verdict read just minutes ago in a los angeles courtroom. dr. conrad murray was found guilty in the death of his patient, michael jackson. he was accused of administering a lethal dose of an anesthetic that killed the pop giant. we'll get the latest at the top of the show. also, a clear charge against
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herman cain. a woman has now made a hard, descriptive claim of misconduct by herman cain, sexual misconduct. for the first time, we have a name and a face of an accuser and a clear on-camera narration of what she alleges he did. and in this case, the claim could be sexual assault. cain's campaign called the claim completely false. in fact, nothing in the past week has dented cain's appeal to republican voters in our polling, but nothing before comes close to matching today's on-camera accusation. plus, we have new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll numbers that show how tight the race is right now. the key could be who can take advantage of the growing anger at wall street -- we know about that -- and of nieconomic inequality overall. and imagine settling into your seat on an airplane, fasten in your seat belt, and make sure your tray is in the upright position, turn to your side, and who's sitting next to you?
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mitt romney. we'll talk to a woman who shared a trip with mitt romney in coach. and let me finish tonight with the terrible position of the republican party right now as i speak. they have one candidate who has been perhaps fatally wounded today and another who has never been able to break through to republican conservatives, much less become their champion. we begin with the guilty verdict in the michael jackson case. we're joined by msnbc's martin bashir. martin, your reaction to the verdict, sir? because i have not been a student of this crime, which was now clearly a crime, or of what the accusation was overall. >> well, the accusation, dr. conrad murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter. and today 12 jurors unanimously agreed that he was criminally negligent in prescribing and dosing michael jackson with propofol, an anesthetic normally used for major surgery, and that he was guilty. and so today he was found guilty, as i say, in court, and i think that was the right verdict. >> so this drug is used only to render someone totally inanimate
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so they can be operated on with serious surgery. and he used it for what purpose? what reason did he give or could have given for prescribing it for michael jackson, this muscle relaxant? >> interesting, dr. conrad murray has no expertise in the area of insomnia nor anesthesiologist. he's, in fact, a cardiologist. but he was invited to look after michael jackson at a fee of $150,000 a month. and for that, he did whatever was asked of him. and on occasions, he would put mr. jackson to sleep with a concoction of pharmacologies. some sedatives, some anesthetics, and tragically, on this occasion, he gave him propofol, he left the room. one of the things that was said by the prosecution was that conrad murray performed a scientific experiment in a bedroom. there is not an anesthesiologist
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in the world, chris, who will tell you, that dispensing propofol in a bedroom is appropriate. there was no resuscitation equipment. there was nothing that could be called upon in an emergency. and worse than that, conrad murray walks out of the bedroom, after dispensing and setting up a drip. and that was what happened. and that's why he got, i believe, what he deserved, which was a guilty verdict. >> explain to me the crowd outside, that were clearly chanting for his conviction. >> well, you probably don't know this, chris, because you spend your time analyzing politics, history, and other, perhaps more erudite subjects. i spent a year with michael jackson making a documentary. and in the process, i got to see close-up his status to people. he wasn't just a composer, a brilliant singer and incredible dancer. and by the way, there's no one else who's combined all three of
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those talents in just one body. he wasn't just that to these fans, he was messiahannic, and people lived by some of the lyrics he produced in the songs and sangs. just a few minutes ago, an ambulance was called because a fan fainted as a result of the verdict. none of that's unusual. and you have to remember, chris, that this is a man who, i once read an article, i think it was in a music magazine in the uk, which said that there were three words that you could utter anywhere around the globe and all three would be recognized. they were "okay," "amen," and "michael jackson." >> i saw a bit of that on an african safari in mozambique, of all places. the young people who were working us, the african people and mozambiquens were totally enthralled with this man, especially at the time of his death. was he as big as elvis presley
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and the beatles? he wanted to be. >> i think he probably was, i think he was bigger. i don't think that popular music has ever had two albums like "off the wall" and "thriller." i think that they were incredible works of art. and i don't think they'll ever be surpassed. and remember, it's hard today for people to reflect upon that, because, of course, there's been this horrific tragedy, and this death. but, actually, it's his music that continues to live, i think, will live forever. >> well, thank you, martin bashir for that emotional, actually, very telling description of the importance of this conviction sentencing today. thank you, martin bashir, my colleague. the reverend al sharpton is host of "politics nation" on msnbc. reverend, thank you for joining us. about this case, you've been following it. four years, is that about right? do people see that as an appropriate sentence with this verdict? >> i think some people see it as probably a light sentence. i think when you have a doctor
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that clearly goes against his oath that results in a fatality, that now this jury has convicted, four years is probably light in the view of many. now, again, chris, i am not an unbiased observer. i was friends with michael. i knew michael for 30 years. worked with michael. he supported national action network, my group. i did the eulogy at his burial. i watched his kids. i watched his mother in the days between his death and the memorial service and the burial that we did grapple with the fact that he was gone. people forget that he was somebody's father, somebody's son. and they doubted anything would happen. i'm glad for them today there was a deposit made for justice. but you've got to remember, these people exploited michael. did michael have weaknesses and flaws? yes. but for people -- this doctor to get $150,000 a month to take care of michael and to allow this to happen, to turn his back, to bring girlfriends in. for him to have walked out of this trial acquitted would have
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sent a message around the the world that i think would have been as extremely negative precedent. >> well, reverend al, tell me what you think was the actual moral crime here. this man, obviously, was playing to the weakness in the part of his patient. the patient was desperate to get to sleep. we've heard these stories about judy garland and these movies over the years, they're so hyped up, for a lot of reasons. some of them taking drug themselves, they can't get to sleep. i've not had this problem. but he apparently was so desperate that he asked this guy to do things he shouldn't have done. at one point, was it michael jackson's fault, or was it his fault? how do you divide up the responsibility for a patient who desperately wants to go to sleep and is willing to take chances? >> the way you divide it is up is a thing called law. the question is, when the doctor was asked if he was to break the law, he had an oath as a doctor and a responsibility as a citizen to say, i'm not going to break the law. i was friends with michael.
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michael and i have spent countless hours talking about many things. if michael had asked me to do somethings that was illegal, i have responsibility to say, i may be your friend, but i'm not doing that. so there is no point where michael shares the blame on a doctor deliberately, intentionally, with reward saying, i'll break the law for you. >> so you believe he bided him up to $150k a month to get him to -- >> this doctor closed his practice, moved into his home, and got paid handsomely. not only i believed it, but apparently the jury believed it after the verdict, because they convicted him. there'll be many that try to blame it on michael. michael paid whatever he did with his life. this doctor should pay for what he did. and anyone that participated in exploiting michael should have to pay. >> powerful statement. thank you very much, my colleague, reverend al sharpton,
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will be on at 6:00 eastern. coming up, a fourth woman has come forward to allege sexual harassment against herman cain, and this time we have a name, a face, and explicit details for the first time. no more murky allegations. the christian right are not going to like what they're hearing tonight. can herman cain survive this allegation? this is "hardball" on msnbc. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about the personal attention tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you and your money deserve.
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welcome back to "hardball." a bombshell in the herman cain story today as a woman represented by gloria allred
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gave a vivid count of what she alleges cain did to her in a car more than ten years ago. sharon bioleck says she traveled to washington, d.c. back in 1997 to meet with mr. cain for help finding a job. she had met him previously at the national restaurant association convention before being laid off from a job there. here she is earlier today describing a night in which he took her out for drinks, dinner, and a drive past that nra office. nbc news has not independently confirmed her allegations. let's listen to ms. bialek. >> instead of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt and reached for my genitals. he also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch. i was very, very surprised and very shocked. i said, what are you doing? you know i have a boyfriend. this isn't what i came here for. mr. cain said, you want a job,
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right? >> whoa. i guess that's about a clear a case of sexual harassment. looks to me like sexual assault, basically. you've been covering this case, by the way, the cain campaign has issued this statement this afternoon in response to that press conference. "just as the country finally begins to refocus on our crippling $15 trillion national debt and the unacceptably unemployment rate, now activist celebrity lawyer gloria allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of the republican front-runner herman cain. all allegations of harassment against mr. cain are completely false. mr. cain has never harassed anyone. fortunately, the american people will not allow mr. cain's bold 9-9-9 plan, clear foreign policy vision, and plans for energy independence to be overshadowed by these bogus attacks." for more on these allegations and what it means politically for herman cain, i'm joined by john heilemann and maggie of politico. maggie, i want to start with
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you, because politico's been all over this story, just getting the facts straight. what's your reaction to hearing this first-ever on-camera narrative of these allegations? >> well, i think this, as you suggested, changes things. this is someone who has come forward on the record. she is speaking publicly. she has a name to the face. she's going into detail on the allegations. that has been what mr. cain's campaign has pointed to as why they didn't want to respond to this going forward, that this was gossip, et cetera. you raised a point also that came up at this press conference, where gloria allred, who was answering questions for ms. bialek, she did not answer questions herself, but gloria allred was asked by one reporter, doesn't this go beyond sexual harassment, isn't this more sexual assault? she declined to characterize it in any way more than just letting the claims speak for themselves. but the more this gets repeated for herman cain, this is going to be something he has a harder time not answering questions about. >> what's different about this, we've heard the word "murky"
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used more in this than in my coverage than anything. there's nothing murky about this. whether she's making it up and she should go, or not. if you heard about this happening to anybody you cared about -- this is unbelievable behavior -- not unbelievable, it's horrendous. a christian conservative watching the description by her would have to say, either she's completely lying or this guy shouldn't be even thought of as a president. it's one or the other. >> what she did to bolster her claim, gloria allred read from two sworn statements from her boyfriend at the time and a friend at the time. both of whom she said she contemporaneously told about what had happened. she didn't get into specifics because she was embarrassed, but she did say there was a car, did say the general outline of what happened. as you said, she's either telling the truth or she's not
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telling the truth, but this does take this out of what critics described as a grayer area and makes it much more specific. >> black and white. john heilemann, let's talk about the political aspect. we've heard a lot of murky, we've heard a lot of buzz. you and i have talked about it off-camera, everybody talks about what they've think they've heard as the best reporting on this. but this isn't reporting, this isn't the media. this is a woman with a clear-cut memory, apparently, or an accusation of a memory, which is stark as hell. >> uh, yeah. and i think it's conceivably a watershed moment in this whole episode, chris. because as you said, and i'll just draw it out a little bit further, you know, herman cain last week had a series of allegations and a series of facts that became known. each a little worse, to my eye. but they all were still confined to stories by the reporters of politico, to quotes from settlement documents, to comments by lawyers on behalf of
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alleged victims. but we had no face, we had no human being. now we have this woman, who i thought came across as credible, on tv. she did not come across as flakey. she didn't come across as someone who was, in some way, not to be believed on the face of it. and i think for a lot of people, that does change things in terms of the psychology of this, in terms of how it's received by people. a human face is a very different phase. and i think maggie's right. it will be hard for herman cain to just say, i'm not going to talk about this anymore. and i think we will also remember last week when his stories changed so dramatically over the course of the week. for them to deny categorically the way they did today, my question is, well, what will they be saying tomorrow? it's part of the problem of the way they handled it last week. now, when they make a categorical denial, none of us are really sure whether that categorical denial is going to be standing 24 hours from now. all we can say is, well, that's what they're saying right now. who knows what they're going to be saying 36 hours from now, 24
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hours from now? who knows? >> let me go back to maggie on the reporting. you have been covering this for so long, intently, your organization specifically. this is the line that defines sexual harassment. you want a job, right? in addition to possible felonious behavior here, you have attempting to say, if you don't commit this sex act for me, you're not getting the job. this is sort of not the worst case, this is the common notion of sexual harassment. it's where you use your power to get sex. and here's a guy clearly -- if this is true! now, i've got to throw in the "if," because it's always possible -- i don't think plausible, but possible -- she completely made this thing up. >> right. look, she definitely worked for the nra. we confirmed that she was employed there. she definitely did the job that she said. the rest of it, as you said, it's a he said/she said. but the she is named, the she is out there. you'll see her face run on loops on the cable networks for at least the next 24 hours. she is now someone who is an identifiable figure. and i think that, you know, the
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herman cain campaign has said, you know, we are not discussing this, we are not going to talk about this anymore. so far, polls have all shown that republican voters are not, you know, influenced by this. they don't consider this to be a problem. i think that the more this drips, drips on, i think it does become -- >> well, this wasn't a drip. this was an avalanche. >> no, and this was -- right. this is definitely a different thing than what we have seen so far. >> okay. in fact, you've heard so much that your perspective is so informed by your reporting that you're missing the incredible drama that people who doubted this all along, completely doubted it, all of a sudden, wait a minute, i've been all wrong in my thinking. it sounds like there's something -- it looks like there's something here that's awful. in our new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll taken before this accuser came out today, a majority of republicans, 54%, say they're not at all concerned in voting for cain in light of these allegations. well, back to heilemann, sir, these aren't allegations of the kind that are off the table or out of camera range. this is right on camera. as we all know from video, it never goes away.
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it's not biodegradable. that allegation made today is going to haunt this guy from here to the iowa caucuses, if he's still around. >> it's a different character of allegation. and even though it's different, chris, because of the fact that there's a name and a face attached to it, it builds on what happened last week. she is a woman number four. now, we don't have the faces of the first three women, but we have three previous women and we have two settlements where there was money exchanged to make cases go away that have at least some similarity to this case. so, it is, for many reasonable people, it's starting to look like, again, if all of -- we know something happened. in this case, if this woman is telling the truth, something definitely happened. and now you have four cases, where people are going to start to quite reasonably, if not conclusively, start to think, there's a pattern here. this is consistent. and four cases could turn into -- who knows what will happen after this, but there is an accretive element to this, where finally the straw breaks the camel's back.
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and even people who want to be in denial and say, well, it's just the liberal media or the inside the beltway crowd or whatever start to think, huh, four is four, and this woman is out here in front of the camera. i think this could be the moment where the polls start to turn. and if they start to turn, we will look back on this day and say, it was this day that started to turn them. >> let me ask you, maggie, if you don't want to answer, fine, is this of a piece of what you were able to report before, or have been able to discover? i mean, really be careful here. is this the kind of behavior, of this raw, almost violent kind of behavior, this physical forcing kind of thing, and then challenging, "do you want the job?" is this of a piece or of a kind with the other three cases or any of the other cases? >> what we've reported before is, you know, in some instances, there were physical gestures or comments that made the women uncomfortable. in one specific case, as we reported, the woman alleged at the time that she was invited up to her herman cain's hotel room and that he did something that
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she perceived as overtly sexual and she felt that her job was going to be at risk if she didn't do it. so i'll just leave it at that. >> i'm talking about, are there other cases of demands for sex? >> i'm just going to leave it where we reported it. >> i understand what you have to do, you're being careful, as you should be, and as we should be. cain did not want to answer questions about allegations over the weekend, before this new woman came forward. here he was chiding reporters about asking about the whole issue. let's watch. >> don't even go there. >> can i ask my question? >> no. because -- >> can i ask a good question? >> where's my chief of staff? >> i'm right here. >> please send him the journalistic code of ethics. >> will do. >> who else? you want to ask another good question? i was going to do something that my staff told me not to do and try to respond, okay? what i'm saying is this -- >> can you? >> we are getting back on message, end of story!
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back on message! read all of the other accounts! read all of the other accounts, where everything has been answered in the story. we're getting back on message. >> thank you, john heilemann. let's figure out where this leaves us politically. it seems to me that the republican party, the conservative wing of it, which is dominant, hasn't warmed eee mitt romney. this guy was their alternative game. who's next, to be possibly a hero of the right? could it be newt gingrich? he seemed to have warmed -- wanted to be seen as a buddy picture this weekend with at that texas debate, the two of them, he and cain. >> well, look, there's a lot of buzz, obviously, in establishment circles about the notion that newt gingrich's time is coming. and we've had all of these non-romneys kind of rise and fall, whether it's people like donald trump or michele bachmann or rick perry. herman cain has not yet fallen in his numbers, but he may be about to. it may be newt gingrich's turn. he's getting a lot of buzz in
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crowds on the ground. it's perfectly possible. i said this last week and i'll say it again. republicans, what we find in polling over and over again is that republican voters want want most of all is somebody who can beat president obama. and republicans always are at a disadvantage with female voters in a general election. they have an advantage with male voters and they're disadvantaged among female voters. i just can't understand how a republican voter who wants badly to beat president obama doesn't think that herman cain is now toxic for suburban moderate women that you need -- the republicans need to get in larger numbers than they normally do to win a general election. i just don't understand how you make that calculation. >> and they'd have to get over the obstacle, looking at a woman who's of sound mind and body, obviously, who seems to know exactly what has happened in her life, and has shown no sweat about it, a clear, good witness, and they can't just dismiss her and say, she doesn't know what she's talking about, when she does in her mind know exactly what she's talking about. thank you, john heilemann, and maggie hashman. up next, which republican presidential candidate's mom
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, there's more where that came from. herman cain may have a monopoly on the headlines these days, but don't think that's doing anything to overshadow rick perry's loosy goosy speech in new hampshire late last month. >> the good news is that little plan i just shared with you doesn't force the granite state to expand your tax footprint, if you know what i mean. like 9% expansion. >> and the late-night scene shows no signs of putting that one to rest. let's take a look at "saturday night live's" take on where rick perry is headed. >> governor, uh, it looks like you're just flat-out losing it.
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>> what? the election? i know. i'm losing it really bad. i'm losing. everyone say, you got to run, you got to run, you'll definitely win. and my polls go like, beeee-boop-boop. i wish there wasn't talking involved. >> governor, it's a long campaign, you'll be fine. just don't worry about what people are saying about you. i'm sure you'll pull out of this with dignity. governor? okay, he's asleep. >> today's peacock, tomorrow's feather duster. and more from the perry family. perry's mother has no qualms about defying his request, including offering herself up for interview. she recently said, "i probably shouldn't be doing this, because rick asked me not to. i don't think he's perfect and i don't always agree with him, but he's smarter than i am and he
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wants what's best for america." well, rick perry, his mother says he's smarter than she is. pretty good campaign slogan. and the golfing days are over. the weather's not the only thing turning chilly on capitol hill. how are thing going between speaker john boehner and president obama? could be better. let's listen. >> the president and i have a pretty good relationship. you know, it's been a little frosty here the last few weeks. but we've got a pretty good relationship. >> i think we all know the reason for that frosty relationship. boehner can't deliver on a decent compromise for the president. and that's the reason. coming up, the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows just where the presidential race stands right now. and if it's obama versus romney, who has the greater potential to catch fire? that's what it looks like right now. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. ♪ ♪ walk, little walk ♪ small talk, big thoughts ♪ gonna tell them all just what i want ♪
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i'm jack jackie deangelis with your cnbc market wrap. stocks rebounding in light but volatile trading today. the dow jones industrial surging 85 points. the s&p 5,000 adding seven. and the nasdaq tacking on nine. minor news today out of europe. we had ecb policy maker sparking this afternoon's rally by saying that he thinks the debt crisis will be solved in one to two years. in stocks, best buy slumped after buying out its british partner and apparently abandoning a plan for a chain of megastores in europe. and general motors peeled out after its china chief says the company is on track to double its sales in china by 2015. biotech giant amgen jumping after announcing plan to buy back its stock. and while the housing market is still flat, companies that survive the downturn will be lean, mean, and likely to
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prosper. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll is out, and while it shows that president obama is still underwear in his approval ratings, he manages to beat a generic republican in head-to-head match up. chuck todd is a msnbc political director and kris cillizza is the author of where we see a generic matchup, republicans haven't settled on a candidate just yet, but the nbc poll shows that romney and herman cain are virtually tied as the front-runners while rick perry has taken a tumble and now ties newt gingrich for fifth. where are we at right now, chuck? >> i think where we're at, we still have the republican party split into two camps.
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your establishment business wing is gravitating towards mitt romney, and the tea party populist conservative sort of outsider part of the party gravitating towards anyone that's not mitt romney, and doubling down with cain, although this poll was taken before today's developments and the gloria allred part of the story. but what i would say is we're still in the same place we were. the party still split down the middle whether they're going to rally around the country club business wing of the party, which is what mitt romney represents, or the more conservative, populist wing that has given them all the energy. >> chris cillizza, today, we saw a vivid attack, basically, on the morality, basically, the character of herman cain. this wasn't a question of inappropriate behavior, this is terrible behavior, in any circumstance, on any planet. and it looked like the worst kind of case of sexual
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harassment, using your power to get sex from somebody. horrendous, vivid, graphic description, we've never seen before from an actual human being who seems like a regular human being to me. >> and you know, chris, the woman, sharon bialek said, i'm here to put a name and a face to this. and i said to myself, politically, that's troublesome if you're herman cain. because to your point, what we've had is a series of anonymous win who are resistant or don't want to come forward, for whatever reasons. confidential agreements, they want to protect their privacy. it's easier to turn this into a case of the media, the republican establishment, whoever you want to blame, rick perry playing political gotcha if you're herman cain, if there isn't a face. if there isn't video. if there isn't sound of someone. remember, i always harken back. remember gennifer flowers from the 1992 campaign. we had heard rumors of all this stuff with bill clinton, but it didn't crystallize until gennifer flowers held that new york city press conference. so to chuck's point, i think, let's wait a few more days or
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even a week or two and see what polling looks like then. i'm not saying this will be the game changer as it relates to these charges or accusations, but i think it has the potential to be so, because, you know, it's a name, it's a face, it's a voice. and she look ed and sounded credible. >> let's take a look at the republican field right now. right now in a head-to-head matchup, obama beats romney by six points. that's an actual face. romney's and cain's by 15. the nbc poll shows regardless of a third party candidate entering the race, obama stands firm with 34% of the votes, but is this his ceiling? this is fascinating stuff. given a weak republican candidate like romney and not a very strong democratic candidate in obama the way he stands right now that somebody will want to venture into this thing. here's one clue why these numbers barely change. only 11% of those polled would enthuse classiastically vote fo
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romney, while 28% would enthusiastically to vote for obama. they're not mad dog behind any one candidate. >> that's what's fascinating. republicans in general are more enthusiastic about voting this cycle generically. and when you put the name to the candidate, then suddenly you see that that is different when it's mitt romney. at some point, mitt romney has to confront this. does he confront it in the primaries, where it's a challenge to him, where he almost can't get the nomination? does he confront it with a running mate, where he'll have to pick somebody that excites this part of the party, the tea party, the conservative populist wing, whatever you want to describe it as, but it's the part of the party that's providing the energy. does he have to pick a running mate that does that, that, frankly, did for what sarah palin did for john mccain. people forget this. i think it actually helped him in some parts of the republican electorate, created an enthusia enthusiasm. but one thing about this third party matchup, and you've got to keep an eye on it.
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paul's given everything indication that he's not going to do this. he's not ready to say he's going to endorse whoever the nominee is, but he says he's not going to do this this time. but putting paul on the ballot, we tested both of them. it looks like perot, chris, these voters. they're more -- a little more conservative. a little younger, from the western part of the country. i mean, it's like the perot group. a little more disaffected, a little more disillusioned. supporters, both of the occupy movement and the tea party, it's that disillusioned portion of the electorate. paul speaks it better right now than any other part of the party. >> the nbc poll shows there is one issue more than any other driving the election. it sure should not come as a shock, but an overwhelming majority of americans, 76%, believe the economy is out of balance and favors the the rich. chris cillizza, if you believe that obama is an establishment
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figure coming from the ivy league, and having a lot of friends on wall street, if you believe that mitt romney is an establishment figure from the ivy league with lots of friends on wall street, who's not really going to go after him with a torch, you're looking for somebody who will. i don't think bloomberg fits that category myself being an expert in business communications, and a billionaire, but it does seem they want somebody to stick it to the establishment, and neither one of these two guys is perfectly fit for that. >> absolutely, chris. and look, we've talked about this for a long time. you look at any poll, nbc, "wall street journal," "washington post," abc, it's clear that the sentiment for a third party run is out there. people don't like politicians. look what happened in 2006 and 2008. people voted against republicans. in 2010, they voted for republicans. people don't know what they want. they just know they don't want the status quo. so i think it's as ripe as any time since '92. the problem, chuck and i have talked about this many times is who is it? i don't think it's policewomblo. you have to have somebody to channel that sentiment.
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>> peter hart did this great thing, our pollsters, they wrote up various scenarios that could happen. after the election. the number one scenario that was the most popular was that somehow this was an election where anybody with 15 years or more experience in washington was voted out. it was something like 75%. >> that's amazing. >> i agree. >> that's the sentiment. if that doesn't capture where the public is, they think this place isn't working, they want to change it, they're not sold on the republicans, they're not sold on the president, but they want somebody who's going to truly shake it up and you point to it. that's where, you know, you go back, i'm a buffalo springfield guy, peter hart started doing it today. there's something happening out here. what it is, ain't exactly clear. >> i still don't understand why chris christie took the ride on this. took the buy. >> he has to be kicking himself. we said that at the time, chris. we said that at the time. everything was perfect for him to step in. chuck's point, you see romney go
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up and down, rick perry go up and down, what doesn't change? mitt romney is at 23 to 25% of the vote. >> they're not going to look for either guy who looks like they've never had a bad guy. barack obama or mitt romney look like they've never had a problem in their life, and the country's had nothing but problems, and they're looking for somebody who shares their grief, their grievance against what's going on, their anger. and neither one of these guys has the temperament to express that. i don't think obama is a convincing populist and certainly mitt romney isn't. and the reason we're talking about this, guys, let's be honest, we know that herman cain can't be the nominee as of today. i'll say, i don't think it's possible for the christian conservatives of this country to say yes to a guy who tried to get that woman to say yes to him. thank you, chuck todd and thank you, chris cillizza. up next, we'll meet a woman who spent two hours on a plane sitting next to mitt romney. can you stand the excitement? she said she came -- he came off as out of touch, even wooden, you're surprising me so much. i can't wait to meet this eyewitness. this is "hardball," only on msnbc.
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voters go to the polls tomorrow and there are a couple of big statewide races we'll be watching. in ohio, voters will decide whether to keep or repeal a law that limits collective bargaining among public employees. in mississippi, there's that controversial measure we've mentioned to define a fettrtilid egg as a person, which has fired up activists on both sides of the abortion issue. mississippi also selected its next governor to replace haley barbour. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition?
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you engineer amazing. [ thunder rumbles ] what is the sign of a good decision? in the world of personal finance, it's massmutual. find strength and stability in a company that's owned by its policyholders. ask your advisor, or visit welcome back to "hardball." when dr. carolyn mcclanahan took
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her seat aboard a fright from atlanta to boston, she found herself seated next to mitt romney. she asked romney if he would pose for a picture and he agreed. then carolyn tweeted it to her followers. but when she tried to engage the candidate about health care reform, him about health care reform, he wasn't in the mood to talk. that led to this headline, an aloof romney in a plane encounter. she joins us from jacksonville florida. thank you for joining us. i'm not say i'm overwhelmingly surprised by this but you were. tell me what it was like. you're sitting next to him on a plane in coach. that surprised you that he was riding in coach. >> right. we knew he was getting on the plane and all of a sudden he's looking at my seat and there he was. and i'm thinking, gosh, i'm an expert on health care reform and i'm sitting next to mr. governor
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of health care reform, this is very exciting. i thanked him for running for president because it's a hard job and you have to put up with a lot. i also thanked him for what he did in health care reform in massachusetts. and he was very gracious and very kind. >> and then? >> and then he pulled out a "usa today" and i said, nobody's ever going to stump you on what you're reading these days. >> let me ask you about -- you ventured the question, you were about to talk to him about your ideas about health cost containment. and then what happened? >> well, actually, the flight -- we were an hour into the flight. and the whole two hours, i talked to him a total of four minutes. and i read my medical journals in front of him and my financial planning journals so he knew i knew something. so i said to him, i just want two minutes of your time. i said, i'm a physician, i'm a financial planner. i read the entire health care reform law and i speak to thousands of people around the country on health care reform
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and i have the answer to your problem. and i know that's kind of bold. but there are answers out there. and he goes okay? i said 25% of our cost in health care is on overhead. in france and germany, it's 5% to 10%. if we could cut overhead to what they had, we would save $500 billion a year. don't you think people would take notice of that? he looked at me and said, i understand. and then he put his earbuds back in and went back to reading. i never got the opportunity to share anything further with him. >> what's your -- i don't know what to conclude on that. it seems to me normally people like -- well, not him. but normally if someone comes up to me with an idea on television, i say, here's my e-mail address and i'll respond to you if you send it to me and i'll look at it. but you didn't sense he was even going to look at your idea? >> oh, no.
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it was obvious that he wasn't interested. i know he has to be so careful about everything he says and i didn't really expect anything. it would have been nice for him to say, thank you, i'm glad that you're interested in such an important topic, anything like that. he's riding around in coach trying to make himself look like one of us and two minutes minutes out of four hours, it made me sad for the lack of political discourse in this country. >> let me ask you this -- the democrat, the people around the president, the handlers are pushing the story that he's weird. what would you call him? weird, distracted or -- >> oh, no. i would not call him weird. he was very gracious. people asked for autographs and he gave autographs. one guy asked him for a restaurant recommendation in boston. and he said, i can't give you one. and the guy pressed him and he said, i can't give you one.
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he's very tentative. the -- he has to be careful about what he says. >> i understand you tried to do the right thing, share your expertise. as a citizen, you did the right thing. >> thank you. i look forward to your book, by the way. >> you mean the one called "jack kennedy, elusive hero"? >> yeah. >> let me finish with the big problem for problems and herman cain as he imexplodes. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
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let me finish tonight with this -- thanks to the horrendous news today, the republican party finds itself at wit's end. if voters believe the account given today, they cannot possibly want herman cain as president. yet the same forces that drove cain to lead in the polls will continue to undermine romney. conservatives see romney as becoming a northeastern moder e moderate, even a liberal. they don't believe what happened in massachusetts will stay in massachusetts. they believe that once es scoas in washington, d.c., he will change. who will be the go-to republican? this is the problem. the forces led conservatives to
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cain, their paramount rejection of mitt romney remains in effect. they still need anomany. i've been watching newt gingrich move into position. his debate over the weekend shows he's going to move in when herman cain falls. he's been a kind, warm associate of cain's. but can the republicans run a three-times-married guy who is pushed from the spearership as their prime candidate of 300 million people? could this be where it ends with conservatives voting for newt gingrich out of anti-papathy fo mitt romney? there's the thought the man in the white house could possess that other political intangible, talking about barack obama.