tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC September 28, 2013 5:00am-5:30am EDT
. weekend. play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in boston. washington goes to war this. weekend the nation's capitol becomes ground zero in the fight over the country's future. will the congress agree to keep working beyond monday night? unless the democrats and the republicans -- the historic achievement him and his party this. friday evening, the chances of a
peaceful outcome on this front appears weak, not even remotely foreseeable. the reason is that republican members of congress are not responding to the national election of last fall but to the election of their own districts. a strong majority of the districts voted against barack obama in november even as the overall population voted for him. this i believe is the cruel arithmetic that divides american politics. while the big cities have given the majority of the mandate the district by district vote in the suburbs and rural areas given the republicans their mandate to vote against obama and the health care act that will join him in the history books. i make one prediction tonight and even this is based on a hypothetical. if president obama agrees to any cut in the affordable care act, he will be rebuked as no president has before. the irony is that those on the right are asking him to end this
political life by his own hand. i don't believe they've figured out the end game of what they have done here. the only thing we can predict is that the government will be shut down on monday night at midnight. that will not be the end of it, but the beginning of it. an episode in american history that will end the way -- david gregory is the moderator of meet the press. peter baker with "the new york times." i'm not optimistic. with fewer than four days to go until a government shutdown, the senate passed a spending bill restoring funding for the affordable care act. the bill passed on a strictly party line vote. before that happened, the senate ended that debate. ted cruz has been lobbying to reject it. in the end 79 senators said to vote for cloture. >> let's watch. today, unfortunately, the united states senate, the democrat-led senate, refused to
listen to the american people. but this process is not over. it will now go back to the house of representatives. twh it returns to the senate and after the house acts it will return to the senate, i am hopeful and optimistic that will present an opportunity for senate republicans to come home, for senate republicans to be united. i am hopeful and optimistic that the next time this continuing resolution is before the senate in the next few days, that all 46 senate republicans stand together, stand united arm in arm with the house republicans and against the train wreck, the nightmare that is obamacare. >> later this afternoon, the president had stern words of his own for house republicans. let's watch. >> the house republicans are so concerned with appeasing the tea party that they've threatened a government shutdown or worse unless i gut or repeal the affordable care act. i said this yesterday. let me repeat it.
that's not going to happen. over the next three days, house republicans will have to decide whether to join the senate and keep the government open or shut it down. because they can't get their way. >> here's how speaker john boehner responded. the house will take action that reflect the fundamental fact that americans don't want a government shutdown. they don't want the train wreck that is obamacare. grandstanding from the president refuses to even be a part of the process won't bring congress any closer to a resolution. david, to you, your thoughts as you approach this sunday's program and what looks like a dreary weekend for compromise. >> i think it is dreary. i've got senator ted cruz as my exclusive guest on sunday. he's in the middle of this. you raise the key point. what is the end game. the president won't give on obamacare, republicans won't come home as senator cruz hopes they will with another shot to vote on defunding obamacare.
senator cruz talks about rallying the american people who are so engaged in this. are there a lot of protests around the country, people who want to unwind obamacare at this point? surely it is unpopular. no question about that. and there's certainly a lot of people who would not like to see it become law. but it is law. it's law and now it's about to go live and the exchanges are up, people are going to begin signing up. i'm with you. i don't see the end game for all of this drama. it's not clear what they've accomplished. particularly since there's nothing to unwipnd at this poin. the president would have to volunteer to dismantle everything that has been built up and even affirmed by the supreme court. republicans who have been calling me today say this is fantasy on the part of those like ted cruz who are making this push. >> peter, i think that david's word fantasy is great.
sometimes the trigger to figure out what's going on, what would happen if something else happened? if the president were to give in and say you're right, we're going to kill obamacare, the one thing that puts me in the history books behind being the first african-american president, i'm going to kiss goodbye to. imagine the tumult on the left and center and saying has this guy lost it? is it a reasonable demand or are they dead set on a shutdown? >> they do seem set on a shutdown much some sort. to speak to their point of view, i think they think they're acting on principle, this is a principle stand against the obama health care program. having said that, the chances of the president ka pit lating for all the reasons you mentioned is remo remote. he said it yesterday and today and probably again tomorrow and over the weekend. because as you say this is a central signature achievement. to give in on this is not only to give up the one thing that he
has left in terms of a large legislative legacy, it's also to send a signal that he's weak and can be rolled. that's something the white house is cognizant of and don't plan to give congress that satisfaction. the republicans in congress that satisfaction. >> chris -- >> go ahead, david. >> i was going to say, this is the second-term president now who has the luxury to think about what message he sends for future presidents. i can tell you, talking to his top advisers that they are quite dug in on the idea of not wheeling and dealing when it comes to the debt limit. again, i know a lot of people think that's posturing and in the end he'll find a way to do it. but i think they at this point feel they're in a strong political position to say absolutely no way, no how we're not going to do it. >> let me ask you about the difference between john boehner who looks like he's having a terrible time. his face looks like what a week he's had.
i wonder if he's sleeping. if each congressional member of congress votes their district, i think it's 232 districts voted against president obama last november, they're safe at home. but the leadership has to think nationally. that dichotomy, that division seems to be right now working this weekend and work being its will. how does boehner reflect the national will for obama and has to be respected and the will of the congressional districts which add up to them all basically who voted republican not wanting obamacare or obama. how does he figure it? >> it is a way to do that. it may mean that he loses any leverage that he wants to use on the debt ceiling or his speakership. we'll hear more from senator cruz this sunday. big get on "meet the press." coming up, now that the senate voted to fund the affordable care act, can house republicans avoid a government shutdown? the leaders don't want a shutdown but they're not leading anymore. they're following the tea party
and the party right possibly off the cliff, also, the democratic -- the best defense i've heard of the affordable care act. he says get over it, this is the governor of kentucky. get out of the way so i can help my people in kentucky. also, the planned parenthood organization takes on texas for trying to shut down most abortion providers in the lonestar state. finally tonight, your chance to play "hardball" with me. i'll answer your twitter questions. people like it. this is "hardball," a place for politics. you feel...squeezed. congested. beat down. crushed. as if the weight of the world is resting on your face. but sudafed gives you maximum strength sinus pressure and pain relief. so you feel free. liberated. released. decongested. open for business. [ inhales, exhales ] [ male announcer ] powerful sinus relief
following their leaders these days and the leaders aren't setting a clear direction. what we may learn this weekend is who it s. in charge of the party. joining me is the republican congressman of texas john culbertson and brad sherman of california. congressman culbertson, do you think if ted cruz, the senator from your state, the junior senator would say let's throw in the towel, we're going to fight on the default issue, let's have the fight in two weeks, would that change people's opinion or are people's opinions set. >> my job description as representative and my constituents, the people of texas are adamantly opposed to the imposition of what we ought to call democrat care. this was jammed through on a straight line party vote in less than 24 hours. the senate sent it over and less than 24 hours later it was jammed through the house.
no one had a chance to read it. even speaker pelosi said we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it. the affect that it's having on driving up premiums and making the cost of health insurance unaffordable to so many people and the intrusion of the federal government into our personal lives, people much texas don't want any part of it. we simply want to use whatever legislative vehicle we can to stop it, repeal it, defund it, delay it, whatever it takes. i'm in there 110%. >> congress sherman, your reaction to that. >> no one doubts that the republicans hate obamacare. the question is, are they willing to destroy the american economy and run up huge costs in the american government just to show us what we already know, which is that they don't like obamacare. the fact is, obamacare is the law, it's going to remain in force. and already democrats have made a huge concession. this is a funding bill. we have agreed to the republican
funding levels, which is the most important thing in a funding bill. we are coming in seven or eight points below the senate budget. right in line with the ryan budget. that concession has already been made to the point where nobody is even talking about it. and then we're told that we're going to mutilate the american economy and government unless they get to win the battle that they lost on the floor of the house in 2010. that's an extreme bargaining position. it's not consistent with americans who want us to get along, compromise and keep things efficient. >> let me ask you, congressman, i think it's a good debate. we don't know how affordable care will work, nobody knows for sure. you're right about everything. let's talk about technique. do you think the president of the united states is rabid, he's going to runaway. what do you think we will think of him if he buckles to your demand to get rid of obamacare, what will you think of him as a person, as a man?
>> it's not our demand. it is that we are representing our constituents and we're standing on principle -- >> what would you think if he responds by eliminating his number one achievement? >> i think the president has diminished himself already the way he's handled the situation in syria and russia. i cannot imagine a russian president bresh nef -- i think president obama has diminish the office by his own behavior, nothing we're doing. >> i i don't want to get into this. >> chris, let me ask you this -- >> one question. >> go ahead. >> let me tell you, my friend brad sherman and i, we work together well, we have passed the military appropriations bill, funding for the pentagon, for veterans, energy and water. we did that back in june. the senate could have avoided this by simply passing the essential bills that they've had for 90 days. this would not be a problem for our military or homeland security, by the way. >> everybody is watching to see
how the congress behaves. let me straighten out the record. do you believe that president obama was legitimately elected president twice? >> absolutely. >> you're not a birther. natural born citizen. >> no, sir. we have a legitimate difference on principle here. we don't want the federal government socializing the greatest health care system created in the history of the world. we in texas -- >> that's your philosophy. i accept that. do you believe that the afford abld care act was passed legitimately by the congress and house and signed by the president and do you believe all that to be true? >> of course, chris. laws can be changed. in fact, the congress changes laws all the tile. we're elected to do so. we are -- we've been in this last election, this was a keystone of ted cruz's election and my election. i support ted cruz, we're both committed as are the texas republicans to defund, delay, repeal obamacare. >> okay. that's all true.
but you know what, congressman sherman, every american knew that obama was for obamacare when they re-elected him. mitt romney ran against him on it, the public chose president obama knowing he was obamacare and they said yes. that's my point. yours? >> a majority of democrats voted to be represented in congress by a democrat. it's just due to the gerrymander thag we have a republican majority. americans overwhelmingly say we may -- we're divided on whether obamacare is good or bad. but we're united in the belief that we should not shut down the government or impair our credit in order to eliminate obamacare. it's one thing to be convinced that we should take a particular course of action on health care. it's another thing to destroy our economy to get what you want or get what your constituents want. >> actually, brad we took care of the credit problem in the bill we sent to the senate had
language in it that said the united states will always play principal and interest on the debt and the senate stripped that language out. >> that's the china -- >> we're committed to protecteding the full faith and credit of the united states, as you know, brad. >> could you imagine going back to your district and saying we paid china and we're not paying social security recipients. >> social security runs on autopilot. those checks will continue to go out. what i'm concerned about is our military. >> congressman culbertson, let's move ahead two weeks. >> you're confusing the appropriations process with the debt process. >> let me go ahead two weeks if from now. congressman culbertson, tell me your thinking about the debt and the extending the debt limit and how you deal with those amendments. a lot of them got to do well in gas. i understand oil and gas. what about the debt limit. why would you put in access for exploitation of federal lands -- what does that have to do with keeping the full faith and
credit out there? it's not jgermane unless you're an oil guy. >> magic number is 218. we're trying to get 218 votes and at the same time, trying to save enough money to offset the -- we feel strongly about. texans do not want the government to pass debt on to our kids, nor do i. we're looking for a way to offset that debt increase dollar for dollar. >> is boehner buying votes. >> of course not. this is a matter of principle. this is a matter of core principle. i mean, you've got great ideas that a have passed the house that conservatives believe in as a matter of principle. by putting the different ideas together on the debt ceiling bill, chris, their matters are principle. i think that's a great idea. >> what's the principle in exploiting federal lands for oil and gas? what's the principle involved there unless you're -- >> we can make the united states energy independent, chris.
we've discovered more oil and gas in the last ten years in the entire history of the united states. but president obama and the democrats are trying to block its production and it's crazy. i would love to tell the middle east to basically pound sand. we don't need your oil or gas because we have it right here in the united states. in particular, texas. >> okay. that's why oil and gas is in there. >> all these goodies have been added to the bill arguing if the democrats don't agree to oil and gas exploitation and exploration, if they don't agree to the keystone, the federal government is going into default. i think that's an odd demand. that's what i think. your thoughts? >> that's what taking hostages is all about. the hostages aren't germane to the ransom that you're trying to get. if you can convince the american congress that we ought to change our oil and gas policy, fine. but you don't take the full faith and credit of the united states hostage. likewise, you don't pass a law
that says that the executive branch will have so much money, but it's supposed to pay 19% more and we do unfortunately borrow 19% of what we pay out and say we have to pay china, but you don't have to pay social security. you don't have to pay veterans benefits. to pass a china first -- >> congressman culbertson, please come back. we like to have you. i like debating you guys, it's more fun than anything i can think of. sometimes i think you're right maybe. >> i enjoyed it, thank you. >> congressman sherman. >> he is, he's a good -- >> this is "hardball." place for politics.
twin sister of akron ohio. she asked what would tip o'neill think of the tea party? to a point, he'd enjoy them. he called the crowd three stooges for awhile. then talking about patriotism, and questioning the patriotism of the democrats, he got hot about that. and the funny part was over. and this comes from donna of oklahoma city. quote, chris simple yet complicated question. how do the republicans keep getting away with this nonsense? over the top really. it comes down to the numbers. in 232 of the 418 or 435 congressional districts, a big majority of them people voted against obama last time. and the members of congress from those districts are very comfortable voting against obama care and the whole works. they're comfortable at home. the problem is they're not thinking nationally. and that is definitely boehner's job. he's got to do it if they don't. the next question from john of louisville, kentucky. chris, why did jimmy carter lose the election in 1980? i think it was iran. i think it was the hostages. i think iran has played a huge part in politics ever since.
could well do it again next time. if we're not, we go to war with them. and if you have a question for me, any other question, just tweet your questions to @hardball underscore chris. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. coming up next, your business with jj ramberg. ise her spirits. we tackled your shoulder pain. you make him rookie of the year. we took care of your cold symptoms. you take him on an adventure. tylenol® has been the number 1 doctor recommended brand of pain reliever for over 20 years. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol®.