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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  November 18, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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you just need to look at the whole picture and understand what is really going on in every story. >> and we have to leave it there for tonight. thanks johnathan. >> thanks for having me. >> chris hayes is up next. let's get the story right. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews out in seattle. let me start with the job at hand. if you're president obama and want his presidency to proceed, what's the best way to gain control? get back on the side of americans that want to make life better with a better health care plan, a growing economy with progressive values. you focus on those who want those things opposed to those who like things the way they
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have been. you get people to choose not on a day to day but the big differences that separate obama from his right wing critics. and you build a team to sell it just as you must build a better team to govern this country starting with the execution of the affordable care act which puts accountability and transparency first. howard fineman is director for "the huffington post" media group and david corn from mother jones. howard, it's great to have you on and an important question. talk about the big picture president obama has been able to speak to the american people and tell a story. explain where we're headed and where we'd like to go and what we're up against and who we're up against. how does he do that starting today? >> well, chris, in narrow terms he deals with the website. we waits for republicans to make mistakes. what he's really got to do is recover the narrative of his presidency in his public life. don't forget this is a guy who ran as the change himself.
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he said we were the change we're waiting for. he was the change. that meant he and his own story embody the idea of community in america. and because of that, he was ideally equipped to help bring that message and reality to the middle class in america and to people struggling to get into the middle class. that was the narrative he built with david axelrod. barack obama has to run a third campaign now and recover the narrative of who he is in relation to what he wants to see happen. which is american community of which the health care plan in its best hopes he wanted it to be. to get it there is the challenge, but to explain the big surround. i think he needs his people back to run a third campaign. >> the same people? >> the same people. i would bring axelrod because because he was the guy that did a great job of helping barack
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obama exchange his narrative. i think that's what barack obama has to do. he has to explain what he's doing there. what is the why of it? because it's the why that's distinguished. it's the why that has the moral high ground and obama has to regain the moral high ground here. >> let me go to david corn to follow-up on this. start you with this. this idea that it's not simple. that this guy was a hybrid, a guy whose father was from kenya, his mother from the midwest. african-american background, a white-american background. he's had to overcome some odds to do well in this country. certainly done that. being born in hawaii and moving through the establishment back to working as a community organizer. the idea we're not just every person for themselves. that we do have responsibilities. as a community. we're not going back to everybody fight gt for seats -- beds in the emergency room. nobody paying for anything. just living off the kindness -- not kindness, of strangers. just that.
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it seems there's a message here. and the guys on the other side don't want to do that. they want to throw them back in the emergency room. they want every person for themselves and screw the people having a hard time. obama's running against bad thinking. not bad people necessarily. but bad thinking. >> that was in some ways the essence of the 2012 campaign as well as 2008 campaign. i think obama did a good job about making that campaign about big values and how we apply them through the government. detroit and those sort of things. and he won that fight overwhelmingly against mitt romney and the people with bad thinking. i think at this stage now, though, it's really somewhat about deliverables. he has to tell a story that continues those the themes and continues to point out why people are blocking him. not just they are blocking him. >> okay. david -- >> let me finish. let me just finish. but he has to sort of talk about what could be done in specifics. not just through the health care
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act and fixing it, but he needs a very tight and tightly focused economic message to go along with that. >> how does he -- back to you, howard. i've argued for a long time and everybody can argue what they want and we all go to our battle stations when something goes wrong, but how does he bring this senate -- there should be 20 or 30 senators ready to yell for him. there's so many good voices who know how to get on television and make a point. does he have -- is there any way he can recruit an army of people who will say what he's saying against the other side? >> well, chris, i think he has to give the message, give the speech, run that campaign, that third campaign i'm calling it. he's got to do it on his values and his vision with the help of his original aides in my view. and he's got to start with the congress. he's got to start -- you picked the senate. start with the senate. have them in and ask for their help. one of the things that barack
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obama admittedly, i think, is not very good at is asking for help on a personal basis. is saying individually in private in a meeting at the white house, in the oval or dining room, saying look, guys. i need your help. these are big stakes here. these are the stakes about our vision, the democratic party's long-term vision of government as a communal exercise. he already apologized in public, now give them the positive. if they don't fix them -- it sounds trivial but if they don't fix the website and deliver the health care, then we can talk all we want. >> we don't have to argue about that stuff. everybody knows in the end it's execution that matters. like in any competition. >> picking up on howard's point here, in talking with the senators or with governors or with mayors or members of the house, whoever is going to be part of that army you'd like to
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see, chris, they have to boil it down to specifics. i think now we've had the abstract fight over values and themes. but the way you advance them and convince americans that you mean what you say in those terms is to talk to them about what you want to do or what you could do it it wasn't for the other side. and you went on a binge about bridge building. whatever it's going to be. investment in alzheimer's, whatever your vision is. and barack obama has it. you go back and look at his budget at the beginning of this year. he has the economic message. he just hasn't conveyed it in a way. i could tell you what it is, but i bet if you went to an airport and picked people out of the line saying what do you think his economic plan is, you wouldn't get a lot of hard and fast answers. that's one way to figure to get back to. even if he can't get this through the republican house, he needs to have a fight beyond the health care. >> i mean, we're not really agreeing.
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i think he has to do both things, chris. >> i know. >> he has to do that third campaign again, in my view. he's got to put it in a bigger framework and do it for senators individually. if he wants them not to wander away from him, he's got to look them in the eye and say you know what's at stake here? get serious. don't -- let's be in this together in big terms. that's how he won twice. that's how he got out of trouble in the campaign in 2008. that's what he's best at, by the way. >> it's not his job, not the media's job or the favorable media or anybody's job who likes what he's trying to do. and maybe not like the way he's doing it. to remind people the alternative is a point of view from the hard right, no health care for anybody. with a rush to foreign policy. you basically got a very different alternative. >> by the way, i think he ought to hit harder on the fact that the rms don't have an alternative, they don't have a plan, they basically just are
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for dismantling obama care and nothing else so far as we know. i think it's an important thing for him to do here. so he doesn't sound like he's just making an excuse. >> he's got to say he's trying. >> he had that chance at the press conference last week when i think he was overly contrite. and he didn't set up this dynamic of here's what we're doing. i don't want to be poly annish about this, but what's gone right with obama care and the millions of people who are now getting health care and getting breaks on the prescription drugs, the elderly, and say this is what they want to take away. i'm going to make the website work, but these people want to take it away. let me 82 you why they want to do that. it's not him doing it because he doesn't want to wear the black hat, then it could be joe biden or others that are part of the army. >> i think joe biden is kind of conspicuous by his absence.
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>> yes. he hasn't done much lately. >> i don't know what that's about, but we like having saint francis as pope not necessarily president. senator cruz himself has shown absolutely zero interest in coming up with a plan in any way. never even mentioned a plan for the people sitting with nothing. those people are constantly worried about getting sick. he's constantly worried about becoming president. and the whole problem is this 24-hour attention this problem of the health care implementation he's taking care of. but never coming up with a plan of his own. anyway, that's a situation, i think we all agree. let me did you about the lack of republican agenda starting with you, howard. it's not they just don't have an agenda. it seems it's coming out now even in their own documents. they don't have an agenda. it's amazing how a party can survive. maybe that's why they're in single digits, but they don't offer up anything. >> well, and that's the advantage that david corn is
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talking about. that the president hasn't really capitalized on lately. and again, david's right. he doesn't have to do it himself. but it has to be pointed out and pointed out in detail that the republicans' only theory and only strategy given their ideology to quote big government these days is to say no, is to oppose, is to do nothing. and that's unacceptable. that's morally unacceptable, financially unacceptable. those are the things the president said. for the tea party, that's enough of an answer. for the tea party, no, n-o, is plenty of an agenda. that's not true for independent voters. >> and the republican party is just so driven with its own factions that even if there were ideas there, they couldn't get consensus on it. can't come up with a farm policy. you can't get the big business, chamber of commerce. republican party is nowhere in terms of consensus.
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so since they are sort of fighting their own civil war both politically and policywise, all they're left with is saying no to obama and that won't work. that won't work? a republican primary. but won't get much beyond that. >> it's the one thing that unifies them. the only thing they can agree on is saying no to obama. >> instead of the elephant, maybe it ought to be the goalie. they're the goalie party. a couple guys with a couple teeth missing with padding out there trying to save the puck from getting through the net. anyway, thank you howard fineman. we'll rename them the goalie party. coming up, the battle between the cheney sisters which is more than a family feud. shows what happens when they can become so beholden or in love with winning the votes of the tea party that he or she says things maybe he or she doesn't believe. plus 50 years after the conspiracy theories continue. also "saturday night live" has a solution for what ails president obama.
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it's got nothing to do with fixing the health care website. finally, let me finish tonight with the jack kennedy who lived and pushed for civil rights right until the end. and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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one thing that's working for president obama, the economy. today the dow jones trill average crossed over the 16,000 point mark for the first time ever. keep in mind where it was when this president took office. on january 20th, 2009, the day george w. bush left the white house and barack obama moved in, the dow was closed that day at 7949. it was lower before his policy starts working. hitting 16,000 today means in less than five years of the obama presidency, the dow has more than doubled. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." when is a family squabble not
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just a family squabble? when it's the cheneys and liz cheney is trying to unseat mike enzi next year. cheney is running as a tea party supporter all the way. that includes coming out opposed to same-sex marriage. something even dick cheney is in support of. here she was yesterday on fox. >> i do believe it's an issue that's got to be left up to the states. i do believe in the traditional definition of marriage. >> your sister mary who is married to a woman put out this post. she said, for the record i love my sister. you. but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage. >> yeah. and listen, i love mary very much. i love her family very much. this is just an issue on which we disagree. >> well, mary responded on facebook saying, quote, liz, this isn't just an issue on which we disagree. you're just wrong and on the wrong side of history. mary's wife went further saying, quote, liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children.
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when we got married in 2012 she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us. for her to say now she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least. i can't help but wonder how liz would feel if she moved from state to state she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other. i thought freedom meant freedom for everyone. today it was said they were pained to see the fight become public but confirmed liz has always been opposed. they have to say that. cheney is trying to appeal to the right wingers out there. jonathan capehart is an opinion writer. both are msnbc contributors. excuse me for a second, but i don't think this has much to do with a family dispute. it has something to do with a family, perhaps. jonathan, you first. it seems to me that a reasonable person might assume based on whatever flimsy poll data is available that the voters who show up in a wyoming republican primary are about six to one
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against same-sex marriage. this is not a profile encourage on the part of liz cheney. this is full pander bear times ten. you ignore your family. you go to the base out there. i mean that in the worst sense of the word. the base of the hard right who doesn't want to hear there are people who are gay, doesn't want to know people are gay, and certainly doesn't want to recognize their love. so here we go. what do you think is going on here? why would -- is there any other way to look at this besides full pander to the right? >> sure, it's full pander to the right. liz cheney was answering a question from chris wallace. whenever she's talked about this in the media, she's answering a question. but it's the way you answer the question. and there's a way for her to state her beliefs without throwing her sister and her sister-in-law and her family under the bus. why we find this so fascinating
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is one, it's a political family. it's the cheneys. but two, former vice president cheney was the one who always talked about this and he always talked about it in such a reserved manner that you knew that you ask the question, he gave his answer, and you moved on. he loves his daughter. he accepts her. but that was it. he didn't want to say anything more about it. so the fact that this argument has exploded out there, first on fox news, then on facebook. and then with the statement from vice president and lynn cheney, it's a spectacle that i don't think liz cheney needs right now. as you said, folks in wyoming, they're not going to be in favor of same-sex marriage. it only shows -- only highlights more bad news for a campaign that seems to be fighting with everybody from mike enzi to allen simpson, to you know im. >> let me go to joy.
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if you were a conservative of wyoming and you like the jib of the woman running out there and thought it was time r a new generation. and you heard she was loyal to her sister on same-sex marriage because she was her sister, would anybody normal vote against her if they knew the reason. people don't make -- people aren't that dumb and klutzy to say if she's on that position. no she takes that because of her sister. understand that. who would want the votes of people who voted for you when you threw your sister under the bus? who would want those people? is politics that desperate? as jack kennedy once said party loyalty asks too much. >> you're right. i grew up in colorado out west. we drove through colorado a lot. the thing about people out west, they are conservative. when i was growing up colorado was very conservative. people prize family and individuality. which is the reason that dick
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cheney coming from wyoming, he was a former congressman there although by the way he did live in texas from 1993 until weeks before becoming bush's running mate. i digress. they like someone supporting their own. and if liz cheney had the -- nobody takes anything away from him as a conservative. the problem for liz cheney is she's pretending to be a tea party and primary mike enzi when she is a neocon. and neo-conservative which is known for wanting to bomb the hell out of the middle east but not caring about social issues. she's trying to do something by being something she's fundamentally not which is a tea partier. >> and with only 69,000 people
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voting out there in the last primary, she's nickel and diming her way. fig yush there's only so many to the hard right of mike enzi. here's liz cheney, she is feeling some pressure from the right. this advertisement was released for pass comments on gay rights. let's watch. >> in wyoming, cheney campaigns as a conservative. in washington, she appears on msnbc to campaign against the marriage amendment and support government benefits for gay couples. >> i applaud, for example, the state department decision to extend benefits to same-sex partners around the world. >> liz cheney, wrong for wyoming. >> well, there you go. what do you make of that, capehart? she's nailed for coming on this network. my god. how tough is it getting out there? >> i know. the idea liz cheney is not conservative is what is hilarious to me. she is very conservative. joy, you ran down all the
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reasons why she is. and the fact she came on msnbc, you know, like to get both sides. folks watching liz cheney know she's not a card carrying liberal. she's not a democrat. she is a republican and she is a conservative. the fact she's being hammered for, you know, taking a human rights view, i mean, same-sex couples should get the same benefits as heterosexual married couples. that shouldn't be a controversy. and in the republican party these days, chris, there are a lot more people coming around to the idea that gay people deserve rights, deserve respect, and deserve support. >> i think you made a good point. let me quote something. liz cheney responded to mary's criticism, the gay sister, telling "the new york times," quote, i love my sister and her family. i believe this is the christian way to behave. feeling compassionate for the victims of the philippine
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hurricane, you don't feel compassionate for gay people. >> compassion is not the right word. you give that to someone who are suffering. liz cheney is not suffering. they are loving people with two children and a family. they don't need liz cheney's compassion. >> and by the way, chris -- >> joy, you hit my magic button a minute ago. i want to go back to your button. the issue of her fight with her sister, her kerfuffle here, she is such a hawk, liz cheney. that's the frightening part. i'd like to know what war in the middle east she hasn't wanted us to get involved in or start. libya, syria, she wants us to stay in afghanistan forever, she wants to stay in iraq forever. she can't wait to get things going in iran. she's always with the hawkish position. now she's portraying herself as some sort of isolationist tea
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partier. that would be the real fraud. >> she's a neocon in a party that was fine with cutting the defense budget as long as they could cut spending. and she's walking this fine tight rope where they cannot afford to let go of the religious right. but they understand that younger voters, the people coming down the pipeline are completely on the other side of them on social issues. particularly on issues like gay marriage. liz cheney made those comments on msnbc when she was working for the state department. a job she got by her daddy being the vice president of the united states. that when she spoke and answered that question she was speaking as a sister and somebody working with people in the state department who she knew. but this i feel compassion, that's now hot you talk about your sister. that's not how you speak about a family member. >> let me offer advice to the cheney family.
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i've had good experience with this to avoid a thanksgiving dinner. outsource it. bring someone from outside the family to fight with the people outside the family before dinner then have a nice turkey. don't have a fight within the family. never works. thanks to both of you. up next, "saturday night live" prediction to help lift president obama out of his doldrums. this is "hardball," the place for politics. and no doldrums here. i can't always keep my kids' socks clean.
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but at least i can help keep their underwear clean. with charmin ultra strong. i'll take that. go get 'em, buddy! [ female announcer ] charmin ultra strong has a duraclean texture and its four times stronger than the leading bargain brand. enjoy the go with charmin ultra strong. back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. president obama addressed concerns about the affordable care act at a press conference last week. his directive will follow individuals, allow them to keep their current health care plans through 2014 when they have complied. but it did not sit well with bill maher.
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here's what he had to say about that on friday. >> the change obama announced yesterday was to the people who have crummy, crappy [ bleep ] plans and want to keep them. what i call hospital grown policies because your ass is not covered. one of the reasons he has to do this is because bill clinton opened his big fat mouth and said obama should let people keep their crappy insurance even if it screwed up the system. if you're a democrat, the clintons are a pre-existing condition. >> he is so funny. there's no doubt, however, that president obamas a tough road ahead. second terms are more than problematic. bush, clinton, reagan of course. each stumbled in their own way in second terms. the folks at "saturday night live" came up with a remedy for president obama's second term woes. let's look. >> are you feeling depressed?
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run down? like you just can't win? are you the president of the united states? ask your doctor for paxil, second term strength. the only antidepressant strong enough for an embattled second term. so you can get back on your feet and start running the country again. with paxil, you'll feel like you're giving a speech at a college campus in 2008. or getting bin laden. all over again. so you can turn those approval ratings upside down. >> yes, we still can. with paxil. >> that drug is apparently an antidepressant. of course "snl" wouldn't have been complete without the biggest punchline of the last two weeks. the crack smoking mayor of toronto, rob ford. >> look, i've done some bad things. and i apologized for that.
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>> i'm sorry, mr. mayor. i don't think people believe you anymore. some of the stories you've told are outrageous lies. >> then i'm going on a show where people will believe anything i say. [ ticking ] >> so mayor ford, once and for all, what is the truth? >> i have never done crack. >> i believe you. >> i've also never spoked pot? >> i believe you. >> and i've never had alcohol? >> mayor ford, i believe you. >> oh! oh, my god. this is the best show! >> i love this stuff. believe it or not, mayor ford's infamy earned him his own reality show called ford nation. set to premiere tonight in canada. up next, this image doomed michael dukakis' campaign. look at that picture. rocky the squirrel.
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i'm milissa rehberger. george zimmerman has been arrested on domestic battery and aggravated assault charges. police responded to a call from his girlfriend who claims zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her during an argument. eight people are confirmed dead after violent storms ripped across the midwest. as many as 500 homes were damaged or destroyed in one illinois town. and princeton university has agreed to make a meningitis vaccine not approved in the u.s. available to all undergraduates and others to stop the spread of that disease on campus. back to "hardball." ♪
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here's the general rule. you don't put stuff on your head -- so that's politics 101. you never look good wearing something on your head. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama, of course, who was awarded a helmet from the u.s. navy academy football team. even though a person's first inclination would be to put the president on, he knew the political risk. this video is exhibit "a" why. michael dukakis wearing a helmet riding in a tank that he hoped would boost his credentials in the '88 presidential race. what turned out to be a political disaster, a terrible image. within weeks the bush campaign put out this devastating ad. >> michael dukakis has opposed every defense system we developed. he opposed anti-satellite
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weapons. he opposed four missile systems. dukakis opposed the stealth bomber and the ground emergency warning system against nuclear attack. he even criticized our rescue mission to grenada and strike on libya. mow he wants to be our commander in chief. america can't afford that risk. >> josh king and matt benn have both worked on the campaign. he's currently cofounder of the political think tank third way. both are contributors to politico's new magazine with this article. dukakis and the tank appears. gentlemen, i love your work. start with josh. this piece of news, it's a story that you know has been dangling around in journalism policy since '88. why did this fella with no military background that people thought of because he had a couple years in the army in korea.
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why did he try to oppose the guy that ended up looking like rocky the squirrel? >> this was about a year in the making. it began a year earlier. dukakis had a speech. his aides knew he was in a deficit against his competitor. eventually vice president bush, former head of the cia, naval war hero, ambassador to china. there was a big deficit to fill. they decided they wanted to go after his weakness and try to mitigate that. so they planned a full week of events around security. about five speeches from philadelphia to cincinnati to chicago. eventually to sterling heights, michigan. this was the photo op to accompany. >> let me go over to matt. matt, you know, one of the fights i've been having about the president on this show which is we're generally supportive of the goal certainly of health care. but not putting one person particularly in charge of it gets to me. who was particularly responsible for putting that helmet on the head of that guy that made him
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look like rocky the squirrel and bullwinkle. give me the name. you're not going to do it, are you? >> all right. i'll do it. i will do it. the trip director. his name is jack weeks. he was brought off the plane, there was a lot of concern in boston about this. we were very worried about it on the ground. i had gone for a ride in the tank along with our press guy the day before. i had worn the helmet. i looked horrible. and i told the folks in boston that it was really risky. so they brought my boss, essentially, in to make decisions. he was the guy that did it. i hate to dime him out. >> could you have shown a way to bring it back to your responsibility, could you have shown by illustration how comical it could make a serious man like dukakis appear? >> yeah, we told him that. everybody understood that. in fact, the thing that he arrived at doing was to try to do two passes of the press
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riser. and the first one as you can see in the politico story is without the helmet. there was a picture people took of that that lost in history. >> and he looked normal. >> yeah. he looked fine. then we were going through another one with the tank going through paces unfortunately the decision was made to put the helmet on. >> let me go back to josh. when i watch this over the years and i'm not a media critic, but a critic of bad advertising. i thought what happened was they had the helmet and a plaque on the tank that said driver or passengers had to wear helmet. dukakis saw that rule and being a good guy without any sense of public relations like you have, none in fact, he put the helmet on saying it says to do it. i don't want to be seen not doing it ignoring what the combination obeying that rule and going before the critical
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and cynical news cameras of the country and to his enemies was going to do to his campaign for president. >> there are two problems, chris. one is you're right. he's a person who always wore a seat belt in back of the limousine. i was told that by nick metropolis for this article. he was a rule follower by nature. he was also going to go 35 miles per hour. you stick your upper torso out of a tank at 35 miles an hour, it's dangerous. number two, you're trying to get a tour of the tank's capabilities. gordon england from general dynamics is riding next to you. he's trying to tell you about the tank. you're not going to hear what he's saying without the communications in the helmet enabled. as matt knows, you go for the short pass for the photo op. then fast for the paces. had the tanks not stayed farther away. >> you just reminded me of my favorite metaphor.
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remember when the prisoners of war over in south asia did a great job of building the bridge. but they were building the bridge for the japanese, their enemies. boy, they did it right. they built it strong. they did everything right, but you're giving it right to the enemy. the purpose of his being in that tampg was to look like he was ready to fight a war. it made him look like a cartoon character. >> if i could have blown up that, i would have. it was horrible. >> this is great journalism. for those of us -- it has nothing to do with right wing or left wing. it has to do with professionalism and accountability. we want to get to the bottom of who's responsible. this name of jack weeks, who does he have to thank for his name tonight. thanks for a great segment. up next, 50 years after john f. kennedy's assassination, the conspiracy theorists keep coming
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out strong. this is "hardball," the place for politics. my mantra? family . but with less energy, moodiness, and a low sex drive, i saw my doctor. a blood test showed it was low testosterone, not age. we talked about axiron. the only underarm low t treatment that can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women especially those who are or who may become pregnant and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet or body swelling; enlarged or painful breasts; problems breathing while sleeping; and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting and increase in psa.
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ask your doctor about axiron. i'm out here in misty seattle. on my book tour for "tip and the gipper". the story of my political coming of age. tonight i'll be speaking at a town hall in seattle at the campus of seattle university. i'll be back in washington by tomorrow night. and we'll be right back here.
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we're back. it's been 50 years, a half century now since the assassination of president kennedy this friday. according to a new gallup poll, 61% of americans believe people beyond lee harvey oswald were involved in the killing. and that's compared to the 52% in 1963. well, five decades after the conspiracy theories, they're still very much alive. scrutinized five decades worth of arguments and speculation over kennedy's murder in dallas and examined the roots to find why it haunts us to this day. he writes in as article for
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"time" magazine, the release of more and more information has only fed growth of the conspiracy theories we're i am open to any theory, but at a certain time, you have a due date, a sell by date. at some point, the people with the theories have to prove them or else just move on. you know, oliver stone may think lbj did it, it was in his movie, collaborating in it, he may have knew nixon was coming, incriminate the cia, the dallas police department, everybody wants to include it because it's all fun and games, makes a lot of money for people and works up their paranoia.
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it's an easy sell. it is certainly no profile in courage to push the latest conspiracy theory. why is it the mainstream press just don't come out and say it's bunk? why don't they just say it? i'll say it, it's bunk. >> i think we've been trying to say that for years, and what is present to me is the further question, why, in spite of the numerous proofs, starting with the flawed warren commission, which arrived in the wrong way at the right result, and going on through books like gerald pozner's "case closed," vincent buliosi's "enormous thome." it's been proved again and again that the initial conclusion that lee harvey oswald killed the president because of his desires to, you know, his grandiose desires to make a mark on the world, impress castro, whatever was going through his warped mind, that he fired the shots
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that killed the president in dealey plaza, but why, given that, given the fact that people can actually watch it happening, thanks to the film, why this desire to complicate it, to find twisted, really dark, dark conspiracies. what is the attraction of this? and that is what i was trying to discuss in my piece. >> well, could it be -- let me go through a really simple idea. we're taught in literature that every great hero has an indy hero, anjohnito willet tag nist to every protagonist, where it's morardie and sherlock holmes, yago in "othello." we're taught there's a natural balance. or lucifer and god. >> that's right. >> and this is something we're all brought up to believe in, this sort of balance between good and evil. and yet, in the real world, bombs knock off people at central park and anywhere in the united states.
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people who are a complete loser, desperate criminals kill really good people all the time. there's never any balance to life in real life. is that it, we think that this is literature, that, somehow, the kennedy story is somehow a drama created for our enjoyment, when in fact, it's just damn life, in the way life -- life is unfair, as jack kennedy said. your thoughts. >> no, i absolutely agree with that, and unfortunately, we have the opportunity to see over and over again the kind of people who actually assassinate great figures, and it's mark david chapman, it's john hinckley, it's sirhan sirhan, it's, you know, james earl ray, these really pathetic, small figures are able, unfortunately, to find a way through because that's all they think about and all they spend their time trying to do. and it does seem insufficient that someone of the stature of a president, the grandeur of john kennedy, the glamour, the enormous wealth, the youth.
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it seems wrong that he would be snuffed out by this strange and weak individual. the other thing, though, that i think has been at work here with the kennedy assassination is that to the extent that people thought kennedy was in danger that day in dallas, the expectation was that it would be the very active and very aggressive right wing movement that was headquartered in dallas. and then lo and behold, that's what they're worried about in the morning, but by nightfall, here's this man behind bars who is not from the right wing. he's a communist sympathizer, a failed defector to the soviet union, a supporter of cuba, exactly the wrong person to have killed john f. kennedy. and then before we can learn all about him, oswald himself is assassinated by jack ruby, and
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it all just -- it set up this clashing of frames of reference that really set the conspiracy theories loose. >> read david von drehlh. i think people need to get the facts. when we return, how jack kennedy lived and pushed for civil rights until the end of his life. it's quite a story. i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years.
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"let me finish" tonight with this. i like to think of john f. kennedy doing his job, the good work his president was pursuing up until the hour he could do no more. in the car that morning, driving to the short flight that would take him to dallas, the president was grappling his way through the politics of texas, a state he needed in 1964 to survive the southern backlash against his historic stand for civil rights. that june, kennedy had told the country that civil rights was as old as the scriptures as american as the constitution. you can listen to the tapes of him that october, that very october, lobbying for the civil rights bill with mayor richard daley of chicago, getting him to put pressure on a lakeshore member of the house judiciary committee. now he was in texas trying to hold on to a state he needed, asking why ft. worth, why it was so yellow dog democrat, while dallas, where he was headed, was so hard-lurching right. i like to think of him doing the politics until the end, not only standing for civil rights, but
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fighting for votes to deliver civil rights, stopped only in the end at that terrible moment when history was yanked from his hands. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. and we begin tonight with a win for president obama and the uninsured in the unlikeliest of places. while republicans grow more convinced by the day that fighting obama care is their ticket to political renaissance, a surprise victory for health reform in louisiana this weekend could be a cautionary tale for anti-obama care crusaders. ♪ on saturday night, in front of a cheering mass of supporters, vance mcallister bamd the 5th district's newest congressman. republican vance mcallister was elected congressman of


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