tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 2, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
i'm al sharpton. and i'll be joining ed tonight on "the ed show" to talk rush limbaugh at 8:00 p.m. here on msnbc. "hardball" starts right now. the ditto head party. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, party boss. the battle over contraception is one of those rare issues where both parties think they hold the winning hand. but rush limbaugh just tipped the scales with his big, bad words. he's made the issue birth control itself. not a religion or freedom issue. it's about some strange attitude of his towards women, sex, or whatever. and the republicans refusal to fight him. president obama has weighted into this controversy.
he called sandra fluke, the law student who was the target of rush's commentary, and she actually took the call in my office as she was preparing to be interviewed today by andrea mitchell. sandra fluke joins us tonight at the top of our show. plus you know things are going badly for the republican party when george will says it's time to think about winning congress than trying to win the white house. what's behind this forbidding sense that the republicans are blowing this election? and we have new poll numbers out tonight on the "hardball" scoreboard from ohio, wisconsin, and washington state, which happens to hold its caucuses tomorrow. finally, let me finish with this ditto head behavior by the grand old party. we begin with the woman who has been's target of rush limbaugh's attacks, georgetown law student, sandra fluke. and also with us from san francisco is joan walsh, who is an nbc political analyst.
let me ask you about. there's a lot of human interest in this. thank you for coming on. i think the fact that you are sitting in my office, it's an honor for me. you took a call from president obama. tell me about the call. >> i appreciate you allowing me to commandeer your office. >> anything for the president and you. >> so president obama called to express concern, make sure i was okay given some of the colorful attacks that have been leveled at me and to also thank me for an expressed support and thank me for helping to amplify the voices of so many women who have been talking about how important this regulation is to them. >> i want you to jump in on this. joan, you and i have similar views. although i'm a man and you are a woman. rush limbaugh learned live that the president had called you. let's listen to what he had to say on air right after that.
>> so the president has called her and asked her if she's all right. she said she was, i hope. do we know what she said? oh, she told that to andrea mitchell? i offered to pay for aspirins. i thought i had been quite compassionate here. you know, also, one thing obvious is that when the left wants to pretend they have no sense of humor, they are excellent at it. >> sense of humor. slut. later in the show as rush limbaugh learned more about what the president had said to you, he mocked it. let's listen to limbaugh mocking the president for showing compassion toward you. >> apparently, sandra fluke told obama when he asked her if she was okay, she said that obama told her that she should tell
her parents they should be proud. okay. i'm going to button my lip on that one. the president tells sandra fluke -- 30-year-old sandra fluke, parents should be proud. okay. >> joan, you and i are pretty articulate on matters like politics. i think we're beyond the range of regular democrat versus republican politics. something strange in the water for rush limbaugh. joining in this fight from his high level basically attacking an individual for being part of this debate and then going after them and then making comments like i've never heard somebody make about another human being in the context of public debate. >> right. no. you said we're articulate. you're articulate, i'm speechless listening to that
actually. i had only read the words, but hearing his voice it's ridiculous. of course, the president called sandra. he's a father. and sandra, i know you're 30 years old and grown up and i respect you and admire you, so i'm not condescending, but there's a certain reaction you have if you are a parent of a daughter. mine is in her 20s, too, chris. where you are like, excuse me. who could say something like that? and how do you get away with it and repeat it over and over? so you know, he's crossed a line. i do my best not to listen to him anymore. he really is doing a lot of it to rile us up. but i honestly think that sandra got under his skin. he sounds slightly frightened to me. he sounds bewildered in a special way. i think something different is going on here. i think we reached a tipping point where people are talking back to this kind of garbage. >> let me talk to you. i have daughter in her 20s. we have these conversations. we live in the real world.
i'm happy about birth control as an institution and as an american. it's one of our rights. it's a life reality. and for him to attack you on this because you think that should be part of health insurance, are you stunned or what? health insurance. we're talking an insurance issue here. >> it was pretty surprising. i appreciate your use of the word reality. we're talking about federal government policy. that has to be focused on reality and not ideology. and the reality is this is a basic health care need that women have in order to prevent terrible medical consequences and unintended pregnancies. and that's reality. >> you don't have to make the case that i make, that's to reduce the number of abortions in this country. it's one reason we don't have as many or more. let me ask you about the republican party. i want to go to joan on this one. the republican party is not an evil party. it's not made up of evil people. people may have views that i disagree with. sometimes it's dead wrong.
dead wrong. but it has not spoken against this man, rush limbaugh. it has not spoken. the only words we have is this peep from santorum about his words being absurd and basically for entertainment. they are falling back on a joke that he's an entertainer. normally, he's their spiritual, mentor, leader. they are afraid. i hear from boehner, the so-called leader of the republicans and the congress saying, what? i don't even get it, inappropriate language. he used the word slut instead of prostitute or hooker. what's the word he did think was appropriate. it's an inappropriate thought and an inappropriate attack on an individual who is a private citizen. what do you think about the republican party here? absolute ditto heads. your thoughts. >> i can't believe it. you're right. inappropriate is a word you use for a prank. for a whoopee cushion. it's not a word you use in a context like this. and i want to give you credit. you and i disagree periodically,
but i have to say, you are on this a week after the inauguration. rush limbaugh said he hoped the president failed. and i remember i think it was phil gingrey spoke up and said it wasn't the nicest thing to say. he had to go apologize to rush and kiss his butt. these guys have been afraid to stand up to him for the longest time. and now their remarks, okay they're speaking. that's a good thing. but they're not saying what needs to be dead. this is misogyny. it's abusive. there is no room for this in the public sphere. i hope they say more. i think they are going to have to. >> sandra, have you heard any republican leader of any sort say anything to you about them apologizing for this comment by this right wing commentator? >> no one has said anything to me directly. i understand that mr. boehner made some comments distancing himself. but one thing i want to jump in with is that it wasn't just one person who made these comments
on the air waves. there were multiple commentators who used this language and these types of characterizations. >> do you know their names? >> glenn beck for one. and they weren't the only two. and so i really just hope that we can take a stand and decide that this is the point when this is going to be unacceptable discourse in all sectors of our society. >> you're a law student. you're going to be a lawyer. you talked to me beforehand about being a public interest lawyer. are you getting the anita hill treatment here? >> you know that history. >> i do. i do. anita hill was a strong woman and i don't want to characterize that. >> but the attack you're getting. >> it's in the same spectrum and it's how women have been treated when someone wants to silence them. so it's certainly related. >> let's listen to more of rush limbaugh. he said those awful words yesterday. today he basically doubled down. here he is on why he's feeling insulted by the criticism. he's making himself the victim. let's listen. >> somebody asked me, why are
you so insulting? me? can anybody understand that a whole lot of us are insulted by this? all of a sudden, we're told that people who want to have sex without consequence, sex with no responsibility, we have to pay for it. we have to pay for it. if we object, we're somehow neanderthal. out of nowhere this comes up. that to me is insulting. >> have you got any idea what he's talking about? >> not most of the time. but it does seem like he's looking at the use of contraception to prevent pregnancy, which is very important, but there are so many other medical needs and medical reasons why women need it. and this policy affects those needs when they don't have access to it. >> this isn't about you. this is just a general commentary.
joan, you and i can talk a little more freely than this younger person. let me just tell you something. don't you find it somewhat of a hoot, a really nasty hoot, that he thinks you have to take one pill for each sexual event. if you take the pills you have to pay more for them if you have more sexual activity. he thinks it's viagra. he doesn't even know what he's talking about. >> you got me there. i hadn't thought about it. that he's thinking it's viagra. >> he was rung through the bill that a young student might have for birth control and if it's that high you must be having a lot of sex. what is he talking about? >> it's a great point. and also i'm sorry. sandra is a nice woman. i'm not as nice. the man has been married four times. you know, he's not somebody to lecture anybody about their personal lives. and sandra also makes the excellent point. we're entitled to privacy. we're entitled to contraception for sex but many, many women are
using this medication for other medical reasons and not for sex. something like only 40% of women on the pill are on it exclusively for contraception. so you know, he knows nothing about the reality of women. >> that's not his interest area. he's talking about videotapes and how he wants to watch them. this gets more graphic and crazy than i'd like to -- i'm not talking to you, sandra. i'm talking to joan. this is crazy talk. >> he sounded like a pervert, the stuff that he said. he sound like a pervert. i'm sorry. >> thank you, my colleague, for sharing our views. >> good luck, sandra. good luck with everything. you don't need luck. you're going to be a strong lawyer. if you get through this, you can get through tough law cases. good luck with your career, seriously. move on to greatness. you're showing it already. thank you so much. joan, have a nice weekend. why do republicans think limiting birth control is a political winner? what are they thinking about? we're going to get some answers if there are any. you're watching "hardball," only
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all the attention nationally on ohio, the big state that votes on tuesday. tomorrow there's a caucus in washington state way out west. we have new poll numbers from both states. let's go to the "hardball" scoreboard. i love this. in washington state, it's mitt romney with a five-point lead over rick santorum. in the new ppp robo poll. romney taking the state seriously. he campaigned there today. don't bet on the margin. i think santorum might pull it. now the new quinnipiac poll. santorum still holding a lead out there, but it's shrinking. santorum is at 35%. that's going to be a squeaker. although a lot of rural parts of ohio are religious and conservative. last week santorum's lead was seven in that quinnipiac poll. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." rush limbaugh's outrageous comments largely overshadowed what otherwise would have been the headline yesterday. the senate voted to reject the republican effort to allow employers, any employer or health insurance providers to deny coverage for contraceptives. republicans tried to frame it on the grounds of religious freedom, but thanks to rush limbaugh, the debate has been sharply focused on the issues of contraception and women's rights generally. those are the issues that democrats think are big winners for them. is the gop, the republican party, hurting itself with women and independents in this fight. and what besides firing up the base is the republican party getting out of this discussion of all things birth control. susan page is the washington bureau chief. and john heileman is editor of "new york" magazine. susan first. we want to start with women on this always.
although birth control is generally because of heterosexual sex, they do care about it. they are the ones that can get pregnant. let's start with the obvious. let me give you numbers. who supports the requirement that private insurance companies cover the cost of birth control? just two-thirds of the american people. 63%. an incredible overwhelming majority. 63% to 33%. who supports contraception coverage by insurance companies generally? democrats, 83%. independents, 62%. republicans even, 42%. susan, this is not a winner statistically for republicans. >> it's not a winner for republicans. talking about respect for religion, religious freedom, that's an argument they can make. or talking about mandates by the obama health care plan that seem intrusive or extensive or too much for the federal government. that's an argument they might be able to make. they were trying to make it
yesterday, but rush limbaugh has hijacked that argument and made it about contraception. >> he's not exactly speaking for the church. i can't imagine that. it would be incredible. >> it's hard to imagine republicans thinking this. even rick santorum, who is comfortable talking about these social issues, wanted not to talk about this. wanted to dismiss it and move on to other things. >> he's getting into the jobs issue again where he belongs. >> where he ought to be and tries to be. >> john, you know, he's not the only one that said anything today. he's using the lingo of, oh, he's an entertainer. don't take it seriously. he said it was absurd. he just dismissed it. they do retreat to that. but let's talk about the politics. these cultural issues, will they drive up the republican base in november? will they help them when they -- if romney is the nominee, he may be, probably will be at this point, he's the nominee. they need to grab the center. and this brings in the base. is there any lodgic to why they keep talking this stuff up? >> i think there's logic to it, although it's flawed logic. i have been convinced for the
past two or three years that the republican base was going to turn out in november of 2012. they have been motivated by hatred of president obama. i think that even though we have seen some poor turnout numbers, in some of the republican primaries and caucuses, i think in the end, republicans are going to turn out. the white house believes republicans are going to turn out strictly because they want to get obama out of office. susan makes the correct point, which is that republicans did think at the beginning they could win the argument on religious freedom grounds. they thought they could extend the argument to make it look like the president was being too intrusive. government trying to tell you what to do. a big government issue. the problem is once you open the pandora's box of these social issues, the republican right on the far cultural extreme is so loud that it overtakes the debate. you can't make those kind of fine distinctions. you end up talking about contraceptives, and that's a dead loser with women voters.
barack obama -- go ahead. sorry. >> let's talk about the front-runner. here's the republican conundrum. in an interview, mitt romney was asked about this blunt amendment. the amendment that says if you have a moral objection, you don't have to provide health insurance for birth control. here he is spawning what most say is his instinct saying let's stay out of this one. here he is. >> blunt/rubio is being debated later this week that deals with banning or allowing employers to ban providing female contraception. have you taken a position on it? he said he was for it. we'll talk about personhood in a second. he's for that. have you taken a position? >> i'm not for the bill, but the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and woman, a husband and wife, i'm not going there. >> that's so romney. that's who he really is, i think. the guy who says you're crazy to get involved in bedroom issues between a man and a woman on contraception.
a short time later after doing that interview, romney said the following. he misunderstood what he was asked. let's listen to his correction a few hours later. >> i didn't understand his question. of course, i support the blunt amendment. i thought he was talking about some state law that prevented people from getting contraceptions. i thought it was some ohio legislation that employers were prevented from providing contraceptions. so i talked about contraceptives and so forth. i really misunderstood the question. >> it's his guy on capitol hill and he thought it was a state issue. that was like a top spinning around so fast. you're the expert on this. is that the real romney in the first one and the second one is the political person or what? what are we talking about here? >> you got it right. you hit the nail on the head, chris. the first mitt romney is the real mitt romney. the second is the one trying to get himself out of trouble. the romney campaign understands they can read the polls as clearly as we can.
president obama won in 2008 by 13 points with women. that's a big gender gap. now he's up ten points with women right now on issues of the economy over the course of the last two months alone. they are looking down the barrel of a huge problem if female voters get more alienated from the republican party. mitt romney does not want to be in that place. it will doom his campaign. he's trying to get ahold of a barge, and pull this issue away from him both bhaufts he really believes and he sees the politics of it but the party keeps trying to pull him back in. it's bad. >> the entertainment in this industry of politics and commentary is to catch people like romney. when you catch a guy, this pirouette he just did from what he is to what he's supposed to be politically. >> it tells you why a lot of conservatives in the republican party don't trust him and have trouble warming to him. it also says why he would be the most formidable because they all believe he's the first one.
so when you want to to be the first romney, the guy that doesn't think this is a role for the government to get into a contraception debate, romney has done pretty well with women in the michigan primary. he split evenly. >> compared to santorum. >> his margin of victory -- >> if you are a sparring partner with rick santorum among women -- that's not the big leagues. women and obama. we have a new ap poll out here. obama's job approval is 53. but he beats romney 54-41. that's pretty good. >> you can't win a national election with that kind of gap among women. there are more women voters than men voters. you need to fix that. >> here's how the democrats are exploiting rushbo and what he's been saying. here's the latest democratic senate committee campaign ad. they are calling the republicans saying they are launching a war on women.
>> it's an assault on women's health and freedom and republican candidates for the u.s. senate all across the country are pushing extreme legislation that threatens health care for women. it's time to end the culture wars and get to work for the middle class. >> so we know where that's headed, right, susan? democrats are going to dance on this one for awhile. >> with all those senators voting on it, it's an issue that can work in a lot of those senate races. >> john heileman, thanks. good luck for next week when your movie comes out. what a week to be able to be the man behind a great american movie. woody harrelson, who else. you have -- who is the other guy in it? >> ed harris. >> julianne moore. >> ed harris. >> what a cast. anyway, you are big time. you are a moviemaker now. up next, thank you. actress julianne moore doesn't just play sarah pailin in pail new hbo movie. she becomes her. and she explains how she did it
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back to "hardball." now for a hot sideshow. first up, crowd control. president obama traveled to new york city yesterday for a quartet of fund-raising events. while the president addressed rooms packed with supporters it wasn't all smooth sailing. let's watch how the president reacted when interrupted while talking about his foreign policy achievements. >> we ended torture. we promoted human rights. we made it clear that america is a pacific power. we are leading again by the power of our moral example. that's what changes. none of this change -- nobody has announced a war, young lady.
but we appreciate your sentiment. you're jumping the gun a little bit there. >> well, let's hope so. he was responding to a woman yelling out "no war with iran." the question is how does that square with the president's own statement in this new article that he's not going to bluff when it comes to keeping nuclear weapons out of iran's hands. next up, becoming palin. we're a week away from the premiere of "game change" on hbo. an inside look at the presidential race of 2008. how did julianne moore tackle the challenge of playing sarah palin. here she is on "the tonight show." >> i listened to her book on tape. "going rogue." i went on youtube and found all of her appearances, all the speeches, the debates, the convention speeches and put them all on my ipod.
wiped everything off except for ♪ ice, ice ba "ice, ice baby." >> nothing worse than a mom who has sarah palin and ice, ice baby on their ipod. i put it on in the car. listened to it when i was running. i had it on constantly. >> talk about bringing a job home with you. that's how you do it. it over and over again. i think she's going to nail that part. up next, republican george will says republicans should think more about winning congress than winning the white house. what does that say about mitt romney and rick santorum having even a chance? nts. we need safer energy. [announcer:] who's right? they all are. visit powerincooperation.com. in the works package, we change the oil we change the filter... tire rotation, suspension, we make suspension checks...
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continues at this hour. we have areas of concern including the town of pittman center in extreme eastern portions of ten just outside of knoxville. you are under a tornado emergency along with ines, and areas of kentucky bordering up there on west virginia. that one has already produced a tornado. we've had devastating storms in southern indiana. marysville and also there, the town -- marysville completely wiped off the map. welcome back to "hardball." you know things are looking bad for the republicans when conservative columnists like george will and the others talk about the grim chances if any, of winning the white house republicans have to win in 2012. using words like awkward and dull to describe top candidates like romney. is it time for conservatives to forget the executive branch all together in 2012?
as george f. will suggests in this column this weekend or is this just a bleak week in the primary? mother jones d.c. bureau chief david corn is an msnbc political analyst and maggie is a senior political writer. this sense we're getting from especially from george will, that things aren't looking really hopeful at all, that the republicans have to circle their wagons and grab capitol hill and live with stymieing obama rather than beating him. what's that about? >> this is actually about a growing and private whisper among republicans who are getting concerned watching the poll numbers. they are seeing obama not doing great, but he's doing better with the exception of gas prices. there have been some indicators going in the president's favor. there is concern about this very nasty primary on the republican side. there's concern as george will said that romney will not be able to get it done. i personally think we're a long way away from a general election. i think things have a chance to reset, at least somewhat. but there is concern that republicans ought to make the
best with what they've got. try to take the senate and keep the house. these are going to become major priorities. >> david? >> i agree with maggie. i think it's premature to be forecasting any gloom or doom yet, but i think that column is written for the benefit of republican donors. because at this point in time, the media, operatives, they are not going to shift their focus from the presidential race to the congressional and senatorial races, but there are people out there with lots of money. we see that -- >> why would will want to do that? >> maybe someone whispered in his ear. >> i don't mean in a conspiratorial way. people looking to invest in republican politics may be the ones who say, listen. we have to start setting up super pacs and getting money to get the senate back and to protect the house. that's where this sort of talk might have a real world impact. >> let me give you a sober analysis from krauthammer.
he's what he wrote today. the smoke clears and romney remains slow, steady, unspectacular, the tortoise in the race. dull and methodical with an awkward almost endearing, note almost endearing stiffness. in short, a weak front-runner and an even weaker field. hence the current republican gloom. the growing democratic cockiness, but the game is young. true given the national mood and the state of the economy, republicans should be far ahead. they have blown a significant lead, but the race is still 50/50. that's my religion right now. i believe this race could go either way depending on objective factors like the economy, like the jobless and growth rates. this president is not beloved by more than 50% of the country. he has to fight for every vote that gets him in there at this point. >> i think that's a pretty straight on religion. i think this president has a long road ahead of him. i think what krauthammer wrote is absolutely right. i think republicans right now are feeling gloomy about what
they see as a wasted opportunity of the last few months. i think this is something of a rallying cry. >> what i think they are worried about is what's going to happen in the next month or two. romney has dug himself in a hole by getting tied down, bogged down by the extremism of his own party and no one sees him getting out of that tunnel yet. maybe super tuesday will give him that glimmer of hope or that light at the end of a long tunnel, but it looks like this could go on for weeks. he's missing the chance to make the race about barack obama. >> here's the game changer. i am going to read some to you all it's in the atlantic magazine coming out later by a very important interview the president gave to jeff goldberg. a very serious reporter. the president chose to give this interview for a purpose. i think the israeli government recognizes that as president of the united states, i don't bluff. i also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. but i think both the iranian and israeli governments recognize
that when the united states says it's unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say. maggie, this sounds like pretty close to an ultimatum. don't worry about israel. we have better plans. more plans. we have bunker busters. we can do this job later on. trust us. they are not getting that nuclear weapon. this is a hell of a statement by the president. your thoughts? >> i think that's absolutely right. i think this is meant to make the clearest statement he's made so far on this issue. this is coming in advance to his meet with benjamin netanyahu. i think he is sending a message ahead of time, but i think this was the strongest we've heard this president be on this topic. >> has he trapped himself in a position where if the israelis were late -- and this is tactics and policy by bibi. he may be saying, i'm giving you a hot potato, but it is a hot potato. but if i say you have to, you have to.
we cannot have a nuclear weapon in the hands of ahmadinejad. >> in the same interview he said that that is the very final step. he praised his own sanctions which have gotten tougher and harder and talked about time to let them work. he made a very important point which is if we go in there or anyone goes in there and takes out their nuclear facilities, that doesn't stop iran from wanting and still pursuing nuclear weapons down the road. >> in fact, the people will say if we had a nuclear weapon, they wouldn't be able to do this to us. >> what he's saying, what we need to do with the long run. he thinks in long terms for a lot of different problems. we have to make sure to put pressure on the government so they eventually come to the same conclusion. but don't worry. i have your back. it's a complicated nuanced message. >> i'm bringing this not just because it's news, but it's political. this could change everything. if israel attacks and we have to back them after they do attack them, we will back them because they're our ally. we will back them, hell or high
water. if we commit to doing what they would like to do what we feel could do better and do later, if that becomes a reality before the election, isn't that the ultimate game changer? you can't accuse obama of being soft if he attacks iran with our u.s. fire power? >> oh, without a doubt it changes policy in a couple of ways. it changes the shape of this election in a couple of ways. the republicans have been hitting this president repeatedly as soft on israel as you suggested. there's also going to be the issue of gas prices and how this relates to what's happening in the middle east. you're looking at a vastly different election. this was supposed to be about the economy. this has the potential to be very different. >> gas prices will go up if israel attacks iran and there's a wider war in the middle east. so it cuts both ways here. >> that's true. >> is this -- i'm using the word game changer in the most frightening way. could this be the issue that throws everything else off the table because it's so powerful? >> if there's a wide war in the
middle east, yes. but as we have seen with egypt, the bin laden raid, and libya, the president can be strong. it doesn't always have a political impact one way or the other. >> you know what i understand? this american foreign policy is very bipartisan. the people who carry out our foreign policy from our intelligence to our military operations are very nonpartisan. we will do,ible, what's in the interest of this country, not politically. it's going to be a smart decision that the president makes because it's going to be a bipartisan decision with all the intelligence he's got. by the way, leon panetta is not a partisan guy either. watch out. whatever we do will probably be the right thing but it could be very scary and very influential at home. david corn, thank you. maggie, thank you as always. up next, congress is at an all-time low in approval. even its own members can't take it. people are leaving that place. this is "hardball," only on msnbc. rk roast forest fresh
rick santorum may be a better candidate than mitt romney in the midwest states. it could help decide the general election. we have some new numbers from wisconsin. let's go to the "hardball" scoreboard. according to a new ppp poll, president obama leads mitt romney by a whopping 14 points in wisconsin. 53% to 39%. now look at what happens when santorum is the nominee. obama's lead is only six. it's obama at 49% and santorum at 43%. we'll be right back.
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to the contrary, what i like to call the sensible center has now virtually disappeared in washington. >> jennifer donahue is a huffington post contributor. she's a familiar face here. thankfully. jennifer, there she is looking gloomy, appropriately for this topic. and peter kiernan. the author of, there you can read it. i won't even say it. it takes aim at political partnership and details how america can get back on track. it is nice to meet you, peter. in the introduction to your book you write compromise has become a dirty word. >> it has. i won't say i'm surprised olympia snowe has left, but she's graced congress since 1978 with the balance and fortitude to make compromise happen. and we're going to miss her. and i think the challenge is going to be that i'm not sure this is an inside job anymore. it's got to be done by the american people. >> jennifer you know politics like i do. it seems like all the great things on the hill that have
ever happened there like the g things on the hill, that ever happened like the most important thing they ever did was civil rights, remember? dirksen got together with johnson and did something magic, m no more jim crow, it could only have been done together, don't people know you can't do it one party you need to get on health care would have been better if there had been a compromise. >> i think what is interesting is the public is at a total disconnect with where congress is right now. the parties have so much disproportionate power, because of current finance reform laws, campaign finance allows you to give $2500 to a candidate during the primary, $2500 to a candidate during the jenny electile -- general election. the parties are choosing who gets chosen as primary candidates. they are way far to the left and right out of where their constituents are so we're seeing
the parties control the process. i think that is unprecedented. >> there is two ways to be a congress man or senator, peter. career decisions i've had to make. you go out be yourself, vote the way you think is the right way for the country. take our your leadership, mixed voting record, 70-30, 60-40. go in the room vote the way the whips tell you to, 100% ada or acu, right or left, have a lot of friends in the cloak room, everything is fine. that is the tendency they follow. it's easier to be one of the boys or one of the girls, just take it do what they tell you. >> my book is fighting the path of least resistance. we are frozen until we understand why we are, we won't be able to thaw out. >> how is it killing us internationally, talk about bee china's bitch. >> there is a cost to this pro krastity nation.
if we were asked to lead nun certain times -- hunger, homelessness, health care, immigration, energy, we would force ourselves to do that. we're getting diverted by little parlor tricks. >> mitch mb connell said his number one goal, jennifer, destroy the administration, number one goal, i will be partisan, i never heard anything so miserable, that means his purpose for his existence was to destroy the presidency. >> the entire party has followed suit. i think it's to their peril, what is happening now is that we have a very bloody primary race going on on the republican side, if i were to give an edge to anybody i would give to it obama. the reason is he has no primary opponents tearing him down and whoever comes out of this as the nominee on the republican side is going to be bloody and have to make obama bloody, so obama
can go the high road, campaign for a different kind of politics like he did in 2008 that resonates with voters. >> the most popular politician in the world? bill clinton. with all the problems he had with monica and that mess, embarrassing to us all. he cut compromises. >> he had a passion for the issues. he would get to the heart of the issues, cut the wheat from the chaff and get a deal done. you had a ring side seat on one of the great partnerships, tyip o'neill and ronald reagan. >> will we see a change in our lifetime? >> i think we will, because i think what we saw in 2010 was a lot of republicans choosing primary candidates that were further right from the electorate. we could see that correct itself i think that was an overreach, i think leaders will be punished until they get the message and i
think once he flips in congress. >> our country will keep getting punished. the name of the book, "becoming china bi china's bitch. the asauls on women and birth control, coming november why are they choosing this fight. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. inancial advice. back then, he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever, it's important to get financial advice from people who share your military values. call now for our free guide and tips on planning for your retirement this tax season. monarch of marketing analysis.
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let me finish with this, there are certain issues that transcend the latest news. they get in your being and stay there for a long, long time. this republican assault on women who use birth control is one such issue. come november, women will be walking in that voting booth, some of them undecided, until they remember where the republican party stood on them. does he care about people like me? that old question, that is the one that will come tumbling back when it's time for the independent voter to make her choice. is he ready to stand by me? think about how you will make the last minute decision come november. if you're a woman and have second thoughts, you will be asking i assume which candidate gets it about your circumstances as either a single or married woman and what you need to do to protect yourself. we know where obama stands, he's with you, he has proven that in the long and heated discussion about health insurance and coverage of birth control. so what about romney or whoever
gets the nomination? okay, we know where santorum stands, he said constitutional for a state to ban birth control out right. as for romney, when he got asked about the birth control issue this week his first answer was smart. >> i'm not for the bill but look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and woman, husband and wife, i'm not going there. >> then he went back to the party line and said he was with those who wanted to let employers drop coverage because they believed it was immoral to practice birth control. what has he said about rush limbaugh who said he did what he dade about the young woman who made the case for birth control coverage? after two days of this he has yet to say anything. we have been waiting a long time for the leaders of the republican party to get involved in this presidential election. now at least we know who the top leader is, rush