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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  November 8, 2013 1:00am-2:00am EST

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national ambitions what does it mean for 2016. senator paul may have a more immediate concern than that. his hometown press is saying, okay, go. they're not talking about the band. they're not talking about him running for the presidency. they're talking about his senatorship. which may be is on the rocks here. president obama began this week defending the biggest legislative achievement of his presidency affordable care act. >> i have run my last political campaign. but, i will tell you what, i have got one more campaign in me. the campaign to make sure that this law works for every single person in america. >> this evening the president gave an exclusive interview to nbc news chief chuck todd at the
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white house. the president issued an apology to those people who were surprised when they got insurance cancellations notices in the mail. >> thank you, mr. president. >> great to see you, chuck. >> nice to see you. i will start with health care, probably the most quoted thing, requoted thing you have said in your presidency. if you look your health care plan you can keep it. you said it a lot during the run-up. at this point, though, it's obviously something a promise that has not been able to be kept, just to date "denver post" reported 250,000 people in colorado are seeing health insurance approximately seize -- policies canceled. some people like their policy. they can't keep it. what happened? >> first of all i meant what i said. we worked hard to try to make sure we implemented it properly. obviously we didn't do a good enough job. i regret that. we are talking about 5% of the population who are in what's called the individual market. they're out there buying health insurance on their own. a lot of these plans are subpar
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plans. and we put in a clause in the law that said, if you had one of those plans if it was subpar, when the law was passed you could keep it. but there is enough churn in the market that, folks since then thatch bought subpar plans. and now that may be all they can afford. so, even though it only affects a small amount of the population, you know it means a lot to them when they get -- this letter canceled. i am deeply concerned about it. i assigned my team to see what can we do to close some of the holes and gaps in the law because my intention is to lift up and make sure the insurance that people buy is effective. that it is actually going to deliver what they think they're purchasing. what we know is, before the law was passed, a lot of these plans, people thought they had insurance coverage. and then they would find out that -- they had huge out of pocket expenses or women were being charged more than men.
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if you had pre-existing conditions you couldn't get it at all. and we are proud of the consumer protections we have put into place. on the other hand we want to make sure that, nobody is put in a position where they plan has been canceled. they canned afford a better plan even though they would like to have a better plan. so we are going to have to work hard to make sure that those folks are, you know, taken care of. >> do you feel look you owe these folks an apology for misleading them. if you didn't intentionally do it. they feel mislead. you see the anger that's out there. >> i regret very much that what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want them as opposed to because they're forced into it, that we weren't as clear as we needed to be. in terms of the changes that were taking place. i want to do everything that we can.
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to make sure people are finding themselves in a good position, a better possession than they were before this law happened. keep in mind most of the folks who got the cancellation letters, they will be able to get better care at the same cost or cheaper in these new marketplaces they will have more choice. they will have more competition. they're part of a bigger pool. insurance companies are going to be hungry for their business. so the majority of folks will end up being better off, of course because the website is not working right. they don't know it right? even though it is a small percentage of folks who may be disadvantaged it means a lot to them. it is scary to them. i am sorry that they -- you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on -- assurances they got from me. we have got to work hard to make sure that -- they know we hear them and that we are going to do everything we can to, to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a
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consequence of this. >> getting tough criticisms on this quote. clarence page, home town newspaper, "chicago tribune," not a columnist that likes to throw bombs inside the white house, supportive of what you said. characterized it as a political lie, the sort of rosie promise politicians some times make with passion and confidence that they actually may have convinced even themselves that it is true. is that the position -- the politics -- did politics play a role and you felt as if the republicans were throwing stuff at the law, you are trying to pass it, you are trying to do this that you short-handed this? >> no, i think we -- in good faith have been trying to take on a health care system that has been broken for a very long time. what we have been frying to do is change it in the least disruptive way possible. keep in mind there were folks on the left who would prefer the single payer plan, much more disruptive.
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folks on the right said, let's get rid of employer deductions for health care. and give people a tax credit they can go buy their own health care in their own market. that would have been more disruptive. we tried to find a proven model. we have seen it work in massachusetts. that would be as -- as undisruptive as possible. in good faith fried to write the law so people could keep their care. we believe ultimately they will be better off when they're buying health care through the marketplace. they can access tax credits and benefiting for choice and competition. but obviously we didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law. that's something that i regret. that's something that we are going to do everything we can to get fixed. in the meantime. >> that sound like you are supportive of this legislation, the various things that are out there? >> we are looking at a range of options. one thing i want to emphasize though, chuck. everybody is acting as if the
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existing market was working. fact of the matter is that a whole lot of people who are in this individual market who are big health care on their own, not getting it through their employer, they might be happy with it this year, and then suddenly next year the cost got jacked up by 15%, 20%. the average increase on premiums in this individual market for somebody who kept their health care for a while, average increase was double digits. if they actually got sick and used the insurance they might find the next year their premiums had gone up or insurer may have dropped them altogether because they have a pre-existing condition. women were charged as much as double compared to men. so this is a market that wasn't working. and a whole lot of people were dissatisfied. what we have done to increase the consumer protections that are in place for the families and those folks.
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we have said, you can't drop people when they get sick and need it most. we said that you can't -- have lifetime limits so that suddenly people think they have got insurance. next thing they know they have $30,000, $40,000 out of pocket expenses. over the long term that's the right thing to do. but in this transition, there are going to be folks who get a cancellation letter when a website is not working. they're looking and saying, what am i going to do now. we have to make sure they're not feeling as if they have been betrayed by an effort that -- that is designed to help them. >> do you feel like, considering how much this quote has been late night, all sorts of things. that, do you understand if people are going to be skeptical of the next promise you make? of the next -- are you concerned people are going to be
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wondering, jeez what is the fine print that he is not telling me. do you get people may be skeptical. forget the partisans here in washington. just average americans. >> i tell you chuck, i have been in national public life for seven, eight years, i have been president for -- almost five. and i think for the most part people know that -- i speak my mind. and i tell folks what i think. and i have been very clear about what i am trying to do. i think most people know if even they disagree with me on certain issues. that i am every day working hard to try to make life a little better for middle-class families and folks trying to get in the middle-class or doing the right thing and being responsible. i think what most people, i hope also recognize when you try to do something big like make our health care system better, that there are going to be problems along the way even if ultimately what you are doing is going to make a whole lot of people
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better off. i hope that people will look at the end product and they're going to be able to look back and say, you know what? we now have protections that we didn't have before. we have got more choice and competition. i didn't have health insurance, i now have it. i had bad health insurance i have good health insurance. the website is actually working. >> i am going to get to the website. >> i am getting my kid on my insurance plan even though he has got asthma or some other pre-existing condition. so ultimately i think i will be judged on whether this thing is better for people overall. and in the meantime -- even if it is a small percentage of people. we are talking about 5% of the population. that's significant number of people. even though a whole lot of them will be better off. there will be a segment. i have ultimately got to make sure i'm speaking to their need
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and their concerns. and i take that very seriously. i want everybody out there to know that, you know my entire intention here is to make sure people have security of affordable health care. >> you have 21 days, until november 30th. will the website be running smoothly enough. if it is not do you say, let's extend the enrollment, delay the mandate? do all of those plan bs start coming into focus if nobody 30th isn't hit? >> well, let me just say, generally. i don't think i am saying anything that people don't know. and i haven't said before. i am deeply frustrated how this website has not worked over the first couple of weeks. and you know i take responsibility for that. my team takes responsibility of that. and we are working every single day, 24/7, to improve it. it is better now than last week. it is certainly a lot better than it was on october 1. i am confident that it will be
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even better by november 30th. and that the majority of people are going to be able to get on there, they're going to be able to enroll. going to be able to apply and get a good deal, a better deal than they have got right now when it comes to buying health insurance. now that -- that, you know having said that. given i have been burned already, with a website. more importantly the american people have been burned by a website that is dysfunctional. what we have been doing is creating a whole another set of tracks. making sure people can apply by phone effectively. making sure people can apply in person effectively. so, what i am confident about is that -- anybody who wants to buy health insurance through the marketplace, they are going to be able to buy it. >> no delays? you have no plans -- you might -- >> keep in mind. keep in mind that the open
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enrollment period. the period during which you can buy health insurance is available all the way until march 31st. we are five weeks into it. we have a whole bunch of time not only to get the website fixed, to work out all the kinks to make sure everybody has the information that they need. and what we will do is -- continue to assess if there are roadblocks, clear out the roadblocks. >> you are open to whatever it takes? >> open for people to get what is good quality health insurance at cheaper prices or better insurance for the same price as bad insurance that they have got right now. we are going to make sure they have access to the market. >> still have full confidence in kathleen sebelius? >> i think she under tremendous ly difficult circumstances over the last 4 1/2 years has done a great job in setting up the insurance markets so there is a good product out there for people to get. kathleen sebelius doesn't write code, she wasn't our i.t. person.
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i think she would be the first to admit that if we had to do it all over again that there would have been a whole lot more questions that were asked in terms of how this thing is working. but my priority right now is to get it fixed. and -- you know ultimately. >> is she still the right person to do. >> buck stops with me. it's my team. >> alex wagner, joy reid, and steve, here to analyze what the president had to say about health care. later for the first time we hear president obama talk about whether or not he wanted to drop joe biden as his runningmate in favor of hillary clinton? lamb to the slaughter. mom's baked cookies but he'll be lucky to make it inside. and here's the play. oh, dad did not see this coming. [ crowd cheering ] now if kevin can just seize the opportunity. he's seen it. it's all over. nothing but daylight. yes i'd love a cookie.
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>> i regret very much that what we intended to do which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want them as opposed to because they're forced into it.
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that, you know, we weren't as clear as we need to be in terms of the changes that were taking play. i am sorry that they -- you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. we have got to work hard to make sure that -- they know we hear them and will do everything we can for folks who find themselves in a tough situation because of this. >> alex wagner, regret, i'm sorry. very clear the president went out there to talk to chuck with the intention of saying those word. he wanted that message out there tonight? >> he was deliberate. i made notes. he said he is deeply concerned. he talked about the american public being misled. he regretted very much. i guess, i guess, i guess that works. i guess, part of me is, wondering, i'm reminded of the bp oil spill. when everyone kept saying, when is the president going to get mad? this is one of those moments again, where we are like when is the president going to get mad
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and indignant. he is not going to. he could have gotten much madder at the bp oil spill than members of his administration who he feels did the best job they could. he is not constitutionally some one who gets really mad. which is why it was preposterous when he said we have the throat on the throat of bp. you can never imagine president obama with his boot on the throat of anyone, let alone a major corporation. i don't know how conclusive -- conclusive the word are, in placating the right taking this is a far as it can go in the court of public opinion. >> word that the right will be thrilled about. the president said at a certain point. made a reference -- "we didn't do good enough job how in we crafted the law." it left me wondering which part of it? what did he mean? >> it is interesting. thought i was overthinking this.
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i noted he also said, we are going to have to go back and look at where we can close the gaps in the law. and that, we want people to be moving into better plans because they want it, not because they feel forced to. which made me think wait a minute are you saying they want to go back and do fixes. which would allow you to get junk insurance. >> most narrow interpretation is that he thinks they didn't craft the grandfather clause tightly enough so that the insurance could not be doing what they're doing right now? >> that's right. you can somehow find a way to grandfather in more junk insurance. sound frighteningly going become to congress to get more junk policies grandfathered in just to placate the 3% to 5% of people having insurance they have, they like having it, left lawful. when that insurance is junk. >> steve, if you believe in the way the law is going to work as the president does, you would
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actually have the confidence in doing that, because you, what you are going to believe is, right beside those junk policies they're going to see for $70 more or some all. money more, i can get this much better policy and eventually that rational consumer choice will be made. >> the whole premise of the law. premise of the website working having the online exchanges people can shop for competitively priced insurance plans. people being people. they will go for the best deal. ultimate low, i feel like i don't know his words are going how to mean much to anybody. tonight. don't think the right is going to say apology accepted. we know that. even people operating. >> indignant americans. the real test, how this could end up being nothing more than a historical blip if six months from now, nine months from now, a year from now, we are talking hey they got the website working by thanksgiving. people signed up. got a good deal. insurance companies looked at the risk pool. more wanted to get in. this thing worked as it is
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working now in massachusetts and designed to work nationally. if that happens nobody will remember what we said today or the website. >> the right is still furthering the narrative of solindra. they will keep something live after it is comatose for the american public. they will bring zombies back out of the closet. no compunction about fact. two different their tough is. the partisan divide is that deep. i guess to some degree for the next 21, what day is it? i don't know. before this thing actually starts working, he is going to continue to have to do this. because there is going to be battling narrative. even if the thing works, they will sell this as ishtar, lawrence and say this was a disaster if it works. >> i got to say, i loved ishtar. >> i knew it would resonate. >> if warren beatty is not watching i loved "ishtar." >> the bigger danger for the president, you saw chuck todd ask the next time you make a promise to the american people. they're going to try to flaw not
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the narrative, the president lied about this discreet thing, but that the president is a liar. something the right has been trying to sell about the president, related to health care, anything you want to name. fast and furious, whatever it is. if the narrative seeps into the coverage of the president. during the campaign. worst thing to be seen as a loser. once loser narrative attaches to you, mitt romney, you are a loser and a goner. the problem for the president, the right's narrative. this guy is dishonest you. need to cover him as fundamentally dishonest if that seeps into the beltway narrative. that's the time he would have a problem. covered from that context. >> the senate finance committee hearing yesterday, secretary sebelius had functionality improvements. processing 17,000 registrants per hour. 2,000 have called in with a wait
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time of less than 30 second. watch the hearing. the republican some did their regular stunts. they didn't really land any blows. there wasn't anything that the secretary couldn't handle in that hearing steve, and it seems like the facts are developing on paper in her favor. the question of if they continue to do that how long will it take for the narrative to match what is going on? >> when you get into next year. you start looking at, the experience that they had in massachusetts was. you started enrollment in almost nobody enrolled. you got near the deadline. like okay. have to pay a penalty if i don't enroll. everybody started enrolling. hear obama saying this tonight. you are not talking about the penalty setting in until three months into next year. a long time for now. i think this is going to be a contested thing in the media and politics. into next year, next january, february, march. if you get to february/march talking sizable enrollees and young, healthy people who make
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this, who will make the competitive pricing behind this is a reality. if you get to the point. yeah, republicans need to move on to something else. there will be a consensus at media level, yeah this phase worked. >> alex, joy, going to hang in for more stuff. you got stuff to do. you, you. >> yeah, i think steve and joy are hanging in here. i turn to a pumpkin. precisely 10:00 whatever minute. >> okay. president obama will address the reports he didn't want to keep joe biden as his runningmate for a second term. and the backlash against chris christie begins in his own party, of course. as a business owner, i'm constantly putting out fires.
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>> nondiscrimination act, the bill bans work place discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgendered people. a spokesperson for the house majority leader, says the bill is not scheduled for a vote in the house. speaker john boehner says he opposes that bill. up next, what president obama told chuck todd about reports that he considered dropping joe biden as his runningmate in favor of hillary clinton in his re-election campaign. this reso, hid smelly objects all over each villa and plugged in febreze. then real people were asked to stay for a long weekend. would they smell anything? the room itself was like [sniffs] ahhh. feels like someone has pumped fresh oxygen into the room. [ male announcer ] on the last day we revealed everything. [ both ] oouugghhh. we were sitting right on it. febreze is stunningly effective.
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>> president obama responded to the reports that his re-election campaign considered dropping voice president joe biden in favor of secretary of state hillary clinton responding to the reports for the first time today since details were released in the book "double down." here's what president obama had to say. >> did you really not know your campaign was researching this idea of swapping joe biden for hillary clinton? >> you know, again, chuck, the problem that we got, this goes back to the earlier question you asked. you know, i am in charge of 2 million people in the federal government. and that was true by the way
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even when i was running for president. so, people do all kind of stuff. some that -- they clear with me. sometimes they're trying to figure something out. particularly on the political side. i am not somebody to delves into polling and data. here is one thing i can say for certain. if they would have asked me i would have said there is no way that i am not running again with joe biden. i genuinely believe that he has been one of the best vice presidents in our history. he also happens to be a friend. he also happens to be one of my most important advisers on domestic and foreign policy. i like him. when my back is up against the wall, he has my back. >> you must be upset when this leaked out? >> you know, i have now been in this town long enough to know that -- folks like to seem important by getting -- their
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version of events in the press. or in books or what have you. and, that's just kind of part of the atmosphere that you live in. >> did you and the vice president talk? >> absolutely. and what i told him, and he knows and he believes me, is that -- i would not -- i would not be here if it weren't for the support that i have had from joe biden. he is a personal friend. and adviser. one of the best decisions i ever made was selecting him as vice president. i couldn't be prouder of the job that he has done. >> joy reid, president obama is not a risk taker. i can't think of a bigger risk than changing your runningmate as an incumbent. >> what signal would it have sent? >> first, desperation as a campaign. signal one. >> exactly. would have been a losing proposition.
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anybody who worked on campaigns. i worked on campaigns. strategies tested trotted out that never get to the principal. the person the head of a campaign is not looking at every poll and every strategy and going over all of that. they have a lot to do. a lot on their plate. when you are a sitting president, who is also being the leader of the free world while running for re-election. i don't believe president obama kidded it. wouldn't have been smart politics. and decisions don't filter up to the principal. >> let's take a look at the president's runningmate at the last democratic convention. >> we know we still have more to do, but today i say to my fellow citizens. in the face of the deepest economic crisis in our lifetime, this generation of americans has proven itself as worthy as any generation before us. >> steve, game it out for us. let's say they actually did want to do this, how would they have done it? >> the other part of this that
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hasn't gotten much attention i think is the replaced by in with hillary thing. what was in this for hillary clinton? the normal incentive of being vp puts you next in line next time around. hillary clinton by virtue of former first lady, secretary of state, 18 million votes, she occupied that position. so nothing for her to gain by being the vp. there was a huge thing for her to lose. because fair or not if they switched in him ear clinton for joe biden and the ticket had been lost it might have had nothing to do with hillary clinton sunny would have been the variable blamed for the defeat. the position of next in line would have been jeopardized. would have gained nothing if they've won. could lose everything by losing. i've don't think she under any circumstance would have been interested in doing that. >> joy, you heard the president talk about his personal relationship with joe biden which by all accounts and all observations is absolutely true. joe biden is a very likable guy in the back room with the door closed. i can't imagine that that bond
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would have been broken at that point? >> no. the thing is, joe biden has been incredibly valuable. this is a was that does not like to wine and dine senators and members of congress. so the pivot point in terms of getting things done on the hill has often been biden. biden has a good relationship with mitch mcconnell. able to go to the senate, a senator so long. has amazing relationships there. he has been able to get a lot done substantively for the president on the hill. the point guy in a lot of ways for getting done things. a valuable vice president. besides the fact, the guy was a noun/verb, ended giuliani's political career. how do you get rid of a guy? he is a good vice president, represents the president on capitol hill. doing it well. >> one thing, i think there was an expectation with biden. that he would be more lick a dick cheney figure in that when they put him on the ticket, he was 65. don't think they thought this is a guy who will spend eight years. like al gore. trying to position himself for 2016.
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probably. >> presumed he wouldn't beep. awe off elder stateman in the administration. a surprise to people in the white house. wants to put his name out there in position for 2016. it caused tension. >> don't try off to tell joe biden he is too old for something. joy reid thank you for joining us tonight. coming up. rand paul in the "rewrite" with plagiarism. later, republicans vs. chris christie. [ male announcer ] meet carl, who works from the coffee shop and uses the free wi-fi. marie works from there too. she's an identity thief who used a small device to grab his wi-fi signal. then stole enough personal information to hijack and drain his bank accounts. every year, millions of americans learn
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>> "the toronto star" obtained what they are proudly calling exclusive video of toronto mayor rob ford who this week admit heed has smoked crack cocaine. >> no hold barred, brother. he dies or i die, brother. brother, you've never seen me [ bleep ] go. you think so, brother. >> upon seeing that, the mayor
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came out of his office today and admitted he was a bit inebriated in the video and also said this. >> this is extremely embarrassing. the whole world is going to see it you know what i didn't have a problem with that. it is extremely embarrassing. i don't know what to say. [ indiscernible questions ] >> speaking of extremely embarrassing, rand paul is back in the rewrite tonight. ♪ [ male announcer ] united is rolling out global, satellite-fed wi-fi to connect you even 35,000 feet over the ocean. ♪ that's...wifi friendly. ♪
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>> one of the things that disappointed me most about original 9/11 no one was fired. you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. i mean that. had i been president at the time and found out you did not read the cables from benghazi, you did not read the cables from ambassador stephens, i would have relieved you. >> rand paul has a habit of says he would fire people he is not empowered to fire. some times he wants to fire people without knowing who he wants to fire. >> in order for government off to gain its trust back, someone need to be fired. someone need to be held responsible. if it was criminal, some one need to go to jail. >> some one was fired this week,
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rand paul was in effect fired this week as a columnist for conservative "the washington times." he then accepted an offer from the website to run his column there, the breitbart website, the column rife with plagiarism. rand paul publicly admitted he doesn't write anything attributed to him. he simply approves what his senate staff writes for him. he just approves the stuff that his book writers write for him. rand paul doesn't have to worry about being dropped by breitbart news even after more examples of his use of plagiarism were revealed by buzzfeed who has been diligently prosecuting the rand paul cases for a week now. breitbart, a fringe right-wing website that has no problem welcoming the work of plagiarists while "the washington times" is still trying to play by ape more established set of journalistic
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rules including the old-fashioned one about plagiarism being intolerable. buzzfeed revelations include four more cases of what is called cut and paste jobs. in the 2012 book "government bullies." senator rand paul employs about 17 people in his washington office and another 1 people at his various senate offices scattered throughout the state of kentucky. the senate gives rand paul $3 million of your taxpayer dollars a year to cover the payroll for his staff. in washington and kentucky. and to pay office expenses as well as travel expenses. rand paul has complete hiring and firing authority over every person on his senate staff. not the secretary of state we are talking about. rand paul actually controls the jobs. senate staff are not protected in any way by civil service rules. they can be fired in an instant.
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i have known in the past and worked with hundreds of senate staffers. i do not know one who would not expect to be fired instantly if caught putting plagiarized material in a senator's speech or in a senator's op-ed piece or senator's book. i don't know a send store who would not immediately fire a plagiarist discovered on his or her staff, but i don't know rand paul. we are in day 10 of the rand paul plagiarism scandal. and rand paul is continuing to pay the plagiarists on his staff with your tax dollars. and he has promised, promised "the new york times" he will pay the plagiarist he's has put on the senate payroll with your tax dollars. he told "the times" no one will
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be fired for the plagiarism he has now very clearly blamed on his staff. like his father before him, rand paul wants to be and will never be president of the united states. the president of the united states has executive administrative control of a $3.45 trillion budget. rand paul cannot faithfully manage a $3 million budget. funded with your tax dollars. he cannot manage a work force of 17 people in washington, d.c. he cannot get an honest day's work out of all 35 people on his senate staff in washington and kentucky. rand paul knows who the plagiarists are on his staff. and rand paul has decided he is going to continue to funnel your tax dollars to them for their dishonest day's work. rand paul decided to continue to embarrass the members of his staff who do deliver an honest day's work in return for a government salary. by harboring among them -- the plagiarists who have shamed
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everyone working in rand paul's offices. the most disgracefully incompetent government workers known to be working in the united states senate are the plagiarists on rand paul's staff and rand paul's choice is to protect them and preserve their government salaries. and to never, ever, say this about them. >> judgment errors, the people who make judgment errors need to be replaced, fired and replaced. capital to make it happen? without the thinking that makes it real? what's a vision without the expertise to execute it... and the financing to make it grow?
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>> those impatient republicans are already starting to attack chris christie. that's next! we're going across america to let people try
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[ male announcer ] you'll think it's homemade. i love this show. [ male announcer ] try campbell's homestyle soup. >> important to remember every race is particular to the state it's run in. factors in new jersey that are individual to that race. clearly he was able to speak to that and to, to the hopes and aspirations of people within new jersey. >> that was chris christie's republican presidential rival, marco rubio downgrading national importance of chris christie's re-election victory. here is how ted cruz responded to chris christie's run. >> i think it is terrific he is brash, outspoken and won his race.
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i think we need more leaders in wash work to stand for principle and in particular, obama care is not working. the last line about obama care was a reference to chris christie accepting the medicaid expansion for new jersey under the affordable care act. rand paul who earlier this year had a public feud with chris christie described the new jersey governor's re-election this way. quote, we need moderates like chris christie who can win in new jersey in our party. that is of course rand paul's way of signaling to the right-wing that chris christie, the moderate, is not one of us. at a senate committee hearing on the federal response to hurricane sandy yesterday. rand paul made a very strong point. and correct point by attacking chris christie for using federal disaster relief money to produce television ad about new jersey's recovery. that really functioned as part of chris christie's re-election
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campaign. >> the jersey shore is open. >> we are stronger than the storm. >> you bet we are. >> some of these ads, people running for office put their, their mug all over these ad while they're in the middle of a political campaign. in new jersey, 25 million was spent on ad that included somebody running for political office. you think there might be a conflict of interest there? >> rand paul of course did not quite have the courage to actually mention chris christie's name while attacking him in the hearing. in the new "time" magazine cover story, michael sherer writes with four, five others, ted cruz, rand paul, rick santorum and others battling chris christie's goal is to be electable one. joining me now "time" magazine, washington bureau chief, tom sherer, the cover, the reference to the elephant in the room. i know you don't write the copy on the cover. was there a debate within "time" magazine can we say that about this particular guy because of his size? is there something wrong with
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using that phrase with him? >> well there is debates over everything that goes on the cover. yes, there was. the reference there, sort of a triple, elephant, republican, the guy no one is talking about on the right, who may come in and, and, mop up the nomination for 2016, as a moderate, being the elephant in the room. and the, the third part of it is not reference to him, just being a large guy, it's his whole -- act, which is really the subject of the story that, that i wrote for the cover. you know, he has been campaigning in new jersey for re-election as if he were campaigning for president. and his message is, that i am, you know, a -- a larger-than-life guy who is going to -- take it straight to washington. and change the way things are done.
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just like i did in new jersey. you know he talks, jokes about his size, quite often. and, and he has create ford himself a real character. i think and the article says could, could take him all the way to the nomination. >> michael, there is a long list of possible 30-second attack ads on chris christie's integrity as reported in the new book "double down" vetting issue with mitt romney. there is also the medicaid expansion in new jersey. which is a policy issue where he differs with probably all of his republican rivals for president. do you expect in a flashing forward to republican presidential primary that his opponents would lean more on things like the medicaid expansion than they would on some of these vetting issues? >> well they, they will use both. and the vetting issues are issues now. they're not, not clear how, how deep they will go. the book reports on a number of
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things. that weren't resolved in the vet. they don't say that anything was discovered that would be disqualifying. would christie run. i think the medicaid expansion will be an issue for people like ted cruz. also true that a lot of republican governors in good standing, ohio, kasich, found ways to accept medicaid money. don't think it is disqualifying them. the christy bet -- this nomination effort, should he decide to run -- will go like past nomination efforts. you will have, basically a year and a half of griping over who is the purist conservative. when the voting happens especially after the first -- three states, the republican party will end up nominating the center right guy who is probably most electable. happened with john mccain. happened with mitt romney. happened with george w. bush. they all had attacks from the right. all had record that were imperfect. they were able to come out on top in the end that. -- that's what christie is looking about. >> what about the physical health issue. one thing very different from chris christie, and very obvious.
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some one not in good health. you can't carry the weight that way and be in good health. that wasn't an inhibitor on the mccain campaign or the, or the, the romney campaign. the campaign that you have described that ended up being kind of the most reasonable seem ing candidate. not sure that will be an issue. lost weight this year. lap band surgery. >> i got to tell you, people say that. i don't see it. i see the picture i don't see where he lost a pound. >> i think you can see if you look at pictures from ape year ago and today. you will see a difference. he says he has lost about 50 pound. also worth saying in the reporting -- that we have and the excerpt from halprin and heilman in the magazine, there wasn't, the win was at the health issued were raised. there was nothing found there that was disqualifying. i am not sure there will be.

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