tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 12, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
up for what you believe in. and i invite everyone to my book signing in miami tonight. hope to see you at new birth baptist church in a half hour at 7:30. be there. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. when it comes to health care, the right wing should put up or shut up. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews up in new york. let me start tonight with this, when it comes to health care here's a healthy thought for the tea partiers and their allies. you've got a plan, do you have a solution, do you have a way to bring health insurance to the 40-some million americans sitting in emergency rooms because they're sick? some really sick and have no other option? just a minute.
i didn't hear that. you don't have a plan? but you're out there making statements attacking the president's health care plan and you don't have a plan yourself? did you tell that to the media you're spouting your criticism? did you tell them you're empty handed? that you're all about talking down the affordable care act but you've got nothing to offer the cancer patients out there stuck without insurance or all the other people with pre-existing conditions? i have a plan which is perfect for you. it's what we used to say in the schoolyard. put up or shut up. alex wagner is the host of "now" and eugene robinson is a columnist for the "washington post" and a msnbc political analyst. it seems some of the bold print names we read when everybody's talking down health care, and it's fair enough for somebody to have clean hands to do it. you hear comments from people with no health care plan, never did have a health care plan, belong to a party that doesn't even feel a shame about having none. yet they offer it up to us in the big media as sidewalk
superintendents. as people who have a reasonable claim. this is the craziest news world i've been in where all you have to do is not take your bat in the game of competition, just stand there and criticize the other side with nothing to offer in return. your thoughts. >> nothing offered and actively denying poor people access to medicate. there are 8 million americans largely in red states. two-thirds of the poor african-americans and single mothers in this country, half of the working poor that are being denied medicaid because republican governors want to stand on ceremony and be ideologically pure. people who have pre-existing conditions, people too poor to qualify for governments -- who are too poor to qualify for government subsidies are not being offered medicaid and no one is holding these republican governors accountable for any of
this. it's actually unbelievable given all the air time that's given to people who are middle class people who are losing crappy insurance and being offered better insurance. >> it's a strange situation, gene, that there's a health care plan that's a law. it's not doing well of implementation. but it's an effort. and i see no other effort on the other side. you would think normally politicians would say we got a better idea how to do this. we can win this without doing it their way. we can have less regulation but more health care. and there's no requirement on the political people to do so. >> yeah. it's very cynical, chris. it's easier just to take shots instead of coming up with your own health care plan. and, in fact, if republicans came up with a health care plan, it would have to look exactly like obama care. because that was the republican health care plan. it was from the heritage foundation. then it was romney care before it was obama care.
this is the republican idea of how to do this. since obama did it, it's got to be the devil. >> and by the way, it's mathematical. if you're going to insure people with bad health records, pre-existing conditions, older people, you need healthier and younger people to include in the pool otherwise it's not just insurance, it's maintenance. to this point, former governor sarah palin, half-time governor, has been out in front and center in the gop war against the affordable care act. like pretty much everyone else attacking the law, she has no alternative. take a listen to her vagueness with an interview with matt lauer only yesterday. >> from the tea party over and over again we're hearing the words no, defund, delay, repeal. >> absolutely. >> a wha are we hearing from the gop in terms of a plan to replace obama care? >> it's not just tea party movements. this is many in the republicans and democrats too. >> but where's the alternative?
where's the plan? >> -- running for political cover. the plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health care system in america that certainly does need more help so that there's more competition, there's less tort reform threat, there's less trajectory of the cost increase. >> there's less tort reform threat. i want both of you to take a crack at that one. as david gregory says, can you unpack that one for me? i think her right wing or center right would say tort reform is a good thing. she says there's a threat. she doesn't even know what the words mean and she's throwing them out. >> she just strings together words and phrases she thinks are bad in order to -- >> it's like when talking about the part-time and just throwing out phrases that mean nothing. >> we should be glad that there is subject verb agreement. >> predication, you mean.
yeah. >> language is something that sarah palin has sidelined in the same way the tea party has sidelined actual policy. i mean, the problem with sarah palin, though, and we can dismiss her as being an intellectual laughing stock, but the words we will judge ourselves not on how many laws we have passed, but on how many laws we have repealed were said by john boehner. this stuff gets into the ground water of the republican party and then becomes a viable position. not even a bargaining. they're not advocating for anything. it's serious in that way, chris. >> you know, the problem -- the tough thing about matt and he's the best there is at interviewing. you can ask somebody twice. if you ask them three times, then you're beating them up. she never came up with an answer there. i mean, what was this proposals that have been out there before. what kind of talk is that? in a serious news program. >> you know, it's just nonsense, chris. she doesn't know.
she wasn't referring to anything specific. she wasn't. i mean, you know, tort reform threat. it's just stuff that she's heard in connection with health care at some point. and she, you know, put together the phrases and tried to make it sound like an answer when, in fact, there isn't a plan. if there were presumably she'd be able to articulate it better than that. >> my question tonight is how do they get a free ride in this business of criticizing when they have no plan in the game in the cruz wing of the republican party is, in fact, so obsessed with sabotaging the president's health care law, the only one we got that they're willingly sabotaging their own people's rights to health care insurance under the law. at least 25 republican controlled states are refusing the expansion of medicaid. the law would have extended insurance to 5 million people at virtually no cost to the states. here's the irony. that was developed to help those states because their state
contained a disproportioned number of people without insurance. which means the people of texas will have to foot the bill when those 1 million people receive emergency care they don't pay for. anyway, as the atlantic magazine points out today in a report about the gop medicaid sabotage, quote, eventually the contrast should become clear. states that do expand will have financially healthier hospitals, literally healthier residents, and broader economic benefits. two points, alex, you maid one already. they're screwing the chances of the hard working poor. people going to work, the working poor, who don't get health care at the office in the work place where they go. they get there early, take the early bus. come home at 5:00 or 6:00 at night. they don't have health care. they're not going to get it except for medicaid expansion. now we have a republican party out there in the state of texas with the largest number of people in total numbers who are
uninsured saying no. we don't want health care. >> and, chris, and wear it like a badge. as if it's a badge of honor to have one in four texans without health coverage and to give them no options. and the hospitals they do go to are getting their federal subsidies cut because they were supposed to have more income from the new medicaid enrollees. this is disastrous. and morally bankrupt. >> i've been in some nice places down there. don't they know their health care -- the insurance policies they're paying is basically paying for all those people in the emergency room because those hospitals have to cover it. don't they know that? >> i think they know that. this is so wound up in sort of conservative ideology about everybody paying their fair share. this is such a breach of that fundamental part of conservativiconservativ conservativi
conservativism. people arguing against the individual mandate makes no sense. it's not just emergency care. we're talking about cancer patient who is are literally unable to see preventive care doctors and go into these emergency rooms. emergency cancer wards with their throats bleeding from, you know, throat cancer because they haven't been able to see a doctor in forever. and those centers are closing. >> are they rooting for obama care to reach them? or the guys against the health care plan? it seems they're not rooting for them. they're rooting for the sabotage crew. >> of course they're rooting for it to get to them. look, that atlantic piece is right. eventually the contrast will become clear. eventually the political pressures will mount. but the problem and really the moral tragedy here is that you have to wait for the eventually. people who are suffering, people who need preventive care, people who would avoid developing serious conditions two or three years from now if they were getting the care they ought to
get now will, in fact, develop those conditions because of rick perry and ted cruz and, you know, the sort of texas tea party establishment. i guess you could call it that in texas that denies them the coverage they should have. >> you mean the ones that wear tuxedos with cowboy boots? anyway, it seems to me the next time somebody interviews one of the usual suspects like louie gohmert or whoever else criticizing the president's plan, the next question should be a simple one word. so? so? what do you want to do? it's usually the question you ask. anyway, bill clinton the former president explained the self-inflicted wounds the republican states have given themselves as you pointed out due to their mission to see the affordable care act fail. here's the former president. >> a lot of the states with republican governors are not taking the medicaid money. and let me explain that to people watching this. the states that didn't participate, you're going to
have this bizarre circumstance where everybody that didn't have insurance with an income between 133 of the level, hit will be cheaper than anything else they could have gotten. the prices are lower than estimated, not higher. they're going to be fine. but the other people are not. so they'll have to go to the emergency rooms. and because they're not carrying money with them, the emergency rooms will be giving uncompensated care. it's going to create a real burden. >> the secretary of explaining stuff doing a great job again. bill clinton who's not only one of the greatest politicians in history, but quite the wonk as well. thank you for that alex wagner and gene robinson. coming up, chris christie just had his best week ever in a smashing victory. but yet he still trails hillary clinton by a fat ten points in the new nbc news poll.
what does that tell you about the republican party? one thing it might tell you is the gop has a problem with women. they vote democratic. they might consider changing what's in their package. another group republicans can't seem to win, african-americans. so what do you do if you're a republican running in a black neighborhood? well, one guy went out there and convinced people he was black, is black. which is what a white anti-gay activist did in houston, texas. and he won. we'll talk to the man he beat to find out how this got past them. and let me finish tonight with why women lean democratic. i say it's a matter of sharp interest. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. bob will r, which would be fine if bob were a vampire. but he's not. ♪ he's an architect with two kids and a mortgage. luckily, he found someone who gave him a fresh perspective on his portfolio. and with some planning and effort, hopefully bob can retire at a more appropriate age.
it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. afghanistan in 2009. on the u.s.s. saratoga in 1982. [ male announcer ] once it's earned, usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve current and former military members and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. it's official. caroline kennedy is the u.s. ambassador to japan. she was sworn in today in a private ceremony. kennedy will take up her host in tokyo later this month. we'll be right back. end
welcome back to "hardball." governor chris christie of new jersey is coming off perhaps the best week ever in his political career. he won a resounding re-election last week carrying women, latinos, and moderates. he landed of course on the cover of "time" magazine and appeared on four sunday talk shows. the buzz around him for 2016 has been deafening. yet he may have one problem he can't overcome already. his party label. in a head to head matchup against hillary rodham clinton, the former secretary of state, beats governor christie by ten points. and that's not something to sneeze at. she beats him in every region of the country, even the south. is the gop brand so bad, so toxic that even a popular figure like chris christie can't overcome it? michael steele is the former chair of the rnc and joan walsh of salon. let me start with you, michael. i'm a poll watcher.
before all the excitement of christie's re-election before the government shutdown, christie was pretty close within the margin of error of the former secretary of state. now he's down by ten. i don't blame him for that. i blame the party. i think the bad news of the shutdown has put a context around this guy he didn't need. your thoughts? >> i think i would tend to agree with that. it's a little bit like 2006, chris, when the brand of the party had sunk to all-time lows. and those candidates who were running for various offices from the governor to u.s. senate, myself included, felt the sting of the party label. and you found yourself, you know, battling your democratic opponent as well as battling against the overall brand of the party. and the challenge for christie is going to be how he navigates these waters in terms of establishing himself in his bona fides as the governor of new jersey, red governor in a blue state. but then also reconcile within his own base in the party. one little disturbing moment in
the interviews that he did when asked are you a conservative or moderate, he blew the question off. he's going to have to answer that question for a lot of conservatives around the country. this was not a good way to start the relationship building because of the brand. >> i hate to say this because i don't think it's right for america. i think he's going to be hit with a religious test. he's going to be asked by the politically active pastors out there, friends of the family whatever they're called, focus on the family. one of them is going to ask him -- and this is i think unfair -- are you born again. and as a roman catholic, i don't think he's going to be comfortable with that one. i don't think that's the language you and i grew up with. >> exactly. >> i think he may have a hard time doing anything but pander then. he won't look good either way. running against christie hillary clinton performs particularly well amongst african-americans, young people, and latinos. christie is among whites, seniors, and wealthy americans.
just what the party wants to hear, the party of old, rich, white people. >> surprise. >> there's nothing wrong with being an old rich white person. but that's not your growth stock is it? >> no. this is why the party is on a collision course with demography. it's very early. but these are terrible numbers for chris christie. because really his big claim, his big argument right now and why the media love him is that, hey, i'm the electable one. when you put him in the ring with hillary clinton and he's trailing in every region, he's really got a problem. he no longer can say to the right wing of his party, hey, you got to get to love me even if i'm not born again and all these things you want because i am a winner. if he's not looking like a winner in these early polls, that argument gets less strong. it's harder for him to chase other people out of the ring. his one path to the nomination now is mitt romney's path, right? that he doesn't chase these guys out but a lot of them run. they split the vote and he kind of staggers to the nomination.
but then how far does he have to go to the right to do that? i guess i would take one issue with michael on one thing. you want him to say, yes, i'm a conservative to the base. then he's never going to win the election with somebody like hillary clinton by going to the right. >> joan, there's a way you can talk about it. i'm a conservative and i talk proudly about my conservativisc. it's how people feel about it when you're done talking. right now people don't feel very good by the way we talk about conservativis conservativism. i think he can brand in a much more positive way. >> there's a stark contrast between terms of unity in this nbc poll. for democrats hillary rodham clinton is the overwhelming favorite. 66% say they support right now against another democrat in the race. that's two-thirds of course. the picture is different for republican who is are divided. 32% say they're for christie.
a bill chunk of voters. but 31% say they want some other candidate. all the way over to rick santorum, i suppose. another percentage said they don't know. and that divide could last. a number of conservative republicans thought to be potential 2016 contenders themselves like ted cruz, rand paul, and marco rubio have hit christie as a moderate. last night sarah palin told sean hannity republicans shouldn't settle for the candidate the establishment wants. let's listen to this rhino hunting that's already going on thanks to that person from alaska who loves this kind of talk. >> this is not a coronation. this process hasn't begun yet, and there are establishment people telling tea party conservatives he's the only guy that can win. what's your reaction? >> those establishment people have been quite wrong, it seems especially in recent days. haven't they? we certainly, though, don't have to settle for any candidate, any politician that would go along to get along with an agenda that
stifles our economy and would strip any of our freedoms. that are constitutionally protected. >> what is she talking about? anyway, scott hopster from connecticut took issue with christie calling him conservative. quoting with we're so frustrated with all this christie talk we can't see straight. he's no more conservative than harry reid. what do you think that means? you know what i think it means? if you're not a wild tea partier who hates the government and wants to default on the debt and doesn't care about anything gets passed, votes against everything. if you're not one of them, then you're a liberal. you're a rhino. >> and if you don't dispute the legitimacy of barack obama and you're seening high fiving him and hugging him, that's things they can't forgive him for. michael's right. he is conservative. >> i think on economics he is. i said this last night. i'm going to keep saying it. the way the media and people say
who's a moderate, bob casey of pennsylvania, the great governor, was a liberal on every issue except he didn't think abortion should be legal. that was his portion. but they would call him a conservative democrat, the media. which was absurd. he wasn't a conservative. your thoughts about your party and the label bing, michael. >> i would agree with sarah to the extent she's right. we don't want someone who's going to go along to get along and compromise on fundamental principles. i don't think that's chris christie. i don't think that's a lot of the names of individuals who have been mentioned so far as possible candidates. that's going to get sorted out in the wash of a republican primary. my only point to the chris christies of the world who are being vilified by some on the right now as being not conservative is to stand up and prove that you are. not for their benefit but for the benefits of the party's overall messaging as a
conservative party talking about those ideals and views. much like casey did for the senate. >> last question. what would you say -- but the words in his mouth if you were christie or cruz. if someone stood up in a town meeting and someone said obama is a muslim, he's from kenya. what would you say if you were one of the front runners to that person on tv, that moment? >> who, me? >> yeah. if you were cruz or christie. >> stop being ignorant. let's move on. that is crazy talk. let's talk about why we disagree with the president on policy and positions he's taken and the types of things he's done. >> i love that, michael. >> stop being ignorant. i love it. i don't think if it works politically. >> i'm afraid what you have is a room full of booing, angry republicans. >> then they just boo. >> who are you to call me ignorant? you think you're better than me? i can hear the yells from the back of the room. but i love the line.
>> come on, seriously? >> shut up, you're ignorant? >> he didn't say shut up. >> just stop being ignorant. the man is not a muslim. >> i think that's a quote. we're going to remember that every time you come on the show. i love it. that is a sister soldier moment to live for. thank you michael steele and joan walsh. we'll be right back after this. welcome back. how is everything? there's nothing like being your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order.
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in a new interview today, sarah palin refused to endorse chris christie. yeah. yeah. afterwards christie told palin thanks, i owe you one. >> welcome to the sideshow. that was conan o'brien saying last night when it comes to certain endorsements, less is more. cbs may have apologized over the weekend for their flawed reporting on benghazi.
last night stephen colbert has sought out a source from inside the cbs newsroom. take a look at what he found. >> now, poncho, you were interning the night all hell broke loose at "60 minutes." >> yes, i was definitely there that night because i'm an actual human witness. >> tell us what happened, poncho. >> well, i was coming back from getting chewing tobacco for leslie stall when i heard explosions of shouting. >> who did you see? >> it was hillary clinton. she was swinging a bike chain and yelling we're here to kill the story, who wants to eat some chain! >> so it was hillary clinton who made cbs apologize? >> yes. >> i knew it. >> in case you didn't notice, the so-called source there was newsroom actor sam waterstooen.
and then he made an on-air apology. >> we checked with our sources. we made a mistake. we should not have used him in our report. and for that we're very sorry. the most important thing to everyone here at the colbert report is the truth. and the truth is it's somebody else's fault. >> anyway, creepy uncle sam is back. you might remember when the conservative koch brothers group generation opportunity introduced us to their freakish anti-health care mascot in their horror movie inspired tv ads. but he visited a virginia tech tailgate party where they set up beer pong tables and ordered 250 pizzas for the crowd of rowdy college students. they're trying to encourage young people to opt out of affordable care act. i'm not sure how many of those students cared there was a message. wow. look at that. up next, the republican
party is trying to solve its woman problem, if you will, with better language skills. how about trying better policies? you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. i got this. [thinking] is it that time? the son picks up the check? [thinking] i'm still working. he's retired. i hope he's saving. i hope he saved enough. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. whether you're just starting your 401(k) or you are ready for retirement, we'll help you get there. i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. the state department confirmed that two americans were killed in the typhoon that swept across the philippines. hawaii may soon become a wedding destination for same-sex couples. the senate there has just passed a bill legalizing gay marriage. and first lady michelle obama is taking on a new education initiative that focuses on increasing the number of low income students who get to attend college. back to "hardball." ♪
women actually can vote now. it's been a hundred years or so, little longer. women have the vote and republican party doesn't seem to be aware of that. >> that's said well. welcome back to hb. that's david brooks mocking the republican party for continuing to ignore issues important to women especially. and nominating hardline anti-abortion zealots like ken cuccinelli in virginia where unmarried women in particular bolted from the gop actually for the democratic candidate. last tuesday was the first electoral test since 2012. they largely ignored their post-romney autopsy report which conceded that the party's inability to take the women was costing them elections. republicans neglected their own advice. that including nominating candidates who have a forward leaning vision to vote republican in the wake of
defeats in 2012 and 2013, a group of republican women political operatives have joined forces and established a strategy that advises republican candidates on how to tailor their messages to women. now we've got an expert on the program tonight. kelly ann and sam stein. kelly, i most want to hear from you. just forget the usual partisan arguments we have here and everywhere else. if you sat with a young candidate, man or woman, who tried to turn so he had a 50/50 shot at the woman vote, what would you tell that person to do? >> i would say many things. one is if you're accused of holding a position and people are going to go on eight cylinders against that position, in this case paint ken cuccinelli as too anti-woman, anti-abortion, anti-divorce in virginia. you have to own it or explain it. and i think what he did is he
allowed silence to be ak we essenced. he went jobs, jobs, economy, economy. he lost women by nine points. romney lost women by 13 points to barack obama a year earlier. he also missed a tremendous opportunity to burrow into some of these pro-choice women. ken cuccinelli could have turned around and said virginia's women, do you know that terry mcauliffe is for late term abortion, he's for taxpayer funded abortion. you and i, sam, i'm sure knows pro-choice women who disagree with those. >> but the facts also get in the way of cuccinelli. he's for personhood. that means it's murder if you kill -- >> correct. >> how does he play defense? >> here's the other thing. we all know what women tell pollsters are important to them. it's the economy. but i think when republicans talk about the economy, they sound like your accountant, not
your next door neighbor or your friend. if they could talk about the affordability of everyday life and long-term financial security instead of just the debt ceiling and just taxes and just jobs, here's something else i would tell a republican candidate and do routinely. when you talk to job creators, republicans love to talk to entrepreneurs and job creators. you didn't build this. terrific. check, check. but that's about 7% of our country. then you talk to job seekers. another 7.5% of our country. and the vast majority of women run households in this country are neither job seekers or job creators. they're job holders. who is really speaking to them in the republican party? the other thing we told ken, run as the education governor. i have never in 600 focus groups, i have never sat in a focus group with women and not heard an earful about education. >> i want to check on a fkt here. you said that terry mcauliffe
supports gender selection amongst unborn children? >> he was asked and never disowned or admitted that they will oppose all restrictions and regulations -- >> i understand it supports roe v. wade which makes it difficult to have an abortion in the third trimester. >> that's not necessarily true. every state has different laws. i'm telling you the advice -- >> just the bottom line. you heard terry mcauliffe say he supports gender selection among fetuses or unborn children where the mothers would be able to decide. how does a doctor even know you're doing that? i don't know how that becomes a policy. >> well, look, you'll have to ask a doctor that. there are doctors who will tell you what sex of a baby you're having. >> how do you know if that's a policy of mcauliffe? >> i don't. >> you just said you did. >> i said to tell ken to make sure he's asked the same
question. >> i don't think it's his policy. >> it's about giving advice. >> let me go to this with sam stein. this question of packaging versus package, can you offer up a better version of the republican policy. say you're for vouchers or you're for teacher testing, the kinds of tough education to support a lot of democrats support. will that work to get women voters who do care about the education of their children almost more than anything else sometimes? your thoughts. >> i mean, i don't doubt that messaging plays a role. i think kelly's right in the fact that terry mcauliffe spent a lot of money on advertising. in northern washington and virginia it was on hammering on abortion. but i would argue that a more fundamental issue here is probably the policy platforms. what's hurting the republican party with women voters as i look at it is the consistent appetite for votes on things like abortion restrictions, things like the inability to
take a position on the lilly ledbetter act. one of the aspects health care reform was important for was ending discrimination on some of these regulations with respect to women and coverage. prior to the affordable care act, in eight states women could be discriminated against because they are victims of domestic violence. so when you have health care reform, there is a pitch there for women voters that this could be beneficial to them. and the republican party hasn't really addressed that when they go after the affordable care act. so all these things add up, but i would argue that it's not just about messaging. i think it's more about the substance and the policy implications he. >> my thought, just a hunch here. i think the reason women, you know this better than i do, i think one thing women who have children of school age and they work outside the home and at home. they have to do that and raise the kid and be worried about child development, all those pressures to be the perfect mother, the perfect spouse.
they need help. >> they need help, chris. by the way, they're also thinking about the traffic. how am i going to get there to pick them up. >> and their aging parent. >> yes. i have four children. i'm very typical. in other words, what i think -- and by the way, what you just described, the typical woman you just described, she's a common example of today's woman but she's not common in the republican area. that's a problem for the candidates. who did you talk to this week i would ask male candidates? who's within your inner circle? where are you getting advice? that's something we're lagging behind. i think the republican party suffers from staff infection, frankly. i watched your show on election night last tuesday. i saw you talking to tom davis and margie o'mara. you were also talking about the 24-point deficit that ken cuccinelli had among women. either that was wrong or the affordable care act mostly made up a lot of those deficits. so women as the chief health
care officers of their households, they control two out of every three health care dollars spent in this country. they are disproportionately the health care consumers and the health care providers in this nation. this is a huge issue for them. >> okay. we share the premise. we'll talk about it later in the show. kelly annaco conway, i apprecia you coming on. sam stein, thank you so much. up next, the story of the white son servetive who won in an african-american neighborhood by convincing people he was one of the local african-american guys around the corner. turns out he was not exactly the way he seemed to be presenting himself. is this illegal? no. but is it troubling? i don't know. we'll get to that. this is "hardball," the place for politics. road closed? there's a guy...
>> i'm up here in new york where the new world trade center has been officially named the country's tallest building. according to the council on tall buildings, one world trade center is officially 1776 feet tall. they ruled today the antenna on the top of the building is a spire and part of the structure. the willis tower in chicago which used to be called the sears tower has given up the throne it held since 1973. we'll be right back after this. [ male announcer ] you'll only find advil,
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tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. ask your doctor if humira can work for you. this is humira at work. welcome back too "hardball." we don't usually cover the results of elections for local community college boards, but this one is different. in houston, texas, in a heavily black district, a white candidate ran against a 24-year incumbent who's african-american. the white candidate won by a razor thin 26 votes. but his campaign literature seemed to leave the impression he was african-american. here's a portion of a segment from houston cbs affiliate khou. >> most of the voters in the district involved in this election are african-american. wilson sent out a bunch of these
direct mail pieces implying he's african-american. his fliers depicted smiling african-american faces. the words said, please vote for our friend and neighbor dave wilson. the pictures, he admits, were just lifted off the internet. all these supporters are african-american. >> what a coincidence. >> the fliers said he was endorsed by ron wilson. no, not the former state representative. the fine print says ron wilson is dave wilson's cousin. >> it's from the candidate's cousin of the same name who lives in iowa. and these faces of implied support for the campaign flier, all of them african-american were pulled from the internet. joining me now is bruce austin, who served on the community college board for 24 years before losing to this fella dave wilson. and jonathan capehart for the "washington post." sir, i don't know what to say except this is bizarre. that's why we're covering pit. did you get blind sided by this
character who came out of nowhere and presumed to be and sold himself as a member of your community? in fact, of the same ethnic group or racial group as most people in the community and people were confused, in fact, bamboozled by this guy. is that what happened here? >> i don't know. i'll tell you what did happen. i think the -- in terms of transparency, in terms of honesty, it was a deceptive trick he used on the population. >> talk about the fact he had a cousin who made it sound like he was cousin to an african-american person of some prestige down there. >> he did sound like -- he did sound like he was the cousin to ron wilson, our former state representative. and it was not true. i think the basis of all the literature i've seen has been to commit a fraud on the community. and on the population. >> when did you first -- wait.
you knew he was caucasian. when did you first see him pretending to be african-american. when did you first spot that? somebody said it was in august? >> the first time one of my neighbors gave me a pamphlet. that's when i first say and thought why would he have these pictures of black people on the literature? and that's when i realized that he was actually characterizing himself as being an african-american. >> when did you first discover -- sir, when did you first discover this? >> late august. >> why didn't you advertise through -- >> i did. >> saying you were black and more representative of the community. >> i did do that. the way i did that was sent out a mailer to the registered voters with his picture and my picture. obviously i am not white and showed his picture -- >> so they knew? >> -- and my accomplishments. >> do you think they knew?
did the pamphlet reach the voter? >> if the voters saw my picture and saw his picture, they would be able to distinguish between who was black and who was not. >> okay. let me go to jonathan for a more distant view from this. i don't know what your reaction -- my reaction is this might be a clean trick or dirty trick. it's definitely a strik. and how far between clean and dirty do you go on this? i assume there must have been an african-american who ran in a white area, didn't make a big deal about his ethnic background. i assume, but i don't know of any case like that. but why wouldn't somebody do that? then again, what is the honesty requirement of any politician to tell them that might hurt them politically? >> you know, chris, i think mr. austin hit on it. keyword he talked about, transparency. there are all sorts of tricks used in the game of politics to try to win votes. but when -- and there's nothing wrong with, you know, taking
pictures of smiling african-american faces and puts them on literature to try to get african-americans to vote for you. where mr. austin's opponent went wrong was not putting his own picture on there saying, hey, this is me the candidate. >> shouldn't the voter have said where are you in this picture? >> right. and if you don't ever see the candidate in -- candidate's picture in a piece of literature, that should be a red flag right there. >> mr. austin, are you going to contest this? ask for a recount? are you going to try to get back in the game? >> i'm asking for a recount because i'm concerned about the future of the voters and the people in this district. i am from this district. i went to school, grew up in this district. >> you know what i think you should do? exploit the hell out of this. run next time, beat the guy and become the better guy. don't get mad. get ahead. don't even get even. just get ahead.
that's the oldest political vice. good luck with you, sir. you were tricked. thank you bruce austin, the once and future member of the school board. jonathan capehart, a nice distant observation from you. thank you. we'll be right back after this. ] 1.21 gigawatts. today, that's easy. ge is revolutionizing power. supercharging turbines with advanced hardware and innovative software. using data predictively to help power entire cities. so the turbines of today... will power us all... into the future. ♪
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ask a husband and father to tell you what shots the children have had, what inoculations they've gotten from the doctor or school for diseases. you begin to notice he thinks it's a question he hasn't got the slightest idea how to answer. now ask about the classmates and teachers of the kids. which are good for your boy or girl to hang out with and which teachers are having a solid impact? see how the guy does. then ask the husband where he's covered on his health insurance or better yet how his parents are doing on their health plans and how they're able to cope with the latent life problems. mothers are responsible for knowing the answers for this. maybe too often men get off the hook. for social security and medicare.