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tv   The Chris Matthews Show  NBC  March 13, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT

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creating and integrating solutions, helping business, and the world...work. rethink possible. [captioning made possible by nbc universal] >> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask ask not what your country can do for you. >> i can hear you. >> the time for change has come the chris: can republicans beat obama next year at his game? can the g.o.p. ride into town promising to create jobs? can he deliver the dream and make it serious? and just who is this republican who is going to do it? and how do you think the master, if he runs on optimism this time with hard experience to back it up, which republican
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can beat that? and also, conservatives out to break the hold of public broadcasting. is it smart to slaughter the golden goose that gave us great shows? or is it bert and ernie they want to kill? join me today, katty kay, norah o'donnell, and david ignatius. first up, there's just a handful of serious republican hopefuls, serious about running and also trd to have serious chances at the nomination and at winning in november. their challenge? run in the g.o.p. primaries where negativity is rewarded, but at the same time projecting a positive message that could get them elected. that's the challenge always, the velvet glove with the brass
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knuckles inside. david, your book talks about this. >> it's like falming in love. part is rational but most is deep down below. in one experiment they took a bunch of people and gave them paragraphs to two opposing candidates and said who is going to win this race and with a one-second look they could predict with high accuracy who was going to win the race. and when the volume off they were better predictors than when the volume was on. that's because we have templates in our minds that tell us what competentency is. this year, competentence is what you run on. >> do you think it's right? do you think we do pick the competent person? >> as long as the -- well, the public is not always brilliant bub usually sensible and most of their calls are right.
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>> katty kay, some of these guys are really getting tough on the personal stuff. nasty in fact. how do you get exciting and visceral enough in a place like iowa and still survive as a decent candidate? >> i'm not so sure. is it just expensive -- competence ored kd -- the candidate that makes them feel good? i think the candidate that looks angry rned,, ams frowning, well, jolly isn't the right word but they are looking for a candidate who makes them feel good about themselves. that's part of what barack obama was able to do in 2008 by projecting that on screen about himself. >> kelly, i do believe in the sun in the face character, whether it's ronald reagan or
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john f. kennedy or who. you think of them as outdoors, optimistic people. >> and no tie. >> mitt romney may not have a tie but he looks so much like he's wearing one. >> wanting to convey that management class, that background. the romance of the campaign trail is so important because people do respond so differently. what people want is so different in the senate than what they want as a president. it will be tough in the early going to find that way to say i can do it better. >> what about the malarkey factor? don't you have to show something, "here, i can do this, i do -- did that?" >> i think you have to show an effortless, intuitive understanding. david in his book imagines a leader called "richard gray,"
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perfect name for the graceful candidate who without seeming to try too hard, looks like sees in charge. obama has had that at some points. at other points he's really lost it, looked like he's struggling to hang on the it's really important to remember that external factors, un employment, those are where it is. >> but if the republicans get a real unt next year because president carter -- there's a mistake -- president obama doesn't seem to have a grip on it, who would be the best to exploit that situation? >> i think the most likely, strongest candidate for the republicans is mitch danlts if you have this guy, and then the governor of indiana who says i'm not graceful and elegant but i do control things. my debt has gone down 40%. i can crom things and get job
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done for you. i think that's the best counterprogram. >> cut now, better life later. that's the american tradition we all grew up with, right? the parents say we're not having steak, we're having hamburger, so you can go to college. >> now if we have no social trust, if a politician asks me to sacrifice i my -- think i'm going to sacrifice but they're not and we get screwed. we have to establish that all are going to suffer. people don't trust government right now. >> and isn't the way you have lived recently? that is the way the americans lived in the post-war generation but the baby boom generation got very used to the idea of not sacrificing. spaffers became a dirty word for a. >> but the big stuff you have to do as president, it's easy to be a christie of new jersey, but the person that pushes that
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button will be the one that's blamed, right? >> what daniels has found i think is a way to cast this message of fiscal discipline in a way that that's bipartisan appeal. i also think barack obama is really trying to learn how who -- to do that. and the most intriguing figure, john huntsman, i met him in beijing. he's been our ambassador there. watching an american speak flawless mandarin doctor >> is he ready -- shall manned arin -- is he ready to face the lions? >> gl -- going back to that word intuitive, i think he's a smart, graceful politician. >> many senate republicans are talking mitch daniels. they don't necessarily want to do that publicly. chris: and could any of the
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likely republican candidates who likely run have a message and image as posstive as obama? kelly, you believe it's policy, yes, we've got to get rid of this president who we're very proud of electing. if we did make a mistake, he's had his chance, it's not our foul. -- fault. we're going to try somebody new and that person can be positive. >> it's a tough call but i don't think a campaign can be successful if it's not positive. that's why i'm in the yes column. you have to take a lot of hits early on but in the closing weeks you have to say i have a vision to go along with and it has to be positive. chris: katty, why should -- so. hesitancy on the pancht heavyweights like christie, why are they not running?
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>> it's miserable. they figure you're asking me to jump off the clifment the process is miserable and they don't want to be hemmed in right now. >> look at 2018 and feel the republicans are a lot more obvious. jeb bush, marco rubio, for example, coming up from florida. that generation of republican leadership you can see. it's this time around that seems trickim. . they also point to the fact that obama is going to raise a billion dollars, that he's been through this before and the unemployment rate is ticking downwards. chris: has there ever been a time when a party had a really good shot, 50-50, and not run their best person? has that ever happened? >> one big reason not to run, which is the tea party. there is a storm in the republican party. and to win the nomar: -- to win the nomination you are going to have to do things and be something, be
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somebody that i think is not attract toive the american public. so negative. >> and i was on the no column in the meter because i can't see how you can do that. the tone has been so negative. chris: bottom line, can they stay way from all that nasty stuff, the birthers and so on, and still win? >> not the retired guys but mitt romney, the guys that are in the fight right now, they're going to have the advantage. >> can somebody go positive in the end? can they sort of get stinky in the beginning and still win? >> i think you have -- you can make that arc. they always have to. >> you got to be negative. you got to be an attacker in the beginning and it stays with up. >> -- chris: i think they're all speaking iowan right now, very negative and nasty.
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before we break, this week's annual gridiron dinner, where reporters dress up in cot umse and serenade the room. presidents usually show up, and jokes are made at their expense. history has been made at these. jack kennedy used the grid oirn in 1958 when he was use -- arriving at the gridiron. he poked one -- fun at one of his biggest liabilities, his wealth. jack kennedy pulled a telegram out from his father that supposedly prp read the following -- "jack, don't buy one more vote than is necessary. i'm -- i'll be damned if i'm going to pay for a landslide." well, there she is bellowing
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out a song. she'd been in trouble for hanging out with the beverly hills crowd. >> the first lady, mrs. reagan to the surprise of her husband and the oop guests -- other guests sang a snoop of "shesked happens -- hand rose." she sang, i'm wearing second-hand clothes, second-hand clothes, even my new fur coat ronnie bought for 10 cents on the dollar. chris: in his last year when scooter libby had been convicted, bush used the gridiron sing about how he couldn't wait to get back to the ranch.
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>> ♪ down the lane here comes scooter ♪ ♪ finally free of [beep] shooter ♪ >> well. chris: when we come back, sesame street has seen sunnier days, of course. and the latest fiasco involving public radio threatens all of public broadcasting. be right back.
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chris: welcome back. talk about rotten timing. republicans slashed funding for npr and pbs two weeks ago. others spent the week trotting out big bird and bert to talk about the funding. well, then the latest disaster -- not only did this fundraiser
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refer to the tea party as racist with, he said npr didn't even need public funding. david, make your case. you are one of the stars of really a great show, the "newshour" which so many people rely on for news. >> and i'm on npr every week too. we have a common culture and government has some role in creating those things that join us. we have the smithsonian museums that do some of that. public broadcasting, they give us things to clue us all in to our history and it's worth the very small amount, and you should see my paychecks, to have what we pay them. chris: $200,000 to a small
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station in missouri. you would think in boston they wouldn't need a subsdi. is there enough revenue to keep the money flowing? >> well, because of the big bird factor. chris: senators like this? >> well, richard shelby is not among them. the argument of the republicans is that they don't need it, they can raise the money. but it's a beloved part of the culture. conservatives have always said n.p.r. is tilted, they don't like that and they don't want their people paying for it, meaning their voters and estimates so a lot of friction approximate, but bert and ernie -- chris: do you think it could be made more centrist? >> i think n.p.r. say great news organization. the problem is not that it's too liberal, it's too elitist.
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it's high-end. chris: the good part is it covers the world the >> ovechkin seen as elitist -- the value of npr is it does have correspondents around the world and that's very expensive when a lot of news organizations are cutting their coverage. there say security argument for the idea that we need more foreign coverage the i don't think most republicans actually object so much to the sums. as you point out they're very small. it is the idea that you are funding public broadcasting that they believe has a bias. if you are funding public broadcasting you have to make very sure that your news reporting is objective. >> i think they've done a good job the last 10 years. the federal money for npr doesn't go so much to the big stations, it goes out to the rural stations the chris: good discussion of this
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>> tell me something i don't know" is brought to you by charles schwab. chris: welcome back. tell me something i don't know? >> there say bick debate among the republicans in the senate about the budget. they're saying let's not go to the wall, we'll fight the 2012 election about this.
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chris: no shutdown? >> right. chris: wow, that's a news story, front page. >> one more factoid, pbs costs $1.35 for each american every year. chris: too darned much! [laughter] you know who invented the word factoid? eyes er hour. glrm and the doma, the defense of marriage act, the republicans may have to hire outside counsel to do it. chris: they'll sue? >> they'll sue. but hiring outside counsel is something they think they have to do. chris: wow. seems a little retro. just guessing the >> i just want to note the bassing -- passing this week of our colleague david broder. the dean of the washington
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press corps, the reporter and columnist for "the washington post" for four or five decades. a genuinely great journalist, somebody we all admired and we all are very sad to see him pass. and the prediction he would have run away from, which is the juiciest, unsubstantiated rumor i heard last week -- chris: the un-broder? >> yes. that leon panetta will go to defense to replace secretary gates when he leaves in the summer and that general petraeus will come back from kabul to be the next c.i.a. director. >> that's a good one. chris: 90% chance? 80% chance? >> i would say under 50%. that's why david broder would never have it! 3 chris: we'll be right back with the big question of the week. how many more mideast countries are going to erupt in revolution after libya?
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be right back.
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chris: welcome back. .2011 revolutions in the arab world started in tunisia, spread to egypt, but may be at
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a standoff in libya. our big question of the week, has itnded in libya or will it spread around the region snon david brooks? >> i'm afraid we will see massacres there if we don't do something. chris: should we go in without the arab league? >> we should. the question to me is should we arm some of the rebels. >> i'm ask surprise it's not -- stopping already. the military has screened off the very top layer of government but doesn't show indications that it's really moving to democratic rule. >> on the hill that's what i'm hearing as well. the elation factor people were feeling after egypt has tapered off. chris: because of gaddafi's ruthlessness?
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>> yes. >> i'm going take the opposite view and say it's a tienanmen square moment. what's exploded in the arab world among the youth is not something you can put back in a bottle and i think it's good -- going to roll on and persist. i see no way this aging, incompetent government in yemen can go on. chris: good luck with the book, david broogets the name is? >> "the social animal." thanks for remembering. chris: giving you a chance to sell a little bit. that's the show. thanks for watching. see you here
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