tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC August 14, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> i can hear you. >> the time for change has come. chris: the president has been hectored by a bungee jumping stock market and nasty downgrade of the country. his leadership is a question mark. will rick perry seem the answer? is mitt romney lucky to last out front. the campaign is now under way, the straw poll makes it official. some republican has a great chance at the white house. the bum steer from iowa. iowa is first but rarely picks the republican candidate.
[captioning made possible by nbc universal] chris: welcome to the show. with us today, our panel. first up, it was a week when you didn't need polls to show you that barack obama's way down by a serious loss of confidence after that downgrade of the u.s. with markets crashing. the president, no impact on traders or investors when he tried to project strength with the force of his words. the polls out this week have his approval numbers in the low 40's and that drop in confidence comes at the moment when the republican race is finally under way. their nomination is truly worth having. howard, the president had a terrible week with what we called a bungee-jumping congress, it's a great time for republicans, here they come. >> chris, barack obama is a boxing fan. to use a boxing analogy, he's been stunned and is standing there in the middle of the ring waiting for someone to stalk
him. in the polls, republicans have never liked him but independents did and his base was strong with them. that is no longer true. independents doubt him and many parts of his base doubt him too. the problem is he seems ineffect yule. you're starting to hear a word you haven't heard in a long time, jimmy carter, who was a one-term president because he seemed ineffect yule. for a president, that's a killer and barack obama, the president is teetering on the edge of that idea taking hold in america. chris: that press conference on monday really showed it. >> that hurt. chris: the republicans are having a big debut, perry is coming out, everybody is run, they all stood up in the debate this week and put up their hands and say, i will not go along on any compromise to do with the debt even if there's a $10 spending cut for every $1 of
taxes. that seems like an opportunity blown by them. >> you can imagine that's going to be in campaign ads for obama and the democrats and everyone running in 2012. i think -- one of the things you see obama trying to do is take the message to the public. you saw a speech last week, thursday in michigan, he's calling on americans to be a sort of sixth man for him. he used the phrase, tell congress five or six -- he said it five or six times in that speech, tell congress i need jobs, tell congress i need infrastructure spending. the republicans have had a measure of success by saying no. if you look at the last couple of months, whether it's the budget in the spring and the fight over closing down the government, the bush tax cut they had a w there, and then you had john boehner say he got 98 pk of what he wanted with the debt ceiling bill. they have won by saying -- chris: so at the time the country is looking for leadership, republicans are in a shutdown mode of saying no, no,
no. it seems to be working for them. >> the problem, i think, chris, is it's such a passive reaction, telling the public, write your congressman, instead of saying, this is our program, this is where i want to take the country. what the country is hungering for and the polls show it is to see a plan. chris: why doesn't he give us a plan? >> it's a mystery. i asked people in the white house last year, why don't you get out ahead of this issue, it was obvious well before the noove elections that brought the tea party into the house. the white house had had a chance to stake out a position and they thought it was dumb politics. again and again this white house waits to kind of see which way things are going. the president doesn't love politics the way a will the of presidents do. chris: if there was no tea party what would he want us to do? what would he cut? would he cut? what would he do to create jobs
if there was no opposition? we don't know what he wants. >> exactly. he's going on the road next week to minnesota, illinois, and iowa with a supposed economic message everyone is still waiting to hear. at the moment he's falling back on the position that it's up to congress, my hands are tied and that's not flying anymore with the public. what he needs to do is look into fixing the economic bench. it's very thin right now. managed to convince tim geithner to stay until 2012. if he's promising as he did in michigan, a huge policy until every american who wants a job gets one. start seeing action from him. chris: the republicans seem to be doing the same thing. republican voters. they are waiting for someone to lead them. romney has been a good parking place. are they now going to look for somebody else like perry? >> one of the things that struck me about the republican debate in ames is how little discussion of what the republicans actually wanted to do positively there
was. which provides an opening, at least in theory, for people who have been governors who came to have a record, and claim they're going to use their state policies on a national level. those would be people like mitt romney and tim pawlenty and now especially rick perry who is going to say, i created 1/3 of all the new jobs in the united states over the last few years, i'm going to do it the texas way. are people ready for more of the texas way after having had the texas way? chris: back in the great depression, we had far war economics, almost 20% unemployment, david, the governor of new york at the time, franklin roosevelt, said look what i've done in new york he had a strong social democratic plan in new york. is perry able to say, i created jobs in texas, is that my -- that's my plan to do it again. >> perry will be able to say, i have executive experience this president has been learning on the job, i've been the longest serving governor in the country.
here's my record, take a look. >> will that sell? >> if perry is convincing as chief executive, you bet it will sell. one point, i think that obama is hoping that these republicans will punch themselves out. he's been a punching bag in the ways we've described but he's hoping they'll look so extreme so completely over the top, raising their hand to salute things the public doesn't agree. >> you said in the washington 2012 race, they're bunch drunk -- they're punch-drunk already, you saw pawlenty and bachman fighting it out for the second round are they sort of worn out and looking for perry to come in? >> i think perry will shake the race up, we'll see a contrast between romney have to have him step up his game, he's only been going after obama at this point, above the fray at this point. he has to come in with the
argument and say, not only was i able to create jobs as governor but i have the experience in the private sector, something perry won't be able to say. >> having been to a bunch of republican events lately, their disdain and fear of barack obama is so deep in the core republican party that that's going to motivate them and their candidates to take it to the president, whoever the nominee is. chris: the old argument of political scientists which is negative, anger is much more powerful politics than positive? >> at a time when people are worried about the economy and their own future and there's 9% unemployment, yes. >> i agree. if rick perry says, this is what i did for jobs and millions of americans, all they care about is jobs. they don't care about debt ceiling. >> we're only beginning the rick perity story. chris: i want to know what the
white house thinks about their opportunity. it was one of the most opportune questions of the week, about rick perry and mitt romney, which will be easier for the ouh because ma campaign to go negative against? this is one of the great moments in this program's history. 11-1, a knockout punch says perry is a fatter target than mitt romney. howard you picked up on this. what do they see in this guy perry who to most of us is just a word, rick perry. >> i metric perry, i've seen him in action, he's great for texas. i don't know if he's going to play nationally. fist of all, we had george bush. most people still blame george bush for the economy, not barack obama. number two, rick perry hasn't answered questions nationally and is going to try to run away from the national press corps, i don't know if he can do it. there are questions about his record people haven't explored. some people, especially the bush people, think that rick perry is
shallow. they say he's only in for the sound bites. you know, when proponents of george bush -- chris: when supporters of george w. bush accuse perry of being shallow, we've hit the mother load. >> i think democrats and the cast of "saturday night live" want to see perry as the nominee. chris: and a lot of focus on that guy. six months from now, david you pick this up here, who is going to be the hot hand in the republican fight? who will be the big name out of iowa? >> the big noise officially will be rick perry and the country will learn about him, look at his personality and his leadership skills and then we'll see. that's the great thing about a campaign, people look strong at the outset, sometimes have trouble. you know, for me the question is whether romney's kind of managerial strength of so lidity is something the public in this very difficult time will like and get interested in, then you'll have a cumulative effect.
>> why all the picking over of candidates, why have we ignored him, why has no one thought of rick perry until now? why has he never come up before? >> we'll see the vetting. that's the thing romney has. chris: so who is hot? >> i think it's going to be perry for a while. >> curiosity factor, everyone will want to know about him. >> all these people might be gaudy, might have the fancy stuff, but if the public is desperate and decide that barack obama can't handle it, then somebody like romney suddenly, because politics is a game of comparison and that is where romney, if he can last that far, has a shot. chris: the grass is always greener in american thinking. before the break, romney and perry might have a bark-off, as johnny carson used to say, on something dear to dog lovers in the country. the best way to win over a
viewer is to use a lovable pup every time you can. it's no surprise to me that dog lovers will be the target of the obama team. they plan to appeal to dog lovers by playing on a story that's dogged romney for several years. back in 1993, he strapped or lashed, you pick the verb, his family's irish setter to the roof of the station wagon as they drove 12 hours north to their summer cottage. the romney kids protested. the dog protested in a doggy way and mitt had to stop and hose seamus' protests off the become of the car. the obama team plans to play on the romney dog story. rick perry played the dog lovers. he bragged about shooting a coyote to protect his family's labrador retriever puppy. he was jogging with a pup when a chi owe toe tee was about to
strike and he said it took just one shot to kill the coyote this guy is something. as pl ticks fans know, playing the pup card is nothing new. roosevelt used his puppy against dewey when dewey attacked the family and the pooch. >> republican leaders are not content with he facts on me or on my wife or on my sons. no, not content with that. they now include my little dog falla. >> that speech -- best speech ever given. and richard nixon's checker speech where he used a cooker spaniel to counter an attack on his business contributors to save his spot on the eisenhower ticket. >> one other thing i should tell you because if i don't, they'll
be saying this about me too. we did get something a gift, after the election. you know what it was? it was a little cooker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from texas. black and white spotted. and our little girl tricia, the 6-year-old, named it checkers. regardless of what they say about it, we're going to keep it. >> howard, you can't beat that either. help me out with the mitt romney thing. tied seamus, tied the family dog to the roof of the car, i guess that the dog had -- was lashed up there, how will he deal with this? >> this story didn't come out as a result of investigative reporting. he used to tell the story as an endearing tale of family togetherness. >> that's the political tone deafness. what i like is that rick perry was jogging with a gun. he's not only appealing to dog lovers but gun lovers.
chris: welcome back. iowa has a rotten record at picking republican winners. take a look at the guys who have won the iowa caucuses over the years in every contested republican race back to 1980 and count how many went on to get the nomination. >> iowa has set something in motion, the forward momentum is clearly established. >> believe me, the people of iowa listened and they responded. >> and i promise you that i was always -- i will always stand with iowa and i mean that from the bottom of my heart. >> lord i thank you very much
and thank you iowa. i love iowa a whole lot. chris: they got two winners in 30-something years, dole in 1996, and bush. this is not a good state to be picked as the winner. >> after huckabee gave the speech about loving iowa, he went on to new hampshire and came in third. it's a swing state. chris: is it a good place to look for a yen election win her >> no, it's so conservative. >> chris: as the republican party become more like iowa? has it caught up to iowa that way? >> i don't think so. mccain set the tone when he went to new hampshire instead of iowa and he won new hampshire. again, with the evangelical base, you know, the base and i can see perry and walk -- bachman. >> the real vote in iowa is
january this fall, thanksgiving season will be the big talk about iowa. what do you see there? will perry walk in and be king there? >> not necessarily. i think the party has shifted toward the evangelical base. it's a caucus in iowa not everybody showing up in a primary vote. it's like everybody has to be on public display when they vote, which affects it. i think you've got iowa in one direction, new hampshire in another and south carolina, the third part of the triad, becomes where the playoff game takes place. you've got both libertarian types and evangelical types in south carolina. >> your big call, david ignatius, who will be in the driver's seat? will the tea party people be running the republican party or running along supporting buffalo bill? >> it depends on whether the public acts -- reacts against the sense that an extremist wing has taken over. if they say this isn't my party,
i want out, you'll see a big reaction. but that would require more, stronger leadership from the white house to make that case. chris: and romney will have to fight it. >> he'll have to stop saying i agree with you and say, i don't agree with you. >> he'll have to make that statement before iowa, new hampshire and south carolina. >> looks like iowa is giving it [ man ] did we get anything good?
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chris: welcome back. howard, tell me something i don't know. >> new hampshire will be a swing state in the presidential election and this time president obama will be relying on a local to bring him to victory and mcclain custer, congressional candidate who narrowly lost, is going to win and she may pull him off the line. chris: jamie? >> 12 secret service teams are waiting to double-team with each of the candidates on the republican side. they haven't decided who they're going to do first yet? >> they all get coverage? >> the d.h.s. has to make a decision on that. chris: the d.h.s.? >> department of homeland security. >> the two most important endorsements are jim demint and mickey haley in terms of erasing the tie in new hampshire.
>> foreign policy problem ahead in september, u.s. and european officials tell me that as many as half of the european nations could vote for the european resolution to create the palestinian state causing a big problem for the u.s. >> this is a general assembly? >> it's a general assembly vote. but imagine more than half of our european allies voting to support something we think is a terrible idea. >> we are not stopping it. quite the opposite. chris: when we come back, who has taken more vacation time, barack obama or george w. bush?
chris: welcome back. president owaugh ma plans to go to martha's vineyard for a vacation, it's getting some criticism. so far in his presidency, barack obama has been on vacation for 61 days compared to 196 days for president george w. bush at this point in his first term. not counting camp david. which brings us to this week's
big question. even though he trails bush is this a bad time to head to martha's vineyard? >> yes, it's a bad time because it's the least of his problems politically. >> he needs to go on vacation, he's a family man. >> this is in a so what category for me. this guy needs a vacation and pictures of those cute kids with their dad will be good for him. chris: thanks for a great round -- round table. that's the show. thanks for watching. we're going to hey! you want that? you want a warm, super-delicious strawberry toaster strudel
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