tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC November 16, 2013 2:00am-2:31am PST
a new low from dick cheney. let's play "hardball." good evening i'm chris matthews out in los angeles. let me start tonight with this. the political right in this country has reached a new low, as i said. it has shown from the beginning that president obama doesn't deserve the decency accorded other american presidents. his enemies have called him an illegal immigrant, a street corner con artist, a fraud, a manchurian candidate brought to this country to undermine all we stand for. well, now dick cheney comes right out and calls him a liar when a right wing back bencher did that's four years ago he was called out for rebuke even by his own party.
now what was condemned as historic bad behavior comes snarling out of dick cheney's mouth and nobody says to shut up. we can argue as we do here about the problems implementing the affordable care act. but is this, calling the president a liar, the new language of american politics? or is it a language specially treated for the country's first african-american president? is this president of a lower caste than those elected to the office before. or those on the right even believe he is the legitimate president of the united states. or someone like him could be. at least we know the top republican in the country refuses to condemn the birtherism of his allies. the fact that a recent vice president can talk openly like this tells us that a new ugliness has come to right wing discourse. howard fineman is editorial director for the huffington post media group. david corn is the washington bureau chief for mother jones. both are valued msnbc political analysts. let's listen to dick cheney,
here it is at his current worst. >> we look at the mess that has been created out of obama care by the president having said, you can keep your policy if you like it, you know, guaranteed, period. that turns out that was a lie. and he repeated it over and over and over again. >> cheney's not alone. another former gop heavyweight, if you will, mitt romney called the president a liar during an interview on "cbs this morning." >> the real problem that the president has is a broken promise. it's dishonesty. and that's of course, what's really striking at the heart of this. >> let me go to howard on this one. it seems to me that one thing we know and the discourse we have here on this program and everywhere else in the country is if you call someone a liar, using that word, saying they lie, it's sort of the end of the conversation, because what would be the point in continuing to listen to someone you call a liar. here's the vice president, dick cheney, now he used to be the president's club by mike w. makes it pretty clear recently there's a sort of a code of respect among presidents, recent presidents.
they don't call each other names like this. cheney, is he exempt there the rule? >> no, he's not exempt from the rule. but he made himself exempt. i don't think you'll hear george w. bush making a statement like that. but dick cheney has a different agenda. first of all, his daughter is running for the senate in wyoming as a tea party candidate, rather absurdly, since she's basically from the beltway. and dick cheney is trying to help her out by appealing to the tea party worst. i think that's what's going on, number one. number two i think republicans more generally, chris, have always been infuriated by the high personal standing of president barack obama. by him as a candidate. by him as a president. by the fact that he has seen to many of his supporters and to most americans, to be an honest, straightforward, decent guy. and this somehow is especially infuriating to republicans. it drives them crazy, and they're doing everything they can now given the opportunity to try to drag him down to their level. and that's what dick cheney is up to.
>> let me go to -- let me go to david on the same question, because i do think we can argue and we're going to do it here as we've done about the screw-ups regarding affordable care. they are there. they are talked about. but getting into motive. did he lie. and using the word lie. not that he was, what the president's been saying, look, i tried to do something, i thought it was going to work one way. the market didn't react the way i thought it would. i thought i was telling the truth, it didn't work out that way. but to call the guy a liar is to say he's a liar and it seems to me, the -- politicians generally avoid the word. i'm focused on the word. the decency of -- who was that guy, joe wilson? >> joe wilson. >> when he said, you lied. everybody blanched and said oh, my god you don't talk like that. your thoughts? >> well, can we just say of all the people to call anyone else a liar dick cheney should not be at the top of that list. i mean if you go back to iraq, we've talked about this over the years, he was the one who said that saddam hussein was amassing weapons of mass destruction. no doubt, to use against the united states. he kept talking about the lie
that mohammed atta had met with iraqi intelligence officials in prague. he talked about the aluminum tubes. he said there was no doubt there was strong evidence of strong connections, between al qaeda and saddam hussein. he lied repeatedly. and he really, for all that, should sort of be drummed out of polite society and out of the media. but unfortunately he's not. those lies actually were done, i think, maliciously to get the american public to back a war which they might otherwise not support. and then, so the fact that he can come out there now, and act like a statesman, pronouncing judgment on somebody else, when, you know, obama, you know, misspoke, made a mistake, lied or was inaccurate, he was doing it in pursuit of bringing health care to tens of millions of americans who aren't otherwise covered. that's a lot different than trying to bamboozle a public into supporting a hoax of a war. >> apparently you never heard franklin roosevelt's warning to
never use the word rope in a family where there's been a hanging. at every turn republicans had tried to smear the president as a liar and a cheat. the breadth and scope of the gop attack on the president's character, as howard pointed out, is remarkable. and it started pretty much the day he took office. it began, as i said, rather infamously when congressman joe wilson called the president a liar in 2009, when it came to the part of his health care plan. this part. let's watch joe wilson in action. >> the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. >> you lie! >> that's not true. >> well that opened the floodgates. in 2011 republicans refused to acknowledge the reality of a dee faumt default. a debt default accusing the president of lying about basic math. >> president obama, quit lying. you know darn well that if august 2nd comes and goes there's plenty of money to pay off our debt and cover all of
our social security obligations. >> that was actually another u.s. congressman. anyway there's the gop obsession with benghazi, which the tea party zealot ted cruz jumped on earlier this summer as proof of what he said was a pattern of lies. >> as all of these scandals have unfolded, a pattern we've seen is a consistent willingness to mislead, to be less than honest, indeed in recent weeks we have seen at least two flat-out falsehoods from senior members of the administration with regard to benghazi. >> i still think the real precedent being set here is for a former vice president, in fact the most recent vice president, using the word lie regarding a current president. but then there's some hot shots out there, the original lie there, when the president was born. that was the original one. this is from conservative radio talk show host rick wise conducting an interview with tea partier you jeff duncan from south carolina.
>> if we know that they're lying about all these other things, why not go back and say, well maybe the first scandal was a lie, too? >> there you go. i'm all with you, so let's go back and revisit some of these things because americans have question about not only the irs scandal, but also about the president's validity. >> howard, you know, there you go again. you can't keep him away from this. it's like chocolate candy or something. the minute we get anywhere near, there's one put in front of him, mention anything, they go right back to birtherism. there is a crowd, the guy that was on the other day, that wouldn't admit the president was elected legitimately. obviously they think he's basically a fraud. and donald trump called him a street corner con artist. this lingo. i'm sorry, it's very hard to read people's souls, but would they say it about a white guy? it always seems to hit me they think of him like an indian in the old days, a lower caste, an untouchable. oh, i was ten feet the other day and i felt sick. i couldn't stand looking at him. this caste they treat him as,
something lower than -- not like some guy you work with you don't get along with. it's not like somebody your brother-in-law or some stupid argument. it's like he's from a lower species the way these people talk about him. >> well, chris, i'm reluctant, i -- >> i don't know about motive. >> i would normally be reluctant to make the accusation of racism. but here's how i look at it. as i see president obama's policies, and i've been covering things around here for a long time, the last thing he is, is a communist, socialist, whatever rush limbaugh calls him every day of the week. he tried in the health care law, and largely succeeded, to steer a middle course between single payer, you know, government-run program, even the public option, and the republicans' idea of vouchers only in the market. he sought a traditional, american compromise that has been validated over 200 years, between marketplace, and federal regulation.
there was nothing radical about that. minimal regulation of the insurance industry. and yet, these people on the right, go crazy. they go crazy about it from an ideological point of view. so as a kind of mathematical equation, what's the missing element here? what's the "x" factor here that makes them go so crazy? well, there are two things. first of all, we live in divided worlds of politics and reality. they deny his validity because they deny the rest of the world outside of the world they live in, number one. and number two, i think race has to be part of it, because they see everything that he does in apocalyptic terms. why? what other explanation is there? >> let me go to the other theory, david corn. are they trying to trash talk him in to trash talking back? i sometimes wonder whether they just lower the level of discourse using words like liar if they can keep doing this. maybe he'll some night burp out with what he thinks of them and they'll say we showed you, he's an angry black guy or something like that? your thoughts?
i don't understand, cheney, you think he cared about his own dignity. he obviously doesn't care of his own dignity. it may be about his daughter. some game he's playing, some hatred he has of obama. i don't know what it is. who knows. >> i'm not sure they're that strategic in trying to get a, you know, an improper response out of the president. but i do think there is another part to this. and that is, they realize that if they can discredit just a whole nature of political discourse, and make what's happening in washington, when it comes to policy and politics, look like a complete mess, that's bad for the president. that's bad for the democrats, who say listen, we can use government to nudge the markets in the right direction, to give you -- to give you health care. they actually benefit from chaos. the libertarian wing, the tea party wing, they want -- you know, they don't want to just, you know, decrease the size of government, they want to destroy it in a lot of ways. and they want to discredit. they want to discredit the president. they want to discredit congress. they want to disrupt. and if they can get the
president to swing back and play at their level, well they win a big win that way. i'm not sure that's the way they look at it but they do want to disrupt. they're not here to have an honest debate. and we knew that about dick cheney from the get-go. he is not here for an honest debate. >> thank you howard and david. coming up, what's the nonsense about this being the president's katrina? he was looking out the window at them. now republicans are doing everything they can to keep president obama from helping people who are suffering, 40 million people in the emergency rooms. nogs katrina. republicans are trying hard to make it. as we look towards 2014, they have a shot of knocking off big name republican governors in big states who floated into office in the 2010 tea party wave. and the lasting legacy of jack kennedy, our elusive hero. how his short presidency influenced so many after he was gone. >> louie gom ert.
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welcome back to "hardball." republicans have a new way to attack the president for trying to bring health care to people who don't have it. or have been denied it. they're referring to it as president obama's katrina. well today's "new york times" headlines it, health law rollout stumbles draw parallels to push's hurricane response. and quotes a former bush administration official saying, quote, the echoes to the fall of 2005 are really eerie. katrina, which is shorthand for bungled administration policy, matches to the rollout of the website. well, nicole wallace, who was president george w. bush's communications director, joined in on "morning joe." >> there are moments in a presidency where everything is different afterward. and i believe this is that moment. for us it was hurricane katrina. because, while public support had been dropping for the war in
iraq, after katrina, after the many members of the public, and every member of the democratic party, viewed us as incompetent. and it transcended to everything else we did. i'm not -- you know, you can't look in a crystal ball. but i believe this is a moment after which everything will be different for the president. >> well that may be the wish hoping to be fulfilled. anyway republicans hope so anyway. yes the rollout of the website has been disastrous. but the comparisons to katrina. think about it, don't really hold up. during hurricane katrina, the real knock on the president, his crime if you will, was his alleged indifference to the suffering. there he was looking out the window of the plane, not interested in getting down there, worried about the people dehydrated and starving and left out in the cold, left out in the heat there. at least president obama stumbled while trying to help people all the while republicans tried to stop any way they could. editor of talking points. joy, the comparison i would draw to what's going on right now, would
not be to katrina, which was really about indifference. i mean all the president george w. bush had to do, and i kept saying he should do it, was bring marine one, the helicopter, down there in front of the convention center and the superdome and start handing out water bottles to everybody. just show you care. lead the way. lead the charge. don't be standing back and not doing anything. and today, what's going on today i, a guy or woman is out there drowning, a quarter mile out, and a guy jumps in the water and tries to save him. another guy stands on the beach laughing. laughing at the effort to try to save the person. that's what the right wing is doing now. they're not saying we can do a better job of saving that person. they're not diving in the water trying to get out there faster than the guy who's trying to save the person. they're standing on the beach laughing. and i got a little chuckle there when i just heard that comment from nicole. and the chuckle that's out there at the president's inability to get the job done that he's trying to do. that he's trying to do. and the other side has never tried to do. >> yeah. >> there's no comparison here to katrina. nothing. it doesn't work.
it's cute. but it doesn't work. your thoughts? >> what i would add to your analogy is that the guy standing on the side is also fishing out the life preserver, making sure that it's not even possible to help the person because they simply don't believe that it's the role of anybody on the side to jump in and save someone. look, the analogy, i think one day, anyone capable of embarrassment is going to look back, including some people in the news biz, and be embarrassed at the idea of comparing this glitch i website and the inability of some people to buy single market, high deductible insurance to the death of 1800 people. i mean, if you think about just the scale problem, it's really quite embarrassing to make that comparison. in the case of hurricane katrina, you're talking about the benign or active neglect of both state and federal government that led directly or indirectly to the deaths of 1833 human beings. the idea that that is comparable to a glitchy website is really sort of embarrassing, even as a comparison and it shows you the kind of callusness that you hear
from the right. the kind of indifference to human suffering that's quite ironic when they're trying to compare the president to george w. bush. >> thank you joy and josh. up next, a birther, louie gohmert. never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like. he thinks he's uncovered a sinister plot deep within the affordable care act. stick around for this sideshow. this is "hardball," the place for politics. n minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. mmmhmmm...everybody knows that. well, did you know that old macdonald was a really bad speller? your word is...cow. cow. cow. c...o...w... ...e...i...e...i...o. [buzzer] dangnabbit. geico. fifteen minutes could save you...well, you know. [ female announcer ] just about anywhere you use sugar,
an answer. they've made more alarming allegations. mayor ford was said to be snorting cocaine, drinking vodka and using oxycontin all while entertaining a prostitute in his office. >> drinking and driving also a problem police say. one staff member said he was in the car with the mayor when the mayor chugged a mickey of vodka mixed in with gatorade. >> mayor ford then steps oupt of the car and proceeds to urinate publicly next to basically an elementary school. >> oh, canada. he was just trying to tell kids to stay in school. >> meanwhile, south of the border, there was brazen political hoots pa at the oversight hearing in the house of representatives. congressman paul brown threw this question about the affordable care act at epa administrator gina mccarthy. listen carefully to her response. >> let me ask you one more question because my time is running out. are you signed up for obama care? >> no, i am not.
>> why not? >> well, because i'm lucky enough as a federal government that i have a health care available to me, which i've signed up for, and in a few years when that's not the case, i'll be happy to have other available -- >> the president said that obama care is -- >> did you get that, mccarthy is referring to the fact that she's lucky enough to already have health insurance. congressman steve stockman chose to hear it differently. listen to what he says a few minutes later in the hearing. >> i think, though, you earlier gave me my favorite tweet of the day for someone to send out which is i'm lucky enough to -- oh, really the quote is from you. it says i'm lucky enough not to have to sign up for obama care. that's wonderful. i wish my constituents could say the same. >> i actually think i was referring to i'm lucky to have access to good health care, which the -- >> i still will take your quote from the record. i wrote it down. it's really good. >> she didn't say anything what
he just said. anyway, in other words he's saying i don't care what you actually said as long as i can quote you out of context and tweet out, it was worse than that. that's all that matter to me. nice trick, congressman. everybody saw it. it fits a pattern when it comes to critics of the affordable care act. the truth is often seen beside the point. remember death panels? this comment from congressman louie gohmert might be the most incredible yet. >> it provides in obama care that this commission and noncommissioned officer corps will be trained, but i want to know, are they using weapons to train, or are they being taught to use syringes and health care items? >> that's congressman, a u.s. congressman louie gohmert asking the question nobody on planet earth thought necessary. is the u.s. government creating an obama care army perhaps armed with weapons, perhaps armed with syringes? well hopefully you can get to the bottom of that. the reality is the new law provides funding for a reserve corps of a few thousand doctors
and health care workers to help at times of national emergencies. nothing about people going around putting needles in people's arms to kill them in late age. sorry louie you're out to lunch again. that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business" with jj ramberg. y zyrtec-d®. powerful relief of nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms -- all in one pill. zyrtec-d®. at the pharmacy counter. still running in the morning? yeah. getting your vegetables every day? when i can. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories. two full servings of vegetables hey, buddy? oh, hey, flo.
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