tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 19, 2014 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
these parents lost the most valuable thing in their life, their children. we can never give them their children back. but we can give meaning to their children's loss and we can protect other parents from losing children too. >> thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. policing the bridge. let's play "hardball". good evening. let me start with this.
they had a name for their pain. how did uniform police get involved in carrying out a political operation? one that has the looks of being a vendetta, a hard ball punishment campaign against the mayor, someone who refused to play ball with the governor's office? why would the head of the police union be out there backing the alibi for the entire mess on the george washington bridge? not only backing alibi but saying this whole traffic study bs was his personal idea. tonight we have the reasons why. police officers and union boss playing footsie with the governor's office, why not only carrying out the mayhem on the bridge themselves but coming up with a big fat excuse. it has to do with the reach of the new jersey governor and his willingness to play especially nice with the police attending the george washington bridge, how he promised to give them a huge new piece of pie,
jurisdiction over the rebuild. tonight, why the far better paid port authority police got to big foot the metropolitan police. >> head of the union, not only defending so-called traffic study. then calling it garbage, the whistleblower here on the director of the bridge commission said there is no traffic study. why do we have the police union so intricately involved in covering for the governor? >> it is a huge question we are trying to get an answer to. there has been a lot said about this police union being the groupt that enforced christie
early on. as you mentioned keeping them in control of patrolling the world trade center and cited not letting the police officers, boots on the ground so to speak be replaced with technology. there is definitely some sort of relationship there. we don't know why specifically he was saying this was actually a traffic study and he called for it. he hasn't taken our call on this question. >> he not only called it a traffic study which doesn't look to be the case at all but said it was garbage, a load of garbage when the whistleblowerer said it was all nonsense. why would he go so far as to trash the people who whistleblew? >> i don't know if it is part of him sticking by the story or if this is just another attack on foye. we know upset about the letter saying there was no traffic
study at the time that was being told to the media. they were upset that that letter got out. we don't know if he is part of the effort to say there was a traffic study. >> turns out the head of the police union has a political dog in this fight, bill barronne. when he tried to convince it was a result of an innocent traffic study, an important part of his alibi was the port authority police union saying it was his idea to look at fort lee traffic lanes. >> at some point in late july members of the port authority police spoke to david wildstein. so it was triggered by a conversation late july. >> who were these police officers that raised the issue that we ought to look at this? >> the leadership of the port authority police. >> names?
>> so the head of the port authority pba raised this? >> that is correct. >> i love the reporter laughing at this. when reporters asked about baroni's comments he backed up saying i support traffic patterns. we have yet to see documented evidence of the fact and despite a subpoena. says it was garbage to say otherwise. i'm protecting the governor here. don't ask me for papers because i have been subpoenaed twice and i'm not participating. he didn't just try to back up baroni's alibi and took aim at patrick foye, the executive director who snipped out the bogus lane closures and ordered them lifted and sent a scathing e-mail which raised numerous concerns. characterized the concerns as a, quote, load of garbage despite
the fact that lawmakers were aggressively investigating the matter. and wildstein resigned followed by baroni. there was serious trouble here, serious problems, two top guys resigned. all of them governor christie's guys. in the midst of all of this, the police union guy sticks by the governor. i'm trying to figure out what i couldn't figure out on monday when police officers on the bridge are going car to car telling people blame this on the mayor of fort lee. this seems so political for police ask then to find out how police union boss was also working for the interests of the governor here. all of a sudden a very politicized behavior by not just the rank and file police on the bridge but the union boss all working in the interest at least of the governor. how do you explain it? could it be the fact the guys at
the union extended in terms of the governor increasing the number of cops from 1,500 to 2,000? they make much more than new york police and being guaranteed the right to police the new world trade center building. they are getting a lot more jurisdiction and more union deals and leadership all because of governor christie apparently. >> right, if you look at it, back in january of 2013 when this union enforced governor christie they said it was because christie was protecting their jobs at the world trade center and protecting their jobs patrolling the newark airport perimeters. by the time the port authority lane closures of the george washington bridge occurred
already 200 additional port authority police officers and police training with 300 more on the way to start in january. so clearly the port authority police union owed governor christie in a major way for their jobs. >> i think if you increase the number of people by 500 and increase the union dues the union boss loves this -- they are doing better than most unions in the country. they are getting increased jurisdiction and well-paid. they make over $100,000 per officer. in addition to that they have the governor on their side. here is the question. why would the governor, a republican, get the endorsement of a union. most unions tend to be democratic leaning. and all of a sudden they leap
over and back christie. what came first? chicken or the egg? >> governor christie worked very, very hard to attract union endorsements. the port authority police union the second union, the laborers were first. the laborers endorsed christie because they supported jobs through the transportation trust fund. the port authority police union was important because christie was not going to get the backing of police and firefighter unions in new jersey because of the pension bill that he passed with senate president sweeney. so his only opportunity to get a major endorsement from a police union was to get the port authority police officers. bear in mind that wildstein and
nunziato met on a daily basis. wildstein was a guy -- said don't give policy stories, just write about politics. i'm sure you spent a lot of time talking about politics. what christie was attempting to do was to demonstrate to republicans on the national basis that he can attract other stituencies, african-americans, hispanics and unions. >> let's go to a big conflict. i want to get back to melissa. if the police on the bridge are blaming this mess, all this mess on the mayor of fort lee which was apparently the political vendetta, put it all on him. and then you have the head of the police union who these guys report to who is sweet with
wildstein saying this is about a traffic study. which is it? are we to believe, if anybody can believe it that the head of the union believed one thing, a legitimate traffic study, when the rank and file out to the bridge, all saying blame the mayor of fort lee? which is it? a vendetta? if there is a difference here then he is completely out to lunch because he thought it was a traffic study and his cops said this is a way to screw the mayor of fort lee. who is lying here? i believe the cops doing what they are told to do. that's his problem right now. >> i think that's why you have the legislative panel looking into this and pat foye asking inspector general to look into police involvement in this. we really don't know who is telling the truth and what was going on. we heard a lot of people say we
don't think the police officers would have done this on their own, that they were probably ordered to do this higher up the food chain. >> i will make the judgment, a regular traffic cop isn't thinking about how to screw different mayors. they are thinking about getting through the day without an accident and getting people moving safely. that is what they are thinking about, unless a higher up says blame the mayor. are you frustrated? are you frustrated? then blame the mayor of fort lee. that is the political message and the fact that can be delayed to the rank and file police officer in those four days and not go through the head of the union who had had all of these relationships with wildstein. thank you for coming on. coming up republicans like rand paul hope that by going back to the '90s and whacking down bill clinton again can help
take down hillary clinton. why would the leading gop candidate for texas embrace the hate speech of a rock center. republicans can't seem to say no to it. it is one thing for republicans to oppose the health care law but down in arkansas republicans are going out of their way to sabotage it, to take benefits away from people who got it. which prominent senator being challenged because his opponent says he looks too much like a turtle? this is hard ball. ♪ at axa, we offer advice and help you break down your insurance goals into small, manageable steps. because when you plan for tomorrow, it helps you live for today. can we help you take a small step? for advice, retirement, and life insurance, connect with axa.
did sue. >> i really think that anybody who wants to take money from bill clinton or have a fundraiser has a lot of explaining to do. i think they should give the money back. >> conservatives jumped aboard quickly republican national committee chair reince priebus has been tweeting. last week wrote remember all the clinton scandals? that is what america needs again? and scandalal and controversy are the clintons only consistent policy. the national review wrote the clintons are our national grotesques. and last night fox news contributed to the feeling of deja vu. >> hillary clinton is the war on women. and i think that she needs to be
exposed for all of the terror campaigns that she has raged against women who were in the wrong place at the wrong time with their husband. >> that was 1998 she made the claim. the hope on the right seems to be to dirty bill clinton a little bit and muddy up hillary in the process. editorial director for "huffington post." the question is, is it smart to muss up bill clinton as he goes out campaigning? i assume he will go to places like new hampshire, arkansas, the south, take away some ability to give character witness. this guy is really smart. this guy is great. believe eme, he is great. can he do that with rand paul calling him a predator? >> bill clinton has had one of the more successful post
presidencies. he has clinton foundation. >> his numbers are great. >> he has built himself a tremendous reputation, much better than when he left office. what the republicans are doing is trying to chip away at that, trying to cut his numbers so he has less effectiveness in the places that you mentioned including kentucky where he is going to campaign for the democratic candidate in the senate race that he basically chose. and so for the republicans for 2014 they want to make him less effective in the senate races and gubernatorial races. >> will it work? suppose a local reporter walks up, you know what they do, you can't resist it. some local will say what about the charge from senator rand paul? >> that's one reason why rand paul is doing what he is doing in advance. and it probably will work in other places in the short term. long term it is not going to
work. the 90s are history. >> interesting point in the p e polls. when you ask whether people approve or disapprove of someone's presidency, bill clinton is so far up on that list right behind kennedy and reagan who everybody on the right says is their president, right up there because they are not asking do you think anything about him did you think he did a good job? that he was popular on that front back then with all the monica mess? >> the prebubble was considered economic growth. people remember that particularly before the bush presidency. so i think bill clinton's presidency as well as bill clinton himself have very positive impressions. and the whole business with monica lewinsky has been processed. it is nothing new. you have clinton bashers of the
'90 and see 2014 will raise that and white water. kathleen suggested the clintons had something to do with the death of her husband and death of her cats. really starting to drudge up all the old muck again. as they did in the '90s when the anticlintonites overplayed hands of impeachment are doing the same thing. >> democrats from 1932 through probably 1960 something ran against herbert hoover. they didn't stop. i will probably not forget w.'s take against the war of iraq for many decades. and after the civil war the republicans ran for 30 or 40 years on the bloody shirt. when does it run out of steam politicly that bill clinton got impeached? >> i think it has long since run
out of steam and their attempt to revive it is probably going to fail except within their own -- >> he is not running again. >> the memories of the '90s in terms of the economy are glowing and post presidency has been good. they are going after him because he is the most important guy in the democratic party right now. barack obama to some extent is on the sidelines. bill clinton is organizing at the grass roots level, raising money, finding candidates. >> there is an old phrase. i love that. if hillary runs for president here is reince priebus with andrea mitchell last week. >> is that a legitimate issue rehashing the '90s if hillary clinton becomes a candidate for president? >> i think everything is on the table. i don't see how some get a pass on anything especially on
today's politics. and then some things might be new. >> if that is sitting in the wagon. i doubt they have anything on hillary clinton? >> i think the goal here is to make clinton about the past. if you make a candidate, tie them to the past rightfully or wrongfully it sort of puts a drag on them. so their idea is to say clinton old news, old allegations, doesn't matter if the allegations have nothing to them at the time. in the 90s pitching documentaries, videos that accused the clinton's of killing dozens of people to cover up their corruptions.
it doesn't matter that was all patently false even though it was supported by republicans. i think not just to slow down bill clinton but to make hillary clinton seem like the candidate of the past of a tainted soap opera-like past. >> if you are so smart, bill clinton, best politician of our lifetime, big times, little times, face-to-face. some local reporter doing their job, kentucky, louisville, mr. president, i hate to ask the question. what do you think about the charge that you are a sexual predator. what does he say? >> let's talk about the future and let's not go over the '90s. this presents an opening to the clintons if reince priebus and rand paul want to talk about the 1990s we want to talk about the
21st century. we lived a long life and want to use all of that. >> i did something very wrong, i'm apologizing and continue to apologize for the rest of my life. let's talk about the future. first of all, take the thing on his shoulders. thank you. up next the most bizarre reason to oppose mitch mcconnell. this is "hardball." [ cellphone dings ]
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(vo) so do we, business pro. so do we. go national. go like a pro. back to "hardball" and time for side show. actor kevin spacy continued publicity tour for "house of cards" here is what he had to say to john stewart about the lawmakers who serve in congress. >> i don't believe them. i don't believe what they say. i don't believe they are being absolutely sincere. i think it is performance art and most are bad actors. >> that's what is so weird.
did you ever see, would they ever drop the facade. do you think it was a performance for your benefit or lying to themselves and each other? >> i think often the delusion is very deep, it runs very deep. >> they believe in their hearts what they are saying. >> except for the ones that they are full of [ bleep ]. >> that is a hell of generalization. next up it has become silly season in texas republican primary race. now there is another lesser known challenger who is getting reptillic. his name is duane stoval. he released a campaign ad that attack s mitch mcconnell becaus he says mcconnell votes for a
turtle. >> you don't enslave children with unconstitutional laws and overwhelming debt and don't do all of this to please a guy who looks and fights like a turtle. i'm a texan. we don't need a beltway turtle telling us how to fight. >> i like turtle soup. not every day do you get a personal apology from a president. that is exactly what happened to an art history professor who took history at a casual joke president obama made at a jobs event last month. here was the comment in question. >> but i promise you, folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree. nothing wrong with art history degree. i love art history. i don't want to get a bunch of e-mails.
>> as predicted the remark triggered back lash and prompted professor to write the white house. she got a hand written reply from the president who had this to say. let me apologize for my off the cuff remarks. i was making a comment about the jobs market. art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school and has helped me take on a great deal of joy in my lifet that i might otherwise have missed. we'll be right back after this. ♪ [ laughs ] whoo! ♪ oh! nice! great! [ laughs ]
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urging airlines to be on alert for explosives hidden in shoes related to overseas flights headed to the u.s. facebook is making its biggest acquisition yet, buying mobile messaging app for $19 billion in cash and stock. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." it's been said more than once that you are known by the company you keep. for some republicans the company they keep is becoming a problem like the company of ted nugent. in january, this january the aging rocker and gun advocate had this to say about the president. >> i have obviously failed to galvinize and prod if not shame enough americans to be ever vigilant not to let a chicago communist-raised, communist-educated,
communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the community organizer gangster barack obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority of the united states of america. >> where was mr. nugent yesterday? campaigning for republican front runner for texas, greg abbott. nugent gave this rousing introduction. >> we don't have to question greg abbott's courage because he invited me here today. i am so proud to be here today in denton, texas, to introduce the next governor that will make sure america knows what freedom looks like. and it looks like greg abbott, my friend, greg abbott. >> what sort of republican is greg abbott trying to forge
here. it wasn't until the word acorn was used. >> i knew where he was headed all along. >> let's talk politics and not the fact that some people in the country don't like different kinds of people. why would a front runner hang out with this guy? show up with him a couple of times yesterday after he just said that last month? >> i would argue it is not a good idea, even in texas. there are some fortunately fringe voters who get excited. >> if you are a republican and you are on the far right, you want to get everybody over
there, don't you? >> but you want to get everybody over there. texas is a big complicated cosmopolitan state. it generally goes republican but it is becoming if not purple it is getting a bit of the taint to it. i think if i were running as republican in texas i would be careful not to accelerate that process. >> abbott must be smart. he knows what he is doing. >> i am sure that mr. abbott deeply regrets bringing ted nugent on. i take it at his word that he may not have known the previous comments made. >> when did he begin to be -- did he begin to regret it at 11:00 last night? when did the regret set in? >> as soon as somebody said it. i heard that he is a thoroughly decent guy. had someone said everybody loves
ted nugent and so they brought him on. >> what do they mean this guy has courage because he brought me in here. he was chuckling about the fact he made offensive comments. >> i think it was a terrible mistake. >> you say it is a mistake. >> i think republicans have a problem in associating themselves with people like nugent. he is one of a kind surely. there are people who do certain things, say certain things and represent certain things that they still invite to the table and they need to separate themselves. >> you have to figure out where to draw the line. texas is packed with these people. this guy elected congressman, they will not say the president was legitimately elected. rafael cruz, texas republicans have made a mission of
delegitimizing the president. nearly half sponsors of the birther bill from texas. we point out the language of rafael cruz who campaigns for his son. let's listen. >> we need to send barack obama back to chicago. ideologicalric like to send him back to kenya, back to indonesia. >> where do they start? there is a lot of guys closer than ted nugent that you may not like. >> i think they need to start cleaning up the house. >> they are electing these characters. >> ted cruz used to work for abbott. so just throw that in. it is just an interesting tidbit. >> you and i both are from south
carolina. i would put right wing crazies against any state's. >> my friends at home have friends at other states. we beat you this time. >> you have a great sense of humor. you grew up in the worst part of this jim crow stuff. i think it is politicly smarter than we like to admit. i think they are saying there is a great advantage in the republican party today no matter what your heart says to grab the hard right rail. you don't want anybody to the right of you because they say you are part of the establishment. one thing to do is associate with the wackos because they are making a statement. >> this is not new. this has been going on with president obama since before he was elected. the whole birther thing, the whole kenyan, anticolonialism. the effort to make him the other, the dark other, whom we are afraid of. and that has been a central sort
of appeal to oppose obama that republican party, i think, mistakenly has -- >> i am a white guy but i am optimistic about this kind of thing. you are, too. this country voted for barack obama knowing exactly who he is. >> twice. >> in fact, north carolina voted for him. virginia voted for him. a lot of people in the south voted for him saying he is the best guy to be president. that is what they thought. they are still making those judgments. there is the back wash. here is wendy davis. she condemned greg abbott's campaign with ted nugent. quote, greg abbott's embrace of ted nugent is an insult to every texan, every man, woman, husband and father. if this is greg abbottt's idea of values it's repulsive. abbott said it is better than being associated with president
obama. telling she represents the liberalism of barack obama that is so bad for texas. this effect by relationship they want to trump up that is a game that will be a detriment to the davis campaign because of their ties to barack obama. >> i think we are about to see a nasty fight it looks like. nugent makes sense in texas if you don't know all of those other awful things that he has said, the comments that you have already played. i think to most people he is just that crazy, wild and crazy rock and roll guy who loves the second amendment and loves to hunt. they are trying to appeal to that part of the population. i think abbott will have to distance himself. i think it is a big mistake on his part to have responded as he did without the knowledge that he is about to learn. >> if that's the kind of contest
abbott wants to set up i think that is a mistake. look at the demographics of texas, maybe not this election. >> i love your optimism. i'm waiting for the first birther to lose. they don't lose. credit to don. people loved it. up next republicans are not just trying to stop the president's health care law, in some cases they are trying to take away benefits from people who just got them. this is "hardball," the place for politics. your car's health depends on a full, complete checkup. the works. because when it comes to feeling safe behind the wheel, going the distance and saving at the pump you want it all. get our multi-point inspection with a a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation, brake inspection and more for $29.95 or less. get a complete vehicle checkup. only at your ford dealer.
sabotage in arkansas, how republicans are trying to take health care away from people who just got it. "hardball" back after this. there's this kid. coach calls her a team player. she's kind of special. she makes the whole team better. he's the kind of player that puts the puck, horsehide, bullet. right where it needs to be. coach calls it logistics. he's a great passer. dependable. a winning team has to have one. somebody you can count on. somebody like my dad. this is my dad. somebody like my mom. my grandfather. i'm very pround of him. her. them.
i saved him $519, and it certainly didn't go toward that ring. am i right? [ laughs ] [ dance music playing ] so visit progressive.com today. i call this one "the robox." we're back. how desperate are some republicans to make sure that as few people as possible benefit from the health care law? down in arkansas they are moving to take new health care benefits way from low income people who just got them. republicans in the state legislature are moving to eliminate health coverage for 96,000 working people. the arkansas state house has blocked funding for the program all together. watch state representative yesterday on the house floor. >> there are people in this
building who have said obamacare is not our fight, that we are here and do not have the power to fight this battle. i challenge that notion. is arkansas going to be an enabler for obamacare? in other words, these republicans only go as to hijack and kill the president's law at any opportunity they get. the former united states senator from arkansas it seems to me that there is a black and white struggle going on in arkansas.
and therefore anything they do to stop it, if they can kill obamacare, deny it for people who already got it, anything goes. >> it is sad because what we really need people to do is look at what needs to happen. we need expansion of coverage that affordable care act provides us to get healthier populations so we can bring down the cost of health care in this country. people said they didn't want an expansion of medicaid. you can put it into the exchange. >> they did that. >> they don't want anything. >> andrew, it seems like, help me with the facts here.
here, you know, some of the biggest champions and advocates for this compromise medicaid expansion which is known as the private option are republicans. the republican house speaker, republican senate president, and the architects of this were actually republican legislators, and it's sharply divided them, especially if they're heading into primary season where republicans in arkansas made gains primarily by running against the health care law. you know, it's an issue that -- >> it's an issue. let's talk right now, andrew, what's going on right now, you have to help me with the reporting, they're trying to take away from 96,000 people. people just above the poverty line, benefiting from this new approach, the working poor. that seems to me a pretty dramatic step to take it away
from somebody that just got it. >> yeah, and that's something that supporters of the private option have pointed out. you have tens of thousands of people who are receiving coverage. some of whom for the first time ever, if this is not reauthorized, july 1st, that funding is cutoff, that coverage is cut off. >> how are they going to vote? >> today, the house, they failed to reauthorize, the house speaker says they'll vote every day until they pass it. the house is going to vote on it again tomorrow, and also the state senate is planning on voting on an identical version of the bill. the supporters are confident they'll get there, the difficulty they have is that it takes a higher vote margin because this is the budget bill, even though you already have a majority of legislators on both sides of the capital that support this. >> it seems to be said that you can't lose down there if you're on the hard right if you vote against obama in any regard. nobody reads the fine print. as long as you hate obama and
everything he's ever done, you win. >> we've gotten away from public service. that's to create things with a greater quality of life. it's not just those 100,000 that now have health insurance that didn't before, but look at that 50% of those 100,000 are under 40 or under. which is the hardest group to get ensured. not only are we getting the younger insurers, but they are helping the risk pool so that we do exactly what wen watt do do, and that is get more people insured. >> did it stay further right with bill clinton? has it moved to the right? >> i think it has. and it's unfortunate, but i think a lot of that has to do with the fact that there's -- you know, less retail politics and more wholesale politics. they're getting a lot more information and input and all kinds of stuff from outside of the state as opposed to the kind of retail politics that we've all logged and used to do.
>> andrea, how do you see this coming out? are they going to save those people who have health care for the first time or not? >> it's hard to tell right now, the supporters seem a lot more confident that they're going to get there, i think the expectation is that if it gets out of the senate tomorrow, that may help with some leverage in the house which has been the sticking point over the last few days. >> andrew, the associated press, thanks for joining us from little rock. thank you, we'll be right back after this. and when you put them in charge of making an unbeatable truck, good things happen. this is the ram 1500. the 2014 motor trend truck of the year. ♪ and first ever back-to-back champion. guts. glory. ram. hey, is it true we can get four lines, unlimited talk and text and 10 gigs of data to share
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let me finish tonight with this, the haters are out there tonight in texas, they call the president of the united states a chicago communist raised, communist educated, communist nurtured, subhuman mongrel. it's the same insew lens you heard when the president was adjusting a joint session of congress. all those birthers who are denying the president's legitimacy. barack obama was legitimately elected president of the united states. like we come back every year, the easy way to grab the hard right voter is to feed them a notion that the president of the united states is a secret communist infiltrator from east
africa. with spring coming, might be a good idea for the voters of texas and elsewhere to begin doing what do with weeds. pull them and throw them where they belong, in the compost pile. that's hardball for now, thanks for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. >> good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes, well, it's a bad day for wisconsin republican governor scott walker. all of the country right now, investigative reporters are pouring over 28,000 newly released documents related to a criminal investigation of a former walker aide. these documents have the potential to do real damage to the wisconsin governor who's up for re-election this year, we have a reporter joining us to talk about what we know so far. scott walker's bad day comes on the heels of what had been a string of very good days for a man who's widely believed to