tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 8, 2016 8:30pm-9:01pm PST
speed, john glenn." thank you for being here with us. "hardball with chris matthews" begins right now. the right stuff, let's play "hardball." >> today the united states begins paying tribute to colonel john h. glenn jr., the first american to ride a spacecraft around the world. . >> good evening, i'm chris matthews. today we pay tribute to john glenn, known as an american
hero, john glenn died today. he was an astronaut, a u.s. senator, a statesman, and an american hero. he died at the age of 85. he circled the earth three times to push into a new frontier. he was hailed as a hero. glenn later reentered public life representing his home state of ohio in the u.s. senate where he served for a quarter century. >> it's better to have tried and failed than have failed to try. i guess that's the way i look at it. >> through all his years in public life, he never lost his pioneering spirit. he made one final launch. in 1998 when he was 77, he
became the oldest astronaut to travel into space. appropriate title tonight, globe editorial director of "huffington post." tell me shuttle commander, what it was like to meet john glenn and what he meant to you. >> john glenn was a hero of mine from the earliest days, as far back as i can remember. he had the career i always dreamed of, fighter pilot during world war ii and then test pilot and astronaut. so meeting him in the astronaut gym and working out with him was a real thrill for me and he just fulfilled every expectation i ever had of somebody that lived up to it. >> let's do a couple things. we didn't think we'd do it on the occasion of tragedy like this, the death of a man at 95 but a great man. how come guys like you are laughing as they're going into
the spacecraft and about to take off? everything can go wrong, it has gone wrong and you're all chuckling away. how do you do that psychologically? >> you've been training for the mission for so long, you come downstairs, it's like coming downstairs on christmas morning. this is going to be great, i can't wait. my only worry was would i screw up? i don't care what happens as long as it's not my fault. >> last question and i'm going to go to my regular friends of mine here. it's very nice to meet you, sir. what is it like to look down and see the earth? what's it like to see earth as this big green ball? >> i agree. it would be great to have someone with a little more artistic bent than i have. i am moved looking down at it. you see thunderstorms over africa flashing like bulbs, the thinness of the atmosphere.
it makes me think of the planet as alive and that perspective is amazing. >> and the millions of places of like india and china, can you see that? >> you see evidence of people down there, especially at night, the lights as you look around the word are amazing. >> write that up, will you? >> 1963 john glenn appeared on "meet the press" and spoke about what the space program meant to him and the world. >> i can't even begin to pinpoint what we may run into or what may prove of most benefit but i think man's participation in this guarantees one thing, if we can see things, foresee them, analyze them and relate them back to our experiences here, this is the main thing that man brings to the program. he can see things, new things that now are completely unforeseen or unknown. this to me is probably what's going to be the biggest advantage of having a man in the space program, things that we don't even foresee right now. >> how did i remember when we finally turned the corner, the
damn soviets, they're getting all the -- sputnik, finally he goes up there and we're back in the race. >> i was alive in that time during the kennedy years and john glenn became the small town ohio expression of camelot, if you will. he wasn't the fancy guy from the fancy family in the east, he didn't go to choate and harvard. he was a guy from small town ohio who became a hero to the world and to all america. he was himself a fulfillment of the kennedy promise. that's what gave him the original lift -- >> bobby asked him to. >> first with bobby kennedy. >> and it was bob kennedy and --
they instantly launched his career. >> didn't he seem more like a republican? seemed to me if he had a different set of friends, he might have gone the other party. >> i don't think it was political. it was who he was. >> space typically has been very bipartisan. that's what he grew up with and stayed where he was. grounded. >> he was somebody who actually rejected this notion of identity politics. he was somebody who was an mensch icon, an american hero. one of the reasons he didn't do better in 1984 is because walter mondale understood identity politics better than he did and he was running a different kind of campaign. he was running as the america can, we can win guy. >> what was better? >> i think he's better. i used to go to mondale fund-raisers but he never, ever said anything that everybody stood up for. >> there weren't that many people then or now who could bestrayed the whole country.
>> hillary clinton, by the way, paid tribute to her visit to capitol hill. let's watch. a friend to many of us and a genuine american hero, passed away today. and i know that the tributes will be flowing. i'm sure the congressional record will be filled with pages of appreciation and recognition of this extraordinary american's life. >> a president-elect donald trump also made a brief statement about glenn on his trip to ohio. >> of course senator john glenn today, the passing of -- to me he was a great american hero. a truly great american hero. i met him on two separate occasions. liked him, always liked him. but he was indeed an american hero. >> what makes guys be like you? i'm thinking about this.
john glen ought in somebody else's war. then he became a test pilot, like when people die, oh, i don't know who this guy is. and then he's 77 years old. y it to go up in space again. what's the drive in your machinery. you did it four space shuttle splats. >> he wanted to go higher, he wanted it to go faster. that's the way way i felt with my career as i went from being a navy fighter pilot and then a test pilot and ten an astronaut. >> i was telling the shuttle commander here, i applied for the journalist in space program. because i was a child of put
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. president-elect trump continued his thank you tour. he heads to baton rouge louisiana and grand rapids michigan tomorrow and hershey, pennsylvania next week. but the campaign is over and a new administration is set to shape january 20th, just six weeks away. is it time for rallies to end and let the governing begin?
>> okay, for the defense, when were the circuses end and the bread begin? >> listen, i remember when george w. bush tried to get social security passed by doing bunch of rallies and it wasn't very effective. i think trump can be effective by doing these rallies to energize people for he is agenda. he also has to play the outside game, inside game to get the stuff done. it's easier because he has republicans and democrats running -- >> you think he will lock her up before january 20th? >> we have to dispense with the locker up stuff. >> how is he going to -- there are some people on the alt-right. they're going to show up on
january 20th with the confederate license plates and they're going to be riding around town acting like crazy people. that's going to send a signal to the world that this guy's bringing in the hard right with him. >> it's interesting you say that because a lot of people, people in congress, say they're not coming to the inauguration because of that. how does he counter that? he counters that by what he's doing now. there are some people within the transition team reaching out to theongressional black caucus. there's not a meeting set yet -- >> who's black on the new team? who beside dr. carson? anybody else? >> right now amorosa is working -- let it go, let it go, let it go. >> i'm looking at the cabinet level positions. >> i've got something for you for something you should all know. >> when are people going to say youserious. >> it's interesting you say that. george bush had the most diverse
republican administration. >> that's the tallest building in kansas city, right? no, really, you're saying w -- >> he had the most diverse republican administration. >> very low bar there. donald trump has not changed his tone. he's punching down, attacking labor leaders. >> why is he doing that? >> that's who he is. he's a bully. he can't help himself. but also you talk about you this kellyanne on earlier and she was talking about she takes offense when they talk about white nationalism and nationalists with the campaign. the chief strategist in the white house, steve bannon, said he wanted to promote the alt-right at breitbart. so right there you can't tell me that boo-hoo-hoo, this is not a proper claim being made and then
fake news tweeted out -- >> how much is responsible -- is michael flynn responsible for, this the guy with the gun? >> he's responsible, as is his son -- >> edgar welch walked into that pizza joint on sunday because of what michael welch's son did? >> no. they're contributing to an environment that passes around bad information and riles up a community. >> explain not holocaust -- why do people say sandy hook didn't happen? all those poor kids gunned down? what do you get out of saying it didn't happen? >> i think there are some people who are certifiably crazy out there. >> jones? >> he is. >> there are things on his web site that are just made up. >> why rub it in the face of parents? >> i don't know why.
>> i know why. >> westgate -- go it's not a surprise. he does this to mack a lot of money. he's also gun rights advocate -- >> that's the point. >> it's about guns. he's trying to dismiss gun control. >> he's trying to dismiss any evidence that they have, factual evidence, to create a problem for the second amendment. >> david, tell me something i don't know. >> i'd like to get personal. . february 20th, 1962, it was my birthday, we watched him go up in space with walter cronkite, say "go baby go." we then ran to the window to look for john glenn. he was my first public hero. it was an honor to meet him in this building years later. >> i was inhe peace corps when he went to the moon. my friend frank got the whole village to come out and watch that light in the sky.
was that great? >> i don't think eight minus -- no, in the mix to head the department of ag, former congressman j.c. watts. >> is he coming? >> he's in the mix, he's in the mix. >> he's a great guy, great guy. two things. harry reid secretly admires what mitch mcconnell can. second thing, democratic senators are refusing to meet with trump nominees in the senate. >> is there going to be a poll buster or is it going? >> well, harry reid said it's going pretty soon. >> thank you. when we return, let me finish with american hero john glenn. i got some things to say i know about him. you're watching "hardt ball", the place for politics. happy anniversary dinner, darlin'
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that was the deal. he once said he didn't have a fire alarm religion, he said his prayers on a regular basis, not when the panic hit. his heart beat stayed pretty much the same as his space capsule roared back into the at moose fear. his heat shield was the only thing that kept him from being burned alive. if february 1962, he went into space and around the earth, the first american to do it. boy, did he make his country proud. people forget in the years of sputnik, we considered ourselves behind in the space race. we watched several monkeys go up in space while our van guard missile crashed again and again and again. president kennedy declared the united states was not going to just catch the russians, we were going to leap frog them for all the world to see. the united states was going to put a man on the moon in a
decade and we did it. john glenn was part of the american rush to greatness in the 60s. it was about men with the right stuff, discipline, commitment, guts, john glenn was one of them. his success and what it meant to this country is a tribute to the squares of the world, the men and women with the guts to show up and do the job. that's "hardball" for now. join me tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern. see you then.
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the only poll that counts is the poll on election day. that's one of like the most grim-faced cliches in all of politics, right? but every election cycle, you can set your watch on it. >> i'll tell you what i think. the only polls that count are the polls the american people go to on november 2nd. >> in any event, the bottom line is this. the only poll that counts is going to be in november. >> the only poll that counts is the one they're going to take on tuesday when they count the votes that these people are going to cast. and we're going to win florida. >> no, you're not going to win