Hardball | November 04, 2012
>>> good evening. i'm chris matthews in cleveland . let me start with this. the close nest of this election tells you something about our country, how divided it. as you look at rockefeller center in new york, consider the national polling. the north, midwest and west back obama . the south is with romney , or is against obama . you can see this division as it works its way down from southwest pennsylvania, including part of ohio , down through west virginia . you see it in the agitation that romney and his forces are working in their ads and speeches. donald trump , who says is president is an illegal immigrant, now doing robocalls for romney . john sununu keeps calling the president lazy and un-american. and topping it off, we heard romney out here in ohio today saying the president is bent on, get this, revenge. let's begin tonight with my interview with vice president biden. i started with that high octane issue of auto production right here in ohio .
>> thank you, mr. vice president, for this time. here we are in ohio . what do you make of this republican ad that's been out there running for romney saying that chrysler is going to take jeep out of this state and send it to china?
>> here are the people right in this state, toledo and other places, just back up on their feet, jeep is hiring people and they put out an ad saying that barack obama sent chrysler bankrupt so the italians could buy it. and it's just flat false. the most cynical play i've seen. there was an editorial in the " denver post " saying this goes to character.
>> what does it say about romney 's character?
>> it says they don't have much character at all and the idea that these guys -- look, chris, they're running away from everything. on that debate, i thought romney was going to endorse obama . now they're running away from the ryan budget, which is what they were going to herald as the second coming. it really is kind of scurrilous. these people are finally back on their feet. there's no chance their job is going to go to china.
>> even when the fact checkers come out and check them and objectively say these ads are wrong, what do you think the campaign says, run it any way?
>> when we were doing this -- i think they think that if they spent a couple million bucks or $20 million bucks around the country on these ads that that will swamp free press.
>> so in other words, all the fact checking in the world can't catch up.
>> that's in their thinking.
>> the president was up there with governor christie. what does it tell you that we don't see that coolness under fire?
>> by the way, it is cool. look at what this guy came into office with. look what he inherited and he's steady. literally, i've never once seen this guy falter. i've never -- he's never once in my presence said joe, what do you think the politics of this are? he makes a judgment, he listens. he cuts through all the mularkey. and now that he's mastered the bureaucracy, now he's talking with homeland security and the rest and one of the principals says, do you want us working with con ed ? we usually don't do this? he says to leon, the secretary of defense, can you get generators in to con ed ? let's get this up and running. he just cuts through. he makes a decision and he stands by what he does. in contrast to governor romney , you never know where he is. this guy makes a decision, chris. as i said it before, he has a backbone like a ramrod. he stands by what he says, and he lives by it.
>> the way he chose to go after bin laden , the decision to rescue the auto industry . when he makes those decisions, everybody else sees cool on the outside. what can you see?
>> i see a guy who starts off and the questions he asks are about how this can affect real people . not a joke. it's all straight. here's the deal. on the automobile rescue, he said, how can you let an iconic industry go under? what does that say about the country? there's a million people going to lose their jobs. so the question was, he didn't think it was better, but how could you not take the chance?
>> bipartisan got a huge applause here. you got real close to a deal last year with john boehner . if you get re-elected, how do you get back to making it work, like it did up here in the storm country of jersey, where everybody seemed to be working together?
>> i think the fever will have broken. you have the tea party wing controlling the party. i said this before, we need a republican party . we need leaders that can control their party and i think you're going to see the fever break. you're going to see obama 's re-elected, the idea we can't let that happen is done. i've already been talking --
>> the reasonable people that we grew up with, they left, they're gone. they passed away .
>> but there's still some solid republican conservatives who understand what principled conservative means and they're not wrapped up in idealogical purity. i think there's a dozen republican senators, and i think i can name 2 1/2, 3 dozen house members who, once this election is over, they get a get out of jail free card . up to now, it's been if you don't stick with this hard right edge thing, we're going to primary you. you saw it when jerry falwell took control of the republican party . you saw it when newt gingrich first came in. mark my words, when this is all over, we both understand politics, all those house and senate members, they're going to start saying hey, man, i no longer have an obligation to stick with the right of my party to say we're going to defeat this guy. he's there four more years, let's get something done. i really believe you'll see movement.
>> the election is in hours from now. nobody knows what is going to happen. you had finegan here, your granddaughter. take a minute and explain the history of this election, what it is going to mean in going one direction or the other, what is the big stake here?
>> she's asked the question. the big stake is whether or not we decide that there are a few people, powerful people, good people, but powerful people, economically, politically in every other way who are the ones enlightened to make the decisions about the country. or do you have any faith in the people that we grew up with? i really mean it. that is the fundamental difference. they don't think education -- it's an afterthought to them. the middle class is built on education and the country is built on ingenuity. they really don't think that's necessary. they really think they are side issues. they think as long as you give massive tax cuts to the wealthy, that will generate an environment which -- look, it's how they are about offshoring and all those issues. they look at it, when you talk to them privately, it's a global economy , so it doesn't matter where you make money, as long as your shareholders do well, everything will work. look, we have stake holders that live in north philadelphia and out here in cleveland . it matters where you grow the economy. it matters whether you grow it here in cleveland and ohio . it matters whether people are able to have access to a college education . it's the stuff of which this country is built.
>> last question, how close is it going to be on tuesday night?
>> look, i don't want to jinx myself.
>> then don't. what do you think is going to happen?
>> i think we're going to win. i don't think it's going to be close in the electoral college . i think we're going to win clearly and i think we're going to win this state, ohio . i've been in here 23, 24 days, i think we're going to win iowa, wisconsin, nevada, new hampshire. i think we've got an even chance of winning virginia and florida. so it could be a big win. it also could be close. but the firewall here of ohio , wisconsin, iowa --
>> talk to your stake holders. tell them what they should do on tuesday.
>> if you can vote early, vote earlier. but don't just vote, bring your mom, your dad, bring your cousin, knock on the door of your neighbor. the middle depends on it.
>> vice president joe biden , thank you for your time. good luck.