Hardball | November 16, 2012
>>> giving. let's play "hardball."
>>> good evening. i'm chris matthews in los angeles . let me start tonight with this. we now know how mitt romney is without a script. the words that come into his head like that 47% stuff from may that got out in the campaign are just bad. the evidence is that this guy's default switch says, blame the little guy, calm him a mooch, a taker a parasite, someone up to sale for anybody who is really to pay. the older person, the minority, cross their palm and they will pull the lever for you. cash and carry . the smart conservatives know this is no way to treat a potential voter. a columnist i usually only agree with about movies put it this way. romney didn't say that the election had come out as it did because obama 's team had outplayed and outfoxed his. he should have because that's the truth. rather, he said that obama had won the second term essentially through bribery. well, look, i have three rules for both parties as they converge now to do their squoobs. respect the voter, respect each other's offices, and search hard for common ground . those are what we should be doing and that should be the way we're guiding our country's conversation today. not trashing the people who voted against you. but respecting the fact that they did for your own good. david corn is washington bureau chief for mother jones and joy reid is managing editor of the grio. both are msnbc political analysts. let's take a look at some of the stuff from john mccain here. it's been four years since john mccain lost his presidential bid. just ten days since mitt romney lost, but they still be both holding a grudge apparently against the president in their bitter comments this week. listen to romney 's conference call about obama 's gifts and mccain's complaints about obama ally u.n. ambassador susan rice .
>> what the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressive to turn them out to vote.
>> susan rice should have known better, and if she didn't know better, she's not qualified. she should have known better. i will do everything in my power to block her from being the united states secretary of state .
>> joy reid , let's go after romney first and the way he's calculating how he lost. now, you can give all kinds of reasons for losing and fair enough, that's what you do in your head. but when you spout the argument that the other guy bought all the interest groups , all the categories of citizens and that's -- that seems to di anyone initial not just the purchaser but the purchase. you're basically saying these people were up for grabs, just buy them. you're never going to get them ever again if you talk about people that way it seems.
>> exactly. and talking about more than half of the voting public as essentially bribery victims or being duped because they were given bobbles by the administration, you know, it's ridiculous and insulting and precisely to some of the groups republicans needs to do better with. lahtino leaders were outregioned by this, african- americans were outraged. they went after women, essentially everyone. what they're basically arguing is government is nothing more than a transaction of government giving you things in exchange for votes. it's an understanding of government that to me renders him unfit to be the leader of the united states government . if that's really what he thinks that government comes down to. because the things he was describing that the obama administration did, that is called governing.
>> yeah. i think -- same question to you, david , why would he use words like this? i think it's the way he thinks unless he's being scripted. 47% was unscripted. this is unscripted. this could be the pure romney .
>> i was the first guy in the media to see the 47% remark. when i saw it i couldn't believe it, but i thought maybe there was a slight chance that maybe he was saying it to play up to the that crowd. he knew that's what they wanted to hear. but now when we hear how he talks about voters, he didn't just say yes they were bought off, that obama won the their votes through bribery. he said i ran a campaign ever big ideas , but these other people out there, they don't care about it. they're just in it for themselves, so they are the moochers, they are victim who are looking at who will pay them the most. in the end what happens mitt romney portrays himself as a victim of the victims. it just confirms all the worst impressions from the 47% rant, and now you have republicans running away from him and basically saying, hey, don't let the elevator door hit you on the way out.
>> i mentioned before john, who i usually agree with on cultural issues, not ideological issues because he's a smart guy . he writes for the weekly standard . i read the back of the book. i don't agree with the front of the book usually. it seems to me he had a good point in his column. he said romney 's whole campaign was aimed at entrepreneurs, job creators, the titans of industry, the ayn rand type that is see themselves that way ignoring all the people that work for a living, work 50 or 45 or 40 hours a week, show up for work, do their jobs. most people are like that. he said if you live in your party simply to people who see themselves as titans of industry, you will have a very, very small notion of america and a small electorate working for you.
>> exactly. basically this would say a candidate of the boss. and he left basically everyone else to the president, to barack obama , and i think if you're going to be the party of just the boss, you have to presume that, a, either everyone loves and adors their boss who is willing to vote for a guy who essentially boils down to nothing more than a ceo or you limit yourself to only the rich, to only people who, by the way, are not just waelty, but who actually as david said, they feel like they're the victims in society. they're actually being put upon by the moochers, by everyone else who essentially isn't as good as they are, who doesn't deserve the things that they're getting from government. but what romney forgets is that some of the people who receive from government include his own base. you're talking about seniors who, you know, are probably the larkest recipients of government, of government programs. and so he left off so many people and showed such disdain that it's no wonder he couldn't get a majority of votes.
>> let's go through some of the people and what they have said about him now that they have discovered this guy. i think you're right, david , they should have known what they were dealing with long before the election returns came in, but people like to be with the winner, right, left, and center in that regard. as we've been saying this week, so now you tell us. more republicans are backing away from romney 's gift language like new mexico governor susana martinez who said, quote, that unfortunately is what sets us back as a party. our comments that are not thought through carefully, or take marco rubio who told politico, i don't want to rebut him point by point. i would just say to you, i don't believe that we have millions and millions of people in this country that don't want to work. i'm not saying that's what he said. i think we have millions of people in this country that are out of work and are dependent on the government because they can't find a job. that was carefully carved. and then there's chris christie , the governor of new jersey , who had this to say on " morning joe " just today.
>> i voted for mitt romney , but the bottom line is we lost. and so now what we need to do as leaders of our party is pivot and get back to our jobs. and if we do our jobs well, people will put us back into office and if we don't, they won't.
>> is it time for mitt romney to move on and stop having conference calls ?
>> that's up to him. i mean, listen, mitt romney is a friend of mine. i understand he is very upset about having lost the election and very disappointed.
>> but it's not helpful, right?
>> of course not, joe, but he's a good man and he will find his level, and i think it's still a little raw. so do i wish he hadn't said those things? of course not. but on the other hand, i'm not going to bury the guy for it.
>> you know, it's interesting i want to go back to joy on this, this is just sheer human nature . i thought and i liked to think i'm fair about this, i thought that romney walked off the stage election night as a noble figure in politics. however the campaign had gone in some very bad directions, i believe he ended it in the right direction with nobility and graciousness and generosity, and i would use an old frank sinatra term, class. i thought he did it, came out alone, didn't bring his wife, didn't cry on anybody's shoulders, didn't surround himself with family. took the loss, said he had a good running mate, a great campaign team, and he was praying for the president. maybe that was shock. he was still, you know -- but a week or so later he's out there saying terrible -- not just terrible, we're all buying votes and selling votes, but making himself look like kind of a jester.
>> yeah, sneering at the public that refused to take the opportunity to make him their president. that's not a way to go out. i think you're right, chris. i think a lot of times politicians show who they really are and show their character in loss, in defeat, almost more than they do in victory. if you recall, you know, yes, we can, was a concession speech. that was the time when barack obama soared, when he lost to hillary clinton in new hampshire. sometimes you show of who you are in loss. i thought the night he conceded mitt romney for having apparently done that in an hour thought he did a good job. i thought if he remained silent or came across as a conciliatory person, he might have had a future. now i think he's of no use.
>> we're finding out very quickly here that --
>> there aren't many of them.
>> mitt romney is now the loneliest man in america. there's no one in the republican party with any loyalty to him. he didn't really represent any ideas --
>> because he wasn't one of the right wing -- the right wing didn't really trust him, the moderates gave up on him. everybody thought he was playing a charl tan act in their favor. ed rogers told "the washington post ," there's no romney wing in the party that he needs to address. he never developed an emotional foothold with the gop so he can exit the stage anytime and no one will mourn. so i guess i want to address a question to joy here. you know, among minorities, among people that are perhaps generally democrats but, you know, for example the african-american community , you know the history as well as i do or maybe better, they were about 2 to 1 democrat going into the '60s. because of what jack kennedy did, wonderful call of consolation to mrs. king when her husband was in prison, what he did on civil rights with lyndon johnson , the community went about 99 to 1 pro-democrat but it was only 2 to 1 you're only losing a third of a black voted if you're a republican. you're doing okay in big states. you start losing a community of the size of the african-american community which is 10% to 15% you're losing 80% net of that community . if you keep talking like romney is talking, you're going to keep losing it. i think it is about percentages. you're not going to bring back the whole black community if you're a republican, if you can get a third of it, a third of the hispanic community , you change everything.
>> when i look at the hispanic community , i see the african-american community in the '60s. the southern strategy broke the relationship, severed it which had been a historic and long relationship between the african- americans and the republican party . i know elderly african- americans who stick with the republican party because of the history but the southern strategy broke that. at the time in the 1960s before that happened, black people broke about the same percentage democrat to republican that latinos do now. think about the fact that in this election we went from about a 65% democratic hispanic electorate to 72%. if that trajectory continues 10, 15 years no now, latinos will be where african- americans are and that will make winning national elections extremely difficult for the republicans.
>> don't forget about the youth vote . one of the things that mitt romney talked of as a gift was college loans for kids which --
>> he said they were being written off and it's a complete lie. you still have to pay student loans .
>> he was wrong, but the whole point of giving people a break on college or making it easier for them to go to college is that is how we invest in our economy and we compete better with china, india, and brazil and he seemed totally lost on that point.
>> don't forget the facts, he's wrong on that. nobody said you don't have to pay interest on student loans .
>> and if you lose the young vote and they end up voting for democrats two, three, four times in a row, that's going to put the republican party in a similar hole.
>> not only that but the african-american community and latino community both read the signals, saw the voter i.d. stuff, the disdin that was shown for the ability of african- americans and latinos to vote. a lot of the voter i.d. stuff was directed squarely at latinos --
>> we're burying this guy. he's about 20 feet in the ground now. we keep shoveling the dirt on. one thing i want to stop here, if he only realized kids didn't need student loans and that makes him lucky, fortunate. you have to learn those things when you're rich. this is special. anyway, thank you joy reid . i got to go. thank you, david . you guys are great. please come back as fast as you can. coming up, the general on the hill, the general dade petraeus has probably got more ink than president obama and for all the wrong reasons. today he testified on what happened on benghazi. we're going to talk to a member of the house intelligence committee who was in that room when petraeus spoke in that closed door hearing.
>>> also, the fiscal cliff. how much room will the interest groups give the president po make a deal in they met with the president today and yesterday and they told them where they stand.
>>> and guess who showed up at parks and recreation last night on the show?
>> on behalf of the president and myself --
>> oh, mr. vice president, i am deeply flattered, but there's no way i could take over madam secretary clinton's position.
>> wow. vice president biden goes hollywood in the "sideshow."
>>> let me finish with this question, can obama 's second term be a true reach for greatness? this is "hardball," the