Hardball | January 24, 2013
>>> ] it's not for colds. it's not for pain. it's just for sleep. [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] because sleep is a beautiful thing. [ birds chirping ] zzzquil -- the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil. have you tried this yet? save on zzzquil and other innovative products with the january 27th p&g brandsaver.
>>> we're expecting here over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the republican party , and let me just tell you, i do believe that is their goal, to just shove us into the dust bin of history .
>> welcome back to "hardball." that was john boehner , of course, speaking to the ripon society , a group of modern republicans . he describes an awfully sinister motive to president obama these days considering the fact that the republican party hasn't needed much help in its recent collapse. boehner is not alone. mouse ja mort whip kevin mccarthy sees the same plot by the democrats.
>> this person's main goal is to continue to try to break the republican party . he's out of touch with where america is at with what he's trying to do.
>> come on, kevin. all of a sudden the democrats are sitting back in the back room conniving how to take the republicans apart. considering the republicans made it their mission to stop obama at all costs it's fairly rich they accuse obama of using the same tactics against him. feehery, you're already laughing, because the idea that the republican think there's a big cabal of democrats that sit around and meet and they're saying why don't we get the republicans to stay stupid things about black america , against latinos, come out against immigration reform and screw up any chance of being a majority party again and it's all the democrats. how does anybody really believe that?
>> obviously, the president would like to see the republicans lose the majority in the house and lose the senate --
>> that's an annihilation campaign?
>> of course he does. he wants to get through his agenda and his agenda is far different than john boehner 's agenda. we all know what it is. it's a lot more spending, mosh government --
>> that's a pretty squeamish attack. if somebody opposes you politically, they're out to annihilate you.
>> he wants to break the back of the republicans but he's not going to be able to. the house majority will stay the majority for the next deck wade. we're probably going to take the senate back. the president has to understand he's got to deal with republicans . that speech on monday said nothing in any way that he wanted to work with republicans .
>> okay, geronimo. you got everybody roused up. my question is bob shrum is i do see a breaking of the republican party over policy questions. i do see a breakup over the question of the fiscal cliff. the northeastern members did not want to go over the cliff with the rest of the republican party . they wanted to help the victims of hurricane sandy, of tropical storm sandy. they wanted to defend their own territory in terms of politics but i didn't see anything particularly conspiratorial in any of that.
>> no, they're actually trying to save themselves. they've got a bunch of people from very safe districts and john is right, it would be very hard for democrats to take back the house until after 2020 because all those districts are gerrymandered, and, you know, if you can't take back the house, you certainly can't annihilate the republicans . it was a kind of loopy expression, and i think if john was being honest, he'd say he wouldn't have advised the speaker to say it.
>> is victimhood now a republican meme? now republicans are all victims too? i know the democrats are sometimes truly victims but are you selling the fact hey we're getting beat up by these bullies. is this the new thing, complaining crying in do you think it works politically?
>> i think the president's speech on monday did a wonderful thing for republicans . it got them united and fired up. he said nothing that anybody in any red states would say. he's trying to reach out to me. it was a liberal speech for a liberal interest groups and it did nothing for republicans except uniewunite them i thought it was a good thing.
>> like when he said some people are justifiably skeptical about what big government can achieve. is that one of your big battle cries?
>> listen, everybody understands that that was a very liberal speech and your guys were very excited about it.
>> you know, look --
>> i was but i was also believing it. go ahead, bob.
>> john is just wrong about this and so is kevin mccarthy . the mainstream has 3406d and the president represents it. look at the polling. the president stood up for tax fairness and people voted for him. he's standing up to protect social security and medicare. people want to do that. there will be some changes but not fundamental ones. on climate change 80% of the people in the ap poll agree with the president it's a real problem and we have to deal with it. the majority of the country is with him on gay marriage , with him on issues like inaugural reform. barack obama didn't just speak to america , he was speaking for america no matter how much that pains republicans to hear. they're out of step and out of the mainstream.
>> is it a deliberate effort -- here is conservative rich lauri from the national review . he writes in politico that the real president obama is now revealing himself. by the way, i'm with that thought. i think it was real obama , not covered up politics, the real thing on monday. he wrots, obama settled one and for all the debate over the place on the political spectrum and his political designs. he's an unabashed liberal determined to shift our politics and our country irrev kablly to the left. in other words obama 's foes if you put aside the birthersened and sundry other lunatics always had him begged correctly. mitch mcconnell agrees.
>> one thing was pretty clear from the president's speech yesterday, the era of liberalism is back and unabashedly far left of center inauguration speech certainly brings back memories of the democratic party of ages past.
>> the trouble is the definition of liberal clus about 60% of the clunt. it includes people who want something done on gun control , who believe the issue of abortion rights is really there for women and they do think equality in marriage is there. so, in other words, your past the 50 yard line in terms of where the liberal causes are right now. you can't say that and then say far to the left when you're on the right side of the conservative side of the 50 yard line. liberalism has made its case under this president perhaps more effectively than it did in the past so you can't say it's outside the mainstream. why are you guys keep saying it's far left like mcconnell when it's now the center argument?
>> let me tell you this --
>> it's a good question i think and a ought to be answered.
>> i think in 2014 you will find a lot of the senators in red states in louisiana, arkansas, south dakota , who are going to try to distance themselves from what president obama said in this speech because they're worried about their elections. i think that in the center of the country and the red states where these senators are running they don't think that the president's message works and they're going to try to move themselves away from that because they're worried about it. they're worried about all these --
>> we're talking about the majority of the country though. if the majority is with the president, is he too liberal ? that's what i'm asking. you can call the guy too left when he's right where the middle is? how can you keep saying that? it's the only question i want to put to you. if more than 50% support equality of marriage, more than 50% support a woman's right to choose, if more than 50% awith him on guns a s ans and foreign policy , how can you call that the far left ?
>> let me put it this way, the fact of the matter is this is going to be politically very problematic for harry r50ed because for the constituency he represents in the senate, they're not going to be able to get a lot of things that the president wants done because it's too far to the left of him. for example, on gun control , that's going to be very problematic for --
>> can i get back to shrummy? does it bother you your opinions are generally accept asable or do you prefer to be a maverick?
>> i've been waiting for the you don't come 50r7nd. i thought it would. i think barack obama has done a brilliant job. i would say to john he keeps talking about the problems in the red states . the red states are becoming a shrinking part of america . the one thing boehner said that is true is the republican party is annihilating itself in terms of being able to win the presidency. because they are in a demographic death spiral with women, with hispanics, with african-americans, with young people , with gays. what happened with ronald reagan , you remember this in the 1980s , he brought young people into the republican party and they stayed. this generation of young people is moving decisively to the democratic party and if they stay it will be a long time before we see a republican president.
>> let me jump in real quick.
>> wyoming, utah, colorado, i love those places. your thoughts, john.
>> i think bob is right on this thing. i think the republican party needs to evolve. i think it needs to attract younger voters. it has problems with hispanic voters, african-american voters and i think that's what they're trying to do at their rnc meeting. they have to message better.
>> john feehery, now you're talking, showing intelligence at the end of the conversation. i'm just kidding. you're normally not this good. republican congressman paul broun says president obama is upholding the soviet union 's constitution. is there one? i don't think there's a soviet union anymore. we're back on "hardball," the place for politics. [ male