Hardball | January 25, 2013
>>> mad house . let's play "hardball."
>>> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this eruption of self-doubt and humiliation in the republican party . suddenly after months of denial, you hear the growling and the gnashing of teeth. it's if as if we're hearing the cries from hell. peggy noonan says the grand old party is doomed if it keeps knocking hillary and refusing to recognize that excuse me for disrupting your illusion, president obama is the president and republicans in the house that once could still see through the dark know they really can't go on like this. margaret is not alone. down in baton rouge governor bobby jindal says we have to stop being the stupid party . haley barbour warns this party to stop making stupid comments again, that word about rape. but don't lose heart. like an old car that won't turn off even when you turn the key to off, some character out in new mexico wants to stick women who are raped with stiff prison sentences if they get an abortion. she calls it tampering with the evidence but wait a minute, crazy guys. didn't one of your republicans say you can't get pregnant in case of a rape? jen way, tonight finding our way through the crazy even as we hear the first loud barks and mee ous from the backyard of american politician ticks. i have joy reid and mother jones david corn . anytime i can get you to giggle a little bit joy, i consider myself a success. i owe some of this material to a lot of richards today. pegging noonan a friend of mine and very smart, i don't always agree with her, talk about middle of the road conservative. she's got a brain. in a " wall street journal " journal column, quote, it became obvious this week that the republican party top to bottom has to start taking barack obama seriously. he means to change america in fundamental ways and along the lines ever justice as he sees it. the proper response to such a man is not that he's a muslim or a kenyan. those charges were meant to marginalize him but they didn't hurt him. they damaged republicans . it will take guts and unity to fight him can the john just in washington now devil those things? i think it's a good charge to republicans . she's saying you've deluded yourself with these nonsensical charges of birtherism and it's hurt you more than it's ever hurt him.
>> i agree with you peggy noonan is one of the smart ones. i don't agree with much of what she says but i think she's a smart woman. the base isn't reading "the wall street journal " editorial page. they have been fed for 30, 40 years this sort of insanity and the belief that their views are absolutely right. that the idea of calling democrats marxists and socialists and being extreme on abortion, that's not just right but fundamentally american, it's more american than the other side.
>> according to polls you're right. the polls say you're right.
>> you can't change the cake by changing the frosting. the problem is not --
>> are you dan rather ?
>> tonight i am. the base of the republican party isn't listening to the intellectuals. they're listening to what you called the other day the mickey mouse crowd. it can't just change because peggy noonan said so.
>> that's a tough charge and i think she may be right. when you look at the commonality, the common nature of the republican party , it's still they keep talking about rape which is something they ought to stay off of. it's a terrible tragedy , a crime, and why keep talking about it? and this thing about obama , the birtherism, we'll get to it later, more than a third of republicans think he was born somewhere else still.
>> the problem -- i mean, bless peggy noonan . she wants to come in from on high and --
>> don't be jealous of another columnist.
>> i'm not. i understand her intention but she doesn't have a clear diagnosis of the problem. 6 out of 7 of the republican presidential primary candidates last year were basically yahoo candidates who believed in any one of these --
>> remind me their names.
>> i don't know if i remember, cain, perry, bachmann --
>> trump was in and out. newt gingrich , mr. colonial marxist, mitt romney flirted with it but stayed away from it. when the house republicans came into power two years ago, the tea partiers, one of the first things they did was to introduce a bill trying to redefine rape. so it's not just a bunch of yahoos out in new mexico or virginia with transvaginal probes. it is the heart of the party .
>> and paul ryan --
>> you remind me of too much. let's go to jindal. here is a guy who is trying to be a leader. last night at a meeting of the republican party governor bobby jindal called out his own gop.
>> no, the republican party does not need to change our principles. but we might need to change just about everything else we are doing. we've got to stop being the stupid party . and i'm serious. it's time for a new republican party that talks like adults. it's no secret we had a number of republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. i'm here to say we've had enough of that.
>> got a smattering of applause there, joy. you heard that but not very enthusiastic. former mississippi governor haley barbour , a very smart politician, he's he seconded jindal's thoughts.
>> the point he made is exactly right. when you consider what two senate candidates, the comments they made were stupid comments, offensive comments, and in today's world when a candidate in one state says something, the negative effect of that can spill over to lots of other candidates, and bobby jindal was exactly right.
>> the problem is, joy, where were these whistle-blowers last august when they were listening to donald trump , when they were hugging him, when they were listening to the birther crowd, the louis gohmerts of the crowd, the rick santorums talking about birth control . they got equal time with the more sane members of the right.
>> exactly. the energy of the party is with the richard mourdock crowd. isn't bobby jindal the same guy who signed off in teaching creationism in schools as science. he hasn't been --
>> equal time again.
>> exactly. the problem is, too, i think the consultants in the party , the political class understands they need to change and bobby jindal is an ambitious guy. he ntsdss for them to be viable as presidential candidates they need to change, but i don't even think they 100% believe it's possible because if the political class believed you could change the base, they wouldn't be trying these shenanigans like changing the electoral college so the rural counties could give a guy a state --
>> you're right, joy. i think they keep looking for ways to cheat on the demographic thing they face a real threat. even they embrace hispanics, begin to get a chunk of the african-american vote or they are doomed. we're not making this up. this is all coming out as fresh news. if you thought republicans had learned their lessons on abortion and talking about being the stupid party , think again. in new mexico republican representative katherine ann brown has introduced a bill, this is serious elected person i suppose, that would make it a victims to g et abortions. the text of her bill reads, tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion or compelling or coercing another to obtain abortion. of a fetus that's the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime. why do they get into this stuff? what in their mind magnetized them to even be talking about rape after what they've been through with mourdock and what's that guy's name?
>> todd akin .
>> because they believe it.
>> but they don't think about it, do they?
>> i guess they do. this is the issue. it's not about stopping stupid remarks as haley barbour or bobby jindginned sayal say or peggy noonan . they believe in self-deportation a lot of them. that wasn't a stupid remark. it was politically but that's what mitt romney campaigned on. they believe in preventing gay marriage . they believe in --
>> that said, almost half the people agree with some of this stuff so don't marginalize it all.
>> say on the tax policy , they fought on raising tacks on the rich. 60% to 70% of the public agree with the president on that. so they're marginalized on a lot of policy matters and the stupid comments don't come out.
>> coming out for lower tacks are not going to get you beat. why don't they stick to the strong points. republicans look ridiculous this week when they decided to go after hillary clinton who is riding so high in the polls. why did they go after her at the very point she was at her strongest they attacked. let's take a look.
>> i'm glad that you're accepting responsibility. i think that ultimately with your leaving you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11 and i really mean that. had i been president at the time and i found that you did not read the cables from benghazi, you did not read the cables from ambassador stevens, i would have relieved you of your post. i think it's inexcusable not to know of the request for securities. really i think cost these people their lives.
>> madam secretary, you let the consulate become a death trap . and that's national security malpractice. you've said you take responsibility. what does responsibility mean, madam secretary? you're still in your job.
>> let me start with joy here. you are a woman. i think there is a sex aspect, a gender aspect. they treated her like they were reproaching her. like it was their job to reprot her. one guy said she's leaving her job because she's been basically fired. he says i think that ultimately that with your leaving you accept the culpability. everybody knows that secretary clinton has decided months and months ago that she would -- maybe not years ago, she was going to serve one presidential term. here he is dishonestly, i think this is where you can say a man is being dishonest, saying she's leaving out of shame or some sort of recognition of her guilt. that's just not true.
>> and this is the same crowd that said she was too afraid to testify. then you have snidely whiplash rand paul up there being completely disrespectful to her as if he would every be commander in chief.
>> who is snidely whiplash ?
>> dudley do-right.
>> dudley do-right, whatever. the idea is, first of all, they don't understand their problem. this is what comes from only talking to each other and listening to the rush limbaughs that call women babes and think that that's okay. the idea that you could stand up and disrespect the most popular political figure in the country and a woman to her face in a completely disrespectful way it's of apiece with the susan rice treatment. she's not smart enough to be secretary of state.
>> who said that?
>> that was john mccain . this whole disrespect toward women, the idea women can't control their own reproduction. they're not smart. we need to protect them from --
>> you have a lazy black president and stupid women and the cliches that these are like out of something in the 1920s . where do they get this stuff from?
>> this is all part of planet republican. i mean, they're not viewing the demographics right. they're not viewing the policies right, and their tone, they're tone deaf again and again.
>> what are they up to? are they playing to the base maliciously?
>> i think they're watching fox tv too much.
>> who do they think they are winning with?
>> rand paul won this race in kentucky by playing to the tea party base. that's how he got --
>> in a nonpresidential year. the trouble is two years from now we're looking to a nonpresidential year and it could just be what they're up to here is just riling up their base because they know that's who shows up at the pollsened and the middle of the road vote mother has had other things to think about isn't paying attention.
>> it's going back to clinton bashing --
>> one last question. joy, didn't you think that the poison in the anti-hillary thing from the right that went on for all those years was gone? weren't you surprised by this attack --
>> no. i wasn't. because they see her as a potential presidential candidate , and obviously a strong one in 2016 . these were preempty strikes by people like rand paul who styles himself presidential material. these were back benchers in the senate trying to make a name for themselves off of her. so i wasn't surprised by it, but look one other point here, i think when these guys look at the tea party , they still see winners, even though we see them as tremendous losers, they look at what they see as moderates, people like mitt romney , and they see losers. so they feel like the stronger they are, the more that they're forth right with their opinions, they think they're winning.
>> that's what i think. back to those meetings and the people in the back row, you really showed her. you showed her. i love the way you went after her. thank you, joy reid, and thank you.
>> have a great weekend.
>> david corn . you're both smart people obviously and you're both mostly right here. i think there's a little craziness in here. i don't think it's rational.
>>> coincidence in the age of conspiracy? why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories ? the fact is the more you know are you less likely to believe in them except republicans . the more they read papers or watch fox they're more likely to believe in conspiracy theories . say the word, fox.
>>> also, the obama / clinton alliance gets ready for its next close-up. barack and hillary clinton have been partners for four years and now they are doing a joint interview on "60 minutes." this is a fascinating event. president of the united states with a die wet with the secretary of state. something is up.
>>> and what must joe biden be think being what he's going to watch on sunday night. can you ring it? republicans are looking to change the electoral vote system again. rigging it so the republicans can win. the 2012 result that looked like this in the five battleground states where obama won all the electoral states would look like this. that's all they have to do. if you can't get people to vote for you, you stack the deck.
>>> let me finish with the collection of memorabilia about the life of jack kennedy . big story there. and this is "hardball," the place for politics.