Hardball | February 05, 2013
>>> running for cover. let's play "hardball."
>>> good eke. i'm chris matthews in washington . let me start tonight with this crying and gnashing of republican teeth. it started with karl rove wailing in the gop wilderness screaming for an end to crazy candidates. no more rape candidates, he said. in fact, he cried that out. no more akins or mourdocks and the rest. all that did ways a way i cannen the sleeping dogs . joe walsh is out there today with a new political action committee . steve king and paul brown are howling in fur yi that big shots like rove are saying who should be the republican nominees and who shouldn't. today it was eric cantor 's turn. he wants change. the super hawk of the party gave his manifesto at the city's nonprofit war room , the american enterprise institute . what he came out for, nom tu decree that colleges have to conduct employment surveys to say what jobs there are for history majors, english majors. i guess he wants to cut down on these people taking liberal subjects in college that allow you to think and express yourself . he sounds like he wants the federal government to have become a helicopter mom hovering over all of us. and they say democrats are intervening in people's live. what will republicans do next to try to defrekt from their history of starting unnecessary wars, chasing may norths and others from the polling places. helping me to explain the latest republican face lift are john feehery and dee dee myers . we'll start with this. we know karl rove plans on finding more electable republicans candidates as he finds them. what we heard was a kinder, gentler eric cantor than the one we have seen and heard before. remember the obstructionist majority leader, remember his name was cantor, who fought the president on the debt ceiling. he called the obama administration the imperial presidency . he stepped out today to show there are no rough edges in this republican party . let's listen to cantor today.
>> we'll advance proposals aimed at producing results in areas like education, health care , innovation, and job growth . our solutions will be based on the conservative principles of self-reliance, faith in the individual, trust in family, and accountability in government. our goal is to ensure that every american has a fair shot to the earn success and achieve their dreams.
>> what a cover-up. your party ought to be ashamed of itself. you spent months in every state legislative capital trying to keep black people and poor people from voting or young people . now you're out pretending that you care about opportunity in america. it's an absurdity eric cantor --
>> the speech by eric cantor was a very good speech.
>> if it wasn't given by him maybe.
>> eric cantor is a good guy. he's got a family. he cares about this country. he's a patriot. he cares about making government work better and this is a reform speech. i thought -- because it was practical. i think for republicans they can't be the party of bob dole caring only about the deficit. they have to care about practical -- the reason you're so upset is you know it was a good speech.
>> he went over to the aei, the number one war center, ths totally neocon. your thoughts. this is hopeless. i thought he'd admit the truth here today.
>> it was pa joring to hear some of that --
>> hasn't he been the guy standing behind boehner's back waiting to trip him over because he's been too moderate.
>> no question. he's been standing off center stage waiting for his opportunity to become speaker. i thought that there was a lot of practicality in the speech but not any big ideas . i think --
>> it was like sundries and knowings in a drugstore. little items, like telling colleges they got to tell people what employment prospects there are for english majors. what's that about? cantor -- let's take a look. he took a approach that the university education should be more like a vocational school , a school you can learn a trade. he suggested kids be told by colleges what major earn the most money so families make better choices.
>> -- college provided prospective students with reliable information on the employment rate and potential earnings by major. whether parents had access to clear and understandable breakdowns between academic studies and amenities. what would those costs be? armed with this knowledge, families and students can make better decisions about where to go to school and how to budget their tuition dollars. students would actually have a better chance of graduating within four years and getting a job.
>> i want to give you an open shot. this is the republican party , no the mommy party . they don't believe in being helicopter moms and telling people how to live, the nancy society, whatever you guys are calling it. here is a government official talking about the need for colleges apparently he's going to pass a law to do this, to make sure if you apply -- if you dare to major in philosophy you get a warning right up front. no jobs in that department. don't go theology, nothing happening with that crowd. what's the government doing messing around with this kind of stuff? your thoughts?
>> i'm not the best because i'm a history major.
>> i mageed basically in philosophy.
>> i think that for a lot of parents who are worried about the high cost of education, especially college education , if they want to know and they should know, what are they getting out of that deal and what are the best majors. i think a little guidance is not a bad thing.
>> since when a liberal arts , the heart --
>> i'm a pro liberal arts guy.
>> have anything to do -- when has it ever been the case.
>> right now people are worried about job.
>> and if what parents are --
>> in other words, don't study history. john, you're not a duddite.
>> i know what it is.
>> tonight take philosophy, languages, take few examiner scibeses. is that the republican message?
>> it's not the republican message. i do think there's truth in advertising. maybe that's a good idea. i do agree of a well-rounded education is good for everybody.
>> back to your game of depends who says this. if a democrat said this, we want the government of the united states making sure that colleges list the economic productivity of various majors. you're an intellectual. you know how to handle this. what major would you have majored? of this idea how you can predict your future based on your major is i think crazy by the way.
>> and, you know, i was a political science major which i didn't declare until spring quarter of my senior year and barely got out thereof. i think that's a bad idea.
>> should the government be involved in this?
>> no, the government --
>> the people who most like this are the parents. please major in something you can get a job and having that kind of data would be very helpful for parents. i don't think necessarily you want the government saying this and i don't think that's what cantor --
>> why was cantor talking -- the republican party has huge problems with minorities, young people , on issues like choice and things like that. they're getting killed. why is this a remake of the republican party ?
>> bill clinton did very well -- they focused on issue that is people cared about and what people care about are college education , the cost of college --
>> if the gop is going to reband itself it has to deal with the monitor that eric cantor helped create. u.s. congressman paul brown is expected to run for the georgia senate seat held by retiring -- i used to think this guy was right wing, sackby chambliss. broun said this, i think the only constitution that barack obama upholds is the soviet constitution , not this one. he has no concept of this one though he claimed to be a constitutional lawyer. steve king who suggested president obama 's parents may have announced his birth by telegram from africa. can your party stop its candidates being taken up by nuts.
>> i think for washington people to say to grat roots activists we have to tell you how your going to make --
>> how do you stop these groups from winning?
>> you know what you need to do? you need to educate the voter and get back to the --
>> get them with the right majors.
>> hit them with the right --
>> and marco rubio is a great example of somebody who has an alternative candidate. you throw the baby out with the bath water. i don't think you can mandate for that from the top down whether it's the democratic party or republican party .
>> how do you avoid -- we know somebody said in your party a few bad apples spoil the bunch and i do think that's true. i think people took advantage. i did, of the enact you had mourdock and akin running. the joke was you have to say which rape candidate. didn't o'donnell hurt you? didn't that woman out -- i forget her name --
>> sharron angle . don't these names hurt you?
>> they're frustrated by the candidates they put up and lost but they like the candidates they ran and one, markco rubio, pat toomey . this is a process, a messy process. for washington to dictate to the grassroots how they're going to vote is very, very dangerous.
>> it's not the grassroots that's a problem in mi view. there's a certain acceptable fringe in the republican party that has ideas, and that's why the rape comments were so devastating because it wasn't that he said something that was just ill considered and just came out of the top of his mouth. it was that it unearthed a strain of thought that's tolerated within the party that's not tolerable to most americans. that's the problem --
>> and the problem with that is then we lose the seat. that's the problem.
>> you lose the seat but --
>> what you have to have -- --
>> it's a vetting process and a training process --
>> but you also need more internal discipline. you can't let people sort of sneak in under the edge of the tent and pretend they --
>> let me ask you, it's your party . i think the republican party , moderate republican party is a minority party . i agree you have a problem. if you're just people who are fiscally conservative , a bit less for government than the democrats and you don't have any wild people on abortion rights or wild people, old segregationist ideas, take away the fringies, your party is about 40%. i see the problem. to get to 50% you have to bring in the nut cases.
>> actually -- i actually think to get to 50% is you need to bring in the moderate.
>> then tough dump the right.
>> what you need to do is candidates who can go beyond. i think that's what i like about paul ryan and eric cantor and marco rubio --
>> do you think the survivalists in tents in -- the guys who think black helicopters are coming would vote for a moderate republican , a centrist republican like rubio?
>> he's a tea party candidate.
>> would they go that far.
>> some wood and some woond. the fact of the matter is you need to find candidates that can win the most votes. and that's a very difficult process. you have to get -- the question for a lot of republicans --
>> what's the answer?
>> i think you need to build a coalition and find a coalition that can get a majority vote .
>> i think you lose the right when you go to the center.
>> it depends who the candidates are.
>> that's why you people are hugging those peoples. you like the crazy.
>> i don't like crazies. i like winners.
>> you had them for a while but romney wasn't authentic.
>> that was a big problem.
>> it is a problem. thank you, we agree. romney wasn't authentic. thank you, dedee dee. john. how far can we go when we go after the bad guys ? there's a lot of debate over the justice department memo that concludes the u.s. can kill american citizens tied to al qaeda . even if they're not involved in an active plot at the time to attack the united states . i understand the civil liberty 's concern but ask yourself if. if an american had put on a nazi uniform in world war ii , wouldn't we have gone after him.
>>> block the vote. democrats have had enough of republican efforts to make it harder for them to vote. they are about to push legislation to make it easier to vote and to register and they're expecting help from the white house .
>>> flooding the zone. immigration, guns. those two issues, the budget, president obama is trying to overwhelm republicans on multiple fronts right now to prevent them from organizing effective opposition to any one of these issues and guess what? it just might work. flooding the zone.
>>> here is just one more reason eric cantor has a long way to go to rebrand the gop . a tea partier just referred to some americans as, ready for this one, ethnically challenged. good luck with that rebranding, eric. and this is "hardball," the place