Hardball | February 05, 2013
>>> seeing an epic strategy war now been the gop. along with an epic opportunity for democrats to exploit it. as we told you yesterday, karl rove has launched a pac to influence republican primaries and keep those deemed too extreme, think todd akin and richard mourdock , from getting nominated and blowing winnable races. it has not been well received on stage right. matt kibbe writes the empire is striking back. an orwellian named victory project is created with at sole mission of blocking the efforts of fiscally conservative activists across the country. a statement from tea party express called the pac a big mistake that will lead to neither conservatives nor victories. anyway, joe walsh , former illinois congressman, tweeted that he's filing the paperwork to form a super pac of his own to support freedom loving conservatives to karl rove . the republicans ' challenge here, make the tent big enough that the base has a voice and votes but doesn't drive the train. let's bring in steve mcmahon hand michael steele . michael , force the defense, is the republican party capable of garnering all kinds of fringe voters, people on the very hard right, without having right wing candidates as your nominees and losing elections? how do they do both?
>> look, this whole idea of having another pac is just to me -- it's just too out there. all you have to do to get together, organize at the state parties, put the state parties in charge of the political process. when i was state chairman, when i was a county chairman, i had to instill the discipline at the state level to make sure we were grooming and developing the kind of candidates you want to run. you just can't leave it to an open process and then swing in with yet another pac that's going to divert money away from the state , concentrated here for consultants and vendors in washington and then complain afterwards as we saw in 2012 when you get your clock cleaned again, oh, gee, it's the candidates, it's the state party. there's got to be a concerted effort by the rnc to get off their behinds, get involved in the states, and make them the leadership here. don't rely on a karl rove or reince priebus. the state chairman really has the opportunity to vet the candidates up front and to build the party from the bottom up and inviting those activists who are frustrated to be a part of the process .
>> how do you democrats exploit this? we have the republican establishment disdainful of its right wing and trying to prevent it from getting any candidacies.
>> how do we exploit it?
>> you remember the old rule from lee at water, when the component is self-destructing get out of the way.
>> that goes back to napoleon.
>> for the democrats, you watch these guys and you see on the one hand they have lost the middle which is great for the democratic party because everything they lose we pick up. on the other hand, they're attacking their base which is going to result in not victories for moderate candidates who can win general elections but it's going to result in right wing candidates getting their backs up, getting in these primaries, and they're low turnout primaries and they win and then they can't win general elections .
>> let's talk about another strategy which is called flood the zone like in basketball or football. you get so many players in one area, somebody is going to catch the ball. president obama has been relentless in agitating for action on a number of issues he wants to address. yesterday in minnesota it was gun restrictions. today it's immigration reform with business and labor leaders meeting at the white house . nbc's first read identifies the strategy. the obama white house wants to overlead washington's political sirtes in an effort to see what he can get through congress without letting congress define what issues get addressed. so throw a lot of stuff out them, immigration, guns hoping that the republicans are so flabbergasted by so many things to deal with, they can't get their act together.
>> and he's done it brilliantly. on the fiscal cliff he basically had wall street , which funds the republicans , votes republican, talks to republicans , come in and say you have got to do what the president is asking you to do. on the debt, same thing happened. the republicans said --
>> the debt ceiling.
>> and wall street came in and said, yes, you are. and now on immigration reform the president is appealing to the people who understand what responsibility immigration reform can mean for business and the economy. he's actually not getting democrats to beat the republicans . he's getting republicans to beat the republicans . it's a great strategy.
>> what do you make of it, michael , from the other side. jimmy carter was accused of having too many balls in the air when he was president. this time the president wants to throw a lot at the republicans and keep them off guard.
>> it reminds me of 2009 all over again. instead of focusing on the paramount issue that every american is still fising, the jobs, the economy --
>> what's the republican job program?
>> it's not about the republican job --
>> you just brought it up. what's your party's program?
>> you're asking about the president, let me address the president. doesn't ask about the republicans . i'm telling what you the president is doing. my analysis of what the president is doing is a smart strategy as steve noted. he's throwing a lot of things out there to see what sticks but he also has a problem on the issue like guns that harry reid is not sitting up champing at the bit to do gun legislation coming out of the senate, by the way. so --
>> but the american public, michael , is he.
>> well, we know what the american public wants and what the united states senate and congress wants is sometimes two different things. that's the point. the president is trying to triangulate these interests to put his agenda out there to put the republicans on the defense to cobble together what he needs from the democrats to get something done. meanwhile we still have unemployment at 7.9% and 22 million american unemployed.
>> michael , you don't have and the president doesn't have but i have a jobs program. rebuild america. big time . we do it in our ads. it's called lean forward.
>> but how does he do it when --
>> 3% interest rate right now. you can borrow the money at practically nothing to get the job done.
>> that's right.
>> try to get the loan, chris. try to get the loans.
>> you get a 30-year loan at 3% would have no impact on the deficit.
>> you do that and see what happens.
>> i'm not president.
>> he should be perhaps.
>> unfortunately or fortunately but neither is the case. thank you, guys. i do have a plan though that neither -- i say put people to work rebuilding this country because we did it in the 'fifts with ike. remember do nothing identification.
>> this isn't the '50s.
>> watch the ads. up next, democrats are fighting back against republican efforts to make it harder to vote and that's ahead. republicans can't resist this stuff. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. when