Hardball | February 06, 2013
>>> welcome back to "hardball." in football they call it a rebuilding year. it's when the coaches and school fathers know they have graduated too many seniors and have too many untested freshmen on the return team. could we say the post- mitt romney republicans are in the same boat? they're not expected to win soon especially if hillary runs but do need a rebuild their party for the long hall. it's thought if they don't clean up their image they're headed for years of defeat in elections. look at the proposals we're seeing now. karl rove wants to keep the fringies. and things like clinton did with school uniforms . and tell college students the jobs might be tough. what about the gun issue? should the republicans stick with the nra or tell wayne lapierre to get a real job? how could a party built other the decades on the people who left the democrats abandon those issues that attracted the rule south and the west people and the miners and the ranchers and the gun owners . and the people furious about immigration. how do you ban those people and keep a party ? tonight an expert, a passionate believer that politics can get better. my colleague joe scarborough . here's the question. how do you keep this huge tent the republican party has built in the last 30 or 40 years with people from the south, the west, the miners, the ranchers, the religious right, all those people that have decided the republican party is their natural home and yet you have people in the fringe costing you your image.
>> well, you've got to stand up to people on the fringe. you know, when parties go extreme they get roundly defeated. it happened to democrats in 1984 . it happened to the republican neocons on 2006 . it happened in the off-year elections back in 2010 . americans thought democrats went too far to the left, and they punished them and to almost historic proportions in that election. but 2012 , republicans got punished because they were the party of todd akin instead of the party of colin powell . they were the party of richard mourdock instead of the party of george h.w. bush . he wanted nothing to do with except that a guy like powell is necessary if you're going have two wings. chris, we've lost five out of the last six popular votes in presidential races. and a lot of the reason why is because we've had a lot of discord voices to the extreme that first left the democratic party because they became too extreme starting in 1968 .
>> let's talk about the leadership issue. let's take something like the gun issue. i think the gun issue is very tough. i am despondent to the point of believing there are so many guns in existence right now, i don't know how you stop the water fall that's been going on for generations. wayne lapierre , he took some heat on fox news over the web video that mentioned the president's daughter. listen to this. i think some people are going to say wayne lapierre still has the hammer lock on people from pennsylvania, indiana, ohio. right across the country to the far west except maybe california and new york and connecticut. you don't want to go to the war with the nra . what do you make of that? should they stay arm in arm with the nra ? go on semiautomatics but maybe challenge them on background checks ? where do you draw the line on the right there?
>> well, there's some things the republicans have to do if they want to play smart. they're going to have to go after gun trafficking. there's a good bipartisan bill on the house floor. and republicans need to get on board on that or they're going to be punished even to the off-year elections. they need to get on board with universal registration. wayne lapierre agreed with that in 1999 . and many agree with that.
>> on background checks .
>> yes. universal background checks .
>> not registration. you'll pay for that tomorrow morning .
>> i'm actually paying for it right now. no. it was -- but universal background checks is something that 91% of americans support. it's something the republicans n need to embrace. and if the republicans do just those two things, they can say they're responding not only to what's happening in sandy hook but what's happening in chicago every night, what's happening across america every night.
>> let me try this. it seems the two party played roles. it's not the mommy and daddy party . the fact that republicans were good on national defense and law and order and capital punishment , all the tough guy stuff. it seems the two parties still have advantages in what they can do that the other can't do. can the republican party put teeth in an immigration reform bill? you really will have guest workers. you will have the parts that work economically and will give some enforcement power to it. not just the nice stuff of letting people become citizens over time . why don't the two parties put -- the republicans put the teeth in, the democrats put the bennys in it.
>> it makes sense, doesn't it? you can say the same thing about entitlement reform, national defense . there are things the republican party can do to differentiate themselves from the democratic party , but we're not going to win elections if we continue to be like i said before, the party of todd akin or richard mourdock .
>> is karl rove right? you have to be gate keepers , people like party chairs, big fund raisers.
>> of course. of course they are. but i don't know that karl rove after his performance in 2012 should be the gate keeper . he was inside the bubble as much as anybody else so much so that he melted down on election night . you know, it was almost like trying to get james brown off the stage. you had to keep going out there saying it's over. it's over.
>> into a superstar. that's all i know. that was one night she won the battle.
>> she won the battle there. but you need somebody like haley barbour who understands in '93 and '94 had to rebuild the party . haley barbour who would come on our show with other people wouldn't embrace olympia snow . even on jim jeffert's most liberal day -- it's pretty simple. we got to do what we do in alabama when it comes to football. we've got to realize it's about winning. this electoral process , it's not a primal screen therapy. it's not about screaming and yelling and talk about all of your resentments and feeling good about yourself. it's about what i say every day on the show. not just winning in northwest florida but winning the suburbs of philadelphia. how do you do that? you don't do that by defending the survivalist wing of the nra . you don't do that by debating contraception which was taken care of by the court in '65. you don't do that by obsessing on small ball. you do it be focusing on winning. only people like haley barbour it seems in this republican party lately have figured out how to do that. we've lost five of the six last elections when it comes to poplar vote. it's well past time for us to get our act together and start obsessing over winning elections again.
>> read all the books you can on wende we knndell wilke. he's you. who i think define what is you just talked about. a reasonable man who said hitler's our enemy. get ready to fight him. no messing around. thank you.
>> right. thank you, chris.
>> tomorrow morning you start at 6:00 eastern for three big hours of " morning joe ."
>>> up next, a little spat between the governors of the two biggest states. this is "hardball," the place for politics.