Hardball | February 08, 2013
>>> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this horror show happening on the right. as i speak, you can hear the rumble of right versus right vitriol, fingers of wagging angly even crazily in every direction now. karl rove , the architect of the iraq war , the escapee from the cia scandal, the proud sponsor of the conservative feats in 2006 and twoit who wasted fat cat money by the tens of millions, that karl rove is thumping around the country right now like a wounded elephant threatening to crush the party 's fringes. tea partiers, look out. he may not be able to beat democrats but he's got big, bad you in his sights. so the fight has begun. while steve king , matt kibby, joe walsh , rush limbaugh , all the inhas been nants of the cuckoo nest are cscrambling because karl rove is drawing lines in the sand . want republicans to win? cut out the crazies he he's? want the democrats, stop giving them easy targets, rape candidates and witches. stop making the democrats look smart and reasonable by running stupid and crazy candidates. the joy is, i have to say this, and it's really quite funny, each of the right wing factions thinks that they are the same ones, they are the ones who have to protect the party from the others. well, tonight the duel to the death drives deeper. it's do or die, fight to the death. the winners get to run against hillary clinton . the losers get to say it's not their fault they lost. wait a minute. that doesn't make any sense. and neither does this fight on the right for the right to say you're right. with me tonight are two msnbc political analysts joy reid of the grio and david corn from " mother jones ." joy, it really is a joy to watch this, to watch rove running around in some sort of new matt dillon cleaning up the party , cleaning up main street from all the bad guys when, in fact, many people would say that karl rove has been the problem from, well, since 2000 when he brought his "w."
>> absolutely crazy. i love the way you called them the cuckoo's nest. karl rove 's strategy and the reason he's considered a smart guy in politics is he found a way to convince the cuckoo's nest that george w. bush was really their guy and convention evangelical that is george w. bush is your guy and the right wing. he passed off neoconservatism as conservative temple. he passed off the idea of endless war and nation building. he sold them a bill of goods and what they got back was medicare part d a ballooning deficit, and a financial crisis that devastated the country, a failed war, a war in iraq that was ill-advised to put it mildly, and now the cuckoo's nest who he cultivated as the ground troops, they think they're in charge and they're not going to listen to him saying they're not.
>> what was the big thing with karl rove ? did he start a war to celebrate the tax cut or have a tax cut to celebrate the war. i mean, he put it all together. i forgot to mention the prescription drug thing thrown in without financing it.
>> right, right, right. and, you know, he did do a great job, you know, mobilizing and energizing the right wing base to get behind george w. bush , and then he and others did a great job in the last few years under barack obama of energizing them by demonizing barack obama and pushing them to the fringe. and now he comes along and says, wait a second, you've gone too far. this monster that i have helped to create has gone too far and i'm picking up the pitchfork and i got my fire, my torches, and i'm going to go door to door backed by billionaires in texas to get --
>> you don't know this. this is new testament stuff to you. joy, do you know the pairable of the unjust steward. the guy is about to get sacked. he's about to lose everything. he goes around and cuts deals with all the people his bosses have been dealing with and gets his piece of the action . it's a very secular values to some of this stuff. rove went on fox last night, karl himself, to defend himself and to profess his love for the tea party . what is he up to? he's trying to trash can these people. let's watch.
>> i love these groups that are criticizing us saying they're fake conservatives. well, i repeat, we spent $30 million for tea party senate candidates and $25 million. there's no group that comes close to what crossroads has done in terms of financial support for tea party candidates.
>> and we believe you.
>> tea party or not, it's not the question of tea party or not, it's a question of whether or not they're a bad candidate or not.
>> so what is o'reilly think of these people in o'reilly has an iq . i may disagree with him but he must be looking at robe like what's your latest stuff here? what are you selling her .
>> exactly. he might as well -- karl rove should have written on that whiteboard, i have no principles. karl rove doesn't care what the ideology is. he's just selling a product. remember, he's the guy who described the iraq war as a product and said you don't take a product to market in august. this guy is into power. he's always been into just getting power for its oun sake. his first ever campaign he was involved in was in college when he snuck onto the campaign of a democrat running for something like treasurer in illinois and wrote those leaflets which he's distributed to homeless shelters saying for a good time and free women and liquor, come to this democrat's rally.
>> i just saw him dancing across the stage next to david gregory . wint mind seeing that all the time. sliding down the iq scale here to texas governor rick perry , he told laura ingram that the tea party isn't at fault for the losses wracked up by republicans. let's listen to governor perry.
>> i would suggest to you that people who try to moderate their views to win a particular vote are going to be weaker and weaker as time goes. i think people want to see people they believe, people they trust, and people that are going to be consistent in their positions. so moderation from the standpoint of in pursuit of electoral victory is a failure in my opinion.
>> you know, every once in a wile somebody comes along in politics who doesn't know anything about politics. spiro agnew boo talk about people being squishy soft on communism unaware of the whole mccarthy period, 20 years of that kind of talk getting you in nothing but trouble. he calls himself a texas conservative who has no memory or any knowledge of apparently the history of modern conservatism. when he said moderation gets you in trouble, well, let's listen to barry goaltenderwater who cooked his party for years with this line back in '64.
>> i would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
>> you know, all i can say is wow. that kind of straight from the hip right wing talk and there's perry with absolutely no knowledge of this kind of talk that moderation weakens you. civility --
>> don't tell me you have any expectations --
>> okay. i'm just setting him up.
>> let me play off --
>> are you accusing me of parroting these guys if i suggest they might have had an iq ?
>> yes. let me play off sag joy said. she talked about karl rove in a very cynical way and i agree with that. but at the same time there is a divide and there's always been in the republican party between the establishment crowd and the populist --
>> what side is rove on?
>> right now he's more establishment, but when a party is out of --
>> that's what a party establishment looks like.
>> exactly. but when a party is out of power, that's when these tensions come out and they start eating their own. they can't go after barack obama now, but in order to maintain their own power and to have a debate --
>> you know, let's get back to the person stuff. rush limbaugh sided with the tea party earlier this week saying rove's plan will backfire on conservatives. let's watch.
>> the establishment republicans, the inside the beltway establishment types, remember, these are the people that supported charlie crist over marco rubio . these are the brains. these are the guys who are going to protect the republican party from you. they also opposed rand paul. and, remember, they supported arlen specter over pat toomey and on and on. there are countless examples. the bottom line is they don't have any better record at picking winners than the quote, unquote amateur tea party types do. and even when they pick winners, what do we end up winning? we get squishy republican moderates.
>> there's that squishy.
>> they got tax hikes for --
>> we have to remind ourselves -- this is this man. they say a certain kind of bug or insect would survive a nuclear war . we don't have to use those terms but we know which bug it is. look at the rap sheet on this guy karl rove . let's go down memory lanes and remind ourselves at least if the right wung doesn't of some of karl rove 's greatest hits. as a top adviser to george w. bush he sold the war in iraq to everybody it seems. he got off scot-free even though he was at the center of the cia leak scandal . walked from that one. the architect couldn't help a republican majority in the 2006 midterms bring the democrats back to power in both the house and senate for the first time. he blew it all on the table. and in 2012 the sunlight foundation reported that crossroads had a 1%, 1 in $100 return on its election investment. so karl rove failed putting together a republican realignment, failed in holding the house and the white house and the senate, lost all that. got involved in the cia leak case, somehow got through that where scooter did get caught and the president -- actually the vice president should have been caught. loses tons and tons of money. he's like one of these japanese investors in the american film industry . loot them every couple years with their latest projects because they don't really get it apparently or else they're just gung-ho to get into hollywood. he's taken so much money from people and lost so many races he's down to $1 return on a $100. that's not a good investment, joy, and yet there he is out there telling the republican party what it's got to do is get rid of the other guys, not him.
>> absolutely. i'm glad you played that clip from rush limbaugh because in a lot of ways karl rove and rush limbaugh are very much the same. they're both using the same sort of know-nothing crowd, the people in the hinterlands who are angry who don't understand why the country is changing, who don't understand the new america they don't feel comfortable in. they're both using them to sell a product. for rush limbaugh it's to get his advertisers and he has to keep his show going. for karl rove it's the accumulation of power by tricking people. he doesn't necessarily.
>> terrestrial radio . young lady , you've done it again. you're teaching me this business again. i'm in.
>> radio as opposed to suspect xm --
>> i used to be in radio.
>> when is the first time you used that term in your life?
>> only because i used to be in the radio business. when you're in radio --
>> it's like e.t. terrestrial radio .
>> but karl rove needs a reason to exist. he needs --
>> i know french.
>> i know you know french.
>> he needs a reason to exist. the tea party has gotten their market share of the republican product, so he needs --
>> both of you guys, tell me this, what percentage of the regular voting republican party , the party that voted for "w," we're going to learn something tonight, joy, you first, what percentage of the regular republican voter, the people who vote regular republican for congress and president, is tea party oriented? in other words hard right?
>> i think it's a third. i think the republican party really is one-third evangelicals, one-third tea party know-nothings, and one third business types .
>> the evangelicals in the hard right --
>> and the tea party and evangelicals blur.
>> the talk about the primary electorate of the republican party , i think you get over 50% in many states are tea partyish.
>> sharron angle , christine o'donnell. what happened to bob bennett ? good-bye.
>> it's not changing.
>> these guys come from that world.
>> and i'm sorry, go ahead. i was going to say the one thing -- a real operative, if he was a real political rop ra tiff, rove would have seen the demographic changes. that was the core of this last election. he completely --
>> give him a little credit. he tried to bring in the latino vote and he couldn't bring his party with him. see, i saids is nice about karl rove . anyway. thanks joy reid, have a nice weekend. you too, david corn . u how deep is the debate over drones. critics on the progressive left, some of them, and libertarian right are taking issue with the obama administration drone policy. this is a family dispute in my house. polls show most americans support even most liberals if you will, even when it means killing americans who are plotting with al qaeda to kill other americans .
>>> plus, four senators, two democrats and two republicans, are really working on a deal to expand at least background checks for gun sales. two of the four senators are members of the nra. if they can strike a deal, then a big part of president obama 's gun safety proposals could be within reach.
>>> plus, the terrific movie silver linings playbook puts mental illness in the spotlight tonight. we're joined by the director of that film the great david russell to talk about the issue and the oscar history the movie could make. i think it's got a shot.
>>> texas governor rick perry escalate that is war with california counterpart. he's not even slightly a counsel per part, jerry brown is so much better. that's coming in the "sideshow" tonight. and this is "hardball"