Hardball | February 27, 2013
>>> but the reality is that this is going to happen on friday. the president and the senate are not going to get a bill passed and to you and have your chamber approve that bill before friday. i mean, the sequester is going to happen.
>> at this point, i would agree. it looks that way. but hope springs eternal .
>> welcome back to "hardball." that was speaker john boehner last night in an interview with cbs. those spending cuts will happen it would seem. and president obama was on capitol hill today to unveil the statue on parks. he's not meeting until friday night. winston churchill said there's two kinds of success. initial and ultimate. it depends on which they will find. robert gibbs of course is famous. he served as president obama 's first white house press secretary . and beat me on jeopardy. and michael steele is the former chair of the republican committee. both are msnbc in house thinkers. this is important. the public isn't liking this subject. i don't like it. i don't want to hear about it again. but friday night there's going to be this dramatic sort of sitting together. the president is going to sit with these leaders. what can possibly get done before midnight when the act is already in effect basically? the government's going to stop spending $85 billion.
>> i don't think anything's going to happen.
>> why did the president call them down to meet?
>> i think quite frankly they're starting the negotiations for what's going to happen a few weeks or a few months into this when people start feeling the real pain in these communities. i don't think it's theater. i think it's the beginning of how we're ultimately going to get out of this. nobody's going to move at this point unless republicans are going to talk about tax revenue to make this balanced.
>> and democrats are willing?
>> democrats are willing to expect spending cuts and do a lot more on entitlements and walk away from tax revenue . nobody's going to do that.
>> who goes through the door first here, right?
>> why respect learen't leaders able to get through the door at the same time?
>> because they're largely idiots. and the fact of the matter is they allowed this thing to get to this point and lose control of it, quite frankly . you hit the right word. this is theater. this is the president coming to the table on this after the fact. why not --
>> let me -- we all think we're smarter than politicians. sometimes they operate under scary conditions. i think john boehner is scared most of the time. listen to what ron johnson -- now, he's a tea party candidate guy. he's a senator from wisconsin. he told fox news earlier this week that speaker bainoehnerboehner's in trouble with his own party. let's listen to ron johnson . decide if he's right.
>> i don't quite honestly believe that speaker boehner would be speaker if that happens. i think he would lose the speakership.
>> does he have a gun to his head?
>> yeah, he does. look. we just raised $300 billion in taxes.
>> on the top 1%.
>> you raised taxes. go to the fundamentals, chris. i don't care if it's the top 1% or the bottom 50%.
>> the top cares.
>> i'm sure you do care.
>> let's not make conjecture part of this show.
>> that is an issue for a lot of the republican leaders in the house.
>> so the word tax is
>> it's not just the word tax. it's the idea we've raised taxes and we haven't gotten cuts in spending.
>> ronald reagan put together a tax reform bill that got rid of a lot of loopholes. so since when is tax reform bad?
>> it's not bad. the problem is we had a huge cut for ten years that created this spending cut problem that we were trying to dig out of. we're trying to remember the economic tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that were supposed to create this fabulous economy. i'll let the people of america judge the efficacy of those tack cuts. you know, michael you talk about everybody stepping through the door at the same time. even as you say republicans are not putting revenue on the table. senator johnson's comment was the most insightful and important comment that will happen in washington this week.
>> when he says president boehner isn't alive if they talk taxes?
>> because the republicans can't get out of this box. they do, they guarantee themselves one thing. john boehner would lose his job as speaker. and if someone says let's do more revenue and you're republican, the only thing you're going to guarantee is a primary challenge from the right and probably a loss.
>> and i submit the other side of that box is a president who cannot put real cuts in entitlement reform on the table with his base.
>> you think that's actually true?
>> if it's not true, why doesn't he do it? where is the --
>> i'm with you in a sense. i think he can. because i think big city liberal democrats even if they see a deal on the table, a lot will vote for it. as the tea party fearing.
>> let's test that and see if it's true.
>> am i right or wrong? would the liberals go along with it if there was a deal?
>> so you're going with a --
>> yes, the president would.
>> this is good. progress.
>> the president's put changed cpi, a better way of calculating --
>> basically again, it's a better way of calculating -- more accurate way --
>> to figure out what's in the bag. it decides what inflation rate effects the average person.
>> right. here's my question. we know the president's going to put that on the table. tell me. boehner just sat with scott pelley . pick a journalist, anybody. what revenue are you putting on the table?
>> he wanted to cut -- he wanted to raise taxes for the top 1%. we did.
>> this is the game. this is the game.
>> this is not the game. tell me what cuts have we made? what cuts have we made? okay. the president is for change cpi. where is it? i don't see the proposal. i don't see the bill. is harry reid presenting that?
>> let's take a look at this la latest polling. rather than emphasizing the country by a five point margin they think obama is focused on unity over partisanship. when we asked whether americans agree with what republicans are proposing to do nearly 6 in 10 disagree with the republicans. nobody is mother teresa here. nobody thinks they're sticking their neck out any further than they have to pop but why do the republicans -- why is your brand of your party so sticky right now.
>> because we have messaged this horribly.
>> what's the message they're not getting out?
>> it's been all over the place.
>> what is the right message?
>> the right message is to really -- as we should have said from the beginning focus on how to create jobs in the country and tie that to spending. we've not done that. we've not given a way forward that really lays out exactly what the cost is to this economy for the level of spending that we've been doing.
>> i'm going back to --
>> can i make one final point?
>> why is it when we put on the table a serious discussion about cutting the spending of this country, all of a sudden that's partisan and we're not --
>> i know that. i think most of the people -- i do --
>> to be fair, michael, we have to do three things to get our fiscal house in order. we have to reduce spending, we have to do something on entitlements, and something else on revenue. i think the point of the sequester is this is taking a meat ax to the budget. this is not -- hold on. this is not identifying things that we know don't work and we should eliminate. i mean, this --
>> this was your proposal. this came from the white house .
>> here's the game again.
>> you know why you're upset and he's not? you know why he's playing this game and you're not? because remember --
>> some people are serious about spending.
>> and in the beginning carter benefitted. he beat teddy kennedy with this. as these things drag on, drag on for months, they blame the top guy. they just do.
>> there's no game here.
>> he says our message isn't right but now his message is let's blame somebody else for how we got in the mess.
>> i'm just pointing out a fact to you. i'm just saying. you want to ignore the role of the white house putting this in place.
>> is the president doing everything right here?
>> no. nobody is doing everything right.
>> can you say the president's not doing everything right here?
>> no, he can't.
>> i just did.
>> then do. can i hear you?
>> i said nobody is doing everything right. everybody's going to get mud on their shirt.
>> i feel that.
>> let's hope this isn't a game. let's hope this is a series of serious proposals.
>> when they start closing down government spending in defense and those people in stores start closing, we'll see impact. thank you for joining us.
>>> up next, republican tactics only mccarthy could love. there he is. and he's back. he's got a new name and