Martin Bashir | January 28, 2013
>> now, angela rye is a political strategist. dr. james peterson is a contributor to thegrio.com and ryan grim, d.c. bureau chief for "the huffington post ." welcome to all of you. i'm glad you're watching again ryan behind you on the screen. professor peterson , we saw a lot of the president this weekend, a lengthy interview given to the new republic and that interview with hillary clinton on "60 minutes." i see republicans grumbling about that interview. is that because it made democrats seem like mature, well-mannered, adults who are trying to get something done?
>> yeah. for all of their critique about what they perceived as being a softball interview, have you ever seen a republican politician on a fox news interview? certainly there's a double standard there in their mind. at the end of the day here, i think that the president and secretary clinton being in the same space at the same time is an important sort of sense for the democratic party going forward. one of the president's support of this secretary of state and what she's done in terms of all the travel and all the impact she's had internationally, but, two, it is looking forward a little bit, as much as we're loath to talk about 2016 , it looks as if hillary clinton , a formidable candidate at that time.
>> let me read something from the interview the president gave the new republic. he says at one point, one of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. if a republican member of congress is not punished on fox news or by rush limbaugh for working with a democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it. now, the right is up in arms about this quote today. he had to know, the president had to know that was going to be the reaction though presumably. would you agree?
>> well, maybe he did know it was going to be the reaction but at the end of the day it's absolutely true. we have to get to a place in this country where people are applauded for doing what's right. what you're seeing right now from the president is a shift from the audacity of hope to the audacity of conscious politics, and i think that the rest of the country has got to shift, too. we have republicans all over the country who are fighting against common sense politics, common sense solutions, and we just cannot do that. we literally cannot afford to do that right now.
>> but so many of these republicans appear to be frightened by rush limbaugh , by the nra, by fox news. isn't that true?
>> it's absolutely true. but, again, we have to get to a point where we're not just accountable to rush limbaugh and fox news and all of the other pundit stations and, you know, the types of propaganda that some of the people in the republican party put out. we have to get to the place where our elected officials are serving their constituencies in total, not just portions of the constituency.
>> i pray that was the case. ryan , the president basically in the interview that he doesn't -- he says he doesn't see his relationship with republicans getting better until republicans ' relationships with republicans get better. does that mean basically i guess don't hold your breath for the next four years? i don't want to be pessimistic, but that's how it feels, doesn't it, ryan ?
>> yeah. i mean, they have a lot of issues they need to work out, and they're going to work those out internally over the next two years, and i think obama is right, that until they get to a place where a republican can have a constructive relationship with obama and not pay a political price for it, then no republicans are going to have constructive relationships with them because, you know, politicians are just -- are very self-serving and self-interested folks. that's how they got to where they are, and there has to be somebody who has to break the curse . there has to be a politician, a republican, who steps forward, works with obama on something, maybe it will be guns, maybe it will be immigration, we'll find out who works with him, who infuriates the base, infuriates rush limbaugh and glenn beck if he's still around out there, and survives and actually advances. as soon as that happens, then it shows an alternative path to power for republicans , and that will enable obama to then start having relationships again.
>> he is still out there. i heard him this morning. professor peterson , let me play for you an exchange when david gregory and senator jim demint on this topic of the president's vision versus that of republicans . listen to this, professor peterson .
>> that's something paul ryan said. he said last year the country will choose what happens in 2013 . and they did. so aren't we past the point of two different visions and choosing?
>> i don't think the country has chosen that.
>> so, professor peterson , the election went 51% to 47% with the president. 323 electoral college votes to 206. but according to jim demint , that didn't decide anything, right?
>> well, this is the kind of logic of the republican party we've been wrestling with over the last several years. former senator demint is moving more into policy and lobbying and trying to influence the public discourse and that's probably a good place for him to live and breathe in.
>> he ought to be attached to reality surely.
>> well, as you know, and as we have chronicled on this show and others on this network, reality is not the basis by which those on the far right always sort of draw their conclusions and create their ideas. and so sadly, we can't expect that at this point in time. what i would say to all the republicans is if you don't want to put stock in the presidential election , you really need to rethink what your relationship is to the american body politic overall.
>> angela , you get the sense from this interview that the president is literally done waiting for compromise. he tried that for four years. we see that he's now turning his campaign apparatus into a machine to sell his policies. now, in your view do you think that will be more effective as an approach towards achieving substantive legislation as compared with the first four years.
>> well, yes, i think that there's absolutely a place for the public to play in the president's steps moving forward. he cannot continue to try to operate and do things in a way and then try to communicate to the american public later. that didn't necessarily work as well as i think the white house and obama administration had hoped the first four years. so now they're going to what they do best. that's boots on the ground , that's messaging. they do it very well during campaigns and i think we're going to see a whole lot happening in these next four years or at least while the president has kind of the space to continue to make moves politically. i think that we'll also see the republicans pushing back by not trying to win by communicating more with people of color or young people or even the elderly for that matter. instead, they're going to make moves like what they've done in the virginia state legislature , which is try to change the maps and how people's votes are counted. so we've got to keep moving forward in a way that says, you know, we, the people, to use the president's term from the inaugural address .
>> ryan , the president said that the republicans have a fever , but if he won, that would break the fever , would it not? but paul ryan , well, he doesn't appear to have been affected at all. so maybe the fever hasn't broken for paul ryan and the republicans .
>> no, they certainly still have a fever but i guess we couldn't have expected the fever to break immediately. i laughed when i heard the president say that back in june or whenever it was during the campaign, but, you know, maybe he's right. i mean, the fever can't go on forever. it has to break at some point. you know, either it breaks or their entire party breaks. you can't continue being a party that ignores, you know, national election results as demint said that the party wants to do. you know, you can't go in and say, if we win, then we have a mandate, but if we lose then the other side doesn't have a mandate. you can only be divorced from reality for so many years. so, you know, whether it takes another midterm or another presidential election , at some point this fever has got to give or it's going to kill the patient.
>> they're doing pretty well. it's almost three months. ryan grim, angela rye, and dr. james peterson , thank you so much.