Martin Bashir | February 12, 2013
>> let's get right to our panel. i'm joined by joy reid who is the managing editor of the grio.com and karen finney. the president's speech is now just a few hours off, as you know, and the response is twofold tonight. we have the great marco rubio and then even further right we have senator rand paul . he's calling it complementary, not contradictory, but is there anything more symbolic in the republican party than two people giving the rebuttal?
>> no, i think it is actually a perfect sim bog of where the republican party is now. you have the establishment choice, which is the hey, brown people , strategy. marco rubio has got to be our front man, we have to shove him out in front of us every chance we get. he has two "o"s, the end of his first name and last name. it doesn't get more hispanic than that. people claim he's the tea party guy. he gave a magazine interview in which he stood himself at kind of arm's length from the tea party . he cottoned to them when he needed to run and win. he's very pragmatic that way, but a lot of tea party people are skeptical of them. when you have rand paul who is as pure a tea party guy as it gets. he's going to be rubio's biggest competition should he actually run in 2016 . you're previewing the 2016 primary.
>> i was going to say, is this a response to tonight or a dress rehearsal for the republican primaries 2016 ?
>> it's a bit of a dress rehearsal but it's also indicative of the problem that the republican party has right now, right? because rubio from what we've read is going to go out and talk about, you know, obama's government-centered ideology. well, that was the romney talking points that didn't work. so that's the establishment talking points . and then you're going to have rand paul , who knows what he's going to say, and i have to say, with the presence of ted nugent in the hall, that just shows you the republican party is all over the map. clearly out of control. there was nobody who could step in and say to rand paul , no, you can't do this. there was nobody who could say, now, you can't bring ted nugent here. that shows you how out of control they are right now.
>> listen to what karl rove says about rubio's assignment. listen to this.
>> first of all, this is a terrible assignment for anybody to get. democrat or republican. you don't look generally good in comparison to the president of the united states .
>> now, you'll remember that when bobby jindal gave his speech he appeared to deliver it outside a men's lav ratory in a cheap hotel.
>> sounds like kenneth the page most people thought, too. how is karl rove still on tv giving his opinion about anything? isn't he wrong about everything? it is a bad assignment. everybody who had to do it, bob mcdonald didn't look good, poor bobby ginned cal. and also making him peak too early. it's almost sabotage. gee likes to compare himself to barack obama but think about the way obama very carefully managed his sort of entrance and sort of the way he sort of rolled himself out, right? he was very low key in the beginning even though there was a lot of star power to him, and he kind of brought himself out on very substantive issues. i mean, rubio, i guess immigration is substantive even though it's not hiss own grds necessa ideas necessarily. here he is on covers, the savior.
>> he's wrapping himself in the republican brand. right now the republican brand is badly damaged. so he's got to submit himself with them where as to your point, karen, when barack obama did it, he did it on his own terms.
>> i have to interrupt you