Melissa Harris-Perry | December 02, 2012
>> the news landed with a thud and a sigh. house speaker john boehner tried to beef it up with a statement expressing the import of the role. but announcing candace miller as the chairwoman of the house administration committee on friday. the house administration committee -- the house administration committee on friday, did little to squelch that icky feeling created by this image. these are the 19 previously announced committee chairman and unlike miller, these chairman actually hold rank over committees that work on national budgets and policy. no, your eyes are not deceiving you. want to look again. here it is. you had it right. 19 men, 19 white men and yes, we fully understand that, as republicans maintain the majority in the house, they get to pick the committee chairs and there is seniority to consider. pause with me a second. president obama won the women 's vote by 11 points, latino by 44 point, asian-american by 47 points and the african-american by 87 points. he even won other by 20 points. anyway. they have that kind of numbers pundits espousing that democrats are destiny and that the republican party is over. speaker boehner makes his committee chair. it seemed nothing short of oblivious. let's go back to our new herd for 2016 for a moment. four women as potential -- five contenders of color. but there is no denying that as women and people of color grow in the ranks of the gop , there is room to attract potential voters as well. and then this morning, or just yesterday, mike fleck, a state lawmaker in pennsylvania as i was saying before the break, comes out as a gay man in his interview with a local newspaper. he is -- i'm staying in the republican party . it's not a single issued party. it starts feeling like maybe they're trying to pitch that big tent again.
>> they should. their tent has been looking kind of small recently. there's a san diego guy who unfortunately lost for mayor by a couple thousand votes named karl de mayo, openly gay . david brooks screwed up and wrote a column positing him as some kind of knuckle dragging. he's openly gay and running on pension reform . what are you talking about? there is going to be, there has to be a new voice out there. they have to -- it's going to be years before they can erase the sting of 2004 . when karl rove sin cli used gay marriage to rally votes against the mitt romney of the democratic party of 2004 . they're going to have to come out from behind that. you do that by playing defense and not offense. you say big government policies force us to do things against our values. and that's what we don't want. we don't want to impose anything going forward. they have to make that switch. they haven't yet. they have to.
>> it feels to me like it breaks down on the issue of women 's reproductive rights . on this question of big government . you'll hear what we want is small government , right, small enough as is our joke, on a transvaginal probe as we saw in the context of bob mcdonnell . yet, this blew me away. the quinnipiac poll off bob mcdonnell 's approval rating . he's actually doing quite well with women , quite well with african-americans, quite well with young people . this is the guy who proposed the transvaginal ultrasound procedures in virginia. am i missing something here?
>> voters are not -- again, that whole single issue, you can't zero in on onish eye. i'm a little biased, he is my governor. i will give that caveat. think of the end of the day . to your point, we have to be much broader from an optics and a tone standpoint. that's obvious. those pictures speak a thousand words . to all due respect, there are very credible women and minorities within a party, within the ranks that we should elevate very credible, white men and others that we should also elevate through the ranks. i think again, they do well because of the types of things that they're doing in these states that help bridge the gap.
>> let's talk about the optics for a second. on the side of politics, it does matter what it looks like when you present your party.
>> right. it does. i think going forward, not just in temps of the optics, but i do think when we look at this whole new herd and aum these people, there are some people in the new herd who are part of the old herd. i think they have to get out of the way. people like rick santorum who are so linked to this very social conservatism that turns a lot of people off because tower years from now --
>> you have to remember the staffers of the -- the staffers of the party are conservative. no one is going to throw the baby away with the bath water with the principal believes. we should embrace other views as well. you --
>> i do think -- i guess they had been and part of this question, i hear you on not being a single issue voter . reproductive rights are not a single issue. they carry with them a package of issues about my fundamental liberties, issues about economic, a package of issues with sort of where women will be positioned vis-a-vis work and employment and all of these questions. it sounds like a single issue, but it feels much bigger than that.
>> right. it covers more. like you said. i really do think that the gop has to go through a sort of churn to reevaluate it's own positions. politics, it's a buyers market. right now, they have a brand, they have a product that half the country does not like. i think they have to make themselves more appealing. it's up to them.
>> just to comment on that poll you put up. those approval numbers are quite impressive for the governor, but attitudes don't translate into votes or behaviors. people might have approved of the governor but not vote for him necessarily.
>> let's remember how much politics changes overnight. in 2006 , democrats, were freaking out. how can we retake things. they put forth a lot of anti-abortion candidates. what we think now has got to be true is going to change.
>> it's also interesting to point out, you have to be careful about believing the democratic party is strong. it had a strong presidential candidate . i think we made --
>> lost horribly at the state level.
>> a very similar mistake in our analysis of the clinton years. you end up with this big charismatic candidate that seems to fill up all the space that doesn't necessarily mean that the party is drawn.
>> when we come back, much more on one of the fundamental issues that has been dividing this democratic and republican party . the issue of immigration. how the gop is starting to think about shifting gears on immigration and the real pressure that president obama may feel on it. that's next.