Mitchell Reports | January 25, 2013
>> haley barbour , former chair of the republican governors association joins us now from capitol hill . thank you very much. good to see you. let's talk about bobby jindahl's instructions to the republicans at the winter meeting . we can't be the stupid party. do you think that your fellow republicans have figured out a way forward where they won't be the quoting bobby jindahl "the stupid party?"
>> i think he is talking about during the campaign we had a couple of candidates for senator who made stupid remarks that not only hurt them in their own races, but spilled over and hurt other republican candidates, made republican candidates have to repudiate that sort of stuff. interestingly, andrea, as you know, one of those republican candidates for senator, todd akin in missouri was the beneficiary of more than $1 million of campaign spending on behalf of akin in the republican primary with senator harry reid 's pact's money. you know, the democrats decided that was a guy they wanted to run against, and they turned out to be right. when somebody says something stupid, it doesn't just hurt them when you're in the middle of a national election. i think bobby is exactly right. we need to be -- we need to be careful that we talk about things in the reasonable way.
>> the battleground states to make the electoral college decisions in those states proportional. now, theoretically, hypothetically, if that were done in every state, it already is only done in nebraska and maine, and it's never influenced the outcome of a presidential race . if it were done nationally, mitt romney would have been taking the oath of office on monday.
>> that's true this time. other time it might have been just the opposite. i'm a traditionalist myself. i really am a conservative. you can't predict with any sort of precision who it will help from one presidential election to the other. as i say, i'm -- i am more of a traditionalist conservative, and if people want to do that, it's obvious that states have the right to do that. maine has done it. nebraska has done it.
>> we have some indications from richmond from governor mcdonough that he isn't going to be in favor of this. at least a leading state senator there has said so far that he is against it, and if it not going to get out of committee in the senate, it's not going to be approved, it won't get to the govern governor's desk.
>> doesn't it make it look as though the republicans are trying to sort of game the system? isn't it a bad sort of --
>> andrea, how can --
>> isn't it a bad tactic for the republican party to take --
>> i don't know how you can ask that question when you in the immediate previous breath told me that.
>> maybe somebody has to be a republican. the democrats won't let out of committee, usually the democratic party doesn't have to answer for --
>> my point is --
>> or get out of committee.
>> my point is that since the reports this morning, which said that this could actually be passed in virginia by next week, we've been checking, we've been, you know -- we've been making the calls and trying to find out where the governor is and the hints are from his people that later today he may indicate that he is not in favor of it. that said, other states are proceeding. republican legislatures in michigan, in pennsylvania, in oh ohio.
>> i don't think there's any sort of national movement , and you have sort of convinced me that in virginia there may not be even state movement. it may be an isolated legislator. i'm not going to try to judge that with as few awe facts that i have, but i think it's wrong to say there's a big republican conspiracy to try to change this.
>> one more question on the subject of gun control . joe bide seven in richmond today following up on his task force . where should the republican party be on gun laws on perhaps background checks , the loophole. john manchin, has made some moves. he campaigned vigorously with, you know, an advertisement that had a rifle a couple of years ago. where do you think leading republicans should be to try to join this debate?
>> i think joe manchin 's point in that commercial wasn't the rifle. it was shooting obama's energy policy with the rifle. i'll let joe speak for himself.
>> you look at connecticut where this awful, sickening crime occurred. everything that guy did was illegal already. if -- it's just a reminder if you make having guns fwens the law, the only people that will have guns are criminals. that's the way -- that's the result in connecticut.
>> the supreme court has already ruled in the heller case that there can be exceptions, that the d.c. gun law was unconstitutional, but other assault weapon bans might not be unconstitutional. the constitution does not preclude other restrictions on guns, and background checks . and other measures that are considered and have widespread support. do you think that republicans should take a closer look at some of the other options in the aftermath of newtown?
>> again, i think the most productive thing being talked about here is how do we prevent mentally ill deranged people from getting firearms or any other dangerous weapons. that is a useful thing for us to get to the bottom of because that's the real problem. i thought it was interesting. vice president biden said he was not concerned about getting guns out of the hands of minute people. well, i'm the same way. i don't think we should take away from good people, law-abiding people, the right to own firearms. , and what we ought to focus on is where the real problem is. you look at some of the plays that have strict gun control . washington d.c. had the strongest gun control law in the country. ofsh the highest murder rate. they understand the issue is the people that pull the triggers on those guns ask trying to keep guns away from them. that's what we ought to be focused on, and the mentally ill part i do consider a productive step that hopefully something will come of.
>> haley barbour , thank you very much, governor. thanks for joining us today. appreciate it.