Morning Joe | March 02, 2010
>> no, we'll be fine. i did a good job last time. mitt romney , author of a new
book "noapology: the case for american greatness." th thank you for joining us in the studio right now. aren't we apologizing right now for washington ?
>> that's one reason to stop apologizi apologizing. look, if we don't get america on the right track, you'll find america declining over time and be passed by other nations. let's stop apologizing to ours for having lousy schools, for spending too much money, we have to stop apologizing to the world for supposed mistakes that we made relative to the extraordinary contributions we made, like america has nothing to be apologizing for to the entire world.
>> you take the president to task for going around and apologizing for mistakes america has made in the past. first of all, haven't we made mistakes in the past?
>> and can't we be realistic?
>> in the balance sheet of mistakes we've made and the extraordinary contributions we've made, think about it. our system of economic vitality, has helped lift billions out of poverty around the world. the sacrifice of fighting men and women has freed people around the world. we don't need to go around and talk about our mistakes and draw attention to them. the president said we were dismissive. that we were divisive. that america has been arrogant. he indicated that america doesn't pay attention to the concerns of others. even said we dictate to other nations. look, america doesn't dictate to other nations. america has freed other nations from dictators. let's not go around and apologize to everybody. let's instead talk about what's good about america and promote american values , free enterprise enterprise. freedom, democracy, human rights .
>> you said in the book, foreign policy strategies provided "kindling for the anti-american fires burning across the globe." that's tough rhetoric, isn't it?
>> absolutely. i think it was terribly --
>> is he promoting anti-americanism.
>> look, not on purpose, of course. he says if i draw closer to our enemies or the people who don't like us, and, thereby, establish distance with our friends that will make me more of a neutral arbiter. that's the wrong way to go. america has always been a very strong player, promoting the things we believe in. he goes to the united nations and gives an address there, and he chastises our best friend in the middle east , israel, for building settlements. that's the sort of thing have you in a private room, that kind of conversation. nothing about the palestinians launching 7,000 rockets from the gaza strip into israel. so this drawing closer to our enemies, and establishing distance with our friends has been very troubling and not made the world a safer place.
>> mort zuckerman ?
>> i share some of your concerns. i do think there was a previous sense that the united states was acting with a level of arrogance rather than just compassion and understanding. i don't think there's any easy way of doing it. what he's talking about is engagement. any level in which you think engagement works? you have to at least talk with other people who don't agree with us before you sort of take a hard line with them.
>> of course you talk to other people. i don't know if there has ever been a time when we haven't been willing to talk to other nations and express views and hear what our views are. in some cases, other nations like iran , you try and use the carrot of negotiations to encourage them to account. the president said during his presidential campaign, as you recall, that he was going to meet with ahmadinejad and chavez and kim jong -il, castro, all of these people in the first year. fortunately, he didn't follow through with that promise. doing that, and holding out an open hand when your opponent has a clenched fist isn'ted w the way to get them to move.
>> there is a danger in holding the arsonist in the same place as the firefighter. he is pulling back from that, isn't he?
>> he is recognizing that the apology tour is not in the best interest of the united states .
>> wait, wait, wait, governor. it's helped in iran . he's been engaging iran . look over the past year -- oh, wait a second. mike barnicle . my bad.
>> let's say on the global stage. what do we do about china? they own us. what do we do?
>> we have to stop using their credit card . every time we'd like to buy something, we can't say, china, will you please loan us $100 billion. enough is enough. we can't keep borrowing, borrowing, borrowing. we can't keep owing them for our children's future. that's number one. number two, they need access to our market. we have one thing they really need. they have 20 million people coming off the farms every year that need jobs. they will only get jobs if they have access to our market. we can say, look, guys, we have to work more collaboratively on issues like iran and we have to hold their feet to the fire, because china is the keystone in getting iran to act in a more responsible way.
>> speaking of working more collaboratively, you and the late senator kennedy worked collaboratively in establishing a health plan in massachusetts that basically encompassed in a state-wide level universal coverage. do you believe in universal coverage?
>> yeah. it doesn't make lots of sense to have millions and millions of people who don't have coverage, but who can go to the emergency room who can for free. let's take all of the money that we've been spending to pay for free care and use those same dollars to help people who can't afford it buy some portion of their insurance premium . the right way to go about this issue is on a bipartisan basis, we worked together, got everybody ensured, but there were big differences between what we did and what's going on in washington . what we did, we said, look, it has to be done on a bipartisan basis or we'll never change anything as big as health care . number two, it's best done state by state. getting everybody suinsured is very different to do in massachusetts than it is in texas. number three, we said we're not going to raise taxes. we have to do this within our current budget and finally, we're not going to cut medicare as a means to do it. all those things i think make the president's plan unacceptable to the american people .
>> let me ask you, though. you say you're not going to cut medicare , and republicans have been critical of the proposed cuts in medicare . but you said off the top, we have to face our entitlement crisis. there is no greater crisis than the threat to medicare . will you admit right now to america that if medicare is going to exist after 2019 , we're going to have to cut medicare ?
>> make tough choices.
>> no question about that the way the president's health care plan works, he says we'll take $500 billion out of medicare advantage. wait a second. let's talk about a better approach than just slashing a portion of the program.
>> isn't that a private program? if you had to go after medicare costs, wouldn't the private program be the way to go after medicare costs?
>> the best way is to help perform our entire health care system by changing our incentive system. right now in health care , the individual consumer has virtually no stake in how much something costs, because the doctor, the hospital, they get --
>> that's a huge problem.
>> that's the problem.
>> the incentive in our system is an incentive for profit and not an incentive for wellness.
>> changing that is the right way to change medicare . and unless we deal with the entitlement burden which is $60 trillion, unfunded liability, america 's future could be very bleak for our grandkids. we're kicking it down the road. that's unacceptable.
>> let's play word association .
>> oh, word association .
>> george w. bush . you are defending this guy at cpac. was he a great president?
>> kept us safe. helped our schools take a major step forward. did he do everything perfectly? no. did he make a positive contribution to safety? took on the war on terror .
>> doubled our national debt .
>> i told you.
>> talk about the credit card with china. he took out five more credit cards with china and maxed them all.
>> sort of why we have this problem in washington today is both sides are guilty.
>> both sides are guilty. look, republicans and democrats have been overspending for decades. president bush is one of them. but the levels of borrowing now are beyond anything we've seen before.
>> sarah palin , qualified to be president?
>> energetic, enthusiastic and qualified to be president. yes.
>> he just said yes. mike huckabee , a true said yes. mike huckabee , is he a true conservative?
>> sure. we don't agree on every issue, but of course he's a conservative. what do you think he's a liberal?
>> one more. word association , your hair, is it real?
>> let me tell you --
>> i'm so jealous!
>> mike, i glued this on this morning, it ain't going to move. i assure you.
>> governor romney, are you a contender for 2012 ?
>> not yet, because i haven't decided what i'm going to do.
>> your sure?
>> why would i make a decision like that before i had a chance to talk to mort zuckerman .
>> he's paying for breakfast.
>> we'll let you both pay. governor romney, thank you so