Morning Joe | November 08, 2012
>>> we'll turn to politics now. aside from the presidential race , we're going to dig further into the significant races in the senate where democrats had some big wins on tuesday and also a lot of women are now joining the fray.
>> they really are.
>> in virginia, former governor tim kaine beat former senator george allen . voters in massachusetts selected elizabeth warren to replace incumbent scott brown for the seat formerly held by the late ted kennedy . in north dakota , heidi heitkamp beat rick berg . in held off a tough challenger from congressman denny rehberg . and claire mccaskill beat todd akin .
>> let's let that one breathe for a second.
>> why don't we.
>> let me just say as probably the lone registered republican sitting not only at this table but in this zip code , thank you, todd akin . thank you for selfishly putting yourself above your party and the values that you claim to hold dear. you just gave up yet another senate seat for the republican party to harry reid . todd, thanks a lot, pal. the rest of the world knew you were going to lose, and you decided to do it anyway.
>> right. and i'll add to that, if i could, to be completely annoying, i'm sure, but thank you, todd akin and richard mourdock and thank you republican party for not breaking their arms and getting rid of them and instead focusing on people like chris christie who were just doing his job.
>> again, this is a problem. it's a branding problem. and john, you know, we all are basically in the zone for 48 hours . we're reading information as it comes in. we're on the air more than we're not. i just woke up early this morning, and i can explain the presidential race . i've been explaining it for two years. we had a very flawed guy at the top. if it were only that easy. you have to look, though, at the senate race to see just how devastated the republican party 's brand has been over the past year. and look at these senate races one by one by one. and as john cornyn said, you can't blame one wing of the party because the entire party had people from all different wings getting slaughtered yesterday. again, in senate races.
>> well, yes. and i think it's a branding problem, and it's more than a branding problem because the branding problem is connected to problems of substance. you know, i mean, todd akin should have stepped down, but he shouldn't have ever been the nominee of the party in the first place. he made a ridiculous, horrific statement, but he sponsored legislation that arose out of the beliefs that made him make that statement. and what has happened with your party , unfortunately, is that -- and we've talked about this on the show before increasingly -- the most conservative person no matter how nuts they are is the person who wins republican primaries now. that's not a way to win in purple states or in blue states . you can still win in red states sometimes with the most conservative person. but in a state like missouri which is still basically a purple state or a state like indiana which went for obama in 2008 , if you nominate the most conservative person on the farthest right wing in your party , that person's going to get beat by a reasonable democrat. that's what happened.
>> it is a shame there was a time when republicans, when even conservatives, would listen to the wisdom of william f. buckley that would always say you don't elect the most conservative guy or woman. you elect the most electable conservative guy. get him as conservative as you can. but a guy that can win in northwest florida like myself by 80% is not the guy you want to nominate in southern california .
>> what did haley barbour say about jim jeffords in vermont?
>> again, during this presidential process when i was asking olympia snowe or asking a candidate about olympia snowe , are you glad she's in your party ? he wouldn't answer.
>> and then we asked haley who said, "hell, yeah. i'm glad olympia snowe is in our party and i wish jim jeffords was, too." even on his most liberal day, jim jeffords was going to get elected more than anybody in vermont.
>> do you think -- what's the time frame here? is it that the republican party has perhaps a year and a half to sort of figure out what direction they're going to head in? a year and a half before the leaders of the republican party go to the front window of the club that they belong to, open up the drapes and look out on main street and see the reality of life in america today?
>> this happens all the time. i mean, i remember getting elected in 1994 . you know, " u.s. news & world report " had a cover talking about the end of the democratic party . you remember 1980 .
>> yeah, yeah.
>> people were saying the same thing about the end of the democratic party . two years later in 1982 , democrats had a massive landslide victory. the same thing happened in 1996 . bill clinton got elected. these things come and go. parties adjust. and this republican party will adjust.
>> it needs to adjust.
>> remember, two years ago -- and i hate to say this -- i've been saying this for four years -- two years ago republicans picked up historic gains in off-year elections. and i said yeah, we did that in 1994 . then we lost in 1996 . and the same thing has happened. the question is, willie, do they adjust? alec baldwin had a hilarious quote. did you see this quote?
>> yeah. which one?
>> yeah. what is the exact quote?
>> something you like you know your party 's in trouble --
>> when you ask --
>> how did the rape guy do, and you have to say "which one?"
>> which one? i can't hammer this home enough. i've done it for four years. there is a difference between off-year elections and presidential elections . republicans can win in off-year elections because the electorate shrinks. the pool shrinks. but when you get in presidential elections , it's, like, you know, it's a rising tide .
>> and it's a different electorate. it's a different electorate.
>> it is a much different electorate.
>> and it's not something that's going to be reversed overnight. i mean, they lost 70% of latino voters two nights ago. so as we said yesterday, you can't just put marco rubio out four years from now and say look, we've changed. there actually has to be change. whether it's on immigration reform or whatever they're going to do, it has to come from a place of meaning and not just something that's sort of superficial.
>> you know where i think the party is right now, if you think about where the republican party is, the democratic party was in this place after 1988 . they had lost three successive presidential elections , and the party was out of step with america . you know, it had this retrograde base that was dragging it down. and it wasn't where the vital center --
>> the san francisco democrats.
>> yes, right. and the old labor base and all that stuff. it was a mess. and you needed to have a modernization of the democratic party . bill clinton led that modernization. the dlc took the democratic party and made it electable again in national elections. presidential election years with the big electorate, not the small electorate. that has to happen in the republican party . and it's not a question of moderation as much as it is modernization.
>> and what is so insane, mika, is that the republican party 's -- the republican party that i belong to, that ronald reagan belonged to, our message is a message that would resonate so much with latino voters if we would get out of the way. these are hardworking immigrants. they are chasing the american dream . they are working around the clock. a lot of them bringing their kids here for a better life . they are religious. high number of them are religious. they are good, solid conservative catholics . and we republicans have worked overtime.
>> to alienate them.
>> to chase them. we have had to work so hard to chase away latino voters.
>> it's unbelievable.
>> it started with pete wilson , and it continued with mitt romney , just taking an asinine position in the republican primary and never being able to recover from it.
>> but joe --
>> i can't add to that.
>> -- when you talk about that specific issue, let's talk about latino voters.
>> by the way, it cost us the election.
>> it absolutely cost you the election.
>> i can't believe if we had john mccain 's percentage of latino voters.
>> is it not a problem for the republican party in that the loudest voices within , if you want to call it the framework of the republican party , are voices on the radio or on tv had it comes to issues that affect that specific aspect of our population, build a wall. self-deport. get buses. get them out of the country. is that not a huge problem?
>> you know, it's a huge problem if your elected leaders ckowtow to them.
>> it's also why you take hits and get called names.
>> i got 80% of the vote in the republican primary . anybody that ever took that attack against me when i was in office got rolled over, got crushed because you know what? you can take it to the people. and if you believe what you believe, they'll listen to talk radio . they'll watch certain stations. but at the end of the day , if the leaders have the guts to do what's in the best interests -- and mike, this is a great point, and this is where the party needs to go as they move forward. leaders need to understand, talk radio hosts, people that write books, people that have tv shows that are ideological, it's niche marketing . and they make a lot of money. and i've got no problem with people who make a lot of money on tv. or radio. or with books. in fact, i encourage it! i encourage it! it's good for america ! but politicians need to understand, they are niche marketers. they are selling to a niche. if you are driving around listening to four hours of talk radio every day, you don't live like the rest of us that work. i mean, which is fine. i've got no problem with it.
>> here's my problem.
>> for too long people have said you know what? since they're selling a lot of books, they must be telling us what we need to do in elections.
>> the people who are listening to people on the radio all day, they're leaders in your party . that's the problem. because if you look at what's happening, it's the problem.
>> they're scared.
>> they have a little, tiny, skewed box that they live in. and the rest of america --
>> they don't listen to that.
>> you know what?
>> i was there. i was there. i was in congress. they don't listen to it. they're scared of it. they don't listen to it. they don't watch it. but they kowtow to it because they're afraid.
>> i'm going to give you an excuse for why they are the way they are, but if you don't listen, that's great. you look at what's happening with chris christie , i know a hairdresser from northern new jersey who did not vote for him, neither did her mother, she will now after what she just saw through this storm. and the republican party , they're so worried about what happened symbolically, they missed an opportunity because they're scared.
>> willie geist , haley barbour said it. i talked to a hard-right conservative state party leader yesterday out west who says i finally get it. like haley always said, it's not about subtraction. it's about addition. addition. how do you pull more people to the republican party ? how do you pull more people to the conservative movement ? as i say, if you're going to play, play to win . how many times have you heard me talk about the suburbs of philadelphia? bucks county . the i-4 corridor. i say it all the time. and i say it all the time for a reason.
>> sean hannity wouldn't win bucks county , pennsylvania. i wouldn't win the i-4 corridor. he makes lots of money. and i've got no problem with that. but it's niche marketing . if we want to expand the base, wrooef got we've got to win bucks county , the i-4 corridor, the swing districts.
>> you've got to get your head out of the sand first.
>> and we'll do it, but we're not going to do it by playing the subtraction game. we've got to do it through addition.
>> and there are a lot of smart republicans like barbour who over the last 36 hours have identified the problem. they recognize it. but to your point, the very people you're talking about are still hanging on. it was chris christie 's fault for throwing his arms around president obama . it's the media's fault. and yes, it's the fault of the new black panther party , the couple of guys with the berets.
>> there was one, actually.
>> voter suppression .
>> there was one. he had a walker.
>> but that's your point. that's your point. they're still blaming those things for a much greater problem.
>> hey, let's make this personal, okay? let's talk personally. they spent a week and a half saying we doctored a tape here.
>> i know.
>> no, hold on a second. this is important.
>> i'm agreeing with you.
>> this is important. i listen to the tapes -- it sounds like lying to me, i don't know, but they spent so much attention. i said, listen, guys. first of all, i told you, i'm voting for romney. you're spending this much time and this much energy trying to find conspiracy theories ? how many times did they say the polls were rigged? how many times did dick morris say the polls were rigged? how many times did -- i could list 1,000 people on the niche conservative right that makes millions of dollars doing this. they would have a different conspiracy theory every day. you know what obama 's people were doing while they were chasing conspiracy theories ?
>> registering voters.
>> they were registering voters. they were putting yard signs in yards.
>> crazy kids in chicago.
>> they were i.d.'ing loyal democrats. we have got to stop with the conspiracy theories . stop blaming the media. reagan did pretty well with a media that hated his guts.
>> just to add to what willie said and to add what you've said, beyond all of that, you can't even just blame mitt romney because it's not -- he was a flawed candidate. the party in total has this problem. they are increasingly out of step with what the american electorate is going to look like more and more every four years. it's going to be browner. it's going to be more female. it's going to be -- it's a different america . and if the party loses 70% of hispanics, 70% of asian-americans, 80% -- 85% of african-americans, you're just going to look up. the party 's going to be extinct soon. with those numbers, we are headed towards a majority minority country. if you can't speak to that coalition that the obama people own right now, you will not be a viable party two generations from now. it's that acute. that's how clear it is.
>> thousands of hispanics are turning 18.
>> every day.
>> every day.
>> every day.
>> every day. and the republican party can decide how it wants to look. but i will tell you, it doesn't get easier four years from now. it's about addition. it's not about subtraction.
>> unless you're into niche marketing .
>> and i'm not. as i -- well, i won't even say where i think he is now -- but we had a politician in northwest florida , w.d. childers, that would go around saying i want all the money, and i want all the votes.
>> no, it's important. it's about addition. and we have got to stop listen listening to people that engage in niche marketing and make millions of dollars engaging -- i'm serious -- they engage in niche marketing . they make millions of dollars, and god bless them because i'm a capitalist.
>> niche marketing and the big problem for the republican party is you can't be successful in any line, politics, sports, i don't care what it is. if your basic platform is a fear of the future.
>> all right. before we go to break, speaking of addition, five -- five new women senators joining the conversation in washington which is fantastic news including elizabeth warren , tammy baldwin , deb fischer , heidi heitkamp .
>> that makes it 20, mika.
>> well, we're getting there.
>> the whole congressional delegation in new hampshire .
>> isn't it an incredible story? i love it. all you've got to do is get in there. all you've got to do is get in there.
>> look at that.
>> this changes the whole tenor of the conversation, and we get more women in there and equalize the numbers, it will help prevent some of the problems we've had in the past. we all know what we're talking about. coming up on " morning joe " --
>> i would think you would move away from new hampshire , barnicle, given your past.
>> actually, new hampshire won't let you in. senior adviser to the obama campaign , david axelrod , joins us. san antonio mayor julian castro considered to be many to be one of the rising stars the democratic party . msnbc political analyst richard wolffe and nbc chief white house correspondent, chuck todd . up next, mike allen will join us with the "politico playbook." and doris kearns goodwin joins us on set. you're watching " morning joe " brewed by starbucks.