Morning Joe | November 20, 2012
man: come in today.
>>> all right. at 45 past the hour. look at that beautiful shot of capitol hill in washington, d.c. here with us now, white house correspondent, sam stein. sam ?
>> good to have you.
>> how you doing, sam , great to see you this morning.
>> thank you.
>> what thanksgiving plans do you have?
>> i'm going to be going home , eating turkey.
>> do your parents want that?
>> no. they're not going to be there, actually.
>> so this works for everybody?
>> yeah, exactly.
>> not going to be there.
>> yeah. i'm going home --
>> time now for the must-read opinion pages.
>> mika wasn't interested enough.
>> i'm sorry.
>> mika doesn't care --
>> apparently we'll talk for ten minutes about turkey water, but not my family.
>> we really need to organize things this morning. you all are acting like a bunch of school children about to go on thanksgiving break.
>> i guess we are.
>> it's the best holiday.
>> all right. so senator marco rubio was asked by "gq" how old you think the earth is. alex, can you read the first two or three sentences.
>> he says i'm not a scientist, man.
>> that's good enough.
>> first line.
>> he goes on to answer it more and this must read alludes to it.
>> says he doesn't know. so a big republican --
>> marco rubio versus science . one of the attributes of conservatism, at least i understand it is openness to evidence, including scientific evidence and embracing reality. it can be discrediting to a political party as well as religious institutions to stand against or deny overwhelming empirical evidence on any subject. i like senator rubio and believe he has a very bright future. but it seems to me he not only needs to re-think his answer to this question, but come to terms with its larger implications. he and his party will suffer and should suffer if they are seen as agnostic on our standing against science .
>> sam stein.
>> i agree with that. does anyone disagree with that?
>> joe, do you agree with it?
>> yeah, i agree with that. does the dumbing down process begin immediately when you're running for president. you've got to say the earth is 6,000 years old.
>> i think a lot of the --
>> i don't think it's as deep as people think.
>> i think even from the people who have a lot of potential like marco rubio have to navigate the complexities of the base of the party and the center of the electorate and knowing what to say about a lot of stuff they're not normally asked about.
>> ask me how old the earth is?
>> roughly how old is the earth?
>> it's older than 6,000 years. faith and my belief in jesus christ as the son of god, they're not inconsistent. they're not inconsistent.
>> you are a scientist, though.
>> i am a scientist, though. there's no doubt. i teach science at m.i.t.
>> it's not that hard.
>> no, it's not that hard. people make this so much tougher than it is. i ran in the district that jerry folwell called the most conservative in america. and i said things just like i said right there. and i got 90% of the republican vote time and time again. they don't expect you to be stupid. they don't expect you to deny science just because you're conservative and you believe in small government and you believe in god .
>> george bush 's political skills are underrated. he knew how to navigate --
>> he could do it.
>> we've talked a lot about the mitt romney tape where he mentioned the gifts.
>> but another part of the tape that didn't get much attention is how much he disdained the primary process . and i'm sure it's going to be similar on the democratic side. but it seems it took a real toll out of mitt romney and hurt the party in the long run.
>> well, it was mitt romney 's own fault because time and time again he would never stand up to the craziest 2% in his own party . so he can't blame the primary process , but it does seem marco rubio , a week later is already starting down this path of underestimating the intelligence of his own party .
>> right. and so you begin to wonder what he going to say on a whole host of other issues. it reminds me of what mayor bloomberg said when he endorsed barack obama after hurricane sandy. he said basically there's one guy that believes in science and one guy that doesn't seem to. and that's a problem for the republican party . do they want to become across as the party that doesn't believe in science ? whether it's to do with darwinism or the evolution of mankind, whether it's to do with climate change and denying the science on that. that's something the party 's going to have to wrestle with. and if that gets caught up in the primary process and marco rubio already four years out is falling into the trap of having to appease the wing of his party that will drag, you know, where are they going to go in the next election if they keep getting dragged in the primary process to a point where they are unelectable come the general election .
>> yeah. and i --
>> people think this is -- they know this is dumb.
>> a lot of people believe that this last election was about ideology, i don't think it was about ideology. i think most americans oppose central plans, suspicious of a large growing federal government . i think most americans believe that our national debt 's too high. they understand the entitlements need to be cut. they understand all of these things, i think a bigger problem is antiintellectualism that has dominated our party over the past four years.
>> there are two possibilities of that answer. number one is that he believes that. and that's troubling on its own. or number two, that like mitt romney he's already thinking about what he is supposed to say. mitt romney spent six years doing that, it didn't work for him. if marco rubio 's already thinking that way, already thinking about what the base wants to hear, he could be in trouble already four years out.
>> billions and billions years old.
>> and look at the language of the key interview. sounds very much like somebody searching for his words. i'm not a scientist, man, i can't tell you what the scientists think. i think parents should be able --
>> there's something about the language of this interview that sounds very hesitant. sounds like somebody who is trying to work out, what do i say not to get into trouble here?
>> what's the correct answer? like 4 trillion years old. is that what scientists say? 80 trillion --
>> 4.5 billion.
>> 4.5 billion years old based on --
>> you know what carl sagan would say --
>> i think it's like 4.5 billion.
>> yeah. plus or minus .
>> based on, again, willie, my teaching up at m.i.t.
>> yeah, exactly.
>> spreading the knowledge --
>> we've run the numbers.
>> we have a computer --
>> with our bookky.
>> we've run the numbers.
>> sam stein, please stay with us.
>> i'll think about it.
>> we've got it laid out on an excel spread sheet and it's about 4.5, i think.
>> still ahead --
>> made in the south awards.
>> do you hate science and math now? are you against aggregation.