Morning Joe | December 14, 2012
>>> have some mixed answers here. let's see.
>> santa .
>> santa 's lap. all right. we have -- everyone seems certain that that's a flu shot . all right. let's have a look. yeah, that is a flu shot . all right. there's the face. there's the expression. and we say flu shot ? all right. let's take a look. it is a -- oh, santa .
>> welcome back to " morning joe ." a beautiful shot of capitol hill . look at that.
>> red sky at morning . look at that. it's just gorgeous. gorgeous shot. it's a shame t.j. can't be here to see that, willie. you know, he always seems to get the shaky helicopter shots. and every time we have --
>> i'm here. i'm here.
>> so wexler's running it from another room. i went from seeing that beautiful shot to your bald head. could we go back to the beautiful shot?
>> there you go.
>> that's gorgeous.
>> just leave that up all morning. like the yule log .
>> it's going to be the yule log . let's keep that up during the introduction "must-reads." " wall street journal 's" peggy noonan , "republicans need to talk." now it's just dissolved slowly into peggy's column. could we have some music? no, that doesn't work. no, let's try that again. i want to dissolve. you don't have to set the stage here, t.j., because i've told everybody. you don't have to show -- here we go. if we could have a little mood music , too. peggy noonan in "the wall street journal ," "republicans need to talk."
>> no timing. it's fast. always too quick. yeah. so now it's time for today's "must-read op-ed." and let's go to "the wall street journal " and peggy noonan .
>> another dissolve. ah.
>> that was nice. that was nice.
>> that was. right now, everyone's open to the idea of change. the party can either go the way of the whigs or they can straighten up and fly right, get serious and make their philosophy feel new again and pick candidates who can win. but party leaders should -- come on, guys. i'm reading a serious column here, don't laugh. everything moves faster now. there's no particular need to let positions evolve because they've already been quietly evolving for years. though people didn't always feel free to say so. okay, that's good. thank you. here's the money line , willie.
>> here it is.
>> here's the money line . for the past ten years, the party has operated under an ethic of questioning the team is disloyal, dissent is disloyal, as is criticism. there has been a recipe not for peace but for disaster, which is what we saw on november the 6th. now, if we can dissolve back to the capitol. look at that. he was ahead of me.
>> joe, i know i'm just a guest. have you ever tried to track under the conversation? you guys, can you kind of roll the music as we're talking?
>> like we do during sports?
>> so people there's a piano player off to the left. give it a little loungy feel, yeah.
>> so richard wolffe -- thank you for that, donny -- this is what i've experienced for the past ten years. i love my party. i don't think they've been conservative enough when it comes to spending over the past ten years. i've been critical of that and foreign policy , critical of a lot of areas saying they're not conservative enough, actually, and i've still been killed, right? peggy's line here, for the past ten years, the party's operated under an ethic of questioning the team is disloyal, dissent is disloyal, as is criticism. this has been a recipe not for peace but for disaster. i could pick seven different times since september where i said we're in trouble, guys. we're in trouble. hey, guys. i started in early september. i said the convention was bad. having clint eastwood talking in primetime while the democrats were killing us. and every time you stated that everybody knew outside the washington political class, you got killed. you got killed on talk radio . any conservative did. you get killed on the blogs. you get killed even in some mainline publications which is really distressing to me, not because of me, i don't care because i knew i was right and i knew they were wrong, distressing because, you know, the conservative sort of thought, you know, institutions were just blindly lining up behind a guy who had a terribly flawed campaign. and that's been our problem for ten years.
>> yeah, look. the litmus test things, the worry about the primaries, it's understandable in some ways, but you've got to be more inclusive. when you think about how rahm emanuel and nancy pelosi built up that big democratic majority 2006 on, you're looking at a bigger group of people, more centrists, more conservative democrats coming into the fold. that's how you run these regional races, where you have to have candidates who have a different line, whether it's gun control or tax cuts or abortion rights . i mean, the democrats had to open it up to get a bigger, stronger coalition together, and that's how they could get some things done.
>> and that's what the republicans need to do because donny , you know, as far as marketing goes, what works in northwest florida for me does not work, as i've said a billion times, in the suburbs of philadelphia.
>> in parts of the i-4 corridor, in all the swing areas that republicans now are losing.
>> let's go back to -- let's rewind the clock and you're playing to south carolina and you've got a primary, and 20% of the base of the fringe votes. so how do you play that game, though?
>> listen, you're a strong conservative . that's the thing. you stand up to the freaks on the far right.
>> and you say okay, i'm pro-choice --
>> no, no listen. no. but i'm not pro-choice.
>> right? and a lot of times, it's not about these social issues. it's about extremists coming in and saying, you know, that barack obama is a marxist when swing voters know, he's not a marxist. they may disagree with him thinking the federal government should be involved, but somebody goes out and says oh, he's a communist, a marxist, a racist, he's this, he's that.
>> what's your response?
>> you say, i've got great respect for the president.
>> all the things i've said here every day, i like him as a man. he's a great father. he's a great husband. i just disagree with him on policy.
>> i think he's wrong. what?
>> no, i'm not pro-choice.
>> that's where you then get into trouble.
>> no, no. donny , no, it doesn't. you need to stop going to manhattan cocktail parties. chris christie 's pro-choice, and he's got a 72% approval rating in new jersey. you can be pro-choice and still win. just like you can be a democrat and be pro-life and still win if you know how to reach out to your people.
>> on a national stage.
>> let me tell you something. the chattering class is obsessed over social issues. but, you know, i will say this. this is one thing that george w. bush got, richard. he understood, he could be pro-life, he could be against gay marriage , but it was important for him, he started his campaign -- i remember back in 2000 , it confused a lot of people, he went from one minority neighborhood to another minority neighborhood to another, and it wasn't because he thought he was going to get minority votes. it was because he was sending a message to suburban white women , saying i'm not a hater. i want to reach out to all americans. and that has been so absent from this party.
>> hard to remember, but his first piece of domestic legislation, maybe his biggest, ted kennedy , education reform .
>> education reform . and again, i didn't like it, but you know what? a lot of swing voters said, okay, here's a guy who barely won an election, but he reached out to ted kennedy , a liberal lion, and passed this. republicans have lost the ability to do that.
>> the next primary will be interesting to watch, given the way mitt romney tried to swing right and then come back unsuccessfully. it will be interesting to see if a presidential candidate in the republican party does what you're saying.
>> yeah, why not?
>> they have to.
>> and i was in the district that jerry falwell called the most conservative in america. every time i went up against people on the far right who said irresponsible things, i may have lost one or two voters on the far right. i picked up five or six in the middle. no democrat ever challenged me, the district that had never voted for a republican until i got elected. it's because of all the independents voted for me. all the conservative independents voted for me. that ain't happening on the national level for a lot of republicans because it's more of a tone thing, donny .
>> complete tone thing. and basically, people want inclusiveness, and they have to get it. they have to get it.
>> i hope so.
>>> still ahead, "the washington post 's" eugene robinson , bloomberg's margaret carlson . keep it on " morning joe ."