Morning Joe | January 09, 2013
>> jersey governor. chris christie in his state of the state address , chris christie who's not afraid to actually hire women on his cabinet in his re-election year enjoying a 73% approval rating emergency new jersey registered voters . conservatives that hate chris christie , let me repeat that, chris christie has a 73% approval rating among voters. and unlike you, those of you lurched far out on the right, he actually wins elections. and he's going to win again in the bluest of blue states . he's now calling on lawmakers in washington to quickly pass federal aid for hurricane sandy relief. what did christie focus on the most in this address?
>> in his address yesterday, he talked about the storm that reshaped the jersey shoreline and underscored the delayed response in federal funding when compared to other disasters.
>> we as a state have waited 72 days, seven times longer than the victims of hurricane katrina waited. and one thing i hope everyone in america now clearly understands, new jersey , both republicans and democrats, will never stand silent when our citizens are being short-changed. we have stood with the citizens of florida and alabama, mississippi and louisiana, iowa and vermont, california and missouri, in their times of need. now i trust they will stand with us .
>> he also said washington could learn a thing or two from new jersey about the art of compromise.
>> now, we've had our fights. and we have stuck to our principles. but we have established a governing model for america that shows that even with heartfelt beliefs, bipartisan compromise is possible. achievement is the result. and progress for our people is the payoff. maybe the folks in washington in both parties could learn something from our record here in new jersey .
>> you know, jon meacham , dana millbank who occasionally writes a snarky column or two in "the washington post " actually offered a fairly broad support of embrace of chris christie as the republican party savior, for obvious reasons. he says this. certainly the storm and more important, christie 's forceful response boosted the governor's standing. but the tea party 's record lows and christie 's record highs tell a larger story. americans are crying out for an end of ideological warfare. that has developed into christie 's signature in new jersey . he began his term promising tax cuts and fighting with the teachers union over tenure, pay and education reforms , but he now preaches reconciliation in his address tuesday afternoon. and jon, he did that, but he never once compromised a single value. he fought the unions. he won. he got the unions coming to him to reform schools . and he's fought budget battles, and he's won. he's won them on his terms, but he doesn't vilify the democrats. he works with them. and this is -- again, for some reason, for some reason in washington , d.c. , and with certain members of the conservative entertainment complex that follow washington , d.c. , actually working with the other side and winning is seen as a political sin.
>> yeah. the one nuance i'd add to that is from the bleachers is it reflects of ideological warfare is the problem. politics is about ideas. it should be. fights over education, fights over taxes are important. it's just the fact when you invest everything in your eye delogical position and decline to recognize that the nature of a republic is to give mutual concessions of opinion or we're not going to make it, then you're in serious trouble. i think what one of the things that links both the aig thing, the guns debate and i think the aid to hurricane victims is this remarkable capacity we have for political a.d.d.
>> that is, we absorb these stories so fast now. we've become totally obsessed with them like a sponge for a very brief period of time. and then without political leadership like what christie is providing, like i think what governor cuomo is providing, without that kind of leadership to remind people about what's important and to keep the fight going, then nothing happens. and the one thing that's worse, i think, that keeps people disenchanted from politics is when nothing happens.
>> mika , republicans got it so wrong after the election. they said, we lost for this reason. we lost for that. they lost for a variety of reasons. some of them having nothing to do with ideology. you look at chris christie 's numbers. i mean, you break down the internals on these polls. it's remarkable how well he's doing with all different groups.
>> well, and that's the key. the numbers that we just put up, maybe we can put them up again. it shows, you know, democrats, by the way, women. there's widespread support for him.
>> non-white voters, 69%. almost 7 in 10 of non-white voters approve of chris christie .
>> this is going to be a kind of decision or a situation that the republican party has to deal with because some of the reasons why those people like him pertain to the same issues that the republican party is losing people on or appearing at this point to be out of the mainstream and so extreme that they step on their own foot.
>> you know, i'm also fascinated about how he can stick to his ideological opinions but yet how at the same time seem flexible. and i think it speaks to the fact that you don't have to politicize every single issue. when it's time to lead, when you have to lead the people in a tragedy like sandy, you do it. you don't try to take an angle or anti-spending or pro-spending, you just do what has to be done. and i think that's what's made him compelling. i also think with this debate about the vote, you talk about things going away so quickly, more than what peter king did, i think what chris christie came out and said that day had a major influence on washington , too. i mean, he repeated a lot of it yesterday, but he's, like, i'm not going to stand still and let this go away. i think the gun legislature, it will be interesting to see who steps up vocally because that will have less importance for a lot of people to stand up for when that comes to pass.
>> you know, and the thing about chris christie and his approach is opposite of the republicans' approach in washington . you know, chris christie does really follow the old speak softly and carry a big stick . he's talking about reconciliati reconciliation. he hugs the president. he's nice to the president when he comes after the storm. he does a lot of things that, again, cost him nothing politically. he doesn't --
>> actually --
>> -- doesn't force him to compromise on policy, but you look at the republicans in washington , it has long been my frustration that they're just the opposite. they'll scream, they'll rant, they'll rave. talk radio hosts that are associated to them will scream, they'll rant, they'll rave. they'll take a harsh, shrill tactic, the opposite of what reagan did. and then when it's number-crunching time, they're liberals. they're liberals. let me make this point. they'll scream and yell and insult the president. they'll scream and yell and insult everybody else. they'll turn off swing voters , and then they'll cave like they did on the tax issue. they'll cave like they did last year on shutting down the government and ended up costing up americans like 40 billion more with this deal they claimed was going to be fiscally conservative . they always talk so tough, they offend people, but they never follow up. if they followed up with conservative policies , pay down the debt over the past decade, i would be a bit more forgiving of their shrillness, but they're shrill, and there's nothing to back it up. there's no real good conservative policy to back it up.
>> well, one of the things you say is one of these things that -- i actually think he does things that cost him everything at first, but he doesn't care. and in the long run, he ends up winning.
>> but i think there's two things to be said here. one, a lot of people feel that governing at the local level, be it may or be it governor, doesn't have to be ideological warfare all the time. deal with the issues, take them one at a time. kind of the way romney dealt with health care in massachusetts and try to get something done. i think the second thing about christie that they respect, he says what he thinks.
>> no matter what.
>> i think it could be politically sort of dangerous, but if you've got a reputation for saying what you really believe and not just staking out some ideological position, i think it works better with voters.
>> i also think that state and local politics is particularly vulnerable to narrow interest group money. we don't notice that quite as much. but if the nra, if groups want to go into state house districts, state senate districts, things can move really fast. and state politics, to some extent, is easier to manipulate from outside ideological groups. and so that's why great governors, great mayors are remarkable figures because they're governing in what is a tinderbox situation. what christie 's been doing so great and what reagan did as governor of california .
>> you know, the thing is, mika , what works for chris christie and what works for other governors across the country would work in washington , d.c. it really, really would if somebody were willing to stick it out. it's not easy. george w. bush thought he could come and make it like austin and it got rough and ugly. you know what? somehow bush for, you know, all the mistakes that he made, george bush figured out how to work with democrats. he really did. he figured out how to work ted kennedy on education reform . democrats and bush worked together pretty well. it was ugly and shrill at times, but they still got stuff done. washington , i can't believe we're saying this, but since george w. bush has left town, has gotten so much worse and so much more partisan.
>> and it's a behavioral issue. i mean, right after chris christie sort of embraced the president and was working on trying to save his state from a horrific station which it's still in due to hurricane sandy, a lot of republicans were working behind the scenes , especially those from the romney campaign, to get rid of him because they were angry at what he had done.
>> oh, the romney people were going after him.
>> they were going after him. you can't get rid of someone who's actually true to who he is. that sticks with the american people .
>> what was so stupid for the romney people to take that approach, they didn't realize that bill clinton was a master of this. when he realized it was time to give the other side a tip of the hat, he'd give the other side a tip of the hat. and guess what? everybody would stop and go, wow, that's pretty big of him.
>> but romney 's people never, ever thought --
>> they're like babies.
>> -- that maybe we should show a bigger side of romney . they just were petulant when chris christie decided to show a bigger side. and they were leaking, doing all these nasty things trying to hurt him. then the guy stood at 73%.
>> and their own polling was wrong. so they were living in --
>> they were living in a dream world.
>>> chris christie 's going to be here on the show this morning.
>> look at that.
>> this is good timing with these numbers that have been coming in the fairleigh dickinson poll. also stephanie cutter will be here. "ha "hardball's" chris matthews and actress laura dern .
>>> up next, mike allen with the top stories in the "politico playbook." first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill?
>> good morning, mika . this january thaw , also impressive. our government affirmed that last year was the hottest year ever recorded by far in the lower 48 of the united states . that goes back over about 100 years. so very impressive stuff. it's a little chilly this morning. northern new england is really the only spot in the eastern half of the country that's cold. the rest of the areas not bad at all. still in the 30s at this hour. and we're going to see a nice mild afternoon. no travel issues at all for your wednesday. new england all the way through the mid-atlantic. even back to the great lakes and ohio valley . but if you're flying today, dallas, san antonio to houston, any of those major airports have the possibility of heavy rain and some delays. thankfully, we didn't have any tornadoes last night. we were a little concerned about that. so we keep our streak going. this is the longest streak we've ever had in this nation with no tornado deaths. so that storm system continues to spread clouds and rain. now up to memphis heading over nashville. also kentucky, mississippi, alabama and eventually atlanta will get some rain today. so here is your wednesday forecast. also stormy in the northwest. seattle and portland getting rain. beautiful weather from denver to kansas city . chicago looks nice. tomorrow is when the rain will move into those areas. really no big snowstorms are on the way. it looks like the middle of the country, you get cold this upcoming weekend. for the east coast , not till wednesday of next week does that cold air make it here. an incredible, long-duration january thaw . you're watching " morning joe ." we're brewed by starbucks. [ hudson ] we're