Morning Joe | January 25, 2013
>> white house correspondent for "politico," mike allen is here with the "morning playbook." mike, what are you talking about today on "politico"?
>> first of all, i love that bear bryant had garanimals. how great is that?
>> you've got to number these things.
>> we have two new players in the gun-control debate. rahm emanuel , mayor of chicago, is making this a top issue. joe , you remember that between the clinton and obama white houses , he worked in financial services . he's using the muscle of chicago's accounts to push two banks that are doing business with gun manufacturers to say either use your influence to get them to moderate how they sell their weapons or stop doing business with them. second, more visible player, gabby giffords , the former congresswoman shot in arizona and her husband, mark phillips , say they're going to be much more aggressive about lobbying on capitol hill . they have a group with a super pac arm that's going to surf that public opinion you were just pointing to. and they describe themselves as gun-owning moderates. they're from the mountain west . but obviously have incredible moral authority on the gun issue. they're going on start using that more and more. mark phillips , her husband, tells "politico" in an interview that they're going to do whatever they can to build support for this legislation, even though as the moment house republicans are turning up their noses at it.
>> hey, mike, also last night, speaking of republicans at the rnc meeting, louisiana governor bobby jindal had strong advice for his party . take a listen.
>> today's conservatism is completely wrapped up in solving the hideous mess that is the federal budget . the burgeoning deficits, the mammoth federal debt , the shortfall in our entitlement programs . we have seemed to have an obsession with government bookkeeping. this is a rigged game, and it is the wrong game for us to play. no, the republican party does not need to change our principles. but we might need to change just about everything else we are doing. we've got to stop being the stupid party . and i'm serious. it's time for a new republican party that talks like a -- it's time for us to articulate our plans and visions for america in real terms . it's no secret we had a number of republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. i'm here to say we've had enough of that.
>> now, i heard some people speaking up there. i think that's one of the key things that this party has to do. you do it quickly. george w. bush always did it when he was president. somebody comes out and says something stupid like the congressman from georgia, paul brown , a couple days ago said barack obama , he didn't follow the u.s. constitution . he followed the soviet constitution . it doesn't cost republican leaders anything to speak out and say, that is a stupid and offensive remark. it offends swing voters. let's talk about issues that are going to balance the budget, save medicare and get americans back to work. we've got to speak out against the stupidities. bobby says we've got to stop being the stupid party , and you start by disciplining your most stupid members.
>> joe , that's right. bobby jindal said last night that the party needs to stop insulting the intelligence of the american people . joe , he's going to use his platform as chairman of the republican governors association , also as one of the most obvious of the 2016 candidates to make these points. he said government needs to be much smaller. he said that we need about half the federal employees we have. we need about 25% of the government buildings we have. my colleague, james holman , called this reagan's new federalism on steroids. but joe , of all the things bobby jindal said last night, the one that you will most agree with is he says the party needs to be taking a bigger stand on fiscal issues. stop fighting these small-potatoes issues, these different cliffs. the party 's going to lose those. he says the party should be making a bigger case about taxes, spending, shoot for the mountains and not get dragged down on what he says is clearly democrats and the president's turf.
>> we have to focus, steve, i believe republicans -- i've said it time and time again -- on taxes. on cutting spending. on saving entitlements. on saving america from this crushing national debt . it grew $6 trillion under barack obama over the past term. and try to avoid some of these other issues. but i hear bobby jindal 's new federalism on crack talking about cutting federal employees by three-quarters, et cetera , et cetera . that ain't going to happen. with the changing demographics and where america is and where it's going over the next 20 every 30 years.
>> that's the issue. if you separate it, i think the first part not being the stupid party anymore is sort of a no-brainer. why would you go around insulting important interest groups.
>> yeah, the 47%, all that stuff. but then you get to his policy proposals, and i don't think he's in the mainstream of this country when you talk about 25% of the government buildings , cutting employees. you know, every poll, joe , as you know, even of republicans say people want these services. they just don't want to pay as much taxes. they want to have the spending disciplined. but i don't think they want to go as far as jindal is talking about.
>> what i'm curious about is he talked about the need to focus beyond budget, size of government and taxes. what i want to see from him is what other issues is he going to tackle? what's the conservative platform for immigration reform ? what's the conservative platform for health care going forward? those are the things i want to see filled in that i think could make him a -- distinguish him from other republicans in that 2016 .
>> i'm interested in hearing republicans and democrats that talk even more about job creation .
>> there was a time when republicans would talk about how to reduce regulations or create clarity not only in the tax code but across the business landscape to allow, for instance, energy jobs to continue to grow. we have a natural gas export revolution happening in the country. where do republicans who are talking about that -- for that matter, i was in detroit over the last few days, where is the urban growth message from democrats and republicans alike? i hear the spending cuts and tax reform , and i agree with all of that, but there's a vast majority of the country that's experiencing something very, very different in job creation and growth seem to be lacking from the party , your party --
>> both parties.
>> which for years we've talked about it and has laid out a clear agenda for.
>> kelly o'donnell, the disconnect, in my opinion, from the president's inaugural address and where we are as a country, not just on debt, but on job creation , on falling average income, he focused on some issues that are very important to some constituencies. and i certainly understand that. but certainly doesn't speak to middle america who still is very concerned economically about where we are. do you hear any talk on the hill about the president's items pushed in the president's inaugural address being pushed through the democratic senate or the republican house?
>> well, there are certainly some challenges. there are some things the president has talked about including trying to make the senate work with greater function which wasn't a part of the inaugural but is a message from the president. there was a development last night, i was on the hill till 9:00 or 9:30 last night when the senate made some changes to the filibuster. that does have a real-world impact for people because it affects how quickly bills can come to the floor or changes can be made. there's talk about that. there will be another fight about taxes because democrats who are saying they will put forward a budget proposal, chuck schumer and patty murray and others are saying there will be new revenue in it. talk to mitch mcconnell said it's settled based on the raising of rates from the fiscal cliff deal, so there are some real divisions. and monday seems like a long, long time ago already.
>> it certainly does.
>> joe ?
>> yeah, mike.
>> pick up on sam stein's point about immigration. today is a red-letter day on that issue. two signal events. one in today's " wall street journal ," jeb bush , former florida governor , calls for comprehensive immigration reform . that's what the president wants. that's what democrats are pushing for and what republicans are resisting. jeb bush , one of the most powerful voices in the party , said they should go the president's way on that. fix it in a big bill . second, sam stein's colleague, john war, points out on huff post that marco rubio , florida senator, is very smartly trying to change the vocabulary of this debate, detoxify the term amnesty which has allowed talk radio , conservatives to dismiss almost any move on immigration. he's saying what we have under president obama , what we currently have is amnesty. republicans are going to try and change it. he's trying to take the power away from that word.
>> all right. we'll see what happens. i saw the other day -- if anybody has an explanation, let me know -- jeb bush , they had approvals/disapprovals, it was that story on hillary and how her approval rating was so high. jeb bush was upside down by ten points.
>> it's only his last name.
>> maybe they thought it was