Morning Joe | February 06, 2013
>>> a live look at the capitol as the sun comes up over washington at 49 past the hour. welcome back to " morning joe ." time now for the "must-read opinion pages." this is dana milbank who writes in "the washington post " about eric cantor 's empty happy talk . "the sunday routine was a difficult one for cantor who has made a career in washington of being testy and acidic. his delivery was forced and as he read his text, he seemed to be reminding himself to grin. as a result, he scowled for much of the speech and sounded as though he were spitting out his words. smiles formed at inopportune times such as when he described a boy's failure in public school . when it came to what his party would do to make people to buoyant and uplifted, cantor had little beyond the policies he and his colleagues have long offered." joe, do you agree with that? you think that's fair?
>> no. i think i've misjudged eric cantor .
>> i really do. because talking to democrats, in fact, talking to -- well, i'm not going to say who it is, but one of the top people in american government that's a democrat said that cantor works quietly behind the scenes and was really trying to reach out and try to do a deal when the president and boehner couldn't get the deal done. so i don't know. katty kay , i don't think it's empty talk yesterday, if only because you even have democrats saluting eric cantor for talking about a pathway to citizenship for younger americans. basically endorsed the dream act yesterday. coming from eric cantor , that is a significant move forward for house republicans.
>> yeah. in terms of his policy shifts, that seems to have been the biggest one. he stopped short of comprehensive immigration reform on a path to citizenship for everybody who's here illegally. but he endorsed, as you said, it for younger americans. he spoke a lot about education. he even praised san francisco 's education system and the schools there, which is perhaps not the most obvious place for somebody as conservative as eric cantor . this is a speech, joe, that he tested out in davos at the world economic forum to try and give, as you've been talking about, the republican party a kind of more open, friendlier edge not just to be talking about number crunching , not just to be talking about deficit reduction because he feels and people in the party feel that that's given them the image of people that are just concerned about the numbers, about the bottom line, about those issues. naturally they need to be addressing issues that families are concerned about, infrastructure and immigration as well. there wasn't a whole lot new in terms of radical policy proposals. and i hate to say this. i kind of agree with dana milbank on the optics of it. he's not the easiest sunny guy. he's not a paul ryan guy who finds it easy to smile and connect with people. he does come across as a little stiff. he is a policy wonk . but, you know, good -- i guess, you know, you would, i'm sure, agree that this is the direction the party needs to be going in, not just to be having that reputation as deficit hawks and only deficit hawks.
>> right. and of course, i make no apology for the fact that that's why i got into politics and what drives me the most is the deficit and the debt. and i think some republicans -- i'm actually concerned that they're talking about hey, let's move away from this issue. and the cbo report also showed, mika, in seven years, the united states of america is going to be spending more money on servicing the interest on our debt, interest payments on our debt, than we will every dollar we spend on national defense .
>> all right.
>> so let me read mark mckinnon 's before we go to break. you keep hammering away at it.
>> they do.
>> this is in "the telegraph"?
>> "the london sunday telegraph."
>> very nice. in response to all the talk about lance armstrong , mark has written this, in part. "i think we've got it all wrong. athletes and entertainers aren't heroes. they are mere mortals with talent and skbigs. in a hyper-competitive world, they are driven to almost always bend the rules in the pursuit of all that fame brings with it. and then when they achieve fame, they think they are no longer subject to the boundaries that apply to the rest of society. the lesson we should pass along to our children is that the real measure of heroism should be the deeds we do when no one is watching. it's the things we do for others without any expectation of compensation, recognition, or reward. it's the small, quiet footprints we leave behind." it is kind of hard to take in the lance armstrong story. i don't get him. i feel like maybe there's part of him that we've misunderstood, but he does come off as a complete jerk in this whole thing.
>> that's part of what i'm writing about. i think the incentive structure for people to achieve in sports or entertainment, it's all about fame when really, you know, the people who lead productive lives and connect with their community, the people who are serving selflessly, and i write about my family doctor who's a guy who could have gone on to rich and fame in a specialized profession but chose to do family practice instead. and he's the most humble and incredible servant of democracy, really, practicing his medicine in a really humble way.
>> great piece. katty kay --
>> those are the heroes.
>> they should be.
>> thank you very much for being on this morning.
>> see you soon.
>> all right.
>> do you think she interrupted me too much? was she more in her lanes this time? what do you think, willie?
>> i hadn't noticed the problem previously.
>> she's clicking.
>> she's still worried about india.
>> yeah, she is. maybe that's why she is angry.
>> she gets angry about that.
>> you should hear the things she said about gandhi. worse than churchill. it's unbelievable.
>>> still ahead, "forbes" magazine is out with its annual rankings of america's most promising companies. we'll run through the list.
>> " morning joe " is number three.
>> coming up on " morning joe ."