Morning Joe | February 13, 2013
>> have been, and i can see how some would feel there were missed opportunities to go really big. but it's all relative. you just wonder sometimes, you know, where the next leader is of the republican party . senator marco rubio of florida was taxed with delivering the republican response to the president's state of the union address . rubio spoke about his own background before pivoting to the president's speech.
>> like most americans for me, this ideal is personal. my parents immigrated here to improve their life and to give their children a chance at an even better one. they made it to the middle class . my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. i didn't inherit any money from them. but i inherited something far better. the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams. his solution to virtually every problem we face is for washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more. the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle-class taxpayers, that's an old idea that's failed every time it's been tried. more government isn't going to help you get ahead. it's going to hold you back. more government isn't going to create more opportunities. it's going to limit them.
>> all right. also about 11 minutes into senator rubio's speech, he took a pause.
>> oh, come on. you don't need to show this.
>> well, actually -- you don't want me to? it's up to you.
>> it's a cheap shot.
>> is it a cheap shot?
>> let's show it. that's who we are.
>> wait, are you saying it's a cheap shot and we should show it?
>> i think there were performance issues, and i think we all know as people --
>> have you ever had a performance issue?
>> yes, which is why it takes one to know one. these things happen when you don't really know what you're saying or believe what you're saying or feel what you're saying. what's ha happens.
>> or you're speaking to millions and millions and millions and millions of americans .
>> again, now --
>> this is the toughest gig. seriously, this is following -- this is like a guy that does the plates and following the beatles on " ed sullivan ." you don't want to follow the beatles on sullivan!
>> why does anyone volunteer to do this?
>> it's like coming out after the beatles with the hand puppet .
>> all right, here it is.
>> i'm not doing it.
>> the short time that i've been here in washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight.
>> stop it, barnicle, right now.
>> it's funny.
>> you're, like, the mean kid in class.
>> don't run it on a loop. don't run it on a loop. stop it.
>> it's not just that.
>> let's talk about the substance.
>> that was the least of his challenges.
>> talking about the presentation, hold on. let's go to harold ford . let's talk substance here.
>> marco rubio 's been billed as one of the future leaders of the party , but he looked last night as if he was running to be the head of a fraternity in college. the substance -- the substance wasn't totally off, but i thought there were many missed opportunities.
>> you said it looked like he was running for a college --
>> fraternity president. i thought your point, joe , about what should have been said is something that should have been articulated by marco. he has become a new face for the party . he's become a new voice in the party . and one, frankly, that will command respect. but i thought last night, if he looks back on it, forget the water. if he was thirsty, he should take a sip. but the real issue there, i think he missed a real substantive opportunity.
>> we've got a lot to talk about. let me just say to kids at home, if you're thinking about you want to grow up one day and give the minority's response to the president of the united states , if you drink the water, own the water. okay?
>> you just grab that water and you hold it. you make a joke about climate change .
>> joe , he tweeted a photo of the poland spring bottle.
>> too late.
>> after the fact. i actually saw him yesterday morning. i spent about an hour with the speaker with a small group of reporters, and rubio popped in to get coffee to say hello. i said are you feeling any pressure? he said no.
>> just very thirsty.
>> his spanish version and did the live version in english where they were having sort of a group dinner. so he was walking through the hall with a plate of food. again, seemed perfectly fine. i've seen him speak many times, and he's usually quite poised.
>> he's a very good speaker.
>> he was feeling the tension of the moment.
>> it's horrible -- it is a horrible position to be in. when you have somebody like bobby jindal who is one of the bright minds of the republican party , and he is --
>> in politics.
>> i wonder if he'll say yes to do it again.
>> also the sign-off, richard haass , stay thirsty, my friend, are you kidding me? this isn't going to help us swing voters and turn off the evangelical base.
>> i thought it was immigration and on economic growth where i thought the speech was disappointing in the contrast with the president's speech could have been larger was on gun control which was dismissive, on climate change , which was dismissive. i think there were two sentences on foreign policy . i think you have to say more about the position of the united states and the world.
>> the middle east is in flames right now. you should probably talk about it.
>> you have to be self-aware. and i think of chris christie , who i believe, unless i remember incorrectly, turned it down.
>> he's a smart man, chris christie , and he's in the 70s.
>> he turned this one down?
>> not this one.
>> i have a question that perhaps john heilemann can answer. marco rubio 's a smart guy , an attractive guy, an articulate guy with a terrific life story . why is it that in an age in the past few months when the republicans have been talking about broadening the base of the party , speaking to a larger audience, why is it that he spent so much time last night seemingly preaching to the choir rather than talking to the country?
>> that's a good point.
>> well, you know, mike, i think he points out the awkward intraparty politics that the republicans now face. you know, you have a party that does need to broaden its base. it needs to reach out to a lot of the elements of the coalition that elected president obama , if they want to get back in the game in terms of national elections. and yet to win the republican nomination in 2016 , requires a catering to a part of the republican party , the republican base, that is not in the middle of the country. that's pretty far out on the right.
>> john, can i ask you quickly, are these speeches done by committee? did marco have to pass through a lot of different republicans before he gave it himself?
>> i don't think so, joe . in fact, i was told yesterday on capitol hill that he wrote most of the speech himself. he has a very large and growing assembly of very talented republican strategists around him who think that he's the future of the party . a lot of people got to look at that speech. but it was said pretty reliable to me yesterday by a senior republican that he basically writes his own speeches. and i don't think anybody else in the party outside of his orbit got their hands on it.
>> the reason why i asked that was because it really sounded like one of these speeches that was written by committee. i had no problem with the water drinking. he did look kind of uncomfortable, like you said, harold. out of his element a bit. my biggest problem was that it sounds like a speech that i gave in 1994 .
>> in 1994 .
>> the first time i was running for congress. and i sat there. like i actually had a hard time focusing on the content of the speech because john, how many times have you heard this speech since 1994 ? and i sat there thinking, is this how we're going to reach out to a new generation of conservatives? i don't think so. we have -- i mean, it is -- you know, william f. buckley believed that it was all about ideas. and that speech last night told me nothing. that i have not heard 1,000 times since 1994 .
>> well, joe , i'll bring it even further up to date. if you take out the immigration part of the speech, it was basically the romney platform from 2012 . and this kind of cuts to a pretty core issue for republicans. is it just that they have to change their image and branding and their messaging, or do they have to change their positions on a bunch of substance issues? i think it's not so much that the speech was written by committee. it's that marco rubio was talking to two different audiences. he's trying both to talk to the country and speak to that broader coalition that republicans need to tap into. but he's also giving a speech for insiders here. he's trying to convey to the republican gang of 500 or whatever that he's the guy for 2016 . and if you're trying to talk to the conservatives who are going to select the republican nominee next time and also simultaneously talk to the broader part of the electorate, that's a very hard act to pull off. it's very hard to talk to both of those audiences successfully.
>> i've got to say there's a third thing here working, though. it's not just a question of style or substance. it's not about the republicans changing their entire platform. it's not turning away from the eternal truths that we conservatives believe in that doesn't change decade to decade or election cycle to election cycle. it's applying our conservative beliefs and values to working-class americans like a shopkeeper's daughter in england did, to the british people in 1979 when she launched the thatcher revolution. we've got to apply our beliefs and our values to the facts that are before us. and it's what this party hasn't done. it's what mitt romney could never do. he could never connect the dots to relate to middle america . and marco, for all of his talents, didn't do that last night. we've got to actually start figuring out a way to relate our message.
>> i don't disagree with that about the message and your party and i'll stay in my lane and say that the people around him, that team you're talking about, heilmann, got in his head and messed up and do damage in the long run. i coach people on public speaking , i could see all those people in his head.
>>> coming up, former white house press secretary , robert gibbs , will be here on set.
>> can you coach me? i need some help.
>> i will. i'll just do the rap sign. senator tom coburn , house majority whip kevin mccarthy and los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa . also joining the table, chairman and ceo of comcast is here, brian roberts . pull it together. could you go downstairs and get a suit on, please?
>>> coming up next -- no -- this is my sweater and nobody's taking it from me.
>> it's going to walk away it's so dirty.
>> nobody's going to make me change it now, tomorrow. this is like the eternal truth. this is my eternal truth. mike allen 's coming up next. first here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill, what's going on?
>> bill, you look nice.
>> yeah, suit and tie today. good morning, everyone. every day, too. a little weak storm headed for new england. bring the umbrella with you this morning in new york city , philadelphia , down to the d.c., baltimore areas. starting off your morning commute dry. we've got rain and snow heading our way late today. currently that storm is located over tennessee bringing some rain and snow mixture right along the ohio river . even louisville could pick up a half inch of snow. there's the forecast for today. it's actually going to be mild during the day. but then it will get cloudy. the rain will come. it will get a little colder, changing over to snow in philadelphia and new york especially after dark. most of us will get home okay. the roads won't be slippery. later on tonight they will get slippery. just enough to be on the annoying side. about one to three inches predicted for new york city to philadelphia . there's a little sliver central jersey towards the coast and long island that could pick up three to four. boston and hartford not looking at much for you at all. the rest of the country today, we're leaving the southeast with a little bit of chance for rain today. especially north florida , maybe a strong thunderstorm. we're drying you out in new orleans. dallas and also through kansas city . your valentine's day forecast, southern half of the country is looking fantastic for valentine's day. we're also not looking bad in the north east as that storm we're going to get tonight will be long gone. times square , could get another one on two inches of snow by this time tomorrow morning . you're watching " morning joe " brewed by starbucks.