Morning Joe | March 01, 2013
>>> conservative union, al carden cardenas . and al, how are you?
>> hey, i'm doing great, mika. joe 's made my mama cry all week over the c-pac issue.
>> no, no. i told people -- i was misquoted.
>> i told everybody you've been a dear friend of mine for years.
>> my mom's darling. son, you see what joe 's been saying all week? i said, well, maybe he'll give me a chance to explain.
>> mrs. cardenas , i love your son. i've loved your son for decades.
>> he should just invite chris to the party.
>> and me.
>> i love him.
>> what happened to me? remember i danced at the last one?
>> at cpac .
>> it didn't work for you? it was fun.
>> you did great. you guys are on top of my list, certainly way ahead of peter king , i can tell you that.
>> wait. what list is that? is that a good list to be on the top of or a bad list?
>> yeah. you're on a great list, joe .
>> we've had you a few times. joe , you have a lifetime average of 92 with the american conservative union . how good is that?
>> can you correct you? it's a 95. and not that i'm paying attention. but i think it's a 95.
>> all right.
>> so al, i guess because i know you so well and, you know, and when i say that, i mean, i remember, we would travel across florida when you were running the party. i'd introduce you. and your same message all the time, a lot of times to audiences that were 100% white, 100% wasp, country club republicans, you were talking about the need to expand the party base. before everybody else was talking about bringing hispanics into the party. you were delivering this message. we have to have a big tent . it's the message that the bushes picked up had they started running for governor and president.
>> so i guess it's strange. it seems sort of exclusionary to keep out a guy that's got a 74% approval rating . this isn't -- i'll be honest. this isn't the al cardenas that i was going around the state of florida with in the 1990s talking about growing the party.
>> well, the good news, joe , is we're going to have the most diverse and i think representative view of america this year, cpac . we've got, you know, tim scott , arthur davis , marco rubio . we've got a lot of talented up-and-coming young women . and for the first time ever, i'm highlighting ten young conservatives all across the nation, african-americans, hispanics, women who are out there in their 30s doing great things. an african-american speaker of the house in oklahoma, for example. i think the whole theme is that, you know, the conservative movement needs to grow with the demographic realities of america, and we're going to be painting that picture at cpac .
>> but shouldn't you also be reaching out to overweight guys from jersey that got a 74% approval rating ?
>> ah, that's the question. if i was chairman of the republican national committee , christie will be one of the first guys on my list. but i'm chairman this time around, joe . the conservative organization. part of the movement. and the cpac , it's like an all-star game for professional athletes. we figure out, who are the 30 people that we thought over the last year were the most serving? we had chris christie last year because we thought he did great things. but you know, we just don't like what folks have done this year. we're in the middle of this conversation about the $85 billion sequester. and congress just adopted a $60 billion stimulus package of which only 10% was for disaste now, i can't for the life of me understand why a good conservative would want to promote the $60 billion pork barrel bill when in reality all we need to do was approve a $10 billion disaster relief bill. like being from florida , that's what we used to do.
>> you're talking about sandy, but you've got, with chris christie , a guy that's conservative fiscally. he's balancing the budgets. he's spending less this year in his '13 budget than the democrats spent in their '08 budget. he's taken on entrenched union interests in jersey where they're the most powerful, and he's won. he's taken on democrats in the senate. he's won. the guy's taken on the teachers unions that wanted to stand in the way of reform. he's won. i understand you disagree with him on what he said on the sandy bill, but is this one issue really what's disqualifying him? because i had heard also, there were people that had concerns about his position on guns.
>> joe , we had him last year. his position on guns, his position on social issues was also well known last year. and i had no -- i had no reservations in asking him to be a keynote speaker last year. look. the whole goal here is to invite over a three-day conference the 0 folks who we thought most deserved it this year. that doesn't mean he won't be on our list next year. but we had to pick 30. now, we've got 300 members of congress. you've got 30 governors, republican governors. you've got a lot of standalone people that folks wanted to hear from. we have mitt romney coming whom no one's heard from since the election. so we've got a lot of these unique opportunities. i think dr. carson's coming. you know, we've chosen 20 elected officials to be on the main stage . we thought we chose the ones that deserved it the most this year. so that's all it is. you know, as i said, if i was the chairman of the republican national committee , i would have made sure he came.
>> all right.
>> interesting. okay.
>> fair enough.
>> wouldn't we all rather hear from mitt romney than christie?
>> no, absolutely not.
>> al, i'm still waiting for my invite.
>> i hope your mom's watching. you think she's watching right now?
>> yeah, i think she thought today was fair.
>> al cardenas , thank you.
>> mom cardenas , i love your son. he's a great guy. appreciate you being with us.
>>> coming up, former senator russ feingold will be here. standing by in the green room , david axelrod and melody barnes.
>> the only two people more intimidating at the white house