Morning Joe | March 05, 2013
>> get to the highlights. governor chris christie is slamming leaders in washington for failing to find better solutions to last week's across the board spending cuts. the new jersey republican called out praesident obama and congress.
>> the worst thing about sequester in my view is they're not spending any time talking about entitlement spending, which is where we really need to focus on over the long haul to make a big difference in terms of our long-term fiscal health as a country. i'm disappointed in that, but, you know, if you stacked up all the things that disappoint me about washington , d.c., it would be pretty tall. if anybody in this room thinks they understand washington , d.c., please come up, stand behind the podium and give the answers because i don't have the first damn idea what they're doing down there. i don't understand it. i don't understand why they haven't fixed it already. seems to me it should be pretty easy to fix. real leadership would get this fixed. get everybody in the room and you fix it and you don't let them leave until you fix it. that's what real leadership is, not calling a meeting two hours before the thing is going to hit to have a photo op in it the driveway of the white house . that's not real leadership. fix it.
>> yeah, i mean, it is easy for him to say, but i did wonder why everyone didn't just get in the room and not leave or the president go to capitol hill and say, here i am.
>> look what the guy has done in new jersey. look what he's done in new jersey. steve schmidt, that sure looks like a guy who is talking for 74% of new jersey. also, it's not a bad position to launch a 2016 campaign.
>> no doubt. and if you look ahead to 2016 , the congressional brand of the republican party is so deeply unpopular. he's someone who's clearly comfortable triangulating against it. he'll run against the democrats as much as he would against the congressional brand. every day we see this dysfunctional washington making a compelling case for a christie candidacy. i think any republican that comes out of the congressional wing of the party who's in congress right now is going to have a really difficult time.
>> going to have problems.
>> no doubt about it.
>> mark? he looked like if you had those little frank lutz meters, every word would be going like this. the guy has hit the sweet spot . this is his time to say washington doesn't work, look what i'm doing up here with a bunch of union members and union bosses and democrats. i'm working with them. i'm beating them and working with them. why can't washington get anything done? why can't republicans in washington get anything done? why can't the president lead? it's a compelling message.
>> once you're willing to unshackle yourself from the party, once you're willing to step out from the orthodoxy of the party and be unafraid of criticizing your own party, you got a lot of running room. given the conditions in washington and christie's record of getting things done, he's in a great position. president hits will keep on coming. he can keep up a running dialogue like that all the way through as he chooses to.
>> by the way, when you get outside the beltway bubble, some people in washington will hear that, the white house will hear that and say that's not a very sophisticated view. it's not just about leadership. there's more to it. but when you talk to people in the world, they say exactly what he just said. how hard is it? get in a room and figure it out. so he's giving voice to the majority of the country, not just the beltway.
>> the overwhelming majority. mika, a lot of times bloggers will mock that type of talk, that centrist talk saying, well, that's just -- there's nothing to it. that's where most americans , at least most americans i've talked to over the past, you know, 400, 500 speeches on college campuses and rotary clubs and all the other places we go over the past four, five years, we're hearing the same thing everywhere we go.
>> also, just sort of big picture looking down at chris christie 's career. i don't get the republican party . i don't get c-pac. this is a guy who can embrace the president when he's doing a good job for his state and also cult him down when he thinks he's not doing a good job without blinking an eye, without feeling shackled to anyone. isn't that ultimately someone who's grounded and with a sense of leadership?
>> i don't know.
>> doesn't get it. education secretary arne duncan says he misspoke when he said the sequester was already costing teachers their jobs because of the sequester. in fact, it will be several more months. a new poll shows 38% of americans blame congressional republicans for failing to reach an agreement to avert those cuts. 33% hold president obama and democrats accountable.
>> hey, look at those number, steve schmidt. these days, if republicans aren't losing a poll like this by about 80 points , we're doing well.
>> it's a win.
>> all relative, i guess.
>> president obama is so much higher in his generic approval numbers. in is goi this is going to take a big impact on him.
>> he overreached. we said it last week. this whole thing, planes falling out of the skies, children being kicked out of classes, leeches being put on senior citizens instead of hospital services. i think they said everything but that, that they're going to have to resort to leeches.
>> toads in the street.
>> it's like the finale of magnolia, raining frog. they oversold it. we're supposed to do that.
>> right. that's true. and we're good at it.
>> the republicans are supposed to do that.
>> no, actually, the media is really good at overselling stuff. no, i think it was oversold in terms of everything will happen at midnight when the clock strikes 12:00 . having said that, let's not overcorrect here in our criticism and pretend that nothing is going to happen as a result of the sequester. it's a mess. the cuts are completely stupid, and they bear no resemblance to anything the republican party would want and certainly not what the president was putting on the table as well. it's just dumb.
>> and unfortunately members of congress now are beginning to work to make the cuts a little less stupid.
>> a bipartisan plan to curb gun trafficking is taking part. straw purchasers could face up to two decades in jail, and the dealers who sell the guns could face heavy penalties as well. introduced by senator patrick lahey of vermont. republican senator tom coburn is key on any senate deal on expanding background checks, but he's highly skeptical of requiring private sellers to keep records. his blessing, though, could carry with it widespread republican support in the senate. without t even some democrats may defect. meanwhile, a new 60 minutes / vanity fair poll reveals 80% of people think gun violence and video games have some or a lot of impact on society. yeah. the obama administration