msnbc | November 17, 2012
>>> conversation with former nor governor george pitaki about the lessons he learned from two former presidents. plus common sense is his key to compromise. first i asked the governor to assess the gop losses in last week's election.
>> well, my party got clobbered. and to me it's pretty simple. we stopped being a party of ideas. and now in the aftermatthew have all these experts saying we have to go more to our base and be more conservative. we have to go to the middle and be more moderate. we have to reach out to latinos. we have to reach out to single women . that is a failed philosophy in my view. we have to come up with ideas that are right for america. i mean, dealing with immigration reform isn't because we have to all of a sudden reach out to latinos. it's because it's right for our country. being concerned about carbon emissions and how we are changing the climate and the consequences of climate change isn't something where we're trying to reach out to young people or single women . it's what's right for our country. so what we need to do is again be a party of ideas. first you win the battle of ideas. then you win people's votes. and for the last decade or more, my party has been focusing on targeting voters as opposed to coming up with solutions.
>> if someone were to say, governor george pitaki belongs to the party of common sense , what would you say to that?
>> i think the american people belong to the party of common sense . when a party loses its connection to common sense , it loses elections. i'm proud to be a common sense guy. i guess it comes from living in the real world as opposed to washington.
>> it's come out that mitt romney is offering what could be perceived as an explanation for his loss. and that is something an excuse for it.
>> whenever you try to make excuses, whenever you point a finger at someone else , it's really a failure of leadership. when you are a leader, it's your job to succeed. and it doesn't matter if the odds are fair, if the hill is steep to climb, if it's a very difficult challenge. your job is to do everything you can to try to succeed. and if for some reason you don't, and the deck is not always stacked fairly, and i do believe there is enormous media bias , those are the rules we play under. and the goal is to win, anyway, and not to make excuses.
>> before i let you go, i do see both teddy roosevelt and abe lincoln represented in great stead here.
>> talk about what these two men mean to you.
>> one governed at a time of enormous -- the greatest crisis since the creation of this country we ever faced and had the moral courage and the political conviction to stick to the idea that when you talk about all men are created equal, it means everybody. and that to me is something that means a great deal as we look forward. and teddy roosevelt governed -- people don't realize the crisis we faced then. but we had enormous wealth. and we had peep, largely immigrants, working in factories under horrible, horrible conditions or coal mines that just we didn't have the balance that was later achieved. and teddy roosevelt , as a republican, was the one to say, we're going to stand up to these trusts. we're going to stand up to these great possessors of wealth and create not government-run system but government rules that create a fair system. and he changed this country. and i believe the right way. back at the turn of the last century.
>> are you going to see the movie "lincoln"?
>> i will seat movie "lincoln." i love history. i think it's just a great way to learn about the future.
>> that maybe on the governor's agenda. but right now he's attending the harvard-yale game. he is a yaly. i should let you all know that yale is up 3-0 in cambridge.