PoliticsNation | November 13, 2012
>>> and paul ryan still can't handle the truth. one week after president obama crushed the gop, congressman paul ryan returned to his day job on capitol hill today, carrying his own bags, like much of the republican party , he still seems dazed about the national rejection he took. and in an interview he told a local tv station what it felt like to lose.
>> what it had become clear to us as things went on, in avirginia and ohio weren't coming together, that it looked to me some time early in the evening that it just wasn't going to happen.
>> and what did that feel like for you? what --
>> it was very disappointing. we had good days, bad days . it was a great experience. i'm very fortunate to have had this experience, but losing never feels good.
>> no, losing doesn't feel good. but not learning the lessons of that loss isn't good either. at his core this election was about fairness, giving, everyone a fair shot. congressman ryan doesn't -- he doesn't get it.
>> was this a referendum on your budget plan, do you think?
>> i don't think we lost it on those budget issues. i think people, especially on medicare , we clearly didn't lose it on those issues.
>> they did lose on those issues. budget, taxes, medicare . that's what this election was all about. during the campaign paul ryan himself said so.
>> i bet they'll talk about medicare . i'm excited about this debate. we want this debate. we need this debate and we're going to win this debate about medicare .
>> we are offering big ideas . we are offering real solutions, real reforms for a real recovery.
>> this is a debate we want to have. this is a debate we need to have. and this is a debate we're going to win.
>> the country did have the debate and republicans lost in every battleground except one. today we saw what losing looks like. gop senate majority leader mitch mcconnell sat down with the three new republicans in the senate. they were expecting a big wave . maybe even a new majority in the senate. instead, it was the democrats, the party of obama, that gained seats. so, why do republicans think they lost? here's what paul ryan 's attempt at answering that was.
>> i think the surprise was some of the turnout. some of the turnout especially in urban areas , which definitely gave president obama the big margin to win this race.
>> urban areas ? the president won because of urban areas . sure, turnout was a factor. but sadly paul ryan can't see was so much more to why the republican party failed. one week ago tonight. joining me is congressman barney frank , democrat from massachusetts, ranking and former chairman of the financial services committee . mr. chairman, thank you for joining me.
>> thank you, al.
>> given the election loss, do you think the republicans will be more open to compromising with the president and the democrats on taxes? let's start there.
>> some will. this is going to be a struggle. there are clearly republicans who understand that it was their original right wing policies, the tea party domination, that turned off an awful lot of voters, both on substance and in the way they acted. and the question is whether they'll have the courage of their convictions. speaker boehner appears to be torn by this. mitch mcconnell , on the other hand, appears to be concerned about winning a primary in kentucky. i can only recall his tactics that tried to mug the president, apparently, will continue. so this is a very interesting question. there are clearly people within the republican party who don't want them to be more flexible, who want to go down in flames. and that's the key issue. there are republicans who will be running for re-election for the senate next time pp, republican members of the house who understand they've got to be more flexible. and it's going to be interesting to watch. i hope they will fine the courage to break with the tea party . to date i'm not encouraged. to date the tea party continues to have that veto.
>> now, compare this aftermath of an election with 2010 , after the midterm election . what is the difference in terms of the political landscape and leverage of the democratic party ?
>> well, clearly the democratic message won. let me point out one issue, which i'm very pleased to see. mitt romney made a big issue out of military spending . he insisted we had to increase military spending . president obama was the first candidate of present who i can remember who correctly and forthrightly said, no, we don't have to spend so much. we can pull back some of that money as things recede. there is a mandate to do that. it's very clear paul ryan and mitt romney , deficit reduction is not their goal. if deficit reduction is your primary goal, you raise some taxes, cut the military and make other cuts. all they want to do is cut programs that affect the quality of life at home. in other words, they are using deficit reduction as a club with which to beat up domestic programs. but you have the big win in the senate. while we gain some seats in the house, if it hadn't been for redistricting, we would have gained more. i don't think we would have quite taken over. i said that but i was wrong. by every measure we won. that's the president who talked about raising tax on the rich, who said we're going to curtail military spending , who said we've got to have some domestic spending for important issues. you know, these people say, oh, well, it was too narrow. george bush won by a popular margin of minus 500,000. in 2000 george bush lost the popular vote . that's with ralph nader pulling 2.5 million votes away from us. so, what you got then was, i don't them saying, oh, wait a minute, the country's divided, slow down. the republicans had control. they won, i think, they didn't really win, but the supreme court said they did. they went right through with wars and tax cuts . i'm not saying we should run rough shod but with that large electoral vote , with every swing state except one going with us, with every contested senate rate but one going with us, clearly that's a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy, keep military spending on the downward path and do other things but in a balanced way.
>> now, paul ryan says this was not a referendum on his budget. in fact, he says that the president won because of a large turnout in the urban vote. there was a large turnout. but if you look at the obama coalition, women 18 to 44 years old, asians, latinos, black, catholics, moderates, income less than $50,000, this was the coalition, not just urban --
>> oh, absolutely.
>> let me ask you this, congressman, you have worked in the congressman with paul ryan there. what do you say will be ryan 's posture going in? what is ryan like to work with. do you think this will change him, humble him or dig in and have another confrontation with the president?
>> paul ryan is a very pleasant man, but a very rigid one. and it's clear to me, he is for higher military spending , he is for keeping taxes low on the wealthiest people . he's trying to undo the legacy of domestic programs to improve the quality of life . i expect him to continue to do that. i do have to comment on this very strange complaint. apparently his complaint is that people voted. and people voted who were the kind of people who weren't supposed to vote. they tried to do voter suppression . this notion, oh, my god, we lost because people voted. it's a little like complaining, you know, we lost that ball game because the other team got too many runs. i mean, it literally makes no sense to complain you lost because people voted. that's what people are supposed to do. it does reveal their mentality, which is those people, those urban people. they're not supposed to vote. we can count on them not voting. they tried also, of course, to suppress the vote. when people rejected that and went out and exercised their rights ads citizens, they're shocked.
>> they tried all kinds of tactics. they probably woke up a sleeping giant , so i'm glad in that sense they understand that. chairman frank, thank you so much for your time tonight.
>> my pleasure, al.