PoliticsNation | November 21, 2012
>> lead, let's talk turkey. president obama 's back at the white house after his big overseas trip. he arrived home just in time to pardon the thanksgiving turkeys and brought some references to the election.
>> they say the life is all about second chances and this november i could not agree more. so in the spirit of the season, i have one more gift to give and it goes to a pair of turkeys named cobbler and gobbler. the american people have spoken and these birds are moving forward love this bird. for the first time in our history, the winners of the white house turkey pardon were chosen through a highly competitive online vote. and, once again, nate silver completely nailed it. the guy's amazing.
>> after his brief remarks, the president and his daughters sasha and malia teamed up for the official pardon.
>> what do you think, do you want to give it a shot?
>> all right. you are hereby pardoned.
>> today the president was kind and merciful. but he may not be so nice with the republican. turns out, speaker john boehner is back to his old tricks, refusing to compromise in the debt talks and holding the middle class hostage. even right after the election two weeks ago, he was all sunshine and smiles.
>> i'm the most reasonable, responsible person here in washington. the president knows this. he knows that he and i can work together. the election is over, now it's time to get to work. it's pretty clear that the president was re-elected. obama care is the law of the land .
>> i'm reasonable. i'm responsible. obama care's the law of the land . now, there's a guy the president can work with, right? wrong. politico says that boehner 's opening offer to the president is to keep the bush tax cuts , cut entitlements, and postpone cuts to the pentagon. in other words, they haven't budged at all. how is that compromise? how is that reasonable? but it gets worse. speaker boehner now says the health care law should go under the knife. boehner says, quote, we can't afford it. we can't afford to leave it in tact. that's why i've been clear that the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation's massive debt challenge. folks, this debate is over. the american people have spoken. mitt romney ran on two big ideas in this campaign. cut the taxes and reveal our obama care. he lost. those ideas lost. but they didn't learn a thing. joining me now is congressman keith ellison , democrat for minnesota. he's co-chair of the progressive caucus . and former pennsylvania governor ed rendell , now an nchl bc news political analyst . thank you both for joining me tonight.
>> glad to be here, al.
>> good to be here.
>> congressman, let me start with you. what is your are reaction to speaker boehner 's claim that the health care law should be on the table in these debt talks?
>> well, it's ridiculous. there's been a national mandate to keep the health care law . he said that he was going to repeal it on day one and everybody in america knew it. so what is speaker john boehner talking about? here's the thing. we always knew it was going to be a tough fight. i think the american people need to step up and remind the republicans what they said in the campaign. and that means that the election is one thing but active citizenship is another and these guys are going to try to balance this fiscal slump on the backs of the most vulnerable. we are not going to be able to tolerate that. it's time for folks to start writing, calling, and letting their voices be heard one more time to make sure that this thing is done right.
>> now, governor rendell, is immediately rejecting boehner 's omnicare ploy. i'm quoting what they said. it's a total nonstarter. boehner 's office knows that. so even bringing it up is counterproductive. is it counterproductive? and why are they bringing this up, governor?
>> well, first of all, let's make one thing clear. the cbo has said definitively that the affordable health care act will not increase the federal deficit. they said it will reduce it slightly. ten years slightly and 20 years significantly. it's complete bs to say that this has any deficit implications. it doesn't. this is just a smoke screen . it's a red herring . it's another excuse for not doing what needs to be done. the american people have spoken. the central issue in the campaign was not only tax fairness but raising taxes on the top 2% as a means to help us balance -- get rid of the deficit and eat into the debt. and the american people have said, yes, that's one of the components of the deal. so this is just another smoke screen . it's a delaying tactic. i truly believe that if they keep this up they will pay for it and they will pay for it big time , certainly in the election of 2014 . but the sad part is, the nation and people can't wait. we've got to resolve this debt because if we do so, rev, will cause the economy to explode. we will see a resurge in investment, good things happening for the economy.
>> congressman ellison , with all of that at stake and clear from every expert that we've heard, it's clear that if we don't solve this problem, if we have the fiscal cliff, if we go over at the end of the year, that we go back into a recession, why would boehner be doing this? i mean, you look at the polls. 49% people polled say keep or expand obama care. only 33% say repeal it. that's the lowest percent for repealing the law since march 10th of 2010 . so why would boehner even play with this.
>> he's afraid of the special interest . remember, they were spending $14 million a day to lobby against obama care, which i'm glad we've embraced that term. the reality is the special interests who don't want to pay any tacks or as little as they can, who don't want to reform health care . they are still there. all of those guys who signed those pledges for grover norquist , they are still around. i think the and tea party was a fleeting moment. they are here one moment and gone the next. but the intrinsic interests who always want to push more and more of the costs of running society on the people who can least afford it, they haven't gone anywhere. that's why i said before, this is an organizing moment and we have an opportunity to pull americans together to drive this thing. i think it's a good time to start thinking about some protests and some folks calling for a fair deal for the american people to resolve these fiscal matters. because left on their own, boehner is going to dig in and stand up for the special interests , as he always does.
>> now, governor, the congressman mentioned rush limbaugh . limbaugh stands by grover norquist . listen to this.
>> a friend of mine sends me a note and says, listen, there's going to be pressure brought to drive a wedge between you and grover norquist .
>> i steadfastly oppose tax increases on one group of americans. if we're going to raise taxes, we are going to do them on everybody. i don't think everybody's taxes ought to be raised.
>> now, is this what they are afraid of, grover norquist , rush limbaugh , governor? is this because they feel they have an undue influence on their base, especially mr. limbaugh?
>> yeah, there's no question. look, every rational thinking in mrk, no matter what side they are on, they know that they have got to do something about the debt and it's got to include revenue. if you get rid of a tax loophole, that's raising taxes . he sent a letter to tom cobuln and said you can't do that because when you eliminate a tax loophole that's eliminating taxes and tom coburn sent a letter back sending him to pound sand and we need -- and i think representative ellison knows this better than i do. there are good republicans out there.
>> no doubt.
>> who i believe are not going to take the lead of this delaying and ofiscating leadership. you can name some of the house i'm sure, keith. so we've got to be willing to move this country ahead and know that that means entitlement cuts, spending cuts, and increasing revenues.
>> they are not only good republicans, they are good politicians because when you look at grover's losers, candidates who sign, there's no type of pledge. so many lost. 24 republicans for the senate, 55 republicans for the house to sign that pledge lost. it doesn't even make good political sense anymore.
>> you know, reverend, can i just add, i think when you call on members of congress to do right by the american people but i'm even asking for chambers of commerce in the business community to tell their people in congress, solve this financial mess. let's get together, do something that makes sense, let's protect the vulnerable, let's make sure that we get revenue for people who have are it and, you know, the defense is going to have to take some cuts and let's get this thing done.
>> i hope people at the dinner table tomorrow start talking about it with their families. congressman ellison , governor rendell, thanks. and have a great thanksgiving.
>> thank you, happy thanksgiving to you, rev.
>>> coming up, is mitt romney hanging out at the happiest place on earth , his former friends are back stabbing him. and now we're finding out what the haters were doing the friday night before the election.
>>> plus, it's a smackdown. chris christie shows he's willing to work with president obama so he's the gop's public enemy number one. can christie take down rush limbaugh ?
>>> and i have a very, very special thanksgiving surprise at the end of the show . trust me, you will not want to miss this. you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. [