PoliticsNation | December 11, 2012
>>> election, and now they're just losing it. here is don't let the door hit you on the way out congressman allen west .
>> do you have a further public service in mind potentially?
>> well, the most important thing everyone has to understand is that my voice is not going to be lost. i'm a warrior and i'm a stassman and i'm a servant of this republic. i'm not going oi way just because of a race where he seems to have to cheat to beat me.
>> he spent $18 million and all he got was an i didn't win t-shirt. the truth is the gop has offered a million reasons for why they lost. it was urban areas , the skewed polls, the wrong tone. but here's a hint. it's their policies. here's a republican consultant admitting that voter i.d. laws should be used to help the gop win elections.
>> a lot of us are campaign officials or campaign professionals and we want to do everything we can do help our side and sometimes we think that's voter i.d. sometimes we think that's longer lines, whatever it may be.
>> forget about running on a message. some in the gop are looking to cheat their way to victim pi. -- victory. and then there's senator jeff sessions . he says forget cutting subsidies to big oil or business. he'd support legislation to cut food stamps .
>> why not cut something else? there are other things that could be on the table before you pick a program that is feeding the nation's poor children.
>> i'm not picking a program. i'd say all programs need to be examined in this government. this government is wasting money every day.
>> feeding the nation's poor children. well, that's wasting money, apparently. and according to to new jersey congressman scott garrett , so is disaster money for hurricane sandy.
>> new jersey doesn't get that even if it's wasteful. really going to be hurt.
>> so one person's stimulus is another person's wasteful spending.
>> helping his own constituents recover from a devastating hurricane is wasteful? the gop might be at a loss for why they're down and out, but i don't think anyone is. joining me now is richard wolffe vice president and executive editor of the msnbc.com. and cynthia tucker , pulitzer prize columnist and visiting professor of journalism at the university of georgia . thank you for coming on the show tonight.
>> thanks, reverend.
>> you're welcome. good to be here.
>> richard, let me start with you. how can the gop plan to appeal to mainstream voters when they no longer seem to care about them?
>> you know, caring isn't just about making people feel good. one of the interesting things for conservatives on the other side of the atlantic in the uk where they're out of power for a long time was that they realized they couldn't be the mean party anymore. and the danger for republicans as heart felt as it may be for them to worry about deficits and the survival of this country's economy and the federal government , as meaningful as that is for them, if they're only the party of cuts then they do not speak to the aspirations of the people they want to vote for them. that's why they pull the stunt bs about voter i.d. and anything else. they are deeply offensive and against everything this country stands for in terms of democratic rights. but they actually need to move beyond an agenda of looking tough and sounding tough and frankly heartless to many people who richly deserve and need the help of the federal government .
>> now, cynthia , gop consultant mike murphy who in "time" magazine and i'm quoting from what he wrote, the republican brand is dying. we repel latinos, the fastest-growing voter group in the country and our nativist opposition to immigration reform that offers a path to citizenship. we repel younger voters who are much more secular than their parents with our opposition of same-sex marriage and our scolding tone on social issues. and we have lost much of our once-solid connection to the middle class on kitchen table economic issues. that's a devastating analysis from a gop consultant, cynthia .
>> and quite true. i mean, murphy was right on every point that he hit. but that message isn't getting through to most leading republicans in office now. many of them simply haven't gotten the message. they still want to bash obama supporters as griftors and moochers. and people accepting gifts. they seem willing even now to die on this hill of defending tax cuts for the rich. it's just absolutely inconceivable. and even those who understand that the party needs to change its tone are just talking about a different wrapping. marco rubio talks about basically saying the same things in spanish. saying the same things a bit more nicely. but they're not talking about changing their policies. they still don't have any policies, reverend al, which speak to the needs and aspirations of ordinary americans.
>> now, richard, when you look at glenn beck . part of the gop 's problem is the split between the extreme and the mainstream. here's beck railing against republicans today. listen to this.
>> i'm really sick of these republicans who are just progressive republicans who try to talk down to everybody and tell us how smart they are and how everybody else is just so stupid. i don't speak for the republicans . i don't want to speak for the republicans . i speak for me. i tell you how i feel. i don't want to speak for the republicans . i wish the republicans would stop speaking.
>> are far right voice it is like this the problem?
>> yeah, i don't know what progressive republicans he can identify. i'd be interested to line them up in a room. it'd be a lonely party. okay, yes. glenn beck was one of the leading voices in that whole tea party movement. there's a reason why he's no longer on another cable news channel. because he was even too extreme for them. if he has helped take the republican party to this position, then he's helped them be delusional. he thought that would help them winning. take them back to the white house . there are smart people in the republican party who recognize that has been a fool's errand. that that has not taken them closer to power. yes, they've got the house. but if that's the limit. if that's the high water mark , then this cycle is going to turn again and turn badly for them. you know, glenn beck may run -- may lead the charge to some primary challenges. but he most definitely is not their future.
>> cynthia , buzz feed has a piece on how to move beyond fox news and right wing media to reach people. it quotes republican strategist who says quote, fox is great, but those viewers already agree with us. how else are different demographics going to get to know you if you never reach out to them? does the gop have to reach beyond their e koe chamber?
>> of course. that's why they were stunned when they lost. because in the echo chamber they were rejecting facts on fox news they were confidently projected mitt romney 's victory and they were not open to any other opinions or any actual facts for that matter. so it's been disastrous for them. they've spent decades now, not just years, bashing the mainstream media as being biased against them. as being too liberal. as not actually talking about facts. and so it's going to be very difficult for them now to come back and reach out to mainstream media outlets. because this is what they have told themselves for decades. just like they've spend decades, by the way, bashing people of color . so it is very hard for them to get out of the habits they have spent decades forming.
>> got to leave it there. richard wolffe and cynthia tucker , thanks for your time tonight.
>> thanks, reverend.
>>> coming up, justice scalia versus glenn beck . you won't believe who's actually taking the moderate position in this fight.
>>> plus what does this creature have in common with the president? stay tuned. that's next. it's a new day. if