The Ed Show | November 14, 2012
>>> show." thanks for staying with us tonight. senator john mccain is leading a preemptive strike to keep u.n. ambassador susan rice from being nominated for secretary of state. rice's name has been floated as a possible replacement for secretary hillary clinton . but mccain says he's convinced that rice is part of an obama administration cover-up over the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi . mccain articulated his theory this morning, pledging to do everything he can to stop rice's nomination from moving forward.
>> susan rice should have been known better, and if she didn't know better, she's not qualified. she would have known better. i will do everything in my power to block her from being the united states secretary of state . she has proven that she either doesn't understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face.
>> and of course, mccain has enlisted reinforcements. here's comes senator lindsey graham of south carolina who is also questioning rice's credibility.
>> i don't trust. the reason i don't trust her, because i think she knew better, and if she doesn't know better, she shouldn't be the voice of america .
>> this afternoon, the president smack them both down.
>> when they go after the u.n. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me.
>> today's repudiation of mccain 's politicking is just the latest installation in what has been a contentious history between the president and the senator from arizona, leading all the way back to the last presidential campaign , when mccain announced that he was suspending his campaign to try to solve the fiscal crisis in this country and avoid a presidential debate . obama needled him with this response.
>> it's my belief that this is exactly the time when the american people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible for dealing with this mess. and i think that it is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once.
>> after mccain joked about going to war with iran, by turning it into a beach boys song, president obama hit him back with this.
>> john, you're absolutely right that presidents have to be prudent in what they say. but, you know, coming from you who have, you know, in the past have threatened extinction for north korea and, you know, sung songs about bombing iran, i don't know how credible that is.
>> then there was this exchange over al qaeda .
>> i have some news. al qaeda is in iraq . al qaeda , it's called al qaeda in iraq .
>> i have some news for john mccain . and that is that there was no such thing as al qaeda in iraq until george bush and john mccain decided to invade iraq .
>> and when senator obama became president obama , the partisan rhetoric didn't stop there. mccain abandoned the idea of becoming an elder statesmen, a key republican ally, who could help broker deals and move the country forward. instead, he has constantly undermined the president and his policies. back in 2010 , mccain had a list of complaints over health care reform . one of his issues, the negotiations were not being broadcast on c-span. here's the president responding.
>> let me just a make this point, john. because we're not campaigning anymore. the election's over.
>> i'm reminded of that every day.
>> well, yeah.
>> let's bring in jonathan alter , msnbc political analyst and columnist for bloomberg view. jonathan, i don't think the two like each other. good to have you with us tonight. but it just seems that john mccain is looking for any opening he possibly can to make problems for the president and the country. your take on it?
>> well, the reason the president was so ticked in the press conference today is he learned just before the press conference, i hear from the white house , that, you know, john mccain and lindsey graham were intending to filibuster susan rice if she should be nominated as secretary of state. and that really angered the president. and one reason why, which i don't think is enormously understood, is it's hypocritical, if you turn back the clock to when condoleezza rice was taking all kinds of heat before she was nominated to be george bush 's secretary of state, because she had fallen for this faulty intelligence on iraq . remember when she talking about the mushroom cloud in iraq and all this, because she had believed the cia . so all that susan rice has done is believe the cia . that's her own only sin in this entire thing. and so for mccain to say he's going to filibuster her for something that he and then senator obama defended condoleezza rice on, is really hypocritical and really annoying to the president. because she was doing exactly what mitt romney did. you'll notice in the third debate, mitt romney did not bring up benghazi . why? he was given an opportunity by bob schieffer . he didn't because he had just gotten a classified briefing from the cia that told him what everybody who has got an classified briefing knows. which is that it was cia 's fault that they didn't get intelligence faster on what happened in benghazi . it was not at all susan rice 's fault.
>> well, the president said today that the congress had the same information that susan rice had.
>> but john mccain was out there blabbing this morning, saying that they should have known better. as if she doesn't have good enough judgment to be in this position or to be even considered for it. i mean, how much of a slap in the face is that?
>> well, it's really discouraging that senator mccain , who, you know, in the past, i think, has had really wide respect on both sides of the aisle, that he would be doing this. it was easy to say, when he was running against a right-winger in 2010 , in the primary, oh, he has to, you know, deport his principles over the border on immigration or other things in order to get re-elected. people in washington understand that. but he's now safely re-elected. so the only reason he's doing this is out of personal pique or some over cranky motive and he just needs to give it up. and lindsey graham needs to give it up too. and they need to suck it up and start to work across the aisle like they have in the past, and show some basic respect for the president of the united states .
>> i mean, this is the first shot over the bow, as to how the next congress is going to feel about one another. i mean, do you think mccain and graham would have the troops to stop her if she does, and the president says today he hasn't made that determination yet, whether he's going to nominate her or not. do you think they have the chops to do that?
>> sure. in the senate, it only takes a couple of people to filibuster. and then there aren't the 60 votes. and if they go through with this, if they don't back down, it will be hard for her to get confirmed. that's the reality of the u.s. senate . so it seems to me and i think a lot of other people that the president and senator mccain need to get together, you know, not have a beer summit, maybe drink something harder, and, you know, try to work this out and establish some kind of relationship on behalf of the american public.
>> mccain has not shown any interest to work anything out with the president, and i think we can hold our breath on this one. thank you, jonathan alter . great to have you us with tonight.
>> thanks, ed.
>>> next up, mitt romney talks to big money donors and doubles down on his talk of the nation 's 47%.
>>> and then the rps never dreamed that they would end up seeing this. the new class of women has arrived on capitol hill . we'll talk to one of the new senators who fourgt one of the toughest races in the nation and won on the