The Ed Show | February 18, 2013
>>> tonight. republicans are proving once again that if president obama is for a plan, they're going to be against it, even if it's their own idea. usa today published a draft on immigration reform which was supposedly leaked by the white house . republican senator from florida marco rubio immediately denounced the proposal, even though it looks just like his immigration reform plan. the white house calls for new lawful perspective immigrant visa . rubio 's plan calls for similar visa reform. the president's proposal calls for strict employment verification. rubio 's plan does the same thing. president obama 's plan tightens border security . rubio 's plan, well, it does the same thing. marco rubio should be absolutely thrilled to have the white house on board with his plan. but he doesn't look at it that way. you see, the core immigration reform plan, they are so similar. but instead rubio called the president's draft half baked, seriously flawed, and dead on arrival . marco rubio wouldn't give any real reason he is rejecting his own plan. but newt gingrich confessed the truth sunday morning.
>> an obama immigration plan is not going to pass the house. an obama plan led by obama in this atmosphere with the level of hostility towards the president and the way he goads the hostility, i think it's very hard to imagine that that bill -- that his bill is going to pass the house.
>> let's turn to our panel tonight with democratic strategist chris cafenis, and executive editor of msnbc.com. great to have all of you with us. liz , welcome to "the ed show." great to have you with us.
>> thanks for inviting me.
>> how accurate is newt gingrich when see is saying that an obama plan has no chance?
>> he is accurate. and actually, i think it's important for people to think through the process on this a little bit and recognize that both what the white house did in leaking this and the way that marco rubio has responded to it might actually be productive in terms of getting immigration reform done.
>> how so?
>> well, there is a very good piece that benji sarland wrote and i would urge people to look at that. the simple fact is that president obama releasing something that marco rubio can describe as unacceptable and to the left of things, that makes the senate bipartisan approach with which rubio is involved look a lot more palatable to republicans . and the more palatable it looks the more likely to pass.
>> your thoughts, richard? what do you think?
>> i think newt gingrich had it right there. are lots of ironies involved in this. just a few months ago republicans said this president needs to lead. he needs to put out his own proposals when it comes to things like deficit reduction. yeah, i understand the politics of this. if the president comes out with something, then rubio has to go to another place. and if that helps the end result, the white house is going to be happy thacht get to sign this thing at the end. the president is going to get plenty of glory. but they need the senate republicans to come together on this one.
>> that's right.
>> but they're so similar. they just can't bring themselves to say you know what? we're going to work with the president on this. marco rubio says it's dead on arrival . chris cafenis, this is just an identity crisis problem, isn't it?
>> well, i think it speaks to the fact that there are major divisions within the republican party seemingly on every issue. but on immigration no less, rubio has been out there speaking about immigration, the need for immigration reform . but there are members of his own party and other republican voices that have been condemning him for it. i think the problem here is the republican party has not come to terms with the fact that the president is president. president obama got reelected. he is going to be there for the next four years, and they have to come to terms with the reality of what are they going to address politically in order to solve their long-term problem. and one of their long-term problems is a demographic one. they're alienating hispanics. they play this game where they think they're going to position themselves in a smart way against the president. what they end up doing is further damage with a key demographic group that they need in order to be electorally successful in the future.
>> liz , how do you anticipate the president doing anything to fight the obstruction?
>> i think the president is very cognizant of the instruction in inverted comas was going to look like. and i think that's part of why this leak occurred. i think this is something that while it looks as though this is contributing to nothing getting done, i think this is actually going to move the process forward and enable that senate bipartisan plan to get more support than it otherwise would have.
>> gosh, i respectfully disagree with that. i think this is all about making sure president obama just doesn't get anything done.
>> but i'm --
>> go ahead.
>> but i'm sure that you and i both hope that i'm right and you're wrong about that, right? because this is an important issue, and we do need to get something done on it.
>> i do not think that the republicans in any way, shape, or form are going to go with any type or form of amnesty.
>> i hope you're wrong about that, but we shall see.
>> we're going to have to come to grips with the fact that we have 11 million undocumented workers in this country. we got to do something about it. you can call it amnesty. you can call it grace, whatever. it's something that is going to have to be done. another subject tonight, disgraced republican governor from south carolina who lied about hiking the appalachian trail got caught with his mistress, is asking for a second chance. check out his new ad.
>> more recently, i've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. but in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a god of second chance, and be the better for it. in that light, i humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing washington.
>> all right, mark sanford is running against 15 other republicans to replace current senator tim scott . richard wolffe , is this going to work?
>> well, i think you have to give him some credit for confronting this head-on. i think the aaron sorkin stirring music behind it was a little bit too much. but, you know, the question for him is in a crowded field, given the strength of christian conservatives in south carolina , are they actually willing to say this guy is not going to embarrass us again? we trusted him before. that in a crowded field might just squeak him through. on the other hand, they may not think that actually these words mean anything.
>> what about it, chris ? he is on bended knee. does it work in the south?
>> it probably won't work. this whole thing kind of makes me feel sad for the guy in the sense -- i mean, you have to be almost pathetic at this point you have put your family through this. you have put your constituents through, this and your state through this. and you want to come back to be a member of congress. i mean, i have to imagine there is better things to do in life than put yourself through this. but i think it just shows for some people, they just can't get away from politics. and i'm not sure that the people in south carolina are going to let him get away with what he is trying to kind of remake himself into.
>> liz , what do you think the republicans ' opponents will do with this? will they go after his character? will they go after his past? will they remind people just what happened in 2009 ?
>> i think this makes it a little bit hard for them to do that directly and sort of atribz to use the phraseology that we do in politics. ultimately i think people are more willing to be forgiving in the instance of this scandal as opposed to other scandals we've seen. this a guy who fell in love with somebody and is still in a relationship with that person. this isn't a guy who was paying prostitutes. this isn't a guy who had a bunch of money in his freezer. it's not a guy who was using campaign funds to go buy rolex watches and michael jackson memorabilia. this is kind of a sadly tragic human thing that a lot of people do go through. some people may find it's too much for them to overcome. but i think there are people who will be forgiving. and ultimately in a 15-way primary, he doesn't have to get a lot of votes in order to make it through there.
>> okay, liz mair, chris kofinis, richard wolffe , great to have you with us.
>> thank you.
>>> the oscar buzz around "silver linings playbook" is shedding light on the issue of mental health . director david o. russell is here tonight. looking forward to that. stay with us.