The Ed Show | March 14, 2013
>>> republican elected officials who vote for tax increases are rat heads in a coke bottle.
>> comedy hour. there's going to be a lot more of that nonsense in the coming days. the gop's best and brighters are gathering outside of washington , d.c. for the largest republican gathering of the year cpac . this year's conference theme is america's future the next generation of conservatives new challenges timeless principles. i think i'll puke now. here's what the next generation of conservatives looks like at cpac . a good chunk of their speakers are old and bad, very bad at winning elections. meanwhile, you can tell republicans are still pretty sore about mitt romney 's loss. this year's conference offers panels like csi washington , d.c., november 2012 autopsy. and here's another one, should we shoot all the consultants now, question mark ? you mean they actually would shoot people at this thing? one consultant said they wouldn't be shooting who they would not be shooting is dick morris . that's good because we like to have him around for comedy. after his horribly wrong predictions in the election, morris was invited to speak at cpac , is that an improvement? he addressed a mostly empty side of the room telling republicans they need to change on issues like immigration and abortion. yeah, that'll happen. former congressman alan west thinks otherwise. here's what he said about change today.
>> there's no shortage of people telling us what conservatism cannot accomplish. what we can't do, how we cannot connect, how we must change our values to fit the times. well, ladies and gentlemen , i want to tell you that truly is a bunch of malarky.
>> yeah, pay no attention to the people, it's us. texas congressman gomert got things cooking today. the tea party rock star shared an odd thought on the vietnam war .
>> i'm not going to debate the merits of whether we should or should not have gone to vietnam . but what i will tell you is vietnam was winnable but people in washington decided we would not win it.
>> when was the last time you had an in-depth conversation about vietnam ? this was at the cpac convention? what they're talking about? gohmert also said we should've gone to war with iran in 1979 .
>> now, i still believe today that we have americans dying for their country because we did not send a message in 1979 . you don't attack american soil and that's what an embassy is. we should stand up. there's a time for war.
>> and that comedy ticket is only $29.95. well, $25 if you get it early, i guess. senator marco rubio also spoke today, he defended his stance on gay marriage .
>> i respect people that disagree with me on certain things. but they have to respect me too. just because i believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot.
>> with two more days of cpac to go, there will be plenty of other memorable moments, i'm sure. let's turn to howard fineman prelim analyst and editorial director of "the huffington post " media group . nice to have you with us tonight.
>> hi, ed.
>> issues to rest. that's what my little note here is. can the republican party put some of these issues to rest like gay marriage and immigration? will they make any forward progress at cpac ? your thoughts?
>> well, i don't think they want to put them to rest. i think in a way the -- the mentality of cpac is also reflected in congress in the mentality of representative paul ryan 's budget. he's putting forth the same thing that lost in the election, the cpac people are basically saying for the most part, for the most part, actually rand paul was one of the more interesting and disruptive characters there intellectually.
>> well, disruptive in the sense that he was willing to take up -- ask some fundamental questions about things, about privacy, about banks being too big to fail. he doesn't fit directly into the traditional mode. but most of the speakers, including marco rubio were saying, hey, there's nothing wrong with our message. our message is just fine. on the social issues, on every issue. as a matter of fact, rubio didn't even mention immigration, which i think is fascinating since that was his original calling card. at cpac , he strictly hit every traditional red button and did it in a traditional way and got a lot of applause for it. that's sort of the mentality of cpac . i've covered cpac for many, many years back in the day, it was a pretty serious in kind wonkish exercise intellectual debate. it really isn't that for the most part. it's all political positioning and their political position is we ain't changing.
>> well, these politicians want to come away with the biggest headline and the biggest buzz. isn't that part of their mission, as well?
>> sure, yeah. it is. and it remains a sort of emotional testing ground for sound bites and for personalities.
>> rubio got a lot of good applause lines. rand paul got a lot of good applause lines. rick perry got applause lines for saying -- go ahead, go ahead.
>> it's always good to throw the loser under the bus. rick perry knocked mitt romney pretty good today. here's the clip.
>> the popular media narrative -- it's that this country has shifted away from conservative ideals as evidenced by the last two presidential elections . that might be true if republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 in 2012 .
>> was that the biggest response that anybody got?
>> that was a good line -- that was a good line and goes to the point i'm making. which is this is about purity. this is about their traditional stance on things. rick perry 's probably not the best expert on who's salable on elections on a national level. if a conservative by his lights didn't win the nomination this last time, it's partly rick perry 's fault. because he tried to put out a conservative message there that didn't work. so that's the situation they're in right now.
>> all right. what do you expect for mitt romney 's speech tomorrow? what does he have to offer cpac ?
>> well, he's -- i think he's going to have to say --
>> if he wants any applause, he's going to have to say i screwed up. i didn't carry the conservative message purely enough or strongly enough, in my heart i'm a conservative but i got waylaid, sand trapped by the bartender in florida. you know, et cetera , et cetera . that's what he's going to have to do. i don't expect him to suddenly come in there and pound the table in defense of the moderate republicanism that he used to represent.
>> i don't see that.
>> howard, great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much.
>> thank you, ed.
>>> the big three on the chopping block with the democrats. and i'll ask the ed show congressional committee . what are you going to do to stop it?
>>> and former senate majority leader tom daschle will lay out a plan to save the senate and talk filibuster reform.