The Last Word | November 19, 2012
>>> republicans are going to have to stop trying to sound moderate and reasonable because they are making rush limbaugh freak out. on second thought --
>> all hell broke lose on the republican side .
>> republicans seem to be at a critical cross road .
>> they are tripping over themselv themselves.
>> there is no conservative movement . is rush limbaugh 's country gone?
>> the horror.
>> we have a cultural problem.
>> why would so many republicans be upset about this?
>> here's a news flash to the republicans .
>> mitt romney was not our best candidate.
>> well i am stunned.
>> mitt romney , kick him when he's done.
>> did you see the sunday shows yesterday?
>> hitting their nominee.
>> we have to show we're sere serious. we have to like them first.
>> we would never talk like that.
>> there's not a lot of people defending mitt romney .
>> when you're in a hole, stop digging. he keeps digging.
>> newt gingrich , i think it's nuts.
>> they have to do something.
>> we have the fiscal cliff.
>> the cliff.
>> the cliff.
>> whatever that means exactly.
>> whatever you want to talk about it.
>> the math doesn't work otherwise.
>> i don't think it works.
>> how is that going to go over with the tea party ?
>> paul ryan and others will not win this issue.
>> here's a news flash.
>> the elections have consequences.
>> we just had this election.
>> it's already starting 2016 .
>> we're already talking about 2016 .
>> marco rubio .
>> chris christie is off and run running.
>> you have been wearing that fleece a lot.
>> i'm going to die in this fleece.
>>> good evening. i'm alex wagner in for lawrence o'donnell. rush limbaugh was at war with the republican party over what mitt romney told top donors on a conference call last week.
>> the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote.
>> tmz reports that mitt and ann romney watched the new "twilight" movie on saturday night, but sunday there was no romance between the republicans and mitt romney .
>> we're in a big hole . we're not getting out of it by comments like that. when you're in a hole, stop digging. he keeps digging.
>> i reject what he said. if we want people to like us, we have to like them first.
>> mitt romney was picking up the theme he put before the country and inadvertently with his 47% video during the came pain. quit despising the american people .
>> rush limbaugh says today that those guys are just mad because they want votes.
>> the only reason that i can think that all of these republicans are so upset over my description of this is they want in on the game. they want to play too. we here can insult voter, but we're not trying to get votes. they have already drummed romney out. romney doesn't exist. romney is -- can't believe how mean they are being. he doesn't exist.
>> politico reports in order to prevent the rise of another toxic republican senatorial candidate, the incoming chair of the nshl committee has tapped senator ted cruz as a vice chairman for grass roots and outreach. yes, republicans have chosen an anti-gay conspiracy theorist to help shepard the party's ambitions. the plan according to party leaders is to employ the tea party star power to help win over activists groups that may be wary and help unify the gop behind a single candidate in crucial senate races. speaking of unity, this is the state of the republican party according to rush limbaugh .
>> there is no conservative movement right now, by the way. there's not a conservative movement . and there's not a singular conservative leader in electoral politics . there's not a conservative leader in the media side. there hasn't been for years. what i have always known, i'm the renegade. i'm the outsider. i'm not in this club. so as these guys continue to pick losing candidates and as they continue to run losing campaigns, they need to have the next losing candidate hire them. and so i'm the guy responsible for republicans losing elections.
>> and here is where the gop needs to go according to bill o 'riley.
>> going forward, the republican party has to change. they have to engage poor people . they have to demonstrate that a healthy economy, based on discipline and robust capitalism, will lift far more people out of poverty than government handouts will. you have to sell that. romney didn't.
>> msnbc's krystal ball and ari melber. a republican strategist had the best take away. and he says, if you are a voter and you look at the republican party and the first thing you see is republican leaders dumping all over the guy they spent two years telling us should be the leader of the country, that doesn't make you feel better about the republican party .
>> it's a fair point that e he makes there. it is amazing how quickly as soon as they had anything possible to seize upon, how quickly they threw mitt romney under the bus. but there's a danger here because there was starting to ab real conversation among conservatives about policy changes. now it seems like the default position is we ran a terrible candidate so we lost. so that's the danger here. but it's incredible how quickly they have run away from this guy should be the leader of the free world to this guy is the worst person ever, i can't believe what idiotic things he's saying.
>> i think in some ways, it's cathartic for republicans to run over the legacy. but to krystal 's point, does the american public see this represent henceable behavior for what it is and demand more?
>> i do. i think it's fairly important what parties do to their losing nominees. the public knows who these people are so unlike ha lot of things that are below the radar, mitt romney is a famous person. you can think back to losing nominees that were taken in and asked to play important roles like a stevenson. wendell wilke, he became an ambassador. that was noted. and then there are people who are famous mostly for being associated with losing ideas like a goldwater. and then people we forget completely like john davis . these are names i had to look up because they are hard to remember. that's bad for a party. and that is what i think we're going e to see happen to mitt romn romney . he didn't stand for enough beforehand. he doesn't stand enough to be associated with a losing set of politics. the only thing worse for being disliked is being irrelevant and not remembered at all.
>> the hope they will change their ways, bobby jindal has been getting positive accolades rained down upon him. but he brought up the notion they need to have better candidates in the senate races. the apointment of ted cruz , a question mark as far as how well that serves the republican party listen to what he said about the indiana and missouri races.
>> we don't need to be saying stupid things. we had candidates that said offensive things that not only hurt themselves and lost those senate seats, but it hurt the republican party across the board.
>> if you have a problem running crazy people in senate races, why is ted cruz your ambassador?
>> the guy who thinks the u.n. is conspireing to eliminate golf courses ? that guy? you have to love the logic there. we have these crazy people that we need to tame and we have this crazy person here. maybe he can talk to the crazy people . it's interesting logic, but to his point there about saying stupid things, saying offensive things, todd akin and richard mourdock , no question, they lost because of the stupid things they said. but they are not the ones who pushed such extreme policies. the whole republican party was pushing 1,100 anti-choice provisions in state legislatures . trying to shut down the government over defunding planned parenthood . so they have a bigger problem than just a couple candidates saying crazy things.
>> i also think ted cruz nomination, if you will s a signal that the republican party thinks the tea party agenda is going to be part of the gop moving forward. they need an ambassador to those folks and the dna is still part of the doed.
>> i think the tea party is a strong midterm force. so when the incumbent party does tend to lose, it may be the right short-term positioning. but that goes to your point, which is if the long-term concern is that they run these nominees, and they can't put together a winning coalition and then all they do is turn around and sort of covet the support and the short-term strategy of the tea party and a couple districts, then they are not thinking long-term.
>> if there's one ray of hope on what is increasingly a dark cloud , it's the immigration question. on everything else the gop seems to not be going the direction of progress. but the language has been strong enough that maybe something will get done. this is lindsey graham on "meet the press" this weekend.
>> self-deportation being pushed hurt our chances. we're in a death spiral because of rhetoric around immigration. and candidate romney and the primary dug the hole deeper.
>> a death spiral with his panic voters. i don't think they can undersell the gravity of the problem they have with hispanics. but how do you reconcile the principles that will continue to move the party forward and a comprehensive immigration policy ?
>> i think it's going to be tough to do. lindsey graham has been someone who has been pushing immigration reform within the republican party . but to your point, when i was running for congress, we found immigration in my district. it wasn't people's number one issue, but there was very, very high emotion around it. and the other concern from a strategist standpoint, if you allow a path to citizenship, then you have more latino voter who is can vote against you. so that's another major sticking point.
>> it will be a numbers game . thank you as always.
>> when a lot of people vote, that's been a problem for them.
>> that's true. turnout, going to the polls. stop that. thank you to my friends krystal ball and ari melber.
>>> coming up, when voters dismissed paul ryan you might have thought he'd be the last man on earth john boehner would choose to negotiate the fiscal cliff. you would be wrong.
>>> and somebody thinks sarah palin is the answer to the republican party 's problems in 2016 because she's hot and blue collar . no seriously. thank you, somebody.
>>> and president obama joins secretary of state hillary clinton for the last time overseas in an extraordinary place at an extraordinary time. that's all coming