The Last Word | January 24, 2013
>> night. john kerry began his confirmation hearing today with absolutely no intension of embarrassing the republicans in the foreign relations committee . so, they had to embarrass themselves.
>> the american people deserve to know answers.
>> we were missled.
>> what difference does it make?
>> by the competitive nature of politics.
>> i'm happy for you.
>> they determined an effective representative.
>> my senior senator and my friend, senator john kerry .
>> suddenly i'm feeling a lot of sympathy for the folks who sit down here.
>> some things don't change.
>> if you are trying to get some daylight between me and secretary clinton that is not going to happen here today.
>> we do know what happened. were you at the briefing with the tapes?
>> that is not going to happen here today.
>> republican reset. could there be a war on the republican party .
>> here it is again.
>> what do you think the party must do better.
>> coordinated effort by republicans.
>> to change the rules for electing a president.
>> they have no choice.
>> what do you think the party must do better.
>> we're laistening, we're listening.
>> another day, another hearing in which a senator gets to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is in competent.
>> will you work with me so that we can find out what actually happened and then we can move beyond that.
>> well i think, senator, in all fairness, i think we do know what happened. i think it was very clear.
>> were you at the briefing with the tapes?
>> there was a briefing with tapes which we all saw those of us who went to it. we sat for hours with our intel folks who described to us what we were seeing and we saw the events unfold we had a complete description.
>> that was john kerry humiliating senator johnson. he received the most impressive bipartisan introduction that perhaps the senate at ever seen.
>> i'm very pleased that john will be given the chance subject to confirmation to continue the work of a lifetime on behalf of our country.
>> let me thank you on behalf of the committee for all that you have done. there is no one in the senate that has spent more time than you have on issues of imporps to our country.
>> one say historians will judge his senate years much the same way some recognize centsen senator ted kennedy 's impact.
>> but that didn't stop the republicans from trying to turn the hearing into episode two, into why did they conspire to hide the truth from the american people ?
>> the world is a dangerous police when america is not leading. we had a hearing yesterday about libra libya but we didn't talk about the conditions that led to the consulate.
>> i think this is important and trying to get to the truth in the matter of benghazi do you agree with hillary clinton , that that is yesterday's news and let's move on.
>> if you are trying to get some day light between me and secretary clinton that is not going to happen here today.
>> john mccain could not reserve the going back to yesterday's news.
>> i didn't want to bring it up, but since it was just brought up i'll have to respond again. we do care why the american people were misled. some of us will not give up on this until we get all of the answers.
>> i don't want to go on about it, but i didn't suggest and i don't want to suggest nor do i believe that secretary clinton was saying that people don't care about knowing what happened.
>> there is no exam for being a united states senator .
>> it is a matter of tricking enough voters.
>> the bar is in the ground.
>> what an amazing day two on the failure to unearth the conspiracy of how to lie to the american people .
>> he is like a human whack-a-mole. ron johnson gets too close to him and your brain cells die. this is like the legacy of ron johnson . he attributes the warming of the earth to sun spots to gee logical spots of time. he is convinced that there is a conspiracy and there is none there. nor is it with hillary clinton saying it doesn't matter. he is obsessed with you know, he is obsessed with suspects who are no longer being examined and we know who did it. but he is following vapor trails to nowhere.
>> i thought marco rubio did well i wondered if ron johnson was part of a one-two punch. he was going to really try to be -- men al migitry.
>> it was striking to me. the sense of and this is bipartisan. the sense of paranoya anxiety that permeates every discussion of america 's roll e in the world and foreign policy . you would think we are consumed by consatant threats and occupiers. i'm nervous about this and anxious about this and i think it was a striking moment. it gives you a sense of what the cost of trying to moaintain this presence and project is.
>> and the difficulty of articulating a strategy.
>> speaking of costs. and speaking of senator johnson. i don't mean to pick on him. he did ask an interesting question that i believe has never come up in a confirmation hearing. that is what are you going to do about the debt and deficit?
>> let's listen to that.
>> you utilize your position to work with the president to solve the debt and deficit issue.
>> scepte i'm not here to go through the details why we didn't. there was a very, hard line position that prevented us from being able to come to an agreement which we just came to. but we came to it with far lesson the table and far less accomplished than we would have had if we had come to it a year ago
>> and that is the most diplomatic answer than we had.
>> well, it is telling that this is sort of the default position on anything.
>> you got me on benghazi now debt and deficit.
>> but this is the position of the republican ares on any kind of big picture item. we are outraged on his speech because he didn't talk about the deficit.
>> what would he talk about? there is nothing else they have to wave.
>> that is one issue where they have a political traction. there is a majority on americans. but they have made the calculation. there are a whole bunch of issues where they are not on the right side. most issue.
>> they are trying not to talk about those things. they are thinking we can get to 55% if we talk about this. we can alienate young voters if we talk about this. i want to watch hillary clinton first.
>> for me, this is not just a matter of policy, it is personal. i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers the sisters and daughters and the wives left alone to raise their children.
>> now, of course, people who believe that john boehner is the greatest speaker of the house criticized that saying there she is trying to bring emotional testimony into that. i don't know how you describe that scene without some emotional expression .
>> i think the outcry, imagine if the tables were turned and there was a republican secretary talking about that and did so with the emotion that hillary clinton did and there was an outcry that it was fake and it was hood winked.
>> let's take a look at john kerry . if you confirm me, i would take office as secretary proud that the senate is in my blood. but equally proud that so too is the foreign service . my father's work under presidents both democrat and republican took me and my siblings around the world for a personal journey and sacrifices that the men and women make every day on behalf of america .
>> no criticism for that.
>> the criticism about secretary clinton that i thought, here she was clearly taking responsibility. i think the reason that she teared up is that she feels responsible. as the moment that she takes responsibility they go after her for it.
>> thank you for joining me tonight.
>> coming up.
>> how soon will be hearing the words senator barney frank ? after the landslide. republicans are trying to rig the electoral college of course and the most important testimony given at the senate foreign relations committee was given by john kerry 42 years ago. [ dog