The Last Word | February 13, 2013
>> the president delivers his second term agenda, and republicans deliver ted nugent and a very thirsty marco rubio .
>> the buck stops with the president of the united states .
>> the state of our union is stronger.
>> and the state of the union , fine.
>> let's talk about the state of the union .
>> it was a check list of things.
>> the laundry list of familiar sounding proposals.
>> pursue a market-based solution, send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.
>> raise the minimum wage .
>> oh, look at me, i'm the president.
>> lip service and liberalism.
>> i support people making more than $9.
>> i don't think the minimum wage law works.
>> delivering a combative republican response.
>> more government is not going to get you ahead. it is going to hold you back.
>> it is a horrible position to be in, what is the deal with the water bottle.
>> if he was thirsty, he should take a sip.
>> he is good at it.
>> if congress won't act soon, i will.
>> president obama 's emotional appeal.
>> gabrielle giffords deserves a vote.
>> that is what i think is going to stick in the minds of the people.
>> the continued revenue.
>> they deserve a vote, at least to have a vote on the new gun laws is a long way from let's get this passed.
>> the families of newtown deserve a vote.
>> will emotional appeals push congress to act on gun control .
>> the members of tucson, they deserve a simple vote.
>> as he begins his second term, president obama knows exactly how many days he has left as president. and he means to use them well.
>> an american jobs act, the manufacturing hopes, the tax reform , and entitlement reform. a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months. a bipartisan market-based solution to climate change . give every responsible homeowner in america the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today's rate.
>> the demands of a high tech economy. change the higher education act so that affordability and value are determined. raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.
>> today, the president went to asheville, north carolina , where he toured an auto parts plant and emphasized his plans to implement a manufacturing sector . and train the workers for the job. but he had to admit he can't do it alone.
>> now i'll do what i can just through administrative action. but i need congress to help. i need congress to do their part. i need congress to do their part. i need congress to take up these initiatives, because we have come too far and we have worked too hard to turn back now. we have to stop with some of the politics that we see in washington sometimes that is focused on who is up and who is down. let's just focus on the same kind of common sense and cooperation that we're seeing at this plant. and we see all across the country.
>> today in washington, republican congressional reaction was predictable. mitch mcconnell 's comment was republican boiler plate .
>> in short with his impressive delivery and trademark style, last night's speech was pedestrian, liberal boilerplate that any democratic lawmaker could have given at any time in recent memory.
>> and why stop there? why not compare the president to hitler, stalin, or castro ? well, republican leaders don't have to do that. that is what rush limbaugh is for.
>> throughout history, dictators, for example, have never really been blamed for the bad things that happen in their countries. hitler, stalin, mao, castro , none of them blamed by the rank and file citizenry. they were, instead, the leaders of the revolution. they were the great figures trying to change all the evil that was happening to everybody. here is obama. this is what agitators do, rile people up, and then come in and try to calm everybody down and fix it.
>> krystal, the president gives an hour-long speech, and what we realized is, it could have been shorter. taken out the rhetoric and just have all the programs mentioned. but really, not a single republican response that actually takes on what he said. not even marco rubio 's.
>> that is exactly right, and of course, marco rubio 's response was written long before the speech was ever given. it was not really a response. but they're still married to attacking a straw man. they're not actually wanting to engage on the policy substance, because the substance on it, the policies, everything he advocated for which has been called liberal and aggressive, all of those things, is also very popular. are you going to be the one who says we don't support paycheck fairness or pre school for children? it is not the place where they want to be, so instead they have to say president obama just wants big government . he doesn't think that the pirate sector can do anything good. he is a socialist, mao and castro , as well.
>> howard dean , what would you have advised the republicans to try to embrace in the president's speech, without sacrificing their principles? were there things you thought if the republicans would meet them half way, on some of the things?
>> sure, that, i'm going to pay the president the highest compliment you can pay, i think, which is this is the first speech i saw him give was brilliant. it was brilliant in terms of his politics. all of those things he mentioned had been tested in the '60s and '70s. i shouldn't say that, he mentioned five or six things that the public really wants and then the republicans fell right into the trap. they looked like -- mitch mcconnell always looks like he ate quints before he goes on the air. they talk about things that lost them the last election. and rush limbaugh is the biggest favor that ever happened to us. i'm just in shock. i thought the president did a really brilliant job. from a political point of view, we can talk about the policy and argue about that. and the republicans were their usually completely wasted self. rubio, i thought did a decent job in terms of his presentation, he didn't have anything to say. but he was a fresh face for the republican party . and mitch mcconnell , he is smart, but god almighty --
>> maybe not the best messenger.
>> i want to listen to what the president said about paying our bills on time.
>> the greatest nation on earth. the greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. we can't do it. let's agree -- let's agree right here, right now, to keep the people's government open and pay our bills on time. and always uphold the full faith and credit of the united states of america .
>> krystal, i believe john boehner is sitting behind him at that moment thinking, he is exactly right, we shouldn't be tampering with this stuff. we will lose as a party, republicans in the house, if we do get caught tampering with this stuff again like we did on debt ceiling. but how does boehner try to keep control of his side on this?
>> well, and that has been the big question. it is remarkable, actually, that we were able to avoid the fiscal cliff. i mean, we sort of went over it and we were able to keep that intact. and the republicans basically blinked, they realized on some level that they were becoming known as the party of manufacturing crisis. this was all they -- that they had to offer the country. if they go down that path too many times, their approval ratings are already at all-time they can't sink any further in the public's estimation. and we're looking at sequester and continuing resolution. we're going to have another debt ceiling debate in the summer. now rather than the burden being on the democrats to figure out the problems, i really think the burden is on the republicans because if they have cause these crises time and time again, the american public sees what is going on and understands who is responsible.
>> the president is offering them the chance to avoid the disaster. he is doing it with a combination of let's raise some revenue through tax loopholes on the rich. but he also made an offer on mower mar medicare last night.
>> we'll rooster subsidies to prescription drug companies. and ask more from the wealthy wealthiest. we'll bring down the costs by changing the way the government pays for medicare . because our bills shouldn't be based on the number of tests or days spent in the hospital. they should be based on the manner of care our seniors agree. i am open to both, as long as they don't violate the security for retirement.
>> i think we have to see what is in the fine print . to say you don't want to pay by the number of tests that are ordered is a very good thing, to say you don't pay by quality, that is pretty nebulous. we have to reform medicare , that is too expensive. it is not medicare 's fault, they are actually run better than other areas. but he is not wrong, i don't think he will get much cooperation from the republicans because they're so radical, but he is right.
>> let me point out one thing on medicare , one of the best kept secrets, the president has reformed medicare and made a reformed start on controlling those costs. this past one -- really since medicare 's inception, it was not the cost of medicare growing, it was the aging population growing that was the driver of the cost in medicare .
>> thank you both.
>>> coming up, a last word exclusive. the shooting victim who ted nugent attacked after the state-of-the-union address. and how did marco rubio do in his audition for the presidential nomination last night? was a star born? and later, more read iings from the nra's enemy's list, and why does the nra's enemy's list have so many jewish organizations on it?