The Rachel Maddow Show | November 08, 2012
>> thank you. one of the things that will happen in washington is we are going to start learning which senior members of the obama administration really only wanted to serve one term. is hillary clinton going to leave as secretary of state? is eric holder going to leave as attorney general? mr. geithner going to leave as secretary of treasury? the speculation is officially hot and heavy in washington as to who will stay on, who will leave and, of course, who will get the jobs of the people who do leave. everybody in washington is also now figuring out how they are going to work with president obama for another four years. how the politics of him earning a second term affects what he wants to do and how likely it is he is going to be able to do it. it probably was not an auspicious sign for that process when the president, right after his victory speech on tuesday night, right after he was done speak, as soon as he was done speaking, the night he wins a second term, after he gave that speech, he got on the phone and he tried to call the republican leader in the house and the republican leader in the senate , he tried to call john boehner and mitch mcconnell but he was told they were asleep, quote after his speech, mr. obama tried to call both mr. boehner and the senate republican leader , mr. mcconnell but was told they were asleep. i realized it was late night and everything but if the president calls you and you are asleep, do you not get woken up? isn't that sort of a standing order? one of the things we can all agree on the sort of thing you get out of bed for? the presidents an on the phone, okay, i'll wake up and take the phone no matter who you are? no. john boehner and mitch mcconnell were still asleep and no woke them up. since then, they have made statements about what they see happening in this next year, indicating that maybe they also slept through the part of the night when the results of the election came in. mr. mcconnell put out a statement what's clear about this election is that the voters have not endorsed president obama 's first term. the fact that the president won the election is not an endorsement of the president? filling in a little bubble next to the man's name on a piece of paper is technically how we endorse a person in america. mr. mcconnell does not see it that way. on the political wire the romney 's campaign would have could have should have transition website today. surely, this was not supposed to go live until mr. romney actually won the election. the campaign did not wait. they presumably accidentally put it up, a transition website for president-elect romney , how to apply for a job with the new romney administration. looks like because they screen shot it before they finally did take it down, looks like the romney folks had a transition motto all ready to go, a slogan, repeated slogan on the website is smaller, simpler, smarter. when republican speaker of the house john boehner gave his first post election press conference what he thought should happen in this country given the results of the election almost like he thought he was speaking in the context of president-elect romney and smaller simpler smaller branded transition.
>> by working together and creating a fairer simpler cleaner tax code , moving to fairer simpler system energized by a simpler cleaner fairer tax code --
>> simpler fairer simpler, john boehner at that press conference congratulated president obama for beating mitt romney said as a consequence of this election and to reflect the will of the country, i suggest what we do now is enact mitt romney 's tax plan. he said what he wants the property to do, what he expects the property to do is cut income tax rates and pay for it by closing unspecified loopholes in the tax code . if that sounds familiar, it's because that is what mitt romney proposed, mitt romney who just lost the election after proposing that very thing, people said no. if you lose the election, you do not get to implement your ideas what the country said no to, what losing means. that's the point of a loser. we won't get a mitt romney tax policy now because mitt romney lost the election, john boehner , while you were sleeping through the republican's phone call . this is how republicans have been handling the news of this election this week so far. this is my actual handwriting. that's how bad my handwriting is on the printout of a newspaper article i read when i first got into work today. i went back to look for the article this afternoon i realized that is what i had written in the margin of the article not paying attention to the fact i was doing it. wrote the word "ha" five times and exclamation point and star. here's why i did that without noticing it. from oklahoma republican tom cole , what does he think about mitt romney and paul ryan losing this election? his take away is this. the paul ryan budget passed a pretty big test. we had to run around the country and defend it. the ryan budget proved itself a viable platform on which to run and be reelected. wow. just to reiterate, this is what happened on election night . how does this constitute the ryan budget passing a big test. it took a big test but it did not pass that test, two very deficit things. the lesson of this election for republicans appears to be all that stuff we ran on, it totally worked. think about what determines what the republican party does next. what determines how they fix their political problems. the question of who is going to be the new face of the republican party and how they will course correct after this disastrously bad election for them, it all depends how they assess what just went wrong and why it went so wrong. what do they think their problem is that caused the country to reject them so emphatically in 2012 . the signs how their self-assessment is going so far are not promising. wednesday, the day after the election, mr. romney had breakfast with some of his richest donors. what does he think happened in the election, why does he think he lost. he told the donors he believe hurricane sandy stunted his momentum in the final week of the campaign. karl rove wrote in this " wall street journal " yesterday president obama was lucky hurricane sandy happened because it interrupted mr. romney 's momentum.
>>> this began for republicans even before election day explaining how mitt romney 's loss in the election would not be a reflection on anything about mitt romney or his policies or campaign or the republican party . they were explaining that before mr. romney even lost. october 31st , campaign sources told cbs news super storm sandy stalled romney 's momentum. a few days before the election, if you hadn't had the storm , there would have been more of a chance for the romney campaign to talk about the deficit. the blame the storm line has continued all through today especially with former mississippi governor haley barbour speaking on the "today" show.
>> hurricane sandy saved barack obama 's presidency. it broke the momentum romney had coming in the end of october.
>> this is a narrative republicans are telling themselves, that the beltway media is also now starting to tell itself because they keep hearing republicans say it. it is not a theory born from reality. this is a checkable thing, emperical idea. their theory is mitt romney was on track to win this thing if it weren't for that blasted storm . this is something we can check. easy. let's start with this. we're all in agreement that the polls were correct despite all the nonsense ahead of the election how the polls seemed so wrong before the election, now that the election has happened, it has been proven and we can all agree that the polls reflected math and not some any nefarious agenda to make conservatives feel bad. the polls were right, we can all agree. out of all the polls, let's look at the one we know now was any mathemat mathematically accurate tracking poll going on in the race, the ipsus reuters poll. did hurricane sandy blunt mr. romney 's momentum. was he on track to win? here's how they were running against each other on the most accurate poll in the country on the day before the hurricane . day of the hurricane , president obama at 48, mitt romney at 47%. look at the five days after the storm hit. hey, again, president obama ahead by the exact same 1%. before hurricane sandy , president obama ahead 1 or 2 points, afterwards, ahead by 1 or 2 points. this is the poll we know in retrospect was totally right. if we believe the polls which we all do now in america and the ipsot-reuters poll was the most accurate one in this presidential election provely there was no romney momentum going into hurricane sandy that was moved by the storm . it just didn't happen and checkable. i'm not saying this to make conservatives feel bad to welcome you out of the bubble of denial that is dangerous. i think haley barbour is a smart guy . this is not a smart idea. liberals probably shouldn't dis disabuse republicans of this. if they take out of this election that a hurricane is the only way they didn't win, democrats should be psyched about that because republicans will go campaigning next time with the same kind of candidates and same policies and planning not having a hurricane . is that their plan? no storm and we will win. i understand why a guy like karl rove would tell his donors this. i didn't waste your hundreds of millions of dollars. they would have bought you a shiny new president definitely if it weren't for that darned storm . you definitely need to give me your hundreds of millions of dollars again because there won't be a hurricane next time. that makes sense for charltons who make their living ing to separate gullible conservatives from their money. is that the republicans assess many of what happened here? you did not lose because of the storm and this election was an endorsement of barack obama and did not prove the viability of the paul ryan kill medicare budget, the opposite. what the republican party does in response to this information, whether they prove capable of absorbing this information is the next great question of politics of the american right. joining us is barney frank ranking member of the financial services committee . thaw for being here.
>> thank you.
>> since tuesday, john boehner has suggested what we need to do fiscally for the country and what we should expect to happen in washington is mitt romney 's tax plan.
>> the problem with that, i don't know what it is, there's a third question, it would be a mistake to assume mitt romney having said it a morning ago still supports it. h his public policy positions came with not good after 30 days . romney himself didn't say what it was. he said in a debate, this is incredible. we'll limit deductions. pick a number . what an extraordinary thing for a presidential candidate to say pick a number . then he said $25,000, we would limit reductions to $25,000. in our home state of massachusetts , if you buy a house , you're paying more than that in your mortgage interest the first year. $2500 is not excessive today with house prices . that takes away any middle class deductions for homeownership and health care . we literally don't know what the romney plan is. the other thing we say when they say this is an endorsement of their prestigious, the romney plan was only about a month that plan. it was before that to reduce taxes for the rich. when we talk about who did what, when romney started to make some gains from the dismal position he was in, he did it by abandoning his positions. one other point -- i want to note you and i have this interest, i did want to ask the romney people smaller simpler smarter except the military. the biggest single area of expenditure in the federal government , smaller simpler smarter, we have to have more world war i ships. i don't know how that fits. it was simpler, not smaller and smarter. we didn't just elect a president, a senate and a house . the democrats, despite all predictions, picked up seats in the senate , they drew more republican states. were people voting for democrats in montana and indiana and wisconsin and elsewhere because of the storm ? did the people of those midwestern states say, well, you know what, obama did a good job in the storm , let's re-elect our senator. in the house , we gained house seats. unfortunately the republicans were able to gerrymander the house badly because they won the 2010 election. if we had run this house election by the same districts that existed in 2010 we'd have a democratic house now. we did very well in the democratic senate . this was a very big victory. nearly 3 million in the popular vote , the fifth time in the last six democrats have won the popular vote . as far as mitt romney 's tax plan, one, we don't know what it is, he was afraid to tell us what it is because it would have brutal effect and the public did repudiate it.
>> the president has been quiet since his victory speech. the campaign today released tape of him speaking to his volunteers and know he will speak on the economy tomorrow. in that little bit we heard from the president, we heard some gesturing towards stuff he might want to get tone in his second term and might want to get started with. we're expecting something beside s economic policy . climate change , immigration, conduct of elections and reforming that process. with more democrats in the senate and with -- i think democrats picking up seats in the house , too, despite all the things you just side, what do you think is possible?
>> that's a good point. one other thing you reminded me of when you mentioned climate change . the storm did help the president. the man did his job very well, much better than his republican predecessor. that's cheating. it brought on the endorsement of mike bloomberg . one of the things the storm did was to bring climate change to the fore. to that extent, if republicans got hurt because of the storm , because of the abysmal stupid of the position denying climate change . the storm did remind people how wrong they were. i think this question. the senate i hope and president will come up with a balanced plan, substantial cuts in the military. that's one we won. romney tried to make that an issue. for the first time a president campaigned on less military spending in my memory or lifetime and successful.
>> won virginia. a military state .
>> secondly, you get tax increases on the very wealthy, which showed to be popular. romney ran away from cut their taxes. yeah. there'll be some domestic spending restraints. not raising the retirement age. one of the reasons i'm glad i'm not running again, when i tell people, i don't think a woman who started waiting on tables at 18 and still carrying heavy dishes in and out of a hot kitchen when she's 66, i don't think she ought to have to work another five years. i'm not saying that just because i'm a politician, i ain't one anymore. clearly some republicans with a sense of survival who understand you have to have some revenue increases on the wealthy, military cuts and spending restraints elsewhere. the question is will any of them break with the party? what we have to say to republicans , do you now not understand what happens when you let crazy people win your primaries? i don't know if i ever showed you my bumper sticker i made up some of our friends, ourselves we think the president could do a little more in some areas. it said vote democratic, we're not perfect but they're nuts. maybe now the answer is will the dick lugars, the ones remain in the republican party , not left. mainstream conservatives say this is crazy. we will vote for a balanced balanced -- they understand the right wing got repudiated this time and democratic position won in the senate and white house and even in the house given the gerrymander. i don't know the answer. it is possible you have mainstream republicans wit common sense and survival instinct to abate the crazies.
>> it will be amazing to watch that dialogue happen.
>> have enjoyed watching fox news for the first time.
>> let me a brief question about your future. you said you're psyched you're not running again for your house seat. if john kerry , senator from massachusetts or duval patrick the state's governor, takes a cabinet job in this administration, would you make yourself available for the governorship or senate seat in massachusetts?
>> no. it's flattering people mentioned it. the senate seat, i'm 72 years old. i don't think at 72 you commit yourself to a six year term. i hope i'll be healthy and jim keeps me healthy. no. i want to write. i want to be involved in the debate without having to march in parades, to be honest and without having people scream what i say, you're just a politician. i'm very happy time between jim and my house in maine and do some teaching. i want to be a participant in the public debate with a little less responsibility.
>> i expect to be talking to you at this table when you're 150. barney frank , thank you very much for being here.
>>> the things we learn this week, women voters have their own ideas, coming up next.