Meet the Press   |  September 29, 2013

Chris Matthews: 'The new norm isn't the norm'

MSNBC's Chris Matthews touts his new book and compares the politics of the past to the procedures of today.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and we're back, i've asked chris to stick around, less than 48 hours since the possible government shutdown . he has a new book with politics, "tip and gipper," describes a time where they compromised. i'm going to have you read a section, one of the things ted cruz said struck me, which basically says he represents an age of politicians fighting against the establishment in washington. they don't think the old guard, mostly guys, who could compromise on issues are representing you know, the people they represent anymore.

>> yeah, i think it is a good argument, because people are very unhappy today because of the crunch of the middle class . but if you look at the polling and ask people if they respect congress, back in the '80s, tip o'neill had a 67% job approval, today, they had single digit approval. and reagan had at least that high, people were government -- confident that even the government, when it argued, would have a compromise.

>> you had had a question of why can't things work? this is not a historical piece, why can't it work --

>> i think people need to know the new norm is not the norm, there is a better time, they will again, they disagreed on the role of government, compromised, trying to get along even as they challenged each other. why, we wonder, can't it be that way again? why wouldn't the leaders work to accommodate each other, as they work to accomplish goals in this country's best interest. the mood today, even on this program, this sort of anger that is in the back drop -- the people out there have an anger. i remember walking up to the president, i said welcome, mr. president to the room where we plot against you. and the president said oh, no, not after 6:00, the speaker says not after 6:00. there is a sense of we'll argue it and get it done. there were shutdowns, over money, the usual kind of things politicians argue about, but there were not non-negotiable demands.