Guests: Amy Sullivan, Jim Vandehei
TRUCKER CARLSON, FOX HOST: Hillary Clinton‘s vulnerability, which had until recently had not been obviously in her campaign for president. Now it‘s the top story in politics. New numbers suggest she may be weaker even than expected.
Welcome to the show. New polls from “USA Today”-Gallup show that 55 percent of married men in America would not vote for Hillary Clinton. Overall, 43 percent of voters say they wouldn‘t vote for her. And she‘s got a 45 percent disapproval rating.
Meanwhile, her lead over Rudy Giuliani in a hypothetical national election has evaporated. They now run at a dead tie. What is the problem?
How serious is it? In a minute, we‘ll be joined by the nation editor of
“Time” magazine, whose cover story this week is called, “What Hillary
There‘s also intrigue in the Republican Party. Yesterday‘s Pat Robertson‘s endorsement of Rudy Giuliani was accompanied by poll numbers that show that John McCain is returning to relevance. But that‘s not the real headline. Our own Pat Buchanan gets double-digit support in a race he hasn‘t even joined. Pat joins us in a minute with his plans.
And Democrats have long had the political advantage on the environment. Later in the hour, we‘ll tell you how Republicans plan to get in on the green bandwagon. Is it too late for them?
We begin with Senator Hillary Clinton, whose last nine days have been by far the toughest stretch of her previously smooth presidential campaign. We are joined by “Time” magazine‘s nation editor, Amy Sullivan, whose magazine has Mrs. Clinton is on this week‘s cover.
Amy, thanks for coming on.
AMY SULLIVAN, NATION EDITOR, “TIME” MAGAZINE: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: So what‘s the answer? What does Hillary Clinton believe?
SULLIVAN: What she believes isn‘t much of a surprise for people who watched the 1990s. She‘s not very different from her husband. And you can expect her policies to be pretty Clintonian, which is to say, you know, she‘s gotten hit a lot for her debate answer last week where she seemed to take both sides of an issue. What she tells our Joe Klein and that that‘s the pragmatic way to run the government. You have to be able to see both sides of an issue.
CARLSON: I thought—that‘s actually as far as I remember very different from what we thought of Hillary Clinton in the 1990s. The idea was her husband was the great triangulator, always finding the middle ground, and she was the idealog. She was the true believer, the left. Remember the caricature. She really had beliefs. And now that‘s not how she seems at all. Is that a change?
SULLIVAN: I think a lot of people misjudged here in the ‘90s. You say caricature; I think that‘s very true. It‘s one of the two real obstacles that she‘s up against.
You know, no presidential candidate has faced such stereotypes about them. Maybe Richard Nixon a little bit in ‘68. But everybody thinks they know that Hillary Clinton is a raving liberal.
And she also has the shadow of her husband to run against, which are two pretty big obstacles. She has to reintroduce herself to America and everybody thinks they know who she is.
CARLSON: But what are her core beliefs? We can see, by watching her, that she‘s a triangulator—and I don‘t mean that as an insult at all. She looks for middle ground between the two extremes, but what guides her? What are her reference points and core beliefs? I still don‘t know what those are.
SULLIVAN: Sure. On foreign policy she‘s a little more hawkish than the rest of the Democratic Party, certainly more on the primary base is. It seems that on social issues, kind of welfare and economic issues, she‘s fairly liberal. She‘s a moral conservative. She gets behind, you know, things like values issues. She‘s endorsed a plan to lower abortion rates. It just passed the House and Senate Conference Committee this week.
CARLSON: She also has come out in support of partial birth abortion against the vast majority of Americans. So that suggests that‘s an issue she really believes in.
SULLIVAN: But he stood up to the choice community a few years ago and declared that abortion was a tragedy.
CARLSON: Her husband has said the same thing. They‘re certainly standing up.
SULLIVAN: It‘s rare, but she was the one who started it first the safe, legal and rare first.
CARLSON: Has she ever suggested placing restriction of any kind on abortion, limiting abortion of any kind ever? I must have missed it. Has she?
SULLIVAN: I think she‘s focused on providing support for women who are pregnant and want to have their babies but aren‘t sure they can afford it.
CARLSON: What about the question of her toughness? She seems to be tough. That seems to be her big selling point. I got an e-mail from someone, a smart person that watches politics today who said the one thing about Hillary Clinton is that she hasn‘t fought back particularly vigorously against the other Democrats in the race. She‘s cried foul. That‘s an unfair questions, she‘s said, for instance. But she hasn‘t given it right back to them. Is she a fighter?
SULLIVAN: Well, she is a fighter. You have to remember that, again, she‘s working against this caricature of her. The word shrewish was applied to her in the ‘90s. So she has to be very careful about standing up for herself with seeming angry.
When Joe Klein sat down with her, what he came away with was the idea that she was tough definitely, but more than that, confident. You know, Bill Clinton projected this somewhat needy emotional appeal that he needs people to like him. She‘s more kind of cool. She‘s got her own emotional confidence. She knows who she is.
CARLSON: Well, if she‘s so confident, why is she playing the victim and saying you‘re mean to me because I‘m a woman? Why is her campaign putting out that narrative?
SULLIVAN: She admits that was a mistake by her campaign. And it was kind of their rapid response to the debate.
CARLSON: So you think that that was—that was their idea. She doesn‘t see herself as a put-upon victim?
SULLIVAN: That‘s certainly not as—how she projects herself at all. She‘s always been the strong leader. It was odd to see her in the victim‘s position.
CARLSON: I agree. I don‘t think it works for her. What is her name these days? Has the Rodham gone away?
SULLIVAN: It has kind of gone away.
CARLSON: Why is that?
SULLIVAN: That‘s weird. It was her middle name for a while. I think she is very comfortable as Hillary Clinton. And one of the reasons shy used it in 2000 was to separate herself from her husband, not look like she was running on his coat tails so much. Mostly she goes by Hillary and not any other name.
CARLSON: Yeah, no, that‘s an interesting point. Finally, I don‘t know if anybody knows the answers, but I‘m interested in their opinion. A year in which Democrats are on fire, they‘re ready, they want to win badly. And they seem to be getting behind, A, the most moderate person in the race, Hillary Clinton. And also the person who‘s the least bellicose. Why aren‘t they—everyone lining up behind John Edwards? He‘s the obvious fighter here. Why doesn‘t he have more support?
SULLIVAN: If you remember 2004, everybody was lining up against Howard Dean and that didn‘t quite work out for them. I think people really want competence. And more than anything else, Hillary Clinton projects confidence.
CARLSON: Yeah. Thanks, Amy. I appreciate it.
SULLIVAN: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Would you trust Hillary Clinton to baby-sit your children? If you said no, you‘re not alone. If you said yes, you‘re not alone either. Hillary Clinton can actually have it both ways on this issue. The numbers are fascinating, and we‘ve got them.
Plus, the commanders on the ground in Baghdad say al Qaeda in Iraq no longer has a foothold in any part of that city. If that‘s true, what does it mean for our troops there? Be right back.
CARLSON: Senator Hillary Clinton enjoys a big lead in the national polls, but it‘s a much tighter race in the early primary state. Today a new NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll reveals that over half of the men in the country and almost 40 percent of the women say they would never vote for Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, a poll in “Parents” magazine found that among all the candidates, Hillary is the one parents would least trust to baby-sit their children. But wait. If that‘s true, how is she doing so well?
Joining us now, MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan, and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Bill Press.
Welcome to you both.
These parenting polls are fascinating. Here they are. First up, “Parents” magazine. Who would you least trust to baby-sit your kids? Number one least trusted, Hillary Clinton at 25 percent, then Giuliani, then John McCain, then Barack Obama at 6 percent. Mitt Romney is mistrusted by only 4 percent. He‘s quite trusted.
OK, here‘s another poll, “Parents” magazine. Who would you most trust as a babysitter? Most trusted? Hillary Clinton—unbelievable—Barack Obama second, Mitt Romney only at 5 percent. Does this tell us that you love her or you hate her?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It tells us the country has made up its mind. A huge slice of it. Part of it can‘t stand her, will never vote for her, despises her and part of it thinks she‘s the greatest thing going. So the problem is how much in that middle she needs to get over 50 percent. But it tells us opinion has hardened about this woman. It‘s settled. It‘s calcified. There‘s nothing to do about it.
CARLSON: Even Democrats don‘t appear to like her. The new NBC-“Wall Street Journal” polls asked who is more easy-going and likable. This is asked of Democrats. Barack Obama, 72 percent, Hillary Clinton, 49 percent. You always hear elections are a question of who do you want to go out to dinner with. Not this election so far.
BILL PRESS, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: OK. But she‘s still double digits ahead in the national polls and she‘s ahead in New Hampshire.
CARLSON: That‘s my point. That‘s my point.
PRESS: And she‘s probably you‘d have to say the smart money on her today is she‘s the next president of the United States.
CARLSON: You‘d have to say that.
PRESS: Maybe she‘s not huggy and cuddly, but people seem to think—
CARLSON: But that‘s the point. It‘s changed. People don‘t care so much, at least according to the polls. You to admit that part of you dies as you admit that. But if you‘re being honest...
PRESS: I‘m not ready to admit that.
BUCHANAN: I‘m not.
PRESS: I also have to say the parenting thing, here‘s the real question. Would you want any of those—trust any of those presidential candidates to baby-sit your kids? I mean, get serious. They‘d be dialing for dollars the whole time.
CARLSON: Let‘s be honest. Who would be the most severe when it comes to toilet training. I think we know the answer.
BUCHANAN: Who would you allow—you wouldn‘t want to be baby-sat by her. Holy smokes. But, you know, I do think this. And I was talking to Bill coming in. The last two weeks have persuaded me that Hillary Rodham Clinton can be beat. And if I were a Democrat, I‘d be very nervous. There‘s deeper numbers in there about intensity of dislike. I think, Tucker, that the Republicans if they can get up somebody and just focus on her as the issue, she‘s beatable.
CARLSON: I think a lot of—it‘s interesting. If you—a lot of people love Hillary Clinton and she can obviously be elected president. I‘m not even attacking her. But I notice married people, married men and married white men, getting more extreme, despise her. Why is that? I‘ll tell you why. Because she gives off the feeling that she despises them. If you give the voters the feeling you don‘t like them, they won‘t like you back.
PRESS: That‘s your read of it. My read is different. I think first of all that these polls—I think we make too much of these polls. We don‘t know who the opposition is, what the issues are in November 2008. So how can you say that 55 percent of married men today are never going to vote?
CARLSON: Married guys—she won‘t get within ten points of winning them. No way.
PRESS: There are a lot of married men out there today who are afraid of strong women and don‘t want a strong woman and won‘t vote for any woman.
CARLSON: You really believe that?
PRESS: I honestly do.
CARLSON: I live in a world of strong women. I love strong women.
PRESS: So do I, I‘m just saying we‘re not among that category.
There are a category of men out there who would never vote for a woman.
CARLSON: This is how she loses when people say things like that. The implication of that is you‘re not a good enough person to support Hillary Clinton. If you‘re a more decent person, you‘d like her. That‘s how liberals feel about it. Like you‘re not ready to support her. Maybe I just don‘t like her.
PRESS: Tucker, let‘s be honest, there are a lot of men out there, and maybe some women, who will never vote for a black for president of the United States. It‘s just a fact. That‘s what that poll means.
CARLSON: But there are more American—of course there are racists that won‘t vote for a black man. But there are many more people that want to vote for a black candidate because it makes them feel good about them selves.
BUCHANAN: You know what Bill is saying?
PRESS: Because they‘re sexist pigs who will never vote for a woman.
CARLSON: Who are these people? Every man I know is—every man has his life controlled by women. Come on.
BUCHANAN: You know what he just said, if you don‘t like Hillary or you don‘t like Obama—you guys obviously don‘t like them—you‘re sexist pigs. You‘ve got hang-ups. This is what kills liberalism. The idea that comes across from you guys, you don‘t agree with us, you‘ve got to be bigots and nasty people.
PRESS: Pat, do you deny that there‘s still some racism in this country?
BUCHANAN: I think if Barack Obama was not African American he wouldn‘t even be in the race. It‘s a greater strength for him than a liability.
PRESS: You didn‘t answer the question. Do you deny that there‘s men out there that will never support a woman for any political office?
BUCHANAN: And there‘s women that will never support a man because they‘re feminist.
CARLSON: Exactly. That‘s the point.
CARLSON: But there are all sorts of biased out there, but the point is when you attack people because they don‘t support you, you alienate them forever. When you say not just we have a legitimate disagreement, but you‘re a bad person because you‘re not supporting me, boy, they hate you for that. And that‘s why white men don‘t like Hillary Clinton.
PRESS: Who‘s doing that?
BUCHANAN: All of those sexist bigots.
CARLSON: You just said...
PRESS: Wait a minute. I‘m not running for anything. We‘re talking about the Hillary Clinton campaign.
CARLSON: But that‘s what you hear from Hillary supporters all the time. America is not ready. In other words, you suck, pal. You‘re not a good enough person to vote for Hillary Clinton.
PRESS: Look, let‘s just face reality. That‘s all I‘m saying. That for Hillary Clinton appealing to men voters, there is—her—the fact that she‘s a woman is a liability for a lot of men. Period. That‘s all I‘m saying. You cannot deny that.
BUCHANAN: The problem isn‘t with Hillary. It‘s with the men.
PRESS: With some men, it is, Pat.
CARLSON: All right. There‘s been a lot of talk about third-party candidates. Some Republicans—some think it could help the Republicans win the White House. Would it really help?
And Rudy Giuliani‘s former police commissioner and the man he recommended as Homeland Security Secretary could be indicted on tax evasion charges. Giuliani says he‘s made mistakes. He‘s not running as a perfect candidate. Will his imperfections hurt him?
You‘re watching MSNBC.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Most of them would never admit it, but many political reporters and analysts somewhere deep in their hearts believe they would be viable candidates for office. And almost all of them, of course, are deluded.
But there‘s one shining exception. The new NBC News-“Wall Street Journal” poll included a hypothetical three-way race among Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani and Pat Buchanan. 44 percent said they‘d vote for Hillary;
12 percent said they would jump on the Pat Buchanan bandwagon. Will Buchanan run? Would he consider splitting the ticket with a Democrat, maybe Bill Press? Where would that candidacy leave MSNBC?
Here to answer those questions, we are joined by the great Pat Buchanan and the great Bill Press.
I don‘t know how this got in there, Pat, 12 percent is pretty good.
BUCHANAN: I think it‘s pretty good. But what it really says is that Rudy was at 35 and he had a nine-point deficit there. What it says, I think, if you get an authentic conservative in there, he‘s get on 50 state ballots, he‘s got enough money to get into the base, Rudy is done.
What it also says about Rudy, the party of the country does not perceive him as a traditional conservative Republican, so there‘s a huge group that says we‘ll go for brand “X” and they stuck me in there as brand “X.”
CARLSON: Since you‘re now brand “X,” do you want to take it all the way and become brand “Y”?
BUCHANAN: What do you mean by that?
CARLSON: Well, jump—I mean, it‘s a little bit tempting.
BUCHANAN: It is tempting, Tucker. Look. You‘ve got to raise $200 million to get active. You‘ve got to get on 50 state ballots. We did that before. I don‘t think you could do it again.
No. But if you got in the debate, there‘s no doubt about it. Somebody that did that and had the money and stuff, got in the debate, could do a Ross Perot on Rudy.
CARLSON: This is a - this reflects poorly on Fred Thompson. He should be that guy.
PRESS: I just have three words for Pat. I told you—four words. I told you so. OK? I talked to Pat. This is the year you should have run. Look. Wide open on the Republican side. No true conservative. This was your time. Pat Buchanan. You know we talked about. He wouldn‘t do it.
BUCHANAN: Broke my pick in 2000.
CARLSON: You broke your pick in 2000?
BUCHANAN: Sure. You went reform.
CARLSON: That‘s right. Republicans saw that as a sign of disloyalty.
BUCHANAN: You‘ve got to remember those things, Tucker. They‘ve got long memories.
CARLSON: Yeah, they do, but they seem pretty desperate. Why isn‘t—
I mean, not that you need to be desperate to be for Pat Buchanan. I‘d vote for you in a second. But why isn‘t that space being filled, the Buchanan chair being filled by Fred Thompson?
PRESS: Number one, I think he‘s just proven it be a poor candidate. His numbers in the latest poll, his numbers are the only ones that have gone down. He looks like he doesn‘t look like he really wants it. He‘s not a strong candidate. Why aren‘t they filled by Mike Huckabee or John McCain? None of them are perceived as the real—or can inherit the conservative mantle and carry that the way a Pat Buchanan can.
CARLSON: This is a party that‘s about to nominate Rudy Giuliani.
BUCHANAN: As I told Chris, I don‘t necessarily agree. I believe, Tucker, that if Romney wins Iowa—and the one guy that could knock him off is Huckabee. If Romney wins Iowa, he will win New Hampshire and Michigan. He‘s already dead even in South Carolina. He could have a 4-0 record by the 19th of January and people, who say, well, look at how good Rudy is doing in Florida. Those polls will shift overnight if that occurs.
So I‘ll tell you, people who are writing Romney off and saying that Rudy has got this are making a mistake. That‘s why you see Rudy and McCain, all of them, foolishly trying to get back in right now. Look at the endorsement of what‘s his name, Senator Brownback. It came of Rudy out in Iowa. He‘s trying to help himself in Iowa because he knows we all get wiped out there in Iowa by Romney and he wins New Hampshire. And the national polls will change. That‘s my view.
PRESS: No. Look, I think if Romney wins Iowa—and he no stands the best chance of it. You could be right. But to me today, it looks like Rudy looks more likely to be the Republican nominee. As crazy as Pat Buchanan—I‘m sorry. Robertson is—Robertson. I thought that endorsement yesterday was significant because it shows that there are a lot of people, even religious conservatives, that willing to throw their principles out the window because they think that Rudy is the guy that can beat Hillary.
CARLSON: It‘s exactly what you‘re watching on the Democratic side right now. All of the liberals are getting behind Hillary Clinton, who is not by any stretch an anti-war candidate. She‘s promising more war, but they‘re supporting her because she can win.
And I‘m still shocked days later by what Pat Robertson did, but they‘re doing the same thing with him. Why not a third-party run? Where are the evangelicals?
BUCHANAN: They‘re divided. We failed in 2000 badly. And if you go out there, what happens is if you run and you don‘t do well, you damage and discredit the cause in which you believe. Because they‘ll say, well, people don‘t care about fair trade and the border. Look what happened to Buchanan.
CARLSON: Goldwater got creamed in ‘64.
BUCHANAN: He got creamed at the national level. He got 37 percent of the vote. But there were 27 million voters out there. We‘d taken over the party and the Republicans had all been wiped out. And all of the empty slots were there and all of the young guys, all of the young conservatives came in and said, OK, we got our fannies kicked. Let‘s figure out how to do it.
I went to work for Nixon. Other guys went to other areas. And, what, how many years later, Ronald Reagan, we put him in the White House.
PRESS: The third party won‘t work this time because—who‘s the candidate? Who is the person they could all rally behind? And I think—well, Pat‘s not running.
BUCHANAN: You want to help me get the $100 million?
PRESS: Reality is, which is really significant, is that the evangelical block, which was so powerful because they voted as a block, doesn‘t exist anymore.
CARLSON: I think you‘re right. It‘s over. Which means liberals are going to have to shop wing about the influence of the religious right. They can just shut up about it from now on.
PRESS: After we win in 2008, we will. We will.
BUCHANAN: That‘s what Robertson‘s thing does. The Christian Coalition, the Moral Majority is splintered, shattered.
CARLSON: Yeah. It‘s over.
Barack Obama says Hillary Clinton is stuck in the ‘60s. Do you think so?
Plus, John McCain gets an endorsement from a former rival. Will that breed new life into his struggling presidential campaign? Will anyone notice? We‘ve noticed.
We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: A whole lot of ink has been spilled speculating about how Hillary Clinton‘s gender will affect the presidential race. But according to Barack Obama, that misses the point entirely. The problem, says Obama, is not her sex, but her age. She‘s a Baby-Boomer, maybe the archetypal Baby Boomer. She would also be the oldest Democratic nominee since Harry Truman.
Obama says the generational thing has Clinton stuck in the politics of the 1960s and therefore unable to unite this country.
Joining us once again, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and former VW Bus owner Bill Press.
All right, Bill. I did know. I‘ve seen it. I‘ve seen photographs of your old bus, you there with your burkenstalks (ph), covered with petuli (ph) oil --
PRESS: And it had a peace sign on the back.
CARLSON: It did. Here‘s my question; isn‘t Barack Obama on to something here?
PRESS: Well, let me put it this way, when over half of the voters in the Iowa caucuses are over 50 years old—
PRESS: -- When, I think, ¼ of all of the—if not more of American voters are, you know, over—AARP or up, I think it‘s the stupidest thing Barack Obama has ever said. There‘s seven million Baby Boomers who are now coming right into retirement, and he‘s attacking her because she‘s 60 years old?
CARLSON: No, unless I‘m missing what he‘s saying—Let me put up on the screen, just so we don‘t mischaracterize what he‘s saying, what he has said. I‘m quoting now, “I think there‘s no doubt that we represent the kind of change that Senator Clinton can‘t deliver on, and part of it is generational. Senator Clinton and others, they‘ve been fighting some of the same fights since the 1960s, and it makes it very difficult for them to bring the country together to get things done.”
The point is she‘s not old, necessarily. She‘s not elderly. She‘s stuck in a time warp where she‘s mad about stuff people were mad about at the convention in Chicago.
PRESS: You read it that way. I think you can also read it—I read it, she‘s a Boomer, therefore she‘s too old to cut the mustard. She can‘t be trusted to lead. I think it‘s a very risky, thin-ice statement of his.
BUCHANAN: I think you‘re right. And I think it‘s something that‘s—that‘s going to go home with a lot of folks. We got it with Kerry when he came out and saluted and he was in the peace movement in Vietnam. We had the whole Vietnam thing redone back in the last election. I think, look, Hillary Clinton is in the cultural social wars and the Vietnam and the ideological wars of the ‘60s, left and right. And we‘re all in it. And we‘ll take them to our graves.
And a lot of people, younger people in this country, want to get beyond those old battles. I think he‘s—and even people of our generation say, look, you know, we had our fights. It‘s time for somebody new, fresh, who brings in a whole new perspective and who‘s not mired in that time warp. I think it‘s—I think it‘s an issue that will hit with a lot of people.
CARLSON: Boy, it resonates with me, I have to say. It‘s not the question of her age necessarily. It is about the same old debates. If 25 years from now we‘re still arguing about Clinton‘s impeachment, I think it would be fair for younger people to say, knock it off. Get past it. There are other things that are going on now that aren‘t tied to that. You know what I mean? it‘s no longer 1968.
PRESS: I hear you. One of the things I like about Barack Obama is he is different and he is young, and he brings a new look. But I think to do that by a—by what I take as sort of a slur on anybody who‘s 60 or over 50 --
CARLSON: Since we‘re on the generation of Baby Boomers, it is the most annoying generation this country has ever produced. They can‘t be quiet, and they should be. That‘s his point, and I agree.
BUCHANAN: And Tom Brokaw has got that new book out, and it‘s about the ‘68 and all the differences and fights and wars and who was on what side. All of these people are in. I do think the country says, that‘s interesting to read. It‘s history. But for heaven‘s sake, they‘re still fighting their old battles. Move on. I think it‘s a good issue.
PRESS: Pat, there‘s no way you can say Hillary is still fighting the battle of the ‘60s.
BUCHANAN: She and Bill are part of that.
PRESS: You know what, Pat? Most of the voters in the Iowa caucus are part of that. So you don‘t start out by poking them in the eye.
BUCHANAN: Very few Iowans of 60-year-olds were at Woodstock.
CARLSON: Though, I think—if you look at surveys on Woodstock, something like 37 million Americans claim to have been there. It‘s unbelievable. All right, but Barack Obama‘s new idea is to appeal to blue collar America. John Edwards having essentially failed with that. Barack Obama, the Harvard graduate, is now a working man. Here‘s his new ad on that question. Barack Obama appeals to the working man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I worked here for 33 years, did everything that they asked me to do. The executives decided to take 19 million dollars out of our pension fund. They didn‘t return it. I thought I was going to be getting 1,500 dollars a month. I only got 379 dollars.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I‘m telling the CEOs it hurts America when they cash out and leave workers high and dry.
It‘s an outrage and you have got to have somebody in the White House who believes it‘s an outrage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama is going to look out for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Pat, this is—I heard you say things like this when you ran for president.
BUCHANAN: That‘s a great ad. The problem is, you mentioned it, I don‘t know that Barack Obama is credible on that. He doesn‘t talk about the trade issue. He doesn‘t talk about jobs going overseas, all of these things. But that‘s a good ad. I just wonder if he‘s coming to this thing awful late.
This is the one driving issue that Edwards has had and Edwards doesn‘t look the part. Gephart did. Gephart did very well with it. I think this is the hidden national issue on which the Democrats have—if they work it right, that almost counteracts the immigration issue for the Republicans. It‘s a gut issue.
CARLSON: But it also ties into the immigration issue.
CARLSON: Guys in this ad right here are exactly the kind of people who feel, correctly I believe, they‘ve been screwed by immigration, which has lowered wages in this country, but also sent a lot of jobs off shore. How can the Democratic party continue to get their support when they‘re for open borders?
PRESS: Well, they‘re going to get their support, I think, from—from reaching to people like this. We talked earlier. I was out in the Youngstown, Ohio area yesterday, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You get out in the heartland, there are a lot of people hurting. There are a lot of jobs that have been lost, people like this guy. It‘s a very strong populist message. I think it‘s a very powerful ad.
I think, Pat, you keyed on it. This is a chance, it seems to me, for Obama to steal some of those people that Edwards has had, because he‘s the only one until now that‘s gone after that constituency.
BUCHANAN: If Obama got the nomination and he ran on this issue and developed it, it‘s really a winner. I think he would win Ohio and Michigan and all of those industrial states, because all of those states have got this problem. I think it‘s a great issue. It‘s true.
CARLSON: If the Democrats—no matter who it is—if Dennis Kucinich got the nomination, I believe the Democrats, no matter who he is, would win Michigan this year. Do you think Michigan is really in play?
BUCHANAN: I think they will win Michigan. But I think Ohio is key. I think Ohio‘s in play. Look, Kerry would have won Ohio if he‘d gone after this issue. He would have won it. He‘d be president of the United States.
PRESS: Kerry would have won Ohio if they‘d kept the polls open so that everybody could vote.
CARLSON: Bernie Kerik—
BUCHANAN: You can‘t have everything.
CARLSON: That‘s a total B.S. argument. I can‘t relive that today.
PRESS: Do you want to go back to Florida?
CARLSON: Back to the future here. Unbelievable. Bernie Kerik has been indicted. So I‘m not here to attack Bernie Kerik. He hasn‘t been convicted. For whatever it‘s worth, I like Bernie Kerik. I think he‘s an interesting and smart guy. But I‘m not saying if he‘s guilty or not. But he‘s been indicted. It‘s a problem. Is it a problem for Giuliani?
PRESS: It is a problem for Giuliani.
PRESS: I think it‘s a problem for Giuliani because it‘s a question of judgment. Giuliani made him his police commissioner, made him his corrections commissioner. Giuliani sold him to George Bush as the next homeland security secretary, sold him to George Bush as the guy who ought to go to Baghdad and straighten out the mess in Iraq. It‘s not a fatal problem for Giuliani, but—but you‘re known by the company you keep, and it‘s an embarrassment for him, huge.
BUCHANAN: I don‘t think so long-term. I think it was toxic when he was doing the homeland security thing. I think that‘s gone by. People look at this and they say, look, the guy has a friend. Did some dumb things on his taxes. He‘s in trouble. I don‘t think it hurts him that much now and I don‘t think it will hurt him at all in November, as long as there‘s not some big trial going on and a lot of stuff coming out that really reflects on Rudy.
As long as Rudy has got some distance between him and Kerik, and none of this spills over, I think he‘s OK.
PRESS: I think Giuliani has already said, you know, look, it was a mistake not to vet him better. He‘s starting to move away from him, which he‘s got to do.
CARLSON: Just because your friends go to prison doesn‘t mean they‘re not your friends. That‘s my view of it anyway.
PRESS: We‘ve all had friends go to prison.
CARLSON: We sure have.
CARLSON: One of the greats. One of the—I think the issue—
BUCHANAN: Cross Fire all star.
CARLSON: He really was. One of the issues—the issue that‘s going to affect this election more than any other, I believe, is Iraq. It‘s kind of on the back burner now. We‘ve had a lot of important Lindsay Lohan news recently, kind of pushed it back there. But the announcement today—or the news we got today that the U.S. military has said that al Qaeda has been banished from the city of Baghdad, no longer has a strong hold in that city—I think this war was a mistake. On the other hand, I‘ve got to be honest, that‘s a victory. Is that not a victory for us?
PRESS: It is a victory. It‘s temporary. I think we‘re kidding ourselves to think that al Qaeda in Iraq—that‘s the group we‘re talking about—has gone away. They haven‘t gone away. They‘ve just moved or they‘ve gone underground.
CARLSON: Yes, but if they‘re no longer in the most important city in the region, can‘t we congratulate ourselves?
PRESS: No, because the question is, Tucker—this happened because we sent 30,000 extra troops in Baghdad. What happens when they go away? What happens when they go away is al Qaeda in Iraq comes back.
BUCHANAN: I don‘t know that it does. I think these militias are out to get them and kill them. The Sunnis are after them. They don‘t want them around. I think there might be a victory on AQI, as they call it. The big problem now is what‘s going to happen in Pakistan and, frankly, are we going to bomb Iran.
BUCHANAN: I‘ll tell you what‘s going to be a big issue, Tucker—I‘m afraid it‘s going to be the economy.
CARLSON: I believe that. Let‘s pray that‘s not true. Bill Press, former and perhaps future presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. Run, Pat, run. Thank you both.
Global warming used to be a Democratic issue, but lately more and more Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon. What‘s behind that?
And what do OJ Simpson and Jack Nicholson have in common? More than you may have though. We‘ll tell you what it is straight ahead.
CARLSON: When you think of the environmental movement, you probably think liberal politics and for good reason. For 40 years, environmental groups have for the most part worked with and in some cases been shills for the Democratic party. But that may be changing. There is a movement afoot among Republicans to get green. The question is will it work electorally? Joining us now, Jim Vandehei, “The Politico‘s” executive editor. Jim, thanks for coming on.
JIM VANDEHEI, “THE POLITICO”: Good to be here, Tucker.
CARLSON: Are they kind of late to the party?
VANDEHEI: Well, it depends. The politics of this are really interesting, that you have now like a growing number of Republicans who are looking at polling data and they see that younger voters, in particular, care a lot about global warming. And they want some sort of action out of Congress. As you well know, Republicans have been poo-pooing global warming for a long time. But people like Newt Gingrich or Ken Mehlman, who was top strategist for Bush, or Congressman Bob Inglis, who is a very conservative member, are now saying they‘ve got to get in this game.
They‘ve got to be talking about solutions when it comes to global warming, or they‘re going to lose younger voters, especially those under the age of 30.
CARLSON: Yes, but it‘s like watching your parents try to rap. There‘s something embarrassing about it. You know what I mean? It‘s like, can they pull it off? Personally, I‘m more comfortable with the Jim Imhoffs of the world. He doesn‘t believe in global warming. He says so. I‘m that‘s kind of—There‘s a Republican.
VANDEHEI: Right. It‘s going to be very tough for them, because I think there‘s so many conservatives that are comfortable not doing this. The question will be, what are they going to do in the post-Bush era? What does the Republican party look like? What do they stand for? And people like Ken Mehlman and Newt Gingrich are thinking a lot about this. I do think they have to reinvent themselves on a lot issues.
If you look at health care and the environment and energy, you actually see both sides, little by little, if you take away all the rhetoric, coming closer together that there has to be this mixture of government and private sector solutions to these problems. Before it seemed to be government versus just free market.
CARLSON: You‘ve got in “The Politico‘s” piece today some interesting poll numbers about how people feel about the environment, what they want done about global warming. You‘ve got one poll that shows that they want America to act unilaterally, whether or not China and India do. It‘s very interesting.
I don‘t buy any of that. If voters actually see their monthly energy bills going up by 200 dollars or 300 dollars, are they still going to be in favor of it? Do we have numbers that show that?
VANDEHEI: I think you hit the big point. Once you look at a solution
you might agree that global warming exists and that government needs to do something. But when you have to pay more for gas, or you have to drive a smaller vehicle, or if your home heating bill is going up, are you willing to actually sacrifice to do something about it? This has always been the problem when Congress tries to grapple with the environment and energy policy, because there has to be some suffering almost always if you want to do something radically to transform human behavior and transform the economy.
And so far I‘ve not seen the appetite among the public and certainly the politicians to do something that would be fairly dramatic or radical. If you look at Hillary Clinton and John Edwards—and they‘ve had some pretty ambitious plans that deal with global warming—a lot of these things are to have cuts in emissions that are basically fully implemented in 2050, when most of them will probably be dead.
CARLSON: Yes, and Hillary Clinton, I noticed, doesn‘t go out of her way to explain that, in fact, cutting carbon emissions will make energy more expensive.
VANDEHEI: Right, because you don‘t, as a politician, want to be talking about pain. You want to be talking about, we want cooler temperatures and we want a healthier environment and a healthier Earth. I think most people agree with that. The question is now, especially when you have younger people who are saying, no, you‘ve got to do something and we understand that there could be an economic affect—
in the polling data that you were referring to, you had Environmental Defense, which is a special interest group that obviously works on environment issues, but they went out ad had a Republican pollster do the polling, so they could take it up to Republicans on the Hill and say listen, this isn‘t just left-wing polling. This is the conservatives who have done polling who are finding the exact same thing we are. Independents, in particular, they do want to see a solution.
And that polling didn‘t get to the pain you‘re talking about. Are you willing to see your gas prices go up? Are you willing to drive a smaller car? Certainly there has been a noticeable change since 1991 of the number of people who do want a solution and are willing to, at least, understand that there could be an economic consequence for it. That‘s a movement. When you have Republicans like Ken Mehlman and Newt Gingrich who are some of the brighter thinkers right now in Republican politics—you‘d probably agree with that, Tucker—when you have them advocating it, these are the solutions people are going to start talking about and actually try to move on.
So, I don‘t think you see anything in the next couple of years. But certainly by the time we get the next president, you‘re going to see Congress have to grapple with this in a pretty serious way, because younger voters are going to make it a big issue.
CARLSON: Until I see the poll that asks voters would you be willing to live in a Yurt (ph) heated with yack dung, I‘m not going to buy that.
VANDEHEI: I don‘t believe they poll that. Take care, Tucker. Have a good one.
CARLSON: And the race to the world record in world records is on.
Are you confused? Bill Wolff is here to explain. We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. If you thought we were going to get through the entire show without a single reference to O.J. Simpson, no such luck. Here with our daily dose, Bill Wolff.
BILL WOLFF, MSNBC VICE PRESIDENT: Tucker, my mom called me earlier and she was rapping all about it.
WOLFF: She‘s a rapping fool, that mom of mine. Yes, O.J. Simpson was back in Las Vegas today, this time inside a courtroom for a preliminary hearing about the charges the Juice faces from his infamous misadventure in September, when allegedly barged into a hotel room with some hoods—or friends, I should say—to steal some of his own memorabilia.
Today‘s testimony of the alleged victim recounted the whole tale in excruciating detail. The highlight of the testimony was the witness‘ statement that he‘d like Jack Nicholson to play him were a movie of his experience ever to be made. Doubtful at this point.
The point of the hearing is to determine if there‘s enough evidence against O.J. to continue. And at this hour, Tucker, up to the moment, it remains to be determined. I am not a lawyer, though I‘ve seen many on television, some fictional, some real. I think the Juice is in real trouble.
CARLSON: Speaking of lawyers on television, isn‘t his lawyer a frequent guest on MSNBC?
WOLFF: Yale Galanter has often been on our air to discuss O.J. and other subjects. Life is imitating—art imitating life. We‘re all eating each other. Soon we won‘t exist, Tucker.
Elsewhere in Las Vegas today, two great things about that town have gotten together. They are caffeine, useful for all night gambling jags, and folks willing to dress provocatively in the name of commerce, useful pathetic ogling, shame and guilt. Three of my favorite things to do. The result is a new coffee stand called SexPresso. Get it? As the videotape report reveals, there are lots of clever double-entendres on the menu.
Now, Tucker, our cameras are standing by live in case O.J. Simpson or any of his associates stops by for a hot cup of whatever after their exhausting day in court. Some gratuitous people in not that much clothing for you, Tucker.
CARLSON: That‘s breaking news, Bill. Don‘t under-sell it.
WOLFF: It‘s because I care. I must say I do love Vegas. What is your view of Las Vegas, Tucker, while we‘re on the subject?
CARLSON: I think Las Vegas is—I think it‘s got the worst airport in America.
CARLSON: It keeps me out of that city.
WOLFF: Not good. That‘s not—it doesn‘t keep me out. But I do hate the airport experience.
A cute and cuddly update from San Diego, Tucker, America‘s self-proclaimed finest city. The San Diego Zoo‘s most recently-born panda got a check up. There you see her. The panda cub is now 14 weeks old and at the height of its cute cuddliness. Besides some grass and twigs in its fur, the panda was given a clean bill of health by the panda doctor, who said the cub has all the things you‘d expect from a panda this age.
Now, those things include natural curiosity, the ability to stand up, and a growing desire to physically ravage human captors who keep it locked in a pen for the pleasure of slack jawed gawkers, Tucker. I‘m back on the band wagon. They‘re cute until they want to rip your face off, which is their nature.
CARLSON: I‘m kind on their side. Free the pandas.
WOLFF: Free the pandas. They‘re cute and cuddly, not so much when they‘re ripping your face off. Finally, Tucker, this is Guinness World Record day and more than 200,000 people world wide have or will attempt to set some sort of record. Among the attempts will be the world‘s largest underpants—I‘m not kidding—some sort of dual para-sailing stunt, and a punch of other things having to do with fires and motorcycles and lighter fluid and beer cups and kitty litter, I imagine.
The Guinness folks say that the day itself will set the record for the most records set in one day. I spoke now for Willie Geist, who holds the record for total disdain for world records, when I say enough. It used to be the world‘s tallest guy, the world‘s heaviest guy, the guy who stuffed 100 cigarettes in his mouth, and the guy with the nasty long, curly fingers.
Now a record is about like being in “Ripley‘s Believe It or Not.”
That‘s enough, Tucker. It means nothing. It‘s meaningless.
CARLSON: They have devalued the currency. I completely agree with that. It‘s like they‘re the dollar versus the rest of our Euros.
WOLFF: Sitting here right now, we probably set some world record. We have no witness. But whatever. I‘ll check into it and get back to you.
CARLSON: An angry Bill Wolff at headquarters in New York. Thanks, Bill.
WOLFF: You got it.
CARLSON: That does it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. We‘ll be back here tomorrow night, if you can believe it. We‘ll hope to see you then. Up now, HARDBALL with Chris.
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