UP WITH CHRIS HAYES
August 26, 2012
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Guests: Corey Robin, Sophia Nelson, Avik Roy, Michael Bell, Wendell Cox, Bob Buckhorn
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good morning from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.
President Obama paid tribute to Neil Armstrong last night in a
statement that reads, quote, "Neil`s spirit of discovery lives on in all
the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown.
That legacy will endure, sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power
of one small step."
Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died yesterday at 82
The first night of the Republican National Convention, which was set
to begin tomorrow, has been canceled because of Tropical Storm Isaac. The
official nomination of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now
slated for Tuesday.
We`ll be talking about Romney and his party`s platform in just a
moment, but with Florida now in a state of emergency, we want to get the
latest from NBC meteorologist Bill Karins on Tropical Storm Isaac.
Well, good morning, Chris, to you. Isaac is now just south of Miami,
Florida, heading for Key West during the day today. Overnight it hasn`t
significantly strengthened, and that is good, but it still has plenty of
time to do that over the warm waters of the Gulf before it heads to
northern portions of the central Gulf states.
Here`s a look at it on radar this morning. You can see all the
spiraling bands. That black line on the bottom of your screen is the
center of the storm. Pretty much due south of Miami, we`re not really
going to see a high-impact event today from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami to
Naples to Key West.
This is a strong tropical storm going through but for this region of
the country, a lot of squally weather. I really don`t expect too many
power outages throughout this region.
Now as far as the storm itself, 65-mile-per-hour winds, about 200
miles now away from Key West. And where is the storm heading? It does
appear it is going to be likely this tropical storm force wind field you
see in orange will be heading through South Florida and then off the Gulf
Coast, possibly clipping areas like Tampa.
So as far as the forecast path of the storm goes, here it is. We
expect Monday to intensify well off the coast of Florida heading up there
towards the northern Gulf. As far as the impacts go, obviously the north
central Gulf and the New Orleans area is probably the most significant
Tampa will see some gusty winds, but they`re not going to get the
brunt of the storm; it looks to be far enough off shore. They should have
very minimal impacts there. But, of course, they already canceled the
events for Monday and hopefully by Tuesday night they can get everything
back on schedule. Back to you.
HAYES: NBC meteorologist Bill Karins.
Joining me now we have Avik Roy, health care policy adviser to Mitt
Romney; Joan Walsh, author of "What`s the Matter with White People: Why We
Long for a Golden Age That Never Was," editor at large for salon.com. I`m
two chapters into it and it`s fantastic. I recommend you check it out.
Elise Jordan, contributor to thedailybeast.com and former speech
writer to secretary of state Condoleezza Richard; and Sophia Nelson author
of "Black Women Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in
the Age of Michelle Obama," former Republican counsel for the House
Government Operations Committee, now a columnist for our sister website,
thegrio.com. Great to have you here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great to be here.
HAYES: The 2012 Republican National Convention begins Tuesday in
Tampa, Florida, with the party gathering to vote on the GOP platform, a
statement of the positions and values of the modern Republican Party.
For the past week, the platform committee has been hashing out a draft
of the document, versions of which have been obtained by NBC News and
"Politico," giving concrete documentation of the party`s extreme disconnect
from the politics of the general population.
The abortion plank makes absolutely no mention of an exception for
rape, incest or even to save the life of the mother, reaffirming party
support for the position of Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, who now trails
Senator Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race by nine points a week
after his now infamous comments, according to a new "St. Louis Post-
Dispatch" news bore (ph) poll released yesterday.
Instead, the platform calls for a human life amendment granting 14th
Amendment rights to fetuses. Drafts also call for a constitutional
amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, a denial of
federal funds to universities that provide in-state tuition to undocumented
immigrants, which could block states like Texas with DREAM Act laws from
federal education money.
And in a true nod to the shunned Ron Paul faction of the party,
"Financial Times" reports the platform calls for a commission to study a
return to the gold standard. As elements of the platform started to leak
out, a chorus of Republicans rushed to distance themselves and Mitt Romney
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), N.J.: I don`t have to worry about doing this
speech. You think I`m going there and starting to worry about the
platform, forget about it.
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, RNC: This is the platform of the Republican
Party. It`s not the platform of Mitt Romney.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republicans would like you to believe their party platform is
unimportant. They would like you to ignore and focus on Mitt Romney. But
as the Republican Party becomes an increasingly parliamentary and
ideologically maximist organization, this election is as much about the
nature of the Republican Party as it is about its candidate.
So today, I want to ask, what is the Republican Party? Who controls
it and what answers does this document provide to those questions?
Avik, I`ll start with you. There`s a few theories about who`s driving
the train in the moderate Republican Party. So, the theory that you hear
often on our network -- and the one that I think I`m partial to, but I
think is plausibly rebuttable -- is that the hard right is driving the
train of the moderate Republican Party.
And if you look at the votes, you look at what the agenda of say the
House Republican Caucus has been, it has been to pursue the objectives of
social conservatives, particularly there have been a lot of stuff about
abortion and contraception.
And generally has had an ideological flavor that is to the right of
where the center of America is and certainly to the right -- rightist part
of the Republican coalition.
There`s an argument that actually, when you look at the last two
nominees -- John McCain and Mitt Romney -- this the sort of other side of
it -- I`ll just argue both sides and then I`ll let you talk -- is that --
HAYES: -- that if you look at the nominees, John McCain and Mitt
Romney, that the right wing base of the party didn`t get its wish with
either John McCain and Mitt Romney, hence heir apparent, hence Paul Ryan.
And I`m curious to get your feedback to the Reince Priebus quote,
"This is not Mitt Romney`s platform. This is the Republican Party."
AVIK ROY, SR. FELLOW, THE MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: I`d say a couple
things. Excuse me. In the -- in both parties the activists are always
going to be driving the agenda and the platforms are going to be the ones
who are pushing the candidates, particularly in the primaries, to adhere to
I think what`s interesting is how the Republican Party`s activist base
has evolved. So in the 1990s three was more of this social conservatism
Today it`s much more about constitutionalism; it`s much more about
economics; it`s much more about the budget deficit. It`s much more about
the debt. That`s very much the driver of the Republican Party today in a
way that wasn`t true 15, 20 years ago.
HAYES: I`m glad you raised that, because people say that and I don`t
buy it. I mean, this is the story we were told about the Tea Party, was
that, oh, gone are the days of evangelicals on the cover of "Time"
magazine, George W. Bush, gay marriage issues.
Do you guys feel that that is the case, that they have made this turn
away from social issues towards fiscal (inaudible) -- ?
JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST, "SALON" EDITOR AT LARGE: No, I
mean, the House Republicans come in and one of the first things they try to
do is defund Planned Parenthood. What does that have to do with the
I mean, the thing about Todd Akin is the tragedy for Todd Akin is that
this party has given lip service -- this platform has been this bad on
abortion since 1992.
Very few people realize this because the party has had the strategy of
kind of winking and nodding at their base and then putting forward a more
moderate public face around this and only talking about we won`t allow
abortion even in cases of rape and incest, "in quiet room," as Mitt Romney
And Todd Akin has brought that hypocrisy right out in front, so that
you see this man who is not backing down and now Mike Huckabee is going to
holy war on his behalf because they`re tired of having the platform look
this way but the candidates say, oh, it`s not our platform. This is Mitt
Romney`s party. They`re not getting away with it any more.
SOPHIA NELSON, COLUMNIST FOR THEGRIO.COM, FORMER GOP HOUSE COMMITTEE
COUNSEL: Yes, here`s someone who troubles me as someone that was a
Republican for a lot of years. I grew up in a Republican Party when Jack
Kemp was there, when Christine Todd Whitman was the first Republican I
worked for right out of law school in New Jersey.
Kemp certainly was definitely a conservative but fiscally he was
definitely a conservative socially, but that isn`t what he argued about.
He was passionate about the cities in this country, kind of like Mitt
Romney`s dad, a little bit in an interesting sense.
But the Republican Party has definitely drifted in a direction I don`t
understand, because if you think about it, I consider myself more of a
libertarian, OK. And so for me, I want small government. So I don`t get
why you`re telling women, can they have abortions or not, or some of these
social issues they really don`t fit with a true Republican Party, what that
HAYES: Well, they do fit with a true Republican Party because the --
NELSON: No, no, no, but if you believe in small government, Chris,
you don`t believe that government should be telling people what to do. Am
I right? Or did I get --
ELISE JORDAN, JOURNALIST, FORMER DIRECTOR FOR COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: No, I absolutely agree. And I think that you
look at -- you know, would George H.W. Bush be able to be a contender
today? I don`t think so.
And I think that`s a real tragedy. I personally love George H.W.
Bush. I like Bob Dole. Bob Dole is saying recently that we`re going too
And I think it is really an off-putting trend to Millennials, who they
might be attracted to the Republican platform in terms of fiscal
conservatism. But when it comes to social issues, they`re like, no, get
out of the bedroom, we like gay people.
ROY: Yes. So, I`ll take the other side of that. So I actually think
that the evolution has been much more towards economics and we see this
naturally with the Millennials. So one thing that has been interesting
about the last 20 years is it used to be that the center of the GOP was
Texas. And I`ve spent some time in Texas. I lived there. I love Texas.
But right now what we see is what is the political center of gravity
of Republicanism? It`s Wisconsin, it`s Michigan, right, that upper Midwest
is naturally, historically what the home of Republicanism has been for
100, 150 years.
And that`s -- I think that`s what we`ll see as the Millennials
continue to get older, as the social issues, the consensus on social issues
changes. I`m not sure it will change on abortion, actually; 50 percent of
Americans are pro-life now. That`s the highest number that the Gallup poll
has ever recorded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Depending on how you ask the question.
HAYES: They define themselves pro-life, but if you ask should
abortion be illegal in all circumstances, which is the official position of
the Republican Party in the platform, that is a small minoritarian (ph)
position. Just as a matter of public --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- platform position is on the other --
HAYES: Right. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s right, so --
JORDAN: It`s a mistake and it`s a total distraction from what should
be the real issue in this election -- the economy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think it -- from the election.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it absolutely --
JORDAN: I`ve heard it has. You have Akin out there, saying -- you
know, talking about legitimate rape and refusing to stand down, like it`s
absolutely horrible and, I mean, Republicans were rightfully outraged.
NELSON: (Inaudible) someone who is pro-life, I consider myself pro-
life but I don`t have a problem with other people making a different choice
than I do. And I think abortion should be legal in this country and safe
in this country.
HAYES: OK, but then you`re exactly why the polling on this is a total
mess. You`re telling me right here, I`m pro-life and believe in legalized
abortion, then yes, OK. Fine. Gallup says that 50 percent of people are
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly.
WALSH: But people do. I mean, most people do make very personal
reckonings with this.
HAYES: Wait, can I -- I just want to -- I want to stay on this, who
has the power thing, right? Because obviously, there`s these different
strains in the Republican Party, OK?
There`s -- and the classic kind of three-legged stool or national
security conservatives, right, then that was dread of this anti-communist,
the sort of Cold Warrior tradition. They`re economic conservatives, sound
money and fiscal prudence, although that is not really been record of the
party, but smaller government, let`s say.
And then there`s social conservatism, right. And one of the things
that happened was I think social conservatism was quite dominant during the
George W. Bush years.
There was so much -- remember how much -- there was so much coverage
of the evangelical base and George W. Bush was the first born-again
president. And then the Tea Party was all about the sort of economic turn.
But whatever the emphasis was, the fact remains, it`s still the same folks.
I mean, it`s still the same people in the coalition.
ROY: There isn`t a philosophical inconsistency, right? So when you
have something like the HHS contraception mandate, the small government
people say why should the government be telling us what insurance policies
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
ROY: The social conservatives get upset because they`re like why
should -- why should Catholics have to?
HAYES: And that`s why --
ROY: (Inaudible) their faith.
HAYES: I think that`s why Republicans saw that as such a huge
political opportunity, not necessarily because of the political gains to be
won among independents, although it was part of it, it`s a delightfully
unifying issue for different parts of the coalition. It`s a part of the
NELSON: Chris, I think what becomes critical is look at the 2010
midterms. To me, if the 2010 -- if the same electorate that comes out in
the 2010 midterms comes out for the GOP and the African-American vote is
suppressed -- and I`m not talking about from a voter`s standpoint; we can
deal with that issue later. But I`m talking about from the standpoint of
African-Americans not being --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mobilization --
NELSON: -- excited about President Obama this time, right, I think
that it will be an interesting dynamic because I think then Mitt Romney has
a shot at winning this White House, a real shot. And so I think that
really becomes what issues drive this. Is it social or is it economic Tea
HAYES: But there`s also a case to be made, and I want to -- this is
what I want to address, is that when you talk about the balance -- there`s
a case to be made, social conservatives will make this case. Absolutely.
"American Conservative" once ran a cover story on this and in the reporting
I`ve done with social conservatives, where they say, yes, we`re the ones
that get screwed.
But they give us a lot of lip service. This is sort of in some ways
the Tom Frank vote to outlaw abortion get energy deregulation, this famous
riff that he has in the beginning of "What is the Matter with Kansas," that
actually -- the people calling the shots are the Mitt Romney-Sheldon
Adelson wing of the party.
I want to bring that up with Michael Steele. I also want to talk to
Michael Steele about Charlie Crist endorsing the president today, right
after we take this break.
HAYES: I want to bring in MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele,
former head of the Republican National Commission, joining us from Tampa
All right, Michael, first up --
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Hey.
HAYES: Hey. Let me -- you are getting some flack for the Tampa --
for the convention being -- no, let me say it -- for the convention being
in Tampa during hurricane season.
But I want to say this, it is a stroke of genius to put the convention
in a hurricane-prone area and then put all the speakers you might want to
cancel on the first night so that you have an out. I think we`re going to
start seeing this be the norm for all political conventions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael did that.
HAYES: I just want to commend you on this brilliant Machiavellian
STEELE: Thank you. I`m just, look, I`m just a brother trying to help
folks out, that`s all.
HAYES: Trying to -- you`re trying to help out Mitt Romney so Mike
Huckabee -- oops, too bad, Mike Huckabee, my bad. Are we going to see Mike
Huckabee, what`s the deal?
STEELE: Oh, you probably will. They`ll readjust this. You know,
look, I get blamed for everything, apparently, these days because they
don`t want, you know, it`s just -- it`s I`m convenient. I`m the -- I guess
I`m the convenient truth for them or whatever.
But the fact of the matter is, this is going to be a great convention.
Folks act like we haven`t done this before. In 2008, we were in Minnesota
and we canceled because of (inaudible). The reality of it is, we set this
in motion two years ago, like we could forecast the weather, et cetera.
But we have -- they have plans. I don`t know what plans this
particular RNC had, but I know what we had planned for putting on this
convention. So the reality of it is it will go forth, everyone will have a
great time, you`ll be a little wet, but no worse off.
HAYES: If we don`t get our act together in carbon, all political
conventions in 2050 will be in Alaska. It will the only (inaudible) place
to have summer conventions. And I`m not joking.
All right, in news in the morning, Michael --
STEELE: I`ve got my carbon suit, I`m ready.
HAYES: Former Republican governor of Florida Charlie Crist endorses
President Obama in the "Tampa Bay Times" today. Let me just read you a
little bit of this. I want to get your reaction.
"As Republicans gathered in Tampa to nominate Mitt Romney, Americans
can expect to hear tales of how President Obama has failed to work with
their party or turn the economy around. But an element of their party has
pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women,
immigrants, seniors and students, they have proven incapable of governing
for the people.
"President Obama has a strong record of doing what is best for America
in Florida, and he built it by spending more time worrying about what his
decisions would mean for the people than for his political fortunes.
That`s what makes him the right leader for our times, and that`s why I`m
proud to stand with him today."
This is a case that has been made by a variety of people. Olympia
Snowe has made this case. Jim Jeffords back a while ago has made this
case. A variety of folks have made the case that the Republican Party has
lurched to the right. I think it`s grounded in some pretty good empirical
data political scientists have produced, D.W. nominate score.
What is your reaction to Charlie Crist`s endorsement this morning?
STEELE: I don`t have any, honestly. I mean, that`s Charlie Crist`s
decision. He has always shown himself to be a somewhat independent person
when it comes to the people of Florida, in particular, and his view on
So, you know, look, this is the beauty of the American political
system. You can have someone do that cross-party thing and it`s not a
I`ve always been amused that Republicans, you know, love it when
Democrats come out and endorse, you know, our candidates, like Joe
Lieberman did, as you recall. But then we get all, you know, put off when
a Republican sees some virtue or value in a Democrat candidate. And so,
those individual choices and, you know, God bless them.
Look, the focus for Mitt Romney is not whether or not Crist has
endorsed him. The focus for Mitt Romney this week is to make sure America
gets to know him and understand his vision for this country. He has got to
start speaking specifics.
HAYES: He has been running for five years. Why do (inaudible)?
STEELE: I`m -- look, I get that, I get that. But you know, you know,
and I understand where you`re going with that. And I agree he has been
doing this for a long time.
HAYES: It`s not like he`s a new face on the national political scene.
STEELE: That`s true. That`s true. But you know, that`s the nature
of politics is, you know, there are those moments where you have to
reintroduce yourself, where you do have to come back and let people know
the other side, the rest of the story. This is what the convention opens
up for him, that opportunity to do that.
HAYES: I think we spend too much -- generally I think we spend too
much time on the candidates as individuals and less on the political
coalition and constituencies that they will have to deal with once they`re
in office. That`s part of the theme of today. The platform is a document.
It`s not going to be waved by a magic wand into law.
But it is -- he is going to helm up. He is going to be at the head.
He`s at the tip of the spear of a certain political coalition (inaudible)
in life, right, a set of interests, a set of constituencies, a demographic
base, a regional base. Those people all have desires that are bigger than
what Mitt Romney is like when he wrestles with his boys when he gets home.
NELSON: Mike, it`s Sophia, how are you?
STEELE: Hey, how are you?
Listen, I had a question for you. You know, I think that this past
week was really bad for Mitt Romney and the GOP obviously with Akin and his
comments. What is your sense of how they are going to try to shift this
back to economic issues, versus the conversation we have been having about
issues of female reproductive rights in this country?
HAYES: And also how the female reproductive system works.
NELSON: Oh, my God. And you know, I live in Virginia, which is a
battleground state and the ads have already started. I mean, we have seen
more ads about choice than I have seen in years and in political campaigns.
So I want your thoughts on how Romney shifts this thing back to what he
wants to talk about, which is economics.
STEELE: Well, that is exactly the point I was making earlier with
Chris, is that`s what this week is about, is to start to frame that
argument, to come out and talk about his economic plan to reorient the
conversation around the economy and jobs, et cetera.
The problem is that there is a lot of thickets in the way before you
get to that clearing and you just touched on a few of them. Of course, you
know, folks now -- you`re focusing on the tropical storm and all of that.
But the fact of the matter is, you, at some point, are going to have to
narrow this conversation to clearly define where you are.
You cannot, on the one hand, say -- because I know a lot of folks in
the base. You know, I`m from the base, I know the base, they don`t want to
hear their nominee as they produce this platform and go, oh, that`s not my
platform or the party chairman say, well, that`s not his platform. That
doesn`t mean anything to him.
That`s not what that -- they don`t want to hear that. All that does
is stirs up more passions.
ROY: We have this conversation every four years.
STEELE: (Inaudible) something else.
ROY: We have this conversation every four years about every platform.
People, it`s a sport. Every time there`s a platform, people say, oh, well,
there`s this in the platform that is different from what the candidate
thinks, different from what maybe the consensus in the country is. We
always talk about it and then we forget about it, because at the end of the
day, it is about the candidates.
HAYES: Draw that out, though. You forget about it, why? Because --
so you`re basically saying the entire thing is a purely cynical exercise to
write things in paper --
HAYES: -- as a sop to placate people?
ROY: No, I think it is a statement of what activists in the party,
the consensus among activists in the party believe should be the core of
activists, conservative activists or conservative liberals. But that is
different from what a conservative who`s appealing to the center of the
country is going to try to do.
HAYES: The question is do those activists, should Mitt Romney be
president, how much purchase do they have in that White House? I mean,
that`s the open question, right?
ROY: Very little. Very little. I think they have more --
HAYES: Do you hear that, Republican activists?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very little.
HAYES: You have very little purchase on a Mitt Romney presidency.
I`m not sure if I believe that. I just want to get your thoughts --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) -- OK.
HAYES: We have to take a quick break.
Hang with us, Michael.
STEELE: I am.
FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe
abortion should be safe and legal.
I not only talk about being pro-life, I have a record of being pro-
I believe basically what I read. The world is getting warmer. And,
number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. And so I think it`s
important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants, of greenhouse gases
that may well be significant contributors to the climate change.
My view is that we don`t know what`s causing climate change on this
We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won`t
chip away at them. I believe they help protect us and provide for our
I support the Second Amendment as one of the most basic and
fundamental rights of every American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s a little montage of Mitt Romney`s journey of self-
discovery over the past 10 years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Getting to know himself.
HAYES: My favorite one, actually, is the climate one, because it`s
only nine months that separate those two statements.
We`re talking about the base of the Republican Party and basically who
controls it and these sort of alternating theories. I think, I think --
and I think there`s a lot of evidence of this, the party has moved to the
right and the party has moved to the right in ways that there is -- you
know, there`s ways you can track the score of House votes.
Also if you look at exit polling -- I was poring through exit polling
last night, the past few elections and you know, ideological self-
identification of Americans, liberal, moderate and conservative, in the
last few elections, Republicans have won conservatives by huge margins --
80-20, 85-15 -- and they`ve lost liberals by generally huge margins.
But they`ve also lost moderates, self-described moderates by
significant proportions. And that wasn`t the case 15, 20 years ago.
So there has been a real shift in that. There`s more self-identified
conservatives than there are self-identified liberals in the country, which
is why they can still win elections while losing -- while losing moderates.
But you just said something interesting before we went to break, which
is, basically, it`s going to -- the base is not going to be controlling
things in a Mitt Romney --
ROY: The base influences things for sure. So, they influence the
terms of the debate. They influence the primaries. They influence who
gets elected to Congress. They influence who staffs an administration but
it`s also true that there is a need to win elections. There`s a need to
both move the debate in your direction but also appeal to people in the
center. And that`s the tension.
So, as activists, your job is to move the debate in your direction.
So pro-life activists try to move the country in a pro-life direction. Gay
marriage activists try to move the country in a pro-gay marriage direction.
That`s what activists do. And the political, the candidates reflect how
that debate changes over time.
JORDAN: Well, I think what is most noteworthy about this convention
is who the keynote speaker is, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. And
he is definitely a moderate Republican, but one who overwhelmingly enjoys
across the board Republican support.
HAYES: Yes. Let me just define the terms moderate. I don`t think
he`s moderate, in terms of the actions. He is not as socially conservative
as other members, but, you know, there`s an ideological spectrum on the
economic issues as well. I don`t consider --
JORDAN: Well, yes, but he`s a --
HAYES: -- him a moderate.
JORDAN: He is a social, he`s -- sorry, I`m getting all tangled up.
He`s fiscally conservative.
HAYES: Well --
WALSH: He occasionally says tolerant things about Muslims. And in
the party --
HAYES: To his great credit.
WALSH: To his great credit. And you know, we`ve got some sharia law
language in the Republican Party platform.
JORDAN: He is a very honest politician. I think that Americans are
really responding to that across the board and I think it`s what
Republicans need more of. They need to be more honest.
JORDAN: He`s a regular guy.
HAYES: Michael, Elise is calling for more honesty, but wasn`t Todd
Akin being honest?
HAYES: I`m serious. I`m not even making a joke.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said he misspoke.
STEELE: Yes, one man`s honesty is another man`s gaffe. I mean,
that`s how it works.
But, yes, I mean, I think there`s a lot of truth to the idea of being
honest. I mean, in terms of addressing and dealing with these issues --
and, certainly, on the social side of the spectrum, you were speaking
earlier -- and I think absolutely, I think Joan made this point and she was
A lot of social conservatives feel, when they go back, looking back
even to the 1980s in the Reagan era, that they had a one-sided bargain.
And the idea was to come in and to, you know, vote for us, support us and
we`ll take care of your agenda and your issues.
And for 30-plus years on the -- particular on the pro-life side, they
have not seen that movement towards solving their issue. This Roe versus
Wade, et cetera. So you see now that activism taking place more at the
grassroots as opposed to --
HAYES: -- and they`ve had a lot more success. But, also, we should
just draw a distinction between what is happening on the court and what`s
happening legislatively. There has been a tremendous amount of victories
for pro-life folks in the Hyde amendment, obviously first in the late-term
abortion ban that was passed and signed.
Sandra Day O`Connor was the -- wrote it, quote, "the wrong way" for
pro-life conservatives, as did Anthony Kennedy, both Republican nominees,
on the issue of Roe v. Wade and later reexamining Casey, but that doesn`t
mean that there haven`t been legislative victories on that.
I want to turn to this economic question. So let`s put aside for a
second social conservatism and the (inaudible).
My big theory that I have been on my hobby horse on all -- the entire
campaign is that there`s this totally false notion that the Republican
Party stands for fiscal conservativism and that this is going to be --
you`re going to get when you elect Republicans, you will get smaller
deficits and smaller government.
But there is zero -- literally zero empirical basis for that that we
actually just ran the experiment in which we had the Republican Party
control all the -- both the elected and executive branches of government
as a percentage of GDP grew, the deficit grew massively.
Now we`re all told that everybody has had their road to Damascus
moment, that they have -- they have -- they are walking away from this
terrible years of George W. Bush, a name that you will never hear invoked.
You probably won`t hear once in Tampa, amazingly.
And I just don`t buy it. I don`t buy it. What we`re going to get,
huge increases in defense spending and we are already seeing them fight on
the sequester. It`s in the platform. In fact, the draft platform of the
GOP is my favorite line in the whole draft platform. It attacks the
president`s national security strategy document as being, quote, "budget
The adjective it used to insult it is budget constraint. All right?
So we will not see smaller government by the Republican administration and
we will not see smaller deficits. I want to hear you guys respond to that
after we take a break.
HAYES: We`re talking about the -- what is the existential core of the
modern Republican Party, I think it`s fair to say.
And we`ve talked a little bit about this tension between social
conservatives and fiscal conservatives and sort of -- and then people, the
Sheldon Adelsons of the world who have issues very much focused, in his
case, on Israel and economic issues and the base that has different -- you
know, abortion and social issues.
But even turning our attention to fiscal conservatism, quote/unquote,
I just don`t buy it. I just don`t buy that the Republican Party is going
to shrink government.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, right.
HAYES: I think it will change who the government benefits and I think
it will run massive deficits. And I -- because there is no evidence to the
WALSH: The Ryan budget runs deficits to, what, 2040.
HAYES: Yes, right.
WALSH: The Ryan budget doesn`t even cut the deficit. If you want to
give massive tax breaks to the richest people, you`re still going to have a
deficit. Even the level of spending that he is slashing, which is
significant and horrible, doesn`t get you down. There`s not -- there
aren`t enough of those programs for poor people that they want to slash to
really make a dent in the deficit.
And I think Dick Cheney, you know, ultimately told the truth. Dick
Cheney said Reagan showed us deficits don`t matter. Now, he should have
added a parenthetical -- except when Democrats are in charge, because then
we say they matter.
But if we have a Romney administration, the deficit will become -- we
can`t care about the deficit. We have got to defend the country. We`ve
got to give these tax breaks. It will just be completely (inaudible).
NELSON: Here`s the great question, though, I think of this debate and
I hope this is what we actually talk about. The reality is Social Security
and Medicare are programs that we have to reform or they`re in trouble.
Social Security, Medicare, I don`t believe, will be there for Gen Xers
and Millennials on the track we`re going. I mean, and we`re going to
either have some honestly about this or we`re not.
Now, if I`m the Republicans, I`m saying, look, under George W. Bush --
and you`re absolutely right. He increased deficits. He increased
spending. There`s no doubt about it.
But he would argue that he had two wars that we were in and that`s --
HAYES: (Inaudible) didn`t show up at his door and --
NELSON: -- making a point that they would say that`s why the defense
spending was up exponentially, right. So my point is, in this election --
and I would love to know what everyone thinks about this -- there really is
a question on the table, who is America going to be, because, let`s face
it, other countries are growing at a rate of 10-15 percent (inaudible)
we`re growing at 1 percent.
Our jobs have been shipped away. We don`t have the jobs that we used
to have here. These are things -- I don`t hear anybody talking about --
and this is where the real Americans live and went on, I think they`re both
trying to talk about it, but I don`t think anybody really has a plan with
how you brings jobs back for the people --
NELSON: -- shrink deficits.
HAYES: I`m glad you brought up social insurance, which other people
call entitlements. Social Security is fine, more or less. You can tweak
within the margins. Medicare is a genuine problem, actuarily, mostly
because of the rise of health care costs and we -- and you were here when
Paul Ryan --
ROY: We were here two weeks ago and everyone was saying, oh, this is
going to be so great that Paul Ryan is on the ticket. We`re going to be
able to jump on that and show that Republicans are extreme in what is
happening in the last two weeks. That`s not how it`s played out.
HAYES: Well, what happened in the last two weeks is that -- what
happened in the last two weeks is that Paul Ryan has gone out and told
everyone, no, no, no, they`re the ones cutting Medicare, we`re the
defenders of Medicare. That`s what he`s done.
ROY: And long-term reforms that will make the program.
HAYES: Yes, yes, that`s in the fine text. But the thing he`s leading
with -- no, the thing they`re leading with is, don`t worry, seniors of
America, we will not cut the social contract for you. So you -- the point
is that they want to have it both ways and this is actually further
evidence of my thesis that they will not cut government. They will change
who government benefits.
ROY: Democrats have set the terms of that debate, right? Democrats
are the ones saying, Paul Ryan is going to push Granny off a cliff, so
Republicans have responded with a plan that protects current seniors and
makes long-term reforms. I`m sure that --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And privatizes the program into vouchers.
ROY: No, that`s not exactly true.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but --
NELSON: Sometimes we have to do something about it, is my point. We
can`t keep having these discussions that we keep taxing one group of people
and not taxing others and we keep believing we`re going to tax our way out
of this. We`re not going to tax our way out of this economic problem we
have in this country. It`s just not going to happen.
JORDAN: (Inaudible) needs to have a debate and this is what we`re
doing, but, also, ask yourself, am I better off than when Obama came into
office? What has government done for me? Will taxes -- this, you know, I
feel like his rhetoric, his class warfare rhetoric has been really
damaging. I don`t think it`s a good thing for America.
HAYES: One fat cat comment?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One fat cat --
JORDAN: How about the private jets a couple summers ago, that sent
the jet industry tanking.
HAYES: It did not send the jet industry tanking.
(Inaudible). Can I just establish a fact that is important for this
whole debate? Taxes as a percentage of GDP, OK? Taxes as a percentage of
GDP on the federal level are at a 60-year low. The last time they were
this low was in Eisenhower. Americans have it -- the largest --
ROY: Because of the poor economy.
HAYES: Not just because of the poor economy. No, no. No, both, it`s
a combination of both. It`s both the fact that we have had a succession.
NELSON: (Inaudible) tax base, Chris. Less people pay taxes, 50
percent of the people in this country almost don`t pay taxes.
HAYES: Of course, they pay taxes. They pay payroll taxes.
ROY: Income tax (inaudible).
HAYES: Sure, it`s still taxes.
WALSH: Do you know why we have the earned income tax credit? This is
exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party.
That was a Republican idea. Gerald Ford signed it into law. It was
your party`s alternative to Friedman (inaudible). Milton Friedman --
ROY: It`s (inaudible).
WALSH: -- idea. Jerry Ford -- no, it`s not a good idea. Your party
is now committed to slashing it. You pushed women into the workforce. We
slashed welfare. We said we`re going to have the earned income tax credit.
We`re going to encourage work.
NELSON: (Inaudible) women into the workforce?
WALSH: That`s what happened.
NELSON: What`s wrong with women in the workforce?
WALSH: It`s terrific. It`s terrific. But we slashed the welfare
rolls. We pushed poor women into the workforce. We raised the earned
income tax credit.
NELSON: Isn`t it a good thing?
WALSH: I`m saying it`s a -- it`s a good thing that we raised the
earned income tax credit and now your party wants to come and snatch that
back, having -- we snatched the welfare. We`ve snatched the welfare. We
said, take these low-wage jobs. We`re going to help you out with the
earned income tax credit. You get it because you`re at a low-wage job,
which is what our economy --
WALSH: But I -- and I -- I know that you have a good heart, Sophie.
When you say that --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible).
WALSH: Right. When you say we only -- half people don`t pay taxes,
that`s what you`re -- that`s part of what you`re talking about. So I
really think we need to -- yes, that is your party`s idea. You should
embrace it. You should be proud of it.
HAYES: And the Ryan -- you`re saying the earned income tax credit.
HAYES: And the Ryan budget also -- I mean, the Ryan budget also is
going to cut food stamps. It`s going to reduce Medicaid quite
significantly. I mean, all those are going to fall on --
NELSON: Who wants to cut food stamps when one in six people are in
poverty? That`s --
HAYES: The Republicans. The Republican Party does.
All right. Elise Jordan, former speech writer to Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, thank you for coming in this morning. I really
appreciate it. We`re going to bring in Corey Robin, who studies the
conservative movement for a living.
Michael, we -- I didn`t -- I`m sorry. I didn`t go to you on satellite
this whole time. But I want you to stick around because I want to talk
about the future of the Republican Party in a nation that`s changing
demographically, after we take this break.
HAYES: I want to bring Corey Robin to the table, turning the table,
political science professor at the Graduate Center of the City University
of New York, author of a fantastic book "The Reactionary Mind:
Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin."
Corey, it`s great to have you back here.
COREY ROBIN, BROOKLYN COLLEGE, AUTHOR: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: So I want to -- Michael, here`s what I want to talk about.
The country is changing demographically, obviously, in its racial
composition. I think this is a well-known fact.
The census projection is the country will be essentially only 50
percent white by mid-century. I want to show a chart of the racial
breakdown of the delegates of the RNC in 2008. We don`t have this
breakdown yet for this year, otherwise we would show it. But 93 percent
white, 2 percent black, 5 percent Hispanic.
Now this is the institutional nature of the party. That`s not
necessarily if you look at exit polls the way that things break down. This
is about the institutional nature of the party, although Republicans are
polling at about 0 percent in the presidential election among African-
Americans and down in the neighborhood of 20 points among Latinos and
Hispanics around what McCain was.
When you see that chart, is that concern for you?
STEELE: Oh, my goodness, yes. Absolutely. And the fact of the
matter is, I mean, I remember the 2008 convention and walking around the
floor and counting 36 African-Americans present. And so, that is not the
future of our party because it`s not been our past. And what annoys the
heck out of me is the fact that we forget our past.
We have something from which to build and on which to build into the
future. And now you cobble together or bring together new coalitions of
Hispanics and women and gays and the whole cross-section of people who do,
for a whole host of reason, identify philosophically with our principles
and ideas that Sophia was talking about, on economics, for example.
That is an opportunity lost when we get in the muck and mire of one-
dimensional politics. When it is a zero-sum attitude towards communities,
it`s not helpful. As chairman of the party, I tried to break that down.
Created a Department of Coalitions, funded it to a tune of $1 million
a year. We built coalitions around the country with the idea of reaching
out -- and I hate that term, per se, but the idea was to touch people and
be with them where they are. And we had some success with that.
I think that has not been the course that`s been taken since I left,
but it needs it be, because otherwise, in five years, folks, we go the way
of the Whigs. We become a party that is an permanent minority --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean --
STEELE: -- with no coalition to rely on for support, nationally or
locally. We`ll be dead to the electorate.
WALSH: The shocking thing, you know, Pat -- our old friend Pat
Buchanan has this very, very pessimistic book, "Suicide of a Superpower,"
and he says the whole country is going away. And the Republican Party is
But he had a playbook for 2012 and maybe 2016, where you just double
down on that white vote. You try to make the electorate look the way it
looked in 2010, not in 2008. You get the white seniors, keep the young and
the minorities away from the ballot box. And this -- look, I`m a Democrat,
so on some level it`s all fine with me. My party is going to do better
because of what this party is doing.
But on the other hand, I think it`s really tragic. And I know coming
of age politically in California in the `80s and `90s, there was a real
debate about where the growing Latino and Asian population was going to
There were real reason to think that Latinos might be -- might listen
to the Republican family values orientation. Asian Americans, Asian
immigrants were coming from communist countries and they were very hostile
to government. They were not necessarily won over to the Democrats. They
were driven away by Republicans.
So that even this year, you know, that awful Pete Hoekstra ad, "Debbie
Spend it Now with the woman speaking pidgin in a Chinese accent -- the
racism, the common and casual racism that periodically flares up drives
ROY: Listen, I mean, one, there`s two -- you know, Michael Steele
talks about how Republicans need to reach out more, et cetera. And
certainly it`s true that Republicans should reach out more, but there are
two sides to this coin.
Democrats seize on every little thing and gin up racial retirement by
saying Republicans are racist. Every Republican is racist, every
Republican policy is racist, free markets are racist, devolving government
HAYES: I may have heard that in a campus meeting, that free markets
are racist, but national Democrats saying free markets --
WALSH: It`s coded language.
ROY: It`s the downstream logic of saying -- cutting taxes is racist,
having more free markets --
STEELE: Well, can I --
HAYES: Yes, Michael.
STEELE: Can I just address that? Because that, you know, with all
due respect -- and I really, this disrupts me when I hear that. I don`t
have time to worry about what the other guy is saying about me if I`m doing
my job. If I`m defining the conversation, you can talk all day long about
Marxist and racist and how Republicans hate black people because black
people will know from me how I feel about them.
STEELE: The problem is, they don`t, they don`t know that.
HAYES: I want to backfill the history here -- and, Corey, I want to
get your take. There is an amazing little clip of Kevin Philips,
Republican strategist for Nixon in `68, articulating this very important
strategic decision the party made, the southern strategy. I want to take a
look at that.
And, Corey, I want to get your thoughts, right after we take this
HAYES: (inaudible) -- white voters in the South -- am I on? Good.
Corey, I want to get your thoughts on this because it fits into the
broader -- the framework that you talk about, about backlash politics as
being the kind of through line of conservatism all the way back to Edmund
ROBIN: Yes. I mean, with all due respect to Michael Steele, it`s
going to be very hard for the Republican Party to reach out to African-
Americans and other voters because it`s part of its DNA, going back to the
1960s, to reverse attack, stall, whatever verb you want to use, the civil
rights movement. That is how it became a majority party.
A lot of times some people think it was the backlash against Roe v.
Wade and all those kinds of things. That`s not true. The whole assault,
for instance, on the Supreme Court from Richard Nixon, 1968, pre-Roe v.
Wade, was all about activist courts supporting busing, supporting African-
Americans. And it`s, like I say, it`s part of the DNA, it`s part of the
code of the party.
You just don`t get rid of that without a fundamental overhaul. And I
just don`t see that happening. And it`s telling that the party has to
revert back to 1860 and Abraham Lincoln. If you have to reach back a
century and a half in order to claim your bona fides on an issue, that`s a
sign of a problem.
HAYES: Can I say this? The GOP to 1860 to 1870 was the best party
America ever had. Just so that`s clear. Literally the best party in the
history of the country.
ROBIN: So try running on that as a (inaudible).
HAYES: Oh, obviously.
ROBIN: (Inaudible) tricky.
NELSON: I would be remiss if I did not say, however, that it was
Democrats, southern Democrats fled the Democratic Party because of the
civil rights issue and became people like Trent Lott --
HAYES: And became Republicans.
NELSON: And so, the Republican Party, I`m seeing this, it flipped
personalities because Democrats came over.
NELSON: So let me just be clear about that.
HAYES: The Southern Democratic Party was a white supremacist party
for a long time.
NELSON: Thank you. You said that; I didn`t.
HAYES: No, I`m that`s just a historical fact. The Southern
Democratic Party was a white supremacist party for a very long time. And
what`s amazing about our politics -- when I`m reading (inaudible) Eric
Pohner`s (ph) book on reconstruction right now.
Here`s the 1860 Republican platform, adopted by the national
convention in Chicago.
This last line, "Parties opposed to any change into our naturalization
laws, any state legislation which the rights of citizenship hitherto
accorded by immigrants from foreign land shall be abridged or impaired in
favor of giving a full and efficient prediction to the rights of all
classes of citizens." That`s the Republican Party, 1860. More on the
future of the Republican Party when we come back.
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Well, from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.
With me this morning, I have Avik Roy, a Romney policy adviser; MSNBC
political analyst Joan Walsh,` author of "What`s the Matter of White
People?", out in stores now, "Why We Long for Golden Age That Never Was";
Corey Robin, author of "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund to
Sarah Palin"; Sophia Nelson, author of "Black Women Redefined: Dispelling
Myth and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama." We have
the one and only Michael Steele via satellite.
We`re talking about the existential core of the modern GOP,
ideologically in terms of what coalition of interest it is, in terms of
what its demographic foundation is, and we`re talking about race and the
ethnic and racial composition of the party.
And the fact that, you know, the defining feature of American
politics for a long time, obviously, was essentially the legacy of the
civil war and the parties, the modern two-party system as it was created
was created when the Republicans displaced the Wigs around the Civil War,
on -- you know, the abolitionist, as part of the abolitionist movement and
in the wake of that, two parties, Republicans and Democrats. We had that
more or less since the civil war with progressive party, Eugene Debs and
But those have been the two major parties, and they have essentially
switched entirely in terms of racial composition and the Democratic Party
was explicitly a white supremacist party during the period of the 19th
century in the wake of Reconstruction. It started to change in many ways.
The New Deal coalition was a remarkable, dexterous ballet act between
getting a lot of people into a coalition, some of whom hated each other.
But beginning in the 1960s, there`s what we call the Southern
strategy. I just want to cue up. This is Kevin Philips who is one of the
masterminds of what we call the Southern strategy -- Republican strategist
for Nixon, 1966, talking to NBC`s "Huntley-Brinkley Report" about his
vision for the future of the Republican Party.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN PHILLIPS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Everybody knows about the
division of the north and the south, school boys learn that Maine and
Vermont were Republican and Georgia and Mississippi were Democratic.
TV ANCHOR: Would you describe what you call the Sunbelt?
PHILLIPS: The Sunbelt is a demographic and political phenomenon
which has become extremely important since World War II. It`s basically a
function of a large migration of the American population and a growth of a
technological middle class very mobile culture.
JOHN CHANCELLOR, NBC NEWS: Phillips also cites figures showing that
voters in the big cities are declining in importance. He doesn`t think the
Republican future lies in the big decaying cities, but rather in the
suburbs and the smaller towns.
As for the black voters, Phillips say they may begin using the
Democratic Party in his phrase, the way the Irish used it, to pull
themselves up by their own boot straps. As a Republican, he does not see a
place for blacks in his party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There it is.
HAYES: That last sentence is pretty intense.
Joan, you basically had just written a book about this moment in
American politics and what is your understanding of how this transformation
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Well, it`s really interesting because the
other part of what Kevin Phillips winds up saying, although he says the
cities don`t matter in that interview --
HAYES: The big decaying cities.
WALSH: But he`s also -- he`s from the Bronx, he`s a Bronx boy. And
so, he really has a lot of insight into what he calls the Lawrence Welk-ish
masses, which was my family watching Lawrence Welk every Saturday, and
really understands the Catholic sidewalks of New York were also going to be
part of the Southern strategy.
He very much had a Northern strategy and he saw that the northern,
white Catholic ethnics were really coming to identify the Democrats as the
party of black people and there were a lot, he and Pat Buchanan convinced
Richard Nixon that there was a lot that they could gain in the North, as
well as the South.
So, it`s funny to me. I always thought of it as a Southern strategy,
but it had a Northern component that was every much as devastating to the
HAYES: A large part of that has to do getting back to the backlash
theory, right? That the civil struggle moved north.
HAYES: I mean, those two things are not --
WALSH: Absolutely. Dr. King goes to Chicago and says that people in
Mississippi ought to go there to learn how to hate. He`s pelted with rocks
and children are out there screaming curses. I mean, so, horrible things
went on in the north.
But the other thing that I think, you know, liberals sometimes forget
is that it wasn`t all racism. There was a lot of civil disorder, the crime
did go up, urban riots scared people. I think it`s important to talk about
the sort of sense of social unraveling that happened that people like Kevin
Philips and Pat Buchanan were very smart on blaming on Democrats and that
it wasn`t all racism.
I mean, in my book, I look at the fact that my father stayed the
course of civil rights liberalism, but my mom who voted for JFK got a
little bit more fond of Richard Nixon as we got towards 1972 because her
brothers were -- one was a cop, one was a firefighter. They were going
into that decaying, dirty city that was going up in flames and she was
I would never say she was racist. Her big claim to fame -- well,
you`ll love this, Jackie Robinson was a Republican and Sammy Davis Jr.
So, she thought she had permission on civil rights ground to vote for
COREY ROBIN, AUTHOR, "THE REACTIONARY MIND": You bring up an
interesting issue which is the law and order issue which was so central in
alliance with the racial issue in 1968, to the birth -- to the rise of the
Republican Party. I spent last night reading the parts of the Republican
Party draft platform that are available on the web.
And what was most interesting to me in that entire document that I
managed to read was the section on law and order was this was the blood and
the guts of the rise of the modern conservative movement. It really drove
things. If you read the document today, it could have been written by the
Soros Institute. It is so bland, so bloodless.
HAYES: This is progress, though, isn`t it? You say it sort of --
ROBIN: No, but my point being is that it shows you the diminishing
power of those Republican --
WALSH: I want to disagree with that, though, because we`ve got Matt
Drudge and we`ve got Rush Limbaugh and we`ve got race war over there.
ROBIN: The question is, how far can they take it, though?
WALSH: -- the "Drudge Report" --
ROBIN: The question is they wrote that as a majority party. The
question is whether or not it is now become --
AVIK ROY, ROMNEY ADVISER: Law and order was a legitimate public
policy problem. There was a lot of crime that disproportionately affects
black people, right? So, the success we`ve had in the last 20 years of
dealing with the crime problem has helped blacks and minorities more than
anybody. Good thing it helps minorities.
ROBIN: I`m not debating whether it`s good or bad, my point is that
this was such a salient issue and it really --
HAYES: Can I say two things as intervention? Michael, I want to get
your response to this.
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: Sure.
HAYES: One, is it mass incarceration is now a legitimate social
policy issue and disproportionately affects people of color. So, we`re
going to talk about legitimate policy issues and Democrats have not been
great on mass incarceration.
Let`s be honest. They voted for a lot of bills that have increased
mandatory sentencing, et cetera, et cetera. So, that`s one thing to put
The other thing though is I went back and read Barry Goldwater `64
address -- extremism --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In defense of liberties --
HAYES: --in defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in
defense of justice is no virtue. And I read that last night. It`s
The two issues that are the pillars of it are anti-communism and law
and order, and that is not -- there is no real anti -- let`s look at Barry
Goldwater and I will say this before we throw to Barry Goldwater -- when
you talk about the fact that law and order is legitimate issue, independent
of its racial subtext. The fact of the matter is, it was both a legitimate
issue and also with a candidate who was opposing the Civil Rights Act.
So, there was a taint there I think from its beginning. Here`s Barry
Goldwater in `64 with that famous clarion call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 16, 1964)
SEN. BARRY GOLDWATER, 1964 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:
Republicanism so focused and so dedicated not be made fuzzy and futile by
unthinking and stupid labels. I would remind you that extremism in the
defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you, also, that
moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
(END VDIEO CLIP)
HAYES: Michael, what`s your sense of the effect of the kind of, the
Southern strategy, these 30 years later and how the party pivots away from
the legacy of that, if that is the idea in terms of producing a more
STEELE: Well, I`ll be very clear about it, though. When I became
chairman the day I accepted the vote, I declared very emphatically that the
Southern strategy was officially dead. That the party would shake that
dust from its heels and move forward in a new direction focused on
different things and new communities of people. And that, I think, has
been, should be the broader push here.
Jeb Bush, for example, I think in recent weeks and I know he`s on
"Meet the Press" today and has said very directly that the future of this
party is not hunkering down and cowering in a corner, but being bold and
accepting that the old strategies will no longer work for us. Our
demographics are shifting.
Internally, even within the party, you have people that silent
majority now has and should come forward and speak to those better angels,
if you will, that look at diversity as something that`s not a vice, but it
is, in fact, a virtue for this party. And I think it`s a very important
step before us.
To Corey`s point earlier, I would agree with you that this is a long,
hard road that you cannot undo 40 years of craziness. But, however, you
can take that baby step. The problem with it right now, it refuses to take
that baby step. It is comfortable in the zone that it is.
Our responsibility and certainly mine as national chairman at the
time and it remains as Republican. They are not running me out of this
party because they don`t like me. Deal with me, baby, because I`m not
going anywhere. This is something I freely chose at 17 years old to be a
part of because I believed in those virtues and those values that my ma
taught me that had no label on them.
I decided to put a philosophical and political label on it and call
it Republican because that`s been our root. So, I think we have an
opportunity here with the Jeb Bushes of the world going forward to really
speak a new language. We have to get through some storms. We have to take
those baby steps, but they`re important steps for this party to take, if we
want to survive what lies ahead.
HAYES: Michael Steele I cannot help but note that your prescription
for fresh blood is Jeb Bush. I don`t know what that means whether he`s a
Republican Party -- maybe we can reanimate the corps of Prescott.
STEELE: Wait a minute. Let me be clear. It`s not -- I mean, I get
what you`re trying to say with that. But listen to what the man is saying.
Don`t just be so generic and put a label on them. Listen to what he`s
HAYES: I`m being snarky.
STEELE: I know you are, that`s why I love you.
HAYES: MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele, thanks so much for
joining us, really, really enjoyed it.
STEELE: All right now.
HAYES: More on backlash politics, you guys want to get in there and
I`m going to hear from you right after we take a break.
HAYES: Sophia Nelson, we had to say good-bye to Michael Steele. He
had some thoughts about his term in the Republican Party, building a
Republican Party is robustly multi-racial, multi-ethnic.
SOPHIA NELSON, THEGRIO.COM: Two points I want to make. One, Michael
Steele was that first step. Disclaimer, Michael and I have been friends
for 20 years. We both grew up in the Republican Party when it was
different, although you would argue not that different.
I would say when George Herbert Walker Bush was president, there was
a much different climate around racial politics, et cetera, than there is
now in the Republican Party.
So, Michael Steele was undercut and this was my position. He was
very successful as a chairman. He won the 2010 midterm elections. The
biggest walloping of the Democrats since the `40s and the guy gets run out
on a rail, frankly.
And like he said on air, he`s not going anywhere, because there were
people who didn`t like that he wanted to change things. He was talking
about coalition building.
Why is that important? Let`s put this in context. We were talking
off camera about policy, incarceration, other issues of importance in this
country. Republicans can`t even engage in this dialogue because they`re
afraid of being called racist.
And the reason they`re afraid of being called racist is because they
don`t have anybody that looks like me in elected positions, in high policy
positions. You can`t trot out Condoleezza Rice, who I love, and others
when it is convenient for you at the convention every four years and not
have them in the party.
Who is advising Mitt Romney that`s in a high-ranking African-
American, I`m talking about sitting down in his kitchen everyday, talking
to him about issues that matter to people of color in this country. You
must have people that reflect the diversity of this culture and they don`t
So, on incarceration issues, like we talked about, what are they
going to say? It is a serious issue. But if I`m Mitt Romney, I`m kind of
afraid to talk about the high number of African-Americans. He goes to the
NAACP, he gets booed. He made some good points, but he has no credibility.
That`s the problem.
ROY: Let`s remember that George Romney, his father, marched in the
civil rights movement. He was a prominent --
NELSON: That he did.
ROY: I think the Romney family has plenty of street cred in civil
HAYES: But continue the story, continue the story of George Romney,
that was essentially the moment in which he broke from the Republican Party
precisely over that. If I`m not mistaken, he doesn`t attend the `64
NELSON: He walks out.
HAYES: Yes, he walks out. He attends and he walks out precisely
over the opposition of the Civil Rights Act.
ROY: Didn`t walk out of the Republican Party.
ROBIN: I want to shift back to what you were talking about before I
came on, about fiscal matters, because I think there`s a different story
that needs to be confronted for the Democrats. You talked about how we
switched from the Democrats to being a white supremacist party to now being
the party of civil rights.
There`s been another fundamental switch from the two parties.
Throughout most of the 20th century, the Republicans were the party of
balance budgets, worries about deficits and the Democrats are the party of
tax and spend and in the `70s, the Republicans conservative activists came
to the realization that pushing on deficits was just not going to do
anything. All they were doing, basically, was being the tax collector of
the welfare state.
ROBIN: So they came up with the strategy, starve of the beast.
There was actually John Kenneth Galbraith who first saw what was up with
that strategy back in the `60s. And basically the strategy was just cut
taxes and that will force a cut on spending.
Now, it hasn`t happened with the Republicans. They haven`t been able
to cut spending. What has happened, however, is that the Democrats take on
the responsibilities for austerity. That`s a problem for the Democrats
because they, essentially, it`s before the Republicans were the tax
collectors for the welfare state and now the Democrats are the --
HAYES: Austerians (ph) --
ROBIN: -- austerians for the tax cut state.
This is what Galbraith called reactionary Keynesianism and the
Democrats are the caretakers of this and so long as we are stuck in that
pattern, the Democrats will never be able to break out of the consensus.
They will always just be the responsible, you know, big parent.
HAYES: I mean, and when you look at the recent history, right, you
get huge deficits, you got big deficits under the Reagan Bush years,
although George H.W. Bush does spell his political demise and signs this
bill because of raising taxes and, obviously, Bill Clinton`s first priority
is to balance the budget.
ROBIN: And then when Obama passes health care and all the rest of
HAYES: The first budget doesn`t get any -- basically no Republican
ROBIN: So when Obama comes in and starts pushing for things like
health care, you know, the fundamental thing it has to be a balanced budget
thing. I have to look at the CBO scores. That`s a fundamental shift on
the part of the Democratic Party and it puts a real constraint on the kind
of social policies. It means the Democratic Party is essentially an
Eisenhower party and it will never move forward in terms of substantive
agenda, so long as that remains the case.
WALSH: I read about this in the book. I mean, Barack Obama, at the
end of the debt ceiling battle, goes in front of the cameras and
essentially brags that he has reduced, he has reduced spending.
ROBIN: But at the modern conservative movement, what they did, the
genius of them was they realized we are on a losing streak so long as we
are pushing for balanced budget. We have to break out and they did and
they created a new majority.
The Democratic Party is going to have to do the same thing.
HAYES: Let me say this, nothing points us home more than the way the
aftermath of the sequester is being dealt with. Let`s all remember. Debt
ceiling deal, two parties can`t cooperate. They can`t find a way to cut
spending and so they lock themselves into this deal, which is if we can`t
come up with the supercommittee, then each of us are going to experience
cuts from things that we hold dear, the Democrats and nondefense
discretionary funding, things for programs for the poor and things like
that, and for Republicans it`s defense spending.
Now, the supercommittee didn`t work, we`re now headed towards the
sequester, and what do you see?
One party is very vocally and in fact, there`s a long section in the
draft platform getting out of the sequester. Not only getting out of the
sequester cuts and the defense spending, right, this was the deal made to
make sure that people cut spending to get to a balanced budget.
They are now trying to extricate themselves from it. It`s in the
platform. John McCain is going on the Sunday shows talking about it, et
And the Democrats, there`s total asymmetry. You do not see Democrats
running around wanting to extricate themselves from their part of the
sequester, because they have become the party --
ROBIN: And it was predictable from the get-go when they signed that
deal. You could have just seen the writing on the wall and they did it and
now we`re exactly in that spot. And it`s going to affect the Democrats in
terms of, again, their own substantive agenda.
HAYES: Corey Robin, professor at the City University of New York,
and Sophia Nelson, columnist for TheGrio.com -- it`s a really great
NELSON: Thank you.
HAYES: Thank you both for coming.
All right. Cities as fertile ground for the culture wars, when we
HAYES: Here are some fun facts about the city you`ll be hearing for
the next week as the Republicans hold their convention there.
Tampa Bay is second in the nation for pedestrian deaths. "Forbes"
ranked Tampa Bay`s commuting experience the worst among the nation`s 60th
largest metro areas. And the city itself is only 4.6 people per acre. And
according to one magazine, it`s the fourth saddest city in America.
A recent article in Salon.com called Tampa "America`s hottest mess."
Yet, Tampa is like much of the country. Sprawled out metropolis, low
density, low levels of walkability, heavy reliance on automobile transport.
And this kind of landscape is a fitting setting for the RNC because while
Tampa itself, like other cities voted Democratic in last election, smaller
suburban centers that look a lot like Tampa make a up the spatial
foundation of the Republican Party.
Of all the political divides in the country, there are a few more
potent than the world divide. As one look at the county electoral map from
2008 makes very clear -- a sharp political divide by outer ring suburbs and
cities which vote highly Democratic turn basic issues like sprawl and land
use into culture war proxies.
One theme the RNC chose for the convention was we built this in a
stadium built with taxpayer funds. In 2011, Florida`s Republican Governor
Rick Scott turned down over $2 billion in federal money for a high-speed
light rail, making him a hero of the right.
Transportation policy means technocratic but a high speed rail has
become a highly polarized issue in the Tea Party era, a symbol of left wing
collectivism and planning, the imposition of density and urbanism on
freedom-loving suburbanites. It`s a familiar troupe in right wing media.
Here`s Stanley Kurtz, conservative author, speaking with Lou Dobbs on
Fox Business about the nefarious liberal plot called urbanism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS: It`s an all-out attack on suburbs.
STANLEY KURTZ, CONSERVATIVE AUTHOR: Lou, I was surprised myself and
I have written about Obama`s pas. But what I discovered is Barack Obama
wants to abolish America`s suburbs. That might sound hard to believe, but
for nearly two decades, Barack Obama has been a huge supporter of a
movement whose goal is to have city governments swallow up and control
The idea here is to have cities somehow get a hold of suburban tax
money. Ultimately, President Obama wants to redistribute the wealth of the
suburbs to the cities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For the land use and regional planning policy section of the
show, joining us now -- that`s a way to really tease a TV segment --
joining the show now are: Wendell Cox, a senior fellow at the Hartland
Institute and the Reason Foundation, former director of public policy for
the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC, we talked about
that sometimes in the network, now a public transportation consultant.
And Michael Bell, an architect at Visible Weather, and professor at
Columbia University of Housing, rejoining us. He recently had an exhibit
that we featured here on the program, at MOMA, showcasing his work on
cities, including a plan for a development in Tampa --
MICHAEL BELL, ARCHITECH: Temple Terrace, Florida.
HAYES: Temple Terrace, Florida.
Let`s start at the level of -- the most abstract level before we get
am to land use and regional revenue sharing and things like that. It does
seem to me there is a culture war overlay to the political divide at
suburbanism and urbanism and at some level it`s a kind of preference thing.
you know, people of a liberal cohort like have to be able to walk to
places, and walkability and you`ve written a lot in defense of suburbs,
about the reasons that being able to drive and having auto dependent
development is good.
I want to play this clip of a FOX -- a FOX segment about your
BELL: I was wondering if I could bring that up, but you have.
HAYES: We have it. So, you did this exhibit. The idea behind it
was -- it was a kind of commissioning a bunch of architects to think of
redeveloping spaces, particular areas that have been hit by the foreclosure
crisis, which has created vacancy and opportunities for new use to push in
a more urbanist, high density, more walkable direction, and you had one of
the projects and it`s in Tampa and this is how it was described on FOX --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS: This exhibit is from the elites,
telling us how we should live. We should all live in cities and if we
don`t live in cities, we should turn our suburbs into cities. That`s the
way we should live.
Isn`t that the elites going at us and telling us how we are mere
mortals should live?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Why are you telling mere -- what is wrong with you? Why are
you such an elitist, Michael Bell?
BELL: Yes, that was -- you know, the first thing that was really
brilliant today in terms of getting at this kind of artificially created
culture war, at some point, I know people weren`t seeing it that way. But
I think in this re-urbanization issue or suburbanization issue, there are
artificial divides that are producing this kind of situation.
Low-income housing has been made like market rate housing. It`s kind
of the same techniques with tax credits, meaning how it`s built. So, in
other words, I think really what`s going on with all of this is that
cities, suburbs, inner ring, all getting built through the same financial
mechanisms and the divide of who is elite and who`s not.
But to answer you more directly, I think it`s artificial. To answer
it more directly, I think where at the situation where what we have is 50
years of suburbanization, 50 years of urbanization that is reaching the end
of its rein and everybody knows it and I think, so, whether you`re elite or
whatever you are, somebody is going to get involved in redesigning.
HAYES: Please respond.
WENDELL COX, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION CONSULTANT: Well, one of the big
problems with the whole movement at the moment so much focus on the central
city. And, by the way, I admire an awful lot of the new urbanist designs,
and I spent a good deal of time living in Paris and love it.
But the fact is that the city of New York starts say about New
Brunswick and it goes to Montauk Point, in terms of the urban area, OK?
And it goes from New Haven down to Ocean County.
Now, the point is that the city is much bigger than the attention
that is being given to it at this point. And we need to understand, this
talk about Tampa in sprawl -- yes, Tampa is fairly normal. It`s right in
And we need to understand this whole idea of sprawl. What is sprawl?
It is nothing more than the organic, natural expansion of the city in
relation to population growth so that, very quickly finish, that we have
sprawl everywhere in the world except Singapore and Hong Kong where it is
not possible because the land is already used.
So that, for example, 100 percent of the growth in European major
metropolitan areas over the last 50 years has been in suburbs, not central
MICHAEL BELL, ARCHITECT: It`s not organic.
COX: Well, we can argue a about that.
BELL: It`s not organic, subsidized by FHA loans and --
COX: There`s no FHA --
HAYES: Hold on one second. I wanted you to respond to that. We
also have the mayor of Tampa, who I would like to bring in, right after we
take a break.
HAYES: I want to bring in Tampa`s mayor, Democrat Bob Buckhorn.
Mayor Buckhorn, I`d like you to start giving us a little update on
where things stand with the city`s preparations for tropical storm Isaac.
MAYOR BOB BUCKHORN, TAMPA, FLORIDA: Well, we`re in full preparation.
We`re implementing any plans we need to implement. As Floridians, Chris,
we deal with this all the time. This is nothing new to us. This is a
minor distraction as it relates to the RNC.
But what we have prepped our citizens to do what they normally do to
get their hurricane checklist out. We have sandbags available, if
necessary. But we don`t think -- but for some wind tomorrow and some rain,
there will be no tidal surge of any significance.
This convention, even though it`s delayed a day, which was the right
decision, I might add -- will go forward and great event for Tampa and for
HAYES: That`s great to hear. I would like your perspective from the
mayor of the city of Tampa. I know that you had some initiatives that are
pushing in a kind of, in the way of a lot of the downtown revitalization
we`ve seen over the last 10 or 15 years trying to create some life for the
downtown urban core of the city after work hours, et cetera, some public
investment in that respect.
How would you -- why are you pursuing that envision and how have you
found the politics of that in Tampa and the county around you,
BUCKHORN: Well, I think it only makes sense, Chris. I mean, it`s
all about the economics. If my two daughters are going to come home to
Tampa, Florida, some day and I am able to compete for the best and
brightest from all around the country, intellectual capital is mobile.
They`re going to choose to live wherever they want to live. They`re not
going to be tied to a location based on a steel plant or an automobile
plant. That intellectual capital is mobile.
And those young people either here in this community or who are
looking to relocate from somewhere else want a city that`s hip, that`s
cool, that`s diverse, that`s welcoming, where there are opportunities for
them to do whatever it is that they want to do. If they want to write code
all day and skateboard all night, we ought to have that is flexible for
them. For me -- go ahead.
HAYES: Go ahead. I didn`t want to cut you off. That`s a perfect
summary, I mean, that`s a 30-second summary of Richard Florida thesis.
BUCKHORN: It is, Chris, but it`s reality. I see the patterns and I
see who is moving back into our downtowns and the types of people who are
coming and I see what they want in terms of retail, in terms of amenities
and in terms of opportunities to exercise.
Downtown is where they want to be. I`m not trying to master plan the
world. I mean, I`m just a mayor. I don`t care if folks want to move to
the suburbs or not, I think we need those choices. But I think the
economic engines, certainly in Florida are always going to be the urban
areas and we need to create an environment that encourages that type of
HAYES: Wendell, please.
COX: I think we all need to be careful about the creative class
things and Richard Florida, good researcher, had a lot of respect for him,
but we`re talking about a very small percentage of the people. Let me
HAYES: Let me just quickly lay out the thesis.
COX: It`s sort of as the mayor indicated, the hip, cool cities that
will attract the people and all that. The history of urbanization is the
attraction because of jobs and economic growth.
COX: Cities do not grow because of fountains and designs.
And let me just very quickly defend Tampa. Tampa, we have been told,
is one of the worst places on earth this morning. The fact is, traffic
congestion is less than average in Tampa, the journey to work trip is less
than average in Tampa and, by the way, after adjustment for costs, per
capita income in Tampa is almost as high as New York.
And then finally --
HAYES: You`re saying because the real estate is so much cheaper.
COX: Because everything is cheaper. But the final point is, in the
2000, 280,000 people who moved to Tampa from other parts of the country,
all things being equal, 1.9 million left in New York City metropolitan area
and 1.4 million left the L.A. area.
HAYES: So, if this kind of landscape that we`re describing and if
Tampa itself is so desirable, Mayor, why -- why are you bringing your
socialist agenda to change it?
BUCKHORN: Well, you know, I`ve been accused of plotting this
hurricane because I`m a Democrat and now I`m being accused of a socialist
agenda. I am neither. I wish I had that much power.
But, Wendell, thank you for that clarification. That interpretation
of this great city was totally off base. It is a wonderful place to live.
I`m not trying to engineer any social trends. I`m just trying to
create an environment where those jobs of the future, where we can change
Tampa`s economic DNA because Florida has been driven by real estate for
BUCKHORN: It is not a sustainable economy. We have to transition
from that mentality to create those value added jobs that will attract the
creative class that wants to live in the urban areas.
But you`re absolutely right. It`s not about fountains, it`s about
opportunities. I`m trying to create an environment where there`s
technology jobs will help us pay for those fountains.
HAYES: Let me say this, there`s a sort of a political divide, right.
There`s a kind of cultural divide in the ways that we think of red and blue
in this country and who lives in dense, walkable San Francisco and who
lives at the farthest reaches of the Atlanta metro area.
But there`s also this cost issue, and I want to get to that right,
because dense, urban walkable areas are more expensive and getting more so.
And that`s part of the issue. Are the costs right now of living in a place
like Tampa and living in a place like New York, the natural cost, are they
constructed by the social policy we have?
Michael, I want you to address that right after we take this break.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: That`s a 1970s promotional video for the city of Tampa and I
wanted to match my tongue in cheek critiques of the city with an equally
tongue and cheek endorsement of it.
But when we get to this issue of cost, because I think that ends up
being kind of the big part of it, right? I know a lot of people who say, I
want to live in, in say Washington, D.C., in the periphery, inside the
urban core of the city that`s dense and walkable. I want to live in New
York City and people end up living, primarily school and costs are the two
And my question is, are the costs that we have the right costs? Are
we getting the prices right? Is it a natural outgrowth of the market in
terms of what`s desirable and what`s not, or is there social policy that`s
making those costs what they are, Michael?
BELL: I think it is all of these things. Let me turn this down.
In the Tampa area, in Temple Terrace, where people spending 50
percent of their gross income on housing and transportation, New York City,
that`s pretty much the same as well. So, the questions of costs can vary.
Of course, people in New York City probably have a higher income.
But what I think I was trying to get at earlier was regardless of
Tampa versus New York or Boston versus San Francisco, et cetera, Santa
Monica or Glendale, et cetera, all of these things are a prototype and
reality when it became a reality that was highly, highly engineered, not in
some mischievous or overtly devious way. Of course, some of that is in
there. But it is a set of financial protocols over the history of building
this country that had a structure and I think cost, et cetera, is now all
But cities like New York, of course, global cities, Los Angeles, they
have incomes, et cetera, that are somewhat global, somewhat local, and they
have real estate prices that are global and local, and that`s not
necessarily true for Tampa. That is going to be a crisis in the future as
cities that are attractive for work on a global level and we see this now -
- I mean, New York is part of a constellation, of course, of global cities
more than perhaps related to Upstate New York, which we all know.
COX: We need to understand the differences in housing costs in this
country are largely related to regulation. OK? We have very strong land
use regulation in New York City area, the Los Angeles area, the Boston,
Washington area, Portland, and Seattle. Their housing prices have gone up
to two or three times over the last 20 or 30 years relative to incomes.
Where we do not have the strong, very much favored so-called mart
growth regulations in places like Dallas, Indianapolis, et cetera, you have
housing prices that are at their historical norms which all of these other
places were until they got this regulation.
HAYES: But the regulation, I mean, in the case of Washington, D.C.,
for instance, the limit on building signs, right? That artificially
COX: No, I`m talking metropolitan area and Loudoun County which
won`t allow building on the fringe. What happens when you draw a line
around the city like it`s happened in London or Portland, you force prices
up and that means less discretionary income for households.
BELL: I kind of want to try to find some kind of detente, because I
feel like it becomes yes or no to things. What I was trying to get at
earlier at the brief conversation on site was, you know, when the
derivative markets started really exporting money into collateralized debt
obligation, I really think it basically was a broad indicator that the
financial people also have no real faith anymore in the vehicle that was
holding the debt, meaning housing.
BELL: So, I think --
HAYES: They were trying to get in and get out.
BELL: They were trying to get in and get out.
HAYES: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckner, I`m going to give you the last word
on where you see Tampa 20 years from now?
BUCKNER: Well, I see Tampa as first of all the city that`s going to
lead Florida out of the recession. We`re not competing with Chicago, and
New York and L.A. We`re competing with other emerging Sunbelt technology-
driven communities. I think south of Atlanta, Tampa is going to be the
economic engine that drives the Southeast.
HAYES: I`ll be looking forward to the 2012 version of that video we
just played. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, thanks so much for your time. I
really appreciate it.
What we should know for the news week ahead -- Wendell Cox, thank you
very much. Michael Bell, great pleasure --
BELL: Thank you.
HAYES: -- when we come back.
HAYES: So what should you know for the week coming up? As
Republicans flock to the Republican National Convention in Florida, you
should know they decided one of the themes of the event is "We Built This".
A phrase meant as a swipe at the statement President Obama about the ways
in which collective action, good governance and functional social contract,
undergirded personal individual business success.
We should know that the stadium in which they will be hosting their
"We Built This" theme at the Tampa Bay Times Forum was built in 1996 with,
you guessed it, government money. The project costs $130 million, of which
$86 million or 62 percent of the total were government funds.
You should know that the "We" in "We Built This" is actually the
taxpayers of Florida.
Massive public money for profitable sports franchises are a national
scandal not limited to Florida. And you should know that when it comes to
subsidies and corporate welfare for private business, the party of we built
this at national, state and local levels all too happy to appropriate
government funds to aid private business.
You should know that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, was
scheduled to address the Republican National convention this week, and we
don`t know whether that`s still the case. Now the convention is delayed
You should know that Huckabee is the most high-profile Republicans to
rally behind embattled Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin after Akin`s
comments women about women being incapable of conceiving if they were
victims of what he termed "legitimate rape." On Friday, on a conference
call with Southern Baptist, the anti-abortion Huckabee railed against the
GOP establishment, accusing them of acting like goons.
You should know Huckabee, who has championed Akin from the beginning
of a Senate run has some skin in the game on this issue. As governor or
Arkansas, Huckabee appointed his friend, State Representative Faye Boozman
(ph) to head up the state`s health department despite the fact that Boozman
has said at a rally a year earlier that pregnancy resulting from rape was
rare, because the victim fear triggered hormonal changes that block
You should know Huckabee is now leading social conservatives into an
open revolt over their handling of the Akin issue. So this week could be
And finally, you should know that I`ll be part of the MSNBC`s live
coverage of the Republican National Convention, Tuesday through Thursday of
this week, from 7:00 p.m. until midnight. Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews,
Lawrence O`Donnell, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, and a whole bunch of others
will be part of coverage as well. So, tune in. There will be a whole lot
to talk about.
Want to find out what my guests think we should know for the week
coming up? I will begin with you, Mr. Avik Roy.
AVIK ROY, ROMNEY ADVISOR: What you should know is that the
Republican bench was strong. What you`re going to find out this week at
the convention is that Governors like Marco -- like Bobby Jindal, like
Chris Christie, senators like Marco Rubio, these are the rising stars and
these are names you`re going to be hearing a lot of like Paul Ryan 2016,
So, this is going to be the first convention where we really get to
see these people at the height of their political prominence.
HAYES: Marco Rubio, he`s not giving the keynote, but he`s giving the
speech just before Mitt Romney, I believe, introducing him on Thursday
night if that doesn`t change.
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Well, you should know that the Republican
Party is about 90 percent white, but our panelists today showed us that
there may be a different kind of future. We ended the week with Mitt
Romney descending into birtherism as a joke. And it`s going to be
interesting to see if we hope we will see and Michael Steele tells us we
need to see is going to be on display. We`ll just have to find out.
HAYES: It will be interesting to see how that works out. We talked
a little bit about the birther comment yesterday. What is the reaction to
ROY: I think it was a joke. I don`t know if I would have made it,
but I think there is a double standard, where Republicans -- Obama made a
lot of jokes about this too.
HAYES: But I think if Barack Obama got up and -- let`s say this: if
Barack Obama got up and made a joke about magic underwear, he would
absolutely and rightly pilloried.
ROY: I think that`s fair.
HAYES: Wendell Cox?
COX: Let me take the perspective a little bit longer there is a week
after next week and we need to recognize over the next couple of decades
the importance of allowing cities to continue to expand and allow housing
to be built that people want. The basic problem is this. If we continue
to draw lines around cities like in Portland, in London, in Vancouver, and
other places, we`re going to force the price of housing so high, as we have
already, that future generations won`t have the discretionary incomes they
need to live better than we are.
And when you think about the terrible difficulties we have with
respect to the budget deficit and with respect to paying public employee
pensions, it is going to be tough. And we do not need to be increasing the
cost of anything.
HAYES: Let me say this, though. The experience of the housing
bubble is the opposite. I mean, I did a lot of reporting on this in
Chicago, and what was happening in Chicago, was there was no developing
line. There was tremendous amount of sprawl at the exurbs and what was
happening was simultaneously lots of housing was being built and housing
prices were going up. In fact, the housing was being built precisely
because people were making a bet that housing prices would go up. So,
those two did not actually reinforce each other.
COX: They actually work very strongly together. The largest housing
price increase is where the regulation was the worst in coastal California,
in Oregon, Washington, and in Florida which is now, thank God, repealed its
smart growth law. The suburbs of Chicago have very strong, comprehensive
regional planning. The problem is --
HAYES: Not westbound I-80.
COX: When you say you can only build here, you force prices up.
HAYES: Michael Bell.
BELL: I think the big issue for me, and I think reading the laws
more carefully, understanding them, not just listening to the convention.
So, for example, read the 1998 Quality Work and Housing Responsibility Act,
download it and read it rather than listening to the Republican or
Democratic agenda about housing, the language in there is unbelievably
accessible and incredibly interesting.
HAYES: We`ll put it on the Web site. That`s UP`s homework until
I want to thank my guests today, Mitt Romney advisor -- Mitt Romney,
thank you for coming -- advisor Avik Roy. Read the next line in the
teleprompter, Chris, MSNBC political analyst, Joan Walsh, transportation
consultant Wendell Cox and architect Michael Bell -- thank you all.
And thank you for joining us. We`ll be back next weekend, Saturday
and Sunday at 8:00 Eastern Time with our coverage of the Republican
National Convention and preview of this week`s Democratic National
Convention. Our guests will include columnist and radio host David Sirota,
who`s got a fantastic article on "Harper`s", about one newspaper towns.
Coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." On today`s "MHP": How do
you redefine a man running a president for six years? Plus, Republican
while black. May not happen often, but it does happen. That and the
shadow party taking over the campaign message?
That`s "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY" coming up next.
I`ll see you Tuesday night for NBC`s live convention coverage
starting at 7:00 Eastern. We`ll be back next week here on UP.
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